Saturday, December 31, 2011

Beginning The Ella Coat . . . or gathering your essential materials

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I look at what’s in my knitting bag as a way to start this project. Of course you have to start with all the proper materials. Here is what you will need to begin (in no real particular order. . . they are all important at some point or another):
  • Your very own Ella Coat for Women Noni Pattern.

  • Knitting Needles: size 9 (4.5mm) circular needle. I recommend a rather long circular. You won’t need a long one right away, but if you want a ruffley hem, you’ll want the longest you can find. In this sense, a set with longer and shorter cables is ideal.
  • Size 10 (6mm) needle and crochet hook for the provisional cast on rows.Please have other sizes available if you need to adjust after making a swatch. You may work the coat on straight needles, but I also recommend circular needles (my own preference) or those flex needles I so seldom see anymore but some folks prefer.
  • Identify & Collect Your Yarn See my longer post about yarn: Choosing The Perfect Yarn for Ella for more about picking an appropriate yarn, some ideas for planning your coat, and carefully swatching before you commit. Briefly here: you will need light worsted or worsted weight yarn. For one of the Ellas I will be featuring here, I used Shepherd’s Wool by Stonehedge Fiber Mill. If, like me, you plan to tweak the pattern, you will want between 250 – 1000 extra yards to work with. My Ella has just weighed in at 2 lbs 5.2 oz! or almost 2500 yards and she might yet get heavier with flowers and other flourishes! Because one of the tweaks is to begin the skirt of the coat from the waist and work down to the hem, you can purchase yarn as you go (assuming you can get the same lot). For those interested in striping at the cuffs and hem, choose 2 – however many colors from your local yarn shop lovelies or your own stash. Then consider springing for something really fabulous for the body of the coat. My pick (after the deliciousness of Shepherd’s Wool) would be Madeline ToshVintage Tosh. . . I’ve got my eye on “Flashdance” personally. Below is a colorway I’ve been playing with. Earth colors. Add a little Chocolate Cherry Flurries and this will be lovely. For more color ideas, refer again to the post on picking yarn.
  • Assemble Your Arsenal of Sewing-type Needles: sharp, large-eyed darning needle (for weaving in ends), tapestry needle (for seaming), and sewing needles (for sewing flowers to the bodice of your coat, or to the lapel, or cuffs. . . as you might have guessed, you don’t need these immediately).

  • Lock stitch markers or other stitch markers to mark the locations of increase and decrease for the coat shaping. My personal favorites are Clover lock markers (small ones). I think Hiya Hiya also has a version.
  • Noni Flowers, in particular flat profile flowers such as Bling Flowers, Cactus Flowers, Hydrangea Flowers (the small ones), or Forget-me-nots. These little flowers are lovely to sew on as bodice and sleeve embellishments or to clip on (as I do with impunity) to your coat lapels, cuffs, and in your hair when you wear your coat).
  • (Optional) seed beads or beaded yarn . . . you know my feelings about ruffles and flourishes . . .

Now that everything is assembled we are almost ready for the BIG DAY! We cast on Jan 16th. BUT BEFORE WE DO….we swatch! Here is a challenge for you: swatch and post a picture to Ravelry or Facebook. For an extra challenge: why not work a small color pallet swatch (24sts X 24 rows) and post it as well! {Melissa is doing another fun give-away for a lucky participant! She loves giving things away! Anybody like that about her?}
Ok dear knitters: Gather ye knitting gear while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying…
Are you excited about the 16th?

Monday, December 26, 2011

One Planet Yarn and Fiber 30% Off One Day Sale!

One Planet Yarn and Fiber 30% Off One Day Inventory Reduction Sale! Monday, December 26th ONLY!
I hope you had a blast for the holidays, but it is time to get yourself that gift that didn't appear!  I am going to do inventory in a few days and I need to have you help make it easier for me.  Please help reduce my inventory, that way I can go to the TNNA show in a few weeks and add in some new things to the shop for you!

