Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day: Honeycomb Wrap

Happy Earth Day to all!  I'm sure we all to do our best to reduce, reuse and recycle in our everyday lives and for me, I carry this into my knitting as well!  I'm excited to announce my new Honeycomb Wrap pattern!  It can be purchased here on Ravelry.

This wrap has been made with 100% recycled cashmere/merino yarn.  I do love to knit with recycled yarn but cashmere is such a treat!

It's a lightweight wrap perfect for cooler Spring & Summer nights.  

I love the simple & elegant design of this stitch.  It reminds me of a bee hive hence the Honeycomb name. It can be dressed it up or down use it as a wrap or a scarf.  Very versatile piece to add to you wardrobe!

The wrap looks more daunting than it is to knit.  If you are comfortable with Kf&b of the same stitch and basic increases and decreases you are good to go!  As always, I am here for pattern support and I do respond very quickly most days.  I know what it's be stuck...

What have you made with recycled yarn?  I'd love to see them.

You can do this!  Have a great Earth Day my knitting friends!

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Little Bit of Organization...

A little bit of yarn organization goes a long way.  Over the years I have knit with a lot of different yarn brands, colors and fibers and I can't tell you how many times I wish I wrote down the yarn brand or saved the yarn info label thingy.   I used to tell myself, "oh, I'll remember, I love this yarn, shade, whatever"  but undoubtably I usually forget it.   Then I dive into my scraps to see if I can find the last little bit to match the color.  It's very frustrating.

One day, while browsing Pinterest, I came across this great idea and I though I'd share it with you today.  The blogger, Passion for Knitting, created a binder just for her yarn.  She also included a link for the printable yarn organization sheet here.  It's the best thing since sliced bread!  Really it is. :)

I created a very large binder and a place to throw all of my yarn labels, along with a small sample, into until I have the time to sit down and add them to the binder.  Now when I have to look up a color or yarn brand, I go to the binder and everything I need is in one neat place.  It is such a simple idea and I wonder why I never thought of this myself.  However, I am so glad to have found it.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Knit for Moi.

After yesterday's debacle, I decided last night to give designing a rest for a couple of days.  I need my mind to clear and then start anew.   However, since I was not in a great mood last night I decided to go all out rebel with my next project - Aise.

Gorgeous right?  Yeah, I know.  While this pattern is right up my alley design wise, it's completely opposite of what I normally knit.  First, I'm making it in HOT pink cashmere people.  HOT pink.  I hate pink.  I don't wear it, I hate to knit with it but it came with 3 cones of gray which I do love.   

Next, it's lace.  My last lace project landed in the trash.  Yes, I said it, I threw the damn thing out which I never did before or since.  It was a tangled mess and every time I saw it I wanted to cringe.   So out it went.  You also need really pointy tips to knit anything lace.  My last lace project was attempted with Knit Picks aluminum which were not pointy at all and they failed big time.  Each stitch was a pain to pick up.  Now I have my Red Lace Chi's which are much pointier.

Finally, knitting lace is akin to knitting dental floss or thread with 2 number 2 pencils.   Completely slow and very frustrating.  The yarn is so thin, sometimes it splits and I tend to make more mistakes than usual.  These mistakes are not so easy to fix and are easily noticed.  Sigh.  

So there you have it.  I am going against all my normal knitting instincts and so far so good.  I'm really enjoying it so far.  It's simple and mindless. It keeps my attention just enough because I have to concentrate on not messing up.

Have you ever knit something out of your knitting box?  I'd love to hear your stories.

Knit on with confidence my friends.  Knit on!

Friday, March 20, 2015

So frustrated

One of the many things on my knitting to do list this year is to design more knitted goodies but man I'm having a tough time.  I don't remember it being this hard.  You see I'm so indecisive these days.  I'll research for hours finally finding that thing or stitch that inspires and then I have to choose the yarn which also takes me forever.  Why? I have no idea!  I am one of those knitters where the yarn has to speak to me and tell me what it wants to become.  Crazy yes!  After I find, what I think is the perfect yarn, I swatch and I'm hating the swatches.   It's too bulky, there isn't enough stitch definition, the color is wrong, the stitch doesn't match the color or yarn, insert excuse here ____________.  I'm about to throw I my sticks for a few days.  Seriously!  (Only the designing sticks not knitting altogether because that would be just crazy zyyy!)

