Saturday, May 26, 2007

In the interest of transparency...

I shall try to enumerate the knitting I would like to accomplish between now and the end of the calendar year (yeah, Christmas, but I'm trying not to think about it). Perhaps this will encourage our elected officials to invest in some of the same.

1. I will finish the Monkey socks this morning. I finished the Monkey socks! Yay! Then I will make more Monkey socks. Too fun and now I have it totally memorized!

2. Since there is no word yet from my fashion designer, I will ply my laceweight (also today) and start a lace shawl. Or spin some more. Depends on what yardage I got, but I would like to knit a shawl from handspun for the County Fair this year (if I have time).

3. I bought yarn for DH for Father's Day last year. Wasn't that nice of me? Did I knit it up yet? Guess. Must find out what he wants (scarf or gloves).

4. DS needs a new hoodie. Seriously. I knit him a Wallaby when he was two to fit him till he was 4. He's almost 6. I would lengthen it, but the yarn didn't hold up all that well (pilling) and I don't want to deal with that for another year. Plus he wants one the same color and yarn as my green cardigan, which will knit up SO quickly!! Yay for Bulky yarns!

5. My dear, dear mother has FINALLY requested a SWEATER. This won't get finished in the summer as I want to yarn shop with her for the perfect everything, but will be started as soon as we get back in September so as not to cause undue stress near the holidays. Not to mention, I don't know the answers to: zipper/pullover/cables/gauge/texture/colorwork, etc. I want this one to be a real winner!

6. More socks. I know, I know, I have enough socks to go over a week in handknits. But they are so fun, so quick, so easy to wear, so inexpensive to knit (relatively). But here's the thing: I have 7 pairs in progress (I started at 5; keep remembering more...), some for longer than others. So it's not so much that I will knit new socks as I will try to finish the ones I have started. Except for the white ones from Favorite Socks. I don't like the yarn, I'm not sure I like the pattern, even. They should be in a cotton blend, not in a singles, the first one is too short and since I don't like it, I don't even want to rip out the toe and make it longer.

So the sock list includes: blue socks from Loribird's handspun; purple/green socks from my handspun a la Twisted Sisters; boring blue Jacquard socks from years ago (literally I cast these on one day when DS was 3); Jaywalkers (need to be fixed first); chevron stripes from swimming lessons last summer; white lace (never mind). Oh, man, now I can't even remember them all from the last paragraph. And don't forget I want some more Monkeys...

7. My church knitting group is making an afghan to raffle off at our annual picnic and I need to contribute at least 2 more squares in the next few weeks.

8. I also SOLEMNLY SWEAR that I will finish DD's [expletive deleted] poncho before we go on vacation. This will take about three hours. SO no big deal, will be such a relief to be done. Just need to think of it more often.

Thank goodness teacher socks are long finished and there's no other gift knitting this spring. I will go for books for the classroom once again, which I think is appreciated. I may regift my Starbucks gift card to the kindergarten teacher, though; she's a single mother these days and deserves it more than I do! I will be presenting DD's teacher with her socks the day before school gets out (so I can see her open them!). The last day of school is too crazy.

Three more days of houseguest!!!!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I am finding inspiration much so that I cannot focus on what I actually want to do. Frustrating but exciting! I am incredibly inspired by Wendy's mitred square sweater and want one, badly. Only a cardigan. In different colors. So I have devised four colorways of Crown Mountain Farms roving to make into ten different yarns, each of which will vary wildly just because of the dyes and the preparations. Now to have the money to purchase and the ability to pick just one...

Having completed my first square for our new church knitting group's charity project, a square knit corner to corner, as a reward for finishing, I started this:

Being a total sheep, some Monkey socks. I really like the pattern. I am still rather intimidated by lace and have managed to already memorize the 11 row repeat after 3 times through. Great job, Cookie A.!

These colors did not photograph well in the sun, but it is red, green, acid green, turquoise, occasionally yellow and orange. Okay, okay, maybe only a sock I could love, but I do love it!

I have finished the back of the violet sweater, but have moved on in my total knitting promiscuousness. That project will be completed, but perhaps after the first flush of love of the Monkeys. And spinning more of this:

Crown Mountain Farms Hand dyed superwash wool in Magic Carpet Ride. I SO love this wool in this colorway, it is making me want to make the hypothetical sweater with it, even though it won't have any orange or purple. That seems wrong somehow. The sweater would be sage greens/wines and I would love it.

My other potential colorways are: purple/green; orange/blue; and blue/yellow. I have them all worked out.

