Friday, January 31, 2014

Elegant Sleeves winning?

Well Kiddies,  Elegant Sleeves seem to be winning in the poll be sure your voice is heard.  I have had the time to play with the design a bit more and have found the perfect yarns to play with.  The lace for the sleeves needs to be light, floaty and full of drape to work.  What better then a 50/50 silk merino lace weight?  The chocker needs to be a completely NON itch yarn, again what better then a 50/50 merino/tencel in fingering weight!  I adore that yarn and have found a new supplier for it thankfully as I don't know if my stock will hold. The flowers need to have texture and different fibers as well as a string which will hold crystals.  YES crystals!  Silk is the strongest so we will have some cobweb silk, Pixie Paca and crochet cotton to give me all the different fibers I need.  Much of the design work has been done with all these fibers, beads and threads coming to the party it all fell right into place.  Sort of like a puzzle that needed a piece that had fallen to the floor.  PLUNK and VIOLA. Several names have been rolling around in my pea brains as well since while elegant sleeves describes it, Moonbeams and Starlight is just so ethereal.
See poll be sure your voice is heard. 

The sweater will have all these colors to choose from and you will have complete control over the size you need.   The solid color for trim will also be under your control. 

 Forget the solid between the VERTICAL stripes, did I tell you that the stripes were vertical?  Seems that's a VERY important point to leave out.  They will be as thick or as thin as you like.  I was thinking 2, 3, 4 inches wide but you could go even wider.

 Pixie #1 choose the hood shape that looked best and I have to agree with her taste. It comes off of the back and sides of the sweater, vertically coming around to the front.
If you want to go with the beaded buttons (below post) you can make those, choose your own, or skip the front band altogether and toss in a zipper.  With the join as you go method you will also be able to try your sweater on.  PERFECT!  Diagrams will help you with placement and SHAZAM, gorgeous, one of a kind sweater that only YOU will have.
      See, the more I mull over patterns the more I can "see" the design that the puzzle is making.  The more the design comes to me and the pattern is made.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Where to begin? and a Poll

My days and nights are flying in a blur.  The Modern Heirloom is so addicting it's all I want to do.  Hole up and knit 24/7, I know my hands need their down time but it's GORGEOUS!!!!
My friends taught me how to take a photo of the entire shawl.  Knit it onto 4 needles, put tiny silicone bands on the tips to keep it from slipping off and you can see the entire shawl.  So I did it last night and it's just so beautiful!  I really want (read need) to share but alas I can not.  I will not spoil it for everyone who hasn't finished all of clue 1 as it's a mystery shawl.  I pinned it out on my black burn out velvet skirt and took a bunch of photos.  The lighting was bad so each of the stitches can't be seen in detail but it's perfect!  It's just like I saw it in my head and in my design book.
So many of you have asked about the Yarn Fairy KAL charm bracelet.  This is mine, each of these lobster claws represent a past KAL.  When you get finished with it you simply snap it onto the chain bracelet and it's a keep sake.  I don't charge for these if you have placed an order so if you have a Bar Maid order up, I can put one of these in your order, you just need to let me know that you need it. wmdress at sbcglobal dot net.
     I did the finishing for my Sweetlette and have a few videos for you but wont load them until the time is right at the very end.  While the ready made kits are sold out, you can still order Kit 2 or 3, I left all the information on the Sweets page and it will stay up for a few more weeks at least should you decide you would like a kit.
     You know what my problem is?  I have too many great ideas.  There is the scarf with the Spice Berry yarn. It's sooo stinking cute that I bought 4 bags of it and I'm making up a scarf with one of them and a solid black.  FUN and cute,,,, what more could you ask.  

