Category Archives: yarn

Studios are springing up…

It’s spring, and my crafty compadres are creating great studio spaces. Knitted Wit has just moved into her new studio/dye space. I visited her there yesterday and helped label some yarn, but didn’t think to take pictures. Here’s her pic from the outside, with her spiffy yarn ball curtains.

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There’s still time to help launch her studio via her Indiegogo Community Supported Yarn campaign. She’s offering lots of cool perks as thanks.

Lavender Sheep has just moved and is creating her new studio space, with both a wet studio and a dry studio.

My turn! I’ve been using one of the boy’s bedrooms here as an office (most recently it was CollegeBoy2’s bedroom). I’ve been purging it and finally got it patched, painted, and organized. Let’s see, it’s only been three years since he left for school…although to be fair he has lived at home the past two summers.

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Here’s the view from the door. Very inviting. There’s a comfortable futon sofa/bed. I write from this desk overlooking the back yard. The shelves to the right of the desk have my printer and my very handy swift and winder. The light from these south and east facing windows is beautiful. And yes, that’s a Darth Vader bank on the dresser. He’s still menacing, all these years later.

My beloved IKEA Expedit shelves are now right where they belong instead of in our bedroom, and I re-organized them, too.

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My sewing machine will move in, once I’m finished moving a few more things out.

It’s been a very productive week. And I finished a pattern, which goes live on Tuesday. In the meantime, I’m knitting Jami Brynildson’s Rock Creek Shawlette before working on more new designs. It’s pretty relaxing knitting someone else’s design once in a while! I’m using Juno Fibre Arts’ Alice, which is 70/20/10 Baby Alpaca/Silk/Cashmere and very luscious. The color is Campion.

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My new studio rug makes a great backdrop!

How was your week?

Community Supported Yarn goes big time

My friend Lorajean Kelley is the owner and powerhouse behind Knitted Wit, a source of gorgeous hand-dyed yarns. Many of my designs are inspired by, and knit with, her yarns. She’s been dyeing all this loveliness in the 760 square foot home she shares with her husband and 3 children, mostly on the back patio. Her business has grown so much in the past seven years that she needs to move it out of her home and into a real dye studio.

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(Lorajean’s boys in my This Little Ziggy vests in Knitted Wit Polwarth/Silk DK)

Here’s where you get to be part of the action. Knitted Wit has an Indiegogo campaign (similar to Kickstarter) running to fund the startup costs of moving to a studio. She needs some basic equipment that can’t come from her home (stove, washing machine, sink) as well as the installation of the equipment. She’s not asking for a handout: If you invest in the campaign, there are some very nice rewards. It’s like a down payment on more gorgeous yarn and fiber.

If you go to the Indiegogo site, you’ll see that she’s fully funded and more. Her first goal was met within 24 hours. That says a lot about her product, and our willingness to support her growth! But it’s not to late to invest. There are still great perks at most levels, and it will all go to enhance Lorajean’s ability to make MORE YARN.

I’m going for the semi-solid CSY option. You?

2014 RCYC: It’s a wrap

And it was so much fun. I had a trunk show with Lorajean of Knitted Wit at For Yarn’s Sake on Saturday.

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Frances is definitely a yarn baby! She’s wearing the sweater I knit for her.

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I also met baby Sophie, for whom the yarn and my Sophie’s Rose shawl are named. (I’m wearing the shawl here.)

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Grace’s favorite color is coral, from head to toe. Check out her coordinating hat, cardigan, and shoes. She is lucky to have a mom who loves to knit for her. They were picking up more coral yarn!

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After For Yarn’s Sake, I had a trunk show at the Knitting Bee. Laurinda Reddig, the designer of the mystery crochet along shawlette, was there, too.

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Jeanette did both the knit and crochet alongs, one for her and one for her mom.

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And Melanie from Black Trillium (center) was also having a trunk show of her lovely yarns. Jami is the owner of the Knitting Bee, and she’s rocking her very pretty Rosaria Shawlette.

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Here’s an object lesson for you. Did you swatch for the MKAL? I didn’t; I usually use my size 5 needles for fingering weight shawls, and am happy with the result. I know you’re supposed to wash and block your swatch, but do you? Laurie didn’t, either, and her red and white Rosaria turned red and pink when she soaked it to block. (We’re here with her friend Theresa, who turns out to be the sister of a friend of mine from college.)

