Friday, August 30, 2013

August Endings

The crazy month of August is almost over and I'm so thankful. It's been fun and a wild ride but I'm going to be very happy for things to slow down for awhile now!
We spent last weekend camping with my in-laws, it was fun but coincided with a major heat wave so the heat was miserable. Not miserable enough that I didn't want to knit though. I finished the first of my Vesper Monet's Garden socks and started the second.

I decided to knit these toe-up and used the Sock Template (which is a PDF download from her Free Patterns tab) from WendyKnits blog to do a Toe Up Sock with Gusset. I like how it turned out but without the slip stitches on the heel, I am curious to see how it wears.
I've also been working away on my Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief. So far I have 4 eyelet rows and I don't think I will get another. I've taken to weighing the yarn in between rows to gauge when to start the rows of garter edging. It's going to be soon. I'm still in love with the colors of the yarn and excited for this lovely thing to be finished.

The yarn is still so difficult to photograph though and at least here you can see the subtle shading of purples although it's darker in real life.
The sorting for the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup has taken place now too. I was placed in the Not Quite First Years (NQFY) group, which is totally fine as I haven't played along before (hence my low priority on sorting) so I will be over there plotting how to fit the projects I'd like to knit into the classes once they're posted.  (You can still join us as a NQFY, check out the group, it's gonna be a blast!)
I'm pretty sure I will be knitting a Solid Sock for the Solid Socks group as the September sponsor is Gritty Knits. If you've been reading for awhile, you know I'm a big supporter of Gritty Knits so I have tons of her lovely yarns on hand to knit into solid socks. I may even do their Mystery Sock for which all the clues are already posted and spoiled (I'm totally okay with that).
It's also about time to start thinking about Holiday Crafting. I have one knit done and several others in mind so I'll be starting those soon.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Little Askew

I've been trying to be organized and get some things finished. I have some brown natural wool on the wheel that I want to get done so I can start Jenna's prize spinning and I can't seem to motivate myself to work on it. I did spend all day Sunday at the Forest City Stockade working on it though, in between explaining spinning to passers-by. I even got the husband to dress up with me.

(All the pictures today are sideways, I cannot for the life of me get them to straighten out and I'm sick of trying. I may be a little too sleep-deprived to care right now.) Yes, that's a bonnet, what can I say, I couldn't wear my sunglasses and it definitely helped. What it didn't help with was the super heat. It's been very hot the last couple of days.
What does that say to me? Apparently knit a hat.

I couldn't stop thinking about the lovely, drapey 50% Merino/50% silk yarn and I decided it did need to be knit into a slouchy hat, whether it would look good or not. I cast on last night and finished it today. I love it a little bit, even though it's not very flattering on me.

It turned out so pretty though. I fiddled around with the stitch count to make sure it didn't pool. It still pooled a little bit during the increases and decreases but I love how it striped with the little blips of blue in the other places on the hat.
Now I'm absolutely not allowed to cast on anything new until I finish something else though. I've been working on my Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief again and it's slowly growing. I've also been working on my Georgia on my Mind socks and I'm at the heel flap on the second sock. The end is in sight on these two projects so it shouldn't be too hard to finish something.
For the most part I'm getting ready to go camping though! This weekend we're going camping with my in-laws near Richmond, MN. I hope it doesn't rain as much as the weather report is predicting because we are tenting it! I've aired out the tent and started to assemble camping supplies. It's gonna be a great time and I'm hoping I will get lots of knitting done.
Not only for my own sanity do I want to finish something, I signed up for the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup sorting. I haven't played along in the past so it's very possible I could get placed in the Not Quite First Years group and not get sorted into a house but it's going to be fun anyway and they require you don't cast on for you projects for classes until the start-of-term. That's September 1. (Although previously unfinished items can get turned in for Detention if finished for some points.) Come join us and play along, it's going to be so much fun!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Contest Winner (and some other stuff)

This has been a somewhat odd week. I can't seem to remember what day of the week it is at any given time. That's partly because I was up all night on, I think, Wednesday night for no apparent reason. I just couldn't sleep. I did get lots of spinning and knitting time because I wasn't asleep though.
I've been focusing on cleaning off bobbins this week because I will be demonstrating spinning at Forest City Stockade this weekend! I will be there Sunday, in costume, spinning so I wanted to make sure I had plenty of cleared-off bobbins. As part of that, I thought I could get something finished so I really focused on my Targhee, it was taking up multiple bobbins.
Now, however.

I divided this fiber by weight to spin a traditional 3-ply. I have no idea if my scale malfunctioned or if it was just me not doing it right but the second bobbin ran out long before the first and third, since the singles were pretty consistent, I don't know how that happened. I wasn't sure about doing a center-pull ball with one and plying from inside/outside and using the other bobbin so instead I just chain-plied the remaining singles. It was a lot more singles than I would have thought it would be! I ended up with about 180 yards of chain-plied yarn and about 290 yards of the traditional 3-ply for a total of 470 yards. I wound it all into one skein so I'm not sure how I will knit it when I decide to work with it. I'm really happy how it came out though! It's very even and consistent, not over-plied or really over-spun.

Even immediately after removing it from the niddy noddy it didn't twist very much at all. I love how squooshy and bouncy it seems too. I think this will get knit into something beautiful in the near future.
I'm really trying to focus on finishing off some projects because I feel like I don't get things done if I have too many things to divide my time between but a new pattern was released today. It's called Cursed Cable Mitts and a dear online friend really wanted someone to KAL it with her so she gifted me the pattern, leading me to decide the lovely Malabrigo sock that wasn't working in the Lohengrin socks should become these lovely mitts.

