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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

More Mosaic and More Spinning!

Walk in the woods

I've been knitting away on my mosaic wrap.  I feel like the stitch pattern is more visible the more I knit.  If I had used two solid colored yarns with high contrast, it might have been more obvious from the beginning, but the pale gray has speckles (which I love) and there is a fuchsia speckle in there.  I'm really happy with the way this is looking and it's really fun to knit.  I weighed the pink before I started this section and I weighed it again after I finished the first repeat.  Each repeat takes a little bit more yarn than the last, but this should give me something to judge how far I can go.  Hopefully.

Spinning

I've also been spinning away on my Arco Iris singles.  I'm almost halfway through the fiber now.  There was a bit of an incident last Friday - Newton played with the bobbin of singles.  I don't know if he used it as a scratching post or just messed around with it (he considers the world his scratching post), but when I looked at it Friday afternoon my bobbin of neatly wound singles had chunks of loopy places and wasn't neat anymore.  I didn't see any breakage of the singles and when I started spinning again I laid a narrow strip of card stock along the bobbin lengthwise, to keep the new (properly tensioned) singles from sinking into the sections where things weren't as they should be.  Hopefully this will make things easier when I ply.  The spinning wheel is now being put away where a certain kitty can't get to it.

I've had to do more "child-proofing" with this cat than I ever did with Caleb when he was a baby!

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Friday, January 08, 2021

Mosaic and Spinning

Walk in the woods

I've begun the mosaic portion of my wrap.  This kind of knitting seems to fly off the needles because it's so much fun to watch the pattern develop.  Also, you can see how much bigger Mr. Newton has gotten!  He's 10 months old now, and yes, he was about to bite my yarn when I took the picture.  We're still working on a few things around here.  

Spinning

I've also started a new spinning project for the new year!  This is Malabrigo Nube (100% Merino) in Arco Iris.  When I've spun other colorways of Nube I've just divided it into thirds and spun the singles on three bobbins, then plied them to make a three ply yarn.  This particular colorway has more going on than Aquas, Zarzamora, and English Rose, so I decided to chain ply it to keep the colors from getting muddy.  I think I'll be happier with the finished yarn this way.  I'm spinning the singles to 50 wpi for a fingering weight finished yarn.

Have a great weekend!  Stay warm!

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Tuesday, January 05, 2021

New Year! New Yarnathon! New Craft-along!

With the start of 2021 a new Yarnathon started along with a brand new Craft-along for the first quarter!  I'm on the Fiber Flock team, which is a flamingo.  I can't tell you how much this amuses me for some reason, nor can I explain why, but for some reason, being a tall pink bird really cracks me up.

Walk in the woods

ESK is calling the quarterly KAL's "Craft-alongs" this year because they're including crochet and knitting as much as they possibly can.  The first quarter's theme is Mosaic knitting or crochet.  I've started my first project already, a Walk in the Woods shawl in fingering weight.  The pattern is written for worsted weight, but there are a few fingering weight projects already, so I decided to use that weight.  (You don't need too many worsted weight wraps here in Texas.)  I'm using a Shawl Duo from Wonderland Yarns in the colorway Glowingly.  You can see the two skeins above.  This pinky, red-violet color apparently means happiness and hope to me because I'm knitting with it, my 2021 planner is that color, and so is my nail polish (at the moment).  I didn't really plan it that way, I just kind of looked around and realized I'd surrounded myself with it!

Walk in the woods

I've gotten a good start with my shawl.  I've got to weigh it and do a stitch count before I start knitting again, but I think I'm almost to the mosaic section (it's actually a little farther along than the photo shows because I photographed it yesterday afternoon and then worked on it some more last night.)  I've done some mosaic knitting before.  Most recently, the Sharon Show MKAL from last August and September.  It's a fun technique and as long as you don't work too tightly, an easy way to add colorwork!  I've never tried mosaic crochet before and I have no idea how easy or hard that is.  I may have to take a look at that!

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Friday, January 01, 2021

A Finished Sweater For the New Year!

Fireworks pullover

I finished my Fireworks sweater!  I actually finished the knitting on Wednesday, and then last night I sewed down the pocket and wove in all the ends.  It had been steam blocked long before midnight, so this morning it was dry and ready for wearing in this new year!

