Still Hanging Around

Yep,  the blog is still up, just haven’t been posting with work responsibilities. But now that THAT’s a thing of the past, I’ve decided to bring the blog back into play. Stay tuned for more yarn shenanigans coming up! Orla socks instagram capture

Advertisements

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!

My Design: Therese Socks

The time has finally come to announce my entry into the world of Knit Designing! It’s been a long time coming, with 11 years of knitting and yarn-play behind me. I present to you: Therese Socks.

Therese Socks front

These socks were inspired by the beautiful Radiant Gradient cowl, designed by fellow KnaturalPurl Therese Ross-Carter. A knit designer and an accomplished motivational author, Terrie encouraged me to get in the ring and start creating my knit-dreams. Without her nudging, I’d still be thinking about publishing my own patterns. It’ll be a challenge but I can count on her to put her foot in my notions bag when I need it. 😉

Therese Socks side.

I figured I’d start with the one thing I’ve knit more of than anything: socks. So many options for toes, heels, stitch patterns to choose from, why not? This was truly a labor of love, with everything from realizing that what I KNOW doesn’t always make sense to others, to being disciplined in terms of timelines, to getting so frustrated at formatting the pattern template that I was ready to smash my laptop! (Luckily, it never came to that!)

I also want to thank ALL my Purls and ALL my yarnies for all the advice, encouragement, and well wishes on this endeavor.

Like what you see? Get the pattern on Ravelry (it’s free to join!), get to stitchin’ and enjoy this simple, lacy sock.

TTFN!

I Popped My MDSW Cherry…

I know, I know. EVERYBODY and their mother on the East coast has been to MDSW(Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival) at least once. This past Saturday was my very first time. And it was sweet.

In the past I’d resigned myself to NYS Sheep and Wool (Rhinebeck!), because I was not willing to travel allllllll the way to Maryland. Most of my local knitter friends, and a bunch of distant ones made a regular pilgrimage down that way every first weekend in May. I figured now was my chance. Talk about overwhelming. I barely took photos of the goodies to be had, instead opting for the usual, ‘ I’m here, look!’-type shots. Hell, I’d even left the DSLR home(now you KNOW it was serious).
Pretty Sky
Sheepy decorations outside the festival entrance

Of course I took time out to show off a sock WIP( the Socks on a Plane have since been finished.):

Socks on a plane... at a festival! (Mine’s on the right).

The highlight of the festival was getting this: a skein of the Cobblestone Sock, by Neighborhood Fiber Co.

Neighborhood Fiber co. Cobblestone sock, Canton colorway

I can’t wait to knit this gem!

Also, I managed to finish the Socks on a Plane in record time: 5 Days ya’ll!

Socks on a Plane, in Socks That Rock, Little Bo Peep colorway

This sock was insanely easy and the thick sock yarn made it go really fast. Socks that Rock is a popular sock yarn that sells like hotcakes at festivals. I got a bum skein with knots and tangles. I’m thinking they sell the oopses at these festivals. I like the yarn a lot for what it is, but I’m not sure if I’d ever buy it again if the usual quality is what I found at Rhinebeck (2013). We shall see.

What am I working on now?
Ashton shawl progress; Malabrigo sock, in Lettuce.

Meet the Ashton Shawl. I’m knitting this in Malabrigo Sock, in Lettuce. I know I bought two skeins of Malabrigo sock and couldn’t remember what shawls I wanted to knit with them. I just did the close-your-eyes-and-point and came up with this in my queue since 2012. What better time to knit it than now?, I say. So far, it’s a really relaxing, easy knit. Can’t wait to block this puppy!

So that’s it for this one. Stay tuned for a special event coming up in the next few weeks. I’ll give you a hint: socks. 😉

TTFN!

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!

Big Things Are Coming…

…and Gaye over on The Confessions of a Yarn Ho is to blame. 😉 I’ve been viewing her beautiful WIPs and FOs and decided it was time to try something in a thicker yarn. Last time I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick was back in, oh… 2004 when I tried to knit the Sonnet sweater for myself. (I’m still gonna try it, just not with bulky yarn!). After a while things just got really heavy and I gave it up.

But now? NOW! I think I’m ready for Big Things. Quick cowls and hats are the order of the day, at least in this really cold, bitter Winter the Northeast is having right now. On the big needles:

2015-01-31_11-05-17

GAP-tastic Cowl, by Jen Geigley. (LB Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, in Cranberry).  I’m knitting this on 13s. I bought 15s just in case the 13s didn’t work out, but since I’m changing things up and knitting sideways on way less stitches I’m thinking this will be fine. I can’t wait to finish it! Admittedly, this won’t be AS quick as a single-loop style cowl done in the round, but this will be so worth the wait.

I’ve taken a short break from the latest socks I’m working on for the 60-Minute Sockagram because I’d really like to have quiet time to sit and just knit, and with all the moving around and errands I have to deal with lately, there’s just not much of that. I’m on the heel flap of the first sock, and that type of thing deserves close observation and attention.

That’s pretty much it for now. Of course, there will be knitting on this cowl and scheming on what Big Thing to knit next. 😉 You knew that, didn’t 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! 😀

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!) 😀