Wednesday, May 04, 2016

My Annual Knitting Retreat

Last Friday found me driving to West Yarmouth, MA for my knitting guild's annual retreat.  Since I had a previous appointment and left late, there was only one stop at a yarn shop along the way.  Three skeins of Plymouth Merino in a dark gray came home with me from there.

We stayed at the Hampton Inn again this year.  After checking in, we all drove to A Great Yarn Shop for a cheese/wine/yarn tasting.  I had water since I don't drink.  It was a lot of fun and I ended up buying 3 skeins of one of the featured yarns along with a cowl pattern for it. There was a new colorway dyed for the shop which I purchased and will be a shawl or cowl.  After stopping for a nice supper, the rest of the evening was spent knitting with everyone in the conference room. 

Saturday was more yarn shop visits, where I bought a couple books and notions - no more yarn - and a stop for a delicious lunch.  The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent in the conference room where I spun on my Hansen mini-spinner for most of it.  There's still about twelve ounces left of my sweater fiber to spin. 

Sunday was the drive home, a nap, laundry, and a quick supper of grilled chicken in a salad.  That evening I finally started my May vanilla sock 1 in Cascade Heritage Prints "Iris" colorway.  I wasn't in the mood to start the patterned ones I have bagged.  That pair now have the ribbing done on the first sock.  

Besides the sweater spinning, I'm still working on the JulieSpins braid I started in March.  It's lovely and spinning so fine it's taking a bit longer to finish.  I did finish my YOSSRATS2106 April socks, "Dublin Bay" in the "Chatham" colorway. (I forgot them in my room when we went to the shop on Friday night).  There was a  quick shawl started and finished as well.  The "Narita Express Shawl" only took me seven days.

Here's pictures of my current "Iris" vanilla sock yarn, and "Narita Express" shawl. The shawl isn't blocked yet.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

More Sock Knitting, a Hat and A Prize

March was a continuation of my YOSSRATS2016 sock knitting with two pairs finished.  I loved working with the Julianna's Fibre yarn.  The pops of color  in the gray background kept the project interesting.  The other pair is knit in super old stash (2008) DkKnits  Technicolor Smoosh Toes in "Shower Salts and Bath Bubbles". The Dragonfly pattern was a lot of fun and easy to memorize.  My other project for last month was a Baa-ble Hat. 

Last week while I was watching DragonflyFibers Podcast, my name was drawn and I won an e-book copy of "Coffee With C.C."  There are six sock patterns and a shawl, all coffee inspired.   

I'm currently knitting my April Socks in Haute Knit Yarn in the "Chatham" colorway I got on last year's knitting retreat.  My second pair is in the same base in the "Spring Has Sprung" colorway.  


Two more skeins of the natural CVM fleece are finished.  It's spun supported long draw and is super poofy and light.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Rainbow Socks... Socks, Shawl and Spinning Progress

I finished my Fruit Stripe Gum Socks in Knit Picks Felici in the "Rainbow" colorway.  There were a few KALs on Ravelry where they met the requirements to be entered. 

Here is a pic of the start of my second pair for February.  I don't think I will finish before the end of the month, but, I can carry them over into March.  They are just a pair of vanilla Julianna's Fibre in "Silver Lining". I'm about half way down the leg now.

My Garter Path Shawl also got some love, but, I put it on hold before knitting the next shade.  I decided to make it larger and requested a custom dyed skein from Play At Life Fiber Arts. Chrystee did a fabulous job.  The skein starts at a shade darker than the end of my original skein, and continues to a beautiful deep purple.  Perfect. :)  The pic of the original yarn is the one with the light pink and tag.

The bright Mad Color Fiber Arts braid #2 is done, and I love how it turned out.  I'm still spinning the CVM fleece for a sweater, but, I took a break to spin something with color.  This is "Seaside Cottage" in Falkland from JulieSpins.                                                                                

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Spinning For A Sweater & Knitting More Socks

At the beginning of the year, I started spinning my CVM fleece for a sweater as part of a 4 month large project KAL in the "Knot a Podcast" group on Ravelry.  So far, I've gotten three bobbins full. I'm still debating if I should do a 2 or 3 ply since I know the yarn will bloom when washed.  Since I have plenty of bobbins, I will spin three more so I can mix them for plying if I do a 2 ply - 1 and 4, 2 and 5, and 3 and 6.  If I decide on a 3 ply, I'll spin 3 more - 1,4,7; 2,5,8; and 3,6,9.  This avoids striping in the knitting if there is any shading in the fleece. There is no clear color difference as far as I can see.  Just to be safe,  I've been starting each bobbin from a different point in the bag of fluffy roving to also off-set this from happening.

