Thursday, October 21, 2010

You never know what the Owls are going to deliver~ Harry Potter Sock Yarn Club!

Okay, so maybe I'm a little obsessed. But well, it's fun! The signups are ready at my Etsy store for the newest Harry Potter sock yarn club. It's a six month club, and there will be goodies included in each shipment, and shipping in the US is included in the price!

This time around, I have some ideas in mind, and I can't wait to put them onto yarn for the colorways. Good or bad, nice or naughty, person, place, or thing!

Colorways will be exclusive to the members of the sock club, and members can purchase additional skeins of their choice at any time. I'm not sure if I'm going to re-release the colorways after the club, but if I do, it will be at least six months after the club closes in 2011.

First shipment goes out December 15th, 2010, hopefully getting to you in time for the holidays. Oh, and this club could be anything from any of the books..

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Black Lake ~ New Harry Potter companion yarn!

With the start of my Harry Potter 2010 Yarn Club underway, there is a new yarn that is a companion to the club. The dyeing process for this yarn is unique so the colors for this turned out just amazing!

"And the fleet of little boats moved off all at once, gliding across the lake, which was as smooth as glass. Everyone was silent, staring up at the great castle overhead. It towered over them as they sailed nearer and nearer to the cliff on which it stood."
~Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone

"There were rocks littering the lake bottom. He dived and snatched up a particularly jagged one and returned to the statue. He began to hack at the ropes binding Ron, and after several minutes' hard work, they broke apart. Ron floated, unconscious, a few inches above the lake bottom, drifting a little in the ebb of water."
~Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire


Do you remember Hogwarts Lake?... The Black Lake. Harry crossed it in a tiny boat with Hagrid as a first year seeing Hogwarts Castle for the first time. The Merpeople lived there, and they held his friends under the water, captive, for the Second Task in The Goblet of Fire. The Merpeople came out to sing a lament song for Dumbledores final rest into The White Tomb...

Beautiful, luxurious colors of deep blues, paler blues, sea greens, emerald and browns play onto the sparkling blue faced leiscester yarn base. It has a high aqua cast in natural and bright lights, and outside of that you can see the deeper blues that play into it. This effect is achieved from the over-dyeing and gives it unique color.

BFL yarn is shimmery, quite strong, and soft; this blend has nylon added in to make it an even more durable softy. This one is also a superwash so you can machine wash it for ease if you choose.

It's a unique colorway with an initial kettle dye, then colors were hand painted on, then another immersion into the kettle to overdye the yarn.

BFL Sock (80/20 superwash light sportweight BFL, nylon)
333 yds approx - 100g.
Heavy fingering to light sport weight sock
Machine wash gentle, dry flat

Monday, September 27, 2010

Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival

This past weekend was the Oregon Flock & Fiber festival. I headed out there with my daughter so we could have a little girl-time (important when you're outnumbered by males 5 to 2 in your household ;) ) and check out the fiber stuffs.

The sheep, goats, alpacas, and rabbits were a big hit with my daughter, as well as all things soft and fluffy - which is most everything there really - she loved the angora rabbit and decided that this really needs to be our next animal for our household.

I found some dye that I needed at an excellent price, as well as picking up a drop spindle and some roving so I can try my hand at something new: Spinning! Now I haven't had much time to play with it yet, but if I ever want to own one of those gorgeous spinning wheels, I better get the hang of the drop spindle!

Just a little over 2 oz. of roving (mostly BFL from Tumble Creek Farm in Bend, OR) and my spindle bought from a Canby OR spinning guild. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Autumn Harvest Yarn 2-skein Packs for sale!

Ohhhh I just love the Autumn season... I'm going to have to dye up some of these special Autumn Harvest yarn packs for myself too! I've had that Mythos pattern from Knitty's First Fall issue in mind... I think I might have just the right yarn in mind now too..

Right now in my Etsy shop I have Autumn Harvest Yarn packs for sale. Each pack is like a mini-club, meaning that it's two skeins of yarn, dyed in the same colorway and going out in one package. Each package comes with surprise Autumn goodies to enjoy during your seasonal knitting.

It'll be enough yarn for knitting a shawl, or a sweater like I'm thinking of above, gloves, mitts, a scarf, whatever project you've got in mind. It's available in my Twisted Sock yarn base, which is soft and plush, with a nice twist to it. The yardage for each double skein pack is listed below. And like always, anyone who orders yarn clubs or packs can order additional skeins of yarn if you want more of the same limited colorways. Just convo or email me to find out price per skein :)

~ Twisted Sock (80/20 superwash merion/nylon)
400 yds/100g. each skein = 800 yds/200g per package

Happy Autumn! 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows 3 month Yarn Club - Now Open

Come and join in the HP knitting fun! Signups are open for the Harry Potter Yarn Club. This is going to be so much fun to work on... I can hardly wait to get started!

