Monday, May 28, 2012

Episode 3

Well if you don't read the podcast blog I recorded again on Saturday!  I decided that since I am keeping the podcast purely focused on Spinning (and approximately 20-30 minutes long) that I'll still be blogging my knitting and other little bits of my life here. :) 

If you want to see the show notes make sure you check out the blog for the podcast!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Episode 2 Is up!

In case you aren't following the podcast blog, we've launched episode 2 of A Spinner's Whirled!

Show Notes are on the podcast blog: A Spinner's Whirled

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I Now Video Podcast

For the last few weeks I've been too lazy to take photos, post photos, and type up a blog about all of the things I've finished this month. I bought a ton of fiber at stitches, finished several projects and cast on some new and exciting things! Well, apparently I thought it was easier to just tape the whole thing with my friend Dori and start a video cast. :) Since I'm blogging/video blogging my spinning over there, I'm not sure how much you'll see here anymore, but check out the other blog! A Spinner's Whirled

Monday, April 16, 2012

More for Monday!

Happy Monday everyone! It's going to be a long week and I can feel it already, so I plan on making this a very quick post!

I mentioned some spinning yesterday, and there was a lot done while I was off for spring break!

The first thing to dive onto the wheel was some buffalo I pulled out of my Ohio Fiber Stash

Approximately 200 yards of buffalo blend in a heavy worsted/bulky 2ply yarn. LOVE this fiber!

Approximately 420 yards of a sock weight/fingering 2 ply from an unknown breed of sheep. Not the softest but hopefully it will soften up when washed.

I haven't washed these yet, but I am sooo enjoying spinning lately.

Of course with all these finished objects I have a bunch of yarn that has left the stash and some that has joined the stash. As much as I had to fight with photos tonight on blogger I think I'll have to save the new stash for a future post.

Stash Update!

Yarn Out:  4352 g (8716 y)
Yarn Destashed:  376 g
Yarn In:  2648 g
Yards Spun:  3248 y

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy...

This past week I've been on Spring Break. For a whole week I didn't have to go to work, so I drove over 600 miles to rescue the remaining yarn stash and my pattern collection from my parent's house in Ohio. I've also gotten a large amount of knitting done on my works in progress while I was at home, gave Dot the Monster a mouth so she could talk to me, and have even started some new things as well.

In fact, I've gotten so much accomplished that I'm going to have to divide up last week's progress into two or three posts.  We'll see. I wanted to do nothing but knit while in Ohio on Vacation, but that may have been the 40 degree weather they were experiencing.  It was much nicer to knit in than the 8-+ degree weather we are having here in SC right now.

I finished 2 projects on Easter day.

The first was a pair of socks that I started at the end of January.

Pattern: Nanner Socks by Wendy Johnson
Yarn: Lime & Violet Sasquatch Super Sock in Just Ripe Nanners
Comments: I bought the yarn for these AGES ago back when I first started wasting all of my free time on Plurk.  I'm not even sure when the last time was that Lime & Violet were doing yarn, but I know this has been in my stash for ages.  So glad to have them done, kinda sad that I didn't make them just a smidge longer.  I have fat feet and always will, so I need to remember to make them just a bit longer so that I can actually wear them! These fit. Pull, tug and cram them onto your feet type of fit. Since yellow really isn't a color of mine (and I found 3 pairs of knit socks when cleaning my bedroom in Ohio) I decided to gift these to my little sister.  She has smaller feet than me, so she'll definitely be able to wear them.

After casting off the Nanner socks I immediately picked up the worsted wingspan I was working on and finished that off in less than 2 hours.

Pattern: Wingspan
Yarn: Bernat Mosaic in Waterfall
Comments: This was a great yarn for the price.  I picked it up when it was 40% off at A.C. Moore and had to do some ripping at the beginning when I messed it up.  I ripped the beginning out three times and the yarn still looks amazing!

I still love this pattern, especially with gradient and self stripping yarns. This shawl will be going to a friend in the future and I may make more for gifts because it's soooo quick and easy to knit!

Before leaving Ohio my mom picked up some felt for me so that we could give Dot the Monster a mouth.

Pattern: Dot the Dress Up Box Monster
Yarn: Handspun
Comments: Oh how I love handspun yarn. I used a superwash merino for the body (leftovers from another project) and less than 4 grams of a merino/silk blend for the ears and little eye patch. LOVE this monster! I definitely need to work on my seaming skills however.

At the beginning of this month I decided to knit up a pair of socks as part of a Knit-A-Long for the Knitting in Circles podcast.  It was a 56 stitch sock so it knit up SUPER FAST and as an added bonus it actually FIT Fiance's feet!  He now has a brand new pair of socks in boy colors for him to wear.  This I believe is his second pair of socks (the first pair was the Pomatomus Pattern that I knit AGES ago for him.)

Pattern: Crocodile Rock
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici Sport in Ecology
Comments: This was such a fast knit!  I cast them off last night (April 14th) so it was less than two weeks with one and a half socks knit in the last week alone! I absolutely love knitting socks out of sport weight.  I think I'll be buying some more and knitting a few more pairs for myself. Especially since sport weight socks means I can make socks that fit me with normal patterns!

