Spring Knitting

After a brief vacation from blogging, I’m back (well, at least for today).  Been quite busy with kids, knitting, etc, so blogging fell by the wayside for a bit.

Nicer weather has finally arrived, after a cool, wet spring here in Indianapolis.  I hear conflicting predictions on what the summer will bring, I’m hoping for cooler than average – last year was murderous.

Been knitting a lot (to put it mildly) and there are a lot of fun new items in the Etsy store.  We’ve been knitting many things that will work for spring and cool summer nights, like this pale yellow open weave shawl.  I love this primrose color, it’s perfect for women with delicate coloring, and 100% organic cotton makes it super soft.  This is an asymmetrical triangle and it’s super versatile, wear it as a wrap or scarf, or fold it and wrap for a sarong.  It dries in about 30 minutes if it gets wet, so it’s great for the beach.

Primrose Shawl
Primrose Shawl

We found a great buy on Noro Nobori yarn this spring, so we’ve done several different things with it.  I knit this scarf;  think this is the perfect pattern to show this yarn’s unusual texture and beautiful color changes.  This one reminds me of a zinnia garden in the summer sunshine.  Cheryl, my business partner sees fireworks.  How about you?  What do you see?

Zinnia Garden Scarf
Zinnia Garden Scarf

Cheryl knit the yarn in a different colorway, this one makes me think of a spring rainbow, cheesy I know – but how would you describe it?

This scarf is just right for women with fair, golden complexions – what we might call “Spring” or “Dressing Your Truth Type 1”.  I plan to write more about this color typing stuff in a future  post.

Spring Rainbow Scarf
Spring Rainbow Scarf

Cheryl also knit this black fishnet type rectangular scarf from organic cotton.  We found a fabulous buy on Mirasol Samp’a, 100% organically grown and dyed cotton, so we snapped up a lot – watch for lots of cool new things to appear in the shop.

I love this pattern, it’s so easy to wear, it makes a nice soft scarf, a shawl or wrap and a perfect sarong.  Do I even need to talk about the possibilities for a sexy Halloween costume?

Black Organic Cotton Scarf/Wrap/Sarong
Black Organic Cotton Scarf/Wrap/Sarong

I’d love to hear what kind of hand knits you’d like to see in our Etsy shop for spring and summer.  Please let me know through the comments if you have other ideas or know of patterns that would make useful (and beautiful) hand knit items for warmer weather.

Winter Grapes and Making Choices

I just finished a new hand spun yarn.  It makes me think of fat and juicy red, purple and green grapes!

Grapes Hand Spun Yarn

I’m really pleased with it.  It was very difficult for me to decide how to spin it.  I was torn between long color changes (think Noro!), or something more barber pole-y.  Barber pole won, as you see.  I just love the bright contrasts I get with this type of yarn.  It’s a very traditional “hand spun” look.

I spun this on my Ashford Traveller and I really loved working with these colors once I finally made a choice on how to do it.

I have a bit of a problem making choices.  It’s quite difficult for me to choose one thing from a long list of options.  It’s hard for me to let go of all the other possibilities, and that’s what has to happen when I choose one thing.

I used to have a very, very hard time in restaurants with huge menus.  It’s much easier now since I just look at the vegan friendly choices.  And, in Indiana, it’s usually a very limited number of items on any menu – so that makes it much easier for me.

I find I rarely eat out anymore; I used to love to dine out, but it isn’t the same now, I sit there looking at the menu thinking “I can make nicer things much more cheaply (and pretty easily) at home”.  So, I’ve found that we just don’t go out very often now.

However, if I lived in a city with lots of fabulous vegan eateries, I’d be at a restaurant all the time!

So, the grape yarn is in my Etsy shop already.  Go take a look if you want to see a few more pictures of it.  It really is luscious!

Let me know how you like it.

Holiday Doings!

We did our first little sales event this past weekend!

