Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Fresh Start

I've been feeling the urge to cast on a sweater again but I've been holding myself back. Part of why I've been trying really hard to resist is because I'm so close to done with the Spoke sweater but I'm not quite finished yet. I keep trying to bribe myself to finish and I just can't do it. All the pieces are knit and they're all sewn together too. All that's left is to pick up stitches around and bind them off. So what's holding me back? I'm basically out of yarn. I have a very small amount left, not really enough. If I were just going to pick those up and bind them off like the pattern calls for, I would use a similarly colored handspun that I dug out of the stash but I really think I'm going to need to add some short rows onto the side of the half circle to make it fit the way I'd like it to. If I need to do that, I really would like more of the same yarn. I'm thinking it might end up languishing until May when I can attend the Shepherd's Harvest Festival here in Minnesota and see if I can find more of the same fiber. (I've looked online and can't find it but I've consistently seen it at Shepherd's Harvest and hope springs eternal.)

This week I just couldn't take it anymore though. I had been daydreaming about light, gauzy sweaters for the spring and I couldn't resist any more! I found some destashes of Malabrigo Lace on Ravelry, made a couple of purchases and found this lovely stuff in my mailbox on Tuesday.

It was even already wound up! How could I resist? Honestly, this Malabrigo lace was such a great deal too! With shipping and purchasing the pattern, we're looking at about a $27.00 sweater. Hours and hours of entertainment with a lovely sweater at the end and only 27 measly dollars? I can get on board with that!

It's being knit up into the Wispy Cardi by Hannah Fettig. It doesn't look like much of anything yet though. More updates to come when there's actual progress.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Languish No More

I'm genuinely trying to dig into my UFO bin and work on some things that have been languishing. I finished my March Vesper socks and I wasn't able to resist starting my April socks (which is fine according to our very laid-back KAL thread). I haven't been working on them a whole lot though, I decided to take some time and finish at least one languishing project. I dug out a pair of socks and got to work.

I really was thinking about these socks because I have a peachy-colored sweater and I wanted to wear it one day. I realized that I had no socks that matched. At all. I was sad until I remembered that I did have socks started that would match! (At least close enough since the sweater and socks won't be right next to each other.) I dug around until I found them and then dug around until I found the pattern I had printed out and started work on them again.

Super cute huh? The major problem with these socks which were about halfway done was that I had made the first sock too short. It fit but I didn't have room to wiggle my toes as much as I liked so I knew I was going to have to rip back and reknit and who wants to do that? I finished the second sock and bit the bullet and ripped back the first and fixed it though. I'm really glad I did. I forgot how much I loved the yarn and the pattern. It really looks great together!
The Stats:
The Yarn: Arucania (their sock yarn, I seem to have lost the tag)
The Needles: US 2 DPNs (2.75mm)
The Pattern: Sedona by Lisa Dykstra
The Notes: I originally started these a couple of years ago as a KAL in support of the lovely designer when she was diagnosed with cancer. I'm so sorry I let them languish because I think they're on their way to becoming a Favorite pair of socks.

That's not all though! I finally finished spinning the fiber I've been working on for my friend Lisa. Remember this?

It's Southern Cross Fibers in Serenity on Finn. As I've said before, it's not a fiber I've worked with a whole lot, it's got a feel more like a BFL than a Merino, not super soft but not really scratchy either. She requested a fingering-weight Chain-plied yarn.
I finished it the other day and here's what I got.

I think it turned out lovely and while it isn't washed and twacked yet (she said she would do that herself) I think it's a true fingering weight but I'm not thrilled with the yardage I got. Only 314 yards. Now, I may have miscounted while winding it, there's always lots of distractions in my house when I'm trying to wind yarn onto my niddy noddy but it seems pretty dense so it's quite possible that's correct. I'm not thrilled with that. It's definitely hard to tell with a chain-ply what you will end up with for yardage and I'm not devastated but for me a fingering weight in a 3-ply (even if that is chain-plied) should be more like 350+ preferably 400+ yards. I'm hoping she will love it anyway.
I have set myself a goal to finish off some spinning projects now before I start anything else so I've dug out some BFL and I'm working away at it, even though I got my Gritty Knits Merino-of-the-Month yesterday and I love it so much and I want to spin it right away! It certainly isn't making me love my BFL right now. We'll see how long I can stick it out.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sanity Intact

