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  • knitting1105 8:01 am on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Zebisis Designs   

    Gorgeous Gradient 

    I finished spinning this gradient from Zebisis Designs a couple of weeks ago.

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    This was the final product, 850 yards of 2ply, 3.5 ounces. On the skein winder the colors really show well :

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    It was cool when I washed this so it sat to dry on the bathroom radiator.

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    And, it sat skeined up like this until today.

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    It was time to wind it, and now I am looking for the perfect pattern.  I really want a rectangular scarf/shawl so that each color will take up approximately the same width.

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    The colors show really accurately.  What I cannot show is how incredibly soft and squishy this yarn is, the 50% silk not only makes the colors vibrant and saturated, but gives a sheen and softness to the yarn.

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    The perfect pattern search is on, no applied border, that way I can keep the colors intact. Any suggestions?

     
    • Talya 8:44 am on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      No pattern suggestions- I just want that yarn! That is gorgeous!

      Like

    • elaine 10:03 am on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful! As a new spinner, I am so envious :-). And can’t wait till mine looks this amazing. Thanks for the inspiration!

      Like

      • knitting1105 7:16 pm on June 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. They say 10-15 minutes a day and you improve dramatically. Seems to be true. good luck

        Like

    • AndreSue 3:15 pm on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It’s gorgeous!!

      Like

    • Diane 2:22 am on June 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It is always fun to see what you do with these beautiful yarns!

      Like

      • knitting1105 7:17 pm on June 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        i have really been agonizing over what to knit with this. I want the perfect pattern, it may end up being something very plain and simple in the end, just let the colors talk.

        Liked by 1 person

    • tonymarkp 1:37 pm on June 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That is truly beautiful!

      Like

  • knitting1105 8:15 am on May 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply
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    Thistle 

    After sitting for many months on my spinning wheel, most of the winter in fact, these braids finally got finished. The color is Thistle from Fiber Optic.

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    When the plying was done, and I pulled the skeins off the skein winder, this is what they looked like:

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    Notice the green, which was the first spun, twisted the most upon plying.  Not to fear though, a nice hot bath, some snapping and hang in to dry produced a very beautiful yarn.

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    Total yardage: 1,070.  I thought that my spinning was very fine, but this seems to be my usual as of late.  At least the colors were a perfect match from braid to braid, and I had very little left over on 1 bobbin.  My thought is another faroese shawl, or perhaps something long and lean.

     
    • Diane 8:53 pm on May 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Can’t wait to see why you do with the yarn. Very pretty.

      Like

  • knitting1105 11:40 am on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
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    Rainbow Groove 

    This morning I woke up to several inched of surprise snow on the ground, and only a couple of days after the first day of Spring!  Not happy.  So, this bright post will remind me of what is sure to be around the corner: colors and flowers and sun.  My knitting and spinning has been on a total Rainbow groove, I originally called it a rut, but my friend Andi from SnB said that there is no way that rainbows are a rut.  Is it my desire for spring, or just need for more color in my life?

    First I knit with this amazing yarn, Monkey socks in progress.

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    Which inspired the purchase of this fiber:

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    Which prompted me recently to go to Knitterly Things, and look at her beautiful self-striping yarns, they have been on my radar for a long time.  So, my splurge included this Vesper Sock yarn, I was originally going to get another rainbow, but opted for a more serene color palate:

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    And, while I was there, these mini wee-skeins called to me to be knit up into something hopefully creative…

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    And for a true rainbow, I am making the Dot socks from the Vogue Sock Knitting on the go:

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    Here is my cuff, using JaWoll Sock yarn for this:

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    And to be totally forthright, as I was organizing and cleaning my stash today, I forgot that I had purchased this last fall at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool from River’s Edge Fiber Arts

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    Happy Spring everyone!

     
    • FogKnits 12:40 pm on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love each and every one of them! I’m a bit of a rainbow addict too 🙂

      Like

    • Linda 5:07 pm on April 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful socks….love the orchid heel. I have not tried this pattern yet; makes me want to get started.

