Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Best of British: #uketsyhour

Last Tuesday the brand new Etsy UK and Ireland Promo Team started what will be a regular event on Twitter: #uketsyhour. It takes place every Tuesday and Thursday night from 8-9 PM so if you want to discover a whole host of British and Irish talent, please have a look at Twitter and search for our hashtag.
(A sneakpeek from a team treasury)

This promotion came about to make Etsy better known in the UK. Since it is an American site, it is particularly popular there, but there is also a large portion of international sellers. We want to encourage British buyers to find local handmade products on this platform that seems to be little known, unfortunately.

So every Tuesday and Thursday, a number of Etsy sellers from all over the country gather on Twitter to promote our favourite products, sellers and our favourite purchases using #uketsyhour. It’s a lot of fun chatting to others, very interesting to discover beautiful items, and fantastic to see support from so many people.
(Wooden stud earrings from LaserCutJewelry)

If you have a few minutes to spare, we’d love to see you at our next UK Etsy Hour.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

WIP: Beekeeper's Quilt, or: Are We There Yet?

I started on the Beekeeper's Quilt in December 2011, so more than a year has passed since I made the very first hexipuff. More than 160 hexipuffs later, the quilt is almost halfway there. Unless, of course, I make it bigger than the original, which is very likely. 
There is no particular planning behind my choice of yarn, colours or even thickness of the puffs, I have noticed. In fact, I have probably slightly overfilled the puffs for the most part so far and am trying to put a little less filling in them from now on. They are nice and squishy though. The colours vary greatly and the sock yarn I am using consists of my own leftovers as well as other people's. The only thing I am avoiding is anything too brightly coloured that just doesn't go with anything else. 

These most recent puffs have turned out really well, actually. I hadn't expected that when I saw the yarn. I just picked it up because I needed a change of colour to keep me interested in knitting more. So I ended up with puffs that remind me of snowfall (and we currently have the weather to match).
At this point, I have no idea how the whole thing will look once it is done. I haven't laid out all the puffs I have made so far. Before I sew any of them together, I want to have a complete set of hexipuffs, meaning all the ones I need for my quilt. Only then will I decide which ones to group together, if at all. I like the thought of having gradual colour changes, but then again a bit of chaos, lack of control and spontaneity would also be nice. 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

New on Etsy: Fish Stitch Markers

The final set of fish stitch markers is available now! I am offering to replace the jump rings with lightweight, snagfree silver rings that fit needles up to 7 mm which customers may prefer. I love these fish! They are so simple and yet pretty as they hand from the needle in a range of colours. I think I will have to make some of these for myself too.
If you don't want to use them as stitch markers, of course the fish can be used as charms on jewellery, bags and other items as well. There's no limit to your imagination!

Monday, 18 February 2013

What to Knit Next?

I am in a bit of a pickle. Once again I can't decide what to knit even though I have lots of yarn in my stash and lots of favourites on Ravelry. Of course there are my WIPs: two lace shawls and the Beekeeper's Quilt, but they are all long-term projects. Also, one of the shawls I would really love to continue with now has somehow gone wrong and I suspect I have to start all over again! I am not in the mood for that, especially since it means undoing all the beading too.

So now I am thinking about a small project such as socks (again). I recently received a lovely hand-dyed skein of sock yarn as a gift from Andrea who owns Atelier Zauberelfe. The images on her website do not make the yarn justice - it is lovely! The colours remind me of my own hand-dyed yarns, actually. However, the material feels a little rough, but certainly sturdy enough for socks.
I got Colour for the Ladies: Katharina. Now, if I hadn't just knit the Skew socks, I would have used this yarn for them! I am having a tough time finding something suitable without too much patterning so that the yarn's colours come through. In the meantime, my Beekeeper's Quilt is growing.

Friday, 15 February 2013

FO: Skew Socks

It's been a few days since I finished my Skew socks, so it is high time I blogged about it!

They are lovely, fit well and I really enjoyed knitting them. I suspect I may be making them again if I happen to have yarn that is just too colourful for my taste. I do prefer semisolid colourways for socks since they show off patterns so much better so this skein of Dornröschen Wolle could only be used for a plain sock pattern without any lacy bits or cabling.
I especially like how the heel came out with the yarn, making it look swirly and interesting. I found it rather difficult to take pictures of these socks so I may try again at a later date. The photos don't do them justice! These really are wonderful socks.

