Combo 12 Scarf

Yarn traveling from a cricket loom to a warping peg in the distance. The yarn is arranged in a rainbow of colors.

The more I work with yarn, the more I appreciate techniques that let the yarn do the talking. Sure, cables and lace are beautiful, but you loose that detail when you’re working with many indie dyed yarns. I bring this up because it’s one of the reasons that I have learned to love weaving – the finished product is something that let’s the yarn speak for itself.

Recently, I’ve had the privilege of becoming a brand ambassador Wonderland Yarns, a yarn dyer that’s just a little further than “over the river” from where we live. Honestly, I think the only disappointment I’ve ever had with Wonderland Yarns occurred during my first serious year of knitting when I was in Brattleboro and learned that they weren’t open to the public. Just under two years later, I would be enthusiastically maintaining displays at Webs Yarn Store in Northampton and gushing about the softness and colors over the phone as a customer service rep (to this day, I still miss my job and all the people I worked with!).

Cut and treaded strands of yarn on a loom.

The point of this, is really just to say, it is incredibly difficult to commit to a project when you love all the yarn and all the colors. As this is not a paid position (but they did send beautiful yarn!), I will take the time to shamelessly admit that if I could have one of everything I would (seriously, thank you to the coordinator for her patience during our emails). After a lot of hemming and hawing, I committed to Combo 12 and warped my cricket loom.

If you like the way this looks and would like to weave one yourself, I used an 8 dent reed and positioned the colors so that there are 8 strands of each (4 when you’re warping) with Red taking center stage in the middle for a total of 16 strands (8 when you’re warping). From there “simply” measure out how long you would like your scarf and add ~16inches for waste yarn (this is not a scientific number by any means).

For the most part, I wove the scarf with the main color (little bat) and not with the colors from the mini skeins (land of wonders). That being said, the beautiful thing about weaving is that there are no hard and fast rules! One combo pack is enough yarn for two scarves, or in my case a scarf and an eventual brioche hat.

I enjoyed weaving with the Mad Hatter yarn that comes in combo 12’s pack. It bloomed nicely when blocked and has just the tiniest amount of fuzz across it’s soft surface. Mum’s the word on whether or not everyone is getting a Wonderland Yarn scarf for the holidays this year.

A rainbow woven scarf laying gently crossed on green grass.

We’re moving; Sock Pattern Preview

My partner and I found a house (she’s a bit of a fixer-upper) and are in the process of fixing it up so that we can move in. As I type this, I’m covered in mud and paint with a huge grin on my face; we’re so excited to start the next chapter of our relationship together!

My original plan for today was to have a knee-high sock pattern ready for you, but I need a little bit more time to take some photos and clean my notes up a bit. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek!

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Camp Loopy 2020: June Challenge

img_20200609_084552As June comes to a close, I can honestly say that I didn’t feel rushed when working on this month’s knitting challenge. Though I chose to work a pair of color work double lined mittens, which essentially means that I knit two pairs of mittens, I don’t think a 400 yard project in a month is very challenging. Last year I had a lofter goal of knitting one adult sweater per month and found myself unmotivated to follow through with it in the end (In June I was successful, July I knit a scarf and August ran into September because I knit other things). This summer feels different because I feel like my creativity has been struggling to keep up with the amount of knitting that I’ve been doing.

Here is the prompt I had to work with this month:

Camp Loop 2020 June Challenge

The June challenge includes combining elements to make something new. What does that look like?

You can combine two (or more) different colors together. Here are some ideas –
From The Loopy Ewe website: Edith CowlVictoria HatHouse of Faberge CowlMerida MittensOranssi CowlAlbuquerque SunsetMagical Thinking, and Quindici.
From Ravelry: Jupiter CropRock It TeeThe ShiftOdyssey Shawl, and Breathe and Hope.

Or you can combine two different yarn materials together. (Combine different weights, or combine different bases. Or add a different material like beads to your yarn project, etc.). Here are some ideas –
From Ravelry: Ashbury Park ShawlImagine When (beads on points), Lily of the Valley ShawlMorningstarCalan Mai (combining two weights plus beads!), Charmayne, and Musicality (with beads).

Or you can combine two different patterns together to make something unique. Like taking the neckline from one sweater and adding it to another. Or the stitch pattern from one thing, and combining it with another pattern. Or the edging from one shawl to add to another. There are so many options with this one!

Since I’ve already mentioned that I worked a pair of lined color work mittens, it may seem obvious that I went with the first challenge: mixing two or more colors. This is true, I mixed red, charcoal and yellow together and am very happy with the results. I also happily took it a step further and knit the lining in a different yarn base to mix materials as well. Not to be an over achiever, my goal was to provide my partner with a pair of mittens to keep his hands warm (also to stop him from stealing my mittens).

