barfgreen.com!

Hi! I have some cool news to share :)

When I started BGIB (new initialism?!) (PS did you know there’s a difference between acronyms and initialisms? nerd time…), I decided to choose a free, easy to use platform (wordpress!) so that I could try out blogging without a lot of complicated setup – or consequences, if I didn’t stick with it for very long. I started writing way back in June 2013 (whoa)!

Since I’m planning to continue blogging this year, I thought it might be time to spruce up my blogging space a little bit. Sooooooo… (drumroll)…

From now on, you can find me over at barfgreen.com!

BGIB

You’ll find all of the blog posts I’ve written here over at the new space, all the comments everyone has left, all the photos – and whatever is to come in the future :) I hope you’ll consider following me over to barfgreen.com! I’d love to hear what you think. Thanks for reading, and happy crafting!!

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The best: I won some yarn!!

Yarn contests. They are ALL over the internet. Blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter, and even Instagram: they’re all fertile spaces for bloggers, yarnies, indie dyers, and designers to share yarn, patterns, and other prizes with the people who follow them. I can’t even count the number of yarn contests I’ve entered over the years. A couple of weeks ago, I WON ONE!

This package arrived…

Yarn win!

…with my prize in it!

Yarn win!

The contest I won was run by Anna from Mythic Yarns, and my prize was this gorgeous skein of merino, cashmere and nylon yarn (Anna also very generously added some delicious chocolates to my package!). The colourway is called “The Golden Fleece”, and I REALLY love it! The golden, slightly mustardy yellow with little hints of white throughout is super super pretty. Miss New Zealand definitely approved!

Yarn win!

Yarn win!

Yarn win!

Yarn win!

I am SO excited to use this pretty pretty yarn. It’s totally my kind of yellow, and it’s lovely and soft as well! You should definitely check out Mythic Yarns. (Here’s their etsy store!) I love a lot of the colourways – and their names! Like, “Aphrodite was made of seafoam?” and “LEPRECHAUN BARF”!! – so creative :)

Yarn win!

I feel crazy lucky to have won!! Yay :) Yarn is the best thing you can get in the mail, I think.

By the way, Anna, the dyer at Mythic, is also a pattern designer. She recently released a very pretty fingerless glove pattern that would pair perfectly with my winning yarn, or with most fingering weight yarns you might have in your stash. Check out Twisted Scarlet!

And on that note, I wish you all excellent luck in entering yarn contests in the future; I hope you win something someday too!

Happy Christmas!

Happy holidays, no matter what you celebrate! I hope you’ve had a good break, or at least some time with family, some tasty food, and some rest. Ideally, I hope you’ve had hugs and lots of yarn to squish :)

My holiday has been lovely, with so many good things, and LOTS of snacks. No knitting (wrists, ugh), but lots of Ravelling and thinking about future projects.

xmas!

xmas!

xmas!

xmas!

xmas!

Aside from all the holiday niceness above, I also got this package in the mail yesterday…

Yarn win!

It contained yarn :) I’ll show you what was inside soon! Happy, happy holidays.

Neon Confetti Obsession!

I had a tendonitis flare up this weekend (SIGH), probably from too much computer work on Friday, so I haven’t been able to knit a single stitch this weekend. But I’ve been thinking thinking thinking about what I’d like to cast on next. Not that I’ve finished anything recently – sloooowest progress on my Chevron blanket and my hexagons blanket and my greeny-gold Cold Mountain and my spinning and everything else…

BUT. I’ve been thinking about this yarn.

Rain City Neons + Vic skyline

RAIN CITY AMAZINGNESS!

Remember this? I picked it up back at Fibrations in August (which is when I took those sunny photos). It’s a 75% superwash merino, 25% nylon blend sock weight from the FANTASTIC Rain City Knits (seriously go over there right now… if you love bright colours and rainbows and happy saturated yarn… you’ll be into it.)

IT. IS. SO. PRETTY!!! So cheerful and happy and amazing.

Neon Confetti Amazing!

I wound it up.

Neon Confetti Amazing!

Neon Confetti Amazing!

It’s not even depths-of-winter yet or anything (and even when it is, where I live, it’s not super cold). AND I like cold, gray weather. But this bright yarn is making me super happy! LOOK at all of the little speckley coloured bits! It’s mostly pink, yellow, and blue, but then there are surprise flashes of green! and orange! and purple! Loooooove. I think the colourway is called Confetti.