There are two clubs, a kettle dyed version, which will be yarns dyed in a dyepot with one main color that isn't mixed evenly. This results in the dye having tonal variations in it. The other option is variegated colors, which will be hand painted by me, and each colorway typically will have 3-6 colors per skein.

All of the colorways represent characters (or things!) in the last book. The movie is going to be released into US theatres in November and I can hardly wait to knit up some things with Harry Potter yarn!

Clubs go for 3 months, starting in October and continuing through December. There are two payment options, to pay in full, or to pay in two installments. Club price is $70 with free shipping to the US (shipping to Canada & Europe for a fee) or pay $35 now and $38 in October.

So far, the list of characters and things that have been suggested by members of the club, from my Facebook page, and from the club Ravelry group are:
Molly Weasley
Fred & George
Fenrir Greyback

Anything else that should be on the list? I will be choosing 3 of these for the colorways, and likely there will be different choices for each club since not all choices can be translated into a solid color for the kettle dyed club.

Feel free to join the Ravelry group even if you're not going to join the club, but love Harry Potter and want to keep an eye on things. Also, I'm updating my Facebook page with all of the news for the clubs as well.

My Buttony Sweater Pattern ~ or the Tweedy Fall Cardigan

I have fallen in love with short-sleeved cardigans! The weather was rainy and cloudy yesterday, cool and in the 60's... Perfect for trying out my new buttony sweater! And oh, was it fun to wear. I can't wait until the next time I wear it, it really does it's job. It kept me warm and cozy, but it was lightweight in feel, and because of the short-sleeves it wasn't bulky. Quite amazing how it all fell together.

I kept notes of what I did as I knit it, and I would say it turned out to be an xsmall-small size. If I could knit it again, I would definitely start with less stitches (I would give it about 2 inches more negative ease) and start the decreases about an inch sooner (although if it was slimmer probably wouldn't need to do that). The yarn is very stretchy, the tweed yarn that I used I mean, so it really has a lot of spring and sproing and give.

Check out the buttons I found! I really love these... these are stones from a beach in southern California. Hand-drilled to make them into buttons. The organic energies of these buttons feels so great on my sweater! When you touch them, you can almost feel like you hear the waves splashing gently on the shore...

You can find these buttons by a wonderful Etsy artist, Made For Fun . Not only are her stones reasonably priced, and well-made, but they came packaged & wrapped beautifully, and with a couple of extra buttons to boot!

I love to buy local when I can, and definitely hand-made when I can... I'm always on the lookout for local or other hand-made artisans of every type, buttons, beads, fibers (I love finding great yarn/roving bases for dyeing!), or anything else. Drop me a line if you are a hand-made artisan so we can talk :)

OK, so onto the rest of the pattern and pictures.....

I'm very happy with the fit around the wait and hips

Perfect Fall outfit is complete with this quick and cozy knit...

Now... onto the pattern I ended up working out for this sweater. You can find the original pattern here on the web, and here on Ravelry. I looked over Raptwithfiber's notes and then started off on my journey on making it fit for me.

I choose to use two worsted wools held together:
Araucania Nature Wool & Plymouth Tweed
I started with a size #10 needle, but switched to a #9 needle. I would suggest using the #9 for the whole way. I just didn't want to tear it all back out again and thought it would be OK like it was. Knit back & forth on circulars. The edging with the buttons/buttonholes is knit in garter stitch, so you will be knitting the last 6 sts no matter which side you're on (WS or RS).

WindingRiver Buttony Cardigan

Monday, August 23, 2010

Forests of Fall Smoke Ring

Now, this project was fun to knit.... I decided on a smoke ring, wimple, or cowl, if you will. I used a lovely yarn from Biscotte & Cie in the Boreal Forest colorway. I've been having fun using up my stash by the way, it's so much fun to just shop for yarn in your own house!

First August project completion is my Forest of Fall Smoke Ring and I am so pleased with it.

This pattern is the Wavy Feathers Wimple pattern, and it is such a lovely knit. It knits up quickly, is easy to remember, and is nearly mindless knitting with enough variety to quell boredom.

