more small things

first of all, a gift from beth. i believe it’s the baby bib o’ love pattern from the mason dixon ladies… done up in fabulous BRIGHT! colors and stripes. two of my favorite things.  thanks beth!

more little things

this little crocheted bonnet is either grandmama made (on ben’s side) or great grandmama made. i’m glad i dug this one out because it’s going to need to be worn pronto to get any wear out of it. so cute and precious.

more little things

lastly, i also fished around and found these two little pieces of footwear. i knit these over 4 years ago, when we lived in vancouver. here’s the original pic of the socks. it’s funny how some things just keep kicking around.  but now they have a place, front and center, in order to be worn before being outgrown.

more little things

and the other plus is that the stack of knits for this babe are somewhat in order of size, so i can nab things off of the top to try on whenever i feel that there needs to be a bit more knitting around.

charcoal alpaca socks

last time i made my dad socks, they were apparently not warm enough for him! they also might have been a bit too wild ;) so this year, he got ultra alpaca socks for christmas.

dad's socks

dad's socks

i used The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns. easy peasy. and super warm. they’ll be great for steelhead fishing in idaho, which is what he uses them for.

that said, i don’t know if i’ve ever sung the praises of this book. i love it. it was one of the first books that i knit from that opened up the doors for me to do whatever i wanted (i.e. design!) and helped me to do it. i don’t recommend it as an exclusive book, but it combined with other patterns lead me to understand so much about the math of knitting and shaping of garments.  for instance, the hat pattern in the book comes in way too fast for most hats i want to knit, but if you knit other patterns along side it, you understand that there are many many ways for hats to decrease.  once you figure out how to read it, you have schematics (super helpful) and patterns for every size mitten, sock, vest, etc.  that you could want.  brilliant.  truly brilliant.

raveled here.

just in case…

you thought this blog was just going to be all about the shop all the time now,
you worried that i died when i didn’t blog barely at all in a week or two,
you were concerned i had lost my taste for knitting and would never have a finished object post again,

first booties

i’m glad to announce that none of that is true. i finished something (rav link) and i’m in my first trimester of working on something else.  i hope to get back to regular blogging soon… that is, if the massive amounts of rest i seem to need at the moment allow.  in the meantime, i’m sorry to say that the business might dominate a bit.

first booties

i’m still deciding if i like the handspun ties or not. what do you think?

first booties

blogiversary

one anniversary on the heels of another, and thanks for all the good wishes! i’ve been blogging two years and in celebration… i actually finished one of my christmas gifts!

my dad’s socks.

dad's socks!

ingredients:
lorna’s laces shepherd sock doubled
knit picks solid sock yarn doubled

i wanted to make my dad squishy thick socks, since he’s cold like me… but i also wanted the nylon content, so i compromised. and i must say, it is SUCH pain to hold two strands together, but especially if they’re a thin wool. ah well, they’re done and i like them quite a bit.

dad's socks!

other perils? made the tops too long and had to rip them both back so i could steal some of the yarn from the cuff. grrr.  and one is two rows shorter than the other.

hilariously, i knit these magic loop on interchangeable needles – one size 4 needle and one size 5 needle, which i discovered at the end of course :) ha!

dad's socks!

one hat to go and then into the mail with these!

p.s. thanks so much for reading these two years.  if you’re noticing some bumpy roads on this blog this month, you’re not imagining things.  we’re on to new things over here called full time fiber artist.  no yarn store job.  no cleaning job.  just me.  yipes! and perhaps a seatbelt would help ;)

maryland

sheep and wool was very very fun. i may have to spend the night next year! i arrived via bus with 50 other knitters from pittsburgh, many of which i knew and, frankly, the people who came on that bus really made my day. first we got into the food lines, knowing they would just get longer later – and we were hungry from getting up at an ungodly hour. after eating, i headed to the ravelry meet-up where i met my editor, jennifer, for the first time and got this button

maryland sheep and wool

mostly i was there because i wanted to clap and scream for jess and casey when they arrived :) and i did. they’ve done such an amazing job on the website that they at least deserve to be hooted at. then instead of standing around and feeling awkward i darted off to do my shopping. my friend vivian was all about sitting in the shade, so many of us stopped to sit and chat, eat and drop off our purchases with her. then we headed off shopping with other people when we felt the need to go.

my purchases you ask? all very very boring :)
white roving since i didn’t think my current housing situation very suitable for fleece cleaning
but since you asked, here’s the rundown

-26 oz of corriedale from The Clearing at Curry Farm – this is the only show they do. i really enjoyed talking to her. i saw a bunch of corridale’s too and i must admit, i had no idea they were such big sheep! my friend flo said they could be 150 lbs. that would be as big as me.

