Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Climbing Vines Pullover (FO), New LYS, and Featherweight

I’ve been putting off blogging a bit because I haven’t been too great about taking pictures of things I’ve been working on. With the daylight going away earlier and the weather just not being so great, I find it harder to get pictures I’m happy with indoors. I was also waiting to get some finished pictures of my latest finished knit. Took a while for me to wash it because it was so cold in our house that I knew it would take forever to dry, but we caved and turned on the heat recently, so I finally got around to washing my finished sweater last week.

Climbing Vines Pullover
Climbing Vines Pullover

Pattern: Climbing Vines Pullover (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: October 11, 2010
Completed: October 27, 2010
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers, color 9489, approximately 4.5 skeins
Needles: US 6 and 7 bamboo circular needles
Notes: I knit the 42″ bust size and it fits well. I did add an inch in length to the body and I’m glad I did. It would have been just a bit too short on me otherwise. I do wish I would have shortened the length of the sleeves to be 3/4 length. As written they aren’t quite long enough to be long sleeves and not quite short enough to be 3/4 length. If I were to knit this again, I may pick up less stitches around the collar, or go down to a US 5 needle to make it a little bit more snug. The way that the pattern is written for the arm/shoulder shaping on the front was a bit of a pain to follow and get right because of the vine pattern, so it took a lot of tweaking and re-knitting. This also makes it so that the left side of the sweater falls open and off my shoulder just a bit so I feel like I have to adjust that side a lot. I think knitting with less collar stitches or at a tighter gauge would fix the issue and I may go back and re-knit it at some point. I think I’d knit the armholes to a shorter length for a better fit. For me, they’re just a bit too deep. The other sort of complaint I have about the pattern is the tightness of the sleeves. They don’t seem to be designed to wear something under it – they’re pretty snug. I suppose that’s fine in the end for me since I likely won’t wear much other then a cami under it, but that could be an issue for others or if I decide to wear a short or long sleeve top under it in the future. Happy with the overall sweater, though, and I think I’ll definitely get some wear out of it this fall and winter.

Climbing Vines Pullover - Side
Climbing Vines Pullover – Side

Climbing Vines Pullover - Back
Climbing Vines Pullover – Back

I wore this on Saturday when I went to the new LYS that just opened. The sweater was pretty comfortable, though just a bit on the itchy side for me since my skin is fairly sensitive to wool (and alpaca). I was wearing a cami underneath, so my upper back and arms were against the sweater. Not nearly as bad as some yarns have been for me, but it is making me think about getting something different to wear underneath it.

About that new LYS! Yarns & Fabrications in West Chester closed in October. I was quite sad to see the shop go since it’s the closest one to me, but was happy to find out that the store was purchased, however it was to move and change names. The new shop is Main Street Yarns and is located in Mason. They have a Ravelry group here. The shop is a bit further from me then Yarns & Fabrications was, but not by too much. Most of the staff is still the same and they are a lovely group of people. The shop is cozy, with seating area and a table in the front of the shop. My understanding is they’re still waiting on a lot of their yarns to come in, but they already have a nice selection in stock. I look forward to visiting again soon!

I’ve been working on my Featherweight out of handspun. I’m up to where the arms have been split off, which is making the rows much easier to knit. They were taking so long for a while there! It’s been set to the side just a bit since I’ve been working on some other projects this month, but it makes for great TV and social knitting, so I’ve been trying to work on it when I can’t pay attention to something more difficult.

Handspun Featherweight
Handspun Featherweight

It’s the time of year when a lot of folks are working on Christmas/Giftmas knitting. I still haven’t decided if I’ll knit anything for people this year, but I have a small group of people that I gift to, so there’s still time if I decide I want to. Are you knitting for people in your life for the holidays? If so, what are you working on?

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Posted in Current Projects

$)*&@*^ Decimal, Mini Mochi Socks, KP Sock Club, and Needle Gauge

Do you recall what the Decimal sleeve looked like yesterday? No? Check it out here. I was all excited because I was nearly done with the decreases and almost finished with it. When I got home yesterday, I realized that the thing is simply too big. WAY too big. Big enough to fit around my body (almost) big. Seriously – it was HUGE. I decided I didn’t like it. In fact, I hated it and knew that I wouldn’t ever wear it with such gigantic sleeves. I took a deep breath and knew what I had to do. I took out my ball winder and frogged. Those keeping count will know that this is the second time I’ve frogged this sleeve. Ah well, I’d rather knit something that I’ll actually wear!

