Tuesday, January 30

work in progress

It's been a very nice start to the new year around here. I've been concentrating on establishing some new work routines that are in line with my goals (trying to look at the big picture here!) as well as build in more personal and home care time. So far, it's going well.

But fiber show prep is starting to take place, and that can be a crazy busy time. Especially this year, since the two shows we are doing (PlyAway 3 and DFW Fiber Fest) are on consecutive weekends.  That means we have to prep for both shows at the same time. Yikes!

Things will be a little quiet around here for a couple of months while I dye up a mountain of yarn and fiber:)

Friday, January 12

crafty plans

January...how I love it! A fresh start, a whole new year ahead of you.

The planner/list maker in me gets very giddy with all that blank canvas to fill up. Of course, I also love having a quiet month with no obligations. Just cozy and quiet evenings at home, with plenty of time to think and dream. And I've definitely done some planning and some dreaming!

I've got several exciting plans for October House, but you'll have to wait to hear about most of those later in the year.

Right now, I'm thinking about what I want to make this coming year. Of course, that gets blended with what I plan to make for the business, but I've also got several purely personal goals in the making department. First up:

Namely, sweaters. I need/want more sweaters in my personal wardrobe. And so does Jimmy. So sweater knitting will be the big focus for this year. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach - so to speak - but these are the patterns I'm looking at:

Stitch Sampler Sweater by Holli Yeoh in the Fall 2016 issue of Vogue Knitting

Granito by Joji Locatelli

Classic Cardigan by Sandi Prosser in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Vogue Knitting

a cardigan for Jimmy (still looking at patterns)

Silver Leaf Cardi by Hannah Fettig in the first issue of Making

V-Neck Cardigan by Julie Wiesenberger in the Winter 16/17 issue of Vogue Knitting

A couple of new hats and mittens for each of us would also be nice

I can't get enough of sewing right now, so I'm running with it! Besides quilting and hand work, I'm eager to get back to garment sewing. I used to be quite the seamstress back in the day. I even made a lined blazer and slacks that I loved.

Not much call for pantsuits in my wardrobe needs today, but I would love to make a couple of blouses, some tunics and see if I can remember how to make a decent pair of pants.

This is an ambitious list, I admit, but here goes:

2 blouses (I have ideas, but haven't found any specific patterns yet)

2 pair of pants

4 pairs of pajamas

2 bed quilts

2 lap quilts that can also be tablecloths

2 tote bags (Riverside Tote and The Townie Bag)

6 project bags

6 pouches

2 english paper pieced baskets

a handmade collar and harness for Riley

Most of my cross stitch plans are for October House patterns, so they're kinda secret, but obviously I'm having a lot of fun with the knitting themed patterns, so that will continue.

I also plan to introduce a few non-knitting things this year, including a couple of larger pieces.

Whew! I think I'd best get busy.

Friday, January 5

2017 recap

Here's a little recap of most of my makes from last year:

I can see that at some point, I stopped taking photos of finished socks. Because I finished several pairs with no picture of the sock or the WIP. I also haven't taken a photo of my finished Cloud Burst Cardigan, even though I've worn it a couple of times already. 

Nor I have I gotten a shot of my finished Hollows shawl, which has become my favorite knit of 2017. I enjoyed knitting every stitch of it. The yarn felt wonderful, the pattern was perfect and the finished object is getting a lot of use right now. It's so big and squishy, I can wrap it around my neck 3 times...which I need during these 20 degree days! It never falls off, and it just feels so dreamy.

I'm also wondering where my sewing projects are. I mean, I know where they are in real life, but they are missing from my photos. Basically, I haven't been great about photographing all my crafty projects. I tend to get the ones that relate to the business, but the purely personal projects don't get any screen time:)

Hopefully, I can change that, since I have a lot of sewing plans this year. Next time I'll talk about my making/creative plans for this year!

Thursday, December 28

Wednesday, December 20

happy holidays

We're winding down the studio for the rest of the year, at least as far as dyeing goes. The rest of this week I'll be baking and making. In the kitchen mostly, but I'm also really enjoying sewing right now, so there will be some quilt making happening, along with stitching away on a couple of new cross stitch releases for next year.

BUT there is news.

We will be having our first ever Year-End Sale next week, beginning Thursday, December 28. I'm discontinuing a couple of yarns, so they will be in the sale. And just to clear the shelves, I'll be discounting every single skein in the shop! More details will be coming.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, December 6

seasonal sights

We've decked the halls around here, and we're enjoying plenty of holiday movies, Christmas music, tree watching and eggnog sipping.

I've been bitten by a huge quilting bug, so I'm busy cutting fabrics, patching blocks and sewing. It feels good to visit my old friend, patchwork! I've even broken out the betweens needles and done some hand quilting!

I've got a new cross stitch release coming up, but after that it will "Christmas break" all the way! The new year promises to be very busy, so I'd better enjoy some relaxing days while I can:)

Tuesday, November 21

happy thanksgiving

The pie baking and bread making has commenced over here in our neck of the woods. So for everyone celebrating, Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 13

a knitter's sampler

Thank you so much for the wonderful response to my newest cross stitch pattern! I had a lot of fun designing and stitching this piece, and it's so gratifying that you like it too. I think a lot of us spend our non-knitting time thinking about knitting...a lot. At least, I know I do. There's always some kind of woolly thought running through my head!

We've got more knitting themed patterns coming in the months ahead! Here's a little sneak peak of what's coming up next:

I've got lots more ideas running around in my head, now the trick is to get them out and into some linen and thread:)

Wednesday, October 25

getting up to speed

Oh, October, I love you! It has finally turned crisp and very cool here, and I am loving it. It's amazing to me how just a turn in the weather can make me so happy.

