Wednesday, July 30, 2014

We're Back! WIPs Wednesday 7/30/14

With Jen going through a move and Tour de Fleece taking up most of our free time, we decided to take a week off from blogging so we could get stuff done.  

Sadly, I didn't finish spinning my braid that I was working on for TdF, but it will eventually get done.  Right now I have been working on cranking out ornaments and casting on a pair of socks.

Awhile back, Vickie of Bird Leg Bags was knitting up a gorgeous pair of socks in Trekking XXL and I fell in love with the jewel tones.  They reminded me of both a sunset and autumn so I knew I needed a pair of socks in this yarn.  After Tour de Fleece ended, I knit a couple more ornaments (Right now I have 7 out of 8 completed) and wanted a longer mindless project.  I didn't knit a pair of socks in July (gasp!) so I was starting to go through severe sock knitting withdrawal.  This week has been cooler, making me feel like it's early autumn, so what better time to cast on these socks?  

Trekking XXL, colorway 550
While setting up the craft room (finally!), I came across my Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Gingerbread Lane cross stitch that I set aside.  I really want to knit their Autumn Sampler, but before I start I want to try to get this done so I can have it ready for Christmas.  I'm less than a third through the pattern, but with a few months to go, I should be able to get it done in time.

Gingerbread Lane
Pattern by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
My week has been spent packing, cleaning, unpacking, moving, cleaning, painting and even more cleaning! I feel like I haven't knit in forever. I didn't even spin the last days of the Tour de Fleece I was so busy! I only have one WIP to share this week my Jeck socks.  I am about halfway through the leg of the second sock.  I am sure that I will not finish these by the end of the month, but that is ok. I am just glad that the move is mostly over. Just need to finish unpacking and get settled in to the new house.
Here is a sneak peek of the house

Here are my socks in progress as well. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Spunday (just one day late) 7/20/14

With just one week left of Tour de Fleece I don't think I will be able to finish spinning and plying my current fiber.  When I first realized this, I was a little disappointed.  Last year I was able to spin and ply 4oz and I was pretty much a newbie at it.  It wasn't until after I looked at the little bit of leftover yarn from last year's skein that I had that "duh" moment.  Of course it will take me longer, I am able to spin much finer compared to last year.  

Jess's Tour de Fleece yarn from 2013-Gale's Art Corriedale

I finished my first single during the week and wound it on my toilet paper bobbin.  I doubled it over on itself so I could get an idea of how the yarn will look when I ply it and I think it might end up being a fingering weight, maybe even a light fingering weight.  It's neat to look back at the 3 other skeins I spun and see how my consistency keeps getting better.  The Knitmore Girls had talked about how every time you spin fiber and make a skein of yarn, it should be your favorite that you have spun.  Every time I spin, I learn something new and I improve compared to the skein before it.  I am really enjoying sitting in my rocking chair, spinning on my spindle, knowing that after I am finished, I will be able to knit with it and enjoy it all over again.

This weekend, I didn't get to spin as much as I would have liked.  Friday & Saturday were spent re-organizing the entire kitchen and creating a little coffee bar out of my Nana's old bookcase.  

Jess's coffee bar
I did spin one color change and part of another so there is some progress.

Hopefully I can get in more spinning time during my lunches and breaks this week.

I am amazed that I have been spinning at all. Between getting my house ready to put on the market and packing to move to the new house I have been BUSY.  Spinning has been a good stress relief for me, so I am glad that I have been able to keep up with it.  I have a few finished yarns to share.  I have one more plied up yarn that is still on the bobbin that will just have to wait until next week.

First I wanted to show how my Into the Whirled Polwarth looked like off the bobbin.
So this is the pic that I shared last time:
This is what it looks like after it has been soaked and snapped
Next I spun up my first 3 ply, this is Knitting Knorth 100% BFL in blues and purples
So far this Tour I have spun up all the fibers that I had planned to spin, and one extra braid. I also made sure that my fiber stash is completely up to date on Ravelry (I had to add 5 fibers....).  So now I just need to finish the yarn I plied yesterday and start something new tomorrow. I am not sure that I will have any more FOs for the Tour, but I am proud of how much I have achieved.

Friday, July 18, 2014

FO Friday 7/18/14

Wow, I don't know how the weather has been in your part of the world, but the weather here this past few days has been beautiful!  I'm looking forward to finishing up my craft room and then spending some time knitting/spinning outdoors this weekend.

I got my mom's shawl blocked and gave it to her this evening.  This was a lovely pattern to knit.  It took me a couple of tries to get the hang of it, I frogged it twice, but after I understood it, it was a fast knit.  The Malabrigo Rios was perfect for the pattern.  I think it showed the stitch definition really well and it's Malabrigo, so of course it feels amazing!  

