Pookah Visits Houston Fiber Fest 

Last month, my lil group of knitters were super happy to hear news of the first ever Houston Fiber Fest! Right in our amazing city! Since it was super close, we spent a quick day at the fest shopping our hearts out.

IMG_9959The Fest was at the Berry Center in Cypress, a community north of the city which is super close to me, so I was thrilled. The organizing group did a great job planning and had fiber artists yarn bomb the center outside. Plus, we knew we were in the right place! We had only wished there was a big sign of the super cute HFF logo for us to take a group picture next time. Hopefully next time! Next year, I must knit something for the bomb and can hopefully participate in the KAL of their adorable little mascot, Lester the Leicester.

For the inaugural event, I think they did a simply amazing job. There were so many fiber lovers in attendance, a great mix of vendors and lots of pretty things to squish. I think we looped that event center twelve times before going to lunch only to return for a few more loops before making our purchases.

Which brings us to the important bits, the shopping. I wish I had more money to spend because there was so much that I loved. My favorite shop was an easy pick. I absolutely fell in love with the Park Avenue Yarns purchasing choices. So many interesting yarn choices, super cute examples of work, patterns and friendly staff. There, I purchased the most gorgeous skein of yarn I’ve seen! It is Spun Right Round Squish DK in colorweight Escape From Prison. Isn’t that name just the best? I’m thinking a sweet winter hat would be perfect with this.

My other purchase was from my favorite local knitting store, WC Mercantile, who had a booth at the Fest. I had seen a Facebook post of their gorgeous dyed fibers and knew that I wanted to purchase one to alleviate my new addiction. I chose a stunning teal/grey braid in BFL, which is easily becoming my favorite fiber to spin.  I cannot wait to get my hands on this. I was in the middle of Tour de Fleece so already had my hands full. Interestingly, I bought it because I thought I didn’t have anything like it in color. Then when I got home, I realized it went perfectly with the fiber on my wheel at that moment. Which is perfect because I feel like I can do something amazing with the two together.

We hung out at the Fest for a little while, but the room was actually so packed there was not much room to sit and knit. A very impressive turnout, which I hope means the Fest will continue for years to come and will grow in size.  I am so glad to have something like this locally and I cannot wait until next years Fest.

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Lusty Eleven – September

Hooked!

Yes, I’m completely hooked on crochet. So this month’s Lusty Eleven is all about  fiber fun in general, including tutorials, beautiful handmade accessories and crochet ideas — all celebrating my new hobby. Hope you can get hooked too!blog

  1. Isn’t this the most beautiful crochet hook case? From elsiegeneva Etsy shop.
  2. Must learn how to make these gorgeous cuffs. Pattern from Ravelry!
  3. A fancy bowl to hold my yarn, this from Abby T Pottery’s Etsy shop
  4. Tiny Owl Knits book, not crochet but I want to make everything!
  5. 100 Birds, Butterflies & Little Beasts to Knit and Crochet, yes I want to.
  6. Desperately wanting these owl shaped stitch markers from winemakerssiter’s Etsy shop.
  7. Learn to knit with Purl’ Soho’s knitting videos!
  8. I want to make beautiful fall things, like these beautiful maple leaves from LubaDaviesAtelier.
  9.  Need to grow your hook collection? Knitpicks has a colorful, gorgeous Harmony hook collection.
  10. I now need every color of thread known to man, like this cotton Curio thread from KnitPicks.
  11. School Days!

Hooked yet?

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Pookah Tries Crochet (Again)

learning to crochetI feel like this is a never-ending story in my life.

I’ve tried crochet many times and I always get the hang of it for a little while and then, meh.

That is how I’ve felt about crochet.

Meh.

Then people tell me crochet is “oh…so much easier than knitting”. And I want to stab them in their eye with my knitting needle.

Seriously? Then tell me why I am not living in one huge, cute granny square?

Jerks.

