Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Miss Molly's Duke Thorpe

My son's beloved second grade teacher, Molly, is a Duke alum and a huge fan of their Blue Devil's basketball team.  Their team colors are blue and white.  So, of course we had to dye up some Duke Blue yarn for her Christmas gift.  And, knit it into a rugged hat to keep her head warm on all of her adventures.  Molly is an avid hiker. She and her husband have hiked nearly all of Colorado's 53 Fourteeners (mountains with elevations at or above 14,000 feet).  So, I am confident that this hat will get lots of use.  

Molly is very sentimental.  So, I expect a few tears when she opens her gift.  I'm more than a little excited to see her reaction!  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Man of Many Knits

Early this morning, despite being feverish and having a bad head cold, my overachiever of a husband set out to shovel a light layer of snow from our driveway.  (I had to snap a photo of how cute he looked all bundled up in his handknits.)  That man sure is prompt when it comes to shoveling.  If it were up to me, the job would wait until after I have had my coffee, my breakfast, taken a shower, knit a few rows of whatever project I am working on, started a craft project with the boys and done just about whatever else I could think of.  At which point, quite honestly, I am nearly certain that the snow will have already melted off the driveway.  Eliminating the need to do any shoveling at all.  Brilliant, right?

Although we live in Colorado, we are in the high desert portion of the state.  Which means that we get very little snow.  The snow that does manage to make its way to our neck of the woods never sticks around long.  So, it's kind of a novelty!

The hat is the awesomely fast to knit, Man Hat, by Haven Leavitt...Knit in Spectra, in the colorway, Curry.  This hat is a new favorite and will surely be knit up in many more colors, as it's just such a great fitting, warm hat.  The broken ribbing makes for a really lofty hat with lots of little air pockets to hold in heat.  Kinda like a waffle knit shirt.  The scarf is just some crazy acrylic yarn I picked up years ago in the sale bin of a little knitting shop in Salt Lake City, UT.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On the Needles - Chloe (Part 3)

I suppose I should call this post, "Off the Needles".  As, I am finally finished with the adorable Chloe sweater I am knitting as a gift for our dear friend's eighth birthday.  Her party is a week from tomorrow.  So, I am happy to say that there will be no last minute, up-til'-midnight, frantic knitting going on the night before the party.  Wow!  That's a first.  

This was a fun knit and such a departure from my usual "boy knits" in blue, gray and brown.  It even has ruffles.  Ruffles!!!  So fun.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

On the Needles - Chloe (Part 2)

Reya's little Chloe sweater is moving right along.  This is good, as her birthday is just a little over a week away.  I just have the ruffle at the bottom, a bit of sleeve knitting and a few buttons to sew on.  I tried it on my son, despite his outspoken protests, and it is so stinkin' cute!  

While it's not a difficult pattern, the stripes mean that I had to tote around three balls of yarn everywhere the project went.  I am a very mobile knitter.  My knitting must be able to travel between karate practice, doctor visits, playdates, and Knit Night at my local yarn shop.  Each and every time I went to take it from my knitting bag, the three skeins managed to somehow wind themselves into a big rat's nest.  I mean, how is that even possible?  I think the next striped project I knit will be a "home" only knitting project.

I can't wait to see her reaction when she unwraps her gift on her birthday.  I am hoping that it will be extra meaningful as she had a hand in designing the sweater.  So fun!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Becky's Blush Baby Bliss

I just had to share Raveler, Knittingma's, super cute little sweater vest/dress she knit up (lickety split no less) in just one skein of Luna Grey Orion (Superwash Merino DK) in the colorway, Blush.  Becky is an amazingly accomplished knitter whose projects are truly awe inspiring.  Her photographs are always lovely and her models adorable!  

Thanks, Becky, for sharing your photos (and your daughter's cuteness)! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

On the Needles - Chloe

Like many of you, my "To Knit / Sew" list is unrealistically long given the number of days until Christmas.  How is it that December 1st is just a few days away?  How?!?!?  I would venture to say that even if I did nothing but knit / sew for the next 25+ days, I still wouldn't finish all of the gifts I would like to make.  Despite this realization, I continue to plug away at a handful of gifts that I really do hope to finish in time.  I debated sharing them here, but am confident that the recipients aren't the blog reading types.  So, I think we're safe.

