February 27, 2017

10 Putting Handspun Yarn to Use -- Aggregate Shawl by JimiKnits

Aggregate Shawl by JimiKnits, knit by Dayana Knits in Maine handspun


Aggregate Shawl by JimiKnits, knit by Dayana Knits in Maine handspun


Aggregate Shawl by JimiKnits, knit by Dayana Knits in Maine handspun


Whoa horsey! Before you think I've started an entirely new hobby -- spinning -- I'll stop you there. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Thankfully, there are plenty of hand spinners out there who have made their craft available for us lowly followers to purchase, and let me tell you -- Maine is the perfect place to find it. Just look at these two skeins I scored at my favorite source for Maine yarn (in my favorite town of all, too): Heavenly Socks Yarn in Belfast! You'd be a fool not to sign up for their newsletter, it's famous.


Handspun yarn by Andrea of Winterport, ME, Dayana Knits blog


Handspun yarn by Andrea of Winterport, ME, Dayana Knits blog


What I love about this is that it isn't a brand -- it's just a "hey, I spun this!" from Andrea. I don't even know Andrea's last name, though I'm hoping she'll find us, or some typical Maine thing will happen where Andrea's sister or cat will come by and leave a comment.

One is Polwarth wool, one is Merino. The Polwarth is rougher, but they are the same width:


Handspun yarn by Andrea of Winterport, ME, Dayana Knits blog
Don't you just love hand-written labels??


Handspun yarn by Andrea of Winterport, ME, Dayana Knits blog


What could I make? As with all handspun you find -- there's usually only 1 skein of 1 colorway;  there was no getting more. So I consulted the trusty Ravelry Advanced Search engine, and narrowed down 668,443 patterns to 23!

How on earth did I do that? You might be curious, so I'll show you. Note the "Colors used (typical)" search box which is my new best friend. OMG, revolutionary.


How to use the Ravelry Advanced Search Engine, Dayana Knits blog


How to use the Ravelry Advanced Search Engine, Dayana Knits blog


The Aggregate Shawl by JimiKnits came up 3rd and I LOVED it.


Reason #1: It was going to be more fun than all the other options because of the short rows.


Aggregate Shawl by JimiKnits, Dayana Knits blog


Second, I was curious to see whether you'd be able to see the subtle differences between the 2 handspun yarns, which had very little contrast.


Handspun yarn by Andrea of Winterport, ME, Dayana Knits blog


But it definitely worked! I can see the 2 yarns surprisingly well!


Aggregate Shawl by JimiKnits, knit by Dayana Knits in Maine handspun


Aggregate Shawl by JimiKnits, knit by Dayana Knits in Maine handspun


Lest you be daunted by the major short rowing here, do not be. I found this pattern to be right along the lines of other garter stitch short row shawls (wraps never showing!) -- just follow the instructions and you will be fine. It's fun to do and will keep you addicted to the very end.


Aggregate Shawl by JimiKnits, knit by Dayana Knits in Maine handspun


I did change to a picot bind-off, though, because I wanted to use as much yarn as possible and craved a less geometric shape. However, when I went to block the shawl, I found that my edge was ruffling and didn't want to block flat. So I took out my trusty flexible blocking wires and made a scalloped edge that I love! It may look difficult, but with these blocking wires, it's a piece of cake:


Aggregate Shawl by JimiKnits, knit by Dayana Knits in Maine handspun


Now. You might be thinking that Maine is an incredibly mild place in the winter with trees that no longer lose their leaves, heh heh, but these pictures were taken in the autumn, because I'm waaaaay behind on showing you my FOs.




It really looked like THIS last week!




Through a winter with no snow to speak of, we suddenly got 4 FEET IN ONE WEEK!! Naturally, my husband was away for this entire time, leaving me to shovel what I could.

But hell no, I was NOT going to shovel his car.  ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜…


4 feet of snow in one week in Maine, Dayana Knits blog




4 feet of snow in one week in Maine, Dayana Knits blog
35 minutes later...


For those of you curious about the license plate, it's the DNA sequence of a "restriction enzyme" which is used regularly by scientists in genetic engineering.


EcoRI restriction enzyme site, Dayana Knits blog


He wants me to get the sequence of the sister enzyme, Mun I, which cuts to make "compatible ends", hee hee.


MunI restriction enzyme site, Dayana Knits blog

I am more inclined to get this one!


Possible Maine vanity license plate, Dayana Knits blog


Speaking of kittens... Tiger Shrimp is a camera hog and is making an appearance in almost every Instagram post. Nuisance, yes. But this video of me unboxing my February KnitCrate will definitely make you smile!




February 2017 KnitCrate with Tiger Shrimp, Dayana Knits blog


February 2017 KnitCrate with Tiger Shrimp, Dayana Knits blog
SAVE 20%, CATS NOT INCLUDED ๐Ÿ˜น

FYI, that was my first regular KnitCrate, and it was absolutely worth the cost, in my opinion. It had (3) 164yd skeins of Mrs. Crosby Loves to Play: Steamer Trunk, a 100% merino worsted yarn. There was a pattern for 2 purses and a lavender bath bomb. If you want to try a KnitCrate, you can get 20% off your first one with code "DK20" here.

