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Jan Hicks Creates Flosstube #12

Back to my regular updates!  I covered lots, and below you will find the links to everything and more pictures!

Slide show of Antelope Slot Canyon at beginning

Flosstube channels to check out:
Doodlebug Stitcher – did an interesting version of Maynia. Started 16 or 17 new ones, and then went back to them for the second half of the month. Bought some fun fabric for finishing/bags. Really pretty stuff.
Hobbies up to Here – Katie V and her mom Dorie have had a quilting channel, but have added Flosstube. Katie is new to stitching, her mother is not. Great vibe and another great mother/daughter duo. Very talented quilters.
Cute little stitch – proves that we are all still the same, no matter where, religion, culture. Arabic speaking woman, understand words like cute, finish, biscornu and cross stitch! Lovely projects and finishes!
Cross My Stitches – great finishes and projects. Loved the fabric dying and she makes it seem easy! Showed some projects she made with her Silhouette. Very talented lady! And she has an RV!
Ninja Chickens – not stitching, but knitting. Beautiful setting in the NC mountains. Filming outside, finished projects, WIPs, but most interesting was history of Edisto Beach, and her knowledge and samples of Eco printing – scarves, sock blanks.
Stitching the high notes – Joanna, another knitter and stitcher, also an opera singer with the San Fran symphony. Lots of fun projects, both knitting and stitching.
News:
Stitching Round Robin hosted by Country Stitchers Deb and Liz –
Start of the Eliza Bell Cox SAL on June 1. So we’ll be starting to see that beauty being stitched.
No finishes or FFOs, NO surprise there!
WIPs
Harbor Haven by By the Bay Needlearts – Sky blue hand dyed linen 36 ct, 1 over 1
Floss subs GAST: 3052 = Shutter Green, 503 = Tropical Ocean, 829 = Old Hickory, 3363 = VMST Southern Mint
Snowman ‘10 by Lizzie Kate – 32 ct mystery linen, 2 over 2. Floss substitutions DMC 3854 instead of
Sally Spencer – 36 ct Confederate Grey linen by Weeks Dye Works – I substituted all of the colors as follows: GAST Claret for GAST Buckeye Scarlet, GAST Midnight for GAST Black Crow, old Needlework Necessities Cornflower for GAST Brethren Blue, GAST Highland Heather for GAST Melon Patch, GAST Pineapple Sherbert for GATS Buttermilk and VMST Southern Belle for GAST Tropical Ocean,
Mabel Pullover by KittyBeaKnitting
Caramelized Cowl with Laura Nelkin of Nelkin Designs for The N Club
That’s So Kelly on Etsy for the Bitzy Bob
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Stitch Maynia Day 29

Day 29 was actually a knit with me day instead of a stitch with me day. Laura Nelkin was releasing a new club pattern, and I needed to swatch the yarn and choose bead. So join me for a knit with me day!

Since I had made kumihimo jewelry in the past, I had built up quite a stash of size 8/0 and 6/0 seed beads. There is a n0-bead option with Laura’s N Club kits, so that’s what I’m getting, which means I had to choose from my stash for beads for this design.

I decided to rope my viewers in to help me choose beads. The best way to choose beads for a project is to see them on the yarn, and since we have to (really, we do have to) knit a swatch anyway, I incorporated the beads in to the swatch.

I love how all of the beads look, so I really was having a hard time deciding. Most of my viewers and commenters on Instagram liked the second one from the top the best. I still couldn’t decide, so decided to wait for Laura’s live Facebook reveal for Club members that evening. I knew once I saw how the beads were actually used, I would know which beads were best.

The design is called Caramelized Cowl, and it uses Kettle Yarn Co.’s Beyul Singles in an exclusive colorway called Praline. The yarn is a yak/silk/merino blend, and it is luscious! The design will do it justice. The pattern is exclusive for N Club members for the first year.

Caramelized Cowl with Laura Nelkin of Nelkin Designs for The N Club

The beads are just lightly sprinkled through the design, so I’ve decided to go with the one that most people liked. They are the ones that stand out the best, and to be honest, those were the first beads I thought of when I first saw the yarn.

Next step, I need to block my gauge swatch, measure it to see if I got gauge, and then cast on!

In the meantime, check in tomorrow when I’ll be returning to another WIP!

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Indie Dyer Review – KittyBeaKnitting

As someone who really is Mad for Yarn, I am constantly on the lookout for new yarn, especially new hand-dyers who really do color well. I cannot tell you how pleased I am to introduce a brand new indie dyer to you – KittyBeaKnitting.