A lot of finished projects huh?

Since I'm in a typing kinda mood I think I'll keep on going and make this one epic post!

If you remember, at the very end of March I wrote a post that said "I need to knit my March hat for the 12 hats in 2012 thing!" We'll I knit a hat!  I stash dove, I mixed and matched up a bunch of old cotton yarn in the stash and knit a hat that I am quite in love with!  I knit it up before March ended and yet I never got around to blogging!

For some reason I was on such a knitting/spinning high I never bothered to blog because it took away time from playing with fiber!

Wanna see the hat?

Pattern: Grace Lace Beret
Yarn: TLC Cotton Scraps
Comments: I knit this up with some blue and green cotton scraps I had in the stash for years now.  I used about 70 grams to make up this hat and since I have tons left I will be making a matching scarf to go with it!  Note to self: Start the scarf before you forget.

As far as works in progress go, as of this morning I have only ONE project on the needles!  Just one!  I made quite a bit of progress on that shawl as well while I was on.

I bought some of the little markers to use to keep myself motivated while working on larger projects. It helps me to feel like I'm accomplishing something because I can see how much I've knit up! From the marker to the end was the amount I knit while on Spring Break. Hopefully we'll see much more progress by the end of this coming week. :)

I've got a bunch of spinning to show and of course a stash update, but I think I will save those for tomorrow.  I hope you all have a great week! Happy knitting!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Alpaca that Ended!

Remembe that alpaca that I was spinning like crazy? I actually managed to finish it before the end of March! Only problem was I had to wash it four times and it spent almost three days drying. I'm sure it could still be cleaner, but its a lot bette than it was when I got it! In total I got 712 yards from 306 grams. That is the total yardage after washing. I did lose some of the weight during washing... That dirt and dust must have beem heavy!

I'm meeting up with the friend who sent it to me tonight at Starbucks and I can't wait!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mouthless Monster

Well, the monster is almost finished! Two ears, two eyes, just in need of a little mouth. I'm currently in Ohio visiting my family for Easter, so until I get home any posts you read will be coming to you from my tablet. Because I suck at typing on this. It means posts will likely be short!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Luscious Lace!

I love Lace.  Lately since Spring has sprung and Summer is just around the corner I have been working away on a shawl that has been languishing in my WIPs for far far to long.

Well I mentioned last night I had something new off the bobbin and it took me ages to ply and wind it into a skein.  I was actually surprised at just how long I spent skeining this yarn!  The only good thing about it taking so long, is that it must mean I had a ton of yardage right?

The answers is yes.  This has to be one of my largest skeins I've spun to date!  588 yards of two-ply yarn and it only weighs 3.5 ounces (100 grams).  It's some serious yarn love.  What will I make?  That is yet to be determined, but I have a lot of yards to play with that's for sure!

Yarn Out:  3954 g (7589 y)
Yarn Destashed:  376 g
Yarn In:  2648 g
Yards Spun:  2495 y

Monday, March 26, 2012

Just Keep Spinning...

The end of the alpaca is in sight!  After what feels like ages I am down to less than 3 ounces of fiber left.  At the start of March I set a goal hoping to have it done by the end of the month.  It definitely looks like I'll be able to finish it and have plenty of time to wash it before hauling it off with me to Ohio.

I'm spinning up the singles on my Ashford Joy and then plying on the Majacraft Suzie Pro.  It's so nice that two Ashford bobbins will fit onto one Majacraft bobbin.  Makes plying soooo easy.

Speaking of plying, I've finished up the merino and nylon blend that I was spinning up on the Majacraft.  It's so thin I lost count a few times while trying to add up my yardage.  I have a ton of work to do yet tonight for my job so I'll be counting that again tomorrow when I get a chance to take photos.

It definitely looks like it will be between a lace and fingering weight so I'm hoping for a ton of yardage.  Whether I'll knit it up, or sell the handspun I've yet to decide, but it would make a gorgeous triangle shawl.

Since it's a new quarter at school I am on another goal setting mission in hopes of making the fourth quarter even better than the third.  I've also been on a mission to organize life at home in a bit of a spring cleaning effort.  Well this has rolled over into my fiber hobbies as well.  Although before I've been setting monthly goals, since I'm blogging a few times a week I decided to set a few weekly goals as well.  Ready to see what I'm hoping to finish this week?

Goals for the Week:
  • Finish the Alpaca
  • Knit a Hat
  • Complete one repeat of the Shawl
  • Finish the Monster!

I love goals. :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I swear I haven't bought anything!

Last week I said I place an order with Knit Picks due to some "work stress" I have been dealing with lately, and it arrived on Friday!  It was a big increase to the stash as 18 balls of yarn came to live with me.  Each of those weighed in at 50 grams.  Want to see the sock yarn?

I have a think for self-striping yarn and I will not deny it!  These were fairly cheap, and sooo soo pretty!  Plus it allowed me to get free shipping on my order and you can bet I'm a sucker for free.

Of course, seeing as how I have a new best friend who loves to crochet, we decided to meet up on Friday and take a little adventure out to the yarn shop in Summerville, SC.  We went.  I bought.  I figured since I had been buying so much at the big box craft stores and online it was time to show some love to my local yarn shop as well.

