Knitting the Light Fantastic

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Archive for the ‘Spun Stitches’ Category

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.

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

An FO, a nearly FO and a Tour de Fleece wrap up

Posted by notthatkat on July 31, 2007

As promised, I finished my Pehuén shell this weekend.  The perle cotton was just perfect for seaming, and I will remember it the next time I’m looking for seaming yarn for cotton knits.

Pehuén shell

I think it came out rather well.  The photo below shows the colors more accurately:

Pehuén shell

Pattern:  Calling it an original design makes it sound much more elaborate that it really was.  A simple sleeveless top (shell, tank, camisole, pick your favorite fashion term) with waist shaping, a turned hem and crochet around the neck and sleeves.

Yarn: Pehuén by Araucania in colorway 8 (lavender, red, black, grey) Used almost 5 balls of the 8 in my stash.

Needles: size 6 24″ circulars from my Knit Picks Options set

Started: June 15, 2007

Finished: July 29, 2007

Hokie Jaywalkers

The Jaywalkers are almost done.  I need to bind off and put in my heels, and then they will be complete.

When Jaywalkers Meet

The other night, I was working on them and looked down and realized that I was wearing my other pair of Jaywalkers.  So they had a little meet and greet (This is the third time I’ve knit this pattern – the first pair I made went to my niece.)

Mystery Stole 3

I finished clue 3 on my Mystery Stole.  I have not actually blocked it, but it looks like it will come in pretty close to the proscribed length once blocked.  I’m gonna try to get as much of clue 4 done in the next couple days as possible, but I’m not sure I’ll be done clue 4 before clue 5 comes out.  No worries – I’m not falling too far behind.

Cable-Down Raglan

I was going to wait to cast on another sweater until I got at least one lace project off the needles, but looked what jumped on my needles before I could stop it.  In wool, in South Carolina, in August.  I am finding it enchanting so far.  The siren call of one more row keeps pulling me back.

Finally I wanted to do a wrap up for Tour de Fleece.  I am not the most prolific spinner, and will never claim to be.  I love spinning, but I am so busy, I tend to go for long periods at a time without spinning at all.  Even making an effort, there were many days when eeking out 10-15 minutes to spin was difficult.  I do think it was good to spin more regularly and I am going to try to spin on a more regular basis from now on.  That being said, in addition to this yarn (which was started before the Tour started) I didn’t finish a single yarn:

Merino tencel laceweight

I am almost through the first 2 oz merino/tencel roving I am spinning for my Spun Stitches project.  This roving, Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks colorway Purple Haze ordered from Crown Mountain Farms, is spinning up wonderfully into a very fine single.  I have a long way to go on this, as once I finish this roving I have another one to spin up for the second ply, but I’m enjoying the process, so don’t take this as a complaint.

Sock Singles

I managed to spindle spin about an ounce of superwash merino from Mama E.  The plan is to spin 2 oz, Navajo or chain ply, then repeat with the remaining 2 oz.  Hopefully when I’m done, I’ll have a credible sock yarn to show for my efforts.

So very little finished yarn during Tour de Fleece, but good progress for me.  I want to continue making an effort to spin on a regular basis, and hopefully, I might finish me some yarn in the not-too-distant future.

Posted in Cable-Down Raglan, FO, mystery stole 3, Pehuen Shell, spinning, Spun Stitches, summer of socks, Tour de Fleece | Leave a Comment »

Lace, lace, and more lace

Posted by notthatkat on July 12, 2007

Original Design Socks

The socks now have heels and I’m cruising down the foot. I’ve done one full pattern repeat, and I think it will take two and a half to get to the proper length for toe shaping. I’ve started writing up the pattern, and although it needs a bit of polishing in a few places, it is coming along fairly well also. I’m still pondering names. I’ve gotten a couple suggestions, but it’s not to late to give me yours.

I’ve managed to pull back (or is that transfer) from the obsessive knitting, because lately I’ve been captivated by lace. Yesterday, I finished Clue 2 on my Mystery Stole.

Mystery Stole 3

I think I must be the laziest blogger in this KAL, because as yet, I have yet to take a good, pinned out picture of this stole-in-progress. Next time, I promise to take a pretty picture. The beads don’t show up well in the pictures I’ve posted so far (Along with the pretty pictures, I’ll try to get some close ups that show them off), but I think they really add to the lace pattern.

While I was on a lace kick, last night I swatched (again) the edging pattern for my christening blanket and played around with what to do about those corner sections. I opted for a short row shaping, but the edging pattern is wide so the effect will be subtle and I’m hoping blocking will help shape stronger corners. If not, I think it will be beautiful nonetheless.

Christening Blanket Edging

Full of excitement over finally figuring out what to do about my corners, I decided to get started on the blanket itself. I’ve managed to complete three repeats of the edging pattern. Only 81 to go if my math is right (20 on each side, and 1 in each corner). I still have a bit of a slog ahead of me, but I like the lace pattern I came up with (my own design, took a lot of swatching and adapting to get it just as I wanted it) and find it fairly intuitive once it gets going. Since this is the first progress I’ve made on this project in many many months, I’m satisfied.

