Off the Needles | A super awesome green sweater!

This last spring, Woolstok arrived at Firefly Fibers and I didn't even consider casting on a small project, I knew I wanted to knit a sweater - sometimes the yarn just tells you what it wants to be. After much debate, I settled on Pink Memories by Isabell Kraemer and named my version, Green Mountains (shockingly, it's even updated on Ravelry page) because I was going to have it done in time for my family trip to Grand Lake, Colorado in mid-June. I'm nothing, if not optimistic, about the time it takes to knit an entire sweater.

I cast on June 10th and I was leaving on the 22nd, so I knew this was a VERY ambitious goal, but Isabell's sweaters are enjoyable knits that seem to fly off the needles. I spent every waking moment away from work knitting on this sweater and I set my goal for a week. It even went to a Horicon, WI park with me for a special Canyon Spells show.

But, alas... even with taking this with me everywhere I went for almost 2 weeks before my trip, it wasn't done in time. So, I took it on my trip with me and it was awesome to be sitting on the deck at our Colorado cabin knitting away with this amazing scenery. Maybe it's more special to have a little it of my home state knit into it?

So, even though I was actually binding off the last sleeve on the plane on the way back to Wisconsin, knitting this gorgeous sweater in 17 days, really wasn't so bad. I love it even more than I thought and would and when I think of the places it went with me, I love it even more!

It was much too warm to wear it upon my return (we had a crazy hot summer), so it was displayed at the shop for a few months and finally came home with me the beginning of October just in time for Kraut Day

I'm now on my 3rd Woolstok sweater and I might need an intervention, because more are planned in my head. 


Off the Needles | Settler and some news...

I have an FO and something else fun to share with you today... First, as you may know, I adore Truly Myrtle and after featuring her design Reminisce as our June Simple Knits Knitalong project, I couldn't stop thinking about casting on one of her shawls. I didn't know if I would actually find time to cast on in the near future since things have been a little hectic, but then Libby decided to host a Knitalong featuring her designs in July. It was obviously meant to be, so I cast on. 

I chose Settler as my shawl to knit for the KAL and used Julie Asselin's Milis in the Feathers colorway, it's a gorgeous yarn from Firefly Fibers that I've really been wanting to knit with. I think it was a good pairing...


I cast on during our vacation in Door County earlier this month (I know, I know... I still owe you details on that) and started binding off on Saturday night in the car on our way to see Dave Matthews (more on that toward the end of this post). 

I used flexible lace wires for blocking because of Settler's horseshoe shape and I highly recommend them. I'm a long time supporter of blocking in general and blocking wires make a huge difference with some projects - this is definitely one of them. Just look at how much I was able to stretch this puppy and open up those criss-cross sections...


I'm frequently asked if blocking makes "that much" of a difference and my answer is always emphatically, "YES"! Blocking matters. A lot. Just think about it... your project is shoved into, and pulled out of a project bag numerous times during the HOURS you're knitting on it. After that, any project is going to have some 'bed head' and need to be refreshed. *wink*

If you've never washed or blocked a shawl, Libby has a 2 part 'how to' on her blog (Part 1 & Part 2) that walks you through each step of the process. She also shows another way to block Settler for a slightly different finished edge and it's also really pretty. If you're intimidated by blocking, just remember that you can always re-block if something turns out wonky the first time. It's kind of like just washing and restyling your hair. 

I've got my mind set on casting on another Truly Myrtle shawl and using one of these lovely Julie Asselin Gradient Sets:

If you participated in the Truly Myrtle Knitalong, there are some pretty fabulous prizes that Libby will be giving away, including one of these lovelies courtesy of Firefly Fibers. Maybe we can cast on together?

So, that's my big FO news for the week. I'm almost done finalizing the Fall Class Schedule for the shop and I can't wait to share what's on there - it should be ready in the next week or two. 

In the meantime... I have something else that's pretty fun. Mr. Yarnista has been wanting to do a podcast for quite some time. Really, he's been not-so-subtly hinting for what's been a year or more (maybe two) and in a moment of weakness, I gave in and it's finally happened... there is now an Alisa the Yarnista Podcast! In episode 1 we chat a bit about some fun stuff, including our weekend adventure to Alpine Valley to see one of my all time faves, Dave Matthews (it's really quite the story).

So, we hope you'll enjoy our maiden voyage and we'll let you know as soon as Apple approves things in iTunes and it's available there. *squee* I've never done anything like this and it was actually pretty fun, so stay tuned because I think we'll do it again soon.