Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wash Cloth Mania

Oh dear, I am feeling the urge to knit wash cloths!  It hits me about once a year and I'll do nothing but knit obsessively in kitchen cotton for a few weeks to a month before it subsides.  The problem is that I don't have time right now to give into the itch.  I am still working on Christmas gifts and I have so many WIPs it's getting a bit out of control!  This is the time of year to knit in warm wools, not cool cotton! 

I only hope this passes soon. Is there a pill for this?


Thursday, December 6, 2012

KnitCore at The Foundry! Again!

We had such a great time at the Foundry last month that we will be back this Saturday from noon till 5.  If you missed the Foundry last month, we totally recommend you try to stop by this month to shop for some unique and locally made holiday gifts.  This is such an interesting venue that gets bigger and more exciting each month.  I personally can't wait to see what vendors show up this month.  I will be shopping for sure!

KnitCore will be selling lots of hand knit or hand made goodies, per usual, but with some extra goodies for the holidays.  Ornaments, beaded garland, beautiful crocheted lace collars, warm wooly hats, felted oven mitts and pot holders, baby hats, socks and mitts and so much more!

And if this weekend doesn't work for you, we will be back NEXT Saturday, too!  The Foundry is having a SECOND Second Saturday this month! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday Sale!!!

It's not too late to save 20% off your order at our Etsy Shop with our Black Friday Sale!  It runs through Monday.  Just use coupon code BF2012 when you check out.  Besides lots of yarns, we're also well stocked with hand knit items (we won't tell!)

Speaking of hand knits, here are a few pictures of my sister's baby, my Blueberry, in some of the things I've knit for her.  Because adorable is meant to be shared!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Viva the Foundry!

Yesterday, we were at The Foundry's Second Saturday Sale - what a great afternoon!! They had a great variety of vendors, yummy snacks and a really charming venue. Thanks to great advertising, we had lots of visitors - human and canine alike! There were many hand-crafts; from beautiful stationery to feathered hair accessories as well as up-cylced wooden frames, stools and pegboards. So many lovely shops and people. Here's a link to the Foundry for more info: Please come and visit us for the two December dates - the 8th and 15th (the 2nd and 3rd Saturdays). 298 Northampton St, Buffalo from 12-5. My new hats and loop scarves went quickly - coming soon are some wool hats from gorgeous handspun yarn and more loop scarves. I promise to post some photos here when it's all ready to go! Keep and eye on our etsy shop! We're planning on some great gift ideas for the holiday with, as usual, lovely colorways from S to fill all of your knitting desires - two of which come in sparkly! It's that time of year when what we want to knit for ourselves or loved ones clashes with what we need to knit as gifts, or in our case, for business. Ah, the eternal business v. pleasure conundrum. :) The method I'm using lately to bring balance to it all is to alternate between a "want to" piece and a "have to" piece. For me, that's a new loop scarf trading places with my wedding veil. Yes, I'm knitting my own wedding veil! I'm hoping it will take on heirloom status in the future, but for now, it's going one long lace row at a time as the big day looms closer - 12/9/12. I'm very lucky to be marrying a man who is very supportive of my knitting addiction. For the most part, he turns a blind eye to the stashing and I mostly keep it hidden in closets and under the bed. There's a bag out on the porch too....but we won't talk about that right now. :) He's also an ideal knitter's husband because he expresses appropriate oohs and aahs at my projects and is impressed by argyle socks. He's also never requested a black cabled sweater. But enough bragging about J. I just hope this veil blocks like a dream and one of my cats doesn't nap on it while it's drying. For this week, I need to make a new light box and make some more headway on the veil. I would love to knit 2 more items for the store and organize the porch-yarn. That's just the knitting to-do list, let's not talk about the wedding to-do list! Anyway, my hands are itching for some needles and I think I'll poke around on Ravelry..... May all your cables twist the right way... ~L

Friday, November 9, 2012

KnitCore at The Foundry!

We will have a table this Saturday at The Foundry. What is The Foundry? It's a place for local artists, artisans and small businesses that promotes cooperation, community and shared inspiration. And it's a once a month craft show for local artists. This month they will have live music by Sol Y Sombra, food by Three Brothers Catering and lots of artists and artisans selling their goods. It's from 12-5 at 298 Northampton Street. Come down and check it out, and maybe pick up a few gifts for the holidays!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Field Trip to the Farm!

