Monday, September 16, 2013

Three for three!

That's right, I have managed to make it three weeks running with a finished project to show and tell. And I didn't even have to cheat and wait until like Thursday or Friday to post - IT'S MONDAY PEOPLE! I'm a day earlier than last week, go me!


My FO of the week is the first of two Ripley hats that I'm making for a coworker's daughter. This one is the slouchier version knit with Tosh Chunky in Cousteau -

Admittedly not the best shot, being a crappy cell phone selfie (and the fact my head is a smidge bigger than hers is thought to be) BUT proof positive I managed to start and finish something all in the same week.

I'm happy with the hat too, and am confident it'll be well appreciated by its new owner (and maybe I can get a much better picture of it then) The only issue with finishing a project so far ahead of the holiday deadline, is that I have to wait all that time for her to see it. Patience is not my best quality these days. Still, I'm very proud of myself that I actually accomplished something, and didn't end up adding to my pile of WIPs. A nice change from usual!


I like when I get to use nice yarn, but this is also a little dangerous because now I want more of the nice yarn for myself! My first Mad Tosh yarn was what I used for those pink armwarmers, and is one of my favorite things I've knit. The fingering weight yarn was great to work with, and the heavier weight yarn I picked for this hat didn't disappoint either. You see, the catch to me making the hats was that I got to pick the kind of yarn and then I just had to run the colors by her. I LOVED the blue/ green variations in this color. The pic above doesn't do it justice, but this gets a bit closer -

Beautiful yarn

I have a little yarn left over, maybe just enough for that cup cozy I'm always promising to knit for myself. I also will definitely be keeping this yarn in mind for next time I want to splurge on an actual project for myself.


My other accomplishment of the week was adding a good amount of knitting onto my (Green) Blue Day Socks. I'm almost to the heel now, but here's another one of those crappy cell pics from a little bit further back when I stopped to check the fit -

Unlike my picture, the sock itself is perfect. These are going to be super comfortable, I can already tell.


So that was my week, and now it's time to head back to my knitting.

Four for four in my next week's post? Maybe? A girl can dream!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fabulous Flow-y Lace Scarf DONE!

Another finished project to report, the gypsy lace scarf I started just after Christmas.

I've wanted a scarf like this almost since I started knitting, so it's about time I made one for myself!


While I can't deny that I love the magic of blocking - taking a rumpled mess of stitches and transforming it to a fancy-pants wearable item - the process itself is not one of my favorites. Sure, blocking doilies, the blanket squares and small things like that are no big deal, but this scarf? Much larger than I wanted to tackle with my mats and a billionty pins!

Here it was, preblocking -

Pretty, flowy and colorful. The lace already surprisingly open, but it was still more rumpled than I wanted.

Since I don't have blocking wires (yet) I decided to tackle it with the help of some string. I threaded a some crochet cotton string through the bottom along both sides.

After a quick soak, it was time for the blocking mats. I put pins in each of the four corners, and into the points on the short sides. Then I pulled the strings as tightly as I could and anchored them around extra pins at the corners.

Extra pins were placed inside the string line to try and keep the edges as straight as possible.



Not exactly perfect, but enough to make me happy ... Well I did figit with the edges a little more (okay a lot more) after this photo, but you get the basic idea. The string blocking did work out in a pinch but I fully intend to DIY a set of blocking wires before I have to do this again.

If I could have anchored the strings better, then the edges would have been straighter. I'm not too worried though, because I am very happy with the end result. Here it is close-up -


Finished well before the cool fall days get here, so I am a happy knitter.


Current WIP getting some love are my (green) Blue Day Socks, and I'm happy to report they're coming along wonderfully (well the first sock anyway, no two at a time for this girl!) -


The pattern is playing nicely with my yarn (Cascade Heritage Paints), and I'm loving that the pattern has an easy to remember repeat, without being monotonous. This is a Very Good Thing, especially when dealing with issues staying focused and wanting a good portable project.

The fact I got perfect gauge with needles I already had free was just icing on the cake. You might look at my giant needle collection and laugh when I say that, but with my habit of collecting WIPs, having the needles I want free is not always a sure thing!

