Obsessed knitting geek, mother, and science teacher - not necessarily in that order

Friday, August 15, 2008

On sock hiatus

I was away on holidays for a week and then needed a week to recover. While I agonized over what knitting to bring I did very little knitting - I was waaaaaay too exhausted chasing after my two year old all day in Disneyland.

Anyways, I have some major knitting mojo since getting back and while setting aside socks for awhile I have made some awesome progress on other projects. I finished my Lu sweater/wrap and LOVE IT. Already know I will make another one in a different yarn
I have also started a Knitting Pure and Simple children's bolero in 100purewool 'Hardly' colorway.
And still chugging away on my sea silk Montego Bay scarfIn spinning news, I got some lovely rovings from my Summer of Yarn Love swap pal and have my first bobbin of Crown Mountain Farms Corriedale pencil roving (Dance of the Dervish) done. It is the first of three as I attempt my very first 3-ply sock yarn.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

FO Satisfaction

Mr. Greenjeans is done - ends need to be woven in and needs blocking. Overall I am happy with it. The fit is baggier than I would like but it will still make a nice cozy sweater for the fall/winter. For my first sweater I am very happy with it.

Also finally finished my Spring Forward socks - love the pattern and will probably make them again. The repeat is easy to memorize but not boring and looks pretty cute!

In spinning news, I worked up some yummy Fleece Artist merino that I got from the fiber fest:

and made this

And in the mail this week I got my Ravelry organic cotton tote. It is so cute and perfect for holding my spinning fibers - and yes I also got a whole bunch of fiber as well that it is currently stuffed full of. Right now I am working up some corrie pencil roving from Crown Mountain Farms.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The spinning madness continues...

and yes my knitting has been languishing...a bit.

Here is my half done Noro scarf -just so it looks like I have still been knitting ;)

Here is some stuff that has come of my wheel this week:

2-ply alpaca merino fingering weight - this stuff was dreamy to spin. I am looking forward to the alpaca fleeces I have on their way to me.

Some stuff from exclusivelylindalee: pima cotton in "sunflowers" and a mixed batt of Merino, Tencel, Blue Face Leicester, and Corriedale called "Mojave Nights". The pima cotton was very difficult to draft evenly but the end product is still very pretty.

The mixed batt was my first time spinning from a batt and it was interesting working out a good pre-draft to include the mix of colors I wanted.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Summer Dreamin...

Okay so this has been a week of major fiber indulgence. Last Saturday my birthday spoils included a Lendrum DT complete set, in addition to some lovely bamboo and corriedale fibers.

I also snagged some raw fibre for $2!! It was quite dirty and has a lot of VM that I am still working through but it started like this

and when cleaned up looks like this

It is soft and fluffy and I can hardly wait to spin it.

This is some stuff that came off my wheel this week:

And my knitting has been taking a backseat but I did finish my first spring Ahead sock and working on the heel flap of my second.

I also got my first package from my Summer of Yarn swap pal that contained two lovely skeins of deep blue malabrigo - yummy! Thanks swap pal! I hope I am not too hard to shop for - right now my desires seem to be drawn towards spinning - although sock yarn still has a dear place in my heart ;)

For the Summer Memory contest: I am currently making what will be some of my most treasured summer memories. I am spending the summer at home with my daughter and these long, lazy days just sitting in the backyard watching her play while I knit or spin or prep fibre could not be more perfect. I feel so lucky and blessed to able to have this time with her and be a part of her growing up.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Reasons to smile today:

1. Last day of school - whoohooo!!! Long, lazy days of summer knitting and spinning here I come!!

2. Tomorrow is my birthday and we are going to the Olds Fiber Festival where my dear hubby is going to buy me my first spinning wheel, and I am going to indulge in fiber, fiber and more fiber...oh and yarn too...

3. Next week two of my LYS's will be having sales!!! Yes, I feel it is a sign that since this will be during my "birthday week" I should be given free reign to spoil myself!

4. Happy, happy mail day. Received my long coveted Lexie Barnes Flo in my absolute FAVORITE LB print, and two new spinning books from Amazon:

My new LB bag inspired me to take a picture of my LB collection:
Yes it is an addiction but it makes me HAPPY :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Spinning Frenzy!!!

