Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pink Snowflake Hat

I'm taking a chance here but wanted to post this hat so I'll only post one picture. That shouldn't use too much data huh??? I made this hat for my granddaughter Jaden. I used my handspun yarn dyed with Black Cherry Kool Aid and some white 75% wool and 25% acrylic Paton's yarn. I love this pattern. It was designed by my friend Carissa Browning. I hope she likes it!
Ok, I promised only one picture so that's it for now. Can't wait until we have DSL. May not have as fast a connection but at least no limits on data..... <sigh>

Thursday, October 13, 2011

OK,,, so not every day...

I realized that I said earlier that I was going to blog everyday. That's unrealistic at this point. Especially since the only blog I'm publishing at the moment is a knitting blog and I may not have any progress to report. I do try to knit every day, but I don't always do so.

So, on Friday we went to North Carolina on a mission that was successful but I'm not ready to talk about that. Sorry. :) I took my socks with me along with some hand spun yarn and the snowflake hat to show off. I love that my favorite MIL Fran makes a big fuss over my yarn and knitting. Thanks Fran, I love you! I did not, however, do any knitting on my socks. It just didn't fit in with what we were doing.  But I have been knitting this week so here is a picture of my Tree Frog socks and my stealth knitting in the bag.
Progress on the Tree Frog Socks
And the stealth knitting...
As you can see on the socks I've made significant progress. I'm at about 5.5" on the leg and plan to get to 7" before starting the heel. I'm really enjoying the pattern. Its easy enough to have memorized so I don't have to keep referring to the pattern but interesting enough to keep me engaged.

You will probably notice in the sock picture I have my laptop out, and iPad, and iPhone.... Yes, I'm at Starbucks downloading my software updates including the new iTunes and the new iOS 5. Wish me luck. As I am typing I have about 5 or 6 minutes left of the initial download. I've been here 2 hours...

Since I will need to restart I'll close this out and publish this post. I do have some exciting news to report and hope I can do so in the next post. Thanks for reading this.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sad Day

I had no intention of saying this when I sat down to write this blog post but I can't sit here using pictures taken with my iPhone and typing on my wireless Bluetooth Apple keyboard connected to my Macbook Air without giving tribute to Steve Jobs. RIP Steve, and thank you.

I have made some progress on my sock and my stealth knitting. Next week I will have to put both down and cast on for 2 hats that MUST be done by the end of the month, but for now I'm working on these. I'm at the point in the sock where I'm repeating a lace row and knit row for the length of the leg. I love these socks! But,,,, its been a learning curve using the Addi 00 DPN. Not because they are thin but because they are metal. They are slippery. Good thing they are longer than I normally like as the ones at rest tend to slide a bit. Due to the pattern and the cuff down directions I didn't want to try translating the instructions to magic loop and one long circular. I'll save that for my toe up socks. Anyway, here are two pictures of my socks, one from yesterday and one from this morning.
You can see the pattern better in the one today, or at least you can see the lace openings. Pretty huh?

My stealth knitting is coming along well and I'm very happy with it. I have to share a picture but I don't think you can see enough to figure anything out. Just wanted to show the color. This is baby alpaca yarn that is hand dyed. I got it from Regina Dale in Texas. I used to spin at Regina's once a month and always loved the feeling of being in her studio. She has such a nurturing, loving personality. She is also a master herbalist so if you have any issues give her a call.

Anyway, back to the stealth knitting.....
Beautiful isn't it? Its very soft also. I took a picture the other day but when looking at it I realized the pattern was in the background and would have given away what I was knitting. Not that anyone really knows what this is anyway. :)

So, that is it for now. I probably won't blog every day, I think that's a bit too much for now, but a few times a week feels right. Have a great weekend everyone! 


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Back to Blogging!

