Showing posts from January, 2015

Spinning Friday: January 30, 2015

This week's fiber is all spun up  - it's the January club fiber from my Wooly Wonka Fibers Mythical Creatures club.  Each month I'm dyeing two colorways - one handpaint and one kettle dye that coordinate.  This month's colorways were Mirkwood (the kettle dye/solid) and Elves (the multicolor), both on Shetland wool roving.

I spun the Elves braid I grabbed for myself up in a fractal spin.  I split the braid in thirds, and broke one third into halves length-wise, the second third into quarters and the third third into twelfths.

Technical Specs: 
Roving: 4 oz of  Shetland wool roving from Wooly Wonka Fibers.
Ply: 3-ply.
Weight: Sportweight. 
Yardage: 301 yards/3.6 oz

I had originally thought I'd maybe knit some socks with this, but my buddy, Dilshani, really loved the yarn, so it's off to live at her house already!

WIP Wednesday: January 28, 2015

Sekret Knitting:

For shawl project #1, I'm just over the halfway point on the border.  My plan is to get this finished up this week. I haven't touched shawl project #2 at all.  I've had a few other things pushed ahead of this in the queue, so I'm putting it in limbo for a bit until I can move through those.I've just cast-on for a pair of summery socks, so those will be my go-to project for a while after shawl #1 is done.  Personal Knitting: You saw I finished my Hecate Shawl up with Monday's post.I decided on a very basic ribbed-cuff, stockinette hand pair of mittens to knit next.  I'm vaguely using numbers out of the Ann Budd book for these.  I grabbed a skein of handspun out of stash and I'm using that.  (This is a 2-ply Finn that I spun up at the end of 2014).  These are earmarked for more orphan box donations.
I had considered another mittens pattern but I was 99% sure I didn't have enough yardage to complete the mittens using it, so I'm going…

Finished Project: Hecate Shawl

This weekend, I finished up my Hecate Shawl, another fun-to-knit pattern from Kirsten Kapur at Through the Loops.

I used Wooly Wonka Fibers Ceridwen Sock.  The gray is a subtle multicolor, "Tinder", and the red is "Little Miss Firecracker".  Definitely colors outside my usual palette choices, but I like them together in this pattern a lot!  I am fairly sure I've got enough yarn left over to knit a pair of 2-color socks as well - I'll weigh my skeins tonight to be sure of that.

The pattern is not hard to work at all if you have some chart-reading experience.  It's got enough interesting things happening that you don't get bored with it and on size 7 needles it moves along pretty quickly! I blocked mine fairly briskly to open up the lace patterning on it and I quite like how it looks.  I'll be popping this one into a donation box.

And with that... I actually have no personal projects on the needles right now!  I'm hankering to cast on some ha…

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 4

I have just about finished up Katherine.  The author, Anya Seton, was kind of at the forefront of the current popular historical novels (from author's like Phillippa Gregory and Allison Weir), and while it's theoretically a "romance", it's not packed with what my mum calls "heaving bosom moments".  It is a love story - about John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford - but there's also a lot of history packed into it.  A good read.

This week I was going to tackle The House of Hawthorne as a new release in 2015, but it's actually not available on Kindle yet, so I'll go back and pick up week 1's book (Bitter Greens), skip week 4 for right now and hop along to week 5 shortly when it arrives.  (Since I really wanted to read the book on Nathaniel Hawthornewho is one of my favorite writers, and his wife, I'm willing to wait for it until May.)

I've changed out a couple of titles on the master list, and still have a few slots I need to find c…

WIP Wednesday: January 21, 2015

Sekret Knitting:
Sadly, although I was moving along thru the final chart on the laceweight project, I was unhappy with the motif placement on it.  So I decided to rip back to the beginning of that section (which is a WHOLE lotta knitting).  I think I'm back on track with this one, but definitely in negative yardage, so to speak.  I finished up the third chart on this one and started the fourth (and final before the border) body chart.  I am going to focus on this piece this week while I regroup on the laceweight shawl, and see if I can just motor along on it and get it totally done in the next week to 10 days.  Personal Knitting: Having finished up the Wood Hollow Mittens, I'm currently down to just the Hecate Shawl on the needles for personal knitting. I did get to the two-thirds point on the border - this week the plan is to get those final border rows completed, and then next week, I'll work on the edging/bind-off and finish this project up!

