Category Archives: yarn

Lantern Moon Indochine yarn…and the coast

I forgot that I have a little ball of Indochine, Lantern Moon’s 100% silk sport weight yarn. Cathy gave it to me when I was on my way up to Madrona in February. I meant to use it in class, but didn’t, and then it got tucked away when I got home. This is a sample color; I don’t see it on their website now.

I brought it to the coast to play with. It’s lovely and luminous; it catches the light and shines it right back at you.

Indochine

My impression so far: This is a gorgeous yarn. It’s 100% silk. There are 12 individual strands, three groups of four. Even with all those strands, it’s not splitty to work with at all, and knits like a dream on a US size 5 (3.75 mm) needle. I tried it first on a 7 hoping for a loose lace, but the stitch definition is much better on a 5. So far, I love it. It comes in 50g/134 yard skeins; Lantern Moon shows it on their website for $19.50/skein. A bit spendy, but oh, so lovely! I’m trying to make a little one skein project out of it; I sure wish I’d brought my yarn scale with me. I guess if there’s not enough, I’ll just have to frog it and have the pleasure of knitting up this yarn again in another incarnation. But for now, I’m counting on the magic of blocking…

I brought four design projects to play with, and I’ve charted three, but this one is the one that has captured my attention. Doesn’t everyone take their knitting on vacation? It’s not Paris, but Cannon Beach is pretty sweet this time of year. I didn’t bring a kite; this is the next best thing.

indochine kite

I found these tiny sand dollars on the beach; that’s my anniversary ring next to them for scale.

sand dollars

I decided to chase the sunset last night, but it wasn’t an original idea.

haystack rock sunset chasers

It was worth it though. I used my Lumix GF6 for this next picture. The rest of the pictures are iPhone5, except the sand dollars, which was iPad. Different toys, um, tools, for different reasons.

sunset haystack rock

And I took a panorama shot with my phone, which turned out nicely, too.

haystack rock sunset pano

Back to my knitting!

Over the Cascades, again

Last Friday I headed over the Cascades again, but this time in Oregon. It was a music getaway weekend with friends, but before everyone arrived, I had a trunk show at The Stitchin’ Post in Sisters.

Stitchin Post (photo by Sarah Peery)

We had a great time! It’s always fun to meet knitters in person, and see hand knits up close. The Stitchin’ Post is starting a KAL of my Garland shawl today, so I left a couple samples for the week.

On to music! My new guitar made her debut with my fellow Pie Birds, Claudia and Becky. We played and sang and laughed, a perfect weekend.

The kids dyed eggs while we played more music.

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And what does any good yarnie do with that leftover egg dye?

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Of course. I bought a skein of white yarn at the Stitchin’ Post. It’s Juniper Moon Farm Sabine, 30% Royal Llama, 30% Merino wool, and 40% cotton. I was hoping for all animal fiber, but this was luscious. I wound off yarn in approximately 25 yard hanks (around my arm, one uses the tools at hand!). We dip dyed it, squeezing out excess dye after each dip, and then microwaved the yarn for 2 minutes to set the color. A quick rinse after it cooled, and then dried overnight. I was going to wind it into balls after they dried, but decided to leave them as mini-skeins to preserve the color runs. Aren’t they sweet?

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On Sunday, Claudia and I walked along Whychus Creek. This creek has been restored, and was the subject of the Two Rivers, Three Sisters quilt exhibit that we saw in Portland last year. This panel was my favorite. (Just had to show you, because it took me a while to find this picture in my archives!)

Whychus quilt

Here it is in real life…

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Whychus Creek, near Sisters, Oregon

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On the way home, we stopped at Black Butte Ranch so I could get a proper picture of the mountains we saw while driving.

Mt. Washington Mt. Washington

image Three Sisters (Middle Sister is not visible from this viewpoint) and Belknap Crater in foreground

The sight of a snowcapped volcano always takes my breath away. Such beauty in this world, and we get to live in it. :sigh:

In knitting news, I’ve started my Aloha Shawlette for the KAL. It’s going pretty quickly!

aloha kal day 1

How was your weekend? And what are you knitting?

Aloha Shawlette KAL

Aloha! Sharon Spence (Stitchjones) and I are planning a KAL for Aloha; would you like to knit along with us? Easy breezy knitting, and I think we’ll have some prizes, too. I’ll set the KAL up in my Ravelry group; conversation is easier there than on the blog. Those of you who participated in my Rose City Yarn Crawl KAL know that I love a good KAL! If you’re not a member of Ravelry, you should join. It’s a free membership, and there are lots of wonderful resources there.

You can choose to knit the smaller shawlette

Aloha Shawlette

or the larger shawl.

Aloha Shawl

Sharon Spence (Stitchjones) is taking orders for yarn for this KAL; orders are due by next Thursday, April 10 so you can have yarn in hand for the cast on Monday, April 21. You are also welcome to use your own yarn. But hey, it’s Rainbow Shave Ice!

Aloha Shawl back2

I’m extending the $2 off sale on the pattern through April 10, to coordinate with the yarn order deadline for Stitchjones. Use the coupon code ALOHA at checkout for the discount.

Most of the knitting for this is very relaxed, and relaxing! Stockinette and garter stitch and the spirit of aloha. You could even knit it at a knit night. The pattern progresses at a nice pace, and the lacy parts come at just the right time to pique your interest.

Aloha details

Is a knit-on border new to you? It was new to me, and it was fun! I like learning a new skill through a project, and this one was easier than I thought. Why did I wait so long?

Are you in? Please say yes! Get your supplies ready, and we’ll cast on April 21!

Introducing the Aloha Shawlette and Shawl

Last fall Sharon Spence of Stitchjones asked me to design a shawlette with her Pai Mei Sock yarn in a variegated color for her 2014 Yarnageddon Club. She had a Hawaii theme in mind, and she knows how much I love Hawaii.

I love variegated yarn, but I love it even more when it’s combined with a semi-solid. We settled on these colors, which I got to name: Rainbow Shave Ice and Warm Sand. Perfect!

Aloha Shawlette

Aloha can mean hello, goodbye, or just be a friendly greeting in general. The Aloha shawlette looks good coming and going! It features rainbows, leis, and waves. Knitting begins at the center back neck (note the three lacy flowers here), continues through the rainbows and shellflower leis, and ends with an edging that is knit onto the live stitches at the end. The shawlette uses 2 half skeins of Pai Mei Sock. The yarn is available from Stitchjones.

Aloha Shawlette back

The shawlette is a nice size both on the shoulders and worn bandanna style, but the result made me so happy, I had to have a full size shawl, too. More rainbow, more happy!

Aloha Shawl

The pattern includes instructions for both the shawlette and shawl. It is available through my Ravelry page, and will be on sale for 33% off the usual price through April 7. Visit the Aloha Shawlette/Shawl pattern page and use the coupon code ALOHA to make your purchase. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Aloha Shawl back2

Aloha details (Detail of shellflower lei and edgings for shawlette and shawl)

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.

rock creek 1

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!

MKAL banner

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.

MLK

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)

mkal yarn

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!

MKAL banner

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.

color samples

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

Photo Jan 06, 4 42 45 PM

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!

mkal yarn

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!