Friday, August 29, 2008

Labor Day - a 3 day weekend, YES!!

A 3-day weekend!!! That means 2 days off for me, because the post office WILL BE shipping on Saturday. But, as soon as they pick up, I'ma outta here!!

This is coming out soooo cute!! All bands are done in picot, and I even managed to shortrow the front neckline where it is over the tab front. That makes a soft curve downward instead of a 90-degree turn.

Can't wait to knit the sleeves and pick out some awesome buttons.

Again, this was done on a standard gauge main bed machine. I'm using my Silver Reed SK280. Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock is in Island Blue. Tension 8 for 7.8 sts per inch.

This yarn is great because it is soooo soft. And because it is a sock yarn, it is very washable and very durable.

With Labor Day weekend upon us, 4 of our 6 children are coming for the weekend. We have this great "field" next to the water that we mow each summer, all summer long that makes for a GREAT camping area. In the winter it is underwater, and the ducks, egrets, herons, geese, fish and all other sorts of wildlife hang out there.

While we have room in the house for all of our kids, we have become a destination spot for many of their friends and relatives. Family-in-law Chris, Shannon and Brandon arrived Thursday evening and staked out their spots.

Today more arrive, but I'm never sure who. I love surprises!! (uh, well, maybe . . . bad surprises I don't like!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Free shipping & another T-Top

Once you get a pattern that fits, you can change the details such as the neck line, sleeve length and hem type. In the upper left corner you can see the dark blue (Cascade Heritage Sock) T-shirt I machine knit in June. (See pictures here). The Cyan Blue pieces you see is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn in Island Blue.

I changed the neckline to a tab front, and the bands and hem are picot.

The white you see on the shoulders and around the front neck is waste yarn. Waste yarn is used to hold raw stitches. When I seam the shoulders together and add the front neck band, the waste yarn comes off. By not binding off stitches, you get a lot less bulk in the seams.

If this was a drop shoulder, loose fitting garment, the shoulders and back neck would need to be bound off. This bound off edging helps to support the weight of the drop shoulder sleeves and pulling down of the body. Otherwise, the garment just really droops off the shoulders, and the neckline is horribly pulled out of shape. Then what happens is the sides hang lower and the fronts and backs hike up! Ask me how I know!!

While the Cascade Heritage knit to 7.3 sts per inch, the Shepherd Sock knit to 7.8 inches per inch. I expected them to be identical, or at the very most the Shepherd Sock to be larger stitches not smaller. This can be important when you knit a fitted T-Shirt. Over 16", if I had not done a swatch, I would have ended up with 1" less with width for front or back. My fitted t-shirt would be 2" smaller. Not so good on a 50-yr old woman!!

The Yarn-Store now offers free shipping on orders over $75. This was a monumental decision for me to make. I am such a small store. I might sound big on my internet, but its pretty much just me. Janene comes in and pulls orders, and checks in freight. Only 2-4 hours a day. I do everything else, including the web design. Working long hours each day, watching every nickel and dime, made this a difficult decision. But! I really need to keep up with all the other stores on the internet, therefore, here ya go!! Enjoy!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

new EXCLUSIVE color in Lorna's Laces

I'm so excited!! After months and months of working on getting the exact shades, Renaissance Romance is finally approved and sent to the que of "to dye" colors.

I had a devil of a time trying to get the monitor to reflect the exact shades. The red is a dark old red. It looks rather light, almost orange-ish, to me here. But in the skein above it is better.

Think of the shades of velvet from the dark ages. The green is very dark and deep. You will be seeing more of this color from me. The yellow is old gold.

I knit this swatch on a standard (4.5mm) gauge knitting machine at tension 8. That is pretty much the same as US#0 or 1 needle. The edges are rows of crochet. Sometimes when testing new yarns, you need to try different knit stitches and crochet stitches. The last 2 rows of crochet were done in double+ crochet. Which made the color clump together. I rather like it!

I forgot to tell you, that all 4 of my fair submissions got ribbons.

The first item was a felted cell purse bag. I posted pics of that on an earlier blog.

The 2nd item was a t-top for myself. Machine knit with Cascade Heritage Sock yarn in one of the hand-dyed blues.

The 3rd item was one of the EZ toddler vests. You can see a picture of that on one of my earlier blogs. It is hand knit, and I worked up and now sell the pattern for it.

The 4th item was machine knit using Cascade Heritage Sock yarn. It was a bolero for a young teen. This will be put into the sales studio at Heritage Textile Fiber Arts.

The rains have FINALLY left the Oregon coast. The sun is out and warm, with a slight breeze. Such a pretty day!

Tomorrow, Saturday, a large group of knitters will be meeting here. I cancelled my Friday group during the summer, so this will be a mixed group of knitters. Some that float from location to location each month, and some from my Friday group. So much to do !!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Machine Knitting Child!

This is Aurora. Aurora is 8 yrs old. Aurora is my niece. She knows how to hand knit, and knit most of a scarf over the last 6 months. Because they spend days with me, while Dad is at work, I'm always trying to find projects to keep them entertained. While I don't believe it is an adult's job to entertain children, I do feel we need to always widen their horizons. Her sister Ariel claimed she's seen it done and was not interested. Ariel is 12. I won't mention to her how many times she looked up from her drawing and her reading to watch her sister. Uh Uh . . . . she's at that "know it all" stage. But I have my ways to widen her horizons too!!

