Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Freyja Start

Tuesdays are for spinning and thankfully the Tour de Fleece reminded me how much I love spinning and made me decide to make a point of taking the time to actually spin more often!
I was a little disappointed with how much I got done this year but with no set goals and then a back injury, that's to be expected. 
Once I had finished with the few things I had set aside, hoping I would get them spun, I was pretty wide open though. I didn't have anything specific planned. Well, a little stash diving always solves that problem so that's what I did. And I came up with something heartbreakingly beautiful.
This is Freyja from Cloudlover on (brace yourself for this) 60% Superwash Merino/20% Cashmere/20% Silk. It is amazing! It feels so soft and fluffy but with amazing shine. I've really been wanting to try spinning this fiber so I was extremely happy to find this in her booth at Shepherd's Harvest this year. 
It had been a special custom blend she ordered and I don't know that she regularly carries it anymore. 
But I loved it so much that I went scouring people's stashes on Ravelry and scored a braid of the same fiber in one of my all-time favorite colorways of hers as well. (Poison Arrow if you're wondering. You can check my stash page if you'd like to see it.) 
Since I'm not really sure what I would like to do with the finished yarn and this is more of a spinning experiment than anything else, I decided to go for a chain-plied yarn so I didn't split the braid the long way at all. I simply pulled off a piece of the roving and drafted it into a fine, soft little strand. 
It looks like this when its ready to spin. Then I just started spinning it up.
I love how fine it is, although I'm not too sure I like how the white is blending right now (leading me to consider splitting the roving lengthwise now in the hopes of changing that a bit).
I'm guessing this is going to be a pretty long-term project but one I'm really enjoying. 
So for today you just get to see the start but what a start. Right? 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer Sock Conundrum

Summer is a great time to knit socks. They don't sit heavily on your lap, overheating you. They will be very useful when the cold weather in fall and winter comes and many sock patterns are easy to memorize. 
All that has led me to my current conundrum. 
Three pairs of socks in various states. This is just the active ones. I'm sure there's at least a couple of pairs tucked away somewhere. So, let's examine them.
First there's these lovely socks. Knitterly Things Vesper sock yarn in Twitterpated. On her 100% Superwash Merino base being knit into plain old top-down vanilla socks. These are my "purse socks" so they get shoved into my purse and worked on whenever I have a quick minute. They really aren't a priority since they don't have a deadline and they're just for fun. Plus I'm knitting this super fine yarn on US 0s so progress is pretty slow even when I do work on them. Honestly this one is about ready for its heel flap though so I should get through that so it can be mindless knitting again.
Next up there's these beauties.
Knitterly Things Vesper again but on her Superwash Merino and Nylon base. The colorway is Sesame Cha Cha and I actually purchased it from a seconds sale about a month ago. One strand of the yarn didn't take the dye the same as the others so it has a sort of swirled effect. It's still gorgeous and I am loving the semi-solid look of each color. These are being knit into the Skew pattern and are now at the heel gusset increases. If you've ever knit this pattern (or even read through the many pages of it) you know that it's pretty simple but you do have to pay attention and keep looking at the pattern. Honestly these socks fit my feet so well that the attention-paying is worth it though! This is my first time knitting the Superwash Merino with Nylon into this pattern so I'm excited to see how it wears. 
Lastly there's these socks.
These are plain old toe-up socks on Knit Picks Felici in Baker Street. They will have an afterthought heel when they're done. I really have no excuse for not working on these more except maybe that they're boring. I think the colors of the stripes are too similar in real life. And the dark blue is right next to the light blue and all the grays are together and look pretty much exactly the same. Yawn.
I don't really like this method of knitting a sock but I thought since it's in 2 balls that it would allow me to use most of the yarn with the least effort. As you can see I already wound the remains of the first ball into a hand-wound ball. Partly because it was getting tangled and partly so I could estimate the amount for the heel and the ribbing so I could figure out how far to knit the leg. I know they'll be nice socks when they're done, it's just a matter of getting to that point.
So there it is. The summer sock conundrum. Three pairs of socks all waiting to be finished. (Did anyone notice they're all striped too?) 
I've been working on nothing else lately too so they should be getting much more progress. Here's hoping that our car trip this weekend will allow for some knitting time which will mean some things can get done! (More about the car trip later)

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

500

Oh hello.
Here I am once again, back after an absence. This time I really don't know what happened. I've been doing quite a bit of knitting (and spinning as it was the Tour de Fleece), not to even mention my paper crafting and planning lately but I seemed to have been stuck in my writing. Maybe partly it was the realization that if I posted something it would be my 500th post to this blog (yes, it's true!) and I wanted something special and fun but I couldn't come up with anything great. A giveaway could be fun but it doesn't need to be a giveaway, or something else. I just didn't know what that something else should be.
Plus, I've just been feeling a little overwhelmed with life in general lately. It's a combination of the busyness of summer with graduation parties, weddings, family reunions and the fact that I'm not always doing the right things when it comes to taking care of myself. I'm not talking just eating right and exercising (although that has fallen to the wayside a bit too) but doing the things I know are useful for my mental health like having some quiet time, allowing daydreaming and reading silly books just for fun.
I'm starting to realize that I need all those things though and starting to work them back into my routine without making them something I stress over (meaning something on my to do list that MUST get done).
And since I'm starting to do those things again, it's making me come back into my own brain and realize that the way out of this block I've been in is to just get it out.
Just keep writing.
Even if it's silly gibberish.
So, here I am, trying to get motivated again.
I know sometimes I get held back by the belief that  no one wants to see a post with no great photos. Or maybe no photos at all. But is a written post better than no post at all? Probably.
So I'm going to let it go. I'm going to write when I feel like writing, whatever it may be about and sometimes it will include crafts and wool and sometimes it might not. Hopefully.
But ultimately it will probably be a peek into my very crazy brain.
Welcome to the ride.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

