#TestMyYarn and the 1,000 sale

A few days ago I told you about being about to reach my 1,000 sale! Well actually I was a little optimistic there, turns out Etsy actually means “sold items” where it says “sales” so even though I have reached more than a 1,000 sales as of now, I’m still very far from actually having 1,000 orders! My apologies for the misunderstanding. I did however promise a gift for the 1,000 order and a draw for another lucky client and those will be maintained. So the first prize will go to the person who actually purchased my 1,000 item! This person will receive a skein of yarn, she will be able to choose from hand spun or hand dyed and I do hope she will enjoy that.

As for the draw I did that using www.random.org And the lucky client will receive a set of stitch markers and she will have a choice of stitch markers for knitting or locking markers that can be used both for knitting and crochet.

I will of course post pictures of the prizes once my lucky clients will have made their choices.

Thats all for today, take care and have a great week 🙂

Sock knitting can be truly addictive

Hi there, do yo knit socks? If yes, do you just knit for yourself or do you also knit for friends and family? And if you answered no, why not? Is it the thought of turning the heel that holds you back? Or the idea of wielding 5 dpns or 2 circulars or you just haven’t quite got the hang of magic loop knitting? Ok I agree that sock knitting is not for the novice knitter but you do not have to be an expert either. If you have done some knitting in the round then you are good to go. Just be aware that once you do try your hand at sock knitting you might just become addicted. Some knitters only knit socks or mostly only socks. I do enjoy knitting socks and wearing hand knit socks at home and lucky for me my oldest daughter loves wearing hand knit socks at home and so do some of my friends so I can carry on without worrying about not having anyone to wear my knits. When I began knitting socks I used 5 dpns because that is how I learned to knit in the round and I still use that method though probably mostly when knitting a rather complicated pattern and I’m not going to do 2 at a time or if I feel like using my Signature Needle Arts dpns otherwise I’ll use one long circular for the magic loop method. And when the pattern is very simple, I will do two at a time to be sure there will not be any Second Sock Syndrome. Here are some pictures of my latest pairs of socks photo 2 (11) IMG_2694   IMG_2035 These are knitwith my own hand dyed yarns IMG_2545 knitcircus socks 28jan These two are knit with yarn from the Knitcircus gradient yarn club photo (14) These are from the book Scandinavian Slippers and Socks which you can find on Amazon IMG_2732 These are my very first pair of socks knit using my own hand spun yarn and the pattern is called Hornets and is for sale on Ravelry Now if you are a beginner I would recommend diving in using a simple pattern such as The After Thought Heel Sock by Laura Linneman which you can find for free on Ravelry. I just recently discovered this pattern and subsequently this new heel technique which I find brilliant and so far I’m on my third pair using that technique. Basically you just knit a tube in the round for an x amount of inches, then decrease for the toe. Once your sock is “done” you pick up your heel stitches and knit those in sort of the same way as you did the toes and voilà! Here are some pictures I took when making one of these: IMG_2758 Here I’m at the point where I need to knit half the sock stitches onto a waste yarn and then put the stitches back on my needle to continue knitting as before IMG_2760 Here my sock is almost done and I have just picked up my heel stitches from the waste yarn knitcircus socks 28jan And here you can see the finished socks and notice the decrease is the same on toes and heels. So this is I think THE pattern for any hesitant new sock knitter, just fun enough to get you hooked and not too complicated. Now you’ll notice that I did these using the magic loop method which I love when knitting simple sock patterns and if you are thinking about learning the magic loop for sock knitting there is a book that is a MUST BUY for you and you can find on Amazon and it is called 2-at-a-time socks by Melissa Morgan Oaks. It has clear, photographed instructions for each step and I used those for a long time and still sometimes go to it as I’m sometimes confused when casting on for 2 at a time. So this is definitely a must read if you want to learn this fun technique for sock knitting. She also did a second book which is specifically for 2 at a time TOE UP socks and that book is equally important in your library as you definitely will want to know how to knit toe up as well as cuff down socks. This second book is called Toe-Up-2-at-a-Time Socks and can also be found on Amazon. Now if you are a more visual learner you can find a large number of video tutorials on Youtube that show this method and here is one tutorial that I find helpful and it is by Very Pink Knits I hope this little post will have inspired you to start knitting socks and if you already are then maybe it has inspired you to learn a new technique. I’d love to hear from you, are you a sock knitter? Do you have a favorite technique for the heel? Do you use 5 or 4 dpns or 2 circulars or 1 long circular for magic loop? Do you have a favorite book that teaches that particular technique, is there a Youtube channel you subscribe to that has great tutorials and you would like to share with us? Do you have pictures you’d like to show us?

And don’t forget the #TestMyYarn campaign is still ongoing until Feb 8th – all orders placed during this time period will receive a free mini skein of my yarn, either hand spun or hand dyed. You can check out my shop on Etsy and/or my new eshop

That’s all for today. Take care and I look forward to reading your comments, until then happy crafting 🙂

Sock Clubs – are you into them and why?

Hi there, so as you see from the topic, today I’m going to talk about Sock Clubs or Yarn clubs. These are mostly run by indie dyers and run for a period of months, often 3 months or maybe a year with a new shipment every 2 months for example. Some include “just” the yarn, others include yarn and patterns and possibly some other related goodies as well. As many indie dyers before me, I have been wondering about those and should I launch one of my own? Would that be a good way to promote my work and my yarn? How should I organise the club? What type of yarn would I use? How many participants/clients would I need for this to actually be financially worth the effort? Lots of questions and so far no definitive answer yet. So I thought maybe writing about these would help me reach a decision and most of all, maybe some of you would be willing to chime in and give me your side of the story.

So personally, I’m a member of the Knitcircus Matching Socks Gradient Yarn Club – the pay as you go version. I chose that version because that way I do not have to pay a years worth of hand dyed yarn and also because in the pay as you go, I have the possibility of not continuing if I so choose (I think). So before each shipment she sends me an invoice via Paypal which makes this easier financially speaking for me at least. Why did I choose Knitcircus? Well because I’m familiar with the work of Jalaa Spiro, both as a dyer and as a knitwear designer. Also she offered a “gradient” sock yarn club which I believe is quite special as gradient dyeing is way more work than self striping. So far I have received 2 shipments and have completed 1 pair and am currently working on the second paire. Here, take a look,

IMG_2545 My first pair

IMG_2759And this months yarn with its little list of pattern ideas and tape measure that were included as well. I’ll be showing you a photo of the second pair later, so far they are looking good. They are gradient of course but not so stripey as the first pair, this time I’d say there are blocks of colour and not stripes which is very nice too.

I enjoy the pleasure of knowing I’m going to be receiving a new yarn and that I have no idea what colours it will be and just that each time I’ll be able to make beautiful socks with my new yarn. So I’m planning on continuing this club for a little longer. It is difficult to resist the pleasure once you get used to the concept 🙂

So what about you? Are you part of a sock/yarn club and if so are you enjoying it? Would you be interested in joining (a new) one? What criteria make or brake a good sock/yarn club for you? I’d be really interested to hear from you on the matter.

That’s all for today. Take care and have a wonderful and crafty week 🙂