Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring Fling Recap

I had an amazing time at The Loopy Ewe's Spring Fling! This was my third year attending the Fling retreat, and I must say this was by far my favorite year. For those that are not familiar with the Fling it is a knitting retreat held once per year. In previous years the Fling was held in St. Louis Missouri, but the Loopy Ewe moved to Colorado a year or so ago. So this year it was held near their new location in Fort Collins Colorado. Participates have the option of taking technique classes, shopping, and of course knitting. The event was held at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, so almost all of the activities were held on site. This is a great perk as it allows us to maximize our knitting time. We even had some late night hang outs in our rooms. The majority of our meals were included, and the hotel even had a reception each evening with complimentary drinks and snacks. Overall, it was a very well planned event.

I decided to arrive a day early so that I could hang out with some friends, and so that I could explore the Denver and Boulder areas. Now let me tell you all that I am a Florida native. Up until this trip I had never seen snow in person. The day I flew in Colorado was hit with a freak spring snow storm. The storm was so intense that it delayed/cancelled flights (some of my friends were affected by this). I left the Orlando airport where it was a sunny 80 degrees, and I landed in Denver with temperatures in the teens and it was SNOWING! My flight was delayed almost an hour in the air because the runway was covered in ice. It was a crazy travel experience for me, but I was so excited to see snow for the first time that didn't really care.

One of my awesome friends, Ana, met me at the airport and we rented a car. She has lots of experience driving in snowy conditions so she was our pilot for the day, and I am pretty sure she saved my life. I can only imagine how awful my driving would have been in that storm. Everything was completely white and the roads were covered in ice. She handled it like a pro though. Our first stop of the day was the Schacht factory where many of the finest spinning wheels are made. Ana had prearranged a tour of the facility for us, and it was a really interesting experience. Here is a shot of a few of the wheels they were finishing that day.

We also went to a local knitting shop; Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins. It was a great shop, lots of variety, and we got to meet the owner Maggie Casey! That was super cool. I picked up a couple skeins of Madelinetosh Sock in the Black Velvet color way (a color way I would normally never choose but it was calling my name). After our shopping trip there we headed out to Loveland to the hotel.

Once at the hotel we met up with lots of fellow flingers, had dinner, and of course some lovely knitting time. Many of our friends were still dealing with travel issues as a result of the yucky weather, but all in all everyone made it safely which is the important thing. First thing Thursday morning a group of us headed out to hit a few local yarn shops and grab some lunch.

One of the shops we visited was My Sister Knits. It is by far, hands down one of the best yarn shops I have every visited. The staff was courteous, knowledgeable, and fun to talk to. Her selection of yarns included some of the most luxurious to economical. I purchased yarn there for the Fat Squirrel's Orange KAL, and some more for another project coming up soon. Here is a shot of my lovely yarns.

The shop is in a lovely little carriage house, and she even has chickens!

Look at all that snow, it's just beautiful. I truly didn't want to leave this shop. Whenever I travel to Colorado I will definitely visit this shop again. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting some local shops, including a pre-fling shopping trip at Loopy, and lunch. I will save more details for my next post. I will however, share our Fling group picture. Look how happy we all are! 

Schacht factory tour

, originally uploaded by Minerva Turkey.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring Fling Time

I am so excited! Tomorrow morning I fly out to Colorado to attend the Spring Fling at the Loopy Ewe. This will be my third Fling, and I am sure it will not be my last. The Fling is essentially a knitting retreat. I am set to take two classes, but I wanted to take three. I decided to stick with two because I don't want to sacrifice any of my knitting/socialization time. I am taking Introduction to Sweater Design with Ann Budd, and the Build A Toy Workshop with Susan B. Anderson. Since my car accident last Fall I have been thinking about venturing into the knitwear design world, and hopefully these two classes will give me some foundational skills. At the very least I know these classes will improve my knitting skills over all so that is awesome. Both teachers are excellent, and I am super excited to go and learn some new tricks.

In preparation for the trip I have been knitting socks like crazy. My goal was to have a new pair to wear for each day of the retreat. I met my goal, and here they are. The first pair I finished were my Handmaiden Casbah socks in the Paris colorway. This is a great yarn to knit with, and the colors are very rich.

