Solstice Day Knitting

I am not a huge fan of Christmas to be honest, but I do like Solstice Day. This is not for any religious reason. I just like Solstice Day because the days will start lengthening and the darkness is receding. It’s only by a minute or so each day but it cheers me just knowing that. πŸ˜‰

I got all the new yarn labeled and it is stowed in the trailer for next year. I only had one sad skein that may be beyond hope. The ties all came off in the dye pot. I will do what I can to salvage it but it may sadly be too far gone. I’ll let you know. 😬

My knitting projects are coming along. They both have grown but don’t look much different from last time. Here’s some pictures anyway.

Ok, Merry Christmas if I don’t post again until after the holiday.

Yarn, yarn, everywhere

Label printing went better than usual this time. Not nearly as much bad language was uttered in the process, so that’s a good thing.

It took a good part of two days, with breaks for meal preparation and story time with my youngest. That’s all we are doing for school this month. We are reading through the Septimus Heap series, which I have never read before. They’re pretty fun so far.

Anyway, so I spent most of yesterday sorting and organizing yarn. This step makes labeling go smoother because it limits the amount of time spent hunting for the yarn you need to go with the labels you are working through.

I know to the uninitiated this looks far from organized, but trust me there is a system. πŸ˜‰

I have started actual labeling and am working through it while listening to my own book. I am rereading The Circle by Dave Eggers. I am planning to read the new sequel, The Every, when I finish.

Ok, back to work then! πŸ™‚

Bramwell and other knitting

I am currently in yarn label printing purgatory. But this too, shall pass. While I am baby sitting the printer I am multi-tasking by writing a blog post. It will take quite a while to print over 1900 labels so I might as well get something else done, right?

I did finally get my Bramwell Shawl blocked. The pictures aren’t the greatest due to gray weather today, but here’s what I have.

Here’s a pre-blocking picture just to show the texture. I used almost all of the three skeins of Classic Merino Superwash DK in Pewter. My left over ball is barely 15g. This was a fun knit and pretty quick. I probably could have finished it in 3-4 weeks if I hadn’t been switching between three projects.

The color is more accurate in the blocking shot than in this next one. It’s odd that the one below was taken outside and yet the color is off.

I have gotten back to the other two shawls when I have some time in the evenings. Here is Simple Gifts in Emerald Classic Merino Superwash Sport. I am getting close to the end of the first skein and am on the 3rd repeat of the main chart. The large size is 7 repeats. I’ll see when I get there if it’s big enough.

Last, but not least is my sock yarn project, Adelita. I am using Jade, which is one of my favorites of my recent colors from 2020. I am about to start the second skein and am halfway through chart 4.

Here’s a parting shot from the last two dye days.

Dye Days

I finished one of my shawls last week but haven’t had time to block it or anything.

We have been so busy with dyeing since my last post, so I thought I would make a quick post about that.

Here is what we are working on today. The yarn on the line is from yesterday. This is our 5th day of work so there are many skeins in totes that are finished and waiting for labels. It is hard to get a good picture of those.

I’ll be back soon with a picture of my shawl and other knitting progress. πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜€.

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

Lots to Catch Up

I’m sorry it’s been a little while since my last post. I have been working a lot lately. I will try to catch you up on a few things.

The Vintage Diamonds Cardigan is finished but I haven’t quite got the pattern ready yet. Hopefully in the next couple weeks I can devote some more time to that. I really love it though. πŸ˜€

I also have gotten back to the Wonderful Wallaby and am working on the top yoke section.

We have been busy most days working on products for the remaining festivals this year. We are working on new Shawl and Hair Sticks, Nostepinnes and Darning Eggs, plus lots of dyeing.

Here’s just a tiny bit of that.

We are going to be vending this weekend in Lebanon, TN at the Natural Fiber Extravaganza. So, if you are in the Nashville area come check it out.

Monday Knitting and Dyeing

The blanket is all done! I love it! So glad to be done with the sewing and back to knitting.

What is on the needles now? A Wonderful Wallaby. I have some design ideas floating around in my head but this will do for some easy knitting while I plan.

Some lovely blue Cascade 220 that has been marinating in the stash for some time.

This morning, while I would love to be knitting all day, work must take priority I guess πŸ˜‰. I am back at the dye pots. I have about 12.5 lbs. of fiber to dye for the mill.

What are you doing today?

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? :-)

Wood Bowls Now Instock

Small sampling of the available wood bowls on the website

I spent a couple days last week getting the wood bowls added to the website. We have a lot of different sizes at the moment. They range from larger ones at the $55 price point which are big enough for holding a full ball of yarn down to some mini bowls ($20) which are perfect for holding small items like beads, stitch markers, coins, etc.

We will soon be bringing back some other wood tools we have not had in stock for quite a few years. Jerry had some big logs of walnut and cherry that he hadn’t had time to process. Well we have time now, so he started working on that this week after we returned from a little trip to the Smokies for Mother’s Day weekend. I’ll tell you more about that next post. :-)

After trimming up to turn-able size pieces

He is making some Nostepinnes at the moment and some of this will also be Darning Eggs.

So while this is keeping Jerry busy, I am planning some new yarn colors for 2020. I have decided to add six new colors to my palette. Here is a sneak preview.

I have made some more progress on the Honeydew Lace Square in Superwash Sock Yarn.

I have added the 4th skein and hope it will be enough to finish. I am almost to the halfway point on the edging.

See the stitch markers in the top right corner? That is the half way point. When did I start this thing anyway? Oh, wow. Ravelry says Jan. 06, 2020. Sigh. Perseverance is a virtue right? :-)

Okay more on our mini vacation next time. :-)