New Skeins on the Block

Hello??  Anybody out there…?  Shew, I am so sorry all TLMYC blog readers…I have been such a terrible blogger over the past couple of weeks!  I won’t go into the details of why I’ve been away, but let’s just say using the term “busy” to describe my recent life would be an understatement…  (Busy in such a good way, though it has been exhausting…)  If you’re still around after my hiatus, I thank you.  Life happens, right?  But I promise to do better in the future.

Anyway, what have I been up to that’s kept me away for so long?  Well, in just a few words, I have been invited to participate in a Christmas craft/gift show at a local-to-me boutique!  I’m thrilled to be able to participate, but I’ve been crafting like a lunatic in order to get ready.  (Not to mention eating, sleeping, and my day job…)  Also keeping me up at night, I’ve been dyeing like crazy!  A week or so ago, I realized that I was doing so well in my Etsy sales, that I was quickly running low on inventory and needed to rectify that STAT!   (Thank you wonderful TLMYC patrons for this awesome problem!!  :) )  So I went on a bit of a spree…got a new yarn base (hello Comfy DK!), fulfilled a few custom orders, and launched into some brand spankin’ new colorways.  Would you like to see?


 

Starting in on the winter (but not Christmas) themed colors, first I created ‘Evergreen’ and ‘Snowy Pine’…  These turned out beautiful, with ‘Snowy Pine’ being shades of spruce green on a white base, and ‘Evergreen’ a lovely, deep tonal green.

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‘Snowy Pine’ on Wanderer Sock

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‘Evergreen’ on Glitter Sock

Also, some of my favorites of these batches, I created a couple of new “splashy” color ways to accompany ‘Seaweed’ , including ‘Berry Sundae’, ‘Ember’, ‘Grapeness’, and (an unexpected one) ‘Clown Car’!

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‘Berry Sundae’ on Wanderer Sock

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Ember’ on Wanderer Sock

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‘Grapeness’ on Wanderer Sock

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‘Clown Car’ on Wanderer Sock

Last, I experimented with a couple new tonals…’Desert Rose’ and ‘Horizon’.  These two are actually somewhat similar — shades of red, pink, and some orange — however, they are different enough to merit differing names.  ‘Desert Rose’ involves more shades of pink, whereas ‘Horizon’ has more of an orange-ish hue.  I call them my fraternal twins.  :P  Different, but both lovely.  (“They’re not the same, they’re similar….”  Gosh.  Ha!)

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‘Desert Rose’ on Glitter Sock

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‘Horizon’ on Glitter Sock

In addition to these new-kids-on-the-block, I’ve also dyed up and listed some oldies-but-goodies on my new base: Comfy DK!  The ones currently listed are ‘Police Box’, “Bowties are Cool’, and ‘Exploding TARDIS’.

So, clearly I’ve been hitting the dyepot hard over the last couple of weeks…  I mean, I feel like I have.  Whew!  Very happy with (most) of my outcomes, though.  :)  Most of these new colors were created as experiments to see if I could come up with some new regular colorways to feature.  The only ones I’ve so far decided to keep as regulars are ‘Berry Sundae’, ‘Desert Rose’, ‘Snowy Pine’, and ‘Evergreen’, therefore, many of these are OOAK skeins that will likely not be repeated…so if you see one you like, grab it quick!  ;)


Well…that’s just about the extent of my dyeing update for, oh, probably a while…(not.)  I’d love to tell you that I’m a machine and, in addition to dyeing all of these and getting ready for the craft show, I’ve also knit up 5 pairs of socks, 3 hats, and a sweater, but alas…that is not the case….  The state of my knitting right now…?

Socktober

Left: Vanilla Latte Socks in TLMYC’s ‘Sanderson Sisters’ Glitter Sock

Right: 6×2 ribbed socks in KnitsomniacDesign’s ‘It’s a Dead Man’s Party’ Sparkle Sock

Both of these are Halloween colorways, and first socks…..let’s just say I failed Socktober.  (womp womp)  But oh well!  Plenty of time to knit during winter, right?  Well, that’s what I’ve been up to lately!  Again, so sorry for the absence, but thanks for stopping by…and please let me know what you think of my new colorways in the comments!  :)

What are your current crafty endeavors?

