Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Favorite Dress Pattern

I love it when I buy a pattern and then I use it over and over and over!!  I've made this same little dress twice for the same little girl!! Once when she was born and now again for her first birthday!!  I think this pattern is just going to be my most favorite dress pattern from now on!! 
I do have one little problem with this pattern though......
  I have a hard time deciding just what yarn and/or color combination to use!!
The first one (top right) is made out of a washable worsted weight that was super mega soft... but I can't remember what it was now! Hey! It was almost a year ago!!
The next one is made out of Berroco Remix - 100% recycled fibers!!
I started out on this  second one with a completely different yarn and color scheme, but then I changed my mind after I got the yoke done! It wasn't my fault!! It was the yarn's fault! The Remix made me do it!
I didn't even change up the pattern on this one. I just knit it by following the directions. I was worried about halfway through thinking it might be boring, but this rose color is going to look lovely on that little gorgeous girl!   With her coloring and her adorable little self.... well.... I think she's pretty perfect so it doesn't really matter what I make stuff out of for her. Not really!
Now I'm just going to have a really hard time waiting for her birthday in June.............

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


My little family has been trying to recycle most everything!  Most of our trash goes into our recycle bin rather than the garbage!  We even try to buy products that use less packaging and are made out of things that were something else at one time.   So, it totally made sense to buy recycled yarn and use leftover yarn as well!  My first foray into recycled fibers was this past Christmas at home in Michigan. I bought some mill ends at a local mill. [LINK] That's the stuff that is too short, or not just 'right' and usually gets thrown away. 
I have enough problems trying to figure out how to  stash use my leftovers and really didn't even think about what the mills do with theirs.  Sad huh?  There's all that leftover yarn just waiting for someone to use it up!!  This has made me look at yarn in a totally different way.  It makes sense to use up something that may go to waste, right?  Now when I go into a yarn shop I look around to see if there is anything recycled, or mill ends, or even seconds. Doesn't have to be perfect!!  I think that Big kind of hopes that I will head upstairs into my own little yarn store before I head out to a real yarn store! I'm working on it!!
This weekend  Boy and I spent a little time at one of our favorite yarn shops here in Virginia (shh! Don't tell) and guess what I found!! Yeah... hard to believe that I spend any time in a yarn shop and frequently find yarn!
This is what I found:
Berroco Remix - 100% Recycled Fibers! Yay!!
I really think that this stuff makes the top 10 list of all time favorite yarns and it most certainly makes the FPOW for this week!!  (Favorite Product of the Week)
It's soft, squishy, knits up well, isn't mega expensive (not really) and ....insert drum roll.... it's 100% recycled!!
 Yay! More recycled fibers!

Berroco Remix
100% Recycled Nylon, Cotton, Acrylic, Silk and Linen!
$10.50 for 100g/216yds/200m *not awful... but...yeah I know. I'm a bit of a yarn snob.

So far it's knitting up great!  It doesn't seem to split like other yarns that have acrylic fibers and it's really soft on the hands.   I think even my needles love it because my Addi Turbos are slipping through this stuff like BUTTER!!
Which makes me giggle... because the little girl I'm gifting this to (making a dress for) is also called Butter!!

SO!! A little help is now required from you Dear Reader... do you have any favorite products (FPOW's ) that you would share with me??  Pretty Please??  You can either add a comment to the bottom, hit me up over on FB or email!!  Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mobile (Mo-bee-lay) Knitting

Loosely translated into English, the word mobile (mo-bee-lay) means fickle.  As in can't make up your mind or changing your mind frequently.  Sounds a bit like me when it comes to finally choosing a project and even more so when picking a yarn!
I think it sounds a lot better to say mobile (especially with a pretend Italian accent!) than... Oh.. I can't make up my mind! I'm mobile.
Or.... how about this....
I frequently vacillate  between several projects but when it comes to yarn..... I can't  pick!!
To vacillate means to waver. To waver in mind, will or feeling. It also can mean to hesitate in choice of opinion or courses!  Pretty much what happens every time it's time to pick a yarn!
Which is exactly what happened when I started making a birthday present dress for my little friend Butter! I had the yarn all picked out, knitted a gauge swatch and was off and running (err knitting!) UNTIL I found this stuff......
It's 100% recycled fiber! Woot! Which totally encourages me to buy more yarn... lol it also makes me feel better about the planet!              
It's Berroco Remix, made in France and it's soft! It's lovely and it's knitting up like a dream!!  Like I said it's 100% recycled nylon, acrylic(unfortunately), silk and linen fibers! Did I say it's dreamy?? Yes. Yes it is!  I love the texture, the softness and how it knits up.   Might just be a contender for the favorite product of the week!!

