Saturday, December 08, 2007

In Progress

I had a couple of minutes to myself so I figured I'd put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard depending on how you look at it ) and write a little sumthin sumthin.

Well I've been suffering hard from Knitters ADD. I've been having serious gauge issues lately which seems to fuel my project polygamy. I think its true when they say that your knitting is directly related to your mood. I've been wanting to blog for the longest just to get some thought out of my head but my mind feels like its being pulled off in fifty million directions. I just don't feel centered on one thing and I'm thinking its the holidays that have me feeling like an erratic mad woman. So I apologize if this post seems like I'm off somewhere else (because I am). Anyway, on with the show.


Here are the mishaps that have had my knickers in a bunch (dontcha just love that expression).

First off is the bog jacket I planned for Little Boy Blue. I love Elizabeth Zimmermans patterns but being the impatient person that I am I didn't read the whole unpattern through properly before writing up my notes. I was OK with the sweater until I got the shoulders. I had planned to put all the bells and whistles on this jacket including the longer sleeves, shoulder shaping and back neck shaping. My downfall came from placing the shoulder shaping in the wrong spot. You can clearly see in this photo that there is no way to correct this without ripping out the whole top of the sweater and frankly thats not going to happen (please pay no attention to my mess in the background) I'm not a big fan of garter stitch so I can't see myself starting this pattern all over right now. I just have to take an L on this one and wash my hands of it.

Next up in the Ugh category is a project that was more than a year in the making. In August of 2006 I made a feeble attempt to make a fair isle mitten. All I managed to knit since then was about an inch of ribbing. Fair isle still seems to intrigue me but I have yet to finish one project that I've started using stranded knitting (case in point). So I decided to suck it up and try and bring this thing back into my knitting rotation. I already had about an inch of ribbing done on size 000 dpns so it took me about an hour to finish up the rest of the ribbing for the cuff. After that I got into the fair isle pattern and I was a giddy little knitter watching the pattern form. Then something told me that this looked kind of small. SO I tried it on and lo & behold, it was too small. Again, I do not wish to start ALL over again so this will sit in the corner until I know what the heck I want to do with it.

Instant Gratification Knitting

In between those mishaps, I've done a little knitting to get my mind off of the failures. The first one was out of necessity. Little boy blue needed some mittens so of course his mama had to make some for him.
These are the Target Mittens from the Knitting Nature book but I used the pattern in last years winter interweave knits. I used Plymouth Encour DK and you can find all the stats here on Ravelry.

DJ (my significant other) has been bugging me for a while now to make him a hat like the Marvin Gaye reminiscent one Eddie Murphy wore in Dreamgirls. I practically sat with picture in my lap while I crocheted the hat using odd balls of acrylic yarn. He loved it even though I took so long to make it. I even made him another one the very next day. I think they go great with his locs.

In Progress

Right now I'm working on some socks as travel knitting. I'm using the sock hop blogged about here on size 1's. I'm not really happy with this project but it gets me through the commute. The pattern is one of the rib ones from the More Sensational Knitted Socks book.

Next up is a vest that I started while at Rosi's post Thanksgiving get together. I scored this chunky yarn at Rhinebeck this year and I knew I wanted to make a nice V neck vest to go over a button down shirt. My inspiration is from my Traditional Fair Isle Knitting book and I'm using my Handy Dandy Notebook for the vest part. I'm using 2 three row patterns alternating with a 9 row and 13 row pattern in between. I may be about half way done and I'm hoping that the wonkiness will subside with some aggressive blocking.

Lastly I just started a new winter set starting with a hat. Right now I'm using my hat, scarf and mittens from last year and it just won't due. What kind of knitter would I be if I can't supply myself with a coordinating hat and scarf. Come on. Anyway, the yarn is some Caron brushed acrylic that I scored at Smileys a while ago. Of course I'm using my Handy Dandy Notebook for the pattern. I'm planning on alternating rows of stockinette, reverse stockinette and seed stitch for this hat. Once the hat is done I'm planning on knitting a Bainbridge scarf to match.

