Category Archives: shops

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…

I really like knitting.  Knitting has gone from being a neat hobby to…something else, and I’m very excited that part of that “something else” has included working a bit with the talented Meg of Twisted Fiber Arts.  She’s in Michigan, I’m in Kansas, but what is that in this day and age?

I’ve had the privilege of spinning some of her rovings to be used in the photographs for her new website, there’s another project or two in the works, and I also had the opportunity to do some test/sample knitting for her.  She said it was fine to share on the blog, so here’s a picture of Clapotis (like the scarf I have a few posts below), knit in her fantastic Evolutions style of dyeing, in a silk yarn that is so amazingly soft and wonderful that it should be a controlled substance.  Worse than crack, people. I kid you not.

I love the idea behind this yarn…she starts with one color, and it shifts, almost inperceptibly, to a completely different color.

Stalk her site, folks, and look out for the silk yarn I’m hoping will become public soon.  If you end up with extra, I’ll send you my address. 😉


Lace Waves Bookmark

Materials: size 2 needles, tapestry needle, fingering weight yarn.  I used Arial from Twisted Fiber Arts, colorway Firefly.

Cast on 18 stitches.

Knit 4 rows for garter stitch edge.

Lace pattern:

Row 1: k2, yo, ssk, k4, yo, ssk, k4, yo, ssk, k2

Row 2 and all even rows : k2, p 14, k2

Row 3: k2, yo, k, ssk, k3, yo, k, ssk, k3, yo, ssk, k2

Row 5: k2, yo, k2, ssk, k2, yo, k2, ssk, k2, yo, ssk, k2

Row 7: k2, yo, k3, ssk, k, yo, k3, ssk, k, yo, ssk, k2

Row 9: k2, yo, k4, ssk, yo, k4, ssk, yo, ssk, k2

Repeat rows 1-10 for desired length, finish with 4 knit rows for garter stitch edge.  BO, weave in ends.  Fix bobble if desired.


Thanks, honey!

When I married my husband over 13 years ago, neither of us had any idea that I would become so…interested (?) in fibery crafts.  I was reminded of this fact this morning when a package arrived for me, containing my superbowl bet winnings and my Valentine’s Day presents from Sean.


These are all from Meg of Twisted Fiber Art.  I love her stuff, her eye for color, and the way she runs her business.  She’s a gem! The rovings are for Valentine’s Day and I won the yarn when somebody won the superbowl this year.  Was it the Giants?  I don’t remember and I don’t even care that much…it was good for some great yarn!  Anyway, it’s a good man who is so supportive of his wife’s “interests,” especially when he had no previous warning of them before he married.  I’ve got a good one!

I started spinning some very dark jewel toned roving last night…pretty stuff!  But no pictures yet.  I also started a garnet-colored pullover yesterday.  You might be tempted to think I’m in another “starting stuff” phase, and I might be, although I’m just about done with one of the first items for Christmas 2008.  That just cracks me up…me, knitting for Christmas in February.  HA!

My sister asked about Hat Attack and along with wishing her a Happy Birthday! today, I’ll answer her…isn’t she kind to worry about the survival of her sibling?  Someone posted that over 60% of the participants are “dead” as of last night.  My target got her hat last Tuesday, but she’d mailed out her own hat that same day, so I needed to wait for some things to get sorted before I’d get a hat-in-progress from someone down the line.  Yesterday I heard from a lady who kindly told me she’d mail it this morning, so I may have the opportunity to knit a second weapon before I’m taken out.  MY assassin was a college student dealing with midterms, so the poor dear barely had time to cast on before she got a hat in the mail.  It looks like there may be a lot of forwarding before the weapon intended for me can get to someone who will finish it, so I may actually live out the week!  It’s been great fun.

Netherfield and Navaho

Introducing: February


February is spun from 100% wool, dyed and sold by Creatively Dyed.  The above yarn was 2-plied and came to about 572 yards.  It was very close to sock weight after spinning, but did a lot of blooming after the bath and thwackfest. It’s probably DK/sport weight now. 

I did weigh this roving before spinning so I could divide it perfectly in half, and yet I still managed to have a boatload of single left on one bobbin when I was done.  That, combined with an inspirational photo of navajo plying on Ravelry made me decide to give this mysterious plying method a try. 

