Friday, December 31, 2010

Captain America is Awesome!

I was hoping to post a little something today to end out the year with a good note. Not that it won't be a good note anyway, we are going to 2 parties tonight. I kinda wish we were staying home cause the weather is "frightful" as they say. But, I've baked a beautiful chocolate cake for party 1 and made some asian coleslaw for party 2.

Just how beautiful is the cake?

Okay, not that great to look at but it will be super yummy. That's a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Perfect for the "frosting queen" hostess of party 1.

Oh, some of you came here for fiber content? Hmm, look at this:

It's Fiber Optic Yarns "Sweet Georgia Brown" from a stash sale on Ravelry. 4 ounces of the most gorgeous, richly colored Superwash Merino I have seen in a long time. It's much richer and darker in person but of course more difficult to photograph as a result. This is half of it, split lengthwise and drafted, spun into singles. The second half is started and if I ever finish I'm planning to navajo ply it.

Anyway, I'm posting to end the year with a bang. Happy New Year to you and yours!

P.S. The post title is what my husband told me I should post about when I asked him today. I should really know better by now. He is quite the comic book nerd.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's a sickness really

Is the burning question on your mind? Did I finish my Christmas knitting?

Well, let's do the math.
One woven scarf, Two Ribbed Knit hats, A total of 3 double-knit hats because one had to be knit twice. Okay, this 12 Days of Christmas thing isn't gonna work.

Ahem, starting over.
1 woven scarf
2 ribbed knit hats
1 pair felted clogs
2 double-knit hats, even though one had to be knit twice
1 knit washcloth to go with body wash/lotion
1 pair handspun socks
1 pair men's worsted socks
2 pairs baby booties
1 handspun, hand-dyed knit scarf
9 crocheted scarves
1 knitted cowl

That's a grand total of: 22 handmade gifts.

Whew, here they are. (Please note: Not all of them are finished in this picture but I had to start wrapping so I have a few things not done.)

Did I finish though? Well, .........
Yes. Monday night I cast off the last thing, before doing our gift exchange with those people. It's been a wild ride.

So, now you are probably wondering what I'm up to next right?

Lothlorien is back in view. Coming along nicely too. It really is a beautiful pattern.

One more thing;

Here is a hat started for a January Birthday. That's right, another gift. It's a sickness. Don't look at me like that. I'll be over here knitting.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Rule 5 a.k.a. the Wrapup

So, today is the final day of our 5-part series. Before we get started let me ask you a question.

What does this look like to you?

Wait, let me give you a hint. It's supposed to go like this:

Yup, it's supposed to be a hat. It should look more like this:

(It says Redbirds on the side for a family friend who plays for the Redbirds.)

Anyone notice the problem?

That brings me to our final rule.

Kalkette's Rules for Christmas Knitting
a 5-part series.

Find Rule 1 here.

Find Rule 2 here.

Find Rule 3 here.

Find Rule 4 here.

Rule 5: Don't get cocky. Just because you feel like you are on schedule, have been working steadily, probably all year, on your gifts and just because you are doing well, don't get overconfident.

I'll tell you what happened here. I knit this hat on the weekend of Dec. 16. I was feeling good. I was getting my knitting done at a pretty good pace. There was one problem. It came out sort of...well, big. I started to think about it and the more I thought about it, the more it bothered me. I decided to wash it and give it a little shock. I filled a tub with cold, cold water and one side of the sink with hot, hot water. I swished it gently into the cold and then dashed it into the hot. Back and forth, several time, I even wrung on it a little to give it just a slight felting. Then I took out my coffee can with the hand towel wrapped around it. (Standard hat blocking object) I pulled the hat over it and walked away. Thinking to myself, "There, one more thing I can cross off the list. I'll just let it dry and it will be ready for wrapping. Still doing well, but I'd better go knit now."

