Thursday, April 19, 2018

My Other Hobby

The problem with having a busy week and multiple projects is that you don't make too much progress on any one of them. I'm still working on my sweater, the baby sweater, and the Mister's socks. My sweater has a nearly complete body (I'm about halfway through the ribbing at the bottom). The baby sweater is a little further along than it was the last time you saw it, and I'll be working on finishing the body tonight. The Mister's socks are now in the home stretch, as I've gotten through the gusset of the second sock and am now cruising down the foot.

It looks like I might be playing a game of yarn chicken on this sock, but as the first sock weighed just slightly less than half of the whole skein, I might just squeak it out.

Seeing as the knitting is not all that exciting at this point, I thought I'd talk about what I've been reading lately -- I really haven't talked about books here in a long time! I've been reading more this year than I have in years past, probably because I am reading more e-books these days (which means that I can read while I knit or spin because there's no need for an extra set of hands to keep the book open).

One of my favorite books that I've read so far this year is Beautiful Wreck by Larissa Brown.

I'm fairly certain that I bought this book when it first came out in 2016 (it was published by Cooperative Press, which you might know more for its craft books) and started reading it shortly thereafter, but I didn't get beyond the first chapter at the time because I didn't really understand it. I thought I'd give it another go because I'd heard so many great things about the book, and I quickly discovered that the first part is meant to be a bit confusing because it's set in the future -- and then nearly all of the rest of the book is set in 10th-century Iceland. I found the story very compelling, albeit a bit implausible (as is any story involving time travel), but the writing is just beautiful. I have also recently read the first part of the sequel, which was good but not as good (and I'm anxiously awaiting part 2).

Currently I am reading Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper. This book has been on my wish list for several months, and I finally broke down and ordered a hard copy last week when I was ordering some books for Rainbow. I'm glad I got a physical copy, because I can already tell that this is a book that I'm going to want to display in my library. I'm only about 30 or 40 pages in so far but am enjoying it immensely. Being a word nerd, the subject matter appealed to me right off, but Kory has a wonderfully humorous way of approaching the field of lexicography. (It also doesn't hurt that I've since found out that she's a knitter!) If you enjoy reading about the English language and its idiosyncrasies, and you don't mind a bit of profanity, then you'll enjoy this book. I'm looking forward to reading more of it this weekend.

Do you have any great books that you've read recently that you'd like to recommend? I'm always on the lookout for good books to add to be "to read" pile!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

WIP Wrangling

After a beautiful, warm weekend, we've been plunged back into winter here in Western Pennsylvania. I walked to work in a snow squall this morning, and while it's nice to have another excuse to wear my woolies, it feels a bit like torture after Mother Nature has teased us with some truly lovely weather (not to mention that it's really depressing to see all the spring flowers drooping under the weight of snow).

At least with this cold snap it no longer feels so ridiculous to be knitting a colorwork sweater! After neglecting my Humulus for several days to work on the baby sweater (and then doing a lot of spinning over the weekend), I picked it up again Sunday night and am now extremely close to starting the ribbing at the bottom of the body.

When I started this project, I'd hoped to get it done by the end of April, but I'm not sure if that'll actually happen. I'm sure the sleeves will go quickly, but there is still the baby sweater to finish -- and as the baby is due in less than two weeks, I really do need to get a move on!

Late last week, I finished the yoke and put the sleeve stitches on holders, so I'm on to the fast part of the body. I know it won't take long to finish this, but it's so tempting to keep knitting on my sweater instead. If I can be really focused and productive and get both sweaters done by the end of next week, I'll be very happy.

I'm also still working on the Mister's socks, which really haven't been any sort of priority and have only seen action during my lunch break knitting. But I'm in the home stretch now, having just turned the heel of the second sock. I have reached the boredom stage with them at this point, so they're a bit of a slog. At least they require a minimum level of attention!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ready for the Plying Party

I did a lot of spinning yesterday. It was a beautiful day here, so I got up and went for a run first thing (my first run of the season!). Then we walked to get some breakfast, and after that I took care of all chores around the house I needed to do -- cleaning, laundry, etc. The Mister took Rainbow to the park to meet a friend, so I didn't feel at all bad about spending the afternoon at my wheel.

