TdF 2018 Progress… Or, oh $hit what just happened?!

 

There I was, minding my own business when out of nowhere:

Awww $hit!

my Headcase went straight to hell in a yarnbasket! My niddy noddy decided to tell me to piss off and part of the skein slid off the flat end. Of course everything fell into a tangle of yarn and it was beyond saving. Luckily the yarn community is full of very kind, generous souls and a newer, better niddy is on its way to me soon. I don’t know when I’ll have the courage to try and untangle this monstrosity, but it won’t be anytime soon. Life’s(and TdF!) too short to play around with unruly yarn.

Which leads me to this:

Wensleydale and Mystery fiber

Remember the Wensleydale I was spinning up last time? Turns out, only ONE of these skeins is Wensleydale, apparently. I started out with what I thought was 8 oz, after I weighed what I’d found on one bobbin together with the REST of the unspun fiber that I knew for certain was Wensleydale. My old brain farts alot and so I don’t remember if the bag was already open or not. It DID appear to have some fiber missing, which is why I thought the already plied fiber was from that bag. So I spin the ‘remaining’ fiber, weigh it all up and the total is 10.5 oz!! I know I accounted for the bobbin’s weight (which is negligible), so that doesn’t add up.

Then I got to looking at the first yarn and realized, it’s a bit scratchier, and darker than ‘the remainder’. So I’m guessing that’s not Wensleydale after all. Add in the fact that I’m still missing a bobbin somewhere and who knows WHAT this fiber is? I added all the fiber that I KNOW is Wensleydale, minus that skein and it’s only 7.25oz. Sigh. Never a dull moment huh? Final yardage and WPI tally will occur when I’ve finished plying the rest of the singles. So far though, I’ve got 353 yards of Wensleydale and 179 yards of who-knows-what. Probably a DK weight but I’ll have to check.

Mystery Brown Fiber

Moving right along! This mystery fiber (that’s apparently a theme around here), is 4 oz and approx. 145 yards of DK weight. It’s very soft to the touch. It was a gift to me and the giver didn’t know what it was either. Oh well. It was quick and fun and I wish I had more.

Next up on the wheel is this gorgeous purple/white combo from Little Barn. I swear I need to stop buying from them because most of their best fiber isn’t even categorized. What is this fiber?? I wanna say Corriedale, but I could be wrong. It’s just labeled, 100% Fine Wool. Sigh. It’s coming out really fine, alright. I’m gonna try and 4-ply this bad boy and get some mittens out of it. 4oz, though there’s another 4 of the same color. I doubt I’ll spin that the same way.

Purple Little Barn Mystery Fiber

Beautiful, isn’t it? Monday 7/16 is a rest day in the Tour de France, so we spinners also take a break. This gives me a chance to rest the singles(and my spinning muscles!) until I’m ready to ply on Tuesday. Also I get to browse my stash and figure out what gets on the wheel next! Plus there’s knitting to be done for the FiberPunk/Grianaig Creations Destash. I’ve yet to post about my progress but that’s coming up later this week!!

 

What are you working on??

Please comment, like and share!

 

Happy Crafting!

Tamara 🙂

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Tour de Fleece Is Underway

The annual Tour de Fleece spinning challenge which coincides with the Tour de France cycling tournament has begun. Spinners from all over the world are either spinning along during the actual broadcasts or watching recorded sessions, among other things. In either case, everybody is getting in some serious fiber time.

On my bobbins:

Wensleydale singles

First up is 8oz of 100% Wensleydale I picked up probably Rhinebeck 2013. With a very long staple length, this fiber is very easy to spin. Not having spun on the wheel in a while, I had a brain fart when it came to plying it up, but I quickly recovered and the plying is coming along nicely. I actually had some of this fiber already worked up but I can tell the ply is not as good as it should be, so it’ll be revisiting the wheel once this ply session is over.

The Wensleydale so far:
Wensleydale plied

While that’s getting plied up, there’s this gorgeous colorway, Headcase from Knitty And Color. Its 100% Merino fiber. Spinning this was definitely eye-opening. I forgot how much harder it is to spin Merino fiber with its very short staple length. I think the only thing shorter might be cotton. Either way, I’m just now remembering how hard of a time I used to have with this fiber and my heart sank a little when I realized just how much of my stash is Merino. But you know what? I’m just gonna go with the flow and see how it goes! But not right now. 😉

The singles:
Merino singles- Headcase

Pretty, right? One other setback was the amount of pre-drafting this fiber needed. Granted, it was compacted into a braid that had been sitting who knows how long before I bought it like 4 years ago. 3? I don’t know. Ya’ll thought I was lying when I said I had deep stash. I still got stuff from 2007 to spin. Yeah. Don’t judge.

