Garden Wool & Dye Advent Calendar

Now that we are a week into January it feels like a suitable time to tell you about the advent calendar I splurged on this year. This year Anastasia from Garden Wool & Dye put together an advent calendar. It was remarkably affordable – under $100. I jumped at the chance to celebrate the season with yarn.

It arrived just after Thanksgiving. It was difficult not to open it all at once. I love how it was packaged. All of the materials were  compostable, even the sparkly twine. I love how her dedication to being environmentally sustainable carries over to every detail.

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I loved having so many mini skeins to add to my blanket. On Christmas I opened a gorgeous skein of yarn in colors I would normally not pick for myself. It’s funny how sometimes what I would never pick out is exactly what I need. 20190107_1435445035523394922255786.jpg

I’m not sure what the yarn will become. I’m open to any suggestions you have.

I’ll be doing the advent calendar again next year. The price will be going up, but it will still be manageable.

Do you do yarn advent calendars? Are you mini skein obsessed too?

Date Day

Today John and I dropped the kids of at his parents and headed out of town. We spent the day in Winterset, about 45 minutes out of town. Winterset is a cute little down with shops on the square surrounding the courthouse. We spent the day getting a shocking amount of Christmas shopping done in the little shops. 

We picked up a few things for our nephew.


I picked up some candy cigarettes too. I’m not sure who they are for yet. I just feel that when you see candy cigarettes, you should buy them. 

The primary purpose of our trip was a visit to Heartland Fiber Co.  This cute shop, which also puts on fiberpalooza, is one of my favorite yarn shops. They have a hypoallergenic shop cat. I’m allergic to cats, so petting a cat is normally out of the question. I had no reaction to the cat and now I want one which is something I never thought I would say.

For our anniversary this year John gave me a trip to a yarn shop (7 years is the wool anniversary. Why can’t it be every year?).  I settled on three skeins for my gift. 

The first yarn I picked was some self striping sock yarn. I have been wanting a pair of Christmas socks. The red and white reminds me of a candy cane.

I also picked up some Biscotte Yarns self striping sock yarn. I love self striping yarn. This colorway reminds me of Wonder Woman. John thinks I’m crazy and says it looks more like a circus. 

I also picked out yarn for a hat for Elliot. Elliot loves camels. His favorite stuffed animal is a camel. He likes to visit the camels at the zoo. I picked up some camel yarn (78% camel fiber, 22% nylon). I plan to make him a hat with the yarn. I think I’ll do a simple ribbed brim and a stockinette hat. I should be able to chart a simple camel outline and stitch it into the hat. The yarn is very soft; I am looking forward to kitting it up.

It was nice to spend a day with John away from the kids. 

The big question: Do I put my Elliot socks even further to the side so I can make a pair of peppermint socks before Christmas?

What’s On Deck

I’ve finished the first sleeve on my sweater. That means I really need to sit down and get to work on it. But I’m not doing that. Instead, I’m planning what to knit next. I have three items on deck.

First up: Stockings. I’m making two for my friend’s girls. My plan is to work 10 rows a day on these. That will get them done by Thanksgiving, and I won’t get sick of colorwork if I’m only doing 10 rows a day. I’ve made these stockings a few times. I love the design, but the toe and heel have given me fits each time. I am going in to this project knowing I’m going to ignore her directions and do what I think makes sense.20180914_1155287694026387886452700.jpg

Sweater Knitalong. My friend Ivy and I have had Craftsy sweater kits in our stashes for too long. That changes now. We’re each working on our sweaters with the goal of finishing them by Thanksgiving. This is a bit of a stretch goal, as I can’t start on the sweater until I finish the one that is already on the needles. I’m going to make the Zadie sweater in Caribbean. I’m hoping the relaxed fit and casual design of this sweater will have me reaching for it instead of a hoodie this winter. I don’t remember which sweater Ivy is making, but I do know it is a different pattern. If you have a sweater waiting to be knit you should join us in making a Thanksgiving sweater. 20180914_1154413517288618213395725.jpg

After I finish the Zadie Sweater I’m going to start the Everyday Shawl by Jenny F. At least I think I am. I am still undecided on the pattern, but I know I want to make a shawl with my latest batch of CSA yarn from Garden Wool & Dye Co. I won the drawing for free yarn for participating in her knitalong, so I received two skeins in my box this month.20180914_1153521253118397113837728.jpg

I am really going to miss being in the CSA, but I don’t knit fast enough to justify it for more than the three months subscription.