First, I finished up the second bobbin of Pebble combed top singles (from my HipStrings Synergy Club shipment), which really didn't take very long.

The first bobbin had been resting for nearly a week, so I didn't want to ply right away, but I wasn't ready to get up from the wheel just yet. I figured I might as well get the carded version of Pebble out and start spinning that. I had forgotten just how quickly woolen spinning goes, and before I knew it, I had both bobbins of those singles done, too (I think it helps that it was only about 2.7 oz. of fiber total in the batts, too).

Spinning these two preps back to back really gives a good illustration of just how different your yarn can turn out given the method of fiber prep. These two batches of fiber had exactly the same fiber content, but look at how different they look spun up:

You can really see so much more of the colors of the sari silk (and the regular silk, for that matter) in the woolen-spun singles, though they're also much more inconsistent. I'll be doing my best to get these both plied up today, so soon I'll be able to compare the finished yarns.

I also had a little fun yesterday afternoon with my drum carder and the leftover fiber from my Boxy spin. I had 2 oz. each of the darkest and lightest colors (Mussels and Sky), so I thought I'd blend them up. I also threw in some silk, though that didn't blend so well and I ended up pulling most of it out. Rainbow helped with these battlings.

They're a bit darker in real life than they appear here; for some reason, my camera doesn't like to capture the color of Buoy accurately. These aren't great, but they're certainly spinable. I think I need to learn more about how to use my drum carder, as I have a feeling I'm doing something wrong or not optimally. If anyone knows of a good class or resource, I'd love to hear it!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Baby Break

Knitting continues on my two WIPs and they don't look much different from the last time you saw them (though the body of my Humulus is now about three inches away from the ribbing at the bottom), but I've put them aside for the moment to knit a quick baby gift. I can't remember the exact due date of the baby in question, though I believe it's later this month. Regardless, I didn't want to be scrambling to whip something up right after the baby arrives, so I figured I'd cast on now and make quick work of it. I pulled everything out and got started at about 9 p.m. last night, so this is about an hour's worth of knitting.

This is the Hyphen pattern by Lisa Chemery, which may look familiar because I knit it earlier this year for another baby gift. I'm using some very deep stash Knit Picks Shine Worsted -- and by very deep stash, I mean that it's been in my stash for more than a decade now. I think I originally bought about eight skeins of it but used three a number of years ago for another baby gift. I'm making the smallest size of this sweater, which calls for 275 yards, so that should use up most of what's left.

The color here isn't completely accurate due to the dim light this morning. The colorway is called Watermelon, and it's a really deep bright pink. It seems to be a discontinued colorway, so I can't even link you over to the KP site for a better picture. Suffice it to say that it's a little less orange that it appears here.

This yarn isn't my favorite, mainly because it's a bit slippery and has such low yardage per ball (75 yards per 50 g), but it works well for this purpose -- and it was sort of free, as it was already in the stash. I think the sweater will be adorable, and that's really what counts.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Theme Is Stockinette

I am in a very stockinette place right now. Considering how busy life has been the past several weeks, it's not entirely a bad place to be. For me, stockinette is soothing because it is mindless and repetitive. I know that last week, after very long and very mentally arduous days at work, it was such a balm to be able to sit down with my knitting and just knit in the round for an hour or two.

The main stockinette project at the moment is my Humulus. Though I'll be the first to admit that the body isn't as stimulating as the colorwork yoke, I am still very much enjoying knitting this, and I like seeing the small variations in color and fabric density in the fabric I am creating.

I believe I'm about halfway down the body at this point, if not a little more, and I can get a couple of inches knit in a good evening of knitting, so I expect that body will be finished before too long. I'm now alternating my second and third skeins of the main color and have enough remaining on both that I'm confident I will finish the body before they run out. That could mean that I will end up with an extra skein of yarn -- and that means more Buoy to play with once the sweater is done!

