Tag Archives: Knitting

Finished Object – Chomatic Cowl

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I actually finished my first brioche knitting project.  I’ve had learning brioche as a goal for about two years now and tried learning via YouTube with no success.  So, when a brioche class was offered the day before the Knitting Pipeline retreat started, I jumped at chance.  Once I got the rhythm of brioche down it was actually an easy and fun knit.  Only reason it took two months was because I had to stop in between and work on knitting for classes.  But it’s done!

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My Rav project page is here.

Pattern – Chromatic Cowl (Ravelry pattern here) by Amy Detjen (who taught the class).  It’s worked in the round with two colors.  I think its important to note that the pattern itself doesn’t teach you how to do brioche – it assumes you know this.  You use a solid color to start and end with a curled border.  Normally I dislike edges curling as an intended border but on this it works out well.  Pattern is free on Ravelry.

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Yarn –  I bought a kit at the start of the brioche class that was designed specifically for the cowl.  The yarn is Greatest of Ease from KnitCircus Yarns and is a fingering weight 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon blend.  The kit included two 50 gram cakes, one in a solid (cream in my case) and another in a gradient (I bought the Over the Rainbow colorway).  I really liked the feel of the yarn (squishy and soft) but I did have some spots where the yarn had frayed a bit (as in it was becoming unplied).  The rainbow colors are very vibrant and it became “potato chip knitting” to get to the next color. 

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The Fiber Event at Greencastle 2017

First fiber festival of the year is in the books, as well as a three new classes!

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I taught three classes, all new.  Of the three, I think the knitted wire bracelet with beads was my favorite.  Both students finished their bracelets in class.

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I also taught a class on making stitch markers and another on beginner cables. It is so fun to teach something that results in an items the students can take home.  The same classes will be offered June 2 and 3 at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival.  Class fee is $40 if you sign up by May 15th and you can see class descriptions here.

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After the classes on Friday I went to dinner with some friends where hijinx ensued.  One friend had dropped a skein while winding it (sans skeinwinder) and a mess bloomed.  While we waited for our meal we tried to help her untangle across the table.  No beverages were harmed in the process.

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Since I taught all day Friday and then Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon was my first chance to *really* get shopping.  Made some purchases from some long-time favorites, and some new.

The Yarn and Fiber:

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Working left to right (then the bottom)

  • The green yarn is 8oz of DK weight alpaca/merino/silk from Briar Rose Fibers
  • The blue/purple fiber batt from Stillwater Farm is a blend of merino, english angora and firestar
  • The rainbow yarn is the colorway Mr. Roy G. Biv on the Twist and Shout Base (DK weight) from BaH Yarns
  • The red yarn is the colorway Heart’s Blood on the Slightly Silky (merino/silk fingering weight) from Copper Centaur Studios
  • The fiber at the bottom is 100% nylon from Hello Purl

Notions and Accessories:

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  • The canvas and fiber is a mini rug hooking kit from Breezy Manor (aka Donna Jo Copeland aka where I got Winston).  I’ve always been intrigued but a large project is a little overwhelming.  So I got the little kit.  It will have a bunny on it and Donna Jo gave me some white fiber so I can make a white bunny like Winston.
  • The two “pouches” in the upper left of the photo are yarn keepers.  You put your yarn ball in (the bottom opens up square) and close the snap.  I’m hoping it’ll protect my yarn when it invariably hits the floor.  These two are from The Felted Garden (on Etsy as thefeltedgarden).
  • The soap is from Simple Soapworks and I buy some every year.  I love the oatmeal in the soap because it really does exfoliate.  This year I got two scents – lavender rosemary and oatmeal.
  • The pouch in the lower left is a yarn keep from a different booth.  I like this one a lot because the fabric is heavier and it has a d ring on the side.  It has strings to cinch close but I might replace those with the little plastic stoppers you squeeze.  These are made by DC Bags and she will be be opening a shop May 1 on Etsy.  She also has a lot of nice wedge project bags.
  • The white stick on the left side it a goat milk lotion bar in the lavender scent.  The maker is Gentle Meadow Goat Farm but it was sold by Midwest Fiber.  They had a lot of nice alpaca yarns and fibers as well.
  • The tubes on the top are handmade lip balms from Ballyhoo Fiber Emporium.  I got chocolate cherry and strawberry vanilla although there were many more options.  This vendor also has a podcast which I’m going to give a try very soon.
  • The odd looking contraption on the right is a ball holder.  You put the base of the V up the center off your yarn cake and the ring on your wrist/forearm so you can carry your yarn.  Usually I can clip a project bag to a belt loop but that doesn’t work for my skirt.  Hopefully this will! I bought it from Mother of Purl, although the website listed is www.barnhart-studios.com.
  • Last but not listed I found a stemless wine glass from knitbaahpurl, sold via a different vendor’s booth.  I got the one that says “Three Sheeps to the Wind” (which I have on a t-shirt already) and may order another that says “Sheep Faced.”

