Friday, September 19, 2008

Ahoy Mateys

There ain't be no better time to come back to this here blog than on talk(Blog) like a pirate day! I've been sailing some rough seas over the past few months, but I am finally sailing smooth with many a treasure found and islands visited.

Me first treasure be the furry little land lubber Benny - he was a wee little thing when we broke him out of the brig. He be turnin' into a real fine lad - although his mateys (Gina, Divino and Gary) sometimes thinks he be a scurvy dog!

He is a mite bigger now but ye can see the mischief in his eyes.

As fer the island adventure, me wench Courtney and I found our way to the pirate haven of Aruba. It be hot and breezy at that port, but we had ourselves a grand time with other Buccaneers while we swam in the lazy river and ate good grub!

Here be some pictures of that fine time.

That be all fer now me hearties - I'll be weighing the anchor but will be back soon!

Long live the pirates - ARRRRRRRRRR! Where's my rum????

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Doug will be missed...

I just want to say thank you to everyone for sending well wishes to Doug and keeping all of us in your thoughts. On July 9th we made the tough decision to put Doug to sleep. We both took the day off and spent all day with him giving him as much love as we could, wondering if we were making the right choice. Right as we were putting him into his carrier to go to the Vet - after being home all day - he had a seizure and died quickly in our arms. Even with his last act he was a good cat who knew how to take care of us, and now we don't have to wonder if it was the right choice.

Thank you all for being there for us.

Marie, Court, and Doug

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Kitty in Crisis

It's been so long since I blogged I almost forgot how!

So, life has been busy and rather insane - hopefully I can go over all that has occurred in May and June but right now my only concern is over Doug.

This is Doug - he came into my life when Court did (along with the lovable Devino)- and I am so glad to have them. A few weeks ago we noticed that the svelt Doug was getting skinnier so we brought him to the Vet, as any concerned kitty parents would do, and found out that his kidneys were failing - despite only being 5 years old.

For the past two weeks he's been shuffled from home to his Vet and also to the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan. He's been poked and prodded, had to stay in the hospital for 6 days getting fluids, and now he most likely will have to have surgery since they finally figured out a stone is obstructing his ureter. We'll find out today if that surgery will be here or if we'll have to go to the Veterinary hospital at the University of PA where they do a special sort of surgery.

He is such a trooper, you know, with all of the above and getting subcutaneous fluids at home, he hasn't scratched or bit anyone?!?!?! He was always a mellow loving cat but I probably would have taken a chunk out of someone if I had to go through all of that.

I love it if you can send good wishes and get well vibes to little Doug to help us get through this tough time. and hopefully he'll be getting into trouble and weaseling his way into the craft room (where is is certainly not allowed) to hide among the undyed yarn !

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ever heard of Geocaching?

Neither did I, but it's worth learning about. Basically, there is a large group of people who hide things on trails and in state parks - maybe even in a park near you (they are in Brooklyn too!) - and then other people go out and find them. It's like a scavenger hunt, you get GPS coordinates of the cache which takes you 10-20 feet from it. You'll also most likely get a cryptic clue which will get you even closer - but you are still going to have to do a little searching. Most caches are boxes (usually Ammo cans):

Inside the box there is generally a logbook, a pencil, and various trinkets. If you take a trinket, you should add one of your own to keep the box supplied with goodies. There are also things called Geocoins and Travel Bugs. They are items you leave in the cache with instructions like - please take me to Disney World. People will take them if they can help them get to the destination stated - and place them in different caches along the way. Check out our handmade Travel Bug - Court whipped this little dragonfly up:

So far we've only found a few caches but they have taken us to some lovely views:

High above LaGrangeville, NY

The Hudson River near Sleepy Hollow, NY

It's a great way to get some nature pics!

I happen to love this sign we saw on the way up a grueling hike which took us up 500 ft in elevation in 3/4 of a mile -

So anyone else out there Geocachers?

Oh there has been some knitting - I finished these a while ago - a pair of simple ribbed socks for Court.

Pattern: my own
Yarn: My Soft Spun Plus in Lush Lake
Needles: Magic Loop Addi #3
I forget how long they took but I do know they went fast.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Store Update

BIG store update tons of new colorways in all base yarns!