The other stockinette project is the socks I've been knitting for the Mister. Even though his feet are only about an inch longer than mine, they seem so much longer, so there's a lot of stockinette. I finished the first one last night and weighed it and the leftover yarn, and it looks like I should just barely be able to squeak out the second sock from what I have left. I'm glad I decided on a shorter leg!

Office still life with giant man sock

Soon I'll be knitting something other than stockinette in the round, as it's just hit me that we're already a third of the way through the month of April and I have some baby gift knitting to do -- our neighbors are expecting a little girl, and I believe she's due to arrive later this month. I've had this bright watermelon pink Knit Picks Shine Worsted in my stash for years (I only used three skeins of it for another baby gift several years ago) and think it will be perfect for a spring/summer baby.

I'm planning to knit another Hyphen, this time in the smallest size, as I know it knits up quickly and adorably. It will be the first of several additional sweaters from the pattern, as Rainbow's next sweater will be one in the largest size and I'll also be making a miniature one for her American Girl doll. And all of these will be some shade of pink. If I get sick of it halfway through the second one, I have only myself to blame.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Comfort and Challenge

After finally finishing my sweater spin last weekend, I wasn't quite ready to be done spinning my default yarn, so I pulled out some of the fiber from my first HipStrings Synergy Club shipment. This fiber is a really interesting blend of Merino wool, Zwartbles wool, Tussah silk, and sari silk. Though the Merino was originally in three shades, blended with the Zwartbles and the silk, it has a brownish gray look to it. Every so often, though, there's a pop of bright color from the sari silk. It's really quite lovely.

I finished up the first bobbin yesterday, after spinning most of the singles on Friday night, and it was quite a surprise to look at it yesterday morning and see all those colors that I just couldn't see at all when I was spinning in the evening.

I very nearly started the second bobbin straight away, but I thought that before I did, I should try to challenge myself a bit. I had purchased an ounce of dyed cotton on a whim from Jill when she had her Small Business Saturday sale last November, and I actually tried to spin it last weekend with no success. I got some really great advice from some folks in the HipStrings Ravelry group, though, including from Jill herself, so I decided to give it another go. This time went much better!

It's very irregular, has some pigtails and corkscrews, and it's not particularly balanced, but it's cotton! That I spun on my wheel! I didn't end up with very much yarn, maybe only 60-70 yards, but it's a start. I found it difficult to spin and a little hard on my hands (probably because I was not spinning it optimally), but I did definitely get into a groove toward the end. I can't say that I'm a total convert to spinning cotton now, but I'm proud of myself for not giving up after a disastrous first try. I always think it's good to stretch yourself as a spinner (as any sort of crafter, really) -- but I think that for the time being, at least, I'll probably stick to wool.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Still Sweater Weather

Starting a sweater in late March in Pittsburgh can be somewhat of a gamble. Depending on how fast you are, you might be able to finish it in time to wear it once or twice before the weather gets too warm. Or, even if you're super speedy, you might have to pack it away as soon as it's done because you find yourself in the middle of a heat wave. I'm still not sure what will happen with the sweater I cast on last week, but given that we've had snow, thunderstorms, and high wind warnings just in the past several days, I'm ready for almost anything. And I'm really enjoying the project.

Humulus in HipStrings Buoy DK in Lead (MC) and Spring (CC)

I split the sleeves from the body on Tuesday night and added about two inches of body last night. The body of this sweater couldn't be easier -- just knit until it's the specified length. I've joined in a second skein of the gray now that the yoke is finished, so the only thing I have to pay attention to is alternating skeins at the beginning of each round.

The fabric I'm getting with this Buoy DK is interesting. Though it's classified as a DK, I find it to be a light DK/heavy sportweight, and in this sweater I'm knitting it at a DK to worsted gauge. So the fabric with a single strand of yarn is on the light side. I'm sure the yarn will bloom a bit when it's washed, but it seems that, in spite of the stranding, this is going to be a lightweight sweater when it's done -- and provided we don't jump right from winter to summer weather, I might just be able to wear it when it's finished!