There was a holiday celebration sponsored by the city of Carmel, IN.  There were carriage rides and lighted trees, beautiful shop windows everywhere, and lots of holiday music.  Many of the area merchants had special events going on and we were invited to set up a sales table on the second floor of The Simply Sweet Shop.

carmel photos 021

They had a cute little gingerbread house right in front.

carmel photos 022

This shop is in a darling old house, and has lots of unusual candy.  There is also a a tiny kitchen where Chef Terry prepares delectable lunches and pastries!  If you are in the area, you must have lunch there.  They have a really great menu, which includes lots of vegetarian choices, even vegan food is easily available.  Yay!

Simply Sweet Shoppe is located right in the arts district in Carmel, I plan to have a nice day out there sometime soon (after New Year’s I think) poking around the shops, and of course, lunching at the candy store!  Vegan panini with a side of tabbouleh?  Yes, please! And maybe a bit of nice dark chocolate to follow.

So, Cheryl arrived first and set up a very beautiful table.  She has a very artistic eye and a talent for making things look pretty!

Sales Table

Most of the day was quite slow, but several pairs of fingerless mitts did find a new home.  We also met several other local artists, and had some knitting time together.  I fear we will not be able to knit together during the holiday weeks, as there is so much going on then, so it was fabulous to have a nice long time to chat and knit.

While we were there something funny did happen.  The owner of the sweet shoppe asked us to hold a couple of things for her, so we took them off the table. But, we did not take them out of the Etsy shop, and that was a mistake because one of those items sold that afternoon!  We had to explain to the very understanding shopper in front of us that the item she wanted to purchase was no longer available.  She was disappointed, but fortunately very understanding!

The other vendors had an array of products.  One of them (Pop Your Tab Jewelry) was making necklaces and earrings from recycled pop tops from cans.  Here’s a sample.

Pop Top Earrings

She had a lot of very creative ideas.  Here are a pair of Peanut Butter and Jelly Earrings!  See the tiny cell phone and the teeny star fish on the other earrings?  Cute ideas.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Earrings

They had some adorable necklaces with word charms – words like ‘love’, ‘peace’, etc.  I believe those sold very well; I saw a lot of her shoppers were younger girls.  I think it’s great kids want to wear ‘love’ and ‘peace’ displayed on their person!

What I liked about these was the recycling ethic displayed.  I love the idea of wearing something that might help me be mindful of my footprint on beautiful Mother Earth.

You can email them at jamiejo.ayers@gmail.com to learn more about their creations.

Amanda Wood, a very experienced event planner, was there too.  She plans weddings and fabulous kid’s birthday parties (among other things).  She has a lot of creative ideas and is offering a “Soda Pop Saturday” party.  Kids get dropped off (parents make a reservation) one Saturday morning a month, stay a couple of hours, receive an old fashioned soda pop in a bottle, do a craft, play games, get a healthy snack.  Parents can do errands or (my choice!) enjoy a nice, peaceful, leisurely breakfast where they can actually talk to each other.  What a novelty.

Here’s her table display.  And here is her facebook page.

Soda Pop Saturday

There was another jewelry vendor – very different products from Stella and Dot.  Here’s a bracelet I liked.  White tigers!

White Tiger Bracelet

Her table was lovely.

Stella and Dot

Unfortunately, I’m unable to find her contact info, but I will make it a mission to find it.

There was a painter named Debbie Slack there.  She does several different kinds of paintings (see more on her facebook page).    I loved the painted glassware!

Mommy Juice

Mommy Juice

Holiday Lights Wine Glass.  Holiday lights are just about my favorite holiday motif.  They are pretty, shiny, colorful, and anyone can appreciate them.

Holiday Lights wine glass

She also had a painted martini glass.  This is such a versatile item, it can be used  for serving fancy desserts or little nuts or candies on a holiday buffet.   I might order one (or more) with holiday lights on it!

Martini Glass

There were several nice teenagers who offered woven scarves to raise funds for an orphanage in Bolivia.

Woven Scarves

Here is info on their fundraising project.

Orphanage Fund Raiser

The world debut of one of my new scarves took place at this event too.  This is an entrelac scarf knit from Noro Silver Thaw.  It’s not in the Etsy shop yet, but will appear there in the next few days.  Lots of visitors had to touch this one!  It’s incredibly soft and cuddly.

