Skip to main content

Posts

A Year of Sock Pals!

Popping back in to talk about a subject that has always been near and dear to my heart (even if I don't get to do it as often as I like) - sock knitting! I used to knit socks obsessively, and almost exclusively. But as the years went on, issues with my hands (and golfer's elbow?!) severely limited my ability to knit socks without pain. So for a while, I just didn't make them. And it was a bummer!  But then my brilliant friend Allyson, co-owner of Knit 1 Chicago, came up with a brilliant plan: Sock Pals ! Think of it like a pen pal, but with sock knitting. Sock Pals is a combination of a knit-along & sock swap. You get to pick the yarn color and pattern you want to keep for yourself, and then you get matched up with a mystery sock pal who will knit your second sock for you, while you knit theirs to send back to them. And then you get to open your matching sock during a zoom party where the identity of your sock pal is revealed - it's super fun!  I've participated
Recent posts

Mystery Revealed: Brown Sheep Mystery KAL

Sharing my new sock design last week reminded me that I never revealed the mystery from the Brown Sheep MKAL which launched in April of this year ! I wish I could say that I was just waiting to be extra-super-duper certain that I wouldn't spoil the surprise for anyone, but I'm quite certain that everyone who participated earlier this spring has long since finished their project. So, without further ado, here is what the finished shawl looks like: If you like what you see, you can still get a free PDF download when you sign up for the Brown Sheep monthly newsletter by clicking here now through October 2021. After that, I'll have the pattern for sale in my Ravelry store - so get it for free while you still can!

New Sock Pattern: Collin Sox for Knit 1 Chicago

Although it's been a full year since we moved from Chicago, I still have strong yarny ties to the city that was our home for over a decade. Largely, I have the good people at Knit 1 to thank for this - their daily Instagram Live videos are my main connection to the yarn world now that I've left the fiber arts industry, professionally speaking. Their Instagram Garage Sale account  has tempted me far too many times, despite my legitimate SABLE* concerns. Last November, they launched the brilliant Sock Pals program and used one of my patterns for the inaugural KAL. It was so much fun that I've participated in every Sock Pals KAL ever since! So I was thrilled to contribute a new sock pattern to their Designer Subscription Box series for 2021 , which features some fabulous designs from fabulous people using Knit 1's exclusive fabulous yarns (the key word here being FABULOUS). And, 10% of each subscription box is donated to a charity chosen by the designer.  When we started

Easy, No-Mess Yarn Dyeing with Abundant Earth Wool Tinctures

Note: a version of this post originally appeared on the Nancy's Knit Knacks blog, for whom I was ghost writing for at the time. Since the future of this business is in flux (last I checked, the website  was password protected with a conflicting coming soon/closing business message), I wanted to make sure that this tutorial wasn't lost, so I am republishing it here. Have you ever admired a skein of hand dyed yarn and wondered if you could produce similar results at home? There are many methods of dyeing yarn: you can dip-dye, steam dye, kettle dye, solar dye, or even ice dye - but the basic principles are the same: heat is used to transfer pigment onto fiber, often using a  mordant  or  fixative  to aid the process.  Dyeing can be messy, and some dyes create harmful fumes that the at-home dyer may not want to invite into their living space. The good news is that there are plenty of safer options to try: Kool-Aid, food coloring, and even easter egg dye can be used to dye yarns an

Latch Hook: 12 Projects for the Modern Maker [BOOK REVIEW]

On the very first day of 2020, my friend Heidi, the crafter behind the Hands Occupied craft blog , taught me how to latch hook so that I could make a sample for the pattern book she was working on.  Heidi's Latch Hook book & my latch hooking supplies As a sample maker, I was given everything I needed to make the project - mesh, precut yarn, and the latch hook. And I didn't have to worry about any of the finishing work, either. It was a pretty sweet set-up! My sample for the book - the faux shearling throw So when Heidi sent me a copy of  her Latch Hook book  as a thank-you for making the sample, I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could make a project from start to finish.  I chose the Hey Welcome Mat and decided to sub in one of my favorite Brown Sheep Yarns, Lamb's Pride Worsted . I struggled with cutting the yarn lengths at first until I discovered a simple hack using a chenille cutter ; after that, it was smooth sailing, and now I have this fun rug that I will

A Finished Sweater, With Cat Hair

After losing Tilly and Robin within a year of each other, I sure didn't think I'd be finding cat hair in my knitting any time soon. But the universe had other ideas. Over the winter, a white feral cat adopted us. I'd noticed her when we moved into our apartment last summer - I would see her hiding in the bushes or sunning herself in the grass when she thought no one was looking. I assumed she was someone's cat until I realized how skittish she was around humans, plus she had a tipped ear, which is a universal sign that a feral/stray cat has been spayed. Neighbors confirmed that she was a feral kitty (descended from several generations of feral cats, in fact), and that she has survived on her wits and whatever food various residents put out for her.  We had some bitterly cold days over the winter, and I just felt so sorry for this poor kitty! I started offering her treats and slowly gained her trust. She didn't even want to come inside our apartment at first, much le

Sew into Quilting

Well, that didn't take long. I started working at MSQC last December, and I've already completed my very first quilt project, a quilt-as-you-go hexagon tree skirt!  While I was waiting for more border/backing fabric for my quarantine quilt (which is also a quilt-as-you-go hexagon project), I decided to use all of the fabrics left over from making holiday masks last year by pairing them with a bright red solid fabric for the backing/border to make the hexagon tree skirt from BLOCK magazine (volume 7, issue 3 2020 for anyone who's interested). BLOCK is a Missouri Star publication, and when I started they gave me a few issues to page through to get a sense of what they were like. Right away, the tree skirt project jumped out to me, but I was hesitant to give it a try since I've never quilted anything, and my sewing skills are limited.  With the help of the tutorial video below, I started sewing hexies with leftover fabric and precut hexagon batting...which ended up being