While I don't expect that I'll go three for three weeks and have these as finished objects by next time I post, I do expect that I'll have some good progress to show for them.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Look - I actually can remember how to finish knitting things!

I just finished the Baby Merry Jane Booties for Scott and Ry's baby girl. Like I said in my last post, there really wasn't a rush because in addition to being a surprise gift, they also turned out much larger than expected. I ended up with what works out to be a size 4 (9-12 months) and so it's going to be a little while for she's rocking her new kicks!

No denying that they are cute though -

(Sneaky photo trick - stuffing with plastic sacks helps shape them, even if it is a bit more uneven than if they were being worn)


It seems that I wasn't the only one having a little trouble on the size, despite getting gauge. In fact, one knitter commented they must be designed for a baby Sasquatch. Maybe they aren't quite that bad, but still...I knit the smaller of the sizes AND went down a needle size on the shoe portion, and ended up with a definitely non-newborn size.

No matter, I strongly expect this and the other two patterns in the set will be my new go to baby gifts. They are just too cute! The only thing I plan to change for next time is that I will either knit it all with fingering weight or use the mods from Rav user evajae to try and make them actual newborn size.

I could have frogged and reknit as soon as I realized the sizing issues, but in this case I finished and am giving as is. I know the mom has a bunch of cute baby things already, and this will give the baby something cute for when she's starting to outgrow all of that.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Too Many Projects!


This is the post where I haul them all out of their bags, boxes and cubbies and see the ridiculous number of knitting projects I have going. I did think about linking to all the patterns, but then I'd be here for hours and never get any knitting done! If you want to know any any though, just drop a comment and I'll link you. Otherwise I will just promise to link better as they get their celebratory "all done!!!" posts.
Starting at the top left and working clockwise -
Beekeeper's Quilt - This one is no rush, and it's a good thing. I am perfectly content with the thought this may continue forever, as I will be accumulating scraps for just as long.
Cria Sweater - a recentish start, and one I do regularly put a few rows into. Wanting to be able to wear it is all the motivation I need to keep at it, but I could keep at it a little more often and with some more speed.
Winter Twilight fingerless gloves - I really want to wear these too, so why do I never want to work on them?? It's a mystery. I have only most of one finished, hoping maybe once it gets cold again that will motivate me. Since I insist on keeping both my hands, I will need to get knitting on a second one eventually.
Blanket of Unusual Size - I go in spurts on this one, from lots of work to neglecting horribly. I don't think it helps that being a circular blanket that the rows keep getting longer. I also only work on it during cold weather, because a balled up blanket on the lap is just not pleasant in the heat! I expect this will make it's way back into rotation around November.
My poor first real embroidery project - I found it good for when helping Bfs nephew with homework, because I could put it down and not worry about my place. I just don't seem to touch it other than then. School has started back up though, so before long it might be called back into service!
The Sherlock Blanket - No real end in sight on this project, especially with a new season coming. I imagine there will be even more square ideas to join what I've done so far! I would like to have another few of the already designed ones done though, especially the "Beeeeees" one I started ages ago.
Two bags with two projects that I still can't talk about because of Secrets - They should be finished, but are only half done. Shame on me! One will for sure make it to fully complete, the other I'm just not quite sure aout practicality-wise. And that's all I can say about them, because Secrets.
Double knit trivet - Having a different design on both sides sounded incredibly cool. The reality of keeping it all straight in my head? Less cool. Saving this for when I have some seriously good focus!
Tiny Octopus - I forgot all about this guy. I don't even know when I started it, because I never even made a project page. He only has one tentacle, so it's barely a start as it is. Save him for my next bout of startitis?
Towel - Larger version of the granny's fav dishcloth, to go with the two of those I finished. They were going to be a gift, but I thought better of it. Now they sit waiting for a new intended home and then I'll finish. Probably.
Hoodie vest - You'd think a sleeveless sweater with bulky yarn would be a no-time-flat project. You would be wrong.
Lace scarf - Just knitting till I'm out of yarn on this one, almost there. A few good days of knitting, and I'll be done. Then will come the magic of blocking.
Baby booties - For BFs great niece - he hates when I call her that, because it makes him feel old - Surprise gift that won't fit her until closer to winter like the sweater I gave her. I don't need to put a rush on it, but since I'm so close I will. Plus that baby's mom has shown herself quite knitworthy (so many times she and Bfs nephew have brought up that sweater and thanked me!) and I want to see how much she likes them :D
Blue day sock KAL - except mine are Green Day Socks (heee!) - I had started these last year, and through no fault of their own they got derailed by those secret bags. Picked them back up, and apparently my feet shrunk a little (IDEK it's weird) soooo I'm starting over with the support of a group knit along.
The last three projects currently have top priority. Some of the others are back to hang out in the time-out-hamper and a couple are in line for next-of-importance.
The only queue jumpers I'm anticipating are the two hats that a coworker commissioned me to make. The deadline isn't until Christmas, but I have no intention of putting them off and ending up stressed and rushed at the last minute. I do enough of that as it is! As soon as the yarn arrives, I'll be casting on the first of them.
OH! And while they, like the embroidery, are not technically knitting I also have those two playmates going still. Can't forget about them (no matter how hard I sometimes try. They almost didn't make this post!)
Mine to keep is STILL missing the pond and a couple fields. The giant one for gifting is missing ... Just about everything. Eek! The chances of a Christmas finish there are NOT looking good. Not for the mat, and definitely not for all the buildings/people/animals that go with it. I miiiiiight have gotten in over my head in this one.


