Crafty Stories

I like to tell stories through the creative arts. I may be slightly obsessed with books, movies, TV shows, yarn and fiber. Wanna hang out?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Knits for Men

Hello, and welcome back for another edition of "Jess's Holiday Knit Suggestions" here at Storied Yarns Central!

This week I've been thinking about what I want to make for the men in my life this year for the holidays, and I confess I've been a bit stuck at times. Most of the women in my life are happy to own a variety of scarves, hats, mittens and gloves. My husband, on the other hand, has only ever let me knit him ONE scarf and he only ever wears that ONE scarf and he doesn't see the point of owning two (or, heaven forbid, several). Ugh, what's a knitter to do?

In case you're in my boat, here are some pattern suggestions for the men on your knitted gift list. These patterns are all free, and they all work with 150 yards (or less than that) of worsted or bulky weight yarn. Maybe, just maybe, your guys will love these so much they won't mind finding room for them in their wardrobes! ;)

The scarf my husband let me knit for him was solid black, and very basic; it was, essentially, the same as this Basket Weave Scarf pattern. It wasn't the world's most exciting knit, but it was fairly simple to follow the pattern without having to refer back to it all the time, and if my picky husband likes it then I'm fairly sure yours will, too! Here's a picture of the one I made:

This year, the husband says he wants a hat. I'll have to get the yarn for it (I know; weird, right? I'm an indie dyer who has to buy yarn to make her husband a hat, but he only wants solid black and it's easier for me to buy plain black yarn as it is to dye it), but I'm already perusing the patterns. I really love this Antler Hat; it's got nice cables (which I've never quite tackled but I'm willing to try) and it's part of the Pacific Knits collection which I LOVE. (Please note: the hat pattern is free, the whole collection is not.) I also like that the Antler hat comes with a fold-up brim so in case it's not quite the right length when I finish it, it will still probably work out.

I might also just go with the Brother-in-Law Basketweave Hat so it will match his scarf. :)

If you prefer to warm their hands (you know, warm hands = warm heart, right?), fingerless gloves are always a nice gift. I made a fairly boring pair for my dad a few holidays back when I was still a newbie knitter, see?

He likes them because he can wear them when he goes shooting. If I were to make them over again I'd probably go with these Manly Mitts, because they have a little bit more style while still being understated. I really like them, actually - I wonder if I can get hubby to wear them? ;) If you're looking for a nice, basic pattern, it seems like the Fingerless Mittens with a Flap would be great for shoveling snow, driving around town or whatever else your man of choice might be doing outside at this time of the year

This year, I'm giving my dad a cowl, which should also come in handy while he's shooting. I just finished spinning a luxury merino/yak/silk blend for him - it's still hanging to dry on my yarn shelf:

When it's totally dry I'm going to knit it into the Wonky Cowl pattern, designed by my friend Brittany. My dad doesn't mind a little color in his knitwear so I think he will really like it.

In case you've been wanting to tackle your first pair of socks, this Easy Peasy Socks for First-Timers pattern works up quickly in worsted weight yarn to help you understand the basics of sock construction. Worsted weight socks might be a bit thick but they'd be great under a pair of boots this winter!

In case you have a man who's a little more adventurous and whimsical than my darling hubster, how about Invading Your Earspace? You can't go wrong with a hat full of space invaders, right? My husband has been joking around for years that he wants me to knit him a Beard Hat, and I'm telling you he'd better be careful what he wishes for because this might just be the year for it! ;)

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed my list of manly knitted gift ideas. In case you need some yarn, the Storied Yarns Shop is fully stocked and ready to serve. ;)

Happy Holidays!!



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quick Gifts to Knit or Crochet

Howdy! Long time, no post! Sorry about that. Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled programming ...

This is the time of the year when I mentally start to whittle down my Handmade Holiday List. You know, all those grand plans I had back in August seem maybe just a little too grand by November, so it's time to really figure out what I can and cannot accomplish between now and December 25th.