Once I finish Hecate up, I thi…

10 on Tuesday: 10 Things I'm Happy About Right Now

I think of myself as a generally upbeat person, so there are usually several things I'm happy about at any given moment.  This week, however, I'm happy about:

1.  Finally getting to work on the round one edits for my Interweave book!
2.  My DH feeling back to his normal self.  (He slept more over the last long weekend than I've seen him sleep in a long time.  I know he wasn't feeling well at all.)
3.  I apparently haven't caught whatever nasty bug laid him so low!
4.  We have predicted colder weather and possibly some snow forecast for later this week.  (Yes, yes, I know..... but I actually LIKE winter.)
5.  I have some awesome friends who are helping me out by running my skeiner while I work on dyeing a really large wholesale order.
6.  I finally pulled together a plan/design concept for my next planned knitwear collection.
7.  The Pats are going to the Super Bowl!
8.  I'm thoroughly enjoying my current read, Katherine, by Anya Seton.  (I do love historical fi…

2015 Reading Challenge

While surfing through the Goodreads site the other day, I ran into a 2015 Reading Challenge group. This looked really fun to me and I adore reading new things, so I think I am going to try to challenge myself to read things on the challenge list.  (And you can see the original challenge info here.)

One thing I like about this challenge list is that it will force myself to step outside my usual comfort zone of books.  Not that there is anything wrong with reading things you like, but OTOH, it's good to expand one's boundaries occasionally, doncha think?

There is a handy downloadable checklist available via a link at the above original challenge site, but I've also put the group list of weeks and topics below, so you can check it out for yourself.  Some of these are going to be a stretch for me; some of these will feel almost too easy.

I'm finishing up Charles deLint's Forests of the Heart for a forest-themed RAL in a Ravelry group, and I'm going to use that for …

Weekending: January 18, 2015

D headed off with a friend for a guy's weekend on Thursday, and I had plans to get a lot of things done around the house, but he called me on Friday a.m. and said they were already headed home.  He had come down with some kind of stomach flu (and his friend's little one had as well), so they arrived back here Friday mid-day.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed all the nasty bugs stay away from me!

So in between making some chicken soup and running out to grab some 7-Up for him, I did a quick run to Yarn and Coffee in Santa Fe to drop off a big yarn order, and worked in the studio as well with lots of dyeing for another big order as well, plus some smaller dye runs for my first spring show, the Dallas/Fort Worth Fiber Fest that's in March.

In between times, I did a bunch of knitting and I finished up my Wood Hollow Mittens.  I love how these mittens knit up, and they are so fun to work up in handspun.  (This is a worsted-weight BFL handspun in the "Herbes de Provence&q…

Spinning Friday: January 16, 2015

I've got a fun spin to share with you this week.   The original roving was a gradiant dyed BFL from Two if By Hand.

I love the colors in this braid, the purples, plums and chocolate browns, and I knew that I wanted to use it for a shawl at some point.  With that in mind, I decided to keep this as a single ply yarn and keep those colors very distinct.

I didn't really do any prep with this fiber.  I spun the braid from end to end, trying to keep a nice twist balance - enough to have it hold together solidly, but not so much it became kinked.

Technical Specs:
Roving: 4 oz of BFL roving from Two If by Hand.
Ply:  Singles.
Weight:  Light fingering weight.
Yardage: 491 yards/4 oz.

I haven't picked a pattern for it yet, but there are so many pretty ones out there for this kind of yardage, I know I'll find a good one to use!

