Know Thyself

I was starting to get a little worried with all this finishing and the lack of stash enhancement. This week I’m back to myself. And I’m pretty sure I’m in the process of proving something else I’ve suspected for a while.

First the project(s). I did do more work on the Ostrich Plumes Scarf, and I’m still in love with it. I also made some more progress on the sock yarn blanket. No pictures though, they’re pretty same looking.

What did I start? One of the tams I got yarn for at camp last year. This is #13, and eventually it will have cute little birds just above the ribbing.

tam13-1

I used 2×2 rib instead of 1×1, just because I like it better. I thought about pulling it back to the rib and going down a needle size because the hat seems kind of open, but I decided to keep going since the yarn blooms some when you wash it.

In the stash enhancement arena, I’ve got two skeins of WM Lace-Garn on their way from a destash. According to USPS tracking they’re going to be here tomorrow. I hope so, I love getting them.

And I didn’t just start one thing. I also started an Ashworth Scarf. I’ve been thinking about making it out of handspun, but for some reason this gorgeous silk/cashmere blend I picked up at Gourmet Yarn a couple of years ago jumped into my head and reminded me it would be perfect for the pattern. I went ahead and gave in. Didn’t even fight it.

ashworth1

I made one small modification to the pattern, narrowing the blocks to 24 stitches instead of 30. I just prefer to not have it that wide. Of course once I get a few of the cables done I may change my mind, but for now I’m really liking it. Stupid simple knitting, but the fabric feels awesome. The high silk content in the yarn (52%) means it doesn’t have much give while knitting, but the fabric is so soft and drapey it’s going to be great to wear.

And about that whole confirmed suspicion thing? It has to do with this Spin In Progress (SIP).

ia1

Sorry about the picture, I didn’t realize I was so close. Too lazy to go back and take another.

Anyway, it’s made from these really cool rolags I got at SSK in 2013. They’re pretty and there’s nothing wrong with them, but the blended fiber preps like this are just not really my thing. I think the yarn is going to be really cool arty-looking stuff, and I’m enjoying working on my long draw spinning, but I think it’s just not a type of prep I’ll really enjoy spinning or yarn I’ll want to knit with when it’s all over with. I am going to finish it though, because I want to see how it comes out and I don’t want to give up on it just because I’m not digging it part way through. We’ll see.

Posted in Hats, Scarves, Spinning, Stash Enhancement | Leave a comment

Is This A Record?

I’m still working on existing knitting projects. While I’ve looked at patterns and even had a hank of yarn out and sitting beside me, I haven’t started anything new yet this year. I think it’s a record for me.

I worked a little on the sock yarn blanket this week. Probably continue to work on it some, because it’s been pending for a really long time and as non-fashionable as it is, it will be a great weight for naps when it’s done. The bad part is the cats already like to knead it, and they have sharp little claws that pick.

I got out the Ostrich Plumes 2 and got a couple more repeats done on it. The marker shows where it was last time I took a picture.

ostrich3

I finished a spinning project yesterday. The singles before plying:

cardinalsingles

And the squooshy finished yarn:

cardinaldone

490 yards of a three ply. I’m thinking about running it back through the wheel and adding more twist since it’s destined to become socks. Not sure yet, but for now I’m calling it finished.

Also finished? My first pair of socks from hand spun yarn. I haven’t worn them yet so I can’t report on how they feel, but I’m pretty happy with them.

hshkdone

Not sure what’s going on the wheel next. I can tell you I’ll be shocked if I get through this week without starting anything new. Not sure why I’m concentrating so hard on finishing things, but I guess it’s good.

Posted in Finished Objects, Scarves, Socks, Spinning | 1 Comment

Still With The Old

And still with finishing.

I finished off the spinning I started last week. It’s 230 yards of squishy awesome goodness.

ajdone

I’ve kept working on the hand spun socks. They’re well past the heel turn and getting close to starting the toes.

hshk1

And I finally finished twisting the fringe on the woven wrap. I ordered a tool called a fringe twister, amazingly enough. It made things go much faster.

tkgwrapdone2 tkgwrapdone1

It’s 20″ wide and 75″ long. Can be treated as a really wide scarf of a narrow stole. I think it’s gorgeous. The blue isn’t quite as shockingly blue as it looks in the pictures, and the warp (which is what made up the fringe) is actually purple. That goes back to the whole it’s not easy to capture blues thing. Maybe my photography class at DFW will help with that.

Speaking of DFW, Stitches is coming to the Irving Convention Center in September. I really hope they don’t cut down on the attendance for DFW though, because it’s become a real favorite of mine.

On the spinning front, I have started on my next Spin the Bin fiber. It’s 85% Superwash BFL/15% Nylon from Gale’s Art. I’m going for a three ply sock yarn, and the first third of the singles is finished.

gales1

Happy Sunday!

Posted in Finished Objects, Socks, Spin the Bin 2015, Spinning, Weaving | 2 Comments

Starting With Finishing

First off, everyone remembers I’m a total wimp when it comes to cold, right? So when the forecast on Friday morning was for it to just get worse and worse all day long, I chickened out, emailed my boss that I was taking leave, and went back to bed. But once I got back up I got just plain productive. In fact, I’ve been crazy productive for the last couple of days. Seems I like to start years with finishing stuff.

