Friday, May 30, 2014

FO Friday 5/30/14

First I want to say how excited I am with the new banner and wallpaper on the blog. Jess you are amazing!

Tuesday was an exhausting day for me on the work front.  By the time I got home, a severe thunderstorm was rolling in and I just wanted to watch some Gossip Girl on Netflix and finish my Van Gogh socks.  It's funny, when I cast on the 2nd sock I wasn't trying to match this pair up.  Normally I make my socks all matchy-matchy if there is any sort of striping involved.  For this pair I figured I would just go with the flow, cast on where I left off on the first sock.  I think fate knew I would regret that decision later.  It just so happened that where I ended the first sock was just a row or two off from the color I started the first sock with. socks are accidentally almost identical.

Jess's Van Gogh-geous socks Opal Van Gogh-Cafe at Night
This week I only have a few tiny FOs to share.  A woman in Hufflepuff lost her infant daughter so we are making blanket squares that she and a few others will seam together and donate.  One of the squares is based on the log cabin blanket design, the other two with the hearts I designed myself.  

All of the squares were made with Pound of Love yarn and measure 5" square.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WIPs Wednesday 5/28

Besides my sock yarn blanket, I have two WIPs on the needles.  I am still working on my Dr. Who scarf.  Another few stripes done. I cannot believe how long it is getting!

I have also been working on my Winter Twilight Mitts. The colorwork is slow going, but I haven't had to rip it out since the last time.  I bought some great magnets from Slipped Stitch Studios which helps me to keep track of which row I am on.  

I keep trying on my mitts every row or so to make sure that they are not too tight. I even had a friend try them on too. They are definitely more snug than other mitts I have made, but if the floats are too loose you end up with ladders.  I am assuming that I could soak and block will help them even out a bit in the end.  

I just kitchenered the toe of my 2nd Van Gogh sock, so I will be sharing them on Friday.  That leaves my Adrift as the only WIP on the needles.  I haven't made much progress since last week, but I did knit on it yesterday morning.  I am so close to the sleeves and am hoping to be starting them by the weekend.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tips Tuesday 5/27/2014 - Anniversary Gifts for Knitters

As my 8th wedding anniversary approaches it has me thinking of gifts that meet the traditions.  Each year I look at the traditional and modern ideas list and try to get something for my husband.  Many years I have made his gift based on the themes. For the 5th wedding anniversary, I stained a wooden frame and put our wedding picture in it. Last year the traditional gift is wool. Can you believe that, wool?! I made sure the hubby knew that and he got me two skeins of Wollmeise!  There are many years in which the gifts match up with our fiber habits so we thought we would make a list to share.  We are not sponsored by any of the ideas, but our just sharing some items that we like as gifts.  

1st Anniversary
Traditional: Paper Modern: Clocks
This would be a good opportunity to give your knitter a pattern book that she has been coveting. Maybe she wants the Rhinebeck Sweater book.  Or one of the humor books written by the Yarn Harlot.  

2nd Anniversary
Traditional: Cotton Modern: China
This works perfectly for knitters.  Give her a nice skein of cotton yarn, or a braid of cotton fiber.  Get a project bag to store projects in made of cotton.  

3rd Anniversary
Traditional: Leather Modern: Crystal or Glass
Leather seems a little trickier, but Namaste cases for needles or notions would fit the bill!  Glass knitting needles, or shawl pins would be a great gift that goes along with the modern theme.  I do have a set of needles from the link that I got at Rhinebeck in 2012.  The best part about the needles is that they have a lifetime warranty on them for any damage whatsoever.  Athena chomped my needle cable in an instant one day. I mailed the needles back to the Ernsts and for a small fee to cover shipping my needles were fixed and returned to me, good as new.  

4th Anniversary
Traditional: Fruit/Flowers Modern: Appliances
This one is trickier, so maybe an electric yarn ball winder?  I have never used one, but I think it would make winding go a lot quicker. 

5th Anniversary
Traditional: Wood Modern: Silverware
For wood you can go with a couple different ideas.  I have a set of beautiful wooden sock blockers that I got from the Loopy Ewe.  Wooden needles are also a good choice, maybe a set with fun clay animals on the end.  If she is a spinner, you could get her a spindle, a wooden niddy noddy to wind her handspun, or more bobbins for her wheel.  

