Functional Friday: Vogue Knitting Stitchionary #6

I am not sure why, but on the Vogue Knitting site there were not volume 4 and 5 of this stitchionary collection. Perhaps I will have to go looking for them later, I know volume 4 is all about crochet. I could really really use that one, my crochet skills are not what they should be. Volume 5 is all about lace; as we know, lace and I don’t get along, but maybe volume 5 would help me along and I will be able to knit lace with less difficulty.

VKS 4

Volume 6 is al about edgings! I think my shelves are going to be filled with books containing fancy edges; between VK Stitionary and Nicky Epstein they’re taking over the whole shelf!

This book is split into seven chapters: Ribs, Texture, Cables, Lace, Colour, Unusual and Crochet. The chapters are also arranged in order of difficulty, the easiest at the beginning and challenging ones nearer to the back. All this information is given to you in the ‘how to use this book’ section. One thing I really REALLY liked was the fact that in this section the authors told you what yarns they used for what chapters and the needle sizes.

VKS5

In each chapter the yarn is all corresponding, I love the effect this has on the book aesthetically. If you are flipping through the book rather quickly it is easy to see when you have progressed from one chapter into the other. The yarn is different and although it is a coordinating colour it is not the same. The book is, essentially, colour coded.

One thing the Nicky Epstein books had that the VK Stitionary’s did not was the patterns for the photos displaying the edgings used on an actual garment. However, these are Vogue Knitting books so all the garments are probably taken from the magazine, you just have to go through and find them.

Even though this is a review of the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary, I would like to add this little story on the end of it. I subscribe to Vogue Knitting Magazine and I was sure my subscription was coming up, but I wasn’t sure when. I checked the magazine rack at a local book store and the newest VK Magazine was out and I had not received it. I went online and clicked through to renew my subscription; right after I did that, I wondered if I would be getting the issue I missed or if it would start on the next one.

VKS 6

Instead of guessing I called the VK Magazine subscriber services and got some of the best  customer service I have ever received! The customer service representative told me I should have received the latest issue with my current subscription and she wasn’t sure why I hadn’t. I didn’t even have to ask for another one, she just said she would have one sent out immediately. Then she realized I was on an automatically renewing subscription and they should have notified me that I was going to be renewed soon. For some reason no one had tried to renew my subscription. I hadn’t even known there was a problem, but we worked everything out and I was EXTREMELY glad I had called!

I’ve worked in retail and currently work in an office where there is a call centre, I know good customer service when I see it. I’ve always been happy with Vogue Knitting, but this was really very exceptional. Thank you Vogue Knitting!

Functional Friday: Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume Three

This one is about colour-work! This is something that should be really popular now because the Nordic sweaters are everywhere! The patterns in this book are wonderful for creating your own designs. You would be able to sub in different stitch patterns if there are lines you don’t like!

VK Stitchionary 3

My friend Megan helped me find things about the book to talk about. Her first notion about this book was the proportions. This is something I didn’t really think about, but the book is slightly odd; it is wider than it is long and relatively unwieldy.

Megan also found the advertisement in the back about the needles pictured on the cover. Lantern Moon is the company that makes the needles and they are handmade, which you really don’t see very often. There are a lot of yarns out there which are handspun and hand dyed, but not many handmade needles are seen out there in the world today.

We also managed to find a couple stitch patterns that we thought were misnamed, for example the stitch called catacombs is a geometric pattern that strikes me as Myan. The sample for this stitch was knit in a very cheerful colour of pink! We thought a stitch with the name catacomb would be more subdued and perhaps have a skull or two. Something a little more catacombs of france or Jolly Rodger-ish?

That is really just aesthetics though; the book itself is a conglomeration of colour work stitches from Vogue Knitting. What wouldn’t there be to like?

Finally Finished!

I’ve finally had a chance to get some knitting done! I know, it seemed like it would never happen. I’ve finally finished Jennie’s socks and they look great. I happened to work on them in front of my mother who immediately noted that she wouldn’t mind a pair of socks in the same colour. Way to take one for the team mom, I am sure hand knit socks in any colour would be a burden. Lol, I am sure I have mentioned that my mother LOVES hand knit socks and would wear no other stockings if she had her way.

Jennie Sock Shot

Everything went relatively smoothly with the rest of these socks and there were no huge problems. I am going to deprive Jennie of her socks a little bit longer because I need to get good photos of them, and as we all know, I don’t do those myself.

Close Up Colour

I am hoping to get more photos of the new yarns I’ve dyed lately and put them up on the shop! I had a week of dyeing lately and another custom order to do, so I’ve been quite busy! I really hope the colours are going to suit everyone, I took the advice of my friends; even if I didn’t particularly like the way a colour turned out, I would recreate it for others. I know that everyone has different tastes and just because I LOVE huge explosive colour, not everyone swings that way.

