Posted in Current Projects, Gardening, Spinning

Garden, Matt Knits, Neck Warmer, and Hey Teach

I fully intended to blog on Wednesday and Thursday, but ended up not having time. I wanted to blog yesterday evening and planned to… then I ended up helping Matt with his school’s website which took up most of the evening. Ah well, that’s how life goes sometimes!

On the house (garden) front, we had some bushes that were by the deck cut down. We need to dig up the roots but haven’t had the time (or desire, really!) to do that yet.

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More flowers are coming up in the garden, too!

IMG_3164
Pink flowers in the back yard.

IMG_3169
Not sure what kind of bug is on there, but I found it interestingly shiny, so I took a picture to share.

I posted about these before… still not sure what they are, but they’re some kind of flower. Matt and I walked around the neighborhood yesterday and found a few other people have them in their yards. Rose (one of my knitting friends) also has some on the side of her porch and said that many people in her neighborhood have them. I’m anxious to see them bloom!

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I’m not really sure what’s all growing in here, though I’m sure a number of weeds are present.

IMG_3174
This is the end of our driveway – no idea what’s all here!

On knit night this past Wednesday, Matt came with me and showed us what a good knitter he is and how to knit with just one needle…

While we were at knit night, I dropped my needle and it somehow disappeared under the table. Yes, a US 8 straight needle, fell to the floor, we heard it hit, but it could NOT be found. Thursday, Karen (who I sat next to) let me know it had somehow transported itself into the bottom of her knitting bag somehow! Mystery solved, but this left me with only one needle to work on my new project (I’ll get to that), so Matt decided to take over my project for me. πŸ™‚

Wednesday, I started a new project for the SAL/KAL in the Zarzuela’s Fiber group on Ravelry. I’m working on the Button-Up Neck Warmer. I have to say, I really LOVE knitting with yarn I spun!!

Button Up Neck Warmer
Button-Up Neck Warmer in Emerald City merino.

When I got home Wednesday, I realized that Hey Teach was dry, so Thursday I started seaming it up…

211/365: Time to Sew
Side seams on Hey Teach

… and it wasn’t long before it was all seamed up!

Hey Teach, sewn
Hey Teach is finished being seamed!

The best news?!? IT FITS!! I’m beyond thrilled by this after my last horribly failed attempt. If it didn’t fit, there was not a chance that I’d be knitting it a THIRD time, so I’m really glad it fits. I’ve knit the neckband on already and just have the button bands left to do. I’ll probably work on that this weekend if I don’t get too distracted by Clue 4 of the Secret Garden Shawl that I just received.

I’ve found a bit of time this week to fit in some spinning, though I admit not a whole lot. My hip has been bothering me since it’s been raining, so I don’t think I’ll be able to finish this up this week like I had hoped. I’m really loving spinning this, though, so I’m not exactly bummed it’s not done yet! I can really see how far I’ve come since I “got serious” about spinning this month for the Tour de Fleece.

All Spun Up - Scarlet Macaw
My so-called Scarlet Macaw superwhash merino from All Spun Up.

Have anything going on this weekend? We’re taking it pretty easy since it feels like we’ve been pretty busy every weekend this month. We’re going to dinner with my family tomorrow and have invited some people over on Sunday for a small get together since we’ve been wanting to have people over for a while now, but not quite up to the “big housewarming” thing yet. Happy Friday everyone! πŸ™‚

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Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Hey Teach Blocks, TDF Wrap Up, Stripey Socks and Starlight

Last night I got out the blocking mats, washed Hey Teach, and it’s now blocking.

208/365: Hey Teach, Blocking!
Hey Teach, blocking!

I also finished up Clue 3 of the Secret Garden Shawl. The yarn is Green Sheep Fingering from The Unique Sheep and the colorway is Hearts on Fire. (Sorry, forgot to mention that yesterday!)

