Knitting the Light Fantastic

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Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

We Have A Winner!

Posted by notthatkat on January 14, 2008

Colortweed Socks

The Colortweed socks won the race to become the first FO of 2008.   Mostly because I haven’t had the time and energy to sew the sleeves into Thermal, let alone go button shopping.


Here’s Thermal in it’s current sad state.  It only lacks shoulder seams, buttons, and weaving ends.  And a wee bath will improve it tremendously, I’m sure.  I’ll get around to finishing it soon-ish.  I promise.


What I have had time and patience for is fairly mindless knitting- something I can pick up and put down without worrying about losing my place.   It’s amazing to me how much quicker this is knitting up.  I know, larger gauge.  I will soon be at the point of dividing the sleeves from the body, and shortly after it will lose its dead simple quality, as all the detail (which I love) happens at the lower body and sleeve.  But I love it so far.


There must, of course, be a pair of socks going, so I cast on these on Friday.   I thought briefly about starting Thelonious or another CookieA sock, or something else more complicated, but again, the need for dead simple right now.  It looks complex so far, but after about this point, the patterning becomes much simpler.  These are Lenore socks, from the Rockin’ Sock Club (Oct 2007) and they were designed by La Harlot.  The yarn is part of the Raven series, and I may have to try some of the other colors if they’re still available when I allow myself to buy yarn again.

I’m off to catch up on some lost sleep before I go dashing off again.


Posted in FO, rockin' sock club, socks, Thermal, Yarn Harlot | 1 Comment »

Full Confession

Posted by notthatkat on January 5, 2008

Remember how I said the other day that I want to continue to knit mostly from my stash? Well, I went to my (favorite) LYS today with a friend as she is having her twice annual store wide sale right now. I did buy some yarn, but I was fairly restrained and almost all of the yarn that came home with me already has designated projects. I know I’m rationalizing a bit, but I also have spent so little on yarn in recent months, I felt a little splurge wasn’t unreasonable. No sweater quantities of yarn followed me home, and I spent a fraction of what I did in July.

Clog Yarn

At Christmas, my nephew Patrick asked me if I would make him slippers, and I of course agreed. We discussed color choices, and his only request was for green. Not green and a neutral shade, but all green. I went stash diving, but was unable to come up with 2 different feltable yarns in coordinating shades of green that would work. This is the combo I came up with today.

Pirate Hat Yarn

I want to do another Pirate Hat, this time for me, and this yarn worked so well the last time, I went back for more. It is the right weight, fairly inexpensive, and works up well, It is a bit scratchy to work with, but softens up nicely in the wash.

Regia Silk 6 ply

I loved working with the self striping Regia Silk, and the socks I’ve made with this yarn is really holding up well. I’ve been wanting to try the solid color version ever since. I don’t have a specific sock pattern in mind for this one, but I’m thinking something lacy that will really pop in this yarn.

Green Sock Yarn

This yarn just begs to be knit up into Thelonious, to me.   This might be the next socks to jump on the needles, when the current ones are done.

Mountain Colors 4/8's

This yarn kept calling to me, and as hard as I tried to resist, putting it back on the shelf three separate times, it wanted to come home with me.   I’ve been looking through the stash for yarn for a Koolhaas hat, but nothing seems quite right.  Either it’s too variegated, or it’s a solid that I can’t wear near my face, or I have too little, or it’s the wrong gauge, or another project it’s earmarked for… you get the idea.  This yarn will make a very nice Koolhaas, I think.  The tonal variegation is enough to add interest, but not so much as to fight the stitch pattern.

So that was it.  I spent a bit over half of the maximum I had allowed for myself, and I think I done good.  Now I’m not buying yarn again in the near future.  How long?  Dunno.  I haven’t made a firm commitment not to buy yarn for X period of time.  I just want to only buy yarn if there is nothing appropriate in the stash, and making knitting with stashed yarns a priority.

Colortweed Socks

The Colortweed socks and Thermal are neck and neck at the moment to see who will be the first FO for 2008.  Colortweed seems to be eeking ahead.  (I didn’t take another picture of the Thermal sleeves – they don’t look that different)  I have more actual knitting left to do on Thermal, but I’m focusing on that project more also, so it’s anyone’s guess.  I’m about half way through the sleeve caps, but I still have the neckline and placket to do as well.  I’m hoping to have the sleeves off the needles tonight.

Bee Fields continues to languish in the bottom of the knitting bag, but I promise to concentrate on this once Thermal is done.

Merino Tencel Single

I’ve managed to spin for 4 out of the last 5 days, for at least 30 minutes a day, and have made progress on my lace weight yarn.  I still have a ways to go before I’m ready to ply, but I’m making noticeable progress and if I continue at this rate, I’ll have no problem finishing this yarn by the end of the month.  Since pictures of slightly fuller bobbins don’t make for exciting blogging, don’t be surprised if you don’t see much more of this until I’m ready to ply.

Posted in socks, spinning, Spun Stitches, stash enhancement | 2 Comments »

WIP it good

Posted by notthatkat on January 2, 2008

Thermal Sleeves

Talk of future knits is all well and good, but it’s the current WIP’s that I’ve been focusing my energies on.  The Thermal sleeves are nearing completion: I started shaping the sleeve caps this morning.  The shaping adjustments I made still seem to be working out, so I’m not too worried about it anymore.  I am looking forward to getting this one done so I can wear it.

Colortweed Socks

The Colortweed socks are practically flying off the needles.  I tried a band heel, and when I got to the pick up part, either my math was wonky, or I did something wrong, because I had more slipped stitches on each side than I was supposed to pick up.  This would have left me with too many stitches or holes if I skipped some on my pick up.  I pulled it out and worked my usual short row heel.  Maybe I’ll try this heel again later, but I just couldn’t face reworking it at that time.