#1     There's this sweater of strips I want to make from a long gradient Poems sock yarn.  The strips will be, 2, 3 and 4 inches wide then placed per a diagram angling in some areas as needed. There are many colors available, I have this one in stock.
Joined with mattress stitch, complete with a hood and black bands all around. Iris AB peacock beaded buttons complete the look, similar to these here. 
#2      Elegant Sleeves,,, these can be worn with jeans or dressed up with a skirt.  I will buy a bunch of tanks, M, L, XL, XXL all 100% cotton, dye them to match all these different types of yarn, merino, silk, thread to fingering weights.  The long, lace sleeves are beaded and held in place with this elaborate hitching system which attaches to a choker with hidden clasp.  What's hiding it?  A grouping of flowers heavily beaded and worked in various threads.  FUN!  But I'm not sure that you all would follow as I really want to crochet the flowers.  I feel so much more freedom in crochet as you don't have to fret about all the live stitches you have OTN and how to get from A to B over a curve instead of having to go exactly where your stitches are.  I have done some work in the area of changing crochet to knitting and I don't like to write crochet patterns so much.  HUM... what if I made you a video?  Could you learn and follow along if I video the entire flower thing?  The flowers are three different sizes.  
     Well? What do you think?  See poll and vote to determine which of these projects will launch.
      I have too many great ideas for my own good.  No way one human can design and then gather everything and then write the patterns, have them tested, edited and published.  If I had a few more of me who I could set loose on a project that would be another story.  I wonder if DD would like to try her hand at some of these?  That's a thought, she needs the experience and the scarf is very straight forward, I wonder, hum.
     KAL update,,, Stardust is in TK and Garden is almost ready for the TKers to have a go at it.  I ordered the yarn for the Bar Maid it should be here in a week or so and we will get going on with the dyeing.  Meanwhile I'm sewing aprons, that gray one, the ready made, its GREAT!  It would make a wonderful gardening apron, I'm keeping it for myself for dye day.  Oh and I made a few of the stitch marker sets.  I love that they will match the yarns.  The goblets are a wee small which makes them perfect to add beads onto.  LOVE IT! 
Remember how excited I was to find beads that had a large center opening?  I was thinking that they'd make great stitch markers all by them selves.  Not so much, didn't take into account how wide they are.
These will work great for the ends of the drawstring bags I'm going to make you all one of these days.  But you can see how large they are.
The smaller ones are much more practical and might work for something like covering the slit in these rings.
These are the intended rings for the crow beads. The nice thing about my stash is that if one thing doesn't work another is sure to.  I can't wait to play.  Oh and yes, that background, yes indeed that is my sample of the Bar Maid, I wear her near all the time now as the weather has a nip about it.  LOVE IT!  So you got an unintended peek at it, you will love it too.  You know me,,, adding charts so you can knit until you run out of yarn.  I love large snuggles, perfect for pulling someone else into a huddle, huggle?
     That's all from me for now.  Still haven't found the missing roving, bummer that.  I would like to make that shawl.  You all have a great day.  I'm off to work on patterns, ENJOY!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bar Maid

So much happened today that I feel like I lost the entire day!  Yesterday I got in tax info from the WWMDK books and I needed to change my address with them.  While there I pulled my shawl,,, Bar Maid, for so many reasons, I wont bore you with them but what with it coming out of the book we can now KAL it.  I found the perfect yarn, SOO CHEAPLY that I need to order a zillion skeins of it.  We will be retying all of it as the ties are super tight but it's so cheap and high end 100% merino super wash, who could pass it up.
  What I have always wanted for this shawl was a light to dark in tonal's so that's just what we are getting!  YIPEE SKIPEE!  I'm happy to share this one with you as many people wanted me to sell my patterns outside of the books and I just couldn't put one more pattern into a book and lock in it there again.  
Just couldn't do it.  What with all the snow everyone is getting across the states this is the perfect time for this shawl.  It's big, thick and snuggly.  Nice to knit on your lap keeping your warm and you can probably wear it outside, IF you can find your door that is! Come join us.

Friday, January 17, 2014


WOW when a design hits, they really slap me hard and they pretty much write themselves over a 24 hour period and it just needs brush up.  Which is what happened to my most recent design the Stardust Shawl which goes back to the movie of the same name.  It's a 4, 6 or 8 wedge worked in Pixie Paca which has baby alpaca and cashmere in it.  I went a bit nutter getting beads, a few came in today, more are on the way.
The obvious stars everywhere and stardust beads, did you know that was a real bead?  I didn't, more are coming of course and I found the perfect necklace/earring mix of a large ruby teardrop.  Lots of crystals in this one all stars and teardrops.  LOVE the center black dot stardust beads!  And crystals always make me happy.  Pixie #1  and I are going to watch the movie again, she's working on the sample and a bunch of TKers are working on the test knit.
     Today the last items were put together to hit the first shipment of Sweets!  I'm so pleased and hope to begin packing them up tomorrow.  The only thing missing from this photo is the ribbon oh and the cobweb but they are all here too.
There are just so many elements to Sweets that it was enough to justify a letter, my first. ;-)  I made you little cards for labels and you can see the beads and SM's off on the left side.  
     While I was working on the SM's today I made this.
It's a large clip as decor for a purse or belt or zipper, all for fun, it's going to a friend.  The large medallion has a fairy and a crescent moon and the hand painted piggy is a bell! Those cone flowers have been screaming at me to do something with them, so here's what I did.  Not a great photo but a fun item.
     I'm off, hope you are all having a smashing night.  ENJOY what you are doing, or do something else!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dyeing Marathon

