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  • knitting1105 12:39 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Yarn   

    KnitGrills gradient 

    Previously I wrote about this beautiful fiber that I purchased from Fiber Optic that was dyed up for the KnitGrills podcast.  I loved these colors and it was a different combination than I had previously tried or had in my stash.

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    Spinning for 2 weeks, on a very consistent basis, I was able to get 1,220 yards of a 2 ply light fingering weight yarn.  It required 2 separate bobbins to wind it up together, but I wanted to wind them as one big center pull ball, the colors look so amazing that way, and I have my new wonderful ball winder to accomplish this with.

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    Then I searched for a pattern that would both maximize the use of this lovely yarn, and was interesting for me to knit, and most importantly would show off the gradient to the best use.  Centrino was the pattern that I finally settled on, by Laura Nelkin.  It is a circular shawl, started at the center obviously, I have been busy knitting away and enjoying the pattern.  The center section was completed with the blue portion of my yarn, which was not as even and fine as the rest, that worked out well as it is a more dense part of the pattern.

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    Currently I am working on the lace section and even though the photograph does not show it well, the purples are coming out in this part.  The merino/silk blend is so beautiful, but very hard to photograph the intricacies of the colors, especially the purples.

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    • Diane 5:13 pm on January 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That is a beautiful pattern and i can’t wait to see the finished project. I am sure it will be gorgeous.

      Like

  • knitting1105 12:29 pm on December 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Yarn   

    Lazy Katy 

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    I finished knitting this shawl with the pattern that was gifted to me by my Ravelry Birthday twin,  ActiveNana.  The pattern name is Lazy Katy, and I love the shape.  I will say that the translations left something to be desired, but with the notes of others, I was able to figure it out.  I used some handspun, color Mediterranean that I purchased in 2011 at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Festival, and spun up this past year.

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    Pattern: Lazy Katy
    Pattern Source: Online
    Yarn: Handspun
    Needles: US 4
    Date Started: 10/ /12
    Date Finished: 12/2/12
    Finished Dimensions: “Shawlette size”

    For my friend’s Birthday, I gave her the choice of these 2 shawls, and while she loved the purple color better, this was definitely a more interesting shape.  One Birthday gift becomes another.  I love the shape also, and see this being knit up again in the future, perhaps with a gradient.

     

     
  • knitting1105 2:44 pm on November 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Yarn   

    Rainbows and Home News 

    I have been knitting slower these past few days, busy with real work and getting things in the house in order.  I am working away steadily on my Rainbow Gradient plyed with Polkadots and Moonbeams, both fibers from Fiber Optic. The gradient spin is finished, and I am about 1/2 way through the polkadots, which is a pencil roving.  Every time that I spin with this, I am reminded how incredibly wonderful it is, no need to predraft, and you get such wonderful consistency.   This will end up looking like a fractal spin, without the fracting (?!).

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    Prior to spinning the pencil roving I split the braid in half, which it naturally splits into 2 smaller pencil rovings.  Then I wound each half into a center-pull ball, and spin directly from that.  It is so easy to spin, that in theory I could spin for hours without having to adjust my fiber.

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    Some exciting improvements on the home front.  A new tree, a Chinkapin Oak, to replace the 70-year-old Elm that was taken down 18 months ago.  We are very excited, and hope that it takes well to mask the view across the street.  Lloyd for scale.

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    And, as part of my basement make-over, a new couch, more appropriately scaled to the space, color is a little off-it is more green.  Now just to order all of the cabinetry that I need and I will have a better relaxation/working/craft room area.

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  • knitting1105 10:42 pm on November 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Yarn   

    Leaf Shawl 

    I was working on this on election-eve, while stressing about the outcomes, drinking some wine, and being very tired.   Not a good combination for lace knitting on the non-intuitive section of the chart.  The last few rows really have required concentration on my part.

    In the next couple of days I will block this out, not sure how the very curly edge will come out, I have seen it blocked a couple of different ways, neither of which I was excited about.  Lots of time, many pins and concentration will be required.

     

    Pattern: Dunabe
    Pattern Source: Janel Laidman’s Knitterati Sock Club 2012, September pattern
    Yarn: Handspun from Fiber Optic roving
    Needles: US 6
    Date Started: 10/ /12
    Date Finished: 10/19/12
    Finished Dimensions: TBD

     
  • knitting1105 4:54 pm on October 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Yarn   

    A tale of 2 sock yarns 

    When I first started spinning I had dreams of making fine yarn for lace knitting, fair isle and socks.  My abilities were not as quick to develop as my ambitions.  After a few months of spinning, I was confident enough to take some fiber from Socks That Rock, and spin for sock yarn.  Then I tried to knit socks with it.  So, it has languished in my spinning punishment pile for quite some time.  I have recently started going back to those early yarns to use them up in quick to knit winter outerwear.  And these came to mind for some fingerless mitts for the cooler dog-walking days.