New on Etsy: Absolutely Menthol Sock Yarn

And here is the final pre-spring skein of hand-dyed sock yarn! Absolutely Menthol is a refreshing turquoise colourway that gives you a variegated fabric when knitted up.
Like the previous two skeins, this one contains 75% BFL and 25% nylon and is superwash treated so that you won't have to worry about shrinkage (I still recommend that you wash it on cool in the machine). There are 400 m in this 100g skein, so it will be plenty for a pair of socks, gloves or similar project.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

New on Etsy: Absolutely Chaotic Sock Yarn

There it is, another pre-spring skein of hand-dyed loveliness! Another one is currently drying, but for now you can get Absolutely Chaotic, a riot of colours that will liven up your day.

This colourway contains red, pink, green, yellow and turquoise - all these shades come together in this skein, sometimes blending together to form new and unexpected colours. If you want to tame this chaos, knit it into socks, a little shawlette, a cowl or gloves. There is no limit to your imagination. 

This 100g skein contains 75% BFL and 25% nylon and is superwash treated so that you won't have to worry about shrinkage (I still recommend that you wash it on cool in the machine).

Monday, 11 February 2013

New on Etsy: Absolutely Mumbai Sock Yarn

There has been a new addition to AbsoKnittingLutely on Etsy, a colourful skein of Absolutely Mumbai

The colours remind me of the ones I saw everyday on the Indian subcontinent where I spent 5 years of my life. The colours there were stunning and probably explain my love of bold colours. The yarn uses orange, pink and turquoise shades that are interspersed with flecks of white.

This 100g skein consists of 75% BFL and 25% nylon and it is superwash treated so that you won't have to worry about shrinkage (I still recommend that you wash it on cool in the machine).

There is more sock yarn yet to come, so keep an eye out for it.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Dyeing 2013

I recently bought three skeins of undyed sock yarn to get back into dyeing. I haven't done that for at least half a year, I think, so it was about time. Seeing the sunshine we had earlier this week, I was a bit too optimistic and ended up having to do just what I feared: drying a wet skein in my very cold flat, which takes ages. Ah well.
Still wet and not quite showing its true colours yet

But this skein isn't half bad! I used pink, blue-turquoise and orange here, and there are a few paler spots that should look interesting when knitted up. Once the yarn is dry I will be able to put it in the shop, assuming we will have a sufficiently bright day at some point. Today was very dark. 
My fingers are itching to play with more colours and yarn soon so there may be a few new yarny posts in the near future!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

WIP: Skew Socks

The first Skew sock is finished! Contrary to my expectations, these socks are easy to knit if you keep to the instructions exactly. I made no changes whatsoever and the first sock even fits. Some knitters have said that it is a bit tight around the top of the foot and that they would need a bigger gusset, but so far so good. I do have a high instep, but sock number 1 is okay. If, however, it decides to shrink even just a little bit in the wash, I may not get my foot back in it anymore!
The unusual construction of these socks doesn't come across in the pictures yet, but I hope to take better ones once the second sock is done too. I especially like the swirl at the back of the heel that comes from grafting the section together. I also like the diagonal shaping because you can see it thanks to the colourful yarn.
Sock number 2 won't be long, I suspect. I am going to graft the heel today and then I'm already at the start of the cuff.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

All Askew

Things in life can be topsy-turvy, so what better excuse to knit socks that are all askew? Queue Knitty's Skew socks!
(Image source: Knitty)

They are perfect for my new skein of Dornröschen yarn because they will show off the colour changes really well. I don't normally like knitting with yarns that are too colourful - I much prefer semisolid or solid colourways - so it took me some time to find a suitable pattern. This colour is called "Lachen ist die beste Medizin": Laughter is the Best Medicine.
So far I have learnt how to make a new kind of increase, described in the pattern as LLinc and RLinc which are knitted from stitches in the previous row. I must admit I had to look those up first! I suspect you might just as well use any other type of increase you are most comfortable with, but I was happy to learn something new.
At the moment I am finishing the unusual toe section. I knit it twice because I thought I got it wrong the first time - but I didn't. I am excited to see how these will turn out!