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Archive for the ‘yarnwork’ Category

Back in March I had a semi-significant birthday.  Not an odometer year, but at least a speed limit one.  My hair, which has long since turned from the blond of my youth to a distinctly ‘ish’ (blond-ish, brown-ish, just a hint of red-dish) is now definitely streaked with silver.  Other signs (discussed earlier) have led me to declare myself a crone.

I’ve also recently begun spinning again (I’ve played around with it before, and will do so again I’m sure).  I’ve recently completed a play-with project, a skein of angora yarn from a friend’s long gone rabbit.  As expected, it’s a very wonky little bit of yarn, but it’s also super soft and I’m totally pleased with it (I hope she will be too).

skein of tifi

Within the past year, I’ve been lucky enough to be gifted with multiple spindles and tools.  This gorgeous top whorl steampunk style spindle for Christmas, and this amazing Sci-Fi Turkish are both from Snyder’s Spindles

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I also got an Etsy gift certificate for my birthday, and I chose to get a custom made Scottish spindle (from Chinese Pistacio wood) from EyeWood Creations.

Scottish

What makes this more fun for me is that I keep thinking of the three Fates from classical Greek myth, which, in my mind anyway, represent the ultimate positive (mostly?  At least partially positive) Crone energy.

Once again, I’m choosing to own it.  And spinning.  Spinning is fun.

I can even pretend to be a ‘sweet little old silver haired lady’ while knitting in public.

Go me!

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FO Friday

Just a couple of projects done recently.

The first one is an itty bitty thing.

Tawashi

It’s a pot scrubber.   The pattern is ‘two tone tawashi’ by Maryann Walsh, and it’s my first time playing with Red Heart Scrubby.  The yarn isn’t bad to work with, not as harsh on the hands as I’d thought it might be (but it’s not exactly ‘like butter’ to work with).  I think I might work up a section of a cotton dishcloth with it in the future.

The next one is the Sweet Pea Cardigan by Samantha MainSweet Pea

No, no grandkids coming yet, but Abby’s boyfriend’s sister is expecting, so I may as well get in practice.   I’d forgotten how fast and fun baby clothes are!  Gotta love the ducky buttons.

That’s it for now.   I’ve got a pair of socks on the needles, but I don’t expect them to be done in a week, so it might be a bit before the next post.

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Yes, it’s been a year and a half since I’ve posted.  A lot has happened in the mean time, and I’m not going to try to go through everything.    Just some of the major things, starting with follow up from my last post in November of 2017 –

  1. Catalist Crafts: Still there, but not getting enough love.  Joe, the husband of one of my partners, died suddenly a few months ago.  Understandably this has taken a lot of the energy out of the business.
  2. Atlantic Computing and Atomic Trivia are still going, and growing, and we really need to start the ‘next wave’ push.  Most of that falls on Steve, but I’m doing what I can.
  3. That ‘temp assignment’ turned into a full time job, which I recently lost.  I’m once again looking for temp assignments, hoping that they will turn into full time gigs (or Atlantic will grow fast enough that that can become a full time gig for both of us).  Obviously, I wasn’t able to post around it, but hey…

I’ve decided to try to give myself more structure during this job search, and blogging is going to be part of that structure.  So you’ll be hearing from me, if not regularly, at least more frequently than  once in 14 months or so…

Having said that.  Let’s do a FO Friday post!  Here are some highlights

Protest is Patriotic

As I may have mentioned before, I am an election judge.  I like to have accessories which reflect my patriotic side on the day.  I finished the Protest is Patriotic shawl (pattern by nycraft craftivist) in time for the Gubernatorial. Yes, I should have done something Maryland themed for that one, but I really like this one.

lambchop

I made an ‘old fashioned sheep toy’ (pattern by Sara Elizabeth Kellner) as a gift for my mother.  A quick knit using chunky yarn, really nice.  Dottie calls him ‘lambchop’.

I Prefer Pi

I knit the “I Prefer Pi” shawl in remembrance of MMario, a designer who I have long admired and who passed on very close in time to Joe’s death.  I used my own handspun for this one.

