Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Attack of the Yarn-eating Monster

A thing happened to me last week.

A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad THING.

I was sifting through the stash, trying to get my inventory updated, when I spied . . . something. Something that simply didn't belong. Something . . . buglike.

This little monster is a carpet beetle. AND HE WILL EAT YOUR YARN.

First I spotted just one and figured it was a fluke. But then I saw another. And another. Five miserable little buggers all told in my DK weight bin.

And then.


A yarn cake. With mysterious ends poking out in various spots. And then another.

Not good.

Not good, not good, not good.

ALL of my yarn was bagged up and stuffed into our deep freezer. (Yet another reason to have one--it certainly wouldn't have fit in our kitchen freezer.) I spent what felt like years vacuuming my studio, wrestling the attachments into my yarn bins and every other nook and cranny that might be hosting a yarn-eating monster.

For a week, I felt lost, adrift in a sea of half-used skeins and projects that couldn't be started.

I was finally able to rescue it yesterday:

Welcome home!

Then it was time to get down to the task of inspecting and bug-proofing.


I checked each and every skein for damage, and am happy to report that I found none. I won't really be sure until I try to use them, but it seems the feast was limited to 2 old skeins of O-Wool.
I'm not taking chances anymore though. 
Every skein in my stash will now be stored in an airtight bag. That's still no guarantee, but it's something.

I zipped them all up, crammed them back into the bins, and breathed a sigh of relief that the outcome hadn't been worse.

I sometimes feel like my stash is an art collection: carefully curated over the years, reviewed semi-annually to get rid of pieces that don't fit, gazed upon lovingly in off hours. It's just heartbreaking that something would try to eat it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wittle Wednesdays: Kelbourne Woolens Baby Collection

It is Wednesday, right?

Sometimes I'm not even sure anymore.

I know it's April.

Or, I'm pretty sure.

Wittle Wednesday this week is dedicated to a knit I finished a while back, but didn't have a baby to use to showcase. I decided to go ahead and post it, because I wanted to talk about Kelbourne Woolens Baby Collection too.

This sweater was originally started for JJ, and then by the time it was done, it was too small. So it will be going into storage for baby #2.

(Did I mentioned that baby #2 is a boy? It's a boy! Another boy!)

The pattern is Beatrix, and can be found in Kelbourne Woolens Baby Collection, a delightful  set of practical and timeless baby knits, all featuring the beautiful Fibre Company yarns.

This pattern calls for Acadia. I happened to have a little, so I used it for the contrast color, and used up some Knit Picks City Tweed DK for the main color.

I knit the 6-12 month size, and I think 12 months would probably be pushing it. Based on just this sweater, I would guess the patterns might run a bit small, but you can remedy that by actually measuring your baby, and not just winging it. 

The entire piece is knit in garter stitch, so it's full of squishy goodness, and the body is knit in one piece, with mitered shaping on the front.

 It has just one button, so I picked a decorative one I had in my collection.

I love the grown up-looking collar on this piece, and can't wait to see it on a squishy baby this fall!

Photo courtesy of Kelbourne Woolens

This is the first piece I knit from the KW Baby Collection, but won't be the last. There are some great patterns in here. Like Collette:

 Photo courtesy of Kelbourne Woolens

Pretty girlie, but in the right colors and sans the hearts, I think it will work for a boy.

And Nellie is the cutest little unisex jumper:

Photo courtesy of Kelbourne Woolens

 Many of these patterns are fairly simple and straightforward, which is the beauty of it all: as a new or expecting mom, you often don't have the energy or brain power for something complicated. At your best, you might be able to work simple patterns like these out on your own. But on 3 hours' sleep, you just want someone to tell you what to do.

My only concern with this collection is that, while the Fibre Company's yarns are absolutely beautiful, many of them are delicate and perhaps not baby/kid friendly. So I would suggest taking that into consideration when deciding whether to knit your projects in the recommended yarns (perhaps for special occasion pieces?) or to opt for heartier yarns.

If you enjoy baby knits, I highly recommend this 13 pattern collection. You can buy the ebook through Ravelry for $15, or grab a print copy on Amazon for $13 + shipping.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

CCFA Fundraiser: Social Media

We're off and running--$65 in our first week, not too shabby! Let's keep the momentum up--and don't forget those great prizes you could win!

If you're looking for those social media links to share, it's as easy as checking out my profiles on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, where I've been posting like crazy.

They look like this:

And this:

And this:

 So make your donation, follow those links, share/pin/retweet those posts, support a great cause, and be entered to win fantastic prizes! GO GO GO!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

CCFA Fundraiser - Let's Go!

It's time!

Time to start the big 2014 fundraiser for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America!

You have from today, April 1, until May 31 at midnight to make a donation through this link.

And why would you want to do that?

Well, let me tell you.

First, EVERY SINGLE person who donates will receive a brand new SURPRISE pattern from yours truly.

Here's what I can tell you about it: it's socks. And they're stranded. And they're pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

This new pattern will remain a super secret until the fundraiser ends and prizes have been awarded, so donors will be the very first people to get a copy.

But that's not the real incentive.

No, the real incentive is this AMAZING collection of prizes!

Joelle from Wandering Wool is offering up this gorgeous skein of her High Peaks sock yarn, a Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend, in Copper Penny.

