Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Knit Ornaments

Just a quick little update on a fun project I just finished up. I signed up for a few fiber holiday swaps and for one I needed to knit an object for someone not send them yarn (which is the usual.) So I dug into my stash of leftover sock yarns and knit an ornament! 

I currently have no pattern written for this as I was just increasing and decreasing around the shape but I think next holiday season I'll have a variety of patterns for these little plastic ornaments! I essentially knit a sleeve/sock for these plastic ornaments I purchased from Michaels. There are a variety of shapes and I think I'll have recipes for a few of the different shapes in the pattern. 

Leannan Shawl

Two of my more popular patterns are the Leannan Cowl and the Leannan Socks, so I'm so happy to introduce the Leannan Shawl! Leannan Shawl is a fingering weight pattern that uses a slip stitch cable that is fun to knit and easy to memorize. The shawl is a triangle shawl that has the cable run down one side and garter across the rest of the body. 

The sample shawl was knit with Western Sky Knits Magnolia Sock, which is a merino/cashmere/nylon mix, so luxurious to knit and wear ❤️ 

The shawl used ~1,100 of yarn or about 2.5 skeins of fingering weight yarn. One of the test knitters knit it in a heavier weight yarn and it came out gorgeous. If you are interested in using a heavier weight yarn then you just need to adjust your needle size. 

I think that LeannĂ¡n Shawl would be a great opportunity to practice/lean to cable without a cable needle. Cabling without a cable needle definitely makes the cable rows more enjoyable and knit up quicker. I like this tutorial to take a look at how to knit cables without a cable needle. 

The sample yarn is a variegated/speckled yarn so there is quite an assortment of yarns and dye styles that will work for this pattern. As are typical/special about my patterns you only need to pick a yarn that you find comfortable around your neck to knit with, it doesn't need to be special or expensive, just something you enjoy knitting with.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Another New Shop!

Everyone enjoyed my previous LYS (local yarn shop) post that I thought I would share another with you! At the beginning of the month my mom and I ventured over to Whidbey Island for my 30th birthday! 

We stayed over night at a gorgeous historic lodge that sat right on the water and had a fabulous dinner. Along with staying at a fun spot we were able to visit a few different yarn shops, one of which is Skein and Tipple.

This tiny shop carries mostly their own hand dyed yarn and is about to open a ... bar! Yes! Knit nights in a vintage inspired bar, how freakin awesome. 

Skein and Tipple stocks mainly their own hand-dyed yarn and a select few other brands. It was so fun to speak with the owner and hear about the evolution of her business from dyeing yarn to finding the space for the shop and bar. 

Very similar to my bag making, nearly all of her yarns are one of a kind or small batches with few repeats! That made every skein that much more of a jewell because it couldn't be remade. Just being in the shop made me feel special. I would highly recommend if you're in the Seattle area to come and take a day trip to Whidbey and visit Skein and Tipple. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Lambing Mitts

Designing is fun, super fun actually, but to get a design started is time consuming and I don't always have the brain power to start. At this point few weeks ago I decided to cast on a simple project that I've had planned for years. 

I cast on the Lambing Mitts with yarn I purchased in 2015 on a trip to Ireland! I purchased quite a bit of yarn while on my trip and I've used quite a bit of it but this is a skein that's been hanging around. 

The Lambing Mitts are a free pattern available on Ravelry and super simple to follow and knit. I made the medium size with a US 8 needle; why 8, because that's what I had in my needle collection:) 

This pattern was my preference over full mittens because I can fold down the cuff and have my fingering accessible but then unfold and have nearly all of my hands covered. If you're looking for a quick knit or a gift project this is a great one! 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Check it Out Shawl

I have waxed soliloquies about my love of scrappy projects and designs, so I've decided to present you with another one! 

Check it Out is a top down triangle shawl that uses a main color and an array of leftovers for a fun and graphic stripe design. Check it Out is simple to follow and easy to knit so it's a perfect project for beginners or knitters just looking to play with color. 

I went with a cooler color palette for this design with a grey base, but I think a cream base (which is my favorite) with brights or jewel tones would be gorgeous! Check it Out is definitely a design where it is easy to put your color hat on and play, but if you don't have lots of leftovers or mini skeins (I have some here in my Etsy) you could also use a self-striping or a gradient skein as your contrast/mini skeins. 

The leftovers were a mix of bases for this project but the main color is an alpaca/merino/nylon blend, just comfy enough to wear wrapped around my neck. I used approximately 1.5 skeins of fingering weight yarn for my main color, they were actually leftovers from a sweater project! 

Sock for Fall

Fall was short and fairly warm here in the PNW for 2022. Sooo, I actually finished my socks right in time for winter, whatevs

I've had this yarn in my stash for quite awhile and I know it was purchased at my former Local Fiber Fest, Lamb Town. The yarn is from Duren Dyeworks but it didn't have a colorway name on it so I called them 70s fall, mainly because of the goldey contrast color. 

