Monday, July 31, 2006

One Skein

I have been spending the past few days taking care of my sick husband. He feels alright but his tonsils and throat are really sore. Poor baby! So, I am taking care of him and making him rest and drink lots of fluids. One of them being what my mother calls "the whiskey cure" (he he), which he doesn't complain about too much. (And no I am not getting him drunk, it is only a teaspoon of whisky to help his throat). He is feeling a little better today and I am hoping that he will feel his best when I have my girls dye and movie night on Wednesday.

In other news, I got my one skein package yesterday and it is totally awesome. I got a huge box of stuff, which definately looked much larger than a single skein of yarn. Inside were all these goodies: A notebook (which I collect and use for pattern idea books), different colored pens, T-pins, a boye needle gauge, and some yarn. The boye needle gauge is really awesome in that you just set the bottom thingy to 10 sts and it will tell how many stitches to the inch. I just love new gadgets and I am sure that I will put this one to good use. The yarn is from Uruguay, apparently South America (at least where my pal went) isn't very good for yarn, which is sad. The yarn there doesn't have any tags, but it reminds both of us of Malabrigo, which I have been meaning to try out for awhile. It is so soft, just like butteh!

Then my piece de resistance is this lovely roving. My pal owns her very own mill, which is really really cool. My husband and I have thought about opening up a mill, our area could really use one (which is a hint to anyone out there in the area who wants to open one). I put the roving on the scale and there is a little over 7 oz. I am going to have to come up with something interesting to make out of it once it is spun up. There are so many different colors, I just know that it is going to be gorgeous when spun up. Apparently it doesn't felt very well, so I am really going to have to think. Any ideas out there? Anyway, thank you! thank you! one skein pal. I can't wait to find out who she is and perhaps read her blog.

In etsy news, I have more yarn up on my etsy store. I have a couple of small sock yarn skeins up and some more ribbon and whisper yarn. It's a good thing that I am planning on dyeing on Wednesday, just so that I have more supplies. I'll take pics of our party. It should be fun!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Knot Another Hat

Well, Sarah has up a brand new blog. She got tired of blogger not letting her post pics up, so she switched over. On her new blog are pictures of our dye party. There are some pretty good shots of us painting yarn. It was loads of fun, so go check it out.

I was asked in the comments by Ruth what the ribbon yarn and the whisper yarn is made from. The ribbon yarn is 100% luster nylon and the whisper is 100% microfiber nylon. Both are really soft. Sabrina is making a tube top from the ribbon she dyed and it is incredibly soft.

For my own knitting I don't have much to report. I've just been dabbling a bit with everything. I'll post pictures when I have something worth showing.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


I have been busy, busy, busy with yarn and more yarn. Last night was my big dye and wine night and it turned out awesome. I don't have photos, but Sarah should have some up soon. I'll post a link when they are up, since she is moving her blog soon. I do, however, have pictures of all the yarn that is going up on etsy soon. I have already posted up some yarn to my etsy shop, so check it out there is more to come.

This is the brand new ribbon yarn. I really love this stuff. After Sarah saw it she promptly went and bought 2 1/2 pounds of it. We got to dye it at the dye workshop. Now I just need to come up with a project for 8 oz of ribbon yarn. Annie Modesitt has been designing some rather pretty things with ribbon yarn, so maybe I will come up with something. Both Sarah and Sabrina thought that the Chocolate raspberry ribbon would go really well with the chocolate raspberry whisper.

Which brings me to the whisper. All hand-dyed in a beautiful variety of colors. I am really happy with how they turned out. I brought some with me to the dye workshop for the others to dye too and they loved it! This yarn is so soft and it just soaks up the dye. It would make an excellent scarf or it would be a great accent on a felted bag. I just love this yarn!

Now what you have all been waiting for, the sock yarn. I have these skeins so far. I still have a couple more to reskein, which I will try to post up here when I post them on Etsy. I am trying to be better about that. The darker pink has already sold, with the lovely name of Mountain Sunset. I still have Mountain Sunrise, which will be up soon. Actually, all of them will be up soon. Woohoo!

