Posted in Spinning

An Update on Spinning

I mentioned in my April blog post that I had finished spinning the Masham fiber and that I was rather allergic to it. I took a photo of it and ended up sending it off to live in Michigan with Jessie (aka neonlights on Ravelry). I ended up with about 165 yards of DK weight yarn. I think it turned out rather nice, despite being so allergic to it. Very bright and fun colors!

BohoKnitterChic Masham (Volans)
BohoKnitterChic Masham in Volnas

Back at the beginning of April, I was spinning Hello Yarn BFL in Burnished. It took me forever to finish that since it was spinning very thin, but I managed to finish spinning it the last week of May and ply it the first weekend in June. Since I had split this fiber in half down the center, I decided to Navajo ply it to keep the long color repeats I had spun. I ended up with 447 yards of fingering weight yarn.

Hello Yarn BFL Burnished
Hello Yarn BFL in Burnished

I’m currently knitting it into a Baktus scarf.

Baktus
Beginnings of a Baktus

After finishing the BFL, I haven’t spun anything. I’ve been going back and forth about what to spin. I need to spin 2-3 bobbins of singles for the wheel class I’m taking at SSK next week and last night I finally started prepping All Spun Up merino for that.

All Spun Up, Merino
All Spun Up Merino

After that, I think it’s on to the June Expand Your Horizons SAL fiber. June’s fiber is Romney and it just so happens that April’s Hello Yarn club shipment was Romney. The colorway is called Splendid.

Hello Yarn Fiber Club - April 2012
Hello Yarn Romney in Splendid

Then there’s this Loop bump I got a while back that I want to spin up.

Loop (Kaleidoscope Eyes)
Loop Batt in Kaleidoscope Eyes

And 908347 other things that make me wish I had more time in my day to knit and spin! Darn that job and schooling getting in the way!!

Ohh, can’t forget that Tour de Fleece is starting at the end of this month! Who will be participating in TdF this year? Already know what you’ll be spinning? I’m still figuring out some of the details, but my big challenge will be to spin a sock yarn. Already have fiber picked out and ready to go! Might start out with something else. Still undecided about that. I may need the whole time just to work on the sock yarn!

Have you all been spinning anything recently or planning to spin some things up? I’ll be taking a wheel class next week as well as a core spinning class. I hope to share that with you once I return from SSK! Off to spinning group tonight where I’ll be working on the singles for that wheel class. 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Spinning

An Update with a FO

I can’t believe it’s the end of April already. It feels like it’s been longer and shorter then that since I last blogged early in the month. Two weeks ago I started taking two college courses in addition to working full time. Needless to say, that leaves me very little time to do much else aside from work, school, homework, and whatever household and family responsibilities I have to fit in in-beween those first three. I feel exhausted just talking about it!

I feel like I’ve started and abandoned (frogged) and set aside a bunch of knitting projects in that time, but I’m fairly certain it’s not that many. It’s just my brain playing tricks on me, I’m sure! Hmmm, lets see. *goes back and looks at previous posts to see where she left off*

I did spin up the bright colored Masham from BohoKnitterChic I mentioned my last post. Turns out I’m allergic to it. QUITE allergic, in fact. Yesterday I tried to photograph it and it made my throat feel very itchy until well after I put it in a ziplock bag! While I was spinning it, it made my throat feel itchy and swollen, which is the same reaction I’ve had to some of the more coarse and sheepy wools I’ve tried to knit with in the past (which I ended up giving away because there is plenty of other yarn that DOESN’T make me react that way). Needless to say it has to find a new home with someone else who isn’t allergic to it and The Sheep’s Company Masham will be finding a new home with a local friend of mine as soon as I can remember to give it to her. The Expand Your Spinning Horizons is definitely doing it’s job. Masham is a hairy and corse fiber. It was actually rather nice to spin up aside from the bad reaction I had to it. I’ll post a picture of the finished yarn when I get one. I like how it ended up just as bright as the fiber pre-spinning! Sad I’m allergic to it because I think it would make a great outerwear item. Ah well. I’ve had a new experience I likely wouldn’t have ever had thanks to this spin-a-long.

As for knitting… I managed to get one FO for the month of April! A pair of socks. 😀 I knit these as part of the Solid Socks KAL (colorway: yellow) and Sock Knitters Anonymous KAL (literary themed) for the month of April. This is the first sock group specific KAL I’ve finished in a while! Knitting with yellow was definitely out of my comfort zone. I can’t actually recall anything that I’ve knit in yellow, ever. It’s not a color that I wear much, if ever, so it was fun to knit something I wouldn’t normally knit.

