Tag Archive | makers making

A few new goodies

Hello. My name is Bonny and I am a yarn addict. It has been exactly four weeks since I purchased yarn. I’m still feeling strong and have only briefly been tempted by seductive skeins in photos on Instagram. It helps that we are making progress in getting our finances in shape so that we can do a very big home improvement project this year, and the pleasure of not feeling stressed about money is better than the pleasure of impulse-buying yarn. (Let’s hope that lasts. Knock on wood for me, will you?) However, I feel I must be honest and say that I did ORDER a new skein of yarn. I just didn’t technically pay for it, since I used some credit from returning a Christmas gift. And really, new yarn is even more fun when you don’t have to pay for it!

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This is KnitPicks Hawthorne Fingering in Turkish Delight and it will become socks. I’m tempted to use some leftover bits of variegated yarns for heel/toe accents. I haven’t used this yarn before, so I’m eager to see how it knits up. (side note: did you know you can buy some KnitPicks yarns on Amazon?? Craziness!)

I also ordered another size 6 needle, since that’s the size I use for almost all of my shawls, and I’d rather buy a new needle than finish a shawl WIP. Makes sense, right? I chose a 32″ ChaioGoo fixed circular, mostly because it was cheaper than the Addi Turbos. And since I’m talking about knitting accessories, let me show off my other recent acquisitions!

I finally got my pocket scale, which I’ve been wanting for ages! I haven’t needed it yet, but it goes with me in my knitting bag and I know it will come in handy one day. And I also got a wall hanging to display all my enamel pins! I kept thinking I’d figure out how to make one, since they’re so simple, but I just don’t like sewing enough, so I was tickled to get the gift. It holds most of my pins and hangs in my bedroom so I can easily pick a pin to wear in the morning. As much as I love having pins on my project bags, I’ve now lost two that way, and I’d rather keep them safe by wearing them myself.

Did you get any fantastic knitting gadgets for Christmas?

 

Meager progress

Well. Here it is Tuesday and I haven’t posted since Thursday, and in between those days were two lovely snowed-in days, and you’d think I’d have a ton of knitting to show you.

I don’t.

I worked on my Boho Blanket but it looks about the same so there’s no point in showing another photo. I worked on my Wave shawl and the yarn is still gorgeous, but again, not enough progress to warrant a new photo. So this is all I have to show you today.

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Since I had three first socks done, I spent part of Saturday casting on three second socks. That way they’d be ready to go and I’d have no excuse not to work on them. That’s the theory anyway.

So I guess maybe that was plenty of knitting for the last five days? I don’t know. All I know is I better start finishing some projects soon!

A new blanket

Along with all the smaller, quicker projects on my needles, I have one more ambitious project: a blanket. Now, it’s a baby blanket, so it’s smaller and hopefully quicker, but still, there’s a reason I don’t make very many blankets. (They take me forever because I get bored. Or I get bored because they take forever. Chicken or egg?) But this one is a review project, and a gift, so I have extra motivation to complete it. I’m making the Boho Baby Blanket by Appalachian Baby Design in Indigo and Silver. It has sixteen pattern repeats, so I did some math and determined that I just need to do two repeats per week to finish on time. And I am right on track!

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I usually work on this on the weekend, so that I also have time for my selfish knitting, and I’ve memorized the pattern so that the knitting has sped up. It’s a pretty pattern, and I think the baby’s mom will appreciate it, but I don’t think blankets will ever be my favorite thing to knit!

 

Happy New Year!

Did you all have a wonderful time last night? We did, with our excessive amounts of junk food and multiple board games, even if I did lose at both Trivial Pursuit AND Scrabble. What can I say? It just wasn’t my night to be smart. And I didn’t knit at all, which was a little weird. But we laughed a lot and enjoyed each other’s company and it was the perfect way to wind up one year and start another.

This morning I got off to a good start too. If New Year’s Day is supposed to be an indicator of how your year will go, then I will be finishing projects this year! I’ve got the first Hedgehog Fibres Gossip sock off the needles.

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While I was weaving in ends, I noticed how fun the reverse of the leg was, and I think I need to do this on purpose with my next pair of socks.

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I love those little ridges! This is my modified Vanilla Latte pattern, of course. I modified the foot a tiny bit this time, making it a quarter-inch shorter, to see if I like the snugger fit better. I guess I should finish this pair and wear them to test that out before I make another pair. Hm. And here I was wanting to cast on another sock today!

2019: Knit from stash!

