Friday, September 28, 2012

Holla Knits KAL - Week 6

The back of my Holla Back Tank is done!

The last two weeks will include seaming the shoulders, blocking, seaming the sides, knitting the collar, armholes, and bottom band, and a final blocking.

I didn't get to take photos of my Vitamin D cardigan this week, but it hasn't made much progress. Next week I plan on showing you some more work on it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


My wheel finally arrived on Monday! I haven't blogged about it yet because there have been a lot of things in my personal life preventing me from playing with this, but over the past few days I've spun a little bit, and finally got some pictures.

I'm still what I'd consider a novice spinner, but I adore this wheel so far. After watching a Youtube video on how to actually put it together, I feel like I really understand what each part does.

I'll talk about this fiber when I'm done, but it's some Merino that a friend gave me to practice with. I'm still not the best at winding onto the bobbin evenly, but I've already improved immensely from when I was test driving all of my friends' wheels. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Dyer's Notebook Episode 1

Just something I'm trying out. Let me know what you think. You can join the Ravelry group for the podcast here.

Episode 1 Shownotes:


Holla Back Tank
Vitamin D Cardigan
V-Yoke Cardigan
Hermoine's Everyday Socks


I'm getting a Lendrum!


Pros/Cons of reskeining hand-dyed yarn

Twitter questions: salt, saturation

Shop Update

 Yarn club thoughts

Shop update on Tuesday at 1 pm Central

Friday, September 21, 2012

Holla Knits KAL - Week 5 ; Vitamin D KAL - Week 1

It looks like Fridays will continue to be KAL days here on the blog for the foreseeable future, even after the Holla Knits KAL wraps up. I'm now involved in two KALs and a bit overwhelmed with projects. First though, an update on the Holla Back Tank:

This week's goal was to get to just before the armhole decreases. I blazed through this with no problems and I'm ready for Week 6.

My Thursday night knitting group at MadTosh decided to start a KAL with the Vitamin D pattern by Heidi Kirrmaier. Earlier this week I posted about my debate between three colors of Gynx Sock to use, and I finally settled on Ino.

I normally don't cast on projects when in a group setting, but I did last night. I got through the first fourteen rows when I realized I had completely messed up the sixth row, and had to rip back. After spending a while ripping back, it occurred to me that it would have been much faster to just start completely over. Sigh.

This week's lesson: Don't cast on sweaters when you're surrounded by distractions.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: Holla Knits Fall/Winter Collection.

The second installment of Holla Knits was released a little over a week ago, and as soon as it was available, I rushed to the site to download my copy. This issue is the Fall/Winter 2012 collection, with six garment patterns from different designers. You can buy the entire collection for $18, or buy the patterns individually for $6.

There are a couple of things that Holla Knits does with its patterns that I really love. The first is that each pattern is knit twice, once in an indie dyer's yarn, and once in a more affordable Knit Picks yarn. I'm really happy to see some indies represented in a knitting publication (you'll see Gynx Yarns in the Accessories issue next month), but I also understand that not everyone can shell out the money to knit an entire garment out of hand dyed yarn.

The second is that each pattern is shown on two different sized models. Most of the time, patterns are only shown on one sample-sized model, and it can sometimes be hard to decide from that if the pattern will look good on you. Sure, you can look in the Ravelry project pages, but if it's a new pattern, there probably won't be many, if any, projects on there. The patterns in this collection all look good on each of their models, which is a lot more reassuring that it has a chance of flattering me as well.

Now, on to the individual patterns:

Devon Cardigan by Karin Kemper

This cardigan to me is everything fall should be: a little roomy, very cozy, and perfect for layering and wrapping yourself in.

Bombshell Shorts by Katie Canavan

 Admittedly, these are a bit out there. Knitted shorts? And yet, for some reason, I really like them. I think it would take a lot of confidence for these. If I knit them and don't get the courage to wear them outside, I've heard they're very comfy lounge shorts, but they look really nice over tights.

Sexxxy Librarian by Lilith Ubbelohde

Sleeveless pullovers like this aren't really my style, but I adore the cable patterning and the fit of it so much, that I just might have to knit myself a version with sleeves.

New Girl by Allyson Dykhuizen

A lot of knitted skirts don't look good on many people, because a lot of them are fitted and don't flatter a wide range of sizes. This knit circle skirt, however, is so cute on both of the models. Out of all the patterns, this is the one that I most want to cast on.

Jilted by Jennifer Dassau

 This is a pretty basic sweater, except it has a few strategically-placed dropped stitched to add some interest. I think if I did this sweater, I might either add a couple more dropped stitches on the body of the sweater, or just do the dropped stitches on the sleeves.

Henri by Ann Leachman

 Look at all of those cables and stitch patterns! This is a very interesting sweater to look at. This is supposed to be an oversized sweater, but oversized pullovers aren't really my style. If I knit this (which I want to) it's going to have to be a bit fitted, because I can't abide by the rules.

So far, this is my favorite fall collection this year. There are only 6 patterns, but I want to knit all of them. I can't wait to see what Holla Knits comes out with next month in their Accessories collection.

Disclaimer: I purchased my own copy of this collection and was not compensated for this review. Photos posted with permission.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Introducing: Stripes!

