Studio Awesome Challenge Day 25: My Perpetual WIPs

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 25: My Perpetual WIPs

Merry Christmas Y’all! Today I am going to share with you just 3 projects. But these projects are what I consider the heart of my creative mojo. Is I had to point to the three projects that embody UrbanGypZ and where I am going with my work, this would the three. They are the most important of all the WIPs

So these three projects I am call my perpetual projects. These are projects that are kind of an ongoing study and what I consider the core of my fiber art body of work. These projects are rambling in the moment studies of color and texture, giving a nod to traditional needcrafts.

The Perpetual Weaving Project

This is what I am working on my sampleit loom. It is so rare that I set an intention for the fabric that comes off that loom. I find myself in the moment inch by inch when I weave with this loom. I think the fabric is better this way. Planning has me overthinking.

While I consider most of my yarn stash fair game for the weaving, I tend to keep most of my working stash for the weaving stuff in here. All the fun bits of yarn. My favorite fibers are in here. Weaving is my jam right now. I have some crazy big ideas I want to explore for 2017. THIS is my primary work these days.


The Perpetual Freeform Crochet Project.

This has been an ongoing study. Making a small freeform crochet medallion is so gratifying. And for the most part I have just been collecting these little gems. I will eventually put them together. I have found as with the weaving that the real magic comes when I am just in the moment with my yarn, working colors and textures. I LOVE this stuff. I am ready for them to finally come together into something more tangible. But for now I love filling up the stash with these little gems.


I Kind of Hate to Call This One Perpetual

I have been working this blanket for a while. I have even used it as a sample in my booth at the shows. Most of it is my hand dyed yarn. It really embodies my approach to combining colors. I have intentions to keep working it until it is large enough to be a bed blanket.

So there it is! these are my babies! Okay so tomorrow I am sharing my Spinning WIPs.

Joining me in the 31 Day Studio Awesome Challenge?

I am posting progress and info on setting up my studio over the next 31 days. I will not be blitzing my main email list daily…but if you DO want an email notice when daily posts go live, sign up here:

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 24: WIPs I am on the fence about

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 24: WIPs I am on the fence about

There is another pile in the WIP stash that is way larger than I would like. And to be honest, I am using this blog post to really suss out my feelings about each.

Now I know everyone is going to have an opinion about saving the projects I am about to list. And while I appreciate the input, just know in the end I am really just going to go with my gut.

So, here is the list of the not-so-sures

The DOT shawl

Love the pattern, love the yarn base, even love the color (my own hand dyed sock single)That is until I try to wear this shawl and realize it the same color as the vests the DOT wear when fixing the roads in traffic. I may over dye this one. Not sure.

I am not even sure what this is

I think it is a traveling woman shawl and my hand dyed seacell sock. Love the pattern and how the yarn is knitting up. But I just don’t think I would really wear this. Maybe a different shawlette? I really do not need more shawlettes…

The weird hoodie shawl thing

I want to love this pattern. And actually, I kind of do love it. But for what ever reason this looks weird on me. Not sure what it is. It is something in the wrap part. It is too small a circumference maybe? Or the width is wrong. I may just from it and redo the wrap part to be open ended. This is a stashbuster using primarily my hand dyed worsted weight yarn.

The traveling shawl from hell

This was the product of a Ravelry group I belonged to. How this was supposed to happen: everyone in this round robin group picks a shawl and ships it along with instructions, supplies and a notebook. Each member works a little on everyone’s shawls and before passing it on to the next person. What ended up happening: People were not mailing shawls. Plus my entrelac shawl was too confusing for some. Hell happened when I received a shawl that reeked of smoke. Since I received it directly from the shawl’s original owner, I did not feel I could say anything. I worked as much as I could stand (after airing it out for 3 days, and hitting it with fabreeze) and passed it on. However the next knitter in line was pregnant and chastised me for smoking around someone’s shawl (I do not smoke). The owner of the smoky shawl swore on a stack of bibles she did not smoke. WTH?!?!? I dropped that group like a hot potato. I got my shawl back mid round. It was a hot mess and missing about half my supplies. I am still damaged by the whole incident. So, do I finish and infuse the project with my own good mojo? Or rip it back and repurpose the yarn? I’m torn. It is made with my hand dyed sock yarn.

