Sunday, October 31, 2010

This Year of Sweaters is kicking my Ass!!

I've had enough!! I'm officially sick of sweaters. I want to knit everything but sweaters. I'm dreaming of stranded mittens and hats and more hats. And I want to make some cowls with my New Handspun. All my Knitting fantasies are about everything but sweaters!!!

OK, I feel better now.

Back to the Sweater Knitting:

I'm working on a simple top down Raglan based on the Spud & Chloe blog posts. I'm working on it in Reynolds Allagash I had in my stash. It's a bulky yarn, and I'm working it up on size 11 needles.

One would think it would go fast, but I feel like I've been knitting on it for about 6 months and I only have the shoulders and 1 sleeve done. I know it has not been 6 months, but I thought I could get this sweater done in about 2-3 weeks. Not so!! I guess this shows how apathetic I am about knitting sweaters right now. I've decided to force my way through this sweater, but it may be my last for a few months. I wanted to do one more before the end of the year, but I just don't think I can. I want my hobby to be enjoyable not forces.

That being said, as an escape from my sweater knitting, I've been spinning alot. I finished 4 oz of Crown Mountain Farms Superwash merino in Stand by Me colorway. It's about a sport weight 3-ply and I got 235 yards. I think I will make a cowl out of it. It's really nice and soft, and I like the colorway spun up. Even though I was not super loving the colorway of the roving.

I've heard that the uglier the roving the prettier the yarn. I've starting to believe that!!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Baltic sweater is complete!

I've finished it! Yeah!!!! That is officially sweater number 4 for 2010.

It came out perfect. The fabric is not too thick. The Dark brown yarn was about 15 WPI or close to a light sport weight. As I previous discussed, I'm not sure if this yarn was hand spun or not, but it has a handspun quality about it. The Moorit color is a handspun and it worked perfectly with the dark brown. The sweater is wonderfully oversized. My kind of weekend sweater.

As you may have noticed I omitted the patterned collar and just completed the garter stitch colorwork part of the pattern. In all the Ravelry pictures I was not overly pleased with how the collar laid on this sweater. NancyBE did this collar style and I loved it. It suits me perfectly.

All the information about my sweater is here on my Rav page.

I'm thinking of designing a hat to match this sweater using the Cuff pattern for the bottom edge of the hat. We'll see if that comes to be....

I am already planning my next sweater. I still have more than 3 full sweaters worth of different yarns. But the next one will be out of Chunky weight! I want it to go faster than the Baltic!!

These sweaters are really eating up my stash. I love it! I love it! New and Exciting yarns will be coming into my life soon

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Still Spinning

Fun with Spinning
Just a quick update on my spinning. I went to A Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs, Oh last weekend and came away with a 1-1/2 lbs. of fiber.

8 oz of Crown Mountain Farms - Superwash Merino in the Stand by Me colorway. It's not a typical colorway for me so I'm excited to try it.

All my other purchases where natural colors. I bought the most beautiful taupe/white mixed BFL from The Trading Post. I've already spun up the following:

It's (3 oz) 190 yds of 2 ply Worsted spun (11 WPI). It looks fairly brown in the picture, but it is more gray in real life. Also, it is darker in this photo.
It is so nice. I still have 5 oz to spin. I'm really enjoying it.

I also bought 8 oz each of Dark Brown BFL and white Finn from Circle Hill Farms (Bradford, OH). I've never spun Finn. My plan is to spin up 2 bobbins full (2 oz or maybe 4 oz each) in the woolen fashion. I'm shooting for the 2 ply to be about sport weight or fingering weight. We'll see!!

I'm still smitten with the woolen spinning. It's just like magic the way the fiber drafts out so easily and has this "elasticy" feel to it. I've heard others describe it that way, but now that I've tried it, I completely understand it!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Yarn, Quilts & A Sweater Arm to Boot. Does it get Better than That??

The woollen spun yarn came out so nice, so Squishy. And it was so fun and quick to spin. I think I Really, Really like spinning woollen. I think I will need to practice for some more before I get it exactly correct. It is amazing how much faster it goes than Spinning worsted. The motion and the feel of the yarn is just so different when you are spinning this way. I am really surprised and happy to be challenged again.

