Monday, August 12, 2013

It's BACK!

Back in 2009, KnitPicks released this sweater kit they called "Lusekofte".

 I was SO in love and wanted the pattern, but they only sold it as a kit. I couldn't afford it at the time and by the time I had the money to buy it, it had all sold out. I emailed KnitPicks about buying just the pattern or if they'd re-release it since it did so well and got back a generic "who knows?" sort of email.  Every once in a while I'd think about it and check back and it was still gone. I was really sad.

Until today. Today I found out they have re-released it under a new name: Lofoten.  AND they are selling the kit OR the pattern! The pattern is in black or brown with options to choose your own colours.
I immediately bought the pattern, but I want to do it in the original blue colours, so I need to research what they are...and wait until I have 1) money and 2) room in my yarn bin for this kit.  I dug out a skein of sock yarn this morning and had to do that cartoony "sit on the suitcase to get it to close" thing to get the lid back on. Which is a bit confounding as I've barely bought any yarn in ages! Maybe it's breeding in there? Actually, it's the 10 skeins of Malabrigo Chunky in Butter that is taking up so much room, but I have some birthday/Christmas presents to complete before I can get to that. Maybe the yarn for this sweater will be my New Years "You Survived Your Christmas Knitting" annual present to myself. 

But, back to the point: HOORAY!! This gorgeous and admittedly very reasonably priced sweater is BACK! I WILL be knitting it one day and I'm so glad KnitPicks came to their senses and offered the pattern for download.  Isn't it fun?  Anyone want to plan a 2014 Lofoten KAL with me?

May your steeks never unravel,


Sunday, August 4, 2013

I made a Wee Faerie! And it Sparked Some Thoughts About the Toy Industry in the US.

I'm supposed to be preparing for the craft show next Saturday (Second Saturday at the Foundry. Come on out! It's really neat!), working on some gifts and stuff for the Etsy shop (hey, did I mention it's Free Shipping Month?  Enter Coupon Code August2013 for free US shipping and reduced international shipping rates!) but yesterday I was overtaken with the compulsion to knit this:

A little faerie!  The pattern is from Susan B. Anderson's Flora & Fairies that was in a holiday Knit Simple magazine a coworker gave me as a Christmas gift in 2011.  While normally knitting books or magazines with the word "simple" in them do not appeal to me (I want a bit more of a challenge), this one actually has several patterns in it that I have already made including little mitten and sweater ornaments and a holiday garland with little birds on it that I put up in my living room every year and hang my Christmas cards from it.  And this pattern was in it, too.

If you are not familiar with Susan B. Anderson, let me introduce you.  You can thank me later.  She is a designer for children and makes the cutest toys and clothing for kids you have ever seen. She may be my absolute favourite designer for toys.  I own her must have book "Itty Bitty Toys" and have knit about half the book so far with plans to knit pretty much every pattern in it.  I often check her blog and the many (free!) patterns she has designed for the Spud & Chloe blog.

But back to my faerie.  It's a simple, tiny pattern that took me about a day to make and used bits of sock yarn I had in my stash (most of it hand dyed by me. Her skirt/wing yarn was hand dyed by someone else.) Her little i-cord arms and legs took no time at all and I knit them directly onto her body by just picking up 3 stitches where I wanted them to go and starting my i-cord instead of making them separate and stitching them on. I love to save piecing together at the end.

The thing that took the longest was the hair. You have to tie each strand on around her scalp, which takes time, but then, because I wanted her hair to be curly, I went back and separated each strand into 2 pieces with a crochet hook. I adore how it turned out. Her pigtails are VERY Sera and I feel like she has so much personality. Too bad she's too young for this toy and it's going to sit around for a couple years until she's old enough not to eat the hair.  Sometimes you just have to give into the little voice in your head saying "KNIT THIS!" even when it's not sensible.

The fairies in the pattern are all white with blonde hair (well, the ones that have hair and not little flower hats.)  I really want to make toys that look like my niece.  So it was important to me to make an African American looking faerie.  Even as a small blonde haired blue eyed (BHBE) child, I noticed that most dolls and toys were BHBE like me and that any doll that wasn't blonde was relegated to the sidelines. Barbie's non-blonde friends (do you remember any of their names? Because I don't!), She Ra's one African American looking friend who only shows up in occasional story lines, Rainbow Brite's one non-white friend (wasn't she Indigo?)  I understood the idea that toy makers were throwing at me at a very young age: that Barbie's other friends weren't as pretty or important because they weren't blonde.  And that didn't make me feel good about being lucky enough to be born BHBE. It made me feel a bit guilty and ashamed.  My favourite Barbie growing up was Island Barbie, because she had the beautiful long black hair and golden brown skin of the Chamorro women I grew up around. I hardly every played with my blonde Barbie.  She wasn't as pretty in my mind.