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Outside Inspiration

Sometimes when I’m at the dye-pot, I can’t hardly move fast enough because of all of the colorway ideas I’m bouncing around.  But other times…I need a little bit of help.  I’m sure many of you out there are just as obsessed with Pinterest as I am.  (Be honest.  No judgement.)  While a lot of time is wasted around the world on this most addictive website, Pinterest is actually a pretty useful tool sometimes.  When dyeing, I use Pinterest quite a bit to get ideas about what colors might go together well, colors I might not have thought of, and general inspiration for new colorways.  Here is an example of what I mean:

 

 

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1. This gentle mix of light blue, white, orchid, dark pink, and green would make a beautiful spring colorway.

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2. From this photo, I’m picturing a rich, vibrant tonal of blues: pale, almost white all the way to deep navy, with just the slightest hint of aqua green.

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3. A summer color — light & dark aqua/teal with bits of pale sky blue and white.  Gorgeous.

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4. A little less typical than paintings or photos, but anything can be color inspiration!  In this I see a color of bright yellow & teal (obviously), with possibly some white and even a light brown.

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5. This one is a little bit more unexpected, but would make for a wonderful, bright sunset colorway.  I see pink, purple, yellow, orange, blue, green, and black.  Perhaps a striping colorway?

Finding external inspiration is actually something I’ve struggled with as I’ve become a more prolific creator.  Can I really say I’m creative if I got the idea for a colorway from a photo or piece of art?  Obviously, the answer is unequivocally yes.  Being creative doesn’t mean that everything you make has to come directly from your brain.  Creative people constantly look for bits of inspiration around them to feed their creative process.  Anything you make is a product of your creativity…regardless of what or who gave you the idea.

Yarn dyeing is such a unique process, yet definitely a creative one.  Sometimes the colorway inspiration comes first, and sometimes I just let my creativity go wild and figure out what the color resembles later.  Both ways are correct.  All that matters is that I’m making.

Where do you get your creative inspiration?

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Author’s Note: All photos from Pinterest.com.  I was not compensated for this post — Pinterest is simply a tool used to assist my creative process.

((Want to follow my Dyeing Inspiration Pinterest board? Click HERE.))

Currently…

Currently

FEELING…

Exhausted — A recent trip involving a decent time change plus a few headache-inducing drizzly days has left me aching for a nap.  |  Excited — As I’ve mentioned (many times), fall is my absolute favorite time of year, and I’m so excited for all of the autumn-y things I get to enjoy living here in beautiful Kentucky.  |  Frustrated — Job hunting is hard, y’all.  |  Thankful — Despite all of the day-to-day irritations, my life is pretty sweet.  :)

KNITTING…

Ritzy Mittens — This is actually a fingerless mitt pattern, but I have enough fingerless mitts.  I need MITTENS.  I’m halfway through the pair currently and have made quite a few mods, (which I’ll post on my project page once these are finished).  |  Dead Man’s Party Ribbed Socks — Gotta have at least one pair of socks OTN.  These are easy, no-nonsense 6×2 ribbed socks out of It’s a Dead Man’s Party Sparkle Sock yarn by Knitsomniac Designs.  On hindsight, this yarn may be too luxurious for socks…  |  Effortless Cardigan — Still slogging through…sweaters are BIG!  (Ha.)  |  Sanderson Sisters Vanilla Socks — This is a Halloween colorway that I dyed up a few weeks ago, inspired by Sarah, Mary, and Winefred Sanderson from my favorite movie ever, Hocus Pocus.  I only made two of these and don’t plan to make any more, (at least not this year).  And I just love it so much that I just had to snag one for myself.  :)  (Unfortunately, this colorway is currently sold out, but there are several other Halloween options still available in my shop!)  |  Honey Cowl — Okay, not actually knitting this yet, but seriously planning to cast on ASAP.  Everyone else in the world has knit a Honey Cowl but me, and I have the most perfect yarn.  So yeah, it’s happening.

