The fall issue of Interweave Knits is out and the cover has a coat on it that I just had to have. It’s called the Clasica Coat (Ravelry Link) and I am knitting it with my Dulce de Leche handspun yarn. The chances are I will run out of yarn but I contacted the vendor for my fiber that I used and she said she gets that colorway in all the time and she will be in touch and I shouldn’t worry. I am not worried any longer. My yarn doesn’t match the gauge for the pattern. I have modified to meet my needs. I am very happy with what I have so far. The back and hood extension are both done. The measurements of my finished piece fit the large size. That’s what I am trying to do so things are going well. I cast on 10 stitches less than the smallest size written in the pattern and adjusted the pattern to fit this adjustment. All is going well and I can’t wait to finish it. I cast on 78 and decreased by 10 stitches where it says to decrease. When it said to increase to 32 for the hood extension, I followed those directions exactly as that was for the textured pattern and I couldn’t adjust that appropriately. The hood extension says to stop at 22 inches but when I finished one of the pattern repeats for the textured stitch I was at 21 so I stopped there. Here are is a picture of the back with the hood extension.
Yep. Dulce de Leche is for sale in my Etsy shop. I had planned on knitting the Dollar and a Half cardigan but economics dictate I at least try to sell it before I get to knitting it. So that’s the plan. It’s 1002 yards baby of 3-ply 10 wpi yarn. If someone buys it before I get to it, that’s fine with me. I am proud of this cause it’s a good amount of yarn and pretty darn consistent. This is one of the reasons I put it in my Etsy shop because it’s pretty good. The only flaw is one knot in one of the skeins but I have found several knots in yarn I have bought so I don’t feel that bad.
Secondly, I spun this specifically to sell in my shop as sock yarn, however, with 264 yards, I don’t think there is enough yardage for full socks. Perhaps you can knit anklets or something but it’s very nice coloring and a good fingering weight. I tried to spin this as quickly as I could and I did it in about 4 hours. Not bad, eh? Here are some more shots.
I will be posting shorting about the finished coverup for my step niece. I finished it in plenty of time and she wore it at the beach but I just haven’t blogged it yet. Have a great weekend all!
My friend Jesh posted a blog about her new wheel and took a video of it spinning so I thought I would do the same.
The fiber I am spinning here is 2 pounds of merino mohair that I bought for a meer $32 on ebay. It is soft as silk and I love it. However, now it is hindering me cause it’s been on my wheel for months. I have decided to hurry it along. Last week I had one full spool of this and I wanted to start my Christmas spinning. Damn! I have to finish this before I start. I have split this up into 6 piles of evenly weighted fiber so I can finish it into a 3-ply for my Dollar and a Half Cardigan (Ravelry link). Now that I have started spinning again, I am so excited to do it. I am not annoyed with this fiber for getting in my way. I am enjoying spinning as I always do and kicking myself for having set it aside for months. I should spin at least once a week but now I am obsessed again. Now I have 4 full bobbins and only 1.5 or so to go before I finish.
Now for the fiber I was itching to spin. Christmas is right around the corner (well it is for knitters and spinners). I ordered this fiber in March for my Christmas project for my mother in law. She has told me in the past about the colors she wants for anything I might knit for her. She asked me for black with jewel tones. I e-mailed Amy at Spunky Eclectic and asked her advice. She recommended this fiber. This is a blend and it’s very soft. She explained, though, that the colors wouldn’t dye up very saturated which is what I had asked for. This is the softest nicest fiber and I can’t wait to spin it. However, the colors don’t really go together as I had hoped. Amy tried to steer me in another direction I think but I ordered this anyway. Here is the plan:
A 2 ply finished yarn. I have 8 ounces of the black (more gray). I have 4 ounces of the red and orange. I have 4 ounces of the blue and green. I will spin it all the same and ply one black strand with each of the others. This should give me a few skeins of black with the green and black with the orange. Then, when knitting, I will knit portions with the one color and then portions with the other. I think it will end up working very well. I haven’t picked a pattern but I think the pattern will also play a huge part in how it ends up working. I do love how the colors turned out alone. They are all so beautiful and the tones are exactly what I had hoped even though they don’t work together. I was hoping the saturation would be deeper but I am thrilled with this end result anyway.
