:: Pink Grapefruit ::

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I’m finally taking the initiative and designing my own patterns.  I decided that it was time to get creative and unleash some of my ideas, especially after discovering several skeins of Tanis Fiber Arts yarn in my stash.  This yarn is expensive, but heavenly!  And it’s the kind of yarn that you don’t want to waste.  I’m currently knitting with the Pink Grapefruit colour-way and am loving the results.  You can see just a smidge of my design in the above photo.  I’m hoping to have this project complete by the end of May.  Then comes the lovely, but time consuming pattern writing.  Then it’s off to the test knitters.  I’m estimating a mid-June pattern release and hope that other knitters will enjoy this pattern as much as I have enjoyed creating it.  🙂  More updates in the week(s) to come!

WIP :: Ombre Cardigan

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After several months hibernating in my closet, I have finally decided to pick this project back up and finish it.

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I’m in love with the softness of this sweater and how the shades of buttercup yellow blend so nicely with the deeper toned gold. This will be my go-to sweater this spring and I’m so excited to finally be able to wear it and show it off. When I finished the body of this sweater last August, I swore to myself that I wouldn’t knit another sweater using small yarn/needles again.  However, I’m already dreaming of this cardigan in 2 of my favorite colors: seabreeze & mallard. I think the shades of light & dark aqua will mesh beautifully with each other. I’ve already dedicated this summer to that project and can’t wait until I can pick up those size 6 needles with 2 strands of laceweight yarn wrapped between my fingers and begin the process all over again.

In the coming months, I will have several FO posts/pictures to show off. I seem to be finishing all of my spring/summer sweaters this winter, but it is way too cold (temps around -15) to take any finished pictures just yet. I’m hoping to start those FO posts in March, unless February surprises us with warmer temps. Happy Knitting everyone!

The Yarn Stash

I’ve decided to start knitting through my yarn stash, which I have been collecting for the past 3 or 4 years. I didn’t realize how much yarn I had been accumulating until I started organizing my stash over the summer. This means that I’m officially putting myself on a yarn shopping hiatus until I can at least knit through half of what I have stored in my bookcases, plastic bins, closet, etc. (yes, I stash yarn in as many open places as I can find) My first destashing project is going to be a new winter scarf for me, me, me. That’s right, I realize the Christmas season is approaching and I should be knitting for others, but every year that I attempt this feat, I always end up stressed, frustrated and desperately wanting to throw my yarn/project outside in the snow. Basically, knitting becomes a chore instead of a creative outlet and I don’t want that happening again this year, especially with how stressful the holiday season can be. The only folks receiving a handknit gift this year are my parents and their gifts are super simple garter stitch scarves, one of which I have already completed. I also plan on knitting my friend a pair of fingerless mittens and possibly a pair of regular mittens, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. And, as I’m knitting through the stash, folks I know might be surprised with a handknit gift throughout 2013, which is always a nice surprise. 🙂

The first few skeins of yarn to be used up is my Cascade Eco Duo (approx. 4 skeins).  I purchased the natural colorway, which is a light cream/beige color.  This yarn is super soft and I can’t wait to start working with it.  I had originally purchased this yarn to make a cabled cardigan, but since I don’t want to start anymore large projects in the next few weeks, now this yarn will be knit into a beautiful winter scarf.  I need a new scarf, especially one that is soft and warm.  Emphasis on soft.  The last thing any knitter wants is an itchy scarf wrapped tightly around their necks when it’s cold outside and the snow is blowing.

So, here’s to destashing over the next 6 months or so and hopefully I can keep to my resolution.  Also, my Cable/Lace Kimono Cardigan should be finished this week and I’m hoping to have FO pictures taken this weekend.  I’m so excited to finally have a finished sweater that I can wear… can’t wait to show it off!!

What happens when I’m bored….

A while back, I purchased 2 skeins of Knitpicks Bare yarn in the Merino/Silk blend (fingering weight) along with a small jar of the Jacquard acid dye in silver gray.  I already have the primary colors in the Jacquard dye, but really felt like experiementing with the color gray.

On Wednesday, I spent the majority of my day handpainting a skein of this yarn in shades of the silver gray.  I found a really good tutorial online which helped a lot.  I also snapped a few pictures of the dyeing process:

The actual handpainting process took a lot longer than I thought it would, but it was so much fun.   I’m definitely going to continue handpainting/dyeing yarn because I’m finding that I enjoy this process almost as much as knitting.  Scary thought, huh?!?  I’ve got a new color in mind, which I’m going to experiment with this weekend, and will blog about next week.

