Category Archives: Fiber

Episode 15— 2008– NO FEAR, Books! and my ‘design’

Episode 15 is ready for your enjoyment!

All subsequent regular blog posts are now at the New Blog!! The House of Wool Repute!!

Lace designing books

Creating Original Hand-Knitted Lace, by Margaret Stove

Knitting Lace Triangles, by Evelyn A. Clark

My Sources of Inspiration:
Evelyn A. Clark

Miriam L. Felton

Megalogarnie

SpinnDiva

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She shops.. she SCORES!

That, I most certainly did.

Yesterday, Karen and Tania and I set out to the NJ Sheep and Wool Festival (Garden State Sheep Breeders Festival)l and had some good fun.

NJsheepwool 001

We landed here a little before noon, I think. I was operating on 3 hours! of sleep so forgive any errors. 😉 There were the usual staples; fiber vendors selling all manner of sheep, alpaca, rabbit and yak(fiber and livestock in some cases!); food vendors(not so much actually), and ready-made knit and woven crafts, as well as sheepherding demos and fleece and skein contests.

I’ve got a scad of pics for you right here(I know that’s what you really want 😉 ).

The other highlights of the festival were spinning on a Majacraft Little Suzie( that girl can GO!) and this: a little video I took of some ducks.

What I really wanna tell you is about that set of Denise Needles you see in the flickr set.

SCORE!! dude score!

The girls and I had heard about a lady not too far from the fairgrounds selling out her shop from her home. We did our deeds at the festival and ran straight for it. All kinds of yarny goodness, a bit of fiber(though nothing out of the ordinary–there was even an old Louet wheel!), a stack of back issues of Interweave Knit or Crochet, Knit Simple, you name it, and other non-craft related items..
And then I saw it… The Denise set. I looked in and at a glance all that seemed to be missing was the end caps and upon futher inspection(like, this morning? lol) I noticed the stitch holders are gone but damn if I didn’t get a hot deal.. All this for the sum of $3.50USD!!! Yes, you read that right. Mind you, the kind lady quoted it at a $1 but even I felt cheap too go for that so I offered $5 and we settled on $3.50!! I still can’t believe it! Granted, in the past I have mentioned that I wasn’t too thrilled with the Denise set but, I still have the long 50″ cord and right now the KP Options sets are just not in my budget right now. Maybe next year.

I was on a tight budget for this trip(it was last minute so that kept me from really binge shopping), but still managed to come home with some treats. Karen, ever so generous, had brought a box down with her and I got to take home the fibery goodies you see in the picture set. Go look! 😀

I’m gonna go play with it right now. See ya!

BeanKnits and Spins Podcast Episode 11

Yes. It’s back! Go here. Or check iTunes– BeanKnits and Spins.

Also, my latest dyeing adventures:

orangebrowndyedjob 001

The pre-soaked fiber in the pyrex dish

orangebrowndyedjob 003

My little color-squirter thingy!

orangebrowndyejob 004

In the dye pot.

Merino 64s ecru, dyed with orange (and brown if you can believe it!) Wiltons paste. Next time. REAL acid dyes!

I swear my place is haunted…

It has to be. Things keep moving when they shouldn’t. I hear things move or fall when I’m the only person home/awake. It’s mind boggling. And they did it again.

Yesterday, Karen and I hung out with the kids at a park and I took some pictures(hold your horses). Then I get home and go to take the pics off the camera and can’t find my damn cord to connect it to the computer. Yeah. Tore up the bedroom(or so I thought) and still no dice. Made me mad. Went online and checked the Canon site for accesories and damn if that thing wasn’t on BACKORDER–WTF?.. I almost wound up legging it to RadioShack today but something told me to check hubby’s side of the bed–against the wall– and wouldn’t you know it? There it was. I’m tellin you, I have a ghost in this place… Anyhoo, on with the show:

Hedera feet
Hedera, done! This was a fairly easy knit after all. No major complaints about the pattern and the yarn held up well after a soak. I’d do this one again. You might notice that one cuff has the twisted rib and the other doesn’t. I hate twisted rib. But then when I started the second sock I figured to give it a go because it DID make the sock look better. It’s a bitch to knit though.

hedera done

Stats:
Pattern: Hedera
Yarn: KnitPicks Sock Memories in Paper Dolls(discontinued)
Needle: KnitPicks Options US1(2.25mm) on the Magic Loop
Start: 8/27/07
Finish: 9/6/07
Mods: None really, other than the different cuff on one and my usual shortening of the heel flap.
Special Observation(s): Why does it seem like all of Cookie A’s patterns require you to shift stitches around? I’m not talking about the usual type of shifting like, ‘move stitches to x needle to hold while doing heel’, I’m talking about moving stitches over to rearrange the starting point or your whole thing’ll be wonked.

I encountered that in Pomatomus, Monkey and now these. Not complaining much, just an observation.

