Sunday, August 29, 2010

Just a quick post

I've finished the second sock to the one I featured last week.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Week in knit 13: Afterthought heels

Greetings readers! This week I bring you a review of a technique I tried on my latest pair of socks.
Afterthought heels are great if you are working with a self-striping yarn and don't want to get out of synch when you do your heel.

What you do is knit your socks as normal, but instead of doing a heel flap, you knit half your stitches onto waste yarn, and then knit them again with your regular yarn. This keeps them ready to be picked up later.

When you're done your sock will look like this (except probably right side out. I knit everything inside out).

Very carefully pull out your waste yarn and pick your stitches back up on either DPNs or Circulars, whatever your preference.

Next, work the heel just like a toe, decreasing until you get down to your preferred number of stitches (I did 14). And then kitchener them to close them up.

When you're finished it will look something like this (except less yellow. stupid lighting):

Tada. Finished sock. While I hate doing heel flaps (and love to kirchener) I'm not sure the afterthought heel is much of an improvement over the traditional heel. For one thing, I hate picking up stitches and weaving in ends, and with this technique you have to do more of both! But, it is definitely something to consider for those self striping or self patterning sock yarns. It does make for a nice comfy and attractive finished object though!

Ooh what's that?

Oh hello! That's my new tattoo :) I got him yesterday. Isn't he cute!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Week in knit 12: Nana Sadie Rose!

So, as you may have noticed I took a little bit of a break there. I've decided not to try to blog every single week, but instead to post when I do have something to say. And boy do I today!

Many local (and even not-so-local) knitters are familiar with Nana Sadie Rose. She has always been known for lovely, high quality bags. I received one last year as a wedding/birthday present. (sorry for the bad lighting, it's cloudy here today)

Unfortunately, the bags normally have a one-button closure, which is not Tripsie Proof.

(she wasn't a willing model, she'd just been sprayed with water earlier for trying to eat yarn on the table)

So when I saw this post on Nana Sadie's blog, I was VERY excited.

I left a comment saying how much I love her bags but need the ability to close things more securely (and also how much I loved the fabric). A paypal transaction and a few days later, I have this.

I love it. It's much bigger than I had thought.

I'm used to sock project bags, but this is big enough for a shawl or possibly even a baby blanket or sweater or two smaller projects.

The drawstrings are high quality and as you can see, the inside is lined in a beautiful corresponding color.

So, whether you need drawstring closure or can enjoy other styles, make sure you check out Nana Sadie's Etsy Shop, or her main website where you can basically build your own bag.

Thanks again Nana Sadie!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Week in knit 11: Knit in Public Day!

First off, in my last post I mentioned possibly buying the Handknit Heroes t-shirt. Well it arrived, and I love it! I wore it to our knit in public day yesterday.

We went to the brick & mortar location of Uptown Stitches, which is normally an internet yarn store. But on special locations, proprietor Sheila lets people in, and I'm so glad she did!

We had lots of fun knitting out on the sidewalk.

She also arranged for us to dye yarn with Koolaid. Everyone did something different!

Some people soaked their yarn, others just sprayed it.

Then we wrapped it all up in seran wrap and steamed it.

Here it all is hanging to dry.

All in all it was a wonderful day and we all had a blast :) Did you Knit in Public? Leave me a comment and I'll draw a winner to receive this adorable project bag I bought while I was there.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The week in knit 10: Knitting in Comics!

Last weekend, my husband and I went to HeroesCon, a comic book convention in Charlotte. One of the things I really like about HeroesCon is that it is still truly a comic book convention.

There's a few booths with some Anime or other movies, and some video game action figures,

but apart from that it is still all about the comics.

A little while back, I'd seen a banner ad on Ravelry (I love ads on Ravelry BTW) for a comic book involving knitting. I subscribed, and since I recently got the 3rd issue, I thought I'd review them!

