The Daily Skein

All the craft that’s fit to make.

Shawl Swatch Watch June 9, 2011

Filed under: Knitting Projects — Cailyn @ 4:51 pm
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I just avoided spilling a full cup of coffee as I tripped over a power cable.  Miracle!

 

Also a miracle, I have finished (sort of) the swatch for my handspun shawl.  It was delayed by two full froggings, three partial froggings, a sudden spurt of spring cleaning, and a kayaking trip.

 

IMG_5122

 

The swatch is about half the number of stitches of the finished design but has all the right elements in it.  The bottom pattern is from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia; the middle and upper pattern are from The Haapsalu Shawl.  The upper pattern (one of the numerous “paw” patterns) will be most of the shawl with garter borders.  I won’t be putting a traditional border around the whole shawl- I like the slightly modern look of a straight-edged shawl.  And I think knitting a border for a 60×20 inch shawl would kill me.  Literally.  I would keel over from sheer boredom just trying to pick up all the stitches for it!

 

IMG_5125  IMG_5126  IMG_5127

 

Here’s the problem:  I’m not sure I’m happy with the look of the thing.

 

I’m pretty happy with the general layout and patterns I chose (which wasn’t easy!)  I’m not entirely certain about the paw pattern, but I’m not going to revise the whole thing again.  The drape is lovely and the yarn is great.  But I’m not sure if it’s lacy enough.  Is it too… solid?  Not enough space between the strands of yarn?

 

As it stands, the swatch gives me about 6 stitches to the inch.  That should make the whole shawl about 14 inches wide.  I’m debating casting on with a set of size 5 or 6 needles for the actual shawl.  That should both make the shawl lacier and wider.  I’m not planning on re-swatching, though (yes, I live dangerously).  I’ve had enough of swatches!  I’m just not sure… part of the problem is that I don’t have a set of 5s or 6s.  If I like the way it looks now, I can start the shawl immediately.  But if I want to use bigger needles, I have to sneak out to the store, which isn’t really close by.

 

I can’t decide.

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Laceweight May 30, 2011

Filed under: spinning — Cailyn @ 5:55 pm
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All week I said to myself, “I’ll write a post as soon as I have this yarn finished.  It shouldn’t take much longer.”  Well, it did take longer.

 

IMG_5107

 

I started spinning the laceweight yarn that I sampled a last month.  I used some merino-bamboo fiber that I bought from Weaving Works forever ago; it doesn’t have a brand name or anything.  It’s a 50-50 blend which is shiny and silky and spins up just as nice as it looks.

 

102_4937  115_5549

 

I sampled using just the color above (a color that I started to call in my head “Steel Teal”), but I wanted a little more depth and interest in my final yarn.  I also had some darker, bluer fiber of the same provenance, so I decided to use that as an “accent color” sort of thing.  I don’t have a good picture of it, but keeping with my theme I called this color “Steel Periwinkle.”  Which sounds a bit like a private eye in a bad detective flick.

 

I didn’t have any way to blend the fibers before spinning.  I couldn’t use my handcards for two reasons.  First, the fibers were too long.  The carding surface on mine is about 3 inches tall, which means I’ll just get a snarled mess if I try to card any fiber longer than that on them.  And second, I was going to spin this worsted, which is a combed preparation, so carding it to spin short draw seemed counter productive.  What I ended up doing was inspired by this free PDF article from Spin-Off.  I split my teal roving (by this I mean I tore off a hunk, then split that lengthwise into four portions) then tore off a similar sized hunk of periwinkle and split that into eight to twelve portions.  That way, the teal was the main color, but I’d get varying amounts of periwinkle in there- just a little for interest.

 

Of course, I realized after a few hours of spinning that I hadn’t weighed my fiber to see how much I had or divided it in half for even plies.  Being lazy, I decided that I would just spin until the bobbins looked about full the same amount.  By some miracle, this worked!  I ended up with about 3 yards of extra on the second bobbin, not even enough bother with!  I was rather shocked, actually.

