Category Archives: Knitting

Work In Progress (WIPs) , Finished Objects (FOs), Rip It Rip It (Frogged)

Spinning Novice Thinking Process

So I told you I joined the Wool n’ Spinning Patreon sponsorship last month. 

I am gaining so much in knowledge through the workshop and conversation among the other supporters. I have found another tribe. For research resources, my normal resource the local library has only one very old book on spinning and weaving. Of course, there are plenty of YouTube videos of varying quality. Craftsy classes are definitely more thorough with great visuals. magazines. And my great enabler, Laura, has a full library for this deep dive of spinning books, and Ply magazines. 

I am in full on learning mode. 

Borrowed spinning books & magazines

The books by Judith McKenzie McCuin, Maggie Casey & others were wonderful background information on fleeces, fiber perpetration, and spinning techniques. Will have to refer to them again when I start playing with different sheep breeds.  Right now, I’m an still digging into the Color in Spinning book by Deb Menz and all the Ply magazines. 

The Craftsy classes I’ve been through are Know Your Wool by Deborah Robson and Spindling by Dru Pettibone. I am just now going through Ply To Knit by Jillian Merono. And must catch up on Yarn Substitution Made Easy by Kellie Nuss. 

The Wool n’ Spinning conversation has been wonderful and very interesting. At one point, we were discussing the ‘stages’ in our knitting journey. 

I assume spinning will follow similar stages as knitting. 

Stage 1: Try Everything

  • The first two projects were just to get use to the wheel and gain some control over my consistency. Really, they were just for the fun of spinning. I managed without difficulty to spin fine and medium singles. Still more to learn and develop that muscle memory. 

Stage 2: Souvenir Buying

  • At SSK this last summer, I went crazy and bought all the soft fibers, BFL, Polwarth and Polwarth-silk. Yep, just because they were soft or a bit shiny. I didn’t have a project in mind. Definitely souvenir buying. 

    Gale’s Arts and Ross Farms fibers from SSK market

  • And in Dallas, I bought some cotton. 
  • Understand, I bought all of these thinking I’d be spinning on a spindle…meaning smaller projects. I’m sure you noticed no colors. Definitely color dyeing play time. 

Stage 3: Reality & The Realistic 

  • Discovered an instant gratification project. Practiced 3 ply by plying 2 strands unraveling men’s merino thrift shop sweater sleeves with a Shoppel Wolle lace ball both from deep stash. (FYI, each men’s sleeve was about 800 meters.) Win Win with this. Using deep yarn stash, practice managing three strands and have new yarn I like a lot. 

    800 m merino 3 ply light fingering weight finished

  • 800 m merino 3 ply light fingering weight waiting for its bath

  • Breed studies is a topic in Wool n’ Spinning. I will watch & learn from the sidelines. 

The list below is still developing as there is so much still to learn. And some project supplies to get. 

Cardigan:

  • Need 8 more bobbins (600 yds each)
  • Fingering to Sport weight
  • 1800-2400 yards
  • Fiber: ? 24-28 oz
  • Deep Stash: Ply cobweb yarns
  • Woolen spun Singles at low twist:?
  • Plys:3 at balanced twist or 2 ply at high twist
  • Color: goes with everything 

Socks: 

  • Fingering
  • At least 350 yards
  • Fibers: 4 oz Cheviot or Suffolk
  • Singles at medium twist
  • 3-4 ply with a medium to high twist
  • Color: experimental 

Shawls

  • Fingering or sport weight
  • 600-800 yards
  • Fiber stash: 8 oz, Polwarth & Polwarth/silk
  • Deep Stash: Ply cobweb & lace weight yarns
  • Singles at medium-high twist
  • 2-3 ply with a low- medium twist
  • Color: gradients, semi-solids

Hats & cowl:

  • worsted to Aran weight
  • At least 400 yards
  • Fibers: 8-12 oz, soft against the neck
  • Fiber stash: silk hankies, Hedgehog fibers BFL
  • Singles at medium to low twist
  • 3 ply with medium twist 
  • Color: wild & crazy art yarns
Advertisements

October Crafty List

Creating the list last month seemed to help me check off a lot of languishing projects. That or being at home, instead of on a roadtrip makes a difference.  

Either way, I like setting this up as a regular thing. A monthly list makes sense for now. 

