Wednesday, October 31, 2007

slow but steady finishes the projects

That's at least what I'm hoping. I've got a lot of projects on various needles and I'm chugging along slowly on all of them, going from one to the next as my tiny attention span wanders on. I'm trying to get some christmas knitting in the mix as well, hopefully soon.

Here is the rundown, in case you're interested:

Tangled Yoke Cardigan:

tangled yoke progress

This is that lovely Eunny Jang cardigan from the fall Interweave Knits. I'm pretty smitten with it so far, but I'm also bored in the vast landscape of stockinette and trying to remember the beautiful cable coming up as a big reward. Still have to visit sleeve island however... next!

Fair Isle Mittens:

fair isle mitten progress

mitten detail.jpg

A couple of weeks ago, Gail the Kangeroo Dyer who sells beautiful handdyed yarns at WEBS, invited me over to play in her dye studio. It was a pile of fun to watch her work and play around with some color combinations myself. I also dyed some fingering weight shetland wool for fair isle mittens. The pinky red in the photo above is a result of dye fun day - also these crazy colors:

extra mitten yarn

I'm thinking about making a pair of fraternal mittens - purple + red and purple + green with aqua trim at the bottom. Somehow knitting with yarn you dyed is even more fun. This might fall under the christmas gift catagory, but I'm worried that I'll want to keep them... next

Man Socks:

man socks progress

Since it finally decided to be fall and actually cold around here, Elliott has been wearing his handmade socks a lot. I was getting the strong hint that he might like another pair, so I'm whipping some up out of Hello Yarn sock yarn. I was a little concerned that I wouldn't have quite enough, so I've knit the first sock up to the toe and started the second one from the other end of the ball. We'll see what happens. Nothing too fancy here, stockinette stitch knit toe down with a fancy eye of the partridge heel for good measure.

Shop Update:

new blockprinted cards

I been blockprinting like crazy and I have some new sets of "hens and chicks" cards available at the etsy store. Check them out!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

knitting away

There are so many great postings about Rhinebeck aka the New York Sheep and Wool festival milling about the blogsphere, I'm not sure what else I can report. I went on Saturday with my friend Rachel and had a really nice time. The weather was stunning, warm sunny and breezy but too hot for the bunny sweater which had to stay in the car. I forgot my camera, but imagine me inserting here pictures of cute sheep and goats, gorgeous wool, some guy standing on the back of two large draft horses with plumes on their bridles, fried pickles, the Ravelry meetup and that kind of thing. I may have managed to bring back a big bag of wool in anticipation of a spinning wheel. Maybe some yarn as well, who can say?

ironwork sock

Last week I managed to finish my first ironwork sock. Run, run now and check out this wonderful pattern available at KelpKnits.

clara cardigan

When you all weren't looking I managed to squeak out a store sample for WEBS. This is the Clara cardigan pattern knit in Valley Yarns Goshen in color 17 purple haze. That's all of the news on this end. I'll probably stop by the Franklin County Fiber Twist festival in Deerfield this Saturday because I can't resist a local wool festival. If you're in western Massachusetts you should check it out!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

fair isle bunnies FO

All done!

fair isle bunny cardigan

fair isle bunny cardigan  side view

fair isle bunny cardigan

Here are the specs:

pattern: my own, with much help from the EZ EPS system. The lovely bunnies charted pattern is from this site. I knit this puppy in the round from the bottom up with a center steek.

yarn: Cascade 220 plus various leftovers of worsted weight yarn

needles: knit picks options circular 6's and 4's for the folded hems

gauge: 20 sts. and 27 rows to 4 inches

notes: I'm pretty happy with how this one turned out. The sizing is right on and I'm really pleased with the color combinations and how the bunnies look around the yoke. On the down side, the buttonholes are a tiny bit too large for the buttons, and the buttonbands are pulling a little bit even though the sweater is not that tight. Also, the stripes under the yoke don't quite align, I think, because I started the rounds in the middle of the steak. Always more to learn, right?