I used my regular vanilla sock pattern which is a 64 stitch cast on with a US 1.5 needle (I use a 9 inch from HiyaHiya) then 1x1 ribbing for 15-20 rows, stockinette leg until ~5-6 inches from cast on. I use a modified Eye of Partridge heel flap (all my cuff down sock designs use this heel if you're interested) and this is where I started with my contrast. A traditional gusset for this sock and then ending with a wedge toe. 

I used 46 grams of my main color so I have over half my skein left. If I didn't love scrappy designs so much I would probably knit a pair of shorty socks but this was delegated to the scrap bin, though you may see some of it in scrappy packs on Etsy. So if you're looking for a bang for your buck purchase 100 grams of sock yarn plus a 20 gram mini and you can knit two pairs of socks! 

Did you work on any color specific projects for fall? -- Sierra 

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Book Review: Vanishing Sheep

Another knitting book is off the list (actually it's a yarn book)! I recently finished Vanishing Fleece: Adventures in American Wool by Clara Parkes and it was such a fun, funny, and informative read! I'm a knitter but I had very little knowledge of wool manufacturing and the process it takes to create the fibers that I love! Well, I knew the wool had to be cleaned, carded, and spun but not how any of it is done in a mill. 

The book takes you through the entire process from the sheep shearing, cleaning, spinning, and then dying the yarn. There were a few different manufactures used as well as different dyers, it was a fun look at the different ways your yarn comes about. 

I found Clara to be witty and funny, little bits of detail added to the story made it a quick and engaging read, I did most of my reading before bed and finished it up quickly. The only 'complaint' and its really not a complaint is the I found some of the description for the machinery to be very hard to visualize. This is probably a me thing and not the writing but I decided as I was reading that I still enjoyed the information even if I couldn't visualized it. 

I highly recommend a read for any yarny person, this isn't a book about knitting, this is a book about wool and anyone who uses wool as their art base. 

Happy Reading! -- Sierra 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Time for OFFF

Fall means it's festival season! As I previously wrote about (here) I vended at my first festival at the beginning of this month. This past weekend my mom and I made the trip down to Albany Oregon for Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival! We took a long weekend and treated ourselves to a short vacation. We usually stay in Airbnb's and this was no exception, I would highly recommend if you are looking for pet friendly easy-to-use vacation options. 

On Friday we drove and made a few stops in Portland (I'll have a blog post up about Starlight Knitting soon) and Saturday morning we visited the Albany farmers market and it was lovely. So many options and vendors with wonderful products. We purchased new jelly to try (Oregon Strawberry and Rose) and some dried mushroom packets to add to soup this fall. 

Once we arrived at the festival I needed to go on a vendor hunt because I had samples to drop off! This OFFF was the first time I had samples at a festival and it was really exciting. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to knitters as I dropped my samples off and complimenting the dyers on such wonderful yarn. 

We spent most of our day surrounded my the wonderful colors from different vendors, all the fibers were a joy to see and feel. On Sunday we stopped in at the animal barn first and said hello to all the sheep, goats, and llamas that were there. 

I was especially enamored with the Pygora and cashmere goats. Here is a bit of history about the Pygora goat which is a cross breed between the Pygmy and Angora goats, they were adorable and so soft! Then we got to feel the cashmere goats, OMG they felt amazing! It was interesting to see the dark cashmere because most often in stores there is a cream base or dyed cashmere but the dark color was lovely. 

We also took a short class on Sunday! Wooly Walkers is a punch needle vendor who participates in many shows on the western half of the US. My mom was particularly interested in them when they were at Fiber Expo with us a few weeks ago. Before she invested into the supplies we took a 1.5 hours class and made a mug rug, it was great fun! 

I enjoyed finding another way to play with fiber and color and I think rug hooking could be a great way to use leftovers. After our class my mom did invest in a hoop, some fabric, and a couple of patterns so that she can pursue a new hobby this winter. The rest of the afternoon we spent people watching before I needed to pick up my samples at the end of the day. 

We ended our weekend trip on Monday and found an apple farm and pumpkin patch to go and feel all the fall vibes. It was a lovely little farm/orchard name Beilke Family Farm and picked apples to our hearts content! They had information area set up to let you know what apples will work for what you want. We picked cripps pink, granny smith, and a few red apples; these are all good for baking, storing, and applesauce. Along with our apples we also each picked a warty pumpkin for our houses. 

I would highly recommend making a trip to OFFF if you can, the venders were highly quality and the venue was easy to navigate. There was a large amount of seating and space between rows as well as a separate room for classes and the art gallery. Start your fall off right and make a stop at OFFF, maybe you'll get to see me there as a vendor soon?!? 

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Fiber Expo!

Hi Knitters! I just wrapped up my first fiber event, I vended at Fiber Exposition in Port Angeles WA and it was great fun! 

