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spinning

Giant Pink Knee High Socks

Last year at Rhinebeck, I bought two skeins of Socks that Rock Lightweight by Blue Moon Fiber Arts in Psycho Barbie, with the intention of knitting a pair of knee high socks.

I wanted to use my standard sock pattern, which is a top down, and I don’t like knitting socks from the toe up. I had a great idea in the shower when I was in Rhinebeck on how I could execute the socks in a way that would make me happy.

It’s probably overly complicated, but so far, I’m pretty happy with how they are coming out.

I cast on 64 stitches using a crochet provisional cast on. I knit an 8 inch cuff, a 32 row heel flap, turned the heel, decreased back down to 64 stitches, ran down the foot, and decreased and kitchenered the toe.

I picked up all of the stitches on both socks, and am using a long needle to magic loop both socks at the same time, and am doing lifted increases at the back of the leg with a 2 stitch distance between them. Every inch or so I’m trying them on and increasing as needed. (I’m being smart and doing it at the same time so that they match. I don’t want to rip out.) I’m hoping to have these finished soon.

Sheepy Baby Blanket

My cousin A’s son was due at the end of May, so I had picked out a pattern my friend M uses all the time for baby blankets in March, thinking I had plenty of time to knit the blanket. Then Little L came about 10 weeks early.

I’ve cast on and am about 3/5 of the way done with the blanket. I love the fabric and the 3-D sheep with the little ears for baby fingers to fondle.

I got the yarn at 30% off at Old Town Needleworks in Manassas, and I think I’m going to end up using all 10 skeins. I can only knit a little bit of this at a time, because the cotton hurts my hands. I need to get working on this, since Little L should be out of the hospital soon and home, and I want him to have something lovely and snuggly to have when he gets there.

Dad’s Sweater

Dad’s sweater is back in the rotation. I took it down about a month ago to make sure it fit (AND IT DID. PRAISE THE YARN GODDESS. HAIL FITTING SWEATER!), and have put it back on the needles with a new cord (the last one broke). I’ve looked at it a lot, and need to put it into rotation. I want to get this done this year.

Spinning!

I’m working on the fibre that I got in Colorado the second to last time that I went to visit my grandmother before she passed. I’ve been thinking about her a lot, so when I finished the mohair/silk blend that I was spinning, I put this on the wheel. I wanted something with color!

I’m fractal spinning it, and am working on the long repeat part now. I’ve spun about 5.5 ounces so far, mostly while watching Castle with my husband on Monday nights. The last night that I was working on it, the flyer on my Ashford Traveller split the rest of the way, so I need to glue it back together before I can keep working on this particular piece. After I’m done with this, I’m going to go back to the 100% mohair I have from Giant Cricket Farms so that it can be done and I can start a vest for Matt.

Upcoming Things

I’m planning on casting on Lyttleton and BMC by Kate Davies after I finish one more project, probably the socks. I’m going to do some secret knitting for a family member, and then work on some secret knitting for a friend. Then, THEN, I will knit more for me. I want to cast on a big shawl, probably the [peacock something] in Wollmeise. Yes, my pretty, Wollmeise.

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It’s time for a little organization

Things I really should be knitting on:

  • my dad’s sweater. I did rip back to the ribbing, and am at the correct stitch count now. I really just need to sit down and chart the cables, do the tiny bit of math needed, and dedicate myself to at least and hour a day knitting this.  My goal is Christmas, but I’d really be happy with before the New Year, as that is when it would actually be cold enough for my dad to wear his sweater.
  • Lightweight Mountain Peaks Shawl. I’ve started the fifteenth out of seventeen plus a partial repeat of the knitted on edge before the short row tip repeat that signal the more than halfway point. I can get two repeats done in one episode of Stargate: SG1 [now showing on Hulu], and can stand about three shows a day. This can be done, and I’d like it done before my birthday at the end of the month. We’ll see.

Thinks I really want to be knitting/sewing/weaving:

  • Egyptian Mittens. I have purple and grey alpaca I’m going to use to make these. I have pink cotton mittens, but they are only useful during the beginning of fall and the end of spring. I want something that will get me through the winter. Shouldn’t take long
  • Bee Fields Triangle Shawl
  • Irtfa’a
  • socks for me. I just finished my Pomotamus socks, and would like another pair. It was so nice to knit with wool again, that I’m tempted to rip out the two inches of knitting I did last night on the cotton socks.
  • weave handspun rug
  • finish spinning the 50/50 silk/mohair 2 ply lace weight
  • finish spinning Creatively Dyed seawool in the green, 2 ply fingering weight
  • sew interchangeable needle organizer.  I’m tired of the plastic case that came with my interchangeable needle set, as it doesn’t really hold the needles. Am thinking of sewing little ribbons with numbers on the end to mark the size.
  • sew new DPN holder. I ran out of room. Yes, I do look sheepish. The one I have will make a nice Christmas gift.

Christmas Gifting [?]:

  • socks for Matt
  • triangle woven shawl for my MiL. This is on the loom, and taking up space in my living room. Am hoping to get done soon.
  • [?]Bee Fields Triangle Shawl for my dad’s partner. She’s a gardener, and I have a lovely dark red merino lace yarn that she would love.

Repairs:

  • knit matching Endpaper Mitt to replace the one I misplaced last winter. It only took me a week to knit one, so this shouldn’t take long. Want to get this done before it gets cold.
  • Central Park Hoodie. I need to take off the zipper, rip off the button band, and take about six inches off the body. I really like the bottom of my sweaters to hit just underneath my hips. The plan is to put in a life line, snip a single stitch, then move up the ribbing, and graft the two together.  I hope to get to that this Saturday afternoon.

What are your plans for fall?

