A Tragedy

Another knitting related tragedy for me, bordering on as large as knitting the wrong sleeve for a sweater incident of 2010.  My Mystery Shawlette, after being worked probably far more than 50% of completion, had to be frogged completely. There is no fixing the fact that I put one of the repeats on the wrong side of the shawl, thus making something quite asymmetrical. I do think I may restart it, but not yet. It was an enjoyable knit, but my blossoming WIP list is quite frankly overwhelming.

So, due to not having that lovely piece to work on, I chose the baby mine sweater instead. Now that I’ve devoted a day to it, it really is coming right long. I’ve got both sleeves done and am a good portion up the body of the sweater now. If I keep at it, it just may be done by the weekend.

Baby Mine sweater

I’ve begun a wee sweater, the Baby Mine sweater. I am knitting this one up quickly because I will need it at the beginning of July. Yarn is Brown sheep cotton fine. I picked it up at a going out of business sale at one of our local yarn shops.

It occurs to me that I am in a green phase.

I like how this sweater pattern asks that you knit the sleeves first. I believe this will make the rest of the sweater feel rather speedy!

Sleeve #1:

Traveling Mariam Shawl

My friend and I decided to go for another trade. Knitting for pottery. I am all for that, since I am completely amazed by people who work with clay. Not something I can manage.

I saved this for my first finished stash dash project. 310 yards for the weekend. Pattern is traveling woman shawl, and the yarn is string theory caper. It turned out beautifully, I am very impressed with the blocking. A shawlette I dubbed too small turned into something just perfect once blocked!


A Mystery

I’ve long said I’d do no more mystery knits, just because I don’t want to be a test knitter. But, recently Wendy Johnson came out with a mystery shawlette. I like shawlettes. It is knit from the bottom in, and I LOVE that. So I decided yes to a mystery knit.

Yarn is Sundara sock. And isn’t my peony pretty?

Madli Stole

After struggling quite a bit with the main body of the stole pattern, I finally tinked back enough to “get it.” Once I understood the pattern, the knitting has gone far better. In fact, I’d even venture to say it is fun! I am 5 repeats into it at this point. I need to be making more progress than I am, but it will only go faster from here on out.

Thrummed Mittens

In interest of my continuing adventures in knitting, I thought it time to start some thrummed mittens. These are fun and so practical for living in a climate that gets very cold in the winter. I trust that they will come in very handy!


Yet Another Adventure

In my ongoing quest to try new skills with my knitting this year, I decided to knit an all natural undyed handspun shawl which I can then paint with dyes.   Since I needed a new shawl to work on at work, as I cannot finish my traveling woman shawl, I started the Melusine shawl. I’ll have to modify the pattern a bit to accommodate less yardage, but since the pattern is written for the purpose I am trying to achieve, it really is a great option for me.

Stash Dash prep day 3

I spun! I spun 1/3 of some wool top I picked up at IA sheep and wool last year. Actually, it is 1/3 of 1/2 of the 8 oz. braid since I traded the other 4 oz. with Carin awhile back.

It would be my wish to have this ready to ply once stash dash begins. This seems attainable if I spin another 1/3 this weekend and 1/3 on Wednesday. And really, what else am I going to do? After all, I am not allowed to finish anything before the 27th!

Prep day 2

I’ve been working on a traveling woman shawl for awhile now. Only at work, which is why there haven’t been pictures of it. I am using string theory caper yarn in bye bye blues. Now that I am 2 rows and a bind off from the end, I have to stop working on it, so I can save it for stash dash.

Tonight my prep work is spinning!

Stash Dash prep day 1

So, I’ll be participating in Stash Dash 2011, an event starting on May 27 and ending on August 15. The idea is to knit or spin 5 K of yarn from stash during that time period. This is a great idea for me, since it encompasses all my summer knitting, and I’ve got my knitting fairly well planned out right now anyhow. Additionally, there is a cheater rule. I can count the yardage for an entire project if I cast on and work on it before 5/27, IF I finish it before 8/15. What does this mean? This means I need to stop finishing projects.