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Pattern Release: Undamo Socks

A few months ago, a fellow designer introduced me to an indie dyer she'd done some collaborations with in the past who was looking for more designers to work with her yarn. I was so tickled that this other designer had thought of me, and I was so excited to work on something with a new-to-me dyer. That dyer is Marian of Marianated Yarns, who does really beautiful work. (Seriously, go look at her gradient and "Marianade" sets -- I dare you not to drool!)

Marian and I discussed the ideas I had for her yarn, and of course what I finally decided on was some more color work accessories. We thought it would be fun to do a mini collection using the same (or similar) colors and the same (or similar) stranded motif. The first pattern in the collection is the one debuting today: Undamo Socks.

These may look like your run-of-the-mill stockinette socks, but a band of swirling colorwork around the leg takes these socks up a notch. They're knit up in Marian's Practicality 75/25, a sturdy superwash Merino/nylon blend. The beautiful purple I used for the main color is called Hidden Peak, and that lovely golden yellow is Peach Delight. You might remember that after knitting these socks, I reversed the colors and knit a coordinating pair for Rainbow, which is a great way to use up your yarn if you've got two skeins, but the small amount of colorwork in these socks makes them a perfect candidate for mini skeins to complement the main color.

The socks are graded to fit the whole family, with five foot circumference sizes ranging from 6 in./15 cm to 10 in./25 cm. They use a standard cuff-down construction, with a heel flap/gusset and wide toe, though because the colorwork is all done high on the leg, it's easy to sub in a different heel or toe if there's one that fits you better.

If you like the look of these, then you'll be happy to hear that there will be two more coordinating designs coming from me in the next couple of months. The next one is a hat and is currently with my tech editor. The third is a cowl that I'm really excited to start because it uses a gradient mini skein set! But if you got unexpected snow like we did early this week, you might want to start with the socks to make sure your feel stay warm!

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Phase One Complete

Well friends, I did it: I finished my Boxy spin! It's taken me since mid-November (with a brief break in December), but I've spun up 32 oz. of fiber into five skeins for my sweater. The last skein was officially finished yesterday.

The last skein (the one on the far right in the photo above) was spun from 6 oz. of Sky, the lightest colorway, and ended up being about 450 yards. In total, I have a bit more than 2,300 yards -- plenty more than what's called for in the pattern. I won't have any worry about running out, and I should have more than enough to lengthen the sleeves. I can't wait to cast on (but I will have to wait, because I just cast on another sweater and want to finish that one first).

So what's next? There are so many things I want to spin, but today, when I had a bit of time, I grabbed my HipStrings club shipment because it was the closest thing. I'm spinning the top first (there's 4 oz. of it) and then I'll do the batt. If I'm being honest, I got so used to spinning the Buoy that it feels a little odd to be spinning something else. If it starts to feel too weird, there is more Buoy in my stash!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

New Cast-ons

After all that new yarn came into the stash last weekend, I didn't wait very long before I started using in. In fact, not long after the last post was published, I cast on for my Humulus using the HipStrings Buoy that I bought. What you see here is the work of two evenings -- it's really knitting up quickly!

Right now I'm on a larger needle than the one I'll be using for most of the sweater, and it's clearly a newer one, judging from how crazy the cable is. At the moment, fighting that cable is the only frustrating thing about this project. Everything else is great, and the yarn is really nice to work with -- definitely a rustic-feeling, woolly wool. I had one little issue with a hole forming near one of the short row turning points, but I'll go back and fix that later.

I needed a new pair of socks for my lunch break knitting after finishing my Down at the Pub socks on Tuesday, so I've started a new pair for the Mister. My Ravelry project page tells me that the last time I knit him a pair of socks was 2009, so he was due (although I stopped knitting them for him for a while because he declared he had enough). These are a bit wilder than the ones I'm used to knitting for him, and I bought the yarn specifically to make socks for him, so I'm assuming he'll be okay with this pair.

The yarn is Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce in the colorway Harlequin. The colors of the stripes nearly match the colors of the Mister's company, so I thought these might be fun for him to wear to work sometimes. The black has been rubbing off on my fingers a bit as I've been knitting on them, so once the socks are finished, they'll be getting a little special treatment to make sure the dye is really set and completely rinsed.

