Thursday, May 31, 2007

And the Winner is...

Marley of Yarn Thing and Dawn of windows to *ME*.

So, contact me at: lavendersheep (at) gmail (dot) com with your address and I will get this limited edition yarn out to you.

I must say that I really loved running this blog contest. I just couldn't believe how many people entered. It is very encouraging to run another one sometime, so we shall see. I did really enjoy reading some new blogs from those of you that commented. You guys have some pretty awesome blogs out there!

Ok, onto some actual knitting content. I am actually just about out of secret knitting projects. That is until some more birthdays roll around or Christmas knitting begins. I'm just not going to post my secret knitting stuff up just yet. So you will just have to content yourselves with a few of my not so secret projects:

This is my Forest Canopy Shawl that I am working on for Knot Another Hat. I am actually hoping to teach a beginning lace class with this pattern this summer and use this pattern. So far it is really fun to knit. I am almost done with the body and soon I will be onto the edging. It is knit with Mountain Colors Weavers Wool Quarters Color Huckleberry.

This is Afghan square #2 for our group. It isn't very far along, but I putter with it every so often. I am hoping that as I work down at Knot Another Hat that I will have more time to work on it. We shall see... This square is the Julie H. Levy square from The Great American Aran Afghan book.

Lastly, I have been working away on my sockaplooza socks. This is really just a little teaser about what is to come. So far I have worked the cuff on size 0s, but the main part of the sock will be on 2s. I really love how springy the cuff turned out. Next I am onto the Mosaic Knitting. I'll show you guys more when I get further along. The yarn I am using is Meilenweit Solid Color Navy and my own LavenderSheep Sock Color Mountain Sunset.

For those of you that are watching and want to know, Sarah had her baby! I'll let her talk more about it in her own time.

Shop News

I want to start out this post with announcing that my prices will be going up. This was a hard decision to make, but after having my yarn at Woolgirl and at Knot Another Hat for a couple of months now, I had a consultation with both of them. My top priorities are as follows:

1. That the people I am selling through make enough money to keep them in business. I think it would be sad to see either one of these fine companies go under, though I doubt that I am the only thing keep either one afloat.

2. Not undercutting others in my same field. I want to sell my yarn at a competitive price that doesn't take away from others trying to make a living.

3. I want to be paid adequately for the time and effort it takes to do the work I do.

That being said, the new prices will go into effect starting June 1st. Since I feel like this is a little short notice for my blog, I will keep the prices the same on My Shop until this sunday. The only things that are going to change are the sock yarns, so keep that in mind.

Ok, onto more pleasant things:

This is a brand new colorway. Sarah asked me to paint some of the alpaca lace yarn like Sea Turtle, only in reds. I am so very happy with the results that I am going to make it a regular color. I have named it Smokey Rose.

Though, speaking of yarn colors, I think I am going to redo my yarn gallery in the very near future. So, look out for changes! I will make sure to announce them here when I do.

Oh, and don't forget to enter my blog contest! You have until Sunday to comment.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Spots Before My Eyes: A Blog Contest

I have been dyeing up a storm lately for Knot Another Hat and for Woolgirl. I only have one little problem, I had a small dyeing accident. In fact, I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but here it is:

This skein had a fun little experience in the steamer and some how came out with red spots (click on the picture to see the larger image). May I also mention the irony of these skeins being called Tequila? I think that they are pretty, but because I'm not 100% sure of how it happened, it isn't repeatable. Thus, the blog contest. To enter, simply leave me a comment on this post by Sunday. I will use a random number generator, the same one used by Wendy, to pick two winners. Remember that each skein can either make a bag, a scarf, or 3 headbands! I will also include a copy of either the scarf or the headband pattern, your choice! So, get commenting!

ETA: This yarn is 100% Luster Nylon, which is very soft and a lot of fun to work with. It is a ribbon yarn and should be knit on #11s.

