Oct 20
2011

Knitting Classes… and more!

We just started our second Knitting 101 class at the shop this past week. I had forgotten how much I enjoy seeing new people get into knitting. It was so much fun. As our friend Anne puts it, we have to “keep spreading the virus”!

The class was an absolute blast. It’s a larger class this time around, so I recruited perian to help, and it was a great success. I can’t wait for Monday to roll around again! I also got to rave about Ravelry as part of the class, which is awesome in all sorts of ways. I think the best part was how enthusiastic everyone was. We provided a 50 gram ball of yarn to start, and one student asked if she knit the whole thing between the first and second class, whether she should tear it all out or if she could get more yarn. Hmm… I sense a challenge! Actually, all the ladies caught on really well, and everyone was laughing all evening, so it was a really fun evening.

Some of our knitterly friends have also been listening to us drop hints about new things happening at the shop. Faking Sanity, which started as hand-dyed yarns and knitting accessories before it was a bookstore/cafe, is returning to its roots. We’re just waiting on our last shipments to arrive, and in the next few weeks, we’ll be rolling out our new yarn and knitting section! We’ll have an assortment of sock and lace weight yarns to start, from pretty but basic Araucania Ranco, to luxurious Malabrigo, to yarns with a more modern twist, such as Tofutsies, or Austermann Step, which is infused with aloe and jojoba. And lots more to come, so stay tuned! We’ll also be carrying an assortment of interchangeable circular needle styles, dpns and crochet hooks. The most exciting addition to the needles for me, though, is the cubic circular needle. I just played with a sample one for a bit last night, and I think I might love it!

We’ll be posting an announcement once we launch this, but wanted to give our loyal readers the opportunity to hear it here first!

In somewhat related news, we’ll be starting a Ravelry group for the shop to discuss all things knitterly, so let us know if you would like an invite to the group once it’s up and running.

Oct 9
2011

Christmas gift #1!

I’m trying to make Christmas gifts for everyone on my list this year. We’ll see how that goes, since this is only the first complete one, and I haven’t even figured out what the others will be. There may be books in store for the several of them! 😉

At any rate, my first Christmas gift is done, and I even got the ends woven in, which is a big deal for me. Oh, how I hate finishing! I do love this pattern, though; it’s such a fun knit, and quite quick given the worsted weight yarn, and the fact that I can do the cables without a cable needle for this particular one. I used some handspun I purchased at a Fibrefest a few years ago for this Koolhaas for my dad. I like the result: the lines are much softer than they would otherwise be, but the effect is still pleasing, and my dad will love the colour. And yet, now that I think about it, perhaps this could be for my brother in law, while my dad gets some worsted weight socks? Hmmm….

Sep 8
2011

Faking Sanity has Knitting Accessories Once Again!

We try to keep this blog to our crafty sides, rather than cluttering it with our business stuff. However, since Faking Sanity first started as hand-dyed yarns and knitting accessories, we thought this one might fit here as well as on our business blog.

While the Faking Sanity Yarns are taking a back seat right now due to the time it takes to run the Faking Sanity bookstore/cafe, there is still knitting!

We’re currently planning our second Knitting 101 class to take place this fall, we have a weekly Knit Night that is slowly growing, and we’ve even got a few skeins of Faking Sanity yarns. But the big news? The BIG news? You can now get Namaste bags in Dawson Creek! Our first shipment flew out the doors, but we’ve gotten a new shipment this week, and we’ll have more again by the end of the month. Here’s a sneak peek at a few:

So, if you’re in Dawson Creek, why not hop over to our store blog or Facebook page and stay up to date on the new stock as it arrives… or pop in and have a look for yourself.

Oh, and I’ve been knitting too! I’ve started a Koolhaas for my dad. I had forgotten how much I love this pattern. This one will have slightly softer lines due to the use of handspun yarn, but now that I’m starting with row 1 of the pattern (don’t ask!), it’s looking great. I’ll try to have pics for you once I get home from tonight’s knit night.

Aug 15
2011

Knitting and Ribbons and Fairs, oh my!

