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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
I hope everyone had a FANTASTIC 2014 and is looking forward to a new year in 2015! There are going to be a few changes around the blog and within Stitch Please as a company, so I thought I would get the boring house keeping things out of the way first!
First and foremost, I am not going to be blogging everyday anymore. I am hoping to write some patterns this year and in order to get out the best pattern I possibly can, I need to take the time to field test them. I am going to continue with the Technical Tuesday, Wednesday (regular knitting blogging) and Thursday (off topic blogging). I am going to do reviews when I have things to review. I am going to aim for every other week, but it isn’t a hard and fast rule I am trying to keep.
Secondly! At Stitch Please I am going to be adding in some more colours!! Yaaaay! The first of which is going to be Atomic Red, and several others that I will release in good time. I’ve had several requests for gray, black, rainbow and baby colours. I will do my best to accommodate all requests! I am always open to more suggestions for colours and colour combinations!
We are looking into what shows to attend this year. Last year we managed to get to the Kitchener/Waterloo Knitters Fair, which was great! I will be posting more definite lists in the upcoming events sidebar as soon as we have concrete plans. If there is an event in your area, let us know! We are always looking for different fiber festivals to attend and it may be the case that we just don’t know about the one nearest you.
In 2015 we are also going to start selling mini skeins in our Etsy store. For those times when you don’t have quite enough yardage to finish a project, but don’t need enough for another full skein. We have all underestimated the amount of yarn we would need for a project and had to go in search of another ball. This will be perfect for those times.
Not too long ago, a friend of mine was talking about knitting her husband a pair of socks. She was complaining about the size of his feet and the fact that she always has to buy more than one skein of yarn. He likes a long cuff on his socks so not only does she need to knit forever, but get another ball of yarn for the extra yardage she needs. The mini skeins would be great for that as well! I am sure there are a variety of other uses, but these are the ones that have come to mind most recently!
I thought I would get this update up and out today so you’re not too jarred by the change of schedule. I will still be telling you all about my mishaps, but it will be on Wednesday instead! Functional Friday will be next week as well!
I’m so glad to have everyone here as readers and hope you are enjoying the blog! I really enjoy writing it and look forward to all the new things to come in the new year! HAPPY 2015!!!!
I have tried to get a lot of re-skeining done in the last little while, much easier said than done. For the most part it goes well and there aren’t a lot of problems, but for the one or two problems you do have… it totally washes out the rest of the success.
I have been eternally grateful to Liane, who has been coming over and helping me throughout the day. I hope she isn’t put off knitting by all the yarn tangles that happen while re-skeining; at least she will have a great grasp of how to untangle her own snags when they come along!
I am really dreading re-skeining of the Topaz and Amber Label yarn. These skeins were only tied twice instead of three times, so sorting them out for re-skeining is going to be a pain in the… er… lower back. Usually if they are tied three times, it keeps all the stranding running in the same direction. When there are only two ties, the strands can flip around and run counter to the rest of them. So while you have your skein on a swift and are unraveling it in a clock-wise fashion, some of the strands may need to be unraveled counter clock-wise. The swift really does not like going from clock-wise to counter clock-wise, at all.
This is where all the snags happen. It’s really not as simple as ‘the swift will just start turning the other way’. Usually all the strands of yarn run over and under one another; some gentile tugging in the right directions usually sorts it out if the skein isn’t too far gone. The overlapping strands just slide out of the way.
There are times when the strands running the wrong direction completely stop your original unwinding. They loop around that single strand and the only way to fix that is taking your freshly re-skeined yarn off the second swift and pass it though the loop. This will, of course, make your skein look scruffy and you will end up needing to re-skein again!
Instead of doing this, I sometimes just start balling the skein from the other end. The loose tail is not too hard to find and much easier to get around then the whole skein. This way the fresh skein stays on the swift and you can just skein the rest, from the ball.
As you have read I have been doing a lot of dyeing and as you can probably imagine, the more you do something, the more you can mess it up. I have managed to find a few little things to make it easier, but I have had my fair share of screw ups lately.
First of all, with all the dyeing I am going to be doing, I made a schedule with what colours I was going to dye in what weeks. In order to make sure I didn’t run out of yarn completely, I also created a schedule on when I should order more yarn for the weeks ahead. I started by writing out all the yarn I was going to be using for the future and put room for a dye order once a week. Using excel I managed to figure out when I should be ordering what.
With my math skills I thought this was a particularly fine achievement. Now that I am more than a week behind, I have to shift everything in my book. Luckily I planned on getting behind; with everything going on with the wedding and having been unwell for the last little while, I figured I would not be at the top of my game.
Along with the schedule for dyeing, the job itself is extremely messy. I remember writing that it was much easier to dye one colour and multiple bases a while ago, but this means I have to make the dye solution several times in one session. This leads to a lot of colours on my kitchen island. I am glad I have the thick plastic covering it or else all the rubbing alcohol in the world wouldn’t be able to help me.
I am going to have to look for more pots and pans in hopes that this will speed me up even more! Every time I dye a whole bunch of yarn, I don’t go slow and steady, I marathon through it. I don’t start unless I have time to do a lot. By the end, my back and feet are killing me; I’ve already cut the amount of time spent dyeing in half, lets hope I can cut it down again!
The Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Fair is coming up fast! I’ve set myself a dyeing schedule and I am keeping pace with it. I figured out all the colour combinations I want to have by the end and how many of each individual skein I will bring.
Needless to say, the dyeing has ramped way up in intensity. I need to do at least two large dyeing sessions per week. I am currently half a week behind, so there has been a large-ish amount of stress with that.
I have a compulsion about deadlines, even those self imposed. I hate moving a deadline because I won’t be able to meet it. I really strive to set realistic goals and conquer them. It is the same thing with being late, even if I am one minute late for an appointment or work, it bothers me.
I am really getting the dyeing down to a streamlined process now. Dye one colour at a time, pre-soak all the yarn at once, wash things down with rubbing alcohol because it takes the dye right out of whatever you are washing.
With my careful note taking and repetitiveness, I am getting to know how much dye should be used for what colours. My results are more and more reliable each time. Sometimes there are outside factors which affect the colour of your yarn; what acidity the tap water happens to be at, not paying attention when I am taking notes, not paying attention when I am dyeing in general. Everything has gotten much easier with the multiple bases and one colour. I am not sure why I didn’t think of it before, it seems so obvious now. I guess my train of thought was stuck inside a box.
I am also in the final stages of approving the new logo, it should be done sometime next week. The person designing it has also looked into some branding swag we could order for the show. I am really looking forward to seeing some of those things. I really can’t wait till the logo is done because then we can order our signage for the show and really get the ball moving.