Monthly Archives: February 2011

SooooockDATE!

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This post will almost–but not exculsively–be about socks that I’ve finished or am working on at the moment. There’s some nonsock stuff in here, but, well, I’ve mostly been on socks for now.

Firstly, Mroo got her gift–and so I can finally share my finished photos of the Battlestar Galatica Socks! (or as she calls them–BattleSOCK Galatica)

I went with Dream in Colours Starry yarn, primarily because I know Mroo isn’t a fan of the blue and I wanted something that at least pretended to look star like. These socks weren’t necessarily difficult, but they did take forever because they do require you to look at them–and I didn’t actually have the viper pilots down the center memorized until two repeats from the end.

We also have clown car socks!

These are for my boyfriend–his feet really will fit these socks perfectly. He has huge feet. The yarn is Plymouth Happy Feet, and I think it’s alright; I’ll see how it wears. It felt like it would wear well while I was knitting it. The colour reminds me of a veggie garden. The good thing about his feet being so big is that the yarn never really pooled ever.

Next is the first half of my handspun socks

This is the Navajo-plied stuff, and it made lovely stripes when I knit it. I’m not expecting the heel or toe to well wear–it was Madelintosh single ply, which has the wear properties of tissue–but I also suspect these will be more house socks. Yes, I’ve worn it a few days already, explaining the fuzz.

Then we have an update on my Nain sock from Silk Road Socks

I definitely should have knit the whole thing on 1.75mms (00s) instead of the 1.5mm I started with. The cuff is almost too tight/small to get over my heel. Live and learn; the match will be knit entirely with the 1.75mm set. So far I still love the pattern, though I wish my yarn would look a bit bette in indoor photography. (I guess I am asking for imaginary great lighting)

Have you noticed how I’m working my way towards ‘not sock’ ? Next is a pair of socks I’m knitting a friend with Knit Picks Felici Sport:

This is the now vanished Stone colourway–I snagged it when they did their clearance sale in preparation for the new colours. This should fit him comfortably, since his foot is only marginally larger than mine and wool is stretchy. I’m tempted to keep them since they’re fitting so well and knit him something out of my blue jacquard print Patons.

Then we have Senneh, the smallest of the sock-in-progresses:

This is another Silk Road Socks sock. I adore the little cable panel that runs down one side of the leg, and then crosses over the top of the foot after the gusset. It’s just complicated enough right now that I can have something interesting after three sections of 2×2 ribbing. The yarn is Gaia’s Colours–she’s closing up shop, and I felt a great need to knit something with her yarn as a result. I’ll miss her wonderful work, but it’s also good she’s taking care of herself.

We come on our journey to the fledgling state of all socks–yarn:

The green is a bit of the natural (multi-hued) BFL that I bought in order to make myself a sweater. I’ve settled on a sweater, and even have a colour idea in mind. This little bit is to see how the yarn would look when dyed and then spun; I don’t think it’s terrible.

The second is just a small batch of some random handspun that I’m spinning to get my hands used to long-draw on the wheel. I need the practice, as both the vest and sweater I plan on spinning for will require the most yardage for my buck. (I am also entirely fond of the halo that forms from long draw). I forsee the vest coming into being sooner–vests won’t be useless when I finally get it done, and on top of that, I would like a slightly thicker yarn. I think once my hands are entirely used to long draw, getting thinner will not be the issue.

Two more quick things, both of the hat variety.

My mother’s birthday present, a hat:

The brim is a thick-n-thin; you may recognize it as the first yarn to come off of Quincy after he arrived. The not-brim (what do you CALL that bit?) is Quince & Co Puffin. It’s a lovely bulky weight single, and I love it, and it has won itself the honour of my new default hat yarn when I go looking for some. Only after knitting the hat did I realize that I used yarn made on QUINCy with yarn from QUINCe & Co. I like that.

The big button is imperative to the design, and made me wish I had a hat like this.

And my chullo. Aren’t the alpaca cute? For a random pick of colours from the stash, I am extraordinarily pleased with my first real foray into colour matching for a garment. I’m basically in the home stretch now, as the smaller bands are very short (6 rounds) and after that is the crown and done. Then I just need an applied I-cord edge, some braids, some pompoms…

Ok, so not the home stretch.

Clearly I’ve been hard at work knitting… just not on one thing. Ops. I’ll get right on that, just after I cast on one more thing.

For those wondering about some objects that haven’t been seen… the fern glad hat is sitting on my coffee table, unfinished. The lace stole I’ve been working on is sitting next to its pattern, untouched. The match to my Snowflake mitts for Mroo is unstarted. I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t think of them all. There’s just so much time in the day, and most of mine is going towards being my last semester in university.

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The New Guest

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I say guest but I don’t mean it.

For a (very) belated birthday present to myself, I ordered one of Gripping Yarn’s Russian supported spindles.  After some hemming and hawing, I picked out Kingwood as my wood of choice–I was a bit sold on the slight purple in the samples I saw online, though in all honesty the brown is predominant. I do love darkwoods quite a lot.

