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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

——————————————————–

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.

 

February socks of the month

Hi everyone,
Quick post today. Just wanted to share my new sock yarn for the month.

As luck would have it, the yarn for this month is Sweet Georgia in the midnight garden color way. Which means I will be knitting a pair for the Giant this month. It works out that it also happens to be his birthday this month as well, so at least he has that going for him.
Let’s not dwell in the fact that I ended up with the largest pair of socks in the shortest month, denial isn’t just a river in Egypt as they say.

Happy Monday!
I hope you are all staying warm and safe.

Video Post Number Two

Hey Everyone,

I have decided to do another video post. Follow the link here.

Notes:

WIPS:

-Fingerless Gloves

-Hand spun Shawl-Thanks to Marja out of Spun Right Round

-Misc Shawl

-Socks for Giant

-Hand spun Hat- Cap Karma

Cross Stitch:

– Pretty Little San Francisco -Satsuma Street

Spinning:

-Thunderboom- Dyeabolical

-Malabrigo Nube

 

 

January Socks

Greetings Readers, Ira McKnitty-pants reporting to you from the Introverted Knitter’s blog. The Introvereted Knitter was last seen the previous evening working on a spindle project where she was heard muttering to herself something about “wanting to just finish the damn thing.” Sources tell me that the IK has been working on this spindle project for quite some time, and while she is still in love with it, the fact that she usually spins on her wheels has skewed her perspectives on time-frames.

I tried to reach out to IK for comments, but she did not respond to inquires about the specific projects, instead this reporter was given an exclusive look at a few recently completed projects. I share with you now a look at the most recent completed yarn from IK. You may remember this yarn from a few days ago, but here it is in it’s completed form. I was told by IK that this yarn has now been washed and dried, and that it plumped quite a bit with this process, resulting in a loss of yardage by some varying degree. I could not confirm this fact, nor was I able to receive more information from IK herself.

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The colors seem to be fairly accurate although my sources tell me that the lighting for this photo was done via lamps and at a later time in the evening. I urge you to use your best judgement in forming opinions on the yarn moving forward.

Through the course of my brief conversation with IK I was also given exclusive access to her latest finished object. It appears she was willing to have me share it with you today. I believe I heard something about wanting to be “left well enough alone” at this point, but I am unable to corroborate at this time. The FO in question is none other than the IK’s January socks from her personal 2015 sock club. We have discovered the Introverted Knitter is participating in Kate’s, from the Stitch Addiction Podcast, personal sock club for this year. The goal I am told is to knit a pair of socks by the end of each month. It seems that IK has managed to finish her goal well before the due date, which seemed to please her, as this reporter saw a smile cross her otherwise focused and determined face.

I share with you now the exclusive first look at these socks.

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I am told they are knit out of Knit Picks Felici in the Stream Bed colorway. They were knit on 2.25mm needles, or a US 1 for our American readers. I have also been able to determine that utilized a so-called after-thought-heel. The Introverted Knitter seemed only slightly impressed with the execution of this technique, but is of this reporter’s opinion that she may be just a tad over critical over her work. The pair mark her first for 2015, and are destined for her feet. It appears that these have yet to be worn, although I have been told they will enter the rotation within the next day or so.

So there you have it folks, a brief update on the Introverted Knitter and her recent escapades in the knitting and spinning world. I am Ira McKnitty-pants reporting.

 

A new hat

I have something to share, and although this is not quite fresh from the needles, it is within the last 2 weeks (which I am going to call a win at this point.) One of my desires, resolutions, goals for 2015 is to use up some of my hand spun, it is a bit sad when one considers just how much there is and how little I seem to be working with it…but I digress. That goal is definitely going to be an ongoing one, but I can at least add a little shading to that box, thanks to this lovely new hat for me.

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It is a simple little slouchy hat that I decided to knit up on a whim at the beginning of the year. It is made out of an English Shetland wool, spun up as a 2ply. The fiber came from Edgewood Garden Studio in the colorway Autumn Memories. This yarn had been kicking around the stash since 2013, which just goes to show you how often I seem to use my hand spun.  I did not use all of the yarn, which means I still have some to play with at a later date. Unfortunately the fiber wasn’t the softest, and my spinning at the time didn’t help much in that department, but I did give it a little bath with some hair conditioner and that seems to have helped some. Which means the use for the rest of it might take some thinking on my part. Overall I am pleased with the hat and rather enjoy the one random section of darker green along the top, I think it complements the lighter portion nearer the ribbing.

