Scarf Yarns

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Baby Alpaca and Bamboo - YUMMY

I started Flor de Maio - a cowl from Classic Elite's latest Web-Letter.

Chateau is great to work with. Baby Alpaca mixed with Bamboo. It feels yummy on your hands.

The first 7 rows are simple. Knit or purl with one row of *K2tog, yo* across the row.

I'm on the 5th row of the main pattern. You need to know knit, purl, yarn over, knit 2 together and an ssk (a decrease that isn't hard). The pattern is a multiple of 10 stitches. If you haven't knit a lot of lace then you can put stitch markers between each pattern repeat. If you get to the marker and you aren't doing the stitch that you are supposed to then you know that there is a mistake in the last 10 stitches. You won't get to the end of the row and then need to start ripping out 100 stitches.

My latest Checkerboard Cowl goes perfectly with Lynn's new winter coat. This is Rasta in Porrinho. Currently my 15mm needles are empty and my knitting bag is Rasta free. That might change tomorrow - there are still a few colours that I haven't worked with.

Here is Beth's cowl on a mannequin, not thrown on the floor like the other day. She kept complaining about the colours while making the cowl. She said that there wasn't enough contrast but once finished I think it looks great. I might keep it :)

We found out today that our house is going to be delayed by a month. We aren't upset about this. We'd rather they take their time and do the job properly rather than rush and do a shoddy job. The basement is being poured this week and there is an inspection. If the electrical is good then they can start on the walls.

The Taste is almost over and then it's time for Top Chef. I think that it's time to stop for the day and wind down before bed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Contest from Mrs. Crosby

We just received an email from Mrs. Crosby and this sounds exciting. 

Dear Hearts,

As the dusk of the year draws in, I have taken in the evenings to poring over photographs–some submitted to our Ravelry group; some sent via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter; and two delivered by carrier pigeon–of the colorful caravan of pieces you've made with our yarns.

The launch of this bold experiment in early spring was a thrilling, terrifying time. We unfurled the flag and let go the lines hoping you would wish to share in our adventure, and you have. I tell you, I could not be more over the moon if I were orbiting Mars in a space capsule. (Note to self: Next year?)

So fascinating have your own explorations been that I feel we must celebrate and reward them.

To that end, I am pleased to announce the inauguration of...

The Mrs. Crosby Finished Project Photography Contest.

This ongoing competition, open to all fiber artists in the United States North America, will be very simple in structure. In summary:
  1. You knit, crochet, weave, or otherwise fashion something using Mrs. Crosby yarns.
  2. You present your finished work to us using the online entry form and following our rules and regulations.
  3. We select one champion every month, and reward her or him with a number of fresh skeins equal to those in the project, up to a total of five.
  4. The champion's work will be displayed here, in my blog, to widespread public acclaim.
How does that sound? Will you play? I do so hope you will.

For the first round, our contest deadline will be midnight (American Central Standard Time) of January 10, 2015. We know that at this time of year many of you will have poured heart and soul into utterly fabulous gifts that cannot yet be revealed, so we're allowing extra time.

For complete details, and link to the entry form, I invite you to visit our Web site.

I look forward to seeing what you have made and will make, dear hearts. Onward!

The bell on the chuck wagon indicates that breakfast is served, and so I must away.

Here are a few of our finished projects in Mrs. Crosby's yarn. Everyone who knits with the yarn comments on how great it is to work with. The colours are outstanding. 
All the patterns came from Ravelry.
The brown and yellow cardigan are the pattern In Threes...knit in Steamer Trunk
The middle cardigan is called Wee Liesl and is knit in Train Case
This is Derecho knit in three shades of Satchel.
The Elder Tree Shawl in Steamer Trunk. 
The Warrior Shawl in Carpet Bag. 

Shaelyn is knit in Hat Box. 

If you've already finished a project in Mrs. Crosby, get a picture and enter. If you're looking for a new project, why not use Mrs. Crosby and possibly win more yarn?