This is a shawl I am currently working on. It’s called the Seraphim Shawl and I love it. The link is a Ravelry link and is beautiful. My problem is that I have run out of my yarn. The pattern calls for 800-1000 yards of yarn and my yarn is the proper weight. I am in the middle of the second chart and I have about 50 more rows and two charts left to knit. I was going to use some of my two ply alpaca that I was selling on Etsy to finish but I don’t think that’s enough either. This yarn for the shawl is handspun and I don’t have any fiber left to spin more yarn. The brown alpaca is the same fiber that I spun with the silk alpaca I am using for this shawl. I am seriously considering frogging this shawl and choosing another pattern to use this yarn. I really want a shawl for this yarn and I have really enjoyed knitting it but if I continue with the alpaca and I run I may end up frogging anyway. Does anyone have any other suggestions for me? Any other ideas? Please help me out! I could really use the input!
Spring Forward done!
This time I made a real effort to take a pretty finished object picture. This is my favorite shot from the bunch. It’s very very hard to photograph your own foot. I put a ball where my foot was supposed to go and focused, pushed the button and placed my foot and hoped all went well. Well, it didn’t go well but I like the result. This shot has a bit too much lens flare and glare but it makes the photo look misty and magical which I do like. The focus is a bit off but the depth of field is nice. Most of the shots were out of focus and yucky but I have a few that show enough detail to do a finished object post.
As I said before, these socks were the easiest thing ever to knit. It was so fun and quick. I love the color and the fit. I went through all the details of these socks in my previous post about them so I won’t bore you with that here. It took me so long to finish them because I had too many other projects on the needles (who knows about that?). I will do other finished object posts about that other stuff later. Here are some of the other shots that are acceptable but not great.
You know I could say that I planned that long pretty piece of grass (weed) between my ankles there but you know I didn’t.
The next item up for discussion is free fiber from Diva Knitting. I got second prize in her 4 year blogiversary contest and received 5 ounces of hand dyed fiber which happens to be in my favorite colors ever! Thanks Cheryl! I believe this is destined to be a self striping single for a pair of socks for me. I never had a fiber tell me so quickly what I should do with it before but this stuff screamed self striping socks for me and noone else! I am very excited and I hope I can get to it soon. Now for the excuses: The photos seem muted but when I was editing them up in Lightroom they were spot on a beautifully saturated with accurate color. I don’t know what happened and I even calibrated my monitor again to see if that would do it. It didn’t. What’s a girl to do. Here’s the beautiful optim:
This is Bella and Catrina. They are BFFs (I think). I don’t get it but this is them last Friday at the park after school. They played together and had a blast. They love to dress up together because Bella has a bunch of dressy dresses that we have bought at thrift stores and relatives have bought for her because she is such a princess. Therefore, Catrina likes to come over and wear these things. One of the things that they like to wear is Bella’s coverup from a couple of years ago. They like it because it’s strapless and cool. I told them I would make them a coverup for their summer season that matched. This is my project for this blog.
I told them it would have a slit up the side. They loved this idea. The rest is my idea. I would design Catrina’s as a tank dress and Bella wants hers to be a caveman dress with the tank strap over on one side. Here is my project so far. I will be writing this pattern up and we will see if there is any interest. I might sell this one for a buck or two.
There is some minor shaping at the waist. I am having trouble trying to figure out the tank straps in a circular knit but everything else is going well. I love the eyelets at the bottom and the rounded shape of the slit. The gradation of colors will play into the pair of dresses. Bella’s will be orange at the bottom and graduate to yellow at the top. The slit in this dress is about 6 inches but for these girls, it’s from the knee almost to the hip. They are very excited about that. Any other ideas you all have to help me out with this would be greatly appreciated.