So I went to my Beginner Spinning class last Saturday at Make1 Yarn Studio and it was awesome. Amy Swenson was the instructor - she was super nice and easy going, very encouraging despite any spinning mishaps. Let's just say my attempt at Andean plying left me in a bit of a tangled mess, but still look what lovely product resulted:

And here have been my other attempts this week:

So I am totally hooked on spinning now and since next weekend is my birthday and coincidentally it falls on the exact same day we are going to Olds Fiber Week - my hubby is getting me a wheel!!! I am so excited I can hardly stand it!! At the top of my list are a Lendrum or a Schacht Ladybug. I am hoping to try a bunch of different wheels out before making my final decision.

In knitting news, Mr. Greenjeans is hibernating. I need to rip out the one sleeve I completed because it is way huge. I am going to finish the button band first so I can see how the sweater sits on my shoulders. I am hoping this will give me a better idea for sleeve length - I want a 3/4 length and right now it is hard to guesstimate where that will be because I can't tell exactly where the sweater will close yet.

I also started my June socks - there are the Spring Forward pattern from the latest summer Knitty. Chose a spring-y colorway - STR in Calico. So far loving the pattern and how the colors are working up.

I swung by Pam's Wooly Shoppe yesterday to check out their selection of wheels (they carry Lendrum and Ashford) but the lady working did not know anything about spinning sadly. Still I was able to pick up a couple of practice rovings and best of all my long-lusted for sock blockers. There are unfinished and not fancy but less than ten bucks!! And I can easily sand and stain them myself. Here they are showing off my latest sock WIP:
Here is a cool sock project needle-keep I got off etsy from marelle:

It's very sturdy and perfect for keeping my DPNs safe from breakage or dropped stitches.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Look what I got from my Mystery Theme swap!

The theme was organic/earth-friendly - some beautiful organic yarns from Elann, cute patterns, and lovely Brittany needles. I can't wait - the pakucho is perfect for summer knitting.

And a few pics of knitting:

I finished my May socks (basic stockinette using self-patterning Online Beach - pretty boring but I needed a quick knit to get caught up and start my June socks). I plan to cast on the new Spring Ahead pattern from the latest knitty.

Here is the first square from my Lizard ridge Afghan. I am slowly collecting single balls of random Noro Kureyon colors. Can't get enough Noro - the colors are positively scrumptious.
And last but not least - my second spinning attempt with some merino roving from Doodlebirds Creations:
I am still doing "park and draft" which is slow but I am enjoying the process and watching the fibre twist - it is so satisfying!!

Here is a close up of the yarn:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My first yarn...

is kinda lumpy, bumpy, and pilly - but I made it and it was fun!

I checked out a few videos on Utube to get started and I know I will still have lots of questions for my spinning class next Saturday. So far I am really enjoying practicing with my spindle. I was really reluctant to start spinning because I did not want "another hobby" that would detract from my knitting obsession but I find it has has only re-focused my obsession. Now I can hardly wait to spin up my own yarn to knit.

My hubby has hinted that I may get a spinning wheel for my birthday at the end of the month (he really is spoiling me). And I have been looking to get some books or magazines on spinning - I already have the Spring issue of Spin Off and I have heard that this book is another good reference: A Fine Fleece. I will be adding it to my wish list for sure.

I will be posting a knitting update later this week :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Well I finally caved and did it!!!

I signed up for my first spinning class - it will be next weekend. I am hoping to learn how to spin in time for our trip to the Olds Fiber Festival at the end of June.

I am also hoping I resist the temptation to buy a wheel....

Oooooh so excited and nervous. In anticipation I am ordering a whole whack of fiber from Crown Mountain Farms from an upcoming coop - the prices are just too good to resist. I will also be getting some sock yarn for myself and my Summer of Yarn Love swap pal - whoopee!

kinda fun and pretty accurate...

You Are An INFJ

The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.

Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.

You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.

You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.

In love, you truly see relationships as an opportunity to connect and grow.

You enjoy relationships as long as they are improving and changing. You can't stand stagnation.

At work, you stay motivated and happy... as long as you are working toward a dream you support.

