Category Archives: contest

Free to Good Home – Found!

So it’s been a week *caughandthensomecaugh*, time to announce the new owners of those books!

Son Of Stitch & Bitch goes to…. Dee!

Easy Knits for Little Kids goes to… Kathy B!

Knitted Toys goes to… Grace!

Thanks to everyone who’s posted. Stay tuned for anothe giveaway, very soon… it’s almost my Blogaversary!

Oh, and I have found my knitting mojo again, with a sock, and some more socks, and a shawl on the needles. It’s good to be knitting again!



Filed under contest

Free to Good Home, Just Not Mine

I’m finally getting through to unpacking my books and craft supplies (a true measure of getting settled in a new place if ever there was one) and have decided to be a bit ruthless with which books get to go back on the shelves.

Ok, so that really means that out of mumblethirty-oddmumble boxes of books I’m culling one box-worth, but there are knitting books here, so bear with me…

Kids books that aren’t classics but are too advanced for my daughters: donated. Yet another copy of Interview With A Vampire*: gone. Knitting books that I’m not that interested in…

Well, I might not be too interested in knitting things from these books, but that doesn’t mean you’re not interested. How about you take them off my hands, then?


For grabs:
• Son of Stitch ‘N Bitch, Debbie Stoller
• Easy Knits For Little Kids, Catherine Tough
• Knitted Toys, Zoe Mellor

There’s nothing wrong with these books, I just don’t think I’ll ever knit from them, and most of the other books on the shelf have a minimum of three patterns I’m interested in knitting.  (That’s how I judge magazines, too.) I figure it’s better for a biol to be used than to languish, though, especially how-to books like knitting pattern books.

All you have to do is help me find some inspiration for something to knit! I’m in a terrible slump, nothing is inspiring me these days yet I’d really something on the needles (besides the obligatory sock, of course). What are you knitting up right now? What’s the pattern you happily knit over and over?

So there you have it: tell me your inspiring knits, and the book you’re interested in, and I’ll send them off in about a week. (I’ll use a random draw if there’s a lot of comments, and I’ll email the lucky three for real-world mailing addresses.)

*Seriously, we had something like five copies! How? Why??


Filed under contest, good mail, knitting

The Friday Night Knit(blog)ing Club

Curious as to whom I will be sending my copy of The Friday Night Knitting Club? Let’s find out!

From, I rolled 1 virtual die (six sides, one per comment!) and got this:

Die Roller
You rolled 1 die:
Timestamp: 2008-06-09 17:50:31 UTC

So Liz, the book is yours (for a while)! I’ll send you an email and we can figure out addresses. No worries about US postage, either!

I thought one last fun thing for the Friday Night Knit(blog)ing Club would be to have a kind of record of “club members”, where the book has gone, and what gets written in it. So I’m going to add a page to this site soon, and would love it if the subsequent readers would send me similar photos & data to go here.

Tune in next time for a real-live Finished Object (gasp!) and even more stashing…


Filed under contest, exchanges, good mail, rambling

The Friday Night Knitting Club

Friday Night Knitting Club

This week I’ve been eating more and sleeping less, but still feeling very drained at the end of the day. As I walked home the other day after work, along the route that just happens to pass right by a book store, I picked up a copy of The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. Forgoing my own Tuesday and Wednesday night ‘knitting clubs’ (at the PP and LK respectively) I spent two evening curled up on my couch with some much needed and greatly enjoyed relaxing reading.

The Friday Night Knitting Club is just the right kind of book when you’re in the mood for a tale of strong women, unexpected sisterhoods, and a dash of romance (with a bonus smattering of knitting wisdom). The book is very cleverly arranged into several sections from “casting on” and “knit and purl”, to “ripping it all out”. (I was reminded of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee‘s books on these pages.) Set in glamorous Manhattan, the story of the “mompreneur”, yarn-shop Walker and Daughter owner, and single mother Georgia Walker and her mixed-race daughter Dakota offers an insightful view into the variances of urban knitters’ lives. The eclectic group of staff, friends, and customers whose own deep, often poignant, life’s stories lend a depth and richness to the tale. I am not above admitting that there were several moments in the book, both touching and sorrowful, that made me cry (although the pregnancy hormones seem to let flow much more frequently than I did before), but there are real gems of humour and thoughtfulness throughout. While not a “deep” read, there are many elements of women’s lives (from senior sex to depression to planned parenthood) that are genuinely thought-provoking long after the book has been put down. While I missed being out with my own knitting community, I do think I spent two evenings in quite lovely company.

