Archive for October, 2009

WIP Wednesday, 10/28/09

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

I don’t even know how it got to be Wednesday again so quickly. Luckily I took advantage of being home before dark on Monday and took photos of the socks and stole.

1. Socktober Mystery Sock 2009 – I feel like these didn’t progress much over the last week, but the reality is they did – it’s just that the progression was re-knitting 3/4 of one of them. Oh well, they’re both into the foot now and after a few dedicated hours they’ll feel like they’re moving along quickly again.

Camo Socks

2. Birnam Wood – I admit it, I didn’t finish my swatch. My gauge checked out fine on the limited number of rows I did. This shawl is knit in two halves and the outer edge of each piece is knit in the opposite direction of the body. So what you see here is one of the lace edgings (though I have finished both). I’m now ready to pick up stitches and start the body of the stole.

Birnam Wood

Thorpe

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a long time. Finally I had a reason and a schedule that said, “must start now.” So I did…

Coincidentally this is the 3rd pattern by Kirsten that I’ve been knitting or knitted lately. The first was Ulmus and the second is the Socktober Mystery Sock. I love her designs and I would highly recommend them to anyone.

Here are my …ahem… lovely self-portrait photos wearing the unblocked Thorpe:

Thorpe Hat

Thorpe Hat

Pattern: Thorpe by Kirsten Kapur of Through The Loops
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Blackberry and Jojoland Melody Superwash
Needles: US 9 Addi Turbo Circular
Notes: I don’t know what it is with hats – I have a more difficult time getting them to fit than socks. They turn out too short, too tight, too loose, etc. That was not the case with this pattern. The measurements for the medium were perfect and so was my gauge with these yarns and the recommended needle size.

Finally, I learned a new skill with this one – the half double crochet. I watched a video on Youtube, dug around in my grandmother’s sewing supplies where I found a suitably large crochet hook, and off I went!

Now I just need to find a round object to block the hat on when I take it out of the sink…

WIP Wednesday, 10/21/09

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

A day late. That’s better than missing this week all together, right? I’ve been awake since 3 am and round tripped it to Seatac already this morning. It’s going to be a long day.

1. Socktober Mystery Sock 2009 – I’ve been obsessed with these and I was doing great until I realized I had divided my stitches unevenly on one of the socks! I had both socks knit through clue #3, the heel flap and heel turn. That’s when I realized my mistake and had to rip one of the socks all the way back to the cuff. I still have a couple inches to re-knit, but it’s a fun pattern that knits up quickly so it’s not a terrible burden to re-knit this portion.

2009 Socktober Mystery Sock

2. Birnam Wood – swatch started. Things keep getting in the way when it comes to finishing the swatch and getting started for real.

Birnam Wood

3. Thorpe – my neighbor asked me to make her a hat, purple with ear flaps. I was really noncommittal. Finally I gave in and bought the yarn yesterday. Then I saw her husband and found out her birthday is Monday. Guess what I cast on for last night? It’s going quickly, it needs a new photo already after only a couple hours of knitting time.

Thorpe Hat

Cupcake anyone?

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

I’m sorry if this post makes you want the real thing. Knitting the cupcakes didn’t make me crave them, but typing the word “cupcake” and talking about them does.

Here’s my latest batch of cupcakes in several different sizes and with the frosting both knit side and purl side out. I cant decide which way I like better.

Cupcakes

Cupcakes

Cupcakes

Pattern: Cupcakes by Leigh Radford
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Pink Cheeks, Rowan Wool Cotton in periwinkle, Bollicine Baby Folie in white with subtle pastels, and Crystal Palace Fling in white.
Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars
Notes: Now that I’ve made 5 more of these I have even more ideas for improving on the original pattern. First, knit the cupcake base tightly. You want a firm fabric (firmer than how mine turned out). Be sure to knit the tops loosely. Also when knitting the tops, add a plain knit round in between every decrease round except the last two. This will give your cupcake more frosting. Finally, include some dried beans in the filling to give the cupcake some weight so it will sit nicely. I also cut a plastic disc for the bottom to help them sit flat.

Waving Lace Socks

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

One weekend goal met. I don’t like it when projects linger on the needles too long. It makes them seem like they took longer than they did.

The Waving Lace pattern is completely unspectacular on the needles. So much so that you have second thoughts about continuing on. But then you get it done and you see the loveliness that is this pattern on the foot…

Waving Lace Socks

Waving Lace Socks

Waving Lace Socks

Pattern: Waving Lace Socks by Evelyn Clark
Yarn: Opal Uni Solid 4 ply in a dark teal blue
Needles: 2.25 mm Addi Turbo Circulars
Notes: Because I like to knit my socks tightly I cast on 72 stitches (one extra pattern repeat). At the heal, I knit the heel flap over the extra repeat. Top of the sock has 4 pattern repeats plus 2 purl stitches on each side. For the bottom of the sock I decreased to 36 stitches. I believe the top was 34 stitches.

The end result is perfectly wearable, but if I were to knit this pattern again I’d look for a thick fingering weight yarn that I could use with 2.5 or 2.75 mm needles at the original stitch count.

Spinning Friday: Purple/Green

Friday, October 16th, 2009

When I finished up all those other bits of fiber a couple weeks ago there was one that I didn’t get to. There was no particular reason for not finishing it too, but I didn’t want to let it languish too long.

