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Showing posts from 2010

Pattern Release- Eureka Valley Hat

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I designed this hat to match my Eureka Valley Mitts worked in the worsted weight version of this yarn. Really, it was just an excuse to work with the Chunky Mochi, which had been calling my name from the shelves for several months. It uses 2 balls, and works up in just a few hours. The pattern is available for $5 in my Ravelry pattern store or my Etsy shop.

Free Pattern Release- Snowflakes on Mulberries Hat (worsted weight)

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You may remember my free pattern for Silk Garden Lite, the Snowflakes on Mulberries Hat. Here it is-

Soon after finishing that project, I learned that Silk Garden Lite was being discontinued!
Earlier this fall, I fell in love with this lovely Halloween-y colorway of the worsted weight Silk Garden and I decided to rework the pattern for a heavier gauge. It works up super fast in 1 skein and the 6-fold symmetry of the decreases makes it just a little bit special. I tweaked the decrease rate, so there's no tendency toward looking nipple-y whether the hat is being worn or not. Ravelry pattern page here.

Pumpkin Recipe Share Time!

So here's the recipe for the pumpkin bread pudding I made for the spinners. I used a mix of pumpkin and butternut squash puree made from veggie box contents. I used about half normal baguette from Whole Foods and half cranberry/currant baguette. That weekend, I also made this hazelnut pumpkin pie, which was ok but mostly the hazelnuts were distracting. I think it would have been better if the nut mixture was sweetened. I used the crust from this butternut squash pie recipe which is still the reigning champion. (Though this caramel pumpkin pie from Gourmet magazine is great if you have time for the extra steps.)

WIP- Effortless Cardigan + Show Me Your Posts Contest!

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I'm working on thisEffortless Cardigan (pattern by Hannah Fetig of Knitbot) in Misti Tonos Worsted (alpaca/wool blend). Here's what it looked like when I started writing this post like 3 weeks ago.



It's been a while since I made a long sleeve sweater in something other than fingering weight, so I thought it would go a little faster. Not so much. The huge fronts make this basically a sweater and a half. The yarn is so yummy, I'm really enjoying even the tedious parts. Since I took the first photo exactly 2 weeks ago, I've finished the body and started one of the sleeves.


Um... since I wrote that and took the 2nd photo, I've finished the whole thing! You can come visit it at Yarndogs starting at the end of the week. It's so warm and comfy and perfect!

So... I'm at least 6 months behind on my Ravelry friends' blogs. (Hint: If you post it to Facebook, I'll probably see it.) I want to see what everyone's been working on! I'm going to …

Finished? Yarn- Zombie Swap Batt

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I participated in the awesome Zombie Apocalypse Swap in the Phat Fiber Ravelry group earlier this month. The fibery portion of the package I received from Dawn of Dawning Dreams was this chunky art batt


I spun it up into these singles-


Not sure what I'm going to do with the yarn, but I'm sure it will be just perfect for something or other someday. :)

A New Kitten!

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Did I trick you? The 2cats are still 2 and not 3. I'm talking about my brand new Kitten drum carder from Fancy Kitty!
I got the 120 cloth for fine fibers. The maker suggests that only people who are making batts of mostly angora or maybe suri alpaca need the 190 cloth.
I love it!
It's not hugely different from the Pat Green I was borrowing from Rachel, but it's more compact and I like that. There's a Ravelry group for the carders and the maker answers questions all the time. These blog posts from The Painted Tiger are incredibly helpful and drool-worthy.
I've made a few batts by now, and I can easily get at least 2.5oz of fiber using the brush to push the fibers down the teeth. I haven't been fastening the brush attachment in the down position, just pushing it down with my hand for a few turns now and then. This is one of the batts I made for the Phat Fiber October steampunk theme. It's a blend of merino, camel, and silk based on the character of Yashme…

Spinning WIP- Black Pearl Batts

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I haven't been doing much other than dyeing and knitting samples lately, but I managed to finish 1 batt of this fiber (Black Pearl batts)from fellow Phattie By Rebekah With Love

The fiber content is Merino, carbonized bamboo, tussah silk, mulberry silk, firestar & angelina.
2.2 oz each batt
Going back to the Etsy listing to get the fiber content, I just realized she uses the same drum carder model that I just bought. She sets a pretty high standard- go check out her shop!


