FO: Easy Stripey Gauntlets

Pattern: Easy Stripey Gauntlets, included in a kit by Kama Suutra Fiber Arts

Yarn: Kama Suutra Fiber Arts Skinny Stripes in the Lipstick & Leather colorway, approximately 53 grams (I’d love to tell you yardage, but it’s not listed)

Timeline: 5.15.14 – 11.9.14

Needles: US size 2 bamboo circulars, 120 cm long

Size: Sm/M, elbow length

My Modifications: Not many – I followed the pattern for the most part. I think I made the thumb hole a bit smaller than the pattern said as I felt it was pretty big. I edited a few parts in the pattern to make more sense to me, but as it came in a kit, I don’t think it makes much sense to tell you what I did.

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Opinions: I bought this yarn four years ago at the WEBS tent sale – she was a vendor in the parking lot. Four years ago, I totally intended to wear these, but learning how to Magic Loop was intimidating. I finally got around to starting them and realized they’d be much better for someone else, so off they’ve gone.

The yarn is quirky. I don’t quite know how to describe it – it’s almost like it’s got elastic in it and it’s a bit kinked, but it’s 100% superwash merino. It was enjoyable to work with, and I have enough left over to make a few pairs of mitts, which I’ll probably do. The dye job is quite nice, as well, and I don’t remember any significant bleeding.

This is the pattern I taught myself to Magic Loop on, and while it’s not the first project I finished, it remains the first, warts and all. I’m very glad to have added this tool to my toolbox and I use it frequently. I liked having everything in the kit, as well. I will definitely keep an eye out for more of her yarns.

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FO: Thank God it’s Sock Day

Pattern: Thank God it’s Sock Day (clues downloaded individually), Ravelry-only

Yarn: Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in the colorway Waterlilies, approximately 51 grams/219.3 yards

Timeline: 5.7.14 – 10.9.14

Needles: US size 0 aluminum DPNs, 5 total

Size: 64 stitches

My Modifications: I used the Twisted German Cast-On over two needles to make sure they were loose enough to fit my calves. When I got to the heel flap, I knit one row plain to get me to the WS. If I knit this pattern again, I would start with the RS for the heel flap. I also misread the toe decreases, so I ended up with  32 stitches – they’re a bit short, but wearable.

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Opinions: I won this yarn in a contest, and wanted to try some more complicated socks. I think I should have let the yarn do the talking, though. I wish now I had made the larger size, as these are so stretched-out on my calves I don’t think they look very good. They are definitely wearable, but I don’t think it was the best yarn/pattern match, and that’s my own fault. The pattern is easy enough to follow, and all mistakes made were my own. I appreciated that it was free, and I would consider using it again with everything I know now.

Posted in ravelry only, socks | Leave a comment

The Llama Tamer

You know what throws a cramp in your already-sporadic blog posting style? Moving. Seriously. I have actually finished four projects and one yarn since I’ve moved and I have blogged about exactly one of them. Sometimes I think I should just be crazy and try a quick video podcast, but then I think about how it would be 10 seconds long because normally nothing gets done from week to week, and that would be a pretty boring podcast.

Anyway, case in point is that this picture is from September 5th, and I’m just now posting it. Holding these llamas led to my learning about the spinning guild, and this is also the least-flattering picture of me in the history of pictures of me that I post outside of Facebook.

thellamatamer

 

Also, I’m not going to lie, the lady thrust the leashes at me and said “hold them” and I was afraid one of them was going to bite me or something. That smile is actually thinly-veiled fear. It’s probably a good thing I just have cats.

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FO: Lilacs for Lila

Pattern: Lilacs for Lila by KnittedBliss (Ravelry download only)

Yarn: Ella Rae Cozy Soft Solids in the colorway 31, approximately 42 grams/89.5 yards

Timeline: 7.16.14 – 9.21.14

Needles: US size 1 Addi Turbo circulars

Size: 6-9 months

My Modifications: Well, I just looooove knitting loosely, so I had to go down 3 needle sizes to get gauge … ugh. I stuck to the pattern, but I misread the sizing once I got to the eyelet rib portion, so that’s a bit longer than it should be. I also made the I-cord with 5 stitches, which makes it a bit more difficult to tie, but I felt it would be sturdier in the long run.

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Opinions: Yes, I had sworn off baby knitting. But when a family member is having the baby, sometimes you just have to suck it up, especially when they specifically ask for a baby hat. This was an enjoyable knit, but the reason it took so long is that I realized I had made it about an inch longer than it was supposed to be, so it languished on the needles — and then I moved. The hat was finished after the baby was born, but that’s why I made it a larger size. Mom loves it, baby looks cute in it, and I have enough yarn left over to make another one — if and only if it’s another family member.

This was my first time making I-cord, so that was interesting. I feel like I don’t quite have the hang of it yet, so it’s a bit loose in the back, but I’m sure I’ll get there. What a pain having to sew the ties on, though.

Also, it is really difficult trying to hold up a teddy bear while trying to take a picture in your awful bathroom light, just fyi.

Posted in finished objects, hats, ravelry only | 2 Comments

StormCoast’s Blue Period

In case you hadn’t figured out yesterday’s brainteaser, I’m going to spell it out for you a la Lady Greenskeins.

What is it with me and blue sock yarn? If the 3/4 examples yesterday didn’t do it for you, may I present:

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Jojoland Melody Superwash, 9/10.

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Colinette Jitterbug, 7/10. (I actually have made socks out of these, in my defense.)

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Dream in Color Smooshy, 3/09.

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Ellyn Cooper’s Yarn Sonnets Fine Merino, 9/10.

