why can’t this be my full time job?

August 29, 2010

I spent the better part of the weekend in my “dye studio” aka workbench in the garage…

it. was. great.

Above is a quick photo Mark snapped of me while he was refinishing a coffee table he found at the thrift store… he was cracking up. I was curled up in an intense ball of concentration here by the garage a lot this weekend. I am realizing that the handpainting method is much quicker than kettle dyeing… it is a little more labor intensive though and I can’t get as much of a mottled look this way either. I found a combo method where the yarn goes into the microwave after an hour in the dyepot.

Part of the fun of dyeing is finding methods that do and don’t work for me… I’m learning so much! Here are my spoils…

… should hold me over till after our vacay next week. We have been married TWO years already!

Will post vacation photos when we get back!

Happy Knitting!

Erin Marie

one year birthday…. anni… house-a-versary!

June 26, 2010

Today marks one year since we closed and moved into our first home!

We do love it here!

In commemoration of our dear home’s birthday… maybe anniversary… House-a-versary!

I present to you…

My freshly painted and quite lovely STUDIO!!!! It is amazing that it took us this long to paint this room… the previous owner had it “jungle themed” and it had a wall that had been given a sort of faux leopard print treatment… more commonly known as the “poo-smeared wall”.

Here is a before photo showing the “poo-smear”… I don’t have any close-ups but you get the idea. Amazingly enough the whole room was painted with only ONE gallon of Valspar Signature paint+primer.  We are huge fans of the stuff.

Unfortunately Mark won’t let me dye in here… although I can’t figure out why yet. :-P Something about cream carpet and the fact that I got blue dye powder on the countertop last time… blah blah blah. :-) It is however, a lovely place to do all other things artsy and girly while watching movies based on Jane Austen novels.

My pride and joy of my studio is the light fixture that I saved from the dump!  Well not the dump but from our dining room, headed towards the dump….

Chandelier before:  *disclaimer: our dining room has been completely re-done and no longer looks like it does in the photo below*

Chandelier after:

After spending hours yanking tons of gaudy crystals off this monster and then tediously painting each tidbit with yellow paint and a teeny paintbrush I am quite happy with the outcome.  My jokester husband initially made fun of me for undertaking such a silly endeavor, at least silly to Mr. Matchy-Matchy clean lines McGoo classic architecture Photographer Man…  I patiently kept on with my project and received the greatest satisfaction in the end when he conceded that it looked quite awesome. Thanks my sweet for being so great and for figuring out how to hang the fixture after I broke the part it hangs from! …therein lies a long story involving my legendary impatience…

At any rate, as i sit here slowly tipping back and forth I am reminded of how quickly the past year has flown by… maybe if I stay in this rocker long enough time will somehow slow to a crawl… and hope of all hopes Monday will not roll back around too soon.

A girl can dream right?

~Erin Marie


May 27, 2010

Please enjoy these yarney skeins of delight!  I have placed my second order of blanks and dye powders and plan on doing some serious garage time with my crock pot over the long weekend!

We have engagement photos to shoot on Saturday and a wedding gig on Sunday…

But Monday is yarney therapy day for me!!!

Pictured above is a one of a kind skein of Honey of a Hokie fingering weight yarn that I kettle dyed as lil sis’ grad present:-)

Can’t wait to see what colors come out of the pot this weekend!!!


May 27, 2010

Well whatta ya know I graduated from Tech two years ago and you know what happened this year!?

My sweet… darling… intelligent… hardworking and AWESOME little sis graduated from Tech tooooooooooo!!!!

She did me one a million better though and graduated Summa Coonie Maugnum pants…. or something like that… essentially all that Latin I just destroyed means that she was #1 in The College of Natural Resources and overall number 60 or 80 something out of EVERYONE who graduated from Tech in 2010. Yea you heard me right. She is a G…. and she’ll probably punch me with her tiny fist for bragging so much on my blog. I can’t help it!

I am SO proud of you little Cor!!!!!!

Welcome to the “real world” of nine to fives and bills!!! You are going to go places, I can’t wait to see what God has planned for you!



a new obsession

May 8, 2010

I don’t suppose I needed another messy hobby but I went and got myself one anyways.

Can you guess what it is?

It is colorful.

And occasionally toxic.

It banishes me to the garage after a blue stain magically appeared on the countertop.

It… of course… involves yarn.

There are bulky chemical resistant gloves.  Mr. Safety made me get these.

Have you figured it out yet?

It steams in the microwave and cools on the deck.

While it cools down I plant Dahlias in my garden.

Ok… I’ll tell you now…

I started dyeing my own yarn!!!

I have gone through a few laborious hours of the process and can now say that I… am… TOTALLY HOOKED!

Now you ask yourself, “WHY Erin WHY!?”… well first I got picky about yarn quality.  Then I would have a picture in my head of the perfect color for this project or that and not being able to find it… oh the frustration!  I decided that it “couldn’t be that hard” to dye the yarn myself and started searching the internet for tutorials and pouring over the work of other yarn artists on Etsy.  I also consulted my great pal and artist, Mikaela.  We were roommates back at Tech and let me just say it is fun to live with an art major.  They’re creative and adventurous and can be often found covered in ink, paint, dye, clay and masking tape… or maybe that’s just Mik.  She is now married and living in another state… I miss her dearly.  Anyways she is super creative and resourceful and you should check out her blogs here and here.  She was very excited about my foray into dyeing and encouraged me to go for it!  She gave me great advice on which dyes to use and I bought my supplies which arrived this past week.

This morning I dragged the ever faithful and patient Mark to Wal-Mart for the last round of supply purchases… vinegar… quart canning jars… plastic squirt bottles…etc.  When we finally pulled back up to the house we noticed a package on the front porch.

