Now I’m going to take that old piece of advice that you stick to in polite convesations… whatever the subject… do not mention “Size.” Thus we will not be talking about the “size”…of our stashes ;). Instead, the aim of this discussion is to help us all come up with ideas for using excess yarn. It’s always fun to gab about yarn isn’t it?
Questions for 12/9’s #knitchat:
Q1) Introductions: Who are you? Where do you hail from? Ravelry ID?
Q2) Tell us your favorite stashbusting story? Did you get rid of excess yarn or repurpose yarn for another project? Did you donate it?
Q3) Do you have an suggestions for what to do with tiny bits? >25 yards? Excess sock yarn?
Q4) What is your favorite regular stashbusting project? Is there a pattern?
Q5) Any non-knitting or crochet related things we can do with yarn? Both real and imaginative/fanciful answers are okay?
Q6) Ideas for upcoming #knitchat topics?
Where: Twitter (follow the #knitchat hashtag)
When: December 9nd. 5 PM PST/8 PM EST (1 hour)
Who: Me you and other Twitter Knitters/Crocheters & Fibercrafters
How: Need a primer on Twitter Chat… check this out: What does this Twitter chat thing look like?
Notice I added an extra question and that’s what are some topics you’d be interested in learning more about (or maybe venting like say about complicated lace or just lace in general)? Its nice to have the discussion partially generated by the community and I’m sure you all have a lot to talk about… when it comes to fiber.
Some ideas for topics I’ve come up with are:
- All about gauge and weight
- Needles (what works for you & what doesn’t, etc., kinds of needles)
- What’s the strangest thing you’ve done while knitting?
- More Ravelry use tips and discussion
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.
- 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.
- 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.
This ferret looks smashing in what appears to be Noro Kureyon Sock
Pirate Mittens (Available on Ravelry as a free download):
The Beanis (warning may offend… what is it? It rhymes with ‘beanis’… you figure it out. No I’m not posting photo here.)
- 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.
Filed under Aran, Craft, Creativity, Crochet, Fun Stuff, Gifts, Knit, Knitting, Pattern Links, Patterns, Project, Sock Summit, Socks, Stashbuster, Yarn
I came away from the Sock Summit with a respectable but not an extravagant haul. Some of my favorite finds were two skeins of yarn from “Creatively Dyed Yarns.” I apologize for the graininess of the photos, I will try to take photos in daylight soon and post them here. I’ve become a big fan of the speckled dye job. I was just imagining really pretty socks coming from both of these yarns, but there’s over 500 yards of fiber so either skein can become just about anything including a crocheted scarf.
Creatively Dyed Yarns in Luxury & Calypso
Check out the "character" of the dye/coloring
Sorry he looks sort of sad here trapped in a plastic bag, but I found the most adorable pattern for a “bendy” bunny. I actually did a better job photographing his monkey friend. The title of the pattern is actually called “Harry Rabbit.” He looked very alive in a muppet-like way… staring at me from inside the bad. Okay, that’s kindof creepy, but I couldn’t resist. The pattern comes fromCiD Hancom Designs with two pink eyes, bendable wires for arms and legs and a square of pink felt. I purchased this from the “The Fold’s” booth. I almost bought the monkey, but stopped myself when I realized I’d never have the time to make him.
I also purchased some tussah silk & dyed pre-drafted roving both for spinning, and two sets of circular square needles (no that’s not an Oxymoron. They’re from Kollage. I plan to knit with them and hopefully write a brief review soon.
I didn’t purchase these from the Sock Summit but instead at the Naked Sheep during their “Sock Summit” promotion. During the entire Sock Summit weekend if you mention the code word “Sock Summit” you get 15% your entire purchase. I was able to purchase the slate gray and plum colored colorways. Bob and Meghan kindly named the plum or mauve after me (blushing). I’d actually begged Meghan to make a mauvish color which has become one of my favorite shades. I’m sorry I’ve been Anglicised and I call it “Mohhhh-ve” instead of “Mahhhh-ve.” 🙂
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.
Medley of Colors - The Deep Orange is Stunning
- 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 always good to have your kit ready
- Smart knitter Rachel tagged all her swatches with Avery labels
- It’s so pretty it hurts to look at it all
- Working with limited amounts allows you to try all the yarns
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 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
- 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?
- 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.
The yarn samples
Filed under Art, Colors, Community, Creativity, Dye, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Portland, Portland Crocheters, Portland Knitters, Yarn
A glimpse into my Artfibers stash
Joy! Joy! And SUPER-EXTRA-JOY!
I’ve decided to host an Artfibers Yarntasting on July 19th. I had to reserve a spot with the Portland Parks bureau so we could hold it outdoors. You might ask… What on earth is a yarntasting? It’s basically a party where you get to swatch or sample various yarns. In this case, Artfibers gorgeously unique yarns. I first learned about Artfibers via the Stash and Burn podcast, but I became seriously enamored of these yarns soon after visiting their old location in San Francisco. I became a regular online customer. I’ve even purchased their undyed yarns for a future dye project.
Unique textures and fiber blends combined with color palettes that seem nature-inspired can be knit or crocheted into gorgeous heirloom projects or special gifts. I have Artfibers stash reserved for some of the most special members of my own family. My favorite sweater is made of Artfibers Rush:
My favorite pullover in Artfiber's Rush (Egyptian cotton)
Yesterday I received an e-mail from Rox at Artfibers that the Yarntasting kit is on it’s way. Each yarntaster will get several samples of yarns to knit or crochet into swatches. After the Yarntasting is over they’ll get an e-mail with a survey to provide feedback on the yarns. I’m pretty darned psyched about this! I’m hoping that people will bring their cameras so they can take photos of their swatches and share with others.
