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  • knitting1105 3:50 pm on September 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Spinning   

    Butterfly 

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    When planning to head out to Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago, I naturally needed some very portable knitting projects.  I took some socks along, but they were on my precious metal Signature needles.  Not wanting to take the chance of TSA trying to confiscate those, I put them in my checked bag, and pulled out this Fiber Optic yarn that I had spun last winter.

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    This was spun using 2 braids of the color way Thistle.  My yardage was 1,070 yards.  Not as much as I would have liked.

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    So, then the night before having to get up at 4am for a very early flight, I am on the computer looking up patterns.  I opted for Pulelehua, which means butterfly in Hawaiian.  I am hoping that I have enough yarn, as the yardage on peoples projects is anywhere from about 1,000-1,500.

    About 1/2 of the yarn has been knit up to date, this is my progress thus far:

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    For the second half of the shawl, I am weighing the yarn after each chart section is done.  Not sure yet if panic will set in, but I am already thinking that I need to obtain another braid to use just the dark blue end to finish off.

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    And, while knitting on this the past week, we have had great fun watching the Monarchs in our native plantings at the side of the house.  This garden was planted about 10 years ago, but this is by far the best year for Monarchs, and a few Black Swallowtails as well.

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    I counted 7 one night, and that was just from my back porch, I didn’t venture down the side of the house!

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    There is even the Monarch moth on the plants.

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    They are just loving the tall white flowers, my husband thinks that they are the  Tall Bonest, but looking at the book I am thinking perhaps Wild Quinine, we need to get our neighbor over to help identify these. To a lesser extent they are attracted to the Tall Coreopsis.  In addition there are many native pollinators, wasps, honey bees, crickets, etc.  It is fun to walk on the side of the house and hear all of the insects, with the Cicadas as the background music.  I hope that we are making a difference in our own little piece of the world.  I see more and more native gardens in lieu of pesticide lawns.  All these pollinators desperately need our help.

     
    • elaine 8:07 pm on September 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful spinning, knitting and butterflies, of course! Love the colors!

      Like

    • 1marylou 10:19 am on September 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful yarn, pictures and project!

      Like

    • Diane 12:34 pm on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love all the butterflies, I am sure it reminds you of Mom and Anita.

      Like

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

    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 10:51 am on April 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Spinning,   

    YarnCon 2015 

    Life has been busy lately, taking away from my knitting, spinning and blogging times.  I did pull out some time to make the trek into the City on Saturday for YarnCon.  For those of you not from the Windy City (wind from politicians not weather), :

    YarnCon is Chicago’s homegrown yarn-centric exhibition — a place to promote, sell, and celebrate the yarny arts. Started in 2007, YarnCon aims to be the premier market for independent producers of yarn, knitted/crocheted objects, fiber for spinning, tools, gadgets, books, patterns, instructions, and gifts related to spinning, knitting, crochet, and weaving.

    This was my 4th year attending, it started in a beautiful Park District building, which they outgrew, and now is in The Plumbers’s Union Hall, another neat old building. 2 of my fellow SnB knitters were trying booths there for the first time, so it was good to see them.  And, I ran into lots of knitting buddies.  Jayson and I trolled the venue first, then I went back and made only a couple of very discrete purchases.  My first was these buttons, 100 for $9, they will be perfect for baby sweaters.  That is a lot of sweaters!

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    Knitcircus was next on my list.  I had a skein from a couple of years ago at Vogue Knitting, and saw socks that she had made using 2 different gradient yarns, that hooked me.  This was my purchase this year:

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    To pair up with this:

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    And my only other purchase was also sock yarn.  Since these were all Indy dyers, the yarn was mostly sock and shawl weight.  Not that I am in the sweater buying mode anytime soon anyways.  My friend Andi always says that sock yarn doesn’t really count anyways.  This is fromThe Cyborg’s Craft Room, color way is Bangarang, love the sparkles in this.  Reserved for me!

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    And I took great advantage of the beautiful weather over the weekend to spin on the front porch.  This fiber had been on my wheel way too long, it is a gradient from Fiber Optic, Wild Thyme.  Plying it now.

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

    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 5:41 pm on April 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Spinning   

    3rd Fiber Weekend 

    First there was YarnCon, then Lorna’s Laces sale, and this past weekend was The Fiber Event at Greencastle, the kick-off to the county fiber fairs in the area.  Located just west of Indianapolis, it is an easy drive down and back in a day.

    2012 was my first trip to Greencastle, and I loved it.  Andi went with me, we had a great drive, talked, and shopped, and found GeeGee.  My impetus at that time was to find the Fiber Optic booth and see all of her wares firsthand for the first time.

    A torrential rain the night before we were to leave last year made getting out-of-town nearly impossible.  So, this year I was even more determined to go, and really wanted a knitting buddy.  My husband would have gladly loved the trip, but he does better when there is also a livestock display involved.  Lynette agreed to go with me, and we got a rental car early and drove off to get there in the morning for best selection.

    First on the list was to make a beeline to GeeGee and score some of her aprons while the selection was still good.  I could have left with many more… I chose this lovely apron, from the early 1950’s for me.

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    I really love the pocket that goes all the way through both sides.  I think it will be great to toodle around the house in and have things (think knitting) close at hand.

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    Here is Lynette purchasing from GeeGee, we made quite the dent in her booth.  I absolutely love her aprons, and she has such a great sense of color.  75 years old, and full of life and optimism, a great inspiration.

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    Then it was off to take a first pass at all of the vendors and see what caught our eye. There were a lot of Alpaca vendors this year, many more than I remember 2 years ago.  We saw someone from the Champaign-Urbana fiber guild demonstrating a Chakra, that was really interesting.

