Archive for the ‘product’ Category

Vortex Infinity Scarf

I love infinity loop scarves and, while I don’t like anything tight around my neck, I do adore something thick and soft and squishy to snuggle into.  I also have a tendency to wear scoop-neck and v-neck shirts, which leave my front a bit chilly in our New England winters.  I worked up this scarf loosely using some of the ideas from the Whirlwind cowl, but at a looser gauge and omitting the cables.  I love the bias the constant use of the k2tog gives the fabric in the previous pattern, and so used that as my main stitch.

Doesn’t it look cozy?  The first is a gift for my baby sister (colorway Crush), and the second, in Looking Up, is for me.  Mine, all mine!  (Until Rachel runs off with it anyway.)

To make one of your own, you need 2 skeins of Big Shot (I used all but 1.5 yards of both 97 yard, 115 gram bulky weight skeins), and size 13 36-inch circular needles.  Gauge is not hugely critical, but may affect yarn usage, so do be mindful.  Approx. 8 stitches and 18 rows over 4 inches in pattern stitch.

Cast-on 108 stitches and join being careful not to twist.  I used the cabled cast-on to be sure to keep the edge nice and stretchy.

Knit one row, then purl one row.

Pattern Stitch:

Row 1 – (Yo, k2tog) repeat to end.

Row 2 – Knit

Repeat rows 1 & 2 for approx 8 inches or 35 rows, ending with Row 1. (I managed to get 37 rows for the purple cowl, but your mileage may vary, and you need a fair amount of yarn for the bind off.)

Purl one row, then knit one row.

Bind off.  I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy bind off, which is amazingly easy and really allows the scarf to wrap easily around the neck.

And that’s it!  Wear and enjoy!



Just call me Tenacious “B”

My NETA Spa experience this year could so beautifully be summed up by that classically over-borrowed quote from Dickens,

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

What a fantastic weekend!  I arrived ready and excited to be able to relax.  There was to be no yarn drying in the hotel room or braids to be braided or labels to be wrapped this trip.  Nosiree!  It was all done (and thank you KellyR for your help!) and I could finally have dinner and chat with friends, take a soak in the hot tub, and look forward to the hours ahead, both of “work” and play.  After a bit of a hitch at leaving part of my display set-up at home, the booth was set up on Friday in good time(again, with thanks to Diane, Kelly, Jessalu, Amy, and Karen), brisk business was had, friends were hugged, new friends made, laughs had, projects shared, and all was good.  Really, really good.  Come Sunday, I was so sad to say good-bye, but even breakdown was fun, if exhausting, with Amy and I inventing luggage cart derby (and yes, Amy, you did in fact kick my ass. lol).  Once the racks and bags and tubs and luggage were stowed in the car, I stepped into the hotel, handed out a few more hugs, and set out for a leisurely and uneventful trip home.  My kids — with the 13 year old girl leading the charge! — met me at the door with loud whoops and kisses and I was soon buried on the couch under a heap of dogs and cats.  And this — all of this — is what I am holding on to.

The next morning, intent on spending a lazy day on the couch recuperating, I wandered out to the car bring in a few bags so I could select a skein of sock yarn to begin a new project, only to discover that there was. no. sock. yarn.  In a panic, I emptied the vehicle of stock, opened each bag and perused each one three or four times, growing more and more frantic by the moment, realizing that 2 huge bags — at quick calculation containing roughly 200 skeins — were entirely completely 100% undoubtedly missing.  My mind flew back to breakdown, and the possibility that I had left them behind on the curb when I moved the truck a bit closer to the doors.  A call to the hotel yielded no hope, and so I began the cry over the Twitterverse, Facebook, e-mail, and anything else I could think of.  Maybe some kind soul had grabbed it for me, but just hadn’t gotten around to e-mailing me yet.  Surely, someone would have my yarn and let me know?  Right?  RIGHT?

No such luck.  It is GONE.

I have bounced between physical illness, stress-induced pain, tears, self-loathing, resignation, calm, anger (at myself mostly), gratitude to the HUGE number of friends and concerned others re-tweeting and re-posting in hopes that the yarn will be found, and calm at knowing that no matter how bad this is, I WILL be ok, and all those I love are safe and well.  And this is bad — the retail value of the yarn totals over $6k, and represents at the very least a month of work and wear and tear on a body that ain’t quite as young as it used to be, to put it mildly.

But you see, here’s the thing.  As much as I want my yarn back and as sad as this makes me, it won’t get me.  I know loss — REAL gut-wrenching true loss.  THIS is not it.  This is a bump…ok, a crater… in the road, but it is not insurmountable.  I am a tenacious bitch.  I don’t give up.  I don’t give in.  Today?  Business as usual, folks.  Maybe it is the British in me.  Time to Keep calm and Carry on and all that.

And I’ll be damned if this ruins my faith in people and the world around me.  In fact, if nothing else, it has strengthened it.  For all people want to bitch, social media can be a beautiful thing, and at a time when I would easily retreat into myself and shrink from a phone call, I turn on my computer to see e-mails and tweets and comments of love and support and good wishes.  I can’t thank you all enough (and some of you — you know who you are — I don’t know how I’ll ever show what you mean to me).  You make me feel so privileged to be a part of this wonderful community.

Last call for clubs!

(Point of business for the day — if you have “liked” the Mad Color page on Facebook, or any other pages, you will no longer receive notifications from those pages in you news feed unless you go to the page, hover over the “Like” button, and select “Get Notifications.” )

If you had an inkling to hope on board the Mad Geek Tour and take a trip through time and space with the Doctor and his companions, or investigate the wildly interesting world of Steampunk inspired design, books, and shows, now is the time to click that link and get your “ticket”.  Sign-ups for these two clubs will close the end of the day Sunday, Jan. 6th.  Jessalu has even had a Doctor Who fabric specially designed for Mad Geek Tour only.  I am so stinking excited for this!  And I love the theme we have chosen for the Steampunk bags –I think you will all love it!