I spun a 2 ply 120 yard from 2.25 oz (65 gms) at about 11 WPI.

Baby Quilts:
Yes, more completed projects! I finished the 2 other baby quilts for the 2 ladies at work coming back from maternity leave. They are for boys, so Fish and Bugs. I like them both, but i love the Green and Purple one the best. The colors are just so striking!

And the Free motion quilting was fun. I was really getting the hang of it by the end. I was fighting the machine at first. I had it into the shop to be cleaned and they tightened up the bobbin tension. When I tried the free motion quilting at first my machine kept missing stitches, and no matter how I adjusted the tension at the top, I could not do anything more than forward straight line quilting.

So I after about a day of stewing on this, I realized that when I first got my machine, I had this problem, and I took it to the shop and the lady helped me to adjust the bobbin tension (I loosened it just a tiny bit) and WOW, Free motion quilting in all directions. As Alison Rosen says....It's like Butta!!!

Finally a Baltic Sweater Update:
I missed my goal...But no big deal, it's still too warm to wear a wool sweater, so I extended my goal to attempt to finish my Baltic sweater by the end of September....Or maybe the end of October. I only have 1 sleeve to go. If I really buckle down, I could finish it in a couple of weeks, but I have been distracted again by a more challenging project.
But more to come on that later!!!! And yes, those are my toes holding down the bottom edge of the sweater so you can see the colorwork pattern.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Post 100!!!! Really?? WOW!!!

I cannot believe this is my 100th Post. I'm really glad I decided to record my work this way. It has really helped me to look back and the things I've made...The Good the Bad and the Ugly!!

I Got Skills!!
I'm not sure what it is about fiber crafts but my whole life, I've been able to spend 5 minutes watching someone do them and Presto....I seem to be able to just do them! When I was about 8-9, I watched my grandmother crochet and I just started crocheting. I don't remember if anyone really taught me to knit. I recall that a girlfriend had learned how to knit in home EC and was making a pair of slippers. I told her I wanted to make a pair with her. And I just did. As I recall they were made from Screaming yellow Red Heart Yarn!!
As far as I know I never picked up knitting needles again until I started knitting a pair of Stranded mittens in the round for my daughter about 12 years ago.

This is how my spinning experience has gone a well. About 3 years ago, I purchased a drop spindle (Schacht Hi-Lo Spindle), I watched some folks on YouTube spinning, and I just started doing it. This is my first ball, BFL.

Ever since, I've been able to get a consistent thin thread and really nice yarns (But I have used lighter Drop Spindles to get thinner yarns.)

So Now comes the wheel. I was so intimidated by a wheel. Everyone told me it was easier than a spindle, but I thought....come on!! The spindle you control everything. NO ratios, no brakes, No uptake speeds. Just spin.. Draft....Roll on the yarn.
But I do love spinning, and as most of you know, I plunged into the wheel. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Majacraft Rose. I tried so many wheels -all in 1 day. So I had a fairly good overview of how they all felt. One caveat, I was not able to spin on a Schacht Matchless. Which I have heard is really nice as well. I did spin on a Lady Bug...It was just okay for me.. Nothing spectacular.

The wheel spinning has been so much fun. I started with what was most natural to me. Worsted spinning with top. After 1 month of spinning I was able to make a 3-ply, 20 WPI (lace weight) superwash merino yarn....WTF!! I thought spinning fine yarn was supposed to be hard!!!!!

Last night I decided that I was going to try spinning woollen style. Now, from all the podcasts and experienced spinners I listen to Jasmin, Meghan, Shiloh, etc..... This takes Practice! I expected this to be the most difficult thing I had done in quite some time.
I did my usual. I went to YouTube and watched about 3-4 videos. I learned how to set up my wheel, how to best prep the fiber for easy woollen spinning, whether you have top or carded roving. And then I went at it.
I had some Shetland roving ( Carded) that I thought would work great, but I had pre-drafted some of it, but I decided to just fold over the predrafted stuff and spin fro the fold and it worked GREAT!!!!! Woolen spinning is so FUN! I thought that woolen yarns were always fat and underspun, but I got a nice single, Not too fat and fairly consistent- not too slubby just a little think this as you can see. It looks like the single will be about 15 WPI, And it is feeling squishy on the bobbin so I think it will e squishy one it's plyed.