Yeah, I came back and it was hanging off the bottom of the coffee can. Over the edge! That's waaaaaaaay too big for a hat. I kept myself from hyperventilating only by the skin of my teeth. I thought I could still fix it.

I decided a "light" felting in the washer was in order. I had accidentally done it before. just a little bit of felting and it would come out just fine. I certainly couldn't leave it the way it was! I filled the washer and dunked it in. I walked away. I came back to a neat felted bowl. It would have (maybe) been okay but the edges, instead of staying straight, flared out like a bowl. Yup, ruined. I had to completely reknit the thing. 5 days before Christmas.

The moral of the story? Don't get cocky, even a little thought that you are totally going to be fine, it's no problem, I can do it. Yeah, it can come back and bite you hard on the hindquarters. Words to live by.

Thanks to you all for tuning in for these rules. It sure was fun for me to post. Merry Christmas from the Kalkette Family to yours. If you don't celebrate Christmas, then may you have a happy holiday of your choosing! See you next week with a tally of how the gifts went over and if I finally finished (on time.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rule 4

I'm posting super early today (for me, shut up) because instead of going to critter-sit today, I'm heading down to my parents to do some cookie decorating with my niece, nephew and some children of a family friend. It's gonna be a good but long day. The critter mom graciously offered to take the critters to work with her so I could go. I'm a little worried for her sanity. I've already checked in and she isn't ready to smack me for abandoning her today so I'm leaving soon with a clear conscience. Sort of.

Well, let's get right to the point.

Kalkette's Rules for Christmas Knitting
a 5-part series.

Find Rule 1 here.

Find Rule 2 here.

Find Rule 3 here.

Rule 4: Don't lose focus. This rule might seem pretty obvious. But, when you start to feel like an idiot knitting Christmas gifts in March or April and think, I'll just cast this on for myself, I don't need to work on it. I can stop any time I want, I'm doing Christmas knitting to avoid the crazy twitchy look I had last year, I don't need to have a new shawl for the spring. Then you blink and the well-planned out Christmas knitting is thrown by the wayside and you are in November and there's still a multitude of projects left to be knit and you are sobbing into a cup of coffee at midnight. Wait, that might have been a flashback, hold on.

Ahem. Yes, focus. Stay focused. If you come up with a plan that involves finishing at least one project for a gift every single month of the year, then do it. Don't let yourself get crazy at the end. Be crazy all the way through. Wait, that doesn't sound right.

Don't be crazy at all. Plan and work towards a goal. Like, you know, "normal" people. You don't find them crying into egg nog on Christmas eve, desperately trying to figure out how in the 3 hours they have left before gift-opening, they can finish 12 hours worth of knitting.

In other news, I see the light at the end of the tunnel on my Christmas knitting. All the gifts for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are done. Nothing is wrapped of course and I'm not finished with everything but since there's less of a deadline for the others, I'm feeling like it's possible.
Nothing is wrapped of course, at all and I got pretty much no holiday baking done this year but you know, sacrifices.

See you all tomorrow for part 5.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rule 3

Today is another day of the "same old, same old." Filled in with the fact that I didn't get as much knitting done as intended yesterday because of all the baking. Oops. Oh well, at least we had a great breakfast and snack right? Today I'm knitting away frantically while trying not to let Frontierville (a silly little Facebook game) suck up all my time.

Well, since it's becoming much-anticipated. I present to you day 3 of;

Kalkette's Rules for Christmas Knitting a 5-part series.

Find Rule 1 here.

Find Rule 2 here.

Rule 3: Know your Audience. That means plan the gift based on the recipient. For example; A couple of years ago, I knit a nifty pair of arm warmers for a family member. Remember what happened? I sure do.

It still hurts to look at it. I had to reknit one of them. And, since then, they have both been destroyed again. By the giftee's cat. They get no more wool. Yes, they get gifts and even knitted gifts but those people that live in that house do not get wool anymore. I'm not bandying about with good wool yarn just to have it chewed to ribbons.

