Thursday, June 7, 2012

I got a spinning wheel!

I know I've been away for a very long time now but I'm trying to get some order (peace & quiet) in my life. A few weeks ago I finally got what I've been wishing for. A spinning wheel! It's a Louet S10, it was used but in a very good state and at a very low price. About fifth of the price for a new and I got a lovely skein winder included in the price.

Here is a picture.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Missing but still here. And little project to show

I have been missing from the blog a few days/weeks. It is my intention to continue this blog but at the moment I'm at the end of writing my dissertation so that's why there has been such a long silence from me, but I'm still here and will soon continue with reviews and other things. Yesterday I bought yet another Craftsy course that I will be looking forward to review soon. 

But for now I wanted you to have a peek on "the" project that has been keeping me busy for about 2 months. I think this is the project I have been working the most on of all of my projects. It has been a challenging experience of the taxing kind. I would never have finished it if it was not for the Nerd Wars deadline. I owe a lot to the competition. But at last, here it is. THE Aeolian.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Begone stash!

So these few days I've been writing about stash. After rediscovering some "lost stash" I have concluded that I have approximately 380 kilometers of yarn... Now, probably most of you reading this have a lot of yarn stashed/hidden away somewhere in the house.

I have heard stories from people that they even smuggle yarn into the house so their spouse/companion don't see the naughty shopping they did. I've for one have at least tried doing it, without success I may add.
I couldn't  keep a secret even if my life depended on it, a few hours granted but no longer then that. I hate receiving ordered gifts to members of my family more then a few days before the occasion because I'm afraid I won't be able to keep the secret that long.

Now my BF are rather supportive about my yarn habit/addiction. He has never had any objections nor concerns about my growing stash so to be honest I have never had any reasons to hide it from him. But sometimes you come home with a completely unnecessary yarn purchase only based on the "they had a SALE" argument. Which to be honest, quickly can become old. In my family there is something magic about sales, "but what if they are selling something i really NEED for HALF the price". As I grow closer to 30 then 20 I have had a larger success avoiding sales with the argument that it will probably be only rubbish there. Most of us have probably fallen into the same trap with yarn sales. I still have trouble ignoring yarn sales, except for the old Drops summer and winter sales that feature the same old yarns every year.

If you believe that you need to lower your stash and purchases I think it's a good idea sorting your existing stash, photograph it and putting it up on Ravelry. It's so much easier to actually KNOW that you don't need that yarn and that you in fact already have the perfect yarn.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sorting your stash

So today I want to "talk" a little about sorting your stash. I know there are some people that don't need to do this because all of their yarn can be fitted into a smaller box. This is, however, not the case for me, and I know there are probably more then me that fit into this category.

There are a number of ways to categorize you'r stash.

  • Color 
  • Weight (cobweb, lace, fingering, DK and so on)
  • Material (Acrylic, wool, mix, cotton and so on)
  • Size/project (Sweater sized lots, for scarfs)
The list could probably go on. Why don't you leave a comment how you do, that is always interesting to hear. 
I have started to sort my yarns in weight and color so that I can easily access the weight and color I would like. In an earlier post I talked about putting up my stash into Ravelry and I still think it's a good idea, I have noticed that you can use a list function for your stash and there you can choose to sort on weight, length, grams, skeins or even name. That way your stash on Ravelry gets more manageable and gives you a better view of what you have. After checking on that you can choose to go to the pattern search function and start to view diffrent projects you can make of your stash. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Twist collective spring/summer 2012 is out!

I hope none of you have missed the fabulous Twist collective? If you have I strongly advise you to check it out. Their online magazine is published three times a year and contains several of the strongest knitwear designers. Their magazine takes the most stunning pictures and it's easy to forget that you can buy the patterns because it almost looks like a very expensive fashion magazine. One of their goals is to give designers a fair salary for their design which is commendably.

One of my favorites this number is the Elysium shawls which is almost like a piece of art, if you are interested in lace shawls you should check it out. Another beautiful piece is the Candlewick cardigan which is knit at a small gauge with a lace pattern. Very stylish and modern. This number of Twist Collective seems to be focusing on lace shawls but does also have a good amount of sleeveless tops, socks and a few cardigans. All very perfect for the upcoming summer.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Easiest way of organizing stash on Ravelry

This weekend I tried to get some order to my stash. I have been thinking of "cold sheeping" aka not to buy anymore yarn for at least a while. Don't worry, I have a lot of yarns from other indie dyers on Etsy that I'm planning to give a review on. I have also a quite large amount of books that I'm planning to review and some different kind of interchangeable sets and so on. 

Back to this weekend. I have been slowly photographing my stash to be able to upload it to Ravelry but after a while I came to the conclusion that my system was taking a lot of time so I changed it up a little. Instead of adding yarn with a picture at the same time I just simply wrote down everything I had brand, name, skeins and color. Then I sat down and added the information into Ravelry and the next few days I will photograph the yarn separately to put the right picture with the right post to know what I have. This way I will not have to go and dive in the stash every time I'm looking for something new to start. 