How’s your knitting going?

 

 

WIPS Wednesday

It’s Wednesday and just as always seems to be the case after a short week, my adjustment to a full work week is a definite work in progress. Know what else is a bit of a work in progress?

The January socks!

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I managed to finish the first one this past Saturday night, and made a point to cast on the second one fairly soon after. Of course because of the whole adjusting to work and what-not I have a rather paltry amount of knitting done on it. Seriously I haven’t managed to get past the ribbing yet.

Another WIP I have to share is some spinning. I am calling this a WIP still, because it hasn’t had a bath to set the twist, and finish it up.

I managed to finishing spinning the singles of some lovely fluffy goodness I picked up from the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival this past year. The fiber was purchased at the Fiber Curio and Sundries booth and is 4 ounces of Rambouillet (a first for me) in the Beaches colorway.

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I will be perfectly honest in that I am not positive when I started spinning this up, just that it sat on the wheel for far too long. I ended up chain plying it, because there are just three colors in this and they are all bright and wonderful on their own.

IMG_1037It’s rather dark and hard to see, it was late and well I get off of work when it’s dark anyway, but trust me when I say it is bright and wonderfully not winter. It did sit on the wheel so long that I wasn’t exactly sure of my order and so it is in no way consistent when it comes to the colors. Strangely enough I am okay with that. As of now it clocks in at right around 240 yds which is by far my best chain plying amount, even including other pre-bath ones, so that was pretty exciting.

I have no real idea what to make with this, but I feel like it needs to be something just for me, maybe a little shawl or a cowl? Hats are always a good idea, but honestly it is soft enough I could probably just wear it as a skein around my neck and call it good.

How are your WIP’s going? Managed to complete anything already?

 

Personal Sock Club: January

What am I knitting in terms of socks this month?

It started with this pile and the giant choosing one bag

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Which was opened after midnight on January 1st. To reveal…..

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Knit picks Felici in the Stream Bed colorway!

I cast them on shortly after this photo was taken and by Thursday mid morning on our journey I was here:

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So just a point of reference if you checked out the video from yesterday the brown I mentioned in this colorway? Yeah I was totally wrong it’s a dark mossy/olive-green. Whoops.

Happy Weekend!

2015 New and Different

Hi Everyone! I hope 2015 is off to a great start for you. I decided to mix things up a bit and instead of a regular blog post I have included a link to a video message (look at me utilizing technology and whatnot, right?) Feel free to check it out and let me know in the comments (here or there) what you think. I would love to hear from you!

 

I mention Kate from Stitch Addiction Podcast and James from the DancingGeek Podcast, here are their links, I really think they are tons of fun and worth you checking out!

2014: Goals in review

As I did last year at this time I have decided to look back at the goals I set for myself for the past year and see just how far I made it.

These were goals that I thought were reasonable at the time and with my current life situation. Of course the last year has seen a lot of dramatic twists and turns (Leaving school, staring a new job, buying a house, adopting another cat, the summer of not knitting and a fibro diagnosis to name a few big ones.) So it should be rather interesting to see just where everything landed compared to my thoughts for this past year. The italics are the actual goals and the bold sections are my comments, the results.

1. Knit at least 7 pairs of socks for The Giant. (How could I not knit for him when he calls the socks, “like wonderful woolly hugs for your feet.” ?) Wow in the last year I have only made the giant two pairs of socks, what the heck is up with that? I mean I have a pair for him on the needles currently but seriously I seem to have dropped the ball on this one. I will chalk a lot of it up to the summer of not knitting, but still I want to step up my game. 

2. Knit at least 3 things from hand spun. (My stash of hand spun yarns seems to be growing rather quickly and I really do want to make something from them, and no I won’t count decorative pets for my desk as one.) I managed to knock this one out on a technicality. I stated hand spun, not necessarily my hand spun (although that was implied) but I did manage to knit three things from hand spun. Two were from my stash and one was from the lovely work of Ms. Marja.

