Monday, January 31, 2011

January Wrap-Up

I had planned to do some cabled slippers that I had actually bought the pattern for from Ravlery - Cair Paravel's. I wasn't really enjoying the toe-up purling though and noticed that the only pairs that came out looking nice, were the pattern author's. I may try them again, just not now, maybe later in the year.

I needed cable items for the month of January for the Christmas Make Ahead group, so went searching and found some owl cloths. I pulled out some Knit Picks Shine Worsted that I had that turned out to be perfect for the cloths. Between the two cloths that I did, I used almost all of a skein. Bonus! I didn't think they were enough for the month so found a pattern for a small bag. It's knit in the round, has cables that makes circles then you do a flap. I followed the instructions pretty much for the first one, then went with the feel for the second.
Continuing work on the Raspberry February Lady Sweater. I have six inches of gull lace pattern done so far:
Trying to get it all visible meant on the piano bench and inside, so flash washout. I'm happy so far with the cardigan.  If things work out, it should be done in February as planned. Of course, I have the February projects that will be started tomorrow to make things interesting!

It was a delight to start spinning Knitted Wit's BFL in shades of blue. It was four ounces and just seemed to fly onto the wheel.  I ended up with 777.83 yards of lace weight yarn. After seeing this, and still not getting the wpi for Black Cherry, I'm calling it a light fingering weight yarn though.  I need to find a nice shawl pattern for it, but here's Springtime Blues:

So far so good!

PS: the Knitted Wit link takes you to a survey she has, take the survey and get a 40% off coupon for her Etsy shop.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Raspberry, Burgundy and Springtime Blue

I started one of my 12 in 2011 projects - Raspberry February Lady Sweater. Its the grown up version of the baby sweater I made before Christmas for baby Alyssa. Some small changes in the grown up version. I opted not to do button holes because I liked the idea of doing clasps. I'm doing the Large size and have finally gotten done with the garter stitch rows, moved the sleeve portions onto holders and started the body with the lace pattern.
I have another project that I need to start and get done this week to be on track with my plans. They are a pair of slippers in worsted weight yarn. I plan to get those started tomorrow. They are part of the Christmas Make Ahead plans.

I did finish up late last week spinning up the burgundy batt from Spinner's Hill that Shelia brought back from Rhinebeck two years ago. It was a bit of a battle with this batt to spin up nicely. It wanted to be very nuppy. I spent Sunday plying it with the bulky head and ended up with a total of 671.5 yards that I think is a heavy lace or light finger weight. I won't be sure until I do the wraps per inch measurement. Because the bobbins weren't even in distribution I tried joining the end with the rest and found when pulling off onto the niddy-noddy that the join wasn't successful. So I have a small skein that may be used with the big skein in a project, we'll have to wait and see. If nothing else it will become a square in my barn raising quilt square afghan project.

Once I finished I needed something to spin that would be easy and I had already planned to dip into some of my oldest stash, so some BFL from Knitted Wit is were I started. It was a four ounce braid I had picked up from her discount bin. I'm not sure why it was there, no wear on the braid and lovely colors. Bright springtime blues. I had half of it spun up before I went to bed and had to spin the rest the next day. I have the second half to spin on Wednesday. I hope that I'll be able to ply it all up on Saturday when I'll be hosting another spin day at the grange.
Last week a cough appeared, nothing else just a most annoying cough. It was one of those where you felt like you had a hair ball on the back of your tongue tickling you to a cough.  The cough has become more congested this weekend but the at least the hairball is gone!

There has also been success in getting the dogs out atleast three times, if not more, a week for a good long walk. I have been taking them to Dawson Creek Park and depending upon the time and weather, can change the length of our walk. They come home smelling a little gamey from walking in the mud from the ducks and Canadian geese, but seem as if they thoroughly enjoy the walks. I've been losing inches and pounds over the last few months and hope to lose more with our walks. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011 Yarn Train Results

I scooped Gail up late, so arrived after the train had arrived at Union Station. I did get to pick up my bag from the organizers:
From the left are little noted cards by a local Seattle area person that you can include with your hand knit item saying what kind of care your gift needs. Gherardelli Chocolate, Pencil from American Knitting, Urban Fiber Arts folder has a note pad and a variety of post-it stickers as well as a lovely pen. The highighter tape is a lime green and a little green flashlight. From Knit-Picks a double ended crochet hook on a keychain and a row counter.

There was also a lovely pattern inspired by the bridges and train:

We stopped in at Urban Fiber Arts first. Gail had requested a red yarn bowl and I was picking up my Oregon State Fair fiber for spinning:
It took three attempts to get a picture where I wasn't getting a shot of Cindy from the wrong side. Bethany to the left was laughing at my attempts. It is a pretty red bowl.
Camille was tempted to buy a bowl and some pretty Hydrangea roving from Abstract Fiber.
 2 ounces of very white polworth
 2 ounces of Lavender Hill Icelandic Roving from Cinnamon - kind of a creamy grey
1 ounce of pygora in grey
Gail and I then popped into Cupcake Jones to get a couple of cupcakes to bring home. We were also wearing our hats so got our free mini-cupcake. A promo they were doing because its national hat day. I tried encouraging a lot of knitters their way while they were in the neighborhood. I know that Camille wanted to go back because she ended up missing it earlier.
Gingerbread on the left and Vanilla Pearl on the right. (I shared the gingerbread with William and he deemed it 'awesomely good'.)

Gail had never been to The Button Emporium, so a trip there was next on our list of stops. I found a coupe of cute Yorkie buttons that had to come home with me along with some cute red plastic ones that can be used on baby sweaters in the future. I'm not sure what to do with the sheep, but they were a great price. They also had a cute notebook with a magnetic clasp that I may put aside to give as a gift.

