Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A felted bag and January keeps spiraling along

January is flying by! I've got three projects on the needles currently. I know I probably shouldn't have started a new one, but it was a tempting reason to use my new Harmony Interchangeables that I got for Christmas.... I decided on a felted dice bag for my husband - to hold his Magic: The Gathering dice.  It's handy and useful for us when playing MTG and a fast project to work on as well for a little fast knitting satisfaction.  Pictures will be added when there's more project to display...

My Postwar Mittens are coming along great! I haven't knitted them in the past few days, but I have one almost down, just needs a thumb. Then it's on to the next mitten and then my Chullo.  I'm trying to stay on task because this year already feels like it's going by quickly like I had said, so I don't want to get behind. If our rain ever converts to something a little prettier, like snow, then I'll be glad to have them with me.

I always try to use January as my catch-up month as the start to the year, and so far I feel like I'm doing good getting knitting (and other) projects under way.  Knitting always seems like such a great way to enjoy Winter months indoors... especially since the rewards you reap are beautiful and practical items created by your craft.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Hobbit and other tales

So, the kids are back in school again (well, there's Peregrin at home, and Gabe's only half day, but you know, *mostly* in school) so I'm finding myself getting back to a somewhat schedule.

Yesterday I sent out my last shipment for The Hobbit yarn club.  I immensely enjoyed being able to re-read through the story and get a little lost in inspiration as I would sit down to research colorways for the club.  I'm a little sad to see it go, but I have a feeling that some Hobbit colorways might show themselves as I do some new dyeing and re-stocking in the upcoming months.  There's just far too many good things and concepts to let things go so easily.  The club colorways were exclusive though, so those will not be reproduced for my shop.

Thank you to all who joined in for the club, and I hope you enjoy knitting your Hobbity yarn! I have already used the first month's colorway to knit myself some socks in the Aragorn pattern.  It is an amazing pattern, with beautiful columns and cables and looks so much more intricate than it really is to knit. Here are my Aragorn socks, knit in Little Owl Organic in the Hobbit colorway, Gandalf, Goblins, & the Misty Mountains.

Monday, January 2, 2012

January knitting & new blog location

As part of my fresh, new energy I'm feeling in 2012, I'm starting up a new blog. I'll be working on moving over my patterns at least to this blog after I take a look into that. I've had some wonky internet connections this weekend, which, is becoming habit of my ISP unfortunately. However, it's up right now and so I'm getting blogged while possible.

I've got two projects on the needles right now. The Polar Chullo and my Postwar Mittens. They both happen to be by the same designer, Mary Ann Stephens. I fell in love with both patterns as they seem to bring out a very comforting emotion in me with the way the fair isle is comprised.  I've used my Little Owl Organic 2 ply and it's working so well for colorwork because of it's gentle 2 ply construction. It's also very soft so it's going to make for a much-loved set of mittens and hat.

I wanted to keep with the tone of the original chullo colors, but I used more blues, and less grey tones.  Here's what I dyed up

For the postwar mittens, I was inspired by tones of purple and grey, but loved the contrast of the yellow/mustard-like tone in contrast to the purple. I wanted to knit the "box" chart for the mittens, which looks like flowers to me so the color composition just seemed natural in this way.  I have a picture taken of the cuff, and also the inside to show how the cuff was knitted and attached before continuing on the cuff chart. This actually did work out very well, and there's no finishing work involved with it this way.

I discovered that I really wasn't getting tight enough gauge on the Polar Chullo with using two circulars. Partly because one is a size 0 and one is a size 1.5, but also with the 16" it's snug around so it's easier for me to knit at a tighter gauge, consistently.  I put the chullo down while waiting on a pair of 0 bamboos that I ordered from an Etsy seller, Rachael Made.  Her package arrived Saturday but since I was already going along pretty well on the mittens, I didn't want to stop on them just yet.  Back to the package - I was so inspired by her beautiful and creative way in which she did the envelopes that I will have to give that route a try myself.  What a great use for re-using paper bags! Not to mention, she also included an extra circular since they're so tiny it's easy to break them.  Check out this lovely package!

This looks to be a paper bag cut to size, folded double and sewn closed. I absolutely loved getting this in the mail!

I will be continuing my work on both colorwork projects this month, as well as adding them to the Ravelry group "12 in 2012". I haven't joined in with group knitting too much in the past, but I love having goals to get done because it always inspires me to complete new concepts and freshens up my thinking.

Note on my conversion to a new dye:
All the dyes I use for my yarn bases (organic and traditional) are professional acid dyes like other dyers use, with one huge difference. They are a innovative and unique pigment base because they have NO heavy metals in them. Heavy metals are toxic to people, animals and the environment. I no longer get a sore throat every time I dye yarn, I don't add toxins to the ground water from runoff, and you aren't knitting items worn against your skin that are toxic. The result is beautiful yarn, with a beautiful intention.  It really is for inspired indie knitter.

As for my shop, I'll be updating that within the next 2-3 months as I move towards some new structures within my business. Look for my new organic yarn bases as well as some older favorites like Twisted Sock.