The sweater that worked in theory

This is another one of those genius construction sweaters that is knit in the round side to side using short rows. I still think this construction could work, if I can get the gauge right. The gauge is hard to resolve on this kind of sweater. And what the hell was I thinking with these ridiculous clown buttons?

The reality behind one of my favorite images.

I have used this image all over my branding. It is this kind of painting with yarn that is at the core of my creative message. But the truth is that is it a failed vest design. There is a problem with the arm holes. They are in the wrong place and the wrong size and construction. I think the fix for this project is to unravel the arm edging and graft the holes close making this a circular shawl.

Another Clapotis

Okay, I may have to frog this one. I might not have enough yarn to finish it. It is the discontinued Suede yarn from Berroco. Love the color and drape. But I will definitely be bummed if I don’t have enough to finish. I think I did have enough at one time. Not sure at what point I lost the rest. The pattern is here.

One of the 471 leafy shawlette patterns

I am not sure which one of the dozens of leaf edged shawls this is, but I will know it when I see it. I love the look of the shawl but not sure it I will wear it. Love how my hand dyed silk/merino is working up in this pattern. Not sure if I will finish this, but I do think this yarn is best suited to some pattern exactly like this. I am just not sure what I will do.

The 20 year sweater

No lie I have been trying to recreate this sweater for almost 20 years. As in notes on recreating this sweater are from my first knitting class in Birmingham in 1997. And it seems like I have successfully recreated the back although in a different(better) stitch. Love the yarn (Elisabeth Lavold) love the sweater, but is it something I would wear today? Am I too middle aged to pull off a bolero? Yes folks, I just admitted I actually may have aged out of one of my WIPs…

I know the point of a studio purge was to not be on the fence about WIPs. What can I say, I guess 9 out of 80 is an improvement…

Tomorrow We are looking at the perpetual WIPs.


Joining me in the 31 Day Studio Awesome Challenge?

I am posting progress and info on setting up my studio over the next 31 days. I will not be blitzing my main email list daily…but if you DO want an email notice when daily posts go live, sign up here:

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 23: When bad things happen to good yarn

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 23: When bad things happen to good yarn

WooHoo!! Alright, here is the official WIP purge.

So for the most part the yarn is worth saving. But I thought you might like to hear the post mortum of these projects gone horribly awry.

This crazy awesome cool denim yarn


I love this yarn, and I have a metric tone of it. I was going to make a shrug. Was using a great pattern. But truly, I am not going to wear this. At one point, I wanted to make a sweater with an awesome textured design. The thing that is cool about this yarn is it fades like blue jeans, so any texture you knit with it becomes a patina as you wash it, accenting the textures even more. I couldn’t even tell you what the brand of yarn is, got it from my fave discount yarn place ages ago.

Screaming Bright Quality in a Square

I love the construction of this pattern, I also loved that it is a stashbuster. And who couldn’t love the name. It was originally a German pattern, so the name translation is wonky. So, once I finished the back using some of my remnant hand dyed sport weight yarn, I realized I would never wear such a bright colorful sweater. I still would love to make one of these sweaters, it will just have to be not so bright. yarn hitting the freeform and/or weaving stash.

The not quite shrug

I love this yarn so much. And I really want a sweater out of it. Unfortunately I do not have enough yarn for a sweater. I tried a shrug, and HATE how it looks on me. So I will rip back and rethink. I am still hoping that miraculously I will find a smart pattern that somehow make what I have, magically become enough yarn for a sweater. Right…and pigs might actually be able to fly.

The henley that never materialized

It took for ever to knit this sweater to this point for some reason. I was just not jiving with the pattern anymore. I am really not sure I love the yarn either. It is my own hand dyed sock yarn. I may be over dyeing this once it’s frogged.

The meh shawl

Not sure why, but I just don’t want to finish this shawl. I am not sure I remember what pattern this was. The yarn color is lovely, but the base has some kind of nylon in it that is adding a coarse hand that I am not loving at all. May rip it back and make socks instead. I got the yarn from someone on ETSY.