That’s all folks!

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On The Needles – April 2017

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What’s on my needles right now!

How is it March already?!? I have several projects nearly completion and even more lined up next in the queue.  Luckily I seem to have caught finish-itis so maybe some of these will get done!

  • Diadem– I’m so close to being done with this it’s silly its not done – all that’s left is the knitted on border.  Unfortunately, I need to knit it at home, in good light, with minimal distraction. And the border is slow going and fiddly.  Brief reminder – this is the shawl I’m knitting for my friend Patty in exchange for a pair of handknit socks.  Yarn is from Zen Garden (I think Serenity Silk – the light fingering weight one) and the pattern is Diadem by Ruth Greenwald. PS – the photo color doesn’t do it justice at all.  It’s actually a deep midnight blue with a lot of sheen.

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  • Chromatic Cowl– Remember I mentioned learning brioche knitting at the Knitting Pipeline retreat? This is the pattern we used for the class.  I’m now through color number four with two more to go (blue and green).  Now that I have the brioche “process” in my brain this is actually pretty brainless knitting.  I’m using a Chromatic Cowl kit from Knit Circus yarns and the pattern is Chromatic Cowl by Amy Detjen (it is free on Ravelry).

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  • Alpaca Cape – A big, heavy, warm, snuggly cape, that’s what I want(ed).  My yarny Christmas present to myself was several skeins of Cascade Yarn Baby Alpaca Chunky for a cape, which I promptly started over the Christmas holiday.  And I knit on it A LOT in January.  Then it got warm in February and my interest waned.  I still plan to finish it (and before the fall) but it’s just not my “hot project” right now.  I don’t have a pattern for it – I’m just knitting it like a top down raglan without ever dividing off for sleeves.  I plan to knit until I’m into the last skein and then stop to do a nice wide button band.  The yarn is amazing and squishy – and very warm!

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  • Starry Whovian Socks – I am still loving knitting on this tiny circular needle.  I’ve made just a bit of progress since the last time I posted, mostly because I don’t work on it very often.  It’s become my current “brainless knitting” project that I can do anywhere, anytime.  These are plain socks with ribbing across the top, knit toe-up with an after-thought heel.  I’m using Quaere Fibre Sparkle Sock in the colorway Dr. Who Vincent and the Doctor.

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  • Caprica Socks – More socks.  This has gone into hibernation.  I might pull them out after my Whovian socks and keep knitting or I might rip them out.  Yarn is Knit Picks Felici, a super soft merino/nylon blend, in the colorway Caprica.

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2017 Classes – The Fiber Event

Celtic cables

Its that time of year again!  Registration is open for The Fiber Event and I will be teaching three new classes.  I’m so excited for this opportunity.  In addition, I will be teaching these classes at Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival in Franklin, Indiana, and hopefully that registration will be open in a few weeks.

The Fiber Event is April 14 and 15 in Greencastle, Indiana, which is about an hour west of Indianapolis.  A ton of vendors and a lot of great classes.  Registration fee is $40 for each three-hour class and now you can sign up on their website here.  You will see that there are a fixed number of spots available for each class so sign up now if you’re interested!

The Fiber Event Schedule

Friday, April 14, 9:00am-12:00pm – Beaded Wire Bracelet

Friday, April 14, 1:00pm-4:00pm – Stitch Markers

Saturday, April 15, 9:00am-12:00pm – Knitting Cables 101

If you can’t make it to the class or would like a specialized focus please see my page here for private lessons.

