Friday, October 27, 2006

Put your head between your knees...

And take a deeeeeeep breath. Yes, it's two posts - not in a week, but in ONE NIGHT! I think I'm feeling a bit frisky between Natasha's advice about posting pics and my new Netgear router letting me link to my own network and not to "default" which generally slowed down, crapped out, or didn't even start up on a regular basis. Woot! Technology!

So, what brings me back to blogging so soon? Synchronicity. I'm reading the archives of Marnie Maclean's blog (DH is away at a football game - he coaches - and so far they're winning 35-0; Go Archmere!) and have nothing better to do! Oh, c'mon, you do it too! So anyway, I come across an entry where she decides to knit a sock, and actually design a sock, and I realize it's the birth of Wyvern. I've had Wyvern printed out to knit for ages, but didn't know how to do toe-up. So I realize from the pic on her blog that it's a toe-up sock (wasn't hard to figure out!) Hmm, well, that's a start. So I check out the pattern, and it's for 26 stitches (the provisional cast-on for the short-row toe - not too many free patterns out there that are short-row toe - most of them are the figure 8 cast on). Well, I cast on 26 stitches to start my random sock, so that's good. But that's the small size, and I'm a size 10, so it's probably too small. But I'm excited, anyway. I whip off my sock (literally, I have no idea where it landed!) and measure around the ball of my foot. And it's PERFECT! I have cast on for a random short-row toe, and it happens to be exactly what I need for a toe-up sock pattern that I've been wanting to knit! Sweet!

But first, I have to do this:


The Adult Devil Hat - I don't dress up for Halloween too often, but we're going to be bringing Hurricane around right after work, so I figured a handknit, earflap hat with devil horns would be an acceptable substitute. I wish I'd known about this sooner, though.

I leave you with a pic of the red maple in my front garden, which apparently hasn't gotten the memo that ALL the leaves are supposed to change.


And a one, and a two...

Ok, I'm going to follow the tip from darling Natasha and see if I can load pics from Flickr instead of through Blogger (which sucks royally in all picture uploading endeavors).

Remember Jaywalker? Remember how it didn't fit? Well, here it is:

The yarn is gorgeous and tempting, but it's in time-out until I decide if I want to try Jaywalker again larger. Sigh.

So, I'm a sock yarn slut, apparently. Can't stay away from the stuff, even if I haven't knit more than one successful pair of socks (ok, 2 if you count the pair for my daughter, but they were so small they almost don't count). Here's the beginning of a toe-up sock, I guess just a basic pattern.
I'm teaching myself toe-up, having never done it, and hope I did it right. The one side looks a little wonky, but I'm hoping it won't matter that much. The yarn is from here, her yarns are gorgeous! And SO soft! Look at that gorgeous color! That's "White Sage".

I have been spinning for Craftland. Here's a great little skein of yarn spun up from brown Corriedale from Hello Yarn and slubs and puffs from a fiber sampler from Yarnpunk. brownCorriedaleyarnpunkpuffs I LOVE this little skein of yarn, and want to keep it, but it will wing its way to Craftland soon enough. Sorry it's blurry, my camera sucks the big one lately.

Here's something I treated myself to, and I'm not spinning it up for anyone but me! swellyarnshoproving
On the left is "Frog Meets Girl", 8 oz. of merino, and on the right is "Mountain Fog", 8 oz. of BFL. I got them from A Swell Yarn Shop, and they were pricey, but worth it.

And there are FO's, too! CHRISTMAS ones! Here's Soliel pre-blocking.
Hey, Col, should I block before the crocheting, or after?

