Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by my Longaberger home businessn and Quince & Co.

Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by Quince & Co. and Knitcircus Yarns

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

#3 Knitting Pipeline Extra



At Quince & Co we are excited to introduce Ibis, a big sister to our laceweight Piper. A 2-ply bulky weight comprised of the same Texas-sourced 50% super kid mohair, 50% superfine merino content, Ibis boasts the same gorgeous halo, sheen, and silky softness, in a luscious heavier weight that's quick to knit and super warm. Perfect for accessories and sweaters that are meant to keep the cold at bay.

Gradient Stripes yarns: only at Knitcircus! Short stripes move through a gradient as you knit your socks, with no color repeats. Each sock set is already wound into two cakes for your knitting pleasure and dyed to match exactly down to the stitch. Other knitters will wonder how you got such perfect stripes with no jog lines and you'll smile knowing that the yarn did all the work for you. Find it only at www.knitcircus.com.

Other major sponsors for the Knitting Pipeline Retreat are:

Klose Knit in Urbana IL

The Fiber Universe, Peoria IL

Ewe-nique Yarns, Morton IL


Le Mouton Rouge Knittery, Bloomington IL

Vendor Sponsors




 

Podcasts I mention:

·        Knitting Expat

·        LovesSockWool

Episode 236

Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave edited by Ann Budd and Anne Merrow. 2007. Spiral bound. (19 previously published and 6 new ones.)

Waving Lace Socks by Evelyn Clark


Hazel Knits Entice MCN (it is fingering but not really sock yarn)

Cascade Yarns Heritage Paints from The Fiber Universe March 2012.

Episode 238

Waving Lace Socks by Evelyn Clark

Favorite Socks

Mae by Melissa LaBarre from Wool Baby

Aziza by Melissa LaBarre from Wool Baby

Quince & Co Chickadee Split Pea Colorway and Peacock

Labels by Mountain Street Arts on etsy

 

Episode 239

Bootstrap Socks by Lara Neel from Sock Architecture. Sized for me.

Gales Art Wonder Sock Yarn Superwash BFL 75% and 25% nylon.


Wool Peddler’s Shawl by Cheryl Oberle


Berocco Vintage DK from Ewe-niqe Yarns in Morton IL

Episode 240

Zigzagular Socks by Susie White



Quilting

Quilts from 2010

Craftsy Classes

NOT Recommended Piece by Piece Marti Michell

Start Free Motion Quilting by Elizabeth Dackson

Magical Jelly Roll Quilts by Kimberly Einmo

37 Troubleshooting Techniques by Laura Nowns (Half Square Triangle tip)

Smarter Strip Quilting by Joanna Figueroa

Purchased another class by her on SALE today

Quilter’s Slidelock

Massdrop

Fat Tuesday at Peddler’s Way Quilt Co

 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Episode 240 Baby Steps to Fish Lips Kiss Heel


Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Try a different browser like Safari. Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.

This episode is sponsored by Quince & Co, Knitcircus Yarns, and our Feb Retreat Sponsors..

At Quince & Co we are excited to introduce Ibis, a big sister to our laceweight Piper. A 2-ply bulky weight comprised of the same Texas-sourced 50% super kid mohair, 50% superfine merino content, Ibis boasts the same gorgeous halo, sheen, and silky softness, in a luscious heavier weight that's quick to knit and super warm. Perfect for accessories and sweaters that are meant to keep the cold at bay.

Gradient Stripes yarns: only at Knitcircus! Short stripes move through a gradient as you knit your socks, with no color repeats. Each sock set is already wound into two cakes for your knitting pleasure and dyed to match exactly down to the stitch. Other knitters will wonder how you got such perfect stripes with no jog lines and you'll smile knowing that the yarn did all the work for you. Find it only at www.knitcircus.com.

Other major sponsors for the Knitting Pipeline Retreat are:

Klose Knit in Urbana IL

The Fiber Universe, Peoria IL

Ewe-nique Yarns, Morton IL


Le Mouton Rouge Knittery, Bloomington IL

Ravelry: PrairiePiper Feel free to include me in your friends.