Now that I've totally freaked myself out over how much I have in the works, I'm off to actually accomplish something. Or at least try!


Friday, August 30, 2013

I'm still alive! (Mostly)

My blog is approaching ghost town status, but I promise I haven't abandoned ship entirely! I just haven't accomplished anything much lately. Not much worth sharing anyhow.


Things have been stressful (way way so) lately. From BF setting himself on fire - Seriously, on fire. His burns healed fine, but did more damage trying to stop drop and roll. Still unsure how bad his knee is - to some news that has set us on a househunt again - Anyone who has ever bought a house can imagine how much fun THAT is, but with a huge surprise rent hike we have to try - Plus some other "fun" stuff thrown in, ugh. Now I'm not one of those who turned uber creative or productive when stressed either. I tend to burrow onto the the couch, wish for sleep but instead play mindless games (plants vs zombies, anyone?) for hours on end.


Yeah, I know this is a crafting blog and not woe-is-me central, but I did want to give a little explanation where I've been and what I haven't been doing. Anyhow, I need to get back at it and snap myself out of this funk.

While I can't control all the stressors in my life, I will plug away at the issues I can and distract myself with great projects in the meantime.


I've picked a couple of my WIPs back up, and will follow up with some pics as I make more progress. It is looking about time for another Giant WIP Post of "Shame" so look for that in the next week!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

We have a new Doctor!

So due to Reasons (some good, some bad) I never have taken the time and gotten my Seattle post written like I planned
I could not let today's Doctor Who announcement go by without comment, so I'm using it as an excuse to post one of those trip pictures.
At the EMP I got to see a Dalek in person, I think they keep it under glass so geeky fangirls like me will keep hands off. No waking the Dalek! (For the record, that bump was already missing when I got there)
I was attempting to look scared, but truth is that I was so damned excited I couldn't hardly wipe the stupid grin off my face.
Why is this relevant to the announcement, besides the fact that it's Who related?
Unlike last regeneration, when I was much more scared about the choice and worried Matt Smith couldn't pull it off THIS TIME I've learned a bit of trust. Young as he is and as much as some of us worried, I think Matt Smith rocked the role. His Doctor has an ability to flip from the ridiculous goofball, to a look that makes you believe there are hundreds of years behind those eyes and then back to silly again. All In a blink (Okay bad choice of word! Don't blink!)
So while I was nervous to hear who it would be, there was a lot more excitement behind it. Eleven will be missed (and I'm sorry I ever doubted him) but I can't wait to see what they do with this next generation.
And in case you missed it, the next Doctor will be Peter Capaldi
(Picture shamelessly taken from the official FB page)
Not the first time, they've cast a character with someone who has been on the show before. They haven't said if the DW and TW characters will relate to his character as The Doctor, but I'm guessing not.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

End of the Tour Wrapup

This year was a good Tour De Fleece, even with the bit of stressing at the end. I got a lot done and found some new fun fibery people to chat with.

