Obsessed

I may be a little obsessed with my new yarn. I took it to work yesterday, balled it up, printed out the Hitchhiker pattern, and got started. By this morning:

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The way this is knitting up does nothing at all to cure my obsession, and so I am muddling through my day doing small tasks, and then sitting down for a couple more rows with this gorgeous yarn. This just may be one of those knits I cannot put down until it is done. It has been awhile since I’ve created one of those.

Navajo 4 ply

In May, I tried out a new to me technique. Labeled Navajo 4 ply, it is basically a chain ply with an additional single carried along. It was fun to give it a try, and the resulting yarn turned out well. However, I couldn’t help but get carried away by the various potential fiber combinations. And so, in my head I made a decision to do a silk single with a loop batt as the chain ply.

I think this is the most interesting yarn I have ever created. I am really excited about it. I have about 420 yards. I absolutely love it, and I do believe I am going to need to make it into something really soon.

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And all I need now is to figure out what to do about the ounce or so of silk singles I have left over from this project!

Magrathea Begins

As soon as Lintilla was cast off, I cast on for Magrathea. This one is out of BFL silk from one of Dyeabolical’s fiber “unclubs.” Colorway was called Manxome Foe. I made it into a two ply yarn, and I think that ultimately this scarf will be subtle, showing off the handspun while highlighting the lace patterning. It may be in its early stages, but I am loving it already.

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Lintilla Completion

I expected to be finished with my Lintilla scarf this weekend. After all, the way I saw it, I had a road trip to work on it. But, the problem was, I didn’t work on it. At all. I never touched the thing. I was too busy chattering, and driving, and cooking, and riding my bike in South Dakota.

You see, my team and I went up there for Tour de Corn, which started at The Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD.

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We all stayed in a lodge together, which made for some great times. We rode Saturday morning, what was supposed to be a 64 mile ride. However, with winds sustained at 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph, and high heat and humidity, we cut back on our miles a bit. We rode as a team, pulling each other through the worst of the wind. We ended the day with 48 miles, but those miles were awfully rough. That being said, we stopped a lot, we flew a kite, we took over a bar and had lunch, we added random riders we did not know to our pace line, we sang along to the music being pulled on a trailer and we had our photo taken many times. It was a great day. Even the drivers did not seem to mind the spectacle of 25 or so riders in a pace line and they’d smile and wave as they were passing us.

What I noticed the most though, over the weekend, was just how seamlessly the team works together. It isn’t just about biking. Never once did anyone lack for food. Everyone brought food, everyone cooked, every shared in the clean up, everyone helped out beautifully. It was a lovely experience. And there was SO MUCH food! Good food. Delicious home cooked meals and many crock pots and big pancake and bacon breakfasts. Such a treat!

I tend to be one of those people who stresses a lot over travel. I worry about so many things, I pack too much, I prepare too much food, I worry and worry. However, it became clear so quickly that I needn’t have worried at all. I did exactly right. I packed the right amount, I brought the right amount of food, it was all very seamless.

In any case, the trip was wonderful. And I never had an excuse to pull out my knitting. So, I didn’t get around to working on Lintilla again until Sunday evening. I used it to unwind, but went to bed quite early due to post trip exhaustion. Last night, however, I was determined to get it done. I had taken it to work and gotten a bunch done, so I knew this was a goal I could achieve. After I put Bug to bed, I just sat down with a movie and powered through. It was, again, quite relaxing. And the end result was fantastic! I just love this shawl. I love that it is asymmetrical. I love how the fractal spun yarn stripes, and the interesting construction makes the stripes diagonal. I love that it is lusciously soft between the woo/silk blend and the garter stitch. I love that I didn’t even feel a need to block it! Just wrap and go.

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On My Spindle

I’ve been working on some hand dyed black BFL from a fiber club offered by Dyeabolical yarns quite some time ago. I took it with me on vacation, started in there, and have been working on it during my lunch breaks at work since my return. I only have just a bit of fiber left to spin, and I do believe this is destined to be a 2 ply. I like the muted shades quite a bit, and am eager to see how the resulting yarn turns out. That being said, it may be awhile, since I’ve got wheel projects I must finish up before I get too much further with plying projects.

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Raising Butterflies

Bug went on her annual vacation to my parent’s house in July. While there, she found caterpillars on my mom’s parsley plants. First she was nervous about them, but then she got accustomed to the idea of them, and decided to raise a few. She raised them in a jelly jar, and had surprising success.

We were a bit worried that they would not become swallowtail butterflies before we left to get back to our routines. But, the day before we were to leave, I checked them, and both of them had become butterflies.

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2 butterflies emerging from their very small habitat.

One seemed stronger than the other, and quickly moved away from the jar.

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The other hung out near the jar, and then it started to rain. The slower one crawled back into the jar to keep from getting wet, and the other crawled under some ivy.

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In the end, the slower one clearly took the time to get strong, and flew away much earlier than the faster one. That one hung around all morning, even spending some time on my mom’s shoe and pant leg.

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All in all, the butterflies turned out to be such a fun little treat during vacation, and completely unexpected! I suspect Bug will very much want to do it again next year.

Lintilla Update

While I AM crafting, I am having trouble finding the inspiration and time to take pictures and blog about it. It all started with a terrible terrible trip home from vacation. We ended up not being able to get out of the city the day we planned to return, and instead had to fly out a day later. Bug missed her first day of school, and I had to use another vacation day, and quite frankly we spent a significant amount of time in the airport two days in a row with the added stress of not knowing if we would get home, or if our luggage would, and that was far less than inspiring. Thus, our entry back into the world of routine was a bit more rough than one might expect.

Add to this the fact that our return has been quite busy in general with few spare moments for photographing and blogging, and I’ve just put it off completely, despite having some fun pictures from vacation and stories to tell.

So instead, my re entry into the blogging world will start with a simple picture of the Lintilla shawl I’ve been working on. It is out of a fractal spun 2 ply, and my addiction to it is quite intense It has been the perfect project to have on vacation and has managed to continue to capture my attention now that I am home. I am now working on the edging, and it the change in pattern has been nice.

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We shall see if I can manage to follow this up with a post about spinning, a post about butterflies, and a post about steel. Yep, we  can totally be that random!