10 Projects, 1 Month

I currently have 10 projects on the needles. All projects needed for Christmas, as well as all personal projects are currently cast on. With the exception of 3 to 6  mini stockings that should take me about 3 to 6 hours to make. So, from now until the end of the year, I will be doing nothing but finishing projects. I also have 4 spinning projects on the wheel or spindles, though I cannot promise I won’t start new spinning during this time period. Now, a lot of these 10 knitting projects are ones which have been sitting on the back burner for a super long time, but I’ll list them out anyhow and we will see how far I can get.

Christmas knitting for Julie. I’ve got a skirt that I just blocked but is waiting for its matching top before I show them off and then wrap them up.

I’ve got a pair of Fiber Trends felted clogs to do for my mom. Don’t worry, she already knows about them. These should take some priority, as I’ll be sending them either not felted at all, or lightly felted, so that she can felt them at her house, ensuring a proper fit.

There is a pair of gloves for Jeremy on the needles right now. They match the scarf and hat that Sarah made him. I am hoping to work on them this weekend so that I have his hands around to measure on. Once one is complete, I’d be able to finish the other using the first to measure against.

My Rasta Man Wingspan is still on the needles, holding steady on wedge number 7. I’ve been working on it during times which I need truly mindless knitting but it certainly has taken a back seat to Christmas knitting.

Bug’s Sawtelle cardigan needs to be finished. I am currently on the first sleeve. 2 sleeves, a collar, and some buttons and I am done with that crazy sweater. I don’t think I’ll even try it on her. I’ll just block it, then wrap it up and put it under the tree. It will be big on her no matter what, I planned that on purpose.

I then have my meadowlark vest, with a complete back and nothing else done. I am guessing it won’t take a ton of time to finish, but I just really haven’t had an overwhelming urge to get it done at this point.

I have a started Color Affection shawl. I started it on my summer vacation, and then quickly realized it is one of the most boring knits ever and it hasn’t seen the light of day since. I’ve pulled it out for December.

The next two projects are reaching WAY BACK into my projects. I don’t think I’ve touched either of them in ages and ages. The first is my Lizard Ridge blanket out of Noro Kureyon. The second is my Girasole shawl. My counts were off when I put it down and it always seemed too overwhelming to pick it back up and figure out where I went wrong. To be honest, these two projects are where my finishing month could all fall apart. It is going to be really tough to stick it out once I get to this point. IF I get to that point.

As for spinning, I’ve got a Loop Bullseye Bump on the wheel, some merino fauxlags on my disco trindle, the BFL “thread” I am spinning on my lightweight trindle,

and the BFL/Silk I am spinning on my tibetan. Which brings me to my one finished object, the cotton/wool/silk/hemp I have been spinning on my russian. I finished up the spinning yesterday morning and got started plying as soon as I got home yesterday afternoon. It is spun long draw, and it is thick and thin and slubby due to the nature of those batts. I love it, it is quite soft and has a ton of interesting texture. I have no clue what to make with it, but I am really pleased with the result and am happy to be adding it to my handspun stash. 180 yards of 2 ply.


On Sunday, we walked into the restaurant, Bug with her spindle, I with my knitting, and Jeremy with the scarf our dear friend Sarah knit for him. This was only the second time he’d worn the scarf and he was looking rather snazzy in it. But when we sat down, this is what we saw:


It was very disappointing. Of course, my immediate reaction was “I can fix that!” And, it wasn’t enough to leave it be until we got home, I had to inspect it right then and there. Thankfully, it was about 6 inches away from the bind off edge, so I was able to unravel it all the way back to the hole. Dear Sarah-you hide your ends extremely well, the hardest part was finding them.

So, it is still a mystery what happened to that scarf. There was an entire section of weak yarn that just fell apart as I was unraveling it. The stuff near the hole looked like it was actually cut. When I got done unraveling I had sections of yarn I could not use, and two small balls of yarn that I could use. I then texted Sarah to see what size needles she’d used, since I know her knitting so well that I know I’d need to go down a few needle sizes. And that evening, I set to work repairing the scarf. I used russian joins on the yarn. One of the balls had quite a few weak spots in it, and I dutifully cut out the weak spots and rejoined the yarn. I maybe lost an inch of scarf, which isn’t all that noticeable. Furthermore, once I am done with the matching gloves, I may have a little extra yarn to add to the scarf, who knows!



