November 23, 2011

Holiday Yarn Sale!





So I've decided to have a sale just in time for the holidays.  If you visit my Etsy shop, today through midnight Saturday, enter the coupon code KNITMAS during checkout and save 20% off of your entire order--including off of already on sale Rocket Sock! With Christmas just around the corner, it's time to get knitting!


Here are just a few of the fantastic skeins in the shop:







There are gorgeous handspun skeins, too! Here are just a few:







November 21, 2011

Masterpiece Monday: Mittens Accomplished!

Ta-dah!  Rocket's Christmas mittens are complete!  They were less difficult than I expected and I think that they turned out pretty well; the thumb on one seems a little shorter than the other one, the stitch count is the same.


I think there is enough left for a hat, so I cast on yesterday in secret and will just see how things play out.

 
I don't think there will be enough left for a scarf, but if Rocket actually wears them more than once, at least I'll have some backup in case mending needs to be done.  That's probably wishful thinking, that they'll be worn until they are worn through--likely one will be lost in the under-the-bed abyss and the other one will accidentally go through the dryer and be fit for Barbie.  That's about how we roll around here.

I also cast on for a chullo for Scout #1 who, after I had already purchased a pattern that turned out to be a bit loopy in the realistic directions department and spent $25 bucks on yarn that he picked out himself and had re-knit the darned ear flaps into a loop for the hat portion about 4 times, tells me that he really liked that one at REI and we should just go there.  Ahhhhh, memories!


Well, I spent pretty much 4 hours on Sunday night trying to put the fair isle pattern that he wants into the hat.  For normal people who can multiply and divide, this is not a 4-hour endeavor; for me, it's a 4-hour endeavor.  But, I finally got it and am about to start the 4th row of the snowflake (looks like a poinsettia to me, which means he's going to have red flowers on his manly hat, but let's just keep that joke between us girls).

Honey's sweater hit a little snag.  I got all the way to the row (22 inches of fabric knitted expertly and evenly after having to frog it completely three times) where you begin binding off for the shawl collar and the arm pits and realized that I have been knitting the darned thing one size smaller than I originally thought.  NOT to worry, though!  This I can fix with a little side-panel magic and it will look just like it was supposed to be that way.  That's really not the snag I'm talking about, though I about collapsed when I realized that I had knit the darned front three inches smaller in width than I thought.  The snag is that, apparently, the Scandinavians who do the technical math for Drops and who came up with the published pattern for this sweater can't actually do math any better than I can.  In reality, I can apparently add and subtract better than they can--and this makes me feel a little less stupid about some pattern corrections that I've had to make lately for my own published patterns.  Apparently, someone miscounted and not by a few stitches at the Drops offices.  Using the Drops math, I had about 26 extra stitches just laying around at the end of my row when I went to cast off for the collar.  That's a lot of stitches.  I believe that I have corrected the math, and the pattern is pretty simple otherwise; I'm hoping that I don't get the whole thing done and then I can't make the shawl collar fit but we'll cross that bridge later.  Meanwhile, this manly sweater is currently beginning to take on a tank-top appearance, which I think is kind of amusing. 

November 13, 2011

WIP: New Sweater on the Needles

There's never a free moment when I am not A) working for the Zibeline Knits Etsy Shop, B) doing household chores, C) being the activities director/Girl Scout leader, or D) KNITTING!  Of course, I prefer the latter, and most evenings and all car trips you will find me knitting.  That means that I usually have about 27 projects going at the same time.  In the midst of Christmas knitting and my needing to fill custom orders for cowls, gloves, and mittens right now, Honey asked me to knit a shawl-collared sweater for him.  Hmmm.  I was a little daunted by the task and had to frog the front piece three times; but after I realized that European men are significantly smaller than my 6'2" Honey, and that I was just going to have to adapt the Drops pattern that I wanted to use to fit an American man, the knitting has progressed very nicely.  Right now, I'm just two inches from the underarms and the bottom of the collar.  I'm not too keen on having to knit 5 separate pieces and sew them together, as I hate seaming (really HATE seaming!) and go to great lengths to avoid patterns that call for it; however, there are not too many shawl collar patterns out there to choose from folks.  Here's how it's looking:


The yarn is a worsted weight merino that I hand painted in olive, spruce, and rust.  It's knitting up in a nice jewel tone.  Very manly colors.  The purpose of this sweater is not to hide my Honey in the woods while he shoots unsuspecting animals; rather, it's for cold-weather camping and hiking across mountain tops with Boy Scouts.  Those annual December and January camp-outs in below-freezing temps are fast approaching; so I hope to have this done by Honey's birthday in mid-December.  Here's what the finished product should look like:




November 11, 2011

Introducing My Newsletter!

I've finally stumbled upon a way to create a newsletter for my Etsy shop that visitors and customers can subscribe to.  It's pretty nifty, and I'm pretty pleased with how swell it looks and works.  So, beginning this month, I will be able to send out a bi-monthly newsletter to update subscribers about new yarns in the shop and to offer special discounts and coupons.  Interested in subscribing?  Just click on the link below and sign up on the super short and non-intrusive subscription form. You will also be able to subscribe from my Facebook page and from my Etsy shop.  And, thanks again for stopping by to visit me via my blog!



November 04, 2011

A Wonderful Week of Knitting!


      Although I have been bitten by the flu bug this week, and have felt down-right pitiful and unmotivated to do anything but knit and lay around, all that time to be an invalid gave me the opportunity to make some really good progress on the project list.  I also want to remind everyone that, if you are in the market for a little sock yarn, I'm having a 20% off sale on all of my Rocket Sock collection at my Etsy shop.  So here's the run-down.

Honey has a new motorcycle cowl:



I have a new candle flame cowl for me done in my handspun Corriedale in Butternut (yarn is also available for purchase in the Etsy shop):



Judy got shoes:


And the first of two mittens for Rocket for Christmas has been completed in a two-ply hand painted & hand spun squishy superwash merino that I spun up this past summer for her.  It's been long enough that she has forgotten about the yarn, so I am hoping that the mittens and their accompanying hat--maybe there's enough for a scarf, too--will be a nice Christmas surprise.  I couldn't be more pleased about how this two-ply is knitting up!



So here's how the list for 2011 is looking:

sweater for me (elsebeth lavold Christmas present skeins)
medium Sportsman test gloves
large Sportsman test gloves
extra-large Sportsman test gloves
2 sweaters for Rocket (1 done)
1 pair of gloves for Scout 2
that gorgeous blackberry cabled cowl sweater for me
Swing for my mom
Autumn Leaves beret
Buttercup beret
socks, socks, socks! (Groovy; waterfall; monkey socks)
Reconstruction Sweater (sleeves not yet done)
cowl for a friend 
another pair of Elegy gloves for me (in progress)
80s Shrug (hibernating)
cabled cardigan (hibernating)
yellow Swing
Macrame Vest (hibernating)
cowl for Honey (times 2!)
black cherry wool/silk cowl
Miscellaneous cowls for me (2 done so far, but there's still that Possum yarn to knit!)
Mittens & Hat for Rocket
Rocket's Birthday Doll (Judy)
Fair Isle Hat for Scout #1
Christmas Slouch for gift
Christmas Candle Flame Scarf for gift
Candle Flame Scarf for my mom


There's how many weeks until the new year?!

November 01, 2011

Sock-tastic Yarn Sale!

'Tis the season to be knitting socks!  To celebrate the onset of sock season and to help clear way for winter colorways, all Rocket Sock skeins are 20% off through November 7th!  If you have previously purchased from me and have a 15% off coupon, go ahead and use that too!  The prices have already been reduced for the sale, so all you have to do is hit the "add to cart" button.  Here are a few of the skeins that are waiting for you to snatch them up and make them into some cozy winter socks:





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