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.

Friday, October 05, 2012

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!