I am currently writing from our last day in Vancouver. It’s been a long week, yet somehow it feels much shorter. We’ve completed KnitCity 2016 and done quite a bit of vacation things afterwards. Next year, my goal is to have everything completed when we get here so I can do more socializing before and during the show.
There was quite a bit of self-striping that needed to be wound and I knew this in advance so I was able to pack all the equipment I needed into the checked bags. Friday night and Saturday night was a huge unwind-and-rewind-the-yarn-fest so I didn’t really get a chance to interact and socialize with too many people. I did manage to power through quite a bit of supernatural though.
In the end almost everything got wound and was in time for the show! Which was a great show, as per usual. There were a couple more people from Toronto area this year which was good to see. Passionknit was there. I had to take a double look at their sign because I knew I was familiar with that name but I couldn’t remember from where. They were our booth neighbours across the hall from the Knitters Frolic. We made from new friends, like Katie from Nekozuki Knits and saw a lot of vendors from last year! I didn’t get to walk around as much as I would have liked, but I was able to troll around a bit to see new things. In the end the only things I picked up were a wedge bag and needle cover from Katie, and some roving to make thrummed mittens.
I did start a new shawl while I have been away. There were two colours of yarn sitting beside each other talking to me about how much they wanted to be striped together. I’ve started the Neapolitan shawl by Kay F Jones on Ravelry. It’s a very easy pattern, which is EXACTILY what I want right now, so I’ve been getting some pretty steady progress done on it.
To do a quick skim over, the rest of the weekend Paul and I went to the Capilano Bridge, Stanley Park, and Granville Island. Everything was ah-mazing as per usual. It’s really hard to get on the plane and not stay here and eat all of the things.
The Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Fair was this weekend and I am glad to have it out of the way! It was an excellent show, lots of people, both new friends and familiar faces. This is the first show Stitch Please ever went to so it holds a special place in my heart. It was also one of my favourite shows to attend as a customer.I know it’s been a while since I’ve written, again, but I’ve been swamped with show prep! I also had some minor surgery on my feet which gave me some solid knitting time. I had a sweater I was working on, with miles and miles of stockinette stitch. The idea was to finish it for the KW show but it got away from me a little bit. I don’t think I realized just how much stockinette stitch there was exactly. I was also trying out a new technique for sleeves two at a time. I don’t think it was for me. I love the idea of being able to put the decreases in the exact same places on both sleeves, but it seems really fiddly. There are two separate balls of yarn rolling all over the place, they were getting tangled around one another while I was knitting. I worked about 3-4 inches in stockinette before I gave up and put the sleeves on their own separate needles. They ended up going much much faster after that. I’m making progress on the second sleeve then I’ve got about 10 inches of body on the sweater to do.
The Celestarium shawl is looking quite beautiful, but I have a hard time finding time to work on it. I need a designated time and place to sit down and knit it. With the beading and the randomness of the pattern it makes me a little nervous. It’s definitely not car knitting. I can’t wait to get it going, it’s going to be beautiful when it’s done!
I don’t know what is going on, but I have the mad urge to knit nothing but shawls. I don’t even wear shawls, but I am thinking I might start. With Fall coming up who knows what could happen. It’s mostly the thought of no swatching that is appealing to me at the moment. The last sweater I tried was an unmitigated disaster so I may or may not be slightly scarred by it. The sweater I am knitting now is looking a lot better and I think it will end up being lovely. I can’t wait to steek it. I think I am going to try to sew the steek with my sewing machine. I am ever about trying new skills and this is one I have been putting off for a while. The last time my mom was down she even showed me how to put the walking foot on the sewing machine. It’s actually still attached so everything is all set up. I just need to finish off the knitting itself.
Knit City is coming up in a couple weeks so I am really looking forward to that. It also means that the Etsy shop will be shut down for two weeks. I don’t like to leave it up and running while we aren’t in the province for obvious reasons. I am sure I will, once again, be horrible with posting until the BC show is over with, but I promise a post about it when it is over! I’ll try to keep you updated with the progress on the sweater, hopefully it will be done by the time we head out for Knit City in Vancouver!!
