Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ravelry - Icon for frogged projects

An icon I made for the projects that never were - It features the frog from frogger.
Because, why not?

Use it if you enjoy it!


Father Cables - A new project

As promised, I started a new project!

It has been really fun to knit so far, even if I did have to start it over four or five times ;)

The pattern is by Veronika Jobe of Yarn On The House yarns, is FREE on Ravelry and is called "Father Cables".
I haven't knit many cables in my life, so this has been a great project to jump back into knitting with.
The yarn I'm using is worsted-weight, 2-ply merino wool by Cestari (I wrote about it here if you'd like to learn more).  Veronika has a very beautiful blog over at - be sure to check that out!!!  I have never tried their yarn before, but it looks amazing.

You can knit either a slouchy or fitted version of this hat - I chose the slouchy for now.  I will probably knit another one of these in a neutral color because the cables are really beautiful and it is a really simple pattern to follow once you get the hang of it.  I did mess up the edge and the cabling a bit - that is part of why I want to give this another go in a neutral color.  I do, however love imperfect knitting - it's part of what makes it beautiful.  It'll also be interesting to see how the two compare.

I'll be posting a video soon about my experience knitting this so far - so stay tuned!


Thursday, February 11, 2016

NEW VLOG! & a Look at my Stash....

Hey Hey ok!  Brace yourself, you're about to see a bunch of yarn.

So I started a knitting vlog on YouTube to get myself back into knitting up stuff & things!  It's still pretty cold here so I'm hoping to get to wear a new hat or mittens before the cold season is over.

In my 1st vlog entry, I promised to make up a list of all the yarns shown in the video (15 in total)... so here we go!   This is a sample of what I have sitting around in my yarn stash.  If you have ideas for patterns - let me know in the comments!

Brand:  Cestari, Ltd.
Where:  Churchill, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley
Fiber:  100% fine merino wool
Weight:  2-ply worsted
Color:  Chrysanthemum

I have 340 yds of this!!
I was honored to meet Francis Chester-Cestari at Stitches Midwest and bought this yarn directly from him.  He is very passionate about his product and about preserving his family's legacy... he comes from a centuries-long lineage of Italian shepherds, and discovered his love for raising sheep some time in the late 60's.  More about Francis and Cestari here!!

Brand:  "Lamb's Pride" Worsted, by Brown Sheep Company, Inc.
Where:  Mitchell, Nebraska
Fiber:  85% wool, 15% mohair
Weight:  worsted
Color:  m-14 sunburst gold

I love the dimension in this singe-ply yarn.  This comes from another family-run operation based in the U.S., and Lamb's Pride is their most popular yarn.

Brand:  ShiBui
Where:  Italy
Fiber:  100% linen
Weight:  fingering
Color:  2 skeins in "scale", 1 skein in "brick"

This linen has an interesting chain-ply structure, and is very zen...

Brand:  Black Wolf Ranch
Where:  Saint Ignatius, Montana
Fiber:  100% pure alpaca
Weight:  sport
Color:  black - this is the natural color of the fleece!  It is amazing!!

Brand:  S & S Camelid Co.
Where:  Morehead, Kentucky
Fiber:  100% suri alpaca
Weight:  Looks like a lace weight to me
Color:  This is another great natural fleece color.  It is not dyed!

I have 400 yards of this.

Brand:  Ozark Mountain Alpacas, LLC
Where:  Fayetteville, Arkansas
Fiber:  100% alpaca (huacaya)
Weight:  Worsted
Color:   Yes! Another undyed, natural color.
Soooo, if you take a look at the label, you will a photo of the actual alpaca that the yarn came from.  Taking a closer look, I realized that her name is on there, too!  Her name is Monaccina!  Doing a quick search online, I saw that her birthday is November 23rd.  How awesome is that?

Brand:  Universal Yarn "Classic Shades"
Where:  Turkey
Fiber:  70% acrylic, 30% wool
Weight:  worsted
Color:  sundown

Brand:  Lion Brand Yarns "Fishermen's Wool"
Where:  Not sure, couldn't find out online
Fiber:  100% pure virgin wool
Weight:  worsted
Color:  undyed - the color is "nature's brown"

Brand:  Rowan "Yorkshire Tweed Aran"
Where:  Holmfirth, Yorkshire England
Fiber:  100% pure new wool
Weight:  aran/dk
Color:  sh415 - I believe the color is discontinued, but it is similar to the color "wensley" #590, over on their site.

My friend found this in a dumpster (a very clean one) & gave it to me. !!! I know...

Brand:  Glenfiddich Wool "Bartlett Yarns"
Where:  Based out of Millerton, Pennsylvania
Fiber:  100% wool
Weight:  worsted
Color:  black & blackberry
There is just something about this one that I love - the lanolin makes it really nice to work with, and it is pretty water-resistant, too.  Rugged and durable!

Bonus color (not shown in video):  I found another color tucked away in a drawer, partially knit into a project (that I started ripping apart)... this color is called "blue loch".  I think it is magical...

Brand:  Malabrigo 
Where:  Uruguay 
Fiber:  100% baby merino wool
Weight:  lace
Color:  natural
This is so soft... I really need to find a project to put this one in.