Ravelry also has a feature that can download your stash to an excel file and there you can add to see how many yards/meters you have. Don't ask your boyfriend or husband to help you with this unless he is VERY supportive of you'r yarn habit. If you don't have a large stash he might come over the chock faster. I however DO have a fairly big stash. It's total is up to almost 23 miles/36 km, that's not as excessive as some people. I have heard about people having triple the stash I have and sometimes more. 

In this yardage I have not added my mini skeins or my UFO's I also have some mystery yarn that is not in this equation, luckily I did remember some of my mystery yarns and my detective skills helped me a lot. One yarn all I could remember was that it had an owl on the label and that it was probably from Norway. Thank God for Ravelry as I could find it with this limited information. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Having stash and keeping order

This January/February I came to the conclusion I have too much yarn. Now, I know that there are a lot of people having larger stash then me and that they don't have a problem with that. And frankly, good for them. Now I, on the other hand, live in a rather small apartment with a man and a cat. There is some limit to my storage which can't expand indefinitely.

For now, I'm storing my yarn in zip lock bags that are placed in large plastic bins. Now I have come to the point where there are no more storage bins to put the yarn in and my roughly 75 zip lock bags are out. I do not want to buy more plastic bins nor zip lock bags since I feel that this would require a bigger investment which I quite honest rather would  put on yarn.

What's the solution? Shopping of course! I decided to buy the book "Stashbuster knits" by Melissa Leapman. link

I was expecting a little more of the "valuable step-by-step guidance on organizing and shopping your stash to inspire creative new knitting ideas and color combinations"  that was promised but I do enjoy the book which has some good tips.

So now I'm on my way of photographing and putting my stash up on Ravelry to know what I have. It's hard work and time consuming but I do enjoy it. Just don't try to do this in one evening if you have a lot of yarn.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review Addi 30 cm Sock circulars

For today's update I wanted to talk about these "sock circulars" I ordered the other day.

First of all, I love my Addi lace click set. I bring it with me on travels and I practically use them everyday. They have a good range of needles and are pointy as I like to have needles when I knit lace, cable and just about anything that that's not garter stitch or stockinette stitch. So don't think all Addi needles are crap just because of this review.

First of all, the needles are bent at the end to help the (too) short cord so the needles becomes very short to hold and I would definitely not recommend people with hand or wrist problems to use these since the shorter needles keeps you from having relaxed hands. I cramped up after just 2 rows with these and the cramp was still there after 5 minutes. I'm a young person with small hands so you would think I would be able to use these without problems but that was not the fact. The needles are light and smooth but not very pointy and I do think that it is a problem when knitting sock on a small gauge. Below are some pictures of the needles.

Note: This rewiev is of a personal nature and I have heard of people that enjoy them so if you want to try them don't feel discouraged. They are a little more expensive then ordinary run of the mill needles but not by much.

Tomorrow I will talk about the Knit pro symphony wood so please check back then. I'm also writing up a pattern/recipe for the bolero in a previous post. This will be my first pattern and I hope to be able to post it soon.  

Have a great day and if you do have other opinion/stories to tell about the Addi sock circulars please don't be shy to voice that.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Yarn giveaway at Lanitium ex machina!

So I had a little spike in viewers yesterday and even if I don't know if any of you will come back I stumbled upon a giveaway from one of my favorite Etsy seller. I've have yet to write about her but she does have fabulous yarn and fibers. I think any spinner would be delighted about the fibers she makes and any knitter about the yarn. I have gotten both fiber and yarn sample from her and I have also bought yarn. She resides in Finland so any European will be pleased to enter without the risk of getting the package stuck in customs.

So here is a links to both her blog and her etsy shop. I have nothing but good to say about this seller and I frequently visit her shop just to look at the nice things she got. She is a regular (I think) supplier to Phat fiber box and her shop updates usually updates with new colors each month according to the theme at Phat fiber. She does have a great sense of style and color and I love her taste.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Knitting toe-up socks review

In an earlier post I talked about buying the Craftsy course "Knit original toe-up socks". I haven't really had a chance to sink my teeth into it since I'm working hard on a so called dissertation project in Nerd Wars. It's the lace shawl Aeolian in the biggest size with nupps and pearls. It's been a hard project especially since I'm only used to making sock yarn shawls and this is done in a lace weight yarn and it has to be done April 30th.

This weekend I was really sick of the Aeolian, I think that the prospect of putting on about 2200 beads is wearing me down, I think I have put on maybe half of that by now. So I got to work on my sock class instead. I love buying yarn from an Etsy seller called Sunrise Fiber Co and therefore I have a few skeins from said seller lying around the house because my time consuming project Aeolian. I've been itching for a project to use her lovely yarns on so I kind of felt this was my chance.

