TADA! Only the cutest wee cardigan you can imagine

Last week I teased you with a wee shot of a cardi I was knitting for my wee man. Well, fear not intrepid readers, I have a whole post of it now for you!

That’s right, that bad boy is finished!

…finished but without a name for that colourway. Still. I’ve waffled between blue spruce, sea glass, maritime, deep ocean, …it’s hopeless.

So until I come up with a name for it, feast your eyes on my ‘gramps’! The best wee cardigan pattern by tin can knits

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Isn’t it cute?!? Only made cuter by my helpful model

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The details of the cardi slay me
Elbow patches?!?

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Mini pocket?

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The buttons?!?

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The collar!! I dies!

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Now one out of three kids is ready for our family pictures this weekend. Poor middle child still has only a dock and a half, big brother has a hat band and….I’ve got 20 skeins of pencil socks to dye, like, yesterday.

Happy hump day!

So you bought a skein (or four…) of yarn enabler wool. Now what?

Now you get to knit some super cute socks, that’s what! I’m going to try to address some FAQ and then leave the comments open for anyone who has questions :)

First off, thank you thank you thank you!! You guys are amazing, I am humbled and thrilled (my private happy dance is now a public happy dance being done all over town, ha) by the reception to my wool. You.are.awesome.
When I first rolled the idea of being an indie dyer around in my noggin I never dreamed it would be this much fun.

When you order a skein (*ahem* of four!) I get an email. I do a happy dance. I text my husband and pm my best woolie friends and bubble over with excitement. I smile huge and giggle at random times. Then I remember I’m a professional and hunker down ;)

Your wool is dyed to order just for you. That way if you prefer cuff down socks? I got you covered. Knitting kids socks? I shorten the toe section to match. Knitting huge monster men socks? No problem!

Once I get your order, I have to wind the skein of wool in a certain way to match your order.

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It’s a bit labour intensive, but the results speak for themselves I think.

Then I dye

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Sometimes forgetting my gloves because I get a bit a lot excited

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Then the beauties dry

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Once they are bone dry, I rewind then into skeins

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And vacuum seal them for shipping

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You saw that right, I vacuum seal most of my wool! I do it for a few reasons. First, it protects your wool while it’s on it’s way to you. No worry of mangled or wet packages. The plastic vacuum bags are heavy duty and relatively inflexible. Great for shipping. Secondly, it’s cheaper. Other than needing a tracking number, I can make two skeins flat enough to go through letter mail anywhere in the world for under $20. Not a mean feat when you consider Canada post shipping rates! Added bonus…you can sneak the wool into your stash, if need be, lol! ‘Nothing in the mail today sweetie, just this magazine…! ‘ ha!

Once you get your wool, you’ll see that it has the special toe colours at each end of the skein. Best way to wind it is into a centre pull cake

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This will give you access to both ends, one end per sock. I like to start by using the inside first, But that is up to you. If you are doing two-at-a-time, you’re golden. Cast on one sock with the inside, one with the outside and off you go!

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For my pencil wool, unless you specified cuff down, I dye it for tie up socks, which means you’ll also receive two mini-skeins of gray/pink for the eraser tops. One skein per sock. Simply knit the main skein to about 4 inches shy of the total length you want, and join in the gray. I love a good Russian join, but do whatever you’re comfortable with.

And tada! Yarn Enabler Socks!

Socks…they are everywhere!

I have three socks on the needles right now. Three!! That may not seem like much to some of you, but omg it’s driving me bonkers! I’m a product knitter, I like when things are done, not when they are on my needles. And three socks, two of which are dealing with some serious SSS (second sock syndrome, ya know) and I’m having heart palpitations. Repeatedly. And frequently. It’s just so wrong!

I’m also on a bit of a deadline. Family pictures are coming right up, and these are essential! It’s a pair of gorgeous lacy socks, modified Blackrose socks, which while a free pattern, isn’t downloadable, which is not my perferred method of pattern reading. It’s a four row lace repeat and for the life of me I can’t remember it! You’d think after 20 repeats I could do it in my sleep but apparently I’m an idiot ….my babies ate my brain cells …I need more caffeine.

I did manage to finish the first one!

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And did a beautiful invisible sewn bind off. Does it have a name? I have no idea, YouTube found it and the gods of YouTube are fickle.

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it even fit

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But of course, the universe hates me because…

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Ya. That happened. That cute, adorable, snuggly puppy ball of love hates me chewed the whole gorgeous cuff to smithereins .
Starbucks and my BFF talked me off the ledge and I did some quick triage and got the ribbing reknit. No super gorgeous bind off this time because…I just couldn’t.

I’m now up past the ankle of #2…

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So of course the logical thing is to cast on a gramps sweater for my youngest, ha!

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ravelry project page, knit in my groovy grapefruit colourway. Gramps sweater is also my own wool. Might introduce it as a ‘sea glass’ colourway, what do you think?

