Knitting Feeds

Yarn is Dangerous

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 12:30
Knitting is fraught with fascinating conundrums. For instance, no matter how large your stash might be, there's a better than average chance the yarn you need (or want) for your next project isn't there.

Five skeins of grey? Lovely! Unfortunately, they're all the wrong shade, fiber or weight for the project you have in mind, so five fresh skeins join the ranks. (Added: 545 yards. Used: 366 yards.)

GREY DAZE SHAWL

Need some very special yarn for a gift? How thoughtful! Almost certainly, whatever you have on hand isn't quite right, so you acquire several skeins of blue and teal to ensure you have enough yardage and some color choices. (Added: 1600 yards. Used: 400 yards.)

AUNT K'S SHAWL


Working on a project specifically designed to use up leftovers and partials? Great idea! Unfortunately, as you're heading into the final stretch, you realize the blues on hand are all wrong. So, you order two similar but different saturated turquoise blues, because surely one or the other will work right? (Added: 430 yards. Used: 40 yards.)




Want to get a jumpstart on this year's batch of Christmas ornaments? Sounds smart! Uh-oh. Every green yarn on hand is way too yellow (or blue or brown or boring), so you simply must get some in a more suitable shade. (Added: 550 yards. Used: 100 yards.)

CHRISTMAS TREES



Indulging in a spate of rainbow knits? What fun! However, thanks to your diligent stashbusting efforts, your supply of rainbow shades is depleted. To be on the safe side, you wisely decide to replenish your supply. (Added: 1505 yards. Used: 968 yards.)

TIKKYN RAINBOW




As you know, I knit from stash as often as possible, but invest in yarn without guilt when the need arises. What triggers those yarn buys? The examples above (gifts, specific design needs, desire for the perfect color) are good illustrations. 

These were logical, well-reasoned acquisitions, but that doesn't negate the fact that in this roundup, yardage in temporarily outweighs yardage out. That's okay, because with the help of some creative stashbusting projects, all of it will eventually find its destiny. Eventually.

That said, it's important to recognize reality. Let's face it, lush and lovely or plain and practical, yarn by its very nature is seductive and very, very sneaky. Apparently, like the herd animals that produce my favorite fibers, yarn is happiest when it's safely stabled in a cozy spot with an ever-growing flock of siblings and cousins for company.

That means alone and collectively, yarn strives to entice us with its soft hand, gentle halo, rich color, subtle sheen, and possibilities real and imagined. And that makes it very dangerous indeed.


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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Good yarny things...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 03/19/2017 - 07:55
Happy Sunday! Today I have some wonderful yarny things to share with you. One is a fabulous book that I think anyone who loves yarn should pick up and then a new yarn line from Blacker Yarns. As you know I get rather excited to share lovely any sort of... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Financial tips I wish I knew in my 20s – still applicable now. Although I wish I had known all that stuff in my teens (am I the only one who thinks that financial planning and budgeting should be a mandatory high school course?) How to stop procrastinating

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Secret Project Reveal: Kleenex Mittens!

Knitted Bliss - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 18:08

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If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this photo of me working on something secret: Those were red mittens as a prototype for Kleenex Mittens! Kleenex® Canada wanted a special mitten that had a pocket in them for a packet of their tissues, so that you could use the tissues without taking your

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Proof of Life

Yarn Harlot - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 17:03

I sat down yesterday morning with a cup of coffee and the intention of writing a post to you, and then realized that though I don’t believe in jinxes, and I didn’t really think I could make myself fall down by typing about what a great ski trip we had, I do really hate revising writing and so I put it off until now, simply in the interest of not needing to delete a post about how awesome it was and instead write about how charming the Ski Patrol is and how sweet the doctors in the emergency room in Banff are, and how much less scary it was to be airlifted out of the Rocky Mountains than I thought it would be. Turns out that I’m out the other end of the thing, totally intact.

