Monthly Archives: October 2017
Welcome to episode 158! This week I can’t seem to find anything in my craft room. That said, I have lots and lots of knits to share and even a spin.
Please come and join the Ravelry group.
- David’s Tea, Licorice Twist (discontinued)
- Finished: Fomhar by Anne Podlesak, Dream in Color Smooshy in Flamingo Pie
- Finished: Winter set for Roxy, The World’s Simplest Mittens by Tin Can Knits and Easy Brioche Scarf by Ewelina Murach in Cascade 220 Superwash in Colorway 801, Army Green
- Finished: Preemie hats, Bev’s Baby Ribs Hat at Bev’s Country Cottage, Artyarns Cottonspring (discontinued) in Yellow
- In progress: Banana Leaf Shawl by Yuki Ueda, Northbound Knitting BFL/Silk Lace in Metallurgy
- In progress: Exploration Station by Stephen West, Pigeonroof Studios High Twist Sock in Neon Pink, Charcoal and Silver, Treasuregoddess Treasure Toes in Kiss from a Mermaid.
- In progress: Hello Yarn Corriedale, Poisioned Apples
- On deck: Into the Whirled Superwash Targhee, Selene
This week I continued Inktober despite traveling on vacation. I did end up using different tools – I took my Ink Joy Gel Pens and my Marvy Le Pens with me. In general I was less happy with this week’s drawings.
I’ll share a secret – I usually sketch what I want really lightly in pencil and then go over it in ink. This week I forgot the pencil so I had to sketch only in ink. I also ended up doing a few in a single evening, and I felt like it was much lower effort (and lower satisfaction). But I’m presenting them here to document the work.
And only just now did I realize that I skipped day 21. Hmmmm… I guess I’ll need to add another at the end. Ooops!
Mystic Mint contains organic peppermint, organic cardamom, organic licorice root, essential basil and clove leaf oils.
It is available in a variety of sizes: teaser for $2.00, 1/4 pound for $14.00 and a full pound for $49.00.
On one hand, just reading the ingredients this sounded like something I would like since I really like both spicy teas and licorice. I was a little skeptical of the combination of flavors, but thought I’d give it a try. Then this week due to the change in the weather I had a bit of a sore throat, and I though the licorice root and a bit of honey would help so I brewed this one up. In general, this one was okay, but it isn’t the first tea I’d grab. The peppermint was refreshing, there was only a hint of sweet licorice at the finish, and even though it was a tea of strong flavors it wasn’t overwhelming. However I didn’t find it as smooth a blend as I might have liked; the flavors didn’t all meld and enhance each other. If I’m looking for a mint tea, I’d probably stick with Upton’s Moroccan Mint and if I wanted mint and licorice I’d hands down prefer Teapigs’ Liquorice & Mint.
As I have mentioned previously, I have been a contributor to The Well-Appointed Desk for the past several months with posts about my journey into fountain pens, notebooks and all things desk-related. In this particular post my love of planners and knitting meet and so Ana and I have decided to cross-post this product preview. I hope you enjoy!
Back in July, in a newsy post, Ana highlighted that a knitting pattern designer and an illustrator had teamed up to develop a planner for knitters, the Strickplaner (€ 18.90). I had intended to order one, but then the designer was kind enough to send a copy of the planner to Ana, and she handed it to me to fawn over.
I’m calling this a “preview” because I haven’t actually used the Strickplaner yet as it’s for 2018, but I’m going to show you a few of the highlights today.
The Strickplaner is the brainchild of designer Martina Behm and includes illustrations (and stickers!) by Julie Levesque of Symposi Press. The planner is designed with the knitter in mind and includes lots of planning and tracking pages in addition to weekly calendar pages.
The important details are:
- The Strickplaner is 12×18 cm (or 4.8 x 7.2 inches, slightly smaller than A6).
- It has a durable vinyl coated cover with pink embossed lettering.
- The Strickplaner has 240 pages, including 26 pages of knitting tools, and over 60 pages at the back of the book for notes (lined, graph and dot grid paper for planning).
- The paper is 90 g per m2 high quality writing paper.
- The extras: two ribbon bookmarks (burgundy and grey) and pink elastic.
- As a bonus for knitters, there is a pattern in the planner (and on Ravelry) to knit a cover for your book.
When you open the planner, the first thing you see are the delightful pink endpapers illustrated by Julie Levesque featuring sweaters, shawls, socks and yarn balls.
There is a short introduction on how to use the book and then you get to the meat of the planner. At the start of each quarter are two full page spreads where you can set your goals and track your progress on projects through the quarter. Immediately following the quarter spreads, are the 13-week spreads so you can make notes each week and each day. This continues for the remainder of the year.
The second half of the book is all knitting tools. Highlights include pages for knitting projects and spots for lists and notes. I really enjoyed the execution of this section; there is an index at the front of each set of tools so you can track your lists, and then pages with varying box sizes, and lined, graph and dot grid papers. I feel like this part of the book will be excellent for project planning, and even gives me space for designing knits – drawing diagrams and recording inspiration in a somewhat orderly fashion.
All in all, I think this is going to be a useful tool for both my planning and knitting needs.
Last, but certainly not least, I pulled a skein of yarn out of my stash and made myself a cover for my journal. I still hope to add a fancy button and button loop, but I can’t wait for 2018 to arrive so I can use my new planner.
