Monday, April 25, 2016

WIP: Reyna #2

I just couldn't help myself. I had to cast on for another Reyna Shawl.

I was originally planning on knitting my second one using sport or worsted weight yarn, but I couldn't help but wonder what my handpainted sock yarn might look like in this shawl.

So I decided to go with my "Fairy Cove" sock yarn that I dyed back in 2007. It's been waiting patiently for 9 years to become something wonderful. 9 years. Wow. I really should open that sock drawer more often.

Spring is finally here, and it's wonderful to see plants come back to life. This photo was taken on my back stone patio by my lavander plant.
 Pattern: Reyna by Noora Laivola
Needles: Size US 4 circlar needles (Knitpicks' Caspian interchangeable tips)
Yarn: KUAS superwash blend fingering weight yarn, colorway "Fairy Cove" (lilac, periwinkle, silver, white and brown)
Start date: 4/18/16
The colors really look better in real life. I took this photo during twilight time, so the silver is not even showing up.

I hope you are enjoying the warming of the weather. Bring your project outside, sip on some tea or coffee and enjoy life to its fullest.

Friday, April 15, 2016

FO: Left Twist Rib Socks

 
Good morning,
Yesterday, I completed the pair of these Left Twist socks that I knit years ago for my grandma and published the pattern on Ravelry. I am quite happy with how they turned out. The great thing about this pattern, besides the fact that the pattern is really easy, is that you can use any yarn that you want. I mean, look how vibrant and variegated this colorway is...

The main pattern is a ribbing with a mock-cable, the LT (or left twist). I didn't even crack out a cable needle for the pattern, you use use your main needles.

Notes: the pattern is written for both DPN and Magic Loop users. 
Yarn: Under 400 yds Lorna's Lace Shephard Sock Multi in "Irving Park" (you can use any fingering weight yarn)
 Needles: one 40'' circular needle, size US 1.5/2.5mm

 The pattern is only 3 rds, so it's really easy to modify the length.
 Here's the original one from 2007:
        
 I hope you have a great weekend,

Thursday, April 07, 2016

WIP: Fall cardigan (knit during the spring)

I'm just a girl knitting a fall cardigan during the spring. Don't mind me.
Hey, at least it's been cold and snowy. It makes me feel a little bit better about my slacker self.

There will be pockets using the "afterthought" concept. I knit some stitches with waste yarn to unravel later so I can knit myself a stellar deep pocket.

You can track the cardigan's progress here on Ravelry.

Needles & yarn
US 10 - 6.0 mm
1,270 yards = 10 skeins
Pattern: My own design
3 skeins = 381.0 yards (348.4 meters), 300 grams
: Mesa Print
3 skeins = 381.0 yards (348.4 meters), 300 grams
: Desert Sun Mix
2 skeins = 254.0 yards (232.3 meters), 200 grams
: Taupe
1 skein = 127.0 yards (116.1 meters), 100 grams
Cranberry
1 skein = 127.0 yards (116.1 meters), 100 grams
Pumpkin

Saturday, April 02, 2016

The Knitting Up a Storm Craft Studio Tour

Welcome to my craft studio, dear friends.

My husband and I built this yarn pegboard organizer to store all of my favorite yarn, to give me the sense of being in a yarnstore and to provide constant inspiration. Underneath is a wooden frame, so that there is space between the board and wall to apply the hooks.

Sometimes I wander in the room and just glance at it, thinking of possibilities for each yarn. I've had some of this yarn for a long time, almost to the point where my project expectations are so lofty because of it's beauty, it's hard for me to use it because it won't be up on the hook anymore. Look at me talk like a crazy person. I get too attached.

In this small nursery-turned spare room, I will give you a wonderful, almost Willy Wonka-like tour of half of this room, which is mine. The other half of the room I will leave up to your wild imagination of what my husband has done to his (small) side for his "office."