How a concept became reality

I’m a very lucky girl, I have three great sisters-in-laws, and by some fluke of nature they are all some form of teacher. Contributing to the delinquency of minors future generations of society one sister-in-law at a time ;). Haha, I kid, I kid. One teaches adults. ;)

Ok ok, in reality though, when September hit and everyone went back to school, and I got into my dyeing, I couldn’t help but come up with something school related. School supplies were everywhere, which I tried to use as inspiration instead of just a drain on my bank account! A pencil colourway just seemed natural. Two kids in school and all these educators surrounding me I didn’t have much else on my mind!

Begin the dyeing….

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I started with that, and let me tell you, no. 2 yellow isn’t easy! It’s this yellow with muted orange undertones and I need like to get things right. My husband was conscripted to sit with a fist full of pencils and an armful of yarn and I just kept dipping till I got it right.

It didn’t end there though. After my first few pencil sales, the idea of the cuff came up. Was it possible to, perhaps, have an eraser end? Umm, hell yah!

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Total icing on the cake! A bit of dyeing later, and I’m very pleased with these bad boyz.

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So now one sock down, and 5 more to go so I can be sure my SILs are properly attired whilst they shape minds!

You know you want a pair ;)

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(That’s the fish lips kiss heel that is ah-mazing!)

Find these (and so much more!) at my etsy store, Yarn Enabler

Legwarmers!

I just have so much to tell you guys I don’t know where to start! I’ve been wonderfully busy dyeing all.the.woolz and I lurve it. I can’t even explain the tingles of satisfaction I get watching white wool turn the colour I prepared! And then I get to rewind it, and twist it and…*sigh* it’s positively thrilling. (I was going to use a different word there but thought I should keep it PG in these parts, haha!)
And when an email dings with a new order, I may still jump up and down with excitement….although I’m not admitting anything, and the only witnesses rely on me to feed, cloth and drive them places, so they are on my side ;)
Today I have orders flying their way to Virginia and all the way over to Australia!

Ok, now that I’m done gushing (*gush gush gush*), I’ve got a finished object to show ya!
My little girl is part of the competitive dance team this year, and fundraising for competition fees is fast and furious. The welcome back dance was this weekend, and I donated a pair of custom dyed legwarmers to the silent auction! The studio colours are yellow and black, so to avoid the unavoidable bumblebee comparison, I went with a gorgeous steel gray.

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Hello yellow!

Knit up in a 2×2 rib they created a really really cool pattern

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Not bad, eh? They were pretty well received, although I didn’t get a chance to check on the final bid because I was pretty busy getting down with my bad 80’s self (80’s themed dance). I was footloose and fancy free!

Hope you all are doing well! I’m off to the post office, then home to dye some more during nap time:)

It’s the season of all things….pumpkin!

And I’m determined my toes are not left out, lol! And my toes, like the revered pumpkin spice latte, may not have any real pumpkin in it, but it’s awesome none the less!

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How do you like them apples pumpkins! Or rather, pumpkin since I have fallen prey to second sock syndrome and have since moved on to my pencil socks, oups!

And to make matters worse, I was so eager to move on to my pencil socks that I….cast off only half the sock before cutting my wool. of all the brainless things I’ve done…

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So send me some cast-on vibes, would ya? Otherwise at this rate I’ll be wearing one pencil sock with one pumpkin socks because…

omg rainbows

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(Those were custom to have extra wide rainbow stripes. My stock rainbow toes have stripes 2/3 that size so the rainbow is only on the toes/increase section)

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Come and get me winter!

I’m ready! As of September 8th, I am ready to rock the white stuff! My hat…done!
You remember Loch, right?

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Beautiful loch, how you make my heart flutter. ‘Lovh’ is my Tin Can Knits, and I used the OOAK skein of surf from tanis fiber arts. It’s got cashmere ‘yo. And silk. That’s a yarngasm in a skein if I ever heard of one!

Nothing would do but to make a matching cowl with the remaining bit of skein, so I cast on one repeat of ‘loch’ lace pattern and a whole wack load of stitches. I’d like to say I was totally scientific about it and figured out my stitches per inch, times the size of my head, divided by….but I didnt, lol! I just kinda guessed and got it about right! Reward for laziness, I’ll never learn ;)

So I knit and knit until my tanis ran out. Then I though, hey, how awesome would this be double sided?! Super awesome! After some stash diving, though, it became apparent I had nothing suitable. how the….?! so I got to visit my LYS where I snagged a delicious charcoal skein of tosh merino DK. Perfection. So then I knit a mile of stockinette (not even much of an exaggeration), thanks to some binge watching of west wing on netflix.

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And then, my dears, it came time to graft.

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226 stitches. Sewing needles. strong liquor strong tea.

Of course, a helpful friend also pointed out a new way to Kitchener graft, by knitting it. knitting it. WHA….! But let’s not get into that because I’d already started and you need to suffer with me. Knit off, purl on. Purl off, knit on. 226 times.

