With the Thanksgiving holiday, the season is set into full swing and Black Friday heralds the opening of shopping season. I wanted to pull together a few suggestions for the tea and knit lovers in your life.
At the top of my list are subscriptions for wonderful gifts that keep on giving all year long.
For the tea lover in your life, you might consider a description to the Plum Deluxe Tea of the Month club. Club memberships are done on a quarterly basis, so you can give anywhere from 3-12 months of tea to someone special in your life. Send them one tea a month for $10 per month, or double their pleasure with 2 teas a month for $20 per month. I’m a member and have been enjoying the surprise in my mailbox each month!
For the knitter in your life there are too many options to choose from!
You could check out Yarnbox.com for a variety of knitting box subscriptions. Each month your favorite knitter will receive a box with yarn, a pattern and some fun extras at his or her door. Boxes range from $19.95 to $69.95. I haven’t personally tried this one, but I’ve heard good things and see beautiful items people receive!
If you’re looking for one special gift for your special someone, advent calendars are a great idea.
I particularly love the David’s Tea Advent Calendar which is 24 days of delightful tea and can be snapped up for $40. Get this one quickly because they always sell out!
For your knitter friend check out the Opal Advent Calendar box for 24 miniskeins of colorful Opal yarn for $60. The knitter could make ornaments for his or her tree, or a wonderful pair of stripey socks!
Black Friday Tea
If you’re planning to partake in a little Black Friday shopping, I could point you in the direction of a few of my favorite black teas!
- No. 5 Winter Blend from Churchmouse Yarn and Teas, 4oz for $14.00 (review here)
- Snowflake Tea from Lana’s The Little House, 4oz for $12.00 (review here)
- Downton Christmas Blend from Republic of Tea, Tin of 36 teabags for $12.00 (review here)
And finally a few knittea related items I have seen this season:
Welcome to episode 110! I have a finished object and yarn review for you today, along with other knits and spins.
Please come and join the Ravelry group.
- NaKniSweMo 2015: Pure Water
- Finished: Zuzu’s Petals by Carina Spencer, June Cashmere DK in Scarlet
- In progress: Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure, Yarn Geek Super Geek in Boxcar
- In progress: Lady Marple by Nadia Cretin-Lechenne, Spirit Trail Fiberworks Zalti in Hydrangea Blue
- On deck: Hat for my dad, pattern to be determined, in Cascade Avalon in Denim
- Finished: JulieSpins BFL/Silk in So Ready for Spring
- Finished: Hello Yarn Superwash Merino in Reflections on Snow
- On deck: Southern Cross Fibre South African Superfine Merino in Organic Greens
- The Gift-a-long is back! Knit something for someone else (Christmas gift or otherwise) between November 1st and December 31st and enter it in the FO thread to potentially win prizes. Why not have a chance at prizes for something you’re doing anyway? WIPs count if you do at least some amount of work on them in the time frame specified (sorry just weaving in ends or sewing on buttons doesn’t count!). Check out the Ravelry group for details!
Welcome to episode 108! Buckle up because this one’s a long one. Lots of knitting to show you today and a little spinning. Then the second half I talk about Rhinebeck, show my haul, announce a giveaway and the next KAL!
Please come and join the Ravelry group.
- Tea Forte, Sweet Orange Spice – from The Perfect Blend Yarn & Tea
- Finished: Don’t Touch those Leaves by Debby Reece, The Cyborg’s Craft Room Assockilate in One of a Kind Colorway
- Finished: Vanilla socks for Roxy in Opal Harry Potter in the Tonks colorway
- Finished: Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B. Anderson, Simply Socks Yarns Poste Yarn Striping in Ghost Town
- Finished: Simple Garter Stitch Slippers by Hanna Leväniemi, Knit Picks Swish Worsted Brights in Pucker
- In progress: Milkweed Socks by Anne Podlesak, Nerd Girl Yarns Dingo in Met Him on the River
- In progress: Vanilla socks for Roxy in The Cyborg’s Craft Room Assockilate in One of a Kind Colorway
- In progress: Sowerby by Annika Barranti in my handspun
- In progress: Southern Cross Fibre Bond/Suri/Silk in Get Happy
- On deck: JulieSpins BFL/Silk in So Ready for Spring
- I talk about my haul from Rhinebeck including purchases from vendors Spirit Trail Fiberworks, Hedgehog Fibres, Cozy Color Works, Spun Right Round, A Hundred Ravens and Bijou Basin Ranch.
