Yarn Shipment: Frabjous Fibers

And the second package of yarn that I was waiting on has finally come in. Its funny timing; I just released a pattern that uses gradients and the next project I'll be working on involves another set of gradients! This is Frabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat mini skeins pack in the gradient color way "Shilling and Pence". I love these blues so much and they have a slight shine!

Stephanie of Frabjous Fibers contacted me after I had released my Arius Shawl pattern, asking if I could design a pattern for their yarns and of course I said yes! The moment I laid my eyes on the yarn I knew what I was going to design with it (well, what type of design): a triangular shawl. It's been a while since I've used this shawl shape and working on the Maia tee reminded me how much I've missed it! Now I've just got to think, what design do I want to work into it? I've got all next week to figure that out, since I'll be out of town for a few days for a much needed vacation...

Let's Chat!: What are Your Favourite Yarn Colour Combinations?

The Let’s Chat series is a thread on my Ravelry forum where a new conversation topic related to knitting is posted every week. Participants in the threads are entered into a monthly giveaway where they can win either one of my patterns, yarn in my stash or receive a surprise package filled with goodies from Japan!

This week, I'm going to be asking you for your favourite yarn color combinations! Here are some of mine, using Julie Asselin's colorways as examples. I think I'll let the images speak for themselves this week...

hat are your favourite yarn combos? Leave a comment (and if possible images!) on my Ravelry forum here!

Thank you so much for last week's topic: great participation all over the board! I got to see some great pieces of advice from a range of knitters and I think these tidbits are still applicable to all of us, no matter how long we have been knitting for! Here are some of my favourite responses (from Ravelry only, but I loved all the responses I received on IG and FB!)

From hiver74 (this is a great one!):

My advice for Young people should be to do like me : first, knit a lot clothes for puppies. It’s funny, we learn a lot of new stitches, it’s not too long, and we don’t use a lot of yarn. And we can have a lot of very beautiful ensembles : dress, socks, hat, bag, scarve, etc, in the same color!
If this was specific to me, I’d tell myself to take a few days to read a book on fibers (like Clara Parkes’ book) and maybe give spinning a whirl to understand a bit more about yarn before I start going on buying sprees :)

With more education, I’ve moved away from Alpaca (love it, but it doesn’t work in many of the patterns I’ve been making a lot), avoid single-ply yarns and am no longer afraid of some yarn which feels kind of rough (washing and blocking does wonders!).

I also highly recommend getting Clara Parkes' book as well.

From nakamili:

I’d have to tell myself to think of the wearability of a pattern before you start on it.
When I started out I’d knit anything and now I have a few pieces (mainly shawls) that I never wear. Which I find sad because I spent a lot of time on these, but they just don’t match the other things I have in my closet.

Knitting made me a lot more aware of what I like to wear and what looks good on me :)

Yarn Stash: Quince & Co Chickadee

Colorway: Delft

Whoops, looks like Quince & Co's Chickadee found its way into my stash again. I am seriously in love with this yarn. It is not the softest yarn I have ever worked with, but it is comfortable, squishy, warm and, one of my favourite aspects about it, the stitch definition of this yarn is just divine. I love how it knits up in stockinette and it opens up nicely to show off lacework. It is also one of the not so common sport weight yarns, one of my favourite weights as it sits right between fingering and DK weight.

One example of how nicely an FO turns out in this yarn.

As many other designers, I am often several designs ahead of the current project I'm working on. This is important to me as it keeps my mind active and busy and I don't have to worry about not having any projects to do in the upcoming months. So what do I have in store for this yarn? Well, I'm planning on using cables and textured stitches to form a cowl, but with a twist! Or tip. Triangular tip! But this design won't be coming out until the end of summer or early autumn. The yarn is 100% wool, so I might get a heat stroke if I start it too early. ;-)

Creating a Mini LYS From Home

I want to fill this to the brim!

I want to fill this to the brim!

Living where I am, the closest LYS is located in Kyoto, a few hundred dollars and six hour trip by bullet train. The retail craft stores don't carry yarns that I'm interested in as the majority of their stock are scratchy wools and acrylic blends. I purchase all of my yarns online so whenever a package arrives, it is like receiving a small bundle of happiness and homely comforts. Or big bundle depending how much yarn I splurged on. Until recently, I had been keeping the yarns a paper bag or in plastic containers but 1) it's not very slightly and 2) sometimes I lose track of my yarn stash. What to do?

As a solution to my dilemma, I asked my husband to buy me a small bookshelf. I was slightly embarrassed to ask him for this, as almost all my purchases now are yarn or knitting related. My husband has to encourage me to ask for other things, as he cannot always grant my requests for "x yarn right now". He really likes to dote me and buy me gifts (he has really spoiled me). However, he was more than happy to oblige my request for a $9 bookshelf, which was then purchased and assembled in my small office room.

I'm still playing around with the set up of the yarns, but the top shelf is dedicated to the most recent yarn purchases and skeins. The first time I walked into the office after setting everything up, I got the smallest inkling of a feeling that I had just walked into a LYS. A messy, tiny LYS but an LYS nonetheless. It made me oh so very happy and it was nice to see all my yarns in full view and in easy access. 

I know I'm not the only knitter in the world how doesn't have quick access to good yarns. Currently in my Ravelry forums a yarn swap is going on, and some knitters are more than happy to swap and receive new yarns that are not easy to get to and support each other. We all understand our love and need for yarns. 

Kyokuro Boushi 曲路帽子

Yes, I knit two projects this week. The shawlette for a commission and before that another new design that I had been working on; the Kyokuro Boushi (Winding Road hat). To get anywhere where I live, you have to take a car through long, winding roads (that are bound to get you carsick at some point).

I knit this hat twice as the first draft had a couple of problems with the crown and spacing between cables. This hat is comprised of eyelets and cable patterns. The yarn I used was the Alpaca Melange (mentioned in my yarn stash post). Super soft, super stretchy and the yarn fluff adds a nice character to the hat.

Close up of the cables and eyelets.

Top view of the crown.

Happy me!

Happy me!

I hope to have the pattern up on Raverly soon: it will be offered for free for the first month that it is up. Commissions on this hat will be $45, including shipping and materials.

New Yarn Shipment

Getting yarn in the mail is one of the most exciting things ever. This yarn is going to be used on a commissioned piece, the Ooh-La-La Shawlette.

100% Lace Merino Wool. Colour is Grage #9.

100% Lace Merino Wool. Colour is Grage #9.