Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Graduation & Pink Panther Socks

My apologies for the lack of posts in a while.

Rest assured, I keep knitting! and knitting, and knitting, and knitting.

It's my meditation and what keeps me sane.

The reason behind me playing blog-hooky is due to the insanity that insues when one has a child graduating from high school.

These are my two babies. Big C is almost 22. She graduated in 2013 and is still in school (in WI). Little C is almost 19 and just finished high school. He will be leaving our nest in September to attend a college across the river in St Paul.

Mr. Smarty Pants plans to study Actuarial Science. (Google it. I took two full years of Calculus in college, and his class load makes my head spin.)

On to knitting stuff!

I have several projects to share. Too much for one post so it is my plan to post every few days in the coming weeks instead of one huge post with 5,000,000 pictures.

Pink Panther Socks - Woop woop!

60sts, size US1 circulars (Carbons - the cable-to-needle transition is starting to bug me), slip stitich heel flap on half the stitiches, and a kitchnered toe.

These are from a skein of Desert Vista Dye Works that I bought three or four years ago.

I had a bad experience with a black stripe skein from DVD (major bleeding when soaked) so I was afraid to invest the time into another skein. A few weeks ago this pink & tan combo was calling to me so I dove right in.

I love how they turned out. I haven't washed them yet, but will watch them closely in the sink this time. Should be fine.

If you follow me on Instagram - @willowponddyeworks - you know I have several other projects in various stages of completion. Don't we all...

Linking up with Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO this afternoon.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I can't stop...

Hey! How goes it?

I've been knitting on my Hill Top Shawl nonstop for about a week.

I can't put it down.

These two skeins of fingering with stelina were a dye experiment from over a month ago.

The base color is a periwinkle blue with speckles of rusty orange, evergreen, fuscia pink, and deep purple.  

My new favorite needles are Knit Picks Caspian Interchangables. They're smooth, but not too slick. My perfect happy medium between bamboo and metal needle tips.

OK. Moving on. What have I been up to...?

I had a Birthday. 

 My knitting buddy sent me a couple Birthday gifts. 

LOVE this bag. Too funny.

And I've been ogling these for months now. Thanks D, you're the best! 

Our flowering crab bloomed just in time for Mother's Day.

And made a yummy salad to share with my Mom!

Hope you all had a great week. Looking forward to all your progress.

Linking up with Nicole's KCCO and Ginny's Yarn Along.



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Knitting Central & Shop Update

I don't have much knitting progress to share this week. A favorite cousin of mine has a birthday coming up and I have something on the needles for him, but he may be reading this sharing just yet.

I'm sitting on my couch, contemplating my fate, drinking a glass (or three) of sangria, thinking of what to blog about and a light twinkled in my field of vision to my left.

We have lived in our house for 15 years and I still haven't painted our front room. I LOVE how the light dances through the trees in the Spring and Fall.

Note: Yarn is everywhere.

Below: This is the coffee table in front of "my" end of the sofa, i.e. knitting central.

Note: Yarn Everywhere.

Below: These two skeins of my own hand dyed have been calling to me from the Bird Leg basket on the side table in the picture above. I fully intend to start a Hill Top Shawl with it this evening.

...Or fall asleep on said sofa while Big Daddy watches hockey.

This is a bag I saw at Target this afternoon. I took a picture of it and sent it to Big Daddy & the C's, hoping they will wrap it up for my Birthday (Friday) or perhaps Mother's Day (Sunday in the US).

I had a customer order to fill so out came the dye pots last Saturday.

This is my favorite skein of the batch. The colorway is Moroccan Tiles. 75yds of bulky weight SW Merino/Nylon. Super Yummy.

I understand fully bulky weight yarns are not popular for Summer knitting. Small skeins like these (there are 3 others in the shop) are perfect for a set of fingerless mitts. Each mitt is a ONE HOUR knit. Perfect for the beach.

My second favorite is this grey, blue & yellow self striping. I am obsessed with grey. The blue is speckled, the grey is tonal, this skein is too much fun! This one is called Captain's Quarters.

I dyed a couple pairs of Sport weight yarn. For sale separately or as a pair.

Four different Bulky weight skeins.

And here are the self striping.

I've been doing all of my cooling, hanging, drying and re-skeining outside. These skeins SMELL FANTASTIC. Nothing compares to Minnesota fresh air.

Thanks for stopping by to visit!

Linking up with Nicole's KCCO and Ginny's Yarn Along tonight.



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Socks, Spices & Prom

Good morning!

I have a couple pairs of completed socks to share with you this morning.

This was a skein of Three Irish Girls that I had purchased in Madison over Easter weekend. (56st stockinette socks on size US2 needles)

And again, while I am not in love with how it striped, I am thrilled with how the colors flashed at the gusset. I think it looks like a flame.

My other finished pair is in my own hand dyed. I'm very pleased with them! (60 st stockinette socks on US1 needles)

Again, I am so fascinated by how the dye pattern affects the striping/pooling in the sock.

I've switched to a different sock base for my shop, but still love how this fingering base lays so flat and smooth even before blocking.

Many of you know my husband is the cook at our house.

He has quite the selection of herbs and spices. Penzey's is his favorite place to shop in the whole world.

This was one drawer next to the range that was jammed with jars of yummy stuff, but very disorganized and he was having trouble finding things quickly while cooking.

