Hello, My name is Bethany and I'm a Yarn Addict. I've struggled with/enjoyed my addiction for 20 + years. I'm on about the 12th step of my pattern and I have no intention of kicking the habit. I have a large stash (of yarn) and I've been known to share (knitting) needles. My Fiber of choice is lace. Yes, I am a yarn addict, and this is my story...

Friday, December 16, 2011

How I love Thrift Stores!

Just thought I'd mention my love of thrift stores.

Went to a Goodwill with my Mother in Law, and found this:

Mountain Colors worsted "Mountain Goat" yarn, 2 bags with 3 skeins each, totally unused, in a GORGEOUS blue/green/rose colour, still with their $24.99 price tags on them.

Oh yeah, and the bags were marked at $4 each.  Yup.  $150.00 worth of fabulous yarn for only $8.


The Tibia's connected to the Fibula! The Fibula's connected to the Patella!......

Ok, I know it's been WAY too long since I've posted.  Darned life keeps getting in the way!  Now, since it's December and I haven't even posted ANYTHING about my October projects, I guess I'd better catch up...after all, there's a lot of holiday gifts I'll have to post about soon!

That being said, here's my latest original design!

Being a huge anatomy geek I quickly noted how I was severely lacking anatomical knit wear.  These were my first installation, and I hope to keep up with the line once life gets a little less chaotic!
I was quite pleased with the design, although I must have weirdly shaped legs, seeing as though not a single pair of leg warmers I have ever made seems to stay up, no matter how much ribbing/cuffing/elastic I use!

And, yes, I promise I will have the patter/charts published both here and on Ravelry.com, as soon as I get off my duff and computerize the file, create the mirror image of the left leg, and actually write out the instructions in something other than henscratch and shorthand.

                                                    Here's all I have so far....pathetic.

My next plan is to create a coordinating glove pattern with the carpals, articulations, phalanges, etc.  Then maybe on to a spinal cord/chest wall/sternum sweater...we'll see!

Friday, October 28, 2011

What a Tangled Web We Weave...

I had the pattern to make this scarf for MONTHS.  And I had the yarn almost as long.  For some reason this particular project psyched me out a little and made me doubt my knitting skills.  It had cable-needleless-cabling.  And drop stitches.  Heavy on the drop stitches.  Drop stitches scare the living daylights out of me.  I was always taught that dropping a stitch was a bad thing, and even if it was intentional could possibly have disastrous effects on your previously knitted fabric if it was dropped at the wrong point.  Yes, these are the things some knitters fret about.

But at the same time, it had a spider.  Even as a kid the Greek Myth of Arachne and her weaving skills had always been my favorite story in Ancient Lit. class.  And it had webby bits.  And lace weight yarn...my fave.  So I finally pulled the yarn and needles out and gave it a go.

It was actually much simpler than I expected, other than rows 126-140 of the pattern being ill-written and needing to be done over for accuracy.  It took only 4 days time to finish it!

The spider bit was done on size 6 needles with 4 strands of merino wool lace weight held together.  I used KnitPicks Shadow lace in basalt, a deep grey color with hints of burgundy, black and violet mixed throughout.  This involved back cabling, twisted stitches and a "cluster" stitch that I had never done before but was quite simple.

The opposite end looks like the spider's web has fallen into disrepair, created by dropping a strand of lace weight , maing intentional holes and runs, and increasing your needle size as you go.  (I used sizes 6, 8, 10.5 and 13).  Even the fringe at the ends are reflective of this:  One side is neat, the other end is straggly and tattered looking...

I had SO much fun with this project!  I'm thinking of making pillows by modifying the yarn and needle sizes and just doing the spider bit framed with seed stitch...

'Twas Brillig

Made this project  as a combination of "extra yarn bits lying about the house", sheer boredom, and because I noticed that in Disneyland they sell very little Alice in Wonderland merchandise, especially by way of their ear hats.

Necessity is the mother of invention?  Or maybe just extreme geekiness.

Et voila.  Cheshire Hat.

Everyone Else is Making One...

So, I finally made a February Lady Sweater.

