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May Socks: Pony Express

I managed to finish my April socks and pull my bag for May.

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Specs:

Yarn- Regia
Colorway- Fallen Leaves
Pattern-Plain vanilla with a new heel. I ended up trying the sweet tomato heel, which fits just fine.

Technically the Giant pulled the bag, which is fitting since this month’s pair will be for him.

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The yarn is Knit Picks imagination in the Pony Ride colorway. I am not sure if I will do anything special with these socks or if I will stick with the plain vanilla. The Giant is decidedly undecided on any type of changes done to the socks. He is just happy to get them. Work will be crazy the next few days, but I am hoping to cast on soon.

In other news, I did receive two lovely additions in the mail recently. I ended up selling my Honey Bee spinning wheel almost a month ago, because I just wasn’t using it as often as I was hoping to and I really want something a bit lighter for a double-treadle/travel wheel. Because of this I ended up with a little extra money in my spending fund. This meant that when I finally decided to make the plunge into two new types of spindles I was able to jump in with both feet.

First I purchased this awesome 3-D printed Turkish spindle from Turtle Made over on Etsy. The spindle is so much lighter than any of the other ones I own and it spins like a dream. Also how cool is it that this thing is 3D printed? I mean how much further until we can just request, “tea, Earl Grey, hot”? (If you don’t get the reference, here is a delightful little clip set for you.)

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I ended up with an all lilac which is just fine with me since I am a big fan of purple. I was a little nervous trying out a Turkish spindle, simply because I haven’t ever used a bottom whorl spindle and let’s be honest the thing looks a little wild with the arms. After watching a Youtube video on how to wind the little “turtle” I was off and running. I forgot to snap a photo of the WIP, but I will try to later.

The second spindle was a custom order from the somewhat difficult to snag Texas Jeans. I worked with Josh via Etsy to get a custom order and about a month later I am now the proud new owner of this little beauty.

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I chose a Bocote and Curly Maple 5/8 oz Tibetan Spindle in part because it matches my Bossie (the zebra style on the whorl) and in part because I just thought it looked pretty. I forgot to order a bowl at the same time, but have remedy the situation and one is now winging itself to me as we speak. I purchased it from this store.

So that’s what is new with me, how are you all doing? Any big spinning or knitting plans for your weekend?

 

Little Dress

This past weekend we celebrated the first birthday of my little niece, and to mark the occasion I decided to knit her a dress. This proved more difficult than expected, I went through two different patterns, numerous cast-on’s and if I am being honest, two different FO’s. The first dress I managed to knit all the way through, just how I wanted except I mistook the needle size, and while my brain was telling me that it was far too small the entire time I was knitting it, I ended up continuing on. I finished it and as I cast off the last stitch I realized I should have listened to my doubts.

With the deadline of the party being moved up by two weeks I didn’t have it in me to reknit that dress…after the numerous cast-ons I just didn’t want to. So I found a new pattern and set to work.

I ended up having to finish the dress at the actual party, but it worked out, because I always feel awkward at parties. This time I had something to focus on, something to occupy my hands and nerves and something to fall back on when I inevitably run out of things to ask about. (Side note I have a list of things I almost always ask about at parties, events, social engagements, because as an introvert small talk makes me cringe. Having a list of topics is still cringe-worthy, but it seems that for the most part people like to be asked questions, they like to talk about themselves, which works out okay for me.) I managed to finish the dress before the cake was brought out, which was great. Unfortunately that also means that there are no photos of the birthday girl in the outfit, since she was promptly given her own little cake to smash the heck out of.

I did manage to snag a few photos right after I bound off the last stitch.

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Pattern is Mischa Baby Dress by Taiga Hillard.

Yarn is Malabrigo sock in the Solis (green) and Light of Love (pink) colorways

I ended up using a US 4 for the needle.

The only mods I made were to make it two toned and added a row on the “belt” section and at the hem, shortened the skirt length to 7.”

 

Not quite halfway

So it’s the middle of the month and I am not quite halfway through my April socks. I haven’t been giving these as much attention, though I am not entirely sure why.

This time I decide to try a new to me heel, the sweet tomato heel. Aside from the breaking up of the stripe pattern I think it’s a good solid heel. So far it seems to hug my foot in all the right places.

