Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Knitting!

I have knitting to share! I have actually been knitting quite a bit lately. It feels so good to get back to it. Especially since Christmas is coming closer all the time!

First up is a bunny hat for Mim's baby Sadie. I just love this hat. The pattern is from Itty Bitty Hats. I knit it out of debbie bliss baby cashmerino in color #608 Lilac. The yarn is slightly smaller than what is called for. At least I wanted a tighter gauge than what was called for, so I knit these on 6s. I followed the largest size for stitch count, which came out to the measurements around as the 6 month size. So I followed the 6 month size for length. It was super easy to make. I would definitely make it again. I just love how cute it is! The only thing I left out was the bunny tail on the back. This is because the baby is so new. I was afraid that it would poke the back of her head, since she obviously isn't sitting up quite yet. I would definitely add it for an older baby that sits up. I have heard from Mims and it has been a great success. She sent me a photo, but I won't add it without her permission.

Second gift is a lovely sweater for my friend Amy's cocker spaniel Maggie. Maggie gets so cold in winter, because she is shaved. Amy asked me for a sweater way back in February, but I was a little busy with baby knitting, so I didn't get to it. However, November 1 is Maggie's birthday, so I got it done in time for that! The pattern is from Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick. I knit it out of Nashua Creative Focus Superwash in Black for the edging. The main body is my Superwash Worsted in Color Bad Girl. It took a little over 1/2 a skein of yarn of the Superwash Worsted. Which means that the whole thing could be knit out of less than one skein. How cool is that? I think if I knit it again I will do steeks for the leg holes. That way there wouldn't be the pooling that is caused by knitting back and forth for the leg holes. Thanks to Amy for the awesome photo of Maggie. I just love how it matches her collar!

This weekend Blair and I headed out to some of the different farms in the area for Heirloom Apple Days. I only got a couple of photos, but Amy has a good post of all the things we did with lots of pretty pictures.

In shop news: I have every skein of yarn listed in the shop now. I am working on photos and getting detail pages for each one. Sorry it is taking me so long. I am currently buried under tons of yarn for the Knit/Purl Sock Club. It is coming right along, but it does keep me busy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I have brand new soap to show you!

After the wonderful success of selling out all of the bars of Purple LavenderSheep Soap (which are now available), I thought I would add a new color! This is a dye free, natural cream color! Isn't it pretty? I just love how cute it is! Very pretty sheepies! I have ten bars of each color available in the shop. Act quick, they sell fast!

As long as you are shopping, I have a couple of other things to mention.

1. My friend Susan has started carrying my baby sock kits in her online shop! She carries all handmade and organic things. Remember the meditating lawn gnome I gave my mother way back for Mother's Day? Well Susan now has them available in her shop for $34 and that includes shipping and handling! I know my mother just loves her's, so make sure to check them out!

2. My friend Amy, who is a very talented photographer, has started an Etsy shop making earrings. She took a class and apparently has a real talent for it. Check out her designs here!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I Promise You that I Still Knit...

Though I sometimes wonder where I find the time!

I finally finished up the Sugarplum Raglan Sweater. I actually had a lot of fun knitting this. It was very mindless to just knit and knit and knit. This sweater is really super comfortable too. I wore it the other day when it was a bit cold out and it kept me toasty warm. It is soft and cuddly. I could wear it all the time! It is knit out of my handpainted Superwash Worsted in Color Dark Sugarplum Fairy and the pattern is Knitting Pure & Simple #265 Top-Down Raglan. I made a couple of adjustments to the pattern. I lengthened the body and the sleeves a little. I also did 2 inches of ribbing everywhere it said to do 1", so sleeves, waist, and collar. There is also an error in the pattern with the sleeves, which seems to be pretty common with these patterns. I made the 42", but when I counted my sleeve stitches after picking up I had the amount needed for the 46". I went back through carefully with my math and sure enough the pattern is wrong. I decided that I didn't want to take the sweater clear back out to the sleeves, because the fit was fine. So I did some more math and figured out that if I still decreased at the same rate, plus a couple extra decrease rounds, I would have the perfect sleeves. I will say that the benefit to these patterns is that I can try them on as I go so it is much easier to adapt them to fit my body.

ETA: I am so sorry. After going over the numbers with the lovely designer, Diane Soucy, I see that the error is all my fault. I looked at the wrong number when increasing for the back. I saw the next size up, which of course would make the sleeve number wrong. The pattern is correct as written. My sweater is still very comfortable, so I am not going to rip it out. I will probably make another one in the future with the right numbers!

The next project off the needles is the Passport Pouch by Chrissy Gardiner. This was a breeze to knit. I just love it! I knit it out of my Silk Sport yarn in Color Midnight Rose. It only takes a 50 gram skein to knit it, so I have divided all of the skeins to make perfect Passport Pouch Skeins. Just think, for under $20 you can have a pure silk bag perfect for evenings out or a wallet/cell phone bag for those trips out shopping when you want to pack light.