    I have developed a new appreciation for some of the earlier, less than perfect spins.  The pattern is my own improvisation.

    And I recently completed knitting these socks for Dan.  The fiber was spun by me, from Fiber Optic. It is a pencil roving, and a dream to spin with. It was spun with the intention of making socks for Dan, and then when I saw this pattern in the CookieA sock club, I knew that it was a perfect marriage.  My spinning is much finer a year later, and while not perfect, I am very proud of it.  They are incredibly soft socks, superwash merino and silk, so I added some reinforcing thread to the toes for wearability.

    Pattern: Reykjavik
    Pattern Source: Cookie A’s Sock Club 2012, June pattern
    Yarn: handspun from Fiber Optic pencil roving, color: Black Coffee
    Needles: US 1
    Date Started: 9/?/12
    Date Finished: 10/19/12
    Finished Dimensions: Men’s size large

     
    • Mrspeterson 8:53 pm on October 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Tell Dan to watch out on the El– I hear there is a band of sock thieves stealing beautiful handspun handknit works of art off the feet of unsuspecting commuters.

      And by band of thieves I mean myself of course. Seriously, those are just gorgeous. I like the mitts too!

      Like

      • knitting1105 3:24 pm on October 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I have alerted him to protect his feet if he sees you on the train!

        Like

      • Mimi 4:34 pm on November 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        So far I’ve just sock-stalked him with my eyes but I can definitely see making the leap to actual sock theft for these. Nice work!

        Like

  • knitting1105 1:17 pm on September 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Fiber art, , , , , Yarn   

    Birthday Sisters 

     

    On Ravelry, we have a small but wonderful group that comes together every year.  Our bond is September 22nd, and a love of fiber.  This is the third year in a row that we have done a gift exchange, and it is always so wonderful to have a present waiting, especially from someone who understands the fiber addiction/pull/love.

    This year I got this package from ActiveNana:

     

    Full of wonderful little packages:

    Beautiful bright roving, I think that this is destined to be spun and knit into Fair Isle mittens with some natural rovings:

     

    A hand knit dish cloth, in my favorite colors!

     

    Sock yarn, similar colorway, from Kokopelli Creations (not used this yarn previously) she obviously read my favorite colors:

    Wine lovers stitch markers!

    And who could forget Chocolate?

    And, I forgot to photograph what I made for my Twin Exchange.  But, I did learn how to sew a project bag, here it is in progress, alas not finished photos, so I will just have to make some more.  Thanks to Jane for finding this pattern for me.

     

     

    And yesterday I was out with my friend touring PARKing Day set-ups, and saw this beauty at a Vintage store.  Could not resist.  An original Eva Zeisel pitcher.  I love it, and it is my Birthday after all…

     

     
  • knitting1105 9:50 am on August 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Yarn   

    Catch-Up 

    I have gotten a bit behind in my sock club knitting the past couple of months.  I hope to rectify that shortly, but first let me show you what arrived in mid-July, a beautiful blue yarn by Dirty Water DyeWorks, color : Fathom, along with another project bag, and a Sock Report clear bag.  Dirty Water  also carries the cutest project bags from Three Bags Full, I think that they may be ones that I spotted with CookieA when I was in her classes.  Definitely have to put those on my wish list!

    Instead of casting this on for socks first, I opted to go with the mystery KAL scarf project.  I am using some of my own handspun, Blackberry Jamble pencil roving from Fiber Optic:

    It is knitting up so incredibly nice.  I love spinning this pencil roving, this was my third hank of it, and the first thing that I spun on my new Jensen wheel, I got 496 yards, so I am hoping it is enough-otherwise the edging will be bound off with another fiber.  My spinning is not as even as I am able to get just a couple of months later, but beautiful non-the-less.  I would highly recommend this fiber for beginning knitters, as it is easy to draft out.  I have almost finished with Clue #2 of 3, having had a very bad false start where I knit garter stitch instead of stockinette well into the second clue.

    And finally from the CookieA 2012 sock club, this gorgeous green sock yarn from Enchanted Knoll Farm (color: Genmaicha), and looking at her webpage I see lots of luscious fiber.  This is the good/bad thing about these sock clubs, I am introduced to fibers and vendors that I would not otherwise find, the bad news is that I am introduced to new sources of wool and yarn.  My difficulty with this month will be which of the 2 sock patterns to knit with, they are both so cute.  One however is a different type of sock knit, so I will most likely attempt that one.

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

    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!

      Like

      • 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.