WATCHING…

Hocus Pocus — On repeat.  It’s that time of year folks!  My family seems baffled by my sheer dedication to this movie…but, hey, I’m a 90s kid.  They just don’t get me….. |  How to Get Away with Murder — Absolutely looooving this one right now.  Such an exciting, fast-paced drama…I’m hooked.  |  Doctor Who — Still not entirely on board with 12’s crotchety old man Doctor…but working on it.  |  Gracepoint — Umm, hello.  I know David Tennant’s American accent is kind of laughable, but is anyone going to mention his hair?!  Ha.

READING…

The Heretic’s Daughter — Just started this one, but seriously into it already.  Perfect fall reading.  |  The Maze Runner — I saw the movie of this book in theaters a few weeks ago & was blown away.  Can’t wait to see how much more detail there is in the book.  |  Stardust — Just started this one as well…  I’ve only read one other Neil Gaiman book before and I definitely need more experience with this classic author.  |  Voyager —  I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Voyager (the third in the Outlander series) for about 2.5 months now…which is way longer than I ever spend on any one book, (even hugely long ones like Voyager).  I do consider myself an Outlander fan, but there are a few parts of the series that just grate on my last nerve.  (Mostly how dramatic and irrational Claire can be and the tendency for these stories to drag in the middle.)  But I love the series as a whole so much, that I’m going to try and push through the last half of this monstrous novel because I know the ending will be great.  (Only 22 more hours of listening to go…oy…….)

DYEING…

Comfy DK base — Decided to add a new yarn base to my Etsy shop!  This time I’m branching out from sock yarn to include a new 4-ply DK base!  I’m having a great time playing around with colorways on this new squishy base, (including some Exploding TARDIS action!), so be on the lookout for DK additions to the shop soon!!

STALKING…

Flying Duchess Shawl — I’m such a sucker for multi-colored/striped shawls.  And navy.  And eyelets.  …just all of it.  |  Kaweah Hat — I’ve talked about my love for this pattern before, but seriously craving to cast this on ASAP.  Anyone have suggestions about the perfect forest green for this?  |  Hot Cider Pullover — Not even halfway through my first sweater and already stalking others…but this one looks so cozy.  WANT.  |  Caprio — Okay, I am fully aware that I would absolutely HATE knitting this as scarves make me want to scratch my eyes out from boredom…but it’s so pretty!  I will power through the monotony one of these days.  |  Freesia — I can’t tell you how many beautiful Freesia shawls I’ve been stalking recently as you would seriously judge me…  But if I didn’t have so many garter stitch shawls already, I would have already made three of these.  This pattern suits me to a T.

What are you up to currently?

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Halloween Hermiones

 

 

Whew!  Finally we have a new FO!  It feels like it’s been months…  Guess that’s what happens when you cast on ALL THE THINGS.  Ha!

I’m pretty much an inexplicable sock knitter.  Based on my knitting personality, I should hate knitting socks.  (i.e., I am generally a product-knitter, and socks are on such teeny-tiny needles so they take foreeeeeever…)  But I’m addicted…go figure.

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Hand-made teapot sock blockers from Purrfectly Catchy Designs — purchased at Stitches Midwest 2013

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably heard more than enough about these socks…  They’re knit out of my own hand-dyed yarn — Wanderer Sock in the ‘Sweet Treat’ candy corn colorway.  A few weeks ago I was Jones-ing for a pair of Halloween socks, and this yarn fit the bill perfectly.

This pair, as you may be able to tell, was knit using the Hermione’s Everyday Sock pattern.  (Hence the name Halloween Hermiones.)  I’ve made three pairs so far and would recommend this pattern to any sock knitter (newbie or otherwise) that doesn’t want to have to think too much while knitting…they’re quick and easy, yet still interesting.  (Plus I love Harry Potter, so…  :P )  I was so excited about finishing these that I didn’t even get any FO objects before they were worn…(these photos were taken after washing/drying.)

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Photo from Instagram

They’ve been finished for about five days and I’ve already worn them several times and washed/dryed them.  (I was thrilled with how well the color held in the washer — I’m paranoid when it comes to machine washing knits…even if they’re super wash.)

(P.S. A quick little plug for my TLMYC Etsy shop — if you’re interested in making some Halloween Hermiones for yourself, my Wanderer Sock ‘Sweet Treat’ yarn is on sale until October 31.  No coupon necessary!)

I can tell already that these are going to get a looooot of love this fall and winter.  :)  Onto the next pair!