Lastly I knit the Snowdrop Lace Scarf out of Silky Sock in color Sugarplum Fairy. This was also very fast and fun to knit up. The pattern is easily memorized and so much fun to see those rows upon rows of snowdrops appear. I was even happier when it was blocked. The silk in the yarn just made this scarf light and flowing, while the merino wool made it warm to wear around my neck. This is definitely a favorite that will get a lot of use during this chilly fall weather.

I have dyed skeins of all of the above yarns available. However I am still photographing and doing inventory of all of the yarn, so I only have a preliminary list up in the shop of what is available. They are completely ready for purchase. I just need to get their detail pages up. If you have any questions feel free to email me (lavendersheep at gmail dot com) or leave me a comment and I will get back to you as quickly as I can.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Items!

First off I need to introduce you to my friend Erika a little better. I know I already mentioned her in this post. Erika is simply amazing! I taught her how to knit and she took right to it and then I taught her to spin and she was spinning beautiful fine thread in no time! She is also amazing to shop with. She just loves the finest fibers like cashmere, silk, angora, etc... Then she actually buys them, because why work with anything less than the best?

Then she started making Stitch Markers. They are all incredible. She uses semi-precious stones and real silver rings. I haven't seen any others that even compare to the quality and craftsmanship that she puts into these.

So, then one day I was talking about having a booth at Oregon Flock and Fiber and how I would love to sell her stitch markers there. We both thought this was a great idea. After the show I offered to sell them on the website and at the same time she was going to ask me if I would sell them on my website! So it worked out well for both of us! Make sure to check them all out! This set is one of my favorites. It is a set of 7 stitch markers made from lace agate and silver rings.

Lastly, I have one other awesome product to share with you! This is Lavender Sheep Soap made by Spinning Ginny. I started out with about 10 bars at OFFF and they simply flew out the door. I am down to only 2 now! They are a goats milk soap with lavender fragrance and real grade 1 lavender buds. I think it is just perfect for keeping the yarn eating beasties away from the stash and making it smell really nice too. Of course it can also be used for its intended purpose of washing things up!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oregon Coast Yarn Shops - part 2

Continuing Part 2 of the yarn reviews. By the way, if you would like to find all of these yarn shops I used Knit Map to find them all. You can also use Ravelry!

Manzanita -T-Spot Yarn, Teas and Chocolates
This shop was really cute. It was a little out of our way in the small town of Manzanita. On top of yarn they carried chocolate and loose leaf tea in one corner. They had a lot of really nice yarns and the service was wonderful. I wasn't there when the owner was there, but it sounds like she has a pretty creative mind. She had knit an entire dress out of tape from an old cassette! This shop is a brand new shop. Across the street there used to be a shop called Bad Woman Yarns. The owner decided to retire and close her shop. However she was very influential in opening up this new shop, which I thought was really cool. I ended up buying the book Wool Pets. I have long admired the Wool Pets Shop on Etsy, but just couldn't decide on a particular kit to buy. The book solves this because it has most of her most popular patterns in it. I have plenty of fiber on hand. So when I get a spare moment I may work on a couple of these. I think I might just need a purple sheep!

Tillamook - Cordelia Yarns
This yarn shop was another blend of shops. It was part yarn shop, part antique store. I'm not sure that I would have otherwise bought a lot of yarn there because they mostly carried Cascade yarns, which my LYS has in abundance. Although they could have carried more brands and I would have never known. This poor shop has lost its lease and is going out of business. The yarn, that had already been discounted, was an additional 30% off. I bought everything in the picture for about $50, which is crazy cheap. It is 8 balls of Cascade Superwash, a sweater stone, and a cute pattern I have long admired. I would have felt worse for finding such a good deal if the owner had been sad about it. She, however, seemed very cheerful. She was excited to have more free time to knit and spin and quilt. She is on her way to the next big adventure. She also was preparing for a gallery show of her quilts, I believe. I didn't get details, unfortunately. I believe that she will be open until the last of the month. There was still plenty of Cascade 220, but I think I got all but 2 balls of the superwash!

Tillamook - Latimer Textile Museum
The owner of Cordelia's Yarns recommended that I go visit the Latimer Textile Museum. I am really glad that I did! We were too late the first day because Blair wanted to visit the Air Museum, which was a fun guy treat. So we came back the next day and toured all over the museum. The lady there was really nice. They have it divided into 3 sections, there is a loom room with looms (of course!) and spinning wheels, a quilt room, and a back exhibition hall with their latest show. If I was in the area I would definitely get a membership there! As it is I might go back and teach a workshop and definitely visit the next time I am at the coast. They didn't really have any yarn for sale, but they did have some handmade items that were on consignment. They also had a selection of books. I got a couple of books for my mother on dating fabric. She has a few family heirloom quilts that these books will help her to identify.

