MDSW 2016

So where were we? Been a while, I know. Let’s get down to business, shall we?

 

Yes I’ve been knitting and spinning and sewing and all that good stuff. I’ll catch you up later. For now, feast your eyes on my MDSW 2016 haul!:

Marigold Jen Sock Yarn

MarigoldJen sock yarn in Superwash Merino/Nylon. My initial plan for MDSW this year was to focus on nice sock yarns. I swear most of the time all I saw was a lot of 100% wool with no kind of strength fiber whatsoever! I was trying to avoid the usual suspects as far as sock yarns go (you know who I mean), and wanted something I’d never tried before. This jumped out at me at the Hobbledehoy booth and I had to have it. I broke my no-more-variegated-sock-yarn rule with a quickness!

Merino/Angora from Oasis Farm Fiber Mill

Next up, some Merino/Angora in sportweight from Oasis Farm Fiber Mill. I’d never heard of them before and the wool/bunny fiber combo sucked me in. I couldn’t believe the price, and in the back of my head I’m wondering if there’s really any angora in this but it’s such a glorious blue and I like the handspun-like quality of the yarn so I’ll let it slide. I foresee an cowl and hat for this winter. 😉

Superwash Merino/Nylon from Hobbledehoy

Now, on to fiber! You know, when I first started going to fiber festivals back in 2006, I was primarily a knitter/crocheter. I’d learned to spindle that May and decided Rhinebeck would be a good place to get large quantities of fiber, and I was right. I’d always felt that these festivals were geared mainly to spinners with the sheer abundance of spinning fiber and fleeces available. I can honestly say I have come home with way more fiber than finished yarn from these things! I have no regrets. This year was no different. Hobbledehoy Superwash Merino/Bamboo/Nylon in  yellow I know for sure I have never spun before. I was thinking I might spin the yarn for the last pair of socks in this challenge I’m doing wherein I knit a pair of socks to fill a box in a year’s time. I guess it’s time to get the wheel in motion. No way I can spindle this in time with all the projects I’m looking to get into.

Fine Wool from Little Barn Fine Wool from Little Barn

Last but not least, I had to stop at Little Barn. I didn’t even realize they came to MDSW and didn’t think to find them last year when I went. Now I know. I’d run into a spinning friend and she had a bag full of fiber. I hightailed it over to where they were and this is the damage. 100% fine wool. I have NO idea what breed it is, and I don’t care. I love these colorways. They always dye with such rich, fun colors. And for the price, it can’t be beat. My only issue is that these colorways are one-off runs and they don’t repeat them. I wish they’d try at least! 😉

That’s it for this post. Stay tuned for WIPS and FOs!

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2015: The Year of the Socks

Wow, has it been that long? I guess it has. Moving right along…

Simple Skyp socks(blog shot)

 

This is the start of something new. Well, sort of. ShamekaKnits of the Knatural Purls has created the sock challenge of the year: 60MinSockagram! In this challenge, socks are knit and a photograph is taken every 60 minutes to document the progress. Through in some FO/modeled shots at the end and then chuck ’em all into Flipagram. Make a slideshow with all your photos and then post THAT to Instagram. There’s a Ravelry group as well if you’d like to join. I’m already on my second pair, the cast-on for which is feature above. Simple Skyp Socks, by Adrienne Ku, in Fable Fibers Story, in the Silver Birch colorway..

 

My first #60MinSockagram project was the Zigzagular Socks, by Susie White, in Artyarns Ultramerino4, in Olive.

Check out the sockagram video here, and here’s the FO shot:

CAM00761

 

I’ve been queueing sock patterns like a fool so picking subsequent pairs to knit is gonna be one hell of a challenge. We’ll see how that turns out.

 

Back to knitting I go! What are you knitting on? Hit me up in the comments.

 

TTFN!

Harvest Sweater (Rhinebeck Sweater, 2014)

Been a lot of crafty crazy going on lately. Finished two shawls and a scarf that I have yet to actually block. I’m such a slacker when it comes to stuff like that. But I must at some point, right?

On to the latest WIP: Harvest Sweater, by Tin Can Knits. I got a tip that their Simple Collection( a collection of free, fairly easy patterns) was available to download. One of my favorites was the Harvest Sweater. One of the things I like about this whole idea of the collection is how the pattenrs are sized for the whole family. While I probably won’t knit one of everything for all 5 of us, the fact that it’s available is fantastic.

So,
Harvest Sweater--- body 60% complete

I’m about 60% done with the body and then it’s onto the sleeves. Still thinking about trying to knit both at the same time to get even sleeves. Don’t know how trying it on for fit is going to work like that, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. In the meantime, I was reminded of something: Tension can make or break your project.

