Updates from May, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 6:18 pm on May 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    After a hard days work… 

    The Nanaimo Socks are finished and gifted to Dan even though he will not be wearing wool socks in this heat.  These were the April installment for the CookieA sock club.   The color was perfect for Dan, so I chose the simpler pattern this time, as I knew he would not like tons of cables and traveling stitches and yarn overs.  It was a very quick knit, and I love this yarn, it is a 100% superwash Merino, and with a nice tight spin.  Not too thick either, so makes perfect socks for him to wear to work.

    The pattern is extremely generous, I made the Medium size for Dan, and would make the small size for myself.  Also, making the medium with a longer foot meant that I had very little yarn left over.  I did not weave in the ends of the first sock’s toe until the second was finished just in case I needed to knit the toes with a different yarn.

    Project Specs

    Pattern: Nanaimo Socks, size Medium
    Pattern Source: CookieA Sock Club April 2012
    Yarn: Soctopus Sokkusu Original; 100% merino wool
    Needles: US 1
    Date Started: 5/6/12
    Date Finished: 5/56/12
    Finished Dimensions: Mens large

    • Diane 10:52 pm on May 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I agree it is the perfect color for Dan and he is quite the model too!


  • knitting1105 12:35 pm on May 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: art, ,   

    Basket bombing 

    You have most likely heard of yarn bombing, covering a tree or other urban object with knitted fabrics.  In the local Arts District, a local artist, Karen Gubitz of Woven Earth created baskets for these two trees just outside the gallery where she has an amazing exhibit.  I had watched this installation going up (I walk right by it on my way to my local knit night), and was reminded of it by Tricotreat’s blog post, check it out for some great in-progress photos.

    On June 9th I have signed up for a woven trellis building class through the local Park District at our amazing little conservatory, and I had a suspicion that it was the same artist.  I was very excited to find out that I am right.  Now, I am debating also taking her 4 week basket making class.  If you live in the area, you should definitely attend this show at Janice Elkin’s gallery on Lombard & Harrison.  One of the best local shows I have seen.  I wish that I had both the money and space for one of her art objects.

    On the knitting front I received my May installment from the Knitteratus sock club by Janel Laidman. The yarn is from  Little Red Bicycle (80% BFL, 20% nylon), color: Heliotropium, another fun project bag, stitch markers and note card.

    The club always features a pattern and a mystery project.  The main pattern this month is a shawl that was shown knit out of this yarn.  I have chosen to save the club yarn for the mystery socks and knit the shawl out of this handpsun, which is a Fiber Optic yarn from her pencil rovings.  You can see more on my previous posting about this yarn.

    Here are both wound up and ready to knit.

    And the first section of the shawl complete.

    • wovenearth 1:15 pm on May 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      So excited that you’ll be in my class. Thanks so much for the comments.


      • knitting1105 4:12 pm on May 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        You are welcome! I am excited to be in your class. I am thinking of making the plunge for the basket class also. Your exhibit was extraordinary.


  • knitting1105 10:15 pm on May 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bertrand Goldberg, Chicago, Trump Tower, Willis Tower   

    My Kind of Town 

    I took an Architectural boat tour with some of my students and JoBeth, and my sister Jill even came along.  This was on Wednesday, and the weather was gorgeous.  Chicago is an amazing town for Architecture, and via boat you see it in an entirely different perspective.  It is wonderful to see how the city continues to evolve and how they have finally realized the potential of the river development.  It continues to be one of the great Architectural metropolises in the world.

    Great skyline with the new Trump Tower on the far right.  I like it in spite of its name.

    The ubiquitous Sears Tower (I refuse to call it by that other name):

    And Bertrand Goldberg, a perennial favorite:

    I love the reflections of the other buildings in this facade.

    333 North Wacker, another great favorite (the Nuveen building)

    And the big surprise was the development on the north river that I ususlly cannot see:

    And the old historic bridge houses, as the many bridges on the river all raise up to allow boat passage.

    On a fiber note, I was able to make great progress on some sock knitting which I will show tomorrow.  I am also spinning, on the new Jensen wheel this green and purple from Into the Whirled.  This is a Shetland fiber, and I love spinning it and the “sheepiness” of the fiber, not to mention my favorite colors. I just do not know what this will become.

    And on my Joy, some more Into the Whirled that I will ply with 2 singles of variegated that I have already spun.   This is a Polwarth/Silk blend and since I had spun the other 2 bobbins on the Joy, I wanted to be consistent so that the fiber would be close in thickness.  Again, no project in mind.