Thats about it. I am working on a detailed sheep to shawl project right now but I'll save that for another post. I also joined the WOW sock club. I'm using that in conjunction with Margene's earlier idea of wrapping them up to make it more of a surprise. Well until next time and if I don't have the chance to tell you hope you all have a wonderful Holiday.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Have your heard about the fiber?

Hey fiber peeps. How’s it spinning? I’ve been a feeling a bit blah when it comes to the crafty stuff. Not much knitting or spinning but the urge just suddenly hit me to have one of my one sided blogversation. So let’s talk fiber.

The first thing I spun on my hitchhiker was the May offering from the Spunky club. I have since had to end my subscription:-( I was backlogged 5 months so I figure I’ll join again once I’m up to date. I do miss the little surprises in the mail every month.

Of course this fiber comes with a story, I’ll try to keep it brief. May’s offering was 4 ounces of Coopworth dyed in a color fittingly called Nightshade. Spunky noted that her inspiration for these colors were the deep rich colors of the vegetables in her garden. The original roving was dyed an intense eggplant, indigo, black, and emerald. I decided to try and spin something thicker than my usual sock weight yarn. I spun the singles on one bobbin then plyed it onto itself using a center pull ball. Sidenote: Here’s some interesting information regarding spinning from a center pull ball.

So anyways, as I’m spinning, I’m noticing that my hands are turning a bit black. This was my first time experiencing that so I didn’t pay it too much mind. I was just getting a kick out of spinning on something so cute & petite that I really wasn’t paying too much attention to the wool. After I finished plying, something told me to take a picture of it but I had no daylight and I so wanted to finish off my purty new skein that I skipped that part. I went to give my yarn a good soak and you can imagine my horror to see the water turn blue. And not just light blue but navy blue. Uggghhhhh, Oh woe is ME! I immediately pulled the skein out of the sink, drained the water and soaked it again. I had to soak that bugger six times to get the water clear and by then my pretty skein had morphed into something totally different. The pictures you see here is what I ended up with. I don’t loath this skein but the other was 100 times better than this one, I just wish someone besides myself could’ve seen it. Oh well, at least I have 4 more months worth of wool to play with.

Fiber: Coopworth Wool

10WPI, 3.875 Ounces, 158Yds, 652YYP

My last spinning project was the second half of the flower roving I showed you guys a while back. It hasn’t gone for its formal bath yet but I’m positive that it will have almost the same stats as the first one. I’m planning on making some gloves out of this. I want a simple lace pattern for the cuff and just plain stockinette on the glove/fingers portion. I’ll be using my handy dandy notebook for the glove pattern. Speaking of gloves, is it just me of did Jack Frost decide to come for a little visit. I don’t know, it might be his nippy cousin or something but it is chilly. I need to get cracking on the hats, scarves & mittens for the family. What kind of mother would I be if I let the child go to school in the same hand knits he wore last year?

So that’s about it. Oh, almost forgot. A couple of posts ago I teased you guys with a little hobby I may have picked up. Well I started full force then slowly lost steam. I plan on finishing my project but for now it’s on hold. What is it? Oh, just doing a little hooking. Rug hooking that is. Since the repeats of Knitty Gritty are boring me I’ve started taping the show Uncommon Threads that comes on the same network. A girl has to have her fiber fix. They did a whole show on rug hooking in which they made this hot pink wall hanging depicting a half faced winged skeleton. I fell in love with that winged skeleton so while in my local craft store I picked up a kit for just 4 bucks. I let the little one pick it out and of course he picked out the train. He wanted to play with the box as soon as we bought it home (can ya tell he like trains) but I promised him that he could play with it as soon as I’m done. In my opinion, I think it’s just as relaxing as knitting. You practically don’t have to think about anything. The yarns come precut in all the colors you need and all the little spaces are color coded also, easy peasy.