This week’s standout for me was the Flamingo Pink – I loved the ink and I loved the drawing itself (I can’t claim credit for the idea – Google images helped a lot!) I also had some help with Fire & Ice – I’ve included both versions as my niece decided I needed some help and added her crayons!
Recently Stitchcraft Marketing contacted me to see if I would be interested in knitting something out of Zen Yarn Garden’s Gradient Sets. I spent a little while looking at the sets, deciding if I wanted a tonal set versus a more variegated set, and whether I wanted to do a trio or a quartet. I finally settled on a quartet in the Vocal colorways.
Even before the skeins arrived at my house I had selected the perfect pattern. In fact, I actually picked my color scheme based on what I wanted to knit. I chose to knit Aurorae by Helen Stewart. This pattern was part of last year’s Shawl Society collection and I decided the pinks, purples and blues of this particular gradient set would be perfect!
Even from the start, I was really pleased with this yarn. It is super soft and bouncy and draped beautifully for the shawl. I loved the way the set included a speckled yarn, a more variegated yarn and two solids. At first, when I received it, I wasn’t sure about the “gradient” nature of the kit, but as I worked my way through the shawl I decided that each color really did blend into the next and I was so pleased with how it turned out. Once blocked the yarn was so incredibly soft – I can’t wait to wrap myself up in this shawl this coming winter.
I did make a few modifications on the pattern (to adapt to 4 gradient colors rather than 6) and I used up about 640 yards of the set – almost all of the yardage on all the colors except the pink. All of these notes are on my project page.
Overall I would definitely purchase one of these gradient sets in the future. I’ll have to think about a tonal project next….
Even more exciting than my review, Zen Yarn Garden currently has a giveaway contest going and you could win your very own Vocal Gradient Quartet. You can read all the details and enter the giveaway here. The deadline is October 31, 2017 so don’t wait too long. Good luck!
A special thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and the folks at Zen Yarn Garden who sent me the Vocal Gradient Quartet (retail: $52.80) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.
Welcome to episode 157! This week I have a two FOs and reviews – Zen Yarn Garden Gradient Quartets and the Strickplaner from Martina Behm. I also have some other knits and a bit of a catch up since it’s been two weeks.
Please come and join the Ravelry group.
- Finished: Aurorae by Helen Stewart, Zen Yarn Garden Gradient Set – Vocal Quartet (for an upcoming review)
- Finished: One for the Books by Martina Behm, Schoppel Wolle Crazy Zauberball in Colorway 2250, Jacket and Trousers
- In progress: Fomhar by Anne Podlesak, Dream in Color Smooshy in Flamingo Pie
- In progress: Vanilla Socks for Roxy, Knit Picks Felici in Fanciful
- Finished: Falkland in Hydrangea (dyed by me)
In one of the recent Tea Runners boxes I found a delicious looking tea from the American Tea Room called Organic Bliss. I was actually surprised to see that the American Tea Room has locations in Los Angeles. I will have to try and visit the next time I go!
From the website, Organic Bliss contains Organic green tea, Organic white tea, Organic dragonfruit pieces, Organic lemongrass, Organic kiwi pieces, Organic raspberry pieces, Natural flavoring, and Sugar.
It comes in a variety of sizes: sample for $4.00, 2oz for $9.75, 3.5oz for $15.00, 7oz for $27.00 and 14oz for $48.00.
When I first opened the package I got a lot of the sweet tropical fruit aromas. Once brewed I got a little more of the green tea aroma wafting from the teacup. The tea was light and fruity and delicious, with delicate flavors that melded together in a bit of sweet and just a touch of tang. I really enjoyed this one as a mid-afternoon pick me up, and I think it would be really delightful iced. I’ll definitely be checking out the tea room in the future!
Recently I have been getting more into fountain pens and inks. So I was excited to try and participate in this year’s Inktober challenge.
Originally I thought I would just practice my penmanship and use a different ink color every day of the month. But then I read the actual initiative and realized I was supposed to DRAW in ink each day. My drawing skills … well…. erm… leave a bit to be desired. But in for a penny, in for a pound. Away we go.
The first week looks like this:
So far my favorite is either the Ajisai (Hydrangea) or the Vert Olive (Olive Green).
If you’re interested in seeing what other pen and ink people are up to, check out the #inktober tag on Instagram!
Welcome to episode 156! This week I have a few FO’s, a new project in progress and lots of upcoming cast-ons to show you. I also have a little spinning, but I think that might take a back seat for a little while because all I wanna do is knit!
Please come and join the Ravelry group.
- Finished: Vanilla socks, West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply in Peacock
- Finished: Wee Envelope by Ysolda Teague, The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga in the Very Quiet Caterpillar.
- In progress: Aurorae by Helen Stewart, Zen Yarn Garden Gradient Set – Vocal Quartet (for an upcoming review)
- On deck: Exploration Station by Stephen West, Pigeonroof Studios High Twist Sock and TreasureGoddess Treasured Toes Kiss from a Mermaid
- On deck: Northbound Knitting BFL/Silk Lace in Metallurgy
- In progress: Falkland in Hydrangea (dyed by me)
- On deck: Hello Yarn Corriedale in Poisoned Apples