The cute skull caps

I love the patterns( I have no idea where the patterns are they were form a book…not sure which one, not sure if I even have that book anymore), love the way the elastic yarn makes the skull caps hug your head. I look lousy in skull caps. But ripping back will also leave me with yarn that is slowly loosing it’s elasticity (because these projects are THAT old…) Will probably just toss them.

These hats that did not work either

I don’t know whey I keep trying to make crochet hats when these kinds of hats look terrible on me.

I wish this fit me.

I would still wear this today even if it were not in fashion. But alas I have no idea what else to do with it other than repurpose the yarn for weaving. All hand dyed and hand spun by me.

The impossible wool pretzel

This patten is really cool. A really clever design, It is one of the few kits I have ever purchased. However when I started to knit the sleeves, The construction just did not look good on me at all. I think it just needs a minor adjustment in the design to work on my body shape, and am willing to give it a go. But just not with this yarn. I am not loving the colors. I did at one time, but now, no it so much.

Nope, this yarn is still not doing it for me

See I even tried this yarn working a basic sweater, I am just not loving the color way. I mean maybe in my art journal, or a painting I would love these colors together, but not in a sweater I intend to wear.

Another hood I will never wear

I love this yarn(it Noro silk garden) I love the pattern(Of mars) but honestly I will never wear this. It is too hippy cutesy for me. I think it mostly has to do with my age.

Speaking of that Noro yarn

I have been struggling what to make with it. I really do love it and I am so very familiar with working with Noro overall. But for whatever reason I have had bad luck trying to knit up this yarn. I made this awesome potato chip like short row shawl. Was happy as a clam working it up. I would just stop to marvel at how awesome it looked on the needles. But once I put it on, I felt like a circus tent. GAH!! So this goes back into the stash. Not sure where I am going with this yarn.

Mill end crooked sweater

This is the problem with mill end yarn. You never know the quirks it will have knit up. Why I decided to knit on as it leaned hard to the left, I have no idea. I am tempted to rip it back to salvage the yarn for weaving. But I probably will just throw away. I have a bunch of this. I have no clue what pattern this is.

The mill end bag

This is the same mill end in a different color. Crocheting seems to work much better with this yarn. I like this market bag pattern, but honestly I thing I am just going to rip this back and repurpose the yarn for weaving.

Ditto with this bag

And these shawls

And whatever these were

The Swatch blanket

At some point this was a great idea. Freeform these swatches together for a cool crazy quilt looking blanket. It is actually a lousy idea because all these different fibers and densities are making a really wonky puckered blob. And I absolutely HATE weaving in ends. I am just going to toss the whole lot and free up the space in the stash

The Babette blanket

Love the pattern, love the yarn. But I am thinking this blanket will be thinner than I would like. I am going to toss these blocks into the perpetual freeform project. This is a combo of Koigu and my own hand dyed.

The sweater that was not what I was expecting

I had totally forgotten I had started to make this. I really thought a different sweater was in the project bag. I had taken a sweater fitting class a few years ago at my LYS in Asheville. Evidently I had started to rip back the old sweater I thought this was, to try my hand at my awesome new sweater fitting skillz. I am definitely NOT finishing this. This yarn is just way too heavy to be considered wearable indoors. And way too itchy to wear next to skin.

Painting with yarn

This is a sweater I kind of just made up based on a couple of sweaters I love. I like the yarn combo, the style has potential, but truth be told I will not be wearing this sweater. Not sure why, The fit is kind of off for my personal taste. There is some great yarn in there, time to repurpose.

The hairpin lace that just needs to die

I have been schlepping this around for years. Time to admit I will not be finishing this. I want to like it, but I just don’t. It is handspun and can totally be recycled into some great weaving

The poser project

I was meeting a knitting friend for some long overdue coffee shop knitting time. Mid move, I had no idea where my social knitting was, so I grabbed this yarn and some needles and spent our time swatching. I don’t even think I was really intending on making anything. This is just going to go back into the stash. I am thinking this handspun (by me) will work with a pile of other yarn I have collected for a bigger project.

Another meh sock

Yet again another social knitting project. I am not thrilled with it, and can totally use the yarn elsewhere. This is my hand dyed.

This is suppose to be a shawl

Clearly I fucked up something somewhere…Going to salvage the yummy Moonrover handspun


So there you have it. All my dirty laundry on my bad ideas. Tomorrow we are going to look at the WIPs I am feeling ambivalent about.

