Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mystery Shawl Clue #1

I'm not quite done but not sure if I will be able to post pics before I move to Clue #2. I will be visiting the lovely ladies of the Eastside Stitchers tomorrow and hope to move past clue #1. That is if I can resist spending time with my new spindle.

I decided after a lot of deliberation to use Morehouse Merino Varigated lace weight. I'm only knitting from the stash these days, and I was going to use this for something else, frogged it, and decided to use it for this project. So far - I like it - it will be the perfect colors for spring & summer. We have several vacations planned - I can see this shawl going with me stuffed in my bag for a chilly evening or dinner AC.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Square Peg.....

I finally got my little light spindle. The lovely lady at Weaving Works recommended this little beauty - and she is square!


She spins fine and true. I love it!!!!! They let me practice in the store, and I was so happy with how long it spun and how light it is. The spindle is made by Spindlewood Co - owned by Steve and Connie Paulsen. Their spindles are so lovely - it was hard to choose just one. I chose a little dark beauty - like me :)


I'm getting almost cobweb weight on this spindle. But I drop it too sometimes going a bit too thin. I'm getting better with some fiber I picked up to practice on.

Yummy colors!


I managed to resist getting yarn except for a birthday gift for my sister. She will have to wait and see what it is though. No pictures!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I'm slowly getting better, emphasis on the slowly. This isn't a craft for those who like instant gratification. I'm working on my patience.

Green Merino - I was aiming for a sport weight. I need to check the WPI, it looks to be more like DK to me.


And this is a mix of lots of different fiber samples I have - including a 1/4 silk hankie. Also a wool, angora silk blend - yummm. Not much fiber of any sample so I spun it thin, and then just did a simple 2-ply. I liked spinning silk :) And softness and feel of this hank is so different than the wool handspun, even the merino. It is soooooo soft and it feels very fine. Begs for lace IMHO.


I also bought some superwash wool on Ebay from Brown Sheep. It is very silky and soft, no grip to the yarn at all b/c it's superwash - duh - didn't expect that one but it makes sense. I'm still learning how to spin it because without the little grip on the yarn my small spindle keeps flying off into space. Maybe I'm spinning it too thin, but I'm just not a fan of thick yarn.

I'm now really wanting a wheel. Must resist.

On another note - this is my year for fearlessness remember!!

I've signed up for 1) the Year of Lace 2) Mystery Shawl and 3) Sock Knitting Pentathlon 2008 on Ravelry. Let's see how this goes - it may not be Fearless Knitting, but Foolish Hoping. Let's hope it doesn't turn into the latter! I've also joined Stash Burning on Ravelry - I've got to knit all above from the stash! Bust the stash in 2008 :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Despite getting the flu shot, I've managed to get the flu this year. I suppose it is milder than usual. But nevertheless a pain in the rear. It is an awful time to get sick. First of all, I have missed two classes of my fitness class. Right when I was starting to get stronger. Secondly, I have a lot to do at work in preparation for my trip next week. Thirdly, and more importantly - I can't hug and kiss my kids.

But here and there, when I'm resting I have been knitting. Here are a few of the items I've been working on. I've totally neglected the shawls I was supposed to be working on. Instead - I've.......

Completed a crochet scarf. With my lovely gift from Mimi - I decided to use some Malabrigo in the same color way but a different dye lot than the group of green hanks I have. Those will be a nice big shawl for me soon. But I always wanted to know how it looked crochet. Of course, being Malabrigio it looks fabulous.


I found a cluster stitch pattern and just started crocheting until I ran out of yarn. It is light and fluffy, and will be a great scarf to wear into the spring. The yardage is so generous, it made a very long scarf I can wrap around my neck once. It will be with me on my trip next week!


I also finally started my Malabrigo Loafers for the Charlotte Purls KAL. Stacy encouraged me to join her in the Malabrigo Loafer KAL to also fit the CP KAL. I sort of burned myself out of felting a few years ago and didn't want to make the felted slippers. Although looking at everyone elses, they look great! So I was considering sitting this KAL out. But I'm glad of Stacy's suggestion. These slippers will be great for travelling. They are light and soft. I don't think I can wear them everyday - they will melt away for sure. But for trips - mmmmmmmmmmm - luxury. I made them a bit too big. But I love this pattern for a quick gift - I know I will make it for others as a Christmas gift or even a gift for a new mommy. I will make sure to use smaller needles.

Here is a picture of the soles:


I decided to stash bust, but didn't have 2 of the same color except for some I am using for a sweater, and another lot for a vest.

So - I decided to use green for the top of the loafer.


I've also been working on a sweater for Jada. It was supposed to be for her now, but will most likely fit her when she's 3. It's a bit larger than I expected. The pattern is easy and fun - I will make her some more of these but with a smaller needle size. Link to pattern: I used the yarn Wendy Aran - it's 25% wool and 75% acrylic. The ball is HUGE - 400g or 800m. The sweater is only taking a small portion of it. I have another one in burgandy - and may make her a sweater mixed with the two colors. Or something else. I'll have plenty of yarn left.