So, it's important to me that my nieces have toys that aren't just BHBE.  I want my niece Sera to have toys that look like her, but that also look like the people around her. And so that's why I have plans to make a blonde "me" faerie and an Asian looking " Mommy" faerie.  I won't just do this for Sera, I want Katie (who is a blonde baby with hazel eyes like her mommy) to have dolls and toys that reflect the wonderful variety of people around her.  I don't want her to ever feel guilty for being blonde,  just as I never want Sera to feel bad because she isn't. We can't change how we are born. But we can change the idea that BHBE is the "best" way to be by teaching our daughters that everyone is beautiful and that differences should be celebrated.  Who knew knitting a simple toy could have so much power and potential?

May you always get gauge,


Friday, July 26, 2013

Knit-speare in the Park!

The knitters of KnitCore love field trips and Shakespeare in Delaware Park is becoming an annual summer tradition.  Last night a group of us went to see the opening night of Measure for Measure.  And, of course, we brought our knitting!

We got lots of knitting done (and ate some yummy food!) and really enjoyed the show.  If you get a chance, go see it!  It's set in Vienna, TX in the Old West and is full of silly accents and silly songs and is so much fun.  It's running until August 18.  Really, go see it! And bring your knitting!

And, since brevity is the soul of wit, that's all I have to say about that.  :)


Friday, July 19, 2013

This is What 500 Hexipuffs Look Like!

It nearly covers the top of my bed!

I feel like I was doing pretty good with my hexipuff-a-day project, but I've gotten really busy this summer and I've fallen a bit behind. BUT, today is actually day 200 and I have knit 200 hexipuffs so far this year so I'm actually right on target. All those days when I knit 2 or 3 really paid off.  So, If I can get back on track I have a shot of meeting my goal this year!  I CAN DO IT!

 And so can you! How are your 2013 knitting goals coming along?


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Vacation Knitting!

I'm back home from my vacation and recuperating (my flight got in very late last night.)  Only good thing about flight delays?  Lots of time to knit!

I didn't get a ton of knitting done on this vacation as I was visiting my best friend and one year old niece.  Anyone who has or has ever been around a one year old knows they only stop when they're sleeping.  So, not much knitting. But, I did manage to finish ONE of my vacation socks!

 Isn't it pretty?  The pattern is Tintagel from The Enchanted Sole by Janel Laidman.  I knew I had to knit this sock since the day I got the book because not only do I love the pattern, I have been to Tintagel, the legendary birthplace of King Arthur.  Seeing the ruins on the romantic, wind swept, heath strewn cliffs overlooking the deep blue ocean, you can amost believe  he was really born there. It's a beautiful and (possibly) magical place. 

Though I loved the pattern and the socks fit great, I think I'm going to have to add elastic around the top.  I did the small size and I DON'T have tiny calves, but it's still a bit loose. We'll see.  I love the yarn so very much. It's Sanguine Gryffon Eidos in a one-off colourway I got at Rhinebeck a couple years ago. It was love at first sight.  I kept thinking the colour reminded me of something. 
 And since I started knitting it up, I remembered.  It's this tapestry from The Hunt of the Unicorn:

Both are a dark rich green background with lots of lush colours over it. Greens, yellow, reds, purples.  I had a book as a kid with this on the cover. Back in my pre-teen years when I was really into unicorns. Obviously it is stuck in my psyche.  I just adore these socks and can't wait to finish them!

