This week has been full of costume crafting, but clearly we are very close to being done now. Just one more evening of it, and then I can show it all off. It really has taken a chunk out of my crafting time though. All the little crafty bits I have to do for Bug’s costume are tedious at best, and don’t leave a ton of time for other things. And, blogging about them makes little sense until the costume is completely finished.

But, as I mentioned, I finished a huge skein of yarn on Monday. I had the smallest bit of plying left at that point, and so I got it done. Then, I washed it and hung it to dry. Between the cooler weather and the over 10 oz skein, it took days to dry!


This skein is truly massive. So large, I could not double it over for pretty pictures. It’s 720 yards of sport to DK weight  2 ply yarn. I DO have plans for this one, and I am hoping to get started pretty soon.

Taking a Moment

Boy has it been busy around here! I really imagined downtime between the conference and Halloween. But, that just hasn’t happened. Last weekend we completely overextended ourselves with social events, and I’ve started this week at a severe alone time/down time deficit.

Add to that the fact that I didn’t have knitting on my needles from Thursday evening to Saturday evening. I ended up, on Friday, getting quite upset with my next door neighbor and stomping around the house about it. Mr. Ink mentioned later that he thought I wouldn’t have gotten quite so upset if I’d had a bit of knitting to take the edge off. I suspect he’s right.

I now have a new sweater on the needles, as well as a new shawl. I’ve also done a bunch of spinning/plying. So much to show, but the yarn needs to dry, and the sweater isn’t interesting, and I keep forgetting to get a picture of the shawl. Until today.

I had all this great, interesting, different types of yarns all dyed in the same colorway from the Taos trip last year. I finally pulled out a shawl to work on. I am just alternating yarns as I see fit. I bet I’ll never wear this because I think mohair is really the most miserable stuff. But, I am going to have a great time knitting it, and it has many awesome memories attached to it.


The colors still remind me of the chickens at our casita while we were out in Taos.

More from me very soon, cross your fingers that some of the handspun has decided to dry!

So Much Spinning

As I may have mentioned yesterday, I officially have nothing on the needles. That doesn’t happen very often. In fact, I found myself getting increasingly annoyed with my neighbor, leading to me stomping around the house muttering “There goes the neighborhood!” under my breath and having strong urges to post a public vaguepost on facebook about it. Mr. Ink eventually said “You know, if you had some knitting on the needles, I feel certain you’d be able to find a way to let this go.” And I realized he was right.

But, I still wasn’t ready to put anything on the needles Instead, I worked on spinning. I have been working long term on 2 coordinating Loop bumps, and I was at the end of the spinning portion of them last evening. I was quickly able to finish the last bit up, so I could snap a shot of them both before the light left.


As you can see, they are very similar, but they are not the same.  I spent a portion of the evening plying these, bringing me to this point:


You can see that I am just beginning the orange here. I then went to Marja’s house to watch the local college football game, and plied through that.


One bobbin done, the other isn’t far behind.


And yet I still feel like I’ve got a long way to go!

I also went to the yarn shop to spend a gift certificate, and I WILL be casting on a new project quite shortly now. Soon. Very very soon!


Actually, I was back to knitting on Tuesday, but lightly. I have done quite a bit of spinning this week. However, I have currently no active projects on the needles! That’s right. I know it’s a bit odd. But, I finished the Lemongrass sweater, though it is taking ages and ages to dry, and I finished the striped cowl I had been working on.

And I didn’t block it. Because I prefer to keep the 1X1 rib bouncy.

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This is, again, two different skeins of Marja’s handspun. It was a ton of fun to knit due to the color changes. I used up all of the darker more solid color, but I’ve got enough of the bright stuff for either another cowl like this, or maybe some fingerless mitts or something for Miss Bug. I am sure she’d adore that.

As I was knitting this, I decided I probably wouldn’t wear it. I’ve just got too many cowls and scarves already. So, this one is headed to Marja’s quickly growing stash of handknits.

Now I’m off to find some buttons for the Lemongrass, and to wind some handspun for my next project. I am headed to the yarn store tomorrow in order to find yarn for another sweater! Might as well keep knocking them out while I am on a roll.

Not Gonna Win

Yesterday I realized I was dangerously close to completing my lemongrass sweater. And I’d started it merely 8 days prior. I felt certain if I kept at it, I’d have a finished sweater on Monday, giving me a 10 day sweater completion, something I haven’t managed since the summer of 2008. Mr. Ink and I made dinner Saturday evening, and then rather than going out to see a movie, I chose to have us watch one at home so that I could knit through it.

