Coming together

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After the last post when I completely had to stare at the wall for a few minutes after the not reading the whole pattern.  Now that I got everything back on track I will say things are going quite well.  I have been working on both the Anisos and Vanilla is the new black socks, both going fairly quickly, which won’t last too much longer.  I am feeling back to normal thankfully, which means I am returning back to work this week, which cuts down on knitting time.  I am very glad I took the slight risk, so far at least, with the gradient yarn I chose for Anisos.  This is coming out quite nicely, I’m just about done with the final chart and the color shifted somewhere between the first and second charts.  It went from the nice bright red to this somewhat crimson shade and hopefully will switch again soon, but I am liking how it looks.  Hopefully when this is done it will at least inspire some people to think that they should use a yarn like this, if not the same.  I will be glad to not have to rely on the digital charts however, since it makes things a little slow having to pull out the tablet every time I want to work on it.  I have no issues with digital pattern when they are more useful, but I do like the ease of use of just paper.  With that said, I should be able to get through the remaining 4 rows on the chart and start the main body of the shawl.  I am hoping that blocking will make it a bit bigger, but looking at it on the needles I think it will be a decent size, even with only 560ish yards.

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The Vanilla is the New Black socks are quite quick, even with my large man feet.  I was able to make the heel “flap” and turn the heel really easily and it adds a bit of length to the foot of the sock, which is a nice bonus.  I zoomed through most of the foot and today I started putting in the first toe.  I measured the sock against the plain knit “Mind the Gap” colorway socks I started making on my trip to London.  The measurement said I was ready for the toe, even though my ruler did not.  I went with the sock and did the toe, which I tried on before I did the final finishing.  I am glad I did because I found that I needed about another inch in order for the sock to fit properly.  So I ripped out the poor toe, put the stitches back on the needle and am going through the foot a little more.  Hopefully these will be done, at least the fist of the pair, tonight or maybe tomorrow.  That will remain to be seen, since I want to get the chart done of Anisos first.

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Which leads to something that is coming up soon, well there are two things upcoming.  The first will be the Ravellenic, which runs the same time as a specific winter event.  I have not decided if I am going to participate this year or not, since I don’t have a lot of time to knit.  However, I think that I am going to challenge myself and make a thick sweater, maybe a pattern I made before, but can’t wear since now the sweater is too big.  Which is not a bad thing, I just need to figure out who it will be going to.  With that said I have a gauge swatch already done, I think you can figure out which yarn I am talking about.  It’s the one I was going to use for the Grandson Cardigan, but my inability to read was the downfall.  I think that will be a nice shawl collared cardigan, but one that I have made before and really liked the finished item.  I need to still rip out the back of the previous cardigan, but that won’t take too long hopefully.  I am currently working on changing my routines in the morning and evening to optimize my time and do a lot more in the same amount of time.  This will mean that I should be able to do more knitting and other things, like working out.  Something that I really need to do, but am not looking forward to doing.  Besides that I do have something planned for this year, when it will be ready I am not sure.  That new project, which is not textile in a tangible form or pattern, will be for later.

 

The other even that is coming up is Stitches West, which I have not gone to in a few years.  The last time that I went was back in 2015 and I did not buy anything at the show, which I verified with the blog post from that day.  The only thing that I purchased was actually later from a local yarn shop that is no longer around, which is a shame.  But this year I am planning on attending, though I am not sure which day or days I will be going.  I am thinking of signing up for a class or something so I can go on Thursday for the main buying and then again on Friday for just some light browsing and fun with all of the knitters.  Though since I am going I have to think about what I want to wear, something knit of course.  If I can finish a few things before then I might have some good candidates for the show.  But I do have to figure out which booths I want to see and things that I might want to purchase first.  I still need to create my plan of yarn attack that I have done every year that I have attended and it has worked out quite well for me.  Time to work more on the final few rows of the chart.

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Seriously reading?