What else? Oh yeah, if you have a 4 year old niece who refuses to wear socks at all, socks may not be the best plan for her. Even soft, squishy ones. She still won't wear them. Oh sure, she might get all squeaky and excited when she opens them, she may even put them on but as when she says they are "scratchy" (please note, they were not at all scratchy. I used the super soft squishy stuff for this little sweetie) and rips them off of her feet, do not expect to EVER see them again.

All I'm saying is, Think about who it is you are knitting for. Plan accordingly.

Hopefully, despite a cookie-decorating party planned for tomorrow, I can bring you Rule 4.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rule 2 from a Rockstar!

So, I'm a total rockstar today! I'm "critter sitting" which is what we call babysitting for a friend. She has two small children. Critter #1 is 3. Critter #2 is 18 months. I've been here since ten to 7 this morning. (That means I was up about 5, let's not discuss it.)
We made homemade pancakes for breakfast. These pancake-ified. (Yes, I think that is a word. I said so.)
Now, Critter #2 is sleeping, Critter #1 is watching Shrek and I have 4 loaves of home made banana bread cooling on the stove and 2 more baking in the oven. Plus, all the dishes are done. I fully expect something horrible and awful to go wrong any moment. Days never go this well for me.

Since yesterday's Rule was pretty popular and I still can't show you anything very interesting. At least nothing that isn't a secret, I bring you...Rule 2.

Kalkette's Rules for Christmas Knitting a 5-part series.

Find Rule 1 here.

Rule 2: Start Early. What exactly is early? Well, to me early really is December 26. Start as soon as you possibly can stand it. I know, it seems ridiculous and you feel so totally foolish knitting socks on the 4th of July that will be a Christmas gift but it truly is the only thing that will save your sanity. Begin as soon as possible.
For me that usually means; I get a well-meaning start in about March (I get waylaid by selfish startitis that hits me really hard after all that gift-giving. If you have friends and family who give you yarn or gift certificates, I would imagine the startitis will hit you even harder. Good luck) anyway, March and then set everything aside for months and months only to realize in late October or *gasp* November, that I'm totally screwed. Do not do this to yourself. Start early, start often.

Tomorrow, Rule 3. (I bet you can hardly wait.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rule 1

There's been lots of knitting around the old homestead lately but it has pretty much been all test-knit and Christmas knitting. I just haven't had time for anything else. Most of that is pretty boring (read: similar to what it looked like yesterday) or secret to keep prying eyes from seeing what will be in their box on Christmas.

Since I don't have anything whatsoever interesting to show you then, I lovingly present to you:

Kalkette's Rules for Christmas Knitting a 5-part series.

Today we will cover Rule #1.

Rule 1: Plan Ahead. This can mean lots of things to lots of people but to me the biggest thing is that I can't just run out and buy a ton of yarn for gifts in one month (not to even mention the crazy-pants idea of knitting it all) so I space it out. I start thinking gifts early, like January if I'm smart, and I start buying or stash-diving to find the right yarn immediately.

Then, realistically, I can space out the cost as well as space out the projects. Hopefully meaning I'm not weeping openly on Christmas Eve. Tomorrow, rule 2.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Last night I did it. I finished my NaKniSweMo sweater.

I love it. I may wear it every single day.

Here I am in it. Pictured with our very own Knitting Graffiti!

Very exciting right?

Well, I'm off to work on my Lothlorien test-knit now. Later.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bad Blogger, Good Knitter

I've been a bad little blogger. I haven't been doing much at all to keep you updated but I have been knitting my little fingers to the bone.

Here is the Featherweight Cardigan. Sleeves finished and all the current ends woven in.
I'm ready to pick up for the collar and knit it. It's a very wide collar that goes all the way down to the bottom of the sweater so it will take awhile but I'm very excited because this is the last step and then I will be DONE! Very exciting.