The weekend ahead looks like it will be a good one for crafting. Passover starts tomorrow evening (and we're hosting this year), so there likely won't be any of my usual Friday night spinning, but we've got nothing else on the calendar, so I plan to relax and spend time with Rainbow, who's been doing sleepovers at her grandparents' this week while she's been on spring break. I expect that by the next time I post knitting content, my sweater will look a lot more like a sweater!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

More In than Out

As I alluded to in my last post, there were some significant stash enhancements this past weekend at Indie Knit and Spin. I went into the event with the express purpose of buying yarn for at least two sweaters, one for me and one for Rainbow, and I'm happy to report that I was successful. I only made one sort-of impulse purchase as far as yarn is concerned, but it wasn't exactly done on impulse because it was something I'd had my eye on before.

But you want to see the yarn, don't you?

First there was the sweater for me. I was planning to knit Humulus, and I decided that I'd really like to make it in HipStrings Buoy DK (the yarn this time rather than the fiber), provided they had enough on hand. I ended up with five skeins of Lead (pb) for the main color and a beautiful spring green for the contrast color.

Rainbow, meanwhile, was looking for a worsted weight yarn so that I can knit her a Hyphen. She liked the one I made as a baby gift a lot, and she really became interested in the pattern when I told her I'd found a project on Ravelry explaining how someone had adapted the pattern to fit an 18-inch doll. So the plan is to make one for her and one for her American Girl doll. She selected some Spencer Hill Naturally Dyed Yarn Molly in the colorway Raspberry Beret.

Luckily for us, the dyer had the same colorway on other bases, so we picked up a skein of Ruth, a fingering weight singles base, for the doll sweater.

In real life, the skeins are a much better match, but it's so difficult to accurately capture any shade of red.

The sort-of impulse purchase was a skein of Bounce from Fibernymph Dye Works in a Scrabble-inspired colorway called That's Not Even a Word!

I'd had my eye on this in a previous shop update but decided at the time that I didn't need it. But when I saw it in Lisa's booth, I figured it was a sign that I should get it now.

With all the yarn coming in, I've been doing my best to keep some yarn going out of the stash to make room for it. Today I finished up a pair of socks for me, in Fibernymph Dye Works Bounce in a beer-inspired colorway called Down at the Pub.

I matched up the stripes pretty well -- at least on this side!

I used my Non-Euclidian pattern for this (because the first pair I made, though they were knit to fit me, are being kept nice as a sample). I didn't make any modifications, so they're pretty straightforward. I also wound up another skein of Bounce first thing this morning to start a pair for the Mister, who has not received a pair of hand-knit socks in several years. I don't anticipate them getting done anytime soon, but it's always good to have a pair of socks on the needles!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Just One More Step

This weekend I decided that I had had enough: It was time to finish the rest of my singles for my sweater spin. My wrist might be angry with me later, but I'm very pleased to say that I accomplished my goal earlier this afternoon

These three bobbins hold 6 oz. of singles for my final skein. I will be plying at some point this week, and for certain I will have a finished skein by this time next week.

Yesterday was Indie Knit and Spin here in Pittsburgh. Rainbow and I went with the intent of finding yarn for sweaters for both of us, and we were successful (I'll share the yarn in my next post). While I certainly wasn't intending or needing to buy any fiber, some did catch my eye and came home with us as well. First was this braid of Targhee, bamboo, and silk from Gwen Erin Natural Fibers. I've always enjoyed Gwen's fiber, and I thought this might be a fun blend to try.

Then, while we were shopping in the HipStrings booth, this fun braid caught both our fancies.

This is one of Jill's favorite things colorways, Raindrops on Roses. It's going to be a slippery spin -- it's 62.5% Merino, 12.5% viscose from roses, 12.5% viscose from bamboo, and 12.5% trilobal nylon -- but I think it'll be pretty fabulous. I'll likely do a quick and dirty two ply with this to keep as much of the fibers together as possible. I'm certainly going to have a lot of good options for my first spin after the end of the sweater spin!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Blocked and Trimmed

After lingering for months on the needles and then sitting in a bag for more than a week after it was bound off, my Wonder Woman Wrap is finally finished finished finished -- it's been blocked, the ends have been trimmed, and it's had its photo shoot!