And here's another FO that was supposed to be a Christmas present for the DH last year, but things sort of, um, came up and it sat with one arm to go until yesterday. I threw the arm on, and now it's blocking (and hopefully it will be dry before DH gets home and wants to get into our bedroom, where it's sitting, still damp, under the ceiling fan blasting away on high - in 45 degree weather!) I mostly want to get the bottom to stop rolling, so hopefully it will work.
It's the Berkshire Pullover from "Weekend Knitting". I knit it out of the Morehouse Merino bulky in Oatmeal, which is a gorgeous yarn, but not too sturdy. If I had been more aware of online resources, I would have probably found a yarn substitute - I found a few blogs recently that did it out of Cascade Ecowool, and that would have been a better choice for the DH, but oh well. What bugs me a bit is I bought the required amount of yarn (at $130!!!!) but still have THREE skeins left over! Hmm. Either it's a scam, or I did something wrong - except that I have exactly the right measurements. So what's a girl to do with 3 skeins of bulky merino yarn - 306 total yards?

And speaking of ideas for projects, I have 4 skeins of GORGEOUS handpainted mohair yarn from Houndscroft Farm that I don't know what to do with! There's 452 yards total. A shawl or something seems best, but I don't know. I'm not skilled enough at the maths to think up something myself, and mohair doesn't seem to be a good beginner lace project yarn, if you know what I mean.

I do have some Peruvian Baby Cashmere yarn from Elann in a pretty blue color (Starlight Blue) to knit a Swallowtail Shawl from IK (I was going to use the Peruvian Baby Silk like BrooklynTweed did - yes, I'm such a follower - of good, cheap yarn substitutions! - but didn't like the colors that were left), and some Peruvian Quechua in a pretty sand color for something else. I saw both on BrooklynTweed's blog, and they're just SO beautiful, I want to try them both. Of course, I've never knit lace, but they seem to both be decent beginner patterns, since neither use "laceweight" yarn, which is intimidating when you don't knit lace. and I want to find something to use this yarn for - I LOVE the natural colors, like Walnut. SO yummy.

Well, I've blabbed on long enough, and it's bedtime for the little one, so off I go! I leave you with this, a pic of the thinnest yarn I've spun to date. It's sitting in a center-pull ball waiting for me to ply it (I was a dope and just sat down and spun it all onto one bobbin, instead of splitting it onto 2 for easier plying).

Oh, hey, and Natasha, can you take a look at these plying samples and tell me what I can do? I'm trying to ply with thread, and you can see in some spots it works, and in others it doesn't. How do you keep the thread from snagging and tangling?
Oh, and Natasha? Thanks for the tip! This is WAY less stressful! Smooooch!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My fingers are on FIRE!

I must "squee!" with joy, first and foremost, at the fact that my pics actually loaded! SQUEEEEEEE!

Ok, so I know I have about 50 skeins of yarn that I want to spin and send to Craftland (more, if I can do it, because, hell, better to have more selection than less, right?) Really, I do know this. Honest. So, here are all the things I'm doing instead of spinning... Here is the handspun sampler scarf FINIS! Spun with some of my own handspun (2 oz. of different fibers that I'd spun when I was first spindle-spinning), plus handspun from Lulubeans, Pippikneesocks, and probably some others I'm forgetting. Cool, huh? I lurve it!
This is a scarf I knit for Ella since the handspun scarf came out too wide for her (I didn't plan that, honest!) This is knit lengthwise (SO much more fun for some reason - I love scarves, but knitting them is painful!) with yarn orphans from Yarn Wench. So pretty! It's pretty long, and I almost snagged it for myself, but felt bad. It's so cute and girly, perfect for a 2-and-a-half year old princess.
This is a lengthwise scarf I knit for myself out of Blue Sky Alpaca bulky. Two skeins of dark brown, one of the Handpaints in a pretty grey with a touch of pale blue. SOOOOOO FREAKIN' SOFT!
This is the progress I've made on Soleil. I'm working one of the front sides, just have to finish up maybe a dozen rows, then finish the right front side, stitch the shoulders, figure out how to do a single chain of crochet around the neck and arms, and that's a Christmas present down, baby!
And to show you I actually AM spinning when I'm not knitting a ton of winter accessories, here's a pile o' yarn. There are 20 skeins here - I'm well on my way, and I have yarn I can pull off my Etsy shop and from Yarn Rescue if I need to.
This is "Ghoulish", skein #21! It's still drying, but I took pics before soaking it. It's for sale in my Etsy shop (I think I'm going to spend the next week listing most of what I'm sending to Craftland on Etsy - I figure it's cheap to list, so if a yarn doesn't sell by the time I need to mail things to Craftland, I can pull it - and if it sells before then, YIPPEE!) This is almost 6 oz. and 86.5 yards of black merino spun with fiber from a batt by Natasha. It's TOTALLY cool - some spots are just plain stretches of black merino, some are just fiber from the batt (a blend of wools, ingeo, angelina in a bunch of different colors like charcoal grey - where the HELL do you get CHARCOAL GREY angelina?!?! - silks, bits of other yarn), some are a barberpole of merino/batt fiber, and in some spots there are just random slubs of fiber stuck in long stretches of black merino. So great! I really love it! Go buy it (or just show it some Etsy lovin'!)