It'll be a lace or fingering-ish 2ply for a triangular lace shawl, most likely. I'm really looking forward to making more time for designing soon (I hope!). I have a few garments sort of stalled out at the grading stage, but I hope to need test knitters soon.

Lambtown Details

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Come see me (Out of Step Dyeworks / Amy Klimt Designs) at booth 17 in Madden Hall at Lambtown in Dixon this Saturday!
The Dixon May Fair Grounds, 655 South 1st St., Dixon, on Saturday, October 2, 2010, from 9 A.M. to 9 P.M. Admission is just $2.00 for adults. Children 6 - 13 $1.00 and kids 5 and under are free.

Dixon is up Interstate 80, most of the way to Sacramento

View Larger Map


I'll have a lot of really great new luxury fibers, plus lots of zombie yarn and fiber back in stock. I'll be debuting a new self-striping MCN colorway for Halloween-


Here's a couple of samples I've made for the festival, in addition to the turquoise/black/purple socks (well, sock and a half!).
A Curly Purly Soaker in my BFL Aran (colorway Too Hot to Hoot)

my Almost as Soft as Ziva Scarf in my Merino Aran (colorway Ziva, of course!) with black Kidsilk Haze.

WIP Roundup: Knitting Edition

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I'm having second sock syndrome pretty bad, haha.
Here's a sock in my self-striping MCN in the Celephais colorway. It's my basic self-striping sock pattern, which I give out with yarn purchase and was also on the Phat Fiber secret site. (My August yarn samples were self-striping.)

The yarn switched from black to turquoise right as I was ready to graft the toe. I was too lazy to hunt down a yard of black yarn. :P
I was also too lazy to check the pattern when I marked the heel placement and ended up doing the heel on 50% of stitches instead of 60% :(
There's enough stretch that it fits fine. I'll do the 2nd one with 60% then decide if I want to go back and fix the first one.
I need this sock for a sample at Lambtown next month. I also want to make up a sample in my aran weight BFL yarn. I'm thinking soakers.



Here's the first felted clog of a pair I'm making for Bryan. It's the Fiber Trends clog pattern and I'm using Lamb's Pride Worsted hel…

Princess Animal Opening

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I was too busy in the days leading up to the Princess Animal opening to really promote it, but here's the scoop after the fact!
It's a yarn shop in the back of Serendipity, a card shop at 803 Valencia in San Francisco.
Shortly before the opening, Kathy contacted me about carrying my yarns.
Here's some snippets of photos I took the other day. Full set here.


There's an exclusive self-striping colorway in the works, and I've adapted my double knit potholder pattern to feature the shop's tiara logo-

This'll be offered as a class soon. I'm already in the neighborhood on Mondays, so it should work out perfect!
Speaking of the neighborhood, I am completely and utterly in love with Bombay Ice Creamery. Mango rose, yummmm!

Is This Real Life?

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I have a bit of a headache that's slowed me down long enough to blog!
I've been dyeing like mad for a wholesale order (more details on that tomorrow) and going to tons of shows.

The future holds dyeing like mad for Lambtown and rocking out with my new ska band, haha. I just got 30 lbs of undyed fiber, mostly amazing luxury blends.

Not much knitting happening except for a ribbed hat I whipped up in Silk Garden and still chugging along on the self-striping socks in my yarn. I realized last night that I guessed wrong when I marked the heel stitches without the pattern in front of me. Last time I used 60% of the stitches for the heel instead of 50%. I'll probably leave it, at least until after I use it as a sample at Lambtown!

Bryan's birthday was about a week ago. I made him an Energy Dome cake.


I bought him a Scooba and he ran it for the first time yesterday. The cats are pretty curious about it, but haven't gone for a ride yet.

