Saturday, June 30, 2007

Harry Potter knitting

I brought home some Cascade 220 in gold/yellow, red and black from the shop for a couple of Harry Potter projects from the book Charmed Knitting. While what I really want to make is the slip-stitch bag, I have to wait until the correct colors come in b/c we don't have them at the shop right now. So until then I will have to make do with other projects. So far I have finished two of the House Hats-- one in Gryffindor red/gold and the other in Hufflepuff black/gold and one book scarf (Gryffindor). I have plenty of yarn left over from the hats for another book scarf (Hufflepuff) and some of the tiny sweater Christmas ornaments. These projects are so quick and easy. Yay for instant gratification!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Needle Felted Sheep

In about a week I will be helping teach at a Yarn Camp at Knit Picky and will be teaching needle felting, wet felting, spinning and dyeing (both wool and cotton). Right now I am working on samples of some of the projects to make sure I know what I am doing. Here is the sample for the needle felted project-- too cute! The kids can make whatever design they want-- their name, flowers, a pet, etc and the finished work of art can be hung on the wall, even framed like a painting.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Twisted Sock

I just finished the a sample of one of the patterns I'm working on-- the Twisted Sock. This sample is the footlet version but the pattern will include instructions for a footlet and a regular length sock. Comments are, as always, very welcome.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Blanket Swatch

Here is a swatch for a blanket I am designing to use all of the yarns offered by Painted Sheep Yarn. What do you think? This is on size 8 needles, I am going to try a swatch in larger needles to see how that looks.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

And a third sock...

The third of the socks thats been dragging along for the last month is finally off the needles. Again, only one of the set. But its a good start. And I got this one's mate started and have a couple inches of the foot done already (its a toe up). I am resisting the impulse to cast on for a fourth pair before I finish up some mates. Its late and I'm tired after a busy day at the shop's 1year anniversary party and then a family dinner in the mountains, so a picture will have to wait till tomorrow...

Update: Picture Added

Friday, June 22, 2007


I said I was going to do it, and here I go. I have had an image of a soft, thick, mitt in my mind that just won't go away. I also have a yummy merino/alpaca/silk blend that has been telling me that it wants to become this pair of mitts. So this afternoon I started experimenting with stitches. At first I was thinking I wanted something lacy. I still like this idea, but while flipping through stitchionaries I was drawn to the twisted stitch (or mock-cable) patterns. So now I am thinking of a twisted stitch pattern down the back of the hand, with plain reverse stockinette stitch for the rest of the mitt, and a twisted stitch rib for the cuff. Its not too complex, but enough not to be boring. Plus it teaches an unusual ribbing and a somewhat unique technique. I like twisted stitch designs b/c they are a lot easier than cabling, in my opinion, but give a similar look. What do you think? Give me your opinions and suggestions, please!


I just have to thank all the people who have left comments in the last week or so. Finally I have evidence that someone other than my mom reads my blog (and I'm pretty sure she only reads it when I force her to). Compared to many of the blogs out there, mine is small potatoes. But its really exciting to have comments from people I don't know in person! People from other states...even other countries (gasp!). I don't know if more people are reading my blog now, or if I am just writing more interesting, response worthy posts. Either way its fun. Keep leaving comments. I live for them.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Another Sock Done!

And here is another lonely sock. I designed this pattern myself. I'm not sure what I think about it. The pain point of making the sock was to try out the Tinsel Toes yarn, though, and it is good enough for that. I am looking forward to wearing both of these socks around to see how the yarns wear/wash/etc.

One Sock Done!!!

As many of you know, I have had several socks on the needles recently and just keep casting on more. None of them match. None of them are finished. Until now. I finally finished ONE sock. Bare in mind it still has no partner, but at least its one less sock crowding up my knitting back. All those double pointed needles were beginning to make a mess. This sock is made using the Padded Footlets pattern from Interweave's Favorite Socks. Weird pattern. I am not sure I will use it again. It seems like more effort than its worth just to have a double-layer sole. Maybe I will change my mind after wearing them, though. I do like the lace pattern-- very simple but pretty--and the lack of a leg. The leglessness is perfect for warm weather and looks so cute and sporty. Even looks decent with shorts which can't be said for most hand knit socks, unless maybe you are wearing hiking boots. The yarn is some of my handpainted Footprints, the color is Beach Sunrise (one of the ones created by Chris-- he doesn't like how it turned out but I love it!). I am going to try to finish another sock before casting on for this one's mate, so if you see me walking around with only one sock on...don't laugh.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Bump in the Road