I also finished Navajo plying the Dandylion bobbin, although this is only half the wool. I am very happy with this yarn, however. It is fine and even and the colors are nicely separated.

This yarn will definitely go the L.A. County Fair this year. I include the ubiquitous dime for scale. It is a thin fingering weight and will make lovely socks someday. I'm thinking using it for fairisle patterning with something else. But not till it comes home.

I will finish this very long post with the spinning version of the Mother's Day meme.

The directions are the same as those book memes and the more recent knitting one. Bold those things you have done, italicize those you wish to do, and leave plain the ones that are of no interest to you.


Fine Wools (i.e. Merino, Cormo, Rambouillet, Polwarth, CVM, etc)
Longwool & Crossbreed Wools (i.e. BFL, Cotswold, Lincoln, Romney, Coopworth, Teeswater, etc.)
Down-type Wool (i.e. Black Welsh Mountain, Dorset, Cheviot, Shetland, etc.)
Double Coated Wool (i.e. Icelandic, Navajo-Churro, Karakul, etc.)

Silk Caps/Bells/Hankies
Silk Sliver
Cotton (prepared)
Cotton from the Boll
Engineered Fibers (Rayon, Bamboo, Soysilk, Ingeo, Ecopoly, etc.)
Recycled Fibers (Sari Silk, Jeans, Garnetted, etc.)
Holographic Fibers (Angelina, etc.)
Commercially Combed Top
Commercially Carded Roving
Hand Combed Top
Hand Carded Rollags
Hand Drum Carded Batts

Hand Cards
English Combs
Drum Carder
Niddy Noddy
Yarn Meter
WPI Tool
McMorran Balance
Top Whorl Spindle
Mid-Whorl Spindle
Bottom Whorl Spindle (includes Turkish)
Supported Spindle (Navajo, Tahkli, etc.)
Castle Wheel
Saxony Wheel
Great Wheel
Portable Wheel (Little Gem, Joy, Lendrum, Hitchiker, etc.)
Electric Spinner
Tensioned Lazy Kate

Worsted Spun
Woolen Spun
Long Draw
Short-Forward Draw
Double Drafting
Energized Singles
Andean Plied 2-Ply (Wheel or Spindle?)
Center-Pull Ball 2-Ply (Wheel or Spindle?)
2-Ply from Bobbins/Cops

3-Ply from Bobbins/Cops
Navajo Ply 3-Ply (Chained Singles)
4+ Ply from Bobbins/Cops
Bulky/Super Bulky Weight
Worsted Weight
DK Weight
Sport Weight
Fingering Weight
Lace Weight
Cabled Yarns
Fulled Yarns
Slub Yarn
Marled Yarn (Barber-Poled Colors)
Seed Yarn (1 Thick and Soft Ply, 1 Firm and Thin)
Wrapped Spiral Yarn
Flame Yarn (Like Seed Yarn, but with Slubs)
Turkish Knot Yarn
Boucle Yarn
Beaded Yarn
Coiled Yarn
Encased Yarn (Fabric, Flower, Feather, etc. Captured Between Plies)

Buy a Fleece
Wash a Fleece
Blend Fiber Types (Combed or Carded)
Blend Colors (Combed or Carded)
Dye Handspun Yarn
Dye Prepared Roving/Top
Dye Locks
Solar-Dye Fiber
Kool-Aid/Food Coloring Dye Fiber
Natural Dye Fiber
Commercial Dye Fiber (Gaywool, Jacquard, etc.)
Attend a Wool Festival
Take a Spinning Class
Take a Dyeing Class
Spin in Public
Teach Children to Spin
Teach Adults to Spin
Knit with Your Handspun
Crochet with Your Handspun
Weave with Your Handspun
Design a Project to Match Your Handspun
Design a Project from Fiber to FO
Spin Yarn to Match a Commercial Pattern
Make Socks from Handspun
Make a Scarf from Handspun
Make a Felted Project from Handspun
Make a Large Project from Handspun (Shawl, Adult Sweater, etc. >1000 yds)
Keep a Spinning Journal

Use A Reference Card to Aid Consistency
Spin Yarn for Pay
Dye Fiber for Pay
Write a Book on Spinning
Write an Article on Spinning
Make DIY Spinning Tools (PVC Niddy Noddy, Lazy Kate, CD Spindle, Hackle, Wrist Distaff, etc.)

Some of these I've only done once, but I feel like I've done quite a bit in my four years or so. I do have a spinning/knitting book idea that I would like to follow through on and I owe Joy some yarn that she paid for LAST YEAR. I may very well be spinning for a large project soon, but that too will take time. In the fall, when my children are both in school full time, I will hope to concentrate on technique and learn how to spin more interesting yarns, boucle, beaded, textured yarns. Right now, I have so little time, I feel the need to be spinning things I know I will be happy with and that's okay.