This indie dyer was very easy to find because I work with her at A Good Yarn. KittyBeaKnitting is owned by Catherine Buchmueller. Catherine has been knitting for several years and recently decided to try her hand at yarn dying. As a graduate in Interior Design from Ringling College of Art and Design, Catherine has studied color extensively and understands how colors play together. She also understands the important role color plays in design, and she brings all of that knowledge to dying yarn.

I got a chance to play with a couple of her bases for the Mystery Knit Along we are doing at the store. I chose Egmont in her Moody Blue colorway and Siesta in her Logo 1 colorway. Egmont is a superwash merino single ply very similar to MadelineTosh Merino Light. The color is a gorgeous deep blue with tones slightly lighter. It’s very smooth and easy to work with and has great stitch definition. You can see that knitting really brings to life the beautiful tones of this yarn.

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Siesta is an 80/10/10 blend of Merino, Cashmere and Nylon. It is springy and soft with a great twist. It doesn’t split at all. The colors are gorgeous on it and it’s a real delight to knit with.

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I gave both of these colorways a good soaking and was pleased to see that neither of them bled into the water at all. I was very curious whether Moody Blue would since it’s such a saturated color, but not a hint of blue showed in the water.

Catherine is learning the dye trade quickly and is providing a variety of bases in gorgeous color ways. I definitely have several other skeins I can’t wait to get my hands on. Check these out!

Anna Maria, a cashmere/mulberry silk lace yarn in the Siam Orchid colorway:

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Casey, a superwash merino 2-ply fingering in the Drum Circle color way:

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I can’t make up my mind between these two! Sanibel, a 70/30 blend of Superwash Merino and Silk in Fruitville (left) or Opal (right). Which would you choose??

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If you’re as Mad for Yarn as I am, run, don’t walk, to Catherine’s store and check out her beautiful line of yarn. Read her story to learn about how she got started and the names of her yarn, and join me in  indulging in a  skein or 3!

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Needles, needles and more needles!

As an addicted knitter, I not only collect yarn, I collect needles. I have LOTS of needles! Interchangeable sets, fixed needles, multiple Signature tips and cable assemblies, double points, I have them all. And so do many of you, I know. One question I get asked a lot by our customers at A Good Yarn is what’s the best way to store circular needles. While I may not have the best way, after trying several different methods, I have found a great system that works for me.

One of my main problems is putting needles back in their places after I finish a project. I am so eager to start the next knitting project, I set the needles on a shelf in my closet and start putting together my next project. After several iterations of this, I have a pile of needles on my shelf and a tangled mess of cables. This means that I need a system that makes it easy to reorganize my needles after every use. One day, Susan, the owner of A Good Yarn, mentioned what she uses – a hanging divider. So off I went to Etsy to find one.

It didn’t take me long to find the perfect one. These beautiful hand-sewn items are from Buttermilk Cottage.


This answered my needs perfectly. It can hold a ton of needles! There’s a slot for every size and they are easily accessible. I used a Sharpie to write the numbers next to each slot. This hangs on a hanger in my closet and makes it so easy for me to find the right needle, and more importantly, to put it back away when I’m done with it.

But what about interchangeable needles sets, you ask? I found this from the same Etsy store. This holds both my interchangeable tips and my double points.

circular needle storage
This also hangs from a hanger and has numerous pockets. I labeled the pockets with the needle size again. The top row is the needle tips in those sizes and the middle row is my double points. The bottom row is tips again. At this point, I have no double point sets in the larger sizes. If I ever get any, I will put them in with the tips.

I don’t differentiate between needle brands here, only sizes. So, my Knit Picks sets, Royale, Chiagoo and Signatures are all stored in the same pocket  according to size. I often keep my Chiagoo needle sizer in the bottom right pocket so it’s handy.

I keep the cables for my interchangeable sets in a little zippered pouch.



Each pocket holds a different size cable – 24″, 32″, 40″, with 47″ and 60″ stored in the bottom pocket. Again, I’ve written the size on the pocket with a Sharpie. This system isn’t quite as easy to put away, but it does keep the cables tamed and easily accessible. I do keep my Signature cables separated in a little bag for each needle size.


I hope this gives you some inspiration for organizing your own needles. Did I happen to mention, I have a LOT of needles!

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Is this enough?

We have a week to go before we leave on our trip. Today was the day I had earmarked for packing my knitting projects. I had decided a while ago that I am going to dedicate my knitting on this trip to getting more WIPs done, so the majority of what I have packed is just that. (Hmm, now that I look at the picture, maybe th majority isn’t that! LOL). But I am almost as excited about the knitting that I’ve packed as I am about just getting on the road! So here’s what I’ve packed.


