Community, Knitter's Talk, Knitting Needles, knitting needles, needles

Using Metal Needles

Hey Everyone!

It has been years since I used metal knitting needles, and quite honestly I hated using them back then.

A few months ago, when I was in a yarn store a few months ago the employee made a blanket statement that I took some issue with. She had something along the lines of “all experienced knitters prefer metal needles”. I didn’t say anything, but in my head I was like “excuse me? I have been knitting for almost 25 years, and I prefer wooden needles”

So I bought some metal DPN’s (double pointed needles) and after one sock, I can honestly say that after nearly 25 years of knitting, I can’t stand metal needles. When I finish the sock I am working on (in order to keep a consistent gauge), I will not be using metal needles any longer, and going back to my preferred wooden ones.

One of the things I hate about metal needles is that they are slippery. They are constantly slipping out of my knitting and don’t hold onto the knitting or slipping out of my hands, so the control isn’t there. I have also had larger projects stick, and have to yank on more on straight metal needles than on wooden needles. It also depends on the type of yarn you are using.

So no, not all experienced knitters like metal needles. Some of us prefer wood / bamboo needles.

What I like to tell people when I get asked which one is best, is that in my opinion plastic is useless and a pain in the butt, though the choice between metal and wood / bamboo is really a personal preference.

Community, Fall, goals, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Local Yarn Shop, Socks, Whats on My Needles, Whats on the Needles Wednesday, Wool, Work, Yarn, Yarn Store

Rhinebeck Is Goals

Hey Everyone!

This morning I finished up the first sock in the pair of “Road to Rhinebeck” socks I am currently working on.

This was a sock set with a main variegated hank and a smaller contrast / coordinating tonal hank for at least heels and toes. I have gone on the conservative side and not tried using the contracting tonal for a top rib in the cuff. I may kick myself later for that, if I end up with a decent amount left over. I just wanted to make sure I had enough for the heels and toes for two socks.

This sock, seriously evokes all things fall for me. Cozy Sweaters, Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes, turning leaves, fires in the fireplace, Gilmore Girls, Mel in Virgin River – the scene from the first episode or two when she is walking down the street in Virgin River talking to her sister on the phone in the cute sweater and boots.

Yes, one sock made me think of that. Well, it did have the help of visiting two local yarn shops yesterday. Those made me think of rainy Portland October days, with a cup of tea, hunkering down in a cute yarn shop working on a knitting project, or squishing the yarn. For me, Starlight Knitting Society was the coziest and most inviting of the two. It also really made me miss Happy Knits. Happy Knits was a yarn store here in Portland, on SE Hawthorne Blvd, that I fell in love with. They closed a few years ago (Pre Pandemic) they had a very light, airy, welcoming shop that wasn’t super crowded but had an amazing selection. In the back, they had a large table to sit around and work on projects as well as a couch that faced the natural gas stove. It was amazing in the colder wet months to go hang out, look at yarn, squish yarn, get inspiration, work on projects. I miss that space.

I have known about the Rhinebeck sheep and wool festival for several years. It is the big festival. I really want to go, and I want to try to make it happen next year. This year isn’t going to work for me, since I have other things I need to deal with first. Rhinebeck is one of things that I feel like I should experience at least once.

We don’t have many fiber festivals out here on the West Coast, and the ones we do have aren’t on the same caliber as the ones that take place back east.

All the smaller indie dyers I follow and typically buy from are from east of the Mississippi River, and the “better” fiber festivals are part of the circuit that most of these dyers go to.

Which is why I would love to go to Rhinebeck, especially, as well as some of the other fiber festivals back East and find more small, Indie, US based dyers who have amazing yarns.

Community, Inspiration, Knitting, Skills

Celebrating Five Years!

Hey Everyone!

I can’t believe that it has been five years since I started this blog! This blog has seen the ups and downs of my life as well as various phases of my life.

There have been times when I was working full time away from home, or even full time from home and didn’t have hardly any time to knit, to being in between jobs and having so much more time to knit.

I have learned so much about knitting and tried new patterns, tried out different yarns, made hats, scarves, wraps, shawls, fingerless gloves, and socks.

I had stocked up on sock yarn and worsted weight wool for shawls until I have it coming out my ears. I love knitting, I never want to stop knitting. I definitely want to work on my blog and devote more time to it.

I also want to say thanks to all who have been following me since the early days, it means a lot to me.

Here’s to another five years and to seeing what live brings my way.