This tour is jam-packed with eyecandy goodies--yarn, notion holders, project displays, how I store my supplies...etc. Hopefully this tour will give you some inspiration if you are wondering what to do with your own stash. Pretty yarn shouldn't be crammed in bins and shelves, my friends. It should be out to tempt you to use it.
Please keep in mind that this collection has been over a decade of hoarding years in the making. This doesn't just happen overnight. It's also not for the faint of heart. Oh, I'm not talking about you. I was talking about your husband, room-mate, etc.   :)

On the yarn shelf are three sock forms that I use to display my sock patterns. I try not to keep them on them because it will overstretch the socks out of shape. I have a few stitchionaries that I keep out. I have all of my other books on a narrow bookshelf on the other side of he room.

Below is a plate lazy suzan that you use for little tea sandwiches or desserts. It has a lovely grey bird design on it that I got at Marshall's. While not in use, I store yarn on it.
So this is where I keep my dpns. I love the idea of storing these puppies in a tall coffee mug. Seems cozy. I have two necklace stands in this room. This one is for my "Lovely Cords" pattern. The other one is holding my ecclectic bird necklace that I made.
My straight needles have always been stored in a whimsical looking wine case. You can find these at a craft store such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Joanne's. Once again, it's the perfect height for most needles so you can see each size. I don't use straights anymore (I'm a huge fan of circular needles for any project), but I feel I should keep them at least for a decorative purpose.
On the right side of the pegboard, I have most of my circular needles (expect for some interchangeable needle tips and such that are in the binders that the set came in) organized by size and length. The top is all of the long cables, and the bottom are the shorter cables.

Psst- the painting is from my mixed media artist friend Gina Lee Kim, who regularly is featured in the Cloth, Paper Scissors magazine. It looks great next to my sunset yarns, but I really need to find a proper frame for it and hang it up.
 
I love Victorian things and anything that reminds me of a garden (one of my favorite childhood books is "The Secret Garden"), and so I like to use something like a teacup to store odds and ends, and also this little plastic twist container for things such as pins, travel sized thread and buttons. 
Now, I want you to realize that my organization is NOT perfect or pleasing to the eyes. I do have plenty of closet space crammed in with bins and everything non-yarny. This is the spare bedroom closet, but my own closet has more craft bins and various yarn crammed in shelving spaces. 

In the bins are beading supplies, buttons, glue guns, stamps and endless things that I've collected over the years. I also have all of my leftover sock yarn that I will eventually use to make a memory-keeper's blanket. I have yarn dyes hidden behind, as well as my collapsible yarn swift, ball-winder, sewing supplies and more. 

I don't even have room for my spinning wheel in here anymore. I keep it in my bedroom, along with the roving in a long bin shoved next to our dresser and our wall.
However, let's just look at the pretty places. Places filled with inspiration and  wonder. My son is photobombing, weighing some tee-shirt yarn on my little scale. He literally told me "mommy, you're always around this yarn. It's all about the yarn, isn't it?" Yes babe. I think you are starting to understand my ways. :)

 
So this is my desk. It's old, probably from the 90's, but I have matching shelving (a book shelf of knitting books that isn't in this picture tour), and also the yarn shelves next to it. I like lightly colored wood and the fact that it's a corner desk. I don't actually sit here ever though. If I knit, it's usually on the couch or at the kitchen table while watching podcasts. 
I recently bought this project journal. I am filling it with yarn labels, yarn scraps and notes. I also bought this awesome faux-luggage box for my knitted socks. Some pairs are missing from the box when I took this photo. I've seen lots of podcasters talk about this journaling and sock box idea, such as the YarnGasm podcast. I figured I'd go to Ross and see if they have these items for cheap. They did.
My KnitCity bag from NY and the "Winter is Coming" bag that my husband ordered me for Christmas is hanging on the door. Next to the door is "Victoria," my knitwear model that I got from TJMaxx a few years back. Right now, she is wearing my "Forget Me Not" shawl that I designed while my grandpa was in the hospital with a stroke. He's no longer around, so I think of it as a memory shawl for him.
In the bins are various weighted yarn that are caked or commercially balled. Most of my sock yarn is in the top two bins. The yarn visible has multiple layers of variegated or striping yarn, and I always look at them and think, how can I learn to knit socks faster so I can get to these? 
 
On the pegbaord, the yarn is also organized by weight. To save on space, I have put about 3-5 skeins per hook on there. 

