Category Archives: Yarn

CWCF Episode 21 – Selfish Knitting Month Recap

Episode 21 of the podcast is up.

I reflect on the two sweaters of the moment. Melbourne and my Drops Yoke. I also reflect a bit on knitting in the movie theater.

Melbourne sweater progress

Drops Yoke Sweater right after I attached the arms

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Almost 25 Ways to Get Rid of my Sock Yarn

What do I do with all of this?

Two years ago, I didn’t buy loads of sock yarn at the Sock Summit, because I already had a serious butt load of sock yarn… including a bunch of Drops Fabel and Regia Sock Yarns which have become my fast favorites because of their durability and dependability (I sound like a commercial from the 50’s). I do sometimes struggle with making socks.  You can see the sweater most of the time… socks you’re the only one who knows you’re wearing a work of gorgeous Aran artistry and cablework. So I decided to use Ravelry and my websearching skills to compile a list of things I could possibly create with the multliple boxes of sock yarn I have stashed away. I’ll try to post more as I find them.

Crochet:

  • Fingerless Mitts: Look quite warm and snuggly for your hands.
  • Chihuahua Sweater (double stranded):(though I’d have to make a lot of these just to get rid of my KP Imagination.
  • Vera (gorgeous shawl pattern that eats up to 2000 yards of sockyarn) –  I’m linking to a photo fo the pattern here to entice you. Vera Shawl by Katie Grady
  • Snowflake Christmas Ornaments: forgot about fabric stiffener. These look like great fun.
  • Reusable Tampon (Oy, not for the faint of heart) – I probably will abstain from making these… unless, of course civilization comes barrelling down around me and I can’t buy what I need from a store.
  • Eyeball with Nerve Endings: Make a bunch of these for your Halloween party. Then through them at your guests… then they can say they had the unique experience of being pelted with eyeballs.
  • Monkey (OMG this monkey is so cute)
  • Naalepuder (flower-shaped pincushions): Really cute especially with variegated or rainbow yarn. Original pattern in Danish. Floral Pincushions

Knitting:

This ferret looks smashing in what appears to be Noro Kureyon Sock

This ferret looks smashing in what appears to be Noro Kureyon Sock

Pirate Mittens (Available on Ravelry as a free download):

Pirate Mittens

Pirate Mittens

The Beanis (warning may offend… what is it? It rhymes with ‘beanis’… you figure it out. No I’m not posting photo here.)

Honorable Mentions:

  • Pirate Eye-Patch for your cat. I couldn’t post because the pattern/website no longer exists. But one could easily use their imagination to create one of their own.

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Knitting from my Stash

Resolving to use my creative energy to figure out what to do with all this yarn

Okay, I’m going to keep a score card of things I’m knitting from my stash.  I have to admit… I need to focus on using what I have. The first step to dealing with any addiction is admitting that you have a problem. I just knew that I had to stop when I found myself engaging in the behavior of buying plastic tubs on a regular basis. To be honest, I only started thinking about this because a current project necessitated me looking for a long lost (perhaps even mythical) cone of Artfibers yarn leftover from a sweater I knitted last year. I realized I had way too much stash when I literally couldn’t sort through what I had to find the damn cone of pink and purple yarn.

I’ve decided that I’m going to keep a score card of all things knitted from the stash. For many people keeping lists is what separates them from devolving into mindless and chaotic animals. Since I’ve been a rather lame blogger as of late. I’ll just return back to this post to relate my progress or not post to share my lack of. I could research some fancy knitting widget or plug in, but… screw it. I’m just going to do things the old fashioned way… bullet by bullet. Besides I know myself well enough to understand that if the list gets too long or complex I’ll just run away screaming. Sorry, I probably let you into my psyche a little too much there.