Secret Garden, Clue 3
Clue 3, laid out as best as possible

Secret Garden, Clue 3
Clue 3, close up

I did some spinning last night, though I forgot to take a picture. It feels like it’s taking a long time, but these are pretty thin singles, so I’m guessing that’s why it seems to be taking a while! I don’t think the rain has been helping, either. My knee, hip and lower back haven’t been allowing me to spin as much as I’d like to. When did my body get like an old lady?!? This morning I woke up sore and thinking, “It’s going to rain today.” Not 5 minutes later the radio said, “There will be showers and thunderstorms this afternoon.” I had to laugh a little at that! My body knows about the rain before the weather people tell me! Hahaha πŸ™‚

Speaking of spinning, I should do my Tour de Fleece wrap up! Counting it up, I did 30 hours and 25 minutes worth of spinning from July 4th through July 26th. That’s a LOT of spinning time! Here’s the break down:

July 4th: 1 hour 5 minutes
July 5th: 1 hour
July 6th: 2 hours
July 7th: 20 minutes
July 8th: 20 minutes
July 9th: 20 minutes
July 10th: nothing
July 11th: 2 hours 20 minutes –> Finished first yarn
July 12th: 3 hours
July 13th: 2 hours –> Was the scheduled day of rest, but I did some spinning since I β€œrested” on Friday, July 10th
July 14th: 1 hour 30 minutes
July 15th: 1 hour
July 16th: 2 hours
July 17th: 1 hour -> Finished second yarn
July 18th: 1 hour
July 19th: 1 hour 30 minutes
July 20th: 4 hours -> Was the scheduled day of rest, but I’m β€œresting” on July 22nd instead (knit night)
July 21st: 2 hours
July 22nd: rescheduled my day off
July 23rd: 1 hour
July 24th: 2 hours
July 25th: 1 hour
July 26th: 1 hour

Not bad! I was able to finish up 3 rovings and get part of the way through a third.

Tour de Fleece 2009, Wrap Up
Top Left: “Thinking of Fall” BFL from Zarzuela’s Fibers, 137 yards
Top Right: Pink and Purple BFL, 153 yards
Bottom Left: “Emerald City” Merino from Zarzuela’s Fibers, 210 yards
Bottom Right: Superwash Merino from All Spun Up, still in progress

I frogged the Fountain Pen Shawl last night. I decided I wanted to do it on bigger needles, so I frogged it and decided that I’ll try again later since I’m already working on a shawl right now. I would like to do it at some point, just not right now. Now that Clue 3 of the shawl is done and Hey Teach is blocking, I decided to get back to some projects I haven’t been working on. Last night I finished the heel on my stripey socks.

Open Flame Socks
Vesper Sock Yarn, Open Flame colorway

This morning, as I was thinking about what I’d take with me to knit at work, I decided on the Starlight sweater. Yes, THAT sweater. The one that I started in April 2007. My oldest WIP. The sweater I keep thinking about frogging, deciding I’ll frog, then deciding that I can’t possibly frog it because it will be so beautiful once I’m done. I’m going to finish this. This is my next “big” project that I’m going to work on until it’s done.

209/365: Starlight
Starlight Sweater in Rowan RYC Silk Wool, colorway Porcelin

I’ve been meaning to reply to the comments people have left, but recently, my webmail was blocked at work and I usually spend my lunch hour responding to emails when I have them. Since I’ve been busy at work, when I get home, I don’t even THINK about getting on my computer since I spend 8 hours sitting in front of one at work and I’m usually exhausted when I get home (or even on the weekend). As it is, it’s a struggle to make and dinner, do any house work that needs doing, and maybe get some time to relax and knit or spin, but most of the time I’d rather just come home and go straight to bed. I feel like I haven’t been sleeping well, but can’t really pinpoint why. Only thing that’s really changed recently is the stress at work, though I don’t see that changing any time soon – nature of the season and job I suppose. Don’t get me wrong, I do like my job quite a bit, it’s just mentally exhausting most days. This means that by the time I get home, my brain is mush! Anyway, all that to say I plan on getting back to you soon if you’ve left me a comment or emailed me recently. I haven’t forgotten, just been busy and tired lately. I think it’s a combination of moving and the new job and I’m just trying to get readjusted still. Though it doesn’t usually seem like it, there’s still TONS of stuff that needs to be done around the house to make Matt and I feel less stressed by the state of things. This weekend we’re planning on getting most, if not all, of the “To Do” list done so that we can get back to “normal.”

Hope your week is turning out to be a little less stressful then mine so far πŸ™‚

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Secret Garden Shawl, Spinning, and Hey Teach

Wow, this weekend was a BUSY one. I feel like I didn’t get done anything that I’d planned to, but I suppose that’s the way things go sometimes. I’m planning on not doing anything this weekend except work on house stuff with Matt so we can stop feeling so dragged down by the things that are still disorganized and packed from the move. I did get in some knitting time, though!

