Sunday, September 30, 2007

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Toe

With the application of numerous sparkly little beads and sequins, the toe to Kaylen's Christmas stocking is now complete.

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Next step is several rather intricate snowflakes --- embroidered, beaded, sequined, backed, stuffed and dangling!

But not tonight. I haven't met my self imposed daily knitting deadline yet. I'm trying to stick to knitting 20 rows of the Honeybee Stole every day.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

100 rows

The first 100 rows are done.

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100 more to go --- in this section --- of this half of the Honeybee Stole.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

101 Projects

Ever since getting my invite to Ravelry I've been gradually working on adding all my old projects. I'm up to 101 now and still have more to go. My daughter got her much anticipated invite yesterday and is loading up her projects too. If you are a Ravelry member why not stop by and link to her as a "friend"? She goes by "Kristo".

Do you think Ravelry will still be going strong when my granddaughter learns to knit? I do.

Unblocked Glittery Bits

With row 48 of the first half of the Honeybee Stole complete, here is a peek at the unblocked edging complete with beads and a close-up look at the glittery bits of the Black Rainbow Glitter handspun.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

First 28

With the MS3 ripped I've started reusing the handspun "Black Rainbow Glitter" on the Honeybee Stole. Once, twice, third time is the charm. I'm up to row 28 now.

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The red at the top (from this perspective) is just my provisional cast on. The green blips at the bottom are snippets of plastic straw I use for stitch markers. I'm adding beads to the edges of the stole, but they aren't visible in this photo.

Thanks Kaylen, for the use of your flannel "burp cloth". It makes a great lap cloth so that I can see the black stitches a little better. It works great when I'm spinning black too.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Well Heeled

The sparkly, beaded, stocking heel is complete.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hours of Knitting and Nothing To Show

Needing a bit of a break from all the Christmas stocking applique, I started on the Honey Bee Stole. I worked on it for a couple of hours last night and got almost a full repeat of the first section done --- before deciding the gauge was not working and it would be too big. So I ripped.

Today I started in again, this time with needles two sizes smaller. It was looking much better and, several hours later, I was nearly back to where I ripped last night. Then the phone rang and I put the work down mid-row. *cue ominous music*

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These very simple blanket squares woven on a nail loom are how I got over the frustration and despair of losing all the work once again, when I somehow messed up after answering the phone mid-row.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Frosty Smile

It might seem like I am just flying along and this project is taking no time at all ---

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--- that would be an illusion. I have actually spent hours and hours on this, both last night, and most of today. I have accomplished quite a bit though. Among other things, check out the satin stitch nose and cheeks (VERY hard to do such long satin stitches and still have them come out looking neat), and that cool fringe on Frosty's scarf. The tail ends of the scarf hang free, they are not stitched down.

I think I've earned a bit of a knitting break, for this evening anyway.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Top to Toe

Unlike the first two stockings, the instructions for this kit have you hopping all over the place. A little work on the top,

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--- then down to the foot section for a few pieces there. I guess it doesn't really matter, as long as I can get it finished before the first of December. It just feels more satisfying when entire sections are completed before moving on to the next.

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My daughter and I both like to decorate our homes for the festive season on the first of December (or thereabouts), and when there are fancy stockings amongst the decorations they get pinned to the mantle long before the traditional Christmas Eve ritual.

My grandmother once told me that one year when she was a child, she and her siblings got excited about Christmas and put their stockings up early. Come Christmas Day, all they found was coal. A rather harsh lesson about greed if you ask me.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

MS3 Bites the Dust

Remember the Mystery Stole 3 I was knitting?

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When the final "clues" came out I decided I didn't like the direction it was taking, (a wing) and I wanted to use my handspun laceweight somewhere else. It's a pretty enough design and many knitters love it, but I decided it just wasn't for me.

I ripped it out. I tucked it into a plastic container to better contain it during the frogging, and also to catch as many of the beads as possible (many of them still took the opportunity to escape).

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I wound it onto my niddy noddy to re skein in preparation for a wash to relax out the post-knitting kinks.

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While the old stuff hangs drying I am busy spinning up the newer batch.

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With the added yardage I hope to make the Honey Bee Stole.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ugly and Cute

Nasty, matted, pink mill ends, spun quickly and with no finesse in and effort to just get it over with, and then plyed against itself and/or with another single that was also unloved. This kind of toil gets you a pile of ugly yarn in varying thicknesses.

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Overdye it to improve the colour and you get ----

--- well, you get yarn that is still darn ugly, but maybe slightly improved.

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Oh, maybe I should just forget the ugly yarn pictures and send you over to my granddaughter Kaylen's blog to see a slideshow of her first swimming lessons.

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Starting the Third

I've started on our granddaughter Kaylen's Christmas stocking. What you see is already several evenings' work. Each of the little sequins in the background are sewn on individually, starting and stopping the thread at each location rather than travelling along the back from one spot to the next. I like to keep the back of my work as neat as possible.

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If you are interested, her Mommy and Daddy's stockings, done last year, can be seen here.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Mary and Little Gemima

Mary and Little Gemima loaded up and ready for an early morning ride out to the annual Ryder Lake Spin-In hosted by the Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers Guild.

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Both wheels belong to me, but "Mary" (the Ashford Traditional) was my first wheel and it is now on loan indefinitely to my daughter. "Little Gemima" (a Majacraft Little Gem II) was a later addition, now the only wheel I use.

