Showing posts from February, 2015

Spinning Friday: February 27, 2015

It's taken me a while but I finally finished up the 70/30 alpaca/angora roving I've been spinning from deep, deep stash.

Technical Specs:
Roving: 4.9 oz of 70/30 alpaca/angora blended roving. 
Ply: 2-ply.
Weight: Light fingering.
Yardage: 453 yards/4.8 oz.

I'm not sure if I will keep this as-is or overdye it.  I don't have a specific project for it yet, although probably a small shawl, but once I decide on what I'm going to knit with it, I'll decide about the color.

I gotta say, it feels GREAT to move this out of deep stash (10+ years) and into actual usable yarn!

WIP Wednesday: February 25, 2015.

Sekret Knitting:

I finished up the pair of mitts that was on the needles.  The draft is written and off to my tech editor.I am working on sock #2, and thru the heel turn and about halfway down the foot.  The plan is to get these finished up this week, finalize the pattern and get that sent on to my tech editor as well. I need to work on some charting for a shawl that I'll need to prioritize as the next project to be knit, so that's also on the to-do list this week.  Personal Knitting:
I lied to y'all.  I decided, after looking at how scruffy my current hat collection is, I needed a new hat. I cast on Hoarfrost, which is a nice little basic slouch style hat.  I'm using my "Little House" handspun, which is a Finn wool, and is lovely, bouncy, and soft.

I highly recommend this pattern for handspun - it's pretty forgiving in terms of yarn weight.  The original was knit with a MadTosh DK-weight yarn, and this is a little bit heavier (closer to worsted weight), b…

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 8

Lots of reading this week thanks to several insomnia-laden nights!  I finished The Greyfriar. This was my "book with nonhuman characters" read, and it was a kind of mashup of Steampunk and vampires. I didn't like this one as much as I thought I would.  It was really S.L.O.W. at the beginning and took me about half-plus of the book to get engaged with this.  There was also a (to me anyway) confusing section about two-thirds of the way in where there is a Big Reveal of Secrets, and switched up identities, and I wound up reading sections two and three times to try to figure out which character was actually talking.  A bummer, since I really wanted to enjoy this as a fun romp.  There are more in the series.... maybe they improve.

I also started and finished Bossypants by Tina Fey.  Fun, lite reading.  If you enjoy her and her humor, you'll probably enjoy this book.  It's a digest biography, with anecdotal tidbits about growing up, her time in improv and on SNL, and e…


A weekend of some weather changes for us - Friday was gorgeous, sunny and warm.  The winds picked up on Saturday and there was a definite chill in the air.  We woke up this morning to more wind and off-and-on spitting snow/rain/sneet.  We've been spoiled by all the gorgeous spring-like weather we've been having!

I did manage to sneak in a photo shoot for two clients this weekend for my new venture with Elizabeth Green Musselman and Stitch Definition.  While it was cold and a bit gray out, we managed to get everything done before it started spitting rain.  I have to make a huge shout-out to my model, Ashley, who filled in at the last minute for us when my originally scheduled model woke up sick on Saturday a.m.  I'm excited to see the final post-production photographs from this batch!

Otherwise, I worked on lots of dyeing this weekend, knit quite a bit on some Sekret projects, and I finished up my Portland Mittens as well.

I made a few mods to the pattern since a lot of the…

WIP Wednesday: February 18, 2015

Sekret Knitting:
I finished up (even blocked) shawl #1.  It's been off to the TE and now is in the hands of my test knitters. I finished the first sock of the pair and started the second.  This one will be my primary focus this week as I'd like to have it done in the next 10 days or so. I started on the final sample to be knit for this collection, which is a pair of mitts.  The first one is close to being finished, but these are a quick knit, so I feel sure I can finish the other one up in the next couple of weeks as well. Shawl #2 is still on hold (and probably will be for a bit longer). Personal Knitting:

The only personal thing I've got going right now are the Lopi mittens.  I've gotten the second one on the needles and I'm about halfway through.

Hoping to finish this second mitten up at some point this weekend.  Next up, I think I'm going to cast on for a fun new pattern, the Long Dark of Moria  socks designed by the talented Claire Ellen.  She used Wooly Wo…

Pattern Release: Jabberwock Socks

I've just released the first of four patterns for the Mythical Creatures Club, the Jabberwock Socks.

This sample pair is knit with Wooly Wonka Fibers Aerten Sock, in the Jabberwock colorway (one of the two colorways for the February Yarn Club.)  They are knit from the top (cuff) down and feature a panel of twisted stitches that run down the front of the sock, and a smaller twisted stitch/ribbing pattern on the back of the leg.

