February 28, 2014

February Spinning and Events

I'm going to try to put out 2 posts this weekend.  So look for a second post later.

I have been doing some spinning because in this amazing cold you want to work with lots of wools.

I finished plying the rainbow yarn.  I think I'm missing one of the purples.  Not sure.  This whole project was a blur!  I THINK I had another skein that was all purple, but maybe it's in a bag somewhere.  I'll find it I'm sure. :)

I really like the dark polwarth carded with the sparkle.  I think I'll make a little more of that up, and then do a striped blanket!

When finding room in the craft room for that yarn I came across some of my first handspun, Some Miss Babs Merino Silk blend in a lovely gold she called Helio.  It was a two ply that I remembered being very proud of, it was fine and delicate.  And Now I see that it wasn't really plied so much as ... set next to each other to do it's own thing.  Kind of like some of those group projects you've had to work on at school.

There were spots that were OK, but others you can clearly see one ply just doing its own thing!  Not ok, all plies must work together.  I ran it through my wheel again.  That is to say, I set this up on my swift and with my wheel spinning in the direction I plied, I fed this yarn through it again.  This added more twist in the plying direction, firming the yarn right up!

Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!  Everything all together.

I worked with the "left-over" fiber from when I taught my friend to spin in December.  It was some 100% wool top from Lorna's Laces in the Whitewater color.  It's very pretty mix of blues and white.  Although I suspect it may have sat for a while, as it was pretty compacted.  The blues didn't want to draft well and yarg.  I was glad when I could start plying.  Although I had started with about 20 ounces of it before the spinning lesson.  I maybe gave a half ounce for her to play with.  So I have a lot.  I decided to do a 5 ply out of the singles.  I wound them off onto toilet paper rolls, because of how handy they are.

Then I used my handmade (by my dad) lazy kate annd the flyer for my sidekick (the wheel) to manage my "bobbins."  I have over 600 yards of a very squishy aran to light bulky weight yarn.  SQUISH THIS!

I plied this on my Heavenly Hanspun Vespera Espinner.  It's a handy little machine and look at the size of those bobbins!  They hold about 8 ounces.

I have more spinning to talk about but I will wait till March.

As far as Events go, I plied my 5 ply for the Ravellenic Winter Games (colors are appropriate right?) and I knit a couple kits.  I did one other spinning project, but again ... you can wait a week right?

The kits were from vintage stash.  One was from Stitches Midwest 2008, my first Stitches Event.  I was overwhelmed and some odd things came home with me.  It was wonderful.  I got a Sweaterkit from a booth there.  It was the Bear Cub Cardigan, child's sweater.  I have no idea what I'll do with the sweater, but it's done.  Although I didn't do ears.  I didn't like them much once I sewed the whites to the middle.  I might have to work on that and attach them later.

The second was a Christmas 2011 Holiday gift from my mother (I think it was 2011).  A Penguin Pillow Kit!  The pattern is still available on their website, but the kit is not.

I made several changes to this little guy.  One, I knit him in the round, from the beginning using the entarsia in the round techniques I heard on Amy Beth's Fat Squirrel Speaks Podcast.  I don't think she really teaches the method so much as mentions it.  I kind of thought, oh! that's not too hard.  So my little penguin looks a little wonky under ONE of his arms, but don't go looking!  It's rude.  I also changed the shaping on his arms and made his beak in the round in stockinette.

I don't think I've been more proud!  He also won me a prize in the group I knit for.  The Knitting Dead group on Ravelry gave me this badge and I won a provision.  I can't wait to see what I won!

Events on the horizon:  Yarn School Spring 2014, Dye, Spin, Weave, Friends, Food, Wine Yay!
Yarn Con 2014, Plumbers Hall and Indie Dyers!
A Patsy Z Class with my Guild!

February 4, 2014

January FO's and WIP's

I in no way mean to tell you that I have been more productive than you have.  Although I have been finishing things like CRAZY.

Two blankets are done.

