Tag Archives: yarn

Twinkle Mitts, Mitten & Cowl – new pattern release, Jan 2009

Twinkle Mitts, Mittens, and Cowl - January 2009 from Yarn Love
Twinkle Mitts, Mittens, and Cowl – January 2009 from Yarn Love

New Pattern release from Yarn Love!

Our newest pattern: the Twinkle Set will be released January 2009. The pattern includes instruction for average adult sizing of fingerless mitts (pictured), full mittens, and a cowl (also pictured. Shown at left in Malabrigo Chunky Merino colors Roanoke & Lettuce.  Only available at Eat.Sleep.Knit. – please check them out! They are one of our retailers and have an amazing customer rewards program. (I happily shop with Erin & Dad, too!)

The given gauge is perfect with our Charlotte Bronte Aran merino, as well.

 

 

 

Twinkle Set shown in Brisa - Malabrigo Merino Chunky

Twinkle Set shown in Brisa - Malabrigo Merino Chunky

 

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Product development & Christmas

E & G's Christmas Tunics - michael miller's Yule Christmas & Dots
E & G’s Christmas Tunics – michael miller’s Yule Christmas & Dots

Snow

It’s really early here. Hubby got up before 6 am to go into work before we get a monster snow storm. The idea is that he go in early and then come home later this morning, safely, before the snow really starts to fly. We’ll see how it goes. The commute is the downside to living in a quaint, small town 30 miles away from downtown… This will be our 7th snow since the beginning of November & in case your child burned your calendar and you’ve been  living under a rock, it’s mid December.

 

Yarn that stripes like Noro

Besides the usual Christmas busyness and familial obligations, I’ve decided that *now* is the best Blanks knit in the new dyeing style!time to pursue new product development. Nothing beats holiday stress like a huge amount of work that may or may not pan out. In my defense, I started working on this project 2 months ago. I need to contract out some very specific, custom fiber work in order to make this venture successful. I found one contractor on the West coast and proceeded to ship yarn with them so they could get a sample worked up and firm pricing. It took 3 weeks for them to acknowledge receipt of the yarn. Then 2 1/2 more to work up a sample. We are currently sitting at 4+ weeks that they’ve had the sample but won’t ship it.

On second thought, I’ll think I’ll skip hiring you.

So the search has continued. I’ve found others who will work, but of course, they are booked up solidly through Christmas. My poor retailer will have been waiting three months before the product is even in production. In the meantime, I’ve been making not-quite-perfect samples for myself and limping through the new dyeing technique. Hopefully, this will come together in a big  ball of beautiful symmetry after Christmas.

Home Improvement

The office is finally usable! We moved the computer desk back down here the weekend before last…so we could put the Christmas tree up in the living room. Since we have been working every available weekend since the end of June, it feels like a *huge* accomplishment. And it’s pretty. Seriously pretty. We have a deep chocolate accent wall, and the other three are painted a warm, harvest gold. The ceiling is finally “real”, instead of an ugly & way too low suspended number. The best part about it, is we have two additional full sized closets in here – completely fitted out with shelves, organizers and crates. Yes!

Things I want

Now onto a random list of things I want & you probably do, too.

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock Club – it’s taking all my restraint not to sign up.

Mystic Monk Coffee – amazing & fresh roasted. I have the two big, two small pack coming my way.

Twisted Fiber Arts – I love her work & collect it. It’s so beautiful!

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Sock blanks and other mayhem

Scarlett O Hara sock blankJust when I get a really good idea….someone else already has it! Oh, well. KnitPicks came out with their new sock blanks recently….just a few days after my Bond Knitting machine arrived for me to work out how to machine knit them for myself. The original plan was to offer these as a new product via Yarn Love….but now I’m going to have to seriously rethink that. I feel like such a copycat – but I wasn’t. I came up with the idea on my own before Knit Picks released their product. Sigh. The good news is that I can use my favorite sock yarns for my own blanks and they can’t. It’s not a total loss; I can always knit them for myself and me content with that!

New Couch – delivered to your door!

I ordered a couch off the internet. It came and I’m happy. There’s a company by the name of HomeReserve and they sell couches that you assemble. You get your choice of style and fabric, and it comes straight to your door where you put it together. The main reason we chose this company over more traditional furniture is that every single piece of fabric on the couch is washable.

If you don’t have children, this probably isn’t a big deal….but for those of you who have ever stared at a traditional piece of upholstery freshly covered in toddler vomit, you will understand the sheer genius of this couch. Better yet, if you have commitment issues, you can replace all the fabric and cushions with a new for $150 – 200 bucks. New look, low price!

