November Socks – DVD

As I mentioned in some of the On the WIP Side posts, I’m participating in the Desert Vista Dyeworks year long knit a long where you knit a pair of socks out of her yarn each month. I’ve completed each month so far this year and plan to do all 12 months.

Yesterday, I was able to finish my November socks! These were a pair out of the Giant Peach colorway, which is based on James and the Giant Peach. It has stripes of a peach, an olive green, white, dark gray and black.

Finished socks, ends woven in. It just needs a good wash.

I made these socks for my husband. He has a size men’s 13. Fortunately, he doesn’t like his socks too tall, so it balances itself well. He also appreciates “custom fit” socks in that they are perfectly fitting for his feet. This means that I came up with a recipe to fit his toes well. Essentially, I increase on one side of the toe instead of both.

You can see the toe on one sock in this picture. More importantly, I was happily enjoying some coffee and reading.

I knit these socks two at a time. Partially because my DPNs are occupied and I was going to do magic loop on a large circular needle anyway and partially because those socks are so darn long that there was no way I was going to want to knit a second one. In any case, I do love knitting socks two at a time because then I know they match perfectly. However, I also love using DPNs for my socks (pulling that cable through is half annoying because it takes time and half aggravating because I end up pulling the wrong side of it out). It can be nice to switch back and forth between the two methods.

Next up is the last pair for the year. They’ll be a pair for me!

Due to the holiday (Happy Thanksgiving in the US!) and working on a very slow sweater, I will not be posting an On the WIP side post this week. A quick update is that I’m still on the first sleeve of my Earnest Cardigan. It’s still going slowly. We’ll be back next week with another update and new projects! If there’s anything you want to hear about, let me know.

Project Highlight – Spinning – Niagara Falls

A while ago (I’m scared to look at how long ago), I won a beautiful 4 oz braid from Created by Elsie B in an instagram giveaway. The colorway is called Niagara Falls and I believe it was a OOAK (one of a kind). I’d been admiring her braids for so long, but my spinning had never really taken off. I’ll save that story for another post. Long story short, I’m now spinning the braid and I thought I’d share how I planned out this project and where I’m currently at. The major points to know in order to be caught up is:

  1. This is my first “real” spin. In other words, it’s the first project that I’m not just messing around and learning how to spin. It’s a thought out project where I plan to use the finished yarn.
  2. I am a beginner and have no clue what I’m doing.
  3. I spin for 15 minutes at a time, 3 days per week to limit injuries.

I decided I wanted to fractal spin this braid. I didn’t want to chain ply it, since I was more curious to see how barber poling would look. There is a lot of dark sections in the braid, so I’m hoping the bright white and teal will help make it pop in some areas. This will be a learning experience and we’ll see.

The entire braid ready to be split in half

First, I laid out the braid and split it lengthwise in half. The finished yarn will be a 2 ply. I then put one of the halves back into the bag to be dealt with later. For the first half, I broke it into sections based on where the color changes. I’m essentially using each unique color as a nest and spinning those one at a time. I’m going to spin them in the order of the braid. So – for half #1, I’m just spinning the length of the braid as it came to me.

First half of the braid in nests ready to spin

So far, I’ve spun the white, bright blue and am about halfway through the teal. This means I still have a lot to go, but I’m slowly making progress.

I’m a bit further on in the teal than shown here. You can see the white and blue as well.

My plan for the second half is to split it lengthwise again and spin half 1 then half 2. This is the main idea of how fractals work, but you can keep splitting the 2nd halves into thinner pieces so you get more blended sections. I’m not sure that I’m split it too many times because of all of the brown in the braid anyway. I do want to see parts of it with the white and bright blues.

I’ll keep you all up to date in the On the WIP Side posts! Let me know what you think or if you have any advice.

Cyber Week – 2019

A quick post to let everyone know that the entire store is 20% off now through 12/3! That’s a week of savings on all your favorite yarn in my shop!

What’s even better? Blog readers can receive a 10g mini skein with every order. Just add ‘blog reader – mini skein’ in the comments at check out. The mini skein may be a current colorway or a one of a kind skein.

Don’t forget all fall colorways expire on 11/30. This is your last chance for these colorways!

