Sunday, January 31, 2010

5/2 Cotton Warp

Thank you for all of your pattern purchases in the month of January. As promised, half of the proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders for a total of $50.
I have just added a new yarn, 5/2 Cotton Warp, to my Artfire shop. It is a basic, inexpensive cotton yarn usually used for warping in weaving but it works beautifully as a fingering weight cotton yarn. I made two wash cloths by holding two strands double. I'm casting on for a baby sweater in the next few days. I gave a skein of it to a swap partner and she is making a summer shawl from it. This yarn has a lot of possibility at 460 yards and only $6.50 a skein.

Here is the copy from the listings and a picture of the colors I just listed:

Enjoy hand painted yarns for a fraction of the cost!

This fingering weight yarn is a sturdy 5/2 cotton perfect for warp in weaving or as yarn for knitting or crochet. It is soft, very absorbent and can be machine washed. Weave a summer wrap, hold double and knit or crochet a wash cloth or make a unique garment for a special child in your life.

This yarn was dyed using fade resistant dyes and the yarn is sturdy enough for the regular wash. However, it is recommended that you wash on cool and dry flat to minimize fading that is typical for brightly colored cotton fibers.

100g minimum (sometimes the skeins run heavy)
463 yards minimum
100% fingering weight cotton (size 5/2)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Help for Haiti

The Powers That Be at Ravelry put up a list of designers that are donating a portion of their pattern sales to relief in Haiti. I added my 3 patterns to the list 10 days ago and then, ah, um, forgot to blog about it.*headdesk*

I am donating 50% of all pattern sales from now through the end of January to Doctors Without Borders. You can find my patterns here, here or here. The full list of patterns in the Ravelry Help For Haiti campaign are here.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hurray for yarn!

The parts to fix the wheel have arrived and been installed. I added new bearings, a new drive band, improvised a brake band, oiled all the moving parts and added a leader. Just like I said it would be, my first yarn off the wheel is a self-striping yarn called Roy G. Biv:

Rainbow handspun
Rainbow handspun closeup
Rainbow handspun closeup2

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Husband Socks

Husband has new socks and won't take them off. He's thrilled to finally have a second pair of knitted socks and I am thrilled to go back to working on my own socks. :)

Yarn: Dyeabolical Strong Arm
Color: Old Jeans
Pattern: Tadpoles
Modifications and Notes: I increased to 68 stitches after the ribbing. I did 4 purls in the middle of the char instead of 2. I knitted through the back loop of the yarn overs to close the holes and prevent a lacy eyelet. The purl symbols on the 3rd row are very faint. I almost missed them. Worked heel over 32 stitches. The top of the foot is longer than the bottom of the foot. This can be compensated for by doing short rows on the bottom of the foot. Husband liked the way the longer top and shorter bottom fit his foot so I bypassed the short rows but would add a short row on the sole after every 2nd pattern repeat in the future.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Spinning....on a spinning wheel

I have had Clare Dowling's Spinning Wheel stuck in my head for days now, probably because it is the theme song for Yarn Spinners Tales podcast.  I have been listening to YST obsessively in anticipation of finally fixing Scott's wheel and spinning some yarn. Spinning used to be a tremendous source of comfort for me but somehow I have 8 months slip by since the movers snapped the thingy that holds the flyer and about a year since I've actually sat down at the wheel.

I have never been especially comfortable at Scott's wheel, an old Ashford Traditional but I am thrilled just to have a wheel especially one we found at such a good price. I like that I can sit on the couch, zone out and still be productive even when I can't focus enough to knit. Still, it would be nice to have a travel wheel to take to shows. Too bad the $645 price tag for the Spinolution Bee is prohibitive. Sigh. It would be extra nice to have a production wheel like the Mach II or Kromski Symphony. A Schacht Matchless would be pretty sweet, too. Think of all the yarn I could make! I could sell it! It would practically pay for itself! Right? Right? ...right? Double sigh. 

This first thing I am going to spin on our soon-to-be-repaired wheel is a self-striping yarn from my own felting wool. I. Can. Not. Wait.

[Begin shameless self-promotion and a healthy dose of rambling: You too can spin your own self-striping yarn or create your own needle felted pretties! A single half-ounce bump of fiber is only $1.75. Buy 4 half-ounce bumps and pay only $6.50. All items ship FREE in the US and have discounted shipping to Canada from my Artfire shop. I plan on continuing free shipping until I am established on Artfire or until such time that maintaining 2 shops stops being worth it. Hopefully that won't happen. The same items are in my Etsy shop, but I do not offer free shipping through Etsy, so why not give Artfire a try? Artfire does a much better job communicating with its sellers, it has a better fee structure and it isn't (yet) flooded with sellers. I still love Etsy, of course, and will continue to sell there but the fee structure means I can't offer sales. End shameless self-promotion.]

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Doctors Without Borders

Knitters, Stephanie has thrown up the Knit Signal. Doctors Without Borders, Undirected Fund. You know what to do.

Holy God. CNN says hundreds of thousands. Hundreds of thousands dead.

