The more things change

The more they change?

I used to blog over here, fairly infrequently. In 2009 I decided to purchase a domain and move my blog, but I didn’t use it very much either. After that I went away to graduate school, wrote a thesis on craft, got an MS, and started my PhD coursework. I’ve now added weaving to my fiber techniques and am looking foward to taking the advanced weaving class this semester.

I don’t know that I’ll be any more faithful about updating this blog than I was before, but I would like to have somewhere to talk about projects again. And since my PhD is in textiles, this seems a good place to work through some of the ideas I’ve had about the way my dissertation will go.

I’ve also recently purchased a new camera, so hopefully this will give me a place besides Ravelry to post my finished work.

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FO – ‘I Do’ Shrug

I have been very quiet. It’s okay though, because I come bearing an FO.

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Pattern: I Do from Knitty
Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18
Yarn Source: Stash, originally purchased from emerald city stuff off of ebay
Needles: inox 16″ circs, harmony wood dpns and interchangeable
Time to Complete: about 2 months (March – May) but that was with some periods of hibernation in between. I did the whole second side in one week, with an annoying amount of ripping out.
Modifications: None

I’d been planning this project for awhile now, and for a while I hated it. I grew to really like it though, as the pattern is easy once it flows, and it does turn out a nice finished piece. I think, after wearing it, if I were to make it again I would cast on fewer stitches so I had a more fitted sleeve. The pattern as written would look lovely with a wedding dress, but I’d like a slimmer fit as a wedding guest, if only because it’d be easier to deal with.

There was quite a bit of ripping out for this project, mostly because I didn’t pay enough attention. The most heart stopping was that I overknit the second sleeve by 4 18 row repeats and only discovered this on Wednesday afternoon. We left for Boston the next day, so I had to knit like crazy for the next few days to be able to finish. I finished the knitting part at 3:30 Friday night (Saturday morning?) but it took me TWO HOURS to finish the kitchener stitch to stitch the two pieces together. Terrible. I loosely blocked it and it dried all day on the hotel floor, then I wore it to a friend’s wedding with an emerald green dress. I was pleased.

Here’s a picture of it blocking on the floor of the hotel room, because that was ridiculous:

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I know I have lots to talk about, but I will leave that to a separate update post.

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of blankets, dashing, and related things

I finished the yellow hemlock blanket, except for blocking, but I decided I hated it and didn’t want to gift it. I may still, after blocking, which I need to do this weekend, but we’ll see. The shower was the day before my birthday, and since I have a long history of being pretty down about then, I was not in any mood to do baby shower things. This probably makes me a bad person, but oh well.

Since I last posted I also finished dashing, which as I remember I was nearly finished with. Pictures will have to wait until after Sunday, because that’s when I’m planning on gifting it. I had picked out some nice stash yarn to knit with it for myself, but I must have made a gauge error because the cables made them a little too tight for me. And since I’d been planning on making something similar for my mom, they will go to her. It’s a good color for her anyway.

I also cast on for I do, which is turning out quite pretty with the finer yarn, although I’m not sure if I like the how the pattern alternates knit and perl sections so it has a striped stockinette effect. I usually like lace like this to be all knit side stockinette. I had to rip out a few times before I got the pattern established, but now that it is it is not hard, mostly decreases followed by a section of 4 k or 4 p and a yarn over in a 12 st repeat. I think it will work out well, I just have to make sure I finish it by mid May! I think now that I look at how the pattern is constructed, it wouldn’t be very difficult to design something similar with a different lace pattern. I’m also thinking about knitting Jellyfish, I think it would look gorgeous in something like handmaiden seasilk or even the handmaiden silken in some luscious colorway. Since it’s unlikely I will ever not need a pretty shrug for a sleeveless sundress, I might as well have a collection. I found this, just now, that Mary-Heather from rainydaygoods wrote, and it should help my nascent pattern design ambitions.

