Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Guess that Project!

Another UFO is born! This one almost didn't make UFO status, since I *thought* I would finish it the day I started yet. funny am I????

Anyway, I did meet one self-imposed UFO requirement before starting it...I finished a store sample scarf that I've yet to write the pattern for. Which was good...old shale on size 6 needles, longish scarf. Kind of an accomplishment for me:) Egads....I feel a marathon pattern writing day coming on soon. ugh. yuck. I should take a picture of it but I'll probably use the mannequin at the shop and try to be creative since it's going to be a pattern. Anyway, it turned out nice!

So, I had borrowed a few books from Mom, and was leafing through one of them and this thing jumped out at me. Particularly since I'd been sorting through my weird basket of little tiny balls o'handspun granny square crochet project. (I only crochet granny squares, btw. Nothing else) You know that itch you get looking at a book? The fever to grab yarn and needles and KNIT DAMMIT even though it means asking your DH to finish the dinner that's on the stove? It was that kind of project.

I had a few balls of handspun in there that were kinda big to dedicate to the granny square handspun history project and some small amount of wool/mohair on a cone and I commenced knitting right away and truly thought you ladies would never read about it on this blog. It so was not going to be UFO! It was a "study" I told myself, in how natural yarns mix when doubled and knit in no particular order. Ha. But I did discover that I really like grey and reddish brown doubled and knit together so the "study" was successful! I'm such a doofus when it comes to wanting to use up tiny balls of's a sickness and I'm becoming a master at it, lemme tell ya!

So...what is it? Can anyone guess? The first person to get it right gets a small giftie from me!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Update on spinning and a new project

This I think... No I know I'm in love with!!!! This is my first spun yarn after buying my wheel and receiving it 3 weeks ago. I went to have a class with the lady I bought my wheel from last thursday and she said " you don't need to be taught anything, Your a natural!" WOW what a compliment!. This is 100% alpaca. there is approximately 682 yards and weighs about 8 oz on my kitchen scale. This yarn is a bulky yarn I would most likely knit it with size 9-11 US needles. I'm not sure what I will use this for as of yet but, I'm sure something with be calling it name/

this is some wool that I tried to make into lace weight, but It does not have enough twist. I guess I will have to spin faster!!

These two pictures are of clue 1 of the mystery shawl KAL. I spun this myself!!!! I'm so impressed. this is a 50 merino and 50 silk from the Copper Moose in black cherry. There is about 840 yards in the ball and skein that needs to be wound up. I think I will do one more skein but just a little bigger and we'll see if that will be enough for the whole shawl. I'm not sure but I don't want to spin more that what I need. I'd like some left for some lace weight. I am using a size 7 needle.

OK, well that's all for knitting at the moment. I need to get to bed tomarrow Hunter has a appointment at the University of Iowa for testing for ADHD and Autism. We have to leave at 6:00 am and hopefully will make it home by 6:00pm. So, I need to try to sleep but I don't think I'll get much. To much on the mind:((

Happy Knitting

Friday, March 23, 2007

"That" Shawlette

A while back folks asked for a photo of my shawlette. Here you go:

This is inspired by the Cashmere America Triangular Lace Scarf pictured here:
which uses Barbara Walker's Roman Walk lace pattern. I used BW's Madeira Lace, which looks a bit like spiders.

Have y'all seen the Barbara Walker Treasury Project? I have to knit up a sample just for that! really, I will ... does that make it a UFO? the wanting to do it? hahaha.

And yes, Dorothy, that is handspun. So it doesn't always get "stuck" as yarn in my stash, LOL. It's "Over the Rainbow", a specialty colorway (read: one run only) from Crosspatch Creations -- the purple is wool and silk, the orange is silk and silk noil. All gone now, though a lady at Camp Burton last weekend was spinning the ones she'd bought last summer. Nice to see folks working through their stash!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sad news and not much progress....

I'm so sorry everyone that I've been away for so has definitely been a challenge lately and Sunday I lost this little guy...Frank was very old for a guinea pig but that doesn't mean I was exactly ready for him to go :( He was a lovely little buddy and wonderful companion and I'll miss him very much.

