December 10, 2014

Don't You Just Love...

A project that knits up quickly? Especially when there is a due date? (I don't like the pressure of due dates on my knitting. I don't want more pressure.) Knit in somewhere around 15sts/4", this baby is flying along. Photo below from Monday. Now the project lacks only tail and teeth and blocking.

 Such a nice change from socks. Socks knitting up on US #0 needles.

Life's little victories? The Shark Hat calls for a bit of red yarn, and a bit of white yarn. I knew there must be some hiding in the stash, left over from the last Shark Hat. Currently, my stash is sort of organized, into the side with (mostly) animal fibers and the side with (mostly) plant fibers. (yarns only, unspun stuff is a different category) Further broken into groups like; project groupings, yarn weight, random hand-spun, color, and odd bits + leftover bits. I freely admit I don't understand my brain's organization style, but if I try and fight it, well, then I really can't find anything.

So I went right to the leftover bits box and didn't find my red or white yarn. Okay, maybe the other side of my brain put those yarns in a different box. I went through the next most likely boxes, although they were only likely by process of elimination. "Let's see, they shouldn't be in the hand-spun boxes, or the sock wt (not much of that left, maybe I should spin some more?) or the lace wt. (Hmm, lace-weight, I hardly ever knit lace-weight. Why do I have it?). I ended up going through those boxes anyway, because I still couldn't find the yarn I was looking for. Well, maybe a friend needed those bits , and I gave them away? I didn't remember doing that, but it could happen. I was running out of places to look. Over in the corner was a box with some warp ends and small weaving samples, things that haven't been sorted yet. Meaning, I not sure how I want to 'organize' them. Anyway, that is where I found the missing yarn ball bits. Yippee! No doubt, the yarns were tossed in the box when the box was still in the family room, then moved to the closet in a tidy-up moment. Really, the entire search probably took less time than it took to write about it. It was just as gratifying as finding all three sets of interchangeable needles the week before.

December 4, 2014

Not So Bloggerly

I'm pretty sure that's a made-up word, but I think maybe most words started as made-up words. Maybe someone else has already used this word and created a definition, or maybe I'm the first person. Well, lately you might have noticed I've not been very bloggerly. Very few posts. Nothing is wrong, I'm just not feeling bloggerly. Busy and introspective. The busy part is fine, but introspection, well sometimes it's not worth sharing, or even thinking for that matter. Apologies.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. We spent it with my BIL and his wife and the extended family from both sides. We are blessed. Everyone gets along, no drama and the biggest problem is too much food. I am lucky to have such good in-laws.

My spinning is set aside, I've ramped up my knitting projects again. Back to the brown socks, and soon I'll cast on another shark hat. Evan's girlfriend is quite fond of his, so she needs one of her own. She is a lovely person, and I know she'll cherish the handknit. (There is an entire future post here about graciously accepting the fact that another woman now holds great influence over my son. Since I like her very much, it hasn't been that hard.)

So, what's new(t) with you?
 (Sorry, I couldn't resist. We had some real rain this week, and I found this little guy in the pool. Where did he come from? )

November 20, 2014

Why Finish A WIP

When it's so much fun to start a new one?

I was looking for a little spinning project, something to work on whilst sitting with my spinning pals. Something that wasn't a huge project commitment.  So I grabbed a nearby roving. I don't even have a picture of that hank, or remember who dyed it up so nice and pretty.  It's mostly wool, with some sparkly stuff. Firestar, maybe. Here's a picture of the beginning.
 It started off purple, and then went into blue. (Maybe there is some silk in there too? I think I still have the label someplace.) After blue came green, and then silvery gray and then kind of mauve at the end. The color runs are long.  My plan was to ply this with a different colorway, one that isn't made up into batts yet, just sitting in color chunks of roving. But, I'm thinking of heading in a different direction now. I have this lovely, silvery gray roving, wool and tencel, and I think the two would look amazing together. So I started spinning that.

But then, for some reason I went back to the stash, looking for something else completely, and found another colorway that I like. So now I'm thinking about these together. Then I added some black alpaca. Here's what I'm talking about.

 All together, that's 19oz of fiber. To make... I don't know yet.