Thankfully, my friends found an entire day of crochet classes at a local yarn shop, called WC Mercantile, and now I am officially smitten. I still don’t think it is easier than knitting, but I do feel a whole lot less stabby.

So I spent my entire Saturday with a crochet hook in my hand re-learning crochet techniques. I was so happy to actually have a foundation row matching the actual number of stitches I chained on. Hoorah!

free form crochetI ended the class with a whole lot more knowledge, an understanding of different techniques and this adorable free form thing-a-ma-jig that I am very proud of. I feel much more comfortable with my crochet and feel ready to tackle more patterns. I fully plan on adorning everything with intricate lace, cute flowers and am already eying up amigarumi patterns for crochet.

Because didn’t you know? Crocheting animals is just “so much easier than knitting”.

(Jerk.)

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On Finding a New Aisle in the Craft Store

How many of you have now tried out the square knot bracelets? I don’t know about you, but I’m addicted.

I went on a trip to Hobby Lobby and Michaels last week to purchase a multitude of jewelry making supplies and was completely shocked at how much there is! I guess I’ve always just completely rushed by that section on my way to the yarn without a blink. Seriously, next time stop! I was able to find different kinds of leather, woven fibers and the like to make more bracelets. Plus, they have a ton of clasps that you can use and anything you can imagine to make necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

Here are some of the goods from my shopping spree.

  • Round Leather Lace Black $1.99
  • Deerskin Lace in Saddle Tan $2.99
  • Copper clasps and beads – $1.29 – $1.99

My HipstaPrint 992364485-11Also, please check out that adorable clutch! Have you heard of UmbaBox? It is a subscription goodies service that celebrates all things handmade.  I recently signed up and this fabulous hand-painted leather clutch from the very talented Florence Oliver was in my very first package. I am in love. I wanted to use it for fancy occasions, but since I rarely go fancy, I decided it will hold my jewelry-making materials for now. It makes me smile every day.

My HipstaPrint 992364485-10The first thing I made from my shopping spree was a square knot bracelet out of a teal colored deer skin. This was a whopping $1.99.  Who knew jewelry could be this cheap? I feel cheated in life.

Check a look at my braided bracelets I’m wearing today. One is purchased and one made. One was expensive and one was not. I like to think you can’t tell! Sure, one has a better clasp and probably a few less mistakes but both are adorable.

Plus, doesn’t it just feel good to wear something you’ve made? Yes, you have the right to bear DIY and brag.

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DIY Stackable Square Knot Bracelets

My HipstaPrint 992364485There are times in my life when I believe I am too dense for the most dumb of Dummies books. This week has been one of them. My first DIY accessory that I wanted to attach this month is one dear to my heart because it involves yarn.

When a friend found out that I was looking for DIY accessories to create, she posted this fabulous tutorial for me on Pinterest.

Yes! This is the best idea to start off my month because I don’t even have to go shopping yet for gear! Plus, it’s super cute and reminds me of 6th grade camp friendship bracelets. Winning!

The Yarn Stackable Bracelet promised to be a quick accessory that any knitter could quickly make to enhance their outfit. Every knitter has colorful scrap yarn and this is a great way to delve into DIY accessories…I mean, we knitters excel at yarn, right?

At least that is how I was going to present it to you all.

And then I tried to follow along with all of the simple directions. Psah. Simple.

I spent two nights looking at web tutorials and recommended YouTube videos. There is one spot I would consistently be frustrated with because I could not figure out if my yarn went in the loop or under the loop. One video looked promising and then poof! The creator actually just drew an arrow and skipped that part in the video. Really? REALLY?!

Finally, I found this one.

My savior! It finally all clicked.