I've always joked that in my previous life, I must have done all these fiber related things because my hand and body just seem to know what to do to make it all work out.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Sewing & Project planning

I have been back to some quilt sewing. It seems that many people around me are having babies and i can whip out a baby quilt in a weekend. I find this more efficient than knitting a blanket. And it's something I don't have to worry about if it will fit!

I got this one done. It needed to complete to be completed by this weekend for the shower. It took me 3 days. I forgot about the the immediate satisfaction you can get from a sewing project. I used the Eleanor Burns method of using fusible web to applique the fish. Her method is really a great method, but it was a bit fussy because the fish had some tight spots. But once I got the fish turned right side out it was simple.

I also finished the second quilt top, because it was using up the same fabrics with just a few changes. But this time I decided that the applique was not necessary. I still have one more, but i have not decided on the colors yet. that will be this weekend.

Knitting update:
Since I have finished the swallow tail shawl (No, I still have not blocked it yet!) I've gone back to knitting on the Baltic. Before I put it down earlier this summer, I was right at the point of where I had to split the front and back and start the back and forth knitting. So this week, I got the front yoke and one shoulder done. My goal now is to complete this sweater by the end of August.

The also finished the Linen/Rayon Shawl/baby/lap blanket (what ever you want to call it). It's just in straight stockinette stitch. So it was totally mindless and somewhat boring. I decided to complete the edging using a crochet chain stitch. The one where you crochet 4 knitted stitch together and then chain 4-7st, repeat. It used up all my yarn!!

Planning the Next Sweater:
This is the exciting part....well sort of. I am starting to think about what my next sweater project will be. I have about 3 more quantities of sweater yarn that I want to use up. Universal Worsted Tonals (Variegate blues tones), a recycled Alpaca Merino yarn in brown/gray variegated color (Sport weight). A chunky Maroon/wine colored.

I also have 2-4 more skeins of various colors of Cascade EcoWool (but I've already knit with these yarns, and because I don't done have enough of 1 color to do a sweater project, I will need to figure out how to incorporate a second (and maybe third) color into a sweater. Too much thinking for now!

I'm leaning towards the Corduroy (Lisa Lloyd - A Fine Fleece) in the Universal Worsted Tonal yarn (blues). A nice simple sweater to showcase the yarn. Another sweater is Rhinebeck in that same book with the same yarn. It has a little bit more patterning, and I could use a cardigan. I've been a bit on a pull over rampage this year. I feel I could really motor through the corduroy with worsted weight yarn.

The final sweater this year may be the Flyingdales in the recycled yarn. I found the sweater in a thrift store last winter. Really nice yarn!! And the perfect weight for me. Nice and thin about a light sport, I have not measure the WPI or done a swatch yet though. I got about 2000 yards too!!

By the way....Total yardage knit this year 6000 yds!! That is 3.4 miles!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Tour de Fleece Update

I did not say much this year about Tour de Fleece, but I did join the fun. I had with my new wheel and all!! My goal was to try to make a 3 ply fingerweight. I was not sure how thin I could actually spin on Chloe (My Majacraft Wheel). So I set that as my goal. I had 5 oz of 3 colors ways: one olive green , one sage green, and one silver with some light blues (mixed). I thought these plyed together would make a nice marled sock yarn.

I completed the 3 singles and got them plyed last Sunday. Just got it done under the wire. I really liked how it looked on the spool, but when I wound it off, I could see that it was underspun. I gave it a soak and that just made matters worse!!