A Tale of Two Socks

Sometimes you can try something and it just doesn't work out. I think as a knitter you have to be okay with that to a point. Sometimes, even if you gauge swatch, it isn't going to come out right.
This is a tale that does not involve gauge swatching though. This is a tale of two socks.
Once upon a time there was a knitter who loved to knit socks. She especially loved self-striping sock yarn and the way you could knit and knit and it would do the work with the colors. Her all-time favorite self-striping sock yarn was Vesper. It was heart-breakingly beautiful and came in so many colors! Plus, it softened so wonderfully once it was washed. After she tried it she started hoarding the yarn like a dragon. Although, she did often knit with it and soon had a lovely collection of socks knit from this magical yarn. Since the socks were so beautiful and comfortable she continued to knit with the yarn even though it was very fine. So fine in fact that she thought perhaps rather than her usual 1s to knit these socks, she should try to go down to 0s to make a firmer fabric that would hold up to wear. This was after her first pair of these socks developed a sad hole. They had, of course, been in service for over 2 years and were worn often as they were some of the knitter's favorites. 
She decided that since she was going down in needle size she should also go up in stitch count so rather than knitting the socks at her usual 72 stitches she went up to 80 stitches. She cast on and happily knit her first sock. Soon after she cast on her second sock, remembering that she was knitting on size 0 needles she somehow got caught up in the yarn fumes and forgot the larger stitch count. Where did she realize her mistake? 
Turning the heel. A whole foot knit incorrectly. On size 0 needles. Now, if it fit properly and seemed to work the knitter would probably have just kept going but with striped yarn, it makes an odd sort of sock if they don't line up stripe-wise. The knitter specifically didn't start on the same color but rather the next so they would line up just right in a little different way. Off just one stripe, that plan was now foiled. That means; it's time to frog. So now the two socks in this tale are down to one. 
In other news, since the knitter will not be working on these socks for a bit since they're so frustrating, take a look at the shawl that's being knit instead. 
It began as this gorgeous ball of yarn purchased at the Zombie Knitpocalypse it's from Penguin Soup. (It doesn't look like her shop is complete yet. Keep an eye on it if you're interested though.) I just purchased it on Saturday and it's already becoming
This. Isn't it the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? Well, it is to me at least. The pattern is Castra and its part of a Yarn Love knit along. We only started on Tuesday so there's still time to join if you're interested, check out the Yarn Love group on Ravelry for more details. 

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Get it Started

I've been feeling a little blocked lately. Unable to express myself in writing, even though I had things to say. To be honest, I think I've been feeling a little burned out. Work and life have been so busy lately that I feel I am not myself. But last weekend was just as busy and it energized me instead of tiring me out. It was just what I needed.
So now I'm back and writing again. I hope you'll forgive the absence.
I had a skein of Knit Picks Hawthorne around. I had tried to knit it several times and I just wasn't happy with how it was knitting up. But I wanted to knit it so much! To really give the Hawthorne a try. So I finally decided to get it working as socks for a Christmas gift. That's right, the Christmas knitting has already begun!
I started these earlier in the year actually, as toe-up socks but they just weren't working. So last month I started again, this time from the top down. 
I actually finished them Saturday night at knit night. It was a bit of a yarn chicken situation. Here's the yarn that was left.
I'm hoping it's enough to to knit one hexipuff. But at least the knitting is going again and the first Christmas gift is ready to go! 

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Passport Flip Through

Hi planner friends. I know it's Sunday and not Midori Monday but I moved into my passport size Midori to try it out for May and I did a quick flip through on Periscope. 
You can find me there under the name Kalkette and the broadcast will only be up for 24 hours.
If you watch it let me know what you think! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ashburton Beauty

As I've talked about before I had been working on spinning some Merino wool from Gritty Knits called Ashburton. I absolutely loved the colors which remind me of a rich, bold sunset so I handled the fiber in a way to keep those colors as they are, separate and beautiful. 
I spilt it the long way into smaller pieces then individually drafted each of them. I then spun them fine end to end. 
The roving split into pieces. 
On the bobbin.
This bobbin picture is when it was finished. It took a lot of spinning hours to spin it this way. I knew I wanted to chain ply it so I just kept going, spinning fine. 
I let it rest overnight and plied the next day. It's a good thing I was camping and had lots of spinning time because it took about 7 hours to ply!!
That is plied yarn going onto the bobbin! Doesn't it look great?! I love it.
The finished skein is a little overpriced, which is normal for me and I prefer that to under plied so I'm good with it.
I absolutely love the look of it though and the ply-twist did relax a bit in washing.
Here's a look at how fine it really is. 
These skeined pictures are from before washing, I wanted to show pictures of it washed as well but it was washed on Sunday morning and still isn't totally dry! The hazards of the spring rainy season, I guess. It's been so dark anyway that I don't know that I could get it to photograph well anyway. 
It really didn't change much in washing except the ply-twist softening a bit as I said and I'm very happy with the skein which is about 650 yards!! 
I can't wait to knit something amazing with it!