I have a quick update to post before I head out to work. I took pictures yesterday but I was just too busy to do anything with them! With moving, family stuff, my school, and the BF starting school I think going to work tonight will feel like a break. First I finished everything but weaving in the ends on some slippers for my sister in law. I tried a new method for the short row heel that I will probably write about next week when I hopefully have one more pair of slippers done. I used red heart soft held double with size 8 needles.
The next project I have is the pair of fingerless mitts for my BF. He has larger hands that me so that’s why they look a little loose on my hand but he has tried them on and they are a perfect fit. Since I took this picture yesterday I’ve finished weaving in the ends and I washed them and they are currently laying flat to dry.
The other update for this week is that I drove past a garage sale that had a huge sign that said yarn. I tried to resist but I ended up going back and getting a big bag of wool yarn for $5. It’s pretty old and most of it is marked as permanently moth proofed but after researching it I’m pretty confident that it will work well for felted slippers. The picture is just a sampling because most of the yarn I was able to get multiple skeins of. I didn’t exactly need more yarn but those felted clogs eat up a ton of wool and I want to make several pairs so I’m sure it won’t linger in my stash for long.
So I haven’t made tons of gift progress this week for Christmas knitting but I have made progress on other knitting. I had planned on making some of my hand spun into a hat for my dad or my brother but after several attempts I really just didn’t have enough yarn. They were the only two people who would really appreciate that I spun the yarn by hand so I decided to keep it for myself in the form of a cowl. I really like it and I love how the color changes look.
I’ve started a pair of fingerless mitts for the boyfriend and have put his socks on the back burner. As he pointed out, he has socks but no gloves. I’ve made it past the thumb gusset but in my attempt to hurry up and get them done I’m starting to get a little burnt out on them and sock yarn in general. 3 of my 5 projects this week have been using fingering weight yarn. It doesn’t help that I was insisting on doing them two at a time but had to start the cast on about 4 different times.
My last project was for a gift but not for Christmas… It’s a Halloween gift! It’s a ghost that I knit using a made up pattern and then felted him up in the washing machine. I had a partial skein of bare wool yarn and I used almost all I had left for this little guy. I used some random felted sweater pieces for his eyes and I filled him with beans. He knows he is a little "rustic" looking but he looks like he's ok with it. :)
My plans for this week are to cast on for a hat for my dad and cast on for slippers. I purchased the comfy cozy squishy sock pattern that uses heavier weight yarn and I think I might be using that to make several pairs for the women I’m giving gifts to. I'm hoping for a very full update next week :)
I took lots of pictures today! I found batteries while we were moving so I had some to put in my camera. It’s tricky to get decent pictures but it’s better than nothing! I finished two projects while I was on my road trip and made a lot of progress on two other ones. The projects I finished were two pairs of little kid’s slippers. I held the yarn double and used big needles and they were done in no time.
I made a ton of progress on my scarf that I’m making for my mom and it looks done but I don’t like how the ruffle looks on the cast off end. Making increases for the ruffles just doesn’t look as good as the side were I decreased. I think I’m going to cast on a ruffle and sew it on so they look the same.
On the socks I’m making for my boyfriend I got about 10 rows into the gusset increases. I have a feeling that I’ll be using all of the yarn I have for these socks because of my gauge and how big his feet are.
I made one slipper using the non-felted slipper pattern and even though it’s a nice pattern I just don’t know if I can make myself make the other one. I don’t like seaming and I honestly don’t know how many stitches I cast on for this first one. I wrote it down somewhere but who knows which random receipt or scrap of paper it's on lol.
So part of the reason for the slow down in adding things to my shop and posting to my blog has been that I moved this month (the week before I left for vacation but that’s another story). I went from renting a tiny two bedroom apartment to renting a whole 3 bedroom house! Yay! The issue is that it’s the first time all of my stuff and all of my boyfriend’s stuff have been in the same space. We have too much stuff. There’s a serious surplus of furniture and kitchen type stuff that we are still working through. But here are some pictures!
