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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
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sock blank with class included

Have you always wanted to learn how to knit socks 2 at a time (2AAT)? It is my preferred way to knit socks. Why? Because they will be the same size. Row for row. I don’t really need to count. I do measure them, but I don’t have to count to make sure there are the same number of rows. I like this way because there isn’t any second sock syndrome. When you are done with one sock you are done with both.

And what about sock blanks? How do they work? Well these are knitted rectangles that contain the same amount of yarn as our usual fingering weight yarns… approximately 400 yards. They are knit double, so they are perfect for 2AAT socks. The yarn doesn’t get as tangled as when working with 2 balls of yarn.

I’m going to do a series of classes to teach you how to knit socks 2AAT from a sock blank. These classes are free with purchase of a sock blank. There will be 4 classes: casting on and getting started, how to turn the heels, how to pick up the gusset and how to finish your socks. Classes will start July 25th. They are self study, so you can access them when it is convenient for you. Click here to get a sock blank and access to the class.

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Some new variations for Strisce shawl

This is a simple shawl…the color of the yarn does all the work. It is mostly garter stitch with some lace near the bottom. It is an asymmetrical triangle shape. I’ve added 3 new variations. Check them out! Kit comes with pattern and 4 skeins of Zephyrette yarn. Zephyrette is our baby alpaca, silk and cashmere blend that’s a light sport weight.

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an elegant scarf made with oh so soft Zephyrette

Diamond and Cable scarf

This scarf is made with 2 skeins of Zephyrette. It is a fun knit that combines a lace block in the shape of a diamond, cables running up the side and a lace border. ** Free pattern with purchase of 2 skeins of Zephyrette. No Coupon needed***

Diamond and Cables Scarf in Bluebell Colorway

The borders are knit first and one is set aside on scrap yarn while the other is used to make the rest of the scarf. When you get to the end of the scarf you merely knit the scarf and 2nd border together. And Voila! You have a beautiful, elegant scarf.

**Free pattern with purchase of 2 skeins of Zephyrette. No coupon needed! ***

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viral colorways on sparkly yarn

I’m loving these colorways and so I’m making them in many of my fingering weight colorways. Our Sparkly yarn is 92% Superwash Merino and 8% Lurex (the man-made sparkly factor). There are 414 yards in each 4oz skein.

Here is the yarn in Sparkly:

Corona Colorway

You can grab these here. I’m dyeing to order and will let you know when to expect your yarn.

Antibody Colorway

Think you want to make a shawl with these? Here are a few suggestions:

Road Trip shawl

Free Your Fade

Jacinta Shawl

Rainbow Wings

Of course there are more than 5000 shawls on Ravelry using this amount of yardage. These are just a few I thought might work well.

Happy Knitting!!

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FO Friday–Shawl Edition

So here is a snapshot of the shawls that I have knit in the last few years. I know it’s not a lot. But you also know that I’m the slowest knitter in the world and maybe in the universe.

Shawls that I’ve actually knit in the last couple of years.

All of these are available on Ravelry. Front left to right: Striche, Shard, Camau, Raddiant, Conflagration and Maryland, my Maryland. Some of these are available as kits in our webstore: Strisce, Camau, Raddiant and Conflagration. You can find them here.