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!

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!

Tour de Flop

Yeah, I said it. Flop. I didn’t come close to doing the spinning I thought I would do for the TdF. I can’t even use the heat as an excuse because I could have just put the wheel in my cool room and kept on going. What happened was, I just got sidetracked by the sock knitting.

TdF Gestures awaiting bath

This is the only completed skein of handspun I can show from my TdF efforts. And, it’s not truly complete because I haven’t set the twist. Lay-Z.

The sock knitting, though, isn’t without its efforts. I’ve been knitting socks on the Magic Loop since I started knitting back in 2004. It had been a while, actually before I’d even knit anything on DPNs because I didn’t like the fiddly-ness of getting the needles set up. (I’ve long since gotten over than and can use DPNs now, with no problem.) Most of my socks were knit on the loop.

A few times, though, I’ve knit both socks of the pair on the loop and every time, I’ve had to stop knitting on one of the socks in order to complete the heel. When doing the short rows, or turning a heel flap, you’re leaving live stitches on both needles, which means the tips are not free to work on the other sock until you’ve finished working the rows/turns. So, for that portion of the project I have to slow down to one at a time. Bummer. Overall, though, I think it’s still faster than knitting the socks start to finish one by one, and it helps to combat the one-sock-syndrome I’ve dealt with in the past.

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon here in the pressure-cooker that the US has been this past week, so I’ve been reluctant to work on any sewing. There’s NO way I can get the tables and machines in the cool room so that’s out. Hopefully in the next week or so it’ll cool down to near normal again..

Well, my Roasted Herb Chicken and Potatoes is smelling good, so I’m off to check on it and get back to the socks.

TTFN!

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!