As for knitting progress, I finished my January socks #2.  

My current pair is in Knit Picks Felici "Rainbow".  I'm using the "Fruit Stripe Gum Socks" pattern and love how it looks.  It's sort of addictive and I went too far on the first sock.  A stripe had to be frogged or I wouldn't have enough yarn to finish the sock.  My second pair will be in Julianna's Fibre in "Silver Lining".  These are both for YOSS and "Suburban Stitcher Podcast" Rainbow-along.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Project Plans for Starting 2016

I've joined a few year-long knit and spin a-longs on Ravelry.  One is in the YOSS group. The challenge/KAL is called RATS2016 and means "Rock Around the Socks".  I had to pick 24 skeins of sock yarn from my stash and list them in the thread in my "shop", along with links to them in my stash. There are points earned for prizes along the way.

Another A-long is for spinning.  It's in the Caffeinated Knitting Podcast group.  I am suppose to spin at least 4 ounces a month for a total of 12 bumps of fiber in 2016.  This fits with my goal of spinning 10 pounds in 2016 so should be very manageable for me to do.

Sillyfru of the SassyPantsKnitter Podcast is having two a-longs.  First is her "Don't Hoard the Precious" in which you use a fiber or yarn you have in your stash you consider too special to use.   Her second a-long is "Knit Your Bawls" in which you knit/crochet some of your older yarns you have caked up.  She is very lax in the rules and it's o.k. to ball up yarn now and use it. 

My main goals/intentions for the upcoming year are:

1. Knit 12 pairs of socks.  (YOSSRATS2016 will help cover this)
2. Use my pattern books more.
3. Spin 10 pounds of fiber.
4. Knit myself 2 sweaters. 
5. Use 40 skeins from stash.
6. No additional yarn/fiber purchases until my knit retreat in April. (I  had placed 2 orders from Knit Picks so this started 1/18)
7. Knit more Vivid Blanket squares.  (I need 42 more)

Here's a few pics of in knitting and spinning in progress:

Craft Review of 2015

The end of 2015 found me finishing a few more knitting and spinning projects.  Here's my final list for the year.  The numbers are written as "goal/finished". :

1. Sweaters - 2/1 
2. Socks - 6/7
3. Scarves or cowls - 4/5
4. Shawls - 3/3
5. Mitts and mittens  (one of each) 2/2 
6. Hats - 4/4
7. Vivid Blanket Squares (for a queen size bed) 14 of 56 completed
8. Spin 10 pounds of fiber - just made this one

Here's few pics of items finished last year.  

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Project Picture Catch-Up

The last few days have been spent taking pictures of some of my finished projects.  I finally got one of my crocheted Over the Willamette Shawl.  Blocking didn't happen.  When I spread it out and realized how big it already was, I didn't want it to stretch any larger.  It's 80 inches wide by 40 inches down the center spine already. 

The other two pictures are my Raspberry Vanilla self striping socks I dyed the yarn for,  and Tulip Rib socks for the summer KALs. 

The Firework Vanilla socks picture has disappeared from my files, but it's in my project page.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Socks, Vivid Blanket Squares, and Tour de Fleece Spinning

I'm participating in two sock KALs this summer.  One is "Sockapalooza" with "Sockbunny Knit and Fit".  The other is "Sock It to Summer" with Amanda of "Knot a Podcast". Both ladies allowed in progress socks that were 50% or less knit.  This worked out great for me since I had three pairs that met that requirement.  Two were in Cascade Heritage Prints self striping, and one was in Haute Knit Yarns "Fireworks" colorway.  Those are all finished and I'm almost done with a fourth pair I started in some yarn I had dyed a while ago.  The pattern is "Tulip Rib Socks ".  My yarn is a tonal pale lilac color.  I just need to knit the foot of sock 2.  Both the KALs end on August 31 so I hope I can get it done in time. Here's a couple pictures of the two self striping pairs.  The two skeins are the yarns from the other two pairs.  I don't have pics of them yet.