Hudson, my seven year old son, has a dear friend whom he's known since they were babies.  Her name is Reya Sol (cool name, right?).  During a visit to my dye studio last week, I asked her if she was tired of receiving hand knit gifts from me (her birthday is just a few days before Christmas).  She insisted that my hand knits were among her all time favorite gifts (Really.  She said that.  Awe...).  I asked if she would like to pick out a few colors of dye to be applied to the softest of merino wool yarn and knit up into something girly and fun.  She was thrilled and wasted no time selecting a vivid turquoise, emerald green and bright purple.  Here is what we came up with...


Not only did she get to custom dye her yarn.  We also sat down and browsed through oodles of patterns on Ravelry.  She selected the adorable Chloe bolero sweater.  I have not knit the pattern before, but liked that it was short sleeved and cropped (read: quick to knit!).  As you can see, I am only a few rows into the project.  Keeping my fingers crossed that some free time magically manifests itself between now and her birthday : )

Happy Knitting, Friends!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

On The Needles - Drop Stitch Cowl

A dear friend of mine, Kelly, is a talented graphic designer.  In fact, she designed the Luna Grey logo, banner for my Etsy shop, etc.  She really does beautiful work and we have a very similar aesthetic.  Our current collaboration is drawing up some new labels for my yarn.  I have been in contact with a great, local printing company and am excited about having labels that will be more durable and professional looking.  If all goes as planned, Luna Grey yarn will be showing up at Fiber Festivals around Colorado next summer.  My simple, print-at-home labels certainly weren't tough enough to withstand unpredictable weather and repeated handling by festival goers.  

Kelly and I have worked out an arrangement where in I knit her something in exchange for her graphic design services.  It's perfect!  She loves my hand knits and I adore her work.  (shameless plug...Kelly has a great little Etsy shop where she sells her wonderful custom party invitations.)

Here's the latest project knit for Kelly.  It's Abi Gregorio's Drop Stitch Cowl.  I LOVE this pattern.  It's super duper fast to knit and so easy!  It took me around 2 hours tops to complete!  It would make an awesome last minute gift project.  I knit Kelly's cowl in the recommended yarn, Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick.  While I am not generally a fan of acrylic blend yarn, I wanted the cowl to turn out as close to Abi's sample as possible.  And, I really am happy with the results.  The cowl is soft and lofty and chunky.  Just perfect!

Oh yes, and I finished the Give a Hoot mittens....Flawed cable feet and all.  I chose pale turquoise buttons for the eyes. As much as I love these mittens, I am happy to be done with them.  There are three new babies to knit for.  And, like many of you, my holiday knitting list continues to grow.  Someone just told me there are only 40 days until Christmas.  Forty days!  How did that happen?     

My Ravelry notes for the mittens and the cowl.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

First Snow

The boys were so excited to wake this morning to a dusting of snow on everything.

There was not quite enough to build a snowman. 

But, it was certainly enough for a snowball fight! 

Knitting Season is officially here! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Static Electricity

Bet you can't see this photo of my sweet boy and not smile!  

Love that crazy, statically charged, trampoline hair!     

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Sorry for my absence here over the past week or so.  Things got a bit crazy.  Lots of last minute costume sewing, party planning, school volunteering, leaf raking, chicken coop cleaning, etc. We've been blessed with unseasonably warm weather here in Western Colorado.  But, that's forecast to change tomorrow.  I am guessing that raking leaves when it's 70 degrees and sunny is much more fun than doing so when it's 40 degrees and sleeting.  What do you think?

Let's see...what else is new?  Oh, yes.  Lots of failed knitting projects to report.  I hesitated to share these, as I figured a yarn shop owner should really have her knitting act together.  But, the reality is...I have been a little unfocused lately.  That Unoriginal Hat I reported on a few weeks back will have to be frogged.  The yarn was just too thick for the pattern.  I went down in needle size several times.  But, I ran out of yarn 20 rows before the decrease rows even started!  Too bad, as I love the Malabrigo Rasta yarn.  Oh well.  I will knit it again with something a little less bulky.  I must admit, I never knit a gauge swatch for a hat pattern.  However, I learned my lesson on this one!