I let it dry wrapped around my drying rack to stretch it. I probably could have lived with it being underspun, since it actually came out as a lace weight (about 20 WPI) and there was almost 600 yards. I decided this would make a nice smaller shawl instead of socks. But i really wanted a balanced yarn.

So I wound it into a ball after it was dry and ran it through my wheel again!! Yes I just wanted this yarn to be as close to perfect as possible. I re-wound it off today and it is drying now. It seems to be perfectly balanced. Yeah!!

So I feel very accomplished at being able to spin a 3 ply lace weight. Now my next spinning goal is to get it a little fatter. I still want some handspun sock weight.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I love Purple

Well, as you can tell, I changed my layout. I was playing this morning. Leave me a comment if it's annoying. I can play around with the font colors.

Right now I am working on a secret project. I cannot say anything as it's a present and the person might read my blog.
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A quick summer update

I've just cast off my swallowtail shawl. I think it will be very nice once it's blocked.
I have not been working on my Baltic sweater. But now that it is heading into August, I think I will start again. I've gotten the shawl bug out of my system....for now, and I am itching to start another pair of socks.

I am trying to spin a thin, hopefully fingering weight, yarn with my Chloe (Majacraft Rose). I've completed the first 2 plys and the final ply is about 1/3 done. I'm excited to see how thin this yarn will come out. The plys are not perfectly consistent but overall very thin. If it's not fingering weight it should be darn close!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lots of Pictures- Update

I've been lazy on my picture taking. So I thought I should show what I have been working on. I haven't made much progress on my Baltic. I'm just not in the mood to be knitting on a heavy sweater when it's as hot as it's been.

But I have started....again....the Swallow Tail shawl. I'm on the 5th repeat of the second chart. So far not as many mistakes as the last time I tried. I'm not sure if I elaborated on my last attempt. Suffice it to say, black yarn is hard to knit lace with. Enough said. I am using a discontinued color (Mango) of Knit Picks Gloss Lace (70 merino/30 silk).

Also before I got my wheel, I orders a bunch of dyeing for colour mixed bags of pencil roving (superwash merino). (I just noticed that she has updated her shop and has lots more mixed bags of pencil roving) I love spinning this fiber. I wanted to try to get 3 spindles full of a mix of blues/blacks/silver. then 3 ply it for sock yarn. I only have 2 spindles done so far, but the last will be finished soon. OR hopefully before the end of summer. I may just ply the yarn on the wheel to make that part go quicker.

Finally, I also want to try to make a 3 ply fingering weight on my wheel. So I started to spin up the greens pencil rovings I also purchased from Dyeing for Colour. I put my wheel on the fastest ratio, and I am getting a very fine single. (finishest for me yet!!!)

That has been it. I have been running constantly with my daughter so I have been dragging around the EZ baby blanket in the rayon/linen blend (bright teal). It is all stst so it's completely mindless knitting!! It's really boring too. So I only do it when I am waiting for softball games to start or when they get really really boring.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Finally, A Little Sweater News

I have been a bit distracted by my new toy. But can you blame me? She is so Fine!!! But back to my sweaters. I'm still working on the Baltic sweater from Fishermen's Sweaters. I've made it all the way up to the arm pit (17-1/4 inches from the bottom). This is going to be a nice long sweater. I've started the back and forth knitting portion of the front. It is not exactly fun, because I have the pattern memorized for right-side knitting. So now, I have to really think about whether I am supposed to be knitting or purling the stitch when I am working my way back on the Wrong-side.

So now...About My New Wheel!!
She has been working smooth as silk. She is so lovely. I've decided to name her Chloe. When I spin on her, it sounds like the whirl is whispering Chloe...Chloe....

I've been doing pretty good spinning on her. Those years of Spindle spinning have paid off. My first few skiens are fairly fine. About 12-15 WPI. They are longer wools. I spun them on about a 9:1 ratio. I'm going to try to tackle some superwash merino at a higher ratio. ( Sorry about the poor picture quality)

I've decided to do the Tour de Fleece this year, but I won't be able to start spinning until July 11. I'm going to work on spinning my Superwash merino from Dyeing for Colour (Etsy). I want to try to get to a 3-ply fingering weight for sock. We'll see how that goes.