It’s fall fair season! Our little Faking Sanity knit night group submitted several items to the Dawson fall fair this year. I was sad when we went to look at all the handicrafts that there was so little submitted, though. There were so many categories without a single entry.

Given the categories available, and my limited knitting time these days due to long hours at the shop, all I had to submit was a shawl. I finished knitting this one in February this year.

While the shawl design itself is quite simple, I’m proud of this one because I dyed the yarn as well. In a fair with more competition, it might not have gotten much notice, but it was good enough for a third place ribbon in the “fancy knitted sweater or other clothing” category up here in Dawson.

Because I was so dissapointed at the lack of participation in the handicrafts competitions this year, I’ve promised myself to submit something in at least one more category next year (hopefully more). Now, it’s your turn! I’m challenging the rest of our little group to do the same. Half the fun of the fair was walking through the buildings to see all the exhibits that were there. Let’s make sure we do our part so that these competitions and exhibits continue in the years to come!

Jul 10
2011

Here be dragons!

Way back in 2007 I started a Dragon Scale Scarf by Bad Cat Designs (ravelry link). I stopped working on it pretty quickly as I was bored with it, but I just picked it up again after 3 years or so in hibernation. As with pretty much any pattern I knit, I made a few modifications… I changed the border from 4 to 6 stitches on either side and 4 to 6 rows on each end and cast on 65 stitches instead of 40 to make it a bit wider. I also changed from a lace weight to some Lorna’s Laces sock weight. See?

The yarn is nice enough to knit with, but the colour isn’t really me. It’s a little less orange than in the first picture, but more so than it appears in the second. Also, the purples and browns appeared pretty subtle in the skein, but show much more once knit up. I’m not sure this colourway is the best fit for this project. My grandma and mom both love oranges and reds, though, so I’m thinking this one will be a gift once it’s complete.

Jun 21
2011

A little yarn bombing and WWKIPing

We decided to subtly introduce the city of Dawson Creek to the art of yarn bombing! Have a peek.

These flower boxes outside the store normally have ceramic gnomes and mushrooms. They gained a few knit flowers for the event, as well as a knit mushroom. There was also a giant crocheted snail in the window just behind them (left inside due to the fact that it was on loan from a knit night regular, and that we weren’t sure whether it would start raining during the event).

Inside the store we had several vases of knit flowers, as well as many knit items on display, loaned from our personal project stashes, and those of our regular knit night attendees. Unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures of those onto this computer yet. I could have sworn I had, but I guess I’ll just post those pictures in a new post later. The mushroom and most of the flower vase flowers were done by blog co-author Perian and I, while the flowers and snail in these two pictures were done by our most regular knit night attendee, who had never heard of yarn bombing, but was thoroughly enjoying it!

We also bombed the tree outside the store. Pretty small scale as far as yarn-bombing is concerned, but you should have seen the stares and laughs as people saw it! I think it was a success for this small city! Here’s a wider shot of the whole tree. There’s a crocheted wrap for the tree trunk (in red and black, of course!) and an assortment of leaves, flowers and butterflies. Many of the leaves were green, so not very visible now that the tree actually has leaves. We also did a wrap and butterfly for the lightpost on the corner, but they were taken down before I had a chance to get a picture.

And here’s a close up of some of the flowers and butterflies in the tree. You can also see a leaf  and finger-knitting strand ( knit by our youngest WWKIP attendee – 6 year old Seby) in the background.

Jun 17
2011

Spinning!

A while ago, I thought I’d try spinning. I bought some beautiful bamboo to spin, then I signed up for a class. Then, I bought a spindle, and another. After that, I bought a wheel. Then another wheel. (And a shwack of fiber throughout). Then I packed to move to BC, and started a new business and haven’t spun since. Boo! Hiss!

