Tour de Whatsit?

I have fallen so completely out of Tour de Fleece it’s like I never got past a tricycle. Why?

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Because I’m putting the border on my Wine Garden. With only about 30 of the 146 repeats of the 14-row pattern done I’ve still got a long way to go, but it’s kind of thrilling to check and realize there are a few more inches of free shawl edge showing.

I also ripped back one color repeat of the socks I showed last week and did knit the toe, but I haven’t grafted it and started sock 2 yet.

But with that said – I always come home from Camp all fired up about stranded knitting. Usually I turn up with yarn to knit some monstrous project, although I did manage to miss that particular hazard this year. I have yarn in the stash to knit several of them already. But I also know I tend to come home blazing, rush into something, and wind up disappointed. So I’ve been trying to stay sane this year. Earlier today I realized I have the perfect antidote for this particular sickness already here.

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Yes, it’s a picture of a picture and the color didn’t come through very well, but it’s a knitted tam and I already have yarn for it that I bought a year or two ago when SHP published the new Mary Rowe tam book. I found the book (had to hunt because I haven’t Cleaned Up My Crap in way too long) and the stash of yarn and picked this one out of the three. Once I finish the shawl border, this is next on the list. Unless I can’t stand it and start it sooner.

Now I just have to figure out where I’m going to block this huge shawl. I’ll probably strip my bed and do it there, because the only floor spaces I have that are large enough I can’t keep the animals out. Means the cats will be unable to reach their food for a couple of hours, but they won’t starve.

Posted in Camp, Hats, Kailyard, Wine Garden | 1 Comment

I Didn’t Want To Come Home

Or, spinning on the road.

It’s Tour de Fleece, and I’ve been doing really well.

I’ve spun some thin singles with 1/4 of a batch of fiber, and I’m going to spin the next 3/4 fluffier and ply them together. Today is one of the challenge days, and spinning thicker is very much a challenge for me.

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One of the fun things about it was I tried out spinning in the car, and it worked fabulously.

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Before we left I spun a double bullseye bump. Right now I’m thinking matching mittens, then doubling what’s left and making a hat.

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On our way we passed this silo and noted where it was. On the way home we remembered to stop to get the shot.

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Camp was the usual awesome time. Poor Denise got really sick, which sucked but she’s home and almost 100% again. Check out this lovely stranded shawl Janine knit.

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Contest was a hoot, as always. The Cat in the Hat won.

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And Maggie did her usual amazing sweater for her local hospital to raffle. She said the only thing that ever gets more money donated for tickets is the Green Bay Packers suite.

maggie

I finished the Manic Panic cowl out of handspun. It’s bigger than I planned, but that’s okay. Still unblocked in this picture.

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Also on the knitting front, I’ve made it through all the rings of my Wine Garden, and I’m ready to start attaching the border. It occurred to me that putting a different colored border on might cause some color blips I didn’t want, so I changed colors on the last plain round.

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Finished some merino/alpaca singles. The fiber has been in my stash for 3 or 4 years, and I’m trying to keep it fairly fluffy. We’ll see how it comes out after plying.

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And finally, I worked on a lovely stripey sock out of the hank of The Yarn Mama I got to keep. I made the sole way longer than I need to, but that’s okay. It just means the non-ribbed fabric will start a little higher on the back of my ankle.

hulsocks

Next weekend is quiet, then the weekend after is Fiber Christmas. There are a couple of new vendors so I’m looking forward to finding more fun stuff to spin. Have I mentioned how much I love my new miniSpinner?

And yes, I did buy a some yarn. I set myself an exemption at the beginning of the year so I feel no guilt whatsoever.

Posted in Camp, Cowls, Kailyard, Socks, Spinning, Stash Enhancement, Tour de Fleece | 2 Comments

Kinda Wobbling

So you may have noticed I haven’t spent money on yarn (actual finished yarn, not fiber) since before Christmas. This has been very deliberate on my part because of the insane amount of yarn I already have. Plus I keep spinning more.

BUT

One of my besties has started dyeing yarn, and it’s for sale at Gourmet Yarn. Once I get through this week at work I’m off for 11 days so I will probably pop up next Saturday and pick some up. My other bestie makes her living with yarn and teaching knitting. There seems to be a pattern here.

Speaking of yarn I’ve spun, the main thing I knit on this week was the Manic Panic Cowl. I had to go to Kansas City for work, so it was my evening “knitting while watching Netflix” project. Still got a couple of inches to go before it’s wide enough, but I don’t think I’ll use up all the yarn.

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I love how either side of linen stitch looks good. Since this is an actual Mobius even while knitting, it’s just (k1, slip 1 wyif) around and around and around. If you look closely you can see the pattern looks different on either side of the pink. Another nice thing is┬áthe fabric doesn’t curl at the edges, so I just have to make sure I bind off loosely enough.

The third TdS released while I was in KC. I decided to go ahead and knit it, but I don’t think I’ll make the cut off this time. It’s (appropriately) called Diamondback.

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That’s another Yarns On Stage buy from 2010. I didn’t set out to only use yarns from that batch for TdS, but so far both pair have worked out that way.

