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Posts Tagged ‘spinning’

I feel like I haven’t gotten in as much knitting this year as I usually do… here are a couple things I wasn’t yet able to reveal the last time I posted, as well as several things I’ve finished since then.

Kata Asymmetrical Shawl (photos by Evelyn Lamprey for Patternworks)

This is a quick and easy pattern I designed as a free pattern download with the purchase of Queensland Collection’s Uluru Rainbow yarn, for Patternworks. The yarn is now sold out – but I’m planning to make this available as a free download on Ravelry as soon as I get a chance to reformat the pattern in my own template.

StripyMiters

Stripy Miters Baby Blanket (photo by Evelyn Lamprey for Patternworks)

This is another pattern I designed for Patternworks, featuring DMC’s Natura XL cotton yarn. I love mitered squares, and this was a really fun construction. It’s completely seamless, constructed modularly, and finished with a crocheted edging. The pattern is available as a PDF download on the Interweave site.

Hot Flash Cardigan

I think I bought the yarn for this last year, or maybe it was fall of 2015, shortly after Laura Nelkin released the pattern. I loved working with the yarn, Soie et Lin from Knit One, Crochet Too, and I’m in love with Laura’s modular “Novus” construction! I definitely want to make another sweater in this structure – whether that actually happens remains to be seen…

More mittens – Since I had yarn left over from a 2-color hat I knit a couple (a few? several?) years ago for a catalog shoot, I made a pair of matching mittens. These are essentially the same as the red/orange ones from my previous post, but in two different colors of Ty-Dy Wool by Knit One, Crochet Too.

Ghost Ranch Shawlette CAL – Yup, I crocheted something! This was a project for work. I joined in the crochet-along with the Interweave team. You can read the Interweave blog posts about it here, here and here. I really enjoyed the pattern, and it worked up super fast.

B to the Three hat – During a visit to Interweave back in May, Anne Merrow challenged me to spin more. So, shortly after returning home, I got right down to it and quickly spun up some Mad Color Fiber Arts polwarth that was hanging out in my stash. I made this super-squishy, delightfully slouchy brioche hat with a ginormous pompom, which I gifted to my BFF, Mela, during our girls’ weekend in July. (I also spun up some alpaca fiber, which became the Winternet Scarf mentioned below.)

Cat’s Mittens – While hiking Mt. Adams in August, the topic of mittens came up (since we were all wearing mittens or gloves at various times above treeline due to chilly winds). I forget the exact course of the conversation, but it ended with me offering to knit some mittens for Cat. She’s an artist, and truly appreciates handknits, so I was glad to provide her hands with some toasty warmth for this coming winter!

Hiking socks for Devon – So, I’ve knit hiking socks for Lucy, and mittens for Cat. Of course I had to knit something for Devon, who is the fourth member of our core hiking group. I took photos of several skeins, and she picked the Crocus colorway of Knit One, Crochet Too’s Crock-O-Dye. After seeing how it was knitting up, I wanted a skein for myself – and luckily we still had some left (on sale!) in the Patternworks shop. This is my Fill-In-The-Blank Socks pattern, in plain stockinette.

In the past seven months, I’ve also finished a Winternet Scarf (which I had to reverse-engineer from the designer’s photos on Ravelry, since the pattern wasn’t available), knit from handspun alpaca and gifted to my friend Cyn during our girls’ weekend in July; a brioche cowl, gifted to my friend Tina on the same trip; and a pair of plain stockinette socks in Plymouth’s Forever Heathers self-striping yarn for myself, which I just haven’t gotten around to taking a photo of yet. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of the scarf and cowl before I gifted them to Cyn and Tina.

Polwarth on the left, Alpaca on the right.

Something old(ish) and something new. The Polwarth fiber was from Mad Color Fiber Arts, purchased at NH Sheep & Wool Festival in 2015 (two years old). Colorway is Berry Patch. I used the larger skein to knit the hat, and the smaller skein became the ginormous pompom of the B to the Three hat. The black/grey Alpaca fiber was purchased from the Skye View Alpaca Farm booth at NH Sheep & Wool this year. I basically returned from the festival, then spun and plied the yarn the very next day! Super-fast spin. The larger skein became the body of the Winternet scarf, and the smaller skein became the tassels on each end.

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I’ve been busy since my last post a little over a month ago! Find yourself a good spot on the sidewalk, the FO parade is coming through town…

Ennoble (Nelkin Designs Mystery KAL)
Quite an unglamorous photo… will probably replace later when I take a better one.