It is so soft and squishy... I think I'm officially becoming addicted to cowls. Now I want to have many so I can throw them on whenever I like. It's really the kind of thing I can wear all day long and it doesn't get in the way - which is a plus with five kids and always having full hands - but it's snuggly and warm, but not too hot even with temps in the 60's. This is knit from a 80% superwash wool with 20% nylon.

This last picture is taken before I blocked it, and really it's quite fine without blocking. The blocking pulls out the pattern of course, and gives it some extra size, but it's very stretchy and I imagine that I can just machine wash it and dry, then take out when it's a little damp and sort of shape it for a quick dry. 

The Elvish Cami Project

During July I ended up working on the Inamorata Camisole. I began it three times, with the third time seeming to be the one that was charmed. I'm not sure why, but although I got gauge with a #6 needle when I tested it, I had to go way down and use a #2 and #4 when I was knitting it. This is why I ended up re-starting it because the first time I knit it, it was about 6 inches too large.

I used my 'Prince of the Wood Elves' colorway (this is a colorway that's named after Legolas from Lord of the Rings) and thus began my Elvish Cami. I held it double during the entire project and it created a very nice, and dense fabric. It's quite cool and comfortable to wear as well. So after all of my work, I needed to find the perfect buttons. A local Portland clay artisan was the answer. BeadFreaky makes these lovely clay buttons, beads and pendants. I absolutely love the tree buttons with the yarn, all coming together to make my Elvish Cami be what I pictured in my mind.

The best part is that the yarn is a superwash and I decided to try washing it inside a pillowcase the other day. I also tossed said pillowcase into the dryer on medium and then pulled it out after a regular cycle and hung it up to finish up drying since it was just the slightest bit damp. It looked just as fabulous as when I'd soaked it by hand and blocked it! I have to love that "wash and wear" aspect. Superwash yarns are beginning to really get on my good side, I'm telling you...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Video ~ knitting cables without a cable needle

For most cable projects, I've found it's easier to not have to use a cable needle in addition to your regular knitting needles. For a project like my Elvish Cami I'm knitting (aka Inamorata), this is especially true as the cables are 2 sts total.

During the course of my knitting this, I filled in the chart and ended up converting it from chart-form, to written out instructions. Since I normally do charts in the round, the whole back & forth charting, with purls and knits being both grey squares and white squares depending on which row I was on, I just found it faster for my brain to not have to go through that step each row. You can find my blog with the written pattern here.

And, now onto the video.......

Inamorata Chart - converted to written

Wow, life's been busy again...I've been working on Inamorata with some gorgeous Tinsel Toes merino/tencel blend yarn from The Unique Sheep. Painty had a Lord of the Rings sock club (now she's onto #3) a while back, and I could not resist her lovely yarns. This was back before I started dying my own yarns, and when I saw Inamorata needed a sock yarn held double, I dug through my stash, and there it was.... Prince of the Wood Elves staring at me, shining silvery with little flecks of brown and green. One of my favorite things is to wind up yarn just before a project so I get to see the light play across it's colors and help me envision the finished project. It's a different type of yarn for me, since it has 50% tencel in it, it has more of a feel like a cotton will, and I predominately knit with wools or alpaca/llama yarns... but it is nice, and is a perfect yarn for such a Summery camisole. Just the right color to show off the cabling, and just the right fibers for a light Summer cami. Now... if only I can get the right sizing. That is another blog post though, and this one I'm going to have the cable chart conversion on, so I'll get to the subject. I will also add in another blog later with a short video with cabling without a cable needle. This is a great project to learn it on too since these are tiny cables and quite simple to cable without a separate needle.

Note: I didn't think it would be necessary, but I found this pattern to be much easier with using stitch markers to mark each pattern repeat on my work. I had my two end stitch markers to separate the 3 (or 2 depending on the size you're making) stitches at each end of the work that are not worked in the pattern repeat, and then I used plain ring stitch markers to separate each 8 st pattern repeat. This way, if I made any errors, my brain found them faster and could identify the pattern much more easily as I went along. It saved much time down the road rather than counting out each section all together to see where the mistake was etc.

Inamorata Chart Conversion

Queue this on Ravelry
Inamorata pattern on Knitty

*keep in mind that you are knitting back and forth in this chart, not in the round. You can easily knit this in the round, by not joining it but knitting as though it were. If you do this, on every even numbered row, you'll need to reverse the directions & stitches (i.e. row 2 would become: p2, k2, p4).

