Monday, January 27, 2014

Yarn Clubs

Have you ever belonged to a yarn club? I have. The first one was about 8 years ago. It was first when I really got back into knitting - first when I realized what 'good' yarn was - first when I got onto Ravelry. 

Remember back in the old days when you had to wait for an invite to get onto Ravelry. They were still in beta phase testing then and it seemed like it took me forever to get on. Once I got on I realized the breadth of yarn available through online purchasing. The truth is I've known before Ravelry but it just seemed that those forums somehow made the yarn more real to me, more tangible. And the stash pictures. Oh my!!! I just had to have some of my very own. So I joined my first club. 

There is nothing quite like getting yarn in the mail. A club has that added benefit of it being a total surprise. Depending upon the club it could be a surprise colour. A surprise weight. A surprise fiber blend!! There could even be surprise patterns too. 

My first club was a sock club. It featured Fleece Artist and Handmaiden yarns - both are Canadian. I've been in a couple of Anne Hansons Knitspot clubs - as much for the patterns as for the yarns (which came from different surprise yarn dyers/ranchers). I've even belonged to what is arguably the most famous yarn club out there - Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin Sock Club. 

I've loved them all. I have never been disappointed with any of my monthly selections. Some have been so exquisite and unique. Others I had used before but it was in a color I would normally never buy myself. Have I knit them all? Well, no. That'd be silly. But I do have a stash that is remarkable. I have a stash that makes me giddy with delight. 

And so it was that time of year when I had to decide whether to renew my rockin sock club or not. I thought about the socks that I had knit using club yarn - some but not all. I thought about the amount of Blue moon yarn in my stash - quite a lot. I examined my yarn stash to see if there was something that was lacking and then it dawned on me. I have very little self striping yarns in anything other than fingering weight. Actually  I had seen this etsy store called Blueberry Pie Fiber was selling a self striping worsted weight mitten club and then I realized that I didn't  have enough of that type of yarn in my stash. What's a girl to do? into the club of course! I've gotten two installments so far and I'm in love with this dyer and her yarns. Look at this ball! I love that it came like this all ready to go. It quickly knit into a great pair of lady's mitts for my daughters birthday. 

And here is February's installment. I am so pleased!  These too will become mittens. This time perhaps for some little boys that I know and love. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hat Mania

I've always been a fan of knitted hats - both as a wearer of them and especially as a creator of them. 

They are so fast to make and are almost like little canvases that you can create and make unique. I especially love little kid hats. Little kids can get away with wearing things on their heads that would be downright ridiculous on an adult's head. 

See this hat for example. It's called garter ear flap hat and it's from the Purl Bee. This pattern just came out this week and already more than 40 have been cast on on Ravelry. 
This pattern is sized baby sized right up to large adult sized. Now, I don't know about you but I think this hat is more suited to a child than an adult. Mind you I'm sure that some adults can pull it off.  My daughter is quirky enough that it would work for her. I guess it takes a certain type of personality to wear a hat like this. 

How about this one? I took a photo of Kev wearing this hat and I nearly peed in my pants at the sheer ridiculousness of it.   Morgan really likes this hat. But he is five years old and can pull it off. His mom suggested that if I did make him a hat like this then I should make it a little less girly!!!! DAFUQ???

Seriously. Morgan quickly put his mum in her place though when he pointed out that he was a boy and the insides of his ears were pink so boys definitely could wear deer hats with pink linings in the ears. 
Why do we do this to kids? Why do we put our warped ideas of gender colors onto our kids who clearly could care less. I'm not just blaming his mum. I'm sure I'm guilty of it too. Morgan has really made me more aware of this. He once begged me to knit him something from the gold and magenta and orange and fushia fiber I was spinning because they were his most favorite colours ever. I haven't finished spinning it yet but I know sadly that his mum won't let him wear anything in those colours. Perhaps I'll knit him a stuffed toy. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


....or startitis or startosis. PI'm not sure what the correct term is. I'm not sure that there is a correct term really. The Knitmore Girls have been bandying the term about and Gigi came to the conclusion that startosis was a more accurate word to describe the condition that afflicts many knitters this time of year.


