Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Workshop Wednesdays: Steeks & More Steeks

Mary Scott Huff is back for another year! I have already talked about her Stranded in Your Hat Class. Next up are her Eeek! Steeks! and Sexy Shapely Steeks classes. Her classes are simply amazing! In the Eeek! Steeks! class Mary walks you through 3 different ways to create a steek. What are Steeks? Well, steeking is the act of cutting your knitting after you have knit it. It comes in handy for a lot of things, especially color knitting. Color knitting is easier to do in the round, but on sweaters you have to divide for sleeves or even for the front of a cardigan. Steeking makes it possible to knit these things in the round and then cut afterwards. I did a bit of steeking myself on a baby sweater here and another baby sweater here! Once you try it out you will see so many possibilities!

In her Sexy Shapely Steeks you then take steeking to a whole new level! You use your steeks to actually shape your garment. This is a great way to take a pattern which had no shaping and add your shaping after you are done knitting. Also if you have a favorite sweater but hate how it looks like a bag instead of being figure flattering this class will teach you how to fix that! This is one class I really wish I had time to take. I think it will be simply amazing and mind blowing with useful information. Make sure to check it out!

For more information on Eeek! Steeks, check out here: http://cgff.lavendersheep.com/workshops/steek.html

For more information on Shapely Sexy Steeks, check out here:
http://cgff.lavendersheep.com/workshops/steek-adv.html

Friday, December 21, 2012

Photo Friday: Toddler Lock


One of the apps on my Android phone and tablet that I absolutely love is called Toddler Lock. It makes sounds and small kiddos can draw on it without messing with other apps. It locks them just to this screen. Well, except for the screen shots button, which my son occasionally takes advantage of. I'm going to post a few of these for Photo Friday as well, because I think they are pretty awesome!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Workshop Wednesday: Portuguese Knitting and Turkish Socks

Portuguese Knitting has been a successful class the past two years! The class has filled up and I'm sure this year will be no exception! I'm really excited to have Teri Zipf back for another year teaching this wonderful class!

In addition she came up with the brilliant idea of teaching Turkish Socks in the Portuguese Style. So if you already knit using Portuguese Knitting this class is a great way to expand your knitting horizons! The class will go over knitting colorwork using Portuguese Knitting as well as history and examples of the Turkish Sock Knitting tradition. I took a class many years ago on Turkish Socks. I was simply amazed by all the different intricate patterns and colors used. So when Teri suggested teaching this class I jumped right on it. I know it will be simply amazing.

So, if you don't knit Portuguese there are a couple of options we have come up with in case you still want to take the class. The first is if you don't knit Portuguese Style, but you are proficient knitting stranded colorwork with another style then you are welcome to take the class. Teri is fully versed in the Portuguese Style, but isn't as comfortable with other styles so may not be able to help you. The second way to take the class is if you take the Beginning Portuguese Knitting Friday afternoon you should be ready to tackle the Turkish Socks Saturday Morning. If you take both classes you will be well on your way to being totally converted to the Portuguese Style. So make sure to check out both classes!

The link for Beginning Portuguese Knitting is here: http://cgff.lavendersheep.com/workshops/portugueseknitting.html

The link for Turkish Socks in the Portuguese Style is here: http://cgff.lavendersheep.com/workshops/portugueseadv.html

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Workshop Wednesdays: Stranded in Your Hat

Once again I am happy to have Mary Scott Huff involved with the CGFF! She is so talented and I have heard nothing but great things from the students who took her classes!

This year she is teaching the whole weekend long. Today I am going to focus on her first class Friday Afternoon: Stranded in Your Hat. This class is much like the class she taught last year called Stranded in Your Socks, only in this class you make a hat on bigger needles and with bigger yarn. This class calls for DK instead of Fingering. So bigger stitches and bigger progress! Both really excellent things!

Mary is the author of two awesome color knitting books: The New Stranded Colorwork and Teach Yourself VISUALLY Color Knitting! She is definitely an expert in her field! To get to know her better make sure to check out her really awesome blog: Unravelling

For more information, check out Stranded in Your Hat!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Workshop Wednesdays: Basic Finishing

Workshops are up on the website and with that brings a new series of Workshop Wednesday posts.

