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  • knitting1105 12:46 pm on January 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mineral Point Wisconsin, Ravelry   

    Travel Knitting 

    Last weekend we took my son back to school in Wisconsin, and gave ourselves a night away in Mineral Point.  I love that town, currently an artist community, and formerly a mining town.  We stayed in one of the 1840 Cornish Miner’s cabins that is now part of a B&B.   I loved the cozy space, and we took a dinner with us to cook there and spent the evening in front of the (fake) fireplace knitting, reading, playing scrabble and enjoying a good glass of wine.

    And the main reason for our little retreat was so that Dan could go to a remote Wisconsin town that had an amazing selection of electric guitars.  He is so excited to have this new toy.  Might make that spinning wheel that I covet easier to get.  It is fun to see him so excited, and to have the time now (just finished his Master’s) to enjoy his hobby.  I do understand the importance of a hobby, and having the best tools at hand.

    Along the ride, I worked on my mittens with handspun.  This was the second time starting.  I am not sure if I will keep them or rip them out again.  They are a bit large, I think that I overdid it on the cuff length.  I have had so many mittens that are too small.  I need to think about this a bit.  A lot of work in here….

    • Diane Hamilton 4:38 pm on January 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like a very cozy place to hang for an evening.


  • knitting1105 12:05 pm on January 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Ravelry, ,   

    Finally photos 

    I finished this sweater soon after Christmas and my husband has been wearing it, but between dreary days and him being out of town, I have not had a chance to get a good photo.

    Project Specs
    Pattern: Chess Sweater
    Pattern Source: Hanne Falkenberg kit
    Yarn: #2 Shetland by Hanne Falkenberg, colors Aubergine and coffee
    Needles: US 2
    Date Started: 8/15/10
    Date Finished: 12/28/11
    Finished Dimensions: Size Men’s large

    And I have been working on my mittens, I think that I need to reverse the colors, as it is not detailing well.  I thought with windows and doors being light, it would look like nighttime with the lights on.  I don’t think so.  All of the other patterns knit up on Ravelry have followed the chart.  So much for being a maverick, ripping back again.  This time just to the cuff.

    • Diane Hamilton 2:45 pm on January 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The sweater turned out great–I knew Dan would love it!


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

    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 3:54 pm on November 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Ravelry,   

    Gradient on Gradient 

    The Fiber Optic group on Ravelry is having a gradient spin-along.  I ordered this when Kimber showed it in October, the color is Raspberry to Cream:

    The color is so beautiful that I ordered 4 braids.  After my first attempt at fractal spinning, I thought that technique would work well with a gradient as long as the colors were relatively close to one another.  I split the braid length-wise and spun the first bobbin as a straight gradient.  The second 1/2 of the braid was split lengthwise as finely as I could manage.  I actually ended up making little sections of fine roving throughout the length so that they did not fall apart.  Then I started with a raspberry end and spun to the cream.  Next I picked up a cream end and spun to the raspberry.  And on, and on.  In this photo you can see how much longer the repeats are on the first bobbin:

    Typical me, when I was plying I was not sure if my experiment had worked.  Then when I wound it onto my kniddy-knoddy I was intrigued.


    And all skeined up.  It has since been washed, thwacked, and is now drying.

    I think that the effect would have been more dramatic with 2 braids, one spun as a full gradient, the other fractally spun.

    Now, what to make that will show off my subtle spinning experiment?  A cowl has been suggested.  I am not a fan of the “shawlette” (actually most things -ette, if you are going to do something, go full hog).  Perhaps a scarf.   I am looking forward to knitting with this pink on pink yarn.

    • Rae 3:48 am on November 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      That came out great I like the mix of the colors. I can’t wait to see how you spin the other braids. Fiber Optics has some beautiful fiber I am waiting until I get alot better at my spinning before I order any of her pretties

      I think the One Row Handspun Scarf pattern by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee would look nice knitted up in your newly spun yarn.


      • knitting1105 9:07 am on November 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I too waited until I felt that my spinning was “worthy” of the Fiber Optic fiber. I just ordered it and stashed it away! She dyes a new gradient every few weeks, you might want to watch those, as they are pre-order only. I am sure your spinning will improve quickly. Practice, practice, practice. I will also check out the scarf pattern.


  • knitting1105 12:01 pm on July 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Breed study, Fiber Optics, Ravelry, ,   

    Tour de Fleece, Shetland style 

    The Tour de Fleece is a spinner’s challenge.  On Ravelry, the spinners all set goals, and try to spin each day during the Tour de France.   They spin, we spin.  Both start today.  I know, I know, it sounds corny, but the goals and inspiration are great.

    Guidelines (NOT RULES):

    1. Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. Saturday July 2nd through Sunday July 24th. Days of rest: Monday July 11th, Monday July 18st. (Just like the actual tour)
    2. Spin something challenging Friday July 22nd. (The Tour’s toughest mountain stage over the Col du Galibier for the second time, and finishing up on Alpe d’Huez.)
    3. Take a button if you want one. Then we can use the button on our blogs in show of solidarity. Take it from here or grab a clean one from the flickr pool. Come join the flickr pool!
    4. Wear yellow on Sunday July 24th to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful? (Yellow is the color of the race leader in the Tour – but here we are all ‘race leaders’)
    5. Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter – think FAST), Polka-dot (climber – as in uphill), and white (rookie)

    I am planning on spinning just Shetland rovings.  It will also be a part of a breed study that I am involved in, where we learn about a spin a different sheep breed (and maybe other animals as well) each month.  This month is Shetland.