HIs Pewter Lair

Last (and finally) I finished “His pewter lair”, made from the His Golden Lair pattern by Koourtney Robinson.

 

I’m thinking the two shawls will go to Sheep and Wool this year.  We’ll see.

I’ll be back soon, or at least I’ll try.  We’ll see how it goes.

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Another WiP Wednesday

Have I mentioned before that my rule is not to have more than 5 WiPs going at a time?  5 project bags, 5 WiPs.  Well, I’m at 4 now, and I’m stretched a bit thin with that…  Still, it’s nice to give myself ‘permission’ to start one more project if I really have to.

1) Mont Royal Socks

Still working on (and loving) these. They’ve  been in progress for nearly two years now – no sock should ever take this long.  Believe me, it’s not an issue with the pattern or the yarn or even the combination.  I’ve just been really distracted.  Still, I’m plugging away, and looking forward to wearing them.  I’m less bothered by my choice in toes than I was.  I just haven’t decided how long to make them, and how much to increase to accommodate canckles…img_2284

2) Ex Libris

I’m not usually that bad in general.  This is my next oldest WiP, and I started it a bit more than two months ago.  Then again, it’s a small project.

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Duplicate stitch is not my strong suit, but I’m comfortable with how this is turning out.  I’m close to done here, but this one, too, keeps getting put aside for other projects.

3) Coming (Back) To America

Abby is coming home in late November.  She’s coming from Senegal, and although November in Baltimore isn’t that cold, I’m worried about the transition from equatorial Africa might be a bit much.  So I’m knitting her a sweater.  Because of the inordinate amount of time some of my recent projects have taken, I’m starting now.  Actually, I started about three weeks ago.

img_2282The pattern is Viva by Signe Strømgaard.  The yarn is Lion Brand Heartland.  I usually go for animal fibers for projects like this one (cables, warmth wanted, not being worn by a small child…) but Abby has an issue with itchiness, so I wanted to go as non reactive as possible.  It’s a stunning pattern, (though it could use tech editing) and I’m making good headway.

4) His Pewter Lair

Not that I haven’t been distracted by the next shiny.  In this case, it’s literally shiny.

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“His Golden Lair” by Kourtney Robinson has been in my Ravelry queue for a long time.  I picked up the yarn for it (Berroco Lustra in colorway 3107) in October 2015.  There’s a ‘designed in Canada’ knitalong running now, with the deadline by the end of September.

So that’s what I’ve got going now.  There have actually been a bunch of FOs since I last posted (three baby+big sister gifts which were done before the baby arrived and a needle felted notions pouch to name a few).

Wish me luck, I’ve got things to get done on time…

 

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On The Hook (or Needles) for 24 May, 2017

Mont Royal Socks

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I’ve actually been making progress on these.  As I  know I’ve said about this pattern before, even looking at the (yellow) sample project on the pattern, I’ve always known they have to be apple green.  This in-progress picture leaves me feeling completely vindicated in that.

This project has been on the needles for 1 year and 11 months (as of yesterday).  It’s spent a long time in and out of hibernation, for absolutely no reason pertaining to the pattern, or the yarn, or anything other than my own being distracted by other projects.  I enjoy it a great deal when I do work on it, and it actually knits up fairly quickly when I am working on it.

I’m a bit further along than the picture shows.  I am now at the part where I have to decide what to do about my own (too massive) cankles.  My choices are:

  1. Change to a bigger needle and start the ribbing (super shortie sock because big cankle)
  2. Change to a bigger needle and keep knitting (longer sock, hopefully not crazy tight).

Such are the trials of a big-girl knitter.  I’ll let you know what I decide and when, because I’m still rotating through other projects.

Kindle Cozy

Kindle cozy

Abby gave me a Kindle for my birthday!   I absolutely love it.  I love it so much I’m knitting it it’s very own sweater. I’m using Sharon Fuller’s “Ex Libris” pattern from “Stitching in the Stacks“.  Which means I’m (slowly) learning duplicate stitch.  I expect that I’ll be comfortable with the stitch somewhere in the middle of the typography, and it will probably show, but I don’t mind that.  It’s for me, not for a gift, so it’s OK if it looks a bit wonky.