Hope your summer knitting is going well!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

LYS Review-The Gourmet Yarn Company

I love stopping at local yarn shops when I travel.  It's great to see a new shop, check out some new yarn, and pick up a souvenir skein.  This trip I stopped at The Gourmet Yarn Company in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  I was not disappointed.  This place is GREAT!  I really wish I had taken pictures.  It's a big, open shop with LOTS of all the great yarns we all love, a wall of needles (including tons of Addi Turbos), a great selection of patterns and books, an area in the back with sofas and chairs and very helpful friendly staff.  We're talking tons of  MadTosh, Malabrigo, Cascade, Berroco, Rowan, Spud & Chloe, Debbie Bliss, Lambs Pride, etc., etc., etc., with a large stock of colours and weights.  The wall of sock yarn almost made me feel faint.  And the prices were pretty reasonable, too.  I picked up a skein of Spud & Chloe Sweater for $14.50, which is about in the middle of its price range.  I think the MadTosh Sock was $18.50, a skein of Malabrigo lace was $27.50, a dollar less than I paid for the skein I bought in Florida.  So, really not bad.  And, they carried some indie dyers like Schaeffer yarns and some specialties like yak and qiviuk.  Even my non-knitting friend thought the shop was interesting.  I only wish we had such a huge and well stocked shop in Buffalo!

So, if you find yourself in OKC and need some knitting supplies or want a great yarn shop experience, I highly recommend The Gourmet Yarn Shop!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

They're finished!

I finished my Concentric socks!

As you can see, they fit great!

I actually finished them Saturday night while watching Hamlet at Shakespeare at the Park (that's for being so long-winded Hamlet! :P) but I've been going non-stop since then and this is my first chance to post about it.  I'm currently in OK visiting my BFF and my niece Sera who just turned ONE!

I also finished her bunny, which she really loves:

I'm so glad!  And I'm really happy with how well my i-cord tail came out.  I was worried a pompom tail might get ruined, so I made a long i-cord and looped it and tacked it down into a sort of flower shape and I think it works well!

I also finished my Aruacania tank top, which I will post pictures of soon, it is in my suitcase and I plan to debut it maybe tomorrow!  Hooray for finished projects!

Since I finished all my projects, I started my Sanguine Gryffon Eidos vacation socks (Tintagel!) and am looooving them.  Pictures soon (maybe!)

Hope your summer knitting is going well,


Monday, June 24, 2013


The blessing of being a knitter is that you can and love to make gifts for other people. The curse of being a knitter is that you're often scrambling at the last minute to finish a gift.  I've been making a lot of gifts lately.  There are showers, birthdays, weddings, babies.  I feel like every weekend for the last month or so I've had a gift to give.  And I'm not done. I've got events the next three weekends that all need gifts. On top of all that, I'm also making things for the Etsy shop/craft shows and a few things for myself.  Before I go on vacation next week, I wanted to have my Concentric socks and a top I'm making myself done.  It's been hard finding the time to knit for myself when there's always a gift that needs knitting.  But I've been working hard trying to finish these up before my vacation.  I thought I was doing pretty good, but all of a sudden I find myself a little over a week away and I'm getting a bit panicky.

I've made good progress on my Concentric socks since I decided to pick them up on a Finish Friday (or weekend!)  I bring them with me to work on rainy days when I can't take a walk at lunch, I carry them in my purse for knitting on the go.  I finished the first one and just finished the heel of the second. (They look a bit lumpy until they're on the foot and then they fit great.)

If we have a rainy week, I may be able to get these done before I go.  I really want to have them done before I leave because I need the needles for my chosen vacation knitting project. I'm FINALLY going to knit the Tintagel socks from "The Enchanted Sole" by Janel Laidman. I really love this book.  It was one of the very few pattern books I've ever picked where I went "I MUST HAVE THIS!" (Susan B. Anderson's "Itty Bitty Toys" was another.) Janel comes up with some very creative,exciting and nerdy sock patterns, even if I don't always enjoy how she charts out everything. I'd rather have "Work k2, p2 rib for 2 inches" than have it charted out, but that's just me.  I want to knit almost every single pair in it the book and I can easily forgive her for her overzealous charts. I've already knit a couple pairs and I have yarn and plans to make others. I've had the yarn (Sanguin Gryffon Eidos in this really rich green colourway.  yummmo!) and beads in my stash for these socks for nearly 2 years and I want to get them knit!  But, I can't do it until I finish Concentric! So, pray for rain for me.  Ha!