It was the first time I had stepped foot in there and I was not disappointed.  My ideal store would have excessive amounts of trekking and regia, but that's just my silly little preferences.  This store did have some stunning sock yarns and I might have come home with two of them.

I loved the colors in this yarn.  It was bright, pretty and will make a fabulous scarf for next fall.  It says "sock" but I've never been a huge fan of socks made out of singles.  Now, I do love sock weight yarn, and singles make fabulous scarves and shawls, so the yarn definitely has a plan in mind!

Since my current obsession is actual socks, I decided that I needed some "real" sock yarn as well!  Aka, yarn that I will knit and wear as often as possible.

I loooved these colors.  In real life it's a bit more purply, but of course that doesn't show up the best with my camera, especially since it's been overcast today with a bit of rain.

So yes... 1100 grams of yarn came into my stash on Friday. For those of you keeping track that is almost 2.5 pounds.

Since so much has been coming in, I do have some plans for things to be leaving, but that will be coming more in the future.  As some stash leaves, more will come in, and hopefully leave again shortly after.  But for this you will have to wait and see. :)

Yarn Out:  3954 g (7589 y)
Yarn Destashed:  376 g
Yarn In:  2648 g
Yards Spun:  1907 y
I do think it's funny.  Even with all of the yarn purchases this year I still have used up a good bit more than I've bought.  Guess when you look at it that way it isn't too bad. :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Loving Retail Therapy

Yes... It was a fairly rough weekend, but instead of resorting to drinking and wasting my money away on alcohol I decided that Yarn was a better purchase.

Friday I placed an online order with Knit Picks.  There was a kit that I had wanted ages ago and I decided my bad day was reason enough to make the purchase.  While waiting for this to arrive, something else showed up at my door.

It's the 2012 Into the Whirled Fiber club for the month of March.  After seeing the photos of all of the Into the Whirled club shipments I was dying to get my hands on the club fiber.  I am so glad that I decided to join because this is absolutely delicious!  It's 85% Polwarth, 15% Silk and is sooo soo soft, not to mention stunning.  I love the colors she used to dye this!

Then today, I got a text message after work.  "Hey, do you want to meet me at AC Moore?"  Yes, my yarn friend invited me to meet her at a big box craft store and help her 'pick out yarn.'  It all started out so well!  And then my friend went to the restroom.  While she was gone I managed to find about 9 skeins of yarn that I "needed."  Oh well!  I do love some retail therapy and I bought yarn to make some gifts for my family back home.  With Mothers and Fathers day just around the corner I need to get started now.  Right after that will come the holidays and my goal is to knit all my gifts this holiday season.  Aside from that, I will be getting married some time in all of this holiday mess so best to start out early!

Ready to see the photos of today's haul?

Something for Dad
Something for Erin

A present for Mom

Another unknown gift set.
I haven't planned out these gifts exactly yet, but I'm kicking around a few ideas with my spare time.  Since I only have a few projects on the needles at the moment I'm hoping to get them started soon!

Oh, and remember last Monday when I said I would be trying to spin 2 oz a week in order to have the raw alpaca finished before I went home for Easter?

This past weekend I plied up another 3.5 oz skein of alpaca!  That's 1.5 ounces MORE than I had planned on spinning last week!  If I can spin another 2 ounces this week I will be ahead of the game.  Whether or not that will happen I do not know, the allergies are working overtime right now and I have no desire to play with the raw fiber right now!

Hope everyone is having a great week so far.  Since I've been getting so much done lately you may see a few more blog posts out of me in the future. ;)

A lot more in this week!

Yarn Out:  3954 g (7589 y)
Yarn Destashed:  376 g
Yarn In:  1548 g
Yards Spun:  1907 y

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Ups and Downs of Life

Well, it happened again.  Just when I thought everything was looking up and that life was turning around I found myself crashing back down and falling to pieces in the process.  There are parts of my job that I love, and there are other parts that are so toxic I block them from my mind whenever I am there.  My boss informed me on Friday that I had "not made the gains they had needed" and thus "I would not be recommended for a contract next year."  For the third year in a row I will be unemployed again at the start of summer.  The first time this happened I felt finding a new job teaching would be hopeless, but family and friends encouraged me to continue with my passion.  My coworkers were shocked that I was let go, so I must have been good enough for them to be surprised that I was "let go."  The second year I was dismissed due to budget cuts within the state and county which was based on my contract level for that year.  I was ready to go back to school and find a new career, surely two years in a row was saying something!  Again, coworkers from the new school encouraged me not to give up.  They felt I had a talent and I needed to be there, especially since they felt I was so good at what I did.  I was rehired at the same school that "let me go" last year and was having what I felt was a great year.  I could see my improvements.  I could see how I was growing within my profession and really having an impact on my students.  Unfortunately the administration did not agree and I have just under three months until I will begin searching again.  Although I knew this could happen, and with the toxic environment at my place of employment I considered quitting on my own, it still crushed me to be told I wasn't good enough for their standards.  I'm looking at the bright side, I'm focusing on things that make me happy and I promise not to babble on and on about my job hunt in the upcoming months.  If anyone has any suggestions for switching careers please do let me know!

