Sunday, December 29, 2013

Evolution of a knitter

I've not been good with numbering episodes of the podcast and was surprised to see that this is number 9!  Trying a couple new things at this stage to be more like a podcaster...  I switched to YouTube Capture to record and edit instead of iMovie and I created a Ravelry group!  So, give this video a watch and let me know what you think in the group :-)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Yarn tasting

While I was at the Knitting in the Mitten (KitM) retreat I was able to participate in a yarn tasting.  While I enjoyed the set up she had of 'grab a mini-skein and knit a bit' I wanted to have a GREAT finished object.  I saw CoggieTM (the retreat host) made a magic ball and made a crochet blanket and that got me thinking.  I looked up how to make a magic ball and got to work.  This is where you take small bits of yarn and tie them together in such a way as there are no tails or breakage.  I took all my yarn samplings as well as the yarns from my goodie bag and arranged them in a nice color order.

Then I knotted them and skeined the yarn into a cake, 92 grams!

I wasn't sure what to make, but I always find a way to wear shawls so I thought that would be the best bet if I wanted to get use out of the finished object.  I cast on 5, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, purled back and continued with that increase method.

Up first was the Great Lakes hand dyed, Ifrit Sock which was 40 yds in a colorway called 'Frogs Breath'.  I enjoyed the color, it's name, and it's so soft!  I really like the gauge the size 8 gives me with this yarn... Squish factor is nice too.  Got almost 6 inches out of this amount of yarn.

Next up, a little pastel with green, pink, purple and blues...  A sample from the yarn store (all of these could be Debbie Macomber, Louisa Harding, Berroco or Cascade, or something else entirely!).  Feels silky while I knit with it.  Did a purl ridge at the color change.  Knew it wasn't as much as the green, must be like 10yds?  Didn't even get an inch out of this one...

Onto another yarn shop sample of unknown specs in green- may be a cotton? Not rough but thick feeling, after the purl ridge I didn't even get a 1/2 in.  

The transition to the next yarn was lovely timing, the llama felt amazingly soft.  I know no other details again but looked forward to the next two llama samples!  Very loosely plied single ply, high snag possibility, a deep greenish blue-gray... Got a little over an inch with this.

The bright and bold blue that is next feels thicker than the others also, but I think it's a wool (another yarn shop sample).  Another yarn that could use a larger needle size but relief is on the way-only 1/4 an inch out of the sample.

And more llama is next!  This one is a light blue I believe, buttery soft also!  This appears to be a 2-ply and has a nice twist, so I wonder if it's really llama because of this difference...  I feel like it didn't go as far as the first one either.

The transition to the next yarn is almost seamless, the colors are very similar and this one also flows smoothly through the fingers, but the bumps give it away.  This is beaded!  I'm quite certain this is Louisa Harding yarn from the yarn shop.  Never thought I'd like sparkle or glitter but I do enjoy the look of these beads.

More llama, this one more like the first but more green-blue.  It's shorter than both before so definitely losing width of stripes due to the growing width of the shawl.

The next yarn is much thinner, possibly even lace weight?  This is from RJ's QTs and it is a soft white, smooth yarn but feels like it will plump a bit.

I think this is Lahitum ex machina and it was paired with the sparkle yarn.  It is lovely shades of grey in a fingering or sock weight.  It is warm and sturdy, perhaps there is some nylon in it.  I got around 1/2 in out of this which seems good for the width of the shawl at this point.

Up next is my first sparkle yarn!  Also from Lahitum ex machina, it feels even softer than the previous yarn but I believe it's also a fingering weight.

A dark grey in possibly a DK or Sport weight is next.  It is also soft and feels substantial.  It's a nice solid color but it doesn't go very far at this point in the shawl.  Another unknown from the yarn shop sampling.

A bright bluish purple in fingering or sock weight doesn't go far either, yarn shop samples are a little small for the width of the shawl now.  Doesn't feel as durable as some sock yarns.

Solar Flare Fibers goodie bag offering is next.  I love LOVE this colorway!  It's a lovely purple with pops of a neon bluish purple throughout.  Very soft but could be sock yarn, might feel some nylon in there.  This gave me almost 3/4 in!

Look at those sparkles! Kind of understand it now, fun to look down at your knitting and see that glitz.

I grabbed two of the purple yarn shop samples which may be a merino sport yarn.  It has beautiful stitch definition and got me almost 1/2 in.

I had three bunches of this variegated sock weight in pinks, blues and purples from the yarn shop samples.  I switched it up at this point by doing some ribbing with this yarn.  The width of the shawl at this point didn't make those three go very far.

I finished it all up with this pink thick and thin yarn.  I only did the bind off with it and almost didn't make it!  I did a stretchy bind off so it did use up more yarn than others might.

I didn't use this last bit of the variegated so I could switch to the bind off yarn at an edge.

And this teeny bit is all that remained of the pink yarn!

I'm very pleased with the result, it ended up at a very nice size and blocked beautifully!