I made this sherbet with some melo…

FO x 2: Baby Surprise Jackets

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I've been wanting to knit the ubiquitous Baby Surprise Jacket for some time, but never really had a good occasion. I've been really interested since Candace finished hers in Dream in Color Classy a couple of months ago. The shop carries the newer individual pattern with baby/child/adult sizing, counts for different gauges, and line-by-line instructions.

One of Bryan's old friends came out to interview at Google a few weeks ago (he got an offer and took it! yay!)and asked me about commissioning a hand knit gift for a new baby in the family. Perfect!



Ravelry details here.
I picked Claudia Hand Painted Sport in the Oops! colorway. It turned out so great! The yarn was fabulous to work with. I'd used Claudia fingering weight before and loved it, but the sport is so springy and round with the added 3rd ply. It's a variegated and not striping yarn, but the color runs are long enough to make the changes in the direction of the knitting stand out.

Then I realized that …

FO: Handspun Coil Necklace

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I made this necklace from a tiny portion of the milk protein fiber supercoils I spun from Beesybee fiber. Post with photos of the fiber and singles here.
I really love it and I'm wearing it a lot. It goes well with a lot of pink and purple shirts I wear to work. I think I need to get some kind of stone or charm to hang from it to counter the weight of the clasp so it won't end up in the front all the time.



I got the clasps at Natural Expressions in Los Gatos for about $2.50 each. They separate and clasp magnetically, so the necklace could be worn with the strands twisted together or hanging straight. I say "could" because after some time in the twisted position, it has a tendency to want to stay that way. The clasp has 3 holes on each side. This necklace uses 4 strands. I was going to do 6, but I got tired and went to bed. I've been wearing it with 4 and I think I'll leave it that way.

I used beads to kind of keep the coils in place and cover some of th…

FO: Taiyo Top

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Yarn: Noro Taiyo
Needles: US 8
Body Plan: sleeveless drop-shoulder, no shaping below the neckline/shoulders, knit flat and seamed

Ravelry details and more photos here.
It was my intention to blog throughout the design process, but I accidentally finished the sweater in a week and a half! I think it's still long and wide-necked enough to hint at 80s styles without looking dated. I wanted to keep the neckline practical and fuss-free to wear to work, so I measured bra strap distance and added 2 inches to allow for an inch of ribbing on either side.

I took Deborah Newton's awesome advice from Designing Knitwear and used a string to decide on a depth and general shape for the neckline. Trying to figure out the exact rate of shaping was driving me nuts. After staring at several reference books, I finally got out some knitter's graph paper, marked the width and depth, and sketched in the curves until I thought it looked ok. This turned out to be a perfectly fine way to do things…

CSA Box Recipes for Summer

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Here's some of the stuff I've been doing with the Two Small Farms CSA box this summer. No photos for the most part. Too tasty to wait!
In general, I do a lot of stir-fry, often with Trader Joe's beef Bulgogi. When I get way behind, I do soup in the slow cooker.


Lori's peaches/CSA strawberries- preserves
This is the same recipe Pam used with her girls. I used about 4 cups sugar because I had less peaches than it called for. I didn't add any pectin. I don't do canning, and I like to have a really chunky, oozy result to put on toast or desserts.
http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1923,154171-246195,00.html

Lori's peaches- peach ice cream
This recipe is for a giant ice cream maker. I halved it and left chunks in the puree. I added a dash of nutmeg too.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/peach-ice-cream/Detail.aspx

Walla Walla onions, tomatoes, lettuce, scallions- cast iron burgers from Cooking Light
This is one of my favorite things to make. I use the Semifreddi'…

July Phat Fiber Samples!

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July's Phat Fiber theme is Seaweed, Ships, and Scallywags!
I sent in some Merino/bamboo top in Kraken and 50/50 Merino/silk sock yarn in Dagon.



Here's what the full size items look like-


All of these are in the shop now except for Merino/bamboo top in Dagon. I am saving the last one until boxes arrive, but I will dye some in other fibers tomorrow. My source of this particular Merino/bamboo top has dried up, but I am happy to start a waiting list for when my new shiny fiber bases arrive.