We skiied during the daytime, with me taking lessons and Joe off doing wild man things, flinging himself off the top of mountains and doing double blacks, while I timidly made the transition from green runs to blue ones. I had a very nice instructor named George, who consistently told me that I’m a much better skier than I think I am, I’m just too nervous. “Relax” he told me over and over. “You just need to relax.”  I’m not sure I have the trick of it yet, because all I did then was really concentrate on relaxing, and I don’t think that’s what George meant, and there were moments (more than one, I’m afraid to report) where I stood a the top of a slope George wanted me to ski down, looked at his intentions, the steepness of the thing, how far you would fall to the bottom with a misplaced ski, and cordially looked him in the eye to say “What the actual f**k, George.”

Still, at the end of the three days, George presented me with a certificate outlining my skills, and confidently decreed that I could ski any groomed run. “Any” he said, as long as I managed this elusive relaxation. I looked at my card, and immediately noted an error. Muttering, I approached George, and explained that I wanted him to tick off the box that said I could manage small jumps. He looked at me a little confused, and I reminded him that he’s been on lifts with me, surely he’s noticed that I’m five feet tall, and that means that getting off a lift isn’t a simple matter of standing up.  I have to jump. (This made for a dramatic first dismount from a lift last year, by the way, when the instructor told me to wait until my skis touched the ground, then stand up. Never happened. I almost went right round the thing.) “George,” I proclaimed. “You’ve seen me. You know I’m jumping. I want that box. That’s a jump. Tick it off.”

George agreed, though even now I’m unclear on whether or he truth thought it was right, or was just a little frightened of me. He sat down, put a proper checkmark in the box for small jumps – and added a little note. “On lifts.”  He also told me that skiing with me had been a lot of fun, but in the comments on my report card, I noted that it just said “Been a lot skiing with you this week” and at first I thought the “fun” was just missing (he had several to fill out) but I’ve been told before that I’m rather “a lot” and I wonder if George is breathing a little easier now that I’m headed off his mountain.

In between death defying runs down the slopes, I knit. I had lots of time in the mornings, and in the car on the way places, and at dinner, and in the evenings,

and I’m happy to report that the first little border on the baby blanket is done, as is the second larger one, and today on the way to the airport I’ll finish charting the third, big one, and by the time I get home tonight, it should be well started. I’ve big plans to apply myself diligently to that thing over the next week, try to really break the back of it. There’s more than 680 stitches to a round now, so progress feels like it’s slowing down all the time, but it’s still a lot easier than skiing.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

How to Create a 3-Color Gradient

Knitting | Work in Progress - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 10:30
Light, soft and warm, Plumberry is one of my all-time favorite scarves. For years, this yarn languished in the stash, because it was so luscious I was terrified whatever I made wouldn't do it justice. I tested countless stitches and design ideas, and nothing seemed quite right.




After years of frustration, I hit on the idea of a three-stage gradient, and couldn't be more pleased with the result. The cashmere-silk blend is luscious, the colors suit my tastes, and as simple as it is, this scarf garners compliments every time I wear it.

Plumberry was highlighted in the overview post, Ombres & Gradients: 5 Ways to Create Your Own, and the strategy is so simple, I almost skipped this post. But many knitters tell me they struggle with color and prefer step-by-step directions, so today we'll explore one way to create a custom three-color gradient.

2. Three-Color Gradient: Plumberry Scarf


Yarn. Richesse et Soie (Knit One Crochet Too). Sadly, this yarn has been discontinued.
Stitch. The easy, fluted rib stitch produces a reversible fabric with fluted columns on the front and fluted ribs on the back.

Strategy. The cranberry and purple sections are worked solid, while the center plum section was created by working alternating two-row stripes. To achieve a similar look:
  • Choose two colors.
  • Work the first section with CC1 only.
  • Work the second section with CC1 and CC2.
  • Work the third section with CC2 only.
The strategy couldn't be more simple, but with the right stitch, it produces very attractive results. For those who like specifics:
  • Section 1: Cranberry 9249
  • Section 2: Cranberry 9249, Purple 9713
  • Section 3: Purple 9713
The finished scarf is 4 inches wide and 60 inches long, so it offers lots of wearing options.

Because a basic three-color gradient works with any fiber or color combination, it's a wonderful way to transform orphans, singletons and yes, shrine of precious yarns into something pretty and useful. 

