2.18.2017

I've been dying to show you... (and a Giveaway!)

You might have heard we had a dyeing swap this winter in my Ravelry group.... I love hosting swaps that engender learning (and yarn!!!!)

In my past career I used to dye (alot) but I did precision vat dyeing with the goal of achieving the exact same results every time. I did a little bit of "creative" dyeing for weaving projects, but it had been a long time since I just played with dye.

The first thing I did was sign up for Sarah Eyre's Professional Yarn Dyeing at Home on Craftsy
 (this link will get you the class for 25% off, it is a coupon code that is applied at checkout).
 
Then I started reading EVERY POST all the other members of the swap wrote, and I learned a ton just by seeing/reading about their trial and error!

Right around the same time Felicia Lo from Sweet Georgia released a great resource on dyeing.. Dyeing to Spin and Knit
So, I bought that and started reading! Sarah teaches dyeing techniques in a loose and artful way that encouraged me to play. Felicia's book explained the science behind dyeing and had techniques that required precision. This combination of these two resources turned out to be perfect for me.

In the meantime I gathered supplies, some Acid Dyes and Citric Acid from Dharma Trading, some undyed 75% BFL (blue faced leicester)/25% nylon sock yarn (also from Dharma Trading) and some undyed Meridian from Karen at Seven Sisters Fiber Arts. Luckily in December I got an Instant Pot (which I love, and deserves it's own blog post) which meant I could dedicate our old slow cooker to yarn dyeing...
I kept watching and reading and learning, but totally procrastinated on the dyeing until last Saturday when I finally dove in! (and oh my goodness I had FUN!) In less than 3 hours I had 4 totally unique skeins dyed, I played with speckle dyeing, veil dyeing, low water immersion dyeing, and resist dyeing.


You'll notice that all my skeins are green, that's because my swapmate Lois (who was easy to stalk) LOVES green.... the perfect color to dye given the grey winter we are having! For those of you who are interested, I used 601 Sun Yellow, 624 Turquoise, 626 Navy Blue.

Skein of yarn I sent to my swapmate Lois!
I can tell that starting to dye yarn is a rabbit hole of good times! I purposefully didn't write down exactly what I did as I have no intentions of recreating these skeins, but I do give a short explanation here. I have a DEEP respect for dyers who can consistently replicate their colorways, particularly speckled and veil dyed ones. Just imagine the amount of skill it takes to dye uniform sweater quantities!!! If I had intentions of dyeing another one of Lois' skeins I should have written down what I did and measured as I went...

So, I've got a little giveaway for y'all! Who wants to win a 460 yard skein of sock yarn I dyed (75% BFL /25% nylon sock yarn) AND a copy of Felicia's new book Dyeing to Spin and Knit?

Just leave a comment below sharing a bit about your dyeing experiences with me (it's ok if you don't have any, just say that!) Don't forget to leave a way to get in touch with you... I'll keep comments open through Feb 22nd and announce a winner on my Facebook Page!

2.09.2017

Vindur and Gola: Choosing a Size and Modifying for Your Body Shape!

Have you seen my new sweaters Vindur and Gola?

They are the same basic pattern, but Vindur is in bulky weight and Gola in DK weight.

Vindur and Gola are constructed in a simple but unusual way: First the right arm is worked from the cuff to the underarm and a short row sleeve cap is worked. Then stitches are provisionally cast on for the front and back. The shoulder is then worked and the stitches are split for neckline shaping. The front and back are worked at the same time and rejoined to work the left shoulder. The front and back stitches are put on holders, and a short row sleeve cap is worked. Next, the left sleeve is worked to the wrist. You then have something that looks like this:

Finally, the sweater is folded in half, and these two halves are joined together by a garter stitch side seam that is worked perpendicularly to them. These start at the hem and end at the cuff of the sleeve joining the front and the back of the sweater and sleeve together.