Neon Confetti Amazing!

I’m pretty sure I’ve decided what I want to make with it: Clincher! Here’s a picture from the designer, Ash Kearns’ blog (which you should definitely check out):

Clincher

The pattern requires a little bit of contrast yarn for the loops, which are added at the long, cast of edge of the shawl’s triangle shape. I’m thinking of using some bright blue that will complement the blue bits in the Confetti skein! Very excited. Now if only my dumb body would co-operate!

Share Season: Juniper Moon 2014 Spring Share Time!

Hi! It’s been a hot minute since I last posted! The last month has kicked me right in the butt.

I got the BEST mail recently: YARN MAIL! My 2014 Juniper Moon yarn share arrived! YEAH!

(Are you familiar with Juniper Moon and their yarn CSA? 2015 is the last year they’ll be offering shares, so if you’re into it, get one while they still exist! There are other similar systems now, but JMF is the original and, in my opinion, the best.)

Anyway – my share yarn! Ooooh :)

YES!

This is 100% cormo wool – cormo is a breed of sheep, and they grow wool which is squishy and soft and amazing. I love it. The 2014 share is the 5th annual share I’ve had the pleasure to receive (mostly as gifts from my amazing family – Hi Family!). This year, the share came with a super cute stamped project bag and a customized measuring tape! It also shipped in a box, which my cat was very interested in.

Bonus awesome bag!

Feline yarn supervisor.

Shareholders have the option to have their yarn sent to them undyed (I did that last year!), or to have it dyed in a very limited range of colourways which change each year. This year, I went for the Orchid colourway, which is this gorgeous gray-toned mauvey colour.

Orchid gorgeousness

Oooh purpley

Mauvey

Soooo pretty. Yes.

I have some fairly firm plans for this yarn. Every year I’ve had a share, I’ve knit a sweater out of it. (Here’s 2010 (blue), 2011 (pink), and 2012 (green) – I still have last year’s undyed 2013 share waiting to be knit up, because I focused on finishing Shepherd last winter!)

TRUE BLUENANTUCKETMy new favourite sweater! High quality tags :)

The 2014 yarn share in Orchid is, I think, destined to be a cardiganized version of Knitty’s Beatnik pattern. I am a huge fan of the Beatnik cables, but am also a committed cardigan wearer. (Check out this amazing version!) I may not have it finished this winter, since I have such drastically reduced knitting time (to keep my wrists healthy), but knitters are patient people, right? ;)

Seaglass Spinning

So, I have had a crazy busy couple of weeks since the fair! Changing schedules, lots of other personal stuff keeping me busy, sheesh! I’m excited that’s ALMOST fall, because I like fall just about as much as I like fall fairs (so um, a lot). All that personal busyness, combined with continuing to be very careful and mindful and minimal around crafting, to keep my wrists healthy, means not a ton of progress on all of my projects.

BUT! I have been doing a little bit of spinning. For some reason, the last few years, late summer and early fall seem to be the time of year that I remember how fun spinning is. Several years ago, I took a spindle spinning class at one of my local yarn stores, and then was gifted some extremely beautiful handmade spindles by my cabinetmaker brother-in-law. And THEN figured out that spinning fiber tends to be a bit cheaper than yarn even… so now I have LOTS of fiber, and LOTS of spindles, and occasionally I actually combine those with my HANDS and get to making yarn :)

So, here’s the fiber I pulled out of my stash (which is, thanks to a recent closet downsize, sadly in bags in a pile… sigh.): It’s 4 oz of 22 micron merino pencil roving from a (now out of business) local dyer, Everything Old. (The dyer now has a fabulous knit/spin/sew podcast – check it out: The Knitting Pretty Podcast!!) The colourway is what pulled me WAY in when I bought this at Fibrations 2012; it’s called “seaglass”.

Seaglass Pencil Roving

Holy gorgeous, right?

Seaglass Pencil Roving

Even smushed up in its bag it looks pretty great :)

It has been a delight to spin, so far!

spinning

spin-2

And how pretty is this spindle?

spindle

I’m planning to ply this, although I haven’t yet decided whether it will be 2-ply or 3-ply. Feeling pretty excited about how fine I’m able to spin it, though! And dreaming about what I’ll eventually knit with the yarn. I’m a VERY slow spinner (spindle + still park & draft + only spin once in a while), so it will be a long time until this is a knitting project, but it’s so so fun and at the end YOU GET YARN! If you’ve never tried spinning – do it :)

Saanich Fall Fair 2014!

