Sign Up Now for the Knitting Olympics

My Knitting Olympics Project:  Slinky Ribs from Custom Knits – knit in Mirasol Nuna, 40% merino, 40% silk, 20% bamboo.

If you’re from the area and haven’t yet signed up for the Knitting Olympics, there’s still time.  I know of 2 shops in the area that are hosting events.  If you know of others, email me and I’ll post about them. 

Yarn Harbor, Duluth MN

If you want to join us for Team Yarn Harbor, you must sign up at the shop before Friday, February 12.  You cannot cast on until the Opening Ceremonies, but you can swatch (after all, training is key!)  The goal is to finish by the Closing Ceremonies. 
• We will give you a 15% discount on your Olympic project supplies at time of sign up.

In Store Events:
Opening Ceremonies Cast On:
Friday, February 12, 5-9 p.m.
Second Wind at the Pajama Party:
Friday, February 19, 5-10 p.m.
Home Stretch: Sunday, February 28,
12-5 p.m.


Fabric Works, Superior, WI

Join us for a special event at Fabric Works.

A. We will have 3 possible events to choose from:
1. Pick a knitting project that you can start and finish in the 17 days of the Winter Olympics. Pick one that will be a bit of a challenge for you. You may swatch ahead of time but cannot cast on until the lighting of the torch.
2. Finish unfinished projects that you have started. Completely finished all ends woven in and blocked! As many as you can complete!
3. Join “Team Jessica” to compete in the baby hat competition. The hats will be donated at the end.

B. We will have an opening event on Friday, Feb. 12th from 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm. At that time you will receive a small gift bag for your participation.

C. Open knitting hours during the Olympics are as follows:
Saturday, Feb. 13, 1 – 4 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 16, 5 – 7 pm
Wednesday, Feb.17, 11 am – 3 pm
Thursday, Feb. 18, 5 – 8 pm
Saturday, Feb 20, 1 – 4 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 5 – 7 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 11 am – 3 pm
Thursday, Feb. 25, 5 – 8 pm
Saturday, Feb. 27, 1 – 4 pm

D. Closing Ceremonies – Sunday, Feb. 28th, 2 – 4 pm. – Bring your finished “events” and receive your prize! Join us in an international potluck just for fun!

Entry Fee: 1 beautiful skein of yarn from your stash and one international dish for the potluck. We will have signup sheets at the shop for the potluck so there can be some variety. If you don’t have a stash of yarn, you may purchase a beautiful skein of yarn at 20% off the regular price to donate for prizes.

Please try to sign up ahead of time so we know how many gift bags we need.


Knitting for Babies

There’s a lot of baby knitting going on at my house right now.  No, I’m not pregnant, I just happen to know a lot of women who have recently given birth.  Around here, babies tend to come in groups of three. 

The hat above is the Sweet Norwegian Baby Cap, this is my third time knitting this cap.  It’s made out of sock yarn and goes incredibly fast.  Plus, the little points over the ears and forehead help to keep baby warm.  The booties are from Knitting for Baby and are also a favorite of mine.  I’ve knit so many of these booties that I pretty much can knit them without reading the pattern.  I believe they’re called the Stay On Baby Booties, and they really do stay on.  They look a little like Moon Boots at first because the sides are so high, but when you think about how round a newborn’s foot is, it makes a lot of sense. 

Yarn:  Aslan Trends, Santa Fe – colorway 1324.  Machine wash in cold (but if your name is Darla, tell your hubby to hand wash in cold because we’ve been through this before).  One skein makes both the booties and the hat. 

Modifications:  The only modification was to the strings on the cap.  I find I-cord insanely boring, so I cast on stitches and then bind off in the next row.  It works just fine for me and is less boring. 

This little hat is to use up some leftover yarn that I had in my stash.  It’s headed to SMDC’s Birthcenter to warm the head of some little newborn. 

Pattern:  Thorpe.  I’ve been dying to try this pattern since Halloween when a group of trick-or-treaters came to my door decked out in Thorpe’s.  I recognized the hats as being most likely handknit and then searched out the pattern.  It’s easily done in a variety of sizes. This is worsted weight yarn on size 6 needles. 