Purple Haze

Finally, lest you think I’ve been neglecting my Tour de Fleece obligations, I’ve been spinning a bit of lace weight from my merino/tencel roving. Me like! BTW, it takes me a long time to spin up a wee bit of fiber that fine. The bobbin pictured above represents about three hours of spinning time. I still have to put in a bit of spinning time tonight, and by that I mean another hour or so. Will I finish the first ounce tonight? Probably not.

I’m traveling this weekend, so I’m breaking out the spindles and some superwash roving I want to spin up into sock yarn. And I promised to teach a friend how to spindle spin this weekend, so I’ll pack an extra spindle or three and some easy to spin roving.

Posted in christening blanket, mystery stole 3, Spun Stitches, summer of socks, Tour de Fleece | Leave a Comment »

Tour de Fleece Day 3

Posted by notthatkat on July 9, 2007

Midnight Blues

I’ve gotten off to a very strong start on Tour de Fleece. I spun the second half of my Midnight Blues Roving and plied it. My love affair with this roving/yarn continues.

Midnight Blues

I got just over 500 yards out of about 3 grams of wool. I think this is destined to be a Swallowtail Shawl. I feel my spinning is improving with every skein I spin, and I am have made so much improvement in the last six months. This was supposed to be my “practice” yarn for Spun Stitches, but I’ve pretty much spun a (small) shawl’s worth of yarn in a true lace weight. Not that I won’t still do spin up the other roving I planned to use for its original intended purpose. Hopefully I can get enough yardage out of it for a bigger shawl or stole.

Original Design Socks

The socks were not neglected with all the spinning; they are getting close to needing heels. I’m still loving the pattern, both the knitting and the look of it. The curves and arcs make it look very organic.

Mystery Stole

I managed to tear myself away from my obsessive devotion to my socks to finish off the first clue on my Mystery Stole and about 10 rows on clue 2. The beads don’t show up well in the picture, but I think they really add a lot to the stole. I am trying to stay mostly caught up on this one. We’ll see if I can keep that up once things get crazy in August.

Posted in mystery stole 3, socks, spinning, Spun Stitches, summer of socks | 1 Comment »

Overcommitting

Posted by notthatkat on June 28, 2007

I’ve joined the Tour de Fleece (see button in sidebar).  I am in danger of overextending myself beyond even my usual craziness.  Since the goal is to spin at least a bit every day for the Tour (except two days off) with no specific amount or type, I am planning on rolling this together with my Spun Stitches spinning, which I want to get going on soon.  To that end, I’ve done a bit of spinning and plying the last couple days.

Grafton Corriedale

That’s the yarn I spun from the Grafton Corriedale batt, finally spun and plied last night.  It’s just shy of 300 yards and weighs in at three ounces.

Grafton Corriedale

The main colors in it are purple, yellow and aqua.  They shouldn’t work together, but they so do.  I tore strips off the batt (more blended/layered than graduated) and just spun them randomly.  I’m hoping it doesn’t turn into a muddy mess once it’s knit up, but in skeined yarn, I think it’s beauteous.  It’s still a bit damp, and I haven’t measured WPI, but it’s pretty darn fine.

I was still feeling the spinning urge last night once that was done (I am in training, after all), so I figured it was time to put my new hardware (high speed flyer and fat core bobbins) to the test.  I didn’t want to start with the merino/tencel I am planning to use for my shawl until I had a bit of practice with the new parts, just in case there was a learning curve.  I shopped my fiber stash, and came up with the roving I dyed a couple months ago.

Midnight Blues

I divided the roving in approximate halves and pre-drafted.  In case you’re new to spinning, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to pre-draft your roving.  It makes the spinning so much easier.  I spun a bit on this last night; some more during lunch today.

Midnight Blues

The love affair with this roving and colorway continues.  It is dark and mysterious and sublte, and I think will look fabulous as a small shawlette or scarf (again, I have about 3 ounces).  I am calling the colorway Midnight Blues for now.  Hopefully I’ll come up with a better name later.

And the new hardware?  LOVE it.  I was doing pretty good with my standard equipment, but the new flyer and bobbins make spinning fine so easy it’s practically effortless.

Pehuen Shell Back

The back of my Pehuén shell is off the needles.  I may have misread the instructions the software I’m test driving generated and knitted about 2 inches too much that needed to be ripped back when I realized that the armscythes would stretch nearly to my midriff, but we shall not speak of this.  It’s enough that this frogging did not have to be reknit, and I finished off this piece less than an hour later.  I didn’t knit from alternate skeins of yarn every few rows, and it shows a bit at the first ball change, but not so much at the second one (the back used ~2 1/2 balls).  I’ll do better with the front.

Embossed Leaves

The leaves have gotten a bit of progress as well.  I’ve done three repeats of the lace pattern.  The pattern calls for 3 1/2 before the heel, but I like a bit more leg to my socks than this will give me, so I’ll probably do 4 1/2.

Posted in Pehuen Shell, spinning, Spun Stitches, summer of socks, Tour de Fleece | 1 Comment »