What’s your favorite sock pattern?

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Fall Reading List

In my reading life, autumn is really the only time of year where I have a preference regarding the type of book I want to read.  Spring, summer, and winter, anything goes..but in fall, I want to read spooky books.  Books about witches, New England, and creepy crawlies are where it’s at in this season.

For over a month now, I’ve been knee-deep in these Halloween reads, and I’m already planning for next year.  If you’re a Halloween reader like me, here are some suggestions from the books I’m most looking forward to:

Halloween TBR List

  1. Dracula by Bram Stoker
    I’m so awful about reading classic novels…but what a more perfect time to read Bram Stoker’s quintessential Halloween novel than now?
  2. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
    Though this is a children’s book, this vibrant read about ghosts adopting orphaned Bod sounds like the peeeerfect Halloween read.  Plus, it’s Neil Gaiman, so…  :P
  3. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
    Another classic Gaiman book that I should have read already.  Behind the times…that’s me!  Ha.
  4. The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent
    This witchy novel is next up on my TBR list for this year.  Written by a descendent of one of the first women accused, tried, and hanged as a witch in Salem, this haunting story of Martha Carrier is sure to be a fascinating look into history.
  5. The Afflicted Girls by Suzy Witten
    Anything about Salem and/or witch trials screams fall reading to me.  This supernatural spin on a tragically fascinating era of history is perfect for getting into the Halloween spirit.
  6. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
    I’ve been jonesing to read this one for years, but never actually gotten around to it.  This lighthearted classic Halloween read about orphaned sisters and their crazy aunts would be perfect for snuggling up under a blanket with on a chilly October evening.  (Must locate my long-lost copy…)
  7. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
    This classic horror/thriller novel is a must-read for me…eventually.  I’ve heard amazing things about this spooky read, but I may have to work myself up to this haunted story.

My favorite autumn read (as of now) is The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe.  But I’m always looking for my new favorite spooky book…

What’s your favorite thing to read in the fall?

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PS: Connect with me on Goodreads here!  :)

Indy Crafter Highlight: Freckle Face Monday

Hello hello!  Happy Thursday!  It’s a beautiful — if warm — autumn day, and I’m excited to announce my first regular segment on the TLMYC blog: Indy Crafter Highlight!

As an Etsy shop owner and maker of things myself, I have a high appreciation for everything handmade.  Handmade things capture a piece of the creator’s mind and soul — a physical representation of the power of human creativity.  Owning something that another human poured their time, passion, and creative spirit into cannot compare to mass produced materials.  (As I’ve learned all too well this week, creative labor can be just as exhausting as physical labor…and should be treated as equal effort.)  Additionally, I definitely understand the desire to want to not only share what you create, but make a living off of doing what you love — that was my intention upon starting TLMYC, and is still my ultimate goal.

As Etsy is inundated with shops and products of all types, it is crucial — for shops to get noticed — that they get outside attention and feedback.  Through recognition from bloggers, podcasters, etc., Etsy shops can get themselves out in the public view and, hopefully, make a name for themselves among all of the rest.  I could go into the academic definitions of this phenomenon, but I think we all understand the principle that shoppers are much more likely to purchase from a shop they’ve heard of than one they have not.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably heard a little about the bloggers and podcasters that have supported me so far — another HUGE thanks to all of you!  :) The help and recognition I’ve received from these fellow creators has made a world of difference in the growth of my own Etsy shop.  It’s a “leg up,” so to speak, in the expansion of my small business and I’m incredibly grateful for it.  But without the help of these fellow creators, I would not have been able to grow in this way.  As such, it’s crucial that we, as creators who understand the value of creating, support our fellow *makers*…whether through patronage in their shops, or just kind words and recommendations.  SO, in order to help “pay it forward,” I’ve created the segment ‘Indy Crafter Highlight’ in order to feature hand-crafters working for themselves to share what they’ve created.