      Like

  • knitting1105 10:56 pm on November 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    All done but the buttons 

    I have finally finished my first handspun and hand knit sweater using Woolgatherings fiber.  The process from fiber to sweater was fun.  I first spun the variegated as a 3ply,

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    Then I ordered and spun 2 plys of eggplant and one of rust as my semi-solid contrast. My problem here was that my spinning was not as fine with the semi-solid as it was with the variegated. After that, and a couple of false starts with patterns, my friend Jane suggested the February Ladies Sweater.  It was the perfect match.  I was able to most of my semi-solid to maximize the length.

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    Then I needed to choose buttons.  These were the 2 choices that I had on hand.

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    Even though there is no green in the fabric, I think that it made the best option, pulling out the other colors.

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    Problem is that the buttons are a bit too heavy for the drape of the sweater.  I will be on the lookout for something similar though.  The 3/4 length sleeve is just right.  If I were to restart this sweater I would have fractally spun the variegated so has not to have the long concentrations of pooling.  That said, I do love the colors, and the fibers were a dream to spin.

     

     
    • Diane 11:00 pm on November 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It always amazes me to see the starting fibers and the finished product…looks great!

      Like

      • knitting1105 11:40 am on November 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        This was my first sweater, I wasn’t really sure how it was going to turn out, but I am happy with the results.

        Like

    • andresue 9:00 pm on November 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It’s beautiful!

      Like

    • knitsbyjenn 10:51 am on November 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Lovely work!

      Like

      • knitting1105 11:39 am on November 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you! I think that I have to change the buttons though, they are too heavy for the fabric.

        Like

  • knitting1105 3:09 pm on October 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Two Nancies 

    After a weekend at Vogue Knitting Live, our local yarn shop Knit Nirvana hosted Nancy Bush and Nancy Marchant on Monday evening for show and tell, wine and book signing.  Nancy and Nancy both showed examples from their books in a mini fashion show.  I forgot to take my camera, so consequently these photos are with my cell phone, I took more of people’s feet than anything else!

    Nancy Bush is the Estonian expert; lace, socks and history.  She is a great teacher I have taken classes from her in the past.  Some of these models I have seen prior, but always so worth seeing again.  These are mostly from her book Knitted Lace of Estonia:

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    Nancy Marchant is the Brioche lady.  I was not familiar with her, or her books, but as I was leaving, the thought came to me that I had knit a Brioche hat, and sure enough it was a Nancy Marchant pattern from the Vogue Hats book. ultimate-hat-book

     

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    Brioche is essentially Fisherman’s rib, but with a pattern attached.  Consequently it is very soft and squishy, warm but light weight, and most importantly reversible.  This was made with 2 very different handspun yarns.  I like the purple side facing the best.

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    Here is Nancy showing one of her lovely scarves.  Apologies again for the very poor photo.

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    She has her first book,  Knitting Brioche that was previously published,

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    and a new hot off the presses one that was at the store.  I gave the copy I had in hand to someone else, always other opportunities.

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    Nancy M also has a Brioche scarf in the upcoming Holiday issue of Vogue.  Applying Brioche to lace knitting.

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    A couple of her scarves were with gradients, which got me to thinking….

     
  • knitting1105 8:52 pm on October 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Just for Ria 

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    I was going to title this Baby Ria, as that is what we all called her this summer on vacation.  But, she is no longer a baby, and that is a title that I think that she would like to not have carry over.  So, I finally finished the sweater for Toddler Ria, and sent it off last week.  It arrived, and I received a lovely video of her trying to put it over her head.

