Lizard Ridge Panel 1

I managed to finish the first panel on Lizard Ridge last week. I am limiting myself to projects which are already on the needles due to less knitting time in general. Currently Lizard Ridge and my aran Starmore sweater are seeing the most action.

This weekend will be full of cleaning Bug’s room, bike riding, and wandering through bike stores. It should be a lovely weekend!

Summer Flies

Indeed it does when you keep busy.

I started this little shawl before I even left for vacation, but have only just finished it even though it is a quick little knit. Using worsted weight yarn really helps speed up the process. Biking has taken priority while I have the opportunity, I am sure the crafting will start again as the weather cools.

Yarn is knitpicks palette held double.


But of a different sort.

For two years I’ve wanted to ride the first day of RAGBRAI. This year I finally had the opportunity to do it. As you can see from the route map, it is all hills. I have a bike not made for this type of ride, but I wanted to do it anyhow. So I took my bike to a local shop, got it cleaned up and serviced, purchased stuff to make my own kit, and I headed off early Sunday morning.

This is me in Glenwood, at the starting point. I met up with my friend Erin soon after this.

We started out, and ended up stopping on the only flat part of the trip soon after to get a few pictures.


It is really difficult to capture just how crowded a ride with 10,000 registered cyclists along with all the taggers like me actually is.

Our first stop was Silver City.


In the first picture it is looking back over the hill we just came down (to the left) and the second picture is looking forward into Silver City.

Carson was the technical halfway point for the ride. At that point, I could tell my bike was putting a lot of pressure on my back and I was very stiff and sore. In the end, I made it 15 more miles past Carson, a total of 45 miles, and then I called my ride to come get me in Griswold. My back couldn’t take it, and I still feel insanely proud of myself for getting as far as I did. The last 15 miles was very hot and humid, hills under the direct sun, and my face is burned. My back is tender. My legs slightly tired but not at all sore. I actually feel a lot better than I anticipated feeling.

If you’d like to see more pictures, this blog is a good one. I actually met the rollerblader, who said that the hills were indeed very tough. I passed the skateboarder quite a few times going up hills.  And I also ate pie. 🙂

Handpainted shawl

As you may know, I’ve been talking about doing this for a good long while. Thankfully, I was able to complete the project over the weekend.

I knit my handspun shawl, which is a blend of alpaca, cormo, and silk. Pattern is Melusine.

Once I finished my swatch dyeing project, I soaked my shawl. Then I put it out on three black plastic trash bags on my porch.

My dyes are landscape dyes, and I used sodium alginate as a thickener. I used small foam brushes to do the actual painting.


I took a few in progress photos, but after the last one, it was too dark to continue to use the camera. Additionally, I had no idea it would take hours to do this. It was a very time intensive project. It was also a great deal of fun. I am such a pattern follower that it was difficult to just think out of the box and do whatever I liked with the painting, but I am pleased with the result. Even more so, I am pleased I completed the project, since I was dreaming about it over and over and over.

Once I was done, I wrapped up the black trash bags, added another over the top, and secured the entire thing with large rocks and porch furniture. Once the day got hot, the trash bags also heated up, providing the heat necessary to solar dye the entire thing. I blocked on Saturday, and this is what I was left with.


Taking something and making it better

That is what the drum carder has allowed me to do.

I had some fiber I didn’t like. On the right is a high quality merino I kettle dyed. The color is ok, but it has no depth. It looks flat. It is, consequently, the fiber I used to make my thrums in the thrummed mitts. On the left is some tussah silk I’ve had in my stash FOREVER. I was just not too impressed with the colors, but also couldn’t part with the silk. So, I grabbed my drum carder and blended the two together. I ended up with this:

A gorgeous pinky mauve batt with high silk content and high sheen. Much much better!

And just to show it off, I received the first of 3 fiber club offerings from dyeabolical. BFL that needs no improvement whatsoever:

Plans within plans within plans

I may not be blogging overly much right now, but plans are being made, have no fear.

I’ve mentioned before that I’d like to hand paint a shawl, and I’ve now knit that shawl out of handspun. I did get some thickener and am all prepared to do the painting, but I thought I’d try a small swatch first. Initially to test the color on, and then additionally to see if my porch gets hot enough to set the dye if the item is in a black garbage bag.

Oddly, for the first time in awhile now, it rained and is cooler. The bag tried to walk off the porch during the night. I’ve rescued it but I am not sure I’ll know until tomorrow morning if the dye will set properly this way.

There are other plans, plans to work on long abandoned projects rather than casting on new projects. Those seem like very good plans. Plans that make sense for my project page. I am eager to work on those plans.







Well would ya look at that?!

I knit. And I finished something.