 

I ended up with about 2.3 oz (66g) of two-ply mostly laceweight yarn.  Now, this yarn has enjoyed jerking me around a bit.  When I was spinning the singles, I always felt deep in my heart that the half-bobbin was never going to be enough for a shawl.  But as I was plying, I was sure that I had overshot my needs- it went on forever.  Then when it was washing, I just knew that I didn’t have enough- that it couldn’t be enough for a shawl.  But when I re-skeined it (which again took forever) I thought that I had plenty.  When I weighed it and it came in at a measly 2 ounces and change, I was pretty upset.  Until I looked at a few millspun yarns and realized that they’re often sold in 50g hanks and I had 66g, so I was pretty well off.

 

IMG_5104  IMG_5112

I say “mostly” laceweight because I drifted around the target thickness some, and to be honest the majority of the yarn is just slightly heavier than a true laceweight.  Somewhere between a “light fingering” and “lace” really.  But, then again, I really dislike working with the super-thin true laceweight so maybe it’s for the best for my first try.  All in all, I’m pleased as punch about this yarn.

 

To prepare myself for spinning really thin yarn, I watched “Spinning for Lace” which I got as a download from the Interweave Knits store.  It was a big help.  Margaret Stove is great.  The main thrust of the video is spinning with superfine merino, but a lot of the information carries over to other fibers.  I particularly like her method of holding the singles during plying.  It’s been the most comfortable for me so far and offers great control.

 

Now I just have to design a shawl and knit 60-65 inches of it.  Piece of cake.

 

Lacy Spring Socks April 8, 2009

Filed under: Knitting Projects,patterns — Cailyn @ 8:40 am
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I finally got a sunny day to take pictures of the lace socks that I had been working on.  Actually, the day was a little too sunny; many of the pictures came out over-exposed.  The light color of the yarn and the slight shine to it really confused the camera!  But, I think these turned out pretty well, all things considered.  Really, I’m just glad to have the pattern completely finished- the written part had been sitting there completed for a week just waiting for the pictures.

101_4370

These socks were actually inspired by a commercial for rheumatoid arthritis medication, if you can believe it. There was a pair of socks in that commercial that were too pretty not to translate into hand knitting. They feature a lace front with a stockinette back, which makes the knitting go quickly. The lace pattern is simpler than it appears and is fairly easy to memorize. The instructions for the lace are both written and in chart form.  

 

Made from wicking, lightweight bamboo with just enough wool for some elasticity, the Lacy Spring Socks are a great warm-weather sock. These socks are very stretchy and will stretch to fit a 9” foot circumference. If the gauge swatch or cuff is too large, try using a yarn with more wool content for a snugger fit.

 101_4363    101_4356

The construction of these socks is a very traditional top-down construction, making them an easy sock for beginners or anyone who wants a simple project to work on at picnics or in the car. For a quicker project, these socks would make cute anklets!

 

Lacy Spring Socks

Download the PDF: Lacy Spring Socks

  • Finished Size: Midfoot circumference 8 inches, will stretch to fit 9 inches
  • Yarn: Argosy Luxury Fibers Five Oaks Ranch Bamboo [20% superwash wool/80% Bamboo] Sage (2 skeins)
  • Yardage: 300-400 yards
  • Needles: Size 0 (2.00mm) DPNs
  • Gauge: 38 sts x 50 rows = 4 inches
  • Extras: Stitch marker, stitch holder or scrap yarn, tapestry needle

 

Cuff

CO 76 sts and divide evenly among 4 needles. Join in the round, being careful not to twist. Place marker to mark the beginning of the round.

Ribbing: *k1tbl, p1* to the end of the round.

Work Ribbing for approximately 1 inch.

Leg

(Instructions in brackets are also represented in chart form.  The chart repeats twice, with 4 knit stitches in between the repeats not shown on the chart. Click chart to enlarge.)Chart

Round 1: [YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO, k5, YO, ssk, k4, YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO,] k4, [YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO, k5, YO, ssk, k4, YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO,] knit to the end of the round.

Round 2, 4, 6, 8: Knit.

