Archive for March, 2012

Epic Twin Tweed Sweaters

They may have started off as part of an entire set.  There were hats, booties, even bibs that were brainstormed. These Ravelry searches and late-night swatch sessions left me pushing the deadline to complete the sweaters alone.  But I finally cast on and finished most of the first sweater.  Right before a little munchkin stole my pattern with all the notes necessary to complete the rest of the sweater and to make its twin!  Silly, M.

After stalling for a week trying to find the illusive piece of paper, I decided to re-print the pattern, tediously count rows and stitches, re-write all my notes and knit along. Of course my mother found the pattern in M’s room a few days before I cast off the second sweater.  However, they were completed, wrapped, and off to work in time for the baby shower for my colleague.

Ribbed Baby Jacket by Debbie Bliss knit up in Vanna's Choice Grey Marble tweed and Caron Simply Soft Black.

Buttons of perfection purchased at Uniquities in Vienna, VA

Up next on the needles is a cotton summer dress for M before I cast on for another baby gift… Friends: please stop making babies for a while.  Okay, thanks!

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A Pound and a Half

Today, I officially have a fiber stash.  An enormous fiber stash considering I only have drop spindles to spin with.  Though I plan to invest in a spinning wheel, I’m far away from saving enough to make the financial plunge.  But this didn’t stop me from buying at the Uniquities Fiber Farmers’ Market in Vienna today.  Not a bit.  Instead, I purchased another spindle to convince myself that this fiber could all be spun.

However, the longer I look at the POUND AND A HALF of Romney/Bamboo blend, the more it sinks in that I will have to find a way to store this until I have a spinning wheel.

1.5 lbs of magenta Romney/Bamboo from Wool N' Quilts Triple 'R' Farm

I placed my hand in the shot to give some perspective on how much fiber this really is, but I have a feeling that the love seat behind it may also hint at how large of a pile of bright magenta fluff I now have.  But I couldn’t walk away.  Even my mother stopped in awe of its beauty.  Oh, and it’s soooooooooo soft.  I fought the urge to roll around in it after taking its glamour shots.

The event, as a whole, was quite intimidating. As we waited a half an hour to get in… do to some miscommunications within the family about what time we were to arrive, the lobby of the community center slowly filled with spinners, many with their wheels for the spinning circle.  This was my parents’ first exposure to a mass of spinners and the fiber world in general.  It was clear that M was the only one in our group who wasn’t a bit overwhelmed.  But I went in with a plan.  I needed a new, larger spindle, some fiber wash, to walk around and soak in the fibery goodness and maybe walk out with a braid of fiber.  I certainly accomplished this… plus an extra braid, bag of pencil roving and clear trash bag of 1.5 pounds of fiber.

We made our way around the room to give everything a once-over before approaching any booths.  My father brought M to the bake sale table to encourage her sweet tooth and to support the local high schools crew team while my mother and I started digging in.  The first thing that caught our attention was the previously mentioned (and mentioned a lot) Romney/Bamboo fiber blend.  We then made our way back to the Uniquities booth to purchase the spindle and fiber wash.  As you may note in the picture below, I have already started spinning some previously-purchased Shetland fiber I’ve been dying to spin…

Drop Spindle with sheep heads stamped on the top of the whorl.

At this point, my father had taken M outside to eat her cookies, come back inside, washed her up and passed her along to my mother.  I returned to the other side of the room, promising that this booth would be my last stop as I had seen some extraordinary colors when making my first pass through the room.  It was at Wild Hare Fiber Studio that I purchased two braids of “Faux Cashmere” and one bag of “Sparkle Roving”.

2 - 4 oz braids of "Faux Cashmere" (Microfiber Nylon) in the Rose Petal colorway.

4 ozs of 63% superwash merino 20% silk, 15% nylon, 2% silver poly in the Evening Star colorway.

The photos, despite leaving the fiber in their bags, do depict the colors well.  The Rose Petal colorway is full of pinks, touches of red and a bit of coral.  While the Evening Star is royal blue melting into black with silver sparkle throughout.