Here's my final photo with what I finished


I'm going to practice my Navajo plying on the little bit of Corriedale single left over, I am just starting playing around with my new spindle, and I have a ways to go on spinning that grey Potluck Roving.

All in all though, I am happy with what I accomplished. Almost 900 yards in just the 2ply alone, and that's pretty good! Maybe next year instead of focusing on the weight of a particular fiber, I'll just shoot for 1000 yards of whatever finished yarn I want?


I feel like I can't possibly say enough about the generosity of the team sponsors, and in some cases just the moderators or members. The "official" teams and many of the "wild card" teams have drawings or prizes based on the spinning, all donated which is awesome. An exciting bonus to spinning with your team, and showing off to people who understand what you're doing since they do it too. In addition, two of the sponsered teams I participated with really went above and beyond this year.

Edgewood Garden Studios had daily drawings for things like gift certificates, and natural or dyed braids of fiber. In the end there were a couple more members than days of drawings, but she made sure they weren't left out either. I would already have continued using this shop because their fibers are beautiful and the prices can't be beat, but for an independent dyer to give so much to her fans really earns some major loyalty points.

My name came up fairly early, so I had already received my prize before the Tour was even over. I was given a gift certificate, which I used to get this Gray Masham Wool in the Gentle Breeze colorway. I wanted to try a new fiber but in colors I already know I love. You can see it on my spindle in the picture above, but here is a close up showing the variations in color. I am loving it.



And for another business earning those bonus loyalty points (even though they already have my business as much as I can afford...and then some) was Paradise Fibers. They gave everyone that participated and showed off those spinning pics a free months shipment of their fiber club. The shipment gets mailed at the end of this month, and I am super excited about this one. It's one of those things I have always been interested in but never had the spare cash.


As much fun as the Tour was, I have to admit that I'm taking advantage of the down time after. Sorting through the knitting WIPs I set aside, remembering where I left off and even finishing some of them.

My fingerless gloves - remember them from the June KAL? - they were down to only needing the thumbs knit, and I finished them last night


Super comfy and the twisted stitches make for some beautiful detail. I can't wait for it to actually get cool enough to wear them. Unfortunately with today having a high of 100, it looks like I'm going to have quite the wait!


This morning before work I did the finish work on a Swiffer cover I started 3 months ago. How to I let myself drag these quick little projects out for so long?!?

Anyhow it is now in use, and already looks a little less new than it did when I snapped these pictures.

What can I say? I also neglected the housework a bit during all those days spent spinning.


I'm planning on getting the rest of that spinning done and finishing up another project or two, BUT I'm not ruling out a new project before too long.

Next post will likely be off the crafting topic and be about my day trip to Seattle though. Had a great time, saw some cool stuff and if I can only get the pics off my phone I'll be sharing them here.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

This is not a real post (okay maybe it is)

Mostly it is just an excuse to show off this picture
(and to share what I've learned in the taking of it)

You see, last night I had myself a nice little freak out.
I realized that not only was there less than a week left of the Tour De Fleece but I was going to be missing the last day. I mean, I did already know that, but I didn't know it.

My original goal for the Tour was to spin the entire 8oz of Potluck Roving. In what can only be described as a fit of optimistic insanity, I later decided add spinning the 4oz of Corriedale too. What can I say, I was swayed by the colors.
I have spun the full 4oz of the Corriedale, but less than 5oz of the Potluck Domestic.

With over 3oz of that grey left to spin and then ply, I realized there is almost no way I could finish in time. Not with working every day through Saturday. Not with Sunday being spent out of town, from 5am till who-only-knows pm.
And all the sudden, my head turned Sunday from something to look forward too, into a stressful lack of spinning time to keep me from my goal.
And that's pretty messed up.
Why? Because that trip on Sunday is meant to be exciting!

