Monthly Archives: May 2012

WIP

I’ve had some serious stash busting to do since I ordered 11 balls of Brava Sport this week for a rather large, pretty blanket that I’ve been dreaming about for some time. However, 11 balls of Brava will take up some serious real estate on my already cramped yarn shelves, so while I wait for my package to arrive I’m busy trying to make room for it all!

I’ve had a few skeins of Stroll Tonal in Blue Yonder and Stroll Hand Painted in Lullaby nestled together in a basket in my living room for a few weeks now, just waiting for a project to come along and inspire me to pick up those size 4 needles again. Well, now I need the basket and I found the perfect project: the Tempest cardigan by Ann Weaver.

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Color Affection

I realize that many many people have been writing about the Color Affection Shawl (almost 3000 projects on Ravelry!). I actually completely missed all the buzz around it & only found out about the pattern when Jenny showed it to me one day when we were discussing patterns with interesting construction. And as I have approximetly ten thousand skeins of sock yarn (that I had to buy because I thought it was so pretty, of course), this seemed to be a good project to take on.

shawl

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Felting Success!

I love my Galaxy Tab that I bought last autumn. It’s the size of a Kindle but since I bought one as soon as they were available, there were no nice covers available. Just a utilitarian, black ugly thing. Ugly enough for me to take it off the Tab after just a week.

The problem was that I wasn’t comfortable toting the Tab around without a cover. As I looked at the leftover yarn from my Merryall Cardigan, I realized a felted cover in that lovely, Wool of the Andes Amethyst purple would be appealing. Bob just returned from a two-week business/golfing with friends trip. That meant I had evenings all to myself to watch through all six series of Jordan’s Crossing.

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Weaving with Imagination

I love weaving with Imagination! We got our shipment of new Imagination colors
at the office right when I was at the peak of my weaving obsession a
few months ago and I immediately grabbed two of my favorite colorways,
Rose Red and Enchanted Lake and took them home with me. I’m not
embarrassed in the least to say that I started warping the loom before I
even took my coat off!

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Podcast Episode 188: The Afterthought Method

Afterthought pockets, thumbs, heels are exactly what you might expect them to be – they are all worked into your project after the fact.  This week, Kelley delves into the afterthought method, explores its many different uses for this trick, and covers the basics of how to work an afterthought heel. Next, Kelley shares her favorite form of entertainment while knitting – audiobooks, of course! Kelley chats about her love …

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Get to know Jen Andersen from Hanks in the Hood!

There are certain people that you meet in your fiber travels that simply beam with a passion for what they do, and no one embodies this like Jen Anderson, the face behind Hanks in the Hood. It is a quality that is infectious in person and hard to express in words. And since Jen is a local to us here in Portland (she is based out of Gresham, Oregon), I was so excited when I was able to spend a day at her shop (Andersen Fiber Works) and her fiber processing studio for a little video interview! All of us here at the office love Jen and of course, her rovings and batts from Hanks in the Hood. And personally, I am thrilled to be able to share Jen’s story in addition to her enthusiasm, drive, and passion for what she does everyday.

I hope this little video lets you get to know Jen a little bit better, I am sure you’ll love her as much as we all do!

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How to Read Lace Charts

Unlike last year when we had a very late spring/summer, we are getting a taste of summer a bit early here in the Northwest! For the past week, everyone has been absorbing the sunshine and enjoying the nice weather. In addition to changing up the wardrobe with skirts and dresses, warm weather also signals a change in my knitting habits. As soon as there are a few consecutive days of sunshine, it takes a lot more willpower to pick up that sweater I started last month. Instead, my needles long to cast on light and airy shawls.

Lace projects are my go-to summer project for so many reasons. I love that the project is small and lightweight, even though it will be large in size when blocked out. And I particularly love that I can squeeze my shawl project into a small bag that I bring with my when I ride my bike. And when I am done, my beautiful lace shawl keeps the chill off my shoulders on cool evenings. In my mind, lace knitting is portable, practical, and just plain fun!

However, if you are new to lace knitting, there are many reasons that might make you weary of equating lace knitting with fun. And to help you love lace as much as we do, Kerin and I worked together to create an in-depth video tutorial that goes over all aspects of reading charts for lace knitting!

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“Demoralizing” is not a word I use lightly; it lives in a secure lockbox and only gets to come out for special occasions. To use in a sentence: Carefully trying to recreate the Gibson Girl hairstyle is demoralizing. Or alternately: Learning to knit, as I’m now openly doing while surrounded by abnormal prodigies in this office, is demoralizing.

But pish-posh, I say. You guys have approximately 250% more confidence in my knitting future than I do, which is the OPPOSITE of demoralizing. Now I’m just afraid I’ll let you down! Regardless, I poured over all of your thoughtful comments on my last post and a few major themes emerged:

1.) The internet and its largess of educational wealth is the best thing since sliced bread.

2.) “Girl, it’s just YARN. Use some pretty stuff. Have fun with it! You’ll be fine!”

3.) Practice, practice, practice.

4.) Crocheting creates a different mindset; it’ll take time to rewire your mind for knitting.

And there you have it. My biggest mistake thus far is an essential misunderstanding of #4. In setbacks, I’ve been acting as though I’ve failed at “crocheting-with-needles”, as opposed to “knitting”. Yes, all forms of fiber crafting share some similarities and a mutually supportive community, but assuming that a crocheting background would give me an intermediate entrance into knitting is like saying, “I’m fairly adept at volleyball, so I must be decent at water polo”. There’s no gorgeous guarantee that you’ll be able to translate those skills to a different medium, and there’s certainly no way to do so without oceans of practice.

In the midst of a challenge, I really like to break momentarily and rest on my laurels. As I knit my first garbled swatch, I repetitively thought: “You can still crochet, you’re okay at crochet, you’re alright at that, you can definitely make nice crocheted scarves, you can make pretty crocheted collars”.

CrochetCollar-CloseUp

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