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Showing posts from October, 2015

Spinning Friday: October 30, 2015

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I did finish plying the 2 oz of  mixed BFL "Lagoon" from FatCatKnits.  Another skein of worsted weight 2-ply, with 119 yards.


So added to the current pile for this sweater I'm planning to knit, the stack currently looks like:


The current tentative plan is for a cardigan, and I'll use the natural dark brown for the ribbing and lower portion of the sleeves and body, striped with the 2 contrast colors that are sitting up on top, and then work the body in the variegated "Quest" colorway for the remainder. I still think I might be a bit short on yardage, but we'll see.

I then moved on to another spin.  This one is a gradient pack from Hilltop Cloud.  This is a blend of merino and shetland wool, and flax, that's a custom blend.  I have just under 5 oz to work with in this pack, which is in the colorway "Lake House".


It doesn't look like much since all the interesting color shifts are hidden, but I am done bobbin #1 of the singles:


I've s…

WIP Wednesday: October 28, 2015

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This week, I'm working on:

Sekret Knitting:

The yarn for the next quick deadline project arrived yesterday, so that's wound and ready to cast on.  This will be my focus for the next few weeks, as I've got a November 20th deadline for the project.I have been making good progress on the DK-weight sweater project in Wooly Wonka Fibers Aeslin DK, but that'll take a back-burner to the new deadline project for a while. Personal Projects:  Nothing on the knitting front, but I did get the border squares pieced and sewn onto the outside of the Bertie's Year block I'm working on.  You can see in the top corner, I've started the embroidery that'll outline the diagonal lines around the outside border.  

I'm taking my time working on this - just doing it in bits and bobs as I have some free time, but it's lovely to have a NON-deadline project to work on too!

Reading Challenge 2015: October 26, 2015

This week, I read Beloved.  I'm not sure I have much else to say here except I checked it off the list.  I didn't care for this book at all on several different levels.  It was creepy, oddly written (I had an immensely hard time getting it started - I was lost and confused for the first 3 chapters) and I'm still not sure what it's about.  If that was it's intent, then it scored an A+.  Would I recommend it to anyone?  No.  I didn't like it and it gave me nightmares.

The library didn't have a copy of The Last Unicorn, so I requested it via interlibrary loan - we'll see if I can get it before the end of the year!

I did order a 99-cent copy of Muse in print, which should be here this week to start, so I'll read that first.

I was happy to see our library had an audiobook copy I could borrow (plus an easy-to-use audiobook app to download) of Cinder, so I grabbed a copy of that and have been listening to it while I spin. Interesting premise (a retelling …

Spinning Friday: October 23, 2015

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This week I've been spinning up a few small bits to add to my yardage for a sweater spin.

You might remember during the Tour de Fleece, I had spun up 8 oz of a hand-dyed variegated BFL and a dark coffee brown natural roving into a bouncy worsted weight yarn, but I don't think I have quite enough for a sweater, so I bought a handful of 2-oz braids of the same variegated BFL base from Ginny at FatCatKnits (who also dyed the original variegated BFL colorway) to get myself a little more yardage, figuring I can add some contrast color stripes to the mix.

This week, I spun up and plied 2 oz of "Sienna" into 122 yards of a 2-ply worsted weight.


And then I finished up the 2 oz of singles of "Lagoon", which I will try to get plied this weekend.


That will give me somewhere around a total of around 875 or so yards, and I have one other tonal-dye colorway I could also spin up from Ginny ("Toffee"), but I may see how far I get by casting on and knitting a bit.…

WIP Wednesday: October 21, 2015

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Sekret Knitting:

I finished up the sample shawl for my #1 deadline project.  That's been TE'ed and my tester is on the last section, so it will be ready to forward on to the yarn company shortly.  Woot!I am still working on my DK-weight lace and cable sweater sample in the meantime - that doesn't have a specific deadline, but I'm picking it up as I have time right now. I have another short deadline project that was accepted, but I'm currently waiting on yarn for that.  When it arrives, that'll bump to the top of the to-do list for a bit.I have committed to going to Stitches West in February, so I've been brainstorming some kits and 2-skein-size patterns to take for that.  I have been really enjoying my new DK-weight superwash merino yarn, so I decided to start a 2-color, slip-stitch cowl with that, using 1 skein of a handpaint and 1 skein of a tonal dye.  It's knitting up fast!  (Here's a little sneak peek....)
I plan to have it worked up in a long, …

Reading Challenge 2015

This week I finished up the biography of Mary, Queen of Scots.  This is a toothy book - lots and lots of detail and footnotes - perfect for the history geek in me.  It's a bit of a slow read but very well researched with tons of references and specific historical documents footnoted, including the infamous "Casket Letters."  The hardest part for me was keeping all of the inter-relationships between the Scottish nobles straight and since various family members flipped sides frequently, I needed to keep some mental notes on who was which son, cousin or brother who was (or wasn't) loyal to the queen.  A well-written book and one I enjoyed putting on my thinking cap for.

I also zipped through Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas In Wales, which is really more of a long poem and one I read before, but delightful for a quick easy read.

I currently have the following left to read in the next couple of months:
a book with bad reviews: The Last Unicorn.
a book with a …

Spinning Friday: Sari Batts

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I did get some spinning accomplished since my last Spinning Friday post.  I dug into the deep dark recesses of my stash bins and hauled out one of my oldest fibers, a set of two 2-oz batts from Enchanted Knoll, in the "Sari" colorway.  These are a blend of superwash merino, silk and sparkle, and a wee bit of loose silk threads.