198 Yds of Heaven in Malabrigo Rios - Arco Iris
I am almost half done with my snowball buddy ornaments.  Hopefully I will finish them in time for next Friday's post ;)

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WIPs Wednesday 7/16/14

I finished my mom's shawl on Monday so I have been working on knitting a bunch of Christmas ornaments. I'm using the Snowball Buddies pattern by Susan Claudino and plan on making 8-10 of these cute little critters.  They are a pretty fast knit.  I can knit the body of one during my lunch and breaks at work and then knit the ears and add details in the evenings.  As you can see, I still have the other ear to finish on the bunny ;)  I love how detailed Susan's patterns are.  She explains everything, includes a bunch of instructional photos and I love how she gives the eye/nose placement.  There have been so many toys that I have made in the past where the one eye is a half stitch higher than the other and ends up crooked.  

Snowball Buddies by Susan Claudino
I am still definitely spinning more than knitting this week. I have also been cleaning and packing since we move next week! Eek!  I am still plugging along on my Dr. Who scarf. I am sure you are as sick of seeing it as I am at this point heh. I am on stripe number 51 of 53, less than 50 rows to go and I can see the light at the end of the scarf tunnel. 

The last time I blogged about my Jeck sock I was only halfway through the leg, now I am halfway through the foot.
I should be able to finish this one up  pretty quickly and get the second one cast on.  If I can convince myself to knit instead of spin. :-)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Spunday TdF Edition 7/13/14

How is everyone doing for Tour de Fleece?  This week was a challenge for me.  There was a night where I didn't get to spin much and 2 days that I didn't spin at all.  I am still on my first single, but almost at the end.

Shadawyn Fiber Arts Merino Silk 80/20 Severus Snape
I am really enjoying this blend and would definitely like to spin more of it after I am done with this braid.

So I finished up the braid that I started with this Tour de Fleece, the Into the Whirled Polwarth. It is still on the niddy noddy and I don't have a pic of that, but here is the plied yarn on the bobbin.

I ended up with 522 yards in a light fingering to fingering weight yarn! That is by far the most yardage I have ever gotten from one braid. This braid was 4.3 ounces to start so that helped. I was able to spin it so thinly. I am eager to knit up a big shawl with this braid.

I also spun up and plied my punis that I got at Maryland Sheep and Wool this year.  
Punis are very different to spin up then braids, but I enjoyed it. It was interesting to spin up so many different fibers at once too.  The punis totalled about 1 ounce, so I ended up with 62 yards of a DK to Worsted weight yarn.

Lastly, I started spinning up a braid that Jess gave me for my birthday.  It is Knitting Knorth 100% BFL in blues and purples. I split this braid into 3 pieces and am going to attempt a traditional three ply, which I have never done before.  Here is the first bobbin

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sharing FO's Saturday 7/12/14

So we have missed Friday, but we still had a few FOs to share.  I have been busy spinning for the Tour de Fleece, but I did manage to finish my mitts!
Winter Twilight Mitts - Cascade Heritage and Crystal Palace Mini-Mochi

They do not match, but they certainly go together.  I love how they turned out.  I can slip them on my hands (although my first mitt is a little tighter than the second). They are super warm and I need to cast on a pair of colorwork mitts for myself for this winter.

I also made sure to get my Once Upon a Time July square done before my mom comes for a visit, and we move. 
The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Once Upon a Time sampler

The theme for this month is Thumbelina and she is floating in a walnut shell! So cute!
I've been busy working on my shawl and spinning so this week I just have 2 teeny gnome ornaments to share.  I will probably wait to share the rest of the ornaments I make until the end of the month, but here is a little preview:

Gnome is Where the <3 Is by Susan Claudino

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WIPs Wednesday 7/9/14

I've been spinning so much this week so I only have a bit of a WIP to share this week.  One of the class prompts for the House Cup this month is to make something that brings you back to the reason you began crafting.  

My mother taught me how to knit almost 10 years ago.  She has been knitting all of my life (and then some).  I remember the clicking of her needles as a small child and how relaxing it sounded.  In 2004, my oldest brother passed away unexpectedly.  I was devastated.  I isolated myself from everyone, the only social interaction I had was in online video games and talking to family.  His fiancee had started knitting to calm her nerves so I asked my mom if she could teach me how to knit, too.  The first time I picked up the needles, I was so frustrated.  I didn't think it would ever click.  Finally, after a dozen or so tries, it did.  I made a bright garter stitch scarf out of Red Heart.  It was short, it was scratchy, and I loved it.  I absorbed myself in my knitting to deal with the pain.  After awhile, I met my now ex husband.  I still knit, but not regularly.  When we separated, I picked the needles back up and haven't set them down since.  Wherever I go, my knitting goes with me.  

Since the 10 year anniversary is coming up in September, I wanted to do something for my mom as a thank you and also something that could help comfort her.  I am making her 198 yds of Heaven out of the special Malabrigo Rios that Jen brought back for me from New Orleans.   It's soft, cozy and I hope it makes her feel better.

