Thursday, December 30, 2010

Spin Along

I am participating in my first spin along. We all purchased Cloudlover fiber in The Tempest or The Magic Flute colorways. I chose The Tempest because it was available in Polworth, which I love to spin.

The Tempest
the tempest begins

It really looks different than I expected. I can say that about most of the fibers I have spun. They blend and combine into something much different than what is in the braid or bump.

I am currently working on my self striping socks and the Eiffel Tower shawl. But I received almost my entire Ravelry wishlist in a pay-it-forward love fest so I am anxious to cast on the Pamuya shawl in my handspun.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Handknit Xmas Gifts 2010

Berutti Hat Pattern in Swish Worsted Black

Short Row Hat in Telemark Garnet Heather

Boot Socks Pattern in Telemark Worsted Black and Truffle

Short Row Hat in Telemark Delft Heather

Stockinette and Hermione ED Lace Pattern Socks in Duet Skinny

Friday, December 17, 2010

Trying Something New

Well it's official, I am a Spinner. I remember when I declared myself a Knitter, it was a turning point. I believe this is another turning point in my crafting life. I have been spinning for six months and I am actually spinning yarn that I can use in knitting projects.

I am taking another small leap and joining the Completely Twisted and Arbitrary Spinning Group's (CTA) SAL - a spin along - which I never even knew existed. I have spun fiber from Cloudlover before, and she is the dyer providing the fiber for the SAL. I am confident that I can spin something lovely, with enough yardage to make something for the SAL posts. It is similar to KALs and CALs in that we all start with the same thing (pattern, yarn, what have you) process it and compare our end results. I am excited. I chose the Tempest Colorway in Polworth fiber. I love spinning Polworth.

I have also made a break from the Socks That Rock rockin' sock club. I won't be renewing in 2011, instead I spent slightly less than the membership amount on yarn and patterns from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I am joining some new and exciting sock yarn clubs in 2011.
1. Bad Amy Knits Stripey Sock Club - it is bimonthly, 3 shipments over 6 months, beginning February 2011.

2. & 3. Janel Laidman's Art & Sole and Illuminations Colorwork Sock Clubs are also on my to do list for 2011. You know how long I have had the Enchanted Sole on the nightstand. I am extremely excited about those two clubs!! I found them by accident by the way. I was going through someones projects to see what a given yarn looked like in a particular sock pattern. The knitter posted something about the sock clubs - thank goodness - or I would have missed out. I need to take better advantage of the Ravelry Groups, seriously.

4. I am planning to throw my name into the ring for the Perfect Day Yarns club too, but I doubt if I will get in. Previous members from past years have taken dibs as they have been loyal to PDY for years. There are not that many spots to go around. I'll give it a go though.

I am in a few fiber clubs next year too.
5. The Crown Mountain Farms monthly fiber club.
6. Dyeabolical Bump & Braid Club which is a 3 month club Jan, Feb & Mar.
7. Cloudlover Fiber Club - another 3 month club, which was Nov, Dec and Jan.

I have had a minor set back, neither my Grinch Sock Kit nor my self striping Snow Man Sock yarns have arrived. I am terribly disappointed. I had plans for them. Now they will have to wait until next year. The weather has disrupted the flow of goods people, and I am not happy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Almost There

I put together one bookcase over the weekend. I love this furniture it is just so well made and pretty. There is one last piece to assemble, another white bookcase for the guest/craft room. Then I will finally be done. I have our waste company picking up the styrofoam packing on Tuesday the 21st. I will glad to clear out the garage. The end is in sight.

I had to add a last minute project to my Christmas knitting. I finished it last night - YAY. I am back to knitting socks with stripes and shawls with holes. I am really enjoying all of the projects I have on the needles right now so I am glad I am finished with gift knitting AGAIN.

