Tag Archives: knitting

SSK KAL Plans

Silly me. I started & finished a KAL project a day too early. Duh!!!! The KAL started January 15th and will run until July. I knitted a hat on the 14th. I’ll consider it practice. And it will still go to charity. 

Boun’s hat pattern by Ann Budd


What I did right. I did try to finished as many old projects as possible. Otherwise, they won’t be touched until after July. 

Basic afterthought heel, gifted unknown sock yarn


I didn’t finish any handspun. No regrets. I just wasn’t ready. Deadlines, even arbitrary ones, are enough to push a decision. 

It’s only January but I already feel a bit too rushed and already behind. Time for some strategy and deep breathing. 

Silly. It’s all self imposed pressure. Not a lot at stake, except missed opportunities for door prizes. Even so, it’s great motivation to use up stash. 

Handspun (focus on vendor fibers)
Blue-purple-turquoise lace weight 700 yards

✔✔ Done. Red DK weight 750 yards for Robin shawl by Leethal Knits. Already on the second swish. 

Robin shawl by Leethal Knits in handspun

❌2 Guys BFL in Royal (spinning now) fingers cross it will be 350-400 yards. 

❌Gale’s Arts BFL in Iris (spinning soon) Still in a quandary about how to spin this one. 

Gale’s Arts BFL in natural

Gale’s Arts Polwarth in natural

Gale’s Arts Polwarth/silk in natural

Vendor Yarns:

2 Guys standard fingering in Salt on the Rim

✔Gale’s Arts Extreme sock blank in Crossing Paths by Ann Budd. Yuk. switched to a simple plain pattern. 

Wrong pattern for this yarn

✔Gale’s Arts sock yarn that I hand dyed in Gale’s workshop, in Crossing Paths by Ann Budd. Yeah! Loving this. 

Right pattern for this yarn

Gale’s Arts gradients

Gale’s Arts sock yarn in natural

Gynx Yarns Strong sock in Confetti & champagne

Knitty and Color hardcore sock in 1,000 of Oceans

Knitty and Color hardcore sock in Blueberries

Marigoldjen sock yarn in Street Graffiti

Miss Babs Yet lace in Franklin

Miss Babs Yowza in Baids Whale

Miss Babs BFL fingering in natural

Stranded Dyeworks Oasis in Magpie

Charity Hats:

25 weeks until the retreat means I should easily get 25-30 hats finished. Both Ann Budd and Lee Meredith have lots of hat designs to knit. 

Boun’s hat by Ann Budd is my current favorite hat. I could easily knit several a week.  


Patterns:

This could change on a whim. 

Right now there are lots of hats and socks in my Ravelry Queue from the two designers. Better get a pair of socks on the needles.

But first up is Robin shawl by Lee Meredith. I’ve wanted to knit this one for several years. I’m taking a chance using my first real handspun, the purple-navy-turquoise with Miss Babs lace in Franklin and the stripes in Huckleberry Yarn lace. 

And in 24 hours, I’ve already changed my mind. After winding the purple-navy-turquoise into center pull balls, I decided it’s too light, thin and not enough yardage. 

Instead, Robin will be a longer term project. I’m spinning the 2 Guys BFL in Royal now.

Guys Yarn, BFL Royals top & single in bobbin

2 Guys Yarn, BFL Royals 3 ply

That will be the main color. Gale’s Arts BFL in Iris will be the two contrast colors. I’ll comb the green and gray together for the second contrast color. Fingers crossed for enough yardage. 

Nope. 

Scratched the whole idea. Not enough yardage (264) in the 2 Guys Royal. I might try to find another fiber to handspin for a new main color. Right now, I am too scared to tackle the Gales Arts Iris. 

Gale’s Arts BFL Iris, separating the green & gray.

In the meantime, I am knitting Robin with the red handspun. Contrast color was a challenge. And also decided to modify the pattern. Switching the contrast and main colors in section 2. 

Left 1st swatch, right 2nd swatch

December Crafty To Do List Or Not

Spinning:
After discovering I probably over-twisted all previous handspun…..(my spinning enabler, Laura gave me some tips and reassurence)

  • ❌SWATCH: red 3 ply problem yarn (hoping to knit another Ketterdam shawl)
  • ✔SWATCH: black 4 ply problem yarn. I did untwisted this one a bit before it was set. (Hoping to knit a mosaic pattern that looks like Japanese ikat) 

    Hot mess of plied yarn before setting the twist

  • ❌Continue developing a default spin (falling behind now): Wool n’ Spinning Patreon workshop and the December homework on ratios (no clue yet)
  • ❌Wool n’ Spinning Patreon Fibre Club project
  • ❌Wool n’ Spinning Color Theory project
  • ❌Go through the Craftsy class, Worsted to Woolen Yarn by Jacey Boggs
  • ✔️Sweet Georgia fiber (Black Friday sale)
  • ✔️Kimber’s shop Fiber Optic
  • ✔Then get right back on fiber/yarn diet
  • ✔️Gave the Ashford Traditional spinning wheel a spa day. 400 grit sandpaper all surfaces including the new bobbins and 2 coats of Danish oil  
  • ✔️Play with my new tool, Amish style yarn swift

    New Amish styled swift by George Sichterman

Knitting:

  • ✔️Deadline: very soon! Cardigan for friend’s new granddaughter (Harvey kimono by Louis Harding)
  • ❌Deadline: later. Baby booties, another Baby kimono and a baby poncho 
  • ✔Finish Ketterdam shawl by Laura Linneman in the 3 ply red handplied yarn. Knitting with Director’s Interpretation, Soliliquy, by Leading Men Fiber Arts instead. 

