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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Update

Yesterday we found out that Logan had cancer in his nose.  No one was expecting this, even the vets (they were assuming it was an auto immune disease).  Due to the speed that things were going from bad to worse and his age, we decided not to attempt radiation therapy.  Yesterday evening Logan passed away.  He was an amazingly kind and patient dog.  His sweetness and gentleness was noticed by everyone who met him.  He was a wonderful cat brother and both Maximus and Mr. Noodle were lucky to have such a doggy (even if they didn't always agree).  I just found out recently that when I would take him to the vet to get his nails trimmed they would use him to teach the new vet techs who were still getting the hang of it.  He was so patient and good that he would sit still for a complete stranger who wasn't completely confident in what they were doing.

Our family is still reeling from his loss and processing what happened.  Caleb is away at college, but he has memories of a healthy dog.  When he left at the end of August, there were no outward symptoms that anything was going on.  Mr. Noodle doesn't understand where his brother is and I think he's looking for him and asking about him.  We are all the better for knowing and loving Logan.

He was a very good dog.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Socks and Logan

Golden mermaid socks

I've finished my first Mermaid Avenue sock and I'm working on the second one.  This stitch pattern has a lot of lengthwise stretch so when it's relaxed, it looks short and wide.  The finished sock almost looks like a child's sock to me, but it does fit!  You can see how I chose to handle the pattern on the instep - I just worked it in a narrowing triangle down the foot.  This isn't in the directions, but it wasn't too hard to figure out.

Golden mermaid socks

Here's a close up of the pattern and the yarn.  I love the subtle color variations in this yarn.  (It's Dream in Color Smooshy in Milky Spite.)  I don't know what the technical term is for this dye style, but I really like it.  

In other news, Logan is having some health issues.  He turned 11 in June, and for a Golden Retriever that means he's getting up there age-wise.  We don't have exact answers yet but are hoping to get some test results later today.  I've been knitting on these socks and sitting with him and it reminds me of when he first came to us.  He was five months old and he knew he was supposed to go potty outside, but he wasn't sure how to tell us and we weren't sure what his "gotta go" cues were.  So I followed him around and knit socks and watched him.  We soon figured out how to communicate with each other despite the fact that we're different species.  He is our Sweet Marshmallow of Love.  He could use some prayers right now.

Thank you.

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Thursday, October 14, 2021

A Finished Red Hoodie

Adams ribs hoodie

I finished my Adam's Ribs Hoodie!  It's knit in Hazel Knits Cadence in Giddy Up (which is definitely Aggie maroon!)  I'm really happy with the finished sweater? Vest? Something in between?  I don't know, but I love it.  I don't know if I'll add buttons and buttonloops at some point or if I'll just use one of my shawl pins.  For now I'll use shawl pins and I can decide what I want to do long term.  

Adams ribs hoodie

I really think this will be a nice, snuggly layer for the cooler days ahead.  It's tunic length, but having only minimal cap sleeves they won't get in my way.  I'll probably never use the hood, but it's a nice big size - not a skimpy hood here!  I lightly steam blocked it to finish it and just to open up the ribbing a little.  

The temperature is supposed to drop this weekend, so I think I finished it just in time!

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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A New Spinning Project And Some Thoughts On Color

I started a new spinning project, but this is a smaller one than the last one was!  I like to alternate the size of spinning projects so I don't feel bogged down in one massive project after another.  Anyway, I realized recently that I had never spun superwash merino (or superwash anything).  I knit the yarn all the time, in various weights, but had never spun the fiber.  I decided it was time.  I picked up a braid of Sweet Voices dyed by Three Waters Farm that's 75% Superwash Merino and 25% Nylon, and I decided to spin a three ply fingering weight yarn for socks.  (I have no idea what the colorway name means to the dyer, it looks like Easter eggs to me.)

