Sunday, November 30, 2014

Weekending

D and I have had a nice at-home weekend with my parents visiting for Thanksgiving.  We did a big turkey and all the fixings for Thanksgiving Day, which also meant lots of leftovers - maybe the best part of Thanksgiving!  We've had lovely, almost unseasonably warm weather and lots of sun, so Friday we went up to Taos and had lunch out, walked around the square in town and did some window-shopping, and then headed back home, with a stop at the Black Mesa Winery on the way to pick up a bottle of their great dry rose' to go with dinner.

This weekend, I treated myself to casting on for a shawl project with the handspun I just finished up. Since I missed my Spinning Friday post, here's the update.  I spun up a 2-ply light fingering yarn with 584 yards from my 4 oz of merino/silk roving in the "Bordeaux" colorway from the October Wooly Wonka Handspinner's club fiber.


I have used that to cast on Judy Marples' Amberwell Shawl.  I have 100+ yards more than the original pattern called for so I'm hoping to add to the bottom border and make this piece a bit bigger.  Right now, I've gotten about two-thirds of the way through Chart A and it looks like:


I'm  hoping to get some more knit time this afternoon during football viewing!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pattern Release: Flower Power Mitts and Cowl

Another pattern release for this week (and I'll have one more on Friday!).  This is the Flower Power Mittens and Cowl set, designed for Malabrigo Quickies program.



Both pieces feature a stylized flower motif worked in stranded knitting technique.  The mittens have a corrugated ribbing at the cuff, and a gusset thumb.  I used Malabrigo's Arroyo, a lovely soft merino sportweight, in Black and English Rose.  (This design definitely benefits from a high contrast between the two yarn colors.)


You can get a pair of mittens and the cowl (or 2 pairs of mittens or 2 cowls) out of one skein of each color, so it's a great gift project for the holidays too!


Many thanks to JS Webb for the photographs, and my lovely model, Erin, who did a fantastic job despite being outside in the pouring rain and cold temps all afternoon for me!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pattern Release: Hartford

I was so pleased to have a chance to work with the stellar crew at Twist Collective again for their Winter 2014 edition.  All photos are courtesy of Twist Collective and Faye Schiano.



Hartford is a women's sized pullover with a big cable motif running up the center front, and a simple ribbed back and sleeves.  It is knit in pieces from the bottom hems up, blocked, then seamed together, and a ribbed stand-up collar/mock turtleneck finished the whole piece off.  Don't be put off by the bit of finishing/seaming you have to do at the end - especially the set-in sleeves.  The secret here is that the ribbed sleeve cap gives you a LOT of fudge-factor room, and helps make the seaming-in much easier.


It's knit in a sportweight yarn, so not too heavy a piece - I like sport and DK weight yarns since you can realistically wear them out under a jacket and not freeze, but can also wear them indoors if you keep the thermostat set a bit on the cooler side, like I do.  

My inspiration for this piece was the amazingly talented and stylish Katharine Hepburn, who once said: I wear my sort of clothes to save me the trouble of deciding what clothes to wear.  This is decidedly my sort of clothes.


I hope Kate would approve of this one.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Weekending

We spent some time this weekend getting the house in final stages for my folks' visit for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Everything is nice and clean, and D added some weatherstripping around the doors since we have moved into winter-like temps for a bit.  We restocked the wood pile in the barn so I can have a fire down in my office space in the woodstove in the mornings, which is such a nice treat.

Today (Sunday), I'm at work for a bit and then my plan is to finish up a wholesale order and then hopefully have some concentrated spinning time.  I'm in the home stretch on spinning my merino/silk singles and I'd love to get those finished (and maybe even plied) in the next few days.

Since I can no longer have anything with gluten or milk/cream in it, and I'm trying to avoid eggs, I'm thinking of trying a batch of this pumpkin mousse to serve (at least for me!) in place of pumpkin pie on Thursday.  I've got all the ingredients on hand and with a little substitution of honey for the maple syrup, it looks perfect.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Spinning Friday

It's been forever since I've done a Spinning Friday post - or at least it feels like it.  I am trying to get more focused on getting some of my shop club colorways spun up.  So here it goes...

This is an 80/20 merino/black silk blend, which was the tonal dyed colorway of "Bordeaux" for the October Handspinner's Club.


I wanted to spin this up for a shawl (which I am going to try to knit during the month of December and participate in a little SAL/KAL in a fiber stashdown group I'm in), so I'm spinning it fairly fine.  Which means of course that it's taking a while.

However, I'm done the first bobbin of singles and somewhere like two-thirds of the way through the second.


I'm hoping to get the last of the singles spun up and then ply this next week!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday

A little of this and a little of that this week for you.

In deadline knitting, I've finished up a pair of socks for a pattern sample that I'm hoping to get photos shot of this weekend.  I need to get a few detail shots of one shawl that I'm releasing in the Heroines club next year - we got some gorgeous modeled ones before the skies opened up a few weekends ago in the pouring rain (just at dusk too).  I've got a new project on the needles, a cable and lace large scarf/small shawl that I'm knitting out of my Freya BFL DK - I love this yarn base!

In personal knitting, I've knit a few more rounds on my Mystic Star shawl.  My goal for the upcoming week is to get another 4 or so rounds finished.



I'll also pick up my Dawlish socks again - now that I've got the deadline pair off the needles.  I'm close enough I think I may be able to get to the heel turn this week.


And more hexipuffs.  Darn those things!  I can't stop knitting them it would seem.  I've got a bag of scrappies I'm working on, but they don't take much yardage, so I'm getting at least a couple out of each scrap I've got shoved into a gallon Ziploc.

