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. 


TNNA | Recovering & Recap

It’s been a little over 2 weeks since I returned from TNNA. If you don’t know what TNNA is, this is *the*event where the folks in the fiber industry meet up once a year for a huge trade show in Columbus, Ohio - basically equal parts of awesome & exhaustion. TNNA’s 2012 Summer Trade Show was a ton of fun. I’ve posted on the Firefly Fibers blog, but I wanted to share some highlights of the event and trip from my own perspective:

  • Blue Sky Alpacas and Spud & Chloe: We met ‘Cousin’ Katie and she is nothing short of amazing! Here is a photo of their booth from Katie’s blog post on TNNA. I’ve been a fan of Blue Sky Alpacas since before Firefly Fibers and they have a very special place in my heart. They are a small company with very passionate employees that believe in their amazing yarn and their enthusiasm is contagious! You can expect more Blue Sky and Spud loveliness at Firefly Fibers and on my needles in the near future!
BSA Booth
  • Unicorn Books: Unicorn is one of our vendors and I was so happy to meet our accounts payable guy, Kirk, whom I’ve only corresponded with via email. He was quite the ‘bouncer’ in his black shirt collecting tickets for the book signings - those authors were totally safe with him on the job! We also met Josh, who works in the warehouse and he was busy applying Unicorn temporary tattoos any and all willing parties. They are a great group!
  • New awesomeness at Firefly Fibers: I can’t divulge details, but we have some brand new yarns coming and they are fabulous! The waiting is driving me crazy so, rest assured, I’ll share as soon as the orders start to show up. Keep an eye on the Facebook page. Really, it will be well worth the wait!
  • The vendors: This event is a lot of fun, but it is serious work for everyone attending and especially exhibiting. With independent designers on the rise, many of the vendors are small companies with just a couple or maybe a handful of bodies to work their booths. I appreciate the time the vendors put into their beautiful booths - I know this was exhausting for them, as well.
  • Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream: I resisted this with all my might, yet the peer pressure of regular tweeting about Jeni’s finally made us give in. I thought, “really, people, it’s just ice cream”, I was wrong. I’m not a big on ice cream or sweets in general, but seriously, this stuff is amazing! We went twice and ordered Jeni’s Ice Cream cookbook from Unicorn.
  • North Market: This place ROCKS! We decided to venture over for some ice cream and pleasantly found a delicious lunch, as well. It was nice to pick up a few things and take them back to our room so we had some fresh food in our fridge.
  • Mike, my wonderful husband: My hubby has a job, one that he works very hard at, yet he always graciously helps out when he’s needed at the store. During TNNA, he took vacation time so Firefly Fibers would be open while I was gone. Thank you for all you do, my dear, you are my hero!

It was a wonderful time, the company couldn’t be beat and I can’t wait to do it again. Thankfully, it’s only once a year. :)