Bug has recently expressed some interest in spinning. I suspect all my time with my spindles is rubbing off and making it seem attainable for even her. I asked her recently if she’d want to give it a try and her answer was in the affirmative. Since we had a little time this vacation and since she has been more focused on indoor activities, I gave her some wool/mohair/sparkle stuff and an old toy spindle and had her go to town. She blew me out of the water with her determination and focus on it. She actively wants to learn, listens, and adjusts her spinning to accommodate what I’ve taught her.

Here she is with the spindle she took with her when we went out to breakfast:


She spun at the restaurant, she spun in the car, she took it in with her in hopes to have some extra time at the hairdresser’s. When we got home, she took a break, spending a little time playing with her friends and then decorating the tree. But soon after, she was back at it. She sat next to me all evening long, “spindling” while I spun on my supported spindle.



She “spindled” all through her Sunday evening TV show, and then asked to take it up to bed with her. “I promise I won’t spin all night” she says. This morning she wanted to take it to school. She has asked for her own spindle and fiber for Christmas and I am inclined to give it to her. I promised that I would make something out of her yarn, but she believes that her yarn isn’t going to be knittable. In the sense that she doesn’t think it will be good enough. I disagree and have promised it anyhow. I rather love having a spinning buddy right in my own home!

Because I Love the Tibetan

I decided I should spend a little more time with my Russian spindle too, in hopes that it clicks with me now that the tibetan has. And honestly? It did. It asks me to hold it at a bit of a different angle, it has less heft to its base and wants to pop off the bowl as I spin, but it is still a nicely effective spinning tool and I don’t think I am ready to part with it. Entirely unlike the Turkish spindle which I sold off about as soon as I could due to absolute distaste for the thing.

I’d started some wool/silk/cotton/hemp blend quite some time ago, but didn’t get overly far. I picked that up again and have been spinning at it quite a bit. TO be honest, the russian spindle also works best with a large cop. I think it provides it with the heft it lacks. The tibetan doesn’t spin as well with a larger cop, so this is just a difference I’ll have to work around.

There really is no way to spin this yarn anything but slubby, however I am enjoying the resulting single and am eager to see how it does ply up once I am done with it.


Today is our day of decorating tree and home. I’ve been cleaning a bit in anticipation of this. Trying to make it a relaxing day as my last day of vacation. I must admit, I’d have no problem filling my time if I was always on vacation at home!

Bug’s Felted Clogs


So, the next pair of felted clogs were for Bug.


I used a strand of fun fur style yarn around the ankle just for some little girl like interest. Since my hot water heater was already turned way up for the fleece, I decided to felt them today so I could then turn it back down, now that one entire fleece has been washed. The first trip through the laundry yielded slippers that were still too large for her little feet. This was no surprise really because I did knit adult size slippers for her. However, I did think I could felt them down enough to make them work. After the first trip through the washer, I started to second guess myself. I sent them through the washer again and took a nap because hey, I am on vacation! When I got up, I had slippers for Bug that were too small. Go figure. However, I stretched and stretched them with her help and now they fit. Jeremy’s experience with his slippers is that they do stretch out a bit while wearing them as well, so I am trusting that these will fit Bug well enough in the end.


In Love

Completely and truly, I am in love. In love with a tibetan spindle. I really just can’t stop spinning on it. Every chance I get, when I don’t have time to sit with a big project, I get out the tibetan and give it a spin. It is so addicting and I love the yarn I am producing. It is light and airy and fluffy. Less spun than my wheel spun yarn. The BFL/Silk drafts beautifully and I feel like I am actually somewhat in control of my support spindle. This has never been the case for me before! I am even contemplating trying to ply on this spindle. It might be worth a try!


Wardrobe Infusion

With the upcoming holidays, it is time to start knitting more for Julie’s wardrobe. I’ve been knitting in secret, putting it away when Bug is around so the going is a bit slow. However, I knit this lovely little cape from scraps in my stash. This picture is unblocked, but the cape is now blocking under my bed nicely hidden.



You see, I’ve got this fleece….

Or two rather, that need to be washed. So I made the fleece a basket to be washed in. Originally I wanted this basket to wash my fleece faster. But after giving it much consideration, I decided I’d rather wash the fleece while preserving lock structure. So I made a basket and then sorted the fleece carefully, lining the locks up butt to tip and pulling out any second cuts I found before I even put it in the water. The fleece I am currently washing is a CVM Romeldale. It is gorgeous shades of gray and natural.


Bug took one look at this fleece and asked if it was all from one sheep. I told her it was, and she said “That must have been a very beautiful sheep!” I asked her why she thought so, and she told me it was because it was gray and white with some very dark gray as well.

