Sunday, September 6, 2020

Rainchain Shawl


Rainchain Shawl

A few weeks back, my local yarn shop owner, Ann, contacted me and asked if I’d like to knit a “shop sample” for the store. She had a pattern printed out for me and she said I could pick any yarn in the shop to make the project.  

Ummm... yes, please!

This is “Rainchain Shawl”.  I knit the project in Canopy Fingering weight yarn by The Fibre Co.  The color I selected is called “Guava”.  The fiber content is alpaca, merino wool, and bamboo. This is really dreamy yarn; I’d love to knit with this yarn again!

This pattern is by designer Meghan Jones who calls her design shop “Little Nutmeg Productions”. Cute!

This pattern is now available for purchase on Ravelry but the pattern is being offered at many yarn shops for an upcoming event called “Local Yarn Store Day”.  My local yarn shop is observing this event on Saturday, September 12, 2020.  If you purchase yarn at my local shop, you can get this pattern for free.  My shawl will be on display and will hopefully inspire some other folks to make this pattern as well. My local yarn store is Yarned and Dangerous in Canon City, Colorado.

I knit up this shop sample in a week.  It was hard to put down. It was a really fun knit.  The pattern includes instructions for a fingering weight version and a worsted weight version.  There are also instructions for a small shawl or a larger shawl.  I followed the instructions for a small shall and I used fingering weight yarn.  The pattern specifies you need approximately 800 yards of yarn for the small version but I estimate I only used about 464 yards of yarn.  Clearly I could have made my shall much larger but actually it’s a very nice size.   

Here are a bunch of photos to show you the details in this project.  I enjoyed this pattern so much that I have cast on another Rainchain Shawl.  I plan to add some beads to the design.  

I hope you can get out and support your local yarn store!  The pandemic has been tough on so many small businesses.  There are fewer and fewer yarn shops around it seems with so many folks shopping on line.  If we want small yarn stores to continue to exist, we must support them.

The photo above shows the project before and blocking and after blocking.  

Friday, August 21, 2020

Magic Potion Socks


Just a quick post to show you my latest socks.  This is really fun yarn by Opal.  The yarn color way is called “Zaubertrank” which translates to “Magic Potion”.  Opal seems to come up with themes for their lines of yarn and then the color way names fit into that theme.  The theme for this line of yarns is “Fairytale”.  My friend Belinda also bought some Opal Fairytale yarn and her yarn color way is called “Elfenlachen” which translates to something like “Laughing Elf”.  See, all that German I took in High School and College is really paying off.  

The pattern I used for this sock is Fruit Strip Gum Socks.  I think this pattern was a fun choice for this yarn.  When you compare the leg of the sock (which is knit in the spiraling rib pattern) to the foot of the sock (which is just knit in stockinette) you can see how different this yarn looks when knit in the fruit strip gum pattern vs. plain old stockinette. Of course this yarn would also look great if just knit up socks in plain old stockinette.  

Here are a few more photos to show you these socks.

I mailed these socks to my good friend Tracy W.  She loves anything Harry Potter and she loves purple.  Since the yarn is called “Magic Potion”, I was reminded me of Harry Potter and I thought Tracy would love these socks too.  

Friday, July 24, 2020

Heel Toe Do Si Do Socks

Heel Toe Do Si Do Socks

Another pair of socks... hot off the needles! 

This yarn is great. I got it at my local yarn shop, Yarned & Dangerous in Canon City, Colorado. The yarn is called “Uneek” by Urth Yarn. The yarn is self-striping as you can see and comes as a “kit” which contains two pre-wound identical cakes.  I knit my socks from the cuff down and I opted to pull my yarn from the center of the cakes since I liked the colors of the yarn I saw there.  Of course you could opt to pull the yarn from the outside of the ball if you prefer.  

The pattern I used is called “Heel Toe Do Si Do” and is available for purchase on Ravelry.  
Here is a link:

I can’t recall what sort of heel the Heel Toe Do Si Do pattern calls for. I opted to work my favorite heel which is called a “Fish Lips Kiss Heel”.  Some time ago I got a great idea; I wish I could recall where I read it.  

As you may have noticed, sometimes I make obsessively matchy-matchy socks and sometimes I go to great lengths to accomplish this.  Basically what I read suggested that when you work your heels of your socks, use the strand of yarn from the opposite end of the yarn.  More specifically, in these socks, I was knitting the socks from the cuff down, pulling the yarn from the center of the cake of yarn. When it came time to work the heel, I grabbed the yarn from the outside of the cake of yarn. When I was done working the heel, I resumed knitting with the yarn from the center of the cake of yarn.  I never cut the yarn coming the center of the cake.  It was just on hold while I worked the heel. I hope that makes sense.   

