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!

Knitables · Randomly on a...

Randomly on a Tuesday

-I am at work on my lunch break; one of which I don’t take often enough.

-I am waiting for this afternoon to be over: We have a huge project going on and it’s live as of 3 p.m. today.

-I am sitting at my desk knitting the sleeve of a sweater.

-I was hoping to have this sweater done by now because it’s currently freezing in the office.

-At least it’s keeping my lap warm as I knit.

-I am really hoping to be done with this sweater by tomorrow afternoon so I can wear it to work for the remainder of the week.

-No, I have no shame in wearing the same sweater multiple days in a row.

-Why, you ask? Because it’s warm. That’s why.

The  yarn is Cascade Eco and I’m knitting it based on the Leaflet Sweater from Knitty. I adapted it so it doesn’t have the lace panel and I’m making the button band much larger so it’ll overlap a bit in the front. I’m using two full skeins of Eco. Oh and I did garter stitch on the edges. Basically all I used the pattern for was the raglan increases. It’s tight on the arms, but that’s what I wanted. The next one I make will be just a hair larger so it’ll require less of a button band and the sleeves will be looser. As soon as the sleeves are done, I’ll be using the rest of the yarn (probably) to knit the button band. Still not sure if I want to include buttons, though.



Yes, I realize it’s September 3 and I’m talking about Christmas already

But! I don’t have an endless amount of time (especially with the Marine coming home tonight for two weeks of pre-deployment leave) and Christmas is looming. How do I know? I’m wearing a sweatshirt since it was so cold this morning.

I realized something while talking to Marie yesterday: I sabotaged myself last year by giving both her and Marie a scarf and (In Marie’s case) a hat. This makes creating a gift for them much harder and I think the best option here is to go whole hog…


I found some seriously cute sweaters online but no pattern for one of them, so I found one that matches it pretty closely in my latest copy of Knit Simple. The gauge is a little smaller than I’d like but I don’t think that’s too much of a hindrance for me.

This will be the second attempt at a scarf since the disastrous Tomten jacket debacle so I’m nervous. But I have four months to get at least two sweaters done.

Knitables · Uncategorized

Do I have a problem? Guilty

I went on a buying bender the other day but only by default. I went to Half-Priced Books hoping to make a pretty penny for my brother’s books (of course, I’m sending the money to him) but I had tons of time to kill because the people who entered the store before me had what seemed like an entire Library in their arms, so I figured I’d be sitting around for a while.

So I found the knitting section. This is where the robot in my head started flailing his arms around screaming “DANGER WILL ROBINSON… DANGER… DANGER!” But I didn’t listen to him… of course not.

Let it be known: I had NO INTENTION of buying anything, but then I saw the books they had on the shelves for more than 3/4 of the sale price. I couldn’t pass up that kind of deal.

So I bought three books…

I picked up Knitting with Balls, Glamour Knits and Classic Knits. There’s at least three things in each of these books I’d like to try, including a cowl-neck sweater, a pair of knee-socks, a beer bottle cozy, an Aran laptop case, and a paneled blanket that has the appearance of hounds-tooth. Oh I’m so excited!

THEN! Last night I went to Barnes and Noble looking to find the latest copy of Milwaukee Home and Fine Living, the magazine which I’d love to intern this spring semester. I didn’t find the magazine since they haven’t had it on the stands in almost 6 months, but I found a bunch of knitting magazines (I’m worse than an alcoholic at an open bar…). So I found two and, to make up for my lack of luck in the MHFL search, I bought two magazines.