Friday, October 28, 2016

Christmas Knitting!!!!!!

Around this time of year, I get an itch to start knitting gifts for my family for Christmas.  Last year I resisted this impulse until the last moment and only succumbed to do a hat for my son-in-law.  This year, I have not resisted and am now busily planning projects that will probably either make me stay up all night knitting or knit well into the new year.  But hey!  It's Christmas!  And I have grandchildren to show my love to.  Never mind that they'd rather have a gift card for the mall.  I might give them a bit of both hahahaha.  Gotta spoil them as much as I can!

My daughter never misses an opportunity to give me ideas about what she'd like.  Facebook apparently has all kinds of influence to reach non-knitting folks with knitting ideas.  First there was this Poncho type thing called Azel pullover

My question was, for herself or for her 6 year old daughter?  The answer?  Meeeeeee!  LOL

OK.  Fine.  I got some wool/acrylic yarn (shudder) from Knit Picks in a dark grey which she picked out and made it.  I'm waiting for buttons from the UK to arrive.  I think I'll do one for her daughter as well, but this time, I'M picking the yarn and will get something natural and cozy and not slick and nasty.  I am surprised that Knit Picks yarn is not so nice.  Usually I like their stuff.  But I don't like the feel of acrylic.  However, it is more washable.  (sigh)

Then she sends me another Facebook post.  Really?  And this time it's my nemisis, STRANDED colorwork.  (Danger music)   I have done one stranded project, or rather, I have started one colorwork project, a pair of socks that were so cute I just had to try them.  They are still in time out from two years ago.

My tension is HORRIBLE with stranded knitting.  If I pull snug like I should for socks, then there is no give in the fabric, so no way to get the things on your foot.  If I loosen up my tension, then the things get HUGE.  I've never seen a pair of socks so big.  How does one deal with that?  I just gave up...

So now I'm thinking of doing a pair of fingerless arm warmers for my oldest granddaughter.  I even have the yarn dyed up and ready to go.  But I am worried about doing this kind of knitting on the bus to work.  So we will have to see.  They are cute and it would be fun and funky knitting.  I guess I will have another go at it.  I'll post pictures as I get going.  I have to decide the color sequence or maybe just wing it.  We'll see.

Wish me luck!

Friday, October 14, 2016

25% off Sale on my Etsy shop

I am having a 25% off sale for everything in my shop, with a minimum purchase of $20 through 11/30

Use coupon code FALL2016
New things are of course, hand dyed yarns and patterns.  My latest pattern is actually a quilt pattern.  If you like my Tree of Plenty quilt, you can use the pattern to make one of your own.  Complete instructions in how to design, assemble and quilt your own Tree of Plenty.  Includes a color chart and details of everything you need to make it.   I will be doing more quilt patterns in the future, but now I'm working on a sweater pattern and completely obsessed with it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I finished a new cowl pattern and have it posted on my etsy shop and in my Ravelry shop.  It's knitted in an Estonian Starflower lace pattern and 85% angora rabbit fingering weight yarn.  I love working with the IAGARB Blizzard yarn because it is so light and soft and warm.  I've done quite a few of my designs in this yarn and it always inspires me.

My mom sent me an inspirational picture of a store bought cowl and this is what I came up with.  I hope she likes it.  It is written for an intermediate knitter or an adventuresome beginner and is a pretty fast knit because I used a larger needle which makes the pattern more lacy and allows the gorgeous angora yarn room to bloom.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dyeing a little

I did some low immersion dyeing last weekend and it was fabulous!  So pretty!  I had a great time and dyed 12 skeins of sparkle yarn.  It is very soft and lovely and I put the results up on my shop.

This one is my favorite of the 6 colorways so far.  Called Arizona Sunset.  I used acid dyes and low immersion dyeing.  I will do it again soon!  It was awesome.  Check it out at 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rainbow Gamayun Bird Shawl

I have started knitting more shawls to get a feel for the type of patterns there are out there and how they are written/laid out/etc.  I enjoyed knitting this shawl because I enjoyed the combination of the pattern and the yarn.  I used the yarn that the author used because I loved the rainbow around the edge of the shawl.  it turned out nicely and I realized that I needed more blocking squares if I'm going to block more shawls.