I'm also knitting a cotton/linen blend top for myself.  I'm using the pattern for Parasola (which is a pattern I really want to make when I get the right yarn in my stash) but adapted to work with the gauge I'm getting, and then I think it's going to be a tank top because the sleeves just weren't working out.  I've been working on this for ages and ages (it seems. Really it's been about a month and a half.)  It's been slow going as I'm knitting on size 2's and rotating skeins every 2 rows.  But I love the colourway of the Araucania yarn.  Blues, purples and greens:

Isn't it pretty? I just measured tonight and I'm only half an inch away from separating for the arms, but I'm really not sure I can get this done before I leave!  I want to wear it on my vacation, so I am very motivated to finish it.  BUT, before I can do that, I have to finish my last minute gifts!  So, say a prayer to Fiacre (possibly the patron saint of knitters) or maybe Saint Dymphna (the patron saint of mental illness!  ha!) that I find the time, that my needles fly true and that I make my deadlines!

Hope your summer knitting is going well,


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Spinning Again!

I don't remember exactly when I stopped spinning.  I think it was when I had the stress fracture in my foot and was in too much pain. But my poor wheel got shoved aside for stretchy bands and a stationary bike.  And I've been so busy with dyeing and knitting and other things that I've been able to ignore it when it has cried out for attention.  But something about the summer breeze in the window, children playing in the park across the street, the longer days and good light...I began to miss my wheel. So, finally this week I could take it no longer!  I put it back in its rightful place. I drew up the shade and opened the window and sat in my chair and began to spin.  And it was wonderful!

I realize I've lost some of my spinning muscles.  My fingers began to ache from drafting and pinching, my legs haven't been used to treadling, but very soon it all came back and I was amazed at how fast the yarn gathered on my spindle.   I finished 2 single ply projects that have been languishing for ages:

The first one I picked up at last year's WNY Fiber Festival.  It's 100% BFL and it self stripes, which I LOVE.  And the second one in some lovely Suri and Huacaya alpaca blended with Tencel. I got it when our knitting group went to Thistle Creek Alpaca Farm last autumn.  So, stuff I've had for awhile. Both are up on Etsy!

I started a new project, something I've had even longer. It's from a friend of mine, Shadawyn Fibers on Etsy, who does the loveliest colourways out of some of the most lush fibers. 

This one is Finn, which I haven't spun before and I'm really enjoying. The colourway is called Koi Pond and it makes you think of one when you're spinning it because there will be miles of blue and then you'll all of a sudden hit a bit of orange or brown like little fish swimming by. I can't wait to see how it plies up. If it's anything like the last fiber of hers I spun, I know it'll be great.

Oh, wheel,  how I've missed you.  I'm so glad we're back together again!

Hope you're getting lots of crafting done in the lovely summer weather, 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lots of News!

We've got so much going on, I'm going to do a quick list and then expand below, for those of you who appreciate organization, or who get bored with long posts.

  1.  June Etsy Sale.  Coupon Code JUNE2013
  2. Craft show at the Foundry this Saturday, June 8, 12-5
  3. Gifts for Father's Day!!
  4. World Wide Knit in Public Day, Sunday June 9, 2-5.  Bidwell Park.  Bring your knitting, something to sit on, and a treat to share.
  5. Yarn Bomb!  (shhhhh!)

1. We are running a sale at Etsy for 15% off your purchase for the month of June.  The coupon code is JUNE2013.  I've added a bunch of new yarn recently and I've got more coming.  Here are some teasers:

We also have a ton of stitch markers up on the site, which are always great gifts for swaps. AND, keep checking back because there will be more hand knit gifts added in the next couple weeks.

2. Besides the sale, we will be at The Foundry this coming Saturday from 12-5.  We LOVE this venue! If you haven't checked it out yet, stop on by!  There is food, music, demonstrations, activities for kids, and some really interesting and unique vendors that you don't see everywhere else.  PLUS, this is a great group of people trying to revitalize their east side neighborhood and provide space for artists, craftspeople and creative innovation. We feel they're a group well worth supporting.

3. We will be offering up some extra special items for Father's Day including hand knit ties, golf club covers, beer (or pop) cozies in Sabres/Bills colours, large sized oven mitts perfect for grilling and more! If you're looking for a special gift for dad or haven't had time to make something yourself, stop on by!!

4.  World Wide Knit in Public Day is a time for knitters to get together and be out in the community showing people that hey, we are here, and we are knitting!  It's a fun day to meet other knitters in the community, enjoy the sunshine (hopefully) and fresh air.  We like to move around and choose different locations.  Last year we were in Niagara Falls. This year we are going to be at Bidwell Park on the Zetti's side, not the Talking Leaves side.  We'll be there this Sunday, June 9, from 2-5.  Bring your knitting, something to sit on and a treat to share!  If it rains, we will meet at our usual spot, Ashker's Juice Bar on Elmwood (it's just a block north of Bidwell.)  Hope to see you there!!

