Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Yikes it's been so long since I've updated.  Working seriously cuts into my blogging and internet time but I've still been enjoying lots of fiber related goodness.  Like I went to Rhinebeck for the first time, and it was awesome!  I only did a day trip on Sunday and can now understand why people go for the weekend.  There is so much going on that I just couldn't get to everything.  I walked around all the vendors and animals but I missed out on the events since I was so busy fondling yarn and fiber.

I did get lots of goodies.  The one I'm most excited about is my new Bosworth spindle made of Tasamanian Rose Myrtle.  It weighs 26 grams and spins beautifully.  In the picture its wearing some baby camel fiber, another Rhinebeck goodie.

I also went to the Stitches yesterday.  I didn't sign up for any classes since they filled up so quickly but I wandered around the market place for awhile.  I loved the Miss Babs booth and simply could not resist getting some of their lovely spinning fiber.  I picked a wool, bamboo, and silk blend in their 'Up up and away' colorway.

And tomorrow marks the beginning of Knit a Sweater Month! Rather than start a new project I'm pledging to finish my current sweater project before November is over.  I have a pretty serious head start so maybe I'll actually succeed.  Below are the fronts of the Minimalist Cardigan from the Fall 2007 IK.  They're coming along nicely and the back is already done.

I'm using Berocco Ultra Alpaca.  What is truly amazing is that I bought this yarn to make this sweater probably two years ago.  How often does a knitter buy yarn for a project, get distracted by other things for a long ass time, and then actually use the yarn for the intended project?  This is a first for me at least.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Perfect Morning

There is no better way to spend a chilly October morning then sipping a hot cup of coffee and reading about yarn.  Well, maybe it'd be a tinsy bit better if I was actually knitting but this is great too.  I'm enjoying one of my last days of unemployment by reading Clara Parkes The Knitter's Book of Yarn.  

The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn

I picked this up from the library recently since I've heard so many great things about Clara Parkes books (btw the Hartford library has a surprisingly decent collection of knitting books).  I've read the first two chapters and have to agree that is book is pack full of useful and interesting information.  Clara Parkes clearly knows her stuff.  For each fiber she discusses its properties, what sort of projects it's good for, and advice for what to look for in yarn.  There is also lots of great information about some smaller yarn companies and farms.

As a beginner spinner I find the fiber information incredibly useful because she discusses things like how much twist a particular fiber needs.  Angora, for example, needs lots of twist to keep its short downy fibers together.  And apparently many commercial yarns skimp on the twist to save money which is part of why angora yarns shed so much.

This book makes me desperately want to fondle yarn so I have to break every now and then to wind yarn into cakes for a new project and to ply some singles I finished last week.  This is a corri cross from Fiber Story in play room.  I spun the singles on my Spindlewood mini and am using my Kundert to ply.

So far I'm pretty impress with myself.  The singles are much more consistent than my last yarn.  I fumbled a bit with the plying at first but I've settled into a grove now and its progressing nicely.  The finished yarn will be fingerweight-ish and I have a lot of it.  Four ounces apparently makes a lot of fingering weight yarn.  But it'll be perfect for a lace scarf or shawl.  

Also since this yarn is almost done, I won't feel guilty about buying more fiber Sunday at Rhinebeck.  Total win!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Project Round Up

OhSewCrafty recently posted that rather than making a Rhinebeck sweater she's challenging herself to finish WIPs she has laying around.  Recently, I've been really tempted to start Audrey in Unst with some beautiful alpaca yarn my brother got me from Peru.  But I've been inspired by my fellow blogger to instead focus on finishing some of my projects before I start a new one.

First up, I have an FO! I finished sewing down the cowl and weaving in the ends of my Somewhat Cowl last night.  Its currently drying on my bed, yay!

I'm also contuneing to knit away on the Earl Grey Socks.  The first one is done, and I started the second yesterday.  I'm already 3 inches or so into it since I only worked on it during knitting group last night.

I even dug out a project that had been hiding in the stash bin for quiet sometime.  These are Bella's Mittens by Subliminal Rabbit.  Yes I know, they're from the Twilight movies, and yes I did like the Twilight books, and yes that does makes me either a huge dork or a 15 year old girl.  What of it?  These mittens are going to super cozy and cute and perfect for my walk to work this winter.  I just dug them out last after knitting but I've completed another dozen rounds so they shouldn't take too long.

Also I just want to say how happy I am with the response to the jojo cowl.  Its already been faved 99 times and queued 25.  Thanks everyone, I'm glad that people like it!

Monday, October 4, 2010

jojo cowl

Almost two years ago my mom gave me a single skein of Knitpicks Imagination.  I liked the colors but had no idea what to do with a single skein of fingering weight yarn.  It sat around for a long time while I waited for inspiration.  Then finally it came to me, a cute little cowl to help keep the chill away.  

I pulled out the stitch dictionary, experimented, and I eventually settled on a stretchy slanted rib, which also makes it easy to loop around twice for days when you need a little snuggle. 

I really like the way this simple stitch helps break up the colors and creates a rainbow zigzag on mine.  It also looks great on the wrong side.

Its so simple and quick that I decided I'd share.  It only took me a couple nights to complete so its a great way to use up small skeins of fingering weight yarn.  With the holidays coming up it's make a great little gift too.

1 skein Knitpicks Imagination in Gingerbread House
size 4 16" or 24" inch circular needle

Cast on 160 stitches

Row 1: Knit all

Row 2: yo, K2tog to end

Repeat Row 2 until piece measures about 7 inches.  

Knit one row.
Loosely bind off, block if you want, and enjoy!