Since it has been so hot, I am starting to itch to try my hand at lace knitting again. Recall I tore out the Swallow Tail shawl after I dropped a stitch and couldn't figure out how to fix it. I really want a triangle shawl. I have some heavier lace weight from knit picks in a peachy color. I am hoping that knitting in a lighter color will be a little easier.

UGH!! See, more distractions from the sweater knitting. It's so hard to stay monogamous to a wool sweater when it's 93 degrees outside.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Awesomeness is here!!!

Isn't it beautiful!!

Thank you Rob Edwards-Poad. You did a beautiful job.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Awesomeness is Getting Closer

So, What is the Awesomeness?
Well, At the Upper Vally Fibber Festival. I spent 4 hours talking to everyone who was spinning about what they liked about their wheels and I tried every wheel I could get my handles on. Hands down, I like the Majacraft the best. I was torn between the Rose and the Suzie Pro. I actually found the strength to leave the show without buying the wheel at that show. OF course the vendors Tempted my like crazy...."You can have this one. It's already put together?" and "I have this one in the truck." ACK!!!!! RUN!!!!!quick, before I impulse buy!!!!!!

I have been spending about a year studying wheels - their features, designs, the ups and downs of each of these designs. But the UVFF was the first opportunity for me to actually sit down on a bunch of wheels and try them out.

First of all, I determined I do not want Single treadle. I tried 2 different types and did not like the feel/action at all!!

Also, i did not like the Ashford wheels (Heretic, I know). So many people have them around here, and everyone who has, one likes it. But for me, it did not seem as solid as the the Majacraft or the Fricke I tried. The Kromski was just okay....beautiful - Yes!! But again, not as sturdy to spin on as I seem to like. The Louet was okay but the one I tried was a single treadle and "h-a-t-e-d it." Sorry I think it was mostly the Single treadle and not the Louet.
Oh, Also, after reading reviews from MS&W, I got fascinated with the Hansen Electric Spinner. I almost actually impulse ordered one before I even tried a spinning wheel. Thankfully, I resisted that Impulse buy!! I tried an Ashford electric spinner and decided I wanted a wheel not an electric spinner. So anyway. This is my very simplistic overview of the wheels I tried.

I narrowed it down pretty quickly to the Majacraft, Rose or Suzie Pro. I needed to think on it for a few days to be sure. After all this research, I did not want to impulse buy a wheel and have buyers remorse. Needless to say, I did a little more reading about the difference between the 2 wheels and I ordered a Rose the following Friday!! I am waiting for it's arrival. And yesterday my dealer (Circle Hill Farms) emailed me and told me it may be coming this week, she got a notification it was ready!! I'm so excited!!!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Baltic Sweater and Other Awesomeness

Baltic Sweater

Well, I haven't been posting, but I have been knitting. Among other distraction. But more about that later.
The Baltic is well underway. I've been working on it, well not exactly religiously as there have been some serious distraction but it has been my TV knitting. Now that I have gotten through the colorwork section the pattern is quite easy.

The dark brown yarn is mystery yarn. I purchased it on ebay sometime back. It looks like a single and it knits up such that the stitches have a column effect. I thought that it was a single that was unbalanced but when I wet it it does not twist on itself so It's not energized. Because of this columning effect, I did make 1 slight change to the Baltic pattern. There are columns of purl rows and I omitted 1 of the columns. This lets the diamond pattern stand out a bit more.

The light brown yarn is handspun (CVM - 2 ply)I purchased at A wool Gathering in 2008. I really like how the 2 yarns work together.

Socks (from the Toe Up)
Well, my first official Toe up sock is done. I decided to knit up the whole ball of yarn and that got me a knee sock. The pattern is Garter Ridge and the pattern is from Chrissy Gardiner's Toe Up sock book. The pattern is incredibly easy and I'm really liking the toe up idea. I'm still working on getting my heel stitches just right on the short row heel, but not too bad overall.

