Dale & Dolly – Taming the Stash Pt. 5

Tuesday Funnies!

“Dale and Dolly” is the collaborative work of The Bookworm and I. After I sketch out my idea in goofy little stick figures and scrawled lines of dialog, I hand it over to my twelve year old daughter who works her magic. Her attention to detail and sense of humor make this comic strip what it is and I give her all the credit for this amazing series.  

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Dale & Dolly – Taming the Stash Pt. 4

Tuesday Funnies!

“Dale and Dolly” is the collaborative work of The Bookworm and I. After I sketch out my idea in goofy little stick figures and scrawled lines of dialog, I hand it over to my twelve year old daughter who works her magic. Her attention to detail and sense of humor make this comic strip what it is and I give her all the credit for this amazing series.  

Falling in Love (With Wool)

I confess that when the July fiber from the Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club arrived in my mail box, I was a little underwhelmed. The muted earth tones were a huge departure from the bright and happy rainbows that I had been spinning of late and my gut reaction was, “eh”.

But as I held it in my hands and sniffed it and experienced it the way that a spinner will do, I started to fall in love. Not all at once in a Disney princess sort of way, but a little bit at a time. I started to envision the yarn that it would be, and I warmed up a little. Then I started spinning.

This is a new fiber for me, a Portuguese Merino, and it took some getting used to. It is a little sticky, and it wanted to clump up. I had to treadle so slowly in order to allow my fingers to learn how to draft it. But soon I got the hang of it and started to notice it’s bouncy, springy nature and the way that it clung to itself, wanting to be yarn. And my warm feelings grew.

Then, there was the way that the colors were working out. At first glance I had noticed that it seemed to start lighter at one end and then get darker, ending in a rich brown. I decided to spin it like that, from the creamy green to the twiggy brown. As the colors slowly melted into one another and a gradient yarn began to take shape, my like blossomed into love.

As I wound the finished yarn onto my niddy-noddy, I saw how smooth and perfect the yarn had become, even though I thought that I was failing the entire time. I expected it to be bumpy and uneven, but I was so wrong. The love I had for it was deepening.

The bath only made it more perfect, and now that it is all twisted up into a hank, I am officially head-over-heels in love with it.

Okay, I know it is not perfect. I can see the flaws, too. But I love it nonetheless.

And I have a feeling that when I knit it up, it is going to be amazing!

Dale & Dolly – Taming the Stash Part 2

Tuesday Funnies!

 

“Dale and Dolly” is the collaborative work of The Bookworm and I. After I sketch out my idea in goofy little stick figures and scrawled lines of dialog, I hand it over to my twelve year old daughter who works her magic. Her attention to detail and sense of humor make this comic strip what it is and I give her all the credit for this amazing series.  

The Ultimate, Super Awesome, Amazing Knitting Needle Case of Glory

It was elusive, this idea rolling around in my head. How to best store my vast and growing collection of knitting needles? I spent lots of money, sewed lots of prototypes, recruited household items (vases, baskets, and the like), and yet I find myself always rummaging around, always digging and ransacking and pillaging, but never finding the needle that I need.

Then, lightbulb! I realized that I was going about it all wrong. Why do I have my needles separated according to type and brand? When I what I really need is to sort them according to size. When I want a size six needle for a project, it is silly that I have to get out five different needle rolls to see what I even have available? Knit Picks nickle interchangeable is always my first pick, but if there isn’t a six in there, then out comes my Hiya Hiya set. Nope, no six in there. Well, maybe a fixed circular in a different case. No. Well, do I at least have a set of six DPNs? Those are in yet another roll. Ridiculous! No wonder it takes me forever to find anything.

So, I did a few sketches, thought about my idea for a few days more and then started sewing. Wanna see the Ultimate, Super Awesome, Amazing Knitting Needle Case of Glory? Well, here you go!

Each size needle from 3 to 10 has it’s own folder, and each folder is labeled on the top.

There is one folder for larger needles that I rarely use and don’t have many of and I am going to make a folder for 2’s and smaller. It is going to be different than these that I am showing you now, with smaller pockets and more rows.

Okay, so each folder looks like this

 

and snaps closed at two points.

Inside, there are pockets for every needle that I have in that given size, shown here size 8.

 

A place for everything, from my ten inch straights, fixed circulars, and DPNs, to all of the tips for the interchangeable sets.

I am thinking about one single folder for all of the cables, end caps, and other interchangeable parts as well. Either that, or collecting them and putting cables for each set in with every size. We’ll see how user friendly it is so far.

So there it is. I am really excited about it and want to cast on new projects just to see how easy it is to find the needles to do so! Pretty ultimate, super awesome, and amazing, right?

 

Knitting Knecklace

See what I made?