There are five yarns in four thicknesses.
Satchel - fingering
Train Case - fingering
Hat Box - sport
Carpet Bag - dk
Steamer Trunk - worsted

The patterns available on Ravelry are endless. Take a look at your favourites. I'm sure that there are a few there that will work with one or more of Mrs. Crosby's yarns.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pom Poms

There is a new Classic Elite Web-Letter today.
From the designer, Meg
As a knitter who is perpetually cold this time of year, I find myself wearing cowls when I'm outdoors, at work and even while relaxing at home in the evenings. With such constant use, I like my cowls to look good from all angles.
With this in mind, I designed this cowl in a reversible lace pattern that looks beautiful on both sides. A simple eyelet and garter stitch pattern keeps the edges from curling. My cowl is knit in colorful Chateau, but it would also be beautiful in undyed Chalet.
Download the pattern...
I'm going to cast this on tonight. It might be time to move away from the 15mm needles. Chateau is so soft that it will be a dream to work with.

There is quite a colour range to pick from...

And no, I didn't pick purple. This is colour 1420 - Turquoise.

Cathy has been busy making hats. The yarn is Loyal Pattern Prints DK from Naturally. 100% wool that is self-patterning. These hats are for little ones-2 and 4. The hat took just under a ball but you will need another ball if you want a nice big pom pom. The free pattern is from Ravelry - The Child's Self Striping Hat.

She was worried about making pom poms so I gave her a set of pom pom makers. We sell these in the store. 4 sizes in the package for $15. Cathy swears by them. She is having so much fun making pom poms that now she's making them and adding them to her Christmas wrapping.

I'm watching the finale of Big Break Myrtle Beach, finishing my blog post and working on the new cowl. 5mm needles are small!

Monday, December 15, 2014

I can't stop

I knit another cowl in Rasta on Saturday. It's an addiction. I'm not sure I will be able to stop until I have knit every colour. This one is my own design. I can't keep doing the same pattern :) Which colour this time? Arco Iris.

Checkerboard Cowl

15mm, 60cm needles

1 ball Rasta

Cast on 42 stitches and join in the round. Put a marker on your needle. Make sure now and after the first row that your stitches aren't twisted. 

Rows 1-6: Knit 7, Purl 7, Knit 7, Purl 7

Rows 7-12: Purl 7, Knit 7, Purl 7, Knit 7

Rows 13-18: Knit 7, Purl 7, Knit 7, Purl 7

Rows 19-24: Purl 7, Knit 7, Purl 7, Knit 7

Cast off in Purl.

Beth finished another cowl too.
Autumn Basket (pattern purchased on Ravelry) knit in Misti Chunky. One skein of hand dyed with one skein of solid. She likes the brighter one better but I think you know which one I picked the colours for :)

I had two different customers in today who ran out of yarn while casting off a cowl. Here is a little tip. 
-lay your work out
-the yarn needs to go back and forth across the work at least 4 times
-this should give you enough to cast off
This can present a problem when you're working in the round. The stitches can be squished. You need to gently stretch the first stitches, measure out some yarn, stretch out the next bunch of stitches and stretch out the yarn. Repeat across the row. Take this length of yarn and measure out 3 more lengths the same. This should be enough. If you're a little nervous then add another 1/2 round.

If this is confusing, please ask me to show you the next time you're in the store.

If you buy a lot of skeins of yarn then you might want a ball winder and swift for Christmas. These really cut down on the time it takes to make a ball. I think it was the happiest day of Beth's life when we got our first ball winder and swift. She didn't have to hold her arms out any longer.

It's time to cast on another cowl. Yes, I brought home another skein of Rasta. I told you, I can't stop!

Sunday, December 14, 2014


It's been a cable day and the Tangle Scarf is growing.
The pattern repeat is 16 rows - two rows have cables and the other 14 are just knits and purls. I only have one complaint with the project. I've been knitting on 15mm needles this week making cowls and now I'm down to a 10mm needle. The rows take longer :)

If you are looking for an amazing knitting bag for Christmas, take a look at the Kazul from Offhand Designs. These bags are hand made in Oakland California with amazing upholstery fabrics. I have many bags from Offhand Designs and the workmanship is awesome.
Kazul is my carry on bag when I fly. There is lots of room for your laptop, wallet, iPad, knitting, headphones and snacks.
The bag features a front pocket with a secret cellphone pocket behind the flap and a larger pocket for I-pad, magazine or pattern! The bag opens up wide with a stay-put 16" x 11" doctor's bag frame and another, deep pattern or I-pad pocket on the inside of the bag, as well as our traditional zipper pocket, pouches and pockets! 

