Thursday, March 29, 2012

Some Quick Gynx Yarns Updates.

For my Texas friends, DFW Fiber Fest is this weekend! I will have my entire stock with me, so come by and say hello!

For everyone else, my shop will be on vacation all weekend while I'm at the show, so any orders will need to be placed by today to ensure you get what you want.

Today is the last day that my recycled yarns will be available on Etsy. They will also make an appearance at Fiber Fest, but that will be the last time they will be available for purchase. All remaining recycled yarns are available here at 40% off their original price. They will be coming down from the shop this evening.

I hope you all have an excellent weekend! I know I have a crazy one ahead of me!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spinning: Burning Leaves & New Business Cards!

Here's the finished skein that I hinted at a few days ago!

It's mostly a deep, warm brown that sometimes goes to black, with bits of a very golden yellow throughout.

Source: Knitty and Color
Colorway: Burning Leaves
Fiber Content: 80% Merino 20% Silk, 4 oz.
Yardage: Approx. 350
Weight: I haven't figured out the WPI yet, but I'm guessing it's about a DK weight.

In other news, my new business cards came in on Thursday! Yay!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Knitting Podcasts Galore.

One thing I really enjoy doing while working in my studio is listening to knitting podcasts. I work alone (unless you count the cats) and it’s sometimes nice to just listen to someone talk about what they’re knitting or spinning. I’ve listened to a lot, have weeded out several from my subscriptions that don’t suit me, and often try out new ones as I hear of them.

I love hearing about what other people are listening to and finding new podcasts, so I thought I’d share the ones I’m currently subscribed to and my thoughts about them. Maybe you’ll find a new podcast to listen to among these.

Aplayfulday – I have to admit, one of my favorite things about greentrianglegirl is her accent. When I hear a new podcast from across the pond, it always draws me in. Having listened to several episodes though, I really do enjoy the content as well. Her podcast is edited into sections and sounds very clean, although she mentioned she will try doing less editing because some people don’t like it so much. Like the name suggests, she is very playful, and I’m always excited when I see a new episode is up.

Cast On – I tend to be drawn to younger podcasters, because being young myself, I relate better. Brenda from Cast On is one of my exceptions, because she’s pretty funny and interesting to listen to. I’ve currently been enjoying hearing the progression of her art piece she’s working on, where she has asked knitters to take a few yards leftover from a project and knit a tiny bag, in which a note is then placed with a memory related to that yarn. It’s an interesting concept and I’m looking forward to hearing about its journey.

Electric Sheep – Another podcaster from across the pond, I like listening to this podcast because I always seem to like the patterns she talks about and end up adding them to my queue. Her blog is also worth checking out for the same reason. She has a lovely voice as well.

Knitmore Girls – If you listen to knitting podcasts, more than likely you listen to Knitmore Girls. They are a mother/daughter team (Gigi and Jasmin, respectively) and are both very pleasant to listen to. The podcast is very organized and the beginning of each show tells what segments will be included. They just got back from a hiatus because Jasmin recently had a baby, and now they’re doing bi-weekly (instead of their regular weekly) podcasts while they try to get adjusted to everything.

Knitting Brooklyn – This is another one somewhat new to me. One thing I like about the Knitting Brooklyn podcast is that she does a section called “Knitting For Good” (I think) all about charity knitting. It’s interesting to hear about all the different causes that can be helped out through the power of knitting.

Miss Elle Knits – I just downloaded an episode yesterday, so after only listening to one I can’t really give a good review, but Miss Elle has a lovely accent and is very playful and fun sounding, so I will be listening to more.

The Pagan Knitter – This is a podcast that I only listen to the first part, because she has a knitting section and a pagan section, which I’m personally not interested in.

Stashand Burn – Another one that I’ve only listened to one episode of, but so far I’m enjoying it.

