Tag Archives: NomadYarns

September 2017 Odds n’ Ends

It’s almost fall.  We’re almost there! I love fall – cinnamon, apples, fallen leaves, the slight chill, plaid shirts (which apparently is “in” this fall”) and more apples.  I might have already put out fall decorations and stocked up on cinnamon as I gear up for a busy September.

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New Bag I ordered (another) custom bag from The Silver Shed on Etsy.  The proprietress Ann is always so great to work with and this time was no exception. I found this Supernatural (as in the tv show) themed fabric on Spoonflower and was dying to have it as a bag.  So, I reached out to Ann, ordered and shipped her the fabric and POOF she made me a bag.  One of the things I love about her shop is the ability to customize the bag by adding different types of exterior and interior pockets.  I love the big clear vinyl pocket on the outside for storing my pattern.  I couldn’t be more pleased.

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Upcoming Design I’m wrapping up a cozy autumn/winter shawl that has mesh and a slipped stitch texture designed to show off highly variegated yarns.  It should go out to test knitters by the end of the month – if you’re interested in test knitting please shoot me an email or/ message me on Ravelry.  Test knitters get a free copy of this pattern PLUS a free copy of any other of my patterns of their choice.

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Upcoming Events

  • September 16 – I will be at Nomad Yarns in Plainfield, Indiana during their Santa Knits in September event for the debut of my new pattern with Malabrigo.  You can choose from a selection of Malabrigo yarns and get a free copy of the pattern.
  • September 17 – I will be in Yellow Springs, Ohio for The Wool Gathering fiber festival.  This event does not offer classes/workshops so I will NOT be teaching there.
  • September 23 – I will be at Montrose Farms Alpaca Ranch in Brownsburg, Indiana to demo spinning alpaca during their annual open house event.   There will also be a fiber processing demonstration, alpaca photo booth and all the cute farm animals.

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 Upcoming Blog Posts I’ve been thinking a lot about fixed versus interchangeable knitting needles, how to organize my needles, books I read last month, squeezing in a little yarn dyeing and some fun fall recipes.  Is there anything in particular you’d like to hear about?

 

 

 

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Sunset Drumcarding

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I’ve been playing on the drum carder again!

One of the items I bought at the fiber festival in Greencastle this year was (another) Card It Up kit from Hello Purl.  It had four ounces of a variety of fibers (finn, romney, targhee, angelina, bamboo, faux cashmere, milk fiber, silk noil and silk thrums) in red, oranges and yellow.

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I added to that some red merino, yellow merino, yellow faux cashmere and yellow silk.  I also had some orange angora but totally forgot about it until it was too late.

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Short story is I split the fibers up into three equal piles and carded each pile.  Two passes through the drum carder (my friend’s Fancy Kitten) and painted the fiber directly onto the big drum.  However, this required a blood sacrifice.

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And now I’ll just leave you with a bunch of eye candy photos!

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Roving Indiana Yarn Crawl 2015

I finished the Roving Indiana Yarn Crawl for 2015 and went to all fifteen stores!

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For the uninitiated, I will briefly explain the basics of our local yarn crawl, now in its second year and including 15 local yarn stores (LYSs).  YouIMG_5209 buy a passport from one of the participating LYSs and go around to each LYS (by the way, this a fun day trip with friends) over the course of two and a half weeks.  At each LYS you get your passport stamped and maybe receive some free goodies (pins, tape measure, etc). If you make a purchase at the store, you get 10% off and an entry in that shop’s raffle drawing.  At the last shop they certify your passport and are entered into the large prize drawings. In addition, there is a yarn dyed specifically for the yarn crawl and a pattern you get with your passport.

Sidenote: Its fun to show off your handknits when visiting the yarn shops.

I went to nine of the fifteen stores the first Saturday with a group of friends.  It was a crazy day – we left at 8am and got back around 6pm.  I visited three more stores with a friend one evening after work and then hit the remainder on my own.  I turned in my passport at my local yarn store (Nomad Yarns) – whee!!! I won’t talk about everything I purchased in detail (at the risk of this post taking half an hour to read) but will highlight my top items.  There’s a list at the bottom of the yarns, colorways and where I bought them in case you’re interested.

