Knitting the Light Fantastic

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Archive for the ‘Tour de Fleece’ Category

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 »

This is why I rarely go to my LYS anymore!

Posted by notthatkat on July 21, 2007

Warning! Danger Will Robinson! blatant Yarn P0rN ahead! Consider yourself warned!

As I said the other day, my LYSO held her annual Christmas in July sale this week (Thurs-Sat) and I met friends there after work today. Now, in my defense, most of what I got was deeply discounted (the discontinued yarn up to 70% off), is earmarked for specific project, or was bought in project sized quantities. Furthermore, I haven’t been to my LYS since the last sale – in January, and I used the last bit of my hoarded tax refund money. I regret nothing!

All that being said, I fell off the wagon. Hard.

Luxuary Yarn

This was the deal of the day. 10 balls of 100% silk fingering weight yarn in a dusty teal color. Not cheap, at least by my yardstick, but a third of the pre-discontinued price. I don’t have a specific project for this, but I have enough to do at least a short sleeved sweater. I do have an idea of what I want – just not sure I can find it. I might design the pattern myself.

Lana D'Oro

Enough Lana D’Oro for either a Rogue or a Cable Down Raglan. I already have some Wool of the Andes in my stash I was planning to use for CDR, but again I could go either way on that one too. Which do y’all think?

Indiecita Alpaca

Enough Indiecita Alpaca to do a long sleeved sweater as long as it doesn’t have (much) cabling. This yarn is not hot pink like it looks in the photo – more of a dusty rose.

Shetland Lace

I got 4 skeins (just over 1000 yards) of 2 ply Shetland lace weight. The colors on this yarn have wonderful complexity and depth. From a distance it appears blue-grey but it has lots of subtle heathering and variegation.


There were only 3 skeins of this lovely purple Hempathy left in the clearance basket, but I have some pink in my stash that I think it will work well with. I’m thinking I might take a page from Grumperina’s Book and make The Bag from No Sheep For You.

Heaven Adirondack

Heaven African Violet

These two lonely skeins were in the clearance baskets priced at a measly $5 each – about 1/4 of retail price. Each is enough to make a decent sized scarf (Christmas knitting is coming, after all).


I’ve been longing for this color of Trekking since I first laid eyes on it several months ago. I’ve picked it up and put it back more than once. It wasn’t quite as deeply discounted as some of my other purchases, but I figured if I’m going to get it (and it was seeming inevitable) I might as well get it on sale.


Last but not least (yes, there is an end to all this blatant consumerism), I got 3 skeins of Lanett, a superwash merino that I think will make a good substitute for Louet Gems, which is, sadly, not available to me locally. It is enough to make any of the non-knee socks from Cookie’s collection. I’m thinking Gothic Spire at the moment, but that may change.

Thus ends the Yarn P0rn. Now I’m gonna climb back on that wagon and try to stay there until SAFF, at least.

So, who else was at the local bookstore at midnight to get Harry Potter 7? Since I don’t have kids, and my sister’s family decided to skip the release party due to scheduling conflicts, I decided to wait to get there until after 10. I did use a gift card left over from my birthday to treat myself to Charmed Knits in keeping with the theme of the evening. Then I joined the end of the already forming line (in line by 10:45) and pulled out my spindle and roving and proceeded to spin for the next hour or so. This is one of my first times spindle spinning in public. I got a few questions and second looks, and the most frequent comment I heard as people were passing by was “cool” (most of these people were in the pre-25 set, and since I am decidedly not, I found this fascinating and thrilling.)

Spindle with superwash merino

I got a fair bit of spinning done and have spun up about a quarter of of this roving. I am planning to spin up the first half (2 oz) and Navajo ply, then repeat with the second half to give me two ~2 oz skeins of sock weight yarn. We’ll see if the reality matches the intention.

Getting in line early was a good idea, as I had my book and was out the door by 12:05. They were snaking the line through the aisles and I was in the turn between the second and third aisle back. By the time they started handing out books, the line went all the way down one side of the store and half way back up the other side.

Hokie Jaywalkers

I’ve made a bit of progress on my Hokie Jaywalkers, and although they seem a bit loose at the moment, I keep reminding myself that they will tighten up at the ankle when I start working the pattern all the way around the sock.

PSA: Moth balls are very bad for dogs. And kids. Keep them away from those who don’t have enough knowledge to leave them alone. And if, for some reason, your dog (or child) does get into them, seek help right away. Early intervention means a better chance of saving a life and minimizing symptoms (this is true for any potential toxin exposure).

Posted in socks, spinning, stash enhancement, Tour de Fleece, work | 2 Comments »

FO – Tessellating Lace Socks

Posted by notthatkat on July 18, 2007

Tessellating Lace Socks

I finished them this weekend, but have not been able to get it posted due to various life and work issues.   I love how they came out.  I’m working on writing up the pattern and still looking for a test knitter or two.

Tessellating Lace Socks

Pattern: Original design.  The pattern will be published on this site eventually whether or not I win the design competition.

Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock

Colorway: Wild Cherries

Needles: 2.75 mm (US 2) 16 inch circulars (2 socks/2 circs as usual)

Started: July 3 2007

Finished: July 15, 2007

Fine Cabled Mitts

I’m taking a wee break from socks (although I’ll probably have a new pair started by end of week) to use my usual sock needles to knit a pair of Fine Cabled Mitts for a friend.  They are almost done, with one more cable turn, a bit of ribbing at the top and thumbs to be completed.  The yarn is this handspun.

Superwash Single

Speaking of handspun, as I said there has been handspinning.  Since I was traveling this weekend, I switched gears to my favorite spindle and some superwash merino.  Spindle spinning is slower going, but I enjoy it a lot and I’ve continued with the spindle the early part of the week.  (what time I’ve been able to devote to spinning)  I have managed to spin at least a little every day, but I’ve not been able to do quite as much as last week.

Posted in FO, socks, spinning, summer of socks, Tour de Fleece | 3 Comments »

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 »


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 »