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Holiday Knitting Part 1: Knits for your hands

Well, I do think it’s time to get started with those holiday gifts. I’ve got some great yarns that will make fantastic gloves, mittens and fingerless mitts.

Our Livily Cormo yarn is a worsted weight yarn that will make wonderful knits for your hands. It’s sister, Trasna, is just a little thinner….as a heavy DK.

I have a mitten pattern available as well. You just pick the color and I’ll add the pattern (just mention mitts in the comment section of your order) and you can get a head start on at least one gift. You can find the pattern here on Ravelry.

I also have some quick fingerless mitt kits available. These kits contain the pattern and a skein of mohair yarn. There are 4 colors available for you to choose from.

Let’s get knitting!!

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No Rhinebeck Sweater update and needle round-up

I’m live every Thursday at 1pm on Facebook. I hope you’ll join me. Today I showed the update of my No Rhinebeck Sweater. I’m nearly finished with the first sleeve. I also had an epiphany about needles. And I wanted to share. I share my favorite needles, some needles I hate and a circular needle keeper.

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I love top down sweaters!

So many of you are following my progress on my #norhinebecksweater. I was talking about on my facebook Thursday Thrums yesterday (do you know I am live on Facebook every Thursday at 1pm?)

In case you missed it, I am making my no rhinebeck sweater from handspun lamb fleece from my Cormo/Blue Faced Leicester sheep. It’s been in the works for 3 years. I know, it’s a long time. But I’m finally making the sweater. I have the body mostly done. BUT, I was afraid that I didn’t have enough yarn. So I put the body on a cable with stoppers on it and started to work on the sleeves. And if I do run out, at least I’ll have the sleeves done and if I must use another yarn, it will only be for the ribbing. Smart, right? It took me a while to figure that one out. But I’m in progress.

So as I’m doing this, I realized that I LOVE top down sweaters! Why? Because I can try it on at every step. I can see if the body is long enough. I can see if the sleeves are decreased enough. I can do that over and over again. And when I’m finished, I KNOW it will fit and it will be exactly what I wanted to make.

How do you find one? Well I do a ravelry search. I know there’s lots of controversy about ravelry right now, but it is still the biggest repository of patterns. I search for a sweater: cardigan. I pick construction: top down. I pick the yarn I’m using: worsted. The algorithm whittles and whittles until you get a set of patterns to choose from. At that point I have 1591 patterns to choose from. I wanted steeks and colorwork so that whittled it down to only 19 choices. And I was good with that. I found 3-4 that were possibles for me.

So if you are looking to start a sweater, please consider a top-down sweater for a more pleasant experience and a more fitting and flattering sweater.

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Picking the right yarn for your next project

I just dropped Episode 7. It’s all about how to pick the right yarn for your next project. I start with some of the questions I ask myself as I’m dreaming of a new project. Don’t you love starting something new? I do! I do think it’s like dreaming. There is the entire world of garments and yarns and colors and weights to choose from. Yes, it can be overwhelming. But there are still some parameters.

In this podcast I talk about what I’ve learned about picking yarns for cables and laces. I talk about when to sure semi-solids and when to use variegated yarn. I want to help you to start a project that will be enjoyable and will meet your expectations. For instance, for both cables and lace stitches, you need to have yarn that is stretchy. You also need to have yarn that will hold its shape when it is blocked.

Are you knitting for a picky person: toddler, teenager or senior? Are you knitting something that is fitted or something like a shawl where size doesn’t really matter? You have to take these into consideration.

You can click here to listen OR you can subscribe on itunes so that you don’t miss an episode.

Have a question about yarn, shepherding or knitting? Reply here or send me an email, I’m planning a Q & A episode, but I need your questions to do that. I look forward to hearing from you.

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upping my knitting game

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I live every day during these pandemic times.  How many times do I get up and walk around the house or around the block…well our “block” is 25 acres of trees, grass, deer and rocks.How many times have I walked to the fridge or the pantry as a way to use up time or quell some anxiety or to relieve some boredom.  If that is you too, watch this great video

I’ve been thinking about being the slowest knitter in the world too.  I have to say that my stitching isn’t that slow. No, really it’s that my time over the target, at the needles, is really limited.  It’s not that I don’t have time either.  It is about building the habit of knitting every day.


This week I am combining these 2 areas of my life and working towards a healthier life.  If you have been reading lately, you know about my #norhinebecksweater. This is a handspun, colorwork, steeked cardigan.  I want it to be done by the time that Rhinebeck really would be happening. That’s the 3rd week of October.  