Finally, the fall fair! We went last weekend, and I haven’t had time to share the news until now (because we also moved last weekend… busy times!) This post has kind of a ton of photos, so I hope you’re into that.

First, I won’t lie, I went to check out the Needlework Room, since that’s where my entries were! (In case you missed it, the post about what I entered is here.) Out of four entries, two won blue ribbons! SO EXCITED! Both the cabled mittens and the Shepherd Hoodie won in their categories :) The other two things just got to be part of the fair, which is also pretty excellent as far as I’m concerned. The Shepherd Hoodie also won the Victoria Knitters’ Guild award for best Fancy Knitted Sweater! So cool. I love fairs. (And if I’m honest I really like winning stuff too.)

Winning Mittens! (The white ones)

Winning sweater! (The white one, again)

My garter spectrum blanket!

Other awesome stuff we saw in the Needlework room: an incredibly cool knitted salmon, a crazy intricate knitted gingerbread house…

Coolest knitted SALMON!

Incredibly intricate knitted gingerbread

The whole room was full of amazing things, which of course I failed to photograph. Oops! I did snap lots of other cool fair stuff though. Vegetable dude!

Incredible vegetable dude

Tiny adorable plants!

Tiny tiny plants

Apples make me feel like fall is right there. Right?

APPLES GALORE!

Beautiful and leafy!

Thanks for the instructions 4-H!

How to Ice a Cake. Thanks 4H!

I ate these. Also mini-donuts which I failed to photograph :)

Hot dog. Onion Rings. Yes.

MOHAIR GOATS!

Regular goats and mohair goats!

ALPACA PARTY! I got to pet one. What.

ALPACA PARTY! I got to pet one.

Sheep haircut time! Just a trim.

Sheep in the beauty chair

Brad: “Do you know why some of them wear coats?” Me: “YES! It keeps their wool cleaner and prevents it from being discoloured by the sun. KNOWLEDGE!”

Sheep in coats

Sheep buddies :) Their faces are basically the cutest.

HI SHEEP FRIEND!

Cows

Sunflowers

Fluffy bunny

Prize winning eggs! This colour is bananas.

Prize winning eggs

Bye fair! I’m already excited and planning for what I’d like to enter next year.

Bye fair!

Is there a local fall or agricultural fair near you? I heartily recommend them :)

FIBRATIONS Recap!

On the weekend, I got to do one of my very favourite things – attend a local fiber festival! I’m lucky to live in a place that has a thriving, excellent local yarn and fiber culture. Our most awesome local event is called Fibrations, and it’s pretty delightful. Vendors, artisans, and community groups set up at St. Ann’s Academy, and there is tons to see and do and buy (and eat – there are even food trucks)! The whole thing is run by one of our best local yarn shops, Knotty by Nature.

Unfortunately, every year I end up getting sidetracked by all the yarn and fiber and taking too few and mostly terrible photos.

Terrible photo of vendor tents!

Raffle Ticket Tent!

See? You can’t really tell how awesome the event is from those. Oops. This one is a lot better:

Humming Bee Farm's incredible banner

Isn’t Humming Bee Farm‘s banner AMAZING?

Even though I did not take great photos, I had SO much fun :)

Excited Fibrations Face!

I DID take lots of photos of the yarn and fiber that came home with me. Here’s my haul!

Fibrations Haul woooooo!

Let’s break this down, shall we? My first stop was the RainCityKnits booth. I’m a pretty unabashed RainCity fangirl – I even knit a sample sock for them last year in their Local Sports Team colourway. Krista is the mastermind behind the company, and she is SO sweet! She was totally lovely to chat to :) I had planned to get something neon and solid coloured from them (I want to make the Neon Ski Bonnet for myself this winter, and obviously RainCity is the place to go for NEON!), but in the end I was seduced by THIS, which is on a merino/tussah silk base:

Rain City Neons + Vic skyline

RAIN CITY AMAZINGNESS!

AAAAH NEON SPRINKLES!!!! I loved this skein SO MUCH that I kind of walked around the festival with it around my shoulders. Isn’t RainCity’s needle gauge cool, too? I love it! If you haven’t seen RainCity’s full neon awesome line, check it out right now! (Warning, everything is beautiful and vibrant and you are going to want all of it basically.)