This bracelet is created by doing short square knots, which is easy once you figure out where you are supposed to put which yarn and get a rhythm going. Finding that out is key…the rest is a breeze

Hints:My HipstaPrint 992364485-3

  • There are a few ways to do this, as evidenced by the multitude of videos I saw. If this one doesn’t work try another one.
  • Don’t bother with picture tutorials! It is helpful to see someone in action. This is why God created YouTube.
  • You have to alternate sides and this proved too difficult for my late night brain. To help keep me on track, I would repeat “ONE” while working the right side. Then “TWO” while working the left side. I think I kept these thoughts in my head since my guy was studying for a final, but also feel free to yell them out loud. Maybe in  German?
  • Tape is your best friend. Really anchor that middle piece down or you will be screaming profanities (maybe in German as well?)

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Dallas Fiber Fest 2013

Wowza!

So I know this month is supposed to be all about spring, but I have to show off all of my fabulous finds and good times from the Dallas Fiber Fest this past weekend.

My friends and I did a little whirlwind tour as we couldn’t stay the whole weekend and we didn’t really have our acts together in time to sign up for classes and such. But the trek to Dallas was totally worth it and such a great time (despite my allergy-medicine induced coma – see this IS a spring blog post!).

TWITTER-BUTTONS6Even the four-hour drive up to the Fest was incredible, given some mighty fine stops up north, including these fine moments from my Twitter posts:

Some much needed road-trip grub:

 

Of course, some shopping:

Then, OMG In-N-Out in TEXAS!!

See? Already loads of exciting stuff.

Instead of waxing poetic about all of the cool things I happened upon at the festival, here’s a little photo tour of fibers and fun stuff from the booths, including my knitters and I posing with some ‘staches I made for our trip. The festival had lots of fiber arts vendors, selling yarn, spinning tools, knitting and crochet accessories, even gorgeous bowls meant to hold your yarn. Heaven! We walked around, further stalked the MadTosh booth and were happy to discover lots of local knit stores an fiber producers, such as WC Mercantile in Navasota and Western Sky Knits, based out of Magnolia. I love to shop locally so these two in particular will be seeing me shortly!

fiber fest

Of course, I have to show you my purchases.I think I’ve taken my goods out to look at the twelve times since Sunday. I cannot hold back my excitement. I was good, thank goodness my scheme worked. I took out my pre-determined budget from the ATM before leaving and I stuck to it, whew!

First up is my fiber purchase from the Madeline Tosh store. Her colors are to dye for (har har, get it? Get it? Yea, I know…sorry). So I was just going to buy something little there, like a pattern (which I did, of course). But I wanted to save my yarn purchases for hte actual festival. But then I couldn’t keep my grimy hands off of this skein of sock weight yarn. Can you blame me? The color is called Saffron, which I also happen to love. yarn 2

As I mentioned, I also bought a pattern for this uber-cool vest. It will take about four skeins of DK weight, which is perfect because I have a gift card from my guy for Valentines that I’m dying to use at Twisted Yarns. I already have a yarn in mind, if they have it by Western Sky Knits, a gorgeous dark turquoise with an undertone of black called Forest Night.

pattern

My purchase at the FiberFest was some gorgeous bamboo lace weight yarn from the FiberLady which I decided I must have after realizing that bamboo is perfect if I want to wear my knits in the summer here in Texas. Have you ever been here? Yea, it is like 110 in the summer with 90% humidity….you’d have to be crazy to put on wool. So this will end up as some sort of summer shawlette. I love the colors, a shimmery teal and grey which remind me of the San Diego ocean (and cooler days).yarn 1

That was my weekend at the Dallas Fiber Fest…you will undoubtedly see my Ravelry queue grow in the next few weeks as I start to find patterns for these. Excitement!

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Fiber Love

Guess where I’m going today?

Woo hoo!398204_10151226358000358_841471363_n

That’s right, my knitting gals and I are jetting over to Dallas to join in the fiber love. I’ve pretended like I’m a gambling addict and took moola out if the ATM to only allow myself so much spending fun at this casino. And to make myself actually but things because I can get a little neurotic when it come to nice yarn… I completely freak and can’t make any decisions because I don’t want to waste money. Ug.

I’ll try to fill you in from the road on my Twitter: @pookahknits.

Will any if you be at the fest too?

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