In Navajo plying, you work from only one bobbin.  Before, I’ve used 2 bobbins and plied the singles from them together, holding the two singles and trying to keep the tension nice and even as they twist together.  With Navajo plying, you work your singles through a series of large loops, very much like chain-stitching in crochet.  You end up with a 3 ply yarn.

So here is the remnant of February, my first attempt at Navajo plying:


And here’s try #2, worked on a roving sample by Twisted Fiber Arts’ Meg, in the Ankh colorway.


Here’s a picture of the two methods, side by side, from the same roving:


I’m not sure my picture shows the difference well, but one fascinating aspect of Navajo plying is the ability to have more control over the colors that are coming together at one time.  When I’ve 2-plied, I’ve been at the mercy of whatever colors happen to be on the 2 spools at the time.  You get some combinations you might not choose, and many times, that’s a very interesting thing!  With Navajo plying, I can pull as much or as little off the spool through the loop as I like, meaning I can be more choosy about what colors go together.  It’s not as noticible with February, but you can really tell with Ankh, as that roving has fewer total colors, and they are dyed in pattern.  I was able to keep greens with greens and browns with browns, allowing for a nice transition between them.  One negative is that you end up with less total yardage in your finished skein (3 ply vs. 2 ply), but it certainly opens up new possibilities for plying!

And here’s the latest sock on the needles, Firestarter, using Twisted’s Netherfield (how cool of a name is that???):


This is a side view of the sock…the cabling is on the sides of the toe, and the gusset is made by increasing the purled section between the cables.  Very cool.

HATATTACK update: 305 on the battle roster…

‘Tis the season… start projects.

Here’s what’s currently on the needles:


Bluebell Rib Socks (Charlene Schurch’s Sensational Knitted Socks) in Lorna’s Laces Valentine. I like the unsquished look better than the squished look.  There is something to be said for fat ankles, eh?


Pink Pommies (short for Pomotomous…what does that mean, anyway?), Take Two. I feel like I should already be on my second sock after the massive frogging and do-overing.  I love how this sock looks (the photo has been wokified to highlight the pattern), but I bet this is the only pair I ever make.  Lots of k1, p1…and my first purling through the back loop…that, friends, is not natural. 😉


This is a junky picture of Harriet’s Posies morphing into a sock.  I hope to get a better pic up later to show the very cool color changes happening, but this will do.  It’s pretty thrilling to be making socks out of my handspun. 


Felted Fair Isle Bag experiment.  Mixed reviews on this one.  Lessons have been learned.  Lesson 1: do not mix wools.  Not all 100% feltable wool felts in equal proportions.  Yikes.  Lesson 2: Beard trimmers work very well for defuzzing felted items.


This is slowly turning into this:


I haven’t come up with a name for this one yet.  Emma has just received some unwanted and uncomfortable communication from Mr. Elton…that doesn’t lend itself to yarn naming.

I’ve got another few projects itching to get started, too.  I’m in one of those phases when I want to start a hundred things at once.  It drives my poor husband batty.  This is not kind to his CDO (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, alphabetized, as it should be) tendencies.  One of them I’ll start this week.  My favorite yarn shop, Twist, is doing a Knit Along to Jared Flood’s Hemlock Blanket. How about them apples? It’ll be a first for me…I’ve never done a purely knitting social event. Leaving the house? Meeting stangers?  It’ll be good for me.  Like fiber.

Is there any felicity in the world superior to this?

I am spinning this:


(sold by Creatively Dyed..big thumbs up!)

while listening to Emma, as a free download from…the coolest thing.  My father would say, “sell ma’ clothes, Myrtle!  I’ve died & gone to heaven!”

Extra chocolate bonus points if you can identify the title quote without helps.

Yarn Shop Hop Report

We had a BLAST.  It was such a good time.  There was a lot of chatting…some silly, some serious.  Here’s a brief overview:


Go time!  We headed out the driveway at about 10am. Katie was well equipped for the day: glittery purse full of money, WIP, and Caleb, her infinitesimal toy dog.  She’s in Katie’s left hand.  Yes, I referred to Caleb as a girl.  All questions and comments about the name may be addressed to: Lunatic Eight Year Old Girl.