5.  It's time for our 3rd Annual Yarn Bomb.  This year's theme is Baked Goods.  Keep an eye out, we will be posting pictures soon!  

Whew, I think that's everything for now!


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Finish Weekends!

I have been so busy with knitting for our monthly craft shows, gifts for other people or special orders and then a few MUST HAVE NOW items for me (currently a new bath mat and a cotton/linen top that I want to wear on my trip 4th of July weekend) that I have a ton of UFO's sitting around not being knit.  In the past, I've tried dedicating an hour or two on fridays to working on projects and I keep a pair of deep stash socks in my desk drawer to work on at lunch but the weather's been so nice lately that I've been walking at lunch instead of knitting most days and my fridays have been so busy that I haven't had time to do much knitting.  So last weekend I tried something different.  I carried a project around with me all weekend and knit whenever I could; in the car or when I had a free moment.  I didn't get a ton of knitting done, but here are the results:

I'm knitting the Onion Market Wrist Warmers.  I think the pattern is cute and will go well with my Cloudy Day Beret and Cladonia Shawlette that are made out of the same Mad Tosh Merino Light in Silver Fox that I overdyed more silvery (I'm starting to wonder if I bought magical yarn that never gets used up.) I decided I wanted to make them more like fingerless mitts and add a purled thumb gusset and I tried adding a bit of ribbing at the cuff.  I didn't like how the ribbing looked and the purled thumb gusset bugged me so I ripped it out and started over.  This time I left out the ribbing and I'm going to do another thumb gusst, but in st st instead and I'll increase every 4th row instead of every 3rd.  This is how much I had when I started:

And at the end so the weekend, this is what I had gotten done:

Not a TON, but I got through a full pattern repeat at least.  I put that aside for now because I won't be needing those for several months.  Instead, I want to focus this weekend on the socks that I keep wishing were done because I want to be wearing them!  I'm knitting Concentric in a 716Knit self-striping colourway called "Sire Whipped".  Jenna, the creator of 716Knit, is a local dyer and knitterly friend who makes awesome yarns in super bright colours.  And all her yarn names are hilarious quotes from Buffy.  What's not to love??  This is one of those projects where the yarn and pattern are working perfectly together and I WANT to be knitting them, but I put them aside to knit socks for my sister and then got busy with other things.  :(

So here is where I am this morning:

I know it looks weird, but it fits perfectly!

I marked my spot so I can see my progress.  Wish me knitting luck!! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Long Tail vs. Knitted Cast On

I'm currently on the third sleeve of the cap sleeved t-shirt I'm knitting.  The third, of course, because I had to rip out the first one and reknit it.  Why? Because I realized after I finished it that I'd used a knitted cast on and since there's no ribbing at the beginning (it starts with 2 purl rows before going into stockinette), it had zero give.  It would be tight around my bicep and probably cut into my arm if I dared to move my arm at all (You know, because of my huge muscles.  Yeah.)  Grr!  I broke the cardinal rule of casting on. Which is, of course, to match the cast on to the project!  I started the second one with long-tail and am reknitting the first one the same way.  These sleeves have give, the cast on edge doesn't draw in AND, I know I'll get even a bit more room once I block.  Just what I wanted!

So, a refresher for anyone out there who is wondering about different cast ons:  The knitted cast on is a great all purpose cast on.  You can use it for just about anything.  BUT, if you want your cast on edge to be super stretchy, like for the edge of a hat or sock cuffs or, in my case, a ribless sleeve edge, you want to go with something more like the long tail

Now, there are tons more cast ons out there, and everyone has their favourite, but the key thing to remember is to take a moment to consider which one is best for your project. Pattern writers rarely recommend a cast on. They leave it up to you to figure out which one to use. And, trust me on this, there is nothing more frustrating than to get to the end of your project and realize it is all wrong because of how you started! was a fantastic resource for me in my earlier years of knitting, and I still go there first when I have a knitting related problem.  She has a long list of cast ons, descriptions of them and videos teaching you how to do them.  AND she records all her techniques in continental AND English.  (If only she also did them in mirror!) It's just one in a huge array of websites offering knitting help (you know, apart from Ravelry, which is the be all, end all of everything knitting), so if you have questions about cast ons, want to try a new one just for kicks or want to make sure you're picking the right one for your next project, I encourage you to do a bit or research.  Learn from my mistake!

