Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Know Thy Fiber

I posted recently about how thrilled I was to have finished plying some of the Corridale I had bought at last year's MD Sheep and Wool. The only thing is that it wasn't actually the Corriedale after all. The Corriedale is still being plied. I realized my error a few days later when I sat down at the wheel.

That newly processed yarn I was so happy about was made from the Cormo fleece from the year before. That's what I get for always buying white fleeces and leaving them white. It won't happen again this year.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Winter that Wasn't

I know this is a bit too early to be calling this winter a dud, but the little snowman that sits on my stoop is looking a bit out of place among all the greenery.

The camellias are already blooming....

and so is the vinca.

The kale is still looking pretty tasty...

and so is the Swiss chard. All I need is some olive oil and garlic and I've got dinner right out of the garden-in January?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Meet Me at the Fair

I'll be the one wearing this electric purple shawlette at this year's Maryland Sheep and Wool Fest. This, along with my hot pink Ravelry tee will certainly have me standing out in the crowd.

It took me a while to understand where this pattern was going and how it related to the photos I saw of the finished object. The border is knitted first and then the body is picked up and worked back and forth in short rows for a small crescent shaped shawl. I really like the mock cable at the top of the pattern. I only wish I had bought a slightly lighter color of roving so it could be seen.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Oh Happy Day

Nothing in the fiber world makes me happier than having newly plied yarn soaking in the sink.

It is such a feeling of accomplishment. The only thing that comes close is blocking a lace shawl.

For days now I will be ridiculously thrilled to share the bathroom with this hank of drying fingering-weight Corriedale.

Jacob Locks

It seems like only yesterday that it looked like this.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Origin Unknown

I was digging through a pile of plastic bags that I thought contained only scraps when I came upon this abandoned mitt left over from a spin along over in the Yarnspinner's Ravelry group. It was from our lesson on woolen spinning and plying so I think this is some Jacob plied with thinner Corriedale singles. Maybe. I really need to start keeping better notes. Happily, it looks like I just may have enough to make another mystery fiber mitt.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Knit Night: Just the Three of Us

I suppose everyone had a good excuse for not coming out tonight but we missed them all the same. Even though there was only three in "our" group, our corner filled up just the same. There were pretty Valentine socks on the needles tonight.

There was also a spectacular beaded bag around someone's neck. I never asked what was in the bag but the earphones offer up a bit of a clue. I need to make one of these. It's in the queue for summer.

The bag owner was working on some teeny tiny leaves for a baby gift tonight. It seems that there is a mobile in need of leaves. I want to see the whole thing. Don't you?

She was also wearing those green socks I have photographed in progress so many times. You could shovel snow in those socks. Too bad we don't have any.

We were trying to figure out the construction of this short row scarf. I think we got it. At least someone got it. I just pretended. I can't talk or think knit. I just do it and don't bother to ask me how-I don't know.

I brought along the Modern Lodge Pullover. I didn't do much with it because I was getting too close to the end of this sleeve and I didn't want to have to unknit the excess tomorrow.

I did manage to get one repeat of the Kide Shawl done in spite of sitting next to this major distraction. That is one gorgeous bag.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Plus Side

Since going back to work, I have less time for knitting but it seems that I have had more time for spinning.

Knitting means thinking about what you are doing and spinning is just blissful repetitive motion. It's the best way to start and end a long stressful day. I had forgotten how hard teachers work. If you know a teacher, even the worst one that your child has ever had, they deserve your respect-and your pity.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ups and Downs, Ins and Outs

I had a mini nervous breakdown at work the other day. It was pretty bad. I had my sh*t packed and was heading out the door for good when a long time colleague took the time to calm me down and readjust my perspective. During the rather emotional conversation, she noticed my scarf and asked me about its construction. I am not sure if she was really interested or just trying to get my mind on another topic. I told her to check out my blog for details so here they are:

I am not a fan of knitted scarves. Too thick, too bulky-so I weave mine on my handy little Ashford Knitter's Loom. I have the bigger one. They make a smaller version that is perfect for scarves and other small projects. If I was rich I would have both but I'm not, so I choose the larger one for more options in project sizes. I also bought the floor stand. It's optional but it makes a huge difference. Holding it in my lap was a real pain.

Right now I am working on a large throw that is made of two panels that will be sewn together. Maybe. I have no idea if this is going to work but I am sure hoping it does because I have been working on this particular project since early last spring. I really want to get it done now because now, thanks to you Beth, I really, really want to make another scarf.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Rainbow in a Box

Knit Picks lovers are all up in a snit because of the recent rather steep price increases. It's not that they think that Knit Picks doesn't deserve to make a profit, it's just that after all the other ginormous price increases that we are being stuck with on what seems like a daily basis, people have had enough. Knitters included. Everyone remembers what happened with Netflix. I quit 'em and I haven't looked back. I don't miss that little red envelope at all.

