T-Pins Tip

I’ve been working on my Persian Dreams Blanket (somewhat secretively), but I had to share this quick tip: if you need a lot of T-pins for blanket squares, hexis, or lacework, head over to your local office supply store! Do not go to a big box yarn store or even your favorite online yarn dealer . . . a box of T-pins at one of these places can cost $3-5 for about 20 pins! Whoa. Turns out your local office supply store has some great T-pins on offer in massive quantities for cheap. Here is the comparison:

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Happy blocking! And don’t forget to enter the Knitting in France giveaway: to enter, leave a comment on the blogpost, on Episode 12 of the podcast, OR in the Ravelry group! Contest ends April 22!

Posted in blanket, blocking, found, hacks, knitting, Persian Dreams Blanket, tips, tricks and tips | 9 Comments

FO: Ebba Pullover

We finally had some fading sunlight and a free moment; so, Spencer took some awesome pictures of my Ebba Pullover. It’s fully washed and blocked, now, and the colorwork came out remarkably even for my first try 🙂 Happy Tuesday! And don’t forget to enter the Knitting in France giveaway: to enter, leave a comment on the blogpost, on Episode 12 of the podcast, OR in the Ravelry group! Contest ends April 22!

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Posted in color, colorwork, Ebba Pullover, FO, giveaway, knitting, Knitting in France, sweater, unicorns | 12 Comments

Episode 12: Combs and a Giveaway!

Happy to launch Episode 12 today, in which I chat about my new (used) English combs, sock and sweater WIPs, sockyarn clubs, a singles spin, and the awesome fiber and yarn of Knitting in France. Plus, a giveaway!! Wahooo! (see below for INFO!)

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To enter the Knitting in France giveaway, visit Bogga’s Etsy shop and leave a comment about your favorite colorway in ANY ONE of the following places:

  1. Here on the blog
  2. via Instagram (post your favorite Knitting in France skein w/ tag #KnittinginFrancegiveaway)
  3. In the YouTube comments section for Episode 12
  4. in the Knitting in France giveaway thread in our Ravelry group

The giveaway will close April 22th and I’ll pick a winner 🙂

Good luck!

And, as always, head over to the Ravelry group to introduce yourself: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/knittingthestash

SHOW NOTES

Posted in combed top, combs, community, episode, giveaway, handspun, video | 19 Comments

CrAzY singles!

First, thank you all so much for your well wishes–I’m happy to report that I am on the mend! No more fever, at the very least. And I feel like less of a pariah online, as there is NO chance of getting anyone else sick!

Trouble is, when I was coming out of my stupor, I decided that the best medicine was spinning . . . no trouble, at all, you might say .  . . well, it is when you somehow think you’re gonna spin–and full–some singles out of that last SW fiber you have in your stash. Right. Fever be gone!

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Funny, though, I do like the results! Even if no fulling will ever happen and even if they are a bit over twisted because there was no way to beat out the extra spin. Damn if they aren’t pretty to look at. Now, to see how they knit up!

Off to rest and work, while resting, a bit more. On deck: a podcast AND a giveaway from Knitting in France!! Stay tuned!

Posted in experiment, How'd THAT happen??, singles, spinning, superwash, unexpected, yarn | 14 Comments

Too Sick . . .

. . . to even pick up the needles. Sigh. [Cough]

I have had the flu perhaps 1 other time in my life; it’s a memory I won’t soon forget: Little House on the Prairie marathons, writhing in bed with a high fever, coughing . . . you get the picture. Well, this flu was less devastating, but I pretty much slept through the weekend–including my son’s soccer tournament. I *still* have a fever, five days later, but I’m hoping to be well enough to teach my grad seminar tomorrow. We shall see.

Before I was rendered basically unconscious, I did start up my second Aileas! And here is the picture to prove it. I love the heathered pink yarn and, after all of the pattern maths, I think this one will turn out OK despite the difference in gauge. You see, I voted for the size 7 needle fabric, which was about .5 off the row and stitch counts. I love the fabric, though, and so, made the leap to work out the modifications. And now . . . I’ll be nodding off again. ZZZzzzZZzz

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Posted in Aileas, custom pattern, knitting, knitting math, pattern, sweater, unicorns, WIP | 22 Comments

Indie Dyer Feature: Sarah Hand

This weekend, it’s laboratory time! I have an interview with Sarah Hand of One Hand in the Dyepot. Sarah hails from Canada (hey, and I’ve said this before–so many awesome Canadian fiberistas out there!). Like some of the other awesome indie dyers I have featured before (including Jennifer Beamer of Expertly Dyed), Sarah approaches dyeing through chemistry. Her colorways are fun and playful and she is just getting her Etsy shop underway . . . so here’s your chance to support the fledgeling indie community! Enjoy the photos (all courtesy of Sarah) and the interview below. Thanks for stopping by on this fine Saturday 🙂