6th Anniversary
Traditional: Candy/Iron Modern: Wood
I always like candy.  You could get candy theme stitch markers like these or these. Iron rusts so it would not be good for stitch markers or needles.  See wood ideas from the 5th anniversary.  

7th Anniversary
Traditional: Wool/Copper Modern: Desksets
I think this is my favorite anniversary, too bad it only comes around once.  My hubby had heard me talk about Wollmeise and assumed I never bought it for myself because of the price, he didn't realize how hard it is to find.  He did find the skeins on ebay after discovering the online shops that carry the yarn did not have any in stock.  Another good place to look is for people destashing on Ravelry.  There are many wool yarns and fibers that would make a great gift.  Malabrigo and Madeline Tosh both come to mind.  There are wonderful indie dyers as well that you can find on etsy.  One of my favorites is The Cyborg's Craft Room.

8th Anniversary
Traditional: Pottery/Bronze Modern: Linens/Lace
For pottery, I would go with a lovely yarn bowl.  Not only are they functional, I think they look quite nice on a table. You can do a play on words and get her some lace weight yarn, or some needles that are made for knitting lace (nice and pointy). 

9th Anniversary
Traditional: Willow/Pottery Modern: Leather
I really have no idea what to do for Willow. I  have no idea what I would give a non-knitter that is made of willow.  Pottery ideas from 8th anniversary and leather ideas from the third.

10th Anniversary
Traditional: Tin/Aluminium Modern: Diamond Jewelry
Tin or aluminum would be good for stitch markers and shawl pins.  Diamonds would also add some sparkle to your knitting :-P  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Modular Monday 5/26/14

I've been working hard on my sock yarn blanket this week.  I managed to knit 21 squares so far which brings my total to 88!  Now I am at the point in my BROOM mission where I can knit a square a day in order to submit my mission on time for the House Cup.  

Jess's Sock Yarn Blanket
I have received so many mini skeins from various Ravelry friends and Instagram friends.  Thank you all so much for being a part of my blanket <3

I have also been working on my blanket. I just finished the 20th square of the month last night.  I also received a big bag of mini-skeins from a Ravelry friend, and there are even more on the way. It is so fun to have a blanket filled with yarn from so many people.
Jen's blanket
I am up to 143 squares.  I am starting to work on my blanket across each row, instead of randomly picking a spot and each column has at least 5 squares. 
How are your modular projects going? We only have 5 more days to enter our contest in our Ravelry group. Don't forget to vote on our Tour de Fleece poll as well.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spunday 5/25/14

Tour de Fleece is coming up and I wanted to clear my spindle to get ready.  Back in March I started spinning my Knitting Knorth Polwarth.  Jen was letting me use her Bosworth mini and when we went to MDSW I got myself my own Bosworth midi to finish it off.  Yesterday, I woke up way too early for a 3 day weekend.  Rather than going back to sleep, I got my housework done and felt like spinning for a bit before heading off to a picnic.  A couple of hours later, I finished the braid. 

Knitting Knorth Polwarth-22713
I still need to ply it before it's 100% finished, but I am already trying to decide what fiber to spin next.  Right now I am torn between 3 different braids in my stash.  The contenders? 

Shadawyn Fiber Arts-Merino/Silk-Severus Snape

Moonrover Merino/Nylon-Muted Rainbow

Into the Whirled Corriedale-Blink
Which do you think I should spin next?

I think you should spin the Into the Whirled, or the Snape fiber!  I haven't spun at all this week. I keep thinking I will attempt my punis from Gourmet Stash, but the truth is  is that I am still intimidated by them. I think that Tour de Fleece will definitely get me spinning things that scare me.  

Friday, May 23, 2014

FO Friday 5/23/14

The deadline for the preemie hats going to our local hospital is creeping up on me. Before Jen delivers them to the hospital I wanted to knit a couple more.  This week I knit 2 preemie hats and gave them to Jen last night.  Whenever I make preemie hats, I use fingering weight yarn and follow this pattern.  Sometimes I knit the i-cord at the top, sometimes I leave it alone and just close the top.  After I knit the pink striped hat I wanted to do something a little different.  For the blue striped hat I slipped every other stitch in the first row of a new color change.  I would have liked to knit more hats, but I can always make more and either send them to a hospital that is in need or deliver them to St Luke's another time.