Now I’m usually much more of a speculative fiction girl than a “chick lit” reader, though well-worn copies of Bridget Jones’ Diary and Like Water for Chocolate do appear on my shelves. But therein lies the problem — with the great de-cluttering of bedroom #2 (formerly office/craft room, now baby-room-to-be) we’ve literally decimated (as in “are keeping only one tenth of the total”!) our book collection, getting rid of those extra three copies (not kidding at all) of Interview with a Vampire and boxing for storage those novels and school texts we can’t bear to be rid of forever. And then I go out and buy new books.

One of these days I’ll learn how to take my library books back on time, not every 8 months when I can swallow my pride and humbly request a decrease in the astronomically-accrued fines. That day has not quite come yet, though, so I figure the next best thing is to read a book and, instead of being guilty over the price or storage, just pass it on.

Hence I’d like to begin the Friday Night Knit(Blog)ing Club.
Club rules are simple:
1) I will write my name, blog address, and a little note in the cover of my copy of The Friday Night Knitting Club;
2) You leave a comment on this post, maybe with a little story about your favourite “knitting club” or inspiring group of women;
3) I’ll randomly chose someone to mail the book to, so you can read it too;
4) When you’re done with the book, you’ll write a blog post similar to this one, offering the book up to the next “member” of The Friday Night Knit(Blog)ing Club, will write your own little note in the cover, and mail it on…

Free Book! (and possibility of fibery extras.) Fun swap! “Exclusive” club! (ok, so not really; just depending on how fast people read and the post delivers.) Leave a comment to “Join up”!!


Filed under contest, exchanges, good mail, rambling

This and that

A sign I just might be a little bit preoccupied with this whole fibre thing:
I was writing an email to my department’s business manager today, and instead of typing “please let me know… ” I wrote “please let me knit…”. Obsessed? Me? Never.

* * * * *

I think I’ve come to a spindlemaking decision. The name I’m going with is….

FolkLore Fiberarts!

Thank you to everyone who helped me out from my wiffle-waffling. I really appreciate it! I know there were a lot of votes for the foxie-names, so don’t worry, I’m already thinking of ways to use them…

The spindle will go out to Mary, because she both succinctly framed good reasons to go with it in her comment, and because she de-lurked! (Got to encourage more comments somehow, right?!) Mary will be getting one of my little ‘signature’ spindles that look like this:

…only not right away, because my whorls are on backorder (grr). Which is super-annoying, because they seem to be in some demand these days! I’ve got to get more in to the Purple Purl, have had a blog-reader place an ‘order’ via email, and am going to do a swap with Ray (of Knitivity yarns!). These are exciting times!

An shop in in the works… Anybody out there happen to he handy with graphic design want to trade your skills for a spindle? Drop me a line!

I have already had to promise Dru that the whole spindleworks thing is under control, that I am not taking on too much and know exactly what I’m up to. I hope I am right…

* * * * *

I made a hat! It’s pretty damn boring, other than I used 1 skein of that great “autumno” merino yarn I just received. I followed in Lady O‘s footsteps and pretty much just riffed off of my tea cozy pattern (I didn’t include the spout hole, of course!)

autmno hat
I think I’ll make a little one just for me next.

I’m hoping it will keep my “little” brother’s head nice and toasty when he’s back in the Yukon. It sure was nice to see him over the weekend, though, and I’m glad I was able to send him home with something I knit — last I saw him, I gave his girlfriend a warm pair of merino-silk socks, and apparently she’s been making inroads teaching herself to knit now!