There's a lot going on colorwise with this fiber and while I could just spin it (either leaving the braid intact or splitting it lengthwise a few times) and then chain ply it, my colors would stay intact, but my finished yarn would stripe (longer stripes if I were to leave the braid intact and shorter stripes if I split it).  I'm not wanting stripes for this project though.  I really want the colors to all play together in the finished yarn so I could have just split the fiber into thirds and let it do whatever it wants, then ply the thirds together.  With that method of color handling, you run the risk of the whole thing turning to mud or at least getting some muddy sections, particularly with a colorway that goes all the way around the color wheel.  (If it was an analogous colorway, hues next to each other on the color wheel,  the risk of mud would be minimal to non existent.)  

Easter egg sock yarn

Instead I decided to spin this another way.  First I divided the length of fiber into thirds by weight.  I didn't try to keep the stripe sequence intact, I just weighed and divided at this point.  The first bobbin is being spun from the first third of the fiber and I haven't done any further fiber prep.  I'm spinning straight through with one long section of color after another.  The second section of fiber I split into fourths lengthwise.  The color sections on this bobbin will be shorter than those on the first bobbin.  The third and final section of fiber was split into eighths lengthwise, so the color sections will be very short in this singles.  Above, you can see the the three sections of fiber starting with section 1 in the lower left corner.  You can see the difference in fiber width in each nest of fiber.

Easter eggs sock spinning

Here is the beginning of the first bobbin and you can see the large chunks of color on the singles.  Once I have all three bobbins of singles spun and ply them together, it's this first bobbin that will visually anchor the finished yarn.  Our eyes look for order and pattern and whatever is going on colorwise in the singles on bobbins two and three, bobbin one will be making long sections of a single color.  This should help to unify the shorter lengths of color from the other two bobbins and give me a fun color party on my yarn.

At least that's how it works in my head.  We'll have to see what actually happens, but that's the fun of spinning!

Finally, I just wanted to mention that while the way I stripped the fiber into increasingly narrow sections for each bobbin is similar to fractal spinning, I'm making no effort to keep the stripe sequence intact here, which is a big part of fractal spinning.  So, I'm not actually doing fractal spinning.  I didn't want to confuse anyone with this, just in case!

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Thursday, October 07, 2021

New Knitting

Mermaid avenue sock

I have started a couple of new projects recently so I thought I'd share them!  After finishing Mickael's mitts, I needed another small project to work on, so I cast on a pair of socks.  These are the Mermaid Avenue Socks knit in Dream In Color Smooshy in Milky Spite.  The pattern is fun to knit and easily memorized, but it doesn't grow vertically very quickly.  Blocking will help some, but it's also just part of the stitch pattern.  I don't think I want to continue the pattern down the foot (I think the texture might bother me in a shoe), but I don't want to just quit at the ankle either.  I've got an idea, but until I know if it's going to work, I'm keeping it to myself.

This too shawl pass

The other project I just started is a shawl for ESK's fourth quarter Craft-A-Long.  The theme is lace knit in Aran weight yarn or heavier.  I've got a couple of projects planned for this quarter, but this is my first one.  This is This Too Shawl Pass in Cascade Eco Plus in Blackberry Cordial.  I'm loving the pattern and it's fun to watch it grow so quickly in this thick yarn. There's a little bit of lace on the wrong side, but it's easy and so far I'm not having any trouble knitting this while I watch TV.  The finished shawl is going to be gloriously snuggly!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


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Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Spin, Spun, Done!

Teals combination spin

I got all of my recently plied yarn skeined and washed to set the twist over the weekend.  This ended up being 2,352 yards of finished three ply and I haven't checked wraps per inch, but just eyeballing it, it looks like sportweight.  I love the way the yarn turned out and it was so much fun to spin.  I will definitely be doing another combination spin again.  

Combo spinning

These are the original six braids I started with.  Each was 100 grams or 4 ounces.  Four of them were 80% Polwarth/20% silk, one was 50% Merino/50% silk, and one was 100% BFL.  I divided each braid into sixths by weight, so there was an equal amount of each spun onto each bobbin of singles.

Teals combination spin

Here's a close up of the finished yarn.  It's got more green in it in real life, but I had trouble color correcting the photo.  I can't express how much I love this finished yarn.  I don't know yet what I will knit out of it, but I will swatch it first - I don't want to lose the colors in a stitch pattern or vice versa.  It might end up being stockinette, just to let the yarn shine.

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