    Both of these were fibers from the Spin-Along in February to March, so I am catching up on my spinning and doing a fairly good job of not purchasing too much more.  I have to really love something at this point to stash it away.

  • knitting1105 5:28 pm on May 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Fulling Singles 

    From the Farmer’s Market which opened yesterday.

    I finally finished spinning my SAL from Loop, color is Kaleidoscope Eyes with sparkles.   This was the photo inspiration for the colors:

    And this was the resulting batt (photo courtesy of Loop):

    It seemed like it took forever to spin this batt.  It was a different preparation than I have ever tried.  I am not sure how she makes these, but the end result is a center pull batt that needs no pre-drafting.  It was very pleasurable to spin.  When I wound it off the bobbin I had over 1,000 yards of single ply.

    I decided to try to “full” the single ply skein rather than trying to find something to ply it with, and my Navajo plying is not very good at the moment.  To do that you first take the singles off the kniddy-knoddy—a scary thought as you will see below:

    See what a mess this is with the plys trying desperately to wrap themselves back on each other. Then, fulling is essentially felting the individual ply on itself, being careful not to felt the entire skein into one big blob.  This is accomplished by fist immersing the skein into a pot of VERY hot water

    Then a pot of ice water, and repeating this with agitation until it has just fulled but not felted into a big blob.  Then lots of thwacking.

    I almost had a big blob.

    I was a bit distressed, mostly at the time that I would have lost, and instead of photographing the process, then spent my time trying to make sure that the fibers did not permanently felt to one another by stretching it out, pulling the fibers away from one another, and ultimately letting it dry stretched out on my swift.

    Then, through lots of pre-recorded shows on the DVR, winding it into a ball and unweaving any messes that I created.  Then I wound it onto my skein winder and was good to go.

    Pre-fulling I had over 1,000 yards.  I am not sure how much the felting process took away from my yardage.   Plying may be more in my future than fulling, as this was a stressful process.  I recommend trying it on a much smaller scale the first time!


    • LaurenS 7:17 am on May 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wow – I’ve been spinning a long time … and thought I’d tried everything … I’ve never heard of pre-fulling before and I now will have to try it. Thanks for an interesting post.


      • knitting1105 8:36 am on May 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        You are welcome! My recommendation would be to try it on a much smaller scale first.


  • knitting1105 12:20 pm on May 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Lazy Kate   

    Always another “thing” 

    I just got this in the mail:

    Any ideas?

    A very clever little tool:

    HINT: For spinning:

    My new spinning wheel, I thought I was all set.   Then, I tried to ply with my Ashford Lazy Kate to hold the Bobbins and low and behold, they were too long to fit.  I had seen this last year when John had one at the Jacey Boggs spinning retreat.  And then I saw another that a friend on Ravelry got.  It is the coolest portable Lazy Kate.  For you non-spinners, it holds the bobbins while I ply the singles on the spinning wheel.  A very important tool, as you can only imagine the mess if you let the bobbins spin out of control on the floor.  I tried plying on my new wheel with the bobbins in a box, and it was less than desirable.  So, yet another tool for spinning.  Okay, my husband was really right.

    You can purchase one of your own from Ogle Design. Mine is cherry with a natural finish.

  • knitting1105 9:28 am on May 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   


    I am almost done spinning the gradient bump from Loop.  I am going to try leaving this as a single and “fulling” it, which if I understand correctly, really means letting the fibers in the single strand felt to each other, and then the twist relaxes itself.  Seems like the advice I am reading has you let the singles rest on the bobbin for a few days.

    And, I have started a new pair of socks from the CookieA sock club, Nanaimo.  When I saw the yarn, I knew that my husband would love the colors, and was happy to find that one of the patterns included was a “manly” one.  Made more progress last night, and I am almost to the heel on the first sock.

  • knitting1105 10:38 am on May 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply


    The Great shawl is finally finished and blocked.

    The pattern was not a disappointment either in the knitting or the end result.  This is a really beautiful pattern, and I would like to repeat it some day with my handspun. My only comment would be that I wish the yarn had been a finer lace weight.