If you're feeling the holiday crunch like I am, I've put together a little list of gift knits (and crochet projects, too!) that seem like they wouldn't take too long to complete. They all use about a skein (or less than one skein) of worsted weight yarn. This way you get to make something special for a special recipient and keep your sanity: win-win!

Let's get started, shall we?

I love a good gender-neutral project; knit it up and keep it in your drawer so when you need a last-minute gift you've already got one! I think the Knotty but Nice hat pattern falls well into that category. Its all-over cable pattern adds interest whether you use a solid colored or variegated yarn and it would look equally snazzy on a man's head or a woman's. If you used a colorway like Walkers, this hat could easily go for either gender, too. After all, zombies are equal-opportunity killers. :)

"Walkers" on SW Merino Worsted

The Mustard Scarf by Jane Richmond is a pattern I've actually made myself. It looks particularly awesome in handspun, because the simple stitch pattern lets the yarn take center stage and the open, meshy style allows for differences in thickness without making the pattern seem off. This one's more for the women on your list than the men, but it's such a quick knit it'd be great for your kids' teachers! Here's a photo of mine:

I think this scarf would be gorgeous in my Goddess in the Storm or All Things Nice handspun; if that's not your thing, stay tuned as I've got several more skeins to add in this week!

I don't know about you, but when it starts to get chilly outside I grab a pair of fingerless gloves for use indoors and out! These Cozy Thermal Mitts do a fairly good job of straddling the gender gap, and at 110 yards for the small size you could actually get two of them out of a single skein of worsted weight yarn! Personally, a pair made in my new "Garden State" colorway would match almost anything I wear this winter (grey is definitely a staple color in my wardrobe), and it's a nicely neutral color palette to give as a gift to someone if you don't know all about their favorite colors.

If you have any babies on your gift list, these Ruth's Perfect Baby Booties would be an adorable and useful gift. Knit up a pair in superwash worsted weight yarn so Mom and Dad don't have to worry about hand washing on top of all the other Baby-induced chaos! :) Today I'm actually dyeing up several skeins of a brand new worsted weight (all-American, 100% merino, SUPER soft) yarn in my Nursery Rhymes colorways, too! That particular base won't be superwash but the hand washing is worth it to get yarn like this! Watch for news on that later in the week. ;)

This "Josh Lyman" colorway would be perfect for a baby boy!

Sometimes you may not know accurate sizing for a recipient on your list, so this Cabled iPad cozy or these Leg Warmers come to the rescue! Both of these gifts also come with the added bonus of being useful for any teens or tweens you might be making gifts for this year. Try a cozy in Mr. President for the guys on your list or Lady Bianca leg warmers for the girls!

If you're attending a holiday party, you might want to bring along a Hostess gift. How about a wine bottle cozy? If you use my Grapes of Wrath or Mr. D yarns you can incorporate the theme right into the yarn! Another hostess gift could be a pair of handmade slippers! I'm hoping to crochet up three pairs of this pattern this weekend; am I nuts?!? I hope not! If you don't own the DeFarge book, this pattern would be an adequate substitute!

Grapes of Wrath for the wine-lovers on your list!
Whatever you make this holiday season, the point is to put love in every stitch! I hope you enjoy your holiday crafting and have a wonderful Winter!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mystery Knits

Hello there!

It seems like mystery KALs (knit-alongs) are all the rage these days, aren't they? For those of you not familiar with them, the basic concept is that you start to knit something without knowing exactly what it is that you're knitting! You might know as much as what type of garment/accessory it is and how much yarn it will take, but beyond that the actual design and construction are a mystery. The designer reveals the patterns via a series of clues or sections and at the end you have a fun new item you never knew you were going to knit!

In case you've been bitten by the mystery bug, I thought I'd showcase some of the yarns available in the Storied Yarns shop that will fulfill the yardage requirements for a few of the mystery KALs that are "hot right now" on Ravelry.