I also decided to finish up a few more preemie hats for our collection. I just received a box of more hats this morning from a fellow Hufflepuff so we are going to have so many hats to donate!  It is also nice that the hats will be coming from all over the country and I have one person from Sweden who is supposed to send me a few too!  So here are my latest two hats.  Both are done using Plymouth Dreambaby DK and using this pattern.

I also finally finished my socks that Jess finished a few weeks ago :-) 
Chiron Socks - Crabapple Yarns Pizzazz - Teal
It is so fun that Jess and I will have matching socks! We have both knit the same pattern before, and sometimes at the same time, but never as part of a formal KAL together heh. Even though they are not the same yarn or color, I will think of Jess whenever I wear them.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WIPs Wednesday 5/21

So this week I have been working on my OWL, my mission, and finishing up a pair of socks.  I had two good hours while I was waiting for my oil change to work on my Dr. Who scarf.  I have 17 finished stripes and am currently working on the 18th.
I received many compliments on the scarf colors, when I told them it was the Dr. Who scarf, not a single person had heard of Dr. Who.  I was shocked. I guess when you hang out with people who are in to so many fandoms it is strange when there are people who have never heard of them.  I get that many people may not know about the specific scarf, but to have never heard of the show at all seems crazy to me!  

I also cast on my first true colorwork project.  I have been avoiding trying it out because it just seemed too intimidating.  I am doing a swap where we make different items each month for our partner and at the end of the year we give them a big box of handmade goodies.  My partner likes colorwork mitts, so I decided to give it a try.
Winter Twilight Mitts by Laura Rintala in Cascade Yarns Heritage solids in black and Crystal Palace Yarns Mini Mochi - Violet rainbow
I am not attempting to hold the yarn in a special way, but am just twisting the yarns on the inside when I switch.  I keep trying them on to make sure my floats are not too tight.  

Last but not least I have been working on my Chiron socks.  I am to the middle of the foot so they should be finished today or tomorrow!

I've been trying to knit on my Adrift for most of the week.  I am 32 rows away from knitting the sleeves.  Once the sleeves are done I'll be at the halfway point!

Other than my sweater, I have an HO.  I just finished the first Van Gogh sock and am about to cast on the second sock.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spunday 5/18

So this is the first of our Spunday posts! Jess and I are both getting more into spinning fiber so we thought it would be better to blog about it separately from our WIPs and FOs.  I am excited that this year will be my first Tour de Fleece with my wheel!  The Tour de Fleece is a spinning event that follows the same days as the Tour de France.  On the days they ride, we spin.  The days that they rest, we rest.  On their challenge days we try to challenge ourselves too. You can join as many teams as you want, and many of them offer prizes.  I have joined the HPKCHC team, and Jess and I are probably going to form a Fiber Fangirls team too! 
I have one recent spinning FO to share, and nothing on my bobbins right now.  
This is fiber from Bullen's Wulens that I purcahsed at Maryland Sheep and Wool this year.  It is 100% BFL and I ended up with 280 yards of a 2 ply yarn.  Even though it is not as even as I would like it averages to be a DK or a light worsted weight yarn.  I really like how the different shades of purple kind of barber pole at times.  The next spinning I may try are my punis from Gourmet stash!

I only got to spin for about 30 minutes this week so I have no progress to share.  Maybe next week? 

Friday, May 16, 2014

FO Friday 5/16

So this week most of my knitting has been on WIPs so I have no new FOs to share.  I have been using my multi-craftual skills this week though.  I have finished a sewing project and a fused glass project.  Each month for the HPKCHC we have class prompts and sometimes they allow us to do Non-Rav projects.  A Ravelry project is knitting, crocheting, spinning, dyeing or weaving.  I get excited when I can fit fused glass in my classes. I feel so fortunate to have a kiln in my garage so I want to use it whenever I can.  The prompt this month was about bio-luminescent animals.  I was inspired by a jellyfish that makes its own light.  I also took inspiration from my night light kits. So I made this dichroic glass jellyfish nightlight!
 It is all one nightlight shown in different ways so you can see the colors of the dichroic glass and how it looks turned on. It is really hard to take a good photo of a nightlight when it is all lit up!   I really like how it turned out.  
The other project I completed this month is a lined small tote bag.  I followed this tutorial. It took less than 2 fat quarters and it was really easy to make.

