Yarn Wishlist / 1

by Stef on April 16, 2015

in Yarn stash


With the exception of a swift (finally!) I’ve been purchase-free so far this month.  Instead, I’m building up the yarn wishlist and thinking about exactly what yarns and brands I want to try next, once I finish a few projects and clear a few more skeins from my stash.  Spring hasn’t quite hit Wyoming yet, but I’m clearly thinking about fingering weight yarn in fresh colors.

Top Row: Buckaloo View Fingering I in Marigold, fingering weight / 100% superfine alpaca / approx 300yds/274m;  Quince & Co Finch in so many colors! I love belize, petal, chanterelle, audouin. 100% American wool / fingering weight / 221 yd; Tanis Fiber Arts in Spearmint.  This color comes in all her bases, but I’m partial to Pink Label right now.  Lace weight / 100% superwash merino / 1000 yds

Bottom Row:  Jill Draper Makes Stuff Esopus in Pacific, Light Fingering Weight / 250yds / 100% US grown Superwash Merino Wool; Voolenvine Wolke in Succulents (sold out, but will hopefully be restocked), fingering weight / 80/10/10 Superwash Merino, Cashmere, Nylon / 435 yards, A Verb For Keeping Warm Creating in Early Girl (Sold out. So sad!) 100% Superwash Merino / 385 yds / Fingering weight




two color brioche in the round knit cowl

Finally (and seasonally inappropriately, unfortunately) my second brioche cowl is done and I’m geared up with a pattern and tutorial to show exactly how I made this bad boy.

Quick reminder – my first brioche cowl was made from stash yarn.  The (very) brief instructions for that version are:

1 skein Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Rainforest
1 1/3 skeins Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Stratus
Size 6 (4 mm) circular needle

Cast on 130 stitches, join

Knit 5 rounds to make the curled edge

Do two-color brioche stitch using Rainforest for the knit rounds and Stratus for the purl rounds.  I continued in brioche (approximately 150 rounds) until Rainforest was almost gone.  To transition from brioche back to stockinette, knit every knit (single) stitch and k2tog on the stitches with yarn overs.  If this doesn’t make sense, you’ll see what I mean in the video below!  Add 5 more rounds knit rounds in Stratus, then bind off.  That’s it! I ended up using a full skein of Rainforest and roughly 1 1/3 skins of Stratus.

Since that cowl used an ambiguous amount of yarn and has “suggested” row counts, I wanted to come up with a cowl that only uses 2 skeins of Maxima.

two color brioche in the round knit cowl

Tutorial:  Two-color Brioche In the Round


COLOR A:  1 skein of Manos Del Uruguay Maxima in variegated colorway (Rainforest shown)*
COLOR B:  1 skein of Manos Del Uruguay Maxima  in solid colorway (Helium shown here, Stratus used previous)*

* I included a bunch of color combo suggestions below!

Size 6 (4.5 mm) circular needle
stitch marker
row counter
tapestry needle


bk2tog: Brioche knit 2 together.  Knit the “paired stitches” — these are the slipped stitches from the previous round with their paired yarn overs.

bp2tog: Brioche purl 2 together.  Purl the “paired stitches” — these are the slipped stitches from the previous round with their paired yarn overs.

sl 1 YO:  Slip one purlwise while creating a yarn over.  In the video, I show how I “catch” the yarn with my needle as I slip the stitch on knit rounds.  For purl rounds, just slip the stitch purlwise with yarn in the front and add a YO at the same time.

Additional Info

There are so many sites who do great brioche tutorials, if you don’t find mine helpful.  I love The Purl Bee especially.

bk2tog [brioche knit 2 together]: knit next knit stitch together with its paired yarnover

YOS [yarn over slip]: bring yarn forward, slip 1 purlwise, bring yarn over right needle

The Pattern

Loosely cast on an even number of stitches.

Set Up Row: *YOS, k1, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 1: *YOS, bk2tog, repeat from * to end of row.


I found brioche difficult (actually, impossible) to learn through written instructions.  Please watch the video above.  I’ve made two of these cowls and still find it difficult to write out instructions!

Cast on 120 stitches in COLOR B (Helium shown).  I prefer long tail cast on.