I just discovered that there is another brand new handpainted yarn company, started at almost the exact same time as me, with the same name- The Painted Sheep. They just got their website up at

I am not sure how to handle this. We both started at the same time. This could certainly complicate things...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


One of my challenges to myself for the summer (or however long it takes) is to start designing (that means writing stuff down...) patterns. I am fully capable of this, I know that, but for some reason I just haven't gotten around to it. I think there are a few reasons. One, I am so busy with other projects. There are so many great patterns already out there and I want to knit them all before I start adding more! Two, to actually count as designing I have to write everything down, that sounds like hard work. Three, I am scared that people won't be able to understand my directions. Bad patterns are so annoying. I don't want to make bad patterns and frustrate people. But I need to get over those fears and just go for it. I have some ideas. Here is what I want to design:

1) fingerless mitts out of my House Blend yarn (dk weight wool/alpaca/silk)-- along the lines of Fetching but maybe a chunky lace pattern on the back of the hand, no cables... (updated 6-22-7)

2) a lace scarf out of Tinsel Toes (or Sushi Socks)-- though I am marketing them as sock yarns, both of these yarns would be perfect for lace b/c they are lightweight (fingering) and have a shiny smoothness. They also contain plant fibers so they would be nice as a spring/fall/warm weather scarf

3) a blanket/throw that uses all of the Painted Sheep yarns. After laying out some of my finished yarn the other day I realized that if you put together a little of each yarn in the same colorway they look really neat. Each yarn takes the color differently yet they work well together. I decided that they would work well in a lacy blanket-- maybe a scallop lace or something. The brushed mohair and boucle will really make it special while the other yarns will keep it from becoming one big fuzz ball. My mom offered to knit this project for me once I have a design ready which is nice since if it was left up to me it would never get finished.

4) Fair Isle Mitts- This one is already designed, it just needs to be re-written more clearly and completely.

5) Fair Isle Socks-- same as above.

6) A slip stitch color work bag out of the worsted weight wool I just decided to add to my collection. I'd like to make it so that it can be felted or left unfelted and will look nice either way.

7) lace socks-- this one is half way there. I am working on a toe-up sock out of tinsel toe and fiddling with a lace pattern. If it turns out nice it shouldn't be a big deal to get it all down on paper. That is, IF it turns out nice.

Maybe now that I've actually written down these goals they may actually happen...maybe.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Boucle Wrap

Last night I finished the "game day wrap" (just a basic triangle wrap) out of some of my handpainted yarn- "Lamb Loops" in color "Mountain View." It still needs to be blocked, but I think it turned out nice. I really need a pin in order to be able to comfortably wear it, though.

Pod Casts, etc

I find that working in my dyeing studio it would be nice to have something to listen to. I have thought about books on tape but a) they are expensive and b) there aren't too many books on tape that I am interested in that I haven't already read. But I hear that there are lots of good podcasts out there. Do you have a favorite? I am open to suggestions. Obviously knitting themed ones would interest me buy, surprisingly, I know, I do have interests outside the fiber world. Anyway, I'd love to hear your suggestions. Thanks.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Swap Arrival!

Mr. Postman just left a big box at my house. Want to see whats inside? Maxine sent me lots and lots of little goodies, all individually wrapped in pretty paper (this being my first swap, I didn't know how much fun pretty wrapping was...I will do better next time!!). After tearing off the paper like a little kid on Christmas morning this is what I made out with: one delicious praline (a local specialty) which lasted only long enough to take a picture (mmmmm was it good). a mixed cd of music to listen to while drinking tea and knitting (I can't wait to listen to it), a book of recipes for an afternoon tea, two bags of Teavana tea-- Japanese Wild Cherry and Thai Tea Blend-- Maxine's personal favorites, and a bag of German Rock Cane Sugar also from Teavana (I guess I am supposed to put this in the tea, not eat it like candy...darn), two teas from Republic of Tea, Blackberry Sage and Pomegranite Green Tea, in pretty colored plastic containers (which will eventually be great for storing other things), ginger thins cookies, wafer crackers, Chipotle dark chocolate, Chili Lemon Pepitas, two bars of locally made Goat's Milk Soap (how did she know that I love goat's milk soap?), bath salts, a single-serving coffee/tea maker thing (very cool) and a beautiful mug that matches the yarn perfectly! The Yarn. Handpainted Kid Mohair/Wool from Brooks Farm in gorgeous shades of blue and brown. Did I mention that that is one of my newest favorite color combos? Its beautiful! Unfortunately the mailman arrived as I was getting ready to go out and meet some old friends for the afternoon. Needless to say, I stopped getting ready immediately. They can deal with wet hair and no makeup. But I have run out of time unpacking, taking pictures and writing this post, so now I've got to run. Sampling my teas and dreaming about my yarn will have to wait till this evening! Thanks so much Maxine!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dyeing Update

