Handspun Linen Stitch Cowl

OK, this one is beautiful. I am quite pleased with my result. I took my flower shop inferno 3 ply handspun and started a linen stitch cowl before Christmas. I didn’t get very far because linen stitch takes forever, and because other projects got in the way. But, I finished finally this week, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. The linen stitch is so perfect for such a colorful and variegated yarn, it makes each color fade into the next even more effectively than handspun just on its own.

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And, because I’ve been talking about the inside of the cowl this whole time, I am going to show that off too.



Just stunning and rich! I love it!

Weekend Weaving Part 2

Awhile back I decided that I wanted to weave a piece that would showcase my corespun yarn. My idea was to use a thin yarn as a warp and the corespun as weft. I wanted to capture the corespun gently between the warp, putting the warp on display.

I used habu textiles cotton for the warp. This turned out to be a bad idea. Lesson 1, not all cottons are created equal. Just because it is cotton doesn’t mean it is warp appropriate. Lesson 2 was how to fix a broken warp thread. Not a bad lesson in the learning to weave department, but not one I am eager to learn again so repeatedly.

This spent a lot of time on my loom because…I dunno…I got busy? And uninspired, and there was the fast knitting of the holiday season, and then I piled stuff up on my loom table and it was inaccessible without organizing all that stuff. Weaving went by the wayside until Bug started to repeatedly ask to weave on my loom. I decided I’d better get the project finished and off the loom so she couldn’t keep bugging me about it. That warp was way too tender for her to be weaving on it!

I originally decided that I was going to make this into a wall hanging. After rearranging my living space for the umpteenth time, and removing my TV, I have open wall space that needs to be filled. The thing is, it is a bit too thin to fill that space properly. As such, my plan now is to do a series of 3 wall hangings out of handspun art yarn. I am still unsure of how to attach them to the wall, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. And due to the fact I’ve got 2 scarves to weave before I get back to the wall hangings, I will have plenty of time to think it through and get creative.

In any case, I’ve got a few pictures of the piece I am writing about to show off. It is still in an unfinished state, but it is washed and blocked.

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Weekend Weaving

I spent Saturday at my loom. It has been a long while really, and I enjoyed my day of weaving immensely. I finished up a project I had on the loom, more on that later, and then started a new project.

Awhile back I posted about the gradient I’d spun from dyeabolical batts, and how they reminded me of the label on a bottle of blue moon beer. I’d decided to weave this yarn with a gold handspun. My idea was that the warp would be a vertical gradient, using the gold as the weft. I also decided to try my hand at an actual pattern rather than a plain weave.

I put the yarn on my warping board, having done my calculations. I felt like it was taking too much space on the board. I had this vague feeling of something being not quite right but didn’t indulge that feeling and double check until I was almost done with the warping board. Sure enough, I was about 2 yards short. So, I removed the entire warp and began again.

Once that was done, getting the warp onto the loom was a fairly easy process. I must admit, I like this part of weaving. It brings to mind the phrase “well begun is half done” each and every time I do it. I tend to take my time with this process and allow it to take as long as it needs to. I just hate the idea of making a mistake at this juncture.

And then I got started:



Since I am so new at this, I am in a constant state of learning. The lesson I learned here is that more contrast is necessary when working something that contains a pattern. On the right side, the pattern shows up well. But as the blue warp gets lighter, the pattern fades. This might seem obvious, but I was too excited about my idea to think it through. That being said, there’s still a chance it may change once the scarf is off the loom. The handspun wool warp stretches quite a bit so I can only imagine it will also bounce back quite a bit. Once it does, there’s a possibility that the pattern may be more obvious. That being said, I really do not have the experience behind me to know if this hypothesis could be true or no.

I think that might be what I am enjoying about weaving right now. There’s no predictability in it for me, it is ALL just experimentation.


I keep plugging away at the linen stitch cowl I started awhile back. This one just thrills me to no end, the colors are so rich. You may remember that it is a 3 ply handspun from dyeabolical’s flower shop inferno colorway. Just lovely and the linen stitch suits it well. I love that it would be no problem to wear this inside out as well, the back truly is as beautiful as the front.


I really don’t have much further to knit, just a small ball of yarn left now. While I do have other projects on the needles, this one is getting my down time. My most mindless knitting time. I rather enjoy it.

The only complication is after this much linen stitch, it is really hard to manage a plain slip stitch heel on a sock. I keep wanting to carry that slip stitch in front rather than in back, as the motion has become so natural while knitting the cowl.