Posted in socks, Thermal | Leave a Comment »

Looking Ahead

Posted by notthatkat on January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a good and safe New Year. Mine was quiet, and I was asleep before the ball dropped last night. Yes, I know I’m lame.

I never really make any big resolutions at New Year’s, but try to implement ideas and changes as they come upon me. So my plans for the start 2008 is to continue on with things I’ve been doing for a while now. I’ve lost about 20 pounds over the last few months, simply by cutting back on what I eat. I’d like to continue this trend.

On the fiber front, I am adopting much the same attitude. Knitting from my stash will continue for the foreseeable future. I don’t follow strict rules, and if I find myself needing yarn for a project that nothing in my stash is quite right for, I’ll go buy it. (My nephew has asked for felted slippers, and while I have one of the colors we discussed in my stash, I will probably have to shop outside my stash to coordinate a second color.) However as I decided this fall, my stash is (still) far too large, and full of very good yarns just waiting their turn. Buying more right now is unnecessary.

Socks will certainly continue in the rotation. I opted not to join Rockin’ Sock Club for 2008, in part because I still have 4 of my 2007 kits untouched. One of these might be next after the current sock. Likewise, I dropped out of Yarn Pirate’s Booty Club after the December shipment. The yarns are beautiful, but I have not managed to knit with a single one yet. Fear not for my sock knitting, however, as I believe I have more than enough sock yarn to see me through the year even if I don’t buy a single skein, which is doubtful. I have a Kitri sock kit waiting in the wings. I was hoping to do another pair of Math Whiz socks, this time for me, as well as knitting another pair of Rococo to replace the pair that felted, and a couple other of Anne’s sock patterns I haven’t worked with yet. There are other patterns and ideas kicking around in there, including a few design ideas.

Lace will certainly be featured in 2008 as well. I have some handspun yarn just waiting to be turned into a Swallowtail Shawl. I have a deep love for Juno Regina and Icarus, neither of which I’ve knitted yet. And from Anne, I have Twinings and Irtfa’a and Cluaranach, and I could go on and I know she will have released 2-3 new patterns I love by the time I’ve managed to get one of these done.

On the sweater front, I do have a couple patterns picked out to follow my Thermal. Next up will probably be the Elizabeth Bennet Cardigan from Fitted Knits. This sweater called to me the first time I saw it, and I’ve already swatched it up. Also ready to go is a T-twist Tee as well as a tank top from Knitting Nature, but these will probably wait for warmer weather to get started. I also want to do a Rogue, and I think I have yarn in my stash that will work for it. I like Sesame, but the yarn I want to use is thicker than what’s called for. I might try to re-work the pattern for the yarn I have. I have several stashed yarns in shell to sweater quantities that I just need to find or create patterns for.

I’m sure there will be small projects and other ideas along the way as well. I’m not sure how many of these projects I’ll actually get around to, but these are the ones that I’m tossing around in the back of my mind at the moment.

On the spinning front, I joined NaSpiMoMo (National Spin More Month) which kicked off today. My goals are to spin every day, even if only for a little bit some days, and finish my lace weight yarn for Spun Stitches. Anything I get done beyond that in January is a bonus. Beyond that, I don’t have specific plans, as I tend to just pick out something from the stash that appeal to me at the time and work on that. Overall, I would like to spin more often, and learn some new techniques (long draw especially). And I’d like to do more spinning with intention – ie. with a clearer idea of what qualities I want in a yarn rather that seeing what I get and deciding what to do with it based on that. And on that note, I’m off to spin for tonight.

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2007 in Review

Posted by notthatkat on December 31, 2007

(For details on all my FO’s for 2007, check out the FO 2007 page. Links from this post lead to pictures for the most part)

So as the door closes on 2007, I wanted to take a moment and review what I’ve accomplished, fiber arts wise, over the year. Since I only started blogging in late April, I’m afraid that’s as far back as my record goes. I know I knit prior to that, but frankly, I’m having trouble remembering the specifics. I know there were some socks and other small items, but for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you without checking out the sock drawer if my life depended on it. So…

Since April I have completed 32 knit items, not counting a couple dishcloths that didn’t quite make it onto the blog. Eleven of these came in the form of socks, including my first hand spun socks, 2 (of 6) of the Rockin’ Sock Club kits for 2007, Math Whiz socks for my Sockapalooza Pal (I also got a great pair of socks from my upstream Pal) and assorted other socks as a yarn or pattern struck a chord with me. I also designed and published my first sock pattern (hopefully not my last), and so far the reception has been very favorable.

I also knit four pair of fingerless mitts and a pair of fingerless gloves. All of them were different, and I loved making each of them. All but one pair now belong with various loved ones, and I hope they help keep them warm through the winter months.

Several long smoldering UFO’s got finished over the year. Some were part of the crazy 5-day-in-a-row FO marathon in June (what was I thinking?), but the one I’m proudest of is the christening blanket. Not for nothing did my friend Christine rename it “monster lace.”

I made two shells and a winter sweater over the course of the year (I know I didn’t manage a sweater before April). There was a flurry of Christmas knitting. I chose to stick with accessories and other little knits for Christmas presents, and everyone loved what I made them.

All in all it was a good year for knitting for me. The spinning… I am not, and doubt I will ever be, a production spinner. My output in finished yarn is sporadic at best. That being said, I do think my spinning has improved dramatically over the last year, and I have taken on some challanges and big projects on the spinning front. I am pleased with my progress as a spinner.

Coming up tomorrow, my fiber plans for the New Year.

Posted in knitting, spinning | Leave a Comment »