Monday, August 04, 2008

Once a month is ok, isn't it?

Time for an update! I'm making a little more progress in the crafty side of my life, so I'm hoping I'll be back in the swing of things soon and have more to blog. Here's what I got up to in July:

Beads and buttons made in the polymer clay class Kathrows and I took at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair. I enjoyed messing around with the clay so much that I went out and bought a bunch of different colors and a case to put them in. When I start buying books and a pasta machine, we'll know I'm in trouble.

80% Merino/ 20% silk purchased from Red Fish Dyeworks at the MFAFAF. This was the ONLY fiber I bought there. I can't wait to spin it up. Right now on the bobbins is some organic cotton top that's driving me crazy, and I want to finish that up before starting anything else, because I think it's good for me to get more comfortable with cotton. But I am just itching to get at this.

After the MFAFAF, we had Knitting Camp. Did I take any pictures there? Don't be silly. Luckily, Elizabeth was more organized than me, and got a great picture of us all. It was a fabulous time at camp. Great weather, great food, great fun, and knitting, knitting, knitting! So much knitting that I finally finished something:

Mini-cable socks with short-row heel and toe, from Jojoland Melody. They're fraternal twins.

And before I started the organic cotton, I spun up a little BFL:

100% Blue-faced Leicester, dyed and given to me by One Skein Wonder in a secret pal exchange. Damn, I love BFL! It's so easy to keep fairly even, and so sproingy and cushy! Top pic is more representative of actual color.

Up next: some truly hideous socks, just wait, and a new lace project with handspun. I'll try to post 'em before September.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I hope you were sitting down

I know, I know. Unforgiveable to leave the blog stagnant for five months. I could cite some excuses: started dating a guy, which has considerably cut into my knitting time (but in exchange I have discovered how much I enjoy taking motorcycle rides), a month-long bout of mono (!), big work project (not much of an excuse, as I have not made big strides on it), and most pertinently, a loss of knitting mojo. I have completed nothing since the socks I blogged in February, although I am approaching the heel of the second sock of my next pair (sorry, no pic yet), and have reached the separate-the-arms-from-the-body stage of a neck-down raglan (no pic for that either.)

Meanwhile, although I had temporarily abandoned my knitting, one of my knitting friends did not abandon me. Looky what the great Kathrows knitted me, from yarn made of fiber we dyed together and I spun up:

I know, the picture sucks. But they are very, very fabulous.

Beads and everything, and a great textured pattern! I just love them.

I did complete a spinning project recently.

About 500 yards of tweedy wool/silk 3-ply, about 12 wpi. It has a nice rustic, bumpy texture that I'm really digging. I got the fiber at last year's Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair, which is coming up soon. It is a great show, and if you're anywhere near Chicago, I encourage you to check it out.

Finally, a bit of sad news. If you read this blog, you'll know Chester, the world's best cat. Sadly, he developed kidney disease, and although we tried to treat it, he eventually got to the point where he wouldn't eat or drink, and I had to say good-bye. He was a devoted companion of over 12 years and slept on my bed most every night of those twelve years. He enjoyed playing hide-and-seek and I never heard him hiss. I will miss him something fierce.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hooray for socks!

Trekking XXL 100 socks
My basic sock pattern: 2x2 rib cuff, 6x2 rib leg and instep, short row heel and toe.
If you like wool socks, you will like Trekking. And if you like color, you will like Trekking XXL 100. Unless you are my sister. I had planned to give these to her for her birthday, but she called them outright ugly while I was knitting them! Her loss is my gain.
I've decided to finish up an old project before starting anything new. Can't tell you about it as it is a gift, so we might experience a slight blog delay. OK, even more of a blog delay than I've had lately. I blame winter. It is simply brutal this year.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

January Slump

I've been in a bit of a fiber arts slump so far this month. I have not spun every day, like I said I would. I am not making much knitting progress either. I'm sure I'll break out of it soon, though.

I did finally get my Harvest Moon spun and plied, though:

Harvest Moon Two-Ply
Super-fine merino, tussah silk, suri alpaca and Mongolian cashmere blend
plied with a strand of tussah silk.
100 grams, 330 yards, sportweight, about 17 wpi
Blended and dyed by Abby Franquemont.
I'm not thrilled with it. It is a little too loosely twisted and plied, I think. I could have done better by this lucious fiber. I'm also not sure I'm in love with the color. Spun up, it seems a bit muddy. I may overdye it.
And I'm half done with my latest pair of Trekking socks:

I was originally making these for my sister, but I decided to keep them for myself. I can't give up those colors! Laura will have to wait for the next pair, I guess.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year, New Post

I am still here, still knitting, just not posting too much. One of the reasons I've slacked off on the posting is because I've been making some Christmas presents, and of course, can't show pictures of those until after Christmas. Here's two of the finished presents:
Laura's Fair Isle Hat. Cascade 220 Wool and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, all leftover partial skeins. I graphed out the big X pattern with the colors I had, then cast on for seven repeats, and made up the rest as I went. The brim is a twisted rib. It turned out a little big, so I hand-washed it, then threw it in the drier. It shrank just enough to fit my sister Laura, who has a big head. She really likes it, and has had it for a full week now without losing it. Yay!

Jeanette's Black Watch Diamond Socks. Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, in Black Watch Colorway. 1x1 cuff, leg and instep a purl-stitch diamond pattern. Cuff-down, short-row heel and toe. Sorry about the bad pic, but I finished these the night before I had to give them to her, and couldn't get a good natural light photo. Last year I made her a vest using LL Swirl in the Black Watch colorway, so these are to match. They seem somewhat poofy at the ankle in the picture, but Jeanette reports that they fit her. I guess she also inherited our grandmother's cankles!

Here's what I'm knitting now, along with a Christmas present that did not get finished:

Trekking 100's socks. Zitron Trekking XXL, in the fabulous and cheerful colorway 100. Cuff down, short-row heel and toe with a 2x2 cuff and 6x2 leg and instep. I started these with the intention of giving them to Laura for her birthday, but she has seen them in progress and called them "fall-like". I'm not sure she deserves these spectacular colors!

Over at the knittyboard, some of the spinners there have made a resolution to spin every day in January. Coincidentally, I woke up this morning and realized exactly how long it's been since I did any spinning (over a month and a half!) and vowed to start up again this very day. So I hereby resolve to spin a little each day. I am also determined to do more weaving. I picked up some extra heddles for my loom last month, as well as some cotton yarn. I will report back soon on my progress there.

One final note: I got a sewing machine for Christmas! I need an idea about what to make to reacquaint myself with sewing, as I haven't done it since 8th grade! So, who's got an idea for a fun project I can start off with? Something small to get my feet wet, so to speak?