Friday, March 31, 2006

The Week of the Finished Objects

Wow, I've finished a lot this week. And I can actually show you this one! (See, Kimberly, I have been knitting on my UFOs.)

And on:

You can see them a little closer here and you can click on the photos as always to make them bigger.
And yes, yes there is more black on the toe of one sock than the other. I did, in fact, have a whole other skein of the colored yarn, but quite honestly, I was too lazy to ball it up for all of four rows.

Pattern: Caesar's Check from Sensational Knitted Socks (I'm hosting a KAL for the book and this is only the second pair I've actually finished!)
Needles: Size 1 DPNs
Yarn: The black is Knitpicks Essential and the colored is one of the Sock Landscape colorways, also from Knitpicks
Complaints: This particular pattern does have an error which has been noted on the KAL. I think it has been corrected on the Corrections Page. Nothing major if you've done socks before.

I'm off to clean something (see, dear hubby, I don't just blog all day), then I'm going to cast on for another pair from SKS with some lovely Trekking. I'm considering ordering some more Trekking, but I have to decide before the end of the day because I've joined Rebekah's Yarn Focus Challenge. That means I only have one free day in April to order yarn and I don't want it to be on the first day.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Bella is finished!

I know, you want to see pictures. Don't you hate when someone finishes something and can't show you pictures yet? First the Mystery Project, now this. Unfortunatly, this is one of those sweaters that just looks so much better on and my part-time photographer is currently at his real job. I tried the mirror thing, but all the pictures were incredibly blurry. So, you might have to wait until Saturday. It is beautiful and I love it. I think if I ever do it again (which I will because it is a lovely pattern!), I'll definitely do the pullover version because the fronts keep curling under and I've steamed the heck out of it. Other than that, it is really nice. Knitpicks Shine really shows off the lace pattern well. I'll give more information when I get some pictures up.

In other knitting news, I'm definitely in object finishing mode because I picked up my Mosaic Socks that have been hiding in a bag for a couple of months. I've finished the heel flap and about to start turning the heel. Shouldn't take much time at all after that.

Monday, March 27, 2006

My Interest in Spinning

With the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival quickly approaching I thought I'd tell a little bit about my interest in spinning. I first became interested in spinning when I took a class in college in Ancient Roman Technology and did a report on spinning and dyeing. I always meant to try my hand at actually spinning at that point, but for some reason I never did. Probably too much schoolwork and there wasn't quite as much information about modern spinning out there then. I was crocheting a bit at the time, but I had not knit in a while. Crocheting for too long made my hand hurt, so I quit crocheting and cross-stitched for a while, occasionally crocheting something. A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to knit a poncho. So I went to the local yarn store to find a pattern. I bought several magazines, yarn, and needles. I relearned to knit and found that continental was more comfortable after crocheting for so long. I never did knit a poncho, but I knit two sweaters for my girls, scarves, socks, and of course, I found lace.

Then last year about this time I heard about the Sheep and Wool Festival for the first time. I knew I wanted to learn to spin. Someone recommended Golding spindles to me as being the best, so I went with the specific intention of buying a Golding spindle and some fiber. I came away with a Golding spindle, some fiber and a five-minute lesson from a friend of a friend. After a few minutes, it felt very natural and I believe if past lives do exist, then I was a spinner in one or two of mine. I then decided I needed a wheel. Never having spun on a wheel, I bought one and was not disappointed. It also clicked with me.

I own one spindle (though that probably will change with the S&W), and it has been sadly neglected since I got the wheel. With my wheel, I've gotten in the habit of wanting to finish whatever I'm spinning. I still enjoy it, but I might have lost a bit of the process enjoyment. So, influenced by a friend at the weekly Sit 'N' Knit, I picked my poor neglected spindle back up with some BFL last night and just enjoyed the process.