IndyCrafterHighlight My plan for this segment is to feature one online shop/creator selling handmade items each month.  Whenever possible, I will try to focus on shops that I have purchased from before, in order to give personal feedback about their products — and these may or may not be knitty related, depending on what I find.  :)  Each monthly highlight will feature a short summary of the shop, who they are, and what they make, and a few products that I think stand out the most.  My hope is that, through this segment, I can help other independent crafters and Etsy shop owners further explore what they do. So — up first: FreckleFaceMonday! Freckle Face Monday This new-to-me Etsy shop is one I ran across on my somewhat frantic search for the *perfect* flannel scarf for fall.  Run by sisters Angie & Kay, FreckleFaceMonday features loads of cozy hand-made scarves, in a variety of plaid and tartan patterns. Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 2.51.36 PM

After deliberating for a week about which color I wanted to get, I broke down and got two.  I couldn’t resist.

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I mean, they’re so different…I had to get both, right??  :P

These just came in the mail to me today, and let me tell you, they’re an instant favorite.  Both are infiniti-scarves, and just the right length to be comfy, but not claustrophobic.  (This is a big deal for me…too-tight neck things are a constant struggle.)  Additionally, these are wooooonderfully made!  These ladies must be master seamstresses because these scarves are perfectly finished.  (Where did the seam go?  How do they do it??)  Yet another big plus. IMG_9182 Both of these lovely scarves are made out of the softest flannel.  As I’ve mentioned before, it makes me constantly sad that I cannot wear flannel everyday in the fall and winter…but with these beauties, I definitely can.

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Finally, the perfect fall accessory.  :)

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Alas, a tad blurry…such is the struggle of the self-timer feature…

Ahh, I’m in love…  Go check out FreckleFaceMonday for more beautiful flannel scarf options.  Thank you for your support of independent crafters!  :)

What’s your favorite fall accessory?

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Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post.  All opinions presented are my own.  Some photos courtesy of the FreckleFaceMonday Etsy shop. If you have an Etsy shop or other online store selling your handmade goods and would like to be featured in an Indy Crafter Highlight post, please email me at thelittlemountyarnco@gmail.com!

Creative Overload…and a Trip to the Pumpkin Patch!

Well…it looks like the creative fire I’ve been burning for the past few weeks is down to a mere smolder.  As you all have seen a hint of, I’ve been pretty much *killing it* creatively over the past few weeks.  But it looks like I’ve reached my limit and crashed…hard.  *think roller coaster racing to the top of large hill, running out of track, and plummeting toward the ground*  (Okay, that might be a liiiiiittle bit extreme…but does this creative burn-out ever happen to you?  It’s a bummer.)

Anyway, on that front, I’m taking a bit of a break from any hard-core “making” endeavors in order to let my creative brain re-charge.  But goodness knows I can’t let a day of this lovely fall season go to waste, so I’m striving to indulge in the autumn weather in other ways…like a trip to the pumpkin patch!  :)

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*Pumpkins as far as the eye can see….bliss.*

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Crappy iPhone shot of me & my favorite pumpkin…ha!

Have I mentioned I love fall??  :)

What’s your favorite fall activity?

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Goals for Fall

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve spent so much of my life in school, or because autumn just makes my heart sing, but fall always feels like such a fresh start for me.  (Come to think of it, this may have a lot to do with looking like a real person again in the cooler weather, rather than a sweaty, awkward mess of t-shirts and running shorts…)

The dog days of summer are finally over and outdoor things finally start to be fun again, (i.e., hello apple picking and pumpkin patches!).  Even though everything is *technically* dying, the crisp air feels like a re-birth to me.  (Am I the only one that feels this way?)

In order to get the most out of this most beloved season, I’ve put together a list of my top goals for fall:

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Autumn is the one time of year that I actually adore being outside.  Hopefully by setting these goals and making time to sit in the cool, crisp air, I will get to enjoy every last bit of this wonderful season before winter shows its brutal face…

What are your goals for fall?