October Crafty List:

Spinning:

Knitting:

  • ✔️ Doing: Start the On the Spice Market shawl by Melanie Berg. Using Leading Men Fiber Arts Soliliquy gradient in Midnight Rendezvous and Black Trillium in Black Jewel. Participate in Melanie’s gradient KAL 

    On The Spice Market shawl progress

  • Select yarn for Ketterdam shawl by Laura Linneman Favorite candidate: Leading Men Fiber Arts Soliliquy (interesting that Laura is currently doing the same.)
  • Swatch cardigan  
  • ✔️ Done: Finish Sister’s Christmas socks 

    Faux Wave sock pattern by Ann Budd,Regia yarn

  • Finish SSK socks, use Susan B Anderson’s SOS pattern 

Hand sewing:

I really like is switching between hand stitching and knitting when my hands get tired off one repetitive activity. Good thing, since I bought so much fabric already. 

If you are on Instagram there’s a tag #slowfashionoctober you might find interesting. 

 

  • ✔️ Done Get supplies for stenciling 
  • ✔️ Done: Swatch stencil paint colors for teal A-line dress or tunic (procrastinating…scared?!?)
  • ✔️ Done: Recut Maggie stencil 
  • ✔️ Done Cut fabric for teal tunic
  • ✔️ Done: Stencil teal tunic pieces
  • Hand stitch tunic pieces

Slanted Stitches Etsy shop:

  • ✔️ Done: Problem solve cable snaps
  • ✔️ Done: Finish Romi’s fortune cookie bag
  • ✔️Done: Eloise’s DPN holder
  • Fortune cookie bag – blue
  • ✔️Starting Purple take-out bags
  • Turquoise Japanese knot bags
  • Forest take-out bags

Gardening:

  • ❌ Fail. Botanical garden plant sale did not include veggies. 
  • ✔️ Done: Got veggies plants at local garden center
  • ✔️Done: Transition summer annuals to fall-winter plants. 
  • ✔️ Done: installed soaker hose to the dry sunnier yard. 
  • ✔️ Done:Start more veggies seedlings in the ground. Skip the trays. 

General Decluttering: not even thinking about these

  • Studio (straighten fabric, thread, patterns) SO NEEDED!
  • Kitchen (counter tops & pantry)

Wishing These Magically Get Done:

  • Marbling more fabric for Japanese bento bags. (make wire holders & order Orvis soap) 
  • ✔️done. Find label solution (source equipment/tools) 

    Prototype labels for shop bags

    Pyrographic leather labels for custom bags

  • Start grey fitted tank and skirt, and navy a-line dress.
  • Create practice Alabama Chanin jacket from Craftsy class. (Grey woven linen) Rethinking this whole project. 
  • Triptych painting in hall way (start sketches)
  • Paint dining room walls & ceiling
  • Every month declutter and organize one area. 

 

Road Trip: Lost Sock & Found

Update: Happily Ever After (everything was found, safe & sound)

I’m heartbroken. 

I was on time with all my knitting plans. No urgent life crisis deadlines. Road trips are great for keeping on pace and a little ahead. 

Lost Sock: 

Road trips are disasters if you loss a finished sock. I have no clue where it could be. The last hotel we stayed at said they didn’t find it.  By the way, magical thinking doesn’t work.  I keep looking in the project bag it was in. 

Time to improvise. 

Can I squeeze a third sock out of the rest of the yarn? Maybe, if I use a different yarn for the heel and toe. Fortunately this is Susan B.Anderson’s SOS afterthought heel pattern. Half way through the second sock. Before finishing the heel and toe, I’ll weigh it. Fingers cross. 

Scratch all that. Found the lost sock in the car. Phew!

And finished the second sock on the drive home. 

Finished Sister’s socks


On The Spice Market shawl:

The yarn problem however is a real problem. It looked so nice grouped together.  You know that nagging feeling lurking in the dark recesses of your mind, that you totally ignore? I should have paid attention to it. I thought pairing Black Trillium with Leading Men Fiber Arts was a good match. 

  • Should have read the pattern
  • Should have swatched. 

I did neither before the trip. Knitting through the Prarie landscape. But I have stopped working on it. I listened to that nagging voice. 

 I have the wrong main yarn. It needs to have more color and/or tonal contrast from all of the gradients. And it needs to be closer in weight to the gradient. AND the pattern calls for 6 contrasting colors. My gradient only has 5. 

Do I have an alternative main color at home? Yes & no. Yes, same weight. No, undyed. Is it worth the risk to dye it myself? Nope. Not when I want to finish this whole thing in 3 weeks. 

Just before frogging On The Spice Market shawl

Scratch all that! I did frog what was started. And re-started substituting the main color as the first gradient. I’m ignoring the different weights and low contrast. 

Progressing ahead On The Spice Market shawl

Fading full rainbow

Murray Baker Bridge on the Illinois River

Saw Saint John Paul II in mosaic


But it does get worse. 

I left my wallet at the last hotel. Housekeeping found it. The hotel is sending it.  I wonder if it will be empty. Not empty. Nothing removed. Yeah! Good job, Marriott Pere Marquette

Crafting List Update

Writing a huge list is first overwhelming then somehow switches to motivational. Maybe because I like ✔️s. 