Now for what you really came for... the yarn!

I finished something.  Can you guess what it is?

Pattern:  Wingspan
Yarn:  Handspun - Superwash Merino from Crown Mountain Farms
Comments:  I had 700 yards of this handspun and only used up approximately 401 yards to make this scarf/shawlette.  138 grams of yarn.

I LOVE this project!  I have some plans to make more scarves/shawlettes in handspun yarn because I do enjoy it so much!

Since I had so much yarn left, and Knitabulls is doing a Monster Madness March KAL I decided to cast on for a Dot the Dress Up Box Monster by Rebecca Danger.

May I present to you:  A Monster Butt.
Since taking this photo I have finished the main body of my monster and have come to a horrible stopping point.  I have no idea what to do for the contrast color that is needed for the eye patch and the ears.  I want to use handspun and would prefer to keep with Superwash Merino since that is what I have for the main body.  I do have a variety of CMF Superwash up in my stash so I may do some stash diving over the next few days and get your opinions.

Things like this make me wonder if people actually do read my blog.  I started this blog with the intention to help store and track my personal information for my own use.  I assumed that very few people actually read it; however, while watching The Knitting Game Podcast yesterday I thought to myself: "I love this podcast!  I really should remember to join their group!"  Not one minute after this thought occurred the lovely podcastor began going down her list of new members and mentioned my name.  Oh!  I did join!  Awesome!  Shortly after she began talking about how much she enjoyed my blog.  I died of shock.  Here I was convinced no one read my blog. ;)

Oh I have a yarn update too:

Yarn Out:  3954 g (7589 y)
Yarn Destashed:  376 g
Yarn In:  1013 g
Yards Spun:  1907 y
The finished scarf is added to my list as well as some "new" fiber that came to live with me yesterday.  I'll post some photos of the new fiber some point this week.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Just Plugging Away.

Work has been very busy as always and unfortunately I haven't been feeling well here myself.  Back in December they stopped making the medication I had been on for over 8 years, and it took three months before I realized the "new" medication just wasn't working at all.  After a miserable night last night I finally realized what the problem was and headed to the doctors this afternoon.  Hopefully she'll be able to find me something to substitute because I don't know how long I'll be able to deal with this!

Oh well, on to yarn talk!

My friend Dori came over on Saturday and we played with yarn.

281 yards, 100 grams of a two ply yarn, dyed by Dori and spun by me!  This took just a few hours to spin up and is sooo soft and squishy.  This was the second braid out of the fiber we dyed up the other weekend.

I'm really enjoying spinning up the stuff we dyed and I'm in LOVE with the new wheel.

I've been plugging away on a few larger projects lately, just trying to make a little dent in them.  One of them was the 12 ounces of alpaca fleece a friend sent me to spin up.  There is one skein all wound up that weighs about 3.5 ounces and my math tells me that if I can spin approximately 2 ounces each week I should be able to have this done before I go home to visit!

Finishing it before I head home means that I can deliver it back to it's owner in person.  Saves me about 6 bucks in shipping, but hey, I'll be spending a few hundred on gas just to get to and from home.  Plus I haven't seen this friend in over 2 years so it's a great excuse to meet up with her again.

Also in the past week I've been working my way through the wingspan shawl/scarf thingy.

I LOVE this handspun.  I've just started the second ball of handspun right around the start of the 6th triangle.  The second skein is a bit thicker than the first, so I think for future projects I'll be making a better effort to check my gauge more often to get a more consistent yarn.

I do love working with handspun!

Yarn Out:  3553 g (7452 y)
Yarn Destashed:  376 g
Yarn In:  913 g
Yards Spun:  1907 y
Had some more yarn destashed too!  Dori used up the rest of the Lincoln I purchased years ago at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival.  Not bad fiber, just not fiber for me.  Also since the blue handspun is being gifted to her (since she dyed it) I have another 100 grams that disappeared from my stash!  It feels so good to declutter!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another FO!

It's DONE.  DONE DONE DONE!  Last night I wove in every last end to the afghan I started back in December of 2006.  Five and a half years, but I've finally gotten it finished.

Pattern:  Popcorn Ripple
Yarn:  Caron One Pound in Nutmeg, Rose and Lace.
Comments:  I LOVE this blanket.  I made it twice as wide and used the majority of 6 pounds of acrylic.  I wanted a nice big afghan that I could snuggle up in during Ohio Winters.  Of course, I've moved to South Carolina and it's proved very useful here as well.

Since I've finished this, I've been spinning away on the Alpaca hoping to finish that as soon as physically possible.  I've also been knitting on my scarf and socks as well.  Now that this long term project is off the needles I hope to get some work done on my shawl I started back in 2006 as well!  I will get this long time UFOs off the needles!

Yarn Out:  3553 g (7452 y)
Yarn Destashed:  50 g
Yarn In:  913 g
Yards Spun:  1626 y

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's March!

Wow, this year is flying by FAST and I'm still plowing away with my knitting and spinning so far this year!