What I’ve been doing lately! A ton of dying really. I’ve started making sure I experiment every time I dye or else I am never going to create anything new. I’m getting everything ready for the next show we’ve got as well; Kitchener/Waterloo is coming up as well as Vancouver’s Knit City. I’m looking forward to both because they’re both really good shows!
Most of the dying I’ve been doing lately is for Yarn Crush. It’s a yarn club where you receive a skein of yarn in a warm, cool, or neutral colour. I am lucky enough to be the chosen dyer for their September box! It’s been lots of fun making custom colours for these boxes, but I am now getting to the point where I have to actually dye a lot of the yarn. I can’t wait to share with you the colours and actual names I came up with, but I am not going to give away the secret sauce. I’ll just tell you it’s awesome, as you should have guessed.
I’ve been experimenting with self-striping sock yarns more and more. There are going to be a lot more colours coming up for these shows! I am really looking forward to see what everyone thinks. I’ve been using Harry Potter as an inspiration since all of my friends have read the Cursed Child… except me. I really need to read it before the shows because I know people are going to want to talk about it if I have HP inspired yarn. The only thing about dying all sorts of new yarn is the fact that you have to knit all the swatches to show off the stripes! I think I am going to start a course of positive reinforcement to deal with all the swatch knitting. I usually knit up the whole sock, but that is going to get getting slightly ridiculous very fast. I have so many socks where I have only knit the first sock as a sample and not the second sock. I’ve currently got Debi knitting one sock for me in one of the other colours I gave a try.
I do have a knitting machine, but it is generally better with thicker yarns. I might try it on its smallest setting to see how it knits up, but I think I am going to have to knit them all by hand. The knitting machine is named Rosita and she is very temperamental. I would go so far as to suggest bipolar; one second she is happy as a clam, the next, she’s pissed. There were a lot of yarn snarls and dropped stitches. Once I passed the handle over the hooks and all the stitches came off. I looked at it like…. “I think I found the emergency release.” Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to bind off so I had to meticulously put all those stitches back on.
Since I’ve got the knitting machine I’ve been able to experiment with gradients as well. I think I am getting the hang of them. I may or may not be having a lot of fun trying them out. Be prepared to see a lot of them! I did a gradient in an aran weight so I am excited to see if that works out in a really slouchy hat. I’ll have to take the time to knit it up and see how I did. I think it is going to work out really well.
I’ve also been cleaning out my craft room for the first time in three years. I used to keep all the sock yarn in this room, which is not a large room, so there was never any room to do anything. Now we keep the stock in another part of the house. However, there was an accumulation of random stuff in that room to the point where you weren’t able to walk through the room. I took a day over the weekend and started going through everything. I set up a table with my mom’s sewing machine on top. I sorted through the huge amount of things that were just plain garbage! There were extra wedding invitations, programs, etc from my showers, the wedding, and a large amount of random things that should just be thrown out.
Luckily I took before pictures, because this is the type of job that you need something to show how well you’ve done afterwards. It was a huge undertaking and I am very proud of it! I am trying to figure out how I would like everything set up. I think It’s looking good, but I might keep moving things around. I put up a peg board to put my leftover bits of yarn on. Hopefully this will serve as inspiration for my sock yarn blanket. I feel like I could use about three more of myself to go over everything in that room again. There are still some drawers that have way too many things in there. I’ll have to take everything out, throw away what needs to be thrown away, and see what is left.
I’ve still been working on it in little bits and pieces. The key is to quit while you’re ahead, when I start to feel like I am done with all this organizing or if it starts to feel hopeless, I stop; walk away. There are lot of things I could do with this room and I don’t want to rush it.
Anyway, I think I have talked your ear off for now. I’ll post again soon. I am looking at my sample collection for the fall and thinking I need to beef it up a little bit. I’m looking at starting those projects relatively soon so watch my Ravelry page for updates!
Another post already! Lets be honest, this is happening people. I’ve been listening to knitting podcasts monogamously and that usually gets my knitting mojo up and running. Although now I am slightly depressed because all I want to do is knit, but it’s getting onto to busy season and I’ve got tons of stuff to do.