198 Yds of Heaven in Malabrigo Rios 
First off I want to give Jess a big hug right now. I love that the yarn I gave her is going to such a special project.  I have two projects currently on the needles. Lately I have been busy with packing and getting things ready for the move.  My crafting time has mostly been spent spinning for the Tour de Fleece.  I need to finish my OWL in time to turn it in so I worked on it a few nights ago while watching a movie with the hubby.  Last time I shared the scarf I had 35 finished stripes.  Now I have 42! Not only is this an awesome amount of stripes (it is the ANSWER after all), but it also means that I am getting closer to finishing it.  Just 11 stripes to go!  
It was hard to find a way to show all of the stripes!  The other WIP on my needles is a pair of socks that I cast on.  This will be my 8th pair for the year, and is another Christmas present.  I have knit this pattern twice before, it is the Jeck, pattern by Regina Satta.  I love that the combination of purl and slip stitches adds so much character to the sock.  
Jeck - Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet
Sorry about the bad pictures, my old laptop died and with it my photo program that I prefer to use so I am going to have to find something else to use on the new laptop.  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Spunday 7/6/14 TdF Edition

Yesterday was the start of Tour de Fleece and everyone is off to a great start!  I am loving seeing everyone's photos on Instagram and in our group.  Keep it up!  

I had a busy start to my day yesterday so I didn't make much progress on Day 1.  I definitely made up for it today!  I spun for a couple of hours and am almost half done with my first single.  I am so pleased with how I am able to control the colors while spinning.  The fiber I'm working with is soft and real easy to spin.  I'm staying consistent and the yarn is pretty thin.  I am hoping by the end of this I will have enough to make a shawl.  The only issue I am finding is the black dye keeps rubbing off onto my fingers.  At first I thought it was from the heat and my hands since I was spinning outside at the time.  Later, after being in the central air and my hands were no longer sweaty, it was still staining them.  Now the dye from my fingers is staining the shaft of my spindle.  I just hope that most of the color stays after it's bath.  

Shadawyn Fiber Arts Merino Silk 80/20-Severus Snape
Yesterday I was really productive with my spinning.  I just got going, and it was so hard to stop. I managed to spin half a braid yesterday!  
Into the Whirled - 100% Polwarth "Godswood"
I bought  this fiber at Maryland Sheep and Wool this year so it is nice that I am already spinning it up.  The colors range from a light blue, to a deep green, a deep purple, and a deep wine color.  I think it will be gorgeous once it is all plied up.  I am managing to spin it pretty thinly so I think I should get a good amount of yardage from it.  I will be turning this braid in for the final round of Quidditch this term too. I love when something I was going to do anyway, spin for Tour de Fleece, can be used for the House Cup. 
Today I actually did some chores around the house and ran a few errands so I only spun for about an hour.  I am aiming to finish up the braid tomorrow and hopefully ply it up on Tuesday. Keep spinning everyone!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

FO Fourth of July!

Happy Independence Day to our readers in the states! I hope you get to have a nice day off full of family, fun, and fireworks. I know that I am lucky that the hubby is off this year (I am sure he feels lucky too since he loves to see fireworks).  

I finished another Christmas gift! I am planning to knit 4 pair of socks for people this year and this is the second pair so I am halfway there! My goal is to get the socks done by the end of August so I am not so stressed at Christmas time.  These socks are the 30th pair of socks that I have knit since learning in February of 2012.  I do not have 30 pair though as many of those socks have been gifts, and 2 pair have felted :-(.
Simple Skyp Socks - The Cyborg's Craft Room "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard Spock"
These socks had a few tricky moments like when I dropped a YO that had a stitch wrapped around it, but overall were pretty mindless after a bit.  

The next FO is from the year long swap that I am participating in.  The theme for one of the months is toys, so this is my Minion
He was trickier to knit than the socks.  The pattern calls for you to use intarsia or duplicate stitch for the overalls. I kind of did a modified fair isle.  I think he turned out cute even if his smile is a little crooked and his hair resembles Bert more than a minion. 

I've been busy trying to get alot of projects done before July.  I am dedicating July to deadline knitting and Tour de Fleece.  
First is a monster that I finished awhile ago, but forgot to share.  Susan Claudino teamed up with Little Skein in the Big Wool and Highland Handmades for the Wild Thing kit.  She designed an adorable Wild Thing and I had the pleasure of test knitting him.

Wild Thing by Susan Claudino Yarn: The Cyborg's Craft Room Bested in Yer Mom Wears Teal
Next, I knit a pumpkin baby hat that I am donating to the church food bank:

Pumpkin Hat
I finished the mittens for my swap partner.  Overall, I liked the pattern.  Quick knit, easy to follow.  I never did an afterthought thumb before so the lack of a gusset was a little strange.  I would definitely knit it again.

Cruiser Mitts
Finally, I knit a wee Bluebird of Happiness for my swap partner as well.  This pattern is so fun!  
Bluebird of Happiness

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

WIPs Wednesday 7/2/14

I only have two projects on the needles right now. I have finished a few projects in the last few days so I am left working on my Mission and my OWL.  I have 27 rows to go on my second mitt. Almost done!
Winter Twilight Mitts - Cascade heritage and Crystal Palace Mini Mochi
The colors do not match up, but they definitely look like a pair of mitts.  I definitely see a second pair of these in my future.

My OWL is slowly coming along. I have 35 stripes of the 53.  I found the needles chomped and the yarn messed up on the scarf this evening. Luckily when Athena chomped the needles, none of the stitches dropped.  So all I had to do was transfer the stitches over to new needles.  Then when I finished the grey stripe I wound the tangled yarn into a ball.