My first thought after frogging was that I’d just cast on a smaller number of stitches, but still make the sleeves 3/4 length. Then I thought more about it and decided that short sleeves might suit this very well, especially for wearing in the summer. So, that’s what I’m doing. I cast on the number of stitches I should have after the decreases and I’ll work the ribbing, 3 repeats of the bottom lace pattern, a few rows of the eyelet lace and then join it to the body. In my mind, I like how this looks, but we’ll see how I feel about it after I’ve knit it!

Here’s what the NEW Decimal sleeve looks like:

Decimal Sleeve Do-over

On the plus side, this shouldn’t take me very long to knit compared to the previous sleeve.

Today, as promised, I have a picture of my Mini Mochi socks!

Mini Mochi Sock

If you look closely, you can see the green waste yarn where the heel will be. I’m guessing I could probably get a pair of socks out of one skein if I did the ribbing now, but since I have two, I’ll make the leg a bit longer first. I love working with this yarn and really like how it’s turning out. I’m thinking of doing a pair of striped socks with this yarn similar to the ones I’ve seen people do with Noro sock yarn. I think that would look nice. What do you think? Should I give it a go?

I do believe I’ve mentioned it here before, but in case I haven’t, I’m in a few sock clubs this year. Recently I received two packages from the Knitting Purls Indie Dyer Sock Club. One was the March shipment (it was late due to an error from the dyer and I offered to wait to receive my skein) and the other was from this month’s shipment. I’ve never knit with yarn from either of these dyers, so it should be interesting to see what I think. I’m always looking for new folks to purchase from and I especially love supporting independent dyers, so I knew this club would be perfect for me.

The March shipment was from Indie Dyer. The yarn is the Sock-it-to-Me base and the colorway is Flowers and Showers.

Indie Dyer

I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. Seems soft and I like the colors well enough, but we’ll see what I think once I’m working with it.

The May shipment was from Tempted Yarns. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Stacy’s yarns, so I was excited when this showed up in my mailbox! It’s the Good Grrl base and the colorway is First Spring Iris.

Tempted

I love purple (one of my favorite colors), so it’s no surprise that I really like the color of the yarn. It’s quite soft and springy. I think it will knit up nicely. I haven’t decided on a pattern yet, but I’m looking forward to knitting this up!

One last thing to show you before I go is this fantastic needle gauge I got from KaratStix. It’s handmade from bamboo and absolutely beautiful. I love how it has the 1/2 sizes for smaller needles and goes from US sizes 0000 to 15 (also has mm sizes on it). Totally worth getting if you ask me. I’m always afraid I’m going to break my metal or plastic needle gauge and this is about 1/4″ thick, so no worries there.

137/365: KaratStix Needle Gauge
Front

KaratStix Needle Gauge
Back

It would make a lovely gift for a knitter, too! There’s other products they offer and they’ll even do custom orders (right now it’s a bit of a long wait, but TOTALLY worth it, IMO). The shipping was really fast, too!

That’s all I have for today. In the next few days I’ll be migrating my blog over to my own domain, so keep your eye out for a post about that in the near future (this is assuming things work the way I want them to, of course, but it’s coming SOON!). Happy crafting!

Posted in Spinning

Babe Wheel, Freckle Face Fibers, & Zarzuela’s Fibers

Guess what arrived yesterday!! My wheel!! *squee*

49/365: My New Wheel!

It’s a Babe Fiber Starter, single treadle. On Craigslist last week, I saw this wheel for sale for a great price. I promptly emailed the seller, she let me know it was still available and offered to ship it to me (since I’m about 3 hours away, one way). I decided shipping would probably be best and would be about the same as I would have spent in gas to get there (not to mention time involved). She shipped it via UPS on Saturday. They tried to deliver it Tuesday, but no one was home. I made sure I was home to sign for it yesterday, though!

Soon as I heard the UPS guy in our apartment complex, I went to the door to wait for him. Yes, I was that excited!! I think he could tell! He’s really nice, though, and just laughed at me when I told him how excited I was about the package. I got it in the door and immediately unpacked it. Since it showed up pretty late last night, I wasn’t able to play with it much or try it out (plus, I wanted to read the booklet with it first). The seller was very kind and included some fiber for me to play with! I can’t wait to get home and try it out tonight.

In preparing for the wheel to arrive, I ordered some fiber. One must be prepared for something like this! I had a happy mail day on Tuesday when two packages with fiber arrived.