    Here is what I know so far about Shetland sheep:

    • There are 11 recognized colors of Shetland Sheep (Dan and I would like a hobby farm with one of each color in the pasture)
    • There are 30 recognized markings
    • Shetland sheep are very affectionate, and will even wag their tails.  They have been domesticated since the Bronze age.
    • Shepherd dogs have a difficult time herding them
    • It is one of the “primitive” breeds, dating back more than 1,000 years
    • They are part of the Northern European short-tailed group of sheep, cousins include Finns and Icelandics
    • Shetland’s remained a pure breed for generations because of their geographical isolation
    • The breed fell out of favor when the quest for bright white fleece became popular, and many breeders eliminated the colored variants
    • The soft wool under the neck was favored for lace weight yarn, and used in wedding shawls that were so fine they could be pulled through a wedding ring
    • The Shetland fiber is also popular for Fair Isle projects, as the fiber has a tendency to bloom, thereby concealing colors that have been carried behind
    • If you drop a stitch, it will most likely stay put
    • The staple length is 2-4 1/2″ long
    • The undercoat is fine, the outercoat is smoother often with a curl at the tip
    • Low luster
    • Shetland is usually spun woolen
    • Moderate felting
    • The fiber is good for next to skin, and outerwear depending on the grade of the fiber
    • Shetland’s are smaller than commercial breeds and slow-growing, but long-lived and hardy, able to adapt to difficult conditions
    Here is the 2 colors of natural Shetland that I will be spinning.  I have already started on the dark wool (4 oz), and will do the light wool (2 oz) next.  Both from the Illinois Wool and Fiber Mill, a brand new mill outside of  Chicago.
    Afterwards, I will work on this deep purple/black Shetland dyed roving by Fiber Optics.  It is actually a darker color than the photograph shows, it was very difficult to capture it’s exact hue.
    And, this is my first spinning of Shetland fiber.  It has a lot more loft to it, not as smooth and silky as some others.  I am finding it very easy to draft out, and get a thinner yarn.  I hope that I will be able to maintain consistency with this fiber.  That has been an issue for me with some other fibers.
  • knitting1105 2:41 pm on June 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Japanese American internment, Ravelry   

    My Civic Duty 

    I spent yesterday sitting in the Jury Pool room downtown.  My group got called up to a courtroom once, but never even saw the Judge or lawyers.  I spent most of my day knitting and reading (in uncomfortable chairs).  I started this shawl, a free pattern from the blog feministiy.com.  I originally saw it on Ravelry in a forum.  While she suggests using a solid or semi-solid color yarn, I on the other hand, thought it would be perfect for this highly variegated yarn.

    I also finished my book club book, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.  Pretty good book, and an easy read.  The story is a love story between a Chinese-American boy, and a Japanese-American girl during the Japanese internment.  While I have some issues with a couple of the characters in the writing, and some of the believability of the “coincidences”, I enjoyed reading this, and would probably recommend it to others.

  • knitting1105 10:52 am on June 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Ravelry,   

    More Socks 

    I started a new pair of socks, using a CookieA June sock club pattern.  She always gives 2 patterns in every shipment (every other month), as does Janel Laidman.  I find that one colorwork sock pattern every other month is about all that I can manage.  The CookieA socks are always an easier one, and then one with a bit more detail in it, I usually save the detailed one for the sock club yarn.   So, I bought this yarn on my trip, and am making these for Judy.  It is the Jubilee pattern, and I wish that I had read the comments by others before starting these, but I was working on them on our car trip back, and only opened my computer up to check the pattern.  The yarn is Plymouth Sockotta:

    Judy picked this yarn at a new store in Grosse Pointe, MI.  It is called the Knotted Needle, and focuses on knitting and needlepoint, although I felt that the knitting took second stage.  Most of the yarns there were not anything that I would really want, a lot of the same old stuff that you can find in virtually every yarn shop (Cascade, Debbie Bliss, Noro).  There is a local store that also combines the 2 crafts also, and I find it a bit confusing, as there does not seem to be a lot of overlap, and they seem to end up short shifting something.  I did find this skein of hand dyed yarn from Abstract Fiber, a yarn that I have not seen or tried before, it is much finer than some of the other yarns, and I like that quality.  The color is Matisse Harvest.  Hard to resist anything Matisse, it will be interesting to see how it knits up.

    Here are my Jubilee socks in progress, almost complete with sock #1.  The yarn is okay, would probably not make my “must buy again” list.  It was much cheaper though at just $12.50 for a 400+ yard skein.  The suggestion on Ravelry was to knit the YO stitches through the back loop, and the fabric is pulled in tighter.  I wish that I had seen that comment, as even though I am making the size M, they are very stretchy.

    And more photos from our mini vacation.  Any ideas yet?

    • Linda Cannon 9:20 pm on June 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I cannot believe it you are at Mackinac Island, one of my very favorite places, Second honeymoon, some where I would go in an istant if I could. Enjoy


      • knitting1105 8:18 am on June 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        It was a fabulous trip. It had been many years since I had been up there, now my kids are anxious to get up there again also.


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