Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Have a Frabjous Day!

I just love Frabjous! They are such a wonderful company. I just love that even though they import things they make sure that everything is fair trade. It makes me feel very nice to support such a company. Anyway, I got some new goodies from them:

First up are these lovely leaf notions bags. They come in 3 different colors: Spring Green, Green and Evergreen. They remind me of little notion bags that elves might carry around. They totally speak Lord of the Rings to me. Can you just imagine the fair maid Arwen knitting away at a fine silken shawl with dainty stitch markers and finely crafted scissors held in this tiny bag? Nope, that's probably just me.

The other bags I got from Frabjous are these simple square bags. They come in Aqua, Blue, Green and Red. I like the simple bright colored striping. All of the Frabjous bags are felted and have zippers and linings in them. I also got in more baby sheep notions bags, but the mama sheep bags are on backorder, so I will just have to wait before I get more of those in.

Lastly, I got some lovely recycled silk fiber thrums from them. I am planning on mixing up some batts at some point. I just love mixing in recycled silk. It turns out so pretty in the final yarn. I figured as long as I was ordering some for blending I would order some for the shop too. I am selling it by the ounce, so you can get just as little or as much as you need. I also promise to put in a nice blend of all the different colors into each ounce.

Technically, I got a little something more, but that is top secret for now. I need to do a little experimenting to see if my idea works. If it does, I will make sure to share it here.

I do have some other new stuff to share, but it might be a couple of days. It requires a bit more work on my part before it all gets posted. I am just getting over a cold, so it feels really good to just sit at the computer and work on my site instead of moving about. I do have some projects to share too, so stay tuned!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Out with the Old and in with the New!

I'm so excited! I have lots of new things for the shop! Rather than have a very long post I thought I would spread them out over a few days worth of posts. So to start with:

A brand new crochet pattern by Gardiner Yarn Works! This wrap looks so warm and snuggly! There are also a couple of new knitting patterns that look really awesome and tempting to knit. Make sure to check them out! Also, Gardiner Yarn Works has updated all of their patterns with higher definition photos and a few new photos for old designs. If you have bought a pattern from me and want the new file just drop me an email with the pattern name. I have a list of everyone who has bought a pattern, so I can check against the list.

Next up are a couple of patterns from Caffaknitted. She has the most awesome soft toy patterns! I just love them. This is Mr. Abominable. Doesn't he look soft enough to cuddle with? I definitely think so. She also has a brand new pattern out called Jess, which was commissioned by UK singer/song writer Jess Lewin for her new CD cover. Both patterns look so adorable I might just have to try one out.

Lastly on the list is a brand new designer called Crochet All Day. She crochets these lovely felted animal bags that are simply wonderful. I had the chance to see a couple of her designs in person last year at Oregon Flock and Fiber. I know my mother would just love one of these bags. I think I might try playing around with dyeing some felting yarn and giving a try at crocheting. I haven't done it for a few years, but I am sure that it will come back, especially with the incentive of having one of these awesome bags!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Baby it's Cold Outside...

It has barely been over freezing all week! This includes grey and gloom the whole time too. Although if we go 30 miles west it is sunny and clear. So very weird!

To help keep out the cold I whipped out a cowl on Sunday afternoon! This is the Darkside Cowl by Sarah Fama and is a free Ravelry Download. I'm not sure if it is available online somewhere else, but it is a really cool pattern. The pattern calls for worsted weight, but I knit it out of bulky using the modifications made by OCDknittingMom (also a rav link). Pretty much she calls for casting on 64 sts for the bulky yarn. I followed the pattern after that and kept knitting until I ran out of yarn. This ended up being a little over 2.5 repeats. I was left with a very tiny ball of yarn. I just love this yarn so much I wanted to use up every little bit! The yarn is Cascade 109 Tweed LE in color #7610. It was sent to me by the very lovely Penny of Penguin Girl as a Christmas/Hanukkah gift. It simply is wonderful. I tried it out yesterday and it kept me very nice and toasty warm! I got many compliments on it too, so I consider that a success!

The other thing I finished was a pair of moc-a-socs for my grandmother's doctor. I like to call them doc-moc-a-socs, because I think it's funny. Before Christmas my grandmother went to see her doctor and he showed her pictures of his new baby boy. She thought he was a very cute baby. The doctor told her that the baby's name was Ripley. Grandma instantly thought of Ripley's Believe it or Not and felt that the poor kid would be teased for having such a name. Without thinking she said just that to her doctor. Well, when she got home she felt very badly for saying that to her doctor. So she commissioned me to make a pair of booties as an apology. I instantly thought of these wonderful booties. I picked the pattern up on the shop hop last year. I have also been thinking about carrying the pattern in my shop maybe this spring, maybe sooner. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Color #340300 Black and the sock yarn is leftover from the socks I made Blair a couple of years ago out of Trekking.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

15 Minutes of Fame...

So, this last fall I was dyeing yarn for the Knit/Purl sock club. A huge endeavor, by the way. It was something like 200 skeins of yarn all dyed exactly the same color. I definitely learned a lot from the experience! I do have photos, but I can't post them quite yet. I want to make sure that every last person has received their package before I post anything. So I will share photos some time in February. There are a couple of hint photos that I have seen if you want to see them there is a picture of the packages going out on the Knit/Purl Blog and a covert sock photo on organizer Sara Morris's blog.

What has been really cool is reading all of the very nice comments in Knit/Purl Sock Club Forum on Ravelry. So many nice people have said so many nice things. It just makes me smile to read them all. I definitely am going to keep track of it for those moments when I am feeling down.

