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Posts Tagged ‘Yarn’

Just a few more details to sew up before it’s ready to wear.

Pattern: Willow

Yarn: Avalon Springs Farm 55% mohair/45% wool in Peacock colorway

Yarns last known address: here

Some snuggly mohair-wool to wear before it warms up around here.

WNY has been in the 20’s at night – unseasonably chilly!!!

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…but all the online thingys that take up my time on my iPhone and make me wish lust for an iPad. I don’t know about most folks but I do subscribe to quite a few online newsletters the greatest percentage having to deal with knitting stuff and to a lesser degree herbs, gardening, and natural living. These newsletters usually go beyond just an advertisement for a sale of a product, most times there are announcements of new products, or free patterns, or a just released pattern.

I thought I’d share some of my favorites that show up in my inbox throughout the month. Do try to keep in mind that I also read a ton of blogs too – but that will have to be a topic for another post.

Jimmy Beans Wool I love reading this newsletter & look forward to seeing the new limited time Lorna’s Laces colors that become available (loving the March ’12 Sea Turtle Dream). They also sponsor a Stitch Red campaign to stick-it to women’s heart disease. Not only do they tell you what’s new in the shop but suggest patterns to go with the yarns. I also enjoy the staff project section at the end of the newsletter. They carry Madelinetosh onseies, be sure to check them out, but they carry fabric, buttons, notions and so much more.

elann.com This is more of a sale flier for their great bargains on yarns, pattern books, and notions. Sometimes their staff designers have re-worked an existing pattern to work with a yarn they are promoting and the results are quite wonderful. The prices have made me do a double take.

Morehouse Farm. This is a NY farm that I have fallen in love with ever since I read their book: Morehouse Farm Merino knits : more than 40 farm-fresh designs by Margrit Lohrer. Great yarns, wonderful service, beautiful and creative patterns. Every child needs a ‘critter’ scarf or set of mittens.

Knitting Daily This is the Interweave Knitting daily email. Sometimes it’s great information, a free pattern, giveaways, KAL announcements, but other times it really is just a self promotion tool for sales.

Craftsy I signed up for this one not too long ago to get more information on their new model for online classes. You set your own pace, unlimited access to the online class, notes, and online access to the instructor. Classes are available on a variety of subjects from gardening to cake decorating, plus their site hosts independent designer pattern postings for sale and some for free. Worth checking out.

Schoolhouse Press The late Great knitting Guru Elizabeth Zimmermann‘s daughter Meg Swansen now runs the company and I want to keep abreast of the latest and greatest. What more is there to say?

Quince & Co. This company has been THE hot yarn and getting hotter! The two owning knitwear designers: Pam Allen and Carrie Bostick Hoge have been attracting other popular designers like Hannah Fettig, Cecily Glowik McDonald, and Melissa LaBarre to compliment their wearable, non-fussy, classic, visions of shape and ease of design which make me and many other knitters find it hard to decide which pattern to knit first!

If you have tried yarns and love them, be sure to look up their website from it’s band. Chances are they have a newsletter or blog. Lately I have been preferring a newsletter to reading a blog post. Go figure?(the irony has not been lost)

Tahki Stacy Charles

Classic Elite

Cascade Yarns

Madelinetosh

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I find that sometimes my knitting mojo wanes. It’s not for lack of projects on the needles, or ideas for projects, or yarn to knit with, or even inspiration, perhaps just slight burn out? So I tend to turn to all things knitterly or fiberish in print or online to try to occupy my cravings for my fix.

My local library system surprised me by adding a few scholarly reference knitting titles to their shelves and I jumped at the chance to loan them. I’ve been geeking out ever since! So go and search out these titles yourself:

Knitting around the world: a multistranded history of a time-honored tradition by Lola Nargi. A wonderful retrospective of the art and history of the handicraft. I was drawn in by the detail with which she researched each of the chapters and the historical photographs. There a few patterns, the knitter in me would have liked a few more, but as a library reference book this title is quite inclusive. I was a tad disappointed to not find any mention of the country where my ancestors harken from; Poland. I have yet to see it mentioned in any ethnic knitting book, I know there are lots of elaborate folk embroidery patterns from there and the Ukraine area, but I couldn’t help being curious and hopeful for a mention. Personal let downs aside I still had to renew it after the three-week loan because it was such a fascinating read. (Voyageur Press, 264 pages, $35.00 list price)

After reading about the international history of knitting I loaned the title,  Knitting in America: A glorious heritage from warm socks to high art by Susan M. Strawn Forward by Melanie Falick. It’s not often I enjoy a forward or introduction to a nonfiction book as much as I did this one, each wet my appetite for this enjoyable and readable retrospective. The images were the first thing that grabbed me on the cover, because of course we all love to judge a book by the cover, but that is like assuming there is nothing inside a creme puff! Yet inside this volume there were delectable chapters of our eras in history complimented by savory images I had never seen before. Some of my favorites were the modern art pieces towards the end, they inspired me to knit outside the pattern so-to-speak. There are twenty historical knitting patterns and the best part is that they are indexed separately in the back of the book! I do enjoy a good index. (Voyageur Press, 208 pages, $24.99 list price)