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Failure to count

It has become apparent to me that I seem to have some issues with counting. I have attempted to cast on a specific number of stitches at least four different times last night and I was unable to make it to the correct count all four times. I had issues getting enough stitches, and then it was too many stitches, followed by taking too many stitches off (a failure I noticed only after knitting a few rounds, of course.) The project is one that I have already had to frog three times, which should at least give me a few points for sticking with it. The only reason I haven’t completely abandoned the project and the yarn is that the finished object is due in a few weeks and I would really like to have it done.

What started as make up your own pattern, which was destined to become a little dress for my niece, turned disaster when I realized I was off in my sizing. This is where the first frogging occurred. I gave up on designing on the needles/on my own at this point because I found out my deadline was moved up by about two weeks. Instead I opted for a pattern that should be fairly straight forward. I managed to knit about two inches of the thing before I realized I was making way too small of a version, thus we have frogging number two. The third attempt was after carefully making a note of what size I wanted and casting on the right number of stitches, where in I realized that I had cast on with the wrong color of yarn (there are only two and they are very different, I can’t even…) So frogging number three happened and we meet up with my four failed attempts at casting on the right number.

I almost wonder if it would be worth it to make her another little sweater instead of trying to master this dress thing. I mean summer nights can be a bit chilly right or I could do a toy, what little one doesn’t like a softee to squeeze and love, right?

No Foolin’ April Socks

Here is what was drawn in the dwindling hours of March.

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Cast on is slated for later today.
Happy April!

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It appears the infatuation with the hitchhiker shawl is waning a bit. I managed to knock out 16 repeats before answering the siren’s song of the sock blanket again.

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The majority of the additions have been thanks to the lovely trade made with Shells earlier this month. I find myself still getting nervous about my supply, because it seems like I am running through colors fairly quickly. I figured out with the 40 stitches I cast on for each square (or pick up as the case may be in terms of placement) I end up using right around 4 grams of yarn. I think that ends up being right around 12.5 yards of yarn. Which means mini skeins are definitely a possibility but these little skeinettes are not going to work. Which is a bummer, because it would be an easy way to feed the blanket, I mean acquire more yarn.

The whole idea of buying yarn to make a blanket that was supposed to use scraps, (so as to knock down some of the extra amounts of yarn in my stash) feels a little counterproductive, but the blanket is oddly addicting to work on and so I find myself looking at various online shops for minis. I know that in all honesty, before I shell out the cash I need to raid my stash for yarns that I probably won’t use and claim some from there. Knowing this and actually doing is going to be the difficult part.

That being said, anyone else working on a scrap blanket? Do you participate in swaps or trades? I have enough of the various bits used in the blanket already that I think swap or trade might be worth it…care to point a fellow knitter in the right direction?

How’s your knitting going?

FFN: Two days to spare

The March Socks are done! I finished the toes this past Saturday and closed up the last heel Sunday afternoon. They were given a little bath and then placed on the blockers to dry.

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For one reason or another these were so not my favorite pair to knit in quite a while. Maybe it was the yarn (I am not the biggest fan), or maybe it was the color, heck maybe it was just because they came right after the mad-dash to finish the Giant’s pair last month. It may have been the fact that I tried a new way to knit them. Instead of going one at a time I knit the pair at the same time (different needles) and so maybe it was the fact that I didn’t really feel like I was making nearly as much progress as I actually was.

The socks are going in the long-range planning box and will be a gift for Christmas. I knew that the yarn wasn’t going to be right for me, I gave aware the other pair of socks knit out of this type of yarn already, so I made a point to cast them on a little larger than my usual 60 stitches. They were knit on US size 1 or 2.25 mm double-pointed needles. I decided to do a psuedo-afterthought heel which proved to work just fine, like it did last time. The toe decreases were staggered with a 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2,1,1 knit pattern (there is a set of decreases after the appropriately numbered knitted rows.) I only went down to 36 stitches decrease instead of 28 before doing the Kitchener stitch to close.

The yarn was Knit Picks Imagination in the Giant Peach colorway. The yarn is a 50% merino, 25% alpaca 25 % nylon mixture that is not my favorite sock yarn by a long shot, it feels pretty loosely spun compared to most of the yarns I like and the alpaca guard hairs have a tendency to stick to everything I decide to wear. The down side is that I have three skeins of this yarn in the frog prince colorway and a skein of it in the princess colorway still in my stash, and no real idea what to do with them, I will probably end up trying to destash the rest. Chalk it up to a learning experience for the buyer.