The first decision you have to make is what size works for your body? 
The pattern includes a detailed schematic (above) and lots of measurements (below) take the time to compare these to YOUR body when choosing a size! 
Grab a measuring tape and measure yourself at your full bust.
Vindur and Gola are designed with 3 inches of positive ease, so choose your size based on your measurement, and the sweater will have 3 inches of each (extra fabric) at the bust and hip.

Example:
If your bust measures 40.5 inches make the Medium, not the Large... the large will be comfortable in the bust area, but the shoulders will be too big.





Example:Here's me in two different sizes of Gola, I have a 32" bust.
This version is an XS and you can see that the shoulder fits perfectly....

This version is a small, you can see that the shoulder drops down a bit, but it is still flattering.

So, you've chosen your size, but how is the length for your body?
This is important.... not everyone has the same waistline and what is flattering on one person is not going to work on another body type.

Example:
My friend Rebecca was totally excited to knit Vindur for Rhinebeck this year, she chose the correct bust size, got gauge, cast on and KNIT... but her torso is WAY longer than the schematic called for and her sweater ended up looking a wee bit short on her. When she knits her next one she is going to add some length.
So, grab a measuring tape. and measure from about an inch below your armpit to where you want the longer side to hit. Then check the schematic (C). The asymmetry is written so that the shorter side (D) is 5 inches less than that. Use the measuring tape to check that measurement as well on your left side.

Example:
You want your sweater to be 2 inches longer (what I think Rebecca should do):

Take your stitch gauge (which is 3 sts per inch for Vindur) and multiply that by 2, which is 6 sts.
So, add 6 sts to your provisional cast on when you set up for each side of the body, VOILA! You now have a sweater that is 2 inches longer!!! 
(If you are working Vindur stitch gauge is 4.25 sts/in so you would add 9 sts)
You will then have extra rows to work on the side panels, so be sure to add those in.

My hips are a bit more generous than allowed for in the schematic, what should I do?
If your hips are more generous, you can make the side panels wider and decrease them down as you go towards the bust. The side panel starts at 3.5 inches at the hip and goes down to 1 inch at the sleeve. Keep an eye on this measurement if you add significant length to your piece as your measurement at your upper hip might be smaller than farther down : )! (I know once my bum is part of the equation this measurement increases)

Example: "Clarissa" is making the Small but her hip is 38 inches without any ease.
Clarissa needs to add in 2 more inches (the small as written has a 39 inch hip with 3 inches ease). Clarissa will add 1 inch to each side panel, if she is making Gola she would add 4 sts to each side panel and for Vindur she would add 3 sts.

But what if you don't want an asymmetrical hemline?
All you have to do is ignore the directions for the hemline shaping…. Then it will go straight across the bottom. I did that with my Vindur for Yoga, you can read more about that in this blog post.


 
Any Questions? 
Ask below... I am happy to help and don't forget there are KAL's for Vindur and Gola in my Ravelry group!
Vindur KAL
Gola KAL

1.06.2017

Vindur Sweater for Yoga

Earlier this fall Karin from Periwinkle Sheep sent me a box of Merino Chunky in Crack in the Pavement that I drooled on at Rhinebeck... (note to self: spend more time drooling on yarn at fiber festivals)
I decided to cast on another Vindur for me (I know, that makes it 3)... because this yarn was made for it, but also because I wanted to make a longer Vindur without an asymmetrical hemline to make it more practical to wear with yoga pants. (The original Vindur is too short for this practical application.)

I easily convinced myself that I could use it as a teaching tool, to show you how simple it is to modify the construction of Vindur for your body!
Here's a little background on the construction of Vindur:
Vindur is a seamless asymmetrical sweater constructed in a simple but unusual way. First the right arm is worked from the cuff to the underarm and a short row sleeve cap is worked. Then stitches are provisionally cast on for the front and back. Then the shoulder is worked and the stitches are split for neckline shaping. The front and back are worked at the same time and rejoined to work the left shoulder. Then the front and back stitches are put on holders, and a short row sleeve cap is worked. Next, the left sleeve is worked to the wrist. Finally, the sweater is folded in half, and these two halves are joined together by a garter stitch side seam that is worked perpendicularly to them. These start at the hem and end at the cuff of the sleeve joining the front and the back of the sweater and sleeve together.