I like to tackle the easy, almost-done things first. Mainly to quickly shorten the list. But also, like TheKnitGirllls annual Stashdash, a way to clean out older projects to make room for the newest distraction. 
Another thing that’s helped tackling a lot of these in 15-30 minute slots a day. I wish all projects could be dealt with this way. Unfortunately the last stuff on the list are bigger week long projects. (Which is why they are at the end of the list)

✔️ Deleted over 75 fiber vendors from my Instagram & Feedly accounts.  Overexposure to too many pretties lead to too much impulse buying. 

Confession: Part of the social media deletion is that the Miss Babs order is the second one in a week. I ordered Habu linen. Unfortunately I didn’t read it correctly. It’s linen paper. I tested a tiny bit. Yikes. It breaks like tissue paper. Sigh. Should have looked on Ravelry for reviews. And nearly matches in color other yarns recently purchased. (Mind is lagging purchase wish list)

Impulse purchase mistake number one. 


Spinning:

  • ✔️ Done. Finish plying the blue bat. 
  • ✔️ Done. Ply the Rose Quartz roving. 
  • Start spinning a 3 ply (select which fibers). Or read/research more about spinning techniques. 
  • Thinking about subscribing to a 3 month club. 

Knitting:

  • Start the At the Spice Market shawl by Melanie Berg. Using Leading Men Fiber Arts Soliliquy gradient in Midnight Rendezvous and Black Trillium. Participate in Melanie’s gradient KAL
  •  Select yarn for Ketterdam shawl Favorite candidate: Leading Men Fiber Arts Soliliquy (interesting that Laura is currently doing the same.)
  • Swatch cardigan 
  • ✔️ Done. Finish Leslee’s socks 
  • Started Sister’s Christmas socks
  • Started SSK socks, use Susan B Anderson’s SOS pattern

Hand sewing:

  • Started business card pocket for my handbag
  • ✔️ DONE. Finish right pocket detail on Alabama Chanin A-line tunic 
  • ✔️ DONE. Finish felling seams on Alabama Chanin fitted dress. 
  • ✔️ Done. Finish neckline & arm holes for Alabama Chanin fitted dress
  • ✔️ DONE. Finish cutting Alabama Chanin New Leaf stencils
  • ✔️ Done. Finish Alabama Chanin Paisley stencil
  • Swatch stencil paint colors for teal A-line dress or tunic, grey fitted tank and skirt, and navy a-line dress. (Oops, get supplies)
  • Create practice Alabama Chanin jacket from Craftsy class. (Grey woven linen) Rethinking this whole project. 

Slanted Stitches Etsy shop:

  • This week: Romi’s fortune cookie bag
  • This week: Turquoise take-out bags
  • Eloise’s DPN holder
  • Turquoise Japanese knot bags
  • Forest take-out bags
  • Marbling fabric for Japanese bento bags. (make wire holders & order Orvis soap)
  • Screen print fabric for labels and bag fabric. (source equipment/tools) (create stencil designs)

Home:

  • Triptych painting in hall way (start sketches)
  • Paint dining room walls & ceiling
  • Summed up: Declutter and organize. 

 

Giant Crafty To Do List

Yeah…I wrote this up on paper. 

Writing a huge list is first overwhelming then somehow switches to motivational. Maybe because I like ✔️s. 

 I’ll tackle the easy, almost-done things first. Mainly to quickly shorten the list. But also, like TheKnitGirllls annual Stashdash, a way to clean out older projects to make room for the newest distraction. 

Another thing is tackling a lot of these in 15-30 minute slots a day. Unfortunately the last stuff on the list are bigger week long projects. 

Then on a break, I saw an Instagram posted sale at Miss Babs for BFL fingering weight yarn undyed. Took no time to think about it, whipped out the credit card very fast. But I’m not going to add one more thing to my big to-do list. It’s instead going directly into the craft closet for a while. Sigh. I should delete my yarn feed for a while. (Yep, Done…✔️ Deleted over 75 fiber vendors from my Instagram & Feedly accounts. )

Spinning:

  • Finish plying the blue bat. 

    Half done. Combined indie fibers

  • Ply the Rose Quartz roving. 

    Singles of Palanca Farms about to be plyed

  • Start spinning a 3 ply (select which fibers).

