What’s going on Wednesday

What is going on indeed? There has been so much happening in the past couple weeks I feel like I can hardly keep up! Unfortunately that doesn’t mean there has been a whole lot of knitting going on. I’ve done a few rows on my Grandmother’s sweater… sleeves. I’ve also been steadily plugging away on the second sock of The Warped Porch colour-way.

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This self-striping colour-way is named after my friend Lisa, or the Queen, as many know her. She gave me the colour combinations and I put them together. It’s really bright; poke you in the nose bright, but really, which one of my colours isn’t?

Black and White

The June newsletter went out Monday morning announcing this new colour-way, I thought I should probably include it here to, just in case. The black and white photo was really cruel, but I will admit to feeling terribly clever with myself afterwards. How to fill a post with photos when you are working on secret projects!? Well, everything isn’t a secret, just the colour. BAM! Inspiration!
I mentioned in the newsletter that there are still a few hanks of Psychedelic Onyx (the black and rainbow) self-striping sock yarn, so if you’re in the market the shop is here.

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We are also getting ready to get our dyeing game on. There are quite a few shows in the fall and it will work best if we start the dyeing now! This also means I have to pick out my samples for the next shows. Hmmmm what do I need an excuse to knit. That is possibly the downside to working in an industry you love… there isn’t a lot of time to actually participate in the thing you love.
I’m thinking about taking a weekend away sometime. I have dreams of nothing but tourist traps and knitting in the evenings before bed. I am pulling at the end of the chain trying to escape into vacation-time daydreams. What helps you focus?

Creatively Crafty

Creatively Crafty

The Creativ Festival was a lot of fun. We saw some old friends and a lot of new ones! This was our first year at this show and my first year teaching there. I gave two lectures, one on swatching and another on steeking. The steeking class was something of a preview to my hands-on class coming in the fall. I am really looking forward to it; I think people are going to be very excited about cutting some knitting.

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While I wasn’t teaching classes I spent a lot of time in the booth. The ladies and I actually got quite a bit of knitting done. There was a company there that creates yarn bowls you can wear like a purse and knit while walking. They’re called a Yarnit! Christine went over and got one immediately and was knitting from it the whole show. We sent quite a few people over to her booth because these were just so darn cool! They fit in cup holders and even help with the tail end of yarn cakes that collapse in on themselves. The picture is from her website and links directly to it. I managed not to take any photos, of course.

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I worked on the second rainbow sock and am very close to being done. I think with the two-day show I managed to do almost half the sock! I had turned the heel and all my decreases were done, so it was just a matter of knitting up the leg of the sock. I am not going to lie to you… I did manage to drop two or three stitches. I picked most of them back up before I got too far away, but I am definitely going to have to weave one in. Shhhhh, no one will know but us.

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Now that we’re done this show it’s all about prepping for the next one! There are a few in September and October, but they’re clustered relatively close together. It will be interesting to getting everything together for such a close time frame, but I am looking forward to it! I really love vending at the Fiber Festivals and Craft Shows. If there are any I am missing, please comment or email me! I am never opposed to doing more; it helps keep me out of trouble.

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For the rest of this week, I haven’t being doing too much more. Catching up on some sleep and mentally preparing the next projects. My to-do list, or I should say my to-knit list, is always getting longer!

Technical Tuesday: Double Pointed Needles

At the Creativ Festival this past weekend I was knitting in our booth. Quite a few people commented on my ability to use double pointed needles and asked me how I managed to learn. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, or read older posts, you will know this was not always the case.

I used to loath double pointed needles and I would use any tip or trick to get out of using them. I even, accidentally, discovered how to do something of a modified magic loop method to avoid using them for projects like colour work mittens and sleeves.

I did not watch any kind of YouTube videos to figure it out. No no no, I was determined to learn the hard way. I buckled down and started knitting socks with dpn’s. I will admit it was hard in the beginning; I definitely made mistakes, but that is the beauty of learning, you’re allowed to make as many mistakes as you like!

After a pair of socks or two, something clicked and I got into a rhythm and from there it was magic. I always find it’s easier if you make sure your left needle is under it’s connecting needle and your right needle (or working needle) goes over the next needle. Your needles build something of a log cabin around as you knit.
The beginning is always the most difficult, but don’t give up! At least 90% of being an amazing knitter is sheer unbridled fearlessness… and maybe a touch of stubbornness, but who’s counting?

Knitting Medley

Knitting Medley

I am not going to sugar coat it people, I’ve knitted a bit on my rainbow socks and put a few more rows on Paul’s socks. Mostly our house has been completely taken over with the preparations for the Creativ Festival this weekend.

CF Spring 2015 03

We are going to be in booth #276 at Mississauga International Centre; Friday 10-7 and Saturday 10-6. This is our first year at the Creativ Festival and I am super excited about it!

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There is a lot of work being done to make sure all the yarn is labeled and the stitch markers are strung! I am also giving two lectures at the Creativ Festival this weekend so I have been polishing those up!

