MKAL Recap – Slipstravanganza and Golden Dusk – Clue 2

Hey everyone! I’m here to recap the MKALs that I’m working on so SPOILER ALERT. It shouldn’t be too much of a spoiler warning because I am behind, but I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone. This is supposed to be fun after all.

I recently finished clue 2 for both the Stephen West MKAL and the Tamy Gore MKAL and it seemed like a great time to recap you on where I’m up to. I also filmed a vlog that will air on Thursday on my YouTube channel. Go ahead and subscribe now and you won’t miss it! This is a BONUS vlog and so it’s a bit off cycle, but again, this is supposed to be fun after all.

I’ll start with the Slipstravaganza shawl, which is the Stephen West MKAL. I’m actually impressed with myself that I’m only a week behind on this. Clue 4 dropped last Friday and I’m ready to start clue 3. Considering the rows in clue 2 went from 400 stitches to 450+, I’m happy with my progress.

End of clue 2

In clue 2, you use all 4 colors, which is awesome. I love the colors I chose and I’m happy to see them all work out well together. The pattern itself was easy to follow along and once you got the set up row ready, the next few were very straightforward. For a busy life, this is an exciting shawl but not a stressful one by any means. LIke the name suggests, there are all different kinds of slipped stitches, which makes such beautiful colorwork without all of the stress. I always love mosaic knititng and I’m always reminded to keep looking out for patterns just like that.

I did use stitch markers at all of the repeats. That’s not like me, but I didn’t want to keep counting stitches. It’s amazing how using little tools really help. I was off sometimes on the other edges (didn’t always increase I guess) and so I just added a few extra and no one will know. Like he reminded us, I did not stress out about it.

Clue 2 made Diamonds

I also want to talk about stepping out of your comfort zone. It is well known that Stephen West has remarkable patterns that are like no other. I’m in shock at how his brain comes up with a lot that he does, but because of that, I’ve often shied away from knitting his patterns. I’m a very practical person and definitely a project knitter. By this, I mean that I can’t make a pattern if it won’t have a purpose at the end. I’ve always wanted to knit crazy lace shawls, but I’ll never use them, so I never have.

I’m also someone to use subtle, muted colors. If you follow my shop, that’s pretty apparent. However, having a yarn shop means needing samples and a Stephen West shawl is a perfect pattern to show off yarn. The color play, stand out designs and overall popularity makes these patterns good sample subjects. Check out my YouTube channel “Planning Projects” video to hear more about how I picked colors for this shawl. It’s different than I would normally do, but in the end I created new colorways that I have in my shop. Overall, I think that all of the colors in this shawl work well together and I don’t know if I would have done it if I wasn’t pushed into it by my shop.

The pattern itself is probably something I wouldn’t be drawn to either. A 5 skein shawl?? I’m 5’2″ and fairly petite (excluding the Pandemic gains of course). Those two facts just don’t go well together. That being said, the pattern itself has been so different from the shawls I normally knit and it’s really helped me come out of my knitting rut. I really do believe that we tend to knit a lot of the same things over and over again (even when we use new patterns and new yarn) simply because we have a style and are drawn to the same things. I’m so excited to keep knitting this pattern and see where it goes. The mystery is really addicting.

If you are curious, I’m knitting it with the following colors on my sock base. Kits are available in the shop and will be on multiple bases tomorrow, Nov 3rd.
Main Color: Speckled Orchid
Contrast Color 1: Hibiscus Tea
Contrast Color 2: Dragonfly
Contrast Color 3: London Fog

That’s it for that shawl, let’s move onto the Golden Dusk shawl.

For this shawl, I went into this knowing that I would love the finished result and I have not been let down. Again, I picked more subtle colors and the design is less “look at me!” which fits my style well. To my earlier point, the mystery definitely is keeping me going, but to contrast it with the other shawl, I’m not addicted to seeing where it’s going. I’m 100% enjoying knitting it, but I’m not dying to know where it’s going to go. Kind of 2 very different shawls.

The pattern called for a Merino/Silk base and so I’m using my somewhat new Silk DK base. It’s a soft and squishy base that has been very fun to work with.

I’m viewing this shawl as a stitch sampler. There’s a lot of fun garter, lace, brioche, slipped stitches, textured stitches, you name it, clues 1 and 2 had it. I’m excited to see what clue 3 brings as I have not yet used the 4th color, which might be my favorite.

Overall, this has been easier for me as I’m comfortable with the stitches being used and since the rows are short and the yarn is a heavier weight (relative to sock weight yarn), it feels like it’s going quick. There’s really nothing better.

I know I will live in this, as it’s warm, pretty, cozy and all things like that. If you haven’t knit a Tamy Gore pattern, you definitely should and if you like DK weight shawls, give this one a go.

Again, I do have kits in the shop “4 Spices kits” and these colorways are currently available on the silk DK base. The colors are coming to other bases in the next week or so. Stay tuned!
Color 1: Cayenne Pepper
Color 2: Sea Salt
Color 3: Purple Basil
Color 4: Smoked Paprika

If you love kits, make sure you check out the Radvent Cowl and Radvent Wrap kits. These are the original kits used by Ambah O’Brien!

Check back to my YouTube channel to see me talk about these projects “in person!”

Shop News – Oct 2020

Hello crafty friends!