Finished:

  • Tam from Silky Wool (3/4 skein teal green)
  • Fossil Crocheted Neckwarmer (from Kim Werker’s Crocheted Gifts) – 100% in Di’Ve Autunno 3 balls
  • Fossil Neckwarmer in Elsbeth Lavold Silky Flamme 2.5  balls
  • Baroness Beret – 1.5 skeins Elsbeth Lavold Angora
  • Exfoilating Washrag (crocheted) – .5 skeins of Fibranatura Flax

Started (includes percentage complete:

  • Branching Out Scarf from SIlky Wool (1 & 1/4 skein teal green) – 40%
  • Black Cavern Cardigan from Panda Bamboo (10 skeins of black) – 90%
  • Crocheted Market Bag – 1.5 skeins of  Fibra Natura Flax
  • Tunisian Crocheted Scarf – Universal Poems 3 skeins

<<<<Crap, my list isn’t very long… need to work on this>>>>

UFO (previously discarded unfinished objects) recently picked up:

  • Lace Top from 5-6 balls of Knitpicks Palette (From Scottish Highland Knits) 75%
  • Dr. Who Scarf out of 18-20 balls of Elann Peruvian Highland Wool(commissioned by a friend) 70% This thing is supposed to be 27 feet long… yeah right… I’m stopping at 20.
  • Kilamajaro Sweater (in Cascade Pastaza): 45%

Lace Top -been hibernating for at least a year or so

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Filed under About Me, Knit, kniting humor, Knitting, Project, Rambling, Stash, Stashbuster, Yarn

Chance to win some pretty sweet yarn

Yarn Contest

Here are the photos of the yarns up for grabs in Episode 8’s podcasts. Hey, y’all. There’s only one contestant vying for the Yarnia and none for the Shetland handspun. Here’s your chance. Post your answers or even best guesses. It doesn’t matter if you’re wrong. If there aren’t enough participants I’ll put everyone who comments into the pool.

To enter read the details in Episode 8’s post and follow the directions. Good luck 🙂

Contest 1 – Where was I knitting?

Prize:
2 skeins approx. 50 grams each of homespun shetland wool.

Contest 2 – What’s that sound at the end of the podcast?
Prize: 1 350 yard skein Yarnia Estrel ( 34% Bamboo; 29% Merino; 27% Wool). Sweet… super sweet!

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Yarn count my head is spinning

Inventory party at the naked sheep. Yes I will work for yarn.

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Owls

Owls Sweater in Cascade 128

Owls Sweater in Cascade 128

I forgot to post the link to this pattern. You can find it here: http://needled.wordpress.com/designs/

I can’t wait to teach a class on how to make this sweater this October. This is a great sweater for beginners to sweater knitting.  Not only is the body and the yoke knit in one piece, it’s done in bulky weight so you could potentially finish your sweater in less than two weeks.  I’ve read of people doing it in a week, but I can’t imagine the strain on your hands after constant use of bulky gauge needles.

Again, I did both sleeves at once using the magic loop method.  I found it’s easier to keep my sleeves more uniform this way. One thing I adore about this sweater is how the waist shaping is done by a series of increases and decreases done on the back side of the sweater (see image below).

Waist Shaping of my Second Owls Sweater in Universal Classic Chunky

Waist Shaping of my Second Owls Sweater in Universal Classic Chunky

If you’re interested in taking the class (and live in the pdx area), it should fun. This is a great sweater for people who are starting to consider knitting  their first sweater. I’m excited to be able to share the experience for knitting this pattern with others. Here are the class details (you can also view an abbreviated version on the Naked Sheep’s website):

Owls Sweater Class:

Saturdays (October 3, 17 and 24)
10:30am-12:30pm

Have you always wanted to make that perfect sweater as a gift for a special friend or relative this holiday season, but you don’t have loads of time? Knit in bulky weight yarn this stylish sweater makes the perfect quick knit gift.  Also, this sweater requires very little sewing or seaming. Natalie will help students customize size dimensions for the pattern if needed. She can also convert the pullover pattern into a cardigan version if desired.  Students will learn how to make two sleeves at a time using the magic loop method.

Notions & Supplies Needed:

  • Large tapestry needle
  • Cable needles (if you are new to making cables)
  • 24” circular needle in appropriate size for yarn used
  • 32” or greater circular needle in appropriate size for yarn used. If you are using the Magic Loop 40″ circulars are highly recommended.
  • Optional: 40-50 buttons or large beads for owl eyes

Recommended Yarns:

Any bulky weight soft yarn.

  • Universal Yarns Chunky Classic
  • Cascade 128
  • Cascade Soft Spun
  • Eco Wool or Eco +

Not recommended: any boucle or fur yarns.