All purchases from my Etsy shop in July qualify you to enter the contest on the Phat Fiber Ravelry group. I'll post the link to the thread when it starts.

WIP- Taiyo Summer Vest/Tunic/Something-or-other

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So, I've been on a bit of a neon kick lately. See here and here for inspirations. I impulse-bought these 8 skeins of Noro Taiyo at work last week. I decided I needed something brainless to knit on and a finished garment that I could actually wear in the summer. It's not the thinnest yarn (heavy worsted), but I like it a lot. I'd probably be wearing it most at work (which has a/c) and in the evenings, anyway. I can't stand 100% cotton, but Taiyo is great. It's like a much softer version of Silk Garden. It's 40% cotton, 30% silk, 15% wool, and 15% nylon.

Unfortunately the mindless knitting is about to come to an end, though I'm extending it by putting the front on hold and working the back to the same point. It's getting close to time to decide on neck and shoulder shaping. The original idea was to do a simple tee sort of like this one but without the cowl.

I've since decided to go with a somewhat oversized 80's look since I'm knitti…

Tour de Fleece (sort of)- Finished Targhee Supercoils

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I'm not really much for rules, but I tried to get some spinning done over the long weekend. I finished plying all the Targhee supercoils.



I had 3 bobbins of singles and could fit about half a bobbin of singles on the plying bobbin after plying, so I had lots of chances to play with the singles twist. I was happiest with the results when I added a fairly high amount of twist. I did weight the skeins during drying, but with only 1 plastic coat hanger*. The skein I made from singles with moderate added twist seemed to need it least. Most of the time, the coils looked too loose at a point where the yarn seemed to be close to being balanced.

The strands you see above were made with singles with an almost horizontal singles twist. I thought that would make the most sense in terms of physically being a balanced yarn, but it was harder to work with. (The common problem of keeping enough tension on a thin spot of a high-twist single.) The skein still twisted around itself quite a bi…

Thank You!

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A huge thank you to everybody who came out to the Oakland Fiber Festival. It was amazing!
The sunlight really showed off my bamboo blend and silk blend yarns, which was totally great. It also gave me a dorky clog tan.


Rachael Herron was signing books a few feet from my booth. When she finished the project she was working on, she started a toe-up sock in one of my self-striping yarns. I had to sneak away from the booth every so often to feel it. Love that MCN! I get to start a sample of my own soon because I messed up the dye job on a skein of the purple/black/turquoise. I'm going to be doing a few new self-striping colorways soon, especially "guy-friendly" ones.

My first yarn customer ever, Ana, posted to Ravelry (and Flickr) an adorable clutch she knit in my aran weight Merino. It's the first FO I've seen in my yarn! Squee!

ETA- Janice is spinning up some of my Merino/bamboo top for the Tour de Fleece!

My First Batt! Plus a New Handspun WIP & Spindle Pr0n

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Here's how it started-
So many Phat Fiber* contributors create the most amazing drumcarded batts. Some of the first few that come to mind are Knitty and Color, Bohemia Fibers, and Lampyridae. I've been drooling over them since I joined the Ravelry group and started following the shop update thread. It got me really curious to see just how much effort goes into making them and what the process is like. I thought I'd try to make it to noblograchel's house sometime this summer and take a look at her carder. Well, Rachel came to the spin-in at my house this weekend and brought her Pat Green carder (not to be confused with the country singer Pat Green who went to my high school)! I get to play with it for a month!

One of May's Phat Fiber samples was from a co-op of artists and included 3 coordinating puffs of fiber. I carded them into this little batt and am beyond thrilled!


You can't really see the silky bits in that photo, but they are so gorgeous in person.

He…

Getting Ready for Oakland Fiber Fest

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Rocky and Ziva have been helping me plan my booth setup. It never ceases to amaze me how much cats love elevated horizontal surfaces, especially if covered in fabric.



Cash box is ready to go. Now I have to go into the actual bank and get actual cash. So weird. I haven't been inside a bank in years.