At the Car Wash

I ran out of coffee three days ago. I just remembered this morning. At 5:30am. After getting only 4 hours sleep. That THWUMP noise you'll hear later today is the sound of me falling asleep so hard that it will be audible.

I stopped by Walgreens to get some extremely overpriced Folgers and a new wrist brace/craft glove to prepare for a long day of knitting and drinking coffee ahead of me (my life is so hard......heh). On the way home I stopped at the DIY car wash and did myself a car wash. When I got back in the car at the car wash the song "Car Wash" was on the radio. How....odd.

I started thinking how weird (and nifty) it would be if the radio narrated my day. Then I started thinking about what songs it would play. Then I started thinking about blogging this thought process and here we are.

If my radio really were stalking me, this is what it would play (limiting myself to songs that received or received at least semi-regular air time or that I think would be recognizable by a large percentage of people):

Car Wash by Rose Royce for the car wash
Java Jive by The Ink Spots for the coffeee
Get Up Offa That Thing by James Brown I really ought to get up offa this thing.
It's Not My Place (In The 9 to 5 World) by The Ramones for the worky worky
Gives You Hell by All-American Rejects I'm trying to finish up a very simple pattern that is giving me fits for 2 weeks now.
Loose Lips by Kimya Dawson It's Knit Night! We'd sink a lot of ships.
Mardi Gras Mambo by The Meters I'll be working on my Mardi Gras swap project at Knit Night.
The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens If I end up skipping Knit Night in favor of sleepy sleepy

What would your radio play?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

On my needles

Today and tomorrow are dedicated to working towards getting items off my needles.

I think there may be a full-on husband riot if I don't finish these socks soon. He has taken up stealing my socks as a hobby and he got a lot of mileage at holiday parties out of implying he is the victim of both knitterly and wifely neglect. So, I'm up at godawful'o'clock this morning blogging working on his socks.

The second thing I am itching to get off the needles is something I hope will translate in to a new pattern for me. I have the chart finished. I taught myself intarsia in the round. I drafted instructions on how to do intarsia in the round. I've swatched like crazy. All that is left is knitting it and finalizing the pattern (and arranging test knitters, tech editors, a photographer....) except.... except I have put a solid 1.5 weeks in to this project and reactions to the sketches and swatches have been lukewarm at best. Sigh. I'm hoping that the finished project will be as awesome in real life as it looks in my head. Can you tell what it is?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A thought

I wonder if the popularity of knitted cowls correlates in any way to the number of knitters who have gotten their long scarves tangled up in the car door during any given season?

Enjoy free shipping from my Artfire store through January.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What is your all-time favorite gift?

I am sitting at a clean table and watching over a boiling pot that is about to become twice-baked cauliflower, I am not sure how long it takes for cauliflower to get soft, but it seems to be taking a really long time. I'm not complaining. The wait has given me time to finally sit down and really read my mother's new recipe collection called "Cooking Broke".

 This collection and her previous recipe collection, "The Old and the Beautiful", are two of my all-time favorite gifts. "The Old and the Beautiful" is the go-to book when I'm looking for that perfect dessert recipe. "Cooking Broke" is filled with all kinds of tasty comfort food like fried baloney sammiches, grilled cheese, stuffed acorn squash and something called Slumgullion which actually sounds kind of good if one can get past the name (one can). While the recipes are good--with the probable exception of an untested recipe called "Meat Brick" which may be good if one could get past its name (one can't)--the commentary is what has me entertained while I'm waiting for the cauliflower to soften.

This is a very practical tip from the pages of Cooking Broke:

Leftovers, leftovers, leftovers. This is why they make Gladware--so eat your supper, but save some in the freezer for lunch this week, and be sure you never work ANYPLACE that doesn't have a microwave. [Amen.]
What is your all-time favorite gift?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

An apology and some randomness

  • I need to clarify one thing from my last post. I really enjoy do Crestwood's ArtSpace. I think it is a genius idea with a lot of potential. The caliber of of the artists I have met with are truly spectacular, plus they are friendly on top of that. I did not intend to imply that the artists in the community are anything short of wonderful. They are. I only meant to explain my rationale for not taking the space. I was trying to covey that these various "signs" were trying to tell me what my intuition was trying to scream at me--that this is the wrong season to try a retail space. Maybe in the spring? It certainly would be convenient for me. My apologies for being less than clear. 
  • Most days I would rather be shot in the foot than go to Target. This is not one of those days. I came home with 3 new pots from the $1 section, a new votive, new tea lights, new tea, a belated Christmas present and ingredients for a twice-baked cauliflower recipe I found today. It totally made up for having to drop far too much on various kinds of soap (hand, laundry, body, house) and things that either are designed to get flushed or thrown away (trash bags).
  •  It's back to work on Monday. Are you ready? Me, neither. I have been working on two new designs for the past week and a half. I would like to get them wrapped up. The base yarn and fiber finally showed up so that has to be dealt with. Then there is the year-end bookkeeping tasks. *sigh* I am really dragging my feet on that one.