Handy, dandy circular knitting needle chart!

This is a neat little chart that tells what length circulars to use for a given number of stitches. I found it on my facebook feed and it was posted by AllFreeKnitting and Knit-N-Purl!

Circular needle chart

Get busy and knit something!!

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Here’s the follow-up video about how I make my dryer balls!

I know I promised to do a video of me making dryer balls, but when I get hella busy, I don’t do much blogging or video recording. I wrote a post which was pretty much a brief tutorial on how I make my dryer balls (https://frozentundrafiberarts.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/this-is-how-my-dryer-balls-are-made/). So, after several months of being super busy and finally moving into a nice studio space, I am now, finally making good on my promise.

My new studio space has made a huge difference for me in production!  The laminate flooring makes it super easy to clean up after and God knows I can be very messy at times. It has tons of natural light, which I crave and need in order to create beautiful woolly and fibery things.

When you’ve finished watching the vid, you can scroll down and take a peek at all the fibery things I’ve been creating!

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

Bright colored dryer balls

Bright colored dryer balls

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree for display

the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree for display

close-up of the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree

close-up of the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree

mystery wool yarn I finished spinning

mystery wool yarn I finished spinning

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck wamer

hooded neck wamer

Knitting toe socks!

I have a customer who really likes toe socks, otherwise known by the brand name, Injinji. I’ve been knitting them for him in every color he can think of. They do take a while to dye up the yarn and knit them, but it’s very peaceful work.

His first order was for 1 pair of orange crew length toe socks and 1 pair ankle length toe socks.

orangetoesock3 orangetoesock2 orangetoesock1

His second order was for the same, but in a bright turquoise blue.

ankle length toe socks crew length toe socks finished ankle length toe socks wet finishing 2 pairs of toe socks

Now, I’m knitting him 2 pairs in a blend of green apple/lime green color!

Dyeing yarn for socks Yarn ready to be wound into yarn cake Toe socks - crew length Finished toe socks - crew length

Happy knitting and get out your dyepots!!

TLD

 

Rainy Day

I have a love-hate relationship with rainy days. I know they’re necessary so that everything has water without us paying for it, but I dislike them when they’re cold and dreary. When they’re dreary, I need things to pull me out of any funk they can sometimes throw me into. When they’re dreary, I crave COLOR!! Lots of bright and bold COLORS!!

I started my work today by finishing these dryer balls in my natural colored wool offering.

Stormy gray dryer balls

While they’re pretty, they just weren’t pretty on a rainy day. These got me going on the dyepot with some wonderful Blue Faced Leicester roving and some Jacquard #735 Kelly Green. A most definite improvement and a needed staple for making dryer balls!

BFL in dyepot

More color improvement came with the blocking of my latest square I knit up, with some merino that I experimented on, from TinCanKnits pattern called Vivid. The colors are canary yellow and sienna. I think I should most definitely experiment some more! Right now, I’m knitting 3 squares of each color from my own hand spun, hand dyed yarn.

latest square The first 6 squares

To top off the adding of COLOR into today’s dreariness, I received a package from my good friend, Jeff Mueller (aka Computer Art Man). He sent this beautiful metal print because I mentioned something in a tweet to him (follow him @computerartman on twitter) about a week ago!

Bright Light Big City by Computer Art Man

Jeff is my favorite digital artist because his work is absolutely amazing!! I now own two pieces of his fabulous artwork. The other piece I own, I bought a few years ago and it’s a gorgeous canvas piece of Marlena Dietrich from a still scene from “Shanghai Express”!!

Now, get out there and DO something!

TLD

Why yes, I do know how to use a ruler. Do you??

WARNING! I’ve been told that this post is highly boring. Don’t read it if you get bored easily. Thank you.

Knitters measure a lot before knitting and while knitting. We have to measure our swatches to make sure our gauge is spot on; we measure to see how far we’ve knit and to see how far we have to go; and we measure sometimes to see if we have enough yarn left to finish a project (this is especially true when we begin to fear that we’ve not bought enough yarn for a project).

4 rulers

A small sampling of different types of rulers.

I believe there are two things that are very important to people who measure things a lot:

  1. Knowing how to use a ruler.
  2. Knowing how to buy a ruler.

You may ask why I place less importance on how to buy a ruler than on how to use one. The answer is simple: a lot of the times, you won’t be using your own ruler to do a needed measurement. You’ll be using someone else’s ruler.