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Now I remember what my last post was supposed to be about, which now will be a good Segway into this post.  When I finished the Brickless for my mom, I knew I needed to start a new more interesting knitting project.  So I was going through my queue on Ravelry and I have been pretty good at moving things up and down the queue in order of what I want to knit first.  I wanted to make my self a nice sweater for myself, since I have not made one in a while.  Even though I know my body shape is not where it’s going to be eventually, I knew I needed to knit on one that was quick.  So I pulled out my needles and some yarn that I won and decided to swatch.  I read the gauge on Ravelry and disregarded what the pattern said until I printed it out.  Yes I printed out the pattern, I do like having a nice print pattern on occasion.  That’s besides the point, so I printed out the pattern and was looking at the sizing and I glanced at the gauge in the pattern.  Ravelry said that it was over stockinette, but the pattern said gauge was over the main sweater pattern.  Oops, I was impatient so I cast on the number I needed and went to town.  Halfway through the back I was looking at it and knew that it was going to be too narrow, so I did what any sane knitter would do, I blocked the hell out of it.  I hopped that I could continue with the knitting and not have to worry.  But we all know how these things go, they don’t end very well.  The piece finished blocking and was not the right size, about 2-4 inches too narrow.  So this will need to be frogged, but not forgotten, I will be making that pattern again at some point.  But with just viajante on the needles I needed to start something new.  I have not blocked it yet, that’s something I need to do today.

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Well I did finish viajante, it is very nice, should be very warm and I think that it will look good.  Through I am not sure I can pull this offthe way I think I could.  We will just have to wait and see I think, for now it just needs a good blocking.  But since I have been sick for a few days now, no need to worry the coughing is getting the most of it out of my system now, I needed to knit on something new.  I had something at the top of my queue that I have been wanting to knit on for a while.  This pattern is from the Jared Flood collection, Anisos which is a gorgeous shawl/shawlette that most people have made in a solid color.  I knew what I wanted to make it out of something fun and exciting and when I bought the yarn I knew that was the project for it.  The yarn in question is Apple Tree Knits Plush Fingering Gradient in the colorway Murderous.  This gorgeous shades of red, maroon, and black I think will look very spectacular in that pattern.  So yesterday I started working on it, not knowing that it is constructed from the bottom up.  I read through the pattern, as much as I needed to, to get started.  So I went ahead and did the insanely high numbered picot cast on and got ready to start the chart.  Normally I don’t use markers, but in this case I needed something to keep me making the pattern work.  Then I started and it looked like I had about 100 more stitches then I should have.  I checked the math on the pattern and everything looked good except with my calculations I was still off.  I kept working on the number and looked at the chart again, then I saw that I missed one simple instruction, “repeat chart twice in a row” and I almost lost it.  I started at it, not believing I missed this instruction, redid the excel calculations, yes excel I like it, and guess what the numbers matched.  I was not sure what I was going to do next, continue knitting, swear at myself, stare and the wall and think about not knitting ever again and take up something like reading.  Even though I am apparently not good at reading directions or anything.

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Now that that was done I was able to continue with the knitting, which is quite fun actually.  I had to ditch using the paper pattern and use a digital pattern on my tablet, with a PDF reader.  I’m about halfway through the first of two charts and am liking how this is going so far.  But now that my easy project, yet time sucking, is done now I needed something easy.  So I pulled out a skein of Biscotte yarns and pulled out the Geek socks pattern and started working.  As I watched the beautiful colors started to stripe, I knew that the pattern would not work with this color.  So I had to decide if I was going to just work a plain sock or knit another pattern.  I remembered there is an infamous pattern I have been hearing about, so I looked it up and the number I cast on would work.  The pattern I am talkin about is of course, Vanilla is the New Black socks.  I am almost at the heel and I only started these before bed last night.  I am liking how they are going so far and the yarn is amazing.  It’s just a Merino Nylon blend, but it feels like it has cashmere in it.  If you have not checked out Biscotte Yarns you should.  I think I’m going to bindge watch some Netflix, with knitting, and some good Robitussin and go to town.