Nemesis Socks
Nemesis Socks

Pattern: Nemesis by Susan Dittrich (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: April 2, 2012
Completed: April 28, 2012
Yarn: The Copper Corgi Studio Fingering in the colorway Mac & Cheese, 2 skeins
Needle: US 1 (2.25mm) Knit Picks circular
Notes: When I started the foot of the sock after knitting the heel flap and picking up stitches, I misread the instructions and left out part of the chart on either side of the main pattern. When I got to the toe, I realized it wouldn’t line up to continue the patterning on the toe as instructed, so instead I knit a plain toe and did the second sock to match the mistakes in the first sock. Ah well, I still like how they came out!

I’ve been working on a number of different projects. I appologise in advance for having mostly iPhone pictures for this part of the post, but I figured if I waited until I got around to taking better pictures with my DSLR, most of these would be FOs and I wouldn’t have even talked about them here yet! (Much like the Nemesis socks above. Oops.) I have four shawls and two pairs of socks in progress. Some of them are now “hibernating” on Ravelry since I tend to only focus on 2-3 projects at a time.

Back in March, I cast on for TVG. I’m using Malabrigo Rios in Archangel. I haven’t made a whole lot of progress and it’s been hibernating since shortly after starting it, but it makes for a nice “mindless” project to pick up whenever.

TGV
TVG

The first week of April, I decided to cast on a shawl. I’d been itching to use some of the Cephalopod Yarns I’d purchased earlier in the year, so I cast on for Thin Ice. I’m using Skinny Bugga! in Leafy Seadragon. Here’s a picture of the yarn so you can get a better idea of the beautiful colors in this yarn since my iPhone picture really, really doesn’t show the colors well!

Cephalopod Yarns Skinny Bugga!
Cephalopod Yarns Skinny Bugga! in Leafy Seadragon

I’m working on the 5th stockinette section right now. I’ve been picking it up every so often and knitting a row or two on it. I think this is going to be a great shawl once it’s finished. This is really lovely yarn to work with! It’s been quite a while since I last worked with Bugga!, but man is it nice. 🙂

Thin Ice
Thin Ice

That same first week in April, I cast on for another shawl. I must have had a bad case of startitus that week! The pattern is Magrathea and I’m using handspun. The fiber is from Zarzueal’s Fibers (Etsy & Artfire). The fiber is targhee and the colorway is Emeralds. This stuff is super squishy and very nice to knit with. I can’t wait to have this one done! It’s going to be great to wear, plus this pattern will allow me to use up as much yarn as possible. A better picture of the color can be found here – it’s the two on the right side. It’s not quite as “warm” as this picture makes it seem.

Magrathea
Magrathea

On April 21st, I finished the first Bonnie and Clyde sock. (Bad Amy 80/20 Stripey Sock in the Bonnie and Clyde colorway) These are hibernating for now. Needed the needles to start another sock with just a bit more patterning then plain vanilla.

Bonnie & Clyde Sock
Bonnie and Clyde Sock #1

The details of the SSK KAL #5 were announced on April 19th and I cast on shortly after that. I knew before the details were posted that the KAL would be featuring at least Laura (aka LaLa) of The Knit Girllls since she had mentioned it in her Ravelry group, LaLa Knits. Since there’s also a KAL going on in that group, I’m double dipping with this next shawl and knitting LaLa’s Simple Shawl. I’m using Another Crafty Girl Twinkle Sock in the Lagoon colorway. Sparkly! Pretty easy pattern which makes it easy for me to pick up and knit.

Lala's Simple Shawl
LaLa’s Simple Shawl

And last, but not least, here are the Jaywalker socks I started this weekend (the socks I needed my US 0’s for – for the cuff). I’m using Bad Amy Splendid Sock (MCN) in Violeta Stripe (brown & purple). Mmmmm MCN. I think I love MCN yarns, though I don’t knit with them nearly enough. Very nice to work with and I’m loving the stripes in this pattern. A lot more fun then just plain vanilla!

Jaywalker Socks
Jaywalker Socks

I think that sums up my April for knitting and spinning progress. We’ll talk about my stash “progress” another time. 😉 What fun things have you been working on lately?

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Spinning Update

Back on March 10th, a friend of mine, Karen, told me that there was a Lendrum DT for sale on Ravelry. This was one of the wheels I had pretty high on my list of wheels I wanted. As luck would have it, the seller wanted to sell it to someone local (in my city) and I had the funds for the wheel, so I messaged the seller. She still had the wheel available and we arranged everything so I could pick it up the next day. I was SO EXCITED! I met Barbara, the seller, at her house and picked up my new wheel on March 11th. Barbara was so sweet and a pleasure to talk with. She had learned to spin on a Lendrum DT, purchased one, then found that she much preferred spinning on spindles and decided to find her Lendrum DT a new home. She said that after corresponding and talking with me that she knew it was going to a good home. I couldn’t agree more! 😀

Lendrum DT
My new wheel!