For my first toe-up socks I decided to use SunriseFiberCo's UFO colorway in Fingering 80% BFL and 20% Bamboo. The yarn is really soft and smooth and I enjoy knitting with it. The socks will feel amazing in this yarn. I've finished the toe and of course I chose to make the hardest one in the course, the wedge toe, since I thought it would fit the most with the stripes the colorway makes. And this is the result.

The course is made to help you design your own socks, choosing from different patterns and toes. It helps if you have some experience making toe-up socks when taking the course but I don't think it's a must. I have only made 1 sock toe-up before and knitted one pair of cuff down so I'm not that versed in sock knitting but I do have experience with different cast on's, stitches, lace patterns and both circular and DPN knitting so I don't think it's suitable for an absolute beginner. For the beginner there is another course to take on Craftsy called "Knit sock workshop". I've decided to make a ribbing on top of the foot, because the bamboo in the yarn makes it a little less stretchy then pure wool and socks have to be made to fit snugly around the foot. I think the colorway will be excellent in only ribbed stitch and that a complicated lace pattern would become somewhat lost in the colorway.

The course will show you 3 different toes with both 2 circulars and DPN's, there is also a section of how to do 2 at the same time but I have not yet had the time to look at those videos. All and all I enjoy the course and I do not regret buying it, I would even recommend it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The art of spinning

This fall I was introduced to the art of spinning. When I put it like that most of you probably think I've meet someone IRL that showed me the ropes. That however, was not how it went down. I don't remember exactly how it went down but I think it was thanks to the Phat fiber group I've talked about in a previous post, Etsy sellers and their buyers. I wasen't about to plunge into it by buying a spinning wheel without even trying some spinning so I bought a nice affordable spindle kit from hilltopcloud at Etsy.

The kit included a spindle made out of a toy wheel and there was a good amount of fiber in it to keep me going for a while. I got kind of hooked, I enyojed the process but it took a while to get any result and so it got a little lost  in the WIP pile. But my dream of making yarn was not forgotten. About 2 months ago I bought a lace spindle from Spinatude and was again hooked. I got the kind of yarn I wanted and even if the result was not even I thought that it was really nice for a new spinner.

My dream of owning a spinning wheel was yet again resurrected and I began searching forums on Ravelry to get an idea of what kind of spinning wheel I wanted. I was lucky enough to get in contact with a group of spinners in my area that sometimes have spinning meetings. One of the actives in the group actually came and got me last Saturday so I could try some spinning on their wheels. So after some planning I have now decided to get my self a Kromski Minstrel. Nobody in the group had a Minstrel but I got to try a Sonata and really liked the feeling of it compared to the Ashford I got to try.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nerd fiber at it's best

Last month the Phat fiber box theme was Blinded by science. (I got a Big Bang Theory sample!) During the preview of the box I really fell in love with HeavenlyFibers Nebula batts, I just knew I had to have one. I'm a new spinner, I don't even have a spinning wheel yet but a knitter/spinner know that sometimes you got to act fast if you want something. Especially if you like hanging out on Etsy with the indie dyers, things run out quickly. Like Bohoknitterchics Big Bang Theory Sheldon batts. Whoosh! (She still has some of the Big Bang batts left. The Walowitz batt looks amazing)

Anyway, LeiLani at Heavenly fiber is awesome. She did not know I was a phattie fan and still gave me a coupon code for being into Star Trek and was really nice and accommodating. Without her help I would probably not have the thought about the coupon. I got the fiber after about 4 days with international shipping so it was more like an early surprise gift. The batts are really soft and smooth, there will be some time before I spin with them but they seem really fluffy and will probably be dreamy to spin with. I will save them for when I have been practicing on my upcoming wheel. You can really see that LeiLani have captured a nebula to the letter. I'll definitely will be shopping there again.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Craftsy spring sale!!!

Craftsy is having a spring sale and that means that they offer some classes up to 66% off! An amazing offer. March is National Craft month in the U.S and this is a good reason to celebrate in my book. All the other classes are 50 % off so it's time to buy those classes you been eyeing. Myself? I bought the Knit Original Toe Up Socks with Donna Druchunas, been eyeing it for a while acually.

Other then that I have taken the Mastering Lace Shawls with Laura Nelkin and it was amazing, after the course I'm knitting lace almost effortless. I'm currently making the Aeolian shawl, biggest version with beading and it's going really well so definitely something I can recommend.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

New yarn shop opening in my block!

This week was the grand opening of a new yarn shop. It's located right next to the supermarket where I do all my daily shopping, and is at walking distance from my home. Yesterday I went to show my support and since it's a combined home decoration and yarn shop I looked a little at the decoration style. Sadly it's not all of my style, kind of shabby chic, country house but I did manage to find one bowl.