They are surprisingly comfy despite the lack of springs. (There are three storage compartments under the seat cushions instead of springs.) The cushions are firmer than our previous, overstuffed couch, but the scale is much better for me. I can sit on the couch without having to prop a large throw pillow behind me. Yay new couch!

I am planning on dressing it up with some pretty throw pillows. Geisha Fans by Amy Butler in the olive colorway are on the radar…right after I finish sewing the girlies’ window treatments and the bra kits that I ordered….I have no idea when I’ll get them done.

Nick and Joe with the first piece

Jack and I with the cushions

Couch assembled

Finito!

 

 

Super Secret Project

Stripes over dyed skeinWell, I went and started a long term, super secret project. It involves yarn. It involves dye. It involves writing. We’ll see how I do. It’s a new venture and one with an uncertain outcome. But along the way there will be lots of yarn and photos and fun. I started it late in the week. Here’s one of the skeins that dyed for it. Over dyed stripes. I’ve been itching to knit it up, but I can’t. It must be saved for professional photography purposes. Sigh. Dyeing new yarn is so hard to resist.

More super secret stuff as I get it done…but not all of it, because then it wouldn’t be a secret, would it?

Striped yarn ball

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We interrupt this regularly scheduled untimely demise to bring you…

Nutkins SockWellness! And another blog post!

There has been a long delay. In fact, in my last post, which was nearly a month ago, we still had a good deal of snow on the ground. Since that time: I have not posted. My children have gone for a wild ride on the Puke-O-Matic 9000….immediately followed by the Cold Of Death which everyone in the family got. And when I say the Cold of Death, I mean the Cold of Death. Imagine fever, severe cold symptoms, and extreme body ache all rolled into one. Those combined with a ridiculously long stretch of minor symptoms so you can cough and sneeze yourself through three more weeks after the first few days of feeling like death warmed over. It was so bad, that I was unable to drink coffee, drink beer, and knit for 5 days. Since coffee, beer and knitting are three of my favorite things which I indulge in nearly every day, you can imagine the havoc this wreaked. And it delayed my swap partner’s mittens. But to make up for my tardiness, I put together a good package for her!

I must admit, I had it first, and I had it the worst. Then my poor hubby got it – the first week of his new job….and finally the kids got it. I don’t think it makes me a bad mother to say that while I never want anyone in my family to be sick, it’s much easier for me to nurse a sick family than keep the household running while all I can do is nap and feel miserable.

 On the bright side, we are now all mostly well! I’ve been dyeing yarn like crazy, and even organizing my stash. The Loopy Ewe currently has a decently sized order of Scarlett O’ Hara and a really good sized order of Elizabeth Bennet to be shipped very soon. (It’s being skeined now!) TLE is getting all of my new spring colors on both yarn bases. So if you like the NEW, head their way. Also EatSleepKnit just placed a gorgeous order, so they’ll have YarnLove soon.

I’ve gotten back to knitting now that the Cold of Death is over and my swap project is done. Nutkin is currently on the needles. I got some super cheap yarn from Etsy. Gorgeous colors, but it’s super thin. It looks like it’s fingering weight in the ball, but when any tension is applied, it thins out. Gorgeous colors, though and great stretch. We’ll see how it wears. The colors remind me of Trekking or Rio De La Plata – slow shifts of color made up by two multi-color plies spun together. Yum! Also on the needles are the Garden Path Socks in Oceanwind Knits’ Jardin colorway. These are languishing. It’s charted so it makes TV knitting harder. I can’t work on them if anything exciting is on. Plus, my pattern fell behind the couch last week and I’ve been too lazy to move the couch to get it. One of these days.

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Make grill while the sun shines

grilling in the snowI have to say that my patience is wearing thin. It may even be in tatters. This has been the longest, snowiest winter in memory. Last month alone we had nearly 4 times the normal amount of snowfall. Not 4 inches, 4 times – nearly quadruple! Ug! Over 20″ in a month. In all fairness, I do not live in a particularly snowy part of the world. I live in the part of the world where it’s 63 degrees at noon, starts raining 2 hours later, by 8 pm the temp has fallen to zero and the rain has turned to a layer of ice on the ground and snow from the sky. That was Sunday night. That three inches was the second snow fall of the week. I can’t remember if that was only the third or fourth day this winter that my sweet husband couldn’t get into work because the interstate was listed as 100% snow and ice covered with travel NOT advised.

