Saturday, March 29, 2008

Design & Dash!

Hi! I'm Alyson, and I was delighted to design the "extra" that was included in the March shipment, the Ribs & Seeds pattern. These little drive-by posts (zoom!) are a great way for me to say hi, and to thank you all and Roxanne for giving me the opportunity to play and create along with you! I hope you like the pattern design - I'd been wanting for a while to do a cabled design on the back of a sock, and lately I've been kind of fixated on the look and feel of seed stitch. I don't normally do "resolutions" each year, we did decide at the first of the year, when evaluating our budget, to start eating out way less. In rediscovering how much I love cooking, I've been looking at tons of recipes - and since I like a little spice in my dishes, I use quite a few recipes that call for hot peppers. When I saw the phrase "ribs and seeds removed", I had a little revelation: Ribs! Seeds! Seeds...cables...ribs...seeded cables...seed rib...ha! Some of my favourite elements, all put together, with heat!

Often my patterns are inspired by something I see, like the cathedral that inspired the Reims stocking pattern, or maybe I'll see a clever stitch pattern that I can adapt or tinker with - this is the first pattern I've designed that came more from an idea, a simple phrase in a recipe, rather than from a visual. I had a lot of fun sketching this one up, and I was also trying to keep in mind something a bit more unisex, something with a little pizzazz but that my husband would wear. Not that he'll necessarily get the ones I made...but that's beside the point, right? It's the thought that counts! ;-)

I never get tired of working with Roxanne's yarns - I know you all love them every bit as much as I do! Thank you, Roxanne, for giving me the chance to work with you and your wonderful rich yarns once again. It's always such a treat!

Happy knitting!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

March's "Spoiler"

I hope most of you have received your March yarn! If not, don't click on the photo or you'll see the yarn up close and personal! I hope everyone's enjoying the Sun Kiss colourway - hopefully it'll make Spring hurry up and get here??!!! ;) No signs of Spring coming quite yet!

I've started a Hedera sock - what are your plans for this yarn?

Monday, March 17, 2008

March's "Teaser"

Ahhhhhhh, needs to get here soon! I couldn't resist doing something entirely different for the month of March - Spring is around the corner and it was time for a bit of a cheery colourway! I hope everyone enjoys this colour! I had to do a last minute sub on the yarn so this month is a surprise blend! My yarn supplier was late with my order by 3-4 weeks so I had to improvise so everyone didn't have to wait :) It's a lovely blend and it is just as cheery as the colourway this month. Enjoy everyone!

And a thread was started on Rav about yarn bleeding - just a quick note here as well - some colours have a tendency to run (blue and red being the two worst offenders) so if you see a bit of colour in the water when you're either blocking or washing, don't worry - it's excess dye coming out and your colours will be just fine. When I dye semi-solids there tends to be a lot of mixing of colours so blue and red can show up often :) With any brand spanking new yarn, it's just inevitable that some colour will come out - I have heat treated the yarns for 30-45 minutes so don't worry, colour will not bleed right out of your yarns. If you want to help the colourfastness last longer then I suggest a bit of vinegar in your wash and if you really want to be doubly sure, make your socks damp in a solution of a bit of vinegar and water and put your socks into the microwave on high for about 1-2 minutes. Remove them and let them cool off. Make sure they are damp so they don't get crispy :) This just doubles up on the heat setting treatment I've already applied to the yarns. Hope that helps for anyone who was wondering about this tendency for handpainted yarns.

Happy Spring everyone!