First up, the WestKnits KAL; this was a KAL for a shawl and the final clue was revealed earlier this month, so you have the advantage that you can peek in the projects if you want to see the finished shawl before you cast on! For this one you need 460 yards of a main color and 410 yards of a secondary color. Might I recommend the combination of Grandma Redbird and The Handmaiden?

Another option is the Dandelion on a Meadow KAL; this one uses one or two skeins. For a single-skein shawl, I think Night at the Fair would be a gorgeous choice; if you'd like to add yardage then why not pair it with Hot Shot?

Designer Laura Nelkin has a new KAL as well; it's called Trapeze and it's for a shawl that will work with a single skein of fingering weight yarn. She recommends a yarn that is semi-solid or slightly variegated/tonal; I think anything in this palette would work really well:

From left to right that's The Princess, The Farmer's Daughter, Arabian Days, The HotShot and The Handmaiden.

The Wendy Knits Summer Mystery KAL also recommends using a yarn that is subtly variegated or semi-solid. How about one of these?

Left to right that's The Ingenue, Arabian Nights and The Crone.

I keep going back and forth about the Leethal Knits KAL myself; I'd love to join but I'm worried about having the time! Maybe one of you can just sign up and do it instead and I can watch and live vicariously for a while. ;) This pattern is easy to customize to different yarn weights and yardages, but the designer recommends anywhere from one or two colors for the main and up to several options for contrasting details. I personally think it would be awesome to knit a shawl in this combo:

That's The Ingenue, Arabian Nights and The Handmaiden. Can't you just see how awesome the three of these yarns would work together in a shawl?!?

For something that takes a little bit less commitment, why not a skein of Daisy combined with The Princess for contrast?

Even if you're not into mystery knitting, any of these color combinations would make an awesome project! I myself am planning to knit a top out of a color palette very similar to this one:

That's The Crone, The Ingenue and The Handmaiden for those of you keeping track. ;) Whatever you knit, stitch yourself a story worth telling with yarns that are worthy of your project! Visit the Storied Yarns shop today for these beauties and several others. I just updated today! ;)

Thanks, everyone, and happy stitching!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Meet a New Colorway: Donna

Hello, and welcome!

Today I'm introducing a fabulous new colorway, inspired by Donna Noble (so far my favorite companion of the one and only Doctor Who). Do you want to see it? Of course you do!

Ahh, Donna. Throughout her time on the show, she's forever yelling at people, the Doctor included ("Oy, Space-Man!"). Though it seems like she's mad at the world, we know she's got a heart of gold underneath; after all, it was Donna who saved that family in Pompeii and wept with the Ood when she heard their song of captivity.

Toward the last few episodes of series 4, the Doctor figures out that Donna doesn't really value herself. She's always yelling at people because she thinks nobody would listen to her otherwise. She doesn't realize how special she is. Then, for one bright, shining moment, she gets to be the most important woman in the universe. The Doctor-Donna is born and she is fabulous.

I created this colorway in honor of that bold, sassy redhead. It's a combination of deep red, fiery orange, rich gold, time-traveling peacock blue, purple and teal. This is a kettle dyed colorway, so each skein will come out slightly different from the last and I never quite know what I'm going to get from the dye pots (a lot like Donna herself, don't you think?). You can see in the following photo that these two skeins are a little bit different from one another, even though I dyed them in the same pot:

Since I believe that character-inspired colorways add depth to your knitted and crocheted items, I'd like to offer some suggestions for these skeins, if I may. I think a skein of this Donna colorway would make a gorgeous lace shawl for a time when you just need that little extra "pow" in your outfit. It might also create a fabulous hat to transform your outlook on life or the most amazing pair of socks to lift your spirits from head to toe.

