Cowl Scarf in the Making

Halfway through this reversible cowl scarf. I went pattern-less and am trying a few different things for shape, size, length...you know, the whole thing! I love how it is knitting up. One side has separated ridges and the other has connected ridges.

reversible black cowl scarf / warporweft.com

We had to take our cat to the emergency room last week and I grabbed this for something to do while we waited. It turned out to be perfect because it is an easy knit and the thick yarn is a bonus. I am so glad to get back to working on it after working on the sweater for so long because it is for me, and I rarely knit for myself these days. 

Seattle Weavers' Guild Sale

The 2014 Seattle Weavers' Guild Sale is not to be missed! With over 3,500 locally handmade pieces, it's great for early holiday shopping, finding a treasure for yourself or your home, or finding a bit of inspiration.  It's this weekend in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. I hope to see you there!

Seattle Weavers' Guild Annual Sale

Locally handmade and unique:

scarves ● jewelry ● garments ● hats ● tapestries ● rugs ● blankets ● art

children's items ● yarn ● pillows 
 linens ● fiber ● gifts
and more 

swg-sale.com 

Parking and entrance to the sale are free. Proceed to the back of the parking lot for entry. 

Check out more items on the Seattle Weavers' Guild Facebook page

Work on Photo: Scarf by Teresa Ruch; Basket by Marilyn Moore; Waterside by Gay Jensen

Yellow Brick Road Cardi

In the home stretch of this sweater. It's always such a relief when the body is finished and I can move on to the sleeves. This pattern has been a delight to knit - the Yellow Brick Road Cardi. It's probably not best for an absolute beginner as it is written in sections without rows and requires some skills that are not exactly "knitting 101", but it isn't that difficult either as it is knit from the top down in one piece except for the sleeves and button section. It was great to learn the "wrap and turn" short row technique as well as remember how to make one left and make one right without looking it up every time.

Yellow Brick Road Cardi Detail / warporweft.com

The yarn is from Hickory Hills Farm in Nelson, Wisconsin.  My good friend, Sarah, was given a bunch of skeins of this yarn when she worked for the farm owner.  She asked me to make something for her after I knit a sweater for her daughter last year. At first I was a bit wary of this yarn because I had never used anything other than commercial before and was not exactly sure about the weight or yardage, but I have been converted. And this yarn is thick enough to keep Sarah warm through a Wisconsin winter without being too bulky.  

My New Loom

I bought a full size loom!! It's a vintage Macomber 40 inch loom made in 1968. It only had one previous owner, is in incredible shape and I can't wait to use it. I also got a bunch of supplies - boats, shuttles, yarn, a bench and warp board.

40 inch Macomber Loom

The original owner wanted it to go to another loving home after sitting idle for many years. She emailed the Seattle Weavers' Guild and they put an announcement out to the membership and I got it! Now to figure out how to warp it...     

Fiber Farm Tour Weekend

When we saw that the weather forecast for last weekend called for absolutely perfect weather, we made a quick decision to get out of town and made a reservation at the Resort at Port Ludlow on the Olympic Peninsula. It was everything you would imagine about a small resort on a cove of Puget Sound: quiet, picturesque and good food. I was extra excited when I found out that our visit coincided with the Olympic Peninsula Fiber Farm Tour and Jefferson County Farm Tour

Resort at Port Ludlow / Olympic Peninsula on warporweft.com

Everyone was super friendly and happy to talk to us about their craft and raising sheep, alpacas and llamas at the six farms we visited. There was A LOT of fiber and now I am considering getting a spinning wheel or at least a spindle. If you have a recommendation, please let me know!

sheep at the fiber farm tour on warporweft.com

We purchased a felted Icelandic sheep pelt from Compass Rose Farms and the Dirt Rich School. The cat loves sleeping on it. 

Cat on sheep pelt on warporweft.com

We also purchased four skeins of hand-dyed wool/mohair blend yarn and two silk scarves that are felted with alpaca from Mystic Beach Studio. I can't wait to wear the scarves and knit something wonderful with the yarn. 

Yarn on warporweft.com

And the highlight of the weekend was meeting these piglets who were less than 12 hours old. So cute. Thanks to the folks at Dharma Ridge Farm for sharing them with us. 

piglets on warporweft.com

It was a great weekend. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, keep an eye out for the tour next year. 

Adventures in Yarn Farming

For a brief moment during my childhood, my grandfather owned a farm in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. It was great to play outside in the fresh air and learn about the hard work farm life requires. Ever since, I have been interested in farming. When I saw Adventures in Yarn Farming by Barbara Parry, I couldn't resist.

Adventures in Yarn Farming / warporweft.com

The book is a wonderful overview of what sheep farming for yarn production entails. It covers an entire year in a season-by-season account of what she does to care for her sheep and farm without going into too much detail. The information about lamb birthing was particularly interesting. There are plenty of adorable pictures of sheep and the book also includes a few projects for knitters, weavers and yarn dying enthusiasts. Barbara keeps a blog called Sheepgal, which is very interesting, but infrequently updated as she seems to be busy with her farm. I recommend checking out the book and blog if you are interested in the fiber production process. I was inspired to pick up another, more detailed book about sheep farming. 