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Reading is hard

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I hope everyone has had a happy holidays, regardless of what holiday you celebrate. Last year was kind of a low key holiday for me, I didn’t want to make a lot of things for gifts since the amount of time that I have had has gone down. Those socks were my only intended gift as you know by now. But when that random gift skein of yarn came in and my mom fell in love with the colors I knew I needed to knit to fast. I didn’t want more yarn sitting in stash and taunting me. So I did speed knit through it, well as fast as one can mainly knitting in the morning and a little at night. It was worth it, since it was done in time for giving to my mother, but I didn’t have time to block until a day before it needed to be wrapped, but it was there.  It was sufficiently looked at in awe from the recipient and others, everyone thought that it was very complicated.

 

I have not been working on too much that has been exciting, mostly just Viajante.  Which  thankfully is on the border, I am not going to make another one of these.  I know I said that the first time, but I mean it this time. I am not going to make a new one of these, ever.  The amount of around and around the needles would make anyone sick.  I am going to enjoy wearing this a lot, but right now I don’t think I can deal with knitting it ever again.  That is not a knock on the designer or the pattern, both are wonderful, it’s just that much stockinette will drive me nuts.  A sweater I can do, since it’s a straight tube, but this one increases and gets bigger and bigger.  Hopefully I can finish it today and wear it this weak, while it’s still cool.  Well cool for California, which is lows of the 40s, which is not cold anywhere else that has real cold, but this is California.

 

I bought some more yarn today, since I’m not feeling well, I decided that some yarn for some fun, cute little things would be good. Hopefully they’ll go quickly, they should but we will see.  No photos, since the only thing I have been working on is just bigger and does not look like much change.  Knitter out.

Time loop

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I’ve been trying to post something for about a month now and I just haven’t been able to. With what kittle time I have, I have not had the energy to write a post take pictures, and be witty. I have been knitting, with the little time that I do have. I did buy some yarn, we will get to that as well. First let’s just start with knitting, there has been some. Since I finished my Slide socks those needles wanted to knit more, so I pulled out some sock yarn and flipped through Knit Sock Love. I found a pattern I thought would be interesting and fun to knit on, a perfect gift for my mom. I had her look through the book and she liked most of the patterns. The Thelonious socks are whay I ended up knitting and I am thrilled with how they turned out. Took me a little longer because I still can’t follow directions, no surprise there. Sometimes I miss the, “at the same time” and sometimes I just assume I know the pattern. Which both of those things occurred on both socks. But they are to pattern, are blocked, and ready to be given as gifts. These are out of Sweet Georgia Tough Love sock in a beautiful teal, but they did bleed a lot during the initial wash. So I’ll just have to warn the recipient, but I think they should be warm and long lasting.  With those done I needed to have a second project, one more interesting then the Viajante.

Lets talk about that one, the big rounds and rounds of knitting are still going and I’m barely making a dent in the second ball.  I keep knitting and knitting, no matter how much or little I knit on it, progress has crawled to a standstill.  I will be so happy to have it completely done, but it’s going to take a while to get to that point.  Hopefully I will be able to get this done soon, but I bet it will be next year when it is done.  For the new project, when I received yarn for a reward, I looked at the skein and knew the pattern, but not the recipient.  My mom saw the color and she wanted it and asked what I could make of it.  I told her a scarf, then she asked if it could be done for Christmas, I told her probably not.  I lied, I started it this week and am about halfway through at this point.  The pattern that was chosen is the Brickless pattern out of Blue Moon Targhee Worsted.  It is quite nice to knit on worsted yarn for a change, it goes by so much quicker then what I have been knitting with for a bit.  I’m hoping to have it done in the next few days and then I can either start socks or maybe a sweater for myself.  I have not decided what I want to knit on next, but I will figure it out soon.  I’m still thinking a sweater for me, socks for me, or maybe a shawl.  Maybe I’ll just pick up a design I put down right before I switched jobs.  I really am not sure.  But what I am sure of is that I will be working through stash as fast as I can.

