Archive for the ‘FO’ Category

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Getting Acquainted

August 20, 2009

I am happy to announce that we have been in Stuttgart for 6 nights, 5 days and are in LOVE with the immediate area.

Some caveats include intermittent internet access as our suite charges €10 per hour!  We are working on getting a better rate but until then, I am limiting my surfing.

Other issues we are working are obtaining our SOFA cards, taking German driving class and subsequently obtaining driver’s licenses, finding a vehicle large enough for the 6 of us and all the musts associated with that (registration,insurance, etc), finding a home to accommodate the 6 of us, registering the kiddos in school, taking German language lessons, etc, etc, etc.

Each day is quite busy but I have found time some evenings for knitting and crochet.  I have finished a few pair of socks and some washcloths for charity and gift giving.  Speaking of fiber… I searched this area for wool shops and this past Tuesday, I readied the kids for a train ride to downtown Stuttgart where I found the shop Wolle & Tee.  A quaint little shop and a delightful French proprietor, Isabelle Roche.  My quest was to find some natural sock yarn to dye as well as some ready dyed sock yarn.

I was a bit surprised at the limited sock yarn available but realized, after viewing Isabelle’s handwork displayed throughout the store, her favorite projects are childrens items and womens wear.  Most of the yarn available at Wolle & Tee is Sport weight and DK with some aran weight and oversized yarns available as well.  Despite this, I will certainly frequent Wolle & Tee again  Perhaps if I visit often, I might find more sock yarn on the shelves ;-)

I am just a child in a candy store at the moment, so many Yarn Shops at my fingertips!!!  I plan to visit at least two shops a month, my efforts in contributing to the Global economic crisis ;-)

Auf Wiedersehen!

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Days Away

August 11, 2009

We are literally days away from our departure from Italy and arrival in Germany.  In the past 10 days we have managed our little circus quite well, if I do say so myself.  From packing our home, organizing our move, orchestrating the moving company, filling and filing paperwork (lots of paperwork) and a few other suprises along the way; we have remained sane and mostly stress free.

I have to say though, without the aide of some wonderful people, this move would not be so easily done.  Our family friends, by first names – Melinda and JP, have been fantastic.  There were days Melinda volunteered to take all four  kids!  This may not seem like such a big deal to some but consider that Melinda has her own brood of four children as well!  This family is amazing to say the least and I am so grateful for their presence in our lives.  Last night I mentioned to my husband how wonderful Melinda and JP are and how they had volunteered their help without our soliciting.  My husband, being a macho type – not intent on gushing, simply relplied, “Well, they realize what it is to conduct a move and live a life with four kids.  I’m grateful for their help, but I am not surprised.”

At first I was upset at my husband’s under reaction to Melinda and JP’s generosity.  Then I let it all sink in and I realize, he is right.  When good people do good things, especially when those good people understand the given circumstances, it is not surprising.  I suppose I am so accustomed to the sterile relationships that seem to dominate our society, that I tend to over react towards the genuine kindness of others.  To encounter genuine people, especially non-fiber folks ;), is fast becoming a rare occurrence.

Anyhow, this is the first time I’ve been online since the drawing and last podcast.  I have accomplished some knitting and spindling but I will save that for the next entry.  Until then, Auf Wiedersehen!

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A New Trend on the Forecast…

June 8, 2009

Procrastination.  Even if you don’t think it looks good on you, you still wear it.  In fact, it seems 95% of us (Americans, anyhow) are wearnig the title.  So, if that many are wearing the title, it is a new trend and thus, looks good – right? ;)

 

OK, OK – I’m just trying to rationalize and glamorize my severe neglect of this blog – You caught me :”)

 

So what has been going on these past weeks?  Lot’s in fact.  I’ve been knitting quite regularly, done some dyeing, back at spinning, tackled some felting and had even done some sewing, too!  Of course, all this productivity does not in anyway imply I have shunned my other responsibilities.  In fact, the four kiddos are keeping me on my toes.  And, I find I am as excited as they are to see school and baseball come to an end this week.  