I have the first 2 oz spun up and have started the second 2 oz of singles.



My plan is to spin this up into a fingering-weight 2-ply yarn, probably for a shawl since it has a lovely shine and drape with just a hint of sparkle to it.  We'll see how the weekend treats me (Saturday is forecast cool and rainy for a change, so maybe I'll be indoors a lot), and try to get the singles finished up on this project.

WIP Wednesday: October 14, 2015

Sekret Knitting:

I'm just about done the lace sample piece - I have probably another evening's worth of knitting on it and then it'll be done!  Today's plan is to finalize my draft, get that and charts sent off to my TE and my tester, and that one can get put to bed for a while. I did work a wee bit on the sweater piece while I was traveling to and from Austin, but only got a few rows of that one done, so I'll focus on that for a while until the yarn arrives for the next contract piece that I have on the deadline schedule.Personal Knitting:  Nothing to report here.
Quilting Project(s):  For the Bertie project, I did get all the border pieces cut and sewn into patches - I need to sew those together and attach them to the main center square, which I'll probably work on this weekend - but not much to show in terms of pretty pictures.  More next week tho.... promise. :)

Pattern Releases

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I have a metric tonnage of catching up to do with pattern releases now that Free Spirit Knits has gone live, so I'm devoting a post solely to new designs today.  Grab a seat and some nice fall-themed beverage - I've got a bunch.

First up, my newest stand-alone release is my Mina Jacket, which is knit from the lovely Brigantia yarn from Spirit Trail Fibers.  This fitted jacket has a large cable panel up the back with integrated waist shaping, a relatively plain front with just a small cable at the front openings, and then a textured/cabled pattern for the set-in sleeves.  You can opt to make it with or without the front waist/bust shaping, but I like as a trim little layering piece for fall.  You can see this beauty in person in Jen's booth at Rhinebeck this year!



Next up are the currently released patterns from Free Spirit Knits, which is now available both via Amazon and via Interweave.  (Interweave's site has a downloadable ebook available, as well as the print versi…

WIP Wednesday: October 7, 2015

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Here's what I'm working on this week:

Sekret Knitting:

Bumping up a lace project to the top of the list that has an early November deadline.  Nicely enough, it'll be the perfect travel project so that will go back and forth to Austin with me this weekend for the Austin Yarn Crawl.  I have started it and I'm just about done the first section. I'll get draft charts and text finished up today to take with me. Also still working on my next sweater for the shop.  This one will be good down-time knitting so I'll probably take it with me in case (I'm doutbful this will happen, but you never know) I have time to knit while I'm meeting and greeting at The Happy Ewe over the weekend (or more likely, I'm too brain dead to knit much lace).Personal Knitting:  None on the go right now, but how about an update on my sewing project instead?  (And this may be an ongoing addition to WIP Wednesday since it is a WIP).
Sewing/Quilting:  This week, I got the rest of the fus…

Reading Challenge 2015

Busy, busy weekend here - I was in Taos for the sheep and wool festival on Saturday with a trunk show of my book pieces (Thank you to all who made the trip into town to visit!) - and that plus almost 4 hours of driving to and fro meant I was pretty brain dead Saturday p.m.  (And having gotten a flu shot on Thursday afternoon, I was a bit under the weather on Friday.)  So not a lot of reading time, although I have followed Mary's story long enough Scottish husband #1 (Darnley) has been killed off, Mary's been imprisoned at Loch Leven (which I've actually visited!) and subsequently escaped, and has moved past Scottish husband #2 (Bothwell).   Not a quick read, but I am very much enjoying it - and will continue on with it for this week as well. Edited to add: She was married for a short time to the heir to the French throne, Francis, but he died at 17.

I'm off to Austin for another trunk show this weekend in conjunction with their yarn crawl, so may have a bit of reading …

Spinning Friday: The Strawberry Thief

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I signed up for 2 months of Hilltop Cloud's Time Traveler's Club - love that theme!  The August fiber was a lovely custom blend of merino and silk, with a theme of William Morris's popular print The Strawberry Thief.  The original roving looked like:


I had 200 grams to work with (I ordered a double dose) - and I knew I wanted to spin this fairly finely for a fingering weight yarn.  I finally finished this up this week and LOVE how it came out.


Yarn Specs:
Roving:25% Corriedale/12.5% Mulberry Silk/62.5% Merino custom blend from Hilltop Cloud. August 2015 Time Traveller's Club fiber.
Ply:  2-ply.
Weight:  Fingering weight.
Yardage: 661 yards/6.6 oz.

I have no specific plans for this as of yet, but I'm definitely leaning towards a shawl since the drape is lovely and it's a great almost-solid/tweedy yarn.



Some housekeeping, an update and (gasp!) some sewing

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Do you follow the Celtic calendar at all?  I do to some extent and I like how the year ends at Halloween, moving into the darkness of the winter months as the new year, without waiting for January 1st.  In view of the "new year resolution" concept, I've got some housekeeping and other tidbits going on for this Thursday's post.

First off, many of you know that I work a lot - A LOT a lot - of hours between the dyeing I do for the shop and my clubs and shows and wholesale clients, and my design work, and this past year I've been doing photography and styling duties as half of the Stitch Definition team.  I also have continued to put in 28 hours a week at a day job - but I'm really happy to say that's coming to an end as of October 8th.   I put in my notice there and will work out my 2 weeks' worth of hours (which I've already made a dent in - today's the end of week 1).  I am sincerely hoping this will give me back some better balance of home/wor…