Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy March!

There are lots of things going on in March! For one thing I am going to have a booth at the Abernathy Spring Fiber Sale in Oregon City on March 21st! It should be lots of fun!

I also have the new sale for March: 10% off of all stitchmarkers. These stitchmarkers are handmade by a good friend of mine. She makes them from the highest quality silver rings and semi-precious stones. Make sure to check them out!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bekah Knits

I'm so excited! Remember the moc-a-soc booties I knit? They are just so cute. Anyway, I just got the patterns for the shop, including Bekah Knits whole line.

These are my first set of patterns that are printed and have to be shipped. I found really nice envelopes to ship them in that will keep them safe to your door. There are three different booty patterns (moc-a-soc, merry jane, & sweet pea) in sizes toddler and baby. There is also an adult version of the moc-a-soc that I might have to knit for myself. The last pattern is the duck, daisy & dot baby jingles, which are perfect for any tiny tot. Make sure to check out all of the patterns, it is well worth it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On the Needles

I have been keeping busy lately. I have started a few things. So I thought I would share.

First up are the brick rib socks from Gardiner Yarn Works. These are going to be a booth sample for my shows. I just love how the pattern works with they yarn. The long slip stitches break up the colors making it near impossible for any pooling. These socks make me happy. I think I will have to make both of them and have them for the Sock Hop at Sock Summit. How cool would that be? The yarn is my Superwash Sock in Color Day at the Fair.

Next, I have started a sweater for myself out of kauni yarn. I am pretty excited about it. I showed the sample I started in the last post. I decided I would use the 2nd pattern from the bottom. I really love how the two different rectangles interlock and show off the colors. They are just so pretty I have to stop every so often and just stare at my work. I have learned quite a bit and I am learning more as I go. I think I might start a series here on the process I am going through to make the sweater. I don't think I can write up a pattern with sizes for what I am doing, but I can talk through each step I am doing so you can figure out your own sweater.

Lastly I have started the Venice Beach Tank out of Nylon Ribbon in Color Berry Pie. I got the right gauge with the yarn so I thought it would be perfect as a summer top. It is knitting up very nicely. Right now it is my "on the go" knitting because the pattern is really simple and fun to knit. I can chat with my friends and knit away on it. I am making it to fit me, but it will also be a booth sample. I am thinking it will be great for summer, but also really nice over a solid colored turtleneck while it is still cold out.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

CPSIA Update & More

First off, I am happy to announce that dyed yarns and fabrics are now entirely allowed under the CPSIA. Finally they decided to publish a guide that specifically outlines the new rules. It is available here as a .pdf. So, I have decided that I am going to keep my LavenderLamb Baby Sock Kits! They will remain on sale for the rest of the month and then go back up to their normal price after that.
I also have another new thing to add to the shop, locally made lavender items from Pucker Huddle Farms. Pucker Huddle is a real place located across the river from where I am on the outskirts of White Salmon, WA. She has the most wonderful lavender items all grown and made right here in the Columbia Gorge. The items I got from her are French Lavender Soap, Lavender & Peppermint Goats Milk Soap (which smells absolutely wonderful), lavender sachets, and two different lavender botanical notecards. You can check them out in the new lavender products section of the website as well as the classic Lavender Sheep soap made by Spinning Ginny.

Lastly, I will leave you with a bit of knitting content. A couple of years ago I bought myself some Kauni yarn with the plan that I would knit it into a sweater for me. There are lots of designs available for the yarn. I have been quite taken by a few of them, but couldn't ever decide which one I wanted to make. Well, I have decided I will make up my own pattern. I knit up this sample tube from some ideas I had sketched out in my sketch book. I took lots of notes and I have started the sweater this last week. I should have in progress photos next week as well as some other things that have sprung onto the needles. Can you guess which pattern I chose for my sweater?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cuddly Bear Baby Cardigan

I finished my Cuddly Bear Baby Cardigan! I'm so excited! It turned out so cute!