Fingerless Gloves

My father’s office has been particularly cold of late. Because of this, he’s taken to wearing his bike gloves for a bit of extra warmth while working at his computer. My mom told me of this and wondered if he might like a pair of fingerless gloves for the office. Of course, I am powerless to resist knitting for a family member “in need” so I got started immediately after I received his hand measurements.

Since I work exclusively from stash these days, I pulled out some knitpicks wool of the andes I had in stash. I had to pair it with another color because there was no way I had enough for a full set of gloves. I don’t think the stripes look too bad, and since there was a pitifully small amount of main color left over, it was a good decision.



My plan is to spend some time weaving on this lovely Saturday. It’s been awhile, and I’ve got an open wall space I hope to hang the current project from. Time to get a move on with it!

Sock Progress

I’ve been banging out the sock at work again this week, and after Tuesday’s lunch, I am feeling pretty good about my progress headed down the foot. I need to start measuring. I feel like these are knitting at a pretty quick pace despite the fact that I am only putting in about an hour a day during the work week.


Julie’s Mitts

Julie asked me for a pair of fingerless mitts and she would not be dissuaded. I was not able to work on any other project until these were complete.



I managed to accomplish some things I’ve been putting off this weekend which sets my week up well. I hope you all are having a great week too!



A Thin Spin

After the enchanted knoll bump, I realized that I was craving a thinner spin. I went into my stash and ended up pulling out an old merino/silk bump from Sanguine Gryphon. These were discontinued a long long time ago, and I’ve been saving the bump because it is just THAT beautiful. But, I figure if I am going to spin something thin, I might as well spin a bump I love because it will take forever.



I’ve got it on my hipstrings spindle, and I must say, if I could I’d buy about 5 more of these. They spin super fast and are the perfect thin spinning spindles.

A New Experience

I picked up a yarn that is way out of my comfort zone at our local yarn shop winter sale. I did it because I intend to knit a cowl for a friend, and I know she’ll love it. However, for me, it is a stretch.

I decided on a brioche stitch to show off the fluffiness and unevenness of the yarn. The colors are amazing as well.



There were a few false starts. First was casting on too many stitches. The second being a size 17 needle. Now I am working on a size 13 needle and I cast on 22 stitches. It is plenty wide at that amount.

I adore it. It is killing my hands dead, but I adore it. I will have to limit my time with it, as the 2.5 hours I put in last night has me unable to knit today. But it is pretty hard to resist!

Oh, and perhaps I should mention what the yarn is! Mountain Colors Bozeman. Colorway Spring Eclipse. It is a 250 yard skein, so it is absolutely HUGE, a full 8 oz of yarn. But man is it stunning!


I’ve had some blue/brown enchanted knoll farms wool in my stash for years. It was such a lovely rich color but I just wasn’t inspired to spin it until recently. Then, I needed some singles to ply while teaching Marja to ply on her wheel, so I spun them up pretty quickly.

While I was spinning the singles, I spent a lot of time criticizing my work. I felt my singles uneven and not good. Then I plied and while I was liking my result, I continued to criticize. But once this skein was washed, I realized something. While I am completely critical during the yarn making process, I almost always love the finished product. I am not a machine and I don’t need to be even if I expect myself to be. In the end, handspun looks hand spun and that is what I like about it. So, I need to quit criticizing during the process of spinning because it can seriously harsh my mellow!

I ended up with 18o yards of 2 ply yarn. This is a case of the yarn not differing much from the dyed wool. There were no surprises in it. It just turned out beautifully and so full and bouncy.




Cooling my heels

I finished the heel of my current sock and have picked up the gusset. Now on to the decreases. But, since it is now the weekend and I have other projects going on, it sits happily at work and I get to spend some time looking at other projects.



Despite the fact that I claim I have little interest in knitting socks and should not due to hand pain, I am plugging away on this sock, making wonderful progress even though I am limiting myself to about an hour a day. Yesterday I brought it to the point where I have to start the heel. Today I get that pleasure.



I feel pretty good about my progress here, especially for socks that are half hose. The decreases keep this one interesting and it is just moving along beautifully.

Hobbit Batt

190 yards of 2 ply yarn. This is the lovely Thorin Oakenshield batt all spun up. I am hoping to pair it with the White Council yarn for something quite extraordinary. Haven’t quite decided what yet though.