It’s a rainy and dreary week here in South Jersey and there’s nothing like fun and colorful yarn to brighten it all up. We’re actually painting the walls of our home (no neon unicorn here though), and so it seems like a perfect time to fill you all in on some Shop News and Updates!

I did post a similar vlog to my YouTube channel last night, so go check that out as well. There’s a mess of the world around me but the yarn is what matters!

It’s a busy time for a yarn dyer now as advents are going out, cooler weather is arriving and the holiday season is fast approaching!

Advents and 8 Nights of Hanukkah

So the time as past for you to order surprise advents and 8 Nights of Hanukkah calendars as I’ve mailed those out earlier this week. The lady at the post office says “what is it, Christmas time. You look like Santa!” as I carried in my garbage bags full of packages. Such a great feeling (THANK YOU!) and I was very pleasant in my response of “well, kind of!” and then showed her pictures of the calendars. For all of you who ordered these kits, thank you again and I hope you love them. If they haven’t arrived yet, keep an eye out and you should have it soon.

Ambah x Advent

I was very honored to have Ambah O’Brien reach out to me earlier this spring about collaborating on some kits for her Advent collection. Ambah is one of very few designers that I have followed and admired since I started knitting. I still need someone to pinch me.

She was interested in my Rose Gold gradient set and my Faerie Shadow gradient and asked if they could be expanded to 24 skein sets. I got to work and came up with two kits that I thought turned out pretty well. I shipped them off to Australia and MONTHS later (covid, anyone?) heard that they arrived safely.

You can imagine how I felt when I later learned that she used BOTH kits for two separate patterns. The Radvent Cowl uses the first half of the Faerie Shadow gradient, which I’ve named Faerie Garden. Kits are now available!

Radvent Cowl in Faerie Garden

The other pattern, the Radvent Wrap, dropped yesterday and features my Rose Gold Gradient set. You guys. I can’t believe it. Check out the kits here.

Radvent Wrap

So while I just wrapped up dyeing, packaging and sending advent kits, I will be back to the dye pots with the mini skeins galore dyeing these up! I plan to be able to send them with plenty of time before Dec 1, as long as you are located in the US. I’m not sure I can guarantee international shipments due to the delays in customs from various Covid regulations. I’ll still be shipping them though for anyone interested!

Fall Colorways are leaving!

At this point, I don’t plan to restock fall colorways, unless I decide to keep them as more regular colors and less seasonal. This mostly applies to more tonal colors that will be helpful to pair with seasonal colors.

If you like any of the following fall colorways, make sure you grab them soon!
– The Gourd Place
– What the Fork?
– Fall Foliage
– Autumn Vibes
– 4th and Goal

Fall Foliage | Autumn Vibes | The Gourd Place | What the Fork?

Good news though…

Winter is Coming!

Before we know it, winter will be upon us and I’m already planning out my winter lineup. I plan to bring back “Last Christmas” as well as the mini skein set, so stay tuned for more pictures. Last year, I also released Frozen and the Frozen mini skein set, Girl on Fire and its mini skein set and more. Let me know what you want to see come back in the shop and I’ll be releasing new ones as well. Check out the colorways page for more details. Keep reading for details about how to best pick out the yarn for all of your projects and yarnie desires!

Shop News

I’ve been working hard to convert the shop into a ready to ship shop. The reasoning behind that is that I want to be able to send out your yarn to you ASAP. When I dye to order, there can be delays due to an influx of orders, emergencies at work, colors not acting correctly (no matter how much I discipline, they just don’t always behave), slow drying times or other random things that can and do happen. When I sell only what is in stock, I know the yarn is good to go and ready for shipping, which means I can send it out quickly.

The downside to this is that it means I may not always have what you are looking for available. As a shop that relies heavily on Etsy bringing in traffic, this is a larger downside that it might seem. It’s hard to spread the message of “if something isn’t available, please let me know and I’ll dye it up for you” when people just scroll through listings. I’m doing my best to stock a wide variety, but if you are a follower and have requests, please let me know! I’m growing and I’m excited to bring you all what you want.

Just me, myself and I

If you’re still here, thank you for reading all of this. Take this 20% off coupon from me. Use code BLOGNEWS20 for 20% off from now until Nov 15th, 2020. It’ll be good for anything that’s not on the exclusion list in the shop announcements.

All of this being said, look for some of the following things in my shop.

  1. Underneath the list of sections, there is a button that says “Request Custom Listing.” This is an option similar to just messaging me. How it works though is that it’ll create a listing only you will be able to see, instead of me adding one to the shop. If you don’t see a colorway listed on the base, skein size or quantity you are looking for, click that button and let me know! I don’t charge extra for custom listings, but I will be able to communicate appropriate timing better. Anytime you do that, mention code phrase “Any Size Skein” in the message for 20% off and some special goodies (depending on supplies). This code will be ongoing until further notice! Only for you blog readers! Again, this only applies to the custom requests. If the request is listed in the shop, I will direct you there.
  2. I plan to keep 100g skeins in stock in most bases. I’ll have them in their own section so that they are easily found.
  3. I plan to have mini skeins as their own listings with mini skein photos. Make sure you keep an eye out for the section updates to find exactly what you need.

