I wanted to share my new logo with you. It's an early step in my very slow progress towards developing a new website. I'll be experimenting with it on labels and a few other things, but wanted to see what you think!
It's been a busy few weeks here. Work has been crazy. Family has been crazy. Life has been crazy. All in a very good way, but still, CRAZY TOWN. So it only seemed appropriate when I got on the elevator for a meeting I was scheduled to attend late last week, and the floor where I was headed had been renamed.
That more or less summs up how my days have been going. So, with huge apologies for not blogging and doing a horrible job of staying in touch with all of my favorite knitters the past couple of weeks, I'm back. Back with my %$#@& KAL sock. I love this sock. Love the pattern. Love the way the colors are laying down. It practically knit itself with all of the flying I've been doing.
Is there some trauma associated with the Kitchener stitch and late nights? If there isn't, I must be cursed. I love knitting top down socks, and a big part of the reason is that I enjoy Kitchener stitch. It's like magic -- you weave a little and the toes line up perfectly. There was no magic with this sock. It looked awful when I finished. I ripped it out, and you'll never guess, but that bad 1:00 am lighting in my living room combined with tiny size one needle stitches was really not a thing. I sort of got them back on the needles. I tried it again while driving (I was the passenger, not the driver -- I'm not that close to the edge) on an overcast day with bad lighting, and it came out even worse. And ripping it out made me sad because, as you all know, sometimes, you're loose track of where you are when all those tiny size one stitches pop right off the needles as you go over a bump.
My stitches are on, but not in the right order or on the right needles. It's going to take some sorting out to figure when I am, so I'm going to gently and lovingly place this sock in time out, and cast on for its mate. I'm pretty sure my Kitchener mojo will come back, but it's going to require a serious combination of all of my favorite comfort foods -- and some bright lighting.
While I was out of town and away from the blog, some really exciting things happened.
I visited my College, which I hadn't done in over a decade, and found out that all of the things I loved about it were still there, but even better. Sometimes, you actually can go back. Even better, on the return drive to the airport, I discovered a B&B/Alpaca Farm. I was concerned about being the crazy lady who stopped on the middle of the road to take pictures of the Alpacas, so you just get this one sneak peek, but it's definitely on my shortlist. The online reviews say to make sure you visit with Brutus, who is a very friendly Alpaca. Oh my heavens!
The sense that I was living in a surreal fantasy world where all of my dreams came true continued when I got home and realized that for my husband's birthday, I could order his favorite cake. It's a day long adventure to make it, so I was delighted to reduce it to a 15 minute pick up detail. Although we had friends over, there were leftovers. The cat with the cake is Bob. I was definitely much more restrained and lady like than that.
And finally, the square of concrete is my long awaited fire pit. We have a small, urban yard with a strong down hill slant, but as we've lived through our six months of hell deck reconstruction and landscaping, I've persistently insisted that we include a fire pit in the project. In anticipation, I dragged kids out to World Market, and snagged some fabulous outdoor chairs on sale last weekend. As soon as the pit is dry, I'm christening it with S'mores. But, I'll make sure I leave my socks and needles behind. Because It's been that kind of month!
Suzb626, a/k/a my sweet real life friend Suzanne - the very last skein of KAL Giveaway yarn for Adventurous April 2016 is yours. You can thank the random number generator gods and lucky #3 on your Instagram comments. Please message me and let me know the best way to get this yarn in your hands for the April 1 KAL start.
I'm looking forward to casting on for socks on April 1. I'll be midway through a trip to look at a few colleges with my junior, so I'll be happy to have the prospect of socks and a nice cup of tea at night after trudging around during the day! I hope everyone is in the final stages of getting ready for the KAL. See you in our chat thread on the Ravelry group as we finalize our plans.
With two weeks left before the start of our April Knit Along, it's serious time for project planning and yarn acquisition. On the yarn acquisition front, we are an inclusive KAL and welcome knitters who show up with any yarn they choose. But, I know a lot of you like knitting with Elliebelly yarn, so I've tried to get a bit of it out there for you. This week, I drew three random yarn winners from among those who have their KAL Project Page set up on Ravelry, using the tag ElliebellyAdventurousApril2016: Frucat, Pegmcc, and TeddyandNick. Depending on the project on your page, you've got either two skeins of Pixie Worsted for your Rye Socks or a skein of Decadence for Zigzagular on the way to you!
If you're new to the Elliebelly group on Ravelry or to our annual knitalong, I hope you'll decide to join us. You will find all the KAL information there, but it's a friendly group that will jump in to answer any questions you may have. We start on April 1 and are knitting several different sock patterns in different weights this year.
I'll do one last quick yarn giveaway later this week to make sure I get the yarn into the hands of the knitter in time for the start. Has anyone started swatching yet? I keep meaning to, and have wound my yarn, but so far, I haven't gotten there.
This week's yarn giveaway for the Elliebelly Adventurous April KAL will let you get a head start on organization for the KAL. To win, set up your project page for the KAL on Ravelry. Here's mine, as an example.