It turned out to be these…

My late birthday present from Mikaela! Just when I was starting to get nervous about jumping headfirst into dyeing these books show up on my front porch!  Thanks Mikaela, hopefully we can dye some yarn together soon!

Let me just say these books are great! I poured through them both, making notes and feeling more confident by the minute.  The two skeins I did today used the simple hand painting method from Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece by Gail Callahan.

I really love the subtle beauty of a semi-solid and plan to master that technique first since its my favorite.  I am pretty pleased with my results today but I am going out tomorrow to find a cheap crock pot so I can try my hand at kettle dyeing next to see which works best for me.

mmmmmmmm…. yummy!

after months of hard work…

May 8, 2010

The Knitterbee’s Peacock is finished!

I should throw myself a party or something.

I’ll leave you with some photos of the completed project…

Believe it or not my darling hub-meister helped me block it. He is great. Having a spare bed that can double as a blocking table is also great.

Photo Credit: My wonderful and fantastically patient husband.  Seriously. He is the best.

Awesome Fuschia Silk Dress Credit: J Crew Sale at Tech… gotta love a gorgeous and re-wearable bridesmaid $300 bridesmaid dress that only cost you $30… not only that but every time I wear or even look at this dress I think of two of my best friends and the great honor that I had to stand up before the Lord with them as they married great men.

Enough mushy stuff… back to the knitting. :-)

Let me just say I will be taking a break from lace knitting for a little while… phew.

I do love the finished product though!


May 3, 2010

Breaking news… The Peacock has landed!!!! I just finished the crochet loop cast off and just have to block it! I’m getting pins tomorrow and will do my best to get photos up this week!

I really do apologize for being away for so long…. as some of you know my day job is in operations for a large accounting firm. Due to the time of year I’ve barely had the energy to feed my darling husband when I get home, least of all knit or blog. Even so I have a few new knits to show for busy season and promise to post photos soon!

Also be ready for some fun new projects… I’m getting a package of goodies this week and am going to try my hand at something new…
Stay tuned!

~Erin Marie

tomorrow is national love day.

February 13, 2010

In honor of national love day this post is dedicated to my Dear Hubby.

… no offense to fur-ball but today I have much better Saturday morning couch knitting company.

This Valentines-weekend-almost-day I would like to share my feelings of love and blessed-ness by pointing out the following…

For God so LOVED the world (me) that he sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.                                                            John 3:16

This year I am thanking God on Valentines day for SO loving ME and for creating just for me a wonderful, loving, Godly husband that I am lucky enough to get to spend the rest of my life here on earth with.  Thanks God for giving us SO much to be thankful for!

Also… thanks and love to my Dear Hubby for being so great.

jericho weekend

February 13, 2010

Coming up next week is our Jericho Weekend at Snowshoe!

We are super pumped about a weekend of snowboarding… good friends… and a cute-affordable-hut tub having-civil war cabin.

In preparation for the weekend I am making cowls or “neck protectors” if you are a manly man like Mark.

I am currently working on Mark’s “neck protector”.  He always has issues with his snowboarding jacket rubbing his manly facial beardyness the wrong way.  So this year I am nipping face pain in the bud and making a protective, soft and manly layer to cover his neck and protect face and nose from windburn.

The pattern: Seirou by Chad Morris…

In order to find a manly knitted item that is designed with all manly requirements in mind (answering questions like “will this get stuck in my weekend scruff” are not exactly easy for us girls) I decided that the safest pattern to use would have to be designed by a man.  I found it … it is perfect… and I am utterly fascinated by the texture that he created by alternating rows of straight knit and knitting through the back loop.

I am constantly pausing during this project just to feel the texture this pattern creates.  I love discovering new ways to manipulate yarn and stitch patterns to create so many looks and feels… the options seem endless

I assumed that Mark would appreciate and be equally excited by this neat texture and have attempted to explain it’s coolness a few times… but alas knitting terms are lost on people who don’t knit.  It really only makes us knitters sound crazy…

I don’t mind. :-)

I will lovingly force him to wear this just like I force him to wear his helmet.

my very own peacock shawl

February 13, 2010

A few weeks ago a came across a pattern… a pattern I HAD to have.  I am starting to really LOVE knitting lace.  I just really appreciate the beauty, challenge and yes… the mathematics that go into creating a really beautiful lace project.

The pattern: Pretty as a Peacock Shawl by Jae Koscierzynski… I cannot imagine how someone acquires the skill to create such a pattern… maybe one day.

The yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace… 100% BABY Alpaca… thats right. BABY.

I’m using laceweight yarn so that the end product is not quite so giant and will be more versatile.  I’m not really into wearing blankets around… I have visions of a delicate light green baby alpaca Peacock cutely flouncing across the back of a teal party dress…

Here is what I have completed so far… 117 rows out of a total 220.  However since the stitches on my teeny needles with teeny yarn wrapped around them seem to be growing exponentially I estimate that I am about a third of the way through this beast.

Lastly, due to the fact that a post just wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t share a photo of fur-ball who has been sneaking “Cairngora” into most of my projects these days…

I hope to complete my Peacock by late spring to early summer.  This year… so far anyways… we are attending MORE weddings than we are shooting. This gets me all excited since I will not only get to attend weddings but I WILL BE WEARING A DRESS!!! Can you tell how excited this makes me?!?  I really love being a photographer and getting to experience all of the subtle details of a couple’s love for one another but I wear boring clothes.  Not just boring clothes but pants… and all black.  I am one of those girls that just loves a reason to wear a bright and flouncy cocktail dress.  Not proper photographer attire… we must blend and melt into the background.

This summer I WILL wear a dress to a wedding and I WILL have a pretty Baby Alpaca Peacock draped across my shoulders.

Just you wait.


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