For a few years now, I’ve had a Babe single treadle wheel. It’s served me very well in the time that I’ve owned it. For a while, I had been having some issues whenever I did some spinning on it. I’d always end up feeling a bit sore in my hips or knees after spinning for long. With my back issues, I wasn’t too worried about it, but it did mean that I’d often choose knitting over spinning even though I enjoyed spinning when I did. For a long time, I wondered if having a double treadle wheel would help with the physical issues I’d been having, so I kept looking at wheels and even tried a few out at fiber festivals. When I found out about this Lendrum that was for sale, I had been looking at getting a new wheel very soon and it was just luck that it all came together.

Since getting the Lendrum, I have had no pain while spinning! I absolutely love this wheel and look forward to spinning now.

The first thing I spun on it was this Shetland/fine wool batt from Sporfarm that I received in a swap some time ago.

Sporfarm "Seamist"
Sporfarm Setland/Fine Wool batt

I didn’t really have any plan on how I wanted it to spin up. As I was spinning it, it wanted to spin pretty fine and I found it easy to keep it fairly consistent. I did find it shed quite a bit while spinning. I kept having to pick fiber off me more then usual! I would say it was a bit of a sticky blend of fiber, though still very nice to spin up. After I finished the singles, I decided to two ply it. It really fluffed up after a bath and it is pretty well balanced. It was so nice to be able to ply it on the bulky flyer/bobbin and have one big skein instead of having to break it up. I ended up with 322 yards of fingering weight yarn.

Sporefarm Shetland - Spun
Sporfarm Setland/Fine Wool Spun

I haven’t done a whole lot of spinning since I finished that up. I had to take a little spinning break so I could finish up the baby blanket, but I’ve picked it back up this past weekend. I’ve been spinning Hello Yarn (January 2012 club shipment) BFL in the colorway Burnished. These aren’t colors I would have picked out myself, but it’s been fun to spin something that I wouldn’t normally go for. (You can see a better picture of the fiber here.)

Hello Yarn - Burnished BFL
Hello Yarn BFL in Burnished

Still debating on if I will two ply or Navajo ply once it’s finished. It’s taking a while to get through the first 2 oz, so there’s plenty of time to decide, but right now I’m leaning towards two ply. I’m planning to make a Lacy Batkus with it once it’s done.

It’s April, which means it’s time for the next fiber in the Expand Your Spinning Horizons SAL that The Knit Girllls are doing over in their Ravelry group. Friday I posted the hat I knit using the Moorit Shetland in Midsummer Night’s Dream from Unwind Yarn Company. I didn’t get a good picture of it before I knit it up, but you can see the hat here if you missed it. I Navajo plied the finished singles and ended up with 126 yards of Aran weight yarn. For April the fiber is Masham (also known as massam). I ended up getting two for this month and hope I have time to spin them both. I bought 4 oz ombre batt from The Sheep’s Company and a 4 oz braid from BohoKnitterChic. I loved the gradient batts from The Sheep’s Company and couldn’t resist the bright, fun colors from BohoKnitterChic! Even if I don’t get them spun this month, I’m sure they’ll be fun to spin up.

April's Masham
Masham from The Sheep’s Company and BohoKnitterChic

Always so many things I want to spin and never enough time in the day. 😉

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!

Posted in Completed Projects, Crochet, Current Projects, Spinning

NYAN!! and Other Things

Ever have one of those days where you feel like there’s a lot you want to share, but aren’t sure where to start? I’m feeling like that as I try to write this blog post today! I’ve been busy organizing my stash, figuring out what projects to work on, knitting, crocheting, and spinning. How about I start with an FO?

I hadn’t mentioned it here as a WIP at all because I wanted it to be a surprise. I knew I couldn’t upload photos to Flickr or Ravelry as I knew the recipient would see! It was hard to keep it a secret and I kept wanting to share it. Now I finally can!

I started this scarf back in December, hoping to get it done as a Christmas present, but it didn’t end up getting finished. January hit and I started working on other things, then decided to finish it up just in time to be a birthday gift. I made this for Jen, aka piddleloop on Ravelry and part of the Piddleloop Sewing Team. A while back she saw the Amigurumi Pop Tart Cat Scarf pattern and went crazy for it. I knew I had to make this for her since she said she can’t really crochet. This has to be one of most fun things I’ve made!

Nyan!! <3
Jen and the Nyan Cat Scarf
Photo from Jen

Pattern: Amigurumi Pop Tart Cat Scarf by Mevlinn Gusick (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: December 4, 2011
Completed: January 16, 2012
Yarn: I Love This Yarn, Caron Simply Soft, and Vanna’s Choice Solids (see Ravelry page for details on colors)
Hook: 4.5 mm and 5.0 mm (H)
Notes: Added a few extra stitches to make the scarf a bit longer. Added a mouth, nose, and cheeks. Followed the rest of the pattern as written.

