Monday, July 21, 2014

Colorwork Questions and Winner

Before asking some deep questions about colorwork, the winner of the Bijou Basin Ranch Lhasa Wilderness yarn is 


I'll be contacting you later for your info. Congratulations!

I tried to hold off as long as I could but I've started planning for D's Christmas Sweater 2014 (here are the  2012 and 2013 versions).

As you can see, I'm thinking colorwork. 

I've had a few version of this sweater in my mind. Here are some of the options:

Round yoke, colorwork in yoke and a little at hem, classic.
V-neck, drop sleeve, colorwork in yoke only.
Colorwork around hem only, raglan (maybe?)

I really like the idea of a v-neck (easy on for little ones) but also don't love purling colorwork. However, one motif through the yoke might be manageable for everyone. I'm generally leaning away from a crew neck style since that's what I did last year and I'm up for something different. 

What are your thoughts? Do you like colorwork? Is there any aspect you love/hate? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Take a moment to fill out the poll and/or leave a comment with your ideas.

What kind of colorwork do you like? free polls 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bijou Basin Ranch Giveaway

I recently received two skeins of amazing yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch. I mean like, squealing and jumping when I pulled the yarn out of the package. So amazing!

In case you don't know about Bijou Basin Ranch, they are a family owned yak ranch located in Colorado. They sell high quality yak and yak blend yarns dyed by the people at Lorna's Laces. 

So after receiving these yarns I did what any knitter would do: I immediately started planning what I would knit with one of these lovely skeins, then I took them to my knitting group for everyone to drool over.

Today I cast on with Bijou Basin Ranch Himalayan Trail in the color Dinna Fash. This yarn is a 75/25 blend of yak and merino and is working up like a dream. The color is bright and intense, it reminds me of a peacock! I decided to make a hat for a friend, since we live in what can quickly become a very cold climate I'm hoping the yak fiber will provide some extra warmth and the merino will help the hat retain its shape.

The second skein I received is Lhasa Wilderness, a 75/25 yak and bamboo blend. I am seriously stunned at how silky this yarn is! The yarn is feather soft and the bamboo adds a really gentle sheen that makes this yarn so luxurious. I almost started knitting with this skein but thought you guys might appreciate it more. This gorgeous green color is called Lallybroch.

If you're an Outlander fan, you might be noticing a trend with the color names. Bijou Basin Ranch is doing a Countdown to Outlander celebration where for the next few weeks a select color family from their Outlandish colored yarns will be on sale for 15% off. This is a great time to pick up a few skeins of pure luxury. This week the purples are on sale. The Outlandish colors come in both the Himalayan Trail and Lhasa Wilderness. You can keep up to date with their sales by signing up for their newsletter on their website, or by following them on Twitter or Instagram.

In case I haven't used the word amazing enough in this post, the amazing people at Bijou Basin Ranch sent me two skeins so I could share with you! All you have to do to win this lovely skein of Lhasa Wilderness is leave a comment below telling me what you might make with this beautiful skein of yarn. Please be sure to leave your Rav name or email so I can contact you if you win! 

Share this on twitter and tag me @andrea_knits then come back here and leave a second comment letting me know you've done so for another entry. 

I will draw a name next week on Monday the 21st so hurry up! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Seeing Summer

Summer is in full swing over here and so is the knitting. Being home all day has made me feel like I have to knit, knit, knit to make up for the time I don't get to during the school year. 

Just this week I cast on for a new design using Sunshine Yarns Ultraluxe Light, and ultra-luxe it is. This yarn is a merino, cashmere, and silk blend (75/15/10). I am amazed at just how silky and soft this yarn feels. While it is single spun, it is not as fuzzy as some singles can get. I cannot wait to see how the design I am working on turns out! I should mention, if you're ever curious to see what I'm working on I often post pics on Instagram @andrea_knits (it's either knitting or my kiddo, really).

If you've been thinking about summer tops to knit, I posted on the Craftsy blog this week and shared some of their fun summer top kits.

I have a really awesome giveaway for you tomorrow so keep an eye out! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cradle Cardigan

I know I said yesterday I don't gift things very often, but in reflection, I did a fair amount of gifting in June. 