Knit with Donna to make something for a woman who needs to be reminded how wonderful she is; maybe that woman is YOU, so knit something pretty for yourself! I think we all have a little bit of Donna inside of us - we all have the capacity for her boldness and bravery as well as her self-doubt. Let your inner Donna come out to play when you need a fiery redhead on your side, and use this yarn to remind you that sometimes YOU'RE the most important woman in the universe, too! ;)

In case you're wondering, these skeins are available right now in the Storied Yarns shop and Donna is a repeatable colorway available for custom order on any yarn or fiber base.

Thanks, everyone!!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Put on Your Party Hat


I'm sorry I haven't been good at blogging regularly. Life is insane here, with school just starting and lots of goings-on at Storied Yarns Central that I'm not quite yet ready to reveal.

I have been plenty busy playing with yarn, though, so don't worry about that! I've got a Hunger Games themed update planned for Saturday in the Storied Yarns Shop. To keep you busy until then, today and tomorrow you can save 16% using code BigTen in honor of my 10th wedding anniversary on August 16th!

Most of the knitting I've done lately is still in top-secret stages of development. However, there is one project I recently started and finished that I'm ready to share!

I should preface this with a brief apology. The only other person home right now is 3 years old and not so great with a camera, so I had to take some not-so-fantastic self portraits in my bathroom today, ha! I'll try to get better pictures later, and I might even weave in the ends first! ;)

Anyway, here's my recent FO - a slouchy hat:

One of the things I hear a LOT in the knitting community is that nobody knows what to do with 4 ounces of handspun yarn. They take one look at the uneven gauge or the low yardage and they run for the hills. I think this is a real crying shame, because one of the greatest joys of my life is knitting with handspun yarn (oh yeah, and motherhood and all that stuff, lol)!

It IS the uneven gauge that I find so interesting about handspun. You can take a basic stitch pattern and instantly transform it into something magical and awesome with the use of a fabuous yarn like the one pictured above. The fiber I used to make this handspun was from the Fiesta Spin-Along from CraftyPuppyLover's shop, and this yarn was definitely a party to spin. Just look at the way the texture worked up in the stockinette fabric of the hat:

There were only 68 yards in this skein of handspun, and it weighed in at 3 oz. I added just .6 oz of a 2ply superwash merino handspun to make the brim, so overall the hat still weighs under 4 oz.

Here are some tips I've learned about knitting with handspun yarns. These are tips that apply specifically to knitting a hat like this one:
- Use needles that are bigger than you might think you need based on the yarn's weight. This yarn was a pretty standard bulky weight, but I used size 15 needles. This gave the thicker parts of the yarn room to spread out in the stitching and also helped only 68 yards of yarn go a lot further.
- Knit hats from the top down. This helps with customizing the size as you can just stop increasing when your hat is wide enough (or too wide, if you want it to be slouchy like mine). Also, if you happen to run out of yarn then you can use a contrast yarn for the brim and not the top.
- Don't be afraid of the yarn! Embrace it for all its beautiful and unique properties. Put it together with a simple stitch and a basic pattern and watch it become something extraordinary.

Hopefully by now you're all fired up to work with some awesome handspun, too! I challenge you to put some handspun on your needles this weekend. I promise you, it'll be an instant mood lifter (trust me, this week I know a mood lifter when I see one!). If you don't have a big drawer full of handspun like I do, I happen to have a shop full of yarn that can help you out with that. (Don't forget the coupon code, and remember I offer spinning service if you buy my fiber!)

If you're not sure what to make, PLEASE feel free to ask! I'm happy to help you pair up a gorgeous skein of yarn with just the right project. Just leave me a comment here or on Ravelry or Etsy!

I'll leave you with one more photo of me posing like a nerd. HA! Happy stitching, everyone!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Meet a New Colorway: Severus

Hello, and welcome to the Storied Yarns blog! Today I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to one of my new colorways: Severus.

Severus is inspired by Severus Snape, the character from the Harry Potter series. I created this colorway as a custom order request from one of my customers, so the skein above will be going to live with her tomorrow. Don't despair, though, because this skein down here is going to go into the Storied Yarns Shop:

Severus is a combination of mulberry purple, emerald and spring greens, mysterious midnight blue and black.