Whoever said designing is easy is nuts!  There is so much more involved than choosing a pattern and yarn.  So much more.  Well, at least for me.  It's an arduous process somedays and super frustrating even BEFORE I start knitting.  So many decisions have to be made and I'm letting my brain get the best of me.   I'm over thinking this and I have no idea how to stop myself.   Self. Stop. Please. Stop. Ughh.  

I'm sure most designers, me included, are trying to make something new, something different something exciting that hasn't been used before or in this certain way.  No one sets out wanting to make something that's just okay.  The pressure of it all, the decisions has made me batty.  I feel like the whole day has been wasted. Well, if I look on the bright side, I have a few design ideas to cross of my list and only a million more to go.  

Throwing in my sticks for today and taking a step back.  I hope everyone is having a better knitting day than I am. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

How to Make Knitting Charts

I've been putting this off for years people, years but it's time for me to teach myself how to make a damn chart.  I read them, I use them but I don't write them.  They are very intimidating to me for some reason.  I get all scared and just write the pattern instead.  Well not anymore. I am going to conquer this the once and for all.

I spent the better part of yesterday watching YouTube and all the wonderful tutorials on how to create knitting charts using excel.  They were simple and straight forward for the most part.  I started the day optimistic and feeling better about the whole thing.  I managed to make a chart with the right amount of rows and columns, make them all the right size and number each row.  Easy peasy right?  Great, now comes the hard part, filling in the knitting symbols.  The video just went to fonts scrolled down to knitting symbols font and started typing away.  So I paused the video, went to fonts, scrolled down to look for knitting symbols and it's not there.  Not there? That's where EVERYTHING went wrong.

My next stop, of course, was Google, where I searched for knitting fonts.  Google quickly returned a couple of results but only one free font was active. (Knitter's Symbols Fonts by David Xenakis) and it wasn't the one that I needed.  I took a look and downloaded it anyway maybe I could make it work.  Phew problem solved ahhhh nope.  You see I need symbols for cables and the ones included in this font list were not the ones that I needed.  By this point I'm totally frustrated.  I could have had the damn chart done already if I didn't have to search and search for the knitting fonts that I needed.  I took a 10 minute break.

Back to Google where I did find and it looked good and had great reviews but it's £60 which is about $110 in the US.  Sorry don't have the funds to spend on this right now.  Back to square one.  I look at the clock and 5 hours has gone by.  5 hours wasted as far as I concerned.  I have nearly given up at this point and back to Google.   

This is where I found the Knitting Chart Maker app in iTunes.  Where have you been all day, where????  Grabbed my iPad and downloaded the free version.  OMG they have the cable symbols that I need.  It's a miracle and I have renewed my faith.  It's easy to use and it's only $4.
  Happy Dancedancing smiley emoticon

iPhone Screenshot 1

Now that I've had a good nights rest Im ready to conquer my chart knitting fear.  Wish me luck because I'm going to need it.  Big time.

Knit on my friends...knit on and conquer!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Allium Fingerless Gloves Pattern

I have a few new patterns that I will be releasing this year and I'm really excited to share my new Allium Fingerless Gloves pattern with you.  It has just emerged from the testing process and it's ready to go.  So without further adeu, drum roll please lol

 What do you think?  

I just love them!  I know I'm biased but they are too cute!  How did I come up with this design, you ask?  During a particularly long and brutally cold winter, I needed something to remind me that it's almost over.  These gloves were inspired by ont of my favorite flowers - Allium.