I’m still contemplating which fibers to choose next.  So far the only challenge I can see myself attempting is to spin carded fiber long-draw. I have some Finn that I picked up Rhinebeck 2017 on a whim– $20 for a lb of dyed Finn?? Hell Yes!– that would be perfect for that type of drafting method. Might as well try now. Or maybe I’ll try some mystery fiber I’ve had in the stash a while to practice before I screw up the good stuff. We shall see.

Do you spin? What’s in your fiber queue?

Tamara  😀

Spring 2016 Goings-on

Back in April I began participating in a sock knitting KAL wherein you knit a pair a month, saving them in a box until you’re done. I’m not sure why I can’t just wear them when I’m done, but I love knitting socks so I joined. *shrug*.

April’s socks:

Plain socks

Just some plain socks I knit up in Dragonfly Fibers’ Super Djinni sock yarn. I was knitting a lace pattern at first but it didn’t show well at all, so I just went straight to plain stockinette. It’s the perfect go-to for variegated yarns.

May’s socks:

Aradena socks for Biggest Beanlet

Aradena Socks, by Tinksdarkerside. I knit these in this gorgeous Cascade Heritage Prints in Roses. I kept getting lots of compliments on this yarn, and I’m looking forward to knitting myself a pair in this. These will go to Biggest Beanlet this Fall.

Currently, June’s sock WIP: 20160604_121356

The Don’t Cage Me In Socks, by Heather Kinne.  The yarn is some wonderful yarn called WonderSock by Gale’s Art in the colorway Stoney. Love, love, love.  These are actually supposed to have the lattice patterning on the back of the leg. I’m not doing that though: it turns out(and I knew that, I probably just forgot!) that moving stitches from needle tip to needle tip  is impossible when knitting both socks on the magic loop at once. I was away from home and without a second needle when I realized this, and was unwilling to put the project down(I was #waitingroomknitting) and so I just decided to knit the back of the legs plain. NO harm, no foul. I’m pretty much Team 2-at-a-time-socks these days, so I’m reluctant to knit them one by one.

The Aradena socks were knit one at a time and I have no idea why. Usually, I guess I’m just on autopilot and don’t want to deal with SSS(second sock syndrome). These socks are currently further along than in this photo. In fact, they’re almost done! 😉  Stay tuned for an in-the-b0x shot of the first three pairs!

 

In spinning news, I finally got Dutchie fixed!! My poor spinning wheel had all sorts of issues: noisy, shifty footmen, a missing tension spring(I’d been making do with fishing line and rubber bands!), and the list goes on. I went to spin a few weeks ago and the footmen had completely dry-rotted and broken. After some quick research, I was able to get all the parts required to fix the wheel up and I have been spinning!

Falkland Wool from Into The Whirled

What you see here is some Falkland wool I picked up at Rhinebeck 2012 from Into The Whirled. It had been sitting on the wheel since I started spinning it a few years ago, when I started having serious issues with the wheel, which caused me to stop. I tried desperately to pick up where I left off, but nothing I did would allow the singles to take up onto the bobbin without breaking off. Then,  just my luck I’ve lost the end of the fiber and can NOT find it. So I started a new bobbin with the rest of the fiber(on the left), and am currently plying it.  It’s not the softest yarn( neither the Falkland nor the unknown undyed fiber (Could it be Cotswold or Romney?) I’m plying it with are soft fibers, but hopefully a good soak will smooth things out. One can only hope!

What are you knitting/spinning these days? Hit me up in the comments!

A Day Late, and a Yard Short…

Gap-Tastic cowl one yard short of bind-off

That’s pretty much how it happened. I’d used all three balls of the LB Wool-Ease Thick & Quick and was just short of finishing the bind-off when I ran out of yarn. I contemplated using 4 strands of some regular weight Wool-ease and hoping for the best. But sanity came over me and I backed out of that idea.  The upside of going back to the store for one more ball is that I can make a nice matching hat out of the remaining yardage. 😉 And I was so hoping to wear it this weekend. Oh well, onward.

The other day I decided to participate in Eat.Sleep.Knit’s annual Yarnathon for 2015( I’m a ‘Yarnicorn’!), and this is my first package:

 

Eat.Sleep.Knit Yarnathon entry package

(Clockwise from bottom left): Madeline Tosh Prairie, in Oceana, and then Gilded; Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce, and again in Impressionist Sky. The welcome packet came with a cute sticker, a little note pad and pen and a Yarn lottery ticket which netted me a store credit! Weeee! 😀
Madeline Tosh Merino Vintage
I had to be a bit greedy though, and picked up a skein of Madeline Tosh Vintage for a lovely hat I’d like to make: Tekstur, by Angela Tong. I loved this hat the moment I saw it and I just hope I can get it to fit my big hair!