Back several years ago, I learned to knit/purl backward, so as to avoid turning my work, and actually purling. I quickly figured out that in doing so, I could avoid the dreaded swatching-in-the-round that I didn’t really care for. My tension while knitting stockinette backward(purling without turning the work) nearly matched what I get when I knit stockinette in the round. It allows me to swatch stockinette flat for projects in the round, but when I am actually doing something flat… yeah.

I swatched the Harvest sweater flat, with actual purling because I planned to just go ahead and knit it ‘regularly’. But after umpteen rows of that nonsense I decided(after I was done with increases on the front), to go ahead and work backwards. Already I’m seeing a slight difference in the tension between both areas(see photo above– right above ‘here’ is where you can see the change).

No biggie, it’ll all even out in the blocking process(I keep telling myself this). Yes. It will. 😀

As for future projects, there’s some socks on the horizon and possibly a new cowl. Can’t have too many of those can you?

So, what you yarnin’ on? And what has you knitting/crochet taught you lately?

TTFN! 😀

A Little Success Goes a Long Way…

Quite a bit has happened since the last post. After completing the 30-day green smoothie challenge I didn’t stop there. I kept going and adding back juices as well. And luckily the Ninja is holding up very well. Loving it!

I have been knitting too. This year’s Winter Olympics brought the Ravellenic Events on Ravelry and for the first time I joined in. Team KnaturalPurls FTW! I completed my Double “Plainbow” sweater, and cast on and finished my second Two-Step cowl (Ravelry link) made from luscious Malabrigo.. I now understand the love for that yarn..
And it's done! Double Plainbow, finished for the 2014 Ravellenics. Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Chili. Pattern by Rena Varsakis. #teamknaturalpurls #ravellenics #Ravellenics2014 #FO #sweater

It’s nice and warm, despite not being 100% wool, though that might have more to do with how tightly it was knit at first. I eventually worked my way from a US size 5 needle to a US 8, because it was just taking way too long. What possessed me to attempt a DK sweater in plain stockinette, I do not know. But it is done and I enjoy wearing it. I’m already planning a new sweater to knit and it too is largely stockinette but I think I’ll get to use a bigger needle this time. 😀

Once the Ravellenics were over I could get back to less fast-paced knitting. I’d been going cowl crazy earlier this winter and felt a complete set was in order.

Untitled

Hurricane Hat and matching handwarmers. The two patterns are pretty much the same, only the handwarmers use less stitches in the patterning and there’s no decreasing. Two different designers, too. I took it upon myself to just take the hat pattern and keep going straight up and make a cowl. Plain and simple. It works! Pics of that soon enough. For now, just imagine the hat without a crown!

As for the title of this post, this is what else is going on in BeanKnit land: I am losing weight!

With the whole juice and smoothie-ing going on I’d dropped a few pounds and it really shows. Everyone is complimenting me and I even needed to get new jeans for my slightly slimmer figure. 🙂 So, I’m on a roll, looking to push this further and really get back down to a healthier weight. I downloaded the C25KFree app and set to.

Ouch. At first I was trying to run too fast too soon(and ultimately, speed isn’t the goal, really), and even with breaks I couldn’t complete the 30-min workout. But after a lockerroom break and more thought I went back in there and adjusted my jog speed and it worked! I tried it this time for 15 min. instead of 30 and was surprised that I’d run(No pun intended) out of time! Go me! 😀 I’m already looking forward to starting again on Monday.

And to go with that, healthier food. I made my own almond milk yesterday:

Home made Almond Milk

My smoothies usually contain almond or coconut milk. But that ish costs almost $5 a half gallon. Nope! Gotta do better than that. So I went and tried my hand at pressing my own. Easy, quick and worth the effort. I used this recipe.

For my first post-workout meal I opted for a meat-less lunch: Pomelo, spinach and feta salad, with raspberry vinaigrette dressing(which OMG tastes like you can fill a pie with it… sigh).

Post-workout lunch! Pomelo, spinach and feta with raspberry walnut vinaigrette dressing. The pomelo tastes good, but there's a LOT of pith to contend with. Will have to work on my peeling skills. #lunchtime  #pigouttime #postworkoutmeal #hungry #mmm

Delicious with some fruit-infused water, another thing I’ve been getting into, to help me get more water into my body. So far, so good.

 

So that’s what I’ve been up to. What about you?

 

TTFN! (OMGlob I need to soak! Yeek!) 😀

Happy New Year 2014!

