Updates from December, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 10:34 pm on December 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Rooing Sheep 

    Check out this video from 1932 Scotland about gathering the sheep, rooing them (pulling the wool off naturaly rather than shearing), spinning and knitting.


  • knitting1105 7:30 pm on December 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Christmas Knitting, Almost Finished 

    I have almost finished the Christmas knitting that I gave to my husband (incomplete at the time).  The socks would be done, but for the fact that I was a few yards shy of completing them.  Thanks to a Ravelry friend, I will be able to finish the last toe next week.

    And my husband’s Chess sweater by Hanne Falkenberg is finally finished.  At first I could not find the left-over contrast color yarn so, I just did the collar all in the main color:

    Then, I located the yarn, after an exhaustive search, and looked at the photos online.  It is much better with the single row of contrast at the top of the collar, so I ripped it out, reknit it and sewed it down.  I am happy that I did so.

    Hopefully my husband modeling this tomorrow.

    • Barbara 5:20 am on December 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      The Chess sweater looks great – you are right about the row of contrast on the colour. Not sure I have the patience for Hanne Falkenberg designs, but they do look good.

      I agree with you that knitting Christmas presents is stressful – also that it’s quite hard to avoid, if you are a knitter. But congratulations on almost finishing (I still hav a sock and half a scarf to go….)


      • knitting1105 10:17 pm on December 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, I love this sweater. Hanne patterns are an enormous amount of knitting, great for vacations as the beach. I have one more of hers to finish, then on to some Fair Isle.


  • knitting1105 11:34 am on December 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    Ohio Knitting Mills 

    A friend gave me this book for Christmas.  I found myself reading this cover-to-cover until it I was finished.

    It is a great history of one of the US’s larger knitting mills, and the fashions and trends that they followed over the 70+ years of business.  I loved both the story and the styles that evolved.

    And there are 26 reinterpretations of Mill samples into patterns for hand knitters.

    Many of the patterns in the book were interesting to both me and my daughter.  I have not looked closely at the pattern directions and how they are written up to know if they are done well or not.  The author is not a knitter (seems that knitters helped to recreate some of the patterns), but stumbled upon the treasure trove of samples when the factory was liquidating and closing up.  He chose to not just sell off some of the samples, but to delve into the history and people behind this largely successful business.  Alas, like most of our manufacturing, cheaper imports were eventually just too hard to compete with.


  • knitting1105 11:28 am on December 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Lyocell, SeaCell,   

    Almost, but not Quite 

    I had originally decided that this Christmas was to be hand-knitted gift-free.  No undue stress on me to finish a project just to have it under the tree.  My family would be the recipients of my knitting anyways, Holiday or not.  Then I started putting together the gifts, and as usual my husband’s list was extremely short.  So, I pulled out this sweater, the knitting had been finished for at least a year, maybe two.  Just goes to show how much I hate the sewing up process.  So, while he was picking Ethan up from school, and Sofia was here helping bake, I seamed the sweater together:

    Then all I had to do was the collar, which as usual took longer than planned.  This is the Chess sweater, a kit by Hanne Falkenberg, and a ton of knitting with size 2 needles.  This is as far as I got, it was put in a box with the needles still attached.  Hopefully this will get finished today.

    Since his stocking was also on the light side, I decided that I needed to put in a pair of socks.  I had been working on these from the CookieA sock club, the pattern is Hex Socks.  The first one I started 4 times, Medium, then Large, then Small, then back to Medium.  The yarn is from Fleece Artist and it is Sea Wool (70% Merino, and 30% Seacell), a bit thicker knitted up than I usually like for my socks.

    I was wondering what exactly Seacell was, so I looked it up, and here is the description of the fiber actually made with seaweed:

    The idea behind SeaCell® is really rather simple: a cellulose-based fiber is manufactured using the so-called Lyocell process. This Lyocell fiber then serves as the “functioning substrate” for the seaweed.  Seaweed is added as the active substance for a very good reason. The fact that this marine plant is rich in trace elements has been well known since the times of Chinese medicine, and seaweed has also been proved to protect the skin and have anti-inflammatory properties. It is seaweed which forms the basis of the SeaCell® fiber.