If you have any shawl suggestions for this yarn please let me know. I want something simple that lets the yarn shine. I also want to knit something that is interesting to knit so my brain doesn’t turn to mush when I pick it up.

What are you planning to knit next?

Garden Wool & Dye Knit Along

I’m doing a knit along through September with Garden Wool & Dye on Ravelry. The only requirement is to use Garden Wool & Dye yarn. I was going to make socks in the light wash denim colorway, as I’m always making socks.  I really like the yarn, but I started thinking that I wouldn’t love it as socks. Denim colored socks with jeans just seemed a little too Canadian tuxedo to me.

A few days ago I noticed the Study Hall Shawl on Raverly. Since then I can’t stop thinking about it. I decided it would be a great thing to make for the knit-a-long. Admittedly, it is an odd selection as I do not wear shawls. Maybe this one will change my mind.

I have a beautiful pink from Garden Wool & Dye to go with the light wash denim yarn.20180805_1942475039818185124328470.jpg

I do think my swift was revolting against the thought of me making a shawl.20180805_1951312206151228842140501.jpgBut I fixed that problem with pretty duct tape. 20180805_1953215345038638804023996.jpg

Now I have the yarn ready to go. I just need to get to the library to print off the pattern and I’m ready to go.

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Should I be starting a shawl when I have socks and a sweater on the needles? No, but the heart wants what the heart wants, and today that is a shawl in colors I never wear.

 

WIP Wednesday: 27/52

Happy Wednesday! I have so much to update you on this week. It is hard to believe that last week I only had one pair of socks on the needles.

I was so excited to finish my margarita socks I jumped right in to a new pair of socks. This time I went with Skimmer Socks Revisited, I want socks that don’t show when I wear Chucks. I really hope they won’t get sucked down into my shoe, a common occurrence with purchased no-show socks. I am almost done with the first sock – I just need to add the top rib. I would have finished it by now, but I don’t have a 40 inch size 0 needle in my possession. I ordered one and it should get here later this week. Once it arrives I should be able to finish the sock in less than an hour. 20180711_134001358162342786589286.jpg

Because I’m stuck until the new needles get her I cast on a pair of simple 3×2 rib socks for John. I’m using Yarn Geek Fibers Super-Geek in the Grace Hopper colorway (you might remember it from the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival post). I love how these socks are knitting up. I think John will get a lot of use out of them. I’ve made a lot of progress on them as they are so easy to pick up when the kids are playing. I got about an inch done at the library today. It was enough knitting to make me think I should take the kids to play there more often.20180711_1120522941539894652484688.jpg

I’m not just knitting socks. Inspired by the Knitting Monk podcast where he talks about finding the opportunity in what you have, I dug into my stash and found some yarn I bought last year when a local yarn shop was closing. I was in a mad buying frenzy because the yarn was half off (HALF OFF! THEY WERE PRACTICALLY GIVING IT AWAY!!!!). I picked up some Ella Rae DK Merino Superwash in colors I thought would make a nice cardigan for Audrey or Elliot. I was searching for patterns on Ravelry with the yardage I had and I realized I could make a sweater for myself.

I cast on a Caramel sweater a few days ago. I didn’t swatch it. I am just going to knit until it is about four inches long and measure gauge then. If it doesn’t work I’ll tear it out. I didn’t want to wait to get started on the sweater.

The rows are long, so it is not good for knitting until after bed time. I’m very excited about this sweater as it is colors I never would have picked for myself – grape purple and mantis green. I think it will look great over my gray t-shirt centric wardrobe.20180711_134041964113775808401576.jpg

Working on the cardigan also makes me feel good about my yarn diet. If I weren’t on a yarn diet this yarn would have languished in a tote in my basement for 10 years until I decided to donate it. Because I am buying less yarn I’m more likely to work with what I have.

I hope I have a lot of progress to show you next week. Have a great week – I hope you get to start a fun new project too.