Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Scarf of Many Colors

To keep my stash interesting and not too old I try to plan my knits one old yarn then one new. Recently I have not been succeeding with that, Stitches West yarn is calling my name!

I saw this kit at Stitches in the Twisted Owl Fiber Studio booth, left it there, then went back for it because I had to have it. This kit consisted of nineteen different colorways all on a gorgeous single ply merino yarn.

Not all of these were colors I would pick individually, they weren't great for my skin tone. But, these all look awesome together in the small increments needed for the Parallelogram Scarf by Stephen West.

It was that the nineteen colors were already chosen; I only had to arrange the colors in the order that I though looked best. I didn't make any adjustments to the pattern other than adding only one single crochet row around rather than two.

This was an easy, repetitive, TV watching knit which I did in a mini KAL with my mom. She and I picked up matching kits and had a blast knitting together. If I was to do this project again I would make sure to weave in my ends as I knit rather than wait tell the end. Though I did find that I was able to patch up some of the holes created when switching the colors.

I have gotten so many complements in the few times I have been able to wear it this spring. The colors are perfect with the changing weather! I am very pleased with how this project came out, beautiful and easy to wear. Some WestKnits pattern are a little too funky for me but this one is great! You can make if however crazy or conservative you want just by your color choice!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Gradients in Pink

I am all about the ombre craze. I love the transition from one shade of the same color to another as well as the different color gradients. They speak to my color soul and make me ridiculously happy. My recent knit from ombre yarn was the Paperlace designed by Susan Gehringer for YOTH yarns.

I bought my "puppies" kit at Stitches West 2016. I was really excited to be able to pick up two different puppy gradients from the YOTH yarns booth. Last year I didn't visit them until the last day and they didn't have much yarn left.

The yarn base the gradient is dyed on is Big Sister a MCN blend, and it was Amazing! That touch of cashmere just really softens up the yarn and makes it a dream to knit with. A round and springy plied yarn with the gorgeous dye made the project that much better.

I had decided that I wanted the ombre to go from dark to light. So I started with my second darkest color at the cast-on edge and then knit up to the lightest. The pattern itself was really simple, a YO, K2Tog pattern repeat on every row. By the end it did get a bit boring but the color changes helped stave off the boredom. The shawl ends with the darkest color being the bind-off and the fringe, I think this really sets the shawl colors off. It has the feel of the ombre but isn't quite so traditional. The finished shawl is casual yet funky with the fringe (which actually took me the longest to do) and very easy to just wrap around my neck. Knitting = 1 week, time avoiding fringe = 3 weeks, actual fringe making = 2 hours.

The shawl grew an enormous amount during block, not even that aggressive of a blocking either. I just wanted to open up the lace a bit and make a more of a shawl than a shawlette. Also, the yarn bloomed wonderfully during the blocking process. I thought the yarn was great before, then I blocked it...even. better.

I loved every bit of this project and can't wait to use my second kit! I have a turquoise/blue-green kit that I haven't decided what to do with yet. I may make another one since this one turned out so great. I was able to wear my shawl out Friday evening to an outside dinner with my friend Claire. California actually got April showers so it was cool enough to wear it! Yay, it didn't have to wait until fall to be worn!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

WIP's Wednesday

As most knitters I have at least 4-10 projects going at a time. One hard, one simple, socks, shawl, sweater, long term, baby knit; the list goes on. I'm always impressed by monogamous knitters. I don't have the restraint or the attention span.

For the last month I have been knitting down my WIP's so I don't feel the pressure when I cast on something new. There is no actual pressure to finish everything, but mentally too many projects gets overwhelming. I also was sick of seeing that WIP box on Ravelry, the FO box is much nicer. (Though the ones without pictures mock me.)

I currently have six projects cast on in various stages of being worked. I have one longer term WIP which is my sock yarn scrap blanket. This was cast on in April of 2015, this is my longest standing project on the needles right now.

I'm working on three pieces of neckwear, the Kumara Cowl, ImagiKnit Scarf, and Castra. The Kumara cowl is my concentration project with charted two-color color work in the round. ImagiKnit and Castra are both fairly easy. These will all get their own post when completed. Some of them may be waiting a while.

As always, I also have a pair of socks on the needles. This is the same pair I talked about in my post about Park City. Still chugging along on these, they go fairly quickly if I am able to focus on them for a time. The last project currently on the needles is another baby set. One of the women who works at the quilt shop portion of my job is having another grand baby. I'm knitting practically the same gift as Baby Halley but in boy colors. Pretty lengthly list but slowly and surely being worked on.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Building Blocks

The shop I work at is hosting a skill building class based on the book Building Blocks by Michelle Hunter. This is a beginners class designed to build basic knitting skills and confidence. Half of knitting is having the confidence to try something new, stretch your skills and be willing frog when needed.

While I am not taking the class, I am participating with the shop and knitting my block of the month. I chose six colors that look great together and will do two blocks of each color.