The second pair I finished were my Zombie BBQ socks from Lorna's Laces. I admit that I mostly bought this yarn based on the colorway name, but I am so happy at pretty the colors are when knit. This is the Lorna's Laces Soulmate base, and it has great stitch definition. The pattern is Lateral by Cookie A, and I LOVED this pattern so much. It's hard to see the detail because of the yarn colors, but I will be knitting this pattern again using a semi solid.  I bought this skein last summer while Dan and I were visiting family in Virginia  I mostly knit this pair while watching The Walking Dead on Sundays. 

The third pair I finished were my Unicorn Hair socks. I named them that because the colors remind me of a toy unicorn I had as a kid. It's mane was rainbow strands, and I loved to brush it. I know, I am a dork but I am ok with that! The yarn is from Blueberry Pie Studios on Etsy, and it was very pleasant to knit. I have more of her yarn in my stash, and I am sure I will be casting those on very soon. Go and check out her yarns, you will not be disappointed. 

The last pair I finished just a few days ago. I actually wove the ends in just a few minutes ago. I call these my Minecraft socks. My husband said that they remind him of the popular video game, and it just stuck. These were knit with the Super Ego base from Dyeabolical Yarns. All I can say is OH MY GOSH is this yarn dreamy. It is sport weight, and the colors are so saturated. The finished socks are super soft. I will be buying more of this base. I think I need one in all of her colors. Definitely check out her shop as well. AWESOME. 

So that gives me a pair for each day I will be at the Fling. I am very happy that I was able to meet my goal, and now my feet will be toasty warm as well as stylish. Have a great week!

Monday, April 1, 2013

New Look for a New Year

It has been quite a while since I've maintained my blog, and I have decided that it is time to remedy that! A lot has happened in the time since I last updated my blog, so I decided that it was time to revamp the look a bit. I read Staci Perry's Very Pink blog on a regular basis (I also love her videos); and she mentioned working with TJ Morris, a graphic artist, to create a caricature of herself. I really liked the work he did so I contacted him about giving Minerva Turkey a new look and vibe. TJ was great to work with, and he did a phenomenal job bringing Minerva Turkey to life. I loved the look before, but I think the new artwork captures the energy and fun side of my personality. I already ordered new Moo cards with the new logo, and they look great. TJ did the layout and design of the cards as well. I highly recommend using him for any design work you may need done. He truly is a great artist, and his rates are very reasonable! His website is www.toonicatures.com/, go and take a look at his work. Here is a look at the new Moos.

I am currently on a leave of absence from work because of injuries I suffered in a car accident a couple of months ago, so I've had a bit more knitting time on my hands. I have been just as bad about posting projects to my Ravelry page as I have been about blogging, but I am going to make a conscious effort to change that as well. So far this year I've knit 2 sweaters, a softie, a shawl, a test knit for a designer friend and a few pairs of socks. Not too bad for just 3 months into the new year. You can check out my Ravelry or Flickr page to see some pictures of my projects. I have a few projects on the needles right now, but I am currently working on a pair of socks using yarn from Blueberry Pie Studio in her Crayon Box colorway. The base is very nice to work with, and the stripes flow beautifully. The bag pictured here is my newest project bag (I have a bit of an obsession with project bags, just ask my husband). I purchased it from The Knotted Bag on Etsy, and it is very well made. How could I resist donkeys in rain boots? The bag is the perfect size for an on the go project. I worked on them while waiting at the doctor's office this morning. 

I hope you all have a great week. Until next time, happy knitting. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

What about bob(bies)?

I haven't felt very motivated to blog for quite a while, and today I think I finally figured out why that is. I have let my work take over all of my time, and I haven't been head over heels in love with a project for a while. Well, today I am going to swatch for a project I am in love with....a pair of Bobbies.

The pattern I am in love with is called Bobbie. Bobbie is a beautiful pair of gloves knit using fingering weight yarn, and the stitch pattern lends itself well to hand painted sock yarns. Last week I joined a knit a long for a pair in the Wollmeise group on Ravelry. Julia Mueller is the designer, and as part of the KAL she has given all of the participants a free copy of the pattern. Isn't that generous! I have decided to use my skein of Regenbogen Wollmeise 80/20 twin. The pattern calls for 100%, but I love this color so I will adjust my needle size to get gauge. I am going to start my gauge swatch tonight. Here is a photo of the yarn. Drool with me. :)

My goal is to get my stash and project pages on Ravelry updated this week, and then try to keep up with my blog. I am going to use the KAL as my motivation. Let's see if it works. Hehehehehe....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Giving a hedgehog medicine is not fun.

