Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ezmaralda got a couch!

Today my kitty turned one year old! I am a total cat nerd. Love the critter.
My couch arrived today, adopted from Jackie's gram. It is a huge retro beauty. I LOVE this couch.
So does Ezmaralda. She sniffed it and promptly jumped up and took a bath. She declared it HER couch, just in time for her birthday.

This space is in my studio and I am having a blast decorating it-- my own personal fort!

Here is a before pic of the space...
and after the couch is in, complete with Ezmaralda and a handsome man. It is more of a gold/green than the picture shows and is perfect for the Brady Bunch vibe of the space.
Here is the table and chairs that came too- from Jackie and her Gram. This table is full of good friend energy and will provide a space for some very fun creating!
I am leaving for Artfest on Wed. morning, and am SO excited! I still need to pack (ack!) and prepare for the arrival of my wonderful in-laws-- who are coming to stay with the girls and Paul while I bask in the creative energy of ArtFest.

Off to sit on the new couch with the man and the cat.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

...and the March 09 Yarn Recipient is....

The lucky March 09 "Egg Hunt" Yarn Recipient IS...

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-03-29 03:05:40 UTC

(hear the crowd roar?) said...

Inspired by spring
chunky glitter and pastels
soft as a bunny

'tis the best I could do at such a late hour ... thank you for this, it's gorgeous! :), contact me and we will work out your pattern choices and other details!

Next month's giveaway fun will be announced after the Easter holiday.
If you would like to be contacted when the new giveaway is up go to the shop and scroll down-- the newsletter subscription link is at the bottom of every page on!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Journey Hat

The Journey Hat
(because it's all about the journey)

~Scroll down for detailed images and yarn specs~

© 2009 Reenie Hanlin

Here it is!
My interpretation of a Free People hat from a year or so ago.
I knit pile of these, working out the math, then put it away for a year. Recently it caught my attention again, and now here it is!

Works up best in a painted yarn
(in my opinion) , but also beautiful in a solid.
Scroll down to see more images knit in different yarns.

Hat is knit holding 2 strands of worsted yarn together to make knitting faster and to make the color combos even more spectacular. Simply knit from both ends of the wound skein.
Different yarn fibers will give you a variety of 'slouch'. For example, a bamboo blend yarn will be slouchier than 100% wool, because it is loftier and lighter. make sense?

The Journey Hat

~ 1 skein of worsted weight yarn, approx. 210+ yards
(knit from both ends of the wound skein)
**A DK or light worsted held double will work well also!-- or a single strand of a chunky yarn**
~ Size 8, 16 inch circular needle

~ Size 10 1/2, 16 inch circular needle

~ Size 10 1/2 dpn
~ Tape measure
~ Yarn sized needle

Cast 64 st onto size 8 circ. needle.

K3P1 rib for 2 inches (approx. 11 rows)

Switch to 10 1/2 circ. needle.

Round 1, Purl

Round 2, Knit

Round 3, Increase round, *K2, M1*, continue * entire round, increasing to 96 st.
Round 4, Purl

Round 5, Lace round *YO twice, K3tog*, Continue in this pattern entire round.

Round 6,
*K, Kbl, K* repeat entire round (Kbl means Knit in back loop)
Round 7, Knit

Round 8, Purl

Round 9,
Lace round *YO twice, K3tog*, Continue in this pattern entire round.
Round 10, *K, Kbl, K* repeat entire round
Round 11, Knit
Round 12 and on, continue to
purl until hat measures 5 inches from the edge .


Place a marker every 12 stitches.

*P10, P2tog*, Continue in this pattern entire round.

Purl 2 rounds normally
*P9, P2tog*, Continue in this pattern entire round.

Purl 2 rounds normally

*P8, P2tog*, Continue in this pattern entire round.

Purl 1 round normally.

