Monday, January 31, 2011

Traveling progress ~

I love knitting on my Traveling Woman shawl. My yarn has great color changes and a wonderful feel of merino and bamboo, and the pattern is not-too-hard to follow while being distracted in a coffee shop, or with friends.
I'm still taking it as my Starbucks knitting while waiting for cross country practice or youth group.

Lovely shawl, lovely pattern, and still on the 4th Chart A ~ I'm making it longer as I have 450 yards!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Next Spinning ~

You're probably wondering, "What will she be spinning once she is done with this luscious Blue Face Leicester from Kate Sitzman in these lovely greens..."

Check out this stunning bit of roving, Lorna's Laces in rainbow...found for me by Jitteryknitter! I can hardly wait to spin this! Which reminds me, I have a great story to tell you about Lorna's Laces rainbow...but I need a picture or two first...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Magic continues ~

As my single ply became too heavy on the spindle to continue, I needed to do the Andean Bracelet maneuver so I could empty the spindle. The Bracelet worked well again, thank heavens, and was plying really well with my heavier spindle.

What part of this was magic, you ask? Well, I noticed that the colors were starting to "barber pole" in the most delightful way! I use the term "barber pole" when the two yarns being plyed are not the same color - like the lovey yarn in my blog banner. This picture (above) is where I first started noticing the barber pole yarn.
This picture is a close up of the barber pole yarn. I can't wait to soak it and start to knit with it. Hey, can you see how much thinner the plys are in this yarn? I think I'm still improving! Hurrah!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Traveling Correction ~

In my excitement of our group cast on for Traveling Woman shawl, I mistakenly thought that the picture of JitteryKnitter's was really Marion's. Very wrong ~ my bad.

This one is Marion's, out of the lovely Hazelknits Seattle Guild colorway. Simply stunning!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Championship Spinning ~

Hurrah that the Green Bay Packers have made it into the Super Bowl! Our family watched this exciting game and I was able to continue spinning with my lightweight Cascade spindle and the wonderful green Blue Faced Leicester from Kate Sitzman.

A great day for spinning, and a great day for the Green Bay Packers!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chart A Traveling ~

I'm making progress on Traveling Woman, even with very little knitting this week. Finally today, while waiting for cross country practice (which I love, as it guarantees me a little time for knitting) I was able to finish Chart A.

Now I need to knit Chart A again, and then on to Chart B. This yarn is really lovely, and I'm having fun with the knitting. So far, it is not a "don't talk to me or distract me in any way" sort of knitting like the Brandywine Shawl!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Magic Spinning ~

The combination of amazing roving and lighter spindle has created a wonderful adventure in spinning for me! The light weight spindle and delightful roving has allowed me to pass by the "park & draft" many times and just draft and spin, draft and spin.... I can't explain how exciting that is for a new spinner!

Thanks to the football playoffs, I was able to spend most of Saturday with my new spindle and delightful roving, and made great progress getting past the "park & draft" and the results are stunning to me!

I'm already looking forward to using the Andean Bracelet to ply these lovely greens into gorgeous yarn!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A new spin ~

Now that I have my original yellow merino off my "sock summit" drop spindle, it is time for me to try out my very new "Cascade Mt. Si" drop spindle that I just bought at the spinning class. I had a gift certificate from my wonderful sister, and decided to use it for this lighter weight spindle.

After much thought, I decided to use the beautiful roving that I received for my birthday from Jitteryknitter. Turns out, this lovely roving is hand dyed by a local crafter, Kate Sitzman, and she's very talented and a delightful person! (Check out her website!) It seemed that the combination of lovely drop spindle and amazingly beautiful roving could only make magic occur.....right?

So, here I go....a new spindle, new roving....time for more improvement and adventure!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Better spinning ~

As I finished my Andean Bracelet plying, it was time to skein the 2-ply and then give it a mild bath.

As I looked at the yellow (first spinning) and the browns (second spinning) I smiled at how much more consistent the brown yarn looks in the size of the single plys.