I'm going to get back into the habit of blogging everyday about my fiber activity. I really find this a great way to look back at what I've accomplished. So I have 3 things to blog about today. The first one is my most recent completed spinning project. Back in April I took a space dyeing class with Leef Bloomenstiel from Apple Leef Farms at the DFW Fiberfest along with my friends Edee, Ellen and Karen. I chose Teal, Turquoise and Chestnut dyes. I had approximately 4 oz of fiber to dye.
Roving in dye pot.
After the class I took my fiber home and rinsed it out and let it dry on my fiber (sweater) dryer. I really thought the colors came out beautifully.
Roving after dyeing on drying rack.
When I spun this I first split it into 2 parts as equally as I could. I had 3 separate sections of roving and I split each section into 2. The I spun each "half" to a bobbin. As I spun it I alternated between the 3 sections that had different amounts of each color in them. Now, I really like a barber pole effect when I spin hand dyed roving, mine or anyone else's dye job. Its my preference. I have tried other methods of plying to keep the color changes closer together such as Navajo plying but I wanted to have as much yardage as possible from this.
Roving spun to fingerling weight.
So this is my final product. It is essentially fingerling weight although I can't find my WPI tool right now so I can't be certain. The colors are lovely and I believe this will make a beautiful final product. I have approximately 449 yards of this. I'll let you know what I'll be making. Right now I'm leaning toward socks.

The next subject is the hats I've knitted lately. I'm into hats right now and I had some yarn left over from a "stealth" project and decided to use Fair Isle technique to make a hat. I found my friend Carissa's hat pattern on Ravelry. Carissa has a blog called Carissa Knits and the hat pattern can be found, along with many, many other wonderful patterns, at Carissa Knits: Snowflake Hat. I used sport weight yarn and thought I figured my gauge correctly but should have knitted the hat in the large adult size as Carissa suggested. The small adult hat fits me but with my new longer, curly hair its not quite right. So I will probably make a larger one and give this one away. I also made a hat called Shroom from Knitty. Its also a free pattern on Knitty. Just search for Shroom hat. Here are pictures of them.
Snowflake hat 

In February of this year I attended the Fiber Retreat hosted by Mary Berry from Fancy Fibers Farm. One of the purchases I made there was 8 oz. of a wool/angora blend. This is 80% Merino top and 20% German Angora fiber. I personally pulled out the fiber, weighed it and gave it to Mary to blend for me on the drum carder. I decided to start spinning this next. My plan is to get a fingerling weight double or triple ply and make a shawl from it.

I'm also doing some "stealth" knitting but more about that later. Currently on the needles (OTN) is still my Stacey Shawl, a cardigan from my handspun brown tones fiber and SOCKS! lol... I recently organized my yarn/fiber stash. I found this sock kit that Edee and I had purchased from the Woolie Ewe  in Plano, TX a while ago. I decided to start knitting it. I'll post what I've done so far and then give you updates... I had to get 00 Addi DPN for this to get the gauge. While I was at the LYS I got 00 Addi lace 40" circulars for toe up two at at time socks cause a lot of times the 0 is too large.
Lorna's Laces in Tree Frog colorway

Isn't it pretty wound up?


Cuff complete on first sock.

Today's progress so far. 

The pattern is actually very simple.  You do a grid pattern for the cuff which is very stretchy and then the first 8 rows set up the diagonal pattern and then its just a simple 2 row repeat for the leg. You do have separate instructions for left and right so the diagonal lace pattern goes opposite directions. There is a YO that makes the lace but you can't see it in the picture. I used Jenny's Stretchy Cast On since these are cuff down. It is really easy and really works. When I do toe up I use Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off to finish the cuff. This link is Cat Bordhi's explanation.

I actually talked about more than 3 things but I hope you don't mind. I'm going to try to post this on Facebook also so please be patient as I try to do that. There are several methods but I'm going to start with the simplest and see how it goes. One day I'll have a Facebook page for this stuff but I think that will wait for a while. I hope you like my updates on my progress. Your feedback is important to me. Let me know how I'm doing!