Fenceline Cowl

It’s been a busy few months as I have been dyeing yarn for my Etsy shop as well as preparing for last week’s Fiber Expo in Ann Arbor, MI.  It was my first fiber fest, which I shared with my friend Jean, the brains and creator behind MidMittenDesigns.  She makes wonderful project bags and her attention to detail is amazing.  She’s updated her shop inventory this week so go check it out!

I’ve just launched my latest design, Fenceline Cowl, on Ravelry.com.  It was created using a single skein of my fingering weight yarn that 463 yds per 100 grams.  It’s a smooth yarn base that is 75% super wash merino yarn and 25% nylon.

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The pattern is perfect for what I call “social knitting”.  It’s very simple and produces a cowl that has a lot of drape and is easy to customize.  I can’t wait to see what people make with the pattern!

To celebrate spring here in the northern hemisphere and the launch of my cowl, I’m offering a 20% discount on the pattern with the coupon code of HAPPYSPRING now through April 17th, 23:59pm EDT.  Click here to buy the pattern.

Sneak Peak at my new shawl

Over the past few years, I’ve designed socks, cowls and fair isle hats.  One thing that has been on my “bucket” list of things to do someday was to design an asymmetrical shawl. I started this in August 2016, when I was traveling to and from the Stitches Midwest conference and I finally finished it last week.  It uses two skeins of sock yarn in contrasting colors.

I was very good to take notes and a stitch count every row.  Yes, it was somewhat tedious but I’m really glad that I did because it’s making the actual writing of the pattern much easier.

Here are some photos.

I am in the process of actually writing the pattern and hope to be able to have it ready to post for test knitters on Ravelry’s Free Pattern Testers forum.  If you’re interested and are a Ravelry member, then contact me at the top of this site or private message me on Ravelry (username is mom2bsa) and I’ll contact you when it’s ready for test knitting.

 

 

Splash of Color Yarns on sale!

I know I’ve not posted lately as I’ve been busy building my hand-dyed yarn business, Splash of Color Yarns.  I have also been design a pair of socks and an asymmetrical shawl.

I have a December sale running in my Etsy store now through December 20th at 11:59pm EST.

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What patterns are good for variegated yarns?

I continue to dye yarn and that’s not a big surprise lately!  I go to bed at night thinking about what colors I want to use next and the next thing I know the alarm is going off.  It must be time to get up and dye yarn before I have to go to my “real” job that actually allows me to have money to purchase more “sheep”, oh, I mean wool.

I was wondering what patterns you have found that work well for variegated yarns? Feedback is most welcome!

Here’s a list to get us started with:

Cookie A’s Monkey Socks

Flecktone fingerless gloves by Susan Moskwa

The Colorist

Broken Seed Stitch Socks

Miss Winkle

Rainbow Warrior (added this link on July 1st, 2016)

Here is a recently dyed hank of sock yarn and I think I’ll try a cowl or shawl and use the variegated yarn on one row and a coordinating semi-solid on the next.  Hopefully that will prevent some pooling of colors.

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Plumeria on a base of 100% superwash merino sock yarn

 

I’m finished!

After ten months of designing and getting my latest sock pattern test knitted on Ravelry, I’m pleased to announce my “Finish Line” socks are available on Ravelry.  These are ones that I had kept secret for so long in hopes of sending them to Knitty.com as a design submission but I’m not very happy with the yarn, which I can explain below.  Let’s get to the pictures!

red twisted stitch socks

Pair of Finish Line Socks

Top view of sock

Top view of sock

I used Plymouth’s Happy Feet yarn.  I love the color but the yarn had a light twist and after getting done with one of the socks, it had already started to “fuzz” up, which I didn’t like and didn’t feel it would be the best yarn to showcase the socks.

I continued on with the second sock and had to play yarn chicken as I wound up with a very tiny ball of yarn leftover.  Image the size of a U.S. quarter.  Or a ball slightly smaller than a ping pong ball.  I don’t like the yarn chicken game but I won!

These twisted rib socks are based on the drag racing venue at Summit Motorsports Dragway in Norwalk, OH. Various features of the drag strip are included in the stitch pattern.

Starting at the base (ankle) of the sock, you’ll see diamonds representing the starting lights. Traveling up the side of the sock, in between the “lights”, you’ll see the staging lanes where the cars line up to race. On the outermost sides of the sock, you have the service drive down to the end of the dragstrip and the middle cable design and columns form the actual racing surface. At the top of the sock, you have the finish line. I’ve utilized beads to signify the timing tower, which lights up with the winner and their elapsed time.

The sock can be modified for larger feet by simply adding some stitches at the sides of the sock. Placing the stitches on the sides will leave the main design undisturbed.

Note that the twisted stitches the fabric is less stretchy, so this sock was designed with more stitches and worked with a US1/2.5mm needle. However, this made the foot of the sock too big for me given that only half the sock at that point has twisted stitches. Therefore, you may want to drop down a needle size to 2.25mm for the heel turn, gusset and foot. This was confirmed by some of my testers.