Knitting:

  • Select yarn for Ketterdam shawl 

    Favorite candidate: Leading Men Fiber Arts Soliliquy

  • Finish Leslee’s socks

    Leslee’s socks

  • Start Sister’s Christmas socks, use a Sock Architecture pattern
  • Start SSK socks, use Susan B Anderson’s SOS pattern

    Next sock projects

Hand sewing:

  • Add business card pocket for my handbag
  • ✔️ DONE. Finish right pocket detail on Alabama Chanin A-line tunic 
  • ✔️ DONE. Finish felling seams on Alabama Chanin fitted dress. 
  • neckline & arm holes for Alabama Chanin fitted dress
  • ✔️ DONE. Finish cutting Alabama Chanin New Leaf stencils
  • Start Alabama Chanin Paisley stencil
  • Swatch stencil paint colors for teal, grey, navy knits

Slanted Stitches:

  • Romi’s fortune cookie bag
  • Eloise’s DPN holder
  • Turquoise take-out bags
  • Turquoise Japanese knot bags
  • Forest take-out bags

Experiments:

  • Marbling fabric
  • Screen print fabric

House:

  • Triptych painting in hall way

    At least they are on the wall.

I’m not going to let you see how long the house to do list is. Sigh. 

I’m going to go checkout Instagram for a while…

And did it again. Published before I was finished thinking/writing/photos about this. Oh well. 

 

What Was I Thinking?!?

I made two big mistakes. One is too much. The other not enough. 

Too Much

Apparently experience doesn’t create mental shift in my buying habits. 

Experience: I don’t like wearing lace weight or really lacy shawls, especially ones with silk. 

Buying habit: I continue to buy lace weight yarn WITH silk. 

Very pretty Lazy Cat lace weight yarn from DFW Yarn Crawl


What was I thinking?!?

Oh yeah, obligatory purchasing to support a small LYS & indie dyer, i.e. guilt buying. 

Apparently, the cognitive dissonance continue with my assumption that this yarn would work perfectly with the new pattern, Ketterdam, by Laura Linneman. 

  • Color: variegated OK
  • Yardage: 800 OK
  • Weight: fingering NOT OK!

I did attend Laura’s Yarn class last year. I know better that lace weight yarns (2 ply) don’t have enough structure for cables. The edging on the Ketterdam shawl has a cable detail. 

Bonus information: The linen stitch completely disappears in lace weight yarn. 

Even so, I swatched it to confirm. Yep, I’m an idiot. 

Sorry, I ripped out the swatch in disgust. Wasn’t thinking about blogging about it. 

No amount of searching Ravelry for a different pattern is going to fix my problem. I don’t really like all those spidery lacy shawls. Change that, I don’t like them in me. I think they are beautiful and love the idea of it as a milestone or accomplishment. But not to wear. Nope. Don’t like wearing them. 

Not Enough

Nope. I really really want to knit the Ketterdam shawl. This wouldn’t normally be a problem with a large fingering weight yarn stash.  There’s some really pretty indie dyed purple, or that Kollage black & white, or plenty of Knitpicks. Except right now, they are all out of reach. I am 200 miles away from my stash with now only ONE knitting project to work on.  

Only one knitting project


Note to self:

  • Must spin fingering 3-4 ply
  • Must NOT spin lacy 2 ply 

But of course, that’s exactly what I’m starting to ply.

(Apparently I hit the wrong button and published this prematurely. Oh well….)

Roadtrip: in Nashville to weed Mom’s garden, take her shopping and deliver a custom bag. 

Custom crossbody bag

Road Trip: Fort Wayne (missed it)

  • Fiber events? No
  • Yarn shop? Yes!!!! Simply Socks OMG!  I get to see all the gorgeous yarns she posts on Instagram!!!   Well, no. The shop is only open to the public ONE DAY a week. Bummer, missed that one on my fiber bucket list (but hubby just told me he has to make another trip to the area).
  • Other Yarn shops? Yes!!! One and it’s walking distance AND has Shibui yarns. So heading to Knitting Off Broadway.  Had a great time there. Suffered decision fatigue. I had only 3 skeins of Shibui Linen and want 2-3 more skeins for a tunic. Matching color is always a problem. So, I was trying other ideas. Settling on Aurora by Shellie Anderson.

    Aurora by Shellie Anderson

      Then of course, regretted it late in the night. (I don’t really need a little woolie warn vest.) Had a chance to get the right yarns the next day. Took a chance on the Shibui Linen and Twig. They are close enough. 
  • Some Hedgehog Fibres

    Knitting Off Broadway in Ft. Wayne, IN

  • Art museums? Yes. Walking distance? Sort of.  Worth the distance & rain? No. Next time. 

The drive home was pleasant. We stopped in Jeffersonville, IN, just across the river from Louisville, KY. Cute little town. Lots of upgrades made to the waterfront area. Lots of effort to keep the historic areas intact. 

Panorama of Louisville on Ohio river

Finishing the new Downtown Crossing bridge

Schimpffs Confectionary


Cutest candy shop, Schimpffs Confectionary, with all the vintage maker details.