Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ready for Chart B ~

Now that I have repeated Chart A 7 times, I am ready for Chart B of the Celaeno Shawl. I love this yarn (sad that Panda Wool is discontinued) and I love these Signature Needles (that I am babysitting for a friend while she is on vacation - she's the "visitor" on my blog's side bar from Paris!!).Such a fun knitting project, and here we are on the sunny back deck, enjoying some rare summer weather in June!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BFL and Tussah ~

The winner faced leicester and tussah silk blend. These were one ounce samples from Serial Knitters, my favorite yarn shop. The samples are such a great idea for a new spinner, as it helps me practice on many different fibers without buying an entire four ounce rope.Although, some are so beautiful that I buy all the samples....for example, I bought all 3 of these......and here is the initial spinning. The purple and lime green are amazing, the purple is so deep and saturated, I love these colors! This fiber is a bit messy with the silk fibers, yet still very soft to spin. I had to adjust my drafting as it is a bit different than the superfine merino, but all is good practice for me! I can't wait to get back to this spinning!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Knitting as Art ~

I was taking my babysitting charge out for some air and a change of scenery. The occasion was the beginning of Cross Country practice, so I get one hour of knitting time while I wait for practice to end. (Hurrah for Cross Country practice!!!)As I sat and knit, I noticed someone in the seat across the cafe sewing some big BIG piece of knitting, and I realized that she was part of the group that knit and created the wonderful Socks (below) in our town.She was working on a grand scale project in Seattle, and it is so amazing! click here and here to see the photos of the Seattle display!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Superfine Done ~

I have finished spinning and plying all the one ounce sample of superfine merino. I would definitely spin with this again, as it was fun to spin, not messy and the colors are lovely.Here are the two spindles full of the 2 ply.Here is the lovely 2 ply all washed and ready to knit. Isn't it lovely?!!! Hurrah!!!!! What should I spin next?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dear Secret Pal ~

Tuesday: I just opened this very sweet little bag that was on my desk this morning….
My phone was ringing when I walked in this morning, so the bag went off my desk as my day raced into action…. And I just came back from my 4th (or 5th?) meeting, and I saw it sitting sweetly on the floor…. So I picked it up, thinking how light it was… must be a gift card? Or a sweet poem…then noticed the bag, “Renaissance Yarns” and my heart started beating a little faster…as a FIBER gift card is really something to get a bit jazzed about……then I opened the bag and was blinded by sequins and beads and fuzzy soft mohair…and SILK…..OMG……I think I stopped breathing………..I was afraid to reach into the bag, as I was sure, SURE it was a mirage!!!!! Who in the world would give their secret pal the most luscious combination of mohair, beads, sequins and SILK???? In the softest colors that would cause the most relaxing experience for the lucky recipient…… who in the world???? How lucky am I to have the greatest Secret Pal of all times? (Extremely Lucky!!!) One with knitting savvy and amazing taste in yarn, and perfect color sense for me….How did I get so lucky??!!!
P.S. Once I started breathing again, I noticed the cute pattern for a scarf! Ooooh la la! I think I will be casting on tonight (after my night meeting!!!) Hurrah for you!! You are the Best Best Best Secret Pal, EVER!!!!!!!! Can I have you next year, and the next year??Dear Secret Pal,
I wanted you to know that since Tuesday, I have been carrying this amazing yarn home and then back again each day, just in case it might vaporize and truly be a dream…. As I look to my left, I can see the silky sparkles peeking out of the bag… I took a picture of it with my phone, and sent it to my knitting friends – and they are wondering how could I be so lucky to have such an extraordinary secret pal (I don’t know the answer to that, but I am so happy about how lucky I am). Today two of us were, again, marveling at how lovely this yarn is…. My co-worker said I could just wrap the skein around my neck to have a ready made necklace that I could view all the time…. I want you to know how much your gift is appreciated, and all the joy it has already brought me before I’ve even cast on one stitch!!!! Perhaps, if I can bear to wind it, I will cast on a project this weekend….. Again, so many many thank you’s to you – you are so fabulous!!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Plying Success ~