Isn't it lovely? I think the subtle color changes, that were too much for the very complex Lohengrin pattern will be just right for this slowly shifting cable. If you decide to knit this pattern too, let me know so we can KAL together!
I'm also starting to daydream about another shawlette. I found this lovely skein of yarn the other day (unlabeled, for shame!)

It's sort of a brown and green with hints of purple handspun 2-ply and I have a little over 500 yards. I am thinking of knitting Multnomah again. It's such a fun knit and turns out so pretty. I think that little bit of extra yarn might make it that little bit larger that I'd like. I'm not sure what yarn this is, I need to find my spinning journal that's full and look it up, but I'm pretty sure that it has silk in it because it has a lovely shine. I plan to finish my Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief before casting this on so it's not too much of a rush yet.
One last order of business, the thing you really came for right? The blog contest from my 400th post is now finished! I selected the winner via and the winner is: *insert drumroll sound here* Jenna! Jenna is a real-life friend so I am very excited to spin this lovely Falkland just for her!

Congratulations Jenna and thank you everyone for entering! I love doing contests so I will probably do another one soon.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I Think it's an Improvement

It was a busy weekend. I traveled down to Litchfield for a wedding on Friday, it was an adorable outdoor wedding. Very much like the people who got married. I managed to wake up from sleeping on a strange bed with more pain from my pinched nerve though. That part of the weekend was not fun at all. I did manage, with a great deal of alternating heat and cold and ibuprofen to make it through the weekend and finish a sock.

Last week, in order to keep myself from casting on something new, I dug out this project. I was about halfway through the first sock and decided it was too loose and ripped it, went down a needle size and cast on again. I managed to finish the first sock and start the second. I really like this pattern. It's called Georgia on my Mind by Leslie Thompson and it's like a plain stockinette sock with a seed stitch panel to break it up and keep it interesting. I really enjoyed knitting (and reknitting) the first one. The yarn is some Three Irish Girls I purchased from a destash. It's Adorn sock in Lucerne and I love how it's basically a plain grey with pops of color. I had to do a little fiddling to keep the sock from pooling the same colors together and I love how it came out.
Last night I was frustrated though. I was sick of being in pain and not getting enough sleep because of said pain and I had argued a bit with the Handsome Husband so I needed something new. Something pretty and shiny and wonderful so I cast on a new slouchy hat.

What's that? It doesn't look like a slouchy hat? That's because it isn't. I ripped it out. I just don't think it will look good on me and I love this yarn so much, I want it to be something so awesomely amazing! Maybe I will decide on something soon.
The thing is, I'm having a hard time knitting today. My neck/shoulder area is somewhat better but unless I sit just right, with arm propped up just right and neck supported, I can't do anything. It hurts too much, sadly this is an improvement over yesterday when I couldn't do anything at all, including breathing, without pain. My wheel and I are disagreeing too so spinning is out and I just need to find something to do to keep myself from going crazy and watching too much Netflix

Thursday, August 08, 2013


I finished my test-knit well in time for the deadline. I really love how it turned out but I think I should have knit it on larger needles to make it bigger. It's about 13" deep and I like it but I wanted it to be big and cozy and it's not quite there. I love it anyway.

It's knit from some handspun Merino from Gritty Knits Merino-of-the-month. I had one braid and purchased a braid from a friend when she didn't love the colors. They really aren't my colors either but it was just so compelling, I couldn't resist! I spun both four-ounce braids into a lovely squishy two-ply fingering weight. I had about 530 yards and this pattern didn't take the whole 8 ounces so I may pull out the edging and knit it larger. I haven't decided yet.
I definitely recommend looking for this pattern soon though, it's wonderful and a quick, easy and customizable knit! It will be up on the Simple Knits design page soon!
Unfortunately, I haven't had a whole lot of knitting though, have a pinched nerve in my neck/shoulder area. Mostly I've been medicating and sitting propped up with pillows so I don't move and it doesn't hurt. Not very realistic for life though. Hopefully with a trip to the Chiropractor, I will be back and moving (and knittng) soon!
P.S. Remember to enter the giveaway in post 400! The contest ends 8-15-13. 

Monday, August 05, 2013

Decay is Done

It was a busy weekend with a trip to South Dakota, church and Knit night. I did manage to get a few things done though. I finished my Vesper KAL socks for July. I decided to knit the Arch-shaped socks from this lovely skein of Moondance.

I'm not too sure about the fit of these but they look lovely. I love the colors.
I also finished spinning some Cloudlover Shetland in the colorway Decay last week so I finished plying it today.

I absolutely love how it turned out. I decided to chain-ply the singles and it became a lovely worsted-weight skein of yarn, about 234 yards.

I was hoping to knit some heavy-weight socks for winter from this skein but I'm not sure this would be enough so it might become an awesome hat instead.
I love the colors in the braid of Decay and this skein shows them off so well, I'm absolutely in love with it. I think as soon as it gets its soak, twack and dry it will be knit.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Just a Quickie

I thought I'd do a quick post, even though I'm leaving in about 15 minutes for a trip. The other day I signed up for a new test knit. The pattern will be called Quicksand and it's designed by Vicki Mikulak. I've knit for her before, her patterns are called Simpleknits designs. I really love her patterns and I don't have deadlines right now so I decided to go for it.
I got her permission to use some great handspun.

Wound it up so I was ready to go and cast on.

I've got a fair start and I love how it's working up. I think it's a very fun knit and I'm taking it as a great travel project. I'm knitting version 1 and there are 3 so definitely look for this pattern soon, I think it will be worth your time.
Don't forget to enter the blog contest on my previous post, it's open until the 15th of August.