This week I have 2 FO's to share!  The first one is the Chiron socks that I was knitting with Jen.  We both opted out of doing the pattern on the foot.  The pattern itself was easy enough, but to continue it on the foot it would have involved moving around stitches since I knit magic loop instead of DPN's.  If I need to think about a pattern too much, I'm over it.  I loved the yarn, I am sad I can't get my hands on more of it.  Everyone cross your fingers that Younger Yarn re-opens her shop at some point, mmk?

Chiron Socks in Younger Yarn Shire String-Bayou Blood
Next, I knit a baby bib to donate to one of the expectant mothers in the Hufflepuff Baby Brigade.  She is having a boy, so I knit it it blue Knit Picks Dishie.  The pattern is Grandmother's Favorite Baby Bib and it was such a fast knit!  I cast on Monday morning and was finished a few hours later.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WIPs Wednesday 5/14

This week, I have mostly been working on my Adrift Cardigan.  I finished two projects that I will share on Friday and cast on a pair of vanilla socks.  I am still on the raglan increases of the sweater but it is finally starting to look like it's growing!  I'm trying to knit anywhere between 4-8 rows a day on it.  In the beginning it took me about 15 minutes per row.  Now that it's getting bigger, it takes a little longer.  By the time I am ready to divide the sleeves I'll have almost 600 stitches on the needles!  I'm trying to get to the sleeves by Memorial Day weekend (that's just a little over a week away).  That way I will have 3 weeks to get the sleeves done and be at the halfway mark by mid-term.  Will I make the deadline?  I see lots of trips to Starbucks and lots of chocolate in my future to make this happen.

I finished my Chiron socks over the weekend so I decided to cast on a pair of vanilla socks to play around with in between working on my sweater.  I'm using the Van Gogh yarn by Opal.  It's Cafe at Night and I am in love with it.

I'm about halfway through the leg and will do a basic slipped stitch heel flap.  It's always nice to work on vanilla socks in between socks with a chart or a pattern to it.

What have you been working on, Jen?

So I have been working on my Dr. Who scarf and have 12 stripes now! 
Phoebe is trying to help me out, luckily she isn't the cat that chomps needles. Ideally I would like to be at the halfway point a month from today, which is 27 stripes.  There are 53 stripes total and I need to make tassels and block it, so I counted 27 stripes as 50% for my OWL.  I am making good progress so far, and it isn't terribly boring yet.  I have been weaving in my ends as I go and will trim them all off after I block it.  

I am still working on my Chiron socks even though Jess already finished hers. Isn't she fast?!  I did finish one of them, and am about 1/3 of the way through the leg on sock #2
That is Phoebe's tail in this shot too
Lastly, I cast on a toy that I will be sending to the Hufflepuff Baby Brigade. We make care packages to send to our expectant Puffs. Each of the Puffs who are expecting have children already so I am making toys so the older brothers get something too.
Voodoo you love me? - by Susan Claudino in Dancing Dog Dyeworks Waltz Worsted - "Big's Beautiful Blues"
Hopefully I will have something knit to share on Friday as an FO. I will have some fused glass and a sewing project to share though :-) 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Modular Monday 5/12/14

My sock yarn blanket currently has 67 squares.  For the HPKCHC, I proposed my Order of the Phoenix mission and challenged myself to knit an additional 70 squares between May 18th and July 13th.  Awesome, since my blanket will double in size, not so awesome that I can't work on it until next Sunday.  Well...I can but any of the squares knit before then won't count.  I'm not going to show pictures of the 5 squares I knit last week, I'll just share pictures when there is significant change.  ;)

I have been working hard on my OWL and other projects so my blanket has not made much progress. It is funny just how many squares that I made during break month for the HPKCHC and as soon as term starts I slow right down. I have so many fun mini-skeins that I got at Maryland Sheep and Wool and from friends that I really want to get back to it.  It will be fun to see Jess' blanket get bigger really fast though!  Remember to visit our group on Ravelry and share about your own modular projects.  We also have a new thread talking about a possible Tour de Fleece team, so come join the conversation!