The possibilities are endless. To create your own unique gradient or ombre, try pairing turquoise with white for a summery look, turquoise and grey for a sophisticated one, or turquoise and teal for a tonal effect.
If you haven't done so already, take time now to rummage through your stash to see what interesting combinations you discover, then have fun and experiment with this easy but effective gradient strategy.

To read more about ombres and gradients, click here.
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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Summer Rose

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 03/13/2017 - 11:00

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Original Patterns: Autumn Rose Pullover and Child’s Panel Gansey Knitter Extraordinaire: Misa (Ravelry ID) Mods: Misa used the Autumn Rose colourwork pullover as the road map, but substituted the charts for the Child’s Panel Gansey. Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Two things are happening in this sweater that I

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Going Green

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 12:30
The Pantone Color Institute has declared Greenery (15-0343) the color of the year. It's a lovely, fresh shade that looks a bit like this:

I'm not much of a trend-watcher, but the current focus on green prompted me to wonder why I don't use it more often. The truth, of course, is it appears on a regular basis, but because I tend to favor clear, deep or blue-green shades that better suit my coloring and home decor, it's not always obvious.

That said, once I started hunting for examples, I was amazed at just how often varied shades of green surface in projects. Here's a quick roundup:

ACCESSORIES

These super-simple gradient mitts represent a knitting trifecta: They're fast and easy, designed to use up small balls of leftover yarn, and serve as an example for a new make your own ombres and gradients post.



I'm still experimenting, but one way or another the lovely teal and lake yarn below will find a home in a stole, shawl or wrap. In this photo, the colors appear a bit bluer than they are in real life.




AFGHANS

When it's finished, this afghan will have flashes of vivid mint and deep teal.



Angletyn Rainbow features a soft shade of teal.



Breidan Baby incorporates a minty green.



Color Check Meadow features six shades of green ranging from soft sage to rich teal.



In Drumlin Gemtones, the color appears aqua here, but in reality the strip at the upper right is a rich, saturated teal.



In Drumlin Bright, two shades of green were worked in two-row stripes, which made both colors pop.



In Lucben Tidepool, a mix of purpose-bought yarn was combined with green leftovers to create a simple custom gradient.



In this shot of Tikkyn Rainbow, you can see a few of the teal color blocks that stairstep across the front.




HOLIDAY

When I'm making Christmas Trees for the holidays, yarns in shades of pine, balsam and spruce climb out of the cupboards, scamper around the studio, climb onto the needles, and eventually turn into WIP piles like this:




SWEATERS

In Moore Colors, the mint green stripes peeking out at the right lead into various shades of green, teal and blue that occupy the back.


Last but not least, 20 years ago, I made a lovely teal sweater-jacket in soft, tweedy wool. It's held up beautifully, so I still wear it fall through early spring. Unfortunately, I don't have photos, but I'll try to get some soon.

Meanwhile, daylight savings time has arrived, St. Patrick's Day is a few days away, and spring with its fresh young shoots and leaves is on the horizon. If you're choosing yarn for a new project, try going green. Not only is it right on trend, it's the ideal way to celebrate the bright promise of this lovely season.

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

March Indie Dyer~ Knitting A Love Song & Giveaway...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 03/12/2017 - 07:01
Happy Sunday! Can I just tell you that these monthly indie dyer features have been one of the best ideas I have had in a long time? It has been so amazing to get to know these artists on a personal and business level. March I get the privilege of... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

The Hand of Destiny

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 22:10

I sat down, all ready and organized, to tell  you pretty much nothing. The blanket is going fine, I’m passed the first little border and I’m ready to move on to the next one. I have it charted and swatched and it all seems to be ticking along just fine. A little slowly, I admit, but I’m almost ready to start the second ball of yarn, and there’s more than 700m per ball, so clearly I’m making some sort of progress, no matter how daunting the whole thing feels. I was sitting here, trying to find something to say to you, something remotely interesting, and couldn’t come up with anything at all, so I went to organize some yarn and think about it.