I’ve actually sewn a couple things. Yes, sue me, sewing. My mom got a new machine so I’ve ‘borrowed’ her old one to work on building some skills. While we were at Quilts at the Creek I bought a couple different fabrics and my mom and I made a bag. It’s a knitting project bag and really quite large, as I intended it to be! I used some of the scraps to make a smaller bag. I think I have enough for one more even. I’ll have to check when I have a spare second.
I’ve been steadily knitting along on my Galaxy Bone Yard. I went to a cottage weekend with friends this past weekend and brought it with me. When I am the ‘host’ of something like a cottage weekend and am sleeping in a strange place I don’t sleep well, so I was up at 6am both days. I just sat out by the lake and knit on this shawl. I think I might have accomplished a lot, but it’s really hard to tell. I’ve been used to knitting things that self-stripe where you can really see the progress. I’ve got over 800 yards of this yarn designated for this shawl and I intend to knit it all.
The Galaxy yarn is a darker colour as well, so it is a bit boring because of that as well. I really like how it is knitting up though. There are little pops of colour here and there.
I’ve also cast on another project. I had an unfortunate happening with the last sweater I made… it was really complicated, the size was off, etc. Whatever could have gone wrong with this thing, did. I was going to make the Rocky Coast Cardigan but thought it was a bit complicated and the yarn wouldn’t lend itself well to this project. The yarn is a baby alpaca so I am looking for something that will not look bad once it grows a little bit. I found the Breezy Cardigan which is open and lovely so I am knitting up that. I am knitting it on size three needles so it might take a while. I am actually insane.
I did a lot of yarn dying this past weekend as well and got to experiment with a couple things. I’ll have to knit up those samples sometime in the near future. Considering I have five socks to knit up and only two hands… this is going to get interesting. I really really need that sock machine right now. I’ve been looking for one that is on sale, but I might just need to seek out someone who is simply willing to knit me some socks on the one they’re not willing to part with.
It’s getting to be that time of the year again and I will see everyone at our next show, the Kitchener/Waterloo knitter’s fair. It’s always a good time and I’m starting to dye stock for it now so we will have a full truck coming there. I think I picked an auspicious time to re-start blogging, but it will have to do!
Alright guys, I know it had been a long time. I may or may not have failed horribly at my free style posting schedule. There were a few times I went to sit down and write a post, but something got in the way or I was sidetracked over to another project. The fact that I am writing this post right now means I am procrastinating something else in order to get this done. I haven’t posted in a long time though and I miss updating everyone with my progress.
I haven’t knit a lot in the past few months, mostly because I’ve been so insanely busy, but I am going to go over everything I’ve knit up to this point. I am also going to update my Ravelry page as well as the knitting history pages here.
My long overdue fair isle hat from Tanis Fiber arts, turned out nice. I made it a bit too small so I am going to go up a needle size or two for the next one. At work some of my knitting friends kept asking if I was done their hat yet. It is a really nice hat and a very lovely pattern, I do encourage you to go check it out! Here is a link for the pattern and TFA website.
I know, someone who dyes yarn promoting other yarn, what is this witchcraft?! No tricks or ploys, it’s something that I have knit with and is excellent quality. I thoroughly enjoy the yarn over at TFA, but I have a shameless plug for my own yarn now. I needed a project with my Aran weight yarn because it wasn’t selling and I have tons of it. I am going to stop carrying it after I sell it because noooooooooobody wants it, actually I have a clever idea to get rid of this yarn and I am not going to share my marketing genius here yet. I thought if I could get a really good project going with this yarn it would motivate people to buy it, especially since I dropped the price on it just to get it moving. No dice. I started a linen stitch scarf in the Topaz label, which is 100% BFL. I was going to do it in the Amber, which has some baby alpaca mixed in with it, but I figured that yarn would sell itself with the power of my awesome sample behind it.
I cast it on the long way, so there are a total of something like 450 stitches on there. I worked on it pretty steadily at first, but then got onto writing posts for other publications. I actually think that project bag has gone slightly askew; no idea where it is. I am going to have to dig it out and get it rolling again.
The first knitting show of the season was the Creativ Festival and then the Knitters Frolic, which was a last minute cancellation invitation. I know that wasn’t clear, but someone cancelled last minute and we were given a call. We went with less stock than I would have liked, but made lots of new connections. I had a great time there. I also met yarning friends! At the CF I met Sarah who was interested in the process of dying yarn. With the CF and the KF so close together (one week apart) I needed all the help I could get so I just invited her over to pitch in with the process. This way, I get an extra pair of hands, and she gets to learn about dying.