Thank you for visiting my site and shop! Happy shopping!

agirlandherwool – Shop Tips

Shopping at agirlandherwool is a little different than shopping with other hand dyers, so I figured I’d give some tips to make sure you find exactly what you need.

My first, and most important, tip is to use the sections! My shop has the following sections year-round:
1. Skeins
2. Ready to Ship!
3. Yarn Kits
The others are seasonal or limited edition sections.

Some of these will change, but Skeins, Ready to Ship and Yarn Kits will always be there.

What are “Skeins”
– All items in the Skeins section are where you choose the size of your skein and which base you want. You can choose any size skein from 5 grams up to 100 grams. For bases, I currently offer a Sock base and a DK base. Want more? Let me know!
Sweater knitters and crocheters – You can also choose a custom quantity! If you want 500g total of yarn, you have options! You can buy five 100g skeins or two 250g skeins or any other combination you want. The quantities you need are always available.
– These listings ship in just a few business days, which matches many other shop’s “ready to ship” policies.

Colorways are available in any size skein and on any base

What’s available in “Ready to Ship!”
– These skeins are sold as is, whether they are regular colorways or one of a kind (OOAK).
– You’ll mostly see 100g skeins on the Sock base, but other size skeins and bases may be available as well.
– You may find mini skein sets here as well when available.
– All of these listings are sold for a discount over their custom counterparts. Always check this section when shopping at agirlandherwool!
– These listings ship next day. There’s no wait to receive your yarn!
– Want to see more listings available in this section? Send me a message with what you would like to see, and I’ll do my best to oblige.

What about “Yarn Kits”
– I love to pair my colorways with a fun contrasting color that is often not sold on its own in the shop. These contrast skeins make great mini skeins for heels, cuffs and toes for your socks. What’s even better is that since you pick the size of your skein, you can choose to order the main colorway in a smaller skein so you don’t have too much.
– The contrast skeins also pair well as a two color shawl kit. Even if the picture looks like one main color and one mini skein, you do not need to buy them this way. Remember, you pick the size of the skeins!
– I love creating mini skein sets. Lately, I’ve been creating sets based on new colorways in an almost ‘deconstructed’ way. These skeins are only available in the sets, but as always, you choose how small or large they are. You can buy ‘mini’ skeins sets as 20g skeins, larger ones as 100g skeins, or anything in between. Your choice!
– Yarn kits are sold for a discount over the corresponding set when you order the individual listings. While you are more than welcome to do that at any time, buying the sets are your best deal!

This set is based on the colorway “Last Christmas.” You can order the skeins in any sizes and on any base.

Tips to find what you are looking for:
1. Use the sections! Some listings look similar when you scroll through even though some are ready to ship and others are custom listings.
2. Use the photo of the conversions in the listings to help you convert yards to grams!
3. Ask me if you want to see two colors photographed next to each other.

I hope this guide helps you navigate through the shop. Reach out with any questions at any time! You can use the Contact Me page on the website or message me on Etsy!

Bumble Hat

This weekend I have a birthday party for my cousin’s one year old son. Last weekend, my mom and I were discussing gifts and she said “why don’t you make something?” Genius, right?

I’ve knit a few gifts here and there and have made hats for babies before. I’m not sure why I’m not more on this game, but I had a week and said why not?

I thought about dyeing up some yarn to use, but remembered I had some leftover blue yarn from my Trevor sweater (pictured below). The yarn is a DK weight yarn so then I went to faithful Ravelry and searched for hat patterns in this weight. Sure enough, the Bumble Hat by tincanknits popped up. I actually knit this pattern once before and loved it. Perfect.

The first sweater I made for myself!

I cast the hat on that night and knit the rim. By the next morning, I was starting to get sick and said that I was just going to have a lazy morning. I figured I’d knit this hat, rest up and be ready to get things done after lunch. I think I stayed on that couch for the next 3 or 4 days. I did in fact finish the hat that morning (so a hat in less than 24 hours, not bad at all), but then didn’t knit another stitch for days.

Luckily the hat was done, but it definitely needed a pompom. The sweater that I used the leftovers from was actually a gray sweater with blue striping. I did have a little bit of the gray left and so I used both colors for the pompom. I just made it by wrapping the yarn around my hand and so I held both colors together as I did this. It’s a big bobbly pompom and it works great!

Nacco is so proud of his finished hat

The party was fun, but I didn’t take a picture of the birthday boy with it. Overall, fun easy gift.