I’ve also got a handspun merino hat on the DPNs as well:

 

Merino Handspun, "Gestures"

Perfect knitting for when I just need to keep my hands moving and not think so much. Like watching TV or podcasts or getting around on public transit. 😉

That’s what’s going on by me, How are things with you?

TTFN!

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!

WIPs are now FOs!

I recently got two WIPs off the needles: Harvest Sweater, and the Standing Stones cowl.

Harvest Sweater- Done!

 

Harvest Sweater, from TinCanKnits’ Simple Collection. I love how this fits me. And I’m extra pumped because It’s not super big like sweaters in the past have been. All these knitting years, between being big, and yet not knowing HOW big, I’d always erred on the side of caution, resulting in unnecessarily large sweaters. Now realizing I wasn’t as big as I thought I was, and deciding to actually pay attention to size and fit(yay for not having to use/buy as much yarn anymore!), I’m getting better turnouts. I’m still a little wary of sweaters only because I intend to get even smaller and don’t want things that’ll swim on me.

 

As for the knitting itself, it went really quick. Not seaming helped with that but then I re-realized two things: 1) while raglan shaping makes for easier trying-on while knitting, it seems to take forever to get where you need to be before setting aside the sleeve stitches. (BO-RING!), and 2), all those damn stitches on the needles is no good for my wrists. Or anyone’s wrists, for that matter. Which is why my next sweater is a seamed one.

Day 6:  WIP That’s the bottom of the back of Ella Rae Lace Merino Worsted Ribbed Sweater (hey, that’s what they’re calling it!) from the Knitting Fever website. Ignore that garter ridge there. That’s a… design element! 😉

 

Then there’s Andee Fagan’s Standing Stones cowl,  a recent KAL with my Knatural Purls (We’re on Facebook, check us out if you’re there too!) crew. It was a really quick knit, 3.5 skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease and I was done. It fits like a dream, and I look forward to wearing it. I’m not used to wearing over-the arms sort of things so this’ll be interesting, to say the least.

Standing Stones cowl-Done!

 

So, that’s pretty much it for this post. Mallow socks (pictured above with the nameless socks) are at the gusset-stage and heel-turning should begin this weekend. Or next. Or, whenever cause I’d really rather work on the sweater and read.. 

 

What’s on your hooks and needles? Let me know!

 

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! 😀

Take It or Leaf It Shawl

IMG_20140722_112716

So this began the other day. After a false start or two I’m finally 80% of the way done. Can’t wait to block this out and show it off this fall. Patons Lace yarn in Bonfire, that I finally found a use for, and a G hook. I think I’d like to make this again in a less fuzzy yarn; one thing this project taught me is that the ease of ripping to be found in crochet does NOT exist when it comes to fuzzy mohair. You’re welcome.

NaKniSwe-NO!

Nope, I didn’t finish the sweater. Of course, I hadn’t realized until the last week that it was taking FOR-freaking-EVER because, it’s being knit on size 5s, with what is essentially a light-worsted yarn and not the worsted I thought. I’ve consulted some knit gurus and I’m going to be easing my way up to a size 7 or 8 because this is just ridiculous.  I’m barely past my boobs!!

Not to mention I kind of got sidetracked with a few other projects(what? you didn’t think that could happen? This is ME we’re talking about here…), like cowls.

So far I’ve knit two Who’s Cowl’d‘s(Ravelry link!), and finished a pair of simple socks based off the Socks of Kindness pattern I did a few months ago. Since I’m on a cowl binge I’ve also started a third, the Stockholm Scarf.

Stockholm Scarf (cowl)

It’s several pattern repeats further by now, but you get the idea. I can’t wait til it’s finished and I can wear it! 😀 It’s being worked in Berroco Vintage DK in a nice  deep red that I just realized is also the same color as my NaKniSweMo sweater. Red always was one of my favorite colors!

What about you? What you been knitting on?

TTFN

NaKniSweMo Day 21-22

And so it goes. I figured I’d eventually screw up somewhere. I managed, after 3 weeks to knit the sleeves together. I’ve knit countless socks, two at a time, on the magic loop(OK maybe only 3 pairs), and never had this happen:

Whoops!

 

Yeah.  Just imagine the frustration when I noticed I’d f’d this up. It’s nothing too bad and it was only a short round to tink back, but still. I was on a roll!!

I’ve also discovered, yet again, that my row gauge sucketh. So, I’m having to start the cuffs sooner than expected. No matter. I’ll just leave that last. I’ve already moved the body back onto the needles so I can go from there. The next big dilemma is,  “to waist-shape or not to waist-shape”. Hmm.. that’s another discussion for another day..

 

TTFN!