Joining me in the 31 Day Studio Awesome Challenge?

I am posting progress and info on setting up my studio over the next 31 days. I will not be blitzing my main email list daily…but if you DO want an email notice when daily posts go live, sign up here:

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 22: WIPs That Are Staying In The Project Basket

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 22: WIPs That Are Staying In The Project Basket

YAY!! welcome to the first day of Week of WIP flash.

Today I am sharing with you the projects that I consider my Works in Progress (WIP). These are the ones I intend to finish. No, really…

Okay, this post is gonna be picture heavy post. Because I have…



Wait for it…




24 WIPs on the needles. Egad.

And I am talking projects that are a hell yes, love the yarn, love the garment, ready to finish this right NOW. They meet all the criteria to make the cut and land back in my project basket right, next to the sofa in the studio. Queue the movies, let’s settle into some work.

So, without further adeu here they are…minus spinning, weaving, perpetual projects, and projects I am on the fence about…those posts will be coming later this week.

The Green Seed Stitch Sweater

I have been working on this sweater…no lie.. since 2004. Long enough for the yarn label design to have changed. It is all wool, miraculously a color I still like and really just lacking sleeves at this point. It is based on Sonnet from Knitty. and kind of a recreation of one of my absolute favorite sweaters of all time.

The Girly Kitten Sweater

This yarns is acrylic. It is actually an acrylic that is surprisingly soft and not at all bad to knit with. I think I picked it up at A.C. Moore. I wanted to make an easy to launder sweater in girly kitty like colors. Like a big snugly. This sweater is also based on the Sonnet pattern. I love the easy to knit one big sideways piece for the body, add sleeves.

The Bitterroot Shawls

I love this pattern. I was using it to make these samples for my booth (back when I was doing shows). I still love theses and intend to finish them even though I really do not need more shawls I don’t wear. I do, however need to spend an afternoon untangling the yarn.

The Cute As Hell Hippo

I NEVER make stuffed animals. But I just could not resist this insanely cute crochet hippo. I am using a bunch of my own hand dyed sock weight single ply. The instructions are 40+ pages long!! I am not sure I have all the pages. But once I spend an entire afternoon organizing and reprinting the missing pages, I am totally putting them in a binder.

The Handspun Awesome Shawlette

I snagged this alpaca/silk roving out of the shop and spun up this yummy lace weight yarn. I am not sure I even remember what pattern this is. I think I was working off an app on my ipad. I am also prepared to rip it back and start over if I need to. I know another shawlette I do not need. But I seriously can’t imagine this yarn as anything else.

Ooooo look another shawl...{**sigh**}

This pattern is from a Mirasol pattern booklet circa 2009ish which I am not seeing on Ravelry. I am using a Noro Kureyon, but in this weight and size may actually be a shawl I would wear.

The Japanese Tunic

I love working Japanese patterns. I fell in love with this one after seeing it on Ravelry. It took me months to track the pattern down. The yarn is another one of my hand dyed in a silk linen blend.

The Summit Shawl

I love love love this pattern. It is nothing short of pure engineering genius. A challenge to wrap my left brain around, but it is fairly easy to get into the rhythm. I want to finish it just because it is a joy to knit. The yarn is for Mirasol.

The Heathered Stripy Sweater

This sweater was an exercise in combining yarn and recreating one of my favorite sweater shapes. I am not sure I remember which sweater I was recreating…

Handspun Gauntlets

I am so close to finishing these. Both yarns are hand spun by me. The brown an alpaca, the colorful and merino bouclé. No pattern, just making it up as I knit.

The Jewel Dragon Scarf

I started this scarf this summer. It is another well engineered pattern. Challenging, but a joy to knit. Really looking forward to finishing this one. I am using yarn I from my friend Gale of Gale’s Art.


I love the Clapotis pattern. I am using some of my hand dyed single ply yarn.

Entrelac wrap

This is the second one of these I have made. I actually wear the other one quite a bit. I just need to add a ruffle around the edge and add a button. The yarns are a handspun alpaca merino silk blend and a merino single ply lace, both spun and dyed by me.