Consider yourself tagged, if you like!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Meme

Seeing this one all over, so I thought I would join in. I need more categories, though. What about things you've done but would NEVER do again? What about things you are so totally into that you would do them again the very next day? Need more fonts...

It strikes me after doing this that I've done a lot of things. But my love affair with knitting is largely based on the fact that there is always more to try. Doesn't seem this way with crochet (no offense to the crochet obsessed).

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers everywhere!!

Mark with bold the things you have knit at least once, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest. [I am adding CAPS for things I LOVE and tiny letters for things I will NEVER do again.]

Afghan/Blanket (baby)
I-cordGarter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to

Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two

Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating

Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories

Friday, May 11, 2007

Look, Ma, I'm blogging!

Please forgive the overuse of exclamation points. Thank you.

Since I have finally (temporarily) reached a lull, I am back! We have camped, sung, danced, worked, slept and only have a few more stressful things to do before the end of school, yay!

In knitting, after much hemming, hawing, swatching, ripping and yawning, I settled on Scoop du Jour from Chicknits. Here is the first sleeve:

It may be coming out very blue on your monitor, but it is in fact a very saturated violet, pretty much my favorite color in the world. The yarn, S. Charles Merino Cable, does split some and I am contemplating dropping a stitch on the back WAY down and getting rid of a stray ply, but we'll see. The back has reached about 10.5 inches and the end of the second ball of yarn. I have high hopes of getting it done in four balls. Pray for me!

In other news, spinning advances slowly. Here are the Dandylion singles from Spunky Eclectic.

I'm planning to Navajo ply, so they are pretty darn thin. I actually meant to start a different colorway, but pulled this one in a moment of forgetfulness! This yarn might go to the fair this year, as the singles are nice and even and I think they are impressed with chain plying.

The hats have gone to D.C. to my designer and word has it that she likes them. Who knows what will happen now...

Non-fiber related, this is what we were doing last weekend (and preparing for before):

First pic is my Brownie (soon to be Junior!) girl scout troop on our Service Unit camping trip last weekend. Could have been some disasters, but due to our little sister troop and (and their camp stove) coming along, we survived and had a great time!!

Second is my DS rehearsing for our church youth ministries spring concert performance. He was great! He sang, recited a poem, sang some more, had his first lines in a scene!!

Congratulations to both of you for doing such great work last weekend!! And huge kudos to DH for getting DS everywhere and helping out and generally making everything possible! I love you!!!!

UPDATE: Since starting this post, I received my first shipment of Hello Yarn's new fiber club and it took my breath away. I can't wait, plus BFL is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE!! Thanks Adrian!!

Wish me luck with swimming lesson registration tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Now that I've lost you all

By being boring, having no pictures and not posting enough, here we go again.

I swear I will get some pictures taken. But there hasn't been much to shoot. I have started: 2 pairs of socks, 1 baby blanket, 1 summer top, 1 sweater. I still haven't found anything exciting to knit. Ho hum. I think Star is having the same problem.

Last night I might have broken through, though. After a disastrous day of swatching Euroflax sportweight for Soleil (no, too thin), I decided to swatch for the Scoop du Jour with my purple Merino Cable. Hit gauge on the first try!! Fabric is gorgeous, squishy and saturated. I'm 8 inches into the first sleeve!! And worried about how much yarn. It's supposed to take 1050 yards in this size. I have 1183. But man that first ball went fast. And I didn't keep the swatch, I just put it into the sleeve.

I think the formula is 1/3 yardage for sleeves, 1/3 for fronts, 1/3 for back, yes? That gives me 4.66 balls for each third and 2.33 balls for each sleeve. The sleeves are about 150 rows. I have completed 46 rows and have 12 yards left of the first ball. I should get seven more rows out of it. So. 53 rows per ball. That does not bode well for this yardage. That means when I'm done with the sleeve cap, I should have used up almost three balls of yarn. That will be bad. I could go down a size. I don't want that close fitting of a sweater (my standard fit sweater ideal is 38 inches).

Anybody knit this sweater? Any advice re: proportions of yarn usage? Is the ribbing at the bottom of the sleeve (4x4 for 6 inches) eating that much more yarn than stockinette that it will be made up for later when I'm doing stockinette?

I actually LIKE this project. I don't want to stop, I don't want to fail. Help!

Then all I have to worry about is the rest of my yarn is out in the garage with the Houseguest.

Hope you have a lovely day!
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