The big stitch blanket - done on size 50 needles.  I used a box of yarn that came out of my friend's grandmother's stash after she passed.

Whites and greens, holding 8 strands of worsted weight arcylic together.  It's crazy squishy.  It went into the washing machine and dryer and stretched in the opposite way than I expected.  I meant to give this to Project Linus, but I think I need to send it through the washer ONE MORE TIME.  To see if I can get it to even out just a little.

I finished a blanket done in Lion Brand Homespun that I striped.  I striped to mask the mismatched dye lots.  I cannot recommend doing this enough.  Looks great, is supper squishy and cozy.  I bound this one off on Jan 1, starting the bind-off row at midnight.  Start the year as you intend to live it!  Finishing things, that's what I want to be doing!

Sit in this chair and wrap up in it right now...

I've finished two sets of footware.  One pair of Seamless Salomas.  Which I made a million pairs of for Christmas, but I know my Grandma R is going to wear her pair out.  She wore out the last pair, so ...

This pair is out of Vanna's Choice in Chocolate, and a lime colored Wool-Ease on the top.  I need to cast on more of these.  I love making them.

These socks are for my Dad, in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Go Packers! Color.  Which is a small-stripes colorway.  In dad's size, 74 stitches, they were just over 1 round thick.  The gold was a little longer than the green, but so pretty.
It's a basic toe-up stockinette with 2x2 rib on the cuff.  I used Jeny's Surprising Stretch Bind Off and an afterthought heel in garter stitch, a basic wedge toe after Judi's Magic Cast On.  Go Packers!

Last finished object was a quick afternoon practice.  A hoodie with ears for a toddler, The Burton Bear Cowl by Heidi May.  It take about 100-150 yrds of a Bulky weight yarn.  I used Malabrigo Bulky, one skein and eeked out, just bearly, a toddler size with ears.

The pattern is clear and there are ton of sizing options.  From newborn to grown-up.  Very fun, you could make a family of these and be the 3 bears for Halloween!  A girl friend on Facebook wanted one for her daughter, and another piped up.  Now this one is for the second vocal knit-requester, but her little one is toddler sized yet.  I modified the ears, free-styled to use the 2 yards of yarn I had left.  The cowl also had an optional boarder, which I did not do either.  My biggest issue with the pattern was that I think the yardage requirements were short.  I am glad I did this test.

I have been working very hard on the third blanket on the needles.  A Building Blocks Blanket by Michelle Hunter.  She made a blanket square booklet with Skacel using Simply Worsted yarn that builds on what you know and adds skills to your toolbox as you work your way through the squares.  It's a great concept and a well done booklet.  I don't care for seaming blocks much.  I'm pulling together some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted that I picked up at an open house warehouse sale a couple years ago.  I've been working on this blanket since last March when I went out to visit my brother in AZ.  Blanket squares were the perfect project for plane knitting.

I picked them back up over late-Christmas stuff with my family.  I finished two squares in January.  I've got this green left for the rest of my squares.
I have cast on the 10th square on Monday.  It's Block number 8 in the book - slipped stitches.  I like it, it has you slip stitches with the yarn in front.  I have already had to fix spots where I slipped with the yarn held in back instead.  Pay attention!

I am working on finishing up my Stephen West's Barndom.  It's a great garter stitch shawl with geometric themes and a slip stitch pattern that really pops.  I did it in Madeline Tosh Light in shades of pink.  It's really girly and pretty.
I was hoping to finish it before I did this post.  It didn't work out that way.  These last few rows are getting very long.  So long, I decided to not do the 3 color version because I don't have another comparable circular needle, I'm running out of room!

The last thing on the needles is the Beekeeper's Quilt.  Still plugging away!  And look at all these fingering weight yarns I worked with here!  More puffs to come. :)

I realize I am now running out of on the needle projects.  Which is perfect!  With the Ravelry Games (to run concurrent to the Olympic Games) I want to have few projects to compete from my attention.  Can't wait to tell you all about my plans!