FO Friday – Mon Petit Pullover

P1080849Once upon a time, I spun 5oz of merino/silk top into 500+ yards of chain-plied, self-striping fingering/sport weight yarn. What to do? I am generally not a pastel person and I likely wouldn’t wear a shawl in these colors.

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Several months later, I had two minor seconds of Boundless Sock in The Grey and I knew they should be together! So I planned a pullover version of Mon Petit Gilet Rayé. I knit a goodly-sized swatch, did some maths and cast on. And it worked! It came out a tiny bit longer than planned, but I love it. I can throw it on with jeans or a skirt. It’s not fussy, but it’s together enough for vending events. I’m totally in love with it. You can read my notes (gauge, stitches cast on…etc) at my Ravelry project page!

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Last Week Chez Play

Last Week at PAL 7/14/14

Oh, hey! I haven’t blogged since February.

I joined a discussion with some online friends about blogging this morning and I admitted to being a terrible blogger.  I’m just not very wordy! I do post a lot of pictures on my Instagram account so I suggested a weekly photo recap, highlighting what I’d been doing in the studio, and out and about in the past week. That idea went over well so here you go!

My husband was on vacation last week so I took a break from dyeing. We did some work around the house, went to the beach a couple of times, and did some Geocaching. It was a very relaxing mini vacation!

Left to right, top then bottom:

1. I got some spinning WIPs off the bobbin just in time Tour de Fleece. Right is  4oz, ~150yds two ply Merino/bamboo/silk in Jewels from All for the Love of Yarn. Left is one of my gradients. I had a short 3oz braid of Redleaf on yak/merino top which I turned into ~300yds of fingering weight goodness. I love this fiber blend. This is my favorite handspun so far!

2. I was able to do a bit of thrifting and found these awesome cloth napkins

3. We went to the beach which resulted in this obligatory, dorky beach selfie.

4. I finished a huge bobbin of border leicester cross singles for the Tour! I’m working from clean fleece and flicking locks out as I go. It’s rather time consuming! I need to invest in some combs.

2013 – Life as a Yarnie

2013 was filled with a lot of personal ups and downs Chez Play. But there was always yarn and fiber to wind, dye, and label. Thankfully, I have Instagram to document the daily goings-on of a full-time “yarnie.”

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR, PALers! Here’s to another 12 months of fluffy color and steamy dye pots.

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May Wrap Up – The Clubs

May was very, very busy for me. VERY. Not only did I have my first outdoor, two day vending gig, I had to travel to attend it. And I brought my family with me. It was an adventure! Plus I had two club shipments to complete.

First up: the clubs.

The Not so Guilty club focused on my favorite musical guilty pleasure, Katy Perry.

Revelous Sockie Maki Set – Boom, Boom, Boom

I love this colorway! I chose the Revelous (sw merino/bamboo rayon/nylon) and its fiber counterpart for the sock and fiber club shipments. This blend is great for summer socks. Luxury Shawl club members received Telyn Maki put up in an exclusive 115g/4oz size.

Once again, members received some great stitch markers from Lucid Sunshine

In the Tripping Yarn Balls Zodiac Club, it was Taurus’s month. Taurus. A bull. It took me a while to find inspiration. I finally settled on a calf-inspired, self-striping colorway. I’m happy to say it was well received by members.

On Wednesday, you’ll find out what happens when I don’t make a packing list.

Long on Color Club – Not So Guilty #1 – Ascension to Skyland Mountain

The newest Long on Color club (Not So Guilty) has been a great way to explore different themes while offering a variety of colorways. And I get to use some of my favorite things for inspiration!

First up is The X-Files. My husband (then boyfriend) got me hooked on the show. I made the mistake of blowing through several episodes (on VHS, by the way 🙂 when I was home alone one night. And our surround sound speakers have the uncanny ability to pick up passing CB radio broadcasts. I may have jumped out of my seat a couple times that night.

I came up with this colorway while watching the “Duane Barry” and “Ascension” episodes from season 2 . I love when quirky, vulnerable characters refer to themselves in the third person (nope, can’t explain it) and Duane does so throughout both episodes. I decided, aloud, “Duane Barry needs to be a colorway.” So to Google Image Search I went.