Oregon Coast 2008

For more photos of our trip and our adventures, make sure to check out my photo album! There are a lot of photos of the beach as well as the Tillamook Cheese Factory, more of the Latimer Textile Museum, and a few other things.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Oregon Coast Yarn Shops - part 1

I thought with all of the yarn shops that I visited on the coast that I would do a small review of each. I had a lot of fun and would highly recommend visiting yarn shops at the Oregon Coast.

First off I have a couple of rules when I shop on vacation. 1. I won't buy yarn that I can get from my own yarn shop unless it deeply on sale. 2. I try to buy things that are unique to the area or difficult for me to get otherwise.

Cannon Beach - Coastal Yarns
By far this was my favorite yarn shop to visit. It had a good variety of yarns. Their claim to fame is that they carry Blue Moon Yarns. The yarns that I purchased are Noro Silk Garden and Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn. I can get Noro Silk Garden at home, but I wanted it specifically for a hat I am working on. Their prices were a tiny bit higher than I am used to, but it wasn't too bad for the selection and their location.
Seaside - Creative Beginnings
This shop was alright. They had a little bit of everything. They had beads, scrapbooking supplies, and yarn. They also had a sweater knitting service that seemed very reasonably priced. My only thought was that they had so many different things that they didn't focus that well on any one thing. They carried a pretty standard set of yarn, but nothing really stuck out as special beyond what my LYS already carries.

Astoria - Custom Threads
This shop also is more than just a yarn shop. It is part yarn shop, part fabric shop, part gift shop. They also rent tuxedos. They had a varied set of yarn for sale. It really was a treasure hunt to go in there. They had acrylic and then next to that would be Dale of Norway. A lot of their yarn would be right at retail and then some would be much cheaper. I found such gems as Alice Starmore books, but I already own copies of both of the ones that they had or I would have snatched them up. It was obvious that this shop had been there for a long time and had a little bit of everything. I didn't end up buying anything there. Mainly because of spending my money at another shop that I will talk about next time. However, I think that I would definitely go back there.

Monday, October 06, 2008

At the Beach!

We are here at the Oregon Coast for the week!

This is the view from our hotel room! We didn't know when we booked the room that we would actually have an ocean view, but we do! I guess that is the joy of going to the beach in the off season.

We did a bit of sight seeing today. We hit nearly 3 yarn shops, which made me really happy. We went to Coastal Yarns in Cannon Beach, which was really awesome! I got a skein of Noro Silk Garden and a skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock from them. We then went to Creative Beginnings in Seaside. They were alright. They had a lot of different things, like yarn, beads, and scrapbooking supplies all in one shop. We were also going to visit a yarn store in Astoria, but they are closed on Mondays. I guess we'll just have to try them again later! It looked like they carry yarn and fabric, so that should be interesting.

Up and down the coastal highway are these signs for Tsunami Hazard Zones. I thought they were interesting, so I thought I would share! They are kinda funny and kinda scary all at the same time.

Lastly I will leave you with this video of the stormy weather and waves from our window. It was just fun to try to take a little video and see how to post it to my blog. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Oregon Flock & Fiber - Pretty Purchases

I was very good this year! I only bought a couple of things that I couldn't resist, but overall kept my shopping to a minimum.

First up I had to buy some roving from Dicentra Designs. Her giant balls of roving always draw me in. Somtime I think I might have to try dyeing in mass quantity like that, if only to have a giant ball of roving to myself! I also found out at the show that she now has an Etsy shop, so I can be tempted by her things year round now!

After that I ventured near the Blue Moon booth. I was very very good. I was very tempted to buy many of their colors, but I told myself firmly that I have lots of their yarn in the stash and that I must knit some of it up before I buy anything else. So I only bought the Yarn Harlot's two new patterns for baby sweaters. They are just too cute!

Ok, this may look like I fell off the wagon and bought Blue Moon yarn anyway, but that isn't entirely the case. Actually my husband needed to use the bathroom so I told him where it was. Then I hinted that Blue Moon was in the very same building and that they happen to take credit cards. So this yarn is actually Blair's! hehe. He said that I could have some of it if I like. I think the middle skein will definitely go into his sock stash and I will make him some socks out of it. It is the least I can do for all the wonderful help he gave me over the weekend.

Lastly a friend of ours that works with Blair just got back from the UK. He tried very hard to find yarn from the UK to bring back for me, but all he could find was this yarn that was imported from New Zealand. It is Black Hills NZ Yarn. I think it is really awesome! I am thinking kilt socks to keep with the whole UK theme. I am thinking either this pattern or this pattern.

In other news: Blair and I are heading to the beach this next week. So all orders will be shipped after I get back. Patterns will be shipped as normal. I should be able to blog from the beach. It is supposed to be rainy (ie typical Oregon Coast weather), so I am expecting lots of knitting time!