So instead, I plan to devote my time to projects already on the needles. One of those projects is my Madli shawl. I’d like to finish this in time for my brothers wedding, which means I need to commit to one repeat per day and more on the weekends. I’ve finished the border on this, and am starting the body of the shawl.

The yarn is skaska designs silk/yak laceweight. I picked it up at stitches midwest a few years ago. There are many many nupps in this shawl, but I seem to have maintained the skill from the advent shawl I did in December. The knitting is slow on this one, but I expect with such a short repeat that I’ll get in the groove with it soon enough.

You’ll also see a stash dash button to track my yardage on the sidebar. (Thanks Sparkeespud for the idea, I managed to figure it out after all!)

Striped Messenger Bag

In keeping with the Noro addiction theme, I went back to our LYS and traded in my remaining balls of Noro for the skirt for 4 more balls of Noro Kureyon for a messenger bag. I had to add a contrast color. This bag will be felted when complete. I’ve really knit on this exclusively since finishing the skirt, and I am enjoying it. The plain stockinette stripes just don’t get old, and provide me with a wonderful mindless knit. I’ve now knit the front of the bag, and am working on the bottom.

This one will be another to add to my list of “knitting dangerously in 2011.” It will include felting, which I have not been very good at so far, as well as a zipper, and possibly a fabric lining. (Hey Mom, any fabric in Grandma’s stash that might work with these colors?)

Lanesplitter Skirt

Another “I will never knit…” crossed off my list. I have learned not to say I will never knit something, because eventually I will. I used to say I’d never knit a skirt. Now I have.

It seems appropriate for my year of knitting dangerously though. The lanesplitter skirt from knitty.com is appealing in its diagonal stripes and noro. I chose Noro Aya, a cotton/silk/wool blend so that I could wear it in the summer. The skirt is as soft as butter. I have to admit I am considering a winter version too, would work with tall boots and stockings. But, so much to knit so little time!


Another item I said I’d never knit is a bag. I also have an aversion to felting. So guess what I am doing next?

The Spinning

The spinning of the weekend has been completed. 295 yards of 2 ply 80’s merino. I spun this with low twist and lots of air in order to preserve the softness of this high quality merino. It turned out to be a lovey soft and squishy skein! I’d say it is DK to worsted weight yarn.

The skirt is still on the needles but I anticipate it being done this evening. I also went to the local yarn shop to trade in 4 balls of Noro aya for 4 balls of Noro Kureyon for a messenger bag I want to knit and felt.

I actually haven’t done much in the way of crafting today, instead it has been a day of rest, errands, and house work. But, it still feels like a lovely and productive day.

A Finishing Weekend

I think!  I have at least two projects I can manage to wrap up this weekend. Technically three, but I am going to try to save one for next week.

I’ve got some spinning that is in the plying stage, and just about done. I am concentrating on spinning it low twist and with a ton of air. It is turning out very fluffy and soft and I can’t wait to see what it looks like after finishing.

And then there is my Noro skirt. Remember it? I can’t seem to forget it or put it down. I am seaming up my large rectangle, so all that is left is the waistband. I am assuming it will need a good blocking after that. It is so pretty! I love the colors. This project had a lot of yarn left over, so I’ll be trading that in for some kureyon for a messenger bag I’d like to try.

Quite frankly, if I was really inspired I could finish a little shawlette as well. But I think I am going to try to save it for a bit.

Cotton Slub and the Amiga Cardigan

I have been so eager to get this one posted! I have a lot to say about it!

Pattern: Amiga from Knitty.com

Yarn: Dyeabolical Yarns New cotton slub

I’ve spent the last year or so far more interested in cottons and fibers other than wool. I believe this switch is due in part to having too many wool sweaters now. I’ve had a need to branch out, and then in doing so I find that I have great fun experimenting with something new. Dyeabolical’s cotton slub was one which I had the opportunity to try and fell in love with. It is a yarn with a fantastic texture, feels great to knit with, holds up well, feels great to wear, it is really all I could ask for in a yarn. And then it was no longer available. Sad!

