Mini Rabbit Hole

Hello October Lovers and Fiber Friends!

Thank you for joining my little circle! Today our topic is the rabbit hole of mini skeins that I have fallen down, and I’m not trying to get up. It started with my Double Double Mini Kit, available now in the Sisteresque Fibers Etsy Shop. I had a sudden need to crochet something simple – I hadn’t crocheted in ages! So I thought, well why not a blanket for the cooler weather that’s coming. And while I’m at it, why not use my own minis to start so I can better show off how they work up.

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Double Double Mini Kit crocheted into my granny stripe blanket. Colorways from bottom to top: Cauldron Bubble, Toe of Frog, Eye of Newt, Toil and Trouble, Scale of Dragon.

I bought myself a new set of crochet hooks from Knit Picks just for the project. I wanted some hooks with grips for less hand soreness, and thus far they have been great. I started chaining with my Cauldron Bubble colorway until I thought it looked about as wide as I liked and started a simple granny stripe blanket. Just simple double crochet, chain space, double crochet base; then each row has 2 double crochets in each chain space and one chain space between them. I fell in love! Using my own colorways was so much fun, and the Plump Sock base I use is just perfectly squishy for a blanket!

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Black Magic Woman Mini Kit added to my granny stripe blanket. Colorways from bottom up: Double Blind, The Poison You Picked, The Evil Eye, Casting a Curse, Blood Binding.

I was running out of minis from my first kit and wanted to continue in my own Plump Sock Base. What else could I do? I had to create another mini kit! Further down the mini rabbit hole I fell. I created a second kit meant to be a darker version of my Double Double kit and this one I called Black Magic Woman. For those of you who have seen my Instagram feed or previous posts, I loved my green and purple (The Poison You Picked and The Evil Eye) colorways so much, I had to dye up yarn for a sweater! But I was also going to need another kit, so I went to my colorways for inspiration.

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Praise Poseidon Mini and my own little beaded ghost progress keeper. 

I found a few colorways in various blues that I had in my inventory and decided to dye a few more and put together a kit of blues. However, I also thought I needed a nice transition from the solid mini Blood Binding into my new In The Ether Mini Kit. So just for the sake of my granny stripe blanket, I dyed up Praise Poseidon, a mostly solid blue tonal with just a few little blue speckles. Further down the rabbit hole. Then I started in on my In the Ether Mini Kit.

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In The Ether Mini Kit crocheted into my blanket. Colorways from bottom to top: Spell in a Bottle, Phantasm, Speak to Me Spirits, Witching for Water, Patience Like a River

I’m now fully into the mini rabbit hole with In The Ether, loving all my minis and the Plump Sock squishy goodness of the crochet fabric I was creating! But just as with the other kits, once I got to the my 3rd or 4th colorway and knew I would run out of minis, I had to plan another kit. This time with some glamour!

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Monster Minis Kit inspired by Monster High Characters. Colorways from bottom to top: Spektra, Casta Fierce, She Wolf, Miss Cleo, Daughter of the Yeti. 

For my next mini kit trick, may I present: Monster Minis on Magic Sock! That’s right, its sparkle!! I was especially proud of how these colorways came out. I took inspiration from Monster High characters – not that I watch the show, but I’m fascinated with the concept of second generation classic monsters.

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Monster Minis matched to their inspiration characters. 

I’ve gotten to the end of my Monster Minis kit, and so off to the dye pots I went! What is the newest set of mini kit colorways? You’ll have to follow me on Instagram and my Etsy shop and right here on my blog to find out! They are drying as I type, and soon they will be available as full skein colorways or in another marvelous mini kit! I can’t wait to add them into my granny stripe masterpiece of my own hand dyed yarns!

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Current granny stripe blanket progress. 

Well, that’s all for this week Fiber Sisters and Brethren. Thank you all for joining my circle and sitting a spell! Stay tuned for my Not Rhinebeck Sweater and check me on Instagram @sisteresquefibers for an upcoming giveaway and coupon code during Rhinebeck weekend!

Also, if you’re interested in full skeins of any of my colorways and don’t see it in my shop, feel free to contact me! I’m happy to dye up special orders for any of my special fiber friends!

Wishing you a magical October!

 

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Scattered WIPs, Scatter Brained

Long time, no blog post! Hello again Fiber Friends!

Its been a while. Truthfully, I’m going through some big life changes and as a result I have relocated back to South Dakota to be close to family for a while. I am stressed, anxious and desperately trying to figure out a job – sadly my creative life is not yet in position to be my day job, though that is always the ultimate goal.

Still, I am working at slowly at my many WIPs.

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Bag from KnitForBrains on Etsy, Pumpkin needle keeper from MollyKleinDesigns on Etsy.

These are just a few of the socks I have that I told myself I would have ready for the cooler weather. I may have to push that back to ready for the snow, but even that may be a bit of a stretch. I started these while still in North Carolina, and when I bid farewell to my Podcast friend Barb of Super Stitchy, she gave me the sweet little beaded witch stitch marker she made herself. So if it does take me longer to finish these, at least I have a fun reminder of a fiber friend.

