Home At Last

I returned from Minnesota last Tuesday. I have been trying to squeeze in time to get my gansey blocked and write a post. I have been working hard to get my website rebuilt plus other stuff. So I am happy to report that the website is done. I will probably do some more tweaking but it’s functional and I am pleased with it so far. My blog is now part of my shop which I have wanted to do for a long time.

So now on to my gansey and current knitting. I have the gansey blocking at the moment. I blocked it out quite a bit so that when it relaxes it will be closer to the finished dimensions I was planning for.

I only got one project started. It’s another Gridiron sock.

I really enjoy this pattern. It’s just interesting enough to be entertaining but not enough to be distracting if you are watching videos or something like that. They are also comfortable to wear. My last pair are my favorite socks.

Ok gotta go for now. I am going to be going to Lexington, KY on Friday for the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Festival. I don’t know if I will have time to post again before that. We’ll see. Have a great week!

Shop Work

I have made good progress on my knitting projects which I will share next time. Today, I am going to talk about our production we have planned during the off season to prepare for next year.

We have bought lots and lots of lumber and yarn.

These slabs of cherry, walnut, maple, and Osage orange will be for turning. It will be mostly darning eggs and Nostepinnes and possibly some bowls.

We have also been culling out the property of brush and trees. Some of this Osage orange and maple will also be for turning when they have cured for awhile. Jerry is painting the ends to help reduced cracks while it dries

This is about 140 board feet of walnut waiting to be dimensioned for Yarn Swifts.

This was 210 board feet of cherry which will soon be yarn swifts also.

This is 400 pounds of undyed yarn. I am still waiting on a other 40 pounds of the Merino Bamboo which was back ordered. So, in the mean time, I am mixing up dye stocks and then mixing my colors so we are ready to get this all dyed up in the coming weeks.

We will be working our way through it as the weather permits. I can dye in inclement weather because I am under cover now, but I do still rely on outdoor lines for drying. With 1900 skeins to process that is the biggest problem this time of year. The good news is that we have plenty of time at the moment ๐Ÿ˜€.

Okay that’s it for today. Next time, knitting updates.

More Test Knitting

I’m knitting as fast as I can to finish the test knit I started right before my last post. It is going very quick which is good because I am itching to start my small size test knit of my Vintage Diamonds Cardigan. More on that next time I hope.

I am on the last section which is all lace. It is a wider band than the first three. I may have to improvise on the last 4-6 rows if my calculations are correct on yardage. I thought I had enough but we’ll see. I can always dye a bit more but I may just use a left over of the lighter gray instead.

In other news, we have a new batch of Nostepinnes and Darning Eggs up on the website this week. We had some Spalted Maple from a tree we cut down in our yard last year that was finally ready to turn. These are limited quantities, so if you want a really special and unique gift or treat for yourself, don’t miss out. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Carpe diem.

Carolina Fiber Festival Virtual event

Today is the day. I’ve been working on my virtual booth and it’s all set for the event. I plan to be available for live video chat during all the market hours, 9-6 ET, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Here’s a link to my virtual booth.

Yesterday I would have been setting up my full booth in Raleigh, NC for an in person event. Instead I spent some time setting up a smaller version here at home. I wanted to have my products near to hand if anyone needed a demo, or whatever.

Bowls, yarn Boxes, Nostepinnes, Darning-Eggs, Shawl-Hair-Stick, and sock-keepers.
Hand dyed yarn, organic cotton yarn and some baby stuff patterns.
Knitted samples.
Yarn Swifts and ball winders.
Other side of my yarn display.

See you there!

One thing done

I am finished with the scarf I was knitting for my son. It’s all blocked and ready to pass on to him when I get a chance.

I am back at the afghan and will show you some more progress on that next time.

I am busy this week setting up my “booth” for the Carolina Fiber Festival Virtual event. It’s happening on March 12-14 and I will be online from 9 to 6 all three days. I’ll post a link to my booth page when it’s ready.

New Pattern Shapely Mitts

Hey there, ๐Ÿ‘‹

I know it’s been a little quiet on the blog lately. I am still plugging along on the afghan and making slow progress. I completed another color and have five more to go. That’s 30 hexagons for those of you keeping score.

Here’s the color I am working on currently.

I had a birthday ๐ŸŽ‚ last week. Jerry took me out to our favorite place for pizza and local craft beer. I made one of my favorite desserts too, instead of cake, lemon meringue pie. Here’s my go to recipe for it. Works perfectly every time. You can thank me later.

You may recall last year that I was knitting a pair of fingerless mitts in my Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn. I had a few requests for the pattern and I have finally gotten to writing and publishing it. I have it on Ravelry and on my website.

I am extending the special introductory offer that I ran last week from my social media. Beginning today and running through February 8, 2021, you can have the pattern for free with purchase of a skein of yarn to make it. I wrote the pattern for both fingering weight and sport weight yarn. I linked the fingering weight above and here’s the Classic Merino Superwash Sport yarn.

Lavender, Damson Plum,Midnight Blue, Sapphire, Winter Sky, Peacock, Robin Egg, Atlantic
Heather, Orchid, Quartzite, Pewter, Slate, Obsidian, Graphite, Earl Grey
Glacier, Ironstone, Emerald, Lichen, Jade, Honeydew, Fern, Marigold
Tea Rose, Cerise, Crimson, Garnet, Paprika, Sea Coral, Chamomile, Sea Oat

The special free pattern offer is good only on my website. Just pick your yarn and color and then add it and the Shapely Mitts pattern to the cart. Add the code SHAPELY when you begin the check out process for $5 discount. If you have any problems or questions please contact me at knittingnotions@gmail.com. Thanks for reading!

