Friday, November 29, 2013

The Day After Thanksgiving

No blogging today. I'm taking the day off. 

But here is a picture of a cat napping in the sun. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Sleeve and Some Research

I'm not gonna lie. I haven't gotten a ton done lately. I haven't been feeling well. 

But I have made some progress with this sleeve. 

And I have a design I've been working on for a while nearly finished, but now I need to write down what I did to make it before I forget. I would show and tell more about this one, but I have a pitch in for a magazine and I need to see what they have to say first. 

I am also reading a book about small business startup. I figure that I should probably get a hold on marketing and bookkeeping if I am trying to freelance. 

So, not a lot of interesting stuff today, but maybe things will pick up if I can lose this nasty sore throat/ears thing that I have going on. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

A New Pattern!

That's right!  I have released a new pattern!

The Harney Peak Hat is a spiral ribbed hat made from wool and alpaca.  This hat is super warm but unlike 100% alpaca it holds its shape.  I am very excited to see other people's versions of this hat!

I have priced the hat at $2, but for the first week (until November 29), you can get it for $1 by entering the coupon code "AJC" at checkout.

So go!  Get your copy today! It can be found here or from my Patterns page.

You know you need a warm winter hat.

And in other absolutely amazing news, I finished the black socks of doom.  I just sat and watched Poirot and let my hands go.

Not too shabby
They are now washed and blocked and once they are dry I can give them to my dad.

So, grab a copy of my pattern for yourself or your favorite knitter and I think I will kick back and have a beer for a week well done.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just Like a Little Bird

That's right!  Just in case you can't get enough of my obsessive ramblings, I am on twitter!  If you would like to follow me, please check me out @AngieChervenak or just follow the link on the right side of the page.

I have actually been making pretty good progress on my list of projects since last post.  Some of the progress is on design projects though and I won't be able to share those with you until they are done.

However, I did whip up the crocheted slouch hat!

See, I can crochet too!
I have to say, this was a fun project.  I especially love the look of the band.  It is done in back post single crochet.

However.  Hmm.  I apparently crochet at a much tighter gauge than whoever wrote this pattern and instead of starting over when I realized this, I just decided that I would keep going as long as it fit.  So my super slouchy hat basically has no slouch at all.

Which doesn't really matter to me.  The even bigger problem is that my greatest fears about this yarn were realized.  The fiber content is wonderful, but the colors are hideous together.  Beautiful colors, absolutely goofy when knitted up together.  But I will wear this hat, because I love a hideous hat.  (Something my husband and I always had in common.)

There has been no sweater progress over the past few days because I decided to put it aside for a minute.  I have been working on that sweater very hard and I am proud to say that I will likely finish the whole thing within a month of starting.  But it is a personal project and I have other things to work on too.

However, the sweater has inspired me to add a list of links to helpful tutorials.  Check out the new "Links" tab at the top of the page.  This week I have added some links for my favorite yarn joining methods.  I have been spit splicing my yarn for this sweater and I am very pleased with the results.  Leave it to me to find a way to avoid weaving in all of those ends.  The russian join method is great for joining yarns of different colors without having to weave in ends.  I will be adding more links as I think of them.

Finally, I have a confession to make.  I gave in to the trend and made a ruffle scarf.  I can't see myself ever wearing it, but I am considering trying to start up a class in Custer on how to make these.  Gotta give the people what they want, but I can't help but think that this yarn would make a way better skirt embellishment than boa.

Not too bad.

Friday, November 15, 2013


My Even Flow sweater now has pockets!

See? Pockets!

I decided yesterday that I need to get more organized.  I wasn't sure what I had going on and I was getting a nagging feeling while working on my sweater for the past couple of days that I should actually be advancing other projects as well.  So I made a list of all of the projects that I am making or that I intend to make soon.  I came up with a list of 15.  Seriously.  15.

That might not seem like a lot, but you have to remember: These are knitting projects.  Most of them cannot be knocked out in a single day.

Here's a quick overview of some of my ambitions:

A few years back, my grandma gave my mother a knitting bag and some fabric.  The idea being that I would take the bag apart and reconstruct it.  Last week, I finally got around to taking it apart.

The handles aren't worn out.
It is currently sitting in my workspace waiting for me to draft and cut out the pattern in the new fabric.  But I kinda figure that if I am going to bother to do one of these, I might as well bother to do three at once.  So if I ever get this sorted (and find some handles that I am satisfied with at a decent price), there may be fabulous knitting bags up on an Etsy store.

Next, as a way of using up some of my limited edition colorway yarn, I have decided to crochet a slouch hat out of this Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted.

A beautiful colorway of which it would be difficult to find any more.
I got this colorway at the 2013 MN Yarn Shop Hop.  But designing with exclusive colorways isn't very nice, so, darn it anyway, I get to make something for myself.

Then there is the design project that I had to rip out and now have to restart.  Luckily, it will be on these needles:

Gotta love #17 and #19 needles.
And last but not least, about a year ago I said that I would make the Lampwork Hat and Mitts for Athenais and the yarn has been just sitting in my stash ever since.  Maybe she'll get to wear them this winter.  Maybe she'll have to wait until next.

