I finished my third shawl out of the Painting Shawls book. I have decided to knit all 13 so only 10 more to go! To add a bit of interest I decided to use a neon yellow as a framing color. I feel certain that many of my shawls will have neutral or subdued framing colors so choosing something really different appealed to me.
For the other colors I used a combination of my handspun yarns, Miss Marja’s handspun yarns, my hand dyed yarns, and commercial yarns.
This was a genuinely fun knit and I am glad I gave it a try.
I immediately cast on for two new shawls out of the same book, one to work on during work lunch breaks and the other to keep at home. The two I am now working on are painting diamonds and painting squares. They are going well! I’ll have to remember to get some progress photos. But, I do also intend to take a bit of a break once the fall mystery knit along begins.
In my ongoing but somewhat delayed goal of knitting all the shawls in the Painting Shawls book, I finally finished the second out of thirteen projects. This is painting honeycombs (small) shawl.
I used alpaca from my stash, it’s been in my stash for over 10 years. I paired that with a recently finished handspun 3 ply and I just knit the pattern until I was out of handspun.
I worked on this project during my work lunches which means that it’s hard to get sick of it since it’s just a “bite or two” at a time. An hour here, and hour there. But I admit I was pretty glad when it was done as it felt like it was dragging on.
Oddly, the day I finished this I soaked and blocked it and then sat down and finished my third shawl out of the book. I’d been keeping that one at home to work on but have had so much other stuff going on that it took me an equal amount of time to finish. It’ll be a while before I have a place to block that shawl so I won’t be able to post it for a bit.
I did start my 4th shawl from the book over the weekend so that I could bring it to work for my newest lunch knitting project. And, if I have time this evening I’ll start the 5th shawl from the book to have as my at home project. However, I see that westknits mystery shawl info is going to come out soon, and I do plan to take a break and do the westknits mystery shawl again this year. We will see how far I get on shawl 4 and 5 before that consumes my knitting time.
I’ve been doing a fair bit of patio plying over the past few weeks despite the fact that we have newborn puppies in our home. For the first two weeks, Mama dog did the vast majority of the work, we were mostly there for clean up duty and to keep mom hydrated and fed.
I had been working on this large two braid combo spin for ages. I made a 2 ply yarn out of it, and there’s over 1700 yards of laceweight now.
While I had been letting the singles rest for the above project I began spinning the singles of a loop bump I had recently purchased. Once I finished the laceweight plying I immediately chain plied the loop singles so that I could finish a second yarn.
I think this one turned out very pretty even though it is by no means perfect. I took such a long spinning break that much of my yarn feels like I am trying to recapture skills I once had. Which is fine, there’s only one way to recapture that and it is to practice. The yarn is a worsted weight though it does have a fair bit of variation.
The past couple of evenings we’ve had some very decent weather so we have been able to spend a little time outside.
I’ve been working on a loop bump while resting the singles I’d been working on previously. I finished the singles for the loop bump last evening.
Once finishing the loop singles, I set them aside to rest and pulled out the singles I’d been working on in order to ply them for a 2 ply laceweight yarn.
Meanwhile we are still on puppy watch and our Fishbone foster is still cooking them with no signs of giving birth yet. She’s getting larger and doing all that a normal pregnant mama dog does. We can see the babies moving when she’s hanging out on the couch so they are clearly gaining strength as well. We are kind of hoping they keep cooking through the weekend, but I think we’ll likely be cutting it close.
Meanwhile she is doing a great job learning our routines and fitting into our family. She is a little nervous but has gained a lot of confidence in the past week and a half. She’s now happily playing with chew toys and is happy to go outdoors when it is time instead of trying to hide inside. And she’s just so very cute!
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.
I finished my quadrangle spires shawl and it was an absolute joy to knit from start to finish. I just couldn’t get enough of the pairing of the handspun yarn and the light color framing it.
This project sent me down the rabbit hole-I purchased the Painting Shawls book and have now started two of the 13 patterns out of that book, with the full intention of knitting all of them. These are the shawls that are really inspiring me lately and they are fantastic stash busters as well.
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!
Over the years, really since 2009, I’ve been making christmas stockings for new arrivals in our family, as well as for decor for our own home and a few other pieces for fund raisers and so on. I was surprised to find out that my brother will be welcoming his fourth child in July and the first thing my sister in law asked for was a christmas stocking for the next baby. So I got right to work on the 29th stocking I’ve knit since 2009. To be honest, the pattern is getting a little old and I would prefer not to be knitting them anymore, but I’ve got a reputation and a tradition to uphold. So, I got to work, with the intention to get the stocking done before my parents arrived for Miss Butterfly’s graduation.
I was successful, and yesterday this stocking headed back to the east coast to be provided for the family anticipating their latest arrival. Done and dusted, at least for now.
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 had so much leftover yarn once my mystery shawl was complete I didn’t want to just put it back in my stash as it would disappear in there and I don’t think I’d quite get to using it again. So I decided to use 4 of the colors and make a linen stitch cowl.
