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. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

An Old Spinning UFO....Knitting WIP Progress...Cooking

Recently, I had gone into one of my fiber stash bins and was searching for something to spin.  None of my current in progress fibers were calling to me.  I found a bag with a skein of yarn and a braid of fiber.  It's Organic Merino from Spunky Eclectic in the colorway "Pie Toss". I bought this in December 2008.  The first braid was spun in February 2009, and, chain plied.  I just never did the second braid. Plans are to get it done this week.  Talk about taking a break between braids!

I did finish spinning the third braid of "Nolan" and spun the first one of "Tuscany", both from June Pryce Fiber Arts.  Two more bobbins (4 ounces each) of the Cria Alpaca/Merino Hogget blend were also spun and are waiting for plying.  Plans are to have a ply-fest again with those two bobbins and the Pie Toss.  Maybe I'll try to get another in progress fiber spun as well and do the plying at Sue's monthly spin in. 

My Lacey Bias Scarf has seen a bit more love.  The "Fly Away Home" socks are also coming along nicely. I am at the gusset part of sock 2.  That can be a public knitting project once I'm into the foot part which is just stockinette until the toe decreases.  The Traveler Socks are finished and came out great.  Plans are to use the pattern again, but change the cable to a different one, or a lace pattern.  That's just so I don't get bored with the same pattern.

Last night's supper was bacon cheeseburgers.  I mixed the ground beef with the same seasoning I use to make my meatballs.  Pat had bought the 3 pound package of beef, so I made the burgers, and then shaped the rest into meatballs.  A small package of sausage was also added to them.  After browning, I just transferred them to the crockpot and left them alone.  While I cooked the bacon in the oven, he grilled the burgers.  We had a side salad to go with them.  It was a tasty supper. 

Tonight, he cooked his pasta, and warmed up some of the sausage and meatballs.  I just made a small sandwich and salad, and skipped the pasta. There's still plenty in the crockpot for a couple of days' meals. 

I'm going to spin for a bit and watch a couple podcasts and then call it a night. 

Talk to you soon.  Bye!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Socks, Shawl, Scarf, and Spinning

July has been a month of working on WIPs, both knitting and spinning.

I finished the Kalinda Shawl in time to enter the Classic Elite Yarns contest. No - I didn't win the yarn basket prize, but I have a pretty shawl added to my collection.

I've set my vanilla socks and leftover Gloaming socks aside to work on two other pairs.  One is Fly Away Home in Cascade Heritage Sock. It's my first time doing a project with a picot cast on so I've learned something new.  I'm at the toe decreases of sock 1 and should just finish that and cast on sock 2.  Instead, I'm working on the other pair which is Traveler Socks in Cascade 220 worsted weight.  I'm planning to make these into house slippers and put waterproof bathroom caulking on the bottoms to make them skid proof  I had to rip back to the foot since it was a tad too short when I put in the heel.  I added a full repeat of the pattern, test fit it, and am doing the heel tonight. 

My Lacey Bias Scarf has had a little bit added.  This is my public/group project since it's just a two row pattern and you can see right away if you make a mistake.  I do love how it's working up with the striping of the yarn.

Spinning has been about finishing up stuff as well.  I've spun and plied another skein of the Cria Alpaca / Hogget Merino blend.  That makes 7 skeins so far. There's still over half of it left in the bag.  This fiber reminds me of Mary Poppins bag. I keep refilling my plastic bag and there's still more.  It doesn't seem to be going down.  lol

I also finished spinning Crown Mountain Farm SW Merino in "San Francisco" and plied that with their "Wish You Were Here".  It really calmed down some of the eye searing pink in that colorway.

The second braid of Flawful Fibers "Bleeding Heart Dove" also got spun and the N. plied.  I then grabbed a random 4-ounce bag from the stash and spun that. It was Dyed in the Wool Handmades "Strawberry Sundae" which was 2 plied. 

Currently, I'm spinning braid 2 of 3 of June Pryce Fiber Arts Merino in "Nolan".  It's mostly blues with pops of orange and a little greenish gray every now and then.  A friend suggested plying it with a solid color.  Since I know I have more than enough Merino in my dye room, the plan is to dye 24 ounces in the same deep (almost Tardis) blue for the ply.  It's going to look so good when done!

The looms haven't seen any attention since hubby put stuff in my room and I can't get to them right now.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

WEBS Trip, Some Progess on Projects

The rest of May passed so quickly I never got around to posting here. 

After the retreat weekend, I finished the Honey Cowl I had restarted, and, a Reversable Big Cable Scarf knit in Malabrigo Rasta.  There was some spinning, but nothing was plied yet. 

One of my current projects is the Kalinda Shawl knit in Classic Elite Cerro in the "Watermelon" colorway.  There's about twenty-two rows to go plus the bind off.  

I'm also working on the Lacey Bias Scarf I bought at the retreat in Plymouth Yarns Diversity.  My Gloaming socks are still in progress, but on the back burner for a bit while I work on these two projects.
June started fine, but, I got sick the second week and spent 3 days in bed with a fever of 103.  I had an infection and was on antibotics which seemed to do the trick.  Currently, I'm on the second round of meds since the darn infection is still hanging around although I feel fine.

The third Saturday of June is our annual bus trip to WEBS. Luckily, I was recovered and still able to go.  I forgot my list at home, but remembered most of it.  Two skeins of WEBS Anniversary yarn, three skeins of pink yarn for another Sojourn Scarf  as well as the third skein of purple to finish the first one, three skeins of undyed fingering, and a sweater's amount of a pale blue yarn all came home with me.  I planned to buy a bunch of undyed yarn but couldn't find the ones I wanted.  I also forgot to pick up two magazines I wanted.

I have done some spinning, but, decided to skip participating in Tour de Fleece this year.  I also decided not to do Stash Dash after all.  Being sick for a week sort of left me not wanting deadline projects, with the exception of the Kalinda which has to be done by July 21.  My goal is to try to get five rows a day in, but, they are getting long now.  I'm going to try to get my sixth row in for today so I'm ahead a little bit.

Monday, May 12, 2014

2014 Knitting Retreat in the Mountains

The first weekend of May found some members of my knitting guild in the mountains of New Hampshire.  Eight ladies plus myself spent three days together at The Grand View Lodge in Randolph.  It's a knitting shop with accommodations upstairs.  There was much laughter, sharing, and a little knitting going on.  There was a requirement to work only on items purchased in the shop while there.  The accommodations were sufficient, but a bit rustic.  If you are looking for a fancy hotel, this is not the place for you to stay. 

The shop was over-flowing with yarns, notions, patterns, kits, and all sorts of goodies for knitting and crochet.  Every time I looked, I found something else I hadn't noticed before.  I think I ripped back as much as I knit while laughing and talking.  Only one of us finished her project while there. 

On the way there, we stopped at Patternworks in Meredith and ate lunch at Hart's Turkey Restaurant.  Yum!

A bit of retail therapy happened while in Patternworks.

Here's a picture of my purchases from the retreat shop.

This is the Honey Cowl I ended up frogging and restarting when I got home.  I could see too many slip 1/purl 1 mistakes.  And I didn't have any wine so that's not an excuse.  lol

Here's a couple pics of the mountains and one of the rivers/streams.