Iounn Sweater published in Knitty

I consistently look for snacks at 3pm….you know….an after school snack.  Geez.. how many years has that been a habit? So from 3-5pm, I will be knitting on my sweater.  This solves 2 problems. I have more time at the needles. It’s built into my day. AND I won’t be snacking, because my hands and mind are occupied. There won’t be anxiety, well only a little bit when I wonder if I have spun enough yarn for this sweater. And I will not be bored. I can not eat because my hands are busy.  It is a win-win.  I’m in my 10th day today.  I know it takes 28 days to form a habit, but I’m 40% finished with that. And I don’t suppose that this sweater will take 18 more days, but who knows, maybe it will.  If I finish this, I’ll pick up another unfinished project.  I’m feeling better already!!

What are you knitting these day? Anyone working on a No Rhinebeck Sweater? I’d love to be accountability partners if you are!!

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Making progress on my No-Rhinebeck Sweater

I’ve finished the colorwork yoke. I’ve gotten to the sleeve/body split. Now it is just knitting, knitting, knitting!

I kinda wonder and worry if I have enough handspun. So I’m thinking about alternatives in that case. I know I want to have more colorwork at the hem and the cuffs. And so maybe that is where I add in other yarns.

But for now…just relax and knit!!

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Learning how to substitute yarns

There is a lot of conversation on Instagram and FaceBook about designers and indie dyers. Some people feel discriminated against because they can’t use expensive yarn. I think I am hearing that some knitters feel unseen by the knitting industry.

There is a lot that goes into a collaboration between a designer and an indie dyer and even more when you think about farm yarns. There is the cost of the yarn and the marketing of the pattern along with the yarn. And sometimes, the yarn recommended in the pattern becomes unavailable. There are so many choices of yarns and many of those choices are regional.

New fingering weight Cormo farm yarn

Because of this it is important to learn how to substitute yarn in a pattern. That way you have all the freedom to use yarn in your stash, yarn from a big box store or yarn from a fiber farmer like me. I just published a podcast all about yarn substitution. You can find it on itunes or you can click here to listen.

Here are the highlights:

  1. You can measure the size of the yarn in your stash with this tool.
  2. You can search for patterns that would use this size of yarn on Ravelry.
  3. There are times when gauge counts and times when it doesn’t. Know which is which.
  4. If you are making a garment that needs to fit, you have to swatch….Sorry! You just have to.
  5. I give you a couple of easy swatching hacks so you don’t feel like you’re wasting time, money and yarn.
  6. I also show you 2 patterns where I totally changed the needles and the yarns and you can see how they turned out.

And if you like the podcast, I would appreciate you leaving a review on itunes. I’ll be addressing more on this topic in the future. Have a question? Let me know what it is. I’d love to have some Q & A sessions as well.

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shop update: sock blanks

I dyed up a whole lot more sock blanks. Remember that I’m giving you free access to my knit 2 socks at a time class with purchase of a sock blank.

What’s a sock blank? It’s not a sock….not yet. It is hand dyed knitted fabric that you UNKNIT and then REKNIT into some other garment. You can knit socks with it, of course. Or you can knit it into a shawl or cowl, anything you want really.

The ones I’m adding today are dyed into gradients of color. They are so pretty. They are ONE OF A KIND!! Go here to grab yours!

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shawl kit on sale over 40% off

Looking for a fun and non-stressful summer shawl project? I have just the one for you. My shawl Camau is a fun knit. It’s a crescent shaped shawl with short rows of eyelet lace among lots of garter rows. The kit comes with 4 skeins of yarn and the pattern. Just add needles and you’re good to go!!

Even better it’s on sale for over 40% off the regular price. There are 8 different choices too. You can grab your kit right here.

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How to knit 2 socks at the same time

Do you have second sock syndrome? Do you get excited about starting a pair of socks but only get 1 knit? Learning this great technique is for you…by the time you finish knitting one sock all that is left of the last sock is the bind off….

Socks from these blanks will have some discontinuous stripes.

Are you sick of losing teeny tiny sock stitches off the end of your double points? I was until I learned how to knit 2 At A Time socks knit on 1 long circular needle. Do I still drop stitches occasionally? I’m not gonna lie…I sometimes still drop a stitch.

Socks from these will be a gradient from light to dark or dark to light

My new e-course teaches you how to knit socks 2 At A Time. I’m offering this free with purchase of a sock blank. I have some great blanks left. What I love about sock blanks is that there is somewhat of a mystery to what the final socks will look like. Gradients? Spreckles? Striping? What will happen? That’s the fun of it. The class is available on July 25th. You will complete it on your schedule. All lessons are recorded.

Socks from these blanks will be spreckled