May 30, 2009


I don't remember how it started, but I've been preoccupied lately with natural coloured wool in general and Shetland wool in particular. The stuff above represents two separate projects, both in Shetland. The first (middle 3 photos) is wool I'm spinning, obviously, and I have 2 lbs which I'm hoping will get me a DK weight 2-ply manly and plain sort of pullover. This, perhaps (sorry - there's only a Ravelry link). This wool is probably the loveliest stuff I have spun thus far.

The bottom is the first of two, obviously, mittens I am enjoying the making of IMMENSELY. The pattern is here. I'm using Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift yarn, which I have craved for some time and it's absolutely wonderful. In my future pursuit of all things fair isle it will figure prominently.

May 27, 2009

minor update

Here's the hoodie with the buttons. I wore it into the world today and man do I love this sweater. Not quite to the point that I wish it was fall instead of spring so I could keep on wearing it every day from now on, but almost. It's squooshy and cozy and I like the sleeve length and the fit (woo hoo! the 2nd thing I've made for myself that fits!) and...I'm already thinking about making this one again in maybe a tweed. Thanks for all of your kind comments.

Anyway that's enough about that. I started knitting with the sock yarn I spun and now I know why I got so little. I spun it too tight. The singles are probably about right (I'm lying. they're probably too tight.) but when I plied them together I was too enthusiastic. There's too little elasticity in the resulting yarn, though I have been reluctant to toss the whole lot into the trash yet and now have half a sock knit up. It's the most durable, thick, workhorse of a sock I've ever seen but until it gets finished and put on a foot I'm still undecided about whether or not it's impossible for it ever to have any sort of meaningful existence as a sock.

In the meantime I'm avoiding sockyarn denial by spinning my newfound love: grey Shetland wool. More later.

May 23, 2009

YO! it's a FO!

Pattern: Central Park Hoodie by Heather Lodinsky
Yarn: Knitpicks Swish worsted in Indigo Heather
I cast on for this one at the lake last summer. It's dragged on and been dragged out once in a while since then. I decided last week to finish once and for all, cause this is really a pretty mindless project and it basically knits itself. Why it didn't just finish knitting itself in the cupboard over the winter I don't know. Sweaters can be lazy, I guess.

I'm somewhat undecided about buttons. I have some wooden ones I might use. It's warm out now, anyway, so I won't be wearing it every day for awhile. Sorry about the wonky photos. I got both guys in my house to take a shot at it but they got bored, plus my camera is terrible. I'm researching a new one.
Anyway, I think I like this sweater and will wear it a lot. It's cozy. It's purple. I just realized the hood looks weirdly shaped. It's just folded a bit. (Or maybe it's my hat-related curse).

May 18, 2009

so much sock, so little yarn

I'm close to finishing a sweater, but in the meantime here is some sock yarn I finished spinning yesterday. It's the orange and blue wool I dyed here. I am trying to achieve the perfect sock. I'm starting with superwash corriedale wool. Superwash for the obvious assurance that even when the socks inevitably go through the wash it's probably OK, as well as the added durability the superwash process gives the wool. Corriedale rather than, say, merino, for the comparative durabilility of the breed. Anyway, then I did a fairly tight twist on each of my singles and then spun it into a 3-ply. All sounds like I'm on my way to achieving a nice durable sock.

However, I only dyed and spun up 4 oz. in this colour, thinking that since 99.9% of indy dyers on Etsy sell their roving in 4oz. batches it's likely enough for a pair of socks for the average adult. Now I'm mad at myself for not doing 8oz, especially since I dyed it myself and could have dyed any amount. I have 226 yards. It's even fewer in metres (206);). Argh.

I don't feel comfortable having less than 400 yards for a pair of socks for myself and these are supposed to be for my husband. I even checked my wraps-per-inch thing to see if maybe I have more of a sport weight yarn and then might need a bit less, but no. I'm solidly in the fingering category.

So now I need half a sock's worth of something solid in a commercial yarn to round out this thing. It's difficult to get a good honest, durable sock yarn that's not trying to be anything fancier. I think I'll do toe-up and use the store yarn for the toe, heel and whatever top of cuff I need. Oh well. I know more now. That's what counts, right?

May 12, 2009

may is for mitts

By funny coincidence, both Andrea and I read the May chapter in Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac at the same time a few weeks ago in which she advocates knitting mittens in May because if you knit them when you actually need them you might scrimp on the length of cuff or something because you're in a rush and you're cold and because, as a project, they're nice and small and won't be a big hot lump on your lap if you're knitting outside in warm weather. Anyway, Andrea had the great idea to have a mitts knit-a-long.

I have a few mitts on the go that are more complicated and slower than these, but I decided May should also be for more FOs (finished objects) and fewer UFOs, and these had been 80% done since about February, so I dug them out.

Pattern: Hermione Cable-and-Bobble Mittens (and Hat) by Lauren Kent
Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Arctic Pool Heather

I am completely in love with these. They are probably (sadly) the best-fitting things I've ever made for myself. This mitt fits like a glove ;). The wonderfully long cuffs will serve me well in the -40 chill 6 months from now. The hat is just OK. I've worn it twice and blocked it 3 times now and am still not convinced it won't continue to inch its way towards the top of my head while I'm wearing it, resulting in uncovered ears and an empty conehead on top, but we'll see. Maybe I just have a weirdly shaped noggin.

May 9, 2009


Pattern: Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronik Avery
Yarn: Fiddlesticks Lace Sensation in teal
This raw silk yarn is wonderful to work with. The popularity of this pattern says it all. 3420 Ravelers can't all be wrong.

May 3, 2009

two skirts one hour

I know these fabrics don't go together at all, but I'm cramming them up in one post anyway. Fabric from same Etsy store as below. No pattern (can you tell?). The top skirt is for me. It's a lightweight corduroy. Super cool. The bottom skirt is for the girl. "Vie scolaire heureuse!" I LOVE this. There's a playground!!:)
If I could churn out finished knitting projects this fast my production would start to keep pace with my yarn accumulation.

May 2, 2009


I have been sorely lacking in knitting time this week (with subsequent increase in irritability), due mostly to a large quilt project I put together for my kids' daycare's 20th anniversary (didn't get photos), but I did find 20 minutes to sew this up. Simplicity pattern 3802, with fabric from this lovely Etsy seller in Japan. She's just closed her shop, but her page shows a link to her friend who has similar wonderful fabric. I have other great fabrics from her waiting for time to sew up. Sewing is so fast!!