They are from the onion family and the garlic family.   They bloom in late Spring and each bloom lasts for weeks.  Easy to care for and very undemanding what's not to love?  They are the perfect shade of purple and round in shape.  Adorable and beautiful and I cant get enough.  Okay back to the pattern

I tried a new yarn for me, Spud & Chole Fine.  I have been drooling over their yarns for quite some time but it's spendy, at least for me.  However, my good friends at Jimmy Beans wool added this yarn to their Wool Watcher which allowed me to try a skein or 2.  Loving the copper color and the stitch definition of this yarn.  The gloves are long and the Allium design carries from cuff to cuff with a plain stockinette stitch on the bottom.   The pattern is written and contains helpful links to stretchy BO's and CO's.  I think an advanced beginner could conquer these in no time.  The pattern is easy to memorize and once you get going they are quite fast to knit.  Only requiring 200 yards of fingering weight yarn and who doesn't have that lying around.  Here is the link to the pattern just in case you want to knit yourself a pair Allium Link

Sunday, March 1, 2015

It's a New Year

And I promised myself that I would blog more frequently.  As you can see, so far this year, it's been a total fail but the good news is every sunrise means it's a new day.  I'm starting today.

I have no idea why I find it so difficult.  I knit everyday and I can talk for hours upon hours without pause when it comes to yarn and knitting.  But for some reason typing it all just doesn't happen.  Part of me feels like, who cares really, and the other part is I can't wait to tell everyone what I created.  So, I'm going with the later and I hope that you enjoy my rambling writings about my life and yarn.

Another thing that I promised myself I would get done this year is more designing.  I love designing and I have notebooks full of sketches, Pinterst boards filled with pins and an endless supply of knitting books and stitch libraries at my fingertips. ,Lately, however, I tend to enjoy the looking and pinning rather than putting my thoughts into action. I did manage to design AND knit a new pair of fingerless gloves which I love.  The pattern is being tested right now by my friends at Ravelry and I can't wait to show it to you.  I also have another wrap I made last year that has yet to be tested or typed.  It's on my to do list.   It's a beautiful light green 100% recycled cashmere, fingering weight that was a pleasure to in tip.  The pattern is simple, the stitch delicate and the design timeless.  It's perfect for Spring which is why I have to get a move on it.

The rest of last week was not so successful.  At times, designing is frustrating.  There are so many wonderful stitches out there that I find myself lost in too much information.  My mind wanders and wanders, it looks for the perfect yarn and stitch combination that matches the picture in my head, basically, I think too much!  Have you ever had that problem?  Please tell me I'm not alone.  I was so frustrated that I needed to take a break and a few deep breathes.  Breath in and out.  In and out.

Today was another day and after I finished what I needed to complete I whipped out the books once again.  I promised myself not to think too much.  Find a stitch I like and decide what I *think* it would be great for a pillow, a scarf, a wrap, or mittens perhaps and so I did.  This time it worked and not only did I find a stitch I know what I'm going to use it for and I even decided on the trim.  Yeah!  So now I'm off to swatch with this scrumptious light gray cashmere that has been calling me for weeks.

Until next friends knit on and prosper!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fish Lips Kiss Heel....


I always detested the (sl 1, k1) heel technique.  Picking up sts along the gusset and the forever count down back to your original sts count.   It's long and it's boring, at least to me and I find it easy to say good riddance!!

I'm on a sock kick right now (I've knit 3 pairs already in the last month)  trying to hone my sock skills and learn some new techniques.  I came across this Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern in the Ravelry forums in a post called something like "best patterns worth paying for."  This pattern was mentioned quite a bit, so, I went to check it out.  It's a BUCK.  Yes, only $1 and it's the best dollar I've spent recently.

I know there are quite a few heel turning options out there and I have only tried a few.  However, I am not sure I'll ever try them after learning this technique.  No counting, no holes, uses less yarn, less time, easy to remember and perfect every time.  It also works for all toe up socks or top down socks.  Really, what more can you ask for?

So, run to ravelry  not walk and look up the FLKH and buy it now.  It's worth every penny.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Another Basket of Yarn

Yup another basket of yarn heading to the sorting space  for my 2014 Flash Your Stash thread.  I did this all yesterday and as you can see I am determined to finish this task!