Oh yes...And then there were the adorable owl mittens.  Despite being an easy pattern, I apparently wasn't paying attention when I was doing the cables on the owl's feet.  Unfortunately, I did not notice my mistake until the first mitten was totally finished, cast off, ends sewn in, etc.  This wouldn't matter much if the mittens weren't being knit as a sample for a class I am teaching in January.  I guess I could always tell the students that I wanted to give them an example of what not to do.  Oh well.

And then there's the gorgeous, Polwarth Wool & Silk DK yarn that I dyed up yesterday to make a cowl for my mom for Christmas.  The color turned out exactly as I wanted it....a rich plum, her favorite color.  I laid the yarn out on my drying rack in the sun just before leaving to pick up my son from school.  Luna, our greyhound, decided the yarn looked like a fun chew toy and plucked it off the rack.  She drug it around the yard, through the bark mulch, over the rocks and laid it to rest just outside her doggie door.  I think she must have tried to bring it inside to really finish it off.  But, decided it wasn't worth the effort.  I returned home from school to find the wadded up, rats nest of yarn and just about cried.  Untangling 400 yds of yarn was not how I wanted to spend my evening.  So, the yarn sits.  Tangled.  In a pile.  On my dining room table.  So sad.

I hope your knitting is going better than mine this week.  

Despite being in big trouble, 
Luna still couldn't keep her nose out of the yarn 

The correct cable orientation on the second mitten.  
Who needs mittens that match, anyway?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

On The Needles - Julian's Milo (Part2)

If it weren't for these weekly "On The Needles" posts, I don't think I would be posting at all.  Thank you Nicole and Ginny for your weekly Yarn Alongs : )

I am 90% finished with this little Milo vest.  I love the way it turned out.  Lucky for me, the recipient's birthday party was postponed to this week.  So, I had a little more time to finish his gift.  I think I will do a single crochet edge around the armholes to stabilize them.  The yarn is my Luna Grey Superwash Merino DK in the colorway, Abyss.  Have I mentioned how nice this yarn is?  It's not splitty at all and has a really great sproinginess (yes, I do believe that is a word).  I will try to get a photo of adorable Julian in his vest and share it with you after the party.

Happy Halloween, everyone!     

Saturday, October 27, 2012

On The Needles - Julian's Milo

A dear friend turned three yesterday (Happy Birthday, Julian!).  Of course a hand knit birthday gift was in order.  As he's a very busy farm boy, a Milo vest seemed perfect!  This is my first Milo, although it's been in my queue to knit for some time.  I dyed up some super cool, deep gray-blue superwash merino DK for the project.  The color is just right and will be great at hiding farm crud.

The color is more accurate in the second photo.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

On The Needles - An Unoriginal Hat

In the spirit of Nicole's KKCO (Keep Calm Craft On) blog series, I am sharing what's currently on my needles.

I am the first to admit that I suffer from Knitting A.D.D.  I get all fired up about starting new projects.  Yet sometimes struggle to finish others.  What's up with that?  Why is it more fun to cast on for a new project than it is to finish up an old one?

In any case...Despite having not yet finished my Give A Hoot mittens, I have started Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's ever popular Unoriginal Hat.  I couldn't resist this amazing colorway of Malabrigo Rasta.  It screams autumn, doesn't it?  There's something about Malabrigo...It's just so comforting to knit.  It has to be the softest merino in the world!

Thought I'd share a few pics I took this morning in our yard.  
Nothing's more beautiful than fall in Colorado!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Little Lamby Knits Giveaway

Pop on over to Nicole's blog, Frontier Dreams, for a great pattern giveaway.  The drawing will be held on Tuesday, October 16th.  Good luck!

Oh, and for those that haven't seen...I am doing a fun discount in my shop for October.
Receive 20% off your entire order when one or more skeins is orange (or partially orange).  Use coupon code: Halloween20

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sprial Blanket of Awesome

I finished the Spiral Blanket of Awesome.  