Finally I have some pictures uploaded to share my dyeing adventures with you, dearest theoretical reader. I have been having so much fun in my dyeing workshop, especially since Chris helped me finish my skein winder. Now I can quickly and easily wind my cones of undyed yarn in easy-to-dye skeins, and then go crazy with the dye. I am nervous about dyeing too much yarn before I open up for orders...what if no one wants some of the colors and so I end up with a whole bunch of unwanted yarn? Thankfully I like all the color-ways I have come up with, so I guess I could just knit myself a lot of purple socks, or whatever. I guess I just need to bit the bullet and do it. I am not going to sell any of it if I don't have beautiful examples to show off. I won't start officially accepting orders until July 16th (July 14th for the Knit Picky crowd), but if you are interested in my yarn, especially if you are a yarn shop owner, feel free to go ahead and contact me now! I am still working on the website, there are a lot of pictures up but still a lot to add. Here are some pictures of my skein winder (made out of PVC!) and some freshly dyed yarn drying to give you a peek "behind the scenes." And I have to brag and point out that the pretty, brightly colored yarn (the left one in the picture of the two colorful skeins) was designed and dyed by Chris. Didn't he do a good job? Can you believe its his first time dyeing?

Update: The green yarn dried overnight and now its beautiful, at least I think so (but then I really like green). Here is a picture of it in the skein- click to make it larger. I have just cast on for a simple triangle shawl out of it. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

Knitting Update

Even though I haven't written about it recently, I HAVE been knitting. Or at least, starting lots of projects. Lets take a look at what is currently on the needles.

Socks: Lots of them. I have a pair of Widdershins out of Miss Bab's yarn in "Woodland Viola", a toe-up of my own design out of Tinsel Toes by The Painted Sheep in "Maya" and am about to cast on a pair of padded footlets from Favorite Socks out of Foot Prints by The Painted Sheep, in a color that was created by Chris.

Tops: Three. 1) Ribby Shell by ChicKnits in white Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. This is my mindless knitting project, it is simple ribs, no shaping, no thinking required. 2) Rockport Vest by Oat Couture out of dark olive green Schulanna Cotton-Merino; Christmas present for my grandma 3) Lace Camisole from Knitting Lingerie Style in King Tut Cotton (orange)- almost done, just need to add another inch or two in length and finish off the arm holes

Other. Chair seat for an old rocking chair. Free pattern from Knit1, designed by Annie Modesitt.

Recently Finished: Plush Piggy, as a present for one of my knitting friends who was just in a car accident.

And, I just packed up a box of gifts for my exchange buddy. This is my first knitting exchange and is tea themed, so I have included some special teas and other treats along with knitting goodies. I can't wait to see if she likes it...and to unpack my own box!!

Bad Blogger, Bad

I am becoming such a bad blogger! I keep promising myself I'll post an update, but then I get busy with something else. I am hopeful that life will settle down soon and I will have more time to do non-essential things like update my blog (and, uh, sleep). I can't complain, though, I am busy doing things I love-- working at Knit Picky, getting The Painted Sheep started and, finally, working on some of my many knitting projects. Things are going well. Oh, and I can't forget one of the most fun parts-- spending time with Chris. I feel like we haven't seen each other all spring because we have both been so busy. But lately we have finally had time to spend some quality time together. This week was "big trash pickup" week in my neighborhood, a fun time when the city comes around to collect "big trash" items so everyone puts their old broken furniture and other junk out on the curb, then people in pick-up trucks and old vans drive around searching for hidden treasure. Well, we found some treasure. We found an old TV-- you know, the kind with the knobs that is its own little piece of furniture. And guess what we did with it? We turned it into an aquarium! Actually, I should give most of the credit to Chris, he worked on it while I puttered around in my dyeing workshop...but I helped some too! Its something he has been wanting for a while but we didn't know where to find the perfect old TV. We haven't filled the tank up with water, plants, rocks, fish, etc yet, and that will make a big difference in how it looks, but I think its going to look AWESOME!