    So, I put one sock in the stocking, and kept working on the second.  Then, I burned my hand twice in the oven while cooking yesterday, so I had to soak my fingers on ice, knit a partial round on the sock, soak my fingers, knit a bit, etc.  Not the most productive.  Today I am better, and hope to get these done.

    I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!  We did!

    • Tiara 2:51 pm on December 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I love the socks. The color and pattern are both very attractive & I would think that the quality of the yarn will be great if your hubby is on his feet a lot or his feet get irritated easily.


    • Diane Hamilton 1:38 am on December 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      The sweater is gorgeous–I bet it will look great on Dan. Of course, I know he loves your socks!


  • knitting1105 12:15 pm on December 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply


    No, I am not destashing, but a spinning friend is, and I took great advantage to snag some fibers from lots of different Indy dyers.  I love this riot of color.  It gives me a good chance to try to figure out how colors will blend when spun.  And, I saved a lot of money.  Win, win.

    From Felt Studio in the UK, this is Superwash Merino. 105 g.

    From Alchemy Fibre Arts, the fiber content is not listed, but it is not superwash

    Indy dyer Lime Green Jelly made this Merino/Cashmere/Silk blend called Garden Party.  99g

    Secret Garden, 100% Merino by Knitty and Color, 4 0z.

    Petite Flower in BFL, 4.25 oz by Wooly Hands:

    And this started it all.   I am currently finishing up a SAL spin by JulieSpins, and was smitten by her service and the colors that she comes up with.  This beauty is 100% Merino, 5 oz, called Bright Miami.

    And I also added this 8 oz of plain Merino from Ashland Bay so that I could blend with something for some Fair Isle knitting.  I am pretty sure that this is their color Jade.

    This should keep me busy through the winter, and give me some great color to brighten up the dreary days.

    • Diane Hamilton 1:37 pm on December 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I love the colors–especially lime green jelly and the purple and green. Cool that you were able to help a friend out and take some of her stash off her hands. Looks like you have plenty of yarn to keep you busy.


  • knitting1105 2:30 pm on December 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Another SAL 

    These SAL’s (spin-alongs, similar to a knit-along), are consuming much of my time.   I am participating in the December-January one with the  Completely Twisted and Arbitrary Spinners group on Ravelry.  This month the fibers were dyed up by JulieSpins.  What a contrast to the response and customer service from the first one that I tried with this group (finally cancelled after 45 days of waiting and no updates).  I ordered the fiber early on Sunday morning (after a BDay party with friends), had my shipping notice by Monday, and the fiber on Thursday!  Fabulous customer service.  While I was hoping for some fibers with more color variations in them, this is stunning.  The fiber content is 60% Alpaca, 20% Merino and 20% silk.

    This is a gradient, but with a lot more variation than those that I have tried from Fiber Optic.  It was a bit of a learning curve to get my groove with the Alpaca/Silk in the fiber.  Thank goodness for the bit of Merino to help hold it together.  The silk and alpaca really require a lot of twist.  I have finished spinning up 1/2 of the first braid, and I am sure that my beginning is nowhere near as good as the end of the bobbin.  The fiber is so luxurious and silky, and has a halo to it.  I think that I have the perfect shawl in mind to knit up with this when finished.

    I think that I might have another favorite dyer…

  • knitting1105 3:56 pm on December 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Gradient experiment 

    I finished plying my Fiber Optic gradient, Indigo to Emerald, with the Under the Sea dye break.  The color changes are definitely subdued with this combination.  I think that it will show through subtly when knit up.

    And caked up you can see the subtle color changes:

    The yarn finished drying yesterday, and I took it to a knitting afternoon at a friend’s house.  I couldn’t wait to start knitting these colors up.  I am not super happy with my consistency on the spinning, but I think that it will look fine all knit up.  I am working on the Alka Faroese Shawl, by Myrna Stahman.  I think that I have made this shawl 3 times, the pattern is fairly easy to memorize, and has enough visual interest, without over-powering the yarn.