Tonight, though! Ah! Tonight, I put my wheel back together for the first time in a year, attached a leader and started playing. First I spun some soft, fuzzy brown jabob. Then, I dug out some of my more exotic spinning fibers for show and tell tomorrow at the store, and thought, “Hey, I haven’t tried spinning that corn silk yet” and spun some of that. I don’t know what I’d use the yarn for, but it’s so shiny and pretty, and very easy to draft. Then, I dug out the remainder of the original bag of BFL that Spinknit gave me with the wheel I bought from her, and now, I have the pretty on my bobbin. I love BFL. I love how it drafts, how it looks, how it feels. I love that this blue/pink/purple batch reminds me of my friend whenever I pick it up. I love that I can still spin “with” her, even though she is so far away!

PS: It really was very little spinning of each, as it’s been kind of hectic at the store. Tomorrow is our WWKIP/yarn bombing event, so we’ve been busy crocheting and knitting and decorating the store with all our handknits (which meant weaving in millions of ends and blocking thousands of projects… or so it seemed)! Check it out over at our store blog: Faking-Sanity.net. I promise though there will be a knitting and crochet related post soon, as we got some new stuff done for the store event tomorrow, and I’m slowly making progress on my Phoenix Rising shawl, too.

May 17
2011

The shawl! … and maybe something new?

My 1st Year of Lace shawl is going great. This week, I finished the final repeat of the body chart, and have started the set up for the edging. Know what that means? I’m sitting at about 50% completion – only 40,000 or so stitches to go! Whee!

Now, because I am… me… and there is no known cure, I just spent the past two days looking at knit and crocheted flowers and plants to start a new project. We’re planning a WWKIP event for the store, and were thinking it would be fun to yarn bomb it too, with tons of crocheted “flowers” and “potted plants”. I found a few cute patterns, so I’m setting aside my Phoenix Rising in order to work on those for a week or so. The store will look so awesome! After that, the countdown from 40,000 stitches will resume. :)

May 1
2011

So… about that shawl

The shawl on which I was working when my needle broke? The shawl on which I picked up the last life line, from which point I’ve reknit the next 4-5 rows 4-5 times? Yeah. I have the first 4-5 rows of the repeat memorized, so I don’t really look at the pattern chart for those, except for the centre panel. So, after the needle broke, I paintakingly picked up the hundreds of stitches on the lifeline, and started knitting away. When I got to row 5, approaching the centre panel and looking at the chart more closely for the first time, I didn’t have the correct number of stitches. When I looked at the rows beneath it, I realized that was the case since the lifeline, so I took it off the needles and picked up the lifeline again and started over. I’ve been working on the shawl at our store knit night lately, so when I had the same problem at row 5 again, I thought I had gotten too involved in conversation, and tore back to the lifeline once more. I did this one more time, and again had the same problem. It finally dawned on me that I should probably read the pattern for the first row to make sure I had it right. I did, by the way! Do you know what I didn’t have right? The *plain* purl row the life line was through! Somehow I had purled a yarn over and the following stitch together as one without noticing, and obviously that was causing all my problems. Now, I won’t say this is an extremely difficult lace pattern, but it is large and detailed. The fact that I’ve ripped back this repeat 5 times because of a mistake on a plain purl row and not a pattern row is just… mind-blowing. I’m now starting the repeat for a fifth time; the lifeline row error is now fixed though, and I’m confident I’ll make it at least to row 6!

Apr 14
2011

Stupid needle!

I’ve been working on my Phoenix Rising shawl lately… I tend to use KP interchangeable circs, but for this shawl, given the sheer number of stitches, I decided to use a fixed circ since I didn’t want to risk a needle coming apart at the join. Tonight, at our Stitch n’ B****, my needle fell apart! I have another needle I can use, but that’s nearly 4 hours of work lost since the last repeat/life line. Bah!

Apr 12
2011

What’s a third of a phoenix?

It’s 27,143 stitches… at least if the phoenix in question is Sivia Harding’s Phoenix Rising from the first Year of Lace club. It’s now official: I’ve passed the 1/3 completion point tonight with that 27,143rd stitch (I’m actually 33.68% complete, in fact). Only 53,545 stitches to go!

Mar 29
2011

Lace time!

Since spring hasn’t arrived yet up here in Northern BC, I’ve decided to knit something light and bright to remind me it’s coming!