3.Air/Organize the stash. (This one has technically already been completed, I ended up giving my MIL a rather large bag of yarn that I was not going to use thereby reducing my stash from 7 bins (of varying sizes) to 5 bins. I did not take photos and my Ravelry stash page isn’t up to date, but it is something I hope to tackle in the next few days.) I know that I did get this one accomplished, I did this twice in the last year for sure and a few times with the smaller sections. Updating Ravelry has actually gotten better which is encouraging and helpful. So yay me.

4.Make things for the long-range planning box. (This is an idea I got from the Yarn Harlot for last year and something I am hoping to do again this year. I know that I ended up having far fewer things to knit this last year because we gave the nieces and nephews tie blankets (they were a hit btw) but this next year might prove to be a bit more on the hand knit heavy side. (This is due in a small part because my MIL asked when she might be able to secure another pair of hand knit socks. This was while she was wearing her Christmas ones. Update on the holiday socks, she slipped them on very shortly after opening them (5-10 minutes or so), yay for a well received gift and bonus points for fitting so well.) Well this ended up being a bit of a downer, but it worked out. I got blind-sided by the whole not knitting thing which threw off the long-range planning (that and securing a full-time job, because that definitely cuts into knitting time.) It did work out this year since I only ended up making one gift this year, and those were finished before the holidays. I do think over all the long-range planning box is a good idea.

5. Knit from stash. (Note that this didn’t say knit only from stash, but rather just a general statement of wanting to knit more from stash. (Gotta cover my bases) The thing is I have tons of lovely yarns that I bought for one reason or another and I really do want to use them. While I might have to go through and cull the herd one or two more times to get it down to yarns I know I will actually use, I still have enough that I know I want to use. My biggest problem has been just forcing myself to use them. My fellow fiber friends know what this is like, you get something brilliant for your stash and you may have a project for it at first, but in reality it ends up sitting in the stash. This might be because it was bought on a special trip, or it is a really high quality, or it’s too small of a quantity to make the item it would be perfect for, or even because it was limited edition (or it is now discontinued.) Whatever the reason it becomes difficult to knit with it and it just sits in the stash waiting. I am going to call this one a tie, because I made a point to knit from stash quite a bit this year, but I also most certainly added to that stash as well. Of course I really don’t have a problem with the size of my stash, nor with the idea of it growing larger. I think for me even now it is just about actually using the lovelies in there I know that I want to have a yarn stash, not necessarily a yarn collection. 

So there you have it, my goals for last year and the results. I don’t think I did too bad all things considered. I am still attempting to make up my list for 2015 but have a few ideas in mind. I do have to say writing them out for all to see (whether you read it or not) does make me a bit more diligent (obviously not always) which is good. I can see the idea of being more mindful as a theme and an overall goal for 2015.

How about you, did you mange to make your goals for 2014, thinking about setting any for 2015?

 

FFN: Colorful

Look at this two posts in a row with some FO’s to show, pretty cool huh? Okay to be fair one of these FO’s is actually from back in November, but I sort of forgot to take photos until now. But I think I should get points for at least getting that taken care of eventually. Right, so there are actually three things to show you (I know color me shocked as well.)

The first is a hand spun hat, using the Sockhead hat pattern by Kelly McClure. I have knit at least two other of these hats and I just love them. It is a free pattern that uses fingering weight yarn and allows for a some what customized slouchy hat. I say customized because after knitting the first one I made a point to follow as written, but realized that I ended up with a too slouchy of a hat. So for hat’s two and now three I ended up curbing the length of the main hat portion by a few inches. The result is a lovely and warm (but not too warm) hat.

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The second FO is from yarn I managed to snag during the Knit Picks Cyber Sale. I am such a sucker for the KP Felici yarn and these are such a bright and fun contrast to this drab time of year.

image_medium2 (3)These were knit out of my basic vanilla pattern, with a bit longer leg and an “afterthought” heel. I don’t often try the afterthought heel, although with these I am having some difficulty in remembering why. They are a bit fiddly, but luckily not difficult to take on. The socks are soft and squishy and wonderful and will definitely be a bright spot when I need it.