I restarted the Noro socks with DPNs instead of magic loop. For some reason I cannot get a tight enough gauge with the ML. I'm loving these socks. I have an urge to just work on these so I can wear them w/ clogs next week.


I'm also trying to finish these Koigu Jaywalkers. I'm not too happy with the pooling. So - I have not been motiviated to pick them up in a while. But I want to use the DPNs, and need to wrap them up.


Lastly - I need to wrap up these socks. They started out as gift socks. I'm not sure now. I love the colors so I may keep them :) I have more balls in this Opal line, and I want to make a more adventurous sock next time.


That's all - now back to listening to audiobooks and slowly knitting while I get rid of this flu.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Random Thoughts

I have been getting my butt kicked for 2 weeks now. Well, really 4 - but for 2 weeks it's been really hard. I finally decided to commit to fitness.

First of all, by way of explanation, you may think this should have been a conclusion of mine a long time ago. I have been overweight basically since my daughter was born 9 years ago. But I'm an all or nothing sort of person. I can't just tip toe into fitness, either I need to be fit or I won't feel any motivation to do anything. Colin getting his personal training license tipped the scales for me. I finally had no excuse and I knew I had someone who I would be accountable to do it right. I told him 4 weeks I ago, I wanted him to be my personal trainer and I wanted to see results quickly. Not to lose a lot of weight, I know that is unreasonable. I want to lose weight the right way, so it stays off. But I wanted to build muscle tone and endurance.

Almost immediately after I made this decision, his fitness company started a 12 week fitness challenge. Hence - the butt kicking I've been speaking of. But it has been good. I feel muscles in my abs for the first time in years. They are under layer of fat, but they are there struggling to emerge.

However, there are no short cuts. Going from knitting being your primary form of exercise to regular butt kickings means injury. And my poor neck felt it yesterday. So - today I head to the chiropractor so the butt kickings can resume. And I can lay off the hydrocondone which I hate to take.

But the time on my back let me finish a few things:


Trekking XXL socks of my own design. They took so long to make, I completely lost gauge on the second one and it is noticeably bigger than the first. That's OK, it gave me a chance to keep them instead of give them away!


Another view - these will be my jean socks. I love the tiny stripes and jean friendly colors.


Mmmmmmmalabrigo Lace in a simple 2X2 rib. I wanted to feel the squishyness, and this is the most squishy scarf ever. It feels like you are wearing air, seriously. It's so soft and compfy. A portable lovie. It will be hard to let her go, but I think she wants to be a gift scarf.


Poor Jada- mama has discovered headbands. I can't get enough of these, and now I converted it to crochet - I can whip one out in 15 mins in any color! This is what Jada thinks of mama's headbands:


Janeen loves them too - she is begging me for blue and pink ones.

Lastly - the mail had gifts. 4oz of lovely fiber I haven't taken a picture of and this cutie spindle.


Now I can really spin *anywhere*. It is so tiny and cute, Laceweight is no sweat on this baby spindle. But It's so tiny it doesn't spin very long or maybe I don't have the technique down yet. Nevertheless, I love it! it came with a silk hankie that I've seen in books, but I have no idea what to do with. I'll have to experiment with spinning silk.

Look for more finished objects soon - I'm on a kick - I want to work on some fair isle but I can't CO w/o getting some of my current projects (mostly shawls that I've been working on for Christmas gifts for 2 YEARS!!!!!) done!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Thank you Mimi

My Purly Valentine really spoiled me :) She gave me a lovely, lovely shawl pin, Malabrigo, A cute shrug pattern, and Milk Chocolate Bing Cherries - Yum.



Not many FOs to show yet - I'm soooo close on several of them. But I did take a break to make a few headbands for Jada and Janeen. Here is Janeen sporting one of hers made with Cascade Fixation.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Yarn by Janet

Thanks to another lesson by TurtleGirl76 and an FairieGirl at Charlotte Yarn - I'm spinning!!

It's the weight I want and a lot less bumpy. Let's hope I can keep it up.

And - I actually spun walking the kids to the bus. Spinning and Walking, now that's an improvement!

With the help of Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts and a book I have had a while but didn't understand "Spinning the Old Way" - it's starting to make sense and I actually figured out how to get the single off the spindle and ply it off my hand! I washed it in hot water and hung it to dry. It's to special to knit with yet, however. LOL.


This yarn was a bit bumpy - but hey it was my first plyed yarn!