A few years ago, I signed up for the first Year of Lace club. I absolutely loved the first design, but had set it aside when life got in the way, and never went back to finish it. Last night, I pulled it out again, tinked back 3 rows to find the mistake that had made me set it aside in the first place, and started knitting again. Soon, I will have a beautiful new shawl. To see the finished version, check out the Ravelry page for Phoenix Rising here.

Just to be sure we understand each other though, I should clarify that “soon” means, sometime in the future: possibly in the next month, or possibly 5 years from now! This shawl will have over 80,000 stitches once it’s complete. I have just finished the third repeat, which puts me at about 20% completion. So, only 64,000 stitches to go, but look how pretty it is:

Mar 1
2011

Dad’s Not Socks

I knit my dad socks for Christmas a few years back, and the heel blew out, so I’ve been working on a new pair for him. The first pair were made of Louet Gems Sport, a 100% merino yarn. This time, I decided to buy a sturdier yarn, so I chose some Lang Yarns Jawoll Silk. Between the extra strength provided by both the silk and the reinforcing thread (enough to knit together with the regular yarn for both the heels and toes), I figured I was good. I also decided to make the socks a 1/2″ longer in the foot, in case too much negative ease lengthwise added to the first pair’s premature demise.

I started these a while back, and would set them aside as I got bored, but returned to them between other projects, determined I’d get him his replacement pair by Christmas this year. The ball of remaining yarn seemed to be diminishing quickly, so I decided to shorten the knee high sock from the first pair to a mid-calf sock; as I got closer to the end, I changed that to a fairly short sock, with only a 5″ leg before a 1″ cuff. It’s done! Before binding off, I decided to weigh the remaining yarn and disaster struck… only 40 grams left!!! How did that happen? Stupid men’s size feet! So… Dad’s Christmas socks became Dad’s Not Socks. Now, I need to go through my stash and find a yarn that I have at least 120 grams of, and start over. And frog the current sad, lonely Not Sock.

RIP Not Sock:

Feb 26
2011

Two posts in one day! Wow!

Recently, I mentioned that we would be starting to sell Fakign Sanity hand-dyed yarns again at our new shop. The first of the new yarn has been ordered, and tomorrow will be my first big skeining/dyeing day in way too long.

And while this next bit pertains to the shop, it’s crafty, so I felt I had to share it with my knitterly friends here. We already host a knit/craft night at the shop, but as of today, registrations are open for our very first beginner knitting class, which will take place this April. If everything goes well, we’ll look at holding other classes at the shop in the fall and winter, based on interest. So, stay tuned, and if you’re up north, come visit us to let us know what you’re interested in. At this point, we’re considering beginner knitting and crochet classes, beginner lace, toe-up socks with afterthought heels, socks on two circulars, and maybe even a basic drop-spindle course or a session about online resources for those who would like to learn more about using the great online resources available to us now. It’s so exciting when the things you love to do and the things you do for a living can match up so well!

Feb 26
2011

It’s done! And blocking!

My first real dye job became my first real shawl. I’ve blogged about it a few times: when I first started it, and again recently when I picked it up again. I finally finished it last week, and tonight I went up to perian’s to block it. I start a lot of projects, but don’t finish them very quickly or very often, so some of you may wonder if this is true. However, I’ve come prepared! Here’s the proof!

This hand-dyed yarn:

Became this lump of yarn:

And finally became this shawl:

I’m very pleased with how it turned out. It wasn’t much yarn (100 grams of fingering weight), so I knew it would be a very small shawl. In the end, it blocked out to 49″ wide and just over 20″ deep. I was desperately hoping it would make it to 48″, so this is as much as I could have hoped for. There are a couple of obvious mistakes I noticed much too late to fix (or to fix relatively quickly, at any rate), but an old friend once told me that if you couldn’t see a mistake from the back of a galloping horse, it wasn’t worth fixing, so… if you see them, just whoosh past your screen at a good gallop, and magically, the mistakes will disappear! :)

Feb 9
2011

Progress! And maybe more dyeing soon?!