Joe and I are leaving for a ski trip in the morning, and I’d gone upstairs to grab a skein of yarn for socks from upstairs. It was a special skein, part of the little yarn club I joined this year and I know that I should be working on the blanket only, but it’s fussy, and there’s a chart, and while I’m certain that I’ll get lots done on the flight tomorrow – I need something with me to amuse me when it’s dark, or when I don’t want to ignore Joe by gluing my eyes to the thing. So, socks it is. I’m upstairs, and I have the skein of yarn in my hand, and then I realize I should throw in a load of laundry – so I grab a basket, toss a load of whites in, and trot directly to the basement get it started and come back upstairs to wind the yarn.

On my way back up though, I get a text from my sister-in-law who needs a little babysitting help, and I tell her sure, and start organizing myself to leave. Now, I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that mornings aren’t really my jam, but they’re not – so I get another cup of coffee so I stand a chance of keeping up with a toddler and a five year old, and then I go to wind the yarn, except it’s not where I left it on the table by the winder. I look around, realize I’ve probably put it somewhere stupid, and then Katie’s here and I have to leave, so I do.  I’m in the car before something terrible occurs to me. I didn’t… put it in the washing machine, did I? I start reconstructing the morning in my mind – all while convincing Luis that we’re going to go to the park and it’s going to be a blast, and I decide that there’s no way I did that. None. I had it in my hand, and then I put it down on the bed – I think, while I got that laundry together. There’s nothing for it anyway, and Luis and Frankie and I go to the park (where I remember that most of taking a toddler to the park in the winter is trying to keep them from licking metal things) and then I go buy a new bra (really intense morning, thanks for asking) and then I grab the streetcar back here, and go directly upstairs to fetch my yarn – but it’s not on the bed. It’s not on the kitchen counter either, nor is it on my dresser, where I could have put it down. It’s not anywhere, and with a sinking heart, I go to the basement.

I can see it through the window of the washer. It’s there. A sprawled out tangle of handpainted ramen, exploded through the washing machine. I curse, and I open the washer, knowing two things for sure. 1. I’m an idiot and 2. A skein of yarn can’t come back from that. You can’t put a skein of yarn in the washing machine. I’ve wrecked this fantastic skein of yarn. I take the laundry out, and I carry it upstairs and it looks like a nightmare. It’s tangled, it’s a disaster, and start untangling it from tee shirts and underpants and I’m just heartbroken. (I’m also pretty grateful that the dye didn’t bleed, because that was a load of whites and it’s a brightly coloured skein.) I extract the yarn – and I stand there, with this shredded disaster in my hands, and it occurs to me that it’s not felted. It’s superwash – so I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised, but I am – and it occurs to me that maybe, just maybe, if I dry it, I can untangle it. (It does occur to me that this will take hours and hours, but I really like the yarn and I’m feeling optimistic.)

I grab the yarn by one of the ties, and give it a snap, and this happens.

Yup. Perfect. Completely, astoundingly, amazingly and unpredictably perfect. It’s not tangled – there’s not a strand out of place and that, my friends, is a straight up supernatural event.

I thought you’d want to know. The world is a mysterious, beautiful place, and my yarn is almost dry.

(PS. It’s from Gauge Dye Works (That used to be CaterpillarGreen) and I’d like to personally thank them for tying it in three places. I bet some days that feels like overkill, but it’s not. You’re awesome.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

March slump

Knitting to Stay Sane - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 16:07
Knitter friends, do you experience a pre-spring slump? I have noticed this about my knitting activity in the last few years – I knit feverishly from November to February and then by the time March hits it’s like the enthusiasm has dulled to a hum. I’m still knitting, still have projects I want to finish, […]
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Pin ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week This essay was wonderful- a woman who was fat shamed tracked down her trolls and confronted them: “By just blocking and deleting when someone makes an abusive comment or when someone sends an unsolicited portrait of their genitals, we’re tacitly saying that’s acceptable. No one sits around the

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I’m Obsessed With My Pom Pom Maker

Knitted Bliss - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 11:00

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Somewhere on Instagram, I came across the Pom Maker feed and fell instantly, madly in love with their adorable wooden pom pom makers and beautiful pom poms. I had to have one! The fact that it was entirely made of wood seemed especially attractive to me – until then, I had only ever seen plastic pom

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7 Reasons Thumbless Mitts are Best

Knitting | Work in Progress - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 11:00
As you well know, I love fingerless mitts and have through the years made so many pairs, I've lost count. You also know that long or short, practical or pretty, all my mitts are thumbless as well.