It was a pretty quick knit and I did indeed fully use up two of the colors leaving me with just a small ball of the other two. The shawl itself is rather soft as the yarn I used is single ply and soft. I think I may cast on another linen stitch cowl very soon. This was a very pleasurable knit.
My knitting production has gone back up quite a bit lately. It may be coincidence but it seems to correlate with the time I realized I needed reading glasses. I have a theory that I had just stopped being able to comfortably see my knitting but did not actually realize that is what was going on. I just slowly knit less and less and less. Only time will tell though!
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.
Over the past weeks I’ve been working toward finishing up my westknits mystery shawl. All that I had left was a colorblock border which was definitely something I looked forward to. Unsurprisingly though, it took me a rather long time to finish. That was a lot of stitches to bind off with a big border!
One of the reasons I am always happy to participate in the westknits mystery shawls has to do with the fact that I am likely to learn a new technique or create something very interesting. Plus, no matter the technique, there will be a very good tutorial accompanying it. I also enjoy very large shawls and the westknits mystery shawls are indeed very large. This one is, however, a bit smaller than some in years past. I am not disappointed necessarily, it’s just an observation.
I am not good at following along with knitting trends these days so I do hope that I am able to catch the next one! Because I do get a lot of enjoyment out of the process.
While it took me a week and a half to finish clue 2, it only took me half a week to finish clue 3. I finished the day clue 4 came out so I am feeling pretty good about that. This clue doesn’t feel like it adds all that much to the shawl, a bit of brioche and some criss crossed stitches.
Clue 4 is the final clue which adds a pretty large border to the piece and then I am done for this year. Another very pleasant and inspiring mystery knit!
In other news, our 9th foster dog went to her forever home last evening. It’s a bit sad because she was a foster we truly enjoyed. On the other hand, I do get a lot more done when I don’t have a very young dog in the house to constantly monitor. We were supposed to get our 11th foster dog this weekend, but she is ill and we aren’t quite sure why so she needs to stay at the vet and recover. I am hoping that she will recover and that she can join us next month but it’s hard to say when we don’t even know what is wrong in the first place.
So in the meantime I am doing some other interesting work. Miss Butterfly and I switched rooms. Her bedroom is my former craft room and my new craft room is her former bedroom. I am delighted because the room is arranged in a way that’s easier to configure furniture wise, plus it’s painted in a way I really love. It’s yellow with teal stripes on one wall! At one time, my daughter was super into teal and wanted teal stripes so my parents came out and helped us paint. Now she’s older and not so sure about them anymore. I will be spending the upcoming weeks repairing the walls as kids are rather hard on walls. I am also determining how I will use the space. Previously I really wanted to add a sofa sleeper to the room but it turns out the doorway just isn’t large enough to get one in there. I am now more contemplating a large comfy chair and ottoman which has been my dream for the room for quite some time. I suppose guests will just have to use an air mattress until Miss Butterfly’s room becomes a guest room.
In any case, I have purchased sheer curtains and a curtain rod to hang some really pretty matching curtains a friend handed down to me. I will have a computer desk which will be one Miss Butterfly was using for now but maybe eventually will become a sit to stand desk. I now have a work laptop to use at home and they are giving me a full dual screen set up at home. I will be purchasing a kneeling chair for the set up immediately as I will also have the opportunity to use my comfy chair when that’s the type of set up I prefer. So things are really coming along in my craft room and I am enjoying the process of using the space!
That’s about it from here but I hope to have the final shawl post in about a week!
While clue 3 came out on Friday, due to a number of circumstances I was unable to finish clue 2 until yesterday after work. I’d had my covid vaccine booster on Friday and while it didn’t make me as sick as shot 2, I was pretty under the weather for the weekend and not really knitting.
I also made an interesting discovery. I keep talking about how I am not terribly inspired about knitting these days. Which is true. But, I had an eye doctor appointment where it was discovered that like so many people who are aging, I am struggling with my near sight, and could benefit from readers. I got readers. And it may be that some of my lack of inspiration about knitting has to do with not being able to see my stitches. It was pretty amazing how much better and more comfortable with knitting I was the moment I put on those readers!
In any case, here’s clue 2 finished. I still think the grey colors are too similar. One is a grey and the other is a speckled yarn that lends itself grey. Both are used on the outer edges of the shawl but it’s pretty hard to determine that there are two different colored yarns being used there. Nevertheless, the shawl will be quite interesting when completed and this far in I am not inclined to change it.
Now I am on to clue 3 which includes brioche so that’s been fun!
I’ve begun the process of knitting the current westknits mystery shawl. Clue 2 is out so I am going to post my clue one.
The three darker colors all look a bit alike and if I could do it all over again I would have chosen some additional jewel tones. I was trying to save a little cash and use some yarn from my stash but I think I would have been happier if I’d chosen all new colors. That being said, I am enjoying the process quite a lot and will likely continue to do so.
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!