EVERYTHING in the store is on sale for 30% off with the exception of what is listed below.  Use Coupon Code: EVERY30.  THERE IS NO FREE SHIPPING ON THESE ORDERS!  Sale ends Monday, December 26th at midnight.  Please allow a little extra time for delivery due to the large volume of purchases from this sale.
**Important-This coupon cannot be combined with ad coupons you might see. Discounts are not retroactive.  If you placed an order last week or the week before, we are sorry, we can't credit you now.  Discounts must be taken at the time of order.  Please do not write us after you placed an order and ask us to apply a discount.  We are sorry, but we just can't do it.  If you need help, please email us before you place your order.  In addition, these special offers are only valid for in-stock items.  They are not valid for special orders for new colors or yarns that we might not have in stock yet.  Excludes spinning wheels, drop spindles, OPYF Clubs, CSA Farm Shares and items already listed on the sale page.  Orders placed for unqualified merchandise will be refunded back to you.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holiday Weekend!

To those of all faiths and beliefs, a joyous holiday weekend.  Below is my favorite holiday mug, a picture of Lily Bear and some shots of the garden this week.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2011

It Begins With This Email Every Month....

Once a month I receive this email.  It's always a very tantalizing email.  It engages my fiber lust and makes me set the alarm on my phone to remind me about this email.  

In the past, the timer has always rung when I am no where near my computer, but this time, this time in rang when I was sitting right in front of it.  

I immediately clicked through the link in this email and I was taken to "the page".  "The page" had not loaded yet.  So I waited and refreshed the page.  Then I refreshed it again, and again, and again until Voila! it loaded up three images.  

I clicked on each image and tried to add it to my shopping cart.  Each time it said "no product in cart".  Until the third image.  And then, the item was in my cart!  I couldn't believe it!  It was in my cart!  

I quickly went to the checkout section.  It forwarded me to PayPal where I dutifully put in my password, clicked the button and........nothing happened.  The page had stalled.  My computer had frozen.  OH NO!  

I quickly remembered NOT to shut the window.  I did a forced shut down.  When I relaunched the browser it asked me if I wanted to restore the previous session.  Of course I said yes, and there it was!  The PayPal page waiting for my password again.  This time it all worked just fine.  I finished the order and then!  I received the email confirming the purchase.

Last night my box was waiting for me when I got home.  I was so excited to open this present to myself.  What is all this fuss about?  Why, a Phat Fiber sampler box.

Each box costs $36.00 and that includes Priority Mail shipping.  What's in the box?  FIBER!  All kinds of bits and pieces of fluffy fantasy from individual fiber artists from all over.  But that's not all that is in each box.  Each month, different artists contribute samples of their own handwork and the box can include many kinds of surprises, like handmade soaps and knitting accessories.  And coupons!  Lots of coupons for discounts at these crafts peoples shops.

What was in my box?  My first ever Phat Fiber box? 
15 bags of fiber samples
3 stitch markers
A bag of tags for my finished handspun yarns
A pretty little mirror
2 candy canes

Happy Spinning and Happy Holidays!\Regards,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Need Some Input - Abuelita Yarns

A couple of weeks ago a knitter contacted me asking if I was going to carry Abuelita Yarns from Uruguay. This is a small family run business that has been around over 30 years. I contacted Abuelita right away and I ordered a sample kit from them.   These yarns are all hand painted and most of the yarns are 100% merino.  The yarns came very quickly and I am now able to share with you the yarns that they make.  My question to all of you is what do you think of this brand and these yarns?  Would you be interested in having me carrying this product line?  Please let me know and give me your feedback.