Saturday I started on the Secret Garden Shawl. I started this KAL a bit late. It’s a mystery shawl KAL and while I attempted one other shawl, I fell way behind and kind of glad I did at the end because I wasn’t to fond of the design at the end. I tried to get in on another one, but I never ended up starting it. I was a little worried about this one, but I really want to complete a mystery shawl KAL and a circular shawl, so why knock out both at once? They’re up to clue 3 (released Friday), so I’m working on getting caught up. I got through clue 1 pretty quickly that evening. It’s a shawl worked from the center out, which is what makes the first parts go quickly (smaller number of stitches).

206/365: Secret Garden Shawl, Clue 1
Clue 1

Sunday I started on clue 2, which also went pretty quickly. I started clue 3, but then realized I’d missed the last row of clue 2, so I had to tink back the 2 rows I’d knit on clue 3. The below photos are of the shawl through clue 2, minus the last row since I thought I was done with clue 2 when I’d taken these pictures.

207/365: Secret Garden Shawl, Clue 2
Clue 2, full

Secret Garden Shawl, Clue 2, Close Up
Clue 2, close up

I’m still working my way through clue 3. With almost 200 stitches, each row takes me a while! I’ll be sure to share photos once clue 3 is complete (and after each clue is complete).

After my not-so-great attempt at spinning that batt on Thursday evening, Friday evening I pulled out some superwash merino I got from All Spun Up to spin.

All Spun Up, Superwash Merino
This reminds me of a Scarlet Macaw
(I really like birds and have had a number of them, I always wanted a Scarlet Macaw)

I tried a different way of drafting this time. Instead of doing a lot of pre-drafting, I took sections and just separated them into 4 to 6 strips of fiber and only drafted as I went. I found that this seems to give me a nice even single! I still need some practice, but I’m already loving how this is turning out.

205/365: Today's Spinning
Superwash Merino in what I’ll call the Scarlet Macaw colorway πŸ˜‰

I had hoped to finish this up this weekend, but I ended up being really quite busy and hardly home at all, so I didn’t get in much time to spin. I spent time prepping the rest of the fiber and spun a tiny bit more then what you see on the bobbin above. I’m hoping to finish this up this week, though!

I’m so very, very close to finishing Hey Teach! I finished knitting all the pieces on Saturday, but I haven’t blocked them and I haven’t taken an updated photo yet. I had to get some blocking mats first, since it’s just about impossible to block anything on hardwood floors! I knew Costco had some of those mats a lot of people use for blocking for $15, so I went there on Saturday with Karen and we got the last two. Now I just need to set them up and wash Hey Teach. Maybe this will be the week it gets finished!! πŸ™‚

Hope your week is going well so far and your weekend was a good one!

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Not so Great Fiber and New Project

Aren’t Friday’s supposed to be “easy” days at work? Usually less stressful? For me they’ve almost always been the “easy” work day, but not today! It was one of those Murphy’s Law days where anything that could have gone wrong, did. Since I’m pretty wiped out this week (yet again it seems), I’ll keep this post fairly short.

Yesterday I went home and tried to spin one of the batts from Gonmegarden…

Gnomegarden Fiber
Gnomegarden Batts

…only to find it was pretty matted. I tried drafting some of it up and was mostly successful, but there were what I can only call knots or lumps in the fiber that was messing everything up when I tried to spin it. To make things even more frustrating, the sparkly bits were in knots some places, which didn’t spin well at all. I spent an hour attempting to spin it up and got only a little done. I was not enjoying it at all, so I pulled what I’d done off the bobbin and put it all away until some other time that I feel like dealing with it.

Instead got out the Green Sheep Fingering in Hearts on Fire from The Unique Sheep

Hearts on Fire
So pretty!

…and knit a swatch for the Secret Garden Shawl KAL.

Swatch
Swatch done using the first chart in the first clue of the pattern.

