Friday, March 28, 2014

Hearts in Owlantis and Despicable Socks

Socks are one of my favorite things to knit.  I almost always have a sock on my needles.  They are portable, can easily fit in my purse and can usually be knit from one skein of yarn.  If you are intimidated by complicated stitch patterns and have put off knitting a larger project because of this, socks really are a great way to get your feet wet - or keep them warm and dry!

My new Hearts in Owlantis pattern features a small bit of stranded colorwork in the center portion of the leg.  If you have never tried colorwork, these socks would be the perfect pattern to start with.  If you wanted to do a stash busting project to make these, you could even use several colors for a totally different look.  I'm dying to make them with a darker main color and a bright and possibly variegated contrasting color.  I'm having a hard time staying here and writing since I really want to go and dig through my stash to see what I have that would work! haha!

I have a coupon code for Hearts in Owlantis that is good through April 1 in my Ravlery Pattern Shop.  Enter: hoothoot when you check out and it will take $1.00 off.

The other fun sock pattern that is coming is Despicable Socks.  I love the Despicable Me movies and the Minions crack me up.  I laugh every time I see them and I even have a Despicable Me Fart Gun app on my phone.  Before you ask, it has a timer delay on it and yes I have set it to go off when I am not in the room! 

A couple of months ago Slipped Stitch Studios had a limited edition Minions bag set that I absolutely couldn't resist.  Michelle Berry of Berry Colorful Yarnings paired up with Slipped Stitch Studios and sent a long a little mini skein of a colorway called Minion. 

 BOM-Minions (2).JPG

Before my bag set even arrived I was messaging Michelle to get my hands on the Minion yarn.  I had the design for the socks in my mind for a while and hadn't seen the right yarn for it.  The Minion colorway in the wide stripes is exactly what I was looking for.  They have a modified short row heel that has been designed to help prevent the pooling that can occur in the instep area with many self striping yarns. I am also including notes on how to get your sock stripes to match.  The pattern is available for pre-order on Ravelry: Despicable Socks and will be delivered to your Ravelry Libray on April 18th.  Why a pre-order?  It's so that you will have time to order the yarn from Michelle if you would like to join in the Despicable KAL in her group on Ravelry!  If you would like to pre-purchase the patten, use coupon code: Bapple until April 1 for $1.00 off.  Michelle will also have a few other colorways that are Despicably themed coming next week, so be sure to check to see what they are.  I have heard rumors that there is going to be Gru colorway!

I have some really exciting news to share with you!  My friend Stephanie of Spinderella and I are going to be sharing a booth at the Powhatan Festival of Fiber on April 26.  Steph will be bringing her fabulous hand thrown pottery yarn bowls, paintings of fiber animals and yarn, and her lovely hand spun yarn.  I will be bringing a full selection of my patterns and some fun project bags to store your yarn in.  I'm also going to kit up a few sock patterns and the Iridill shawlette pattern with some of my favorite yarns from Indieway Yarns!  I'm so excited to be a vendor this year.  If you are in the area I hope you can come to the festival and stop by our booth.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Might Actually Be Here!

We happened to be very lucky and it was 65 here on the first day of spring!  The song birds are back and late last night I heard a flock of geese that were heading north for the summer.  While winters here aren't as harsh as many other areas, this one seemed to drag on a bit longer than normal.  The first spring flowers are making an appearance and can be spotted almost everywhere.  I really enjoy seeing them bloom!  This daffodil is in our garden.

I spotted this crocus while I was out running errands today.  It was peeking up through the grass next to the sidewalk. 

Ever since I was a little girl one of my favorite things is to get the mail.  You never know what might arrive that day, and even if it is bills it was still fun wondering what was going to be in the box before you got there.

Earlier this week I revived a package full of squishy goodness from Knitspot's Bare Naked WoolsErica aka majordomo contacted me about having a sample of Spark knitted for their Look Book in three colors of their wonderful Confection yarn and a second sample in Confection with hand dyed yarn as the accents.  Beth is knitting the sample that is all in BNW's and I am working on the one that has the hand dyed accents.  I'm using Confection Worsted in Cookies and Cream with Indieway's Best Worsted in Black Currant and Periwinkle. I love knitting with both of the yarns and putting them together is extra special!  Confection is lofty and soft and just glides through your fingers while you knit.  Best Worsted is soft and smooth and in Black Currant and Periwinkle really stands out with the Cookies and Cream.  Spark is one of those patterns that is fun to knit and doesn't require a large amount of yarn - just 70 yards for each contrasting color and 200 yards for the main color.  Choose a  neutral for the main color like Cookies and Cream and pair it with some brighter left overs that you have saved in your stash.  I think it would look great with a variegated colorway for the contrast too.  The possibilities are endless.