I meant to update on the 1st of March to wrap up February and discuss my knitting goals for March; however, real life got in the way and I put my post off until the weekend.  Well, today is Monday so obviously I'm a little behind again!

Oh well!

February Goals:
  • Knit my February Hat for 12 Hats in 2012  Done!
  • Finish the Afghan started back in 2006 So Close!
  • Finish the Stripe Study Shawl  Done!
  • Make some progress on my Candle Flame Shawl  Haven't touched this!
  • Buy NO yarn/fiber! Oops!
I was hoping to finish the afghan but alas, it did not happen last month.  I will say though that last Saturday I completed the last row and tied the stitch off!  Now I just have to weave in all 10000000 ends! *Insert Groan Here*

Since I last updated... I bought a wheel.  Yup, bought a wheel.  Well, technically I purchased it prior to my last post, but it finally arrived last Wednesday!  I put on some of the fiber I dyed with my friend D from work and ended up with approximately 341 yards.

This was Peruvian Wool Roving from KnitPicks.  Dyed with McCormick Food Dyes in the Crockpot and spun up on my new Majacraft Suzie Pro.  I ended up with 3.5oz of yarn which is approximately 341 yards.  It's a fingering weight and will make a lovely scarf or even some hard wearing socks!  This is NOT superwash! (I need to put this here or I will never remember!)

Also for March I signed up to participate in the Knitting Blooms March KAL.  For their KAL, the podcastor picked a yarn from our stash for us to knit up this month.  The majority of my SC yarn stash is handspun, sock yarn, and of course the occasional handspun sock yarn.  We'll she picked out approximately 700 yards of Crown Mountain Farms sock weight that has been in my stash for ages now.

After some careful deliberation and a run through my queue and other ravelry pattern searches I settled on Wingspan.  So far, I'm in love.  I never really appreciated knitting with handspun until recently and I don't know that I'll ever stop knitting with handspun.

I'm so in love with these colors!  I apologize for the bad photos.  Unfortunately I haven't made it home to get some good photos during daylight hours, so I'm stuck trying to get good photos at night.  These photos are very accurate as far as colors are concerned!

March Goals:
  • Weave in all those ends!
  • Finish Wingspan
  • Finish the March Hat
  • Make progress on Candle Flame Shawl
  • Finish Spinning the Raw Alpaca!
I have lofty goals, but if I don't set goals I won't complete anything!

Yarn Out:  1073 g (2925 y)
Yarn Destashed:  50 g
Yarn In:  913 g
Yards Spun:  1626 y

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Year of Berets?

I think this might become the year of Berets!  I said last Monday I hadn't even begun to think about my 12 Hats in 2012 hat for the month of February, but Thursday night I pulled some handspun out of the stash, and today I cast off on my newest hat!  Technically I guess this is the first hat I've ever finished for myself.

Pattern:  Spring Beret
Yarn:  Handspun from DragonFibers in Peachsicle
Comments:  Great Pattern, loved being able to use my handspun!  I knit the extra slouchy version and it was more of a "slouchy" hat.  Probably because my yarn wasn't the worlds most even worsted.  The yarn was about 8-9 wpi and is sooo smooshy.  It's a 80% Merino/20% Tussah blend and was a dream to spin!

I've been plugging away on the afgahn as well.  About 3 full days left in February and I may be able to finish my goals but it will definitely be close!  With work (and a now sick cat) I'm not sure the blanket will get finished but I sure am trying!

Stash Update!

Yarn Out:  1073g (2925y)
Yarn Destashed:  50 g
Yarn In:  913g
Yards Spun:  1285y

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mid-Month Update: February

I want to update on a weekly basis, but it seems that work has been WAY too busy lately and with the cold I was dealing with, I just never had time to log in and post.  At the beginning of the month I set a few goals, and while some of them are coming along, others are not.

February Goals:

  • Knit my February Hat for 12 Hats in 2012  (Have to start yet!)
  • Finish the Afghan started back in 2006 (Working on it!)
  • Finish the Stripe Study Shawl  (DONE! DONE! DONE!)
  • Make some progress on my Candle Flame Shawl  (Haven't touched this!)
  • Buy NO yarn/fiber! (I fell down... big time.)
Pattern:  Stripe Study Shawl
Yarn:  Dream in Color Smooshy in Gothic Rose and Deep Seaflower.
Comments:  LOVED this pattern!  I didn't do a gauge swatch because it was a garter shawl.  I figured I would have plenty so I didn't worry about gauge.  (I'm a little lazy too.)  Well I did run out of yarn after doing 11 of the 12 rows.  No worries though because the shawl is plenty big!  I'm not sure that I'd make this again, but I'd love to do some other patterns of hers!

 I also finished some more handspun this past week.  The lincoln that I bought a few years ago at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival is now out of the stash!  There is about 8oz of blue left, but I'll be saving that for a friend of mine to use when she practices her spinning.  This set of green lincoln is 444 yards and approximately 170 grams.)  About 50g of this lincoln was used when a friend of mine learned how to spin a week ago.

I have a stash update for you below, and you'll see I had a big falldown this past week.  I placed a knitpicks order last week because I wanted to do some dyeing with the same friend I taught how to spin.  The adventures of that are still drying and I hope to be showing those to you this week!  Either way, I bought less than I've used so I'm still in the negatives for this year!  (Also, 113grams of that Yarn in was gifted!  Totally not my fault!)