The title of this post just says it all....hedgies are not good patients. My little hedgehog Oy is recovering from a respiratory infection right now. A little over a week ago I took him out for some play time, and he started to sneeze like crazy. His nose was running, and his eyes looked a little gunky. He definitely wasn't himself, so I immediately called the exotic animal vet. We went that same day to see the doc, and she became the first human to discover that giving Oy meds is no fun at all!

He did great with the vet tech. He got on the scale and snorted around like a little piggy. He was his usual cutie pie self, that is until the doctor came into the room. He immediately balled up super tight, and refused to let her touch him. He actually tried to ram the doc with his head quills. It took all three of us to just get a minimal exam completed, and she prescribed a week of liquid antibiotics. The tech chimed in to tell me that the medicine is bubble gum flavored, so he should really like it. What makes them think that hedgehogs like bubble gum? His favorite treats are worms for goodness sake. When she handed me the meds she gave me a forlorn look and said, "do you think you will be able to get him to take this for the next week?" I blurt out "of course", take the meds, and head for home. I figure that once we get home he will cooperate with me. Um, yah I was a bit naive.

I had 14 doses of liquid, bubble gum flavored antibiotics to give a very angry and sick hedgehog. Very large doses too. So, for my first attempt I tricked him into biting the syringe and squirted the meds into his mouth. It somewhat worked, but I could tell that bubble gum was not a flavor he particularly liked. The second attempt went horribly wrong, and I ended up getting pink, sticky liquid all over him. The third, fourth and fifth attempts were also bad. I was trying to force him, trick him, what have you. I hid the medicine in treats, mixed it with food, tried a complicated bait and switch maneuver, but nothing was working. He was mad, and he was getting sicker. His breathing was labored, and I had started to read horror stories about hedgehogs not recovering from a respiratory infection. I was crying and feeling very frustrated.

So, I did some research and saw that some hedgie owners inject worms with the antibiotics, and then feed them to the sick hedgie. Well, I did not have the stomach for that procedure, but my husband stepped up to the plate. He started preparing medi-worms, and Oy gobbled them right up! I was so relieved, and now he is finally starting to get better. He has been eating medi-worms 2x per day for three days now, and I am seeing a lot of improvement. He is still very sleepy, but no sneezing at all today. Thank goodness!

Our little Oy turns 1 year old this month, and he has been a member of the family for 10 months now. We love him dearly, and I can't imagine being able to adore him more. He has such a neat personality, and his favorite activity is snuggle time. Here he is curled up in a t-shirt taking a nap in my arms.

He has completely mastered using a litter box, and he knows very well that he gets a treat when he is done. So, sometimes he tries to be slick and jump in the potty and right back out just to get a treat. He is a smart little bugger. Here he is in his litter box playing around.

I am so glad that Oy came into our lives. He is so funny and so loving. He is even starting to warm up to my husband, who up until the last week was his nemesis. I have to say, hedgies make great pets.

Happy Birthday Mr. Oy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

I just can't seem to finish things lately....

My knitting friends always made fun of me for compulsively finishing each project I started. This was my trademark even when working on many different things at once. Well, I don't know what happened to my knitting mojo in the last couple of months, but I just can't seem to finish anything. I have so many really fun things on the needles, in need of minor finishing, and lets not mention the pile of items that need to be blocked! Plus, each day I find something new I want to knit. How do you guys get your knitting groove back?

Here is a prime example. I started the Delft Pillow in January, and I flew threw the knitting in about 2 weeks flat. I worked on it every chance I got, and I loved each and every minute of it. The pillow requires some type of closure on the back, and I decided to put in a zipper. I purchased the zipper right after it was done, and now months later it is still not finished.

From the front, I am very pleased with this little pillow, except for the end I never got around to weaving in, but from the back....

I pinned the back for photo purposes, so it won't usually buckle like this. The edging lines up just right on the back, and once the zipper is installed it will lay almost flat. I really need to get motivated and finish this up. :)

So, fellow knitters, share your secrets. How do you refocus? How do you motivate yourself to finish your current project when something new and shiny calls your name?