Friday, May 16, 2008

Good and green

A few green things:

1. Purl's Joelle and Jen made some great points in their e-mail newsletter yesterday about crafting being green. So true! Check it out:

"Maybe you don't think of needlecraft as part of the growing green movement, but in our own small way, we crafters are true conservationists. The act of choosing to hand-make say, a quilt or sweater that can easily be store-bought saves a good amount of labor and industrial waste, all the while filling our spare hours with enjoyable work and spurring on our creative spirits. Our fabric scraps are salvaged and cobbled together and transformed into a patchwork treasure and yards of leftover yarn are stitched up into a little hat and slipped into the pocket of the sweater. In the end, the rewards are many: a handmade gift for you and those you love that can be beautiful as well as functional."
2. Taking green crafting to the next level, why not buy local? Just like groceries, buying yarn from nearby farms and spinners can help save packaging, gas and it supports local farmers. That's what I did two weekends ago at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. My friend Richele and I carpooled up to West Friendship, Md., for the festival. It was my first time to go, and it was amazing. I bought lots of yarntoo much, in factfrom Mid Atlantic-area companies and discovered many more that I want to try once I deplete my stash a bit.

We saw some llamas with haircuts.

And some cute baby sheep.

And we enjoyed some delicious fair food (Being children of West Virginia and Mississippi, respectively, Richele and I are big fans of state fairs, county fairs, local festivals, etc. For instance, I spent my 21st birthday at a county fair in Bloomsburg, Penn., but that's a different story. And more importantly, we're big fans of the food that is served at fairs. I'm a pseudo-vegetarian, and I maintain there is no better food in this world than a festival corn dogperhaps I shouldn't mention that in a blog about being eco-friendly, but whatever, it's true).

3. My schedule/life is a bit more hectic now than a few months ago, but I've still managed to do a little knitting/sewing. The lacy dress is back in the picture since I-can-wear-white-after Memorial Day is fast approaching. I've been piecing it together and have only the sleeves left to set in, so I should reveal it on here sometime soon. Get excited.

Meanwhile, I've been itching for a little springtime quirk to perk up my wardrobe, so I made Amy Butler's Barcelona apron overlay using some of her new Midwest Modern fabric (purchased locally, of course). You can see the fashion shoot of that below. Thanks to Richele for the awesome pictures and for putting up with my America's Next Top Model-esque antics. Appropriately enough, it's green, which is my second-favorite color to wear.

And it's reversible!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Where's the love, NoDak?

I've been doing some research over at Google Analytics, which tracks my blog stats, and I've come to a disturbing realization. I've had visitors from all 50 states except North Dakota! "Why is this so disturbing?" you might ask. It's disturbing because North Dakota may very well be one of my favorite places on the planet. Before relocating to subtropical paradise and more recently to the east coast, I spent a summer in Grand Forks, N.D., and loved every minute. I spent long weekends traipsing across the prairie, soaking in the Big Sky and marveling at the windswept plains. I saw my first buffalo in North Dakota. I did my first solo travel in North Dakota. I saw my first hockey game in North Dakota. But perhaps most importantly for this blog, I learned to KNIT in North Dakota! That's right, my first foray into needles and yarn came during my time in the Peace Garden State. (The Peace Garden reminds me of a time when border patrol accused of smuggling rocks into the country incidentally not the only time that's happened, but that's a different story...)

Maybe it was the post-college I'm-an-adult-now depression or the loneliness factor of living a thousand miles from anyone I knew. Or perhaps just the need to find an activity to fill the endless summer afternoons it literally never got dark until 11 p.m.! Whatever the case, something about North Dakota inspired me to learn a new craft. The fruit of that effort turned out to be a really crappy acrylic scarf that I've never worn and never will. (Seriously, it's so embarrassing, I don't even include it on Ravelry.) Nonetheless, North Dakota holds a special place in my knitting heart.

And this is the reason why I'm so upset that no North Dakotans are reading my blog. I know you knit; I've seen you! I know you have computers and Internet; I've used it! So where are you Bismarck? Minot? Rugby, the geographic center of the continent? Uff da!

For that reason, I'm going to hold a little contest. The first North Dakotan to read my blog and respond with a comment gets a prize! I'm thinking the prize will be some awesome cotton fingering weight yarn I got at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend, but I'll have to check my stash later to be sure. Maybe the North Dakotan knitters would appreciate something warmer. I'll post some pictures of the fabulous prize later this weekend to entice all you North Dakotan readers. And be sure to leave your email address when you comment so I can get in touch with you. Blogger doesn't provide it automatically.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Back in black

Sorry for the dearth of new posts, folks. It's been a crazy couple of months for me (for instance, I no longer live in subtropical paradise!) But that's all for another post.

Today, I'm linking to a great blog contest over at One Scheme of Happiness about summer reading ideasand y'all know how I love my books!