Category Archives: Handspun

Episode 17.5– News!!

Episode 17.5 is ready.

Thanks to SpinnDiva of Rambling Designs!!

Ms Bean's Shawl

She designed this beautiful shawl and named it after me!! Then turned around, knit one, and sent it to me. In my favorite color!! I can’t thank you enough, SpinnDiva!! We fiber crafters are something else!

Please check out her site and tell her I sent you!

KnitsnThings has a neat way to get around your spinning ADD: Check it out! I love it!

Also, Need fiber pr0n? Have a look-see at:

Tag surfer at WordPress.com;
the “Show me” thread in Spinner Central at Ravelry;
The Fiber Friday threads (as well as other threads) in the Spinning section of Craftster.org!!

Newest books:
Pretty Little Patchwork (amazon.com)
A is for Apron (amazon.com)

Since there is no specific website for Save-A-Thon craft and fabric stores I’ll list the addresses here:

2452 Flatbush Avenue (near Ave U)
824 Flatbush Avenue (bet. Caton and Linden)
57-31 Myrtle Avenue (near Seneca Ave)
166-07 Jamaica Avenue(between 166 and 167)
9 East Fordham Road(near Jerome)
2891 Third Avenue(near Westchester)
1887 3rd Avenue(near 104th)

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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

Pushed to the edge…

Warning: Major knitting self-thrashing ahead.

WTF do I be doing when I’m supposed to be LEARNING stuff?! No really. It finally slapped me in the face like a 7th-grade lunchroom fight: My handspuns are coming out thicker than they LOOK. Whodathunk?!

Case in point:
About-to-be-frogged BBB

That’s where BBB was before I surrendered and took it off the needles. Now before you berate me for it, let me explain the truth: It had been KILLING my hands. It was being worked on 9s. Isn’t that big enough for doubled sportweight? Why, yes, it is. But. I finally learned that although it LOOKS sportweight, it’s not. Aha! Apparently I couldn’t get out of caring about TPI and WPI. Those are the things that give a ‘weight’ to a yarn. NOW I get why in articles and magazines about spinning, they tell you to make a singles with “## TPI” or a plied yarn with “##WPI”. They’re the standards of ‘categorizing’ a yarn, instead of going by ‘weight’, like in commercial yarn.

How does this affect my handspun disasters? Well think about it. Fiber prep really DOES make a difference in the final yarn. The yarn used in BBB was some Finn roving I got last year at Rhinebeck and spun on the Joy Val lent me. As a carded roving, it’s going to spin up fluffier than a combed top. So, even though it doesn’t LOOK worsted weight it will knit like one. Even after the bloom that occurs with setting the twist. So, I didn’t need to double the yarn like I thought I would. And then I probably wouldn’t have needed to use 9s either. I needed them for somthing else I’ll get to later in the post.

So, to make a long story short, I’m ripping the BBB (and loard help me I don’t know HOW I’m going to rewind it when it’s doubled– in some areas it’s actually knit from two ends of the same ball!) and will reknit with the yarn single. Then I won’t run OUT like I was before. Yes, this will result in a slightly smaller BBB but SugarBoogers won’t know the difference.

So I’ve washed my hands of that failure… On to the next:

disgusting wips 001

WTF possessed me to care enough about the points on the previous Icarus to think it would be a snap to repeat it, is beyond me. Somewhere in the deep recesses of my foggy brain I figured Icarus II would be simple and quick with all the plain sections. Well, it got boring FAST. But I trudged on, ever the valiant knitter, to meet my goal: an Icarus with pretty points. I also threw a wrench in the works for deciding to knit the whole thing as written. And I thought I was doing that, but it had plans for my ass. After several weeks of trying to figure out where the hell I went wrong I finally took that joint off the needles too. Good riddance. What possesed me to think I wanted to knit miles of sock yarn into a shawl, I’ll never know. How many rows of stockinette DOES it take to say ” &^%$# it!” to a pattern? The world may never know.* And I’m not counting either, shit…

So that’s what I did the last few days. Cry my tears and rip away. It’s over. Now on to some knitting that I’m much more confident about:
CPH ribbing back

Ladies and Gentlemen, the back ribbing of Central Park Hoodie, hereafter known as CPH. I’m working the largest size on this, and after careful swatching and taking into consideration that the cables will suck the fabric in a bit, I’ve settled on the size 9 needle tips. (which were stuck in that ever crazy-making BBB, but I won’t hold it against them).