Nyan Cat Scarf
Nyan Cat Scarf

Before I mailed it off to Jen, Matt was nice enough to let me take some photos of him wearing it. I think this one was my favorite of the bunch, though this one was a close second!

Tasty pop tart? (Nyan)
Tasty Nyan Cat!

This year I wanted to get back to spinning and hoped to get in at least an hour a week with my spinning wheel. Recently, my friend Karen learned to spin, which really motivated me to finish what I had on the wheel and do some spinning for the current SSK KAL. The top one is from Stitches ‘n Rows. It’s Falkland in the colorway Silver Age Joker. It was great to spin and I LOVE the colors. It ended up being heavy fingering weight, though I haven’t figured out the yardage on it yet. I’m planning to knit a pair of fingerless gloves with it.

Handspun!
Handspun!

The bottom one is from Gale’s Art. I bought this a few years ago when I went to MDSW. It’s merino in the Crayon Box colorway. I tried to get a worsted weight with it, but ended up bulky. I’m currently knitting up a Tony the Toy-Box Monster for the SSK KAL #3, which features Rebecca Danger patterns. Since I don’t have enough for the entire monster because the yarn ended up bulkier then I planned, I’ll be using some stash yarn in a chocolate brown color for the arms and legs.

Last night I realized that there was quite a bit of yarn, mostly acrylics, that I didn’t have in my Ravelry stash. I thought I had at least most, if not all, of it in my stash at the beginning of the year. I realized I needed to go through and double check everything yesterday when I noticed a non-acrylic yarn missing from my Ravelry stash that I knew was there. This added quite a bit of yardage to my total – roughly 8,000 yards! Last night I took the time to photograph it all and today I made stash entries for everything. I’ll have to adjust it just a bit later on because not all of them are full skeins. It sure does feel good to have EVERYTHING on there now, though, and have a solid total on everything.

In an effort to use up some of my stash, especially the acrylics I purchased for various home things (blanket, pillows, etc), I started a Moderne Log Cabin blanket using the colors below.

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket
Moderne Log Cabin

I’ve been wanting a knitted blanket for myself for a long time, but couldn’t bring myself to commit to it. I attempted to make a rippled afghan using the blue and pink from the photo above, but just got tired of it. Crocheting doesn’t allow me to watch TV while doing it because I have to look at my work constantly, so I frogged it. Since I can watch TV or read while knitting, I thought this would make a good TV/movie project since it’s all garter stitch. I’m about a 1/3 through the first big square right now and will mostly work on it while TV or movie watching, so it’s more of a long term project. I will admit it’s a bit addicting to knit garter stitch and I find myself wanting to work on it quit a bit. I think the bright colors I’m using are giving me motivation to finish it because I really want the finished blanket!

Oh! I gave Matt’s brother his hat and I think he liked it. 🙂

What are you working on this week? I feel like I still want to start ALL THE THINGS lately, but refraining until I get other things finished first so that I don’t get overwhelmed with WIPs. Tough when I see so many beautiful projects from everyone! I did finish the Wussypillows beret, but haven’t blocked it, so no photos of that yet. Of course there are other WIPs I’m working on, though I don’t have photos of them right now, so I’ll share them next time.

Happy crafting! 🙂

Posted in Crochet, Current Projects, Spinning

I’ve Been Crocheting, Spinning, and Knitting!

As the days go by, I find that I have less pain in my hands/wrists and can knit a little bit longer each time. I feel like I’m almost back to “normal,” though I am still getting a little pain now and then. I’m still a little slower then is normal for me, but I suppose that will come back in time.

Since I’ve been crocheting, knitting, AND spinning in the last week, I’ve got some progress to share!

The scarf is coming along nicely. I’m enjoying working on it and seeing the colors change. It seems a little slow going because I keep adding or skipping stitches, then realize it a row or two later. Ah well, I’m still enjoying it!

Spring Scarf
Spring Ripples

For June and July in the Soild Socks group on Ravelry, there is a mystery pattern from Yarnissima. Initially I wasn’t going to join in since I never finish mystery knit-a-longs, but there was this green Wollmeise in my stash that called out to me, so I wound up the skein into two (mostly equal) cakes of yarn and cast on! The pattern can be found on Ravelry here: GUSH – Solid Socks June 2011Mystery Sock. I’ll probably just refer to these as my GUSH socks or mystery socks, since that title is a bit long. 😉

This past weekend, I finished up the toes of both socks. The second clue came out yesterday and I’ve already started working on it.

Gush
GUSH Sock

Speaking of socks… I have tried to finish up Maelstrom and my stripey socks. I love the gauge I’m getting on Maelstrom, but it’s a little on the tighter side for Socks That Rock Mediumweight (I’m using US 1.5’s) and it really hurts my hands when I try to work on it. I have been knitting on my stripey socks and they’re moving along, slowly. I think the US 0’s are bothering my hands a little, so I’ve been limiting my time knitting on them. I’m hoping they’ll be done soon, though!

