Listening for Inspiration

I don’t quite remember how I got started on this, but a few months back I found the wonderful world of knitting podcasts. Ah! What a veritable rabbit trail of fiber-y goodness and inspiration! I had no idea how many knitters were doing podcasts, of both the audio and video variety. I really enjoy listening to a podcast or two while I am doing housework each day. It makes doing things like dishes and laundry much less tedious. Video podcasts are usually easier for me to pay attention to if I am knitting or crocheting, especially when a certain small boy is sleeping or quietly playing somewhere.

If you haven’t ever listened to a knitting podcast before, you might be asking, what fun could you possibly having listening to somebody talk about their knitting? Well, it is a lot like reading a blog…they talk about lots of things, not just what is on their needles. Life, kids, nature, food, yarn, spinning, and other crafts as well… And a few of my very favorite podcasts are hosted by friends who laugh and talk together, making you feel like you are sitting there and knitting right along with them. Oh, and another perk of getting on the podcast bandwagon? Most of them host giveaways and Knit-Alongs on a regular basis! Those are always great fun to participate in? So, I thought it would be nice to share with you my current podcast lineup, in no particular order, in case you want to check some of them out, too.

Knitting Pipeline
The Knitmore Girls
The Dyer’s Notebook
In a sKnit
Prairie Girls Knit and Spin
Yarniacs
Curious Handmade
Fluffy Fibers
The Savvy Girls
A Playful Day
Commuter Knitter
Down Cellar Studios
Knitting Butterflies
Must Stash Podcast
Ewe University
The Lost Geek

(P.S.–Because I often listen to these while little ears are present, all of them are by necessity pretty clean and free of words I don’t want my child to hear. Still, there may at times be a slightly off color joke or mention of drinking. Just fair warning for those who may be sensitive about those things.)

That Crazy Dyeing Thing

Howdy, blog reading friends! In my last post way back when (let’s just say it’s been a while) I talked about my experiments in dyeing yarn. It was very fun and addictive. And I kept thinking and thinking about how much I would like to try my hand at dyeing yarn to sell. But it was sort of scary. I mean, what if nobody buys it? Then I will have loads of beautifully hand dyed yarn sitting in my craft closet just waiting to be knitted up! (Oh, wait, that doesn’t sound so bad, now, does it?! πŸ˜‰) I was afraid of doing something new and having it fail, of having my hard work go unnoticed or unappreciated. I am not a big risk taker.

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But then I thought, how will I know if I never try? There is an element of risk in everything in life. And often, the greater the risk, the greater the reward! So, I dismissed my fears and the little voice inside that likes to tell me I’m not good enough. (Sometimes that little voice is very loud and annoying, and persistent!) I saved up enough to buy some professional dyes. Then I saved up some more to buy some good quality yarn from a fellow dyer who was destashing. And I started up my new little shop, Eclectic Lemon!
I am starting small and building up stock as I can, so right now I only have small batches of worsted and sock weight yarns. But this crazy dyeing thing is such an amazing creative outlet for me that you can get there will be more in the future as I have time and money to add new yarns!

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I do hope you will stop by and take a look around, whether you are in the market for hand dyed yarns or not. I would also love it if any knitters or crocheters out there would leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite yarn bases or colors that you would like to see me add in the future. Or tell me what colorway you see in my shop now that you love the best!

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Oh, also, I wanted to let you all know that I am on Instagram now! I post pics of my knitting and crochet, my yarn, my kitties and collie dog, nature…and sometimes just random stuff. If you are on Instagram, feel free to follow me @EclecticLemon. See you there! 😊

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Basic Newborn Bear Hat Pattern

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Ok, so y’all know I haven’t been knitting all that long, so this maybe is not the most original pattern ever. It is pretty much the basic formula for a knit newborn beanie, just with little crocheted bear ears added to the top. I am writing this here more for my own future reference than that I think it will add anything to the knitting world. πŸ˜‰ I am going to start offering this style of hat as a made to order item at Lemon Lane Organics, so I don’t want to forget what I did to create this adorable little hat. And now, you can make some, too!
Also, I knit a fairly tight gauge but forgot to measure the gauge on the prototypes before putting that in the pattern. Next time I make one I will add that information. Just know you may need to go down a needle size to get an average newborn size hat

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Basic Newborn Hat Knitting Pattern (with crocheted bear ears)

Materials: DK to light worsted weight yarn – less than 50 grams (I used O-Wool Balance)
US size 6/4.00mm knitting needles (either a long circular for magic loop or DPNs)
Crochet hook size E/4-3.50mm or F/5-3.75mm
Tapestry needle for weaving in ends and sewing on ears

Hat:
Cast on 64 stitches, using desired method. I like a long tail cast on for this. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist work.

