Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!

This is Witch Hazel. She says hi.

I crocheted her about 12 years ago for Halloween and she sits out front every year with her cauldron full of candy.

Sunday night I started a new project and Monday morning we woke up to the first frost of the season. How appropriate that the new project is Frost Flowers and Leaves?

It's not that it's a difficult pattern, but it certainly requires full attention. Lots of yarnovers and knit togethers in weird places. I know it looks white in the picture, but it's actually a very light blue.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cap Shawl Pictures

First of all, it is really difficult capturing this shawl. The modeled shots weren't really all that great because you couldn't really see the shawl. The blocked shots don't really show the color well or the beauty that is this shawl. I took well over a dozen pictures and still wasn't completely happy with any of them. It really is a gorgeous shawl and even worth every darn minute of the edging. I'll try to convey a little bit of how pretty this shawl is. First blocked:

I'm not used to not using my blocking wires. It took me a while and I didn't have a single pin left over. That's right, I had exactly enough pins for every point. I didn't have to brave the basement hoping to find another one.

Pattern: Cap Shawl from Victorian Lace Today
Needles: Size 6s
Yarn: Cashwool
Size: around 60 inches which is smaller than in VLT, but I used smaller needles.

A little more on what's next later. (Mainly because I'm really not sure what's next myself. I need to find something to work on before Sit and Knit tonight.)


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

WIP Wednesday - Cap Shawl

Actually, Cap Shawl is technically no longer a work in progress. I know, you're wondering where the pictures are. It sort of didn't get blocked yesterday although I finished it yesterday morning. Just didn't have the time. Add to that a sore neck (don't know what I did to it; just moved it wrong or slept on it wrong or something, but today is the first day I can move it without much pain at all). It's going to take a while to pin out since I can't use the blocking wires. And besides, it's rainy and cloudy today so I can't get a decent picture, so pictures will have to wait. It is very lovely though.

So, what next? I'm going to finish the light purple socks I'm working on. I think I'm also going to work on my Trinity Shawl and maybe the Hex Coat. But I've got to confess, I'm really itching to cast on for the Raku Suri Stole with my lovely vacation yarn:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Textures and colors

I'm still slogging through the Cap Shawl edging, now about 1/3 of the way through with it. By the way, don't ever worry that my future foray into weaving (if ever I get a loom) will make me stop knitting or spinning. Besides the whole portability issue, I love knitting and love my warm shawls and socks. I love the textures and patterns that I can make with knitting, and I love the colors available in roving and yarn.

I just have a desire to play with the textures and color patterns unique to weaving. I really believe if there is such a thing as former lives, I was definitely a fiber person in at least one of mine (probably more). I just feel drawn to all things fiber. When I spin, I am fascinated by the way the individual fibers of the wool (or whatever I happen to be spinning) are drawn into the twist. Since I spin very thin, I draw just a few fibers at a time out and I just love watching them twist to make yarn. It's amazing to me how natural the process has always felt to me, like I already had the muscle memory to do it. I love how the colors in a multi-colored roving or batt blend together to create something unique. For knitting, I love how different combinations of the two basic stitches can be used to create so many different patterns. I love lace so much because of the truly amazing patterns. I mean pattern in the sense of the actual visual structure as opposed to the written pattern.

So now weaving has caught my fancy. I often look at clothing and scarves to see if the cloth is knit or woven and the patterns created by different techniques. Weaving has been on my queue of hobbies for a while, but I really was caught by the bug when I went to Knitter's Day Out a few weeks ago. We stopped in a couple of stores on the way up. At one store, there was a beautiful scarf woven in Zephyr and in The Mannings, there were several beautifully woven scarves in Zephyr, Tencel and other things. I just can't stop thinking about them and I can't stop looking at woven scarves and weaving books. The time has come.

Monday, October 15, 2007

WIP Monday

I've finally reached the edging of the Cap Shawl. I'm now about 10% done with the edging.

Keep in mind there are 738 stitches on the last round of the shawl and edging has to be attached to each stitch and there is a row of edging between each attached stitch row. I could look at it and say, "Wow, I'm over 80% of the way done with the shawl." Yes, I am the type of person that sees the glass as half empty, why do you ask?

Someone asked me last night at the Sit 'n' Knit exactly how many shawls had I done and I was trying to count up in my head and my fingers. I ended up estimating 15. The Cap Shawl will, in fact, be my fifteenth shawl (counting shawlettes). And yes, I wear them all (except for the four I've given to family). And yes, I will be making more.

I've also been doing a bit of spinning.

I really wish I could capture this yarn properly. It is predominately purples, with black and hints of bright red/pink and it will be a 2-ply laceweight when I'm done and will probably make a lovely shawl of some sort. I just have to see how much I'll have when done. I have maybe a third of the first bobbin done though. But I've been trying to spin for a few minutes every day while there's good light.

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Fall Fiber Festival

Thanks for all the bag comments!

This past weekend, I went to the annual Virginia Fall Fiber Festival. It's a smallish affair, but lots of really great vendors. I only ended up leaving with two things (well, if you don't count the big bag of kettle corn :-)

The purple on the top is actually very pretty. It's merino/tencel in purple with black and grey. Very pretty and should spin up nicely. And the red is also merino/tencel and is a very nice pinkish-red. I got my wheel out for the first time in a while and worked on some stuff from the MD S&W. I refuse to buy any more bobbins so that I have to limit my projects. So I have to finish this lovely stuff before beginning on anything else.

I was also sorely tempted by the looms there. Yes, I'm going to finally take up weaving. I can't help it, I'm obsessed by the thought now, doing my usual obsession thing of reading everything available on the subject and thinking about it constantly. So, yarn and roving might be a bit scarce for a while since I'm saving up. I'm hoping I can find a used one exactly like I want, but I might not be able to find one used. I'm looking at table looms and I have the one I want all picked out.

I know, it's not as if I really need another hobby or anything.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Going Greener

I'm not perfect when it comes to the environment. Actually, I'm nowhere close to perfect, but I figure if each person picks one area to improve upon, then maybe the environment will be a little healthier. So, I'm taking baby steps and my first improvement is the market bag:

I've decided to make enough of these so I'll never have to get another plastic bag. It seems like a such a little thing, doesn't it? To not get plastic bags; they are small, one won't hurt much. But if you figure that I get about 10 or so plastic bags over the course of a week at various places, that makes 520 plastic bags a year. Even if I take them to be recycled, it takes energy to recycle them and how do I know the grocery store doesn't just throw all the bags away when their recycling bin gets full.

So yes, it's a little thing, but it's a start.

Edited to add: I guess I should have mentioned, it's my own improvised pattern. I'll get around to writing it up sometime, maybe after I do another one and work out a couple of small things; it's nothing fancy though.


Monday, October 01, 2007


Before the socks, I went on a county farm tour Saturday. One of the farms was an alpaca farm.

Don't you just love alpacas? They are so very cute and so soft!

Anyway, the socks. Socktoberfest is upon us and it's going to be a laid-back affair this year. I've already begun my socks:

This is some of the Lang Jawoll I've gotten recently. The pattern is from Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Sock Knitting Book, the Zigzag Socks. Only I'm doing them toe-up to get them as long as possible. Those are my new Knitpicks Harmony Needles. I really like these needles. They are size 0s, but I do not feel like I'm about to break them (and I'm a pretty tight knitter for my socks). They are very sturdy and very pretty. I haven't been visually distracted by the different colors.