Since I finished a skein of multicolor yarn, it is time to work on my Corriedale fleece. Rather than spin up another bobbin full, I decided to ply up what I already had. This seemed wise for someone as impatient as I can be with my crafts. The idea is that I can then swatch for the featherweight cardigan and see if my handspan will work. If not, I am on to the back up plan.
Sadly it has been too hot to even spin, especially out of doors. So spinning has been slow as well.
I did manage to pull my Jacob fleece out of storage though and am considering beginning the processing of that fleece. It would be fun to sort and choose colors. Might even be worth blogging about.
I’ve been working on this beauty for quite some time! This is Crown Mountain Farm’s superwash merino in Rasta Man Vibration. I have 350 yards of navajo plyed sock weight yarn. I don’t typically navajo ply CMF fiber because it just has so many colors, but I couldn’t see mixing up these particular colors. So I switched it up a bit.
The next spinning you see from me will be far less colorful. I am determined to get a handle on that corriedale fleece here shortly!
I’ve been working all week on the brown fleece jacket. I worked my way halfway up one side with the collar. You see, I’d decided to modify the instructions somewhat so that I didn’t have to sew on the collar. The trouble is, I failed to take into account garment construction as opposed to shawl construction. I tried to deceive myself for a few days, telling myself that it would be ok anyhow, but it just wasn’t. I knew I wasn’t going to be happy with the end result. So this morning found me frogging all that hard work and beautiful cabling and a weeks worth of knitting back out in order to pick up stitches again. This time with far fewer stitches.
Which means, my brown fleece jacket still looks like this! Basically, this means there hasn’t been progress in an entire week! In all honesty, I just want to be done with this and on to something new. And in all honesty, there are moments where I wish I knit like I used to. Obsessively, carving out huge amounts of time just for knitting, as if I were training for something. However, I then remember all I’ve gained from putting the knitting down a bit, and realize that it just isn’t ultimately that important. It can’t rule overrule health, strength, and time spent with loved ones.
When I first started knitting, I’d keep so many projects on the needles at one time. I’d kind of allow my whims to take me anywhere they wanted. At some point, I decided this was “wrong” and I should actually complete projects. Paired with getting better at knitting and knitting a lot faster, this made me into quite a production knitter. I am wondering really if I should just go back to the old way. The way that allows me to ball up yarn and cast on projects as I get the urge. To stop worrying over the finished object and just enjoy the journey. I may just have to give that a try…
I do love stripes! So when I first saw Regia’s small stripe sock yarn, I just feel head over heels in love. Luckily I was able to get my hands on some in a trade with my friend Sarah. I believe I may have put fringe on a battle helm beard for my striped yarn. While I have not been very focused on socks, or knitting in general, these have been a fantastic pair to have on hand for knitting where I cannot pay attention to anything else. I started them in April!
I put them on this morning to get photographs, then realized that they matched my outfit and I could just leave them on. So I did.
I am just thrilled to have a finished object!
This is the semele pattern done in wollmeise and knit by my friend Mary. She wondered if I would block it for her, and I finally got around to doing that. It looked great pre blocking, but blocking made that leaf pattern just highlight the shawl. So stunning! Since it required a light blocking, I didn’t do my crazy yanking and pulling and resetting pins procedure, which actually made blocking it a lot of fun. All I really had to worry about was making sure it was as symmetrical as possible. This is so lovely that I am considering knitting it as well. Very beautiful work!
But slow! I’ve made a bit of progress on my Road Not Taken scarf. The slowness has a lot to do with being out of town and not taking this project with me. Actually, I didn’t really do much knitting at all, so even if it had made the cut progress wouldn’t have been made. Mostly I’ve been knitting this in the morning while Bug gets ready for school.
You can see I have worked through brown, natural, and am now working my way into some yellow/orange.
You know what real progress would be? Blogging. About warrior dash. About my plumbing issues. About stuff other than knitting!
I do believe my time of knitting cozies is over now. I’ve knit it twice, and then knit it again while I taught it. It is a most satisfying knit, and a perfect knit for teaching steeking, but I do believe I am done now! I have enjoyed watching how different color choices change how the pattern looks. In some patterns I see stars, in others I see circles.
I took the opportunity to take a bunch of photos of the projects from the retreat as well. It was great fun to watch everyone get a little panicked about cutting up their projects and yet still have a sense of accomplishment once it was done.
All in all, the retreat was a great success. All the gals were wonderful, people I’d enjoy spending time with even if I wasn’t there for a specific reason. I do hope I get to spend time with them again someday.
I am on my last day of this Michigan trip. It has been just a lovely time of relaxation. I have not worried too much about brining out my bike simply because it has been raining quite a bit. Instead I am teaching and spinning and learning new things myself.
This is my latest coffee cozy. I’ve been knitting along with my students.
I’ve done a ton of spinning, loving each moment of my white and silver Corriedale fleece.
I have also made some stitch markers, two different kinds.
And I must show you a few more beautiful pictures!
I am in Michigan! With a group of women who have kindly asked me to teach the the joys of steeking. I am teaching Steek This Coffee Cozy which means I get to knit a third one.