It's girls trip with a couple friends that's been planned for a while. Letting me go to Seattle for fun, instead of only going there in a rush to catch a plane.
For the first time I'll actually get to go to The Market - which I've wanted to do for years - AND we're going to the EMP Museum, where I'll get to see the fantasy exhibit.

And that head of mine was making me try and regret this because I might not reach a self imposed goal with absolutely no consequence? Why head, why?!?!
This trip should be fun. It will be fun.

Yes, crafting is fun.
Yes, a little self imposed competition can be fun.
No, it should not stop me from enjoying the day to day. It shouldn't cause me stress, because that sucks the fun out of it.
After all, I can spin any day (and usually do) but how often do I road trip with friends to the city? Never! This is a very cool thing.

I took the pictures at the top of this post for my daily progress post on Ravelry, and I realized something. I have gotten a lot done. A LOT. There is already about a half a pound of finer there. I'm spinning fibers I haven't before, working with colors in new ways. I'm spinning on a wheel, when a few months ago I had never even touched one. I learned to spin by watching YouTube for Pete's sake.

And I'm getting down on myself? Why?!?
I have spun this beautiful yarn that I'm proud of. Am I going to dismiss all that I've done because a couple ounces might be spun a day or two later than I planned? That's just crazy talk.
I have awesome friends. Sunday is also their only day off work, and we're going to spend it together doing stuff I really wanted to do. I'll get to go new places, see cool things and hang out with these great people. This is a recipe for a great day, and I can't wait.

There is absolutely no reason to let the Tour stress me out and since convincing myself of this today has been a much better day. That's why I took that picture up there, to remind myself of all I accomplished in a couple short weeks (6 day work weeks at that!) I've done pretty damn good!

So what am I going to do with this new found wisdom? I'm going to sit here and sip on my lemonade and spin when I have the free time.
Maybe I'll finish on time, maybe I won't... Okay probably I won't, and that's fine!

The Tour is meant to be fun, and I just had to remind myself of that.
There are no spinning police monitoring the finish line, and even if they were I could tell them to hush because I'm spinning even more than that initial 8oz goal. Technically I'm not a slacker I'm an over-achiever. It's just a change up of fluff.

The most important thing is that I will remember to enjoy myself, not just in my craft room but on those very rare times I drag myself away.
There are sooooo many other things to stress about, my hobby should never be one of them.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

TDF End of Week 2 Recap

AKA Holy Hell I'm Almost Out Of Time!

Apparently one lesson I did not learn well enough last year is how quickly the time goes. As of today, we are 2/3 of the way though which means just one week from the end of the Tour de Fleece. Eep!!



Getting the Brisk Autumn Corriedale from Edgewood Garden Studio all spun and plied is one goal I know I'll be able to finish in time. I already had the first ply done last week, and I'm less than 1/2 oz from finishing the second.

I'm hoping to have that finished, the yarn wound off and the plying done by tomorrow night. Or at least most of the plying done. I even have very nearly almost decided on a pattern. I'm not saying which one yet, for fear of jinxing it. It is in my Ravelry queue though.

Like I said last post, this is my first go with fractal spinning and I can't wait to see how it looks when I'm done. Really quick explanation for any curious non-spinners -

Fractal spinning doesn't actually change the way you spin, but the way you prep the fiber before you start.

First you split the roving in half lengthwise. One half you set aside, this will be spun as is for your first ply. Because of the thickness of the roving you preserve the slower color changes. The other half you split again, either 2 or 3 times (I chose three), and then spin these pieces end to end. The thinner the roving the faster the colors change.

I wanted to be sure I get a good barberpole effect in the finished yarn, and this basically guarantees your color changes in each ply don't line up.



Aaaaaand now for my main goal. The one I'm starting to worry I might not be able to reach. That 8oz Potluck Roving from Ferndale Fiber.

Here's what I do have done -


The first set of singles are spun and plied. I still have to wash and dry them to set the twist, but my preferred hanging spot over the kitchen counter is currently occupied by the food dehydrator. I'll sneak the yarn in after BF finishes his jerky, and before I try out drying some fruits now that we have some extra trays.

