A Girl's Gotta Knit

A blog about opening A Swell Yarn Shop, knitting and the rest of the stuff that makes life fun :)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Would you be interested

OK, so I am totally digging this hat, but I am not sure if it is something I should offer on my website. They would be $22.00 a hat...
What do you think??????????

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Green Thumb

Just about 2 years ago Ken and I bought this house. A few months later, not ever having been able to keep a plant alive in my entire life, I decided that I wanted a cottage garden in the front yard. So we ripped out the lawn and I started with a blank canvas of dirt. Admittedly, to a first time gardener, this was far more than intimidating! You wouldn't believe how hard it is to decide where to plant something in a completely bare yard!!!! Well, last summer I made progress on the lay out and put in the cobble stone paths, a little branch fence, brick edging and a planter box. I also put a tree here and there and daisies where ever I could. That may not sound like much, but that filled the entire summer. Now with the basic lay out done, every Sunday I pull myself way from the batches of yarn and do a little more to the front yard. Every day that I look at it I am SHOCKED that I did it. With absolutely no gardening experience whatsoever (except killing several house plants) I did this!

There is lots more to be done, there are still lots of bare spots to be filled and daisies to be planted, but I am so happy with how it is turning out!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Instant Gratification

To say free time has been a bit difficult to come by lately would be an understatement!
That creative/crafty part of me has been SCREAMING to come out and make something...ANYTHING!!!!! So yesterday, I took ten minutes for myself and created this
What you are looking at is my 'Yarn Bracelet' creation. For a first try, I am pretty pleased with the results. There are very obvious things I will change...like the excessive quantity of bonding that looks like it is oozing off of it

But other than that, I think it's pretty cool and funky and definitely works with the 80s Flashback phase I am going through right now :)This color is Exclamation that came out a couple months ago. As soon as I perfect the bracelet I will use the coordinating heel and toe yarn for a matching bracelet! WooHoo!

Next quicky creation was this baby bonnet from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

I used the Hip Chick colorway and blended it with a Kid Seta for a bit of halo. I used the coordinating heel and toe yarn for the edging and the i-cord that still needs to be made. I am not especially pleased with this one. Firstly, I used a needle 3 sizes smaller than what was called for and it is ENORMOUS! When I redo it, I won't use the kid seta and I will drop down to a size 3 or 4 needle instead of the size 8 that is called for. Also, the pattern was amazingly confusing. After I ripping and redoing a number of rows, I figured out that the instructions could have just as easily said 'decrease every 5th knit row'. If you have the book, take a look at how it is written... (ex)repeat Row 13-20 repeat row 1 and 2, Row 21-30 repeat row 11-16-What the *&@@????? But now that I have it figured out and I won't use the kid seta in it for the redo, I think this will be an adorable little number!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Yarn coming out my nose...literally!

So, I get a little tickle in my nose...I rub my nose a little. I get another tickle in my nose and sniffle a bit. I get another tickle in my nose and finally grab a tissue. What to my wondering eyes should appear...pink fibers, purple fibers, lime green fibers, OH MY!!!
I have been reskeining like there is no tomorrow!
If you are drooling over the new colors, you will be happy to know that these will be on their way to Pick Up Sticks on Wednesday. As a matter of fact, also keep your eyes on The Yarn Grove and The Loopy Ewe for amazing new colorways of Duet Sock Yarns.
During the month of June over 750 skeins of yarn will have left A Swell Yarn Shop!!! Holy Moly...that's about 500 more than have ever made it out the door in one month. (patting myself on the back right now) That's lots and lots of Duet Sock Yarns just waiting to get on your knitting needles :) I think a few of you might be telling some people about the Duet Sock Yarns! LOL!
What's up for next month....lots and lots of Skinny Duet Sock Yarns!!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Go Mariners!!!!

Stitch n Pitch is coming your way!!!
Here in Seattle, I root for the Mariners! WooHoo!!!
I love going to the game when the roof is off, the sun is shining and the peanuts are hot!!!

Renaissance Yarns is your Stitch n Pitch & Mariner's Duet Sock Yarn headquarters!
I will be there either knitting my Mariner's Socks or wearing them...we will see which it will be! If you see me there, please stop over and say hi! If you have a pair of Duet Socks you want to show off, I would love to see them!!!!

Happy Stitch n Pitch to those of you in other cities!!!

If only I could make enough yarn for every team :) We'd all be styling in our team colors!!!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Finished Duet Socks

I must confess...I haven't finished any of the 3 pair of Duet Socks I have been working on...maybe because I am working on 3 pair at the same time and I should know better by now. But, some of you have been sweet enough to share your finished Duet Socks with me, so I am going to share them with everyone :)

By Chi

By Words & Wool

Please feel free to send me your pictures of your finished Duet Socks!!! I would love to share them here so everyone working on a pair of socks can be inspired by you!!!

PS. A HUGE thank you to everyone for your sympathy and well wishes!!! It has been strange for the last few days around here and your comments and thoughts have been bright spots along the way!!!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Last night we said goodbye to Denver aka Fatso.The day started out as any other normal day...Denver and Karma (the big ole black lab) cuddling in the bedroom unitl late in the morning.Then, when Ken got home we heard a very pained meow from Denver. The trooper that she is, we knew something was terribly wrong for her to be making this sound. To the vet Ken went to get his kitty fixed up.We had no idea what would happen next. Denver had heart failure and very suddenly, she was gone. Denver was about 15 years old and was able to keep all the dogs in check...she had the labs trained to cuddle and clean her and let her have the doggy bed when ever she wanted it. She was a great kitty, she did her own thing and made an appearance when she wanted some attention. She will be missed!!!!

Friday, June 01, 2007


Wow!! Does time fly or WHAT?! I remember when I was a kid and a week seemed like an eternity...now, a week is only 7 very fast flying days. Hours seem like seconds and months seem like they are gone in a day! I guess, it's true what they say...Time flies when you are having fun!

I am having tons and tons of fun, so time is flying by like crazy. I have been working on lots and lots of yarn for all the shops the carry the Duet Sock Yarns. Along the way, I have been trying to figure out how to get more yarn done faster. Since I only have my two hands, the only solution my husband and I were able to come up with was to automate every step that can be automated....this is what my Mr Ken has come up with most recently

It is just about the coolest thing EVER!!!! This baby will preskein six hanks of yarn at one time! Because I have a specific loop size so I can get all the colors I want onto one skein of yarn, I used to hand wind each hank one by one. As you might guess, it took a looooooooooong time to just get the yarn ready. Now, I can wind a days worth of yarn dyeing in just one afternoon.

Then after the yarn is dyed, Mr Ken has set up the 'drying room' so I don't have to spend days waiting for all the skeins to dry. After the, the wonderful Mr Ken had created the automated reskeiner...which was also something that I did by hand. Basically, what used to take me one week to complete now takes me 2 days...all thanks to the amazing Mr Ken. Did I get lucky or what when I snagged this guy?!

Anyways, I have a batch of yarn calling my name...time to get back on it! I know I haven't posted any new colors this week....still catching up on store orders...but they are coming soon :)

Happy knitting!!!