My knitting has not been neglected. I have finished the Mystery Project and will show a picture when it reaches its new owner, probably sometime this week. I have also finished the fronts of my Bella cardigan. (Have you seen one of her new designs, the Krista Tee? Cute.) I'm now working on the sleeves, hopefully to be finished sometime this week.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Laceweight Merino/Angora

As promised:

There you go, 2-ply laceweight merino/angora spun from some of the lovely stuff over at The Woolen Rabbit. Beautiful stuff and so soft! This is just two ounces; I have two more ounces waiting to be spun. I had hoped to have enough for this, so I would have needed at least 500 yards from this skein. I got over 800! (From just two ounces!) I know the picture is a bit blurry, but you can sort of see how thin it is. So needless to say I'll have enough for Melanie's lovely stole and then some. I put a lot of twist into the singles and there are a few spots I didn't quite get enough twist on the plying, but overall, it is mostly balanced. I can't wait to work with it. (I will not start a new project just yet. I will not start a new project.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Anybody else get their Maryland Sheep & Wool book today? I'll have pictures tomorrow of my merino/angora all plied and twist set. Right now, I'm off to look at all the ads in my book. Can't wait!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Deja vu

Seems like I've done this before.

Looks a lot like this picture, doesn't it? I swear it's a tad longer this time around and I hope I don't have to re-knit again. The rest of my yarn came and it is indeed the same dyelot. Since I ordered plenty this time, I'll probably have a bit left over. I also went ahead and ordered more of the Orchid just to be on the safe side and some of the lovely new Crocus color. I'm currently working on the two fronts to the cardigan at the same time. I've made a rather noticable error three or four rows back on just one of the pieces and since it involves yarn overs and k2togethers, it's not easily fixed. So I'm waiting until I can give it my full attention to try and tink back on one piece without messing up the other.

Until I have some more interesting things to show, here are a couple of picts of pink and red things around the house.

And some stuff from the desk:

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Bit of Spinning

I have something red I'm working on; it's a project that was very close to being done a while back and it got put aside for knitting. I hope I can finish it before March is over, but until then, here is a picture of what's currently on my wheel.

That's the lovely roving I got from The Fiber Denn. It's not quite so shiny; I had to use a fill flash to get the color more accurate, but the picture still doesn't quite capture the richness of the colors. I've separated it into thin strips and I'm spinning it very thin. It's almost effortless. What I'm hoping to do with it is navajo ply and make another Landscape Shawl, but I don't think I'll have quite enough. But the great thing about the Landscape Shawl is its versatility. In other words, I think I can come up with something, maybe a smaller version or even the scarf and something else.

In case you are wondering about that lovely Black Cherry merino/angora from The Woolen Rabbit, I have two ounces sitting on bobbins. I will get those plied before the end of the month since they are keeping with the red/pink theme.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Keeping with Project Spectrum, here are some beads that I've used to make stitch markers, red and pink.

I'd like to clarify something. In my last post, I may have complained about the pattern from White Lies Designs a little too much and that actually wasn't my intention. The designer is talented and deserves credit for wonderful designs. I have more patterns from White Lies and there are more which I'll very likely purchase. I'm not upset with the pattern, but I am a little upset with myself because although I actually did a swatch for once, I didn't check length against my own body measurements carefully. I just used a tape measure and knit the inches that the pattern had written. And it was a little short for me. I realize that patterns cannot possibly be written for every body type out there and I am more than willing to adjust patterns where they need it for my body; I usually have to add a little to the armhole size and will be taking that into consideration with "take 2". I think anyone who knits garments should be able to adjust patterns to fit their own needs which means you can't always blindly follow the patterns as written.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Ever had a Charlie Brown moment? You know the moment I'm talking about, where Lucy pulls the football away from him right as he is about to kick it. Every time, Charlie believes that Lucy won't do it this one time. And every time, he ends up flat on his back. How, you ask, can this possibly relate to knitting? Well, have you ever had a pattern that you know just wasn't working out the way it was supposed to, you knew it wasn't quite right, yet you kept blindly following it, hoping against everything that somehow it would turn out all right anyway?

*SIGH* Sadly, I've come to the conclusion that I was kidding myself where Bella is concerned. There is no way the pattern as written will fit me. It was apparently written for a much shorter woman than I happen to be.