I am spinning some amazing fiber too. I started two separate bumps. More on that in another post. I want to get back to my Rudolph socks. Ciao.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Blessed Day

I got a "Survey" receipt from Starbuck's yesterday so I got to enjoy a free Venti Caramel Macchiato. Then I got my San Francisco Soup Company daily menu and I won a free Large Soup. I went down to get my soup and literally ran into Silvia and she is way pregnant, due the 26th of this month. Silvia is one of the sweetest people I have ever worked with. When she had her daughter Sophia 8 years ago we gave her a shower here at work and I made her a Baby Carriage tissue holder. She loved it. Now that I know how to knit, I want to make her some booties and a hat. I don't think I have time for anything bigger because the 17th is her last day. This has been a truly blessed day.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Year End Sales

I managed to finish my Christmas shopping for the kids, mostly Write Your Books from Barnes and Noble and digital photo album key chains for the teens. We are giving Dad pajama bottoms, house shoes and a fleece jacket this year. I bought a Red Cardigan from JC Penneys for Mom to give to me (I am her personal shopper). Lots of handknits for everyone, and gift cards for the work group. I am so happy we are not having dinner this year. My Cousin is having it at her house in Elk Grove. Yay.

Wow I scored a lot of stichmarkers, fiber and project bags during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, from various Etsy and ArtFire shops. Great discounts and free shipping offers were all over Ravelry. I joined 3 fiber clubs, two are Nov-Dec-Jan. The third starts in Jan and is for the whole year. I am undecided about the Socks That Rock Club 2011. If we get bonuses this year I will probably do the STR Club again in 2011.

The Berutti hat is done, I cast on a Short Row hat last night. I only have 18 more rows to go to finish the short row hat. I cast on the Shaken But Not Stirred scarf in Thraven, it is so pretty, I kinda want to keep it. I modified it for a guy, so there are no lacey olives on the border. The yarn is perfect. I am casting on self-striping socks as fast as I can. I want to wear the Rudolph socks on Christmas. We'll see.

I have not spun in over a week. The Quetzal Bird still needs to be plyed. I am thinking about spinning all of the 1 oz bumps and samples I received. My first one I want to try spinning without any prepping at all. I am not sure how to store my singles, I am considering winding them into cakes or balls for storage. Then once everything under 4 ozs is spun, I can decided what to ply together. I bought some solid fibers and I still have almost a pound of undyed fiber that I can spin and ply to get more yardage and different combinations.

I am not posting pictures of anything right now, because it is such a time suck. Taking pictures, editing them, labeling them, uploading them, then posting them just takes up too much time. This past week I have been spending that time knitting and I have finished 3 projects. That convinces me that less time on the computer equals more productivity. However, I have not been happy with the sparseness of my blog posts so I will try to spend more time here.

I need to find a new book. I have not been able to get into the Jasper Fforde book I started. Any recommendations??

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Making Progress

I managed to finish a couple of Christmas presents.

I finished Debbie's scarf. The Scrunchable scarf in SeeJayneKnit's Dexter colorway.

A new pair of socks for Julie. They are knit from Duet Skinny.
I scored a Phat Fiber box November 2010 version, the theme was a Season of Light. This is a Fluffy box which contains fiber samples, a spindle, patterns and several coupons.

I received a great package from my Fallmaggedon swap pal Sadie aka Blueruin on Ravelry. She sent me lots of Inuit teas, beautiful yarn and a braid of fiber she dyed herself. There is a shawl pin hiding under the yarn there, it is circular and looks hand hammered.

I put together both of the cabinets for the craft/guest room. That makes 6 out of 8 pieces assembled. Over the long Christmas weekend I will finish, putting together the last two bookcases.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Finished Objects

I have finished a couple of pairs of socks and done quite a bit of spinning.
Knitterly Thing Vesper Self Striping Sock Yarn
Savana colorway
I think I posted this already but I just love this yarn. Handspun fingering weight yarn from Crown Mountain Farms in colorway Riders on The Storm. I still have some singles on a bobbin, yes still, that need to be plyed so I can figure out the total yardage. This was an 8 oz bump.

Currently Spinning Quetzal Bird. It is similar to another fiber I have spun, cannot think of the details of that one right now. This is a 4 oz bump from St. Seraphina's Etsy shop.