Well folks, that's about it. If you have any questions, shoot me a message. i have I have inspired you for your own little crafting nook. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

FO: 2x2 Premier Yarns Socks

I am pleased to announce that I have completed my 2x2 socks with a stockinette foot. They fit great, and I am very happy with the colorwork print from the yarn.

One of the group members from my Knitting Up a Storm, the blog group page told me that premier yarns made a blurb about this WIP on 3/14!

I am beyond estatic.  I mean, they were WIP's! Is it bad that I secretly hope they gift me yarn? ;) A girl can dream, huh?

Pattern: none... just "vanilla socks" with 2x2 ribbing on the leg portion
Needles: size US 1 (2.25 mm) Addi Turbo circular needle (approx. 40'')
Yarn: Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight Prints (Merino/Bamboo blend); Colorway: mint. You can buy this at Hobby Lobby.
2 skeins used with almost 200 yds each left.
Method: Top-down, 2-at-a-time (Magic Loop)
Notes: 64sts, 2x2 ribbing leg (5.25''), slip stitch heel (2.5''), stockinette foot.

Here's some close-ups of the yarn:
 
I really like the print for this yarn. It's not perfect like Opal Yarn, but a fine alternative budget-wise. 

 On to work on the start of my second "LT Sock" (to un-orphan the first sock from many years ago)...

Thursday, March 10, 2016

WIP: 2x2 socks and stash enhancement eye candy

After a couple of weeks of my body feeling really "off," hurting and general fatigue (and after two doctor visits/testing sessions not producing any findings), I am happy to say that starting yesterday, I feel much better as a whole. My back still hurts, but most of my symptoms have calmed down. It was hard to get any knitting done, but I did manage to finish up on the leg ribbing that I started a long while back and complete the heels. Mostly, it was just me taking care of the boys, teaching and then sleeping as much as I could.

What a difference from the last sock. This colorway speaks to me MUCH better.

Needles: Size US 1 using "Addi Turbos"
 Method: Top-down, 2-at-a-time 
Cast-on Amount: 64 sts
Stitching: 2x2 ribbed leg, a slip-stitch heel, and stockinette foot

I really think that the faux-intarsia yarn patterning looks really good with US 1 sized needles. You can find this yarn at Hobby Lobby for I think $7/ea before a coupon.

Knitting this traditional heel on just one circular needle while working them "2-at-a-time" was a little bit of a challange. Turning the heel for the first one went smoothly, but after picking up stitches on one side of that heel, I realized that I would have to take the second sock off the needles because there was no way to access the other sock anymore without breaking the yarn. So, I "cheated," turned the second heel on dpns and transferred them back on the one circular needle as if nothing wrong had happened. I'll have to google the actual process of this.

Another awkward thing I encountered (having this be my first "2-at-a-time socks" with this sort of heel) was that since the heel is cupped chaped, I had to put some of the stitches from one side of the gusset onto the needle with my instep stitches. After the gusset was done, I transfered the leftover stitches back onto the bottom of the foot needle side.

Some new stash enhancements that I'd like to share with you:

I was at the store Tuesday Morning and scored pretty big with these Miski 100% baby llama yarn in a nice red wine color. I envision knitting up a nice chunky triangular or crescent shaped shawl and making a hat with any leftover yarn. The yarn is heavenly soft and still smells like freshly dyed wool. I may have sniffed them several times like yarn crack.
So gorgeous.

Also, several weeks back, I bought some Yarn Bee's Aurora Borealis yarn in hopes to re-knit and publish my "Punk Rock Tunic" in a different type of yarn.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

FO: Your Basic Hat (and FREE pattern)


Hey there
I'm making a point to "whip up knits" (well, not exactly, but doing the best that I can) and publish more knits. I'm sure you've already noticed that though...considering most posts these days are FO's with a pattern. Here's another one, but this time it's FREE. Yup, that's right.
 
  download now

It's the perfect unisex hat. It can be slouchy for a woman, and also folded to be more masculine. This pattern is also the perfect blank canvas for textured stitch patterns or colorwork, so may find yourself using this pattern time after time.

Click here for more pattern details. 



I'm curious, who wore it better? I've already hinted to my huband that it looks great as a slouch on me, and maybe I should keep it?  ;) 
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