I also met Debi at the KF and mostly because of her Tardis tattoo. I reached across my table at the show, grabbed her by the shoulders and said, “Is that a Tardis tattoo?! We should be friends! Be my friend!!!”. Okay, okay… I might have screamed it at her. Her response was, “alright.” I don’t feel like I have scarred her irreparably. We made a deal to trade yarn for a knitting bag. I was looking for Doctor Who fabric bags but couldn’t find any. Debi actually had some fabric at home and would trade bag for yarn. Done deal. Debi came over and helped me dye the yarn, and I actually tried out a new technique for dying it. It turned out not too bad!
The most recent show has been Quilts at the Creek, which is not a knitting show (obviously) but we went along anyway. My mom is a quilter so she obviously, and enthusiastically, volunteered to help us out. It was sweltering hot the first day and not much traffic came through, but on the second day there was a steady flow of people. One of which is my new friend Colum, who I immediately shanghaied into helping me dye yarn sometime.
Speaking of salves…. Er…. Friends I mean, I met this really neat lady named Renee in a Tim Hortons parking lot. Mostly because she purchased yarn online and lived pretty close to me so we worked out a time for exchange (which I do for anyone local). We clicked right off and started talking yarn and all things fiber. As it turns out, she is a knit-ware designer. We’ve been keeping in touch via email or text and keeping a solid line open for any really excellent ideas that come this way!
What have I been working on lately!? Well I started a boneyard shawl with the yarn I dyed with Debi. It’s all updated on my Ravelry page, so if you want to check out the colour go on over. I’ve also been working on my grandmother’s sweater. Yes…. That thing. It’s been the project that plagues me and has plagued me for years. I need to get this thing on the go and out of my UFO bin. My grandmother hasn’t been well, so I have been sending good vibes and thinking of her while I knit the sweater. I actually steeked out the one back panel to make it a front because there is no way this was going to happen if I had to do that many cables on the front and back. I am going to do the back plain and get this sweater going. Just call me turbo knitter because I am making TRACKS on this bad boy….. that being said I think I have finished one sleeve in the past several weeks…
That is the highlights reel from the past several months, the next show we’ve got coming up is the Kitchener/Waterloo Knitters fair on September 10th, 2016. I hope to see a lot of people there and I will, hopefully, post before then. Please feel free to tweet, email, rav message me to get my butt in gear about posting. I love the challenge and motivation of knowing other people are out there reading.
Posting schedule! I re-evaluate the posting schedule every year to see where I am in my life, what the stats are telling me and if I get any general comments about posting. Blogging is an interesting experience because you pour out bits of your soul, put blood, sweat and tears into it and you generally feel like you are blindfolded, talking into an empty room. There is a sense of a presence here and there, but until you get comments, emails or actually run into someone at a craft show, there is a huge sense of “Hello? Is this thing on?” (If anyone feels like they must take action immediately to quash these feelings, we have a Ravelry group where everyone can connect)
This past year has been crazy for me personally, as well as with Stitch Please, Stitches be Slippin’, KNITmuch and Addicted to Sock Knitting; not to mention a personal life that happens somewhere in there. I am a schedule-y person and I like structure, but I feel like I need to give the blog a bit of an organic life of it’s own. When I am knitting a lot, I will write about it, when I am not really knitting, I will post less frequently. I think this is going to keep my posts fresher. One of the things my blog stats were telling me is Wednesday posts were the ones everyone was most interested in. Those are the ones where I wrote about what I was knitting, how things were going with it, likes, dislikes, general plans for future knitting. Those are the posts I really enjoy writing and it seems like everyone enjoys reading them, so I’ll do more posts like that.
Since this is going to be a new format, if there is anything anyone wants to read about, wants me to try, has suggestions at all, please let me know. I am on twitter, Instagram, Ravelry, Facebook, email. Most social media platforms have a way to personal message people, just in case you don’t want to make a public comment.
I’ll also make sure to keep everyone apprised of upcoming shows, events, when I am writing other places. I hope everyone has an excellent New Year and keep on knitting!