Machine knitting for children is often easier than hand knitting. They see progress faster, so will often complete the project. This machine is the Silver Reed LK150. We are knitting a child's hat on T5 using Cascade 220 Superwash. Aurora chose the color.

Aurora’s Hat
CO 90 sts with WY and ravel cord.
Change to MC. Leave a 24" tail for seaming. Tension 4. Knit 30 to 36 rows.
Hang hem.
Tension 5. Knit 45-50 rows.
Transfer every other stitch to adjacent needle and push empty needles out of work.
Tension 3. Knit 2 rows.
Cut yarn leaving a 12" tail and thread up a double eye needle. Remove stitches onto this thread.
Block. Seam side with tail from cast on. Gather up top of cap, pull tight and tie off.
Attach PomPom if desired.

Took Aurora about an hour to do the hat. I helped hanging the hem. I started on one side, and she the other. We met almost at the middle. Aurora transfered alternate stitches for the crown, but I removed them onto the stranded double eye needle to remove the hat from the machine. I also did the seaming.

A few days ago Aurora learned how to make tassles and pom poms. The plan today is for her to make the pom pom for the top of this hat.

On my needles I cast on for another Neck Down Summer Cardigan. (You can see the pattern here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.) Yes, just like the blue one in Lion and Lamb. I am using Cascade's Cash Vero. Super soft, worsted weight yarn. Nothing to photograph just yet!

In the store, sales are moving up as knitters are planning their Christmas gifts. Janene and I finally put together another rack, and moved all the Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky to it.

With Cascade 220 continually expanding, I needed the space. There are now 360 colors in the Cascade 220 line. That is solids, heathers, tweeds, twists and hand dyed colors. Yep, and I pretty much stock 'em all!

Break time over!! Talk to you again soon!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Summer Cardigan

I promised. Better late than never!! The summer cardigan is wonderful!! I want to do another. I knit this one smaller so I could wear it as a top. It does well over tanks and shells, but see how cute it is on its own. Lion and Lamb is soooo soft!!I'm thinking of doing another, but using Cascades Cash Vero and going up one size. But I have another project on the needles. I'm winging it on that one, and that could mean disaster! So I'm not posting anything on it until I've got a sure thing!

Here's another beautiful sunrise!

Friday, August 8, 2008

a fun two weeks!

Amidst a lot of tears, my granddaugher flew out yesterday. She spent quite a bit of time with us this year. She didn't bring any friends, and her Mom and Dad couldn't make it this year. Tyler and Oma (me) had a lot of one on one time together. She's soooo cool! I can't believe she loves me so much!!

Over the last few days, she knit and felted this little make-up bag. It turned out so cute!!

But take a look at what's in her purse. Knitting!!

At the last minute we decided to make some soap. We just do the simple melt-n-pour version. It is fun and fast. Melt the soap, add color, add fragrance, pour into your favorite mold, cool and pop out! Instant gratification! I had done some for Christmas and she used all hers up and wanted more.

This is what she spent most of her time doing! Watching TV and knitting! We did go to Sunriver, Oregon, for the weekend, of course, stopping to shop along the way in Eugene, and again on Saturday in Bend. There is nothing in the Coos Bay area for shopping.

And no one can shop like Tyler and Oma! The whole family knows that that is what we do best (besides knitting !)

The colorful project you see here is a blanket she started last summer. It is about 3 foot square. She plans on it fitting her bed! The yarn is Cascade Sierra.

Tyler is more than a couch potatoe. She is very into sports. She's an assistant coach this year for soccer in California. And she's taken a surf boarding camp earlier this summer. She also snow boards. She balances quiet fun with sports.

Despite the overcast cool days, she went out frequently on our lake. Here she is on the board, having at the ski course. She finally made it through the course around the balls.

In the store, Cascade has brought in 20 new colors. To make it easier for you, I have put them on a separate web page. You can see the colors here.


It is nice to see some paler shades. Not sure how well they felt, but I don't felt all my Cascade 220 projects.

My neckdown cardigan is done, but I'm still looking for the perfect buttons. Once I get the buttons in place I'll photograph it!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tyler & Summer Knitting

The week has flown by and it is the day Tyler and I head over to Sunriver, Oregon, for a brief family reunion (after a energizing stop at Valley River Mall, in Eugene, of course!!). Tyler and I have been hanging out together. She's been doing a lot of knitting and watching TV. What else does a 14 yr old do, except shopping? Oh, and working on her tan!

Tyler has developed a new love since our last visit together. She was given a camera at Christmas by her Uncle Scott. Here she and I are checking out how my camera works. Let me warn you, this was not planned, so neither one of us have make-up on! And Tyler is goofing off. Little does she know this pic was headed for the blog!

It may be overcast, but some mornings are quite warm. There is nothing like knitting in the early morning, with a fresh ground and pressed cup of Java! Here is my Neckdown Summer Sweater. It is now done (it wasn't in this picture). I spent a whole day wearing it and just love it. The yarn Lion and Lamb makes it super comfy. It took only 4 hanks. I'm hesitant to say I'd like it just as well in another yarn. So, I'm considering knitting another . . . same yarn . . . . but what color? MMmmmmm Edgewater!!

Well, my help isn't here today, so I'm going to make this blog short. Have to get shipping out and keep the packing going. If the day stays quiet, we hope to slip out early today.

Enjoy your weekend!