  • Pattern: Ennoble by Laura Nelkin
  • Yarn: Schaefer Yarns Heather, colorway Tatiana Proskuriakoff (T.P. for short!)
  • Needle: U.S. 6 (4.0mm)
  • Started 4/8/11, finished 5/28/11
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (login required)

Father’s Day Socks

  • Pattern: my own Father’s Day Socks pattern (garter rib panels on front and back flanked by small cables)
  • Yarn: Austermann Step Zodiac, Capricorn colorway (even though Dad is a Virgo…)
  • Needles: U.S. 0 (2.0mm) Addi Turbo, 40″ circular (magic loop, one at a time)
  • Started 5/5/11, finished 5/28/11
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (login required)

Preemie hats for Sweet Caroline Project

  • Pattern: Preemie Baby Beanies by Karen Everitt (basic construction, used stitches from sock patterns on them)
  • Yarns: (L-R) Southwest Trading TOFUtsies, Zitron Trekking Maxima, Plymouth Sockotta (all leftovers from socks – left and center – and baby sweater – right)
  • Needle: U.S. 2 (2.75mm)
  • First one started 6/5/11, third one finished 6/10/11 (each one took 2 evenings of knitting)
  • Link to my Ravelry project pages: #1, #2, #3 (login required)

Mysteriously Sublime Shawlette

Deep V Sweater Monstrosity!

  • Pattern: Deep V Sweater from Classic Knits by Erika Knight
  • Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed
  • Needles: U.S. 3 (3.25mm) and 5 (3.75mm)
  • Started 1/5/09 (yes, that’s 2009), finished 6/18/11 (yes, that’s 2011)
  • Link to my Ravelry project page (do I really need to tell you again that login is required?)

This one requires some commentary… After nearly two-and-a-half years on the needles, I’m really disappointed that this turned out to be a waaaaay huge hot mess of a monstrosity. That’s the problem with an adult sweater knit in pieces and seamed together after all the hours, days, months, YEARS of knitting has been completed. (At least with baby sweaters, if they’re too big, the baby will eventually grow into it.) Holding the individual pieces up on my body, I thought for sure the sweater would be too small, if anything. Well, it’s freakin’ bigger-than-plus sized. It’s linebacker sized. Might even be too big for a linebacker. Sheesh. I knit a generously-sized swatch, which I’ve run through the washer (cold water, frontloader) and dryer (on regular, not even low heat or air fluff… REGULAR HOT DRYER) and the swatch didn’t even shrink at all (which is not at all what I expected). However, the swatch did come out extremely soft after washing and drying. So the sweater wasn’t a total waste of time — at the very least, it will make a great lounging around the house in wintertime sweater. A note about the v-neck: Yes, it’s supposed to be a very deep v-neck… though not quite THAT deep. I’m short. I had the foresight to alter the sleeves so they wouldn’t be gorilla-length (like the rest of the sweater, though, still too big), but I didn’t think to alter the body so the V wouldn’t be quite so low. Duh.

Butin Collar

  • Pattern: Butin Collar by Laura Nelkin
  • Yarn: Schaefer Yarns Audrey, Clare Booth Luce colorway
  • Needle: U.S. 2.5 (3.0mm)
  • Started & finished 6/22/11 (well, clasp was sewn on 6/23/11 before I went to work, so I could wear it that day)
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

This requires a little commentary as well. After the disaster that was the sweater above, this project was an absolute delight. Amy brought a kit back from TNNA (trade show) for me to try out. She gave it to me at work on 6/22/11. I knitted the whole thing that night, in about 3 hours, including the time it took to tediously thread the beads onto the yarn in a specific sequence. It would have taken me a bit less time had I not miscounted the size 8 beads at one spot and had to perform surgery on the yarn to thread on one more bead and do a Russian join to avoid too much bulk in the yarn. This is a GREAT kit — seriously, it includes everything you need except for the knitting needles. There’s even a dental floss threader included for threading the beads onto the yarn. This was also the first time I’ve used Audrey yarn — it’s a wool/silk single that’s absolutely beautiful. I think I really need to pick some up at the shop and make a shawl with it.

But wait… there’s been spinning!

Yes, I’ve been spinning! This is Highland Handmades hand-dyed bluefaced  leicester (that’s a breed of sheep) top in the Maritime colorway. It came with the drop spindle you see in the photo above as part of a beginner spinning kit. The stuff on the spindle has been spun; the fluffy stuff at the top of the photo is the fiber that I’ve pre-drafted (pulled apart to thin out the fibers before spinning). This was from my second session of spinning this fiber (trust me, you do NOT want to see the results of the first session). I’ve since gotten better, more consistent, with a little more practice. I’m a little more than halfway through spinning the whole four ounces of fiber. Not sure what I’ll do with the finished yarn yet. We’ll see what it decides it wants to be.