 Shayla from Alina Shea Creations has donated 2 beautiful skeins of yarn. First, this skein of MCN Shmerino Moon in the Belladonna colorway:

And this skein of Crystal Moon Merino/Silk blend in Sweet Pea--an exclusive club colorway that is not available for purchase!

This lovely skein of Verdant Gryphon in Dyeing Poison Frog is up for grabs:

Plus, this skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Sport in Well Water:

Hillary from The Yarniad (creator of Citron, one of the best patterns ever--and FREE!) has offered a bunch of pattern downloads for this giveaway! That means you could get this:

Or this

Or this

Or another pattern in her Ravelry shop. FIVE people will win a pattern download from Hillary, because she's super awesome like that.

A very thoughtful blog reader, Betty, has donated a copy of the book Haiku Knits for this fundraiser.

You can see all the designs in this Japanese-inspired volume here.

I also have a copy of Contemporary Irish Knits to give away

And a copy of Fitted Knits

Wow. That's quite a collection of prizes, right?

And I'm hoping to add a few more before our 2 months are up! But more on that later . . .

For every $5 you donate, you'll get one entry into a drawing for one of these fantastic prizes. So $10 = 2 entries, $25 = 5 entries, etc. I'm sure you can do the math.

I'll also give you additional entries for using social media sites to spread the word about the fundraiser. In the very near future (possibly tonight, but let's face it: it took me the entire day to write this blog post, so more likely tomorrow), you'll find a pin on my Pinterest page, a link on MediaPeruana Designs' Facebook page, and a tweet on Twitter about this fundraiser. Repin, share, and/or retweet, and I'll give you an extra entry in the drawing.

(Sorry, sharing is caring, but these drawing entries are additional; you have to make a donation too!)

And don't forgot: please don't donate anonymously! You don't have to give your full, real name if you prefer not to, but I need some way to identify you.

I think that covers the basics, but if you have any questions, be sure to email me at mediaperuana at gmail.com.

Now, let's start raising some money!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mommy and Me: A Story in Sweaters

You might remember, I finished JJ's Coolbreeze Cardigan back in December, and then my sweater had to undergo surgery before I could wear it.

And then, for whatever reason, I procrastinated about putting the buttons on.

Well, first I couldn't find the buttons. But then once I found them, I still took my good old time putting them on the sweater.

I don't know.  I guess I wasn't in a rush given that, after all the work to make the coordinating sweaters, I knew mine wouldn't fit. Because: pregnancy.

Interesting thing about subsequent pregnancies--the body remembers. It's like, "Oh, hey, I just did this. May as well get on with the task of expanding to epic proportions immediately."

But I did finally decide to just sew the buttons on and finish the project once and for all.

And, of course, it doesn't exactly fit.  But it looks kind of ok as an open front cardigan for the time being. I think I can keep using it until Spring arrives--if it ever does (I'm looking at you, snow forecast for Tuesday!).

So of course, buttons accomplished, I needed to FINALLY get the mommy/baby matchy match sweater photos I wanted.


JJ was less than amused, probably because his sweater barely fits him anymore.  Also, you'd think the photographer (AKA: CP) might mention that my hand is blocking most of JJ's sweater. But no.

 There's a smile. And now his sweater can be washed and put back in the closet for baby #2.

Shortly after taking these photos, I drove myself out to the Homespun Yarn Party, but that was a complete bust. After driving around for 15 minutes looking for parking until I found someone leaving to stalk (and I don't mean to get a parking space close to the entrance--I mean to get any parking space at all), I made my way inside to find an ENORMOUS line. I estimated at least a 45 minute wait to get in--and that was just to enter the room, not to buy any actual yarn. I stuck around for a few minutes to see how fast it was moving--and it wasn't. So that was it for me--I drove the 40 minutes back home, completely wasting most of my Sunday afternoon. Boo.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Photo Friday: The Week in Pictures

(Well, ok . . . maybe a few weeks.)

Socks on the needles. Chrysanthemum frutescens in Miss Babs.

Yummy new yarn from Tanis Fiber Arts.

Finally finished a sweater design sample and mailed it off.

It snowed. Freaking AGAIN.

Worsted weight shawl coming along.

Someone is messy and needs a haircut.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Flashback Friday: CCFA Fundraiser

Yes, it was the 80s. Why do you ask?

Long-time readers of this blog may remember that 2 years ago, I sponsored a fundraiser for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America here on Learner's Per-knit.

Well, get ready, because I'm doing it again!

My sister and I participate in the Baltimore Take Steps, Be Heard walk in honor of my mom, who has long battled Crohn's disease. This year, I'm hoping to raise $750--and that's where you guys come in.

I'm currently working to put together a collection of awesome fiber arts-related prizes for donors. Our fundraiser will officially kick off on April 1, and run through June 1. Every $5 donated will earn you one entry (so $10 = 2 entries, $25 = 5 entries, etc.).

You'll also be able to earn additional entries by tweeting, Facebooking and doing various other social media-related activities. We want to get the word out, and get as many knitters, crocheters, spinners and fiber artists participating in this drive as possible!

So, get ready! Save up your pennies. Organize your stash to make room for more yarn. Finish those WIPs so you're ready to cast on new projects. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, like MediaPeruana Designs on Facebook--you'll have all your bases covered. 

And if you're a designer, indie dyer, or owner of too many knitting books to count that you need to clear out, I hope you'll consider donating a prize! If interested, please send me an email.

Happy weekend!