Before I post photos of my latest accomplishments, I want to take a moment and invite you to join me in a Knit Study or Learn Along – I am not sure which title I prefer at the moment but that can be worked out later.  I will go into further detail on this week’s Podcast (which will record on Friday) but for now, details are as follows:

 In an effort to brush up on knitting skills and learn new things, I plan to study the following ( not necessarily in this order – or in any sort of order, really ) :

 

  • Cast Ons: for garments, cuff down and toe up socks
  • Bind Offs: for garments, cuff down and toe up socks
  • Increases & Decreases
  • Short Rows
  • Shaping 
  • Hem Lines
  • Incorporating a stitch pattern into a design template
  • Joining flat peices
  • Freeform knitting
  • More to Come…

 

 I am gathering up all my half-skeins, acrylic, and long-forgotten yarns to begin this study in basic and advanced knitting techniques.

I will use various books from my library when necessary and will include them in a separate post as a Bibliography for your reference.  I may also make reference to online resources, which will also be added to the Bibliography.

In this week’s Podcast I will announce the first study.  We will begin with a basic and essential: Measuring for Gauge.  If you wish to participate, please leave a comment on this blog or post a message in the Destiknit the Podcast (DTP) Group in Ravelry. (a Ravelry link)  

Depending on listener/reader response, I will post study info and possible tutorials here on the blog, in DTP Group or both.  The greatest benefit of choosing DTP Group as a posting place is that we can all share our experiences, suggestions, questions, photos, etc. there.  

 

So, onto hand made goodness; knit-wise, spin-wise, dye-wise, felt-wise, sew-wise:

 

 

 

Unst

Unst - These were pair #2 for DD, knit at a looser tension.

 

 

POMS  – one finished (picture coming)

 

Dyewise:

 

Sacre du Printemps

Sacre du Printemps - I actually dyed this yarn for the fore mentioned sock pattern. But, I can be a fickle fanny and am now thinking this yarn wants to be Sunshine.

 

 

 

Shades of Grape

Shades of Grape - DD has requested purple Spiral Boot Socks. Since I am trying to work from the stash, I kettle dyed some SW Merino with Kool Aid.

 

 

 

 

 

Crayon Sack

Crayon Sack - DS2 and I were truly bored one day. I found a skein of Cascade 220 and one of each type of Kool Aid we had in the pantry. After a very brief instructional (he's watched me hundreds of times), he went at it, creating a beautiful rainbow yarn, he called Crayon.

 

Crayon Sack, closed

Once the yarn was dried and caked, I knit and knit and knit until I nearly ran out of yarn. We felted the floppy pouch and were thrilled to bits when the finished item was 'perfect' for DS2's colored pencils. Crayon Sack, closed

 

 

 

 

 

Felt Fabric from Scratch

Felt Fabric from Scratch - Really! I have a pile (really a plastic shopping bag) full of wool fibers that just aren't suitable for spinning. I thought I would try needle felting but that would require the purchase of more equipment. Instead, I decided to try wet felting the loose fibers to create a single, cohesive fabric. This small sample has given me tons of inspiration for future projects!

 

 

 

 

Cape May-ish

Cape May-ish - Our Monthly Adventures Group had decided to do a Sew/Knit Along, using the Cape May pattern. DD and I thought this would be a great collaboration and immediately purchased a Charm Pack of her chosen colors. Once we reviewed the pattern, we realized the original bag would be too long for her frame. Not to mention our Charm Pack was short 6 squares. We grossly modified every aspect of the project. In fact, this is an entirely new bag, inspired by the Cape May bag.

 

As for Spinning, I have been tackling the Finn, still.  It really is taking me far longer than it ought to get this yarn spun!  But, I am half finished – then to plying.  I am still uncertain as to which ply I will use; either a basic 3 ply or a cabled yarn.  Either way, it will be a new ply for me!