Fireworks pullover

The pattern is Ambiente although I used a K2, P2 rib for my neckband, hem, and cuffs instead of the stitch she called for in the pattern.  The yarn is handspun from the Fireworks fiber I got from Etsy.  I did do the pocket this time, but it's not photographing very well.  It shows up better in real life.  Apparently I started this sweater in July, but I took my time with it and life interfered with my knitting as well.  

I'm really happy with how this turned out and I'll be wearing it later today.  I'll also be doing some stash diving this weekend and choosing a new spinning project as well as getting started on the new ESK Yarnathon for 2021!

Happy New Year!!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Last Minute Socks

Socks

For the last few years I have made Mickael a pair of socks for Christmas.  His feet get cold around the house and he seems to enjoy wearing the handknit socks, so I've just been tucking a new pair into his stocking for the last four or five years.  Usually I get them knit early in the year so they're ready to go at Christmas, but this year I didn't.  I knit Caleb a pair of socks (and a blanket, and crocheted him a giant octopus), but somehow I didn't knit Mickael a pair of socks.  I realized I'd dropped the ball last week and panicked a bit.  Fortunately, I had some Mickael appropriate yarn in the stash (gray) and decided to knit him a pair of short socks, like the ones Caleb prefers, but in Mickael's size.  I have only knit Mickael regular, long socks before so this pair will give him options!  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

I cast on last Wednesday evening using some deep stash Dream in Color Smooshy in Gray Tabby and finished the second sock Sunday evening.  They're safely tucked into his stocking now, and the tradition continues!

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

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Monday, December 14, 2020

Tying Up Loose Ends

As much as possible, I like to finish up as many projects as I can by the end of the year.  I've finished spinning the gradient yarns (so much fun!) and I've also finished a blanket!

This is the finished Mohave Turquoise:

Fellview Fibres Mohave Turquoise

this is the finished Antelope Canyon:

Fellview Fibres Antelope Canyon

and this is the finished Peacock Feathers:

Fellview Fibres Peacock Feathers

all three started as gradient batts from Fellview Fibres.

Sherlock blanket

I also finished my Sherlock blanket (Sherlock's Great Afghan Adventure).  I joined the blocks together with a crochet stitch that gave a raised ridge.  The blocks don't have much of an edging so there's no "breathing room" between them if they are sewn together invisibly.  I can't remember exactly what stitch I used because I played around with a couple of things and then kind of ended up winging it.  I did several rounds of single crochet around the whole thing as a border to stabilize the edge and just to finish it off neatly.  It's for Caleb.

This leaves me with my Fireworks handspun pullover and my Nuvem shawl to finish by year's end.  At this point, I think those are both possible, but we'll see!  It's still 2020...

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Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Spinning Gradients

 I have been getting a lot of spinning done around here!

Gradient spinning

First, I finished spinning all of the singles for my three gradient yarns.  From left to right are Peacock Feathers, Antelope Canyon, and Mohave Turquoise.  All are from Fellview Fibres.  Peacock Feathers and Antelope Canyon are both 100% Merino and have seven steps in the gradient.  Mohave Turquoise is a Merino and Tussah Silk blend (I can't find the percentages) and is a five step gradient.  I spun all three to approximately 40wpi using Scotch tension and a worsted draft on my Schacht Flatiron with a 10.4:1 ratio.  I also spun all of them so that I'd end up with the purples in each colorway, and discovered that the last purple in the Peacock Feathers is the same purple at the end of the Antelope Canyon, so these two colorways could be worked together.

Gradient spinning

Then, when all the singles were finished I started plying them.  I'm chain plying them so that I can keep the gradient intact.  I'm using the same pulley size that I used to spin the singles and the same wheel, but I've set it up with Irish tension for the plying (Irish tension tends to have a stronger draw in than Scotch tension.  Since the plied yarns are generally fluffier than their singles, I feel like it helps to get more on the bobbin.  Above is the Mohave Turquoise,

Fellview Fibres gradient

and yesterday I plied the Antelope Canyon.  I plan to ply the Peacock Feathers this afternoon.  To finish the yarns I will skein them all up (and get yardage amounts), and wash them.  I was aiming for fingering weight finished yarns and I think I got it (no, I didn't sample, why do you ask?), but I'll find out soon!

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