I've just gotten started on mine so you can't really see much yet.

A peek in my project bag shows how pretty the yarns look together:


I love the pictures of Confection that Anne has on Raverly.  It must have been a fun photo shoot!

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Reveal!

Since the Intersect MKAL has come to a close I thought it would be a good time to reveal what the patterns look like!  The ladies in the Indieway Yarns group all did a fabulous job on their projects!  Dragonstar posted about hers on her blog.  She also has an interesting post where she is knitting with giant needles - be sure to check that one out too.  You can see all of the projects for the MAKL on Ravelry.   I have to say that the Indieway group made me feel right at home and I had a blast getting to know everyone. Wendi, who is the creator of Indieway Yarns, has been wonderful to work with and so much fun!  I have another pattern coming out later this spring in her yarn and will have more details very soon.  I was so happy to see that AllisonMarie joined the group too.  I've known Allison from other groups on Ravelry and she is super nice.  We even met in person once which was really cool! 

Andy and I had such a great time doing the photo shoot for Intersect.  We were driving around downtown Lynchburg looking for a spot to take pictures when we spotted this great yellow door from a street above.    We parked a street below where we had spotted the door and took the walking path up to it.  I have no idea what the door leads to, which made it even more perfect for pictures for a Mystery Knit Along!

I am updating the pattern in Ravelry so that it includes pictures and will no longer be in clue format.  It's a fun knit and would make a perfect Easter gift.

I love the color of the door and really would like to paint something at our house in this shade of yellow!  Bright colors always cheer me up and I love being surrounded by them.

I have a few other fun things in the works that I will be posting about next week; a couple new patterns that are in the works and an upcoming KAL with Bare Naked Wools. If you go to their website there is a count down at the top of the page that is a mystery.  I have no idea what it's for and I would really like to know! I guess we will have to wait for 47 more days to find out. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sock Surgery or Why Knitting While You are Tense is Not a Great Idea

Last month I was working on a new sock design, Hearts in Owlantis.  I had the owl and heart design in my mind for a while before I decided to chart it out.  Once it was charted I couldn't wait to cast on!  The first sock came out perfectly.  It fit great and I set it aside while I cast on for the second sock.  It was one of those cold dreary winter days where you just want to stay inside, watch movies and knit.  I often wonder what non knitters do on days like this?  Anyway, Andy and I decided to have a marathon of scary movies and shows - all day long.  We started out with The Thing, moved on to The Shining and then The After (which is a pilot that Amazon has come out with) and finally finishing the evening up with The Walking Dead

Normally I am pretty relaxed during horror movies and I very rarely jump.  I don't know if watching so many in a row got to me this time, or what happened but the second sock was not the same as the first.  Did I notice before I finished it?  Of course not.  Why would I?  I mean really, why would you check to see if the second sock was the same as the first, right?  The colorwork portion of it was pretty tight and very hard to get over my ankle.  I might have been able to wear it, but I knew I would never be happy with it.  I contemplated what to do with it for a few days and finally decided to preform surgery.  It would be better than having to re-knit the whole sock and if I didn't like how it came out it wasn't going to be a great loss.

It looks nice and even and not overly tight here. I didn't do a great job carrying my floats on the back and that was where the issue was.

First I took a needle one size smaller than what the sock was knitted with and ran it through the stitches where I was going to cut.  Yes, cut.  No guts, no glory.

I was careful to find the beginning of the round and started the needle insertion there.  Then I got out my steeking scissors and began cutting.

I made sure to only cut the pink yarn since I wanted to save the cuff and beginning of the leg. 

I cut all the way around and then picked out the little bits of left over pink yarn.

This next part was easy, I just attached new yarn and re-knit the colorwork section and heel as I wasn't crazy about what I had done there either.  When I finished the heel I ran the smaller needles through the foot of the original sock and snipped it off.

Completely separated and ready for grafting!

I used the Kitchener stitch to graft the two pieces together.  I was worried that I would be able to feel the seam where the pieces were grafted when I was done.  I was especially careful not to make the graft too tight or too loose and it wound up coming out very well.  Not only is the seam invisible, but it can't be felt either.  Now both socks fit and are ready to go!  

Margi is in the process of test knitting this pattern and it will be ready for release in a few weeks.  Here is a picture of her progress.  It's in Knitters Brewing Company Serene in Sweet Ruby and Campfire.