 

Classes:

Beaded Wire Bracelet

Beaded Wire Bracelet - Two Strand

Create a custom bracelet from wire and beads that you, and your friends, will love. See different styles and options, then jump right into your own bracelet. You will leave the class with a completed bracelet and the tools and skills to create more!

Bring to class: Your creativity!

Materials fee is $13, payable directly to me at the start of class, and covers wire, metal needles, beads, jump rings, clasps and handout.

 

Make Your Own Stitch Markers

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Explore ways to make your own custom stitch markers for knitting or crochet. We will make three different types of stitch markers using flexible beading wire, headpins and a variety of beads. You will leave the class with at least a dozen stitch markers and the skills to create many more!

Bring to class: Your creativity!

Materials fee is $10, payable directly to me at the start of class, and covers flexible wire, headpins, eyepins, jump rings, beads, crimps, round nose pliers and handouts.

Knitting Cables 101

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Learn to knit cables like a pro! We will cover yarn and needle selection, cabling to the front and back, and reading charts. Put your new knowledge to practice in class to master techniques, learn how to fix cabling mistakes and start a cabled headband.

Bring to class: Worsted weight yarn and appropriately sized needles (approximately US 6-8)

Materials fee of $5 covers pattern, cable needle, stitch markers and handouts.

 

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Found Patterns – February 2017

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I’ve just wrapped up several wonderful days at the Knitting Pipeline retreat in Washington, Illinois.  I still need to take pictures, enter certain items in Ravelry, etc. so expect to see a recap of the retreat next weekend.  But first I want to share with you some patterns I found before I left that I specifically wanted to find yarn for.  I think you might like some of these too!

Note: All images below are linked through from Ravelry and are the property of the designer.

#1: Loop by Casapinka

Fingering weight crescent shaped shawl that uses one solid color as the base and then a variegated color for the “loops”.  I love this way of incorporating a crazy single skein and you could also use different minis for each row of loops.  Pattern is $6 on Ravelry. My shopping list: 650 yards of base color, 200 yards of loops color.

#2: Ceciliana by Lisa Hannes (Maliha Designs)

How had I never seen this one before?!? Finger weight wide/long crescent shaped shawl (almost more of a scarf) that uses mosaic knitting  (a form of colorwork).  There are a ton of different color combinations in the pictures on Ravelry.  Pattern is about $4.60 on Ravelry. My shopping list: 420 yards each of a main color and a contrasting color.  I might cheat on this one and use some Tosh Merino Light I already have in my stash.

#3: Amitola Lace Shawl by Anna Victoria (By the Lily Pond Ravelry Store)

So technically *I* didn’t find this – my friend did and sent me a link to it.  This is some serious lace, with beads.  It a crescent shape with beads that would be really nice in a gradient (no idea what color beads I would use with a gradient). There are multiple sizes per the pattern page.  Pattern is $6.50 on Ravelry.  My shopping list: The longest gradient I can find.  The pattern description doesn’t list the yardage needed by size so I might have to wing it.  Also, I’d like to knit it out of fingering weight rather than lace.

#4: Snazzy Cowl by Laura Nelkin (Nelkin Designs)

Oh look! Not a shawl! Sport weight cowl which has a “chevron mosaic stitch.” I love this design and with a few tweaks could work great for me.  One, I would want to lengthen it because I don’t like cowls that are tight going over my head.  Also, I’d like to use fingering weight yarn so that’s typically how I find mini skeins.  That said, there is a Lux Adorna Knits kit available via the Ravelry page. Pattern itself is $6 on Ravelry.  My shopping list: If I double what is stated to make it longer: 460 yards of main color and about 350 yards worth of minis.  It would take some guesswork to determine how much is needed for one color.

#5: Lamina Wrap by Ambah O’Brien

Fingering weight rectangular wrap that uses two colors to create a generous size wrap.  I think this one would be great for mini skeins as well, or for a gradient as one of the colors.  Given all the ones for minis above, I’m leaning towards a gradient, possibly one from KnitCircus yarns. Pattern is $6 on Ravelry.  My shopping list: Main color 420 yards and contrasting color 840 yards.