Finally I have this little baby. It is handspun, near sock yarn (actually light sport weight). I need to go even finer. It is superwash, handpainted by me. I am very proud of it. It would be down at Knot Another Hat, but someone bought it before we could even put it in the system. I'm happy that it is going to a good home. Now back to the spinning wheel to make the next beauty!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Camping and Updates

My husband and I went camping this past Thursday. We only spent one night, because it has been a few years since we have been camping and we weren't sure if we would like it. We did have lots of fun and I can see us going out on a few more outings. My big accomplishment is that I started my trekking sock. I managed to get the cuff done. This is my first real trek with my sock and since I do belong to Trek along with me for the summer I thought it would be a good idea to get started. The only unfortunate part is that I can't post up on their page because I don't have a Typepad account. Oh, well, I'll just do it anyway, because it is fun.

This is the sock peacefully camping out on the picnic table. It is my first sock that has a pattern to it other than a basic sock construction. I will be using the twin rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. Part of this KAL is to tell where I went with the sock. Well, I'm going to leave it at a campground near/on Mount Hood. The reason being that a great many of the campgrounds in the area were filled up (namely, my favorite, Lost Lake) on a Thursday and I am hoping that if no one but us locals know about this one that it will still be available for future camping trips.

In other finished objects, I have this lovely felted bag. It will be up on my etsy store either today or sometime soon, as well as sock yarn, novelty yarn, and ribbon yarn. All handpainted for your enjoyment.

The same day that I finished the whisper scarf, I also finished this lovely Fiesta scarf. It takes one skein of Fiesta Rayon yarn in color #2142 Jamaican Spice. Cast on 120 stitches on size 13 needles and knit until there is no more yarn. Loose bind-off and ta-da beautiful evening scarf/shawl. It is very lovely when done, but is a tiny bit daunting for an experienced knitter to do all that garter stitch. I'm just very thankful that it is done and sitting quite elegantly down at Knot Another Hat.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Dear Crystal Palace,

I would like to clear up some confusion about my post dated May 7, 2006. Firstly, I am not the owner of Knot Another Hat, Sarah is the owner and happens to have her very own wonderful blog. I am her employee. I teach classes, sell my own yarn, and help customers. I am opinionated, but those opinions do not necessarily reflect those held by Sarah. I do think that your whisper yarn is a very lovely yarn, but that it is poorly displayed, and thus comes across poorly to your customers. While it is in balls, it does not reflect the true beauty of this yarn. The balls are very pretty when they first come, but due to gravity (or something) they tend to collapse internally and look matted. Nobody wants to buy yarn that looks like a small, furry, dead animal. When they are in bunches it is even worse, because they all mat together into one furry heap. I think that the yarn would look much better in skeins, where it could be displayed hung up on dowels or hooks.Then the yarn would retain its nice fuzzy shape and a person could tell one skein apart from another.

My other issue has been color. I originally did not like the color of the off-white, because it has a sort of dirty color to it. This I have remedied by dyeing it myself. I quite enjoy dyeing this wonderful yarn, because it takes dye so well. I think the off-white color may even be growing on me a little. I could totally see mixing it with some other yarn such as dragonfly or even fizz stardust (my absolute favorite!). Overall I love your yarns. I think you have many wonderful products, which I am happy to use. In fact I recently knit up a store model out of whisper (Size 13 needles, 15 sts, one ball of whisper + 1 ball of katia gatsby!). I was really happy with it. I was amazed at the yardage that it had and I have only been sorry that other knitters have not discovered this yarn in the way that I have. Please consider what I have to say, after all my marketing professor said that one of the biggest mistakes that businesses can make is not listening to what their customers have to say. Thank you for your kind attention,

