Our anniversary is coming? Know what I want? I’ll tell you what I want. Nothing material. 

Thanks to a nice end of the year and beginning of the year and the Covid relief aid, I want for nothing material. I have yarn in weights from 2-6 and I recently went on a splurge of hooks and needles – so I’m all good there. (I went crazy for Zing are hooks, double points and circulars.) Then I went a little crazy for Susan Bates Silverlume hooks with the black handle. Bummed I couldn’t get the hook in J. It will come in stock again and I shall try and snare it.

I didn’t forget that last post I talked about making a tank top and even showed you a square I was doing for it. I finished it. Turned out pretty nicely, too, if I say so myself. Turns out if is a pretty forgiving pattern as the four squares did not come out the same size.  I’m looking forward to making it in the dk weight cotton yarn I bought just for that purpose.

There are also some headbands that have been made. But there will be a little bit of a delay as I have had 2 orders (4 sales) and I have to get them out. Two of my bamboo cable scarves – which I will tell you about. The story is so cute. And a repeat customer who likes the lace slouchy hat. She ordered it in two more colors.

How could I want for something? Life is really good right now. The headbands and the tanks will go in the shop – and some hats, too. No, I’ll tell you what iI want. I want to express how grateful I am. For I am. Thank you God.

2020 be like, I ain’t leaving no one untouched. For me, I lost a friend in an officer involved shooting and we lost our nephew in a bad motorcycle accident. I’ve written about that nephew. He leaves behind four young children. 

There’s far too much to say and nothing to say about both those events. You can share things and then leave them alone.

Knitting has been done. Someone wanted to purchase a warm weather hat and they wanted it in the incredibly beautiful color purple. Look at it. Lush, rich and soft. The hat is made from Red Heart with Love in aubergine.

I’m looking at this color, and I am thinking cables. I need to make something with cables. I love this yarn – I love it better than I love this yarn by Hobby Lobby. It doesn’t have the color depths of ILTY and it costs $1 more but it has more yardage than ILTY and it is softer and fuller. Other than the two skeins I have, I don’t think I have a lot of it in the stash and there’s no reason for me to stock it. I have plenty of worsted weight solids but this is going on the list for the January yarn buy.

There are also some long stocking caps made and I think I have figured out how to take photos with my lightbox in the studio so I don’t have to try and cart all this stuff outside and work on the side of the building. 

 I think every one will be happy to see this year in the rear view. 2021 has to be better. Right? 2020 be like a very hard year.

There is never too much yarn. Even when I say there is. There really isn’t

This is part of my stash

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is too

stash 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

So is this:

stash 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep:

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s more at the house. You don’t see all that’s stuffed in the closet. I admire the way Ross and Crystal have their yarn rooms arranged. I just don’t want to do that because I don’t have the mindset to keep it that organized. I’m doing good to have the bins arranged the way I do in the studio. I’m gonna stay in my lane. There’s no need in trying to be something I ain’t and something I don’t want to be. It would be nice but it would not be me.

Even so, there’s never too much.

It’s time for me to buy yarn. I purchase yarn twice a year and I was hoping for Herrschners but the virus stalled their plans but a few friends and I are planning a road trip up there anyway. I am in search of a new basic yarn and it looks like I’ve selected this:

 

 

The road trip to Wisconsin is to pick this up. I may also pick up some other yarns while I’m there but that’s basically it. Maybe some Jeans yarn cuz that’s still my favorite yarn. I just made something from it that I will show to you.

I am also looking to replace the Sugarwheel and I still think that’s going to be with Cakes Blues from Ice Yarns.Ice Yarns may be replacing other Hobby Lobby yarns though the Premier site looks tasty.