There we have it. I’ve bared my knitting soul to all who’ll read.

Also, if you plan to click through to my podcast from this blog, no, you are NOT in the wrong place, I’ve moved cast hosting service.. 🙂 YAY! Thankx to Shannon of SSK for putting me on to Podshow.

*paraphrase of that world-famous Tootsie Roll Pop Question: “How many licks DOES it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop? The world may never know.” 🙂

“Who was it?” ” I don’t know…he hung up!”

If you know what cartoon that’s from, then you know how I’m feeling right now.

Lately my WIPS have fallen in the hole for me. I just took Icarus off the needles to burn. Well no, I haven’t actually done so, but I’m sorely tempted. After all the $hit I went through(like extra rounds!) to get the right stitch count, I was still WRONG. It’s what I get for trying to do the same shawl twice. I just don’t have the heart to continue on.

Then I’m kicking myself in the ass about Baby Bobbi Bear. It’s going to get finished but it’s going to look like patchwork. Poor planning has cause me to have to resort to using other yarns to finish it because I underestimated how much yarn I’d actually NEED(read: I don’t know how much of my own handspun I have). So, I’ll be using various other yarns on BBB…

At least I’ve finished 2.5 pairs of family socks. You know, the ones I said I’d be making for my household. So far I’ve got mine and son’s done, and just about ready to cast on number 2 for littlest Beanlet. After her it’s big girl Beanlet and finally hubby and his small cruiseships.

As for the mini-vacation, hubby and I just spent some quality time together. We went and bowled a few games(I beat him both times!) and had a quick dinner and walked around Times Square. Which reminds me. Is there a purpose to the M&M World store? 3 floors of M&M-themed merchandise; in fact, more non-candy merch than actual candy. WHY? I’m just sayin’…

And to top off the weekend, I got to meet the lovely, crafty, knitting farmer Sarah!! All the way from NM! She came up northward for Rhinebeck(DAMN! Why couldn’t I go!?Argh!) and we agreed to meet up before she left the area. Sadly I have no pics of the meeting but we had a good time chatting and walking around. Next time Sarah, I’m coming to town for Taos!!(maybe?) Weeeeeeee

Forgive the lack of pictures this post. I’ve made little tangible progress and I’ve got to really reassess my Ravelry queue so I can start some new WIPS.

Til another time!

Let’s play Catch-up!

But first, here’s a dose of cute for you:

K’s son had his b-day party at a bowling alley and littlest Bean decided she wanted to roll her own frames. So there you have it!

Her score is 2nd from the bottom. Not bad for a 4 year old! 🙂

myscoreboard

On with the crafting!

When last I left you I’d just received the KP Harmony needle set. I figured I could be knee-deep in new WIPS with all those cords. WRONG *screeching halt*:

kpharminaction

That’s Baby Bobbi Bear going on right now. I didn’t read ahead in the pattern and look where it got me. I’ve got the 2 24-inch cords holding the top sections and a 32-inch on the bottom area (the other 32″ cord is in Icarus). I’m about to branch off and do the legs on dpns but man I need more cords! 😀 Some 16″ers oughta do it for holders. But I’m having so much fun using the needles and I’m so glad each cord set comes with duplicates. I was travelling to the party with this and I wouldn’t have gotten THAT far with only the one cord.

A close up shot:
BBBstartclose

BBB is being done in my handspun Finn, a 2-ply I spun up last year when I borrowed Val’s Joy. I just LOVE Finn fiber. I still haven’t decided what I’ll do with the black Finn I finished recently. Maybe hubby-socks.

Also, I recently got tagged by Sofia with this:
1. Link to your tagger and post rules

2. Share 7 facts about yourself, some random and some weird

3. Tag 7 people at the end of post and list their names

4. Let them know they were tagged by a comment on their blog

So here goes.
1) I don’t watch much TV anymore. Most of what I do watch is really just me occasionally glimpsing the screen while someone ELSE(usually hubby) is watching.
2) I don’t like okra. Don’t ask.
3) My glasses are 4 years old. I actually HAVE had a more recent pair, but the frames took a dump on me and in the interim, I put on the pair I had before them. I didn’t see much difference, so I still wear them; I just haven’t had the time to find a good optician who won’t screw up my script like 3 times before I can go home with the damn things.
4) I actually like the taste of Red Bull. 🙂
5) I sleep best face down.
6) I keep my fiber dyes in a potato flake canister. (which reminds me I need to save that oatmeal one too 😉 ).