It arrived yesterday with a puff of merino inside. (I really should take box opening photos) I spent the hour before dinner playing with it, figuring out how best to use it (if you’re looking for help, might I suggest you look at this post by Fleegle? She does it long draw; Lisa Chan of Gripping Yarn also has a video on the webpage linked above, and is short draw as possible).

Quite satisfied and not sated at all, I turned my attention to my plastic tote–where about an ounce, maybe less, of the excellent Hollywood Hills alpaca is currently stored. I’m getting quite comfortable with it, and am starting to spin a bit finer and a bit finer–the shawl lace I want to spin with Vaquero is looking not so out of reach… though I’ll probably need to make sure on the rest of Ralampago. You know. Just to check.

Oh, you want pictures?

Remember to click to embiggen. The first one is here only because I love how the wood glows in the early morning sunlight. The rest, I think, can stand without words.

Isn’t he a beaut?

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If you are at all considering a Russian spindle (or any supported spindle that doesn’t have a whorl), and still debating who to order from, I cannot recommend Lisa enough. She is polite, friendly, and clear–an utter pleasure to work with. Understand there is a touch of wait–all of these are custom made at time of order. I only waited two weeks for mine, and she does let you know where in line you are when you place the order and when she’ll invoice you. For the beautiful piece of art you’ll be getting, her prices are beyond reasonable–I was expecting to pay much more. (And personally, I find the shape of her spindles to be the most appealing to me)

Round Up

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Thanks to everyone who recommended podcasts; I’ve gotten at least one episode of all of them, and am (very) slowly working my way through them. You guys have excellent taste! If you have a suggestion that wasn’t mentioned in the comments on the last post, please, feel free to tell me.

In other news, I have mostly roundup materials today.  I figured I should post a few Sticks N Strings things I forgot, as well as other miscellanies.

Magnet of cute:

Everyone won a door prize in round 1 on Saturday, and mine is this quite pretty book full of lovely stuffed critters:

I’m not entirely sure what I’ll make out of it (these are much more classic and tame than my preferred knitted toy), but it’s a beautiful book, and some of the toys are swank.

The yarn that was dyed and placed in the goody bag was from Dreams In Fiber, as I mentioned. Sadly, I can’t photograph blues in the best of times, let alone poor light, so don’t judge it too harshly:

It’s fingering weight, and I could see it making a lovely pair of Silk Road Socks.

My Bug Snugger fiber arrived that I had asked to be reserved for me, and it’s just as lovely here. It’s slightly lighter and the sheen is super high on this. I am not ashamed to admit that I just sat it on my lap and pet it for a while before I realized I should put it away.

The colourway is Storm, but it reminds me of lunar moths. Which I’ve said a zillion times. It’s 4.1 ounces and 50/50 merino/tencel.

In other fiber news, I got some lovely alpaca and alpaca-merino blends from Roving Acres , adding another four natural colours to my eventual Andean inspired hat.

2 ounces of each, as I don’t see needing much more and that helped keep my costs for being ginormous. I could have bought all the Red Velvet cake though… (the upper left has a very subtle red to the brown, and is amazing and I love it shutup)  Also, I love their business cards, though I’m a dumdum and didn’t look at them until after I did photo day.

And I have a lazy kate!

The rods come out and go inside, and the whole thing folds up for easy travel. The back and front rods are for support and keeping it from bumping the wall, respectively. It made n-plying much easier; in fact, after n-plying on Quincy for a bit, I think I’ve got the hang of it, as I’ve been n-plying on the fly on the newest spindle in the house, and it’s actually pretty fun.  In any case, having the kate means I’m in the midst of performing an experiment to see how n-plying vs. true 3 ply affects final yarn appearance. It also means I can start spinning for my eventual awesome sweater.

And last, but not least, some photos of the swatches for the Perfect Vest that I’m creating the pattern for.

The left one is the second swatch, where I got the diamond looking the way I want. I think it’s kind of obvious my butterfly suffered a critical failure; I’m working on fixing it. Of course, if there is a plain row between each pattern that changes everything, but I suspect not, as the original is fairly complex and doesn’t seem it would shy from such skills.  These swatches are why I’m pretty sure I want a round, soft DK weight yarn for the vest.

Anyway, since I did find my battery charger, I’ll be bringing you another post at some point (next week most likely). Take care all!

 

(i still haven’t finished a project in so long ggaaaaaahggh)

Sticks n Strings

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I will admit I’ve never really been a camera person, which I’m sure is hard to tell from the blog. When I go to an event, I just never think to actually, you know, take the camera with me. I don’t really mind, as I’m there to enjoy everyone’s company, not to point a camera at everything. Photography, despite a brief interest my sophmore year of college, just isn’t for me. (It does make good yarn record keeping) Some people really dig taking pictures and it doesn’t detract from anything for them to take the camera with, so I’ll leave the event photo taking to them.

