Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hitching a Ride

I realized the other day when I was updating my Ravelry projects that I haven't mentioned my Hitchhiker in awhile, that's because it's no longer on the needles so it slipped right out of my mind. I didn't get anywhere near my 42 points because I ran out of yarn. (That just means I need to knit it again right? To fully geek out?) It wasn't blocked but it did have its ends woven in.

I'm really surprised by how versatile the colors are too. I tend to wear a lot of solid colors and this goes very well with more colors than I would have thought. I don't wear a whole lot of orange or brown (as they aren't my favorite colors) but it goes very well with green and that little bit of bright blue in there really pops if you wear it with a bright blue shirt. I think it would go really well with that shade of purple too, if I owned a shirt that color. (side note: why don't I? I love that purple.) I think it really brightens up neutrals too. Overall it's really becoming a 'go to' object in my wardrobe which I love! I will definitely be knitting another one too. Just as soon as I figure out what I'd like to knit it from.
Since I was thinking about it and I wanted it to grow just a bit in length, I decided to block it today. As soon as it dries (which it may be already, it was beautiful and sunshiney today so I had the windows open) I can wear it everywhere again, it will be great as the weather warms up for just that little something to keep you a bit warmer, whatever it is I'm doing around town.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Slow Progress

The thing about larger projects is that they take longer. Don't get me wrong, that can be a good thing. You can really delve into the project and develop a relationship with it while you're working on it but it can also be a stressful thing if you're on a deadline.
I have this crazy idea that I'd like to wear my Wispy Cardi to Shepherd's Harvest Festival on May 11th. That's really only a little over 2 weeks away. While I am making some decent progress, if I really want to wear it then, I need to get knitting!

It's difficult to get a decent photo today because it's gray and overcast but you can see I've finished the first sleeve and am currently working across the back. Definitely check out this pattern, it's really fun. You knit something like a shrug and then rib around it, then knit the back down. I'm really hoping it's going to be a nice, wearable sweater, perfect for those lightly cool days.
I'm also making some progress on my Color Affection. I've finished the single-color part and I'm ready to add in the stripes with the second color. I love it so far, it's a simple, fairly mindless knit but I need to set it aside and focus on this sweater!

When I just don't feel like knitting I've been doing a little bit of spindle spinning too. I'm using a beautiful Honduran Rosewood Russian spindle I got in a destash.

This is more of the hand-processed Cormo. I assure you that while it's not much to look at, it's lovely stuff and spinning beautifully. I'm just learning to supported spindle so I'm definitely not as proficient as I'd like to be but I'm loving it so far, it's much easier on my back.
All these things are wonderful and I love them and love working on them but there really isn't a quick, finish it up in a day project in there, I may need to rethink my current projects and find something simple and portable.In the meantime, I'm going to keep making my slow, but steady progress on all these things and love every minute of it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I've been powering through some Unfinished Projects Lately and managed to finish another pair of socks this week.

They're knit from the lovely Gritty Knits Nom and they are going in the long-range box for a gift because they're just not my colors.
I knit them up anyway in the Simple Skyp Pattern and finished them yesterday afternoon.

I really love how they turned out despite not loving the colors.
It's a good thing I've been going so well on the unfinished things because *cough cough* I seem to have caught something.

It's some kind of weird bug.

You might call it an Affliction. Imagine an evil laugh here.

Cast on will be happening shortly.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Askew Again

Since I can't sleep (what is up with that lately?) I thought I'd share some lovely socks I finished this week.

Aren't they pretty? I'm actually getting better at taking pictures of my own feet. It is a little awkward though.

You tend to get weird shadows if you're not paying attention.
These are the Skew socks knit from Vesper "April Showers Bring May Flowers" (this was a club colorway that I got from a destash) for the very informal Vesper KAL in the Vesper group.
I absolutely love the way this pattern looks in stripey yarn, the way the socks fit my feet and especially...

The crazy heel. They aren't something you can totally zone out and knit though so I will probably not knit this pattern again for May. I might actually convince myself to give it a rest for a bit. I have my May Vesper yarn picked out and I'm all ready to wind it up but I thought it would be smart to at least work on some other Unfinished Projects before I wind up the yarn and cast on.
I would also like to clear off some needles before I start a couple of larger projects I have planned. Today was a great day for that because we got another snow storm. It's really getting a little bit old at this point, I'm ready for some greenery, not 6+ inches of snow. Oh well, not much I can do about it but stay in and knit!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spinning Milestones

It's Tuesday right? That means it's spinning day! Hooray. Since my spinning this week is a little bit nondescript. I thought I'd share something with you. A milestone in my spinning.
Wait, did you want to see the nondescript spinning? To me it's pretty neat but it isn't much to look at. I'm using this tiny spindle.

