Thursday, February 26, 2015

Commuter Knitter - Episode 89 - Rainbows Flying Off the Needles

This week I have some finished objects, check in with my 2015 goals, and add some prizes to the giveaway for the 3 year podiversary!



You've Arrived At Your Destination
Sorin
Sorin by IrishGirlieKnits in Dragonfly Fibers Corgi
Flax by TinCanKnits in Dream in Color Everlasting DK
Cross Stitch pattern for Carlos's Valentine's Day gift

Totoro Cross Stitch


Drive
King of the Forest

King of the Forest
Valentine Socks in Must Stash Yarns Je T'aime
Rainbow Vanilla Socks in Quaere Fibre 10 Stripe Rainbow. Vanilla toe-up socks with Megan Williams' OMG Heel
I mention the Suburban Stitcher Rainbow Along

Rainbow Socks

Rearview Mirror
Checking in on my 2015 goals - so far so good!

Road Maps
Be sure to keep an eye on the blog for reviews and other posts coming out on a more regular basis.
Earlier this week I reviewed Dream in Color Everlasting DK, which I knit up in Flax by TinCanKnits

Dream in Color Everlasting

The Party Bus - complete with snow tires!
Celebrating 3 years of podcasting with a month-long giveaway in the Ravelry Group!
Dragonfly Fibers
Cooperative Press
Aila Grace Shawl from Jennifer Lassonde
Dream in Color Everlasting Sock
Fix-A-Stitch - a regular and lace set

Dream in Color Everlasting

Road Trips

Connecticut Sheep & Wool - Tolland Agricultural Center - April 25, 2015


Come Find me on the Interwebs
Ravelry - ndjen04
Ravelry Group - Commuter Knitter Podcast
Twitter - @CommuterKnitter
Facebook - Commuter Knitter
Email - commuterknitter@gmail.com
Instagram - ndjen04

Monday, February 23, 2015

Road Map Mondays - Review of Dream in Color Everlasting

For this week's edition of Road Map Mondays, I bring you a review of Dream in Color's line of Everlasting yarn.  The generous folks at Dream in Color sent me this yarn for review, but as always opinions are my own.

Dream in Color Everlasting

The Everlasting base is made up of several plies of 100% super wash Australian merino wool spun and hand-dyed here in the U.S.  The DK version is a 12 ply yarn and the Sock has 9 plies.  The multitude of plies adds to the durability of the yarn - hence the name, Everlasting.  The DK yarn has a put-up of 275 yards for 100 grams and knits at 5.5-6 stitches to the inch on US 5 or 6 needles.  On the other hand, Sock  comes with 420 yards in a 100 gram skein, knitting up at 7.5 to 9 stitches per inch on US 0 to US 2 sized needles.  A quick search of online retailers carrying the yarn shows that each sells for about $25-26 per skein.

Dream in Color Everlasting

For purposes of this review, I knit up the skein of DK that I received in the Naked Shame color way - a coppery brown that has shades of olive green throughout.  A depth of color that we have come to expect from Dream in Color hand painted yarns.  Since I had a couple weeks this month when I did not even pick up my knitting needles thanks to my husband's Valentine's Day cross-stitch project, I was in the mood for a quick start-to-finish project.  So off to Ravelry I went to find a pattern that would quickly use up the 275 yards.  While this yarn feels like a true DK, I knew I could easily pick a pattern meant for worsted weight and make it work so I browsed patterns for both weights.  After a few moments, I knew the perfect pattern - Flax by Tin Can Knits.  Perhaps it was the power of suggestion in that the sample sweaters for this pattern are knit in fall colors, similar to the copper yarn that had been sitting on the desk as I browsed through the search results.  I was also drawn to this pattern because of its simplicity of mostly stockinette stitch with sections of garter on the sleeves, which would allow me to see how the yarn knits up in both stitches.  Regardless, I found a great match!

So Saturday morning I began the sweater and by Sunday evening it was drying on the blocking mats.  The yarn knit up swiftly and beautifully.  This round yarn has beautiful stitch definition that I imagine would also look quite lovely knit up in cables as well.  I found it soft, but not too soft, and it did not split at all while I was knitting with my Hiya Hiya sharp needles.  A plus all around.

