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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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!

I always do it to myself (NaBloPoMo–day 5)

Procrastination: That thing you do when you don’t want to do something.  I always do it to myself. That, or I get distracted by the shiny and awesome and forget to do what I need to.

Take today’s cold weather, for instance. Scrambling for warm hats at last minute this morning reminded me that it’s time to work on more winter wear. Why didn’t I think of this back in September?? Oh yeah, prepping for Rhinebeck and such. Getting into the groove of a new school year. Rhinebeck. Dealing with crazy in-laws. And once again, Rhinebeck. 😉

As it were, the festival was warm for October. Last time I went I was freezing. This year, we’re all sweating and removing all the handknits we wore to show off. But now, it’s time or the cold-weather wear. This year I want to do something different: instead of long-ass scarves I will pick out some cowls and such. Same purpose, not so long and dangly. They’re much quicker(especially if knit in worsted, chunky or bulky), and as long as the kids’ necks are warm, I really don’t think they’ll care that it’s not a traditional scarf.

I’m also planning on doing a few charity hats this time around, for various charities as I hear about them. I heard tell someone local to me was collecting warm items for Sandy survivors; I’ll gladly send a few their way.  I have a few patterns in mind; nothing too fancy, but varied enough not to bore me to tears.  I’m currently in the process of making school-color sweaters for the two biggest Beanlets, and I just got a mitten request from little one. Oy, I’ll need at least 10 pairs of arms to get all that done.  Oh well, I asked for it.

If it’s Fall for you now, are you yarn-ready for Winter? 😉

TTFN!

It’s been a long time…

since my last post, I know. I have been working on projects of the yarny kind and here’s the proof:

Not one, but two! crocheted Chevron Lace cardigans. One for me, and one for littlest Beanlet.

Matchy Chevron Lace Cardigans

Chevron side(child)

Chevron front (adult)

We have been getting compliments left and right on these sweaters, especially when we were them at the same time. I’ve since moved on to knitting a different sweater that I will feature in another post(read: when I get a decent photo of it!). But little one has taken to spending a little more than a few minutes every morning trying to decide which one to wear that day. After I finish some school sweaters for the older two Beanlets I may go and make yet another for her( my most appreciative yarn-gift recipient of the three), before I get started on another for myself.

This will serve as my ‘Rhinebeck sweater’ for this year’s visit. Yes! I’m finally going again after a long, 4-year absence. I can’t WAIT!!! 😀  Are you going? If so, hope to meet you there!

In this post:

Chevron Lace Cardigan

About 8 balls of Red Heart Super Saver(mill ends) in Aran Fleck

Size 48 done for me in a K hook, Size 44 for her, but with a G hook

Both of these took  4 days each of work, having not worked on any other projects.

Knit-Chat Alphabet Knits 2012

Aran Twist Socks

The lovely ladies of the G+ Knit Chat and I have begun a year-long project whereby we are going to start/work on/complete a project based on a corresponding letter of the English-language alphabet, every two weeks. Started on New Year’s day, which was conveniently on a Sunday, and I’m now working on “D”. The rules are somewhat up to interpretation, such that we can alter project names to suit.

The socks above are my “A” project. The Aran Twist Socks were a heck of a project, mostly because I kept messing up and having to restart. Annoying as heck but user error for sure. Nice simple pattern that I would likely do again. I did a different heel than what’s listed in the pattern but the main thing is the top and leg of the foot right? 🙂

Next up is my “B”. I had originally thought of the Buttercup Tunic (Ravelry link) sweater but that pattern is a disaster, IMO. I read through it to familiarize myself with the construction and couldn’t make heads or tails of why it’s constructed the way it is, so I changed my mind and went for a Tappan Zee Sweater, renamed ‘Bridge Sweater’ to fit the project. So far, not bad. I’m already done with the knitting. I opted to make it into a pullover instead of the cardigan it’s designed as. Not sure if that was a good idea, or if I just used a not-very-good choice of yarn because it bloomed like CRAZY with blocking. Instead of buttons I will be adding in some ribbon to cinch the neckline and button band. Whoops.

