Meet the ESK Staff! Pt. 3

It’s time for another installment of Meet the ESK Staff! We all hope you’re enjoying getting to know us a little better. 🙂

Today, meet Wendy the Wool-Winder:

What type(s) of crafting do you do?
The one with 2 pointy sticks.

What got you into knitting?
Growing up, I was always mesmerized by a neighbor who knit.  When I finally took lessons in 2007, I was rather enthusiastic, but only had enough patience to stay for the cast-on and knit stitch.  Although I never finished the 4-class series or that particular hat project, I was completely addicted!

I recall being shocked that the project required TWO sizes of needles. I couldn’t imagine why I wouldn’t knit everything with one set, as two sets seemed absolutely excessive! Now, with two dozen needles in my possession, I have to laugh at the naivety of that first month.

What’s your favorite color?
Blues and purples, except in pastel hues.

What’s your favorite thing to knit?
I seem to have an annual knitting “obsession”. It started with scarves, and Every Single Person I knew got one for Christmas that year.  It then progressed to shawls, cowls, fingerless mitts, and at the moment I’m obsessed with socks!

What’s your favorite yarn that we carry?
Yarn Love’s Elizabeth Bennett – it is the perfect year-round yarn in both weight and fiber, and the colors are so unique… it is totally irresistible.

Where do you find inspiration?
Google Images. I never know what I’m going to find in a search. Even better, it constantly changes, offering new ideas over time.

What’s the Finished Object you’re most proud of completing?
My first Clapotis, using the no-longer-produced-yet-still-makes-me-weak-in-the-knees Schaefer Nicole yarn that also happened to be my very first yarn purchase at ESK.  It took me almost six months of studying the pattern for it to actually click, but only 7 days to knit those 800 yards!  The yarn-pattern combination is gorgeous.

English vs. Continental?
As an engineer, I have a difficult time speaking English correctly, let alone knitting it… Continental all the way for this left-hander.

What’s your favorite knitting resource?
The TECHknitting blog.

What’s your favorite non-yarn-related hobby?
Baking… with help from my hand-made wool potholders, cotton towels, and re-usable Swiffer covers (to clean up after my enthusiasm).

Where is your favorite vacation destination?
The entrance to a yarn shop I haven’t visited before… oh, the possibilities!

Friday Five 11/1/13

I’m trying to make this a weekly thing, can you tell? Also, can we pause a second and talk about how the heck it is already November? I feel like I blinked twice and this entire year went by!

This week’s faves are all patterns I accidentally stumbled onto while trying to find hat patterns last week. Don’t you kind of hate and love how that happens? You go to search for hat patterns, and then on the front pattern page of Ravelry, you see a cute sweater, which you click on. And that leads you to the designer’s page, which takes you to another pattern website, where you see an adorable shawl, and on and on and on, and before you know it, you’ve got a queue so long you wouldn’t be able to knit all of it even if you quit your job, grew six extra hands and just knit full-time.

That’s not going to stop me from trying, though!

Ramona_1_mediumRamona – the sweater that started my trip down the Ravelry rabbit hole. It was one of the “Hot Right Now” patterns, and I’m so glad, because this one really is going straight onto my to-knit list. It’s flattering, it’s cozy, it would look equally cute with jeans or a skirt, and it knits up at a nice zippy aran weight gauge – I’m sold! Now I just have to decide on the perfect yarn to use…

And as someone who grew up reading Beverly Cleary, there’s always a soft spot in my heart for anything or anyone named Ramona.

kynaAnd then I found Kyna, a real stunner of a shawl that would knit up with just a single skein of fingering weight yarn.

I admit that I’m more likely to admire shawls from afar as I get too caught up in sweater knitting, but this one has lots to admire – the celtic-style cables are simply lovely and the pattern is paired perfectly with a hand-dyed semi-solid.

And it’s knit sideways! Who doesn’t love knitting sideways?

Alby-0128_mediumOr what about Alby? A delightful
departure from the recent striped shawl craze, now you can have your stripes and your lace shawl too, and you only need about 65 yards of your contrast color. I probably have 65 yards left from every pair of socks I’ve ever knit! This looks super fun in the model colors, or go for the sophisticated more tonal version with two more similar colors. The designer is even having a knit-a-long for Alby right now in her Ravelry group – grab your sock yarn and get started!

hitofudeUnless you are like me, and you get distracted again by another sweater you may or may not have time to knit. Hitofude is delightful! Depending on your size, you can knit this entire sweater with between 2 and 4 skeins of Tosh Merino Light or a similar yarn like Numma Numma’s Panna Sock. The bodice and sleeves are worked as a single rectangle before moving on to the bottom portion of the sweater, and the lace patterns looks like it would easy enough to commit to memory for knitting on the go. Another one in the queue!

rosaAlso now in the queue – Rosa. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned my grand love of alpaca? I am always looking for something practical I can knit with our sportweight alpaca yarn, so I was pretty stoked to find this pattern, which is not only versatile but looks like it should be easy enough to knit even when I’m home solo parenting (a real bonus indeed these days!). And it’s free!