Archive | April 2016

Yarn De-Stash

After my recent yarn purchases, I spent a bit of time sorting through my stash. It was getting rather over-crowded again and I needed to make some room. I pulled out a few yarns I decided I’d probably never use, and figured I’d post them here in case any of them called to my knit/crochet readers. I’ll attach a contact form at the end of this post, or you can email me at bonny(at)bonnyknits(dot)com. If you’re willing to pay the shipping, I’ll ship anywhere you want me to! Payment through PayPal.

IMG_5938Araucania Ruca Solid color 109. 100% sugar cane. 4 unused skeins. DK weight, 263 yards per skein. $25 for the lot, plus s&h. (Retails at $14/skein)

IMG_5937Classic Elite Yarns Imagine 53/47 cotton/rayon blend. DK weight, 93 yards each. There’s a lovely shimmer that was really hard to catch in the photos. $6 plus s&h.

IMG_5931KnitPicks Brava Worsted, color Caution. Was just too bright for what I wanted. 3 skeins, all unused. $5 plus s&h.

IMG_5940KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Superwash color Camel Heather. No idea why I bought this, since it’s not really my color. $2 plus s&h.

IMG_5934KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Bulky Superwash. Wound but unused. One dark, one light purple. Love the colors, they just weren’t as soft as I like. $5 plus s&h.

IMG_5943Wool Pak Yarns NZ 100% New Zealand wool. Label not marked with ply or shade. Label states 250 grams per skein, these three weigh in at 245 grams. I bought it like this, no idea why it was split into three. $5 plus s&h.

I also have a ton of cheaper acrylic to re-home, too much to list individually. If you like Red Heart Super Saver, Caron One Pound, Homespun, or things like that, give me a holler and I can give you an idea of what I’ve got!

Anatomy of a Photo

Having finished my shawl and all the Royals-themed orders, I started a new project last night. This morning I set out to take a photo, and I thought I’d share my process.

This is my stack of scrapbook paper backgrounds. Note: this is only a very small sampling of my paper stash, the ones I pulled out as good options. I have A LOT more. I’m glad I’m finally putting it to use again, and actually, going through it all makes me want to start scrapbooking again. Anyway, paper. Plus a cookie sheet so I can set up the photo on it, and move it around easily to find the best light.IMG_5923

Here’s my stash of trinkets and treasures. The tray was handmade by my husband and it pleases me to have it out and use it more often. This is just a start; I’m sure I’ll be adding to this over time.IMG_5924

Then I put them all together and use my phone to come up with photos like these. It’s tricky to find the right background for the project, the way different colors play together. And then finding the best light? Let’s just say I’m a work in progress.

IMG_5927IMG_5929IMG_5930

Which one is your favorite? What’s your best photography tip?

Oh, what’s the project? A Bit of Lace Hemp Triangle, special request from the mother! It’s a paid pattern but totally worth it.

Weekend Adventure, With Yarn

We took a baby road trip this weekend. We’re gearing up to start painting our house this summer and found some used scaffolding on Craigslist. The listings nearby kept getting snatched up quickly, so we drove about three hours to the southwest part of Missouri, near Springfield. It was gorgeous, green and hilly and lush. I do love it down there. Our destination was pretty rural, and I was delighted to find they had a nice menagerie for me to play with while the guys messed with the scaffolding. They had four dogs, three cats (that I saw; he said there were around 18), a bunch of chickens, a horse, and five goats. Molly, a “smaller” Great Pyrenees, was my favorite. She was so sweet and mellow, and I ended up sitting on the ground cuddling with her for much of the time. IMG_5851I really wish I could have taken her home with me, and they would have let me too! They said they got her to be a guard dog but she ended up being the runt of the litter. But for some reason my hubby thinks two dogs is enough. I know, what’s wrong with him, right? I did get him to agree that once he retires, if we move out to the country with a bit of land, I could have more puppies. Hooray! I might actually like that. I mean, I’m not very social and don’t like many people. I spend most of my time in silence and love it. I love the wide expanse of open land. Would I like it long-term? Not sure. I’d definitely have to be relatively close to civilization. So yeah, we have that to ponder for the next several years. Think about it: more puppies! Yay!

Okay, enough about puppies. How about kitties? We stopped at a few antique malls and one of them had this little beauty. She was a miniature version of a cat I used to have.IMG_5859Bonus: the hubby agreed that IF we moved to a country-ish location, I could have outdoor cats! (He claims to be “allergic”. Whatever.)

