I Love Yarn Day

Though it might be every day for me, tomorrow is apparently “I Love Yarn Day”. According to the Craft Yarn Council, this day happens on the second Friday of October. They even have a website where you can find local celebrations. Most of these seem to come in the form of a flash mob. I have no idea what a yarn flash mob would be, but it does sound interesting.

They also suggest ways to celebrate on your own, such as knitting/crocheting in public, wearing something knit, gifting yarn, making things for charity, etc. Basically, do something yarny. And pretend that was a real word.

I will probably celebrate by looking at my current project

IMG_0961.JPG

as I walk past when getting up in the morning because I am spending my weekend up to my elbows in small children. But maybe I will get into the spirit by wearing a headband or barrette. Because, you know, it’s still 90° here like it’s not the second Friday of October.

My New Christmas Toy

That I got in the mail this week. I used a Christmas gift certificate to buy it, so technically it was a Christmas present.

This is a yarn swift. See, some yarn comes wrapped in circles called “skeins”. These are really obnoxious to wind into balls because they like to tangle in on themselves no matter how much you try to keep them lying flat. In steps the swift that holds the circle tight and spins around to keep the yarn untangled.

Working with the yarn winder and swift is fun. In fact, it is so much fun that I am planning to keep my “stash” yarns in skeins to wind them when I need them again. That and I read that it is more gentle on the yarns. When they sit around wound into balls it can stretch the yarn out and cause shrinking when you wash what you have knit. I tried to find where I read that, but I don’t feel like doing more than five minutes of research right now.

I can also mark down approximately how much yardage I have left by counting how many times I wrap the yarn around the “niddy-noddy” to make the skeins. Makes it much easier later to know what I can make out of the yarn.

The swift is supposed to go on the side of a table, but the desk in my room is larger than the opening at the bottom of the swift. However, it fits perfectly on the arm of my chair as you can see in the first picture. That does make it the perfect height to stand next to while winding the yarn.

Everyone has something that other people think is boring that they love doing. I also love licking envelopes. I actually like the taste of envelope glue. What random things do you get excited about doing that other people think are strange or boring?

Swatching Up A Storm

I’ve got to admit, I was not very good about swatching before starting a project for many years. Most likely because I was using cheap worsted weight acrylic yarn that doesn’t really change gauge much for so long that I didn’t think it was necessary. Using real yarn has taught me the value of doing a gauge swatch first. That and reading the book Custom Knits Accessories by Wendy Bernard. I rarely follow a pattern to the letter, so swatching is pretty important.

I’ve even started washing the swatches to see how the yarn does in a normal wash cycle, so I know whether or not it will be okay to wash the final product. Much better to find out that a small square shrinks than having an oddly misshapen hat or glove at the end of laundry day.

I’m casting on two projects this weekend:Starry Stole (swatch 1) and Zooey (swatch 2). I knit the swatches Wednesday, hand-washed them yesterday, and now I am ready to measure once more to be sure and cast on.

Oh, and my other swatch project is still going strong. Up to 297 out of 400 right now according to my Google+ Photo Album. Only 103 more to go.

A Jeweled Set

(I had hoped to have my pictures edited and uploaded by now, but that seems to be taking a bit longer than I thought. So here’s more crafts and hopefully I will have the pictures up on Wednesday. Friday at the latest.)

I have a friend who happens to love anything purple. I also tend to always have at least one project on the needles at all times. And I try to have that project with me wherever I go. So my friend who loves purple saw me constantly knitting away and requested a hat.

I had a pattern saved in my Ravelry queue from the giant hat project of last year that I knew would be perfect for this project: The Monarch Lyon Hat by Veronica O’Neil. I had a ton of this Caron Wintuk in Evening Jewels Ombre that I knew would be perfect.

Once I made the hat (and still had a ton of this yarn left over), my mom reminded me that my friend also really loves leg warmers. I had just gotten a book with a pattern for a pair of really cute leg warmers, so I decided to try out that pattern as well.

They make a really great set, eh?

I wanted them to be a surprise, so I set them on her doorstep one day after church. I wanted to be sure she knew what they were, so I made little labels for them with washing instructions and everything. Including a brand new logo:

Carrying on with my recent stamp carving obsession, I made myself a stamp. I had been trying to com up with something to make another stamp for, and this time I got a softer material, more like the rubber stamps you buy in the store, or the rubber on the bottom of a pair of sneakers. Much easier to cut into.

Wrapping Up Warming Up For Christmas

Warming up for Christmas

Last July-ish I gave myself a goal of making hats for the women at Elizabeth House. I did end up making enough for the women living in both houses, though I had hoped to make more and have extras. That didn’t work because I got distracted, possibly a little bored, and tied up in some other projects. But, like I said, at least I made nine sets (adult, child, and infant).

Here’s the end result of this project:

Adult Hats

Adult Hats

Child Hats

Child Hats

Infant Hats

Infant Hats

They got distributed in Christmas bags to the residents.

I didn’t keep up with the project as well as I had hoped, and I didn’t work at the pace I originally expected. I don’t think I’m going to do something like that again. Too much stress to put on myself when I was also trying to make Christmas presents, working extra hours with a new baby, and just generally busy with the holidays. From now on, I think I’ll stick to donating to projects headed by others so it’s not all resting on me.

Springtime Gloves

 

I have a slight obsession with gloves and socks. As in, I own way more of each than I could wear in six months. I also wear gloves way past when it is too warm to do so.

These gloves technically combine both of my favorite things. They are knit with sock yarn, making them light enough to continue wearing when it starts getting warm but your hands are too cold.

The fingerless style makes them great for working on the computer, knitting, or using your smartphone. Anything that requires the use of your fingers.

What is your favorite type of accessory?

Let’s Get Dressed Up – One Skein Shrug, Part 2

I mentioned before in the “One Skein Knit Shrug” post that my mom had already requested a second, fancier shrug for a gala she had for work. Like the first one I made, I had this one mostly finished before having to rip it out and start again. This time I had managed to get six stitches off on one sleeve, and I have absolutely no idea how I did that.

After starting over (using my new, semi-fancy row counter app – Knit Counter Lite. There’s a paid version, but I’m broke and this one works pretty well.) I managed to finish it just in time for the gala.

I used a combination of Vanna’s Glamour in Platinum (150) and Bernat Boa in Royal Blue (46208). I added the Boa every three rows to make the silver show through.

What do you think of how it turned out? What should I make next?