Yarn:  Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton.  I bought this at Yarn Harbor probably 2 years ago with baby knits in mind.  The only bummer to this gorgeous yarn is that it’s hand wash only.  I think this is due to the way the yarn is plyed.  Cotton has very short fibers so it generally is spun very tightly and then either cable plied or you’ll see lots of plies together.  This is a two ply yarn and frankly, I’m a bit worried as to how it will wear.  For newborn items, since they won’t be worn for long, I’m not going to worry too much. 

Modifications:  The only modification I made was leaving out the ties.  Mostly because it’s being donated to the hospital and I know people get a little worried about strings and babies.  Heck, I get worried about strings and babies.  My husband likes this hat so much that he requested one in his size. 


Olympic Training

Hours of dedicated training time.  Sore muscles, anguished cries and the hope that maybe this time I can pull it off.  That’s right, I’m in training for the Olympics. 

The Knitting Olympics anyway. 

The Knitting Olympics is something that The Yarn Harlot started several years back.  It only happens (at least for Stephanie Pearl McPhee) once every 4 years during the Winter Olympics.  Last year, during the Summer Olympics, Ravelry started their own Olympics.  The idea is that you pick a project that can be completed during the 2 weeks of the Olympics.  As with any Olympic sport, your project should be something that stretches your boundaries – it should push you to the limits of your knitting endurance.  You then sign up for a team on Ravelry and announce your project.  Several teams are taking members already.  I know the Yarn Harbor in Duluth is sponsoring a team, although as far as I know they haven’t released the details. yet. 

So what’s my project?  I’m not totally sure yet.  I think it would be awesome to spin my own yarn for the project though!  Maybe out of this…

It’s beautiful roving from Cloudlover Fiber


Otherwise the green that you see above is actually green and chocolate brown striped Louet Corriedale that I Navajo Plyed. I just finished that last night and I can’t wait to see how much yardage I have.  It’s not all that even in thickness, it ranges from worsted to fingering weight.  I think I spun it over such a long period of time that my technique has changed.  I do have roving left over, but I’m not sure I can replicate what I’ve done.  Plus, I’m anxious to get on to the Cloudlover Fiber.  So, if you have any pattern ideas for something I can knit out of my crazy handspun, let me know!

The Spin Doctor

I’ve been putting a good spin on things around the Big Blue House lately. 

Last week I took a beginning spinning class at Yarn Harbor.  I’ve been spinning for about 6 months and am fairly confident in my spinning, however, after taking a class at Sock Summit in August I felt like there was more that I should know.  So, when in doubt, start at the beginning.  I picked up a couple of good tips and got some reassurance that what I was doing was on the right track. 

This weekend I decided to Navajo ply some yarn that I had spun quite a while back.  It’s merino in alternating long stretches of brown and olive green.  My intention was that I’d make self-striping sock yarn out of it.  It’s been sitting on the bobbin for several months now.  Since I’ve spun this, I’ve taken two classes where the instructors have told me to spin a tighter twist.  Ummm… yeah, now I understand why.  When you ply 2 strands together (this makes the yarn stronger and more durable), you ply in the opposite direction from your regular spinning.  If you’re spinning the original yarn (called a single) clockwise, then you ply in the counter clockwise direction.  When I went to ply the yarn, it was so underspun that the yarn just went *poof* in my hands.  It dissolved back into fluffy roving.  So… what to do?  Any suggestions?  I’m thinking about just running it back through the wheel and adding more spin to it.  Will that work?

While I think on that, I’ve also been spinning some superwash merino.  It’s from Kitchen Sink Dyeworks.  I bought it at Sock Summit, so I’m pretty sure that I’m attributing it to the correct dyer.  I do remember that they gave me a Voodoo Donut while I was shopping.  I thought that was brave, handing a customer a Coco Puffs donut while she’s fondling your wool.  By the way, her seacell merino would make an awesome gift for any knitter.  It’s an amazing price for seacell.  And it’s purrr-ty!