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Speaking of stash I did buy some more yarn, even though my stash does not need to get any bigger.  One skein is from Sundara, which I keep getting her emails and sometimes I resist very well, this time I did not.  There was a color I was going to buy, because it had Paris in the name, but I waited to long.  It was a gorgeous rusty orange but what I bought is an beautiful deep red with flecks of grey in it, it’s stunning.  The color way is called, well on the tag it’s called odds and ends #104, but the real name is unknown.  Whatever it’s name is, I’m very happy with it.  I’m already imagining warm cozy things with it.

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Then there is Biscotte Yarns, which I was introduced to just by chance.  They’re a Canadian yarn company that does some really nice self stripping yarns.  When I first found out about them, when I got home from work I was getting ready to buy a bunch of skeins.  I settled on just two for now and they arrived very quickly.  On top of that, the owner of the company is so nice and so is the yarn.  I think I’m going to need to knit these up quickly and buy more.  The two colors I picked up were Sorcerer’s Uniform, and Constantinople.  Both are gorgeous in person and I don’t know where she gets her base yarn, but for a 75/25 Superwash Merino/Nylon, these are so soft and have a great ply.

Then that brings us right around to the last purchase I made.  This one was something that I have wanted for years, something quite luxurious and I have enabled others into buying them.  I have never bought or used one until recently.  This is a spinning tool, something I realized I don’t do a lot of because of my wheel.  Not that my Lendrum is a bad wheel, it’s just kind of inconvenient to have to pull it out everytime I want to spin.  Especially in such a small space that I currently have at home (hopefully next year I will move out and get more space).  I bought myself a Hansen Electric Mini Spinner with the standard jumbo flyer and the woolee winder.  I wanted to get a woolee winder for the Lendrum but I tried a friend’s and I did not like it.  I knew on the Hansen it would make a big difference and I was right.  I’m currently trying to get used to not moving my feet when spinning and I’m using some included sample fiber, from Abstract no less.  I think I’m doing just fine so far, but when I am comfortable I’m going to offload the little bit of singles on the Lendrum onto this.  I need way more time and days off to get anything done.  Back to knitting and enjoying some quiet time at home before the week begins.  I’ll try to post more often then I have been.  We will have to see what happens, this should be enough to catch you all up to what I have been doing in my textile time.

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Calm waters

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I finished my open waters shawl, with some edits. Well mainly I didn’t want to buy another skeins to get the full repeats of the pattern. So I was short by 14 rows, give or take. So I decided to get in a similar point in the pattern and start to bind off. Keep in mind this was at 5am, I was already mostly through the bind off so all of the thinking was done the night before. So I finished fairly quickly, wove in ends, and now it is blocking, waiting for cooler weather. We got another heat wave here, not too high at least, the highest being 90F. The mornings are still brisk but not conducive to wearing anything with wool or cashmere. So it’ll wait for next week when it should be closer to fall weather here.  Which Can I just blocked it yesterday, it has been waiting since Monday to be blocked. It’s mostly dry now, so I’ll be able to wear it next week since it will be cooler then.

Speaking of finishing I also completed my Slide socks on Saturday. Even with my big feet I was able to get them done fairly quickly. It’s a neat looking pattern, though some of the instructions seemed a little weird to me and I had to double check myself. Some were so off that I decided to go with my inner knitting expert and it turned out alright, like making the stitch count odd and then decreasing to an even number of stitches, probably just an error or was intentional. But I did not follow those instructions. But now that these are done, I think I need to cast on some more socks but what will I knit next. I did consider casting on a pair of plain socks in the new yarn I got. But I decided that should wait a little bit, I need to work on some socks for gifts. I think it is time that I work out of Knit. Sock. Love. and make some socks for my mom. She has been wearing the skews that I made out of handmaiden casbah a lot, so I think she needs more socks.
Speaking of completed, no I did not finish my Viajante yet, but I did finally start the second ball.  It is not the fastest thing in the world, but it makes for some pretty nice easy knitting. I will say I will be glad to have it done so I can work on other things.  The next things have been prepared and are ready to go, I just need the needles off of this project. Apologies I have not posted last week, haven’t had enough energy to get myself to write, get pictures, and such.  Doesn’t seem like a lot of work, but things happen and I just don’t have the time sometimes.  I’m still working out a posting schedule so I can get these posts up regularly.  For now, no photos, those will wait for the next blog.

