Category Archives: Knitting

Knitting Again

Personal knitting project time. Hooray!

I’ll admit up front – taking good photos of knitwear is something I really struggle with. I don’t see how you photographers do it. But, I’m pretty well pleased with how these turned out. First up are a couple of my almost-finished shawl/scarf. (Some of you might remember that I’ve knit that pattern before.)

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This version of the scarf is knit up in one of the yarns I’ll be carrying in my store. It’s a lovely two-ply merino, and the colorway is a variation on Dawn Treader. I call it ‘The Edge of the World.’

And here is the beginning of a pair of socks in the revisited ‘Ink’ colorway – now called ‘Enchanted.’

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Strangely enough, it had been so long since I knit last, I’d clean forgotten how nice knitting is. These projects were life savers – particularly in an airport when our three-hour layover kept getting longer and longer.

In other news, we’re working away on the new labels for my yarns, and I’m busily getting various listings ready to roll. Once we start taking official photos, stand by for sneak peeks.

Snippets from My Trip Before The Trip

Alrighty, so, I’ve finally had a week or two to mentally recover. My babysitting trip in July (ten days, four kids, and thankfully an amazing lady to work with) was good, but very physically taxing. I’m just plain not used to getting up at seven-thirty and working with children all day. And I really used to think I’d never see the day when I’d be crashing into bed as early as. . . nine. O.O Who are you and what have you done with myself?

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I took along a new knitting project – two color toe-ups – and maybe knit six or seven rounds max. Yes. That’s all. Like I said, I was helping watch four young children. You don’t just hunker down with two balls of yarn, pointy sticks, and colorwork. Even if it just stripes. Maybe some of you are amazing and incredible and somehow someway manage to knit fair isle lace from a chart while running a daycare center (even with the exaggeration, I’m fully ready to pass out in awe), but not this girl. It only came out during nap time or once everyone was in bed. The rest of the time it hid, trembling, in my big bag on the pantry shelf. Out of reach of the two under-five year olds, and the eight-month old Boxer puppy. Safety first, you know.

I’m actually pleased with how the sock is turning out, especially the colors. When I picked the two balls of stash yarn – orange and green – I stared blankly at them for a bit, trying to figure out what I’d call them. Ravelry has changed my knitting to that extent – I must have an inventive, fun name for the project, otherwise it’s no fun. “Peas and Carrots” came to mind, as well as something of a “Pumpkin” nature, but I decided those were a little too tame. Then, keeping in mind the fall-ish tones of the colorwork, I came up with something that suited me fine. These will be my “Bushwhacked Chrysanthemum” socks, and they will be amazing.

A Tea Break

Yesterday’s mood and general vibe can be summed up fairly well with just one picture.

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My sister was gracious enough to lend me her tiny teapot, so I curled up at my desk with my prettiest teacup, and a whole pot full of Lipton’s “Vanilla Caramel Truffle,” with lots of heavy cream and sugar. Sometimes an emotionally low day requires such things.

Unfortunately, the emotional benefits were quickly overridden with a sudden headache. Either I used too much sugar, or it was just inevitable. Either way, the tea tasted really good.

The irony of taking refuge in my room lay in the fact that I was completely surrounded by piles and piles of unfinished projects. (Not to mention stacks of old notebooks from my emptied desk!) We’ve been busy filming some how-to DVDs for my family’s business, so I had adhered to the deceptively simple practice of “Oh, I’ll just lay this here until I get a chance to put it away.”

Let me tell you, that doesn’t work so well. Especially not two-and-a-half weeks at a time. The piles were downright scary.

If you don’t believe me, take a look.

Start-itis

As I discovered this last week, the proverbial “start-itis” syndrome is not limited to knitting. On the contrary, it seems to be a hobby-wide problem.

Forget hobbies, it’s a lifestyle-wide issue! I’ve been having so many ideas for new projects that I feel like they’re shooting out of my ears and ricocheting wildly off the walls. Sweaters, socks, blog posts, Twitter, fairs… will someone please make me stop? Or just get a notebook out and write down the ideas. (Although there is a drawback with that. I’m the type of person who sees no gap between having an idea and acting upon it. To think is to do. Sitting on a notebook full of ideas is just plain irritating.) (Really.)

But, that’s what I’m having to do these days. I know it’s a good thing to think things over (and definitely pray about them before starting); I’m just having difficulty discerning what needs to happen because I want to discern it at my own pace. I want snap decisions. Paper handed down from God with “do such and such” written on it. But, obviously, that’s not the way I’m supposed to get instructions, otherwise I’d be getting it like that. So back to the notebook for me.

Socks and Spinning

The alpaca socks are done! And, amazingly enough, I discovered that it’s been over a year since I began them. Yep. I started them in January of last year. If you want to follow along with the knitting saga take a look a these posts from February 19th, 2010 and January 19th, 2011.

Oh, and to make things even better, somehow, someway I ended up knitting one sock on size ones, and the other on size twos. No, I’m not ripping it back and starting over. They both stay on my feet, and the difference isn’t too huge unless you notice that one is an inch or so shorter than the other. A good reason to not repeat the “it takes a year to finish these” method.

About the same time I finished those up, I finished spinning the singles for my “Violet, You’re Turning Violet.” Hurrah! A lovely bluefaced leicester and silk blend. I’m thinking it will turn out as a DK or light worsted weight. Two ply.

