Yarn Along The Rockies 2019

I had a fun time visiting yarn shops during Yarn Along The Rockies! Went to three shops and added sock yarn, spinning fiber to the stash.  Yarn Along The Rockies 2019 || withwool.com

Yarn Along The Rockies was the third week of August, and I happily joined in. I only visited the closest 3 of the 13 shops, but I still enjoyed myself. One of those shops, FingerPlay, was brand new to me and I’ve been meaning to get down there for months. It’s a cute shop with a great vibe, and frequent knit afternoons/open studios. I’m looking forward to stopping in again soon since it’s been so long since I’ve had a regular knitting group to visit. I also made it to Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins which remains one of my favorite yarn and spinning shops. Maverick Fiber Arts was my other stop and had a nice selection of different yarns and notions.

Two skeins of sock yarn I bought during Yarn Along The Rockies 2019. Cascade Heritage Wave on the left and Regia Pairfect on the right. #knitting #sockyarn  Yarn Along The Rockies 2019 || withwool.com

The stash did get a little larger, but not by much. I have no shortage of sock yarn or spinning fiber, but everything I bought came home with intention. Both sock yarns, Cascade Heritage Wave and Regia Pairfect, made me excited to knit socks for myself again. That’s an exciting feeling after finding it lacking for so long. The fiber, 8 oz of Frabjous Fibers and 4 oz of Hummingbird Moon, will eventually be handspun gifts or play a part in a Nightshift shawl. My plans are still a little murky on that front. I also came home with a pair of sock blockers for the Bearded One’s socks. The blockers are a little shorter than I would like but will still do the job.

While I only visited a fraction of shops on the tour, I enjoyed myself. I got to visit different places, see new yarns, and go on a little adventure. Also picked up a nice project bag which is cool too. I’m glad I didn’t skip the yarn crawl this year, and I’m looking forward to next year.

Yarn, Knitting, and #The100DayProject

#The100DayProject is helping me feel like myself and remember what I like so much about yarn. | withwool.com

#The100DayProject, a project dedicated to 100 days of whatever you choose, kicked off earlier this month, and I decided to join last minute. I’ve tackled this project in previous years with the goals of daily art, and spinning. For this year’s project, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to commit 100 days to. All I knew was that I was so bored of starring at my phone when I plopped on the couch at the end of the day after putting the Mini to bed. I wanted to do something or make something instead of endlessly scrolling through whatever or playing another game for the Nth time. So there was my project. My goal for 100 days was to put down my phone and make something. It’s been an interesting and fun change of pace. I haven’t done a great job of posting my daily progress online (mainly because it’s already after 11PM when I’m done), but I have put down my phone to make tasty desserts, write tutorials, take photos, pick out buttons, and knit lots.

#The100DayProject is helping me feel like myself and remember what I like so much about yarn. | withwool.com

#The100DayProject might be bringing back my knitting mojo. I returned to a pair of floundering socks for the Bearded One. I finished a pair of slippers, and now just need to sew on 12 buttons. The main project that I’ve devoted the past few days to is a new sweater for the Mini. She’s almost outgrown the first sweater I made her, and I want something she can wear through the Summer and into Fall. All of my perusing through Ravelry for baby stuff while I was still pregnant left me with lots of options to choose from. I picked out three sweaters and first up is Marigold Fields by Taiga Hilliard I had the yarn and the pattern already, but the 100 Day Project gave me the kick I needed to actually start. Casting on turned out to be harder than expected because I couldn’t get a fabric I liked at the required gauge. So I came back the next day to figure out how to make the yarn and pattern work together.

#The100DayProject is helping me feel like myself and remember what I like so much about yarn. | withwool.com

And here we are now. The lace yoke is finished. The arm holes are bound off. My mods went off without a hitch. Now I’m zooming through the body with 3” left before the bottom edge. I’m making the 2T size which will probably be a bit big for her right now, but should hopefully fit her for a long time.

I’m glad I committed to #The100DayProject after taking a break from it last year. It’s helping me feel like my old self and remember what I like so much about yarn. Anyone else tackling the Project with me?

