Category Archives: Project Progress

Knitting Again

Personal knitting project time. Hooray!

I’ll admit up front – taking good photos of knitwear is something I really struggle with. I don’t see how you photographers do it. But, I’m pretty well pleased with how these turned out. First up are a couple of my almost-finished shawl/scarf. (Some of you might remember that I’ve knit that pattern before.)

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This version of the scarf is knit up in one of the yarns I’ll be carrying in my store. It’s a lovely two-ply merino, and the colorway is a variation on Dawn Treader. I call it ‘The Edge of the World.’

And here is the beginning of a pair of socks in the revisited ‘Ink’ colorway – now called ‘Enchanted.’

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Strangely enough, it had been so long since I knit last, I’d clean forgotten how nice knitting is. These projects were life savers – particularly in an airport when our three-hour layover kept getting longer and longer.

In other news, we’re working away on the new labels for my yarns, and I’m busily getting various listings ready to roll. Once we start taking official photos, stand by for sneak peeks.

The Year of Finishing

After a lot of consideration and prayer, I’ve decided to make 2012 the year of finishing and finding new homes for the massive accumulation of un-finished projects I have laying around. And that is going to be a huge undertaking. Please pray for me.

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I sort of “got started” the other day by pulling my fiber and yarn stash out of its closet and taking a general inventory. To put it bluntly, I sat on the floor next to the giant pile with a quivering lip and sincere doubts as to my ever using it all – not to mention all the other kinds of crafts that I haven’t even reviewed yet.

Suffice it to say, things are going to be either crazy, or very very accomplished. Anyone have suggestions for places to donate or giveaway finished knitted or crochet items? Preferably ones that will take wool based yarns, because that’s what I have most of.

Time Weigheth Heavily

Well, it’s not so much the time that weigheth heavily as it is the seeming lack thereof. (Daily dose of Old English has now been administered.)

As for me, well, I’m up to my elbows in a pile of spinning projects. Lovely projects, for lovely people, but there seem to be tons of them.

First off, I’ve been working on spinning up some Aussie fur for a good friend. (Yes, dog fur.) It’s really soft and fluffy, and has been washed. Definite bonus. I’m spinning it on a spiffy new gadget I’ll have to tell you all about in a future blog post.

Theoretically this yarn will end up as a two-ply fingering weight, although there will be some DK weight bits in there, given the nature of the fiber. I carded the fur into batts, but it’s so fine that it spins more like a cloud, which results in a lot of difficulty keeping things even. And there seems to be different lengths of fur in there, which also makes things interesting.

All in all, it’s spinning up to be an interesting taupe color. Almost like sand.

Officially Spring

I realize that Spring begins in March. But personally, I don’t really count it as Spring until it feels Spring-ish. And yesterday I went on a picnic lunch in a lovely park, and now realize that Spring is fully Spring-ish. So, happy Spring!

I guess the biggest news I have to share is that I’m expanding into the wholesale realm. A local yarn store is going to be carrying six special colorways of my merino/silk laceweight. (Including Dawn Treader!) If you’re in the Athens, GA area, stop by and visit Main Street Yarns to take a peek. It’s a lovely store with all sorts of goodies. (I have to be very strict with my wallet when I’m there.) I just sent off a lovely lineup of twelve skeins, but completely forgot to take a picture of them before they left! Gack!
There’s a chance that I’ll be visiting the yarn store next week, so I’ll have to take my camera and attempt to get a shot of the yarns hanging up on the wall.

Along the same line of “business,” I’m looking into giving my laceweight yarn bases some names. So, instead of calling it “70/30 merino silk” I would call it “Hawthorn Lace” or something like that. I’ve seen this done in various stores and supposedly it helps people remember the yarns. I’m all for it, except that I have to come up with the names. No pressure, right? It just reflects on me and my business if I choose poorly. Yeeks. Some top ideas now are naming them after various vines, or floral/botanical type things.

A Birthday Shawl

Remember those undyed batts I carded way back when? (A lovely blend of BFL, baby alpaca, and mohair.) Well, those batts are now being used! Yes, it’s been over a year, but I’ve been waiting for just the right project. Handspun yarn for a birthday shawl.

The shawl was supposed to be my dear aunt’s Christmas and birthday present, however both of those dates have passed, so I decided I’d better get hopping. The last thing I want to do is end up like I did with my last two “birthday gift” yarns and not deliver on them until after the next year’s birthday.

Socks and Spinning

The alpaca socks are done! And, amazingly enough, I discovered that it’s been over a year since I began them. Yep. I started them in January of last year. If you want to follow along with the knitting saga take a look a these posts from February 19th, 2010 and January 19th, 2011.