Work 6 rounds of K2P2 ribbing.

Work stockinette stitch for 3.75 to 4 inches.

Begin crown decreases as follows:
Knit 6, k2tog around.
Knit next round.
Knit 5, k2tog around.
Knit next round.
Knit 4, k2tog around.
Knit next round.
Knit 3, k2tog around.
Knit next round.
Knit 2, k2tog around.
Knit next round.
Knit 1, k2tog around
K2tog around.
Cut yarn and thread yarn tail through live stitches on the needles and cinch up to close the top of the hat. Weave in ends.

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Ears: make two
You want the ears to be a pretty tight fabric without big holes, so use whatever size hook you need to achieve that look.
Row 1: Ch 7, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 4 ch, 3 sc in last ch, turning to work along bottom of foundation ch, sc 5 along bottom of foundation ch, ch 1, turn.
Row 2: Sc in each st of row, ch 1, turn.
Row 3: Sc 5, 2 sc in next st, sc, 2 sc in next st, sc 5, ch 1, turn.
Row 4: Sc 7, 2 sc in next st, sc 7. Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing onto hat. Stitch onto top of hat, placing as desired, and weave in ends. (I placed mine about 5-6 rounds from the top of the hat.)

If you want a little bigger ear, just sc evenly one more row before fastening off.

You could also make this hat larger by casting on more stitches in multiples of 4 (I think? I’m still not too good at this knitting math stuff!) and making the stockinette section longer before decreasing for the crown. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

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Terrific Teal

Teal, turquoise, deep blue green….ah…whatever you call it, this is one of my favorite shades on the color spectrum! I love the cool yet deep color, rich and relaxing all at the same time. In fact, I just finished a set of beautiful teal fingerless gloves, and it is all I can do not to keep them for myself instead of putting them up for sale at Lemon Lane Organics! Since I find this color so inspiring, I thought I would put together a collection of some terrific teal finds from a few of my friends over on the Christian Artists Street Team. I hope you like what you see here!

Teal Fingerless Gloves
Teal Sakura Filigree Ring
Teal Chevron iPhone Case
Dark Teal Mineral Eyeshadow
Teal Infinity Scarf
Turquoise Swarovski Crystal Earrings

 

Turquoise Hand Warmers

Show and Tell

I have a bunch of random things to post about today, so I figured the title “show and tell” was appropriate!

First off, my finished “Campout Mitts” turned out quite nicely, although I was obviously knitting a wee bit more tightly on the second one because it turned out a hair smaller than the first. My bind off was not as stretchy, either, so it is a little harder to get on. Oh well….I still think they look good for a beginner! (Wonder how long I can use that “beginner” status as an excuse!)

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Second, I have now added all my for sale crochet pattern to my Craftsy store, as well as having them available on Ravelry and Etsy (not sure how much longer they will be on Etsy, though, as I am having trouble keeping up that shop…) So, if you like instant download capabilities, but you are not on Ravelry, this is a great way to purchase PDF patterns! πŸ™‚

Third, I just finished listing these two adorable little hat and loafer sets today. I keep thinking these would be perfect for twin boys, especially for newborn photos. Don’t you agree?!
Sage Green Organic Newsboy Cap and Loafers

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Grass Green Organic Newsboy Cap and Loafers

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I guess that is about all I have time for at the moment! By the way, just a reminder that I have a coupon code active right now at Lemon Lane Organics. Get 20% off any order with coupon code “HAPPYEASTER” at checkout!