Yvonne Ellsworth

Note to my readers:
Yes, Crystal Palace read my blog (kinda cool I think) way back in May and read the comments that I posted up about their whisper yarn. They somehow thought that it was Sarah who had posted it up and she got into a bit of trouble by the company when she went to order more for me to paint. I wrote this letter to hopefully clarify my position and her's. The one thing that this has got me thinking about is that yarn companies read blogs, which means that if you have a major complaint about a yarn, then voice it. On the other hand, if you love what a yarn company is doing then voice that too. I think it is one way for us, as customers and knitters, to have a say in our yarn. Perhaps we can make a change one skein at a time.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Check it out

Have you ever wondered what my handspun yarn looks like knit up? Well, the fabulous Sabrina, who has only been knitting since May, finished up a pair of fingerless mitts out of a skein of my yarn. They look really awesome. So, go and check out her hard work. Speaking of Sabrina, she now has her website up. It is still under construction, but it has a little about her shop.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Dye Day

Monday I spent dyeing plenty of skeins to go up in my etsy store. I added two new colors this time, brown and orange. These two are colors that I generally don't like, but I decided that if I was going to have a full palette that I needed them in the mix. I really enjoyed dyeing with both of them, they added more options. Though the orange was a little garish while it was still wet, but after it had set it toned down to closer to its name of cantaloupe. I just love it and I think I will continue to use both. I also got a black, but I really don't like to use black, so we shall see.

Here is all of the lovelies patiently waiting to be dyed. There is lots of sock yarn, some ribbon yarn, and some novelty that I will talk about in a later post, so stay tuned.

Here is a close up of the ribbon yarn. I just love this yarn. It is all shimmery and soft. It dyes very nicely, so I am very very happy with it.

Here is all the sock yarn all dyed up. I could put up the whole line, but I figure that you get the picture. It is so much fun to experiment with color and see what turns out. It will also be a lot of fun to reskein and see how the colors mix with one another.

Then in my spare time (ha ha), I spun this lovely yarn. To be honest, I don't really like it myself. The color combination is just not me, but somebody out there might just love this baby. It is down at Knot Another Hat and should be on my page on the website shortly. It is 100% merino and it is named Salsa.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Yarn! Yarn! Yarn!

I am so excited! Sarah has added my yarn up to the Knot Another Hat website, which means that pretty much everything you see here will end up on there. I think it is so awesome to have it up so that everyone has a chance to buy it. *happy dance* You can check it out on my very own page. On top of that my mother now has project bags for sale at KAH, so you can see her bags here, here, and here.

Then to clear out some yarn to make some room for more down at KAH I am listing some handspun on my etsy shop. There's a couple of alpaca, one with beads, and a whole lot more. It really has made my day.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

KSKS and More Yarn

I got my bag done for KSKS. Actually my mom and I worked on it together as a mother-daughter project. I think it is more fun that way. The fabric is kinda special to me and I really hope that my partner likes it as much as I do.

This fabric I got from Daisy Kingdom in Portland before they went out of business. It was one of my favorite places to shop because they had tons of beautiful fabric and Tech Powells is right across the street, where my husband would go and hang out. I think that this fabric would make really cute curtains and there is still enough left that I can do that if I wish.

This fabric is also really special to me. This was an experiment in college to see if I could handpaint over white on white fabric. It worked! I really love this fabric, especially since the butterflies stand out a little more in some places than others. I should get some more white on white and do a little more painting sometime.

This is my latest handspun and is, unfortunately, not going to my ksks pal. It is superwash and is intended for socks. It should be knit on a 3-5 needle, so a little heavy for socks. I need to work on getting superfine so that I can really make some cool sock yarn. I named this one Raspberry Ice Tea because it is primarily raspberry color with little flecks of white and yellow throughout it. It just makes me think summery thoughts. And with that I am going to head out into the world and enjoy the summery day!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

So Much Fun

So, I think my knitting bug might be coming back just an itty bitty bit. My spinning bug is most certainly going strong.