Community, goals, Inspiration, KnitPicks, Knitting, Socks, Wool, Yarn

Knitting, interviews and Life

Hey Everyone!

In what free time I have had the past few days, which hasn’t seemed like all that much, I have made some progress on my second pair of KnitPicks Palette yarn in Victorian socks. I am currently working on the heel of the first sock. 

Today I had an interview with a local small yarn producer and Shop. I am not going to say which one, for privacy sake. I have to wait a few more days until I find out whether I move on on the hiring process. This job would totally be #jobgoals for someone like me.

That is one of the things I love about living here in Portland; There are so many locally owned yarn stores. 

blog, Community, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Skills, Socks, Sweaters, Thursday Tips, Whats on My Needles, Wool, Yarn

Final Measurements

Hey Everyone!

While I was working on the first sock of my regal pair of socks, I had remembered something I had learned while working at the studio. 

This tip is: let the garment/item you are knitting shrink up before taking final measurements. 

I.E. the sock I am working on needs to be 5.25 inches from the heel flap to where I will start the toe. Once it measures 5.25 inches while knitting, I let it sit until the next day, then measure it again (it is typically a bit shorter than it was while I was working on it the day before), and then I knit up the remainder I need, before knitting the toe. I make sure it is the right length once it has shrunk to final size (as it is looser while knitting), before moving on. 

While I was working at the studio, we had to check the pieces against the final dimensions and against the other pieces of the same size to ensure consistency. 

blog, Community, goals, Knitting, Knitting Essentials, Knitting Projects, Personal Projects, Socks, Wool, Yarn

Being Inspired to Knit Again

Hey Everyone! 

Now that I have a bit more time to dedicate to knitting, I have been able to enjoy it so much more. All the creativity I had been able to channel a couple years ago had to be shelved for a while. I can tell it is starting to return.

My desire to post more about why I am working on, what is inspiring me, and the whole 9 yards when it comes to knitting is coming back too. While a lot has changed in the past two and a half years, at the same time, not a lot has changed. 

I am definitely needing to get back into some sort of posting routine, but I will figure that out in time. 

For those of you who have been with me since the beginning, I appreciate your patience with me for the past two and a half years, as I have not had the time to devote to my blog like I once had been able to. 

Portland, used to not inspire me. Over the past couple of years, this area, the climate, culture and way of life has really begun to inspire like it had never done before. Having been able to explore local yarn stores, and being able to shop local has been amazing and inspiring. 

While Portland winters are not particularly snowy, cold or harsh as other places, it has a unique style of winter and winter fashion all it’s own. It is very much a DIY, alternative city, which has opened the door for so many amazing Yarn stores to pop up, and thrive. While our winter highs are typically above freezing, the rain goes right through you and chills you to the bone. Hand Knit accessories are also a staple, especially for people like me who know how to knit for ourselves. 

I know several of my blog posts lately have been about knitting socks. While I don’t particularly like wearing socks, they are a necessity for the lifestyle I enjoy having that is primarily driven by being outside, and being able to be comfortable outside all year round. Not to mention the fact that store bought socks just aren’t the same. 

So, in the coming weeks and months I am hoping to deliver more quality content to you all. 

Community, Knitting, Knitting for Kids in Need, Sweaters, Whats on My Needles, World Vision Knit for Kids

Finally made some progress

Hey Everyone!

It’s been a while since I have done a sweater update. I have been so busy since Thanksgiving that my current world vision knit for kids sweater has seriously been sitting for months, and barely been touched. 

Today I was helping one of the other ladies from church who has recently started knitting sweaters with her current sweater. It reminded me why I knit sweaters for children and what I am passionate about, which is helping others. Whether that is helping children in need or helping someone learn to do something I know how to do, and being able to sit down with them and walk through the process with them so they understand it. 

I had gone for a drive out in the country yesterday, and anyone who knows me can tell you, for most of the past decade all I have wanted is to live in a small town in the middle of nowhere yet I ended up back in the big city after college. While I was out driving, God was dealing with me. That for now anyway my purpose and mission is here in this city that I have spent most of my life not being able to stand. I began to understand the role I am to play here, and the life I am supposed to lead. That includes helping people and building relationships with people. 

I spent some time this afternoon after I got back from church working on my sweater, and I have made a fair amount of progress. I am definitely ready to get it done, so I don’t have it sitting for more months. I am also really trying to get back to having only two knitting projects in the works, I currently have 4 in progress. 