So, now she has a new cotton slub. And I had the opportunity to give it a try! (Thanks Rachel!) There are some differences for sure. The most immediately apparent is that the new is a DK weight yarn, while the old was a fingering weight yarn. In choosing the Amiga pattern, I had to make the DK weight yarn fit the called for worsted weight pattern. But that was no problem at all, my swatch worked perfectly.

I had decided to knit the two different cotton slub yarns next to each other, to do a comparison. Upon later reflection, this was perhaps a bad idea. My overwhelming love for the old cotton slub probably colored my initial impression of the new cotton slub. While the old cotton slub is very evenly slubbed, the new is not even at all. The old slub has slubs at regular intervals and they are predominately the same size. The new slub is not at all regular, the slubs are very different sizes. This initially threw me off. If I’d encounter a larger slub, I’d get my needle a bit stuck and it would break my rhythm.  This was something that I got accustomed to, and no longer caused me irritation about 1/4 of the way through the sweater.

The other large difference is the softness of the yarn. I’d say that the new slub is very soft, and not tightly spun. That makes for one amazing feeling sweater, but there is a bit of lint transfer when knitting. I also think that it needs to be handled with a little more care. I noticed that my stitches looked fuzzier when knitting this sweater, but after a gentle wash and a block, this was no longer immediately apparent. Instead, there is a gentle and attractive all over halo to the sweater.

By the time this sweater was complete, I was once again completely and utterly in love with cotton slub yarn. Yes, I would knit with this again. Yes, I WILL knit with this again. I love the versatility of a DK weight yarn that will work as a worsted if allowing for a slouchy garment. I just love the feel of it, love the way it feels on, lightweight, breathable, comfortable, it really is another win in the cotton department from dyeabolical yarns!

Sunburst Cardigan

Complete! I feel so happy I can check this one off my list.


Pattern is Sunburst Cardigan done in the smallest adult size. Yarn is Lamb’s Pride worsted in Chianti. The fit on this one is really very perfect, which surprised me somewhat. But I did ask for a jacket that fit properly to check the size against, and that worked fairly effectively.


So, I am sure you want to see what I got my hands on over the weekend. Stuff other than the ball winder!  I had gone with the intention of getting some spinning cotton. I’ve never spun cotton and I thought it would be fun to try. I got 8 oz.

Yes, I am aware of how I should never purchase 8 oz. of anything undyed, due to boredom in spinning. But I did it anyhow. Actually, they didn’t have 4 oz offerings, and I don’t really know how much 8 oz. of cotton will spin into. All in the name of experimentation in my craft. I then found lovely dyed wool, I could have easily purchased 4, but limited myself to 2.

I skipped purchasing at the second store, but at  The Studio, I found some Noro Laceweight. The colors are a huge stretch for me. Way way out of my comfort zone. But, that is half the fun of it!

And that is it! That is all I purchased on my trip, besides food and fun and good times with the girls. I managed to resist a woven messenger bag that was totally calling to me. I still regret that. I will compensate by knitting and felting my own.

On Sunday I was told that one of our local yarn shops was going out of business, so I popped on down there to catch myself a deal. There really wasn’t all that much available in project amounts that I was interested in. I did get some cotton.

This will either be for Bug, or some sort of summer shrug for me. I do not think there is enough for a full tank top for me. But it was all they had of that color.

My Kansas City Yarn Crawl

So, for years I’ve been wanting to get a group of girls together and go on a Kansas City yarn crawl. There are some great yarn shops in the area, and it seemed a shame not to visit them. But, in the previous relationship, life was always too busy and I had no leftover energy to travel.

My sad old royal ballwinder, being plastic and all, has been broken for quite some time now. I’ve been wanting to purchase something heavy duty because I think it is safe to say I won’t stop knitting or spinning any time soon, and I need a winder that can really hold up to the abuse I put it through. With all the commission pieces I’ve been doing this year, I decided now is the time to purchase. Then I noticed that my coveted winder could reach me from one of the shops I’d wanted to explore on a yarn crawl. And the idea was born.

I emailed some wonderful friends, planned a trip and on Saturday we set off. Our first stop was The Yarn Barn in Lawrence, KS. This was where I was to pick up my winder. What a fun store! The combination of weaving, spinning, knitting, and dyeing supplies was great fun.