Well, I'm off to knit.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Part of the reason I was so eager to finish my Nightingale socks. By the way, that's what I finished on Friday evening. Here I am, triumphant.

Please ignore the crazy face. I was pretty tired in this picture, it was midnight and I as so happy to have finished them!

Anyway, part of why I was so eager to finish these before the start of November was so I could participate in National Knit a Sweater Month or NaKniSweMo. I had a plan and cast it on Monday morning.

This would be the Laceweight wool held with the laceweight alpaca like I swatched last week. I'm knitting the Featherweight Cardigan. I'm about halfway through the increases above the armholes. It's turning out really well and I am loving working with this yarn. At least that helps break up the long boring stretches of stockinette right?

Monday, November 01, 2010

They are finished.

Friday night in Duluth.

That is all.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Here we go Swatch again

Despite my crazy schedule I have been a busy little knitter lately. Before I went to the retreat I wanted to make a cute little felted purse. It took me less than 2 days to knit this:

with some pretty stash yarn in a sort of heathery purpley red.

Then I felted it down to this:

It's pictured with the same water bottle so you can see how much the size changed. I just love felting. It's like magic!

I also have been working off and on on the yarn that matches my gorgeous clapotis from earlier this year. I want a matching set. So, here are the texting mittens I'm working on. (This pattern looks like a weird little design but if you can, read about them, they are awesome! I can't wait for them to be finished.)

But, Mittens won't keep your head warm right? So, I'm also knitting a cute beret to match as well.

Please ignore the fact that it looks like nothing yet. I can guarantee that this yarn is more beautiful in person than it is in these pictures. I had to use flash because it's so grey and drizzly today but it washes out the color so much.

But that's not all! I'm actually working hard on my Nightingale socks and hoping to finish them soon so I can participate in NaKniSweMo with some ladies from my knitting group and I was nicely enabled by a knitting friend the other day at the yarn store to get this:

A huge skein of Legacy Lace from Brown Sheep (on the right) in Sassy Sage. It says it's 75% Washable wool and 25% Nylon and 1500 yards! Plus, two skeins of Misti Alpaca 100% baby alpaca Handpainted Lace, 874 yards each. I'm going to hold the two strands together to knit the Featherweight Cardigan. I'm swatching already, I'm actually pretty proud of myself for planning ahead.

By the way, if you are thinking about doing this, please think of your poor winding arm. 1500 yards! Killer.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Return to the Real World

I attended a ladies retreat this last weekend and spent a lot of time knitting. It means I managed to finish knitting the scarf for my mom for Christmas and I managed to work on my travelling socks a little bit as well. I don't have any pictures to show you but I have been so brain-fried after the long weekend that I have spent a lot of time knitting.

I'm past the heel turn on the second Nightingale sock. It's coming along but taking its time, just like the other one.
I dragged out my Labyrinth Carpet Bag and I'm working on that again as well. I don't seem to have ever posted pictures of it. I'll link to my Ravelry Project page. That has a picture. Otherwise I've been just sitting and staring into space at the TV. I'm telling you, I'm totally brain-fried. I've got to get it together pretty quick though, lots to do in the next couple of weeks.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Actual Finished Objects

You may recall that before I went to Wisconsin I had a goal of finally finished my poor languishing February Lady Sweater. I dug it out, refreshed myself with the pattern and got to work. I had finished one sleeve and had the second to do plus finishing the body. My goal was to make it as long as possible with the amount of yarn I had.

I did manage to finish it, in the van on the way to Wisconsin. Nobody said I had to have it done before I left right?
I made the sleeves about elbow length, maybe a tiny bit more:

and made a tab so they would have a little interest.

Here it is still unblocked and without buttons. I'm not quite sure if I will add buttons or not. I'm not sure I can actually see myself buttoning it up. I also changed my mind and didn't make it as long as possible. I was pretty sick of the pattern. (Simple enough to memorize, easy enough to drive you crazy.) and I thought the length looked really good so I started the edging.

