Sunday, February 25, 2007

How long must it go on?

Ok, so winter has not left us quite yet. We got a nice little snow storm yesterday. I forgot to get pictures yesterday, and it is over half way melted when I got up this morning. We still might get some more this week and I'll take photos then. Though this is not what I am talking about in the title.

This is what I am talking about in the title. The entrelac scarf that ate Hood River!!! So, I was so excited that I got my 90" or at least it would block to 90", same thing right? Well I wanted the person who commissioned it to try it on before I did the final top triangles, just to make sure that it was long enough for her. She wants it to wrap twice around her neck and hang down a little. Well, she tried it on and I think that the ball of yarn just got to her. All that wasted yarn. So, she wants me to finish the ball. Believe me this was highly disappointing. I'm not bitter, just slightly daunted by the idea that I have to keep on knitting on the thing. I think that I am going to have to swear off all commissioned knitting from here on out, though don't quote me on it. I am going to keep just knitting away and hopefully someday somebody will find my remains buried under the longest alpaca entrelac "scarf" that anybody has ever seen. Just for your information, that now means that the "scarf" will be somewhere around 100" long. I'm not even sure if I have enough space to block something that long, but I will give you an actual finished measurement when it is blocked.

I don't really have any other news. I'm going to go now and bury my sorrows in lots and lots of entrelac knitting. I am consoling myself that she is going on vacation until the end of March, so I don't have to have it done until then.

Update: Apparently I have a solution!!! I wrote the above much earlier, then headed off to work and the Sunday help session that I teach. Sarah was teaching the last Entrelac class and they gave me some great ideas. One of the ladies crocheted a border all around the edge to make it a little sturdier. I like the idea so much that I think I will do it, but block it first. The picture is of it blocking. I thought I would measure it while it was all laid out and I got a very nice 105" (which stretches from my tv to my couch), so I think everyone involved will be very happy.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Raining Cats & Dogs

It appears that Spring has sprung and with it those famous Oregon rains. I actually get a particular joy out of the rain, at least at first. Then it can go away and have some happy sunshine. We are also expecting a bit of snow at the end of the week and possibly next week too. We shall see though.

I have been incredibly busy lately. I had two disagreeable things one right after the other. The first being my annual exam on Friday followed by seeing our tax accountant on Saturday. The only good thing that has come from it so far is that the nurse told me that I have grown an inch from my last visit. She tried to pass it off as a misreading, but I don't think so. I have been 5' 4" for quite some time, so to measure in at 5' 5" is pretty awesome. I have heard before that people with Crohn's have sometimes grown a bit once they have it under control. This is mainly because it is going from being malnurished to being healthy. It's a happy thought in my mind anyway and I am going to relish that extra inch.

Then yesterday I got to go yarn shopping in Portland. For the most part Knot Another Hat fulfills all my yarn needs, but every once in awhile I get to go down to Knit Purl and shop for something a little different. They carry a different variety of luxury yarns than KAH does and it is always fun to see another shop. Besides they carry koigu, lorna's laces, habu, shibui, and handmaiden. Mostly I go and look and just drool over all of their yarn. So, yesterday I got my first skeins of koigu. Aren't they pretty? I think they look just like bubblegum. They are color #147. I also got to shop for Sarah and Destiny, who put in special requests since I was going down there. My husband helped me pick my color and then promptly rushed me out the door so that I wouldn't buy too much more. Well, we had been there for like 45 minutes and I had promised to go to Powell's, so I guess he is excused. He did also say that there was a very adorable baby there that was making cooing sounds while he sat and waited. The people were awesome there and even offered him tea while I piled him up with yarn. A very awesome day.

Though, I am very good too. My dye arrived late Friday, but I managed to get the last 4 skeins dyed for Woolgirl Monday evening. I was afraid that I wouldn't get them done b/c my husband had President's Day off and we had the trip to Portland planned. I also don't usually get anything done when he is at home, which is probably more my fault than his. I'm just happy that the yarn is done and as soon as it is dry I can reskein it and ship the whole order out. Such a happy thought. I am discussing with Sarah to have my handpainted yarn down at KAH, so that should keep me pretty busy in the future. Life just seems so busy, but I am trying to update more often so that I don't fall as far behind here on the blog. I hope everyone out there is keeping busy as well and if you need a little pick me up go and buy a little bit of happy yarn to cheer you up =)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Pitter Patter

Do you hear that pitter patter? Pitter patter, pitter patter. That is the sound of lots and lots of people having babies all right around here. Well, there is Sarah, then our friend Lindy (a shop regular), Tina (another shop regular), then my husband's boss's wife, and my husband's coworker's girlfriend. It has inspired me to knit. Mainly to knit little tiny baby booties and lots of them. I figure that I need an emergency supply.