I ended up with two skeins (smaller bobbin means I couldn't ply it all in one go) totaling about 463 yards, weighing in around 117 grams. It's a fingering weight, which has me over the moon happy, but now back to the planning stages of what to do with it. I didn't think I was able to spin that finely, so all my ideas before we're running in the sport-worsted range. Still, this is not a bad problem to have, and so I'm not really complaining.

It does relate to why I'm worrying a bit though. Spinning so finely means it takes longer to run through the weight of fiber, and so I'm going to have to push to get through what I have left before the Tour ends!



I did sneak in a little bit of knitting between all the spinning this past week. My fingerless gloves are now almost done. Just the thumbs (and end weaving) left to go -

Currently two weeks past the official KAL end, but at least I should finish before a full month over...

Hoping these aren't famous last words!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tour de Fleece, Week One

The Tour De Fleece is in full swing, and I haven't missed a day. Good thing too, because I've got a lot of spinning to do. And unlike last year, where I was posting pics of each day's progress here, I've been spending less time doing updates and more actually spinning. I figure a weekly update shouldn't slow me down too much though.

My original goal was just to spin the 8oz ball o'fluff I bought at Paradise fibers, the Potluck Roving from Ferndale Fibers. When I saw how smoothly it was spinning - and it is a dream to spin, almost as easy as the Shetland and sooo soft - I added a second goal. I am also spinning the 4oz braid of Corriedale I got from Edgewood Garden Studio.

The Steel Potluck Roving is going to be 2 ply, and so far I've spun one bobbin full of a single and started the second. Progress so far -

I'm not positive what I'll knit with it, depends on what kind of yardage and yarn weight I end up with. I'm not a consistent enough spinner (yet) to know exactly what I'll end up with ahead of time.


Similar thing with the Brisk Autumn Corriedale, except with that I know that I want some sort of cowl for fall. The style is up in the air, but I've narrowed it down to about a half dozen patterns (subject to change each time I log on Ravelry!)


I spun the first ply of that between plys of the other fiber. I figure mixing it up keeps me interested. No matter how pretty that grey is, looking at it non stop for weeks on end is a sure fire way to end up burned out!

Anyhow - here is the first ply of the Corriedale-

I really love the range of colors in it. Hard to tell when it's wound up like this, but they range from a pale cream, to shocks of bright red and yellow, with a beautiful almost wood grained tonal brown running through it. I can't wait to see what the finished yarn looks like. I'm doing fractal spinning, so I should end up with a beautiful "barber pole" effect with the colors.


The only real knitting I've done lately is on my fingerless gloves. Technically the KAL ended last week, but I'm one of the stragglers who needs more than a month to actually finish anything.

First one is done, except for the thumb. The second is almost to the thumb opening. Shouldn't be too much longer though, and then I'll have a pretty FO to show off. I promise that picture won't have an irritating sun reflection in the corner like this one!


Right now the closest I can come to a new finished object is this Baby Surprise Jacket. You know, the one I finished knitting in March? I finally sewed on the buttons on, using pink and cream ones I had in my stash.

We already found out (a while ago) the momma-to-be is going to be having a girl and since she is due in August, I figured I better get it done! Here's the whole sweater. It should fit right around winter time, hopefully.

A nice surprise today was the half dozen back issues of knitting magazines a customer brought in for me. All Interweave Knits, except for one Vogue Knitting.

Some I have digital copies of, but flipping through them is more fun sometimes. I predict my queue will get even longer before I'm done. Especially since she said there is probably more issues to come. Yay! I have the best customers!


Back to spinning for one more second before I go. After jealously admiring other's Trindles since before last Tour De Fleece, I finally ordered one of my own. I was going to wait and do it as an end of Tour reward, but maybe this way it will actually arrive by the end of the Tour.

My main problem with online ordering is that I want it NOW. I mean, I ordered it this morning so why shouldn't the mailman be able to drop it off this morning...yeah, logical brain is busy telling impatient-new-shiny-obsessed brain to settle down and wait. I'm not sure it's going to work though.


One thing I can guarantee is that as soon as it arrives I'll be spinning away and showing it off here :D


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Holy Long Time Between Updates, Batman!