This one last photo shows you this sock design a bit better. It is interesting to me because the chevron stripes are just on the front side of the leg and the top side of the foot.  I really enjoyed knitting this pattern and I LOVED knitting with the Urth Uneek yarn.  It is very soft and squishy.  

Thursday, July 23, 2020

I Knit a Butterfly...

Butterfly Cowl

This is a pattern by Marin Melchior and it’s called “Butterfly Cowl”.  It is a rather small cowl that I would call bandana or kerchief shaped.  The cowl is primarily knit back and forth on a long circular needle, but as the project is nearing completion, you join to work in the round (see photos).  It’s fun to check out the completed Butterfly Cowl on Ravelry to see the great yarn and color combinations other folks have chosen.  My color choices definitely remind me of a Monarch butterfly.  

You can find the pattern at the link below:

Some folks might feel that this pattern is kind of expensive but when you see how well done and how well written the pattern is, you will understand all the hard work and creativity that went to this design.

This same designer has a larger shawl in a similar design called “Butterfly / Papillon” and it is stunning.  You can find that pattern here:

I think the designer notes that if you are not sure if you will like knitting the larger shawl, you might first wish to try out the smaller Butterfly Cowl design to see how you enjoy the technique (Short Rows and Wrapping and Turning).  Well, I definitely liked the technique and I definitely plan to make the larger Butterfly / Papillon in the future.  

The multi-colored yarn I used in this project is called Jojoland Melody Superwash.  The black yarn, leftover from another project, is from Canon Hand Dyed Yarns.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

More Socks for Ron

More Socks for Ron

My gosh. Can you handle yet another post about socks?  I think I have made nine pairs of socks during the 2020 Pandemic.  I have lost count.  During the first part of the Pandemic when my local yarn shop was closed, I did make a number of pairs of socks with scrap yarn or yarn I had on hand. When my local yarn shop was able to open up again, I went down to the shop and bought a number of skeins of sock yarn.  

My favorite yarn shop, Yarned and Dangerous (Canon City, Colorado), has been carrying yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners (WYS) for awhile now but this is the first time I used it. I like it. The color way is called “Kingfisher” (Signature 4-ply Self Striping).

When I initially cast on this yarn, I was intending to make socks for myself. Not that I needed any more socks for myself though.  Ron saw the socks and for some reason the orange yarn at the very top of the cuff really caught his eye. He said he liked the yarn/socks for himself.  Great! I like that kind of input!  I ripped out what I had done and cast on the socks again with 72 stitches so they would fit him.

I just knit plain old socks and once again used my favorite heel (Fish Lips Kiss Heel).  

Ron tried on the socks and they are a good fit. It’s nearly hitting nearly 100 degrees F everyday in Southern Colorado this week, so these socks won’t be getting worn out anytime soon.  

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Socks for Sylvia

Socks for Sylvia

Sylvia is my son’s girlfriend. I love her just like a daughter. I love having her as part of our family.  
This cheerful yarn reminded me of her.  Plus she likes orange.

The yarn is pictured above. I am a sucker for anything with smiley faces on it.

The pattern I used for these socks is called “Swirl E. Socks”. It’s a fun pattern to do and gives the sock a bit of texture.  The pattern, I believe, calls for a traditional heel flap and gusset, but I worked a “Fish Lips Kiss Heel” in the sock. I just like to do that heel. I have it memorized, I don’t really have to count anything, and I don’t have to pick up any stitches.  The Swirl E. Sock patterN is free and you can find the link here:

You can find the pattern for the Fish Lips Kiss Heel on Ravelry here (It’s a $1.00 pattern and it’s incredibly well written... totally worth the purchase in my opinion):

Ta-dah!  All done. I love how they turned out. Sylvia has some tiny feet. She says the fit is perfect and she looks forward to wearing them when it’s not so hot out.  We are having a heat wave in Colorado this week.  Good weather for sock knitting; not good weather for sock wearing.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Socks for Carrie

Socks for Carrie

I made these socks for my sister, Carrie. I still need to mail them to her. Shhh! It’s a surprise.

The yarn is Full Moon BFL Sock Yarn and is hand dyed by an awesome Colorado lady.  Her yarn shop is called Hummingbirdmoon Yarn.  She likes witchy things.  This yarn’s color way is called “Eye of Newt”.

My computer is not cooperating with me.  I am adding photos chronologically but the computer is jumbling the photos up.  You can see in some photos that the yarn is pooling in a really haphazard way.  I was having trouble knitting tightly enough with some of my sock needles.  When I knit loosely, the yarn pooled. When I switched to different needles and about 4 stitches less per round, the yarn striped instead of pooled.  Amazing.  

For these socks, I just knit plain socks with k2p2 ribbing. The heel is a Fish Lips Kiss Heel.