Back up Plans

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Remember last time I talked to you that I was hoping that I didn’t need to get another skein of yarn?  I was determined to make it work with just the two skeins that I have and not have to blend different dye lots,  years apart?  I was so determined to make it work and finally I came to the realization, I was going to not have enough.  I had to look over the pattern again and I made an error there as well.  I thought the pattern said to repeat the last 32 rows 32 times, but what it really said was repeat these last 32 rows 8 times.  So I was saved there, almost complete with repeat 6 would mean I would have 2 more to go.  I looked at the floppy ball of yarn that I have left, it was not enough.  Only for maybe this repeat and a half, the bind off, and that’s it.  I would be playing yarn chicken the whole time and I didn’t want that.  I tried it on, while it was on the needles and remembered it will change size when blocked.  Even then I knew it was not going to be enough to get this done.  So I went to Eat.Sleep.Knit and found they had 8 skeins of the yarn I would need and I know their photos are pretty accurate.  So I ordered a skein and it arrived really quickly, I ripped open the package and looked at the skien.  It was defiantly matching their picture and it was going to be fairly obvious.  I’m going to blend the skein with the remaining bits I have from the second skein.  I think it will still look good, but I wish I had done something else so I would not have had to do this.  It is still looking quite good, the yarn looks more blue then it actually is.  It is lighter in the grey and has a little more blue, but it is going to be a decent match.

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While I waited for the yarn I knew I needed another project to fill the void and something that wouldn’t take too long.  I grabbed a skein of sock yarn from stash and needles and got to work.  I started a pair of Slide Socks out of The Fiber Seed Sprout in Rainbow in the dark.  In two days I had the first sock, Friday was that day.  So then yesterday I started the next one.  I’ll probably have that done this week as well, I’m finding a lot of knitting time, which is nice.  Though it’s cooling down here, besides the fires north of me.  So I am looking at bulky sweaters and have picked out yarn from stash and a pattern.  That will be started once the socks and my Open Waters Shawl is complete.  Then Viajante will give it’s needles to another project that I think I found to be perfect for a yarn that I have.  We will just have to wait an see on that.

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But I did get some new yarn in that was not for a WIP.  I told my knitting group when  I got a full time job I would order some yarn from a New Zealand dyer.  Well that time came and we all placed an order together.  I finally picked it up on Friday and I am so excited to start something with them.  One might need to be started sooner rather then later, since it is Halloween themed.  That yarn is Stray Cat Sock Yarn on Etsy and one of the knitters is from New Zealand so she had worked with the yarn before.  So it was well vetted and a few of them already have that yarn in their stashes as well.  I picked up three skeins, one in Revolution, Denim & Dandelions, and All Hallow’s Eve.  Aren’t they pretty?  I’m going to have to knit faster now.

Also I am working on getting a more concise blog schedule going soon, so hopefully you’ll see more of my knitting and other textile shenanigans.  Oh and I’m considering starting a podcast, would anyone be interested in that?