As a young and growing business, I’m constantly thinking of how to work efficiently and offer as many products as one person can. I appreciate all of the ongoing support of my little shop and look forward to what is next.

As always, feel free to reach out anytime with suggestions or feedback. I love hearing from you! Thank you all for the support!

Shop news on YouTube:

On the WIP Side – 10.28.2020

It’s Wednesday and I’m here to chat all about my current works in progress. It’s been a while and I’m so excited to show you what’s going on here. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope it brings you some joy during the work week. Definitely check out my YouTube channel to see any projects “in person.”

For Ravelry users: There are links throughout this post that link to Ravelry. If you are experiencing issues with the new Ravelry design, you may not want to click on those links. You can also see pictures on my instagram account, youtube channel or feel free to go to the contact form and send me a note if you have any questions.

Total: 6 WIPs (4 active)
Knitting:
5 projects – 3 shawls, 1 pair of socks and 1 blanket
Crochet: 
1 project – 1 blanket
Spinning:
0 projects
Finished: 1 project
2020 Total Finished: 23

Gingerbread House Socks – DONE!
Pattern: Vanilla Socks
Yarn: Gynx Yarns | Power Sock | Gingerbread House
Needles: Size 0 – Flexi Flips!
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 9/5/2020
Cast off date: 10/10/2020

A winter-y pair of socks are done! I love the BFL yarn, it feels so nice and secure and these really fit well. I knit them shorter than I have been and it’s a length I really like. I do plan to do a flexi flips review soon, which is the only unique thing about these socks. Otherwise a quick pair of vanilla socks are ready for this cooler weather!

Slipstravaganza Shawl – Stephen West MKAL – NEW!
Pattern: Slipstravaganza MKAL | Stephen West
Yarn: agirlandherwool | Sock base | Speckled Orchid, Hibiscus Tea, Dragonfly and London Fog
Needles: Size 2
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 10/9/2020
Cast off goal: Not too long after the MKAL ends

OMG I CAST ON A STEPHEN WEST MYSTERY KNITALONG WHAT WAS I THINKING OH BY THE WAY I LOVE IT!

The above are my thoughts every time I check out the next clue. You guys, you definitely need to consider knitting one of these at some point and then also knit all of his MKAL patterns. I will be. It’s SOOO out of my comfort zone and exactly what I needed.

Okay okay let me take a step back.

I decided I wanted to cast this on because I was in somewhat of a knitting rut (hence my absence) and thought having a KAL with weekly clues might be a motivation I needed to keep up with my project. If you don’t know or haven’t figured this out already, I am a routine person. I even set up these recaps in the same format each week. Giving myself a schedule for my knitting, is something I thrive in. The idea of not having to be indecisive about what to cast on or overthink the color choices was really motivating as well.

I decided to use my own yarn because the more yarn samples I have, the better. If you’re interested in hearing about how I picked the colors (and dyeing them with me), head over to my YouTube channel. There’s a project planning video and then a Stephen West MKAL dye with me.

As a project knitter and a generally “I can’t own something without a purpose” person, I found comfort in knowing that the purpose of this shawl was to become a shop sample. I have knit a Stephen West pattern before and it came out way too large for me to be able to wear. Of course, there are modifications that can be made, but with a mystery knit a long, that would be really hard to do when you don’t know what you’re actually making.

As I work on this shawl, I’m amazed at how someone can think of these things and I’m always really excited to see what the next clue is going to be. It’s not something I think I would have been drawn to, but now that I have it, it’s amazing! It really is!

I talked about this on my recent project recap, but I think a lot of what we knit probably tends to be the same. Same styles, same colors because let’s be real. We like what we like and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you’re going through a knitting (or crafting) rut, I recommend knitting something completely out of your comfort zone. Why? It probably changes up some sort of technique you use over and over again. There are so many different things about this shawl that I’m having fun doing because it’s a style I’ve never knit before.

The color play is also so great. I’m usually a muted/toned down person and I LOVE the hot pink. It’s not overdone, but it truly does make the shawl. I won’t post spoils just in case, but check out my project page or my YouTube channel to see more.

PS. Kits are available and the colors are available individually in my shop now!

Golden Dusk MKAL – NEW!
Pattern: Golden Dusk MKAL | Tamy Gore
Yarn: agirlandherwool | Silk DK base | 4 Spices Kit
Needles: Size 6
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 10/19/2020
Cast off goal: none

Along the same lines, when you’re casting on 1 MKAL, why not 2?

So I talked a bit about how I wasn’t sure if the Stephen West MKAL would be my style, but I knew going into the Tamy Gore one that it absolutely would be. I love her designs and the Ashbrook shawl is my favorite make of all time (bold statement!). I went into this with the same thoughts as the other shawl except I knew it was going to be something I wanted to wear.

It calls for DK weight and the yarn used in the pattern also has a silk content, so I knew my Silk DK base would be perfect! Again, if you want to hear more about how I picked out the colors, check out that project planning youtube video. I’m using a 3 colors from my Cinnamon Spark set and then created 1 new color as well.

I cast this on while off from work last week and knit to basically the end of clue 2. I’m definitely behind as I think the MKAL is technically over but still trying to keep it a mystery. The yarn in the mostly garter stitch shawl is so soft and scrumptious. The colors are also working so well together too. Again, I won’t post spoilers but check out my YouTube channel or instagram for some pictures. I’ll be posting more updates soon since I’m close to finishing clue 2 on both shawls.

