Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Apple of my Sky

This is my newest and mostest favoritest colorway. I've dyed it on roving (and spun), on sock yarn, on BFL Aran, on chunky wool, on merino sport, and on alpaca (not shown). Today I knitted up some fingerless mitts on some chunky handspun in that colorway. So cheerful and purdy...makes me smile.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Haven't Forgotten How To Knit

See! I can still knit!

A new LYS opened up here in Port Moody, and they have a Monday evening knit night. So every Monday, I pack up my Namaste bag for a couple of hours of stitchin' and bitchin'. This means that I actually do knit for a few hours a week, and I've been enjoying that, so I have been knitting on other days too.

I decided to work on one new (natch) project and get it completely finished before looking back at all the other unfinished knit business that has been languishing in drawers, baskets and bins.

I'm knitting Chicknits Twist -- and looky! The back, two sleeves, and part of the left front are all done:

The pattern is easy without being boring, and I love the yarn I'm using. It's an elann bag yarn, a superwash merino/bamboo blend that came out semi-solid in the dye job, so elann sold it off in bags of ten for extravagantly low prices. I think it sold out in 90 seconds. Mine is a deep espresso brown that makes me feel happy while I knit.

Yes, the next thing in line is to finish off the top down cardi I'm knitting in hand-dyed handspun yarn. I did most of the body and all of the sleeves, including sewing and blocking to this point:

I need to do something to finish off the body and then some kind of button bands, and then it is done.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Very sincerely,
And with many congratulations,

(and a whole lotta other Canadians)

PS. I'm in a helluva good mood :)

Friday, April 04, 2008

When Yarn Sings

We all know that yarn can speak. It can whisper sweet nothings into our ears, telling us that it wants to be bought, to be owned, to be cuddled, to be knitted into that extra special something.

We all know that it's true, and if you don't know this, then you are in a deep state of denial. The rest of us pity you. I did not know, however, that yarn could sing until yesterday when this little baby started crooning to me.

I bought the roving from Twisted at etsy. Now you need to know that I have bought a lot of beautiful roving. I've even dyed some. And quite often when I spin that roving, I love the yarn that it becomes. I think about keeping a great deal of it.

But I have rules about these things.

If I have projects on the go in my own handspun, then I'm not allowed to get all hoggish and keep any more. That stuff goes into the shop and gets sold so that yarn can travel out into the world and speak to other knitters, as yarn was meant to do. Somebody has to pay the bills after all, and it might as well be yarn.

Just not this skein.

This skein is mine. The roving was a favorite from the day it arrived in the mail. It was so lovely to spin that I was sad when it was finished. And there's no way that it will allow me to sell it off. I just can't part with it.

Besides, it sings.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Moments Away From Happy Feet

I haven't done a lot of knitting since Christmas. I knit several pairs of mitts for my shop before Christmas; my mom and my nephew got socks. My other two nephews got monster-hats (alas unphotographed), and my daughter "swiped" the one special project sweater that was supposed to be for me.

In January and February, I eked along on a pair of socks for a dear woman I know and love. She has size-10 feet, so that took a while. Then I started a pair for myself. What is special about mine is that they are knitted with some of my very first yarn spun finely enough to knit some DK weight socks. DK/light worsted is my favorite weight for sock knitting. I had to sub in some other yarn I spun and plied as I didn't keep quite enough to finish the job. But I like the final effect just fine. One toe to graft and a few ends to get rid of, and I will have happy feet.

And now for a quick sweatery update:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Now About That Sweater...

So I decided on a whim that I would start my handspun sweater. I had dyed up a particularly glorious batch of Blue Agate merino roving without a clear plan of what to do with it. Spin it? Sell it? Sell it spun or as roving? Keep it?

Then I noticed that a few other Etsy roving-dyers had posted what looked to me to be colours that would coordinate very well with my Blue Agate. I ordered them and started spinning. I saw a picture in my head of a basic cardigan that would stripe out in different, but coordinated colorways from similar rovings.

This is the front:

This part will really blow your mind. When I had spun enough of the three different rovings to get started, I looked at the yarn and thought, hmmm, maybe a size 9 needle. and then I looked through my copy of Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel, and thought, maybe something like this (looking at the short sleeved yellow cardi), but without that big panel thing.

