Sunday, July 15, 2007

Empty Nest

The studio shelves are feeling a bit empty since the departure of 240 skeins of Yarn Lovely goodness. I'm still recovering from the like that. It's so nice to feel that all the beautifully painted skeins are yours to do with what you will. I subconsciously plan projects for certain colorways and am a bit baffled when I actually have time to knit and the skeins are no longer there. Yes, I know that I could walk upstairs and dye some up for myself, but it feels like someone has played a cheap trick on me, nonetheless. I know it was there, and I just want it to be there now!

You see the torture that us indie dyers live with everyday? ;)

I have been knitting again. It's nice, and I miss it when I'm crazy busy pushing the yarn monster forward....i.e. dyeing a big order. Right now I have on the needles:
* Bellatrix socks: I am a member of Socktopia, but I've been remiss lately. Not in knitting socks, but in posting them. I can't get into the new forums, and it's really put a damper on my enjoying the group. Their patterns are amazing! I was supposed to be wearing these socks to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on opening night, but I didn't make it. I was too busy finishing my mom's birthday socks instead.

I'm using sport weight yarn for these, and changing the pattern substantially. It's really fun though, and I have two yarns picked out for another pair of these. I'm planning on holding them doubled, for a more spooky effect. The bottom of my current pair is ribbed - the large stitches created by the pattern were making me nervous (I ripped out 3/4 of a finished sock earlier today, because I was convinced having the large stitches across the bottom of my instep were just asking for them to wear out.) The heavier yarn makes the holes a lot bigger, so I'm also compensating by doing 3 additional knitted rows between the "holey" rows. I'll keep you updates as they grow.

* Simple Knitted Bodice: I'm knitting this up in kettle dyed Guinevere. She's an amazing 50% tussah silk/ 50% merino wool blend that's heavenly. I'm still at the swatch stage now. Nearly done with the swatch...or at least this one. I haven't measured it yet. The size 7s that I'm working on feel like small tree trunks compared to the 1s and 0s that I've been working with exclusively for the past two moths. I'll post some in progress pics as I move forward. This is my first sweater (Adult sized, that is.) and I'm terribly excited.

Yarn Love Hits Detroit
Get yourself over to City Knitting for Sockfest! You'll find us there! Say "hi!" to Lorilee for me too. More will be coming. Our Scarlett base has just come in after a long back order, and Lorilee will have the first shipment! Yay! Happy sock knitting!

Craft Education Online
For your crafting entertainment:
* Crochet and Knit 911
* Yarn Standards
* Embroidery Stitch Dictionary
* The Walker Treasury Project

Next post - crochet, crochet, and more crochet! Woo hoo!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Yarn Has Left the Building.

All 240 skeins of it. I ended up sending it all out on the same day. Cassie, the Yarn Helper Extraordinaire came by after work to help me get things out. If it weren't for her, I totally would not have made it. I managed NOT to cuss out my yarn winder, even though I really wanted to. (I should have bought the Fricke....and believe me, I am saving up!) It was a mad dash to the UPS store, and we arrived 4 minutes before they were supposed to close only to find that the metal gate had been pulled across the store front. Luckily, the gal who works there had just come to the front door to lock up. I hopped out, mustered a friendly, but pitiful face and asked if I could mail a box. Just one box, but a huge box. And when I say huge, I mean huge. To the tune of 70lbs of yarn, huge. With the flaps up, it's taller than my waist, with them taped down, mid thigh. Yeah, a really big box. So she graciously let me mail off the huge order to The Loopy Ewe. It was such a nice feeling. Next time, I will dye two days on, one day of winding so that I have a happy mix. It's just that the dyeing is so much fun and I'm addicted to putting colors together and seeing how they turn out. Frantic photos were snapped of the new colorways, while Cassie was busy plunking yarn into the box. We were carefully plunking, lovingly plunking, but with a decent amount of swiftness too....

It feels good to have such a large order off to it's home. I hope you all enjoy it when it makes it's way up at The Loopy Ewe. I especially hope that you enjoy the new colors. I had so much fun making them! I did however take a "knitting day" on Tuesday. I just sat and knit while listening to knitting podcasts all felt good. I'm sure you know just what I mean.

"Knitting Day" Links
I've been gathering fun links for you. I am attempting to organize them via theme, so that they're more enjoyable and make more sense. So if you've been working hard, take time out to visit these sites, and put together your own "Knitting Day".

What is a "Knitting Day"? Well, a Knitting Day is a day where you spend the day doing things that are thoroughly enjoyable and allow you stop worrying about your usual cares. Knitting Days can be as long and short as you like, and I usually have more fun if I have one or two fun act ivies planned.

On my last knitting day I started some new socks, and continued working on a rather new project - my Jaywalker Scarf. I'm using the idea behind the Chevron Scarf and applying it to a slightly different ripple pattern. I tried doing the regular Chevron Scarf 3 times and couldn't get it to work out. Of course, I don't own the book, and it's out at the library. So I improvised. I'm using Cider Moon Flurry yarn in Positano and Pistachio. Hopefully it will be a great toned down accessory for my brand new, hot pink, knee length winter parka. mhm.

I cued up some backlogged knitting podcasts, put together a chocolate caramel mocha and went to town. It was lovely. I also cooked some yummy food for dinner, because I am all about yummy food. Oh, and I ordered Knitting Without Tears from Amazon too.

For your knitting day, here are some fun sites for perusing. They'll help you put together activities and fun for your very own Knitting Day.

Project Planning: cool weather is coming. It's time to, plan! - awesome patterns. I really love the search function in the archives when I'm looking for something specific. - another lovely knitting mag - the mecca of free patterns. I love that it's broken down into very specific garments/project types.

Eating: Very important if you're a foodie like me
Pioneer Woman Cooks - the most hysterical food blog I've ever read. Definitely visit - even if you have no intention of cooking. Great looking recipes, too.
Cookie Chemistry 1 - a site about making great cookies
Cookie Chemistry 2 - another site dedicated to cookies - a huge site of free recipes - my favorite food magazine's online resource. Free recipes, yum!

Listening: Podcasts I love
Cast-On: with Brenda Dayne. My first love!
Knit Pick's Podcast: episode 10 has book recs for putting together a Knitting Night
CraftLit: amazing literature combined with wit and knitting. I love Heather, too.

Wasting Time: fun things to do when you just need to waste time
3D Paper Art: amazing and beautiful. You have to see it to believe it!
Hook Line and Sinker Game: don't ask how many hours I've spent doing this....
Post Secret: People make postcards with their secrets and mail them to this blog. It's a really intriguing place. Be aware that some secrets contain strong images and language. I always spend a good deal of time thinking after I visit.

There you go - a bit of a start to planning your own knitting day!