On the WIP Side – 11.22.19

I have been down for the count this week. Man, I don’t remember feeling this sick for a long time. I usually can somewhat function, but this was a ‘just lay on the couch and hope this passes soon’ kind of thing. I basically watched a lot of The Office and Game of Thrones. When Michael Scott got annoying, I flipped over to Game of Thrones. When I couldn’t handle head decapitations, back over to Dunder Mifflin. Oh right, I’m behind on the GoT thing. Blame it on my love of books. I’ve finally given in because people are threatening to just start spoiling, please don’t be one of them!

Some progress at least

Total: 6 WIPs (2 active)
Knitting: 5 projects – 2 Socks, 2 Sweaters, 1 blanket
Spinning: 1 project
Finished: 1 hat
2019 Total Finished (Goal- 30): 25

Earnest Cardigan
Pattern: Earnest / Joji Locatelli
Yarn: agirlandherwool / Rose Tea / Sock
Needles: Size 3
Gauge: 24 st per 4 in on size 4 needles.
Cast on: 10/30/2019
Cast off goal: 12/31/2019

You may or may not be able to see in the group photo above, but I started one of the sleeves for this sweater. As I mentioned last week, this sweater is a slow knit. I know that when I finish the body, I am going to want to be done. So, I’m knitting the sleeves and then the body will be as long as I have enough yarn for OR enough patience for. Again, this sweater is great. It’s going to be really comfortable and I am truly excited to have it. It’s slow though. Did I mention that? I also didn’t really devote too much time to it this week as I didn’t feel like knitting while I was sick. It’s also getting close to the end of the month and so I need to focus on my DVD socks. I’m still somewhat hoping I can finish this in 2019, but we’ll see.

November DVD
Pattern: No pattern (64 stitches) with a Fish Lips Kiss heel
Yarn: Desert Vista Dyeworks / Giant Peach / Vista (sock)
Needles: Size 0
Gauge: 32 st per 4 in
Cast on: 11/4/2019
Cast off goal: 11/30/2019

These socks are for my husband who has Men’s size 13 feet. It may not look like a ton of progress, but I’m moving up the feet pretty quickly. I only had a couple of days worth of commuting this week and was able to get a few stripes done. I have a family get together this weekend and expect I will knit passed the heels. Then I’ll just have his short legs and cuffs to do. Thanksgiving is next week and plain socks are great for when family is around! I’m positive I will finish these without stress before the 30th, but I am actively working on them.

Inactive WIPs
1. Pavement Sweater
2. Gnome Zombie Socks
3. Northeasterly
4. Spinning – Niagara Falls

Finished Objects
I finished a little baby hat for my cousin’s son’s birthday party tomorrow! I’ll post about it tomorrow or the next day when I have a picture of the little guy with it.

Not too much going on this week as I was down for the count plus had a shop update this week. More progress hopefully this week with the holiday weekend.

Shop Update – Friday 11/22/19 at 10am ET

I cannot be more excited for this shop update! It will be Friday, 11/22/19 at 10am ET. You’ll find a list of ready to ship items at the end of this post.

Maximum minis-mus

In this shop update, I am introducing 4 new colorways, Last Christmas, Frozen, Blue Tundra and Girl on Fire. All 4 will be available as individual skeins and paired up in sets. There are also 3 mini skein sets, all based on Frozen, Girl on Fire and Last Christmas.

Last Christmas: A unique Christmas colorway featuring reds, greens, pinks, blues and purples. Last Christmas is available as an individual skein (custom size skein and quantity), as a set with a contrasting purple skein or as a 5 skein mini set (any size skeins).

Frozen: A beautiful wintery colorway featuring blues, teals and purples. It pairs well with Blue Tundra. Frozen is available as an individual skein (custom size skein and quantity), in a set with Blue Tundra and as a 5 skein mini set (any size skeins).

Blue Tundra: A bright blue and black colorway featuring blue, teal and black. It pairs well with Frozen. Blue Tundra is available as an individual skein (custom size skein and quantity) and in a set with Frozen.

Girl on Fire: A fire filled colorway featuring red, orange, yellow and pink. Girl on Fire is available as an individual skein (custom size skein and quantity), in a set with its unique black/red contrast skein or as a 5 skein mini set (any size skeins).

