A Swift Kick

I’m human.  (Sure, sometimes I wish I was from Gallifrey, but that’s another story.)  I slip, I fall, I get back up.  And yes, more often than not, it takes me awhile to get to that last part.  Suffering with PSA (Psoriatic Arthritis), I sometimes forget that I do have to force myself to get up and get out on my days off.

So, this morning, I’m writing this post from the Valley Health Wellness Center, in Winchester VA. (No, this is NOT a paid endorsement.  I joined because I’m an employee of VH and the rates are great for what you get.)  I mean, I woke up and was out the door by 5:30 AM on my day off.  My last day of a six day stay-cation, might I add.  I met with an amazing aquatic trainer yesterday, who walked me through some exercises and showed me how to do a routine on my own.  I spent an hour in the therapy pool this morning, and while I’m sore, it is a good sore.  Trust me.

New routines can be hard.  Any kind of change can be difficult.  I can tell  you, that seems to be my current theme right now.  New workout routine, new day-job routine, and a new outlook every since my new medication finally started to kick in.  But just like that motivational poster with the kitten in the tree, I’m doing my best to ‘Hang In There.’


The original motivational poster


Recent accomplishments aside, here’s what else I’ve up to in my six days off!

  • My husband and I recently celebrated my FIL getting remarried to an amazing woman, whom we think the world of.  I’ll post pictures of the wedding shawl on Friday.
  • I actually started knitting a pair of socks for myself! (GASP!)  I know, I know, it is about time.  I’m working on the ‘Herminoe Everyday Socks’, which has been living in my Ravelry queue for, maybe two years?
  • I’m all caught up on Mercy Street, The Walking Dead, and The Magicians.  If you haven’t seen any of these, I suggest them all.  There is something for everyone in these shows.
  • I celebrated my 34th birthday with friends, family, and good wine.  The Hubs and I took an overnight stay to Baltimore, where I not only had amazing hand-made pierogis, but also made my first wholesale order with Lovelyarns (more on this later in the week.)

So, what’s new with you?  I hope that you’re February is ending well, and you are killing it with your crafting, and your goals.  Don’t forget about our KAL for the ‘Talvel Cowl’, which is going on through the end of March!



KAL & Yarn Giveaway

I’m really excited to announce that I am hosting a KAL for my new pattern, the ‘Talvel Cowl’.  If you are a member of ‘Ravelry’, you can join in on the fun HERE, as well as purchase the pattern.  You can also purchase the pattern in my Etsy Shop, as well as some lovely bulky weight yarn.

I hope that you’ll join in on the fun!  I can’t wait to see everyone’s cowls.

'Talvel Cowl' KAL2.png


Etsy Shop Update – January

The shop update over at the Etsy store is live!  I’m really excited about the new colors that I’ve been working on.  Let me tell you all about them!



I’m continuing to work with my new base of sock yarn, named ‘Tory’s Toes’.  Inspired by a good friend, this base has a tighter twist than my standard ‘IMC Sock’ base.  The above colorway is called, ‘Misty Mountain’. I love the layering of soft purples and pinks. There are two skeins available and ready to ship.



Next up is an old favorite in my ‘IMC Sock’ base.  ‘Sunset Shimmer’ is one that I’ve had a lot of luck with, and one that everyone seems to really enjoy. Super soft, shades of orange, yellow, and pops of white and pink.  There are two skeins available and ready to ship.



This one was a lot of fun to dye.  ‘Chocolate Covered Cherries’ is perfect for Valentines Day!  Dyed in my ‘IMC Sock’ base, there are shades of brown and red, with pops of white and pink.  This is a OOAK (one-of-a-kind) skein and there is only on available.



Lastly, meet ‘Go Go Godzilla’!  Another great OOAK skein, in my ‘IMC Sock’ base, it has hues of green, black, purple, and white.  I really like this one!  There is one available.


I plan on trying to do a small shop update every month.  It is so much more manageable that way.  I reskein everything by hand, so while the process is a long one, I know that it is well worth it for you, my customer.  I don’t want you to have to deal with tangles while you are trying to wind your yarn.






Countdown To Christmas – Day 6

We didn’t have a winner yesterday,  so I’m rolling over yesterday’s prize, to combine it with today’s! 

There are only SIX days left until Christmas!  Today, I’m giving away a 20% coupon to my Etsy Shop, as well as some lovely yarn from Knit Picks!

To enter : comment with what you want for Christmas this year!  I’ll chose a winner tonight after 8pm EST. 

And remember,  I’m commenting on the winner’s comment. So keep a look out! If you’re the winner, you need to get me your name and mailing info.

Ready, Set …. SHOP!

It truly crept up on me, and hit me today.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday are quickly approaching.  At first, I didn’t think that much about.  I don’t join that masses in snapping up bargain electronics and toys.  I can’t even stand to be around that many people at one time.  But then I remembered … I have an Etsy shop.  I’d better get my arse in gear!


I’m really excited to announce FREE SHIPPING for all domestic orders!  And, because I want to do something special for my international customers as well, I’m offering 50% off International shipping.  I’m so excited to share my yarn with everyone.

Please visit my Etsy store, Of Grace And Stitches.


Fellow Fibre Friends – Amy van de Laar

Welcome to another installment of my guest post series, ‘Fellow Fibre Friends’!  This week, I’d like you all to meet Amy van de Laar, knit wear designer. Her designs are out of this world amazing! Visit her blog, BaroquePurls, as well as the pattern links mentioned in the post.)

Hi folks! I’m Amy van de Laar, a knitting pattern designer from New Zealand, currently living in Melbourne, Australia with my partner Willie. I sell my self-published patterns online, mostly through my Ravelry Store, and I’ve also published patterns in collaboration with Brooklyn Tweed, Pom Pom Quarterly, and Knitty. The designs I’m best known for are probably the INSULATE! hat, one of my earlier designs from 2012, and the Beeswax hat, from 2014.





