Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Shop Update 31/7


It's a small one but a good one.

And remember, you've got two more days to place orders to make sure I have time to ship them out to you before the shop goes on holidays!
And when I come back, I'll have some great new stripers for you. If you're a classic Who fan, you definitely want to check back in then... Just saying.

Monday, July 30, 2012


 It's no secret that I adore Another Crafty Girl's yarns. A lot. Especially her Poke-colours. In fact, I may need all of them...
I've had some leftover Bulbasaur from that awesome beret I knit a while back.
And I've had the Dustland Mitts pattern by Stephen West in my queue.
Perfect combo!
A quick and squishy knit, I managed to get all the way to the end before running out of yarn.
And while the generous Sarah of ACG offered to help me out, I needed the mitts done *right nao*, so I finished them off with some Malabrigo in Solis.
I love how they look, and I wear the mitts all the time.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ravellencis! Go!

I hear there's some kind of athletics event happening over in Ye Olde England right about now. The term XXX got bantered about.
I have no idea.
But there's this event going on called the Ravellenic Games, where you knit and crochet and dye and weave for fun and glory and the simple joy of pretending you're competing.
Of course I'm knitting along!
I like pretend-competitive knitting. After all, I do Nerd Wars.
For my Ravellenic project, I'm double-dipping into my Camp Loopy project 3 and making opera-length fingerless mitts in two colours of the fabulous madelinetosh light, a fuzzy, soft, single-ply yarn so bright and cheery, the winter blues will never get to you.

I'm also making some socks out of the yarn I won last Nerd Wars tournament.
And some washcloths, because I love the one I have, and now I need more. It's also a great way to use up that cotton/acrylic I've had in my stash since last year.

Are you Ravellenicking?

Feelin' Blue Socks

 I finished another pair of socks! They're not for me though, they're for the Boy, when he travels to the cold (and lonely) capital.
They even come with extra cat love!

The colourway was an experimental one I did on one of my yarns. now I just need to figure out how to recreate it, of course...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Norwegian Rose saga

They're done! The Norwegian Rose socks that took forever are done!
Remind me never to attempt an 800-yard colorwork sock project in a month again.

They're glorious and a pain to get on, but once they're on, they're warm and cushy.
I'll have to redo the ribbing though. Size 0 after size 0 colorwork made it too sloppy for my liking.

The knitting itself was reasonably straight forward, all things considered.
Wendy Johnson is known for her great toe-up sock instructions, so following them was easy as sock knitting can be.
The charts were great and clear.
I'd heard the heel was a bit of an issue for some, so I changed mine to the heel I did for my Bob & Weave socks, and that worked out excellently.

To get all the yardage into the sock, I extended it by one repeat vertically and one horizontally, meaning I did some calf shaping. And good thing, too!

I love how they came out.
They're the perfect height to fit in snowboarding boots, and I intend to try them for this very purpose.
Let's see how the fabled Solemate stands up to some hardcore shredding, eh?

Speaking of Solemate.
The colorway, Bigger on the Inside, I got looked dark in the skein. I was a little sad about that, because it meant the contrast wasn't quite what I envisioned.
Then it got worse.
When I soaked the finished socks, the dark blue dye bled. A lot.
As in, even after a vinegar bath and dye fixing and many, many rinses, there was still dye coming off.
My pretty brown variegated? Blue tinted.
Sad face.

I know this can happen. I dye yarn. No one deliberately ruins your colorwork. If I had thought about this, I would have pre-washed the skein just to be sure. It's dark blue. Dark blues and reds bleed.
But this felt a bit excessive.
So I let Lorna's Laces know that I had a problem. I wasn't trolling, or trying to be rude. Just feedback.
They got back to me within a day. They were apologetic, they were nice, and they offered me a skein of yarn as a gesture of goodwill.
How nice of them! But I'm in Australia, and I know international shipping is a pain. I gave them my address anyway. Their response? "A happy customer is NEVER a problem". Don't you just love that?

Mistakes happen. Things don't always come out perfectly. it's what you do afterwards that really counts.
And Lorna's Laces' response? Perfect.
You know I already love their yarn. But now I also love the company behind the yarn.

Climate Ninja

 I've made a ninja mask before. It stood me in excellent stead while in Japan. So I wanted another one.
I had a skein of Lorna's Laces Solemate, which is made from wool and magical climate-controlling Everlast in a cheery pink/purple that would go great with my snowboard.
Yes, these things are important. Shouldn't they be?

This one knit up much more quickly, although I conveniently forgot that I had issues with the last one.
i had the same issues again. Doesn't matter.
The finished result is great and worked well on the slopes.
Something I forgot though: The original mask got a lot of its warmth from the fact that the wool felted across my face.
Solemate doesn't felt as easily, making it a bit breezier.
Which means I now have a less-cold-weather mask. Excellent.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


 Today, a squished-up but well-sealed box arrived. All the way from Colorado.

Oooooh! inside were some lovingly wrapped parcels.