Friday, May 25, 2007

So Many Memes, So Little Time

I think I have now been tagged 3 times for the 8 odd, weird, interesting, just tell us something about you meme. I was tagged by Krafty1, my sockaplooza pal, and Herzeleid Knits I have also been tagged for another meme, but I figure I will do one and leave the other for a rainy day. I tend to also use memes as filler for when I don't have anything else to talk about, which is sad right now, because there is a lot to talk about, including a couple of new things I am knitting and a possible blog contest. Those will just have to wait until next week. So, here goes:
  1. The only ways I like to eat tomatoes are fresh and in ketchup form. I have never been a fan of spaghetti sauce.
  2. My mother would let me grate cheddar cheese on my spaghetti noodles when I was little instead.
  3. I was married when I was 19 and Blair was 20. On June 29th it will be our 5th wedding anniversary.
  4. My mom was also married at 19 and at my age right now had a 3 month old baby, namely me. (I was born in June, and she was born in October)
  5. My favorite food/meal is halibut fish & chips.
  6. I hate driving, especially in town. I am trying to get over this by driving my husband every morning to the shuttle that will take him to work. Though I can't say that I ever will enjoy driving.
  7. Before I came up with LavenderSheep as a business name I really wanted Dancing Sheep Designs, when I found out that it already existed and in Eugene too, which is where I was at the time. I actually prefer LavenderSheep now, because it is much more rare.
  8. When I was in college I had an idea of opening up a Coffee/Yarn/Gallery Shop that focused on fiber arts. I wanted to name it Coffee, Tea, and a Gallery, catchy isn't it? I even had a place all picked out, but they turned it into a bar instead.
Here is my 6 weird things from before.

I'm not going to tag anyone, but if anyone wants to do it and hasn't feel free.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

First Dye Workshop of the Season

As I mentioned on Monday, I helped organize a dye workshop through Knot Another Hat. Sarah hosted it. Sarah and Destiny made many lovely treats to feed the hungry dyers. Dyeing yarn makes you work up an appetite.

Here is a group of the lovely ladies! There were 9 dyers, then me & Sarah. Which is quite a turn out for the event.

Here is a close up of them dyeing away on their first skeins. I think it went pretty well. Everybody seemed to pick it up really quickly too.

Lastly, this is a picture of Ms. Destiny. It is actually one of my favorites. She had successfully dyed, and is rinsing out her yarn. It turned out to be a delicious purple yarn. I managed to somehow not get a picture of Sarah. She is very stealth these days. Well, and I had borrowed my husband's camera, which promptly ran out of space on the card! To see more pictures, the few that I got on the card, check out my web album!

If anyone out there is going to be in the area this summer and is interested in taking a dye workshop, let me know or let Sarah know. We haven't scheduled times yet for the summer, but they will definitely be on the calendar.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Yarn is up!

I have just filled up my shop with pretty pretty sock yarn, so go check it out! I even included pictures on some of the yarn of it before it was reskeined. Let me know what you think.

I also just figured out the coolest thing. Apparently my shop has an rss feed, so that means that you can look at shop updates in bloglines and in other rss readers. Actually, you can do that for all of your favorite etsy stores. It is especially useful because I am not always the best at telling you guys when I do a shop update, so this would be a good way for you to find out when I post up new things before I mention it here. To get the feed go to my shop (or your favorite shop) and sign up for it like you would do for any other blog, or click the link in the sidebar that says "RSS this shop". It is so cool!

As a little more dyeing fun. This is a sneak peak at a bit of yarn that Wool2dye4 may be carrying in the near future. I was invited by Sheila to join a panel of dyers that test out new yarns for her and give feedback on what they think. If you want to start buying yarn to dye in bulk, just check out wool2dye4 for 8 oz hanks & 1 lb cones.

I also got these in the mail. Look at the pretty pretty sheepies. These are, of course, from Krafty1. As I mentioned in a previous post, she has a very pretty etsy shop. My mother wanted to frame one, but they are in reserve for swaps and gifts to my fiber friends.