I have to confess that I, too, was disappointed by Knit Picks, at first. The people who were "passionately committed to affordable luxury knitting" were now sticking it to us as well. All of a sudden, things I took for granted were out of reach (yes, I mean you, Palette). I got over it pretty quick however, when I saw that some Chroma colors were on sale. I snatched up four balls of clearance colors. Sweet-but I still have to wonder how their PR people let them podcast about Kelly's new retirement home in Mexico at the same time they were crying poor mouth to their customers.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's About Time

I have been waiting for winter to show up so I could post about my newest FO. I wanted a picture in the snow. I only got slush but it will just have to do.

Meet my Dalhousie Mitts. Being the poor retired school teacher that I am, I am not used to working with such exquisite yarn. I have to thank Wandering Cat Yarns for giving me the chance to experience something quite out of the ordinary for me. This is the colorway Poe in Fluffy Cat, a gorgeous alpaca, silk and cashmere blend .

The best part is that I still have this much left. What to do. What to do.....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Going Nowhere

I really, really wanted to get this sweater done over my long weekend but no matter how much time I spent on this sleeve, it never seemed to get any longer.

The front and back took me a year to complete so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that the sleeves would turn out to be equally as time consuming. I am running out of cold weather around here so I suppose I am going to have to admit to myself that this will be next year's wardrobe addition.

Friday, January 20, 2012


My faux Noro scarf has become an obsession. I can see why people end up making lots of them. It is mindless knitting at its best. I take it everywhere. No matter how tired I am, I can always add a row or two. There is no thinking about the pattern or even the color. You just have to knit. I've already ordered better yarn for several more of these since this Bernat Mosaic, while pretty, is like knitting with cardboard. I have never seen yarn that has absolutely no drape or stretch at all. I did NOT, however, order Noro. I hate Noro. It is itchy, full of hay and full of knots. If I wanted that, I would use my own handspun.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

No Knit Night

I love Knit Night and I love knitting at home so no matter what my knit buddies decide on Wednesdays, it's all good.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Something Pretty

The Kide shawl that I am making as a gift is turning out rather nice.

After working with my own wonky handspun BFL this week, it is a real pleasure to pick up the Gloss. It feels like cashmere in comparison. It is also working up pretty quickly. This is only four pattern repeats. I have limited free time these days so being able to see so much progress so soon is making me very, very happy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Think Spring

May 1st is right around the corner and I'm happy to say that my 2012 MD Sheep and Wool Festival project is finally ready to cast on. This year I am going with something pretty simple since I have so much going on at the moment. I am not exactly crazy about the feel of this BFL that I spun on my mini Bosworth spindle but more than likely I am making yet another shawl that will be worn all of twenty minutes before it is stashed in a bag due to the heat.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Something Blue

I got so bored with my hexie crochet project that I bought a new color of cheapo acrylic to change it up a bit.

My original color scheme went out the window ages ago so right now, anything goes. It's big and it's ugly. It will fit right in with my decor.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sew Long

Now that I am back to work, I miss my afternoon putter in the sewing room.

I never got anything done, but it was quality me time.

Little bits were always added to long term projects.

While other projects were doomed to hibernation from the minute they began.

It is only four months, three weeks and three days until I am free once again. I think I can make it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


All that white wool I had been spinning all summer is now in the plying stage. I can't wait to get it over with so I can start something fun. This is the Cormo fleece I bought way back in 2010 at the MD Sheep and Wool. It was that year's Tour de Fleece project. That is how long this has been on this wheel. I bought 9 lbs before washing and I have about 3 smallish skeins to show for it. I won't be doing that again.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Apologies

The lovely yarn I bought from Webs turned out to be a nightmare. It was too silky. The yarnovers kept popping off the needle. I hate when that happens.
I was badmouthing Knit Picks in that post, but look who I turned to when I needed something I could count on.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Soggy Knit Night

48 hours ago we had our very first little bit of snow. Tonight it was all rain. It gave me a bad case of the knitting blahs. It's too warm for wool.

The group was small. I can't blame people for staying home. It was hard to come out on a night like tonight.

One brave soul was making the cutest baby hat ever. I need a baby to make one for. That is NOT a hint to any of my kids. A stranger will do just fine.

A very pretty thumb gusset was being knit.

A tiny bag was beginning to take shape.

My pile of projects just lay there in a heap most of the night. As much as I want to get these ancient things off the needle, I just wasn't feeling it. I've got a three day weekend coming up and I am planning to knit my little fingers off in front of the TV. These boring old things WILL be done. No excuses.