Friday, May 9, 2014

FO Friday 5/9/14

With all of the WIPs I just started, I only have one finished object to share this week. 
A fellow Hufflepuff house cup member unexpectedly lost her daughter recently.  A bunch of us are knitting 8x8 squares that will be seamed into a blanket for her.  I made the basket weave square from the Dream Catcher Baby Blanket by Susan B. Anderson using Caron Simply Soft in Navy.

I also only have one FO to share this week and it is my blanket square for our Hufflepuff friend.
I did the Harris Tweed blanket square from the same pattern that Jess used. 

This weekend I plan to work on my spinning and more squares for my blanket, do you have any FOs that you want to share? Comment here or share them in our group on Ravelry!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Not Wednesday WIPs Wednesday 5/8

So with the excitement of Maryland Sheep and Wool we may have lost track of the days.  Our WIPs Wednesday post is only one day late, which I think is pretty good.  So right now I am working on sock pair #6 for the year in a KAL with Jess! We are knitting the same pattern, but using different yarn.  
Chiron Socks by Patti Waters - Crabapple Yarns Pizzazz in teal
Because I am OCD about symmetry and things matching we both decided not to do the lace pattern on the foot. The yarn is squishy and nice so these socks will be well worn when I finish them. They even have a sparkle to them that is hard to photograph.  

My OWL was approved for the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup so I started my Dr. Who scarf for my brother.  It is a long scarf, so it is good that I am working on it way ahead of Christmas.  Since I am knitting it for my OWL it has to be done by the end of July, which is a good motivator too!  It has 53 stripes and I have finished 5 so far.  I am loving how it is turning out, but am really dreading weaving in all those ends.  I am also not sure where in my house I am going to block a 12 foot long scarf.  I may have to hope for a nice sunny day and do it outside in my yard!
Dr. Who scarf -  Cascade 220 Superwash

 I also started a spinning project with fiber that I bought at Maryland Sheep and Wool. It is BFL from Bullen's Wullens.  I was hoping for a more consistent color in my spin.  There are many white spots in the fiber that is making it more of a tonal yarn than I expected.  I think it will look nice once it is plied.

Jen and I are all sorts of similar this week!  I finished the first of my Chiron socks.  I'm using Younger Yarn Shire String in Bayou Blood.  The yarn is really soft and has these black and beige tweed flecks in it.  I would love to knit with this yarn again, but sadly she is taking a very long (or permanent!) break from dyeing yarn.  :(  

My OWL was also approved.  I am knitting Adrift by Carol Feller using Malabrigo Lace in Indigo.  While the endless stockinette isn't very exciting, the yarn makes up for it.  Malabrigo is one of my favorite yarns and each stitch feels so nice in my hands.  I just started shaping the raglan sleeves so I have a long way to go but I can't wait until it's done and I can start wearing it!  

The final WIP I have going on right now is one I have shared many times before.  I'm still spinning away at my Knitting Knorth Polwarth.  However, now that I have my own Bosworth spindle and the weather has been cooperative, I try to sit outside every night for a little bit to get some spinning time in.  

What have you been working on?  Pop on over to our Ravelry group and share your projects!  

Monday, May 5, 2014

MDSW 2014 & Modular Mondays in May

This past weekend was the 41st annual Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in West Friendship, Maryland.  Jen & I drove down Friday night and came back Sunday afternoon.  We have been going for a few years, but in my opinion, this one was the most successful for us.  We both got everything we wanted on our lists (and more!), we didn't feel rushed and the weather was beautiful.  

Friday night, Cephalopod Yarns was having an open house from 4-8:30.  When we got there, we shopped a bit and then met and knit with noman, largosmom, and NekoMich.  They are lovely ladies and so much fun to talk to!  

We got to take a tour of the studio and got some info on something they will be announcing on their site shortly (!!!)  During the tour, one of our friends, lipsral, arrived.  I am so happy that I got to meet her!  We have been friends for a few years and it was great to get to meet her in person and give her a hug.  She knows we have been working hard on our sock yarn blankets so she brought each of us a special cup filled with mini skeins.  The cup has the tree and moon logo that is on the South Carolina flag.  Every time I drink from my cup I will think of Renee.  