That shawl I picked up again last week after over a year? I ended up adding an additional leaf lace repeat, and have now started the edging. As tomorrow night is knit night at the store, I should be able to finish the shawl completely in the next day or two! Whee! I promise I’ll post a pic once it’s done, but I plan on blocking it at a friend’s house, so there will be post-blocking pictures in the near future as well.

I’ve even decided on my next projects. I really do enjoy lace, colourwork, etc, much more than plain knitting. I will work on my cowl top (which is mostly stockinette, but nearly finished) and I’m going to start on the Endpaper Mitts I’ve been planning for ages. I’ve recently also been working on a very basic black and wine-coloured crochet afghan, so the colourwork should keep me interested enough overall to be able to plug away and finish both the afghan and the cowl relatively soon, unless…

I spend all my free time dyeing… I just placed a fairly large order for more sock and laceweight yarn. Faking Sanity Yarns will be re-appearing on the market soon! We’ve decided to start carrying both Faking Sanity yarns and chain-mail knitting accessories at the shop this year. We’ll be launching these additions in conjunction with a WWKIP event, if we can drum up enough interest in this little northern town. Either way, I miss dyeing so much, so we may also look into wholesaling at LYS’s again once I have enough dyed in advance, so stay tuned.

Feb 1
2011

Aaaaahhh… lace!

I haven’t beem knitting much lately… I’d pick up a new sock pattern, do about half of a sock, get bored, and move onto another pattern. The roommie inspired me though… She’s been on this “finish it or rip it” kick lately.  Last night, I went through one of the bags filled with hibernating projects, and pulled out a lace shawl I started in 2008 and put aside within a few weeks. Remember this guy?

It was my very first dye job with acid dyes, and what ultimately led to the creation of Faking Sanity yarns. It sat languishing for over a year and a half, and last night, I picked it up and finished all but the final 20-row repeat and 8-row edging! Why have I not picked up any lace projects recently? I do love it, it keeps my interest much more easily than anything else, and I have missed it so!

And now, I’m off to work on my shawl!

Jan 3
2011

Committing to a project…

I’ve started working on a new pair of socks as my “carry around” project. It’s called Terrapin Lace, and I love how it’s knitting up in the Regia Galaxy I’m using. As soon as I get another inch or so knit – so it will stay on my toes long enough to take a picture – I’ll post photos.

The sock is going so well, I’ve started thinking about larger projects once again… I’ve been eyeing sweater patterns. The contenders so far are:
1) Back to School Vest (Shibui Knits in Ink)
2) February Fitted Pullover (Shibui Knits in Ink)
3) Tailored Scallops (Shibui Knits in Ink)
4) Corsica (Cascade Eco in (I think) Navy)
5) Baby Cables and Big Ones Too (Sirdar Snuggly in Light Navy)

Aahh… It takes me as long to make a decision about a sweater as it takes some people to knit one! It’s a good thing I don’t start every one that interestes me, since my problem is staying power!

Nov 17
2010

Hey, remember me?

Wow, it really has been a while! Running a business sure cuts into the knitting and dyeing time I had grown accustomed to! I found out about a local artsy/crafty sale this weekend, though, so I actually have been dyeing. I have about a dozen skeins either ready, awaiting reskeining or drying right now. It will be a bit of a mad dash to get reskeining and labelling done since the next two days are our long days at the store, but I’ll figure it out, since the sale is this Saturday. I’ve got some of my standard bases, and some of my newer test fibers done up. There are a couple I’m really proud of (and perhaps one I’m debating holding back for myself, but don’t tell). I’ll make sure to grab a few pictures before I send them off to the sale.

As for knitting, well not much of that yet, although I did work on my Dad’s socks at our store knit night last week, and I’ll be starting some quick facecloths for a gift basket for my sister at this week’s. That’s about it, though. As much as I’d love to knit more, I know knitting while I’m tired isn’t smart (since I have to then fix all the mistakes), so it will have to do for now. I’ll just have to enjoy the dyeing that much more!

Aug 14
2010

What’s going on?

Well, the only knitting I’ve managed to get in lately is about half a coffee mug sleeve/cozy. Why? Our new shop is very slowly taking shape!

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