I then created a top for the basket, because I was worried that just setting it in the water would cause the locks to move about and then I’d fail to preserve their structure. The next picture I took just after I set the fleece in the water for its initial wash.


The fleece is nicely caged, so the locks are preserved. Then I snapped a photo after 20 minutes in the hot soapy water.


All the gunk and lanolin just rise right out of there. I removed the basket, drained the water, and refilled the tub. After the second wash it looked like this:



The rinse worked great, so I hung it using dowels, and allowed it to drip for an hour.


Once my hour was up, the fleece was cool, so I removed the lid and gently squished out as much water as I could. Then I took it outside to dry:


Look at all those locks all set up just how I want them to be! This will make flick carding so much easier. And sure enough, I ended up with some beautiful locks!


The next batch I am going to try a few new things. First, I’ll try stuffing the basket a bit fuller. I had to fill far fewer tubs full in order to get the locks clean, but at this rate I’ll still be using the same amount of water because I am washing less fleece per basket. The other thing I’d like to try is sewing the basket shut. This might help with the instability of my materials. Once the fleece is lined up properly, I really have no reason whatsoever to open the basket up again until the fleece is dry. So next time I will fill the basket full, sew the lid on with cotton yarn, and then wash. That should be sometime this evening. I also think if I had my little Bug helper, it would have been easier, as she’d have helped me lift the basket out of the water each time. But, she was at school this morning thus unavailable to help. Even with these minor changes, I’d call my basket a success.

Making Friends

With a process that is. I’ve been trying for months to conquer support spindling. I started with a tahkli, it didn’t go so well. Then I got a lovely Russian style support spindle, and while that wen’t better than the tahkli, it still didn’t really click. About 2 months ago I put in a special order for a Neal Brand tibetan style spindle, and it arrived over the weekend. I’d also gone to our local weavers and spinners guild show that morning too and so I just happened to have some lovely BFL/Silk from The Dyeing Arts that was desperate to be spun. And then it all clicked. The spindle spun beautifully and the fiber drafted amazingly well and while I am not perfect at it, I have yarn that is gorgeous. It took some time, but the learning process was entirely worth it.



Wow! Just wow.

So, I decided to make these slippers to felt right? I made a pair for Jeremy and then I made a pair for myself. The biggest issue I have is with attaching the outer sole to the inner sole. While I was knitting on them, I got the idea in my head that I should also try my hand at needle felting once the slippers were felted. So, after the frustration of pulling off another outer sole and reattaching it properly, I had 2 pairs of slippers to felt.


The felting itself took time. Mine were ready a bit faster than Jeremy’s, this is in part because I knit Jeremy’s a little too large. The most frustrating part about the process is that each pair doesn’t exactly felt at the same rate. Since one of mine was done particularly early, I got it out and began needle felting some designs onto it. I used hand dyed locks of wool that I had from a phat fiber shipment. This was an experiment I didn’t exactly expect to go overly well, but I adore how it turned out! I’ll certainly be trying my hand at it again.




This project was so satisfying last evening that I was giggling out loud over it. The felting, the needle felting, the trying something new, ALL of it went so well. I am so pleased with this project. And now I get to make a pair for Bug this week!

After all the traveling over the summer I got home and said to myself. “Self, what you really need is a vacation that keeps you at home.”  And so this week is that for me. I had already taken some sick time to get some teeth worked on, and a day off to care for Bug since she is out of school. When I looked at how much time I was already taking next week and with the holiday, I decided it would be silly to go in at all. So now my goal is to have a very productive but relaxing vacation at home, ideally getting a bunch of those chores that you put off repeatedly done.



I’ve been dabbling in stuff lately. Dabbling with a major revamp of my craft area, dabbling with my spindles, dabbling with potential felting projects. I am not actually completing anything in particular.

I did, however, decide that it was time to pull out my wheel again. I have this awesome Loop batt called Vintage Vespa, and it seems rather holiday themed to me right now, so I am spinning. This is my first ever loop spontaneous spinning batt. I must say, it surprised me in its unbattlikeness. It is really more like very carefully and nicely blended pencil roving, though that doesn’t exactly explain it either. What I can say is that usually sparkle in batts annoys me. It doesn’t blend all that well, so then I end up with clumps of sparkle all being spun at once. This is so not the case with these loop batts. The sparkle is so well blended that you just get a hint of it here and there, while the wool itself (or wool silk blend in this case) spins up beautifully. I haven’t gotten very far yet, but I am pretty sure that will change very shortly.