This picture has the most accurate color.

I really don't like it but hubby took it and I promised I would post it. Please be kind.

I also realized that I never took pictures and posted them of my completed Bombadil Tam that I was lucky enough to test-knit.

Here is the beautiful colorwork.

A closeup of the twisted stitches.

The final product in all its glory. I absolutely love it. If you have the chance, Knit this hat!

I found the 3-color colorwork challenging but not overly so an the twisted stitches were also a challenge but well worth the work they took!

With these beautiful projects off the needles you may be asking what's on them.

At least pretend that's what you're asking.
This is the September Merino of the Month club Braid of fiber from Gritty Knits.

I spun it and 3-plied it into a beautiful sock yarn. I loved it so much that I couldn't resist. I wound it up and started knitting. I decided a good old plain sock would be the best to show off the gorgeous colors in this yarn.

It may be going pretty well.

As a matter of fact, it's going so well that WoolPrincess (Ravelry name) is trying to convince me that she needs these for Christmas.
What do you think, is she handspun worthy?

We'll talk about what else is on my needles another day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reporting on Wisconsin

Here I am, your action news reporter with a (mostly) full report of my trip to Wisconsin Sheep and Wool.

My Partner in Wool WoolPrincess and I left on Thursday in the late morning. We planned to leave earlier, it just didn't happen. We tented it so our major goal was to arrive at the site before it got dark. It really isn't pleasant to set up a tent in the dark. Ask me how I know.

I somehow did not manage to get a picture of the tent at all. We even had an amazing rain-shield setup on Saturday for the rain and I didn't get a picture of that either. Terrible action reporter huh?

But, you may be asking, what did you see, we don't care about where you slept.

We saw 2 huge barns that were full of vendors for the wool market. I was blinded by the wool fumes and took no pictures.

We saw sheep shows.

I believe these are Blue-Faced Leicester sheep but I can't remember now.

We saw adorable baby lambs.

This little black one even posed for my camera.

At our campsite we saw people running their herding dogs.

So, we had to go check out the sheep dog trials. It's hard to get a good picture of the trial in motion but I did get a great one of someone waiting patiently for her turn.

All together now, awwwwwwwwwwwww!

On the way home we even stopped at a cheese house.

Pictured here with the second travelling sock.

And as proof that Wisconsonians have their priorities and that I was actually in Wisconsin.

Notice that they put cheese as the priority and food is sort of an afterthought. I love it.

I had a great time and I'm so glad I went but it was cold and I may be getting too old to sleep on the ground with a cheap under-sleeping bag pad so I need to think these things through if I'm going to go again.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


I so don't mean to neglect my poor little blog. I'm knitting like crazy but I killed the batteries in my camera and then my week got crazy so I've sort of drifted off again.

I'm going to Wisconsin Sheep & Wool this weekend. I actually leave tomorrow morning. I'm very excited but it's going to be a long drive and a cold weekend camping so I've been knitting my fingers to the bone trying to finish my February Lady Sweater. I've got a couple of other sweaters to bring along but the more the merrier.

Wish me luck! I hope to get some good pictures and have lots of interesting things to say when I return.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Crazy update with a finished object.

Don't get your hopes up, the Nightingale socks aren't finished. But the Old Man of Storr Shawlette is!

She has even been washed and blocked. It really turned out wonderfully and I can't wait for some crisp autumn days when I will want to wear it.

The center is a simple Garter stitch and then a very simple lace pattern on the edge. I chose to knit mine with two colors of yarn. The Broken Midnight yarn I dyed and the solid grey vintage sock yarn for the edging. It turned out so great. I absolutely love it!

The nightingale socks are coming along though. I am actually past the heel already.

I'm not sure about the yarn, I don't like the brown in the purple and it's too stripey but I'm living with it. A knitting friend told me not to frog so I'm going to at least finish the first sock. Then eventually I may need to knit this pattern with some other yarn.