The last FO is a hat that was a few months in the making. Awhile ago the Giant and I pulled out our winter items and I noticed that the hat I made him last year was looking a little worse for wear. A well-loved hat to be sure, I just found myself noticing how much my skill had improved since last year and so I offered to make him another one. Because honestly with snow and coldness supposedly heading our way, having more than one hat can definitely come in handy. So the Giant and I went out and found some yarn he liked, Berroco Vintage in a shockingly bright red. I mean shocking, so much so that my fairly good camera was having serious issues trying to deal. The biggest issue I faced with this whole project (aside from the photo difficulties) was picking a pattern. I was given free rein in terms of pattern, his only request being that I make it long enough to completely cover his ears. So I browsed Ravelry on and off for almost two months before settling on the pattern. After having considered so many options I felt it was in my best interest to cast the darn thing on as soon as I settled on a pattern (I had a few false starts before.) Of course as with most things once I actually sat down to do the knitting the hat came together surprisingly fast. Funny how that works huh?

Anyway, the pattern is Cap Karma Hat by SmarieK, with two modifications. The first being quite a bit longer ribbing, she states about eight rows and I am sure I did about triple that, if not more just to ensure it would cover the Giant’s ears. The second modification was to continue the cabling up through the crown, I used the pattern from this website. All in all it a quick and easy pattern that produces a lovely overall cabled look. I am actually considering a hat for me out of the pattern, although I can’t decide if it would be weird to have matching patterned hats or not? I don’t feel like we have hit that point where we start dressing alike.

Forgive me for the rather washed out photo, as mentioned above the camera was struggling, and my limited abilities with photo editing weren’t cutting it.

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All in all not a bad weekend for finished projects. Of course now the question becomes what should I cast on next?

Happy Monday!

 

FFNF: Special Edition

I hope everyone who celebrated had a lovely Christmas and your family didn’t drive you too nuts. The Giant in his infinite wisdom and understanding suggested we stay home for the holiday instead of trying to run ourselves ragged attempting to visit family before having to head back to work the next day. So that is exactly what we did, the two of us relaxed, enjoyed a mini marathon of the Die Hard movies (we only made it to the near end of the 4th one) and had a lovely Christmas dinner just the two of us (and the cats of course.) I can safely say it was by the very best Christmas I have had in recent memory. Unintentionally the Giant gave this introvert the perfect gift for a season that has been extremely busy, stressful and flat out exhausting.

Okay moving on to more fiber specific content. This special edition of Fresh From the Needles Friday should more appropriately be titled Fresh from the Wheel Friday, but that doesn’t have nearly the same ring to it, you know? Anyway the FO that I have to share is the spin I talked about two times ago.

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This is a two ply of the singles you saw, it was split into two hanks because as I mentioned there was a small incident with a cat and the wheel and the fiber? Yeah let’s just leave it at that. It clocks in at just around 120yds which isn’t too bad considering how light and airy it seems to be. This is by far my loftiest spin, which I hope doesn’t translate to falling apart while being knit. It seems sturdy enough, so I am hoping it will work. The fiber is a lot thicker than the stuff I normally spin, which should prove interesting when it comes time to knit it up. It’s destined to be a pair of fingerless mitts per the Giant’s request, which means it might be time to secure a pattern. I have a few in mind, but since he wants the actual fingers to be knit up (aka individual finger holes) I am thinking I may have to wing it a bit. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

It was the Monday before Christmas….

And let me tell you first and foremost this post is probably going to be short, it is coming to you via my phone because I was waiting to get some photos of a project until I had better lighting aka this morning. Of course when I woke up this morning it was all rainy and dreary and so I spent far too much time attempting to take photos and herd cats away from the knitting and yarn.

Anyway it is the Monday before Christmas here and I have my one and only Christmas gift off the needles, hooray! This year the only person with a knitted gift is my mother in law, and it’s socks. She was given a pair last year and it seems whenever I see her she is wearing them. This automatically makes her awesomely knit worthy, additionally she has made the Giant and I a lovely afghan for our couch which means she also rocks in the hand made department.
So without further ado:

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These were knit out of felici sock yarn from before it was discontinued in the lighthouse color way. This is also the same yarn I used to make a pair of socks for the Giant a while ago. This pair is my simple top down construction minus slipping every other stitch on the stripe changes.