Instagram: knittingpipeline

Twitter: knittingline




Pipeliner Notes

Thanks so much for your star ratings on iTunes and your reviews.

Thank you to everyone who purchased the Fish Lips Kiss Heel $1 Ravelry Download to support Patty-Joy, Sox Therapist, who is battling an aggressive form of breast cancer. I purchased the pattern for 3 people but I would like to buy more so send me your name or your friends’ names. I think I’ve gifted about 7 or 8 patterns and will do that for the rest of February if you pm me that you or a friend would like it.

Ana has left a new comment on your post "Episode 239 Wool Peddler’s Shawl and A Burns Suppe...":

I was listening to your podcast while ironing and grinned happily to myself as I thought about my one finished sock "footie" I had finished last night. The FLK heel is my favorite now and it fits so nicely. Then when you talked about the 25% nylon content of your sock, I became curious about what MY footie was made of....I never even bothered to look. It's an inexpensive, but nicely striped dramatic "yarn" I picked up at Hobby Lobby. It's called "Premier Yarns Wool-Free Sock". I laughed out loud, but what did I expect from a "wool-free" yarn? It's 93% acrylic and 7% PBT?!?! I had to look up PBT and discovered it is a "thermoplastic engineering polymer" which is really a type of polyester. Oh my. Ana
Events

Market at Feb Retreat is open to the public Sat Feb 27 2-4 PM.

Information on the Maine Retreat (Sept) and Cornerstone Retreat (Oct) will be published by May 1, 2016.

I am going to Curioushandmade’s Country Manor Retreat in Cumbria! March 14-17. I’m going to tie this in with a visit to my good friend in Troon, on the west coast of Scotland and then to Edinburgh Yarn Festival. At the Edinburgh Yarn Festival there is a Podcast Lounge sponsored by Blacker Yarns and organized by Louise of KnitBritish Podcast.

I’ll be in the Podcast Lounge for the Podcaster meet up on Friday 1-2 PM and probably on Sat as well.

Nature Notes

Today is Tuesday Feb 2, a very windy and rainy day for the silly groundhog. He or she definitely did not see the shadow here in Illinois. We had loads of rain today and the creek that I can see from our porch windows is muddy brown and quite high.

I noticed during the rain that the birds were still out at the feeders. Early in the afternoon I heard two Barred Owls calling back and forth but I could not see them. Red bellied Woodpeckers are frequently at our feeder, perhaps the most common woodpecker after the Downey woodpecker. I learned from an article in Bird Digest how to tell the difference between the male and female Red Bellied. The Female has the red on her head but it doesn’t extend all the way to the beak. The red actually stops on the top of the head. With this identifying feature I can tell you that there a lot more male red bellies in our woods and at our feeders than females. Red-bellied woodpeckers next in cavities, usually dead or decaying trees, snags. They eat both insects and vegetable matter.

"How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose, if there were no winter in our year!"
--Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Needle Notes

Congratulations to Mina of Knitting Expat Podcast (video) and  Marsha of Fairy Little Podcast (video) for (each) knitting 35 pair of socks in January! You are an inspiration!

These two amazing knitters have no doubt inspired a wave of sock knitting!

Momentum is important to me which is the main reason I don’t have a lot of projects on the needles. I’ve talked about momentum before but I keep thinking about it and therefore you get to hear about it.

·        Mina prepared yarn before Jan 1 by winding into 2 cakes.

·        More than one pair going at a time might help with boredom of color

·        Helen Stewart Curioushandmade talked on the Curioushandmade Podcast about working consistently on a design project. I found that very helpful.

·        American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine April 2016. P18. Designer Victoria Findlay Wolfe.

·        I like to do relay method of getting ready for next project while finishing one up.

