Tag Archives: merino

Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2017

Second fiber festival of the year is in the books! I spent most of my time teaching, a little socializing, and a little shopping.  I was slowed down, just a bit, by my broken foot and made an effort to keep it elevated as much as possible.

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I had three wonderful classes with some smart and fantastic (and returning!) students.   Unfortunately, I was so focused on the classes I didn’t take any pictures. So here’s a sheep from the day.

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On Friday I taught Beaded Wire Bracelet and DIY Stitchmarkers and on Saturday I taught Cables 101.  One of my Cables class students from April took the Beaded Wire Bracelet class and I got to see two cabled handbands (a pattern exclusive to the Cables 101 class) she made. Saturday morning I got to Franklin early so I picked up my mini-rug hooking kit and sat at the edge of a friend’s booth working on that.

Of course, I did a little shopping. Yarny goodness:

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  • (Upper left) This actually just came – I loved the colorway but requested it on a different base (superwash merino rather than a merino bamboo mix) and they dyed it up this week.  It is a “shawl ball” from Brenda and Heather Yarns (aka BAH Yarns), a local dyer. This is 645 yards of fingering weight in a single gradient colorway called Sunset. 
  • (Upper right) Yet another large gradient, this time Arial Evolution (100% merino) from Twisted Fiber Art.  This is a new to me dyer so I’m excited to start on this soon.  Colorway is Downten.
  • (Lower left) This was a dyer I specifically wanted to buy something from this year as I’ve never tried her yarns.  This is sportweight 100% merino (superwash) in the Plum Drum Weekend colorway from Oink Pigments.  It’s actually not the softest merino but it feels like a very sturdy merino that won’t fuzz or felt so I’m planning to use it for socks.
  • (Lower right) Another yarn from Brenda and Heather Yarns but this is a self striping DK yarn.  I love self-striping for socks but given I’m a crazy slow sock knitter, DK weight yarn is perfect for me.  Colorway is Sunshine on a Cloudy Day (or as I call it, Grellow).

 

 

 

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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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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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Knitting Pipeline Retreat 2017 – The Goodies

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As I promised last week, here are the goodies from the Knitting Pipeline retreat! I have included  links to the vendors (ok, I’m enabling you) so you can check them out. Now to try to go through these in a semi organized fashion.

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Oh, bags.  People keep telling me I have a bag problem.  I can’t help it!

Upper left – teal and white circles – I bought the bag at a LYS booth (it was a retreat sponsor) but the bag was actually made by Trappings and Trinkets (available on Etsy). I actually squeeled when I unzipped the bag because the interior fabric was so cute (teal, pink and white kitties).  If you want a peak, take a look at my instagram feed!

Upper right – arctic animals on a gray background – this bag is from Fat Squirrel Fibers.  She actually made a bag specifically for the retreat but I loved the animals on this one even more (see the little narwhal?).  The bags are nicely made and she picks out fabrics that are fun but not necessarily loud and crazy.

Lower right – these two little notion pouches are from RainStorm Studios.  I toss them in my project bags that don’t have pockets.  I really like the one on the right because it has a circle base but opens up wide enough you can include a pair of small scissors in there.  Very functional for me.

Lower left – this is the gauge ruler from Ann Budd knits. KnitCircus carries them and they’re all of $5. You line up the stitch symbols on the ruler with your stitches such that the with of your stitches matches the symbols.  Whichever set of symbols it lines up with tells you your gauge (not the most elegant description).

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Oh, the yarn! If you saw my post about found patterns you know I went into the vendor market with some projects in mind.  So I can happily say I did buy most yarn with a project in mind.

Upper left green and purple skeins – The slightly variegated green skein is Strong Stock (80/20 merino/nylon) from Another Crafty Girl in the colorway Numerical Vampire.  The purple next to it is Tenacious Sock (75/15/10 merino/nylon/tencel) from Dyeabolical Yarns in the colorway Ever After. I plan to use these in a two-color shawl together.

Upper center gold and black skeins – Both of these are from Sun Valley Fibers in the merino/cashmere/nylon fingering base.  The two colors are called Golden Harvest and Onyx.  I also plan to use these in a two-color shawl (see a trend yet?).

Upper center gray variegated skeins – These are from Yarn Geek Fibers in her Rocketeer (merino/cashmere/nylon) base in the To Boldly Go colorway.  Yes, a Star Trek reference.  This yarn is super soft and squishy.  So squishy I can’t describe. This doesn’t have a project planned for it – maybe a cowl? a shawl? There’s a lot of yardage (962 yards of fingering) so maybe a shawl? Still can’t decide.