I was asked in Plurk if I would put any handspun into my Etsy shop so I went a lookin and what do you know, there was some.
|This is Icelandic wool from Spunky Club and is 376 yards of 2 ply and 12 wpi..|
|100% Alpaca buttery soft goodness and 112 yards 2 ply 16 wpi.|
|Superwash merino in Sunshine of your Love Colorway, 82.5 yards, 16 wpi, and 2 ply|
|Singles called Deep Blue Sea, 24 wpi, 158 yards.|
I have a new craft. Thanks to the blog Seabreeze Spinners, she started to post information about it and started posting her braids. Then, I put a book on my Amazon Wish List and my sister bought me that book for Christmas. It was awesome! It’s so much fun and it’s so easy. There is so much room for creativity and color and beauty and everything. Here is the second braid that I made and a close up to show the colors. This is a 16 strand round braid which is the easiest braid to learn and very fast to finish. My finishing needs some practice but I like how these look. This one is a necklace, but I am working on another one that will be a strap for my reading glasses. Here is a picture of the disk with that braid on it working.
Ok so I have also done a little spinning on my Dulce de Leche fiber which will be my Dollar and a Half sweater. Here is how the fiber is looking as singles.
I have one bobbin done and 5 more to go to get this done.
This is Lucy. She is the best dog I have ever had in my entire 44 years of existence. She takes care of us and hangs out with us and is truly a family dog. She loves it when the three of us humans are home together with her. She is happiest on that day. When I pick up Bella from school, she is waiting there wagging her tail to see her friend come home. They play together and take care of each other. I have never had such a well behaved dog. Lucy was 5 when Bella came along and I think that added 2 years or so to Lucy’s life. They played together all the time and really enjoyed each other so much.
A week or more ago I found a mass on her chest. It was about the size of a tennis ball and was very soft and mooshy. This scared the crap out of me. Did I take her straight to the vet? Nope, cause I was too scared. A 14 year old dog with a mass on her chest can’t be good, right? I was too nervous to take her. Well, today I took her. The news wasn’t too bad. It does have to be removed and it grew very quickly the vet said. It will continue to grow if it’s not removed. So, she will be fine. The scare is over. She will get her teeth cleaned and get all kinds of other good things done while she is there. I am relieved and happy and thrilled. The vet said we could get many more years out of this kind of dog. They live longer than other dogs of their size he thinks because of their temperament. She is having her surgery next Thursday. Whew! What a relief!
On the spinning front, I finished up some Icelandic wool from Spunky Club, January 2008. It is so beautiful! I love these colors. They are so wide and blue. I love these colors but I am not a fan of this wool. It is very stiff and scratchy like an old fashioned kind of wool. There are bits of softness that I like but it’s certainly not consistant. It may take me a while to figure out what to do with it. I do love it. I will keep it. Thanks Amy!
Well I finished the scarf. I fixed the part where I knitted it backwards for 12 rows. That was sooooooo much fun! I love how it turned out but it is a bit short. It reaches the top of my hips without wrapping it around my neck. I love it and the blocked scarf looks beautiful. I love the colors and the pattern. I would love to knit one of these again in some other handspun that I will spin in the future. It was mindless (unless you are drugged) and easy. The pattern really allows for the color changes to go through each row separately (if you know what I mean). The waves really give this scarf movement and life. I can’t wait to wear it.
Next I am knitting a new project. This is called the Old Shale Smoke Ring (Ravelry link) and I am knitting it with my Aspen Love yarn I finished last week. This is also very mindless knitting but it will end up being a beautiful lacey cowl. It looks delicate and charming but so easy to knit. I can’t wait to finish it and wear it also. Here is my progress so far. I love how the colors are working.
Friday I went to Craft Night for the first time with some people I know and love who aren’t crafty typically. They wanted to get together and do some things they liked so I played along. My friends Julie and Jacqui where there. I have known them since 1980ish and they introduced me to my husband. Yay! Julie’s friend Stacy was there and my sister, Susan. Stacy’s sister in law Heather came too. My sister in law, Sandi, came too and brought some yarn but didn’t knit. We had a pot luck dinner and no kids (wooo hoooo). Julie and Susan did something called punch needle which I don’t get. Heather is a knitter. Stacy quilted while Sandi and Jacqui pretended to knit.