This thing is positively enormous. It's so big that I couldn't even get it all in the shot. It's so big that I didn't even try to measure the wing span because I'm fairly certain it's bigger than any of my measuring tapes will go. It was a very fun knit and certainly very engaging due to the clever shaping. If I have one complaint, it's that I think I used needles that were too large. The yarn I used was on the light side of fingering, and the resulting fabric is a bit on the airy side for my taste; I really would have preferred a denser fabric.

See what I mean? It's not really a big deal, and it's entirely my own fault, but I'll be sure to use a smaller needle the next time I knit it (and there will be a next time, because Rainbow is already angling for one -- though she'll be getting the smaller size).

Still on the needles are my socks, which are approximately 70% complete, and a new pattern sample.

This probably looks a little familiar because it coordinates with the last two pairs of socks I knit. This time I'm using Marianated Yarns Playtime DK, which is an amazingly round yarn with excellent stitch definition. I must use more of this in the future for something with cables!

I may do a little work on the hat tonight, but my first order of business is doing some swatching. Indie Knit and Spin is this Saturday, and Rainbow and I will be doing some shopping. I'm thinking of buying a sweater quantity of yarn I have a skein of already, and I want to see if it will work for the pattern I have in mind. Rainbow is on the hunt for yarn for a new sweater for her (in worsted) and for a matching sweater for her American Girl doll (in fingering). And I'm sure we'll find some other ways to enhance our stash while we're there!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


I don't have much to share tonight, mostly because I'm in my busiest time of year at work and my brain has been completely fried. I'm still working on my beer stripe socks; the first one is finished and I've just started the heel of the second, but I didn't take a picture because how many pictures of the same stripes do you really need to see? I'm sure I'll knit a little of this and a little of that tonight, as long as it's something I don't have to think too hard about, but I figured that as long as I don't have the brain power to follow a pattern, it's the perfect time to do some procrastinated blocking.

This shawl has been done for more than a week and has just been sitting in my project bag ever since I finished binding off. Normally I'm ready to block as soon as a shawl comes off the needles. Can I blame the fact that despite the calendar saying it's the first day of spring, we're in the middle of another snow storm?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

So Close I Can Taste It*

As of this afternoon, I have one bobbin of HipStrings Buoy singles in Sky done and two left to spin. That means just two more bobbins (plus, of course, plying) before my last sweater skein is done. If I'm being honest, this is my favorite colorway of the whole project.

I will definitely be putting in more hours on this spin this week in an effort to finish it up.

As if finishing getting the final skein done wasn't enough motivation, I got some additional this week in the form of the first HipStrings Synergy fiber club shipment. This fiber club was a bit more expensive than other clubs I've been in, but knowing the thought and energy that Jill puts into her fiber blends, I knew it would be worth it -- and this shipment didn't disappoint.

The first shipment focuses on how fiber prep can affect the blending of different fibers and the finished yarn. The fiber blend in the box is presented three ways: as combed top, carded batts, and component parts.

The colorway is called Pebbles, and it's a blend of 50% Merino wool, 25% Zwartbles wool, 12.5% Tussah silk, and 12.5% Sari silk. You can see the top on the left, the batts on the upper right, and the components on the bottom right. The gizmo at the top is a handy tool to secure your ends when you step away from spinning.

As with all of Jill's blends, the fiber reads as one color (a sort of greenish gray) from far away, but when you look at it up close, you can see all the different colors and shades. I'm really excited to spin this up -- just as soon as the sweater spin is done -- and I think I'll likely spin each prep on its own so I can compare how the prep affects the finished yarn. I might take the components baggie and throw the content on my drum carder to make another batt, too.