One of the things I love most about knit design is that it’s just so varied. There are so many different tasks and skills involved, and there’s always more to learn. For example, this year I’ve learned a massive amount about product photography, i.e. really showing your knitting or yarn or finished sample in the best possible light – taking an exciting photo, not just a pretty one. I’ve been getting more and more deliberate about composition and lighting and editing, and generally upping my game with my Instagram photos. It helps that I find photography a huge amount of fun!

I’m really lucky to have a photographer in the family (even if he does live two plane rides away). My dad Jos, gives me tons of advice on taking photos and editing them, and when I’m visiting I usually fit in a photoshoot or two with him as the photographer. Here’s a lovely one of his, with me and my Mum modelling two of the designs from my recent La Folia Collection.


To give you a taste of some of the things that I do day-to-day as a knit designer, this week I’ve been busy finishing up a stranded cowl that’s a sample for a new design, taking photos and posting them on Instagram, revising two of my older patterns, communicating with collaborators, sanding and painting a coffee table to use as a photo backdrop, responding to knitters’ comments and questions on Ravelry and Instagram, editing photos, getting ready for the Indie Design Gift-A-Long, and last but not least, doing my tax return. This was one of my less-busy weeks – pattern-release weeks, on the other hand, can get a bit intense!


Last week I released my latest pattern, Silverwing, and I’m still buzzing from the amazing response it had – both in comments/faves and in pattern sales.



It’s a real thrill when a new release does well, because not all of them do, sometimes for no discernible reason. There’s a certain amount of luck involved, and all I can really do is try to nail the things I do have control over – the photos, the marketing, and the design itself.


One thing that’s not so great about being an indie designer is that because you’re often working on your designs and other tasks all by yourself, it’s easy for self-doubt to creep in. Is this shawl really the best it can be? Maybe I should have done XYZ differently? Will anyone like it? Will anyone want to buy the pattern? Gah! I find it does help to talk through my worries with other people – my family, yes, but also other fibre business folk who often have the same struggles. The Fibre Boss Collective group on Facebook is a really wonderful place to get feedback and advice, or vent frustrations – it has a great we’re-in-this-together vibe, and its number-one rule is ‘be kind’. Another community that’s a great source of positivity and inspiration for me is all of the knitters on Instagram. Getting wonderful comments on a photo of a work-in-progress really gives me a confidence boost. And when you see someone proudly showing off a project using one of your patterns, it’s a great rush!



When I’m not knitting or working on my pattern business, I like to hang out with Willie and his siblings and watch TV (my firm favorite is The Great British Bake Off) or go on adventures to parks or art galleries or places to eat. I also crochet and spin, and my main non-fibre interest is music. I play the piano, and until recently sang in a really good church choir (I’m still ‘on call’, so with Messiah season coming up it’ll be all on again soon).

Thanks for having me!



Busy Bee

I have been trying, with no success, to blog in the last week.  Seriously, it has been one roadblock after another.  Slow internet, WordPress not wanting to format my posts, and life in general, have all gotten in the way.  I swear to all that is good and holy, I WILL post tonight!

This weekend has been a busy one in the shop.  I’ve been dyeing my heart out to get a shop update ready to roll before Black Friday.  Bulky, worsted, sock … it will all be there!  Since my normal sock base is on back order, I’m trying a new one at the suggestion of a friend.  I’m really excited to see the response once everything is loaded on Etsy.

There are so many wonderful colors, all dyed in groups of two.  Here’s a little sneak peak of what is to come.











I hope that you all have a fantastic week! Remember to check out the current selection in my Etsy shop to find that perfect yarn for you!




Welcome To Fall

Hello, dear readers!  I’m so excited that Autumn is finally here in the Shenandoah Valley.  The leaves are starting to change, the temps are getting cooler, and the days are getting shorter.  This is my favorite time of year, in case you couldn’t tell.

Fantastic things are happening this month at OGAS.  I have some really great ideas and plans that I’m hoping to share with you.


caffeine is essential to any plan


I’m excited to announce that I’m going to be featuring a guest blogger every week for the next few months.  These are people who are involved in the fibre world in some shape or form.  I really want to show the love, and the support, to such a rewarding community.

I’m also trying to nail down a schedule and have some regular posted features every week.  ‘WIP Wednesday’, ‘FO Friday’, and ‘Around the Interwebs’, just to name a few.


Worsted and bulky weight yarns are on their way!  I’m working on a special order tonight, and then I’ll be dyeing up some heavier weights.  But don’t worry … there will be new sock yarn as well.

Don’t forget; I’m always willing to work on custom orders.  If there is something that you are looking for, email me, and we’ll talk shop!


No, silly.  It’s not spaghetti!

I hope that you’ll stay tuned for all the fun things that are going to be happening here, both on the blog and in the shop!  I’m really looking forward to all the wonderful things that October has to offer.






8 Years And Counting

When you’ve known someone for over half your life, it can feel like you’ve known them forever.  And let me just clarify; this is NOT a bad thing.

This guy is AWESOME!

Today is my 8 year wedding anniversary.  My hubby, John, is one cool dude.  Not only does he put up with my shenanigans, he loves me, too. He’s the most wonderful father, and I can’t imagine my life without him.  He brews beer (really good beer, too!)  He bakes amazing bagels and bread.  He is starting to dabble in soap making and so far, the results have smelled fantastic.

So, in honor of my better half, I’m having a little sale in the Etsy shop.  Just use coupon code LOVE8 for 10% off through the weekend.  I want to spread the love that I have for him with the world, one skein of yarn at a time.

Together, Forever