Tan House Brook Shawl – NEW!
Pattern: Tan House Brook Shawl | Jennifer Lassonde
Yarn: Handspun with Fiber from Created by Elsie B | Niagara Falls
Needles: Size 4
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 9/25/2020
Cast off goal: none

So I was really undecided about knitting a project out of this handspun. It was my first skein and definitely has room for improvement. When I was first casting on, I actually thought the yarn was too fluffy or at least too many fibers were hanging around. I guess I’m used to the smoothness of superwash.

In any case, the fluff is not bothering me at all. In fact, I love how soft the yarn came out and is knitting up. My goal for skein #1 was to make it not ropey and I definitely succeeded in that. The fluff is a perfect bit of softness.

What does bother me is just how thin the yarn is. I almost wish I made a 3 ply instead of a 2 ply yarn. It’s almost a lace weight, which I was not expecting for my first skein. As a reminder, I have spun yarn before on during the class I took and that was much more thick/thin. However, this yarn was the first “real” project in that I did a braid start to finish and I wasn’t expecting a lace weight.

I did go down in needle size quite a bit to compensate and I am kind of just going with the flow on stitches. I kept increasing the stockinette section for more rows than the pattern called for to make sure it doesn’t come out too small, considering the lighter weight yarn and smaller needles.

It just is too light. It’ll be more accessory that a garment for warmth and I’m just not sure if the woolly wool is the right feel for that either. It has the feel and look of something that should be for warmth, but will be more accessory to an outfit. That’s my only hesitation with it.

Jen also reached out and told me she did a gradient version and left the pattern modifications on her project page. Now that I’ve expanded the stockinette section, I’m following along with those suggestions to make the shawl larger. The plan is to use as much yarn as I can.

Overall, knitting with handspun is fun, although you do become more critical of it. I’m thinking about all of the ways that I would spin this differently next time and I can’t wait to try again soon!

Vanilla Oink – NEW!
Pattern: Vanilla Socks
Yarn: Oink Pigments | Targhee Sock | Ravin’ Claw
Needles: Size 0
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 9/25/2020
Cast off goal: none

Always need a pair of vanilla socks, right?

This post is getting long, so I’ll save this for next time as vanilla socks aren’t too interesting. The targhee base is and so I’ll be sharing more on that soon.

Other
1. Preemie hat – I’ve mostly finished a preemie hat, which I will include in a charity knitting recap coming soon!
2. Spark sweater – Officially off the queue for now!
2. Spinning – I haven’t spun.
3. Northeasterly – I have not worked on this as I need to pick out more colors. I’m really bad at working on projects if they are not ready to go.

Inactive
1. Neat Ripple – This is on hold until I finish up the charity items with the colors that I have used so far.

What’s Next?
ADVENT! I plan to knit up the gradient advent that I dyed up this year. Otherwise, we’ll see. I have a lot of WIPs right now and not many plans beyond that.

Shop
Go check out Ambah O’Brien’s advent patterns. I’m so honored that she designed not 1, but 2 patterns with my yarn.

The Radvent Cowl is technically a DK weight cowl, but Ambah used my sock base and held the skeins double. She used 12 mini skeins from an expanded version of the Faerie Shadow gradient set. I’ve named the green half Faerie Garden. Kits are available now!

Radvent Cowl using the Faerie Garden gradient

Ambah also designed a wrap that has not yet been released yet, so stay tuned. I can tell you that she used an expanded version of my Rose Gold gradient set! It’s a 24 skein mini skein gradient set. It’s available now in the shop too!


November mystery yarn clubs are now available
until November 15th. Grab them now!

Check out the shop here. There are some great kits for shawls and socks along with good pairings for sweaters. Let me know if you need help with some color selections.

Check out my latest project recap, which a special guest star – my mom!

Diary of a Yarn Dyer – Fade Dye Along Recap

We recently wrapped up a fade dye along and I wanted to do a little reflection on the series and where you will see the dye with mes go from here. Make sure you check out the series on YouTube.

Before we get into it, I will be hosting a LIVE dye with me session this Saturday, September 26th at 2pm ET. I’d love to have you there. It’s a virtual event for the kickoff of the Pigskin Party, hosted by BostonJen of the Pigskin Party. I’ll be dyeing up the exclusive colorway for that makealong.

Back to this series – overall, it seemed like everyone had a lot of fun participating in the series. I cannot thank everyone who commented, participated and purchased the kit enough. THANK YOU! It couldn’t have been done without all of the participation and back and forth conversations we were able to have throughout this series. I really learned a lot and I hope you all learned something too.

The final kit

We started off the series with a lot of interest in a fall kit with pinks and greens. You can see that was the feel I went for in the first skein. There was the least amount of constraint for me in dyeing skein #1 because those were the only requirements! As the first skein, I just had to worry about including the colors we talked about and making it capable of setting up the second skein.

When I went to skein #2, I really struggled in getting the skein where I wanted it. The skein you see above is actually attempt #3. We talked about adding in deeper roses, browns and incorporating purple.

When I dyed up the first attempt, I started with a similar base as to skein 1, but I made the pinks, reds and greens darker than in the first skein. I think this happened subconsciously because of all of the gradient dyeing I tend to do.