 

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Finished Objects – Kittens

A little finished project – knitted knittens!

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Tell me those aren’t the cutest? My boss in Colorado is a cat person but they don’t have any cats at the present time (multitude of reasons).  So, I knit these kittens with the rationale that they don’t require feeding or litterboxes, don’t shed, are soft to pet, and don’t require care when she’s out of town.  I sent them off to her with some brownies and muffins.  The gray and white kitten is intended to resemble a cat named Jasper she had as a child.  The pattern is for a solid colored cat so I knit the black cat first, then did some experimenting to get the white on the feet, belly (can’t see in the pictures) and face.

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Moving on to the details.

Needle – US 2 or 3 straight needles

Pattern – Kitten Knit Pattern (Ravelry pattern here) from Amy Gaines (AmyGaines on Ravelry). I looked at a couple different knitted cat patterns and liked this one the best.  There are a fair number of pieces (six) – I think the seaming and assembly takes more time than the knitting.  However, it does sit up on its own and the knitting itself is pretty easy.  Pattern is $3.00 US on Ravelry.

Yarn – I knit the black one out of Knit Picks Swish Worsted (merino wool), using the serrano color for the collar.  I knit the gray one out of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted (blend of corriedale and merino wool), I think in the Lace Ice Heather color, but I’m not positive.  Personally, I don’t think the Wool of the Andes very soft and wouldn’t use it for next to the skin, although the Swish was amazingly soft.  A 50 gram ball of either yarn is 110 yards. I used the following colors: Cloud, Brass Heather, Chestnut, Bittersweet Heather, Firecracker Heather, Pink Posy Heather and Rouge .

I stuffed the kittens with poly-fil and attached the safety eyes and bell.  My project page on Rav is here.

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2017 Goals

Yarn Crawl Shop - Sheep Street

I spent some time in December thinking about my goals from last year and my goals for this year.  I felt last year like my time for fiber arts was being ruled by my goals.  Finish x many designs, knit x many yards, and so on.  In some ways, it sucked the fun out of it.  I think it was a combination of too many goals and being too optimistic.  So this year I’ve dialed back and instead of focusing on quantity, I’m focusing on learning new things.  That sounds way more fun, right?

A couple notes about the blog – I’ll be staying with the blog posts every other week, with a focus on them being shorter.  They’ll also be published on Sunday going forward.

Review of last year:

I knit 3,500 yards across nine projects.  Six of those were my own designs, with one not yet released.  Four were shawls, two were cowls.  I finished one spinning project but have several more on the wheels and bobbins.  I released five new patterns, the most recent being the Sybil Ludington shawl, which may be my favorite. I taught two new classes (Lace Knitting 101 & Bead Knitting) plus one old one (raw fleeces) at two different fiber events.

About setting goals:

I posted year before last about setting SMART goals, particularly as they rely to fiber artists.  That post is here.  SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time relevant. While I think its a valid method, its not what I used this year.

2017 goals:

FloofyMoose Fibers

  1. Write and submit one article
  2. Develop and teach two new classes
  3. Design and publish two new patterns

Knitting

  1. Learn how to knit entrelac
  2. Learn how to knit brioche

Spinning

  1. Learn to spin with beads
  2. Spin a consistent worsted weight yarn

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Knit a Turkey for Thanksgiving

Ready for something different? Since I don’t fix turkey for thanksgiving, I’m about knitting one.  I wanted to share my four favorite found patterns from Ravelry.  Disclaimer: I haven’t knit any of these (yet) so all photo credits go to the original designers.

Turkey Toy by Rainebo A new pattern from Lorraine Pistoria that is so cute.  He is knit in the round and uses approximately 330 yards of worsted weight yarn.  Pattern is $4 US through Craftsy (link to the Craftsy page is on the Ravelry page).  If the pattern doesn’t specify to I would likely add a little bit of weight (rice, etc.) in the bottom so he keeps his balance when sitting.

 

Tiny Turkey by Susan B. Anderson. A free pattern available on Ravlery that has been knit nearly 200 times.  He is also knit in the round using worsted weight yarn. It doesn’t appear the pattern states how much is yardage is used in total.  Susan B. Anderson is known for her exception toy patterns and this is no different.