If you’re interested in hosting your very own Yarntasting you can check out the Artfibers website. It’s a wonderful way to learn about these gorgeous yarns.
I remember grandmas grandpas or lolas and lolos smelling of mothballs. To this day I associate the smell of mothballs with old Asian people. Maybe it’s often chosen to place in closets of an older generation because camphor is such a cheap deterrent for moths. Still I grew up determined never to let a mothball in my house… this may sound cold to you, but to me they smell of regret, sadness, and the powerlessness of being aged. I respect my elders, but I don’t want to smell like them.
I’d overheard (somewhere I can’t recall) that Irish Spring Soap is a good repellant for moths and mice. I don’t think there’s conclusive evidence for this, but I figured hey it’s less than three dollars for three bars of soap…I’m going to try it. I have to laugh when I recall the ads from my childhood of rosy cheeked actors with an Irish brogue selling us green marbled strong smelling soap by a babbling brook. I guess they could pull that off when people didn’t know that much about the world and there was no Internet to allow use to verify if Irish people really do use Irish Spring soap.
I forgot how strong this stuff was… EGADS! I’d imagine the Irish of that golden age those commercials referred to using lye soap in the stream, and I’d have to say I wonder if this is comparable. The stuff is strong enough that I could cut up each bar of soap into inch slices and distribute them amongst all the large bins in my stash. Thank goodness most of my stash is kept in a room outside my workspace. I don’t think I could work around that smell. My other concern was that the soap would leave a lasting odor on the yarn. It’s been in my bins for about a week. I pulled out a skein or two to sniff. There was a faint smell, but nothing that wouldn’t remain after several hours of handling while knitting. So it’s a bit antiseptic in odor, but it beats moth balls and it’s far more affordable that cedar blocks.
I haven’t seen a moth near my stash yet… so here’s fingers crossed.
I like the corner for the husbands… :).
I actually went to Yarnia recently and made some very lovely bamboo/wool blend yarn that I’m using right now in raglan sweater for myself. As soon as I take some photos I’ll post it up here. I love the fact that Yarnia has some very beautiful heathered alpacas and wool threads to include in the mix. You could spend hours in there just playing with combinations. I like matching analagous colors like families of greens with very different fibers like alpaca and silk or hemp and silk. What joy! I’m in fiber heaven when I’m in there.
Because I knit somewhat tightly, I’ve had to adjust my tension (loosening it) so that I’m not tugging to much on the yarn and causing some the strands to bunch up, but I love how the fabrics knit up.
Some people might complain about splittiness with this type of yarn, but I have to say… “Just rub some dirt in it” (i.e. sometimes you just gotta deal). If you want multistranded goodness you’re just going to have to compensate for the split factor. The overall effect of the colors and blending of fibers is well worth it to me. My bamboo/wool blend has a lovely spring to it. The boucle thread I chose for the combo has also added some grip to the fiber that prevents the bunching.
I know I said I was going to write about swatching as part of my process in the whole “Raglan Sweater Series” of posts. I lied.
I know a lot of knitters don’t like hearing the “Sermon on the Swatch.” Maybe it’s just part of the lesson. Knitting a whole sweater that doesn’t look or fit right. I’ll be honest. I have had this happen to me… more than once. As a result, I now swatch.
That’s all I’ll say on this subject for now.
I did have time today to swatch a few yarns I’ve been wanting to try… some yarns for spring: a cotton/hemp blend, Silky wool, and a mystery yarn from Yarnia that I purchased at last years Knit & Crochet Show (Fall). It’s a mystery because I lost the tag.
I’m a little worried that the Coto Canapone (cotton/hemp) is a bit heavy and stiff, but I think it will soften up after washing and blocking. I’ve heard some really great things about using hemp and I’ve swatched some pure hemp before. It was a bit too harsh for my liking, and I realized that it would take many washings before I could get it to the softness I wanted. Though perhaps I should think of this as a trade off for the fact that hemp takes a lot longer to wear thin than cotton. Apparently hemp had quite a history as a much used textile until recent times. Perhaps with the economy being as it is… more people will turn to having durable clothing items rather than disposable ones they replace or trash every year.
I’m quite charmed by the Yarnia yarn. Unfortunately the photo of the swatch I took doesn’t reflect the different greens\ and purple shades in this gorgeous yarn. Some people have noted that they find the loosely spun plies difficult and splitty to work with, but I’ve always felt that if you take proper care, even splitty yarn can make nice fabric as long as your knitting on the ‘snug’ side.
From top to bottom, Coto Canapone, Silky Wool, & Yarnia 'mystery yarn.'
I was also able to finish my pair of Heritage Paint socks for the shop model for my “Toe up Socks” class coming up. I have to say, this yarn is pretty fantastic. I think it’s pretty durable and still fairly soft with no itch. Plus it’s pretty inexpensive and the yardage is huge… 437 yards a skein. I found that the solid colors of this yarn are quite a bargain at around $12-13 dollars a skein. That’s a good price for yarn for handknit socks that should last quite some time.
My "Blueberry" socks in Heritage Paints
Filed under Fibers, Hemp yarn, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Lace, Portland, Portland Knitters, Socks, Stockinette, Stuff I made, Teaching, Techniques, Yarn