Monday, April 28, 2008

Earth Day!

I know I'm late for earth day - but I wanted to share the new tree we planted. It was a gift from my in-laws for our anniversary and a perfect addition to our yard.

It's a Japanese Red Maple - I have always loved the rich red of these trees.

New Red Maple

The leaves are gorgeous vibrant red all year.

Red Maple

Red Maple

Red Maple

This week I am also playing with a new lens we rented for my Nikon - from It's a 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro.

I love it - check out some pics I took with it...

Lace Leaf Japanese Maple





My neighbors having a water fight!

Water Fight!

I love this lens!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Raglan from the top down is done!

OK so I didn't finish it in in March and I didn't finish it in a month either. But I did finish it! I started this sweater for the March Sweater Madness - knit a sweater in a month challenge. I came close! I cast on March 16 and finished it up April 19th. (Thank you Ravelry - I never would have remembered the exact dates - what did we do without you!)

So - here is my "almost knit in a month" sweater!

I'm calling it my Lucky sweater!

Raglan from the top down

: Raglan from the top down by Stephanie Japel a.k.a. Lucky!
Yarn: My handspun for the yoke and Elann Peruvian Highland Wool for the body in Peridot
Needles: Size US9 (I knit tight!)
Mods: I did my raglan increases with Yarn overs for some decorative details and added handspun trim on the cuffs and bottom of the sweater. I also did a turned hem on the bottom and cuffs.

Here is the handspun I used - I had about 100 yards of this awesome merino tencel from Cyberfiber:

handspun merino-tencel

It knit up like a dream and was just enough for the yoke...

Raglan from the top down

with a bit left over for the cuffs and bottom hem...

Raglan from the top down

Raglan from the top down

It's also perfect for Project Spectrum!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Free Pattern - Merletto Mitts!

At long last I can now finally present (in proper fashion) my latest design.

I give you the Merletto mitts!

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Pattern: Merletto Mitts
Designer: Me!
Yarn: Any sock yarn (I used less than one ball of Knit Picks Gloss)
Needles: US 2/2.75mm

These fingerless mitts were initially a gift for my friend Jolene last Christmas. I made up the pattern by combining a simple cable with some lace details. Put it all together and the Merletto Mitts were born.

This was such a fun pattern to design! I also had lots of great help too! I have to thank Sarah, and Stacey for test knitting and Jolene for helping edit the pattern.

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Those of you on Ravelry - you can download the pattern for free with this link:

Ravelry Download

Those of you not on Ravelry - (what are you waiting for!) you can use this link to download this free pattern:
Click here

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Don't forgot - if you're going to MD Sheep and Wool this year, there will be tons of gorgeous hand painted and kettle dyed yarn for you to make this pattern at the Cloverhill booth!


Overdue yarn party update!

It just occurred to me that I never showed you all the goodies I got at the Homespun yarn party!!

I was there helping out at the Cyberfiber booth, so I didn't get a lot of chances to shop around, but I did have a chance to get these beauties!

Homespun yarn party loot!

Want a closer look?
My first stop was Loop... There are no words to describe her batts.... I will let the pictures speak for themselves!

Loop roving

Loop purple

Loop Roving - with shredded money!!

This one demands a closeup...

Loop  - Shredded money!

Do you see what that is?! It's shredded money! Dude! How awesome is that!

Unfortunately only one of these three is for me. I gave the purple one to Chris and the money batt goes to my best girl Sarah :) I just couldn't keep all that luscious fiber to myself!

I also got some more Cyberfiber roving! This has definitely become my fiber of choice. It spins like a dream and the colors! Well - how can you argue with a color named after me?

Cyberfiber roving

Yes - may I present the Jody colorway! Hehehehe!! Ok - yes it does helps to be best buds with the creator - but isn't that just the coolest color you ever saw!

One more Cyberfiber roving found it's way home with me and I spun it up the very next day. This one is called Autumn Foliage. I still have to take photos of the finished product - but it's gorgeous! I'll post pics soon :)

Enjoy the lovely spring weather!

Spring has popped!