Oddly enough, I thought of my plying success when I was into my big superfine merino tangle while plying this weekend. My plying bits were still hanging after being washed a month ago, so here they are....can you see any improvement in my spinning and plying?Here is the first lovely green fiber of which I finished spinning and plying 4 ounces, my blue faced leicester, given to me my JitteryKnitter (aka The Enabler). This was a dream to spin, and I learned a lot and improved a lot during this spinning and plying.Here is the 100% tussah silk, given to me for Christmas by sweet Marion. The reds and pinks are so saturated in this fiber ~ just amazing and lovely! Silk was fun to spin, and oh-so-soft running through my fingers. I'm exciting to spin the rest of this amazing fiber.Here is the 50% merino 50% tencel blend which I found as a sample from Serial Knitters, my favorite yarn shop. It is more lavender than this picture shows. I loved spinning it and next time I was at their shop I bought the remaining two samples of this blend! I can see some improvement in my spinning and plying!!! Plus I am enjoying this, too!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Superfine Saved ~

I made it through untangling my superfine merino. It took a long time, but the results are so beautiful! Some of the colors barber pole against each other, and other colors line up to be one color.I was so excited at this ply that I've taken a picture of it wet!!!It is still lovely wet! I'm wondering what I can knit out of 83 yards of handspun! I'll have to check Ravelry for those great little patterns, especially for handspun!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Last day of school ~

Today was the last day of school in our district. Tag on 3 extra days for "snow days" so our kids seem like the only ones in the world still in school. As soon as they finished their half day, they raced off to camp for a long weekend.I found this note waiting for me when I arrived home from work...How wonderful is this??? (very wonderful, indeed - I am counting my blessings) Since I don't have to pack lunches, do laundry or other "mom duties" I think I shall knit....
P.S. please don't tell them how quiet the house is, or that I miss that delightful noise and chaos they bring to my life :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Superfine mess ~

After spinning a full spindle of superfine merino, it was time to ply. I am almost done with my lovely one ounce sample, and am excited to see how the ply works, and then how it looks after washing.Well, after my Andean bracelet trick to start plying, the trick was on me. Somehow there was a very big mess of single ply wrapping itself around itself in one big mess of tension. Heavy sigh, as I really didn't want to untangle it, as I just wanted to ply it!!!! But no, I had to do "yarn yoga" by myself and try to work out all the kinks and twists...all the while knowing how lovely it would turn out if I could just keep in in one piece!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Knit in Public again ~

There seemed to be some confusion on which weekend was truly Worldwide Knit in Public weekend. Some websites said the second weekend in June, others said the third weekend. Our favorite yarn shop, Serial Knitters, said that this past weekend was the authentic date for knitting in public, so I thought I could take my babysitting charge out in public to play and get a change in scenery.So I took the Signatures and shawl out to my local coffee shop and enjoyed a delightful visit with Jitteryknitter. We both did a little knitting and a lot of talking. We were the last ones in the shop, and I think we would have stayed longer if their hours allowed. I think every weekend should be Knit in Public!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Discontinued, really?

Do you ever find the most perfect yarn, after looking high and low, north and south...and knit several projects with happy success...only to find it is now discontinued? Some of my favorite favorite yarns are made by Natural Dye Studios, and I found out they are now discontinued.I was able to find two skeins for U.S. sale on Ravelry, but the others for sale are only in Europe.I will really miss this yarn! The colors are perfectly lovely and saturated, the yarn is soft and springy, and I'm oh-so-sad that it is not being made anymore!I am posting these thoughts about UK yarn in honor of Jitteryknitter who is now on her way there!!! Enjoy!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Signature babysitting ~

Now that the weekend is here, I can spend more quality time babysitting. I was thinking of going to the park, maybe getting some great read-aloud books or perhaps a bike ride, as those are always great ideas for solid, successful babysitting.Since its raining, the only activity I can think of to entertain these Signatures is knitting.So we're spending the day together, cozy and knitting. Very successful and solid quality time. Enjoyed by the needles, and by me.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Spinning Superfine ~