I wanted to spin since I can talk and spin at the same time. I also wanted to possibly finish the project I started while I was there so I started my spinning early in the day so I would be more than half done by the time I went there Friday night. I took 4 ounces of merino/tencel which is so soft and shiny I can’t even stand it. I was very intimidated by this fiber when it showed up here for my fiber club in September of 07. I didn’t have my Rose and I was a very new beginner at spinning so I put it away and didn’t look at it again until recently. Now I wasn’t so scared and I am glad I picked it up. The colorway is called Aspen and it’s a beautifully heathered colorway of green, tan, brown, turqoise and blue. I am so in love with this and I don’t know what to do with it. I finished it up yesterday and plied it and washed it. I hope to spin some more merino/tencel in the near future because it is so so so soft and pretty and delicate. I am also pleased with my spinning with this fiber. Here are some shots of the finished yarn:
Merino/tencel 4 ounces
S spun and Z plied
20 WPI approximately
No special preparation other than to split the fiber into two equal weight bumps.
We will be having craft night every other Friday night until we get sick of each other. It was so much fun and we all got time to ourselves. I can’t wait until the next one on Friday the 13th! Scary!
I have finished spinning Sunshine of Your Love from Crown Mountain Farms. I joined a group on Ravelry called Ply by Night. The purpose of the group is to see how individual spinners can spin and knit up the same fiber. We all ordered the Superwash Merino fiber from Crown Mountain Farms in Sunshine of Your Love colorway. We spin in any manor we want and knit the same pattern. The pattern will be Morning Surf Scarf.
The method of fiber prep I decided on was to split the fiber into three definite color groups. Dark and saturated red, bright orange, and yellow and white. This would provide a well contrasted yarn in the end. I was able to accomplish this for the most part. The darkest color ended up with the least amount of fiber. I had to add some of the yellow and white into this color to make the weight of the other two groups. Even with this adjustment, I ran out of this color on the bobbin during plying. It wasn’t a huge difference so I just plied the remaining two bobbins into a two ply yarn.
The finished yarn is a three ply at 330 yards and16 wraps per inch. I am in love with how this yarn looks. I really enjoyed this technique and only used it one other time. I really enjoyed the outcome of that other yarn as well. Here is a picture of that other colorway where I used this technique.
I spent a good amount of time after the holiday spinning one pound of merino for fun and therapy. It was both. The color and the fiber were both so soothing and therapeutic. Here are the finished skeins. There are four of them. There is a total of 744 yards of 3 ply merino at 16 wraps per inch. I think I will knit something warm and toasty for myself with this yarn. I was thinking some kind of shawl with a little lace in it but nothing too fancy. This yarn is more like a homey kind of yarn. It’s very springy and somewhat elastic. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. I can’t think about knitting right now though cause it’s currently 88 degrees on my back patio.
Another project I am working on is really fun. I joined a group on Ravelry called Ply by Night. The very interesting concept for this group is that all the members of the group order and spin the same fiber in the same colorway and knit the same pattern with it in the end and compare the results. I have put a lot of thought into the process I would use. I came up with something not too creative but fun nonetheless. I split the fiber into the three most prominent colors. I will spin each section onto it’s own bobbin and then ply them into a 3 ply yarn. I have already started spinning the lightest color which is white with yellow. I was unable to split the colors into even weights so I had to add some of the yellows to each of the other colors. I will just throw them into the middle of the colors where I can. Here is the first bobbin in the weight I hoping to maintain for the other bobbins.
I spent the last two months knitting and spinning frantically for gifts for my family. I enjoyed it very much. The problem is I had a goal and I was in a hurry. I had a couple of other projects in the hopper that I wanted to start but this fiber was calling me. It is 100% merino, it is one pound, and I got it on ebay. I am hoping this will end up a lovely DK weight 3-ply yarn. It is so soft and spinning it has been very cathartic and helpful. It feels like a cleansing. I am enjoying the softness of the fiber and the softness of the color is very relaxing and quite nice. I have to say it helps me think. I am very glad I picked it up and started spinning it.
I usually don’t do the New Year’s Resolution thing because I always need to lose weight and I always need to fix or change something about myself. This year, I am changing that. Last year we spent our year chasing David around from race track to race track or driving here or there for a knitting and spinning something or other. We visited my sister in Portland twice and drove both times at 1000 miles per trip each way. We went camping for Daddy for racing and did this that and the other thing for both him and me. This year is the year of Bella. We are going to focus on her entertainment and her fitness. She has been interested in BMX racing and I think we will give that a try for her. She likes camping and motorcycle riding. We will do all that for her. That is my resolution; to make sure Bella knows we are focused on her and her interests.