For the first time ever, I am juggling 4 wip's at the same time.  It happened all the sudden kind of sort of.  I am trying to have a pair of socks going at all times since they are portable, fun and just plain addicting.  I'm on my, I think, 8 th pair and trying to branch out and hone my new skillz.  I'm just about done with my second sock.   (no SSS here, yet)

I am also, in an attempt to whiddle down my stash, testing patterns for fellow knitters. Right now I have a nice basic scarflet in progress & it's knitting up nicely with the skein of pink Tosh yarn I won from a blog.  Pink is not favorite color of mine to wear so, I will probbly be gifting this to some lucky family member or friend.


I also have a nice light summer cardi/shirt which is knitting up beautifully, if I may add.  Top down with optional 3/4 sleeve.  Knit in shibui linen in a dark purple and some gray recycled linen that's been hanging around waiting for the perfect project.  No picures yet but soon.

Finally, I have a Steven West Spectra scarf that's been on my needles forever and I just, well, am sick of it really.  It's not completely frogged yet but it's looking like it might be for a while.

That's it for now knitterly friends!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Relaxing Day with Yarn

I am still going strong with inventoring all my yarn but I am still no where near done.  This week I unraveled, washed and dryed all of my sweaters that I plan to use some day.   A few will find their way back to the thrift store but that's a good thing.   I can now see the back of some of my bins, Yeah!

I finished knitting my newly designed shawl and I love it.  I will be releasing the pattern in the next week or so.  It's lightweight and perfect for the cooler summer nights ahead.  I decided to make it with recycled cashmere - soft with a little bit of luxury.  

I've also casted on for my first KAL (knit-a-long) ever.   It's been great fun so far.  I'm knitting a lightweight linen boyfriend type sweater and here is the pattern link :

I'm using Shibui Linen in a plum color and a recycled linen in light gray.  I love the color combination.

I've worked on it bit today and I'm almost done knitting the right shoulder.   I decided to knit outside, it's just gorgeous here in southern NJ.  The sun is out, the vacationers are here and I'm quietly knitting along to the hums of birds and busy neighbors working in their yards.  Really relaxing and loving every minute.  I hope you fin yourself some quite time to do what you love best this weekend.

Friday, May 9, 2014

It's Out of Control

There are 2 kinds of knitters out there.
 - the kind who only purchase yarns for the project at hand(I envy these knitters with self control)
- the kind who buys yarn just because it's pretty, smooshy, soft, yummy, or insert your favorite (excuse, I mean) adjective here_____________.

I am the latter.  Now, I always knew that I was this kind of a knitter and I have watched my stash grow over the years. I mean, I have a million patterns that I want to knit either for myself, gifts or just to learn a new technique and I also have a knitting business which I have used to justify my yarn hoard.  Why am I bringing this up now, you ask?  Well I will tell you, my friends.

About a month ago, I found this thread on Ravelry called "Flash Your Stash!"  Once a year, usually around January, these knitters remove their stash from their respected hiding places, take a few pictures and share them in the forum.  Knitter's call this yarn porn.  We all oohh and ahhh at home as we envy each other's stash.   Great fun, really.  It got me thinking about my own stash.  The mear thought of having to get out all of my yarn and face what I actually have on hand scares me to death.  It really does.  This kind of in your face confession is just not my thing.  As hard as it is, I'm doing it anyway.  

As the weather warms, my orders slow down and I have a moment to catch my breath, work on my shop, create new designs or knit something for myself.  I have also decided to add to my downtime by taking this one step further and reorganize my stash. So, I am entering every skein of yarn that I own in Ravelry, as well as, photographing each yarn with the hopes of being, well, organized.  (I'm a Virgo ya know)

I thought this may take 2 weeks or so to complete and boy was I wrong.  This may take me the whole summer.  I've worked on it daily for a few days now and I haven't made a single dent. Not a dent. Not a dimple. Nothing.   Needless to say I'm on a yarn FAST not a diet a FAST.  It's out of control.  My queensize bed upstairs is covered in yarn and I have only emptied and entered (2) 14" x 14" cubes.  (I have a yarn room upstairs)  Total insanity.