There has been spinning! I finished up the Cheviot I had on the wheel from Zarzuela’s Fibers in the DC Sunrise colorway a while ago, but I haven’t taken pictures of it yet since it still needs to be washed. After I finished that, I started on the Falkland I got from Stitches ‘n Rows in the Silver Age Joker colorway. I put it aside for a bit when my wrists got briefly worse, then the fiber for The Dahlia Cowl SAL/KAL that’s going on in Zarzuela’s Fiber Junkies group on Ravelry arrived.

When I was ready to give spinning a go after my wrists were feeling a bit better, the SAL/KAL had started, so I figured I should get going on it. In two days I had it spun, plied, and washed! That may be the fastest I’ve spun something up in a while. I love how squishy and soft it turned out. If I calculated it right, I ended up with 92 yards, which is a bit short of the 120 yards required for the pattern. I do have a small “leftover” skein that didn’t make it on the first bobbin that I didn’t measure, so I might have around 100 yards total.

Here’s a shot of before and after spinning up the fiber.

SAL/KAL Fiber
Dahlia Polworth Fiber

Dahlia SAL/KAL
Dahlia Polworth Fiber – Spun

I’ve been debating about what I want to cast on for next now that I’ve cleared a few sweaters off the needles. I think I’d like to do a shawl of some sort, but I can’t seem to decide on a pattern! There’s too many ones that I like out there. What shawls are on your list to knit or that you’re currently working on? Or is there something else (that isn’t a sweater) that you’ve got on your “must knit” list? I want to cast something on, but nothing in my queue or stash is really calling to me! What a problem to have! Hahaha 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Spinning

Sunny Riverwalk Scarf Finished and Project Updates

The day prior to leaving for Rhinebeck, I finished the scarf I was hoping to wear while there. It ended up that it wasn’t really cold enough to need it, but I did finish it in time and brought it with me.

Sunny Riverwalk
Sunny Riverwalk Scarf

Pattern: Riverwalk (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: October 2, 2010
Completed: October 13, 2010
Yarn: Malabrigo Chunky, 4 skeins in Butter
Needles: US 10.5 bamboo straight needles
Notes: I did the wide version of the scarf (two cable/chart repeats) and used up exactly 4 skeins of Malabrigo Chunky with none left over. This scarf is soft, squishy and warm. I have a feeling it will get quite a bit of wear this winter! I’ve decided to call it my Sunny Riverwalk scarf because of the lovely yellow color.

Try as I did to get at least the front and back of the Climbing Vines Pullover done to wear at Rhinebeck, it didn’t happen. I’ve finished the back piece and half of the front piece. It’s moving along pretty quickly and I’ve enjoyed working on it. The dark red of this sweater is pretty hard to photograph properly! I always seem to have difficulties with reds. I’m still undecided on the sleeve length of this, though I’m thinking that I’ll do 3/4 length to get more wear out of it. I think I just tend to get too warm to wear long sleeves, even in the winter.

Climbing Vines Pullover
Climbing Vines Pullover (Yarn: Cascade 220)

I’ve been itching to cast on something new in the last week or so. Sweaters have been calling me! As soon as I saw Anne Hanson’s new pattern, Bel Air, I knew I needed to make it and exactly what yarn I wanted to use. I got the pattern, swatched, washed the swatch, checked my gauge… then came to my senses that I needed to finish the Climbing Vines Pullover and start my handspun Featherweight before starting this. I think as soon as Climbing Vines is done, I’ll be casting on for Bel Air. The way I’m going, I don’t think that will be too long of a wait!

So, instead of casting on Bel Air, I cast on for Featherweight. I had to do a little math because my gauge is different (the gauge I thought suited my yarn best). I’m knitting to the smallest size in the pattern, but it will end up about the size of the 43″ in the pattern had I used the gauge the pattern called for. Working with my own handspun has been lovely! I have an idea of what I’ll use for the collar since I don’t think I’ll have enough yarn for that. Waiting until the body is done to decide, though.

Handspun Featherweight
Handspun Featherweight

I’ve been doing some spinning as well! Currently breaking in the spindle I purchased at Rhinebeck. 😀 I never thought I’d say that I enjoy spinning on a spindle, but I love this one! It didn’t take me long to feel comfortable enough to drop it and let it spin while I draft. I think the smaller size of this one compared to other ones I’ve used really helps me feel more comfortable with it. I’m sure I’ve learned plenty from the wheel spinning I’ve done, too. It’s nice to have a portable spinning project now. The fiber I’m spinning is superwash merino from Bonkers Fibers in Deep Sea.