Repeat the decrease rounds, purling 2tog before each marker with just 1 normal round in between each decrease row until you have 8 stitches remaining, switching to dpn when necessary.
Thread needle and connect all remaining stitches and secure, closing the hole.

Kbl= means knit in the back loop of the stitch (normally you knit in the front loop).. the stitch created by the second yarn over will be backwards. Knitting in the back of the loop will twist it around.
M1= means Make One, and it creates an increase. I do this by picking up the bar between stitches and knitting in the back of it. There are many ways to M1... choose your favorite.

Knit from Material Whirled Muse Hand Dyed alpaca in Selective Dementia colorway

Knit from Material Whirled Muse Hand Dyed merino/bamboo in Amaryllis colorway~

Knit from Cascade 220 Heathers in Galaxy colorway~

Test knit by Ruth in a painted alpaca from her stash~

They are spectacular!
Not on Ravelry? GO JOIN NOW... it will rock your knitting world!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Catching up... introducing Petunia Lucille~

I wanted to write a bit about the past few days before putting the hat pattern up.
Once I put it up I will leave it on top for a few days to give everyone a chance to find it.

Spent the past few days just living life. Paul has been home (he took the weekend off! gasp!)
and we have been digging up the garden. We can start our crops almost 2 months earlier here than in PA. love that. I will take pics once it doesn't look like just a dirt pit anymore. Love the smell of earth. mmmmm

Yesterday I gave in and took my pitiful free-crapola cell phone in and traded up for a new one-- bigtime.
I got myself a Blackberry Storm. I am a total tech nerd. This phone makes me happier than is probably considered normal. I get giddy whenever I see it and remember that I actually have one. It's total splurge, since I am rarely away from the studio and the computer, but it makes me so happy I refuse to feel guilty. anyway-- enough blabbering and justification.
Here she is:
Petunia Lucille: (yes- I named it)- I tend to name everything- it amuses me.
So pink and pretty. and a smart girl too!

Here are a few shots from the past few days of my 365 photo diary- have you seen it?
I highly recommend doing one- it gives me a blurb of memory from each day and has really helped the whizzing of time from evaporating my memories.

Off to clean the studio-- my knitting couch is projected to arrive sometime in the next week or so... and I have some serious dusting and purging to do.
Hat pattern soon-- I PROMISE!
One more pic to take before posting it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fluffy Bunny Blues~

I just updated the shop~

Fluffy Bunny Blues~
Grace & Sparkle~

Accept the Inevitable~

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

If not always in the way we expect...

Found this is Ann's book (journal). She wrote it from her Harry Potter book- it's a Luna Lovegood quote. I LOVE that she is writing things like that down. My kids are so cool.

Spent the weekend between gallivanting around Portland with Paul and the girls and fetal-position-knitting on the couch.
What was I knitting you ask? well.... I am still working on "the hat". It's been odd trying to get the math to balance out. I have learned that things that make perfect sense to me do not always translate into other human language. haha. go figure.
Ruth came over to hang out and knit and blab and listen to my existential angst-ings. She is also math-logic-brained. I like to think that I am, but when around someone who truly IS I realize that it is wise to run things by someone else sometimes. Here is the latest version-- and hopefully LAST of "the hat".
Knit from my yummy merino bamboo in the "Amaryllis" colorway.

I also have been swatching for my second sweater. selfish? maybe. I am only interested in knitting sweaters for myself right now. I have plans to knit for the girls, but I am still feeling hesitant to knit a sweater for someone who is growing faster than a weed.
This time I plan to knit Therapi by Stefanie Japel (Glampyre Knits).
LOVE this design. love love love it.
I am using my merino bamboo yarn that I still have to dye-- I am thinking of a dusky dark blue.
So I knit the gauge swatch from an Amaryllis scrap...this is the body pattern, a basket weave.

I then knit the yoke pattern from a scrap of Acid Grasshopper BFL. I know the gauge is not accurate, but I wanted to see how the pattern knit up before beginning the actual sweater.
LOVE it too...
Now to get the dye pots going-- in a few days, for now I will spin and clean and run the girls all over creation to appointments and such.