Round 3: [YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO, k3, k2tog, YO, k1, YO, ssk, k3, YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO,] k4, [YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO, k3, k2tog, YO, k1, YO, ssk, k3, YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO,] knit to the end of the round.

Round 5: [YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO, k2, k2tog, YO, k3, YO, ssk, k2, YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO,] k4, [YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO, k2, k2tog, YO, k3, YO, ssk, k2, YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO,] knit to the end of the round.

Round 7: [YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO, k1, k2tog, YO, k5, YO, ssk, k1, YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO,] k4, [YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO, k1, k2tog, YO, k5, YO, ssk, k1, YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO,] knit to the end of the round.

Repeat Rounds 1-8 until leg is desired length, shown 4 1/4 inches.

Heel

At the end of any odd round, turn. The heel will be worked back and forth over the 38 stockinette stitches on the back of the sock. Move the other 38 stitches to a stitch holder or scrap yarn if desired.

Row 1 (WS): Sl 1, purl 37, turn.

Row 2 (RS): *Sl 1, k1* to the end, turn.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until heel flap measures 2 inches, ending on a WS row.

Heel Turn

Row 1 (RS): Sl 1, k20, ssk, k1, turn. 1 stitch decreased.

Row 2 (WS): Sl 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.  1 stitch decreased.

Row 3: Sl 1, k6, ssk, k1, turn.  1 stitch decreased.

Row 4: Sl 1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn.  1 stitch decreased.

Continue working one more stitch each row until all stitches have been worked, ending on a WS row. 21 stitches remain.

Set up for gusset: Sl 1, knit across heel stitches. Using the same needle (Needle 1), pick up 1 stitch in each slipped stitch along the edge of the heel flap. Return held stitches to two needles (Needles 2 and 3) and work across instep stitches in lace pattern as established. Using an empty needle (Needle 4), pick up 1 stitch in each slipped stitch along the other edge of the heel flap, knit 10 heel stitches from Needle 1 onto Needle 4. Mark this as the beginning of the round.

Gusset Shaping

Round 1: K2tog, knit to 3 stitches before the end of Needle 1, k2tog, k1, work across Needles 2 and 3 in lace pattern as established, k1, ssk, knit to the end of the round. 3 stitches decreased.

Round 2: Knit to the end of Needle 1, Needles 2 and 3 in lace pattern as established, knit to the end of the round.

Round 3: Knit to 3 stitches before the end of Needle 1, k2tog, k1, work across Needles 2 and 3 in lace pattern as established, k1, ssk, knit to the end of the round. 2 stitches decreased.

Repeat Rounds 2 and 3 until 76 remain.

Foot

Knit to the end of Needle 1, work Needles 2 and 3 in lace pattern as established, knit to the end of the round until the sock measures 2” shorter than desired length, ending on Row 7 if possible.

Toe

Round 1: Knit to 3 stitches before the end of Needle 1, k2tog, k1; k1, ssk, knit to 3 stitches before then end of Needle 3, k1, k2tog; k1, ssk, knit to the end of the round. 4 stitches decreased.

Round 2: Knit.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until 20 stitches remain.

Knit to the end of Needle 1. Move stitches from Needle 2 to Needle 3. Move stitches from Needle 4 to Needle 1. Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Graft stitches on Needle 1 to Needle 2.

Block if desired.

  101_4372

 

Please Note: I post my patterns as soon as I’ve completed them because I’m excited to share them with you. They have not been fully tested. But they are free. I’ve made every effort to make sure that the instructions are clear and error-free. There may be typos or pattern mistakes and if you find them or have any questions, please let me know by posting a comment or emailing me, dailyskein at gmail.com.