    Project Specs

    Pattern: Greta Garbo Shawl
    Pattern Source: Wooly West
    Yarn: Nordic Lites, 2 skeins
    Needles: US 5
    Date Started: 4/6/12
    Date Finished: 5/6/12
    Finished Dimensions: 65″ Wingspan, 34″ Deep

    • Kathy 12:07 pm on May 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, this is lovely! I give you ladies who do lace shawls so much credit and think you are super talented!!! I just can’t do it! Love this!


    • Fanny Brown 5:36 pm on May 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      so beautiful!


    • tricotreat 4:29 pm on May 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      My arms are retaining the sense memory of touching this glorious thing.


  • knitting1105 8:16 pm on May 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Finally finished socks 

    It seems like I have been working on these socks for so very long.  They were a fun knit, but unfortunately interrupted by a new spinning wheel and a Haapsalu shawl kit.  Fun and funky is a good way to describe them.

    I love these colors, they are so ME (although I think that they are being saved to be gifted).  And the yarn is wonderful, too bad this company split up.  Look at how the pattern continues along the front of the foot, and the gusset decreases are accomplished by blending the pattern portions of the sock together.  Cookie genius as usual!

    Project Specs

    Pattern: Dragon Crystal
    Pattern Source: CookieA Sock Club 2011
    Yarn: The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga!
    Needles: US 1
    Date Started: 3/22/12
    Date Finished: 5/4/12
    Finished Dimensions: Women’s large

    • kathytny 6:29 am on May 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Been following your progress on these and am tickled to see them done! Still love the color and the pattern (with those cool little dragon spikes on the sides). I have reclaimed my “put on hold” love of socks and am working on finishing two I started. I am side tracked right now with a baby hat for a baby that is not going to wait, and then back on my sock finishing quest.

      One thing I hope to accomplish is learning to knit two at a time…….I hate the dreaded second sock syndrome!

      Great job!


      • knitting1105 8:37 am on May 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Two socks at a time is not something that I think I want to do. I am afraid that I would get confused, loose my rythmn, make mistakes. I know that some like them, but I do not seem to have a problem wanting to finish the second sock. Good luck with it! As you know, I love socks, and they make the best gifts.


  • knitting1105 8:44 am on May 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    She thinks this is stash? 

    A design blog that I follow recently had this article about knitting stash.  It was comical to me that she thought a couple of bags were stash to be reckoned with (I won’t even discuss how lame the knitting cupboard was for this blog to post).  On the other hand, I remember the days when I knit basically project to project and had very little stash, something that I always wanted to keep under control.  What happened?

    • I became a sock knitter (we all know you need a vast array of possibilities for any project that comes to mind)
    • I joined sock clubs
    • I discovered knitting conventions and fiber fairs
    • For awhile I got sucked into the store close-out sales
    • Nobody carried my precious Dale of Norway Baby Ull any longer so I needed reserves on hand to make those beautiful Fair Isles
    • I started spinning
    • My kids moved out so space was not at a premium
    • Ravelry

    I am still in the process of making up my knitting room.  I thought it was close, and a new section is being designed.  I hope to have it finished this summer and then I can show photos.  But until then, here is a photo from last year of my Baby Ull all organized.  Right now it is patiently waiting in a bin for a new home.

    I have been really good about not purchasing new yarn (sock clubs excluded), but the spinning fiber is a whole new story.  I am hoping when everything is together and organized, I will not only be creatively inspired, but will be inspired to keep it under control.  Stay tuned for the big unveiling this summer.

    • Andrew 9:39 am on May 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right. That knitting cabinet was lame, and that’s coming from a non-knitter. Apartment Therapy articles can be so exasperating sometimes.


    • kathytny 10:19 am on May 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I know this is going to come out wrong, but…. here goes. I can’t wait for my adult daughters to move into their own place so I can start converting my rooms into craft/sewing/knitting rooms! And I can’t wait till she takes all her small animals too! I love your stash!


      • knitting1105 10:27 am on May 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        That did not come out wrong at all! Time for your own creative space.


    • Joyatee 6:38 pm on May 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I was reading the same blog post earlier and thought the same thing. I think my stash grew in a similar fashion to yours.


    • Tiara 6:39 pm on May 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah…Her “stash” was underwhelming. I’ve only been knitting/crocheting for five years (on a limited budget) and I have a closet full of yarn, plus a King-sized bedding bag full of more yarn. And then of course, there are knitting and crochet projects covering the entire surface of my dresser, nightstand and one of my wall to wall built-in bookshelves’ shelves…Don’t even get me started on my books & patterns. 🙂


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