Stash Update!

Yarn Out:  1001g (2792y)
Yarn Destashed:  50 g
Yarn In:  913g
Yards Spun:  1285y
There are 9 days left in February...  Chances are I will not meet all of my February goals.  Work has been so chaotic I haven't really had time to think of casting on anything new.  Because of that I think my focus will be finishing up some of these projects I've already got started.  If I find time hopefully I will still get my February hat done.  If not, no loss, it's 12 in 2012, and I still have 10 months to go!

46 days until Spring Break!!! Yes... I AM excited!  I will be making the trip home to see my family, maybe some friends, and pick up the rest of my hobby stuff still living in Ohio.  It will be so nice to have all of my knitting books, and my acrylic stash in South Carolina!  I miss charity knitting and it's so hard to knit for charity when all the yarn you have is handspun and expensive hand wash only wool!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Finally some Photos

The first project was finished at the end of January; however, I didn't get around to blocking and taking photos until this past weekend.

Pattern:  198 yds. of Heaven
Yarn:  Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in Swimming Pool
Comments:  This was a great pattern, I used up some washcloth cotton I had in the stash and did an extra repeat of the body to use up more yarn and make it a little bigger. I may make more of these in other colors.  It would be great for handspun!

Also I showed you the Llama fiber I had been spinning up.  It's done! There is 8oz of handspun, 576 yards total.  Of course some of that yardage may disappear during washing, or maybe I'll get lucky and the yarn will grow during washing?

I love the colors of this and Llama is SO soft!  It will probably be a shawl or scarf, something that doesn't need to fit and will drape nicely.

Stash Update!
Yarn Out:  817g (2058y)
Yarn In:  0g (0y)
Yards Spun:  841y

The shawls yardage had already been added in since it was bound off for my last update, but the handspun is new!  Another 576 yards added to my handspun stash!  Lately when looking at my stash it feels as if it is shrinking quickly.  Part of me is sad to see the yarn disappearing fast, but another part of me is happy to see these things finally being knit with!  I have big plans for when my stash is gone, but you'll have to wait to see what happens. :)

February Goals:
  • Knit my February Hat for 12 Hats in 2012
  • Finish the Afghan started back in 2006
  • Finish the Stripe Study Shawl
  • Make some progress on my Candle Flame Shawl
  • Buy NO yarn/fiber!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Two FOs and Two NEW Cast-Ons!

I said I would be setting some weekly goals for myself, to help myself keep motivated and feel like I've accomplished something, especially when working on larger projects.

Last week, I set these goals:
-Finish the Washcloth
-Finish 198 yds. of Heaven
-Use up the rest of the first skein on the Candle Flame Shawl

Finish the washcloth: DONE!
Pattern: The Cotton Dishcloth (once removed or dressed up)
Yarn: Peaches & Creme in Pink Lemonade.  Yes.. I still have more of this left.  This cloth only used up 39g and it seems like this will be the skein that never ends!

It is a great pattern though, I loved knitting it and already have plans to cast on some more, especially since it only requires 39 grams of yarn!

Finish the 198 yds. of Heaven Shawlette: DONE!
Pattern: 198 yds. of Heaven
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton
Comments:  I added an extra repeat in the main body, and somewhat regret it.  It used up a lot more yarn, but it came out bigger than I expected.  I did use a size 10.5 US needle since I was using a dishcloth cotton for the shawl.  I'm sure once it blocks out I'll like it a little more, and if not I'll wear it inside when it gets cool.  This was done for a KAL on Ravelry and I love the pattern.  I may make it in another yarn, or even a laceweight yarn at some point in the future.

Finishing up the first skein of the Candle Flame Shawl.... yea, it didn't happen.  I had a very busy week between work and life in general, so no other projects happened this weekend, but it's okay.  After watching tons of podcasts and listening to everyone talk about socks I decided I needed more socks on my needles.  Then while chatting in virtual knit night the other day, someone showed me the nanner socks she was working on by Wendy Johnson.  Wait... I have that pattern, and yarn I bought FOR that pattern YEARS ago!  But that yarn was living in Ohio... or so I thought.  Turns out it was in my boxes upstairs!  So guess what I cast on?

Yup!  Nanner socks in Lime & Violet Sasquatch Sock (75% wool, 25% nylon) that I purchased ages ago from their shop.  This stuff has been in my stash for way too long, so it's finally nice to be using up some of those sock yarns I was hording...

Speaking of sock yarn, I also wound this:

Two skeins of Dream in Color Smooshy Sock Yarn in colors Gothic Rose and Deep Seaflower.  I bought these yarns over a year ago with intentions to knit them into gift scarves.  That hasn't happened yet, so when I came across the Stripe Study shawl for the Knitting in Circles Podcast I knew what I wanted to make out of these yarns.  The pattern has been downloaded, but haven't been cast on yet.  Hopefully I'll get them started at some point tonight.

Since I have two new FOs, I also have a new stash status update:

Yarn Out:  817g (2058y)
Yarn In:  0g (0y)
Yards Spun:  265y

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Tuesday!