Prerequisite Skills:

Advanced beginner. Students must be able to Knit in the round as well as increase and decrease.

Once you get the sleeves done its smooth sailing all the way

Once you get the sleeves done it's smooth sailing all the way

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Filed under Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Patterns, Portland, Portland Knitters, Stockinette, Sweater, Teaching, Techniques, Wool, Yarn

Raglan Sweater Episode 4 – Sleeves

Raglan Sweater Made from Custom Yarnia Yarn :)

Raglan Sweater Made from Custom Yarnia Yarn 🙂

My most humblest apologies for being excessively tardy with posting this. I’ve been obsessed (obviously) with other things.  I still want to help more people make their own sweaters before the end of the year. For me it’s helping us deal with the downturn one sweater at a time. Also, it’s wonderful to see the pride in people’s faces after they’ve made their first sweater.

Today. I”m going to review how to get those sleeves done! You can view the earlier episodes for my Raglan Sweater instructions here:

Raglan Sweater 1: Selecting your Fiber

Raglan Sweater 2: Calculating Stitches and Casting On

Raglan Sweater 3: Working up the Body and Arm Pit Gussets

I use the “Magic Loop” method for making sleeves all the time. You can knit a sleeve in the round and gradually increase the circumference of the  sleeve from the cuff to the upper arm; therefore, you can knit it using the magic loop method to knit both sleeves at once. I absolutely love doing this for three reasons:

  1. You get both sleeves done at the same time
  2. When you knit both sleeves at the same time it helps guarantee that both sleeves will be knit at the same guage
  3. As your doing increases or creating features on the sleeve at the same time this gives you the opportunity to keep these design features as uniform as possible between the two sleeves

Here’s how I calculate the increases for the sleeves:

Measure around your cuff (Measurement A), and measure around the thickest part of your upper arm (Measurement B). The calculate the number of stitches you need to begin the sleeve based on your gauge with the yarn. For example:

I want to do the cuffs and hem in garter stitch using a smaller pair of needles. I know my gauge is 16 stitches for a 4″ swatch or 4 stitches an inch using these needles. The circumference around my wrist or “A” is 6.  I’m going to multiply 4 x 6 and I get: 24 stitches.  But I like my cuff a little bit loose so I’ll add 2 more stitches to make it 26 stitches for the cast on.

Measurement “B” is 11″  (4 stitches x 11 = 44 stitches). There for I have to increase the circumference of the sleeve by 46 stitches. I usually increase a both the beginning and the end of a round of stitches (a total increase of 2 stitches per increase row). So this would mean I would have to increase a total of  23 times over the length of each sleeve. You can calculate the number of rows you would need to achieve the length based on your gauge. Take a brief look at the example illustrated below:

Slide1

Slide2 - Sleeves

Slide3 - Sleeves

Using “Magic Loop” to knit two sleeves at a time:

I usually start the first few rows of each cuff separately (sometimes on double points) then I put both cuffs with the yarn tails on the same sides onto the circular needles. Knit both sleeves at a time. Make sure to do your increase rows on both sleeves as you knit up the sleeve.

If you haven’t seen or tried the “Magic Loop” method there are a number of helpful tutorials on Youtube that can help walk you through the process. I’ve embedded one of my favorites here:

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Filed under Craft, Garment Design, Garter stitch, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Stockinette, Wool, Yarn

Gorgeous Sock Yarns from Datura Fibers

Yikes just when I thought my pocketbook was safe (I’m going to try to do my best not to over do it during the Sock Summit this week)… but Bob and Meghan of Datura Fibers have done it again. They’ve created a Kettle-dyed series of yarns that are to die for. The colors are perfect for the Fall, and they’ll be available during the Sock Summit over at the Naked Sheep Knitshop in No Po.

What’s even better about this yarn? It’s a bit overplied which increases the durability of the yarn in general. A good thing for fiber that’s worn on people’s feets and walked around in.

The deep indigo is my favorite color-way, but I noticed tonight at the shop that they have even more kettle dyed colors waiting to be skeined including rich teal, understated olive,  a mauvish plum, and a shale grey. It’s just too much… I’ll never be able to decide which color I want.