Today's the day! Some of you have seemed really anxious for me to release my self-striping yarns, and you don't have to wait much longer (unless of course you're reading this after 1 pm Central, then you don't have to wait at all). Since this is the first batch of self-striping yarns in the shop, I thought I'd give you all a little preview post so you know what to expect this afternoon.

The specs on these are the same as Gynx Sock: 100 gram skeins, 437 yards, 100% organic merino.

Top row left to right: Dallas, Beach Vacation, Tron
Bottom row left to right: Neon & Neutral, Epyon, Naruto

I tried to get a little bit of everything for this update: some darker colors, some very bright colors, some neutrals. I can't say that self-striping will be a regular thing you'll see in the shop, but I still have plenty of colorway ideas. If you want one of the above colorways and it's gone before you get to it, contact me at and I'll happily dye one up for you.

In regards to yesterday's post, you might be interested to know that I decided to go with Ino (the purple). A lot of my fall/winter clothes are neutrals, and I wanted to shake it up a bit. Wolf and Catbus will find their way onto my needles for other things, I'm sure.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Color Choices.

The knitting group I go to on Thursdays (the one that meets at MadTosh Crafts) is going to start a KAL (knit-a-long) this week. The pattern the group is knitting is the Vitamin D cardigan. I knew that casting on yet another sweater would probably not be the best idea, since I already have three on the needles, two of which are for other people. And then there's the whole Holla Knits KAL I'm doing. I didn't want to be left out though, so I'm going to attempt to fit this one in as well.

Now, there's the matter of picking a yarn. I'm going to be using my Gynx Sock base, and after narrowing my selection down to nine colors and thinking on it for a bit (thanks Twitter friends), I have it narrowed down to three colors.

The color I'm most leaning to is my Ino colorway. Is it the most versatile color? No, but I don't have a single purple cardigan or long sleeved shirt.

Another colorway I really keep thinking about is my Wolf colorway. I fell in love with this colorway as soon as I pulled it out of the dyepot, but it hasn't gotten a whole lot of love from others. I adore the very subtle layers of tan and gray. Versatile? Check. Although, I already have several white and off-white long sleeved shirts/cardigans/sweaters, and I don't know if I should add another. This colorway might be better added to my wardrobe in the form of a shawlette.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Catbus. When I posted my top nine choices on Twitter, this colorway was tied with Ino in votes. This one is also versatile, and I don't have any cardigans this color. I do have a sweater, but it isn't one that I wear often.

I really can't decide! I think I'd love all three equally. Do you have any opinions? Please share them in the comments section below.

Coming tomorrow: I'll be introducing my self-striping line to the blog and the shop, so be sure to check in.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Holla Knits KAL - Week 4

I really didn't think I was going to complete this week's Holla Knits KAL assignment, which was to get through the waist decreases on the back of the tank. There's been a lot going on in my corner of the universe that left me without the deisre nor the time to actually pick up my knitting. On Wednesday, however, Jose encouraged me to go to one of my knitting groups, and I'm glad I did. It was a good mood lifter, and I got a lot done on the back of my tank. I finished the assignment last night at my other knitting group, and even had time to work on a different project for about an hour.

The front of this tank was just plain stockinette, but the back is what makes this pattern special. It has this zig-zagy lace pattern that is really basic and easy to memorize, but is also really interesting to watch develop. Thursday morning I was looking at the project thinking I wasn't going to finish the whole nine inches I was supposed to, and then I reread the pattern and was delighted to see that the nine inches was when it was stretched as if blocked. Stretching the lace out makes a big difference!

The pattern isn't stretched out here. The lace really pops once it's blocked.

Last week there was not a cat photobomb, as has become tradition in the KAL, so this week Othello makes an appearance, doing the stretch that I like to call the "Halloween cat".

Next week, I already have some things planned for the blog, so it's going to get active over here again. You can expect some color dilemmas for another KAL, a fall/winter collection review, and of course week 5 of the Holla Knits KAL!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Holla Knits KAL - Week 3

I didn't really want to work on this blog post today. Today has been one of those days where it seems like absolutely everything goes wrong. I spilled dye on my shirt (and I never spill my dyes). I messed up winding some self-striping skeins at least four times. A fly got in my office and has been pestering me (the cats are slacking, apparently). Really just tiny things adding up and adding up. Then, after soaking some yarn for dyeing some self-striping yarn, I pulled it out to get ready for the dyepot when I realized the two skeins I had wound had completely tangle themselves, because I messed up the ties to keep them orderly.

I was afraid that if I pulled out this week's Holla Knits KAL progress, that my project would burst into flames or something.

This week's assignment was to finish the front of the tank. Easy. I'm so ready to get to the back where the lace happens.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

FO: Lace Hat.

On Monday, I was a bit frustrated that all of my projects were somewhat "big" projects, and was in need of some quick gratification. I grabbed a ball of yarn and found a free hat pattern on Ravelry, and a couple of days later I had a hat.

This is a terribly basic pattern, but I did have a problem with the sizing. The pattern said it was a slouchy hat, but even after seriously blocking it, it's not terribly slouchy, even after adding a few extra repeats in the main part of the hat. I suggest that anyone knitting this add at least a couple of extra inches than the pattern calls for.

Pattern: Slouchy Lace Hat by Jessamyn Van Den Elzen
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed Aran
Needles: US 8
Project Page: Link