Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May's Spinning Report and Summer of Stash

Cormo Cross

I only finished one yarn this month. It's my cormo cross skein, 620yds / 124g, 3ply light fingering weight. Singles spun longdraw on the Rose, plied on the minispinner, lightly fulled to finish.

It took longer than it should have to finish this yarn. I'm just not as inspired to spin undyed fiber. The pin-drafted roving was lovely and is probably my favorite type of prep but I got bored spinning the same light grey singles. One noteworthy tidbit: while spinning the singles I didn't notice any lanolin, but while plying the singles were definitely a bit tacky. I used very hot water to finish the yarn and there was some grease left in the water. I like plenty of plying twist, but this skein is pretty overplied and is kinky in spots. I didn't do the greatest job but it should work fine for my vest project.

May's Spinning Totals: 5950 total yards in 2015, 77oz (4.8 lbs).

For Summer of Stash, I didn't buy any yarn. Hooray! This month I used 2228 yds which leaves 7772 yards to reach 10,000. For fiber, I did break my pledge and purchased a preorder from Nest for 8 oz. She put up more listings for the Mega SAL, and I had been unable to get any of the fiber from her previous update. These are limited edition colorways that I didn't want to miss out on. So boo on me for that one, but hopefully it'll be my last slip-up. I need to spin 28 oz to hit my goal of 2 lbs for this summer. This month I also received my expected delivery of Hello Yarn Mega SAL fibers. These are both Targhee. I'm planning to spin them together soon.

2015-05-18_05-06-48 2015-05-18_05-05-49

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Flying South, blanket progress, and taking a break

It was not my intention to take such a long blogging break. Spicy was out of town for a few days so I was on my own (which, btw, being a single mom is hard, yo) and then blackkitty got sick. She's hanging in there for now but she has chronic kidney problems so we're looking at a sad slow decline. Besides that, I'm taking Fridays off work this summer so I've been working on lots of crafty things, including bag sewing, quilting, and some new knit and crochet designs. Plus we took the canoe out over the weekend which was pretty fun.

Flying South Socks

I know this pattern is called Flying North but the arrows point down, so in my directionally challenged mind it makes more sense to me as "flying south." I used the stitch pattern from these socks and improvised the rest. I tried out the padded sweet tomato heel for the first time and sadly it doesn't fit me well. The heels are quite shallow and the socks are very tight across the ankle which usually doesn't happen to me even with short-row or afterthought heels. I don't own the book and just followed the youtube video so I'm not sure if there are more detailed fitting tips in the book that I was missing out on. The fit is so poor though that I don't think I'll knit this heel again.

I used Wollmeise Twin in the Stella Polaris colorway and #0 addi sock rockets, toe-up, TAAT using magic loop. I knit one pair of socks with Wollmeise 100% and I got holes very quickly so I'm hoping that Twin holds up better.

This is my 10th finished pair of the year. Technically they were my April Personal Sock Club bag but I didn't start them until May. I'm kind of burned out on socks right now so I'm taking a break. I won't meet my goal of 26 pairs in 2015, but 26 pairs is an insane goal. If it took me over 10 years to knit 100 pairs, what am I thinking trying to get a quarter of the way to my next 100 in just one year? From here on out I will try to finish one pair a month but I might take another month off, or at least until thinking about knitting socks sounds appealing again.

Sock Yarn Blanket

I've slowed down on my sock yarn blanket but I finished another row and column. I'm up to 80 squares now. I've really enjoyed adding blanket squares with the leftovers from my finished projects and I've swapped minis with so many people that there are tons of new yarns to love.

Working on my hexie blanket #crochet #scrapyarnblanket

I don't enjoy my crochet granny hexagon nearly as much so it doesn't get a lot of attention. I don't dislike it but I think the fact that the motifs are smaller with twice as many ends slows me down. Right now I'm thinking I'd like to finish my mitered square blanket this year and once it's done I'll concentrate more on the crocheted one. I'm content at the moment to add a hexie or two as time allows.

I have more yarnie projects in the works but this post is long enough for now.

Friday, May 08, 2015

#stylinghandmade 05.08.15

#stylinghandmade 05.08.15

#stylinghandmade is back! From this point on I will probably only do a post when I have something new to show. This week, it's the Lattice Shawl by Stitched in Sweden.

#stylinghandmade 05.08.15

I test-knit this shawl for Maria after seeing her lovely version on the Stitched in Sweden podcast. Mine uses Malabrigo Sock in Natural. I used size 5 hiya hiya sharp interchangeables. The only noteworthy thing is that my two skeins of Mal Sock were very different colors so I had to alternate skeins on the border. I used just over one full skein, about 112g.

I found this petite maxi dress at the Gap and I was shocked and thrilled that I didn't have to hem it. I'm pretty sure that's the first time that's ever happened.

#stylinghandmade 05.08.15

Lattice Shawl | Pattern
Denim Jacket | Gap
Maxi Dress | Gap
Sandals | old from Zappos

The knitting bag shop update is live. Lots of cute bags are still available.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Shawls and Socks and Knitting Bags

It's always fun to have a flurry of finishes because that means I get to cast-on new things. Of course in a few weeks I'll be tired of these too but for now they are new and fresh.

I can't stop #knitting this shawl. It's so addictive! #madelinetosh

It's been awhile since I've designed a knitted shawl. I wanted to incorporate a bunch of elements that I love: stripes, garter stitch, speckled yarns, madelinetosh, and more. I can't wait to get to the "more" but for now I'm enjoying garter purgatory.