Dream in Color Everlasting 

As this yarn is 100% super wash merino, the care instructions state that it is machine-wash, dry flat or tumble dry until damp.  I hand washed the sweater as the washer had been full of yet another load of DH's snow shoveling clothes at the time I bound off. After it air dried for a bit, I tossed it in the dryer for about 20 minutes to finish drying.  I am pleased to report that the sweater came out looking the same as it did before it went into its bath - excellent stitch definition, soft and not a pill or fuzz to be found.  Overall, I am quite satisfied with this yarn and I can see it becoming a staple yarn in the stash.

Would you like a skein of Everlasting Sock to add to YOUR stash?  Well, you could check out their website to find an LYS near you that carries the yarn.  Or I will do you one better - Dream in Color sent me a second skein (this one in Everlasting Sock, pictured below) to include as part of the giveaway for the Commuter Knitter Podcast's 3rd birthday celebration!  How nice is that?!  Just head on over to the contest thread over the show's Ravelry group for your chance to enter.  Winners will be selected from the contest thread by random number generator the first week of March, so there is still plenty of time to add your entry!  Usual contest rules apply - you must be a member of the Ravelry group and one post per person.

Dream in Color Everlasting



 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Commuter Knitter - Episode 88 - The Surprise is the Best Part

This week I continue tallying the WIP count, review Silver Spun yarn and put snow tires on the Party Bus.  Enjoy!



You've Arrived At Your Destination
Witches Brew Socks
Monkey Socks for Me
Halloween Socks for Carlos

Drive
Yeti - Socks

King of the Forest
Cross Stitch pattern for Carlos's Valentine's Day gift

Road Maps
Silver Spun
Be sure to keep an eye on the blog for reviews and other posts coming out on a more regular basis.
During the Blizzard I posted a review of Feel Good Yarn Company's Silver Spun

The Party Bus - complete with snow tires!
Celebrating 3 years of podcasting with a month-long giveaway!
Dragonfly Fibers
Cooperative Press
Aila Grace Shawl from Jennifer Lassonde

Traffic Report
Congrats to Ravelry for reaching 5 million registered users!
I mention that I have been listening to the back catalogue of Cast On



Come Find me on the Interwebs
Ravelry - ndjen04
Ravelry Group - Commuter Knitter Podcast
Twitter - @CommuterKnitter
Facebook - Commuter Knitter
Email - commuterknitter@gmail.com
Instagram - ndjen04

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Road Maps - Blizzard 2015 Edition - SilverSpun Review

Greetings from Western Connecticut where the Blizzard of 2015 has blanketed much of the northeast.  All told, we probably had about 8-10 inches here, and the further east and north you travel, those amounts are double that or more!  We had a travel ban here in the state, so it was a work-from-home day, which did allow for some knitting time earlier today and this evening.  It's amazing how much more time there is in a day when you aren't spending so much of it in the car!

Anyway, as you may recall, back in Episode 84 I mentioned that I was planning to knit myself a pair of Connectivity Gloves by Mari Chiba from Knitty Deep Fall 2014.  The generous folks over at Feel Good Yarn Company had sent me a skein of their Silver Spun yarn to try out, and this is one of the patterns that features this unique yarn.  (As with all reviews appearing on the podcast or here on the blog, opinions are my own).  The SilverSpun is a sport weight yarn made of 87% American made combed cotton, 11% pure silver, and 2% lycra.  It knits up at 23-26 stitches over 4 inches.  The yarn comes in regular skeins weighing in at 50 grams with 173 yards for $28 or mini-skeins weighing in at 14 grams with 50 yards for $12.50 directly from Feel Good Yarn Company.  Among other benefits, such as being anti-bacterial and thermal, one of the best parts about this yarn is the conductivity of the silver that allows you to use your touch screen devices!  How cool is that?

Silver Spun

Now, during these bigger snow storms, I have been known to snap quite a few photos while outside, and as an avid iPhone user, that usually meant taking off my gloves or mittens to control the phone.  Sure, I know that once the camera is open, I can snap a photo using the volume control buttons on the side.  But what if I want to post that photo to Instagram RIGHT NOW and can't wait to get inside?  Well that's where these mitts will come in handy.  Priorities, right?

Silver Spun

The gloves combine a worsted weight yarn for the hands and the sport weight SilverSpun for the fingers.  You have the option of knitting a long flap that you can unfold to cover your fingers or fold back when using your device.  In keeping with my 2015 goal of knitting from stash, I dug out some leftover Jill Draper Makes Stuff Hudson in the Amethyst color way from last year's Lucy Hat to use for the hands and I was well on my way.

