Category Archives: Knitting

Another Shawl? Really?

Okay, yes, so I haven’t gone back to the Emily Dickinson shawl yet, but I’ve started another one. And hopefully this one will go much faster.

I’ve already had my signature gauge snafoo and had to unravel a full sixteen repeats of the lace edging so I could start over. I was very careful to start over right after unraveling — sort of a “get back on the horse after you fall off” idea.

I’m knitting the shawl pattern called The Crow Waltz Shawl (the triangular version) and using a variety of yarns from my stash. The idea is to actually use some of those one-skein yarns I’ve been hoarding for over a year.

The yarn combination is rather amusing. Of the eight colors, two are completely store bought. One is commercial, but hand dyed. Four are hand spun and hand dyed. And the last one is someone else’s dye work, but I spun it. They also range in weight from fingering to heavy worsted, so this will be an adventure.

Project Review

I realized I’ve been leaving you in suspense over my purple sweater! It did get finished, and I literally had to take it to Colorado unblocked and block it in a friend’s washing machine, but it got finished. I wore it a lot and really, really enjoyed it. Several people commented on it (in a good way). Yay! The photo, or rather a piece of the photo, I snagged from a friend’s picture of the trip. We were playing an acting game called Freeze.

I Seem To Have This Thing For Lace

I have a total of three laceweight spinning projects going on right now. The alpaca and silk you’ve seen, so here’s the new baby.

Angora cobweb fluffy laceweight. Ahhhhhhhh. You cannot believe how soft this yarn is when it’s plied. It’s like the tactile rendition of feeling warm and fuzzy inside!

I’m actually spinning this on a nifty contraption that a friend of mine plans to make available on Etsy. I’m not at liberty to divulge many of the juicy details, but I will say that I could not spin this delicate of a yarn on any of the other tools I have in the house.

The grand Etsy store updates continue! I just listed a couple more yarns, and soon a nice big order of fiber will come in, and I can start all over again. Hooray!

She’s Alive!

Hello, everyone. I wish I could say I’ve been spending these last months in darkest Peru, learning the secret arts of cochineal dyeing, but that would be far from the truth. The truth of the matter is that . . . (are you sitting down?) I’ve not been knitting or spinning much, if at all.

There. The painful bit is over. And so is the silence of the blogger! I didn’t have many projects of a fibery nature going, therefore I had nothing to blog about, therefore I didn’t blog, which led to more ventures into non-fiber hobbies, and you get the idea. It really was the Bermuda Triangle there for a bit. But, everyone needs a little lull from life-consuming hobbies at least once in a while, and I’ve had my lull. Now clear the pool, I’m coming in!

A Setback and a Step Forward

I frogged my shawl. By the time I got to the third row of beads it became painfully apparent that “fixing and fudging” the mistake stitch-count back into behavior was a losing battle. Sure, I was back at the right number of stitches (sort of), but the beads weren’t lining up correctly at all.

Don’t worry, though. It’s re-cast on and I’m planning to dive into work on it again soon. I just need the sudden whirlwind of other projects to die down for a bit. A lot of writing related projects have cropped up, leaving me with little or no recreational fiber time.

Count Twice, Knit Once

This is a confession of guilt, so no laughing. At least, not for the first half second or so. Let me see if I can work myself up to this. Ahem.

While making my shawl I neglected to stop and count stitches when it told me to the first time.

Whew. There. I did it.

So, of course, the inevitable happened and, when I actually counted stitches at the second point, I was off. By about thirty stitches.

Under Certain Circumstances

So, yes, I did say I wasn’t going to buy any more fiber until I’d made a significant dent in what I already had. (And I can already hear you chuckling to yourself.)
But, there are certain circumstances that are just plain not worth resisting. And in this case, it was because I had never heard of nor seen this particular kind of fiber before. Well, that, and because it was shiny.

This is called banana silk. It’s derived from the leaves of banana trees, so it’s a plant-based fiber, and you can see how shiny it is in the pictures. I’d heard of yarn that had banana fiber in it, but it had never registered in my noggin that that would mean there was banana spinning fiber floating around somewhere to be pounced on.

Knitters Have It Easy

A few days ago I began a new knitting project, since I had finished the sweater. “Wait!” you say. “You finished and you didn’t tell us?” Well, it’s not finished-finished until it’s blocked, and I’d rather not model it while it’s soaking wet, thank you very much. And pictures of it laying flat on a table get old after awhile.

Ahem. As I was saying. I began knitting my first shawl. The Emily Dickinson shawl, it is called, and it’s available for download on Ravelry. (I’m LoveFiber on there, by the way.) This is my first shawl, my first knitted cobweb lace-weight, and my first time adding beads to a knitted project.

And let me just say it now, knitters have things so easy where beads are concerned! You just pull the loop up through the beads one at a time with no fuss. The last beaded non-knitting project I made required loading the seed beads onto the yarn ahead of time. All hundred and something of them. Then I had to keep scooching them along the yarn until I needed one. Crazy.

A Raven and A Sweater

No, I am not starting to knit sweaters for birds. I have made excellent progress on the Raven’s Wing yarn, and I want to show you! Ta-da. My first wound-off bobbin of the single ply. Looks pretty nice, eh? I’m so excited about the way it’s turning out.

And, for the second half of our program, I give you my sweater progress. I finished one of the sleeves and started merrily in on the cowl. Supposedly the accepted and generally used method of sweater knitting holds that you must knit both sleeves one after the other, but who wants to do that?

A Tragic Day

Those of you with weak knitting stomachs may want to skip the first photograph and move on to the happier things below. The accident you are about to see was inevitable, I suppose. I just wasn’t expecting it quite this suddenly.

My first pair of hand knit socks, the ones knit for me by my sister from my first handspun sock yarn, sprung holes on a dark night a couple of days ago. And not just little holes. One of them is bigger around than a quarter.

Sob.

So, now I’ve got to learn how to darn socks because there is no way I will just throw away those poor things. I cringe at the very thought! And I hope I can locate the little skein of extra yarn. It’s got to be around here somewhere.