And now that it’s done? This may be my favorite handspun so far! The colors are fun and, comparatively, I think I put more plying twist in this than other recent handspun which seems to be a good thing in the finished yarn.

My whole purpose of spinning these little bits of fiber has been to practice and improve. I really don’t have too much to say about how this one was spun as I don’t remember what I was thinking when I did most of it – we’ll just say this one was more practice for muscle memory and development of feel. 😉

Purple Green Handspun

Purple Green Handspun

Purple Green Handspun

Fiber: random bits taken from my pound of Wooly Cupcakes
Yarn: approximately 90 yards, looks like sport weight
Spindle: Bosworth Mini
Notes: This fiber had quite a range of color from purple to white to green. Because I wanted to mix the colors in the final yarn, I went with a 2-ply. Because I had not divided the fiber at the beginning, I only had one single which prompted me to take a 2nd try at plying from a single ball. I wound the yarn off the spindle with my skein winder, then made 2-ply by taking the single from the outside and inside of the ball. It worked. I survived. But I won’t do it again. The potential for tangling and frustration is too great. The better solution would be to get a good scale and divide the fiber beforehand. Failing that, dividing the single by weight and making 2 plying balls would work fine too.

The one thing I will do again though, is wind directly from my spindle onto the skein winder. This worked pretty darn well.

WIP Wednesday, 10/14/09

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Is anyone going to be upset if they see the Socktober Mystery Sock by Kristen Kapur? Don’t scroll down if you don’t want to see it. If you’ve been looking at Ravelry it’s been revealed all over the place so that gives me hope I won’t ruin the surprise for anyone…

1. Waving Lace Socks – same as last week! Since I started the new socks I haven’t touched these.

2. Cupcakes – so far I have 5 cupcake tops and 2 bottoms. The yarn that’s in with them is for Spinning Friday. More on that later.

Cupcakes

3. Socktober Mystery Sock 2009 – Even with a pattern designer I love I am usually hesitant to join mystery knit-alongs. In this case I waited until the second clue was released before I joined in (even though I was intrigued by the first clue).

This pattern, so far, is really lovely in kettle dyed yarns and in solids, but when I went to my stash none of my solids caught my eye. Instead it was this camouflage yarn that jumped out. 😉

Mystery Sock

In other news, I did a bit of stash enhancement last week with this little Knit Picks order. Look, it’s not even enough to qualify for free shipping:

Knit Picks Order

The back row is Wool of the Andes (pink) and Palette (camel). The front row is all Shadow laceweight. The purple is KP’s idea of kettle dyed and the rest are various heathers that were on sale. I already have an idea of what I’ll use all of these for, except for the purple. I’ve never used KP’s laceweight before so hopefully these won’t leave me disappointed when they’re knit up.

Spinning Friday: Red Yarn

Friday, October 9th, 2009

After finishing the sample yarns that were on my spindles and on holders, I immediately started something new. What you see here is all of the red and mostly red fiber from my pound of Wooly Cupcakes. The resulting yarn is about 125 yards.

Red Yarn

Red Yarn

Fiber: random bits taken from my pound of Wooly Cupcakes
Yarn: approximately 125 yards.
Spindle: Schacht Hi-Lo 1.1 oz
Notes: This was my return to spinning after a few months of not doing anything with my spindles. I went back to my comfort zone of the Schacht Hi-Lo and I kept the singles about 3 times fatter than the ones I had so much trouble plying on the last go round.

I also tried something new – I wound the singles first onto a TP roll, then I used my ballwinder to make a plying ball. Then I made the 2 ply on my Schacht Hi-Lo. My first thought was, “making this plying ball is kind of a pain, what’s it really going to do?”. Then when plying, “okay, it works, whatever”, but by the time I was done I hadn’t had any tangling issues and no breakage. Now the extra time to make the plying ball was seeming more worthwhile!

The other thing that was really clear to me is that having a good lazy kate setup is essential. A lot of my annoyance in trying to make the plying ball was due to improvising something to hold the TP rolls. Not that a lazy kate needs to be fancy, it just needs to do the job.

WIP Wednesday, 10/06/09

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Gee, it seems I have inadvertently become an every-other-week WIP blogger. Part of the problem is I don’t have much progress to show some weeks (though that never stopped me before) and the other part is suitable lighting to take photos is more difficult to come by.

Anyway, let’s catch up on the last two weeks:
– I’ve been spending lots of time with Blondie. She’s doing great and I’m taking advantage of the nice Fall weather as much as I can. By the end of the month the only weekday riding I’ll be able to do will be in the tiny lighted/covered arena (60×60).
– With the two vacation days I had at the end of September I found time to start spinning again. You’ve already seen some of the yarn samples I finished and I have a new one to show you tomorrow.
– The guys have been working on my horse trailer. The ramp is partway back together. Tonight they had all the wheels off and taken apart. Big time apart, I had no idea there were so many pieces of wheel bearings and chases and other things I’ve already forgotten the name of!
– I fell off the “knit only from stash” wagon and ordered a few skeins of yarn from Knit Picks. I’ll show it to you next week when it arrives.

1. Waving Lace Socks – in the home stretch! I’m halfway done with the foot of each sock.

Waving Lace Socks

2. Cupcakes – I had a request for a pink cupcake. Why stop at one? I may as well make a couple while I’m at it, maybe use up some scraps of yarn laying around here.

Cupcakes