I have to say the book is really nice and does a great job describing every technique you could possibly need or want for toe up socks. There are many cast ons, toes and heels to try. I'm planing on working my way through all the heels to see which one is my favorite. I think to make this go faster, I will have to stop knitting knee socks and work a bunch of anklets.

More to come. I still have tons to talk about. But I must head out to my daughter's Softball game.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Le Smoking

OK, Really Really Really Finished this time. I got the belt done. All 6 feet of it. And in the midst of that I started a new Toe-up sock (from Chrissy Gardiner's book). And a color work "Draft Dodger" from Color by Kristen. I realized after trying to find wool in various colors in my stash...I am very adverse to strange colors. I thought I had lots of colors, but no brights..... what so ever. This, of course, is very contrary to Kristen's philosophy of: "The More Color the Better!"

I look at this as an excuse to go out and but some odd ball colors of yarn. Oh the agony!!!

I've been doing the Draft Dodger using the magic loop method. I'm brave...Color work, magic loop and 2 handed knitting! It's been like wrestling an Octopus, but i'm getting better.

As for the toe-up socks, I decided to do just on my trusty double points. On Sunday I finished all the way past the heel. And it actually looks Pretty good, for a short row heel. My wraps and turns came out pretty good! I think I'm liking the toe up. Of course I need to try it on now. I haven't done that yet to be sure the heel is at the correct length for my foot.

Have a good one!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Finishing Projects

Le Smoking
I consider this one finished, although I think I will make the belt for it. It came out very long. I think I blocked it just a bit bigger than needed. But this can be remedied easily with a reblocking.

I originally was not going to make the belt, but, now that I have tried it on, it is more like a coat than a cardigan. So, I've changed my mind. No closures, just a belt!

Ebony & Ivory

I also finished up the second Ebony and Ivory sock (Cross-Rib Sock). I was trying to use up as much of the sock yarn as possible . I did 14 repeats of the pattern: 7 on the cuff and 7 on the foot. They fit perfect, but I could have done 9 or 10 repeats on the cuff to use up more sock yarn, as I have about 75 yards left.

I ordered the new Chrissy Gardner Toe up sock boo, Toe-Up! Patterns and Worksheets to Whip Your Sock Knitting Into Shape I'm holding off starting any new sock projects because I want to do a toe-Up sock and do it magic loop. 2 new techniques at once.....We'll have to see how that goes.

Some Mindless Knitting:
I've had some gorgeous teal blue Charity Hill Farm, Marina yarn (Rayon/linen blend - worsted). I was going to do a sweater but I wasn't sure if I would have enough yarn. So I just CO a square blanket from the Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac (Baby Blanket). I'm planning on using up all the 800 yards of this yarn on the one blanket. That is if the needles will hold that many stitches. I'm planning placing an order with KnitPicks for some longer cords today!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Le Smoking Is Cookin

Okay, A bad pun...... The Le smoking is moving ahead very nicely. The knitting has been fairly uneventful. But I think I am now getting tired of working on only 1 project at a time. And Yes that is a line where I changed skeins and did not alternate. I actually alternated on the front section so you cannot tell there. Also the line is where the belt will hit so I think it will be less noticeable. The picture makes it look worse than it actually is in person. Hence.....No ripping out!

There are times now when I just want to do something else besides the sweater knitting. I think it's because the weather is getting nice out and I know I won't be able to wear these sweaters until fall. I think my next sweater will be a summer sweater or something summery.

I will start something else though. Just another project of some kind when I just don't want to work on a "big" sweater. I've actually sewing some small sachets pouches to put some lavender oil in to put with my wool. I have in the past thrown caution to the wind when in comes to my wool. I give it up to luck so far that I have never had a problem. I think it is time to at least do something as simple as add sachets to the storage bins.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Number 3 is OTN - On The Needles

Before I can start talking about #3, I need to show off my second sweater completed.

Mr. GreenJeans

It came out so nice. I wore it all day Saturday and to work today. It fits so nice and comfortable too. I may have to make another one of these.