Tonight I am teaching a dye workshop. More precisely Sarah and I are hosting a dye and wine night. The class is full up, actually overfull, with 9 people not including Sarah and myself. We are hoping to host a couple more of these over the summer for anyone in the area that would like to come. Believe me there isn't anything much more fun than dyeing yarn on a hot summer's evening.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Davy mentioned to me that in the past week I have been mentioned on Wendy Knits & on Criminy Jickets. I'm starting to feel like a star. As a note, the yarn that Wendy used is my cinder color, it is the orange and black blocks on her miter sweater. So pretty! I have been having a lot of fun watching as her sweater progressed picking out the squares that were from my yarn.

I did want to talk about sockaplooza 4 too. My sockpal, the one that is knitting socks for me, accidentally revealed herself. If you have been reading the comments you might have noticed already. She is Caitlin of The Cresent Knitter. We have been emailing back and forth and she is a lot of fun. I just love her blog! To make up for spoiling who she is she has decided to post up hints about my socks. She is going to post up really blurry photos and keep me guessing until the end. I just think this is one of the greatest ways to do a swap even if the original surprise has been spoiled.

As for my own sockaplooza socks, I am still debating. Actually, I'm debating for no real reason. I have narrowed the pattern down to like 20 patterns, but in my heart I know the one that I want to knit. I think I am going to knit the Maze socks from Sensational Knitted Socks. They are incredible and I was pushed over the edge by seeing Craftylilly knitting them up in Gryffindor colors. I haven't ever made mosaic socks before or mosaic anything, so I think it will be a nice challenge. I'll have photos up of the yarn I plan to use right after I finish up debating whether I will use charcoal or navy blue as the accent color. I am pretty definite on my main color, so that is a good thing at least.

One last interesting bit: Krafty1 now has an Etsy shop. She is selling her handmade cards there. I just had to buy two of my favorite sets and I will show them off when they get here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

On My Way to Work

So for the past two weeks I have been walking not only to work, but back home as well. Usually I can get a ride home, but with my change in hours this hasn't been possible. So, I thought that I would give you a little bit of my journey to and from work to make things interesting.

Hood River has a nifty system of stairs that go from downtown all the way up to the Heights. They are an impressive set. This is the first one one my way down.

This is the monolith set down. The very longest one. In fact I always get impressed looks when I tell people that I live at the top of the stairs.

This is the 3rd set. At the bottom (on the left) is a rose garden that has benches and tons of pretty roses in June. To the right is a horse shoe pit, but I haven't ever seen anyone actually play.

The fourth stairs go down to downtown proper. The down town main street runs perpendicular. You can kinda see the intersection. Knot Another Hat is a couple of blocks down on the right.

At the bottom of the stairs is a very lovely waterfall. It is a war memorial for those who fell in WWI. At least I hope that is right. It is really cool and in the summer when it is hot there are people who come and play in the water.

Finally at work. This is a proper picture of the croisette top. Just to add a little knitting content to the days adventures. It is really super cute and of course the store mannequin makes it look really awesome.

Ok, so once I am off work it is back up the stairs for me. The bottom stairs look pretty much the same down as up, so I thought I would spare you the same photo. These stair head up to the rose garden and are next to Horse Feathers, a local restaurant.

Then the next set of stairs. You can also see the stairs of doom in the background.

The stairs of doom themselves. I actually can manage to go up all of these without totally huffing and puffing, but they do pretty well exhaust me. Lots of people in town actually jog up and down them. After all they are free exercise equipment.

My way of going up is to go up a few stairs, take a break and look at the view. This is the view off of the stairs. It is a very pretty walk. Thankfully, though, my hours have changed again and I will be walking primarily down the stairs.

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour.

Coming Soon: Sockaplooza News, shop updates, & more.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there!