Flying North socks #operationsockdrawer #knittersofinstagram

Knitting a pair of socks every 2 weeks is kind of exhausting. I cast-off a pair and weave in the ends and then it's time to start the next pair. I'm a little behind on my personal sock club. This is April's bag of Wollmeise Twin. I'm using the stitch pattern from the Flying North socks. I like it because it's mostly stockinette while still fulfilling my weird "no vanilla solid socks" rule.

A handful of project clutches ready for the shop update on Friday.

Finally, I'm switching to an update model for my shop so that I don't have to keep blathering on about knitting bags every week. The plan is to update the shop once a month. May's update will be this Friday at 10:00 AM EDT. Previews will go up Thursday afternoon/evening. I will have both project clutches and sock drawstring bags available. Please check it out if you get a chance!

Monday, May 04, 2015

One Finish, a Leftover Leftovers Blanket, & a Mini-Review

Poste Yarn Socks

My 9th pair of socks in 2015 is done. Toe-up, #0 40" Karbonz, TAAT, 60 sts inc to 64 at the cuff, afterthought heel, ladies' size 6. I used Poste Yarn in the Danxia Landform colorway. When I divided the skein into two balls I decided to try something new, so I made my socks match. They aren't exact but pretty close. I remain "meh" about matching socks but it does make it easier when figuring out the heel placement.

I use about 6g of yarn for each square on my mitered square blanket. I've been trading a lot of 10g skeins, so I end up with a small but substantial amount of leftovers. Because I'm completely nuts I decided to use the teeniest bits in another blanket. This one is a simple granny hexagon using join as you go. I wanted it to look distinct from my other blanket even though I'm using the same yarns so I am edging each hexagon with Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in Dove Heather. I'm enjoying this project apart from having to weave in the ends but I like the other one a little bit more.

Leftover Leftovers blanket

I've been using the same ol' Susan Bates/Boye metal hooks for years but I wanted to branch out and try some other hooks because I do get wrist pain when crocheting. I bought two size C hooks, a Clover Amour and a Tulip Etimo. I made a couple of motifs with each hook and quickly discovered that I very much prefer the Clover hook for a couple of reasons.

  1. The Knit Picks Stroll Tweed yarn isn't very tightly plied and it's fairly easy to split. Although the shape of the hooks don't appear to be that different, the Tulip hook split the yarn much more than the Clover.
  2. I hold my hook with a knife grip. The Tulip hook has an indentation where your thumb is supposed to rest. My grip is naturally closer to the hook end which makes this indentation uncomfortable for me. The Clover hook is flat without an indentation.
  3. This is fairly minor, but the Clover hook has a rubberized grip which feels nice in the hand, while the Tulip hook is simple plastic.
  4. I bought these with the intention of trying them out and eventually getting a set. The Clover set is color-coded, which makes it easy to find the size you need. The Tulip set has all the same colors and you'd need to rely on the printed sticker for the size.

Both hooks are superior to the metal ones I'm used to but I really like the Clover Amours. I plan to destash the Tulip hook and buy a set of the Clovers as soon as it's convenient.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Fantastic Quilt Voyage, Part II

This was so fun to sew. It was hard to stop! @quirkygranolagirl #fantasticquiltvoyage

For this round I had Melinda's quilt. She asked for a strip quilt with inserted blocks in a sunset-y color scheme. I found this one to be so fun that I had a hard time stopping myself from adding on more and more pieces. I haven't made an improvised strip quilt for myself and I really should. I absolutely love her quilt. The only problem I have with this type of quilt is that I end up making a huge mess!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April Spinning Report and Summer of Stash

Well I made it through the entire first quarter of the year spinning at least 15 minutes a day, but I've definitely dropped off in April. I've had too many other things going on and I'm experiencing a little spinning fatigue.

Neon Invasion

This month I only finished one skein which has already sold. April's spinning totals are 410yds and 4oz, for a yearly total of 5330yds and 73oz (about 4.5 lbs).

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Next I'm spinning this beautiful light grey cormo cross roving that has been in my stash for years. I'm hoping to spin for a vest.

Summer of Stash

In other news, I've been stashing a lot of yarn lately. I'm embarrassed to admit that the mosaic above is only a small sample. As stupid as this sounds, I think it's because I want more yarns that I can add to my sock yarn blanket. I am aware that I need to first use these yarns in a project before I can add them as mitered squares but that hasn't seemed to stop me. I've decided to cut myself off from buying yarn and fiber from now until the end of August, which will be my Summer of Stash. An additional goal is that I'd like to knit or crochet through 10,000 yards and spin 2 pounds. As always, there are a handful of exceptions:

  1. Any yarn or fiber that has already been paid for isn't going to be sent back. This includes fiber clubs and a handful of orders I'm waiting on. Also if I happen to win any giveaways I don't have to turn it down. This is unlikely to happen but you never know.
  2. I will continue to be in the Hello Yarn fiber club and I'd like to join the Nest club when it opens sometime this summer. But no more fiber purchases beyond these 2.
  3. If I come up with a design idea that I'm ready to work on RIGHT NOW and I don't have appropriate yarn in my stash, I can purchase some. I'm going to try really hard to avoid this though.

I think the Summer of Stash will be a fun and achievable challenge. The Finger Lakes Fiber Festival is in September so it will make a nice reward. I'm looking forward to actually using some of these beautiful yarns and fibers in the coming months.

ETA: Ok, I just remembered that my birthday is in July. That will definitely be a very challenging time. But I will try to stick to it anyway. We'll see.

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