Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

Pom Poms

Pom poms are a common topper for many hats, and a fun accessory for other knitted goods as well. You can buy them pre-made or make one using a purchased pom pom maker, but I’m cheap and prefer to make them with things I already have on hand!

Step 1

First, decide the desired diameter for your pom pom, and find something that is that wide. Most women’s palms are 3-4 inches across, so will make a 3-4 inch pom pom. For different sized pom poms, you could use a fork, a ruler, a book, or even a square of cardboard. Wrap your yarn around your chosen “maker” until you have a nice, dense pile of yarn. The fatter your pile of yarn, the fatter your pom pom will be.

Step 2

When your pom pom is as fat as you would like it, slide it off your maker and turn it. Wrap the yarn end tightly around the middle a few times. Leave both ends of the yarn dangling from the center.

Step 3

Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut the loops at each end of the “yarn bow” you’ve made.

Step 4

Use the yarn ends you’ve left dangling to firmly secure your pom pom to the top of your hat, or whatever other piece of fabric you’re decorating. Not only will this keep the pom pom from falling off; it will also keep it from unraveling.

Step 5

Finally, fluff your yarn! If you’re working with an animal fiber, you may even want to dampen the yarn (or just your fingers) to help the pom pom fluff and bulk out a bit. You are done when you can no longer see the wrapped yarn in the center.

That’s it! Cheap, easy and endlessly customizable!

Feeling Accomplished

I know I usually post on Wednesdays, but I put this post off for an extra day so I could show you my little bit of alpaca heaven:

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It really does feel like wearing a cloud. I love it.

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It’s also FANTASTICALLY warm, which will be great with as cold as it’s been the last few days, and as cold as the forecast is. My only problem is…what would you call it. I plan to wear it both ways. Is it a cowl? An infinity scarf? A capelet? Some other new fashion word I’m not aware of? Help me, blogosphere!

As an aside, I’m not sure what’s happened to inspire so many purchases of my Swept Away in the last week, but thank you all! My sad, broken garage door is very happy you’re helping me replace it!

Yarn Heaven

I’m making great progress on the cowl-thingy I finally decided on for that chunky alpaca. Chunky yarn knits up so fast, and this particular yarn really makes it feel like I’m knitting a cloud. Heaven might be made of alpaca.

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But even more enticing, this came in the mail this week:

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I know that craving green in February is an established and slightly trite thing from me, but ohhh does this color make me happy right now.

Snowed In!

Well, we definitely got walloped.

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It’s hard to know for sure with the drifts, but it seems like we got about 2.5 feet. There were low points that “only” came to my knees, and high points closer to shoulder height. Of course, the plow-made mountains are a whole different story.

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I worked obsessively on the Project of Doom while it was actively snowing, and got a good couple blocks done. Maybe I’ll finish it this year after all. If we have like 3 more blizzards.

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After the snow finally stopped it was time to dig out ourselves and a few neighbors. This took most of a day. Athena was hemmed in by the new “fence” while we were digging out our own driveway, but when we trudged through the (for me) nearly-hip deep snow to the next driveway, she wasn’t about to be left behind. She and the other dogs on the street had a blast while we were all digging. Of course, it turned out to be a rather futile effort because even though we had clear driveways, nobody showed up to remove snow from our street until last night.

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Instead, Athena had great fun ignoring the clear spot Hubby created in the backyard and making her own path for a few days. We ate lots of baked goods and soup, worked off all those baked goods in our tiny home gym, binged on Netflix, and slept embarrassingly late. I knit about a mile with the green handspun.

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Monday it was above freezing, and yesterday it hit 50, believe it or not, so that’s done a good bit to melt down the massive piles of snow. By Monday a few of the most adventurous truck and SUV owners were venturing out, only to return and tell us nothing was open and there was no place to go. Yesterday Hubby ventured back to work, and said that while the main roads were fine, if only one-lane, getting out of the neighborhood took nearly half the time he spent commuting. My tiny car and I stayed home. Instead, I took advantage of the much-warmed weather and put the olive tree out to sun itself in the blinding snow glare, because nature is weird.