I know that the socks will be a warm addition to someone’s wardrobe and while I don’t dislike them as a whole, I am definitely much for fond of them now that they are done.

How’s your knitting going?

A not so random Wednesday

Or a more appropriate title, How I abandon all my other projects in favor of a new one.

Yes the spell of the sock blanket has been temporarily lifted, and the March socks, which never really stood a chance, have been cast aside in favor of a new project.

What you may ask? What could possibly tear me away from the mesmerizing sock-y goodness? A new baby project? Nope, the stupid needles I need seem to have actually never existed in my stash and the ones I ordered, still haven’t sent….I am looking at you online shopping place that shall not be named right now.

Perhaps an “instant” gratification project, a hat or some mitts? No alas I should have thought of that when I broke free of the sock blanket’s spell and before the I answered the new project’s siren song.

Could it be another blanket? Ha, are you kidding me I technically have three different ones on the go and frankly I might never finish one.

Perhaps I have decided to start something new in the spinning department, the lure of the fiber stash is a strong force to reckon with. But again, no.

Maybe I have decided to finally cast on the sweater I bought yarn for back in November? Ha ha, come on we are heading into spring and then summer, who needs a sweater then? Why that is crazy talk, ask me in July or August when the heat has finally started to get to me and I am just desperate enough to try to coax the cooler weather back by starting something like that.

Could it be a toy, perhaps a fun little cat or maybe another random monster? No, but ask me sometime how well it works to hide the stuffing for monsters in a place where the cats can’t reach it, and consequently neither can I.

Okay, have you given up? Or at the very least are you fed up with waiting? Yes, okay then.

The project that has prompted me to put down the sock blanket and promptly forget all about the looming deadline for my March socks is…

Another hitchhiker.

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This time out of Malabrigo Sock in the Cot D’Azure.

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This how much can be done in an evening and half…well more like an evening if given for breaks for kitten pets…because trust me they are more than a little demanding.

 

So what have you abandoned been working on lately?

A wee start to Monday

Hello dear readers,
I hope your Monday is off to an okay start. We have some cloudy weather this morning and that makes me happy simply because it might be bringing rain. Have I ever mentioned how much I love the rain? I am sure I have.

Anyway this past weekend was a busy one filled with some spinning, lots of knitting and the very beginnings of a brand new project. Alas the spinning does not come with photos, I may have forgotten. Come to think of it, neither does the knitting. Wow, sorry about that, can I take a pass because of the aforementioned Monday? Of course I can, this is my blog and I will cry if I want to… Wait that last bit may not be right, never mind. Bummers on the lack of photos, but I can tell you about it right?
My focus this weekend was my March socks, although to be fair my focus was a little lacking, because I may have knit a few more squares on the blanket, and I am realizing I totally forgot to measure the amounts used, ugh. Talk about a Monday right? Sorry Amanda, I will try for next time. So the socks and the sock blanket, both saw some love. Although the socks are in desperate need of more attention. I am sure I can finish them, provided I actually , you know, work on them.

Okay so one last thing before I leave you, I did have one more yarn adventure begin, keep in mind it is just at the wee beginnings,okay? Okay. I bought new yarn, this yarn in fact: Malabrigo sock in love in light, and solis.

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( please note that my poor camera was blown out by the pink. It is crazy pink, to be fair. )

To turn into a wee dress/tunic for my wee niece who is going to be turning one in May (what the what? How did that happen?! I feel like she was just born! Ahem) So the fun bit for you all is that I plan on designing this pattern myself, so if nothing else it should be entertaining the next month or so as I try to figure out how to create what I have in mind. So yeah, at least that should be fun.

First day of Spring

Happy first day of Spring, or as I like to call it, the official start to allergy season. Of course the pollen counts have been up already thanks to the ridiculous warm temps the last few weeks. Oh well, baring a snowstorm in the tail end of this month or April we may actually be headed for a decent Spring season.

In fibery news I finally have a tiny bit of progress to show you on my March socks. Trust me when I say they have not been getting much love, it has been pretty much all blanket all the time around here. I do find myself getting a little itchy for a shawl so we shall see if the urge passes before manage to find one I want to make.

Sock photos? Why not.

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The other one looks similar enough that I don’t feel the need to show you it. I know you probably can’t see in the above photo but I opted for afterthought heels for these because I was a little bored with the standard heel flap and turned heel. Of course this means I won’t be done when the toes is grafted, but I think I am okay with that. I will probably have to force myself to work on them to hit the end of the month deadline, of course that means resisting the siren’s song of the sock blanket and so far that hasn’t happened.