I've been nursing my old pot bellied pig Bessie for a few weeks now and it's not looking real good for her either, but she's also very old (19).

Then there's the remodeling stress and Running a Small Business Stress and all of it together has made me pretty freaking listless. I hadn't even wanted to knit or spin or anything till the other day and I actually DID finish a UFO (Grey Ripples scarf shop sample) but I need to wash and block it before sharing. I have been slowly getting some dyeing done which feels good and my spinning wheel is definitely beckoning so I may take some quality time with it tonight. I've done some half-hearted spindle spinning too but nothing monumental to share there either.

I did manage to finally wash this little skein, which is what I spun up out of the Basil wool/silk laps I sell to finish the funky scarf vest. I *still* need to wash and block and sew that and hopefully this skein will be enough for the collar and to mix with the little bit of handspun left for some fringe. Love the handspun from the wool/silk laps...great drape and sooo soft! It's definitely spring here but I'm motivated to finish that thing and wear it at least once or twice before it gets too warm!

Keep posting away you guys...even though I'm quiet it's very nice to come here and see what you've all been up to! Looks like you're all doing some great work and that makes me happy :)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Came up for air and thought I would check in. Bad news, I can't find the pattern I was going to use for the triple berry sweater. On the other hand, I'm going to give a go at designing my own pattern (gulp). I'm going to use the basic sweater pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd and have been busy swatching cable designs. Yes, this will be a cabled sweater. The swatching is done and I have cast on, but now I'm a little scared since this will be the first time I've done any designing. The blue vest is making progress. I took it to work and am knitting during my lunch break.

Karen in northern MI

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Look what I've been doing!!!

This is my Ashford Traveller. (and my messy kitchen. Who wants to clean when this arives!!!!????). Well, now I just have to figure out what to name her. I know there are several people who have named there wheels. Any Suggestions????? Doesn't hurt to ask!!

OK, does this not look like a purple nightmare?????!!!! This is my first spinn on my wheel on Wednesday night. I actually don't think the the spinning was all that bad. But, I tryed to ply it and I have no idea really how to do that so that just might be the issue. Of course it's was a freebie so that's ok.

This is 3.2 oz of suri alpaca form Alpacas D'Auxvasse. I think I'm in love with this fiber. It is easy to work with and just so soft that you want to use it as a pillow. The only thing that I noticed is that it is a fuzzy yarn. I'm not sure if this is due to my inexperience or just the way it is supposed to be. I have not plyed it yet for I am waiting to have my first spinning class with the lady I bought my wheel from. I'm hopeing this coming Thursday.

This is what I am currently working on. It is a deep red superwash wool from The Sheep Shed Studio. I just have to keep reminding myself.... thin but not to thin. It's going well so far.

I would love to hear feedback from all you spinners out there.

Keep spinning

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Miniature sightings ...

I couldn't resist! With about 15 booth samples to knit and the first spring show next week, I've given up on the arm warmers (an in-progress project is usually a big booth hit, anyway -- people like knowing I'm just like them and can't finish anything!), not to mention the sock yarn spinning, and have been busily knitting minis. Descriptions available here ... photos below:

(Yes Leah, those are peas!)

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Leah, I couldn't RUN AWAY!!!!

Leah, I just couldn't RUN AWAY. I actually ran toward. I went today to look at the Ashford Joy and the Ashford Traveler. I unfortunatly had to have my son with me so I didn't really get a lot of time to spin but what I did looked pretty good for the first time spinning. SOOOOOO, I purchased one. I'm so excited that when I got home I ordered some fiber to. Everything should be here just in time for me to have to go to work next week, how unlucky could that be. Anyway, when I get her all set up and something spun I'll post so pictures of my progress.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

"What's a UFO Contest" -- winner drawn!

I wrote down all the entrants' names ... we had 5 entries -- woot! Lots of great thoughts.