    We are finishing Christmas decorations today.  My poor husband, I made him re-do the garland outside 3 times, only to end up back with what we have every year.  Lights are up and we bought our indoor tree (front porch tree went up a couple of weeks ago).  I don’t know what I was thinking though, as it is a very skinny tall Frasier Fir.  I love the smell, but should have gotten a wider tree.  I am not sure though how many ornaments I have to put on the tree.  Last year, over a week after Christmas I was sitting in the kitchen looking at how lovely the tree looked, and enjoying my morning coffee.  I watched in slow motion as the entire tree toppled to the floor, crushing some of my favorite ornaments.  I have not replaced many, as I usually like to get them after Christmas on sale.

    Decorations, music and some hot chocolate.  Yesterday we saw the original Miracle on 34th Street at the local theater.  Our Community Bank rents out the biggest theatre and shows an old Christmas classic every year, free to the community.  Last year’s show was It’s a Wonderful Life.  Getting in the spirit of the season.

    • Rae 5:36 am on December 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I really like the variety of colors in your yarn. I think the shawl is going to look beautiful once it is done.


    • Debbie S 8:34 am on December 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, this is just gorgeous! I love it! Beautiful colors and a very lovely pattern.


    • Diane Hamilton 1:39 pm on December 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      These colors are gorgeous–are you making a shawl?


  • knitting1105 2:03 pm on December 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Blue-Green Rhapsody 

    In my ever-increasing spinning frenzy,  I have started another gradient from Fiber Optic, these both came while I was gone for Thanksgiving, and I was itching to get them spun up.  I have 2 braids of each if this turns out well.  This gradient is Indigo to Emerald (80% merino, 20% silk),

    And this is Under the Sea Dyebreak (85% BFL, 15% silk)

    I thought that they would look gorgeous plyed together.  Side by side:

    After only 6 days I spun the first braid of each.  This is the bobbins right off the wheel:

    And rewound you can see how the multicolored single will work with the 2 extremes of the gradient.  It will brighten the dark indigo, and tame down the emerald green (not the best color for me).

    If this turns out well, it will become a mega shawl which I would like to start soon…

    • Debbie S 9:18 am on December 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      This is BEAUTIFUL!! Can’t wait to see it plied up. You’re spinning is wonderful. Very inspiring.


  • knitting1105 3:53 pm on December 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Cutest Jingle Bells ever 

    You don’t have to be a knitter to love this video.

  • knitting1105 9:37 pm on December 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Handspun, handknit hats 

    I made these 2 hats for a friend from handspun yarn.  This is stuff that I spun last winter and spring, and in my quest to get a really fine yarn I did not appreciate it, and simply put it away in a basket.  Here is the handspun from my  basket:

    The blue/grey hank was the first that I pulled out to make a hat.  Knitting with it was very pleasant.  The fiber was so incredibly soft.   This is a great pattern, the Adult Ruth’s Cap from the book Norwegian Handknits: Heirloom Designs from Vesterheim Museum.  This is the first pattern that I have made from this book, which I purchased at the Vesterheim Museum when it first came out a few years ago.  It is a really nice book, and I have enjoyed looking at it, but seeing this hat knit up on Ravelry made me look again at the book.  This pattern was chosen because my friend has a small head and I read on Ravelry how well this worked for a more petite noggin.

    Then I chose this red/orange multi-colored yarn.  This one was not plyed as tightly as I would have liked to knit with, but it made a very warm hat.  The pattern is Ullstund Hat, designed specifically for handspun yarn that the designer was given.   However, the cables in this hat made it a very warm hat.  I do not have a close-up photo of this hat.  The only change that I made to this pattern was to add a tubular cast-on.

    • Tiara 10:51 pm on December 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      The hats look great. I wish I knew how to spin, but unfortunately none of my family members are interested in “homey” crafts so I had to teach myself how to knit and crochet by watching free videos on various websites and as far as I know, there are neither videos for how to spin or classes taught in my town. 😦


    • Diane Hamilton 1:42 pm on December 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      These hats turned out great–funny how some things look better than you thought they would. Glad you decided to use try it anyway. I’m sure your friend loved them!


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