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Friday, July 30, 2010

Featherweight Smoke, Continued

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I've been knitting. And purling. And increasing. I'm moving along pretty well on the yoke portion of this cardigan. I'm really enjoying this yarn and I feel like I've gotten far enough on the knitting to have a good feel for it. It's got enough bounce to be easy to knit but not so much that I'm concerned about tension issues. It doesn't split or do any other annoying things that some yarns do either. (This is the new Solid Series by The Loopy Ewe - I'm using Smoke.) So if you've seen it and wondered about it, I'd recommend jumping in and getting some.

I also want to say, "Happy Anniversary" to my parents. Today is their 50th anniversary!

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Coraline

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I've gotten started with Coraline in my handspun. I finished the hem and it's attached, so the roll you see in the top of the picture is the WS of the knitting, rolling over the hem area. (You're looking at the right side of the hem area, but you know how stockinette rolls and I'm not far enough past the hem area to see anything not rolling yet.) I love the way hems work in knits - they keep the edge from rolling and add a little bit of weight to make the sweater hang nicely. This sweater is worked in the round from the bottom up, while the Featherweight Cardigan is worked from the top down, also in the round. So I guess you could say that for the next few weeks, I'll be going in circles!

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Featherweight Smoke

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It has begun. In fingering weight I had to go to US 4's (3.5 mm). I used US 6's (4.0 mm) in the laceweight and got the same gauge. This should make a nice, lightweight sweater that's more opaque than my first one.
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Monday, July 26, 2010

New Yarn for a New Featherweight

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I knew I would make another Featherweight Cardigan (or maybe more than that), and it was such a perfect take-along project, I'll be starting it soon. I decided to make this one in fingering weight yarn and I decided to try a new yarn - The Loopy Ewe's Solid Series. They just released this yarn and it comes in a bunch of colors - 90 to be exact. It's a 3 ply, fingering weight, Superwash Merino and this is the Smoke color. I'll have to check gauge before I can start the cardi, since the first one I made is in laceweight. I'm thinking of using a cabled rib for edgings on this one, but I can decide that later.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

A Small, Fast Project

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Yesterday afternoon, after the laundry was done and Caleb and I had baked cupcakes, I decided to start a small project. As I mentioned here yesterday, I've been wanting to do some smaller projects lately, so I decided I might as well just go for it. A few weeks ago, I bought Ysolda Teague's Whimsical Little Knits 2 (it's an ebook, but you can also purchase the patterns individually if you prefer). I decided to make Ripley so I grabbed some heather gray Cascade 220 that I have here and jumped in. Since the pattern calls for a heavy weight Aran yarn and Cascade 220 is on the light side of worsted (Cascade 22o works up nicely even at DK weight), I used smaller needles and the large size directions. I ended up with a cute hat that fits my medium sized head. I made the "less slouchy" version with the lace edge. It probably only took about 3 or 4 hours from cast on to weaving in the ends. I love the little "pleats" in this hat! You can wear them at the back or either side of the hat and they look really cute. Now I'm ready for cold weather - bring it on!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Big News and a Swatch

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Yesterday morning was spent at the orthodontist's office. Caleb got his braces off! We only started with the orthodontist less than a year ago and now we're done with what they call Phase 1. They expanded both his upper and lower jaws and straightened out his teeth, leaving room for the remaining adult teeth to come in. When he gets the rest of his adult teeth in (when he's about 12), he'll go back into braces briefly to perfect everything and then he'll be done. He's got to wear a retainer between now and then, but that should be a piece of cake for him.

I haven't really been spinning very much the last couple of days, but I have been playing with handspun. Back in December of 2007 I plied three different singles into a sport weight yarn. I had planned to do Coraline in it, but wasn't sure if I would be able to get gauge or if it would have the right drape. I sat down and swatched, washed the swatch and let it dry - sure enough it will work! (And it looks good on Ramius.) I'm not sure how soon I'll cast on for Coraline though - I've been wanting to make a small project, so I might find something along those lines first.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Back to spinning

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I've started the Three Bags Full fiber in Forget-Me-Not. It's a Merino with silk and tencel in it if I remember correctly. I have 12 ounces of this and while I had originally planned on spinning it about DK weight, I changed my mind after seeing the fingering weight BFL and decided to spin this fingering weight. I'm thinking it might make a great Featherweight Cardigan, but it will take longer to spin than it would have if I'd followed my original plan. This is the first bobbin and I should have six bobbins of singles. I didn't get anything spun over the weekend, so I'm a little behind on the Tour de Fleece spinning, but I know that I've done more spinning over the last few weeks than I usually do. If this will get me back into a spinning habit, I will be happy.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Stash Enhancement

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On Friday, Mom and I decided to have a girls day so we went shopping and out to lunch. Of course there was a yarn store involved (The Knitting Nook), and a few things followed me home. I knew The Knitting Nook carried the Hiya Hiya needles in the 9 inch length, which I was interested in for sleeves of future Featherweight Cardigans (I know I'll be making that sweater again, possibly several times), and sure enough, they had the size I needed. They very nicely let me open the package to play with them in my hands and while they felt different, they didn't feel bad and I think I'll be able to use them. I also found the new Knitscene magazine from IK. I think this magazine is marketed as a beginning knitting magazine (when it first began, it was definitely easy and simple designs) and while the articles are geared more towards the basics, the designs themselves are very wearable. There are some simpler, more beginner friendly projects, and while nothing is super complex, make your eyes bleed knitting, there are bigger projects with very nice shaping and interesting details to them too. I think of all the magazines I've seen, Knitscene has more designs that look like something I would buy as a garment than any other magazines (if that makes any sense). The other thing I picked up was a complete impulse buy. They had a sample garment of Cia from Louet there, worked in a caramel pumpkin kind of color, and while that color is something that would make me look like an extra in Dawn of the Dead (or Shaun of the Dead for that matter), I loved the design. As luck would have it, they had just gotten in a shipment of Louet KidLin yarn, so I picked up the pattern and 5 skeins of Winter White Kidlin to make it. (The label says White, but it's not a true white, or as creamy as an ivory, so I'm calling it Winter White.)