Brand:  Newton's Yarn Country
Where:  Anaheim, CA
Fiber:  100% Wool (softball merino wool)
Weight:  lace?
Color:  unspecified - it's golden musard-ish
I have 840 yards of this!!!
This vendor had tables and tables FULL of yarn (piles and piles) at stitches midwest.  I am not sure where the yarn comes from, but the prices were very competitive.  Doing a little research, their store is geared towards machine knitters which explains the giant hanks of yarn at their booth.  The quality seems o.k. and I like how it says "keep refrigerated" on the sticker, hehehe.  I bought about half a pound of lace-weight raw silk from them, too... my cat chewed it up one night a couple years ago and thankfully, she was fine.  She's like royalty.  Her diet is naturally comprised of fine foods and other fine... materials...

Brand:  Lion Brand Yarns "Amazing"
Where:  Italy
Fiber:  53% wool, 47% acrylic
Weight:  no.4 medium
Color:  mauna loa (left), arcadia (right)
I really dig the colors in mauna loa - that hot pink is electric.

Brand:  Big Lots "Gala Yarns"
Where:  Turkey
Fiber:  mixed - acrylic, polyester, nylon << about as synthetic as it gets... :)
Weight:  worsted
Color:  white & navy

My husband got this for me when I first started knitting :)

Brand:  Rowan
Where:  Italy
Fiber:  100% pure linen
Weight:  worsted
Color:  arizona

...that color!!!  I am in love with this yarn.  I am currently working on knitting this with it...

that's it!

You're still reading this?  Shouldn't you be doing something besides looking at pictures of yarn?

Just kidding.  I sincerely thank you for looking through the whole thing - it took me a while to put together.  I better get busy and knit something with all this yarn I have.
Again, if you have ideas for patterns for any of these, feel free to share.  Also, if you happen to go through your stash and want to show some of it off like I did, show me where you posted it!  I'd love to see what you got!

Until next time...


P.s.: Which one's your favorite?  Let me know in the comments :)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Has it really been since AUGUST?! Two years?!

Ok well,

A lot has changed.  I have kind of put the pursuit of a bachelor's in Physics on the back burner at the moment.  Maybe Physics and I need a break?

In the meantime.... while I work out what I want to be when I grow up (do we ever know?)... I will show you my latest finished creation!

Before blocking!

Pin it 'til you win it.
 My first doily ever.  A little gift for my mom!  I starched this one with a corn starch solution, and it is knitted together with some random cotton crochet thread, and some 00 needles (I think).  The pattern is called "Flower Doily" from Coats Design Team, and can be found on ravelry, here.  I actually ripped apart some circulars for this.  I just had to use 5 needles :)

Happy knitting!

Stay tuned, spread love xoxo


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What to do, what to do...

I am yet again procrastinating!

I have plenty of school work to do.  Working on a bachelor's in Physics.  I have a couple of projects that I need to complete for this semester, and I swear I will get to them!  But first I have to knit a gauge swatch from some yarn I picked up at Stitches Midwest.  Then go on ravelry and look at patterns for two hours or so.  Then dream about knitting up an Orenburg lace shawl some day...
Then think about how much fun it would be to get comfortable knitting in colors, all of my ends perfectly woven in, and looking flawless and perfect.

Some day!  Right now things are moving along steadily.  I'm picking up new techniques and gaining more confidence, however I have yet to really finish a sock or a sweater, and have barely begun to read from charts.  I hope to someday make patterns of my own - not just yet, though!

Knitting has become a true love of mine, and it is so fun to be able to track my progress here.  I encourage any beginner knitter reading this to do the same - track your progress!  I have made the mistake before of becoming so angry at my work, that I unravel it in a heated rage and/or abandon it and leave it to collect lint and dust in some long-forgotten corner.  What I realize now is that those "mistakes" really ought to be cherished.  They're like growing pains.  And remembering them is remembering how far I've come as far as learning to knit goes!

Last year around this time, I tried to knit a sock.  Well... I did knit a sock.  I will see if I can find it.  If I tried knitting the same sock now, I would actually be able to wear it, and it would take me probably a fifth of the amount of time! (I still have to try and make a good wearable sock, and you better believe it will be here for you to see!)  This thing was (finished) the size of my hand (the whole thing) and stiff enough to use as an insole for a pair of shoes.

If you are into knitting far enough that you are still reading this, and especially if you are a beginner... do not give up!  It is frustrating, challenging, and cumbersome when you first learn something, but when you stick to it, the payoff is huge.  And keep your crappy first sock somewhere where you can go back and look at it in six months' or a year's time.

P.S.:  I have some (not too many!) pictures from the last two festivals I went to.  I'll put those up when I finish my homework  :)

Stay tuned and spread love!
-maria violet

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My first attempt at gloves...

Here is the project I chose to make using that merino/mohair yarn from Juniper Moon Farms! It's called Treads, and you can find it at this lovely blog. The sideways braids are a little tricky to knit, but I think they are coming along ok! (my first attempt at a glove-type pattern) What do you think?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Started over a gift for Mom!

Hi guys!

Here is a project I'm working on. I'm making it as a (super!) late mama's day gift for my mama! The pattern is found at - the name of the pattern is "Tiger Eyes Lace Scarf", and it is by Toni M. Maddox. (Here it is if you don't feel like searching!)

The yarn I'm using is Paton's Silk Bamboo in the color Orchid. I kept forgetting to do the three stitch border (which isn't charted in the pattern), so I started over and added a picot edge all the way around!

In other news, I did get to check out the knit & crochet show here in Indianapolis over last weekend! I took some photos and did bring home a haul. Photos to come!

Stay tuned and spread love!
-maria violet