I’m afraid I’m going to have to break the cycle on this. I’m not all that fond of the tagging and meme business and I know most of the people I link to on the net aren’t thrilled with them either, so I won’t be passing this on.

Gonna keep this short(*giggle*). Everyone have a great day, and a great week!

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.

Happy Birthday! And FO’s!!

No, it’s not my birthday. But my little fuzzy cuddlies are 2 years old today.

Birthday Hammies

Three sons and one daughter from the pair I had, Batman and Catwoman. Sadly, they and their father are all that remain. Mom and their sibs all passed away. I love me my hammies. I didn’t even know Catwoman was expecting until hubby woke me up and said, “Is it too soon to call you ‘Gramma’?” I jumped up, peeked in her cage; there were 9 little pink thingies in her nest and she was off looking for food. I wanted to ring his neck, I swear. But it’s all good now. 🙂

I have some FOs and a new WIP for you. You like that, huh? 😉

First up:
gradient PurlBump scarf

I know, It’s not blocked. I’ll get around to that. I promise. There may even be a pic with someone WEARING it. *Groucho eyebrow*. I was winging this as I went, with the dyeing. I tried my hand at the gradual immersion technique and well, I don’t know if I like it. I tried adding the whole thing and pulling some out over time so that it would be various shades.. Then I tried adding just the end and putting more in over time.. I really don’t think it matters much. I simply didn’t get enough shade changes. Maybe it was the fact that I used Wiltons, maybe it was because it’s blue. At least I got to use my handspun! 🙂
Stats:
Pattern:”PurlBump” scarf
Yarn: Handspun SheepShed- Brown Sheep mill ends in ecru/undyed
Needle: US 9(5.5?mm) Bryspun circular
Started Aug.7, 2007
Finished Aug. 9, 2007

I think this is the fastest I’ve finished a scarf. Woo!

Then there’s:
VLTdyed 001

This is the Victorian Lace Today scarf I’d been working on the past week. The book states you should work the border 4 times but I only did it 3 and had to work out the numbers to pick up the right number of stitches for the center panel. It worked out easily. This is the first time I’ve knit something with this type of construction; knitting a border, turning it sideways to pick up stitches, knitting up from there, and then knitting-on the second border. I need to do more of these! I don’t know how the hell I’ll block this thing; it’s bigger than my blocking board.. *sigh*
Stats:
Pattern: Scarf with open and solid diamond lace edging from Weldon’s, 1904, from Victorian Lace Today
Yarn: KnitPicks Bare Laceweight(which I dyed pink-ish with Wild Berry Tea Kool Aid)
Needle: Inox Express 4.5mm(US 7)
Started: Aug. 3, 2007
Finished: Aug. 11, 2007(including dyeing)

But wait, there’s more! I’ve got a new lace WIP going as well(did you really think I wouldn’t? 😉 )

sagitarria shawl 002
Sagittaria Shawl

Another Ravelry find. I love that place. Worry not if you haven’t received your invite yet, it’s coming!!

This pattern is woooo… Let me tell ya. Valerie referred to it as ‘Icarus(shawl) with a kick’. She wasn’t lying; this bad boy was kickin’ my ass! Look at the charts and you’ll see what I mean. I had to do some serious marking to get Chart 2 to work to my advantage. Once I got a feeling for the pattern repeat, I simply marked off the sidelines with the number of stitches left after you’ve done the right number of repeats. So far, it’s paid off; just a missing stitch from a dropped YO but that’s easily fixable. I’m not complaining though. Sagitarria’s going to be a knock-out!

It may seem like I’ve been cheating by knitting with Bare and then dying. But sometimes I just don’t know what color I want the FO to be until I’m done with it. I still have yet to take some of my handspun and make a lace shawl. I’m still hoping to get that done before the year is out. My spinning whims are all over the map lately. I’m still working on the black stuff so there’s nothing new to say about that.

And for all the crafting moms out there, a moment to brag about SugarBoogers:

Beanlet Giftwrap

And in the wrapping?
Beanlet Gift

Littlest Bean is enjoying a short break for what’s left of summer, and then it’s back to the grind for her(and all of them 😉 ). She’s improved in her speech some, and her vocabulary is soaring! I’m so proud of my little Beanlet. Hee.

So, that’s it for this post. Happy Sunday!

Addendum:
BeanKnits and Spins podcast is on hiatus until it’s quiet in the house AND I’m awake.. at the a same time. 😉 (school starts)