Monster Jeremy

So, I finished the first slipper to be felted the other night. Bug tried it on, and then decided it was for “monster Jeremy.”

They do look rather ridiculous. At least they also knit up nice and quickly. As for the felting, that remains to be seen. I think I’ll finish my slippers up too before I even try to felt them.



The last time you saw this BFL, I had only just begun spinning it. I’ve been spinning while walking Bug to and from school. I spun the entire time we were walking around on Halloween. I spun one morning during a swim lesson. And now it looks like this:




Yesterday was amazing. The weather was downright balmy for November, and while I did get a bit of knitting done after the stockings, I also spent time in the yard, and did a little drum carding. So, last year at the IA Sheep and Wool festival I picked up a jacob fleece. At the time I didn’t know a ton about fleece choosing, but was obsessed with my brown CVM/Romeldale fleece and knew I really wanted a jacob fleece. I chose one at the festival from a booth. It was cheap, not too large, and I grabbed it up barely looking at it and, quite frankly, crowing over my discovery. I washed it soon after.

Let’s be honest, it isn’t the nicest fleece I own. There were a lot of burrs in it, big prickly pieces that really did make for difficulty even washing it. It is dirty, even after a good wash. It has a fair amount of VM, but more annoyingly the tips are yellowed pretty well and it wasn’t skirted all that well, so there are differences in wool quality and feel.

Well, I’ve been grumbling about this fleece since I sorted it a couple weeks ago. Flick carding and then drum carding is such a lengthy process and it felt terrible to think of spending that much time on a sub par fleece. However, I still wanted to get something out of this fleece. This begged the question: Can I drum card without flick carding? And the answer was yes. Of course, the wool has to go through the drum carder a few times after that initial run through, but the answer was favorable. The tip I heard was that I should feed the unflicked locks over the top on the large drum rather than through the tray. I gave this a try and let me just say it works beautifully! The VM and dust just fell out of the bottom of the carder, and the initial batt had promise. A couple more runs through the carder and I had a batt I could truly be proud of!

This is from the dark wool I separated out. The batt is surprisingly soft and lofty. Since I did not flick card, there was quite a bit of waste left on the small roll, but I saved all I could and am now quite excited about the prospect of finishing up this fleece!


The other stuff I worked on…well I decided that this year all three of us should have felted slippers. My adventures into felting haven’t always gone so well and my desire to felt has always been pretty low. However, the prospect of thick felted slippers in the dead of winter is a promising one. I am working on the fiber trends felted clogs pattern. I started with Jeremy’s slippers, assuming since this is the largest, the rest would go quickly. I have knit the majority of the slipper, including the outer sole, but attaching it has proved complicated so I’ve given them a rest. Add to that the problem of my hands falling asleep when using large needles, and using large needles exclusively for the last week, I do think I need a break.



Not sure what I’ll knit on next, but pretty sure it will involve something already on the needles rather than starting some new project. Also? I get to spin again!

Ahead of Schedule

Last evening I’d knit on my last stocking until I got to the point where I only needed 2 inches on the foot and then to create a toe. I didn’t stay up late, I was too tired.



And because I’d gone to bed early, I managed to finish the last stocking at 8:30 this morning, a full 24 hours ahead of schedule. Which means I just knit 4 stockings in 9 days. And as a bonus, this gives me a weekend of crafting on something new!



Stockings, day 6 and 7

By the end of day 6 I had completed my third stocking. There was actually a bit of a knitting emergency in the morning when I lost the second ball of green yarn, but Bug was finally able to locate it under the loveseat where I am temporarily storing all of my yarn until I get a new and better stash/craft area figured out. In any case, once green was done, red was cast on and now that the pattern is pretty much memorized, it seems they knit up even faster. I am currently a bit ahead of schedule, so I am hoping to have bought myself a little extra free time on Saturday, completing stocking #4 on Saturday afternoon rather than Sunday morning. And this is good, because I am absolutely itching to start washing some of my fleece!



For Later

Once this stocking insanity is over, I’ve got plans for my wheel that do not involve white corriedale fleece. I am not actually sure when I’ll get back to the wheel, as the stockings are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to christmas knitting.

One of the projects is a loop batt. I am fascinated by these, but they’ve proven difficulty to get in the past so I never bothered.