Then there’s “C”: the Caroline Hat. Caroline Hat

This needs a ribbon and I already bought it, but you know me, procrastination galore here in Chez Bean. I bought it the same day I got the ribbon for the Bridge sweater, so at least I’m on something of a roll in terms of acquiring the embellishments. I’m sure I’ll get it done before Fall. 😉

Finally, I’m on “D”. First, understand that projects are NOT required to be finished within the two weeks, just that it should be the main thing I’m working on.

'Da Age of Brass and Steam shawl

I’m knitting The (‘Da) Age of Brass and Steam next. It’s all in my own handspun. Some of the fiber is pre-dyed Grafton Fibers Merino that I picked up in a buying frenzy when I first learned to spin back in ’06. The rest is some undyed Merino that I dyed myself, with Koolaid the following year. I’m just now getting around to using it. I’m sort of on a stash-burning quest in the process of completing these projects. Kill two birds with one stone, or something like that.

Eileen is next on the horizon, though, guess what? She’s done! Except for the zipper, which makes things easier, but I’ll likely throw in a secondary “E” project for $hits and giggles. We’ll see..

TTFN!

Back in the swing of things

First off, Happy New Year 2012!

Quite a bit has occurred since my last post.There’s been some knitting/crocheting of new projects, as well as finishing up an old, long-standing WIP.

In the finish-up department:

There’s the Cable Plait Bag that I started wayyyyy back in 2009. Finished it Christmas Day, 2011.

Plait Cable Bag done!

I actually had to call Big Beanlet back to get a picture of it, because she’d run off with it before I could finish a sentence. I’d been putting off lining the bag for fear that I’d mess it up. Silly me needs to get a picture of the lining; I don’t know why I didn’t think to do that before I let it out of my sight again.

After that, though, I got back into a bout of startitis and wound up working on a Half-Granny Square shawl, which I actually started and finished before I even bothered with the bag. I’d bought two skeins of this awesome Loops and Threads Luxury Sock yarn, but found myself crocheting the shawl instead of actually making socks. Since crochet takes more yarn than knitting, I went back for another two skeins to complete the project. (Gotta love coupons from Michaels and A.C. Moore!).

Crochet sock yarn shawl

All of these were finished before the near year began, and I’m now on a new ‘mission’ to complete and work on projects with a different goal/inspiration in mind. I’ll detail that more in the next post.

TTFN!

Proof of Knitting….

Not quite proof of life but it’ll do. 😉

52/365--Back to Basics

With winter coming I had to get on the move with some new handknit accessories. You need something around your neck in these cold Northeast winters but I got tired of arranging and rearranging scarves. Cowl time! I just wanted something simple to start with, something I could use up some leftover KP yarns. I got 4 wildly different colors of Palette together and just ran them one behind the other.

I hit a roadblock with the way the top droops and I’m going to fix that before I show a FO picture.

I’ve also been putting some inches on the sleeves of Eileen, after pinning together the body to get a better sense of how I’m going to work the sleeves. Thanx to a very kind and smart knitter I learned the sleeves would have turned out WAY too big so I ripped and restarted. They’re almost to the arm caps as I type this.

55/365--Eileen WIP

I’ve also got a scarf and hat set going for Littlest Beanlet. They’re being done in undyed wool, so I’m going to dye them all at once when they’re done. I’ll see what color is her favorite this month. 😉

TTFN!

Addiction–Not Pretty, but perhaps Useful

That was the theme for a recent photo from my 365 challenge. I’m referring to a washcloth pattern that I found, when looking for something small and portable to work on while running errands that required long waits or travel.