Oh, and to make things even better, somehow, someway I ended up knitting one sock on size ones, and the other on size twos. No, I’m not ripping it back and starting over. They both stay on my feet, and the difference isn’t too huge unless you notice that one is an inch or so shorter than the other. A good reason to not repeat the “it takes a year to finish these” method.

About the same time I finished those up, I finished spinning the singles for my “Violet, You’re Turning Violet.” Hurrah! A lovely bluefaced leicester and silk blend. I’m thinking it will turn out as a DK or light worsted weight. Two ply.

While I was photographing the singles, I started playing around with a clock key and wound up with this photo. (No pun intended.) The colors are slightly off, but I like the feel of the picture.

A Little Spun

Unfortunately, due to various circumstances, I haven’t progressed far enough on my sock knitting to warrant taking another photo. One can only have so many pictures of “Look! It’s another half inch longer.” The lack of progress is a little frustrating. Especially because I want to spin and knit a pair of socks. Yes. I have two pairs of unfinished knitted socks, and a nice little collection of other sock yarns, but they’re not hand-spun! The trials of a spinner.

On the flip side, I have been working on some of those batts I mentioned in the last post. I’ve got one almost completely spun, and it’s looking quite snazzy. Now before you go pointing out any little neps and slubs in the yarn let me say that I did intend for those to be there. It is all part of a grand, super-secret experiment. (Cue the dramatic music.)

In the midst off all this, I’m beginning to hear the call of the crochet hook again. I haven’t used them for an actual project for some time (and during that time I managed to accidently stab a tiny one into my heel) and I’m beginning to miss it. Miss crocheting, not stabbing my heel. That hurt.

I’ve got this crazy idea involving crochet hooks and un-spun silk. I have a silk hanky laying around. I just have to decide if that’s what I want to use it for. I think it would make a lovely, airy shawl or wrap. Probably rectangular, as silk makes hair static, and I wouldn’t want it right up by my neck.

Alpaca Socks and Looking Backwards

It’s a rather gray day outside this morning, besides the few patches of snow here and there. There’s rain on the way (more than usual) and the atmospheric pressure is resulting in a lovely sinus headache. Plus it seems to be sapping the energy out of me. Even to the point where I don’t want to curl up and knit! Size two double points? Far too heavy.

But, I have made some rather good progress on my second alpaca sock, and I have found the secret to finishing a never-ending pair of extra-tall socks! The key is to go and stay in a rather chilly house for a few days. Take the sock knitting, and just barely enough pairs of regular-height socks. By the middle of the first day you’ll find yourself huddled on the couch watching old, instant-stream TV shows off of Netflix and knitting for your life in the hopes of warmer toes.

Unfortunately this knitting streak didn’t cross over to the other pair of unfinished socks I brought along, or the Emily Dickinson shawl that I had hoped to start again. However, I did have a lovely time resting, reading (three whole books!), and movie-watching.

Knitting On The Horizon

Believe it not, I haven’t forgotten about my knitting projects. I just pulled this sock project back out from the closet and started back in. Since then I’ve turned the heel and gotten a ways into the foot part. This is the “Hedgerow” pattern, and I rather like it. I ran into some trouble on the heel flap, but that was probably an operator error as opposed to a glitch in the knitting pattern.

The yarn is knitting up really nicely too. All these deep grays and blues. Lovely!

And I’ve got another pattern begging to be made. I’ve never really been big into fingerless gloves.
I mean, they’re neat articles of clothing and all, but they didn’t do much for me personally. Then I saw this pattern. And my non-glovey self said, “Self, if you were to wear fingerless gloves, those would be them. So you might as well buy the pattern.”

Ta-da! “The Last of The Sky Pirates” fingerless gloves. Cool, no? I’m particularly fond of the little buttons down the side. (I borrowed the photo from the Etsy listing.) The construction looks pretty unique. At least as far as my experience goes. You use straights and DPNs.

Once I got the pattern I wasn’t sure what yarn I’d want to use for it, and then I dyed this.

Oh yeah. Thankfully it was a two-skein batch, so I’m keeping one of “Beryl,” and the other goes in the store. I’ll be taking this project along on a trip to Missouri. And I have extra incentive to finish it while I’m gone, as I’m borrowing the needles from my knitting sister, and she’ll want them back as soon as we return. No pressure! Thankfully my knitting time includes the lengthy car ride.

New Storage And A Teaser

I may as well admit it up front. I’m a sucker for nice baskets. They’re pretty, lightweight, non-plastic (usually), and can hold practically anything. Not to mention they come in an enormous range of sizes.

All that to say, look at the lovely new baskets I have to store my dyeing equipment in! Thanks to Mom and Aunt Debbie, I don’t have to dig my stuff out from the top shelf of my closet anymore. Hurrah! Life is suddenly so much easier, and less clutter-filled. I’ve toyed with the idea of changing out the fabric liners seasonally, but that might be a bit over-the-top.