Friday, March 27, 2015

The Cool Effects of Self Striping Yarns

Self striping yarns are so much fun to work with and can be used for a variety of projects beyond socks.  Two great examples of this are these Sugarplum cowls that are knit up in two very different yarns. 

This first one was knitted by KristiRose on Ravelry for the Six More Weeks of Winter KAL.  Kristi knitted it up in Supernatural Yarns Pixie Sock in Haymitch. I love how the center section has more of a pooling look and the top and bottom are striped!  I never would have expected yarn to do this, an it adds a lot of interest to the cowl.

My friend Chrissy Fletcher knitted up in Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin in Klapperstorch. The red, white and black stripes are really striking and it looks wonderful on Chrissy!  If you haven't watched her pod cast yet, it's one you won't want to miss.  I have to admit that I love her accent and before she started doing the video portion, I would listen to her in the mornings while I was having my coffee.  You can find Chrissy on her blog: Stitched-Together and in her Ravelry Group: Stitched-Together.  She always has fun stuff going on in her group, so be sure to check that out as well.























Friday, March 20, 2015

Lakes Yarn & Fiber

I've been talking with Ami from Lakes Yarn & Fiber about a new design and I am really looking forward to working with her.  Ami sent three skeins of her Hayden Worsted in Hansa which is the dark pink, Sweet Clover which is the medium pink and a lighter pink which I think may be called Repeatable Pink.  They coordinate perfectly with one another and it's going to be so much fun to design a new pattern with them! 


I've been able to sneak a bit of spinning in here and there on the weekends and finished up one fleece of alpaca.  It's a 2 ply fingering weight and approximately 560 yards.  It's not my best spinning, but it will knit up nicely and I think it's going to be a shawl. 


I also spun up a lovely batt from Knit Spin Farm.  The colorway is Violets at my Feet and it has all sort of fun things in it like Angelian, Blue Faced Leicester, and Sari Silk to name just a few.  It's leaning towards an Aran weight and should make a nice hat or cowl.  It was a blast to spin and should be at least as much fun to knit!



My friend Yvonne sent me a lovely care package a couple of weeks ago.  It had a few goodies for Iggy and a very special treat for me.  It's a skein of Red Barn Yarn's Sock Sparkle in the Lavendar Fields colorway.  It's a blend of merino, silk  and nylon, and the silk is very noticeable.  Socks or a shawl?  It's going to be a hard choice!


Friday, March 13, 2015

Yarnie Goodness

I have something so exciting to share with you and I can't wait to show you so I'm going to post the picture first and write about it below.


Turquoise and gray are two of my favorite colors and to have them put together in yarn that is this amazing makes me so happy!  Michelle of Berry Colorful Yarnings created these two colorways for a collaboration that we are doing with Lisa from Indie Untangled and Vickie from That Clever Clementine.  I'll be casting on for the design in a few weeks and I can't wait to get started!  The hardest part is going to be which colorway to use since they are both so stunning.  Stay tuned for updates on the collaboration.  I'll be posting them here and I'm sure that Lisa will be posting about them on the Indie Untangled Blog too. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Babalicious



I first discovered the wonderful yarns of  Miss Babs at Maryland Sheep & Wool a few years ago.  I couldn't believe all of the stunning colors her yarns come in and was even more impressed with the ladies that were working in the booth.  Since that first visit to her booth, every time I have been back no matter how crowded it is, or if it's at the end of the day, the ladies are always so nice and super helpful.  I've followed along on some of the podcasts and interviews that featured Babs and was very impressed with her business sense and the way that she explained how everyone sees colors differently.  Last year I was fortunate to get to meet Babs while we were at MDSWBabs is a lady who is as vibrant as the yarn that she dyes and was an absolute pleasure to talk to.  She is one of those people that make you feel warm and welcome the moment you meet them. 

I really enjoy knitting with the yarns that I have gotten from Miss Babs.  Each one is a work of art and when I knit with them, it's like getting to paint a watercolor picture without the trouble of having to use paint (I'm a bit challenged with actual paints). 



I thought it was very appropriate to name this pattern set after Babs and her wonderful yarns! 

Babalicious is a three piece set that includes mitts, a cowl and boot toppers that can all be made from just one skein of Miss Babs Yowza! This fun set was inspired by Miss Babs herself; her likableness and charm come out in the beautiful yarns that she dyes. I thought it was very fitting to name this pattern after her.  The three piece set is introductory priced at $5.99 on Ravelry.




Saturday, February 21, 2015

Winter is Here

Never mind that Winter is Coming, it's here!  The temperatures have been well below normal here for the past week, dipping well down into the single digits.  It was only 2 degrees here yesterday morning and barely got into the double digits.  I had all the intentions of blogging yesterday afternoon only to discover that we had a frozen pipe.  I spent a large part of the afternoon thawing the pipe with a heating pad and a blow dryer.  This doesn't sound really awful and normally I don't think it would be, but the pipe happened to be in between a wall in our basement and the foundation in a spot that I could barely squeeze through.  While I was squeezing in and out of this tiny space I noticed that where the main power to the house comes in had a large hole and was letting cold air in. No wonder the pipe had frozen!  I plugged it up with insulation and then insulated the pipes with pipe insulation.  So far it seems to be working. 