I also just love all things rainbow!

Monday, April 28, 2014

A new obsession

So I have been obsessing over making my own stitch markers lately.  I use them a lot for lace and sometimes for sock knitting and love bright colors.  I saw some rainbow ones and HAD to have some.  So I found a supplier for colored jump rings.  I have a ton of beads of all kinds, so no problems there.  Then I spent the weekend gluing beads onto aluminum rings and sorting out rubber rings into pretty color combinations.  It was fun and I posted a number of them in my Fiberaddict Designs Etsy shop.  Here are a few pictures:

So pretty!  Now I can get back to my knitting!  Maybe.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

All About LIfelines

I've learned a tough lesson recently about lifelines, specifically I mean life lines in your knitting.  I have been working on the LeStrange Cloak from the Unofficial Harry Potter knits book, using my own hand-spun dark brown llama lace weight yarn.  The body of the sweater is knitted bottom up with 4 repeats of a 42 row lace chart with lots of knit two and knit three togethers, single and double yarn overs.  It's beautiful lace, or it will be when I block it.   I was on the 1st repeat after the armhole separation, knitting all three sections at once, halfway through the 5th total repeat of that endless lace chart.

Then the unthinkable happened.  The cable on my 3.25mm fixed circular needle from KnitPicks pulled loose and came out and I didn't notice until I was through one side of the front and most of the back of the sweater.  Horrors!  I surveyed the damage and it was extensive.  I sent off a panicked note to KnitPicks who warrants their needles for life.  But getting another needle was the easy part.  I had a spare and although it had a slight imperfection that made it catch my stitches, I got it out and got to work.

Anyone who knits lace can tell you how hard it is to pick up stitches on a lace piece.  And I've done it many times before, but usually on socks or something smaller.  Problem 1:  the yarn is SO DARK.  It's hard to see.  Problem 2: It's only a two ply and very thin.  It also is fuzzy and tends to stick together a little bit.  ARGHHH!  Problem 3:  Oh the lace, all the stitches that twist and turn and are pulled into each other in a lovely lace design just go crazy when you release them from their bonds.  The yarn overs disappear, the knit togethers pull apart and then the piece opens up and loses it's shape.  Oh man...

I wish I had put in a life line....

Life lines in knitting are a fail safe measure, kind of like a safety belt when you drive.  If you have an accident, jump up suddenly, have a needle break or the cat decides to rearrange your knitting, the life line will get you up and going in less time than if you don't have one.  My interchangeable KnitPicks needles have a little hole to allow you to effortlessly string a life line while you are knitting, but I was using a fixed cable needle and I do admit I RARELY thread a life line even with the nice hole for it.  Or I never used to.  If there is no nice hole, you have to take a needle and some slick cotton thread, preferably a contrasting color, and thread it through each stitch on the needle.  Then you have to knit around it which is a bit of a pain unless it's fairly thin.  And don't put it through your stitch markers or you'll have bigger issues.  But it's worth it, oh yes.  And this is why:

I spent probably 8 hours, actual knitting hours, unknitting my piece, one stitch at a time until I found all the dropped stitches and backed out enough knitting that I was getting the consistent count on my lace repeats and then knitted it all back the way I had come.  I got back to my original place where the disaster occurred, 3 days later and then I ran a life line through it to save my place.  8 hours that I could have used toward knitting!  I could have been ready to knit the sleeves by now!

If you run a lifeline, you can just rip back taking minimal time to return to a state of having all stitches accounted for.  This saves at least half the time it takes to recover from a mistake.  Of course, the more lifelines you put in, the safer you are.  We'll see how many I use, but I am determined to turn over a new leaf and use lifelines in my knitting.  My knitting time is too precious to be used on ripping back, one stitch at a time.

I am now moving forward, hopefully wiser, again with lessons learned and I thought I'd share them with you all.  A picture of my knitting with it's lifeline inserted.  Happy Knitting!