They can be worked in one of three available sizes (to fit most women's feet), and are suitable for any sock-weight yarn that has a nice firm twist and not too much halo.

There will be 3 other patterns in the collection, released over the course of the year, about one per quarter, although you can also opt to pick up this pattern as a stand-alone as well.

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 7

This week I finished up Eragon.  (You can read my full review here.)  I enjoyed this book despite it being a bit uneven.  I'd definitely pick up others of this author's work.  From reviews I've read at Goodreads, his work develops maturity and improves further into the series.  (And probably not a huge surprise since he wrote this book when he was 15 years old.  It's a pretty amazing achievement for a teenager.)  It falls firmly on the bookshelf containing Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern, Ursula LeGuin's Wizard of Earthsea trilogy, and the LOTR books - a fun fantasy adventure.  I think it's something my nephew, Charlie, would really enjoy.

I decided to jump ahead a bit and (re)read Island of the Blue Dolphins since I'm designing a shawl for my Heroines club based on that for the summer.  I vaguely remember reading this as a kid, but not all the details of it, so it was a good refresher (and a quick read).

I'm just about ready to finish up The…


Another late-spring-like weekend here - beautiful, sunny weather with highs in the mid-60s.  (Yes, I know Northeast - I'm sorry.... I'd send you some of that if I could!).

Yesterday, D and I ran down to Santa Fe to pick up a set of panels to set up and outdoor dog space. He's getting a new puppy in a few weeks, and while the little one won't be able to be outside a lot right now, he wanted to get it set up and ready to go for when she is big enough to start introducing her to it.  There's plenty of space in it for both her and her big sister, Rowan (who, at 30 pounds, will likely only be the "big" sister for a few weeks after the puppy comes home), to hang out in and we set it up where they will have shade from a few of our bigger trees in the summer, but still be able to have a nap in the sun if they want.

I did some dyeing in the afternoon and worked on two deadline knitting pieces in the afternoon before we had a great stay-at-home Valentine's Day …

Spinning Friday: February 13, 2015

This past week or so, I've been spinning deep stash fiber - this is the final 5 oz of a blended roving I had made when we lived in Vermont (yikes! at least 10 years ago!).  The alpaca is from my friend, Terry's farm, Snowshoe Alpacas, and the angora is from my bunny, Hank, both in a natural fawn color.

I'm spinning this up as a challenge fiber for February - one that kind of keeps popping up in the stash again and again (aka Groundhog Day). This has been in my stash for so long, I'm really delighted I'm spinning it up although it's a bit bittersweet since it is the last of the fiber I had processed from my bunny boys.

The first bobbin of singles is done.  It's a slow go right now - I haven't had a lot of time to spin, but I'm also spinning this fairly fine to keep it in the light fingering weight category when it's plied since it'll be very warm.  I'm hoping to have a bit of time to start the second half on Saturday.

Pattern Release: Currituck Collection

This week I rolled out a small group of patterns in the Currituck Collection.  Currituck County is part of the Outer Banks and when D and I lived back east, the tradition for our anniversary (which is in late March) was that we would go and enjoy ourselves with long walks on the deserted beaches, bundled up against the cold, before picking some great little restaurant (we usually had to ourselves or close to it) and having some great seafood dinners.

The collection features a women's raglan cardigan with stripe and seed stitch details (and optional small front pockets for beachcombing treasures), a matching slouchy hat and fingerless mitts set, and a cabled wrap, to wear either as an oversized scarf or a narrow stole around your shoulders.  Each piece in the set is knit from Wooly Wonka Fibers Freya DK.  (Samples are worked in the Seafoam and Driftwood colorways).

These are great, easily-wearable pieces you can dress up or down, and worked in a lightweight yarn, they are perfect f…

WIP Wednesday: February 11, 2015.

Sekret Knitting:
Socks:  Finished the heel turn on these, and now need to work the gusset and foot.  I'd like to try to get sock #1 done this week.Gradiant Shawl:  I'm through the final increase row on this one.  I've got one more color change to work.  This is on the "finish it up" list for the week for sure.Shawl #2:  Still on hold. Personal Knitting:

Mittens:  I've finished up one of the pair of mittens (although these really will need a stern blocking. The slip stitch pattern draws them in a lot length-wise).  I'll cast on the second one at some point this week when I need a little quiet project to work on.

I am waffling between a couple of other projects to start.  I can't decide whether a pair of socks is next on the needles, or if I want to work on another pair of mittens - which I'm finding oddly addictive right now.

