Stitches West 2014: Day 2

Ok! Day 2!

I had an all-day nuno felting class, taught by the irrepressible Judy Pascale.

We made scarves, laying wool roving on hand-dyed silk, then wetting and massaging and fiddling until it felted. Here’s mine, before and after:

I’m not super happy with how it turned out (I think it looks like leeches, and it shrank too much!) but it’s all a learning experience, right?

After class, my friend Erin and I went to the fashion show and dinner. There were some really stunning handknits on display, but you wouldn’t know it from this pic (I could see fine, it’s just the pic that makes it look small!)

I didn’t even get to the market today. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow!

Thing-a-Week #52

Last March, I pledged to try to do one fiber-related thing each week for a year. And here I am, one year later, having mostly fulfilled that commitment. Sure, I took a whole quarter off, and this week’s Thing is fully a week late, but who’s counting?

For my final Thing, I wove another pooling scarf. This is something I promised to a friend at Stitches West, using some yarn she bought at the show.

Thing a Week #52: Woven Scarf

The warp is Western Sky Knits Magnolia Sock (superwash merino, cashmere, & nylon) in “Fall Sky,” and the weft is Valley Yarns 10/2 Bamboo in “Silver Grey.” Seems a fitting end to this project, don’t you think?

Thing a Week #52: Woven Scarf

Thanks, everyone, for following along. I’ll no doubt be posting more of my fibery adventures, just not on this cadence. Next, I think I’ll be lazy for a little bit then start looking at some longer-term projects. Stay tuned!

Thing-a-Week #48

Alright. Back to weaving now. Another pooling scarf.

Thing a Week #48: Woven Scarf

This is using Blue Moon Socks that Rock superwash wool in the “Tricoter / LYS Tour 2009” colorway for the warp, and Navy Valley Yarns tencel for the weft. I like this pooling stuff.

Oh, and I’m off to Stitches West this week. Maybe I’ll cheat and make one of my class projects this week’s thing. Easy, right?

Thing-a-Week #44

Last month there was a discussion thread on Ravelry about a $300 hooded scarf from Spratters & Jayne. The basic tenor of the thread was that people couldn’t believe someone was charging $300 for a chunky scarf. I was intrigued, and decided to see if I could make one too. This is the result.

Thing a Week #44: Hooded Scarf

I reverse engineered the scarf based only on pictures on the web. I also chose a yarn–Cascade Magnum–that appeared to be very similar to what they used. It’s a very thick single, made from Peruvian Highland Wool. It’s so similar (even down to color selection!) that I have a feeling it’s from the same mill. It’s crochet, using a Q hook (which is very large… 15mm). Minus any small differences in stitch count, gauge, or construction, I think my scarf came very close to the original (found here).

Thing a Week #44: Hooded Scarf

(This picture is my own; I arranged the scarf so that it appears similar to the manufacturer’s pictures for comparison.)

What I learned during this exercise was that $300 is not really that far off. The yarn cost me nearly $80 alone. It only took a few hours to make, but once you factor in that, shipping, and distribution, it’s not that much of a stretch, even with reduced material and labor costs for the manufacturer.

I think people are incredulous at high prices because they think that hand-knit and -crochet items are inherently cheap, something you do because you can’t afford to buy the “real” thing at the store. So not true. Handcrafted items can take many (many, many!) hours to make, but they’re often sold for only a little over the cost of materials. Knitters and crocheters undervalue their time, and buyers don’t want to pay what the item is really worth. It’s why I never even think about selling what I make; it’s only for the pleasure of making it. Still, it’s nice to see a business model that works.

Hooded Scarf

I do love this scarf. The yarn is great, and the scarf so very warm and soft. I can see why people would shell out $300 for it, though I’m glad I can just make it myself.

Hooded Scarf

Thanks to my husband Bryan for the photos. I keep saying how handy he is!

(Note: I am not making the pattern available for this scarf. This was solely for the challenge; I have no interest in encroaching on Spratters & Jayne’s turf, either by distrbuting the pattern or by selling the completed scarf. However, it’s really not that hard to figure out if you really want to make one for yourself!)

Hooded Scarf

Thing-a-Week #43

This is late. I made another woven scarf. That WIP is still on my table loom, so I hopped on the rigid heddle to make this.

Thing a Week #43: Woven Scarf

The warp is Creatively Dyed Yarns Steele in colorway “Corus,” and the weft is Valley Yarns 10/2 Bamboo in black. I was going for a pooled color effect, in which I carefully plan the length of the warp to make the colors match up to make broad stripes. The fine bamboo lets the warp show through rather nicely.