I am starting out the series for this year with one of my favorites. Donna Arney is one of my very good friends. She shares a booth with me at every show I do. One of the qualities I most admire about Donna is the patient way she is able to teach people new things. She has a very loyal following of students who sign up for her classes year after year. She also has a very loyal following of students who took her classes week after week at her local yarn shop. When she asked her students last year what class she should teach this year they said one on Basic Finishing and so that's what we have decided to put together. This is just the basics, but done very well. Donna plans on covering Kitchener and Mattress Stitch, weaving in ends, picking up stitches, and 3-needle bind-off. If there is time she also plans on covering button holes, i-cord, blocking, and zippers. Knowing Donna I am sure she would also be open to questions you specifically have with finishing a garment and will tailor the class around what the class would like to learn about.

Registration for classes begins January 7th. Make sure to keep this class in mind when you sign up!

Monday, November 26, 2012

X Hoody

Here is more knitting! I have decided, with how busy I am, I am going to work on only one project at a time for awhile. Well at least until I have a few items off the list and then I might double up again. I actually prefer 2 active projects usually. One complicated project for when I watch tv and one simple project for when I am social. Right now it is simple projects all the way with lots of stockinette!


For instance, I am knitting this hoody (rav link) for my son out of Madelintosh DK. I love the colors and I love the yarn! The main color is Happiness, which I think is an exclusive at Happy Knits in Portland. I'm not quite sure, but I haven't seen it at my LYS, so that's my guess. The pattern is a Debbie Bliss and only goes up to 18 months, but her patterns tend to run wide and short, so I am using it anyway. My son is 2 1/2, but tall and skinny. The sweater is supposed to be a bit baggy, in the skater style. So I took measurements off a t-shirt which fits him the way I want the sweater to fit. So far so good. I'll take another measurement when I get to the sleeves. Hopefully it will still fit him by the time I get it done!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Link Scarf

My needles have been busy! Well I've been busy too. What with 2 busy kids, organizing classes for the CGFF (there are some really good ones), organizing returning vendors, preparing for new vendors, setting up advertising, putting things on sale on the website, and prepping for Thanksgiving, I have definitely been busy. So here is something I can actually show you:


I finished a scarf for my grandmother (rav link). The yarn is Link by Berrocco. It's a super bulky i-cord yarn. It suggests using 35US needles and it means it! I thought I would be fine with my 17USs, but I wasn't. I trudged through the scarf and it was very tight and hurt my hands. I don't plan on ever knitting with this yarn again, but if I did I would use a pair of 35USs. Still, I know my grandmother will love it for Christmas. Her smile and thanks all make it worthwhile. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday Season

I had a lot of fun this last week shooting pictures of my kiddos for our Christmas cards. It gave me a great opportunity to get some shots of them in a couple of things fresh off the needles!



Here is my littlest in her Zebra Stripe dress (rav link)! I love love love it so very much! It was a lot of work on size 0s, 1s, and 2s. The only thing I would have changed is I would have knit the lace border on 1s before starting the colorwork. The pattern doesn't say to change needles for the lace or the main body, but I did end up doing it for the main body and I'm glad I did. I actually went back and took out the lace at the bottom and reknit it with the smaller size needles because it refused to stop curling. However, I do see myself knitting more dresses like this. It it really awesome and works great for layering with a long sleeve onesie and tights. I think it will make a great party dress for the holiday season and I look forward to my little one wearing it lots! 

 
Next, for my #1 son I made him a holiday elf hat (rav link). It's made from some handspun yarn I had leftover from when I used to spin and knit my mom wild socks for Christmas. I kinda made up the pattern with some assistance from Itty Bitty Hats. I think it might need a pom-pom, what do you think? I might write up the pattern if there is enough interest!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Roast Broccoli Pesto

So I originally got this idea from the Smitten Kitchen.