How is your knitting going?

Win-Win

Happy Thursday dear readers, we are on that downward slide to the end of the week.  Luckily my happiness for this weekend has more than doubled, thanks to a lovely new influx of scrap yarn. Thanks to a rather serendipitous situation involving a friend of mine I was able to make a trade with her. Just in the nick of time too, proof?

This is the amount of yarn I have left before starting to double up actual colors, or straight up pulling from full skeins (I have not come to the point where I want to do this. I feel like the blanket stops becoming a scrap blanket at that point and instead becomes some insidious beast that I have to constantly feed, and I have seen Little Shop of Horrors enough to know how this story ends.)

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Four colors, just four little colors. Why so few?

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Because this blanket is growing. I have a hard time putting it down. I think I knit at least a square or three a night. The fact that they take only about a half hour, definitely helps. This thing is actually pretty fun to do, I think the organization of colors and the fact that it is something I can do and zone out with makes it ideal for the end of long days.

Lucky for me though the trade happened this week and I am now the proud new 2nd hand owner of all of these lovely scraps.

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Trust me when I say that this makes me pretty excited. I do feel fortunate that not only did I have a friend who was willing to trade for them, but she gave me way more than I was expecting. The fact that we both were able to downsize on different things and end up with things we needed made it an even better win win too. I do know a few franken-squares will have been born out of some of the smaller scraps, but I don’t mind. I am just happy to be able to feed the beast, keep knitting. I only hope I can make them last long enough to figure out a way to get some more…what me addicted?

 

 

Ira McKnitty-Pants on location

Hello, I am Ira McKnitty-Pants reporting to you from the Blog of the Introverted Knitter. Due to unseasonably high temps this past weekend, it appears our intrepid IK spent little time on actual knitting content, instead focusing her efforts on helping to clean up a rather large back yard. I am told there the limited knitting time went towards the sock yarn blanket, and that she appears, yes I am being told by our source that this is in fact accurate. It seems that IK managed to knit from almost every one of her sock scarps, but I am told that duplication will no doubt happen and that in particular she seems to be interested in using more of the self striping yarns, so as to use different colors.

I am also told that there may be a procurement of more scraps in the coming weeks. Unfortunately it seems for now that IK will have to begin slowing down her progress as the designing process, or as she calls it the random assortment and placement of the yarns, seems to become more detailed. It is of this reporters belief that this will not in fact suck the will to live from this project, nor from the knitter herself, but rather that the limitation will leave the knitter wanting more. In my many years of experience I have not seen this knitter so taken with a project. It would appear the near instant gratification of the individual squares seems to be enough to bolster her spirit, despite the enormity of the overall project. I am told that a one month milestone for this project was reached this past Sunday, which was celebrated by knitting yet another block.

At this time, we have been unable to secure a photograph of the progress, as the project seems to rarely leave the knitter’s side. Rest assured this reporter will continue updating you on the latest progress as this project develops.

I am Ira McKnitty-Pants saying Have a Happy Monday and keep those knitting needles clicking.

Randomly on Wednesday

Greetings,

I have a few things to share with you this Wednesday. There is no real rhyme nor is there much reason to the collection so we are going to have another round of randomly on (insert day.)

Random thing the first: So I totally spaced on the fact that my blog had its birthday last week. It’s been three years since I first sat at the keyboard and thought of what to say. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to check out my collection of thoughts, and ramblings. Much appreciated. The blog is a great record of how far I have come, and how far I have yet to go. The best part of this whole thing is that I have made friends who I would probably have never even met thanks to this. So here’s to another year of musings from the Introverted Knitter.

Random thing the second: I have made more progress on my sock blanket

IMG_1192I managed to knit another “section” and have begun a new “section near the top. The blanket may end up taking forever, but for now the fun hasn’t worn off.

Random thing the third:I never showed off my very first fiber club fiber. I had saved a little money from Christmas presents and decided this would be a fun way to continue to use my gift. I decided on the Moonrover Fiber club, in part because she gives an extra ounce each month and I really love the colors she comes up with. She is the one I scored the amazing Grand Budapest Hotel colorway from back in 2014. Here is February’s offering:

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It’s a superwash merino/nylon blend and aside from being soft it is a wonderful deep and bold color way. Definitely not something I would ever chose for myself, which is great because that is part of the reason I wanted to join a club. I will say the orange near the bottom is throwing me a bit.

