Thursday, May 16, 2013

Yarrrrrrn and a few rrrramblings....

Hi, Knitters,
First things first, the winner of a copy of Simon Leach's Pottery Handbook is boilerup (rav id)! Congratulations. Thanks for entering. I wasn't sure what kind of interest there would be for a pottery book on this knitting-based blog but it was surprisingly good. I'll have another giveaway very soon.

Before I get into the yarn-talk, I want to tell you that Leslie of the Knit Girllls podcast recommended a show on their last episode. The show is called The Great British Sewing Bee (click here to see it) and it is shown on YouTube. There are only four episodes. I watched it this week as I worked on my knitting. It is one of the best shows ever. The show is cute, clean, well-done, moves at an enjoyable pace, fun in topic and personalities, all-around entertaining and clever. The contestants are likable, pleasant and well-mannered (which most reality shows are greatly lacking) and there isn't a bleeping noise or a curse word in it. It's so refreshing! I really do get tired of the poor behavior and constant and unnecessary profanity in movies and television and books. This show is a competition for home sewers and it is simply wonderful. I wish there were more shows like this one available. Plus, I actually learned some things about sewing along the way. I love The Great British Sewing Bee and you might, too. I literally stopped watching television about seven months ago because there is such garbage on all of the time. This is exactly the type of programming I wish we would see more of in the future. 

One more announcement-type thing, I won't be at Yarnology in Winona, Minnesota on May 30th as planned. I have had a family situation come up that I can't miss so I will be rescheduling with Yarnology. The date is being worked out and I will keep you posted on this. My apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.

Now onto the yarn. We, as knitters, are all such yarn lovers. Even if we don't ever get to knitting with our collection of varied yarns, it is fun to admire and enjoy it as is. Today I am sharing a few different yarns, some handspun and some that I am getting ready to knit.

Above, is a lovely skein of Madelinetosh Merino Light in the Manor colorway (purchased here). This is a lovely light fingering weight single-ply yarn. 

Here is the unwound hank of Madelinetosh Merino Light. I am going to be starting a new shawl design in Manor. 

As an aside, I know I have said this a few times before but I am gathering a pretty enormous stockpile of patterns that I need to release in one form or another. These include baby hats, adult hats, shawls, toys, baby sweaters/cardigans, blankets. My hope is that this summer I can find the time to get this all whipped into shape and start releasing them in some form on my own (single patterns and ebooks) and with a few companies as already planned as the months ahead progress. I have just found myself with a lack of time over the past year. My sketchbooks are bursting right now. It is kind of a good feeling.

About 18-months ago I said I was going to slow down.... whatever happened to that plan I don't know. Although I do know that when fun knitting opportunities present themselves it is difficult to pass them up and I am forever grateful.

While at the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling I picked up a gigantic hank of the elusive Wollmeise Lace-Garn (purchased here) to make Nuvem. Sheri, the owner of The Loopy Ewe, was knitting on a Nuvem and I fell in love with it. You start with a large number of cast-on stitches onto two circular needles and using Judy's Magic Cast-On. I used this tutorial to get me through this task. I really do not enjoy working in the round on two circular needles so as soon as I was able I put all of the stitches on a single pair of Signature Needle Arts US size 5s.  

Nuvem will be a long-term project without a doubt. I have been leaving it in different spots in my house and I pick it up and work a round or two at a time. The yarn and pattern are both a lot of fun.

I am finishing the second Monkey Sock (the first sock has been finished for months now), in Kristin Nicholas' Regia Garden Effects in the Holiday colorway (click here to see all of the colorways). This is the perfect pairing of yarn and pattern. I would love to make all of the Garden Effects colorways in this sock pattern. For the Monkey Sock pattern, I used the free version. I am just using my standard heel flap and gusset and toe instead of the one in the pattern. It is a fun and fast pattern.

 My friend, Jaala Spiro, sent me another Sparkle Yarn Club package in the mail the other day. It came with this adorable skein of sparkling fingering weight yarn and a lace mitts pattern. It is the sweetest colorway I have ever seen. Click here to see more of Jaala's KnitCircus Yarns

I finished up spinning this beautiful merino/bamboo blend roving from Dyeabolical Yarns. I just love it so much. I Navajo-plied it to keep the gradient colors in line.

 Here I have the yarn strung on my Schact Niddy Noddy. In the end I got 256 yards of a heavy-fingering weight yarn. It is really lovely.

I don't know what I will make with this skein yet. I think it would make a lovely cowl or small shawlette of some sort. The colorway goes from mint green to gold to heather gray. It is a wonderful combination of colors. Rachel of Dyeabolical Yarns is amazingly talented. Please go check out her website,

Here is a group photo of some of my handspun yarn. You know I am toying with the idea of selling some of my hanks of handspun. I love spinning and making the yarn but with my work knitting schedule, I don't have the time to knit with it too much. I love making and crafting and I don't have many strong sentimental feelings about my finished products. I think this is mainly because I am used to sending off much of my finished work to publishers and companies. It doesn't bother me to let things go.

Let me know if any of you would be interested in me selling some of my handspun yarns. Either email me or leave a comment if you are interested. My email is at the top of the sidebar on my blog if you'd like to just send me a note (click here for my blog if you are reading this on email subscription). If I end up selling, I would let you know the price of the roving so you could get an idea of my initial cost for the fiber, an additional cost for my spinning work, and I would include the shipping cost in the price. I have a smoke, perfume and pet free home so allergies are not a concern.

It's just a thought at this point. Let me know what you think!

I love this photo of the handspun hanks in my arms. 

Now on the wheel is a Loop Bullseye Bump. It is shades of green with the lightest bit of sparkle. What a pleasure this is to spin. I am making the singles thick and will Navajo-ply in the end. We'll see what happens. I can't tell you how much I love these bumps of fiber. Click here for the Etsy shop.

Here we are again with more Dyeabolical Yarns. I purchased 4 skeins of this worsted weight yarn in the Thistle Gristle colorway at the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Festival a couple of years ago. 


It is the most luscious black and gray and purple mix of colors. I fall more in love with it every time I look. I am making this little sweater with it.  I think it will be a cute one. I will be trying German short rows for the first time. It seems pretty easy. I looked it up on YouTube.

I wound it up into yarn cakes. I am using the label around the yarn cake held with a rubberband technique I saw at The Loopy Ewe. At least I think this is where I saw this being done. You can see the label around the Madtosh yarn in the back, too. I like this way of neatly keeping the label with the yarn after it is wound. That is some pretty yarn!

I was out and about with TC the other day and we popped into Barnes & Noble and I thought I would walk by the knitting book section to see if Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out was on the shelf yet. As I walked toward the knitting book section I was pleasantly surprised to see that my book was front and center on the display shelf. I promise that I didn't set my book out in front like this, it really happened this way. That was a fun experience.

Topsy-Turvy already has 31 finished projects posted in Ravelry. That's the advantage of small projects. Click here to see all of the projects in the book on Ravelry!

I'll be back soon with more on fixing a split stitch and adding pockets to a finished sweater. Take care you fun knitters.
best, susie