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My fun little witch marker from Super Stitchy and my MollyKleinDesigns needle keeper. Madeline Tosh yarn.

I had also told myself I would have a sweater done for the fall by now, but naturally, my latest sweater is not yet completed. Just about done with one sleeve and one left to go.

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My own hand dyed yarn in The Evil Eye (purple) and The Poison You Picked (green). Bag by HappyUnicornStudio on Etsy.

I’m loving my new Dense DK base, I have a loose gauge so the more densely spun yarn won’t grow as much as my Plump DK base. I started this in NC as well, and between settling into a new space and the emotions that come with not knowing what my life is right now have slowed me down. I did finish the body while waiting for my baby Jack Russell, Lucy, to come back from teeth extractions at the vet. However, stress knitting, while useful for keeping me from biting my nails and clenching my teeth, is still not my ideal knitting.

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Bag by TwistedYarnAndFiberBags on Etsy and Malabrigo Rios Yarn.

Stress aside, I am happy to be closer to family, and happy for the cooler knitting weather in South Dakota. Knitting out of necessity gives me unique pleasure. I suppose my productivity anxiety is quelled a bit by the idea of knitting practical items for myself that I know will go to good use, and soon. I started myself a hat in the Acres Wild pattern by Kniting Pirate on Ravelry. I’m using Malabrigo Rios yarn and toting it in a phantasmically perfect bag from Twisted Yarn and Fiber Bags on Etsy. We have one week of temporary warm temperatures coming and then October will be in full cool swing, and I will definitely be wearing this hat.

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My WIPs, my mind and my writing are all a bit scattered, and I would apologize, but that just where I am right now. I am continuing to put my best effort into my Sisteresque Fibers Etsy shop, I have added Pre-Order or Dye to Order yarn in hopes of more sales with less unsold inventory about. I have intentions of creating some colorwork hat patterns and a few cross stitch patterns. I only hope my job search and possible job find won’t interrupt my creativity too much, as it is a large part of what is currently holding my sanity together. Tho, sadly, it doesn’t pay for health insurance. Sigh.

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I will end on a lighter note and say that I am grateful to the fiber and crafting community for providing a place to go during the worst of times. Everyone is so supportive and happy to share times in their lives that have been rough – and how the made it thru to the other side. To everyone who reads my blog, supports my content, my shop and my fibery pipe dream, I love you all! I wish you all the most magical fall knitting and I hope your October is full of treats, yarn and many Halloween movies!

Until next circle, Sisters and Brethren,

Love from Haleigh

Don’t Sweat the Small Socks

Welcome back to the fiber circle!

This week let’s talk socks! Over the summer I had tried a new sock knitting technique: four at a time socks inside socks! Wait? What? That’s right. I had two pairs of two at a time socks on the needles, with one pair inside the other. Here’s the YouTube video I used to figure out how to knit a sock inside of a sock:

I had a two at a time sock set going, so I started another and then put the second socks inside the first set. As much as I did enjoy the new technique, I had also started a “part time” job (with commute, its a full time hours away from home and knitting job). I felt drained of time for knitting and the four at a time socks were moving too slowly. And then came the knitting anxiety. There was nothing else for it: they had to be separated.

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My separated four at a time socks in Biscotte Yarns with my Addi Turb Sock Rocket needles. 

Once I had the separated, they did seem to fly off the needles. Of course, I did a spend a weekend working on them, so the extra hours of time did help. I had two pairs of socks done by Wednesday and it felt good!

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So what did I do to celebrate having two pairs of socks done and blocking? Cast on another two sets of socks of course! I know, if I was stressing out about not getting these socks done, why start two more? Well, because I am a knitter. I need to have socks on the go. Particularly now that I have discovered two at a time and the joy of having no second sock syndrome.

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Amazing bag by Knit for Brains, German yarn by the name of Unisono and some //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=sisteresquefi-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00DX8759A&asins=B00DX8759A&linkId=6f096d9d7e950ce9779f37af36177cfb&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Chiaogoo needles.

I made a firm decision not to let myself stress over my knitting. As a reward, I bought myself a positively perfect Nightmare Before Christmas themed bag from Knit For Brains because I adore Laura’s bags! I also went ahead and cast on a third pair of socks. Partly to challenge myself to keep enjoying my knitting rather than agonizing over how many projects I am getting finished.

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Beautiful bag by Nanette Wake, Yarn by Mineville Wool Project, more Addi needles.

I’m loving the yarn I’m using for all of my new on the go sock projects. And I keep reminding myself that a knitter should always have socks on the go. You never know when you will need to keep yourself busy in a waiting room, on a plane or in a car. So why not have a few projects in progress? The world won’t end if you don’t finish them in a “timely manner.”

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One of my finished pairs of socks in Biscotte Yarns.

In summation my fiber sisters and brethren, don’t sweat the small socks. And for that matter don’t sweat any of the things that are meant to bring you joy. I know that can be difficult when you’re having a down day, I’ve had plenty of my own. But we knit because we are looking for the good, we are finding our peace. And yes, we do happen to end up having some magically magnificent socks!

