Friday, March 18, 2011

Yarn in Bloom

Hello Friends!

I'm heading up to Madison today to sell yarn at the Madison Knitter's Guild annual Knit-In.

I love participating in this event; the people are awesome, they get great speakers (this year it's the Jess, Casey, Mary-Heather and Sarah from Ravelry) there is delicious food in Madison, and it's close enough from Chicago that a lot of my friends go.

Oh, and did I mention that I will be spending an entire night and day knitting and talking about knitting, with grown-ups?!


100% homework-free, playdough-free, easybakeoven-free. Ok, so I do love that easybakeoven.
No footballs, basketballs, or tennis balls whizzing by my head threatening to knock over lamps. Big shout-out to Dave and Grandma who will hold down the fort while I'm gone and let us pray all the lamps survive the weekend.
Since I've been spending weeks dyeing and skeining yarn and making up some Magic Balls, I thought I'd give you a little behind the scenes look into the making of the Magic Ball:

This is a new color combination that was inspired by a pile of yarn lying around (funny how that happens....a lot.) I loved the pinks, purples, and green with a little grey. It seems very fresh.

So the first step is pretty fun: collecting all the colors that I want to use, and putting them in a beautiful order. I aim for balance of color and value (light/dark). Of course, a person could re-arrange them while knitting (I've done that myself) and I wouldn't be offended! It's all good.

The next step gets technical and not quite so fun. The weighing. Everything gets wound from skeins to cakes, so I can pull out 10 gram sections. They are supposed to be a little "random" for that "scrappy" look, so I change it up anywhere from 8 grams to 12 grams. But I don't go more or less than that, because I want the entire ball--15 sections--to weigh approximately 150 grams.

Then all those little 10 gram (approximately) sections get lined up like little soldiers for the sweat-shop assembly-line winding session. Do you get the picture that this is not my favorite part? My mom helps with all the winding. Hello Mom's hand in the photo above! It is a big job! You would think--looking at that table that you could whiz through that pretty quickly. But if you have ever tried to wind a zillion little balls at one time, you would actually takes hours. I can usually only do 10 balls in a day. And rarely do I do so many (above) at once, but this was a new color and I have a yarn show plus an etsy update so I thought I'd do a big batch.

Then the un-fun part is over and it gets exciting again--popping the cake off the winder! Getting to see what it looks like for the first time! Pretty!

I'm naming this one "Monet's Garden". I'll have some in my booth at Madison and I'll have some in the etsy shop update next Tuesday (10am Central). There also might be one jumping into my personal stash. I think a little shawlette is calling my name!

I'll be back after the weekend with some Magic Ball projects I've done recently, and.....if I can get a little girl to clean up her room there just might be a quilt photo shoot.