Wednesday, March 23, 2011


   Mid-Michigan decided it wasn't ready for spring.  Yesterday, day five or so of bare ground and day three of spring, began with a chill.  I was prepared for the impending rain with my rain jacket and an old produce bag for my bike seat (which got stolen for the THIRD time this semester, seriously art students, what gives?).  As I was leaving class for home it was lightly snowing, no big deal, and by the time I got home it was a white out.  It takes me five minutes to get home.  We couldn't see beyond our road for hours and judging by my car at 4 am, it had been raining/snowing all night.  We now have more snow than we did before it all melted, in a matter of hours.  WHO'S READY FOR APRIL?!  I am.

   The reason I'm posting is for an update on my Magnolia Handspun.  It's here! (I'm sure you were all on the edge of your seats)  She shipped it on Saturday and I received it Monday;  this woman is even more talented than I thought!

   Neatly wrapped in tissue, tied with beautiful baker's twine, and topped with a beautiful handwritten thank-you: classy, this woman is very classy.  One thing I didn't notice in the Etsy photos, mine either for that matter, was the intertwined tinsel!  This yarn sparkles!  I think I would prefer a matte fiber, but I'm not complaining - this yarn is beautiful.

Here is the Fresh Rhubarb:

Green Tea:

Go and buy her yarn, it's amazing.  But what to do with it?  I love the two separately but if I knit them together I can make a larger piece, and they do look great together.  Suggestions, please!  Such horrible problem to deal with...

But anyway, snowday, postponed MNT exam, and new yarn; I am a happy camper.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Spring!

   It is officially Vernal Equinox, the first day of spring!  While today we're celebrating with a nice rain/snow mix, I have something bright in the mail to look forward to.

New yarn!

   I have become obsessed with the amazing works of art that are skeins of Magnolia Handspun.  Blown away by her color and texture combinations, I spent all day on her blog and Etsy page!  The artist, Camilla, is from Norway and now resides in Montana.  Can you beleive these colors?!?  The Montana landscape can definitely be seen in her yarns!

   My indulgences:

Green Tea, 64 yds

Fresh Rhubarb, 56 yds

A very generous gift from the most generous being.  Shipped yesterday, photos surely to follow, and suggestions welcome.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yarn Review (rave!)

   Being a college student (soon to be graduate!), I have no free time and no money but as a knitter I have learned the importance of meaningful projects in the background.  Such a conflict.  My solution is to choose a project you love and almost more importantly, a material you love.  Knitting is a stress reliever for me and I lean towards all natural fibers, just a personal preference.  These tend to be more expensive, but for me, knitting little luxuries has turned into a philosophy.  Possibly my business motto in the future?

My time is precious, why waste it on bad yarn?

   The first of what I hope to be many yarn reviews is my personal favorite:  Malabrigo Worsted Merino wool.  I know nothing of reviewing yarn, so be kind!
   I was first introduced by one of my knitting "mentors" and unknowingly acquired two more skeins during a sale at an Ann Arbor yarn shop.  Malabrigo is a Uruguayan fiber cooperative hand-spinning, hand-dying yarn from their own legendary sheep.  The fiber is kettle dyed or hand painted, depending on the intended effect.
   They dye in small batches, which has it's pro's and con's.  Small batches means each skein is unique, but also means that each skein is unique; you'll need to buy more skeins than probably necessary for larger projects to avoid a completely different looking section of knitting.
   I recently purchased online three different colored skeins (for stripes) for a shawl but when I compared them next to each other, one didn't quite fit the color scheme and I had to pull a back-up from my stash.  They do, however, have 12 "true solid" colors that are exactly that, true solids.  I do not recommend buying this yarn online unless you know the color. Personally, I love knowing that no matter what, my project is one of a kind, despite possible setbacks.  Oh, did I mention the have around 300 different colors?
   Why is it my favorite yarn?  It is such a pleasure to knit with!  While balling it up is difficult, it tends to stick to itself, it is the softest natural fiber I have ever worked with.  My mom has issues with wool because she swears, no matter how soft, wool makes her itch.  Not this yarn.

My breakdown of Malabrigo Worsted weight Merino yarn:
  • 210 yards per skein
  • Hand-spun, hand-dyed Merino Wool
  • Price Range: $9.00-$12.00
  • Don't buy this yarn online
  • Do buy in bulk (for larger projects)
  • Do save your skeins tags to remember the exact color
    Here is my Malabrigo stash:
    Apple Green
    Lettuce, my favorite!

    Just to show off, here is my current project:

    A lovely, lovely yarn for just about any project.  They have a variety of traditional weights, as well as some beautiful chunky yarn.  While I have only worked with their worsted, I can vouch for how amazing their lace weight is!  One luxury at a time, I suppose...

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    "It's spring fever...

    ...That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"  ~Mark Twain

       Spring has sprung here in mid-Michigan!  Daffodils are beginning to push through the matted leaves along the campus buildings and it is a sight for sore eyes.  Today we're getting weather in the 50's, which means good-bye winter coat!

       Sadly my bike is still in the garage and I'm not able to go out and play due to a bruised rib:  the beginning of my spring break consisted of being miserable on the couch with a head/chest cold combo, which led to some sore muscles or a bruised rib.  All I know is I hurt.  A lot.  I'm no wimp, trust me, but one itty-bitty sneeze and I'm reeling in pain.  Since I'm kind of stuck indoors, I thought it would be fun to revisit past springs.  It is one of my favorite seasons - such a period of change, much needed change, revival of the senses, love, and awareness.  All photos can be found on my flickr page (bigger and better).

    Old Mission, on the way to Nick's house.


    Central Park, spring break in New York City.


    Northern Michigan springs look a little different... and did I mention my birthday is in the spring?
    Homemade birthday-berry cobbler with cookie crumble.
    Dominican Republic, spring break.

    My favorite place in the entire world.

    Well, that would be as far back as my camera goes for spring!  How are you celebrating?

    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    A Simple Guide...

    to eggs!

    Pretty cute rendition of some pretty useful information.  Foodservice geeks, you're gonna love this!

    EGGzactly what I needed for FNS 160

    I kid you not, I had exams (more like EGGzams!) over this kid of material in my foodservice classes.

    Where was this then?!?

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Post "Fat Tuesday" post

    No pączki for me this year, I'm more partial to traditional French celebrations of Mardi Gras (send me la galette des roi any day!).  Ok, I don't celebrate, but it's fun watching everyone else!  But in honor calories and fat I give you the best picture I've seen all day:
    Paula Dean, you are my butter queen.
    Yahoo, y'all!

    Sunday, March 6, 2011

    sundays are for...

    This Sunday is dedicated to things that make me smile, much needed after a sick weekend.


    I hope you smile.