Breaking in the New Spindle
Breaking in the New Spindle

After finishing the Maelstrom socks, I haven’t felt the desire to knit socks, despite it being Socktober. I had a pair of Jaywalkers on the needles that I’d been working on here and there. When I picked them up after finishing the Maelstrom socks, I just wasn’t loving them. The pattern is just a bit too snug on my leg and since I wasn’t totally in love with the pattern or the yarn, I frogged them this week. I think sweater knitting has taken over the sock knitting for the time being. I’m sure the sock knitting will return and I’m considering a few sock patterns currently, but for now it seems to be All Sweaters, All The Time around here!

Posted in Cooking, Current Projects, Spinning

Cottage Garden, Featherweight Spinning, and Green BEAN Delivery

This past weekend gave me TONS of time to knit because we didn’t have a whole lot to do most of the weekend and it was Labor Day on Monday, so on top of not having a lot scheduled, I had an extra day off work. I’m always a fan of extra free time off work to knit! 😉

Cottage Garden is coming along nicely. I’m about a half inch from being done with the body. Thinking I’ll be able to finish it up tonight. I know a stockinette sweater isn’t that interesting to photograph, but here’s what it looks like right now.

Cottage Garden (Body)
Cottage Garden – Body

A while back, I mentioned the SAL/KAL going on over in the Zarzuela’s Fibers Junikes group on Ravelry. I’ve been working on the Targhee in Emeralds (which spins up so lovely!) and have the first 4 ounces plied up.

Emeralds
Targhee in Emeralds – Plied

I should check what my wraps per inch (WPI) is, but my guess is that it’s fingering weight. I’ve already started on the second 4 ounces and I’m about 2/3 of the way through the first bobbin. I’ve enjoyed working with Targhee and I’m glad I have more once this is finished! 🙂 Once I’m all done with this, I’m hoping I’ll have enough for Featherweight.

I’m not so great at estimating (or calculating) the yardage on my handspun. I’ve been working on getting a yardage counter put together, but I need a piece of wood to mount it on. I found instructions on the Hello Yarn blog: Make Your Own Yardage Counter. I have everything except something to mount it on. I didn’t want to buy a big 2 x 4 just for a small piece of it, but I may need to break down and do that. Anyone know if Lowe’s or Home Depot will cut it down for you?

I didn’t have a picture of the progress on my second Maelstrom sock last post, but I did get one this weekend. It hasn’t seen any progress since I started Cottage Garden. I figure I’ll pick it back up once I get done with the sweater. Rhinebeck sweater takes priority!

Maelstrom Sock #2 (Right)
Maelstrom Sock #2

In new and exciting news, this week we got our first delivery from Green BEAN Delivery (formerly Farm Fresh Delivery). I had been wanting to try them out for a while because I’ve grown increasingly tired of going grocery shopping and ending up having to go back multiple times per week for something that I forgot or suddenly need. This usually ended up being because of poor planning on my part, but regardless, I have grown to despise grocery shopping. Since moving to Cincinnati, I’ve been hoping for something like Amazon Fresh or Peapod. I first heard about Farm Fresh Delivery from an advertisement on the radio months ago. I was intrigued by the concept and was hoping to find someone I knew who had used the service before taking the plunge. Many people I knew had heard about it, but no one had used their service before. Finally, last week I caved and signed up. Just this week they changed their name from Farm Fresh Delivery to Green BEAN Delivery (this happened the day our first order arrived) and got a new website. I placed our first order under the old website, but I found the process to be really easy. I got to choose everything that ended up in our produce bin (there are defaults each week, but you can substitute any of the items), added a few other things we wanted, and it arrived in a green bin on our doorstep Tuesday evening.

Green BEAN Delivery
First Green BEAN Delivery

Aside from a few pieces of lettuce from the salad mix that were wilted (which I wasn’t surprised or worried about since that happens when I buy lettuce from the grocery store, too), everything was in great shape when I went through and inspected the box. This order we got 6 ears of sweet corn, 2 red grapefruits, a pound roma tomatoes, a pound fingerling potatoes, a yellow onion, a bunch of cilantro, a quart of strawberries, two pounds of green grapes, 5 black plums, 2 zucchinis, a head of lettuce, a pound of salad mix, red bell peppers, and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing from Farm to Kitchen. I just got an email notice that I can adjust my order for this week and I’m already looking forward to what will arrive in the next bin! Having to plan out what I want delivered last week made me think about what we’ll be eating for the coming week and planning meals accordingly. There are still things we buy that we can’t get from Green BEAN Delivery, so I will still need to go grocery shopping once a week for bread, lunch meat, and whatever other things we may need to supplement the delivery. We’ll also still go to Costco to buy the things in bulk we use a lot of. I’m interested to see if it’s any cheaper over time then what I’ve been spending at the grocery store each week. Of course there’s more then just cost to think about to decide if it’s worth it! After a few weeks of delivery, I’ll try and remember to update what I think about it and how it’s going.