Here's a close-up of the first bird on the foot. I know it looks a bit funny now but it should block out beautifully. I usually find that to be true with colorwork.

Well, back to knitting. We'll talk about my spinning adventures another day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Some Progress

I've been knitting my little fingers to the bone and I actually seem to be making some progress. I started the Nightingale socks as planned on Sunday. Unfortunately, I had issues with it. I needed to increase the number of stitches in order to make my gauge (which I was happy with) fit around my foot/leg. I, without thinking, cast on the recommended number of stitches but in increasing to the number I needed, I ended up with a much longer toe than I liked. Then I made a mistake knitting the chart and when I corrected it, was unhappy with how I had loose little floats behind there. I decided to frog. It was painful, but it needed to be done.

I cast on again, this time with 25 stitches each for front and back rather than the recommended 19 and knit along. It's going well. There was a brief moment on Tuesday where I nearly ripped and restarted with different yarn because I'm not loving how much brown there is in the purple yarn but I persisted and I'm at the gusset increases for the heel now. Somehow this makes me feel like I'm almost halfway done with the first sock, even though the leg is much longer than the foot and I'm not even there yet. Let me have my sad little delusion okay.

I don't have a picture today because the weather is gray and drizzly so I can't seem to get nice light but I'll keep plugging away and maybe tomorrow we'll have a ray of sunshine perfect for taking pictures. A girl can dream can't she?

I'm also very excited to report that the Old Man of Storr shawl is officially off the needles. As a matter of fact, it's blocking right now. I'm very excited. It actually blocked out larger than I expected and it's about an inch narrower than my height. It's not super long but it looks great. I can't wait to unpin it and wear it everywhere.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Swatching for the Crazies

A few people in my local knitting group recently started talking about the Nightingale pattern. (I highly encourage you to look at that Ravelry pattern link before you read further.)

They even went so far as to plan a knit-along for it. I love the socks, I think they look amazing. I also think it's a sort of insane kind of crazy to undertake that project. Then I went looking for something in my sock yarn stash and found some yarn. Yarn that would be perfect for it.

Yes, that's right, I have joined the club crazy. Our knit-along is set to start on Sunday and we will have a gathering on Monday as our "official" kick-off since too many people have plans on Sunday. In order to be ready, I purchased the pattern, cleared off needles and today, I took these two yarns,

and I knit a swatch.

These are stranded colorwork socks with charts and so I think gauge is going to be really important. Otherwise I would take my normal just go for it and see what happens approach to my knitting.

I even knit the swatch in the round to make sure it was as accurate as possible. But, I need your help. I need to decide which color is the foreground and which is the background. In order to get a good picture of that, I knit a small portion of a chart on my swatch. One side with the white as the background (that's just part of a bird tail and some leaves, I couldn't bring myself to knit the whole bird)

One side with the Purple as the background.

I am planning to use magic loop for these to keep the sides together and hopefully make the colorwork easier. The pattern calls for size 2.50mm needles (sometimes called US Size 1.5) and I used my 2.5mm Addi Turbo needles to knit the swatch.

I think I already know what I like but I want more opinions. I won't be getting together with the knitting group until Monday and I want to start right away on Sunday (if possible) so I need to make a decision.

Note: this swatch is still wet from washing so the colors are a little more accurate in the ball but you can get a pretty good picture. I also won't know for sure about gauge until it's dry and I can measure it.

Here's where you come in. Leave me a comment. Tell me which you think is better, white background or purple background. I'm not going to tell you what I think until I get your opinion.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Tour de Fleece results and catchup

I'm so sorry to have gone so long without posting. I keep saying that I will post more often and then I never seem to do it. Well, this time, I'm going to stick to it. My new goal is at least once a week. Preferably twice. Even if I don't have anything new to show you, I need to get to posting more often.

Since I seem to have Mondays and Wednesdays mostly free, my goal is to post on those two days. So, here I am on Monday trying to get you caught up on what's been going on for the last month.

