Friday, February 23, 2007

Who Wants a Sneak Peek?

Dyeing my latest batch of yarn has been going very slowly. The whole crew here has been sick, which means no one is sleeping and everyone is cranky. Cranky 9 month olds mean Mom isn't getting any sleep OR any time for herself. Hopefully we're in the downswing and I can get back to it very soon.

I have managed to get a few skeins dyed though. Wanna see? I thought you might...

The top three skeins are self-striping and the bottom skein is variegated. Not all have names yet, but I'm working on it! Hopefully these and more will be posted sometime next week if I can get my family healthy again sometime soon.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Springtime In Paris Socks

A few months ago I joined the Six Sox Knitalong on Yahoogroups. This group posts a new sock pattern every 2 months and encourages members to knit a pair. I love this group. The designer is part of the group and readily available to field questions and to offer advice if you get stuck or if you think you've found an error in the pattern. Plus you have dozens of other knitters (the group has over 3000 members, but obviously not all are active participants) to help you along the way and to share your handiwork with. Did I mention that I love this group?

Well, despite joining ages ago, I haven't found the time between my family and J.L. Yarnworks to actually participate. I've just been watching as members post their in-progress photos and finished pairs. Admittedly, I've been a bit jealous...and anxious to join in.

So February 1, the Springtime in Paris pattern by Rebecca A. was posted. This pattern is not only beautiful, but reversible! "Right" side out, it offers little raindrops. "Wrong" side out, little Eiffel Towers. For awhile, I simply stared at this pattern, pining, but reminding myself that I simply do not have time. I have a 9 month old, a 4 year old, 2 part-time jobs and a home business. But then, a couple days later, a member posted that she thought a nice greyish blue yarn would work nicely with this pattern, both with the raindrops (storm) and the Eiffel Towers (steel). And then it hit me! I had just launched my line of Showcase Yarns (semi-solids) and had a beautiful greyish blue yarn listed in my store! I waited two days, giving this particular yarn a chance to sell. If it sold, then it wasn't meant to be. But if it didn't sell by the time I had a slice of time to cast on this sock, then I would yank it from my shop and use it for myself (a temptation I have with most of my yarns!). Two days later it still had not sold. It now looks like this:

Stitch Detail - Raindrops:

Stitch Detail - Eiffel Towers:

Full-view - Raindrops:

Full-view - Eiffel Towers:

The stitch detail pictures are a tad dark, but you get the idea.

You may notice the pink yarn at the toe of the right-side-out picture. This is a new cast-on method for me. It's a provisional cast-on method using an I-cord. It's absolutely ingenius! I love this cast-on and may not do toe-up socks any other way.

The pattern calls for a heel flap, which when working toe-up looks a bit odd to me. It's also not a reversible method. So I'm considering a short-row heel. Hopefully I won't botch it all up when I stray from the pattern.

I'll post more pictures as I make progress.
Yesterday I took a break from all things Yarnworks to join in my father-in-law's 60th birthday celebrations. When Mr. Yarnworks got home from work we bundled up the kids and headed out for his hometown (about 100 miles away). We arrived early enough to greet all the relatives that came from far and wide. Most had never met Baby Yarnworks, our youngest, and of course had to gush over her fat thighs and big brown eyes. Then they had to marvel over how Big Sister has gotten sooo big since their last visit (it's been about a year and a half since our last big gathering).
The whole shindig was a surprise for the birthday boy.

He looks surprised, doesn't he? I think being 60 just makes you tired. That and dealing with all the grandkids running loose! Of course he loves each little booger and has to try to keep up!

The above two pictures are nice little multigenerational shots. Grandpa with son, grandson, and granddaughter. The two on the right belong to me. Grandpa is holding our nephew, Michael, whose mother I will introduce shortly.

Mr. Yarnworks and Baby Yarnworks do what they do best. Eat. There's Baby Yarnworks enjoying her first slice of cucumber and a cracker.

Big Sister did what she does best. Cause trouble. Here she is with a gross sticky rubbery purple spider trying to sneak up on her Aunt. Auntie Toni is the mother of the aforementioned Michael.

Notice her cute little shirt one of her other Aunts and cousins made up for her and the rest of the grandkids. Very cute.

A good time was had by all. Some talked a bit too much. Some ate a bit too much. And quite a few drank a bit too much.

Then, something told us it was time to leave...

Despite enjoying seeing everyone again, we were happy to get home. It made for a long day. Mr. Yarnworks has 2 brothers, 3 sisters, innumerable aunts and uncles, and other extended family. Plus 2 nephews, 2 neices, and 3 foster neices and nephews. It was a raucous crowd in a small room for an extended period of time.

Later tonight I will post something a little more knitting related. I really want to show you all the progress I'm making on my Springtime in Paris socks from the Six Sox Knitalong group. I'm using one of my own Showcase Yarns and am really pleased with how it's turning out! I'm learning all kinds of new techniques. Who knew socks could hold so many possibilities?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Four new styles of knitting stitch markers for socks and lace now available at J.L. Yarnworks. These stitch markers fit up to a size US 3 knitting needle. Four older styles of sock stitch markers as well as other sizes and hand-dyed sock yarn are also listed. Happy shopping!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

New Yarns are Posted at J.L. Yarnworks!

Come see the self-striping and semi-solid "Showcase Yarns" that I have been working on this past week! I'm so excited about this batch. Raspberry Swirl (above) is mine if it doesn't sell quickly! It was actually a "mistake" batch that turned out really well. No way I could reproduce it. And the purple of Grape Cluster is just yummy! I was giddy when I pulled it out of the dye.

So hurry over to J.L. Yarnworks before they're all gone!