Warp issues

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I know that is has been a while, I’m still figuring out the new posting schedule for the blog.  But there has been some crafting going on here and I did promise I would tell you about the woes of the weaving that I have been working on so here it goes.  Once I got the warp board from a friend of mind, who was gracious enough to let me borrow it, I calculated the amount of yarn needed.  I then wound the correct number onto the board and got to work.  I made my little single color bundles and then it was time to do indirect warping on the loom.  This was the first time that I had done this so I was a little nervous.  It eded up being alright, a lot of petting and thwacking the yarn, but that worked out mostly.  But When I was threading the first heddle I found that one of the bundles was one end short, so I quickly wound the needed yarn and attached it.  That was no big deal, but the aligning of the threads and not being able to comb through them took a long time.  So I am going along, aligning the threads, listening to music, when I notice something odd.  One of the warp threads broke, starting at me.  It looked at me and I looked at it.  I started to mutter some bad words and put the loom away for that night.

 

A few days later I got the courage to fix the warp that was on the loom already, so I grabbed the extra yarn (and yes I know I’m using yarn and thread, bear with me it’s a 22/2 yarn) pulled enough off to get the warp fixed.  Tied a weavers knot and started winding the rest of the warp on.  Well what I was using as the guard for the warp was construction paper that I have.  Well it was not wide enough and so I had to use two pieces next to each other and I guessed how much I would need.  I was completely wrong and so I had to cut more of the paper to get it wind on all of the way.  But then it was slanted and not winding properly so I had to fix that as well.  Then it was time to tie up the warp to the front of the loom.  I had to pit it down again because I wasn’t sure how long it would take and all of these weird bits made me a little unmotivated.  But then I did tie it on one way, started the header and decided it was not good enough.  The warp was not behaving right, so then I took it out and re-tied it, slimming down the number of threads that made up each tie up.  Then I was finally able to weave, but the weird thing is that now the warp is tight except for a few spots when I switch to the down shed.  Even though when everything is neutral it is all tensioned properly.  So I don’t care enough to fix it and besides this is a test run for these towels, so I’m just going to work around it.  I’ve done a little bit of the weaving after work, just to make some progress on it.  So far it is all going fairly well, with some weird spots ,but I’m working around it.  Hopefully these are worth the effort, which I have heard that they are.

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Knitting wise is not going that much better.   My Open Waters Shawl went through the first ball of yarn already, only 3 repeats into the main section which means I have about 29 more to go.  I knew I was going to be a little close, but now I’m doubting the yarn and my decision to use a U.S. 3 needle.  I checked to see if there is a place that sells the same yarn and color way and fortunately I did find some.  It’s my backup just n case there is not enough yarn to make the size right, but we will just have to wait and see what happens.  I’m really hoping that I do’t need to get more yarn to complete this project, especially since the dye lots will be completely off.  But in the even that I do need to get another skein I can blend it in and make it look intentional.  This is the back up plan I have had to do before and it has worked fairly well then.  I’m just hoping I don’t need to do it again.  Viajante is going well however, just about done with the first skein of Madelinetosh Prairie, which means I’m getting a lot closer to being done with the whole thing.  I will not  be making another one of these again, at least for a long, long time.  I won’t say I’ll never make another one of these (that bit me in the butt before) so I will just say for a long time.  I want to make so many other things and use up some of the stash, for sure the next thing will be a sweater and some socks.  I think that will be good.

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Light at the end

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Sometimes you are just ready for a project to be completed and you work on it for longer then you anticipated. Maybe you decide almost near the end that you need another skein of yarn so that you can finish the size you wanted. Then you think well I have enough yarn for the larger size, so let’s do that. And then halfway through it you find out that you don’t have enough to complete the pattern as written. So you decide to cut out a color and bind off. That’s exactly what happened with my Dotted Rays shawl, I ended it early on the larger size, ending with the charcoal.  Wove the ends in as quickly as I could and even a week later I still have not blocked it.  It look pretty good as it is, but I know blocking will make it even better.  With that off the needles it was time to turn my attention over to another project.  With more then one project on the needles I get a little antsy, but I’ll be ok with having the two that I decided on.  The first is my Viajante, which I have had languishing for a little while now.  It’s not that I don’t like the yarn or the pattern, both are excellent.  It’s just the long amount of stockinette that I have ahead of me I’m not looking forward to.  But I will say it’s perfect mindless knitting or traffic knitting (yes fully stopped) and just I can’t think knitting too.  I did a bit of work on it after completing my Dotted Rays, probably a good 4″ or so, but it is hard to say.  I will say that for how autopilot this is and for how little I work on it, it is making some nice progress.  Maybe sometime before the end of the year I will have this done, but that might not happen.  Stay tuned for that.

