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  • knitting1105 7:54 pm on November 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cute baby hat, DoN, handspun   

    My Best Model 

    My beautiful Granddaughter.  I made several sweaters for her before she was born, and this Baby Surprise jacket has proven to be my DIL’s favorite.  I need to make a Totem for her next.  I also have some Dale of Norway Fair Isle sweaters in the waiting to take out next time we visit.


    The hat pattern has received several inquiries.  It took a bit of sleuthing, but I finally found the pattern.  It is a Dale of Norway baby book #129


    And the pattern is #12908


    Here she is in the baby surprise jacket when she was a lot smaller!

    • Pam 8:38 pm on November 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      She could not be any more beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diane Hamilton 11:23 pm on November 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      It was a beautiful sweater and I love the hat. Look how little she was, I don’t think that sweater is going to it much longer.

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 11:37 am on November 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Replacements coming!


    • salpal1 8:02 am on November 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Adorable!! I love how the sweater grows with the baby! Garter stitch is great that way.

      Liked by 1 person

    • knitting1105 11:37 am on November 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      The sweater does grow! But I think that it is past it’s use. Time for a Totem. I also have some waiting in the wings for her birthday and Christmas.


  • knitting1105 8:38 am on April 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , handspun, , , ,   

    Shawls to Excess? 


    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.


    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.


    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.


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


    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.


    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!


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

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


    • 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.


      • 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.


    • 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!


      • 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!


    • 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?


      • 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.


  • knitting1105 2:13 pm on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , handspun, , ,   

    Reef Shawl 

    Work has been steadily progressing on the Poppy Shawl by Brooke Nico.


    If you decide to knit this pattern, look for the errata.  I found a mistake in the first row of Chart 3 and in the repeat width (it is 8 not the 9 std boxed out). When I emailed Brooke to ask if I was correct, she concurred and issued a correction on Ravelry.  It is a lot of knitting of the same pattern repeat, which is fairly straight forward albeit a bit boring at times.  I am very intrigued with the shape which is 3 triangles separated by 2 narrow rectangles (those are the sections with the nupps).  It should sit nicely on my shoulders and have lots of fabric to wrap.  One thing that I would like to change is the ending, rather than just casting off.  I have plenty of time to mull that over, still not finished with the first skein of yarn, my spinning was wound in 2 sections.


    The colors are so gorgeous on this fiber, that I had to go back and see what the inspiration photo had been.


    Which generated this colorway:




  • knitting1105 1:35 pm on February 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , handspun, ,   



    I finally have spun up the Reef Gradient from Fiber Optic.


    This was the first of Kimber’s gradients that I purchased (I was already a fan, and had been in her club for 1 year).  This sat on the shelf, as I felt while the colors were beautiful, that it was too bright and just not ME.  Well, times have changed, and this long long winter has me looking for bright and sunny and anything that feels like warmth everywhere.  


    I have also come to appreciated the bright colored shawls and how striking they actually are.

    My spinning was not as even as normal, so I had to pull it out a few times to bring the colors back into closer alignment.  I do like some overlap to transition, but a couple of times it was too much.  After plying it was washed and set on the bathroom radiator to dry.  990 yards of 2ply.


    And then the photographs.  The colors were so beautiful and intense that I took tons of photos.  Enjoy the splash of brightness!




    Now, I really want to knit this into a shawl quickly.  I have a couple of ideas…


    • Diane Hamilton 9:58 pm on February 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Love the colors, anxious to see what you do with this yarn. I know whatever you do will be beautiful as always. It reminds me of a beautiful sunset on Lake Michigan!


    • Vonna 12:43 am on February 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      990yds you are awesome! I hope to do that amount one day.


    • CWLFibers 4:44 pm on February 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      How lovely.


  • knitting1105 6:28 pm on February 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , handspun, , , , ,   

    Honey to Fig 

    I cannot believe that I have not posted for 2 weeks!  Must be that all of my energy is going into shoveling snow and attempting to stay warm.  We are on the 3rd snowiest winter ever, and it is not yet halfway through February.  Everyone is hoping that we do not break the record books.

