Long Over Due Blog Move

Check out the blog’s new home over here, at Holly Chayes Designs. Come on over and say hi.

I’ve moved all the content (comments, past posts, etc.) over there. Crafting Keeps Us Sane will still be here just as it currently is, but there won’t be new content, and I’m planning on closing the comments. Truth be told this move probably should have happened a long time ago, but there you have it.


PS. Please remember to update any bookmarks, rss feeds, etc, (if you’d like.)


New Yarn for the New Year

Two new handspun skeins that I laid out to dry just before new years.


Fiber Used: Bugga!Fiber, 4oz, 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon, colorway: ponycorns

Fiber Source: The Sanguine Gryphon

Yardage: 560 yards of a heavy lace weight

Fiber Used: 100% superwash merino, 4oz

Fiber Source: Biltmore Wool Barn

Yardage: 260 yards of a thick and thin mostly fingering weight

11 Shawls in 2011

All the shawls I knit in 2011.

Zodiac le Plume

Parterre Garden

Malus domestica (the apple tree)

Mrs. Peacock


Mirror World

Forest Stroll

Gene Tierney, The Divine

Tumbling Deco

Spider Silk

Dragons Ruff

Rav Name Change

Just a heads up, I changed my ravelry username from neme to hollychayes.

Since my ability to string ideas into anything more than gibberish seems to have disappeared, how about a handful of pictures instead.

3 rows and a bind off to go.

Mittens still missing some fingers and thumbs.

Pretty yarn all in a row. (The Sanguine Gryphon Mithril left to right: Zodiac, Woods and Undergrowth, Citizen Kane, and an Experimental Love Child.)

Something for the wheel. (Sanguine Gryphon bugga! fiber in Ponycorns)

And an Idea brewing.

Spider Silk

Spider Silk is now available for purchase as a download, for $6.00 either on Ravelry, or directly through the blog by clicking the buy now button.

Inspired by the simple but elegant yet geometric shapes of a spider’s web, made up entirely of garter stitch and eyelet rows, this is an incredibly simple shawl to knit and would make a great first true lace weight project.

Knit in one piece from the top down, this shawl begins by casting on 11 stitches at the back of the neck and increasing 8 stitches every other row to shape this shawl into a square like shape. Finally, an eyelet-increase row is worked just before the bind off to ensure that a thorough blocking is possible.

Yarn: Madelinetosh ‘tosh lace,’ 950 yards (968 meters), 100% superwash merino, 1 skein, shown in ‘graphite’

Needles: US size 2.5 (3.00 mm) 40 inch (101 cm) circular, or size needed to obtain gauge

Notions: 5 stitch markers, tapestry needle

Gauge: 6.5 sts/inch; 12 rows/inch (6.5 sts/2.5 cm; 12 rows/2.5 cm) in garter stitch

Blocked Dimensions: 27.5 inches (70 cm) down the center back; 27.5 inches (70 cm) cast on to corner; 16 inches (40.5 cm) cast on to middle of one edge of hem; 43 inches (109.25 cm) along one edge of hem

Skills Used: casting on & binding off, knitting, yarn over, k2tog, ssk, sl 2-k1-psso, weaving in ends, blocking lace

Rhinebeck Haul

But first, the Rinebeck sweater that wasn’t.

This is what the sweater looked like last Wednesday evening. Then, it was an almost complete sweater.

It would have been completely possible to finish the hem, the sleeves, neck, and add a zipper by Saturday, a lot of work, but still possible. But then I realized I wouldn’t have a chance to get the zipper by Saturday.

I know I could have finished the sweater, and closed it with a shawl pin for the day, but then the waist was a bit wonky, and I probably should have ended the decreases a few rounds earlier, and it ended up kind of longer than expected, and if I wasn’t pushing to finish the sweater for Saturday, then well…

If you look carefully at the photo, you’ll see there are no needles in the sweater.

Now, it looks exactly like it did two weeks ago.

At least it’s a quick knit, and it could have been worse. A lot worse. (See, if you haven’t already Yarn Harlot-Rhinebeck sweater, and Carin of Round the Twist-Rhinebeck sweater. You might want to sit down.)

So the sweater is sitting in the corner for a bit, and new yarn/fiber is making me feel a bit better about the whole thing.

So, the first thing I bought was this beautiful skein from Bittersweet Woolery. Her shop seems to be on vacation at the moment, but if you go through the sold items there’s some great stuff (personally, I’m a fan of the first item ‘sterling’ in lace weight.) The first skein I got was a lace weight (big surprise there), 875 yards, 80/20 merino/silk, color name ‘ghost violet.’ I spend most of the day petting it, and I actually went back at the end of the day for a second skein from her.

Again lace weight, 875 yards, 80/20 merino/silk, this time in the color ‘black dragonfly.’ (I really need to stop buying this shade of blue, I’ve now got three skeins that are all basically this same color, all in varying lace weights.)

These two skeins were the only ones I bought. I figure with all of the yarn I have, and the very limited amount of knitting time, I probably shouldn’t go crazy with the yarn buying any time soon.

I actually went to Rhinebeck with two things in mind. A set of light weight, metal, small stitch markers that would work well for lace weight yarn, and fiber because I had none.

Yes, that’s correct, before this weekend I had no fiber stash. I had a couple bits of random fibers (less than an ounce type stuff), and I had a small fleece sitting in time out until I decide what to do with it, but that was all. So new three bumps of fiber came home with me.

First up, this is one of the stitch markers. The tag only has ‘Jewelry for your Yarn’ which I couldn’t find a website for with a quick google search, but I’m really happy with them. They’re about a centimeter in diameter, very light weight which is exactly what I was looking for, and they each have a different colored bead.

For the fiber, first up I got this beautiful stuff.

It’s 4oz of superwash merino from West Elm Farm, in a very deep blue, I can’t wait to start playing with it.

This braid of fiber (both pictures are the same braid, but different sides) came from Happy Hands Yarns. It’s 4 oz of polwarth in the colorway ‘Landslide.’ I’ve never spun polwarth before, so I’ll be interested in seeing how it differs from merino and merino/silk blends, which are what I have the most experience with.

And finally I got these 4 oz from the vender across the aisle from the Sanguine Gryphon’s booth (which had quieted down by the time I got there, but was still packed).

It’s from Biltmore Wool Barn (which doesn’t seem to have a website, but if you google them, they seem to come up on a handful of other sites), again it’s 4 oz of superwash merino. I (obviously) couldn’t wait to start spinning it, and it’s coming out beautifully, so soft and squishy.

All in all, I think I was rather restrained. 2 skeins of yarn, 3 bumps of fiber, and a set of stitch markers, I’m sure I could have done a lot more damage.

I’m still working on the Namaste-Hermosa review which I hope to get up soon-ish, and I’m still trying to make knitting progress, which I’ll post about soon (hopefully).