A New Obsession

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been wanting to knit garments only lately. Garments for me. I began the boxy sweater this week, with the intention to make it tunic length, at least. I am using jojoland melody, a fingering weight superwash wool that mimics the look of handspun. I am currently thrilled with the piece, though I recognize that it may be one of those pieces that if it doesn’t turn out as wonderful as I expect it to, it will be very disappointing.

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First, a close of up of the fabric so you can see the current colors.

And, a shot of the very wide back of the piece. I chose to knit this and seam it, rather than knit it in the round, though the pattern gives instructions for both. There were two reasons for this. First, that much knitting in the round might have given me a twitch. Very boring. Second, I was worried that the color changes would get thicker at the sleeves, due to suddenly being worked back and forth, and that would annoy me. Jojoland doesn’t have particularly even color changes anyhow, so it might not matter much. But, in case it did, I wanted to do my best to avoid it.

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I am struggling right now to do anything else. No spinning, no knitting on other projects, you can forget weaving. I just want to knit on this tunic. I guess that’s ok, there are no rules.

However, today is a lovely day, and instead of knit all day, it is my plan to ride bike. It may rain the rest of the week, much better for knitting. I must take advantage of today.

 

 

Monster Socks

At the beginning of January I took on a project to make socks. Socks in men’s size 13.5. I decided that I should use my favorite sock knitting book, Vintage Socks, and I chose the Gentleman’s half hose in ringwood pattern. I used Cascade Heritage Handpaints for this, and ran into a snag of running out of yarn completely halfway down the foot of the first pair. Apparently, for monster socks, you really do need that second skein.

The fact that they are large isn’t even the only reason I am calling them monster socks. After all, they ate two of my sock needles. I knit socks on two circs, and two of the circs, at different times, the needle pulled completely out from the cable. Quite annoying. Now, if I am logical about this, I will say that most of my sock needles were purchased around the same time, quite a few years ago now, and perhaps the glue that held them in place has just gone old. But it is more fun to blame the monster socks.

I’d had an abundance of sock needles from my crazy sock knitting days, so I haven’t bothered to replace the broken needles. Since I doubt I’ll ever knit socks in such a manic fashion again, it just doesn’t seem necessary.

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I must say, they turned out quite lovely and manly and they were worth all the hard work I put into them. Most of all? I am thrilled they are finished. I’ve got a large desire to knit garments FOR MYSELF, and so any projects I can get off the needles now is fantastic.

 

Spinning Bag

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I love these little felted spinning bags, and I thought, what better gift for a spinning friend who doesn’t knit?  So, I whipped one up for my friend Marja a few weeks ago. I used yarn that I dyed with koolaid and spin years ago, early early spinning for me. It was sitting in my stash, and I thought this would be a really fun way to use it.

I modified the bag a bit, instead of one loop, it has an icord drawstring. this way she can configure it however she likes on her wheel. And one of my gripes about my bag is that it gaps, this one isn’t likely to gap.

For added fun, I stuffed it full of goodies. An orifice hook, a small pair of scissors, a bunch of leftover yarn for leaders, a wpi gauge, and some sample size soak washes. Everything she could need in it really, and all things as a new spinner she might not know she needs. I have always enjoyed having my tools at my fingertips, and this was a fun way to get her set up as well.

Plus, the bag is bright and springy, and I think we ALL need that right now.

Quality

Both the title and the description of this weekend was Quality.

I got some major cleaning, sorting, organizing, and purging done early on Saturday. There’s always more to be done, but it was a major accomplishment. I then got some quality knitting time, working on a laceweight tunic I have begun.

On that note, I seem to have this overwhelming urge to just knit garments lately. I think that’s good, since the last garment I knit for myself was my meadowlark back in 2012. I’ve found some patterns to pair with yarn in my stash, as well as some patterns for yarn that is not yet in my stash but the patterns are too wonderful to pass up. On that note, no more non garments will be cast on, until the ones already on the needles are cast off. And I think that’s acceptable.

Ok, back to the business of a quality weekend. I got to spend some quality time with the man in my life. Dinners, a movie, and a fantastic mountain bike ride at one of our local trails. I am stronger than ever, and it’s my first ride on dirt this year. It feels amazing, I’ve clearly put the necessary work in over the winter. There’s nothing more wonderful as the season warms to realize you are already ahead of the game. It makes every moment I grumbled about the cold worthwhile.

I also spent some quality girl time with my girlfriend Marja. The idea was to teach her how to spin on her wheel. She’s plied on it, and she’s an expert spindle spinner, so she was destined to pick it up without too much fuss. And she did. In no time at all, she had a bobbin close to full of really quite even singles. I hope she keeps up the practice, because it seemed like she was a bit surprised at how fast it went.

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She purchased a total of 8 oz. of wool which she assumed would become yarn barf. It hasn’t, and so I think she’s going to have some really fun yarn when she is finished. And be well ready to move on to some of her favorite colored braids.

While she was spinning that, I spun on some crown mountain farms superwash merino. I purchased this from a destash, mostly because I am sad that CMF is no more. I’ve been spinning this up on my support spindles, but since it is a full 8 oz, I am well aware I’ll “never” finish if I don’t work on it elsewhere as well. So, I decided that this one will get wheel time and spindle time, and I’ll appreciate all of that when it comes time to ply.

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Being that I am spinning quite thin, my bobbin didn’t fill up quite as much as hers did.

If next weekend is anywhere near the quality time this weekend was, I am going to be a very happy and well adjusted person.

Spinning

I started this spin way back in late September while on my trip to New Mexico. Once I got home, I finished spinning the first 4 oz. of singles, but still had another 4 oz. to spin. It took some time, but I finally finished last week.

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430 yards of gorgeous gorgeous sport weight yarn. 2 ply. This is finn wool from a dyeabolical club awhile back. It spun up beautifully, and quite fast overall. 

I’ve got no current plans for it, but it is going to look fabulous in my stash!

Posting from the road.

I am sitting in my car making the long trek home after traveling to see a live show of Welcome to Nightvale. All I can say is, if you are a fan, do try to get to a live show. There is so much more material in the live show, as well as fantastic audience participation. Not to mention all the people watching. After all, your typical fan is certainly the type to think out of the box. All in all, a fantastic experience and well worth the long drive.

Over the weekend I decided to knit a headband with a flower out of a handspun gradient I creates some time ago. This gradient was perhaps some of my best yarn ever created, and knitting it did not disappoint.

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I knit the headband, crocheted a flower, and knit 3 leaves to attach to the headband. It was a big hit for Bug and she was eager to wear it to the show.

We enjoyed dinner at a brewery before the show, and I grabbed a quick action shot as she scarfed up some homemade blueberry cobbler ice cream.

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It is late, we are tired and happy, and I am feeling grateful for an extra day off tomorrow.

A little extra

I’ve long desired a Citron shawl for myself, made with extra repeats. A few months ago during our local yarn shop’s winter sale, I found some Louisa Harding Yarns Amitola. I fell head over heels for the colorway, and bought 3 balls for a large Citron. I added 2 repeats before realizing I would run out of yarn.

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Out of 3 balls of yarn, there was only one harsh color change, which I removed. I’d say that’s pretty good for a commercial yarn. The yarn is ridiculously soft as well, and knitting with it was an absolute joy.

It’s been a fairly productive weekend, so while I typically lack blog fodder, I might do ok for a few days now. Have a happy weekend everyone!