Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

WIPs and Spinning

I think I’m a little backwards this week. Wednesday I posted finished projects and today (Friday) I’m posting works-in-progress! Not that I really keep up with WIP Wednesday or FO Friday. At any rate… today’s post is all about WIPs! (And spinning, too. 😉 )

I’ve been keeping up with the Vonica KAL at Lambikin’s Hideaway, though I think I may be a bit ahead of everyone else since I’ve worked on it quite a bit in-between the meetings for it. This past Sunday, I did the bind off for the body. Just the sleeves left now! I took this before going to the KAL on Sunday. I didn’t think I’d get quite that far along while at the shop, but happy with the progress I’ve made on it. I’ve been just a little worried about fit. Right now it seems a bit big, but I’m putting trust in my swatch that the sweater will shrink up when I wash it.

Vonica
Vonica

A few weeks ago when we went out with friends, I realized none of the projects I was working on were that portable for knitting in public and I had no plain vanilla socks on my needles. I pulled out my skein of Bad Amy Stripey Sock in Bonnie & Clyde (December club shipment) and cast on. I love this colorway and how it’s knitting up!

Bonnie & Clyde Sock
Plain vanilla sock using Bad Amy in Bonnie & Clyde

I’ve been working on the Cadence sock here and there. I got a little stalled on the foot. It felt like it was taking FOREVER to finish! I picked it up earlier this week, determined to finish it. Tuesday I finished the first sock. Don’t have a good picture of the first one, so here’s where I was on Sunday, nearly to where I started the toe.

Cadence Sock
Cadence Sock

Ever feel like you’re not really making progress on your current projects? I’ve been feeling that way lately and despite my recent FO’s, I wanted something that would work up a little faster. I went to my 12 in 2012 box looking for something that would work up fairly quickly. Sitting right on top was a skein of Malabrigo Rios in Archangel along with the Nouveau Bohemia pattern. This colorway is gorgeous and I’ve wanted to knit this hat/beret (option for both in the pattern) since it came out. Hats always seem to go quickly for me, so it seemed like a good choice for a quick project. I’ve got the ribbing and one repeat of the pattern done. The yarn is great to work with and the pattern is well written. I think this may actually be a beret I’ll wear quite a bit! That’s saying something since I rarely wear hats of any kind. 🙂

Nouveau Bohemia Beret
Nouveau Bohemia Beret

I did quite a bit of spinning in January after not touching my wheel for most of 2011. I finished up two bumps of fiber and started on my club shipment from Zarzuela’s Fibers (BFL/Silk in the colorway January Haze). Last week I finished spinning the second half of the club shipment and did my first ever Navajo ply. My singles weren’t as even as I hoped they were. For some reason I had a hard time getting in a good rhythm with my wheel for this fiber and ended up with a few thicker spots in the finished yarn. I’m still quite happy with how it turned out, though. It still needs to be washed, then I’ll figure out my yardage and WPI. Planning on knitting a cowl with it – hope I’ll have enough!

Zarzuela's Fibers BFL/Silk - January Haze
Zarzuela’s Fibers January Club Shipment
75% BFL/25% Silk in January Haze

The Knit Girllls are doing a spin-a-long this year called Expand Your Horizons which focuses on a different fiber every other month. You can find all the info for the spin-a-long in The Knit Girllls Ravelry group. I thought this would be a great way to try out fibers I might not otherwise spin, plus I’m learning more about the fiber through the SAL then I likely would have just trying the various fibers on my own. February’s fiber is Shetland, so I purchased 3.9 oz of Moorit Shetland in Midsummer Night’s Dream from Unwind Yarn Company. Here’s the fiber before I started spinning it (some of it has been pre-drafted).

Unwind Yarn Company Shetland
Unwind Yarn Company Moorit Shetland in Midsummer Night’s Dream

Last night I started spinning it up. This is my first time spinning with Shetland and it’s a bit different then other fibers I’ve tried. Seems a bit more coarse, but it drafts very well and I think it’s pretty easy to spin with. Not sure yet how (or if) I’ll ply it or what I’ll do with it once it’s done. I like the subtle colors of the dye on the darker fiber.

That’s everything that I’ve been spinning the last few weeks. Not a whole lot since I’ve been knitting more then spinning recently, but I’m having fun working through the fiber in my stash and the new fiber as well. I think once I’ve finished the Shetland I’ll spin up one of my fiber club shipments from Hello Yarn.

Looking forward to my upcoming mini-vacation. Matt and I have the next four days off work! No real plans to do much, just looking forward to a few days off together. 🙂 Hope everyone has a good weekend!