I found these cool jars on clearance at Crate & Barrel online.

And so began the transformation.

I bought 5 dozen jars and there are only 12 or 14 left. His collection now encompasses TWO drawers and over 50 jars. I ordered oval labels too. I'll update you on this in a few weeks after everything has been labelled.He is a very happy husband! Squee!

Our daughter calls him The Golden Child.

It's hard to believe our baby boy is this big. He graduates from high school in June, and will leave us as empty nesters in September. I got a quick pick before he ran off to Senior Prom last Saturday.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit and a catch-up this morning!

Linking up with Nicole's KCCO and Ginny's Yarn Along.

Have a great week!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hospitals, Socks & a Shop Update!


My apologies for going missing for a few weeks.

My Mom had her right hip replaced on March 29th. The surgery itself went very well. Her TCU plan did not. I spent 3 days with her at her home after she was released from the hospital, and have either visited or taken her to PT every other day since.

Did I mention she lives 45 miles away?

Its been a rough few weeks. We'll both be fine, but it will be a long haul. She has three weeks of PT left before she heads back to work.

Fingers crossed!


I found an absolutely LOVELY yarn shop right around the corner from the hospital, Linden Yarn & Textiles.

The staff is very friendly and welcoming. I was allowed to walk around, touch anything I wanted, without anyone trying to hold my hand. 

Even though I dye most of my own yarn, I still purchase a ton of it from other sources. I dissect every skein. (These pictures aren't fantastic. I took them on my Mom's hospital bed.)

I'm absoluteley fascinated with how a hand painted skein like this comes out in a project!

The color doesn't create any pattern, and one end of the skein was darker than the other.

The weather turned cold, wet, and chilly here yesterday. I wore these last night & even slept in them! Cozy toes!

This second pair is on my own hand dyed. This is a skein that I chose not to sell because it had a white spot in it where no dye etched.

I'm almost finished with the second sock and I still can't find the "bald spot".

To many knitters, stitch markers often make the project 'that much more fun'. My very good friend, Dee, made these for me. I'm a HUGE Wizard Of Oz fan. She made me an entire set of WOO themed stitch markers for Christmas. What you see here are Dorothy and the Hot Air Balloon. She's the Best!

My third pair of socks is in a skein of Three Irish Girls in the Malibu colorway that I purchased at The Wisconsin Craft Market in Madison, WI.

I LOVE how the colors flashed here at the gusset. The rest of the sock...Meh. I like how it stripes a bit, but I don't like the 'blue dot' in the middle.

My standard sock is 60 sts on size US1 needles but I wanted these to be a little lighter for Spring/Summer. What I came up with is a 56st sock on US2 needle and they're perfect! Very light & airy. I'm very pleased.


I haven't dyed in quite a while and the itch was getting pretty bad.

Diving in to this Indie Dyer scene is a little scary. I spent the winter experimenting with possible bases and found a domestic distributor that I'm very happy with. Their wool sources are very reputable with a focus on small farms and a co-op type community.

There are three new bases in the shop (that I haven't 'named' just yet). Etsy link button is top/right.

Two tweeds in Mountain Stream and Sidewalk Chalk.

Three hand painted/variegated in 75/25. Colorways are Lava Flow, Pretty Bird, and Coral Reef.

Three One of a Kind skeins that I have NO IDEA how to duplicate. Also 75/25 skeins in Thistle Grey, Indigo Velvet, and Punked Parrot. These were experiments with metalized dyes, acid levels, set times, AND SPECKLES!

The last four are 75/20 with 5% Stellina in Morning Wildflowers, Cool Waters, Atomic Tulips, and Fairy Sunset.

If any of these are out of stock and you are interested please feel free to let me know. With the exception of the three OOAK skeins, all of these colorways are repeatable.

OR, if you would prefer the colorway in a self-striping...we can talk. It's definitely do-able I just don't have any skeins warped for self-striping at this time.

Sheesh this was a long post! Thanks for toughing it out with me. It feels good to be back!

Linking up with Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO today!

Thanks so much for stopping by,


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Purple Bulky Mitts

The Spring Bug is still with me. I need it to be

Our MN weather can't make up its mind. 35 degrees on day, 65 the next, then back down to 40...


A few weeks ago I took some time to test out some new (to me) yarn bases.

The blend of colors when speckling and smooshing is SO rewarding! 

You never really know what is going to happen in the steamer. Its like MAGIC.

The skeins were pretty small, only 75yds, so I didn't want to risk an unfinished hat.

These knit up in about an hour a piece on size 8 DPNs. 

The creamy vanilla color pooled in one palm,

and the dark purple pooled in the other.

I've worn them a couple times at work to keep my hands warm while typing. The warmth factor is unmatched. The mitts are thick, but flexible and forgiving.

The 1Ply base blooms and I can tell they will shed and pill quite a bit, but there were no separations in either skein and it absorbed the dye easily.

I will keep it on my 'maybe' list for adding to the shop later in the year. I don't anticipate selling much bulky weight yarn this time of year.

Let me know what you think. I don't knit many things with bulky yarn so I'm interested in everyone's opinion. Should I look for longer base skeins? What yardage is preferred? What do bulky-yarn-knitters look for? Dark colors, muted, brights, etc?

Linking up with Nicole's KCCO and Ginny's Yarn Along this week. I can't wait so see your stuff!