I knit the swatch on US 4’s, but I think I need to go up to US 6’s. I’m not super worried about getting the right gauge with lace. For me, it’s what the fabric looks like and if I like it. I know I’ll have plenty of yarn, so if it’s a bit bigger then the pattern calls for, I don’t need to worry about it. I can’t wait to get caught up through clues 1 and 2 (the pattern is put out in clues each week) and started on clue 3 which was sent out last night. I have to say, I really like this yarn and it gets even softer with washing! Hopefully I’ll have some progress to show you next week πŸ™‚

Do you have any plans this weekend? I’m going to Knit On! (LYS) tomorrow with Karen. It’s their first day open at their new shop, so we’re going to go check it out. Later in the evening, Matt and I are going to Game Night. Sunday morning I’ll be spending some time with my mom and any other free time this weekend has to go to getting the house clean and more in order. Will it ever end?!? I think I need a vacation!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Posted in Current Projects

Fountain Pen Shawl and Hey Teach

Yesterday I had planned to go to knit night, but I ended up having a very stressful day at work and by the time I was about to go home, it was pouring down rain outside. I knew that by the time I made it home, it would be after 5 pm (yes, a normal 20 minute drive takes me an hour when the weather is crappy) and I’d have just barely enough time to eat and go to knitting. Where we meet for knit night is about a 5 minute drive from where I work, but it’s 3 hours from the time I get off work to knit night, so I usually go home, then come back. I knew when I got home I wouldn’t want to go back out, so I decided it’d be better to stay home. I told myself earlier in the week, Wednesday would be my “day of rest” for the Tour de Fleece and it was. Besides, my hip and lower back were acting up from the rain, so it was probably best I skipped it. Tonight I’ll be spending some time at the wheel, though!

Last night I sat with Matt and knit while he played his video game. I did a few rows on the Fountain Pen shawl. I started it in… ohhhh… APRIL and haven’t worked on since. Figured I should get to knitting it, so I pulled it out, knit a row and realized I was short 2 stitches. I’m the kind of person that doesn’t do lifelines in lace. If I find a mistake or problem, I tink back to fix it, drop down the row/rows that need to be fixed and correct it, or bravely take the whole thing off the needles and frog back to whatever point I need to. It took me a bit, but I found that I hadn’t done two yarn over’s about 5 rows down. I’m not too far along, so if I couldn’t fix it I planned on frogging the whole thing and starting over. I took it off the needles, ripped back 5 rows and managed to properly pick up all the live stitches and fix it. I wanted to finish up Hey Teach before getting too involved in another project, so I knit one row before putting it aside. I now have less done then before I picked it up, but that’s okay! The mistake is fixed and I’m happy about that.

204/365: Fountain Pen Shawl
Fountain Pen shawl progress. (Pattern is from the Spring 2009 issue of Interweave Knits.)

I’m happy to report that Hey Teach is pretty close to done! I finished up the right front last night and started the first sleeve. I plan on finishing up the sleeves tonight and hopefully get it blocking.

Hey Teach Fronts and Back (Take 2)
Neatly folded pile of pieces.

Hey Teach Fronts and Back (Take 2)
Hey Teach pieces.

I didn’t work on the Nanners last night. It tried to for a short while, but I just couldn’t get into it for some reason. I think it was because I’m so close to getting Hey Teach done that I just wanted to work on that! I’m hoping to be showing you all and FO soon πŸ™‚

Happy Friday Eve everyone!

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Emerald City, Nanners, and Buttons

Last night I spent two hours plying and skeining the lovely merino singles I finished spinning Monday night. I ended up with about 210 yards.

202/365: Emerald City - 210 Yards
Emerald City, merino, 210 yards

Emerald City - 210 Yards
Close up.

I really need to get a wraps per inch tool so I can get a better idea of the weight of yarn. Looking at it, it looks about worsted weight to me. I also need a niddy noddy to make it easier to wind skeins. I’ve just been using my swift, which works okay, but it’s a bit of a pain in the butt to do. A niddy noddy would make it a lot easier! I’m thinking about getting this one since it’s a) cheap and b) the same company that made my wheel. Eventually I’d like a nice wooden one, but this would do for now. I’ve even considered just making one out of dowels. I don’t know that I have the tools to do that, though. I wonder if just gluing some dowels together with Gorilla Glue or something similar might work. Anyone ever made their own niddy noddy?

Tonight I’m taking my “day of rest” (supposed to be Monday – the day I spent 4 hour spinning!) for the Tour de Fleece since tonight is knit night. Tomorrow, though, I’m going to be spinning up the batts I have from Gnomegarden. I was going to spin up one of the bumps of fiber I got from All Spun Up next, but with the Tour de Fleece ending on the 26th I wanted to be able to finish up one more bump of fiber before it’s over. Plus, I did want to see the difference of spinning with a batt vs pre-drafting a braid. I might have time to at least get started on one of the ones I got from All Spun Up, we’ll see. Spinning definitely isn’t going away once the Tour de Fleece ends, so I can still plan out what I want to do next! πŸ™‚

I got the toe done on the second Nanner sock and started the lace pattern last night. I really like how these are turning out. The only modification I’ve made is that I did 2 x 2 ribbing instead of 1 x 1 ribbing. I didn’t even change the heel to a short-row heel! I will say, though, that this heel flap business seems to take SO much longer. After this pair, I’ll probably go back to short-row heels.