 

Creative Commons License
This work by Cailyn Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

 

Emily’s Scarf November 7, 2008

Filed under: Knitting Projects,patterns — Cailyn @ 4:24 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

 100_3947 So, the scarf is finally finished.  Completely and totally done.  And the final verdict is… undecided.  I honestly can’t figure out if I like this scarf or not.  I like a lot, if it were for me, but I’m not sure if it’s the right scarf to give as a present.  Is it too plain?  Should I have gone with something lacier?  Something cabled?  Does this scarf look like something you could pick up at Target, I wonder?  I wanted to use luxury fibers at first, but had trouble finding the right colors.  Cascade 220 is a great yarn and it feels just fine against the face as a scarf.  But maybe I should have gone with the alpaca?…

 

Argh.  That’s just a small insight into my mind for the last few weeks.  Every stitch has been second-guessed and questioned and analyzed.  I guess I’ll know the answer when I give my sister the scarf at the end of the month.  If I get that face- you know the one, the “oh, it’s… knitted” face- then maybe next time I’ll, well, I don’t know what I’ll do. Of course, there’s always the chance that she’ll love it.  My sister is an artist, so she really appreciates handmade items.  But appreciating a handmade item and really liking the pattern I created are different things, eh?  Lowell thinks it’s a cool scarf, but then he’s neither a knitter nor a teenage girl (thank goodness!)  What do you guys think about the scarf?  Yea or nay?

 

On a more technical note, the scarf is pretty easy to make.  The Herringbone Stitch that’s used for the majority of the scarf is very easy to memorize and pretty fun to do.  The scarf doesn’t curl and the wrong side doesn’t look half bad either!  The beginning and ending have a slight chevron edge as well as a pretty snowflake lace pattern.  The lace pattern may seem daunting in the written instructions, but it’s really not that bad.  By the end of the lace section, you’ll probably have the pattern memorized, then completely forget it by the time you get to the ending section.  The stripes, of course, can be made any length you want if you’d like a longer or shorter scarf.  If you make the scarf about 6″ shorter or make the blue stripes or lace sections longer, you can make this scarf with only 1 skein of brown instead of 2.

 

100_3932      100_3922

Emily’s Scarf

Download the PDF: Emily’s Scarf

 

  • Finished Size: 62”x 5”
  • Needles: Size 9 (5.50mm) straights or circular, Size 10 1/2 (6.50mm) straights or circular
  • Yarn: Cascade 220, Brown (8686) 2 skeins/280 yds; Natural (8010) 1 skein/ 100 yds; Summer Sky Blue (7815) 1 skein/100 yds
  • Gauge:  19 sts x 17.5 rows = 4 inches in Herringbone Stitch
  • Extras: Tapestry needle

 

Special Stitches

Herringbone Stitch

Row 1 (RS): Sl 1, *YO, sl 1, k2, psso* to the end.

Row 2 (WS): Sl 1, *YO, sl1, p2, psso* to the end.

Optional: slip the first stitch of every row (counts as the first stitch) for a neater edge.

 

With smaller needles, CO 31 sts in Natural.

Knit 1 row (WS).

Chevron Row 1: Sl 1, YO, k3, sl 1, k2tog, psso, *k3, YO, k1, YO, k3, sl 1, k2tog, psso,* to the last 4 sts, k3, YO, k1.

Chevron Row 2: Purl.

Repeat the last two rows once more.

Snowflake Lace

Row 1 (RS): K5, ssk, YO, k1, YO, k2tog, *k3, ssk, YO, k1, YO, k2tog,* to the last 5 sts, k5.

Row 2 and all even rows: Purl.

Row 3: K6, YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO, *k5, YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO,* to the last 6 sts, k6.

Row 5: Repeat Row 1.

Row 7: K1, ssk, YO, k1, YO, k2tog, *k3, ssk, YO, k1, YO, k2tog,* to the last st, k1.

Row 9: K2, YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO, *k5, YO, sl 1, k2tog, psso, YO,* to the last 2 sts, k2.

Row 11: Repeat Row 7.

Row 12: Purl.

Repeat Rows 1-12 2 more times, for a total of 6 rows of snowflakes.

Knit 1 row and then switch to Brown. Purl 1 row. Switch to larger needles.

Work Herringbone Stitch in Brown for 14 inches, ending with a WS row.

Switch to Blue. Work Herringbone Stitch for 2 inches, ending with a WS row.

Switch to Brown. Work Herringbone Stitch for 9 inches, ending with a WS row.

