Archive for the 'Flashin’ the Stash' Category

Why I Love My Knitting Group

Knitting Group!

From left, me, Huan-Hua, Kalani, Leigh, Norma and Elli.

I was a little harsh on my knitting group in a few posts ago… I love them, I really do. My plan was to follow the post with one about my Sunrise Circle Cardigan (unblogged so far) and talk about how great their advice was… But I haven’t yet finished the cardigan and today we went to the Fiber Event (which sounds like geriatric hell) in Greencastle, Indiana, a few counties over from Bloomington. It was fun….
Mo Bunny Lovin

There was some animal fondling…

Is this locally grown and spun?

There was some questioning and learning…
All's haul...

And of course… the haul. (Don’t worry, that’s not all mine. Only the stuff on the bottom in the paper bag). We carpooled and thought we should get a shot of all the yarn. It was a lot. All the drunk kids who saw us photographing this probably thought we were photographing our collection of hard alcohol or something.

Here’s the stuff I got:

The Haul

The red stuff was WAY too cheap to pass up (1.20 an ounce)… and the blue stuff to the left of it was FREE with purchase. Absurd. The two pretty skeins in the middle are Briar Rose Fibers… I LOVE her stuff. I tried to resist (I even walked away), but resistance was futile. To left, I have a few small skeins of shetland that will become some stripy fair-isle mittens. The wooden piece is another random weird thing I can have in my apartment so people can ask me “what the hell is this??” (it’s a nostepinne for making center pull balls). I bought a small bag of fiber to make some fiber-covered soap and I also bought some new dye (that I can’t normally buy from Knitpicks). Not a bad haul… particularly because I spent less than 80$. Not bad.

Anyway.  I went to this “event” two years ago and it was fun… but not nearly as much fun as it was with these fine women.  It’s nice having a group of friends who aren’t associated with my job or school.

score from school products

I jinxed myself.

A few weeks ago, I bought enough of the yarn above (silk with some cotton mixed in) for a top.  I swatched on the US4s that I had with me and loved the drape.  I washed the swatch and searched and scoured for a pattern worthy of such a lovely score.

I never found anything that I liked – and I resigned myself that I’d have to design something myself.  Not difficult, but annoying and not what I wanted to do.

This past weekend my parents were in town and since I’ve accumulated a fair amount of “crap” I had to send them home with a bag of stuff so that I could bring the rest on the plane… and the easiest and quickest thing for me to send home in a bag… was my yarn stash minus the mitered blanket in progress.  Including the above since I knew that I at the very least wouldn’t have time to work up the schematics for a whole new design.

And then, today, this pattern in the exact perfect gauge becomes available.   I love it so much that I’d love to be able to start it immediately.  And yet, my yarn is now in Indiana while I remain in NY.

It figures.

I’ve been spoiled…

IMG_0853

I got my final secret pal package yesterday!  I was sorta expecting it, but unlike normal, I forced myself to NOT stalk the mailman this time.  What was in it:

  • Some size 1 sock needles (which is good because I have like 5 sets of US 2… and only one of US 1)
  • The book Home Knits by Suss Cousins – which is so full of cool stuff I want to knit for my new apartment – and for my mom :)   It was a perfect spoil because it’s not something I’d have bought for myself… but I totally love it!  I’m sure you’ll hear more about this book from me in the future!
  • Some  yummy trail mix that had some chocolate in it…
  • A sock pattern
  • A cool magazine
  • a gift certificate to the Loopy Ewe – where I bought me some sock blockers!!!  Something I’ve been wanting for a while!

Thank you Miss Secret pal!  (She lives here if you want to visit).

I must stop myself…

Sea Silk
Isn’t this skein of yarn so luvrly? I’ve been working on turning it into one of my quick-and-dirty free patterns, something I’m calling the strangling vine scarf. It’s so lovely to knit and the yarn, the yarn feels so incredible through my fingers. It’s some of the softest stuff I’ve ever knit (really, the highest percentage of silk I’ve ever knit).

I bought this yarn at KnittyCity (probably my favorite shop in the city -so far).  It was my summer splurge.  It’s the seasilk that everyone has been talking about.  I let myself buy it with the stipulation that I’d finish whatever I’d make out of it soon (so that it doesn’t ferment in my stash forever).

IMG_0740.JPG

I’m not making anything too special, just a simple airy summer scarf.  I’m calling it my Strangling Vine Scarf.  I’ll post a quick-and-dirty free pattern write up when I’m finished with it.  For now, it’s been put on the back burner (I’ll finish it for sure, I promised myself) while I finish knitting this pair of socks that I’m designing!

Re-inventing the Stash

Ugly yarn from a swap (Before)

So I swapped some heavy cotton for this (and some other) sock yarn…. This stuff is Lorna’s Laces (not something I usually afford) -but the color… oh, the color. Soooo not my cup of tea!

So I decided to overdye it!

A good 2 glugs of vinegar, some hot water, a good bit of “Fire Red” Jaquard Acid dye and a few hours later, I have some much, much more attractive yarn (see below). I’m thinking of using it for this pattern. Because we all know how much I love Evelyn A Clark patterns!
dishcloths and new dye job 035

A Finish and a Reward

So, I finished my fair isle socks! Hellz yea I did. I’m so proud of them too! This was trophy knitting at it’s most satisfying. I had to learn 2 stranded knitting, short row heels and I did it.