·        Sometimes you do need to break the momentum if you aren’t enjoying a project or are stuck about what to do next. Maybe something has gone wrong and it needs to hibernate for a day or two…or longer. Often I find my subconscious works on an issue, and sleep does wonders too.

Zigzagular Socks by Susie White


Knit Picks Felici in Mosaic colorway.

Mae by Melissa LaBarre from Wool Baby


Quince & Co Chickadee Peacock

6-12 mo but made sleeves a little shorter than 0-6 mo.

Did not have enough left for Aziza bonnet.

Product Notes


Highly Recommended!

Retreat Notes

Major Sponsors of February Knitting Pipeline Retreat:


127 Peddler’s Way, Washington IL 61571

Peddler’s Way Quilt Co. is dedicated to preserving the old fashioned arts of sewing, embroidery and quilting. Located just off historic Washington Square near Peoria, Illinois, we specialize in quilting fabrics, yarns, embroidery supplies and notions.

Next week I’ll be highlighting another major sponsor.

Le Mouton Rouge Knittery in Bloomington, offers large selection of hand-dyed yarns from Wonderland Yarns, Madelinetosh, Dream in Color, Mountain Colors, Sweet Georgia and more! We also offer a variety of yarns from Cascade, Classic Elite, Berroco, Skacel, Opal, Regia, Trendsetter, Kraemer and more!  After you've browsed the yarn check out our needle corner with Addi Turbo, Addi Lace, Sock Rockets, Karbonz, ChiaoGoo, ChiaoGoo Lace, Brittany Birch and interchangeable sets!

Visit us at 1206 Towanda Ave, Suite 1, Bloomington, IL or on the web at lmrknittery.com!

Klose Knit
311 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana, IL, 61801
217 344-2123

Fine Fibers and Friendly Service is the motto of Klose Knit and that is exactly what you’ll find in our store in Urbana IL. We have a great selection of yarns including Rowan yarns and patterns, Blue Sky Alpacas, Art Yarns, Tahki, Dream in Color, Malabrigo, and Spud and Cloe.  Sock yarns include Opal, Austermann Step, Trekking, Paca Peds; the list is forever growing and changing. 

Klose Knit is a quick hop off the I-74 in the heart of Urbana IL.  311 W. Springfield Ave.
Urbana, Illinois 61801 (across from Strawberry Fields).


In a little house. The shop is as charming as it’s owner, Brigitte. Each room is like a little discovery of its own. I’ve seen yarn there that I’ve ever seen in a shop. Wonderful collection of samples to inspire you.

Ewe-Nique Yarns, Etc.
110 E Queenwood Rd, Morton, IL, 61550
309 266-9398

Ewe-nique Yarns is a full-service yarn shop located at 110 E Queenwood Rd, Morton IL.  Among the items they carry are a full line of Addi needles, Chiagoo, and Knit Picks.  They also stock Malabrigo, Madelinetosh, Frog Tree, Elsabeth Lavold, Debbie Bliss, Claudia Handpainted, Louisa Harding, Rowan, Sublime and dozens more.

The Fiber Universe (spotlighted on 1/21)
305 SW Water Street, Peoria, IL 61602
309-673-5659

The Fiber Universe provides quality products, service and instruction for fiber enthusiasts. They stock yarn from Cascade, Plymouth, Skacel, Three Irish Girls, Kauni, Jojoland, Claudia Handpaints, and more.  Fibers for spinning and felting are available from local farms.  The Fiber Universe accepts orders over the phone and offers free shipping on orders over $50.  Check out their website, www.thefiberuniverse.com or give them a call today at 309.673.5659.

Thank you to our vendor sponsors!

Yarn Geek Fibers
Hopkins Studio


Haste ye back!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Episode 239 Wool Peddler’s Shawl and A Burns Supper


Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Try a different browser like Safari. Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.

This episode is sponsored by Quince & Co, Knitcircus Yarns, and our Feb Retreat Sponsors..