It's got kind of a denim quality, you can't really tell by the picture but there is some white flecks in it and when I looked at the blue (same yarn) in the store, the blue totally reminded me of a pair of jeans. I should have gotten some of that too.... but.... I love this pink-red and with Butter's coloring... the picture of her adorable self in this color was enough to stop my vacillating and pick this yarn!!

This is what the Remix is going to become! I'm not sure if I'm going to add a different color.... maybe a little trim around the bottom, but so far the entire dress is being made out of the Remix... I may have to give it to her before her birthday! Uhoh.... more mobile!?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Perpetuating a Good History

The more I knit, the more I think about it. Why do I knit. Why do I need to knit? Where did knitting come from?  Who started it? Why do I need to knit? ~Actually that's the question Big asks but mostly he says it like this..."Why do you need more yarn?"
My kid is now asking those same questions.  He knows yarn comes from either animals or a plant source, but just exactly how? How do we get yarn... why do we need it? What do we do with it?
My favorite question he has for me is this ..... "Who actually thought that wrapping some yarn around a stick was a good idea? How did they know it would be so much fun?" 
 Who knows for sure where it started. HERE are some ideas, but most everything I read online kind of makes me believe that even historians aren't clear where knitting originated.  How about this?  It was spread by Arabian sailors and merchants who traveled the Mediterranean? Arabian nomads who carried the craft to Spain? In Spain picked up by the Catholics? I can imagine it being carried throughout Europe rapidly at that point. AND if you've read anything about history (fiction or otherwise), men were the travellers. Men pretty much ruled the world way back when.  (LINK to just one of many, many places I found information)
Who knows for sure... I've really found that the origins of knitting are hard to trace. There are several theories, but nothing that really says the first knitting evidence is this.    As men (and women) evolved and needed more; especially clothing.... knitting pops up everywhere.
Look at American history... especially during times of war. American men had to defend our country, American women had to pull together and keep their families and their lives knit together! Yeah.. that was pun and it was totally intended!
Engraving, "Six and Eighty-Six Knitting for the Soldiers." From The Tribute Book: A Record of the Munificence, Self-Sacrifice and Patriotism of the American People during the War for the Untion, 1865. (Courtesy of Lynne Zacek Bassett.)
borrowed from here............
All throughout documented United States History, women are shown doing their part for the war effort.  World War II certainly had women doing their part! Look at Rosie the Riveter!! 
 During the Civil War women knitted socks for soldiers. HERE is the link to Knitting Daily's current blog!   How about during the Revolutionary War? Yep... there too!
Try looking HERE   or HERE ! 
History does have a way of repeating itself... I could interject some comment about men leaving it all up to women to take care of things.... but you can do that on your own! I will say though... MY  soldier was lucky enough to receive a hand knit gift in a care package from home!

Really, my knitting history knowledge is gleaned from the people I knit with. The knitting places I've been and the stories I've heard. IF you wanted socks... you knitted them. IF you wanted yarn to make the socks... you sheared the sheep, carded the wool and then spun it into yarn. Lots of work for socks, but how else were you going to get a pair?

Why do I knit now? Especially since the industrial age made it easy enough to get a pair of socks and definitely smoother undies!?  Because I want to.  Really.  I have no reason to knit. Not a necessary, physical reason to, but it does make me happy. It fuels my need to make something with my hands. It even helps me feel connected to my history;  I like to think that somewhere down my family tree, someone made socks for their soldier, or at least a blanket for a brand new baby!
I do have blankets made specifically for me as a baby and some for my kids, so this is the history I need to perpetuate.  A good history of making things to make other people feel special. That's the reason I knit.
  That's the reason I will keep buying yarn, and needles, and, and, and..... and now spinning my own wool..... to keep the rest of my world happy.