*Just for the record, while I will happily smell wool, I do not endorse tasting it unless you want a fuzzy tongue.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Briefly Monogamous

Unbelievably, I still have only one project on the needles. That's not for lack of wanting to cast something new on, mind you, it's just how things are at the moment. I'm working on a pair of socks for me using the most recent sock yarn to come into my stash, and for the past few days, this one WIP has satisfied me. I'm now into the heel, so nearly halfway done with the first sock.

I will likely be casting on a second project soon, perhaps as early as this evening. This will be another design sample, a hat that goes with the last two pairs of socks I finished. I did some swatching the other evening and finally remembered that I could use my spiffy Akerworks swatch gauge to measure my swatch.

I bought this tool at SSK last summer and promptly forgot I had it until now, which is a shame, because it's a really handy tool. Unlike a measuring tape, it stays put when you put it down, and it's much easier to count stitches and rows when you're not wrangling a slippery tape at the same time. From now on, I'm going to make sure I keep this in a convenient location so I don't forget about it the next time I need to measure a swatch!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Two FOs, One WIP, and a Rerelease

It may just be me, but this past weekend seemed to fly by, even though it was longer than normal. We were pretty busy, so I'm sure that played a part. The good news is that I got a fair amount done, even if it wasn't as much as I was hoping. You will have seen the spinning progress if you read my last post. But new for today is the two projects I finished.

First up, my Wonder Woman Wrap, which I finally "wrapped" up (hehe) Sunday evening. I'd hoped to have finished it on Friday, but it turned out that I was more interested in napping than knitting when I finally sat down to do it.

Pattern: Wonder Woman Wrap by Carissa Browning
Yarn: Twist Fiber Studio Fairview Fingering (75% merino/25% nylon) in Bollywood and Gale's Art Wonder Sock (75% BFL, 25% nylon) in XXXX, one skein each
Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm) 40 in. ChiaoGoo Red Lace circulars
Started/Completed: August 26, 2017/March 11, 2018

Of course, this wrap isn't finished finished finished, because I still have to block it and deal with some ends, but the knitting portion is done. Overall, I enjoyed knitting it, though I'll admit that there are an awful lot of ends to deal with due to the way it's knit. The construction is rather ingenious, though, and I really appreciated the pattern because of that. Rainbow has already asked if I'll make her one in the traditional Wonder Woman colors, so I guess I'll have another one on the needles at some point (though I've already told her that I would make her the smaller size).

The other FO is another pair of socks for Rainbow. The colorwork motif is part of a new pattern that's with my tech editor at the moment, but I used the heel from my Non-Euclidian socks to see how she likes it. I used the same Marianated Yarns Practicality sock yarn that I used for the original design sample but with the colors reversed. The yardage is so good on this yarn that I still have a decent amount leftover of the two original skeins!

For a very brief period of time after finishing up these two projects, I had no projects on the needles -- that's right, zero. Unheard of! I couldn't allow that to be the case for two long, so yesterday morning I cast on a new pair of socks for me. This is the first shipment of the Fibernymph Dye Works Happy Hour Yarn Club, a colorway called Down at the Pub that's inspired by the different colors of beer. I'm knitting myself a pair of Non-Euclidians that I can actually wear (the original pair is now living in my sample bag). The best part about these socks just might be the progress keeper that came with the yarn:

Now, on to the rerelease. You may remember that I posted about my Intrecciate Socks last fall when they were published in Knit Now, and you may also remember that I knit up a new sample when I was on my winter vacation because I wasn't super in love with the yarn I was given for the first sample. In any case, I'm happy to tell you that you can now get the pattern through my Ravelry store.

These socks are knit cuff down, with a heel flap and gusset and a wide toe. They're graded to three sizes (to fit a foot circumference of 7/8/9 inches or 18/20.5/23 cm) and both charted and written directions for the stitch pattern. As fun as the colors were in the original yarn, I think the stitch pattern really shines so much more in a solid color -- and you can see that these socks are truly unisex. In addition to knitting up the new sample, I've also run the pattern by my tech editor, so you can be sure it's up to snuff.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


The extra time I've been spending at my wheel lately has paid off -- the fourth skein (of five total skeins) for my handspun Boxy is done! I finished plying just a little while ago, in fact, and the skein is now getting its spa treatment. Before it went into its bath, though, I snapped a few pictures. Just be aware that it looks a little twisty because these were taken fresh off the wheel.

