Monday, July 30, 2012

Interview on Subway Knits and Ravellenic Games Update!

First thing's first: if you don't follow me on Twitter (or didn't catch my tweet), Gynx Yarns (a.k.a. me) is now a sponsor of the Subway Knits podcast. This is one of my favorite podcasts that I listen to regularly, so I jumped at the chance to sponsor it. Maria of the Subway Knits podcast interviewed me last week, and it is now up on iTunes! Search the iTunes store for the Subway Knits podcast to find the episode. Shownotes for everything we talked about are here. There is also a special offer regarding Gynx Yarns for listeners of the podcast, so be sure to check it out.

As I'm sure you all know, the Olympics started on Friday, and along with it, the Ravellenic Games (formerly known as the Ravelympics). I posted about my goals here, but to recap, I will be knitting as many socks as I can during the Olympic Games. I cast on the first sock promptly at 3 pm CST on Friday, which is when the opening ceremony began in London. I started both pairs of socks before heading over to MadTosh for the opening ceremony watching party, where I knit quite a bit of the first vanilla sock.

This is where the vanilla sock is today, after almost a full 72 hours since the Games began. I'd heard a lot of good things about this yarn (Trekking) before, but I was a bit skeptical because it definitely wasn't the softest sock yarn I've ever felt. After knitting it for a while, I think that's what will make it an excellent sock. The socks are on size US 1s, so they're already a bit dense, and the somewhat rougher yarn will hold up very well, I believe. I'm hoping these will be excellent socks for wearing in the boots I live in all winter, as opposed to some of my more delicate socks I just wear around the house.

I had previously said that my madelinetosh sock yarn was going to be the Veil of Rosebuds socks. Well, I didn't realize that those also needed to be on size US 1s, and I only have one full set of dpns. I instead decided on the Hummingbird pattern from the same book (The Knitter's Book of Socks) and I am loving it. Veil of Rosebuds is next on the list once the vanilla socks are done, except obviously now with different yarn.

How have your Ravellenic Games goals been going?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ravellenic Games 2012 Plans.

The start of the Olympics is only hours away! I've decided that my goal for this year's Ravellenic Games will be to knit as many socks as I can in the 17 days.

I'm going to be casting on two different pairs today. The first one will be using this Trekking yarn, and they will be some plain vanilla stockinette socks that I can work on while multitasking.

The second pair will be the Veil of Rosebuds pattern from the Knitter's Book of Socks. These will take a bit more concentration.

If I get through those two, I'll find another pair to cast on!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gynx Yarns Picks: Spectra

You might remember that I cast on Stephen West's Spectra a little bit ago and posted this photo:

 (I've done a lot more since then. I have 21 or 22 wedges now.)

While I'm in love with my madelinetosh/Noro combination, I was looking through the many finished projects on Ravelry and started looking at other people's color combinations. A lot of people have knit this either with two solids, or a solid and a variegated instead of a gradient. It made me think about what I'd pick from the Gynx Yarns stash, and honestly, it makes me want to knit a whole new one once this is done with my yarn.

This first combination (Gunmetal Gray for the border and Gir for the interior wedges) is what I think I'll do if I knit this pattern again with my own yarn. The blues would really stand out from the medium gray border, but the light and medium grays would almost blend in. I think it would be a really interesting effect with some of the wedges really standing out and some places that seem to run in together.

 This (Catbus for border and Bamboo Forest for interior) would make a really great fall combination. I think it would work equally well with the colors reversed, depending on the desired look.

Going with the neon and neutrals trend that is so popular now, I'd pick these (Gunmetal Gray again for the border and Margarita on the Rocks for the interior) for a really fun pop of color. The medium gray makes the lime-green stand out even more.

Well, that's all for this time. Tomorrow, I'll be posting about my Ravellenic Games goals!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Tour de Fleece Wrap-Up.

Yes, I know the tour doesn't end until tomorrow, but I'm out of fiber!

Brand: Two if by Hand ("Whisper" colorway)
Fiber: 100% Polwarth
Yardage/Weight: 308 yards, 4 oz
Thickness: Approx. sport weight
Plies: 2

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Yarnography: Notebook

My husband made fun of my notebook until I assured him that I translate all my notes to my computer in a legible (and dye splatter free) manner.

In other news, today is Augustus's second birthday!

This is Babygustus when we were bringing him home after adopting him.

And here's Adultgustus! Happy birthday Augustus!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tour de Fleece Fail and Giveaway Winner.

 My only goal for the Tour de Fleece this year was to spin for at least 30 minutes every day of the tour. I was doing really well, sometimes even going over my 30 minute goal by almost another half hour. Life got a bit hectic though, and I got a bit scatterbrained. I completely forgot to spin on Saturday. Even though the goal was to spin every day and that's failed, I've tried to make up for it a bit by spinning for an hour yesterday and spinning today, which is supposed to be a rest day.