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The second project is a new one that I have been looking at for a while.  I was going to buy the book it was in, but I decided to wait and I’m glad that I did.  It became a downloadable PDF on ravelry and so I bought that pattern (and 4 more, can’t blame me for getting one pattern free, I was weak).  Then I had to figure out what I was going to make it out of.  I decided to stash dive and pulled out two skeins of Madelinetosh Pashmina in Rain Water.  So with yarn wound, needles in hand, and pattern at the ready I cast on.  I first tried one of the patterns I bought thinking that it was borderline that it would work with the yarn.  It didn’t work, the time and effort to get the pattern was wasted on the yarn.  Even though it probably would have been fine, but I wanted to do something else.  Remember that pattern that I wanted?  I decided that it would be perfect for the yarn and I was right.  Once it was cast on I just knit and knit, until the pattern was appearing on the needles.  It is perfect for the yarn in almost every way.  I decide to knit it out of a sport weight even though the pattern wants a fingering.  And I’m using a needle size one smaller then I would normally,  but I think the pattern and yarn will make a nice fabric once it is blocked.  That pattern if you are wondering is the Open Waters Shawl and it is so much fun to make.  I brought it along with me to my first day at a new job, oh I forgot to mention that, but it’s not important for this blog.  I knit on it when I could, in the morning on breaks, and have been enjoying it immensely.  I still want to knit with some of the Apple Tree Knits yarn that I have, but I have not decided which one I will work on first.  I think for that I will need my U.S. 4s which are currently in my viajante.  So once that is done I can decide then what I want to knit next.  For now I’m going to rock these two projects until they are done.  That might be a while though, since time available to knit has gone down quite a bit.  But there are no complaints there, I’ll knit when I can.

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Where there’s a warp

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Well this past week (give or take a few days) has been quite challenging when it comes to knitting or fiber in general. We had a pretty impressive heat wave that left a lot of us just melted into a puddle on the floor.  Excessive heat warnings every day, not wanting to go anywhere that did not have AC, and making sure to stay cool and hydrated were just a few things that went on here.  Of course this is nothing compared to the fires, hurricanes, and everything else going on, but I can only talk and write about my textile experience.  It was very hot for a few days, when 97 degrees feels cool and you get excited for that, you know it was blistering hot.  The max temperature we had here was 116 degrees, of course this is all in Fahrenheit, or 47 Celsius for anyone that uses metric.  I don’t have AC here at home, which means the parentals and I had to sweat it out when we were not at work.  On top of that my car had AC about 5 years ago, until it broke and I haven’t wanted to spend the money to fix it.  Well let me tell you I would have paid it immediately when that weather hit, putting the car even in the sun for an hour made it so hot I couldn’t grip the steering wheel for longer then a few seconds.  I couldn’t sit in it during rush hour(s) traffic (yes I mean hours, it lasts from about 3:30 until 6:30ish here, it’s intense), because I would be so drenched in sweat.  The last thing I wanted to do was put anything fiber related into my lap and work on it.  Even though my Dotted Rays is out of Cotton, that would still be something on my lap.

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With few options in terms of knitting, meaning no options because of this whole monogamous knitting thing, I had to turn to something else.  Weaving and spinning were the only two options I had left and I opted to complete the project that I had on the loom for a while.  Just a simple plain weave scarf out of yarn that I purchased at the Black Squirrel.  It’s a quite lovely DK weight yarn that worked out pretty well into weaving if I do say so myself.  Within a few hours split between a few days I was able to get the entire thing woven.  Then I had to work on the fringe, which in 97F degree weather is still a challenge, so I did a little bit of it.  I waited for the weather to cool down a little more, which meant in the morning later that week.  But with all of that fringe done, washed and trimmed up, I needed to pick something else to work on.