In terms of knitting with the SilverSpun yarn, it was a bit of a different experience than knitting with 100% cotton yarns that you're probably used to. You know how working with cotton goes - very little give and it being hard on your hands.  The SilverSpun, probably due to the lycra content, had a bit more give and was not as hard on the hands while knitting.  It was still not as bouncy as knitting with wool, but overall a much nicer cotton experience.

Silver Spun

Now onto the fun part - how did the fingers of the mitts fare when using the touch screen on my iPad and iPhone?  Well what if I told you I typed this sentence on the iPad while wearing the mitt? (Side note - do you know how difficult it is to video tape oneself typing?)



Pretty cool, huh? Sure it may not be as reactive as one's bare hand, but it sure beats taking off your glove when you just have to use your phone. It is mentioned in the pattern, but it's worth repeating - you'll want to knit the fingers with negative ease so they are tight to your skin to maximize the conductivity of the silver.  As an aside, for those of you who use the fingerprint recognition technology, that won't work with the gloves on since the silver only conducts the... well whatever it is in your fingers that makes the touch screen work. It does not capture your unique fingerprint to open your device.  I tried

The materials provided to me from Feel Good Yarn Company mention that the yarn is hand wash only, and the silver is permanently adhered to the yarn so that it will not wash away. For those who may be concerned about tarnishing, the silver will not tarnish as long as you use your handknit item regularly.  I'll have to report back next winter on that one.

Silver Spun

In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I've only finished one glove of the pair, but I just couldn't wait any longer to share my experience knitting with the yarn and testing out the glove with my devices. As I was knitting my way through each finger, I'd stop and try it out on my phone or iPad, with Carlos watching in amazement as I did. If I have enough leftover, I may have to knit him some gloves, too.

Overall, I am quite pleased with this yarn. It was pleasant to knit and the technology is just fascinating - even if I don't quite understand it completely.

Silver Spun

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Commuter Knitter - Episode 87 - Quite Literal

This week I keep tally of my WIPs, mention some beach-inspired yarn, and recap Vogue Knitting Live 2015 - enjoy!



Made it to #vklive!

You've Arrived At Your Destination
Your Heart is Full of Unwashed Socks - You're a Mean One socks
Straight as an Arrow Hat in Unwind Yarn Company Touring DK
I mention Club Dragonfly


Drive
Dad's Hat
Sorin by IrishGirlieKnits in Dragonfly Fibers Corgi
My Very Irish Hat
Evergreen Socks by Madeline Gannon of The Little Mount Yarn Company  The hashtag is #EvergreenSocksKAL on Instagram.  I am knitting these out of Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in Giving Tree
King of the Forest
Cross Stitch pattern for Carlos's Valentine's Day gift

Road Maps
Be sure to keep an eye on the blog for reviews and other posts coming out on a more regular basis.
Last week, I reviewed A Good Yarn Sarasota's Exclusive Yarn from Lorna's Laces
Lorna's Laces

Road Trips
Vogue Knitting Live - Seamless Knit Doll class with Susan B. Anderson (and BostonJen!)
Mary, Millie, and Morgan
Seamless Doll Class VKL
We met up with Maria from Subway Knits and Kristen from Yarngasm in the One Geek to Craft Them All booth
VKLive 2015
The Stephen & Steven Mix Tape Tour fashion show was a lot of fun!
Some highlights from the @westknits and @stevenbe #mixtapetour at #vklive

Kismet Fiber Works
VKLive Haul 2015

The Yarn Company
Socks that Rock

Come Find me on the Interwebs
Ravelry - ndjen04
Ravelry Group - Commuter Knitter Podcast
Twitter - @CommuterKnitter
Facebook - Commuter Knitter
Email - commuterknitter@gmail.com
Instagram - ndjen04

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Commuter Knitter - Episode 86 - Annual Airing Out of The Stash

The first episode of 2015 recorded from the comfort of my living room.  I mention that I am wearing my Dark & Stormy to keep warm



You've Arrived At Your Destination
Your Heart is Full of Unwashed Socks - You're a Mean One socks
Spacious OMG Heel by Megan Williams from the Expanding CommuKnitty socks.  I couldn't find a free-standing pattern for this version of the OMG heel, but if there is one, please let me know.
Judy's Magic Cast On
Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off

Drive
Dad's Hat
WIPs, WIPs, and more WIPs - #WIPcrackin15 and #WIPknitdown2015
I mention Sarah from In a sKnit and Amy from Stockinette Zombies

WIPS

Needle Inventory:
Finally tallying up all the knitting needles. Which clearly calls for a spreadsheet.

