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Minnesota, United States

10.12.14

FOs!

I finished a couple of personal projects during the past week.  The Top-Down Trapeze Pullover by Knitting Pure & Simple, aka In the Pink and the Brynja Beret by Helene Magnusson.  The HiKoo Kenzie blocked nicely for the sweater and has lovely drape.  I chose three colors of Noro Silk Garden Solo for the beret.  With the textured yarn I went down a needle size for the ribbing and then to the larger needle for the body of the hat.  There was even a bit of the main color left.  I immediately  wore it when we went out to cut the Christmas tree and then wet blocked it overnight.  It is so nice and soft and warm.
I added length and tapering to the sleeves.


Pretty soft colors for winter.


24.11.14

Warm woolies

It's sweater weather.  I am working on three sweaters.  One sample cardigan for the shop, my custom fit cardigan, and  my trapeze pullover.  I think about why I love knitting these sweaters, the patterns are well-written and the shapes are simple and classic.  The yarns for the projects are so beautiful.

In the Pink is a bit longer than the photo shows.  Working to 26.25" in length while increasing takes some time.

I call the trapeze pullover In the Pink because of the color #1029 Hebes.  HiKoo Kenzie is one of my favorite yarns.  It is a blend of 50% New Zealand merino wool, 25% nylon, 10% alpaca, 10% angora, and 5% silk noils.  The knitted fabric has a nice halo and becomes even softer after washing.

Before washing--Yeti mittens

After washing

Nice warm mittens.

A nice surprise was the Plymouth Homestead yarn for a commissioned pair of felted mittens.  It is always funny to see the size of the mittens before felting.  The process took one 16-minute high agitation/high spin cycle on the warm wash/warm rinse cycle and then another 10-minutes on the same cycle setting.  I do not close the lid so the water does not drain and the spin cycle will not engage.  I can check the project during the felting process.  The spin cycle can cause folds in the fabric that are difficult if not downright impossible to remove.  There is a short article about felting and fulling in a 2007 article by Maddy Cranley.  It is a good explanation of fulling, felting, and boiled wool.

18.11.14

Winter is here

Winter is beginning to settle in even though it arrived a little earlier than expected.  We have a blanket of snow on the ground and the temperatures are well below normal.  It surprises me that normal is in the 40s.  I agree that snow can be a pain to drive in, although my car has all wheel drive, which has proven to be a big help. The slop brought in from outside makes the foyer difficult to clean (I brought in the large "slop rug" from the garage.)  Snow boots are lined up and ready to pull on and the baskets of hats, scarves, mittens, and gloves are in a convenient spot in the foyer.  I look at this time of the year as sweater weather.  It is comforting to bundle up in beautiful sweaters, and wooly accessories.

Just in time for the first snow Jim's new bicycle.  He was very proud of the tracks he left in the snow.
Projects on the needles are the continuing Kaffe Fassett KAL squares, Custom Fit Acorn Trail, Top-Down Trapeze Pullover, two shop samples, and a pair of men's felted mittens, a commission from Jim's work colleague.  Yesterday I picked up some cotton yarn to make some small projects for children's gifts.  Needless to say the needles are clicking away.    Tomorrow the Gansey Headband class will wrap up.  On the loom (now named Jemima) is a scarf.  Warped with leftover Malabrigo Finito from the Snow Ghost hat and Berroco yarn from a hat, Fane, I am weaving with a lovely slate blue/gray sock weight yarn I received from Margie.  When I take a break from knitting I can get a few inches done on the scarf.

On the needles--Gansey Legwarmers

Knitting commission--felted mittens

In the Pink

I am using some fingering weight yarns to create a scarf.

The ongoing Kaffe Fassett KAL squares.

Yes, life is good!

Leather closure from JUL designs.

Resin shawl pin from JUL designs.  It looks good with most of my scarves.

An ongoing project is to clean out the old stuff and organize.  Goodwill is reaping the benefits, as is Half Price Books.  As I look around my office/workroom it appears chaotic, but is in fact organized.  It is time to do some paper shredding!

While surfing on Ravelry an ad popped up from JUL designs.  As always, I am on the lookout for unusual and wonderful notions.  I was drawn to the closures made of leather, so I purchased one to see if I would like it.  Yes, I liked it!  There are various styles of closures and even leather buttons with the same metal studs that can be removed for washing.  Also featured on the site were shawl pins in wood and some in resin (there are resin buttons, too).  On the website click on Attach for the closures--buckles, conventional buttons, pedestal buttons, sew-on closures, and screw-on closures.

7.11.14

FOs and Old Man Wool Farm

Did you hear the latest? Deb of Old Man Wool Farm and I are dishing the dirt in front of the Debbie Gossip wheel.
It is time to post some finished projects.  I have been burning up the needles, spinning wheel, spindles, and loom with projects for work.  Here they are (not necessarily in order of completion).

30.10.14  Lots of projects going at the same time around here.  I have three samples for Blue Sky going (sorry, I cannot show them), some of the class samples are finished and on display at Amazing Threads, the Kaffe Fassett KAL is coming along.  I need to finish two of the squares in time for  the release of Clue 4 tomorrow, and it is time to cast on for my Custom Fit cardigan.  I am making the Acorn Trail with Frabjous Fibers March Hare (worsted weight) in Tulgey Wood, a lovely deep dark brown.  This yarn is special as it is dyed and spun in the USA and the inspiration is from my favorite story book Alice in Wonderland.

The Gansey Headband is a quick project and great stash buster.


