All Yarn, All the Time

Monday, January 29, 2007

My New Toy

I'm not a big fan of antiques, it's just not my thing, but I found this skein winder in a shop in Delaware and had to have it. I know nothing about it (age, origin) but I bought it for the functionality. I imagine it's pretty old as all the "nails" holding it together are wooden, but it works well. It cleaned up pretty well too, and I'm thinking I might try to figure out how to fix the "ticker" inside the box that is designed to count your rounds out loud for you. The gears are wooden and very cool looking.

The yarn on the winder in the above picture is more of the 100% wool roving I bought locally. I haven't gotten my other fibers in the mail yet but I can't wait. I've spun about 325 yards of this stuff, the latest about 76 yds of maybe DK weight, though I haven't measured it yet. Each batch I spin is so much more even and I'm getting closer to my goal of lace weight, yea me!

I have actually been knitting too, and have finished the back and arms of the blue cabled sweater, and begun on the fronts. I hope to finish that pretty soon, but man is this spinning distracting!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

more beginner spinnings

The pink stuff is from some hand dyed wool roving that I bought from the yarn shop, and I have a ton more to spin up. This is about 110 yards of 2 ply thick and thin (because I'm not that good) and I'm hoping to think of something cool to make from it when I get more done.

The brown is natural alpaca that the Sock Princess gave to me to try. Spinning this stuff is not the easiest, probably due to my newness, but it is so incredibly soft! I can't wait to do some more - this is only about 32-35 yards and a little thicker than the pink wool. The color is truer in the bottom picture, I think.

I did order some more wool, and also some INGEO, which is made from corn I believe. Will post more when I get the stuff.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Spin a little, knit a little

I am so proud to show my first efforts on the wheel! My friend Kay, the Sock Princess, has loaned me her Ashford wheel to allow me to try my hand before I buy one, and I finally had time to sit and practice.

You can see the progression from the yellow and white on the left, my first try, to the yellow, orange and white (each about 45-50 yards), and finally my most extensive effort, the blue and white (about 75-80 yards). All are 2 plies, and they are all pretty uneven, but by the time I was spinning the blue I had a little better control of my twist, and Beth had given me a little coaching on the drafting technique. I have a lot to learn about spinning, that's for sure! The white is some corriedale blend I bought on eBay, the blue is from a hand spindle kit I bought from The yellow and orange are single strands I used from White Buffalo Unspun to get the feel of the wheel.

I met Beth at the mall today, and while I was showing her the yarn a lady came up and asked where we bought the yarn. How much more encouragement do I need to keep trying to spin?!

Meanwhile, since I don't have tons of spare time to work on the spinning, I'm trying to finish up some of my projects. This is a cabled cardigan from Knitting the New Classics, and I've finished the back and have started the sleeves. This will be my first saddle shoulder, and I'm interested to see how it comes together.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Little Majolica

Here it is!

Pattern: Little Majolica from Fall IK 2006
Yarn: Plymouth Galway in as close to the same color scheme as the original as possible without using the suggested yarn, Nashua Julia, which was not available to me locally.
Size: 31"
Needles: can't recall
Experience and Modifications: I changed the pattern from knit flat to entirely knit in the round. This modification gave me the opportunity to try steeking for the first time, which turns out to be not quite as scary as it seems (although it took me while - I finished the knitting before Thanksgiving but didn't get the nerve to finish it until right after Christmas).

I made steeks for the arm holes and the front neck, and as you can see, it turned out great. I used Eunny's steeking tutorial from the Winter IK 2006 issue and did a crochet reinforcement
I only have this blurry picture, but the fat arrows show the crochet
and the thin line is my cutting line.

because although my yarn was "sticky" it wasn't knit tightly enough to bind alone. The only thing I would do differently would be to sew the armhole facings to the sleeve instead of back to the body as I think it might have made it smoother initially - although blocking took out any excessive lumpiness (see pre-blocked picture below). I also did a 3 needle bind off for the shoulders. The yarn was delightful to work with, and is wearing beautifully as expected. It blocked wonderfully, and I was so pleased to be able to find the colors I needed -thank you Vicki for your help picking these out!

One thing I noticed once I started knitting this lovely pattern was that the chart is different from the knitted sample pictured in the magazine. The magazine shows 2 rows of green between each motif, but the chart shows one, and I knit it as charted. I think the one row actually fits better with the one vertical divider, if that makes sense. Also, the yellow and blue in the center of the motif are supposed to be done in duplicate stitch, although on the sleeves I did the yellow as intarsia and just duplicate stitched the center blue. On the body I did it all duplicate. Either way, it was a pretty big pain.

Elise loves the sweater, and has chosen to wear it several times already (as opposed to me "suggesting" she wear it). I have gotten so many compliments on it, and am very pleased with the result.

You can see the 2 rows in this picture from IK - not a big difference, but noticeable to me.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

of course I am!

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

I don't usually play these games, but this cracked me up! Especially the part about fluxuating moods. :o)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Anemoi Mittens

Pattern: Anemoi mittens by Eunny Jang
Yarn: 1 ball Pure Camel from (not currently available) and 1 ball Paton's Kroy in navy for the contrast color.
Needles: US sizes 000 and 0. No lie.
Experience: I love this pattern and purchased it as soon as it was available. Eunny is just amazing, and this seemed like a great thing to make from stash yarn. I made no modifications, but actually knit 3 mittens. The first mitten I made using the suggested needle sizes for my large hands and undyed knitpicks fingering for the contrast color. The mitten was huge, and I considered felting it a little, but decided it would obscure the gorgeous pattern and just picked out another yarn to make it with, and some really tiny needles. The next mittens turned out to be the perfect size.

The right hand cuff was a little tight, but loosened up with blocking. The corrugated ribbing took as long to make as the whole hand, and I don't know why it went so slowly for me. The color work was fun because every line was different, and I also learned a new cast on, tubular (link to tutorial).

Aren't they just wonderful? It might even be cold enough to wear them today!

Friday, January 05, 2007

presents presented

This year was a little different for me as I refrained from forcing my knitting on all of my friends and family as gifts. I did knit teacher gifts out of mohair, the little Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (one of my favorite resources!) The pink ones are made from some slightly sparkly mohair I got from Kay, and the white from Kid Silk Night that I finished my Icarus shawl with.

The stockings are made from Paton's Classic Wool, for my sister-in-law Laura and her husband Mike. I made a little prototype first,shown below prefelted and felted, and then just made the real thing like a really big sock. :o) They seemed to like them.

Not technically a gift, but knit to fit her little hands are the Hot Mitts for Emily made from hot pink and orange and black Dale Falk. This is my own pattern, another experiment in color work. I used a cabled 2 color ribbing from knitting on the edge, and the snowflake motif is from knitting over the edge, I think - not sure, it had to go back to the library.

Finally, here is picture of the yarn I dyed for Kay's birthday, and from which she made her pedicure socks. I'm particularly pleased with the way this turned out.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Emily in the nordic sweater

Remember this one?I notice that this yarn, Peruvian Highland Chunky, is available again at If I didn't have so much to do already I would be getting more, I so love the way it knit and washed. She has been wearing the sweater (as children wear clothes) and it is holding up beautifully, although if it doesn't get cold she won't be wearing it much as it is a very warm garment.

Happy New Year!

Yes, I've been somewhat lax in my posting, and I have actually done a bit of knitting. I'm planning to try to get things updated in the next few days.

One of the things I'm going to try to do is finish up some things on my needles before I start anything new. I'll posting pictures of those shortly, which include Elise's sweater and some mittens for me, some stockings for the newly weds, etc...