Here's the stats I haven't posted yet through today:

Day 14: 39 min
Day 15: 0 min
Day 16: 38 min
Day 17: 60 min
Day 18: 38 min

In other news, my giveaway ended today, and I have to say, I was blown away by the response I got from it. I expected that maybe 20-25 people would enter, and when I locked the thread today, I had 92 entries! I'd really like to thank everyone who entered for taking the time to look at my shop and tell me their favorite colorways. It was a lot of fun reading them all!

That said, the winner on Ravelry is Psychogirl! She's already been in contact and picked out her skein of yarn, which I'll have in the mail for her soon.

 In other other news, I signed up for a Stephen West (of westknits fame) workshop this morning! He's teaching a class on shawls in September at MadTosh, and I knew I had to be there. In fact, I was at the MadTosh store as soon as they opened this morning to sign up, because I knew spots would go quickly. I'm already looking forward to it!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

WIPs: July 12, 2012

It's been a little bit since I've shown what I'm working on, so I got out my camera and took some pictures.

This is my Aristida Shawl. I'm through the set-up chart and halfway through the second repeat of the body chart (the body chart is knit 4 times).

 This is Jose's sweater. I don't know how, but it seemed stuck at about 4 - 6 inches for weeks and weeks, and suddenly I'm only 3 inches away from the armholes. I might actually get this done before the end of the year.

I've barely gotten started on my Lowry Pullover. I've just started the cable section, and I can tell that this sweater is going to take me a long time.

As if I don't have enough going on, I cast on the Spectra pattern that I was talking about in a previous post. Look at that, I have 3 wedges done! Only... 82 more to go! So far I'm loving it though.

Tomorrow I'm going to one of my local yarn shops with my mom to pick out yarn for a sweater she wants me to knit her. Yep, that'll be another sweater on the needles. I need a small project to work on.

Tour de Fleece:
Day 12 (July 11): 44 min spinning
Day 13 (July 12): 34 min spinning 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gynx Yarns Giveaway and an Ice Cream Social Recap.

First thing's first, Gynx Yarns is having a giveaway! I'm giving away one skein of Gynx Aran in the colorway of the winner's choice (out of currently available aran yarns) over in my Ravelry group. You must be a member of the group to be eligible, and then you can enter in this thread: Link. All you have to do is tell me your favorite Gynx Yarns colorway and you're entered! The giveaway will close next Tuesday (July 17) at noon CST, and the winner will be decided by a random number generator.

This past Saturday, the MadTosh store hosted an ice cream social. I could only stay for the first half, but I had so much fun! There were tons of people there, a lot of which I knew. I didn't eat any of the ice cream, but I had a lot of fun shopping around, chatting, and enabling people to buy things. I came home with two skeins of Noro Taiyo sock yarn.

This blue/purple skein is one I actually have a plan for. It, along with a skein of madelinetosh's Tosh Merino Light, will become a Spectra by Stephen West.

This one has no plans, but it had to come home to live in the stash for a bit. Hey, I had a Groupon and had to spend $30, so I had to get something else! This was the skein I originally picked up for the Spectra, until I found a skein similar to my Tosh Merino Light at home and realized it didn't go well together.

Tour de Fleece (goal is 30 min of spinning daily):
Day 8 (July 7): 32 minutes
Day 9 (July 8): 44 minutes
Day 10 (July 9): 30 minutes

Today is a rest day for the tour, so I will not be spinning. Honestly, I'm glad,because I was getting tired of spinning. That's probably why I rarely spin regularly. I'd bet if I had a wheel and could blow through 4 oz. in a day like a lot of people have been doing this tour, I wouldn't get bored of it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Gynx Yarns Picks: Aristida Shawl

I mentioned a few weeks ago when I reviewed the Knitscene Accessories 2012 magazine that the whole reason I bought it was for the Aristida Shawl by Alexandra Beck.

I have since cast this on with some recycled yarn that I dyed an emerald green, but there were some Gynx Yarns colorways that I really wanted to use for this.

The yarn I really wanted to use was Natsu, which is a really nice, very subtly-variegated deep red colorway. The original in the magazine is in a semi-solid, so the slight variations in this yarn would be absolutely gorgeous.

One of my newest colorways, Gunmetal Gray, is the closest to the original color, and the pattern looks amazing in that medium gray.

Random cuteness:

In one of the Ravelry groups I'm in (My Knitting Has Cat Hair in It), someone posted this link to a live feed of seven baby kittens. The past few days I've had it open in one of my tabs on my computer, and I check up on them from time to time. They are so adorable, although I do feel bad for the momma cat when she's ambushed for feeding times.