(Begin and end each row with the 3 (or 2 if your size requires) each reverse stockinette stitches as pattern states)

Row 1:  p2, kfb, p4
Row 2:  k4, p2, k2
Row 3:  p1, c2b, c2f, p3
Row 4:  k3, p1, k2, p1, k1
Row 5:  c2b, k2, c2f, p2
Row 6:  k2, p1, k4, p1
Row 7:  k1 tbl, k4, k1 tbl, p2
Row 8:  k2, p1, k4, p1
Row 9:  c2fp, k2, c2bp, p2
Row 10: k3, p1, k2, p1, k1
Row 11: p1, c2fp, c2bp, p3
Row 12: k4, p2, k2
Row 13: p2, c2f, p4
Row 14: k3, c2f, c2b, k1
Row 15: c2b, k2, c2f, p2
Row 16: k2, p1, k4, p1
Row 17: k4, c2f, c2b
Row 18: k1, p2, k5
Row 19: k5, c2b, k1
Row 20: k1, p2, k5
Row 21: k4, c2b, c2f
Row 22: k2, p1, k4, p1
Row 23: c2fp, k2, c2bp, p2
Row 24: k3, c2bp, c2fp, k1
Row 25: p2, c2f, p4
Row 26: k4, p2, k2
Row 27: p1, c2b, c2f, p3
Row 28: k3, p1, k2, p1, k1
Row 29: c2b, k2, c2f, p2
Row 30: k2, p1, k4, p1
Row 31: k1 tbl, k4, k1 tbl, p2
Row 32: k2, p1, k4, p1
Row 33: c2fp, k2, c2bp, p2
Row 34: k3, p1, k2, p1, k1
Row 35: p1, c2fp, c2bp, p3
Row 36: k4, p2tog, k2

Like the pattern states, you will have 7 stitches for the pattern repeat, increased to 8 sts for the repeat beginning on Row 1. Row 36 decreases you back down to your original number of stitches.

If you see any mistakes, please email me so I can update it :)

Here's a pic of what my chart looked like after all my notes on it

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Teaching my kids the art of the fiber arts

Today was "take your kids to work day". My husband brought my older boys to work with him today, and I starting thinking that I could keep Morgana home with me and I could show her how I create my hand painted yarns. Thinking of it, our 3 year old Gabriel has been desperately wanting to dye his own yarn, after watching me dye my Alice in Wonderland series of yarns.

The day started off pretty darn nice. I slept in to 7am, which is wonderful on a school day. I made myself some coffee, and let my morning just come along slowly since I had plenty of time to kill while I waited for my husband to come back with the car.

The yarn journey started at Northwest Wools in the village. They both picked out some alpaca/wool blend to dye. Morgana told me she wanted me to knit a stuffed kitty, and she wanted pink and gold ochre for her yarn. Gabriel just wanted blue yarn so I could knit him a puppy.

Gabriel getting on with his blue painting!

Morgana begins with pink, after she figured out how she wanted to paint her color sections.

Gabe has used two blues, green, and now a third tone of blue. You can see me starting off my Trail Blazer red for my playoff socks :)

She added in her gold ochre to her pink.

Gabriels yarn wrapped and ready to be heated to set the dye.

She's all done! I think her colors look like a Spring sunset.

We wrapped up M's yarn and it's getting ready to be heated.

When Gabriel was done, he did red, blues, greens, and created some purples. He took some of my black dye I mixed up and he added a little of that to it. His yarn is heat set, and cooling here.

Go Blazers! Almost done painting the yarn. Black dye is sooo messy I had to really be careful using such dark colors to not let them contaminate each other or seep while keeping an eye on the kids and their dye. 

A little self-made bed he made while waiting for his yarn to set. Peregrin looks on in the background, admiring  his brothers work. For a 14 month old, he really did good playing calmly while we got three skeins of yarn painted. Seriously.

Not a great representation of the the colors, but here are their yarns, hand-dyed by a 3 yo and a 6 yo, and heated, cooled, rinsed and now hanging up to dry. Should be ready in about 2 days, then it's onto winding it into a knittable ball of yarn, and knitting these skeins into a kitty and a puppy.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Alice in Wonderland Yarn Series - Cheshire Cat - Special Edition colorways!

In my new series of Wonderland inspired yarns, I have one colorway set ready to go, and up in my Etsy store. I have more colorways drying as I type this, and they will be added in the next few days.

If you haven't already, you can fan me on Facebook too for updates and notices about colorway releases.

Here is Cheshire Cat....

Look for more new colorways this week!