At Quince & Co we are excited to introduce Ibis, a big sister to our laceweight Piper. A 2-ply bulky weight comprised of the same Texas-sourced 50% super kid mohair, 50% superfine merino content, Ibis boasts the same gorgeous halo, sheen, and silky softness, in a luscious heavier weight that's quick to knit and super warm. Perfect for accessories and sweaters that are meant to keep the cold at bay.

Knitcircus Yarns has a brand-new club with DK and Worsted-weight yarn. Each Go Big Club package features a different luxury yarn, accompanied by delightful gifts. The exclusive kettle-dyed and gradient colors are for members only! Membership closes February 5th, and they'll go as fast as knitting up a cowl out of yummy worsted-weight yarn. Visit Knitcircus.com to join.

Other major sponsors for the Knitting Pipeline Retreat are:

Klose Knit in Urbana IL

The Fiber Universe, Peoria IL

Ewe-nique Yarns, Morton IL


Le Mouton Rouge Knittery, Bloomington IL

You can also find me here:

Ravelry: PrairiePiper Feel free to include me in your friends.

Instagram: knittingpipeline

Twitter: knittingline




Pipeliner Notes

Simone Cross has left a new comment on your post "Episode 238 Mae Cardi and Aziza Bonnet":

I love your pod- and video casts Paula. You are so easy to listen to and generous sharing your life-knitting and otherwise, with us all. Plus we are also bird watchers, but in Australia, and we love hearing of the birds that visit you.
I wanted to ask your opinion and suggest a show topic at the same time.
I would love to attend a knitting retreat and this would be a major trip, all the way from Oz. I don't know which one would be best or even, all that are available. I have heard you talk about your knitting retreat which sounds fabulous, and Susan B Anderson recount of SSK. Are there others?
Keep up the great work you do, entertaining us all, sharing tips and techniques, while we are knitting away at home!
All our love from Brisbane, Queensland Australia
Simone


Knitter’s Review: A Calender of Events by Clara Parkes.

Retreats are very personal and vary widely. I’ve never been to a retreat that I didn’t enjoy. I’ve always made new friends. I don’t think a retreat needs to have a lot of activities planned. Knitters have their own activity and mostly they just want to be together and knit.

Thank you to everyone who purchased the Fish Lips Kiss Heel to support Patty-Joy, Sox Therapist, who is battling an aggressive form of breast cancer. I purchased the pattern for 3 people but I would like to buy more so send me your name or your friends names.

Events

February Retreat and the Georgia Retreat are both full. Sleep Inn is totally booked so stay tuned for Retreat Notes for an offer for housing.

Market at Feb Retreat is open to the public 2-4 PM Sat Feb 27, 2016

I am going to Curioushandmade’s Country Manor Retreat in Cumbria! March 14-17. I’m going to tie this in with a visit to my good friend in Troon, on the west coast of Scotland and then to Edinburgh Yarn Festival. At the Edinburgh Yarn Festival there is a Podcast Lounge sponsored by Blacker Yarns and organized by Louise of KnitBritish Podcast.

I’ll be in the Podcast Lounge for the Podcaster meet up on Friday 1-2 PM and probably on Sat as well.

Nature Notes

From TanKnit

Enjoyed the show! I for one especially enjoy the nature notes. I have always been a bird watcher of sorts, but recently I have become even more so since I began working from home. My office window looks out into our backyard and under this gutter we have a bucket like dish that catches water. The birds love it and we keep it clean and full of water for them. The last few days the water has been iced over and I go out every now and then and break it up and pour warm water into it. We have every Robin in the state of Oklahoma at our house. HA! HA! So many Robins! And it is ALL business at that water bucket. I get a kick out of watching them and the squirrels. This morning I toasted myself and the birds some toast. I looked outside to check the status of the toast and it was still there, but just minutes later I look out and it was gone. I don’t know if a crow or squirrel got it or what, but it was gone pretty quickly. Anyway, I find myself catering to the birds more and more each day. It is pretty funny. I joked with my husband that my life has gone to the birds! Anyway, sorry for the ramblings. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing the nature news in your backyard.