    During this hibernation phase, I have finished up my Semele shawl using the Honey to Fig gradient from Fiber Optic that I spun last Fall.  There were several false starts with various patterns, so the real knitting with the final pattern chose actually was only about 2 weeks.



    Having a pattern that was knit from side to side for this gradient became an obsession with me, not quite sure why.  Three different patterns were tried before I settled on Semele, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.  This pattern allowed me to knit 1/2 of the shawl increasing and then start to decrease.  Either my calculations were incorrect, or the 2nd half of the braids were spun thinner.  In either case, I am still happy and I have some leftover deep purple for future use.

    Here is a photo blast for this yet again cold day. Colors were hard to capture, as it went from a golden-yellow to a very deep purple.







    Pattern: Semele
    Pattern Source: Downloaded pattern
    Yarn: Handspun gradient Honey to Fig from Fiber Optic
    Needles: US 6
    Date Started: 1/9/14
    Date Finished: 2/8/14
    Finished Dimensions: 68″ wide x 37″ deep

    • Diane Hamilton 12:15 am on February 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      First I love the name–definitely one that you need to keep for yourself. I also love the colors and the edging, it turned out beautiful. As always, you did a great job!


    • chikwithyarn 7:23 am on February 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I love this yarn. I have just started spinning myself. How do you spin the fiber so the color stays together so you get an ombré look?


      • knitting1105 9:47 am on February 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you! If you spin your fiber evenly, regardless of the weight, the colors will match with Kimber’s fibers. If there is some overlap, I leave it to allow for more transition (which I prefer), if there is too much I break off a section (but usually not). Hope that answers your question. Her fibers are so beautiful, they always look great spun up.


    • janice bauerle 11:36 am on February 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful Frances!!! Love the colors and detail along the edge


  • knitting1105 7:42 pm on June 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , handspun, , , , ,   

    The Longest Day 

    This solstice evening finds me knitting in the comfort of my lounge chair on the back porch, listening to the birds, and enjoying a cool breeze (in lieu of the scorcher that had been predicted, thanks to an afternoon storm). I am working on my shawl using the Fiber Optic gradient Turquoise to Tangerine that I spun up a couple of months ago. I started this on our trip to Japan, and worked on it while sitting with my Mom in Hospice, she is still hanging on but my brothers are with her. There will be a lot of different memories associated with this article, it is something that I certainly need to keep for myself. My Mom got to see it in progress and loved the colors.

    It is addictive knitting and watching the gradients evolve, I love it! I chose not to do the bind off with the pattern, as it would not have kept the gradient intact. The pattern is Ice Fantasia by Anne Hanson. Instead I opted for another repeat of the last section, and now need to figure out how to end it. This may be the hardest part.


  • knitting1105 8:43 pm on June 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , handspun, , ,   

    Slow and Steady 

    Slow but steady progress on this shawl, Ice Fantasia by Anne Hanson. The last of 3 pattern designs on the main body of the shawl require doing lace work on the reverse side. I am not a fan of this, it is just not intuitive for me. I had purchased the pattern to have on my iPad, but had to print out the center section and this last repeat, as this PDF is locked, and therefore my PDF marking tools are not working. I am getting in the hang of it though.

    The bigger of my 2 skeins of the handspun is finished now, I might have the unusual problem of more yarn than I need. For this project I really want to use all of the skeins to get the full color repeats. Normally I would weight the yarn before and after a row to try and gauge how much yardage I will need at the end to finish up. Being away from home, I did not bring my scale, so therefore will put in a lifeline and start the knitted cast off edging. First 15 more rows in this pattern, and we will see how much of this new cake I have used up.

    The colors here are very close to another shawl which was pale green to yellow to a light orange. The turquoise color is really needed to give this shawl a distinct appearance from the other. I am starting to wonder just how many handspun, hand knit shawls one person can need… That theory will be tested shortly.