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Laurie’s Rosaria is really pretty, but it’s not what she intended. At least it happened serendipitously! Will I wash and block my swatch before my next project? Probably not, but just be advised that this can happen.

How do you know if something is your color? Apparently Carissa and I were choosing based on our nail polish on Thursday at Close Knit. She recognized me at the Knitting Bee. Or she recognized my manicure…

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On Sunday I went out to Black Sheep at Orenco to pick up a shawl pin from Rod Wallace, aka Toolman. While I was there, I ran into Rachel, who is test knitting for me. Or she will be, once I write the pattern up. Almost done, but I’ve been a little busy!

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We decided to get a glass of wine at a nearby wine bar. Bubbly seemed to be in order.

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A birthday party arrived right after us, so we sang happy birthday and they shared cake and wine with us. Happy 50th birthday, Robert! (I think that’s what we sang…)

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A perfect end to the yarn crawl! I made it to 11 shops and bought a little something at each one. Here’s my stash. Some magazines (somehow I don’t feel as guilty about magazines as I do about yarn hanging around), a bit of work related yarn (white Cascade 220 for easy to see teaching demos and and Gina for entrelac class), some non-work yarn (the ombre/gradient Freia in the colorway that matches my mani, the blue MadelineTosh Dandelion which is wool and linen, and the pastel Mochi for a baby gift), some square needles to try, and some miscellaneous tools.

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And here’s my stash via the Waterlogue app. I wish I could paint, but this is the next best thing.

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Did you participate in the yarn crawl this year? What was your favorite find?

Along the crawl I saw more Rosaria shawls, always a thrill. I’m chuffed that so many people knit my design, and that it was the first ever MKAL for the Rose City Yarn Crawl. I’m putting the rest of my Rosaria pictures from Saturday and Sunday at the end of this post, so keep scrolling. And if you haven’t knit one, you still can! The pattern is now available with pictures through Ravelry.

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Debbie

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Camille

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I don’t know your name, but your shawl looks familiar!

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Paula

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Four more!

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Lovely earth tones at the Knitting Bee

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Steffanie

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Beth

Thanks for knitting along!

KAL color musings

The Rose City Yarn Crawl MKAL kicks off tomorrow morning. Here’s my new yarn…

RCYC MKAL colors

I’m using Knitted Wit Single Fingering, Tugboat and Clematis. I was going to use the paler color for the sky (MC), and the darker color for the roses, but…

What if the darker color is the sky at night, and the roses are white roses that look blue in the moonlight?

If I turn it around that way, the dark color would be the MC, and the MC is slightly predominant, and I LOVE this deep purplish blue/bluish purple…

Guess I’ll have to decide by tomorrow!

Just in case you need help with your garter tab cast on, I made a video just for you. (youtube link)

Hope to see locals at Twisted for the cast on party, Friday January 17, 5-8 p.m.!

Also, the winners of the Thrumbelina patterns are…

Lucinda and jrbecca! I’ll be sending patterns along through Ravelry shortly. The Thrumbelina KAL begins on Tuesday, January 21. Pop over to the Ravelry discussion and tell me what yarn/fiber combo you’re planning! Here’s mine. This is Knitted Wit Merino single ply in Winter’s Night, and her merino fiber in Turks and Caicos.

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(Gee, I wonder what my favorite color is?) Are you ready to cast on? I am, and I am!

Recess 24/7 this weekend

I was going over my upcoming weekend with DH, and he turned to me and said, “Your life is like 24/7 recess!” Well, it is a pretty sweet extended weekend I’ve got lined up. Knitting, music, celebration…

Friday is the RCYC MKAL cast on party at Twisted, 5 to 8 p.m. Refreshments and prizes! Come knit with me!

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Saturday I’m teaching Tink Drop Frog, how to fix mistakes at Twisted, from 1-3. I love teaching this class; it’s very empowering to new-ish knitters. There’s still space in class, if you want to register.

My baby turns 21 on Saturday, too. Where did the time go?