Of course I also found a yarn store while we were out and about, though we had to drive a bit out of our way to get there. It’s in Rogersville, MO, near Springfield, and it’s called One City Market. It’s in a cute little house and I walked in and there was a small room full of gorgeous worsted and bulky wools, like Lorna’s Laces and Vice Yarns and Baah! and Malabrigo and so much more. It connected to another room which had the wool fingering/DK weights, also yummy colors and brands, including some small indie dyers. I picked out two skeins, only two skeins, trying to be very very good and went to the counter…then I spotted another room. Oh, yes, she said, that’s the cotton blends, and some closeout yarns. Oh well. Crap. I descended into the rabbit hole of her closeouts. I mean, good grief, it was crazy good. Brands like Rowan and Cascade, and wool and cotton and more and more. It was all packaged together in ziplock bags, some with multiple skeins of one yarn, some with multiple skeins of the same yarn in different colors. And the prices? 65% off retail! So much for being good!

What did I bring home? Well, let me show you some pictures! And I’ll preface it by saying I’ve been playing with a new technique called the flatlay. I got the idea from Jem Arrowsmith Knits, who has been taking an Instagram photography course with Makelight and producing truly gorgeous photos. I’d love to do the course at some point but right now the budget says I can just play with a few of the ideas. I have TONS of scrapbooking paper for interesting backgrounds, and like Jem, I had a marvelous time collecting trinkets to jazz up my photos. Unfortunately, when I actually had time to take photos, it was so stinking dark from a severe thunderstorm that I had no natural light. So these are very rough beginning-stage photos.

I started with some Dream in Color Classy in Cashmere in color Charged Cherry, and it’s the hottest hot pink you ever saw. And soft, so soft and squishy. IMG_5871I got some Manos del Uruguay Alegria, a merino blend in a vivid neon rainbow. Yes, it’s fingering, but it will make a stunning Hitchhiker. IMG_5889It really is much brighter than it looks here. I kept this photo because I like the pieces together, but I’d love to re-take it in natural light.

Now for my clearance finds. I got six skeins of Cascade Sierra, a bouncy blend of cotton and merino, three pink and three orange. I can’t wait to knit the two colors together; I just haven’t decided whether they want to be a shawl or a lightweight scarf. IMG_5893

Pink is my color right now, apparently, because I also got a bag of SMC Select Juliette, six skeins in a dark raspberry hue. It’s 100% cotton and labeled bulky but looks more like Aran weight. IMG_5894

My favorite deal was a bag of 9 balls of Rowan RYC Cashsoft Aran. It’s mostly merino with a bit of microfiber and 10% cashmere. Soft? You betcha! And it’s a gorgeous red that will be fantastic for holiday knitting. I got all of it, 855 yards, for $28! WHEE! I mean, that could be a really sweater vest…if I had the patience to knit a sweater. (Spoiler: I don’t.) IMG_5895

I could have bought so much more but managed to stop the damage at that, and even that was more than I should have bought. Still, I’m delighted with my finds and can’t wait to cast on with all of it. And speaking of actually knitting, I did some of that too, and I bound off the Citron shawl last night! IMG_5888I was all “Meh” about it until it came off the needles, and then I realized how lovely it actually is! I love the ruffled edge, even if it is shorter than it’s supposed to be because I ran out of yarn. Again, the color isn’t true but I had to share it. Once I get the ends woven in and a day that’s not so gray, I’ll post a better photo.

Whew, this was a big post, wasn’t it? That’s what happens when I save it all up instead of doling it out in small daily doses. If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking around!

Boring Knitting

Well, obviously I didn’t write yesterday. I didn’t have a whole lot to say because I was just trucking along on my WIPs. I will show you the last set of blue fingerless gloves because I’m a bit pleased with myself. IMG_5831I made them a bit shorter in the cuff, but I also modified the thumb. Rather than putting the thumb stitches on waste yarn and knitting a taller thumb, I just bound off when I had the right number so I’ve got kind of a half-thumb, which is what I prefer anyway. I like to keep my hands warm while still having full movement of the digits. With the blue sets done, I made a pair with dark purple and black as a gift for my best author client. She’s had me proofread three of her books with the promise of more, and I really enjoy working with her. So even though it might be too warm for them right now, these will be on the way to her very soon. IMG_5841

With those done, I went back to my Citron shawl. It’s progressing nicely, though not growing as much as I expected. I’ve got plenty of yarn so I’ll probably do another section or two. IMG_5840And that’s really all. I kind of want to start a new project but nothing’s calling my name yet so I’m waiting.

The only other news of note is that I have started tapering off my happy pills, based on a schedule I worked out with my doctor. We all agree that I seem to be in a relatively stable place right now. Based on my history, my bout with depression seems to have been more of an isolated, situational incident caused by a lot of stressors hitting me in a short timespan, rather than a long history of repeated occurrences. I’m a little nervous, since the last thing I want to do is go back to how I felt before, but I think it’s the right time. I feel good now, calm and peaceful, and I’m really trying to get back to eating healthier and exercising regularly. Plus spring and summer are good seasons for me (probably all the sunshine). So I really think it’ll be okay. The best part is that my doctor is awesome and made sure I knew we could tinker with the schedule at any point based on how I feel. I just have to be aware of it and force myself to speak up if something goes awry.