Time to go make some salsa from the produce that was delivered Tuesday! 🙂

Posted in Current Projects, Knit Ramblings, Life, Spinning

Not Knitting, Upcoming Projects, and a SAL/KAL

Since my last post and my mention of my back hurting a bit, I’ve had some further injuries. My right wrist started hurting suddenly and I was getting a very sharp pain when I moved it. Along with that pain, I started having some pain in my right shoulder as well. After a few days and it not improving, I decided to haul myself to the doctor to get it checked out. Doc told me it was tendinitis, gave me a few prescriptions to help, and told me to rest my wrist and shoulder as much as possible. Since the pain in the wrist started, I put aside the knitting, crocheting, spinning, and limited my computer use. I’m right handed, so at work I started using the mouse with my left hand and using my right hand as little as possible and really just trying to do nothing while at home so I didn’t further injure myself. I’m not entirely sure what caused it other then overuse/repetitive motion. I had been using the mouse more at work since a particular program I use can really only be navigated by mouse or special voice software (which I don’t have), so the repetitive motion of that for 4-5 hours per day for 3+ weeks is likely what put me over the edge into the “wow that hurts and it’s not going away” territory. Before the wrist pain even started, I did have some on and off shoulder problems, but it wasn’t sticking around until after the wrist really hurt.

Anyhow… all of that to say for the last two weeks I haven’t been knitting which leaves me with very little blogging content! I have been reading, but I’m a fairly slow reader. When I put aside the knitting and spinning, I picked up a copy of Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross at the book store and I’m now roughly 70% through it. I’ve really enjoyed it so far. My book queue has grown quite a bit in the last two weeks, that’s for sure!

I do have a little bit of knitting to share. Before I wasn’t knitting, I started the Fresh Mint tank top out of NatruallyCaron.com Spa yarn.

Fresh Mint
Fresh Mint

I’ve already attached the top edges together where they should be to make it easier to try on as I go. I’ve also modified it a bit by doing the garter stitch border on the edge, doing a different increase in place of the yarn over increase row, and doing more increases after joining the front/back together to account for my 45″ bust (I’m knitting the 44″ size and there is no ease in the pattern). I also plan on adding waist shaping to it. This is really the only thing that saw any progress that I hadn’t yet showed on the blog! Both the socks I’m working on haven’t really seen much progress. The Jaywalker sock is slightly longer and I’ve done 5 rows of ribbing on sock number two of Maelstrom.

This “knitting break” has given me some time to think about the next things I’d like to knit. I’ve even started considering my Rhinebeck sweater for this year. I’m still not 100% decided and I think that the amount of time it takes to get back to my regular knitting will decide what my choice will be.

The two sweaters I’m looking most at knitting next are: Cottage Garden and Jumper Cardigan.

Sweaters
Cottage Garden and Jumper Cardigan

One of these will likely be my Rhinebeck sweater. I already have yarn in mind for both sweaters. For Cottage Garden I have two colors of purple from Brooks Farms Solo Silk.

Brooks Farm, Solo Silk
Brooks Farm Solo Silk

The Jumper Cardigan is a vintage pattern that only comes in one size, but I think I can upsize by adjusting the gauge and using a bit heavier weight yarn. I’ve decided I’d like to do it in this fantastic pink and green combination. I have 4 skeins of Vesper Sock Yarn “Quick Sock” in the Ivy League colorway (this was a club color, which I received, then collected 3 others from Ravelers destashing) and 2 skeins of The Plucky Knitter MCN in the Ellen Arden colorway (also a club colorway from The Plucky Knitter Classics Club, which I got in a destash on Ravelry – from my Spring Fling roomie, Lauren). When I got both of these colors together, I KNEW it needed to be a sweater.

Possible Sweater
Vesper Quick Sock in Ivy League and The Plucky Knitter MCN in Ellen Arden

I’ve even knit a swatch and it looks like a gauge change will be just what I need to upsize the pattern.

Sweater Swatch
Swatch for Jumper Cardigan

Currently I’m leaning towards the Jumper Cardigan because I’m really in love with the color combination. Still trying to decide, though, so any thoughts are always welcome! 🙂

Along with the wrist/shoulder thing, I also seem to be getting some tingling in both hands and both feet. Not really sure what’s going on, but I did get blood work done yesterday and have some doctors appointments scheduled to try and figure it out. Because of the tingling in my feet (which is pretty continuous, in the left foot more then the right), I’ve limited what spinning related things I do. I did try a little spinning yesterday. It seemed to be okay on the right side (I have a single treadle wheel), but when I switched to the left side, it caused some pain in my lower back. At that point I stopped spinning trying not to over do it. I was just happy to get in some spinning time after almost two weeks of no knitting or spinning!