-5.5 oz bfl from Potosi Sheep Farm. i may contact them again when they get more roving made. love supporting those small farms.
-24 oz bfl from other sources (most likely imported)

-10 oz of farm wool from The Good Shepherd, the owner of which rattled off a bunch of different breeds she had crossbred to get this particular wool :) after that, i ask you how i could not buy from there?

-the new breed i’m trying out is cormo. i bought 9.2 oz from the America Cormo Sheep Association booth, some from Foxhill Farm and some from Running Wild Yarn (from montana!!). i’ll let you know how she spins. i may have to get ahold of those folks in montana…

i drank strawberry lemonade. my friend christine baked enough fabulous baked goods to keep me and many others in our group away from any other sweets (that and the ice cream line was really really looooooooooong).

and a bit of new knitting was started as bus knitting – colinette jitterbug, size 2 US needles, 3×1 rib. i needed something suitably brainless for a tired trip there and a tired trip home.

colinette jitterbug

i highly recommend going to this festival with friends. a great time was had by all. just wish i had more time to poke around and learn more about the farms.

p.s. i need to order copies of my book very soon – so if you’ve decided to buy a book through me and you haven’t paid yet, please do so! if you need further assistance or want me to bill you over paypal, email me at cosyknitsliterally (!at) gmail (dot!) com.

p.p.s. the name game is done! go look at the yarn names over here. thanks for the help.

have a good monday! i’m dyeing in the bathtub, which, as my roommate pointed out yesterday, sounds utterly morbid ;)

the poorly written

several things have completely surprised me since i’ve started working at the yarn store.

first of all, patterns are often poorly written. most people who come in needing help, just need me to clarify either what the pattern means or that the pattern is wrong. this was emphasized on one particular day when i had 3 (THREE) people come in with poorly written patterns – all of them in books.

let me tell you about my favorite poorly written pattern. before moving to pittsburgh, we lived in vancouver bc. in canada the allure of fleece artist sock yarn is strong – it being the homeland and all. here are some socks i made for my friend pam using it

pamela's socks

needless to say, i did not use their pattern. their socks come with a simple sock pattern. you’d assume, that since it’s a ‘basic’ pattern that it would be good for beginners… but alas. i’ve walked 2 or 3 of my friends through this ‘basic’ pattern. the only mistake i remember off the top of my head is a missing comma that is particularly confusing.

one of the local yarn stores in bc once mentioned the fact that the pattern is not very well written to the fleece artist people and they said something about west coast people just not knowing how to read patterns!!

granted, we are getting into the discussion of how much info one needs to have in a pattern. and it seems to be different when you’re a beginner and when you’re advanced. how much information do you give people? do you write all in knitting code, or do you hand hold a bit more? while just some numbers may do it for some people, others need a bit more chattiness, explanation, security. fleece artist is primarily a dye shop, not a pattern producer. fair enough. and i could navigate their pattern fine having knit socks before, although it was still irritating at times. ‘basic’ should probably not be a descriptor of this pattern. to me, just the actual typos – at least two of them – makes for a poorly written pattern. so buy the yarn (it is beautiful, eh?), don’t use the pattern. this picture is of some of their wool/silk roving that i spun up. mmmm.

fleece artist wool/silk

i know, i know. i have a book coming out and there will probably be a mistake right smack dab in front of you when you get it, although i truly hope not. on christmas eve i received my final proof of the book with most of the photos in place. now i’m off to do a final read through/review – so send good vibes my way so as to find all of those mistakes!

p.s. aren’t you impressed that i made it through this whole blog entry without even mentioning victorian lace today? PDF. can you even imagine intricate lace with a row wrong? ARRHGHGHrgh. i don’t know about the rest of you, but i’d have been willing to pay more for less errata on this one…