Tag Archives: sock yarn

“I’ve got a brand new…”

“…pair of roller skates, you’ve got a brand new key…”

I’ve got a brand new group for Exchanging Fire on Ravelry!  I’ve kinda sorta been meaning to get one together for oh, the last year or so, but I’m weirdly shy about some things, namely “look at me!” kind of activities, like a group that revolves around myself. I would really suck at being a celebrity. I know, I know, it’s strange because I have no problem being Bossy-McBossyPants in person, but somehow a group like this is different. It’s why you don’t often see me blathering in this blog about random personal stuff. ‘Cause I’m weird like that. Anyways, enough about me and my idiosyncrasies, let talk about the group, which actually, when I get right down to it, has nothing to do with me. Face it – I come in second fiddle to The Mini Skeins. And the stitch markers, and the other fun stuff. (But it’s really about the mini skeins. I understand. I’ve accepted it.)

So, I was arm-twisted into starting the group after I got some requests for a knitalong featuring the Mini Mania Scarf, which I’m very pleased that people love just as much as I do. And, not only did I and some rabid eager Mini Mania lovers start a brand new group, we also started a brand new Mini Mania KAL!

Even better, you are invited!  If you are chomping at the bit to use up all of your minis and want to be part of a growing community of miniskein-crazed knitters, this is your chance. I can’t promise that we are sane, but we sure are having fun with our Mini Mania!

Haven’t joined the Mini Mania yet? Go round up some bits and bobbles of yarn (I prefer fingering, but if you’ve got another favorite weight go use that instead and just adjust your gauge accordingly) and then come join in with us! This KAL is indefinite and ever-revolving, so no time is a bad time to hop in and join the fun. Non-maniac mini-lovers are welcome to join us as well, since I’ll be posting updates pretty regularly in the group about the shop, letting you know about special sales and group deals.

Hope you see you casting on with us soon, if you haven’t already!

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Check me out in The Knitter!

I was stalking The Knitter, a UK knitting magazine, religiously this summer. The editor, Juliet Bernard, had asked if she could feature my pattern, the Mini Mania Scarf, in one of her stashbusting blog posts. I was thrilled, of course, and started watching like mad for it. Well wouldn’t you know it, right after I gave up the hunt she posted about my pattern! It was last month, but her stashbusting tips for all of the fabulous ways you can use up yarn are totally still relevant. Plus, hey look, there I am!

But there’s more! The Knitter (hard copy side) contacted me again because they are doing a larger spread about stashbusting in their next issue, and wanted to know if they could reprint my pattern photo there as well! I think that if the pattern is being featured (or, as the case may be, a teeny picture in the corner) it should be the most current issue, issue 36, which went on sale Sept. 5 in the UK. If any of my European readers have found it, I’d love to have a scan of the page or a copy of the magazine. Either way, keep your eyes peeled for me, please!

UPDATE: I wrote to one of the editors who initially contacted me to ask where my picture was featured, and she was so kind as to give me a digital copy of the page that my scarf was on. Yey! They had originally told me that the reason they were interested in featuring my scarf was because a reader wrote them a letter talking about it. So they actually wrote about my scarf in a response to the reader, whose letter they published in a section of the magazine called “In the Loop”. Very exciting!

In other news, I’ve joined Craftsy and I’m loving it – it’s a great complementary site to Ravelry because it offers me a chance to share my non-knitting related stuff (ok, that’s like, one sewing project, but still) and it offers great online classes and stuff like that. What fun!

The Beekeeper’s Quilt: Get Your Hexipuff On!

Dear Lord. Stephanie Dosen has done it again. This girl is so talented, my pinkie finger couldn’t compete with the oodles of cute stuff pouring out of her brain on a daily basis. So here’s the deal. I finished making my Mini Mania Scarf in January, and since then I have been gnashing my teeth, desperate for something else to do with all of these miniskeins I have lying around. I started offering those Mini Mania kits in my Etsy shop purely because I didn’t want to stop collecting. It’s what I do. I think, “well, if I can’t keep it because I’ll run out of room in my home and people will call Hoarders on me, I’ll sell it and then feel like it’s going to a good home where it will be loved and snuggled with and appreciated just as much as I would have.” Warning: this is also what makes me an awful/wonderful enabler when I go shopping with friends. I may have a problem.