Someone may have just  placed an order for some Universal yarn from that site. In the middle of writing this post. Not saying who. But if they did, they will be getting 10 skeins, 5 different colors and the price with shipping comes to $3.00 a ball for wool/acrylic blend pretty colors. Just sayin’. It could have happened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s June and this is the month my knitted dreams go a little wild. I purchase yarn twice a year (except when I need it for a specific order.) My last yarn haul was December, and I was looking forward to Herrschners sale this year. I contacted them a few months ago and they said they hadn’t decided what to do with their sale and they just put some stuff on clearance on their site. I’ve been eyeing the Ice Yarns, Paintbox and other sites looking over the fibers I want to have in my stash. I know very well most of what I buy will linger with the masses in the stash – the skeins I pulled last night have been there for 3 – 10 years. Their patience is being rewarded by sitting on my table and possibly finding their way to my needles. 

The yarns I pulled? Cascade Eco. The yarn continues but the color does not. And it is rare for me to have 100% wool but I have it and I think I have it in a brown color, too.

I Love This Yarn Sugarwheel in Gelatto’s My Motto. Hobby Lobby as a company has not been a favorite lately but I have a ton of their yarn and it makes me happy so I am going to use it even though it is likely I won’t be shopping there again. I imagine the Ice Yarn Cake Blues will sub just fine. That’s also why there is no link to the yarn

Barcelona by Loops and Threads. Sold exclusively at Michaels. This is a very lush and soft acrylic yarn.

Caron Big Cakes in Blueberry Torte. This is one of my favorites because it’s beautiful, soft and I get a lot of bang for the buck.

Finally, another Loops and Threads. This is Impeccable. This is their basic worsted weight yarn. I like it in a pinch for wearables but I am not making a wearable with this one.

 

 

 

What am I making? I will tell you in My Knitted Dreams, part 2.

I love Hayfield Colour Rich Chunky. I have a few skeins of it in I think three colors. It’s soft and squishy and I will get to review if this month because I am using it to make the Lacy Slouch hat. Here’s the thing: it’s discontinued. Can’t get more of it. Not even to be ripped off from EBay. No more of it. The closest I can find to sub for it is Premier Puzzle Yarn. But there’s nothing like the original one you find and I love the chunky stuff.

I started making the hat Saturday night after finishing the prayer shawl and yesterday morning right before I went downstairs, I thought that perhaps I shouldn’t continue making the hat with the Chunky. The colors weren’t lining up the right way for me and it would look a little too distracting because the marbling would look bad. Perhaps it would have been better if I frogged it and started over 

with a different yarn. Say, like this one. 

This skein, which happened to be right outside the 

office door, was ready to spring into action. I took the skein, went downstairs and picked up the hat, which was really nothing more yet than the brim, and prepared to frog. But then a strange thing happened. The chunky made a protest. I was hit with, wait, this doesn’t look so bad. Where did I get the idea this wouldn’t look good?

From the other skein, of course. Shenanigans. Yarn shenanigans. I don’t think I’ve ever run into it before. One skein of print yarn dissing another. That’s almost rude. I actually have the I Love This Yarn – Print in gray and black. I used it to make the Basic Beanie for this collection so I’ll be able to compare the two side by side. But I never expected to have a rogue skein that wasn’t in the same colorway want to Bogart in and replace a hat that’s already started. 

Of course now the question becomes: do I let the little bugger get away with it? Do I knit the next Lace Slouchy in the Strawberry Jam? It would look cute. It would stripe in those red and black shades. No denying it. But can we reward such behavior? Wouldn’t that encourage other skeins to put down their brethren? I want fiber tolerance. At the very least, the skein has gotten to come downstairs with the elite skeins.That could motivate others to follow.

There is only one Lace Slouchy in the next collection. I think a good consequence would be for the Strawberry Jam to sit that one out and we can discuss it again in collection 5. That’ll teach it.

I found myself taking a dive into my yarn stash. Remember I mentioned the yarn that is allowed in the living room and then the yarn that makes it to the chair. This is the yarn that made it to the chair.