     We are still in the middle of a dyeing marathon here.  Crazy amounts of yarn has been shipped with another crazy amount due to ship.
     Last call for Modern Heirloom as we are almost out of yarn.  We are going to start sooon!!!!  I can't wait to share!
     Found this puppy at the bottom of that barrel we are scrapping to get the ModH out of.
     Believe it or not this is 100% cotton, thick thin and works up lovely.  Gorgeous right!  This is water and Seaweed but we can paint any colors you would like.  I was thinking about this for a coat, using the Seaweed as the body and the blue for the trim.  Or I might just paint it all over again. Hey, it's a woman's prerogative!  This was a special run done by a mill who NEVER did it again.  I bought all of it but it's very limited... you will not find anything like this the world over as it's one of a kind.  220 yards per 100g worsted weight and only $12 per skein, PM me if you'd like some at wmdress at
     Test knits coming up for "Stardust" which pretty much wrote itself yesterday as well as "Garden" something who doesn't have an official name.  Stardust is a 4, 6 or 8 wedge shawl worked in Pixie Paca a fine, nummy yarn that's like putting your hands into butter!  Baby alpaca, silk and cashmere makes this so light yet warm.  Stardust has beads to signify all the stars in space and the shapes... WOWSERS!  It's gorgeous and has this one elongated shape throughout,,, along with some plain knitting, you are going to love the shapes in this one.  Reminds me of the Crystaline Entity from Star Trek! LOVE IT!
     The Garden one has had a few names tried on and none have stuck.  In the Garden, Through the Garden, Garden Gate, Secret Garden, yadayadayada... the fun part... our first color work shawl!  Fully shaped Faroese style with simple straight forward color work.  A perfect intro to color for those of you who wont touch it with a 10 foot pole.  The color peeps will band together I'm sure and we can help one another out on Rav. This design is something else,,, you have not one but two garden gates, Celtic braids, and some flowers.  The yarn is black for the gates of course and my flower garden was painted into the other skeins... fingering weight so it will be a nice warm snuggle.  The gauge and shaping will make this one lay nicely on your shoulders and give you a snuggle with PIZZAZZ!  I have been doing color work for years and haven't seen anything like this baby.  I can't wait to swatch for it.  While it's been in my head for years and I have been playing with the design for months I only have the 3 elements for it to date but in my defense, it only recently fell into place in my head and there's only one more element needed to get it complete.  I think.  J
     I cleaned!  Major accomplishment and so shouldn't have on a dye day and the day before the doctor but I couldn't take it any more.  Should have taken a before photo as the shelves were higgety piggety and the table was completely covered!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Paper and a finished UFO

We haven't even got the mail yet today but the delivery's have started.  It's so nice to be past this mid week Holiday thing that gummed up the works so badly.  Today we received the finial shipment of the yarn for Color Blendy, YEAH!!  We will tie it all today and soak it overnight to dye tomorrow if I'm still able. 
Since we are dyeing today my ailments might take over what with the family being here all day on Saturday I'm not yet recovered.  Who could resist this adorable little guy? Still, I plan on spending the last half of this week in my bed. :-)
     Lets start with the Great UFO Stash Down of 2014, here's another finished object!  YIPEEE!  My long glove/sleeves are done.
These are super long, they go from my fingers to well past my elbow, great for cool days in a t-shirt.
My progress on SB1 Version 2 - through end of chart 6. My gauge changed dramatically, I was a very tight knitter when I began this in 2008.
Something shiny to play with!  See through cones in all colors, I can't wait!
AND PAPER! LOTS OF PAPER! :-)  DS got me Old World stack for Christmas, something I'd been drooling over.  I went to DCWV deals page and found a bunch of stacks for cheap.  Not having much paper it was a good match, the packs and I.  There stuff can't be sold in stores as some are missing say the cover or something like that.  All are in pristine condition. Now I will need card stock, LOTS of card stock.  
I have been wanting a purple and green so this pink and green was a natural.  The quotes are load of fun and very appropriate in many cases. 
 I got the Sweets stack as we are doing Sweetlette and I hope to make something to go along, or the tag, or something with this lovely paper.  Then stack packs 1 & 2, not sure who went where but I got the mat for the Sweets!  Great match! 
For a while been seeing
the Paris stack and wanted it,,, it's here!  It was in one of the stack packs!  The mats are half stack so they sent 2 instead of 1 and one has a gold almost but not glitter on it LOVE IT! AND what a coincidence, DS bought me Old World and Old World dye cuts are here!
I love the black on yellow here on the right of the photo on the left... it's VELVET!  fun!  The 12 x 12 stack for this one has an oriental feel to it, spring time with gold and NUM!  Now I just have to put it all to good use.  YUP need me a massive amount of black and brown card stock!  
     Ok, so loads of work to do today.  We are dyeing Sweets for the first time, Modern Heirloom again and tying 72 skeins! OUCH!  Better get a move on, have a super dee dooper day.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Modern Heirloom