The Vivid blanket has six squares finished now.  It's in time out right now so I can finish that sock.  Here's a pic of the yarn. One shade is missing since I bought it at a later date.

July was Tour de Fleece so knitting time was limited due to all the spinning I did.  My total spun was 23.45 ounces all in 2-ply.  The last two pictures are of a batt I made on my drumcarder and the yarn I got from it.

Right now, the wheels are taking a rest until next weekend's monthly spin in at my friend Sue's shop.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Reviving A Meme

It's been a while since I did this, so here I go:

Listening: Channel 10 News

Watching: nothing

Eating: nothing,  Chicken, sweet potatoes, broccoli for supper later tonight

Drinking:  Iced coffee

Wearing: Shorts and a t-shirt, slippers

Reading:  Historical Romance story, PLY magazine

Weather: warm but not too hot yet

Knit:  second socks for 3 pairs, Vivid Blanket squares, a shawl

Spin:  Spunky Eclectic Merino/Silk "Nova Scotia" colorway

Want: a new phone

Need: to cook supper

Looking Forward to:  WEBS bus trip

Wonder:  how much knitting I can get done later tonight

Busy Fingers

My fingers have been busy with spinning, knitting, and crochet.   
Finished items include "Over the Willamette Shawl", "Piper's Journey Shawl",  "Thinking of You Scarf ", and  "Wheat Scarf".  All are all waiting for cooler weather to be worn.  There's also one pair of socks finished, and a couple of other pairs waiting for their mates to be knit.  

Along with the socks, a shawl, and "Vivid" blanket squares are in  process.  The blanket is now knit with a machine washable wool instead of the handspun.  

Some spinning also got accomplished, but not as much as I wanted.  Mostly, it was some of the natural colors I had previously planned for the blanket and will use some other way.

Sadly, my LYS, Eneri Knits, closed.  There was quite a bit of yarn shopping before the end though.  My plans to use 2 skeins for every 1 coming into the stash is kaput.  lol  It's more like use 1 for every 4 skeins that came in.  

The first weekend of May was my knitting guild's annual retreat.  I wasn't sure until a few days before if I was going for sure. Happily, my plans didn't have to change and I got to have a wonderful time. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in West Yarmouth, which is a very nice hotel.  This year saw me shopping with projects in mind most of the time.   Yarn for seven projects (socks, shawls, scarves), and a few patterns came home with me.

Next in my yarny travels is a trip to WEBS soon.  I do not plan to "be good" at that time.  I only go there once a year, usually. so I have a list, of which about half will be bought.  :)

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Spin, Knit, Read. Prizes, and A Present

It's been a long while since I posted.  Here's an update on what I've been doing.

2014 year end update:
Spun 12.875 pounds of fiber
Used 48.75 skeins of yarn (knit and crochet)

Finished projects:  (goal #/completed #)
hats 4/6
shawls/scarfs/cowls 6/15
socks 4/4
sweaters 2/0
snuggles for pets 4/5
mitts 0/1
use books in my library 2/6 (for 9 projects)

I'm happy with the year end results.  So far in 2015 I've finished 2 hats, 1 sweater (not a WIP) 1 socks (second pair just needs ribbing and heels) and 3/4 of a shawl (working on the applied edging).  I've also finished 34 ounces of fiber with 2 more fibers on 2 of the wheels.   Here's a pic of the finished Miranda sweater.

Some of the finished spinning included several stash fibers, mostly from older stash.  I just grabbed a couple of bins and started working my way through them. 

I had planned to dye a semi-solid in blues and one in reds to ply with two fibers I had previously bought from June Pryce Fiber Arts.  Cheryl was at my spinning guild in January. I bought some tonal blues to go with "Nolan" and some tonal reds to go with "Tuscany".  The blue set is done and looks great.  The red set is still waiting for me to finish it.  Since she only had two braids of that, and I ordered the third one I need, I'm not in a hurry to finish it right now.   The spinning was done on my Minstrel and the plying on my Sonata. I used the jumbo flyer for that.

Lots of time has been spent reading as well.  I love my Kindle for that.  I can just download books and read at my leisure.  There's a few sites with lots of free books for this.  BookBub and EreaderIQ are my favorites. 