So, as much as I enjoy blogging, I'm afraid that I have quite a bit to work on today.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Phoning This One In

I am feeling pretty sick today with a sinus/ear/throat thing and I do not feel very verbose.

So here are a few pictures of progress and projects:

My new homemade niddy noddy.

Side view of the Even Flow sweater.  I am now working on the front edge, with stitches held aside for pockets.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Working it

I have been pretty busy the past few days working on my crochet design project.  If all goes well, I should have my first crochet pattern out some time next week! 

I have realized through switching  back (I learned to crochet first) that I am a much better and more sophisticated knitter than crocheter.  And the next time I say that crochet is easier, because I will, remind me to read this post. 

The stitches aren't difficult, but there are so many different kinds of them!  And seriously, I cannot remember the last time I had to count this intensely.

Lovely double crochet
In other news, another design project (a knit one), that I have been working on for a couple of weeks, has hit a snag.  I am almost done with it and I am not happy with the gauge.  And I am out of yarn.  And I was already working on the largest needles I own.  This is very frustrating.

So, I picked up some numbers 17 and 19 needles and I am about to frog (rip it) the whole thing and start over from scratch at a looser gauge.  Maybe I can get the drape of the thing right this time and stretch the project yarn to be enough all at the same time.

Otherwise, I am continuing to work on the black socks that plague me and the Even Flow sweater.  I am almost done with the patterned body of the sweater and will soon be working on the collar and the central front.  And I have turned the heel on the socks.

More work to do today, and I'm trying to dye over the coffee portion of my last dye project.  There's no rest for the wicked.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Knitters Love Winter

It snowed last night!  And it is still snowing.  Sometimes there is nothing better than weather that tells you, "Just stay inside and knit."

And what will I be working on?  Why, my Even Flow sweater, of course.  The last week or so hasn't been all that great, but I tell you what, sitting around and watching movies sure helped me make progress on this sweater.  I'm starting to get excited about it.  I'm not so excited about picking up the stitches along both sides of the front to make the edge, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

And to anyone who is wondering, that curl will come out when the edge is added.  And if there's any left after that, that is what blocking is for.  Wet it down and shape it nicely, there will be no curl at all.

Tons of progress for less than a week.
Last Saturday was my wheel spinning class at Fall River Fibers in the Ace Hardware Store in Hot Springs, SD.  It was great.  I took a sleeping pill the night before so that I could be up in time to make it to the 9 AM start, and then I slept through my alarm.  But I wasn't too terribly late, thank goodness, and it was awesome to be around other people who love yarn.  Ok. it was awesome to be around other people period.

I found out that I am a fast spinner!  I am a productive spinner!  I make "art yarn"!  These are all really nice ways of saying that I should slow down and that I may need some more practice before I can be consistent.  Well, everyone starts out as a beginner, and I really did have fun.  Throwing myself headlong into new things is really how I learn best.
But Fritz thinks it's awesome.

After washing and setting the twist.  I think that little bit of plain white is probably my best piece.

And I am still working on dyeing yarns.  I now have pH paper!  I'm not sure that it makes me a better dyer, but it makes me feel more confident that I know what I'm doing.  This latest skein, I tried coffee and my new neon McCormick food dye.  I also tried a non-immersion dye method. 

I really like the blue.  I am very happy with the food dye results, but I am pretty nonplussed by the coffee.  I think that I will have to overdye the coffee part of this one before I am satisfied.  I think I may go for a purple rather than a brown.

Ooh, blue!
I also picked up a 100g skein of undyed, New Zealand, 2-ply, wool yarn.  It is about worsted weight but I will check.  I was thinking that this skein has hat written all over it and I will have to dye it in colors that I will actually wear. 

Well, that was the weekend for me.  Pretty dang productive actually.  And now I have to leave you to work on the crochet design project that I have become obsessed with.  I have a few more knit designs currently on the needles, but they have to stay under wraps for now.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Knitting Hermit?

I wimped out.  I didn't go to the Fiber Arts Guild meeting.  I just didn't have it in me.  I will go to the next meeting after first making contact with the group.  

I also feel apprehensive about the spinning class tomorrow.  What if I don't feel up to interacting with people?  I think all of this anxiety is something that I had best just push myself through.  I sometimes get this way, but once I am actually out of the house, I tend to have a good time.

Well, enough obsessing about my social anxiety.  The week has gotten rough since Tuesday, with the anxiety and my sleep schedule being thrown completely off, but I have managed to cast on for my Even Flow Sweater!

So far, so good.  What you can see in the picture is the back between the shoulders and I have just started working the right front panel.

Other than that, I have only been plugging away at the black socks.  I have a few more design projects on the needles that I hope to get out in November, I am waiting on pH paper to dye more yarn, and I will definitely keep all of you updated on how the spinning class goes tomorrow.  I have to admit, I am excited to learn about making yarn.  But really, who wouldn't be?

One last thing: I would like to thank everyone who downloaded my dishcloth pattern.  48 downloads and counting!

The sweater thus far