And then I cast on. I made a guess about gauge (no swatch) and I made another guess about how much to start with, and I started knitting. Basic top-down raglan with open fronts. I'll add a band later. I knitted and worked increases, took note of the happy marriage of yarn with those size 9 (5.5mm) needles and carried on. I changed yarns, increased some more, knitted some more, put it all on a string, tried it on, put it back on the needles and kept on going.

This is the back:

In the spirit of making things up as I go along, I worked increases until the top part fit to where you divide off the sleeves. I knitted and tried it on again and decided where a bit of waist shaping should go. I'm working on that part now.

Here is a pic of two of the three spun yarns I'm using with some of that delectable Blue Agate roving. The spool has more yarn, cuz I was starting to run low on that colour.

Today, I'm working waist decreases, and I just put it down this second to take an up-to-date photo of where it's at. Stay tuned for more updates...

By the way, I'm having fun with this :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Coolest Stitch Markers Ever

In my travels through the land of Etsy, I've recently discovered, and fallen in love with, the style known as Steampunk. If you go to Etsy and search "steampunk," you will find all kinds of intriguing pieces, put together with love and old junk. Funky old junk. And when I say junk, I mean it in the most affectionate way. We're not talking about trash.

I started getting ideas in my head about how this might work with stitch markers. I imagined a cluster of unique markers that could be slipped on and off an aged chain. I imagined something I could wear that would capture that steampunk sensibility, but that would be practical and useful at the same time.

Then I went to all my favorite beaderies and used-stuff shops. I dug through my old bead box. I hunted supplies at etsy, and lo, the idea became this:

Yes, they are super cool. Yes, they are available in my shop. I kept a set for myself, and I love them! And yes, there will be variations on the theme available as I continue to dream them up.

Dear Blog...

I am knitting! Here is a little peek:



Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dear Jayne...

I miss you.

Your Blog

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Spin Spin Spin

In spinning news, things just get better and better all the time. Here are some mitts I knit with some of my earliest handspun. I dyed up roving in Blue Agate Beauty and spun it thick 'n thin into chunky. The mitts are soooo soft.

I bought a roving from a wonderful seller on etsy called Pigeonroofstudios. But don't shop there, 'cuz her rovings are so popular that they sell out in minutes, and I don't need any more competition. Hers is the one on the right. She called it Tree Scum. Mine is the one on the left. I called it Little Green Apples.

After I spun them both as singles, I plied them together into what I'm calling Apple Core. I love it and kept a skein for myself. I listed the other skein at etsy.

This is another of my recent spun yarns. I haven't listed it yet, and not sure if I will or not yet. I will likely call it Embers since I dye that colorway on other yarn. I plied it with two different rovings that I spun into singles.

This one never got named. I took it to an appointment to show off to a knitter-woman I know. She couldn't stop cuddling with it and finally asked (sort of begged) if I would sell it to her. It's a single of 100% Blue Face Leicester that I spun by stripping off roving that I dyed and reversing two strands so that they spun as they mixed colours from each other.

And finally, a couple of delectable rovings I dyed last week. The first one is BFL; the second one is merino.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

More Show And Tell

Wheeeee, I love to spin yarn! I had no idea that spinning was so much fun. In my last post, I showed off Little Red Schoolhouse, and then the next day it sold. I was so proud of the little yarn that could. I've been selling yarn for quite a while now, so it's not that big a deal anymore, just a really fun job. But I felt so pleased to list and sell one of my own handspun yarns. I've been learning very quickly, and enjoying every bit of it.

This one is called Marge. I spun some pretty corriedale roving into a thicker strand and some soft merino I dyed orange into a thinner strand and then plied them together. My kids and The Man loved it and said it looked like Marge Simpson. Marge is listed in my shop to rave reviews. Oh Homey.

This one doesn't have a name, but I'm keeping it for now. One strand of merino in Blue Agate, and one strand of merino in a green and purple colorway (remember the roving drying on the rack?). Verrrry soft. I think I'll make a second one, and then we're talking yardage.