- I brought back a few things for you from Rhinebeck. Be sure to check out the Rhinebeck giveaway thread in the Ravelry group. To enter to win please tell me your favorite thing about fall!
- Get ready. The Gift-a-long is coming back! Knit something for someone else (Christmas gift or otherwise) between November 1st and December 31st and enter it in the FO thread to potentially win prizes. Why not have a chance at prizes for something you’re doing anyway? WIPs count if you do at least some amount of work on them in the time frame specified (sorry just weaving in ends or sewing on buttons doesn’t count!). Check out the Ravelry group for details!
As I spoke about in earlier posts, this year some friends and I decided to go to Rhinebeck, which is the knitting lingo for the New York Sheep and Wool Festival held in the Rhinebeck valley the third weekend of each October.
The festival itself was held on Saturday and Sunday, so my friends and I decided to fly out to New York on Thursday and fly home on Monday. That meant that we had Friday free to explore the area.
And explore we did. We first hit up Fabulous Yarn in Tivoli, New York. This cute storefront mostly does online business, but offered a goodie bag and sale prices for the week and weekend of Rhinebeck. We picked up our goodie bags and a few small items.
Next we drove down to Rhinebeck Village. We had heard that there was a yarn store in the back of The A.L. Stickle Variety Store that was worth checking out. Sure enough, there was beautiful yarn in the Knitting Garage.
While at lunch, the ladies told us there was a yarn and tea shop up in Saugerties, NY. Of course I had to check that out. Check back on the blog on Friday for my adventures at The Perfect Blend Yarn & Tea shop.
After hitting three yarn stores in just a few hours, we headed back to the hotel to relax a little and do some knitting. Then in the evening we attended the Indie Untangled show that was at the hotel. I met a ton of people who I knew on Ravelry, but had never met in person before. It was so much fun to shop for yarns and meet people! I didn’t take the camera though, so I don’t have any photos to share.
Friday morning dawned early and chilly. We put on our wooly gear and headed out to wait in line at the Dutchess County Fair Grounds.
We spent the day wandering booths, eating yummy things (cider! gyros!) and shopping. The whole day was such a wonderful one. Everyone was wearing beautiful garments to show off, and everyone was excited and friendly. The day was full of riotous color and meeting people and viewing beautiful yarns. We attended the Ravelry meetup as well as the podcaster meetup and I got to meet many viewers of the podcast. I also did some shopping of course!
The weather both days was gorgeous and the area was full of color. I loved the leaves!
Sunday dawned a little warmer. With most of my shopping done (don’t worry I still bought more on Sunday) I spent the day taking photos and meeting people and eating food. First order of business Sunday morning was apple cider donuts!
Also, we had to see the animals!
As the festival closed Sunday evening and we prepared to go back to Albany to fly home, we made one last stop in the beautiful Hudson valley to see the Saugerties Lighthouse. It was a wet walk, but worth it!
There is so much more I could tell you, but I’ll just let you browse the Flickr album I created if you want to see more.
It was a wonderful, creative, inspiring weekend with friends and I’m so glad I went!
Welcome to episode 89! Lots of progress on my WIPs this week and some spins as well. Also I announce the winner of the Manos Marina giveaway!
Please come and join the Ravelry group.
- Finished: Tamarugo by Anna Hintikka, Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Indigo Heather
- In progress: Vanilla is the New Black by Anneh Fletcher, in Show Me Yarn Bootheel in Aunt Gigi
- In progress: Beach Cove Shawl by Anne Podlesak, my handspun
- Finished: Three Waters Farm, Polwarth/Silk in Meet me on Spring Street
- On deck: Hello Yarn Targhee in Shadows Parted
- It’s the last week to join us for the Shawl KAL that I am co-hosting with with Anne of the Wooly Wonka Fiber podcast, store, and designs. Come over to either of our groups on Ravelry to check out the details!
