Monday, March 30, 2009

Kauni Sweater: part 2: Swatching

So after I sketched and found as many ideas as possible I decided I would swatch out a little tube to see what the patterns looked like knit up. I chose a #4US. The yarn is a fingering weight and I know with colorwork I tend to knit a bit tighter, so I thought a #4US would be perfect.

Here is my swatch. I started randomly with two different colored ends. One thing I did notice was some of the patterns had a tighter gauge than others. Most of the patterns are balanced the only one that isn't is the very bottom one. This was a little experiment of my own just to see what the kauni would do with an unbalanced pattern. I really like it, but I think it is better suited to solid non-color changing yarns.

After swatching I took lots of pictures of the sample. Then I measured each section and took careful notes of stitches/inch and rows/inch. I also wrote down my thoughts at the time. For instance I noted which ones I thought would look good with the kauni yarn and which ones would look better with solids. That way if I ever decide to make another sweater with the designs I already have my thoughts and notes available.

Then I took my swatch out. Typically I would have liked to save my swatch. However, I have a limited amount of yarn. I am more concerned about running out of yarn since it has been years since I purchased it. I don't know whether I will be able to match the dyelot again, so I have to be careful with every bit of yarn!

Next time: picking a pattern and casting on!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Venice Beach Tank

The long promised post about my Venice Beach Tank!

It turned out so pretty! It also looks really great on Maud. I think I should have made the next size up for myself, but this one fits my mother just perfectly. She has been trying to bribe me for this one or to knit her a new one. I have relented to the point where she can borrow it and when it has done the full tour of shows it will be her's. I'm just happy it will find a good home in the end.

I am very happy with the construction of this top. It went very fast because it is all knit in the round. The bottom ribbing is a super simple garter rib. The body has some shaping which kept things interesting as I knit through the pattern. Then at the very top the most genius thing of all is the construction of the straps! There is absolutely no sewing! They are made by knitting a mitered square! I won't give away all the details, but I thought this was simply the most amazing thing. I hadn't ever thought of doing straps that way, but it was so simple and easy. I only had to bind off then sew in all of the ends. How awesome is that?

On top of all of that I was surprised how little yarn it used. The original pattern calls for a fluffy chenille yarn and I substituted my handpainted nylon ribbon for it instead. I made the 38" size and it only used a little over 2 1/2 skeins of the main color and then a little over 1/2 skein for each of the contrasting colors. There is definitely enough leftover to make a cute matching bag or a couple of matching headbands. It is a simple, stylish top that looks good either on its own or over the top of a turtle neck or dress shirt. Overall, it is a very fast, interesting, and beautiful top to knit. Definitely well recommended!

The pattern is available in the shop in regular or extra large sizes. The yarn is available in the shop here! I used Berry Pie for the main color and Day at the Fair and Sea Turtle for the two contrasting colors.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Abernethy Spring Sale

The Abernethy Spring Sale on Saturday went really well! I am so happy! A big thank you to everyone who stopped by and bought yarn or even just said hi! I was so happy to see everyone!

The setup of the booth was a little different than my setup before. For this show I had a walkway on each side of the booth. So I quickly changed things around so people could walk in and out from both sides. This is the side where I sat.

This is the other side where Blair sat. We were busy pretty much all day with lots of customers. I got to look around a little at the other booths, but unfortunately didn't have enough time to buy anything. Although I know quite a few people will also be at Black Sheep so hopefully I will get to buy somethings there.

Up next I am dyeing yarn to ship off for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. I'm so excited that my yarn is heading to the east coast even if I'm not able to attend. I'll have more info on that as I get yarn dyed up and ready to ship.

Also the Shop is back up and running. I have adjusted out all of the yarn that sold at the show, so everything should be accurate. Thank you!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I have socks to share today!

I finished one Brick Rib Sock! Just in time for it to be a sample for the Spring Sale this weekend. They are such fun socks to knit. I just love them. By the time I finished the leg I had the pattern memorized. It is really simple once you get going. What I also love is that it mixes up the colors. I don't mind how my yarn does little mini stripes when knit, but sometimes I like to see a bit more texture. If you look at the bottom of the foot you will see how it should have striped and then you can look at the leg to see how it really blends the colors together. I probably would have finished this sock much faster if I didn't stop every couple of rows and oooh and aaah over it. The yarn is my Superwash Sock Yarn in color Day at the Fair.