Tour de Fleece (Goal: spin at least 30 minutes a day):

Day 7 (July 6): 36 minutes

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tour de Fleece: Day 6

The goal I set for myself this year's Tour de Fleece was to spin at least 30 minutes a day. I didn't update the blog yesterday, so here's my stats for the past two days:

Day 5 (July 4): 38 minutes
Day 6 (July 5): 49 minutes

I took this photo yesterday. I've since spun a bit more, and I'm getting close to being done with the first half.

How are your Tour de Fleece goals going?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

FO: Companion Socks.

I finished my Companion Socks yesterday! My left hand started hurting on Sunday, but I was already halfway through the toe of the second sock, so I ignored my hand to finish knitting it yesterday morning. I'm resting my hand today so that hopefully I can get back to knitting tomorrow or Thursday.

I am so in love with these socks! The pattern is very basic, but breaks up the variegated yarn a bit more than a plain stockinette sock would. The yarn is absolutely perfect. I don't know how Sarah of Another Crafty Girl does it, but her colorways are addicting to me.

Pattern: Hermoine's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder (free Ravelry download)
Yarn: Another Crafty Girl Strong Sock in "Companion Cube"
Needles: US 1
Ravelry Project Page: Link

Tour de Fleece Progress:

Day 4 (July 3):  58 minutes (so far)

Monday, July 2, 2012

FO: Tempest Cardigan.

Relief is the only thing that can describe how I felt when this cardigan was finally finished. I started this back on March 12, and it really should not have taken me this long (I finished it this past Friday). You might remember my first big set-back that took away my mojo for this project. The original pattern is striped, but I had this yarn on hand, so I had to do some math to keep up with where I was in the pattern. Errors on the back resulted in me knitting double the length before the waist shaping that I needed to, which I didn't realize until I had almost finished the back.

It sat for a while in punishment, but I managed to power through the back and right front panel of the cardigan. Then, as I was shaping the waist of the left front panel, I realized I had too few stitches on the needle. I discovered it was because I cast on 4 fewer stitches than I needed at the beginning, which meant I had to start the left front completely over.

I knew I was going to be cutting it close with how much yarn I had to finish this project, so I decided to seam up the back and two fronts and knit the button band and hem before doing the sleeves. I followed the directions exactly for the button band, and once I cast it off, I was horrified to find that the band was way too tight and caused the front to be pulled and bunched very unattractively. I still don't know what I did wrong, but after trying a few things to fix it, I ended up taking it out and picking up significantly more stitches for the band.

The one good thing that came of this project was that I learned how to convert a sleeve knit flat and bottom-up to a sleeve knit in the round and top-down. Like I said, I was concerned about having enough yarn, and I wanted to (1) not worry about having enough yarn to seem the pieces together and (2) be able to knit the sleeves down until I ran out of yarn. I ended up being able to knit them the length they were designed to be, but at least it was less seaming for me!

The odds were in my favor at this point, where all that was left was the buttons. I will normally avoid patterns with buttons. I don't like picking out buttons or sewing buttons, but for whatever reason I still knit this pattern. I figured I'd have to go buy some, but I decided to check to see if by some chance I had 11 identical buttons that would work. My entire collection of buttons was given to me by my mom, so I don't have the best idea of what is in there. I opened one box, and right on top were these blue-green plain buttons that looked to be about the right size. Sadly, there were nine on the card. I set them aside, and opened another box. Right on top, was a card with eight of the exact same buttons. It was fate. I should have bought a lottery ticket that day.

Pattern: Tempest by Weaverknits
Yarn: Araucania Ranco Multy, color #330 (2 skeins)
Needles: Sizes 6 & 3 US
Ravelry Project Page: Link
Mods: No stripes, more stitches in button band, garter stitch hem, sleeves knit top-down in the round.

Tour de Fleece (Goal: 30 minutes spinning per day)
Day 2: 33 minutes (Sunday)
Day 3: 47 minutes (Today)

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Yesterday was the first day of the Tour de Fleece. As I said in my last post, I'd like to finish my braid of fiber by the end, but my ultimate goal is to spin at least half an hour a day.

Day 1: 32 minutes

And boy, was it hard. Othello was in a strange mood yesterday, and wouldn't leave my spinning alone. He was either on the floor batting at the drop spindle rather forcefully, or sitting in my lap trying to block my hands from doing anything.

 In other news...

Gynx Yarns is having a Pink Sale for the duration of July (while supplies last)!  It's rare that Gynx Yarns has a sale, so be sure to check it out. There's no need for a coupon code; prices already reflect discount. Click the picture below or this link to see the yarns that are a part of the sale!