Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sea shells by the sea shore

I spun some more yarn... this time with small shells!

First I dyed some white roving into beachy colors using commercial food coloring I bought at Smart and Final.

Then I spun up the yarn starting with with the sand colors and progressed to the sea and sky so when it is knit or crocheted, it should make somewhat of a landscape.

I plied the yarn with holographic metallic thread that I had strung with small shells I got in Hawaii recently. (That took a LONG time!)

I'm really happy with the results! the stats: 80 yards, 3.5 oz.

Makes me want to go back to Hawaii though!

Monday, January 29, 2007


I'm almost done with the pomatomus socks... except they aren't going to be socks now. I thought of something I'd prefer them to be, with some modifications of course.

I'll reveal their beauty and all that very soon. But I have a frustration about chart knitting and I wonder if there is a better solution out there.

Technique: Using a sticky note to know what line I am on. Finish the line, move the sticky note.

Problem: The sticky note loses it's sticky when you aren't looking and the next thing you know the chart is there all plain and the little yellow rectangle is on the floor.

Solution: You tell me.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Fiber Friday 1/25/07

I'm being cute and posing the two yarns in the same way. See?

First up: 2.9 oz 2-ply mixed wool worsted to bulky weight, 62 yards.

Next 3.9 oz singles mixed wool DK to bulky weight, 84 yards.

This one has mixed wools, mill ends, cotswold, mohair, recycled sari silk, bamboo, angelina sparkle and nylon firestar

Enjoy two yarns, three ways. Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Knitting in Hawaii

I'd like to share some finds if you are planning on going to Kauai or the Big Island and want to hit up a yarn shop. If you're like me, you want to check out every yarn shop on Earth, so here are two neat places to see.

It's so warm there year-round, you might wonder if people are really knitting? Of course they are! I noticed a lot of the local knitting involves using fuzzy eyelash yarns to make leis. I think that's a great way to use up that stuff.

First stop: "Hanalei Music Strings and Things" on the north shore of Kauai. It's mostly a music store but they have a small section of nice yarn and hand-knit hats "for surfer dudes" on sale. The surfer dude behind the counter was using a round loom ("knifty knitter") to make these hats. My mom got one and I picked out some beautiful sock yarn from Interlaken, NY - which is about as far away from Kauai as you can get! It's Schaefer Yarns "Anne" and it's lovely - pictured below.

The other local shop we found was on the Big Island of Hawaii on Hilo side - called "The Yarn Basket." It's a mix of quilting stuff and yarn, with the emphasis being on sock yarn. The nice woman who runs the shop loves to knit socks and has a large wall display of her knitting.

She showed me this yarn I hadn't seen before from the South West Trading Company called "TOFUtsies" made from soysilk, superwash, cotton and chitin. What is chitin? Oh, that's fiber from shrimp and crab shells. The label even claims: "It's naturally antibacterial!"

As a vegetarian, and one who is allergic to shellfish, I wondered if this was a good choice for me. I was attracted to the colors and the crazy ingredients for sure, but it is a bit unsettling. I decided that this yarn used up parts that are from a byproduct industry, stuff that gets thrown away. I recycle bottles, why not buy yarn from recycled crab shells?

The yarn feels really nice too. I have no idea how they spin it but I'm really curious. To answer an important question about this yarn... it has no smell at all. I'll be sure to post more pictures as I knit with it. Got to find the right pattern first. FYI: The label has a link printed on it: - go nuts! Let's do a shellfish knit-along!

Speaking of spinning, I picked up shell leis to use in homespun yarn. I'll be sure to share my progress on that too.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I'm back!

I had a fantastic time in Hawaii and I will show off some pictures soon. I guess I have to say that while playing boggle on a different day, I managed to miss the word "knit" AGAIN.

My dad had some good advice: when you see a "k" take the time to look for the word knit just in case.

I bought some yarn there which isn't easy to do. One of the balls is made from tofu and crab shells. Crazy.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Well I haven't been writing much because I am on vacation but I feel compelled to mention that while playing boggle with my mother the word "knit" was missed by me, though my mom saw it.

She wanted me to tell you.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Fiber Friday 1/12/07

It's all novelty yarns this week. I've been experimenting with different techniques and I feel like I still have a long way to go, but I'm having a lot of fun.

First up: nubs and slubs. 2.7 oz, 47 yards. If you want to see more pictures, look at the etsy listing.

The next one is plied with holographic thread and has tinsel spun into it. 2.8 oz, 52 yards. Again, more pictures here.

The last one is really crazy. It was created for the upcycle contest on etsy. The challenge: UPCYCLE - "Take something disposable and transform it into something of greater use and value."

Walking around my neighborhood I found inspiration littering the sidewalks - used up christmas trees. I decided to spin some yarn based on the sort of things you can pick up off the dead trees - tinsel, broken fairy lights, bits of garland and fake snow. (The fake snow, by the way, is made of ingeo, a by-product of corn!) I also used recycled wool and string to hold everything together. This skein weighs 3.9 oz and measures 24 yards.

