yarn

Yarn Bowls

 

Looking for a last minute gift? This yarn bowl from Twig & Horn popped up on my Pinterest feed today and would make a fabulous holiday present. From the shop:

Yarn bowls are the solution to keeping your yarn from rolling away and falling to the farthest corner behind the sofa (where it inevitably falls in with the no-good dust bunny crowd). Guide fine- or heavy-gauge yarns down the slot to the opening, where it will stay safe and secure while you knit, yet ready to release the yarn without breaking if needed. Turned by hand in Maine from American birch, and finished with natural oils for protection. Each sturdy yet light bowl is unique—no two are alike.

I am a big fan of my own yarn bowl and use it all the time. Made from reclaimed ash and finished with a natural wax, mine is from Mountain Street Arts on Etsy (who doesn't appear to be selling them currently). I've compiled a short list of other Etsy yarn bowls at the bottom of this post.

My yarn bowl: The perfect size at 6 by 2 3/4 inches.

My yarn bowl: The perfect size at 6 by 2 3/4 inches.

Aran Weight Sweaters

 

Clockwise from left to right: 1. Wainwright by Bristol Ivy, 2. Dressage by Amy Miller, 3. Samantha by Amy Miller, 4. Parapluie by Hilary Smith Callis, 5. Golden Wheat Cardigan by Veera Välimäki

Now that Epistrophy is almost complete (I know! It's on the blocking board right now!), I'm getting ready to unravel my next sweater for Project No. 8. Unfortunately the aran weight pattern options in my Ravelry Library are rather minimal right now, but I've selected a few that I think might work. Now I just need to unravel, determine the yardage, wash, pick a pattern, and get to knitting!

 

In My Own Knitting Corner

 

My craft supplies, from my yarn and fabric stash to my knitting needles, have always dominated a good chunk of my home. In recent years that's meant the dresser top in Eric's and my bedroom. But now that we have our own place with a home office I've created a corner just for crafting. (Actually, my knitting stuff is everywhere, including the living room and our bedroom, but let's not get into that.) 

The truth is I rarely knit in this little corner as I prefer to work on projects in front of the TV or on the go. Still, I spend a good deal of time kneeling on the floor in front of my tools and notions brainstorming new and exciting projects. Having all my fabric and all my needles in one place is divine! Someday I'll hopefully pair down my stash enough to keep a basket of yarn by the chair too.

Where do you keep your craft supplies? Do you have a corner designated for tools and stashes or is everything everywhere? I'd love to hear about it!

 

Palmyre

 
Palmyre

Another day, another project! What a lovely pattern! Quick and oh so fun to knit up. I'll definitely be turning to it again come the December holidays.

Technically I have this bad boy listed as Project No. 6, but since I started/completed the shawl before picking up Project No. 5, it doesn't really feel like it. Oh well! May it be motivation to bang out Sibella!

A few comments on this yarn: First, what an incredible color. I wore the shawl at a retreat this weekend and received several compliments on this gorgeous shade of blue (and the lace edging). Depending on the light it has hints of purple and green. Lots of depth and richness to this color! Also, what fun to knit with 100% merino, something I haven't had the chance to do with a Better Sweater Project yet. Of course, I frogged one of my legit bought-the-yarn-in-a-yarn-shop sweaters so it feels a little like cheating. This experience will hopefully push me to search for better quality thrift store sweaters to frog in future.

I'll take more photos with my legit camera (after I finish blocking) in the next couple weeks to post to the projects page. Also, I have yarn to spare from this project so I think I'll knit an additional something something for No. 6!

 

The Not Much Better Sweater

 

Well, Better Sweater No. 5 is done but I'm not much pleased. Some projects just aren't meant to be. The facts were these: the yarn weight was hard to determine, the pattern was tough to find, and the project took forever to complete. Recognizing and accepting the facts, however, is hard. I should have broken up with this project a long time ago (like maybe when the yarn ran out)! I certainly didn't enjoy the process of knitting this sweater as much as I do normally.

Anyway, I finished what was going to be sweater No. 5 in my series yesterday. Sadly you won't find it on the home page...because I'm an anal perfectionist (redundant yet true) who isn't really satisfied with the finished look. I wish it was shorter, that the bottom edging was black (a statement that could only be made in hindsight), that the two yarn fibers were the same, and that the yarn used for the body was just better period (not so pilly, rough, and acyrlic-y).

Moral of the story: it's not always bad to cut your losses early and move on. Lesson hopefully learned!

ORIGINAL SWEATERS

  • Purchased from: Crossroads
  • Brand: MNG Suit // made in China
  • Yarn: 50% acrylic & 50% wool // cream beige
  • Knit gauge: 21 stitches per 4 inches // worsted weight
  • Purchased from: Old Navy
  • Brand: Old Navy // made in China
  • Yarn: 60% cotton & 40% acrylic // black
  • Knit gauge: 20 stitches per 4 inches // worsted weight

BETTER SWEATER

  • Pattern used: Uniform by Carrie Bostick Hoge

Here's the sweater in all its imperfect glory:

And here are the before pics:

I'm so excited to move on to some better knitting! New Better Sweater No. 5, here I come!

 

These Days No. 1

 

1. Nachos are the greatest, especially with fresh homemade pico de gallo and guacamole. I love California! // 2. Recently harvested yarn for Better Sweater No. 5. // 3. My knitting basket on my new rug. Yay pink!

And below is the song I've been listening to on repeat all week. Sylvan Esso, you da best.

 

Project Dilemmas: When the Yarn Runs Out

 

1. Madewell Journal Cardigan / 2. J.Crew Cashmere École / 3. J.Crew Collection Cashmere

Major project dilemmas, I should say! Turns out, I don't have enough yarn to complete the pattern I selected for Project No. 5. (This is what happens when you forget to measure your harvest. Let it be a lesson for us all!) But because I was on vacation with nothing else in my knitting basket, I decided to start anyway and then frog it later. The things I do to keep my hands busy!

Well, now that I've started I don't really want to stop! Even though I'm fully aware that I don't have enough of this color/ type of yarn to complete the project, I just don't know how to quit it. What do I do?

Here's what I'm thinking: color-block. This will be slightly more complicated than usual because not only do I need to find a complimentary color, I also need to locate a weight and texture that is similar to what I'm using now. This sweater could take some time to finish, folks!

(GIF Source Brokeback)

 

Other Projects

 

I have to admit: real yarn, like bought at a store made from gorgeous fiber yarn, has become less appealing as I march forward with the Better Sweater Project. While my wallet lets out a sigh of relief, my other knitting projects that aren't better sweaters are crying out for attention. One such project is my Woodland Shawl by Nicole Lohr. Last week for World Wide Knit in Public Day I asked my partner Eric to snap a few pictures of me, well, knitting in public. (And wearing my Better Sweater No. 3!) Since I was between better sweaters, my Woodland Shawl got a healthy dose of loving (at least 10 rows!) and I remembered how good it feels to knit with quality product! Don't get me wrong, I love my recycled yarn! Still, nothing quite compares to a cake of Malabrigo lace. Especially Malabrigo lace in Frank Ochre.

(That last one is a windy outtake that I kind of love!)