        Like

  • knitting1105 10:40 am on September 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Qiviut, Yarn   

    Stitches Midwest 2011 

    Stitches Midwest was last weekend,  I did not sign up for any classes, as I have been preoccupied with taking spinning classes in lieu of knitting classes.  There are not many knitting classes that I wish to take any more, and I am saving those times for my Guild options.  Originally, I was not going to even go out to the market at Stitches, as I had just been at the Michigan Fiber Fest, and will be attending the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in about a week.  Those places are mainly for fiber though, and I was curious if there were any really interesting new designs, yarn, or books that I must have.  Also, Fiber Optic had a booth there, and I do love seeing her hand dyed rovings first-hand.  Friday I drove out by myself, I could not find a companion, and was alone for the weekend and wanted some things to occupy me.  I started at one side of the market and walked around.  The first booth I came to was selling Qiviut and Qiviut blends.  Beautiful stuff, I still miss my qiviut and wool sweater that I believe I left in NYC.  Methodically, I walked through the market and looked at all of the booths.   Disappointing is really the only word that I have for the market in general.  When they started these retreats, there was not as much competition, and I did not find the amazing “must-knit” articles that I had seen in previous years.  Many of the booths had “Indie dyers”, who should have really restricted themselves to applying Koolaid to just their own fibers.  Really disappointing vendors, and several that were hawkish, county fair-like.  The Fiber Optic booth was near the end of my first pass, and ogled over several of the options, but wisely decided that I already had plenty of her stuff to spin up, and that stashing is not necessary.  She carries a large selection at the different fiber festivals, or I can join her fiber club again.  Her online shop just sells out too quickly, and it becomes a buying frenzy.

    I did find one amazing book that I had not seen any other place, The Haapsula Shawl

    The cover is light and airy, much like the Estonian Shawls that it features.  This is a beautiful book, even if you are not a knitter.

    After finding this book, I went back to the Qiviut booth and purchased 2 skeins of beautiful grey-green 50% qiviut, 50% silk lace weight yarn from Windy Valley Musk Ox.  Qiviut is from the underbelly of the Musk Ox, this description from their website:

    “Eight times warmer than wool and finer than cashmere, qiviut is hypoallergenic and will not shrink. Extremely rare, it is one of the most luxurious fibers you can choose for a garment. In contrast to wool, qiviut is soft, non-irritating to the skin, and is very durable. Qiviut garments are worn for years and can be hand washed in mild detergent. It does not shed, is odorless and retains warmth even when wet. It is an extremely warm, yet lightweight fiber that preserves heat in the winter, while also providing cool, breathable comfort in warmer weather.”

    The price is reflected in the rarity of the yarn, but I will keep that to myself.  Now to find the perfect pattern for this yarn.

     
  • knitting1105 4:11 pm on July 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Socks that Rock, Yarn   

    Good Sock, Bad Sock 

    I will start with the bad sock first.

    This should not happen.  I made these for my mother and gave them to her about 2 years ago (with the big sock giveaway).  The yarn is Socks that Rock (STR) lightweight, it was part of their sock club that I was a member of.  It makes me sick to think of all the time that I put into knitting with their yarn, and it does not hold up.  My mom is in her 80’s and only uses these as house socks.  In contrast, she also gave me a different pair that I think I made her about 10 years ago with Lang Jawoll sock yarn, and those have only minor wear holes in them.

    And now the good sock.  My current sock knitting is the Orange Pekoe from the CookieA sock club.  The yarn is Hazel Knits, and it is knitting up very nicely.

     
    • Carol 12:51 am on August 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t agree with you more about STR. I have a basket full of socks waiting for holes to be repaired and every pair is STR yarn. There must be about 6 pairs with holes. I have decided that since I like a lot of the colorways and I already have them in my stash that they will only be used for scarfs, shawls and maybe mittens. The STR is not sock worthy, sorry BMFA. I am now only knitting socks that have 20 to 25% nylon. Sometimes less if it is Bugga or Skinny Bugga.
      I’m sorry your mom’s sock fell apart. I wish you luck in darning them. But your right.

      Like

    • knitting1105 11:27 am on August 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I actually just trashed both pairs of socks. The other ones didn’t bother me as much, since they were much older. No more STR in my stash, and none will enter.

      Like

    • Carol 8:12 pm on August 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I went through a phase that I was in the Rockin’ Sock Club and I was buying a lot of STR. After the holes in my socks I sold 27 skeins. I still have 18 skeins and I plan to use it for weaving where not much stress will be on it as a scarf. But to sell 27 skeins of some colors I really liked tells you how mad I was of the wearability of this yarn. I was also upset that the vibrant colors faded after the first or second wash.
      I have other yarn that doesn’t fade and is better wearing. I rather spend money on that kind of sock yarn. There are a lot of very beautiful yarns with nylon. Also I am spinning a lot so maybe I will just spin my own yarn.
      I don’t blame you for trashing your socks and not using STR anymore.

      Like

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