Sunday I’m singing with my music besties (The Pie Birds, aka the Divas) in church. Monday, even more of us (The Day Old Pastries) are singing at this MLK Day Remembrance and lunch packing event. The NE Portland Backpack Program provides weekend lunch sacks for children at risk for hunger who don’t have the school lunch program on the weekend. During the 2012-2013 school year we are providing about 5,000 weekend lunch sacks (11,000 lunches) to 164 children at four locations. Come sing with us, and pack lunches with us! The event is free, but bring a can of chili to donate. We’ll be at Maranatha Church, NE 12th Ave between Skidmore and Mason in Portland, from 1-3 p.m. Details here.

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Tuesday, the Thrumbelina KAL begins! Two more days to enter to win a copy of the Thrumbelina pattern. Check out the blog post for details.

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for: The winner of this lovely Knitted Wit single fingering yarn (silver lining and madge)

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is…Samantha from Eugene! Go check out her blog here. Congratulations, Samantha!

I hope you’re with me for part or all of this weekend fun, in person or via the interwebs! Looking forward to it all.

RCYC KAL begins in one week! Parties and more…

Can you believe it? One week until the cast on for the Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Shawlette KAL. The official cast on date is Friday January 17; the first clue will be released that day. If you’re local to Portland, I’d love to knit with you! I’m having a cast on party at Twisted from 5 to 8 p.m. We’ll have refreshments and prizes; drop by any time and knit a bit with us. I’m thrilled to be the designer of this mystery shawlette!

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I’m also knitting with the KAL/CAL group at the Knitting Bee on Sunday January 26, from 1-3 p.m., and bringing a little trunk show there, too.

And Lorajean (Knitted Wit) and I are planning a trip to For Yarn’s Sake on Friday, January 31 during their KAL time, 4:30 to 6 p.m. I love having these opportunities to knit with you; knitters are the nicest people.

I’m ready to cast on! Well, I will be, once I get my yarn from Knitted Wit next week. This is what happens when you hang out with a dyer.

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I changed my colors, because I finally realized that I’ll get the sample back next year. My new yarn colors: clematis and tugboat.

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This is not the actual yarn, just the color. The yarn will be Knitted Wit Single Fingering, rather than this plied sample. Lorajean gave me yarn for the KAL, but now she’s talked me into the blues. I asked her if she wanted the silver lining and madge back, and she said that I should give it away on the blog! This is your chance to win these two skeins of gorgeous yarn. Leave a comment by midnight January 13 to enter to win. (Fine print: Winner must be a USA resident, so I can mail it out quickly in case s/he needs it for the KAL.) Thank you, LJ!

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I hope you’ll be knitting along with me. And when we’re finished with the KAL, I hope to see you on the crawl with your beautiful shawlette! I’m also hoping that we can get a group picture at the Yarn Ball on February 26. That will be a rainbow of awesome! Rose City Yarn Crawl is also giving away prizes in conjunction with the KAL and CAL; more info on that later. The actual yarn crawl dates are February 27 through March 1, and includes 18 Portland-area yarn shops.

Here’s the scoop on the KAL: The pattern is available through Ravelry here for $6. You’ll receive a pre-MKAL information sheet telling you about yarn and dates. Every week beginning January 17 the pattern will be updated with the next clue so you can download it.

The RCYC group on Ravelry is here: Pop on over and see what colors people are choosing in the pre-MKAL thread!

Are you ready to cast on? Do you want to win yarn? Leave a comment, in either case!

MKAL colors, chat

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I’m so looking forward to the Rose City Yarn Crawl MKAL. I’m going to knit the mystery shawlette in the same colors I used when I designed it, because I love it so much I want one for me! I’m not sure where the sample is going to live for the next year, but you can be sure I’ll be enjoying mine.

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This is Knitted Wit Single Fingering in Silver Lining and Madge. I love the contrasty pop between these colors. I originally had chosen a paler pink, which looked like it coordinated nicely, but I liked this combo a lot better. Here’s an early hint: There is some striping in this shawlette. (I can tell you that because it says so on the pattern’s Ravelry page.) Take some of your yarn, wrap it around a pencil 8 times or so, and then use your second color and do the same right next to it. Do this again to alternate the two colors a couple times. Do you like the way they look together? Yes? You’re good to go!