Wow, is it me or does this week seem to be dragging along just a little?

I seem to have lost my motivation at times.  I finished the socks and was thrilled to have one of my three major UFOs off of the needles, and encouraged by a Knit-A-Long I cast on a shawlette out of worsted weight yarn.  That flew along very quickly, but now that I'm "almost done" it's starting to drag just a bit.  Of course since it's a triangle shawlette it gets bigger and bigger with each row which means more stitches!

I am using stash, and it is part of my cotton stash, so I plan on using as much yarn as possible!  Yay for stash busting!

This leads me to the point of my post.  I like goals.  When the year started out I had several goals, and although I am still flying through my goals for 2012, I would like to set myself some mini-weekly or even monthly goals as the year progresses.  Why?  Because I need to feel like I'm accomplishing something!

Weekly Goals 1/23-1/29: (I plan on my weeks starting Monday mornings.)
-Finish the Washcloth
-Finish 198 yds. of Heaven
-Use up the rest of the first skein on the Candle Flame Shawl

Three goals, three projects, a good beginning.

Want to see what I'm spinning?
It's 100% Alpaca (I think...maybe Llama, I'll have to look.)  It's been a pain keeping Odis out of this fiber.  I have to keep it tied up even when I'm in the room and high on a shelf when I'm not.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

One down... Two to Go!

I mentioned several times this year that I was planning on finishing up some of those UFOs that have been lingering on my needles for way too long.  When at knitting group last weekend I hauled along the socks I began knitting back in December of 2008.  They were plain stockinette so it was nice to just knit mindlessly along while chatting with everyone.

Well I finished up the ribbing this week and cast off.  Both socks were made at the same time so no second sock syndrome for me!

Pattern:  Widdershins
Yarn:  Knit Picks' Simple Stripes
Comments:  It was a great pattern and a great yarn.  The only reason it took me so long to finish them was because of a huge knitting hiatus and the fact that they were stockinette.  Next time I'm putting a pattern on them!  Love the yarn, wish Knit Picks still made it. :(

I'm heading down to the outlet mall to hit another knitting group today.  I think I'll take the shawl from 2006 along to work on while I'm there. :)

Yarn Update. :D

Yarn Out:  545g (1571y)
Yarn In:  0g (0y)
Yards Spun:  265y

So far so good!  I haven't bought any yarn, and I'm plowing through some projects and using up stash!  I have a new found love in shopping from the stash. :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Finishing the UFOs

I have some Unfinished Objects (UFOs) that have been lingering for years in my project bags.  Two from 2007 and another from 2008.  One of my goals for this year was to work on those UFOs and actually get all of them DONE this year.  Of course I have other goals for 2012 as well and so far for 2012 all is going well.  I haven't bought any yarn.  I've finished my January hat for the 12 Hats in 2012 KAL/CAL, and now I'm using my knitting time to alternate between the old afgahn and the ancient shawl.

This week, my main focus has been the Popcorn Ripple that I started in December of 2006.  I decided way back then that I needed it to be twice as wide as a normal afgahn because I wanted to be able to wrap myself completely in it while snuggling on the couch to watch a movie.  Of course, this means it takes quite a long time to complete a row and that is the main reason why I haven't gotten much accomplished on it throughout the years.  The stash diet of 2012 has inspired me to pull this 6 pound afgahn out and finally get it done.  Finishing it would mean another 6 pounds out of my stash which means 3 pounds could come back in as purchases. ;)

Of course, the giant afgahn isn't the easiest thing to haul around and work on while out and about, so I've had a washcloth living in my purse.  Another 4-corners dishcloth was finished today and added to my washcloth collection.

Pattern:  4-Corners Dishcloth
Yarn:  Peaches & Creme
Notes:  Love it.  This is the 4th or 5th time I've made this pattern and it's just such a fun shape.  Very easy to remember and I'm likely to make many many more this year as I'm on a mission to use up all this cotton.

New Yarn Totals for 2012!

Yarn Out:  453g (1146y)
Yarn In:  0g (0y)
Yards Spun:  265y

Wooohooo!  One pound gone from the stash in just 15 days!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Arrow Hat

I never used to knit hats, but for some reason they seem to be one of the things I'm enjoying knitting most right now.

In Ravelry for 2012 I decided to take the 12 hats in 2012 challenge and make 12 hats this year.  It seemed like an easy challenge for me since I can knit a hat in 1 day if I have absolutely nothing to do.  So far, we're doing well for 2012.  I cast off late last night, and wove in the ends today.  I would have finished earlier last night; however, I ran out of yarn during the last few rows and had to rip and rework it a little.  Overall I am very happy with it.  This was made as a stash busting effort and will be tossed into the gift box for the upcoming year.  At the rate I'm going I may be done with holiday gifts by May. ;)

Pattern:  Arrow
Yarn:  Handspun - 97 grams and approximately 312 yards.
Comments:  I couldn't find a gauge for this pattern; however, I just knitted away happily.  It was a little on the large side, but it fits nice and it's comfy as well.  This was the first handspun I had ever made on my spinning wheel and I did hold it double to get the worsted/aran thickness.  I did run out of yarn a little towards the end, but was able to rip the two rows prior to the decreases in order to get the yarn needed to decrease at the top.

