Category Archives: fiber

Finished Object (not quite) Friday

I have some exciting finished objects this week! Ok, some of them were finished a while ago, but I didn’t have photos to post, so I pretended they didn’t exist yet.

About a month before Christmas my sister, who loudly proclaimed a few years ago that she NEVER wanted anything handmade, asked if I could knit her a baggy sweater. It didn’t matter that it was a month before Christmas, that I had an 8 week old keeping me busy, and a number of other projects to finish- she finally asked for something handmade, and gosh darnit, she was going to get it!

In true knitter fashion, I was up until 2am Christmas Day putting the finishing touches on her sweater, but it was done in time to be wrapped and placed under the tree. It was a simple pattern but I love the look of it, and it was exactly what she asked for.IMG_20150118_093559240 Pattern is Il Grande Favorito, knit with Plymouth Encore Chunky. This was the 38″ bust for 4″ ease. So incredibly simple, and so comfortable.

Almost two weeks ago, I finally finished my husband’s first handknit sweater. This is a testament to true love- stockinette (with some ribbing) in a plain grey. I love my husband dearly, but this sweater tested my resolve. The actual sweater knit up easily, then took 4 hours to seam up. By the time I got to the zipper I just ran it through the sewing machine, because I couldn’t stand to work on it any longer. But it fits him perfectly, and he wears it all the time. 20150118_133529 Pattern is Cambridge Jacket knit with Cascade 220. Size 44″ chest, which gives no real ease. Modifications I would make: increase the sleeve length by 1″, and maybe less increases on the upper arm- they seem a bit loose.

 

This project was just finished a few days ago. I started a baby blanket for Connor back in July, but got so distracted by little sweaters, hats, etc that I ignored it for a while. Plus he got so many beautiful blankets from friends that I didn’t see the rush. But I finally buckled down and completed it the other week.

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Pattern is Honeycomb Stroller Blanket, knit with Ella Rae worsted superwash. I modified the edging to this. The pattern has you pick up stitches on one side, knit garter stitch for a few rows, then bind off. Repeat 3 more times. I don’t like how modular that looks, so I picked up stitches all the way around, then did two increases at each corner every other round. I also did two garter ridges in white, then one garter ridge in brown, two white, one green, two white, then the bind off. I think it makes a much nicer border for this blanket.

And of course as soon as those are off the needles, I have just as many cast on. Another baby sweater, a scarf for a family member, a Doctor Who scarf for Josh, and I’m hoping to start something for myself here soon.

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Finished Object Friday

Woo hoo, another FOF! It’s only been what, 6 months since I did one? There’s a lot to catch up on. Granted, not much has been accomplished since the little one was born, but I have lots to share from right before he arrived.

 

Fall Antlers20141004_140553_medium2 Knit in Neighborhood Fiber Co. Worsted weight yarn, size 3-6months. While Connor has already outgrown it, I will say that the sizes run true. He’s just a giant baby that is already in 6-9 month clothes at times. Super easy to follow, fun to knit, and bonus! it is sized from newborn to adult, so the whole family can have one!

I’m actually thinking of knitting him a second one in a larger size.

Owlet

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This is the second Owlet sweater I have knit. The pattern is so easy, and since it’s knit in a chunky yarn, it’s finished almost as soon as it’s started! I let A choose what buttons she wanted for eyes, and she went at that with a passion! Each owl has a set of eyes, and while no two eyes match, at least each set has a theme. The yarn used for this one was Berrocco Vintage Chunky- a nice machine washable wool/acrylic blend.

Baby Hat and Booties

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These were knit just before Connor was born. The hat still fits him, but those booties were too small by the time he was a month old or so. Both were super easy projects, and were nice  little things to work on at the end of my pregnancy, when I was fidgety and nothing was entertaining for more than a few minutes.

Pumpkin Hat

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And finally, the pumpkin hat. Connor was due in October, so this seemed fitting. I used the leftover Neighborhood Fiber Co yarn and some green alpaca/wool blend I had hanging around for the stem. This also knit up in just a day.

 

Posted in children, fiber, knitting, sweaters, wool | Tagged | 2 Comments

First Finished Object Friday

A lot of crafters participate in Finished Object Fridays, but I take so long to complete things that I’ve never joined in. This week, I finally have a few items that are 100% done, so why not participate this time around? Heck, if I’m feeling really daring, I might even do WIP Wednesday next week!