Here are some of the things I thought about when I created this colorway:
- "One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew."
- Lily's eyes. "After all this time, Severus?" "Always."
- The jealousy felt by a little goth wizard, bullied by the cool kids.
- The mystery of a mind closed off to the Dark Lord, a double agent to the bitter end.
- The final gift of memories and truth at last.

Ok, here I go getting all teary-eyed over a skein of yarn. This is why they pay me the big bucks, folks; I geek out over these colorways in a big way. ;)

I hope you've enjoyed meeting Severus and that you'll give him a proper greeting in tomorrow's Storied Yarns Shop update!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tour de Fleece and Ravellenic Games: Fuel Up

Hello all, and Happy Friday!!

So, the end of the Tour de Fleece is in sight; just 7 more days of spinning. I don't know about you, but I haven't quite met all of my goals yet for this TdF, so I'm hoping to spin like a maniac in the coming week, ha ha!

Right on the heels of Tour de Fleece, we'll be gearing up for The Ravellenic Games. Wahoo! I'm planning to knit myself a sweater this year, and that's going to be the main project I focus on along with a few little designs if I can get to them. I'm planning to knit the Rivel Cardigan using yarn that I bought on clearance at MDSW about 5 years ago! It's about time, right?

If you're looking for a team, feel free to pop on over to the Storied Yarns group. We'd love to have you! And even if you don't join our team officially, I'm still going to be offering prizes for anyone who uses Storied Yarns yarn, fiber or patterns during the Games. So make sure you post photos in our official thread (that goes for Tour de Fleece, too)!

Anyway, for today's post I thought I'd do something a little different. In our BohoCrafty TdF team, we've been sharing recipes. I shared one of my own recipes, too, which I call Jess's Jumping Beans and Rice! I suppose I should technically call them Mike's Mexi-Melts since the recipe was my husband's invention, but he's not on Ravelry so I took the credit, HA!

Anyway, if you're going to be participating in some marathon crafting you'll need the fuel to keep you going, right? This dish is filling, delicious and vegetarian (with an easy vegan alternative). The meat-free ingredients are pretty cheap, so it's perfect for cooking dinner on a budget, too. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Jess's Jumping Beans and Rice (aka Mike's Mexi-Melts)


- 1 small to medium onion
- 1 green pepper (or the color of your choice)
- 1 can black beans
- approx. 1/2 can corn
- taco sauce (can substitute salsa/picante sauce)
- 1 cup dry rice
- shredded taco/cheddar cheese (vegan alternative: soy cheez)
- 1 tomato (optional)
- 1 hot pepper (optional)


- Chop up your onion and green pepper into small, bite-sized pieces. Toss them together in a skillet over medium high heet until the onions start to get translucent and the peppers start to brown.
- Add one can of drained/rinsed black beans and 1/2 can of corn. Mix together.
- Pour in a heavy tablespoon of taco sauce OR approx. 1/4 cup salsa. Mix some more.
- Optional: Some like it hot, so if you're one of those, add a chopped up spicy pepper.
- Simmer over medium-low heat to allow the flavors to blend.
- Meanwhile, cook 1 cup of dry rice according to package directions. I use brown rice but white is also fine.

Serving Options:

- Option 1: Spread the rice onto a plate. Add the skillet contents and sprinkle with cheese (or alternative) on top, then add a diced tomato (also optional). Season with additional salsa or taco sauce as needed. Eat with a fork.
- Option 2: Follow directions for Option 1, but eat with tortilla chips.
- Option 3: Put a flour tortilla on the plate first, then stuff it with the ingredients from Option 1 and eat it like a burrito.

I hope you enjoyed my little off-the-beaten-path post today! Also, if you happen to need more fuel for your spinning and knitting, there's plenty of fiber in the Storied Yarns Shop. (Ha ha, I couldn't resist!)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Semi-Solid Stitching

Hello, and welcome!

