Archive for April, 2009

WIPs 04/29/09

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

I’ve been 100% obsessed with Desdemona. I haven’t even picked up my other WIPs in the last week.

1. Tryst Vest – same goal as last week. Goal: re-block to larger measurements. If re-blocking is satisfactory, find buttons.

2. Lavender Top – if I need a little break from Desdemona this is what I’m likely to be doing.

3. Desdemona Shawl – I finished the center square a couple of days ago. Now I’m working on the outside border which consists of 60 rows, most of them 500 plus stitches per round. While that means I only complete 6 rounds in an evening of knitting I’m really loving this project.

Desdemona Shawl

Desdemona Shawl

Desdemona Shawl

An Afternoon at the Barn

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Poor Blondie, I’ve hardly seen her at all in the last month. I saw her a week before I went to Washington, then on Easter (the same day I got back from WA), then I had the flu…..finally I got to spend some time with her today.

Being the first day in a while we took it easy, but I should start increasing her fitness level (and mine).

Barn and Blondie

Barn and Blondie

Barn and Blondie

Barn and Blondie

We left a trail of hair behind us everywhere we went.

WIPs 04/23/09

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Phew! I may be a day late, but I’m so glad to be feeling better that I don’t care. I was down with the flu for 5 solid days. I’m still only functioning at about 90%. The last 2 days (on top of the 5) I still wouldn’t have been able to drive myself to work, but luckily (or is it unluckily?) I work from home.

I did manage a few hours of knitting on the days I felt up to it.

1. Tryst Vest – same goal as last week. Goal: re-block to larger measurements. If re-blocking is satisfactory, find buttons.

2. Lavender Top – no spindling happened last week. I’d like to do some this week if I can tear myself away from Desdemona.

3. Desdemona Shawl – Finally I have the focus and time to start Desdemona! When I first got the kit I was under so much stress I couldn’t focus on it and the last thing I wanted to do was rip back lace. I’m now 6 repeats into the center lace panel and loving it. 🙂

Desdemona Shawl

Mock Wave Cable Socks

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

I was about to run out of yarn (good thing it’s a toe up pattern) so I figured this pair was done! These are for my sister which is why they are baggy on my foot. This is the second pair I’ve knit for her using her master numbers with Cat Bordhi’s Riverbed sockitecture.

Mock Wave Cable Socks

Mock Wave Cable Socks

Mock Wave Cable Socks

Pattern: Mock Wave Cable stitch pattern from Favorite Socks combined with Riverbed Sockitecture from New Pathways for Sock Knitters by Cat Bordhi.
Yarn: Regia Line Step Color, dark red
Needles: Knit Picks 2.5mm circulars
Notes: Even though I tend to fall back into my comfort zone of top down, traditional socks, I *really* like the patterns in New Pathways for Sock Knitters. With each pair I knit there is less page flipping (the biggest down-side to learning the new sockitectures) to remember what to do and how to do it, plus I’ve applied things I learned in this book to non-sock knits too. I think if I break the mold a few more times Cat’s methods will start to become second nature and I’ll choose them just as often as I follow a more traditional sock pattern.

The 16 row stitch pattern for the Mock Cable makes these socks seem like they knit up rather quickly and because it’s a ribbed pattern it’s nice and stretchy.

Well, I’ve said enough and I’m still recovering from the flu. Going back to my couch now….

WIPs 04/15/09

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Oh joy it’s tax day. As if I hadn’t paid enough in my quarterly payments and withholding from DH’s paycheck, I had to mail off another small fortune today in the form of MT State tax, my first quarterly payment of the new year, and our estimated federal taxes. I don’t know whether I need to buy a bit of fiber to cheer me up or spend no money (in reality I’ll go stash diving – that cheers me up and costs nothing). LOL. I’m thinking of the amount I mailed off today as saying goodbye to a new 2 horse trailer.

1. Tryst Vest – since I was gone all of last week I haven’t tackled this yet. Goal: re-block to larger measurements. If re-blocking is satisfactory, find buttons.

2. Mock Wave Cable Socks – As you can see one sock is knit past the heel and an inch up the leg. The second sock suffered a mistake at the start of the heel turn that I didn’t catch until I was done with the heel and had 5 stitches too many. I finished tinking* it this morning and am now making forward progress again.

Mock Wave Cable Socks

3. Lavender Top – For the first time I have a spinning WIP to share! This is 3.7 ounces of Falkland/Merino Top that I purchased at The Artful Ewe when I was in Washington last week. I’ve been spindling a little bit each day, 15-25 minutes, which is about the max I can do before my back or arms get tired.

Lavender Fiber

Speaking of spindling, my first sample fiber that I showed last week has been wound off onto two chopsticks and is resting. I actually had gotten into a hurry, tried to ply the singles together, and ended up with a tangled up mess – that has been untangled and wound back onto the chopsticks. I figure it was a good lesson as I now have an idea of what can go wrong and will be a bit more careful on my next attempt.