I realize now I'm in denial, well was in denial.  Deep denial.  Time to knit down this hoard into something manageable, give away what I will never use and sell what I do not want.    

When I'm finished, I am going to take pictures and share them on the thread and here as well.  I just can't promise when because it's going to be a loooong while from now.

"Hello my name is Lindsey, I am a yarn-o-holic & I need help."  

Until next time knitterly friends.....

Saturday, March 22, 2014

They're Here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Img_8950_small2My Chaiogoo's are here.  I have been waiting patiently all week.  Ok not really but who cares.  They are here now.  I can NOT wait to give them a try.  I am still working on this Lin Lin Shawl
and I have just about ran out of room on my fixed circs from Hiya Hiya.  So, instead of switching them back on my Knit Picks I waited until my new Chiaogoo's came to work on it again.

Right out of the bag they look fabulous!  The bag alone is eons better than Knit Picks and their crappy plastic case which looks like its from the dollar store.  Chi's came with stitch markers and needle gauge along with the cords, and tightening devices.   Leaps and bounds more for my money than the Knit Picks (sorry Knit Picks).  The needles have all been engraved with their sizes (KP doesn't do this either, SO annoying)  Mind you I have the old version of Knit Picks not the ones from China and I paid LESS for the Knit Picks that these Chaiogoo's because I found them on sale.. Yes, I did say ON SALE!!!!!

So off I go to give them a whirl...Merry Christmas to me in March!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Hellooo Hiya Hiya

Yesterday the Hiya Hiya needle I ordered off eBay were delivered. Yeah!  It's a US sz 9 in 24" length with the longer tips which are 5." Of course, I switched the needles on my current project so I could test them right away.

I really like these too!  They had nice pointy tips and the yarn glided so smoothly across the needle.  This finish is just like the metal Knit Picks I am currently using & used to.  The one drawback that I noticed was the cord.  It was not as flexible as the Chiaogoo and it wants to twist in a circle.  The Chiaogoo wires are more robust and lack the tendency to curl. I found myself missing the swishing sound the Chiaogoo needles make as I knit.  I also think that they are a tad bit pointier but that could be me.

I really wish more yarn stores around my area had needle tastings and there is only one who carries the brands I am currently contemplating.   I don't want to have buyers regret.  I am leaning towards the Chiaogoo needles but I am really concerned that I may be one of those knitters who twists while they knit causing the cord to unscrew from the needle.  There is no way of finding this out unless I have the time to knit a few projects with them.  Ughh.

At this point I am no closer to making a decision.   The Chiaogoo retail for $95 and the Hiya Hiya for $85.  These are not cheap needles by any means.  The price is also making this decision a hard one for me.  I know these are an investment and I will use these daily as I knit for hours everyday.  So, I think I need to pause and let some time pass.  Hopefully, that will help me come to a decision.

Until then.  Knit on my fellow friends.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

On the hunt for new interchangeable knitting needles

Last week I had 3 cables break on my much loved Knit Picks Interchangeable needles and that was the last straw!  It took every bit of my patience not to break them all over my knee and it's a good that I don't a fireplace because I would have thrown them right in!
Yes, I am aware that I can call Knit Picks and they will send me new cords at no charge but it doesn't make knitting and dropped stitches any less annoying or frustrating.   This is not the first time this has happened to me it's probably the 4th.  The other issue I have with them is that each needle size is NOT MARKED on the needles at all.  I am constantly have to use my needle gauge to figure out what size it is.  (I have multiples in same sizes)

I think I have given them a very good test and in the end I am not happy.

