Google+ Beverly Is Yarn Crazy!: February 2015

Saturday, February 21, 2015

My Sweater Journey Progress

I am knitting the Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig in Elegant Yarns Athena lace weight yarn 202 Pink colorway.  I am using my Chai Goo 47" circs, U.S. size 5 - 3.75 mm.  

I started this cardigan on February 6th and very late last night, or more accurately very early this morning (2 am), I divided for the sleeves!!!  I never thought I would be knitting a sweater for my very ample self in lace weight yarn.  I loathe to admit this, but I am knitting the largest size.   I don't like close fitting sweaters. I want this to float away a bit.  

I am sorry that the picture isn't neat and tidy, but photography just isn't one of my favorite pastimes.  Enough blathering for now.  I need to keep knitting!

Stay yarn crazy!

Saturday, February 14, 2015


Yes, I found a new craft supply shop in my home town and I want to shout it from the roof tops!  It is very difficult for a small shop to make a go of it in the current economic times and I really want this one to make it.  There is a need!

I visited The Crafty Space for the first time today.  When I first walked in I saw well crafted, handmade items.  This is good.  A few of them came home with me.  More about that later.

Then I spotted the back wall.  YARN!, and it wasn't just Red Heart yarn.  No, I am not pooh-poohing Red Heart yarn, because I have crocheted large afghans, so I know that it has its place of honor in such crafts.  That said, since I learned to knit I have become a huge fan of more natural fibers and blends.  The shop features Lion Brand and Cascade yarns, plus the owners are interested in learning what else the local crafters would like to have stocked there.

Sharon and Sarah are the owners and they are wonderful people.  Very friendly and very eager to please their customers.  They are looking for your feedback so be sure to speak up if there is some type of craft item that you would like to see in there.

I spoke to one of the owners about a knit night at the shop and she thought that was a nice idea.  My sister and I are very interested in having a place to meet up for crafting with others and I hope we can find like minded crafters to join us there.

So, what did I do to help keep them in business?  A little stash enhancement of course!  I purchased 2 skeins of Cascade Yarns Sunseeker.  One skein is a beautiful green, colorway 21, and the other is a nice blue, colorway 23.  There is a nice little sparkle running through the yarn and I am planning to make a colorwork hat for myself with it.  Pretty, huh?

Also, I purchased 2 handmade project bags.  One for myself and one will be a surprise for someone who shall remain nameless for as long as I can stand it.  The creator of these wonderful bags is Danielle Davis of Dani's Doodles.  I am impressed not only with the construction of the bags, but also with the little details, such as the bottom of both bags is a faux leather (no faux cows were hurt) and there are coordinating accents of the faux leather elsewhere on the bags.  There are interior pockets in both bags as well as having all of the seams hidden.  I love the strong zippers with substantial pulls that are going to hold up to a lot of use.  I'm sorry that my photography skills do not do justice to how nice these bags are.

If you live in the central Maine region and find yourself in Dexter Maine, I do hope that you will show this wonderful little shop some love.  We can't afford to lose such places.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sweater Envy & Shopping My Stash

Why is it that i can knit or crochet any baby sweater pattern that I find, but I cannot make a sweater for myself that I like when it is finished?  I am so envious of knitters who have lovely sweaters that they knit for themselves and actually wear those sweaters.  I'm envious for several reasons, such as:

  • That you are skinny, so you can afford really nice yarn for your sweater, as it only requires 2 skeins when I need 10 skeins, so I settle for yarn that will not make me happy.
  • That you are skinny, so you can knit a sweater in a week, while I need a year to complete my size.  (Are you sensing a theme here?)
  • That the pattern fits your skinny body, just as it is written, but I must alter every pattern for my super-size, lumpy-bumpy, extra curvy body. (Theme continuation)
  • That you can seemingly wear your sweaters all year round, while I need it to be sub-zero so that I don't perspire to the point of becoming a felted wool puddle.
I'll stop with just those points, simply because I don't like myself for even thinking these negative thoughts to list them, but truthfully, I do get so frustrated that those thoughts run through my mind.  The "theme" seems peevish and I realize that it sounds like I don't accept any accountability for why I need 10 skeins.  I am very well aware that I am responsible for how obese I am.

Unfortunately, this week I let my frustration spill out in a Ravelry forum asking why designers don't take x, y, and z into consideration when writing a pattern?  Essentially, I was selfishly asking why don't the designers write all of their pattern specifically for ME?  I was couching my questions in the guise of "all of us plus-sized people", but in retrospect, it was all about me.  I am so very sorry.

Fortunately, the responses were not mean.  Instead I was educated.  A lot of what they posted, I knew, but apparently needed a kind reminder.  Some posted from the designers perspective and some as knitters.  I am grateful to them all.  

I did know that it is impossible to write a pattern that will work perfectly for every body, but at that moment, I needed to be reminded.  What I didn't realize is that rarely is a pattern perfect for even most of the knitters.  Almost everyone needs to learn how to customize a pattern for individual body specifics and preferences.  I need to learn how to customize patterns for my body specifics and my fit preferences JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.   Can you say wake-up call?  Yeah.  

I have decided to make this year my year of sweaters.  I am hoping to learn and grow in my understanding of the construction and customization of sweaters to fit me personally.  By the end of the year I would like to design a sweater specifically for me.  My first step is to take the Craftsy class, Fit Your Knits. The forum responses also recommended that I check out a couple of other resources that I want follow up on and to share:
The first sweater I am casting on is the Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig.  I chose this sweater because one of my reasons listed above for not liking a pattern is that I need it to be extremely cold before I can wear it or I get overheated.  I will be using lace weight yarn for the Featherweight cardigan so I am hoping that it will address that issue.   

I was also put off by how much it costs for me to make a sweater in my size.  I decided to try to find enough yarn in my stash, even if I had to use several different yarns by striping it.  What I found was a yarn I had forgotten I owned, Elegant Yarns Athena in the 202 pink colorway.  I have 4 skeins which equal 3200 yards, more than enough to do the largest size of the sweater.  Best of all, I purchased the yarn at Marden's Discount for only $2.50 per skein.  My sweater will cost $10.  Shopping my stash FTW!
In an effort to not get too distracted from this mission (SQUIRREL!!!) I have cast on for the Featherweight cardigan.  Since this pattern is miles of stockinette, I figured that I wouldn't have to try learning fitting techniques while trying to maintain a stitch pattern.

All of this is speculation on my part since this will be a learning process.  I will TRY to blog about this journey.  If you have been to this blog before or taken a quick look back at prior posts, then you know that I am not a consistent blogger, so I will not make any promises that I am not sure that I can keep.  Thank you for stopping by and if you have any advice or comments, please leave them below for me.

I hope you stay yarn crazy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Podcast Promotion

I have been having a wonderful time this week watching a new-to-me podcast while I crochet many scarves for a charity project. "Knitworthy" is hosted by two very lovely ladies who make me laugh and seem to teach me something new and unexpected every episode.  So I am just jotting this quick post to you to encourage you to check them out.  I hope you enjoy some time with Brianne and Linda as much as I do.

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