This was the first year of the event so no-one had any idea on what to expect. I thoroughly enjoyed it as my first even vending and found that the small audience (a few hundred each day) was perfect for my first event. It wasn't too overwhelming and I hit my estimated goal! 

We set up booths on Friday afternoon and evening, it was fun interacting with other vendors and seeing how everyone sets up for their own product. There were fiber vendors, yarn vendors, needle punch and rug hooking, different fleeces, and a few people with finished knits! 

I had way too many bags prepped (newbie mistake) but now I have lots of bags prepped for the holidays and I can focus my attention more on designing. My mom (Susan) was my helper for the long weekend and I definitely couldn't have done it without here. 

My booth highlighted bags in all three sizes and my patterns, I had lots of fun imagining how I wanted everything set up. All supplies for the booth set up were from my house so it was a great challenge to create the booth from what I had. 

I'm so grateful for everyone who stopped by, gave compliments, and purchased from my booth. I made connections with local knitters and vendors from all over Washington! Very excited for 2023 and all the cool collaborations that will come! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

A Little Bit More Shawl

 Fall weather is coming! So excited for the changing of the seasons because that means shawl weather is coming! My newest shawl was inspired by Little Bits which is an asymmetric triangle shawl featuring slip stitches. A Little Bit More (clever right) is a top down triangle shawl that also features slip stitches and a striped border. 

A Little Bit More uses a main color that highlights a complimentary set of contrast colors, they could be leftovers, a gradient or self striping yarn, or a mini skein kit. I used a single ply 100% Merino yarn from Lavender Lune Yarns and it was so nice to knit with. Sometimes a single ply can be a bit splitty but I didn't find that with this one. 

My newest shawl features lots of garter stitch and is very easy to memorize, perfect as a take along project. As I was knitting the shawl body I felt that it needed a bit more at the ending the original concept did, Little Bits has fun and unique shaping, A Little Bit More also needed a pop. The stripes as the end follow the same color sequence as the contrast colors in the body really pulling all the colors together. 

I would recommend knitting this shawl with any fingering weight yarn you are comfortable wearing around your neck, a merino or single ply base isn't necessary. Have fun watching ever little blip of color come along as you knit your shawl up! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Contemplation Shawl

Hey Knitters! Fall is starting to come to the PNW! The mornings and evenings are chilly and I'm so excited for it! 

With the coming of the fall and the changing weather I'm excited to announce that my newest design is here and it's part of a collection! The Sun and Fog Fall 2022 collection is now available to purchase and Contemplation is one of the designs ❤️

As a person who suffers from social anxiety, I spend quite a bit of my time contemplating. Contemplating my designs, contemplating life, past failures, and future endeavors. As a new transplant to Washington, I contemplate my lovely new home, how the weather is different from California, and whether or not I'm going to need a shawl when I leave the house (usually, yes). The inspiration for this piece was curling up on my favorite chair with a mug of kombucha and contemplating the changing of the weather and what my home is going to look like for each season.

Contemplation is a garter tab, top-down, 3/4 shawl featuring welted garter stitch for the outside wedges and alternating diamond and braid cables in the center wedge reminiscent of falling leaves. The bottom border framing the shawl is worked in a 1x1 rib- bing and finishes with a bind-off in pattern. The 3/4 shawl is a new shape for me and I love it! I found that it sits on the shoulders similar to a sweater and has perfect drape.

I used a gorgeous yarn called Eponymous Sock from Three Fates Yarns in the Mochi Dark colorway and it was a dream to knit with. The ply was perfect to show off the cables and the dye job was amazing. I would highly recommend using Stephania's yarn. 

If you are planning to knit from stash, the sample used ~1200 yards of fingering weight yarn, in a 100% merino base. I recommend a solid or tonal yarn to really show off the cable work, I think a variegated yarn will hide all the work you will put into the cables. The shawl could be made smaller if you want but I don't think the shape would fit correctly without the correct amount of yardage. 

You can take a look at the rest of the collection here

All photos were provided by Sun and Fog and taken by Ksenia Naidyon @life_is_cozy

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Floral Shades Toque

Fall is coming!...hopefully...right? For as long as the wet spring was this summer feels hot and long. Hot is relative, it doesn't get above 85 but most places don't have air conditioning up here. But, with fall in mind my new pattern is here! 

Floral Shades Toque is a doubled layer hat that features a stockinette inner layer and a delicate lace floral pattern on the outer layer. Floral Shades was inspired by the pops of color that come with spring flowers or bringing home flowers in the winter to brighten up your space. 

This hat uses a provisional cast on with a contrast color to make it easier to pick up the out layer. Floral Shades is the perfect accessory to combine smaller skeins of yarn, each side takes less than 50 grams of fingering weight! 

The original sample is knit with a light fingering weight for the inner layer and a traditional fingering weight for the outer layer so you have a little leeway with the weights of yarn that you use. I would suggest anything that you are comfortable wearing around your temples as the inner layer, the out layer doesn't matter because it doesn't touch your skin!