Then there’s:
Cabled sock
‘Grey’ Cabled Socks

I started this with the cable going the other way. I don’t use a cable needle anymore and I find the C4F easier to do than the C4B. So I called myself being SMRT and using the C4F and it just didn’t sit right. My guess is, the designer still uses a cable needle(as if that’ll change the outcome) or she swatched and learned what I did. Either way, lesson learned.

That’s Fortissma Socka color 1008 that Cristi gifted me. Thank you again, Cristi! I like this light orangey-colorway. It’ll wipe away the gloomy come winter.

Also, at the park(forgot about that huh?) there was spinning:

MMountFinn

Finn fiber from Misty Mountain Farm, via Rhinebeck. Yes, it’s been about a year and I STILL have fiber from last year. I’m not going this year so I can work on these and pretend I just got it. 🙂 I usually love Finn fiber but not this one. I haven’t spun roving in quite a while; I finally got the hang of spinning top a while back and started spinning that more. However it’s not the fiber prep technique I don’t like, it’s the fact that there’s so much VM left in this stuff. Their cream colored Finn fiber didn’t present like this. I guess they figure the dark color can hide the poop and no one will be the wiser. Well, sorry. I found it. I’ll keep it but it’s gonna need some major SOAKING before I knit with it.

I’ve also got some natural dark Cotswold curls on another bobbin.. It’s got quite a bit of Lanolin still in it, and makes for sticky spinning. But it’s coming out fairly ok.

And I recently completed the Bubblegum Romney fiber I got from Spunky Eclectic. Again, I’m no fan of Romney but I loved the colors and I’m glad I got to experience it. There will be pics of that next post.

Ok, done rambling for now.

WIPs and random thoughts

I promised a picture of the Lombard Street socks in progress so here it is:

LombardsocksWIP

Let me tell you that while it’s a pretty pattern, I don’t think I’ll knit it again. Granted the decreases and increase are inherent in lace knitting BUT, the juxtaposition of such in this particular pattern had me jacking up the stitch count something awful. There was much tinking and cussin with this sock. I give kudos to the heel flap though. Or at least it might be due to the yarn I’m using. There’s a little bit of a design there because of the slip stitching on the flap. Nice.

Lombard heelclose 002

Then there’s the newest addition to the WIPs list *blushing*:

VLTscarf1begin

A lace scarf from Victorian Lace Today. Strangely I don’t think this pattern HAS a title other than, ” Scarf with the open and solid diamond lace edging from Weldon’s, 1904″. So, that’s what it is. I’ll refer to it here on out as, “VLT scarf #1”. 🙂

If there are two things that this project makes me realize, it’s that 1) Dangly stitchmarkers ARE a pain in the ass, and 2) I really need a set of Options needles. I could use Crystal Palace circs to get a pointy tip but it’s a bamboo needle and I’d prefer a metal needle so the stitches will slide along easier. This is being done on a 4.0mm Addi turbo. I know Addi makes lace needles but at $15 a pop, no thanx. As for the markers, I say that because when I work the wrong side of the scarf I have to keep flipping the marker around to get it out of the way once I’ve knit it. If that makes any sense. Granted, when I made them, I probably used too many beads on it and the wire is not a soft enough gauge for a dangly. I’ll have to work on that; I DO like them but this is clearly too long and stiff not flexible enough. 🙂

As for previously mentioned WIPs, Stripedy is going to be worked on more once it cools off some. The Badia top is going to be ripped. I just don’t have it in me right now to make a lot of changes to something. What started out with accidentally knitting more length than the pattern called for at a certain point, I was trying to turn into extra length to account for the hikeage that normally occurs in the front of some of my tops. My measurements per the pattern were way off but I was going to work around that and use it to my ‘advantage’. Then I got distracted with other stuff and found myself preferring to knit the new things. I think the yarn is also the problem. I just can’t seem to find anything to do with that SWTC Bamboo. If it were variegated I’d do another Clapotis but it’s plain and I know that’ll bore me to tears. *sigh*…

I have an announcement. I have in my posession, 24 silk hankies, sent to me by Cordelia. Thank you Muggy! Now the thing is, how to DYE them for spinning.

I’m thinking of dividing them up into 4 sets and doing 4 colors each. My hope is to spin the colors in one order, and then go back the other way. Of course I’d have to do this twice so that there’s enough for two of whatever I make. Could be socks, could be MITTENS! I could spin up some black merino and ply it with that to get a stained glass-type effect. But, what colors?

Decisions, decisions.

Til next time!

FO Show ‘n’ Tell

I know I was supposed to do a WIP post on Friday. It just wasn’t happening. I’ll tell you what DID happen, though.

I met up with the gals at The Point and we had a jolly good time. There was wine and snacks and knitting to work on. But worry not, no one messed up because of the liquor! 🙂

While I was there I got to finish up the Monkey socks I was working on:

MonkeyatPoint
monkeysocks 001

These were a fast, addictive knit. And I got to try something I didn’t think was possible: a heel flap that would actually FIT. I know, that sounds crazy. But in the past, the heel flaps I’ve knit never stayed put. They’d be sliding all over the place and would bunch up in my shoes. Something told me to shorten the flap before turning the heel. I figured, ‘what have I got to lose?’, and set to. It worked! I will now knit less rows of the flap before turning the heel on heel flap socks. I still love my short row heels though, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes, the ‘lines’ of a sock work better when you use a heel flap instead of a different heel. So I’m a bit more open-minded about using flaps on my socks.

