Friday, February 21, 2020

Mystery Revealed

Well, it's been a few weeks since the release of the final "clue" for the A Few of my Favorite Things mystery knit along, so I think it's pretty safe for me to post finished photos.

Yarn choices from left to right: Gaea Creations Tori Sock in Apple Pickin', Beauregard Blue, and Embers; Malabrigo Rios in Arco Iris, English Rose, and Apple Green; Black Trillium Fibre Studio Lilt Sock in Super Happy Fun paired with Sweet Tea Yarns Sweet Sock in Dad's Worn Denim and Dreamsicle.

Gaea Creations Tori Sock:

 Malabrigo Rios:

Black Trillium and Sweet Tea Yarns:

I've also knit two using leftovers--one in various fingering weight yarns and one in Cascade 220. Yes, that means I've knit this pattern FIVE times. The combination of short rows and mosaic really is that fun.

Clue #1 is a smallish triangle of modified garter stitch.

Clue #2 is the first mosaic section.

Clue #3 is the big short-row section. This bit is so fun that I'm always sad when it's over.
Clue #4 is more mosaic, but slightly different than the first.
And finally, Clue #5 is the fun short-row edging.

Wondering about good color combinations? Here are some fun Gaea Creations combos.

Option #1: This is the combo I used. Tori Sock in Apple Pickin', Beauregard Blue, and Embers.

Option #2: Lilac-Breasted Roller, Beauregard Blue, and Nebula.
Option #3: Dance Party, Beauregard Blue, and Nebula.
Option #4: Jupiter, Beauregard Blue, and Nebula.

Okay, so this definitely reveals that there's a big gap in my color collection: I need more solids and semi-solids. 😁 But even with the limited range, these could make some gorgeous shawls! And if you have some other color ideas, I'd love to work with you to create your very own color combo!

In other news: Keep an eye out this weekend or early next week for a shop update! Here's a tiny look at what's coming:

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Biggest Announcement of 2020

This announcement has been several months in the works, but I'm so pleased and proud to inform you that I've opened an Etsy shop selling my very own hand dyed yarns!

As many of you know, I've enjoyed dyeing yarn with Kool Aid and other food dyes for many years. This fall, I expanded by skills to include commercial acid dyes and absolutely fell in love with the process. Color is my jam, and being able to create exactly the yarn I want in exactly the colors I imagine is more fun than I can tell you.

I'm starting off small with only three yarn bases and twelve colorways. Dye batches are small--three skeins per pan is pretty manageable. I know some dyers who say they do four per pan, but I'm always happy with the results if I have no more than three. So, you'll see small quantities for now. I'm happy to accept special orders for larger quantities, though! Just email me!

How often the shop is updated with new stock or new colorways or new bases depends on you! Orders--including special orders and requests--drive development!

The Bases

These are all deliciously soft merino blends that take the dye beautifully! I tested many different yarns before deciding to carry this bases. I hope you love them as much as I do! 

Tori Sock (yes, named after my daughter.)
75% Superwash Merino / 25% Nylon
463 yds / 100 g

Elaine Sock (named after my grandma. Y'all know how much I love sparkle? I got that from her.)
75% Superwash Merino / 20% Nylon / 5% Stellina
438 yds / 100 g

Christine Worsted (named after my mom who, by example, taught me how to be a maker.)
100% Superwash Merino
218 yds / 100 g

The Colors

Remember: These yarns are dyed by hand in small batches, and even skeins dyed in the same pot will differ a bit. If you're using more than one skein in a project, I recommend alternating skeins every few rows to balance out any color differences.

Now for what you've been waiting for! The colors!!

Apple Pickin' is a pale green background speckles of red, orange, and yellow.

Beauregard Blue is a wonderful semi-sold with shades from bright blue to deep navy. And yes, the name comes from THAT Beauregard. This color on the Elaine base is absolutely stunning!

Dance Party is just fun. It's an aqua base with speckles of violet, magenta, and yellow. To me, it looks like a really fun party.

Embers. Need I say more? With a range from brilliant yellow to orange to fiery red and even some bright pink, this knits up almost like a semi-solid.

Funfetti Cupcake is inspired by the colors I always associated with my Grandma Martin. She LOVED pink and purple. I tossed a little bit of mint green in there for good measure. Also: she was a great cook and always had sweets on hand for the grandkids.

Hydrangea was actually inspired  by a specific photo of a hydrangea (of course). I love the way the leaf green and bright blue fade into the white that separates them. 

Jupiter is my daughter's signature colorway. She sent me the photo below, enhanced with colors we don't usually see in Jupiter pics. I think it's lovely! And it also looks particularly amazing on the Elaine base.

Lilac-Breasted Roller is a bird that's native to sub-Saharan Africa. I've had this photo on my "Colors" board on Pinterest for years, without ever knowing what kind of bird it was.When I decided to make it a colorway, I figured I needed to find out! Of course, this photo has been enhanced at some point to make him look a bit more neon than the birds really are, but I love it!