Back on Friday with a little spinning update!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pattern Release: Flora Mitts

The next pattern I'm releasing in the Legendary Knits v3 collection is a pretty pair of stranded/Fair Isle fingerless mitts, the Flora Mitts.


Knit from Jamieson and Smith's 2-ply jumperweight Shetland, they feature an easy floral pattern and stripes.  They are a great project if you are new to stranded knitting.  The thumb is a simple "buttonhole" style with no gusset to keep track of, so you can happily knit around and around and finish a pair up in no time.


The pattern is written for two sizes, small and large - measure around your knuckles to see which would fit best.  They are a great stashbuster project if you have odds and ends of fingering weight yarn sitting in stash.  None of the colors used took more than 75 yards.

Inspired by the Roman goddess of springtime and flowers, Flora's festival was held every year between April 28 and May 3, to celebrate the coming of warm weather.


Pick a few favorite colors and cast on for these - they'd make a great set for holiday gift-giving!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Weekending

Crazy weather here - sunny and warm (upper 50s) on Saturday, and we woke up to some snow this morning with predicted temps overnight in the single digits here.  Saturday I puttered around in my studio, worked on some wholesale orders and the final batches of dyeing for the last Heroines club packages for 2014.

Despite the fact it is not really a typical kind of project for me, I've been looking at scrappy blankets recently, and have fallen down the rabbit hole known as The Beekeeper's Quilt.  I had been thinking it'd be a great showcase for all the bits and bobs of hand-dyed scraps I've got from the shop, and while chatting with my buddy, Andi, yesterday, she had the great suggestion to knit up those cute hexipuffs and use as a bunting or garland around the edges of my shop display.  Brilliant!

I'm using just my Ceridwen Sock base, since I've got so many colorways dyed on it.  These little puffs are addictive!  I could have spent all of yesterday parked on the couch knitting these like a crazed Madame DeFarge (although I cut myself off and did not).


Maybe part of the appeal is they are quick to knit up, you get to have fun using just a few yards of something colorful, and then you can move on to the next one?  I don't know - I have no explanation for it, but considering there are over 7700 versions of Beekeeper's on Ravelry, I'm apparently not alone in the addiction.

And it is possible I am going to make myself a full-sized blanket version out of yarns other than just shop scrappies.  Just sayin......

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pattern Release: Wyvern Shawl

It's been live on Ravelry for a few days, but I'm just now getting around to posting it here.  The Wyvern Shawl is the first of 8 pieces that will be released as stand-alone patterns, but all of which are part of the Legendary Knits volume 3 collection.

Knit from a single skein sock/fingering weight yarn, this is a versatile pattern that can be worn as a shawl, a scarf or a cowl.


The pattern consists of a slip-stitch body with toothed lace edging.  The shawl is cast on at one short end and worked to the opposite end, shaped with increases and decreases, to achieve an elongated crescent shape.  


The textured slip-stitch works great with tonal/kettle-dyed yarns, but would also hold up nicely with a handpaint/multicolor.  Since it uses just one skein of sock yarn, you might already have a special skein just waiting to be knit up lurking in stash.


The inspiration for this piece comes from one of my favorite fairy tales, Maud and the Wyvern. Not exactly a traditional tale with a happy ending, but this one has always appealed to me for some reason.  

Photos courtesy of the ever fabulous Kristen Brooks, and of course, a big thank-you to my gorgeous model, Tori, who has seen me through this entire 3-volume collection!  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Weekending

A day late to be sure, but I'm just back from the Kid N Ewe festival in Boerne, Texas (near San Antonio) this weekend.  Three days of vending and about 1750 miles of driving later, and a whirlwind of busy this weekend - I'm ready for a nap.

D was a trooper and did the bulk of the driving to and from, and of course helped me set up.  This is a fun show, held at the fairgrounds in town (indoors), and Boerne itself is a cute little town.  Lots of restaurants and fun shops along Main Street.  This year, we opted to rent a little house, which was a great plan for us.  Since I've got kind of an odd diet these days, it was wonderful to be able to cook for ourselves and to sit around in the a.m. with a cup of tea or coffee before packing a lunch to go vend.

I had a LOT of repeat customers this year - thank you all! - plus a lot of brand-new ones as well.  It was a great excuse to get to see friends from the Austin area, and of course, I also got to vend right next-door to my friend Kelli and her Notable Gnome goodies.  I stocked up on her vegan lip balm and possibly also had a few holiday gifts fall into my bag as well.

A great show, but I'm happy to be home for a while.  Today I'm getting unpacked, doing paperwork, answering emails and generally getting caught up!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Weekending

This weekend, I'm happy to say, I finished up the BIG (300+ skeins) order to off to Simply Sock Yarn AND I finished up the dyeing for the Kid N Ewe show this upcoming weekend.  D and I got everything packed into the trailer, so other our personal stuff like clothes and knitting, that's ready to go as well.

Today we are having a kind of threatening rain day, and fall is for sure in the air.  I've been hankering for a new pair of handknit socks for myself, so I grabbed a skein of my squooshy Aerten Sock (merino/nylon/cashmere) and cast on for Rachel Coopey's Dawlish Socks.


This is a very fun pattern - I've been eyeing several of this designer's patterns for a while and I'm thoroughly enjoying this one so far.  (And what a treat to just follow the directions and knit and not worry about taking notes or fussing around with design elements.  Just.Knitting.The.Sock.)  I think they will also make a nice travel project, although I've got a couple of other things in the Sekret Knitting category on the needles as well, so I can rotate between things.

Otherwise today, I've got a few hours to work and we'll toss something into the Crockpot for dinner.

Stitching Update: January 16, 2018

I rotated back to my Winter's Encounter project for the past 5 days and made some good progress on it. I managed to finish all of p...