I’ve been doing quite a bit of spinning again and it has really been quite pleasant. Taking a bit of a break has renewed my interest in a big way.


Over the past week in biking, I’ve learned a few things. The first is that no matter what kind of bike ride you plan, no matter how crazy your schemes seem to the general public, you’ll find like minded cyclists to participate with you. The second lesson is that there are always a group of cyclists willing to put in extra miles, all you have to do is make the plan.

The first lesson is evidenced by the dangerously cold ride we did last week. I would say that a group of 8 willing to ride in that cold was a pretty decent turn out, and far more than I expected we’d get. This past weekend there was a large organized bike ride in our area. However, it was billed as a round trip ride of 8 miles, with a lot of stops. And “bad decisions.” Now, I know that you could say our dangerously cold ride would go under the heading “bad decisions,” but the bad decisions that this group was going to get involved in had to do with alcohol. And it was to be 45F outside, and sunny. I had no interest whatsoever in a bar hop, what a waste of an absolutely stunning day.

So I planned a “lake to lake” ride. Those of us with studded snow tires would ride our bikes on frozen lakes. A route was planned, a meet up place was agreed on, a time was set, and we ended up with a total of 13 winter riders out to have an adventure.

It was such a beautiful day. I ended up with over 25 miles. This is an accomplishment on studded tires, as they are considerably more difficult to keep moving than regular tires. It is hard work!

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We rode frozen lakes, and startled pedestrians using the trail. I had fun watching them stop and snap our picture, imagining the conversations they’d have when they got back home.

Pedestrian: You would NEVER believe what I saw at the lake today! A whole group of people on bikes who just rode down the boat launch and out on the ice!

Family member: Pics or it didn’t happen!

Pedestrian: Check this out!

OK, I don’t actually have pictures of us riding on the ice, as the idea of trying to remove a hand from my handlebar and snap a picture is a bit distressing. But, you get the idea. The studded tires keep us (mostly) upright. The only other frozen lake riding I’ve done has been at night, so it was fun to actually be able to see the entire lake. One of the lakes had a ton of ice fishers on it, so dodging the ice fishing holes was a bit interesting. There were holes large enough to swallow entire bike tires. We just avoided them. Due to the exceedingly cold temps, the ice is about 12 inches thick, so even though we had warm temps and the ice got a bit slushy on top, we were quite safe.

We were out for 7 hours, we soaked in as much sun and relative warmth as we could, and as the sun was going down, I snapped this shot:



I am grateful for biking, and for friends who enjoy an adventure just as much as I do. I hope I can keep coming up with creative ideas for rides, as this is as much a part of my life, or more, than knitting and spinning is. And I do love winter riding so much!

More Socks

I started a pair of socks at the end of November after going on too many dirt rides where I decide to bow out early and go back to the car to wait for other riders to be done. I clearly needed something to occupy myself with while waiting. So, I started a pair of my personal favorite socks to keep in the car as emergency knitting.


The yarn for these is Socks that Rock Lightweight. It has been in my stash for ages and I am glad to be using it for something.


Speaking of Progress

I’ve been knitting along on my flower shop inferno linen stitch cowl. This cowl has eaten two of my cables already, which is highly irritating. However, even on my third cable it is tough to be too mad, seeing as the linen stitch is so beautiful!



I took this photograph so you can see both the inside and the outside of the cowl, both equally stunning.



Hobbit batts

Inglenook has been doing Hobbit themed batts for awhile now. I happen to have two of them in my stash. White Council, and Thorin Oakenshield. I managed to spin White council on spindles and ply on the wheel in only 2 days. This is a personal record for me. I’ve got about 200 yards of gorgeous gorgeous 2 ply yarn.



There’s actually a bit of purple in there as well, though it doesn’t seem to be readily apparent in the skein.



Thorin Oakenshield is ready to be plied as well, but I am saving it for Wednesday evening, as I’ll be doing a wheel plying lesson with my friend Marja, and I need something to do that with.

These two skeins, ideally each about 200 yards, will make a lovely striped scarf I believe. Both of them are gradients, and both have similar color schemes, though one is a bit brighter than the other. I have a feeling that these are going to get knit immediately after they are done being spun.

Sock Progress

Since knitting socks hurts my hands these days, I’ve decided that the sock I am working on only gets knit on at work during my lunch break. This may mean that it plugs along rather slowly, but hopefully it will also mean I can complete them.



I finished the rather long ribbed section and have moved into the ringwood patterning. I am looking forward to continuing on Monday!