Dolly

Standing Doll

Yes, you’re seeing that right.  At this stage in construction the doll (Wee Fairy Bluebell by Melissa Mall) stands up by herself!  I’m very impressed.

The pattern is from Inner Child Crochet.  It was one of a series of patterns I downloaded from them when I won 9 free download codes (back in 2014).  This is a reminder to myself that I should start entering blog contests again.

This particular doll will be a big sister present for my niece when my nephew is born, which will happen sooner rather than later.

And One FO

Hedgehog

This hedgehog (called Prickles, pattern by Emily Wolowiec) will be going to her younger sister on the same occasion.

This might possibly be the cutest thing I’ve ever knit.

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Featured FO

Super quick post today, as I have a job interview this afternoon.  I actually finished Aidez back in January.  I’m very pleased with how it turned out.  I’ll be looking for more patterns by Cirella Rose.

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Lots of Knitting!

Walderton

I finished the test knit of Michelle Stead’s Walderton.

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It’s a beautiful project.  I think it would have worked better with another yarn, the Neigborhood Fiber Company hand dyes are glorious, but they’re also heavily variegated, and the cabling gets lost in all the color noise, even if the texture of the main body is picked up beautifully.

The yarn is beautiful, but I was disappointed with the Rustic yarn.  It seems to have been cut (sometimes partially, others fully) into lots of segments.  My sister and friends have bought from Neighborhood Fiber Co and haven’t had any trouble at all.  Yes, I could have returned the skein, but it was a limited edition colorway*  which I had picked up over a year ago.  I didn’t discover the issue until I wound the ball, and so I decided to make do.

I probably should have stopped the project at 36 pattern repeats, which is what the pattern calls for.  At that length it hangs down in front, with the thin and thick ends layered to make a nice piece with the teeth on both sides.  As Michelle said she was curious to see it longer I kept going.  It’s a more conventional shawlette at this point, still very pretty, but not as neat.

I recommend the pattern when it comes out.

The final frustration with this project is that I seem to have mislaid my blocking wires!  I ended up just pinning it out.  I would have liked to run wires through the edges, then really pin the points out hard.  I will probably re-block this in the future when I find my kit.  In the mean time, I do like the way it turned out.

Aidez

I’ve had Aidez by Cirila Rose in my Ravelry queue for a long time.  I bought the yarn for it (Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool) almost a year ago.

Yarn Choice

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It has a delicious odor, which much be what a freshly washed sheep smells like.

I don’t know why I got it in a tweedy colorway.  Especially after my experience with Walderton I’m concerned, but it’s lighter in color and I’m pleased with the visibility of the garter stitch in my swatch.

aidez-swatch

New Tools/Toys

finishing-needle

As you can see from the above picture, I decided to leave the ends unfinished and weave them in after blocking.  I also decided to try a new tool to work them in with.  I picked up a pack of Susan Bates finishing needles.

It’s a nice design.  The super giant ‘eye’ means you don’t have to try to turn the needle when you’re weaving super short ends (like if you find you’ve inadvertently played yarn chicken while doing a long tail cast on).   I usually end up re-threading the needle after each pass in those cases, but this makes that unnecessary.

They come in a pack of five, to suit yarn from bulky (pictured) down to lace weight.  My only criticism is the material.  I would have preferred recyclable plastic.

I’ve also ordered an “experimental tool” from lesliewind on Etsy.   This is a fingering weight combination cable tool and Portuguese (Egyptian) knitting hook.  I’ve been curious about the front-yarn method for a while, and she makes absolutely beautiful stuff.  Besides, I’m always interested in beta-testing (even if I am a curmudgeon at times).

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Kate Spade giveaway.  No new giveaways entered.

file_medium2*The Windchester-Sandtowne colorway was introduced for a limited time in 2015, proceeds went to help rebuild neighborhoods damaged in the Baltimore Riot (insurrection), which took place in early May (right around the time of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival). Another reason I decided not cause a fuss, even if I was annoyed enough to post about it here – it’s a good gesture, and a good company – I know these things happen, I’m just going to whine a bit.  (back) 

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