Dimensions:  12.5"H x 17"W x 7"D
Closure Style:  16” doctor's frame, solid brass turn lock on a genuine leather flap
Handle Length:  22" double genuine leather straps, 45” detachable/adjustable shoulder strap
Handle Drop:  10.5”
Pockets:  Lining 3 pockets, 2 tool slots, 2 pouches and 1 zipper pocket
Hardware:  Solid brass hardware

Don't forget about Homeland tonight. This season has been awesome so far. The only problem with Homeland is that it's hard to knit and watch. You need to pay attention to the TV. All of a sudden you look down and realize that you haven't knit a stitch in 15 minutes. For lighter TV watching, there is a new episode of The Mentalist as well. You don't need to pay nearly as much attention.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

More Cowls

Beth has been busy knitting. Mosaic Knitting has her interest right now. Colourwork but you are only working with one colour every row. You can read more about Mosaic Knitting on
Pattern: Autumn Basket (purchased on Ravelry)
Yarn: Misti Chunky - one skein of a solid colour and one skein of a hand paint
Needles: 6.5mm, 60cm circular
Rasta cowl #3 is done.

Pattern: Textured Cowl (free on Ravelry)
Yarn: one skein of Rasta in the colour Anzules
Needles: 15mm

Pattern Changes: I cast on 42 stitches instead of the 48 that the pattern called for and worked four full repeats.

Do you need a stocking stuffer? Why not a bottle of Soak?
I use Soak for blocking all my knits. Pour a capful into a sink full of cold water and let the item sit for 15 minutes. If it sits for longer, it won't hurt your knitting. Drain the sink and put a towel under your garment. This way you don't stretch the garment when you pull it out of the sink. There is no need to rinse out the Soak. Lay your garment out to dry. If you need to pin into shape now is the time to do it.

Soak is great for washing all your delicates as well. And you can use it in your front loading washing machine.

A lot of yarn came home from work today. Two more skeins of Rasta and some tosh ASAP. I might think that I can knit faster than I really can. Just in case :) What if we get hit by a sudden storm and we're snowed in??

Friday, December 12, 2014

I'm on a roll

I finished the cowl last night. Rasta is very addictive. The yarn is super soft and is so nice to knit with. And very quick. You can't beat a cowl in an evening.
Pattern: Textured Cowl (free on Ravelry)
Yarn: one skein of Rasta in the colour Zarzamora
Needles: 15mm

If you've made a cowl and find that it is too big, don't rip it out. I'm against ripping out. :) Instead try a shawl pin. It will hold the cowl in place and looks great. Jewelry for your knitting.

I'm going to make another one with a small change to the pattern. I think that the cowl could be taller and not quite as wide. The pattern calls for 48 stitches but my next one will be 42 stitches.

Here it is started - this one is in Azules.

I still haven't started my Christmas shopping. I'm going to give you ideas until Christmas in case you are like me and still have people you need presents for.

Knit Blockers by Knitter's Pride
A novel and original idea to block knitting projects…….guaranteed to make knitting lives easier!! 
The ease of handling the blockers substantially speeds up blocking on all types of project 
The design helps maintain even tension across the width of the blocking pins 
Ideal working on blocking straight edges like sweaters, shawls and scarves 
Anchor holes in each blocker allows the user to attach string along large sections which can be pulled and pinned to maintain consistent tension 
Made using tough plastic with embedded sharp, sturdy & rust resistant stainless steel pin
Two different sizes to manage different shapes when blocking 
Designed by knitters for knitters

How about Survivor this week? There is nothing like a blindside. And that was a blindside. Some one's girlfriend might not be very pleasant this week.

Picking a winner for The Amazing Race is getting tough. I like all the remaining teams. Sometimes it's better if there is a team you don't like so you have someone to root against.

It's home time. A quick dinner out (Harvey's is calling my name) and then TV and knitting. I can justify the TV because I need to finish the cowl :)