Let's see. When last we left our intrepid knitter, she was working on the Tour de Fleece right? You might be asking, how did it go? Well, I think it was a smashing success. In the Tour de Fleece you set your own goals. My goal was to spin at least 2 four ounce braids of roving and navajo-ply it into sock yarn. I trained and on the first day of the tour, I got started. I really wanted to get a head start so that if life got busy later, I could slack a little and still be able to finish. I started with my Merino of the month club braid from Gritty Knits. I am not going to post pictures of it prespun because I have done that already and this post will be picture-heavy enough.

Here it is all finished. It turned out so beautiful and I ended up with about 600 yards which is really bordering on laceweight but I really want these gorgeous stripes in some socks.

Next, I chose to spin a braid of fiber a friend gave me. She runs the etsy shop Hand over the Wool and wanted me to try out some fiber she had dyed for the shop. I know she has more of this fiber but I don't see it posted yet so be looking for it.

Here it is unspun and finished.

and closeup. It really isn't colors I would normally choose but it turned out just beautiful and I ended up with about 49o yards of beautiful sock yarn. I'm very excited to find something to knit with this gorgeous stuff.

I actually finished this fiber with plenty of time to spare. I debated whether I thought I should start something else with only about 4 days left but I just couldn't sit there not spinning while the tour was still going on.

I chose a braid of BFL I purchased in a stash sale on Ravelry. She dyed it herself and it was such an interesting combination, I couldn't resist.

Here it is all spun up.

and a closeup with a quarter so you can see how it came out. I actually got less yardage with this one because I was working on my long draw technique since it had such an amazing long staple length. I managed to finish it on the last day of the tour at 2 a.m. It was very exciting to be able to finish so much more than I imagined. I was up with my local spinners because we had a fiber retreat for the end of the tour.
I ended up trading the violet and lime BFL to my friend with the etsy shop for a few things. Plus, my babysitting services meant, I came home with some beautiful things.

Here's my total haul from the fiber retreat. In the upper right is some Funky Carolina Merino Combed top that I won in our gift exchange along with a chocolate bar, some coffee and a gorgeous knitting bag that's acting as a purse right now. Below that is fiber from the friend's etsy shop. Superfine Merino and baby alpaca. So soft it feels like butter. Below that is the Superwash Merino and Bamboo fiber that I couldn't resist because the gorgeous pinks and browns were calling my name. On the left in the upper part is some that is from the friend's etsy shop as well. Some Merino and Silk in gorgeous blues and greens. I had to have it because it matches the other so well. A braid I bought from another person's destash of Gritty Knits merino of the month.

I did put a little something into the gift exchange myself. Some Superwash Merino and Nylon that I dyed with my broken black.

It turned out really well and I hope I get to see it spun up because it is so beautiful.

Other than all the spinning, which has been slowed down a lot since the tour, I have been doing a little knitting.
I've been working on my shawlette in the broken black and I actually got to add the grey border now. I strung it onto some dental floss at my parents to see how it was coming.

I'm so excited. I think it looks great.

I also managed to knit a secret pair of socks for a friend's birthday.

They're knit with Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet, one of my all time favorite sock yarns because it's so soft and holds up so nicely.

I used the pattern Lace and Cable socks from Wendy Knits book Socks from the Toe up.

Here's a closeup of the lace pattern.

I also managed to knit a little knitting bag to match my new knitting bag/purse from some handspun.

The yarn is from forest fiber works. Please go there and buy everything up. I went and looked and want it all now.

The colorway is Eco and I purchased it last November and spun it into a two-ply. I still have another skein so I'm hoping to knit it into something else to match my knitting bag/purse.

I used the pattern Humbug bag from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. Although, I did use the Linen stitch for the body rather than the pattern it called for and I knit a band for the strap rather than ribbon like suggested. I didn't leave a hole for the yarn either and mine came out a bit smaller but I love it!