My goal this past weekend was to finish spinning the yarn for my friend Amanda for her birthday. It isn’t a surprise, but I do hope she likes it regardless. Amanda does reenactments with the SCA, and is a fibre enthusiast as well, and I told her I’d spin her some yarn for a shawl. It’s generally nasty, humid, and hot where she is, but last winter it got genuinely cold.

This wool is just wool, though I’m not sure from what kind of sheep. I got it last summer as part of a thank you for a spinning demonstration at Star Gazing Farm in Montgomery County, Maryland.

It’s winging it’s way to her now! Happy Birthday, Amanda!

Spun: 10:1 Ratio | Plyed: 5.5:1 Ratio |10  WPI | Yards: 800| Weight: Heavy DK

A lot of people talk about the festival, myself included, but this was the first year I’ve made it up. I missed it last year as one of my good friends from high school called me two weeks before to tell me of her impending nuptials, and to assure that I would be coming. I figured that MDS&W is every year, and that the wool would still be there.

Waking up 3 hours earlier than usual was hard, especially on Matt since he had finals this week. We picked up my friend Laura and headed up to the fairgrounds in Howard County, MD. [ We missed you Sheryl! Wish you could have been there with us!] We got there just as the vendors were opening, and managed to get a really nice parking spot. It drizzled on and off in the morning, but stayed cool and slightly cloudy all day, for which I was thankful, as there were a lot of people there.

Misty Mountain Farms was there, so I was able to say hi to some of the ladies from my spinning group. I saw all sorts of people in the wild, including Nancy Bush, that I’ve only seen in blogs.   I was a bit too shy to go up and say hello. Maybe next year?

I had a really good time looking around with Matt, and listening to the live music. If I go next year, I’ll head up on Sunday to miss the crowds and get a real feel for what MDS&W has to offer. There were a lot of vendors, but I felt a frenetic rush of having to see everything right now.

Enough of me grouching, yeah? Here’s the good stuff.

I was able to see and speak to Walter Turpening, the man behind the fantastic custom spinning chairs. I have been drooling over them for a few years, ever since I saw them on Anne’s blog. I really like the idea that he hand makes the chairs, as well as weaves the surfaces. I didn’t want to put a deposit down until I tried them out for myself, and was pleasantly surprised to find Mr. Turpening there. I tried all of the chairs he had there: the moving and stationary weaving stool, the rocking chair, and the spinner’s chair. They were some of the most comfortable chairs I’ve ever sat in. He answered all of Matt’s questions, was friendly, and knowledgeable. I’m going to start putting my pennies together, as I really, really want one of the chairs.

I didn’t actually buy much, but I am really pleased with the things I did purchase. I picked up two more bobbins for my Ashford, last. I’m going back and forth between the SeaWool and the Angora/Silk, but more about that later.

My first fibery purchase was from Tess Designer Yarns. I had heard about the microfiber ribbon on the Knitmore Girls podcast. I have to say, the idea of knitting with water is appealing. I poked into the booth and felt the ribbon, and had to have it. I was torn between the aquamarine and the copper, but someone snatched up the aquamarine. I can’t wait to knit something with this stuff. It’s my reward yarn for finishing a large birthday gift.

After tooling the Sheep Incognito booth, where we almost bought this, we headed over to Diane from Creatively Dyed Yarns.

I love Dianne’s color sense, and I love love love her SeaWool. I was surprised to see her there, as her Ravelry group had indicated she wasn’t going to get a booth. I’m glad she did, as Diane is a sweet, warm woman.

I rounded out my purchasing with an indigo plant. A friend of mine is really active in the SCA, and because I’m rather fond of her, and she promised me cheesecake, I’m going to spin and indigo dye yarn for her so she can knit a shawl to go with her garb. It looks a little wilted here, but I think a few days of sun should perk it right back up.

I left my camera at home, so I didn’t get as many pictures as I wanted, but, over all, had a good time and am looking forward to the shows this fall.

Last night I went to Laura’s to knit with a few ladies from her church. I didn’t get as much knitting as I had planned, but that was because I was helping new knitters and talking and eating some fabulous cookie thing. [I took one for Matt. He loved them, too.] I didn’t have anything on the needles, so I decided to go ahead and start Matt’s birthday socks. We’re going to get really busy starting next month, traveling and weddings and the like, so I wanted to get a head start.

I’m knitting Nancy Bush’s Gentleman’s Fancy Sock. The pattern repeat is so much easier than it looks, and was perfect for chatting and knitting. I’m planning on making them even more fancy by making the tabi toes. Matt loves the pair he received as a gift a few years ago, and requested that his next pair of socks have those toes.

Speaking of fancy, I finished plying the first bobbin of the 50/50 mohair/silk I bought from Colleen last spring. In the effort to spin things up before MD S&W, this 8 oz was the first in the queue.  Spinning is so much safer right now because everything I’ve tried to knit has gone to pot.

I’m spinning it at a heavy lace/light fingering weight with the idea of knitting this into a shawl. The silky sheen and mohair-y fuzz are fantastic. I don’t know what the yardage is, because I’m going to spin the end of the bobbin onto the next on as I put it on the niddy noddy so that I have just one long uninterrupted ball o’ goodness. I haven’t decided if I’m going to leave it natural, or dye it. The plan for this weekend is to spin up and ply another 2 bobbins with the idea of finishing the spinning sometime next week.

I’ve finally gotten my spinning mojo back.

This has been spun up over the last few days, in the evening [almost night, really] after Matt gets home from work/class, and we’re talking about our days, sipping tea, and winding down.

Finally, the half point of the bobbin has been judged so that I can fill the plying bobbin, as opposed to over fill it. My spinning is getting more even, my plying needs a little work, but I only had to Andean ply maybe a yard at the end.

Dude. Cool.

[Yes, I do realize the fiber matches my pj bottoms.]