Thank you Tanknit, for the reminder that water-- and especially the sound of water will attract birds. We have a natural source of water on our property so I tend to forget how important it is.

Make your own water source with a gallon milk jug with hole and aluminum pie tin below.

Needle Notes

Remember to tag your projects in Ravelry with the year.

Bootstrap Socks by Lara Neel from Sock Architecture. Sized for me.

Gales Art Wonder Sock Yarn Superwash BFL 75% and 25% nylon. 465 yd (425 m) Colorway: Graffiti. 


Wool Peddler’s Shawl by Cheryl Oberle







In the Piping Circle

Happy Burn’s Day (Jan 25)to all our Scottish friends around the world!




Retreat Notes

Check out the thread in the Knitting Pipeline Retreats Group about alternative housing for the Feb Retreat.

Major Sponsors:

Klose Knit
311 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana, IL, 61801
217 344-2123

Ewe-Nique Yarns, Etc.
110 E Queenwood Rd, Morton, IL, 61550
309 266-9398

The Fiber Universe 
305 SW Water Street, Peoria, IL 61602
309-673-5659


127 Peddler’s Way, Washington IL 61571

Le Mouton Rouge Knittery  1206 Towanda Ave, Suite 1, Bloomington, IL or on the web at lmrknittery.com!


Thank you to our vendor sponsors.




Here’s a few lines from by For Honest Poverty by Robert Burns

'A Man's a Man for A' That'

For a' that, an' a' that,

It's coming yet for a' that,

That Man to Man, the world o'er,

Shall brothers be for a' that.
--Robert Burns


This video does not show the lyrics but I like this vocalist. The photos show many of the Burns' sites such as the humble cottage where he was born in Alloway, where he lived in Dumfries, and his burial place.


Haste ye back!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Episode 238 Mae Cardi and Aziza Bonnet

Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Try a different browser like Safari. Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.

This episode is sponsored by Quince & Co, KnitcircusYarns, and our Feb Retreat Sponsors.

At Quince & Co, Scarves, Etc 5 is now available! This year's collection of scarves, cowls, and shawls features 10 patterns from designers. Showcasing a variety of yarns, weights and styles—from lightweight Piper to fuzzy Owl, airy lace to colorwork, cables, and more—Scarves, Etc. 5 has an accessory for any occasion. Find it along with the yarn to make these scarves at www.quinceandco.com.





Knitcircus Yarns has a brand-new club with DK and Worsted-weight yarn. Each Go Big Club package features a different luxury yarn, accompanied by delightful gifts. The exclusive kettle-dyed and gradient colors are for members only! Membership closes February 5th, and they'll go as fast as knitting up a cowl out of yummy worsted-weight yarn. Visit Knitcircus.com to join.



Major sponsors for the Knitting Pipeline Retreat are:
Klose Knit in Urbana IL
The Fiber Universe, Peoria IL
Ewe-nique Yarns, Morton IL


You can also find me here:

Ravelry: PrairiePiper Feel free to include me in your friends.

Instagram: knittingpipeline

Twitter: knittingline





Pipeliner Notes

Thanks to everyone who  has been in touch with me recently

From AngelMum 3

PS Fish Lips Kiss Heel -

First, if anyone isn’t aware, Patty Joy (designer of FLK Heel) is battling an aggressive Breast Cancer - you can read her discussing it in her Ravelry Group http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/sox-therapy/3249787/1-25 so many positive thoughts for Patty Joy!

2nd - When you do your template for your foot - use something like a plastic placemat (found at the $1 store) its so much more durable than the cardboard I used (a friend gave me that tip when she saw my poor template!)

Pipeliners, the Fish Lips Kiss Heel is a major sock game changer for many.

Let’s show our support for Patty Joy by purchasing her Fish Lips Kiss Heel $1 Ravelry Download for ourselves and our friends.