To celebrate, I knit my mom a pair of Fixation anklets. They are so cool to knit. They are very fast and take less than a ball of fixation. I wasn't sure about this color at first, but then I saw it knit up and knew my mother would love it. It is knit out of Cascade Fixation color #9877 Koi I think I only had to rip it out 2 or 3 times to get the gauge right and the fit right. Thankfully they fit now and my mother loves them! Of course I am no where near as talented as Sarah or Destiny who each managed several pairs of ankle socks, washcloths, and the totally awesome swiffer covers for the mothers in their lives. Hmm...maybe next year.

Though I did get a bitty hat done for a friend of mine that will be a mother in August. I'm not sure if she reads my blog, so I am going to risk posting it for now. I was inspired by Alison of The Blue Blog, who just knit this up for a friend of her's. This is the Anime character hat from Hello Yarns. It was a lot of fun to knit. I actually sat down and watched My Neighbor Totoro and went to knitting it. I finished the hat part while watching it one time through and the ears a second time the next day. I am not going to add the face, because I am not sure if the person in question knows what a totoro is, so it will be a rabbit hat. I knit it out of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in color #605. It is one of my favorite colors in one of my all time favorite yarns.

Shop News: I am still taking custom orders for dyeing. I will be dyeing yarn on Monday or Tuesday. My hope is to actually get some sock yarn in my shop this next week.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Back in Business

Well, it seems that I am getting my yarn more regularly now. I have on hand my 100% superwash sock yarn, the tencel/superwash sock yarn, alpaca lace weight yarn, and nylon ribbon. So if you want to put in a special order, I will be dyeing on Monday.

See all the lovely cones. These are going to be wound into skeins today for dyeing. I also will have a lot more time for dyeing in the next three weeks. Strangely working regularly for Knot Another Hat now means that I am actually going to spend less time down there over the next 3 weeks than I have working semi-regularly for her for the past year or more. That is less time per week. In June I will be working full time and that means less dyeing time, but much much more knitting time. I must say it is an ideal job if ever there was one. (Note: The skeins to the side are Henry's Attic Organic Cotton that I wind into 4 oz skeins instead of the huge 8 oz skeins that they come in).

I figure that as long as I am showing you white things that I would show you the first square of The Great American Aran Afghan. It has only taken me 3 months to complete it, which means that my expected finish date would be somewhere between 4 -5 years at this rate. My hope is to actually get caught up while I am working with all that extra knitting time I will have. We will see if it works that way or not. This is the square by Barbara Selesnick. I am knitting it out of Cascade 220 color #8010 natural and Glitter color #01 Gold .

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Thinking Blogger Award!

I was nominated for a thinking blogger award by Tina of A Blip on the Radar (make sure to check out her blog with all her sweet sheepies, even the vishus ones hehehe). According to The Rules, I now need to nominate five more bloggers for the thinking blogger award:

1. Knot Another Hat Of course she is my boss, so I have to nominate her blog. Actually, in all seriousness I love her blog and read it whenever she posts. She is always knitting new and interesting things that make me think. Besides who doesn't love those neopolitan colors?

2. Krafty1, she was my sock pal I had for Sockaplooza 3 and I totally got hooked on her site. She is always making complicated things like fair isle sweaters and is a steeking queen!

3. Knittin' Mom, she always has interesting anecdotes, whether it is about her kids, designing wonderful things for us knitters, traveling, or rallying for breast feeding awareness. I love her blog, she definitely makes me think.

4. Posie Gets Cozy, I love her photography! She doesn't knit very often, but she does everything else really really well. She is one of the few people out there that might make me reconsider crocheting an afghan. She has exceptional taste and if you look back through her archives you might catch a glimpse of the studio of my dreams.

5. A House Full of Boys is totally inspirational. It is written by the wonderful Destiny, who is one of my best friends. I am totally amazed at how she can juggle 4 boys, homeschooling, working and have enough time to knit like a fiend.