Number 3: Le Smoking (A fine Fleece)
I love that book!!! I could knit just about every pattern in the book. And there is a chance I actually may do that.

I took this picture 3 days ago, but I am already about 12 inches up the body. Even though there are over 200 stitches to knit with each row, only the edges are the cabling so it moves really fast. I get to divide for the front and back at 17 inches so I should be at that point by this weekend.

I've gone through 1 skein of the Ecowool (Cascade). The kettle over-dye job I did on these skeins is really interesting. I like the subtle variation in colors. It doesn't show in the photos, which is a shame. The yarn is so much more interesting than the pictures.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Finishing Frenzy

Mr. GreenJeans is done. It seems to fit very nicely. Form fitting, but it will look nice with a "T" underneath. But the truth will be in how I like it after I've worn it a few hours. Picture is Pre-Bath and Pre-Blocking.

I also finished the 2 little quilts wall hanging. They came out very cute. I still may frame them before hanging them.

Finally, (I told you this was a Finishing Frenzy!) I completed 1 of the Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks (Ann Budd) from Favorite Socks 25 Timeless Designs
The color is not exactly flashy, but i wanted some basic boring black socks for work. And I wanted to try out this yarn. It's called Walk Away Sock Yarn. 100 gms ( 437 yards for 10.00 at Hobby Lobby. It is the Hobby Lobby brand 70 % Superwash wool, 23 % Polyamide and 7% PBT (that scares me...just a little bit) But I am only wearing it on my foot, right? Overall The yarn knitted up nice and the socks are really soft and cushy. We'll sere how this wears. I'm very hard on my socks.

The pattern of the cross ribbing muddled up the variegation very nicely and reduced any stripping or pooling of the white and gray areas. I think this pattern would work really well for any hand painted. Of course it does hide the stitch definition of the ribbing pattern. but I like the effect on the hand points

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mr. GreenJeans Still on the needles

Yes, Mr. GreenJeans is still on my needles. I've been dedicated to him, but I've been having a fit of Spring cleaning. Anyway, I've only got 1 sleeve left to do and it is complete.

I really like top down sweaters!! Having the chance to try it on is so nice for getting the right fit. I've been thinking about doing the Kearsarge in a single spun brown yarn. But I was going to convert it to a top down. I think i could get a better fit if I did it that way. I'm not 100% convinced though. I think the yarn would work well for that pattern because it's a little unbalanced because it is spun fairly tight. It looks really good swatched in moss stitch. So I am trying to find a pattern with lots of texture. But I don't know if I like how the Kearsage fits (in most of the pictures I've seen of it knit up, anyway). Waffling is what I do best!!

As you may or may not notice, I'm trying to have my next sweater project ready to go so I don't have sweater completion remorse when Mr. GreenJeans is finished.

Knit away

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Slight distraction

As I mentioned, I went to a quilt and fabric show last Saturday. I did not buy any fabric. My stash runneth over, as is. I did go for some sewing inspiration. And I did find some!!!! I love woolfelt, and all the neat ideas that are generated with wool. I was inspired to create a penny rug. One of my own design. I love the simple rustic feel of these type placemats and rugs. This is a small version: about 18" by 12".

I also decided to venture into the area of stenciling fabric. I've been infatuated with pears and leaf designs. So I spend Sunday playing around with simple stenciled fabric. I think I will frame these 2 pieces after I quilts them.

As for Sweater Knitting......
I've completed about 1/2 the body of Mr. GreenJeans. The lighting isn't great for taking pictures, but I wanted to at least have proof that I'm actually making progress. I've tried it on, and I really like it so far. The raglan shaping seems to suit my shape. At least so far as the top of the sweater.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Next Sweater

While I was so excited to finally finish the inishmore, I spent the rest of the day wondering around trying to figure out what to do with myself. I actually missed having a project that I just could pick up and go. For me, that this is nice part about monogamous knitting, but it is also the downfall. I did have a sock I started ( for travel knitting) but I wanted to keep up the sweater knitting.

