Tuesday, February 21

Inspired by Spring

I am sitting in my studio enjoying a sunny view of my front yard, with the daffodils popping up and the forsythia already in bloom.

I am normally a person who clings to the last days of winter, since I love cold weather and wintry days so much. But this year, I find myself eager for spring and warmer weather - kind of a new feeling for me.



Yesterday I spent the day dyeing up all kinds of spring colors, and today I am anxious to cast on a new "spring" thing.  I'm not sure what, but something!


Monday, February 6

Finished Object: Wintermint Party


I realized I never shared pictures of my finished shawl, Wintermint Party. Which I love and have worn to death already.

It makes a perfect scarf, since you can wind it around your neck a few times and then tuck in the little ends. That's how I wear it almost every day.

The pattern, of course, is the very popular Party on My Needles by Joji Locatelli. I made a couple of modifications:

Instead of using one color for the stripes and a third for the bind off, I used a Mini-Skein set...this one. (I'm sold out right now, but more should be coming in a couple of months.) That worked perfectly. I used one color for each stripe, and then used my two favorites for the last row and the bind off.

I knit the bottom repeat just before the bind off in the main color, instead of a contrasting color. I just liked the continuity of it better.


This had been one of my favorite knits this year. I love the pattern, I love the yarn, and I especially love the color. It still makes me happy just to look at it.

Friday, January 20

In a Gray Way


Gray has been calling my name a lot lately. I just finished a pair of Folklore Socks in our new-ish Everlasting Sock Yarn...in Cloud Burst. And I'm working on the Cinnamon Girl cardigan for myself in Sojourn Sport...in Cloud Burst.


It's such a lovely gray...how can I go wrong?

I'm also about to cast on a scarf for Jimmy using some of my treasured Arbor stash...in Cloud Burst and Pearl. It's actually going to be a modified version of the Abella stole.  I'm going to replace the lace borders with ribbing, plus make it one repeat narrower.


And then there are the sock yarn blanket squares that I work on when the mood strikes...in tones of grays and creams:)

So, it's neutral city over here these days. But not to worry, there's still plenty of color being splashed around daily in the dye pots!


Friday, January 6

Happy New Year!



And we're back. Well that was fun, wasn't it?

We had a terrific holiday, and it was really nice to just sit back, relax, and do whatever I felt like (or not do) for a couple of weeks.

But, it's good to be back at the dye pots this week! We're gearing up to prepare for the spring fiber festivals and making plans for the rest of the year. It's kind of amazing how quickly October rolls around:)

It's always good to spend a few weeks in January planning and prepping, before things really get rolling...and roll away from me. So I'll be spending this lovely month planning, scheduling and dreaming about what I would like to accomplish this year.

What are your goals for 2017?


Wednesday, December 14

Happy Holidays

It's almost Christmas, and there are lots of cookies to bake, presents to wrap and holiday movies to watch!

I'll be taking a blog break until the new year, but the shop will still be open and I'll be adding a few things to it here and there. So, until next year....


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!



Monday, December 5

Epic Bind Off


I'm finishing up my Party on My Needles shawl by Joji Locatelli, and boy, does it ever feature an epic bind off!

The pattern offers three choices of bind off, and I chose the one in the pattern photo, the loopy bind off. I've been binding off for several evenings, now:)

Almost done....

Thursday, December 1

IK Knits, Winter 2017


I had almost given up hope. And honestly, had pretty much decided in my mind that I wouldn't be renewing my subscription. Then the Winter 2017 issue arrived in my mailbox.

Can I just say....good to see you, old friend! It's been a long while since I've been this excited about an issue of Interweave Knits. A few years, in fact. But I feel like this issue harkens back to what made Knits such a great magazine, and such an influential force in the knitting community: classic knits. Classic knits that you actually want to knit and wear.

I'm not sure if it's the influence of new-ish editor Meghan Babin, or something else, but...yay!

I'm excited about almost all of the patterns in this issue, including the rarely seen men's sweaters. My husband loves wearing hand knits, and sweater patterns that he likes are hard to come by. There are several great choices in this issue.

Belfast Cardigan, Solstice Capelet, & Tullamore Pullover.  Images from Interweave Knits.
The Belfast Cardigan by Irina Anikeeva is probably at the top of the list for Jimmy. It would make a great Saturday & weekend cardigan.

I'm in love with the Solstice Capelet by Monika Sirna...oh my goodness. And the Tullamore Pullover by Brandy Velten is calling my name. I'd love to knit it in my favorite olive, Picholine.

Here's hoping this is the first of many great issues for Knits. I'll be renewing my subscription, after all:)



Monday, November 21

happy thanksgiving


This week is Thanksgiving here in the states, and we plan to eat, eat and eat some more. There is also knitting and lazing around planned. (And truth be told, a few walks in the park.) Here's hoping everyone has a wonderful holiday and gets plenty of pumpkin pie!


Thursday, November 17

a little podcast love


Knitting video podcasts are everywhere these days, aren't they? It seems like they are the new "influence bloggers" in the knitting world. Which is great, since prepping, skeining, re-skeining, labeling, measuring and fluffing fiber and all those other little tasks that go with running a yarn business take a some time. And how better to pass the time than with some podcasts?

While I'm not the podcast watching expert that others may be (I know there are tons I haven't watched or even heard of), I've got a few current faves:


The Gentle Knitter
This is a new podcast for me, and it may be my favorite. It's hosted by Nicole who lives in Ottawa, Canada and boy, she does some serious knitting. She does quite a bit of sample knitting for some major designers, which is interesting to hear about. She also spins and has a dog, so you know...yay! Nicole's aesthetic and project choices are right up my alley. She likes "quiet things" and soft colors. A definite must watch for me.


