Tag Archives: socks

Stripes – Yarn Love Challenge

I really love the look of striping in knitting, and understand the craze of self-striping yarns. I have dyed some self striping yarns myself, but I find the process somewhat too time consuming for an indie dyer. The trouble with self-striping is that you have to dye a continuous strand for a good amount of yardage in a single colour, before changing colours. This is because otherwise you will get the dreaded pooling that can make it so that some yarns can’t be used for certain projects with happy results. The part that makes this kind of dyeing challenging is that when a yarn is in ball form, it can’t be dyed properly – and when in skein form, the loop itself is not formed in a way that you can dye one long section, and use many colours. As such, you sort of have to divide the skein into the number of colours you want and dye them seperately ensuring not to contaminate each colour with any drips or drops of other dye colours. So, it’s a bit of a dance. I do it in small batches but without some kind of technology (I have ideas and drawings) I won’t get very deeply into dyeing this kind of yarn.

I have had some fun with dyeing self-striping yarns, but in different ways – such as the sushi yarns that I made a couple years ago.

I also find that I don’t mind working with multiple yarns to create stripes, or if using only two colours, carrying each colour along the project so that I can create stripes. I know some knitters don’t like having to carry a strand, or sew in multiple tails at the end of the project – but these things don’t really phase me. I purchased a really nice kit from Lovelyarns in Baltimore, MD, dyed by Knitted Wit, and I loved working with it – all squooshy and worsted. I knit up this adorable sweater from the kit that came along with the yarn – it’s called Rainbow for Frances. My wee one is almost big enough to wear it and I can’t wait!

Back to what I was writing about using multiple yarns. I had always been looking for ways to use up my leftover sock yarns from the various projects I knit so I designed a simple Totem Pole Sock pattern that is available for FREE on Ravelry and will produce fun striped crazy socks and use up that extra stash.

I also really enjoy spinning self-striping yarns and have a line of yarn that I spin called ‘Transcend’, usually spun up in 5 complimentary coloured fibres. They are fun to spin and knit up really nicely. They are a simple bulky yarn.

Apparently…I am crazy when stagnant!

My poor little pup, Toasty, developed some kind of illness in the middle of last week and through the weekend so I stayed home with him…all….weekend. I have really come to the point in my life where I can’t ever stay inside the house for an entire day. I don’t know why…but it makes me insane…and makes me think about how I could be doing a million different things but I just sit there…and watch TV.  It’s bizarre but I think a testament to the human body and mind needing nature, activity and stimulation.

So, I looked at my to do list from last post…let’s see how I did:

1. Update Art Yarn page in the shop with all new art yarns.
2. Finish reading driving manual and look into booking test.
3. Review required updates to pottery guild website
4. Think about trip to US and PR stuff with husband, start a plan.
5. Determine packaging for wooden buttons and start packaging.
6. Dye sock yarn.
7. Photograph and update Ravelry with rebranding on new yarns.
8. Work on cowl pattern.
9. Walk every day.
10. Work on documentation database for work.

Ok, not too bad…I finished 4 of 10 things but also managed to finish a few things not on the list…like teaching the husband to weave the rope rug I have been working on so he can help me and as a result I finished 2 more circles and he finished a couple. Here are mine:

 

And, I made really good food, including lovely beef short ribs. Here’s a photo mosaic of the process:

On Sunday I finally broke down and had to take a walk. Toasty was starting to feel a lot better but still just wanted constant sleep so we packed him up in his own little, cuddly crate and walked the beach. It was a nice, inspiring walk and was very nice in that I felt like part of a busy, artsy city. It was quiet and had freshly snowed.

The swans that I visited throughout the summer were there. I photographed these babies in various stages of their growing up process. Now they just look like baby swans but in an adult size.

There were guys filming a music video, singing and playing guitar. They had a cool, little rolling track that the camera could move farther and closer on.

There was even a lady letting her wee bunny take a run around on the beach. He was wearing a cute, little purple sweater and I even got to give him a little cuddle but I only managed to photograph his butt.

Then I collected a lot of amazing drift wood, some charred and a bit piece that looks like a bird head from Beetlejuice or something. I love it!

 

And there was much knitting hexipuffs for my ever-loving Beekeeper’s quilt.

And, in the shop there is a big new art yarn update! Check out the shop here: http://www.studioloo.com/handspunartyarn.htm

Take a peek at these handspinnies!