* * * * *

I’ve been knitting some new Monkey socks, but I’m not sure if I’m liking the way the yarn’s pooling/striping…
monkey socks
Indigo Moon sock yarn, “Moonlight on the Mountains”

I’ve knit a few more repeats, and now instead of doing the little swirl/stripes as it did in the ribbing, it’s pretty much doing large vertical “stripes”. They’re just not doing it for me now. I may just rip it out and try with a slightly looser gauge. What do you think?

I’ve also been spinning on my new Joy wheel (and what a joy it is!), but it’s way to dark to take photos now. So let’s just leave that for next time, shall we?
And stay tuned — I’m hoping to release the Icewine pattern on February 29th!


Filed under contest, drop-spindle, FOs, knitting, rambling, Uncategorized

Contests Galore

I’m still trying to come up with a good name for my spindleworks (all the while assuring Dru that no, I’m not letting this spindle-makingthing get out of hand, really!), so I’m keeping my mini-contest open a few days later. (I teach on Sunday, maybe that would be a good day tohave chosen something, y’think?!) Leave me your 2 cents and help me figure out a good name — “Fox Den” Fibersomthingorother is taken; I’m contemplating “FolkLore”…

* * * * *

Anther Emily in the knit-blogosphere is having a contest, for a cause! Go here for more information about the contest (and great prizes!) as she tries to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through selling her neat-looking Pearl’s Diamond Sock pattern! (And who doesn’t love more sock patterns?)

* * * * *

Vicki is hosting a contest to find as many low-yardage free projects as possible: what can I knit with 1 to 285yds? Send her a link to a free pattern and be entered in her draw — and check out the fantastic list she’s compiled!

* * * * *

And over at No More Sweaters! Faith’s having a blogiversary contest — just leave her your favourite joke (and wish her well, of course!) and you could win some fabulous knitswag.

Best of luck, everyone!


Filed under contest, drop-spindle, rambling

What’s in a name?

I’ve been making spindles for my own use for a while now, experimenting with many different kinds of materials and construction, finding out what works (and doesn’t) for hand-made — but not lathe-turned — spindles. I’m relatively proud of the things I’ve made.

Lately, I’ve even been selling a few to the Purple Purl, which has gone over better than I’d ever have expected. They might not be as fantastic as the lathed spindles you can find from the professionals online, but my spindles are nice, functionable tools and are very affordable to boot (all the better to rope in new spinners, I say!)

“Purple Purl exclusive” spindles.

It hit me yesterday as I was showing Jennifer some new prototypes (a 20g lace-weight spindle! a 40g ‘student’ one!) that (OMG-WTF-LOL) if I’m actually conducting business with these folks here, maybe, d’y’think I should have a business identity?

Now, anyone that has been reading here for a while, or has looked a my (pathetically small) profile on Ravelry, probably knows by now that self-identificaiton is not one of my strong points. I know who I am, but I can’t describe myself to get me out of a wet paper bag. Heck, I don’t even like my blog title (but I guess I’m stuck with it, eh?). So I’m asking for help — I need a name and have no clue!

Some bits that may help:
* I think “Foxden FibreStudio” would be a great name, if I were a dyer (but I’m not).
* “Amelia” (and all it’s variations) is my inescapable name. I’ve dealt with this, and am willing to work with it.
* I like things Celtic, and folklore and mythology (ambiguous, I know, that’s why I’m asking for help!)
* I’m don’t really like pun-names, but I do appreciate cleverness.
* I’d like a name that alludes to what I’m making here (i.e. spindles/spinning tools).

If you help me figure out a good name (bonus points for ‘logo’ ideas to match), I’ll send you a spindle and something to spin!


Filed under contest, drop-spindle, meta-blogging, rambling, spinning, Uncategorized

Drumroll please…

What was I doing here?….

Oh, that’s right — my contest!

(I really hadn’t forgotten about it. Really! I’m just caught in the throes of pre-holiday work and cookie-baking insanity.)

Huh? What was that? Oh, right! Contest.

…Drumroll please…

And the winners are: Lady O and Deb!!!