There are some discontinued yarn – I miss the Hatfield Chunky. There are colors I didn’t know I would ever have. Can you say hello pink? Of the yarns I see clearly, I haven’t used any of them and I am on item 4/10. I also decided to use the same fiber for 4 that I used in 3.

It was fun picking this month’s elite yarns. I can purchase more yarn til December. That can be a pain the arse when there are so many good sales but discipline is nothing if it’s not used so taking a dive in the stash has to suffice.

There are some yarns that didn’t make the cut that are putting up a little fuss, but they are appeased with my idea for what they will be.

I help them see themselves as mittens and fingerless gloves. They like the idea. I like it when yarn and I can live in peace.

 

 

It surprises no one in Knitsville that people speak to their yarn. It should surprise no one that there is a habit of the yarn talking back. There’s no real point in speaking with yarn if it’s not going to engage in the conversation.

Sometimes yarn even starts first.

My yarn is (mostly) in my office. About half of it is caged (in bins) and the rest is free range (not in bins, might be in a bag, could be just hanging out.) There is not a day that goes by without one of them trying to get my attention and wanting out of the cage or off the range. They want to make it to the living room where the yarn in waiting is waiting.

I am allowed only one bin of yarn in the living room so Mr. Honey doesn’t feel as if his life has been taken over by fiber. It has been but he wants the illusion. So, there is one bin of yarn downstairs. One big bin and then there’s free range yarn down there as well. But that’s because I thought it would be easier than having more free range yarn in the office. Just keep whatever was down there down there. All 100 skeins of it.

It is all nicely piled up and from that, every month, I select at least 10 fibers to work on my collection. Those yarns are put into a bag and are resting at my work seat. (My mother-in law’s chair. She was quite the crafter.) That is the place all other yarns want to be. And they let me know it. Right now, there is a group of Homespun letting me know they’re ready to unite and become a prayer shawl and just this morning, a skein of Yarn Bee Sugar Wheel is telling me he would be ideal for that shawl design I have in mind. He would be. And while the Homespun will surely become a prayer shawl, the Sugar Wheel does not have such a guaranteed future. Did I mention there’s 100 skeins in the living room?

I have a great relationship with my yarn: it talks to me; I’m talking back. We can’t always get together but we don’t want to be apart. Some days, it works better than my relationships with people. 

 

Rainy Days in Knitsville

It’s raining today. It could be worse, it could be a few degrees cooler and we would be having snow. We’ve had enough snow. I’m not even complaining. Earlier this month, it was in the 40s and 50s and that definitely should not be happening in February in Chicago.

But a rainy day means no photography. We take our photographs outdoors here in Knitsville. Even in February. If it had been merely cold, I would have taken the WIP I have to show you and taken a photo outside. I could have shown you the shawl I’m working on – an original design.

I could have also showed you the poncho I am making for myself. First, I don’t make things for me. But this yarn – which happens to appear in the photograph – bottom left, is no longer made and the company is all out of it. There was nothing to do with the skeins I have and I purchased a pattern years ago for a granny square poncho. I am not, of course, following the pattern exactly but I am looking forward to wearing it.

I could show you the ten inch, wooden crochet hook that belonged to my mother-in-law probably made for her by her brother who was very good at that kind of woodwork.

I might have been tempted to show you my yarn haul. Back in November, I purchased yarn from JoAnn, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and Herrschner’s. A fair amount went to orders – I was very busy during the holidays – but a better chunk is here for future use. I wasn’t supposed to get any more yarn until May but I also received gift cards from JoAnn for my birthday and I had another yarn haul a few weeks ago because I needed two balls for two orders I had and Cat and I went to the big JoAnn store with a huge yarn selection and they were having a sale and…well, I know almost exactly what the yarn I bought will be used for so it won’t just sit there and be pretty. Besides, I did mention gift cards didn’t I?