Place stitch marker.  Join, being sure to not twist your stitches, and knit 5 rounds.

Setup round: Using COLOR A, (k1, sl 1 YO), repeat to end.  On the entire round, you’ll knit 1 stitch, then slip the next stitch purlwise while creating an additional loop of yarn.

Round 1:  Switch to COLOR B and bring yarn to front.  (sl 1 YO, bp2tog), repeat to end. On the entire round you’ll slip the single stitches and create an additional loop of yarn at the same time.  On the slipped + YO stitches from the previous round (I call these paired or doubled stitches), purl them together.

Round 2:  Switch to COLOR A and bring yarn to back.  (bk2tog, sl 1 YO),  repeat to end.  For the entire round you’ll knit the paired stitches together, then slip the single stitches while creating a YO.

That’s it!  Repeat rounds 1 and 2 for 127 rounds total.  To transition from brioche back to stockinette, knit every knit (single) stitch and k2tog on the stitches with yarn overs.  Knit 5 rounds in COLOR B, then bind off.

Weave ends.  Soak cowl and block aggressively.


two color brioche knitting color combo suggestions

I think the real fun of this pattern is in the color combinations.  Since I love Maxima so much, I looked through a bunch of different colorways and made some suggested combinations!  At the moment, I think my favorite mix is Currant + Sand or Peach Melba + Natural.



In progress – baby alpaca lace shawl

by Stef on April 8, 2015

in Knitting

EZ 100th Anniversary PI Shawl: Gull Wings

Thanks to the long weekend, I finished my second brioche cowl (pattern soon!).  Since I haven’t yet decided what to do with the fingering weight shrug that I no longer need, I jumped to another project on my list and finished off a sock yarn hat.  With two projects done, I gave myself the go ahead to start something new from stash yarn.

Between socks, the hat, the cowl, and a stash yarn blanket, I feel like I’ve had a lot of monotonous knitting on my hands lately.  Totally craving something that required constant counting and focus, I dived into a modified Pi Shawl from my recently purchased Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Lace.  The pattern is an Elizabeth Zimmerman 100th Anniversary Shawl called Gull Wings, available on Ravelry here. I’m quite a few repeats past when this photo was taken, but things are going smoothly so far.  I’ve been reckless in my use of lifelines (and by that I mean that I haven’t used any) and I’m sure I’ll learn my lesson before long.

You may notice that the center of my circular shawl is totally missing.  I love these circular shawls but struggle with how to wear them.  Having something long and drapey hanging off my shoulders just isn’t practical for my everyday life, so I decided to experiment with taking the center out so I could hang the shawl around my neck, either wearing it sort of like a capelette, or just bunched up like a regular cowl or shawl.  This is just an experiment, so no promises how well it’ll turn out!


yarn haul

Clearly, I’ve gone mad and temporarily forgotten my stash goals, but that’s no reason to totally fall off the wagon.  First up, I guess I need to fess up to the bad -

New, pre-owned needles from Ravelry
ChiaoGoo 6″ Bamboo – $4
Addi Turbo Lace – $9
Addi turbo – $9

TOTAL w/ Shipping – $25  (Retail total w/o shipping would be $35+ so I’m very happy with this deal.)

Kamille’s Yarn Shop in West Jordan, UT
4 skeins Simplicty by HiKoo – $32
2 skeins Baby Alpaca Lace – $19.98
1 ball Austermann Step – $21.50

TOTAL w/ tax – $78.51

love spun yarn baby camel

Alas, here’s part of the reason I’m not sure monthly reports continue to make sense –  I bought 3 skeins of Manos Del Uruguay Maxima at my LYS, Knit on Pearl, for a total of $47.25 minus a $10 frequent buyer discount, for a grand total w/ tax of 39.49.  One of those skeins is being given away to you (!) and the other two are going to the brioche cowl pattern so they’re not really for me but still kind of are? And it’s not like the blog has a “budget” so it’s out of my pocket, but not really intentional “stashing”… so… I’m not sure if there’s value in reporting this kind of stuff.