Instead of meeting at Dolci like we normally do, a couple weekends ago we met at Thistle Creek Alpaca Farm in East Aurora for a tour. The owners, Jeanne and Brad, talked to us about how they got into alpacas, the progress they've made in the last several years, the struggles and benefits of raising alpacas and all about the fiber! We love the fiber! We got to head out to the barn and meet their over 30 alpacas, many of them rescues: They all have names and seem to know them. Thunder is the cutie with the hay on his face. Duncan is the adorable teddy bear faced boy next to him. Jedi is the tall grey suri with the long, lovely locks in the last picture. I bought some of her roving to spin from their store, along with some hand dyed batts blended with local kid mohair. We learned a lot about the different alpaca breeds, about their habits and personalities and their care. We laughed as they spit at each other while fighting over hay, yet how unnerved they were to have people around them. Apparently alpaca only spit when they feel threatened, unlike llama, who just like to spit. We marveled at all the gorgeous colours they come in and giggled as the girls flirted with the boys who are kept in a separate pen (for their own safety, it seems!) Did you know the gestational period for an alpaca is 11 months and 2 weeks? Makes 9 months seem like a cake walk, doesn't it? After petting the barn cat and letting the alpaca nibble our fingers, we headed back to the store to shop. I'm always supporting and promoting local fiber producers and this is no different. Jeanne and Brad have a great selection of alpaca products from their own alpacas and from around the world; sweaters and hand knit toys, ornaments, felted alpaca dolls, furry teddy bears and warm hiking socks. They also have hand knit items made by friends and family using their own mill spun yarns and hand dyed yarns and batts. If you're looking for unique and meaningful gifts for the holidays or need to add some alpaca to your stash, I recommend giving them a call and stopping by. They are usually home on weekends and would love to show you around. Their website is currently under construction, but they can be reached at 716.725.8238 or you can find them on Facebook. (Check out the photo of their beautiful grey huacaya that just placed at a recent show! She's gorgeous!) If you can't make it out before the holiday season, mark your calendar for 2013 National Alpaca Days, the 28th and 29th of September. They have an open house with demonstrations, food (this year they had a winery!) and all sorts of fun things to see and do! You don't want to miss it! Happy Crafting!! SereKnitty

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Yarn Shop in the Finger Lakes!

I was on Seneca Lake this weekend doing a wine tour when I stumbled upon this place:
It was one of those "YARN SHOP! STOP THE CAR!!!!" moments. And I was not disappointed. The owner was friendly and helpful and they had a great selection. I was sorely tempted by all the Schaefer Yarns they had in stock. The yarn is produced in the Finger Lakes region, so if you're interested in sourcing your yarns locally and supporting local dyers, they're a great place to start. You know, after KnitCore. :P Besides the beautiful colourways and gorgeous yarns, I love that the colours are all named after Memorable Women. Each skein has a little bio that tells you about that woman. What a great concept! I forwent the yarns, though, and bought some local roving in a pretty autumnal colourway that I can't wait to spin. It's a blend of a couple different sheep wools, so it'll be fun to see how it turns out.
Best of all was the rescued momma kitty and her 5 babies. 2 were her own and 3 were further rescues that she is taking care of. They're all living in the back of the shop where they are being adored by owners and patrons alike awaiting homes of their very own. I was too busy cuddling the kittens and petting the proud momma to get pictures, but trust me, they were adorable! If you're looking to adopt... So, add Finger Lakes Fibers in Watkins Glen to your list if you're ever in the area. It's worth the trip and a nice break from all the Rieslings! Happy Crafting! Sereknitty

Friday, November 2, 2012

Knitters Guild Vendor Night!

Last night, we were a vendor at the Buffalo Knitting Guild's Vendor night! Check out our beautiful table!
There were many lovely vendors - local places and some out-of-town visitors (including an awesome alpaca farm from Ithaca!). We didn't totally sell-out of everything, so we have a few pieces left over. Check out our Etsy shop to see the remaining treasures! Here are a few pictures of yarn to tempt you:
We're now accepting Etsy gift cards so you can give KnitCore for the holidays! If you're looking for a last-minute knitted gift (and have run out of time to do it yourself) check out the new selection of foxy neckwear by loloknits.....coming soon..... :) More soon from the busy crafting girls at KnitCore, Lolo and Sereknitty

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Nearly There!