The pattern comes in 3 sizes: 0-3, 3-6, and 6-9 months. Even the biggest size takes 2 skeins of Aztec Boucle. I made the pattern so that 2 skeins makes 2 sweaters with opposite main color and contrasting colors. I made the pattern a little big so the baby has room to grow into it.

The buttons I found at Madrona are deer horn. I wanted something natural to accent the natural organic cotton yarn. I thought these buttons made the perfect accent. The pattern is now for sale in the shop and on Ravelry. I am also making it a free pattern with the purchase of 2 skeins of Aztec Boucle.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Madrona Fiber Festival

or my romantic Valentine's weekend in Tacoma! One of the reasons I have never made it up to Madrona before is that it is always the same weekend as Valentines Day. This year I decided it would be different. So hubby and I got a hotel room for Saturday night to Sunday. I was told that I could go to the show as long as we did something else while we were up there. Well, last year when we went to Seattle we noticed the glass museum along the way and thought it would be interesting to visit. So as part of our Tacoma experience we visited The Glass Museum. I took photos of our endeavors. So first off:

Madrona Fiber Retreat. The show was a bit smaller than I was expecting, but there was still plenty to see. There were lots of booths from shops in Seattle that I hadn't seen before. There were lots of pretty handmade buttons that were drool worthy. Somehow I resisted because I told myself that I only need buttons for my baby sweater and super fancy hand washable buttons just wouldn't work. Maybe next year or for a very special sweater. I also told myself that I didn't need any more sock yarn or yarn for projects because I have plenty to work on already. That did leave room for yarn for baby projects, since I just found out that my cousin is going to have a baby, and sale yarn.

As you can see, I found a little something to come home with me. The buttons are for the baby sweater I just finished out of the Aztec Boucle. I'll talk about them a bit more next time when I talk about the sweater. Next up are the balls of Jojoland Rhythm. I got 6 balls in total in 2 different colorways. I was thinking baby sweater when I bought them. Of course I didn't realize that these are handwashable until after I got them so they may turn into something else. I still think they look so pretty I am sure I will have plenty of inspiration. Lastly the yarn on the end is O-Wool. It was on sale and so pretty. I just love the soft minty green color. It is organic merino wool and very soft. I'm not sure what it will be either, but it can probably felt so that adds a few possibilities. I'm sure after it marinates in the stash for a bit that I will come up with something.

Next we went to The Glass Museum. It was an incredible experience. Coincidentally the day that we were there was the last day that world renowned glass artist Lino Tagliapietra was there demonstrating his work. We got there right after the museum opened. We got a seat right away and watched as Lino and his many assistants fused together and molded glass in giant furnaces. Each one of his assistants are glass artists in their own right. Apparently this was only a small part of the entire process, which includes cooling the glass and reheating the glass over several days. It was incredible. Next we walked through the gallery part of the museum, which had lots of different amazing exhibits. After the museum we went to a gallery next door that was showing some of Lino's work as well as some of his assistants. It was so inspiring to see all the different colors and textures. I definitely recommend visiting The Glass Museum if you ever find yourself in Tacoma.

Tacoma 2009

If you would like to check out all of my photos from the adventure you can check out my Tacoma 2009 photo album above.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Two New Yarns!

I am excited to introduce to you two new yarns to the fiber garden:

The first yarn is Inca Cotton. It is 100% naturally colored organic cotton. I have loved this yarn for a long time. It is much softer than regular cotton. It is great for baby projects as well as facecloths and any other project that calls for cotton. The yarn is a bulky weight with a thick & thin texture. I knit up the canning jar cozy out of this yarn for Christmas. I can report that it was a huge success and the recipient uses it all the time. This yarn comes in three colors: Ecru, Desert (brown & white), and Ur.

My second yarn I am totally in love with is called Aztec Boucle. It is also 100% naturally colored organic cotton. It has a small boucle texture that makes it feel like terry cloth when knit up. I am currently knitting the cutest baby sweater out of this yarn as a sample. I am just waiting for the buttons to arrive, then I will share it with you guys. The yarn is a sport-dk weight yarn. It is hard to tell with boucles. I am knitting it on a US#4 and I think it is pretty perfect. The yarn comes in 4 colors: Ecru, Amber, Kalahari (brown & white), and Tan.