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Fiber Stash Twinkle Toes (in the colorway StormCoast, yee!) 10/13

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The Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors Sock Yarn, 10/11

 

I’m not saying I have a problem, but … I have a problem.

 

Posted in stash | 2 Comments

One Of These Things

Is not like the others.

happyfeetPlymouth Happy Feet in the colorway 21 (what a name, eh?)

abalone

 

Unwind Yarn Company Journey Sock in Abalone

merryfallmas

 

Unwind Yarn Company Journey Sock in Merry Fallmas

ladyofthelake

Voolenvine Yarns Lush Fingering in Lady of the Lake

 

Didja figure it out?

 

 

Posted in stash, yarn | Leave a comment

Sharing Your Skill

I am posting all out-of-order on everything! I have a bad feeling some of the older things will get completely forgotten about and I won’t blog them. Man, moving really messes with your brain!

I did want to share a quick picture I took almost a month ago. I was lucky enough to make a friend almost immediately. While we have several common interests, fiber craft is really our primary shared interest: she crochets, and I  … spend a lot of money on just about everything fiber-related! She had mentioned she wanted to learn how to spin before we met in person, so I sat her down with my Ashford beginner spindle and taught her the basics.

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As you might already know, I’m not a great teacher. I’m a much better student. But I managed well enough for her to make what you see above, which is about 30x better than my first attempts. After she finished that, I sent her home with another braid so she could practice some more.

Obviously, she is already talking about getting a wheel, and she bought some fiber at the last yarn store she went to, so I have totally created a monster I mean, shared my skill & love of the craft.

Have you ever taught someone how to knit/spin/crochet/weave/felt/whatever? How did it go? Are you still friends? :-)

Posted in conversation starter | 2 Comments

A Change of Scenery

Hey, blog! Long time no see. You’d think something major had happened in my life, like my husband getting transferred and us uprooting our life in Vermont and moving to New Hampshire in the span of three weeks or something. Oh, wait.

I am, of course, super-behind on posts, including the shawl I finished! I taught someone how to spin! My lack of a craft room! And probably something else that I’m forgetting. But I did randomly learn about a local spinning group two days before their meeting, so that’s what I did today. I didn’t tell them I blogged, and I didn’t tell them I’d be blogging about them, so you get no names, faces or details. Instead, have a pic of the partial setup (sorry it’s so dark).

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We were the cool corner, where almost no one sat. In case you can’t really see my view, here, have this:

youknowyoujealous

You know you jealous.

Posted in spinning | 4 Comments

FY: Bay Breeze

Tool: Ashford Kiwi 2

Ratio: Spun at & plied at 7.25.

Plies: 2 (spun Z, plied S)

Fiber Content: merino/silk (the label did not specify percentages)

Timeline:7.10.14-7.25.14

Yardage: 312 yards

Weight: 124 grams

WPI: 12

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Opinions: This was some Cozy Rabbit Farm merino/silk that I bought at last year’s VT Sheep & Wool. Since I’d had such a tough time spinning merino/Tencel, I decided to be crazy and learn a new technique: spinning from the fold. I also spun reaaaaalllly slooooowwwwwly. It’s not my favorite technique as my joins need work, and I hate how you have to draft out the end of your little bit of fiber anyway, but I’m glad to have learned it and I think it did this fiber justice.

This was so pretty as singles that I almost didn’t ply it. By the way, plying it was a pain in the you-know-what. My singles were SO energized (I put that twist in, oh yeah!) that they were constantly tangling up on each other. It really toned down the colors, but it also made it this beautiful almost semi-solid, and I’m very curious to see how it knits up. Must. Resist. Casting. On.

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Random Thoughts: Silk, why you no draft nice? I guess silk slubs can be considered a design feature, yes? It’s funny how much I love this yarn, especially compared to the merino/Tencel, which is very similar in terms of sheen. I guess the actual spinning really can affect your opinion of your work!

Also, though I haven’t talked about it, this was one of my Tour de Fleece spins. I set a goal of 6 ounces, which I met. (The other two ounces were the Devon and Jacob samples.) I am very pleased, since I challenged myself and learned a new technique. It’s about quality, not quantity!

Posted in finished yarns, tdf | 2 Comments

Fiber Study: Jacob

Fiber: approximately 1 oz Jacob from Woolgatherings

Prep: Combed top

Breed notes: According to TKBOW, Jacob is an old breed that is likely originally from North Africa and Spain. (Internet research tells me it’s a primitive breed.) The coat is speckled, and can either be separated by color or blended together. It has a staple length of 4-7 inches and a fineness of 27-25 microns. It is suggested for outerwear, as it’s not very soft.

My prep: I split the fiber down the middle and pre-drafted.

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Spinning deets: spun the singles worsted at a 5.5/Z and plied at a 7.25/S. Made a 2-ply from a center-pull ball to maximize yardage. The yarn is 61 yards/29 grams and is approximately 12 WPI.

Finishing: A warm-to-hot soak with some Eucalan and a few drops of tea tree and lavender oil. Hung to dry.

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My notes: I was anticipating a rough spin, but it was softer than I expected. It was very easy to draft, and the fibers didn’t stick together much. My singles were a bit hairy, but overall pretty smooth. I did note that it seemed like a short staple length, but I experienced no breakage when spinning the singles or turning it into a center-pull ball. There were some weak spots when plying, however. Some shorter hairs came out when plying, but it was much less messy than the Herdwick!

The verdict: I can see why people like Jacob. My fiber had been blended together, so it made an intriguing color when it was all spun up. It wasn’t the softest spin ever, but it was softer than the Herdwick! I would definitely be willing to spin this again. I give it 4/5 sheep.

Posted in fiber studies, tdf | 2 Comments