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    I knew that I would be returning to Fiber Optic, just what to buy this year? A gradient of course!  My 2 favorite colors together, green and purple.  This is a definite Frances shawl! Lynette is trying the paintbox gradients, it will be fun to see how they knit up.

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    I have always wanted to knit the Sheep heid tam, so found the pattern and knew that I needed to get that.

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    Then, it just so happens that we passed by a Shepherd who had many colors of Shetland sheep, perfect symbiosis.  I scored these 7 colors, couldn’t be better than handspun for this project!

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    And keeping with the Shetland theme, I purchased a beautiful book, that deserves its own post tomorrow.

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    • Helen 2:19 am on April 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m jealous, you look to have had too much fun! 🙂

      Like

    • Mimi 11:52 pm on May 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like so much fun! One of these years…Interesting that you’ve wanted to do the tam because I want to do that blanket.

      Like

  • knitting1105 1:30 pm on March 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Spinning   

    Soft to the Hand 

    I recently finished the second of my 12 items for the Spin the Bin Challenge.  This was a fiber from River’s Edge Fiber Arts, called Monkey.  Silk, bamboo and Merino.

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    It was a dream to spin, but the fiber was so silky that it was not a fine spin.  Thinking that this would feel so good on my hands, I chose to make a 3ply yarn for some future mittens.  Yardage was not as good as I would have liked, 160 yards of 3 ply, 4 oz.

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    On the knitting front, I am currently finishing up some CookieA socks from my last club shipment last winter.  The yarn is Tanis, made in Canada. 70% super wash merino, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon.  Look at their website, the colors are amazing (my color is off in this photo, it is really a lovely soft green, color Julep, which describes it well). This yarn, called the “Purple Label Cashmere Sock” is a dream to knit with, I have another skein in my stash that was from my birthday Twin that I now can’t wait to pull out.  Not sure how easy this yarn is to get in the US, that was the great thing about the past 2 sock clubs, was finding and trying yarns that I would not have necessarily found on my own.   Even though I have size 9 feet, I am knitting the size small in Cookie’s pattern.  When I took classes from Cookie, I realized that she knits so incredibly tight that my gauge is never the same as hers.  Not sure yet if these are for me or a gift…

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

    Reef 

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

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    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.  

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    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.

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

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

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    • 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!

      Like

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

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

      Like

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

      How lovely.

      Like

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

    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.

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    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.

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    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!

      Like

    • 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?

      Like

      • 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.

        Like

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

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

      Like

  • knitting1105 8:13 pm on January 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Spinning   

    Knitting TM 

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    Knitting is the new yoga is a phrase often heard amongst knitters, and we like to point out that we accomplish things at the same time.  As a yoga student, it has the meditative properties, but my abs and triceps benefit little from my knitting, try as I might.  Today I was watching a talk show and they were taking about Transcendental Meditation and the associated health benefits.  I was working on my current shawl, at a point in the middle of each row, where it is mindless stockinette stitch, and thought this is TM also.  A quick google turned up this yoga retreat site that taught knitting as a meditative part of the retreat.

    Knitting relieves stress for me, and comes out in times of crisis to keep me centered.  It always is my solution for people going through difficult times in their lives, whether they be personal or physical.  Some heed my advise, most look at me as if I were crazy.

    This is my current shawl, Semele.  I have added extra increases to make it a true shawl, you all know my less than passionate feelings towards “shawlettes”.  Seems like any “ettes” are simply excuses for not having the completed full thing.  The other rational was to use all of the yarn that I have, this is a handspun gradient from Fiber Optic, Honey to Fig. There were many false starts to this shawl, as I was determined that this gradient wanted to go side to side.  This pattern was perfect, as you knit increasing until you have used almost 1/2 the yarn, then start decreasing.  I might have pushed the envelope a bit on this one, but I do have a back-up plan in my head if I run out of yarn at the end.

    Here is my progress, I am approaching the end quickly, having knit the majority of the body.  I was in a fog, took me quite awhile to get the hang of the pattern repeat. And the cast-on befuddled me, as the first leaf is backwards, I kept thinking that I had made a mistake.  It is advisable to read all the directions for a pattern first prior to starting to knit!

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    “Like the counting of the rosary, the motions of needlework are singularly well suited to the practice of contemplation”  –From The Knitting Sutra by Susan Gordon Lydon

     
    • CWLFibers 8:16 pm on January 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Oh how beautiful.

      Like

      • knitting1105 8:25 pm on January 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you! Better lighting and blocking will show it off more. I am anxious to get to the purple colors.

        Like

    • Carla 8:27 pm on January 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with you about shawlettes. If I want something to make it is going to have a purpose more than cute. Mine is to keep my shoulders and neck warm summer and winter. And they all look lovely than. What a pain sometimes to i figure out the increases, but so worth it in the end.

      Like

      • knitting1105 8:31 pm on January 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        My shawls become scarves in the winter, a quick pull over in a cold restaurant, and something light on a cool summer evening. Shawlettes just dont cover all that. The increases were easy to figure out with this pattern, I will elaborate on Ravelry and in my last post. Thanks!

        Like

    • beccasimplified 9:46 am on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Aww…I just posted about my love for shawlettes 😉 They aren’t so bad. I do love that gradient yarn though, and the effect you’re getting along the edge, it’s beautiful.

      Like

      • knitting1105 6:20 pm on February 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry, not meaning to offend, I just like a big shawl to wrap around me.

        Like

    • hoppinglark 11:34 am on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      What a great post and a beautiful shawl.

      Like

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