Have something to knit for spring break!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Babies, cats and dye oh my

This must be the year of babies. Apparently all my friends have "gotten busy" and are now expecting or have just popped! 2 friends have just had little bundles of joy, and 5 more are pregnant - one of them is my sister! I have a LOT of baby knitting to do.

A couple of Saturdays ago I realized that on Sunday I had a baby shower to go to and I had not finished the baby blanket I was working on. Let me give you a timeline of what happened short after this realization:

9:01 - frantically looking for the mitered squares

9:10 - found them only to realize I still had 3.5 more squares to knit
10:00 - 1.5 squares knit
10:01 - searching through piles of stash yarn for the right color to complete the next 2 squares
10:27 - Found it!
10:30 - take a break - cause in the middle of a yarn emergency taking a break seemed like the only thing to do
11:15 - back to work
12:15 - Finished squares

12:15-2:45 am - a ton of friggin seaming
3:00 am - sleep - sweet. sweet sleep

10:00 - I'm awake - No, last nights knitting was not some sick and twisted dream telling me I need to work on my procrastination
10:05 - Pick up a ton of stitches and knit a border (after brushing my teeth)
10:06-1:30 pm - finish the border

1:31-2:30 - grab some lunch, jump into the shower, get dressed etc...
2:30-3:30 - I want to cry but I'm weaving in a bazillion ends

3:35 - get on the bus into Manhattan for the 4:30 baby shower - the ends are still not 100% but I've brought along a needle, scissors, and wrapping paper
4:15 - almost there and I just finished weaving and trimming the last of the ends
4:20 - Wrap the gift on the bus
4:25 - Get off the bus and walk over to the baby shower!

At this point you'd think YAY she did it - all over and done with, mama will love the blankie and the shower will be a pink and blue blast. Well - I get to the apartment where the shower is being held and guess what? No one home! I called and called, I rang the bell, I even was let in to knock on the door - still no answer.

I head home with the blanket still in my possession. Turns out, the baby was very eager, kicked a hole through the amniotic sac and my friend had to go in for an emergency c-section on Thursday before the shower - guess who didn't get the email notice?

But now I know better and will start and finish my baby gifts early - umm ok maybe not. At least I did get a good blog post out of it!

Cats and dye -

If you want to know the story behind this picture - check out Court's new blog - she's got the full run down it's totally worth reading!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Brooklyn Bonanza

First off - thank you to all of you who wished me birthday wishes and congratulations on the engagement - I've said it before and I'll say it again - all of you guys rock!

This past weekend I had my yearly spider gathering - this was the 3rd year. It was a blast! I wish I had taken more pictures but I was having way too much fun to do that.

The 1st year is was dyeing, the 2nd spinning and this year it was all about the secret single sock swap. We used Elfster to match up the spiders and then we knit one sock for our swap pal. It was the best swap ever - beautiful socks - inspiring actually!

I got a sock, and some other goodies from the fabulous Virginia who actually wrote her own pattern for the sock - and that pattern is going to be adapted for my Instant Gratification sock yarn. So not only did I get a great sock (which I'll be casting on for the mate soon) I get a pattern to give out to my customers!

check out that cable action - now I HAVE to start knitting cables...I know I know it's easy - I don't know why I've put it off for so long - they are so friggin pretty.

I forgot to take a picture of the sock I knit for Cathy but if you look above 3rd from the left I knit a Poseidon sock with my soft spun plus colorway red brick. I really enjoyed the pattern it was fun to knit and I was able to memorize the pattern pretty quickly.

We all know that knitting is integral to our survival as a species ( at least I think so!) but how will the rest of the world come to find out about it? IKEA - yup you know your craft has reached new heights when IKEA has a yarn store in their showroom!

Now if only I can get my craft room so organized!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Very Memorable Birthday...

Last Friday I met a bunch of family and friends in a cozy little bar downtown to celebrate my 30th birthday. We had a blast chatting and drinking while the jukebox played - then - I got a giant birthday surprise! Courtney gets everyone's attention, at least 20 people or so, and takes out a sheet of paper then starts to tell everyone that before we met (about a year ago) she made a list of everything she wanted in a partner. This list included some very specific items like: she likes to dye stuff, is between 27 and 30, has gaps in her teeth, cooks well so she doesn't have to, has light eyes and brown hair, loves cats....etc. She says that I fit everyone of the items on that list (it was spooky actually) and most of all she wanted someone who when she got down on one knee and proposed she would say yes - and then she asked me to marry her!