The participation rules are simple:
1. If you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link back to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).

Monday, May 07, 2007

Yarn, New Colorways, & Wrap-Up

There has been a little bit of talk around the internet lately that has to do with whether to rewind skeins or not. Scout has posted up a poll about it and Yarn Pirate has now decided that she isn't going to reskein skeins anymore. I am really curious about this because I rewind all of my skeins and probably won't change from that, but I thought I would ask you guys for input. Do you prefer your skeins as is or rewound or do you not care?

My personal feeling is that I like the skeins reskeined because then I can tell how the colors will mix together. There are times when I dye up a skein that I don't like the combination until they have been reskeined and remixed together. Of course I don't have any pictures of before and after shots, but I am sure that you have seen plenty out there. A good example of this is my two latest colorways:

I designed both of these for Sarah's baby shower as a prize for the raffle that we had there. The Blue/Pink/White one is called Lullaby and the Pink/white/Brown one is called Knot Another Hat and will be exclusive to Knot Another Hat. The Knot Another Hat skein went to Sarah, because she should get the first skein. I was actually really iffy about these colorways until I reskeined them. I really love them now and they will be permanent in my collection. Anyway, I do want your feedback, so please comment with your opinions.

Last, but not least, check out these really pretty flowers that Sarah sent me as a thank you for the baby shower. I was so surprised to receive flowers. The roses smell wonderful. It just cheers up my happy little house.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Baby Shower

This week has been a bit long, but I finally have some time to tell you all about the baby shower that Destiny and I threw for Sarah last Sunday:

Here is the party in action. You can kinda see a little bit of everything. My big thing was to put up a clothesline and hang bitty things from it. By the end of the party it was covered with adorable girly things for Sarah's baby. I got the idea from The Blue Blog, where her friends all knit booties for Alison. You can see more pictures on Sarah's Blog.

These are the lovely treats that I ordered from South Bank. They were really tasty and I highly recommend them for events or just for stopping by for lunch or dinner. I also went and changed out the jelly beans for pink ones. We're a bit sugar happy in the shop and we love our jellybellys. This is before the cake got here. Destiny was in charge of the cake. She was the coolest person to plan a baby shower with. She totally rocked at figuring out details I wouldn't have even thought about, like providing a small lunch for all of us. She totally rocks!

I had a lot of fun making little things for Sarah. I saw this cherry corduroy and just had to have it. Sarah grew up in a cherry orchard and her parents still farm cherries. I just knew that she would love it and so would her mother. They are both cherry fiends. This was a lot of fun to make, though a bit more difficult than the pink cotton one I made earlier.

Don't worry, I didn't forget to knit something. This is the Perlemor Cardigan from Dale of Norway Soft Treasures book. I mentioned this book awhile back when I was making baby booties. Apparently it has been discontinued, so I will treasure my book even more than before. This cardigan was a lot of fun to knit. It is knit with the body up to the armpits, then the sleeves up to the same point, and then all joined in the round. It means a minimal amount of sewing. The only daunting part is that it is knit on 0s and 2s. I knit it out of Dale of Norway Stork, which is 100% Egyptian Cotton and is machine washable. The yarn was wonderful to work with and perfect for a summer baby.

The other object that I finished in time for the baby shower is the Croisette top. Here it is blocking. I should try and get a good picture of it on the model at the store. It is really cute. There are a couple of mistakes in the pattern that aren't too hard to figure out if you are an experienced knitter. It really only took me 4 afternoons, so probably 8-10 hours all together to make, which is really good. The specs again are: Cap Sleeve Sweater by Dovetail Designs made out of Croisette color Monet #203. It is knit on #11US.

Shop News: I should have lace yarn up in my shop very soon. I started working for Knot Another Hat this week in preparation for Sarah's maternity leave, so things might be a bit slower for awhile. I'll keep all of you guys informed as I go.