Saturday, we woke up early and headed to the fairgrounds.  We got there around 8 am and the booths didn't open until 9.  We headed to Gourmet Stash because I have been dying to try to spin punis and there was a limited edition Maleficent colorway that I needed to get my hands on.  I also got some punis, which I have never spun before. I was nervous, but am always looking to get better at spinning.  I bought the MDSW exclusive set in the colorway "Spinner's Hill."  Also in the booth was The Vintage Rose.  She has so many amazing themed sets of stitch markers.  I am kicking myself for not getting the Sherlock set or the Harry Potter set. I snagged a set of Game of Thrones stitch markers that are awesome, a dragon, a castle, a sword and more!   I'll have to check out her etsy shop soon to see if they are available.  I did get myself a spinning wheel stitch marker to remind me of the amazing weekend I had.  

Next, we headed to to the Bosworth booth so I could get my own spindle.  I have been borrowing Jen's mini for months.  I got myself a zebrawood midi.  It's 32gm/1.13oz and gorgeous.  I tested it out that night when we went to the spin-in and I am in love with it.  It spins for miles and is so smooth.  

We wanted to check out Miss Babs, but the line was super long so we skipped it on Saturday.  We both scored at Into the Whirled.  I got some beautiful Corriedale in "Blink".  I was trying to decide what  to get when I saw a fiber called "Godswood."  So that was my second Game of Thrones item for the day!  I got it in Polwarth and it is gorgeous!  One of the booths was selling 4oz of targhee for $3 so we each picked up a bag.  I've never spun targhee before so I'm looking forward to trying it out.  I have spun Targhee before and really enjoyed it so I was excited to see the great deal that we got for it! Plus, since we got natural colored fiber I may try to dye it as well.

There was an HPKCHC meetup at 2pm so we headed over to the hill outside the main building.  It took a few minutes, but we eventually found our group in the crowd.  It was so nice to put faces to all of the ravatars I have been seeing for 7 terms.  

Hufflepuff Hoggles in the back!

We each scored a gradient batt from Loop to spin, mine is even Hufflepuff colors! (that is not what they call it but I am heh).  I bought a gradient braid from Fiber Optic Yarns too.  I have looked at their yarn and fibers before, but have never bought any of it.  I went in thinking I would buy the Chocolate Covered Cherry colorway, but left with a gradient that looks more like peacock colors to me.  After more shopping, we decided to head back to the hotel, refresh and go to dinner before the spin-in.  

The spin-in was pretty fun.  When you came in, you got one raffle ticket.  Throughout the evening, they would call out random numbers and if your number was called, you got to go to the table and pick a prize.  They held contests for who could spin the most in a minute on a drop spindle, on a spinning wheel.  Who could spin the most blindfolded.  The had a word search contest that Jen won.  After Jen won, she gave me her ticket and her number was called so I chose a t-shirt. 
At the spin in, Jess with her new Bosworth and Jen with her Lendrum
Sunday we woke up early and went back to the fairgrounds.  We decided since we still had an hour before the booths opened, we would head over to Miss Babs to see if we could get the MDSW exclusive colorway.  We were 8th in line, chatted with some nice people and got our yarn.  
After Miss Babs, we stopped at Jennie the Potter.  They were sold out of the MDSW mugs but we each got our first Jennie mugs.
The rest of the morning we just walked around, looked at animals and then sat and knit/spun for a bit before heading home.  

Jessica's haul from MDSW
Jen's goodies from MDSW

Jessica's sock yarn blanket with 62 squares so far

Jen's blanket with 126 squares
For the month of May we are celebrating Modular Mondays!  When we say modular we mean anything that you put together to make something else. Like blanket squares or hexipuffs. You have seen our sock yarn blankets here before, but we want to know what modular items that you like to work on.  Each Monday we will share our progress on our blankets and at the end of the month we will give a prize away in our thread on Ravelry. We will send you a set of sock weight mini-skeins that you can use on your own modular item.  All you have to do is leave a comment (with or without a picture) of something modular that you have made or want to make.  You must be a member of the group, and only one comment per person. We will select a winner using a Random Number Generator after midnight (Eastern Standard Time) on May 31, 2014.