14 July 2008


My first handspun!

I am taking a class and learning to spin on a wheel. The class was a little torturous, but I have already knit those teeny little skeins (about 35 yards total) as stripes in a hat. The hat came out a bit larger than I intended, but I fulled it a bit and like it quite a lot. (The handspun is Romney wool and the other yarn is Mostly Merino.) Now, if the hat would only dry out and the temperature drop 60 degrees, I could wear it out of the house...

3 more spinning classes to go. Can my feet take it? Will I stop getting a frigging headache while spinning? Will I end up getting sucked into buying a wheel? Stay tuned, and perhaps I will promptly update my blog again sometime this fall...

13 April 2008

Eggs and other good things

We admired our eggs this week. The little kids thought they looked like Easter eggs. I'm sure we will never go back to "regular" eggs from the grocery store.

My Rowan Calmer arrived. It is a little darker than I thought it would be, but still a nice color, for a khaki, anyway! I've dithered a bit about what to knit with it-- however, here's what I'm going with, except with long or 3/4 sleeves: "girly 1" from Rowan Studio 9. (It's the pink one in the pictures from the mag at this link.) I've actually had to take a break from knitting on it today, because I was so OCD about it yesterday that my hands feel really tired today. I'd really like to have it done before our week at the Cape at the end of June. I know that sounds like tons of time to some knitters, but I think it usually takes me at least 3 months to actually finish an entire sweater... otherwise, I'd give myself a goal like having it done before Maryland Sheep and Wool.

And now that I've made such a smooth transition-- how much do you plan ahead what you are going to buy at these big festivals? This will be my 3rd time going. The first time, I didn't find the yarn in the buildings until we were heading out (I'm not kidding!). Last year, I went with the intention of buying sock yarn that caught my eye. This year, I don't know. I feel like I've slowly been replacing my quick to knit yarns with fingering and lace weights, which, while they don't take up much room, certainly have made the amount of yardage in my possession quite scarily high. So, while I find those appealing, I want to also find some interesting worsted or chunky weight yarns this year. Any suggestions for vendors to search out? Any tried and true strategies for deciding what (and how much!) to buy?

06 April 2008

Ridunculous afghan

Hey, I did what I said I would! I finished the garter stitch afghan. It just took watching a few too many America's Next Top Model re-runs this afternoon to get it sewn up and the ends more or less woven in. I know this is probably the tackiest home decor ever, but honestly, I love how it came out-- so nice to be able to see the bits and pieces left over from earlier projects all here in one spot together. And Captain Jack didn't even need to be coaxed into position :).

30 March 2008

sweaters and garter stitch madness

Yay! I just finished the Vine Lace cardi (with a couple mods) from The Knitter's Book of Yarn this weekend. I was mostly knitting it just to use up stash, so am really pleased that I actually like the end result and find it very wearable. I am also so glad to have mostly used up my Debbie Bliss merino dk, since it is so splitty for me that I have to watch my knitting constantly even when just doing plain stockinette.

I've also got a picture here of my Salina. Sorry I am not wearing it, but it was a little too damp. This was its first real washing, but it has had a month or two of wear (and has the pills to show
for it, which is a shame since the yarn itself is just lovely for knitting and wearing -- Rowan Cashsoft). Salina is a great, easy to wear pattern, and flattering enough that I may use it as a template for other sweaters in the future.

I've finished some kids' knits here too: a rainbow cardi (own design) for my daughter made from Noro Silk Garden (stash again!). It certainly got much softer after washing.

And here we have an "old" Tomten (Mission Falls 1824 superwash) I made for my little girl two years ago that has been worn pretty constantly ever since and has grown with her just as EZ said it would. So, I have pulled out the needles and the yarn (Noro Kureyon-- from stash, go me :) ) to make her little brother one as well-- it certainly becomes clear how much knitting is in store when you lay a just cast on project next to a finished one-- yikes.