Back to spinning tomorrow!

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Apparently Threats Work

My spinning must have read yesterday's blog post and when it saw that I WOULD be finishing the third bobbin yesterday, it behaved itself. It behaved itself so well that I not only got the third bobbin spun, I got all three bobbins plied together and have finished yarn!

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Behold, 545 yards of fingering weight 3 ply yarn. 100% BFL wool!

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Is there a Black Hole in Spinning?

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I know there are knitting Black Holes, where you knit and knit and knit and you measure your work and it's the same size as when it started. Are there spinning Black Holes? I spun for over an hour yesterday and I still have this puff of fiber to go. I could see the singles building up on the bobbin because I had to move the sliding hook thing (Majacrafts don't have stationary hooks, they have little moveable clip thingys - you can see it on the top flyer arm in the picture), but the fiber clump didn't seem to be getting any smaller. I went through several color changes in the singles, which would imply that I was getting somewhere along the roving, but I just can't tell when I look at the fiber I have left to spin.

It might take me all day to get through this, but I'm finishing bobbin 3 today!

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More Spinning

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I've been spinning almost everyday (I missed Monday, but made up for it yesterday), and while I haven't spent hours spinning, I'm still on the third bobbin. I really hope I finish it today so I can get started on the plying. I always underestimate how long it will take to spin singles this fine (47 wpi), but I'd really like to see what this yarn looks like finished.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Spinning

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Two down and the third is well underway!


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Friday, July 09, 2010

Spinning

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This is the second bobbin of the BFL. I'm more than halfway through the fiber for this bobbin and I hope to finish spinning it and start bobbin three today. I'm enjoying getting more spinning time in and most days I have spinning buddies. Finn has been coming in and curling up in an impossibly small ball of doggy so he can fit under my sewing machine table or under my spinning chair and Caleb has been bringing in a book or twelve and a blanket and making a nest in the middle of the room. Ramius doesn't like to sleep where Finn is and he doesn't appreciate the music while I spin, so he tends to stay downstairs while I'm spinning, but as soon as I start knitting, he's there keeping my lap warm!

Have a great weekend, and I hope you have buddies to spin and knit with!

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Something Finished!

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We are taking a break from spinning today for an important announcement: I've finished up my Forest Featherweight Cardi! I did use some of the third skein of yarn to finish up the front/neck bands. I love this pattern and the yarn was perfect for it - very soft and light weight. I used seed stitch at the hem, sleeve edges and the front/neck bands. I pinned it shut on the hanger with a small cable needle, but on a body, it works either pinned or hanging open.

This sweater taught me that I could use a sweater as a take along project. Now I'm not planning on grabbing a super-complex-epic-knitting type of sweater project, but I would definitely do something worked in the round again. The sleeves were a bit fiddly, and they made it harder to pack up my project in my bag, but I could just work sleeves at home instead of out in The Great Wide World.

Now we just have to wait until the temperature drops a little bit so I can wear it!

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

First Bobbin

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I've finished the first bobbin of BFL! Next to it is the fiber that will go on the second bobbin (I divided the whole batch of fiber into thirds by weight for the three bobbins I'll spin). It always amazes me that so much fiber can spin up so small.

Today I'll be starting the second bobbin. I'm just loving the colors in this!

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Monday, July 05, 2010

Spinning Begins

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So far, I've spun Saturday and yesterday, so I'm on track. (Good to know I didn't crash and burn two days into the Tour de Fleece!) I'm spinning the BFL first because, well it just seemed like a good thing to start with. I'm spinning the singles at 47 wpi, but I will be doing a 3 ply and since these are high twist singles, they will fatten up when they're plied. I'm thinking about using this for gloves.

For Tour de Fleece purposes, it only counts if I spin for at least 30 minutes - my rules, I don't know if there are real rules dealing with this or it's all personal. I've done over an hour both days so far, but because I'm spinning so fine, it's not piling up on the bobbin very quickly (in other words, get used to seeing this for a little while).

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Friday, July 02, 2010

Spinning

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The Tour de Fleece kicks off tomorrow, so I went stash diving and pulled a couple of things out to spin. My goal is to spin some every day. Since there will be so much spinning going on around here, I will probably be blogging about spinning for the next few weeks, with only sporadic knitting and Babette updates. I've got two patterns in the works so I'll probably devote my knitting time to getting those finished up and tested out. I'd love to get at least one of them finished up this month.

On the left is three 4 ounce balls of Forget-Me-Not roving from Three Bags Full. I think I picked this up at the Carolina Homespun booth at MDS&W on year. According to the information that came with it, it's a Merino blend wool with Tencel and silk noil.

On the right is a 4 ounce braid of BFL from The Fiber Denn in the Mystic Malva colorway. (Apparently The Fiber Denn is taking some time off right now, but they usually have an etsy store.)

So there's a pound of fiber to start with. If I get this spun up before July 25, I'll dig out some more from the stash.

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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Front Bands

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I now have two sleeves on my Featherweight Cardi now and last night I picked up stitches for the neck and front band. I'll work this in Seed Stitch also and then my little cardi will be done. I'm still on the second skein of yarn which means I've used less than 880 yards so far. I have a decent amount left on this skein and I might be able to finish everything without going into the third skein.

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