Knitables · Uncategorized

Sampling Samples

It’s been a long couple of months since the last time I updated anything regarding this blog and it’s been a couple of months since the last time I had a finished project! I have been insanely polyamorous with regard to my knitting and can’t seem to dedicate myself to finish a project as long as the heat is as bad as it has been here in Wisconsin.

However, I am a teacher and need to make samples to show off and sell my classes this season so I have forced myself to buckle down and work on knitting only these samples until things are done and ready to show off…even if it is hotter the the devil out there. I’ll be safely chilly here in the Shaw with my strawberry lemonade and my Air Conditioner.

First things first: Hitchhiker shawl by Martina Behm. 

I’m knitting this beauty out of some worsted weight yarn. This class came along as a whim because I was actively knitting (and totally obsessed with) knitting the shawl so I chose to put it to some good use.

Working at a yarn store is awesome, but it’s also insanely hard: I want to buy one of everything. Literally everything. Especially since the shop carries my favorite yarn in the entire ‘verse: Malabrigo Rios. It’s a workhorse yarn that doesn’t pill or bleed, holds its shape really well and doesn’t wear out over wearing through the entire season. This year, Malabrigo launched their “Anniversario” colorway; a beautiful kettledye in honor of their 10-year anniversary. We got tons of it and, there were two skeins leftover with two different dye lots. I didn’t think anything of it until I saw them myself:Rios 1

Well… that’s some quality control issues going on there…

I bought the skeins anyway, knowing that I could just alternate rows on this shawl and end up with something gorgeous. The wonderful thing about Rios and Malabrigo as a whole, is their yarns have a tendency to blend gorgeously. I have frequently thought that colors would be completely disparate only to find out it blends so beautifully and looks like one skein. I looked at these two skeins and saw similarities in the vibrant pinks and the blues, but that’s pretty much where the comparison stopped. I kept knitting on though, and pulling the strands up along the side where the increases sat made things nice and smooth on the edging.

Rios 2The original pattern calls for a skein of Woolmeise, a fingering weight, but I thought I’d give it a shot knowing my shawl would basically be the same length, if lesser on the teeth. I got 36 teeth with 440 yards of Malabrigo and just barely won the yarn chicken. Ends need to be woven in and the shawl needs a good blocking but it’s beautiful and I can’t wait for the weather to get cool again.

Next up: Gramps Cardigan by Tin Can Knits

I love teaching these versatile classes: Students will be able to pick a size between newborn to 4XL (I call this size redwood tree). For the sample, I chose to knit a 2-4 and I picked a gorgeous combination of lime green and charcoal grey from Rowan’s Purewool Worsted Superwash line.

Photo Aug 03, 2 36 12 PM

I wanted something bright and cheerful but also fit for a boy: I see a ton of sweaters that are adorable for little girls but I love knitting for little boys. I cast on this project a few days ago while the Husband and I were re-watching Kingsmen: an amazing movie I highly recommend (not family friendly, though)! Samuel L. Jackson with a lisp is hilarious. I kept knitting through the next movie and, by the time the night was over, I had increased all the stitches for the raglan and I was finally to the underarms. I took a couple days off from knitting it so I could finish the Hitchhiker, so now I’m back to it with a fervor. I love little man cardigans so they look like grandpas or they look like they have little smoking jackets on. Husband calls them “Baby Hef” jackets.

Next: Follow Your Arrow KAL Shawl by Ysolda Teague

I don’t have many pictures of this at all because I messed up and had to rip back so Its kind of on time out for the time being. This sample is already made for the store so I was able to make it out of whatever yarn I wanted, but I just wanted to make sure I had an idea of what I was teaching the students. This shawl is a really cool option for someone who wants an extremely individual shawl from everyone else since there’s 32 different options for your shawl to look like. I started with clue 1B and went on to 2B. I started on 3B only to find out that my stitch counts were off, which is such a bummer and I had to rip out the short rows so things would match up again. grr. I started this shawl on the 4th of July while we were at the parade and I decided to take a cute photo before we left for the day.