Japanese Boot Sock/Stir-up/Leg Warmer Thing

I am not sure if I will even wear these. But they have been crazy fun to make. From one of my Japanese pattern books I am not seeing on Ravelry, made from one of my hand dyed sock yarns.

Kiss the Sky Scarf

Another beautifully engineered pattern. Such an unusual stitch pattern, I look foreword to diving back into this one. Made with another of my hand dyed sock yarns

Another acrylic yarn project

And it is a crazy big afghan. It is based on the popular hexagon blanket from a Japanese pattern book. I wanted an afghan I would really use snuggled on the sofa with cats. With cats is code for it better be machine washable because they will inevitably puke on it. I don’t hat the yarn, but it is some what acrylicy.

The Portland Sweater

I love love love traditional looking cabled sweaters. And I bought this gigantic pile of no name Italian yarn from my favorite discount shop with a cozy cabled seater in mind. I am in the process of ripping back and starting over on this pattern because the gauge is off. I had a moment of panic this week when I could not find the majority of the yarn. I had no freaking idea where it was, the last time I remembered seeing it was two years ago at the old house. Spent about an hour tearing the studio, garage and hall closet apart looking in all the languishing boxes from our move. Was almost in tears once I finally found it. THIS is why I am organizing the hell out of the studio in the first place.

My Favorite Everyday Sweater

Another exercise in recreating a favorite sweater. This sweater was my everyday sweater for YEARS. It sprouted a giant hole a couple of years ago and my wardrobe has been at a loss ever since. I am determined to finish this one pronto. I am using an off brand yarn that I got at the annual fiber and equipment rummage sale held every year in Black Mountain, NC.

Slipper Sample

This project actually has a deadline and is next in the queue. I am testing out this yarn for the felted slipper class I am teaching next month. It felts weird, but I am thinking the way I calculate the numbers for the pattern will accommodate for that.

The Sophie Digard Inspired Shawl

I have been working on this for a couple of years too. It is inspired by Sophie Digard’s GORGEOUS work. I lost a pile of medallions in the move. Once I found them again, I realized I can actually see the finish line on this project!!

The Cat Bed

This is some of my first hand dyed yarn. And it is kind of ugly, but it is perfect for a cat bed. I am thinking I will continue making it once I change out the hideous metal needles. Because Kitty loves his hand make beds. Why I thought I needed a stitch counter for this, I have no idea.

The Hand Spun Sweater Experiment.

I pulled together several of my favorite hand spun two ply and decided I wanted to make a sweater based on a sweater in my closet that I love. I am game for continuing on, but I kind of think I am missing some yarn for this. I decided I did not like the stripe on the chest.

The Super Cool Mobius Lace Panel Hoody

This pattern was in Vogue Knitting ages ago. Let me just say that judging from the Ravelry page, it seems as if the pattern photo is not accurate to how this hoodie wears in real life. I love the construction, love the how this yarn knits up. I could have sworn I had started the front panel. And it seems like I am short some yarn. So we will see if I am even able to finish this.

The only scary plastic yarn I will knit

This is the only time I will ever suck it up and work with hideous acrylic yarn. We are talking don’t sit next to the fire because this will melt kind of yarn. This is a blanket my grandmother was working on. She passed before she finished it. And unlike me, she was a one project at a time kind of girl. She did have some stash which I inherited and in turn, found new homes for. But this project for what ever reason needed to be completed. I have a feeling I know why. So I am going to just suck it up and finish the last few rows, put it together and wait for the signs.

So there they are the 2 dozen that totally made the cut. Tomorrow we are gonna get a look at the ugly.

Joining me in the 31 Day Studio Awesome Challenge?

I am posting progress and info on setting up my studio over the next 31 days. I will not be blitzing my main email list daily…but if you DO want an email notice when daily posts go live, sign up here:

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 21: Week of WIP-Flash

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 21: Week of WIP-Flash

Alright Y’all, I have been eating this frog for  the last few day. I have been diving deep into my current WIPs and have come out with what I am considering the projects that I am pulling out of limbo that I want to either complete, frog, or am somewhere on the fence about them and hope blogging about them with make things a bit clearer. We are talking 70+ photos y’all…


Go me.

So, here is the criteria for which WIPs are making the cut and not being frogged and put back into the stash:

Is it portfolio worthy?