A lot less roving is getting through to the ply, so the brown yarn is much more consistent in its thick-thin....a lot less thick!!! Hurrah! I'm improving!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Andean Bracelet too ~

Since I did so well in my spinning class, I wanted to be sure I could remember all that I learned. Here is the Andean Bracelet with my "first try" yellow merino single ply.

Still beautiful yellow blending of soft colors....

Still a lot of roving made it into those plys of mine!!! Lots of room for improvement, but still so lovely to me!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

No holes lace ~

It seems that my Traveling Woman shawl has a small problem. It has no holes. I've heard that part of beautiful lace is to have holes placed in a calming pattern. *oh stink...messed that up somehow *

So, I am casting on, again, with larger needles....

Perhaps now it will have holes, and "not stand up by itself when its done"

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Group Cast On ~

The day of my spinning class was rather remarkable, I truly can't stop thinking about it. Once my class was done (and what a great class it was) my yarn yoga buddies met me at our local yarn shop to cast on the Traveling Woman Shawl. We'd been talking about this since before New Years' so this was the day for the cast on. I was so excited about the class, and then our cast on, that I forgot to take pictures. So here are those beautiful shawls in progress:

This one's mine, out of Pagewood Farms....lovely spring greens....

This one is Jitteryknitter's, out of Tosh....Tosh...what can I say about how beautiful this yarn is!!

This one is Marion's, out of Hazelknits....Seattle Guild's colorway...ahhhh, it is so lovely...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Real Yarn, Really ~

Spinning class, still....I can't stop thinking about it... Once Sam had me work through my own Andean Bracelet for plying, I began to ply my merino/tussah roving that I'd been spinning for my class homework. To my amazement, it didn't fight and twist (nor did I shout) like my yellow merino plying episode. The two plys came off of my Andean Bracelet on my left hand to be spun on the spindle with help from my right hand. My spindle was the correct weight to do this perfectly. After the amazement came my delight, this was REAL YARN! It was soft and cushy and didn't have those kinks of tension that my first yellow merino plying gave me. Plus there was much more consistence in the single ply, not so much roving that zoomed past my fingers and into the single.

This is real yarn, really....I'm serious.... I'm improving!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Andean Bracelet ~

Remember my spinning class last weekend? Well, I can't stop thinking about it. My great teacher, Sam, taught me how to use the Andean Bracelet technique for plying. I had done my homework so well, that both my drop spindles were full of my single ply, so my first question to Sam was, "How do I get this off the spindle?" and my second question, "Where does it rest while I continue spinning?"

She taught me this amazing technique, and I was able to practice it on my merino/tussah silk, and on the white cormo roving she loaned me....wait until you see what happened next!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

No knitting tonight ~

I finally was able to watch sweetie E play basketball today! She did great, and the team won! Here she is stealing the ball and racing down the court ~ Hurray!

Here she is, shooting a 3 pointer....Hurray! (sorry for a bit of the blurry!)

If there is a good reason to not knit, watching your kids in action sports is a good reason!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spinning homework ~

I had another spinning class this week, and I was ready with my homework well on its way to being done. One of the first assignments of our great teacher is, "Knit something out of your first handspun, as it will turn out better than you could have imagined."

So I ripped out the "birthday 2010 hat" I cast on with my handspun, and cast on a scarf using the Yarn Harlot pattern (also using it with my Venezia yarn). I cast on fewer stitches as I do not have much of my first handspun! As I told the teacher, my first handspun is horribly delightful, as, "I made it myself, and yes, I'm 7 years old!"

There is still joy in saying that, even when one is over 7! I also learned how to ply using an Andean Bracelet, more on that in a future post (no pictures yet!).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thumbs up ~

After running out of yarn, plus school and work starting up again....

the Nordic mittens are finally done!