Now for the really exciting part. I got these awesome handmade stitch markers from Decor Noir, and will be giving away 1 marker of your choice with purchase of yarn or fiber. (While supplies last, duh.) There's coffins, assorted bloody eyeballs, brains, and really awesome yarn monster eyeballs. These are the full size markers that fit up to a US 10 needle.

Oakland Fiber Festival Details

What you need to know-
Oakland Fiber & Textile Festival Sunday, June 27, 2010, 10am to 4pm Splash Pad Park

Facebook event page here.

There's going to be a lot of alpaca farms represented there. Alpaca and llama are lovely to spin, if you haven't tried them yet. Rachael Herron is going to be signing her novel How to Knit a Love Song. Felt the Sun will have some great hand felted garments and accessories, and there will be a few local guilds there.

Latest official info and complete vendor list-

Come join us at the Oakland Fiber & Textile Festival Sunday, June 27, 2010, 10am to 4pm Splash Pad Park Together with Lou Grantham, from San Francisco Fiber, we are sponsoring this very first Oakland Fiber & Textile Festival, a free festival open to the public with lots of educational fun for the whole family. Vendors will be offering everything from raw fleece and luxury yarns to fabrics, fiber demonstrations, and make-and-take tables, for carding, crochet, felting, quilting, sew…

Yarns in Progress- Targhee and milk protein supercoils

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I hosted spinning at my house for the first time on Saturday! Thanks for the company and goodies, everybody! Bryan ate some of the lemon cake Lori brought when I was at work on Sunday, and he said Rocky knocked the package off the coffee table to try to get some. My cat is a lemon cake fiend! Bryan also says he wants me to host more often so we'll keep the house clean.

In the first 2 hours(!), I spun up 4oz of this Targhee roving in the Twilight colorway from Abstract Fiber that I bought at Stitches this year. Here's the thick and thin bulky singles I ended up with. Apologies for the quick-and-dirty indoor photo.



Then I started work on this milk protein fiber from fellow Phat Fiber contributor Patricia of Beesybee.


I crammed all 4 oz of singles onto this bobbin-



I decided not to worry too much about what the finished yarn is going to be and just spin the singles consistently at the width that seemed most natural. I considered a 2 ply, but I think I'll probably try a sup…

Finished Yarns- Kiss My 80's Lips + Amy's First Supercoil

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I bought a couple of Crafty Scientist Lab Batts at Stitches West 2009. That brings me to 4/7 of 2009's fiber purchases used up and 2/5 of 2010's. I was inspired to spin these batts last week by my newfound love for supercoils (more on that in a moment). I figured the chunky batts would force me to spin a thick-and-thin yarn. I hadn't done anything except sock or lace yarn for years! The resulting yarn was a great weight and consistency for coils, but the fiber content made it a bit too hairy for defined coils. I'm going to use it as a single and knit it into something decorative like a pillowcase (or more likely just a front panel). I'm thinking I'll knit it on the bias to make it as large as possible. The yarn is 6oz total and I forgot the yardage, but it was around 150 or 200.

The colorway is Kiss My 80's Lips and the fiber content is-
banana fiber, sari silk, horsehair silk, silk noil, silk hankie, Merino, Cotswold locks, Corriedale, border Leiceste…

Merlon Cowl Revisited

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Today I'm going to go through a bit of my design process for the Merlon Cowl.


This design started when I opened up a bag of RowanLima at the shop. It's one of those yarns that you can't put down. It is soooo soft and buttery. I bought 2 balls with the vague plan to make some sort of cowl. Something that soft *needs* to be worn around the neck.

A huge shortcut in the stitch pattern choosing phase fell into my lap with the arrival of Rowan's Lima Collectionbook. True to Rowan style, it featured many heavily cabled sweaters. The loveliness of the cabled fabric came as a surprise to me. Lima has an icord-like construction instead of a traditional ply. The yarn is very round, which is very desirable for cables, but I thought the construction would detract from that kind of stitch pattern. As you can see from the designs in the book, that is not the case.

From that point, I had a few stitch patterns from a Japanese stitch dictionary that had caught my eye. I thought i…