 Well, I’ve had it. If spring is not coming to me, I am coming to it. You may think that picture is an ordinary picture of a snow covered grill, but I assure you it is not. See the thermometer? It clearly indicates that even though there is snow all around, I was out there preheating it for a spice rubbed pork tenderloin. It was sunny that day. I was pretty sure it was at least 45 degrees, because it was amazingly warmer than the previous 20 or so days. Nick drove up the driveway to see me standing out there in my crocs and a thin hoodie grilling dinner. Oh, yes, and he informed me that I was crazy outside with no coat or decent shoes when it was a mere 28 degrees. You know it’s been a cold winter when you mistakenly think it’s 20 degrees warmer than actual temp and fire up the grill in the snow. The tenderloin was lovely.

Brew In A Bag

Yesterday, the sewing machine made an appearance. I sewed myself a giant, mesh bag for all grain brewing….affectionately known as Brew In A Bag or BIAB. It’s big. Fits my 5 gallon stainless kettle and Brew in a bagwill hold all the grain for 3 gallon batches. It came together pretty well despite the fact that I do not own a serger and had to make due with my sewing machine which isn’t particularly in love with very sheer fabrics. It has a nice elasticized top and the seams are all double sewn: straight stitched and zigzaged for strength. The entire bag is double layered and I’m hoping that won’t inhibit the “sparge” process. (I.E. how fast it drains.) Yes, I am a beer geek.

 I have been knitting, but I don’t have any pictures. I’ve been knitting socks like there’s no tomorrow. I cast on a pair of striping Noro socks on Thursday, and Monday wore them (washed and blocked)!! Not bad for a think yarn knit on size 00 US Hiya Hiya Needles. I don’t have pictures of them though. Now they’re dirty, but perhaps I can still stick them on the blockers for a snapshot and pretend like they’re spiffy and clean. Noro really is addicting. These are the second socks I’ve knit from that yarn. Even though it’s not soft and not very elastic, I’ve found that it wears very well for me. And the colors are heart melting. It also lasts forever for me. Out of the first ball, I got one full pair of size 9 (women’s) socks. Then I used the remaining 50 grams for the two color Noro striping socks. Those were full sized and I still have 15 grams leftover. Not bad for $18.

I have now started on some Garden Path socks by Wendy Knits in Oceanwind Knits colorway Jardin. Jardin is a blush rose color with periwinkle and sage accents over dyed with grey. It came in a bit less pink than my monitor showed, but I like it. In the crappy incandescent lighting at night it looks like shades of tan and grey….kind of like a woodland mushroom. Very pretty. Most likely these will have to be put down in favor of finishing my secret pal mittens, but that’s alright.

New Colors

Here are my new colors for Spring 2008. I hope you enjoy them. They’ll be available at The Loopy Ewe in a couple weeks. I have about 1 lbs of yarn to re-skein, and then they’ll be labelled and shipped off! All are on our Scarlett O’Hara yarn.

 Awakening Earth: Acid green, murky blue, steel grey, charcoal.

Awakening Earth on Scarlett O'Hara

Warm Tulips: Deep scarlet, mango, coral, golden yellow, pale sunshine.

Warm Tulips on Scarlett O'Hara

Cottage Garden: Lilac, coral, blush pink, spring green.

Cottage Garden on Scarlett O'Hara

Mariner: Grey blue, olive drab, celedon, steel grey.

Mariner on Scarlett O'Hara

Early Crocus: Royal purple, lilac, blush pink, golden yellow, buttercream.

Early Crocus on Scarlett O'Hara

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It’s fat Tuesday. This Lent, I will…..

Cross - Ash WednesdayIt’s Fat Tuesday to the rest of the world, and here I’m staring down the barrel of another Lent. A really early, early Lent. The time when Christians are called to 6 weeks of pointed meditation, introspection, sacrifice and alms-giving. Maybe stating that I’m staring down “the barrel” of Lent is a little harsh because really faith is a choice and something that I choose.

Traditionally, Lent is the time when I give something up to remind me of the Ultimate Sacrifice. As a kid it was the yearly question: dessert, TV, favorite game or activity….and really was a test of endurance. Where you knew that your parents would enforce your sacrifice even if you didn’t feel like it. While it was always a good idea before the start of Lent, during Lent it became apparent that sacrifice left something to be desired in the execution.  Now I’m an adult and I have to be disciplined enough to enforce my own choices. To follow through. Not to give it up somewhere between the third and fourth weeks when the novelty has worn off and the hard work sets in.

This Lent, I will respond and not react to my children and my husband. It’s not dessert, it’s not coffee, and at first glance it seems like corporate-speak which I abhor. (Come on, now. Let’s expand our global outlook with out of the box thinking, innovation, and improved efficiency. Bleh.) The giving up of coffee or dessert would be more traditional for me and actually easier to measure. Those are absolutely my favorite food groups. I love them more than they deserve. They bring me more satisfaction than they ought. I would eat them all day, every day except for the adverse health affects. Instead, this Lent I will: reflect before I ask the kids to do something, respond cheerfully even when inconvenienced or annoyed, and think less about what I’m giving up and more about what I can do to make Someone I Love life’s a little better. I think I’m going to wear a single, silver bangle bracelet which I will switch from wrist to wrist as a reminder when I fall short of my goal.