See you at the next coven meeting!

 

It’s My Yarniversary!

Hello Fiber Sisters and Brethren!

Amidst all of my focus on my anxiety lately, I nearly forgot that this month, August, is the one year mark of my yarn dyeing and selling adventure! Happy Yarniversary to me!

It feels like I’ve been dyeing yarn for far longer than a year, and maybe life stress has contributed to that. But when I realized that it was my one year Yarnivesary, I felt like I should be a bit proud of myself. One year is a short time in the grand scheme of life, and I’ve come a long way since my first color creations. I’ve developed my technique, I’ve adapted my own style, and most importantly, I’ve kept at it.

The photos above are a year apart in dyeing and photographing, but it’s the same colorway. Others may not be able to see a difference, but I can! I have adjusted my technique so that I can more easily repeat the colorway, my dyeing is more even, and I have improved my speckling! I am glad for Instagram so that I can go back and see my progress and feel good that I have kept working at my craft.

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Some of the very first skeins I attempted dyeing.

After a year of dyeing and selling yarn, some things haven’t changed. I still do a happy dance every time someone makes a purchase from my shop. I still, immediately after the happy dance, start to have a mini panic attack thinking “What if they hate it?” and worrying about it getting lost in the mail. I still want very much to make this yarny adventure my full time gig and I’m working towards being able to do that. Sometimes I’m hopeful and excited, and sometimes it feels like an impossible dream. But I still keep trying.

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House on the Hill – one of my newest colorways with an inspiration photo included.

Life has gotten messy since I started dyeing yarn, and not just because I spill dye on the counter. But for the month of my Yarniversary, I’m going to feel good about my progress in the crafting life. I haven’t figured out how to clean up all of life’s messes. But I have figured out that when you spill dye on the counter, a layer of Dawn dish soap for 15 minutes and a dry paper towel to wipe it up will take that dye right off the counter. And if you learn nothing else from me today, I hope at least that much is useful!

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Krypt Kicker – another original colorway that I have revamped for year 2.

To celebrate my Yarniversary, I wanted to share some love with all of you wonderful fiber friends who support my shop, my blog and my crafty pipe dream. Go to my shop Sisteresque Fibers on Etsy, and use the coupon code ONEYEAR to get 15% off of everything thru the end of August! All of your support and kind words mean so very much to me! This is my art and its a beautiful thing when someone other than me finds it beautiful, too!

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me, whether you made a purchase, made a comment, or just read my little yarn diary. Thank you!

Until next time my magical friends!

There Are No Knitting Police

Welcome Sisters and Brethren! I am sitting down to my knitting circle again today with more that just knitting, won’t you join me?

I wrote last time about knitting anxiety and the pressures that I put on myself (as all of us do) to be as productive as possible. I’m still not sure what drives me to make lists of the crafty things I “need to get done,” and I have yet to master reminding myself that it is for joy that I engage in crafts. However, I did recently give myself some breathing room to work on some things that were not part of my silly list. Because, as a number of knitters have said to me before, “There are no knitting police.”

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I do love a good hand embroidered tea towel!

Bearing in mind that no knitting authorities are coming to check up on my progress, critique my technique or point out my mistakes, I got out an entirely different craft: embroidery. I do love embroidery, cross stitch and needle point crafts. When I sit with my cup of coffee and serenely stitch a cute little adornment onto a tea towel, a magical thing happens: I become my Grandma.

My inner child drifts out of my body and watches me. She remembers the smell of early morning coffee at Grandma’s farmhouse; the crisp cool of the large, drafty living room; the table full of thread, needles, beads and all manner of crafting tools; the enormous picture window looking out onto a frosty field where Grandpa’s horses are grazing. In these private, sentimental moments I remember the joy that I am meant to feel when I engage in making. I reconnect to a simpler, happier me.

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I didn’t have Grandma’s ribbon candies, so mints will have to do. 

There are no knitting police, we only police ourselves. Making lists of To Do’s in my crafts is not a bad thing necessarily, but we all need to find that balance between practicality and bliss. My stash of supplies and tools may seem a mountain and my list of planned projects endless, but the end results (useful tho they are) cannot be the only reason I push myself to craft. I need to enjoy the process. Allow myself to recall how what I make today is not just useful tomorrow, but brings me closer to yesterdays that I cherish and should not overlook.

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Dog Mom’s coffee never quite smells like Grandma’s coffee somehow. 

So yes, I have lost track of where I “should be” in my list of things to craft and make. Yes, I am hopping between crafts. Yes, I have cast on socks before I have finished other projects – and, yes, with yarn I had intended to use for other things! But there are no knitting police, and today I am going to allow myself to be OFF DUTY. My knitting and crafting is a mental vacation. A brief stay in a place of peace, with a few sentimental day dreams of memories past. I will not arrest myself for low productivity and I will not sit in a prison of my own making. Not today, anyway.

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The dogs pulled this yarn off the shelf, so I cast it on. 

I am wishing you all a happy, chaotic and blissful Sunday! I love and appreciate all of you who are joining my little crafty coven!

Until next time, Sisters and Brethren, I am with you.

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