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I just got back in from voting. YAY!

I’m blessed to live in a country where I can walk the three blocks to the polling place without a male escort. I’m blessed to live in a country where there are multiple choices on the ballot. I’m blessed to live in a country where I was taught to read so I can read the choices on the ballot. I am blessed to live in a country where my vote is private.

Go. Vote.

(Now, I’m going to ignore the internet until tonight, when we find out the results.)

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.

For Christmas, my dad bought me the Sheep Heid pattern from Kate Davies’ (yes, yes, there might be a trend of Kate Davies’ patterns. I LUFF her stuff. LUFF.) pattern line. There’s a KAL going on in a thread in her fan group on Ravelry, and some members are buying the full skeins of the Jameson and Smith yarn, and then breaking it into the 25 ish yards needed of each color to make the hat. It makes the pattern super affordable.

Kate’s directions are super clear, and the charts for the pattern are great. She added the numbers of the yarn color needed at the edge of the pattern, in case the color isn’t clear enough. There’s also a tutorial on how to do the decreases for the crown, which make a really pretty spiral at the top of the hat.

I would have finished this in the weekend that I started it, except I ran out of color 2004 and it took me FOREVER to put a post in the KAL thread asking for a few yards to finish. Once I got it, I finished the last chart the same day, and blocked and wove in the ends.

It’s not perfect. I’ve done color work before, but there was never more than a 5 stitch distance that I needed to carry the yarn behind. There are a few places on the brown sheep that I didn’t keep the float long enough, and there are some ladders that didn’t block out all the way, but I am SO pleased with this. I feel that my color work skills have really grown, and I feel more confident that I can tackle larger color work pieces, and maybe try STEEKING.

This year’s Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival was a lot of fun. Unusual for me, I went to both days of Sheep and Wool. There weren’t nearly as many people there as there has been in the past. I liked that I was able to actually get in and out of the booths without feeling claustrophobic.

Fortified with Challah bread French Toast, and coffee, M, B, my husband and I stormed the castle. I had a game plan, and a LIST. I wasn’t planning on sticking to the list, but I at least wanted to look for all of the things on my list.

Day One Loot:

Earrings from Jenny the Potter

Recycled Knitting Needle Earrings from Sassafras

Bulls Eye Batt from Loop

MDSW 2012 Show Shirt

Creatively Dyed Yarns – Sami in Turn

Happy Snap Bag

3 Skeins of Jameson & Smith 2-ply Jumper in natural

Creatively Dyed Yarns – Bambou

Hobbed De Hoy Batt

Leaflet

30″ Kromski Niddynoddy

I was so excited to see Hobbdehoy at Sheep and Wool. The Knitgirllls have talked about her batts, so I headed to the booth before the meet up on Saturday. Her batts are heavenly. I ended up going back 4 times over the weekend, and then sent over all of my friends, who ended up buying some of her batts, too.

The lady who dyes for the Tsock Tsarina had a booth, and I wandered around in awe, and almost bought the Vintage kit, but they didn’t have it in my size in the color I wanted. My friend M picked up [this pattern] for me to knit for her. They have GARGOYLES ON THEM!

Our knitting group had set up headquarters on the lawn by the music tent, so we were able to stop and eat, take knitting breaks, and show off our goodies.

Day Two Loot

Hobbled de Hoy Batt

Hobblded De hOy Ply kit

Supported Spindle

Black Batt

8 oz Natural Jacob roving

Sunday dawned rainy and early. My friend S drove, and we made it in record time. She had her list of booths she wanted to hit, and I wanted to go back to Loop and Hobbled De Hoy.

We took our time, Sunday was way less crowded than Saturday, and I picked up a few more things, and got something for a friend, and settled down to work on the Giant Pink Knee Socks.

I almost bought a Jacob fleece, but I think I’m more in love with the idea of buying a fleece and having someone process it, than the reality of it. I’m planning on spinning the colors in a gradient from light to dark, and making a shawl that looks like this:

The plying kit from HDH is called “Koi” and is the colors that I’m using in my studio. I’m planning on spinning the yarn to make these mittens by Hello Yarn:

 

This batt is nothing but LUFF. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but I love it. LOVE IT.

I spent the afternoon knitting and chatting, and eating éclairs and pit lamb sandwhiches.

I’m on my second day of show detox. Pet the yarn. Pet the yarn.

My friend S was getting rid of a sweater’s worth of yarn. There’s a story in there about guilt, and getting rid of it, and she just wanted it out of her stash. I figured that even if the color was horrid (which, I didn’t think it would be. She and I have similar tastes in color pallets), that I could over dye it. I can always use more black sweaters.

The color ended up being this lovely blue-green, in Rowan’s Magpie Aran. There was enough to make Kate Davies’ Warriston sweater, but I went searching on Ravelry to see if I could find a few more balls, just in case. The designer of the pattern is a wee woman, and I usually have to make at least the sleeves longer on every sweater that I make, so I wanted a little extra wiggle room.

I was able to get a few more balls of yarn that were close enough in color that I was happy with them, and cast on the sweater.

Warriston is a bottom up, raglan sleeved sweater with a cowl. The technique was new to me, as I’ve knitted a top down raglans before. It has pockets that blend in with the patterned bottom, and the technique to make them is GENIUS. I didn’t really make any mods to the sweater, other than making it a tunic length on me, and making the sleeves longer, to come down to the middle of my hand. I want this sweater to be a good romping around garment, and my ¾ sleeve wouldn’t work as well as a longer one I could roll up. I added one more set of increases to the sleeves, but otherwise, followed the pattern as written.

My gauge was kind of off, but it worked in my favor, so that I could get the ease I wanted without having to figure out the math to get the numbers between a size 4 and 5.

 

With all the weird weather we’ve been having, I have been able to wear the sweater a few times, and I’m happy with the fit, and the functionality. I see it becoming an often worn garment when it gets really cold.

I have a nasty cold. A hold over, I think, from all the traveling I’ve been doing. I really should be working on the sooper sekrit project, but I don’t have the brain power to do so. Thankfully, spinning takes little to no brain power.

Especially this stuff.

It’s Dianne’s Creativley Dyed Seawool, and spins really nicely once I got used to how slippery merino is.  Here’s the first bobbin, next up is the mohair/silk.  I’m thinking of test spinning for the yarn for the hap shawl I want to knit, but we’ll see how I’m feeling.