Today I updated the Storied Yarns Shop with this lovely selection of my "Stock Characters" (semi-solid) colorways on my Storied Yarns Bamboo Sock base:

Every time I dye up my Stock Characters, I think of all the gorgeous hand-knits they could create. These colorways are all semi-solid or tonal, so they'd make ideal choices for things like lace work or color work where you really want your stitches to stand out and show off.

I also love to imagine the gorgeous combinations you might create by pairing these colors together in groups of two or three. How about these combinations?

This is my kind of color palette. Deep blues and purples, burgundy wines and a pop of bright red-orange just for fun.

I've come up with a few other combinations, too:

Pinks and purples to show off your feminine side, moody blues for subtle contrast or bright, summer fun in pink and orange!

I've been browsing Ravelry for some two- and three-color pattern ideas. How about this Two Color Crescent Shawl in Unicorn and Evil Queen? I've always loved Stephen West's Spectra Shawl, which I think would be ahh-mazing in Hot Shot and Princess or Hot Shot and Crone. The colorful pattern of the Ulmus shawl would be good for showing off a bit of contrast, like with Time Traveler and Unicorn.

You could make two contrasting pairs of Vagabond Mitts or Cordelia Fingerless Gloves using any two of the yarns in today's update - how about The Vampire and The Crone?

Anyway, I hope you'll find as much inspiration in these colors as I do! As always, feel free to send me a message if you're looking for a specific color that isn't currently in stock. Thanks!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

What to Knit with DK Weight Yarn

Hello and welcome to Storied Yarns Central, where we're bringing you another edition of "What to Knit with That" today! I recently added some Giganto Skeins of DK weight BFL wool yarn into the shop. Wanna see?

The top one is a rich, eggplant purple color and is called The Sorcerer. The botom is a dark, spooky hunter green and is called The Enchanted Forest. Both are part of my semi-solid stock characters line, and with these skeins you get a whopping 250g and 500 yards of DK weight 100% BFL yarn for only $38!

So, what do you knit with 500 yards of DK weight yarn, anyway? I'm glad you asked! Here are some of my suggestions:

If you've got a little one to knit for, why not the Olearia sweater which comes with two cardigan options and one shrug version in a single pattern? This pattern goes up to 700 yards for a size 8, so with 500 yards you should be able to get several size options.

I'm a pretty big fan of hand knits that grow with a child, because I don't want to go to all the effort to knit something for my kid just to find she's outgrown it in a few months. With that in mind, I absolutely love the Bloom pattern; it fits as a dress on a younger girl and then when she grows it becomes a tunic/top, all in the same size! The medium works with DK weight yarn and is shown in the pattern photos on an infant and a preschooler - the SAME dress!

If you've fallen in love with those deep, dark shades above and you want to knit something for yourself, how about the Clothilde shawl? You can get a full-sized large, lacy shawl out of one of these skeins, perfect for the transition to cooler weather (or out of it, depending on where you live)! I also really like the shaping on the Miami Beach Shawl, if you're bored with triangles.

Of course, there's always my Infinitely Simple Lace Infinity Scarf! It's a free pattern and you could get two or even three of them out of one of these skeins, perfect for holiday gifts!

One last suggestion: Trivium is a set of THREE patterns - a hat, a cowl and a pair of fingerless gloves. Knit all three from just one giganto skein of this yarn! Wouldn't these colors look lovely with your winter coat? Now you can have a coordinated set!

Psst - if Semi-Solid Giganto Skeins aren't your thing, I've got a few variegated 100g skeins of DK Superwash Merino in the shop, too!

As always, if you'd like one of these skeins for yourself but in a different color than the ones in the Storied Yarns shop, just send me a message and I'll be happy to dye up a custom skein for you!

So, now that the TdF is almost over, what are YOU going to be knitting next month?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fiber Friendships

Every once in a while, something happens in this lovely world of Fiber Arts that just warms my heart. Yesterday was a day like that.

