Episode 15: FOs All Over!

In today’s episode, I chat about my FOs: the Aileas Cardigan and Loop Shawl! I take a trip to Ravelry for some excellent new patterns that I’ll be knitting up: the Ella Cardigan and Rebel Shawl (brioche!!). And, of course, I feature lots of indie dyers and fiber folk! Giveaway announcement towards the end 🙂

 

Show Notes:

 

Posted in Aileas, big projects, Ella, episode, FO, information, knitting, Loop Pattern, project bags, spinning, Uncategorized, video, Woodhouse Knits, yarn | 5 Comments

Waiting for Ella

**If you are looking for the GIVEAWAY and PODCAST, click here**

Ever since last month’s teaser from Jennifer Woodhouse (of Woodhouse Knits), I have been having these vague and shadowy dreams of the *perfect* little lace and cable cardigan. Her tiny sleeve snippet was all I needed. And it’s perhaps why all of the other sweaters in my Rav favorites bundle have lost their glow for me (at least for the moment). Today, the pattern dropped and Ella became a sweet, sweet reality: next sweater sorted, cable and lace galore (my favorite combination), and light spring/fall wardrobe staple identified.

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I’m going to knit it up in the recommended yarn (for once!) and there is even a discount on theElla pattern site for anyone purchasing the yarn from Polka Dot Sheep. Have at it people! Ella has finally arrived!

Having knit Jennifer’s patterns before, I know that this one will be well-constructed; there will be minimal errata, and the design will be stunning. I also know that this will require some skill and concentration; lace and cable combos take some time, but they are SO worth it.

If you are interested in Jennifer Woodhouse’s work, you should totally join her newsletter (discount codes!! pattern previews!!), check out her Ravelry group, join her KAL for Ella, and generally peruse her patterns. I have found her to be very responsive to pattern queries and, she’s just all-around funky and cool.

Posted in cardigan, community, found, Jennifer Wood, pattern, sweater, unicorns, Woodhouse Knits, yarn | 7 Comments

Indie Dyer: Susan Gomes of WitchCandy

Happy weekend everyone! I’m so excited to feature Susan Gomes of WitchCandy this weekend. I have been smitten with Susan’s work for a LONG time–especially her “Birch Fire,” “Utah Mesa,” and “Sunset Hair,” which are super hard to get a hold of. There is a certain whimsy and vibrancy to Susan’s color combinations. I know I fell in love when I saw her knee socks knit with a beautiful gradient yarn. Plus, Susan is well regarded in the indie community and folks in many of my FB groups snap up her yarn as fast as she can make it. So, first things first: some eye candy from WitchCandy 🙂 and then, the interview!

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How did you get into dyeing?
When my kids were little I was really into knitting things for them.  There was an indie dyer who’s yarn I couldn’t get enough of—Lindsay Baker of Family Roots Legacy—who dyed in vibrant colors I wasn’t seeing at any of my local yarn shops.  Lindsay took time off from dyeing and, lucky for me, put out an e-book that was perfect for beginners and also included a few of her “recipes.” My boyfriend purchased her ebook for me for Christmas one year and that set me on this path.

What is your favorite fiber to dye?
I would say anything with some silk content.  Colors blend so beautifully on silk bases and light just seems to dance right off of it’s sheen.

Where do you find inspiration? 
EVERYWHERE! nature of course, art, music, food, photographs, thoughts in my head, even my kids’ messy rooms!  it is really true that inspiration is everywhere if you are paying attention and open to seeing it.

Any advice for new dyers?
Yes, try everything! don’t be afraid to screw up, it’s just yarn (yes, I said that!). Don’t always follow the rules of color theory–sometimes mixing “taboo” colors creates the most beautiful results. just play with color and you will build a filing cabinet in your head of colors that work together so that when you see inspiration, you can translate it to yarn. try lots of different techniques; kettle dye, pan dye, squirt on dye, paint it on, sprinkle it on dry, etc.  There are so many different ways to apply dye and they all create very different results.  Experimenting with various techniques will help you develop a style that works for you.

Where can folks find your shop online? 
I have an Etsy shop (www.witchcandy.etsy.com) and I’m also on Facebook and Instagram under the name Witch Candy Yarn

What’s NEW on the horizon for your shop?
I am starting to dye yarn sets which is new for me. I have also been turning over the idea of building a studio so that I can dye in larger batches, I just have to decide if I want to make that leap.

***

Thanks so much, Susan!