Both wheels hummed along beautifully for the entire day, happy to be among their kin folk, an interesting variety of wheels brought along by the other 40 or more spinners and 5 vendors in attendance.

Pictures of the other wheels and the crowd? Well no. See I have this habit of taking my camera along on such events and then never taking it out of my bag. I was too busy --- spinning, chatting, listening to guest speakers, sipping coffee, eating the lasagna lunch, --- oh, and buying more fibery goodness. The day zipped by all too quickly.

My purchases? I bought another bag of Black Rainbow Glitter from Aurelia, in preparation for ripping out the MS3-(Swan Lake Stole) and knitting the Honey Bee Stole instead. I'm just not loving the abrupt change to a wing at the end of the MS3 and would rather "spend" my handspun elsewhere. The Honey Bee Stole requires a little more yardage, hence the purchase of another bag of Black Rainbow Glitter. The leftovers will be used in some smaller lace project. A scarf or small shoulder shawl perhaps?

I also picked up two 50g "braids" of wool/silk in a gorgeous mauve colourway dyed by "Fleece Artist" and purchased from "Shades of Narnia". I'll likely reserve those to spin on my Spindlewood Co. spindle.

Friday, September 14, 2007

And a Scarf Too!

My second attempt at a scarf was successful!

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Like the cardigan, the table runner, and the little purse, this too was made with the "tsunami of wool" I received in September of 2006.

And I still have more.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

This n That Skein

I finally used up a mixture of small amounts of 3 different roving colourways given out at a "spinning for colour" seminar. Plyed with a black, commericially spun, weaver's wool to extend the yardage and help blend the colourways together.

392 yards of 22 WPI laceweight.

Count that as one more bobbin cleared in preparation for Saturday's Ryder Lake Spin-In.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Warp Salvaging

I had trouble with that warp I put on the other day. The selvedges got really tight and the centre portion went soft. I think it was a problem with the way I wound onto the back beam, and I know how to correct that, so I cut off the old warp. I salvaged what I could by making this:

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A small purse just the right size for carrying a small wallet and keys. The strap is a narrow inkle woven band. The button is handmade from a cross-section of an antler. The two centre holes were drilled too close together and made a larger, joined hole, making it impossible to sew on "correctly", but I like the extra interest it provides when sewn on like this.

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I have now rewarped with the same pattern to make the scarf I had originally intended to make.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Warping in the Dark

Rather late yesterday, as the sun faded from the sky, I decided I needed to put another warp on my rigid heddle loom. My last warping episode was hampered by confined spaces and an improvised "peg" that fell over mid warp. Although it wasn't disastrous, it was annoying. So I set out looking for an alternative.

My seeking led me outside to my husband's make-shift workbench. It has an old door as a work surface --- which just happens to be the right length for a scarf warp. Add a peg to one end, clamp the loom to the other, and warping is accomplished in a wink.

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Which is a good thing because it was getting rather dark. (The camera flash lit up the first picture.) My supervisor, Shelby the Wonder Dog, had to turn on her laser vision and my husband set up a trouble light for me.

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After the warp was wound onto the back beam I took everything inside and finished threading the heddle indoors --- where the light was better.


Friday, September 07, 2007

Table Runner

I'm nearly finished the handspun One Stitch Cardi. It's blocking now and when it's completely dry I just have to sew on the buttons and stitch down the pocket facings and then it'll make it's debut.

Although I have other projects that I urgently need to be doing, after getting the cardigan blocking I had a craving to do a bit of weaving. I tried out a new-to-me method for warping the rigid heddle loom. It worked very well --- and QUICK! --- and with a little tweaking it will now be my method of choice for warping that particular type of loom.

The weaving went very quickly too. In only a couple of evenings I wove a table runner that is 10" by 54" with an additional 12" of fringe.

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The fringe itself actually took a considerable amount of time as I don't own a "fringe twister" and had to do it all by hand.

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If you are a regular reader of this blog you might recognize some of the materials I used. The light grey/beige background of the warp, and all of the weft, is handspun from the 'tsunami of wool' that I dealt with last summer. Now that the One Stitch Cardi is completely knit I'm safe using the leftovers in little side trips like this.

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The runner fits perfectly on a side table we have in the living room. It looks very nice against the dark stained maple wood. I'll get a picture of the runner in it's proper resting place later this month, after it has done the rounds at "Show and Tell" (my son calls it "Bring and Brag") at the Ryder Lake Spin-In, September 15. Anyone coming to that?

Monday, September 03, 2007

4.5 Hours Plying

I sat down at the wheel the other day knowing I had a lot of plying ahead of me. By "a lot" I was thinking in the neighbourhood of 2 hours or so, after all, experience has shown me that plying laceweight takes a long, long time.

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handspun, 2ply laceweight, 28 WPI, 50/50 camel/silk
205 grams/7.2 ounces - 1215 yards/1093 metres

I was shocked that it actually took closer to 4.5 hours and I still have some leftover on one of the bobbins. I'll get the WPI calculation for you when I ply the remaining bit.

Edited to add: I plyed the remaining 142 yards/128 metres this evening, and THIS time I remembered to measure the wraps per inch before I skeined it on a niddy noddy. At 28 WPI it is the finest 2 ply I have ever spun.

This is earmarked for a lace shawl, quite likely the Bee Fields Shawl.