So, I’ve been doing all manner of things since my last post. I recovered from the crazy of 5K land, though I’ll probably be trying that again soon, because, fitness! Then I got to donate to Children of Promise, this holiday season, and hung out with some beautiful, talented knitters all December long. 2014 got off to a raucous start, though.

It started with a nasty cold which brought me down to giving in to a visit to urgent care. Thank goodness for late Friday night hours, is all I can say. Oh, and 24hr pharmacies.. 🙂

Then, while that was going on I was trying to knit and smoothie myself silly. I’ve joined the Simple Green Smoothies’ 30-day smoothie challenge and so far, so good. I’ve been documenting the experience (or, at least photographic evidence of it) over on Instagram if you’re so inclined.

Merry early Xmas to me and the family. I'd been talking about getting a juicer for quite some time.  Mom and I first juiced back in the 90s. I figured it was time to get back to it. #juicing #liquiddinner

Chunky Monkey Smoothie

I used to use a juicer way back in the late 80s, early 90s when my mom was still alive. We juiced every and anything.
Sometimes it was good, sometimes, not so much. But between the juice fasts I’ve been hearing about and the smoothie challenge I think I’m pretty well covered. It’s a hard road, but I’m still on it. Slow and steady wins the race, they say…

But knitting. I’ve been on a serious cowl kick as of late, completing 7 in about as many weeks. Highlights:
Untitled

Stockholm Scarf

Finito! Fear of Commitment cowl. This KP WotA is no joke! My neck will be warm!  #FO #knitting #knitfaster  #fiberary #fiberuary #cowl

Fear of Comittment
Untitled
Armonika

There was also the Luxe Cowl, as well as the Who’s Cowl’d?‘s designed by Therese Ross-Carter. Therese makes awesome, easy-to-knit patterns that I love. Check out her Two Step, as well!

 

I just blocked a Two Step the other day and will seam that later on today. Then it’s photo time!

 

TTFN!

 

 

Whoa! Happy New Year 2013!

Time sure has flown, hasn’t it. Last I blogged it was the end of November. I’d petered out that last week or so of NaBloPoMo. I was holding my own for a bit there, but yeah. I’d probably have better luck with a sweater. 😉

But the holiday time has come and gone and there was crafting and the emergence of a new, obsession, to use a better word. Nails!

Christmas nails--Project52 week 52

I’d gone to a holiday swap dinner and learned about a monthly nail subscription from Julep. I really like the polishes I got from it; nice and thick, smooth texture and nearly opaque on the first coat! Not sure I’ll purchase every month but I’ll definitely be participating again. I like nail polish because it’s a way to pretty myself up without makeup. I don’t work outside the home, so I have very little need to keep up foundation and lipstick and all that jazz, so nails are the next best thing!

Between polish changes I’ve been crafting.

Cowl-Hat--Project52 week 51

Oh So Cozy Cowl

Handspun Falkland from ShadyFibers

Size 5.0mm  Tunisian crochet hook(H)

Remember when I picked up tunisian crochet back in 2012? Well, it resurfaces every so often and this time it was in the form of a cowl. Strangely enough, it was too narrow to be comfortable so I cinched off the top and now it’s a hat! Perfect! It has a nice, easily memorized stitch pattern, and I’ll probably try it again and get it right the next time!

And here’s my first two FO’s of the new year:

Quick Cable Slouch Hat

Quick Cable Slouch Hat

ArtYarns “Reality”, which I received in the holiday swap

Size 4.5mm and 6.5mm needles

Seed Stitch Mittens (for me)

Seed Stitch Mittens for Men

Misti Alpaca “Qolla”, also received in the holiday swap

Size 4.0mm needles

I’m currently working on a tunisian crochet shawl called Venus. I’m almost done, but here’s a sneak peek:

venus_beginnings_medium

It’s turning out fairly large unblocked because I’m using a sport weight yarn instead of lace, but it won’t grow that much more because it’s a microfiber yarn.

That’s it for this post, TTFN!

Give Thanks… (NaBloPoMo Day 22)

 

Obligatory Pie close up shot-- Project52 week 47

 

PIE! Pumpkin pie, to be exact. Nothing fancy, just something to take to the family or dessert this evening. Assuming we don’t eat it all first. 😉

No controversy, no animosity, no standing on lines half the day and all night waiting for crap you don’t need. Just relax with the family and enjoy each other’s love and company. Eat some good cookin, blast some music/football game, laugh at your drunk uncle knocked out in the recliner without his dentures(been there, done that), play with the kids, put your brother’s apron out when he never fails to set it on fire… whatever

 

Just. Be. Thankful. Today, tomorrow, always.

 

TTFN