I have had a few people ask if the yarns and bags will be repeated over different rounds, and the answer is a definite “No.”  Jan-March colors for Doctor Who will not be repeated in April-June, nor will anything from this past round of “Into the Black” be repeated when that ‘verse is revisited in July-Sept.  The bags will also always be something new to club, and to Jess.  (I may offer these colorways up for general sale in the future, but not for at least a year from the time it was featured in the club.  There is no guarantee, however, that a colorway will ever be available again.)

In other exciting news,  I now will carry, from time to time, self-striping yarn.  Figuring a workable way to do this for production, using the equipment I have available to me, has been my nemesis, but I have finally made it work and couldn’t be happier.  It is somewhat labor intensive, but I love stripes.  This last month of club shipments (Geek-Fairytale, Geek-Into the Black, and Posse) were all self-striping.  Wanna see?

Fairytale Club – “Into the Woods”

Geek Tour Dec.2012 Fairytale Into the Woods

Into the Black – “Washburne”

picture used with permission from club member Paula on Ravelry

Mad Color Posse – “Over the Rainbow”

Over the Rainbow

Self-Striping yarn, dyed in two matching 200yard skeins, exclusively for Mad Color Posse

I’ve been working with a Wizard of Oz theme with the Mad Color Posse, and I will be continuing that for a few more months.  Land of Oz was my favorite movie from my childhood, and holds some of my favorite and happiest memories of the time I spent with my grandparents, so I am really looking forward to doing the theme justice, and with the new Oz movie coming out in March, I think it  will be a lot of fun to become reacquainted with Oz.  I hope you come along!



Of Planets, Prizes, and "Peds"

The long awaited shop opening of One Planet Yarn and Fiber has finally arrived! This is a wonderful new shop in part run by the folks at Yarn Botanika that will feature items from all parts of the globe and from many independent artisans — including me! YAY! You can find a little bit of Sereknity in lots of places on the site, including Indie Yarns, needles and notions, and spinning fiber. They also have a wonderful new yarn company called Sheep Shop yarns, that looks fantastic, as well as Black Pearl Yarns, which feature a design by Gina, and many other wonderful things. Give it a looksee, won’t you?

As mentioned before, Gaye, Ericka, and Rachel all won prizes in the “Name that Bunny” contest, and here is what they won…
Rachel chose this skein of green tone-on-tone sock yarn from the etsy shop that I am sending her along with some matching cute and girlie stitch markers…

Ericka chose sock yarn in the Gothic Rose colorway, and as she recently voice her aversion to stitch markers, I am including this mini-skein of Gothic Rose dyed with the same dye lot. An extra 160 yards. And hey, who doesn’t love more yarn??

And for Gaye, for her winning name, she gets her requested Blue Hawaii skein destined for a lacy scarf and a custom decorated crochet hook with sheep topper. I really hope she loves this little gal!
In other news, I need socks. Desperately. I have no desire to wear store bought white socks ANYMORE. But I kept picking these wonderful, gorgeous patterns with lace and charts and details that take much more time an concentration than I have to give, thus, NO SOCKS. grrrr. SO I forsook all WIPs and sat down with my lovely but small hank of Bella-dyed handspun (dyed to look like my little kitty Bella) and cast-on for little footies — or Peds — since they would work up quickly on size 5 needles and I of course did not have nearly enough for a taller pair. And here they are! 3 days later! YAY!

Simple is so the way to go right now. I was also left with a too-small-for-sale skein of Christmas Tree dyed sock yarn and I was so very curious as to how this would work up, so I cast on ribbed a cuff in red (Cervina Calzetteria) and went to town with Christmas tree in stockinette. The results?

What do you think? I think I like it! The red and purple swirl completely around the leg like a sting of garland. Pretty cool. And QUICK, and very definately festive. (I am a sock knitting MACHINE! HA.) The toes will also be done in red, to round it out and to conserve the varigated yarn.

A few new things…

Been doing a bit of knitting, a bit of spinning, some designing, and lots and lots of PRODUCTION for Sereknity. Wouldn’t you know that I finally got the hang of my new camera and lighting studio, got enough product to do a “photo session”, finished the first of four sock kits to be listed (even got this one listed in esty late last night), and THIS is the weekend etsy is down to install the new version!! ARG! FIGURES! Oh well, it will have to wait until Monday, but until then, here is a sneak peek…
I also began knitting/designing a new sock (for Nora of Black Dog Knits) and I am using beads for the first time! I am using my hand dyed 50/50 merino/silk and I love how it is working up. My question is, do I continue the pattern down the foot of the sock w/o the beads? I personally like socks with a patterned foot, but you wouldn’t want to have a sock with beads on the foot, so will it look odd to have the pattern repeat omitting the beads? Also, I plan on making a sandal sock version of the heel — will a sandal sock look funny without a pattern down the foot to balance it out? I would LOVE feedback on this, and as you can see, you have time! I have a ways to go.Also completed were two skeins of two ply handspun. The first single was a local lambswool/angora blend in a heathery mix of white deep red and orange, and the second one of my own hand dyed fibers in a BL/Mohair blend, dyed to stripe in red and pumpkin, with some yellow thrown in the mix. I think it is comming out pretty cool! Can’t wait to see how it knits up.
As you may have noticed, I’ve been having fun experimenting with the new lighting studio. I’m not the only on — the elusize BooBoo decided he’d give it a try…lookd thrilled, doesn’t he?
Lots of dyeing to do over the next few days. Have to get ready for an in-home craft “show” of sorts being held in Rockport. Wish me luck!


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