Since it's been almost two months (?!?!) since my last post, a step my step recap would take ages. Instead I'm just going to throw it all out here in one big post of "can't this girl finish anything?!"

That's right, I've fallen off the finished-object wagon, and am wasting my time away in work-in-progress land. At least Candy Crush has managed to frustrate me enough that I've stepped away from playing it endlessly. That's something, right?


Okay, first up is knitting. Since my last post I have finished ... Well ... Nothing.

Oops? I could blame the spinning, but really that is only half the problem. The other half is that I KEEP STARTING NEW THINGS.

I have the perfect yarn and the perfect pattern for so many projects, that I just want to make them all at once! In fact, instead of finishing anything, I cast on for three new things. One of them another cardi ... because that's a quick project.

Since I have a few projects that should have been quick finishers (I'm looking at you, Swiffer cover!), I'm banned from casting on anything new until I have finished a couple of them.


I tried to tell myself that earlier, but then there was an "unappreciated pattern KAL" in the fingerless gloves group. I had my super-special yarn I'd been hoarding saving and an awesome (but sadly unappreciated) pattern already picked out for it. I figured that made a good enough excuse reason why I should get to cast on one more thing.

The yarn was my MadTosh Sock in the dahlia colorway-


The pattern is Creme de Noyaux by Dagmar Mora.


I'm very nearly done with the first one, and this is one of those great projects where it both looks and fits exactly how I'd hoped. I'm knitting the longest version, in a size M/L. The only adjustment I've made to the pattern is to switch from size 1s to size 0 at the wrist to ensure a tighter fit on my hands.


Of course I'm still spinning, still loving it. Warming up for the Tour de Fleece.

I also had a brief moment of madness where I thought the 8oz of roving I got from Paradise Fibers might not be enough to keep me busy, and so I went in search of new fluffs. I found a dyer here in my home state, Edgewood Garden Studios, who has beautiful colors at really reasonable prices. I ended up buying two.

First, Corriedale in a colorway she calls Brisk Autumn -


Normally I am not a fan of yellows and oranges, but the colors grabbed my attention, and I kept going back to look at the listing. Finally I just went for it, and I'm glad I did. The fiber looked even better in person, and I can't wait to spin this. I'm thinking of a two ply 'barber pole' look to the yarn, then knit into a nice cozy cowl for fall.


Te other was Wensleydale in the Rags to Riches Colorway.

Again, it totally caught my eye. I've never spun with this kind of fiber before, so I'm not sure what to expect my yarn will end up like. I'm excited to see though.


I finally spun up the ounce of alpaca I was given last June, and ended up with a single of about 70 yards. Really pretty yarn, if I do say so myself -

I had been a little worried about spinning it all dusty. I had heard it would make the fibers grip better (which I'm sure was right) but during the was process I had a worry that it couldn't possibly come clean enough. Luckily, I worried for nothing and it ended up soft, clean and beautiful. Below on the left are the picures from before the wash, and on the right are the shots after when it was starting to dry out.

The one thing this taught me is that I am spoiled by my prepared fiber, and that I do not have the tools or time (or patience) to switch to entirely raw fiber right now.


I have also spun some of that (blessedly already clean/processed) Shetland wool. I have one single of about 275 yards done. It is the most I've gotten in one skein, and probably will stay close to that, because that bobbin was overfilled!

I'm working on a second skein of the same, but I'm not quite finished spinning. Here it is, still on the wheel -


Once that's done, I have the last of my Merino/Tencel from Greenwood Fiberworks that I want to ply together. Here's (an admittedly bad pic of) the singles -


I'm trying to work more on my plying, because as much as some yarn looks great as singles, I really like the look of handspun plied. I like to think I've made a bit of progress, and that even the Navajo ply I do looks pretty decent.

I set some BFL two ply I spun on my spindle just a year ago (left) next to my most recent N-Ply attempt using the wheel with the same fiber (right)


There is definitely a difference! I am happy with how far I've come and curious to see how much different my spinning will look after another year.


That's about all for now. I need to get back to knitting as I scramble to make progress on those WIPs before the Tour De Fleece starts and spinning takes over my entire crafting life more than it already has for a month.