In related news you may spot the new to me sock blockers. After countless pairs of socks I caved a couple weeks ago and bought some from one of my LYS’s. I can attest that they do dry socks faster than my regular method which is to spin the excess water out and then hang them over a drying rack in the bathroom.

So how’s your Christmas knitting going?

Wheel Wednesday:Giant’s mitts edition

For the better part of the fall and winter the Giant and I have been somewhat battling for control of the thermostat. I say somewhat because really it consists of me turning the temperature down enough where (thanks to the awesomeness of fibro-yes this is sarcasm) I feel like I am not roasting in my clothes and then me turning it back up because the Giant is sitting there in a sweater, long pants, wool socks and 1-3 blankets looking pretty darn chilly. Lucky for me he has been fairly silent in his misery, but I am not without compassion  on this matter,(now you in the back you can just stop that laughing right now) and so when he requested a pair of fingerless mitts to wear, I agreed. Of course the quest then became what yarn to use. He would want something to keep his hands warm, but not too warm (ha, I doubt that would happen) I tossed the stash and came up with a few choices that might work, but there were only really sort of what I was hoping for. And so this past Saturday, because I love him so and want to keep is fingers all nice and toasty we headed to one of our local yarn shops to browse the selection. The fact that the trip may have been prompted more by my desire to get another skein of Sweet Georgia yarn, this time in the Sugar Shack colorway (thanks to Kate over at Stitch Addiction podcast and her lovely fiber of the same colorway) should not dissuade anyone of my ultimate goal of providing the Giant with a pair of mittens. We looked for just the right yarn and after rejecting a few options, we I decided that instead of finding the right yarn, I would make it. Luckily the Giant liked a particular braid of fiber and with that (and the Sweet Georgia yarn) paid for we headed home where I promptly started spinning the fiber on one of my spindles. I think I made it through the first tiny strip (let’s say less than 1/4 of an ounce) before I came to my senses and dug out the wheel. So through the course of Saturday evening through Monday this:

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became this

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which was wound off Tuesday into this

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Where it was then plied together, there is not a photo of that yet, because half of it is still on the wheel (suffice it to say a cat + a loose single/ball + a spinning wheel = two hanks of yarn, a slightly frightened cat and a overly stressed out spinner. Rest assured the cat and yarn are fine…and I should be eventually.)

This whole expedition back into the land of spinning has brought with it a desire to “Stash all the FIBER!” which is where you come in. I would love to hear of your favorites, let me (and everyone else) know what and where you get the fiber you love. Many thanks in advance.

What do you think are the odds I could convince the Giant that all the extra fluff could be used as insulation?

All that waiting…

I have had a project on the needles for about a year and a half now, which may or may not seem like a long time. This project was in hibernation for a good long while, in part because I forgot about the thing and then because I wasn’t really sure I wanted to finish it. With the move back in June my knitting and my stash have gone through a hefty (and much-needed) audit. I gave a lot of my early stashing efforts (i.e. acrylics and cottons) away and frogged quite a few projects that needed to meet their end. This one project, neglected and forgotten eventually came up for judgement and it was given a pass to stay on the needles. It may have been forgotten about for a little while there back in August and September, but recently I decided to pick the thing back up and try to finish it.

The project? The wonderful $5 in Paris sweater by Anna Maliszewski. I chose to knit this sweater out of acrylic for a few reasons.

1) my stash at the time was occupied by a majority of acrylic yarns

2) the original pattern was knit out of acrylic yarn (the same ones I used)

3) I was a bit impulsive and wanted to cast on the sweater then and there.