I must say, I really love it!  

The yarn is really soft and the colors work so well together. 

My Ravelry notes are rather extensive.  
(I used lots of little tricks/tips on this blanket that I think would be helpful to others.)     

Sorry for the not so great photos.  
Why is it that whenever I have the time/patience/child cooperation, 
the lighting is never quite right?  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another boy? Oh boy!

We recently found out that my brother and his wife are expecting their third boy this winter.  That makes 5 grandson's for my parents (and 0 granddaughters).  Let's just say that when we all get together there will be lots of noise and lots of activity!

My sister-in-law is a knitter.  She could probably knit just about anything for her new baby that I might knit for her as a gift. Which means that I really had to get creative on this one.  The tricky thing was that I wanted to start the gift before I knew that the baby was a boy.  I got a little hint that the baby's room colors would be pink and brown if it were a girl or aqua and brown if it was a boy.  So, I figured I would just start knitting something brown and add the gender specific color at the end.

I kettle dyed some really soft 50% alpaca / 50% wool worsted weight yarn (watch for it in the shop soon) in a soft, muted brown.  I must have overdyed that yarn 4 times to get the exact shade that I wanted.  Brown is trickier than you might think.  Who knew?  I didn't worry about using superwash wool, as I am confident that my sister-in-law knows how to properly care for handknits.

I wanted to knit the baby a blanket.  Believe it or not, I have never knit a baby blanket.  I guess I just figured it would be totally boring and cost an arm and a leg to knit.  The nice thing about a blanket, however, is that the baby can use it from the time it's a newborn all the way through it's childhood.  A sweater or hat has a very limited lifespan for a baby, you know?  They grow so fast!  

Finding the perfect pattern took me weeks.  I figured a blanket pattern that was knit from the center out would be great, as I could just add a colored border at the end.  And, I wanted the blanket to be really special as I envisioned it becoming a family heirloom (I can dream, right?).  My first thought was to knit the gorgeous, lace blanket, Undercover by Beata Jezek.  For whatever reason, however, I had a lot of trouble with the pattern.  After frogging it for the third time, I decided to try something a little less "involved".  (Someday, when my kids are older, I will be able to sit and knit a lace blanket with no mistakes.  Until then, I am better off sticking to patterns with less counting!)  Then, I came across Sharon McMahon's The Spiral Blanket of Awesome {Design Your Own}.  It was perfect.  I was a little worried that my yarn would be to plain for such a simple pattern.  But, the kettle dyed brown had just enough variation to make it work.  When I received the news that the baby was indeed a boy, I dyed up some aqua yarn for the border.  The pattern calls for either a ruffle (for a girl) or garter stitch (for a boy).  I wanted something a little flashier, however, as the yarn was pretty mellow.  I decided on a horseshoe lace like this.  It's pretty without being too feminine.  Just right.

The funny thing about this pattern is that because it's knit in the round, it looks a bit like a giant hat as it's being knit.  I can't tell you how many people looked at it quizzically then asked, "Is that"  Like they were thinking something went terribly wrong and I had no idea how to knit.  Funny.  I can't wait to finish it up and "open" a flower blossoming!  So cool.

My Ravelry notes can be found here.

Can't wait to see that sweet boy wrapped up in his fuzzy alpaca blanket!

Friday, September 28, 2012

On The Needles

In the spirit of Nicole's KKCO (Keep Calm Craft On) blog series, I am sharing what's currently on my needles.

I teach a handful of classes at my wonderful local yarn shop each season.  Next up on my schedule are the adorable and super simple, Give a Hoot mittens.  With just a couple of easy cables and a few buttons, the mittens come to life as amazing little owls.  Brilliant!  This pair is a sample for the class I will be teaching.  I thought the orange would be fun with little turquoise buttons.  The yarn is Cascade's Superwash 220.  It's such a great, workhorse yarn.


I knit a pair as a gift for a dear friend's birthday last year and she loved them.