This must seem incomprehensible to many of you, but there are seven reasons why thumbless mitts work best for me:

1. Less fiddly. Let's face it, working simple thumbless mitts means you can look forward to a quick, fuss-free project, whip up a last-minute gift, or work them when you need a break from larger or more complicated WIPs.

KINTRA BLACKBERRY


2. Adaptable. One of the things I like most is there's no second-guessing, because you can wait until the seaming stage to decide where you want to place the thumb hole and how large to make it.

KINTRA NEARLY NEUTRAL


3. Nearly mindless. Simple and soothing, thumbless mitts are ideal for knitting on the go or decompressing at the end of a demanding day.

WYNDFAEL TURQUOISE



4. Purposeful swatching. Because they're streamlined and compact, thumbless mitts allow you to play with different stitches, yarns, colors and needle sizes, while still creating something useful.

REVERSIBLE GRADIENT MITTS (WIP)


5. Practical. Wearing mitts while I work and knit keeps my hands and wrists warm and flexible, which reduces aches and pains, but my fingers and thumbs remain unencumbered and able to move freely. If I need my hands free for chores or something similar, it's easy to pop out my thumbs, push the mitts down and tackle the task.

KINTRA PLUM


6. Multiple wearing options. Because they can be worn as mitts, scrunchy gauntlets and folded cuffs, thumbless mitts are extraordinarily versatile, infinitely more wearable and less fussy because you don't have to keep putting them on and taking them off.

GREY DAZE MITTS & SHAWL



7. Short thumbs. Apparently, I have very short thumbs. I learned this when I was a little girl, just starting violin lessons. My teacher, a very talented musician from Czechoslovakia, was always bellowing (literally) that I wasn't holding the instrument properly. One day, he grabbed my hand, examined it intently, and declared my thumbs were too short to play the violin.

KINTRA OYSTER BAY



For what it's worth, I continued to study and play for years, but no, I never became a renowned violinist. Instead, I became a knitter, designer, author and blogger, and I'm okay with that.


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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Blur

Yarn Harlot - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 01:20

No time. Only pictures.

Luis listens to Megan’s baby.

I made a million cookies, and piping icing is hard. (But I win, because they’re still cute.)

Ken is 51.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time with a peeler and made this tart. I thought I was crazy then Meg said “Oh Mum, I love pretty food!” and then it was all worth it.

Jen (knitter, cyclist, student midwife) brought her fetoscope. Best baby shower favour ever.

This picture is okay, but it’s not as good as the one I should have taken, which was 2 minutes later, when the baby moved, and Pato pretty much fell off a chair.

We are excited.  I am knitting.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Locksley Hat Mdification

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 03/06/2017 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Locksley  Knitter Extraordinaire: Andrea (Ravelry ID, blog) Mods: Using the design from the Locksley sweater pattern as a base, Andrea created the hat version. Great details with lots of info on the crown decreases and can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Andrea knit this stunning sweater for

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February Loves a little late...

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 03/05/2017 - 14:25
Hello! Happy Sunday. :) With February being a short month my loves post is a few days late. Before we go visiting, a little update on happenings here at my casa. The test knitting that I spoke about for WOODS is happening. The pattern is secret for right now, but... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

How to Create a Simple Custom Gradient

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 03/05/2017 - 13:30
In the Ombres & Gradients: Create Your Own series, we've been exploring ways to make custom ombres and gradients using purpose-bought yarn or skeins from stash. Not only are they attractive, fun to create and easy to do, ombres and gradients are the perfect way to put orphan and leftover yarns to good use.

Some folks have asked for more details, so periodically I'll share the how-tos in targeted posts like this one. Let's start at the beginning.