This morning I spent at the wheel. Here is a teaser pic...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Frenzy~

It's been one of those days where I feel like I have been running and running and running. I am exhausted. Paul has been out of town all week and it was a yoyo day- between he is coming home, he's not coming home, back and forth....
Jackie was here to paint and dibble around with things for ArtFest. I managed to semi-organize my painting space then intermittently work in my big journal, between phone calls and flight bookings and general emotional exhaustion.
It soothes me to do so, and I love how all of the little additions add up over time.
Paul's flight lands in about an hour, so I am off to make dinner and soak up a tad of solitude.

Following are some compositions and doodles I was playing around with in the journal.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chill Week~

It's been a pretty chill week here in the Material Whirled. I spent Mon. spinning, Tues. updating the site, yesterday dibbling around in circles, cleaning and painting.

Here is a partial page from my journal...

What else?
I cut the collar off my purple sweater-- gave the girls a heart attack but its all good.
It was waayyy too wide at the neck so I am picking up and knitting the small shawl collar, rather than the x-large. Should make it about 8 inches tighter around. We shall see.... I really need to take pictures of it. sigh.

I am also hemming my old living room curtains for my bedroom here. Never did get curtains up in the bedroom, it's only been over a year and a half! OH I bought jeans today-- a size smaller than I thought I needed!-- WOOT. There is a sunshiney moment.

So that is it for my rambling day.
I leave you with some yarn pictures and some fabric designs I find inspiring. No idea where they are from, I randomly save images from the web.

Band Geek
Quantum Path

Fabric Inspiration
Fabric Inspiration
Off to finish dinner!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Knit Spin spinspin.......

I adore my job. Today I spent finishing hat #3, then spinning 8 skeins!
All skeins are for a shop update-- which I plan to do tomorrow.

Here are some teaser shots of the HAT. No name yet. Ideas?

It was inspired by a Free People hat from a few years ago and will be available here on the blog for free! Looks best when knit from a painted yarn (in my opinion).
Pattern is almost done, just some technicalities and wordsmithing to do.

Hat #1 Knit by Ruth from painted alpaca.

Hat #2 Knit by me from Cascade 220 Heather~
Hat #3 Knit by me from my handpainted alpaca, Selective Dementia.Now my back hurts and I plan to hit the couch. hard. with my butt.
And swatch for my next sweater endeavor. More on that later.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

2009 Yarn Giveaway #3 ~ Egg Hunt

I am no longer taking entries for this giveaway.
Check recent entries for NEXT month's giveaway.
Entries ended with comment #59~

It's almost Spring and in it's honor this month's Yarn Giveaway skein is....

"Egg Hunt"
Spun from wool and merino in soft pastel colors with iridescent glitz.
Plied with a variety of pastel cotton threads.
Featuring Easter Eggs!
*Comes with or without iridescent Easter Grass, (your choice)~ 80 yards ~bulky


TO ENTER, entertain me!
haha--- I loved your creative entries last month, so get your creative brain juices flowing and write me a small poem. I love rhyme~
OH- and only one entry per person please?

On Saturday March 28th I will enter the number of each comment (first comment is number 1, etc.) into a random number generator online. I will post the winner here in the blog as well as emailing the Material Whirled newsletter list! To join, click here (link is at the bottom of every page on the site).
If I post your name here on in the newsletter, contact me and we can work out the fun details!

(includes free shipping to the continental US)

I plan to do one handspun yarn giveaway per month ...So spread the word!

Oh and psst-- this yarn is also available to purchase (in a limited edition) in the shop!


Sometimes its a pain being an adult. There are decisions to be made and things to be done that....bleh (sigh), no one wants to take care of. I wanted to play in the A.D.D. spring weather (rain, sun, hail, sun, rain, hail, etc.) or in the studio, or update the shop, but...