New Things

I’ve really not been knitting socks much at all. However, I am finding that with my desire to actually do some knitting, the desire for the simplicity of the sock has also returned.



I started a sock to knit on at work. From my favorite book “Vintage Socks.” It pleases me to be knitting something so comforting as a sock from this book.

Flower Shop Inferno

2 days ago I posted a finished Miss Winkle shawl in the colorway Flower Shop Inferno. One of the aspects of spinning that I find endlessly fascinating is that how a colorway looks in a yarn is so completely different from how a colorway looks in a fiber then spun into handspun yarn.


I began knitting a linen stitch cowl out of my handspun flower shop inferno colorway. It is beautiful and interesting. It is also completely different than the shawl I just finished. I love saturated variegated yarns. But I really must say, my heart belongs to handspun.


We did it!

Yesterday you may recall I posted that I was going to attempt to bike in this bitterly cold weather. You see, I have a bike friend who always encourages me to do some type of riding that is on the outer limits of sane. And we planned this ride, assuming that it would be just the two of us. We scheduled back up drivers for any mechanical issues we might have, as being out in this weather is dangerous and standing around in it deadly. We knew we needed good plans. We then decided to invite just a few experienced winter cyclists, in order to make sure that only those we trusted to know their limits were on this particular ride. In the end, there were 8 of us.

All day long I worried about the ride, mostly because I was having trouble staying warm even in my house. It was just plain cold around the edges. I planned my gear very carefully, layer upon carefully placed layer.

Partway through the ride, I snapped this screenshot.



Before the ride ended, we’d hit -11 and recorded the feels like temp at -41.

It is pretty difficult to know when to hydrate on such a ride, I know this well. In anticipation of that, I put hot water into my insulated water bottle. After just a bit of time outside, I could no longer get water out of it. We stopped for a warm up in a friends house, and this is what I found.



Apparently the way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to add a shot of whiskey. That sounds terrible to me.

All in all, great fun was had! No one hurt themselves too badly, though there seems to have been some reports of first degree frost bite around the eyes. I did not have that trouble personally. And I honestly was more warm than I had been all day in all my winter gear. We had 3 warm up stops planned, and we enjoyed the company and time at each one of them so much.

Today I am left feeling completely invigorated, happy, and energetic. I would not suggest this type of “therapy” to just anyone, but what a way to eliminate post holiday blues!

Cold Front

It is supremely cold today, and that seems to be the case all over the country. I woke up this morning to see a 2F temp with a feels like temp of -22F. Crazy. So what’s a gal to do but go for a bike ride? We crazier cyclists are planning a dangerously cold bike ride this evening, but we are being sensible enough to have back up plans, people on hand to get us in case of mechanical issues, and many many warm up stops.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, I finished a shawl. This is the Miss Winkle shawl out of dyeabolical’s colorway flower shop inferno. The shawl was great fun to knit, I thought the loops would be tedious but they really are not. The fact that you can just knit until you are out of yarn is wonderful as well.

And, as usual, the yarn is just scrumptious! This one is headed back to dyeabolical, as it is my second sample knit for her.



This is unblocked, so I am sure the loops would be even more distinctive if it were blocked properly.

Coreless Corespun yarn

It was on my list of things to try with my spinning last year, and I finally completed a project. While I LOVE the yarn, I don’t think I’ll do this again. Mostly because I’ve got this stunningly gorgeous batt, and part of it is underneath where it cannot be seen, as the core. I think I’d prefer to make pretty batts stand out with a separate core. That being said, I really truly love corespinning and really truly need to figure out what I am going to do with the yarn that I think is so beautiful.








Happy New Year! In this city, the new year looks quite fresh with a layer of beautiful newly fallen snow. I love the idea of a fresh start, and have decided that today should be the day I finish a crazy batt spun coreless corespun. It has been sitting on my wheel for too long, and I believe the fresh start of an empty wheel will help inspire me.

In the meantime, I thought I’d take a quick picture of what I am currently devoting all my knitting time to. It is another sample knit for Dyeabolical yarns. This colorway is flowershop inferno, and the pattern is Miss Winkle. I thought it would be a bit too fiddly for me, but in reality it is a lot of fun, and one of those relaxing knits you just keep plugging away at, allowing it to practically knit itself.



I recently finished a handspun yarn that was also flowershop inferno, and began knitting it. It will be fun to see the two side by side, dyed yarn and handspun, for comparison sake.