Plus, I have two projects I am designing/knitting up.  I also have the Fat Feet pattern to finish.  Generally, pattern writing isn’t  tedious for me.  But, in this case, just as with the Ultra Comfy House socks, I am fairly certain a seasoned sock knitter wouldn’t need a pattern to recreate Fat Feet.  I am toying with the idea of simply typing my notes into the blog, as I’ve noticed other blogger/knitters do.

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Long Overdue…

April 4, 2009

… We’re at three – almost four – weeks now since the last post, right?  All I can say is, life happens. ;)

So let’s rewind and post a few pictures.

===

That’s as far as I got last week!  Obviously we are now at the four week mark :/

===

There was a whole lotta dyeing going on last month:

Sweet Feet

Sweet Feet, Sherwood

Big Fat Love, Primavera

Merlon

Merlon, Valpolicella

Sport Sock, Lupine Magnifica

===

And then my month was sweetened even more with numerous swap packages, two prizes and a RAK:

Pattern Swap, sent by rebeccawip

Spin Swap, sent by volkat

Spin Swap, sent by volkat

Color Swap, sent by toadyjoe

Color Swap, sent by toadyjoe

RAK, sent by Purr

RAK, sent by Purr

Phat Phlag Prize, sent by Aztecmonkey

Phat Phlag Prize, sent by Aztecmonkey

Broomstick Lace CAL, sent by Palomabella

Broomstick Lace CAL Prize, sent by Palomabella

Saucy Sweet Original Sock Swap, sent by TwinsMama

Saucy Sweet Original Sock Swap, sent by TwinsMama

Technique Swap, sent by FairySari

Technique Swap, sent by FairySari

===

I started Unst by Nancy Bush, Knitting on the Road.  Sock #1 was knit to near perfection, except for some snuggy-ness at the ankle.  Since I have been receiving a lot of questions in regards to tension, I thought this would be a great opportunity to showcase issues in tension and the all powerful gauge swatch.  Sock #2 was CO and is being knit on the same needles with the same yarn at a much loser tension.  Sock #2 is still on the needles and is nearly finished.  Once I have it BO and blocked, I will do a brief write up and post the pictures for comparison and then, decide which sock I like best and knit a 3rd!

Unst #1, just my size

Unst #1, just my size

===

My daughter had been working on a recital for her choir club.  As the recital neared, I learned that her Instructor will be leaving right after the recital to have a schedule Cesarian Section!  With just a few days notice, I decided to whip up a 2nd pair of Saartje’s Bootees.

Musical Bootees

Musical Bootees

===

Ah, I have had lots of messages on this one!  In need of  a better organizer for my circular needles and DPNS, I decided to give a neglected CD Binder Case a new purpose.  So far, so good!  I find that the slots are just perfect for the circulars and nearly perfect for the sock sized DPNs.  The longer 8″ DPNs are also in the binder but don’t seem to want to stay in the binder.  I am working on a solution for this last issue and hope to have all my needles in this binder eventually!

CD Case for Needles!

CD Case for Needles!

CD Case for Needles!

CD Case for Needles!

CD Case foe Needles!

CD Case for Needles!

===

Periodically throughout last month, I received various fiber purchases… so hard to resist!

I purchased some Polwarth and  Shetland from David of Come in Spinner, now South Cross Fibers.  I just love the colorways of both!

Polwarth, Carins fr South Cross Fiber

Polwarth, Carins fr South Cross Fiber

Shetland, Koala fr South Cross Fiber

Shetland, Koala fr South Cross Fiber

I also burned the credit card on some super soft 80’s Merino and a bump of natural brown Polwarth, which I purchased from someone’s destash.  Both are remarkably soft! … pure love.

===

Finally, in this week’s Podcast I mentioned a great cast on for toe-up socks.  I tried my best to describe it for you and then tried to make a video.  After several attempts, I realized a much better way to execute this new cast on and how to modify it for those who prefer to knit using the Magic Loop method.  Enjoy:

<<video coming – – – I hope! — If I find video to be too difficult, I will post photos instead. Stay Tuned!!>>

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IOU ~ lotsa pictures

March 1, 2009

As the title suggests, this will be a photo heavy post.  

