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?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Knitting a Hand Dyed or Hand Spun Sweater

Hello, everyone! Today I listed some exciting new packages in the Storied Yarns Shop - the Ultimate Fangirl Sweater Kits! These kits will give you plenty of hand dyed yarn (in the colorway and base of your choosing) to knit a sweater, and they're available in DK and Worsted weight yarn options as well as a Combed Top option for you spinners out there. For every kit you get two full pounds of yarn or fiber!

So, how about some suggestions of what to knit with these lovely kits?

First up: the Ultimate Sweater Kits (2 pounds of yarn or fiber) ...

For the DK weight option, you will have 2000 or 2650 yards of DK weight yarn, depending on the base you choose. What sweaters can you knit with that? Quite a few, I should say!

How about a simple cardigan with a pop of textured detail at the collar and sleeves? Roheline should do the trick! This one would look really great in a semi-solid OR a variegated colorway, I think. For something with a little more detail (that would probably work best in a semi-solid "Stock Character" colorway), how about The Archer, a hooded pullover with cable details, or a cabled cardigan - Locke Street Cardigan?

For the worsted weight option, you will get 1696 or 2480 yards. Emilien is a great, basic hoodie pattern that would look awesome striped with two colorways or in one semi-solid or variegated color. Girl Friday has been a favorite pattern of mine for quite some time, and I also really love Dark and Stormy. I think either of those would work best in a semi-solid, stock character shade.

If you're going to buy the fiber option, of course your yardage will vary depending on the weight you spin and the yardage you are able to make. However, a few suggestions might help you narrow down the sweater patterns that would work especially well for handspun yarns. My friend Brittany recently published Libretto, which has a really fun shape and structure that lends itself well to textural yarns. I also really like Idlewood, which would be super cozy in handspun. The clean lines and stockinette body of the Effortless Cardigan and Atelier would also work really well in handspun, colorful yarns.

Next up: The Major Fangirl packages (24oz of yarn or fiber) ...

For the DK weight Major Fangirl sweater kit, you will receive 1500 or 1980 yards. Summer Solstice is a cardigan that would look fantastic in a boldly variegated yarn or a tonal one. Vodka Lemonade is an adorable cropped cardi that would be really nice in almost any color. Gnarled Oak Cardigan has beautiful details which would stand out really well in a semi-solid stock character colorway, and Calligraphy Cardigan, which I totally lust over, would be fantastic in a variegated colorway (note: for the largest sizes you may need to upgrade to Ultimate Fangirl for that one).

For worsted weight, try these on for size: you're going to have either 1272 or 1860 yards to play around with. I love the interesting structure of the Levenwick cardigan. The Brownstone pullover has a male model but I think works really well for either gender, no matter who that sweater will be for! Don't forget Francis Revisited; that one would be great for a colorful worsted weight yarn OR handspun.

For handspun, any of the above suggestions would probably work, too, as would Abalone - it only needs 500 yards! :)

Don't forget to check out my album of available colorways, including the milder Stock Character semi-solids in addition to all the bold, variegated options. If you're interested in a sweater package but not sure which one is right for you, just contact me on Etsy! Together we can make you the fangirl sweater of your dreams. :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fiber Friday: Wandering in WIP-Land

psst - Are you looking for information about the Fiber Arts Retreat in April? Read THIS

Hello, and Happy Fiber Friday!

This week here at Storied Yarns Central, I feel like I may be slightly drowning in WIPs. I recently cleaned out my personal fiber bin (more on that next week), and inside I found a handful of project bags full of knitting WIPs. Now my WIP bin is overflowing instead of my fiber bin! ACK.

The only WIPs that I'm actually working on at the moment are a crocheted handspun shawl and a hat for my husband.

First up, the shawl - I'm using the Rippled Wrap pattern by Cheri McEwan, and I really like it because once you get past the setup rows, each subsequent row is basically the same as the last so it makes for nice TV crocheting. I also like that it's crochet and I'm using a really big (size US P) hook with super bulky handspun so in theory it will be a fast project (if I ever get the time to work on it, that is!). I'm using a variety of handspun skeins that are all hot pink but each one is unique; originally I made these into a bolero but I didn't like the way it fit, so instead they're going to make me a super cozy shawl for those cold winter nights.

Let's just not talk about the fact that it might be spring before I finish it, okay? 

Here is that lovely shawl in progress:

The hat I'm knitting for my husband was a special request from him. He wanted a "Ron Weasley hat," which to him means a hat with ear flaps and ties. Of course, being ME, I had to dye up a Ron Weasley colorway for his Ron Weasley hat, and then I had to use handspun for the hat instead of regular yarn, because that makes it more complicated more cozy.

Here's a picture of the hat along with the rest of the yarn I have in order to finish it - the yarn is a 2ply of my Ron Weasley colorway on SW BFL with a ply of natural oatmeal colored Icelandic wool. I love how the natural wool kind of mellows out the Ron a little bit, making this hat JUST wild enough for my husband to still wear it (I hope!).

I'm using the basic idea of the pattern, A Practical Animal Cracker Hat, by Becca Evans. This hat was inspired by the actual Ron Weasley hat from the third movie (the one my husband is referring to when he tells me the kind of hat he wants), so it's what I'm modeling my hat after. I had to frog the first one, though, as it turned out several inches too big circumference-wise, so I'm continuing on with my own method of decreasing since my numbers will be off from hers. For that I'm using Crazy Aunt Purl's guide to decreasing the crown of a hat.

The down side of this "quick hat" project is that I'm going to have to line it, because the Icelandic makes this handspun a little scratchy and I don't want the hubster NOT to wear it because it's too scratchy. So I'm going to use a SW Merino/Bamboo blend yarn to line it so it will be nice and soft and double cozy that way, but essentially that means I have to knit two hats. Oh well, at least it's going to be a fun one when it's finished!

The reason for all my rushing on these WIPs is that I'm DYING to cast on for the gorgeous pair of fingerless mitts that my friend Steph designed for quarter one of my A Yarn and a Tale book club. I'm making myself finish at least one of the above projects first, though, preferably the hat. So, there's that.

I did manage to squeeze in a little spinning this week - I spun this corespun yarn from a pair of batts by Ever Improving Me. I plan to knit it into a corespun crown for a KAL in the Funhouse Fibers Ravelry group. Wahoo!

And don't worry, I haven't forgotten about you, Fiber Fangirl. I also added some new goodies to the Storied Yarns Shop this week:

So, I guess that's it for me! Watch for an announcement next week about Quarter 2 of A Yarn and a Tale, and to stay the most up to date, hang out in the Storied Yarns Ravelry group.

Happy Stitching!