Updates from January, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 2:31 pm on January 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    TULSA post 

    I saw this on Allysa’s blog (alias Allyoops).  The idea is to have a large jar, and put your clippings from projects throughout the year into it.  It is called TULSA, a Totally Useless Stitch Along.  Also, you need to photograph it every full moon for a year.  I thought it would be interesting to do.  When I work on Fair Isle, I often have many ends from even a small baby sweater.  This will become a different kind of timeline of finished projects.

    I chose a VERY large jar.  It is a blue glass mason jar that I purchased at an Antiques store a couple of years ago.  I have a collection of blue mason jars, that were retrieved from my parents farm many years ago, that hold all of my grains and beans in my kitchen.  When I saw this jar, which we guessed was a display piece in a store, I knew it was for me.

    And my first clippings:

    • Alyssa 2:59 pm on January 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Wow! That is a big jar o.o Hope you have fun with the SAL 🙂


    • barbaramary 4:15 pm on January 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I’m saving little bits of yarn too, as long as they are natural fibres and not too brightly coloured, but they are for the birds to use for nesting material. I heard a gardening programme on the radio that said that there is a great shortage of suitable nesting material because more farm animals are kept indoors these days. Little bits of wool should be very good for lining a nest I think. In the spirit of TUSAL, I ‘ll try to remember to take a photo of my collection before I put it out in the graden.


  • knitting1105 8:23 pm on January 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Getting Organized 

    I have been putting my knitting room together for the past few weeks, and I am very excited to have a space for all of my yarn, most of my books, and my creativity.  I just wanted to give you a sneak preview:

    This is my Baby Ull by Dale of Norway yarn.  I think that I have enough on hand.  No local stores carry it, so I would purchase it whenever I saw it online or in a store on sale.  And my good friend Linda gifted me quite a number of skeins last Fall.  I am starting a new baby sweater, and needed to show this beautiful array of colors before I pulled some out.

    I hope to have the room all together next week.  It has been a few months in the works, and still a bit to go.

    • Rae 12:58 am on January 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t wait to see what colors you pick out for the sweater.


    • Mimi 4:38 pm on January 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      You might want to erect some type of sneeze guard-type structure to prevent visitor saliva from ruining your yarn. Just sayin’…


      • knitting1105 12:21 am on January 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Mimi, you are too funny. If only you knew the danger of my stash collection, although I have been good about knitting from what I have. It is just that this spinning is causing a new problem…


  • knitting1105 3:10 pm on January 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Back to 2009 

    I am returning to a sweater that I started in August of 2009, made good progress, and then put away in early September 2009.  It is Solveig Hisdal’s Brocade Leaves Cardigan.  If you are new to reading my blog, you will not remember this sweater.  I am not sure why I put this away, it was not like I was mad at it or anything.  And I love the colors and the design.  I think that I was just having knitting ADHD—there were some new socks that I saw on Ravelry, and I also had just purchase Grace Anna Farrow’s then new book The Fine Line, and was distracted by that; and mittens and lap blankets.  You get the picture.

    So, I am back to finishing up the first sleeve, the body is part-way done, and the cuff of the second sleeve is completed also.  I am waiting to see if I have enough yarn to make the body longer.  The colors are gorgeous to work with on these dreary January days.

    • Karen 6:37 pm on January 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I also have this book and was wondering if you are using the suggested yarn or did you substitute? I’m not sure it is still available and am not sure what to use instead. Thanks. It’s absolutely beautiful!!


  • knitting1105 10:15 pm on January 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Spinning Jewels 

    I finished spinning the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Roving.  I love the jewel tones of the finished yarn, and the variegation that you can only get with hand-spun.  This is 100% blue-faced Leicester wool, a very old and historic English breed.  These sheep were once imported by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  I loved the long staples, and the beautiful curls that show up.

    I learned a lot from spinning this yarn.  While it is definitely still a work in progress, this is yarn that I am really anxious to knit with.  My consistency was much better, but I had some moments of relapse.

    My first issue was with pre-drafting and the color repeat lengths.  I had split the roving in half, and was drafting and spinning from one half.  My color repeats were getting very long.  I really wanted a variegated yarn like I have seen others spin, and not something that would stripe.  Not finding any help on Ravelry, I went to the library and checked out this book on spinning:

    Reviews were mixed on the book, some loving it, and others saying that all of the yarn looked alike.  I am in the middle.  There is a lot of good information, but I think that her photographs could have been larger, and the yarn does look the same in many photographs.  Some of the variations that she is trying to show do not come across in the small photographs, it might be something better seen in person.  The one hint that she did give was that for dyed rovings, which tend to stick together due to the process, should be split into 16th’ s.   That seemed like a lot to me, but I tried it, and it worked, great pencil rovings that were easier to draft from and spin, and the color repeats were much shorter.   The roving was very stiff, but with the pencil strips, it was like down.  the book also talks extensively about dying yarn, which I am not ready for at the moment.

    There is also great information on color theory (I have plenty of design books on that, so just passed it by), techniques on dying wool and roving, color combining with a drum carder, and spinning hints and information on plying.   I do think that I will put this on my wish list.

    I also learned the importance of oiling my spinning wheel, having a firm surface underneath, and patience.  If I took my time, I could get the finer singles.  I just need to learn to quit whenever it starts to become a struggle.

