Yarns

In My Stash: Knit Picks Palette (Opal Heather and Mist)

If you’ve been following me over on Instagram (feed in sidebar), you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been stuck on a stranded project for, well, ever.

IMG_0959

On the bright side, I’ve got a great yarn to use for this project: Knit Picks Palette in Opal Heather. I had my eye on this colorway for a long time before I found the perfect project for it.

IMG_0958

I just love the flecks of pink and yellow in it. It’s very, very different from the same colorway in Shadow Lace. I made a scarf with Opal Heather in Shadow Lace, and was somewhat disappointed by how gray this colorway looks in that yarn. The Palette version, however, is a gorgeous choice.

IMG_0956

As a contrast, I’ve also got Mist in Palette, a great neutral option for colorwork. Credit for this color combination idea goes to a fellow Ravelry user who used it for her project – I was searching for ideas for a pairing and was so excited to see that someone else had already chosen Opal Heather.

IMG_0954

I’m struggling with my tension on this project, and just can’t seem to get the floats quite right. I think it’s one of those things that just takes practice and patience? Let me know your stranded project secrets.

Fun Stuff

TNNA Report Roundup

Although I didn’t attend The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) trade show in Columbus, OH, I’ve really enjoyed reading trip reports from the talented professionals who were there. Here are a few blogs where you can learn more about the event:

P.S. I’m so jealous about all the people who got to have Jeni’s Ice Cream. I’ve never tried it, but they have a bunch of locations now.

P.P.S. It looks like the 2016 TNNA summer show will be in Washington, D.C.

Fun Stuff

Why I’ve Been MIA

I just wanted to check in to let you know I’m still here, doing well, and starting to attack my Ravelry queue once more! I’ve been scarce around these parts, but for good reasons: preparing for, experiencing, and then catching up after the most amazing trip!

There was a little of this:

Tower of London

And this:

Eiffel Tower Trocadéro

And of course, some of this:

Volvic Knitting Kit La Droguerie

I can’t wait to share details, and to get back in my normal routine of knitting, crocheting, and posting about knitting and crocheting. 🙂 In the meantime, I’ll share some more photos over on my Instagram account.

Uncategorized

Yarn & Heritage

Fiber crafts are rewarding for many reasons, but at times it’s really remarkable to consider how participating in the activities is part of our heritage. One of my other hobbies is genealogy, so I may be more invested in the concept than most. 🙂

I can trace quite a few branches of my family back to the 1700s (and much earlier in some cases). I’m so grateful for the work of the many generations before who painstakingly recorded the vital records of these branches (especially since other branches remain a mystery despite years of my own research). These genealogies also come with some family anecdotes, and I found a listing in one of my ancestors’ wills today that directly relates to my favorite hobbies:

[Name] spun the yarn for this coverlet in 1784 when their oldest child was an infant … This coverlet has been in use for every winter for 69 years. In 1858 I knit this fringe and sewed it on, as the old fringe was nearly gone.

Amazing. I wonder if anything I’ve made will last that long – here’s hoping! Of course, I have a more recent family connection in that I learned how to crochet from my grandma. It’s very cool to know that creating projects out of yarn goes way further back in the family.

Knitting Project

Yarns

In My Stash: Blue Heron Rayon Metallic

I’m finally getting my wish – warmer weather is ahead! Despite a brief setback (where did that snow come from, seriously?) we’re on our way out of the winter that would not end!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, and I haven’t had as much time to focus on knitting/crochet projects as I would like. I do have a pretty exciting addition to my stash – courtesy of a Christmas gift card.

Blue Heron Rayon Metallic 1

I had been admiring the gorgeous Blue Heron Rayon Metallic yarn online, and then it caught my eye just as I was getting ready to leave one of my local yarn shops. Actually, the display shawl made from the yarn caught my eye.

Blue Heron Rayon Metallic 2

I haven’t been able to figure out the name of this colorway – none of the colors on the website really match the skein I have. Perhaps it’s a discontinued color – can anybody help me out? Edit: It’s just called “Turquoise.”

Blue Heron Rayon Metallic 3

Gift card or no, it was a little tough for me to drop that much on one skein. I’m still not used to luxury yarns, and I don’t think I’m quite ready to give up on my chain-store acrylics yet. 😉 The skeins of this have generous yardage, though, so I’ll be able to make a very nice project.

Blue Heron Rayon Metallic 4

The pressure is on to pick a great pattern for yarn this nice. I’m thinking perhaps the Gail (Nightsongs) shawl, but I’m open to suggestions!

Blue Heron Rayon Metallic 5

Fun Stuff, Yarns

And Then I Gave My Yarn a Glamorous Photo Shoot

I don’t enter blog contests very often, but when I saw the “Yarn Glam” contest post on the Knit Picks blog, I knew I had to give it a try. If nothing else, it let me set up some fun vignettes that I could post here, and get practice for future photos.