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  • 042 New to me fibers: 100% mink (the dark green in the mid/right near the bottom) and llama (denim blue in bottom right)
  • An old favorite: Mountain Colors Twist.  I have a cowl out of that yarn I wear several times a week
  • A lace alpaca/silk blend (the orange at the top) from The Black Sheep where they have a “room of Malabrigo.” Seriously – the whole room is Malabrigo.
  • My favorite purchase: the purple handmade mug with an angora bunny on the front
  • Ready to cast on now: Saw a shop sample at The Knitter’s Nook of a Brioche Cowl.  I bought two skeins (the aqua/teal and the gray next to it) to make the cowl.
  • Fun giveaways and non-yarn accessories: pins from yarn shops (I collect them), two project bags and a black cat tape measure.

The master list (roughly going clockwise):

  • (upper left) Black Baby Alpaca Lace by Plymouth Yarns from In a Yarn Basket in Bloomington.
  • An orange Mango Moon (giveaway) from Shabby Sheep and Ewe in Columbus
  • Handknit sock earrings from The Clay Purl in Nashville
  • Hand sewn project bag bought at Starstruck Cat Studio in Greenwood
  • Chiagoo Cables from Scotland Yarn in Shelbyville
  • Purple mug, lotion and another project bag from Starstruck Cat Studio in Greenwood
  • Black cat tape measure from Broad Ripple Knits in Broad Ripple
  • (top near-right) Orange (glazed carrot) silk alpaca lace by Malabrigo from The Black Sheep in Noblesville
  • Gray Fyberspates Scrumptious merino/silk from Broad Ripple Knits in Broad Ripple
  • (top right) Merino/Shetland rolags in purple green from Sheep Street Fibers in Martinsville
  • Denim blue Llama Lace by Queensland from Knitters Nook in Columbus.
  • Teal/aqua and gray Bloom Luxe Sport (merino/cashmere/silk) from Yarns Unlimited in Bloomington.
  • A purple/blue sock yarn in Picasso Blue (dyed by the owner) from The Clay Purl in Nashville
  • Dark green (pine) 100% mink laceweight by Lotus (Trendsetter) from Mass Ave Knit Shop in Indianapolis
  • (center) Ravelry Red Malabrigo Rios from Always in Stitches in Noblesville
  • (bottom) Madelintosh tosh vintage in a beautiful blue-tinged gray (Rainwater) from Village Yarn Shop in Zionsville.
  • Frog Tree Pediboo Worsted (80% merino, 20% bamboo) in an olive green from Willowe’s Basketry in Greenfield
  • Mountain Colors Twizzle in Harmony Iris from Shabby Sheep & Ewe in Columbus

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Yarn Tasting at my LYS

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At the end of July my local yarn shop (Nomad Yarns) had a yarn tasting in conjunction with their four year anniversary celebration. If you’re wondering what a yarn tasting is let me tell you.  You get little samples (enough to knit a couple inch swatch) of different yarns, in this case from a LYS, and you test them out.  I took my own needles but they had some loaners available.  It’s a great opportunity to try out new yarns or existing yarns you’ve just never been sure about.

I’m always one for trying new yarns so I sat down with several samples and pulled out my needles.  I’m going to share with you the results for the four samples I knit up!

Mirasol Yarns Miski

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100% baby llama worsted weight with approximately 82 yards per 50 grams that knits to 4.5 stitches per inch on a US 8 needle.

I knit the above swatch on US 7’s since that’s what I had handy and I’m generally loose.  It’s a 2-ply with decent twist and I didn’t have issues with it being splitty.  It didn’t shed much but it might with wear.  Like alpaca, it has little memory and would likely grow when worn.  It would be great for something with drape though.  Softness wise I would put it up there with alpaca.  I would consider it next to the skin soft and has a nice open/airy quality to it.  Perfect for hats, scarves and cowls.  It sells for $10 per 50 gram online. Rating: A

Mirasol Yarns Sulka

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60% merino wool, 20% alpaca, 20% silk bulky weight with approximately 55 yards per 50 grams that knits to 4 stitches per inch on a US 10 needle.