It’s intangible, which means I will lose the small sense of satisfaction in having achieved a measurable goal. However, I think it’s more to the purpose of my Lenten journey this year.  I want to be a cheerful, attentive wife and mother. I want to think of others more and respond to them with reflection and not distraction. Lent 2008 will be my personal retreat and mediation on who I am called to be and who I want to be. 

In less reflective and prettier news

New Yarn: Sweet Sheri. Dyed up earlier in the week, but it took two days for it to dry. It’s a special colorway for a really sweet gal. Sheri of The Loopy Ewe is having a birthday and the plan is to create a special pair of socks for her in a colorway that highlights her favorite colors: cranberry, navy, chocolate, and sage green. Also present are celedon and biscuit for a bit of better color contrast. We’ll see how it knits up….it’s definitely out of my color comfort zone.

Mitten Progress

Here’s the current mitten progress. I’m undecided about it. The design is not quite what I envisioned. My sweet, fellow swappers have told me that I shouldn’t rip it out, and I think I’ll leave it. It may improve with the flip top mitten cap. This might also fall under the category of “outside Katie’s comfort zone”.  There is the distinct possibility that upon being reassured that it really isn’t a disaster I will be comfortable with the result. I know a large part of the issue is that I don’t know for certain that the recipient will like it. In fact, my swap partner is having these knit for someone close to her, so I really, really don’t know anything about the recipient other than she’s a young lady, the mittens should be easy to care for and she has a deep coral/salmon colored coat. Hopefully the 5 different hues of salmon/coral present in the yarn will mean that it’s complimentary to the coat!

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In which I ply you with crappy pictures

This week's play time accomplishmentsIt’s been a productive week here at Casa de Yarn Love. So far I have:

*Knit one complete pair of Noro socks

*Finished one Vinnland Sock in Trekking XXL and completed 30% of the second.

*Dyed 5 ounces merino/tencel roving in three solid colors. (1.6 -ish ounces each color) Spun the singles and plied them into a single skein. Destined to be mittens for my No Hum Drum Mittens swap partner.

* Dyed two more skeins of yarn for the mittens once I figured out the hand-spun wasn’t going to be nearly enough. Now I have a solid skein of merino/tencel fingering weight yarn and one variegated skein. They’ll be held together as I knit so that it mimics the hand spun yarn. We’ll see if it works.

 And all that was just in my “play time” – it doesn’t include any yarn that I’ve dyed for the business. Thoughts about said projects in no particular order:

 Mitten Swap

Not going like I’d prefer. Mostly because I forgot that the tencel content of the roving really makes this yarn dense and heavy….with little yardage compared to spinning 100% wool or the wool/bamboo blend. That means I have a lot of work into a skein that weighs 5.2 ounces and only contains 175 yards. Not nearly enough for the project. Oh well, that’s where the two newly dyed yarns come into play.

We’ll see if I end up combining all three yarns. I like the hand-spun by itself. I like the two hand dyed yarns, too. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to combine all three. Oi. Now onto the design phase. Here’s the pattern that won the most votes for the base pattern: Spooky Cabled Armwarmers. Now to swatch, knit and design the flip top.

 Noro Socks

I love the look of the Noro sock yarn. The color repeats and color combination are amazing. However, this yarn is not as soft or elastic as other sock yarns I’m used to working with. We’ll see if they grow on me. The upside is that because I prefer shorter length cuffs, I only used 50 out of 100 grams in the skein. I’ll get two pairs from a single skein. That makes a girl happy. I anticipate that I’ll be using this yarn again because the color is too amazing to get past. However I’ll probably attempt to spin up some “Noro” sock yarn on the wheel out of a softer fiber. I’d like a bit more elasticity. My current pair, while it fits, tends to slouch through the cuff more than it ought.

 Vinnland Socks in Trekking XXL

Bad yarn/pattern combo here. The pattern is gorgeous, and I thought the Trekking would look like the Noro when it knit up. It doesn’t. It’s very tweedy or marled looking and the color takes away from the beauty of the pattern. I have some mostly solid spring green Scarlett sock yarn dyed up to knit this again. I want the pretty pattern to show! Vinnland is a great pattern, and I want another pair in a solid color.

More later, I have to go dye now. I gave myself until the Jet album was done burning to blog….and it’s just finished.

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