While I was photographing the singles, I started playing around with a clock key and wound up with this photo. (No pun intended.) The colors are slightly off, but I like the feel of the picture.

Alpaca Socks and Looking Backwards

It’s a rather gray day outside this morning, besides the few patches of snow here and there. There’s rain on the way (more than usual) and the atmospheric pressure is resulting in a lovely sinus headache. Plus it seems to be sapping the energy out of me. Even to the point where I don’t want to curl up and knit! Size two double points? Far too heavy.

But, I have made some rather good progress on my second alpaca sock, and I have found the secret to finishing a never-ending pair of extra-tall socks! The key is to go and stay in a rather chilly house for a few days. Take the sock knitting, and just barely enough pairs of regular-height socks. By the middle of the first day you’ll find yourself huddled on the couch watching old, instant-stream TV shows off of Netflix and knitting for your life in the hopes of warmer toes.

Unfortunately this knitting streak didn’t cross over to the other pair of unfinished socks I brought along, or the Emily Dickinson shawl that I had hoped to start again. However, I did have a lovely time resting, reading (three whole books!), and movie-watching.

Knitting On The Horizon

Believe it not, I haven’t forgotten about my knitting projects. I just pulled this sock project back out from the closet and started back in. Since then I’ve turned the heel and gotten a ways into the foot part. This is the “Hedgerow” pattern, and I rather like it. I ran into some trouble on the heel flap, but that was probably an operator error as opposed to a glitch in the knitting pattern.

The yarn is knitting up really nicely too. All these deep grays and blues. Lovely!

And I’ve got another pattern begging to be made. I’ve never really been big into fingerless gloves.
I mean, they’re neat articles of clothing and all, but they didn’t do much for me personally. Then I saw this pattern. And my non-glovey self said, “Self, if you were to wear fingerless gloves, those would be them. So you might as well buy the pattern.”

Ta-da! “The Last of The Sky Pirates” fingerless gloves. Cool, no? I’m particularly fond of the little buttons down the side. (I borrowed the photo from the Etsy listing.) The construction looks pretty unique. At least as far as my experience goes. You use straights and DPNs.

Once I got the pattern I wasn’t sure what yarn I’d want to use for it, and then I dyed this.

Oh yeah. Thankfully it was a two-skein batch, so I’m keeping one of “Beryl,” and the other goes in the store. I’ll be taking this project along on a trip to Missouri. And I have extra incentive to finish it while I’m gone, as I’m borrowing the needles from my knitting sister, and she’ll want them back as soon as we return. No pressure! Thankfully my knitting time includes the lengthy car ride.

From A Place Other Than My Desk

Hello! I’m writing this from a hotel in Arkansas and trying to get used to the keyboard on a borrowed laptop. No, nothing drastic just happened in my life. I’m on my way back home after a lovely visit in Texas.

Of course a yarn store stop was involved in the trip, and it dawned on me there that I hadn’t blogged for quite some time. Therefore, I am taking the necessary steps to share some of the neat things that have happened lately.

First off, the new purchases, because everybody likes seeing shiny new yarn. Three balls of Jo Sharp wool. They’re not amazingly soft, but I really like the colors and the subtle sheen.

Believe it or not, I actually wound up starting a project with them at least four times. Quite probably five or six. This is what happens when I don’t have a pattern and keep changing my mind twelve rows into a scarf. First it was going to be stripey stockinette, then it was going to have purl diamonds to keep it from curling, then cables, then twists with ribbing, then cables and twists but no ribbing . . . you get the idea. I really think I should find a pattern as soon as possible, otherwise it will become the knitting equivalent of trying to rhyme with orange. It just doesn’t work.

A Full Fiber Schedule

My aunt is visiting, and that, as usual, translates into oodles and oodles of fibery fun. For instance, I have just a few yarns to dye during the two weeks she’s here. (Slight irony implied on the “few” part.)

It’s somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-plus skeins. Seven of which are for my two stores. I’m hoping to dye those this evening. (Six of mine, that is.) I’ve got an idea for an Apple Cider colorway, and I want to try to dye some “manly” colorways on two of the skeins. There are gentleman knitters out there who would probably appreciate a less-feminine yarn supply. And I’m also hoping to try an interesting new method of dyeing, which may or may not result in color-gradation stripes. Stay tuned.

Knitting time is up a lot more now, since there’s an aunt to knit with, and I’ve made good progress on the fall shawl.
I’m really, really liking the Crow Waltz pattern, and I want to try it again someday the way it’s supposed to be done – with only two colors of similar yarn. I’ve got one eye on the KnitPicks City Tweed for that. Whenever I get to start new projects. Eventually. Along with the seven or eight sweater patterns I’ve been hoarding.

Indigo and Turquoise

I’ve been spinning and spinning away on the indigo-dyed merino, and I have three nice skeins done already. Hooray! I think once the whole batch is finished I shall have to get some “big pile of smooshy blue yarn” type photos.

I tell you, though, spinning this is really eating up the audiobooks. I’ve already done most of The Wind in the Willows, The Jungle Books (part one), and now The Hobbit. Thankfully I was able to get to the library the other day, so now I have The Children of Hurin and one of the Mitford series ready in reserve.

On the knitting front, I have plunged into another stash-busting project. This one is of the “knit until project measures x length” variety, and therefore works for movies and such. It’s called The Floopy Hat and is really just for kicks. And to use up the amazingly large stash of this amazingly turquoise and textured yarn.