And it is a tiny spindle, it's just 6.75 inches in total length. Anyway, I'm using it to slowly spin some Cormo I purchased at Shepherd's Harvest Festival the year before last. What's so cool about it is that I purchased it raw. Just in a bag full of sheep smell and lanolin and dirt. I hand washed, and processed this wool and now I'm spinning it (slowly because I'm using a tiny spindle) into a lovely little yarn. It's a two-ply and this little tiny skein is 8o yards.

It hasn't had a bath yet so it isn't perfect but I love it a lot.
Instead of spending too much time on that though, let's talk about my Spinning Milestone. Here it is!

It doesn't look like much does it? You might even be asking: What is it?

No guesses?
Well, it's a Spinning Journal.

Not long after I got my wheel I started keeping this journal of my spinning. I would put a little tuft of the fiber, a piece of a single and a piece of the finished yarn. I'd note the date I started, how much I had and what yardage it turned into.

Sometimes I put the label, sometimes I didn't and admittedly some pages are missing parts of the yarn. Sometimes I even went back and wrote what I used the yarn to knit. (This page is the fiber I spun and knit into a shawl for my Plurk Handspun Shawl Swap buddy Sairy)
That's great but what is the milestone? It's full! Full to the brim. Every page is used.

This is the page from my Frabjous Fibers that's being knit (well mostly done being knit) into the Spoke sweater. I'm so happy to have this little book full of the journey I have come on as a spinner and even though I could stop, I don't want to. I am looking for a new book to keep tracking my spinning adventures and I'm considering doing a knitting one too!

This is probably my favorite page. It's the first time I went back as a more accomplished spinner and spun a bulky yarn and it's super colorful and fun. I love the yarn and the page in the journal reflects that.
How about you? Do you keep a knitting or spinning journal?

One more thing before I sign off for today. I just wanted to say a big Thank You to everyone who sent me private messages about my last post. It's so good to hear I'm not the only one who has gone through misunderstandings and that those who know me, know I didn't mean what some others thought I meant.
Thank you.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

So Misunderstood

I'm going to start off with some knitting content so that if that's all you're here for, you may read just that and slide away. I urge you, if you can possibly take the time to read farther however.
This sock is the first of my April Vesper socks. It's finished and the started toe of the second sock is sitting politely next to it. Don't they look happy?

I'm knitting a pair of Vesper socks a month for the year (or as often/long as I feel like) as part of the Vesper KAL in the Vesper Yarn Lovers group. This month I'm knitting Skew (I know, again.) out of April Showers Bring May Flowers and it's turning out so lovely. I feel a little bit ahead of the game because it's not yet halfway through April and I'm done with the first sock so I may take some time on the second one. Time will tell. I'm very happy with how well they match so far though. I did a good job choosing where to start that second toe.
Now, on to less pleasant business. If you're only here for the yarn, you can move along.
I have heard horror stories over the years of how easily people can be misunderstood over the internet. There's definitely a lack of tone and inflection when it comes to what people are saying and, never wanting to be misunderstood I thought I was very careful to make it clear when something was meant as a joke or in what way it was meant. Apparently I was not as careful as I thought because this week, I was misunderstood. Misunderstood in a very big way. I made a comment on a Ravelry forum for a group that I'm in. I thought I was being polite (and attempting to be funny) and starting a dialogue about a KAL I knew was coming up and I was looking forward to. I received a reply from a moderator of the group and posted back what I thought was a joke and a polite response. I will not be telling you what group or which moderator so take that out of your mind please. The point of this is that I was misunderstood. This happened several days ago and I thought everything was fine until last night.
Last night I received a private message from another moderator of the group. This message implied that I was basically in the wrong group and had made derogatory comments to the other moderator as well as implying that now the moderator sending the private message was so angry the announcement of the KAL was postponed and would possibly even be cancelled. I was mortified.
Anyone who knows me in real life (I hope) knows that I would never purposefully hurt another person and that I would most definitely not be intentionally cruel or mean. If they misinterpreted my comment, which it's quite obvious they did, that's fine but I would have greatly preferred they simply delete the "offending" post, send me a private message informing me about it and asking me about my comment. They did nothing like that. They sent me a message that felt like a personal attack. It felt like I was being blamed for "ruining" a wonderful group of people and that now, because of one comment (again, that I thought was innocuous), the KAL that I was looking forward to may even be cancelled.
This led to me sobbing for about 3 hours (after sending an apology message) and then not being able to sleep because I was so upset. One of the things that I think hurts the most about this is that the moderator who sent me the private message was someone that I friended because of the group last year, someone I was looking forward to chatting with again this year, that's why I was impatient, why I was so looking forward to the KAL starting up. Now I'm heartbroken. I certainly don't feel like I want to participate in this KAL and also that I'm not sure about whether I even want to post in any group any longer. Maybe I'm overreacting but when I feel I'm personally blamed, I feel personally responsible.
Words cannot even begin to express how upset I am about all this. I actually feel like I should just pick up my knitting needles and shut up. But, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to try to forgive and forget and move on. I don't want anyone else to go through what I'm currently feeling though.
That's why I'm saying this: Really think before you post something. Really reread it and if you aren't sure, save it and wait to post until later when you can read through it again. If you are a moderator of a group (and I know it's a very difficult job at time, I moderate several groups) please, please ask for clarification before personally blaming someone for something. They may not realize how they sound.
The internet is full of misunderstandings but this one hurts and I don't want anyone else to have to feel this.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Tuesdays are for Spinning

