After dreaming of this sweater for months it is finally done and on it's happy owner! I mentioned before that this project was envisioned awhile ago but I just wasn't sure how to execute my plan. I wanted to make C a sweater that would remind her (and myself) of a koala bear. 'Koala bear' has been C's nickname for as long as I can remember. I don't even know how it started but it just fits her. She is my little shy, sensitive one that likes to cling on to me whenever she can. I wanted to knit her something that would truly make her feel special. Not just another knit from Mama (because let's face it, I am always knitting for my children) but one with meaning that she will truly treasure, but still be able to wear every day for climbing trees and things of that nature. I think I pulled it off.
I didn't have a pattern in mind but I knew it had to be a grey sweater. I scoured Ravelry from some free goodies and then found Lila(c)loud. The pattern is newborn size but I modified it to fit C. I have detailed notes on my ravelry page. The one thing I would do differently if I was to knit this again is to make the button holes closer together, but otherwise it's C and Mama approved. I used all three of my skeins of yarn, biting my nails to the finish fearful I would run out.
Talk about cutting it close- this is all the yarn I had left! I ended up having more than enough, though. It fit perfectly before I blocked it, now it's a bit too big - but that's just room for growth! The reclaimed yellow cedar buttons from Wooly Moss Roots added the perfect finishing touch. I love the contrast between the buttons and the yarn. *swoon*
This sweater could not have happened without the help of Jackie at Luna Grey Fiber Arts. I knew I needed the perfect shade of grey to pull it off. I wanted it to be a semi-solid yarn to add more dimension to the knit. But seeing how I usually knit in colorful colorways for my children - grey was a bit out of my comfort zone. Jackie understood exactly what I was looking for and custom made just what I wanted.The colorway is called Pewter. Her work truly exceeded my expectations. To top it off the yarn is next to skin soft which is extremely important when it comes to C's sensitive skin. She describes most wool as 'itchy'.
Finishing this sweater seemed like the perfect time to introduce the talented and wonderful Jackie from Luna Grey Fiber Arts. I could go on and on and still not say enough good things about her, but I thought I would let her do the talking...
My shop name was inspired by my retired racing greyhound, Luna. She is a quiet, gentle, and ever present companion in my dye studio.
How did Luna Grey Begin?
I have been knitting for about 6 years and spinning yarn for 2 years. When I first started knitting, I did not pay much attention to the yarn I was using. My yarn budget was tight and I simply did not have the background knowledge to know which fibers to choose. I knit with whatever was available at my local, big box craft store. Once I found my local yarn shop, Tangle, it was all over. I was smitten with all of the gorgeous, natural fiber yarn in amazing colors and textures. I also began attending fiber festivals in my area. Here, I found awe inspiring collections of hand dyed yarn and fiber. The summer of 2010, I purchased some dye from a merchant while attending the Estes Park Wool Market in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. I began playing around with dyeing yarn and roving. My hand dyed yarn attracted enough attention at my little knitting group that I started dyeing yarn for friends. They told their friends and it kind of took off from there.
Which do you enjoy more? The process of dyeing yarn? Or knitting yarn?
They are quite different so it's a little hard to compare. I love that with dyeing yarn, each skein is unique. I come up with color combinations in my head that I think will look a certain way once I put them onto yarn. However, I am often surprised to create something completely unexpected. When colors combine and overlap they do crazy things sometimes. I have learned that there are certain colors that always work well together and look amazing (like blue and green). While other color combinations are much harder to get right (like red and turquoise or yellow and gray). I can't imagine a time where dyeing yarn will feel like "work". It's still so fun and a great creative outlet. Knitting is really relaxing for me. It's how I unwind at the end of a busy day. I love that I can knit side by side with my kids while they are painting or reading. I also love being able to knit gifts for friends and family. There is something so comforting knowing that with each stitch you are thinking of your loved one. So much time and love and thought goes into every hand knit gift.
We raise chickens and bees on our 1/2 acre lot in the city.
Your colorways are breathtaking and you seem to be able to read minds when it comes to custom orders (you did with mine!). It all seems so intuitive for you. How do you come up with them?
Thanks, so much. That's really sweet of you to say. I am endlessly inspired by color combinations I see in the natural world. Here in the high desert of Western Colorado, we are surrounded with such beauty. We have the massive red rock cliffs of the Bookcliff Mountains to the north. The deep greens and grays of the Grand Mesa to our East. And, the stunning reds and golds of Colorado National Monument just to our South. I also fondly remember the colors of my home prior to living in Colorado. We lived in Key West, Florida for ten years. The Florida Keys are some of the most beautiful places on earth and are often in mind when I am thinking up blue or green colorways. I love doing custom orders. I know that sometimes you have a certain color in mind and you just can't seem to find it anywhere. With custom orders, you are able to basically design your own yarn. It puts some of the creative process in the hands of the customer and allows them to be involved in the process of coming up with the perfect color. What could be better than that?
My kids (boys ages 7 and 4) love to help me name my yarn colorways. They are so creative and come up with most of the names I use in my shop.
Thank you Jackie for taking the time to let us get to know you!
Jackie is giving one of you lucky readers the chance to see why I am just so head over heels in love with this yarn for yourself. She is offering a skein of yarn in her Tie Dye 2 colorway along with a knitting project bag.
Hand Dyed Superwash Wool Sock Yarn. 100g, 380 yds, 75% Superwash Wool, 25% Nylon, Fingering weight. Perfect for socks, baby items, gloves, etc. Machine washes/dries beautifully and is next to the skin soft.
Knitting Project Bag - Crochet Project Bag - 100% Unbleached Cotton Muslin Drawstring Bag The perfect size bag for small knitting or crochet projects - 8" x 12" 100% Unbleached Cotton Muslin Drawstring Top Luna Grey Fiber Arts logo silkscreened in dark gray on one side of bag.
Jackie also has a sale currently running in her shop. Use coupon code "Halloween20" for 20% off your entire order when one or more skeins are orange (or partially orange) . This offer is good through October 31st, 2012
The winner is:
thank you for introducing luna grey fiber arts and jackie, i think she did a stunning job on your wool. thank you for the opportunity to win some of her lovely yarn and project bag (completly smitten with those). crossing fingers here!
Congrats Lori! Please e-mail me at: farmergopi(at)yahoo(dot)com
Now back to our regularly scheduled Keep Calm Craft On post!
If you would like to link up and share your current works in progress (or finished works) please leave your link below. It can now be either to your specific blog post or Flickr photo. There are no rules, only that your link is current and something about a craft project (of any kind) you are working on. Don't forget that there is now a KCCO Flickr group for you to share your crafting photos at anytime.
Please remember to link back here so that others who may want to join KCCO can find us.
It's as simple as that. Remember your post can be from any day of the week, it doesn't have to be today. We all love feedback so if you have a moment please leave a comment on some of the KCCO posts you may visit. I know from my own experience just how much your comments really motivate me! Now please share and inspire us all!