Trip Planner
King of the Forest
Cross Stitch pattern for Carlos's Valentine's Day gift

Commuter Knitter Finish-along - winners announced
Wollmeise from my stash
Prizes

Cargo
Annual Airing Out of the Stash:
Flash the Stash - 2015

All put away:
Yarn in its Place

My Yarn Stash March 2007:
Some of my stash

Flash Your Stash thread on Ravelry

Road Maps
Be sure to keep an eye on the blog for reviews and other posts coming out on a more regular basis.
Last week, I reviewed Manos Lace
Manos Lace

Road Trips
Vogue Knitting Live - Seamless Knit Doll class with Susan B. Anderson (and BostonJen!)

Welcome to any new listeners who have recently found the podcast. And thank you to the Knitmores for featuring the show in their 12 Days of Podcasts last week!


Come Find me on the Interwebs
Ravelry - ndjen04
Ravelry Group - Commuter Knitter Podcast
Twitter - @CommuterKnitter
Facebook - Commuter Knitter
Email - commuterknitter@gmail.com
Instagram - ndjen04

Road Maps - A Review of A Good Yarn Exclusive!

As I am writing this post, winter has not quite set in her in New England (50*F on Christmas Eve!) but the calendar tells me it's coming. (There is some sort of Game of Thrones reference in there that goes over the head of this gal who doesn't watch the show…)  Eventually when those cold temperatures set in, wouldn't it be nice to dream of some place warm and sunny?**  Well A Good Yarn Sarasota has just the solution to those winter blues!  The yarn shop has teamed up with several yarn companies to create color ways exclusive to A Good Yarn inspired by the oceanfront lifestyle of western Florida.  I was fortunate enough to receive a lovely skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Grape Jelly from A Good Yarn for review.  As long-time listeners of the podcast and readers of the blog know, all opinions are my own.

There are currently a dozen or so exclusive color ways available on the newly revamped shop site.  Reading those inspiration descriptions and seeing the beautiful yarns, can't you just picture yourself on a warm beach with a fruity, tropical drink?  Now, I am not much of a beach-goer but it sounds heavenly as winter knocks on the door.

Lorna's Laces

When A Good Yarn sent me this skein, they included a photo of the inspiration - a blue/purple jelly fish.  Isn't the yarn almost a perfect match?  I am thinking that a fun, textured pair of socks would be perfect to emulate the texture of the bottom part of the jelly fish, right? I love the gorgeous lilac tones that are exquisitely paired with the sky blue and subtle gray.

Lorna's Laces

The Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock is an 80% superwash merino wool, 20% nylon blend fingering weight yarn with 430 yards to 100 grams per skein.  The recommended gauge is 7 stitches to the inch on US 1 needles, so pretty much a standard sock yarn.  Washing instructions, per the label, are to machine wash cold, machine dry until damp, lay flat to finish.  A Good Yarn charges $26 per skein, which is fairly standard for this yarn.

As Shepherd Sock was one of the first sock yarns I had purchased in my earlier days of knitting in the mid-2000s, I recall that the skeins used to be 50 grams and around 200 yards.  This 100 gram put-up means you can get a whole pair of socks or a fingering weight shawl from one skein, which is quite convenient. I have used this base on a couple projects in the past and have been quite pleased with the colors, and how the yarn has held up over the years. It is truly one of those classic, staple sock yarns that stands the test of time.  And in fun colors? A win-win all around!

Lorna's Laces

So if you are traveling to Florida to escape the cold, perhaps a trip to A Good Yarn Sarasota will provide just the trick.  Or if you can't catch a plane - you can shop right on their website to check out these exclusive colors and bring some of that Florida sun to wherever you are hunkering down this winter.

Happy Knitting!


**Edit - As this entry will post January 7th, the frigid air has arrived to New England with bitter cold and wind chills in the negative territory.  I knew it wasn't far...