High school can be trying. It’s even more of a hassle when you’re trying to keep warm during class and your only option boils down to a sweatshirt. The school dress code forbids wearing jackets during school because they cause a “distraction.” Anything with buttons or a zipper is classified as a jacket, as far as the school board is concerned. This brings us back to sweatshirts.
Take your average teenage girl who has spent most of her morning primping and getting her hair just so. Then drop them into a cold classroom and hand them a pullover to keep warm. So much for hair. I wanted to give Lisa a wider range of options that would both keep her warm and not mess up her hair. In the ultimate act of paternal sacrifice, I picked up my knitting needles to seriously construct something for the first time in two years. I dug through long forgotten yarn and found two skeins of Cascade 220 Heathers in a teenager approved color. After all the other back-to-school shopping, I needed this project to be as cost effective as possible. I pulled out my copy of Fitted Knits and prayed that my intended project would pass muster.
She gave the go-ahead and then (*gasp*) I pretty much knit it without wandering off or getting distracted by shiny things. Once it was all finished and blocked, but before Lisa could wear it for the first time, we ran into a tiny issue…
Read the rest of this entry »
I think I might enjoy knitting with my handspun. I’ll let that sink in for some of you who know me and my propensity to throw skeins of handspun at people so that I wouldn’t be tasked with finding a purpose to the yarn. Knitting with my own yarn opens up a new realm of tactile delights and causes me to critique my spinning, all the while thinking of what to improve upon my next time at the wheel. Heck, it makes me want to sit at the wheel again.
I even pulled out my last spindle spun project and am thinking of an appropriate project for it. I made this yarn on a very basic Louet top whorl spindle over two years ago, months before getting my first wheel. This particular handspun was something I put on a pedestal. It made me stop spinning wool on a spindle.
This yarn is quite possibly the reason I can’t stand the woolliness of merino roving. This 2 ounce hank of Chasing Rainbows bombyx silk singles was my greatest spinning triumph and I honestly never thought I’d do anything other than admire it. This yarn also keeps me from being completely happy spinning silk on my wheel, for fear anything I do won’t come close to this perfection. And now, thanks to this handspun shawl, I have plans for this silk.
Back to my current project, I am knitting with singles because I wanted to stretch my limited amount of fiber as far as possible on this project. Strangely enough, I had a project in mind while spinning and that is not the norm for me. Usually, I just spin and throw the finished yarn at people. The color changes in the yarn are still amusing me to no end. I’ve just gotten to the fourth color/fiber and I have to say that I absolutely loved fiber #3. My notes tell me it’s a superwash BFL and it knit up into an incredibly soft and drapey mass. I’m almost sad that I’m back to merino, although I’m looking forward to the soysilk after the merino.
Sections 2 & 3 gave me around 3” each without stretching. I know that the each color/fiber change will start getting more narrow as I proceed, but considering I have two balls left, I’m now completely confident that there will be plenty of yarn for something larger than a shawlette.
Surprise! I’m still working on a project. The same project as last time, even. I think anticipation of the next color and fiber change is what’s really keeping me interested enough to continue knitting.I began with merino and have moved on to the Falkland portion of our show. Up next is a bit of superwash BFL. The Falkland rows are just over 2” without stretching.
On the last post, Donyale asked what fibers I’d used to make the singles for the Feather & Fan Comfort Shawl. Most of it is the Funky Carolina fiber sampler that I “received” as a gift during a holiday party last year. You can all check out the older post for the fiber content of the various parts. The beginning of the shawl is actually a bit of merino from Enchanted Knoll. I loved the colors, but came to the realization that I really hate spinning merino roving and gifted the rest of the fiber to Sandy. I’ll spin merino top, superwash merino and merino blends all day long because the fibers are “slippery” and draft easily past each other. The fluffy, cloud-like nature of merino roving makes me want to scream.
The ball on the right is where I started. I don’t knit from center pull balls, so you can sort of see what the colors will end up doing. The first ball has 5 colors/fibers and the other two have four fiber changes each. After the first ball, I’ll be moving on the the bottom with its alpaca exterior and then the remaining ball on the top. I’m just assuming that I’ll have enough yarn to complete a decent sized shawl. If I turn up really short, I’ll probably find a few more bits of fiber to spin until it’s big enough.
p.s. My studio is still messy. Now there’s an ironing board in there. I want to do some fabric coasters, though, so that will at least force me to clear off my work table. I’m resisting the temptation to just plop the sewing machine on my desk.