I used to ignore the popularity among blogs of the 'Tuesdays are for Spinning' because I had other things going on Tuesdays, but no more. So why not jump on the bandwagon and show off some of the lovely things I've been spinning lately.
I keep trying to convince myself that clearing off bobbins is a really good thing and will make more space for better spinning projects (or at least ones that appeal to me more than others) but it hasn't convinced me so far. Instead I dug deep into the stash and pulled up an amazing braid of roving called 'Death to Ovarian Cancer' dyed by the lovey CJ Kopec Creations. It had little bits of white along with red, blue and brown. I wasn't sure about the colors in the braid (which I can't seem to find a photo of right now) but I love the feel of the Polwarth and silk so I spun it up.
 After I finished and washed the skein I just can't get enough of it. It reminds me of a faded denim jacket with a red heart patch. I have never seen such a jacket but it's there in my mind. It came out to about 400 yards which is much more than I thought it would be. I'm not sure what I'm going to knit it into but I love it!
At this point I really, truly tried to get back to my in-progress project but I just couldn't seem to get into it, it's some BFL in a lovely purple color but it's almost solid, which I'm trying to spin into a traditional 3-ply sock yarn and I just don't love the spinning of it right now. Instead I decided what I really needed was a quick, chunky spin to "cleanse my palette."

Back to the stash for this. It's the Gritty Knits Merino-of-the-Month from the club I'm in. It came last November and while I love it, I didn't have any concrete plans for it so I spun it up. I was even very good and let the singles rest overnight before plying. (That part is so hard for me!) It turned into some squooshy singles which I Chain-plied into some yummy, smooshy yarn.

Doesn't it look great! I managed to convince myself to wash it and then wait and wait and wait while it dried. (Seriously, it took days, it was killing me.) Finally it was dry and I couldn't wait any longer so I decided to cast on. I really do knit with my handspun.

After a brief but intense desire to knit it into a steering-wheel cover. I decided it just had to go around my neck. I chose a very simple Feather and Fan Infinity scarf pattern (although I widened it and omitted the purl row) and cast on last night.  I can't wait until this baby is done and as we seem to be getting some nasty weather (again) I should have plenty of time to wear it before the weather gets too warm.
Thoughts of summer (or at least spring, it is coming right?) lead me to thoughts of travel and travel makes me think of bringing my spinning along. That means, I've brought out my drop spindles again. Honestly over the winter I never put them away but I haven't been playing with them much lately. Every so often I flip through Respect the Spindle over at my friend's house though and it makes me want to never be without one so I started up again. (I really should just get my own copy, if for nothing other than the beauty of the book.)
I started drop spindling this fiber I picked up last year at the Shepherd's Harvest Festival. I have a ton of Merino (see the part above where I'm in a Merino-of-the-month club) but I walked past and walked past and just could not resist. It was a great price and lovely colors.

 It's green and brown and blue and a deep, dark foresty green as well. Which you can't tell at all from my spindle right now.
 I'm stuck in a brown section. I'm loving the spinning on a spindle though and I'm trying to work on it a little each day. There's nothing saying I need to finish the whole 4 ounces on the spindle (and I likely won't, I tend to lose patience) but I'm working on it bit by bit and that's something.
 I've been hearing so much about Supported spindling lately and I'm so curious to try it! I'm trying to find a good deal on a spindle that I can learn on. Mainly I'm interested in it because it's supposed to be easier on your back because you don't have to lean forward to allow your spindle to be suspended. Hopefully I won't get too obsessed since really, how many spindles does a girl need? (Don't answer that if you own more than 4, which is how many I have. Please, for the sake of my budget, don't answer.)

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Springing Forward, Despite the Snow Remaining

I'm getting so anxious for spring to finally arrive! I keep thinking it will show up and the massive amount of snow in our backyard is actually melting slowly away so I may actually get to see it at some point. Since I've been thinking so much about spring, I decided to knit something just for spring.
I had been looking at the Elphaba pattern for awhile. I finally decided to break it out and get some knit.

This is the finished product. They were super fast to knit and I whipped them out in 3 or 4 days (I'd have to go and look at a calendar to really figure it out) and I used some handspun that's been in my stash for a long time. It's one of the first things ever spun on my wheel and I never knew what to knit with it. I used the skein that was sitting there, it was about 75 yards and then navajo-plied the remaining singles and finished off the second mitt with them. Notice how the top of the second mitt doesn't stripe the same? I really don't mind, I still love them and now I can tell which is which. Now my hands will be ready for those almost-warm days if they ever arrive.