I came upon this still which became this color palette.

And then became Ascension to Skyland Mountain.

As a special surprise, members received matching stitch markers crafted by Mary-Lyn of Lucid Sunshine.

We’re both very happy with the pairing! And I am absolutely positive that this colorway will end up in Play at Life Fiber Arts’ regular colorway list.

Testing…1, 2, 3

Customers and friends have been asking about heavier weight yarns. So, I spent part of my work week testing some bulky yarn samples and trying out a new colorway.

Up first is an exaggerated bulky thick and thin. It very soft and squishy and perfect for cowls. PERFECT.

Then we have this heavy worsted merino single. Again, very soft, but with a much less exaggerated texture.

And last is a merino/silk single, also in a heavy worsted weight. This one is drool-worthy.

 

Here they are side-by-side. I knit them all with the same stitch count and on the same needle. There are pros and cons for each yarn. And I have more samples on the way to test! I have no idea how I will choose which one to stock. The yarn-lover in me wants to buy all the yarns!

WIP Wednesday – New Base, New Project

I’ve been concentrating on expanding the shop’s yarn offerings and have been testing some new DK weight yarns and soft spring colorways. I settled on this 3ply 100% conventional BFL. Like Pounce Fingering, it is softly spun with a little more twist, making it a lofty, plump yarn great for lightweight garments. And because it isn’t superwash, it’s a great candidate for stranded colorwork or felting. Though, I think it’s too lovely for felting!

I’ve been able to put Pounce DK up in generous 350yd/125g skeins! That’s plenty for a cozy shawl, set of mittens, or small shrug. I’m doing a test knit of Liesl, a top-down, yoke cardigan designed by Ysolda Teague. I’ve had to adjust for the different gauge, but even knit for a 38″ chest, I’m well past the armhole with plenty of yarn left. I predict that I’ll be able to get a good 7″ down the torso and still have enough yardage to make the sleeves a bit longer than their current capped state (ugh…cap sleeves do my upper arms no favors.)

Now I just need to decide when to debut it! My next trunk show? The Great Rhody Yarn Crawl coming up in April? Hmmm…

Speaking of which, I’ve added some new gigs to my vending schedule!

April 1 – Sisters of the Wool trunk show

April 14 – Fresh Purls trunk show (during the Great Rhody Yarn Crawl)

May 26-27 – Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair (a first for me!)

Sept 7-9 – Fiber College of Maine

Looks like I’ll be very busy this spring!

Giveaway – Log Cabin Socks Kit

In celebration of the recently released pattern, Log Cabin Socks (designed by Mara Marzocchi with Boundless Sock) I’m giving away this great sock kit! The kit includes a full color print out of the pattern and one skein of Boundless Sock in the new colorway, Surplus.

To enter, leave a comment on this post with your favorite snuggle object. A log cabin quilt? Perhaps an e-reader and bottle of port for you fancy types? Sweet dreams of a Cumberbatch/Freeman sandwich?

Share the giveaway on your favorite social networking sites for extra entries. Please make a new comment for each site (one entry per site, please!) A random drawing will take place Thursday, February 23rd at 12pm EST. I will contact the winner directly, but will also do an announcement here on Friday.

Comments are now closed for entry! Thanks for playing.

Shawl Inspiration

I am a big fan of PBS’s Masterpiece Theater, both Classics and Contemporary. I’ve recently been watching “Return to Cranford” and I’ve become inspired by all the beautiful, natural colored, sideways knit shawls the ladies wear.

Photo : BBC

Photo : Daily Mail

And of course, a quick search on Ravelry finds the Eyre of Romance Jane Shawl and several other shawls designed by Kay Meadors of Natural State Knitting.

Photo : Kay Meadors

I’m thinking hanspun. Maybe this Cormo I did a while back. It’s quite a bit thinner and could use another go through my wheel to tighten up some of the plying, but it’s perfect for a neck-thing.

I also have this for a smaller finished shawl. It’s shiny! So tempting!