Gradients stick to the same color, but change tone. This is my Rose Gold kit.

When I then added the purple, I added too much and the skein just became too dark for this fade. I LOVED the result and if you’ve been following along, this colorway became one of my new fall colors – Autumn Vibes.

Autumn Vibes

Knowing now that Autumn Vibes was originally meant to be skein #2, do you see the similarities to skein #1? You can see the pink/red and green base, but it’s deeper tones. You can also see I went heavy handed with the purple. I LOVE the result, just not for the fade.

I found the issue to be with attempt #1 that I went too much off of what I was used to doing (hence the regression to the gradient). I ended up doing attempt #2 more literally to what people were commenting. The problem here was I ended up adding some orange to the skein that didn’t work. I think I knew that making attempt #1 (no orange) and went too far the other way of giving up control of the skein. I again, was not a fan of the skein for this fade.

Attempt #3 was the happy medium where I lightly added in the roses, browns and just a bit of purple. I ended up blending the purple with some of the pinks to change the tone so it wouldn’t be so harsh. This allowed it to fit in better with the skein.

Different, but blends well

Because I learned so much in skein #2, skein #3 went in one take. There were a lot of comments about a neutral color. I created a neutral base with hints of the purple and rose to tie it to skein #2. I’m really proud of this skein as well and love how it came out.

Skein #3

I really wanted to also show that the fade didn’t have to go from lightest to darkest. I didn’t want this kit to be a gradient and so I was happy to bring the tone back down a bit from skein #2. The fade really needed to change colors and not necessarily to change tones. You can see the purple is lighter and blends in much more. We also have lots of the neutral feel as well.

The skeins really can be mixed and matched within a project however you want. I don’t think it’s a traditional fade because I really wanted to show different things in each video, but it definitely hits on the fade techniques. The kit is a soft fall theme with beautiful colors. I hope you like it!

Again, make sure you check out the videos on YouTube or read about each recap in prior posts on this blog. I’d love to hear what else you want to see. In the future, I plan to do more series like this and one off videos as well. Coming up will be dyeing batches and one of a kind skeins.

Check out my more in depth recap here:

Fall Favorites – September 2020

With fall approaching, I’ve been thinking about all of the new things I have to look forward to and reflecting on fond memories of the past. Fall means cooler weather, wearing hand knits, appreciating nature and getting cozy. What’s not to love?

This is from a ski mountain I used to go to. Just beautiful

Fall means cooler weather and I’m here for it. I’ve never been a fan of the warm weather. I’d rather layer up than sweat, I mean, it sounds reasonable, right? Most people seem to disagree and love summer, so we can agree to disagree. As the weather starts to cool, I think about all the things I love about it. I enjoy early mornings outside with a sweatshirt, a cup of coffee and a book.

Am I also the only morning person around here?

We are currently in the process of beginning a backyard project and I’m really excited to have the space to start lounging out there. The photo above is from our apartment before moving into the house. It’s nice to not overlook a parking lot anymore, but I was always grateful to be out there.

As it gets cooler out, the first handknits to come out of hiding are the handknit socks. I mostly knit with fingering weight yarn, which means as soon as it’s cool out, I can wear socks. And I do. So I’m thinking about the socks I like to wear and knit.

I find in general that I knit a lot of self striping vanilla socks or a patterned tonal sock. I do have some variegated or speckled sock yarn, but I often lean more towards the others. At least lately.

In terms of wearing them, I’m totally fine with either. It’s really a matter of the mood I’m in when sitting down to knit. I wear my hand knit socks daily and love every minute of it.

I also love the fall season for wearing smaller shawls. I do normally like to wear fingering weight shawls, but let’s be honest. They’re not always the warmest. I think the ones I end up going to in winter are ones with brioche or squishy garter. The more stockinette ones tend to be perfect for the cooler mornings of fall. Some of my favorites are the following:

Smaller shawls – designed by Jennifer Lassonde
Jen (BostonJen)’s shawls can be on the smaller side. I think she has some larger ones, but I love the smaller ones that she designs. They are perfect layering pieces that don’t make you too warm. I’ve knit the Riley Rose shawl and the Emelyn Mae shawl.

Riley Rose shawl
Emelyn Mae Shawl

These smaller shawls are great for layering in the fall and I cannot wait to start wearing them.

Lighter weight, somewhat larger shawls – designed by Tamy Gore
Tamy Gore is a go to pattern designer. She has beautiful shawl designs that I’m always admiring. I’ve knit both the Drifter and the Ashbrook shawls. For the Drifter, I knit the two color version, which makes it smaller, I think. In any case, the shawl isn’t that large and so it’s a great layering piece too. For the Ashbrook, it’s a lighter weight shawl that isn’t wide, but it is long. I find that on colder days, I can wrap it around my neck more and on warmer days, I can wear it hanging low and it’s very comfortable.

The Drifter
Ashbrook

It’s also impossible to not think about fall festivals when we think about fall in the knitting world. Of course, that’s all different this year. I remember heading to Rhinebeck last year for the first time ever and having a blast. It was so much fun to see and meet people I knew virtually or admired.