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Big Wool Cable Hat

Hats, scarves and winter coats are my favorite items in my wardrobe and one of the main reasons why I love fall and winter so much (and pots of chili, apple cider, pies and all the other delicious treats available at this time of year, of course!). I could wear fun outer wear every day with jeans and a basic sweater or long sleeve shirt. I also really like Rowan yarns and patterns. They are some of the most current when it comes to knitting fashion patterns.

big wool cable hat with pom pom / warporweft.com

Last winter, when I finished the Rowan Tala Hat I really loved the large cable, but the hat was a bit too Portland for my taste and it did not fit right as it rose up a bit on my very straight hair. So I gave the hat to a friend who has wavy hair (she loves it) and I made a few modifications. First, I cut the ribbed brim to 2 inches as the fold over was a bit too thick for me. Second, I only knit three total repeats of the cable.     

purple pom pom cable hat / warporweft.com

I also added a HUGE pom-pom although the hat doesn't necessarily need it and you could skip it if that isn't your thing. Now the hat has the cable that I love and fits my head better. This hat would look great in red, white, green or any color that you love. It is also a great hat for a beginning knitter who wants to learn cables as the thick yarn easily stays on the cable hook and the knitting goes quickly.

 

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Ribbed Hat

Even though we are on the last leg of summer here in the Pacific Northwest, I could not resist making this scrumptious winter hat. I used Knit Collage Swirl Day Dream, which is a bulky weight yarn with strands of gold flecked throughout. It's a super easy knit, even for beginners. It took me about two hours to complete the hat.  

knit collage ribbed hat / warporweft.com

I used a US size 13 needle that was 16 inches long and cast on 40 stitches and knit one, purl one until it measured approximately 9 inches. Please note that It is important to make sure that you have an even number of stitches if you are knitting in the round because you want your rows to line up. Then I knit two together for the next two rows, broke the yarn and pulled it through the remaining stitches.

easy knit ribbed hat / warporweft.com

The link below does not have this color, but has many others from Knit Collage. You can also visit your local yarn shop or call So Much Yarn to see if they have this color. I want to make this hat in ALL the colors, so you really can't go wrong. Enjoy!  

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Wedding Paper Crafts

You may have noticed a gap in posts here on Warp or Weft and it was for good reason - we got married!! And then went on a two week honeymoon to Oahu and Maui. We had a lot of family and friends in town, so I did not get to do much knitting or weaving, but we had a few handmade items at our wedding and I wanted to share the paper crafts with you.

DIY Save the Date / wedding crafts / warporweft.com

The first is our Save the Dates. We were inspired by a DIY tutorial on Oh So Beautiful Paper and made a couple of tweaks for personalization. We designed our own Save the Date and return address stamps and had them made by Impress. The process was easy and the stamps were reasonably priced. After you purchase the size you want on the website, you send a PDF via email and wait a week or so for your stamps. We made a mistake by not ensuring the font on the address stamp was large enough to easily read after embossing and we had to order a second stamp, so be careful about that.  

hand dyed ribbon / diy wedding paper crafts / warporweft.com

We purchased the rest of the items we needed from Paper Source: A7 note cards in night, A7 envelopesstamp pad, embossing powder, embossing heat tool, envelope liner templategold glitter washi tape, gold glitter wrapping paper (for the envelope liners), and heavy duty, double sided tape. You will also need non-stick craft scissors, a pencil or pen and we used a small paint brush to remove excess embossing powder from the card before using the heat tool. The guest addresses were handwritten on the envelopes with a glittery gold gel pen. Once we received all of the supplies, it took us a little over two weeks to make 70 Save the Dates working mostly in the evenings. 

DIY wedding welcome bag / warporweft.com

The second project is our Welcome Boxes. We had help assembling these last minute as there was a drama with my wedding dress being ruined in alterations four days before the wedding and we were running behind schedule. My mom, niece and Aunt Patty were super stars with the crafting on the Wednesday before the wedding (we can't thank them enough!). For the welcome boxes, we bought A7 night colored boxes from Paper Source, used leftover gold glitter wrapping paper from the Save the Dates and got a "Welcome" stamp from Paper Source and Space Needle stamp from Impress. The stamps were embossed directly onto the box with the same gold stamp pad and glitter embossing powder that we used for the Save the Dates. The glitter paper was cut into strips and taped on with heavy duty double sided tape.  We wanted the boxes to be a nod to the Pacific Northwest as 75% of our guests were from out of town so we included a walking map to local attractions, a Seattle postcard, lavender sachets from Purple Haze Lavender Farm on the Olympic Peninsula, a delicious chocolate bar from Seattle Chocolates and a pen that doubles as a stylus from Microsoft. We also purchased copies of Good Night Seattle for the children. The Welcome Boxes were a HUGE hit with our guests. 

DIY table numbers / wedding / warporweft.com

The third DIY handmade item that we made for our wedding is the Table Numbers. These were super easy. We purchased table number tents and number stencils from Paper Source and ordered ribbon the same ribbon that was used for our invitations from Artemis and tied it in a similar fashion at the top of the table number. We used the number stencils to cut out the same gold wrapping paper that we used for the Save the Dates and Welcome Boxes so everything tied together nicely. 