Next time, hopefully I will have a FO to show for my recent spate of garter stitch madness. I have been obsessed with using up my scraps and odds and ends since last I posted and have been making squares for an afghan holding together lots of bits and pieces and working on size 13 needles. Luckily, those hurt my wrists or the darn thing would soon be too heavy to pick up.
But, boy, does this churn through all those little bits one never knows how to use and I find it really interesting to see how the different yarns change the appearance of the whole. And you can see that Captain appreciates their squishiness and was a great help in figuring out the layout.

I've also got some Rowan Calmer shipping my direction. Anyone have any recommendations for a summer cardigan? I have only knit one summery thing EVER and want to begin to fix that situation...

27 January 2008

My first ever FO

I saw at The nerd and the needles a photo of her first knitted sweater (wow!) in response to a challenge on Petunia's blog.

I still have my first ever knitted object and took a snapshot today. I made it probably 19 or 20 years ago when I lived in Chicago and was never warm enough all winter. All my bought scarves were skimpy, useless things and I decided to learn to knit so I could make a scarf big enough to wrap around my head and face, just as in the photo. I wore it all the time in those Chicago winters, tucked under the hood of my ankle-length coat. Here in New Jersey, I only need to wear it maybe once or twice a year. It's warmer here and I have a car, so am not constantly out walking or waiting for the bus.

I lucked out with this as a first project, I think. It's 100% alpaca and warm and soft. I ordered it from Pueblo to People (anybody else remember them fondly?) as I didn't know of anywhere else to buy yarn! How lucky was I to begin my knitting journey with yummy, soft, and warm natural fiber... Although if someone had warned me how obsessed I would become, I like to believe I would have thought twice :).

24 January 2008

16 pairs for 16 years

The bag o' socks has become a basket o' socks (and 1 pair of mittens because I just could not make myself knit another pair of socks). This was a pretty good idea for an anniversary present, if I do say so myself, although I personally don't think I can repeat this feat, even cheating with so many sport-weight socks in the bunch! Thanks to my patient husband for letting me take pictures before he wore the items and thanks to Captain Jack and M for "assisting", both of whose socks you will spy in the pictures below.

M showing you his dinosaur socks

Laila's Socks from Folk Knitting in Estonia
modified for 8 stitch repeat
Opal 6-ply in blue and gold

D-zined 55% wool/ 45% hemp

Dead Calm socks with twisted stitches
Ellen's Halfpint Farm 100% merino
the camera really washed out the depth of the colors, but this is beautiful yarn

Cabled Socks
Dream in Color Smooshy "Dusky Aurora"
gorgeous, subtle color variation

Hideous Socks (With a Cute Kitty to Keep You From Feeling Nauseous)
stitch pattern #107 from Japanese "250 Knitting Patterns"
Socks That Rock Heavyweight in Thistle (ha-ha)

K3 P1 rib socks
Misty Mountain Farm superwash merino

top-down cable and rib socks
Nature's Palette Odd Duck #4

toe-up socks with garter heel
Socks that Rock Heavyweight in Beryl

Gentleman's Fancy Sock from "Knitting Vintage Socks"
Online Supersocke 100 Sierra

K3P2 rib
Socks that Rock Heavyweight in Ruby Slippers

Priscilla's Dream Socks from "Favorite Socks"
Morehouse Merino 2-ply and local alpaca stripes
Braid-Relation Mittens
Dale Heilo

cuff-down heel-flap socks
Mirasol Hacho shade 305 (2.1 skeins)

generic toe-up socks
6-ply Opal in black and melon

generic socks
Online Supersocke 100 Tropic Color

And, if anyone is keeping track, somehow I missed taking a photo of:

Ribbed Lace Socks from "Sensational Knitted Socks"
Socks that Rock Mediumweight Smoky Topaz

01 January 2008

Favorite Thing on the First

In an effort to write a little more frequently here-- I introduce my favorite thing on the first for January, 2008...

The book "Small Sweaters" by Takle and Kolstad. I have yet to knit anything large from the book, only mittens, but lust after the luscious and intricate colorwork. Maybe this will be the year in which I knit the squirrel sweater or am inspired to spend the time on an all-over stranded knitting project of my own design?

Happy New Year!