Top right dark green skeins – These are included in our Knitting Pipeline bag from Quince and Co.  100 grams (total) of fingering weight wool.  I think these are going to be boot toppers.

Lower left red and black skeins – Both of these are from Leading Men Fiber Arts in the Box Office base (100% worsted weight merino).  The colors are called Poison Apple and Darkest Hour.  These are going to be a Themisto Hat and there might be enough left over for wristers or boot toppers.

Bottom left green skein – Also from Leading Men Fiber Arts – this is the Diva base, 150 grams of 80/20 merino/silk.  The colorway is Envy.  Definitely going to be a lace shawl.  I love the extra yardage – its great for shawls!

Lower right – black and blue skeins – All three of these are Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet (90/10 merino/nylon), which is squishy soft.  One of the blacks and the blue are going together for something brioche.  I got the second black to have as an extra because I frequently pair colorful yarns with black.

That’s a wrap!

 

 

 

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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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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

01b Arm

  • 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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Knitting Pattern Release: Landsford Canal Cowl

I’m pleased to announce I just released a new cowl pattern!  It uses one 100 gram skein of fingering weight yarn and is called Landsford Canal Cowl.  It features a lacey V pattern, cables and beads. Cables, lace and beads, OH MY!

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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 Landsford Canal Cowl is knit in the round with a repeating cable and lace pattern and beads.  It uses one skein of sock yarn, perfect for that single skein you can’t decide how to use.  You can wear your cowl double looped as a casual mid-chest cowl or triple looped for a snugly neck warmer. The stitch pattern is 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 cowl. Also included is a checklist version of the pattern.  Detailed instructions are included for adding the beads, making this a great pattern if you’re new to knitting with beads.  The pattern has been test knitted and tech edited.

Model

  • Yarn
    • Approximately 420 yards fingering weight yarn. Shown in One Twisted Tree Prime (75% superwash merino & 25% nylon, 460 yards, 3.53oz/ 100g) in the colorway Miss Fisher’s Pearl Handled Pistol.  Other suggested yarns include Cascade Heritage, Dream in Color Smooshy, Knit Picks Stroll or Madelinetosh Twist Light.  You can visit and buy One Twisted Tree yarn here.
  • Needle
    • Size US 5 (3.5mm) circular needle in a length of 24″/60 cm or 32″/81 cm, or size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Other Materials
    • Crochet hook – Size US 13 (0.90mm)
    • 15 grams or 224 size 6/0 seed beads
    • At least 1 stitch marker
    • Cable needed
    • Tapestry needle
    • Blocking pins
  • Finished Measurements
    • After Blocking
      • 70″ circumference
      • 7.5″ height
  • Gauge (all over 4”/10cm)
    • After Blocking:
      • Pattern: 16 stitches & 36 rounds

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The cowl is blocked aggressively width-wise. Meeting exact gauge is not crucial but may affect the final dimensions. Stockinette gauge is provided to assist with determining an appropriate needle size for you.

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Stitches Midwest 2016 – The Goodies

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This is probably the post you’ve *really* been looking for – the yarn and other goodies that came home with me.  I’ve linked to each vendor, if available, in case you’d like to check them out.

Some Non-Yarn Goodies

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From Erin Lane Bags – a circular needle organizer (the Knit Pack Circular) in a fun retro cat print and the Sheeple sock bag with specially designed Stitches Midwest print.

From KnitBaahPurl – a shirt that says “Three Sheeps to the Wind”

From Michelle’s Assortment – a shawl pin with a Dr. Who Tardis

From Pawley Studios – a red mug with the Star Trek Insignia (insert red-shirt joke here for any Trekkies)

The YARN!

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From Dragonfly Fibers – Three skeins of sport weight Damsel (100% merino) in the colorway Sugar Shack.

 

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From Destination Yarns – Three skeins of fingering weight Letter (100% merino) in the colorway Harvest Moon.

 

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From A Hundred Ravens – Three skeins of fingering weight Iachos (100% merino) in the colorway Apollo.

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From Fresh From the Cauldron – Two skeins of fingering weight Schoodic Sock (75% merino, 25% nylon) in the colorway Poe’s Absinthe Induced Dream.

 

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From White Birch Fiber Arts – A long gradient (200 gram cake) in a sock base (80% merino, 20% nylon) in a Roy B Giv gradient (one repeat).  This was something that was on my “serious” shopping list since I prefer to knit larger shawls.