I am totally smitten with the Owls and Owlet sweaters by the amazingly talented Scottish designer,  Kate Davies too.  But, holy buckets!  That's a whole lot of buttons to sew on!  Not sure I am feeling that just yet.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Name Game

We have a little game that we play at our house after I dye a batch of yarn.  For lack of a more creative name, we simply call it the "Name Game".  Everyone deeply contemplates the color of a particular skein of my hand dyed yarn.  Then, we all make suggestions as to what we think it should be called.  My seven year old son comes up with some pretty amazing and fitting names that I almost always end up using in my shop.

Like Merlin for this yarn...

Rhubarb for this yarn...

Or Galaxy for this one...

My four year old, on the other hand, is a tad more creative.  Here are a few of his recent suggestions...

Dirt (Makes you want to buy this one, doesn't it?)...

Toad (rrrrrribbit)...

I saved the best for last...  

drumroll, please....

Baby Poo (not sure where he has seen any of that in this particular color)...

Maybe I should do a little test and rename a few of these yarns.  Who knows.  Maybe someone is looking for that perfect shade of baby poo yarn for their next project!   

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lucky Girl

A beautiful, functional birthday gift has arrived a little early.  

The swift was created using mostly reclaimed materials for a cost of about $10.00.  It is designed specifically to wind yarn from a cone to a hank.  And, I must say, it works perfectly!

It certainly pays to have a talented woodworker for a husband.  Thanks, sweetie.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

For the Love of Lace

Lace knitters will be happy to see a new collection of colorful lace yarns being added to the shop soon!  The base yarn is a gorgeous, drapey,  80% merino wool / 20% tussah silk.  The generous yardage (984 yds / 100g skein) is enough to knit an entire shawl.

My first batch of this yarn was dyed up a vivid "traffic stripe" yellow at the request of an amazingly talented lace knitter, Joan.  She quickly whipped it up into the awe inspiring Henry Street Shawl.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Best Kid's Sock Pattern Evah!!

Okay....I will admit...It wasn't until I had been knitting for several years that I attempted my first pair of socks.  I really don't know why.  For some reason I had this fear of them.  The tiny needles.  The heel turn.  All the sock knitters that I knew had their preferred method of knitting socks and were adamant that I should, "knit two at a time toe up, magic loop" or "double points, cuff down" or "on two circulars", etc.  There were too many options and I was thoroughly confused.  Therefore, I just put it off.  

Fast forward to January 2011, I was stuck in the lodge on a family ski trip to Monarch Mountain in CO.  I had torn the meniscus in my knee skiing earlier that season and was out of commission for the remainder of the winter.  Needless to say, I had lots of time to focus on a new project.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to try sock knitting.  I used Claire Montgomery's "Child's Simple Socks" pattern from the book, "Easy Kids Knits".  The pattern was cuff down and called for using size 1 double pointed needles.  However, I did not have DPN's that size.  So, I improvised and used the magic loop method on a long circular needle.  The socks turned out okay, but the magic loop felt fiddly and time consuming (constantly pulling that long cable through my work).  I was determined to stick with it, however, and immediately cast on another pair.  This time I thought I would try two-at-a-time, toe-up.  I liked the idea of being able to just knit until I ran out of yarn - not worrying about running out before getting to the toe.  I used the "Sample Sock" pattern from Melissa Morgan-Oake's "Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks" book.  The socks knit up quickly, as they called for worsted weight yarn.  They turned out fine. But, I still wasn't feeling the magic loop.  

More than a year later, I came across Susan B. Anderson's free "Ribbed Socks for Kids" pattern on her blog.  I figured it was high time I tried a pair of socks on double points.  The socks flew off my needles and were so fun and easy to knit.  They fit my son's feet like a dream and he declared them the "Best Socks Evah!!!"  It only took me 6 years of knitting and several methods to determine that the old standby...cuff down, DPN is the way to go for me!  I love these socks and will likely never knit a different method again.  Now I understand what the fuss is all about.  Knitting socks rocks!  They get tons of use and are so fast and portable to knit.  Yay for socks!!!  And thanks, Susie, for writing an awesome pattern!   

Susan B. Anderson's "Ribbed Socks for Kids" pattern knit in 
Luna Grey Fiber Arts Hand Dyed Wool Nylon Sock Yarn in the colorway "Parakeet"