Then, of course, I had to modify it. I decided to use roasted broccoli instead. It turned out so good! It is so easy to make too! What is also awesome is it is easily made vegan and is naturally gluten free! So a great thing to serve when you have lots of friends with many different dietary needs like I do. I used the roasted broccoli recipe from Barefoot Contessa only I tweaked it a bit for my own needs. It disappeared too fast to get a photo, but I promise next time I will get one! Here is my recipe:


  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • Good olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Penzey's Florida Sprinkle (Lemon Pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (leave out if making it vegan)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
Remove the broccoli from the oven and let cool for a few minutes until you can touch them with your fingers. Place in a food processor. Add Florida Sprinkle, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and basil leaves. Drizzle with Olive Oil. I drizzled, then turned on the food processor, checked it, and drizzled more until it looked like the consistency of pesto. Shred more parmesan cheese on top, if desired.
It goes great with pasta or tortellini. Can be used in any way pesto is regularly used. 
I will also admit that I have never been a fan of broccoli until I tried this roast broccoli recipe. Turning into pesto creates one more fabulous way to eat it! I love it. 

Monday, November 05, 2012

Think Pink!

My cousin recently had a baby girl and I promised her something pink!



This is the Debbie Bliss Ribbon Cardigan (rav link). I knit it out of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. It called for a ribbon trim, but I couldn't bring myself to actually add it, since I think it would mostly be annoying to a baby. Besides, I think it's super cute without it! I love the buttons, which I found at the Button Emporium in downtown Portland!

Then, since I still had plenty of yarn I thought I would make a hat. This is my go to hat for baby knitting (rav link). It's cute and fun. Really easy to knit, and best of all the pattern is free on Ravelry. I have knit it a few times for other people and I always love the result. Not to mention people love to receive it as a gift too! I started with 3 balls of baby cashmerino and I think after knitting the cardigan and hat I still have enough to knit a hat for F, if I can get to it before she grows out of it that is!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Happy November!

With November comes Holiday Knitting and with Holiday Knitting comes a BIG Yarn Sale!


25% off
and
Don't forget to check out the Sale Page for great deals too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Plover Bead Shawl Pins

One of my favorite jobs running my shop is picking out a few extras to go with my yarn. I especially love Plover Bead Shawl Pins because I get to pick out which ones to carry and there are so many to choose from!



I chose this Black Bead one because of the delicate flower. I think it is really elegant and would go with a number of different things including shawls, scarves, and sweaters. 



Then this one I just had to have because the bead is a little squishy yarn ball! I love this Aqua Blue color. Donna of Plover Designs assured me she has lots of colors, so if this is popular then I plan on stocking more. What color would you like to see it in? If you would like to buy one in another color right away I can custom order you one through Plover and they will ship it to you directly. How cool is that?

Note: I am going on vacation. So any orders placed October 19 - 28, will be shipped October 29th! Thanks!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Color Affection

Do you know what else looks really great with the Valencia Top? My Color Affection Shawl (rav link)!



Here it is sporting one of the new Line Plover Designs Shawl Pins! I really love this shawl! I love the colors! I love the way it hugs my shoulders. I love how it shows off shawl pins really well! I just love it!

 
I love the backside too! I knit this out of my Cashmere Sock yarn in colors Summer Sky, Pear Blossom, and Berry Pie. The colors go great together. Plus it is soft and warm. I expect to get a lot of use out of it for next year's shows. I think it will be perfect for those chilly mornings, but light enough to wear through the sunny afternoons. I may have to knit another one of these sometime soon!

Note: I am currently on vacation. So any orders placed October 19 - 28, will be shipped October 29th! Thanks!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New! Plover Shawl Pins

 I'm so excited to share the brand new shawl pins just in from Plover Designs
 
This is the Copper Line. I wish I could share a video with you of how this pin works. Pretty much you start with it facing you and then it goes through your shawl and flips over to make the design. It stays put and won't come out. I sat next to Donna at OFFF demonstrating this pin over and over and it was simply amazing! 

Here it is in Aluminum through a shawl. It looks so modern and classy. I love it!

 

The other new design is a Shooting Star shown here in recycled Aluminum. It works much like the line, using the tail to flip over and stay in place. 

 
Here is the Copper through a shawl. It really looks like a shooting star!