As usual, my monthly Fiberista Club is another $55.90 making the grand total for the month (a scary) $198.90.  Eep!

simplicity by hikoo

I decided that if I feel guilty reporting these purchases, there’s no better indicator that I should stop.  No, like for real, just stop.  On the plus side, I can finally say that the greatest success of my “stash assessment” is that I’m now happy with what I’m buying.  I know that I will find use for everything and not end up re-discovering some shameful, useless purchase a year from now and have to toss it in the trash.  I have not been successful in managing my rationalizations and desires to buy things just because they’re pretty.  I need to stop buying things “for the blog” because, really, is there any dumber reason?  I’ve always just reported the things that I’m working on for myself – sometimes they lend themselves well to coming up with a pattern, sometimes they don’t.  I don’t want to start making things that are uninteresting or useless to me just for the sake of content.  I don’t want to get swept up in that idea and lose focus.

Immediately after filming that video where I said I felt guilty, I vowed to implement (or re-implement) some changes.  First of all, I decided that I’m happy enough with my Fiberista Club to just dive in on a 6-month pre-payment plan.  I don’t expect to stop my subscription any time soon so it made sense to pay for a few months in a lump sum when I felt like I was able to comfortably afford to do so.  The 6-month total is $275.65, which works out to $45.94 per month – quite the savings!

baby alpaca lace

My “finish two, start one” policy was working quite well until I totally abandoned it in favor of casting on any/all things.  I’m currently spread thin across five (six?) projects so instead of making substantial progress on one, I’m making progress on none.  Ugh.  Right now I’m working on:

  1. Sock weight hat (half done, love, very excited to finish)
  2. Brioche Cowl (half done, a means to an end.  Once the pattern is up, we shall move along)
  3. Fingering weight shrug (hibernation, was for a wedding but is no longer needed and is now just floating around. Should I continue?)
  4. Scrap yarn blanket (Yes! This is new and very exciting.  Will be ongoing and is intended to use up scraps)
  5. Lace weight shawl (just started, but will become my primary focus)

Though I suppose it’s outside the scope of this post, I’ll commit to a Finish Two – complete and post the pattern for the brioche cowl and either frog or formally pack up and store the shrug – before I proceed with anything above or anything new.

Finally, I’ve started a Yarn Wishlist on Pinterest.  Honestly, the more Pinterest makes changes/improvements, the less I use it.  I’m trying to find value it in (for me. obviously others still use and love Pinterest) and I think the Wishlist may be one of those ways.  My hope is that I can track yarns and dyers that I would love to try and target those purchases instead of making random purchases every time I set foot in a yarn shop.


New camera
My “local” yarn shop


Knit Picks Interchangeable
I just checked the Addi site and see they’re running a promo for 20% off needles right now! Get yo self some Lace needles!
Addi Turbo
Addi Turbo Lace

ChiaoGoo 9″ Circulars
Kamille’s Yarn Shop
Austermann Step
Simplicity by HiKoo
Plymouth Baby Alpaca Lace
Juniper Moon Farm Findley
Spellbound Fiber Co Air
Pi Shawls
Manos Del Uruguay Maxima

GIVEAWAY! – CLOSED. I’ll email the winner shortly!

Watch the video for details.  I’ll accept entries until midnight, March 31, 2015.

manos del uruguay maxima copy


Henslowe Shawl – Finished!

by Stef on March 23, 2015

in Knitting

henslowe shawl

Alan and I had a short work trip to Salt Lake City last week.  While we were in civilization, I decided it was time to finally upgrade my camera.  The new one (not an affiliate link, just being helpful) is incredible but ooooo boy there is no hiding from its attention to detail.  This thing will catch every single little flaw, stray dog hair, and speck of dust.  I can no longer hide behind semi tolerable photos and snazzy editing in Photoshop.  Since this camera and I are still figuring each other out, I decided I should just test myself even further and try to take some photos outside.  It maybe worked? ehh?