If you haven't set up a project page before, it's easy. Go into Ravelry and find the pattern you are going to knit, then click on the link to start the project. Once you create your project, you can click edit to adjust the details, for instance giving your project a name and showing an April 1, 2016 start date. You can do this even if you haven't picked a pattern yet, by naming a project and choosing a personal pattern (not in Ravelry) as your pattern for now, with the ability to go in and edit it once you decide.
The most important thing to do? Tag your pattern with ElliebellyAdventurousApril2016 (all one word) and Elliebelly. On Saturday, I'll search the tags on Ravelry and randomly select winners from those who've tagged their projects this way, so it's important to get it in there exactly right so that your project shows up in the search results. There will be some yarn included in this giveaway that is worsted weight for those knitting Rye as well as some fingering weight for those planning on doing Zigzagular or other traditional sockweight patterns. Put enough info into your project page so that I know which weight of yarn to send you if you are one of the lucky winners!
If you haven't signed up yet for the Elliebelly Adventurous April Knit Along, all the details you need to know can be found in the Ravelry group. Leave a comment below if you need any additional help and I'll get back to you. You don't have to have Elliebelly yarn for this KAL -- knit with anything your heart desires. But, I'll be doing a few more giveaways this month to insure there is Elliebelly yarn available to help out those who want to knit with it.
It may be a little bit early to put your pants on, but the Elliebelly Adventurous April KAL is on! And, it's not too early to clear your needles, pick your pattern and acquire your yarn (more on that below).
To rehash the basics, we start on April 1, you can knit with any yarn brand (but I'll have a number of opportunities over the next few weeks to score some Elliebelly), and you don't have to finish by the end of April. We knit together for the fun and the friendship.
Sign ups for the KAL are in the Elliebelly group on Ravelry. You need to be a member of the group and signed up for the KAL to be eligible to win any of the yarn giveaways (more on that below), but it's easy to sign up and we'll never spam you or share your info around on the internet, because we're not like that. So go here to join the Elliebelly group on Ravelry if you aren't already a member, and then let us know you'll be participating in the KAL in this thread.
This year we are knitting socks, and there are four categories, a simple sock, Zigzagular, Rye, and a category for people who want to knit a sock pattern of their own choosing. It wouldn't be Adventurous April without a little bit of anarchy!
And, the first giveaway! The sock patterns we are knitting will work with both variegated and solid/semi-solid Elliebelly colorways. What are your favorites? Perhaps an older colorway that hasn't been seen for a long time? What would you really like to knit with in the KAL? Leave your pick in the comments below by Friday, and I'll select one to dye, just for you. (Remember, you need to be signed up for the KAL to win).
If you're new to Elliebelly, what are some options for seeing the colorways? Go to the Elliebelly Yarn page on Ravelry and look around. Or, you can click here and see all the Elliebelly that is stashed on Ravelry. Although it's important to remember that colorways will look different on different bases, this should give you some ideas. And if you really want to go down the wormhole, you can go the Elliebelly website and type "dyeing" into the search box at the top of the page. This will let you scroll back through my many posts about dyeing over the years.
I'm looking forward to you ideas about colorways and your comments. So come on and sign up for the KAL! It's (almost) Adventure Time!
I've shown you the Paraphenalia Socks Janine knit for me when they arrived a few weeks ago, but I just had to share them again, as I wore them for the first time. You get a different perspective when you put them on, and realize the brilliance of the cabled design is that they fit perfectly. They don't cling uncomfortably like some socks are prone to do, but rather, they fit nicely in all the right places. And the interwoven cable is smashing. It's almost a shame to cover them up with shoes!
If you're interested in taking up sock knitting, head over to the Elliebelly group on Ravelry and get involved in our plans for this years Adventurous April Knitalong. The theme will be socks. There will be yarny prizes. And it will be FUN. We're in the planning stages now and you will want to be in the know as a little bit of Elliebelly yarn, which you can't be purchased at the moment, will be handed out as prizes as we make our KAL plans.
Yarn: Elliebelly's Juliet 3-Ply Merino in the Oryx colorway.
It has been a slow week for knitting around here, so I'll share one more dyeing picture from last weekend with you. This is one of the classic Elliebelly colorways, Crayon, dyed on a sock yarn base. It's a surprisingly versatile colorway, despite its boldness, and makes lovely socks and shawls. One of my favorite Crayon projects is ModernKnittress's Clapotis.
My personal favorite knit with Crayon was a sweater I did for my youngest boy, when he was at that perfect boy age for dressing how he wanted to without regard for gender stereotypes. He started a trend for colors among the neighborhood boys. Several dads were not happy with me.
This year, I want to knit myself a pair of socks in Crayon. Something to guarantee a smile on a rainy day. Since our annual April KAL is going to have a sock component this year, it looks like that's going to happen.
Here it is, my cast on edge of Antarktis for the Adventurous April Knit Along. Because it's knit in garter stitch, the fabric is very squishable and lofty, which is not what I anticipated. I'm intrigued and am finding knitting the repeats to be highly addictive.