From there we went to the Starbuck's and got lunch and coffee and met up with Michelle, Camille, Rachel, Angela and Kathleen. After chatting for a bit and Michelle offering to take three Seattle knitters over to Yarn Garden, we all ended up heading over that way. I first had to go drag Gail out of Knit-Purl. I got to flash Sandy Kay my Roppongi Orion's Socks. Rachel's car load headed over to Happy Knits first, but we all ended up again together at Yarn Garden where we all got one of their gift bags:
A Berroco yarn with a pattern to make a gift bag from the ball. Very nice free gift.

Gail was on the hunt for a Queensland pattern, so we walked the two blocks up to Happy Knits and they gave us a lovely little notebook, business card and an internet coupon:
Gail didn't find her pattern.  I did wander through looking at the lovely colors and yarn choices they have and told a couple of employees, I couldn't buy because I have to clear out stash first. It was hard! Then after chatting with Melinda for a bit, and running into Rebecca who was in looking for a bit of fiber sunshine and found it in some Malabrigo Lace in Sautrene, I herded Gail for the door for the ride home. 

I came home to a vacuumed living room and to find that Brandon had decided to wash the cushion covers on the sectional since I had put in a request to have under the cushions vacuumed. A nice surprise to a long day.  Now if only I could get rid of what feels like an allergy reaction cough. 

While I started the day prepared with three projects to knit on during down times, no knitting was accomplished - but I was prepared! I have time now, I'm going to see about getting started on my February Lady Sweater. Later!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Kind of as a way to prepare for blocking and after talking with Shelia at spinning that I could block it like normal, I soaked my Diamonds and Pearls shawl and then using pins and blocking wires re-blocked.

I didn't get a good fresh pic of me wearing it but here are some new pics:

One of the cool things that Brandon made me for Christmas is a wood lazy kate. I figured out that we'll need to replace the wooden dowels (too fat), thankfully I guess, he has a couple days to get it ready before I need it. The lid was hand carved, can you tell where the scene came from?

We got just a smidge more snow than what is here, why yes that is green stuff growing on the patio, we grow a lot of it in Oregon.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A shawlette and socks

I started them the same night and finished them the same day. Different times of course but same day. The Crimson Haruni ended up being more of a shawlette than a full shawl. It will look nice wearing it as a neckerchief. There are "secret" plans for this project, but you'll have to wait until the first part of August for me to let you in on what they are.

The yarn is Stitchjones Titanium Sock in Crimson, ten stems instead of the twelve. Ended up with 19 grams leftover. I think it will be come a baby hat.

The Roppongi Orion's Socks are also done. I was able to make them identical instead of the fraternal that the pattern designer had to do. Wonder if it had to do with the different heels? I ended up with just 21 yards leftover of the Staccato Butter. Will definitely go towards a blanket square. I also have 80 yards of the Roppongi leftover but haven't found a pattern to link it.

They are bright and cheerful and a pretty easy pattern for the first socks of the year.

Tuesday in the late afternoon it started to snow and there was concern about freezing rain, so didn't get to do the monthly Portland Spinnerati spinning. I was also really tired Wednesday morning and ended up not having the regular spinning, so this afternoon I have been spinning to make up for both. I've made progress, but still have more to go before I'm done with this batt. Wednesday morning it was 31 degrees, by evening it was up to 50 degrees. Today it hit 57 degrees. Creeks that had gone down are rising and cresting their banks again. We're also supposed to get a lot more rain over the next week.  Hopefully the Seattle Yarn Train people are prepared for rain!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Three-quarters done

I cast on both projects shortly after midnight on January 1st - Crimson Haruni and Roppongi Orion Socks. The shawl was a much more successful cast on and progress:
 Almost to the halfway point of being done
Half of the second half is done. You can see the lifeline between the two halves. There's just ten rows left to do and then I'm binding off.  So its three-quarters of the way done.
 First sock in progress - notice I modified the heel to be a short row heel. I also modified the toe. Original called for a 14 stitch cast on and then increase to 64 stitches, that just made it huge on my toes. So I frogged it and again using Judy's Magic Cast On (I finally have it down pretty well, but will have to make sure I do another toe up sock this year) did an 8 stitch cast on and then increased like I would with the decreases on a top down.
 Once you get into the leg of the sock it just kind of flies doing the stranded work. I followed the needle bind off that the author suggested. It's very stretchy I guess. It kind of seems loose to me.
As of this afternoon, I have the second sock done past the heel, so the pair is also three-quarters done.

I ended up missing weekly spinning through the month of December through one thing or another. So I was determined to make it this first week of January. There was three hours then and today another couple of hours of spinning at The Knitting Bee for its monthly Spinning Bee. 
 Progress after Wednesday's spinning. It's a Spinner's Hill batt that Shelia brought back in 2009 from Rhinebeck. It's a Finn-Rambouillet-Mohair-Silk mix.
 If  you look on the left side of the bobbin you can see the height difference between Wednesday and Sunday's spinning.
 I'll try for a daylight shot tomorrow of this. It's 1 ounce of Upstream Alpacas in Rose Grey. It's going towards the State Fair spinning I have planned.

I feel good about this week's progress. I'm not sure what will be up next in the plans, but I have some queues that I'm sure will help guide me. ;-)

I know its from the back but the sun was shining and I thought she looked cute. Leeloo turns eleven months old tomorrow. Her hair is growing out (needs to be brushed) and we're trying to get her nose/muzzle hair to grow out and get out of her eyes.