The story revolves around twins Ana and Alex Miller who have superpowers! Soon their mom, Ana's friend Sue and members of Alex's hockey team are introduced, with more superpower hijinks. I will admit it was a little hard to tell what was going on at first (Like when Sue teleports when you don't yet know that she can). But, I have that trouble a lot (combination of ADD and horrible short term memory) so don't blame the writer without checking it out for yourself.

Knitting is featured heavily. Ana and Sue both knit, as well as the twin's mom, who also owns a yarn shop!

Each issue features a pattern in the back of the book, something one of the characters wore or carried.

At $20 a year, it's definitely worth it. 3 issues in and I feel like I've already gotten my money's worth. The comics are very thick and sturdy, they come pre-bagged, and with the patterns included as well I feel they're worth well more than the cover price.

You can purchase your subscription and read more about the creators here at ComicKnits. They also have a shop where you can purchase kits! I really love the t-shirt and think I might pick one up right now!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The week in knit 9 - Retro Video Game Socks!!

Previously, I've featured one of my favorite sock clubs, the Lord of the Strings done by the Unique Sheep. This week, I'd like to feature another of my favorite sock clubs. They were so good that I re-joined for the second round.

The Retro Video Game sock club by the Serendipitous Ewe (what a mouthful!) has been great for so many reasons. As you can see in my pictures below, the yarns are so fantastic! Each one is a great representation for the video game. And the extras have been so wonderful and creative.

For example, my Raphael Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles yarn (they did 4 colorways, one for each turtle) inclued some pizza shaped & "Toxic Waste" candy!

Sonic The Hedgehog

Donkey Kong - absolutely beautiful!

Not pictured, but shown off beautifully on their blog, was Final Fantasy which was a beautiful light blue.

I'm still so behind in my knitting, so I've only actually worked up one of the club colorways into socks.

My Mario socks!!

I also loved that each package came with a pattern suggestion, of a free pattern available on Ravelry - so you don't feel as much like you have to knit what came with it, and the price of the package isn't inflated for pattern costs. I knit my Mario Socks in something other than the suggested pattern.

I've really enjoyed being in this club, and the forum on Ravelry is so much fun to see people reminisce about old games too :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The week in knit 8: Sedalia Fiber Festival!

Every year for the last 3 years I have looked forward to this time of year. Partly because it's my birthday, but mostly because it is time for our local Fiber Festival.

Of course, whenever I say that to my non-knitting friends (or muggles) they joke about eating bran flakes or taking Metamucil, and I have to clarify that I'm referring to the equivalent of a Comic Book Convention, but for people who knit, crochet, spin, weave etc.

The Sedalia Fiber Festival is host to many great exhibitors, authors, and classes. There's alpacas, llamas, sheep, goats, as much yarn or roving anyone could need, and wheels and looms to spare! Raffle prizes are held throughout the day. This year there were also 3 special raffles. One for a new spinning wheel, one for a loom, and one for a drum carder.

The raffle for the Spinning wheel was pretty intense. These are some of the people waiting to hear the number of the winner.

We also had some raffle prizes which helped raise money for Tyler Peterson. Tyler is an awesome little guy who has a benign brain tumor. When he first started going up to UVA for radiation and saw all the other people having to go through it too, he wanted to help! So he's been collecting toys and donations, and his mother is crocheting hats for other radiation and chemo patients.

I'm really looking forward to delivering this box of donated toys and yarn! I think he'll be really excited :)

I'd like to review some of my treasures from yesterday.

My first purchase was this lovely yarn from Wolle's Yarn Creations. As you can see it has a beautiful, looong color change. She had a Citron knit up in it and it was beautiful. I think that's what I'll make with it as well, I have a brown dress it'll look great with!

I also got *sigh* a new bag. I love bags, I think I've mentioned it...

This bag comes from a local designer, Mariah Clark. It's so pretty!!!

And look at this, there's little loops to rest your DPNs in so they don't get all jumbled up inside. No more having a few stitches drop off!

I was very good, that's all I bought for myself!!!

Dianne bought me this awesome little organizer.