May all your cast ons be the right ones,


Sunday, March 17, 2013

This is What 400 Hexipuffs Looks Like!

(Warning: If you don't have the hexipox, read with caution. It is VERY contagious!!)

My bedroom has terrible lighting, but you get the idea.  I'm very proud of myself as one of my goals this year is to knit a hexipuff a day and as of this picture taken last week, I'd knit 100!  I've knit at least 10 more since, so I'm well on my way to meeting my goal this year.  I love my Beekeeper's Quilt. It's fun to make, easy to do on the go since you're making small little hexipuffs to sew together later (I never leave the house without at least a small ball of yarn and 3 needles), and a great way to use up leftover bits of sock yarn.  Oh, and it's warm and cozy, too. My cat loves to sleep on it and the weight of all those little puffs is quite comforting on cold nights.  I can't wait to see how big it is at the end of the year! My end goal is to make it the size of the comforter under it.

Anybody else have the hexipox?  Are you sewing as you go like me and Lolo (she caught the pox from me-cough cough), or are you saving them up till you have them all made?  How many do you have?  I love seeing pictures of what other people are doing with theirs. 

Happy Knitting!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Mending Monday

I had a hole in one of my very favourite pairs of socks.  They are Monkey by Cookie A.  which nearly all of us have knit at least once. I think I've made at least 3 pairs. But this pair is MINE. I knit them toe up in Koigu and I love love love them. I probably wear them at least once a week.  So, the hole was devastating!

I put them in a drawer and vowed to fix it and they've been sitting there for several months.  But I MISS them (and I'm low on laundry!) so it was time to mend. 
I keep small amounts of all my sock yarns for just such an occasion in a ziplock bag in my stash, so I dug that out and then picked up the stitches above and below the hole on two small needles. I think I used  my 000's.  Then I grafted them together just as if I was kitchenering a toe of a sock.  Then, I reinforced the areas around the hole with the ends.  I wove them through the rows following the stitches themselves in the places where the yarn looked a bit worn.  Then I weaved the ends inside the sock.  It took all of 5 minutes, and look!

You can barely tell there was ever a hole! Hopefully this will hold up for many more wears, but if it doesn't, I have plenty more scrap yarn for mending.  I'm just annoyed at myself for taking so long to fix it!!

Don't procrastinate like me!  Today's lesson: a fixed sock is a wearable sock!  :)

Happy Knitting!


Friday, February 22, 2013

Cloudy Day and Alana Dakos Love

I finished my Cloudy Day Beret this week!

It was a lot of fun to do, and turned out oh, so pretty.

I did it in fingering weight instead of sport weight like the pattern calls for because I have a tiny head.  It worked out really well. I just added one pattern repeat before decreasing at the top and it worked fine. The ribbing was still a bit loose, but I added some elastic and it fits great.  This is what I always do for hats and it's working out pretty well for me.

I love Alana Dakos' patterns and have been a long time listener of her Never Not Knitting podcast.  I love the organic elements in her patterns. She often draws inspiration from nature and uses lots of leaves, vines and interesting cables.  And she picks such lush rich yarns to knit her patterns in!  This hat has a fun raindrop motif, each raindrop has a bobble in the middle to give it a fun 3D texture.  Lolo did her Autumn Vines Beret in a gorgeous rust colour (which I was totally going to post a picture of, but she doesn't have one up on Ravelry. Boo!) and one day I am definitely doing the Cedar Leaves Shawlette and the Shawl Collared Cowl.  I even have the yarn in my stash for the cowl, I just need to get around to it!! 

She has patterns for women and children, and if that wasn't enough, Alana has a new pattern book out: Botanical Knits!  There are so many patterns in here I'm excited about, I want to knit the whole book RIGHT NOW!  So, if anyone was looking for a gift idea for me, this book (and yarns to knit ALL the patterns!) would be a great idea.  :)

So, back to my beret!  I started with 2 skeins of MadTosh Sock in Silver Fox, which I overdyed to make more silvery. I knit my Cladonia Shawlette...