I am almost to the end of spinning the sample ounce of this colorful superfine merino. I have been enjoying this sample, and loved how it plys as well. I am excited to ply the rest of it, as I hope to ply this single this weekend, and then spin the last of it too.I am only squeaking time out to spin for a few hours on Sunday or Monday...I know I need to spin more often to improve on my drafting technique. Any ideas on how to find more spinning time? And more knitting time? Hmmmmmmm, more fiber time would be so lovely!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Serious babysitting ~

I must admit that I am taking my babysitting task with my friend's Signature Needles very seriously. I keep them with me at all times, just in case they need some attention or support, or even a little adoration thrown in. I've been very attentive to their every need and they are happiest when I am knitting with them. Last night I realized that they have trouble going to bed at night, like so much of my babysitting in the past, so I had to knit with them in the rocking chair... this seemed to lull them into a calm and comfortable resting place, and I was able to gently put them down and sneak quietly into bed.Already into the third Chart A for the shawl - the pattern calls for seven repeats of Chart A. This picture is the finish of the second Chart A, as I didn't want to take a picture of the third, as I would have never calmed down those needles enough to get to bed!!! They have so much energy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Babysitting ~

My wonderful friend has a trip coming up, she and her family are going to Europe. While they are away, they have house sitters to care for their dog and their garden, however there are some things that need more care and attention....Knowing the sensitive nature of Signature Needles, I offered to babysit her size 8s, as I knew they could not travel through Europe safely. I knew they would be lonely at her house, with no knitter giving them attention and adoration for weeks.....Within an hour of being home with them, I cast on a Romi Hill shawl called Celaeno, using Panda Wool. I am taking my babysitting very seriously. I need to finish this shawl by the time they return from Europe!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Knit in Public ~

I hope you are knitting in public this weekend. This is the weekend that all knitters are supposed to show the mainstream nature of our knitting by showing the world how many of us exist. World Wide Knit in Public weekend.....So far today, I have knit in two coffee shops, plus in our library. The kids section of the library is an especially fun place to knit, as I get curious looks each time I'm knitting here, and often one of the kids, or a parent asks about my knitting. Perhaps one of those kids will ask to get a Learn to Knit book out of the library! Today I was asked by a parent what I was knitting, and she even asked to see the picture on the pattern so she could visualize the shawl....Very fun way to knit with friends!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Malabrigo socks ~

I ended up hanging out at college orientation with oldest daughter, and was lucky to have brought my knitting. I brought the Malabrigo Silky Merino socks that I had not worked on in awhile, and I am in love with these colors.The day was one of our first sunny days in many weeks, so it was a beautiful and luxurious way to spend the morning, knitting in the sunshine... almost decadent!!! Check out these colors in the sunshine!!!! I knit almost 2 inches on them, as they are on size 2 needles! Hurrah!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tosh Knitting ~

Back on size 7 needles and Tosh yarn, I was knitting on my shawl again. I am enjoying the Tosh (who wouldn't?) in the twist of the plys and the color changes. Plus, size 7 needles seem to make a lot of progress in a short amount of time.... (not the same as size 1 needles, eh?)The shawl is looking good, and I'm not sure if the pattern will become more visible when blocked, but it will still be lovely, with or without the pattern!

Monday, June 6, 2011

District Champs ~

After lots and lots and lots and lots of knitting on size 1 needles, I was able to knit past the toe increases on my Track Star socks. They look beautiful, and I love this yarn! I love the colors and I love the twist of the ply. Very satisfying to knit with, even on size 1 needles. Did I mention that I had forgotten how small one's stitches are with size 1 needles? I finished the toe increases the night before the District Track Meet. Here are two of our track stars, my youngest and her friend. Their team came in first of six schools, Hurrah!!!!!Very exciting track season! Looking forward to cross country next fall!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Champion cast on ~

Since my youngest track star picked out great yarn for her socks at her last track meet, I thought I should really get knitting so I could have a good amount completed before their District Track Meet.Using size 1 addi lace needles (*gasp* size 1?) I cast on while enjoying my coffee spot. I'm going to need a lot of coffee to get these completed on size 1 needles! My goal is to have all the toe increases done by the District Meet!