I’ve been knitting a bit less than normal due to lazyness and also the acquisition of some new toys, mainly a ninento ds, and an asus eee which is an itty bitty computer. I’m hoping to use it for more blogging, since it has a built in sd card for picture uploads, and is also very portable, which will hopefully entice me to actually post. I’m forever writing posts that get outdated before I can actually post them.

I did manage to find out what was going on with my swift as well, apparently joann charged back the money to my account and didn’t tell me, instead of replacing it. So instead, the husband and I decided to make one, which will be a fun weekend project in the near future. We’re going to follow the directions over at Crafty Diversions, which I would link here, but I think it’s currently down for maintenance. I’m printing the google cached version just in case it doesn’t come back up!

Another reason I’ve been knitting a bit less is that I finally decided how I’m going to paint my hitchhiker wheel. Since I haven’t found any tutorials online on how to take it apart and paint it, I’m going to document it and post it here too. I’ve been trying to learn on it, but I haven’t been able to figure out the tension so it won’t actually drawn the yarn correctly. Also a pain. I’ve been focusing on the drop spindle instead, and am just barely starting to get the hang of it. I got a couple new books with birthday money, Shannon Okey’s Spin to Knit and The Whole Craft of Spinning by Carol Kroll, which are helping. I also got the Knitters Guide to Yarn, which is really awesome, and I’m planning on knitting the Morning Maine fingerless gloves once I spin some beautiful blue grey roving from pigeon roof studios on etsy. So that project will take awhile.

Right now I feel like I have done very little thus far this year (except not buy yarn) and am forever planning to make things. I do not like this. I am very anxious for spring to arrive. I’m always more productive when it’s warm out.

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Stitch markers and new projects

I am still waiting for my swift to be returned from the no man’s land that is joann.com’s return department. It’s been, three weeks, I think, and I haven’t heard anything. Annoying. I should have gotten a return receipt from the post office, but live and learn. They probably have it already, and I just haven’t gotten the replacement back yet.

This week I did the measurements for Knitty’s I Do, and started the swatch. I’m using the needles as called for, US size 7, but a far finer yarn, some of the JaggerSpun wool/silk blend I have in my stash. I think the lighter yarn will be nice, and the gauge swatch I did seemed like it would give me enough cover when worn over a sun dress, which is what I’m looking for. Worsted would be too warm for summer. I’m not sure if I like the stitch pattern, but I think I just prefer more ordered looking lace, like in Kiri or in the Myrtle Leaf Shawl. I toyed with the idea of designing my own, but I think I’d rather knit this one first, and then design one later. I’ll always have a need for lovely shrugs for the summer, and can always make one of my own design later. Since I’ve never knit a shrug (or even a sweater!) I think it’s better to start slow. Especially because I want to wear it to a wedding in May. I actually cast on for it, but the pattern calls for 16″ size 7s, and I only have 24″ and larger, and none suited for magic loop (which I’m really not fond of, actually) so I may have to take a trip over to Village Yarn and Fiber tomorrow. I’ve been avoiding it since my no stash year started so I wouldn’t be tempted, but I’ll just have to be good. I think a couple of my girlfriends want to go anyway, so maybe we’ll make it a date, and it will make it easier to avoid temptation.

My grandmother was due to go in to surgery yesterday, but it was canceled because of an ongoing skin infection doctors have never been able to diagnose (or even do much to treat), and I made her these to help her keep track of the pattern repeats in the shawl she is making. I need to remember to find out the pattern, and I’ll link it here.

Since I’ve only used the coin beads before, it was fun to pick something different out for her, and I really like how the faceted roundels look. I bought two of the strands, and I made some for myself with white elastic instead of clear to see how I liked it, and I think they turned out pretty well.

I think I might get some more of these to make some other sets and put them in my etsy shop. I also need to make some more clay food, because I don’t have any finished sets and I’m really excited about tiny food.

I was also able to find (finally!) a set of size 10 clover dpns for the hemlock ring blanket, so I can get that started again. I need to make some things for the husband’s cousin’s baby who is due in March, and I started making that in the the yellow cotton I bought way back in August or September, but I’ll have to wind a few of the balls by hand. I’m going to have to wind the cotton for the bobbi bear by hand too, I think, or I will completely run out of time before the baby shower. I really hate that joann’s is so bad at communicating.