This was the spot that I squeezed into and yes, I was terrified I would either get wedged in there or attacked by spiders the entire time!


Because there was exposed insulation and god knows what else, I dressed properly for the occasion:

Now, onto some fun and much happier stuff!  

Last month Verity from Truly Hooked contacted me to see if I would be interested in having my Wentletrap pattern included in her sock club!  The mail has been really slow here and I sometimes wonder if our mailman likes to keep the yarn packages for a bit before delivering them.  After all,  they are really soft and squishy and hard to resist!  I can't tell you how delighted I was when I opened the lovely lavender package that contained Verity's yarn!  The colors are bright and cheerful, just the thing for the middle of a dreary winters day.  The yarn base is an 80/10/10 Superwash Merino/Nylon/Cashmere with just the right amount of twist to work well for socks, and soft enough for me to just want to wrap the skein around my neck and dance around the house for a bit.

As well as being a fantastic indie dyer, Verity also just recently had one of her crochet designs published in Inside Crochet. Verity also has a group on Ravelry and there are quite a few Wentletraps knit up in this colorway.  It's called Quirky, which suits it's cheerful colors perfectly.  Here is a link to this months yarn club: TruelyHooked

Here are Verity's Wentletraps in Quirky.  Don't they look like happy socks?  The colorway is perfect for them!



I've been working on a second Arya's Needle that has three of the lace panels and omits the sword in the center.  It's going to be used as a sample at the booth I will have at The Powhatan's Festival of Fiber in April.  I dyed up the yarn myself and will have some kitted up with the pattern at the festival. It was snowing again this morning and I wanted to capture a bit of it in the pictures without actually going outside. Even though they are a touch dark, I really like the way they came out.













Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sundance



I’ve just released Sundance, a fun venture into colorwork. The Sundance mitts are designed to keep help keep your hands and arms warm in those sub zero office temperatures that we all know and love. These cute mitts are knit up in Knitted Wit’s Victory DK in Wild Orchard and Naked.

Use coupon code: stupidgroundhog for $1 off of Sundance in my Ravelry pattern shop. Don’t wait because it expires on Midnight 2/15!




Wintertime is my favorite time to knit colorwork patterns. The longer nights and shorter days of winter seem to beg for brighter colors and patterns. The Sundance mitts are inspired by classic Norwegian mittens and sweaters with a touch of modern design.




Sundance is written in one size, but can easily be altered by going up or down a needle size or two, or by using a lighter or heavier weight yarn. Make sure to knit a swatch to check your gauge and to ensure you will like the fabric if you are altering the size of the mitts. My test knitter Julia, aka Sapphirechild on Ravelry, used Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool and altered her gauge to make them a bit smaller.



Friday, February 6, 2015

Six More Weeks of Winter KAL

Well the groundhog from hell has spoken and we will be having six more weeks of winter.  As you know, I love winter and next to fall it's my favorite time of the year.  This years lack of snow in our area pared with biting cold temperatures has been rather disappointing.  My friends in New England have gotten more than their fair share of snow and I would gladly take some of it off of their hands! 

To get us through the next six weeks, I started a Six More Weeks of Winter KAL in my Ravelry Group.  It's a casual KAL and you can even knit one of my patterns that you may already have.  If you want to purchase a pattern for the KAL use coupon code: Phil for 20%, good until the end of the day.  I'm giving away three patterns for prizes, all you need to do is post a picture of your FO from the KAL in the group to be entered.  I'm going to be joining in the KAL to help me with my goal of using 10 skeins before MDSW. 

Two pairs of socks knit from stash using two skeins of yarn.  I'm not counting the contrasting color on the Hearts in Owlantis since it was leftover from another project.


I didn't bother to check my gauge since Wentletrap is one of my designs (Do you think you are the only one who plays Russian Roulet with gauge????) and I wound up using more yarn than I planned and actually ran out on the toe of the second sock.  I put an SOS up in the Socks That Rock Group on Ravelry and Turtlegirl was kind enough to come to my rescue.  This was what was on the package when it came:




I finished up the toe and blocked them yesterday.  They are nice and dry this morning and I'm going to wear them today. Woot, woot! The yarn is Socks That Rock Lightweight in the Fire on the Mountain colorway.


I tend to get a little stir crazy when we wind up staying inside so much.  I rearrange furniture, clean out closets and generally drive Andy crazy.  We keep Iggy's crate in the living room during the day so that when we leave he can see Kiwi and not feel like he is all alone.  He is still way to young to leave unattended at this point.  The crate wasn't really an eyesore, but it really wasn't adding anything to the living room either.  I took some quick measurements and realized that it would fit perfectly under a repurposed sewing table that we had by the front door to keep our keys and other clutter on.  It looks much better and best of all didn't cost a thing.  We had been looking at coffee table crates on Amazon, and they are crazy expensive!  The table is a little taller than the crate, which I like because it will give Iggy plenty of fresh air.