203/365: Nanners!
Golden Nanners!

Even though these socks aren’t done yet and I’m still working on both the Absinthe and the Open Flame socks, I’m already thinking about the next pair I’m going to knit. Me? Obsessed? Nahhhh πŸ˜‰ I’d like to do another “quick” pair (thicker yarn/bigger needles), so I’ve decided I want to use a skein of Vesper I bought from a Raveler in Pumpkin Spice (special sock club colorway) and do the Tadpoles pattern. I think they’ll go nicely together πŸ™‚

Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin Spice Vesper Sock Yarn

I decided on some buttons for Hey Teach and the Button-Up Neck Warmer, which I received on Monday. These buttons are from The Button Shop – probably my favorite place to get buttons.

Buttons
The top buttons are for Hey Teach and the ones on the bottom left are for the Button-Up Neck Warmer.

I haven’t picked up Hey Teach in a week or so, but tonight is knit night and I plan on bringing it with me to work on. I’m up to the lace on the right front, which I think I can get done tonight and maybe even start on the sleeves. Hopefully I’ll have an FO to show you soon!

Happy Hump Day, everyone! πŸ™‚

Posted in Spinning

Spinning and Tour de Fleece Update

This past weekend, I finished drafting up the rest of the mernio from Zarzuela’s Fibers in the Emerald City colorway.

Pre-drafted Fiber
Picture taken using my iPhone since I forgot to take one with my camera before I started spinning – whoops!

Friday and Saturday I spent an hour each day pre-drafting. Sunday I spent about 20 minutes finishing up pre-drafting, then did some spinning for an hour and 10 minutes for a total of 1 hour 30 minutes on Sunday. I had about half of a bobbin full on Sunday.

Emerald City, merino
Sunday’s Progress

Yesterday, I spent 4 hours spinning. I couldn’t believe I spun for 4 hours!! Matt was playing a new video game (Red Faction on the Xbox 360), so while he played, I was watching and spinning.

Spin, spin, spin!
Spin, spin, spin!

I finished up the first bobbin…

Bobbin 1
First bobbin, 2 oz of fiber

Then the second bobbin…

Bobbin 2
Second bobbin, 2 oz of fiber

Then I realized it was 10:30 pm and we’d been sitting there since 6:30 pm! I did get the rest of the merino spun up (took 2 bobbins), though, and today I plan on plying it.

Both bobbins
Both bobbins together (1st on the right, 2nd on the left)

Each bobbin I spin, I see my progress. The singles are getting thinner and more even with each one! I’m anxious to see how much yardage I’ll have once I ply these together. I’m hoping to have enough for the Button Up Neckwarmer from the Summer 2009 issue of Spin-Off magazine. Over in the Zarzuela’s Fiber Junkies group on Ravelry we’re doing a Spin-Along/Knit-Along for the Quant and Button Up Neckwarmer patterns in this issue of Spin-Off (Quant is also a free pattern from Knitty). I have to say, these singles feel like buttah! Really quite soft πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to get it plied and skeined so I can squish it! I’m looking forward to knitting with it, too πŸ™‚

Here’s my updated totals of how much time I’ve spent spinning throughout the Tour de Fleece 2009 so far:

July 4th: 1 hour 5 minutes
July 5th: 1 hour
July 6th: 2 hours
July 7th: 20 minutes
July 8th: 20 minutes
July 9th: 20 minutes
July 10th: nothing
July 11th: 2 hours 20 minutes –> Finished first yarn
July 12th: 3 hours
July 13th: 2 hours –> Was the scheduled day of rest, but I did some spinning since I β€œrested” on Friday, July 10th
July 14th: 1 hour 30 minutes
July 15th: 1 hour
July 16th: 2 hours
July 17th: 1 hour
-> Finished second yarn
July 18th: 1 hour
July 19th: 1 hour 30 minutes
July 20th: 4 hours -> Was the scheduled day of rest, but I’m “resting” on July 22nd instead (knit night)

My total so far: 24 hours and 55 minutes. Wow! It doesn’t seem like much looking at the list, but that total blows me away a bit! For a while, I just couldn’t really get into spinning. Since I was still learning, I just wanted to knit instead of work through my initial issues with the wheel and learning how to draft/pre-draft and how to join a new bit of fiber… all of it just overwhelmed me. I took on the Tour de Fleece challenge in hopes to overcome those things. I think you’d agree that it worked!