Beauty is in the air. Spring is definitely my favorite time of year. This weekend it was spectacular!

My pride and joy of my garden is my magnolia tree and she bloomed this weekend!

Magnolia tree

Just look at those blossoms!

Magnolia blossom

The magnolia wasn't the only one popping open - take a look at these beauties!

Vinka flowers

The plum tree popped open...

Plum pop!

And my parents brought me down some forsythia bushes from their yard. Can't you just imagine a whole row of these yellow flowers?


It was definitely a great welcome home view for John and I. John had surgery on Thursday to reverse his ileostomy and came home on Friday! We were both surprised and excited that he only had to spend one night in the hospital. Thanks for all the prayer and good thoughts!

Please send out some more good thoughts to my my friend Brie. She is in the hospital right now and could use some love and prayer herself. She has severe aplastic anemia. She has a new blog that she is using to keep her friends and family updated - go give her a shout!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Harlot has left the building!

Last night was Maryland's chance to play hostess to one of the funniest people ever. Stephanie Pearl McPhee - aka the Yarn Harlot!! She was promoting her latest book - Things I Learned from Knitting.

She was brilliantly funny as usual :)

Soon after she arrived on stage - she took her obligatory sock photos of the audience...

Sock photos!

And then settled in for a bit of story-telling.

Yarn Harlot Speaks

I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard! I was there with my girls Coleen, Jolene and Erin and we had a great time knitting and chatting before the "show". There were some crazy people that had arrived at 9am to get front row seats!! (You know who you are! hehehe.) We didn't get there until around 4pm - so we are not at all crazy... nope. Not us!

Even Joe had a good time!


Yes - he loves his aunty Jody :)

Jody and Joe

After the show - we all got in line for the book signing/sock picture taking with Stephanie.

Here we are - each holding the other's sock in progress...

Me and Steph

Coleen poses with Steph...

Coleen and Steph

Jolene and Joe have their picture taken...
Jolene, Joe and Steph

Joe was apparently cracking Stephanie up!

Steph taking pics of Joe

Erin and Steph...
Erin and Steph

Afterwards - we headed out for a late dinner with Amy who is the most awesome crocheter! Go check out her site - she has all kinds of cool things on there.

It was a great night!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Countdown to MD Sheep and Wool!!

Can you feel it? It's in the air. The sweet smells of spring are upon us, the leaves are returning to the trees, the flowers are blooming and the weather is getting warmer. That all points to only one thing.... MD Sheep and Wool is coming! In fact it's only 27 days away!

I'm especially excited this year because I'm helping out at the Cloverhill Yarn Shop booth! Come by and say hey! I'll be the one fondling all the luscious yarn and fiber... well - that may not help distingiush me too much... hehe!
Here's a photo to help you out...


My pal Sarah and I started a new blog to help countdown to the day. Go check it out here:

Add it to your blog reader and check back every day! Why?

There will prizes, contests, bios of the artists and lots of great stuff to keep you entertained and get you all excited about this year's Sheep and Wool festival!

What artists you may ask?

The Cloverhill booth is home to 18, YES 18! different independent artists this year! They include:

A Verb for Keeping Warm
verbforkeeping warm

Brooklyn Handspun
Booklyn handspun

C*eye*ber Fibers
Mama E

Chewy Spaghetti
chewy spagetti redone

Dragonfly Fiber Designs
dragonfly fiber


Jolene Mosley Designs


Michael Sturtevant

Neighborhood Fiber
bneighborhood fiber

Sheila Rovelstad Designs

Spritely Goods
spritely goods

The Knitting Gnome
knitting gnome

The Sanguine Gryphon
red gryphon logo

The Spun Monkey Fiber Shoppe
spun monkey2

The Sweet Sheep

The Unique Sheep
unique sheep


So go check out the goods and save your pennies! This year's Festival is sure to be great. I'm looking forward to the Ravelry meetup too! I met a ton of great people last year and I'm sure this year will be no different.

One thing I hope to buy this year... enough roving/fiber to spin and knit a sweater!

What's on your must have list?