Stats:
Pattern: Monkey Socks
For: Me!
Yarn: Schoeller & Stahl Fortissima Socka in light blue(color # 1004)
Started: July 22, 2007
Finished: July 27, 2007
Mods: Shortened the heel flap to 20 rows to fit my heel better.

Before I left the house that day I got lucky:
MIAKoigu

Get your mind out of the gutter, that’s not what I meant! 😉

I found this yarn in a bag hanging on my bedroom shelf. I swear I didn’t mean to hide it from myself but that’s apparently what I did. I was using this Koigu along with another color to knit 4 socks at one time on a very long circular. That didn’t work out so I cut two skeins loose and put them aside. In that bag. And forgot about them LOL. I was digging in there because that’s where I hide my camera batteries. I felt around and was like, “Oh Shit! I had this here all this time?!”.

I took the yarn with me, but didn’t cast on as I wasn’t too sure what pattern to use. I’ve chosen the Lombard Street socks for the yarn and I’m already done with one but I’ll show you those on Friday if I do get around to a WIPs post. Besides, I got distracted by some ooooh-ahhh Artyarns in colorway 140. I caught a nice deal, with 25% off and pretty much got one skein free. Because I got 4. Yes, I know. hee. They’ll be some banging knee-length Jaywalkers when I get around to figuring the calf shaping.

Where my spinners at? I gots something for you!

spunkyspunatPoint

This is what became of the “Sarabella” 100% Merino fiber from Spunky Eclectic(link on sidebar). I planned on spinning for a sock yarn and I guess I COULD use it for socks, but it’s only about 200 yards. I knew that Navajo-plying would reduce the yardage by 2/3, but I didn’t know how much I started with. I tried to spin very fine but apparently, that wasn’t fine enough because it amounts to what would be a sport weight yarn. So, it will become something OTHER than socks. *sigh*. Had I known how much I had I would have 2-plied. Dammit. 🙂

Finally, another FO for you. Behold!: White Lion Cloth( Grrr from Knitty.com)

It’s Grrr. 🙂 I needed a break from all the tiny needles I’d been working with lately. So I figured I’d go with some worsted weight cotton. I don’t know what I was thinking, that’s just as bad for my hands! But. Lookie! I know SugarBoogers will like her morning bath more once she sees that. I hope. The loop stitch was rather fiddly but after a while it was second nature. I might go up a needle size the next time I make one of these; make it a little bigger.

Stats:
Pattern: Grrr washcloth
For: SugarBoogers
Yarn: good ole’ Lily Sugar ‘n Cream in basic white, plus a smidge of Austermann Mayfair in navy for the ‘face’
Started: July 31, 2007
Finished: same day!
Mods: None, really. I think I fooked up the row order somewhere after the face section but it ain’t gonna matter in a billion years, will it? 😉

That’s all, for now!

“Spin me in the morning…

..and just walk away…” (to fix my cup of tea!)

Back! with a cup of Celestial Seasons’ Chocolate Caramel Enchantment chai tea. Mmmmm.

Just so you don’t think I’ve gone the way of zany blabber-blogger, here’s a pic of what’s on the bobbins right now:

Early Morning glint

That’s Sarabella, from Spunky Eclectic. She’s part of 4oz. of 100% handpainted Merino. She’s sooo pretty!
I’m spinning her up fine, for a Navajo ply, and then I’ll make her into some comfy socks. I have some peachy-orange sock yarn with nylon to make the heels and toes. Hmm. I’m already thinking of some patterns I might want to use the yarn for.

I’ve all but finished the Phineas socks. It’s a cool pattern. I knit the first sock on 0s with 72 stitches, per the pattern but it’s a tad big on my leg. And you know how big my legs are, so that’s saying alot. 😉 The foot fits well though, so I decided to keep on. The cuff ribbing holds it in a bit.
But I’m knitting the mate on 64sts. It’s very easy to manipulate the pattern to use a different stitch count but if you want to try it on 64 sts just comment and leave an email address and I’ll send off the chart I made up. For the actual pattern, check out Quietish.

I haven’t made much progress on Stripedy, if any. The needle is getting to short and the stitches are crammed on there to where it hurts to knit after a few minutes. And I’m on 7s. I’m holding out for a particular needle so I’ll have to wait til I get it. Shell/Tank only sees progress at home. But none significant enough to warrant a new picture. I need to bang out another foot of SYES(see sidebar) and that’s coming off the needles. I will block it to within an inch of its life, and it should be the size of a toddler bed. 🙂 The mate to bmp is being done on a larger needle so I don’t need to wait for Phineas to come off the 0s before casting on, now that I have some good black yarn.

With that, I’m off! TTFN