Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Spinning

Tour de Fleece and Project Updates

The Tour de Fleece is going pretty good. On Day 11 (last Tuesday), I finished plying the first 4 ounces of the Corridale from Zarzuela’s Fibers.

TDF Day 9 & 11
TDF Corridale, Plied

Wednesday was a day of rest, so I didn’t do any spinning. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I did some fiber prep, but no spinning. I think I may have lost my spinning mojo after that day of rest on Wednesday! 😦 I think I’ve been a bit distracted by knitting. I’ve been itching to finish some things that I’ve been working on, so I’ve been picking knitting over spinning almost any time I have the chance to do one or the other. I’ve also felt rather busy this past week and kind of worn out when I get to the point in the day that I can finally relax. Still, I’m pretty pleased with all I’ve done up to this point! Hopefully I can get my spinning mojo a kick today and get some spinning time in.

I’ve been busily knitting away on Daybreak in an effort to get it off the needles. I decided that I couldn’t start any new projects (anything besides socks) until it was done and since I have a few projects in mind that I’d like to start, I wanted it done. Last night I finished up the last few rows and did the bind off!

Daybreak (Pre-blocking)
Daybreak, Pre-blocking

I have no idea how many stitches I had when I did the bind off, but it took me almost an hour to do. SO. MANY. STITCHES. I’m pleased it’s done and quite happy with how it turned out. I’m glad I decided to only do 16 stripes and not 20 because it would have been absolutely huge on me if I had. It’s just the right size with 16 stripes. Now it just needs a wash and block before being completely done.

I’m participating in this year’s Summer of Socks (though I’ve been lacking in my posts in the Ravelry group), so I’ve been working on my fair share of socks. It seems like I’ve started and frogged more socks then anything else so far, but I finally have a finished sock! Tuesday I finished up the first Maelstrom sock. I think this might be one of my favorite patterns I’ve knit. I may need to knit a second pair after this! It’s just enough to keep my interest, but not too much that it needs a lot of concentration. I haven’t started the second sock, yet. I figured I’d make myself wait until Daybreak was done to go back to this project.

Maelstrom Sock (left)
Maelstrom Sock #1

In between finishing this sock and trying to finish Daybreak, I caved and started another sock. I saw someone’s Jaywalkers recently and suddenly needed to make another pair RIGHT NOW. I pulled out the MacKnitosh Skye Sock yarn in Camo Girl that I attempted to knit KawKawEsque out of. Turns out the Jaywalker pattern makes this yarn stripe!

Jaywalker
Jaywalker Sock

Here’s the part where I make a confession… I have totally been taken by knitting socks using the Magic Loop method. I used to hate it. I even blogged about how much I loved DPNs. Then I did one project using a long circular and “magic looping.” It wasn’t so bad. I tried a pair of socks after that, also done Magic Loop. Then another… and another… and now? I really want to do this sock Magic Loop, but I don’t have the proper needle to do it! I never thought I’d be into it and even after the first two projects I did, I wasn’t totally convinced I liked it. After the Maelstrom sock, though, I really like it. It definitely makes knitting socks a bit faster for me and I feel incredibly slow going back to DPNs now. Looks like I need to make a Knit Picks order for some circulars in sock sizes very soon!

I’ve got some projects that I’m thinking about working on, but swatching must commence first. Sweater season is not that far off and I’m already thinking about what to knit for Rhinebeck. Next time I’ll talk a little about what I’d like to knit in the upcoming months.

In a little while I’m headed off to knit with some friends at a local cafe. Should be fun! I love being able to spend time with other knitters. 🙂

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Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Spinning

Chicken Clutch, Projects, and Tour de Fleece 2010

It’s been one of those weeks where all week I try to blog, but every time I try, I can’t figure out what to say. Today isn’t much different. I’ve sat and stared wondering how to start out this post or what to say. Since the words don’t seem to be flowing easily, I’ll keep them to a minimum and speak mostly with pictures!

First, I have an FO to share. After my friend Jessy saw this pattern, she said I should make one for her for her birthday, so I did. I’ve decided he’s a free-range chicken, since he’s not all white like the original pattern. 😉

Chicken Clutch (Right Side)
Chicken Clutch

Pattern: Cluck Clutch (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 24, 2010
Completed: June 26, 2010
Yarn:Vanna’s Choice, 1.75 skeins in a heathered brown/grey (can’t remember the name of it), bits of red and yellow from stash
Needles: H/5.0mm hook
Notes: It was pretty simple to make and the only thing I didn’t do was add the button.

Chicken Clutch (Open, Side)
Chicken Clutch – Open

Yesterday was a Good Mail Day ™. I got 8 oz of Corriedale fiber from Zarzuela’s Fibers in a special Tour de Fleece colorway and she put in a skein of sock yarn for me in a Camo colorway as a thank you for doing the Summer of Socks 2010 group banner and button. Thanks Jessica! 🙂 I also got June’s shipment of the Knitterly Things Sock Club (a four stripe colorway called Summer Hill), which matches the Tour de Fleece fiber quite well.

Good Mail Day 7/1
Good Mail Day!

