Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hand-Dyed Sock Yarn

I hadn't bought myself a skein of yarn in a really long time. I promise. I randomly found myself in possession of some money (some freelance work I had, plus my birthday that was coming up on the 16th).

Why the fascination with sock yarn? As part of my traveling scarf group, one of the ladies had chosen to do a length-wise scarf in crazy colors of sock yarn. I was able to use some from my stash (amazingly, for never completing a sock, I had a couple skeins of sock yarn), and was surprised at how little I used, and how fun it was to work with on a longer project.

So imagine my glee when I checked my Ravelry's friends' blogs and came across this little gem? It's hand-dyed sock yarn, and the colors are great. I thought that since I enjoyed working with the thinner, soft yarn so much, I'd try to get back into making socks, and buying some new yarn would be the perfect way to do that.

We'll just ignore the fact that when I went to go buy new circular needles for this project (I'm done with DPN's - DONE!) that I bought two skeins of some Red Heart Heart and Sole. And that I picked up some purple crochet thread to make my very first doily. And some bobbins. ACMoore is a money pit.

Anyway, you can buy your own hand-dyed yarn from Lyse Artistic Creations Hand Dyed Yarn.  The specific blog post where she was selling these is located here.  It's very high quality and comes highly recommended by me! And we all know I'm picky :)

Hope you are all having a great week!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy Father's Day - Knit Welsh Dragon Square For Dad!

Knit Welsh Dragon Square

Presenting the Welsh Dragon I knit for my dad for Father's Day!

Lately, I've really taken to knitting gifts for people. I've been completely neglecting my Etsy shops, which makes me feel guilty and stressed at the same time, but that's okay - I make hats and it's summer :) However, I've found that making gifts for people is a fun way for me to relax, and I've been so super happy with the results that I'm A-OK with my shop taking second fiddle.

Anyway, I purchased this pattern for the really good price of $2 on Ravelry [Ravelry Link] (9/18/2012 ETA: this pattern is now free). The pattern was easy to follow, even for someone like me who has barely touched intarsia in the past (in knitting or crocheting).

I made the mistake of thinking I could totally do this without buying new bobbins (the few I had were lost years ago), but I was so wrong. I didn't feel like venturing out of the house, so I just wound some balls around my hand and tied a loose knot. That didn't work too badly. Turns out I was just really bad at intarsia, haha. I pull the yarn too tightly, which made the fabric pucker a bit. I'm sure I'll get better with practice, and it didn't look awful. I was more than pleased with the result, so I'm not letting that bother me.

I did discover something interesting, though. I post knitting and crochet tutorials on YouTube because apparently I need yet another project to stress over, and someone commented on my "How to Purl" video that the stitches were twisted when you'd go to knit back. That's something that, in my 16 years of knitting, I had never noticed before. It was how my oma taught me and I never questioned it, but the commenter was absolutely right!

I always wondered why my knitting looked "lumpier" than everyone else's. So I'm not sure if you can tell from this square, but my stitches are so much more even than my previous projects (even if the dragon is puckered). For a small square, I learned quite a bit making it! Mission accomplished.

I have so many other projects to blog about and have just been going nuts with finals week coming up and my job exploding around me, plus some freelance design work that's been sent my way. Hopefully I'll be able to update more in the next week or two!

Happy Father's Day!
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