Thing a Week #43: Woven Scarf

“Elle,” you say, “don’t you make anything but scarves?” Yes, I could, but I just find scarves a great way to explore different colors and textures quickly while at the same time producing something I’ll actually use. I’ve been mostly exploring color, but maybe I should try something with texture.

Thing-a-Week #6

This week’s Thing is a joint venture between me and my mom. Since she was in town, I decided to break out an Artfelt kit I had sitting around. Together, we made this scarf.

Thing a Week #6: Artfelt Scarf

Unfortunately we didn’t have time to finish felting it before she left, so she didn’t get to see it in its full glory. Here you go, mom! You done good!

Catching up, again

I had some additional projects in the works over the last few months, but never got around to posting them. So here they are.
First, in May, I knit a cute little cotton sweater for Trixie’s new baby.
The pattern is Offset Wraplan by Sara Morris, knit in Cascade Yarns Cotton Rich DK. I really liked the yarn, nice and soft.
Then, in June, I knit a chemo cap for my uncle.
Pattern is Marsan Watchcap by Staceyjoy Elkin, knit with Star Castle Fiber Mill Alpaca Sport. I got the yarn at Alpacapalooza earlier this year, and it’s super soft. Star Castle is a small mill in Oregon, and the fiber came from two alpacas, Mystique and Willow, at Camp David Alpacas, also in Oregon. It’s kind of neat to be able to trace the fiber back to the animals from which it’s shorn.
I’ve been working on this scarf for half a year. It was my take-along project, kept in a small bag that I’d take out when I was stuck somewhere with free time. That didn’t happen very often, so progress was slow, and I just finished it in July.
The pattern is One Row Handspun Scarf by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot. The yarn is Black Bunny Fibers Mohair/Wool, which I’d won as a major award for a Ravelry fundraiser. Glad to finally finish something with that yarn!
I also joined my first yarn club earlier this year, and I finally made something with some of the yarn. It was a pretty quick project that took about a week of crocheting in the evenings. I just finished it last weekend.
The pattern is Queen Anne’s Lace Scarf by Khebhin Gibbons. The yarn is Three Irish Girls Wexford Merino Silk in Cherry Blossom, an exclusive colorway just for the club.
Looks like I’ve been busy. Didn’t seem like it at the time, but I guess I was!

Noro Catherine Wheel Scarf

Over on Ravelry, I came upon on the Moonstiches Rhubarb Scarf, a gorgeous, delicate thing that I decided I had to have for myself. There was no pattern, so I felt inspired to write my own.

Download pattern (PDF)

The scarf uses a repeated Catherine Wheel stitch, and is bordered by ruffled semicircles. This one uses Noro Silk Garden yarn, which isn’t as fine as the Diakeito Diamusee Fine used for the Rhubarb scarf, and is 4 repeats across instead of 5. Still, I hope I captured a little bit of the spirit of the Moonstitches scarf.
The pattern is available here in PDF format. Many thanks to Moonstitches for the inspiration and permission to publish this pattern. Enjoy!
Update Feb 21: I’ve added charts to the pattern. Redownload at the above link if you want them!
Update Feb 22: Bonjour, lecteurs de Théonie! (Did I say that right?) Thank you for visiting and for your kind words!
Please send any questions or suggestions to ellemennop (at) live (dot) com. Thanks!

see this pattern on ravelry                see this project on ravelry

Another scarf?

I made this scarf this weekend on my knitting machine, for one of the writers at work. It’s super long, like 7′.
It’s a simple 2×2 rib, using 4 skeins of Noro Silk Garden Lite, colorway 2030. Simple patterns really bring out the lovely colors of Noro, I think.

It’s scarfarific!

So, it turns out I was trapped in my house for 2 weeks. I was supposed to go back to work the week of Christmas but couldn’t even drive on our street. Couldn’t connect to work from home, either. Apparently everyone from work had the same idea and made it impossible to dial in. Darn!
I wish I could say I used the time to finish lots of projects, but, alas, I was a lazy bum and didn’t do much. I did pull out my old Artisan 70D knitting machine and knit this scarf on it:
Pretty, eh? This is based on the Noro Striped Scarf pattern by Jared Flood. It was somewhat difficult to knit on the machine, because the machine likes nice smooth yarns and Noro Kureyon is… not. But it turned out lovely, did it not?
I also managed to get to my stylist, finally. I gave her the scarf.
Then on New Year’s Day, I went down to my local yarn store, Renaissance Yarns, for an amigurumi workshop. Meet Orly!
Oh, and it started snowing again last night. It stuck overnight, but was melting this morning. So I had to go to work. Darn!