    Lovely texture on Ketterdam shawl

  • ❌Swatch cardigan (not even thinking about it)
  • ❌Finish yellow grey socks & start another pair (didn’t touch)

    1st sock almost done

  • ✔❌Hat & cowl with Problem yarn (overdyed Swish DK) Created a hat but not cowl. 

Hand sewing:
If you are on Instagram there’s a tag #slowfashion you might find interesting. 

  • ✔️ Done: 2 back panels finished of hand stitching the Magdalene stencil
  • ✔️Done: Handstitch 1 front panel

    Last bits of hand stitching on front panel

  • ❌Handstitch last front panel
  • ❌Stitch seams & facings of A line dress
  • ❌Stencil next project to start in January. (grey) (new leaf)(long fitted skirt/tank top)

Slanted Stitches Etsy shop:

  • ❌ Momentum has turned into inertia
  • ✔️Officially closing the shop

Or work on these

  • Fortune cookie bag – blue
  • Purple take-out bags
  • Turquoise Japanese knot bags
  • Forest take-out bags

Gardening:

  • ✔️Rake leaves (still haven’t fallen)
  • Finish mulching
  • ✔️care for veggies

Wishing These Magically Get Done:

  • Marbling more fabric for Japanese bento bags. (make wire holders & order Orvis soap) 
  • 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 Step 1: pick colors (Dover white & Sedate gray) New colors on top row, old colors below 
  • Declutter and organize studio, attic and garage 

    Ugly mess of a garage

Or lower expectations and go with the flow of the season and move the list to January. 

I’m starting to like the last idea. 

Chat with you next week. 

2016 #2 Knitting Bucket List

I couldn’t sleep last night. 

So while lying in bed, instead of reliving what we watched on tv, I thought about my knitting bucket list from the beginning of this year. I was tempted to get up and check the list. Instead, decided to think about what I want to accomplish for the last few months if the year.

Mentally inventoring your stash & dreaming up projects to knit actually kept me awake. For some reason, I focused on the problem yarns. 

(Just checked the old list. Everything is done or scratched. So satisfying.) 

Now on to the problem children. 

Problem Yarns:

  1. Buffalo Wool Company Sexy – It’s too precious to knit. Can’t find a worthy project. I’ve carry this skein around to fiber festivals & shops for three years.
  2. Habu linen tape – broke too fast when sampling. Do I just trash it? Zig machine stitch over it? Experiments needed. 
  3. Too many lace & cobweb weight yarns – can/should I combo ply them now that I have a spinning wheel and just read about combo plying? 
  4. Overdyed Knitpicks Swish – Originally bought for first cardigan. Should I risk overdying again? Or Make a dozen hats. Hats sounds good. 
  5. Too many gradients – Fiber Optic, Infinite Twist & Gales Arts

    Maybe I’ll focus on one or two of these problem yarns for the rest of this year. 

    Knitting Project Criteria:

    • Something I really want to wear
    • Something that works with existing summer and/or winter wardrobe
    • Knit from stash or my handspun (Patreon support is my whole yarn-fiber budget.)
    • SSK 2017 instructors list for new patterns to queue (I was one of the lucky raffle winners to bypass the lottery system. So nice since I was wait listed till the last minute a few times.)
    • Always a pair of socks on the needles
    • Always a few matching winter hats, cowls & maybe mittens. 
    • Alternating with using old/new in stash

    What I have worn a lot in the last year:

    • Viajante (big warm hug)
    • Bermuda (color & size)
    • Artisian (great neutrals & big warm hug)
    • Romi cowl (color & easy wear)
    • Little Arrows cowl (easiest for summer)

    Now to meld the lists and develop a plan. 

    • Problem 1: Buffalo Wool Company. I was thinking the yarn I just finished spinning would be a good companion to the bison. But the bison would recede into the backdrop. Paid too much for it to be the supporting actor. I saw a friend knit Mixed No. 3 by Kristen Ford. I really like the simplicity but luxury. A light blue silk yarn that could work with the bison.  I’ll just do it in an oversized cowl/poncho. 
    • Problem 3: too much lace & cobweb yarns. I like the idea of plying a few of these into something fingering weight. Fingering is my favorite weight to knit. This will probably be an ongoing project since I have lots and lots.

      3 plying cobweb weight yarns together

    • Problem 4: Overdyed Swish. Most definitely one hat, cowl, & mitten set for me. The rest will be charity hats for SSK2017 KAL.
    • Problem 5: too many gradients. Currently enjoying my On The Spice Market shawl by Melanie Berg. Very subtle colors. This one is going to be very wearable. I might use the Fiber Optics gradient in the same pattern or Solaris also by Melanie Berg. 

    This feels like a good plan that will carry me through the next six months. This list only leaves the Habu linen tape. I’m good. 

    Other things I want to knit right now:

    • Ketterdam by Laura Linneman in Leading Men Fiber Arts Soliliquy Director’s Choice. Or maybe in that 3 ply I just finished. This one is next in line. 
    • Meridian cardigan by Shellie Anderson in fibra natura flax
    • Maude tunic by Julie Weisenberger in linen
    • Either the Boo Knits or Joji Locatelli shawl from the Sight Is For Life book. Book proceeds went to a charity. Handspun experiments?
    • My best friend from Dallas is about to have her second grandchild and first granddaughter. 
    • Two more baby projects for friends’ grandkids. Next in line. 

      Harvey Kimono by Louis Harding

    Time to edit my ravelry queue

    Or take a nap. 

    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

    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.