The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200 Fibers, from Animal to Spun Yarn, by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius. This title had me ignoring the family for many a night as I studied its pages learning about the many varieties of natural fleeces, how to use them best and where on earth to find them. Did you know that there are eleven classic colors to the Shetland rainbow? or how about the controversies surrounding upbreeding/upgrading? It’s in here! There are even entries for horse, cow, and wolf which I thought were among the more unusual. Most every entry has a photo of the fleece in various stages: raw, clean, spun, woven, and knitted when available. I enjoyed reading the histories behind many of the breeds, especially ones that were left feral for decades or possibly centuries to fend for themselves and how they adapted to the local conditions and lack of shearing. I know now more than ever that there needs to be a space in our family for a fiber animal or five soon, perhaps some angora goats and some guard llamas. (Storey Publishing, 488 pages, $35.00 list price.)

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Fun!

Just in case you missed the press release earlier this year:

PANTONE 2012 Color of The Year:

Pantone 17-1463 Tangerine Tango

So here is my Ode to Tangerine Tango!  (cue the band)

Check out this blog post from How About Orange for the latest in Tangerine Tango Sephora products.

Be Brite Baby!

Yum!

photo by Chris Johns

Just my size

Another really great orange fashion post over here at gracefully50!

good for fencing?

So awesomeness from etsy….

What kids bedroom wouldn't this look cool in?

K for Kelly!

Something orange-y to knit with.

Just because he's a llama and a party animal!

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All I wanted for Christmas was an oven mitt and a clean and organized basement. Did I get either? NO!

So I set about knitting myself and oven mitt, but while I was at it I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out some color work experimentation because I have never attempted anything of the sort.

Not too shabby looking from the outside, but then an oversized mitten bound for felting can be quite forgiving in the final project.

All set up for the Kitchener stitch, I do it so infrequently that each time I do it I need YouTube's help!

A close up of the floats, no one was too ‘floaty’ for a first time, and nothing seemed too tight until…

Ug!

But with a little pulling and stretching it seemed to sort itself out as you can see.

I used my own hand-dyed yarn for the orange tones and scraps of brown I had from other projects. It needed two trips through the washing machine for a really good felting. Heck I didn’t want to risk any well done fingers, I already have oven mitts that do that.

For the pattern, I researched a bunch on Ravelry, then I kinda cast on with what I had and went with it. There are a few different styles of thumbs and I chose my favorite, although it seems to have come out a bit stubby.

The finished project came out not too bad for a first time felted (on purpose) project, although it could use a good shave, but I’ll be gosh darned if it doesn’t keep my hands from getting the least bit burned though!

I guess I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed until Mother’s Day for the basement. One can hope…

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I’ve finally been able to hold onto a few cowls that I’ve knitted over the past few months. usually I’ve knitted them, received compliments on them and then given them away to the flatterers.

This first one was a really quick knit I read about here the pattern is Schmatta and it’s so warm & toasty. I finished it off with some white mis-matched vintage buttons from my button bowl given to me by a dear friend (thanks Tracy!).

This is me goofing around trying to get a shot of me in the cowl but not very successfully!

I really need to wait til there is another photographer in the house besides the dog & lizard.

Next up: The Crofter’s Cowl, my first journey into lace – oooo, ahhhh. I know! wow, and my first chart – golly so much all at once, but it was for beginners and I highly recommend this pattern by Gudrun Johnston, easy peasy.

I’m just a bit disappointed that the color way of this Kitchensink Dyeworks yarn didn’t really show through, it’s brighter in person. I guess I’l have to promise more photos.

I did a bit of Valentine’s knitting for the Monkey’s too. They each received a heart knitted from a pattern as unique as themselves.

Crafter Monkey received the red heart the pattern from HERE. Quick and easy, I knitted two and stuffed it with extra yarn from the skein.

Wee Monkey received the purple heart the pattern from HERE. Another easy pattern, I made two and stuffed it.

Monkey Boy was thrilled with the multicolored green heart – (he should be, it was a much fussier pattern than I expected) but then he is worth it! You can find the pattern HERE.

As I created each of theses hearts the days and hours before St. Valentines Day it truly made me reflect on the individuality of each of my Monkeys and how each pattern and the yarn I chose really embodied their personalities so much.

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What do you do with all those little bits of yarn that you snip off after weaving in your ends?

We have been saving our yarn bits & pieces for the birds. I remember reading over the summer from either a wonderful blogger or a magazine article (so sorry I can’t cite it) about how the family would save up theirs and then come spring time stuff them in an inexpensive suet feeder hang them in a tree for the birds to pluck out to line their nests with. One of the Monkey’s suggested we weave some of the longer strands through pine cones to be hung up on the trees too (great idea if you don’t have a suet feeder).

Our neighborhood birds will have a great selection of colors and fibers to choose from this spring. I can’t wait to spy the nests.

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