Someone turned me on to Freckle Face Fibers, so I finally decided to buy some fiber this shop. I wanted to get a few different kinds of fiber to try out and she had a merino/tussah silk blend that I really liked, so I bought it on Wednesday and it arrived on Tuesday (via First Class mail and Monday was a holiday). Very Pretty and soft!

Freckle Face Fibers: Coral Reef
Coral Reef, 80% merino/20% tussah silk, from Freckle Face Fibers

I’m quite happy with my purchase and with the beautiful colorways and fiber blends, I’m sure I’ll buy from this shop again. She even offers yarn if you don’t spin!

In January I ordered from Zarzuela’s Fibers after much debating about joining the spin along (using my spindle) in the accompanying Ravelry group. I had my eye on some fiber in her shop and after I’d decided to join the spin along, I saw it was still there for sale, so I immediately scooped it up. When I got it, I was impressed. The colors were just like pictured and I got it really quickly. Here’s what I purchased back in January (since I’m pretty sure I didn’t talk about it after I’d received it):

17/365: Fiber
Thinking of Fall, 100% Bluefaced Leicester top, from Zarzuela’s Fibers

I knew that when I wanted more fiber, I would definitely be coming back to Jessica’s shop! There were just so many colorways I liked! So, when I decided to “stock up” on some fiber and get some different kinds to play with, I turned to this shop. This time I purchased two braids of fiber. I ordered them Friday evening, shipped on Saturday, and received Tuesday (via First Class mail and Monday was a holiday). Here’s what I purchased this time:

Zarzuela's Fibers
Emerald City (merino) & DC Sunrise (cheviot) from Zarzuela’s Fibers

I’ve chatted with Jessica over email/blog comments, Plurk and Twitter. When she saw my order on Friday, she let me know she’d be sure to ship it out Saturday before going out of town for a week. I’m a pretty patient person and I would have waited, but I thought it was really great that she let me know and went the extra mile to make sure it got out before she left. In both orders, I’ve had hand written thank you notes and I really love that touch. I already know I’m supporting an independent business rather than a big box store, but it really is the little touches like that that make things special. I’m now a repeat customer and I have no doubts that I’ll continue to order from her as long as she keeps her shop running!

Currently she has sock yarn in her shop as well. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve heard good things. I may place a custom order for some soon enough. If you’re looking for something that she doesn’t have or previously sold, just ask and I know she’d be more than happy to dye something for you! I doubt you’ll be disappointed! What are you waiting for? Get over to her shop! ;o)

That’s all I have for today. Next time I’ll show you some toe-up socks I started this week and maybe some spinning progress!

Posted in Knit Ramblings

Back

I’m back and things went okay. Not as good as they could have, but certainly not as bad as they could have either.

I knit a lot. I nearly completed an entire bag that I’m not sure I’m thrilled with and may be completely pulled out and re-knit tighter. I have a good chunk of another Shedir done. I didn’t get to do any of the knitting for the personal swap I’m doing, which I feel kind of bad about. Fetching just required too much thinking for me (the other two are simple, and Shedir I’ve done twice already so I don’t even have to look at the charts). I also needed scrap yarn and DPN’s and the yarn I’m using is black… well the whole combination wasn’t working for me since I was pretty darn stressed out already. Now that things have calmed some, I’ll be working on them this weekend.

Because of all this stress thrust upon me, I was rewarded with a trip to a very nice yarn shop in Yorktown, Virginia – Coordinated Colors. We were actually on our way out of town yesterday and I was rather disappointed that all the yarn shops I knew of because of my yarn-store book were closed Wednesday or were already closed for the day on Thursday, and I spotted it. Big letters that said "YARN SHOP" and a neon Open sign. We stopped, of course. I found some absolutely beautiful lace weight yarn I could NOT live without: Ornaghi Filati Merino Oro in color 060, teal. The color is deep and rich and the price very reasonable. Plus it will make an entire shawl. I already have a plan for it. I’d been scouting out yarn online for the Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl pattern I was sent in the Lace swap, but hadn’t found the right yarn yet. Now I need to get my hands on some Addi Lace needles. The shop was very nice, the people were very friendly, and the selection was excellent. One of those unique yarn shops that has something for every knitter or crocheter. I also got a new book to read – What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman. It’s pretty interesting so far.

I’ve started MS3, but haven’t gotten very far. I’m still working on the first clue. I need to get some projects off the needles so I can work on it more! So many projects, so little time ;o)