Finished Object Friday (a day late)

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Initially this was Wednesday Work-in-Progress post, but I totally forget to take the obligatory photos. By Friday morning I completed it, and but never got around to posting about it, until now (Saturday).

Absolutely in love with how these mitts feel. The yarn is 65% Alpaca(!!), 15% Silk, 10% Camel & 10% Cashmere Goat. So light, fluffy, airy and incredibly soft!

This is a fairly simple pattern available on Ravelry. It looks like cabling is involved, but there’s not. The pattern involves strategically placed increases and decreases to give it that cable-like look. Once you are use to it, it knitted up pretty quickly.

I plan to keep them in my office for those chilly days. Of course I could be selfish and just leave them at home!

Yesterday I started another pair of mitts using this pattern, but this time with a merino wool-angora yarn mix.

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How do you physically feel when you see red?

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Have you taken the time to notice what happens when you see red? How does it make you feel?

The pituitary gland works overtime, sending a message to the adrenal medulla, telling it to release epinephrine. Epinephrine is adrenaline.

Red creates an adrenaline rush.

  • Your heart beats faster.
  • Your blood pressure increases.
  • You breathe more rapidly.
  • You sweat more.
  • Your appetite is ravenous.
  • You gain more muscle strength.

And you have absolutely no control over this response.

The next time you are surrounded by red, take a moment and see how your body physically responds to it. It can’t be controlled but you can be mindful of it and be absolutely amazed by it.

Theme Color of the Month: Red

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This month I will focus on all things red:

  • What we feel, psychologically and physiologically when we see the color red.
  • How red is view in different cultures.
  • And whatever other things I can think of about red (but can’t think of right now).

It’s November and the leaves still hold their fall colors. Some, including this shrub, have their brilliant red hue to them. It will be the last vestige of color until spring rolls around again.

Work in Progress Wednesday

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With my new (though part time) office job, I decided I will need a new pair of fingerless mitts for the winter months. The building is older and will have HVAC updating in the next couple of years, and since this will be my first winter in this office, I have no idea just how cold it will get.

I am using The Fibre Company’s Road to China Light yarn in the colorway Ruby. It’s an incredibly soft and lightweight yarn that is 65% Alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Camel, and 10% Cashmere Goat. This is yarn to swoon over, and it’s in the mid-range price (not too expensive despite the yarn composition, but not big box store cheap prices either.) So far worth every dime.

For the pattern I am using one called Emilee Dee Mitts by Paula McKeever, available on Ravelry. I’ve knitted another fingerless mitt pattern (Cafe au Lait Mitts) and decided to go with another by her purely by accident. I was trying to find my printed copy of the Cafe au Lait Mitts pattern but found Emilee Dee Mitts instead. I wanted to start it right away, so I just used Emilee Dee.

New Monthly Theme

I have let this dormant for so long. Since I started running, my Etsy store floundered and my knitting took a long hiatus. I had no idea what to do and even when I was inspired, I didn’t feel compelled to follow through. I had no direction to go.

A trip to New England last December helped in finding a direction, though it took me nearly a year to find an idea that is compelling and could be sustained in running this blog. Not to mention a move, a new job, a running injury…you know, life getting in the way.

Colors.

I’m drawn to colors, some more than others. Colors are what inspire me to knit. Single color yarn, multi-color yarn, striping yarn; as long as there are colors, I am drawn to them.

Each month, starting November 1, I will chose a color and examine it in every way: psychologically, culturally, what is used to create the color, selected finds on Etsy, anything I can think of involving that single color each month.

What color will be first?

Stay tuned.

Quiviut

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I just came back from a little over a week spent in Alaska.  Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous state. Even in the most overcast and rainy days, there is a strange beauty that can’t be replicated anywhere else. I will probably blog more about the trip later.

On this trip I wanted to be able to touch and feel qiviut yarn. Just what is this qiviut, you ask, and why is it hard to find outside of Alaska?

It is the wool from the musk ox, an animal found in the high Arctic, especially in Canada and Greenland.  The Alaskan population had been wiped out in the late 19th-early 20th century but has been recently re-introduced in the area.

A muskox at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, outside Girdwood, Alaska.

Qivuit yarn is stronger and warmer than wool, softer than cashmere.  Items knitted from qivuit, if taken care of properly, can last much longer than wool.  It is, by far, my dream yarn to use.

Of course, that means it is insanely expensive.  A scarf knitted from qiviut can easily cost $300.  A skein of sock yarn, like the one I found below under lock and key in a glass case at the Alaska Wildlife Conversation Center, can cost around $120. That is enough to perhaps knit a pair of gloves or a pair of socks.

Yes, that says $120 for 375 yards of Qiviut sock yarn. The most I spent on yarn is maybe $35.

I manage to find a skein that was not under lock and key and was able to touch it.  *Swoon*  I would love to have it at home to knit with, but knowing me, at that price tag, it would be kept under lock and key in a fireproof safe.

More information:

  • Wikipedia entry on Qiviut yarn.
  • Wikipedia entry on Musk Ox.
  • Musk Ox Farm outside Palmer, Alaska (unfortunately was not able to visit as they already transitioned out of tourism season hours).
  • Oomingmak, a native co-op selling items knitted out of qiviut. They have a store on 6th & H in downtown Anchorage.
  • Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, where orphaned and injured native Alaskan animals are cared for. Also serves as an education initiative, and a must visit if you are in the Anchorage or Seward area.

Where to buy qiviut yarn outside of Alaska

Redux Thursday

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Almost two years ago I knitted my first garment, the Camille Cardigan from Knitscene Winter 2012. It was easy, and not as intimidating as one would think, except for trying to figure out the invisible provisional cast-on.  With large needles & bulky yarn, it was a quick knit. A knitted garment done in a month’s time, what a boost to the ego!

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Problem was, it was too big. Like, ridiculously too big. I wear a size large in everything, so surely knitting a large would be the right fit.  NOT.  It stayed hanging in the closet all this time, didn’t even bother to sew on the buttons.

Yesterday, I figure if it was too big back then, it must be HUGE now that I lost 25-30 lbs of weight. I decided I will try it again, starting with the three skeins of leftover yarn and when that is used up, start unraveling the old one & using that yarn. Knit the next size down (which is a significant drop in size).  I’ve even measured myself (except of just assuming) so I know it will be close this time

Bye-bye first garment, hello better-fitting garment (I hope!!!). It would be nice to actually wear it in public.

Yarn: KnitPicks Full Circle Bulky yarn in Hollyhock (a limited edition recycled yarn that is no longer available).

Packing up a purchase

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Last week my mom handsold one of my hats. Yes, I did a little happy dance. It also gave me the opportunity to show you all what they would receive when they order through my Etsy store.

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So, obviously there’s the product with a tag detailing care instructions, a few of my business cards to hand out to others when you (hopefully) rave about my hats, and a postcard with a handwritten thank you note (you have to love that lamb!!!).

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All wrapped up and ready to go in a Priority Mail envelope (if domestic) or a small box (if international).