You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.

How you see yourself: Hardworking, ethical, and helpful

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Manipulative, weak, and unstable

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Summer of Yarn Love Questionaire

Here's the list of questions for the swap! Have fun! Please post this to your blog and make sure your pal and I can easily find it!

  1. Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been at your craft? Knitting for 3 years
  2. Do you spin? What type of spinning? YES - new spinning wheel - NEED fiber!!
  3. What are your favorite yarns/fibers? What are your least favorite yarns/fibers? Favorites: merino, wool, alpaca, tencel, bamboo - I love handpainted sock yarns or other yarns with variegated repeats. Currently in love with Noro and collecting more Kureyon for my Lizard ridge. Other favorites include STR, koigu, Misti Alpaca, malabrigo, schaeffer yarns, Claudia Handpainted, Shibui, Fleece artist/Handmaiden, Zen Yarn Garden, DIC Smooshy. Things I avoid include acrylic and mohair (unless it is blended with a natural fiber) - dislike viscose /rayon/ and other synthetic fibers.
  4. What are your favorite colors? What are your least favorite colors? My favorite colors are autumn hues or jewel tones - I like rich colors - dislike pastels
  5. Are there any yarns/brands that you are dying to work with but never have? Have never tried any handspun, Sundara, Colinette Jitterbug, new Noro Silk garden sock yarn, STR Ravens series colors, DIC Classy, Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (for a Rusted Root), Sheep Shop
  6. What is/are your favorite types of projects to knit/crochet? I always have socks on the needles, and alternate with another larger project (sweater, shawl, etc), and then another small travel project like a scarf or mittens or hat. I usually knit garments but do have a few toys/accessories on my list that i just haven't gotten to yet. I do not knit bags.
  7. What are you currently working on? Anything you plan to work on this summer? See blog for current WIPs. For summer knitting I plan to work on my Lizard Ridge, continue with my pair of socks a month challenge, and maybe start a lace shawl of some sort.
  8. What is your favorite FO? (Post a pic if you would like.) Sorry too hard to choose one - I love my chevron scarf, my peekaboo mittens, and my current Noro striped scarf (which is still a WIP)
  9. What is your oldest UFO? Baby Bolero from Debbie Bliss knitted in Phil Eponge - heading to the frog pond
  10. Are there any techniques that you want to learn? more advanced lace knitting, steeking (yikes!!)
  11. Are you on Ravlery? What's your ID? Birdee
  12. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? yes, size 7.5 shoe (but I like a short cuff)
  13. Do you collect anything? yarn and knitting bags
  14. Do you have a yarn winder and/or swift? yes
  15. Do you love sweets? What are your favorites? chocolate - 'nuff said
  16. What are your favorite scents? none
  17. Where do you keep your needles/hooks? various cases
  18. Do you have a wishlist (Amazon, Etsy, etc?) yes etsy favorites; amazon wish list;
  19. Having a birthday this summer? June 28
  20. Are you allergic to anything??? Please let your pal know! Cats

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Yes, I Fell Into the Pit...

known as Ravelry. Yes, I was sucked in by all the bells and whistles and, alas, let my poor blog fall to the wayside.

Well, I have decided to re-commit to my blog. With the end of the school year drawing to a close I see myself having plenty of time over the summer to post regular updates on my knitting and yarn acquiring adventures.

Like sparking up with an old flame, it is best not to try to make up for all that lost time and rather just pick up right where we left off.

My current WIPs:

Mr. Greenjeans from Knitty- Cascade 220 Autumn heather. My first adult sweater - this is for myself and so far so good. Just one and a half sleeves left to go.
Basic socks in Online - some cotton blend - got this for Christmas from my MIL - so cute - perfect for summer socks!
Noro silk garden striped scarf - inspired by Brooklyn tweed. this scarf has sparked my love affair with Noro and triggered me to start a Lizard Ridge Afghan - more on that another time.
An FO: These are the Berry Season socks from Two-Socks-at-a-Time. They were both knit at the same time on one long circ. It was fun to do and I am glad I tried it because now I know that I am an old-fashioned gal and prefer my trusty DPNs. Yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Lakeview.