Washcloth in progress

I had about 8 or 9 balls of dishcloth cotton. I was supposed to make some new potholders but got sidetracked by a stuffed animal pattern, only to abandon that(for the time being), to wind up working on the washcloths. The pattern is easily remembered and that only fueled my crochet addiction.

I’ve got some Sugar n’ Cream ‘Denim’ yarn which is a bit thinner than the regular style. I’m going to make towels with those instead of cloths. Can always use more kitchen towels, right? 😉

I’m making minimal progress with Eileen. I’ve long since finished a front but I had to rip the second front when I realized I’d done too many waist decreases. Oopsie. I should be picking that up again in the next few days. It’s just the portable, mindless, addicting washcloths came into my life and totally took over.

On another note, I might wind up dropping the second towel to get back into wearables for the Beanlets. It’s getting cooler and that means hat and scarf time. Littlest is begging for gloves instead of mittens. I really am not a fan of knitting all those fingers. I convinced her to stick with mittens by telling her that your hand stays warmer if all your fingers are together; like in a mitten. She went for it, so I’m off the hook for now. 😉

I’ve got some undyed Merit brand 100% wool I picked up a the Save-a-Thon a while ago, I was making a shawl from it but it’s just too thick and not very shawl-like. It’ll make a decent hat for her and that’s what it’ll become. I just need to find a suitable pattern.

That’s what’s been going on with the yarn-craft.. If you’re looking for photos, check here!

Whoops! or, Crash and Burn

That’s basically how things have been going with the spinning lately. I’ve missed a few days in the TdF. But apparently I missed more than that. I somehow mislaid a bit of the fiber I was spinning and thought I was done with it. And I also seem to have forgotten how to Navajo ply.

I think that’s why I put off finishing that little bit that remained. Because I knew I couldn’t remember how to chain ply. And I also had forgotten that singles which are going to be chain plied need to be tightly spun. Every attempt I made at getting into a groove failed because the singles would unravel and drift apart. Sigh. Add to that the fact my lazy kate is untensioned and it’s a recipe for disaster. I have decided I will have to add the extra step of winding that singles off into a center-pull ball so I can Andean(2-ply) it instead. 😦

Do I make up the gaps by spinning through the second rest day? Or do I continue with the socks I’ve been working on. There are some changes with them too.

Socks on the loop

I started out with the Java socks pattern but that wasn’t working out. With this alpaca yarn, you can’t really see the stitch pattern all that well, so I’ll just keep on with the 2×1 ribbing. I’m going to run out of this yarn before I get to the toes, so I’ll be using some other yarn to finish. They’ll probably spend all their time not being seen(except in an FO photo) so I’m not really worried about them being perfect. But the effort involved in making them according to the pattern would be totally wasted if you can’t even see it.

Due to my epic failure in spinning this evening, there are no fiber photos. So I’ll leave you with the Lower Manhattan Skyline, as seen today from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

Lower Manhattan Skyline

TTFN!

Halfway There; In the Zone

I forgot how ‘in the zone’ I can get when I’m spinning. I can just prep my fiber and go. Adding on and adding on and lose track of time. All of a sudden, I’m half way there.

TdF day 6(5 for me)

Above: HelloYarn “Gestures” 100% Merino wool

As of this writing, I’ve since finished plying it and it’s awaiting a bath to set the twist.

 
Creatively Dyed singles

Next up is some Creatively Dyed bamboo/wool I got at Rhinebeck ’08.  I’m spinning it really thin, so I can navajo-ply it. It’s going so fast, that though  I’d originally figured it would be ready to ply on Wednesday, it might get done on Tuesday instead. So I’m looking forward to finishing this and moving on to the next fiber.

Today is actually supposed to be a rest day, but I decided I will spin today to make up for my starting a day late plus missing a day. Truth is, I’m having too much fun to stop at this point! 😉 I’m thinking, had I started on time and not missed a day I’d be done with the bamboo/wool and onto the next thing anyway. It’s all good.

 

TTFN!