It unfolds, and has a space to put your interchangeable needle points, a zipper pouch for all your notions, and 4 little pockets. It came from Lawre's Laine's booth. Check out those cats!
Dana insisted on buying me something too, even though Dianne had told me the organizer was from both of them. So, she dragged me over to Studio 43's booth and had me select a circular piece that I could use to enhance my shawl pin. I picked one out that looks great with my Traveling Woman shawl.

I had an absolute blast, even if I nearly passed out on the way home. Next year we need to make sure to get the weather to be a little cooler ;)

Friday, May 7, 2010

The week in knit 7: You got your pop culture in my knitting! part 2 of 2.

One of my favorite things about knitting (and crocheting, though I can't seem to get it) is that the craft is so versatile, you can fly your geek flag in many different ways and show off all kinds of nerdity.

One of my latest favorites, is Crafty Carla's Amigurumi Pea-shooter from Plants Vs Zombies.

On Etsy you can find all kinds of Amigurumi patterns to make all sorts of stuff.
Chairy from Pee-Wee's Playhouse, a T.A.R.D.I.S from Dr Who, or even a Moogle!

With colorwork, knitting play along too. I think one of the best geeky knitted items ever is the Mario Scarf. I really hope Cass finishes it one day!

I've even gotten in on the action, with my Hermoine hat.



The pattern was written by a HUGE Harry Potter fan before the movie even came out. She did an awesome job for basing it off of just a publicity still!
What geeky craft have you made?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The week in knit 6: You got my knitting in your pop culture!! 1 of 2

Lately, I've been seeing knitting referenced EVERYWHERE.
It all started with my friends featuring this picture of a actress from the show Legend of the Seeker knitting during a break. I might have to have some words with Brian about knitting being "motherly" but that's besides the point ;)

Then, while watching Destination Truth, Ryder saw a huge flock of sheep, and decided she could chase one down and knit sweaters for the whole crew. She wasn't able to catch one, so I guess we'll never know if she can actually knit or not.

This week's episode of Community featured Britta knitting an eye-patch for her new cat. She even defends her hobby to a bunch of high school bullies by saying "Knitting is hip, Wynona Rider knits!"

Is knitting becoming so popular that TV shows will start using it more?
Tune in next week when we flip the tables and look at pop-culture in knitting!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

No post this week

Due to being out of town last week and then getting caught up with work, I just haven't been able to get a post together.

But if you check out my usual blog, I posted about my trip last weekend and the Sedalia Celtic Festival where we were today.

See you next week!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Week in Knit 5: Unique Sheep - Painty!

This week I am featuring one of my favorite dyers. Painty is one of the two members of the Unique Sheep

She was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. I'm also showing off some of their beautiful yarns and projects I've knit with them.

Q: I absolutely loved the Lord of the (St)rings yarn club. You come up with some very unique club ideas, from the Seven Deadly Sins to the 7 wonders of the world. Where does your inspiration come from?

A: Our inspiration comes from all over the place. Because we love what we do, we are always talking about it to friends, family, pretty much anyone who will listen. And often these conversations lead to inspiration. Coming up with ideas is fun and easy- narrowing them down to just a few with the most potential and then doing the legwork to make them happen is more challenging!

Q: You and your business partner are in different cities. How do you keep up with customer orders and shipping etc?

A: Kelly and I (Laura) live about an hour or so apart and only see each other about once a month. We have “business meetings” over the phone and do most of our communication through email. This allows us to work from our homes and on our own schedules which we both love. Kelly and I each have our own colors so when an order comes in for one of Kelly’s colors she dyes it and ships it directly to the customer. Sometimes a customer will order one of Kelly’s colors and one of mine, in those cases the customer ends up getting two different packages of yarn since we each ship our parts of the order separately. It is a little bit more expensive for us to ship this way but doesn’t affect the cost for the customer since we offer flat rate shipping and most orders ship for free since we offer free shipping on domestic orders over $40.

Q: What made you decide to broadcast your dying sessions on Ustream?