...that I adore beyond words and wear nearly every day.  There was a full skein plus leftover so I knit Cloudy Day and I still have 280 yards left!!!!  So, I decided to make a pair of fingerless gloves to go with so I'll be all matchy matchy with my silvery wintery accessories.  The pattern I'm going to try is the Onion Market Wrist Warmers.  I'm going to adapt them a bit, add a thumb and do a bit of ribbing top and bottom and make them shorter.  I'll probably STILL have yarn leftover when I'm done, but that's ok, it'll go to make hexipuffs.  Can't have too much hexipuff yarn!  (I had 379 hexipuffs as of last night!!)

Happy Knitting!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Knitty Knutty Knotty

Have you ever gotten obsessed with a knitting project? I mean REALLY obsessed.  I mean, before you even start knitting you're thinking about how much you want to knit it and can't enjoy the other projects you're working on.  And when you finally do start it, it's all you want to do.  When you aren't knitting it, you wish you were.  When you are, you don't want to stop.  Not for anything: food, potty breaks, sleep, work.  You just want to keep knitting until you're done.  THAT obsessed.  Been there?

That's how I've been with the socks I'm working on.  The pattern is Knotty, a fun sock pattern that looks like a gnarled tree trunk.  The yarn is Noro Kureyon Sock which I just now learned is discontinued in the US, which makes me very sad. The pattern has been in my Ravelry queue for nearly 3 years, I bought the yarn over 2 years ago specifically for this pattern.  I thought the earthy greens and browns would fit the pattern nicely.  I decided that THIS year I was finally going to knit these socks.  I moved it to #1 in my queue. I told myself I could start it just as soon as I finished the hat I'm knitting for myself, but as the hat ended up needing another pattern repeat and I had to rip back, the need, the hunger to knit these socks grew.  Finally, I could take it no longer. 

On the 3rd I cast on.  I've been using the socks as a reward system:  Do a half hour on the elliptical, get to knit 2 rounds.  Post a new yarn on Etsy, get to knit 2 rounds.  That sort of thing.  It was working at first, but the problem I had was 2 fold:  First, the pattern has a lot of easy repeats that increase and decrease to make the knots in the leg.  It's hard not to keep going until you finish a repeat.  And then there's the yarn:  the wonderful lovely colour changes want you to keep going and going just to see what happens next.  I pretty much have stopped knitting anything else, except my daily hexipuffs and the Nutkin socks I keep at my desk at work to knit on my lunch breaks.  And for those of you who know me know that I'm a NOT a monogamous knitter.  I usually have at least 7 projects on the needles.  So the fact that this is the ONLY thing I've been knitting tells you that it's beyond obsession.  The worst bit is that, to get gauge, I am knitting them on 00's!!!  Have you ever knit socks on 00's?  Teeny tiny little needles I'm terrified of breaking!  It makes my hands hurt after a half an hour or so.  But, the obsession is so bad that I'll carry on, no matter how my hands cramp and ache.  And, all my hard work and late nights have paid off.  I've finished the first sock!

Isn't it fun?  I absolutely love it and I can't wait to start the next one and see how it turns out.  Do you like the nice soft filter on my pictures?  That's because I accidentally left my camera in my car overnight and the lens fogged up.  :)

Finishing the first sock has helped with the obsession.  It's more of a low boil than a raging fire.  I might try picking up my Cloudy Day beret that I am so close to finishing.  Or working on one of the 500 other projects in my oversized knitting bag.  Or maybe I'll just cast on the second sock...


Monday, February 4, 2013

KnitCore at the Foundry!

We will be selling our hand-knit wares at The Foundry again this Saturday from 12-5!  We really enjoy this venue.  There are unique vendors, interesting demonstrations and yummy treats! Last month the Grilled Cheese Truck was there selling yummy sandwiches. 

We have been working hard knitting and dyeing for this coming weekend.  I'm excited to announce that I will be bringing lots of new yarns, some new colourways AND lace and worsted weights! I'm thrilled to be expanding my line of yarns beyond sock yarns and I've been having lots of fun with my dyeing pots.  Here are a few previews:

We hope you'll stop by and say hi.  This is a fun indoor event and a great way to support local artists and crafts people!  And did I mention the great food?  :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Even More Cristmas Knitting!

While Lolo was playing with baby lambs downstate, I've been busy trying to finish up the last of my now seriously overdue Christmas projects and get some of my WIP's off the needles. 