Switch to Blue. Work Herringbone Stitch for 1 inch, ending with a WS row.

Switch to Brown. Work Herringbone Stitch for 4 1/4 inches, ending with a WS row.

Switch to Blue. Work Herringbone Stitch for 1 1/4 inches, ending with a WS row.

Switch to Brown. Work Herringbone Stitch for 4 1/4 inches, ending with a WS row.

Switch to Blue. Work Herringbone Stitch for 1 inch, ending with a WS row.

Switch to Brown. Work Herringbone Stitch for 9 inches, ending with a WS row.

Switch to Blue. Work Herringbone Stitch for 2 inches, ending with a WS row.

Switch to Brown. Work Herringbone Stitch in Brown for 14 inches, ending with a WS row.

Switch to smaller needles. Knit 1 row, knitting each YO through the back loop. Join Natural and purl 1 row.

Beginning on Row 7, work Snowflake Lace three times through (total of 6 rows of snowflakes).

Ripple Row 1: Sl 1, YO, k3, sl 1, k2tog, psso, *k3, YO, k1, YO, k3, sl 1, k2tog, psso,* to the last 4 sts, k3, YO, k1.

Ripple Row 2: Purl.

Repeat the Ripple Row 1 once more.

Knit 2 rows.

BO all stitches.

Weave in ends.  Block lace sections, pinning the peaks at the beginning and end to keep them pointy.

100_3929   100_3941

 

Please Note: I post my patterns as soon as I’ve completed them because I’m excited to share them with you. They have not been fully tested, but they are free. I’ve made every effort to make sure that the instructions are clear and error-free. There may be typos or pattern mistakes and if you find them or have any questions, please let me know by posting a comment or emailing me, dailyskein at gmail.com.

 

Creative Commons License
This work by Cailyn Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

 

Lakeside Gloves July 6, 2008

Filed under: Knitting Projects,patterns — Cailyn @ 10:32 am
Tags: , , , ,

I cannot get a good picture of these mitts. It’s impossible. I think I’ll blame it on the drab weather. (Or the fact that my in-laws are here, therefore giving me less time to spend fiddling in my lightbox.)

Anyway, I wanted something light and small to wear while typing and going to movies (this summer has a strangely large number of movies that we want to see.) I wanted them to be quick and simple to knit too. These meet just about all my criteria, but I wish I had made them just a smidge longer at the end. The pattern and color combination were inspired by Rattlesnake Lake, where we like to kayak and hike (this isn’t my picture.)

Rattlesnake Lake

There aren’t actually any rattlesnakes at Rattlesnake Lake, but the wind blowing through the trees makes a very similar sound to a rattlesnake and the original explorers thought there were snakes here. The water is a beautiful teal color when it’s sunny and there’s a nice rocky/sandy beach at the shore.

The Lakeside Mitts start with a 1×1 twisted rib, then have a fun and not-too-complicated lace pattern. The lace pattern is only on the back of the hand, so the palm is smooth and comfortable. The thumb gusset is made with yarn overs and then bound off without having to join more yarn. Except for the contrasting color cuff, the gloves are made in one piece. The right glove is made by knitting from the side of the hand towards the thumb over the back of the hand. The left glove is made the opposite, by starting at the side of the hand, knitting across the palm, then over the back. The cuff instructions are the same for both.

Lakeside Mitts

Stitch Guide

Twisted Rib: *K1tbl, p1* until the end of the round.

M1: Insert right needle into the strand running between the stitches from front to back and place on left needle. Knit into the back loop. 1 stitch increased. Pictures here.

Larkspur Lace:

(worked over 29 sts)

Row 1: *K2, yo, sl1, k1, psso, k3, k2tog, yo,* 3 times, k2

Row 2 and all even rounds: Knit

Row 3: *K2, yo, k1, sl1, k1, psso, k1, k2tog, k1, yo,* 3 times, k2

Row 5: *K3, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, sl1, k1, psso, k1,* 3 times, k2

Row 7: *k2tog, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, sl1, k1, psso,* 3 times, k2

Row 8: Knit.

