On the Move

The weather has been getting colder and that more than anything really puts me in a mood for knitting! When the house is freezing and you need to go find socks to discourage your toes from turning blue. That is my favourite weather, right there! I love putting on layers and being able to wear the things I’ve knitted. It really sucks to knit something that you’re really proud of and not be able to wear it.

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I’ve had a few dyeing adventures in the past couple weeks. If you’re following my on instagram you will have seen the gradient I dyed!! I am going to start knitting it up to see how it turned out, right after I finish the Halloween socks I’ve been working on.

 

 

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I know! I am a terrible tease to post them in black and white, but they are going to be at the Vancouver show Knit City. I am planning on taking them to Creativ Festival and Woodstock Fleece and Fibre Festival as well so don’t worry if you aren’t going to make it all the way out to BC.

 

 

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That being said we are leaving for Vancouver in one week. It kind of snuck up on me. We’ve been planning this trip since March so it always seemed so far in the future. There were always other things to be concentrating on as well; writing magazine articles, blogging, preparing for the K/W show. All of the sudden we’re down to a single digit count down! I may or may not be panicking a little bit. I’ve got all the yarn in order, but no clothes or anything packed. I know you look at me like, ‘ummm, you still have a week.’ I am very Type A and have to start packing like NOW. Anytime I think of something I need to pack, I go and put it in the suitcase.

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I kid you not. I started making a list just now and it significantly brought down my anxiety levels. I’ve got lots of advice for places to eat and things to do! I think I may have to go again next year to actually do all of it! I’ve heard Vancouver is beautiful and I have the instinctual feeling I won’t want to leave. Really excited! Has anyone ever been? I am always looking for suggestions for places to eat!!
At Knit City we will be in booth 14, I always look forward to meeting new people so if you’re going to that show be sure to stop by and say hi!! I was looking over the floor plan and there are a lot of people there I have been dying to meet! I am going to have to escape from the booth at some point and wander around. I’ve been looking up some of the vendors I’ve never heard of and it’s looking like it is going to be GREAT!
Super excited, but I really need to go throw a couple things into a suitcase before I have a total breakdown!

Technical Tuesday: Keeping the Colour in the Yarn

We have all been there, you just finish knitting a project and throw it in the water to block it and the colour starts bleeding. This can mean many different things and there are several ways to keep the colour in your yarn!

You might be able to predict the first piece of advice I am going to give you… yup, that’s right. Make a swatch and wash it! This is especially important if you are doing something like colour work. If you are knitting with red and white yarn, you’re going to want to be 100% sure that red yarn is colour fast.

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This is the best tutorial I’ve ever seen for fixing in colour that will fade. Whenever I am trying a new yarn, even sock yarn, I wash a swatch to see if it will fade, or bleed; then, if I need to, I can fix the dye in with citric acid and heat. As you can see, this works with finished objects or un-knit yarn alike. It’s one of the most versatile techniques I’ve come across.

Dye Pot

What to do if this is something that is just continually bleeding colour? Like when you buy new dark blue jeans. The colour comes off of those things forever! I’ve heard that washing them with vinegar helps but it seems to me that is just an excess of dye used to get that dark colour and the indigo keeps coming off. If this is the case, I suggest repeatedly washing your garment. I had a commercially dyed yarn that was a burgundy colour, which bled quite a bit when I blocked it and any subsequent washes. After the third wash the colour stopped coming out of the sweater, but the colour never faded, it just released a bit of the extra dye.

Dye Explosion 1

Fading and bleeding are usually the only two problems I have with yarn and colour-fastness. They’re generally either solved with repeated washing or a citric acid soak. The yarns most at risk for this kind of thing are dark and really saturated colour. If they’re not done carefully or correctly there could be issues.

Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Fair Re-cap

I will admit right now that I took EMBARASSINGLY few photos. Everyone was so busy from beginning to end that I didn’t even think about it until I sat down to write this post. Overall I would say it was a good time. I would say it doesn’t really feel like Fall is on the way yet without the K/W Knitters Fair happening. It makes me feel warm inside and gives me the need to knit ALL THE SWEATERS!

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The show was Saturday September 12th, so on the Friday, Paul and I drove down to drop off some of the show things and set up the tables. I had been contemplating a change in the way the booth had been set up. I got some really great advice from the Crochet Crowd guys to make it easy and accessible. Last year there was no small amount of tripping and attempting to get out of the way, our booth was so packed at times. I wanted to make it more inviting. We ended up setting the tables up around the perimeter of our booth and boxing ourselves in. That way people would be able to browse around the outside edges and any helpers would be on the other side.