I'll be wearing this one at Rhinebeck on Saturday, so if you see the bunnies stop and say hi! Hope to see you there.


Friday, October 05, 2007

catching up

There are all sorts of odds and ends to catch you up on, gifts that just showed up in the mail, last week's visit to the state fair, finished socks - stuff! Here we go.

1) Contest winners!!

drawing winners

A big thanks to everyone who entered, I've had a lot of fun reading your blogs. Elliott and I stopped work at noon, put everyone's name in a bowl, and picked out two winners for the blog-a-versary contest. Congratulations go to Linda J. who won the japanese style stab bound book and to Lisa who won the tasty thai green chili spice blend. I'll be emailing you shortly to get these treats off to you. If for some reason you don't hear from me in the next day or so, email me at yarnbee-at-gmail-dot-com.

2) Fabulous gifts


I had alluded to amazing gifts I had received from Lucy at Zebraknits when I got to visit her a few weeks ago. And I finally got my overflow package from Philadelphia today. Check out the beautiful handmade necklace and the stunning African fabrics. It will be a lot of fun to decide what to make out of them. And that's not all, Lucy also gifted me with a vintage knitting magazine from her mother-in-law's collection. A hilarious Spinnerin from 1967. Isn't this centerfold spread the best?! Bring on the parade!

poncho parade

3) The Big "E" State Fair Extravangaza

alpaca buddies

giant corn dog

more giant squash

floral sweater at big E

I'm a big fan of state fairs in general and our own crazy "big E" or more officially the Eastern States Expo. Apparently the new england states are too small to have separate state fairs. Anyways, I love watching the 4-H kids show their prize animals, and the overwhelming amount of deep fried food that is available. I also entered some knitting and won two second place ribbons and a third place. Apparently if I can figure out how to block better I might win a blue ribbon. It's good to have something to strive for :D

4) Finished socks

Here are the finished jaywalkers for my friend Tomoko's birthday. Only a few months belated! I used Kaffe Fassett's Regia sock yarn in the landscape fire colorway. Definitely not a lot of stretch to these puppies, I would try them on as you go. Otherwise fun all around.

fried green tomato monkeys

Finally finished monkeys, well one monkey. The other monkey is at WEBS having it's photo taken for their new catalog. It's showing off the new Franklin sock yarn colorway by the Kangeroo Dyer called of all things Fried Green Tomatoes. Should be available soon.

And soon to come - the finished big fair-isle bunny cardigan photo shoot - just sorting out the button situation. Okay all up to speed - have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

oh steek cutting you're not so scary!

First of all, I'm so excited to see so many entries for the blog-a-versary contest. Thanks all for visiting and throwing your name in the hat. If you haven't entered it's not too late, you have until noon on Friday the 5th to win one of two homemade treats. Just leave a comment on this post.

And secondly, I cut the steek on the big bunny fair isle sweater. It's really not so scary as it seems, especially with a little planning. Why steek you ask, pulling on your hair in despair? Mostly, in this case, because of the fair isle section. Knitting stranded color in the round is SO MUCH easier (for me) than knitting back and forth. Purling with two colors makes me twitch. And also because I knit so much faster than I purl. Speed and ease can be good.

ready to cut steek

Here she is ready to go. You can see if you look closely that I've added 7 extras stitches in the center that act as the steek. I'm not going to go into too much depth on steeks as there are a bunch of fabulous sites that cover all things steeks much better than I would, such as this or this.

steek detail

I decided to use crochet to secure the steek. There are other options, such as using a sewing machine to secure the steek stitches before cutting, but my sewing machine has strange tension issues, so crochet for me. Plus you get such a nice finished edge after cutting. The orange lines are the crocheted steek-securing stitches. Here is my favorite tutorial for this kind of steek action.

steek detail

If you look closely you can see that I'll be cutting the little red horizontal "ladders" in between the orange crochet stitches.

cutting in progress

Here are the first few stitches cut - see how nothing unraveled?

cut steek edge

And here is the cut steek. The crochet stitches gives the cut steek a really clean finished edge that naturally folds in on itself. Now for buttonbands!