henslowe shawl 1

This shawl is Henslowe by Beth Kling, available for purchase on Ravelry here.  The yarn is Tanis Fiber Arts Red Label, a single ply cashmere/merino/silk blend (75% merino,15% cashmere, 10% silk) in the color Ravine.  I’ve talked about this yarn before – it was a splurge purchase from the Tanis Fiber Arts Etsy store on Boxing Day.  I just looked back on the TFA blog post about this sale and Tanis calls these yarns “One Of A Kinds“.  I still don’t really know if that means one-off special colors, if they’re skeins that don’t meet regular production standards, if they’re just experiments…?  Now that I’ve worked through one entire skein and half of another, I’m totally thrilled with the yarn.  My two skeins were consistent enough in color that I didn’t even bother alternating rows.  My first skein – the crescent body of the shawl – had quite a few thick spots.  I wouldn’t really call it a complaint, just something worth noting.  I’m happy these spots ended up hidden in the garter stitch and didn’t appear in the lace.  My second skein is flawless.  I’ll pull out my digital scale before I update any project notes on Ravelry, but I suspect I have at least 1/3, maybe 1/2 of the skein left over. 

henslowe shawl

Since making the purchase in December, I debated using this yarn for a few different projects.  When I saw that you could eek out a regular size Henslowe from just one skein, I considered making twin Henslowe shawls and giving one away to a family member.  Unfortunately, while working the garter section and counting my rows I started to worry that I wouldn’t be satisfied with the size of the shawl as originally written.  I read through a bunch of different project notes on Ravelry which only confirmed my suspicions.  The original shawl isn’t remarkably small, I just knew it would be too small for me.  A petite person, I am not, and I don’t wear small shawls well.  I decided to plug along on the crescent shape until I finished one entire skein of yarn, then to start the lace section from my second skein.  As you can see above, I also decided against doing the entire crescent in garter stitch.  Aesthetically, I partially regret my decision.  Process wise, I just doooooooooo not have the patience to do miles and miles of garter with nothing to break it up.  Here I am again, struggling with process vs. end result…  all garter or all stockinette may have looked better, but I can’t spend ages on a project that I don’t find interesting.

In the lace, I added an extra repeat of the Roman Stripe motif plus a few extra rows of garter and row of YOs before starting my picot bind off.  I don’t want to give away too many details of how the shawl is constructed, but if you’ve made one of these yourself, hopefully you’ll know what I’m talking about here — I considered adding a picot edge to the first bind off, but stopped myself and now I’m not sure if I regret that decision or not.  I decided to do the suspended bind off as written, and I’m happy about that, because the finished edge is lovely.

As always, I love a project where I learn something new.  Again, I don’t want to just spoil how the shawl is constructed, but the method was totally new to me.  I learned the suspended bind off, a new way to increase at the edges, finally tried a knit-on edge, and it was my first picot bind off (do the little picot edges on FYA2 count? I don’t think so).  Gorgeous yarn, fun pattern, and totally wearable, lovely end result? Can’t beat it!

henslowe shawl

henslowe shawl


Toe-up Two-at-a-time Socks – Finished!

March 19, 2015

I finally got some pictures of my completed two-at-a-time toe-up socks.  First of all, certain people in the comments, those obviously smarter than me, have been abbreviating this as TaaT socks, which is genius, because I’ve typed out two-at-a-time toe-up more times than I can count. I know we’ve all gone back and forth multiple […]

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Video unboxing // March Fiberista Club yarn subscription box

March 16, 2015

Let’s start with the good.  I know many others in the Fiberista Clubouse on Ravelry can’t say the same, but my box arrived once again with zero shipping issues.  I received shipping notification on Friday and my box was at our PO Box by Monday.  For rural Wyoming, I consider that pretty fantastic.  This was […]

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Milkshed on Facebook

March 14, 2015

I’m probably going to age myself here, by Facebook really isn’t my style.  I do not hate Facebook.  I absolutely understand the appeal, I know how to use it, I don’t get particularly angry when they make constant changes.  I just… eh… not really into it.  If you’ve tried to friend me on my personal […]

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Review & Giveaway: Knitter’s Pride Karbonz Fixed Circular Needles

March 12, 2015

These needles were provided to me by Stitchcraft Marketing.  I was not provided with additional compensation nor obligated to write a positive review.  When I got the opportunity to try some needles from Knitter’s Pride, I decided to test myself and check out something totally outside my comfort zone.  You already know that two-at-a-time toe-up […]

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