Subway Knits – I first started listening to this podcast when I saw a link to one of Maria’s interview podcasts (called In The Conductor’s Booth) and I’ve been hooked ever since. She’s really into history, and I love when she talks about knitting history from various places and time periods. She also has spent a lot of time in Japan, so several of her episodes have talked about knitting there or other cultural things. I’m very interested in Japan (Jose and I even have a separate savings account just to save up money for a trip there) so this is all welcome information to me.

The KnitGirllls – This is a video podcast that I discovered recently (although they just celebrated their 100th episode) by two women named Leslie and Laura. They talk about knitting and spinning, and it’s cool to actually be able to see what they’re talking about. I’ve only seen two episodes so far, but these women seem to finish a lot of projects and buy a lot of things, so there’s lots of eye candy.

TVknittingpodcast – This podcast is broken into two parts: the first about knitting and the second about TV. In the TV section, there is also talk of knitted items spotted on TV. I only listen to the knitting section as I don’t really ever watch TV, but I do like listening to the knitting portion.

With Pointed Sticks – This is one of the newer ones I’ve listened to as it just started up, but I’m already enjoying this one. Susan is also a writer, so after she’s talked about her knitting, she talks about what she’s writing or will talk about other literature, sometimes knitting-related. Her podcast is a lot more conversational and isn’t edited, but I like that because it sounds like I’m listening to a person talk directly to me instead of a report (for the record, I enjoy both types of podcasting).

Yarngasm – Kristin from Yarngasm is another New York podcaster. I love hearing about her projects because I tend to like the same sorts of things that she does, but one part I really love about her podcast is the “Stash Bust Army”. In this section, she lists a few patterns she has found that would be good projects to get rid of some yarn in your stash that you don’t know what to do with it. She has several audio podcasts up, but has just recently started video podcasting as well! I love the variety of sometimes just being able to listen and sometimes being able to watch, because seeing projects and yarns is always enjoyable. And no, I don’t just like her video podcasts because she showed off some of my yarn in her first one ;)

I’m always interested in new (or new to me) podcasts, so if you have one you like that I haven’t listened to, let me know! I’d love to listen to it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fresh Off The Spindle.

I just skeined and washed this and now it's hanging up to dry. Proper photos and details when it's dry.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Big Cardigan Set-Back.

Today I planned on showing you the cardigan I started working on, the Tempest cardigan from Knitty. I even thought I might possibly be able to show a completed or mostly-completed back (it's knit in pieces).

Well, as I was working on it, I really felt like it was getting much too long for the back of a cardigan, especially based on the picture. After decreasing for the sleeves, I decided to stop because I realized it was already the length that the finished back needed to be.

This pattern is for a striped cardigan, but I decided to only work with one colorway. Therefore, I've been having to do a bit more counting than I should because the pattern goes off of knitting X amount of stripes for certain sections. At the beginning of the back pattern, it says to knit 3 stripes using the large stripe pattern (there are 2 stripe patterns). One stripe repeat consists of 2 stripes, and I interpreted the "knit 3 stripes" as "knit 3 stripe repeats". Meaning I knit an extra 36 rows before the waist shaping than I needed to. Oh, and since it's hand painted yarn (Araucania), I'm switching between two skeins every two rows so that it's more blended and doesn't pool so much, but it makes it much more of a pain to unravel.

I had to rip back a whopping fifteen inches.

So, I have ripped it back and finally gotten back on track. I'm at the waist shaping currently, but I've kind of lost my steam on knitting this. I think it might need a break for a day or two.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I'm Featured on the With A Side Of Sewing Blog

My good friend and maker of my favorite bags Rachel, of the RACHELelise Etsy shop, featured my yarns on her blog yesterday! It was such a nice post, so be sure to check it out here: Link

In other news, this next week I plan on finally showing what I've been working on, a finished project, and a few other topics I have up my sleeve.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Won A Giveaway + Bonus Basil Sprout Sighting!