 Six, to be exact, and cards to go with them.
It's my Loopy swap package!
 My wonderful swap partner chose travel & stories as her theme. For those who know me, you know this couldn't be a more perfect theme for me.
She started off with a handmade card featuring maps, explaining her choice of theme. I'm loving this already!

But let's get to package number one.

 Each parcel contains a little sheepy note, explaining why the pressie was included. Number one states that all journeys start with comfy feet. So I got Heel cream! The best foot-pampering cream in the world. This is so coming to the snow with me.
 Next up, some adorable stitch markers (a unicorn, a mushroom, a wizard and a rainbow) and tab markers in an awesome little case. These reminded my partner of stories and the sharing thereof. As a writer, I never have enough tab notes. And as a knitter, I never have enough adorable stitch markers.
 Next was a big, squishy parcel.
It's socks!
Not just any socks. Firefly-colored socks knit into the "Intrepid Traveller" pattern. Gorgeous and comfy. I'm wearing them as I type this.
 But wait, there's more! There is Colorado chocolate with a fridge magnet (I love travel magnets, don't you?) and Jolly Ranchers, which I'd heard of, but had never tried. Until now. They are so good!
 Of course, swap packages come with yarny goodness. The photo does not capture the fabulous glow of this gorgeous madelinetosh sock yarn.
How much do I love MadTosh? Oh yeah, it's lots. And lots. This is a wonderfully complex pink-and-purple. LOVE!
And finally, because Australia can be difficult to send tea to, my wonderful swapper sent me a tea mug to put my own tea into.
I've been coveting my colleague's awesome tea travel mug (exactly like this one!) every time she brought it to work.
This is beyond fabulous!
 So here is the fantabulous package in all its glory.
Am I spoilt or what?

Oh yeah. Lucky, lucky me.


Life is perfect.

Shop Update 24th July: New bases!

Bouquet of Dreams - Run Away
Exploding Box - Run Away
The shop update is about to go live. This week, I'm introducing you to two new bases I'm super excited about.

Brrrains is a super-squishy, tightly-plied 100% Merino that will put a spring in your step, while Run Away is a soft yet durable Merino/Nylon blend that gives you fantastic yardage, a soft hand and a durable finished product.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Yarn vs Zombies and check out what's in stock today.

Through Time and Space - Brrrains
Also remember, next week will be the last shop update before I go on holidays.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Stitchmarkers? Stitchmarkers who?

 I'd heard of Bea-Gin stitch markers before. Podcasters love them, and there's a bit of a buzz about them.
They look like piercing rings and come in great colours.
But what really made my nerd heart sing were Doctor Who-themed markers!
So I had to get some (and then go back and get some more).
They really are as fabulous as people say they are.
I especially love the different sizes for different projects. The wee ones are perfectly unobtrusive in even the smallest-needle project (itty bitty toys, anyone?), while the larger ones keep my place in my curent lace shawl project.
Of course now I'm giving myself instructions like "purl until the sonic screwdriver..."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Shop update 17/7

Today's shop update is wee but fun.
Some colors are making a come-back and a new color flies in: Blue Macaw!

According to my friend, whose glorious rescue bird is the inspiration behind this colorway, red parrots get all the glory.
So here's to blue, the second-most popular parrot out there.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A dishcloth?

Some knitters love washcloths. Some knitters are indifferent to them. Many people are confused by their merit (or not).
I had a long car ride from the mountain in the dark ahead of me, and I didn't want to knit another shawl.
So I cast on a washcloth. Or a dishcloth. Or a garter square on an angle.
Made out of cotton/acrylic vintage stash, it was quick, it was fun, and guess what?
The finished cloth is totally awesome!
Now I want a whole pile of handmade washcloths. Just saying...

Cardigan update: Wanda Nell

As Nerd Wars and Camp Loopy and other shines distract me, the Wanda Nell cardigan gets pushed to the back burner a bit.
i still love it, I just never seem to make the time to actually knit on it.
It's coming out gorgeous though. I love it so much!
The colours are fabulous, the shape is, well, shaping up nicely, and that Wollmeise smell, well!
I really need to knit on this more.
Perhaps riiiight now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Shop Update 10/7

Possum yarn!
Lavender Dreams
Today's shop update is live!
It's a small one, but I'm introducing a new base, made with 10% New Zealand possum!
it’s like angora’s tougher cousin. 
Once you wash and dry your finished item, it blooms and softens with a lovely halo.
I made mittens out of possum yarn and alpaca, and they are the softest, most hand-hugging thing ever!

Of course, there's also some lovely new self-striping colors (I especially love the lavender colorway) and a one of a kind blue variegated skein that I'm tempted to keep for myself because I love the interplay of colors so much.
Pink Parasol

Feeling Blue OOAK

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Shop Update July 3rd

This week's shop update is live!

Something new going up this week in the shop:
This wonderfully soft and springy Merino top is grown close to me (just one state over, on the island of Tasmania), and has to be felt to be believed.

Of course, there'll also be some stripey goodness again.