Next time I’ll let you guys know how the never ending sweater is doing. I’m getting a little nervous seeing as I started it in January of this year. I refuse to drag it out to 2008 but these weeks are flying by too quickly. See ya.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I Went To Rhinebeck & All I Got Was This Wheel

Of course I got my Hitchiker. I headed up there with my buddy Kim and as soon as we hit the gates my goal was building A - Merlin Tree. This post will mainly consist of all my fiber goodies and I'll post pics of the people I met and a recap of the event next time. Now on to the goods.
About a pound of alpaca fiber from the Sheep Shed. You probably wouldn't believe me if I told you how much I paid for it.
2 ounces of Yak from Black Fen Farm
4 ounces of soy silk also from Black Fen Farm
2 ounces of handpainted tencel from A Touch of Twist
An assorted felters fiber pack from Misty Mountain Farm (I am so gonna card this up into a fantastic batt)
4 ounces of BFL from Little Barn.

4 skeins of millspun heavy worsted weight yarn from Cranberry Moon Farms.
2 skeins of Aussie Sock yarn from Seaport Yarns
2 ounces of wool from A Touch of twist.

Now that my goodies have been thoroughly documented, I can start spinning/blending/knitting some of this stuff up. Catch you on the knit side.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just me and my stitch

I’m not sure where exactly to start. There’s been some knitting and spinning but I have to admit that I’m feeling a little down right now. One of my closest co-workers just retired and I’m having a hard time dealing with it. She’s like family to me and although I know it’ll make her much happier I just can’t bear to see her go. I’m trying to use my crafts to cope with my sadness.

I think that’s enough of the sappy stuff, on with the show.

On The Knitting Front

I don’t know what’s wrong with me but my sock knitting mojo has left the building. It’s not for lack of trying either. See? That’s the start of Maia’s secret sock pattern. I figured I would go hard or not go at all, knowhatimsayin. Although this is a gorgeous pattern I just couldn’t bring myself to knit it any further. Main reason being, it just wasn’t making my fingers sing. Maybe its just a little bit of the process knitter in me but I covet the feeling of getting into the groove of your favorite knit project, so much so that your fingers start to move at their own little beat, just musical in my opinion. I felt not one smidget of that while knitting this so I abandoned it with no remorse at all.

For the past couple of weeks it’s just been me and my sweater. So far I’ve finished the back, left front and two sleeves. I just have to finish the right front which I started last night. I doubt this sweater will be finished by Rhinebeck but I’m not really stressing about it. If it is, that’s fine and if not, then that’s fine also. Now you guys will be able to recognize me at 'Beck as the only blogger there not sporting any handmade items.

Fit To Be Plied

I had this renewed love for spinning once I left the Spin Out but alas my monogamy is still is full swing. I finished spinning the fiber I started at the Spin Out but it has yet to be plied. It’s pretty energized so I’m waiting for it to relax just a bit before I ply it. I’ll most likely Andean ply it. I scored the fiber from a swap on swapbot. The roving is 4 ounces of domestic wool hand painted and pin drafted by High Prairie Fibers. It was a little rough on my hands to spin but I’m excited to see what it will be once it’s done.

Public Announcement

Did you guys know that the Knit & Crochet Today show is only showing on select PBS Stations.Well whaddya know, it's not playing in the Tri-State area so if you feel so inclined, please send an email to NYC's local PBS station requesting they add this show to their programming. I already did but I think it's take a little more than little ol me to get this show added.

So that’s about it for now. I’m planning to make some stitch markers this weekend to post in the shop. I’m just trying to get my weight up for Rhinebeck which is in a little more than a week. YAY Rhinebeck!

Oh, by the way I think I may have picked up another needle craft. I'm going to test the waters and see how I like it. For now, here's a clue.