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Lisa and Christine were there helping me out. Lisa stood around the isle the whole day knitting a sock from the rainbow self-striping, psychedelic onyx. This was really amazing and we actually sold out of the rainbow yarn! There were only a few skeins left of the self-striping as well, we came very close to selling out of those, but as Paul would say ‘there are worse problems to have.’

 

One thing that sold really REALLY well was the colour Rule the Night. A couple customers had mentioned it looked like Laurier’s school colours, and that totally wasn’t even on purpose. It wasn’t until later, when I got home and looked it up, I realized that Laurier is actually IN WATERLOO. I knew it was close, but I guess it just never connected in my head that it was RIGHT THERE!

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I saw a LOT of familiar faces and finally connected some usernames to faces. On twitter or Ravelry it’s easy to start communicating with others and never actually meet them. I am on quite a lot of the forums on Ravelry and sometimes it feels like a know people, but it is always great to meet face-to-face. I got to see some finished object photos, which I ALWAYS enjoy! Two of which were the Rule the Night socks. It knits up really pretty.

We also got two new wholesalers if you’re looking for us in stores locally. We are still in Stix and Stones in the North Bay area. We were recently picked up by Creative Yarns in Scarborough and Knit House in St Jacobs. It’s all very exciting. If one of those is your LYS head over and check us out!

 

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I was so busy I didn’t get a chance to run around much, but I thoroughly enjoyed this show. I am already looking forward to next year. I am also really starting to prepare for Knit City in Vancouver; dyeing replenishment yarn, getting all the travel plans set and looking at a new self-striping just in time for Halloween. I am also looking at gradients, so you may see a little more of that here!

Technical Tuesday: Grafting with Double Knitting

At the Kitchener Waterloo show I had a great question. How to make an infinity scarf with double knitting and graft the ends together. I had never actually thought about how this would be done. Double knitting in itself is fascinating to me so I will post a few videos about the basics then talk about the advice I gave her!

The basic principle of double knitting is to get two right sides. If you search double knitting patterns on Ravelry there are all sorts of patterns for general double knitting, but there are also double sided colourwork as well! I think these patterns are really interesting and absolutely the coolest thing ever! I have a strong dislike for things that are extremely ugly on the wrong side.

This video is of a Kitchener stitch bind off. This will give the basic knowledge of a bind off used for double knitting, but what we are trying to achieve is a seemingly uninterrupted stitch all the way around. For example, if one side is blue and the other side is purple the stitches on your needle will alternate between blue and purple; every other stitch will be a different colour. I suggested that she separate out the blue and purple on two different needles. Do the same thing on both ends and graft the blue stitches to blue stitches and purple stitches to purple stitches.
I explained this the best I could at the show and I hope it worked out. I also thought this was an uncommon and extremely useful question!

Up and Coming

I still can’t believe it is September already. It’s going to be sweater season soon and you can bet your bum I’m preparing for that. I really can’t wait for the fall season. Especially since this Labour Day weekend was SO HOT! I couldn’t believe it! I was obligated to be outside a couple days over the long weekend and it was brutal! Almost 40 degrees!

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Even though it has been very hot outside I’ve been working with warm things non-stop. That is right, the Kitchener/Waterloo Knitters Fair is this weekend so I am attempting to get everything ready. I haven’t really been on my game lately so I wasn’t prepared weeks in advance, like I had hoped to be. Let’s be honest though, do those plans ever really work out?

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The biggest thing I have been trying to get together is the dyeing. I dyed some of the self-striping Psychedelic Onyx. I will be carrying it there, but in limited quantities. I am also going to be dyeing the Warped Porch and A Study in Blue… and Black for the show, but again… there aren’t going to be a vast amount.

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Just a quick update today because we’re obviously super busy in the dye labs. Making sure everything is ready and getting all the details of life in line with details of craft shows! Please stop by and say hi if you’re heading over to the Kitchener/Waterloo Knitters Fair, we’re going to be in booth 59 this year. Same physical place as last year, just a different booth number!

Technical Tuesday: KNITmuch

My latest articles for KNITmuch! Click on the photos to follow through to the articles.

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What you Should Know About Red Heart's Cutie Pie Yarn

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How to Baby-Proof Buttons on Knits

How to Baby-Proof Buttons on Knits

 

ANPT August Snuggle Sack-3481

Hand Knit Snuggle Sack

 

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Cutie Pie Yarn Makes Supremely Soft Baby Booties