* For my non-knitting friends: tinking = tink is knit spelled backwards, hence I was knitting backwards.

Herding Cats

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

I don’t have any real news on WIPs this week as I’ve been busy visiting family and friends, and working. The few spare minutes I’ve had I’ve spent with my spindle. I do, however, have something fun to show you that has been kept secret until now….

Kitties

Kitties

Kitties

Kitties

I was looking for something to use up scraps. That resulted in the first gray kitty and then I just couldn’t stop at one! By the third cat I was looking for yarn that wasn’t scraps to use. 🙂

Pattern: Knitted Kitty, available free, but beware language used in the pattern
Yarn: various – Knit Picks Swish Worsted (gray), Lamb’s Pride Superwash Worsted (black), Plymouth Tweed (orange, brown, natural). Eyes and noses are scraps of sock yarn.
Needles: US 5 and US 4
Notes: I varied the size of my kitties just a bit by using the 2 needle sizes. Also, the Plymouth Tweed is more of an aran weight while the rest are worsted. Even though these are knit in 3 pieces I found the finishing to be quick and easy. The only pattern modification I made was to taper the kitty cheeks a bit more on some of the cats.

Horsey Sunday

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Sunday was all about horses. I had breakfast with my good friends Patty and Lurleen, both horse owners. In the afternoon I went to see Robin and her horses.

This is Robin’s mare Luna and her first foal, Vivi (Vienna Cuvee), who is 6 days old in these photos. Vivi is out of Versache KWPN and is hopefully destined to be a dressage horse, but could also go in the jumper direction. The weather was glorious – the warmest day of the year so far.

Luna and Vivi

Luna and Vivi

Luna and Vivi

Luna and Vivi

There’s nothing cuter than a new foal. Everything is new and exciting to her. Robin let me steady her while she cleaned Mom’s tail and then baby’s tail (newborn diarrhea). She did great and I’ve never handled such a young one so it was a neat experience to wrap my arm around her neck and try to guide her to stay in a good position. I left the leading to Robin though! Those little baby legs skitter out in all directions! I am excited to see how she grows up.

Spindle Spinning

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Yes, spinning. I’ve never mentioned it here before, but I’ve been falling in love with the colorful handpainted tops and the resulting two-ply, color shifting yarn. The more I saw photos of handspun yarn, the more I thought, “I have to try this.” I read up on spindle spinning, watched a few YouTube videos, and then looked for a store to visit….

This last Saturday I went to The Artful Ewe in Port Gamble, WA. It went something like this: get up really early, fly to Seattle, stop in at my house, make a grocery list, decide that buying groceries is no fun, go to fiber store instead.

The weather was gorgeous – sunshine, blue sky, and although it started unseasonably cold it warmed up nicely. I wish I had asked if I could take photos of the shop (go see the photos on her website)! Everything in Heidi’s store is dyed by her so there was fiber, yarn, and fiber ART everywhere. Lots to discover. My Mom went with me and we had a great time checking things out and then talking with regulars about everything from life to all things fiber related.

Spindle

Heidi gave me her 10 minute lesson and I am now a new spindle spinner! While I do have a lot to learn, I was impressed that in just a few minutes you can get enough feel for it that you can create yarn! Basically you can have enough success in only a few minutes that you want to keep going.

Along with my spindle I needed a couple of fibers so I’d have something to work with. Mom couldn’t resist the lovely skein of yarn. I’ll make her something with it although we haven’t figured out what yet. It’s 330 yards of worsted weight.

Fiber

Today (Sunday) was another exciting, fun filled day and it had nothing to do with fiber. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow. I’m exhausted!

Fighting a Cold

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Yesterday after lunch it was like someone flipped a switch. All of a sudden my nose was running like crazy and I was sneezing. Ugh. Just what I don’t need when I’m headed to WA on Saturday! I immediately upped my intake of Vitamin C, green tea, and added an immune booster supplement that I don’t take except when I’m sick or starting to get sick.

So, needless to say I had planned to do my WIP post in the afternoon and then didn’t get to it.

1. Tryst Vest – I finished the knitting, but didn’t judge well and it came out a bit snug. I did not stretch it at all when I washed it the first time so I think I will be able to block it bigger. It also needs buttons.

Tryst Vest

2. Mock Wave Cable Socks – these are for my sister. The first pair of socks I made her using Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways for Sock Knitters book. Because those were a success in terms of size, I am using the same sockitecture and master numbers for Riverbed, but with the mock wave cable stitch pattern. The yarn is a hard wearing Regia from my stash.

Mock Wave Cable

That’s so not the color of the yarn. Although I’m feeling a million times better this afternoon I don’t feel like taking more photos. Better color accuracy next time (I hope).