Follow 1The yarn I’m using is Shelridge Farms Soft Touch heather fingering weight. I have a 3+ pound cone of this sand colorway. This is the same yarn I used for my Bridesmaids shawls and I’m currently working on a Flax Light from Tin Can Knits out of that same blue. I’m mildly obsessed with this yarn- if only it weren’t so expensive to get from Canada. Worth it, though. I tell ya.

Finally: Critical Sheep samples! 

I haven’t really talked too much about the work I’ve been doing with Critical Sheep but I’m going to be a vendor for Maker Faire Milwaukee this year in just a mere 2 months! In preparation, I have dyed almost 45 skeins and I have been knitting away on samples; most notably, I’ve finished three little samples: two hats and a crochet swatch.

From Left to Right: Bloodraven, Phantasm and Flutter. The hats can be made with just one skein of D4 Fingering and the little swatch used a mere schnibble of yarn.

I love writing out my final projects: It really puts into perspective all that I’ve done over the last months. Here’s hoping for even more productivity this month! And hopefully some more writing mojo!

CrossFit Games Knitalong · Knitables

2013CFGAMESKCAL Part Deux

So needless to say I didn’t like the final result. The cowl turned out pretty cool but the big chunks were just too big and I didn’t like it enough to keep it.

It was a cowl that I finished in four days. The Fibonacci sequence turned out cool in the beginning but it wound up being such big repeats that I got bored by the end of it. 

So I ripped.

I hooked up the cowl to the ball winder and swift and ripped it out in a matter of minutes. It’s rather painful to do such a thing when you’ve put four days of work into a project only to rip it out in four minutes. But I knew the project would be better in the end for it.

So on Sunday I decided to start the knitalong over again with mittens. The Candombe color of the Malabrigo Rios just needed to be mittens with suede patches. I figured a pair of mittens in six days would be good, but I severely underestimated my ability to knit mittens, apparently.

6 hours later, I had a mitten finished. the next morning, the second mitten was done.

I sat there looking at the pair of mittens I had finished and swore to myself, wondering what else I was supposed to do for the next four and a half days. I figured I had more time so why not knit more mittens? I cast on the Plucky Knitter Wintry Mix and set on the second pair of mittens, figuring I’d get through as many pairs as possible until Saturday. Thus begins the Knitalong challenge.

AMMAP: As Many Mittens As Possible. 

Time Cap: 6 days. Sunday PM to Saturday PM. 

Size 5 needles. Worsted weight yarn. This is turning out to be a great stash-buster.

k2p2 ribbing, regular gusset thumb, rounded topper rather than my generic squared off fingers. Post WOD Cooldown will be weaving in all ends and sewing on the suede patches I plan on attaching and finally, to upload to Etsy. 

My plan with this, because I have no need for 85 pairs of mittens in my life, is to sell these mittens on Etsy, at work and on Facebook, for profit for myself as well as to donate 50% of the proceeds to DryHootch, a non-profit org for post-war veterans and family members. We donate change and such to them at Badger CrossFit whenever we use the water, so I figured, since I don’t think I’ll be sending the hats to Afghanistan like I did a couple years ago, that I’d sell them and donate the proceeds to a military-organization so I can help soldiers in some way or another.

Last night at DnD, I finished the first mitten of the second pair and cast on and made it to the thumb gusset increases on the second mitten before I got so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. Tonight, once I finally make it home from work, I’ll finish the second pair and start on the third. Each of the pairs goes through about 2/3 of a 220 yard skein, so I’m hoping to create something with the remnants. We’ll see.

They’ll all be getting a good soaking before I sew on the patches and then I’ll have them ready to go onto Etsy for purchase. I hope to be able to make a good amount of money from them as it’s really dear to me.

All while I’m working on this project, Boyfriend is requesting fingerless mitts.

The season changed today. It was cold last night and this morning. I love fall.

 

Knitables · Patterns

Don’t Mind Me

I’ve been out of range of the blog for a very good reason:

My hands have been on a pair of needles almost every minute they’re not eating, drinking coffee, sleeping or wandering around town in the rain.

It’s been five days since I was last at work and I’m having a tough time adjusting to the whole ‘sitting at the desk in the mildly dark lighting trying to organize the 80 million things I have to get done.

[may it be known that it took me two days to write this post.]

