Friday, December 30, 2011

A Look Back and a Look Ahead to the New Year!

First off, happy new year everyone!!!!!!! It's New Year's eve and I hope you all have a fun and SAFE time celebrating the start of 2012. We have a pretty quiet night on tap, but I think after our trip, we're happy for it.

I wanted to write a year end post to thank you all of you for being so awesome. You've not only supported the blog through the past year and a half, you have encouraged me not only to improve (and take up) knitting, but you've also been a huge part of Candy Skein. Without all of you, I would have never dreamed that I could have opened up my own hand dyed yarn shop and been successful. You've let me live my dream, and I thank you for that.

As you can imagine, it's been a crazy year for me. A year ago, almost to the day, my husband and I were sitting in the Trader Vic's restaurant in San Francisco trying to think of a cleaver name for my company. That's when and where Candy Skein was born. Since then, he's done all of the artwork for me, I built the website, dyed a LOT of yarn (I was trying to figure out how much I've dyed, but that's pretty hard. Let's just say 100s of skeins) and opened my virtual doors to you. I've done two shows/fairs and will be doing at least 2-3 more next year. Candy Skein is growing each month, as all of you spread the word loud and wide. I can never thank you all enough for that. I have great plans for Candy Skein in the next year, and I hope that you will join the wild ride with me.

A year ago this month, I learned how to knit, thanks to all of you. You were amazing sending me videos and tips, as well as projects for me to try. Not only did I learn to knit, I love it way more than I could ever imagine. Sadly, though I still love crochet, I can't remember the last time I picked up a hook to do something other than catch a falling stitch. Knitting has become a part of me and my life, and because of it, I've met amazing people. I went out seeking a knitting group in my local area and found a group of amazing ladies that I thank my lucky stars for each day. They've not only become close friends, but I think of them as part of my family. Each Monday night, we sit around a table for three hours and laugh while (kind of) knitting. I never seem to get a ton done (this past week, I knit a total of 1 row), but I wouldn't give up that time to anything else. They've taught me so much about knitting, yarn and even life and I can't repay them enough.

I've come so far in my fiber arts endeavor in 2011 it's remarkable. I completed 25 projects this year, and have another few that will be finished in the next few weeks of 2012. I bought and used a LOT of yarn (though, not as much as I'd have liked) and survived a yarn diet. I have so many projects dancing in my head for 2012, I can't even believe it. I have a few 2012 knitting resolutions I'd love to share with all of you! I hope you make me stick to them, and it will be fun to look back in a year from now to see how many I've accomplished.

2012 Knitting Resolutions

1. To use at least 40-50 skeins of yarn from my stash. I know that will be hard, but I think I can at least come close!

2. To finish my first sweater, and make at least one more in the next year.

3. To learn how to make cables and how to do stranded/colorwork knitting.

4. To finish all the socks in my knitting group's Harry Potter sock challenge (one pair each month of the Harry Potter sock patterns on Rav by Erica Lueder.

5. To keep track of my stash better on Ravelry so I have some kind of idea of all that I own.

6. To sell at least three times as much Candy Skein yarn as I did in 2011.

7. To be better about blogging. I know I'm pretty good about WIPW and FO Friday, but I hope to have more regular posts, much like this one. I want to start doing knitting book and podcast reviews and more! Make sure you really keep me to this one.

8. Finish at least 10 more projects than I did in '11.

That's about it really. Oh, I know I haven't posted in awhile about A Year of Projects, but I am still following it! So far I've finished 7 of my 21 projects listed. A few I've changed to other projects/yarn as I've worked. I know that's not a ton, but I'm going to keep knocking them off. I have about half the year to do it in. Wish me luck!

Again, I hope you have a very happy and SAFE new year. Let's all toast to our knitting and crochet!!!!