Presenting…

Honeydew Lace Square all blocked and posing for the glamour shots.

This color is very hard to photograph because it really is a bit of a chameleon which changes due to light source. It is the Classic Merino Superwash Sock in Lavender. As I mentioned last time I used 4 skeins with 5g leftover using US4 needles.

Here is the original lace weight version along with the new version for fingering weight. I spent all of Saturday afternoon and into the evening editing and updating the pattern to include the new fingering weight instructions. I also made some corrections to the border charts and stitch counts for that section. The updated pattern is listed on the website and on Ravelry. If you already own the digital pattern, you will have gotten an update pushed to you. If you bought a print version at a festival and would like the update via email, please let me know and I am happy to send along the PDF. Contact me at knittingnotions@gmail.com.

This Week’s Progress

I am getting sooooo close to the finish on this project. I am about halfway through with the final side. I got a fair bit of this knitting done last weekend when Jerry and I took a short overnight trip to visit my mother-in-law. It’s the most knitting time I have had in awhile, which explains the slow progress I guess.

On our trip home after an overnight in Evansville, we took a slight detour and spent about half a day checking out the Land Between the Lakes park. Jerry has wanted to try some off road trail driving in his truck and we discovered that they have some there. We tried that out and while it was a fun adventure we weren’t too impressed with their trail markings and didn’t want to get lost in there, so we didn’t go very far in. LOL! It was a fun experiment though. I got only one picture of the Bison. There are also Elk but we didn’t go on the drive where you can see them. I think it was still closed anyway.

Since we are on the subject of nature; here’s our yucca plant in full bloom this week. :-)

On the business side; I got all the Nostepinnes and Darning Eggs added to the website last week, and since I told you I would update you on that, consider yourself updated. :-)

We are working on a few ideas for new products at the moment that we are getting very excited about. More on that when I have something to show you. :-)

The One About New Yarn

I have knit a little on my shawl but not enough to see a difference so I will talk about something else today. It involves yarn and a bit of history so if you are interested in either or both read on.

When we started Knitting Notions in 2005, we sold online only. We started with just Yarn Swifts and hand dyed yarn. We added Shawl Pins in 2006 and vended at our first fiber festival (SAFF) that fall. After that we decided that we wanted to expand and add lots of shows for 2007. We did about 10 or so that year and since 2008 we have regularly scheduled 16-20 festivals each year.

Jerry designed and built all our displays for that first full year (2007). This is the yarn displays he made. The size was pretty carefully determined based on average booth dimensions and to allow for room for shoppers while maximizing display space. The number of dowels for the yarn to hang on was based on even spacing along the bars. It happened to be a total of 26 so that has been my maximum color palette per yarn base for all these years.

This year, since I have been wanting to add some more colors and we had time to do it, we decided the time had come to increase the hanging space. We expanded the number of dowels from 26 to 32. All we needed to do was make eight new central bars where the dowels are attached with 16 holes on each rather than 13. I have those 6 new colors I formulated and dyed, and they are now listed on the website.

While I was getting this all loaded in the trailer this week, I decided to work out the placements on the new displays so I could box them appropriately for quick booth set up when we get to do that again. While I had all the yarn out anyway, I set up a yarn display rack on the patio near my trailer and the work shop.

Here’s the line up with the new colors worked in. I am pleased with it, but it took a bit of experimenting to get it where I liked it. It was good to do the head scratching when I wasn’t pressed for time during a real booth set up.

My trailer is pretty full now with the extra yarn. I am going to have to pack carefully to get the other new Bowls, Darning Eggs, and Nostepinnes in there. :-)

This Week’s Progress

I am finally nearing the finish line on my fingering weight re-knit and re-write of my Honeydew Lace Square pattern. It has been a long haul but it has been quicker than the first time when I was knitting the original in lace weight yarn. I have reached the third corner of the border which means I have knit 3/4 of the edging! I hope the yarn holds out and I don’t need to start a fifth skein when I am this close to the end.

I received and dyed a big order of alpaca from New Era Fiber last week. I needed to get my yarn labeled that I dyed last week (those six new colors I told you about; more on this next time) before I started work on the mill order. I got the fiber dyed the first half of this week. This was 45 lbs. of a huge lot. There will be eight colors in all and this was the first three.

So after that was out of the way I had a couple days free to get the Nostepinnes and Darning Eggs finished. This is not all of them. There are a lot more eggs that Jerry was still sanding while I did this. I do now have them all done.

I spent the afternoon with my photo equipment and new products so I can get all this stuff loaded on the website. I photographed all the new yarn plus the Nostepinnes and Darning Eggs. I have the yarn listed but the color pictures are not up yet. I need to do some editing. The tools will be listed as soon as I can.

It’s looking like my sub-contract work and our website sales may have to get us through this year so I am trying to make sure there is plenty on there. :-) I am sad so many festivals are still canceling. Sigh. I am trying to not let it discourage me too much. Things have to start improving at some point right? As my precious great grandmother Mamie was fond of saying “all things come to an end…both the good and the bad”. Well, it’s high time for the bad to move along, right? :-)