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, February 25, 2011

Fun With Lace and Ruffles

I finally got to play with my Ella Rae Lace yarn!
After much decision making I had settled on purchasing color #127, a lovely purple, magenta, black and white hand dyed lace merino yarn, the colour vaguely reminiscent of a fresh bruise.  Delightful.  The yardage was fabulous, 460 yards per skein of a delicious extra fine merino wool yarn.  I decided to embark on the Koigu Ruffle Scarf I had wanted to make for so long.

The scarf itself was quite simple for one to accomplish, if one doesn't mind casting on over 650 stitches,knitting the pattern lengthwise, decreasing, increasing again, then ending up with another HUGE amount of stitches again at the end.  But I digress.  It makes a lovely ruffle.

When my scarf came off the needles it was quite curly, so I decided to go against the manufacturer's warning and used a low wool setting on my iron to gently press the ruffles out a bit.  The result was a much more relaxed version of the scarf: exactly what I wanted!

 I think the scarf looks vaguely reminiscent of jellyfish tentacles.  Or a piece of errant seaweed.  Hmm....that could be a good look.  Wonder if I can find some kelp coloured lace weight  yarn...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Raves for New Knitting Products!

From time to time I have to just write a post to either rant or rave about products on the market for knitting...Here's one of them!

Item #1, Knit Pick Harmony Knitting Needles:

I just purchased these from my LYS (conveniently where I work!) after lusting after them for who knows how long after seeing them on knitpicks.com 

I had been using either fixed circular needles, which I love, or an older interchangeable set that I'd had for 10 + years.  The aforementioned needles were still lovely, but since I do more and more lace projects these days I wanted to find something with pointier tips (which the Harmony needles have, indeed!) and were still interchangeable so I could easily change needle sizes midway through a project.  AND, added bonus, they get pretty points for being a beautiful rainbow stained birch wood with purple cables...Squeeeee!!!!!

My photo does not do their beauty justice...
But, oh, lucky you, you can see them (and buy them!) HERE 

Item #2, The Barnes and Noble NOOK!

Ok, so a NOOK isn't INTENDED as a knitting product, but if I can make a hat with a pair of chopsticks and an old unraveled sweater while on vacation, I'm sure I can make it be!

When I bought this I actually had no idea it would only encourage my knit-geekiness...LOVE!
Not only can you buy books (Including popular knitting books), but you can take your pdf patterns that you download from Ravlery, etc. and store them on your device!  Gone are the days of lugging around my pattern binders!  I can store more patterns that I currently own on this thing of remarkable wonder!

I didn't go with the color version, though I'm sure patterns would be fabulous there.  I just went with the run of the mill basic model.  And I'm loving it!  PLUS, there are tons of free patterns to make cutesy little knit sweaters for them like the one I'm starting soon:

Return of the Steampunk Capelet!

Well, I was addicted to the little orange capelet I had concocted a while ago, and decided it was time to make a more practical one I could wear more often.  I am, of course, under the strong conviction that more people should wear more capes, more often.

So I went rummaging through my stash, and after a few days (yes, sadly, sometimes it DOES take that long to go through it!)  I found some fluffy black yarn that would suit.

The first time I made this pattern I altered it by adding more stitches to the body work, therefore increasing the length to just above the elbows:

This time I decided to give it a go according to pattern, creating a smaller version of a shoulder wrap, kind of a gothic-y Victorian collar appearance:

Sorry there are no pictures of the front of this project.  I had been working a busy work week, up late doing chores and projects at home.  There was much more effort put into the appearance of the project rather than the appearance of the wearer when these photographs were taken.  Deal with it =)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wouldn't it be Easier to BUY a Garter?!?!?

Yes.  Yes it would.  But it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

I found a fabulous lace garter pattern as I was stalking Ravelry as I am prone to do. (The pattern is here , if you are at all masochistic, ahem, I mean interested...)  It looked simple enough so I decided to give it a go.  That's when I realized the pattern called for size 00 needles and thin crochet thread.  I realized about 16 rows in (about 1 pattern repeat) that this repetitious pattern was going to take quite a while to fit around my fat thigh (17" in diameter) plus enough to make a suitable gathered ruffle.  Oh well.  Onward without complaint.

Until it had been a few days of monotonous knitting.  Then the complaints began.But no matter.  Eventually I got a strip of lace about a yard long.  That would just have to do!  Blocking the amorphous tube of knitting proved to be another challenge.  It said after soaking and pinning down your lace in the desired shape to spray it with starch to keep the pointed bits, umm....pointy.  Well I had no starch and wanted to finish NOW!!!!  What's a girl to do???  Make my own starch, of course.

The internet is a lovely thing.  Turns out all you need is to whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch into 1 pint of cold water, transfer it into a spray bottle and shake it before each use.  Voila, homemade spray starch for practically free.  You're welcome.  And you get bragging rights AND the chance to feel like a Victorian housewife...Can it get any better???  Here's the blocked, starched result:

Then came the fun bit of weaving elastic through the eyelets.  Let me back up for a minute.  The pattern tells you to sew a bias tube along the back of the garter, run elastic through that, then weave ribbon through the aforementioned eyelets.  Sounds like too much work to me!  Since our theme colours are black and white anyways, I just found some 1/4" black elastic and ran it through the eyelets, therefore killing tow birds with one stone. 

Once all the ends were joined I sewed on a simple bow and button embellishment and pronounced the project finished.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Confessions of a Yarn Addict, Step One: Create a Blog

So I'm finally listening to my friends' advice and creating a blog based on my love (or as some will call it, addiction) to knitting. (As if I don't have enough trouble posting to my REGULAR blog!)

Here I will take time to wax rhapsody about yarns and patterns I love, grouse loudly about yarns and patterns I hate, and post my own projects and patterns to share with  my fellow yarn-aholics.  This is not an intervention, oh no, quite the contrary.  Nor is it an attempt to kick my all-consuming habit, because the only steps I'll be following are those written in patterns and charts.

So, please stand, and repeat after me..."my name is ___________, and I'm a yarn Addict!"