Love, Tami

FO Friday 67

Happy Friday! It's almost the new year, and I can't believe it. Doesn't that just blow your mind? I feel like 2011 just started. Anyway, I'll get into the new year in tomorrow's post. That's right, I'll be posting on Saturday, looking back at my knitting/crochet in 2011 and what is to come for myself and Candy Skein. It should be a fun post. :)

Anyway, this is about finished projects, not future ones! I also promised I'd tell you a little about our trip. We had a great time, as mentioned on Wednesday, despite getting a little homesick toward the end of it. We were gone a total of 14 days on a Hawaiian cruise. We got to go to the Big Island (Hilo), Oahu (Honolulu), Kauai (Nawiliwili) and Maui (Lahaina). We did 3 excursions while we were in the ports, and I was really proud of myself because two of them concurred two of my fears. We went in a submarine in Honolulu (I'm afraid of small/tight spaces) and we went zip lining on Kauai (I'm afraid of heights). The good thing was, the submarine was first, so I didn't have much time to REALLY worry about the zip line, which is the one that I was most fearful of. I have to say, both were fun, but I LOVED zip lining. It was incredible!

Here are a few pictures we took throughout our trip!

Rainbow Falls in Hilo, Hawaii

Diamond Head and the Waikiki skyline from the tender to the submarine

These last two pics are from where we zip lined. The highest zip line was 250 ft above the ground. Crazy, huh?

We loved all the stops, but Kauai was definitely our favorite. It had a different charm than the rest, IMO, and as I mentioned, we LOVED zip lining. It was magical.

Enough of my trip, as I'm sure you're pretty bored now! On to knitting!!!

While I was on the boat, I had to do some serious knitting. One of the things I had to start AND finish was socks for my sister for Christmas. I knew I was going to see her on Christmas eve, as she was the one taking care of my dog, Milo, so there was no way of getting out of it. I brought a skein of Yummy fingering in Brain Freeze and once we were in Honolulu (and I finished the first of the socks I shared on Wednesday), I cast on. The next two days we were in ports (Kauai and Maui), so I didn't get too much knitting done on them. I was starting to panic, and knew that if I wanted to work on anything else during the trip, I had to crank them out FAST, and that I did. I've never knit so fast! Of course, it helped that they were an easy pattern, just a simple rib pattern that ran down the instep. I finished them 3 days and actually really liked how they turned out! Luckily, I had time to rest from knitting, and then make a hexipuff and work on my Rhombi sweater a little.


Yarn: Candy Skein Yummy fingering in Brain Freeze
Needles: US Size 2
Pattern: Basic Ribbed Socks

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the socks on anyone's feet (I actually almost forgot to take pictures, and had to unwrap them right before I left to give them to my sister!), so they look a little boring. You get the idea though!

Share your FOs!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Candy Skein- January Sock of the Month Club Colorway!

I know I say this every month it seems like, but I can't believe it's that time again to reveal the new Sock Club colorway of the month! Having two weeks taken from life with my vacation has really screwed me up time wise!

It's cold outside (well, in most places!), and what better way to warm your feet than with a new skein of soft sock yarn! When I think of January, I think of beautiful snow on the ground, with gorgeous blue skies on a sunny cold day. The fresh air that flows through your lungs, the air so frigid it almost seems like it has a minty feeling on your tongue. That's why I picked Arctic Mint to be the official January 2012 Candy Skein Sock Club colorway!

This gorgeous light and dark blue skein will look amazing made into just about anything, from shawls to socks to a matching hat and mitten set!

Colorway: Arctic Mint
Series: Yummy- Candy Skein Monthly Sock Club January 2012
Fiber content: 75% Falkland British Merino Wool, 25% Nylon Superwash
Weight: Fingering Weight
Yardage: 465 yards
Unit Weight: 100 grams
Care: Machine wash/Tumble dry low

Price: $16

Limited time only!
Available January 1 -January 31

You may purchase your skein today, but they will not ship until next week.


Work-in-Progress Wednesday 73

Hi all! It's good to be back. :) I'll be doing a longer post this week in the coming days to tell you all about my trip, as well as close off the year with a look at 2011 and list my knitting resolutions for the coming year. I wanted to thank all of you for sending me warm wishes in the comments while I was away. I was able to quickly glance at some of them when we were in port, and read them when I returned. It was so nice to come back to it all.