I did decide that for my Forest-themed fairy-tale group swap, I'm going to create a DIY kit for my swap recipient rather…

2015 Reading Challenge: Week Six

This past week, I finished up Bitter Greens, which I would HIGHLY recommend.  I LOVED this book - it's got pretty much everything I love about fiction wrapped up in one entertaining package. You can read my full review over at Goodreads here.  This was one of my top 3 books of the past year that've read.

This week, I moved onto The Thirteenth Tale, which I also finished up.  That review is here.  I didn't love this book as much as I wanted to.  It was kind of uneven for me, and the beginning dragged a bit.
A few days early, but I decided to go ahead and start Eragon, since it's another long book.   I'm just a few chapters into it, but I'm enjoying it so far.

WEEKS & TOPICS 1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED. 2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED 3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED. 4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck. 5. a book with a …

Weekending: February 7, 2015

Busy weekend at this end - I feel like I've not really had a proper few days off this week with everything that's been going on around here.  I wound up picking up some extra hours at work on what would usually be my days off, and then on Saturday, we spent most of the day in Santa Fe.

D and I made the decision several weeks ago to trade in my 10-year-old 3/4-ton diesel truck.  It seemed silly to continue to put money into it when we no longer needed the hauling power (since we no longer have horses and/or big trailers).  The truck was getting to that age where the little stuff was starting to have issues.  One window sometimes got stuck.  It needed to have the hood repainted after sitting outside in our harsh New Mexico sun.  But I wasn't really sure what I wanted to get to replace it.

I knew I wanted something that I could tow my little trailer with to shows, but that rode nicely on the interstate.  I wound up taking several weeks of online research and several test driv…

Spinning Friday: February 6, 2015

This week I spun up a lovely squishy braid of Finn wool from Two If By Hand.

I was in the mood for a quick-ish spin, so I simply split this braid in half, divided each half into quarters and away I went.

Technical Specs:
Roving:  4 oz of Finn wool roving from Two If By Hand.
Ply: 2-ply.
Weight:  Worsted.
Yardage:  206 yards/3.7 oz.

The finished skein is a lovely soft and lofty one.  I'm thinking either mittens or a hat from this one - I love the colors in it!

Next up I'm doing a "Groundhog Day" challenge spin - something in my stash that keeps popping up and getting moved from bin to bin.  It also happens to be a deep DEEP stash fiber.... I think somewhere around 12 years ago?  Yikes!  Time to get that spun up!  Stay tuned......

WIP Wednesday: February 4, 2015

Sekret Knitting:
I finished up shawl #1 - that's blocked and the draft pattern is off to my tech editor for review. I started one pair of lacey socks for a spring/summer release. I'm halfway down the leg on sock #1, and my goal is to finish thru the heel turn this week. And I started yet another shawl also for a spring/summer release.  This will be pattern support for one of my Transitional gradiant color packs - I've worked through the first color change and am onto the second color.  The plan here is to finish thru that second color transition this week. Shawl #2 is still on hold while I work along on these other pieces with shorter deadlines for a bit.
Personal Knitting:
I cast on for another pair of mittens to donate this week.  I've had the Portland Mittens queued up for a while, and I actually had skeins of Lite-Lopi in stash, so I'm using (gasp!) the yarn called for in the pattern.  I'm working these up in a unisex gray and blue pair.
I also am participatin…

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 5

I finished up Katherine last week and if you are interested, you can read my Goodreads review here.  I've been reading my way through Kate Forsyth's Bitter Greens, which is a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale, and absolutely LOVING this book - I am about 75% through it, so I should have it finished up at this time next week.
I'll be turning my reading attention to The Thirteenth Tale for the upcoming week.  I'm hoping to enjoy this book quite a bit - I love literary history/mystery kind of books and this one has good ratings, so I'm crossing my fingers it plays out that way! :)
WEEKS & TOPICS 1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. 2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED 3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED. 4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck. 5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. 6. a book written by someone und…


A quiet, at-home weekend here so far.  We had a nice little snowstorm on Friday, with a bit more on Saturday, and woke up to a gray sky and some freezing fog today.  Perfect weather to stay inside with the fire and some hot tea!

I did a lot of knitting this weekend.  I finished up one Sekret Knitting project and got started on two others.  I did a bit of spinning too.

I also finished knitting up a pair of handspun mittens to go into the Mittens for Akkol orphanage donation box.  Aren't these fun?

These should fit a women's small/medium.  I knit these up with a heavy Aran-weight Finn wool handspun, and they are lovely, squishy and warm!  It makes me feel good that I'm using up some personal stash right now, and I've got another pair of mittens earmarked to go on the needles next for some personal knitting.

Today, we don't have any big plans.  After I get done work this morning, I'm planning to make some veggies and dip to have while we watch the SuperBowl, and …