I published this last night and see that it’s made it into the Top 20 favorited patterns this morning on Ravelry!  It’s rank is #10 right now.  I was very proud of this design as it definitely stretched my skills.

What’s my name?

I’ve dyed a few more skeins of yarn, which I may blog about, but one of my recent color ways is yet to be named.  I’m trying to find something whimsical relating to the color of the yarn and thought “Why not ask my blog readers for assistance?”  So here goes….

The picture on the left is more the true color with the deepest turquoise at the top and right part of the hank.

We can’t have a skein of yarn unnamed!  I realize that this matches four tops I have that could use some sort of cowl or shawl which, of course, would be in my projects on Ravelry at some point.

My first adventure in yarn dyeing!

I’ve wanted to dye some yarn for a shawl design I have in my head.  I’ve been watching YouTube videos from ChemKnits and tried to replicate the yarn in her Easter Egg pellet dyeing experiment.

I started out with a hank of yarn from KnitPicks called Bare fingering weight yarn composed of 75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon.

What I love about this technique is seeing how the bare yarn sucks in the color.  Now, I had watched another of Rebecca’s tutorials on the differences with dyeing a loosely wound cake of yarn vs. a regular cake of yarn.  I probably should have re-wound the cake so it was looser but I kept an eye on the yarn and poked around the inside and when I saw lots of white, I let the dye soak into that section and I moved around the inside of the hank.  I also made sure that the my cake of yarn was completely submerged because I didn’t want a lot of white.  Once the yarn was cooling, I put a little clear Pyrex glass container to keep the cake submerged.

Here are the pictures of the progress.

Just submerged

Just submerged

Cooling down

Cooling down after simmering approximately 40 minutes to get most of the color in.

Niddy noddy

Beginning to wind the cool wet yarn onto my homemade niddy noddy.

Middle of the cake

Middle of the cake of yarn. I’d put a blue and purple tablet inside the cake.

Drying now

All wound up and drying

Leftover dye

Leftover dye that I’ll use to make a tonal color

Wound up

Wound up into a hank

First Day of Spring color way

I am so excited to introduce my first color way, “First Day of Spring”.

As I write this post, my second hank of yarn in a turquoise tonal color is outside on my porch in the 42 degree Fahrenheit weather, cooling down so I can wind it on my niddy noddy.  I’d told my husband that I needed another one so I could have more yarn drying at the same time.

Uh oh…..do you know what that means?

I think I’ve created a monster — I might be addicted to yarn dying!

 

 

Road Trip!!

My friends from the Yarn Garden in Charlotte, MI and I had a blast on our road trip to Ft. Wayne, IN.  We visited Simply Sock Yarn Company and Knitting Off Broadway.  My friends are such great enablers!  I stocked up on “sheep” and my husband asked me how many sheep’s worth of yarn did I buy!

I was so excited to go into the Simply Sock Yarn company building that I forgot to take a picture.  We spent quite a while in the store squishing yarn hank after yarn hank.  Here is a sampling of yarn:

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Afterwards, we went to lunch at Acme.  Burgers and BBQ – Yum!

Lunch at Acme

Lunch at Acme

After lunch, we drove to Knitting Off Broadway and bought more goodies.  I even bought the needle I required for my 3 color Cashmere cowl project so I could cast-on while we headed back home. Here is a link to the pattern on Ravelry.

Here is a picture of my “enablers”!

My enablers

My “Enablers” and I –

Left to right: Jean, Susan, Kassie and myself.

On the way back, Kassie suggested we stop off at DeBrand Chocolatiers.  Oh boy was it good.  We had a pecan caramel dessert and we were glad they had water to wash down all the sugar!

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Well, it’s time for me to get to some knitting!

Twisted Stitches fascination

I’ve realized I’ve fallen in love with twisted-stitch designs! I’ve been trying to understand how they work and found a lot of examples in the April 2015 Sock Knitter’s Anonymous thread on Ravelry. From there, I started looking at various patterns to see which stitches are used to create the various types of designs. In my on-line travels, I ran across a set of German books detailing typical Bavarian/Austrian designs and motifs. One problem though — I can’t read German! So I continued to look for images and websites for information on the technique. I ran across a reference to this book, Twisted-Stitch Knitting, which was a translation of the German ones.

It’s arrived at my doorstep and I’ve gone through the book a few times, tagging various pages and the ideas are flowing!

Latest sock pattern – Split Butterflies

It’s been a busy month at home with a son having tonsil surgery, him and I having respiratory infections, work, regular home stuff and me designing this latest sock pattern. Whew…..

These socks make me think of spring, which is on it’s way, but not getting here soon enough! I’m eager for fresh air, walks in the warm sun and time outside.

This sock pattern features a non-standard heel flap pattern. It’s basically a ribbing with the center stitches from the design carried down into the heel flap. I love the k2tog and ssk lines that form the “wings” and carefully placed yo’s make the body of the butterfly.

This pattern was test knit by fellow Ravelers and is free on Ravelry for all to enjoy!

Split Butterflies - top view

Split Butterflies – top view

Split Butterflies - side

Split Butterflies – side