I didn’t spin any last week, but today I felt the need to bring the mS out. This is some Cormo from the 2012 Woolgatherings Fancy Pants club. I haven’t spun Cormo before, and I’m really enjoying it. VERY soft stuff.

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Camp is SOON. And once again I don’t have a contest entry. I had a character in mind and even toyed with some designs, but I’d be surprised if more than one or two people who will be there have even heard of the series she’s from. Or if they’d admit it if they had, because it’s not exactly high-brow reading. Not that the campers are stuck up, I just don’t think they’ll know about it. And I’m not loaning my copies of the first three books (there are three trilogies, the first one is the best) out to anyone.

I’ll probably have some drivel to post next weekend, then I’ll skip a week.

Posted in Camp, Cowls, Socks, Spinning, Tour de Sock | 2 Comments

Life Is Busy

So I’ve been remiss in posting.

Last week I had training in Missouri, and next week I’m in Kansas City working all week. Home the week after, then going to Camp. I guess being busy keeps me out of trouble, but it does make it hard to stop and blog sometimes.

So – I did the first round of Tour de Sock.

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I used a sock blank that’s been in my stash since 2010. They haven’t been washed yet so they still look more textured than they will in the end. It’s an Adrienne Fong pattern, and I generally really enjoy hers. This one was no exception. I really loved this little detail

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of the lacy pattern in the gusset triangle.

We left a couple of days early for my training last week and visited with Beverly and Bill in Bella Vista. Spent Saturday afternoon enjoying the pool and was looking forward to doing the same Sunday. Unfortunately it wound up being a total rain out. The good part of that is I got the Coopworth completely spun up.

loldone

I’ve got to tell you, I wouldn’t have finished it if I had been using one of the wheels instead of the mS. I wound up having to use a short backward draft for the first time. It had to do with how tight (or really loose) I grip the fiber and how slippery this stuff is. The fiber is a little coarse for my taste, but I have an idea what to do with it. Eventually.

I did start another spin, but I didn’t get the mS out to take pictures of it. Still trying to decide if I want to take it with me next week or not.

Worked on my Happy New Year socks some more, and am working on the gusset decreases.

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I’ve been wanting to knit with some of my hand spun for a while, and LSG just started a Rainbow-Along last week. Partly because June is Pride month, and partly as a response to the horrific attack in Orlando. This yarn isn’t technically rainbow, but it’s close enough and it’s pretty. The pattern is one I’ve been thinking about knitting for a while, and it just seemed like the right time to go for it.

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And the majority of the car time during the trip (Jim went along as a fabulous chauffeur) was spent with my Wine Garden.

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I’m almost through the second of 3.5 repeats of the last lace pattern. 1,024 stitch rounds take a loooong time to knit, even though the pattern isn’t hard.

Happy Father’s Day if any of you readers are dads.

Posted in Finished Objects, Kailyard, Socks, Spin the Bin 2016, Spinning, Wine Garden | 1 Comment

Dang I Did All That?

Wow it looks like I’ve been really busy this week.

I finished the Falkland and it’s really pretty.

mgplied

And once it was washed up.

mgdone

The color in the top picture is far more accurate.

My nephew graduated from high school on Saturday. The ceremony was downtown, right after another graduation for 500 or so kids, right across the street from where an NBA playoff game was going to happen 2 hours after his ceremony started. But there was no way I was going to miss it.

So yeah. We got there really early, and I was smart enough to take my simple sock knitting. Made some good progress on the Happy New Year socks that I’ve only been working on when I’m waiting somewhere.

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Got a little done on them this morning before the 5k and on the way home too. I beat my goal for the 5k by well over a minute, and set a new goal for the next one I plan to run around Halloween.

Yesterday I finished scouring last year’s Margo fleece. A bit of it was really nice and soft and I’m hoping I get some more really nice stuff off her fleece I got this year. But I decided I wanted to work on George, the beautiful dark hogget fleece I got at DFW this year. I’ve been scouring my last two fleeces outside of bags, in layers. Because of the breed, that worked really well. With a lovely soft merino? Not so much.

I did two batches today and they’re drying now. I’m thinking I’ll go back to processing in bags again, but won’t decide for sure until those two batches are dry and I get a feel for how they came out.

Filled up one of my Turkish spindles this week.

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When you finish filling the spindle, you slide the center shaft out the bottom. Then you slip the arms out

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and you’re left with a nice little center pull blob to ply from.

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I’ve created a monster with my black cat. He finally realized that’s a tree out there in the yard, and now I can’t keep him out of it. Today he was as high up as he could get a couple of times. Luckily he comes down when I call him. Puppycat big time.

junglecat

I’ve also done lots of knitting on my Wine Garden shawl. I’m through one repeat of the Vines and Leaves chart. Still got 2 1/2 repeats to go, then the border.

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And I’ve started another bin spin. This one is 16 ounces(!) of Coopworth from Hidden Valley Farms that I got at camp a couple of years ago. It’s nice fiber, but not something I think I’ll spin again. I have another pound of another color, so I’m offering it up as a prize in one of the Tour de Fleece teams I’m on this year.

coopworth1

That’s half of it.

Posted in Cats, Kailyard, Socks, Spin the Bin 2016, Spinning, Wine Garden | 1 Comment