I love farm visits and meeting new people (and sheep!): if you are a hand spinner, a shepherdess, a small flock owner, a dyer, a mill operator, or a wool trader, I would love to feature your work on this site. Please get in touch via email or Ravelry by clicking the “About” tab (above)

Posted in color, color palette, colorway, community, indie dyer, interview, knitting, sock yarn, Uncategorized, WitchCandy, yarn, yarn shopping, yarn-lover | 7 Comments

What if Everyone was Knitting?

**If you are looking for the GIVEAWAY and PODCAST, click here**

When you’re nervous, some say you should imagine your audience in their underwear. I think this sounds awkward. And ineffective. But, who am I to judge?

When I’m out in public at a soccer game or sitting in a meeting or waiting in an airport, I do imagine everyone around me  . . . knitting. Yep. Fully clothed, but totally immersed in the fiber arts. At some point along my knitting journey, perhaps when I read Kate Davies book about Haps and piecework or when I learned about the mitten quotas in Iceland, I began to look around me and imagine the scads of knitwear that we could collectively produce. What if everyone was knitting? Would we be happier? More productive, surely. Would we dread knitting as an imposed social requirement? Would we all be a little more zen?

And this question led me down another rabbit hole: thinking about all of the stitches I fit into the interstices–not just the evening marathon sessions, but the quiet moments waiting in a line, or during a car trip the the grocery store, or sitting on the porch in the sunshine for a quick morning work break. All of those tiny moments add up to sweaters and socks and shawls. As my husband would say: it’s like the strangely improbably task of eating a bowl of soup one spoonful at a time; and then suddenly it’s done and you’re full! Ok, maybe that’s a weird analogy, but you get my point. Little stitches, after little stitches, adding up to make something beautiful and warm and colorful.

Posted in community, Knit in public, knitting, not knitting, unexpected | 11 Comments

Late Night Favorites

**If you are looking for the GIVEAWAY and PODCAST, click here**

I am a poor sleeper. I’d rather be up late and–more and more–up early. It’s those rare hours that allow me to get some work and fun done before the mad rush of the day’s distractions. But my husband likes to go to sleep early, and so, I often find myself tucked in and wide awake. What’s a lady to do? How about spending a lot of time on Ravelry!

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My favorites list has grown by leaps and bounds–and I’m fairly discriminating . . .

What this really means is that I have a massive stash of pattern dreams, inspiration, and go-tos when I need something new on the needles. And, it’s a great opportunity to think about garment and fabric construction. I find that when I’m a little tired, I absorb it all as if through osmosis 🙂 It’s as if I’ve knitted it all in my sleep.

Anyone else a late night Raveler? How many patterns are in your favorites?

Posted in community, favorites, found, library, patterns, unexpected | 13 Comments

Episode 14: Windy WIPs and GIVEAWAY!

In today’s episode, I chat about WIPs while enjoying the outdoors! I also take a look back at some early spinning and knitting work as an encouragement to beginners. And, of course, I feature lots of indie dyers and fiber folk! There is a GIVEAWAY for an issue of PLY Magazine and a gorgeous batt from Ranching Tradition Fiber (details below) . . .

BTW: My apologies for the occasional wind blasts in the video–I did not have my husband’s camera and microphone at my disposal this weekend 🙂

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Giveaway! Got some advice for new spinners and knitters? –> Leave a comment on Episode 14 (YouTube) OR in the Episode 14 Thread in our Ravelry Group telling us about your beginnings as a knitter or spinner! Close Date: May 19th; winner announced May 20th!

Show Notes:

Posted in community, episode, fiber, fiber art, FiberTrek, handspun, HedgeHog FIbers, knitting, learning, Loop Pattern, Old Crow Art Yarns, sock yarn, spinning, video, Wild Lily Artisan Fibers, yarn | 7 Comments

Loop by Casapinka

I have joined a couple of sock yarn clubs–something I was always skeptical of doing. But I love surprises and there are very few *good* surprises in life, thus: sock yarn clubs! But this means that I have an even bigger bin of variegated yarns (I know, I know, *problems*? lol)

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I’ve long looked for patterns that break up variegated yarns, allowing them to shine, but not overpower. So, I was super excited to find “Loops” by Casapinka. I had just received a lovely skein from Megan of Old Crow ArtYarns, colorway “The Wolfman,” in her Fiber Fright Box. And, a lovely skein of sock yarn from Hedgehog Fibers in “Aqua Zoo.” Together, they are making something even more beautiful than they could create alone. I’ll talk about the shawl a bit more on Podcast 14, but for now, I’ll leave you with this beauty and a question: what are your favorite patterns for variegated yarns??

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Posted in community, HedgeHog FIbers, knitting, Old Crow Art Yarns, shawl, sock yarn, unexpected, unicorns, variegated yarn, WIP, yarn, yarn-lover | 13 Comments