My next must-see stop was JOMA yarn, new to me and sooooo full of gorgeousness. I picked up a skein of stunning one of a kind hand dyed sock yarn (the CRAZY BEAUTIFUL colourway is “Wild Child”, and the base is Glam Panda – merino, bamboo, and nylon) – it’s greeney and yellowey and has spashes of teal and bright happy red/pink and yeah I love it. I also got some mini skeins at the JOMA booth, because they were beautiful and super affordable and perfect for my Six’es blanket!

Joma, huge new crush.

The mini skeins are (top to bottom) are Circus Clown, I Fought the Law, and She Wore a Raspberry Beret. So darling!

I also got some spinning fiber. First, from Humming Bee Farm, 2 ounces of green, hand dyed Corriedale wool! This may be a surprise but I am into green ;)

Corriedale from Humming Bee Farm

From Ba-a-ad Ass Textiles, I also got 4 ounces of super pretty Romney wool!

Fiber scores!

The colour makes me think of winter ocean at Dallas Road :)

Even though I’m still only knitting and spinning a tiny tiny bit because of my sensitive, sore wrists, I’m really excited about my new yarns and fibers. Ahhhhh, fiber festivals :) I’m already looking forward to next year!

GUESS WHAT TIME IT (almost) IS!

It’s aaaaaaaalmost FALL FAIR TIME!

Sign

As you may remember from last year, I am a HUGE fall fair fan. I just kind of love everything about them, a quality which has baffled a lot of my friends lately. But seriously, what’s NOT to love about them? Crisp weather (hopefully), adorable animals of all kinds, deep fried foods, farmer’s marketey produce and products, a midway, and exhibits full of hand made entries! I love love love fall fairs :)

Last year was the first year I entered things I had made into the fair since I was a kid, and it was definitely as fun as I remembered! I even won some ribbons, which was delightful.

A few days ago, I dropped off my entry form for this year’s fair. Eeeee! Not the actual entries yet, those don’t need to go in until shortly before the fair in a few weeks.

Entries!

So, based on those only slightly cryptic categories, can you guess what I’m entering? (You don’t actually have to guess… I’m going to tell you because EXCITEMENT!)

First, a plain sweater, which can only have garter, stockinette, and ribbing. Remember this guy?

Cozy!

Plain! And cozy :)

Next, a sweater with “fancy stitching”!

Shepherd

Basically, there are 3 categories of sweater – plain, fancy, and traditional aran. Even though this sweater has aran elements, I don’t think it’s a “traditional” aran. Hence, fancy stitching! I’m really really proud of this sweater, so I hope the judges like it.

The third entry is a baby’s blanket. I’m entering this happy thing!

A pop of colour!

I know the difficulty level is very low, since it’s all garter stitch, but I love the colours, so I’m going to enter it :)

Last thing! MITTENS! I’m entering these softie cabley beauties.

Here's to warm hands!

That’s it! I still have a few weeks to wait until the actual fair, but I’m really looking forward o it already. Are you entering anything in your local fair? If you never have, DEFINITELY consider it! It’s really fun, and helps to support agricultural fairs so they can continue to exist. Yay fairs!

Custom knitting bags… for me?! :)

Guess what lovely surprise arrived for me in the mail the other day? These amazing handmade project bags!

2014-07-28 18.27.27

My mom is an accomplished patternmaker, designer, and sewer (she even has a degree in design!), and she sewed me up these two awesome bags. What a special gift, eh?! She saw some bags at a knitting marketplace recently, and then noticed these two fabrics in a fabric store, and came up with these – her own design!

They’re both fully lined (each with the opposite fabric from the other bag! So cool!), and have a great toggle attachment as well as a handle.

2014-07-28 18.23.32

2014-07-28 18.26.33

I am so excited to use them. I never seem to have enough project bags, and I end up stashing WIPs in my closet in a messy pile (so that my cat can’t get into the yarn, it HAS to be put away at all times. She is sneaky. She ate a huge piece of ribbon recently, which was both extremely scary and very dangerous. Cat health is my #1 priority, and yarn security is also important!)

As you can see, SOMEBODY thought the bags were actually for her… incorrect!

2014-07-28 18.24.52

I’m already storing my greeny-gold Cold Mountain in the smaller bag, and deciding which project will get the honour of living in the larger bag! Very much looking forward to carrying these around town with me :) THANKS MOM!