And I got my ball winder! As well as a few other things, pics tomorrow.

What I didn’t know about Lawrence, KS is that it is quite lovely! We ended up staying in town for lunch, and honestly there were a good 4 or 5 restaurants I’d have liked to try. There was also a toy store that Bug enjoyed checking out. She got a tea set that entertained her for the rest of the day.

We then headed to Kansas City, MO and hit up two of the yarn shops there. And look what I found in the wild!

A yarn bombed stop sign in the wild. (Well, slightly domesticated since it was outside a yarn shop.)

I also saw some very interesting yarn:

I have yet to quite understand what one would do with it.

After all the yarn shopping, we still had time before dinner. So we took a break outside on such a gorgeous day!

I even got some unexpected sun on my left shoulder.

And then it was dinner time….my favorite indian restaurant

We left early, and were back at a reasonable hour. Big thanks to my dear friend Melissa who did ALL the driving! So nice to spend a totally relaxed and fun day with girlfriends whose company I truly appreciate!

Tomorrow-acquisitions post.

Happy Mother’s Day!

I’ll have trip pictures tomorrow. Today I finally received some good photos of some socks I knit during Month O’Socks.

The pattern is Cookie A.s BFF socks in Socks That Rock Mediumweight. I did them toe up with an afterthought heel. 56 stitch version. Which is exactly right for STR Mediumweight.

In spinning this week….

I’ve started some 80’s merino. It is really soft, really fluffy, and dyed gently by me. I’ve spun it to leave air in the fibers, making it all the more lofty and squishy. I managed to spin half of it in one evening.

I am unlikely to blog tomorrow, as I am taking a trip to Kansas City for a yarn crawl. I will take pictures, and get a nice picture heavy post up for you on Saturday.

Surprise Socks!

I’ve had one heck of a day. I woke up in a great mood, after dreaming I was hanging out with friends, talking and having a grand time. The day was going well until…

I booted up my work computer and got a virus. Yay. I paged our IT guy because I had to run off to a meeting. He tried to access my computer remotely but there was nothing at all that could be done. He then left for the day. I hung out, cleaned my desk, filed everything in sight, took a long lunch, straightened up the office, and then knit until the backup IT person arrived. She was lovely. And even laughed at my little jokes. While she cleaned up the computer, I continued to knit.

And then surprise! Finished socks!

Major Headway!

Oh my goodness, after yesterday’s post about being an adult, and trying to get things done, what I viewed as a predominately negative post, I feel almost silly saying this. The knitting portion of the commissioned sweater is done! Well, done for now, there could be changes if the sweater doesn’t fit. But, I did leave the ends unwoven for easy frogging access.

I actually finished the knitting portion of the commission sweater pretty early on in the evening. So, I immediately switched the needles over to the cotton slub sweater and started on that. I managed 7 out of the required 11 inches of sleeve knitting all in one evening. I actually had to stop because I ran out of balled up yarn, and couldn’t ball up more since Bug was asleep. So then I switched the needles over again and worked a few rows on my skirt. Which I am not going to show you because it looks no different than last time.

What I will show you is WHY I want to be done with the sweaters. Because I want to cast on all this yarn right now!

So Shall I Continue

I feel very strongly that I need to get the commission project done. Partly because I need to stop stressing over it, and partly because I need those needles for the cotton slub sweater and for the skirt. And I have other projects I want to start!

So, I was an adult all weekend, working only on the commission sweater. I finished the first sleeve on Friday afternoon, cast on the second sleeve Saturday morning. At this point last week I had not yet started the first sleeve, thus I feel confident I can have this blocking on Friday.

And oops, when did this happen?

Just need those needles for the sleeves!

Spinning on a Sunday

Well actually, Spinning on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This latest project has taken far longer than I ever imagined. Because it drafted out so nicely and easily, and because it is a 2 ply laceweight, it just took forever!

I ended up with 715 yards. This might be a record from a 4 oz bump of fiber. This is BFL from C*Eye*Ber fiber. I love the rich jewel toned green.