Any guesses?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Doin' It In The Park

Well we did do it in the park….Spinning that is, get your minds out of the gutter. Anyway, yesterday was the second annual Spin Out hosted by the lovely Cara and boy was she glowing. I tried to snag a picture of her and Jenny but I was a little late whipping out my camera and the moment was gone :-( I had a ball and of course I lugged along my Victoria. I also lugged along my SO and DS so you could say that we had a sort of family day except for the fact that I ignored them the whole time we were there.

I was really sidetracked so I didn’t take as many pictures as I wanted to. I meant to take a picture of the wonderful fiber Anne was spinning but I totally forgot. Believe me it was gawjus. Also I’m horrible with names so there will not be a lot of commentary. Excuses, excuses I know, I got loads of em.

I got Annie to try out my wheel. Think she'll let me have a go at her loom?
I told Tawana I wanted a picture of her baby bump, I guess my camera took it literally.
The New York Spin City Meetup represented.

And so did Sit n Knit New York.(by the way, thats Penelope on the right and she doesn't have a stash, well not a real one like you and I, yeah I know tell me about it!)We had a hitchiker present. I'm debating getting one. Who am I kidding, I've already made up my mind, you'll see me lugging one of those around at Rhinebeck.

Little girls were put to work carding wool. Why else would you bring the kids along?
Look at that kewl hat! And what makes her even kewler was that she was spinning straight up lace angora (ooooo ahhhhh)
See! perfect, no?
Spinning demo in progress.

See Sandra Spin!

I’ll save the actual knitting content for my next post, but I have been super busy on that front. Til next time.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Days Gone By

Hey there, long time, no blog. Remember when you were a kid and you would get all excited about the first day of school. You had that giddy feeling of anew, new notebooks, new pens, new clothes, new backpacks, everything was new and it made you excited for the school year ahead of you. Usually the newness wore off after a couple of weeks and you were back into the homework rut but I say all of this to try and describe my feelings towards this blog. I haven’t been the most regular at posting and I would like change that so I treated myself to a blog makeover. I’m hoping the newness of it all will help inspire me to update this space more often. In case you’re wondering I have the lovely Missa of MoonArts Web Design to thank. I think they did a wonderful job and I’m so excited about my “new beginning”. And I gotsa button for you guys to steal (yay).

You’re probably wondering what I’ve been up to in these past weeks, well I can tell you that it aint sock knitting believe it or not. I know that the Summer of Socks ends today but I just wasn’t feeling in a sock mood this summer. I think I have an a-long commitment anxiety or something because once the a-long gets started I’m fine but I slowly start to loose steam until I’m just not that into it anymore. I think if I hadn’t joined summer of socks I probably would have knitted more that my lonely 3 pairs. Now I seem to be into bigger projects.

This is a Bog Jacket that I started for my son. The pattern is by Elizabeth Zimmerman and it can be found in her Knitting Around book but I’m sure all you Knittanistas already knew that. I totally plan on doing all the bells and whistles like shoulder shaping, phoney seams, and all that jazz but I’m afraid that it may be too small for my little man. I’m choosing to ignore this minor oversight until all the knitting is done. In case you’re wondering, I’m quite fine living with my knitters denial, it helps me cope. I’m trying to use up my acrylic so I just dug in the stash and saw that I had 4 skeins of Caron Natura in chocolate brown that I could use. I’m not sure what colors I’m using for the top but I know I want off white and maybe orange or tan. We’ll see how it turns out.

I know I have this tendency to write a lot when I’ve been gone a while so I’ll try not to bore you guys too much.

I’ve actually been crocheting also. Remember the charity group that I knit with at my job? Well I had this great idea that if everyone in the group donated a couple of granny squares, then we would have enough for a blanket to donate to Warm Up America. Well I got 54 squares but guess who has the great job of crocheting them all together? That’s right, the same person with the bright idea. So far I’ve done about half the blanket and it’s a pretty daunting task. Only because the gauges are as varied as the people who made them so they’re not all the same size. Plus they were not all made with the same pattern so it can be difficult to get them to match up correctly. I’m pushing through it and hopefully I’ll have it done by next week. I’m planning on giving pictures of the blanket to all that participated as a sort of thank you card.