I am binding off the Cladonia shawlette that I started on the day of the Olympics opening ceremony. I want to have it finished, washed and blocked before the games end on Sunday. I am nearly done binding off and I have THIS much yarn left:
Normally, I wouldn't worry. That's more than enough yarn for an ordinary bind off. But the bind off for this shawl is different. More complicated:
It's a CO2, BO2, CO2, BO2, CO2, BO6 repeat. It's gorgeous, but time consuming and eats yarn. Not to worry, I have another skein if I do run out. But, it's the thrill of who will win: ME or THE YARN! There's only one way to find out. STAY TUNED!!!!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

KnitCore at Thin Ice!

The next time you're on Elmwood, swing by Thin Ice and check out my hand dyed yarns for sale!
In the same basket are some really gorgeous hand spun yarns by Judith of Knox Farm. And, of course, Thin Ice is full of beautiful locally made handcrafts; jewelry, pottery, woodwork and so much more. It's a great place to look for a gift and support the local economy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What to Knit With and What Not

I recently purchased two different yarns from Knit Picks to make some things for new babies in my life. Since one baby is in Florida and the other in Oklahoma, I went for cottons. The first one I tried is their Simply Cotton Worsted. It’s a worsted weight organic cotton (the dyes aren’t organic, but the cotton itself is) that comes in a whole bunch of lovely bright yummy heathered colours that look way better in person than online (and they look pretty cute online.)
It currently sells for $4.49-$5.99 for 164yard/100 gram balls. I decided to make an entrelac baby blanket out of this yarn. I was worried about how my fingers would handle working on such a big project. We’ve all been there: the skin rubbed sore, unyielding, stiff cotton that sticks to the needles (stiff, that is, until you wash it when it suddenly turns to jelly and grows three sizes!) But this was not the case. As anyone who has ever bought an organic cotton garment knows, organic cotton is sooooo soft. And it gets softer the more you wash it. This yarn is soft! And not only is it soft, but it’s actually nice to knit with. It’s smoother than most other cottons I’ve knit with, there was almost no pilling or fuzzing (again, pretty unusual with a plied, unmercerized cotton like this!) and it gets really nice stitch definition. I thing cables would look great with this yarn. I hand washed and blocked my blanket. It might have grown a bit. I’m not entirely sure since I didn’t really measure or do a gauge. It’s a blanket. It’s blanket sized. But I can tell you that it didn’t do the giant stretchy thing cotton sometimes does. It held up its shape pretty well. Here is the finished product, after it was washed and blocked (and folded.)
Take into consideration, though, that I did entrelac. It tends to add structure to the fabric, just by the way you knit it. If I was doing a sweater with this yarn (which I really want to do. I am in LOVE with the golden heather colour in the picture!) I would definitely wash and dry my swatches carefully before knitting, but we should all be doing this anyway. I haven’t put it in the dryer yet, but based on how little it fuzzed when I was knitting it and lugging it around and kicking my cat off of it, I think it would do well. Don’t dry it on high and I think it would be fine. To sum up, I think it’s a great value for the money, it’s soft but strong, has great stitch definition, it comes in scrumptious colours, and seems to wash with almost no pilling, which makes me think it’s durable, too. I think it’s perfect as an alternate to wool, soft against baby’s skin (or mine!) and since it’s organic, it’s a more eco-friendly choice. I will use it again (I’m actually working on a second blanket out of different colours!), and I think Knit Picks should expand this yarn into other weights. I’d like to see it in DK at the least. I give this yarn 4.5 out of 5 (if the dyes were low eco impact I might give it 5!) The second yarn was Shine Worsted, which is 60% pima cotton and 40% modal, which is a fibre made from beech wood.
This yarn was more expensive than Simply Cotton, running at $2.99 for a 75yard/100 gram ball so I expected a bit more of it. At first touch it was very soft. Softer than the Simply cotton. It had a nice sheen to it and the colour was rich and bright. But it didn’t give that same feeling of strength and durability that the other yarn did. I wanted to make a strawberry sleep sack out of this yarn, but when I started knitting, I noticed very quickly that this yarn was going to be a bit difficult. It was splitty, it fuzzed and pilled like crazy, it didn’t have much give. I felt like it was working against me, not with me. Having to tink back was a nightmare and when I realized the project and the yarn were not going to work well together and frogged the whole thing, I was very disappointed at how worn and fuzzy the yarn looked. I didn’t want to reuse the yarn I had frogged so when I decided to turn it into a hat, I started with new yarn. I finished the simple baby hat just fine (it's pretty cute, huh?)
but I wouldn’t use this yarn for anything I wanted to last for a long time. This yarn is definitely hand wash only, and have your sweater razor ready, you will need it. I recommend keeping a lint brush with you when you knit, since I was covered in red fuzz the whole time. I honestly did not like this yarn at all and will never knit with it again. It is not worth the money, in my opinion. I’m considering returning the unused skeins. I could buy more Simply Cotton to make myself a sweater! I give it a 1. Have you used either of these yarns? What did you think? Do you agree with my reviews or have other opinions? I'm curious to hear what you think!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Baby Knits