So, let’s start with my dye session from a few weeks ago. I had mentioned dyeing sock yarn and roving – I had posted the roving but not the yarn!  This yarn is a Merino Sport Sock dyed in a colorway I am calling Stratosphere, I have two skeins available.  

 

Stratosphere Merino Sport Sock

Stratosphere Merino Sport Sock

 

 

I actually am knitting a pair of baby socks with it right now – it’s knitting up nicely and I am wishing I had taken better notes during the dyeing session :)  I am taking notes on the baby socks will post the pattern as soon as possible.

(photo coming soon)

Did I mention the BFL I spun?  I know I mentioned when I dyed it and I might have mentioned that I was spinning it up – no?  Well I did spin up some singles – 

 

BFL Singles - SoFistiCat

BFL Singles - SoFistiCat

 

 

then I knit up a pair of Saartje’s Bootees for my soon-to-arrive niece:

 

Saartje's Bootees for Charlie

Saartje's Bootees for Charlie

 

 

They are sooo cute, aren’t they?  Surprisingly this pattern is super easy, knit flat in garter stitch and then seamed.  Anyone can knit these purties up and I strongly suggest this knit for the Spring for Babies KalCal!

So, after knitting these booties I still had quite a lot of yarn left, so I plied it up and plan to knit another pair or two for the growing babe ;)

So then I went on and dyed some more roving – this time it was Merino and for a secret Spin Swap for the Monthly Adventures Group in Ravelry.  As of this post, the recipient has not yet recieved, so I only post the wet roving in the sink at the moment:

 

Spin Swap Fun

Spin Swap Fun

 

 

Shopping for swaps is always a lot of fun and often a source of pain (to the purse) as we often tend to do the ‘one for you, one for me’.  I did manage to stay within our budget (have I mentioned that we have a swap budget in MA?), so I am quite please with myself and I even managed not to buy (too much) for myself. ;)  I picked up a WIP gauge from KaratStix and a gorgeous Orifice Hook.

 

WPI Gauge from KaratStix

WPI Gauge from KaratStix

 

Orifice Hook in the Shop

Orifice Hook more in Shop

 

 

 

I also dyed some Finn top up.  It was one of those surprises as the end result is not what I had envisioned, but it still came out rather lovely – a deep blue with variants throughout.  I reserved 2 oz of the Finn to be blended with some Mohair, which had been gifted to me from Tnsinko (Linda), a fellow spinner who I ‘met’ in Ravelry.  The wool is presently being spun for socks… I am only guessing that Finn will create a soft and durable sock and that the addition of Mohair in some of the yarn will make for iron toes and heels.  What do you think?

 

Finn for Socks

Finn for Socks

 

 

In addition to the Mohair, Linda also sent various samples of her Romney sheep, which she raises for her own spinning pleasure ~ Lucky Gal!  I am so very grateful to have made  a new friend, Linda you are wonderful!  Linda sent over 2 oz of processed Romney from her most beloved sheep, Dianthus.  I have spun it up and am planning a special project for it ;)

(excuse the dark photo)

 

Romney fr Linda, plied to 17 WPI

Romney fr Linda, plied to 17 WPI

 

 

 

So what else? … Ah, the kids have spent some time spindling.  I managed to remember to whip out the camera toward the end of the last session… this one is of DS1, spinning up some BFL he had dyed with Kool-Aid.  This is the same son who fashioned a spindle out of Legos :)

 

DS1, Spindling

DS1, Spindling

 

 

I knit up a block for our Monthly Adventures BOM KAL.  The block will not be added to my planned afghan, however, but is intended to serve as a binkie for my soon-to-arrive niece.  It was knit with KnitPicks Crayon, an easy to care for cotton, which I found to be surprisingly soft and not so difficult to work with, for a boucle.  