I must admit I was floored, totally shocked, had NO idea this was coming! It took me a few moments to let everything sink in but as soon as I got my wits about me I accepted. We both agreed that there won't be a wedding for at least another year (gotta see who wins the presidential election - might have some impact on marriage rights).

Here is a picture of the sheep (that she needle felted herself) which she presented me the ring with:

The ring has an Amethyst stone since purple is my favorite color, and look it has swirls on it - can you believe that?!?! (if you've been reading my blog for long enough you'll realize I have a thing for swirls). I couldn't have even designed myself a better ring.
It's absolutely perfect!

Friday, January 25, 2008

30 years ago...

My mom was struggling over piles of snow on her way to the hospital...

We all know what happened next - yup she had a bouncing baby girl - ME. My parents only had boy names picked out so after a little arguing as to whether or not to name me Penelope, they decided on Marie Aline (I just don't think I look like a Penelope - no offense to all of you Penelope's out there).

Now that I'm 30 I feel like I am officially a grown up - although I'm still playing with bits of string and colorful fiber. I'm looking forward to my thirties I think good times are ahead - I'm sure I can deal with the creaking bones lol.

Lest you think this blog is all about Birthdays and Shop announcements - I do have some FO's - knitting has been happening over here.

First off the long awaited Cable Twist socks knit with 4 balls of Zara - nice and squishy.

Here is where I modified the pattern and added increases on both sides of the sock.

I started these in Late March and didn't finish till December of course I knit up 1.5 and then got sick and tired of them and had them sitting in the WIP pile for months. But I really like the way they came out.

Here is another FO - fingerless gloves with a thumb hole. I'm still not sure if I want to add the cap or not. BTW- no kitties were strangled in the course of shooting these pictures :)

Here is the very convenient thumb hole - perfect for trying to grab your metrocard from a very full pocket.

The yarn is my Instant Gratification in Mermaid. I was glad when this didn't sell cause well I had my eye on it from the beginning! The pattern is made up on the fly just some ribbing a thumb gusset and some more ribbing. Originally knit for Court but - um - I kinda stole them back....hey she already has toasty gloves and my hands were freezing!

Thank you Court for being the ever patient FO model!

Finally we have my most current WIP the super secret sock - I won't give any details but here is a pic -

More pictures to come soon - I've still got a lot to show ya!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Store Update

The STORE has been updated with LOTS of new colorways and the brand new 3ply Soft Spun Plus is making it's debut appearance. Also there are still spots left in the Holiday Sock Club - Round II

Here is a little pic the current colorways:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! - I hope you and all your loved ones had a wonderful
holiday season. Exciting times here at Brooklyn Handspun! I've got a
couple of new things going on that I'd love to share with you.

1) The 2008 Holiday Sock Club is now open! I've got great colors brewing....go over and check it out.

2) Keep an eye out late next week for a GIANT update!

3) I'm am now taking wholesale orders from brick and mortar stores
- so if you would like to see Brooklyn Handspun in your LYS let them know to send an inquiry to - you'll be seeing my 3 ply yarn at The Point very soon.

4) I have started taking private spinning students on a drop spindle or wheel. If you are in the NYC area and would like to take spinning lessons just email me and I'll give you all the information.

5) If classes are more your thing - I will be teaching a spinning class at Brooklyn General beginning February 2, 2008. Introduction to Spinning $125 (great price for 6 hours of lessons!)

Four 1 ½ hour classes Learn how to spin and design your own yarn on a drop spindle. Class includes an overview of animal and plant fibers, how to card and blend different fiber types and colors, plying instruction, and an introduction to the spinning wheel. Check here for more info or you can call 718.237.7753

Materials available at first class
Session A: Mon 6:30 to 8:00 pm, 2/4, 11, 25. 3/3

Brooklyn General is also hosting the fabulous Pluckyfluff she will be offering a 2 day spinning camp - you'll learn lots of carding and novelty techniques for the art yarn lover in you. Tell them Brooklyn Handspun referred you! You can find all the info on the Brooklyn General Blog

I have a bunch of FO's and pictures to share with you - unfortunately I left my camera at home but I'll get them up in a few days!