I confess, I am one of those people going into the new year pledging “No new yarn! Knit from stash!” And I know it’s terrible for LYSs who count on our business, and I do want them to thrive, but alas, it’s time for me to be responsible about other things. I kind of added up how much I’d spent on yarn this year and it was…eye-opening, shall we say? I got lazy about our budget, lazy with my will-power, and it led to more yarn spending than I’m comfortable with. And really, I bought so much gorgeous yarn this year that why wouldn’t I want to knit with it soon? That’s why I bought it, right? So, I’m sorry, my dear LYS, but you won’t be seeing as much of me this year. I’m not going to say I won’t buy any new yarn in 2019, but I definitely will be buying MUCH less and making a concerted effort to knit from stash.

Okay. So how do you make that happen? When the urge for new yarn arises, how do you fight it? When you get invited on a trip to a yarn store, do you say no, or go and try to resist purchasing anything?

For me, being involved with my stash will be critical. I need to go into it regularly and find lost treasures, remind myself of a beautiful skein I bought six months ago, or two years ago. When I feel the itch for something new and fresh, I can dive deep into my stash to scratch it.

My new knitting journal will help as well, I hope. I’ve got a section for projects I want to make, so I can visit that and pair those ideas with yarn in my stash. Oooh, maybe I should make a section for yarns I want to knit next!!

And if I end up at a yarn store, then maybe sometimes I let myself buy ONE skein, instead of two or four or six plus a pompom plus an enamel pin and hey, do I need some of those needles?

With all that said, I think I’ve found my word for 2019: Balance.

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Wishing you all a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!

Pullover Progress

I got some wonderful comments on my journal post yesterday, as well as some on Instagram, and I’m excited to get started today! I do want to get some Christmas decorations put away first, and then I’ll journal as my reward.

Last night and this morning, I spent some time with my Clarke pullover, which has been sadly neglected for far too long. Though it took me a few minutes to figure out where I’d left off, I have now managed to separate the sleeves!

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It’s looking more like a sweater-type object! I’m now ready to knit ’round and ’round on the body for many inches, making this perfect mindless knitting. It will be great for game time on New Year’s Eve, as well as lunch break knitting at work. Can’t wait to have a new handknit sweater in the rotation!

New yarn from Manos!

Manos del Uruguay is one of my favorite brands, has been for a while now. I’ve used the Maxima and Alegria with great success. Their colors are gorgeous, the yarn is soft and wears well, and it’s all certified Fair Trade. Plus the yarns are made by artisans in cooperatives located throughout Uruguay, and each skein is signed, so you know who made your yarn and which village it came from. That makes it so much more personal for me, and I feel like I’m doing a good deed just by buying yarn.

So, when given the opportunity to review a new yarn from Manos, of course I jumped at the chance. Feliz is 70% superwash merino, 30% modal. Modal is a man-made fiber from vegetal pulp, and I was familiar with it from my past life in retail: I knew it was smooth and had fantastic drape. I could only imagine it would be equally delightful in yarn. It’s available in several of the gorgeous Manos hand-dyed colorways; I chose Wildflowers.

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Doesn’t it make you swoon? Yum, it does me! I cast on almost as soon as they sent it to me! It’s listed as DK on Ravelry, and has about 350 yards per 100g skein. Fairmount Fibers, their North American distributor, was generous enough to send me two skeins. I selected a pattern called Late Harvest, which was written for a different sport weight Manos yarn. It has a really unusual slip stitch pattern.

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Guys, I love this yarn. It felt like premium merino, all bouncy and supple, but even smoother, almost silky. There’s almost a hint of a sheen to the yarn. I didn’t have any issues with splitting, and it tinked back nicely when I made the inevitable mistake.

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It was a happy yarn for me, a happy knit. It felt soft and comforting in my hands, it slid smoothly on the needles, and the colors were perfect for the pattern. I keep coming back to the smoothness, because honestly, I prefer that to the fuzziness you get with some yarns. I can’t wait to see how it wears long-term, because if it doesn’t fuzz and pill as much as all-merino yarns, it will make some truly fantastic sweaters! Plus, I’m sensitive to some wools against my skin, and this feels like a yarn I might be able to wear without a layer underneath.

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Even though it’s mostly superwash merino, it does say to hand wash, which I did. It blocked out beautifully without much work, and the water was still clear after the soak, so the dyes didn’t bleed. I didn’t even pin it, just laid it out and nudged the edges into the shape I wanted, and now I’ve got a big, gorgeous shawl that will go with so many things. You can see my Ravelry project page here.

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You can see Feliz in all the pretty colors on their website, including their special 50th anniversary color, Cincuenta. It looks like Feliz sells for around $26 a skein, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. I’m happy to pay that for yarn that looks good, feels good, and helps women support their families!

Many thanks to Stitchcraft Marketing and Fairmount Fibers, who generously sent me two skeins of Manos del Uruguay Feliz (retail value $52) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.