Random thing the fourth: I am making decent progress on my March socks, considering they haven’t been getting tons of love…see the above mentioned sock blanket for reference. The whole two in tandem seems to be working fairly well, although I have to remember to actually pick up the other one to work on it. I haven’t been the greatest at that as you might be able to tell.

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The bottom one seems to be getting more love and so I think I will just continue on it until I want to get to the heel and then pick the other one back up and make my way down to the heel before turning both. The cool thing about these and it may be kind of hard to see is that they seem to be striping fairly consistently. This is cool because I honestly was afraid this yarn would end up pooling in a hot mess that left me wanting to weep quietly in the corner. The kind of uncool part is that these won’t be for me. I cast them on too large so even if I wanted to keep them it wouldn’t work. (The curse of smaller feet strikes again.) Oh well.

The yarn is Knit Picks Imagination in the Giant Peach colorway and while the yarn does have peach in it I would say it has more pinks than peachy colors, so maybe it isn’t that bad that they aren’t for me.

Okay that is it for my random things today. I hope your Wednesday is going well, what kind of projects are you working on? Ever joined a fiber club? Ever knit something for a gift that you secretly wanted to keep (even if it was pink a color you didn’t always care for?)

FFW: Malabrigo Nube

For this week’s post (hopefully first of at least two) I thought I would share with you my somewhat productive weekend. Aside from the gorgeous spring weather we had, and seriously it was amazingly nice out…if one ignores the fact that all of the tree have decided to “SPREAD ALL THE POLLEN” and so I am left with only one working nostril at a time. Aside from the whole pollen thing, I managed to finish one of my spins this past weekend. One that started out life on my spindle before growing up and being plied on my Honeybee, not once but twice.

So you may remember this?

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It became this:

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After which I mentioned via Instagram that I was afraid the yarn was under spun, which it was. I had reached this conclusion after having plied about half onto the wheel, and was a little less than two thirds of the way when someone mentioned that I should try adding extra twist to the plying.

After finishing the first round of plying I did give the yarn a little bath, just to see how much it would poof up. It was less than I expected, but a bit more than I wanted, mainly causing a pain in the areas where it was under spun the most.

I waited for the whole thing to dry and sent it through the wheel again, this time focusing on a more consistent and tighter ply.

The end result is right around 448 yards of a two ply that is soft and squishy and makes me want to wear it around my neck and accost people on the street demanding they look at the beauty.

Instead I will share it with all of you. Because we can all agree, bail would eat up a lot of the fiber budget.

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Specs:

Malabrigo Nube fiber: 100% Merino

Colorway: Archangel

Plies: 2

Yardage: 448 yds appx.

 

Happy Monday.

FFN: February Socks

I can safely say I finished my pair of socks for February with an entire day to spare. The socks were knit for the Giant out of Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in the Midnight Garden colorway. This marked my second time using this color and the third time using this yarn. I am still in love with how it knits up and luckily the pooling did a similar wrap around the leg as with my pair of them.

I kept with my regular vanilla pattern for these, modifying it only slightly. I ended up making a longer heel flap and long foot length, in hopes of it fitting a bit better. I also changed my cut off point for the toe decreases, ending at 36 stitches before kitchnering the toes, as opposed to my usual 16 stitches. It did produce a boxier looking toe, but again I am hoping this results in a better fit.

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The socks are actually way too big for my blockers so they look more than a little haggard in the photo above. The Giant hasn’t had a chance to wear them yet, but he did try the first one on a while back. He seemed to think that it was a much better fit, but that might have had more to do with the fact that I asked him to try it on at 11:30 at night and he just wanted to go to sleep. Either way I am happy to have them done. It is also exciting because I have already made it farther in my attempts of the 12 pairs in 2015 than I did last time. To be fair it is only the second month, but honestly I am going to take that win.

I did draw for my March socks already and while it was random I had a weird suspicion that I would be ending up with this yarn. This time I will be knitting with some Knit Picks Imagination in the Giant Peach colorway.

