Simple Knits | December Dash

So... it's December. How did that happen? It seems like we just started our Simple Knits Knitalong a couple months ago and here we are 12 months (and projects) later. It's almost the end and I know December is a rough month for many crafters because (as I've seen and experienced) we somehow believe that we have an infinite number of hours in the day. Well, the hard truth is... we don't. This is the 11th hour and the holiday deadlines are right there in front of us - just as they do every singe year. At. The. Exact. Same. Time. Of. Year. 

For me, our wee knitalong has helped, but I still have a few gift gaps and small 'somethings' are perfect. There's a strange thing that happened to me once I started gifting handmade, I now feel like a total and complete slacker if I opt for a trip to the store instead of gifting a little something I made. And that's what I've got for you, because with these gifts, there really is still time to gift handmade and Simply Notable is here to rescue us...

Gift Card-igans

Aren't these great?! The Gift-Cardigans are a quick knit with a wee bit of worsted weight yarn (use scraps or a full skein will make several) and a random button.  What a fun way to personalize that impersonal gift card! And... as a knitter pointed out to me just a few days ago, these card-igans can be used throughout the year as a holder for reward cards. Really, these little gems are a win-win. 

Vintage Hankie Washcloth

These Vintage Hankie Washcloths  might take a bit more time to knit, but how precious would they be gifted with a special handmade soap? I love Soap Garden soap and would be a lovely pairing with these cloths. Denise (the soap artist), has a great variety and there's at least one that would be perfect for your giftee, even the naughty ones...


The cloths are knit in a sport-DK weight yarn and would be great in our Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton or Tahki Cotton Classic - both are in stock at the shop. Fair warning that the edging is crocheted, so you'll have to have some hooking skills to finish them off. I've had my eye on these for awhile, so this might be the time to make some - and possibly for myself.

Pint Sized Pines in a Cork Forest

Last, but certainly not least... These adorable Pint-Sized Pines are just teeny trees knit in dk to worsted weight yarn. Of course, you'll need a few corks, too - I think I should probably get to work on this project. *wink* I'm thinking these would make great ornaments or just a finishing touch to dress up a gifted bottle of wine that the giftee can use as an ornament later. 

So, there you have it. Our last Simple Knits Knitalong project for 2015 and I hope you enjoy these as much as the previous 11 months. If you need yarn for any of these projects, I've got plenty of ideas using our yarns at Firefly Fibers, so feel free to visit the shop or contact me for recommendations or go dive into that stash!

Don't forget... we'll have some prizes once we wrap up and I'll share more on that soon, so be sure to post your FO pics in our Ravelry Thread to enter to win. The holiday spirit it is in the air, so if you missed a month or have something to wrap up, you can slide that in this month too for another entry. For now... 

Cheers and happy holiday knitting!

Inspiration | Slow Fashion October - Week 1


The lovely Karen Templar of Fringe Association (one of our favorite accessory lines at the shop) has inspired me to participate in Slow Fashion October. What's Slow Fashion October, you ask? It's all about thinking more about our wardrobes and where they come from. As a knitter, sewist, and general lover of natural fibers, this is right up my alley.  

This is all inclusive and anyone can participate - regardless of if you create your own wardrobe or not, it's about about the bigger picture. Karen has (thankfully) provided a weekly theme for those of us *a-hem* that need some structure. So... here we go! 

“Week” 1,  October 1-4: YOU
First let’s introduce ourselves: Where are you at with all this / What first got you interested in Slow Fashion / What are your skills / What do you hope to get out of Slow Fashion October / What are your personal goals for the month / Do you have a special project you plan to tackle this month?

For those of you that don't know me, I'm Alisa. I knit and sew and just generally love creating and adding to my handmade wardrobe. For as long as I can remember, I've dabbled in creating handmade clothing - some attempts were more successful than others - and that led me to continuing my education in fashion, and eventually to my current career as an entrepreneur where fashion is at the forefront. I own LYS Firefly Fibers in Beaver Dam, WI with my husband Mike (sometimes hubby or Mr. Yarnista) where my passion for natural fibers, color and texture is fed on a regular basis.   

I'll be sharing my Slow Fashion month on InstagramFacebook, possibly Periscope (I managed to survive our first broadcast last night), I'll be chatting about it on our podcast, and, of course, I'll post about it here on the blog. 