Apparently there really IS a 5-pic limit! I had loaded a pic of the Checks n' Charms hat and mitten set from Knitpicks that I knit for my daughter, and it didn't load! Huh. I guess that means I'll have to post again tomorrow!

Thursday, October 12, 2006




I was sweating it, and then I wasn't. I don't know anything about it, other than you send in an application and they let you know if you made it. I was kind of thinking they let everyone in, but according to the letter (quoted below, I couldn't help myself!) they don't! I am SO excited, and now I'm going to be SUPER BUSY, since I told them 35-45 skeins of yarn and I have about 10. I guess this means any spinning for me I had planned from "Spin to Knit" (yup, I got it!) will have to wait!!! Man, I just wish I had my drumcarder already (a bday present, hopefully, from Mom and Dad!)

"Congratulations!! Your work has been chosen for Craftland 2006! The competition was fierce with over 200 applications and many wonderful designers in every category. Our space will only allow for the work of less than 100 artists though and so the jurors had to make some very difficult decisions as there were truly no applications that didn't contain quality work.

Please stay tuned to receive another email from us in two weeks containing vital information about volunteering, dropping off / shipping your work, promotional opportunities, pricing and labelling your work, and the big huge party on opening night! In the meantime, start cranking out as much work as you can so you can have it ready to go in mid-November. Thanks so much for being a part of Craftland 2006. We're excited to have you!"


Wednesday, October 11, 2006


It's too small.

Jaywalker won't fit over my heel for all the grunting and stretching in the world.

I just finished the heel flap and was about to turn it.

I don't want to talk about it.

Someone hold me.

Pix for my adoring fan(s)

So Colleen and Lulubeans (I can't for the life of me remember your name! I'm a tard!) demanded pics, and Blogger actually ALLOWED it! Wow! Here goes...

Jaywalker sock - this is an old pic, I have less than an inch to go before the heel. The yarn is the "Hester" colorway from Pippikneesocks. This is GREAT yarn, I ADORE the colors, and this pattern really rocks! Simple enough that even I can remember it without the pattern in front of me, mindless enough that I can knit and watch "Dexter", but I'm still fascinated by how just a few simple increases and decreases can make the stitches angle! So cool! This is the cabled hat knit from "Seaspray" yarn from FeltStudioUK on Etsy. Such GREAT squishy yarn! I keep randomly putting it on while sitting and knitting or watching TV. I'm lame like that.
These are the fingerless lace-up mitts from Alterknits in a handspun yarn from an ebay seller I can't remember off the top of my head. The ribbon is silk, got it off of ebay, too! And as you can see, I took the pic the other day while trying desperately to load the pics!
This is a close-up of yarn I spun up - a white wool/mohair blend with slubs and stretches of fiber from a batt from Natasha, chock full of silks, cherry red ingeo, and screaming pink angelina. I'm trying to be a bit more funky with my spinning - these are baby steps, people!
Here is the handspun sampler scarf. See how it would never fit a 2-year-old's neck? So, mine mine MINE! There are samples here from Pippikneesocks, Lulubeans, a few mini-skeins I spun from fiber samples, and I'm sure there's some from other spinners whom I can't remember right now. It's almost done, and I'm going to put fringe on it, too!