This one is MINE, so don't even ask. It took me HOURS to spin. I was testing out a Fishy Wishy theory, and it worked out exactly as I hoped, so I'm thinking socks.

For Me.

I'll have to make a second batch, but I have the roving ready to go.

And speaking of handspun, these are some socks I started on Christmas Day with some lovely bulky handspun from Beautiful, soft and so fun to knit. I got one super quick sock done on The Day, and hoped to finish the second one on Boxing Day. Don't know what happened. Maybe tomorrow. It was while knitting these that I knew I had to get a wheel as soon as possible.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Launching Out

There is is! The first skein of yarn I've deemed fit for listing in my shop. I'm calling it Little Red Schoolhouse, and it is spun thick and thin in 100% Merino, using a roving I dyed in Embers.

I feel all tee hee hee about this. And I have two other yarns that are drying even as I post. And one that I'm spinning for myself. And a pair of mitts I knit with my yarn. And...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Yarn Hangout

Step into my parlour...

So my big son turned 15 and grew another inch. He's now 6' 3" tall, one more inch and he'll top the Big Man around here. Big Man has bitter memories of the little twin bed he cramped himself into as a teen, so when he saw that The Boy was looking squished in his bed, he declared that a change was in order. Boy moved downstairs to our extra room, a much bigger room with a much bigger bed. He moved out one weekend in November, and the following Monday, I moved in. Yes, I took over his upstairs bedroom and turned it into (da da da da)


I can't tell you how much I love to have my very own yarn room. I have installed all my yarn to dye, my personal stash, my bins of finished yarn, and a beautiful collection of art/hand spun yarns. Shelves are stacked floor to ceiling with yarn for dyeing. My own stash and mailing supplies all fit in the closet. Even my beads and stitch marker supplies have a spot.

The room had a clothesline running along one wall, where The Boy used to hang his artwork. Now I hang long skeins of handspun there. Skeins of handspun and yarn to dye fill little nooks and cubbies. I've decorated with my own paintings, and little goodies from friends and knitters warm up an already very inviting space. I have a comfy chair for sitting and knitting and a good light. And candles. The Man installed huge IKEA hooks along one wall for hanging skeins of yarn that are ready to dye.

Finally, I put a bean bag chair in the room too, just in case I get a guest or two. Sometimes I hang out in there with the door closed, spinning and listening to my iPod. Sometimes I hang out in there with the door open, and one of my kids or The Man himself comes by to hang out and chat. I'm not in there all the time (why not??), but when I am, it seems to be the most popular room in the house.

And many many times a day, I'm in and out of there, or I just stand in the doorway and look. And smile.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I Have A Roving Eye

Roving you say? Why is there dyed roving in my house?

Because of this! (Wheee!! Aren't new toys grand???)

Yup, I'm doing the spinning thing now. I bought my wheel on Friday. It's a Lendrum Double Treadle, and I am having tons of fun plying, um, playing with it. Lendrum wheels are Canadian made (like me), and I found a distributor who lives about half an hour from where I live. She has just started up her home-based business, so if you're interested, send me an email, and I'll give you her number.

You're also getting a few shots of my new yarn room here, but I'll talk about that in a later post. Look, up on the line. See the little white skein hanging proudly between that other more grown up looking spun yarn (not mine). The little white skein is my very very first ever bit of yarn spun by me on my new wheel.

My second and third attempts have had lots of things done to them, so I'll post about those later. Then I dyed some roving in a version of my new colorway Blue Agate Beauty.

Then I got really cheeky and tried spinning some fine yarn. See spool posing next to that gorgeous little sheep (thanks, T!). I plan to spin some more fine later on and then attempt to ply two strands together.

I've done some more things with that Blue Agate roving. You'll just have to stay tuned on that. And if you look back at the photo of the wheel, you'll see Blue Agate chunky on the bobbin.

Benne likes my hams, so I told her I'd post a photo of Daisy enjoying H's cuddly new sweater.

You've probably figured out that my shop is open again. Here is a new pair of mitts I just listed in some more luscious Hobbeldehoy yarn. This one is called HoneyCake.