Anyways, my mental issues are neither here nor there. What is, however, relevant to this blog post is the brand new pattern Stephanie has been working on. Here I am, sad and lonely and not needing another supersized linen stitch scarf. And voila! Entre The Beekeeper’s Quilt! And a new project for me!

The Beekeeper's Quilt, image courtesy tinyowlknits

You just looked at that image and swore in amazement, didn’t you. Don’t lie! I know you did, because that’s what I did! Stephanie made all of these adorable little honeycomb puffs out of scrap fingering weight skeinlets. And then she put them together to form this huge, squishy quilt of colorful awesomeness! So naturally, I had to dig out all of my miniskeins and toss them hither and thither to find all of the perfect colors and textures to knit myself a blanket as thrillingly fabulous as this. The yarns I tend to collect are brighter and darker than Stephanie’s (my wardrobe is probably also brighter and darker than hers) so to adjust for that fact I think I’m going to use one of every color unless it’s a pastel, and then I’ll double the amount of hexipuffs I’m making.

Miniskeins!

According to Stephanie, the blanket she made is three by four feet, and took about 400…500 hexipuffs? I’m not quite sure, I’ll have to investigate this. Anyways, I’m so pleased to discover that each square takes about 4 to 5 grams of sock yarn to knit – meaning all of the miniskeins I’ve got right now are the perfect size already! Yey! I can knit myself silly!

Stephanie’s blanket isn’t just cute-as-a-button, though, oh no, Stephanie is cute-as-a-button as well. Ok, instead of nattering on aimlessly about how in love with this pattern I am, I’ll just show you Stephanie’s amusing and perky video she made in July when she announced that The Beekeeper’s Quilt was going on sale. Because I think that explains it all.

My Swappy, Scrappy, Oversized Scarf

So once upon a time I saw this fantabulous scarf that a friend had knit in the linen stitch pattern. It was thin and long and highly variegated and looked like it had been woven and she had knit it out of a ton of fingering weight scraps. I was enchanted. So enthralled, in fact, that when she offered the scarf up in a swap I claimed it in a snap. But though I loved it, I wanted more. The thin scarf wasn’t enough to whet my appetite, and as winter approached, I decided I needed to make one of my own.

So come January, after a few weeks of collecting yarn scraps, I started knitting my shawlscarf. Linen stitch and knitting lengthwise was a completely new territory for me, and I vastly underrated (or overrated, depending how you look at it) how much yarn and stitches I would need to complete this scarf. So in my enthusiasm, I cast on 600 stitches. I know. I am insane.

There was a definite learning curve, and I certainly had to frog early on, but I kept plugging away. Part of the reason this scarf just never stopped is because I am meticulous, and wanted my colors to blend properly. And so I found myself with A LOT of yarn. I worked off and on for 12 months to make this scarf. There reached a point where I knew I should stop but I wanted to fit in all of the awesome yarns I had accumulated, so I didn’t stop!

But finally, after almost a year, I came down to the end. I cut myself off, I chose an end yarn, and I finished it. It. Is. Finished. Stick a fork in it. My Swappy, Scrappy Oversized Scarf used over 2,000 yards of fingering weight yarns (not all are listed, as some were unknown) and is absolutely perfect. Wide enough to cover my ears, nose and throat but with a thin enough fabric to scrunch when I need it to. As I was knitting it, I wasn’t sure if I was crazy or inspired, so to have the finished product be exactly what I wanted makes me inordinately pleased. I started this Jan. 29, 2010 and my goal was to finish it up before it’s one year anniversary. I did it, finishing while visiting a friend on Jan. 15, 2011. Yey!

I must say that this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever knit. I’m not one for wildly variegated colors and crazy, off-the-wall fabrics, or anything like that. But I just couldn’t stop knitting this. I love it. 🙂 Oh! The crazy teacup pin was a Christmas gift and comes from this off-the-wall Etsy shop called TillyBloom.