In spinning news, here’s the finished yarn from my last post

Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino Roving

Happy Together Colorway

Approx 4.5 Ounces, 414 yards, 18wpi

Method: Short Forward Draw, 2ply

I love this yarn and I’m waiting until I find the perfect pattern to cast on for a pair of socks of course.

I also spun up half of the fiber I received in my last spinning swap. A while ago I started a swap on swap-bot for hand dyed roving dyed to resemble a flower. My partner Jennifer sent me the most gawjus merino/silk blend roving inspired by pink gerbera daisies. I think she got the colors spot on and I split the roving in half and spun one half up. I loved the colors so I decided to Navajo ply it and it turned out around a lace weight. I think this yarn wants to be an airy lace scarf of some sort so I’m on the hunt for any patterns. I’ll post this one properly with stats and all once I’m done spinning it.

In other knitting news, I’m still plugging away on my first sweater that I’ve been working on since January. I’m trying to have it ready for Rhinebeck but I’m not keeping my fingers crossed. I’m not stressing it because I know I’ll have a good time regardless of how I’m dressed. Just to recap, I’ve finished the back and one sleeve and I am currently working on the left front. The pattern stated that you should knit the cable band that goes around the fronts of the sweater separately but somehow I don’t picture my self knitting a 40”+ cable strip then sewing it to the sides.

I think that’s all for now. Hopefully I’ll catch some of you NY spinners at the Spin-Out next Saturday. I’ll be the one with the Louet Victoria and the Afro so don’t forget to say “Hi”.

Happy Crafting

p.s. Is it just me or did anyone else absolutely fall head over heels in love with Tim Gunns new show on Bravo? I’m ready to throw all the clothes in my closet out and shop for new ones. Undergarments includedJ

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Remarkable Feats in Spinning

Favorite Quote from the TV Show Martin:

If I say a duck could pull a truck, then shut up and hook the sucka up!


That quote loosely translates to “If I tell you something to be true, then take my word for it”.

I accomplished my own remarkable feat this evening that I had to come out of blog hibernation to share it. Drum roll please………I SPUN 4 OUNCES OF FIBER ALL ON ONE SINGLE LOUET BOBBIN!(and the crowd goes wild, yaay!) It may not seem like anything out of the ordinary to the mere mortal but this is a great accomplishment for me. I spun the singles on one bobbin, then wound it into a center pull ball. I then took an extra step and wound the two ends together into a two ply ball (using an empty tp roll). Tonight I plied it and I was so determined to get this whole thing onto one bobbin so I wouldn’t have to split up the skein. Well I'll let the picture speak for itself.

I haven’t taken any stats as of yet but this is the fiber I started spinning at the sistahfriends knitta-que. I started out with 4 ounces of Crown Mountain Farms Superwash Merino roving in the Happy Together colorway. I’ll have more details once it’s had a good washing. As you can see it’s roughly 20 w.p.i (sock yarn, woo hoo!) but that will slightly change once it’s gone for a dunk .

Since I’m already blogging, here’s my last FO.

I made these socks with yarn I won on Nikki’s blog. The yarn is Elann Esprit which is a cotton and elastic mix. I believe it’s comparable to Cascade Fixation but I may be mistaken. I used the seeded rib pattern from the Second Sensational Knitted Socks Book, toe up of course. I fittingly call them my Pink Zebra socks. Dare I say that the color pink is really starting to grow on me (I’ll deny I ever said that later). I think this marks my second pair of socks knit for the Summer of Socks. See, I not only slack on blogging but on sock knitting also, I'm well rounded that way.

Well I’m off to catch Tim Gunns' new show but I couldn’t resist tooting my own horn if you know what I mean.

Happy Spinning!