This yarn I finished up yesterday. It is 100% Blue Faced Leicester wool that I handpainted. It is about a DK weight. I named it Rainbow Valley, after the book by L M Montgomery that I read as a child. It was suppose to be down at Knot Another Hat, but Sabrina saw it when it came in and has claimed it for either leg warmers or wrist warmers.

Speaking of Sabrina, I am proud to announce that she is no longer blogless. Woohoo! I strongly advise visiting her site and taking a look at her handknit cupcake ottoman cozy. She enlarged and changed the cupcake pattern from the One Skein book. Did I mention that she has only been knitting from the beginning of May? She is a wonder and I am happy that she has finally decided to join us in blogland.

Finally a knitted item that is complete. The only thing left is to find a bitty button and I think I will leave that for Sarah. This is a store model for Knot Another Hat. It is the Sugar n' Spice pattern from Minnowknits, size year 1. It is knit out of Debbie Bliss Baby Casmerino, which is super nice because it is soft and machine washable.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

1 Year Anniversary

Last night was the 1 year anniversary of the opening of Knot Another Hat. It's just amazing that it has been a year. I discovered Sarah's shop shortly after she opened and have been there ever since. I just love it.

It was also Sabrina's Grand Opening. She owns So Much Fun, a sporty chic clothing store. I wish that I had taken some pictures, because it was just crazy. We had loads of people and they actually bought things. Most first fridays people don't buy things instead the just wander through and look. We had lots of sales and lots of people interested in classes. I think I might even have a full learn to knit class next week!

To show my thanks to both of these wonderful people my mom and I made up these bags. I filled the bags with goodies. My mom is planning on making up a few to sell at Knot Another Hat, because they are perfect for knitting, since knitting needles won't go through them. This first one is for Sabrina, who has a kitty that loves yarn. She doesn't have a knitting bag yet and she can't take her knitting home with her because her kitty will attack it.

This second bag is for Sarah. Each one of the bags is reversable so we did one side in garden fabric and the other in cherries. Sarah loves cherry things since she grew up surrounded by a cherry orchard. She immediately turned it inside out and used the cherry side out.

As a last note, when I took my sock completely out I had nearly finished the cuff, so it isn't a huge loss. I usually try to decide by the end of the cuff whether to keep going or not, so I don't have to rip out the heel.

Friday, July 07, 2006

My Knitting Needles Hate Me...

or maybe they realize that I'm not totally in the mood. Who knows? Well, here goes:

My Sherbet sock I had to completely frog. It kept bugging me while I was knitting them that they looked a little wrong. I mean gauge was right from my swatch and they fit alright, they just looked a little funny. Then while I was cleaning up for the 4th I came upon an Addi #2. Which is odd because I should be using both of the 2s for my sock. Then it struck me and I double checked with my needle gauge, I was using a #2 and a #3!!! So, I ripped it all out. I am going to re-cast-on with my Inox 2s, because they are just a bit smaller and I think it will work out better. Besides they are the only Inox needles I own except for a 0, and I think I can tell the difference there.

Next on my knitting mishap list is my darling Sugar n' Spice sweater that I am doing for the shop. When I did my swatch in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino I was just a tinsy bit off (like 4.4, instead of 4.5 stitches to the inch). So, Sarah thought that it would be a good idea just to go down a needle size just to be safe. Of course I didn't check gauge again and just went merrily on my knitting way. Well, I have managed to adapt the pattern down to a 6 month size. Since it comes in 1,2, 4, & 6 years, this might be considered an accomplishment. At least it is a store model and not going on a really small 1 year old =).

At least my wheel still loves me. I managed to spin up this lovely yarn and also a bit of something for my one skein pal. I love this yarn because it has rayon slubby pieces in it. I let it go naturally lumpy and I really like the result. I picked this up at Black Sheep. It will be down at Knot Another Hat shortly. I named it Polka, because it seems kinda festive, like a dance, and Polka matched it, like Polka dot. I love it. I've been thinking about taking some of my yarn out of KAH and selling it on etsy, mainly because this town does not appreciate pink, so we shall see.