 

Turkey Feather Hat by Abigail Polzin. Adorable!! This is a basic baby hat that the waddle, feathers and beak are then stitched onto.  The pattern is free but may require knowledge of of a separate baby hat pattern. It uses up to 150 yards of worsted weight yarn.

Happy Turkey Day Dishcloth by One Crafty Mama.  If you want something more practical, here’s a cute dishcloth.  The pattern is free and uses cotton worsted weight yarn.  A link to the pattern is available from Ravelry to the One Craft Mama blog.

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New Yarn and Fiber Arts Goodies

Several recent acquisitions!

ErinLane Collage

Erin Lane Bags.  I got two new project bags from Erin Lane Bags in two of her new Sheeple prints.  The one on the left is a sock size bag in the Harry Potter print and the one on the right is a Zippity-Do-Da in the Dr. Who print.  I had to wait to show it off because I got a matching Dr. Who bag for a friend for her birthday.  What can be more fun than nerdy sheep?

 

Ann Tudor Collage

Ann Tudor Stitch Markers.  I got these lovelies from local glass artist Ann Tudor.  She makes amazing stitch markers.  The set on the left is Christmas lights with a poinsetta as my round marker.  The set on the right are sheep with a black sheep (haha) as the round marker. I still plan to order her other Christmas set too.

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Knitting Pouch.  A cute little find at JoAnn’s (it was in an aisle cap if you’re thinking of looking).  Didn’t really need it, per se, but thought the definition was pretty epic.

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Chicago Yarn #1.  Bought this gradient cake from the LYS Nina in Chicago, Illinois.  It’s Apple Tree Knits Plush in the Tahoe Gradient.  560 yards of fingering weight merino squishy goodness.

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Chicago Yarn #2. This one is kind of unique so I’m going to take the time to share about it.  I bought it at Knit 1 in Chicago and its 100% handspun cashgora.  The picture appears black but its really a very deep, dark purple.  There isn’t really a brand, other than “Cashmere People.” Their website is here and tells their story in detail. I love that I can go and read about the woman who spun the yarn I bought.  Her profile is here.

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Knitting Pattern Release: Sybil Ludington Shawl

I’m pleased to announce that I just released my a cozy new shawl for fall, The Sybil Ludington Shawl!  It features a crescent shape with long wings, perfect to wrap around you., and uses just under two 100 gram skeins of fingering weight yarn.  Each row of the shawl is worked across different sections: mesh, a cable panel, lace, another cable panel and then mesh again.   I’m sure you’ll enjoy curling up to knit, and wear, this shawl.

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You can buy it and read more about it on Ravelry (you don’t have to be a member!).  Click here!

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The stitch patterns for the cable and the lace are provided in a chart, as well as written out, and percentages of yarn used are also provided if you wish to modify the size of your shawl.  The pattern has been test knitted and tech edited.

Who is Sybil Ludington? While Paul Revere is most commonly credited with riding to alert militia of approaching British forces, so did the young Sybil Ludington.  Her father headed the local militia during the American Revolution.  On April 26, 1777, at the age of 16, she left on a forty mile ride to warn her father’s militiamen that British troops were planning to attack Danbury, Connecticut.  Her ride lasted from 9 p.m. to dawn the next morning and one of her stops was to warn the people of Danbury.  While the British troops destroyed several buildings and homes in Danbury, there were few people killed, due in large part to Sybil’s warning.

02a Detail

  • Yarn
    • Approximately 720 yards fingering weight yarn. Shown in Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 (70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon, 400 yards, 3.53oz) in the colorway Black Cherry.   Other suggested yarns include Cascade Heritage Silk, Dream in Color Smooshy, or Plucky Primo Fingering.
  • Needle
    • Size US 4 (3.5mm) circular needle in a length of 32″/81 cm, or size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Other Materials
    • 4 stitch markers
    •  Tapestry needle
    •  Cable needle
    •  Blocking pins
    •  Optional: additional stitch markers for marking lace repeats

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  • Finished Measurements
    • After Blocking
      • 35.5″ wide
      • 38.5″ height (or depth)

The shawl is blocked aggressively width-wise. Meeting exact gauge is not crucial but may affect the final dimensions. 

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