As I sit here unable to sleep (what is up with that?!) I'm thinking back to last week. I had some stress last week which is to say; I barely made it through the week with my sanity. My husband's car (which we have already sunk a small fortune into) had another issue and I was cruising on almost no sleep and a frustrating start to the day. Near a nervous breakdown, my mom offered to come get me so I could spend some time with my niece the following day. I agreed quickly and she came to pick me up. I'm thankful I was down with my family because then my grandma was taken into the hospital (by ambulance) because she was short of breath.
It's related to her heart, she has Congestive Heart Failure at this point so it's really just a matter of keeping the symptoms at bay as long as possible. She's not willing to do a whole lot in that arena to help herself so there's really only so much the rest of us can do.
There was time spent in the car, time spent on the phone, time spent visiting her at the hospital and all that time; my hands were knitting.
It got me thinking about knitting and how it can be a comfort. There are certainly times when you want to tear your hair out thanks to your knitting and it can often cause as much stress as it helps relieve but when crunch time comes, when you just can't handle any more, having your hands full of that knitting and working away, stitch by stitch can help you through.

For me the best thing is something garter stitch (or stockinette in the round) and very simple. If you need to look down at your hands to compose yourself, you have an excuse but otherwise, you can just knit and knit and knit and knit without thinking about it.

Slowly doing something productive in a time that you otherwise wouldn't be.
Sometimes, it helps.
Pattern: Hitchhiker by Martina Behm
Yarn: Handspun CJKopec Creations Polwarth in Autumn Rainbow

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Maniacal Laugh

*Insert Evil Laugh* Finished socks. Before St. Patrick's Day! Hooray! These are the Skew pattern from Knitty knit in Vesper Shamrockin'. I received the yarn last Tuesday and cast on that night. I finished the first sock the following afternoon. (I really focused on that first one to get it done.)

Aren't they pretty? I love them. I just love the way this pattern fits my feet too. They're so cozy and unusual.

I love how strange and cool the heel looks. I do have to switch to size 2 (2.75mm) needles once I start the gusset increases for the heel though because I knit this yarn on size 1s (2.25mm) and they're too tight through the heel if I knit it on 1s (which I learned the last time I knit this pattern.)

Now I'm going to attempt to finish off a pair of socks that have been languishing before the start of the new month when I would like to knit the next Vesper in my KAL plan.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

From Gemstone to Shamrockin'

I finished some socks, I don't even know if I should really call them socks since they are so short but I did knit them and on 1s even (2.25mm) so I'm counting them. Otherwise I'd have to come up with a weird word like Socklette or something.

Aren't they cute? They're Vesper Sock Yarn in Gemstone and I really like them. They're meant to be for the summer when you're wearing Capri pants or shorts but the air conditioning is just too chilly to have bare feet. (That happens to me a lot in the summer.) It's hard to imagine summer right now though, we just got another big dump of snow. More than 6 inches for sure. March is so fickle.

If you are friends with me on Ravelry (and check your friend activity) you can see that I'm a little obsessed with Vesper sock yarn right now. I love it! I just keep buying it from people's destashes and stuff and then I hoard it. I have at least 9 skeins waiting to be knit and that still didn't stop me from buying this:

Oh look! Another skein of Vesper Sock Yarn. This one is called Shamrockin'. I'm in the Vesper group and we have a little KAL going on to knit Vesper in 2013 (which means I will probably need more) you set up your own goals and colorway choices. I didn't have one that was really calling to me for March and this went up on the Knitterly Things website and I just couldn't resist. It's so green and happy. I really love my Skew socks from the Witchy Woman and I'm thinking this would be fun in that pattern as well. Something a little different than the traditional plain sock, something to keep my interest a bit.

I just can't wait to cast on, as a matter of fact the post office took a long time to get this to me, I thought I would have it well before now so I am certain it won't make it through the day without being wound and cast on.

I'm also working on some spinning, it's a bit strange to go back and try to spin something different after the Fiber Optic but I'm spinning something pretty fun.

This is Finn and I'm spinning it for a friend. She purchased it from someone else's destash and since I wanted to play with it too, I offered to spin it for her. It's not a fiber I work with often but I'm really enjoying it. I can't wait to see what it turns out to be.