Luckily, I do plan to replace my falling-apart bookcases with one very large bookcase from IKEA which should provide more storage for the smaller packages of fiber… however I may have to buy the largest plastic tub on the market to store my pound and a half.  Totally worth it.  I may avoid other fiber events this year, or at least until I have my wheel.  But Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is only two months away……

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Progress Report

After finishing the epic Thin Ice shawl, I have pretty closely adhered to my casting on goals.  In order to keep my sanity regarding my stash, I have been pairing yarn with projects and actually starting each project.  This, of course, results in a lot in progress and not a lot completed.  Thus far, however, I have finished two preemie hats and a rather oversized cowl.

Basic Knit/Purl textured striping. Picture taken before blocking.

Glücksburg Cowl by Silke K. knit in Blue Sky Alpaca Techno in the Metro Silver colorway.

Presently, I do have quite a few projects still on the needles, some matched with their yarn, and other patterns printed out awaiting a final decision.  As for on the needles, I have a pair of mittens, a textured hat, and another shawl.  The mittens were part of my KAL obsession, but I fell way behind with the colorwork and I haven’t made it past the first mitten’s cuff.  I love the way they are knitting up… and I’m sure I will finish them by the time we actually have a winter.

Mittens For Me! by Laura Linneman. Knit in Knit Picks Stroll in the Blue Topaz and Fedora colorways.

The hat had moved to time-out for a bit when I realized that working up a hat using six double point needles just wasn’t reasonable.  It did give me a good excuse to head over to my LYS during my lunch break to pick up some new Addi Turbo Lace needles long enough to Magic-Loop the rest of the hat.  I’ve started the decreases and I should finish by tomorrow.  The textured pattern does show a bit more in person, but it’s a gift for a friend’s son who adores orange and I actually really like the pooling that the pattern is creating.

Vegamot by Guro Djupvik. Knit in Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Sport in the Eastern Market colorway.

Finally, I have started the Shaelyn as a quick and simple lace-charted shawl.  The pattern is simple and it has been my go-to easy knitting.  I haven’t had as much time to focus on it, since I have been trying to get the gift knitting completed, but I foresee this shawl coming off the needles next week.  I love the Sweet Georgia yarn I’m knitting it in and I actually dream about getting some serious knitting time with this shawl.  Literally, dream about it.

Shaelyn by Leila Raabe. Knit in Sweet Georgia Yarns Superwash Sport in the Tourmaline colorway.

As for future projects, I have two sweaters, three shawls and loads of baby shower gifts lined up.  Time to start my gauge swatches! 😉

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Crafting Under The Influence… Of Illness

M gets sick… a lot. She’s two years old, so it’s expected. Unfortunately, every time she gets sick, I do too. We are, however, very different when we’re sick. I just want to lie around and do next to nothing, while she wants to be no where near a bed and instead gets rather hyperactive. So when I found that we needed to take a day off for her to go see the doctor, all the while nursing my own illness, I knew it would be rough trying to get some crafting in.

The morning went well, with few tantrums (from either of us) and a lot of snuggling in bed before her appointment. Just how a sick day should be spent. Then we packed up and went to the doctor’s appointment. Of course, I brought both of my drop spindles, more fiber than I could ever spin on a day spent completely by myself, and a simple cable cowl I’m knitting up. Though it was highly unlikely that I would touch any of these at the appointment, I did take the time to carefully choose projects to bring that would require little-to-no brain power. I just didn’t want to risk knitting a challenging project under a cloud of sickness… I needed to just relax and zone out.

It was a beautiful day, so when we arrive an hour early to the appointment, we decided to park, roll down all the windows and talk while I pre-drafted some fiber. After a surprising ten minutes of M sitting still, it was time to go inside. Fortunately, we were seen right away and didn’t have to go through the waiting room torture of M racing out of the room every time I tried to sit down.

After her appointment and lunch, I thought I would get the lazy knitting and/or spinning time I so desired during nap time. I kept waiting and waiting, trying to calm, getting frustrated, leaving the room, sitting in the room, rocking. I did everything. Almost anything to get my daughter to sleep so I could rest and relax. When it was finally clear that this was a giant waste of time for both of us, I gave up. She insisted on watching 101 Dalmatians and let me spin sitting next to her.

It was just what we needed, to revert back to how our morning was spent, lounging and doing very simple crafting. She watched the movie and me spinning and seemed equally fascinated when I relaxed and felt productive at the same time. Now that she’s been on antibiotics for two days, while I continue to get worse, here’s hoping that this weekend is full of relaxing, mindless crafting while lying in bed ignoring the two hour restriction on screen time.

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