Speaking of the Tour de Fleece… I plan on participating this year! The Tour de Fleece goes along with the Tour de France. It starts and ends the same day as the Tour de France. You spin every day, either on a wheel or on a spindle, for however long you determine as your goal. For the full details, see the Ravelry group here. I’ll be spinning up that lovely fiber above and hopefully finish the All Spun Up roving I started who knows how long ago. There’s probably 2 or so ounces left to do, so I don’t think it’ll take long. I plan on working that up first, but I’m already anxious to get the TDF colorway started!

I’ve been working on Malestrom and I think I’m up to 6 repeats of the pattern so far.

Malestrom Socks
Malestrom Socks

I was itching to start something new, so I started a pair of KawKawEsque Socks (Ravelry page) Wednesday.

KawKawEsque
KawKawEsque Socks in MacKnitosh Skye Sock in the Camo Girl colorway.

This weekend is a holiday weekend here in the US and on Sunday we’ll be celebrating the 4th of July (Independence Day), which also means a long weekend for most people I know since they’re getting either Friday or Monday (or both!) off work. We’re having some of our family and friends over to do the traditional grilling out and fireworks thing. Should be fun! I’m looking forward to it. For once there isn’t a ton to do to prepare other then getting food and some light cleaning! Have a good weekend everyone 🙂 Good luck to all the other Tour de Fleece participants out there!

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Spring Fling Socks, Rippleghan, and Summer of Socks

This week is nearly over and so is June. I can’t believe it, but this coming weekend will mark a year that we’ve been in our house! It just doesn’t feel like we’ve been there that long. Time just seems to fly by so quickly.

Monday I finished up my Spring Fling Socks.

Damsel Socks (Front)
Damsel Socks

Pattern: Toe-Up Socks (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: April 23, 2010
Completed: June 21, 2010
Yarn: Knitterly Things Vesper in Damsel, 1 skein
Needles: Knit Picks Nickel US 1 (2.25mm) DPNs for sock 1 and 40″ circular for sock 2, US 0 DPNs for both cuffs
Notes: Started these on April 23, 2010 as my Spring Fling Socks. Finished the first sock April 25, 2010 and put them aside for a while. Picked them back up and started the second sock on June 1, 2010, then immediately put them aside to work on other projects. After finishing my Diagonal Lace socks, I decided to finish these up. Picked them back up on June 18, 2010 and finished on June 21st. Takes me about a week of just working on a pair of socks to finish them! I still feel so-so about the colorway after knitting them up, but I’m sure they’ll still get some wear in during the winter months.

IDamsel Socks (Side)
Damsel Socks – Side

Damsel Socks (Heel)
Damsel Socks – Heel

Last weekend I was browsing patterns on Ravelry and came across the Neat Ripple Pattern from Attic 24. I’ve had some acrylic in my stash for a while that I think I bought for a bag that I never made. As soon as I saw the pattern, that yarn came to mind and I knew it had to be made into a blanket. I started it Saturday night. I’ve been working on it mostly while watching TV. Since it’s a blanket, I think of it as a long term, has no deadline project. The colors just make me happy and I know I’ll love it once it’s done. 🙂

Rippleghan
Rippleghan

Summer of Socks 2010 has started! The Ravelry group has all the information and chatter about this year’s Summer of Socks. (I designed this year’s group banner and icon! 🙂 ) My initial goal was to finish up a pair of colorwork socks I started last year, but I quickly realized the whole design needed to be re-worked and I haven’t had a chance to do that yet. Then I decided I would knit a pair of Merlot Vine Socks with Dream in Color Smooshy in the Ruby River colorway. I started the toe, got up to the number of stitches needed, then realized it was too big. There wasn’t a way to take out about 8 stitches easily without distorting the chart, so I frogged those. I wanted to use the same yarn I had already wound, so I browsed through the patterns I had and decided on Malestrom Socks.

Malestrom Socks
Malestrom Socks

Yep, another sock that I’m doing Magic Loop on!! I never thought I’d be a fan of this technique, but the more I do it, the more it grows on me. I think the biggest difference is it feels like it goes faster for me then DPNs. I still like DPNs, but Magic Loop makes it so there’s less I have to worry about while I’m on the go since socks are usually my portable, take-it-everywhere-with-me project.

Is there something crafty you thought you wouldn’t like doing, but then gave it a try and decided it wasn’t so bad? What was it and what made you change your mind? I’m always curious about other people’s experience with trying new things they thought they wouldn’t like. I think attitude can make all the difference in giving something new a fair chance. I was definitely reluctant to try Magic Loop when I first did a few years ago. I decided I didn’t like it and moved on. Then, a few months ago, I tried it again, giving it a fair chance and telling myself “Maybe it’s not that bad, maybe you’ll even like it!” Kind of psyched myself up for trying it a second time. I didn’t hate it! I can’t say I really loved it at first, but I did like it enough to try it on another project. Each project made me like it more and now I’d say I like it just as much as using DPNs.

This weekend will be a nice relaxing one for a change. Nothing going on, no plans, just hanging out at home doing whatever we want. I can’t remember the last time we had a completely free weekend with zero plans! We might go to Matt’s mom’s to go swimming sometime this weekend, but nothing is set in stone and is more of a “play it by ear” kind of deal. Anything fun going on for you this weekend?

Try and stay cool out there this weekend! It’s been hot and humid here, so I’ve been staying inside where it’s cool as much as possible. That’s my plan for the weekend, too. 😉