I finished binding off my shawl and I got some pre-blocked photos. I also took gauge and measured its pre blocked size. I can’t wait to get some time to finish this up because I think blocking is going to make all the difference in how this shawl looks.
I was able to borrow someone’s phone for a minute to take some pictures! The handspun alpaca is is a gradient that goes through some different shades of tan and brown. It’s a three ply yarn and bounces between super bulky and heavy worsted. I consider it to be really rustic looking. I also purchased some mill spun alpaca yarn from a local farm that I can’t wait to use. It’s worsted weight and I’m going to be making a hat from it.
I’ve made quite a bit of progress on the scarf I’m making. I’ve used about half of my yarn so I’ve placed a marker so I’ll have a good idea of where I need to start the next ruffle.
Patons Kroy Sock FX in Cadet Colors
This week I cast on a new Christmas stash buster! I’ve had two balls of some patons sock yarn and I finally cast on some socks. I’m going to be making two pairs of mens ankle socks. I’m doing them two at a time and toe up on US size 1 needles. I might run just a little short on yarn but I have some similar yarn to use if I do run out. I’m only planning on finishing one pair for Christmas so I don’t end up running out of time for everything else. I also pulled out the needles and yarn for a hat. It’s some hand spun alpaca that is fairly bulky and a little over spun in some places but I think it will make a really nice hat.
I would love to have pictures of all of these things but my camera situation is still pretty lame. My phone takes terrible pictures and my camera isn’t much better but it’s out of batteries. I bought it 6 years ago and it’s been well used so I think it’s time for an upgrade anyways. I could call it a business expense for my etsy shop because I could use some better pictures! I’ll figure it out this week I hope because I have lots of things to share.
I finished the blue shawl I was working on so as soon as I block it and get the finished measurements for the pattern I’ll be setting up the giveaway for that. Or maybe I should get the pattern tested first… regardless I need pictures of that too! The last pictures I got are here.
Happy Thursday everyone!
I was hoping for some cooler weather but it doesn’t look like I’m going to get it. I know I should want to hang on to the warm weather as long as I can but I’m done with it. Until it’s too cold and then I’ll change my mind! I work at night right now so sleeping during the day when it’s hotter has been a little challenging at times. I also want to spin and knit all kinds of things that make my hands hot. There is one project in particular that I really wanted to hold off on until it was cooler and I have a good chunk of time to work on it. I unraveled a large portion of a cashmere sweater (pictures below) and I was able to get one skein plied. I took pictures and was planning on finishing up that week so I could list it in my shop. I went to do the second skein and my hands were just so hot and sticky that the yarn was just breaking over and over again. Straight from the sweater it is a single ply of 100% cashmere and it’s pretty much cobweb weight. After it’s plied it’s amazing and the colors are great and I love it! Before it’s plied it’s been pretty much my enemy.
There are a few other sweaters that I really want to get processed and listed this month because I would love to be able to give people more choices. I’m making progress on hand knit items but that’s only because I can work on those at work. I don’t think they would appreciate me unraveling sweaters at work. Fuzzies and threads everywhere! Tomorrow when I get access to a camera I’ll be posting some updates to my Christmas knitting stash down. It involves the orange variegated scarf that is in progress and yarn pictures of what is coming up next!
I thought that I would do a little extra sharing today about why I have an etsy shop. I have always liked being crafty and I learned to knit and crochet when I was a kid. I would pick up little projects off and on but I didn’t really get into it until after high school when I started to gain a little more confidence in my knitting skills. I also started finding better resources and I saw patterns for things I would actually want to own. Before this I would see pattern books that were filled with dated styles or complicated steps that I didn’t understand. I think modern knitting magazines kicked me back into knitting because there were sweaters in there that looked like someone normal might actually wear them. I think around that time I got the “I can’t believe I’m knitting socks” book. I shouldn’t have believed it just yet thought because my first socks were pretty bad but I felt like I could knit anything I wanted to.