Pattern: Simple Stripes Fair Isle Socks from Knitpicks
Yarn: Knitpicks Essential in Grass and Knitpicks Simple Stripes in a color that I can’t find the name for. (Note: The pattern calls for 1 ball of the Stripes and 2 balls of the Essential. I used at least 1/4 less than one ball of the stripes and around 15 yards short of one ball of the Green)
Needles: US 2 (bamboo) for the Cuff, Heel and Toe. US 3 Brittany Birch for the stranded parts.
Size: Fits me (US 8 shoe size). The cast on is a bit tight, but by no means constricting.
Time: Began in Mid- October, finished Mid-December
Mods: I kept the patterning at one color band with as little of the next color as possible. In some cases, I shortened the chart from that of the pattern and in some cases, I legthened the repeats. With the second sock, striving for perfect symetry, I tried to keep the same number of rows in each section. This meant that if I ran out of a color early, I had to pull from the other end of the ball to finish the repeat in the same number of rows. Yea. I’m only a little anal. Also, I just kind of did my own version of a star toe. ‘Cause I felt like it.

Pattern notes: I like this pattern, but some of the charted color bands don’t look as good as the others. In particular, I feel this way about the 3×3 blocks on the foot and the last brown section before the toe.

General thoughts – I’ll probably never knit these exact pair of socks again. I will DEFINETLY knit another pair of fair isle socks though. Next time, I’ll probably chart my own or use this pattern as a skeleton and change some of the charted bands.

And like she was reading my mind, my secret pal delivered the perfect reward for such tasking knitting.  Another package!  Another one!  She’s spoiling me like crazy and I don’t deserve it!  But I love it!  Anyway, look what she sent me…

Tea (my favorite flavors!), super yummy cookies, and sock yarn (Claudia Hand Painted Yarns)!  I’m so excited about the sock yarn – and since I just finished a pair of socks, that means I get to cast on for a new pair right?  Of course that’s right!  In fact, since I didn’t just finish a sock, but a pair of socks, I should really be allowed to cast on 2 socks… but I think I’ll restrain myself.

I do still have some christmas knitting to finish.  Oh.  And finals.

Who can resist these colors? I love you secret pal!

Spoils….

I got a package from my Secret Pal! I was so excited to see a package slip in my mailbox the other day – but even more excited when I opened the box to see the spoils! Such great stuff… It’s some alpaca and silk yarn and both soundtracks from Grey’s Anatomy.

I’m uber excited about the CDs because I can play them on my long drives home for the holidays. And of course, the music from Grey’s Anatomy is freaking amazing.

I love the yarn too! It’s my favorite color (I always, always love greens, I don’t know why). Initially, I considered a pair of gloves – but gloves get dirty – and shine to this yarn is too precious to waste on gloves. So now I’m thinking a pretty lacy scarf. There’s just short of 300 yards, and I’m thinking the scarf seen here, but I’m open to suggstions… got one?

I think I’m really going to love this secret pal thing.  And I think I may have the best secret pal ever… Thank you secret pal!

How a college student dyes yarn.

I’m sorry. I moved blogs. You can find the post you’re looking for here.

A great sock yarn…

Every once in awhile, I find a yarn that I LOVE. I stock up on it so that I can make many projects with it. This post is about one such yarn.

I love Nature Wool from Araucania. It’s listed as worsted weight, but I don’t make sweaters from it. I don’t make hats from it.

I love, love making socks from it. On size 3 needles (it really is more of a thin worsted).

Now, they don’t make soft socks (this yarn isn’t Merino afterall), they make hiking socks. Rugged socks. Socks that with the sweat and friction of moving will felt to the shape of your foot (but aren’t itchy).

It started by me buying a few skeins in an amazingly warm brown to knit my boyfriend a pair that he could wear when he goes hunting (that pair has since been stalled for suspected “curse” activity) and I had been completely struck by how perfect it was for a manly pair of socks. The thickness is perfect and the kettle-dyed effect is awesome. It doesn’t pool at all! I love it!

So, of course I had to buy enough for a pair for my dad (in an olive green – I didn’t photo that because it’s still quarantined because of the summer of mold).

But then, when I heard that it was on closeout at Webs, I feared that it was being discontinued (anyone know the answer to this?) and so I had to buy enough to knit myself 2 pairs. You can see the colors I chose above. It was kind of difficult to pick colors from a computer square less than an inch big, but I think it turned out just fine. I’m happy with the colors.  There’s a great denim color and a warm autumn orange (not a color I usually do).

I do hope it hasn’t been discontinued.  The enviromentalist – wannabe in me wants the opportunity to knit many socks in this yarn.

I love jaquard dyes.

Knitpicks now carries Jaquard dyes. I bought some. This is what I did. I love it. Probably my best dye job yet. I feel the strong urge to dye LOTS of yarn. But then I’d have to sell it in order to keep my stash even a smidge manageable.


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Stuff on the needles – to complete, sometime.

Christmas Gifts to Finish
Mom's Sweater (the body is done)

Socks in progress...
Grandma's Socks
Koigu Scruncher
Monkey
Raindrop Lace

Other
Lace Leaves Scarf from Scarf Style
The Behemoth Log Cabin
The Swallowtail Shawl
Stupid Ugly Mitten
Felted Clogs

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