  • knitting1105 11:15 pm on September 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: handspun, ,   

    Wisconsin Sheep 

    My husband and I went to Wisconsin last weekend for the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival.  It did not disappoint at all.  I took 2 classes from Kate Larson, Woolen or worsted and Spinning 3 Leicesters.  I loved both classes, Kate is a fabulous teacher whom I would highly recommend to take classes from.  Not only did I finally learn how to really spin woolen vs worsted (twist in the draft zone or not), but I learned all about the Leicester sheep breed, and how to flick locks, and hand card.  I was so excited that I bought myself a pair of hand carders after the Friday class, and put them to work on Saturday.

    I was having so much fun in my classes that I forgot to take photos except for this one.  Even though I have only been spinning for a year, I was quite pleased with how my spinning held up next to others in the class.  Here are some of the market photos:

    I did a bit of shopping at the market, but this is what I am still drooling over.  Unfortunately, it had a SOLD sign on it when I walked by on Saturday.  There still is a cherry version, that would actually fit perfectly in my house.  I just need to convince my husband that I need to upgrade to this and trade in my Traditional.  My dream, a handmade Jensen wheel:

     It spun like a dream…

    I did pick up some fiber, and 2 books—one I had been on the lookout for, and one surprise.

    First, from Carol at Rivers Edge Fiber Arts Studio.  Now that I can spin, I am excited tp purchase her fiber.  She is the one who went to HS with my dear sister Marilyn, and remembered her.  Marilyn left too soon, and it is so special to find someone who knew her.  This is 60% superwash merino, 30% bamboo and 10% nylon.  Destined to become a pair of socks for myself.

    And some 1 oz balls of natural CVM (Califonia Variegated Mutant) roving.  One of the rarest of sheep in the United States, the California Variegated Mutant is the multi-colored derivative of the Romeldale Breed (Romeldales were first developed in California in the early 1900’s by crossing Rambouillet ewes with Romney rams; CVM development began in the 1960’s).

    Some muffins of mohair and silk from Circle Studio of Oregon, WI.  No website listed, but the back of the business card reads:  “To know a goat is to love a goat”.  I wish that I had purchased more of these when I saw them the first day, as they were all gone when I went back on Saturday:

    And these 2 balls of roving dyed with natural dyes from Handspun by Stefania.  Dan picked the green for a pair of mittens and a hat for himself.  The brighter colors are for me.   This is Coopworth dyed with Osage and Indigo

    And, Corriedale & Silk dyed with Madder and Weld (?)

    And sheep of course…


  • knitting1105 8:17 am on September 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: handspun, ,   

    Spinning Inspiration 

    I  finally finished plying my Merino spun roving from Expertly Dyed.  The color is Mediterranean, and I ended up with 620 yards of 2-ply from a 4 oz braid.  This is really pretty, and when I proudly showed it to a friend the other day, she commented that it looked like the colors of the Mediterranean.  I guess they dyer got it right.  I am thinking of ordering another braid so that I can have enough yardage to knit this up into a large shawl.

    A Ravelry group called Completely Twisted & Arbitrary Spin-Along features a different Indy dyer every month.  Photos are submitted under a chosen topic for inspiration, and then the dyer chooses the top one or two to make rovings from.  August was gardens, and a photo of a Peacock and a Coral Reef led to these 2 rovings from Fiber Optic.  Of course, hearing about this from one of my favorite dyers, I had to get a couple of each (and another reason why I did not purchase anything from her booth at Stitches).  The Coral Reef is really very bright, I will have to think about that one some more, and what I would like to use the finished yarn for.

    Peacock was a surprise to me, as it looked more uniform and purple in the photos, so I was surprised by the variations of blue/purple/white and the subtleties.  This one I am anxious to spin up.  None of the photos that I took of this really did it justice.

    Now that I seem to have some proficiency at spinning, I am going to try to plan what I want to knit with my hand spun before I start spinning, and even sometimes before I purchase it.  I have quite the large basket now of handspun that I need to knit up.  Many of the yarns are a bit bulkier, and the quantities are not as large.  I am thinking of starting on a marathon hat and mitten knitting fest to use those up.

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