Finished Project: The Age of Brass and Steam

Over the summer I decided it would be nice to have a smaller project after finishing my sweater.  I had some Wolle’s Yarn Creations color changing yarn in my stash that I was really wanting to knit up and The Age of Brass and Steam seamed to be the perfect pattern to show off the beautiful color transitions.

Age of Brass and SteAMI added one extra repeat of the pattern and then knit the garter stitch edge until I finished up the skein to be sure to make the most of all the wonderful color.

Wolle's Yarn Creations shawlIt’s much bigger than the original pattern but I love how the cotton fabric drapes.  I’m very pleased with this project.

Yarn Dyeing Class at Main Street Yarn

I had such a great afternoon yesterday.  I felt like I was back at summer camp!

I signed up for a yarn dyeing class at Main Street Yarn in Rebersburg, PA. The shop, which just opened a few months ago, is only about thirty minutes away from State College and it’s in a beautiful valley. It’s very picturesque and throughout our class many Amish people passed by on horses, in buggies and on bicycles.

We spent our afternoon under this tent learning how to dye yarn.  Our teacher was Libby from Mad About Ewes farm.

Behind Main Street YarnsWe each got two skeins of fingering weight yarn to practice space dyeing and set to work mixing our cake dyes.

Wilston DyesMixed Up DyesNaked YarnThe next part was the best.  We all started dyeing our yarns and it was so neat to see how we all chose colors differently and placed them on our yarn in a variety of ways.

019 020 023We wrapped our wet yarn up in plastic wrap, squeezing out the excess water and then cooked them in the microwave for four minutes.

017 025 022After our yarn had cooled, we took turns rinsing it in the sink.  The color really stuck to the fibers as there was no color in the water when we rinsed.  We hung our yarns over the hitching post outside the store to see our results.

Yarn on a hitching post More yarn on a hitching postThese were mine.

My first dyed yarnThis horse even came to see our creations.

Amish buggy and horse with my yarnIt was a really great time and I can’t wait to knit these skeins up.  I love the vibrant colors I chose and the way it all turned out.

my yarn

So I’m Crocheting Again?

It’s been years and years since I crocheted something.  In fact, I believe the last project I crocheted was a blanket for my nephew when he was born.  He turns eleven this fall.

But last year I saw this post on Nicky’s blog and I thought that pillow was beautiful. Granny Squares are so pretty and I love the way you can mix up colors.  Then in the fall, my mom and I looked at that pattern and she reintroduced me to crocheting which I picked up quickly. In January, I bought the yarn while traveling around the Lehigh Valley.

And yesterday, I started the actual squares for what may be a pillow or hopefully a blanket.  We’ll see how far I get.  But it’s a nice distraction for some of the larger projects I am working on now or plan to start this year.

025 026I plan to mix the colors up but have multiples of the same color combinations. I guess I’ll see as I go along.

Finished Baby Bear

It’s hard to post a lot when most of the things you are working on are going to be presents.  Not that everyone I know looks at this blog, but sometimes you just don’t want to ruin the surprise.

When I first bought this High Society Sock Yarn, I wasn’t quite sure what I would do with it.  It is very bright and colorful which always appeals to me but besides making socks (I haven’t finished the first pair that I started over two years ago) it wasn’t clear what I’d actually wear in such bright colors.

But then I realized it would make a great stuffed animal for my newest nephew and I found Susan B. Anderson‘s Baby Bear in her book Itty-Bitty Toys.

Beginnings of a bear

For my bear I mostly followed the instructions except that I increased the needle size to a US 5 and I waited until the end to put together all the parts.

Bear parts

The other thing I didn’t do was put a face on this bear.  I started with a nose and besides not liking covering his cute little yellow nose, I decided I didn’t like how my poor hand stitching made for a sort of scary face.

finished baby bear

Knitting a whole project on DPNs is not my most favorite (see sock comment above) and you can see in some spots that the knitting could be a little bit nicer. But mostly I just love how he looks like a rainbow.

side bear

The pattern was so easy to follow and all of his parts look so great.  I especially love his cute little tail that took maybe five minutes to knit up.

bear butt

Overall, I am very pleased with how he turned out.  I hope that he becomes a cherished toy that my nephew drags all around the house and snuggles with at night.

finished bear

Lehigh Valley Yarn Stores

This past week I was traveling around the Lehigh Valley area in Pennsylvania and got to visit two different yarn stores.