I started the above swatch on US 7’s but switched up to US 10’s when I realized it was bulkier.  It’s a single ply, very softly spun.  Think Malabrigo worsted but even more unspun.  It was a bit splitty and does shed, consistent with a yarn without much twist.  The merino gives it some memory though, which means it wouldn’t be as likely to grow as the Miski.  Softness wise, it feels more like a 50/50 merino/alpaca blend, softer due to the loose twists. The silk gives it a nice degree of shine.  I would consider it next to the skin soft and has a handspun quality to it.  Probably a good choice for hats, scarves and cowls.  It sells for $10-$11 per 50 gram online. Rating: B

Louisa Harding Grace Hand Beaded

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31% silk, 31% merino wool, 8% polyester, 30% glass beads DK weight with approximately 74 yards per 50 grams that knits to 5-5.5 stitches per inch on a US 6-7 needle.

This yarn is interesting.  There are small glass beads spun onto the yarn at random intervals.  The yarn itself feels amazing and the beads knit up are beautiful.  It is definitely heavier than other DK weights in terms of the weight of a couple inch sample.  It is heavy enough I do not think you would want (or afford) to knit an entire garment out of this yarn.  I would be (very) tempted to use it as a border or edge or cuff though.  Or maybe just put in a couple rows of it in a shawl at different points.  It sells for about $18-20 per 50 grams. Rating: B

Louisa Harding Sari Ribbon

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90% nylon, 10% metallic bulky weight with approximately 66 yards per 100 grams that knits to 4 stitches per inch on a US 10.5 needle. 

Another interesting yarn.  I dropped down to a US 10 since I’m a loose knitter but I still felt like it was a very open yarn. It is probably not something I would use other than as an edging or stripe on something I wanted to be very fun/flashy/blingy.  But, that’s me.  It is rather stiff and does not feel great against the skin. It sells for about $18-19 per 100 grams. Rating: C

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Drumcarding the Card It Up Kit

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I’ve been playing on the drum carder again!

If you recall, one of the items I bought at the fiber festival in Greencastle was a Card It Up kit from Hello Purl.  It had four ounces of a variety of fibers (angelina, bfl/romney, BFL, carbonized bamboo, faux cashmere, shetland, silk noil and silk thrums) in teals, purples, grays and black.

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I also bought another four ounces of merino combed top from my local yarn shop (Nomad Yarns) that they bought from Ohio Valley Fiber.  Here’s all the fiber, which I fluffed up/open with my hands since some of it was compacted.

Ready to Card

Some searching on Ravelry told me the drum carder would likely only hold two ounces, or at least, after that it got challenging.  I divided each of the fiber types into fourths so each two ounce batt would have the same fiber/color composition.  FYI – if you have small amounts of silk, or any other fiber, you likely will need a scale that is more precise than a kitchen scale.

Divided Up

Finally it was time to start carding.  I started with the merino top, pulling is apart and laying it down first as a base (so it would be, in theory, easier to get off).  Then I randomly alternated between the other fibers in small bits, trying to get a variety of color and textures in each “layer.” I painted everything, including the merino, directly onto the drum since the licker in and I don’t get along. Even with being painted on the licker in still wanted to eat the angelina so every time I painted the angelina on I put something over it before turning the drum.  Same with the silk noil.  After a bit over an hour of painting it was ready to come off.

On Carder

Well, sort of. It still tried to stick a bit. But, I pulled it off slowly and finally got it. I’m happy with how it came out and can’t wait to spin it up!

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Finished Object – Shamrock Cardigan

I finished! I finished!