Fast forward to my miraculous discovery of RAVELRY! Best website ever! I was searching for a pattern and I was directed to create a ravelry account and I was amazed at how many people and resources there were. I had endless sources of inspiration and enough help and information to actually act on those inspirations. I think I was accustomed to the facebook thing where people are always trying to find or create drama and I was super excited to see how upbeat and positive people were. They wanted to share but they want you to share too!
At this point I was still just using acrylic yarn because everything else was really just out of my price range. Everything changed again when I discovered a tutorial for unraveling sweaters! It was nuts how much yarn I got from one sweater. Around the same time I discovered that you could dye wool yarn a rainbow of colors in your kitchen for like a dollar. I was officially hooked on finding wool sweaters. I was already a thrift store shopper but now I was a thrift store shopper with a purpose.
I quickly ended up with a stash of sweaters to use and I kept saying that I could sell this yarn for less than commercial yarns and still make enough money to support my hobby. It took awhile but I posted my first listings in May.
I loved that I was supporting some good causes with my money and using sweaters that sometimes had holes or were in need of a new lease on life. The sweater materials were in good condition but things happen like snags or stains. I found one sweater that still had department store tags on it but had a huge coffee stain on it. I felt pretty good about being able to use all of the rest of the sweater and I used the stained part and stained it more with some tea and made an awesome doily with it.
I think that having a hobby/business like this has saved my sanity. It has been the positive force that gives me something to be excited about. I work full time at a pretty boring job with some pretty miserable and complacent people. I’m also in school full time (I graduate with a BSIT the end of March, yay!). I have drama with family and friends just like everyone else but I started knitting a pink hat and I listed a cowl that I made in my etsy shop so I’m feeling pretty good about things.
If you took the time to read this wall of text then thank you because that is very awesome of you. September is my birthday month and I haven’t been promoting much lately so I’m starting a 20% off coupon code for everything in my shop (AUDREYLEE is the code and message me if you need help using it!). If you buy it before the 14th then I don’t have to move it with me to my new place! Think of how much you could help me ;)
I’ve started my next Christmas knitting project! I wound the yarn into a cake yesterday morning when I got home from work and did a little test swatch. I had trouble sleeping at first because I was coming up with a pattern and I wanted to start it and see how it was going to look! I might publish this pattern when I’m done. It will most likely be free and on my blog. I’m using fingering weight super wash merino. It’s from Dicentra Designs and I purchased it at Tangled Purls here in Salem, OR. I’m using the citrus colorway and I have about 170 yards of this yarn. My initial thought was to make a scarf with ruffles and ribs so I could call it the ruffles and ribs scarf. I didn’t see a pattern on ravelry that had everything I wanted (which is typical for me). I wanted a reversible scarf that was narrow enough for colors in the yarn to be stripey more than pooled and I wanted it do have just a little bit of something without being too fancy. I ended up with no ribs but lots of garter stitch and I love how it looks with this yarn.
As for further stashdown cristmas knitting I’m planning on toys for the kids, hats for the dudes, and slippers for most of the chicks. I want to keep the pace of finishing something every week but it might take two weeks right now because I’m starting more things than I’m finishing. I have lots of stash diving and pattern browsing to do before I find the right combinations of things for gifts. I also have to work and keep up with school as well as move in a couple of weeks and I have a vacation planned as well… It’s going to be a busy fall!
For anyone who is curious, my pattern so far is:
4 rows of garter stitch
K1, *YO, K2tog*, K1
K2, *YO, K2tog*
6 rows of garter stitch
K2tog across (20 stitches left)
Garter stitch forever until you are ready to do the ruffle on the other end
Increase to 40 stitches probably using the knit front and back increase but I’m not there yet so I might change my mind
6 rows of garter
K2, *YO, K2tog*
K1, *YO, K2tog*, K1
4 rows of garter
I work, take care of my babies, read, and maybe sometimes knit.