Wanna make one, too? Here’s how I did it. (If you want to just buy one, I got the idea here. Mine are not as dainty and elegant as the ones in this Etsy shop. Drool city, I tell you!)

This necklace takes only one yard of laceweight yarn, two brass ring stitch markers and a necklace chain. You will need scissors, pliers and cutters (I used my leatherman), and two tapestry needles (or skinny DPNs or something).

First, I made a teeny, tiny skein with one yard of yarn. Wrapping it around four fingers (slightly spread apart) seemed to give me the right size. I used the needles to hold it while I twisted the loop into a skein.

And finished it off with this little manuever.

(That looks like the yarn is thread through the eye, but it isn’t. I just used the end of the needle to pull the one end of the skien through the other)

Next, I cut my chain in half. My chain was a little long, so I actually cut about an inch out of the middle.

Using the pliers, I then opened the brass ring and thread it through one end of the skien and one end of the chain. Then I bent it shut.

After repeating that last step on the other side, I put on my new necklace delightedly.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Yarn used was Knit Picks Shimmer Hand Dyed in Elderberry; brass rings were from Knit Picks also, found here (mine were used and so no longer look brassy, but have faded into a more silvery look); necklace chain was found in my jewelry box (no link… haha!)

Stash Enhancement on a Monthly Basis

I am a sucker for subscriptions. In the past I have had subscriptions for coffee, tea, history books, children’s books, homeschooling curriculum, movies, music, and anything else I could subscribe to. I love getting packages in the mail – it is like getting gifts on a regular basis (even though I know I am paying for them). So, it is only obvious that I should, being the fiberholic that I am, subscribe to yarn, too.

Family Pendragon Yarns has a large selection of clubs to choose from and I had a hard time choosing just one. So I chose two. The fiber for April is called “Miss Giraffe” and I got the 80/20 merino superwash/silk top. It is positively scrumptious.

Like I said, I couldn’t choose just one, so I am also subscribed to a yarn club of the same-

That is 70/30 merino/sea silk in DK weight in Miss Giraffe with 2 oz of violet trim. Yum

I also subscribed to Mosaic Moon‘s fiber club. The April shipment is called Blue Louvre and is a 75/25 BFL/Silk roving.

Yep, I love subscriptions. And yarn clubs are the best kind!

Randomly Speaking

A few thoughts –

1. I knit this adorable little something but I can only show you a tiny peek. My niece is turning one this weekend and I have a lovely gift made just for her. I can’t wait to give it to her. And now all my girls want one, too (it always works that way, you know).

I’ll show you more later.

2. “Mama,” The Boy said to me the other day, “I know you already know this, but I just can’t believe it. Anneli is your sister, but that is just too crazy because she is so young and you are so old!”

3. I found a use for this.

Handmaiden Casbah in Blackberry

I am making some super simple, extra lovely socks for myself. I am halfway through the second sock and will be wearing them in no time. I can’t wait! This yarn is definitely my new favorite. It is fabulous!

4. I have more yarn on the way. I have to say that Eat. Sleep. Knit has an amazingly genius business strategy and I keep getting sucked back in. I make an order, and with it comes a lotto ticket worth five dollars. I save up a few of these and mail them in. The $15 credit calls to me day after day. I dream about my free yarn (what will I choose?). I let it linger and ferment in my brain until one day, at long last, I go on a shopping spree and buy all the yarn!!!! I need $75 to get free shipping! I need 1200 yards to get to the next marathon milestone! I need the odd skien of _____ just because it is worth 200% for the marathon! I got off easy this time (I will show you what I got as soon as it arrives). But we all know that in that box that is on it’s way is another yarn lotto ticket waiting to start it all over again. Genius, I tell you. Those folks are geniuses!

5. It is cold in my house. Sunny and warm outside, but I am freezing. Time to go sit in the sun. And knit. In the sun. Oh, yeah.

6. One more thing. This blog will be turning two years old on April 8th! It’s party time all next week. But more on that later….

Fibery Goodness

Cosymakes Falkland Fiber Club, March 2012 “Fresh”

Family Pendragon Mystic MCN, “Inner Wild”

Corriedale from Wildcard Fiber Arts, natural

Looks like my spindle is going to be busy for awhile. As a matter of a fact, I don’t even want to knit with all these luscious wools calling to me from the stash cabinet.

Oh, and check this out. This is totally cool.

When I told Kaylan at Wildcard Fiber Arts that I was a beginner and didn’t know much about the various spinning fibers available, she graciously sent a bunch of little samples to me. I have been fondling and sniffing and playing. This little bunch of bits is just the coolest thing and it perfectly compliments my current night time reading.

I am usually a very fast reader, but I am taking this book slowly. There is so much information packed in and I know almost nothing going in so it is a little overwhelming. But I am learning and loving it.

Oh, and there is knitting happening here, too. More on that tomorrow!