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Then last night someone from the county showed up to haul snow off the road! Finally! It had melted quite a bit and all the trucks had compacted it plenty too, but it was still too much for an ordinary plow. This guy spent more than an hour on our short, residential street and there are absolute mountains of snow on all of our lawns today. The kid across the street had a blast climbing the one in his yard today, and planted a U.S. flag on the top of it. It was pretty stinkin’ cute.

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Thanks to the county’s efforts, today I was actually able to LEAVE THE HOUSE!! I only went to the grocery store, and they were still pretty picked-over from before the storm, but it was exciting anyway. The roads are definitely not back to normal, but they are reasonably safe as long as you go slow and there aren’t too many people out at once. This whole storm has been such a weird experience for all of us native to the area. Schools are still closed through the end of the week, because buses can NOT get down many of the neighborhood roads right now, and things are even worse up in the mountains. Looks like I’ve got a lot of knitting time left ahead of me.

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Sooo…what should I make with the awesome chunky alpaca?

What Is It About Snow?

The first real snowstorm of the year here in this part of VA is forecasted to hit on Friday. Both the kids and the staff at work have been discussing the possibility of a snow day/3 day weekend pretty much since we got back. On Tuesday. That’s right, we just had a 3 day weekend and everyone is still dying for another.

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In the last 2 days they’ve begun to talk not just “snow”, but “historic storm”. People are starting to get nervous and silly about it, so when an end of day meeting let out early today, I decided to go to the grocery store a day early rather than waiting til my normal day. I figured all the pre-storm shoppers would be there flipping out if I waited til Thursday.

I was wrong.

As I somehow didn’t need eggs, milk, or bread this week I actually managed to get everything on the shopping list in about 20 minutes, although I got the last one of several things. Then I stood in line, for 35 minutes. All registers were open, but there were just that many people. Because you know, a foot of snow might fall in 2 days and we’ll never be able to go outside again. Must buy all the French toast supplies now. All of them.

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Of course, there are other preparations to be made too. A blizzard means there’s a chance of losing power. I made sure to pick up some foods that don’t require electricity to prepare  today (hello peanut butter and apple wraps), and we have a fireplace and a massive stack of wood for warmth. Also? I’m a knitter. There is plenty on hand to keep us warm and cozy if the power goes out. Worst case we’ll sleep in my stash. 😉 Candles are on hand and there are good batteries in the flashlights. Which leads me to the fun stuff.

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Making sure I have enough knitting to see me through an extended period indoors. You guys told me in last week’s poll to cast on with the green handspun, which I have. I also wound the blue-green alpaca, just in case. The handspun is practically flying off the needles, especially after the sweater. I think it’s going to be a cowl, but it may become a scarf, depending on just how much of it there really is.

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That leaves the question of what to make from the alpaca. I kind of want another cowl, although I certainly don’t need one. It’s a thick, bulky solid and I think it would look great in a basic fisherman’s rib. I mentioned this to Hubby and he announced that cowls are entirely too trendy for me to possibly be happy with and I should make something else. He had no ideas for what that “something else” should be. I’m not actually opposed to trendy; I’m just not often swayed by it. Sometimes the trend is good (read:cowls), but “good” is the deciding factor for me. What do you guys think? If not a(nother) cowl, what else would 2 skeins of Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky want to be?

Too Many Choices

So I’m coming to the end of the knitting portion of an upcoming sweater design, and also find myself seriously lacking a purse project. I love picking new projects, but I have so many fun new yarns I can’t even decide which yarn to use let alone what project. Help me decide!

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I’ve been wanting to knit with my handspun more, and this single 90 gram skein of more-or-less sport weight pretty seems awfully tempting after a massive sweater. I think there’s about 245 yards of it, which is enough for a hat (I have way more than I need) or a cowl, or a couple pairs of boot toppers. Hmm…

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Then there’s the 324 yards of chunky alpaca that’s so radically different from what I generally knit with that I can’t help but be intrigued. It doesn’t hurt that it’s 100% alpaca, so I occasionally wander over to the stash just to pet it. I can make pretty much the same things from this as I could from handspun, but I definitely want the alpaca to go into something worn close to my skin.

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Then in a totally different vein is the Art by Eve yarn. It’s lace weight and in a sweater quantity, which is a little daunting so soon after this other sweater. On the other hand, siiiiiiiiilk. Also, it’s such a light shade of green, and everything else this time of year is so dang dark.