New Yarn Totals for 2012!

Yarn Out:  411g (1067y)
Yarn In:  0g (0y)
Yards Spun:  265y
I'm making progress!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Scarves, Yarn and Hats Oh My!

It's been about 3 days since I've last posted and believe it or not I've gotten quite a bit done in that time!

I think I'm surprising myself at how much I'm getting done this year as far as my fiber goals are concerned.  In fact I'm so motivated by how much I'm getting accomplished that I'm actually refocusing on my weight loss goals.  I am getting married in December of this year so I would like to be able to really drop some pounds before then.

First up.  Mom's birthday scarf is done!

Pattern:  Beginners Reversible Scarf
Yarn:  Handspun Romney (I think)
Comments:  I LOOOOOVE this pattern.  I have made the complicated lace, and the intricate colorwork, but for some reason lately I'm all about the basic patterns.  Maybe because they're quick and mindless and let me unwind after a hard day.  This is the first handspun I ever spun on my wheel so I had some different thicknesses in my yarn.  I did have to hold some of the strands together to get the right thickness when I realized my skeins were all a different weight.  It worked!  Scarf is done and next weekend I will mail it out to my mother.

I still had quite a bit of yarn left so I took the leftovers and cast on for my first hat of 2012!  I found TONS of hat patterns on Ravelry that I want to make this year, and I decided to join the 12 Hats in 2012 group to help me with some of my New Year's Goals.  Now that my mom's birthday gift is done I decided to get moving on my hats!  They make great gifts, and they're quick knits.  I plan on making several hats and tossing them in bags until birthdays and holidays come up later on.

Little O decided that my new Arrow hat makes a great bed, and wouldn't get up so that I could take a proper picture.  Never fear!  As it progresses I will get more photos. :)

Oh, and to give my hands a break from knitting I decided to get some roving out last night and spin a little.  Now this yarn has a bit of a back story.  I have never liked "art yarns" because I had no idea what to do with them.  Some I saw as functional, but they just were never something I had much of a desire to spin or knit.  Well... I was given this in a Secret Pal swap a few years ago.

She told me it was an art yarn batt... I could tell!  I tossed it immediately into my stash and was too afraid of it to actually turn it into something.  Well with my coming back to knitting and spinning I am on a mission now to use up that stuff I have, especially the stuff that has been lingering in my stash for so long.

The resulting yarn is actually kinda nice.  It's a funky green yarn with a lot of pinks and oranges throughout and a bunch of bright green ribbon yarn, and some other novelty yarns throughout.

The first skein has a lot more ribbons in it.  I planned it this way hoping I could have one skein of "ribbony" yarn, and then a skein of matching plain old worsted that I would be able to use for a cuff of a hat, or possibly decreases and seaming.  It worked out fairly well since the majority of my "fluff" is in the first skein.  This one was 55 yards and weighed in at 63 grams.

The second skein has very little ribbon and it's all at the beginning of the skein.  So I can easily start from the plain side of the yarn, and when this runs out I can start filling in with yarn from the other skein.  This skein clocks in at 60 yards with only 51 grams.

A total of 115 yards, I should definitely be able to get a basic hat from it.  Definitely won't need a fancy pattern since this hat will be all about the yarn.

With the finished objects and the new handspun this updates my yarn stats for the year:

Yarn Out:  314g (755y)
Yarn In:  0g (0y)
Yards Spun:  265y

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Well.. It's Not A Washcloth!

It's January.  January.  I realized two days ago when going on and on and on about how I was going to knit gifts this year for all of my friends and family, that my mother's birthday was coming up soon.  In fact it was coming up very soon.  At that point I had 17 days to knit a gift and ship it back home to her before her birthday.  Well, I was busy with a washcloth.  (Are you surprised?)  So last night I went into my stash and looked for a suitable yarn that I could turn into a scarf for mom.  I know what is in my stash, and my color preferences do not always match those of my mother, so I was very concerned about being able to find something from stash to knit for her.  Luckily the first bin I opened up was the one that holds my handspun, and a bluish gray was sitting on top.  5 skeins of it.  This is the first handspun I ever spun on my Ashford Traditional wheel.  I loved the fiber when I bought it.  I loved the yarn after it was spun.  But it wasn't really my colors.  It is however something I think that would work very well for my mother.

I started the scarf last night and was able to get that far before turning into bed.  I think I'll be able to finish it with plenty of time.

In case you were concerned... I did also finish another dishcloth. ;)

Pattern:  Seamless Circular Cloth
Yarn:  Peaches & Creme - Pink Lemonade
Comments:  Good Pattern.  I'm getting sick of the yarn a little. LOL.  This is the 4th washcloth I've finished this year so my gift box is picking up some items fast while my stash is beginning to dwindle!

I'm in a few groups on Ravelry, and although I am tracking my stash busting by tracking the grams used, another group of mine is tracking the yards knit.  So I thought I would add that to my destash list as well!

Yarn Out:  181g (388y)
Yarn In:  0g (0y)
Yards Spun:  150y