My other sock related project are these bitty socks I am knitting up for my cousin. She is supposed to visit in early April and she recently announced she is having a baby in September. So I thought I would whip up a pair of LavenderLamb Baby Socks. I am using some leftover Dale of Norway Baby Ull in Color Butter Cream. I did think about using one of my kits, but I decided I didn't want to "steal" one right before the show.

I also finished up the Venice Beach Tank, but I think it deserves a post of its own. So I am off to do some more work getting ready for the show.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I just wanted to put up a quick post saying that I have yet another new pattern from Gardiner Yarn Works:

Introducing: ShimaJima! It is a really cute children's sweater. It comes in two sizes 2T and 4T. There is the option for short sleeves or long sleeves. It also gives you the option of the easy peasy plain colored on or the matchy-matchy striped one. I think it is really cool and I am happy to add it to the collection. You can learn more about it and purchase it here!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kauni Sweater: part 1: Design

A couple of years ago I purchased enough yarn to knit myself a kauni sweater. I first thought that I would knit the Kauni Rainbow Cardigan (rav link). I loved how the colors work with one another, the pattern is simple and wonderful. However, horizontal stripes don't look particularly flattering on my body, so I put off working on the sweater. I found many more patterns, mainly by Ruth Sorensen that are simply breathtakingly beautiful, but I just couldn't settle down to just one design. Then I saw Joan Schrouder's kauni sweater (rav link) and I was intrigued. I messaged her on Ravelry since she didn't have the pattern in her project inventory. I wanted to know where she had found the pattern. She said she had designed the pattern herself, but the colorwork pattern came from a discontinued Alice Starmore book. Well that was a dead end, since Starmore books run around $200 on ebay, which is a little too much for me to spend.

However, Joan encouraged me to try sketching out patterns on my own. She said the important thing with the kauni is the pattern should be balanced with equal amounts of background and foreground stitches. That way there will never be a spot where two colors meet in the pattern. With an unbalanced pattern one of the colors will be "eaten up" faster than the other meaning that eventually two colors would be on top of one another and the pattern wouldn't show through. It also means that there is the possibility of running out of one yarn or the other before the sweater is finished. Two things I definitely want to avoid.

So I sat down with my sketch book of graph paper and tried out several different patterns. I searched through several of my books for inspiration. My original idea for my own pattern was to knit something that looked like lattice work. I kept thinking it would look really good in the kauni yarn. Besides diagonal lines in fashion are supposed to make a person look thinner and taller, which who could argue with that? I sketched out about 4 different ideas and then took 2 more from my Sensational Knitted Socks book. The one above is one of my favorites. It is based off of a rosepath weaving structure. As you can see it has an equal amount of background and foreground stitches. As in there are 40 background stitches and 40 foreground stitches.

You can see my current progress in my Ravelry Notebook.

Next time: Swatching

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Bottle Cozy

Do you remember the canning jar cozy I knit as a Christmas present?

It was very well received. In fact our friend has received many nice compliments on his cozy. He also said that it works really well for tea. It protects his hands and keeps the tea warm! I am now offering the pattern free with a purchase of the Inca Organic Cotton. Each skein makes 3 cozies! I am sure it would also fit a nalgene bottle as an alternative.

In other news: I have started a new group on Ravelry that is called the Columbia Gorge Ravelers. It is a group for people who live and/or love the Columbia River Gorge. I am using it right now to keep track of all of the events going on in the area. I know of a ton in Oregon and some in Washington. I definitely would love to find more in Idaho and British Columbia, since the Columbia River runs through there too. I would also love for everyone who loves the gorge as much as I do to join the group and join the discussion!

One last announcement: I am going to have a booth at the Abernathy Spring Sale in Oregon City March 21st, which is coming up rather quickly. It is a one day sale, but it should be lots of fun. There are usually lots of local farms and dyers there. Make sure to check it out! There is more information available on their website!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


This week has been busy. Mostly with the unfun stuff of paperwork and tax preparation. Ugh! So I thought I would stop in and show you a little pretty I have been working on:

This is some targhee wool that a friend gave to me. I dyed it and then spun it. It is then navajo plied, which makes it a 3-ply. It is probably a light worsted weight yarn. I think it is going to bloom a little when I set the twist. It definitely makes me happy! Far happier then thinking about all of that paperwork. Thankfully I think that stuff is done with today and I can go back to dyeing yarn and spinning pretty skeins!