Note: I am going on vacation. So any orders placed October 19 - 28, will be shipped October 29th! Thanks!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Valencia #2

Isn't it pretty? When I was putting together kits on the website, I realized that the XS size only takes 2 skeins of Superwash Worsted (Color Summer Sky)! I had to have a new one for my booth, so I got yarn and pattern to my sample knitter Jill and she made this up for me! I got it just in time for Oregon Flock and Fiber!



This pattern has a lot of negative ease. The XS size is 20", but due to the ribbing and stretch it can fit my mannequin with a 34" bust. That's right 14" of negative ease! Still it looks wonderful, especially paired with a light summery skirt. Which means if you start knitting now it will be done just in time for Spring/Summer. 
 
Here is the back side. I could also picture this worn over a cream or black turtleneck for the winter months, which would make this a year round top. It's so cute! I think it would look really great in any of my other semi-solids, such as Sea Turtle, Berry Pie, or Bordeaux. Plus when you buy the yarn and pattern together in a kit you get a 10% discount on yarn. Check out the pattern page to find out more!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Self Striping Socks

I thought this was really fascinating. It is in German, but I think you get a pretty good idea of how self striping yarn is made. I think this is Opal, maybe? Definitely a different process than what I go through!


Monday, October 08, 2012

Leaf Blanket

I finished this Leaf Blanket (rav link) up some time ago. It is a gift for my cousin for her baby shower, so I couldn't share it until I had actually given it to her. 



The pattern is Leaf Blanket by Susan B Anderson and is distributed through Blue Sky Alpaca. The pattern calls for their super bulky Spud & Chloe Outer. My yarn shop doesn't carry this yarn, but I had seen on Ravelry where some people had substituted Cascade 128 Superwash Chunky and doubled it. My lys does carry that yarn! So I bought 3 skeins, just in case and went to it. It took exactly 2 skeins of yarn for me to knit the blanket. I think I had less than a yard when I finished!



This is how the blanket looks folded up. You fold the stem up the baby's body then wrap each side of the leaf around the baby then button in place. (Button not pictured, I added it later) 

Then with the leftover skein of yarn I whipped out a newborn baby hat (rav link) to go with it. I think I have enough left over to knit another baby hat in the future. The baby is due any time now, so I figured its wee head might get a bit chilly this time of year.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

How to Tell if a Fiber is Superwash or Not...

or when in doubt get out the power tools!

I have a bit of a story to tell you today with lots of pictures! So a month or so ago I received a big order from a customer for Merino/Tencel Roving in a variety of colors. She makes felted art scarves, so it was very important it was Merino and not Superwash Merino. Well her order cleared out all the undyed fiber I had on hand and I had to order more. Roughly 8oz more for her order, plus more to replenish my stock on hand. 

Well, I got more of what I thought (and my supplier thought) was Merino/Tencel, only it wasn't. I received an email from my customer saying that 8oz was actually superwash and wouldn't work. So I contacted my wonderful supplier and they sent me more, saying they were sure it was Merino/Tencel. This time, to make sure I got out the power tools! Here is a sure fire way to tell if your fiber is superwash or not!


First take a small piece of fiber and dip it into some warm soapy water. Then squeeze it so it isn't too wet.
  

Then get out your electric sander. Make sure it is the vibrating kind, not the belt kind. Also make sure you plug it into a GFCI outlet, just in case. I plugged it into one in my kitchen. There isn't much water involved, but it's better to be safe than sorry! 

Put your bit of fiber onto a cookie sheet. Then turn the sander on and apply it to the sample. For these I moved it back and forth across the fiber for 1 minute on each side. Here are the results:


Merino Wool. I started with this one since I learned this technique in college and I wanted to make sure I was doing it right. Merino felts very easily, so this was a great sample to start with. This is Citrus, which I will dye upon request.
  


Merino / Tencel. From some fiber I had on hand from before. I knew this was Merino/Tencel and sure enough it felted up really nicely, even nicer than the straight merino. This is Owen, which I plan on dyeing more of very soon. Isn't it a gorgeous colorway?!



Superwash Merino / Tencel. Ever wonder what superwash really does when you try to felt it? Well wonder no longer. As you can see the fibers don't stick together and it's one matted lump. I could pull this back apart and spin it if I wanted to. It didn't change one bit from its previous form. This is Berry Pie. 