My best friend's daughter should be born sometime today or tomorrow. They are inducing the birth mother this evening. As much as I wish I could wrap this woman is soft hand knit love, it will be a closed adoption. Since I can't knit a gift to thank the woman who is giving my friend and her husband their 12 year wish of starting a family, the least I can do is make sure this baby is the best dressed baby in town. To that end, I knit her a pair of socks and a matching hat in Luscious by Kollage to keep her warm in the hospital:
And then I knit her a little cotton dress in Cascade Pima so she has something pretty to wear when they finally get to take her home.
Of course I have more things planned, but at least I have a few things ready to get her started off on a lifetime of hand knits! Welcome, baby Sera! I can't wait to meet you!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Naughty Skew!

Look what my Skew socks did to the inside of my sneakers!
This is AFTER the socks have been washed several times! I find it amusing that you can see the stripes.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Washcloth Fever!

Every once in a while, I get bit by the washcloth knitting bug. All I can think about is knitting washcloths. All I want to do is knit washcloths. I have a fever, and the only cure is more get the idea.

I also love to stash bust and find new ways to use up every last scrap of yarn. In that vein, I started knitting these fun stash busting washcloths that use up your leftover bits and always end up looking fun and funky. I knit two this week, and I thought I'd share with you my methodology so you can try your hand at them, if you want.

One of my favourite stitches to use for a washcloth is the Linen Stitch.

You get an interesting woven look. The front is flat, which is great for both washing your face or your dinner plates. The back is bumpy, which is perfect when you (or your frying pan) need a good scrub.

And the slipped stitches really blend the different colours together.

So, first, dig down deep into the bottom of your stash and find three coordinating bits of kitchen cotton. They don't have to be enough for a whole washcloth. You just have to like how they look together.

I like to have at least one solid colour.

Then, add in a few more complimentary colours until you know you have enough for a whole washcloth.

Now you are ready to begin!

Pick out your first three colours. We will call them A, B and C.

With yarn A, cast on an even number of stitches. In the example above, I cast on 50.
Attach colour B
Row 1: K1, s1 wyif-repeat to end.
Attach colour C
Row 2: P1, s1 wyib-repeat to end

Repeat these two rows rotating through the three colours until washcloth is as long as it is wide, then bind off. When you run out of a colour, simply attach a new one and keep going.

If you stop and pick it up again, you always start on the side with the two strands of yarn and you always pick up the strand on the bottom.

And voila! You've used up some yarn scraps and have a fun new washcloth all in one go.

Another stitch I like is the Woven Stitch.

It is similar to the Linen Stitch, with a flat front and a scrubby back and has a nice slipped stitch pattern that works well to blend multiple yarns.

Using the same method as the Linen Stitch, cast an an odd number of stitches with colour A.
Attach colour B
Row 1: K1, s1 wyif-repeat to last 2 stitches, k2.
Attach colour C
Row 2: purl
Pick up colour A
Row 3: k2, [s1 wyif, k1]-repeat to end.
Pick up colour B
Row 4: Purl

Repeat until the washcloth is as long as it is wide. Bind off!


If you do try one of these, or if you have other favourite patterns for stashbusting washcloths, I would love to see them!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Just in Time for St. Patrick's Day!

Wore them out today, too! They fit great.