I would like to gift the pattern to at least 10 people so if you want to send me names I’ll gift the pattern. Please make sure they do not already have the pattern in their Ravelry library. Also if you are going to the Georgia Retreat we may have a break out session to make our foot templates and everyone who participates will need to have their own copy of the heel pattern. (I’ll bring the plastic placemats.)

On Sock Relative Velocity (Episode 235)—a somewhat controversial subject.

From Knitting Daddy

Agreed on the Simple Skyp socks. I won a blue ribbon at the state fair with the Simple Skyp Socks I knit for my dad a couple of years ago. The pattern keeps your interest, and the resulting sock is something at dudes can wear without feeling like they’re wearing a pattern designed for a lady. The pattern also looks great as a lady’s sock as well. It truly is unisex.

Dad wears a size 12 (I think) and I wear a size 13, but our feet are close enough that I don’t make adjustments in my sock knitting for either of us. Those are big feet, definitely bigger than the average man’s foot. For us, I cast on 72 stitches. Compared to a 60-stitch cast-on, if everything else were equal, those extra 12 stitches represent a 20% increase in the number of stitches. That’s not an epic difference, but it’s not insignificant. Then, there’s the matter of extra length for the foot. Between the two socks, a few more inches of foot knitting isn’t epic, either. The thing about knitting socks for Dad that really sticks out to me is his preference for a long leg. A 6” leg/cuff (which my Mom is fine with) just feels to short to Dad. I tend to side with Dad on that one, too. So that’s a couple more inches in the leg to knit. All in all, I definitely feel that knitting socks for Dad or me is a noticeably larger investment of knitting effort than knitting a pair for Mom. But I don’t mind it. It’s certainly not enough to scare me away from it. And the fact that Dad and I have large feet, while Mom’s are closer to average, come in to play.

For me, my biggest concern knitting men’s socks is running out of yarn. A 400 yard put-up almost always means I’ll be playing yarn chicken, so I’m always looking for 420 or 440 yard put-ups if I’m knitting for Dad or me. Additionally, I’ve switched to always doing contrasting cuffs, heels, and toes for us. The heels and toes is a no-brainer for extending the mileage for the sock. The contrasting cuff allows me to get another couple of inches on the leg without worrying that I’ll run out of yarn before I run out of sock. I’ve picked up a couple of balls of solid (natural and black. and maybe another neutral-ish color?) sock yarn that I just keep around for heels/toes/cuffs.

This is a great discussion, Paula! I’m not sure I’m 100% on-board with your assessment, but I’m definitely close. And I certainly encourage everyone to knit up loving socks for the men in their lives -- if the men in their lives will appreciate it appropriately. ;-)

MindfulWilliam responded to KnittingDaddy

Good write up :)

When I buy sock yarn I always go for 400+ yards regardless of who I’m knitting for. Most of the socks I knit are 7.5 in the leg (including the cuff) and the women I knit for have never complained about that. On the other hand my nieces have at times asked for much longer legs (now that is a chore). I just don’t play “yarn chicken” LOL I’m perfectly happy to have left over yarn for other toes, blanket squares, toys.. the list goes on and on.

I guess “for me” I really don’t much care if something is more work or not. I either want to knit that item for that person or I don’t and I like knitting for all my friends and family. I like to knit LOL ;) So the “work” concept just doesn’t enter my perspective.

Well state, both of you. My main point is that whether the sock is 20% or 30% or even 50% more knitting it is the mindset of the knitter that changes the game. Someone said her husband only wants black socks and to that I say, Forget it! We all have our limits and I would not knit a black sock for my most beloved.

Angelmum3

I want to knit socks - I can knit shawls, but socks… I’m on my 5th pair I think, and I have 5 stories and problems, and challenges… I wear a size 12 - I switched to top up and “tandem” knitting (knit 2 socks on 2 different needles) I found the FLK heel has really helped me customize my socks…
(I’ve knit socks on size 2 needles, size 1 needles, size 1 1/2 needles and believe it or not size 0! Using a needle gauge showed me it was a zero but the package said it was a 1!)
but….