The second project is a gorgeous black batt with silk and sparkle. I thought, wouldn’t it be awesome to add beads to this? And so, I am adding beads to spinning for the first time. Because what this sparkly fiber REALLY needs is beads right? A little over the top, I’ll admit. However, also interesting. The beads are hematite so they should be rather interesting actually. I am using the technique where I actually spin the bead into the yarn, so that I can use this as a single and grab extra yardage. This means placing beads on fiber before spinning. A little tedious, but I think it will be worth it.




Stocking Challenge days 2, 3 and 4

At the end of day 2, I had the second stocking done to the heel. Of course, it was a weekend day so I had a lot of extra time to knit on it.


Day 3 though, being a weekday, meant a big slow down in productivity. As I mentioned before, my goal is to complete these stockings without completely stopping my life in the mean time. So I had some chores I wanted to get done. I actually cleaned out an entire closet last night and made dinner of course. You know, the normal evening tasks. After that, I was free to work on my stocking again.  Bug and I watched Madagascar 3, thought we didn’t finish it. Instead we had an impromptu lesson on Edith Piaf. Once that was done, I was able to bring it to the point of finishing the foot of the stocking. Which meant that I could start the toe first thing on day 4.

This morning I picked it up where I left off and halfway through lunchtime I had a second completed stocking.

So, I then immediately cast on for the third stocking, in green. And managed to get through the worst of the stocking really, the cast on and the Latvian Plait.



It amazes me that I can take something like this, take a little time to wash it and clean it up, spend the summer spinning it, ply it up into yards and yards and yards of gorgeous 2ply laceweight, find a pattern and knit a sweater.

It isn’t just what I did that is amazing. I am amazed by the colors in the wool, all natural, with silver streaks. I love the randomness of it, I love that nature can give us something that stunning. I love the way this fleece spun up, all silky while spinning, and then fluffy once the yarn was finished. I love the softness of the sweater. I love that though I invested a ton of time into it, the pay off ended up being even better than I expected. All in all, I just adore this sweater!




Day 1 Stocking Challenge

So, my featherweight got finished late Friday night. I took the rest of the evening to work on a little spinning, and decided to start the stockings Saturday morning. I started at 8:30 am, so I have until 8:30 am next Sunday to complete them.

I snagged a few in progress shots. At 4 hours in:


Now, I had decided already that I didn’t want the stockings to consume my life for the next 8 days, so I still had to do what I would normally do on a Saturday. So we cooked a lovely meal and I even got a nap in. Of course, by bedtime I still wasn’t quite done, but I was a bit burned out, taking time to do a little reading instead of knitting.

At 24 hours, when I woke up this morning:


But, just an hour and a half later I had a complete stocking:



Just as an update on the featherweight and the upcoming 8 days of stocking knitting, I have 3 rows, a bind off, and some ends to weave in. So hopefully my 8 days of stocking knitting will start tonight or tomorrow morning. It also means there will be a finished object other than a stocking to show off at some point during that time, which will help alleviate blog boredom.

But for today, I can show you what I’ve been quietly working on at work during lunch breaks. It, quite frankly, isn’t all that interesting at the moment. But, I had decided that Bug needed a new cardigan this winter. I had some knitpicks chroma worsted in stash and I’d already tried to knit something else for Bug with it, but it didn’t work out. The cardigan is garter stitch, and I only have 4 balls of this particular color. Sadly, it is discontinued so I won’t be able to get more. But, I think I can either find some in a destash or I can pull one color out of the many and use that color for anything else necessary, perhaps sleeves and collar? In any case, after today, this will be set aside for a time as I’ll have to be bringing my stockings to work.


8 Day Adventure

I am about to embark on an adventure. A knitting adventure. It is one you’ve seen before most likely, but I am anticipating that this adventure take 8 days. I’ve balled up all the yarn for it and just have to set my departure date and time.

I need to create 4 more Christmas stockings this year. And because I am a little on the burned out side of these stockings, I am allowing myself 8 days to do it. Two days per stocking. A nightmare week of bulky two stranded knitting. But then it will be over and I can move on to something more interesting. Setting the challenge is the most interesting part of this batch of stockings.

Luckily, each stocking will be a different color. Dark blue, burgundy, green, then red. The dark blue one is for me because I keep giving away my stocking. And I don’t think Bug will allow me to get away with not having one this year. The other three are for family members who have requested them.

Can I do it? I dunno, we will see. I hope I can, if only because I’d love to get some other Christmas knitting started.



However, I refuse to start this adventure until I am completely finished with my featherweight cardigan. The one which the sleeves are done but I yanked the collar bind off out and added more to it. So, I guess, hopefully this weekend I’ll be able to start.