On to the finished objects! First up: Baby Sophisticate Sweater for baby Dez. This was knit out of Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran ( I think…I need to find the ball band). This is the 3 month size, and is so teeny it’s squeal-worthy. Go ahead, you know you want to. I’ll wait.

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Next up is Owlet, by Kate Davies. This was such a fast and easy knit (hard to refrain from a joke there…). I really enjoyed this pattern, and am seriously considering knitting the adult version for myself. Or maybe I’ll knit SD one so they can be twinsies at Christmas. Because kids LOVE IT when you dress them identically. This is out of Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran, in the 6 month size. Our families have a history of large babies, so my hope is that this will fit him during the second half of winter.

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And…that’s pretty much it. I’m not finishing much around here, lately. Environmental Law is kicking my butt, and we’ve been trying to spend as much time with SD as possible before she leaves tomorrow. Tune in Wednesday to see what I’ve been knitting on to date.

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Success!

This past weekend, I hosted a trunk show for my business. I set up on the front patio of my local yarn store on Saturday. It was a gorgeous day- not too hot, just enough of a breeze, and sunny. The store currently carries only one size of bags that I make, so I loved having the opportunity to showcase a wider range of sizes, plus introduce new items. Overall it was a very productive day, and I am glad I did it.

Here was the set-up:

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Here are the large box bags and drawstring bags. These large bags are amazing- I can fit a completed adult men’s sweater in one! These are nice for those large projects. The photo on the right is notion pouches, DPN holders, and needle rolls. These were all brand new items, and I loved having the chance to show them off.

These next two photos are just an overview of the set-up. A really cute location, and a ton of fun to do.

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Now on to some more fun personal stuff!

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First up is shawl progress. We had such gorgeous weather a few weekends ago that I spent the afternoon on our patio knitting. This of course involved lunch on the patio, too. We eat nothing but the best here- mystery meat in a tube. The shawl is complete, with a few modifications. I didn’t do the lace edging, and instead did a garter stitch border. I wish I had more mats so I could have blocked it a bit more vigorously, but it is still pretty generously sized. I am so madly in love with the fiber and color that I am tempted to buy another 8oz and spin some more.

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I also went on a baking kick. This was a rosemary potato bread recipe I’ve had for a while, but never tried. This came out exactly like the Wegman’s rosemary-sea salt bread. It was delicious, and gone within a few days. I couldn’t believe how large the two loaves were going to be- these things proofed out huge!

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Then it was pie time. Blueberries aren’t quite in season here yet, but they are on sale at the grocery stores, so we decided it was time for blueberry pie. It’s my basic pie recipe- baked shell, with the hot filling poured in and then chilled. It takes 15 minutes, start to finish, and is always a hit.

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I will say, all of this activity seemed to wear someone out. She tried to help as much as possible (read: get underfoot and then be cranky when she accidentally got kicked); but finally resigned herself to napping over by my wheel.

 

 

 

And what would this be without a photo of my current WIP?

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That right there is 21 weeks. I feel so much larger than I look! He is becoming quite active- the kicks are visible now, and half the time it feels like an alien is trying to burst out of me. We are officially past the halfway point! I guess this means we should start working on putting together a nursery…or planning a nursery…

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The Colors of Spring

 

This winter has been so long and gloomy that I needed something cheerful to work on for a bit. It didn’t help that J wanted me to knit him a sweater- that was grey. Really, buddy?

So I did some stash diving and found 8oz of merino/bamboo blend roving that I purchased at MDSW 2010. I spun some of it up back in December, but the majority of the spinning and plying took place last week. Once I was done plying, I got to try out my new/old spinning weasel for the first time ever. This thing is awesome! 120 rotations/click, which works out to 312 yards or so.  It makes calculating yardage so much easier. 

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Finished yarn! I had to do two mini skeins; one is a traditional 3-ply (like the large skein) and the other is a chain ply because one bobbin had waaaaay more singles on it than the other two. If the weather FINALLY clears up, I’ll wash and whack these this weekend. The ultimate plan is to knit myself the Monsoon Shawl from IK Spring 2014. This will make such a nice, squishy wrap.

In other spring news, the local farmer’s markets have moved outside again! This one just happens to occur the same day as knit night, in the parking lot behind the yarn store. Thursdays are about to get a lot more expensive. I don’t care- fresh produce! Free range eggs! Fresh cheese! Well, as fresh as you want cheese to be.  

