What Next?

I finished two projects yesterday. This leaves me with two rather active projects on the needles at the moment, and both of those are nearing their conclusion as well. This leaves me wondering what is next. And, quite honestly, it’s too busy right now to figure it out. So, I guess that question will be answered another day.

I finished the Trillian shawl last evening, and I love it! This is the same 3 ply handspun I used for my stripes gone crazy sweater. I had such an exceedingly large amount left over, and I loved the yarn so much, that I decided to knit with the remaining yarn immediately.

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The yarn thrilled me as stripes on my sweater, and it thrills me equally as a shawlette. It is beautiful and rich, it contains so many colors, and I’ve always loved a mustard yellow, which it is, predominately. I am so sorry to have now officially knit all my crown mountain farms superwash merino. It really was the dreamiest stuff to work with, and I am sorry there is no more available.

Cabled Cape

This weekend has turned out to be a bit more busy than anticipated. It’s tough to find a slow weekend right now! But, I did finish and block the cape I made out of Marja’s cabled yarn. I struggled with this one toward the end. First, it seemed very uneven over the shoulders, so I knit a little collar on it. Then, I blocked it, and it was no longer so uneven. So, I ripped back the collar. I then had live stitches I had to cast off. Despite using a larger needle, the cast off was too tight, so I ripped back again, and used a lace cast off. Thankfully, that did work.

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It turned out that the cabling of the two ply yarn really did make it a fabulous yarn, and I am quite pleased with the color and the subtlety of the yarn.

Recovering

Sadly, the past two days I’ve really still not felt well at all. I worked, because I had to, but my lungs are sincerely unhappy and I am exhausted. Bug went to her dad’s last evening, and I had a Friday night/Saturday morning combo to myself. I slept in, and then decided I’d do some plying on the wheel while drinking coffee on the porch. It’s been warm again recently, and since that’s not bound to last, it seemed important to soak it in.

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I plied the batt that Bug and her friend made. It’s a 2 ply laceweight, and I decided to work on it until it was done, I even skipped breakfast.

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I now have 195 yards of 2 ply laceweight, and the yarn is really fun. It’s a rusty color, with pops of silk in various bright colors. I think it will be quite interesting knit up.

And then? I went back to bed.

Baby Knitting

There are so many upcoming babies in my life! I am so excited to knit for all the new arrivals. I knit the baby sophisticate for my coworker’s upcoming baby. I wanted a bit of a change for my very dear cycling friend’s baby. I chose a similar style to baby sophisticate, but this one I could use worsted weight yarn, and it is double breasted.

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Still a tweedy yarn, but the slightly different style helped me stay inspired. I’ve got the collar and the sleeves yet to knit, if I work at it, perhaps I can have it done this weekend. I am eager to choose some fun colored buttons for this one.

OMG GORGEOUS!

Ever cast on a project where the yarn is so wonderful and stunning that your reaction is just that of the title? I am having that experience right now.

I cast on the very braidy cowl out of Marja’s handspun. This is a knit item that will be going back to her so she can give it as a gift. But, as I knit with it, I just can’t stop looking at the stunning colors in the yarn, and the bouncy yarn paired with a bouncy, full pattern. It is JUST GORGEOUS!

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I am not sure the picture even remotely does it justice.

The Land of the Living

Mr. Ink has always instructed me not to knit for him. But, apparently he likes the knit washcloths, as that was snatched up quite quickly, and clearly greatly appreciated. I greatly appreciated the appearance of pizza at my house on a day I was too sick to worry about cooking, so we’ll call that a win.

Last evening I was finally feeling a bit better, and spinning was accomplished. I finished the loop bump I’ve been working on for ages, so now, when I become inspired again, I can start on the companion bump.

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I also did some supported spindle spinning. I’ve been working on the batt that Bug created with her friend on the drum carder. I took it, made it better, and began spinning it into a quite thin yarn on my hipstrings spindles. There’s just a bit left now, and since I am in between loop bumps, I could even get this one plied before starting on the next bump. That would be the most logical choice anyhow.

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We had a few funny moments in our house during my sickness. Bug absolutely insisted she should be staying home if I was staying home. This got annoying quite quickly, and eventually I had to firmly tell her she needed to go to school, no more argument. I think that because she’s used to me staying home with her, it only seems natural that she would stay home with me. But, this argument is not one I want to have 3 or 4 times in the morning before she leaves for school when I am feeling seriously under the weather. After the school day was done, she came home and informed me that I’d need to stay home from work another day, as I did not sound like I was in any shape to go to work. I said “Well, are you going to give me a hard time about staying home tomorrow morning like you did this morning?” Her answer was a shrug.

The next morning, she decided she should have her temperature taken, just in case. When this did not yield the hoped for results, she then began to get very sweet. “Would you like me to get you more coffee Mommy? Could I offer you some orange juice Mommy?”  I am not sure if this was apologetic, or if she hoped that her sweetness would make it more likely that I’d allow her to stay home. However, I happily sent her off to school anyhow.

I’ve made it through the day rather productively today, a little foggy brained, but well dosed up on OTC cough meds, with my inhaler as a trusted sidekick. I’ll just try to get some extra rest again this evening, and hopefully kick this out of my system in no time.

All I Can Manage

This weekend we were supposed to go on a bike camping trip. As time went by, I became more and more nervous about going due to the loss of an entire weekend of work around the house. Mr. Ink and I discussed various options where we might still go, and came to the conclusion we would still go and camp, and I might bike one day, but in the end we needed more time at home. As the weekend approached, we continued to discuss the pros and cons of heading out there, until Thursday. By Thursday, I felt a bit under the weather, Mr. Ink sounded like he was catching something, and Miss Bug had been complaining about a stomach ache all week. I finally gave in, and said “That’s it. I am making the executive decision for this little family unit that we stay home and rest this weekend!”

I expected to be jealous once I saw the bike camping pictures posted, but that didn’t happen. I managed to get a bunch done around the house on Saturday, but felt even more off than I had all week.

And then on Saturday night, it hit me. Full on head cold, staying home to rest did not keep me from getting sick. Though staying home kept me from getting sick on a bike ride, and that’s a plus.

Yesterday, despite having a bunch of projects on the needles, I couldn’t manage anything but a very simple washcloth. I’d found my cotton yarns during a clean out project I’d worked on Saturday, and I’d kept one of them out for a washcloth.

I made it a bit larger than the pattern I was using called for, as I weighed the ball of yarn ahead of time, and then started the decreases once I’d knit just over half the ball of yarn. Worked out great, and Miss Bug quickly claimed the remaining yarn.

I am not sure what I’ll knit today. I’ve got huge upcoming projects at work, and so taking a sick day feels like a ridiculous luxury, but I cant walk up and down the steps without huffing and puffing, I am a walking snot and germ factory,  and I know my coworkers would be angry to be exposed to this right now. So, home it is, the rest I’ll figure out shortly.

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Update: Got sidetracked due to having no power all morning, the update is, no knitting has been done at all due to just not feeling well. Maybe tomorrow will be better! I’ve still got a washcloth out of the deal.

Scarf Weather

Today is scarf weather. Yesterday too. I’ve been enjoying dragging out the scarves and wearing them, especially since I’ve got new ones completed over the summer that I haven’t had a chance to wear yet. Tonight we head to an outdoor concert, which will be very long, and it will be in the low 50s all evening. I plan to wear handknits in order to stay warm.

I haven’t had much in the way of blog pictures, mostly because I am working on all the same things, and all they’d be is progress pictures. The one thing I’ve made reasonable progress on is the Heartwood Cape out of Marja’s handspun cabled yarn. It is looking amazing, and I am still loving the pattern and yarn combination. I’ve got about 14 inches in, and it asks me to knit to 20 inches. However, I suspect I’ll knit even farther than that, since it’s just such a lovely bit of business. I am tall, I can handle the extra length. Here’s another progress shot:

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The weekend in crafting.

I was happily knitting along on my trillian shawl until my elbow started to give me sharp stabbing pains. This is something that happens to me these days when trying to knit too much with small needles. Hence the lack of socks now. So, I decided to temper that stress on my body by casting on something new that required larger needles.

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This will become a cape, the type which I have tried on, loved the look of, but not yet knit.

The yarn has its own interesting story. It’s handspun, spun by Marja. There were two loop bumps and she thought it would be interesting to ply together, so they became a very large amount of 2 ply yarn. Unfortunately, once finished, the yarn was not satisfactory to her. So, I suggested she take that two ply and cable it. This would mix up the colors more. She ended up with 660 yards of worsted weight yarn, and this is yarn I absolutely fell in love with. It was soft and squishy and muted and interesting. I Had To Have It. I was promptly indulged, and I’ve had the great pleasure of knitting it up.

I can also show off the trillian shawl, it has come a long way even though I had to stop knitting on it this weekend.

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I still love the colors, they are fantastic together. And, the resulting shawl is going to be stunning. But, for now, the going will be slower.

And finally, I began spinning the batt the little girls made on Saturday morning. Before doing so, I added some additional color in the way of silk. More orange, some blue, and more yellow. The resulting batt is rather….bright. But, it’s also interesting and fun to spin. I started it on my hipstrings mistral, just in time for a new hipstrings mistral to arrive.

You see, I had purchased a zephyr, and it was just too heavy for my spinning style. I knew I was eventually going to destash it, but figured I’d try to get used to it first. However, I saw a mistral go up for destash, and the person destashing it mentioned that she was going to purchase a heavier hipstrings. So I offered mine up in trade. It worked out, I got a new spindle, got rid of the one that was too heavy, and, the person destashing the mistral threw in some rolags from her shop, which was a complete surprise to me. I’ll show you them later. But, you should check out her shop, since she’s got some lovely yarn and fiber, and she’s a lovely and considerate person.

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It really was a wonderfully relaxing weekend. I managed to get stuff done around the house that I’ve been putting off for ages, and that was wonderful. I hope you had an equally lovely weekend.

Stuff other than knitting

The crafting ADD has remained. I don’t really mind, a bunch of different projects are fun.

Last evening, Bug began her first ever sleep over. The little girl she invited over apparently has a grandmother who spins. This led to her knowing a great deal about wool and yarn, and gave her a big interest in learning more about my various craft tools.

I finished warping the loom this morning, and the girls wound bobbins for me. Then they decided they wanted to learn to use the drum carder. They created this batt:

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It is wool, alpaca, and silk. I might add some yellow to it, but otherwise, it’s a very nice job done by them. Good stuff!

I pulled another batt off the drum carder so they could use it. It’s CVM Romeldale that I washed and dyed the locks. I had a couple leftovers, so I added a deep forest green, an orangey red, and undyed grey. I didn’t think it would look very good, but it’s ok.

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Bug thinks that the deep green looks more blue in this context.

And, finally, there’s been more spinning.

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I’ve really only got one more color to work through, and I completely forgot to get a picture of the yellow that is in there. Ah well, next bump!

The weather is quite deliciously cool. I had told the girls last night that their ability to have another sleep over was directly linked to how much sleep I got last evening. I never heard them! And apparently they even came down and raided their cookie stash. I blame the wonderful weather, sleeping with the window open, and some white noise. They then slept in until almost 10, so clearly they had a great time.

 

Baby Sophisticate

My lovely coworker is having a baby boy in a couple months. She’s not just a coworker, but a friend, and a knitworthy one at that. So, I decided this baby boy needed a little sweater. I chose baby sophisticate because I’ve seen it knit up, and loved everything about it.

I had some knitpicks city tweed in my stash, it’s been there for awhile, and I have attempted to knit it into two different sweaters, but neither of them stuck. It is perfect for this pattern though. I started on Saturday, and finished yesterday. It is still a little damp, but I couldn’t resist sewing buttons on before it was totally dry.

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Great little knit, and a ton of fun!

Crafting ADD

This is one of those mornings where nothing is quite able to scratch the crafting itch. I did a little knitting, I did a little spinning, I started to warp the loom, I cleaned up a crafting corner and did some organizing, I wound some yarn. It might just be one of those days where I wander back and forth between projects, never feeling like I am getting far with one in particular.

My desire these days has certainly been to knit from stash. It’s been entirely effective, an entire sweater knit with laceweight yarn I had in my stash since 2007, which I was unlikely to ever use. At one point, I was REALLY into lace knitting, and now I really don’t have or take the time for it. So, I raided my stash again, looking for more laceweight yarn I could use for a garment. Unfortunately, for what I was looking for, I did not have enough of any one color. So, I decided to combine two colors this time.

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I did begin my Trillian shawl yesterday. Thankfully, it’s a bit of a mindless knit, while still holding my interest. It’s fun to see how this yarn looks when it is not a stripe on a sweater. To me, it looks a bit like a sunset in nature at the moment. I think I am going to enjoy the look of this one very much.

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That’s all from me at the moment, I have no clue what the rest of the weekend will bring from a craft perspective. I’ll be as surprised as you are!

Circles

Knitting wise, I am still going around in circles. Progress has been made, but showing you another picture of stockinette sounds like no fun for either of us. But last night, I went around in circles a different way. I did some spinning. I managed to make it all the way through the green and into the yellow on the loop bump I am currently working on.

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I also fixed my drum carder last evening, in anticipation of cooler weather and hopefully the desire to card up some of my various fun colors. I’ve got a batt that needs to be finished, and then I need to pull out all my colors and fibers and just have at it!

Stockinette hell

We’ve all been there, right? But for me, this time, it isn’t just stockinette hell, but stockinette in the round hell. I mean, there’s not even a purl row to break it up.

I’ve got the boxy and buttony sweater on the needles. To be fair, there’s a panel of twisted rib, but it totally Does Not Count when the sweater is oversized and boxy and the yarn is fingering weight and you knit in the round. The most exciting thing I do is switch yarn ever row in order to incorporate dye lots in the colorway I am using.

And, now I’ve got Bug’s ruched yoke sweater to the point where that too is stockinette in the round. I actually brought it to work today, because I’d kind of like to get this off the needles as fast as possible. I mean, between stockinette hell and knitting with cotton yarn, it needs to be a short project. My hands already ache. I am hoping to have this one off the needles by the end of the long weekend in order to knit something else fabulous and non stockinette. Maybe that Lintilla I’ve been craving.

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At Long Last!

Actually, it really didn’t take that long at all. Less than a month. Less than a month to knit a sweater in fingering weight yarn, in a nice large size. I’d say I was completely obsessed with this one.

And the end result is completely satisfying. It’s beautiful, and interesting. It blocked nicely, and it is lightweight. A sweater I can see myself wearing very regularly this fall.

I ended up using very plain blue buttons, mostly because that’s what I could find that I felt matched the best.

I learned two new techniques for this sweater. German short rows, and contiguous sleeves. The german short rows are fabulous. Easy to do, and they look great in a knit. Plus, they are faster than wrapping and turning. The contiguous sleeves fit like a dream. So, both techniques were a smashing success.

I am not really sure what else to say about this one. Stripes Gone Crazy, knit with knitpicks laceweight held double as the main color, and my own handspun 3 ply as the contrast color. Here it is!

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Blocking….

Guess what is blocking on the floor right now?!?!?! Yep, I am ridiculously excited to note that my Stripes Gone Crazy sweater is complete and blocking. I finished it late Saturday evening. I admit, it was a little big goofy looking and bulgy, and I did worry that it wouldn’t block out nicely. The pattern warned about this, and thankfully, just as it stated, it blocks quite nicely. So, now I am forced to go shopping for buttons. I can’t decide, blue or yellow buttons, or both!

I had a ton of the handspun yarn left over. I think that’s good, since I absolutely love the yarn. I decided to send it through a yarn counter to see how much was left, and it’s about 470 yards. Enough for another Lintilla Shawlette! Yes, I am absolutely considering knitting another.

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I needed another project to work on while the sweater was blocking. I’ve got some Rowan cotton in my stash, and it’s been there for years. Bug absolutely loves her ruched yoke tee, but it’s getting a bit short. So, I decided to make her another in the 12 yr old size. I started it while she was with her dad. We then picked her up and took her swimming at a local state park, since the day was ridiculously hot and humid. I’d popped my knitting and the magazine the pattern was in into my bag. When we were taking a break, I pulled out the magazine and asked her if she remembered the pattern. The following conversation happened:

Bug: Yes, I remember that one. I want another!

Me: That’s good, because I just started knitting you another.

Bug: I hope it’s blue!

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I then showed her the project, and she cheered. Now that’s a way to make a knitting mamma happy!

Another update

I think I showed off my boxy and buttony sweater awhile back. I’d just connected the sleeves and body in the round. This one has seen very little action comparatively, but I am working on it. It is firmly sitting at work for my work knitting, which makes certain I spend time on it most days, without getting bored of the fact that it’s almost all knit stitch in the round, which drives me crazy in its boringness.

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That being said, I’ll admit it, brought the striped sweater in on Friday. It’s so close to the end that I couldn’t help myself! I just want to get it done now. I am hoping a nicely introverted weekend will make that happen.

Striped Update

It’s been an absolutely INSANE week. Totally. If getting back into the routine of school wasn’t hard enough, we’ve had things like friends in bike/car accidents, old friends from out of town surprisingly visiting, ocular migraines, sick kiddo, and a completely insane work schedule complete with a grant submission due. Just insanity. In fact, while I had been wondering why I am so completely exhausted and only want to sit on my couch and knit tonight, when I read it, I realize why. It’s all quite clear.

There’s been absolutely no spinning at all. There has been, however, knitting. I finished the first sleeve on my stripes gone crazy cardigan. After doing so, I chose to weave in some of the ends, because it annoys me to finish, and then spend an hour weaving in all the ends to my specifications. After that was done, I got started on the second sleeve, which has wider stripes. This will leave me more ends, because carrying yarn up 20 rows sounds a bit ambitious. 4 rows is fine. 20 rows, maybe not so much.

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I am going to have a good deal of the handspun left over I fear. So, I am asking you, dear reader, if you could advise me a bit. The bottom ribbing, the collar ribbing, and the sleeve ribbing will all be the main brown color. The question is, should I use handspun for the button bands, or is that too much? Should I just go with the main color and stay traditional? I am unclear as to how I feel about it entirely. And, quite frankly, if I stick with the main brown color, I might have enough handspun to do something else with. Alternately, if I stick with the main brown color, I might have to wade through some destash boards to get more. I don’t think so, but it is a possibility.

Slowing Down

After a whirlwind vacation, this was my first weekend at home. Due to a very busy week, I was certainly looking forward to some downtime this weekend, and I do believe I got it. I started Saturday rather under caffeinated, and this made me want to fall asleep repeatedly. Every time I wanted to fall asleep, I’d get up and do something productive instead. This meant that many chores that needed to be done, actually got done.

In between those moments, I knit on Stripes Gone Crazy. I knew I was nearing the end of the body of the sweater, and I just desperately wanted it done.

Last evening, Mr. Ink and I prepared the motorbikes to head to a rally about an hour away from us. He wanted to make sure mine was mechanically sound, and he had a few things to do to his bike as well. I attempted to hang out and help when possible with my bike, and though I was helpful, I’ve decided that watching my bike being worked on creates a ton of anxiety for me. This is due to having no clue what is going on with it, mechanically. So, everything Mr. Ink comments on creates panic in me. I did, however, finish knitting the ribbing on the bottom of the sweater, but gave in and went to bed before I could cast off.

We left early this morning for the rally with a group of bikers, we hung out and had lunch at the rally, had fun looking at the bikes in the bike show, and did some demo riding. Or rather, Mr. Ink did. I get too nervous to try a brand new bike in a group of riders, so I bailed. Then the long trip back. I put 150 miles on my motorbike today, and I can honestly say this hinders how eager I am to knit!

But, I did take the time to bind off. So I can show you that at least!

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I figured a shot of the back of the sweater was in order, since the last picture was of the front. I can’t wait to see how this blocks, but, I guess I gotta start with the sleeves, huh?

If 4 ply handspun did drugs

I decided to wake up early this morning and work on my spinning.

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Doing so ensured that I would finally finish my skein of cabled yarn out of dyeabolical’s An Homage to Mr. Fuchsia. I had a total of 8 oz. of wool, and it took me a good long time to get it spun up. It does look fantastic however.

I ended up with 365 yards. I spun my Hawser Ply in about the same thickness, and 8 oz. yielded 360 yards, so not much difference in yardage for technique.

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The difference though, stops there. If I could most accurately describe the differences in the yarn, I’d say that the Hawser ply is like a coke head. It’s hyper, whacky, busy, unable to contain its energy, and really all over the place. The twist is trapped in the plying technique and it just….lives in there. It’s fantastic really, makes for fascinating yarn.

The Cable ply though, that’s the pothead of 4 ply. It’s mellow, it’s calm, it’s comfortable. The twist settles in and it doesn’t move. The yarn is drapey and soft and balanced. The yarn has achieved what it wants to be and it is comfortable with that.

I am fascinated with the fact that taking just one different path with my handspun makes for such strikingly different results. Doing the two of these in quick succession really showcases that and keeps it in my brain. It was a very fun experiment, though a ton of work!

And now I think I’ll take a break from wheel spinning, I am exhausted! Time to knit.

AND Done!

It seems I am usually madly knitting on the family Christmas stockings while on vacation. This time, I decided I didn’t want to be slave to a Christmas stocking, and thought I’d get it done early. Sadly, I ran out of yarn. Twice. Once required an extra trip to the yarn store, and for the white, Sparkeespud came to my rescue with her stocking leftovers. I might have used 20 yards of hers, it wasn’t much, but I couldn’t go without it either!

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New color, same old pattern, stocking #17. These make my hands hurt SO MUCH! I am glad I could finish it quickly and then move on.

Now I get to concentrate on my two sweaters!

 

 

Anticipation

In anticipation of meeting my nephew, I’ve decided to knit him his Christmas stocking. I’ve got enough time to get it done if I stick to it, and it would be nice to give it to him in person rather than have to try to send it in the mail. So, I headed over to one of our new local yarn shops, picked up some lamb’s pride bulky, and got started. I’d had some plain white leftover knitpicks in my stash, so I didn’t get anything beyond the color.

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I chose a teal for this one. In part because the choices were slim, and in part because I wanted something very different in color to what I’ve produced before. I’ll admit, I LOVE the color, and the result. What I don’t love is Lamb’ Pride Bulky and it’s splitty underspun nature. Ah well. It’s still gorgeous.

Sadly, I am not going to have enough of either color to finish. Thankfully, the shop has more of the teal, and I have a friend who has some leftover of the white, so I may manage even so.

Yes, I’ve still been spinning on the cabled yarn. And yes, I’ve been working on the two sweaters. And then there’s the biking, I’ve been doing that too! But, I am glad I could squeeze in some stocking knitting time, and hope to wrap this one up very shortly.

 

That which I haven’t discussed

So, at the end of April I cast on the Boxy and Buttony sweater. And never bothered to show it off. Why? Because it’s a bit of a complicated start, and I told myself repeatedly that I would not show it off until the back and front were connected.

Today, due to the end of TdF, they got connected.

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I know, it really doesn’t look like much yet, does it? And yet, I’ve been knitting and knitting and KNITTING on this! It’s a yarn eater and a time suck. Yet, I still think it will be fabulous when it is complete.

I am sure I don’t know why I’d decide to work on 2 sweaters at once. That does seem ill advised, doesn’t it?

 

TdF conclusion

First, I’ll start with a story. I decided to put in my final TdF spinning time this morning, since the morning was so beautiful. Not humid, decent temp, really ideal for porch spinning. So, I am sitting on the porch, and a group of people walk by the house. The older gentleman says “Are ya knittin’ a sweater?” I have to say, I’ve had my wheel mistaken for a loom before, but this was the first time it was mistaken for 2 pointy sticks.

I put in just over an hour on my cabled yarn project. I am ignoring the fact I didn’t complete this spin. It makes me feel like I’ve failed at TdF, which is silly, because I did spin every day, including one of the rest days. But, if I look at it logically, even if I sat in my chair and spun all day long, I still wouldn’t be able to finish this yarn. So, instead, I am going to spend my day on my motorcycle, and then finishing up the cleaning of Bug’s room.

So, I will leave you with a TdF conclusion photo.

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I have about an ounce of singles to finish, then the plying of the second 4 oz, then the plying of all 8 oz together. I am hoping now to have this one done next week, as I will be on vacation and that seems like a great time to be done!

 

TdF and FO

I have another finished object. This is another honey cowl, out of handspun Marja gave me. She was absolutely right, it looks amazing as a honey cowl. The earthy tones speak to me in a big way, and it is a nice long, soft, cowl that I suspect I can get a ton of use out of.

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As for TdF updates, I do have one. Last evening, I had gotten this far in the 2 oz. I am currently working on:

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This morning I powered through the rest of the 2 oz. so that I could at least be working on the final 2 oz. the last day of TdF.

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While I feel  like I’ve failed somehow, by not finishing the yarn during the tour, my hands and wrists are shot. I can’t keep my wrists from falling asleep, and that’s not a good sign. So, I am learning to be content with the new goal of starting the last two oz. during the final day of the tour.

TdF is always productive for me, but I always wonder if it also puts me off spinning for a time after, and if I’d manage just as much productivity in the same general time period without overdoing it.

 

 

TdF Not gonna get done!

I had little spinning time yesterday since I was rearranging Miss Bug’s room with the help of Marja. Really only about a half hour. The room, just like TdF, has an end date. A date where everything MUST be complete. And I am getting fairly close to it too.

So, what needs to give? TdF. I’ll continue spinning each day, but it is becoming ever so clear to me that my cabled yarn will not be completed during the tour.

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This is my grand progress from yesterday. It’s pathetic. As is the state of my house, due to the fact that I am working exclusively on Bug’s room. There are SOCKS in that picture! I have, however, learned a few things. 20 minutes of spinning here and there does count. I do get more done than I expect to when I sit down for 20 minutes to spin. In the past, I would always say “20 minutes? Why bother!” but, since the point of the tour is to spin every day, and I only have 20 minutes, I do it anyway. And it is more  productive than I imagined.

The other thing I’ve learned is that waking up early to spin is pointless for me. Spinning first thing in the morning makes my hands ache and fall asleep. Spinning in the evening does not. So, the times I’ve woken up an hour early to put in an hours worth of spinning only actually yield me about 20 minutes of spinning. So, no more of that!

As for Bug’s room progress, let me show you one of the things we did last night! I am so excited about it. You see, Miss Bug, who turned 10 yesterday, still had a toddler plastic toy bin/bookshelf and a changing table in her bedroom. Granted, the changing table was used for toy storage, but still, it wasn’t appropriate for a tween room. I also had used her closet as storage for me. So, the goal was to get rid of the inappropriate furnishings, clean out the closet, give that over to her, and add appropriate furnishings. Miss Marja had some bookshelves she was tired of, and wanted to give to Bug. Along with a bunch of other cleaning and organizing, we got the bookshelves in last evening!

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Still a lot left to do, but we are well on our way to being done now. And I cannot WAIT to be done! I also can’t wait for her to see it all, it’ll be wonderful!

 

TdF, let’s not talk about it

I don’t want to talk spinning anymore! At least not today. To be honest, the intensity of keeping up the spinning has brought on a huge desire to knit instead. Marja gave me a skein of gorgeous handspun recently, and I liked the honey cowl I knit for her so much that I decided I’d better knit one for me too.

I started on Monday. Let me show you my obsession.

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Marja had decided that the colors were me, and she’s so right. They are warm and earthy, and I love warm earthy tones. I do believe it is one of the reasons I just cannot stop knitting on this.

Will I spin today? Sure I will, but I don’t have to talk about it too much do I?

TdF, Up Early!

I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to spin today, so I got up an hour early this morning in order to get started on ounces 5 and 6 of the cabled yarn project. I am back to spinning singles, and it’s going quickly so far.

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I also got a chance to block my beaded scarf last evening, so I had time to photograph it this morning. The pattern is Pipp’s openwork eyelet scarf. I added a 2 stitch garter border to each side, as well as a 4 row garter break in the pattern after every 4 pattern repeats. In interest of using all my handspun, I added fringe as well, mostly because not using handspun yarn with beads was unacceptable.

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I love the bright colors, and I think it’s crazy pretty. I love the contrast with the cool blue/white colors and the warm pink/green. I can’t wait to wear it. And surprisingly enough, the beads show up quite well!

TdF Rest Day

Today is the second rest day, so I am going to do some rest day stuff.

First off, the cotton slubby yarn. After plying, I had to figure out what to do next! I’d vaguely remembered something about boiling cotton handspun, so I looked it up and it seemed quite common to boil the yarn with some washing soda. Since I often make my own laundry detergent, that was something I already had around the house, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I’d also read that boiling cotton yarn darkens it considerably. So, of course, this all seemed a grand adventure, and I threw some washing soda and the yarn in a pot on the stove. And promptly got to plying the cabled yarn and forgot about it.

Thankfully, I noticed an odd smell before it could become an issue. I checked it out and it looked a ton darker! Not bad, but darker. Well, I hung it outside to cool a bit, and then rinsed out the washing soda. And some of the darkness washed right out with the washing soda. I am not sure what that was all about, but it was good to know.

I ended up with 230 yards of 2 ply yarn.

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It’s interesting to me, as it became less slubby after being boiled as well.

And, since we are on the subject of spinning, I’d set the goal that I would get the first 4 oz. of cabled yarn plied so I could move on to the next 4 oz. I did it! Took until 7 p.m. Sunday evening, but it got done.

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I think this is going to make an absolutely stunning yarn.

And finally, it seems fitting to update you all on my knitting since it’s a rest day and that’s what I’ll be doing. I’ve been working, in all my little spare moments, just a row or two here and there, on my beaded scarf. I am close to being done now.

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In all honesty, I am obsessed with this scarf. But, I am also obsessed with starting on my next project. Combine the two, and the knitting is going quickly!

What do you have planned for your rest day? I think I’ll try to finish a scarf!

 

TdF, keeping on

As I mentioned yesterday, my goal for this weekend is to finish plying the first 4 oz of the cable ply yarn. I finished the singles, and they looked fantastic.

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The goal in plying for the cabled yarn is that you overply it in this particular step. Thus, it is slow going, as it takes about double the time it would for a regular two ply yarn.

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I am also noticing that giving it that much twist is really squishing it down, so while the yarn is feeling mighty thin at the moment, I suspect it is going to open up quite a bit during the cable ply portion of the process.

I did finish my cotton yarn, and had to read up on how to finish it. It is hanging to dry, so ideally I’ll be able to blog about that very soon!