1. Simple Custom Gradient: Color Check
(From Ombres & Gradients: 5 Ways to Create Your Own)

One of the easiest ways to create a gradient effect is to choose different shades from the same color family. The biggest challenge is to find the same or compatible yarns in the range of light, medium and dark shades you need.

With four simple gradients, Color Check illustrates the basic strategy quite well:



Yarn. Cotton Fleece (Brown Sheep)

Stitch. The fast and easy slipped stitch creates an all-over windowpane check. 

Strategy. Each section consists of solid colors worked with black as the unifying main color. To achieve a similar look:
  • Choose one main color and three related colors for each strip.
  • Arrange related colors from dark to light.
  • Work each related color in sequence.

In this Color Check version, colors were worked in conjunction with MC Cavern as follows (left to right):
  • Strip 1: Blue Paradise, Malibu Blue, Nymph 
  • Strip 2: Raging Purple, Prairie Lupine, Lilac
  • Strip 3: Plum, Berry, Pink-a-Boo
  • Srtip 4: Barn Red, Cherry Moon, Tea Rose
This version incorporates 12 purpose-bought colors (plus black), and launched my addiction to Cotton Fleece yarn. It also played a pivotal role in building the stash, since each color block only used a portion of the skein. To see another example, look at Color Check Meadow worked in shades of blue, teal, green and yellow.

1. Simple Custom Gradient: Lucben Tidepool
(From No. 1, Ombres & Gradients: 5 Ways to Create Your Own) Yarn. Cotton Fleece (Brown Sheep)
Stitch. The easy twisted double seed stitch produces a reversible fabric with identical textures on both sides. 

Strategy. Each section consists of solid blocks worked with cream as the unifying main color. To achieve a similar look:
  • Choose one main color and five related colors.
  • Arrange related colors on the diagonal from light to dark.
  • Work related colors in the sequence described below.

In Lucben Tidepool, colors are separated by MC Cotton Ball and worked as follows:
  • Strip 1 (upper left): Light Jade, Rue, Mint 
  • Strip 2 (middle): Wild Sage, Light Jade, Rue
  • Strip 3 (lower right): New Age Teal, Wild Sage, Light Jade
I find the resulting diagonal gradient appealing, so it also appears in shades of berry, rose and pink in Lucben Rose. As an added bonus, both Lucben versions were created straight from stash, using yarn acquired when I started working on Color Check.

Hopefully, these examples and simple how-to instructions will help you to look at new buys and stash yarn with fresh eyes, inspiring you to experiment with ways to create simple, custom gradients of your own.

If this is helpful, let me know, and if you have questions or need clarification, do the same and I'll do my best to respond.
To read more about ombres & gradients, click here.
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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Attitude is most of it – Right?

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 19:47

You know, I try to have a can-do attitude.  I’m reasonably clever, I know how to read, I’ve got access to the internet, and that means that most of the time, I look at a task ahead of me and I think “Well. How hard can it be?” This usually works. I’ve changed the brake pads on a mini-van with just a library book and some borrowed tools, I’ve ridden my bike really far, and I can make all sorts of things. A lot of the time I feel like I’m in over my head – but it usually works out. The problem is that since I usually feel like I’m over my head, sometimes I don’t recognize it when I actually am. I’ll be chugging along, feeling a wild and vague sense of panic and hysteria, and then think, well, that’s not too bad – and the next thing I know voila. I’m actually underwater.  Examples? You betcha.

I sat down last night to pick up all of the stitches around the edge of the shawl, and two things happened. First, it turned out that I’d counted hopefully rather than actually, and as a result, I had six rows to go before I was really done. (No problem. Will only take a minute.) The second thing was that it turns out that I’d tried a new provisional cast on (How hard can it be?) and I didn’t do it right. How do I know?

It took about an hour to unpick the waste yarn, stitch by stitch, snipping it into little pieces as a went along, punctuating every sixth or seventh one with unladylike language of a pretty creative nature. The sides didn’t go much better, and I finished the one stinking round that it took to get everything sorted at 1:40am. (How hard can it be? THAT HARD.)