Top row from left to right:
Red: single ply 100% merino, worsted weight, 220yds/3.5 oz.
Green: single ply 100% baby merino, lace weight, 420yds/3.5 oz
White:  100% cotton, sport weight, 133yds/3.5 oz

Bottom row:
Green: single plyAbuelita Mystery Blend, 95% merino-corriedale/5% silk, bulky weight, 136yds/3.5 oz
Blue: 3 ply 100% merino, fingering weight, 420yds/3.5 oz
Orange: single ply 100% merino, thick and thin bulky weight, 136yds/3.5 oz
Ecru: singlr ply 50% mreino-50% baby alpaca, worsted weight, 220yds/3.5 oz
MSRP ranges from around $12.00 a skein to $18.00 a skein.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The First Ella KAL Contest!

Noni Designs will be doing several contest during the Ella KAL.  This video explains the details of the first contest.
Have Fun!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

UFO's or WIP's, Whatever You Call Them......

I've got them.  Again.  Plus more.  It's a never ending cycle.  And then I start another project!

OK, first, 2 things I finished.  Lily Bear and Ladybug in sweaters I designed for them using scrap yarn.
 Here are all the rest of the UFO's and WIP's.  As you can see, I am having trouble focusing.
 The blue/purple is the start of a sweater from my leftover yarn scraps for our toy poodle, Hunter.  Another in my own design.
The small cabled piece is the start of a sweater from Twist Collective Winter 2011.  It is called Zosia by Marnie MacLean,  I am using Artesano Aran in the Rosewood colorway for this.
 This next one is a pattern is from Knitty Spring 2011  It is a pattern called Amiga by Mags Kandis and is using a cotton yarn from Americo that I mail ordered from Canada.
 This next piece is a mystery piece that I am designing.  It uses Shepherd's Wool in the Granite colorway.
 I took a Two Fisted Knitting class in November and here is what I started.  It is knitted in Shetland wool that I purchased from our instructor.  I bought enough to make a hat.
 The first of a pair of socks in my own handspun Superwash Merino from Spruce Dragon.  I started this in my Cat Bordhi sock class.  I still need to do the toe and then knit the other sock.
 Another mystery pattern that I am designing.  This is the start of the second half of a pair in Madelinetosh tosh light in the baltic colorway.
 My shipwrecked Shipwreck Shawl knit in Handmaiden Marrakesh in the Spruce colorway.  Waiting for me to have patience again.
 And finally, my cast on for the Re-Invented Ella Coat.  Since I am teaching this in a class I needed to make on beforehand.  This one is being done in Cascade 220.  I will be doing another one in Shepherd's Wool.
Sigh.....  There are also 3 spinning wheels with projects on them as well as both of my looms.  What's on your needles/loom/wheel?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Something You Might Like - City Girl's Fiber Farm Update

I thought you might like some newer pictures of the flock.  I was sent these recently by my friend.  I think ZZ Top looks like his coat has grown out a little more.  Mystery Girl just looks like she is being sassy!

Keep Warm!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pictures From Small Business Saturday With The Mayor!

I know I have already written about our Small Business Saturday event on Thanksgiving weekend.  The Scottsdale Mayor's office sent along these photos to us to share with you.  On the Left is Mrs. Lane, the tall guy is Mayor Jim Lane, then me and my husband Jay.  We really did enjoy the experience.  Mayor Lane is signing the Small Business Saturday Declaration with a pen from our pen shop in the last picture.

Shop Small!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sign up to be part of Noni's Ella Rediscovered Knit-A-Long!

Sign up to be part of Noni's Ella Rediscovered Knit-A-Long!

Join the growing number of worldwide knitters in the US, Canada, Scotland, England, and Germany and sign up to participate in the first International Noni Knit-A-Long!

If you have been following the Noni Blog, you have seen that Nora has re-imagined The Ella Coat for Women 
(pattern no. 1302). Nora's tweaks and innovations on the original coat pattern will be shared on her blog in the form of a Knit-A-Long and in classes at your LYS that start in mid-January. But only those who have the original pattern will be able to follow along.  Nora is also designing a couple of patterns that will compliment the coat pattern that will be released during  the KAL.  