This little cutie is the Cradle Cardigan by Hannah Fettig. I did some sample knitting for her Mabel's Closet collection a few summers ago. The pieces are very simple and clean, in true Hannah style, for a classic baby look. I also knit the Autumn Frock last Christmas for my niece. Anyone who does any knitting for babies could benefit from owning this collection.

Anyway, I knit this piece out of Quince & Co. Chickadee in Frost. I bought a few skeins to reknit a Pacific Grove vest and used less than two skeins on this sweater. It was a gift for my knitting group friend Amy who is expecting her first baby.

And surprise, surprise, I even sewed a bib! This is the first time I've used my sewing machine since like, 2008, and I was very pleased with my skills so I knit another for D and am going to make a third for my niece who we refer to as little D (d). Apparently though, two bibs in six years was too much for my machine. It was given to me by my father-in-law and is probably at least as old as I am. It stopped feeding the fabric and now it's spending some time getting a little tune up.

Pattern: Cradle Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: Quince & Co. Chickadee in Frost
Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm)
Began: May 12
Completed: June 8

Monday, July 7, 2014

Basic Baby Cardigan

SO you would think that with summer finally here I'd have a little more time on my hands. This seem just to be the opposite. We've spent a lot of days swimming, zooing, playing, and other all consuming toddler stuff. It's been great! I even managed a weekend trip to California. Yes, I said weekend. My mom was retiring and my parents have officially sold their house in Fresno, purchased one in the Sacramento area (where my dad has been working for the last few years), and will be moved by the end of July. I wanted to get out there one last time before they left since they've lived in that house since I was 3!

As I began planning my trip a whole week in advance (!!!) I remembered a friend of mine from high school was expecting her second child. For her first baby I had crocheted a blanket and some bibs. I didn't want to leave the second baby out so decided to whip up a tiny, last-minute sweater.

The pattern I used was Basic Baby Cardigan, a free pattern by Alana Dakos. It's simple and done in worsted weight, just what I needed for a fast gift. 

The yarn is Anzula For Better or Worsted. This has become my favorite worsted weight yarn. It's soft, shiny, and feels like magic knitting. I've used this yarn for an upcoming design this fall and I used the leftovers for this sweater. 

There were a few mods I made in order to make it a bit less (in my mind) feminine looking. I cast on an extra two stitches to fronts and back and knit straight. I decreased for the armholes as written to the correct stitch count. I also added about a half inch of length to the yoke. Yes, this sweater is knit in pieces, but it's so darn tiny that it comes together very quickly. 

The buttons are from a Fresno yarn shop called Swatches. I was on my way to meet my friend (the day of the retirement party) so I literally ran in, bought buttons, ran next door to the quilt shop for thread, then sewed the buttons on as my dad drove the car. 

The sweater was very well received and my friend suggested I start sewing tags into the pieces I gift. I don't gift very often these days but I think I'll definitely be looking into tags for D's sweaters and gifts.

Yarn: Anzula For Better or Worsted
Needles: US 7 for stockinette, US 6 for ribbing
Began: June 21
Completed: June 25

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mattress Stitch and a Discount!

So I'm sending my afternoon doing some finishing work.I know not every knitter will like this but I love mattress stitch. It's so magical how stitch stitch stitch and wham! 

Now, it didn't always work so smoothly. My very first seaming was on the sleeve of a baby sweater. I didn't use stitch markers to make sure things were lined up and when I got towards the end of the seaming, I was off by about 6 stitches. These days I'm able to follow it with my eyes a lot better and tend to use the stitch markers just when I'm seaming something odd shaped, like setting in a sleeve. 

Recently, I got the opportunity to take Craftsy's Seaming Handknits class. It was a great refresher and gave me a lot of tips I hadn't thought of or used before. Because I do enjoy finishing work, some of my patterns require the use of seaming or grafting and this class would be great to try if you have never done that kind of finishing before.  If you're interested in taking that class, use the link above and you will get the class for 25% off! 

And in case you're wondering, I'm working on a second sample of Pacific Grove. The other had an unfortunate incident with the washing machine. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014


This has been quite a week for my family with everyone coming down with the same cold/sinus/ear infection all within a couple of days! So you got lucky and the Mountain Meadow Wool giveaway stayed open just a few days longer. But now, the Random Number Generator has spoken and 

is the winner. Carmen, please email me at your earliest convenience with you shipping info and I'll get the yarn headed out to you.