Today we went out to a mountain bike trail a bit farther away than we usually do. I brought my knitting for 2 reasons. It’s a bit of a car trip, and because often Mr. Ink rides a second lap when I can only manage the strength and endurance for one. This leaves me a lovely peaceful time in nature knitting while he rides his second lap fast.

We rode. The trail we rode is advanced for me, but I seem to recently have had a major uptick in ability on the mountain bike. So, for the first time ever, I was able to ride probably 95% of this trail. Prior to this, I’d ride the trail, but end up walking most of it. It was an absolutely BLISSFUL ride. But, toward the end, I attempted to ride over a pile of logs, and my bike itself probably wasn’t up for the challenge. I got over them, and then everything went tits up. I went over my handlebars, taking a decent spill. To be honest, this is something I’ve come to expect while mountain biking, but not something that regularly happens anymore.

I hopped up, refused to assess the damage, hopped back on the bike, and told Mr. Ink to keep going, as he’d heard me fall and was riding back toward me. I rode along, assessing the damage, knowing I’d probably hurt later and be stiff this week.

During lap 2 for Mr. Ink, I tried to knit, but didn’t seem to be feeling up to it. Then, we went out for lunch, and once we returned home, I again tried to knit. Again, I wasn’t feeling it, and I couldn’t figure out why. Then, I noticed my wrist hurt a bit. I thought “Perhaps trying to knit a sweater in 10 days is getting to my hands.” But it just wasn’t the right kind of pain.

And then, all at once, it hit me. That’s the wrist I fell on out on the trail, and I did go down pretty hard. So, I’ve now set aside the sweater, and rather than the triumphant post about knitting a sweater in 10 days you were going to see in the near future, I am deciding to throw in the towel. I am not winning this one. And that’s ok.


Sad right? I’ve only a few more inches to the sleeves and then the turtleneck to knit!  But, it’s still toasty warm here, and, I won’t be able to wear it in the near future anyhow.

Better to see how I feel tomorrow.

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! My long weekend is drawing to a close, and it has been fantastic.


It’s official, I have ENOUGH! enough yarn to finish this sweater. Of course, had I known that, I would have added an inch or so to the length. But, it’s alpaca, it’ll probably stretch. I did add length to the arm even, and I still have enough. One arm done, second arm started.


Aran yarn knits up so quickly! It’s been fun to see this one come so far in just a week.

I have also done a bit of spinning. I am using a bunch of random rolags, most of them dyeabolical, and just spinning them all up for a 2 ply yarn. We’ll see what the end result becomes, thankfully, the predominate color is green.


It might be awful. But it might be wonderful.

You know what I haven’t had enough of? Time off! It’s too bad I can’t take more!

Hooky Days

Not really, just post conference days off. A chance to recharge my batteries, and dump some overtime.

Yesterday morning I spent not knitting. Looking back, I am not even entirely sure WHAT I did with that time. But, I am also sure it was necessary. Then, in the afternoon I began the task of knitting the ribbing on the Lemongrass sweater. It’s no small feat, as the ribbing goes from the armpits, all the way around the bottom of the sweater, on both the front and back. I finished it late last night.

This morning I picked up stitches for the first arm.


Really, not bad progress all things considered. You may remember that I have been nervous about running out of yarn. I have 2 and a half balls of yarn left. I started the sleeve with a brand new ball of yarn. If I can manage to finish the sleeve with just one ball of yarn, I will be just fine. If I cannot, THEN, I will begin to panic. But, not right now. I don’t have time for panic.

Today is a hooky day bike ride. I skipped the morning portion but am heading out shortly for the afternoon portion of the ride. Should be a good time with good friends, and I really am looking forward to this social time.


I finished my conference yesterday at around 2, but was a complete vegetable after I got home. I napped, then sat on the couch with some spindle spinning and reading. Unable to knit or really participate in life for a couple hours. Once Bug got home, there was homework to help with, and then Mr. Ink came over to make me dinner. It was a very good kind of homey evening that I needed.

I went in to the conference quite early yesterday morning, as I decided I wanted all the poster stands down and packed up before the sessions even started. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one with that thought, and I had a little bit of help. I couldn’t have finished before the session on my own, but it did get done due to the help. This freed me up for being available during the breaks for paperwork and required signatures. After making sure I was as tidy and organized as possible, I knit on the back of my sweater, and, I FINISHED THE BACK!


I had about 2 rows left once the conference finished and lunch began. But, because I still needed to be available for paperwork, I managed to finish those two rows.

My next step, which probably will happen today if I decide that knitting is what I really want to do, is to add the ribbing around the front and back.

I am a bit nervous about yarn consumption. I might not have quite enough. I’ve never truly had to beg on Rav before, but, I fear I might have to this time.

The other thing I’ve noted is that knitting aran weight yarn like this? Frees up room in my stash so ridiculously fast! Honestly, if I next knit another bulkier sweater, I’ll have another entire square empty! That would thrill me to pieces.

Conference Progress Day #2

I’ve done all the conference knitting I can today. Tonight is a banquet, and that’s just not knitting time. And right now I am in between events. I did get stuff done, but the progress isn’t nearly as pronounced as yesterday.

I started off here:


On my lemongrass sweater. I was able to complete the front to the point where I am to hold stitches for the ribbing.


I didn’t have what I needed to separate out the arms and the back, as working on the back is my next step. So, I set it aside to work on the striped scarf. Before and after pics below.

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Not bad! There’s a chance I might get a few more rows of this done while I am checking in on the banquet before guests arrive.

Tomorrow is the last part of the conference, and I’ve only got the morning. I think I’ll just take the lemongrass sweater as I am sure I won’t finish the entire back in one morning, AND manage to pack up and clean up the conference as well. But, after that, I’ve got the rest of the week off! Perhaps that means I’ll get a little more done.

Conference Crafting

Today was day #2 of my conference. On day one, I did a tiny bit of spinning. No knitting. But, day #2 starts at 6:45 am and doesn’t end until after 9 p.m.  I get a break in there, but it’s a long haul. It’s also a conference of hurry up and wait for me. When the group breaks, I rush in and get stuff done. When the group is in session, I am available for paperwork that has to be filled out, questions that need answering, and any catering/AV requests that come through. There are often large chunks of time I can knit, and often my question answering allows me to go on knitting while talking. That part is very pleasant.

I started the Joji pattern called Lemongrass this weekend in hopes to work on it during the conference. I took a picture of where I started today.


After lunch, I brought it to the point of all increases done, and ready to split for the front.


Unfortunately, I hadn’t thought to bring extra needles for that split, so I had to drag out something else. My two color scarf out of Marja’s handspun. I started here.


I then had a couple hours at home, so one of the tasks I chose with my down time, besides helping Bug with homework and fixing us dinner, was splitting off the front. By the end of this evening:


That feels like some pretty insane progress. You can tell my last two sweaters were out of fingering weight yarn. I forget how fast aran knits up!

And, I also have a picture of my small progress on the 2 color scarf.


I worked through the remainder of the pink and into other colors.

All in all, a very successful day, both professionally and crafting wise. Looking forward to tomorrow, and another full day of knitting and question answering.


Dyeabolical used to have my absolute favorite colorway regularly in her shop.  Themyscira is such a rich and beautiful color, and on superwash merino, all the more rich. Even though getting it these days is a bit more difficult, I still really wanted to spin this.

I spun entirely on spindles, but plied on the wheel. I tried to get colors to line up once in awhile, even though I hadn’t properly planned that out ahead of time. It worked pretty well, I’ve got a good mix of solids and combos.


575 yards of 2 ply, mostly laceweight yarn. In very rich and stunning colors. I am going to treasure this skein!

Completed tandem shawls

As you may remember, I began the Adirondack shawl pattern knitting two shawls out of handspun in tandem. They are now complete.

First up is Marja’s handspun gradient. The fiber is Inglenook Puff the Magic Dragon batts. This was spun as a chain ply gradient out of two batts. It’s just beautiful! The yarn is a nice, heavy, thick, round, dense yarn. The completed shawl has a ton of luster, and the colors are absolutely rich, more so that this picture can convey.


I am so sad that the finished end didn’t get back into the lightest of the green color, but I suppose that’s better than running out of yarn completely. I actually added another little repeat to the end of the scarf just to add a little more of the olive green.

And then there’s my shawl. This was knit from a 2 ply fractal spun yarn. It was Dyeabolical fiber, I don’t remember the color name right now but it was from the pink club. There was a total of 8 oz. This one is light and airy. The two ply squished out quite a bit, as 2 ply does. Sort of flattening itself.


All in all, two very successful shawls out of handspun yarn. They were a great fun knit, and went fast due to the thicker yarn.

I have an abbreviated weekend this weekend due to the conference I plan every other year. We are trying to get stuff done around the house prior to this happening, and I am trying to wrap up projects. These two shawls were part of that, and the other thing I hope to wrap up is a skein of handspun yarn.

On the upside, the conference usually allows me a lot of downtime and I generally do some knitting and spindle spinning during that downtime. I am hoping to get a good portion of my next sweater done during that downtime.

Boxy and Buttony

Let me just start with this. I started this sweater back in April, and it was a slog.

I loved the yarn. Dyeabolical’s tenacious sock, colorway tempest tease. I loved the end results of the pattern. But, it was really tough for me to do so much very tiny stockinette.

However, I must say, the resulting sweater does not disappoint.


I love the fit. I love the unusual arm detail. The yarn is great to wear next to skin.


It feels good on, which makes me feel good when I wear it.

As a final detail, I’d decided to pick up some Czech glass buttons off Etsy. I used 5 on each arm rather than 7 because I couldn’t find buttons small enough for my needs.


They are a final fabulous touch to the sweater, they pick up so many colors, but are predominately green and gold.

I am not sure what else to say about this one. Except that this confirms it. My next sweater will also be a Joji sweater. This one fits TOO well to have it any other way. But, I’ll use thicker yarn next time.

So Charming!

I am not quite done with the Themyscira singles, but close. So close. I pulled out all the spindles full of yarn and took a picture. Aren’t they just charming as they are?


I worked on that smallest tibetan spindle at lunch, and it went quite well. Just a few more days and I’ll have this one finished and ready to ply!

Crafting To Do list

I have a huge work project that starts in one week and spans over 4 days. I’ve spent a good portion of this past week just trying to get organized at work, and it seems to be spilling into my crafting life as well. I suddenly seem to be giving myself these goals, goals which have to do with completing projects. So, in an effort to stay on track, this week is going to consist of To Do list progress, and we’ll see how far I can get.

First up is the boxy and buttony sweater. I’ve ordered some beautiful buttons for this project, but they aren’t going to be shipped until tomorrow. I don’t know if they’ll come in this week or not. Even so, I’ve procrastinated the end of this sweater long enough.

Yesterday I knit the collar of the sweater, and then started a sleeve. Once this is done, all that is left is the second sleeve, weaving in ends, blocking, and sewing on the buttons. I can’t wait to get it done, and pushing myself through now would be a very good idea.


If I could get it blocked before the work conference, and IF the buttons come in, maybe I could even wear it. Wouldn’t that be something?

I also have the wheel project I’d like to finish, and the spindle project which is close to being done, but I’d like to have the wheel to ply on. Which is why the wheel project needs to get done. I’ll post some spinning progress pictures tomorrow.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend. Mine has consisted of a bike ride (FINALLY!) a garden harvest, and a bunch of delicious home cooked meals by Mr. Ink and me. It’s been chilly and fall like, and the chosen activities this weekend have fit that theme perfectly.

Tandem Shawls

Just a quick update on the tandem shawls. I would guess I am about halfway through now.

Marja’s shawl:


My shawl:


They are at the exact same spot in the knitting.

In other news, it is supposed to be quite chilly tonight, forcing me to harvest my garden. There’s nothing that makes me feel as fortunate as a good harvest. Just one bag of veggies:


I’ve got more bags of veggies, and quite a few bags of various herbs to dry or make pesto.

The start of a beautiful season!

Handspun Stripes

Awhile back now, Marja was parting with some of her handspun. She just had to much, and as a non knitter, she was happy to send away some yarn that might get some love elsewhere. I put two skeins, one very bright, and the other more solid and dark, into my yarn stash. I contemplated what I would do with them for a long time. They just sat there next to each other, teasing me a bit, but I couldn’t think of anything.

Then, one afternoon, after waking up from a nap, I was looking at those two skeins of yarn, and I realized that what they really wanted was to be paired together. And I remembered that there was this great 1X1 rib scarf from way back when that I could do.


So I did. I got started, because I needed “purse knitting.”  The stuff that doesn’t need a pattern. Even though my current obsession leans more toward the Tandem Adirondack shawls, I do pick this one up and put some time in on it daily. Not much, but enough to make it count.


I have decided to work two shawls in tandem. I am working on the Adirondack shawl. The first yarn is Marja’s handspun gradient from inglenook batts. It’s gorgeous. In tandem to that, I am using some dyeabolical fiber handspun 2 ply I spun awhile back. It’s a fractal spin. So, I thought it might be fun to compare a fractal spin and a gradient spin on the same pattern.


I am, at this point, a tiny bit ahead on Marja’s shawl, as I brought it to work today to catch it up, but then surpassed the place I was on my shawl.


The other difference in the yarn is that Marja’s gradient is a 3 ply, and mine is a 2 ply. And, as is the case with yarn comparisons between the two of us, I’d say Marja’s yarn is denser, mine more light and airy. This leads me to believe that her shawl is going to hold up better to wear than mine will. I expect mine will probably pill and felt faster, while hers will look nice long term.

It’s been rather fun to have regular use of someone else’s handspun. Quite a treat!