Last month the lovely people over at Eucalan held a giveaway on their Facebook page, and I won one of the prizes! I got this cool "Getaway Gang" travel set of a lot of their products.

I've used Eucalan in their grapefruit scent almost exclusively on my knitwear, so I'm excited to try out some of the other scents and products!

In other news, I was getting sad because my basil hadn't sprouted yet. What made me even more sad was an email from my mom saying that hers had already sprouted.

But then last evening I saw the tiniest hint of green in one of the two pots I started! Then this morning, I was able to see some tiny leaves!

The other pot still has no sign of basil yet :/

Monday, March 12, 2012

FO: Malabrigo Cowl & Etsy Find.

Here's the cowl I was using the Malabrigo yarn for. It's a pretty simple pattern: eyelets on top, a variation of seed stitch on the rest. It's knit flat, starting with a provisional cast on, and kitchener stitched at the end. I just knitted until I was almost out of yarn. It ended up being long enough that I can twist it and wrap it around my neck again.

 Pattern: Casu Cowl by Galia Lael (free Ravelry download)
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios
Ravelry Project Page: Link

In other news...

My friend from college Amanda (who is half of the Little Fun Co. shop on Etsy) just listed this adorable kitty coloring book in her shop. I've known Amanda since my Intro to Fibers class, and I've always admired her style of doodling, so I was so excited to see this in her shop!

It's not pictured on the item listing, but on Facebook she posted a picture of the dedication page, which is dedicated to "the cool cats," including my Othello and Augustus! I guess I have to order this for them then ;)

source: LittleFunCo

Thursday, March 8, 2012

FO: Featherweight Cardigan.

I've been talking about this cardigan forever, and it's finally done. Actually, it's been done for almost two weeks now, but things kept getting in the way of getting photographs.

This cardigan took forever, and the endless stockinette stitch got pretty boring, but it was a good knit for times when I couldn't pay too much attention to what I was knitting. The end result is comfy and cute and I'm very happy with it.


Pattern: Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: Recycled cotton
Ravelry Project Page: Link

Required cat photo.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

FO: My First Shawl.

I've had this off the needles since the 26th of February, but like I mentioned in an earlier post, I had no one to take pictures of me wearing it. Well, I still haven't, but I really wanted to post this shawl, so I give you Myspace-esque self portraits.

This was my very first shawl. I never had an interest in them before because they seemed a bit too old for me. I saw this pattern though for a small, long shawl and figured I could wear it like a scarf. I had some sock yarn from Another Crafty Girl that I really thought was too pretty to hide as socks in my boots (it sparkles).

Pattern: Dragonfly Wings by Boo Knits (free Ravelry download)
Yarn: Another Crafty Girl Twinkle Sock in the colorway "Galaxy"
Needles: US 7, 8, 9, and 10

Pattern thoughts: This project was a very fun pattern to knit. It's very simple, and even though I didn't intend to find an easy pattern, this would be a very good first shawl pattern for someone who's a bit afraid of venturing into the world of lace. The shape is very modern and wears very well as a scarf. I was actually sad when I was finished knitting this because I enjoyed it so much. I think a lot of that had to do with the yarn, actually. It was so incredibly fun to work with. I'll definitely be ordering from Another Crafty Girl again.

On a related note, this pattern ended up taking less yarn than expected. From my 100 gram skein, I have 40-something grams left over. It's so pretty and I must use it, so I think I might find a 50 gram ball of another sock yarn that would go with it and alternate colors on a pair of socks.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

FO: Butterfly Cowl & Free Pattern.

This has been finished for days now, but I was lazy about blocking it and it wasn't ready to photograph until this morning.

You might recognize the yarn from this post. It's handspun yarn from fiber I got from Butterfly Girl Designs at last year's Fiber Fest. This was a super quick project because of the bulkiness of the yarn and the large needles. I used almost every last bit of the handspun, although I do wish I could have made it a bit bigger.