After speaking with Nora of Noni Designs it turns out that several yarn manufacturers are donating prizes to the cause.  Details of this will follow as they come in to us.

Why Join the Ella KAL?
Because it’s fun!  Not only will we be knitting the Ella pattern, but we will be doing it in a party atmosphere each time we meet.  Coffee and tea will be provided by The Fiber Factory and goodies to eat will be provided by the instructor and any students that wish to bring any goodies along.

You choose how involved you can be:
Option One: Join me for 4 days of classes at The Fiber Factory KAL in Mesa Arizona on January 18th,  February 1st, 15th and 29th 1st from 10:30-12pm each day,  This is an official class.  Cost is $60 and includes the Ella pattern from Noni Designs and the class time.  I will also be there on February 22rd and Wednesday mornings in March in case you want to just come in and chat with your project.  The Bling pattern will be sold separately if you would like to add these flowers to your coat.  Call 480-969-4346 0r 888-969-9276 to join the class.  The Fiber Factory is located at 216 West Main Street, Mesa, AZ 85201

Option Two: Join the Virtual Knit-A-Long At One Planet Yarn and Fiber!  Just add your name below and I will set up a new blog post in January that we can all chime in on.

Supplies You Will Need:
·         Ella Coat for Women Patterns (no. 1302)
·         Bling Flowers Patterns (no. 222)
·         Size 9 (5.5mm) 32" (80cm) circular needles
·         LOTS of yarn, starting at 800 yds (731m) of light worsted or worsted weight (yarn suggestions listed at the end of this blog)

Ella Coat for Women (No. 1302)
The Ella sweater coat for women is the unfelted version of the little girl's Ella & the Legume coat (inspired by the Princess & the Pea story). It is an A-line shaped coat with a bodice that sits slightly above the natural waist for a flattering, wearable silhouette that shows off most any figure to the best advantage.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate to advanced.

Size: 32 - 52

Fibers We Love to Use!
Cover samples were made in Shepherd's Wool by Stonehedge Fiber Mill. Other samples were made in Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Worsted superwash yarn and Schulana Merino Cotton 90.

Bling Flowers (No. 222)
Inspired by Wild Geraniums & Forsythia, these flowers are elegant through their simplicity and the classic flower shape. Beautifully dazzling with a sparkle rivet in the center.

Pattern Difficulty
Intrepid Easy to Intermediate: requires knowledge of knitting and purling, increasing and decreasing, picking up stitches, working in the round on double-pointed needles, and some simple hand-sewing.

Work each felted flower with a single strand of worsted weight, feltable yarn held throughout on the smaller needles.

Size 6 (4mm) double-pointed needles (set of 5) for flowers
7mm and 10mm Noni sparkle rivets in pink, green, clear, or black to decorate the flower centers
Each large flower requires approximately 10 yds (9m) of worsted weight, feltable yarn; small flowers require slightly less

Fiber Options
Pictured felted flowers were made with Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd's Wool: Zinnia Pink and Pink with pink sparkle centers.

Yarn Suggestions from The Fiber Factory:
Cascade 220
Merino 5
Cool Wool
Ultra Alpaca
Weekend Cotton
Silk Garden
Mirasol Saw Ya
Mirasol Waachi

From One Planet Yarn and Fiber:
Artesano Aran
Fleece Artist BFL Aran
Handmaiden Lady Godiva
Madelinetosh vintage
Schaefer Yarns Chris
Stonehedge Fiber Mill's Shepherd's Wool

FYI!!!  If you are going to do this pattern, you need to give us a chance to get the yarn you might like in the color you might like.  Please order early!  If you are going to be making this pattern in stripes, you only need 250 yards of each color and 500 yards of the ruffle color, if you are making the coat with ruffles.

Please Join Us!
Karen, Terri and Susan
OPYF and The Fiber Factory