A Trip To The Frog Pond

 Sometimes ripping out is the only way to get the knitting project you want. | withwool.com

This hat is my white whale. Okay, that might be a little bit of an over statement, but this pattern has been lingering in my “Get It Done” list for years. It’s not that I’m not excited about this pattern or that I don’t like it anymore. Both of those things are still true even 4 years after I first sketched up the initial design and agonized over the color work chart. 

So why the hold up? The hat and my notes on how to make it didn’t get back in my hands until last year. And it wasn’t until the last few months that I started getting everything together to write a pattern that someone else could knit. Detailed notes that you can find are the best. Seriously. Everything sounds good right? Well, there’s one more thing to do before I can get to the important stuff like photographs and tech editing and publishing it. 

As much as I love the color work and the colors, there is one thing that I really don’t like about this hat. It was bound to happen after 4 years after all. The crown and length of this hat is way too long. I love a good slouchy hat, but this is not a good slouchy hat. It just looks weird, and not in a fun way. So it’s time to take a pair of scissors to my stitches and rip out the crown and a few extra inches. Definitely not starting over from scratch. At this point having to rip out part of a project, even a finished project, isn’t frustrating. It’s just a step in the process of making something both that I’ll want to wear and share. Now where did I put those scissors…

FO: Amiga Cardigan

The Amiga Cardigan and I have a long history together. My notes tell me that I cast on January 21, 2014, but it seems like so much longer because I originally cast on for a bolero with the same yarn. I fell out of love with the first sweater (and all my mods) and ripped out all my work. Life’s too short to knit sweaters you’re never going to wear after all. 

Amiga is a simple stockinette raglan. Knitting the giant Norma Blanket was more complicated than this, but the Amiga is special because it’s the first sweater that I’ve ever finished. I’ve swatched and cast on for others but this is the only one I’ve ever been able to wear. So, I’m happy with it even though it turned out completely different than I thought it would. 

It wasn’t that my swatch lied to me, per say, but that it didn’t have all the information it needed to tell the truth. When I swatched over a year ago, I cast on just enough stitches to measure 4” between a garter stitch border. Then I washed and dried it the same way I would the finished sweater. The stitches evened out but the gauge didn’t change. I even hung and weighted it to see if the fabric would stretch. It didn’t and and I got started. 

After the initial excitement of casting on for THE first sweater again wore off, I worked on it here and there. Somewhere in the middle I bought 2 extra skeins which took some doing since the color had been discontinued. The off and on knitting might have something to do with why the sweater grew or it might not. I’m not really sure. Eventually an overwhelming urge to finish all the things took overand I finally bound off the collar, weave in all the ends, and blocked the sweater 20 months to the day after casting on.

The first sign that the sweater wasn’t the same size was when I pulled it from the soapy water of the sink. It definitely looked longer when I laid it out. I measured to make sure everything was even but I didn’t compare the measurements to the schematic. I know you should, but I didn’t want to know for sure. There was no denying it though when I tried it on. Instead of ending mid back, the sweater hung inches lower. The previously three quarter length sleeves were full length. The carefully placed button holes had moved several inches down to my belly button.

Disappointing? Yes, but I also wanted to make myself a light, flowing sweater with plenty of drape. I ended up doing  just that so I’m not going to complain. Next time, though, I’m knitting a bigger swatch.

The Specs

Pattern: Amiga by Mags Kandis

Yarn: 5 skeins Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool - Thunderstorm

Needles: US 10 (6 mm) circulars 

Dates: January 21, 2014 - August 21, 2015

@Ravelry

I-Cord Necklace How To

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

While I was shopping for beads for an upcoming project, I found a cute turtle pendant that ended up in my digital cart. It was still cute once I had it in hand, but I didn’t have a way to wear it. I knew if I put it away in drawer that I’d forget about it so it stayed on the table. My kitchen table, AKA my desk, is a jumble of books, yarn, knitting needles, spinning fiber, and tech. It wasn’t long before the pendant and the right yarn ended up next to each other. It be much easier to make a necklace for the pendant instead of forgetting to ever buy one. 

