February 22, 2013

So honored to be selected!

I haven't been to Ravelry quite as often as I should in the last week or so.  If I had stopped by last week I would have noticed that my Cardita Baby Cardigan pattern was featured (there it is, first one in the list and published on the home page!!!!) by Ravelry as a patterns highlight suggestion for Ravelers.  Woohooo!  I feel truly honored to have had a pattern chosen from the gazillion available for the Ravelry home page! I've included a screen shot here just because I'm so totally thrilled!

So log in to Ravelry right now and check it out while I do a little happy dance!

February 18, 2013

Project Update: Alpaca Socks & Lila Scarf

The weekend was kind of a bust in terms of my expectations for the Carolina Alpaca Celebration, which I attended as a vendor this past weekend.  Let's suffice to say that if I didn't have bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all.  I drove over 400 miles with my beautiful hand-dyed alpaca yarns only to be stuck in the far back corner against a wall of doors that were constantly being opened in 35 degree F. weather because people needed to stand with the door open to use their cell phones (we wore coats, gloves, and scarves in the booth all day on Saturday).  And then there was the 3 inches of wet, icey snow that fell on Saturday afternoon and created a white-out ...  This is what happens when a completely new group of organizers have replaced the experienced organizers.  I did meet some extremely nice people, though, and learned a gazillion new things about raising alpaca (one step closer to the dream!).

And I did manage to get some knitting time--about 8 hours of it on Saturday and about 4 on Sunday--and the result was a finished pair of socks in my new Paca Toes alpaca/angora sock yarn (stonewashed colorway) and half of a Lila scarf in Cielo Sport (wheat colorway).

Cabled Socks in Paca Toes

Lila in Cielo Sport

 The nifty thing is that, as far as the socks are concerned, this is the first pair of socks that I have knit without having to look at a pattern.  I just sat down and knit them sans references.  So that means that there isn't a pattern, but I did write down a sketch of what I was doing so I may have some free time to jot down a pattern and post it with my other freebies at some point in the next week or so.

I hope your weekend was productive, knit-wise, too! 

February 12, 2013

Pattern Post: Cardita is up!

Cardita, the seamless, top-down baby cardi that I have been mentioning for about the last six months is finally available all over the internet!

The pattern is a pdf download, so when purchased it is emailed to you and is yours to print or not.  The pdf is viewable on all systems, including the Ipad.  It is sized according to chest size, rather than clothing size, because we all know how frustrating it is to finish a garment for a baby and then have the baby grow out of it after one wearing.  It is designed to fit ages 0-18 months and is a very quick knit in worsted weight yarn.

The sweaters in the picture, one for each size, are knit with Knit Picks Brava worsted acrylic, but you could easily substitute any worsted weight yarn.  As a matter of a fact, I was just contemplating knitting it in a worsted pastel alpaca, which would really jazz up the seashell lace on the sleeves and the body.

Anywhoooo ... this pattern is now available here (see right sidebar; click on picture), on Etsy, on Ravelry, and on Knit Picks.  Many thanks to the Knit Picks team for the photos!

February 01, 2013

Hooray for February!

It's definitely been a month since my last post.  January came in like a cyclone and turned my entire world upside-down!  Between being victimized by bank fraud and credit card fraud and having my business financially paralyzed for the first three weeks of the year, I've not really had either the time or the inclination to say nice things on or about the Internet.  But that's all done with and February is finally here.  Hooray!

Since stress requires coping knitting, I do have a finished object or two to show off.  First, I finally finished the behemoth Dawg blanket (1.7 miles of bulky weight yarn!), complete with embroidered lettering:

I think this will be my last afghan for years to come.  Lesson learned:  if you are going to embroider a knit blanket, acrylic is the last fiber that you want to interact with.  What a slippery nightmare!

Just in time for my birthday, my Aunt Bee socks were finished.  In my excitement to cast on with this new colorway, I didn't take the time to start both socks as the same point in the dye pattern, and I probably should have increased my stitches.  (I used a US 2 with 64 stitches and probably should have gone with 72 to accommodate the needle size.)  These pretty socks are a bit snug at first wear, but will hopefully loosen a bit with washing.  I did a simple rib pattern with these and tried a new heel that I had never attempted before, the garter stitch short row heel.  It was super simple and fast, but I am not fond of the little hole left on one side of each sock and will definitely have to make some changes to the pattern that I used if I knit this type of heel again.

In Etsy shop news, there's going to be a new sock yarn in the shop beginning February 18th:  PACA TOESPaca Toes is a 60% alpaca/25% wool/3% angora/12% nylon blend that is a bit heavier than Rocket Sock and a wee bit fuzzy.  I've been working up some cabled socks in it and absolutely love it!  Unlike Alpaca Sox from Classic Elite, the plies of my yarn do not separate as you knit them.  I thought I would lose my mind knitting with Alpaca Sox and was sure that there had to be a supplier out there who could offer me a better grade of yarn and a better knitting experience.  AND I FOUND IT! This is definitely a girly sock blend, perfect for people who enjoy a little heavier weight and warmth to their socks than traditional superwash merino.  The colorways are still under consideration, but the test knit looks like this:

Of course, I've been working on a few other things during the month of January, like PACA BITZ, a smaller skein of pre-wound baby alpaca that is perfect for small projects like mittens and gloves and baby wear.  Arriving around February 20th will be four new colorways of Rocket Sock, too:  Seaside, Aunt Bee, Freesia, and Snowbells.

And did I mention I am having a sale?  All Anya, Mistral, and Lots O'llama is on sale this week for 20% off (prices already reduced in the listing).  These labels and a few others (Tibet, Belle Ewe, and possibly Gypsy) will be leaving my stock for good over the next few months.  I've decided to refocus my attentions on more colorways and fewer fiber varieties.  So, if there's something in the shop in these labels that you've had your eye on, now's the time to snap it up!  Especially since the Postal Service has raised both domestic and international shipping and I will, later this month, have to raise mine a bit to accommodate these new changes.

Happy knitting (and February) to all!


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