It’s been, what? Two months since I started this sweater? I really have to get better about these things. But at long last, I’m nearly ready to show you the finished product. I finished the second sleeve last night and immediately ripped out the hem on the body to lengthen it a bit while I was on a roll. I have mebbe three rounds of seed stitch and it’s cast off time. Then comes weaving in a thousand ends and blocking. Of the 14 balls of Knit Picks Andean Silk I ordered, I have two pristine balls and a half ball left over.
I think this means I can start thinking about my next project. Can you believe this has been an almost monogamous knit (minus a pair of Socks of Doom)? Kiri and the Mini-Clapper were both finished before I restarted the SKB. I’m currently dying to start some fiddly lace project on tiny needles, but I’m not sure which. My current possibilities are Eunny’s Print O’ the Wave using the Ornaghi Filati Merino Oro I kool-aid dyed orange a while back, the Swallowtail Shawl in the Fall IK using the red Misti Alpaca the husband bought for me that one day he was abducted by aliens or a yet to be determined project using stash yarn.
The stash lace consists of 850 yards of HPY’s lace weight in a color I can only describe as Autumn Mix Candy Corn (they call it Rocha for some reason. The actual yarn has almost no blue, way more brown & other autumn colors.), two balls of mohair/polymid I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Kid-Silk-Haze-or-Kid-Seta-yarn in teal and an indeterminate amount of lace-ish weight reddish merino that I spun up. Anyone have any fiddly suggestions for any of those yarns?
I also need to start on a pair of socks & finish up the current Socks of Doom. I have two skeins of Lorna’s in Blackberry and I’ve found all my dpn’s, at long last. I’m thinking Pomo-what’s-it unless something else catches my interest. I’d started Eunny’s Bayerische socks with it, but even the subtle tonal variations is enough to distract you from the exquisite
lace cable pattern. I’ll take a photo before I rip it out to get more opinions on it, but I’m pretty sure a flat, solid color is best for Bayerische.
I also have the next sweater (for me) in my sights. I feel I need to have Bonne Marie’s Ariann, preferably in some Peat Mix Ultra Alpaca. Before I tell the boy that I must have this cardi, I’ll finish the grey alpaca gloves I haven’t been knitting on for him before he mentions it again. I even considered, for a moment, finishing the needlepoint Christmas stocking I started mumble, mumble years ago for him but decided not to get too crazy.
The husband came home one day last week and pulled him out of a bag to join my Stitch army along with a Halloween Pooh and a brand spanking new Gir t-shirt for me. Pooh is being seasonal on my desk at work, but Super Stitch makes me smile every time I look at him, so he’s currently being carried about with me.I love Super Stitch. I mean, look at those boots! How dapper!
Super Stitch would like to introduce you to William H. Taft.
And show you how much he’s got to go before he catches up to Lunchbox.
At this point, if these two make it, along with Tubby who still isn’t very pumpkin shaped, I’ll be happy. Powdery mildew is working on destroying the majority of the vines and there doesn’t seem to be much I can do to stop it. I’ll be sure to begin my gardening adventures earlier next year.
Somehow, I still haven’t been killed in these Sock Wars. Go figure. I have, however, renewed my efforts in knitting my Socks of Doom. They’re doing a number on my hands due to the needle/yarn combo. The yarn is Lana Grossa Cool Wool which I bought for a project when I first started knitting. It wasn’t suited for that project & has been languishing all these years. The needles are not metal, so I don’t like them I’m not posting progress on the Socks of Doom; I wouldn’t want to give someone a head’s up.
The SKB progresses. I’m not happy with the length, so I’ll rip back later and add a few inches. In the mean time, it’s much easier to try on when it’s been bound-off, so I’ll lengthen at the very end. I’m working on the first sleeve in the interim. I will most likely drag it about with me tomorrow as I head to the county Zoning Board meeting. We (the neighborhood) were protesting development of a small plot of land for a townhouse community (97 units) on what is currently a horse farm. The developers have backed away from that and have proposed a new plan of no more than 60 cottage-style and single story houses. This is part of a larger, 1000 home development that’s pretty much across the street behind our house in what was once a golf course.
The County and School Board want the development to go through as it would provide “better” access to a new elementary school that’s to be built. My main question still hasn’t been answered. The county would make road improvements for the busses. The road in question is currently a 2-lane 35-mph twisty stretch and meeting busses on it at present is nervewracking. Heck, there are dogs and chickens that ocassionally roam the road. Vehicles constantly cross the center line through blind, hilly curves as it is. My property backs up to this road. I want to know if these improvements mean I’ll have less of a back yard before I start clearing through the trees and underbrush, and how large of a privacy “fence” I’ll have to plant.