Repeat Rows 1-8.

Cuff for Right and Left Mitt

CO 58 sts in CC. (29 sts on each needle, if using 2 circs.)

Work Twisted Rib for about 3/4″ or as long as desired.

Hand and Thumb Increases, Right Mitt

Round 1: Join MC and work the first row of Larkspur Lace over the first 29 sts, place one stitch marker, then p1, place second marker, m1, knit to 1 stitch before the end of the round, m1, p1. 2 stitches increased. 60 sts.

Round 2 and all Even rounds: Work stitches as presented (knit the knits and purl the purls.) Counts as even rows for Larkspur Lace.

Round 3: Work next odd row of Larkspur Lace to first marker, p1, k 30, p1.

Round 5: Work next odd row of Larkspur Lace to first marker, slip marker, YO, p1, YO, slip second marker, k 30, p1. 2 sts increased. 62 sts.

Round 7: Work next odd row of Larkspur Lace to first marker, slip marker, YO, knit to the purl stitch, p1, knit to second marker, YO, slip marker, k30, p1. 2 sts increased. 64 sts.

Alternate Round 7 and an Even Round until there are 11 YO increases on each side.

Rib Round: Work next odd row of Larkspur Lace to first marker, slip marker, *k1tbl, p1* to last stitch before marker, k1tbl, slip marker, k30, p1.

Alternate an Even Round, then Rib Round twice more (total of 3 Rib Rounds, 5 rounds in all.)

Bind Off Round: Work next odd row of Larkspur Lace to first marker, slip marker, BO all stitches between markers, remove second marker, BO 1 more stitch, k30, p1. 59 sts.

Work an Even Round, but CO 1 stitch after the marker. (Second marker can be removed now.) 1 stitch increased. 60 sts.

Alternate Round 3 and an Even Round until the gloves are about 1/2″ shorter than desired length.

Work Twisted Rib for 1/2″ or longer.

BO loosely and weave in ends.

Hand and Thumb Increases, Left Mitt

Round 1: Join MC and p1, m1, knit 27 sts, m1, place marker, p1, place second marker, work the first row of Larkspur Lace over the last 29 sts. 2 stitches increased. 60 sts.

Round 2 and all Even rounds: Work stitches as presented (knit the knits and purl the purls.) Counts as even rows for Larkspur Lace.

Round 3: P1, k 30, p1, work next odd row of Larkspur Lace to end of round.

Round 5: P1, k30, slip marker, YO, p1, YO, slip second marker, work next odd row of Larkspur Lace to end of round. 2 sts increased. 62 sts.

Round 7: P1, k30, slip marker, YO, knit to the purl stitch, p1, knit to second marker, YO, slip second marker, work next odd row of Larkspur Lace to end of round. 2 sts increased. 64 sts.

Alternate Round 7 and an Even Round until there are 11 YO increases on each side.

Rib Round: P1, k30, slip marker, *k1tbl, p1* to last stitch before marker, k1tbl, slip marker, work next odd row of Larkspur Lace to end of round.

Alternate an Even Round, then Rib Round twice more (total of 3 Rib Rounds, 5 rounds in all.)

Bind Off Round: P1, k30, BO all stitches between markers, remove second marker, BO 1 more stitch, work next odd row of Larkspur Lace end of round. 1 stitch decreased. 59 sts.

Work an Even Round, but CO 1 stitch before the marker. (First marker can be removed now.) 1 stitch increased. 60 sts.

Alternate Round 3 and an Even Round until the gloves are about 1/2″ shorter than desired length.

Work Twisted Rib for at least 1/2″.

BO loosely, weave in ends and enjoy your new mitts!

Please Note: I post my patterns as soon as I’ve completed them because I’m excited to share them with you. They have not been fully tested. But they are free. I’ve made every effort to make sure that the instructions are clear and error-free. There may be typos or pattern mistakes and if you find them or have any questions, please let me know by posting a comment or emailing me, dailyskein at gmail.com.

 

 

Creative Commons License
This work by Cailyn Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.