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

Materials

2-3 yds Sport Weight Yarn

2 2.75 mm double pointed needles OR a short circular needle

A pendant, charm, or bead

Tapestry needle

Knitting The Cord

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

 Cast on 3 stitches and slide them to the right tip of the needle. 

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

Pull the working end of the yarn behind the stitches from left to right. Knit the 3 stitches and slide them back to the right hand tip of the needle. This method allows you to work flat but still get a closed, round cord when you’re done. 

Repeat until the i-cord is 19” long or the length you want plus 2” to tie the knots. I decided how long to make my i-cord by comparing it the length of one of my favorite necklaces. 

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

Bind off the 3 stitches and cut the working yarn. Weave in the ends by pushing the needle and thread through the center of the cord for an inch before pushing the needle out and cutting the thread. If your pendant has a small bail or opening, wait to weave in one of the ends. 

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

While not strictly necessary, blocking the i-cord will help even out the stitches and create a nicer looking necklace. To block, soak the i-cord in cool water for 15 minutes. Wrap it in a towel and squeeze out the excess water without wringing. Lay it flat to dry. 

Tying the Stopper Knot

It might take a few attempts to get the knots in the right spot or looking just so. Keep the tapestry needle ready because it’s a big help unpicking the knots. I re-tied each several times to get the right tension and placement.

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

Make a loop with one end of the cord. 

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

Bring the end of the cord behind both strands of the loop…

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

then pull it around the first loop and into the space between the loop and the wrapping end of the cord.

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

Pull the end through the first loop from behind and tighten the knot. 

If the photos aren’t helping, check out this animation of how to tie the Stopper Knot

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

Before tying the next knot, string the pendant. If the bail is small, pull the unwoven end through the bail first and use it to pull the cord through. Weave in the end. 

Tying the Slip Knot

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

Make a loop with the opposite end of the cord.

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

Bring the end over the legs of the first loop and make a second loop. 

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

Wrap the end around the first loop’s two legs twice and bring the end out through the second loop. Tighten the knot leaving the first loop open at the end. Done correctly, you’ll be able to shrink or grow the loop as needed. I like the pull the slip knot tight after pulling the stopper knot through to keep the necklace in place.  

If the photos aren’t helping, check out this animation of how to tie the Slip Knot

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

Done! Enjoy your new necklace!

Learn how to make an i-cord necklace that’s a quick gift for you or a friend. | withwool.com

What's In Your Notions Bag?

After years of knitting I’ve got my required notions down to a science so I’ll have what I need whether I’m at knit night, on a plane, or just hanging out on my couch. 

I love getting little peeks at other people’s desks and studios. A knitter’s notion bag is the same thing in a much smaller package. So, what’s in your notions bag? What are the absolutely necessary tools you use to make knitting and crochet easier? Post a photo to Instagram with the hashtag #mynotionsbag or tell me in the comments. I can’t wait to see!

Without further ado, here’s what I keep in mine.

  • About the bag itself. I used to carry around everything in a metal tin but it rusted and was hard to open. I went to Etsy when I couldn’t stand it anymore and found this great pencil case from Silke Jacobs. It’s just the right size to hold my notions while not taking up too much space in my project bags. Plus, I’ve got the room to hold interchangeable needle tips and an extra cable too when I need them.
  • A simple retractable tape measure.
  • Kitty snips! I got a pair to replace collapsable and embroidery scissors when I fly and decided to use them all the time. 
  • Tapestry needles in different sizes. I won the set of two smaller Chibi needles last year and was surprised at how nice they are. Added a larger needle as well so I can weave in ends from lace weight up to bulky.
  • Stitch markers. Lots of stitch markers. I’ve got locking stitch markers, fancy stitch markers, and plain rubber rings in the bag at all times but the selection varies with the project.
  • Needle keys and cable caps. These things are here to keep my interchangeable needles tight and happy. The key makes sure that the needle and cable aren’t going to twist apart. The caps keep my knitting on the cable when I need the needle tips for another project. 
  • Lotion and a nail file. The nail file is a recent addition to the group. After growing out my nails, I got tired of snagging them on my yarn every other stitch. It’s nice not to have to go digging to find the one file that may or may not be in my purse.