My favorite remains the one that sparked the contest -- Melissa's email to UFOKnitClub that UFO actually means "Up For Other" projects. And Jennifer's comment on my blog posting about spinning adding to my stash (or not) - that I'm indulging (my word ) in stash transfer. Whew, escaped that one being stash enhancement. So the etsy package that showed up yesterday is "okay", LOL, since it's research on spinning, ha ha.

DS picked a random number from 1 to 5 -- he picked "2". So the winner, in my randomly written down list of names (that DS couldn't see while he wrote his number) is ... Elysbeth! yep, she wins again! The disco ball is now being plugged in ...

FLAK finished!

I finally finished the FLAK sweater. I started this as part of a KAL last January. Since I have huge issues with Start-itis, it kept getting sent to the bottom of the pile. Last weekend, my Grandmother fell and broke her leg and died as a result of surgery. This week has been very difficult, but I have learned from my experience in hospice that it's better for me to work through feelings, than try to put them aside. So, I did lots of knitting and thinking this week. My Grandmother wasn't a knitter, but she would have been very happy that I finished this. She was the one who pretty much raised me after an abusive early childhood and she taught me how to quilt, embroider and sew my own clothes.

The yarn is Galway in Sage Heather. On my computer, it looks gray, but the color is really a soft green. I am such a loose knitter, that I used size 4 needles for the body and size 3 for the twisted ribbing. This sweater was a huge confidence builder for me. I learned how important swatching really is. I also now feel like I can knit any sweater to fit me, something that I've struggled with for years. Now what to tackle next before the Start-itis bug bites again?

Friday, March 2, 2007

questions about spinning

Hi everyone,

I know that there are some of you that spin and I have some questions for you. I am considering buying a Ashford Joy spinning wheel, now keep in mind I don't know how to spin yet but am going to find some classes in my area. I want a wheel that is able to pack away from my three children who just can't seem to keep their hands off of things. So is this what would be a good choice??? Also, where do all of you buy your fibers from??? and what fibers are good to spin with for a beginner???? I hope that you can offer me some advice. Thanks

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Wait, how does making yarn not add to my stash?

OK, this is really a WIP. It was never a UFO. But now it may become one while I re-touch another UFO (spinning again ... hmmm, I sense a trend here).

First, we had this:

Actually, to be technically 100% correct, we had the fraternal twin of that, since this is the other four ounces-plus, to be spun as a 2-ply at 15 WPI rather than the 3-ply 18 WPI I've now done (oops, cat's out of the bag ...)

Let's see, I bought that at Madrona Fiber Arts, so that would have been January 26th.

Then, by last weekend we had this:

And just after lunch today (March 1st) we had this:

Hey, who put that shell there?

Now, "Hang on Sloopy" is taking a sensuous soak in the sink and considering renaming herself "Sunshine for Buttercups". I had to censor that picture, so here's the "dime shot" for you to check out the 18-WPIness of this Navajo-plied yarn:

Why is it in danger of UFO'ing itself, when there's just a two-evening session between this skein and its sock-dom (two evenings on a sock machine)? Well, I pulled out my Journey Wheel and got back into spinning _that_ sock yarn. Then I pulled samples of every commercial sock yarn I had onto a card, the sloopy, the JW's yarn, and even some handspun sockyarn I bought off of etsy just for this purpose (ok, I've cracked ... I admit it!)

Minor observations: most commercial sock yarns are 4 ply! some are 2 ply (the cotton/lycra, and Koigu). Opal and Lorna's Laces have the same plies and twist angle, but LL seems alot softer. Most of them have a twist angle of betwen 27 and 33; the handspun I bought is thicker (14 WPI) and less twisted (21 TAngle). Opal is finer than Regia -- 18 WPI Opal, 16 WPI Regia. But hard to see with the naked eye when looking at bare strands! So, I'm going to spin the second half of Sloopy to be about 15 WPI 2-plied with a 30 degree twist angle. Now I need my calculator to figure out what the singles' WPI and twist angle will be ....

Remember, just 2 days left in our "what makes it a UFO" contest! post your comments, email the list -- redefine UFO! define UFO! whatever. If aliens take it off the planet, is it technically a UFO? or a LISO (lost in space object)?