Have my souvenirs from the event:

Friday night was vendor’s night, and it was quite fun. It was nice to meet more local vendors from around the area, and I was quite happy to at least see what they offered, even if I wasn’t able to buy anything. I was, however, happy to see Hollywood Hills Boutique and pick up a certain box of Vaquero I had bought ages ago before it was in box form.

This is very likely to become a gossamer (or as close as I can get) 2-ply lace with intent to turn into some magnificent lace shawl of huge proportions. At present, it’s either the Queen Susan shawl or the Snow Falling on Cedars shawl.

Janette of Fae Ridge was beyond wonderful, and insisted I take some fiber even though I did not have my checkbook that night; I paid her first thing in the morning. She had several lovely blends from the animals on her farm, and was a brilliant woman. Dozens of spindles, lovely yarns, and fiber. I ended up getting 16 ounces of ‘Paprika.’ (All her blends are limited runs, since once they are gone they are gone, and difficult if not impossible to reproduce).

It was the spun sample she had that really swayed me to it instead of the ‘peacock’ blend. I’m planning on a v-neck vest, a modified form of this beauty:

which I’ve been reverse engineering the pattern for since ordering the amazon.jp is nearly impossible for me (even with google translate). It’s a fun challenge, and I’ve got the diamond pattern where I want it; it’s just the butterfly I’m working out now. The original is in worsted weight, though I’ve been contemplating something in DK, since all my samples have been knit in similar so far.

And, not pictured, I reserved a pretty braid of fiber from Bug Snugger and paid for it Monday. It should be here soon, I do hope.

We also got the goody bags on Friday after signing in, which has now become my default small project and don’t need laptop for class bag.

The spindle is a gift from DiscKnits, who decided spinning was not for her (alas). She also gave me fiber and an ashford spindle; forgot to photograph those! There were three soak sample packets, stitch markers, magnets (not pictured), buttons of a black sheep and one of a white sheep (not pictured), the button on the front of the bag, a notions case (which is quite cute and possibly a future stitch marker repository), a snag picker (the blue thing with the space ship plastic on top)(this thing is the best for colourwork end weaving), a pair of puppy snips (the little blue thing next to the snag picker, scissors with a puppy face, very useful), and two more things. Jeez they got a lot in there!

The blanket everything was photoed on was also in there, with the above cute detail in one corner. It’s the new computer chair blanket.

And a coffee mug:

which comfortably holds three cups of coffee.

I forgot to photograph the Dreams in Fiber yarn we got, which is a lovely blue sock yarn. Not sure what I’ll knit with it yet, but likely another set of socks from Silk Road Socks.

And lest I forget, the cutest m and ms which I’ve nearly eaten all of:

Saturday was bingo–we all went around with our cards and had other people sign them based off what they had done. It was really quite fun, and made it really easy to go up and talk to everyone else for the rest of the weekend. There was, naturally, lots of snacks, knitting, eating, and spinning. I was, by far, not the only spinner, and it almost made me regret not bringing Quincy. As not bringing him means I have not wasted all the fiber from Fae Ridge before I realized how perfect it was for my dream vest, this is good. There were also door prizes of various sorts.

I taught the drop spindle class later in the afternoon, which was wonderfully fun. Everyone seemed like they were enjoying themselves, and it felt very relaxed. There was more than enough time to show everyone how to do things, go around and tweak how they were holding fiber/spindle/ect, and also get them to create a two-ply using the handy-plying method. Everyone had yarn when it was over. 🙂

Then dinner and home again–I had been planning on staying the night with EssJay, but a friend showed up I had not seen and so I went home to drink and party with them and some other mutual friends. Back again in the morning on Sunday!

Sunday was also fairly relaxed. We had a wonderful yoga session in the morning, which really makes me want to go to her session for knitters she’ll be hosting in February. There was a lunch at Wendy’s (and then rushing back when realizing we had stayed a bit too long), and then a final spindle class in the afternoon just before we went home.

I actually felt a bit fibered out by the end of the weekend, and was planning on napping when I got home. It’s part of why it’s taken so long to get back on this; it was all so fun, and it’s over now. So much of this sounds so impersonal, and it’s difficult to really convey all the little moments that made this event truly wonderful.

Seeing what everyone was making was equally inspiring, and then I saw a woman making a chullo hat. One with a pattern that I actually liked. Some inquiries, and I discovered it was an old KnitPicks pattern. I ended up having to call KnitPicks directly (they ran the pattern in 2008), and they sent me a pdf copy–huzzah! Since I really need to test this before I knit it with all that handspun alpaca, clearly this meant digging around my stash of 2-ply fingering weight yarns and coming up with this colourful monstrosity:

I don’t care if you don’t like it, because it’s not for you. It’s for me. And it’s so amazing fun and I think it’s coming out surprisingly pretty considering I’m literally picking colours as I go. All the colours that you see are my final colours for this hat. Don’t worry, the alpaca one will be much more… mute. Natural colours do that. 😛

(No, I haven’t forgot all my other projects. Yes, I will show them to you. Yes, I am still working on Mroo’s gift. Yes, I know I need to finish something so I can update that really pathetic knitmeter in the corner)