Tonight is the grand opening of So Much Fun and the 1 year birthday of Knot Another Hat. There is going to be a huge celebration down at the shop, so if you are in the area please stop by and check it out. The celebration is going all weekend too, so if you can't make it tonight, then please come by sometime and check everything out.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

Yesterday was the day that we celebrate our independence as a nation. Somedays it still feels like we are still under that oppression, but yesterday was the day to celebrate and pretend that all is good in the world and the government isn't out to get us =P. I had a pretty good 4th. I hosted my very first bbq, and other than a few minor squabbles, it went pretty well.

Here are the three pyromaniacs, my husband, my cousin, and my brother. They kept wanting to do things like light the entire box of fireworks off at one time, but for the most part they are safe. Unlike the neighbors that kept shooting bottle rockets out over our roof. Ugh!

While they were lighting off fireworks, I got to try out my husband's camera. It has a fireworks setting on it and we were curious to see if it would really work. Apparently it does, which is really really cool.

I picked out these two because they were my favorite. We didn't have a whole lot of fireworks this year, but enough to keep the boys busy for awhile before the big show began.

I tried to take a picture of the big show, but it didn't turn out. We have the best view right from our deck. I have spent just about every 4th right on this deck watching the fireworks with my family.

The best part about being here is that we get to watch everyone else try to get home. Traffic always gets backed up as everyone tries to leave the port at once. Seeing all the lights from the cars is one of my favorite parts of the 4th.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Knitting Burn Out (or Yes, I can sew)

I've been feeling a little burnt out with knitting lately. I am sure that I will be over it soon. Especially since I just started Minnowknits Sugar n' Spice out of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino for a store model.

However, since I have been feeling burnt out I thought I would put my mind towards making myself a new knitting bag. The one that I have been using was my first attempt at felting and it didn't work too well. It is handspun and it really didn't want to felt. Also, I don't like it because needles poke out of it and I occassionally loose things. So I decided to see if I could sew a new one myself. This is the bag I made:

I like it a lot. I made wide handles that will sit comfortably on my shoulders and a bottom that will sit flat (though you can't see that in the picture). The outside is a slubbed silk that looks more purple in some lights and more silver in others. It is simply gorgeous. The unfortunate part is that knitting needles go right through silk, even two or three layers of it.

So, I came up with a solution. I bought some light weight denim awhile back to recover my outdoor chairs. It is a really nice light weight and a pretty lavender color (my favorite) and best of all no knitting needles can get through it! It is sooo cool. So I lined the inside with denim. Actually, thanks to my mom (the sewing wonder), I made the bag so that it is completely reversable. She told me how to do it and I went from there. Part of me really wanted to make this bag to show my mom that I could sew, because she is so awesome at it.

I also added pockets to each side of the bag on the inside. The pockets looked so plain I decided to screen my dancing sheep on them, in purple of course. The screen is left over from my college days, where I first drew my logo. I feel like it makes it that much more personal and they are hiding on the inside, like a secret or an inside joke =)

Last, but not least, I added a flap so that it can be buttoned down and closed at the top. This is one of my favorite buttons. I was saving it for another art deco bag, but I figure that I can always buy another one later. It made the perfect finish to my bag.

I am so happy because I now have a perfect bag for all my knitting needs. Also, I am quite proud of myself that I thought it through and managed to make it all myself. I am going to work with my mom for my KSKS bag, because she is a sewing genius and it would be nice to do a project with her. She used to make wedding dresses from the sketch up when my brothers and I were little and still in peanut butter and jelly phase. Talk about nerves of steel =)

PS. I have been meaning to mention this for awhile: Krafty1 knit up some really awesome socks out of my Americana Yarn. Go and check them out because I think they rock!