Duet Sock Yarns Skinny in the colorway Tide Pool. I love these socks, they are for Julie.

Nice Long Weekend

I enjoyed the nice long weekend I took last week. The trip to Reno was fun and relaxing. I did not get to finish any of my projects though. We caught snow on the way home, near the summit - about 30 miles from Colfax. There was smoky rain for about another 50 miles. Mom was calm and patient and we had no incidences coming home; it was her first time driving in snow. We made it to the Dixon Produce Market just as they were closing. I got pecans for baking, some dried fruit and their famous chocolate covered raisins. Yay!!!

My visit to Jimmy Beans Wool was productive. The Namaste buddy cases are Christmas gifts, the Gold Lustra is going to be a colorwork scarf, I have some black for the contrasting color. The Colinette Jitterbug was on sale. I bought the Regia Self Striping in the World cup colorway because the sample sock was so danged pretty, I also got 3 more Zauberballs.

I assembled two more pieces of the new furniture, which are the last two pieces for the master bedroom.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Redecorating - The Library

I have too many books. I relocated six bookcases full of books over the weekend. My new cabinets and bookcases came early Saturday morning. I managed to assemble one bookcase and one cabinet. The rest of the day was spent loading and unloading books. My scar felt like it was going to burst open at one point so I had to call it a day. I just managed to push the unassembled pieces against the walls out of the way. I still have one more old bookcase to relocate, then I think things will go much faster. The Paterson furniture is super easy to assemble but the pieces are quite heavy. The cabinet weighs more the 120 pounds and the bookcase 97 pounds. Needless to say they must be assembled close to their final resting place. I hope to get two pieces done each weekend until all 8 pieces are in place. An unanticipated problem is disposal. There is so much styrofoam and cartons to recycle that we fill up the can very fast and have no place to put the rest. Timing is good though, our recycling is picked up on Monday, so whatever we put in over the weekend is picked up right away.

I am going to Jimmy Beans Wool in person. I shop there online all the time so I am excited to actually visit the store. I am putting together a swap package for the KnitGirllls Fallmageddon swap. I will be on the look out for some deals. I am within budget so far, but I have a couple of yarn options that allow me to spend a few more dollars on goodies. I made some items this weekend from my endless supply of craft materials.

I finished sock 1 of the Vesper Savana 4 stripe socks and sock 1 of the Skinny Duet socks. I want to spin so badly, but I also want to get these socks off the needles. I have done the cuffs and first 10 rows on the second socks of both pairs. I cast on The Eiffel Tower shawl in Wollmeise We're Different colorway Kornblume.

I finally got a copy of Sweaters from Camp and it is a signed copy. Meg Swansen and the other two authors inscribed it to someone named Lee. I don't know if that is the person who sold it to me, or if a used book dealer ended up with it. It is like new and the book is amazing. I want to sit down with a pot of tea and read it all the way through. The patterns are challenging and inspiring.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Hi Blog How Are You?

My poor neglected blog. I have been inundated with chores, my Sister's birthday, spinning, knitting and getting organized.

Good news is my Sister thoroughly enjoyed her birthday. I have found someone to take my Chaise Lounge so I can move my drafting table under the picture window where there is lots of light. I have gotten rid of some more books and bags and miscellaneous office stuff from the guest room. I found the perfect cabinet and bookshelves at Crate & Barrel. I plan to order them when we return from our mini-road trip. The really good news is this cabinet is on sale. You cannot see them in the picture but it has glass doors.

Bad news is I still have boxes of movies, books and dvds to deal with in the guest room before I can move my yarn collection in there.

I celebrate my six month spinaversary next month. I cannot believe I have only been spinning for 5 months, it feels so natural. Just like with yarn, I have developed a sense of what type of fiber I dislike and which types I love. My favorites are Corriedale, Blue Faced Leicester and Polworth. Silk blends send too much loose fiber into the air and I have to wear a mask when prepping and spinning it - I would rather buy my silk blend yarns already spun. I have not tried to spin the tencel yet. No exotics or luxury yarns either. I am kind of blah about the superwash merinos I have spun. They were kind of boring, maybe because both were 8 oz braids and took awhile to spin.