November 18, 2014

Random Tuesday

For the last eleven years or so, I've been a regular volunteer with Birch Aquarium at Scripps. I love the ocean, I love scuba diving, I love science, and I love sharing some of this with other people. What better place than an aquarium? Another cool thing? I'm pretty sure I learn at least one new thing every time I'm there. Usually more than one thing, actually. Today, from a couple of college students I learned about how swordfish super-oxygenate themselves before hunting, by speeding from the ocean depths toward the surface. Another thing I learned is that coral comes in this color;
actually the true color is even more vivid than this. A cellphone camera can only capture so much.

November 10, 2014

The Promised Pictures

Gosh, still only okay pictures of this sweater, but better than the last one.
pardon my loose ends..

Things I love about this knit; button bands and edgings are knit right in, and the stitch pattern next to the button bands keeps everything looking tidy. The only finishing is grafting the underarms, weaving in any ends and adding the buttons. I used a cable cast on for the sleeves and bottom edge and think that worked out very nicely. With fancier buttons, this little cardi could go Hollywood.

(btw, this little sweater grew considerably in length when I wet blocked it. That surprised me)

October 31, 2014

Crafting Cuteness

Last September, my cousin's daughter Saige (does that make her my first cousin once removed?) celebrated her first birthday. As I gift, I offered to knit a sweater. According to my cousin, Saige wanted a black or dark grey cardigan with cables. The specifics were left up to me. Cool.

I picked the yarn first, a dark grey DK weight superwash from Plymouth Yarns. Grey because I think cables get lost in black, plus it will be more flattering to Saige, and DK because, well, it means fewer stitches than working in fingering. Superwash because, well, its a sweater for a little girl.

Once I had the yarn, it was time to select the pattern.

Oh Bother! Or oh Blogger! I had a post all finished and waiting, and for some reason it wouldn't save or publish and now I have to refinish this post. Pooh.

Pattern picking. Ravelry. Search by size and yarn weight and wanting a cardigan with cables for a little girl. Ran this search a few different times, on different days to see what stuck with me. There were a few that came close. I almost settled. Then I must have changed one attribute and a previously unseen pattern appeared. Silverfox. I had an AH-HA moment. This is the pattern I'm looking for. Those really cute little baby models, nope, they didn't sway me one bit.

I'm almost done with the sweater. Below is a rather poor cell phone photo. The yarn and the sweater look much better in person.
 Love the pattern, I think its very well written. The sleeves are knit first and set aside, and then the body worked from the bottom up and then joined to the sleeves and on up to the yoke. Looks like very little finishing for this one. Weave in some ends, block and add the buttons. Soooo close.

Hopefully, blogger doesn't eat this post.

October 26, 2014

Sudsy Sunday

Washing fleece today. Did some yesterday too. I feel a little bit guilty about the water use. I'm hoping to make up for some of it by turning the landscape irrigation down. And maybe I'll skip a shower. The humidity is up and the temps are down a bit so I'm hopeful things can finally go to a Fall irrigation schedule. The drought. So many areas of my landscape that, over the various drought years, have been allowed to die off. This winter I'm thinking about revamping much of the remaining irrigation to save more water. However, I'm worried that it will be money down the drain, so to speak, if the drought continues and harsher restrictions are implemented. Likewise replacing dead/disappeared plants with more drought tolerant ones. They all need water to get established.

Well, that went off on a tangent.

Okay. Washing. Wool. Yesterday I washed the CVM fleece I picked up at OFFF last month. I like the quality of the fleece, and would definitely buy from Cedar Glen Sheep Farm again, if I was fleece shopping. I wasn't really fleece shopping at OFFF, but gosh, I didn't have any CVM in my stash. Heh. This fleece is very well skirted, very clean and every bit looks usable. Spinner's dream. Here is a pre-wash photo.
The sheep's name is Butterfly. At lower left is a bag containing a washed sample. Very thoughtful. The fleece looks tan or oatmeal in this photo, but washes up to a soft grey.

Today I'm washing Navajo-Churro. White from Dovey and brown from Kayla, both ewes at Morgan River Ranch. Navajo-Churro sheep maybe aren't the best fit for Oregon weather, and some of both fleeces cotted near the skin. But there is still plenty of usable fiber. Dovey's fleece is very long and strong and should make some good rug yarn. Kayla's fleece has a softer hand, and might make a nice throw or blanket. Her lamb fleece is almost next-to-skin soft.

I have so much wonderful fiber to spin. I am very lucky.