1. Suffix meaning a process, condition, or state, usually abnormal or diseased; production or increase, physiologic or pathologic; an invasion or infestation

Well then. That certainly makes more sense then using the word startitis. Since the ending itis strictly means inflammation. 

BUt I've been thinking lately that we knitters should call the condition startorrhea. Since the suffix -rrhea means 

1. A flowing; a flux.

That's more like it!! I feel like starting ALL THE THINGS!!! It's definitely a flux. Need proof??

Here's a pair of stripy mittens I cast on yesterday. And here's a hat that I started and finished in one day. 
Some self striping socks that I could not resist casting on. Love love love the stripes and yarn. 

And here is the plaid collar that I have been obsessing about. The knitting is done on this baby but the top stitching is taking forever but I am still loving it. 
And tomorrow I'm casting on for Ysolda Teague's mystery KAL called Follow Yoir Arrow.  These are the yarns I'm using. I may sub out the green for orange.  I'm not sure yet.

And I'm still knitting away on the blanket from the previous post. I'm still in love with it. 

So what do you think? That's a lot of projects to have on going at one time. That is definitely a flux of project. A flux of casting on. Startorrhea. Think it will catch on?

Somehow I don't think that word will catch on.  Just doesn't sound pretty. 

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Happy New Year

A lot of craft bloggers are writing about resolutions it seems. Even the podcaster are doing it. A lot of them seem to be talking about themes. Jasmine of the Knitmore Girls is adopting a theme of "less is more". Dayna and Brittney of Just one More Row podcast are adopting a theme of "mindfulness".  

In the past I've made lists of things I would like to accomplish in the upcoming year. It always sounds something like this 
1. Knit more with handspun
2. Knit more from patterns in books that I own
3. Spin for a sweater 
4. Don't buy any yarn until .... Whenever. 

The point is, I rarely keep up with my resolutions crafting or otherwise. So I'm resolving to carry on as usual. I'm resolving to enjoy what I'm doing. I guess what I'm trying to say is that my theme for this year will be "happiness". It's my hobbie and it's my very valuable free time so if I don't enjoy the yarn, the pattern, the process - then I resolve to give it up and start something I'm crazy about.

And speaking of something I'm crazy about ......

I got this pattern last year. Tincanknits did a free pattern giveaway to welcome in the new year in 2013. They offered up many many beautiful patterns. There isn't anything that these ladies write that I wouldn't knit. The choice was tough. (Truth be told I picked one pattern and bought several others). My pick was called "Pop Blanket". Over Christmas I placed an order to Knitpicks for their yarn called "chroma". Ever since they introduced this yarn I've been wanting to try it. I've got a box full of the stuff - more than enough for a blanket. 

As soon as I knit the first square I realized  something about this pattern!!! It's potato chip knitting - at its finest. 
The smallness of each square almost makes me feel as though I've finished a project each time. Almost instant gratification. And of course I am smitten with the gradual colour changing yarn. I keep wanting to knit until a different colour slowly emerges. And then there's the way these squares look together. I keep rearranging them in different ways. 

I've never been one for self denial. I work very hard at my real life job.  So when I see something I want. I buy it. Rarely do I have any moments of regret. I've been wanting a trindle for some time. Probably ever since the first time I heard about trindles. This one is so beautiful. It has an ebony shaft with three purple jade beads. It spins forever and I'm in love. I've been spinning punis from Gourmet Stash on Etsy and it is pure luxury. I should have more to post about that next time. 

Have you seen the latest Knitty? OMG if not stop what you're doing and run right over there now. So many great patterns. I'm a big fan of knitty and I love when new issues go live. I especially love it when there is a new pattern there that just speaks to me and I think about it all the time and I stalk the item on Ravelry to see who is making it and in what yarn and I what colors and what their opinion is on the pattern. It can become all consuming. But I love it!! Princess Franklins Plaid Collar was such a pattern for this issue of knitty. I'm crazy about it. I've finished all the knitting. It was sime garter stitch. Now I'm doing some top stitching. The result is a collar that very much looks like woven plaid. I love it when a knitting pattern strikes me this way. That is my hope for 2014 - that everything I knit or spin or crochet or weave or craft - will make me feel like this little plaid collar does. 

Cheers!! Happy 2014!