This color reminds me of foggy summer mornings and so I have rightly named it “Fog”.  I’ll be using this color again, I’m sure, for other projects.  Maybe a simple lace cardigan or as a color for the Color Affection Shawl.  For now, this one skein is going to be used to knit the Dream Swatch Duo (head wrap only) and the leftovers might be used in a future colorwork project.  Have a great weekend everyone!!

Where have I been?!?

Disinfecting my yarn stash from moths and very slowly working away at my Ombre cardigan.  Yes, you heard me right, moths!!!  I purchased my first skein of JoJoland 100% cashmere yarn a few weeks ago and couldn’t keep my hands off of it.  This turned out to be a good thing because a couple of weeks ago, as I was picking it up to feel how soft it is again, a moth flew right out of it.  I guess I shouldn’t be completely shocked by this since I hadn’t kept my yarn stash as moth-proof as I should have been.  For some reason, I thought plastic containers would keep all my precious yarns safe.  So, I started the long process of freezing a few skeins of yarn a week and then sealing said yarn in Freezer bags.  I still have quite a bit of stash to go through, but this  has given me the opportunity to examine all of the yarn I’ve hoarded throughout the years and make plans on how I will use it all up.

 

My Ombre cardigan is coming along beautifully and I am so in love with this pattern.  I’ve already made plans to knit more Ombre cardigans (at least 2 more) in the coming year.  I’m finally knitting the bottom band (almost to the ribbed portion) and can’t wait to have this complete.  However, not all members of my family feel the same way.  My mom noticed me knitting on this cardigan the other night and exclaimed, “It looks like you spilled orange juice all over the bottom of your sweater.”  I tried explaining that it’s suppose to look like that… gradual color shifts and all that, but she doesn’t agree.  Once the cardigan is complete, I think she’ll be singing a different tune.  🙂  Progress pictures will be coming very soon!!

New Pattern, New Designer

I spent the latter part of last week trying new projects and reluctantly ripping apart anything I started.  For some reason, I just couldn’t keep any of my knitting on track and was not pleased with any of the results, which made me very frustrated.  I hate feeling this way, especially with a craft that normally brings me so much joy.  On a positive note, the Tanis Fiber Arts yarn holds up extremely well under pressure.  I frogged two projects between twelve and fifteen times total and the yarn held its shape/elasticity perfectly.

On Saturday, I spent a good part of the day browsing Ravelry for a pattern that I would like/use and a pattern that would suit the Blue Label “shadow” yarn in my stash.  Since I’m absolutely horrible at knitting socks (and will probably not cast on for a pair of socks for a very long time!) and somehow couldn’t figure out the provisional cast on (again, a skill that I intend on putting off for a very long time!), I finally discovered a beautiful pattern by Vanessa Smith, the creator of Knit Rhapsody:  The Sarai Shawl.  I’m in love with this pattern and how well it is written.

So far, I’ve only knit through 25% of this pattern, but I love how easily and quickly this shawl is coming together.  And, the pattern comes with 3 different border options once the body of the shawl is knit.  I’ve already decided which border I’ll be knitting plus adding a slight modification, but I will talk more about this once the shawl is complete.

Knit Rhapsody is such a cool website; I suggest all knitters take a peek through the patterns listed there.  I’ve already picked a couple more shawls I plan on knitting this summer (in TanisFiber Arts yarn, of course!) and don’t forget to check out those sweater patterns, which are just gorgeous.  It’s designers like Vanessa that make me wish I had more time in my week for knitting.  🙂

FO: The Midnight Scarf

PatternThe Ericka Scarf by Gina House (from the book:  Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders)

YarnTanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in “Midnight”

Modifications?  Yes, I re-gauged this pattern since my gauge was off and re-configured the amount of stitches I would need to cast on to maintain the garter stitch border and the pattern stitch.  (Thank you, Wendy Bernard!)  I also knit a length of about 41-42″ instead of the recommended 55″.  I didn’t need a very long scarf since it’s spring here in Maine, but I did want something to keep my neck warm on those cool mornings and evenings.

Ravelry Link:  Find more pictures & information here!