Along with my yarn addiction I also love breakfast bowls so here is a picture of the nice tings I found.The yarns are: Debbie Bliss Andes and Manos lace.

All and all it's a nice shop, it's a little confusing because they mixed up some of the yarns with the decoration and the bulk of the yarn is in two different places at the store. But it's a little homey and the owners are nice and friendly. Both of them are rather young too which is refreshing because they probably don't think you only know how to knit a scarf because you look a little young. I often have to prove myself at a new yarn store before they believe I can do more then a knit stitch.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A knit for Teyla

A few weeks ago I ordered a lovely skein worsted weight yarn from knitsinclass. Knitsinclass is an eco friendly Etsy dyer who has really nice yarns and colors. The colorway I bought is called Grape Crush and I was completely baffled on what to make of it. Lately I have a feeling that most of the things I make is sock yarn shawls and handwarmers and since spring is creeping up on us I wanted to make something that did not have to wait for fall to be used. As I have joined both Nerd War and Starfleet Fiber Arts Corps on Ravelry I also wanted to make something that fit in to a challenge too so it was not an easy task. Since the yardage on worsted weight is rather... scarce. It was a challenge trying to find anything that was not either a shawl or handwarmer.

So instead I decided to design something myself...This is the first time I tried improvising a knit but I think I succeeded very nicely. First of all, since I knew there was only about 225 yards of the colorway I knew it had to be something quite smallish so I went for a top down bolero. Partly because its easily modified and because I'm somewhat familiar with top down designs. After a while the idea of adding black edges formed as I thought it would give the design a more classic look  These edges, except for the lower ribbing, was all picked up and knit after casting off.

This is the end result, I'm quite happy with it and since I'm almost always cold it's perfect for the inn between period of winter and spring. If there is interest I can make a "recipe" but I don't think anyone will be having trouble "designing" it them self.

I know the button looks a little wonky but sewing on buttons is my Achilles heel so play nice about it ;)

Etsy sellers and their buyers

Today I recieved my order from HeavenlyFiber, this is also a very nice seller as almost all of them are. That I have been in contact with that is. Later, today hopefully, I will post about my order, it's amazing as usual ;)

With my package I recieved a sample to the upcoming Phat fiber box, the theme for the box is tea party. If you have never heard of Phat fiber box here are some links to guide you. Ravelry page and

Anyway, this Christmas I found Phat fiber box by a coincidence. I was thinking about learning to spin my own yarn and was looking for information about the subject on Ravelry. And in the Phat fiber group a whole new world came to life. First of all, I love indie dyers. They are truly artists with a lot drive and soul. Most of the ones I have come across are really friendly and accommodating, they will do what's in their power to make you happy and give you what you want. The indie dyers have different kinds of talents in the same area and if you follow a few of their styles you can learn to recognize their work.

But the ting I was interested in talking about this time is the amount of "extras" you get in an order. This may not occur among all of the indie dyers but some of them will include something for you. My thought about this is not only do the indie sellers work hard for the money they earn from customers they also, sometimes, surprise you with a little gift. How many bigger, corporate companies does this? I dare to say almost none of them.

For example, I was in contact with one of my favorite dyers in the US, I will not mention names but her yarn will be featured in upcoming blog posts. In our contact I mentioned I've been having trouble reciveing her phat fiber contributions when snagging a box and her reply was: If you don't get one this time I'll send it because sometimes I have extras. Again with this super nice and friendly accommodation and to me this is truly amazing and the Etsy sellers deserves all the praise they can get.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Long lost lover, err... yarn.

Yesterday I got my long awaited yarn package from Canada. It's been travelling for about a month or so I thought. Turns out it been sitting at my post office since the 11th of March but the package delivery slip had been either lost or never sent. It kind of makes me mad especially since the customs decided to add tax plus that the postal service takes about an extra $15 for the "delivery". It's amazing they even get to call themself the postal "service" anymore. Me and the seller from Etsy senses a conspiracy. The only packages that goes missing are the ones that contains yarn. My theory is that the postal "service" is a secret guild of knitters hoarding all the yarns to take it for a test drive before delivering it... Yes, that's my theory and I'm sticking too it.

Anyway, the package was amazing! I ordered from three little crows and she is wonderful. Not only is my yarn one of the most beautiful I own she also went to the trouble making a beautiful card with wishes and thanks AND included a hand sewn project bag with a penny in for good luck. Which I by the way really needed. Everything was separately packaged inside the package and there was a lot of squee going on during the opening of everything. The stitch markers was sent togheter with the yarn on the first picture as a yarn kit. It was a limited colorway named chocolate dipped cherries with four chocolate dipped cherrie stitch markers, clever don't you think? The yarn is really soft and smooth and would be perfect for something next to the skin.

The best of everything? I took pictures. Enjoy!