Below is the the rather breathtaking that was in the "Sock" Knitcrate. I'm only getting one of those because I rarely knit socks, but the Mrs. Crosby Loves to Play: Train Case is truly beautiful, and the pattern was better than in the regular KnitCrate.


Socks KnitCrate, Mrs. Crosby Loves to Play Train Case, February 2017, Dayana Knits blog


Consider it, because you'll have a lot of fun making it. And if it's in handspun, it will be squishily delicious, I guarantee it.


See my Handspun Aggregate on Ravelry


Aggregate Shawl by JimiKnits, knit by Dayana Knits in Maine handspun


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February 12, 2017

2 Wow Everyone Around You With This Yarn Bowl Transformer!



Admit it, you love walking into your knitting group with a special item and watching everyone drop their jaws! Ok, well I certainly do -- and the second I saw this little number on the internet, I knew I had to have one, even though I hadn't gotten to see it in FULL TRANSFORMER ACTION yet.   ⚡️


Lazadas project caddy review by Dayana Knits


Lazadas project caddy review by Dayana Knits


This convertible project caddy/yarn bowl is the latest knitting accessory by Lazadas -- and if you don't have time to read through this review, it's available here.

You may recognize the name "Lazadas" from my raving review of their flexible blocking wires. Three years later, I am still in love with those things. If this is any indication of the quality of the project bag, I'm in.


Lazadas flexible blocking wires on Dayana Knits


This sweet little yarn bowl shapeshifter is made of 100% odorless silicone. This means it's waterproof -- as long as you don't spill your coffee through the 4 needle/yarn holes, lol.  It also means it's heatproof, should you forget your project bag in the oven. Kidding! (unless you have a very interesting story to tell me...)

The silicone is stamped with sweet little knit stitching along the outside:


Lazadas project caddy review by Dayana Knits


Lazadas project caddy review by Dayana Knits


But the inside is perfectly smooth, and will certainly never snag on anything.

Using silicone is an interesting choice, because it has enough rigidity and weight to stay smartly in place when open (the bottom is shaped so it will sit flat on any surface). Conversely, it has enough flexibility to easily mold into a purse AND accept a lot of the odd shaped objects associated with crafting.

It's not gigantic inside, but I'm impressed with everything I have in there right now: 2 skeins, a measuring tape and a seamless double front + back cardi I'm working on:


Lazadas project caddy review by Dayana Knits


In case you're curious (especially with that ball of fur in there), the project is my Constantine by Louisa Harding:


Constantine cardigan by Louisa Harding, on Dayana Knits


Let's talk a bit about the little holes. There are 4 total, 2 on each side. The original purpose of the holes is to insert needles from the inside to the outside of the bag so that they don't snag on anything:




That could snag on things outside your purse, of course, so you decide! I prefer blunt needles because of the way I knit, so I personally don't have snagging problems when I store projects.

The other way you could use these holes is like a classic yarn bowl, threading the yarn through the holes so that ball doesn't fly away while you pull:


Lazadas project caddy review by Dayana Knits


Note: the center hole does not actually hold my DK weight in the center while I knit, it does end up slipping into the smaller adjacent hole. Therefore, it requires a light effort to pull as you knit  (i.e. it's not like pulling yarn smoothly through a ceramic yarn bowl). I'd guess that a chunky yarn would stay in the center, but it would still run against the hole as you pulled.

If you do use these holes for yarn, don't forget that if you stick yarn through one of these holes and start knitting, you'll be "locked in" to knitting until the ball is done! There is no exit hole like some yarn bowls provide:


t & h yarn bowl by Quince and Co. on Dayana Knits
t & h yarn bowl from Quince and co.

It's more like this type ๐Ÿ˜‚:

somethinglucky13 on Etsy yarn bowl on Dayana Knits
From somethinglucky13 on Etsy

I think most of the time I'll use it as designed, with the yarn coming out of the top openings:


Lazadas project caddy review by Dayana Knits


Yes, there are other colors!


Lazadas project caddy review by Dayana Knits

I also wanted to mention a couple of other things to be aware of about silicone. I found that knitting with a highly dyed yarn left some coloring around the holes. DON'T WORRY! Just wipe with water and it disappears immediately (so easy to clean!).


Lazadas project caddy review by Dayana Knits


Lazadas project caddy review by Dayana Knits


Another heads up: like all silicone products (I see this on my potholders, coasters) -- when there is a static buzz around, such as on this bone dry February day in Maine, hairs and fuzz will stick to the silicone. Static guard spray or rubbing the silicone with static-free microfiber will help with that.

I was super lucky to have been given this yarn bowl to review from Lazadas, because it's exactly the kind of easy to clean, hard-wearing bag my click clacking knitting hands need. And it's actually my first yarn bowl, I've joined the club! Even though it was a freebie -- I really truly recommend it. It's a fabulous little piece, especially for those of you who like to collect one-of-a-kind project bags.

THIS TRANSFORMER IS OFFICIALLY DAYANA KNITS APPROVED! 
Visit the Lazadas project caddy shop here (and don't forget about those blocking wires!)


Lazadas project caddy review by Dayana Knits



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