First stop, Twist.  This store is new since this summer, and it is WONDERFUL.  Nice people work there, nice people hang out and knit there…it’s just lovely.  Katie immediately found some yarn she loved, and the very swamped but very gracious owner offered to wind it for her while we waited.  This turned out to be a trickier propostition than it looked to be.  The hank of yarn was unruly and tangly.  She offered to work on it while we went on the rest of our Hop and come pick it up on the way home…isn’t that sweet?  More on this later…


Stop #2: The Heritage Hut.  This shop is famous for the enormous dog that keeps the owner company during the day…very friendly, but not immediately appealing to little children.  The pup was nowhere in sight this morning, which is too bad.  I like it.  I found some yarn here that I needed (it’s for the boys, really, so it’s not even like I was buying it for myself, right?  Right?), and Katie decided to collect the second pair of her Very Own Wooden Knitting Needles.  Size 10.  They’ll come in handy.


The first two stops were on our home turf.  The next two were new ground.  Frontier.  Exploration.  Did I mention how incredibly fun this was?  The Beadery is up a ways north, in a neat town…this shop was too cool.  It had one section all beading supplies (and NICE ones!), one part was a bookstore, and the other part was chock full of gorgeous yarn.  And as if that wasn’t enough, it opened into a neighboring deli/market.  So you could shop, bead, read, snack, and get ingredients for dinner in one cute spot.  That is efficiency, my friends.  Katie found the uber-girliest discofabulous yarn in the store.  She really did. She has a nose for the genre.


Being genteel and ladylike for hours takes its toll.  We needed sustenance.  Katie picked Fazoli’s.  Think she enjoyed it?


Stop #4: Yarn.  That’s the name.  Katie thought it was hilarious.  She also thought it was more appropriate to bark the name rather than speak it in soft, melodious tones.  YARN!  What a cool shop, and some of the friendliest people around.  They also carry handpainted yarn by a local artist that was astoundingly beautiful.  I was this close to bringing some home.  I restrained myself. But I now have a coupon, so if I stop restraining myself and feel like an hour’s drive, I am all over it. Katie and I each found a little somethin’ somethin’ there.  We also decided we needed to transform some of our beading supplies into stitch markers…we saw some beautiful ones there.

We headed for home and stopped again at Twist to pick up Katie’s first purchase.  Katie had been slightly bummed that she wasn’t going to be able to watch the winding process, but I assured her we’d have another chance another (less busy) day. So on our return, the owner greeted us and when we asked if she’d had a chance to wind the yarn, she said “No!  It can’t be done!  This is the third hank I’ve tried and this yarn is a tangly mess!” Apparently, the way they prepared it for shipment to the stores made it nigh on impossible to unravel the hank and put it on a yarn baller. She was sending the whol mess back to the company.  Did I say the owner was sweet?  She is SO sweet.  She told us she was going to give us the tangled mess if we wanted it, and she’d either refund our money or let Katie pick something else out of the store that she wanted.  Katie found a replacement.  To Katie’s joy, the owner (I have got to learn her name!) asked her if she’d like the yarn wound.  And THEN (gasp, joy, thrill!) she showed Katie how to do it and let her wind her own yarn All By Herself. Katie was thrilled.  So was I…this is a marketable skill!  Put that on the resume!

We finally returned home and spread out the take:


Katie’s haul.  Do you sense a theme?  Pink, pink, pink…I tell you, she has a nose for it. She intends the top left for hats for Ellie and herself, the top right for all sorts of things (needs a bit of narrowing down those options, methinks), the free tangly yarn (watch and see if I don’t untangle that!) on the bottom left, and her discofabulous uber-girlie yarn is on the bottom right and is intended for scarfdom. Her new needles are there, too.


My haul!  My picture does not do justice to these beauties. From left to right: future headscarf, future hat, and future gloves/mittens for the boys.  I wish you could see the variences in the color on the right two hanks.  They’re dyed from lighter to darker…so gorgeous.


Goodies!  Three of the four yarn shops gave away gifts to all the Yarn Shop Hoppers. We got some neat and useful samples of wool cleaner, stitch markers, tape measures, foot cream (in which Katie told me she has no interest so I can have hers…hee hee), coupons, a coin purse or stich marker holder, and assorted other goodies.  What a fun aspect of the day!

I learned this is the first of what is planned to be an annual event.  Hooray!  Maybe next year we’ll plan well and get to all of them.