- I’ve started a Corner of Knit & Tea Tour de Fleece team. Are you interest in joining? Please come chat about it in the group.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by the folks over at Stitchcraft Marketing to see if I would be interested in trying a new to me yarn from Kraemer Yarns, specifically their linen blend yarn, Belfast. Kraemer is a 100+ year old textile company that mills its own yarns. Belfast is a DK weight blend that includes linen, cotton, acrylic and viscose and comes in a variety of soft colors. The colorway I received was Loch.
When I first received the yarn I was surprised at how soft it was. It’s not that I expected it to be rough, but both linen and cotton can be more sturdy and neither have a lot of stretch and give, so I was pleasantly surprised that the yarn had a nice hand to it. I went looking for patterns that would only use a single skein, which is 220 yards. I found that most people had used Belfast for summery sweaters or cardigans, and a few had used it for scarves or cowls. I immediately gravitated towards baby knits, theorizing that this soft yarn might make a nice summer baby garment. I decided on Milo by Georgie Nicolson.
The pattern worked up quickly, and I felt the yarn was a good match. The yarn is a 4 ply and some of the strands are a little thick and thin, making this yarn squishy and airy. After I started knitting I realized that one might not want to knit a baby knit in a light colored yarn that requires handwashing, but I do feel that the sweet Milo vest shows off the yarn to perfection and might work for a knitter or someone who has some knowledge in caring for handknit garments.
Overall, I loved knitting this project and really enjoyed working with the yarn. I would definitely consider it for future knits; perhaps a summer shell?
A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Kraemer Yarns who generously sent me this yarn (retail: $14.50) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.
One thing I have noticed this year is a number of new advent calendars geared towards my favorite interests!
I missed out on nabbing a David’s Tea Advent Calendar, but I am drooling over the possibilities! I must remember this for next year.
Quite a bit more pricey, but ever so incredibly lovely is the Fortnum & Mason Wooden Advent Tea Calendar.
In the yarn category, a lot of podcasters went for the Opal Advent Calendar – 24 little balls of Opal sock yarn.
Do you have an advent calendar? If so, what is yours filled with?
Not too long ago the folks at Stitchcraft Marketing and A Good Yarn, a yarn store in Sarasota, Florida, contacted me to see if I would be interested in a skein of one of their exclusive colorways. Of course I said yes!
A Good Yarn is owned by Susan and her husband Murray. Murray is a diver and takes amazing photos of sea creatures which they then turn into exclusive colorways for their yarn shop. The color they sent me, Cabbage Key is based on the following photo:
I took this photo while diving with my son Michael in the Solomon Islands, of a Nembrotha Cristata nudibranch. Nudibranchs are shell-less snails. They all have gills on their backs and a pair of antenna. This particular nudibranch was about an inch or so long and crawling among one of its food sources, some small coral polyps. Some of its more common names are Crested Nembrotha, Cabbage Nudibranch, and Cabbage Patch Nudibranch, which is how this colorway has got its name, Cabbage Key!
Cabbage Key is dyed by Lorna’s Laces on their Shepherd Sock base exclusively for A Good Yarn.
Because the yarn was variegated, I wanted to select a pattern to minimize pooling, so I decided to knit Monkey by Cookie A. and call my socks Sea Monkey.
I was pleasantly surprised that the yarn more or less striped!
I really enjoyed knitting these socks. One of the first pairs of socks I ever knit was on the Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock base, and they have held up so well (9+ years and going strong) so I’m super excited to have another durable pair in the sock drawer. The colors are so fun and wild – just what I like about socks. The yarn itself was a pleasure to knit – smooth and soft and just one more row until the next stripe, right?
My only negative is that unfortunately I found one knot in the skein, however, industry standard is up to 2 knots per skein, so while disappointing, this doesn’t indicate anything about the quality of the yarn.
I can’t wait for the weather to get cool so I can wear my new socks. And you can bet I’ll be checking out some of the other exclusive colorways at A Good Yarn!
A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at A Good Yarn who sent me this yarn (retail: $28.00) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own, except where indicated.