Then,  I decided that I’d do something special for Meg’s baby shower on Sunday (yes, yes it’s that soon, yes I know, knit faster) and after cruising Pinterest (MEGAN LOOK AWAY)  I bought some special cookie cutters and signed up to make some fancy cookies. Like this. Or this. Or those. Up until about 10 minutes ago it hadn’t really occurred to me that I don’t actually know how to do that, and my general sense of “How hard can it be?” was dashed when a friend said that if I got “color flow mix” that would really be good and I realized that I don’t know what that is, and now I feel nervous. Also? I think maybe it takes longer to make them than I thought. I’ll let you know.

Finally, I kept meaning to post and say that Debbi and I have good news and bad news for Strung Along. Good news? We unexpectedly have some spots free at the Strung Along April Retreat, but the June and November retreats have waiting lists. Usually things move around and open up on the lists (that’s what happened with this April one) and there’s a chance that we’ll have some spots, but – particularly for November the list is long, and it’s not looking great, and the truth is that if you were hoping to get to a retreat with us this year, we think April is going to be your chance. We don’t have many spots, but we’ve love it if you could come, and I know you have questions.

Question: Hey, there’s like… 8 million retreats. Why would I go to yours?

Well, ours is different in a few ways. There’s three full days of classes, and everybody goes to all three classes. It’s two days of knitting, and one day of spinning, and some relaxed, fun, optional stuff in the evenings. You’re in a tiny class (only 10-15 people) and you move with that group through the three days. Some retreats have more time for socializing, but we’re all about the classes. To our way of thinking, a fibre arts retreat should be all about the learning. If that’s what you think too, you’re probably going to love it.

Question: Who are the teachers? What are the classes?

This time, the teachers are me, Debbi Stone, and Judith MacKenzie. (She’s the spinning part.) Our theme is “Around the world in three days” and it’s going to be all about techniques and materials from the world over. We’ll talk about the history and traditions of knitters and spinners worldwide, and what they use, and how they use it. It’s going to be pretty great. We’re excited. (Can you say Latvian Braid? Oh yes, you can.)

Question: I’m a brand new spinner, and I’m not that experienced a knitter… am I going to be okay?

Yes. Absolutely. We’ve got artists of every range coming, and you’ll fit right in, no matter what your skill level is. The classes are tiny enough that we can really personalize. You’ll be fine. We promise. (Also, if you don’t have a wheel, we can loan you one for the weekend. Don’t panic. We’ve got ya.)

Question: If I’m going to go away for a treat, I want it to be nice. Is is nice?

Dudes, it’s super nice. We’re ridiculously proud of the wonderful food, and there’s optional paired wine flights with dinner. There’s a fireplace and Jacuzzi bathtub in all the rooms, and the staff at the resort is fantastic. It’s nice. It’s so nice you won’t want to go home.

Question: I’m sort of an introvert and I would be coming by myself and I won’t know anyone. Do people come by themselves? Will it be weird? Will I be lonely?

You’ll be fine.  From one introvert to another, it will be fine. Lots of people come alone – most people, actually, at least at first. We’ve got lots of knitters who came by themselves and made friends with other knitters, and now they look forward to seeing them at the retreats. It’s a welcoming, open place, and there’s lots of time to yourself, if that’s how you like it, and I promise you won’t feel weird.

Question: I have other questions. What do I do?

Write to us at info@strungalong.ca and Debbi or I will answer you. There’s lots of information here on our retreat page too.

Last Question: I’m not able to come, but I hear you guys have goodie bags, and I wondered if I could put my stuff in it?

We do have goodie bags, and we’d love it if you put stuff in it. We’re happy to showcase anything you’d like knitters or spinners to see. Your product goes in the bags, and on our social media feeds, and we’re as grateful as you can imagine. If you’d like to talk about it, email us at info@strungalong.ca, and we’ll get you the details.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 03/03/2017 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Struggling with perfectionism? 6 habits to help overcome perfectionist tendencies. Empowering quotes about women aging. The first one by Cameron Diaz is lame, but the rest are sooo good. Wait, cute flats made from recycled water bottles? Genius! The deeper reason we can’t remember people’s names after meeting

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

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