Ready to Ship

  • Full Size Skeins on Sock (100g): Last Christmas, Frozen, Blue Tundra and Girl on Fire
  • 10g mini skein sets on Sock (50g total; 5 10g skeins): Last Christmas, Frozen, Girl on Fire

On the WIP Side – 11.14.19

I plan to post a weekly or biweekly update of my WIPs depending on how much progress I have made. Since this is the first one, it may be longer than normal because everything is new. If there is anything you want to hear more about, let me know if the comments.

The titles of the projects are clickable links.

Do I really need two sweaters AND two pairs of socks?

The projects in the photo above is all of my current knitting WIPs (5 in total). I do also have one spinning project as well. The aforementioned Cozy Memories blanket is not pictured as it is soon to be frogged. Check out the previous blog post if you are curious.

Total: 6 WIPs
Knitting: 5 projects – 2 Socks, 2 Sweaters, 1 blanket
Spinning: 1 project
2019 Total Finished: 24

Earnest Cardigan
Pattern: Earnest / Joji Locatelli
Yarn: agirlandherwool / Rose Tea / Sock
Needles: Size 3
Gauge: 24 st per 4 in on size 4 needles.
Cast on: 10/30/2019
Cast off goal: 12/31/2019

Perfect car knitting. Until I fell asleep.

Man, this sweater is nice. I love the pattern, the color is great and will work well with so much and I’m going to live in this cardigan. I have to say though, it is slow going. I just split for the sleeves and I was working on this monogamously for quite a bit. I actually think that I’m going to knit the sleeves next because I know when I finish the body, I am going to want to be done. I also think I’ll then just knit the body for as long as I have yarn for or until I’m ready to cast off. I was originally hoping to finish this by the end of the month, but I’ve extended that to the end of the year.

Pavement Sweater
Pattern: Pavement / Veera Valimaki
Yarn: Once Upon a Corgi / Rodney / Aeron (tweed)
Needles: Size 5 (body) and Size 1 (neckline)
Gauge: 20 st per 4 in on size 6 needle
Cast on: 10/23/2019
Cast off goal: None

Is it just me or is this project smiling?

When I finished my Sipila sweater, I cast on this one because apparently when you finish a sweater out of Once Upon a Corgi yarn, you cast on another. I bought this yarn when I went to the CT sheep and wool festival. I wanted to use the tweed yarn and I figured the simple design of the Pavement sweater would be a perfect match. So far, it’s coming out great. I also just split for the sleeves on this sweater. The body has no shaping though and so I plan to use this as reading and/or movie theater knitting. I have no goal of when to finish it because it’s really just available for when I need the plain stockinette. It’s going to be so nice to wear, especially with leggings.

November DVD
Pattern: No pattern (64 stitches) with a Fish Lips Kiss heel
Yarn: Desert Vista Dyeworks / Giant Peach / Vista (sock)
Needles: Size 0
Gauge: 32 st per 4 in
Cast on: 11/4/2019
Cast off goal: 11/30/2019

I am participating in the year long Desert Vista Dyeworks sock club. The main idea is you knit one pair of socks per month and receive various prizes. I suggest you check out her Ravelry group if you haven’t already. It’s a lot of fun and there are so many fun self striping sock colorways in her collection. I’ve knit a pair for each month so far in 2019 and I plan to finish up the last two months.

I’m still on the toes of these socks, so no good progress picture to share. I’m knitting these socks two at time, from the toe up. These are being knit for my husband, BK, who enjoys his custom hand knit socks (despite adamantly declaring he did not need them for years). The toes are designed to fit his feet well and then it is just a plain stockinette sock. I use a fish lips kiss heel for all of my socks right now. He likes shorter cuffs on his socks, which means I usually feel like I’m almost there by the time I get to the heels. I have to finish these by the end of the month, so I better get a move on!

Gnome Zombie Socks
Pattern: No pattern (52 stitches) with a Fish Lips Kiss heel
Yarn: Gnome Acres / Zombies in Pajamas / Bungalow Gnome (BFL sock)
Valley Yarns / Seagull / Huntington
Needles: Size 0 dpns
Gauge: 34 st per 4 in (pre wash)
Cast on: 7/20/2019
Cast off goal: 12/31/2019

Plain Socks. Fun Yarn.