I fall asleep! Seriously, I’m knitting socks, and then… snore, I wake up! silly really, but there it is, the reason it takes me so long to knit a pair of socks - plus I’ve relegated it to ‘car knitting” but I decided to watch the clock and it takes me so long to knit that heel! 3 hours I think…

and because it takes me so long to knit the socks and because I have so few socks. I don’t wear my socks. Sometimes I may wear them for a few hours at a knitting retreat… I hope to get to the point where I can knit a pair of socks a month. Right now it takes me at least 3 months!

and I know it doesn’t take me that long to knit a shawl with the same yardage! So, the myth is mine! in my mind!! grin
Knitting Pipeline is now on Tunein thanks to Leslie aka Tinkerer who listenes via her

Events
I am going to Curioushandmade’s Country Manor Retreat in Cumbria! March 14-17. I’m going to tie this in with a visit to my good friend in Troon, on the west coast of Scotland and then to Edinburgh Yarn Festival. At the Edinburgh Yarn Festival there is a Podcast Lounge sponsored by Blacker Yarns and organized by Louise of KnitBritish Podcast.

I’ll be in the Podcast Lounge for the Podcaster meet up on Friday 1-2 PM and probably on Sat as well.

Nature Notes

I’m watching the feeders at dusk today on January 19. A male cardinal and two nuthatches are getting in their last meal of the day to fortify them for the cold night ahead. Our temperatures have been sub-zero lately so it isn’t easy out there for the birds or any other animals. A very smart White-breasted nuthatch is upside down on the suet feeder getting in some fat. He was just chased away by a Downy Woodpecker.

Last week Sarah asked why birds weren’t coming to her new feeders that she had put out on December 28. I was stumped because I know Sarah’s yard and bird habitat. She is a gardener and there is some cover there for the birds in trees both in her front and back yards. The feeders and seed are new so it is unlikely that there is mold. I did a little research and found out a few possibilities. I’ve referenced some of the sources in the show notes.




·        It can take a month for birds to find a feeder.

·        Birds locate food by sight so make sure the feeders are easily seen from perches nearby. Bronwyn hit on a tip last week when she said to leave a trail of seeds. You can scatter some seed on the ground below the feeders to attract ground feeding birds and then the others will see them and perhaps follow suit.

·        Watch the level of the seed in the feeder to see if it is going down at all. Perhaps the birds are feeding at a time when you aren’t looking outside.

·        There might be a predator in the area that is keeping the birds away. We have a Cooper’s Hawk that stalks our feeders. Last week we saw him capture and kill a Downy woodpecker after driving the woodpecker into a window. Another possible predator is a neighborhood cat. (I know Sarah doesn’t have a cat.) If your neighbor’s cat is stalking your feeders you could ask if it is possible to put a bell on the cat’s collar. We had this feline issue at our old house but it didn’t stop the birds from visiting the feeders. The upside was that our neighbor’s cats they kept the chipmunk and mice populations at bay. One time I saw chipmunks scampering about our front porch. One of the cats went under there and I never saw a chipmunk after that.

·        When you start new feeders only put a small amount of seed in the feeders so that it doesn’t get wet and moldy while you are waiting for birds to feed. If it has been several weeks without any action you might want to clean out the feeders and start over.

·        Make sure the seed is fresh. We buy ours from Forest Park Nature Center. We know it is excellent quality without a lot of fillers and the dedicated bird lovers shop there so there is a turnover.

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.""
--Edith Sitwell


Needle Notes

What is good sock yarn? The answer will vary from knitter to knitter. Some prefer all wool but many prefer a bit of nylon for strength. Some prefer pure wool and others prefer Superwash but often hand wash anyway or gently machine wash and lay flat or hang to dry. All fingering weight yarn is not best suited for socks.

I like a round, plied yarn with a bit of nylon but not too much. I don’t generally like sock yarn with more than 15% nylon, 20% max.