Indigo Blues

Indigo Blues

Medley of Colors - The Deep Orange is Stunning

Medley of Colors - The Deep Orange is Stunning

Chocolate Browns

Chocolate Browns

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Artfibers Yarntasting Part Deux

Wonderfully thick yarn called Udon in color 05
Wonderfully thick yarn called Udon in color 05

Hello there again!

Leila Wice of Deboko Design was kind enough to send a load of photos from the Artfibers Yarntasting event my way. I’m posting a few more here.  I’m also including most of the photos in a gallery below so you can see more of the swatches people made.

Looking through the photos, I remember that it was just so much fun!  Thinking back upon the whole event, I enjoyed the whole bit. It was great to see so many knitters intensely enjoying what they were doing as the diligently knitted away through as many samples as possible. If you are interested in hosting your own yarn tasting you can find out about it on their website &  contact Artfibers directly.

It's nice to knit in the warmth of the sun
It’s nice to knit in the warmth of the sun
It's always good to have your kit ready
It’s always good to have your kit ready
Smart knitter Rachel tagged all her swatches with Avery labels
Smart knitter Rachel tagged all her swatches with Avery labels
It's so pretty it hurts to look at it all
It’s so pretty it hurts to look at it all
Working with limit amounts allows you to try all the yarns
Working with limited amounts allows you to try all the yarns

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I’m full. I can’t possibly knit anymore

No, not really. I could actually keep knitting.

Yesterday I hosted a Yarntasting party in Overlook Park.

At least over twenty people showed up from the invitee list. It was such great fun!!!! Surprisingly, it was a bit chilly and windy early when we started but the sun eventually came out. Many people brought food and drink to snack on while we were knitting.  There was a bit of a mix up with the parks area because they double booked the spot.  A poor woman showed up around 12:00 puzzled because she’d booked the site from 9:00 to the end of the day.  The last hour of the Yarntasting was a bit rushed, but all in all it was great! And I got to meet a lot of wonderful Portland Knitters.

A few people did try to crochet their samples. Others like Puppydog knits created a sample mini scarf from their swatches.

Artfibers Swatch Scarf

Artfibers Swatch Scarf by Puppydog Knits

Located outside of San Francisco in Pinole, California, Artfibers has been producing their uniquely gorgeous artisan yarns for over 15 years. At our Yarntasting there were about 180 different gorgeous fiber samples of 38 different yarn lines to choose from ranging from blends made from alpaca to yak. You can see all of the yarns (and more) we tried at this event on the Artfibers yarn page.

I’m going to try to keep a log of fibers I both tried and took smaller samples from. It was virtually impossible to try all of the them but my favorites on the spot were (I will post photos as soon as my camera battery is charged up and I can find my blasted USB cord for my camera):

  • Cassanova (Tussah Silk/ Mulberry Silk) – So beautiful I made swatches of two colors. Gorgeously soft with just the amount of sheen from the silk. It doesn’t hurt that the colors are absolutely gorgeous from a deep velvety teal to a pink and plum multi-color shown here.
  • Casanova 18 & Safa 12

    Casanova 18 & Safa 12

  • Bunnuit (53% Tussah Silk/40% Angora/7% Mulberry Silk) – I normally don’t like angora in such a large percentage in a yarn, but married with the silk it seems to work for me. The black angora bathes the rich multi-colored variation in this yarn in a halo of dark softness. The result is an amazingly rich texture and colorway. Did I mention that it’s super baby soft too?
  • Bunnuit 03

    Bunnuit 03

  • Chutney (100% Wild harvested silk bourette) – While Chutney isn’t as soft as the previous two yarns, I still love it because of how it shows off beautiful hand painted colorways.  Lately, I’ve learned to love the rawer silks because they produce lovely summer garments with a good deal of breathability and drape without skimping on the warmth coverage when you need it on those cool summer nights. I actually crocheted the swatch you see in the photo below. (Still need to take a photo).

Almost all the favorites I picked have silk in them. I suddenly realized that this was because Artfibers has mastered the secret of making truly fantastic soft and luxurious yarns using silk and silk blends.

Other yarntastees are posting their photos and pictures. I’ll be posting these up here as I find them.

Me forgetting how many inches were in a yard... Doh! Excitement gets to you.

Me forgetting how many inches were in a yard... Doh! Excitement gets to you.

Yarn1

The yarn samples

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