 

Bottom of the FootI’ve been thinking about the upcoming warmer weather and what to knit. I think I am going to make Tanis Fiber Arts Ombre Cardigan. I really love this pattern, even if it is in lace, and can’t wait to try out my Citrine Label yarn! It is so soft I really want to make something special from it. Hopefully it won’t take me years to finish it!

Latex and Lace

The past week has been so insane! I’ve been so busy I didn’t even have time to knit at all last week. You know I am busy when there is absolutely no knitting! I shouldn’t say absolutely no knitting because I did get a bit of a chance on the weekend when Paul and I went to my parents place. They have no internet there so you cannot lose as much time to the black hole that is facebook, Etsy, youtube, and what not. I will put a disclaimer here that blogs do not count as a waste of time… in my unbiased opinion.

What took up a majority of my time last week was dyieng. This was the first time I really dyed things on a larger scale. As you can expect, there were some tools I needed and others I had to replace but it went as smoothly as you could expect.

Dye Set Up
Michelle | Stitches be Slippin

One story I will share with you is how I narrowed down the type of gloves I was using. At Home Depot I bought three kinds of gloves, vinyl, nitrile, and latex. I don’t have a whole lot of experience with gloves so I couldn’t tell which ones would be the best, so I got a small package of each and tried them all. The vinyl, which was the suggested glove type, leaked. I love dark and vibrant colours so it was pretty obvious when the gloves weren’t working. After I stripped them off my hands were covered in colour. Thank goodness for rubbing alcohol! It takes the colour off, for the most part.

Next up was the nitrile gloves. They were blue, which I liked, but that is superficial. I wouldn’t actually choose a glove based on colour alone. They worked out well, no leaking, I could feel the yarn through the gloves and everything. Awesome!

Dyeing Lazer LemonMichelle | Stitches be Slippin

Last up was the latex. I tried these out this past week. I only used them once because, as obvious as it sounds, they were very slippery when wet. Whenever I was trying to open a jar or hold onto the tongs, things kept slipping! I actually threw away the rest of them, went out and bought more nitrile gloves.

I’ve told this story to a few people and all of them have laughed at me. I thought I would share the joy of latex gloves with everyone, not simply for the humourous value, but as a cautionary tale. I was almost burned or dropped things at an inopportune moment because those gloves had zero grip.

Aside from the latex debacle, the dyeing went very well. It was a lot of fun and all new yarn! One of my favourites was the lace! I know… words you never thought you would see in the same sentence!  Someone buy a lottery ticket because the stars have aligned!

Yarns Dusk FilterMichelle | Stitches be Slippin

The lace is a silk and merino wool blend. It is amazingly soft and took the dye really well. There was a bit of a problem with the blue, but that was my fault. I was trying to dye too much at one time and the dye couldn’t reach every part of the skein. It was simple to fix though, I just separated them into different pots and added more dye.

I am really excited about all these new yarns! They’re all so lovely I am going to have trouble parting with them. The colours were very festive, with Easter coming up I did orange, yellow, purple, blue and green. As I was dyeing all these skeins of yarn I was thinking to myself, “Man! I am going to be a whiz with eggs this year!”

Finished Product
Michelle | Stitches be Slippin

For now I am just waiting on more yarn of an undyed nature, I think it should be here today. I can’t wait to get my hands on more. I also ordered a couple more dyes. The lighter colours like yellow go really fast! You have to add more dye in order to get a bright colour. I think I should probably make some softer yellow ones as well. We shall see. I will keep you updated on the dyeing; perhaps next time I will take a picture of myself in the lab coat I wear for dying. I have had many requests to see me in all my mad scientist glory.

Socks and Servers

Well my friends, here is the labour from the past week of my life! The new website!

Blogger wasn’t quite meeting my needs anymore so I decided to upgrade. However doing so meant I had to switch to WordPress. While I have heard that WP was significantly superior to Blogger, I was used to using Blogger and now had to completely re-learn the entire system. Along with importing my old blog and building a website for scratch it was a very steep learning curve.

I would like to thank Heather Ordover for her invaluable help and patience with my questions! Heather produces a podcast called CraftLit, which is fantastic! I’ve started listening from the beginning; the first book is Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. All the historical tidbits and information about the life and times of the authors really adds a depth to the books and short stories she shares with us. It really appeals to the English major in me. All the stories she plays are in the public domain, which means the intellectual property rights have either expired or are no longer applicable. In layman’s terms it means we get to read all the classics… well maybe not ALL of them but, you get my point.

HD Sock Blue

I’ve been making tracks on the socks I dyed the yarn for. I am coming up on completing the second one! I made them quite a bit skinnier than the other socks I have made so far. As I wear some of the older ones, they stretch out and become too big as the day goes on; so these ones will stay up longer.

The yarn dyeing is going well and Alanna will be over sometime soon so I can teach her how to dye. It should be interesting to say the least; I’ll give a post about how it goes after this scheme has come to fruition!