This picture is not really a picture of us. It’s who I really wanted to take a picture of behind us…

Of course I can’t forget to mention the Pigskin Party! This make along runs all through the fall and it’s such a fun time to connect with others and see what other people are making. As a sponsor, I’ll be participating in the virtual kick off weekend. Come dye with me on Saturday September 26th at 2pm ET. Details coming soon!

Fall brings excitement for new projects, new knitwear we finished up over the summer and fond memories of years past.

What’s your favorite thing about fall? Check out me talking about these things on my YouTube channel:

On the WIP Side – 9.16.2020

It’s Wednesday and I’m here to chat all about my current works in progress. It’s not much. I am continuing to not knit very much, but I have plenty of other crafty projects to talk about. As always, I hope you are still all staying safe. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope it brings you some joy during the work week. Definitely check out my YouTube channel to see any projects “in person.”

For Ravelry users: There are links throughout this post that link to Ravelry. If you are experiencing issues with the new Ravelry design, you may not want to click on those links. You can also see pictures on my instagram account, youtube channel or feel free to go to the contact form and send me a note if you have any questions.

Total: 4 WIPs (1 active)
Knitting:
2 projects -1 pair of socks and 1 blanket
Crochet: 
1 project – 1 blanket
Spinning:
1 project
Finished: 0 projects
2020 Total Finished: 22

Gingerbread House Socks
Pattern: Vanilla Socks
Yarn: Gynx Yarns | Power Sock | Gingerbread House
Needles: Size 0 – Flexi Flips!
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 9/5/2020
Cast off goal: none

This is the same picture as last week. I am actually working my way up the leg of the sock. It’s been my go to knitting while dyeing project, which seems to be the only knitting that I’m working on these days. It’s a self striping vanilla sock. What more can I say? The heel is also in the contrasting mauve color and it’s a fish lips kiss heel. I knit the foot of my socks with 52 stitches and so I do increase the foot out to 56 stitches about an inch before the heel. I keep it at that stitch count until about an inch after the heel and then bring it back down to 52 stitches. The exciting thing is that I actually remembered to do these things.

I’m knitting these on flexi flips and it’s the first time I’m knitting with them. I have things to say about it, but I’ll do a review post when I finish both socks.

Other
1. Preemie hat – I’ve mostly finished a preemie hat, which I will include in a charity knitting recap coming soon!
2. Spark sweater – I haven’t wanted to cast this on and so I haven’t.
2. Spinning – I’m almost done with my first braid, but I have not been spinning. I will do a longer post once that is finished.
3. Northeasterly – I have not worked on this as I need to pick out more colors. I’m really bad at working on projects if they are not ready to go.

4. I’m separating out this part of the “Other” list because it’s a bit more in depth. I mentioned at the top of this post that I’m not really knitting, but I am enjoying other crafty things. I’ve been putting myself down for not wanting to knit and I think that’s wrong. I’m just finding the creativity elsewhere. I’m really enjoying spending time dyeing up new yarn and colorways. I’m also enjoying sharing that in my YouTube videos. Creating vlog content has been a crazy adventure and I’m really enjoying it. I think that’s fair to say that even if I’m not knitting, I’m still creating and that deserves a shout out here on the blog.

Inactive
1. Neat Ripple – This is on hold until I finish up the charity items with the colors that I have used so far.

What’s Next?
We’ll be hitting #sweaterweather soon and that means so much fall knitting. If you haven’t already, check out the Pigskin Party hosted by BostonJen of the Down Cellar Studio podcast. It launches September 25th-ish and I’m a sponsor. During the launch weekend, I’ll be hosting a virtual kick off event on Saturday, September 25th at 2pm ET. I will be doing a live dye with me where you get to help dye up the exclusive colorway. If you are looking for a fun way to connect with other knitters this fall and winter, you should definitely check it out!

Shop
The shop is feeling like fall. If you missed the latest video about shop news, go check it out. A lot of behind the scenes changes and so many new colors. Summer colors are still discounted at 25% off.

I launched a new Dye with Me Fade Series. You can participate on YouTube by checking out the series. I’ve already published all skeins, so go check it out! You still have until about Sunday to enter for prizes by commenting on the video there.

All three skeins!


October mystery yarn clubs are now available
until October 15th. Grab them now! Use FALLFEELS for 15% off through September 19th on one month and three month club purchases.

Check out the shop here. There are some great kits for shawls and socks along with good pairings for sweaters. Let me know if you need help with some color selections.

Check out the last installment of the Dye with Me series. You still have a chance to enter to win the set!

Diary of a Yarn Dyer – Fade Skein #3

Last week, I concluded the Dye with Me series where I was interactively dyeing up a skein in each video. The best part is that the viewers had the say in what the skein would look like. Mostly, of course, as in the end, I took their comments and used my own interpretation to create the skein. For this skein, there were a lot of comments of bringing in neutrals and so that’s what I did!

I started off with a neutral base and then just speckled in some of the themes from the other skeins. The resulting skein was this:

You can see some of the tan/light brown base with the same speckles of purple and rose. My goal that I talked about throughout the dye with me video is that I didn’t want this skein to become dark. I really wanted to keep it lighter and neutral based on what the viewers were saying. I think I was able to capture that while bringing in the same themes from the other two skeins.

Here are the three final skeins together.