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Hey, look, I finished something! This is In Threes by Kelly Herdrich. I knit it with Malabrigo Worsted, and it’s sweet. It’s very oversized, though; it will be a while before Lorajean’s new baby can wear it!

I bought a new camera, and these are the first pictures I’ve downloaded from it. I like it so far. It’s a micro four thirds camera, a Panasonic Lumix GF6 (last year’s model) with a 14-42 kit lens (DSLR equivalent is 28-84). It’s smaller and lighter than a DSLR, which means I might even travel with it. I like to travel light as far as cameras go, and I didn’t want to buy a camera that would only be used at home for photographing knitting!

More pix, next post…

Have you chosen your colors for the mystery KAL yet? Are you stash diving or going shopping? (I love an excuse to shop.)

Linocuts!

Lino-whats? Linocuts!

I went to a printmaking party at a friend’s house on Sunday. It was a new crafty thing for me. We traced images, transferred them to linoleum blocks, and then carved the blocks so we could print with them. (Cool carving tools, no picture though.) This block is about 3 inches square.

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I used a knit snowflake motif, because, hey, it’s me.

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I love how my prints turned out. The gold on black paper didn’t have as much pop as I expected; the silver was better. I like the gold on the cream paper, though. The blue print is the first one I made. I’d love to try this again. I wasn’t sure I’d like it, but it wasn’t nearly as intimidating or complicated as I thought it would be! I’ll cut these prints out and mount them on cards for stationery.

Knitting continues, and I picked up some new yarn for no reason.

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The one on the left was purchased in Ellensburg when I was there at the beginning of the month, because I wanted to support the LYS there. It’s Ella Rae Lace Merino, but really more of a light fingering weight than lace weight, 460 yards/100g. The one on the right is KnittedWit’s CSY offering for November. It’s Bling, colorway is Solstice, 438 yards/100g. I saw it when I was labeling yarn for Lorajean, and had to have a skein. “It followed me home, can I keep it?”

Hope you’re having a great week! Happy Thanksgiving, to all who celebrate. We’re celebrating Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and the beginning of Advent this week. Bring on the holidays!

This is what 10,000 stitches looks like

after they’ve been frogged.

frogged!

Approximately 10,000 stitches. Why didn’t I listen to that little voice sooner? But I love the revised version that I’m knitting, and I think I’m back up to about 7500 stitches so far. The little voices are laudatory this time…or are they just playing me? o_O

It’s rainy and windy today, perfect for knitting. The forecasst for tomorrow looks worse. I’m teaching at OFFF in the morning, and shopping after that. I’m not sure the outdoor vendors will hang on that long! I helped Lorajean set up yesterday, and she just messaged me that they’re going to pack it in today. Some of the outdoor vendors didn’t come at all, and the one scheduled to be behind us looked around and decided not to set up. There’s still shopping inside, though, and the animals in the barn, so I plan to enjoy it all anyway.

black and white bfl, dyed

I’m kind of coveting this fiber, even though I’m not currently spinning. Isn’t it gorgeous? Black and white BFL, hand dyed by Knitted Wit. Even prettier in person.

If you’re local, I hope you had a chance to get to OFFF today, or are planning to do so tomorrow!

Entrelac madness

I just noticed that Twisted’s sale of the week is all about long color repeat yarns. These are my absolute favorite yarns for entrelac; it looks like you’ve changed colors a million times, but the yarn has done all the work for you!

My Infinity Entrelac Infinity scarf can be knit with any weight yarn, from fingering to Aran. The Mochi line is perfect for these, both Mini Mochi

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mochi cowl

and Mochi Plus. Schoppel-Wolle’s Unisono and Gradient would work, too.

My Athena Entrelac Cowl is meant to be knit in a worsted weight yarn, but Aran is fine. This one is in Mochi Plus. Again, Schoppel-Wolle’s Unisono and Gradient would work, too.

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And my Entrelac Socks are meant to be knit in sport or DK. Zauberball’s Starke 6 (sport weight) would work (these are not Zauberball).

entrelac sox 2

To make the most of this opportunity, I’m offering 20% off any or all of my three entrelac patterns. Use the code entrelac on the Ravelry pattern page for Athena Cowl, Infinity Entrelac Infinity Scarf, and/or Entrelac socks, now through August 11.