Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Yarn! Superwash Bulky Yarn

Ok, one more new yarn! I have been thinking about a bulky weight superwash yarn for some time. Welcome Superwash Bulky! I am in love with this yarn!

I just had to cast on a bolero with this yarn and I designed socks (below). Bulky makes everything go so much faster! I have a few more ideas for projects to knit out of this fabulous yarn. It is 100% Superwash Merino Wool. Each skein is 4oz (114 grams) and 100 yards.

Here are the Footsy Tiptoe Socks I designed with Spring Fling and contrasting Pear Blossom heels and toes. It uses 1 skein of the main color and 1/2 skein of the contrasting color. Which means you can get 2 pairs of socks out of 3 skeins! I think these would be awesome for quick holiday knitting. They are so squishy and soft! I can't wait to wear mine this fall and winter.

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Yarn! Panda Silk DK

So, since I decided to take on Panda Silk Sock, I thought it would be fun to add Panda Silk DK at the same time. It has an eerie similarity to Panda Sock, with the exception of having the same blend of 52% Bamboo 43% Superwash Wool and 5% Silk as Panda Silk Sock. It also is a DK weight, which fills in that space between sport and worsted weight yarns.

I already have a plan of knitting the Gordian Twist by Gardiner Yarn Works out of this luscious yarn. I think the two will work out well together. Of course I will keep you posted on progress of this. Hopefully I can get to knitting it before Oregon Flock & Fiber. Panda Silk DK has 4oz (114 grams) and 300 yards per skein, which is ample for the Gordian Twist!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Yarn! Panda Silk Sock

A long time ago I used to dye this yarn. Then I had complications getting it from my supplier and I was also dyeing plain Panda Sock, so I decided I wouldn't carry it any more. Then my supplier discontinued Panda Sock, but seems to have an ample supply of Panda Silk Sock, so I am happily going back to dyeing this yarn!

So, what is the difference between Panda Sock and Panda Silk Sock? Well, the lovely addition of 5% silk. Which turns this already lovely yarn into a drapey work of art. This yarn is 52% Bamboo 43% Superwash Wool and 5% Silk. It is a fingering / sock weight and should be knit on #1-3US. It has 100 grams and 400 yards per skein, which is ample for a pair of socks, a scarf, or a small shoulder shawl.

I first introduced this yarn at Sock Summit and it literally flew out the door. Make sure to check it out!

Monday, August 22, 2011


New to the shop:

Kits! These are the Aquitaine Beaded Wristwarmers kits by Sivia Harding. This class was offered at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival last April with much success. To knit these I simply followed Sivia's wonderful pattern and they turned out great! I knit them out of Tencel Sock in color Smokey Rose. Right now I only have 2 kits available, but I am planning on putting together more. The kit page gives you options for purchasing any sock yarn in stock. I can also do custom dyeing if what you want isn't in stock. I really enjoyed making this mitt and I'm sure you will too!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Colorado Yarn Shops

While in Colorado I visited 4 yarn shops:

Mew Mew's Yarn Shop - This shop was alright, but not really out of the ordinary. It may be I am just spoiled by really nice shops here in Oregon, but this shop wasn't that impressive to me. I felt like the shop was kinda disorganized. I did end up buying 2 Dream in Color patterns which I have been on the lookout for awhile. If this shop had the kits made up I might have been tempted to buy one at the time too.

Shuttles, Spindles, & Skeins - This shop would be my go-to shop if I lived in the area! It was huge and carried just about every kind of commercial yarn imaginable. Not to mention spinning, embroidery, tatting, and weaving supplies. They also had a huge classroom where many notable teachers were on their class list. The store is owned by Maggie Casey, who is a frequent contributor to Interweave publications. As you can imagine they had just about every book, magazine, and past issue of fiber related Interweave publications you could imagine. I restrained myself and only bought a copy of The Intentional Spinner by Judith MacKenzie.

Gypsy Wool - This shop would be my specialty yarn shop. Everything is handpainted, mostly by the owner. She sells a variety of spinning fibers and yarns, as well as embroidery supplies (yes, those are hand dyed too)! I had an excellent chat with the owner about everything from fibers to dyeing and back again. It was very interesting to me to have the added shop aspect to the dyeing experience. I bought from her things which I don't readily dye myself, namely organic cotton and an alpaca boucle. I definitely recommend her shop if you are looking for locally dyed souvenir yarn or beautifully dyed yarns for a reasonable price!

House of Lambspun - We had an extra day before flying out, so we decided to go on a small road trip. About an hour north of Boulder is Fort Collins. If you have read the Knitting Mysteries by Maggie Sefton this shop may sound familiar to you. The books are pretty light fluffy reading, which I think has it's place now and again. The yarn shop in the books (of the same name) was based off of this yarn shop. It was a lot of fun to visit. I really got a feel for what the book was describing. This shop is filled with nooks and crannies everywhere! Every time I thought I had seen everything I would find a new room filled with even more yarn or fiber. A good selection of it is even dyed onsite as described in Dyer Consequences.  There was also a group of knitters gathered around a table in one room chatting, getting help, and eating cookies and lemonade. I could definitely feel the homey atmosphere described in Sefton's books. I ended up with roving that is Merino/Alpaca/Silk from them. The only thing I will say about it is all of their specialty fiber is all priced the same, so you pay the same for simple superwash wool as you do for the merino/alpaca/silk, so you can guess why I made the choice I did! The yarn is Merino/Alpaca/Yak and super soft. It looks like it might be handspun, but I'm not sure. I'm thinking something nice and warm and woolly for Blair for winter. I haven't decided what, but it sure will be nice to knit up! Lastly, I found two older Dale of Norway books. I am a huge collector and prefer not to pay the high prices found on ebay, so I was thrilled to find these books to add to my collection for clearance prices!