Straight up, I am building my body of work. Okay, as an artist I am always building a body of work. What I mean is are these projects reflective of my current style and visual language. And if it is not, how far off are we talking? Am I just completing this shit out of guilt? Am I just worried I am not giving credence to the money/time/popularity of the project/yarn? Guilt is no reason to hold on to what is taking up room where better projects belong. And if I feel like I can not stand behind this work as a representation on me and my vision, then fuck it, I’m frogging. I know this might sound a bit extreme for a hobby. Maybe it is. Is your vision to be a fiber artist? Then it is not extreme to only want to work on stuff that is true to your vision and brand.

Do I love the yarn?

I do not mean to be a yarn snob, but if I am not loving feeling the yarn in my hands, then I should not be working with it. All that negative energy going into my work is not what I want. That being said, there are quite a few acrylic yarns that are just fine by me, as well as quite a few high end luxe fiber yarns that I hate. Colors are a big deal to me as well (duh). And my tastes in colors change. I find myself falling out of love with yarn because of color. That is actually where I find languishing stash happening. So, I have to be super vigilant about that one. Yarn culling happening next week…

Do I need it?

While I have some stuff that are showcase and art for sale pieces, there is a vast number of WIPs that are for me. Things I outright need in my closet. Things I don’t need more of? Hats, scarves and shawls. I love making them, but I have a ridiculous number of them. I really do not need more. Things I do need? Sweaters! I have been wearing out my sweaters and am behind on replacing them. Mittens, I want a couple of really good favorite mittens. Slipper socks, because I go through these pretty fast, but love love love them.

I am making a very big pile. And this week I am sharing with you all of my WIPs a few at a time with lots of details and back stories. It is a monster task, but feel so insanely good to get this knocked off the list. So I am calling this my Week of WIP Flash.

See you tomorrow when all the fun begins.

Joining me in the 31 Day Studio Awesome Challenge?

I am posting progress and info on setting up my studio over the next 31 days. I will not be blitzing my main email list daily…but if you DO want an email notice when daily posts go live, sign up here:

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 20: Working the Merc Rx for big purging

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 20: Working the Merc Rx for big purging

So Mercury Retrograde (MercRx) started yesterday. No wonder I was able to get so much studio-purge stuff done.

For those not into astrology, Mercury Retrograde happened 3x a year (except for this year where it is happening 4 times….F. you 2016). For the most part it is 3 weeks in length not including the lead up and languishing parts. Technically what this means, where Mercury is in it’s orbit, make it look like it is actually traveling backwards in the sky. When Mercury goes into retrograde things like communications, computer stuff, travel plans will literally feel like they are tops turvy, ass-backwards, going against the grain. It can be a maddening time that generally calls for a little more patience, flexibility and lots of deep breathing.

A couple of years ago I had some unavoidable travel happen during the MercRx. I was heading to Taos for my first big teaching gig in a part of the county I had never been to before. I was traveling alone, had my entire yarn inventory in checked luggage, and had 2 plane changes happening in large unfamiliar airports. I prepared myself to just move slowly, be flexible and solicited some extra support to help me weather what I was so sure to be a tsunami of bad luck. Something else altogether happened while I was on that trip. I got some crazy deep insights into my goals and dreams. I had so many opportunities do really do some introspection and ended up leaving Taos with an entirely new outlook on where I wanted and needed to be in my business as well as my artwork.

You see, it is not that a retrograde is bad, it is just an intense waning of energy. It is yin instead of yang. It is ebb instead of flow. So, rather than fight the energy that feel “backwards”, what worked in Taos was to do my “inner” work. To journal, pay attention to what was bubbling up to be thought through and let go.

So what does this have to do with the studio rehab? For the last 3 weeks I have found myself deep in contemplation over my space and my stuff as it relates to how I want to move forward with my business and my work in 2017. I am letting go of projects and supplies that no longer fits with the work I want to do. I am really getting clear on what I want to do actually is. No wonder yesterday felt like a big step forward when actually it was just a big step deeper.

Joining me in the 31 Day Studio Awesome Challenge?

I am posting progress and info on setting up my studio over the next 31 days. I will not be blitzing my main email list daily…but if you DO want an email notice when daily posts go live, sign up here: