Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Middle of Nowhere Knitting is Moving....

Or rather, Grey Poodle Designs just opened it's very own blog!

Middle of Nowhere Knitting will stay "open", so you can view the archives if you wish, but there will be no new posts.

Please visit Grey Poodle Designs and Liz over at the new blog. Thanks!

Liz :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Raffle to Raise Money for Japan

After the horrible news that a Tsunami had hit Japan, knitters all over Ravelry started auctioning off yarn, knitting notions, and beautiful knitted items to raise money to help the people of Japan. One of the groups I'm pretty active in on Ravelry decided to do a combination of auctions and raffles to raise money to help Japan recover.

I offered up a skein of handspun yarn and a project bag to be raffled off. The raffle starts 4/10 (Sunday) and the end date hasn't been posted yet, but it will be sometime that week.

Yarn is handspun Merino/Cashmere/Nylon dyed by Two if by Hand 

Approximately 240 yards of light worsted weight. 

It's super squishy and soft. 

You know you want it!

We've raised about $2,000 so far, just in our little group on Ravelry!

So.....if you want the chance to win some awesome handspun yarn with a lovely hand sewn bag, here's what you do:

First, click here and read all the guidelines. There's also a list of a bunch of other really fantastic items up for raffle. 

Second, donate to one of the charities linked in the forum posting. There is a $10 minimum, which buys you 2 raffle tickets. There is a 2 ticket minimum for each raffle item. 

Third, forward your donation receipt to YH.japan.fundraiser AT gmail DOT com with a message stating your ravelry name, and which item(s) you'd like to use your raffle tickets for.

I'm not sure if they are e-mailing the winners, but you will receive an "earburn" on ravelry notifying you if you win!

Just wanted to let everyone know of the great chance to help a great cause and win some yarn in the process! 


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Blair, finally.

Sometime last winter I was looking for another sweater quantity of Madelinetosh Tosh DK, and Purl Diva was expecting a shipment. I had originally been looking for something in an earth tone of some sort, but when Ellen told me that she had the colorway Lapis, I couldn't resist. My plans for this yarn has changed at least half a dozen times over the last year. But then the Winter edition of Twist Collective came out, and I found the perfect pattern:

Pattern: Blair by Thayer Preece
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK in colorway Lapis
Modifications: My modifications somewhat stem from my inability to follow directions. I had planned on following the pattern as written for the size 35 1/2". Well, apparently I skipped over the section where the yoke increases only on the front and back and not on the sleeves. So, the body of my sweater ended up having the same amount of stitches as the next size down once I split the sleeves. Since it was knit "top-down", I was able to try it on and realized that it would still fit just fine...the neckline would just be a deeper V than the pattern calls for. I actually think it worked out perfectly. If I had not made that mistake, the body may have ended up being too big and baggy. The only other modification that I made was my sleeves are slightly shorter than the pattern calls for. 


I love everything about this sweater. The fit, the color, the eyelet detail, and the overall style. 

Buttons from BeadFreaky on etsy.

How about one more picture?

Seth made me climb the pear tree. This was the only halfway decent picture of about 20.

I have another, not nearly as exciting, finished knit.

Pattern: The Big Easy by Vivian Aubrey 
Yarn: Handspun MCN dyed by Two if by Hand
Modifications: None

The yarn knit up really, really lovely. It's amazingly squishy!

So, after I finished my Blair sweater I went a little crazy casting on new projects. I have another sweater on the needles (more on that in the next post), a shawl, and a baby sweater. 

What's that you say? You want to see pictures of the new projects? Okay, okay....twist my arm.

Scalene in Three Irish Girls Kells Sport Merino 

I have some new handspun to show you, too....but I think I'll write up a separate post for that later in the week. 


Monday, March 21, 2011

A Blog-worthy Dinner

I never remember to take pictures of great meals, but Seth took one bite of this particular dinner and said, "You should take a picture of this and put it on the blog." Apparently, he thought it was pretty tasty and deserved a little blog attention.

On Saturday I pulled out a bunch of my Rachael Ray magazines and flipped through looking for something "different" to make for dinner. I've never in my life made meatloaf, so I thought I'd give it a whirl with this recipe. "Mini Meatloaves Smothered with Onions"

It. Was. Delicious.

Um. No, the french fries are not homemade. 

Obviously, the best part is that the recipe includes bacon. 

We're also going to be eating leftovers for the next week because Seth insisted that I make the whole recipe, which made 4 mini meatloaves. 

In knitting news, I finished my Blair Sweater!!! It's drying now, and still needs the buttons sewn on, but it should be completely done and ready for some photos tomorrow! 

Hope all is well with you!

liz :)

Friday, March 18, 2011


We're officially homeowners!

That's all.

Rikke Hat

In true Liz fashion, I decided that I needed to take a break from the sleeves on my Blair Sweater and whip up a quick project. I choose a hat pattern that I've been eyeing since it's release and I'm really pleased with the result and will most definitely be making more.

Pattern: Rikke Hat by Sarah Young
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in Earl Grey
Modifications: I knit the body of the hat about 1/2 inch shorter than the pattern called for before the crown decreases. Mostly this was because I was afraid of running out of yarn (I had a few yards to spare when all was said and done), but I'm glad I did because I definitely wouldn't want the hat any longer/taller.

The Tosh Merino DK knit up really nicely and ended up much softer than I thought it would. It's a single ply merino, so we'll see how it holds up, but I think it's going to do pretty well.

I've also been spinning like a maniac since I had a shop update planned for today. So, hope you're ready for some more handspun pictures!

Corriedale/Finn/Rambouillet blend dyed by Spinner's Hill 

Organic Merino dyed by Two if by Hand in "Sweet Surrender"

Superwash Merino dyed by Pigeonroof Studios in "Swamp"

Superfine Merino dyed by Two if by Hand in "Dance Hall Hips"
This is my most favorite skein of the bunch! I love the flashy, bright colors!

Now that the shop update is over I need to concentrate on some more custom spinning and a handspun/project bag set I'm doing for an auction on ravelry to raise money for several charities that are sending money to Japan. More on that to come...

Well, I'm off to package up some etsy orders and ship them out!

Liz :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

I finished a project!

Now, don't get too excited....it's just a cowl. But it's made out of handspun yarn, and I happen to love it.

Yarn: Handspun yarn spun by me from Juliespins roving
Modifications: Surprisingly, none.

close-up glamor shot

I've also made some progress on my Blair Sweater.

I did the collar before the sleeves so I could know ahead of time if I'd have enough yarn to do long sleeves.

The collar took FOREVER. The fold-over part is all short rows, and once I got past those it went a bit faster. I just ordered these buttons to go on it.

I always seem to stall out a bit once I get to the sleeves, but I'm hoping when the buttons arrive it will motivate me to finish it sooner rather than later. That way I can at least wear it a few times before it gets too warm for handknits! 

I've also been spinning up a storm (what else is new, right?). I'm doing a shop update this week, so I've been trying to get 5-6 skeins of yarn ready. 

This lovely was slated for the update, but someone on ravelry saw it in my stash and wanted it. It was spun from Two if by Hand Rambouillet in colorway "New Tattoo."

Oh, this skein makes me smile. It's such a a great combination of cheery colors. Spun from Two if by Hand's Organic Merino in colorway "Surfer."

I think this would make an adorable baby boy knit of some sort.

Since I've been spinning so much, I've depleted my fiber stash quite a bit. So much that most everything I had left was purple. Probably because I've been hanging onto some of those to spin for myself. And while I love purple, I suppose customers probably want to see something other than all purple, all the time in the shop! 

So...I've been doing a little a lot of fiber shopping (some from etsy, some from people on ravelry looking to destash). 

This is what arrived in my mailbox on Thursday:

Starting at the top and going clockwise: Funky Carolina Polwarth in Egads with Aqua Trim (two 4 ounce braids and 2 ounces of trim), GLBLF Polwarth in Ferris Night, FLUFF Silky Cashmerino in Agate (two 3 ounce braids), and Pigeonroof SW Merino in Swamp.

Thursday was a good mail day, what can I say? Today was also a good mail day....but I'll save you endless amount of pictures of fiber...for now. 

Well...I think that's it for now!

liz :)