I haven’t been doing much knitting or spinning, that is the honest truth. Bug is gone and that means I can get out on my bike, and that is what I am doing. I’ve also had a very busy work schedule that will continue into next week. Combine that with gatherings with friends, I haven’t really had a spare moment to knit. Then there is the weather. Quite frankly, around here it feels more like New Orleans than the midwest. It is hot and humid. Even in the very early morning I take my wheel out, sit down, and realize that being outside is so miserable I can’t stay there. The air is still and hot and heavy and feels like a punch in the gut when you walk out into it. So, knitting seems a bit pointless in this weather. Reading seems more natural and takes less energy.

But, in the early mornings and late evenings I’ve been picking up my thrummed mittens to work on them row by row. Since I had a serious case of second mitten syndrome, even doing that was hard. Last evening was my first evening “off” in a long time. I mowed the lawn (not advisable in this weather) and then sat down with my netflix to work on the mittens. And before the night was over, they were done.

I am sure I’ll love them come winter. Right now, they are about the most pointless thing I could have chosen to knit.

Sock Weight Clapotis

So, earlier this spring OrangeKathy and I had a dye day. She dyed some skeins that I just loved, so I snagged one and gave her a skein of handspun in return. This is a highly variegated skein, and I’ve been itching to knit another clapotis, so I decided to use this skein for it. This will be a scarf size, and I weighed my ball of yarn in advance so I can best anticipate how long to make it. I was pretty sick Sunday night, and could barely do anything but nap and read. Then someone had the smart idea that I should try some tylenol. Why hadn’t I thought of that? In any case, this gave me the boost I needed for the rest of the evening, I was able to sit upright and do a little knitting. Excellent!

I am still working on the increases but am very pleased to be knitting a clap again! My first clap still is one of my most worn scarves in the winter. I am surprised I haven’t had a do over until now.

Green Socks

Awhile back I started another pair of socks for Nick. This is a good thing, because his first pair of handspun socks are finally, after 4 years, starting to develop holes in the toes. We picked out some sock yarns last time he was here, so this is one of the choices. Malabrigo sock. I am knitting them toe up with afterthought heel in a pattern of my choosing. Nothing specific. He got to see them while we were on vacation, and has decided they may be his favorite pair yet.

That is one very long sock!

I find them to be perfect mindless knitting for outings during the summer months, they may just get finished a fair bit faster than expected.

Almost complete

So, I’ve been thinking about making this shawl for some time now, and once I got started I took it to work. I’ve been plugging away on it there. This is from the same handspun cormo/alpaca/silk blend I used for my Lilia Hyrna shawl completed earlier this year. The idea is to knit the shawl and then hand paint it with dye. I have now knit the shawl but am lacking all the supplies I shall need to dye it. So it is appearing in a picture in its undyed and unblocked stated.

From Dawn ’till Dusk Shawlette

From the moment I saw this shawl I knew it would carry handspun very well. I started it before vacation and was a bit less than halfway through it. Toward the end of vacation and on the plane home I knit all but the last chart. The final chart was completed at knit night on Wednesday, but I didn’t have time to block it until Friday. It isn’t my best work quite frankly. I was distracted for most of the knitting of it, and there are mistakes. But, I think it is still quite lovely, and I love how the handspun stripes. I do wish I had chosen to do a larger version as I did have quite a bit of yarn left over, but with the yardage given I didn’t realized I’d have quite that much.

The yarn is 3 ply handspun, the wool was from enchanted knoll farms, colorway sedona.

Lizard Ridge

I’ve returned from vacation and have had very little time to knit since, so I am showing the lizard ridge blocks which were completed before I left.  I love these blocks, I love all the color. It thrills me to keep my yarn and blocks in a basket in my living room to look at regularly. I know that sounds silly, but the burst of color in my day really lifts my spirits.

I did manage to finish another shawl, but have not yet had time to block it. I am supposed to be spinning for tour de fleece. But I just cannot manage it. With Bug gone, I feel the need to do everything I cannot do with her hear, and none of that is knitting or spinning. So my days are filling up at an alarming rate. I am not complaining really, crafting will happen in its own time. Just explaining why the blog sits quiet.

And, I do have vacation photos to post at some point, I just need to get organized enough to do so!

More vacation knitting

These socks have been on the needles absolutely forever. They are my go to sock for mindless knitting and they mostly lived at work for various meetings.  They were pretty close to being done when I brought them on vacation, so it was a simple task to finish up the foot and toe. Since they are for my mom, it made sense to finish them here and leave them here.  Sock yarn is opal, pattern is my favorite gentleman’s plain winter socks from Vintage Socks.


Knitting emergency shawl complete

This shawl really ended up with an interesting history. I broke the needles the evening I arrived at my parents. The next morning before we left for NJ, we tried to go to the local yarn shop to get a new pair, but it wasn’t open. This had us search for another yarn shop to hit up on our way out of town. We did so, and I was so excited to get my needles that a few blocks down the road I realized I had purchased the wrong size. No matter, it will just have do. I knit on it anyway. To be honest, after the rehearsal dinner I just wanted to sit and do nothing. Same thing after the wedding. I managed to finish it on Monday when I was sitting on a lovely deck in northern NJ.

Now she has her shawl for her stay at her grandparents.