I don't have much to show this WIPW. I'm almost finished with my holiday knitting. I know, I should be done, but I'm not. While on my trip, I knit three socks (that's not three pair, but three socks), did a hexipuff (except I didn't bind off because I didn't have stuffing) and a few rows of my sweater. Not to shabby for two weeks! Anyhow, this is what I'm working on:

I think you saw the very start of the first of these socks. I'm just about to finish the heel flap of the second one, and hope to have them finished in the next few days. I'm doing the hedgerow sock pattern from Ravelry and using Candy Skein Yummy fingering in Robin Egg Malt Ball. Fun pattern! I wasn't impressed with the way it looked at first, but love the way it looks on and finished. The interesting part of this pattern, IMO, is that the leg and in step pattern carries into the heel flap. These are the first socks that I've done that with. I'm sorry it's such a crappy picture, but before I left for my trip, I dismantled my photo setup so that the cats didn't hurt themselves/destroy anything while we were gone, and I'm using my iPhone for the picture because I haven't downloaded/plugged in the cameras from the trip yet. I wasn't sure my computer wanted to handle all of that right before bed! LOL

The pair I finished while on the trip will be shared on Friday, since I started and finished them while I was gone.

That's it for me today! I hope everyone had an amazing holiday!!!!! Be sure to come back this week, as I'll be sharing the January Candy Skein Sock Colorway of the Month on Thursday, Friday my socks that I knit on the cruise and hopefully Saturday I will be posting my New Year's post!

For those that are new to WIPW, to share your WIPW post with us, just fill out the Mr. Linky below. Despite it saying you must comment, don't feel as if you do. That is something Mr. Linky automatically adds. I just ask you to check out a few of the links posted to see what everyone else is working on and comment there if you can. Everyone loves feedback and a little encouragement on their projects! Also, please link back to this post in your post to get the word out! The more the merrier!

EDIT: As you can see, I'm out of practice and forgot to add the Mr. Linky as I wrote this at 10:30 last night! SO SORRY!

Friday, December 23, 2011

FO Friday 66

Happy Friday and Happy Christmas Eve Eve! I get back tomorrow, so let's hope I would have the second pair of socks to show you finished!!! ::crossing fingers:: This is my 5th post I've scheduled in the same day, so if there are any errors in the previous posts, I apologize! It's hard to keep them all straight! I just hope they all post on the correct day! I'm not sure if the Mister Linkys will be working properly, as I had to make them all the same day. Sorry if they aren't!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday! I'll see you next week for some fun 2011 stats with the blog and my FOs! I'll have a lot to share. :)

Share your FOs!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 71

Hi all! Only a few more days until Christmas. Hopefully I'm on the last sock! LOL, It's kind of weird writing these two weeks in advance, but there you go! I hope all of you are resting/relaxing with fun knitting, and aren't too stressed for the holidays. Please enjoy it and have a great time with family. :)

Okay, that's it for me. I'm probably headed to some kind of happy hour while you read this. ;) For those of you who aren't regular visitors, I'm on vacation and will be back to normal scheduling next week! Sorry for the inconvenience.

For those that are new to WIPW, to share your WIPW post with us, just fill out the Mr. Linky below. Despite it saying you must comment, don't feel as if you do. That is something Mr. Linky automatically adds. I just ask you to check out a few of the links posted to see what everyone else is working on and comment there if you can. Everyone loves feedback and a little encouragement on their projects! Also, please link back to this post in your post to get the word out! The more the merrier!

Friday, December 16, 2011

FO Friday 65

Happy Friday! Time is flying I bet, as Christmas is nearing. I hope you're being safe out there with all of the insane holiday madness! It can get pretty crazy out there, especially if you live somewhere with snow on the ground. Stay safe!

I hope that I have a FO that I just can't share, due to not being able to upload it! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Share your FOs!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 71

Happy Wednesday! I hope all of your holiday knitting is going great, or even better I hope you're finished with it all! Since I'm writing this way in advance, I hope I'm plugging along on socks right now, as that's the last of my Christmas knitting this year.

Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well, and I can't wait to get back and share all of our trip adventures. Have a great rest of the week!

For those that are new to WIPW, to share your WIPW post with us, just fill out the Mr. Linky below. Despite it saying you must comment, don't feel as if you do. That is something Mr. Linky automatically adds. I just ask you to check out a few of the links posted to see what everyone else is working on and comment there if you can. Everyone loves feedback and a little encouragement on their projects! Also, please link back to this post in your post to get the word out! The more the merrier!