And on that note, I’m going to sit outside and knit and soak up some of that wonderful, healing sunshine!

My LYS is closing!

Yes, you read that right: the one little LYS I have is closing by the end of August. It’s located in an old mill, along with a bead shop, antique shop and more, and the building has been sold. All the businesses will close to make room for a distillery, upscale restaurant, and some kind of gift shop. I’m glad it will still provide something for the neighborhood, but I hate losing all the crafty stuff. It means I’ll be left with just a Michaels in town. The closest LYS, which is a lovely big one, will be about 20 minutes away. Not terrible, but not convenient for a quick trip. Sigh. Well, as my son said, maybe it will be better for all that temptation to be removed. But first, I should probably start saving in case she does a closing sale!

While I was there getting the scoop, I noticed a fun striped scarf she had on display. Turns out it was a Royals scarf, a season-tracking scarf with a certain color for each kind of result. You do one color for a home win, one for home loss, one for away win, and one for away loss. Or any combination thereof, that’s the fun part. It’s totally customizable. I found the bare-bones pattern on Ravelry, called the Crackerjack, and I’ve started my own Royals scarf. Right now I’m catching up on the games already played. I’m using royal blue for home wins, powder blue for away wins, gold for home losses, and white for away losses. You can do however many rows you want; I’m doing two rounds for each game to make sure my scarf is long enough to wear doubled. The dark orange is my provisional cast-on, so that when I’m done I can stitch the ends together and have a lovely tubular infinity scarf. IMG_5835This will be a really fun summer knitting project, and maybe we’ll even get to October baseball again and I’ll get to do something fun for post-season games!

It’s rainy and gray here today, so I’m glad I get to go hang out with my Knitting SIL for a playdate this morning. Anybody else doing something fun this Monday?

KC Royals Knitwear

If you remember, I recently received a request for some KC Royals-themed knitwear. The mitts were finished first, and yesterday I whipped through the four ear warmers. I have to say, they drove me bonkers at first. I’d made one for my friend as a gift, just improvised, and I needed to replicate hers. Well, I hadn’t taken any notes, and all I had was this photo. IMG_5817

I assumed it was 2×2 rib so that’s what I did, but for one thing, it came out WAY too big and the ribbing didn’t look like it matched. I set the first one aside and started over with fewer stitches and 4×2 rib. Still didn’t match, still too big. Frog, start over with fewer stitches. Finally, I found a recipe that pleased me: I cast on 65 stitches on size 9 needles and knit 3×2 rib with the yarn held double for a nice warm fabric. Six rows blue, two rows white, six rows blue. For the first one, I used Jeny’s stretchy bind off but that made it way too stretchy, so for the rest I just did a normal bind off and that worked just fine. After that, it was smooth sailing. For the last one, I did frog the first sad too-big attempt to reuse the yarn. Waste not, want not! IMG_5823IMG_5824I think they’re pretty cute! I’ve got about a skein and a half of the blue left, so I’m going to make some more fingerless gloves for my inventory. We’ll need them when the Royals get back to October baseball!

Happy Friday!

Matching Mitts

I finished the second pair of fingerless gloves yesterday; got all the ends woven in and everything. And the best part is: I have two pairs of matching mitts! I’m the worst at making two things the same size. I lose count of rows, or I go by measurement and maybe one ends up a row shorter or longer. Even with these, the two pairs don’t match. One pair is longer than the other. No idea how that happened; I really did think they’d all come out the same. BUT, at least each person will have two gloves that match.IMG_5809The 5″ DPNs were marvelous, too. Much more comfortable than the metal, and I was able to put the stitches on 4 needles instead of 3, which seemed to help a lot with laddering. And the thumbs! I can’t imagine trying to do thumbs on the 7″ needles. I’m definitely glad I got the shorter needles. But this is one more reason I shy away from socks: I’d end up with non-matching socks!

How do you guys make sure your pairs come out the exact same size?

The Color Purple

What did I do with my busy busy day yesterday? Well, not knit, that’s for sure! Nope, I spent the day with my MIL, aka my favorite hairdresser, and emerged with a new hairdo! I thought about waiting to post until I could get a “better” photo, i.e. one with makeup and a nicer shirt and a better background, and then I thought, nah. This is me. This is what I look like on a regular basis. It is what it is. So without further ado, voila: IMG_5803If you’re wondering WHY the heck I would dye my hair purple, read this post from a couple of years ago. I loved my purple hair, truly. The only reason I went back to “normal” hair is that I was going on a big vacation to Washington D.C. with my mom and kids, and either I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that with purple hair, or I knew my mother would rather I not have purple hair in those photos. Not sure. In any case, I missed my pretty hair and decided to do it again and this time it will stick around indefinitely. It makes me happy.