Art directing and photography are hard work. There’s a reason that photographers, stylists, and art directors can spend all day working on a photo shoot and only walk away with a couple of usable shots. I didn’t have that kind of time/patience/skill to devote to this little project, but it was a good reminder of what a tough (though enjoyable) job it can be.

The entry timeline was pretty short, but luckily I had some of my box of yarn stash left. I used my iPhone to capture these photos, and uploaded them to Instagram. There was a limit of three entries, and here are mine:

knit picks gloss tranquil

Knit Picks Yarn Collection

knit picks gloss tranquil

I had a few outtakes that I didn’t submit, too, including this close contender for my top three favorites that just didn’t quite make the cut:

knit picks gloss tranquil

It was especially fun to set up the “yarn buffet” vignette. The main yarn used was Knit Picks Gloss fingering-weight in Tranquil (as of this writing, this colorway is not available on their website). Also pictured are Imagination Hand-painted Sock Yarn in Enchanted Lake (discontinued) and Chroma fingering-weight in Midwinter. Click here to see the contest winners.

WIP

A Study in Contrasts

My most recent projects are on opposite ends of my fiber-crafting ability spectrum. He’s a little bit bulky-weight and knit, she’s a little bit cotton thread and crocheted.

Crochet and Knitting Projects

I ran out of thread while in the middle of one project, and had to wait until my order for more arrived. (Booooo. Hisssss.) In the midst of the waiting, I started the other. This is rare for me – I prefer to work on my projects one at a time. I usually work until completion, even when the project gets mind-numbingly boring and I reach what I like to refer to as my “point of despair.” As in, “Will this project EVER be done? I cannot make one. More. Stitch.” But then I do, and eventually it gets finished.

Crocheting and Knitting Projects

The thread crochet project is the Wild Rose table runner by Elizabeth Hiddleson, which I waxed poetic about in a previous post. I’m making it with Curio thread in Comfrey. I bought the thread without a project in mind – you’ll definitely need two balls of it for this table runner.

Crocheting Project

My “killing time” project is a GAP-tastic cowl made with Brava yarn in bulky. (Noticing a theme? Both this and the thread are from my amazing box of yarn.)

Knitting Project

It seems that many knitters/crocheters work on several projects at the same time, so I’m curious – am I alone in only working on one project at a time (most of the time)? Which do you prefer – working on several projects or just one, and why?

Uncategorized

Crochet and Knitting Tote Bag

I’ve already shared where I store my knitting and crochet tools, so here’s a peek into my knitting and crochet tote bag. It’s a Thirty One Gifts Organizing Utility Tote in the same Turquoise Cross Pop pattern as my Timeless Beauty Bag.

Thirty One tote for knitting and crocheting

Just look at those pockets. It’s majestic, I tell you. My favorite part is that a drink cup fits perfectly into them. I know that a lot of people use this bag as a diaper bag because bottles fit in those pockets well.

Thirty One tote for knitting and crocheting

But for me, this bag is all about the crafts. I keep the essentials in those pockets, such as my pink “women’s” measuring tape. (I’m not kidding, it really is labeled specifically as a women’s measuring tape. Because… it’s pink… I guess? I got a kick out of that and now I use it all the time. It also keeps the husband from stealing it, so that’s a plus.)

Thirty One tote for knitting and crocheting

Ahem. Above, you can see how nicely my project supplies – my hook and needle bag, a few skeins of yarn, and a couple of doily pattern books – fit inside. It’s good stuff! I don’t sell these products, but I do know a couple of consultants so it’s dangerously easy for me to order. 🙂

WIP

Wintery Weekend Projects

I spent most of this weekend trying to stay warm. If I needed any proof that winter is here, I definitely got it when I left work on Friday. This is the view out the windshield as I waited for my car to warm up enough to scrape. And yet another reason why it’s good to have a portable hobby such as knitting or crochet. 🙂 Do you usually carry a WIP in your purse/bag?

ice and yarn

As you can see, I’m working on a project with my Rowan Angora Haze. It’s so fluffy! I decided to make the Judy Beret, my first knit hat. Wish me luck! I’ve already frogged it at least three times. It seems slouchy, but my gauge is pretty accurate so it must just be the design. Does anybody know how easy it would be to shrink it a little if it comes out too loose for my liking?

I just wish my skin wasn’t sensitive to this fiber. It’s not unbearable, but I don’t know that I will be able to keep the project for myself, and I don’t see myself working with angora any time soon. But.. I won the yarn, and it was just too pretty to resist. What can I say, I suffer for my art. 🙂