I cast on these socks because I needed plain stockinette knitting for the movies. I figured I’d cast them on with no real plans and just have them available as needed. I knit these on my favorite sock needles, my knitters pride size 0 dpns. It’s pretty silly to use your favorite needles on socks you have no plans to knit on. Oh well. That’s why I’ve been using my cable needles and doing more two at a time sock knitting.

I bought this yarn when Gnome Acres was closing up and I’m happy I did. I really enjoy the BFL sock because they feel like they will last. Overall, fun and no pressure sock knitting.

Northeasterly and Spinning
The last two WIPs are my Northeasterly blanket and my spinning project. Both of these are long term projects, so I will save them for next time. You can follow me on Instagram or Ravelry for progress updates in the meantime.

Thanks for keeping up to date with me and my WIPs.

Rethinking the Cozy Memories Blanket

Here’s a picture of me with my Cozy Memories blanket. I started it off with the three colors I used to make my Riley Rose Shawl.

I was so excited when I realized my outfit matched the blanket perfectly.

This photo was taken in November 2018. It still looks like that one year later.

I was really excited to start one of these blankets for the same reason that most people are. I have a ton of leftover sock yarn and no clue what to do with them. I loved the blankets with the black border as a way to separate the colors and keep the blanket from looking too messy.

So what happened? I’m pretty crazy about making everything just right. The problem here was that I was not getting the same gauge even though these yarns were exactly the same. I really was annoyed that the squares were not turning out to be the same size and couldn’t imagine what this would be like when I started adding in other yarns that would have been different from the start.

I wanted a scrap blanket that would be effortless and this became a project where I was annoyed that the squares weren’t working out right (I knit and reknit the squares in the pictures multiple times) and would become a project where I needed to calculate the measurements for each yarn (coming from a mathematician, this shouldn’t be a problem and yet it was). I should also mention that something else that bothers me about this blanket is that it only uses 5-10 g of yarn, which really doesn’t help me use up my leftovers.

So. Many. Leftovers.

So. It’s a year later and I still only have those three squares knit on and now I need to decide what to do with it.

In 2019, I’ve been pretty decent at setting goals for each month. Some of them are crafty related, but most are just things I want to get done that month. I’m trying to be good at setting reasonable goals that I can accomplish without feeling too stressed. This month, one of my goals is to just decide what is next for this project. I don’t even need to act on it. All I need to do is decide if I want to continue with the blanket or move on from it. So here are my options.

  1. Keep going and accept that the squares might not be perfect. It’s a scrap blanket for a reason.
  2. Rip it out and start something new. If I haven’t worked on it for a year, why will I start now?

Realistically, I’m feeling like I’m going to go with number 2 and start fresh. For now, making this decision means I’m one step closer to my November 2019 goal. I am leaning towards a granny stripe blanket, which would be a first crochet project. I like the idea of this because:

  • I can use any amount of yarn and not worry about the size of a square.
  • I think the colors tend to blend in a little bit better in this project than the mitered squares.
  • Crochet is supposedly faster than knitting, which is a perk for a blanket. (I once knit a california king size blanket. Once. Only once.)

I do need to figure out what I will do with all of the black yarn I bought to be a border around the squares. I’m thinking I could do a stripe of leftovers, then a black stripe… and so on or use it all as a border around the entirety of the blanket itself.

Maybe that decision will be a December goal.

Let me know what you think!

Welcome!

Hi, I’m Lauren! I want to officially welcome you to my new website and blog. I’m starting this blog because I want to be able to become closer to the knitting community. I’d love to use this space to talk more about my knitting and crafting adventures, my small business and other topics that may come up along the way. Comments will be open and monitored and I ask that you respect those in the community and treat everyone equally.

You can read my About Us page to learn a little more about me. I run a small hand dyed yarn business called agirlandherwool. I launched the shop in May 2019 and have been so obsessed with it every since. It’s such a new and fun way to be creative and I’ve been enjoying every minute of it. What’s unique about my shop is that I offer skeins in all kinds of colorways in any size skein that you need.

The blog will compose of regular themed posts such as a highlight of a WIP or what will be new in the shop that week. If you have any questions about me, my yarn or my knitting, feel free to ask and it may become a topic for another post.

I look forward to getting to know all of you better!