It’s perfect

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bring it winter!

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And in case you’re looking for a pencil to fill in all those back to school forms, I’ve got you covered ;)

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Do you hear that? The sounds of bickering, crashing, otherwise delightful children affecting that most annoying of cadence whining ‘I’m booooooored’?

No?

Me neither! Cause they are back to school!! Good bye kids, have a great day, learn lots, have fun, make some new friends…..you’re outta here!!

Ahhh. A stay-at-home momma’s favourite time of year.

I don’t yet hate getting up to an alarm (ok, maybe a little), or packing lunches (ok, maybe more than a little), or dealing with the mountain of paperwork everyday (definitely more than a little) but I know those days are coming, so I’m going to sit with my hot slightly warm tea and enjoy having only one kid under my feet and in my lap. Ahhh. This is the life!

Along with all this new time on my hands, I’ve been elbow deep in dyeing and building this wonderful new business adventure I’m on! Learning the paperwork side, navigating the intricacies of international postage and printing business cards is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve been studying chemistry (chemical bonds, acid charts) and artsy stuff like colour wheels and reading everything I can get my hands on about dyeing wool. I’m fascinated and maybe a bit obsessed. But that’s ok. It’s how I roll!

My knitting time has been taken up by knitting samples of my sock wool because that’s my little reward, lol. I get to be the first to knit up a whole new colourway and that makes me giddy! I’ve knit 3 pairs of socks in 3 weeks, that’s gotta be some kind of record. And both those socks won ribbons at the country fair!

Watermelon 1st place

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And strawberry third place

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I also entered my strawberry shawl, my malabrigo cowl and a cascade crochet beanie and they all ribboned! I’m very proud.

So now I’m off to dye some more today. I’ve sold all my original batch of wool (thank you thank you!) and the next batch is arriving just in the nick of time today. Until then, I’m putting in some time doing paperwork. oh joy.

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I’ll be back Wednesday with a new WIP post and have more to show you for FO Friday! Winter is coming…which means knitting and blogging!

I’ve got a pair of jams!

Remember my new socks, strawberry jam socks? Well, sock, singular since I had just barely started it? Well, holla! I’ve got myself a pair!!

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Woot woot! I’m feeling pretty darn fancy in my matching socks! Who knew matching socks would feel so good?! Of course I did my go-to heel, Fish Lips Kiss Heel. Say that fast four times!

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I’m even going to enter these puppies in our country fair, I’m that excited! …just don’t tell my teenage self that I wrote a blog post about matching socks and country fairs, because I think my eyes would stillhurt from the epic eye roll.

Oh yes, I was an eye roller. I was a master eye roller because I was that cool.

But I digress…

Look, matching socks!

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I’m not just happy about matching socks though. I’m happy because these guys are my brain child from the start. The wool dyeing, the pattern, the knitting…it’s like. Wow. I’m actually a knitter! I did that!. It’s kinda a great feeling ;). 6 years ago I had just begun playing with sticks and string, and now I’m doing it all.
…well except not the feeding the sheep, shaving the sheep, cleaning the fleece, carding the fleece, spinning the fleece…ya. Let’s not get too carried away now!

In celebration of getting this delicious pattern not only knit, but freaking written out and published (!), I’m offering all my patterns 50% off till Friday. What what!! Check it out! my ravelry store! coupon code ‘strawberryjam’

I may not have shaved the sheep…but I did take some pretty pictures with fruit, and that’s kinda the same, right?

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FO Friday: more fruity feet!

I finished some more dyeing this week and am thrilled with the results!

…I may have accidentally dyed my hand blue (again) and It may have taken 20 minutes to scrub the hot pink off my countertops…but it’s all for the art! Right? I can tell my husband that, right? ‘But honey, I’m an artist! I’m creating here!’

It’s very all-encompassing, this art thing. I left a pot of dark blue soaking while I was off gallivanting with my girls (aka my knitting circle, heh) and came home to medium blue wool and hot pink water. What what?! I mean…how does that even…wha? But, a further dip revealed some amazing colours so I was tickled pink, and fell in love.

What I’m loving most about this art thing is all the places inspiration is smacking me upside the head hitting me. Farmers market! Driving the van, tv commercials, talking with friends, bathtub, cooking…it’s all around me and my wittle notebook is filling fast. Best part is I’m sleeping like a log. My brain is happy.

I’ve also been busting out my very rusty photography skills. Insinuating they were at one point even better is a stretch, but it’s my blog so I’m gonna go with it ;).
Check out my two newest colour ways, bringing my grand total of reproducible colour ways to FOUR!

Bonnie blueberry

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And perfectly plum

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Yummy, am-I-right?!. I even got the listed on etsy, blue hand and all. Can I just say how distracting having only one blue hand is? I’m tempted to dye the other just so I can have a matching pair!

…and now I’m off to finish knitting my other strawberry jam sock so I can get those bad boys registered in the local fairs knitting competition!