1. Las Cruces Sweater – this should be a fast knit with a fun construction. I’m thinking I can get this done in a week.
2. Boxy – I have barely begun this, so lots of knitting left to do! I am using the Sphinx Moth colorway that JulieSpins dyed for me.
3. Persian Dreams Afghan – yeah, this isn’t anywhere near being done! Lol
4. Laura Nelkin’s next KAL is starting on June 15. I have her kit for that all ready to go. Oh, that reminds me – I need to pack the needles!
5. Cashmere Love Cowl – I got the yarn for this a week ago, but have been restraining myself from starting this until we’re on the road. I can’t wait!
6. Synthesis – another Laura Nelkin MKAL. I’m about 3/4 of the way through Clue 4. Clue 5 is the edging with placed beads. I understand this takes a while, but I’m hoping to have it done within a week.
7. A brioche cowl I’m making for a friend. About halfway done with this. This will get finished fairly quickly as well.
8, 9 and 10 – as you can see these are all new projects – ones that have been on my mind for a while. I here we have the Novus Jacket in Berocco Espresso, a mesh top Berocco Versa, and Sea Foam in Anzula Cricket. Sea Foam is going to be my knit along at the store when I get back, so I won’t start on that one until we’re heading home. I promise I won’t work on the other ones, either, until I get some of the first ones finished. Hmm, I think there’s something else in the bag, too, but I can’t remember what. Lol.

The little bag I didn’t number holds all of my notions and cables for my needles.

So, wish me luck on getting these WIPs finished! Stay tuned!

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Always a Good Mail Day


When yarn comes in the mail, it’s always a good mail today. And today was one of those days. I’m a member of Laura Nelkin’s MKAL Club, a yearly subscription in which we get the yarns and the beads for Laura’s Mystery Knit Alongs and Knit Alongs. The latest shipment for her next KAL came in the mail today, and as always, it looks like fun! Laura always finds new and interesting dyers to team up with. This time, the dyer is Periwinkle Sheep from Albany, NY. Laura will be releasing her pattern on June 15. I can’t wait to see what is going to come off our needles this time!

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On a deadline

Mike and I will be heading out in our RV in a couple of weeks, and I’ve decided that I need to get some of my many WIPs done before I do that. I will be taking several WIPs with me, of course, but there were three that I was determined to get finished before I left. I am happy to say that I did finish two of them!

One is the Butterfly/Papillon shawl by …. What a fun project this was! And it’s one of those that looks more difficult than it is. For this, I used Lang’s Mille Colori Babyhttp://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/lang-yarns-mille-colori-baby for the color changes and Anzula Cloud in Elephant as the solid. I am so pleased with how this came out!

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The second is the Trastavere Poncho Top. This is a Filatura D’Crosa pattern that I bought when Stacy Charles visited A Good Yarn for our anniversary party back in 2014. I got Zara ArtYarns for it and started it right away. And then it got lost in the startitis shuffle and say that for a year and a half. But I finally got it out and got it finished. Go me! And I love it! It’s going on our trip with us, out to the chilly Rocky Mountains!

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The third project I’m determined to finish is The Joker and The Thief. I started this as a KAL at the store last summer and never finished it. But I’m going to finish it now! Here’s where I left off last summer.

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Wish me luck!

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Hitofude

Two years ago, I made the popular cardigan Hitofude, but I hardly ever wear it because it turned out rather small.

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So I was pleased to get a chance to make another one, even if it was for the store. This time, however, it was going to be longer…much longer. In collaboration with Prism yarns, we had created gradient kits with Prism’s Merino Mia fingering weight yarn. These gradient kits have over 1500 yards in them, plenty for a nice sweater. I had seen a long Hitofude, and knew this was the perfect pattern for this yarn.

Knitting Hitofude is a breeze. It’s really just the same lace pattern, repeated over and over and over….and over and over….again. The shaping is interesting, but not difficult, and the result is a fun piece that’s easy to wear.

As I mentioned, this one was a sample for the store. But I will be making one of these for myself in the not too distant future!

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Brioche Owl Cowl

Brioche Owl Cowl

Every once in a while, Susan, the owner of the yarn store I work at, A Good Yarn in Sarasota, asks me to knit a sample for the store. My most recent sample is this sweet brioche cowl, knit in The Fiber Seed’s Sprout DK. I love knitting brioche. Combine that with some of my favorite colors, and this project was a total join. It took me under a week to knit. Another win!

Brioche Owl Cowl