More pictures here. It's funny. I wanted to enter this contest with crazy homespun, but not long after I listed it, the yarn sold! I'm happy about it, but I also was panicking that meant I was out of the contest (which I'm not) and thinking I should spin more crazy CRAZY yarn.

By the way, homespun yarn IS upcycling, no matter what you put in there, considering we use the clippings of haircuts - both plant and animal. Don't you think?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Call for knitters

I realize this sounds like an ad, but a really cool one if you ask me! Check it out:

Screen Door Entertainment's TV show Knitty Gritty is looking for unique
knitting groups, individuals, or events to profile in an upcoming one-hour
special for the DIY Network. We are looking in the Los Angeles area AND
NATIONWIDE!!!! We'll be taping this special throughout 2007, and we'll come
to you.

We're searching for knitters or groups with a "story" or extra-special
quality. For example: unlikely knitters such as a sports team/league or a
group of Harley bikers, actors who knit on the set or bands who knit
backstage, groups who knit in unusual places such as a pub or baseball
stadium, someone who has knit a car cozy or something incredibly unusual or
large, someone who incorporates knitting with art projects, people who knit
for a purpose/cause (whether for charity with a great story behind it, or
for a nontraditional purpose such as knitting graffiti taggers, etc), a
knitter with a personal human interest story, or anything else along these
lines that may come to mind.

If you have any leads for us - even if it's just something you've heard of -
please send me an e-mail with as much info as you can provide, as soon as
you can. We'd love to hear more and could really use your help in finding
these stories to make this one hour special, well... special!

Please feel free to repost this (anywhere you can - on myspace, your blog,
or to a mailing list).

Thank you so much for your help! :)

Please email:
Lorelei at
Joy at


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Another milestone

I just happened to check the site counter and (drumroll)

We passed the 20,000 mark!

To be precise, 20,582 unique visitors. I know what statcounter means by "unique" but it makes me giggle anyway. It could be a nice way to insult someone, if we didn't know better. Oh Star, what a unique combination of knee socks and pearls.

You know, it seems like only yesterday we passed the 10,000 mark.

But seriously, thank you for stopping by! I feel like there is so much more I can be doing here. Other bloggers have contests and tag eachother and tell eachother they look cute. I'm happy about the visits, but I want to be even better. I know what you're thinking, I'm pretty great as is, but we both know there is always room for improvement.

Secret project sneak peek

Enjoy this creative picture I took of myself modeling the secret project reflected in two mirrors.

It didn't occur to me to comb my hair until after, thank you very much.

Moral dilemma: I have leftover yarn. The yarn company asked that if I had extra to send it back... so, even though I really don't want to... it is the right thing to do.



Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A stitch in time...

Here is the secret knitting, on it's way! I couldn't decide if taking a picture in front of FedEx was way too dorky so I opted for the subtle package in my car picture instead.

A wave of good cheer is sweeping through my apartment today as I can now sit back and reflect on all the exciting adventures in knitting and spinning I had the last month. Heck, why not reflect on 2006?

June - started this blog. Also, had Lasik eye surgery. Not really knitting related but I love to talk about it.

July - launched the first annual "Tour de Fleece" (named by sopranospinner) - To learn more hit the banner on the side. You have 6 months to train, people! Also, I "released" the band cuff free pattern (link on side)

August - The one year anniversary for when I first learned how to spin.

September - My first pattern was published in Fall knitty (see link on side) AND my homespun took home ribbons at the L.A. County Fair. I also scored a drum carder. This was a great month!

October - Keep on knitting in the free world welcomed our 10,000th visitor. I celebrated by writing a Kool-Aid dying tutorial (link on side)

November - Pleased with myself for writing that tutorial, I wrote a Wilton's icing gel dying tutorial (again, see sidebar for link)

December - I got to be a guest on diy's "knitty gritty" and I had a booth at the Bazaar Bizarre. I've been dreaming big and working hard. I knit a secret project that is going to be in a book, and I am planning more.

What's next? A new wave of spinning, knitting, swapping, dying, writing, rocking and of course, blogging. This is still the free world, last time I checked!

Monday, January 01, 2007

I finished the knitting

I knit like I've never knit before.

I am going to make it. Tomorrow I have to finish the paperwork and the MATH and get the whole lot into FedEx.

I am going to make it.

I hate knitting right now, so I am not going to knit anything for at least a week. Besides, I have fiber to dye and spin. And a swap to do. And some other stuff I'm too beat to recall. And my hands hurt.

But I am also in shock that I finished the knitting. Thank you for the support, people. I challenge all of you to knit like you have a deadline sometime. It teaches you something about who you are. For example, I learned that I am cranky and morose when push comes to shove. Oh well. Did I mention that I am going to make it?!