CF Spring 2015

Outside of small snatches of knitting here and there, I haven’t had any really good chunks of time to get several inches done. Paul’s sock is getting along, I am really happy with how it is turning out, I think it will be a good fit for him. I’ll just have to copy it for the second sock to make sure they’re the same size.

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I am making a few plans for what I am going to knit after the show. My grandmother’s sweater is, of course, on my mind, but I will also start a sweater for myself too. I am due for something other than socks. Don’t get me wrong, I love socks; but there are only so many times you can write about socks. I’ve been dancing around with the idea of trying Amy Herzog’s Fit to Flatter pattern maker. It seems like a really great idea and I am going to try it eventually. I might as well try it sooner rather than later!

Custom Ink

I was really not sure what to write about today. This is the day when I write about something not knitting related, but I really feel like I’ve got nothing going on. Then BAM! I had to order a couple more t-shirts for my Creativ Festival helpers!

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I’ve used Custom Ink for t-shirts twice now. They normally do huge orders, for teams et al, but I managed to order just a couple things from them. The very first time I was ordering these shirts, I was having a heck of a time getting them to work. There were so many factors and my order was particularly complicated because the backs were all the same, but the fronts were different.

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I couldn’t manage to get it figured out by myself and was incredibly frustrated by the time I called in to speak with them. The person who picked up the phone was friendly and, best of all, unscripted. I felt like I was talking to an actual person rather than someone sitting there reading from a script. She managed to untangle my order and get me all set up with exactly what I wanted.

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This time was exactly the same! I was doing something overly complicated again, and began to frustrate myself. I called in again, remembering how helpful the previous person had been, and wondered if it had been a fluke. My experience was exactly the same! Custom Ink has the BEST customer service I have EVER experienced.

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I feel like the people that work there, actually like their jobs and have a good time at work. Mostly because I always joke around when I call into any customer service phone line. Usually the person on the other end laughs, but doesn’t really speak too much because “this conversation could be recorded for training purposes.” I am sure they are thinking about saying something wrong. It makes for a very tense phone call.

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These people seem like they are just people who are trying to help you out with whatever problem you have; they’re not just cogs in some huge corporate machine. I love that; it’s just like a real person talking to you.

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Needless to say I am completely smitten with them and would recommend this company to ANYONE getting t-shirts made. It’s worth it a bit more if you’re getting more than six done, but you never know when you will have a need for a hundred t-shirts that are all the same!

Sunshine Daisies, Butter Mellow

After reading the title of this blog post, everyone who knows Harry Potter, yelled “TURN THIS STUPID FAT RAT YELLOW!!” It was the spell Fred and George gave their youngest brother to turn his pet rat yellow; you know, to make him more interesting.
The whole of the relation of Harry Potter to this blog post is the fact that I am talking about the Lemon Waffle socks and those happen to be yellow. It was the only name I could come up with at the moment.

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I have, indeed, finished the first of the Lemon Waffle Socks. Finally I know! I’ve even started on the second one. I’m not terribly far through it, but I started it before the half way point in the month, so I am satisfied. Now to finish it before the end of the month!

Crystal Stitch Markers

I’ve been working on a lot of show-related things as the Creativ Festival is only a little over a month away. I have started using wire jewelry techniques to create stitch markers. This gives me a whole range of stitch markers that just didn’t exist before. Whenever people look at the stitch markers, they all turn to me and say “I could never do that, I wouldn’t have the patience” or “I would go blind doing such small work.” Mind you these are normally people who knit, sometimes even LACE KNITTERS!!! I really haven’t made a foray completely into lace territory yet, but I am sure it takes patience and a reasonable amount of eyesight.

Rose Gold Stitch Markers

I find working on these stitch markers kind of cathartic. They’re small, but take only a few seconds to complete. Once you get into a rhythm… I could sit there and make them all night. I am really excited about the feedback I am going to get about the new stitch markers! I’ve been using a couple shamelessly; you know, to test things out! No one wants snaggly stitch markers!

Leaf Stitch Markers

I’ve actually had Paul all over pattern markers, I think he takes to it with the same methodic approach as I take to stitch markers. It is dangerous to go to the store and pick out the ribbon we’re going to use for the pattern markers. I could easily spend thousands of dollars just walking along the shelves going “this one…. And this one…. And this one… and two of these…” Moderation is key!

Pattern Markers Ribbon

I usually try to force myself to pick up one of two that I am not overly fond of; not everyone has the same taste as me! Sometimes I’ll bring a friend and have them pick out a couple, or I’ll make Paul do it. Its nice to have that little bit of deviation from just things I like… or else all the pattern markers would be blue and purple.

Pet Stitch Markers

I’ve had to put a hold on a lot of things for the show this week because I am co-hosting a baby shower this weekend at my house. It is going to be an AWESOME baby shower, but this means I am going to have to clear out some of the knitting paraphernalia that has began dominating the main level of our town house. The muggles wouldn’t be able to handle the sheer amount of knitterly gear I’ve got floating around my house!