This was another 8 oz. skein, using one braid each of Buoy in Bay and Sky. As with the previous 8 oz. skein, I faded from one color to the other. I think this might be my favorite. I obviously won't know final yardage until it's fully dry from setting the twist, but I think it might be in the neighborhood of 600 yards or so, giving me somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,800 yards total thus far. That's already more than I likely need for the pattern, but having extra yardage will allow me to have some leeway in making the body and sleeves longer than specified should I decide I want to.

Here's a nice portrait of the four skeins together:

The fiber for the final skein -- 6 oz. of Sky, the lightest color -- is ready to go and will likely go on the wheel starting tomorrow. I am really getting excited to get this whole batch of yarn finished so I can cast on!

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Still Knitting

No real progress to report here; it's been a busy week, so I am inching along on my projects and looking ahead to a long weekend (Rainbow and I are both off tomorrow). I've got about 15 more rows to knit on the top of my Wonder Woman Shawl, so it only looks a tiny bit different from the last time you saw it.

Duni left an interesting comment on my last post, noting that I'd called my Breezy Cardigan my "one notable exception" to my habit of not letting projects linger on the needles for long periods of time and yet, in the post about the sweater, I pointed out one other "notable exception" to this practice, a Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole that I started a little more than a month before Rainbow was born. I'd say that project was a special exception considering the timing; I didn't knit much at all right after Rainbow was born, and I ended up ripping out the project altogether a while ago because I just wasn't feeling it anymore.

Rainbow's socks are approximately 75% complete at this point; I'm on the heel of the second sock. She's getting antsy for them to be done, so I expect they'll get some extra attention this weekend.

Speaking of the weekend, it looks like it might be another busy one. Although we're off tomorrow, we're pretty scheduled up, with two dentist appointments (one for me, one for her), a parent-teacher conference at her school, and a plumber coming to repair something. Saturday I have to go get some bloodwork done and then we're going to do a little car shopping. Sunday we turn the clocks ahead (yay for more light but boo for an hour less of sleep) and have to do the usual errands and chores. On top of all this, tomorrow is actually my birthday, and we're having the entire family over for dinner to celebrate on Saturday evening. I'm hoping I can use the event as an excuse to grab some more quiet crafting time amid all this activity!

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

A Resurrection of Sorts

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I'm the type of knitter who usually has several projects going at once and rotates through them fairly likely. You'll also know it's unlike me to let a project languish for a long period of time (one notable exception notwithstanding). So I'm sure that like me you're completely puzzled by the fact that this WIP has been sitting in a bag, ignored, for so long.

I'm sure you'll have no problem identifying the pattern -- the Wonder Woman Wrap that was such a hit last summer following the release of the movie. I specifically bought the yarn for this project last year at SSK and was very excited to start it. I couldn't remember exactly when I cast on, so I had to check my Ravelry project page: August 26. That's quite a long time ago, and I really have no reasonable explanation for why it's remained unfinished this long. There is nothing wrong with the pattern, and I've enjoyed knitting it. The only possible thing I can say is that more pressing things have come up and I've just forgotten it was still on the needles because it was buried at the bottom of a bag of projects.

When I picked up this WIP again in the past week, I found there really wasn't much knitting left to do on it. I had about four garter ridges left on the upper W, the upper triangle, and the final stripe along the top. As of this writing, only that stripe is left (along with weaving in a heck of a lot of ends). I'm fairly confident that I can finish this long-languishing WIP by the end of the week.

The only other thing on the needles at the moment is Rainbow's socks, which are now past the 50 percent mark. I got some good knitting time in on these while we were getting our taxes done over the weekend. These are a new design with the heel from Non-Euclidian.

When these WIPs are finished up, I'll be starting some new designs and possibly a new pair of socks for the Mister, who hasn't gotten any new socks in a while. I ordered some self-striping yarn from Fibernymph Dye Works for him last month that's a little wild for him but in "his" colors, so I think he'll like them. At least it's not all black!