Bring on 2009!
I never posted specifically about the things I knitted for gifts so I thought I would do that here and now. It seems to me quite extensive but I am sure it wasn’t as bad as I thought. All gifts were very well received and the requests for next year have already started. Where possible, I have linked these projects to my Ravelry project pages. If you aren’t a member of Ravelry, these links won’t work. I apologize if that’s the case. Ravelry is very helpful in cataloging my projects.
|This is a pair Fiber Trends Clogs made for Brad (nephew). I wrapped them up unfelted and they all had a great chuckle about it thinking they were snow shoe covers. I promised him they would fit and I was right. Perfect fit and the soles are different colors so he can tell the right from the left. Brad has been asking me for about two years for a pair of slippers and it took me this long to get them to him.|
|This will be a multi-directional scarf for Christine (niece) who isn’t home from her holiday yet so I still have a few days to finish it up. It will look pretty close to the one I made for Charlotte (another niece) also pictured here. They are the same age so I always get them presents that are similar. I bought this fiber at the end of last year from Spunky Eclectic and it’s called Grinch. I had two 2 eight ounce hanks of the fiber and I made a scarf out of each hank. The yarn ended up about worsted weight for each.|
|This is a beanie I knit from some handspun I spun specifically for Louis and Laurent. These beanies are matching father and son beanies for these two men. I even had enough yarn left over from these beanies to make another beanie for David. That one is in the works. This yarn is beautiful and has many many colors in it. You can kind of see in the picture over here the reds and blues and greens in the yarn. I just loved spinning this fiber.|
|This beanie is not knit with handspun. My nephew (Steven) asked me to remake a beanie he had that he loved. He rides dirt bikes every weekend whenever he can and he rides a Yamaha. The beanie he really likes has a KTM patch on it and he feels funny wearing it. He loved the fit of the beanie and it had a bill in it. I had to disect the beanie to figure out how to knit it. It was a doubled over beanie with a seam at the crown of the head. I tried making it that way but it just didn’t work and had too much fabric up there. David suggested making it like a top hat with a piece of knitted fabric over the top. This worked and I made quite a few of them after I finished his. His was black with a bill. Since then, I made a pink, blue, green, and another black one. I also wrote a pattern up for it and posted it here.|
|I was looking for a hooded cowl for my sister in Portland. I really liked the sideways hooded cowl I found on Ravelry and decided to use that pattern. I spun this yarn quite a while a go and it always reminded me of her because she lived in the Burgundy (or Borgogne) region of France for 15 years. It was my first yarn I was very proud of spinning and I am really proud of her so it fit. When I left Portland, she still hadn’t taken the cowl off. She never took it off the entire time I was in Portland.|
|Another two year long request for a pair of socks from my nephew (Brian). These are Dove socks from Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways book. The design can be for a man or a woman or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. They were quite fun and easy to knit. I love how they turned out and I can’t wait to knit more socks from this book. What a way to go! Awesome patterns and methods in this book.|
|This is the only beanie that was up in the air. I didn’t use a pattern or anything and I didn’t have a request. it thought it would end up being a big big but it fit him very well. This was made for my nephew (Nick) who didn’t request anything. He said his favorite color was blue so I picked this Dodger blue color for him. He loved it and it was knit with two strands held together of Red Heart worsted weight.|
|Specifically spun and knit for my niece (Amanda) in the color she requested. It doesn’t fit her very well cause I ran out of yarn. The bind off edge is quite tight too so I am making her a replacement gift of a beanie with ear flaps and braids down the side. I don’t have a pattern for that one either so it should be fun. She has requested it in the Caron Simply Soft Brites pink. Amanda’s brother requested a beanie in this same color with black stripes on it. I didn’t get to photograph that one but I finished it as well. I had to go and get more of that fiber from Denwar Studios in Newport Beach. Lucky for me, he had that fiber and I was able to make Jeremy his beanie. His fits!|
There were other things knitted for Christmas gifts but they are either duplicated by another project or I didn’t get a picture of them. I have never knitted so many things in such a short period of time. I am proud of myself because I got them all done and didn’t have to change my plans at all for anyone. It was a great Christmas and well worth the effort. I think I will start earlier this year!