Here's what I have so far. I have decided to use up my Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino stash on adorable baby booties. No two sets are going to be the same. The pattern that I am using is from Dale of Norway's Soft Treasures book from the Fanasaeter set. I'm just going to keep making booties until I run out of yarn.

In yarn dyeing news: Look at all of this beautiful yarn that is going out to Woolgirl. I'm not quite ready to send it out. I ran out of blue dye and I still have 4 skeins of Corduroy to dye up, which should be really really pretty. I also have some special yarn dyed up for Peninah that I should have photos of next time.

In website news: I updated the website here and there. I added this new colorway, Strawberry Shortcake. I know that it looks mostly red, but it is actually pink, red, green, and white. After I got so many comments from people who remember Strawberry Shortcake, I felt that there needed to be a colorway in her honor. Of course, it sold immediately from my shop, but I am planning on making more, just as soon as that dye order comes in and all of the above skeins are shipped out.

As a last note, Happy Valentine's Day to all!!!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Clearing Up

I wanted to be a little more clear from my last post. I don't want people to take what I said about consignment the wrong way. I thought I was being fairly clear, but after rereading it I don't think I was. My trouble is that lately I have been getting requests from people who have websites to carry my yarn. They are perfectly decent and respectable sites. It's just that I don't feel like my yarn would fit in just right with the other things that they are selling. That and a lot of them charge like 40% (which is standard) and want me to raise my prices to accomodate that higher charge. I know that I tend to underprice myself a little, but it also makes me feel a little out of control. When I list things with Etsy I know exactly what is going to go into the post. I know every little detail of the process and I don't have to worry about an item being lost/damaged/who knows what before it is sold. When I actually sell an item at a wholesale cost, then I am being paid for it and it is out of my hands and my worries at that point.

My other trouble is that I tend to not be able to say no to people, then get overwhelmed, which worries my husband and really isn't good for either of us overall. I love dyeing and I never want it to be a chore. That's why I take breaks and I am picky over who I sell to. I most certainly want lots of people to look at my yarn and want to buy my yarn, but I also need to be able to work with people that I can talk to. People that when I have a hitch, like running out of blue dye or feeling too sick with a cold, I can email them and I know that they will understand. If you know somebody who would want to carry my yarn, send them over to my shop or to my website. That's what they are there for. I most certainly would love to talk to them and see if it would be a good fit for both of us. I hope that this has cleared up my last post and please feel free to email me or comment with any questions or concerns. I would be happy to answer anything.

Oh, and go take a look: I am up in the Etsy Showcase until at least midnight Eastern time.

I also realized that the sock from yesterday didn't always take people to the right page. Well, Chrissy has a post up about it (which she needs encouragement about anyway) and if you look through the free downloads on the Spring preview it is the only knee-high sock with cables. They are pink too, if that helps.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Whole Lot of This and That

I am feeling much better. Thank you all for your kind words and well wishes. It is a doozy of a bug. I hope that everybody who gets it gets over it quickly. Ugh!

Anyway, onto a much happier topic. I have been painting yarn the past couple of days. Yes, that is three bars filled with yarn on my drying rack! Mainly for a big order and secondly for my Etsy shop. My shop is going to be in the Etsy showcase tomorrow, so I was hoping that I would get a bunch of yarn done for all that advertising. I didn't end up getting a whole lot, but that's ok. The big order came from Jen who is going to open an online shop devoted to Indie sellers called It isn't up yet, but when it is I will make sure to let everybody know and where to buy my pretty yarn.

As a little note. Yes, I am now selling wholesale to vendors, but there are conditions. I am very picky about who I sell my yarn to. I won't do consignments (except for KAH) and I need to know and like the person and their shop. There are lots of shops online that carry Indie and I don't want to sell my yarn somewhere that it will get lost in the masses. I'm also selective because I have my own mental and physical health to consider. Dyeing is exhausting and there is only me in this operation. I like the people I have chosen to carry my yarn because they are awesome people and I have been lucky to get to know each one. (It also helps that they are all close by, KAH is in Hood River, Chrissy in Portland, and Jen in Oregon City). As a last little thing too, I love to dye, but I'm not 100% sure of how long I will be dyeing. There aren't any worries at the moment, but when I plan to have kids I am going to have to give up dyeing at least for a bit. The chemicals that are used in dyeing aren't healthy to be around during pregnancy or nursing. Neither are in the immediate future, but it is something that I have to consider.

Ok, here is some pretty yarn to distract you from all of that serious talk. It is 16% recycled silk and 84% Corriedale Wool. It is 4.75 oz (134 grams) and 128 yards. I have decided to name it Sari Aqua, because of it being made from the silk waste from Saris. It is Worsted Weight (Needles 7-9US). It will be for sale at KAH for $20. I did hand mix this on my drumcarder, which was a lot of fun.