As you can see, sweetie E does like them a lot, and is giving them a double thumbs up! She does tease me that the second thumb is better knit than the first...but that's OK with me!! (P.S. I knit this hat, too ~ one of my favorites out of handspun from Sisters Oregon!)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Loopy Ewe Found~

I love Ravelry for many reasons. Now I have another reason to love Ravelry. In trying to find another skein of Loopy Ewe Sock Club yarn from an unknown year, the Jitteryknitter said I should post something on Ravelry and see what happens.

I posted this on Wednesday evening, and by Thursday over 300 Ravelers had read the post, and many had commented on the year of the sock club, and giving ideas on how to find some one that would sell from their stash. Then someone wrote that they would sell their I bought them Thursday night, and they are now in the mail to me!!! How great is that!! I apologize for this same picture, but the other two have not arrived yet!
Now that I'll have 3 skeins, I think I should make a shawl, instead of socks...what do you think?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tea and Thumbs ~

Here I am again, having some tea while waiting for my kids (there's no eggnog anymore *sniff* sniff*) and I'm working on the second thumb.
The first thumb was not done well, but I learned a lot. I did some repairing, and I think it will work out. Now I just have to finish this thumb before Spring!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mitten issues ~

The first mitten turned out great ~ with the small design feature of the thumb being a little on the long and wide side. Plus I did the duplicate stitch on the thumb as keeping the fair isle pattern going on that small thumb was making me a little crazy with the 3 double pointed needles in the way...

Once the first mitten was finished, I cast on the second mitten, as no "second mitten syndrome" for me! As I patted myself on the back, I realized that there was another issue in my mitten future....

I didn't have enough yarn to complete mitten #2....oh, dear...... I will have to go to my local yarn store tomorrow.....(how bad is that, eh?!!!)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mitten fun ~

This mitten is really looking like a Nordic mitten! The fair isle pattern with "floats" in the back are creating that double layer that makes the mitten warm but not bulky.

I love how it looks!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Loopy Ewe Sock Club Search ~

I was gifted a beautiful skein of Claudia Hand Paints with the tag saying:

Color: Loopy Ewe Sock Club
Lot: 001

I have no idea what year it is from, as the sweetie that gave it to me bought it at a stash busting sale at Sock Summit 2009. I'm looking on Ravelry to see if someone has another skein like this they would sell there is only 180 yards on my skein, not enough to make socks, or a shawl...but it is is so beautiful!
If you have a skein like this to sell me, please let me know!! :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Eggnog and mittens ~

Another chance to get an eggnog latte before the season is officially over, and this time I am knitting on these sweet mittens ~ well, knitting on "the sweet mitten" as I'm only knitting one at a time. Gosh, I hope I don't get a "second mitten syndrome"!!!

I love how they are looking, and there is still snow on the ground, so perhaps I can finish them before the cold weather is done...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Baby new year ~

I was blessed to see two new babies on New Years' Eve, and both babies were blessed to have blankets knit with love around them. Very lucky babies to have such love keeping them warm.

This is Annika, just 6 weeks old, with the lovely Mystery Blanket around her sweet little self. These blanket squares were knit by her great grandma Char, her grandma Marion, Lisa, Debi and me, with Marion doing the heavy lifting of putting them all together in a color work rainbow of love!

This is Shyla, just 6 months old, with the lovely blanket I knit her last spring. This is the first time we've seen Shyla and she is a lovely bundle of fun and wonder!
~ Knitting for babies is very rewarding and satisfying.... Happy New Year to you all, and may you have the wonder of babies and "baby knitting" in your new year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, new project ~

My sweetie E gave me a great book, Quick Nordic Knits, and some great yarn for Christmas. The yarn is for mittens and a hat, and the book includes great patterns for both.

So I cast on for mittens, on size 1 needles...and I am thinking that I'm given this needle size, these are really just socks with a thumb, right? I do hope to finish them while it is still mitten weather....
I really should be assessing my New Years' knitting resolutions, and thinking about how well I did on my knitting journey this year, but I think I'll keep knitting on these mittens while there is snow on the ground...the resolutions can wait!!!