I finished the back as written and thought it a bit short (even though my gauge was absolutely perfect – remember, I actually did a swatch!). Maybe it will block longer, I thought. What really clued me in though was when I finally looked at the sleeve length. Thirteen inches from the underarm (at least I assume from the underarm, otherwise it would be even shorter!). Thirteen inches! That wouldn't even make it to halfway down my forearm. The bottom of the sweater won't make it past the top of my jeans (and I don't wear lowcut). Even if, by some miracle it did block longer, the waist shaping would be in the wrong place. In the picture of the finished garment, I get the impression that the bottom is supposed to flare out over the hips a bit and that the sleeves are supposed to be around the same length or even a little longer.

So in case you haven't noticed that Bella's percentage bar has dropped significantly, I accepted the fact that I had to rip quite a bit out (all of it). The good news is that it works up fairly quickly and the other good news is that Knitpicks still has the same dyelot, so guess what I did. Yep, I ordered several more skeins. (By the way, did you know they now have Shine in Worsted AND new colors in the DK?)

Having complained about the pattern, I feel it is only fair to say that it is a beautiful pattern and the pattern is very well written and easily understood. It just needs some serious length adjustments (in the smaller bust sizes at least) if you are not a petite person and therefore requires a little more yarn than stated in the pattern.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pink Quilt

In case you haven't noticed, I've pretty much stopped trying to come up with clever titles. I actually haven't done much knitting in the last couple of days as I've gotten sucked into a logic problem magazine. Quite addictive. (I also like Sudoku, but since it's now all the rage, I've been avoiding those puzzles. I usually go against the crowd; I don't watch the popular TV shows and I usually don't care for the actors that everyone else loves on principle, etc. To be honest though, Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom are major exceptions to that quirk.)

Hmm, I actually did have a point to the post somewhere. Oh, yeah, Project Spectrum. I started a sampler quilt a couple (oh, all right, several) years ago. It has twenty different blocks and each one is different. Every once in a while, I'll get it out, machine piece two or three blocks together and put it back away. I have about thirteen or fourteen squares finished; I figure I'll finish piecing it someday. Quilting it is a whole different story. I've never quilted before and as usual, I started out ambitious. The sampler book starts out with the simpler squares and slowly progresses through more difficult ones. The colors I chose for the quilt fit right in with March's colors (and I'll be able to show a couple more squares in May). You can click on the pictures for a larger view.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Landscape Shawl

Yes, folks, every one of those darned picots are pinned out. That took forever! Another view:

And a closeup (the pictures really do not show off the texture very well):

Pattern: Landscape Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark from Fiber Trends
Needle size: 4
Yarn: Handpainted Zephyr from Furr Yarns
Finished size: Around 37 inches from bottom point to top and about 75 inches across the top
Started: October 2005
Comments: I will definitely do the pattern again. It is a very simple pattern. Each section is different (garter stitch, seed, stockinette, moss, and reverse stockinette) and all show off the handpainted yarn very well. This pattern is written so that any weight yarn from laceweight to worsted can be used.

Remember the lovely roving from Fiber Denn? I plan to spin the roving on the left and navajo ply it to maintain the colors. If I have enough, I will definitely use it for another Landscape Shawl.

Now, I'm working on the Mystery Project and Bella. Bella is going pretty quickly, so I might even have something else to show soon.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Pinks and Reds

Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows that I like pink. (Just take a look at some of the finished objects in the sidebar.) I used to deny it just because it was a "girl" color. I was even anti-pink for a while until I realized that even though I kept saying I didn't like pink, I bought a lot of stuff in that color. I now freely admit that I do like pink. So keeping with the March colors of the month for Project Spectrum, I share with you a small sampling of the pinks and reds in my stash.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bella again

The great thing about doing so much lace is that when I work something on size 7s it seems to work up very quickly. The back to Bella is done. It seems awfully short though, even though I followed the instructions and got perfect gauge. Unfortunately, I ordered the amount of yarn called for, so unless I have yarn to spare after doing the sleeves and fronts, I might have to live with it being a wee bit short.

Mystery project is going along. After I finish Bella, I plan to make the Shapely Tank in the Project Spectrum March color of pink. I'm also working a little on the Landscape Shawl.