I chose to start with green (Color 058, Lucky Green) (my favorite color) for the first block. The yarn we are using as a shop is Simpliworsted by HiKoo which is a wool/acrylic/nylon blend. It is deliciously soft and springy yarn while also being easy care, can't get better than that! The pattern isn't particularly difficult, none of them are, but is a nice soothing easy knit. The pattern does keep it interesting enough that I'm not bored either, something I can appreciate.

While taking my photos our outside cat Koby decided to come for a visit and beg for food. He just wanted to stop in and say hi while sticking his feet in my photos. He is the most laid back cat in the world, our stoner cat.

I'll update on how my blocks are going each month! I'm lagging behind, my mom and some of my knit night ladies have already finished their blocks! I've done about 3 repeats...better work on that soon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Baby Girl Halley

I, for one, cannot resist baby knits. Almost every time I hear an acquaintance or family friend say they are sprogging I immediately get on Rav, check my library for baby patterns, and go wild. I've found that my version of this baby bib is one of the most used gifts! Who would have thought a plain cotton bib would win out over blankets and adorable sweaters, but alas they do. 

For baby girl Halley I went with a few small gifts and one large, all from stash yarn. No yarn was bought in the production of these baby knits. 
For the baby blanket I chose Stephen Wests' Garter Squish which I modified by casting on 90 stitches. This is the third time I have knit this pattern and love it! It's so soothing but works up quickly and the color changes keep it from getting boring. I used two skeins of grey Caron Simply soft, held double with three leftover yarns from stash. I rather like how the colors play together. Girly but not overly baby. 

I love how the I-cord edging frames the blanket, it looks clean and classy. The last bit of my gift was baby hats: who doesn't love baby hats? I used Lion Brand Jamie DK stripes in color ways Summer Stripes and Caribbean Stripes. 
Baby girl Halley is scheduled to arrive May 1st 2016 which happens to be my 24th birthday! She'll have a nice welcome home gift when she makes her debut. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Finishes & Starts in Park City

My family and I visited Park City, Utah in the last week of March. It took us much longer driving from Cali to Park City than it took going back, I definitely blame the snow storm that followed us across the states.

Anyway, we were in Park City for four days without internet so a lot of knitting commenced. And reading The Friday Night Knitting Club, which I'm really enjoying! I was able to finish what I call my Disney Socks, Disney Socks because the pattern is Anastasia Socks and the yarn is Little Mermaid color way by Schaefer.


I felt a little sacrilegious combining the two disney aspects together...but not really. I really enjoyed this pattern though I opted not to do the toe in the pattern just using my regular Judy's Magic Cast-On. 

I really like that the swirl pattern was opposite on each sock, made it feel like it wasn't the exact same pattern. I would consider the yarn more of a sport weight than a sock, it weighed 140 grams for 405 yards, though I stayed with my usual US 1.5 needle. They are so soft and squishy! I didn't really love the color of the yarn until I started the socks, it definitely grew on me. Because the yarn is so squishy I had considered a shawl but these are not my colors. 

All in all I really enjoyed working with this yarn, too bad it's discontinued! I finished these on our last night in Park City so I cast on another pair with some of my favorite sock yarn. Knit Picks Felici, in Tea Party (can you see my color mood here?); In my knitting bag Spring has arrived! 

I cast on Nemesis by Susan Dittrich, I don't usually pair self-striping yarns and complicated patterns because you can't really see them, why put all that work in if you can't show off the pattern? Tea Party is so pastel that the pattern stands out! 

This is a charted pattern which started out a bit difficult for me, I much prefer a written to charted pattern. But after completing two full repeats I'm not having any difficulty with the pattern. I'm struggling a little with the fact that I do have to make a second one... they will get done. 

I'm keeping up with my goal of at least one pair per month for the year. I'll keep you updated! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Introduction to the Knitting Nanny

Hi! Thanks for stopping by, I'm doing an introductory post so everyone can get to know a little bit about me. My name is Sierra, I'm 23 years old with wild curly strawberry blonde hair. I have a bachelors degree in History, emphasis on the United States, from UC Merced and I am an absolute fanatic about knitting.

I live in Northern California been here my whole life. I'm from a small town, 500 kids in high school kind of small town. The town they talk about in country songs with the tractor traffic, you get the picture.

I work part-time at a fabulous LYS named Cloth Carousel Fiber Arts, we also have a quilt shop across the street. I've worked at the yarn store since 2012 and can't see my life any other way. I adore my job, everything about it. Day to day interaction with customers, helping people find exactly what they want, being able to order yarn for the shop instead of buying for my stash are just a few perks of my job. Along with working at Cloth Carousel I'm also a nanny! I have 15 month old twins name Max and Molly. I have been with them for a year already!


I'm excited to share my adventures in knitting with my current WIP's, FO, and digging through my stash to see what project I will work on next. Eventually I would love to be able to add my own patterns to the blog, but that's looking a fair bit into the future. Lets connect! My Rav ID is sierrak2010, my instragram name is theknittingnanny!

-Peace, Sierra