Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Socks

I found the Edwardian Boating Socks and thought they would be a perfect pattern to finish using up my slightly more than a skein worth of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock Candy in Blue Boo! I had mad a pair of Leyburn socks last year for my sister Jennifer and thought I'd make a second pair for her that were similar. The yarn was the leftovers from those socks and so two little balls. Well when I had to dip into the second ball, even after taking out one of the pattern repeats in the leg, I knew I was in trouble. So I put the finished sock aside and went back to the yarn I used for the other pair I made for her this year, some Lane Cervinia Strompegarn.

I still had the Blue Boo! yarn and didn't want to go through and frog the one sock and have it still sitting in my stash, so cast on and started the second sock. Halfway through the toe, is where I ran short.

So I have a gift pair and I have a pair for myself, since really the toes are going to be in shoes who's going to see that one is different from the other?

One other pair of socks to make for the year, those are also going to be gift socks, for Brandon. I'm all set to go and will get them started later. First, I need to make a dress for the weekend.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

11 Shawls in 2011

A friend, think it was Rebecca, had done the ten shawls in 2010 and I thought what a cool way to get all those shawls in my queue knitted up! So I paired yarns and patterns and was all set to get started. I've shared them along the way and with the completion of the Swallowtail shawl I'm done! I actually did make twelve shawls, but after completing it, found that it was short by twenty yards for the minimum yardage required of 250 yards.

Here's the collage I created to show that I had met the goal:


Crimson Haruni - 344.3 yards
Alpaca Dane - 363.8 yards
Cabled Capelet - 660.3 yards
Beaded Aeolian - 446.5 yards
Cafe au Lait Zen Rain - 399.0 yards
Camel Fan - 631.0 yards
Forest Dragon - 1417.5 yards
Blue Boo Shetland - 468.0 yards
Blue Pimpeliese - 448.8 yards
Snow Dunes - 564.8 yards
Red Hot Swallowtail - 336.5 yards

Total Yards 6080.5 yards - Wow!!

Three of them are definitely going to be gifts, plus shawl number twelve. Three of them are from handspun and staying with me. Two of them I plan to wear to SCA events. So that leaves three shawlettes for those special dress up times.

Shawl number 12, in case you forgot about which one it might be:

I have it setup so that I can do 12 shawls in 2012, yarns and patterns all matched up. I'm not sure yet if I'll follow through with that plan though. Not that I don't like knitting the shawls! I would also like to get some sweaters knitted up. I have the yarns and the patterns for those also. Not all of them adult sized, I could definitely have one or more each month if counting dog/child sweaters. ;-)

I have a month and a half to worry about that though! In the meantime, I still have two pairs of socks to knit. Both are gifts, so need to get those done! I also have some other small gift knitting to do.So plenty to keep busy until the new year.

What do you think? Can I do socks, shawls and sweaters plus gift stuff along the way?

November Shawls

I started shawl number ten in October and really hoped to finish it for that month. Pick a simple shawl pattern that really only has one row to remember and for some reason it slows you down. ;-) Lovely pattern though - Dunes from Knitty. I was able to use some soft yak/merino that I spun up a couple years ago.
Keeping me warm at an event

On the piano trying to show some details
A former co-worker from Intel contacted me for help for a group event she was planning. She had played for a number of years in the SCA and knew that I was currently playing. She was hoping to use our loaner garb for group members to get into the theme of the party - Knights (their group name). We brought displays and fliers and a couple of people to do a rapier demo:
Eoghan and Gerald
Once I was done with Dunes, I wanted to get a jump on finishing the last shawl of the year - Swallowtail by Evelyn Clark. Instead of doing the nupps, I opted to use beads. I added some in the last section of the shawl too.
Close up of the beads

Blocking on the bed.
The fun thing about lace is how it comes off your needles all scrunched and small. Then you soak it and block it out and it can grow, sometimes a lot. This went from 15 x 41 inches to 22.25 x 48.25 inches. Kind of a shawlette really and I think I might have been able to add in one more of the Budding Lace charts, but it would have only given me another inch. Still a pretty neck warmer. I may give this as a gift to someone.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I tried it out

With the last post I showed that I had some yarns soaking in alum and cream of tartar getting ready to try out a natural dye bath of black beans. So as a refresher - a single of polworth, three ply of polworth, merino two ply and a two ply of merino-alpaca-silk. I put in two bags of black beans in a couple of pots and while the yarns were in the mordant, they soaked overnight.

The next morning I wrung out the water and transferred them to the bean pots:
Just added to the crock

Just added to the pot

After 24 hours

After 24 hours

After 48 hours all in one big pot

After 5 days

Kind of a blue-grey
Out in true lighting - very grey
So with the less than impressive results, I decided I'd do a Kool-Aid dye bath. Two packages of Blue Raspberry and one of Lemon-lime all into a Pyrex measuring cup (I have a HUGE one) but the green really popped as the dominant color. So I pulled out some Wilton icing dye and added in a dollop or two of blue. Stirred and popped the yarns into the cup and heated. As you can see below, they all took the colors differently. Fascinating really. ;-)
Left to right - three ply Polworth, merino-alpaca-silk, merino, and polworth single.

I am going to try dyeing again with the black beans. Next time I'll only use the alum to mordant and I'm going to try using vinegar after it comes out of the pot. I also think I could get away with just letting it soak for two full days.