31
Jul

Endless Summer Braid


(photo from Endless Summer Braid pattern page)

Remember when I was thinking about knitting a collection of headbands to use in Mexico instead of hats? Well, last week I found myself without any projects in progress. Except for a pair of socks, I didn’t have anything ready for me to knit.

I scrounged around in our office yarn stash but I only came up with a couple of matching colors in anything I found appealing. It was exactly the incentive I needed to try some of the headbands in my Ravelry queue

30
Jul

Baby Tubies Socks

We’ve had a lot of recent new additions to our office – babies! So several of us have been scrambling as to what to knit up for these little darlings and but IDP Designer Nona Davenport has released a free pattern that is the perfect solution.

(It doesn’t hurt that she has an adorable model!)

Baby Tubie Socks! These are cute little socks, modeled on the classic knee high tube socks. Perfect for babies of either sex!

30
Jul

Measuring Wraps Per Inch

One of my crafting goals that I set for myself way back at the beginning of the year was to learn how to spin. I had used a spindle on and off for a while, and felt that it was finally time to step it up a notch and try spinning with a wheel. It took a few bumpy starts, but once I got the feel for it I knew that I was completely hooked. I’ve been spinning up yarn faster than I can use it, and have gotten quite the ever-expanding fiber collection already!

However, the one thing I have noticed is that I am still in the learning process for spinning with a specific weight of yarn in mind. So far, I have been spinning away, happy to see how the fiber twists up and plies together – all with no specific end goals or projects in mind.

But for now, I am left with many skeins of yarn ranging from light sport all the way up through super bulky. So far, I’ve found myself spinning from 4oz. batts and rovings, which means that my finished product is going to be a single one-of-a-kind skein. This makes it tricky when it comes to using up my handspun yarn. I don’t want to fuss with too many gauge swatches to find out what weight of yarn I have, since it is already a limited quantity.

This is when I turned to wraps per inch as a tool to help me gauge my yarn!

30
Jul

Seattle Stitch N’ Pitch 2012

I make no secret of the fact that I love baseball – from April to October, my brain is filled with practically nothing else. While I’ve always liked baseball growing up, it wasn’t until the last couple of years that I became completely obsessed with the sport (living in Boston when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2007 will do that). And since I now live here in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve become a big Seattle Mariners fan as well – I’ve gone to several games at Safeco Field, and I watch as many televised games as I can during the season. But one surprising thing I’ve never done is go to a Stitch N’ Pitch. Well this year I changed that!

This year’s Mariner’s Stitch N’ Pitch was less than a week after our beloved #51 Ichiro ran off to join the New York Yankees. But all us M’s fans were determine to cheer on our team in their game against the Kansas City Royals.

Arriving at Safeco, all the crafters were greeted by The Mitt with a special addition to it:

27
Jul

Let the Games begin!

Today was the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games! Of course
since I’m at the office I didn’t get to see them, but we’ve got a
couple of weeks to catch up.

For those of you who did get to see them, how were the ceremonies? what did you think?

Now, I’m not much of an athlete myself, unless
sitting-on-your-kiester is a new marathon event. But I do like to knit,
so I’m taking part in the Ravellenic Games! If you’re not familiar, that’s the knit-along competition that is timed to coincide with the Olympic Games on Ravelry.
Even if you don’t compete, it’s fun to see what everyone is working on
while they’re watching their favorite sport! I’ve only just barely cast
on, so there’s not much to see – but I’ve chosen quite the challenge for
myself, and it involves a lot of Palette and about three dozen bobbins. At least.

Honestly, for me, it’s not about winning or prizes or competittion, but the challenge of it.

Posted in Fun
23
Jul

The Sock Knitter’s Handbook

I love books that are already spiralbound if nothing else because I don’t have to make a trip to Kinkos to have it spiral bound. I guess spiral binding is a sign of my respect for a book in some sort of weird way that I really don’t want to examine too closely.  

 

The Sock Knitter’s Handbook by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott is one of those kind of knitting books. Not a pattern book but it will definitely get you heading towards your sock yarn stash whether you are just beginning to explore the pleasures of knitting socks or you’ve got a few dozen in your sock drawer. 

19
Jul

Podcast Episode 192: For the Love of Cowls

In this week’s episode, Kelley chats about her love of cowls! In
addition to covering a brief history of the cowl, Kelley talks about
several different varieties of designs that are based in the basic cowl
shape – including neck warmers, infinite scarves, and other styles that
experiment with unique ways of closing the loop. This allows designers
even more creative freedom in order to come up with even more fun ways
to wear cowls. And of course, Kelley also mentions that cowls are the
ideal way for using up those single skeins of wonderful handspun yarn.
Next, Kelley reviews a few books including The Complete Guide to
Spinning Yarn by Brenda Gibson
, Knit & Wrap: 25 Capelets, Cowls
& Collars by Nathalie Mornu
, and Ultimate Mittens by Robin Hansen.
Finally, Kelley catches you up on what has been on her needles – or in
this case, what will be on her needles! After finishing up all of her
works in progress, Kelley shares a few projects from her queue that will
be making their way onto her needles very soon.

18
Jul

We’ve been Sunstruck!

We are so excited to introduce you to our newest type of needles, Sunstruck!

These gorgeous needles are a blonde twist on our Harmony needles – it’s the same laminated birch wood as the Harmony needles, but with a beautiful sun kissed look to them.  We’ve all completely fallen in love with them & we think you will too. They are available in interchangeable, fixed circular, and straight needles – perfect for any project.

17
Jul

Backwards Loop Cast On for Toe-Up Socks

It was just around this time last year when everyone was buzzing with excitement over the second Sock Summit, held here in Portland, Oregon. And even though there are no gatherings on such a grand scale happening this summer, it sure hasn’t stopped any of us here at the office from springing right into a summer of sock knitting! It seems as though everyone has slowly put away the sweaters on their needles or quickly finished their WIPs in favor of these portable knitting delights.

Even more interesting is watching just how everyone works their way through socks – some work their socks both at the same time, some use the magic loop method, and others use double pointed needles all while some knit from the cuff down and others from the toe up. Don’t even get me started on the various cast ons, heels, and bind offs there are to choose from! And I love that about sock knitting – even though everyone is going through the same motions to create the same basic shaping, everyone gets to pick and choose from different styles and techniques to arrive at the finished project – a cozy pair of handknit socks.

So in honor of our sock obsession that is taking over all of our needles, this technique of the week highlights our video tutorial for the backwards loop cast on! Perfect for starting your next toe-up pair of socks, this is yet another cast on that is wonderful to have in your knitting repertoire.