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Well I did buy yarn to make some nice kitchen towels earlier, but I didn’t have a warping board to do it.  Thankfully one of my knitting friends was gracious enough to lend me hers and so I got to work winding 9 little bundles of yarn to be the warp for the towels.  I’ll have to leave the saga for you all for later, it’s pretty good.  But here is the yarn that I bought for my birthday, not a lot but a good little bit.  More shibui to make another riverine, but no mohair.  And another ball of Apple Tree Knits in the murderous color way, which I have a fondness for.  Back to the loom for a little bit, I need to get some better progress on that done.

Little Squeals

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One of the best compliments a knitter can receive by those who do not knit, is when they squeal and jump with glee.  Usually when something is small and adorable, people can’t help but think it’s cute.  The baby tea leaves is small, has a good color, pretty good buttons, and is for a baby.  I think it nailed it on the head, especially when the recipient mother was excited and saying things like, “it’s so adorable” or, “she is going to look so cute in this.”  Even some other friends/coworkers came up and started making adorable sounds and squeals when they saw it.  I’m very happy with how it turned out and that it’s going to be well loved and used.  That’s always the hope for a knitter.

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Now onto other knitting things and even a bit of weaving.  I know I have not talked that much about weaving on here, but I’m going to be going full force with it for a bit, since I have the time.  Since I’ll be starting a new full time job in the next few weeks I have about that amount of time to get things done before I don’t have that much free time.  With that in mind on Friday I took a trip up to Custom Hand Weavers, the only weaving shop left in the area.  The shop has been there for longer then I have been knitting (which is 13 years) and is run by the sweetest woman.  She was very kind and gave me a lot of ideas of what I can weave.  While there I picked up some 22/2 Cottolin to make dish towels.  I’m going to be making the ones out of “Inventive Weaving” by Syne Mitchell, using two 12 dent heddles.  They will be three colors and I think a good introduction into weaving with more then one heddle.  If you’re unfamiliar with looms the heddles I’m referring to are the ones that give the rigid heddle loom it’s name.  The piece that the yarn goes through is the heddle and these are stationary, set at specific intervals to give different “gauges.”  Big looms are usually measured in shafts, which can be equated to the heddles on the rigid heddle, not exactly but similar enough.  At least this is all to my understanding, I’m still new at weaving.  To make a finer fabric, you need of course thinner yarn, but you also need a loom that can handle that gauge of yarn/fabric.  A floor loom with multiple shafts can make complicated and very fine fabrics.  A rigid heddle can do it, but you just need more heddles to accomplish this.  Well for me the two 12 dents will make a nice thin fabric, but the Cottolin is a 60/40 Cotton/Linen blend which will give it strength, good water absorption and dissipation, and should last a while.  But I ran into a snag when I got home, which I knew might happen.  To make the towels I needed a long warp (the yarn that goes from you to the back of the loom) and I can’t directly warp the yarn onto my loom as it is.  I just don’t have the space needed to be able to do this.  That is unless I went a little crazy and blocked access to part of the house for an hour or so.

 

With that in mind I’m going to need to get a warping board, which will allow me to get a longer warp and allow for future projects as well.  However, I’m not ready to pick one up until I can figure out which one I would like and decide how big I want it to be.  They come in a range of maximum warp lengths.  I can buy ones that are 4.5 yards, but they aren’t going to be good if I wanted to make longer items.  But I think 4.5 yards or 162″ would be a fine place to start.  It would also be smaller which is a concern for me since I don’t have the much space to store anything right now.  I’ll weigh my pros and cons and pick one up soon.  But I’m going to have to get back into the weaving grove, so I’m going to work more on the scarf I have on the loom right now.  Maybe even warp up another project and then I’ll start the towels.  I did get some more yarn Friday as well, but you will just have to wait and see it.