I opened my mail box yesterday to find a package inside. For once I hadn't actually ordered anything recently so it was a bit of a surprise. A very pleasant one, I soon discovered! I opened the package to find this:

It's an adorable project bag from my friend Sally! It's super sturdy, has adorable and handy handles and closes with a drawstring in matching cupcake ribbon!!

Plus, it's PINK, which of course I love. I can't wait to tote this baby around town with all my newest and top-secret WIPs inside!

The part about this that was truly fun and magical was that I had sent Sally a package last week, and it arrived the same day I got her package! Kismet, I tell you! Here's what I sent her:

Sally's expecting her second baby in just a little while, so I sewed up a patchwork blanket. The top side is shown above and the bottom side is solid green fleece. Here's a close-up of the center panel, which just screamed "Sally" to me when I saw it:

It has adorable little moose on it (perfect for a woman who uses "Muddymoose" as her Ravelry ID) and cute little woodland cottage scenes. The fabric for the patchwork squares around the center is all from my stash, most of which I got FROM Sally in the first place when I first started to sew. It's like the Crafty Circle of Life! :)

I also made a cute little Crinkle Bot for her son (he's almost two and about to be a big brother for the first time), but I forgot to take a photo of that. It was a fast and easy gift, using felt from my stash. Also I was pretty sure he'd love it because my own 2-year-old came into the room while I was making it and immediately demanded a second one for himself, ha!

Of course I couldn't leave Mommy out of the gift, so I sent Sally this skein of yarn - it's a 2ply from some of my batts that I knew she had liked from my shop:

I'm really grateful to have awesome fiber friends like Sally. Surprising mail days are just one of the benefits of having friendships with other knitters!

What about you? How are you cultivating your Fiber Friensdhips?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Adventurous Spinning

Maybe it's the festive spirit of the Tour de Fleece, but lately I've been in the mood for some adventurous spinning. In the Team BohoCrafty thread we've been talking about the ways that some fiber artists seem to have a knack for combining different fibers to create stunning yarns. Follow along with our discussion here, if you're so inclined.

All this talk of combining fibers has had me thinking about the ways my lovely friends and customers at Storied Yarns might combine character colorways in order to spin an adventurous story. Today I'm here to offer some suggestions on the ways you might combine fibers from my shop - stay tuned until the end of the post and I'll even give you some coupon codes!

OK, let's see. If you like warm and earthy colors, why not this combination?

 That's Mrs. Patmore, Haymitch and Rue.

If you're a fan of blue (like I am), then I bet you'll love this combo:

 Gonzo, Zoot and Titania; gorgeous!

For the pink lovers out there, this duo is sure to please:

Fun, feminine batts inspired by Aphrodite and Effie!

And one more - I couldn't resist a purple pairing, now, could I?

This combination is my fave - snag it from the shop and save me from myself, please!! That's Mulan and Vidia, both on superwash bfl top, yum!

If you're not a spinner, right now I'm offering FREE Spinning Service in the shop! Buy any fiber (including the sets I've listed above) and send me a message at checkout. I will spin them for you for no additional charge!

I've also got two very special coupon codes that are active right now - use code TDF12 to save 12% on anything in the shop, including custom orders and club listings, now through July 31. Use code July4 for the next 3 days only (July 3-5) to save 20% on any in-stock item (excludes customs and clubs). Shop now at Storied Yarns and save!!

Thanks, everyone, and Happy Tuesday!

Friday, June 29, 2012

What to Make with 50g of Sock Yarn

Hello, and welcome to another edition of What to Knit with ______ here on the Storied Yarns blog! In a few minutes I will be updating the Storied Yarns Shop with these nine lovely skeins of sock yarn:

Each of these skeins is on my Colonial Sock base (75% SW Colonial Wool/25% Nylon) and each one weighs in at 50g.

So, what exactly CAN you make with only 50g of sock yarn? If you think "not much," you're sadly mistaken! 