I have cast on a whole bunch of new projects for winter. I am freezing, so I am making myself some hats and scarves and mittens. I need to also finish my felted clogs!!! I have only two Christmas presents to knit this year, my Sister wants a red scarf and I have decided to knit my Brother (in-law) some socks. The scarf is about 25% knit already, I just ordered a pattern and yarn from Knit Picks for the big old man socks - he wears size 14.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Lied - Again

I lied to myself, and possibly the interwebs, about taking photos of stash enhancements. I had said I was not going to do it anymore. I spend too much time uploading and updating stash and wips so I claimed I was not going to do that any longer. Well, I got all jazzed about a pattern last week and looked through my Ravelry stash to see if I had enough yardage in a particular yarn. But travesty of travesties I couldn't get that information because I never put the yarn in my stash. SO - it's all or nothing. I am back to putting stash pictures in Ravelry. And, by the same token, it was time to update my Library Thing list. I scanned about 100 books today and added them to library thing.

If you are curious about what I read my Library Thing username is paletpc.
If you want to peruse the stash enhancement or WIP updates, click the Flickr link in the sidebar. I still have to take pictures of my Kauni and Socks That Rock. They may have to wait until next week, I want to knit.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Make A Wish

I was lucky enough to be a prize winner in the drawing that LynnZimm held for those who donated to her Make a Wish fundraiser. My prize was a handknit pair of socks from Leslie of the wildly popular video podcast The KnitGirllls. Leslie also sent me some brain food, CHOCOLATE, a book light and bookmark for those late nights reading in bed. I am going to have a cozy fall and winter with all three (well maybe 15 minutes with the chocolate). The hanpainted water color notecard that was included in the package is to die for. It is gorgeous.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's a Record

I somehow managed to knit a Traveling Woman Shawl in three days. I cast on and knit the stockinette portion on Saturday. I knit Chart A three times on Sunday. I knit the border Chart B and cast off Monday. Unfortunately due to the healing process I cannot block anything right now, I did not have the foresight to pull the blocking squares out from under the chaise before surgery. I also don't think the stretching during the pinning and wiring process would be good right now.

I was determined to knit another Traveling Woman Shawl correctly. If you recall the one I knit for the Ravelry meetup was a pattern fail. I forgot to knit the second repeat of chart A and ended up with a modified version of the pattern. The shawls in Ravelry which were knit correctly kept taunting me. My only modification this time was to add a third repeat of Chart A. I knit this out of my own handspun, Japanese Maple 100% Corriedale from The Painted Tiger. I still have a nice sized ball left, but I did not think it would be enough for another repeat of Chart B. I love it so much, the colors look so pretty knit up. This gives me a sense of how the spinning and plying affect the knitted fabric.

My itty bitty Nano came, it's adorable. I had it engraved with Go SMALL or stay home! 8-}

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spins, Socks and Wips

I have skeined up the Bermuda Triangle and finished spinning the singles of the Sanguine Gryphon Dinosaurs in the Neighborhood. Currently I am spinning my first braid of Crown Mountain Farms, it is 8 ozs of superwash merino. Wow it looks more like a pound of fiber. I may spin 4 ozs of something else before I spin the other four ozs.

I finished three pairs of the socks I was working on - mostly to avoid the mind numbingly long rows on the Cobblestone Sweater and Green Mountain Shawl. The yarns used below are (1) Opal Rainforest 6 in the colorway Lord Marlon; (2) Lana Grossa Solo #5208; and (3) Happy Choices #6.

Works In Progress:
I am still knitting sock 1 of the Hermione's Everyday Socks in the STR Colorway ST-1.

I cast on a pair of Ardeo Socks for my Sister, I have only completed the cuff so there is nothing to see yet. I am using Knit Picks Essential in Navy.

I cast on a Traveling Woman Shawl in my handspun in the colorway Japanese Maple. I cannot tell you how much I love this yarn, it is knitting up wonderfully and I love the way the colors are moving through the stockinette portion. I have just started Chart A. . . . and this time I will knit the charts in the proper sequence.