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Filed under in progress, knitting, needles, no stash year, stash

no yarn oh no?

It’s day 40 of my no yarn year, and I think I’m doing pretty well. I’m starting to work on some of the projects I’d been meaning to pick up, and I’ve been making a lot of stitch markers. A lot. You can see them here!

A fun thing happened a couple weeks when the mail came, as I got one package I expected and one I didn’t. I’m in two sock clubs this year, Bunny Sock Hop and Rockin’ Sock Club. I expected the January bunny sock hop package today because she sent them yesterday and is also in Western New York; the surprise was the Rockin’ Sock Club shipment, since I hadn’t realized it was coming yet.

The other surprise is pictured below:
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Two sock clubs, two luscious red colorways? Nice.

The spinning bunny club pattern is called high bush cranberry and is beaded, so came with some really lovely bright red e beads. This one appeals to me more than the november pattern, which was called Aurora Borealis and has metallic yarn carried through it. It’s a pretty pattern, and the yarn is very nice, but the bright magenta-pink isn’t one of my favorite colors, so I put it on the back burner for now. This one is more to my liking, especially this close to imbolc.

The socks that rock pattern is called Serendipity, which doesn’t appear to be on ravelry yet either, in a bright bright colorway called Dragon Dance that I’m a little in love with. I’m excited to knit both, and am super entertained that they both came on the same day and are the same color tone.

I just made hannah from magknits, which is a super quick pattern except that I had to frog parts of it twice to make the body of the hat just a little longer. Its cozy and warm and accommodates my hair. I have a few more buttons and another skein of bulky alpaca, so I might knit another just to have one in another color. I also started the hemlock ring blanket, but frogged it this morning after getting frustrated with the pattern because it wasn’t lining up. I think part of the problem originally was the dpns I used at the start, as they’re some lion brand plastic ones I found in a clearance section, and I really dislike the tips. I’m oncall right now, so can’t leave the house, but the husband promised to pick up a pair of bamboo ones for me on his way home from ice fishing.

I’ve also been slowly working on a pair of socks in plymoth sockotta, but since they’re black and a plain rib, they can be a little boring, and as such are my carry around knitting.

About the only knitting purchases I have made recently are a ball winder and a yarn swift from joann.com with some of the discount coupons. The yarn swift came last week, but came with the end glued wrong, so there’s no way to attach it to a table. I am very sad, because I dislike winding yarn by hand and I have lots that I have waiting to be wound. It was shipped back two weeks ago Monday, and hopefully they will send me a nice shiny new one pronto. I’ve never sent anything back to joann.com before, so I hope it goes smoothly. I have lots of yarn I want wound, but that I don’t want to wind by hand! I did recieve the ball winder on though, and made sure it was good to go before I send the other one back.

I’m having a definite problem with knitting monogamy, because I keep starting projects and getting bored. Either I need to work on something big big big and force myself to do it, or work on small quick knits. As I have a shawl I need to finish for my mom, I would like to actually be able to pay attention for more than 5 minutes.

I’ve been sick for the past week, but I did work on one supposedly quick project, a headband from DROPs designs which turned out badly. I think my gauge must have been off, or the Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran wasn’t quite thick enough. I’m not going to even bother taking or posting a picture of it, because it was way too small. I’ll just frog and swatch properly this time.

In February, I need to at least get a baby bobbi bear knitted for a baby shower. I was hoping to be able to wind the yarn for it with the swift, but I may have to do it by hand so I can get started. I’d love to be able to get some other things done as well, but that will be my main goal.

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Filed under beading, finished object, knit along, no stash year, stash

of cats, holidays, and stashes

So, the whole fiber altar didn’t last very long.
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This is my cat, who decided that shelf is the perfect launching place for the window ledge, and also the perfect place to survey his vast kingdom of the living room and dining room. This picture was actually taken back in October (even before Samhain) and now that space has been taken up by stash that doesn’t fit in the cubby holes or the large basket that’s holding the overflow. I’m having a bit of a stash problem at the moment.