  • knitting1105 2:57 pm on January 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Goodbye STR 

    I finally finished the last pair of socks from the 2008 Socks That Rock sock club.  You read that right, 2008.  I was in the club for two years, and had hoped that the second year would be more interesting to me.  But, I have decided that their sock yarn is not for me, and the club was really geared at beginning sock knitters.  I am keeping this pair and the previous pair as the only ones for myself, all others have been gifted away.  They are a bit bulky, even though it is their light weight yarn, so they will not work with shoes but rather be “house socks”.  I do love the color of this yarn.

    There are a couple of other sock clubs out there that I might try…  CookieA and Janel Laidman both now have clubs.  Perhaps I should give it one more go.

    I have been spinning with this Blue Moon roving, and loving it!  I will show you the finished yarn tomorrow.

    • Carol 4:22 pm on January 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I was in the 2009 RSC but didn’t sign up for last year. I agree with you about how the STR fits in very few of my shoes, really just my boots. My problem with STR is that if I don’t reinforce the heels I will get holes in a few wearings.
      I bought a cedar chest full of STR because I love the colors but now I am sick about it. This is because not one of my STR pairs of socks have kept their color. I hand wash with SOAK and sometimes add a vinegar. But they still fade.
      I’m glad your happy with the spinning. i love spinning too. The only club I am in is the one from Crown Mountain Farms and it is a fiber club. You can buy only the months you want or for the whole year. It is beautiful fiber. I’m also learning a lot about the different fibers without a lot of investment.
      Your socks are beautiful.


  • knitting1105 9:30 am on January 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    A Winter Respite 

    Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the shining stars in Chicago.  It is one of the largest conservatories in the world, and was designed by famed Landscape Architect Jens Jensen, and finished in 1907.  It is 4.5 acres inside, and is often called “landscape art under glass”.

    Until a few years ago, it was left to rust and decay.  We would take the kids to walk around the warmth and beautiful plants, especially in the wintertime when it would get dreary and cold outside.  The glass was cracked and leaking, steam pipes were leaking everywhere, it was very sad.  In 1994, the restoration started, but seemed to be moving very slowly.  Around 2000, Maggie Daley wife of the Mayor, took Dale Chihuly to visit, and he arranged a spectacular exhibit in 2002.  Attendance soared, and so did restoration.  The Conservatory always has special flower shows, and always a Holiday show with poinsettias.  It is my favorite time to go there, and this year was no exception.  The show runs until this Sunday.  I want to take my knitting there this week, and just sit and really take in all of the flowers.

    • Alyssa 12:21 am on January 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Ah, one of the places I want to visit! I go to the Conservatory in Rochester all the time, it’s one of my favorite places 🙂


      • Mimi 4:20 pm on January 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Awesome! Thanks for the heads up. I will head there before the holiday show closes.


  • knitting1105 3:54 pm on January 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    2010 Retrospective 

    I just spent the past hour looking through all of my posts from the last year.  I wanted to compile my progress for myself in one place, I have never looked at my yearly output before.

    My goal for this year had been to finish some languishing projects.  On that front, I was not as successful as I had hoped for.

    I finished the following items, started mostly in 2009:

    • Volt
    • Ladybug sweater
    • Ladybug hat
    • Henry Scarf
    • Irtfa’a shawl
    • Penguin Baby pull-over and hat, DoN

    And in 2010 I started and finished:

    • Man Cowl for my husband
    • Dale of Norway Vancouver – Dale of Norway (DoN)
    • Baby Kimono, DoN
    • Baby Zebra Dress, DoN
    • Dan Socks
    • Monkey Socks
    • Baby Ballet Slippers
    • Mittens with Words
    • Cabled Socks
    • Vernal Equinox Shawl
    • Barbie Princess Dress
    • Gumdrop Socks, STR (Socks that Rock)
    • Zig-Zag socks, last STR project
    • Barbie Skirt & top
    • Cotton Candy scarf (with my own hand-spun yarn!!!)
    • Little Guy Socks
    • Carmen the Sock Monkey and 3 outfits
    • Libby Socks (my own pattern)

    Started in 2010 and not yet finished:

    • Baby Zebra Sweater, DoN
    • Baby Hooded Sweater, DoN
    • Featherweight Cardigan (not liking this too well)
    • Sox Socks (will probably be ripped out)
    • Montague (almost finished!)

    I also realized from looking at my posts, how much my library has grown this year.  And since September, a good part of my time has been spent trying to master spinning.  I am having a great time with that, and will hopefully be able to spin enough good yarn to actually knit with it this year.

    This post literally took me HOURS, as I forced myself to learn a new photo editing program.  I think that it was successful.

    Goals for next year:

    • Start new projects only if I am really interested in the project, or learn a new skill
    • Try and finish a couple of more UFO’s
    • Get better at spinning, and take some more classes
    • Have fun and relax, that is what this is all about anyways…
    • Rae 1:25 am on January 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I share a couple of the same goals as you. This year I want to learn new techniques or skills in knitting. I also want to get spinning. Good luck with your goals for 2011.


    • Noreen 8:07 pm on January 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Very impressive work! The sleeveless yellow dress is especially stunning!


    • Marushka 8:37 am on January 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I’m in awe of your newly learned photo montage-ing skills, and of all the beautiful things you have made. We also have 3 pf 4 goals in common. I have been spinning since November and love it. Happy New Year!


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