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Colorful Quilting

Well hello again!  We’re at another Wednesday!  Halfway through the week and to our first “official” fall weekend!  I hope you all have hay rides, corn mazes, and apple picking fun planned for this weekend.  I know I do.  :)

I did take a little bit of a blogging break this week…  I meant to post on Monday after I got back from Orlando, but — other than a few hours at my day job — I pretty much slept the whole day.  Man, I don’t know how you all do it!  One full day at Disney had me wiped, let alone multiple days in a row!  Plus, whew, I forgot how hot it is there…I’m not cut out for high-intensity Disney vacationing.  Ha!  I did have a great time, though.  Like I mentioned, as a former Cast Member, Disney World will always have a special place in my heart.  Just maybe next time I’ll visit in the winter…  ;)

So, I do have a very exciting sort-of, kind-of FO to share with you today.  The almost chilly weather we’ve been getting here in Kentucky has got me in hyperdrive thinking about all of the things I need to prepare for what is bound to be a cold, snowy winter.  (We’ve already had the mitten discussion…)

A couple of weeks ago — on a whim — I bought fabric to make a Halloween quilt, thanks to the enabling of my fellow crafty Instagrammers.  I chose a super easy non-pattern to ensure that I would actually have this done in time for Halloween.  (You’ll never believe this, but sometimes I procrastinate…  *gasp*)  And wouldn’t you know, my sewing mojo kicked in full force, and I made this quilt top start-to-finish in about 3 days.  (It’s only a throw size, though…so this is probably only impressive speed to me.)

Have a look-see:

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It’s a pretty simple 8-piece rectangle pattern, with no real rhyme or reason to the patch placement.  Let’s just say I let my creative juices decide the layout.  As you can see, it’s just the quilt top as of now.  I don’t have the skill or equipment to quilt it myself currently, so I’m going to take it to the local fabric store for quilting.  I’m really excited about how it turned out!  It’s random, fun, colorful, and spooky.  Can’t wait to cuddle up in it this fall!  :)

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Had a little sneaky friend trying to spy on my photo shoot.  Cutie.  :P

Lastly, I want to send out a big thank you to the wonderful Danie and Susie of the Prairie Girls Knit & Spin Podcast for their lovely compliments about my yarn on their most recent episode!  It’s always such a treat to hear that people truly enjoy what I make.  :)  Also, if you’re a listener of their podcast, you can be on the look-out for a skein of my ‘Police Box’ Glitter Sock yarn as a prize in their Legend-Prairie Contest soon!  (PS, Legend-Prairie…how cute is that?!)

How is your week going?

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Things I’m Loving This Week

Weekends are a great time for mindless Internet browsing, don’t you think?  For me, it’s the one time of the week where I can just veg in front of the computer, not doing anything productive, and not caring.  (Not that I don’t do this at other times of the week, but at least I don’t feel as guilty on weekends.)

Currently, I’m likely out lounging by the pool at my Disney resort…..and browsing Pinterest or Etsy on my phone.  (This is a scheduled post and I can’t tell the future [yet]…but that’s probably what’s happening).  But, hey, it’s Saturday, and Saturdays are not meant to be heavy thinking days.  So go ahead and give your brain a rest too, and take this opportunity to browse through some of the newest pretty wonders of the Internet with me.  :)

Here’s some of the things I’m loving this week:

HocusPocusPillow

We’ve talked before about my love for Hocus Pocus…so obviously I’m obsessed with this Sarah Sanderson quote pillow.  It’d be perfect for use, mmmm…all year round.  :P  Now how can I make this for myself…..

CandyCornMousse

I just can‘t wait to try out this Candy Corn Cheesecake Mousse!  A combination of my favorite stuff: cheesecake, halloween, and cute things.  AND IT LOOKS SO EASY.  Nom.

Police Box Mitts

I don’t knit nearly enough mittens…this becomes a severe problem every winter, and though I always vow to make more “next year”, I never do…  I guess I just don’t find knitting mittens “fun” enough.  But I’m just smitten with these Police Box Mitts — (surprise, surprise…) — so maybe mittens will actually happen this year.  (Though, being honest…probably not.  Ha!)

Flannel

I am just fascinated by this unique, dressy way of wearing flannel in the fall.  Flannel is one of my favorite fall go-tos, but it always seems way to casual for anything except the grocery store…  But this look is classic, comfy, and chic enough to wear even to work.  Bliss.  :)

The Heretic's Daughter

This time of year always makes me crave a good read about the Salem Witch Trials.  This book — The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent — is a definite must-read for the season.  Based on a true story (and written by a descendant), this tale is about a young girl and her mother fighting for their lives at the beginning of one of the most fascinating, devastating times in American history.

What are you loving this week?

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