I've been listening to The Yarn Thing Podcast.  Each episode has the guest giving a special word/phrase to be used in a comment for a prize drawing on an future show. I won twice since November.  One prize was an ebook, "Sock Architecture"  from Cooperative Press.  The other was a sweater kit from WEBS.  It includes the pattern, enough yarn for the largest size, three sets of needles needed, and a Della Q project bag created for the WEBS 40th Anniversary. Here's a pic of the kit. 

Now for the present part of this post.  Dear husband wanted to surprise me but since I had to pick out what I wanted he couldn't do that.  I've been asking him to build me a e-spinner for a few years.  Well, he couldn't find a motor that was quiet enough and he liked.  He decided to buy me a Hansen mini spinner!  It's a pleasure to spin with and so easy to use. He told me to get everything at the same time.  I chose the cherry finish with a woolie winder.  It comes with one bobbin so I ordered three more, as well as a maintenance kit and orifice reducers.  We ordered the battery separately since Hansen doesn't supply those.  There's a slight issue with the battery turning off after 30 seconds of non use.  To stop that, I bought a little "Daffodil LED Lamp" to plug into the battery.  Problem solved, and it gives the perfect amount of light.

Well, that's enough yammering for now.  I hope to post again soon. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sock Progress, More Spinning

Today was a nice warm October day.  I planned to sit on the deck with my wheel but never got out there. Maybe tomorrow if the weather is nice.

Nothing has been finished as far as knitting is concerned.  I did start a pair of socks in the skein of self striping I dyed last year.  The stripes go from undyed white to dark magenta.  I made a mistake and should have done one more set of stripes.  I have enough for the socks, but wish they could have been a  bit longer.  I plan to use some of the same undyed yarn I have left over from another project for the heels and ribbing if necessary.  Since I started with the white for the toes, I don't have to worry about that part.  Once the toe increases are finished, these will be my "public" knitting project. This is a pic of the sock yarn.

Lacey Bias Scarf is almost finished.  I've got about 10% to go on that.  I'm about to start the third skein on the Sojourn Falls Scarf, so that will hopefully be finishing up soon as well.  I still have three other pairs of socks on the needles, and plan to start two sweaters soon.

The Sonata wheel has been busy.  Eight ounces of Frabjous Fibers Merino in the colorway "Mirth" was finished this past weekend.  I'm back to spinning the Cria Alpaca Hoggett Merino blend again.  After this skein I plan to take a break from the rest of this fiber.  One of the previous mentioned sweaters will be knit in the yarn I already spun from this.  I need to think what else I want to use the yarn for before spinning any more.

My Minstrel wheel is also busy.  October 1 was the start of the "New To Me" SAL over in the YarnRaising group on Ravelry.  I bought some Gotland fiber from Corgi Hill Farm a while ago but never spun it, so I started it last week.  After trying it out on a spindle, and not really liking the result, I decided to switch to this wheel.  I sampled some using the larger ratio of 12:1 on my smaller whorl and used the Double Drive setting for a change.  The result was a lot of fighting "pigtails", so I put the larger whorl back on and am using the smaller ratio of 8.5:1, and it's spinning nicely.  Since the Sonata doesn't have Double Drive, I won't be able to use the jumbo flyer for plying which is fine. This pic is of the whole pound of fiber.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

October Chill, Fiber Adventures

Brrr.  It's a bit chilly and damp today.  You can tell Autumn has made it's appearance.  This is my favorite season.  Some of the leaves have already turned and are so beautiful.  Pumpkins and mums are plentiful in the stores.  The pumpkin flavored coffees and pastries are back at several coffee shops. If the weather decides to behave, and not rain as predicted on Saturday, I plan to enjoy a nice fire in the chiminea in the back yard in the evening.  I'll just have to wait to see if that happens.

I finally got some pictures of some of my latest finished knitting.
Traveler Socks, Fly Away Home Socks, Honey Cowl, Everdeen Beanie, Kalinda Shawl, Quiver Full Hat, and Reversible Big Cable Scarf are the projects pictured.  Also included, is the Lacey Bias Scarf in progress.


There's also been some spinning progress with another 6.5 ounce skein of the Cria Alpaca/Merino Hoggett blend finished as well as 4 ounces of a Fibers4Ewe pink blend, and 8 ounces of Frabjous Fibers Merino in the "Kaleidoscope" colorway.  Right now, another Frabjous Fibers is on the wheel in the colorway "Mirth".  My goal was to spin 8 pounds this year and I've accomplished that so I bumped the goal to 11 pounds.