I finished my Nanner sock last night, too, but don’t have a picture of it yet. Starting the second sock today and hoping to have them done really soon so I can get back on track with the 52 Pair Plunge! I’ll update on my progress with that, soon. Another busy day here, but I hope your Tuesday is going well πŸ™‚

Posted in Cooking, Current Projects, Spinning

Craft Room, Prezzies in the Mail, and Nanners

This weekend seemed busy, but long. I feel like I at least got a lot done, so that’s always a plus! We did 5 loads of laundry yesterday, which didn’t seem so bad because we only had one to fold at a time compared to the 2 we would do at a time when we were at the apartment since they had 2 washers and 2 dryers available (of course we paid per use for those). I love not having to get quarters anymore and not having to wait on other people to use them. We’ve been cooking a lot more lately, which I’m really happy about. I think I’ve had my fill of eating out for a while. Occasionally is fine, but when you’re doing it really frequently, it gets old quick! At least for us. We’re even making breakfast in the morning – mini bagel sandwiches with egg, cheese, and turkey sausage or bacon. YUM! And it keeps me filled until lunch, which is fantastic πŸ™‚

I unpacked almost all my books in the craft room. I need more shelving before the rest of my cooking and other books can be unpacked, so for now the ones that don’t fit on the shelf are in boxes in the closet area. I even sorted some recipe cards I never bothered to open however many years ago it was that I received them.

200/365: Sorting
Sorting recipe cards.

I’m hoping to use my cook books and recipe cards more to change up our dinner routine. We’ve started to get bored with the same old thing week after week and now that they’re unpacked, I plan on making use of the books that haven’t received much love over the years. I took some updated pictures of my craft room to show how it’s coming together.

Craft Room - Entering
View as you enter the room.

Craft Room - Books & Sewing Table
To the left after you enter are my book shelves and sewing table.

Craft Room - Stash
To the right after you enter is my stash.

Craft Room - Closet
On the back wall is the closet. I’m planning on hanging those curtains draped over the bar there in place of closet doors.

I wound up the pink and purple yarn I spun this weekend and found that I have about 153 yards. Not bad! This one was much more even then the first one, but that’s to be expected. I’m really loving spinning!! I’d say I’m thinking about it just as much as knitting now πŸ™‚

Pink and Purple Yarn
Pink and purple yarn, skeined.

Friday, I got prezzies in the mail! I received a shipment from All Spun Up. Talk about fast shipping! It was mailed out Wednesday from the west coast and I received it Friday. I love these colors even more in person then I did from the photos online! Simply beautiful πŸ™‚ This was my first order from Kristin, but you can bet I’ll order again.

Fiber from All Spun Up
Top: Mernio/Silk blend, Bottom left: Superwash Merino, Bottom right: Merino, all are 6.2 oz

I also received the yarn I one in the Cookie A. KAL on Ravelry. It’s Nature’s Palette in Seafoam. Very pretty! I’m already trying to decide what I’ll make with it.

Nature's Palette
Nature’s Palette in Seafoam

This weekend I decided I wanted something new to knit on, something that would go pretty quick, so I decided to cast on Nanners with Socks That Rock mediumweight using US 1.5’s (2.5 mm). I’m up to the cuff of the first sock as of yesterday, so it’s going pretty quickly. I didn’t even modify the pattern to do a short row heel instead of the slip stitch one the pattern calls for. I have to say, the slip stitch heel seems to take a lot longer and I can’t say it fits my heel any better then a short row one, but I like how it looks.

Nanners
Nanners!

Nanners On - Top
Nanners, on my foot, top of the sock.

Nanners On - Side

Nanners, on my foot, side of the sock.

I did some spinning this weekend, but I’ll wait until the next post to show you all my progress and talk a little about my Tour de Fleece progress. Hope your Monday is turning out to be a good one!

Posted in Spinning

Just keep spinning, Just keep spinning!