Friday, December 9, 2011

FO Friday 64

Happy Friday everyone! I'm going to keep this short, as I have so much to do between now and Saturday afternoon. I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I will be scheduling WIPW and FO Friday posts while I'll be gone, but won't be able to comment on your posts, or share any of my pictures. Please still post your links for all to read/view!

I finished my second monster in a week, which is great because it was the one project I didn't want to take on the ship with me, due to the stuffing, eyes, assembly. I made Kat the Kitchen Monster by Rebecca Danger for my 2 1/2 year old niece, Emma. She actually picked that one as her favorite from the book back when I first bought it, and her favorite color is baby blue, so I hope she loves her.

As I mentioned, I was afraid of the hips being too wide, but it turned out okay I think. I ended up kitchner stitching her head, instead of 3 needle bind off, because I have no clue how you could turn her inside out, as it is knit in one closed piece, but that's what the pattern called for. I figured kitchner basically does the same thing, so no biggie. Her head just isn't as round as it could be. I'm not crazy with the placement of her mouth in the end, I wish I had put it a little lower and I'm not sold on the ribbon, but it's what I have around. For now, I'll call her done, as she has to be ready to be loved on Christmas Eve.

Unfortunately I finished her last night, so I wasn't able to get a cute/fancy picture of her, so this one will have to do.

Share your FOs!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 70

Hi everyone. I hope you're having a great week. I'm not sure I've said something yet, but I will be on vacation from Dec 10 (this Saturday) to Dec 24th. In that time, I'll still be posting WIPW and FO Fridays, but they will be scheduled as of this week, with no updates, just the Mr Linky so everyone can participate. I also want to wish everyone a happy holidays, regardless of what you celebrate!

Also, a Candy Skein note, if you'd like to order a custom skein, please do so by the end of today, so that I can dye it and get it mailed before I leave. If you'd like yarn sent to you for the holidays, I'll be mailing out orders that are purchased until Friday afternoon. After that, all orders placed between Dec 10-24 will be mailed on December 26th. Sorry for the inconvenience!!

Okay, now that is done, let's check out how behind I am on my Christmas knitting! Let's just say, I'm glad I'll have a lot of time to just sit back and knit for the next two weeks!

Since I'll have a lot of time to knit on vacation (did I mention we're going on a cruise to Hawaii!? ALLOOOHHAAA), I hope to get it all finished by the time we get back. I have two more pairs of socks to make, and I hope to finish the monster I'm making right now this week.

That leads me to a pic of the monster! I'm making Kat the Kitchen Monster from Rebecca Danger for my younger niece. She's 2 1/2 and her favorite color is baby blue and this was her favorite monster from the book. Unfortunately, I messed up and increased too much in the hip/leg area, but decided to just go with it. It looks a little weird, but I hope it looks normal, or okay once I stuff it. We'll see. As I said, I hope to finish this for FO Friday, or at least before I leave. Again, I'm using Plymouth Superwash Merino DK.

I started on a new pair of socks. I'm using the Hedgerow sock pattern and Candy Skein Yummy fingering in Robin Egg Malt Ball. Now much to say with this so far, as I just started, and am focused on the monster!

That's it for me right now. See you all Friday!

Friday, December 2, 2011

FO Friday 63

Kind of off topic to start, but I just realized I posted the Candy Skein logo instead of the FO Friday logo last week! That's what I get for trying to cram in the post before the Thanksgiving holiday!

Anyway, to FO Friday. As you can see, no picture, BUT, I finished KNITTING the monster!! WOOT! I had a little issue tonight, as I was rushing to finish knitting the last piece...I snapped my needle in half. Now, with a small needle, that wouldn't be too odd, as last week I broke one of my US size 2 needles, but this was a size 6 needle! Oy. So, after I pouted for awhile, I realized I had another size 6 that I could swap out to finish. My Rhombi sweater is size 6 needles, so luckily, with the needles being interchangeable, I was able to snake it to finish.

Unfortunately, the little setback made it so I didn't have time to stuff and assemble. I promise to get it up today ASAP! So please come back and check out Bea!

Edit: HERE SHE IS!!!!

Share your FOs!