You'd think this would be the last one, but no, I actually have one more Christmas gift I haven't even started knitting yet!  By the time I finish this one, Christmas will be here again!  :)  But I did finish a pair of socks for my sister:

Look familiar?  That's because Lolo and I made the same pattern! 
I also crocheted (yes, crocheted!) an amiguri octopus for my niece Blueberry

Now, I just need to find time to get to the post office to mail them.

I alos finished a project I started in the fall.  My Hogwarts Express Shawlette

I left it blocking on the floor when I left the house Friday night.  I'm sure I'll get home to find my cat lying on it.  What is it about cats and wet wool? 

I have NOT been doing a good job cold sheeping so far this year as I've recently bought two sweaters worth of yarn.  But I justify these purchases because they are patterns I've been wanting to make for a very long time.  and the yarn was really pretty.  :) But I can't start either until I finish a few more WIP's. 

We'll be at the Foundry on the 9th, so I know we're both working on some Valentine's themed knits to bring.  Stay tuned for an update on that!

Till then,


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hello everyone! Lolo here. I'm back for a short jaunt downstate and I had some lovely adventures. This year has been my year to cold sheep, as I have 80,000 yards of yarn and I think my husband has started looking at me a little screwy. ;) Today is the 23rd day of no new yarn and I'm not missing it yet. My mom threw me a big curveball though - as part of my trip down, we went to a lovely farm shop in Gardiner NY. It's called White Barn Farm - here's the site:

I resisted all of the gorgeous yarn but I did buy some lovely buttons for the new sweater I'm making, a new Stephen West pattern and a great project tote. The best part of the trip was that there was a newborn lamb at the farm! She was born the night before and was just having her first meal. She's a Cormo lamb and has yet to be named.....I'll try to find an update on that later. :)

Isn't she cute! The shop itself has a great sign to welcome you and some beautiful views:

Before I left, my mom and I set aside some time for some crafting that she's been meaning to do for a long time - needle felting!

This is her first try, a little hedgehog! It's so funny that she was so nervous to try it because not only is she a former art teacher, she's one of the most creative people with a great "eye"!

Even though I brought 10 tons of projects to make, I really only managed to finish two -

Socks for my sister-in-law

an octopus (with pipe cleaners to make the arms bendy)
My ravelry queue is busting with things to knit....I'm trying to get a good mix of new things and UFOs that have been lying around. I'm on a toy making kick, some bunnies and a robot coming up. For at least the rest of the night, I'll be working on Levenwick by Gudrun Johnson in kelly green. :)
May the yarn be with you......

Monday, January 21, 2013

More Christmas Knits! And Tinking. :(

I thought I had finished the Cloudy Day hat I'm making, but it turns out I need to add another pattern repeat to it to make it bigger so I had to tink back quite a bit.  This is what happens when you make changes to a pattern.  In this case, I'm knitting it in fingering weight yarn instead of sport because I have a tiny head and it'd be too big if I did it in sport.  As is, it's more like a beanie than a beret, but it'll soon be fixed.  And once I block it out on a dinner plate I think it'll be just right.  I had hoped to get it done today, but I guess it'll wait.  BTW, I'm knitting it using Mad Tosh Light in Silver Fox that I overdyed to make more silver grey.  It's the same yarn I used for my Cladonia shawlette that I adore and get so many compliments on. I think they'll look great together! 

So, to console myself for all my wasted knitting time, here is a picture of the Pint Sized Pine Trees I made for a Christmas gift for my boyfriend's father, who makes his own wines.  They're quick and adorable knits that can go over a wine stopper or cork to add a bit of festivity to a bottle of wine, or they can stand alone. I loved them so much I want to make a whole forest of mini tree ornaments for Christmas next year!

(They are also a great way to use up bits of yarn in your stash, those wine bottle corks that inevitably find their ways into kitchen drawers and beads.  I have lots of random beads.) 

Happy Knitting,


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Christmas Knitting

I know it's mid-January, but I'm finally posting pictures of some of my Christmas knitting.  I made snowmen ornaments for my co-workers.  They were fun to make and I enjoyed dressing them up using bits of yarn from my stash.

They were big hits in the office.  Aren't they adorable?  The pattern is called Lumpy, Rosy and Slim, found for free on the KnitPicks website.  It's easy to adapt and make your own. 

Did I just give you an idea for next year?  :)

Happy Knitting!