Then of course there’s all the rest of my stash. It’s not small. So, help me decide, oh wise readers.

 

2016 Fiber Goals

New year, new plans. What can I reasonably expect to accomplish this year? I’d like to:

  1. Publish at least 2 new sweaters.
  2. Publish at least 4 new patterns.
  3. Knit the entirety of at least 1 of my spinning stashes (there are currently 3 in stash ready for knitting).handspun
  4. Spin something that can be interchanged with commercial yarn, instead of having to search for/create patterns that can tolerate a bit of thick and thin.
  5. Finally finish the dang POD I’ve been working on since I was engaged. Our 5 year anniversary is this summer; it’s getting a little ridiculous.blanket

This isn’t very many things, but I still worry they’re a bit overambitious. Not one of the things on that list will be fast. What do you think? Reasonable or not?

A Productive Christmas for a Happy New Year

I’ve gotten SO much knitting done since school let out. Thankfully, I did not run out of knitting while visiting Hubby’s family, but it did get a little dicey one day when I overestimated how much I could safely leave in the hotel room! So what have I gotten done in the last week?

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I finished the socks for my sis…

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and the gloves for the Husbeast…

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and a hat for me! Recognize Brumby Jill from my Sharon Boswell interview?

I’ve also made big progress on an upcoming design that’s not quite ready for sharing yet. So to distract you, look what I got for Christmas!

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That’s 3 skeins of Cascades Baby Alpaca Chunky in colorway “Emerald City” and 2 skeins of Art by Eve Anne in colorway “Emerald”. I’m seeing a theme here. Isn’t it interesting though how two different dyers could take the color “emerald” and come up with two such radically different colors? Even funnier, neither one really matches what I think of when I think of emeralds. Colors are such an odd (and fascinating) thing to me.

P.S. Tomorrow is my birthday, and like other years, I will be giving away presents to Feel Good fans! If you’d like a chance at winning free patterns, make sure you have some FGK patterns in your Ravelry wishlist!

GAL and Small Business Saturday

So my Knit Picks order finally arrived:

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And after a bit of fondling the alpaca that came in the box, I cast on Eloina for the GAL. To be totally honest I bought the pattern purely because it’s pretty, and I have no real need for it. That’s lucky, because when the yarn arrived it was not remotely the same color it looks like on my computer. I really should have known better, because purple is always a tricky color and Knit Picks colors tend to run warm compared to what my computer shows. Nonetheless, it turned out to be a shade of “purple” (pinkish purple) that will look fantastic on my sister, so now she is getting surprise socks in addition to her other Christmas gift.

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Yes, that really is my standard for unsolicited handknits. “I have the yarn and the pattern anyway, and even if you hate it at least I got to knit something really fun and you got something else too”. Seems like a pretty fair standard to me.

Last Saturday Hubby also suggested going out shopping for Small Business Saturday, which he insisted should include a stop at our LYS (God I love him). So I came home with a gorgeous new hunk of roving from a trunk show Flying Goat Farm was having, and some Berroco Vintage for remaking the Irish Moss Gloves Hubby has worn out. This one isn’t an unsolicited knit; he actually specifically requested it when he suggested LYS shopping. Have I mentioned what a smart decision I made in marrying him?

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In any case I will cast on the Irish Moss golves and a Brumby Jill as soon as I finish the Eloina socks. Add that to the  scrumptious alpaca design still on the needles and I certainly won’t run out of stitchwork anytime soon!

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Well, we’re nearly half way through the sale period for this year’s GAL. Many thanks to all of you who have bought my patterns so far!

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As for me, I’ve bought 2 patterns from participating designers myself. I bought Eloina purely because they’re beautiful socks and this time of the year makes me crave cables like I crave chocolate.

Then, after a particularly cold run, I remembered the interview I did with Sharon Boswell 2 GALs back. So I’m now the proud owner of Brumby Jill as well. It will be perfect for running in the cold.

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Brumby Jill by Sharon Boswell

Then I clicked on over to Knit Picks’ big sale (over now) and ordered the yarn for each. It hasn’t arrived yet, but I’ll be joining the KALs as soon as it does! Hope to see you there!

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