I know that I want metal and I also know that I want the tips to be pointy.  I have narrowed down my choices to Addi Turbo Lace, Hiya Hiya or ChiaoGoo Red Lace needles.  All will definitely be an investment as they are not cheap by any means.   I was going to order a complete set but after giving it some more thought last night I think the smalls would be best.  Here are some of the positives on ChiaoGoo that I have discovered so far:

1. Set comes 2-8 and they are the only company that has sz. 2 & 3 in interchangeable (Yeah!)

2. The case is beautiful unlike Knit Picks Plastic garbage case which is useless.

3. The red steel wires are covered with red plastic which does not kink, is so flexible and not to mention

4. Points are super pointy and the yarn glides beautifully and seamlessly.  They are metal but have a
    slight amount of grip on the yarn which doesn't even slow me down and I am a very fast knitter.

The only thing that I am worried about is that, for some knitters,  the needle unscrews from the wire even after tightening which results in dropped stitches.

(See this great blogpost by Modern/Vintage Here)

Obviously, I won't know if I am one of those unfortunate knitters until I try them.

ADDI's connect just like the Knit Picks which I already know work great for me and the thought of dropping $90 on a set which may not work for me is scary.  

I did order a Addi Turbo fixed 24" long tip from ebay and I am waiting for it to come.  I will post my review once I've had a chance to knit with them.  One of my local yarn stores does carry Hiya Hiya needles as well as Chiagoo and Addi Turbo but they are out of stock in the size I want to test.  So, I am awaiting their arrival.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Christmas Decorations Already?

     YES!  Christmas stockings already.  If you are one of the many who would like to have hand knit stockings this year it's best to order early.  In fact, the earlier the better.  Many of the talented handmade artists consist of one woman shops, myself included.  What does this mean for the buyer?
     It means that one person is responsible for designing, creating, photography, editing, marketing, book keeping, answering emails, listing, writing, packaging and shipping of each item.  And with only two hands there is only so much one person can do.  As the orders roll in it's very likely custom orders will not be possible.  There is nothing I dislike more than having to tell a wonderful customer "no" because there is simply not enough time to make and ship your items.  Even though I ship Priority 2-3 day delivery is not guaranteed during the Holidays.
     So, PLEASE, if you are hoping to have anything made special for you this Season, order early and the earlier the better.  This ensures that you items can be designed, knit & delivered well ahead of the Holiday rush.  With all the stress that comes with Christmas, the last thing you need is having every finger and toe crossed hoping your long awaited and very important gift to a special someone will be delivered BEFORE Christmas.



Monday, October 21, 2013

A Better Way to Peel a Head of Garlic

I am a prolific Pinterest user.  I love it maybe a little too much! Lol.  I often find myself jumping on for a second to find a recipe or cleaning tip but when I look 2 hours have gone by.  Has this happened to you?

Last week I found this great tip on Pinterest and I'd thought I'd share it with you too!  I love when someone passing on a good tip that actually works and is easy too.

My husband made gravy this weekend (spaghetti sauce).  Yum!  It's one of two dishes he makes at home now that I took over cooking some years ago.  I've tried to make it myself but it's never as good as his.  So anyway, he hates to peel and chop garlic.  Hates it!  I always volunteer to do it for him which works well for both of us.   Enter great cooking tip.

This tip comes from Martha Stewart.  I know, I know, some love and some hate her and I am somewhere in the middle.  I take what I need and move on.  This video will show you how to peek a whole head of garlic in a matter of seconds.  Yup, seconds and IT WORKS.  I tried it on Saturday.

I used two cereal bowls  as I do not have the fabulous and light metal bowls.

Here's the video

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Photo Session at Batsto

This past Saturday my hubby and I decided to go to Batsto Village.  It's a beautiful park in Southern NJ.  The grounds are beautiful and the perfect place to take pictures of my Christmas stockings.  We weren't sure if it was open due to the government shutdown but, thankfully, it was.

Here are a few pictures of all the Historic buildings located at the park.  You can go in each one and sign up for a tour of the mansion.   It's free to roam the grounds.

I have no idea why I never thought of going there to take pictures.  Hubby did the staging and fixing and I just took the pictures.  It was a perfect day working together and we both enjoyed spending quality time together.  Here are a few of the shots we took.