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As of now I am holding true to my previous declaration and knitting these for a gift. Since I have the two skeins I decided to try something a little different this time. I wound up both and following Amanda’s usual sock knitting path I am going to work on these are the same time, which actually means knitting on one sock for a predetermined amount of time or length and then knitting the second one for the same, alternating back and forth. I am hoping that with this I can try to avoid the second sock syndrome that almost took me down last month. I do think the fact that March is a longer month and that these aren’t meant for the Giant will go a long way in helping me out regardless, but I thought it might be worth a try for now. I cast on both yesterday and managed to knit to the end of the cuff before calling it a day. The yarn itself isn’t too bad, the colorway is doing a similar spiral pattern to the Sweet Georgia socks so at least it is entertaining.

How is your knitting going? Are you working on socks? Do you ever knit two at a time in the traditional sense, what about with the alternating socks method? Any surefire ways you can think of to avoid second sock syndrome?

Randomly on Tuesday

It is the 24th of February and I am sitting here with 1 and 1/2 socks knit. I have four days to finish this darn thing and so in the interest of not going another week without posting I thought I would do a random update.

1) I am still working on the Giant’s socks. I have made it past the second heel and almost finished with the gusset decreases. I have about seven inches until I start toe decrease (dude has seriously large feet.)

2) The irony of it being the shortest month and I end up with the largest pair of socks to knit has lost its humor for me.

3) I would be further along with the socks if I actually made time to work on them

4) Part of the reason I haven’t been working on them is because I have started a new long term project and I have become a little invested in it. Since February 15th I have cast on and made this much progress:

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(Pattern: Memory Blanket. Yarn: Various fingering weight leftovers, as of now. Needles: 2.0 mm or US 1)

5) The other part of the reason for the lack of knitting on the socks:

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I finished the singles from my spindle spin. I ended up transferring them to my wheel (the Honeybee) to join them together and I am using it to ply.

6) The plying isn’t working as well as I would hope. I don’t know if it is the fact that it is merino (I have only spun merino two other times and both times they ended up being thick and a little lumpy) or if I under spun the singles but they plying is turning out fuzzy and a little limp. No photo at this time.

7) I fear I may be right on the edge of a cold or some other sickness that seems to be floating around work. So far I am just on the edges where it feels like my body hasn’t decided if it wants to given and be sick or not.

8) The aforementioned lack of decision also means that a lot of the limited energy I have is going towards that and so I find myself even more tired then normal

9) We are supposed to have sn*w in the next few days and while we have been blessed with very little it still sucks and I am very much ready for warmer weather and rain showers.

10) My hair has finally grown to the point where it actually feels like it is long hair, which means it falls around my shoulders and gets in the way whenever I wear it down. It is however not that long because anything beyond a simply ponytail seems to be a complete disaster or impossible.

11) That last one may have more to do with user error than my actual hair.

 

FFNF: Collaboration Shawl

Holy cheese and rice, here it is Friday and I actually have something finished to show you. (Also, can I get a woohoo for posting three times this week?) So this FO is one I have been teasing on Instagram for a little while. (By the way if you want to follow me, I am the same name over there–>introvertedknitter.) IMG_1129

It is in fact another shawl and it is knit out of some wonderful hand spun. However the shawl in question is not out of my hand spun, it is from the always lovely and totally awesome and the giver of wonderful things: Ms. Marja. Not only is it her wonderful hand spun, (seriously the woman is amazing) not only is it from the talented Spun Right Round, and not only is it in purple, gray and green (my colors for sure) but it is in fact out of the favorite of yours truly, BFL.Yes that sound you heard was me being knocked over by a feather.

Marja was gracious (that might not be a strong enough word) enough to give me this luscious yarn because she doesn’t knit. The yarn was mine to keep. Seriously. She just gives the stuff away (not always, she isn’t crazy) and hardly ever asks for something knitted in return. I have scored more than a few amazing skeins from her. I wholeheartedly believe that everyone should have a friend like Marja (but you can’t have her, she’s been claimed by more than just me. :) Not just because she gives us free hand spun. )

Okay so here is what I ended up doing with that amazing gift. I perused Ravelry for a bit (if we take a bit to mean a few weeks) trying to find something perfect for it, with no real luck. I knew that I wanted something to show off the colors, because she had chain plied it. I knew I wanted something to wear, because duh. And I was pretty darn sure I would get weirder looks if I just walked around with it draped around my neck. So after finding nothing that fit my ideas exactly, I did what most other knitters would do…I improvised.

The idea was to make something slightly crescent-shaped (increasing on both ends of each row) and squishy (garter stitch to the rescue.) Victory was mine, with this wonderful beauty.

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seen here blocking.

