Small Progress

I have been slowly working on this project and I am almost done with the first one. I have been waiting to get to this point so that I could weigh the yarn I have left to see if I will have enough to work the second. You see I debated incorporating another color or two 🤔 but was feeling lazy about the extra effort of doing it. So, I proceeded and hoped it wouldn’t bite me in the end. I feel safer now since the mitt at this point is about 27 g and the ball is 39 g. Whew!

I like that pretty row of decreases travelling down the forearm. I like wearing these long gloves under a jacket when it’s cool out. I only wear short sleeve t-shirts all year and these give some extra warmth with a hoodie without having to wear long sleeves. Long sleeves annoy me around the house because they get in the way when washing, cooking, or really any kind of work. At least that’s me anyway.

Ok, that’s what I have for now. What’s on your needles?

Shawl and Hair Sticks

I haven’t made much progress lately on my knitting project. I have been working on our new Shawl and Hair Sticks.

It took almost a week to get the final coat of finish on them and get the pictures, editing, and website updated. But they are finally ready for their official launch!

I have used them for holding on a shawl, as an alternative closure for my little swing cardi, but most often in the southeastern summer heat I am using mine to pin up my hair.

Our introductory price is $15 for double prong style. We have a limited amount of Single prong style at $11. These may be only occasionally available depending upon demand. More information on the website if you are interested.

Something a Little Different

I’ve been working on this little project that I started awhile back. It’s just a simple long cuffed fingerless mitt pattern that I worked up last fall. I used my Classic Merino Superwash Sport weight yarn for the original. I have a lot of remnant balls of Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn and decided to make a version from some of that.

That is all the knitting I have going at the moment. I’m calling it a palate cleanser after all the lace knitting I have been doing this year. I have a couple things in mind for later and I will let you know when I pick something out.

Here’s another little something we’ve been working on. These are great for Hair Sticks and for Shawl or Sweater Sticks.

I have been getting the finish on them today and should have them ready to be photographed soon. I’ll let you know when they are ready for order on the website in case you need one. :-)

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.

It was a close one

I won at yarn chicken but it was definitely a close one. I had just 5g left of that 4th skein of yarn.

I took a quick picture before I put it in cool water and shampoo for a soak. It was looking pretty small so I measured the unblocked size. It was about 34″×36″.

After a spin in the washing machine I pinned it out as much as I could. I might have been able to stretch it a bit more but didn’t have much more room. This and the unblocked picture are on our king size bed.

As you can probably tell it’s quite a bit larger. It measures about 54″×60″ while still pinned out. That’s some impressive expansion don’t you think? I found the T-pins more effective for this than the Knit Blockers.

I am working on the pattern revision and will post beauty shots of the shawl when I have the pattern ready.

Yarn Chicken

Well…is that ball of yarn going to last? That’s what I am about to find out. I weighed the yarn I have remaining. It weighs 11g. It’s gonna be close. I’m going to knit one repeat of the edge pattern and weigh it again to see how much yarn it eats up. I’m six repeats from the end. Each repeat is twelve rows long. Now, of course, I doooo have more of this yarn in stock but I will hate it if I have to use a new skein this close to the finish line. Wish me luck!

Before I go I want to show you a little sneak peek at a new product we are working on. I am pretty excited about them. 😁

Shawl/Hair Sticks

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? :-)

Mother’s Day in the Smokies

I promised on my next post I would share about our trip to the Smokies. This was an unplanned, spontaneous trip. Before all this craziness happened we had been planning to take a trip the last week of April but we hadn’t picked out where to go. So, when we found ourselves with free schedules, except for continuing to make product for the business that we hope we’ll be able to generate some income from later this year when festivals start happening again, we decided let’s do it now while we can.

Where to go though? Since Tennessee and the Great Smokey Mountain N.P. was opening by Mother’s Day weekend, that seemed like a good destination. It’s only a 3-4 hour drive and I had some hotel points to burn. We decided, made reservations, and packed late Thursday morning. We were on the road with lunch packed to eat as we drove, by midday. Very impromptu, which made it all the more fun.

Caney Fork River at the Rest Area

It was rainy and chilly all day on Friday, but we had a fun time anyway. We mostly walked around and explored Gatlinburg at the shops and restaurants that were open at the time. I didn’t get many pictures of that day, except these two. We ate at the Smokey Mountain Brewery for lunch (and a couple other times as well) and then while walking around in the afternoon ran across this phone booth where Jerry made me take this silly picture. We had a few beers with lunch. LOL!

The Park was open on Saturday and we had went to Cades Cove in the morning and spent about 4-5 hours. The weather was gorgeous and even though there were a lot of visitors it was great fun spending the day with nothing in particular we had to do but see the sights and look for places to eat. :-)

Sunday morning we checked out of the hotel in Gatlinburg and headed back in the Park to maybe hike up to Rainbow Falls before getting a late lunch and then heading home.

We knew the trail was almost 5.5 miles round trip but what we didn’t know was that the first half, 2.7 miles, was entirely uphill. Yikes! We almost turned back at least 8x, LOL! Glad we persevered, but it took way longer than we expected, because of the frequent need to take breaks on the way up. I am so glad we brought extra water and snacks! We wouldn’t have made it otherwise, trust me.

We didn’t get back to the truck until about 4:30 and we hadn’t had lunch yet. We decided we were in no big hurry to get home so we booked another night in Pigeon Forge. We checked in at the hotel and headed to the Smokey Mountain Brewery again (the Pigeon Forge location this time) for supper and beers. We had a lovely night. :-)

On Sunday morning we told the hotel we would exercise my Platinum Elite Priority Club benefit of a late check out so that we could hang out in Pigeon Forge and have a nice dinner before heading home. We visited the Hillside Winery and bought a few bottles. We have already had one of them since we got home and it was quite good. I only like dry (not sweet) wines and found a couple. It’s hard to find in these parts. We did a little souvenir shopping and then found a great Mexican place for lunch.

We had such a great time! We have been married 32 years and these last 5 years have been the first time we have had both the means and freedom to do some traveling as a couple. We are going to try and take at least one more trip somewhere that will be fun but not be too expensive. Hopefully we can do that in June. Any ideas?