It's based on an Elizabeth Zimmerman Pattern for a simple baby sweater on 2 needles. It's a top-down sweater, Worsted weight on size 8 needles and possibly one of the easiest sweater patterns EVER.  And EVERYONE on Ravelry.com seems to have made one.

So I gave into peer pressure.

I wasn't too pleased with the fit/bulkiness of the project.  I think if I make it again (and I might, because it is a simple, classic pattern) I will try making it 1 size down, use a thinner gauge yarn with a heavier  drape to make it hang more, decrease my needle size and add some waist shaping so I don't end up looking like a potato.

Oh well, practice brings improvement.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Acrylic Blocking, 101

Just as an introduction, this was NOT a difficult project, nor was it one of my favorites or most functional, but I needed something small to make as an 'Acrylic Blocking Sample/Tutorial', so, here goes.

I've had a lot of people tell me that blocking acrylic blend yarns is not possible.  I wanted to add a tutorial here to show it is not only possible, but necessary.  If you do not block your acrylic projects, they will look like my pre-blocked bonnet:  A ball of mush.

 Not horrible, but not exactly holding it's form, either.

To block your acrylic, the best method is to use steam.  It will not kill your fiber, like directly ironing it, it blocks more dramatically than trying to wet block (which usually has no result), and is PERMANENT!  YAY!

First off, pin your acrylic item down in the shape you would like it to ultimately be.  Because this item was small I pinned it directly to the ironing board.  For larger items, cloth covered blocking boards can be used, with either an iron to block or a steamer, if you are lucky enough to have one.

Next, hover your iron on a steam setting 1-2" above your work, allowing the steam to penetrate the piece. If you hold the iron directly on the yarn, it will cause the plastic (AKA acrylic) in the yarn to melt and flatten, looking strange, possibly ruining the project/yarn, and possibly melting and adhering to your board/iron.  No bueno.  Hover, hover,hover.

And, as always, there is a story that goes along with this project.  The iron in the photo above is/was my beloved Black & Decker, a trusty member of my household for about 10 years, passed down to me from an ex-boyfriend's mother.  As I began steaming my project I noticed an unhealthy amount of water (ok, the entire amount of water!) leaking out from where the plate met the actual iron itself, rather then steamily billowing out from the plate's holes.  Frustrated, I did what anyone would do and poured another bottle of water into the hemorrhaging machine.  To no avail.  It just leaked more.  Then I remembered an event the week before, where I heard a deafening crash come from the closet where the iron and it's companion board are kept while my hubby was retrieving his jacket.  When asked what the sound was, I was answered with "Nothing!!!".  But I digress.  The happy ending of this story is that I received a lovely new iron =)


After the steaming is complete, let the item cool, take out the pins, and if it is flat enough for your liking, it is complete.

 Flat, no rolling, and ready to wear.  TAH-DAH!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Just Keep Knitting.....

I had wanted to make a scarf I saw hanging as a model in our shop since I started working there.  The pattern, labeled 'Six Simple Scarves' seemed promising to be a brainless, easy knit.  The technique was completely elementary.  As a bonus, the yarn, Heather Alpaca Prime by Joseph Galler, was AMAZING!  A few people who made it, however rolled their eyes while talking about their endeavors.  I decided to ignore them as usual and cast on.

I altered the pattern a bit, since the actual pattern called for 375 yards of worsted weight on size 7 needles, and the yarn I chose was a fingering weight (651 yards, no less!) of beautiful 100% Alpaca Fiber.  I cast on about twice the amount called for, on a size 3.

Then I stared knitting...and knitting....and knitting.

I became less and less thrilled with the simple combination of knit and purl stitches, each repetitious row pretty much putting me into a self-induced yarn coma just from the lack of change,  Even the yarn became less thrilling.

I swear I was asleep for most of the project.

But, when I finally awoke on my last row and ready to bind off I was THRILLED with the nearly knee-length, just right for a slip knot around the neck scarf.

It's pretty hard to tell from the photos just how classic and beautiful the scarf came out after blocking, and there are no words to describe how incredibly soft this yarn is.

Fist day I wore it my mother saw it and HAD to have one....guess I'll be in another scarf-coma soon!