Congratulations you two! I’ll be emailing you shortly (shorter than I did with posting these results, at least) and figuring out the best prizes to send off. I’m thinking it will come down to your preference between pre-made yarn vs. proto-yarn (spinning), with perhaps a handspun option…

In the end, I had 42 comments (thanks everyone!) and 2 pingbacks (thanks Chris and Chan!). The contest page has also had more than 300 unique views since it was first posted (wow!), which I’m taking to mean either I got about a 20% response rate or a few of you were really trying to mess with my stats. No matter what, I’m really grateful for all the comments you guys left, I’ve been turned on to some great new blogs through them (your own included, perhaps?), and have had a lot of fun!

Now back to the paperwork mines and cookie mill…

P.S. there will be a mitten update tomorrow-ish, with pictures and everything! Stay tuned for visual excitement and potential patternage!


Filed under contest

Mitten Maddness

It all started with the Bird in the Hand Mittens. I know, they’re popping up everywhere. They’re this season’s Anemoi mittens. Uber-popular. Must-Have Mittens.

Yes, I love this pattern too. Unfortunately my “e-money” budget this holiday season doesn’t allow for impulse purchases of trendy patterns, even when I do need to knit a mitten set for a gift. (Stay with me, I’m going somewhere with this. Apologies if my whinging over patterns I can’t have is boring anyone!)

These mittens, they’ve really opened my eyes to some elements of design here, stirring up all kinds of thinky-thoughts. For one, they are non-repeating and non-symmetrical. Quite a change from most Norwegian mittens out there. For two, they have cute designs in unexpected places, especially the palm-motif that breaks up the background repeat. And for three, for all that they are very visually interesting, they’re also relatively simple.

I have a strange disconnect when it comes to designs I find appealing. I need things to be balanced (e.g. asymmetrical hems are not for me, unless there are an even number of points or something like that), and yet, I also have issues thinking geometrically (math intimidates me). Knitting-wise, this means that I’ll avoid both freeforms and square blocks! But charting a design that has to fill a set space, but not necessarily repeat x times over y rows… that I guess just struck the right balance in my mind.

For the past three nights I have done hardly any knitting at all. I have searched Ravelry all through, looking at cuffs and hems and stranded patterns. I’ve found inspiration in Persian textiles, Roman mosaics, and on blackwork embroidery websites (sadly, you can’t just use those charts directly). And done a lot of scribbling in knitter’s chart-paper!

In these evenings I’ve had moments of inspiration where I’ve been in the kind of zone I haven’t found for a long while. I think of these as “muse-struck” moments; when I don’t entirely know what I’m creating, I just know that it’s right. The creativity flows, everything works, and then it ebbs away… When I start struggling for the next rhyme or line or stitch, I know the moment has passed.

Oh Muse, how I have missed you! Thank you for returning in this new and strange guise.

I’ve charted at least one design that I absolutely must knit for Dru as a result of these muse-moments. (In January, when there are no more knitting deadlines!) And I’ve struck on a design for the gift-mittens I’m quite pleased with, if I do say so myself. For three evenings straight, I have been designing. Now I knit, and see how it all works out…

mitten wip

* * * * *
Remember, today’s the last chance to enter my contest! I know I said Friday evening, but I’ll probably not tally up until mid-day tomorrow…


Filed under contest, knitting, mitts, rambling

Knitty: Winter 2007

Have you seen it yet?

Well, go on! (I’ll wait for you.)

Pretty awesome, eh? This is the issue full of patterns that I look at and think, “My gods! Why didn’t I think about that? Of course you can do this with that!” Like the slipped-stitch cables in these Slippery socks, or the openwork, reversible cables in the amazing Jeanie wrap, or even the trick of using Noro to produce faux-Fair Isle tams.

There are so many ultimately knittable patterns in this issue, it makes me wish I hadn’t already got my queue of holiday gift projects lined up! “You didn’t really want a hat and mitts for Christmas, did you? I thought so. Good, now I can go knit things JUST FOR ME.”

* * * * *

In other news, there are only a few days left to enter my contest. Go on, leave me a comment, and then take some time to read through the amazing links — and blogs of the commenters — that have been left there already!

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Filed under contest, free patterns, knitting, spinning