The double knit mobius? I got it out around the 29th or 30th and worked on it for a few hours. I kept looking at it thinking it was going to be too short. So even though it was still narrow I started binding it off. Remember it’s a mobius – only one edge and only one side. You could really see proof of that when I was half finished binding it off.

dkmob

I could also see it was going to be long enough, so I picked out all that bind off and kept knitting. When I decided it was wide enough I started all over, and I now have a soft, squishy, very warm mobius cowl.

dkmobdone

Having that half twist makes it lay beautifully flat under a coat, or it’s long enough I can twist it under my chin and have the back of my neck and my ears and the top of my head totally covered. Plus I proved to myself it could be done.

Then yesterday I finished the Magrathea for Lynn. Yes, it’s a Christmas present. Yes, it’s late. I don’t care. As usual with lace, when it came off the needles it looked like crap.

lmagpreblock

But some hot water, a few pins, and several hours later it was totally transformed.

lmagdone

I’d love to keep this for myself but I’m not going to. I gave my scarf from this pattern away, and I think I’m going to have to make myself another.

The final thing in my finishing frenzy was some spinning I haven’t touched since we went to Bella Vista back in November. It’s a BFL/silk blend from Unwind. I got 1,000 yards of heavy lace/light fingering out of it. No idea what I’ll knit with it, but it’s really pretty.

lludone1 lludone2

As for last year’s goal (finish the year with fewer WIPs than I started) I didn’t meet it. I was close, but I still failed. I had 23 works in progress on January 1, and as of December 31 I had 23 knitting and 1 weaving still in WIP status. I did do quite a bit of frogging last year, and might have more to go. But all in all I’m not too sad about how it finished up.

I only add what I’ve finished to my KnitMeter, so that’s 8.59 miles finished over 30 projects. I may have knit more or less than that, because things I worked on that aren’t finished aren’t included, and things I started before 2014 but finished during the year are.

That’s 3.7 miles finished in 8 projects. The actual mileage spun is way longer since those are finished yarn lengths. Everything in there has 2-4 plies, which were all hand spun as well. More on spinning goals in a bit.

That total is actually too low because I don’t have the yardage for the plaid scarf in there. I’m not even going to try to guess, I’ll just be good with what’s listed.

So, knitting goal for the year: Finish 2015 with 20 or fewer knitting projects on the needles. Ambitious I know, but there it is. In working towards that goal I haven’t started anything new, but have taken an existing project and started working on it again.

hshk

These are socks from handspun. I had started the heel flaps, but when I took them out to start working on them I realized I wanted the cuff longer so I ripped the heel and started going around again. I think I’m getting close to ready to start the heel again.

Spinning wise, I also have a goal. Robin told me about a “Spin the Bin 2015″ challenge. It’s for people like me who aren’t great at getting things done. The minimum requirement is 12 bits of fiber, at least 2 ounces each. Batches of fiber larger than 2 ounces can count for multiple units. This is my bin.

20150101_115059

I am not going to spin Thomas.

When I cleared the project off the Joy yesterday I was thinking I’d launch into one of these using it today. Then I thought about my beautiful, lonely Reeves sitting in the front room wanting a new drive band and a little love.

ajspinning1

That’s 2 ounces of some wool/silk blend that’s been in my stash forever.

Holy cats I forget how this wheel damn near treadles itself. Seems like the ratios are really high too, because even using the standard whorl and trying to slow down I was way overspinning my singles. So I switched to the largest whorl and it’s working better. I chose this braid of fiber because I wasn’t going to be heartbroken if the yarn doesn’t come out as something I’m just dying to knit. In fact, I’m on purpose playing with it. But I need to get to be better friends with this wheel and use it more. And clearly I need to get into the nooks and crannies and get more dust off her.

So that’s it. Happy New Year, and thanks for being a reader. If you have a minute, wish me Happy New Year back in the comments so I know you’re listening.

Posted in Finished Objects, Gifts, Scarves, Socks, Spin the Bin 2015, Spinning | 4 Comments

Maybe We Should Stop Coming Home

We had a wonderful time on our vacation. It was a little windy and a bit cooler than I would have liked, but it was still a wonderful week. This was the day we took our picnic on Stocking Island. It wasn’t deserted and we had a phone to contact the guy who took us out there, but other than one couple who walked by we were totally by ourselves for about 5 glorious, sun-soaked, out of the wind, perfect hours.

beach

And then yesterday there was this.

snowy

Last time we went to Hawaii we had a major blizzard the week we got home, so this isn’t quite as bad as that. But it still makes me think next time we go to the beach we should just stay there.

I took three knitting projects with me, and only knit on one. I also didn’t finish it until we got back.

hpbeach

That’s the beach right outside our villa. The snorkeling was great, the golf course was beautiful, the food was decent, the grounds were lovely, it wasn’t crowded, and I am not cut out to have servants. All in all though, it was a wonderful 20th Anniversary.

I did finish the scarf when we got home. Tomorrow I’ll mail it off to the recipient. I work with her but she had surgery a couple of weeks ago and won’t be back to work until the middle of January. I actually thought about changing the name of the project to “Holy Shit That’s a Long Scarf” but I didn’t.

hpdone1

And I’ve started one more gift. I’d like to get it done this week and have Jim deliver it. If the shape looks familiar it’s because I’ve knit the pattern before for me. Magrathea. And I’m going to have to knit myself another one because I gave mine away when we went to Arkansas a few weeks ago.

lynnmag

Next week – an accounting of how poorly I did at meeting my crafting goal for the year, and a tally of what I’ve produced.

Posted in Finished Objects, General, Gifts, Scarves | 1 Comment