I thought that I would mention that Chrissy has a post up where she knit Columbia River and Mt. Hood into her original patterns. They are very pretty. She is also going to design a simple rib pattern that will look better with handpainted yarn, which is really exciting. Oh, and speaking of Chrissy, have you seen these socks? Well, I have. I test knit them for Chrissy way back last June. They are really really awesome socks. I am only disappointed that they didn't show the back of them as well as the front, because both are really awesome. They are a fun and gorgeous pair of socks to knit. I might just have to knit myself another pair. By the way, that model must have really long legs. They went up to just below my knees when I tried them on. How weird is it to see something that I knit appear in a magazine (or at least on their site)? It must be even weirder (or way way awesome) for Chrissy to see something that she has designed appear in a magazine.

Ok, so one last thing. Craftbits asked if it would be alright for them to publish my pattern for the Holiday Bag on their website. Pretty much they collect free patterns and put them all in one place. They are funded by advertising, but they don't have a garish amount, so I figured it would be alright for them to put my pattern up there. I was really grateful that they asked my permission first and attributed the pattern to me. It is also a pretty interesting site and I thumbed through quite a few patterns on their site.

Ok, I think that that is everything for now. I know this is a pretty long post, but a lot of things have been going on. I hope that everyone out there is doing well and that you don't get the nasty bug that I had!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Spring Has Sprung

Apparently so has the latest flu/cold bug. So I didn't get all the dyeing done yesterday that I had hoped. Instead I got to lay on the couch and pretty much watch tv all day. I didn't even knit, not one stitch. Blasphemy I know. I just ran a low fever all day of around 99.9 and felt nauseous. I got off a lot luckier than a lot of the other people who have gotten this bug, but it still wasn't fun. So, today I am feeling a bit better and I am hoping to get some dyeing done. I am even taking off work from KAH, to spare all the nice people my sicky germs.

So, here is my proof that there is a little spring around. These are some snowdrops that I found peeking out in the garden. Hopefully I will be able to post again soon with some actual knitting and dyeing news!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Projects to Dye For

Monday is going to be a big dye day! I am really looking forward to it. I have received some good size orders already, but I am hoping that I will be able to dye some nice things for the shop too. It isn't too late, though, if you want to get your order in. Just leave me a comment or email me (email is on the sidebar).

I now have a second FO! I finished fixing my dad's ski mask. If you look really closely you can see the two pairs of increases that are there for the nose. Also, I did a loose crochet bind off, which is a single crochet across. It makes a really loose edge and it also makes it nice and easy to pick up later. Instead of doing the crab st around the edge I picked up sts around the opening and did an applied i-cord. The other major change that I did was instead of doing all of those short rows I made the ski mask more like a hat by doing a cast on at the top of the eye hole and continuing like a regular hat pattern. I think I might offer it up as a pattern on the sidebar because of all the changes that I made. Really the only thing that is still the same is how many to cast on and the ribbing at the bottom. The verdict from my father is that it is still tight, but I told him that it needed to be snug in order for it to fit under his motorcycle helmet. My mother told him that if he didn't like it that she would wear it because she liked it a lot. I also forgot my camera so an action shot is going to have to wait for now. I made mine out of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran Color #207, with Nashua Superwash Color #0030 as an accent.

Here is my latest skein of yarn. I have named it Fairy Light, because it looks so much like little fairies dancing in a purple light. I am really happy with how it came out. I wasn't sure what it would look like spun up, but it turned out to be a happy surprise. My husband actually dyed it quite awhile ago and then I ran it through my drum carder this last week. It is 100% Superwash Wool, 72 yards, 1 3/4 oz (52 grams). It will be for sale at Knot Another Hat for $7.50. I have decided that from here on out that I will give full specs for each one of the handspun yarns that I intend to sell. That way you guys can have all of the information if you want to buy it and before it is posted up on the KAH website. Remember you can always email Sarah (her email address is on the website) if you want to purchase the yarn directly.

I have started yet another project. Sarah is teaching a class on the Great American Aran Afghan. It is an 18 month (or so) class (1 every month) where we complete a square each month. I see myself getting it done in about 2 years, so I am sure that all of you will be hearing a lot about it while I knit it. I have 1/2 of the first repeat completed for the first square and I really love this pattern so far. I just love cables and I will have a lot of cables to do for quite awhile. I am making my afghan out of Cascade 220 color #8010 with garnstudio glitter #01 as a sparkly carry along thread.

I have also started to cast on a hat that will be a model for my hat class in a couple of weeks. The class is suppose to be an intro hat class, but a couple of people showed an interest in a cabled hat, so I thought I would make one up for the class. I am using my handy dandy formula for making a cabled hat, which is (head size - 1 inch) + 10%, then rounded to the nearest 5, because I like to do k4, p1 for my cables. The yarn that I am using is Nashua Superwash color #0038. It is leftover from the sweater I made for my mother for Christmas, the Sugarplum Pullover.