I spent Sunday evening picking out my next project. I've never done a top down sweater, and I've had the pattern for Mr Greenjeans in my queue for awhile. The yarn is another cone yarn I've had for many years. It is a bit of a mystery. It is a cabled tubular yarn with variegated mat sections and shiny sections (not metallic, but rayon like). I made a hat with it, and I thought it would be a nice sweater for fall days. It's in a dark green (slightly blue undertones) and the shiny parts are a silvery sage-like green. It has a nice drape, so we'll see. If it comes out ugly, Oh well.

As for the knitting, I'm liking it alot!!! I've already worked past the arm separations. yea!! The top is only in stockinette so I really flew on that. Everything feels faster after the labor of the Inishmore!!

I promise to put up pictures soon, I did have some problems with loading my camera software back on my computer, but it is all ready to go now. I just need to set it all up and take the pictures.

Today, I am going to the Lebanon Quilt and Fabric show. I've been itching to sew again. And I am hoping I can get some inspiration there. I've got tons of quilts from BK (before knitting). When quilting was my obsession. So I'm trying to think of some other items that I could work on.

Monday, March 01, 2010

The Inishmore is DONE!!!!

All I have to say is DONE. Ravelry page

Ends woven in, washed, blocked and dried!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Almost Almost Done...........

I am so close. I spent about 4 hours meticulously seaming all the pieces together. i cannot believe it took that long to seam. My back was killing me!

Now I am working on the collar. (Since Wednesday.) I have to say I figured that the collar would be a 1-nighter, but that just has not been the case.

Night 1: Pick up the stitches around the neck. Then proceed to screwed up the first 6 row repeat of Chart A - I could not believe it. i had to rip out all but the first pick up row. Gave up - went to bed.
Night 2: Got through the first set of 6 rows without another mistake....that I noticed.
Night 3: Finish the second repeat of 6 rows. Feeling pretty confident.
Morning 4: Found dropped stitch. Almost made it's way back to the pick up row!!! (WHEW) major disaster avoided. On top of that the dropped stitch was not apart of any cable crossing!!! How was I that lucky??? I have now picked up the stitch and I am ready to proceed with my 3rd repeat of the Chart A.

I will finish this sweater!!!!!!
I will finish this sweater!!!!!
I will finish this sweater!!!!!

Pictures will follow. I am still re-loading all my software onto my computer. It had a little "crash" last week and I needed to reload the whole system. UGH!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Inishmore: Just keeps on coming

Well, I've been really making progress on the Inishmore. I have been so so dedicated. I have had temptations, but when I start knitting on it again....It makes me happy to see the progress. I only have 1 sleeve to go!!!!! I've thought about pushing myself to finish it by the end of the Olympics (sort of my Rav-Olympic challenge). But, I don't need to do that. Whether I finish it by March 1st or March 14, it will still be a great piece I can be proud of.

This is all 3 pieces I've finished so far:

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sweater Chronicles 2010

The Inishmore is really chugging along. I've almost completed both the back and front!! It has taken about 1 month of dedicated knitting to this project.
(this is a bad picture, but it shows the progress)

I have found there to be definite advantage to dedicated knitting that I think folks who jump around to various projects miss out on. When I knit on a complicated project, after about 1 week, I get into a groove. My brain may not memorize the pattern, but it gets a good feel for it. So, following the Inishmore pattern, while its very involved, I can, with just a glance at the chart, do the repeat pattern This speeds up my knitting tremendously.

When I started this sweater, I figured I'd be finishing it some time next September, but I can really foresee that I will have this done in March!!

More Detailed view of the Back

I have had a few distractions, but not knitting distraction: I ordered some superwash merino roving for spinning, as I am almost out of fiber to spin. (only thing left in the stash is some natural brown BFL (2-3 oz) and 3 oz of Merino/Alpaca). So I wanted to think about playing with some colors spinning, designing up my own color repeat with some teals & greens.

I could not resist, I got 1 pound total of Teals, Greens, Grey, and True Black (4 oz each) from Dyeingforcolour (etsy) for a very reasonable price. This will keep me spinning on my spindle for quite some time.