There are 3 major modifications on this Vindur:
1. I made it longer which is SO simple to do. After working the right sleeve I cast on 9 more sts for both the front and back. Since the gauge for Vindur is 3 sts/in, this made it 3 inches longer. 3*3=9 Keep in mind that if you make it longer you'll need a bit more yarn.
2. I took out the Asymmetrical Hemline.... another easy mod! I just didn't do the hemline decreases so it was worked straight across. Again keep in mind that if you take out the asymmetrical hemline you'll need more yarn.

3. The problem with making it longer is that I have hips, and if I worked the side panel as written it would be tight around my bum. So, I added in 4 more sts to the side panel and decreased those down at regular intervals to the armhole. Using a side panel that tapers gives a slightly a-line shape to the sweater.

p.s. also, I'm sure you noticed that all these photos are headless... I was on my way to yoga, so my hair was a mess, and I had no make-up on (and I might have had a giant zit on my forehead).... it's ok, though, as this post is about the sweater, not my face!

p.p.s. Some of you know that a DK weight version of Vindur called Gola will be published later this winter. All these mods will be easily applied to it as well!

p.p.p.s. Karin has Merino Chunky in a REALLY NICE pink on sale, so if you are looking for yarn for a Pink Hug, or Pussy Hats, I highly suggest you snatch some up!

12.31.2016

A Giant Pink Hug for us All!

It is time for a year end blog post... in past years I have done a recap of all my projects, but I'm worried if I do that this year you'll all just see me for the over achiever I really am. So this year I'm sharing something a bit different.

One of the things I love about my chosen profession is that is a place for all souls to come and take a break from politics, religion, hardship and focus on our passion for creativity together. It means I get to meet a lot of people who think like I do, and also many who do not, but we find out common ground and build friendships from there. For me, it was a good year, and I'm looking forward to another, but for others I know that this year was HARD and that the years ahead are scary. My heart goes out to them, whether they be close by to me, or half-way around the world. My family and I are giving support in ways that resonate for us, and I urge you and yours to do the same.... and in that spirit I have a little story to share with you!

This fall, Anzula sent me their new bulky MCN yarn, Burly, in Petals to knit a giant ALL-Ways Cowl. The day following the election I was in shock (I know I'm not the only one who experienced this), and decided to deal with it by casting on the cowl and knitting until I felt a little stronger and more in control.
I thought about how far down in the sand my head was (politically), and how little I understood what many people in our country were thinking, and I knit. True yarn therapy.... while I knit on it I realized I wanted to share it with other people, in fact as many as possible, something like the Sisterhood of the Giant Pink Cashmere Hug.
I started wearing it when I traveled, convinced that I would see someone who needed it and I would pass it on... I had it with me on multiple trips and somehow just couldn't give it up (or face the awkwardness of giving a complete stranger a pink cowl...) . Where ever I wore it the color would make people around me smile, and as a result I was smiling. This pink demands happiness.... and happiness it will have! Also, cashmere is a good travel companion.
But, now it is time to send it on it's mission around the world.

I'm going to start by sending this to Sabrina, the genius who created this gorgeous yarn! I'm hoping she'll wear it, find joy in it, take a photo of herself (and hashtag it #giantpinkhug), and then pass it on to another in need of a hug! I LOVE this idea of this traveling hug, and I hope you do too!
So, if you find yourself down in the dumps this winter, might I suggest you find some pink cashmere yarn and whip yourself up a Pink Hug! When you are done getting your hug, you can pass it on! Just imagine TONS of pink hugs making their way around the world.  (You can read about how I adjusted the pattern on my Ravelry project page.)

(I'll also be knitting pink pussy hats between now and Jan  21st when my daughter and I go to the Women's March on Washington... I'm starting them tomorrow, I have more pink cashmere from Anzula, it seems I was stashing it for a reason!)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! xoxoxo