Shamrock Cardigan

This was my Ravellenic Project that did not get done by closing ceremonies.  But, I actually finished late Friday night/early Saturday morning so it ended up taking me right at one month.  Thank you to my wonderful friend Patty for braving the cold to take pictures.

Moving on to the details.

Pattern – Shamrock Cardigan (Ravelry pattern here) from Cheryl Beckerich. I saw a sample of this cardigan, out of the yarn suggested in the pattern, at a Good For Ewe trunk show.  It is a top-down raglan with lace panels on the front and the sleeves. You knit the body of the cardigan and then go back and pick up stitches for the neckband and front buttonbands.  Lots of size options and an enjoyable knit. Pattern is $4.95 on Ravelry.

Yarn –  Good for Ewe Claddagh from Good for Ewe Yarns, which I bought at Nomad Yarns.  Claddagh is a sport weight blend of 45% merino, 40% llama and 15% microfiber. A 50 gram ball is 164 yards. I loved two colors – the purple and green. It has flecks to it which give it a tweedy appearance.  NOTE: This yarn grows after blocking.  If you’re making something fitted – wash your swatch.

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I ended up using 6.4 skeins in total.  That was with the modification to make 3/4 length sleeves.  As mentioned previously I had some serious gauge issues – which is just a function of my knitting style.  A friend is knitting this same pattern out of the same yarn and appears to be getting close to the pattern gauge.  Size wise I needed a 38-39″ (at the bust).  I ended up knitting the 33″ pattern size on US size 2 needles (to get a good fabric density). To make up the size difference I added two stitches to each raglan (from 2 to 4) and increased the width of the button band.  I also increased the ribbing edges to 8 rows instead of 6, continued the sleeves and lace panel down the past the elbows.  To make sure I had enough yarn left to knit sleeves of the same length I knit the body of the cardigan, the neckband and the button bands, in that order.  Then I did the sleeves. I ended up with 21 lace repeats on the body and 11 on the sleeves.

Post washing and blocking, I’m very happy with how it fits. It’s not very thick but does seem to be warm.  I would definitely do the longer sleeves again as the lace panel carried down them looks nice.

sleeve close up

Gauge
-On US2s I got 4.625” over 28 stitches (unwashed).
-On US2s I got 4.75” over 28 stitches (washed).

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Yarn Crawl 2014 (Part 2 of 3)

passportEight local yarn shops are holding an inaugural yarn crawl called Roving Indiana from February 21 – March 2.  I’m breaking this up into three blog posts. The first trip was about the trip, this post will be about the shops and the last post will be about my “haul.”

On Saturday we started with the shop just south of Indianapolis, looped around to three of the southern shops and then headed west to Bloomington and Martinsville.  On Sunday we went to downtown Indianapolis and our LYS in Plainfield (just west of Indianapolis).  I’m going to give a quick run-down of the shops (location and website) and the one thing I liked best about the shop. Granted, the winery wasn’t part of the yarn crawl but I’ve included it because it was awesome.

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1. Starstruck Cat Design (Greendwood, Indiana) (http://www.starstruckcatdesign.com/)

This was my first visit to the shop although I’ve bought from them before at a local fiber festival.  I had two favorites here – lotion they sell that isn’t greasy and the other is some sheep yarn bowls.

2. Scotland Yarn (Shelbyville, Indiana) (317.398.YARN)

This shop is located on the circle in Shelbyville in an old area of town.  I liked the different selection of yarn lines they had at this shop.  I had never heard of Yarn Hollow before, which is the yarn I purchased.

3. Shabby Sheep & Ewe (Columbus, Indiana) (www.shabbysheepandewe.com)

One of the larger shops with wide open space.  A large selection of yarns including several luxury lines.  They also had the new issue of my favorite magazine – KnitScene.

4. The Clay Purl (Nashville, Indiana) (www.claypurl.com)

So apparently going to Nashville is a “thing” in Indiana – small, village like atmosphere with a lot of shops designed for tourists.  Clay Purl was right in the heart of this.  While a tiny shop the owner has made great use of the space available.  My favorite part though is all the local items in the shop. The owner dyes her own yarns, a local woman sews awesome project bags and there is locally made soaps and pottery.  This one might be the favorite of the new shops I visited.