Pattern: My own (see this post for pattern)
Yarn: Handspun from Butterfly Girl fiber (probably averaged around an aran weight)
Needle: US 10
Ravelry Page: Link

"Pattern" of sorts:

Textured Cowl

This pattern was designed to with a very simple lace pattern to create an interesting texture with some handspun I had, not to show off the lace. If you use a smooth yarn, the eyelets in the pattern will become more apparent. 

Yarn: Aran weight yarn
Needles: US 10

Pattern notes: The first and last stitches of every row are knit through the back loop.

sk2p = slip 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches together, pass slipped stitch over.

CO 31 st.

Row 1: k2, *yo, sk2p, yo, k3* to last 5 st, k5
Rows 2 & 4: k2, p to last 2 st, k2
Row 3: k5, *yo, sk2p, yo, k3* to last 2 st, k2

Continue rows 1-4 until desired length is achieved, ending on Row 4. Bind off, and seam bound off edge with cast on edge. Block.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Not Craft Related: I Got a Cactus!

I have never kept a plant alive for very long. I think my longest-lasting plant was a cactus I had in 2nd grade, because it was pretty hard to kill.

I decided that this year will be different. I will have basil aplenty on my balcony this summer, because nothing is better than pesto and buying fresh basil is expensive.

Yesterday I went to a nursery with my mom, who is very good at keeping plants alive. She got it from my grandpa, who has been an avid gardener since I can remember. I figured that the gardening genes must be somewhere in me too, so when my mom asked me to go to the nursery with her, I decided to give it another go.

They didn't have any regular basil plants, so we got some seeds. I don't think I've ever started a plant from a seed before, so I'm anxious to see it sprout. The other herb I got was a rosemary plant. I don't really know what to use it for except focaccia (I don't eat meat, which I know it's used for a lot), but I love bread so that's fine.

 My little starter balcony garden courtesy of my mom.

The last thing I got (which is actually the first thing I picked up at the nursery) is this cactus. I can't remember what it's called because I left the container it came in at my parents' and I can't figure it out by looking at pictures of cacti online. If you know what kind of cactus this is, please let me know!

I love the concrete planter! I didn't really love the price though... $14?! I must figure out how to make them.

I think it's the cutest cactus ever! I'm in love with the colors, so I'm going to try to duplicate them on yarn in the next few days.

Update: According to @knitterleigh, it's not technically a cactus, but a Sempervium succulent. I could have sworn the tag said it was a cactus. *facepalm*

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My First Experience With Malabrigo.

There are several yarns that many knitters just seem to be obsessed with, whether it's the feel, colorways, or fiber content. Wollmeise (note to husband: You will be taking me to Germany for this one reason). Noro. Madeline Tosh. Gynx Yarns (Oh wait, no?).

Malabrigo is also on the list. I picked up a skein of Malabrigo Rios about half a year ago, but I never got around to doing anything with it until this past Monday when I decided to cast on for a cowl.

I'll post details about this project later when it's finished, but I just could not wait to discuss this yarn. The moment I started using it, I realized it felt unlike any other yarn I had worked with before. The first thought that came to my mind as I was knitting with it was that it felt like butter, if that makes any sense. It is so incredibly soft and smooth that I almost couldn't believe it. I want to sleep on a pillow of this stuff.

I'm not done with the cowl yet, so I still have no idea how it wears. I've heard talk about some of the other Malabrigo yarns that they have a tendency to pill, but I think that since this is a cowl and won't have a lot of friction applied to it, it should be just fine.

On another topic, some of you might remember that I finished my Featherweight cardigan and promised photos. I actually have 2 other finished objects that I haven't posted in addition to the cardigan. Well, I have been waiting for the opportunity to get some good photos taken, and the only person I have to take photos of me is Jose. He actually really likes taking photos and playing with my camera, but he's been working a lot and we haven't had the chance to take any with the sun out.

Sorry, but you're going to have to wait a bit, otherwise, the only photo you'd see of the cardigan is this: