I mentioned in a previous post that it is my intention to knit all the shawls in the Painting Shawls book, all 13 of them. And I just finished the first!
I do not typically knit half circle shawls, so I forgot how long the last rows take. They feel like they are flying along pretty well until you get toward the end and then suddenly it’s such a slog! My next pattern from this book will be a scarf or stole, so that I do not have to deal with the increases and then sloginess of the last rows of a shawl. Particularly a half circle shawl!
But all in all, I am pleased with this project and I am glad I started on this 13 shawl endeavor.
Spinning has slowed down some due to a number of factors. First, the storms. We’ve just been having severe storm after severe storm and in between, high heat and humidity. These things don’t leave time for patio and fenced yard spinning.
Also, we’ve been busy! Transporting rescue dogs, getting stuff done around the house, working, volunteering, agility classes. Just busy!
I wanted to spin yesterday but we got hit by another surprise storm that left all the patio furniture soggy, so I did not. I won’t have the opportunity this evening either.
So, here’s where I am with my current project.
This is two different colorways of fiber, but I’ve combined them again as they are close enough to look nice together. I am working on a 2 ply laceweight yarn, and with 8 ounces of it, the yardage will be very high on this one. Since I only have half the singles done, I know it’s going to be a long time until I am done with this project but I am so excited to find out what it looks like when it is plied up! I really do hope I can find some time to work on this project this weekend.
I had such a delightful time with my Quadrangle Spires shawl that I purchased the Painting Shawls book so that I could continue to knit westknits patterns and stash bust with them. My intention is to work my way through all 13 patterns. I have no idea how long that will take but I do know that I have enjoyed my westknits projects more than anything else I’ve knit over the past few years.
Now that I am doing way more spinning than I was previously over the past few years I am already concerned about the potential yarn stash growth. I had knit down and given away my stash to a point of…relative comfort in the room which I am using as my craft room. I really don’t want it to expand, I still want to keep knitting it away.
So, I immediately started contemplating how to choose the first pattern I would knit out of this book. I had some great suggestions from friends on FB. I landed on starting with the small honeycombs shawl since there are two honeycomb shawls and I am unlikely to want to knit them back to back.
It took me some time to land on an appropriate yarn pairing but I ended up using some undyed alpaca as the solid color and one of my most recent handspun yarns as the colorful accent. I really enjoyed knitting this, but ended up bringing it to work to work on during my lunch breaks as I didn’t have a work project.
Then I went stash diving again the next evening to see what I could come up with for the painting columns shawl, and that’s what I’ve been working on all weekend. For this one, the yarns are all knitpicks palette I had in stash except for one handspun of mine which I woad dyed pretty early on in the pandemic.
This one has gotten quite a lot of progress as it rained a bunch this weekend and I ended up indoors more than expected. Since taking this picture I finished the current section and am on to the next. Of course there are a whole lot of stitches on the needles now, so progress is a lot slower than it was! But I am already contemplating which will be the third shawl in this series since this one is knitting up so quickly.
Spinning in my fenced yard has been so enjoyable and productive! I went back and looked at what I’d spun over the previous 3 years and it averaged to one skein of yarn per year. There were many times I thought perhaps I should sell my spinning wheel. But the answer was just to give myself a place to be outside safely with my dogs.
I finished this 3 ply combo spin, 655 yards. I realized at this point that my skills were rusty. Not surprising considering the very long break. This yarn is either DK or worsted weight, I didn’t check. it’s certainly not sock weight yarn.
Over the past year I had been working on spinning some singles onto support spindles but never completed or plied the project. While I was plying the above project I decided to complete the singles so that I’d be ready to ply that skein as well.
This is a sock weight 2 ply yarn, 625 yards. It’s a great blurple color with lovely bits and bobs in it.
I immediately grabbed 2 more bumps of fiber for another combo spin and got started. 8 ounces of fiber spun into 2 ply laceweight will definitely take me a bit longer than these projects have!
At the end of last year I began to ask myself what changed? Why was it that while I used to sit outside spinning for hours on end previously, I never did anymore, and basically only spun about a skein of yarn a year? Why was it that my motivation for spinning utterly tanked?
The answer was a number of things. First of all, I realized at some point last year that my eyesight was failing and getting that taken care of did help me commit more time to the crafts I enjoyed. Second, I do have a lot of hobbies which take away from some I used to do regularly, like spinning. Thirdly, when I foster rescue dogs I do almost no crafting whatsoever as I am busy training and caring for the foster and my own dogs. And fourthly, we got dogs without a fenced yard, and so when Mr. Ink was outside which was all the time since he loves working in the yard, then I was inside with the dogs. This was when we had a discussion about fencing in the yard.
And it worked!
Just as soon as the yard was fenced I wanted to Be Outside, and was able to spin 6 ounces of singles within the first few days.
I am doing a combo spin, with these two colors. It’s a bit of a stretch, I generally keep tones more similar on a combo spin. But I wanted to change it up this time. I have a total of 10 ounces of these, so it’ll be a pretty large project when all is said and done. I have one bobbin out of 3 spun into singles. But, vacation is over, I am back to being quite busy, the weather is cooler again (not sad about that really) and it’s going to rain for a few days. So my progress has slowed. But soon, soon I’ll be back on the patio spinning while my dogs play in the yard!
Recently there was a spring sale on Westknits patterns. I decided that since some of my most favorite projects over the past 2ish years have been Westknits mystery knit alongs, I’d indulge in one of these patterns. I ended up choosing Quadrangle Spires. I had a nice chunk of handspun I’d created out of Loop! batts years ago and I wanted to knit it into something interesting.
Since I really wanted to use yarn from stash, I went looking for an appropriate pairing. I did not have a large amount of a solid color in the yarn weight I needed, so instead I decided to hold 3 strands of undyed laceweight yarn together. One strand is alpaca and the other two are cotton.
Honestly this combo isn’t the most ideal, but it is using up some of my stash. And that, for me, is a big win right now.
This is the middle section of the scarf. Each triangle is knit building on the previous triangle, and then the square is seamed together in one section. Sort of like piecing a quilt. I didn’t love the seaming, and I did have a nightmare last evening that I had done a very poor job on it, but ultimately it looks great and I have moved on to the next section. And it holds true that I am enjoying this pattern very well!
It’s a cowl, or infinity scarf. I used two different yarns, one is a laceweight alpaca yarn from knitpicks I purchased probably in 2007. The other is an absolutely beautiful handspun with a lot of amazing texture and color. The yarn was spun by Miss Marja, and this cowl will go to her. I wanted to really showcase the amazing yarn, so pairing it with the laceweight really works well.
I am kind of working my way through stash yarn that is already wound into yarn cakes as it frees up more storage space in my craft yarn. Both of these yarns were already wound, so I appreciated getting them knit into something. Trouble is, that something is now sitting in my craft room taking up a different type of space, so I need to get this to its new home soon.
A few years back for my wedding I knit a bunch of coasters out of leftover sock yarn. These served as party favors. We planned out wedding in the span of 3 months so I really had to hustle on knitting them while also doing the hard work of wedding planning. Thankfully it was a very small wedding and I did finish them.
It was a fun project and I am glad I knit them, I still hear about guests who are using them in their home. I only retained one of them but I do still have it.
Recently I donated a bunch of handknit scarves to our dog rescue to be used in gift baskets which will be raffled as a fund raiser. I’ve done this for the past 4 years I believe and was glad to do so again.
I also recently cleaned out and organized my bin of scrap sock yarn which got me thinking that perhaps I should knit a few more coasters for next year’s fundraiser. I think that coasters would be even better in gift baskets. So I started knitting…
I think I can package these up in groups of 4, trying to keep colors fairly consistent, and wrap them in something like recycled sari silk or twine and they should be fun additions to gift baskets.
The obsession has abated somewhat and I am on to my next project but I anticipate going back to these from time to time this year. I think they’ll make a great little knitting palate cleanser.
I am suffering from a bit of an entrelac pattern addiction and it isn’t showing much sign of stopping right now. I recently finished this handspun entrelac scarf, and then went on to finish the handspun entrelac scarf below.
The top handspun scarf is out of my own wild handspun yarn, very bright and goofy. The bottom one is out of Miss Marja’s handspun yarn, much more subtle.
I’ve got yet another entrelac scarf on the needles now, out of Noro yarn. Then I think I can settle down and knit something else.
It’s been about 2 years since I’ve knit anything entrelac. I had been thinking recently that I’d like to do another entrelac scarf. So I pulled out some handspun I spun years ago. It is a 3 braid combo, I combined 3 braids in different colorways that were similarly toned. I mixed up all the colors in all three braids and then spun a 3-ply yarn. I have loved the yarn from the start but never could figure out what to knit out of it.
I am fairly certain I never could figure that out because this is what I was supposed to knit out of that yarn.
When one has been knitting as long as I have, it’s easy to knit to pass the time but not be overly thrilled with the results. We all get jaded over long periods of time. But every once in a while a project comes along where the results are quite thrilling, and that’s the case for this one. I love this. I can’t wait to wear it. It’s rich in color and feel. It’s beautiful and interesting. The color combinations thrill me. It is perfect.
So perfect and enjoyable that I immediately chose two more handspun yarns and case on for two more entrelac scarves. I gotta say, the color situation is not nearly so thrilling in either project! In one, the color changes are longer so the colors are blockier and less subtle. In the other, the color changes are shorter and so each square works through a few different colors making it quite the mash up of color in general. I am going to keep knitting both projects until they are done but it’s definitely a different feel than this project.
This has actually been done for a bit but it took me time to get it blocked and then even longer to get it photographed. The good news is I’ve noticed the days getting longer again, something I am very pleased to see!
This is the knit night scarf which I’ve knit a few times before. I made it out of Miss Marja’s handspun yarn.
I took some artistic liberty with the border on this one, and by artistic liberty I mean that I didn’t bother to follow the pattern and do it correctly, only noticing once it was too late. No matter, it won’t be noticeable to the untrained eye!
This is my last in a group of hand knit items I have finished recently. It took me time to block them so I ended up batch blocking them and then waiting until I was home during the light of day to take photographs. I’ve actually been working on this one for a long time as it was my work project. Now that it’s complete, I need to choose something else for work. Except that I am not working this week anyhow. This is a strider scarf which shows off the self striping of handspun yarn beautifully. This was a handspun yarn of Miss Marja’s.
We have a foster dog coming in a few days. I always notice that when we have foster dogs, I tend not to knit as I am too busy training, worrying, assessing, and intervening. So there will definitely be a slowing of all these things in the upcoming weeks while we have her. And yes, of course I will post a photo as I like to document our fosters at least once on the blog!
After finishing the handspun paintbox cowl I immediately cast on another one. I just had enjoyed the first one so much! This one was made out of two different handspun yarns. The grey was one of my handspun yarns and the accent color is one of Miss Marja’s handspun yarns.
I like the final product on this one even more than the previous paintbox cowl! This one turned out really interesting and pretty. I maintain that this pattern is a joy to knit and I will absolutely do another one.
We’ve had a lot going on this fall, and we are kind of just…not doing christmas this year. It was too much to try to plan for a family who is just on the struggle bus. Next year, if things are going a bit better, we’ll do it up right.
But as I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been doing some knitting. I made a paintbox cowl out of a handspun yarn paired with a commercial hand dyed yarn.
The handspun yarn is comparatively chunky so it has an interesting effect compared to the evenness of the commercial yarn. I enjoyed this cowl so much that I immediately cast on for another one.
Actually, I’ve been doing a lot of knitting. Turns out when you can see your stitches, your desire to knit might increase again.
I knit this pioneer braid scarf out of Miss Marja’s handspun yarn at the beginning of the month. It knit up super fast but I didn’t have the opportunity to block it and get a decent photo until just now. This is such an easy and pleasant knit that I may do another pretty soon.
Over the summer when I knew we were traveling to Idaho for a wilderness trip, I decided I needed a knitting project to take. I also knew I wanted something with the lightest weight yarn possible and a project that would take a good amount of time. I did not want to stress that I would be finished before the trip was done. And indeed, I did not have to stress about that.
Instead, it took me until last week to finally finish. To be fair, this got set down for multiple other projects since the trip. But I have finally pushed through to finish it up.
The yarn is handspun from a batt which I spun in a gradient. So I took photos of the scarf from both ends, plus one close up shot of the texture.
This is one of those knits where I am kind of like “Yep, good project, glad it’s done.” There’s not that much excitement over it, but I am glad it served its purpose this summer and provided me with a good deal of entertainment value.
I’ve always wanted to knit another find your fade shawl. I really enjoyed the first one I knit years ago and I wear it often to work in the winter. In June of this year I began another out of handspun I had in stash. I used 5 of my own handspun yarns and two of Miss Marja’s handspun yarns. The thing is, I finished the shawl ages ago but the final color I used was not tonally correct for the shawl and I hated it. After blocking the shawl, I couldn’t take a picture of it and blog about it or consider it finished because I couldn’t appreciate the way it looked.
Well, I’ve had this week off, and one of the tasks I put on my personal to do list was to sort out the find your fade shawl. I ripped out the final color that I hated and then picked up all the live stitches. Then I found a new yarn in my stash that I figured would look more tonally appropriate and knit it back in. I was thankful to really appreciate the final product.
I’ve been rearranging my craft room and decided that I needed a quick and fun knit that would use up yarn that I’d already wound into a ball but never knit with. Mostly because I wanted to reclaim the space. So, I decided on a very simple brioche knit scarf. 2 balls of yarn eliminated from my stash and a pretty nice scarf in the donate bin.
I often knit simple items and donate them to our dog rescue to use in raffles. This is the perfect item for that, it’s simple, lovely, squishy, and will likely be appreciated by someone. Both yarns are handspun. I’d do another right quick, but just can’t manage to bring myself to cast on another quite yet.
I had determined I’d do the westknits mystery shawl this fall. It started on the 8th. So, I’ve been working on that, though the first clue is not yet done.
Between the time I decided to do the mystery knit and the time the mystery knit started, I decided to focus on my quadri shawl (scarf) in progress. I had been feeling like I wasn’t actually making much progress and not doing much knitting, but then I looked at the previous photo. Most of the turquoise and all of the grey was not there before. So, I did make some good steady progress while waiting for the mystery knit to start.
Now it’s a bit on the back burner while I work on the mystery shawl, but I am super glad to have made forward movement with it!
Back when we were about to head out on our white water rafting trip I knew that there would be 2 commercial plane rides and 3 tiny charter flights total in order to access the trip. Plus, there was the trip itself, which would have downtime in the evenings while camping. It had been suggested that some sort of craft would be a good thing to bring along in order to stay occupied.
I did not want to bring multiple projects or anything particularly large. So, I chose some laceweight handspun singles from my stash and began working on a stole. I figured that this would be the best bang for my buck when it comes to high yardage that would also pack small.
I went back through projects I’ve already knit looking for something with interest but that was easy to memorize and something I also wore often enough to enjoy having a second in my stash. I ended up settling on the Quadri Shawl which I knit out of handspun in 2016 and tend to wear regularly in the winter. It’s mostly stockinette or reverse stockinette with a few pops of squares that are “navajo knitting” which, quite frankly, is a term that probably is incorrect. More like chain ply knitting. In any case, I enjoyed it back then and I figured I’d enjoy it this time as well.
Obviously an unblocked lace piece isn’t all that indicative of what a project will eventually look like, but here we are. The handspun is a gradient piece spun from a gradient batt so it’s been enjoyable to watch the colors change. The bulk of this I knit on the trip itself but recently I picked it back up to knit a few rows. The turquoise section is what I’ve done recently.
This is the piece which I will occupy my time with until the new westknits mystery knit along begins.
I saw that the next westknits mystery knit along begins in October. I haven’t been knitting at all. But I wasn’t knitting that much last year either but I really loved the westknits shawl. So, I thought maybe this is the opportunity I have to be inspired. I already purchased the pattern and am waiting for the first clue. I still have to purchase yarn.
But, I figured if I signed up for that, I should also maybe give a little attention to my knitting projects. So I finished one.
To be honest, that’s not as big of a deal as it might seem. This project was about 10 rows from being done since June. June!
It’s a sock head slouch hat but knit out of handspun yarn. The yarn is Miss Marja’s handspun. I had knit on it at work off and on but at the point at which the decreases began, I brought it home because I knew it would need double pointed needles which I don’t keep at work. And there it sat not getting finished for months. Never mind, it’s done now! And I really like it. It’s very pretty!
Hi all, I am back again today with another finished object, who would have known?
I started this one row scarf ages ago, it’s Miss Marja’s handspun and it’s a pretty bulky yarn. You would think it would be a very quick project, maybe a week or two worth of work. And yet, I started it at the beginning of February and only just finished last weekend.
Because it sat at work, and I didn’t knit on it more than a few rows here and there. There was a point at which I realized that I was close to finishing, and that was the point I brought it home and finished within an evening.
Anyhow, that’s that, I don’t have much more to say about this squishy scarf that took me far too long to knit!
I began a cozy corner shawl at the beginning of March, and it’s really been my only lives at home knitting project for the entire 3 months that it took to knit it. It is done!
This is all handspun yarn, the gray that I used as the main color was spun from a fleece I processed myself. I can say, one thing about fleece processing is that it always gave me loads and loads of yarn even though it took ages to create! It’s tempting to do another fleece some time in the future. It has been MANY Years!
The colors are from yarn Miss Marja spun and gave to me. I ended up using two of her projects in this piece. And I didn’t even finish the pattern, I ended up finishing early because I didn’t have any more appropriate handspun colored pieces to use. The shawl is immense anyhow!
This was a pleasant, easy, fun knit. I did enjoy it quite a lot! I just kind of threw in colors as I saw fit with very little rhyme or reason. If I had to do it all over again, I might just do a solid colored icord edge instead of striping the icord bind off. I would knit it again though, simply because it was fairly simple and comfortable to create.
It is consistently amazing even after all these years just how much garter stitch grows when soaked and blocked. This shawl ended up being so large once complete!
In the end, a large project knit over the span of 3 months now complete. And the hard part becomes what to knit next!
Before we got our most recent foster dog, I had been doing a fair amount of spinning. As seems to be often the case, as soon as we have a foster dog, I stop doing all crafts and just manage the foster dog. She’s still with us, as she’s being treated for heartworms, but I did manage to get some time to skein, wash, dry, and count yardage on something I spun prior to her arrival.
Already I have forgotten where the fiber came from, but I created laceweight singles on my wheel.
The green and brown colors are quite pretty and I do enjoy singles. I have 600 yards this time. Into the stash it goes, until I can find a project I want to knit with it.
Our foster dog went to her new home on Tuesday evening, the fun spunky gal gets two kids, ages 9 and 13, to play with and a cute little fenced yard with a friendly neighbor dog. It’s a great situation for her and she’s already quite happy there. And naturally, that leaves me slightly more time on my hands for a blog post. I have come to the realization that when we have a foster dog, even an easy one, I just do not have the extra time and energy that it takes to compose a blog post.
But, over the last few weeks I’ve been spinning. And in fact, I finished this particular yarn before our foster dog arrived. I pushed to finish it so I could put my wheel away. I try to keep my wheels out of access with foster dogs because they are often naughty! I spun the singles on my support spindles and then created a 3 ply yarn. I’ve got about725 yards of this one.
It’s a lighter pastel yarn because it is from locks I carded and then dyed with easter egg dyes a bit over a year ago. I am glad to have it completed! The rolags were taking up a lot of space in my storage. They certainly take up less space as yarn, but it’s still a pretty large and bouncy skein.
When I last wrote, we’d just placed our 7th foster dog in the home of Miss Butterfly’s father. The very next day we left on a road trip. We drove to PA to visit my parents, both of whom are vaccinated. (I am also vaccinated.) We spent 4 days with them, then turned around and drove one of my parents’ cars back, as they had so kindly given it to Miss Butterfly. Fury dog went with us and really enjoyed the trip. We did too! It was good to be able to travel safely and see my parents as it was going on two years since I saw them last.
Upon our return, our state opened vaccinations for ages 16 and up, so the rest of my family promptly got vaccinated and we are so joyful to report that in a few weeks, after dose 2, we’ll be a fully vaccinated family!
We’ve been waiting on our next foster dog who arrives this evening so there will likely be some photo opportunities and a blog post about that. Foster dog time is always a busy time, and this little gal is younger than we usually choose so I know we’ll be extra busy. But I look forward to the chaos a foster brings. I am hoping we will find her a perfect home as soon as possible!
I have not been knitting at all really, but I have done a fair amount of spinning. A project I’ve worked on for months now is some singles on my support spindles from fiber Miss Marja created for me. I finally finished the singles and got the yarn plied. I did a 2 ply laceweight yarn and I ended up with over 1500 yards of yarn!
The skein is massive and the color absolutely gorgeous. It’ll just go into stash until I begin to knit again.
In my other spare time, I’ve been trying to gather the items we will need for a white water rafting wilderness trip this summer. Since camping far away from our car and civilization isn’t something we do very often, there are a few items we need to pick up to bring along. The trip is months off still, but there’s nothing that would stress me more than trying to find those items in the correct sizes at the very last minute.
So, that’s a bit of an update from us, how are you doing? How is the vaccine roll out in your state? It’ll be a beautiful day when we finally are able to get this pandemic set behind us.
I’ve been working on a new project, the Cozy Corner shawl. I decided that since the one project in particular that I really was inspired to knit last year was a Stephen West project, I should take a look at what else I could knit out of his pattern library. Cozy Corner really struck me as one that would hold my attention.
I am using a natural grey handspun yarn I made out of a fleece I processed paired with handspun that Miss Marja created (so far.) I am just kind of adding in color as I see fit, not being particular about color placement and just kind of knitting until I run out of a particular color. If I run out of the colorful yarns I am sure I’ll have others in my stash I can bring in.
It does indeed hold my attention so I am glad I chose it. And it is possible I already know what my next project will be as well, I am appreciating the botanique stole and if I can find appropriate handspun yarns in my stash, I think I’ll knit it.
Our foster dog did indeed find her home, she will be going there permanently on Tuesday evening. In the meantime we are really enjoying having her, mostly because she’s just such an easy dog. In other dog news, our Fury dog has been in advanced flyball class and today she ran the full course a few times, I was so impressed!
That’s it from here, it’s been a very busy weekend but also pretty lovely since the weather is pleasant!
I finished up my striped baktus scarf recently. I actually think if I make this again I’ll elongate it instead of making it this much of a triangle. And I probably will make this again, it’s a pleasant knit.
I used handspun yarn for this, grey and yellow, but the grey had some yellow in it. So while it’s striped, the striping is a little bit vague in certain areas. I kind of love that! I ran out of grey yarn, so one end fully yellow but I don’t think it’s too noticeable.
In other news, our new foster dog arrived.
She has winged eyeliner! She’s super cute and sweet and absolutely the most laid back dog we’ve ever fostered. She’s too easy. Fully potty trained with absolutely no adjustment accidents, loves to chill and nap, is not a morning dog and would prefer to stay warm and cozy in bed, just super easy all the way around. She is finishing up her last few days of kennel rest from heartworm treatment and I haven’t had to kennel her since she’s perfectly happy to laze around the house without the kennel. Naturally, because she’s so easy, she’ll be meeting her potential new home less than a week after she arrived to us.
This went so fast that it may be quite some time before we get another foster dog! I imagined having her through the bulk of March and then getting the next in April, but she’ll likely be gone so fast that we’ll have a pretty long break between fosters this time. That’s ok, a quick turn around means she gets to land in her forever home as fast as possible and that’s a good thing!
That’s all for today, but I do have a new project on the needles I should try to get posted shortly!
Since I managed to clear my queue for finished knitted objects, I had to cast on something new. I ended up going with a good ol’ baktus scarf. Striped. I forgot how easy and pleasant it is to knit these. I notice that the pattern is no longer available, but I know the pattern by heart. Or at least I think I do!
In this case I chose two handspun yarns to go with a “striped” scarf. These two skeins were from the same fiber source. One was yellow and the other grey with some yellow. So the striping becomes a little bit vague at times. But I really like the effect!
It’s kind of an interesting shaded look that is very pretty. It’s also knitting up very quickly and I’ll have to figure out what to next knit after this! Potentially another one or two of these. It’s too easy!