 Macaw is inspired by macaw feathers, of course!

Mango is inspired by my mom. I honestly don't know how she feels about mangos. My son picked the name. BUT, when I asked my sisters what colors they thought of for Mom, they said, "Deep red, orange, gold." I also realize that, if you're into that kind of thing, the colors match those used in a certain magical house. Also a certain local high school.

Nebula. I came up with this color just by playing around and experimenting with pink and purple color combinations. When my son saw it, he instantly said, "Nebula." I think he's right. On the Elaine base, the sparkles look like stars!

Pastel Pop is probably my favorite. As I was dyeing it, my husband said, "Bomb pop!" and I said, "No! It's pink and white and aqua, not red, white, and blue!" But, I could see where he was coming from. So we agreed on Pastel Pop as the name of the color.

Don't see a color that does it for you? Contact me at amanda AT gaeacreations DOT com! I'd love to work with you to develop a color you love.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Sneak Peek

If you subscribe to my email newsletter, you probably saw this sneak peek already. If you don't subscribe to my email newsletter, you can do so here.

I have some fun things planned for 2020. My previous post was about one of them: The MKAL! I'm really excited about that, and MANY thanks to those of you who have already purchased the pattern and contacted me to sign up for the class!

Another big thing coming in 2020 is....well, I can't tell you exactly what it is because I'm still working out the details. But if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you can probably put two and two together and figure it out....but for now, know this: I'm putting a lot of work into the "behind the scenes" aspect of this and will have a big fun announcement when everything is ready to go.

In the meantime, enjoy this eye candy.

Friday, November 29, 2019

2020 Mystery Knit Along

In August, I started brainstorming fun ways to kick of 2020. I came up with a few ideas, but I'm just going to talk about one for now: 2020 Mystery Knit Along (MKAL)!

What is an MKAL?

An MKAL is a really fun way to knit a project without having any idea what it's going to look like before you start. The designer (sometimes!) tells you what the project will be and some other details--like yarn requirements, needle size, gauge--and then releases the pattern instructions a little at a time. That way, you can't read ahead, and you have no idea what's coming next! It's very fun! Is it sometimes very disappointing? Yes! Honestly, I've participated in many MKALs and only once was I disappointed with the results. But the nice thing about yarn is that you can rip it out and use it again for something else, which is exactly what I did. Typically, though, you can look at the designer's other work and have a pretty good idea if their designs are a good fit for your taste or not. 

What type of MKAL will this be? 

If you know me at all, you know I love shawls. I kind of have a shawl obsession. So, this will be a shawl. I will tell you these things: 
  • It is a triangle that is mostly symmetrical in shape.
  • It is not symmetrically knit. 
  • It features three stitch patterns:
    • Modified Garter Stitch
    • Mosaic Color Work
    • Short Rows
  • It is written for fingering or worsted weight yarn. Both weights will result in similarly sized shawls. You may use a different weight if you like, but it will affect both yarn requirements and finished size.

What else can you tell me?

Well, I'm calling this "A Few of My Favorite Things" shawl because the stitch patterns are a few of my favorites. I love the way modified garter stitch stripes look. I enjoy knitting mosaic color work. And, this short row method is so fun! 

The shawl is designed for three colors that contrast well. In my samples (which you cannot see because it would give away the mystery!), I used a variegated or speckled yarn for Color A and solids or semi-solids for Colors B and C. If you opt for this, I recommend that B and C coordinate with but do not exactly match any of the colors in A.  That said, all three colors can be semi-solids or solids. You can use as few as two colors, or you can use more. 

For the fingering weight sample, I used about 400 yards each of Color A (center): Black Trillium Fibre Studio Lilt Sock in Super Happy Fun; Color B (right): Sweet Tea Yarns Sweet Sock in Dad’s Worn Denim; Color C (left): Sweet Tea Yarns Sweet Sock in Dreamsicle.


For the worsted weight sample, I used about 315 yards each of Malabrigo Rios in Color A(center): Arco Iris; Color B (right): English Rose; and Color C (left): Apple Green.

OK, I'm intrigued. How do I sign up?

Easy! You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry! When you purchase the pattern, an information document will be added to your Ravelry Library (just like any purchased pattern). That information sheet includes materials requirements and the first bit of the instructions--the first small section of the shawl that also makes an excellent gauge swatch. Then, additional instructions will be added to that document on January 7, 14, 21, and 28.  

If you'd like a bit more social interaction and instruction with your MKAL, I'm also teaching it as a class! You still need to purchase the pattern on Ravelry, but I'll walk you through the entire process of knitting the shawl in person. Class will meet at Northend Community Center on Tuesdays, January 7, 14, 21, and 28, 7-9pm. Cost for the class is $80. To sign up, just shoot me an email at gaeacreations1 AT gmail DOT com.