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?  :)