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There are no pictures of the planters with my snap peas and carrots since they haven’t sprouted yet. Just imagine another box, full of dirt.I also managed to get my miniscule vegetable garden planted this week. The first picture are my three tomato plants- a green zebra, an amish paste, and…I forget the third, but it’s a dark red/brown color. The second picture is my pepper plants. I forget the names, but we got two sweet and one hot pepper. The one on the far right is a chocolate something or other- I’m excited to see what those are like. Finally, my vine plants! There’s one cucumber plant, a longneck pumpkin, and a butternut squash. I’m not sure how well they will all do in there, but we shall see. 

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And finally, our lazy Saturday morning. Someone did not feel like getting out of our nice warm bed today. She got up long enough to eat and run around like an elephant for about 10 minutes, then back to sleep for the past oh, 3 hours. She’s lucky she’s cute.

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Next up: figure out what fiber I want to spin now! I’m also trying to talk J into going to an estate sale today. I think I can get a CPW  for pretty cheap. Who could turn that down?!

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Always Playing Catch-up

Keeping up is hard to do, lately. So much going on, and so little time to record it! The usual is still going on; school is school, pregnancy is…interesting, bags are selling well at the local shop, and work is busy. Honestly, I don’t have it in me to write too much, so I’ll just show you what I’ve been up to in pictures.

Chocolates from our favorite local chocolate shop. I get spoiled occasionally. Maybe it is worth the morning sickness ;)

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I started this while we were still having dark, gloomy weather. It’s a merino/bamboo blend and just so darn cheerful. It spins up like butter and makes me happy. 

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The rest of these photos are from MDSW 2014, which just ended. This year my parents made the trip down with me. I didn’t buy much, but we had such an enjoyable day checking out the sheep and food. I bought 1/2lb of cormo roving, 4oz of BFL/nylon roving from FatCatKnits, and worsted yarn from Neighborhood Fiber Co. to make a sweater for baby.

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Ice cream before we leave!

 

 

 

 


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I’m going to get my things organized, and hopefully have a much more interesting post after this, showing completed projects and plans for my next few. 

Posted in fiber, knitting, MDSW, roving, spinning, wool, yarn | 2 Comments

This and That

I have been travelling for my full-time job almost non stop lately, home only long enough to attend my graduate classes two evenings a week. This means that little crafting or blogging has been completed recently, so today will be random things I forgot to blog about earlier in the year.

Rhinebeck Haul

This is my haul from Rhinebeck this year, minus the amazing cheese and pesto I bought. Those are already gone.  Starting from the upper left: BFL naturally dyed from Spencer Hill Spinning and Dyeing. She only uses natural dyes for all of her products, and gets amazing colors from them.

Next is 4oz of baby mohair/wool from Steam Valley Fiber. The White skein is also from them; it’s a mohair/wool blend dk weight yarn.

Next are two skeins of sock yarn from Spencer Hill (can you tell where I spent all of my money?) in indigo/lac and indigo. Then two miniskeins of sock yarn from Miss Babs for some colorwork mittens I am planning. Finally, 8oz of CVM/Silk from Carolina Homespun. It is like touching a cloud. I LOVE it.

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This was my big birthday present from my parents- an antique yarn blocker! It is fully functioning, and makes a popping noise after approximately 80 rotations (I need to count again, it’s hard to keep track). Some of the spokes are chipped, but they will still hold yarn!

 

 

 

 

 

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This Book was a present for my inlaws. I cannot wait to start making some of the projects in it. The Penguin and Alligator specifically look like so much fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 I posted back here about spinning up some pink corriedale in fauxlags. This hat is the result of that yarn. It used about 2/3 of the skein (125yds). It is so warm and squishy, I love it! I didn’t want to take it off once I finished it. This hat only took about 3 days of intermittent knitting.

 

 

 

 

 

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And finally! Yesterday we went to Afternoon Tea at the Jefferson Hotel to celebrate my cousin’s 16th birthday. This was the fanciest tea I have ever been to. Absolutely gorgeous, amazing foods and delicious teas. Such a great experience. And probably the only time I’ll be able to set foot in a hotel that swanky. ;)

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And just like that, summer is gone

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been 3 months since the last blog post. Things have been so crazy here, I’ve barely had time to think, let alone work up a blog post. Working out of town, completing classes, having my stepdaughter come to visit, the in-laws showing up…it’s been a very busy summer! So, instead of writing about “what I did on my summer vacation” I decided to do a photo essay instead!