At 12:01 tonight my moratorium on stash yarn begins, which is going to be a good thing. I’ve been in a weird emotional place for most of the fall, and I think my slightly out of control stash binging has been self medication. But it is about to end! I’ve promised myself, and I have more than enough to knit for a year.

I didn’t make the holiday deadline for the henry scarf for my brother or a shawl for my mother, but I did finish the gloves and hat combo for my sister. The FO post for my hat is here, and the glove post is forthcoming. I used the glove pattern from MagKnits Urban Necessity, but then decided that the mitten cap didn’t work with the single ply yarn I choose. I used Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Worsted, which doesn’t have the stitch definition of the called for Cascade 220 superwash, but I liked how the hat came out so the gloves were secondary. I just made them both straight fingerless gloves because she wanted some anyway.

Somehow I managed to loose the goknits pouch the scarf was in until about two weeks ago, after I’d restarted with the suggested yarn, and looking at both made me glad I started fresh. He’ll get the scarf for his birthday in April most likely. Mom’s shawl just went through too many changes, and it was too late by the time I finally picked a pattern I liked, Carissa Browning’s Dragon Scale shawl

On my needles now are those two projects, a set of mermaid gauntlets, and a pair of black socks for the husband, since I like to have socks around for repetitive work. I have lots of ideas for the next year in between sock clubs and year of lace, so hopefully I’ll get lots done.

I also started playing with polymer clay and jewelry again, which I only mention here because I’ve been making stitch markers. I may be making a foray in to etsy once I get some stock built up, but volunteers for beta testers are welcome too.

My mood made learning to spin less than conducive, so I had to put my wheel away for awhile, and I’m still pondering the paint job before I get into it too much that I don’t want to paint it. That will be another project for the new year, since I have high hopes for 2008. Tomorrow is organizing day, so it might be owning up to stash day too, so I can take pictures to post on ravelry. I ordered several colors of allhemp6 to make shopping bags so I have a good stash for groceries the stash moratorium is part of a bigger lets get healthy, organized, and frugal effort for next year, which means better grocery shopping. That should be coming with a few skeins of sock yarn and some vermont organic classic to match some of the 3 ply I already have for a hat and gloves.

2008 is a knitting like a fiend year.

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Filed under in progress, knit along, knitting, yule knitting

FO – Ski Cap

Pattern: Norwegian Star Earflap Hat
Yarn: Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Worsted Yardage: 1/2 skein of espresso, just a bit of cream
Yarn Source: New York Knits
Needles: addi turbo us 7, 40″ for magic loop method and us 7 harmony dpns
Time to Complete: 12/15-12/16 for the bulk of the knitting, a couple off days to finish the i-cords and pompom
Modifications: Added matching earflaps out of cream for added reinforcement.

This was knit as a gift for my sister who had requested a hat quite a while ago. It was knit to match her snowboarding gear which is white, teal, and brown, and I’m working on a pair of convertible mittens with a matching fair isle pattern on the mitten part.

It’s not a tough pattern by any means, I think I had the most trouble with the colorwork while using the magic loop method. I can safely say it is not my favorite method for knitting in the round, especially with addi turbos. There was less laddering than with dpns though, so that’s a benefit.

I’m not in love with the shaping of the hat, and I’m tempted to pick some of it back out and decrease the top of the hat a little more quickly. The “adult” size seems a little more suited to a man’s head, except that the colorwork tends to make that part of the had a bit tighter and the rest seems too loose in comparison. I’m not sure whether that’s my knitting style or the pattern itself. The earflaps don’t meet my ears, they’re too long, and they curled in on themselves when they were finished. I was able to fix that by knitting matching flaps (followed the pattern until the join for the brim and then cast off, for a total of 27 stitches) and then stitching them to the flaps. Since it’s a rustic looking hat, and the yarn is a single ply, it’s cute.

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