By the Lakeside
This is also a new podcast for me, and it's another Canadian gal. Sandy lives by the lake near Toronto and knits, sews and does crafty things. What hooked me here, besides her lovely demeanor and interesting projects, was her love of planners, journals, sketchbooks and paper. I'm a paper, planner and sketchbook lover too, so this was a happy discovery.


Grocery Girls
I'm guessing most podcast-watching knitters out there already know about Jodi & Tracie of the Grocery Girls, but you never know. These girls are just fun. They remind me so much of my aunts, and the crazy good times we would have just hanging out, shopping, and eating. If by some chance, you haven't seen them yet...go watch. You'll smile.


Suburban Stitcher
I've been watching Dianne for a while now, and I'm constantly amazed at the amount of knitting that comes off her needles. For someone who's running a business, raising kids and you know... generally living a life, you would think she knits 24/7.  Sock knitter extraordinaire, shawl knitter and frequent enabler of "lovelies", she's definitely worth watching.


Do you have a favorite podcast?

Thursday, November 10

Casting On: Cinnamon Girl Cardigan


I have cast on my newest WIP, and this is one I've been wanting to make for a while now. It's the Cinnamon Girl by JuJu Vail and Susan Cropper of Loop London.

I love the way this cardigan looks. I can foresee getting a lot of wear out of it, kind of like the recently completed Hitofude. Yay for me. But I'm also excited to knit it. There are several things going on and I think it will be an absorbing knit.


I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to do the moss stitch on the upper body, or change it to stockinette. I'm very undecided at the moment, but I better make up my mind, since it's a top-down sweater. You start with the little cable-lace band (which is where I'm at) and go from there.

Plus, these two projects have me doing some mulling over which version to make: The blousier version by Facile Cecile, or this straighter version by Millsington. It appears most people have made the blousier version, although it's hard to tell sometimes, and not many people have noted which version they made in their notes.

Anyway, I'm making mine out of Sojourn Sport in the Cloud Burst colorway. I think the gray will be very versatile, since it goes with everything I own. It's in my newest project bag, which I love, from ZigZagStitches on Etsy.  It's actually a shawl-size bag, but it holds my yarn, pattern and book perfectly.

Hopefully, this will begin a trend of knitting some sweaters that I've had in my queue for some time!


Tuesday, November 1

Party in Progress



I cast on last week for a new shawl, and lo and behold, it's even a popular one...Party on my Needles by Joji Locatelli.

I've been in a serious blue and green mood this year, and the greens won out this time:


I'm using Sojourn Sock in Cabana for the main color, and I'll be doing the stripes with my Linden Sock Mini Skein Kit in Bouquet Garni, which is a series of greens. It's so fresh looking, I keep wanting to take a bite! :)


I think this will be a pretty quick knit, even for me, Miss Slowpoke. And all the cushy garter stitch should make it very cosy and squishy.


Wednesday, October 26

Sketchbook Series


Tomorrow's shop update will include a new series of hand dyed yarns that I'm calling the Sketchbook Series. These are handpainted colorways that are directly inspired from my sketchbooks and watercolor sketches.

One of the great things about yarn dyes is they behave a lot like watercolors, in that they are transparent or semi-transparent colors that you can layer and mix. I get quite a few ideas from playing with my watercolors and drawing in my sketchbook, so it seemed appropriate to have a special series of colors directly inspired from them.

We're starting with 3 colors, but I'll be adding more in the months to come!

The colorway shown is Sketchbook - sort of the namesake of the series - inspired by my many, many pages of sketches in pencil, black ink, sepia and payne's gray watercolor washes.

Friday, October 21

Stocking the Shop

Now that our travel responsibilities are over for the rest of the year, I've been able to concentrate on getting some yarn and fiber into the shop!

So, I've been adding yarn, fiber, and mini-skeins to the shop each day this week. It's starting to add up! Here's a peek:


There will be more to come in the weeks ahead, so check back each week to see what's new!

Tuesday, October 18

Out and About


The last couple of weekends have been busy...and a lot of fun! We've had a chance to spend time with our favorite people...knitters.

First, we were in Austin, Texas at Hill Country Weavers for the beginning of the Best Little Yarn Crawl in Texas. What a great place! And what a great group of knitters! We had a blast. If you are ever in the Austin area, go. It is a fantastic yarn shop, and the staff are all incredible.

The best part is, they are moving to an even bigger place at the beginning of the year. Suzanne very kindly took us over and showed us around the new space...and wow! I can't wait to go back and see it all finished and full of yarn and knitters:)


Last weekend we spent an evening at DeGray State Park Lodge with the Roving Fibers Adventures retreat group. Most were from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but we had a couple of Arkansas gals in there. We had a special pop-up shop for them.

We had a terrific time and the weather was so perfect! It was cool enough for sweaters and everybody knit, knit, knit. Kim and Diana were wonderful to work with, knowledgeable and fun.

It's always good to take a yarn-filled trip or two in the fall:)

Thursday, October 6

Finished Object: Hitofude Cardigan



I finished my Hitofude Cardigan this week, and I do love it. 

I can foresee this sweater getting a lot of wear, especially around here. If this winter is anything like last winter (I hope not, since we didn't really have one), there will be plenty of mild days where a sweater like this will be the perfect choice.

I especially love the sleeve length. I've learned that except for really, really cold days - I prefer a 3/4 length sleeve to full length sleeves. I'm usually working in the dye kitchen during the week, and if I wear full length sleeves, I constantly have to push them up out of my way. With a 3/4 sleeve, my arms stay warm enough, but I can still plunge my hands in water and mix dyes and whatnot without thinking about it.


And the color is perfect:)


Details:
Hitofude Cardigan - knit as written, no modifications
Yarn: Sojourn Sock in Reverie, 3 skeins
Needles:  US4 (3.5 mm) circular 
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