 

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Finished Clapotis

Finally finished the Clapotis! It was pretty easy once I figured out the beginning - the third time's a charm as they say - and I quite enjoyed dropping the stitches every 12 rows. A lot of people complain online that knitting a Clapotis is "boring" and they did not finish, but I found that it went relatively quickly and I mostly knit while watching the Tour de France. I can see where it gets a bit tedious, but the decreases were fun as you could really see it coming together. I had a mini celebration with a cupcake when I got to the final dropped stitch. 

Clapotis / knitting / warporweft.com

The pattern is free and available on knitty.com (it's right on the webpage; you don't even need to download it). I used Blue Heron Rayon Metallic Yarn in plum and a size 6 needle. There are so many other great colors of the Blue Heron Metallic Yarn that you really can't go wrong and you could also use another yarn if you prefer. With the help of the ladies at So Much Yarn, I used a modified pattern as follows: Section 2 repeat five times (instead of 6); Section 3, repeat 11 times; and Section 4, repeat 5 times. The modification was done so I could make it a one skein scarf. Other than these modifications, I knit the pattern as in the original.

Clapotis / knit / warporweft.com

I am giving this to my mom as a present for our wedding. She loves sparkles and open knit so I hope she will like it! 

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Sheep Baby Hat

This adorable baby sheep hat - or toque if you are Canadian like my husband - was one of my most favorite baby gifts that I have ever made. Actually, I've knit several of them with different color brims: purple for a girl, blue for a boy and green when they did not know the gender. There are a lot of great color options if you use the recommended Cascade Superwash 220 and you need so little of the color for the bottom that it is a good use of leftover Cascade scrap yarn!   

Sheep hat / easy knit / baby hat / warporweft.com

The hardest part about this hat is learning trinity stitch, which isn't really that hard. Here's a brief tutorial that may help you out (keep in mind that I knit Continental so if it looks funny, that's why):

FIRST ROW: Purl the first row if you are knitting in the round. Knit the first row if you are knitting flat.

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SECOND ROW: Now the complicated part! In the first stitch you knit, then purl in the SAME STITCH, and knit again in the SAME STITCH. Here's what it looks like:

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trinity stitch tutorial / knit / warporweft.com
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1) Knit one stitch as you normally would, but do not pull the stitch off the needle at the end; 2) Move the yarn to the front and purl in the same stitch that you just knit into; 3) Move the yarn to the back and knit again in the same stitch that you just knit and purled into; 4) Carefully slide the stitch off the needle. There should now be three stitches on your right needle and only one removed from your left needle. 5) For the next stitch, knit 3 stitches together. 

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Repeat for the rest of the row. Now you can start to see the pattern emerging. Look at the group of three, then one, then three, then one alternating through the row.   

trinity stitch tutorial / knit / warporweft.com

THIRD ROW: Purl if you are knitting in the round. Knit if you are knitting flat.

trinity stitch tutorial / knitting / warporweft.com

FOURTH ROW: Knit the first three stitches together. Then knit, purl, knit into the next stitch. Continue that way to the end of the row. Note that this row has the same stitches as the second row, but in the opposite order. Repeat these four rows for the trinity stitch pattern.

trinity stitch tutorial / knitting / warporweft.com

Double pointed needles are your friend when it comes to knitting baby hats, but you could probably use a short circular needle (I have not tried it, but imagine it would be difficult when you get to the small number of stitches to decrease the top). Don't be afraid to try double pointed needles. I used size 6 double pointed needles for the sheep baby hat. 

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The pattern comes from the book 60 Quick Baby Knits and is totally worth paying for the whole book if you knit a lot of baby items. I have knit several other items out of this book. All are fairly easy and pretty quick to knit depending on your skill level. The first baby sweater I made was from the book, it took a couple weeks, but it was so cute and I made it in a larger size for a first birthday, too.  

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Dash & Albert Woven Rugs and a Little Lavender

One of my favorite things about living in the Pacific Northwest is the accessibility of the lavender farms and the ease of buying a lot of lavender infused honey. Adding a drizzle of lavender honey is the perfect something extra that my fruit and Greek yogurt needs. I also love to add a tiny bit to hot tea. Two of my favorite lavender farms are Purple Haze (their teas are some of my favorite, too) and Woodinville Lavender. I am drinking a cup of lavender tea right now.

lavender farm / warporweft.com

Over the weekend I discovered Dash & Albert rugs. We needed a small-ish rug to cover an area of the carpet next to the kitchen that our kitten keeps scratching (we've tried everything to make him use an actual scratcher and he refuses, but that's another story all together). On Sunday we wandered into Three Birds Home & Gifts on Queen Anne and found a large basket of affordable, handwoven Dash & Albert rugs and we were IN LOVE.

woven rug.jpg

We purchased this beauty and, even though the tag recommends dry cleaning, we wash it on gentle and dry it in the dryer on air dry and it's held up so far.  If you are looking for a reasonably priced woven rug, check out the Dash & Albert website.