Yesterday I spent a good 2 hours unpacking and re-organizing things in the house. Our kitchen really doesn’t have enough cabinet space! I was able to remove a shelf from one cabinet and add it to another, so things fit a lot better, but we still have a number of boxes that have no place to go. I can’t wait to be able to re-do the kitchen and add a LOT more cabinets (and stove and counters and….). I think that if there’s one room I’m least fond of, it’s probably the kitchen, sadly. There’s a lot of physical space, but not enough storage space. Plus, I really want a gas stove! Anyhow, I got a lot done and the only things left to still unpack is the rest of my books in my craft room, a few kitchen boxes, and bathroom stuff. I’d say we’re about 75% unpacked now. Soon I hope we’re completely unpacked and can have our housewarming get together!

Since I did some work around the house, I didn’t feel so bad about spending time spinning. I knew that if I didn’t get to the house stuff soon after getting home, I wouldn’t do it, so I made sure I didn’t sit down to spin until after I felt pretty accomplished about unpacking and re-organizing. I was able to finish the rest of the fiber and filled the bobbin almost full.

Second Bobbin
Second Bobbin

I was half tempted to just keep them as singles after putting them side by side.

Both bobbins, before plying
Pretty Singles

But, I decided I wanted to ply it.

197/365: Plied!
Two Ply Yarn

I really like how it looks plied, so I’m glad I decided to do that. I haven’t taken it off the bobbins yet and don’t know how much yardage I have. Total, I spent 2 hours spinning yesterday. Next, I think I’m going to spin up this:

Zarzuela's Fibers: Emerald City, Merino
Zarzuela’s Fibers merino in “Emerald City”

And maybe after that, I’ll spin this:

Gnomegarden Fiber
Gnomegarden Fiber

I did do a little bit of knitting on Hey Teach yesterday, but no real progress to show. Spinning has become about as addicting as knitting! As if I needed another addiction! I blame all the spinners who’ve been slowly sucking me in with all their pretty fibers and yarns they make from them πŸ˜‰

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Spinning, Hey Teach, and Round Toes

I spun for an hour yesterday. I really love how this is turning out! Can’t wait to ply it πŸ™‚

Tour de Fleece: July 15th
About half a bobbin full of pink and purple fiber.

I’ve been making some progress on Hey Teach, too. Yesterday at knit night, I finished up the left front and started on the right front. If I keep going at the pace I am, I could actually get it done this week!

Hey Teach 2 - Left Front
Left Front

Hey Teach 2 - Right Front
Beginnings of the Right Front

I’ve put aside other projects until I finish this up. I really don’t have all that much left to do, so I just need to get it done already! I still need to find buttons for this, though. I can’t decide what might look good with this yarn. I was thinking maybe wooden buttons. I’ll have to see what I can find from my favorite button shop.

Recently, I’ve had a lot of questions about how I knit the toes of my socks. Many people have noticed that they are more round then most of the toes of socks they see (or knit). A long time ago, shortly after I knit my second or third pair of socks, I read on the Yarn Harlot’s blog about how she knits her toes shorter to better fit her foot by decreasing every round at a certain point instead of every other round. Most sock patterns are written that you do the increases (toe up) or decreases (top down) every other round, so every other round you’re increasing/decreasing 4 stitches. My feet are wide and my toes are kind of round (more like a slant where my big toe is the “tallest” and each goes down from there), so this method of increasing/decreasing doesn’t fit my toes the best and makes them seem rather pointy. I don’t really find this type of toe to be that comfortable, either!

Typically, knitted sock toes look like this, with increases/decreases every other round:

Fuchsia Socks

The “rounded” toe I do looks like this:

Lucky Socks

And on my foot, looks like this:

89/365: Lucky Socks - DONE!

So, taking a bit from what the Yarn Harlot did, on my next pair, I decreased every round when I got to about 30 or so stiches on the needles. This made a rounder toe and fit better. When I started doing toe-up socks, I’d been doing this “decrease every round” thing for a while, so I adapted it to toe up.

Here’s my formula for toe up socks:

Cast on 16 (4 each needle if using DPNs, 8 each needle using Magic Loop or 2 circs) using your preferred method of casting on.
Increase every round for 5 to 6 rounds (depending on how round you want your toe).
Now, do increases every other round until you are at the number of stitches needed.

For top down, I usually do this:

When I get down to 36 to 40 stitches (36 would be 5 increase rounds toe up and 40 would be 6 increase rounds), I start decreasing every round until there are 16 stitches left, then I kitchner them closed.

Pretty simple way to make a change in fit that can make a big difference. πŸ™‚