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From White Birch Fiber Arts – A rainbow mini skein set (75% merino, 25% nylon) in the colorway A Rainbow to Adult By.  I also got a matching black skein (same yarn base) to use in the same project.

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From A Hundred Ravens – A mini skein set (100% merino) in the colorway Starry Night.  I also custom ordered a dark gray skein (same yarn base) so I can make a larger shawl.

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I also bought, from Wandering Wool and Grinning Gargoyle, some one-off mini skeins for my sock yarn blanket.

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On The Needles – August 2016

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What’s on my needles right now!

A lot of my recent knitting time I’ve been spending on new designs for the fall.  I’ll talk briefly about those, and the other knitting projects I hope to get back to.

  • Lansford Canal Cowl – This is a new design I just finished the sample for.  It has cables, lace and beads and is knit out of One Twisted Tree Prime in the Miss Fisher’s Pearl Handled Pistol colorway (FYI – One Twisted Tree yarns are dyed by Danie of the Prairie Girls Knit and Spin podcast – which I highly recommend).  The pattern is with test knitters and the tech editor right now and I’m hoping to release around August 23 or so.

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  • A yet un-named shawl for fall – This is a new design I’m just starting.  It has two cable panels, a lace panel and mesh on the outside edges.  It is knit out of Zen Yarn Garden’s Serenity, which feels heavenly to touch.  Like I could just sit and pet it.

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  • On the Road – I’m just starting this one and it will function as my Stitches Midwest knitting when I need something easy to work on.  Yarn is superwash merino from A Good Yarn, which is local dyer,  and the pattern is On the Road by Janina Kallio.

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  • Diadem– I’m hoping to return to focusing on this next.  Unfortunately, I need to knit it at home, in good light, with minimal distraction. Brief reminder – this is the shawl I’m knitting for my friend Patty in exchange for a pair of handknit socks.  And she’s making good progress on the socks so I better hurry this up! Yarn is from Zen Garden (I think Serenity Silk – the light fingering weight one) and the pattern is Diadem by Ruth Greenwald.

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  • Starry Whovian Socks – I am still loving knitting on this tiny circular needle.  I was actually farther along but really didn’t like where I’d started the ribbing I out ripped back a bit and started that ribbing earlier.  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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  • Radiance Shawl– This one is actually “off” the needles now because I ripped it out.  I was really struggling with the splitty-ness of the yarn and decided at this point in time I couldn’t do “frustrating knittng.”

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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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Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2016

Second fiber festival of the year is in the books! I spent most of my time teaching, a little socializing, and some shopping.

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I had three wonderful classes with some smart and fantastic students.   Unfortunately, I only got pictures of my raw fleeces class because I had a bit more time.  It’s so rewarding to see the moment a new skill “clicks” with a student.

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On Friday I taught Lace Knitting 101 and after talking about yarn and needle selection we worked through a couple swatches to learn some common lace stitches and how to read lace charts.  Saturday morning I taught raw fleeces and I talked about selecting a fleece before we hand processed some samples of wool and alpaca.  Lastly, I taught Bead Knitting Rockstar Saturday afternoon.  We talked about bead selection and worked through different ways of adding beads to knitting.  If you took one of my classes I’d love to see what you’ve done!

Around teaching I did a little shopping. I also ordered two skeins from Copper Centaur, which Lucy is dying up for me this week.

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Non-Yarn/Fiber Goodies

Combing Spray – Something new to try!  I’ve seen recipes/formulas for combing spray but didn’t have easy access to all the supplies.  When I saw this I wanted to give it a shot. The idea is it will decrease the fly-aways when combing.  I bought the lavender scent.  The seller is Twistery Fiber here.

Soap – I’m a sucker for natural soaps since they are a lot less likely to make my skin itch (and I can recognize all the ingredients).  I bought lavender scented goat milk soap.  The soap is made by Gina’s Essentials here.

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Two 3oz DK weight skeins of merino from Knitted to a T.  The deep blue color is called Sapphire.  I think I might knit another Curl shawl with it.

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Hand-dyed self-striping yarn from a new company – BaH Yarns (Brenda and Heather Yarns).  This is the Mr. Sparkle Base, a blend of superwash merino wool, silk, nylon and glitz.  The colorway is Winter Sunset, stripes of yellow, orange, coral and purple.

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Lastly, from A Good Yarn, is handpainted 100% superwash merino.  The first skein is a gray with spots of teal.  The second skein is dark gray, nearly black.  I plant to use these together in the form of stripes.

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