Sunday, December 20, 2015

Just Knitting Video Book Review of Cold Weather Crochet by Marly Bird

Thank you for accepting my invitation to view this new post.

Today, I have a brief Book Review of Cold Weather Crochet, by Marly Bird, published by as of this month.

Here is the link to listen to me interview her on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird. Yes, that would be me interviewing her on her program! Here is the link to check out the patterns listed in Ravelry.

This is an unsolicited opinion, mine, of a new book. You can find me in Ravelry as wearingpurple, in Twitter as wearingpurple1 and I have a public group in Facebook called Pursuit of Happy Knits

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

About a shawl

About a shawl...

Recently, I finished a shawl that I wish to tell you about.

My story begins is a yarn. Prior to attending Stitches West 2015 in Santa Clara, CA, Dizzy Blonde Studios, as a good vendor does, was letting their audience know what they would be bringing to offer in the Marketplace.

Also known as torture.

One of the colorway I was especially attracted to because it was various shades of purple, so I headed over to the booth at my first opportunity. I was standing in the middle of the aisle and could see the skein I came to find hanging on the back wall of the booth. And hanging next to it was this....

This is their Lambie Toes, in colorway I Aim to Misbehave, inspired by the short-lived tv show, Firefly. The colors are a deep peacock blue and a dark grape with a bit of blank to keep them apart. It called to me from it's place high on the wall at the back of the booth, I fought my way through the crowd and reached for it like the prize on the shelf.

I carried it home to Idaho, tucked away in my suitcase which I never let out of my sight.  And then I put it on my shelf and waited for the project it was meant to be to speak to me.

Not the first skein of yarn of Dizzy Blonde that's been in that holding pattern. Last year, I bought the 2014 Knit Dizzney Skein, inspired by Lilo & Stitch, another lovely mix of purple and turquoise blue. I also purchased the 2015 Knit Dizzney Skein, inspired by Tinkerbell, a mix of cyan blue and lime green with sparkle tossed in (as you would expect). Nothing seems worthy of the Dizzney skeins, especially the glittery one.

Keep in mind, I am not a yarny. Like foodies, who knows where their food came from and all about the perfect ingredients it can be combined, a yarny can give you a complete history of the fiber they work with. I can't name the sheep this wool came from. I have been knitting since I was a teen-ager, close to 40 years, but it has only been in the last ten years or so that I've had opportunity to knit with wool.

Here's what I do know about this yarn: It's beautiful. It's a fingering weight blend of 75% wool and 25% nylon (commonly used for socks). This particular skein has a bit of halo or fuzz to it, so I'm being careful to wash in in something that doesn't make the halo turn to pills. Dizzy Blonde Studios is a small business, I have not been there, but I imagine it's done in a kitchen with kettles and other tools brought out on weekends and other free time just for the purpose. I don't know the names of the dyes or her process of getting the colors she does but the color saturation on this still melts me like it did the day I saw it in the booth.

Somebody else who is a fan of Dizzy Blonde Studios is Erica Hernandez. She admits that the geekery names of the Dizzy Blonde colorways get her attention. So I know I'm not the only one. The one that inspired her to create a design and write a pattern was Sad Little King named for a character portrayed by a favorite actor. She created a shawl shaped to wrap around the shoulders, with tri-angles. The pattern is fairly easy, mostly stockinette, garter and rib stitching. The edge is attractive, it creates a mock-pleated ruffle. Here is her pattern picture of the shawl from the back:

Here is mine, fresh of the needles before blocking or ends woven it, so you can see the finished not-quite-square shape:

... and here is the finished piece on, worn backwards so I can pretend the colors are leading me astray.

I will be mailing this shawl to Dizzy Blonde Studios, so she can display in her booth at Stitches West 2016 if she likes. If you'll be attending the event, I hope you'll stop by and see it, so that you can see what I mean about the colors.