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    Totem jacket with handspun yarn…

     
  • knitting1105 1:45 pm on September 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Prepping my first fiber 

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    It is not that I do not have enough yarn, or already prepared fiber.  3 years ago, I went to the Midwest Fiber and Folk Festival, and I stayed overnight in Grayslake, with the intention of visiting Gretta’s Goats at Prairie Crossing, where they part of an incubator farm at the time.  They have since purchased a new farm, a couple of hours west of here, with a lot more goats too.  While getting the tour of the goats, Gretta had this fiber for sale, 1st lamp clipping from Violet, a Pygora (Pygme/Angora cross breed) who produced the wonderfully soft fiber that I will process and spin (hopefully)..  I purchased it, and it has been sitting in a bag ever since.

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    Last year I took a spinning class from Deb Robson in Wisconsin, and she gave us this scouring and wool wash.  I have been keeping it until I could put it to good use.

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    So, I know that I most likely did many things wrong thus far.  I did have the fiber pulled away from the running water, but now know that I should have had multiple bins of water and transferred the fiber over.  The scouring soap worked well, getting out a ton of dirt.  There is still some VM in there, but carding will hopefully take care of that.

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    When I set it outside to dry, I was afraid that I had totally ruined it, seemed felted.   I tried pulling the fiber masses out.  We left for dinner, and I woke up this morning thinking that this was an expensive mistake.

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    However, it is a gorgeous day, probably the last really warm day of this year.  The sun and air are drying it nicely and it seems to be fluffing up.

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    My drying rack is my sweater screen suspended between 2 outdoor chairs.  If I do pursue this again, something more suited would be good.  PVC rack perhaps?  I do have my Mom’s old PVC quilting frame in the attic, that just might work…

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    I also need to make a plug for Gretta’s Soaps.  I absolutely love them, and often gift them to others.  Give them a try, check out her Etsy shop.

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    • Diane Hamilton 10:36 pm on September 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I am so amazed how much work goes into dying and spinning the wool. Thanks for sharing and I hope this turns out the way you want!

      Like

      • knitting1105 1:07 pm on October 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I now know why people only had 2-3 outfits at at time! And fax to linen, that is even more complicated!

        Like

  • knitting1105 4:22 pm on September 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Back to Spinning 

    It seems as if I have taken a summer hiatus from spinning.  I think being gone a lot, coupled with the really amazing weather where I would rather be outside, kept me away from my wheels.

    I finally finished plying up this fiber from Julie Spins.  I initially started the spinning mid-March, and am just now finishing. I had put this on my Spin-the-Bin challenge.  Not sure that I will finish everything, but I am making progress.

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    I ended up with 534 yards of 2 ply from a 5-6 ounce braid.  During the plying process, I was afraid that it was all going to be muted blues.  But when skeined up, it took on these beautiful subtle colors.

     

     

     

     

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    And I finished spinning AND plying this Merino/Bamboo/Nylon from River’s Edge Fiber Arts, it is so incredibly soft.  198 yards of 2 ply. This was purchased 3 years ago at the Wisconsin Sheep & wool Festival, about time it was spun up.

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    This yarn is to coordinate with Baby Ria’s sweater.  The plan is to put the iCord edging on with this pink.  I thought that using the variegated from the body would not look as good.  And, I should have enough to make a cute matching hat.  The sweater had been on hold until I finished spinning this edging yarn.  Need to get it out before she grows too much more, we measured her late July.

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  • knitting1105 10:59 am on August 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Rabbit fur 

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    When we were out East last month, we spent time in Vermont seeing the sites, which of course had to include at least one fiber related visit.  That was a visit to Fiber Kingdom.  And of course purchases were mandatory.

    First 2 oz of Angora.  I have not spun angora by itself, so this will be interesting.

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    Then, 2 skeins of sock yarn, 50% angora, 30% wool, 20% nylon.  That beautiful natural color.

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    Lastly, she had these machine knit socks, from the same yarn that I purchased above.  The machine knits much denser than I, although I will include some great patterning.

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    It surprised me as to the cost.  $20 for angora fiber, 2 oz; $45 for 2 skeins of sock yarn, 4 oz; and lastly the knitted up socks $25.  How is this pricing working in reverse?