5. In A Yarn Basket (Bloomington, Indiana) (www.inayarnbasket.com)

This shop is where I finally found yarn for the yarn crawl shawl.  They boast a wide selection of popular yarns in many colorways (including multiples of most colorways) and a very friendly staff.  There was also some *very* fluorescent yarn. Wow.

6. Sheep Street (Martinsville, Indiana) (www.sheepstreet.com)

I’ve been to Sheep Street (which is on an actual sheep farm) several times for fiber and spinning supplies.  In addition, I’ve taken a class from one of the owners at a fiber event. They are very knowledgeable about fiber prep, spinning and weaving. Large selection of spinning wheels to test out and lots of different fiber – this is the place for spinning and fiber prep.

7. Mass Ave (Indianapolis, Indiana) (www.massaveknitshoponline.com)

I’ve also been to Mass Ave several times since it is near my work.  Very large shop with a lot of different yarns.  My favorite thing is their large selection of Chiaogoo needles and tips.

8. Nomad Yarns (Plainfield, Indiana) (www.nomadyarnshop.com)

I’m a little biased on this one since its my LYS.  They have a lot of classes and a knowledgeable staff.  A lot of different lines of yarn as well as spinning supplies.  And now they carry all the Jacquard Dyes colors which has me very excited.

9. Cedar Creek Winery (Martinsville, Indiana)  (www.cedarcreekwinery.com)

We had planned on going to another winery but saw the sign for this one on our way to Sheep Street.  On the way back we decided to stop and give it a try.  Their wine list has the common wines but some different twists.  Like a Gewurtztraminer with a cinnamon-ish spiciness.

Next post: A summary of my haul!

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Finished Object – Backseat Passenger Cowl

I finished something! Woo-hoo! I actually finished over the weekend but today was the first day I had good light to take pictures. And the only reason I had that was because I worked from home (yes, I was trapped in my own home on my 30th birthday – I do not recommend).

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So, moving on to the details.

Pattern – Backseat Passenger Cowl ( Ravelry Pattern Here) from Compositions of Wool. I really liked the simplicity of this pattern. I easily added on until I ran out of yarn which I prefer. It was simple enough to do on brain-dead evenings but is still visually interesting and shows off the yarn. I used US7s but could have stood to go down at least one needle size. Pattern is free on Ravelry.

Yarn – Mountain Colors Yarns Twizzle in Hollyhock from Nomad Yarns. Twizzle is a worsted weight blend of 85% merino and 15% silk. A 100 gram skein is 250 yards. I love the colors. And if you’ve ever bought Mountain Colors yarn before you know it has a distinctive post-dyeing smell. It reminds me I should do some dyeing just for fun.

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A Challenging, Possibly Crazy, Ravellenic Project

So remember I said I took the “challenge” part of the Ravellenic Games a bit too seriously this year? Well, here’s why.

I’m going to attempt to knit an adult, long sleeve cardigan for the Ravellenic Games. Yes, I’m crazy. That gives me just about 2.5 weeks to knit it. Being the spreadsheet nerd I am, I scheduled out in excel. Let’s just say I have to knit a lot every day. And still go to work, keep the pets fed and the house at a reasonable level of clean.

The cardigan is Shamrock Cardigan by Cheryl Beckerich. Modification wise, I’m adding longer sleeves (as long as my yarn supply permits) and doing the collar and button band as I knit it.

Shamrock Cardigan

The yarn is Claddagh in purple from Good For Ewe Yarns. It’s a blend of 45% Merino, 40% Llama, and 15% Microfiber. I bought this yarn at my local yarn shop (Nomad Yarns) when the yarn company was having a trunk show at the shop (thanks Paige!). I had the pattern picked out for this yarn from the start.

Good for Ewe Claddagh

Next up: swatching, sizing and such fun. T minus 6 days!

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