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How did you get into dyeing? 
Ever since I started knitting, I have been fascinated by the idea of experiencing all of the steps necessary to take sheep’s wool and turn it into yarn. Before I started dyeing, I dabbled in spinning yarn using a hand spindle and some undyed roving. While my spinning is still a work in progress, I wanted to take it a step further by dyeing my own colourways. I didn’t realize it before I started dyeing, but my Master of Science degree prepared me well to understand the chemistry of what’s going on in the dyepot when the colours are mixed with fiber.

How did you come up with the name of your yarn dyeing business?
When I got married last fall, I took my husband’s surname, which is Hand. When I started selling my dyed yarn, I knew my business needed to incorporate my new last name and the fact that my skeins were “Hand-made” and “Hand-dyed.” It’s a play-on-words that my husband says I over-explain! Haha!

What is your yarn dyeing philosophy?
I take a very analytical approach to dyeing, and I only dye in small batches of just one or two skeins of yarn. My dye studio – also known as my kitchen at other times of the day – is set up like a laboratory, with jars of dyestock, pH strips and thermometers always at the ready. I keep careful notes on everything to do with the dye process in a lab book so that I may be able to reproduce a colourway as closely as possible in the future. This sciency approach to dyeing is balanced out by the creativity that comes with choosing colours. Like most pursuits in life, yarn dyeing exercises both the left and right sides of the brain.

What is your favorite fiber to dye? 
So far, I’ve been focused on dyeing merino wool because it’s one of my favourite fibers to use in my knitting projects. Superwash wool is great because I can poke and prod it throughout the dye process without worrying about it felting. For my next challenge, I’d love to try dyeing some more rustic farm wools, along with alpaca and silk.

Where do you find inspiration?
I use Pinterest and design websites to discover interesting colour pallets that I’ve never considered before. As abstract as it sounds, I find my memories to be a great source of inspiration. Even in the dead of the Canadian winter, I can recall memories of the rich colour of the green grass in summer. A long-ago trip to an art gallery could still offer inspiration when I remember the artist’s choice of colours in a particular painting. And, of course, seeing the amazing colourways other dyers create offers limitless inspiration for my own work.

Any advice for new dyers? 
Start dyeing using food colouring; it’s inexpensive, easy to find at your local grocery store, and completely non-toxic. I made some very interesting speckled colourways using food colouring when I first started dyeing, and I believe that early success gave me the confidence to start using professional dyes and more advanced techniques.

Where can folks find your shop online? 
You can find my shop at http://etsy.com/shop/OneHandintheDyepot. I’m also on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I often post sneak peaks of new colourways and advanced notice of shop updates on social media, so it’s a great way to see what I’m up to! I’ve also started a blog at https://www.onehandinthedyepot.com, and I’m now on Twitter as well!

What’s NEW on the horizon for your shop?
People can expect to see some more exciting new speckled colourways coming in the future. I’m also toying with the idea of selling some hand-made beaded stitch marker sets in the shop that are colour-coordinated with the yarn.

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Thanks so much, Sarah!

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 colorway, community, custom yarn, dyeing, indie dyer, interview, yarn | 7 Comments

FO: Aileas <3

It’s sweater washing day here, and so, my brand new Aileas is taking it’s first real bath. But before dipping it into the wool wash, Spencer snapped a few pictures for my Ravelry page. I am in love with this sweater! I discussed the sweater on Episode 11 of the podcast in more detail and I posted some additional pics on Ravelry and Instagram–hard to remember, sometimes, where everything has been posted! I am still in need of some funky buttons . . . so if you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments 🙂

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Specs:

  • Yarn: local IL shetland that I kettle dyed myself with acid dye; inner collar is Dream in Color SW Merino
  • Pattern: Aileas by Isabell Kraemer
  • Modifications: I added a Purl row so that the collar would turn more easily for the hemming. I also added a purple SW liner to the collar in pattern.
  • If you make it: 1) be sure to pick up the faux cable stitches in the armpits and on the collar carefully so that the cable appears to continue seamlessly. 2) use a stretchy bind off for the front edges when you finish the button bands. I also used a 1/2 stretchy bind off for the upper collar.
Posted in Aileas, big projects, community, FO, pattern, sweater, unicorns | 10 Comments