Ok, I had a few more pics to post, nothing all that exciting, but Blogger won't allow it, so off I go! Enjoy!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Instant gratification girl

Sometimes you just need to knit something quickly, you know? Like, you've been slogging away on Soleil, slogging away on a sock (Jaywalker, yes, I caved and joined the masses), slogging away on a scarf for a Christmas gift, and you just want something quick, painless, done in a few hours. I got this GORGEOUS handspun from a seller on etsy (yes, I spin my own yarn - but I am addicted to other people's handspun. Market research. Yeah, that's it, not a ridiculous weakness for pretty things), and decided it needed to be a chunky hat. Hey, it's getting chilly around here at night (ignore the fact that it's supposed to be almost 80 today - when can I pack my summer stuff away?!?! December?!?! There isn't enough room in our bedroom for summer and fall clothing to cohabitate, you know?) Anyhoo, here it is, instant gratification! The pattern is here - yes, it's cabled, yes, I realize you can't see the cables because of the yummy yarn, but I wanted something that would keep me interested, and a simple cable pattern did it! Plus, the yarn I had worked PERFECTLY! The yarn is called "Seaspray" from here. And I LOVE scarves, but really HATE knitting them. So I found a way to make it less painful. I took a whole bunch of mini skeins that other spinners included as samples with yarns I've bought, tied them all together at random, and started knitting. It was actually supposed to be a scarf for my daughter (because if it came out looking a little too wacky for me, a 2.5 year old girl is a great recipient!) but 1) I made it too wide for her and b) I really freakin' like it! So it's MINE. And I'll just have to knit another one up for her. It is really a fun way to knit a scarf, because you just power through it to see what the next color will be, and how it will look against what you just knit up. It's just a simple garter stitch scarf, but I think it looks pretty cool. I love how, even though all I did was knot the yarns together as I picked them out of the pile, it worked out that almost every color change happens at an end - so no little taggies sticking out, which wouldn't have bothered me too much, but it's still nice to not have them. I ALSO have a pair of fingerless mitts knit up, the lace-up ones from "Alterknits". I knit them out of one of the first skeins of handspun I'd ever bought, back when I first learned about spinning and handspun yarn. They're fraternal twins, a lot like Trekking socks! They were a nice, quick knit, even though I had to frog the first one after getting all the way up to the thumb gusset, because I knit the medium size thinking my hands were bigger than they are. So frog frog frog, reknit, and there they are! And here are the Jaywalkers, knit in "Hester" sock yarn by Pippikneesocks (SO FREAKIN' PRETTY!) This pic is older, I'm actually about 3/4 of an inch away from the heel, but just haven't taken an updated pic. I'm knitting them on one 12" Addi Turbo circ. Colleen mentioned how well it works for the leg of the sock, switching to 2 circs or DPNs when you do the heel and again at the toe decreases. It does work, but I don't think I'd want to do it for a more complicated pattern - I can see how you'd fly through stockinette or even ribbed socks, but anything with a lot more increases and decreases than Jaywalker could be tedious. And painful. I'm definitely forcing the stitches around the needle, and pushing on the size 1 needle tips gets painful, so I don't knit too much at once. Still, it's moving along, and it's less fiddly than DPNs. Still doesn't solve second sock syndrome, which is my biggest problem with socks, but I will learn to knit 2 socks on 2 circs eventually - oh, yes, I will.

Ok, so this is now DAY THREE of trying to load pics into this post, to no avail. I will have to post pics at another time, I guess...if Blogger ever decides to let me (hmm...maybe this is payback for my bitching about it awhile ago!)

Monday, October 02, 2006


Just a quick, photo-free post (I'm on my desktop and my photos are on my laptop, whose connection is being temperamental again) to let you all know that there is a yarn update at Yarn Rescue! Lynnell took great pics of my pretty yarns! Go buy!
Spin Sisters
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