Also, I am in the middle of re-branding, dyeing, and photographing a ton of new sock yarn and other yarns. But, my best friend, Mat of Manspun fame has also written a lovely sock pattern for use with my yarn.  It’s called Man-Tastic Socks! and works for men or women. It’s a fun knit and great with variegates, solids or semi-solids!

Pick up your copy here! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/man-tastic-socks

 

Massive Shop Update!

The shop has been updated with a massive amount of new yarns!

First off, my new line of worsted weight merino hand dyed yarn – Wink Wink Worsted. You can get it HERE. And a sneak peek:

And, the Fall 2011 colours of Bootsie sock yarn are posted! You can pick them up HERE! And a sneak peek:

Plus, Candy Sprinkles has been re-stocked! Right HERE!

And, there are new shades of Foot Fetish – Merino/Cashmere/Nylon fingering weight! Right HERE!

Of Dogs and Totem Poles

Yesterday I had a really great morning. I went to Woofstock! One of the nicest things about living in Toronto is that there is always something going on – and this weekend it is North America’s largest dog festival! The roads all around St. Lawrence Market are closed down and you get to see every kind of dog imaginable. It’s so fun. First the dogs take a stroll up the red carpet.

There are hordes of people with dogs, vendors, restarants, and it’s just a really fun, happy scene.

I will mention that I published my Totem Pole Socks pattern up on Ravelry as a free download – but then the rest of this post will be entirely dog related. 🙂

Grab it here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/totem-pole-socks

Ok, now on to the dogs!

First my favourite dog of the day – this sweet little girl in her roller cart:

She was so sweet, calm and gentle and her face had a way of melting your soul.

Funniest dog face of the day is awarded to:

Best tutu award….

Cutest toenails…

Best all-over face lick!

Best dachshund prarie dog stance! (This is a piebald – really rare..)

Most impressive fancy group of cute:

Best leash chompage:

Least amount of hair:

Today I need to get a little knitting in public done – WWKIPD was officially yesterday, but I am sure you can see why I simply didn’t make time.  🙂

Not Always Warm, but Always Fuzzy

Today is one of those days you just want to stay inside, bake cookies and drink tea, whilst curled up to a puppy with a good book. However, I am thankful I am not near the Mid-Atlantic where buckets of snow are falling.  I did venture out to the book store and the art supply store and I am glad I did! I found that  Intertwined has come out in soft cover which is lovely, as I lug mine around with me all the time and this will save the hard covered one all that travel.

Speaking of Pluckyfluff, I have finished my yarn and my statement on what spinning is to me and it is all ready to ship out for the Handspun Revolution in Lillehammer! Because we can’t all be in Lillehammer, I will share a sneak peek of my yarn and statement here.

I just sketched up a little drawing/writing and wrote whatever came to mind..because that is how a lot of my yarns are born, very spontaneously. The yarn I spun is one that I felt had my signature attached to it. It is white merino/bamboo and pink/purple Polypay locks with doll heads spun in.

I have picked the Super Mario brothers socks back up again and I just finished all of the gusset decreases so now it is just finishing off the foot and toe and I will have one sock done.

I have also been thinking a lot lately about the basic elements of art and wanting to sort of write something, perhaps a journal or activity book for myself, that I can go back to when I feel I lack inspiration to work on things. It doesn’t often occur that I can’t muster up an idea, but sometimes I have trouble harnessing what I am trying to start or finish. I think when you simplify and try to look back at the beginning, or your purpose in making something, things seem a lot less overwhelming and insurmountable.

  • Line:  A line is a pathway; either visible or implied, that moves the eye through a piece of work.
  • Shape:  Shape is the two-dimensional area taken up by an object.
  • Form:  This element refers to the illusion of a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional surface.
  • Value:  Value is the lightness or darkness of a colour or of black.
  • Texture:  Texture in drawing or painting refers to the way we discern the qualities of the object’s surface.
  • Colour: We all know what a ‘colour’ is, but not everyone realizes how an artist’s choice of colour impacts the viewer.
  • Space: Space is the area within the borders of your work; it is what fills the length, width, and perceived depth of a work of art.

(As quoted – Elizabeth T. Gilbert)


Misinterpretation of Directions?

I went to the book store last night and I guess since Valentine’s Day is coming up the staff were tasked with creating a display of sexy books. I think someone might have been looking a little too dyslexically or what have you at the book list selections. 🙂

Or maybe they are as turned on by knitting socks as I am?