Monday, September 20, 2010

It Is Mine Whine

I have decided not to put any more of my stash into Ravelry. Except the Prism Merino Mia because I am trying to collect one skein of each color, and need to avoid duplications. I will list my handspun as I finish a skein also. But the sock yarn, and yarn for projects I think I will only list when I am working on a project using that specific yarn. I am getting a lot of requests for yarn in my stash even though I don't have any listed for sell or trade. I am pretty sure I have whined about this before - sorry. Just because I have had a skein of something since 2007 does not mean I don't want it. I am a collector, I like to try different yarns/fibers and I buy single skeins to see a yarn in person before buying enough for a project.

I always volunteer to send Ravelers left overs if I have something they need, but I am not selling my Alice Starmore Hebridean or my Wollmeise lace weight. I am actually considering downloading my stash to an excel file and removing it from Ravelry. I don't like having to say no, and constantly explain why I cannot send someone that "impossible to find in the same dye lot" skein they are searching for.

What would be great is if I could make my stash non-public, that would be perfect. Then I could continue to use it on Ravelry with all of the links. That may be selfish, but I listed my stash for me to scroll through when planning a project and keep track of colorways and such. I don't know, I guess I am feeling a little harassed, Ravelry has gotten so big now and there are so many members, that the number of requests has grown with it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Past Due

Wow my projects were really out of date, books too. I spun two fibers and read three books that never made it to the side bar. Lets start with what's on my needles.

I am about to start the sleeves of Cobblestone. The yarn is Malabrigo Worsted in Emerald Blue.

Lots of socks.

Pair #1 Happy Choice in colorway #6, very weird to be unraveling yarn from what looks like a scarf to knit a pair of socks. Lots of curl in the yarn but no problem knitting with it and the sock is extremely soft and cushy.

Pair #2 Lana Grossa Solo in colorway #5208. I love the fabric and the slow color shift but the yarn is very splitty, doing the ribbing and the heel flap was a pain. Project bag: Blue Baseballs from Piddleloop etsy store.

Pair # 3 is the beginning of the Hermione's Everyday Sock in 3am Enchantments' one of a kind colorway The One Eric Dyed. I love this yarn so much. However, I am going to have to frog this sock. The pattern calls for a size US 1/2.25mm needle and 400 yards of sock yarn. The sock is too small and I need to go up to at least a US 2 needle for this yarn. So I don't have enough of this yarn to knit these socks. Not a problem of course because I have a gazillion sock yarns in my collection. Project Bag: 3am Enchantments Route 66 bag.

Pair #4 Opal Rainforest Collection 6 in the Lord Marlon colorway. Plain stockinette socks, nice and squishy and knitting up superfast in all their self-patterning glory. Project Bag: Piddleloop retro Snoopy bag.

Next - what I am spinning. I cannot say "what's on the wheel" anymore because my Hansen electronic Mini Spinner does not have a wheel. I have named her Cherry by the way, thanks Lemonhalf for helping me pick a name.

First is the Bermuda Triangle from Wild Hare Fibers that I am currently spinning. It is a 4 oz bfl bump. So pretty.

Second is The Painted Tiger 100 % Corriedale top 8 0zs in the colorway Japanese Maple. I spun and 2 plyed it for a total of 472 yards. It is a fingering weight. I want to knit a shawl out of the yarn. The hank is currently hanging in the shower to dry. I will probably post another picture of it all skeined up.

Last my Dyeing Arts Goblin Seas duo which was 4 oz of superwash merino. I 2 plyed it for a total of 254 yards. It is destined to be a pair of socks for Mom.
I cast off the Mystic Desire inspired shawlette I created when I had pattern fail on the Mystic Desire KAL pattern. I also finished the Clapotis I knit for Jane's birthday present; it came out gorgeous. I used Interlacement Tiny Toes again, colors #203 and #209 - I really wish this yarn was still available. The colors are so wonderful.