Sunday, October 18, 2009

Knitting Update

My first fleece to finished item project is finally nearing the end. It feels like I have been working on this project forever. I love the results though. I came to the end of the pattern and still had quite a bit of yarn left and really wanted to see all the colors I planned out so I've been adding to it. I've added an additional 20 rows so far and will probably add another 40 before it's all done.

S'mores Alpaca Revontuli Shawl

I started a new project this weekend because I wanted something mindless and quick to work on while I recovered from some medical stuff. I've had a pattern sitting on my desk for about two years now from one of those knitting pattern a day calendars back in 2007. It's called the Math Geek Scarf. Here's a link to my Ravelry project page. Well I finally picked it up this weekend and decided to give it a go. I found some funky yarn I had in my stash that I thought might be fun and started knitting. Let me tell you ... I have never knit a scarf so fast in my life. The pattern is great fun and the chunky yarn is making it a quick project. I took it to knitting group today and it was very popular.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Found Another Great Pattern

It's called Sylvar by Jordana Paige. You can find her website here where you can purchase the pattern. The Ravelry page is here. I had not heard of her until I ran into this pattern today. I definitely plan to look around and see what other designs she has out there. I just found her Twitter page here.

Sylvar - JP006
I borrowed this picture from her Flickr page. Isn't it just gorgeous? I really love the neck line. Definitely adding this to my queque.

Shop Going to SAFF

Hanks Yarn & Fiber is taking my shop with them to SAFF. If any of you are going, make sure to check out the Hanks booth. My shop will be on vacation mode from 10/20 or 10/21 until at least 10/28. I have some new products coming along with the re-opening of my shop after SAFF so stay tuned!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Free Pattern: Peasant Blouse

I just saw this free pattern on Knitting Daily. I love it so I thought I would share. You can get to the download site here.

Photo borrowed from KD website.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

BFL it is!

Okay so even though some of my fellow Floridians think I'm a bit nuts, I ordered four pounds of natural colored BFL to spin for the Clasica Coat. I'm really excited about this project. It may very well take me an entire year to finish but at least I have goals right? :) I ordered the Extrafine Natural Dark BFL from the Copper Moose. It should be here on Monday. I can't wait to wrap myself in the yumminess. I may go around the house wearing some combed top for a few days. Then my family will really think i've lost it! :oP

In other news, my Fiber Arts Club started at the Blake School yesterday and it went really well. I think a good time was had by all and the students are really excited to get started on their first projects. One of my science students who joined the club came in to class today all excited because she knit her way home from school and was so surprised and excited at how fast the time passed. She usually gets impatient on the ride home and just wants to get there but now thinks she may appreciate the knitting time. I said "welcome to the world of knitting" and smiled. I think I have inspired another to knit and that my friends ... is good stuff.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Help Me Pick Yarn ... or Fiber

Have you seen the current issue of Interweave Knits? I just adore the sweater/coat on the front cover. It's called the Clasica Coat.

I've been sitting here looking up yarn options online for at least an hour. I like the yarn it's knit with. Handspun single ply, slightly thick and thin, natural colors ... beautiful yarn. With the sweater requiring 12 or 14 hanks of yarn it is quite a bit out of my budget. Then I got to thinking ... Aran weight single ply yarn is my favorite yarn to spin. Should I spin for this? How much fiber would I need to spin 2,000 yards? Am I crazy for even contemplating this? My current spin to knit project is in month six and it's only a shawl. Now granted I haven't spent much time on it over the past month or so but I am almost done. It was only 700 yards of a lace weight single but it didn't take me long to spin for it. I worked on it a lot over one weekend and then finished it up sometime during the next week. It's the knitting that is taking me forever. It doesn't help that this is my first big lace project and my first real chart reading project.

So I've been looking over yarn options and reading about all these pilling problems with some of the single ply yarns. I'm wondering if I have something with a longer staple length than merino, will this reduce the pilling? What if it is something with a longer staple length than merino and it's blended with silk or tencel? I found several single ply yarns that had either silk or tencel blended in and they looked absolutely drool worthy. Now I'm wondering if I can find the fiber/color combo to spin this. And then there is the pull towards Rambouillet or CVM. Oh the decisions. I need to get busy on that shawl so I can move on to my next project. :)

So anyone have a recommendation for a source for natural colored Rambouillet, CVM or BFL combed top???

Florida Fiber In Demo & Booth

Photos of my booth at the Fiber In. My plan for hanging the banner didn't work out so well so I had to make do.

I was really nervous about my demo at the Fiber In but it went great and I received lots of positive feedback. I'm glad I decided to offer this demo and will definitely do it again if asked.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Teaching Kids to Knit

I apologize for the silence around here lately. I've started teaching again on top of everything else I have going on and am up to my eyeballs in things to do. It's all good though because i'm really enjoying it. My friend Teresa volunteered to help me sponsor a fiber arts club at school. Our first meeting is this coming Tuesday. We're putting together a kit for everyone containing knitting needles, crochet hook, an assortment of yarn for chosen projects and a notebook. Teresa has the crochet projects sorted out (washcloth and skinny scarf) and I'm working on the knitting side of things. I'm thinking coasters for the beginning square project but I haven't figured out the next knitting project. Maybe a hat? Any suggestions? Age range is pretty wide but I definitely have at least five students who are old enough to learn whatever I throw at them.

Also curious as to the availability of some basic knitting instructions to put in the kids folders. I don't want to infringe on anyones copyright so I'm being cautious about this. I wonder if someone has put instructions out there that can be freely copied for educational purposes. I did a quick search but didn't find anything yet. Hoping to avoid reinventing the wheel by drawing out the knit and purl stitch again myself. Any suggestions appreciated!