     What began as a small gift to friends has blossomed into I don't know what!  When I posted the place holder for the Modern Heirloom it was just for like a dozen people.  But then I saw that everybody wanted it so I opened it up to the world.  Now I'm wondering if we are going to run out of yarn!  CRAZY man but you know me, I want everybody to be happy and so I try my best to do anything anybody wants/needs. 
      While packing up the yarn for shipping I noticed how well the undyed and clear AB beads went together. These are not the Czech pressed but you get the idea.  The next logical step was to whiten the yarn in hopes of getting it white enough for a wedding veil.  As you can see it worked really well and after testing we all agreed that it held it's strength.  With almost 6000 yards this will turn into a marvelous veil or shawl for a bride.  
     A precious keepsake that can be passed on from one generation to the next.  Barring my nemesis, the moth, is kept away from the treasure.
     I was hoping to ship more of the undyed with the clear beads today but last night when the bead order came in half of it was correct, boat load of smoke and the other half was incorrect.  This is what was in the parcel.  

The correct label was on the merchandise and how anyone could see that label, which was almost identical to the other label that they'd just pulled... I dunno... kinda hard to miss this one.  See the wee beads in the center?  Those are the correct ones.  HUH????  Yeah, I don't get it either. 
     We didn't offer winding on this KAL as it takes about 20 minutes to wind one skein and Pixie #2 put his foot down.  That said I don't think he will have any trouble winding for you in the future, not with this new toy.
The U-Nitt extra large ball winder, says it will do 10 ounces but I'm looking for something that will last.  With all metal works I don't think this one will EVER strip or have to be replaced.  I got the last one off of Amazon for $60 and I'm told you can find them on Ebay. Our Ravelry group is great, Sally told me about this on our group, so glad she's a part of our group.
     Onward and upward.  This week we will be dyeing up Sweets and more of the Heirloom yarns.  I want to thank all of you who participated in the Twist sale as it's given me a bit more room to breath.  Not sure when I will be dyeing more Twist as I'm loath to add to the storage of the beast but it's out there in the future.
     On the Ravelry page we have been talking about a Kool Aid dye class.  If you would like to join us, please feel free to come on over and chat about it while we settle on a date.
     What with searching for new vendors I have found a lovely new yarn, merino/angora/nylon sock weight and it's so soft!  I wondered if it would be itchy and so I only started with 5 skeins... had to go back for 15 more as it's LOVELY!  We are trying to round out our base yarns to have more to choose from.
     Upcoming in 2014 we will have a 4, 6 or 8 wedge shawl done in Pixie Paca either 1 skein or 2 for the larger size.  This one is based on Neil Gamens book Stardust, DD and I have some fun themes running through this one as well as a long extended pattern that runs through the entire shawl.  It's just lovely and if I can draw it... I can knit it.
     Another shawl this time color work... sock weight and we are in the garden with a wrote iron gate.  FUN this one is fully shaped so that you can actually wear it.  Simple enough for the beginner yet with enough hoompapa to give the experienced great joy.
     Might not be able to work the Art Bag or might have to just limit this one as it's all hand spun yarn!  So far I only have one skein so this might be limited to just the flap being hand spun, have to see on that one.  
     Feeling like I'm slowing down too, not sure what that's all about but I'm creeping into this year. Which is why the dates for the shawls on Rav have questions marks next to them.  Sort of, I mean, yeah I'm dyeing for three KAL's right now but all I have OTN is Mod Heir nothing else has enough design work done on it to c/o for the sample yet.  Either it will happen or it wont.  Meanwhile enjoy what we do have open as they will close all too soon.  Mod Heir if we run out of yarn, Color Blendy will be open another two weeks or so and then my Sweets will close last by the third week of January, in two more weeks.
   Enjoy your snow, it's 80 here!