I did manage to pick up some 5″ DPNs yesterday and started another fingerless glove this morning. They’re a bit more fiddly, but they’re much more comfortable than the 7″ metal DPNs I was using. The metal hurts my fingers after an hour of knitting. And since I had a Jo-Ann coupon, it was a good buy. IMG_5806

If you could anything wild and crazy with your hair, what would you do? What’s stopping you?

Forever Royal

Busy day means quick post this morning. Thanks to a friend wearing some fingerless gloves I gave her, I now have some orders for KC Royals-themed items! I need to make two pairs of gloves and four ear warmers in a week. No problem, right? Right! I got the yarn yesterday and got to work. IMG_5783Sat outside with the hubby and the puppies for much of the day. It was just a bit cool, but perfect with a hoodie. IMG_5785This nifty pail came with my Easter flowers. It had a glass vase inside which of course I removed so I could use it as an unusual yarn bowl. I love the handle! IMG_5791I needed to refresh my memory on the stretchy bind-off, but soon this glove was set aside and I started glove #2. IMG_5793I got through the thumb gusset before quitting for the night. I know, I need to do the thumb on the first one still. I’m going to pick up some 5″ DPNs while I’m out today which should make the thumbs much easier. Currently I’m using 7″ metal DPNs and they’re all right, but I think the right tools will make the knitting that much easier.

Gotta dash! Happy  Monday, friends!

Shoes, Shawls, and Cowls

Do you know that old song, Three Coins in the Fountain? For some reason I thought of that this morning, only my version would be Two Shoes in the Trashcan. (I really hope you sang that in your head.) Yes, Grace is feeling some serious spring fever or something, and has returned to shoe theft with a vengeance. She got one of mine yesterday (my fault: I left them downstairs, went to put them on, and only found one. The second? Outside in the backyard.) This morning the girl came down with a destroyed black flat. For the record, this is the THIRD black flat the dog has eaten, and this one was actually MINE. The girl and I wear the same size shoes and she loved these flats too and borrowed them often. She kept them under her bed, and it worked for quite a while. But apparently Grace figured it out. Oy. This dog. I’d let her run away but she’s chipped and they’d find us. (KIDDING. I wouldn’t really do that, as tempting as it is on some days.) Maybe she needs a new toy to distract her for a while.

Let’s move on to more fun stuff, shall we? After finishing the Hitchhiker, I needed a new project. Not content with just one, I decided to cast on two new projects yesterday. One is a shawl that’s been in my Ravelry queue for ages, the Citron. I saw one on Instagram the other day and it reminded me of it, and the grass green yarn I have is perfect for spring. It’s going pretty quickly so far. IMG_5747I’m using DK weight instead of lace, so it’s definitely going to be a full shawl rather than a shawlette. The yarn is Lachiwa by Mirasol Yarn, a 60/40 cotton linen blend. I think it will become a fabulous spring shawl. So far the pattern is fun, with just the right mix of plain stockinette and increase/decrease rows. I don’t think this one will take long to finish.

Second is the Kerr Diamond Cowl with some of my yarn from Knitting in the Heartland. The yarn is from Show Me Yarn, the booth that talked me into three skeins, and it’s the Cyclone base in a gorgeous purple called All Dressed Up. I got the pattern, which is a paid pattern, free with the purchase of the yarn. It was written specifically for this yarn; I don’t think I’ve ever made a pattern with the original yarn! I have to confess, I was a tiny bit disappointed when I opened the pattern and saw that it was knit flat and seamed. One of my favorite things about cowls is that I get to knit in the round. BUT. I love the look of the pattern, and it’s got a neat ribbed section that intrigues me, so I’m giving it a go. IMG_5746The turquoise is for the provisional cast on, not part of the finished piece. I guess it’s good I got to practice that. It’ll give me good practice on my Kitchener stitch too. I mean, it’s fine. I’m not afraid of it. I guess I’m just a lazy knitter who would rather knit in the round than seam things!

One more knitting thing: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee posted a blog entry about her time at Knitting in the Heartland, and at the top she included two photos of the audience at her keynote. Well, if you look at the first photo, in the second row on the left, right next to the wall, you’ll see me! I couldn’t figure out how to share her photo, and honestly I didn’t think it was a good idea anyway, so here’s a link to the post. There you have it, I made it to the Yarn Harlot’s blog.

And with that, I’m off to enjoy a second cup of tea, last night’s Grey’s Anatomy, some knitting, and a couple of puppies that aren’t really puppies anymore but will always be puppies. IMG_5742Happy Friday, friends!