I’m writing emails, email writing (get the difference?) proofing emails, filling out requests for barcodes and proofing site creative along with the 10 million other things. My knitting sits next to me, spilling out of the bag, staring at me. Judging me. Whimpering at me to be knit.

So. Seattle. It rained a lot. We left a snowstorm and came to a fresh mist of rain that kept the ground wet for the entire visit to the city.

I knit Brother’s Huskies hat on the plane(s). I previously had finished the fair isle so I felt confident leaving the cream color at home and just finishing with the purple. I did finish with about 10 minutes left and pulled out the Chevry shawl but found that the yarn was tangled into a mess that rivaled some of my most serious yarn barfs so I put it back and sulked for the last 20,000 feet of the flight.  I realized I left my darning needles at home so I would need to make a purchase upon getting to the yarn shop.

I’m quite proud of my knitting prowess, and was very nervous to give it to him.

 

I have a tendency to get extremely flustered when flying and when people ask me where to go when I possibly know less than the person asking about that city, I get frustrated and snap every so often. Mom would ask where we’re supposed to go (as if I’m supposed to remember from a year ago) and Boyfriend bounced ideas off me and I clenched my jaw and walked a few steps ahead of them to avoid freaking the frak out at them(even though I did anyway). Boyfriend, in all his amazing intuition, found the rental car place, we got a car and Siri brought us to the hotel.

By 3 p.m. we were in the hotel room (sans view, even though we asked for one) chilling out for a bit before we decided to go venturing out. Mom chilled out at the hotel while boyfriend and I went to a yarn shop near Pike Place Market. The yarn shop (So Much Yarn, in case anyone wants to know.) was little and the owner/woman working there were sweet. They immediately asked to look at my hat, asked if it was a certain kind of yarn and was baffled when I told her it was MadelinTosh. It’s like she didn’t believe me. She then spent the better part of 20 minutes showing me the most expensive yarns in the place. I found the sale yarn (it’s a sixth sense, I swear) and got three skeins of Prism Symphony in a Marina blue and a sea green.

Of which there is no image. I didn’t get home until 10 p.m. last night and yarn was last on my mind.

The green was an impulse buy as there was only one skein and it’s 120 yards but it was too gorgeous to pass up. I got two skeins of the blue with the intent of making myself some flip-top mittens. I also got some size 6 circular needles from Knitter’s Pride. They’re purple. That’s all I really cared about. I forgot the darning needle and boyfriend created a notification for when we got to the next place.

Upon returning to the hotel at one point during this day, I noticed that there isn’t a 13th floor in this building. The elevator just whizzes past 13 on its way to 14 and there’s no button.

But seriously. Those people on the 14th floor KNOW what floor they’re really on.

We met Brother for dinner right down the street from the hotel and about a 10 minute walk for us from the yarn shop. We drank, had a great meal and drank some more while Brother got to know Boyfriend and we all caught up with everything going on that side of the US.

Saturday we slept in late and got to Emerald City CrossFit for our WOD. If you want to read more, head over to KnitEatLift.

We headed back to the hotel, cleaned up and set out for the Monorail, which took us to the Space Needle

Better than the crappy free photo they took of us before we got on the elevator.

Then went to Pike Place Market where I found some raw honey and dark chocolate covered bing cherries.

We then went back to the hotel and made the attempt to go to the Freemont Troll and the yarn shop out there, but it turned out to be too dark too soon (4 p.m.. Seriously) so we put the troll off for Sunday but still went to The Fiber Gallery where I hit the motherload.

Upon entering the shop, I instantly made a beeline to the notions rack and picked up a packet of soak in Aquae (I figured unscented would leave me with a wet-dog smelling hat, so Aquae seemed masculine enough) and a set of darning needles. Then came the real shopping:

I got two skeins of Sincere Sheep for a second Chevry. These skeins, while pricey, have 330 yards of DK weight yarn and look at the colors!!! I’m not sure if there’s going to be enough yardage for it, but I can fib it a bit as the B color uses significantly less yardage than the A color. I’ll figure it out.