WIP Wednesday: January 14, 2015

I've been busily knitting away this week, but don't have much I can show you right now.  However, here's where my knitting projects are in progress:

Sekret Knitting:

I'm on the fourth chart of the laceweight shawl project.  I'm in those incredibly long final rows, so it's slow going.  I'm trying to knit 4 chart rows every other night at a minimum.  I may focus more intensively on this one this weekend though and try to get that fourth chart knit.  Then I'll be on to a (relatively) easy knit-on border to finish this up!I'm just about to start the third chart of the fingering weight shawl project.  This one is a fairly relaxing knit, so I've been interspersing it on the other other nights to try to make some progress on it.  If I can get through that third chart this week, I'll feel like I'm making great progress on this one! Personal Knitting:  Wood Hollow Mittens:  I finally gave myself a shove and cast on for the second mitten.  This real…


Crazy, busy weekend to follow a matching week!  D was aways on travel this entire week, and in the way of how things go when he's away, Tuesday a.m., our furnace died.  We knew it was probably coming, and it could have been worse in the sense that it was only in the 20s here, but still.  I spent the week shuttling wood into the downstairs to feed the woodstove to try to keep the pipes from freezing, and I was exceptionally happy we were able to get a replacement put in on Friday.

Yesterday, while I could have used a bit of a day to regroup and relax, I had a several-hour photo shoot and whoosh!  today's Sunday already!  (The photo shoot went SO well yesterday.  My model did an awesome job even though I know she was practically frozen by the time we knocked off at 4:30, but she looked gorgeous even with her goosebumps.)  :)

Today my plan is to get my work shift done and then have a quiet afternoon with D, watching some football and doing some knitting.  I've got two deadli…

Spinning Friday: January 9, 2015.

I plied up my superwash merino from FatCatKnits:

Technical Specs:
Fiber: 4 oz of superwash merino roving from FatCatKnits
Ply: 3-ply/chained ply.
Weight: DK weight.
Yardage: 254 yards/4-oz skein.

I forgot how much merino plumps up after plying and a bath, so this came out a little thicker than I personally like for socks, so I think I'll probably earmark it for a pair of mittens, as it is soft and squishy.  I did a chained ply for this spin, so it's got big long runs of colors that'll form fun stripes as I knit it up.

Next up is a braid of BFL in a gradiant handpaint from Two If By Hand in the colorway "Formal Splendor".

Pattern Release: The Mad Queen Shawl

This is the first pattern release in the year-long Heroines Shawl Club for 2015, the Mad Queen Shawl.

The inspiration behind this piece is Johanna of Castile (also known as Johanna the Mad) was the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, and the older sister of Katharine of Aragon. Poised at the crux of multiple powerful Tudor-era families, she was married to the heir to the Holy Roman Empire, and should have been a powerful ruler in her own right. After the death of her husband, she was declared insane and incarcerated in a nunnery while her father ruled as regent for her son, Frederick. Debate about whether she was truly suffering from a mental illness or simply a pawn in the political intrigues of Europe at this time still surrounds her.

This shawl is a half-circle shape, worked with two types of increases from the center back neck down to the hem. The pattern features intertwined Tudor cables and floral lace patterns, and is finished with a simple lace bind-off, to form a cape…

Weekending: The Post-Holiday Edition

I can't remember the last time I took 3 days in a row to do mostly free-time things, but it's been SO GREAT.  I slept in a couple of days, and generally lazed around the house, took some walks with the dogs (although it's been very cold here), and enjoyed myself.

I spun a bunch on Friday and Saturday - more details on that to come on the Spinning Friday post.

I worked a bit on a Sekret Knitting project, but I also knit quite a bit on my Hecate shawl - I'm in the striped lace section, and I've got just one more repeat of the eyelets and stripes to do to finish the final chart in that section, and then I'm on to the border!

I also cast on for another one of Kirsten's patterns, her Wood Hollow Mittens, which I have knit before and really enjoyed, so I'm making them again, this time out of a handspun BFL.  While I have kept the needle size as written, they are coming out a little larger since the yarn is a plumper worsted than the original sample.  This is …

Spinning Friday: January 2, 2015

While I don't really make a lot of resolutions, per se, for the new year, one resolution that's been banging around since this fall is to get a bunch of my fiber stash spun up.  To that end, I kicked off the New Year with a new spin.

This is a braid of SW merino from FatCatKnits in the colorway "Denim".  My plan is to spin this up for a pair of socks.

I'm planning on spinning this up and chain plying it for a pair of socks.  I had a delightful New Year's Day where I sat and spun for several hours and read a great Victorian mystery.  I can't remember when I've spun up 4 oz in one day, but I did that and finished up all the singles.

Plying is next!