Knitterly pursuits

So, amidst all the business of running my shop and raising a toddler and being a housewife, I finally managed to remember to get a few pictures of the things I’ve been knitting for myself lately! I still get a little giddy when I look at my knitting and realize that it is working! And it really looks pretty decent for a beginner, I think!
Here is the Woven Cowl that I mentioned a few posts back…

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It is such a nice easy knit to just keep up with when I need something to do while watching a movie in the evening. I’ve made a few minor beginner “boo-boos” along the way, but I decided not to bother with fixing them. It is just a cowl for me to wear next fall/winter, and I honestly don’t think anyone will notice my little mistakes (except perhaps one or two friends who are proficient knitters!) I am about halfway through, but it would be going much faster if I actually worked on it more often and for more than a few rows at a time…but it is not a high priority project! It will get done when it gets done, I guess!

And here is my newest knit….a pair of Camp Out Fingerless Mitts! I bought these nice, but inexpensive carbonized bamboo DPNs on eBay from a store called Knitzy a couple of weeks ago, and I simply couldn’t wait to try them out! I know fit probably would have been easier to start learning to knit in the round on circular needles, but I really want to get a high quality interchangeable set….and I am not quite ready to shells out that kind of money right now. These are 8 inch DPNs, which seems a bit long for doing fingerless mitts, but I really intend to make hats with them more than anything else. However, because I cast on fairly tightly, I have been having trouble casting on and joining in the round. I had my eye on this pattern for a while, and I knew I had a bit of yarn that would work for them….and since the first part is knit flat, then seemed so that you pick up stitches from the edge to begin knitting in the round, it seemed a perfect way to get some practice using my DPNs without getting all hung up at the very start!

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They are coming out a bit small, but that is ok. If they don’t fit me well, I will be able to gift them to someone! πŸ™‚

P.S.–if you haven’t entered my giveaway yet, time is running out! I will close comments on
Thursday, February 28, 2013 and announce a winner on Friday! πŸ™‚

Sunday Randoms

So, I have several random things to blog about, and I couldn’t decide what to write about first, so I finally settled on sticking them all in one big post! Forgive me, but as a mother of a toddler, moments to blog come few and far between, and my life tends toward the chaotic! So, here we go…

I started trying to learn to knit (again) this week, and I must say it is going much better than ever before. I stumbled upon a few simple little videos on YouTube narrated by a girl with a sweet Australian accent….and before I knew it, I was knitting along without a hitch! I started out doing garter stitch, but soon became bored with that (I am used to doing so many different stitches when crocheting, after all) and decided to attempt stockinette. That went along quite nicely, too….so then I started wondering what had suddenly clicked and why this seemed so much easier than every other time I have picked up knitting needles. And then I got it! Every other time, I have been reading or watching tutorials using continental knitting, but the videos I watched this time were for English knitting! I don’t know quite why, but the different style just makes sense to me and seems so much easier. So, I feel empowered….I am knitting! πŸ™‚ It isn’t beautiful, but it is a start!

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Ok, on to Etsy news… I have having lots of fun make treasuries lately now that I have joined a couple of active teams that enjoy promoting each others’ shops. I have had this idea for a DIY Christmas theme for a while, but I hadn’t had a chance to make it until last night. I wasn’t able to make it completely from team members’ items, but I gave it a shot! I do think it is fun to look around Etsy and see what sorts of kits and patterns are available! So, if you enjoy that sort of thing as well, pop on over and take a look at my little treasury. There is still time left to make something special for your loved ones before December 25th!

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And on the topic of Etsy, since tomorrow is Cyber Monday, I am currently running coupon code sales in both my shops. At Lemon Lane Designs, where you will find my crochet patterns (and some cute vintage buttons, too!) I am offering 25% Off your entire order when you use coupon code HappyHolidays. And in my organic baby accessory shop, Lemon Lane Organics, I am offering Free US Shipping with code HolidayFreeShip. Not wanting leave my international friends out, overseas customers can convo me for a special 10% Discount code!

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and that you are looking forward to a Christmas season filled with joy and peace! I know Christmas will be very special this year with Little J in the house to teach us anew about the joy and wonder surrounding The Christmas Child! πŸ™‚