As for goals... there's so much pride, pleasure and thoughtfulness that goes into creating a garment that will be worn for years to come, so I want to add a couple items to add to my handmade wardrobe this month. I'd love to finally get to the Washi Dress with that lovely Art Gallery fabric in the photo - the yarn has long since been knit into a lovely toque, but the fabric has been staring at me for months and, I'll admit, I'm a wee bit nervous to actually cut into itI also want to knit a sweater for myself in a new and very special yarn. More on that next week.

What do you think? Are you interested being part of Slow Fashion October? You can read more about it here and you'll find Karen's instagram feed here and the Slow Fashion October instagram feed here. I'm really excited to spend a month being inspired by others!

Cheers! Alisa

PS - the new Simple Knits Knitalong project will be posted in a few days next week (trust me, it will totally be worth the wait) and the next episode of our podcast will be available for you on Monday. Happy weekend everyone! 

Inspiration | Making Time

As I look back through the last few months of blog posts, it seems as though I haven't had a lot to say, but it's actually quite the opposite. Unfortunately, the winter months are extra busy for me because that's when we (knitters) knit (a lot), so that means that things are chaotic at the shop as I play the endless game of catch-up to avoid ending up buried in what I refer to as my "box fort" of deliveries and keep up on shop/class samples. I've been trying hard to find time to make time for the things that make me slow down and feel less frantic, so I've been trying to cook, knit (shocking, right?), sew, spin a little and read more.

Sometimes, it happens...

This basket of loveliness came home with me last weekend because I needed some inspiration to make that creative time for myself and it did the trick - it was also just really pretty to look at. Art Gallery Fabrics is a recent addition at Firefly Fibers and this cotton has several plans in its future (more to come on that soon) and the yarn is going to be swatched for potential projects (more to come on those soon, too).This is some secret knitting for the next Knitalong and I've really been enjoying it - other than the knitting in secret part because I really would prefer to share. Really, I don't like keeping secrets. 

I'm sneaking in a bit of secret knitting before heading to @fireflyfibers for the day. #secretknitting #wishicouldsharebuticant #knittersofinstagram #igknitters #fireflyfibers

I've also been spending more time in the kitchen... If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you're probably aware that I cook a lot and may have noticed that my diet has changed over the last few months. Last summer, I spent a fair amount of time not feeling well and missed time with family and simply enjoying life because of it. We're still working on a diagnosis, but I'm now eating gluten free and feeling much better.

This change has been a lot of work and has meant that I'm spending even more time in the kitchen because eating out is no longer a simple task, thankfully I LOVE cooking and my family has been so very supportive! I'm lucky to have wonderful friends that have shared some great resources and tips with me and, because of them, I've added some great cookbooks to my collection:

Sometimes a few new cookbooks are a well-deserved treat. #makingourselves #glutenfree #againstallgrain #homecooking #paleoThese 3 are my newest additions and I'll share more on these and a couple of my other faves soon. Rest assured that my new cookbooks are getting a good workout.

And of course, we need an update on these guys...

The brothers hanging out... #gsd #husky #rescue #humanesociety #adopted #dogslife #dogsofinstagram

Logan and Rollo are both doing well and Rollo is settling in nicely after 6 months with our family. We still have moments, but those moments could be adjusting or just the nature of a husky. Lol!

Hubby is in Arizona for the Milwaukee Brewers Spring Training - lucky - and the weather is gorgeous there. This is what we've woken up to twice this week in Wisconsin and it's not quite the same, but spring will come. I'm trying to remain optimistic.

Good morning from snowy Wisconsin! The boys are excited about the weather, I'm ready for spring. #winter #isitoveryet #snow #gsd #pawprint #dogsofinstagramI woke up this morning and opened my birthday package from my dear cousin - it's always a little like Christmas when her gifts arrive. This year, she kindly tucked in this photo that she found when cleaning out my grandparent's house. Talk about making a lady feel old. LOL! So... here I am, 39 years ago...


To celebrate, I wound yarn for Very Shannon's Gilmore Girls Knit Along and this project will be for me! *squee* It's Friday morning Open Knitting and the shop is buzzing with the chatter of knitters, so I've successfully negotiated with the "boss" and I'm off to cast on!