So, here is my mystery fiber I got from my supplier. I actually did this 2 minutes on each side, just to be extra cautious and give it every chance it could have. Now looking at the samples above to compare it, which one does it look like to you? It looks very much like the Superwash Merino / Tencel to me. So I emailed my supplier and they were hugely apologetic. They got immediately on the phone to the mill and ordered up a brand new batch of Merino/Tencel. 

 
So, when the new shipment arrived this week they sent me a little felted ball, which they tested in house. However, I couldn't resist getting out my sander again for a little test. This was one minute on each side and ta-da it looks just like how it should look. So if you have ever wondered whether the Merino/Tencel Roving I carry is really plain Merino, it most certainly is! Also if you have mystery fiber in your stash which you can't remember whether it is superwash or not, just get out the power tools and test it out!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Photo Friday: OFFF


A picture from me! Just an idea of how crowded it was all day Saturday!


A picture from X during take down. Him and his sister sat out on the grass.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Colorway: Garden Party

This yarn is named Garden Party. This is not your average garden party! This party has kick and attitude. Invite your friends and have some fun with these vibrant colors!


This is Garden Party on Superwash Sock!


This is Garden Party on Superwash Merino / Tencel Roving!


As you can see from my Color Affection shawl (rav link), I really love these colors! They go so well together. Now if I can just get it done in time for  Oregon Flock and Fiber, this weekend. I have 10 more short rows to go, then 2 inches of border! We'll see! If not I will be knitting it there and will wear it whether I have time to block it or not!

Make sure to check out the shawl, this colorway, and many others at this weekend at Oregon Flock and Fiber in Canby, Oregon! We will have a booth out on the lawn in our regular spot!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Colorway: Apple Cinnamon

It's starting to feel like fall! For me that means it will soon be cool enough for baking again! When I think of fall and baking I think of Applesauce and Apple Pie! I guess that's why I was inspired to create this colorway: Apple Cinnamon!


This is Apple Cinnamon on Superwash Sock!


This is Apple Cinnamon on Merino / Tussah Roving!

Make sure to check out this colorway and many others at Oregon Flock and Fiber this weekend in Canby, Oregon! We will have a booth out on the lawn in our regular spot!




Thursday, September 06, 2012

Happy September!


Here at LavenderSheep we are now offering a brand new shipping policy, effective immediately! Now when you buy an item shipping is only $1 per item! So if you buy 1 item it is $1, if you buy 7 it is $7. PDF patterns are still free, no matter how many you buy!

Also, Oregon Flock and Fiber is coming up September 22 & 23. It will be baby F's first show! So make sure to stop by, buy some yarn, and check out the new baby!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Kits!

I am happy to announce I am now putting together kits!


Almost all of the patterns I sell now have a kit option. When you buy a kit you get the pattern and a 10% discount on the yarn! Simply write in the color choice for the yarn and add it to your cart. If the yarn is in stock then it will ship out immediately. If it isn't then it will be dyed up specifically for your project and shipped within 1-3 weeks. There are lots of pattern and yarns to choose from, including the Ivy Shawl (pictured above) in Silky Sock, color Moss. So, make sure to check out all of the kits available today and don't forget to use the coupon newblog10 for an additional 10% discount if you use Google Wallet!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Color Affection!

For everyone who guessed Color Affection (rav link), you are correct!


I know this shawl is all over the internet right now. The Yarn Harlot and Brenda Dayne have both posted about it! In my defense I actually liked this shawl before either of them posted about it. Then everyone seemed to fall in love with it. Well I was shopping my own store when I came up with 3 of my favorite colors in Cashmere Blend Sock: Summer Sky, Pear Blossom, and Berry Pie. I am totally in love! I am almost to the end of the first section. One more row and I can add a second color!

I love how this pattern is simple, but interesting so far. It combines garter stitch with increases at both sides to keep it interesting. My goal is to get this done in time for Oregon Flock & Fiber at the end of September. It can be chilly in the morning and warm in the afternoons. So this will be perfect to keep me warm in the mornings. Besides, I think it will look really awesome with a Plover Shawl Pin!