Overall I had a very fun time in Colorado. There were a couple of other shops I would have loved to visit too. Hopefully on the next trip!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


We are home from Colorado! Here are some of the photos I took of the awesome scenery! Click on them to see the whole album!

I'm getting some photos together and then I will have a review of the 4 yarn shops I visited on my trip. Yay!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Someone Else's Knitting part 2

This is the last project I have to share for awhile, but it is definitely a favorite of mine:

This is Kiwassa knit out of Superwash Sport on size #6US needles in color Purple Blackberry. It only takes one skein! I wore this shawl through all of Sock Summit and got many many compliments on it. I may need to block it again since it got a lot of use during the show. I'm so happy it held up so well. Shoulder shawls seemed to be the fashion thing to wear at Sock Summit. I saw a lot of people wearing them including vendors, teachers and shoppers!

Here is a close up of the shawl pin. It's an Plover Designs Aluminum Bead shawl pin. I wore a similar one throughout the show. It's a great light weight shawl pin. It didn't come out even once during the whole weekend, except when I wanted it to. It got a pretty good workout and still did its job. I love it! I'm now a shawl and shawl pin lover!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Someone Else's Knitting part 1

I think I mentioned awhile back I have some really awesome friends who are willing to be paid in yarn for knitting samples. So I thought I would share one of those projects today. 

This is Ivy. It is knit out of BFL Sock in color Moss. It uses 2 skeins. It was knit by my friend Paula. You can see her notes for it here on Ravelry.

Here is the back. You can really see the Ivy pattern.

Here is a close up of the pattern. Mmm...I just love it.

Lastly, here is the shawl pin I used to hold it all together. This is a Plover Designs Copper Leaf shawl pin. I think the copper stands out really well against the green. Leaves also go with leaves, so definitely a winning combination. Overall I am super happy with this project. You can see it in person at Oregon Flock & Fiber at the end of September!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Socks After Sock Summit

Right before Sock Summit I went on a bit of a sock knitting kick. I whipped out a pair for a friend's birthday as a test knit for a pattern I am writing and finished off a pair for my husband.

This is the test knit pair for a friend (rav link). They are knit out of Cascade 128 Superwash Chunky in color #845 Denim. I knit these up in just a couple of days. They were a lot of fun and used less than 1 ball of yarn. I'll definitely have more to say about the pattern later when I get it all together.

These are the socks for my husband (rav link). I finished them just about 3 years to the day. He has size 12 feet, which means sock knitting is very slow going on #2US needles. I think the next pair I knit for him will be out of much chunkier yarn. This yarn, which was a dream to knit with, is Alpaca Sox in color #1875. The pattern I made up myself. It uses a garter rib, which helped to hold my interest when I actually was knitting on them.

Note: I will be out of town this week, so any orders placed now through Friday will be shipped on Monday. Thank you for your understanding!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Sock Summit Classes

I took 4 incredible classes at Sock Summit. Here are the highlights from each:

1. Chroma Zone with Tina Newton: In this class Tina walked through her process of dyeing yarn. It gave me a lot of food for thought on how I might grow my business in the future. I will definitely think about her class for many months to come.

2. The Deeper Meaning of Socks with Anna Zillborg: A philosophical look behind knitting and socks.

3. Fleece for your Feet with Judith McKenzie: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee said it best in her introduction of Judith for the class: this woman knows more about sheep than everyone in Sock Summit put together. This was an in depth look at the properties of different wool and their uses for footwear. Some day I would love to take a much longer class with her. I bet it would be amazing!

4. Perfect Buttonholes with Anna Zillborg: This class was on a totally ingenious way to make buttonholes. The best way I can describe it is a turned hem with kitchener stitch. If you have the chance, definitely take this class, it was very fascinating.

I really loved having the opportunity to take classes this time. It made Sock Summit that much more amazing. I definitely plan on taking classes again next time!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Sock Summit Highlights

Sock Summit was incredible this year! I had a blast! It's actually hard to go back to regular life after all the excitement of the weekend.

Here is our booth! We had so much fun getting out all of the Gardiner Yarn Works samples and hanging them up. We really liked how the booth came together this time. Every time is a learning experience and this was no exception.

I had many many fun moments, including classes and visiting with people. This photo is a total fan girl moment for us. From left to right is Gordon Lendrum (maker of Lendrum spinning wheels), Colleen (Donna of Plover Design's wonderful and most helpful sister), me, and Judith MacKenzie. Kirsten (another wonderful helper) took the photo. Our booth was right across from them, so we couldn't pass up the opportunity to sheepishly ask for a photo.