I'm knitting away on a few projects, including the never ending Cloud Burst Girl cardigan. Yikes! Seed stitch sleeves! But I'm nearly there (whew), and I'll have a versatile cardigan just in time for cold weather.

I've also cast on the Myst Shawl by Melody of Mandarines, and I'm completely smitten with it at the moment. I'm using my Sojourn Sock in Blueberry Trifle. This was an exclusive color for Little Skein in the Big Wool's Little Stitches Box. I'm really glad I held on to a couple of skeins for myself. It is just the perfect blue, even if I do say so myself:)

And now back to my regularly scheduled program. I've got a small backlog of dyeing to catch up on after my hospital stay. Because we all know the holidays will be here in a flash!

Thursday, October 12

celebration mode

What a week it's been!

We've done lots of celebrating around here...and not only for October House's anniversary. I had a very unexpected trip to the hospital and a short stay in ICU, thanks to a blood clot in my lungs. Can you say "big surprise!"

But, I'm on the mend, home from the hospital, and well on the road to recovery. We're celebrating lots of things now: life, health, October, yarn, autumn, knitters, nurses, sunshine, husbands...just to name a few. I'm feeling very blessed.

The little collage above is one I made of some of our most popular Instagram photos, as well as few of my own favorites. It's hard to believe that it's been 4 years that I've been working at this little biz!

Shoot, I'm ready for 24 more!

P.S.  If you're not a newsletter subscriber, now is a great time to sign up! We've got celebrations going this month, and that includes special discounts, free stuff and a giveaway. Click here to sign up!

Monday, October 2

hello october!

Yay! It's October! My favorite month of the year. It's also the anniversary month of October House...4 years!

I've got several things planned to celebrate our anniversary this month, including special discounts, free patterns and giveaways! I'll be doing all of these through our newsletter, so if you're not a subscriber, now is the time to join!

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Thursday, September 28

that's a lot of picots

I finished binding off my Hollows Shawl - it took the better part of a week to get it completely bound off. Admittedly, I'm not the fastest knitter, and I'm not able to knit and knit for hours without a break for my squeaky arm. And let's face it, a picot bind off isn't quick - but it is definitely pretty.

And oh, I do love it. I can already tell that this shawl is going to get a lot of use this winter. For one thing, it feels fabulous.  The Melody yarn is a luscious blend of alpaca, merino and silk. It feels soft and warm, and has a great drape to it.

This is also a big shawl. It's a big shawl when it's knit in fingering weight, as the pattern call for. I knit it in DK weight, so it's really roomy.

And I love the color. Pearl is a perfect neutral. Warmer than the natural undyed color of the yarn, but still a non-color, so it'll go with anything and everything.

Now to just find a spot in the house big enough to block it!

Wednesday, September 13

works in progress

I'm knitting away on my Hollows Shawl, and it should be done sometime in the next week.  I've loved knitting every stitch of this project. The yarn is yummy, if I say so myself, and the pattern is an easy knit.

I'm going to end up with a sizeable shawl, since I'm knitting mine in DK weight yarn, while the pattern calls for fingering weight. I was surprised to look back and see that this is the heaviest weight shawl I've knit. I've done lots of laceweight and fingering weight shawls, but not one in Sport, DK or Worsted. I can definitely see the attraction in using a heavier weight yarn...this won't be my last.

I can hardly wait for cold weather, so I can snuggle up in it!

I'm also working away on my Cloud Burst Girl Cardigan. After putting is aside for most of the summer, I picked it up a couple of weeks ago and finished the body. Now I'm slowly knitting the seed stitch sleeves.  I love how seed stitch looks, but my right arm doesn't love how it feels, so I can only do a few rows per day and keep my arm happy.

But, it keeps slowly growing, so hopefully it'll be done by the end of the month. Just in time for sweater weather!

Wednesday, August 23

waiting for fall

This has been one of the mildest summers I can ever remember in Arkansas. June and even July were much milder than normal, and the first week of August was still below normal temperatures - mid to high 80's. 
Then it hit - the real summer temperatures, along with all the humidity. Sticky, buggy, muggy - you name it. That is how you usually describe summer in Arkansas. The fact that we had a very delayed start to the normal yucky weather means we "won" in my opinion.  Even if we have a month of typical August days, we still got to enjoy milder temps for a couple of months.

That said, I'm still ready - and longing - for fall. I love it. I love everything about it. Cooler temps, crisp autumn air, apples, sweaters, leaves, shawls....

Still on my needles in anticipation of fall shawl weather is the Hollows Shawl. It's grown a good bit, I'm in the middle of the second short-row section, and I love every stitch. Perfect evening knitting. 

I have a feeling this one will get a lot of use:)

Wednesday, August 9

one color shawls

I'm most definitely against the trend with my love of one color shawls, but hey, that's what I love. I'm drawn to soft colors, simple shapes and repeated textures. Oh, I enjoy a striped shawl once in a while, but it's usually in analgous or low-contrast colors, like my Wintermint Party:

So, on my needles at the moment is the Hollows Shawl by Melody of Mandarines. I've actually got about 6 of her patterns in my queue, since I instantly love everything she does.

But back to the Hollows shawl...the pattern calls for fingering weight, but I had my heart set on using my Melody DK for it, so I just went for it! I dyed up 6 skeins of Pearl and cast on. I figure it will be big, soft and squishy for those cold winter nights.  I'm about to start the first short-row section, so I'm a good bit further along than the picture above shows.

I'm loving the pattern so far, very simple and meditative, but not boring...in a word, perfect.
This has been just the spark I needed to get my knitting mojo back!

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