 

I could barely stand the wait as it dried. Trust me when I say the cats were just as bad.

It was so worth it though.

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Totally.

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Happy Friday!

 

Wheel Wednesday: 15 in 2015

I have been trying to participate in the whole 15 in 2015. Which essentially means, 15 minutes of (in this case) spinning a day in 2015. I have been trying to primarily do this via my drop spindles and I can definitely see some serious progress. Of course the main love in this respect is my Bossie (thanks again Marja!)

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This fiber is Malabrigo nube in the Archangel colorway. I am working my way through the four ounces with no real focus in terms of color order. I end up creating little fiber nests out of a section of fiber that I pre-draft. I do the pre-draft because of previous experience with Malabrigo and it being ridiculously hard to spin. Doing this extra step seems to make it a lot easier to spin, so much so that I am tempted to get my first braid out and try again.

I am thinking I will just mash this up into a two ply and see what happens, maybe another Age of Brass and Steam shawl (no rhyming next time I promise!)

To be fair (and on point to the post title) I have also made a point to get some spinning done on my wheels. Right now my main focus has been on my prelude, Beatrice. I have been trying to be a bit more consistent in not only spinning thin, but also trying not to treadle too fast. I took the advice of Shells and not only moved to the largest whorl but I also reduced my tension, which was already making a big difference. When combined with the more deliberate treadling speed I think I am managing to produce more consistent and hopefully not overspun singles.

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I started with this fiber, some Falkland from Edgewood Garden Studios. This is the Scotch Broom colorway and it is a lovely combination of tans, light and dark oranges and deep green with pops of almost granny smith apple green. It is just beautiful and makes me think of Autumn. The Falkland is a new to me spin, and is quite coarse, especially compared to the merino on the Bosworth spindle mentioned above. I find it seems to have a decent staple length and there does seem to be a fine mix of light and dark-colored fiber mixed in. It definitely won’t make the smoothest, nor the softest yarn ever, but it is still very lovely to watch spin up.

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My favorite bit is that bright green that seems to pop up every so often. I am thinking I might try to chain-ply this, or I may attempt a traditional 3 ply. I feel like preserving the color, but I would be open to suggestions if you have any ideas, please let me know in the comments.

I am happy that I have decided to try the 15 in 2015, aside from improvement in my spinning on the spindles and wheels it just feels nice to actually take that time out of my day to just focus on the spinning. Now I do sometimes have a podcast going, but more often than not I find myself just sitting down with some classical music at the end of the day, usually before we go to bed and just spinning.

Have you tried the 15 in 2015? Do you try to spin each day, or do you have time set aside during the week, month when you just spin?

If you don’t spin, have you considered picking it up? If so what has been the biggest hold back for you?

A Garden for me

There once was a knitter who also liked to spin.

She took some lovely fiber that was green, brown and varying shades of pink, all much to her chagrin.

The knitter was not one for the brightness of a color so bold

But she decided to say phooey to the little voice that often told

Her that she wasn’t meant to have something so bright

“It wouldn’t fit in, it wouldn’t be right”

The knitter she sat, and she spun and she spun

Delighting in the fiber and just plain having fun.

The work went quickly and soon she was ready

It was time to decide on a project for her to go steady……

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Handspun yarn, 2ply

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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She decided on the pattern and was off in a flash

The yarn was retrieved from the cavern of the stash.

She knit and she knit passing the time

With podcasts from others that were simply sublime.

In this instance, DancingGeek Podcast

In this instance, DancingGeek Podcast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They made the project fly and soon she was near

The last of the yarn that she had held oh so dear.

It was a race to the finish with her needles flying

It was a close one for sure but lucky for us she ended with no crying.

You see the dear knitter managed to play

Yarn chicken with the project and she had gotten away,

with just enough yarn to finish the row

barely any left, nothing really to show.

As the knitter celebrated she felt herself proud

It was time to share with others, to shout it aloud.

This project is mine and I finished it well

I hope you all enjoy my little show and tell.

Project: Age of Brass and Steam

Project: Age of Brass and Steam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Notes
Pattern: Age of Brass and Steam by Orange Flower Yarn
Yarn: Handspun, from Garden of Live Flowers Fiber from the always wonderful Dyeabolical Yarns
Needles: US size 6
Notes: Followed the pattern except I added additional repeats and knit two fewer rows on the edge- because of the aforementioned yarn chicken.

 

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