First I went to The Knitter’s Edge in Bethlehem.

knitters edgeThis was a really big store and it was so crowded with people knitting together and buying yarn and other supplies. The selection was amazing and I can see why it was so busy.  The staff was also very helpful.  I was excited to find they were having a sale on Noro and bought myself some Taiyo Sock and Kureyon.

Noro Taiyo Sock Noro Kureyon

My next visit was to the shop at the Kraemer Yarns factory in Nazareth.

good kraemer millI’ve bought and used Kraemer yarns for other projects and knew it was made in this town in Pennsylvania and on a whim I googled to see if they had a store since I was going to be there.  Their store isn’t huge but it is packed with their yarns.  I ended up getting some of their Perfection Worsted with the plan to crochet it into a granny square blanket.

Kraemer Perfection Worsted

Finished: Inspira Cowl

I finished my Inspira Cowl this week.  Monday night the knitting was completed and then on Thursday I weaved in the ends and gave it a light soak to soften it up a bit.

I really liked knitting this cowl.  It has great texture and I am pleased with how the two different Noro Kureyon colorways worked together.  I had plenty in my stash to use up and it worked with just the two colors — no need to use some Silk Garden to fill in as I had worried about before.

It’s so colorful and I love it.  I was reading comments on some of the project pages for this pattern and one person said it looked like clown collar and didn’t like it.  I get it, I do.  But it totally works for me.

Here is a very poor photograph of me wearing it to prove that it doesn’t look that weird on.

 

Knitting in Color

After I finished my Augustine Shawlette this week, I knew I had to knit with more color.  I love the results but if you look at my Ravelry project page, you can see knitting with a creamy white is not typical for me.

I looked at my knitting goals for the year and I probably could have made a commitment to finishing that Fishtail Lace Scarf because that has plenty of color. But instead, I did what every crazy knitter does and started a new project with even more color.  And it’s making me so happy.

I decided to cast on for an Inspira Cowl.

I cast on using some Noro Kureyon from my stash. I’m knitting the Mesa Rock version and cast on 180 stitches on US 10.5 needles.  I want it to be big and cozy and fit around my shoulders.  I suspect I might run out of the 154 colorway partially through but I have some bits of Silk Garden laying around that might look okay. Or I guess if I have to I’ll buy another skein of a similarly bright colorway of Kureyon because it doesn’t look like I’ll find any 154.  But I really want to avoid buying any because the point is to use up yarn.

I already love the way it looks.  It’s totally filling my need for color.

Keeping people’s ears warm

My friend Marla has always been an admirer of my knitting and first requested a hat well over a year maybe even much longer.

A couple weeks ago when I was in Lancaster, I picked up two skeins of Noro Bonbori.

I was specifically planning to knit an earflap hat for Marla.  This is the fourth hat I’ve made in this pattern and it’s so simple and has a great result.

I’m loving the unseasonable weather we’ve been having but I hope that she gets some use out of this hat this winter.  I’ll send it out this week!

More Noro

Previously, I posted about my Noro Striped Scarves and how much I really like using Noro. On the scarves, the color changes are interesting and appear even more gradual because of the alternating yarns.

I used Noro Kureyon to make my mom a Star Crossed Slouchy Beret.

Slouchy BeretThe Kureyon blocked so nicely and the hat grew a lot and softened quite a bit.  I like how you can see the color changes more clearly when you knit with just the one skein.

When I decided that I wanted a bulky ear flap hat, I went into Knitting to Know Ewe in Penns Park, PA and asked what they recommended. The woman working there was so helpful and she introduced me to Noro Transitions. At the store, she told me it was discontinued so I don’t mean if that meant the colors they had or the entire line.

Ear Flap HatI ended up making short & sweet with my yarn. What’s so cool about transitions is not just the color changes but the different kinds of fiber that make up the skein. And, instead of being a blend, the actual fiber changes as you knit also. It’s a super bulky weight of wool, silk, alpaca, angora and cashmere.

That hat is so warm and so soft around the brim. I really love wearing it.

WIP: Almost there!

I started my Boneyard Shawl in March. In June I posted my progress on my blog first post ever.

Here’s what it looked like then.

And now you can see how much progress I’ve made.  A few more knitting sessions and I’ll be casting off.  Look how little yarn is left!

And here’s Butler modeling it while on the needles.  The rest is all garter stitch and I’ll just continue until my yarn is finished!

Here’s a picture where you can kind of see the color changes from this awesome yarn from Wolle’s Yarn Creations.