 

BOM - as a binkie for baby

BOM - as a binkie for baby

 

 

I have already sent the binkie off with the booties and the below socks.  Unfortunately I did not take pictures of the finished binkie, I added tags around the edges, just right for teething babes.  The socks have a story to go with them, doesn’t everything? I will attempt to be brief.  Last July my DS3 was born, the entire pregnancy was complicated as was the delivery – – I will not go into details, this just isn’t the place.  

Bottom line, the Doctor who delivered my son, saved his life.  I was and am so deeply grateful and wanted to express this as any knitter would – I wanted to knit him a pair of socks.  So, I cast on a week after DS3 was born and I scooted right along and then I stopped.  I was at the point where I might start decreases for the toe on a Men’s size Medium… you can see where I am going with this… 

I had no idea what his foot size is and just couldn’t bring myself to ask him.  I did make a ‘fake’ appointment with him, just to try and get a visual… no luck, those shiny shoes really threw me off.  So, I made a wine basket, stuffed with crackers and chocolates and wine of course!  And the socks have sat in my UFO basket all this time.  Well, enter a Sock KAL hosted by fellow MAer Sulkycat and I suddenly find those socks and finish them, intending to send them to Laura, the soon-to-be-Mommy.  I think the socks will be nice and cushy for her tired feet in the weeks ahead.

 

New Mommy Thujas

New Mommy Thujas

 

 

Speaking of Sulkycat’s Sock KAL, I had to decide which pattern I wanted to knit up.  At first,  I thought I would knit the Heelless Sleeping Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks, but I decided to go with a lace sock and learn a new-to-me technique, Magic Loop.  I am going to knit, in fact I will cast on just as soon as I finish this post, Unst in Knit Picks Essential, Green Apple.  The color is almost exactly the same as the color shown in Knitting on the Road.  I chose these socks because I wanted something ‘Springy’ – we are all beckoning Spring in our own ways, aren’t we?

 

Unst from KOTR

Unst from KOTR

 

 

This past week, I have dyed 6 skeins of yarn.  At the moment,  I am waiting for the to dry, then I will take photos and post them in the Shop by next week’s post – stay tuned….

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Spring for Babies KAL/CAL

February 21, 2009

I’ve decided to go ahead and start our first KAL/CAL to benefit Babies. Baby knits are fast and easy and suitable for all experience levels.

Considering the numerous charities throughout the world, I will leave the choice of charity up to you. I am a firm believer in Charity at Home and will accept knits for neighbors, etc to be included in this KAL/CAL.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, letting me know your intent to participate and post your FOs in the new DTP Flickr Group. The Flickr Group is by invitation only, so you will be prompted to request invitation which I will approve ASAP.

So, to get things rolling, here are a few suggested patterns:

Saartje’s Booties

Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap

Pinwheel Baby Blanket

Curly Purly Soakers

Berry Baby Hat

Better than Booties

Blue Booties

Preemie Hats

Hooded Baby Blanket

As for prizes, I have one prize reserved but am seeking donations from vendors and artisans… prize details to follow soon…

ETA: It’s been decided, the KAL/CAL will end and the drawing will be held on May Day – May 1, 2009. I am actively seeking prize donations, so stay tuned for details.

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Early Release This Week…

February 12, 2009

… Why?

Because we’re having a PRIZE DRAWING!!!

Maevie has won the door prize and doesn’t even know! hehehe

You can win the next prize – and it’s easy to enter – all you have to do is go to iTunes and leave a comment about the Podcast!  

But hurry – this is a short contest – I will assign each comment a number and then randomly select a winner at Midnight PST (9am Rome) on Sunday Feb 15th. (click here for a time converter)

So, what’s up for grabs?

Winner’s Choice of one of the following Surprise Theme Packages:

  • Socks
  • Lace
  • Spin
  • Mitts

So you actually read down this far?  GO!  Leave a comment!   ;)

 

ETA – Due to the ‘distance’ issue and my wanting to get prizes out ASAP, I have decided to go through a third party to send the prizes out – will keep the winners posted ;)