This is my new one - I'm going to spin 50g of this lovely green merino and hope I have enough for a neck warmer or hat. Then mission accomplished for my next Seattle trip where hopefully - I will learn a bit more or get some *great* fiber. Last time I was there Marie had BISON fiber. Yum. And all the ladies will have went to the Medrona fiber festival. I'd love to buy some lovely fiber from one of them. That reminds me - I better put in some emails to see if someone can pick me up some!

Here's my latest "bus stop" yarn. Much more even!



This is one of the most destressing things I've ever done. Even more relaxing than knitting. Something about the gentle drafting motion and maybe the hypnotic (sp?) spinning of the spindle. You just breath slower and relax. Being a mom - I so need moments like these.

Off to spin some more before work!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Go Giants!

What a stunner - I left my parent's house with the Patriots ahead and came home to SHOCK! The Giants win.

Score 1 for the good guys.

During the low scoring (but exciting) Superbowl - I finished a little vest I started yesterday for Jada. I actually picked up the pattern to use some Baby Grande Alpaca in my stash for me. But when I read the pattern - I thought it would be easy to convert to a baby or kid's vest. And it was.

I CO 60 instad of 120 and use Size 10s instead of Size 11s. I also didn't use Alpaca because I didn't want to mess up nice yarn on a big mistake. It took two evenings to knit, really quick.

Here she is:


She actually won't be able to wear this very long. I need to make a bigger version now that I know how it works and better how to gauge the size. I think it may also need a button or toggle since I can't put on a pin.

I tried to take a picture of the back, but she wouldn't stay still!


I made it with a huge ball (100g) of Bernat Softee Chunky I picked up at A.C. Moore for kids sweaters and things. Basically yarn to experiment with.

That was a nice instant gratification project, now back to completing some of my scarves.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

What a Week

No blogging this week. And I say Ravelry is to blame. I spend so much time on Ravelry that I have no time to blog. Ravelry is such a temptation. So many patterns and yarns to drool over and dream about. So many great people to keep in touch with, meet, and learn from. I've got to find a way to make better use of my time so I can blog, Ravelry lurk and of course knit!

This week I got fiber from Etsy. Super soft merino. I need to post pics - but am too lazy right now to drag out the box and take pictures. Now if I could only spin the kind of yarn I want to - nice and thin. I know I shouldn't be so impatient - I've only known how to (barely) a week. But the fiber is so tempting.

I did go through the motions with my first batch from the 1 oz. of fiber I purchased in Seattle. I spun it - about 1/4 was the weight I wanted. The rest sort of ranged from probably DK to worsted. I soaked it, and then let it dry. It's just an energized single, I haven't figured out yet how to get it to ply. I saw Shiori wrap it around her hands in Seattle, but how she did it was a blur. Hopefully I will learn this weekend when I stop by Charlotte yarn to get some spinning help from Fairiegirl and TurtleGirl76.

I also started a Vest from Knitting Classic Style. Why? I'm not sure. I had more projects I wanted to do more, especially Fair Isle. I've been itching to start a vest or sweater not that I've had a little taste of it. But I had the yarn in stash, and thought the texture was nice and before I knew it - it was cast on! I didn't need another project mind you. I had hoped to get 2 malabrigo lace scarves done this week so I can start another, larger project.

And I haven't even started the Charlotte Purls KAL yet- My lovely Malabrigo Loafers.

I can't explain my knitting this week - except to say I was distracted. All yarn looked good to me and I wanted to start something new much more than I wanted to finish what I already have in progress.

I cast on this too:

This is 2-ply Morehouse Merino Farms. I bought 6 skeins and was a bit disappointed because the color was not what I expected. I couldn't decide how to use it - but then decided to make another Checkerboard Lace Shawl - My 3rd. It's an easy pattern - sort of mindless, but I like the look. And this yarn is working up great in it. But again - I did not need to start another project.

So - I'm promising myself except for spinning I won't start anything next week until these 2 scarves are done:

With any luck - I'll have some FOs to report very soon. Maybe during the Superbowl- I'll get a bit of knitting in. Colin's heading to a Superbowl party, but I'm going to be a good mom and stay with the kids, knit, and anxiously wait for a CP Lady to win the Superbowl Pool we tested this year. It's been a fun experiment - mixing yarn and football. Perhaps next year w/o the last minute nature of this pool - we can get a bit more creative.

Basically - anyone who wanted to participate had to put $11 into the pool (~ the price for a lovely Malabrigo skein. Guess who offered up that as the yarn of choice :)) Then they picked the 4 conference champs, League Champs, and Super bowl winner. There was a point systems for each level of correctness - and then they had to have a tie breaker guess of the final score of the SB. So - on sunday - someone will have $88 to spend on lovely yarn. Not me - I lost pretty early when Dallas and the Colts were eliminated. So much for my Football skills. But it was fun, and we will have to try something like it next year.

Anyway - it's time for me to head to night, night. I've got to wake up my husband off the couch - Disturbia (our Friday night movie) put him to sleep - and migrate to bed.