A: I have been a long time watcher of the Lamb-Cam ( and thought it might be fun to do something similar but with dyeing. The idea started floating around in my mind months ago and when I discovered U-stream I decided to give it a try. I haven’t worked out all the kinks yet- I am still getting use to using the microphone/headset and sometimes put the microphone too close to my mouth resulting in “dragon breath” (thanks to my mom for that description) and I could use a better quality camera, but it’s a fun way to interact more with customers. It’s great for me since I spend most of the day in the studio by myself and customers seem to enjoy being able to see the “birth” of their yarn!

Q: Some of your gradience dying techniques are very unique. Were you afraid someone else could steal them after seeing them on the video? Will you stream more dyeing sessions? they were so fun to watch!

A: Kelly and I used to worry that another dyer would try to imitate our Gradiance dyeing technique. We have come to realize that there isn’t much of a risk of it happening because Gradiance dyeing is SO much more time consuming than regular dyeing. It easily takes four to six times as long to dye the same amount of yarn but obviously we can’t charge even double or normal prices—no one would be able to afford it! Even if another dyer experimented with Gradiance dyeing, I don’t think that they would adopt it to the degree that we have. It would be much easier for them to just come up with their own unique technique!

Q: Some people consider gadgets to all be electronic, but not always! Tell us about your waterproof paper.

A: I keep a notebook filled with all my colorway recipes. I used to just use a regular notebook until the day that I knocked over a bottle of dye and ruined the entire thing. That’s when I discovered the Rite in the Rain line of notebooks/papers. Designed for outdoors people they look and feel almost just like regular paper but as long as you use waterproof ink they don’t blur, smear or fall apart when you dump a cup full of dye on them!

Q: I went to the oldest blog post I could find to see where the Unique Sheep had its beginnings and saw it was previously the Handpainted Sheep. When did you start dyeing yarn?

A: I started dyeing yarn for myself and friends when I was in college in about 2005. As graduation neared I realized it was time to decide on a career and my degree in Anthropology & Gender Studies wasn’t terribly practical! I had this crazy idea to start a hand dyed yarn company and originally called it the Handpainted Sheep. I soon discovered that another dyer was using that name, so I switched to The Unique Sheep. At the same time as I made the name change, Kelly joined me as a business partner so it seemed very fitting that The Unique Sheep officially began with both of us on board!

Thank you again Painty for the interview!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Week in Knit 4: More iPhone/touch/pad Apps!

With the iPad's release earlier this week, I thought it might be a good time to review some more knitting related applications available on the ITunes store.

This week I will focus on several free apps.

First off, is "Needles" I like the icon! It's the one with the skull and needles :)

It's basically a way to catalog all your needles. You can enter circulars, straights, and DPN's. Then choose the material, size, and length. I can see how this would be handy if you're out at a yarn shop, and you want to buy all your materials for a project, you can see if you already have suitable needles.

There's also a store locator, but all that really does is open a google map and search for "knitting"

The map doesn't seem to be very accurate ;)

The next one I'll mention is "Row Counter"

It looks pretty neat, just like a real row counter sitting on your needle. To "turn it" you click the little button that red arrow is pointing to. Unfortunately.. I haven't figured out how to make it reset to zero. Also, if you look back at the iPhone screen you can see it shows the number of rows there... which I find annoying.

I like Knit Counter Lite better

It doesn't look quite as neat, but you can hold down the frog button to turn the counter backwards if you need to. Also, I think the paid version lets you have multiple counters.

The Info tab lets you input information about the project
So that part is kind of like the information you would put on your project info page on Ravelry.

Finally, I have Knit Minder lite

This is also similar to the project, stash, and que functions of Ravelry.

I think that aside from the row counters, these applications would be better for people with the iTouch vs. the iPhone. With my phone I can make a shortcut to Ravelry and just get access to my needle, yarn, and project information there on the go.

Please let me know if you have anything you would like me to cover, or would like to be featured in an upcoming issue of TWIK.

Also, I want to give a "shout out" to Knit one Smock Two, a wonderful LYS in Winston Salem North Carolina!! My mom and I were there last week and they were very helpful and nice. I recommend stopping in if you like knitting or sewing, as they have everything you'd need for both.