Customized P Chullo hat.  Initials on the earflaps, 'I love wool,' and sheep adorn the top.  


Timber Mitt before cutting the loops.

Wavelength is a striking scarf.


Kaffe Fasset Mystery KAL from Rowan.  Clue 1

Clue 2


Clue 3


Intarsia in the round cell phone cozy.  Good tutorial.

Gansey Legwarmers.  I will need these soon!

Earlier this month AFW had a field trip to Deb Peterson's Old Man Wool Farm/Ewespun Fiber Mill.  It was a gorgeous day to visit the farm.  Deb fired up the card and blended a Jacob fleece with blue silk noil she dyed.  I purchased some fiber from Hidden Valley Farm and we loved the colorway called Dark Side of the Moon, a Coopworth/silk noil blend.  With half of the fiber spun into a single, I can spin the pound of Deb's into another single and then ply the two together.


It is fun to visit the sheep.

The llama was happy to butt in and get an apple treat.

This beauty had one of the top fleeces at Shepherd's Harvest this year.

One of Deb's wheels, a delicate French beauty.

The card had leftover colors, which looked really nice.  


Blue silk noil blended with Jacob.  This will go with my Cormo/silk noil blend.  Watching the roving come out is mesmerizing

Autumn was particularly colorful and the weather was just perfect this year.  

Pretty colors in the small wildflower garden.
The birch trees are always watching.

Some neighborhood turkeys joined me on my morning walk.

One of the yard critters.  We call them mini-bears at Philmont.  

I do not know how it happened, but this was a most unusual split!

15.10.14

Spin a little knit a lot

My hands have been busy working on class and shop samples and on some wheel and spindle spinning.  I was on the last section of Wavelength when I noticed some funky looking stitches, which prompted me to frog and then re-knit...and frog and then re-knit...I am now back to the correct number of stitches in the sections (naturally the extra stitches occurred in just a couple of sections).  Taking a break for a bit to regroup and do some other work.

On the needles:  Wavelength, P Chullo, Beaded Beret, Kaffe Fassett KAL bolster, and Greta for the shop.  Tangled, Pigment, Goblin Hat #2, and Puffin Mantle for personal projects. I must not forget the Icelandic cardigan that needs to have the front bands and collar re-worked.  It would be nice to wear it this winter.

On the wheel/s and spindle/s:  Louie and I are spinning up some lovely white cormo/navy blue silk noil blend called Dark Side of the Moon from Hidden Valley Farm in Wisconsin.

Cormo and silk noils

The single is thin and plied together it looks like a DK weight

The new siding on the house is coming along nicely.  Yesterday Tom came by to paint portions of the the soffit and fascia from the garage side of the house.  The Cameo looks nice and clean for the trim and the Montana Suede matches the existing brick.  Now I have to decide what new color to paint the front door when all the work is finished.

WIP Wednesday...The knitting demons have left the house and I am yet again on the last section of Wavelength.  Good grief!  It is a great project to knit, but I finally put small markers at the decreases and large markers at the increases so I can feel where I am in the knitting.  I do not always look down at my knitting--especially garter stitching.

The projects from Blue Sky came yesterday and when I finish the scarf I can start on the small projects for BS.  It is a good opportunity to try out their new yarn before the release.

29.9.14

Birthday

I celebrated a big birthday recently.  It felt good to celebrate, too--I made it!  Jim and I celebrated with a nice supper and then birthday cake.  On Sunday Ben and Jim had an open house for me.  It was so nice to visit with friends and neighbors--and another delicious birthday cake!  I got a Fitbit from Ben and a 15-inch Cricket Loom with a stand from Jim.  I did a small weaving and will warp the loom today.  Photos to come...
Cricket Loom--just going on another path down the rabbit hole.

Jim had me wear the baseball shirt Ben and I had made for him in April.  The decorations were inside and outside the house. 
It also feels good to finish class samples.  The first is a child sized double knit ear flap hat in Pure Wool Worsted by Rowan and Liberty Wool by Cascade.  The pattern is sized for newborn to adult XL, and proceeds from the pattern go to charity.  The P Chullo hat is a free pattern with alphabet charts for the body and ear flaps.  One can fit a message into the 168-stitches around the body of the hat.  The original pattern calls for ten colors, and I am working the sample in five colors.  I made it through the first row of my message--fingers crossed that I stay on track!  Above the message there is a chart for a gryphon and a fox and the crown has waves and a snake, which I will change to a sheep.

One hat.

Another hat--two in one!
The FO (finished object) for the week is L'Enveloppe by Sally Melville.  I am teaching a class, which started out as a one to one and grew to include two other instructors and another student.  It is a project that is not difficult to knit, quick to knit, and looks wonderful on every body type.  Deciphering the pattern can be a challenge.  I made some notes on my Ravelry project page and Sally has a thread for L'Enveloppe help on her Ravelry group page.  We all agree that there will be more L'Enveloppes in our wardrobe!  The weather has turned cool and this will be a good week to  wear it.

Noro Yutzen yarn was the perfect choice.
A shape folded in half, one short seam is sewed on the long side to make a sleeve.
On the other side of the sleeve, stitches are picked up and then the side is knit with short rows.
Another fun project is Wavelength, a scarf that reminds me of giant rickrack.  I am working this in Anzula Dreamy, 75% Superwash Merino, 15% Cashmere, 10% Silk--a dreamy yarn!  The colors are brown (Sexy) and yellow-green (Temperance).  

Start with one chevron and then keep adding one chevron to each end.  The contrast
colors show off the texture nicely.