You can see that moving from the 2nd to the 3rd skein, we really brought out a lot of the rose and introduced the purples. I talked about that in the last blog post. Going into skein three, I added more of the purple without overwhelming the skein. When dyeing, I always say that unless you’re going for a deeply saturated color, add the dye slow. You can always add more. This worked well with the purple because I really do think it was the right amount to blend in with skein 2 without making it a purple skein.

I also really wanted to make the skein lighter because I didn’t want this to become a gradient. I dye a lot of gradients in my shop and I was really pushing for the idea of moving between colors and not tones. Fades don’t have to move from lightest to darkest, they just need to blend one skein into the next.

Overall, I think this was a great muted fall themed set. It’s definitely not bright fall foliage colors, but it does have the serene and less vibrant feel that fall brings after a hot summer. I’m excited to give this set away and ship out the preorders of the kit. I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!

You can still enter to win the kit by heading over to YouTube and commenting on the video. I’ll be announcing the winner next Tuesday. In addition, I’ll be answering questions and doing a final thoughts vlog, so make sure you subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss it.

I will be doing more solo Dye with Me vlogs as well as more series. Feel free to comment below with any dye questions or suggestions. I love hearing from you!

You can come dye with me here:

FO Friday – Rainbow Showers

I recently finished my Rainbow Showers wrap, which is my first completed crochet project!

The usual details first:
Pattern: Rainbow Showers / Dana Freed Fiddes
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay / Fino / Henrietta mini skein set (x2)
Hook: Size E
Cast on: 8/3/2020
Cast off: 8/29/2020
The pattern page on Ravelry can be found here.

There it is! A finished crochet project that actually looks all right! If anyone out there is interested in giving crochet a go, but wants something of interest, go check out this pattern. The stitches are just single and double crochet, but you also increase and decrease. For me, it was a great way to expose myself to a few different aspects of crochet and not become bored.

Add to that the stripes! Definitely go for stripes in your first anything pattern. It really makes you feel accomplished.

So back to the beginning. I bought this kit from my local yarn store, A Knit Sheep. Lisa was hosting a virtual trunk show with Manos del Uruguay and this kit was one that they had set up. The kit had 2 sets of mini skeins, but I ended up just buying 2 identical sets (in the Henrietta colorway) and going from there.

It was a slow start. Actually, it was a fast start in that I was able to get through the first pink mini skein quite quickly. However, it was all wrong and so I ripped it out and started over. Hence the slow start. So what happened? I quickly watched some crochet videos on YouTube and jsut went for it. I had no clue how to count stitches (there’s only one on the hook!) and didn’t know which stitches I was supposed to knit into. Heading to YouTube and reaching out to a friend turned the mess on the left into the beauty on the right:

Much better

So once I redid the pink mini skein, it was smooth sailing from there. I decided to insert the white stripes in between the mini skein colors because I thought it would break up the colors and it did just that. I love how the stripes look. I didn’t count the rows for the mini skeins. I just worked them until I ran out of yarn after working a wrong side. The only ones I counted were the white rows and I did 4 rows total. I probably could have gotten away with 6, but the thin stripe is perfect!

When I finished the project, the fabric of it was a bit denser than I was expecting. Single ply yarn is generally very soft and so I guess I expected it to feel squishier or softer. It just felt a bit dense and tight. Blocking this project changed it tremendously. It’s now as soft as I was thinking it would be and lays so beautifully. The transormation was really something for this project. A lot of times blocking isn’t too noticeable, but in times like this one, it really does change the fabric.

Check out more and see it in person here:

On the WIP Side – 9.9.2020

It’s Wednesday and I’m here to chat all about my current works in progress. After finishing up 2 projects last week, I barely knit this week, but I did finish another project. Just a couple of newer projects to show you. As always, I hope you are still all staying safe, happy and sane. Thank you for reading my blog and I hope it brings you some joy during the work week. Definitely check out my YouTube channel to see any projects “in person.”

For Ravelry users: There are links throughout this post that link to Ravelry. If you are experiencing issues with the new Ravelry design, you may not want to click on those links. You can also see pictures on my instagram account, youtube channel or feel free to go to the contact form and send me a note if you have any questions.

Total: 4 WIPs (1 active)
Knitting:
2 projects -1 pair of socks and 1 blanket
Crochet: 
1 project – 1 blanket
Spinning:
1 project
Finished: 1 project
2020 Total Finished: 22

Fish are Friends Socks – DONE!
Pattern: Vanilla Socks
Yarn: Lazer Sheep Yarns / Lazer Sock / Fish are Friends not Food
Needles: Size 0 Needles
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 7/18/2020
Cast off: 9/2/2020

Like I mentioned last week, once I finished a couple of projects, I pretty much just had these socks on the needles. Having one project to work on meant one thing, I finished them! I think me having the motivation to finish up these socks is another testament to why my cast on parties work. I was in no motivation to cast on my Spark Cardigan. I haven’t yet. I posted about it last week assuming I would have by Wednesday (I usually stay a couple of days ahead of YouTube/the blog), but I never did. Instead, I finished up these socks. More to come in an upcoming FO Friday post.

Spark Cardigan
Pattern: Spark / Andrea Mowry
Yarn: agirlandherwool / Worsted / Whisper (MC) and Cinnamon Spark set (CC)
Needles: TBD
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 9/1/2020 (LIAR!)
Cast off goal: 10/15/2020

That’s interesting. Not only have I not cast this on yet, but I didn’t even realize I set a finish goal for it. I better get to it. In all seriousness, I’ve been wanting to film a vlog of swatching and casting it on, which has partially slowed me down. So more to come soon.

