It’s a Go!

It’s been a little while in the making, but the day is here; I have an Etsy store!

Rather than complain about my plot in life, I’m seeking to change it.  With positivity, colour, and constructive action.

So, ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you:

Phancee Yarn.
Yarn with a love story.

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No positive 3 today, because this just takes the cake.

There’ll be some changes here on the blog over the next week or so, as this will be the new home of Phancee Yarn.

Watch this space!
I’m really excited.

Spin Me Right ‘Round; Day 21

I like the number 21.  It’s not only my birthday, but it’s divisible by 3 and by 7 and it’s not an even number.  Don’t try and tell me that’s weird – it’s perfectly logical thank you very much.

Today was a busy day at work.  Not stressful, frantic busy – just full, working lunch kind of busy.  I like those days, though I wish I had actually accomplished more.

This evening has been a crafty one and that makes me pretty happy.

Two of my top 3 points from today are fibre related;

  1. I’m making great progress on my brother’s beanie.  He requested one and needs it for warmth so I’m knitting it with a NZ possum / nylon blend.  Very warm, even if the colour blends in seamlessly with my blue/gray couch.
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    Pattern is my own – it’s just a simple garter rib.  I don’t think I’ll release it as a pattern but I’ll have a look on Ravelry and if there isn’t a similar one I might write up a recipe and release it for free…
  2. I pulled out my electronic spinning wheel (Ashford e-Spinner, if you’re curious) and spun up some of the 100% merino roving I dyed up a little while ago.
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    I’m very much a novice spinner and the consistency of my singles leaves a lot to be desired, but I think tonight’s efforts went well.  They’re also the thinnest I’ve spun to date, so I’m hoping they’ll make a useable fingering/sport weight three ply (I plan to chain ply).
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  3. An exciting piece of life admin; I’ve set up Skype on my laptop so that I can video call with The Boyfriend without having to worry about propping up my phone.  This is great news, even if only in my head.  Funnily enough, that’s the whole point of this list so it counts.

Tomorrow will be an equally good (or, perhaps even better?) day.  Onwards!

Feeling Loved; Day 7

It started off really, really sucky, but the day really turned around and I ended up really enjoying myself.  This morning at 4.30am we waved goodbye to The Boyfriend as he went off through the international departures gate.  Destination; Rome.  Eventually… London.  For two years.  Two years.

That’s literally the other side of the planet.  12 hour time difference.  Northern hemisphere to my southern hemisphere.

And it sucks.

But all is not lost, and wallowing does not help!  So, I have 3 awesome, positive things to focus on instead;

  1. I don’t have a lot of friends, but the friends I do have are amazing, loving, totally-there-for-me people.  Quality over quantity, people!  I love them dearly.
  2. Phone calls with my mum, over a glass of wine, on a cold rainy evening.  Comforting and good for the soul.
  3. Dyeing yarn makes me smile.  Tonight I dyed some yarn in greens and browns for a handsome young man’s woollen sweater (and cast on for his little brother’s cardigan while the yarn dries!).

(For those wondering what happened to Day 6, I briefly mentioned in my last post that I wouldn’t be posting.  It was my last day with The Boyfriend, so he got all my attention.  You know, priorities)

On My Needles: Lotsa WIPs

My name is Amy and I have startitis.  Honestly, I’m fine with that.  It’s not a real problem.

But, it means I have a lot of WIPs.

Curious?  You should be!

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1. Hitofude swatched and ready to go.

I’m knitting this cardigan as part of the Tea House Knits Light KAL.  I’ve already knit a Starshower cowl (photos to come).

Hitofude is a lace cardigan knit in one piece.  Designed by Hiroko Fukatsu.  It’s very popular – 3,208 projects on Ravelry as I type this.  That’s… a lot.

So I’m joining in!  Knitting with Ice Yarns extrafine merino in a nice, classy grey.

It’s perfect timing, too.  We’ve just booked tickets to Japan in August, so hopefully I’ll have this cast off and ready to wear then! (Noting that August is the middle of summer and according to the internet the min temp that I can expect is as high as our max days here in Wellington.  Excellent).

I’ve already swatched (and blocked it…) and I’m comfortable that I’ve got gauge (Yay!).  That makes things easier.

Expect to see more on this one soon.

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2. Rosebud Socks – for something a little bit fancy. 

Last night I cast on for Wendy D. Johnson’s Rosebud Socks.  I love the lace pattern (you can see a better shot of it here), but I was drawn to them initially for the name.

As a child, my great-Aunt nicknamed me ‘Rosebud’ for my English Rose complexion.  So, love the name.

I’m knitting these in Happy Go Knitty alpaca/merino/nylon (60%/20%/20%) on 2.00mm needles (US 0).

First time I’m knitting on 2.00mm needles – I usually knit on 2.25mm (US 1), but my gauge is getting looser.  So far, I’m really liking the fabric.

Toe up (as the photo suggests…) and one at a time.  Not too sure what heel I’ll use yet.  The pattern uses a gusset and heel flap, but I think I’ll opt for the fish lips kiss heel – I tried this the other day with some vanilla cashmere gradient socks and it fits really well.

No deadline for these babies, but they’ll be finished eventually.