This is what we spent our Saturday doing...
I moved stuff, vacuumed, pretreated and prepped and Paul ran the machine.
He found it very zen, ME? I would have thrown it off the deck.
It took hours, as our house is full of this lovely carpet. Well, it is better now. It needed it sooo bad. I priced having a professional come and do it but I know they would not be as thorough as we would, plus it was so expensive! sheesh. Some things are worth paying to have done, but this was not.
Since the carpets are still damp I will be posting the new YARN GIVEAWAY after the kids are up and we run the shampooer back to the rental place. Oh- and I may stop at Michael's to get this feathery spring wreath I saw... Kitsch Heaven! I will take a pic.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Stash Reduction and 365 days~

Spring fever is hitting me. I am having purging (destashing) urges and have been cleaning out stuff big time. Here is a teaser of fun and tacky things to come in the Stash Reduction Pages...

Next weekend we are going to get the veggie garden prepped to start planting. It is odd to have an earlier growing season, we are used to the East Coast, where you don't start until after Mother's Day! Here it is much, much sooner. It may still be a bit early for most crops, but we are extending the garden (doubling it in size) and need to dig up the ground, make more fence, etc...

Enough blabbering.

I have also decided that the days are blurring by waaaayyy too fast lately. The only thing I can do to slow this down is to be more conscious, pay more attention to what is going on.
Not easy for me.
So I decided to jump on the 365 days wagon. A few months short, but I can start my year whenever I want, right?
As soon as I figure out how I will put a widgety thing with my daily pic on the right border somewhere.

Here is yesterday's pic.... not sure what today's will be yet.
Off to pack the orders ( read like time to make the donuts)....
And walk off some of the Girl Scout cookies... sheesh! Do they put crack in those things or something? You cannot eat just one...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday Fairies and Errands

Yesterday's Rainbow...
We spent the bulk of today on the road, running errands. I try to plan appointments and errands all on the same day so I can have more jammie-studio days. LOVE those, they are my favorite days.

This morning we headed to the salon for haircuts. Ann and I got one. I have a hot date with a tall,dark handsome man tomorrow night. We are going out to eat and to see Kathy Griffin. I am so excited.

After the salon we hit Sally beauty and ate lunch at a 50s themed diner, which the kids loved and I tolerated. Then on to Joann's for ArtFest supplies, and our monthly Costco torture session. Why are people at Costco always so vicious? Do they think Costco will run out of food before they get their chance? funny. But it's DONE for the month.

Here is Ann's haircut- she got about 3+ inches off...
We got home about an hour ago and I tried to nap but kept waking myself up by choking and then with hiccups! weird. I gave up on it after the hiccups hit.

The girls are building a Fairy Garden outside and it is the cutest thing.... here are a few shots:

Off to photo a few shop updates and list some. Keep an eye on the site.

Monday, March 2, 2009

How is it March Already?!

Wow-- times flies, doesn't it?
I totally sound like my gram, but she is right. sigh.

Lotsa pics for you today!

Today was spent prepping, skeining, tagging and boxing a big 'ole pile of orders.
I exhaust myself. I think I may chill a bit with my knitting on the deck-- it is warmish today and the sun is out, which makes me happy...

Here are some pics of the day:
This...Became this...

Random shot of my art on the wall...
Packages that arrived the past few days from Arabella, KnottyNaomi and Therese!
Soon to be in the shop...

This came today-- REX RAY POSTCARDS!
I love anything and everything Rex Ray. sigh. Go see his site~
I have been working on this hat pattern since last year. It has been shoved to the back burner numerous times, but I love it so I am trying to finish it up. It will be a freebie here in the blog. Once I get it written out that is...

Knitting it from my hand dyed alpaca, in the "Selective Dementia" colorway-- there is still a skein left in the shop...
Off to find a glass of water and the hit deck (harhar) and knit.