Thursday, March 17, 2016

My hands are working but my mind is wondering if a second pot of half caff coffee is too much caff for one day

Soap News:
 I want to thank everyone who has supported my decision to begin winding down the bath and body sideline as we move in to spring and summer. Some of the scents are selling out fast. The $5 sale on soaps runs through April but you may want to buy sooner if you have a favorite scent. Here are the remaining soaps:
  • Licorice Scrub soap (5 left)
  • Coffee Scrub soap (8 left)
  • Spiked Tea Tree (1 left)
  • Over the Rainbow (2 left) - It smells like fruity pebbles!
  • Kumquat (4 left) - bright citrus notes
  • Juniper Basil (7 left) -- this one is great if you love an herbaceous smelling soap
  • Black Tea & Mint (7 left) -- so good for summer time!
  • Sweater Vest & Pipe (4 left) -- If you like patchouli this is the soap for you
  • Cinnamon Sugar (9 left) -- the soap is a darker brown than the picture and smells so good!
  • Highwayman (10 left) -- very masculine; based on the Thieves Oil recipe of cloves, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon, and cinnamon
  • Applejack & Peel (9 left) -- good enough to eat! This apple, cinnamon and honey scented soap gets a lather boost from real Missouri honey blended in to each bar
  • Citrus Rosemary, Calm Yourself, Lavender & Basil, and Black Raspberry Vanilla (sold out)
Yarn News: 
I am taking new pictures of old colorways in their non-rewound (aka rehanked or reskeined) form as they come off of the drying rack. As the knitting population gets more experienced, it seems like I am getting asked more often for pictures of the yarns not reskeined. You can read more about rewinding in this 2013 blog post. 

Gasoline Rainbow, Moonlight Kisses, Nehi to a Grasshopper, and Flower Shop Inferno
 The colorway "Taupiary" hasn't gotten much love since I debuted it last year. I tweaked the recipe recently a little bit to give the color more variegation. Taupiary is a great by itself or paired with another color. It is dyed with a semi-random application of dyes, much like Gasoline Rainbow is. While it would make a gorgeous shawl, hat, or sweater, your socks may be more fraternal than identical.

Knitting News:
 The twisted cables sock from last week has only gotten a little bit of love this week. I was distracted by a sweaters-worth of lite Lopi that showed up on my doorstep on Saturday. The Mason Dixon bloggers hosted a KAL called #bangoutasweater last month. I'm late to the game, as always. The pattern for the KAL is the Stopover sweater by Mary Jane Mucklestone. 

This sweater is different than a regular Lopi sweater in that the fabric is quite a bit looser than a practically waterproof traditional Lopi sweater. The pattern calls for 13 sts/4" using a US 10.5. I started with the sleeve (because what is a sleeve if not a big swatch?) and proceeded to *knit, measure, rip out, change needles, cast on, rep from * 4 additional times. Ultimately I decided that I liked the fabric of 15 sts/4" better. The sleeves fit me at that gauge, but I may need to do some math when I reach the body portion.

These are the colors I choose for my Stopover. Violet Heather is the body. The two neutrals will be the majority of the colorwork, and the grass green will be a pop of color inside each motif.

I decided to cardiganize the Stopover because I'm not entirely sure what size I will be when it is cold enough to wear an Icelandic wool sweater again. I have talked a few people through the process of steeking at the yarn store. I have done all the required reading about steeking. I have cut in to someone else's sweater with actual scissors and did not mess it up. But this is my first sweater that I will be knitting and steeking myself. I'm not that worried.

The only two things I am concerned about with this sweater are a) whether or not the armholes will be too deep (always a risk when you knit a sweater in the extended plus size range); and b) which ribbon I am going to use to face the button band. Grosgrain is the recommended ribbon when facing a button band, but I sort of want to choose one of these gorgeous jacquard ribbons. The risk with the jacquard ribbon is that the cuts may fray. The bigger risk is that I'm going to end up ordering $100 worth of ribbon at wholesale cost when I only need 1 yard and then I will accidentally start a second Etsy shop to sell it all. Longtime readers will recall that I'm susceptible to doing exactly that sort of thing when it comes to buying ribbon...

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