Did you have any green knitwear on for St. Patrick's Day?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I Knit, Therefore I Am

Knitting may start out as a hobby, but if often quickly becomes a compulsion. We want to knit ALL THE THINGS, ALL THE TIME. We pity the people sitting in the waiting room or on the bus who don’t have knitting in their hands. How bored they must be! We roll our eyes at the person who thinks that we can’t knit and listen to them at the same time. Instead of complaining about the long line at the bank, we rejoice at the opportunity to “get in a few rows”. I can’t speak for every knitter, but I never EVER leave the house without knitting because you never know when you’ll need it. A quick pop around the corner to the post office turns into a 15 minute wait because some little old lady is trying to ship something overseas. A car trip to run errands turns into a 20 minute knitting break when a train blocks all traffic. If you’ve ever been somewhere and thought “I wish I had my knitting!” you know to be prepared in the future. There is always some quick little project on my needles that I can shove in a pocket or in a bag and take with me as I run out of the door. I keep an emergency stash of yarn and needles at my desk at work, just in case. I’d do the same in my car, except my trunk is full of charity knitting yarn and donated needles, so I’m good there. I used to feel weird about knitting in public, but boredom soon took away any inhibitions I might have had. I’ve knit in bars, at parties, on the bus, at conferences and lectures, in line at the grocery store, in line at the bank, Target, the craft store-pretty much in any kind of line, really. I knit in between dances, I knit during the fireworks on the 4th of July. If I’m sitting or standing still, I’m either knitting or wishing I was knitting. If I’m not knitting, I’m probably fidgeting or getting into mischief. It’s best you let me knit.

It might seem obsessive, and it probably is, but it’s how things get made. Knitters are busy people. We have jobs and raise families and volunteer and do many, many other things besides knit. The next time you receive a hand-knit gift, think about all the hours it took to make it and remember that it was probably knit while watching TV, in line at the bank, in the passenger seat of the car, at any spare moment that person found to make your gift. Before you’ve even put on that new hat or scarf, it’s already had an adventure of its own while it was being made!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Meet Xenophilius

I can't remember the last sunny day we had here in snowy, rainy, snowy (it seems to alternate days) Buffalo and I was feeling the winter blues. The best way to combat that? Dye a bit of sunshine!

Introducing my newest colourway: Xenophilius

Xenophilius, and all my colourways, can be found at our Etsy shop here.



Monday, January 16, 2012

Non-Knitters Say the Darndest Things!

We’ve all run into them. The well-meaning but clueless non-knitter who feels they must interrupt your precious knitting time with an unwelcome comment or two. Usually it’s a simple exchange and they’re on their way, but sometimes, some days, I seem to be just bombarded with ridiculous comments and I must remind myself to “just keep knitting” and keep my mouth shut. Here are some of my “favourite” comments. I’m sure you have a few of your own.

Them: Knit two, purl two! Ha ha!
Me: *Polite smile*
What I wish I could say: No, I’m doing a k2, 4-LC, p1, yo, p2tog lace pattern repeat, thank you very much.

Them: What are you making?
Me: A sock.
Them: Just one? HA HA HA HA HA!
Me: *Polite smile*
What I wish I could say: Well, Dobby, I could knit both at the same time, but I don’t like to show off.

(Ok, really, I just don’t like doing two at a time, but that’s just my personal preference. Props to anyone who does!!)

Them: What are you making?
Me: A sock.
Them: You know you can get those at Walmart, right?
Me: Not these! *polite smile*
What I wish I could say: If you can walk into Walmart and find a pair of hand knit, hand dyed 100% merino wool fair isle knee high socks that actually fit me and weren’t made by slave labor in some 3rd world country AND cost less than $100, then perhaps, just perhaps, I’ll re-consider my personal ban on Walmart…but I doubt it.

Them: My grandmother used to crochet!
Me: Did she? That’s nice. *Polite smile*
What I wish I could say: This is KNITTING, not crochet, you silly human! Maybe if you had paid a bit more attention to your crafty grandmother, you’d know the difference! Bad grandchild!

Them: I don’t have the patience to knit!
Me: It’s actually very relaxing. *Polite smile*
What I wish I could say: The only reason I haven’t strangled anyone yet is because I’m knitting. And, because I don’t want to take the risk of breaking one of my Lantern Moon US size 1 rosewood DPNs. These babies are expensive!

Them: That’s pretty. Will you make me one?
Me: No, but I’ll teach you to make your own. *Polite smile*
What I wish I could say: You have no idea the time, money and energy that goes into making a hand knit item, do you? If I actually totaled up the cost of the yarn and my hourly salary and sent you a bill, you’d faint. I didn’t start knitting to make money!

And then, my favourite one of all:

Them: *Some sort of ridiculous mime that they think resembles a person knitting but mostly makes them look like they’re doing the chicken dance, very poorly.*

Honestly, I never know how to respond to that!