Currently I am not planning on dyeing these yarns. I really love the natural tones they come in and that they are all organic. Also, in case you are wondering, they are both 100% vegan yarns.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Even More Gardiner Yarn Works Patterns...

Gardiner Yarn Works released 3 more patterns! These make me so happy:

First up is the One Night Stand Scarf. It is a super fast knit out of bulky yarn. It literally should take you only one night!

Next are the Nautilus Socks! These are really straight forward socks that are knit from the toe-up in sport weight yarn. They also include a really awesome illustrated guide of Judy's Magic Cast-On.

Lastly, my favorite pattern, Fancy Pants! I think it is the most darling pattern. It is knit out of fingering-weight sock yarn. That means you can either buy special sock yarn or knit from your stash. Either way these fancy pants will be just perfect for your baby or as a gift!

All three patterns are now available in the shop as well as many other fabulous patterns by Gardiner Yarn Works!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Stained Glass Bag

Finally I am done with all of my Christmas Knitting. It only took me until February!

I first gifted this to my mother in it's unfinished state. I only had the bottom left to do and the top ridge and handles. It wasn't so hard to do once I got down to it. The bottom is rounded with smaller and smaller scallops. I just got distracted with a couple of different things.

Though once it was done there were roughly a million ends to sew in. I dutifully sewed in all of the ends for the upper part of the bag, but gave in when I got to the bottom. After all the whole thing was supposed to be felted. I figured at the very worst I could needle felt in any holes. As it happened there weren't any holes at all. I simply had to snip off all of the extra felted ends and the inside looked perfect.

Here is the finished bag in all of its glory! The twisted handle was my mother's idea. I might have made it a bit longer if it was for a functional bag. This pattern was wonderful for eating up all of my extra balls of Noro Kureyon from my stash. I figured out that 4 grams of yarn were needed for each large scallop and even less for the bitty scallops on the bottom. Overall I used 4 different colorways of Noro and I have no idea which ones they were since they no longer had tags. I used Cascade 22o Color #9457 Cobalt, which I had leftover as well. I feel pretty good for knocking a chunk out of my stash while still knitting something really beautiful. The pattern is Felted Stained Glass Fan bag by Madeline Langan (Rav). I definitely recommend it.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Happy February!

It's the first day of February and that means a brand new sale for the shop! This month is something a little unexpected:

I am sure that just about everyone has read up on the CPSIA and how it effects small businesses. In a nut shell every business that manufactures items for children under 12 must have them tested for lead content after February 10th. This law was created in reaction to all of the toys imported from China that had to be recalled because of their high lead content. Many people have turned to handmade toys made by indie designers instead of mass produced items imported from China. The trouble with the new law is that it hurts those very same indie designers because they won't be able to afford the tests for each new product. Meanwhile the big businesses, that caused the problems in the first place, will be able to afford the new testing and stay in business. As the law stands now textiles, which are known to contain little to no lead, are still required to have the testing and certification. This includes yarn. Yarn sold on its own is not effected since the dyer cannot possibly know how the customer will use it. However, kits like my LavenderLamb Baby Sock Kits are effected because the intended recipient of the knitted item is under the age of 12. So, until things have either been changed or have been clarified I am going to discontinue my LavenderLamb Baby Sock Kits. I am selling them at 50% off for the month of February and when they are gone they are gone.

For more information on this make sure to check out the Etsy Forums and The Smart Mama.

Note: Since writing the above I have learned about the stay that has been put in place on the CPSIA. It still requires lead levels to be below 600ppm, but proof can used from other sources. The stay puts off certification for 1 year when there will be another vote. I definitely have proof from safety data sheets for my dye. However, I think for now I will still discontinue the LavenderLamb Sock Kits.