I also got two skeins of some gorgeous Malabrigo Rios without a plan to knit anything with them but because they’re so gorgeous I couldn’t help myself. I finally got one skein of blue Malabrigo Worsted for a blue beanie for boyfriend(It’s a web-developer thing). He liked this color best after going through all the colors in the shop to find the perfect blue for his hat. He won’t be getting it for a while as I have stuff to knit for myself first, but I’m sure he’ll appreciate it when it’s actually finished. It’ll be the first thing I knit for him and, not to worry, it’ll be at least February before I knit it up.

Sorry, no images of this stuff either. Again. 10 p.m. and sleepy.

Bag stuffed and belly empty, we went back to the hotel and had a delicious dinner at the restaurant at the base of the hotel (no room service, so annoying).

I don’t know what that dressing was, but it made me so happy!

Sunday was a fun day indeed. Mom, Boyfriend and I went to the cafe across the street (same one we went to two years ago… killer pastries) and went to a Green Bay Packers bar for the game (10 a.m. game. oy to the vey). I knit the Chevry for the entire game and made good progress on it. No pictures, though… sorry.

After the game, Mom and brother went shopping and boyfriend and I went to a brewery tour.

The blurriness has nothing to do with the beer… Seriously.

It cost $1 and you got 5 samples of their brew AND got to keep the glass. Red Hook is nationally-distributed and did I mention it’s pretty delicious?

I knit whenever in the car and we took the scenic route back to the hotel. We had Potbelly for dinner and didn’t see Mom until the next morning.

Did I mention Seattle at night is really pretty? The Space Needle features a green top and a lighted tree from the spire as it does every year. It’s pretty cool.

Christmas Eve was interesting. All three of us didn’t want to do anything so we bummed around. I realized I had effed up Chevry and couldn’t figure out how, but, after taking the entire shawl off the needles and ripping out five rows, putting all the stitches on the needle, I figured out my idiot problem of knitting too much.  I fixed the issue and kept merrily knitting along.

See that? Blue on bottom and orange on top. NOT SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE THAT!

Mom, Boyfriend and I went for a walk to the market and saw the fattest pigeon ever.

They got sweatshirts and we all got lunch at a cute little cafe. After we cleaned up and went to Christmas Eve services where I belted out Silent Night via candlelight and we both got to pull out our German. It was a very nice service and maybe next year we’ll get to see the live-nativity thing everyone keeps talking about.

After services, we drove back to the hotel to find that EVERYTHING WAS CLOSED. Seriously. The entire city had shut down in observation of the holiday. We were starving and didn’t even care what food was available. Pizza places were closed, the restaurant downstairs was closed, and everything seemed dark. We went for a walk in the hopes we’d find something and, miracle of miracles, we found a Subway. Dinner was had and it was all well and good.

The next morning, Christmas, was a slow one. We got lucky and had breakfast served to us through the hotel (as everything was still going to be closed) and went to Brother’s for an extremely paleo dinner and presents and hanging out. Brother got me a Paleo slow cooker book and I gave him his hat and the Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story and a bunch of other little tidbits from A Christmas Story. He gave Boyfriend a couple large bottles of beer. We watched A Christmas Story (sensing a theme here?), ate a delicious dinner and then watched Ted and Kung Fu Panda (We’re nothing if not immature at times). I knit for the entire day. We left shortly before too-late and went to bed early knowing it was going to be an early morning.

Mom’s birthday(HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOMMY!) was a day of travel. We packed, I in a frenzy as always, and we made it to the airport, sat in the ever-growing security line that was about 800 people long and made me want to have a panic attack in the hopes it would let me through security faster. The flight was cramped and we watched The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King as soon as we hit 20,000 feet. I knit and knit and knit. I finished the fifth and final chevron and started the last rows before the border only to find out it’s a 24-row border. Ever-growing.

I used the flash to blow out the colors a bit. It’s now getting so big that the bag can’t really hold it. 24 more rows to go!

So.
Many.
Stitches.

We unpacked, started laundry and went upstairs to finish watching LOTR. I knit some more. I finished the four rows before changing colors and put it away. Today I sit at my desk, Chevry staring at me.

I can’t wait to knit you tonight.

Did I mention all the ends to be woven in?

My hope is to finish this thing by the end of the weekend(I do realize it’s Thursday and I work a lot over the next three days) because I want to wear it. Now.