So I cast the thing on and worked for a little while knitting the yoke and the raglan increases. I had decided on a different set of stripes, reasoning that I would not look as good in the bold and wide stripes, due in part to my own let’s just say wideness. I opted for a small two-row stripe of a bright (neon almost) green, with a black base. The sweater went pretty well I managed to knit past the arms, rejoining the yarn and continuing down the body. It was around this time that I decided to take a lesson from others (without the actual fore-planning and you know actual understanding of the idea) and decrease a bit for some body shaping. I knew enough to decrease on both sides and manged not to bring it in too much. After the decreases I knit for a few rows and then promptly abandoned the project in favor of something vastly more interesting. Because come on all of that stockinette is going to wear on anyone. So flash forward to probably a few months (or a little more than a few, but who’s counting, am I right?) I picked the sweater back up (probably out of some self imposed guilt) and knit another couple inches, placing the stripes as needed and trying to figure out just how long it would take to finish (longer than I was hoping for.) The sweater then went back into hibernation were it was out of sight and out of mind for the better part of a year. Flash forward to this past October and I finally decided it was time to work on the thing. Mind you it was around this point I also realized that if I decreased the sweater at the narrowest part of me, I should probably increase at the wider parts. So I did the increases, reasoning that I must be getting close to being finished (the astute among you may notice that at no point in this entire process have I actually tried the damn thing on) I stopped the increases where I thought the should end and knit the last few inches before starting the ribbing. Monday night I worked the ribbing and worked the ribbing and worked the ribbing until I realized I was running a little low on yarn and I still had some sleeves to add to the thing.

So I bound off and for the first time in almost a year and a half I tried the sweater on. And of course I hate the way it looks on me. The Giant in an attempt to be kind or at least trying to prevent me from lighting the thing on fire, stated that the sweater looks good on me. While I may have disagreed with him (completely) I did not light the thing on fire, nor did I throw the sweater away. I didn’t even start frogging it, no instead I decided to give myself a few days to think it over. In part because it took me 1.5 years to knit it this far and there is only so much emotional turmoil I am willing to take in a day. Also because I know that my opinions on clothing can be a bit fickle. By which I mean I have a tendency to want to wear baggy, non-defining clothes, the kind that don’t really draw attention to one’s shape (whatever that may be) and well this sweater isn’t baggy, it isn’t too tight or anything, it is just a bit form-fitting (probably less so than my mind makes it out to be.) I can’t decide if I should frog the thing or finish it and see if I don’t actually like it. Because i know I am bringing some of my own clothing issues to the mix.

Anyone else feel that way about clothes or projects? Did you give yourself a timeout before deciding to frog or not? Ever spend so long on a project that you can’t seem to bear the idea of frogging?

 

A Little Lighter

Here we are only about 18 days away from Christmas and I am not nearly as frantic as I expected to be. Work is of course busy this time of year, which makes for some tired evenings, but that actually works in my favor this year. The Giant and I braved the big bad world of shopping this past weekend and managed to pick up some of the remaining gifts on our list. There are a few stragglers hanging around for now, but I am hoping to get those knocked in the next week. So hopefully we will have it wrapped up (ha a little holiday humor for you…) aside from our own presents to each other* before enter into the final week countdown.

This year most of the presents will be store-bought, which may be surprising to some of you who have been around for a while. In the last four years since I picked up knitting, I have been bitten by the “knit-all-the-gifts” bug and every year has seen me tackle quite a few different projects for the people in my life. Not this year, no in fact I only have one actual-honest-to-goodness project for Christmas on the needles. I will let the shock wear off for a moment…are you okay? Good. The one gift shall remain unknown at this time due to the fact that I have no real idea if this person reads the blog or has “spies” who do. The project is one I wanted to do and one that I know will be appreciated. I will say that the lone knitted gift isn’t due to anyone being off the knit-worthy list, but rather just a change of pace. Chalk it up to the whole time of not knitting and the recent(ish) fibro diagnosis; combined with work and there you go. I actually anticipate the holidays will be a bit lighter all around this year, which isn’t a bad thing. After having a full house for Thanksgiving, both the Giant and I are looking forward to some down time to enjoy each other’s company and snuggle in with the cats. So this year I will work on my one crafting project and I will keep in mind how peaceful this might actually be instead of running around like a chicken with my head lobbed off. Because of course there is always next year’s gifts to consider, right?

How about you, are you making any handmade gifts this year? Have you finished your holiday shopping?

*the Giant and I decided a while ago that instead of actually buying each other surprise gifts each year, we decided on a price point and let each of us pick out the exact items we would want. This works for us as neither of us are huge into surprises, but I know this isn’t for everyone.

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