So, how do we use a ruler?? Look at where the actual left edge of the ruler is before measuring anything. Make sure that it’s actually visible, too and is easy to use. The ruler shouldn’t have round corners near or on it’s starting edge. The left edge on cheap rulers, over time, slowly disappear or fade out with use. If the starting edge (aka the left edge) on a ruler is off, the ruler will become totally useless when it has faded.  The following pictures are of what I like to call problem rulers. There is only one ruler in this grouping that I consider worth keeping.

faded measuring edge ok ruler

measuring edge is off

The black ruler’s starting edge is off by nearly 3/16 of an inch and has rounded corners which will not help you take accurate measurements. The white ruler is spot on, but is fading considerably and has rounded corners which will make measuring smaller things more difficult down the road. Can you imagine having everything you measure be 3/16  or 1/8 of an inch longer than is needed because of hastiness or using a worn out ruler?? I can’t and I refuse to. A good number of people don’t know the difference, nor do they care. They just pick up a ruler and start measuring. The clear ruler’s starting edge is off by nearly 1/8 of an inch, but the starting measuring line is in far enough from the edge that this ruler is a keeper.

A 'perfect' ruler for precision measuring.

A ‘perfect’ ruler for precision measuring.

Now we’ll go on to how to buy a ruler. Purchase a good, sturdy metal ruler like the one in the above picture that I’ve called ‘perfect’. This ruler is nearly 10 years old, but is spot on accurate. It has been dropped and otherwise abused, but there is no wear on it (that white spot was caused by my flash) and it has no rounded corners.

I agree that it’s quite acceptable to purchase a ‘cheap’ ruler for the kids to take to school because they’re going to lose it, abuse it and/or make it unusable by the end of the school year, but I would still pay the extra $1 to get one like the clear ruler because it’s the easiest to use once they’ve learned where the actual measuring edge is.

Now, go out and upgrade all of your rulers, yard sticks and tape measures!

 

 

Facebook can lead to fun and simple lace knitting….

It always starts like this: I do my morning prayers, log onto my laptop and let it do its thing, get a cup of coffee, review my orders that need to be shipped/created for the day, then I venture onto Facebook. This is where it takes me awhile to drag myself away to the work that needs doing (yes, this can include housework, too). Sometimes, I have to set a timer and only allow myself 15 minutes of perusal time. Sometimes I’m able to walk away without the timer because I have TONS of work that needs doing. Sometimes I find things worth reading and end up digging around for more info. That’s when I need the timer.

Last week, I found a picture on Facebook that led me to some random photos on Pinterest, that led me to ravelry, where I found a link to this pattern written by tin can knits, called Vivid. While mine isn’t so very vivid, I love how it turned out and will be making quite a few of these to piece together into a nice shawl or wrap (I’ll add pictures to this post when I’ve got that part figured out.).

Here is the result of me seeing, liking and hunting it all down:

unblockedfirstsquare1 unblockedfirstsquare2

I love this quick, easy and very well written pattern so much that I started a second one right away. I’m using U.S. size 2 circular knitting needles with my hand dyed (Debra Ahrens Suffolk fleece and lime Kool-Aid), hand spun yarn.

Here is what the first square looks like when it’s blocked:

firstsquareblocked1 A pink one

Get on over to Ravelry and buy this pattern quickly before it disappears!

Go read her blog, too!! http://tincanknits.com/pattern-HUK-vivid.html

Oh! and don’t forget her nifty, neato tutorial for doing a pinhole cast-on (yes, it was my first time and I loved learning something new).

 

A case of mysterious yarn!

BerrocoYarn2

My dear loving husband, Mark, bought me a skein of fantastic yarn for Christmas. I removed its label, hid the label so I wouldn’t be tempted by it and wound the yarn into a nice ball. I set it aside until I knew (or thought I knew) what I was going to create from it.

BerrocoYarn1

I cast on 3 stitches and started what I imagined might become a felted hot pad. As I knit up the yarn, I discovered I liked handle of it and how it felt as it worked through my fingers. I fell in LOVE with all of the bright colors and muted color blends in it. I knew I was in trouble. I had to find the label. The label is long-lost in the mess I call my office.

I posted it on facebook, but no one seemed to know what it was so I went online and searched and searched. I thought I’d found it a few nights ago at yarn.com. I believed it was Berroco Boboli yarn in the dappled shade colorway. Wonderful! 5 skeins remaining and it’s being closed out. Click add to cart, click to pay, login to paypal to pay, paypal failed due to an unknown cause. I learned that the unknown cause was caused by another party buying up the last 5 skeins I could acquire for the great price of $7.99 per skein!

It turns out that I was wrong about it being Berroco. I’m glad I have a lot of friends with really good eyes and told me to go hang out at Craftsy for a while (it also helps that I found the missing Plymouth Yarn label). I bought 5 skeins of Plymouth Europa yarn in colorway Multi. I will now take what looks like a nice start to a good, warm babushka and set it aside until the yarn arrives.

PlymouthYarn3

If it turns out I’m mistaken, I’ll simply and carefull frog what I’ve knit up and start over with the matching skeins working what I have into it for a nice, subtle striped effect. It will still be a good babushka!