Gingerbread House Socks
Pattern: Vanilla Socks
Yarn: Gynx Yarns | Power Sock | Gingerbread House
Needles: Size 0 – Flexi Flips!
Gauge: IDK
Cast on: 9/5/2020
Cast off goal: none

Okay okay okay. I get it. All I do is knit socks and then talk about how I don’t want to knit socks. It really is quite ironic. If you asked me in person, I would say “nah, I’m really not in a sock knitting mood and haven’t been knitting socks all year.” It’s not until you start writing a blog that you realize how much of a liar you are. I’ve basically only knit socks AND I’ve yet to cast on that sweater that I supposedly cast on last week! Sheesh.

That being said, I’ve also said how nothing beats a pair of vanilla socks for a great grab and go project. Another testament to the cast on party – this sock was cast on during my last cast on party and here it is. I’m actually almost at the heel. I basically knit on this while dyeing and there ya go, almost half of a sock. No sweater. No swatch. Just a sock.

Other
1. Preemie hat – I’ve mostly finished a preemie hat, which I will include in a charity knitting recap coming soon!
2. Spinning – I’m almost done with my first braid, but I have not been spinning. I will do a longer post once that is finished.
3. Northeasterly – I have not worked on this as I need to pick out more colors. I’m really bad at working on projects if they are not ready to go.

Inactive
1. Neat Ripple – This is on hold until I finish up the charity items with the colors that I have used so far.

What’s Next?
The Spark cardigan will be my past, present and future for the time being (…. are you buying this yet?). We’ll be hitting #sweaterweather soon and that means so much fall knitting. If you haven’t already, check out the Pigskin Party hosted by BostonJen of the Down Cellar Studio podcast. It launches September 25th-ish and I’m a sponsor. During the launch weekend, I’ll be hosting a virtual kick off event (more details soon) but if you are looking for a fun way to connect with other knitters this fall and winter, you should definitely check it out!

Shop
The shop is feeling like fall. If you missed the latest video about shop news, go check it out. A lot of behind the scenes changes and so many new colors. Summer colors are still discounted at 25% off.

I launched a new Dye with Me Fade Series. You can participate on YouTube by checking out the series. I’ve already published the dyeing of the first two skeins, so go check it out! There will even be a fun giveaway at the end of the series.

All three skeins!


September mystery yarn clubs are now available
until September 15th. Grab them now! October clubs will be published on Etsy on October 15th and enter a discounted pre-order time frame. I’ll remind you next week.

Check out the shop here. There are some great kits for shawls and socks along with good pairings for sweaters. Let me know if you need help with some color selections.

Check out the last installment of the Dye with Me series. You still have a chance to enter to win the set!

Changing Things Up & Why it Helps our Creativity

Today I’m going to be writing a bit about something I’ve been both experiencing and thinking about over the past few weeks. The title kind of gives it away, but it starts with me lacking some motivation to craft. When I first started knitting and then for the past few years, I’ve done nothing but knit. Okay, slight exaggeration, let me refine that statement. Any free moment I had, I was knitting (#IfImSittingImKnitting). Can you relate?

On the beach, in the mountains, in line at the store. Doesn’t matter, I’m knitting.

I couldn’t control it! Any moment that I wasn’t knitting, I felt like I was wasting time. I hated sitting somewhere and not knitting. I couldn’t watch tv if I didn’t have my knitting. I realize this is partially crazy, so ya know, there’s that, but here the rest of this out. In recent months, a lot of that has changed. I can blame it on having my Etsy shop, which took away a lot of my free time, but you would think that would make this feeling stronger! Instead, I find myself okay with not knitting. I can go a day or two without knitting and not even care.

I’m probably in a good medium place now where I can enjoy my knitting when I have it and also enjoy time when I’m not knitting too. But I also can’t help but think that maybe I’m not as motivated to knit as I once was. So here’s what I decided to do. I changed it up.

I started spinning. Daily. I almost completed a braid that I have had on my wheel for years. Every day after work, I would spend 30 minutes or so listening to an audiobook and spinning. I loved it. I was back to my old self of spending my day thinking about when I would finally get to spin. Full crazy level achieved.

I started crocheting. I have to say, the addiction wasn’t completely there, but I certainly enjoyed a new craft. I crocheted up a scarf (check back on Friday!) fairly quickly. I was back to crafting whenever I could again.

Now that my habit of crafting is back, I sat and thought about what just happened. I worked on things that I used to put on the back burner because knitting was all I could think about. By changing my mindset and picking new crafts to focus on, I became creative again. I have my sock recipe, I know the shawl styles I like, I’ve knit sweaters. I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered knitting, but it was becoming monotonous. By changing up the craft, I changed up my mindset. It really made me feel creative again.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop knitting, but never say never. I think it’s just a good reminder that just because I’m not feeling it today, doesn’t mean I’m over it. Knitting will come back, dreaming of sweaters and drawers of socks will come back and if today that means doing something else, then I’m going to do something else. Creativity will come in more than one avenue and I’ll just follow whatever is fun today. This IS supposed to be fun after all.