Sock yarn usually comes in 100g skeins with varying yardage. You often hear knitters exclaim that the yardage is fantastic in a brand of sock. One thing to note is that when you get more yardage per 100g skein you will have a thinner yarn and might need to go down a needle size, particularly for socks. I like sock yarn with less than 400 yd per skein. When it gets above 400 yds it is often too thin for me to get a tight enough gauge even on size 0 needles; however that same skein will most likely make a great shawl or shawlette.

Mae by Melissa LaBarre from Wool Baby

Aziza by Melissa LaBarre from Wool Baby


Bebe modeling Mae Cardi in Quince & Co Chickadee Split Pea Colorway

The back of Mae Cardi is cute too. 


Aziza as modeled by my favorite grapefruit


Retreat Notes

Special thanks go out to the sponsors of our retreat. It is because of their generous support that we are able to put on a great retreat at such a low cost to you.

Major Sponsors:

The Fiber Universe
305 SW Water Street, Peoria, IL 61602
309-673-5659

The Fiber Universe provides quality products, service and instruction for fiber enthusiasts. They stock yarn from Cascade, Plymouth, Skacel, Three Irish Girls, Kauni, Jojoland, Claudia Handpaints, and more.  Fibers for spinning and felting are available from local farms.  The Fiber Universe accepts orders over the phone and offers free shipping on orders over $50.  Check out their website, www.thefiberuniverse.com or give them a call today at 309.673.5659.

Klose Knit
311 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana, IL, 61801
217 344-2123

Fine Fibers and Friendly Service is the motto of Klose Knit and that is exactly what you’ll find in our store in Urbana IL. We have a great selection of yarns including Rowan yarns and patterns, Blue Sky Alpacas, Art Yarns, Tahki, Dream in Color, Malabrigo, and Spud and Cloe.  Sock yarns include Opal, Austermann Step, Trekking, Paca Peds; the list is forever growing and changing.  We hope you will find the

Klose Knit is a quick hop off the I-74 in the heart of Urbana IL.  311 W. Springfield Ave.
Urbana, Illinois 61801 (across from Strawberry Fields).

Ewe-Nique Yarns, Etc.
110 E Queenwood Rd, Morton, IL, 61550
309 266-9398

Ewe-nique Yarns is a full-service yarn shop located at 110 E Queenwood Rd, Morton IL.  Among the items they carry are a full line of Addi needles, Chiagoo, and Knit Picks.  They also stock Malabrigo, Madelinetosh, Frog Tree, Elsabeth Lavold, Debbie Bliss, Claudia Handpainted, Louisa Harding, Rowan, Sublime and dozens more.

127 Peddler’s Way, Washington IL 61571

Peddler’s Way Quilt Co. is dedicated to preserving the old fashioned arts of sewing, embroidery and quilting. Located just off historic Washington Square near Peoria, Illinois, we specialize in quilting fabrics, yarns, embroidery supplies and notions.

Next week I’ll be highlighting another major sponsor.

Thank you to our vendor sponsors!

Yarn Geek Fibers
Hopkins Studio

Other vendors:
javajennie dba Kitchen Counter Crafter
juri dba Happy-Go-Lucky Yarn
thefatsquirrel dba Fat Squirrel Fibers
DramaticKnits dba Leading Men Fiber Arts
PrairieGirlDanie dba One Twisted Tree
ponkie dba Another Crafty Girl
JoAnnaSpring dba Knit Spin Farm

Sock Blank Kits from Daizie Knits


This kit includes a sock blank from Daizie Knits and a project bag from RainStorm Studios that features a vinyl decal from TheSnarkyLlama. You can find all the info here.

The cost of the kit is $56. Preorders will be taken through January 29th.

About Me

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I play the Great Highland Pipes, knit, observe nature, and read. To earn my keep I am an Independent Longaberger National Sales Leader. My name on Ravelry is PrairiePiper.