    She had a really cool workshop in an old barn.  If I lived nearby, I know that I would be spending lots of time there–knitting, spinning and weaving.

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  • knitting1105 8:38 am on April 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Shawls to Excess? 

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    Can one person own too many shawls?  Especially when they are handspun and hand knit with a beautiful Fiber Optic gradient.  I do believe I am testing this hypothesis firsthand.  My Reef Shawl is finished and off the blocking boards, fiber was spun using the Reef gradient that happened to be the first Fiber Optic gradient one that I purchased.

    I know that this post will generate lots of offers to take these shawls off my hands.  Not happening people, too much time involved.

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    I was reluctant to spin this for 2 reasons, at first I thought the colors to bright for me, and second, I didn’t want to ruin the fiber.  It seems I should have had no worries. The colors are gorgeous, and the fiber is wonderful.

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    I chose the pattern, Poppy Shawl from Brooke Nico’s new book Lovely Knitted Lace, as I wanted to maximize the use of the yarn, and I often find that triangular shawls do not sit well on my shoulders.  The unique shape of this shawl is intriguing, 3 triangles separated by a thin rectangle that sits on the shoulders.  Sort of a simplified Faroese styling.

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    The shawl rests naturally on the shoulders.  Love the Nupps in the long, thin rectangular panels.

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    Using this mannequin helps me to see what the shawl looks like on the backside while being worn.  I changed the bottom edging, the pattern called for simply finishing a repeat and binding off.  Preferring a more detailed bottom edge, and wanting to maximize the use of all my yarn, I improvised a variation of the pattern for the end of the shawl, and bound off with the stretchy bind-off.

    I will wear it today, although it will have to be as a shawl scarf, as it is rather cool outside.

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    Pattern: Poppy
    Pattern Source: Lovely Knitted Lace
    Yarn: Handspun gradient Reef from Fiber Optic
    Needles: US 5
    Date Started: 3/28/14
    Date Finished: 4/27/14
    Finished Dimensions: 48″ wide x 20″ deep from back neck

     
    • Diane 7:43 pm on April 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Frances, this turned out beautiful just as all of your shawls do. I think shawls and socks go in the same category — “too much is just barely enough”, Enjoy!

      Like

      • knitting1105 10:25 am on May 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I thank Steve all the time for that outlook on life!

        Like

    • chikwithyarn 5:47 am on April 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      This is beautiful. Bi love the yarn. Each of your creations you make with it makes me want to buy some. I think I am just going to bite the bullet and order some.

      Like

      • knitting1105 10:24 am on May 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you so much! The colors of her fiber are so amazing that anything you knit with them looks great.

        Like

    • floofymoose 10:46 pm on June 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      These are amazing. I’ve got a couple braids of the Midnight gradient but am almost terrified to try spinning them because I’m not sure they will match up. Any tips? Thanks!

      Like

      • knitting1105 3:31 pm on June 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        As long as you are somewhat consistent in your spinning, you should have no worries. I find it easier to ply 2 braids together than split one evenly down the middle. Having a bit of the braid not match up is actually an advantage, as it gives some transition to the final braid. If you are plying and not happy with how they are matching up, you can break the one that is ahead in color and pull out some of the singles. I have only had to do that once. Kimber’s colors are so amazing, you need not worry. Warning however, they are also very addictive!

        Like

    • Erica 8:54 am on July 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I’m having trouble understanding the pattern, I hope you can help!! After you do the first round of charts 3 and 4, there’s 131 sts. For the chart 3 section there are 27 sts, but when you start row 1 again the stitch numbers don’t add up. Did you do k4, to, k1, then repeat the red section twice, ssk, yo?

      Like

      • knitting1105 3:12 pm on October 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I have been swamped and have not had the opportunity to respond properly. Did you look at my notes on Ravelry, that is the best that I can do, as it has been awhile since I made this. Sorry.

        Like

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