Silver Thaw Entrelac

The weather has finally become a bit more seasonal here in Indianapolis.  Today’s high of 39 has already been hit, and we will be falling all day.  The weatherman says there’s a small chance of flurries this afternoon.  Time to dig out the heavy coats and all the hand knits!

New Store

reTails opened their new adoption center (the store) on Friday, Oct 5. It’s far from finished, but the pets seemed to appreciate the improved facilities and bigger spaces.

Here are some pictures of the first evening.

The New Entrance

A Living Room For Kitties

Mia Is camera shy – can you see her?

Kitty Kitchen

Ernie approves.  He was adopted this weekend.

The dogs like their new kennels.  They can see visitors and their neighbors much better.

Doing two adoptions at a time is a big improvement!

Our First Adoptee In The New Store

reTails opened the first adoption center in October 2010.  Two years later we moved to the new store, which is four times larger, and next weekend we expect to do adoption number 2000.  We are making a big difference in turning Indianapolis into a community in which no healthy pet is killed for lack of a home.

Want to help?  Go to the website for info, or contact me via comments.

Pagan Party

Had another great weekend here in Indianapolis.  On Saturday I took my two oldest daughters to the Indy Pagan Pride Day 2012.  This was my first visit to Pagan Pride Day, and the 14th Annual Pagan Pride Day held in Indy.  I believe it’s the largest such event in the Midwest, which surprises me.  I would expect Chicago to be the place to claim that distinction.  Maybe they have lots of smaller events in different areas of the city.

I had a great time browsing the product stalls and chatting with the vendors, and made a few purchases (of course).  I bought some lovely hand made soap from Body Eclectic Skin Care.  The very nice soapmaker had way too many choices.

After lots of sniffing, I chose “Borealis” which contains strawberry, blueberry, goji, and pomegranate.  It’s described as “fabulously flirty and fruity”.  Maybe I was hungry!  I would also like to try “Danae”, which is grapefruit, tangerine and amber – I wonder what amber smells like?  I love citrus fragrances, anything that comes in grapefruit scent is likely to land in my shopping cart.

There was also a soap with bacon fat in it – it smelled very odd to me!  It also contained liquid smoke.  It reminded me a bit of a wood fire, I guess that would be a masculine fragrance!

My other purchase was a small pendulum with a glass pendant.

I’ve been wanting one for a long time, ever since I experimented with them in my Reiki training.

I also met a very nice young man, I seem to recollect his name was Fred.  He was just visiting the festival with his caretaker, who was a vendor.

Since I am not a pagan, I did not realize that the Pagan Pride event coincided with a Pagan/Wiccan holiday, Mabon.  This holiday honors the harvest and celebrates the bounty of our earth.  Lovely!  And part of the festivities typically involve sharing with others.  The Pagan Pride Day collected two tons of donations for the Damien Center, and one ton of supplies for Indy Feral.  That’s a lot of sharing!

Here’s a Mabon blessing for all (a bit late perhaps, but still heartfelt).

On this day of equal light and darkness, may you find the balance you need in your life, may you be blessed with abundance of many kinds, and may you be surrounded by the people who love you.

After we finished shopping and people watching, the girls convinced me to take them to Noodles and Co for the first time (first time for me, they’ve been there many times).  Yes, I’m the last holdout to visit that restaurant.  I had Japanese Pan Fried Noodles with Tofu, which were quite nice, although nothing spectacular.  There are several vegan choices, which I do appreciate, it’s not always easy to eat out vegan style in Indy without special ordering.  I do order “off the menu”, but it’s nice to be able to just order.  Some of my friends seem a bit embarrassed when I order something “special”.  I absolutely hate when a big fuss is made about my food when eating out!

The noodles

And they also had a nice strawberry spinach salad, which could be veganized by just saying “no cheese, please”.

Then it was home again for a nap, and an afternoon and evening of knitting, a simple dinner and TV.  I had an assistant help me knit.

I did finish that shawl.  Pictures next time!