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Posted in Completed Projects

Finished Objects and Stashing Down

Ever feel like you’ve made a blog post when you haven’t? I get that feeling sometimes when I’ve spent a number of days going over a blog post in my head only to realize I never actually made one. Turns out that thinking about blogging isn’t the same as actually blogging! Who knew? 😉

I’ve got a few FO’s to share today and one that I really need to share soon since I finished it mid-January. I can’t believe I took photos this past weekend and forgot to take one of the finished (and blocked!) Wussypillows beret. I admit I’m not all that thrilled with the finished beret because it’s a bit snug on my head. I should have knit the next size up. Ah well, it is finished and blocked at least! I’ll try to get a photo of it soon so I can do a proper FO post for it.

After finishing up the beret, I got to work on the monster for the SSK KAL #3 that features Rebecca Danger patterns. I ended up not using the brown I had in stash and instead used handspun that I had done a long while back from Zarzuela’s Fibers. I thought it went really well with the Crayon box from Gale’s Art that I had spun for the body. I love how Tony the Toy-Box Monster turned out! He now lives on my desk, so I suppose he’s more of a Desk Monster then a Toy-Box one. 🙂

Tony the Handspun Toy-Box Monster
Tony the Handspun Toy-Box Monster

Pattern: Tony the Toy-Box Monster by Rebecca Danger (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 22, 2012
Completed: January 27, 2012
Yarn: Handspun – Gale’s Art Merino in Crayon Box for the body and Zarzuela’s Fibers Merino in Emerald City for the limbs
Needle: US 10.5 bamboo DPNs
Notes: Followed the pattern as written. The directions were a little unclear about how to stuff the limbs. I put stuffing in the feet and stitched it shut at the bottom of the leg so it wouldn’t shift around. For the hands/arms, I didn’t do that, just let a little of the stuffing travel up the arms a bit. Overall I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Since finishing up Tony, I feel like I’ve started and frogged projects and not really made a whole lot of progress. I started the Guernsey Wrap, then decided I’d likely never wear it, so I frogged it. I started a pair of fingerless mitts out of handspun, but they were too big and the gauge was tighter then I liked, so those got frogged too. With two socks on the needles, a blanket and a sweater, I just felt like nothing was moving along. Then, Friday before last, Berroco sent out their usual Friday email and I saw the Greer Scarf. I’m not a frilly kind of person usually, but something about this scarf just begged me to make one. I went to the LYS near work, Hank, A Yarn Boutique, and picked up a skein of Berroco Lacey. That evening, I whipped it up in about an hour and a half. Pretty easy project and definitely one that qualifies for instant gratification in my book!

Matt is fancy wearing my Greer scarf!
Matt is fancy wearing my Greer Scarf

Pattern: Greer Scarf (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: February 3, 2012
Completed: February 3, 2012
Yarn: Berroco Lacey, White, 1/2 skein
Hook: 5.0 mm/H hook
Notes: This pattern can be done knit or crochet. Personally I think it is MUCH easier to do crochet because of the yarn used. Much less fiddly then knitting would be. If you wanted to use up the full skein of yarn, you could easily double the size. The first length of yarn that is cut scrunches up a lot when you do the border, so if you wanted a longer scarf, you would just adjust the size of that first/center piece of yarn.

Update on my attempt at stashing down: I can’t really say it’s going well! Mid-January, I discovered a lot of acrylic and a few random skeins of yarn I thought was accounted for weren’t actually accounted for. On top of that I fell down at two Wollmeise updates at The Loopy Ewe. Club yarn and my Color Affection Kits arrived, too.

In numbers January looks like this: +17,634.1 yards. New stash total: 113,089.3 yards/64.26 miles.

Well shoot. That’s sort of the wrong direction isn’t it? It wasn’t all bad, though. I did get 1,990.5 yards out of stash. Compared to the 19,624.6 yards that came in, that’s not so great, but it’s still something! If I were to adjust the total for the yarn that wasn’t accounted for at the beginning that I thought was actually accounted for, my starting total would be 104,329.8 yards/59.28 miles (for reference my beginning total was 95,455.2 yards/54.24 miles). So, with the adjustment I’d be up 8,759.5 yards instead of 19,624.6 yards. That all gets rather confusing for tracking, though. Instead I’m cutting my losses for not double checking my stash at the start and January just doesn’t look that good. Ah well, such is life sometimes.

So far in February, 8 skeins of yarn have found their way home to me and 1 skein of WM Lace is off to a new home very soon. Still leaves me up for the month, but I’ve got time to adjust that. I already have plans to start two projects that would use up 3 skeins of yarn and the club yarn that just arrived came with a pattern I’m planning on starting soon, too. Add in the projects I plan to finish this month and I think this month will be better then January for stashing down.

Next time I’ll show you all the WIPs and spinning I’ve been working on. 🙂 Happy knitting/crocheting/spinning all!