Personally, I have made a handful of projects with only 50g of sock yarn. How about a Swirl Hat? Here's one I made for my friend's baby about two years ago:

This is my "Medusa" colorway, if you're curious.

For some other hat suggestions, why not the Ishbel Beret by Ysolda Teague or the HitchHat by Martina Behm?

I also made a really fun pair of fingerless mitts out of 50g of sock yarn in my "Party Ponies" colorway:

The pattern is the Quilted Lattice Mitts, and it was a lot of fun to make! You can do a 2-color version or a single color version as I did. Fingerless gloves can often be made with only 50g of sock yarn. For a different pair, try Veyla, Lepidoptera Mitt (Oh wow I love these!) or CanCans on for size!

I have a pattern for you hookers out there - it's my Crocheted Adjustable Scowl. My friend Carrie made this one in my Mrs. O'Leary colorway:

If you want a cowl but you prefer to knit it, why not the lovely Abstract Leaves Cowl or A Very Good Cowl Indeed?

For all you shawl lovers out there, a pattern I have long admired, yet never made, is the Storm Cloud Shawlette. It's a FREE pattern and it looks lovely in a nice, variegated yarn. The best part is it uses 150-200 yards of fingering weight yarn, huzzah! I think if all the yarns in my shop don't sell there will be a Storm Cloud in my future and maybe a pair of Lepidoptera Mitts, too!

Don't forget all the lovely baby items you can make with 50g of sock yarn - just TRY to look at Christine's Stay-On Baby Booties or Cable Baby hat and not go "Awwww!" I dare you!

I also dare you to give 50g of sock yarn a try. The ones I'm adding to my shop sell for just 10 bucks a pop, so for a low budget and a little bit of time you can make a truly beautiful item for yourself or a loved one. It's a win-win!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Craftaholics Anonymous Swap

This year I happened to notice that someone I follow on Twitter (I can't remember who it was now, sorry!) posted about an upcoming event called the Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange. The main idea is that you get a secret person to spoil and you make a handmade gift just for that special person and send it off to them. I only had about a day before the deadline so I jumped right in, and I'm glad I did!

Linda of Craftaholics Anonymous used Elfster to match us up. I was given the opportunity to spoil a lovely crafter in California! She hasn't received her package yet so I won't say anything more about that here.

I was able to find her Pinterest account (she posted a link to it on Elfster) so I used that to give me inspiration for her handmade gift. She had a lot of party decorations pinned, so I decided to make a "party in a box" for her gift.

I started with a cake stand, inspired by this one and others flooding the pin boards. One decorative melamine plate, one plastic sundae cup and a little Gorilla Glue and this baby is finished!

I used the bright colors in the plate to inspire the rest of the package, focusing on blue and orange with accents of pink, green and blue. The next thing I made was a flag banner:

I cut the flags out of my stash of scrap fabrics, added felt backing for stability and sewed a felt circle to the center of each one. I used double fold bias tape to connect the banner together and puffy paint to write "PARTY" on the flags. I figure it's both festive and gender-neutral for any occasion.

The last thing I made was a little wall plaque. My recipient said she enjoyed reading the Bible and there were a lot of crafty quote plaques in her Pinterest boards, so I made one for her:

I simply painted a plain wooden plaque from the craft store with blue paint, then added an orange border and a quote with an orange paint pen. I sprayed the whole thing with clear coat to protect it, so you're getting a bit of flash reflection going on in that photo, sorry about that!

I also included a note and some fun little extras and this morning I sent the package off! It felt strange to be making a handmade gift that had nothing to do with yarn (what would a Californian do with hand-knits in July, I ask you?), but it was really fun, too! I enjoyed thinking outside the box in order to fill a box for my special recipient, and I hope she loves it!

I've heard from my spoiler that my package is in the works and I'm excited to see it! I'll be sure to post here and show off what I get!

If you'd like to join this swap, Linda hosts one twice a year so stay tuned to Craftsaholics Anonymous (a favorite new blog of mine) to find out when the next one will start!