But really, the joy is all mine. Our cabin is beautiful, and the women are all lovely. It is my privilege that they have allowed me into this little slice of their lives. It is entirely worth the 12 hour drive!
Let me show you where we are staying.
As of right now I am sitting in a rocker on the covered deck while the rain is pouring. I just love moments like this!
This is what has been occupying spare moments of my time here and there. I purchased this Noro Sekku while on a Kansas City yarn crawl with my girlfriends last year. It has been sitting in my stash waiting for the right pattern. but the more I looked at it, the more I wanted to knit with it. After a false start in which I knit about a repeat and half, then yanked on the cast on edge and broke the yarn, I decided to rip it out, hold the yarn double for the cast on in order to reinforce it, and then see what would happen.
In order to choose the pattern, I grabbed all my lace books and handspun books just to see if I could find a scarf pattern that would work well with the handspun look of Noro yarns. I really wanted something with simplicity but it had to be interesting enough to knit. In the end, I chose The Road Not Taken out of my A Fine Fleece book.
I am exceedingly excited about the colors in this one. That shock of purple is completely unexpected. I look forward to working this one in my spare time!
The first cozy out of peace fleece was a little on the large side, and even though it was super pretty and well done, I wasn’t happy with it. After some discussion with the organizer of the retreat, we decided to use a different yarn. The yarn I used for this cozy is cascade 220m which is not what we will be using on the retreat, but it is close enough to get a good idea of how the new yarn will fit. And it fits perfectly!
Honestly and truly, if you want to practice steeking, this is the project to do it with. I whipped up this cozy in one evening. The colors are great fun to choose and should be something you can just pull out of your worsted weight scrap bin. You’ll be amazed at just how little of each color this project actually takes. I am considering another one in ’70s colors.
In other crafty news, I’ve started the second sleeve of the brown fleece handspun sweater that seems to be taking me forever and a day to knit. The key seemed to be bringing the entire project in to work to knit during lunch break. Hopefully I’ll be onto the collar in no time, because at least then I’ll be knitting something interesting again. I am in the black hole of double moss stitch right now.
In other general news, Warrior Dash is tomorrow. Expect muddy pictures. I am ridiculously excited and not nervous about anything except the actual thought of getting to the event with enough time to hand in waivers and pick up packets.
For the last 7 years or so, a group of us girls have been getting together regularly to sit, chat, and knit. A good portion of that time has been spent at our downtown local wine bar and deli. We have spent many many hours there knitting, eating cheese and hot grills, drinking wine, and establishing solid lifetime friendships. It has been a very good few years. So, what more befitting way to send of one of our own to a new state than to host her baby shower among the bottles of wine?
Of course, we could not wait for gifts. They had to be opened immediately. This will be one very well dressed baby, and warm as well!
Just a quick note about the green and black hat and booties. They were knit by my friend Mary, but that is yarn I spun in 2007 or early 2008. SUCH fun to see them knit into something!
While we are missing a few members, here we are all together!
I knit a second baby cardigan for a friend of mine who is both moving away and having a baby girl later this summer. We are very excited for her, and we will also miss her so much. While this wasn’t the sweater I originally considered making for her, after the first sweater I just had to do another in a similar color scheme.
I knit this one in the 6 month size, and left it short sleeved. I changed the color of the ribbing, and then rather than using a beige yarn for one of the stripes, I used a silvery gray. This changed the tone of the sweater to my eyes from warm to cool even though the difference is subtle.
I didn’t get much crafting done last evening except for adding the buttons to this sweater. This new lifestyle of mine really does cut into my crafting time. And as much as I talk about that here, I am NOT complaining!
This weekend was dedicated to two important activities. Getting back on my bike after a break and finishing the sample knit for the class I will be teaching in Michigan. I am pleased to say that the biking went better than expected though I did lose a bit in the past few weeks. The project practically finished itself.
The project in question is called steek this coffee cozy. The idea being that it is less threatening to cut up your knitting when you just didn’t spend that much time on it. The pattern is well written and uses crochet reinforced steeks.
The yarn used is peace fleece worsted and it might be a little thick for this endeavor.
I also took a picture of the back of my project along with the steek edges.
I sorta feel like I am showing the world my underthings!
As I mentioned, I have been doing a ton of spinning lately. I just looked at my goals for the year, the big goal being to knit a mile of yarn a month. This hasn’t happened and doesn’t look likely. However, if I take the spinning into consideration as well, I meet my goal. I shall be satisfied with that.
On my wheel currently is crown mountain farms superwash merino in rasta man vibration. While I typically spin crown mountain farm color ways into a three ply, this time I am going to try a Navajo ply to preserve the color changes.
I must say, I’ve been on a bit of a spinning kick lately. I am so enjoying extra time with friends and extra time on my porch while on this cycling break. The weather, even when warm during the day, has been perfect for evenings outdoors.
I received dyeabolical’s fiber club package recently. The theme was manxome foe. The fiber I picked was an oatmeal bfl/silk blend. The colorway is absolutely stunning. Once I began spinning the fiber drafted so nicely and evenly into a thin single that I knew it needed to be a two ply lace weight yarn. And so it was. I now have 455 yards of fractal spun yarn and need a perfect stole or scarf pattern stat!