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3.  Jumping on the Sockhead bandwagon.

Have you heard of the Sockhead hat pattern?  It’s been knit a couple of times.  Only 7,014 and counting.  Yowzer!

If you can knit and purl, and have a skein of fingering weight yarn, you can knit this.

It’s beautiful in its simplicity – an excellent way to showcase your special skein of luxury yarn.

I’m knitting in a mystery yarn.  I got it in a swap, and it came without a tag.  The colours are gorgeous (I’m a sucker for green), and as I’m knitting I’m trying to figure out what the fibre is.  At the moment, I think it’s a merino silk blend… but how will I know for sure?

This has been on the needles for a while now and is serving as my end-of-the-day mindless knitting – for those times when following a pattern is the absolute last thing I feel like doing.  So, no deadline on this one either.

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4. Basic cowl to show off colourful yarn

This is a woven stitch cowl I cast on to experiment with a yarn I bought just because.  MadelineTosh Tosh DK in the ‘Mandala’ colourway.

These colours are brilliant.  Seriously.  Look at the colours in that ball.

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Sadly, they are not colours I would ever wear myself.  They’d take my English Rose complexion and make me look a little too undead for my liking.

But thankfully, I have plenty of blue-eyed lovelies in my family who would look wonderful in these colours.  No one specific in mind yet, but this will make a good gift later in the year.

That’s what’s on my needles – what’s on yours?

Finished Object: Drachenfels Shawl

It’s off the needles!  My Drachenfels is finally off the needles!

IMG_7847This turned into one of those projects that I just had to finish.  It took a while to get into the swing of things (I was probably over half way – in the middle of the stripes – before I found my garter stitch groove).  And the novelty wore off pretty quickly after that.

Drachenfels is a paid pattern, so I won’t go into details of the construction, but the shawl grows so that each row is longer (i.e. has more stitches) than the last.  Soooo… the last few rows are quite, erm, long. 

Towards the end it became a chore, but the final items was so worth it.  I’ve worn it a few times already and it only came off the needles on Wednesday.  This is going to get a lot of use.

Sadly, the wool is not super soft, so it can get a little scratchy on the back of my neck.  But I’m hopeful that it’ll get softer with a good soak.

I haven’t blocked it yet, I’m not sure I have space.  Or if I really need to.  The stitches are uneven, the fabric is a bit wobbly, but I’m going to be wearing this as a big, giant scarf.  So none of that stuff matters.

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The sheer size of this thing is hard to describe in words and still do it justice.

Excuse the the terrible photo quality, but I had to drape the shawl over the back of my door to get a shot that really demonstrated the length of this thing.

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I think my favourite part of the whole shawl was the bind off.  The pattern called for an i-cord bind-off – something I had never tried to do before.

The final look is really cool.  I think this is my new favourite cast off method and I’m definitely keen to try it on some more projects.  Just, preferably, not ones that will take and hour to get across the final row…

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First Post Goodness; Obligatory Introductions

Woah, first post.  The pressure is on.  I’ve got to be clever enough that you want to come back… let my personality shine through, so you feel like you can get to know me, and I should probably wow you with some pretty sweet photography skills, too.  You know, for good measure.

I’ll try my best, but promise me you won’t hold your breath – okay?

Who the heck am I?

I’m me.  Amy.

I’ve been blogging over at peonut.com for a while.  It’s my personal blog with a focus on my attempts at healthier living.  That blog’s still going, so if you’re after insight into my personality I recommend you head over there.  Expect sarcasm, disturbingly personal details and – at times – a scary positivity toward ‘fitspo’ that can only be described as ‘fake it ’til you make it’.

I’m much better at knitting than I am at sport, or anything that requires speed with my co-ordination.

Broadly, I’m a twenty-something female in Wellington, New Zealand (in the south Pacific) who has an accounting-based desk job during the day.  I turn to yarn and fibre to feed my creativity in the evening.

I also watch a lot of television.  A lot.  It’s best we don’t talk about that.
(But it also means I have a lot of knitting time, so really… it’s all a solid investment in my personal development and mental health…)

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So what’s going on here?

Right now? Not a lot.

Ultimately, this is intended to be my outlet for yarny adventures that just aren’t suited to my other blog (not all runners want fawn over my hand knits).

What are my ‘yarny adventures’?  At the moment, mostly knitting.  In the short term I also want to get into hand dyeing my own yarn.  And learn to crochet.  And design my own patterns.

Longer term?  I have my eye on weaving (mostly, I just want to weave a scarf… I’m not too fussed beyond that), and ultimately – when I win the lottery – I want to buy a spinning wheel.  I don’t know what kind yet… when I research something I tend to get carried away and my credit card suffers.  I’ll save for one first.

What am you supposed to do with that information?

Read or don’t read, all the power is with you – this blog is really just another creative outlet for me; a place to collate my photos, stories, planning and whims in a way that my Ravelry projects page doesn’t really do.

Sound like something you’re interested in?  Follow along!  And while you’re waiting for the next post, head on over to Ravelry and add me as a friend – I love seeing what other people are up to.

Not so sure?  That’s cool, but try to check in again later – things will keep getting better and better!