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Pattern: Fiddlehead Mittens
Yarn used: Woolstok in Red Rock and Cast Iron, Road to China Light in Topaz

 

on Ramp Up to Camp 2020

resized952020050495085018As I’m sure many of us can appreciate, working from home has returned my commuting time to me. This means I have over an hour of time back in my day, something I am enjoying as the days get longer and the weather gets nicer. While my coworkers have spent this extra time catching up on shows that they’ve fallen behind on, my partner and I have spent the extra time driving to remote trails. In other words, overall I have not really lost much car time.

That being said, what I’ve lost in having my car time break-even, I’ve gained in not driving. So as my partner drives us all over the place, I’m able to cheerfully knit in the passenger seat. Yes I am cranking out knitting projects left and right. Yes, it is starting to affect my creativity, and my ability to slowly think about what to knit next.

Enter Camp Loopy, a series of challenges that involves knitting one project in June, July and August. Normally, I’m not into deadlines or being told what to knit, but something about Camp Loopy is always a good time.

Someone, whether or not it was in honor of Covid, had the grand idea to create a pre-camp challenge, a ramp up to camp if you will. This came just in time, as I hadn’t yet decided to make my partner’s mom a Venzia shawl for her birthday and am currently trying to use up as much stash as I can outside of the summer challenge.

There were 9 prompts to choose from, this is the one I selected:

Buried Treasure: make something that has been in your Ravelry queue or on your Ravelry favorites list (or on your internal “must make” list) for more than a year. It has been buried in your list – now it is time to unearth it!

img_20200517_152847What was my “buried treasure”? The Wish and Hope cardigan by Anne B Hanssen, which I would make out of some leftover Wollmeise in Pinie. Hanssen promoted this pattern as free a while a go and I couldn’t help but eye it from a far.

When I first started the pattern, I couldn’t help but marvel in the beauty of working an intrecate pattern for a baby — after all a tiny sweater means you’re done with the lace work relatively quickly!

Don’t get me wrong, overall I’m happy with the way everything turned out, but I won’t be knitting this one again. I stopped the leaf pattern after the edging because I was tired of working it. Then I had to sludge through picking up so. many. stitches. But the icing on the cake was a three needle bind off at the top, which created a visible seam.. I should have used the kitchner stitch to graph it together. I could blame the wordiness of the pattern, but there’s a balance between providing enough information for beginners and overloading your experienced knitters.

I think my neighbors were happy with it, I left it outside their door with a note and haven’t heard anything. Nothing like being busy with a new baby!

on Rediscovering Letter Sending

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We proudly hike remote trails, and love the fact that we can finally drive to them with the windows down

I’m very lucky, I live surrounded by mountains, lakes and rivers. On top of this, most of the activities that I enjoy doing take place while enjoying those natural beauties. What I’m trying to say is, not only are my partner and I healthy, we’re still able to do the things we love within the restrictions from COVID-19.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things that we miss doing. By a lot of things, I’m really only referring to the numerous thrift shops that I enjoy hunting through and the family that is now harder to see. It sucks that my sister is about to have a daughter and there are additional pressures that come with being a new parent. It also blows that I may not be able to meet her for a while. But again, we’re all healthy, so am I really in a position to complain?

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On the positive end of the spectrum, my friends and I have rediscovered sending messages to each other via “snail mail”. It’s been fun sitting down and writing out stationary that I’ve been hoarding since middle school. In her last letter, my friend asked me to knit her a teapot cozy. I used the pattern Cinnamon Brioche by Elizabeth Sullivan and some leftover Alegria, which 100% reminds me of Batwoman. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of how it came out… but I’m more proud of the letter I’m sending with it.

Hello! It has come to my attention that you require my Tea Genie magic to keep your pot cozy. I promise, you ain’t never had a friend like me.

You don’t understand, by day, I walk the streets like the classy lady that I am. Shaking my red hair, rocking a black tank and winking at all the ladies. By night, I’m a tea vigilante. Swooping in to save heat and providing maximum relaxation. (Seriously though, flip me inside out to the colors you’re in the mood for. I don’t mind).

You should also know that I come with a special utility belt so that I can hug my pot better. Just slip the buttons through the loose edge and I’m not going anywhere (My other side will hold onto the spout. I’m a professional after all).

It’s been so long since I have sent something other than a thank you letter or holiday card through the mail (ok it’s only been five years). Don’t get me wrong, I’m the girl who sent her boyfriends handwritten letters when we were long distance, even when an email would have been faster. You can’t help but feel a little more loved when a letter comes in for you, there are more steps in the way of sending them. What I’m trying to say is, I’m not sure why I fell out of practice, but I’m going to make an effort to send at least a post card when this is all over. After all, I can’t be the only one who’s tired of getting only bills in the mail.