Community, Knitting, Skills, Wool, Yarn, Yarn Store

Yarn Shopping at Local Yarn Stores

Hey Everyone! 

I have started visiting local craft stores here in Portland, because Portland has a lot of amazing small locally owned yarn stores. 

I am starting to work on more amazing winter accessories, as  this past winter was such a let down for the opportunities to wear hats, gloves and scarves. 

I don’t know how much longer I will be living in Portland, so I am trying to make what time I am living here in Portland count as far as yarn shopping goes. I have no idea when I will more or where I will move to, but I know that Portland is not some place I am going to be staying. So yeah, until I find a better job and move I am taking advantage of having all the locally owned craft stores. I am trying to support my local economy, which happens to have a better selection of yarns for personally projects than The big box craft stores. 

Today I bought two hanks of Blue Face Leicester wool that is from England, as well as a hank of Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock Yarn because I am going to learn how to knit socks. I am saving the sock yarn I bought today until I have done at least one pair with the less expensive sock yarn I bought yesterday at Joann’s. 

I really got into buying yarn and knitting my own winter accessories after having spent like $12 or $13 on a thin little hat at old navy that did not do the job I needed it to. I was like this is crazy, so I starting looking around and buying better quality yarn and knitting my own hats and scarves. Why buy something when I can make something of better quality for less money. There is the time output factor, but beings that I love knitting there is no point in wasting my money on something that is of inferior quality to what I can make. 

Portland has a lot of locally owned and run yarn stores which makes it amazing for someone like me. I probably spend more money on yarn that I should, but when you have a hobby you absolutely love within reason spending the money is just worth it. I am not saying to blow your rent or utility bill money on your hobby, but not spending money someplace else and/or putting money aside for your gobbet is a different story. 

Now I am trying to reorganize my wool stash buckets to try to make more room, but really I think that I just need another couple. I like keeping my wool hats and scarves in 15 quart tubs just so I don’t have to pull everything out of a bigger tub is what I want is on the bottom. I only have to pull a few things out. It will help me keep stuff organized. I could use an extra one for just wool hats, and then one to put the socks I knit as well as fingerless gloves in. 

I love yarn shopping, and telling me to stop is the same as telling a painter to stop painting or telling Hanz Zimmer or James Horner to stop composing film scores. 

Community, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Wool, Yarn, Yarn Store, Yarn Store Review

Close Knit

Hey Everyone!

Today I had run up to the part of the city I used to work in, to check on something for my mom. After I had checked on what I needed to, I went to a yarn store, called Close Knit, which is a few blocks from where I used to work. Close Knit is located at 2140 NE Alberta St in Portland, Oregon. 

I had been by like it 4 – 5 days a week when I worked at the knitting studio, but had never gone in. Beings that I am trying to work my way to different small locally owned and operated yarn stores here in Portland, and I was in the area I had to add to my personal yarn stash. 

Close knit is a super cute little yarn store located along NE Alberta St. They have a good selection of different kinds of yarns. They had a few of the same yarns as Happy Knits, and then a whole bunch more. It was awesome to walk around and feel the yarns and the knit up samples of the yarns they carry. I always love feeling samples to see what a finished product will look and feel like. 

While I was there I picked up two small hanks of Blue Faced Leicester DK Superwash in Teal as well as a Hank of Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock Yarn. I am super stocked about the Blue Faced Leicester beings that it’s from England. 

I am loving going to all these little local yarn stores. 

The yarn I bought today:    

Community, Yarn, Yarn Store

Happy Knits

Hey Everyone!

Today, I stopped in at a little yarn store here in Portland, Oregon called Happy Knits, it is located at 1620 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Today’s trip in was I want to say my third trip in to the store. I had gone for a knit night, and another time where I picked up some needles and wool wash. Today I was wanting some yarn.

I started out looking at sock yarn (which didn’t last long as I had bought some less expensive sock yarn earlier in the day to use for learning to knit up socks), so I started looking around at their other yarn, and found some really pretty alpaca/merino blend yarn that would make a beautiful scarf. I am just trying to decide what pattern I am going to use when knitting it up, while finishing up a couple other projects.

The staff has always been really nice and helpful. The young woman who rang up my purchase even wound the yarn up for me from the hank of yarn.

The store itself is light, roomy, airy, it isn’t too cramped. It is totally meant to spend some time in. I would highly recommend this shop to anyone who is in the Portland area who is looking for a nice little, local yarn shop where they can get lost for an hour or so.