The good news is, the poncho is going to take a while to get done. I’m only working on it in the office. The pattern will also get done and the final object will have to be recorded and the yarn haul isn’t going anywhere any time soon, so it too, can have it’s photo taken at another time.

So, we have Rainy Days in Knitsville. But the rain will go leaving behind a freshened earth and some flowers that are beginning to poke their heads up above ground.  A worthwhile trade off.

Visiting Knitsville – The Yarn Barn

There is a lovely place in Knitsville called The Yarn Barn. It is filled with fiber. Mostly acrylic but every once in a while there is a lovely wool blend, even some silk and camel’s hair. But mostly acrylic. It used to be quite organized but it no longer is. Marie Kondo would jump for joy at the sight of this room in our house.

I have more yarn than I can use in a year. I think I could go a couple or three years using one ball a day before I would run out. Even so, I still have to pull myself back from buying more.

I love the stuff. I like looking at and thinking of the possibilities. But even I know I have too much of a good thing. I have sold some of it and there is an idea running inside my head of doing a KonMari on the lot and bagging some of it up to sell at a craft show. I believe this is the year I will make that idea into a real thing. The craft show is already in the planning stages in my head.

Having this much fiber has also changed the way I will run my business. I am going to concentrate a great deal more on my Ready to Ship section so I will be buying only the fiber I need for those custom and made to order fibers. Right now, most of the shop is made to order and this year, I hope to make at least 25% of it Ready to Ship.

That satisfies on several levels: I won’t be buried in made to order orders and I will be able to use some of the yarn that has been looking at me from their cages. They will fulfill their destiny and become objects of art and usefulness. Isn’t that what we all want from life?

“Why do you have a cigarette lighter in your glove compartment?” her husband asked her. “I’m bored with knitting. I’ve taken up arson.” – Her Fearful Symmetry

DIY Knitting – The Joy of Doing it Yourself

I don’t know that I was bored when I first learned to knit. I know I was fascinated by it and really took to it. But I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know to change colors on the same side and gauge was a term unfamiliar to me. My fascination quickly died because I only had one lesson, learning to knit with pencils. I didn’t even know about the purl stitch. There was no YouTube so I’m not certain how I figured it out. 

Crochet, too, for that matter. Don’t remember when I learned it. I liked knitting better but I went without both, off and on, for almost thirty years after I learned in grade school.

The Eden Cap – Pattern available at designbcb

I picked it up almost fifteen years ago and it has let me go. We haven’t let go of each other . I knit or crochet at a career choice and I’ve gotten into designing pieces for beginner and advanced beginner knitters and crocheters. 

Opening the shop on Etsy was a necessity because there were too many items clogging up the house. Opening the shop did not solve the problem as there are still finished objects in the house. They are now joined by more than 800 skeins of yarn. Most of it in a 10×10 room of the house that also holds two desks, two bookcases, two computers and a laptop. Yarn is in every room of our house – including the garage and I’ve never knit in there.

There is something magical about all things made by hand. I admire people who can paint and draw. Those who have the gift of words and can pull together narratives and images in ink. I see some of the work of my fellow needle arts artisans and I am in awe.

The yarns are different that when I first learned and now they can do a great deal of the work by being self striping, having texture or mixing plies. There are some knitters who won’t work with acrylic yarn but I am not one to forego it. It is economical and has come a long way from the stiff, rough yarn that used to be commonplace. Today’s acrylics have softness, texture and beautiful colors.

Along with a huge stash of yarn, I have a collection of knitting needles and crochet hooks. Some come from the legacy left from my mother-in-law who crocheted and knit. None of her kids or grandkids have the knitting gene. Her needles are in the office in a couple of mugs. I don’t use them. They are part of the atmosphere.

I never would have imagined this would be my living and now I cannot imagine being without it. Knitting and crochet are cornerstones of my life and faith. Being able to do it as my work and as a way of connecting with the world is a bonus and a blessing. I am grateful every day.