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Finally Making Some Progress

I finally feel as if I am making progress on my spinning, knitting, and sewing projects. Not having classes two nights a week really does give me a lot of free time! The hardest part about wanting to update on all of this is figuring out where to start. Guess I’ll start with the spinning. Last year a dog got into some combed top I was working on, and strew it all around the house. It would be impossible to spin it as prepped top now, but with my fancy new hand cards I could turn the top into rolags pretty easily and spin from that!

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This is my spinning set-up from last week. In the front are the rolags I prepped from the affected fiber. The bobbin on the back left is full of 3oz of merino/mohair singles. The bobbin on the right is another 3 oz of the same fiber, chain plied. In the back you can see my yarn bowl and WIP.

I was hoping to spin a bulky single. Unfortunately learning to spin rolags in a truly woolen manner was a bit difficult, and I ended up with thick and thin singles, about a worsted weight. The colors in this photo are the most accurate for the pink fiber.

 

 

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Here are the singles. About 200yds, 4oz. I spun it up as a gradient, from dark magenta to a pink so light it’s almost white. I really wanted a thicker yarn, but if I ply this I’ll get a really awful barber pole effect, and I’m just not sure I want that yet. We will see. I have time before I need a winter hat from this.

 

 

Here is a swatch knitted up. It’s not bad, but this is on size 8 needles. Definitely worsted. 

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Here is the finished product of the chain-plied mohair. This skein is about 275yds, 3oz. I ended up with about a sport weight yarn. I’m still plying the second bobbin, but it should be around the same. I’m ok with that, I just need to figure out what to do with 500yds of a mohair blend. I’m not so sure it will make great socks. Maybe house socks? It could make a nice small shawl, too. That’s the hardest part about spinning- trying to figure out what to do with the yarn once it’s made! 

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Oh, and here was my super fancy set-up to skein this yarn once I was done spinning it:

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I know, don’t you all wish you had this impressive layout? I can’t wait until I have a craft room, and a table that has enough of a lip to attach my swift. 

 

 

 

 

This weekend we are heading up to the lake to spend the holiday with family. I’m bringing the Border Leicester, as I said earlier. Gertrude, all her supplies, and the hand cards are coming along, too. I plan on getting a good start with the Border Leicester this weekend. I’m hoping I bought enough of it- the original intention was to knit myself a sweater from it. If I am low on fiber though, I’ll have to decide if I want to blend it, or do a colorwork yoke to try and make the yarn last. I may kick myself if I find out I didn’t purchase enough.

The trindle went out in the mail today to get fixed/replaced. I’m hoping he is able to fix it. I really love that little spindle and was very excited to spin on it this past weekend. I’ve learned my lesson though. Never take a trindle out of the house!

Posted in fiber, roving, spinning, sweater, Uncategorized, wool, yarn | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

A Sad Day

We are visiting some of J’s family out of town this weekend. I excitedly packed all the crafty things I was going to do while we were relaxing-knitting, spinning, blogging, etc. Yesterday evening on our way back from dinner I went to get my Trindle out of my purse….and the shaft has snapped. It was most likely from me carelessly packing it in my purse, which was then on the floor of the front passenger seat during out 9 hour drive. One of us most likely stepped on it and snapped it.  

That was the single fear I had when buying the Trindle- the shaft is so thin and light, I was worried about it breaking. Apparently I was right. J thinks he can fix it, although the creator of the Trindle says they have a lifetime warranty. I emailed him to see if this is something that is covered. In the meantime though, no spinning.

Maryland Sheep and Wool was earlier this month. I failed once again at taking photos, but take my word that it was a ton of fun. Nice cool weather this year, and lots of good friends. I am trying to cut back on how much fiber I buy, so this year it was mostly tools. I bought hand cards, a nostepinne, some new arms for my (now defunct) Trindle, and 2lbs of Border Leicester fleece to wash and spin. J also picked out some sock yarn for next years birthday socks. 

I also made another bag for a friend. This one was a barter exchange- she sent me fabric, I sent her one bag made out of it. I LOVE this print. I need to find out where she obtained it, because I want to make more bags from it. This bag is approximately 13″ tall, big enough to fit large shawls or sweaters. 

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That’s all for now. I should be home with more camera access this week, and next week I will take photos of the washing/drying/carding/spinning process with the Border Leicester fleece.

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