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Fibery goodness from the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival

Last weekend was my second year attending the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival. Last year, I came home with only 3 skeins of fingering-weight yarn, one of which has been made into socks in the past year. The other two are still safely tucked away in a plastic bag upstairs — one destined for socks, the other for a shawl. Eventually. This year, however, my purchases were quite different. Only one skein of sock yarn — which happens to be one of the colorways I was eyeing at both NHSW and Stitches East last year, and I’m still wondering why the heck I didn’t buy it until now. The remainder of my purchases consisted of A WHOLE POUND of hand-dyed fiber. Not of one type — four, four-ounce rovings. I find this quite ambitious, considering the only spinning I had done to this point was in a short class several years ago, and badly. This pound of fiber joins another four-ounce braid at home — BFL that came as part of a drop-spindling kit I ordered several weeks ago from Highland Handmades, which I finally started practicing with during Crafting Corner at the library this week. And wow, what I’ve spun so far certainly does look like hell. But I shall save the picture-taking until I have some of it plied, so you can see it in all of its craptastic glory. (Mind you, it’s the spinning that’s craptastic — Heather’s hand-dyed fiber is absolutely gorgeous!) Without further ado, here’s a closer look at my NHSW 2011 purchases:

Mad Color Fiber Arts (formerly Sereknity Yarn & Fiber)
60% Superwash Merino/30% Bamboo/10% Nylon, colorway Tempest

Mad Color Fiber Arts (formerly Sereknity Yarn & Fiber)
60% Superwash Merino/30% Bamboo/10% Nylon, colorway Passion Flower

80% Merino/20% Silk, colorway Field Of Rye
purchased from The Fiber Studio, Henniker, NH (at NHSW)

Purple Fleece BFL/Silk, colorway Embers

Holiday Yarns Flock Sock (75% superwash merino/25% nylon), colorway Embers

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(Forget about borrowed and blue, it’s not that sort of post.)

Sweater Sampler - Side A

Sweater Sampler - Side A

Well, my “something old” for today is the Sweater Sampler (Ravelry link there, login required) I made somewhere around 2004 (I’m guessing at the date a bit, based on the email receipts from when I bought The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee and the needles to make the sampler). I bought the book after my first two failed attempts at sweater-knitting (of which I am lacking photographic evidence, thank God). I was very hopeful when I bought the book, since its very cover promised I would be able to knit creative, seam-free sweaters on my own with any yarn (also implying to me that they would fit properly and not look like crap).

Side B

Side B

While the sweater sampler went well (it looked like the ones in the book, for the most part, and all the techniques worked), I still haven’t knit a sweater. Oh, I have yarn for a couple of sweaters (child- and adult-sized) and I have several books with sweater patterns in them. And I have sweater patterns queued and favorited on Ravelry. But I have not yet begun to actually knit a sweater since the two failed attempts and knitting the sweater sampler.

Afterthought Pocket

Afterthought Pocket

I know I can do it… I think I’m just a little skeered to start. Well, that and I have other stuff to do first. But it would be nice to have the two sweaters I already have yarn for done this winter.

As far as the gory details on the sweater sampler go, I used Caron Simply Soft (rose/pink) along with some burgundy and white worsted-weight acrylic (Wintuk or Sayelle, probably) I had leftover from college weaving projects. As far as needles go, I think I used size US 8 Susan Bates 16″ circular (Quicksilver) and DPNs (Silvalume). I have no idea how long it took me to make, since I wasn’t keeping track of that stuff at the time. But I think it was at least a couple months. I wasn’t knitting then like I am now.

So, ya wanna know what the “something new” is? I took a drop-spindle spinning class at Yarns R Us this past Thursday night! It was fun, although I’ll stop short of saying it went well. What I will say is that I definitely need a lot more practice! I will spare you the sight of seeing this little 8-yard hank of handspun yarn unfurled. It looks much better as a lump of wool wound upon itself.

Handspun Wool

Handspun Wool

There are spots where it actually looks decent. And then there are spots where it looks like total crap. But I have some fiber left from the class kit (at least enough for another 8-9 yards) and I will be practicing with it. Though I think it’s safe to say I won’t drop everything and suddenly be all absorbed in handspinning fiber. I enjoy knitting much more. However, this certainly makes me appreciate all the hard work and artistry that goes into a hank of handspun yarn (although most times that’s done on a spinning wheel — but still, it’s an art!).

After a whole 2+ hour class, I had 8 yards of badly-spun yarn. Spinning should be nice for an occasional change of pace from the knitting (not that I don’t have other stuff I really should be doing). Plus, it opens up a whole new world of shopping — for fiber (oooh, and pretty handmade drop-spindles)! Still, I won’t be going hog-wild and getting a sheep like my Aunt Faye Ann did 18-ish years ago after she learned to weave and make her own plant-based dyes and spin and process fiber… (now she’s moved on to needle-felting).

Other than that, I’m still working on the same three pairs of socks. I have at least one test-knitter for my Baby Fern – Rib Anklets (AKA “Anklets for Meeeee!”) and once that’s done I’ll get a pattern shop set up on Ravelry and offer the pattern for sale (my freebie patterns are already up there). The secret birthday present project is still almost finished (in fact, it’s really just one afternoon of working on it away from being finished — just need to find the time). And I have a couple more weaving projects on the horizon, one of which I need to get done before September 13 (a raffle prize).

So once again, I’d better get off the blasted computer and get to work on all this stuff (oh yeah, and laundry — clean underwear is a good thing to have).

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