After that I prepped the fiber I’m going to use for the SAL/KAL that’s going on in Zarzuela’s Fibers Junkies group on Ravelry. The SAL/KAL is to spin a specific weigh of yarn (your choice) then incorporate it into a sweater (also your choice). You can even combine what you’re spinning with a commercial yarn. I thought this would be a great challenge for me since I’ve never spun enough yarn for a sweater before! I recently purchased 8 ounces of two different colors from Zarzuela’s Fibers. It was tough to decide which to use because both are really pretty!

Targhee from Zarzuela's Fibers
Targhee in Orange Dream and Emeralds

I decided to spin the 8 ounces of Targhee in the Emeralds colorway, aim for a fingering weight yarn, and knit the Featherweight Cardigan. So far the first 4 ounces of fiber are prepped (pre-drafted). Now I just need to decide if I want to finish the current fiber on the wheel (Cheviot in DC Sunrise from Zarzuela’s Fibers) or to put that aside and get started on the Targhee in Emeralds. I’ve never worked with Targhee before, so I’m looking forward to trying something new. It’s really soft! Reminds me a little bit of merino when I was pre-drafting it.

Time to get off the computer for now and enjoy the weekend! Hope everyone has a good weekend 🙂

Posted in Spinning

Tour de Fleece Wrap Up and Daybreak FO

Tour de Fleece ended yesterday, so it’s wrap up time!

I started out by finishing up the All Spun Up Superwash Merino. I think I had maybe 2 ounces left to do, then had to ply it. It was nice to get that done and out of the way quickly since it’s been sitting around untouched for MONTHS now. After that was done, I moved on to Corridale in the TDF colorway from Zarzuela’s Fibers. 8 WHOLE OUNCES. I’ve never spun 8 ounces of any one fiber before, so this was quite an experience for me. That took up most of my tour, especially since I had some days where I didn’t spin at all, but only did fiber prep because my spinning mojo had suddenly disappeared. By Day 21 of the Tour, though, I had spun and plied all 8 ounces. Still too lazy to figure out my yardage or WPI on that, though. On Day 22, I realized that it wasn’t the last day and I still had one more day to get in spinning, so I broke out the Cheviot from Zarzuela’s Fibers in a colorway called DC Sunrise. It’s really pretty. I managed to get a little over an ounce spun up before I had to call it quits yesterday.

TDF Wrap Up

Overall, I’m quite pleased with how I did this year. The biggest improvement I think I made was in plying. I think I’ve finally got the proper hang of it and yarns aren’t turning out to be a bit loosely plied now.

The last week of the Tour, I may have overdone it a bit. My left hip and lower back have been feeling sore off and on during the entire Tour (which I chalked up to all the rain we’ve been getting), but yesterday I was in quite a bit of pain. I’m sure the amount of sitting we ended up doing this past weekend didn’t help, but I think it’s time to listen to my body and take a break from spinning for a while. When I do get back to spinning, I’ll make sure to take more breaks when I do spin.

Last time I posted, I mentioned finishing Daybreak, but that it still needed a wash and block before it was really “done.” It’s been washed and blocked and now I have pictures to share!

Daybreak (Full)
Daybreak, fully laid out

Pattern: Daybreak (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: May 28, 2010
Completed: July 17, 2010
Yarn: Dream in Color Starry in Happy Forrest and Punky Fuchsia, 1 skein of each
Needles: US 5 bamboo circular needle
Notes: From end to end, this shawl is roughly 64 inches. I did the “medium” size with 16 stripes. Followed the pattern completely and made no changes to it. Easy knit and I probably would have been done long ago, but I frogged it at one point because I’d dropped a stitch pretty far down and the spot was bothering me, so I frogged it nearly to the beginning where the dropped stitch was. My only real issue with the pattern was the way the increases were done in the first solid color section. There is an increase done at the halfway point between the first marker and the center marker (and the center marker and the last marker), which changes every row because there are increases at the beginning and end on the WS rows and the beginning, center, and end on the RS rows. You couldn’t even place a stitch marker in the middle for that reason since the increases would be uneven on one side of the marker. It’s a total pain to try and keep track of. I feel like there could have been a much easier way to do that part other then constantly keeping track of your stitch count. I did manage to use stitch markers to keep track of where to do them, but they had to be moved on each halfway point increase row to keep it in the right place. I’m not sure I can even explain it properly! That was definitely my least favorite part of the pattern. The rest was simple, though.

Daybreak (Chair)
Daybreak

Daybreak (On Me)
Best picture I could get of the sparkle in the yarn.

I’ve started a new project and want to update on other projects I’ve been working on and planning, but I’ll leave that for next time. 🙂