Another really cool thing that has come from the experience is my little 15 minutes of fame. I have been listening to a new podcast made right here in Oregon by Deb Accuardi called At the Kitchen Table. She is simply amazing. She talks about knitting and has her own goats and bunnies on a small farm. Then she talks about gardening. I definitely want to plant a vegetable and herb garden thanks to her. She has me looking at seed catalogs and planning for the next year. Then to top it off her and her husband own an Italian restaurant in Portland called Ginos, so she talks about incredible food and recipes that just make my mouth water. If you haven't checked out her podcast definitely do, it is well worth listening to.

What got my 15 minutes of fame on there is that Deb is a part of several yarn clubs where she reviews the yarn and package content on her show. The first part of Episode 7 talks about me and the latest edition of the Knit/Purl Sock Club. It was so exciting to hear such wonderful and positive things said about my yarn!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Happy Blogiversary!

To start off with, here are the top 20 colorways for 2009:

Sea Turtle
Chocolate Raspberry
Wild Violets
Berry Pie
California Poppy
Smokey Rose
Sugarplum Fairy
Columbia River
Dragon Fire
Mountain Sunset
Purple Blackberry
Midnight Rose
Childs Play
Blue Raspberry

Thank you everyone that participated in the blog contest! It really has helped me out. I might make some little tweaks when it comes to lace yarn. However this looks like a much more manageable list than trying to dye up everything! Note: I will still dye up other colors than these as custom orders if they are not already listed in the shop!

Now, for the winners of the blog contest! There were 19 comments, so I drew two names using random.org! They are: Kitten with Whiplash and Gina! Please contact me at: lavendersheep (at) gmail.com with your address and I will ship you something pretty!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Just a reminder that today is the last day to vote in the blog contest! Here is a little hint as to the prizes:

Have fun!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

First Off the Needles in 2009!

I am putting a small dent in the last of the Christmas knitting! Next year I think I am going to cut back, but it has been lots of fun this year.

First off the needles are these pretty purple socks for my friend Amy. They are knit with Trekking #76. I might just have to track down another ball of this for a pair for myself. They are so pretty! I also tried out a new heel. It is a no-wrap short row heel. I like that it leaves absolutely no holes in the heel, but I'm not sure about the ridge it creates instead. I might have to experiment a little more to see if I can solve it.

Next up are a pair of Karen's Sugar Free Socks, by Gardiner Yarn Works. I really love these socks! They are super simple, but look really complicated. I shortened the cuff by one repeat, which means that I got both socks out of two balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, with just a tiny bit leftover from both balls. They also make me really happy because for each purchase of the pattern GYW will donate $2 to diabetes research. How cool is that? Awesome socks and giving to a good cause! I gave them to my grandmother yesterday and she just loved them!

Lastly on the Christmas to-do list is this very beautiful bag. It is the Felted Stain Glass Fan Bag by Madeleine Langan . I am using up bits of leftover Noro Kureyon. I figured out that each scallop uses 4 grams of Noro, so it uses up a lot of leftovers. I think I have 3, maybe 4 different colors in the bag. It is a great stash buster and looks totally awesome too! I gave it to my mother pretty much as is on Christmas morning and she loved it! Now to finish up and sew in all the ends, then into the washer it goes to be felted down. All that is really left is the bottom and the top with the handle. It's so exciting!

Also, don't forget that the blog contest is still going on! Thanks to those that have already voted. I am tallying the votes as we speak!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Blog Contest '09!

The moment I am sure you have all been waiting for: The annual blog contest here at LavenderSheep!

This year I have come up with something new! Actually in reality I need your help. This year there are a lot of fiber related events going on, which makes me very very happy! The trouble is that I have a lot of yarn and a lot of colorways. How am I going to choose what colors to dye up for the shows? This is where you come in! I have over 50 colorways and a few new ones I want to try out. So I would like to narrow it down to 20 colorways to dye exclusively for the shows! I still will have the other colors available for custom order and the odd skein I have already dyed up.

So this is what you need to do:
  • Visit the colorways page on my site (they all have pictures and descriptions)
  • Pick 3 of your favorite colorways
  • Post those 3 here in the comments!
As an added incentive there will be prizes! For every 10 people that comment I will draw a winner! All I can say for now is that it will be something special and there may be yarn involved. You have one week to comment! I will announce the winner(s) and the top 20 colorways on my blogiversary (January 13th)!

Friday, January 02, 2009

2008 Projects

A whole year has gone by and that means that I need to clean up the blog a little and start my new list of projects for 2009! I still have a couple of projects I am finishing up for Christmas, but they will have to count as 2009 things because they aren't quite done yet. OK here is the list:

That is: 13 hats, 6 mitts/mittens, 5 scarves, 4 baby sweaters, 3 pairs of socks, 3 washcloths, 2 bags, 1 bottle cozy, 1 dog sweater, 1 sweater, 1 monster, 1 pair of felted clogs, and 1 cupcake. That is a total of 42 projects in the last year. That is 2 more than last year! I'm so excited to see what happens in the new year. I already have some good ideas for new projects!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009!

To start the year out right I have the new January Sale up! For January I am going to discontinue 3 yarns. This is my clean up and purge and start the new year right. I have some new ideas and I need to make room for them. So the three yarns that I am discontinuing are:
All of them are 25% off. I love all of my yarns, but I need to focus a little better on my best yarns. On top of that the Silky Worsted has been reformulated by the mill, so I think it is time for it to pass. I might check out the new yarn later on, so we shall see.

I have dyed up the rest of the yarns I had on hand, so they are no longer available for custom order. They are currently drying. So as soon as they are dry and rewound then they will be listed up in the shop. Hopefully, early next week. I'll definitely let you know when they are all up. Just remember what is there is what I've got and after it is gone there won't be any more of it.