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Loose ends…..a baby sweater WIP

1 May

I am fairly certain my least favorite part of a project is dealing with all the finishing. Depending on the object, I try to weave in ends as I go, but this has not been happening lately. This sweater by DROPs Design is called the McDreamy. I loved it on the little baby model in the picture, but I am slightly frustrated with the pattern itself. It is partly my own fault but there was a point in which I was supposed to stop knitting in the round and go back and forth to create a flap at the raglan edge, making it easier to get over the baby’s head. When I realized the error, I was at the neckline with a good weeks worth of teeny tiny moss stitch invested already. So I looked up a few more patterns to improvise a large enough neck opening in double rib stitch. There is no way a baby’s giant noggin will get stuck in there.

mcdreamy

and a close up of the stitch detail…..

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So now I get to just weave in all those ends, sew up the underarms, and hopefully have enough time to whip up a little matching hat before shipping this off to a dear friend of mine.

This is my 4ths little baby sweater, I have just gotten word that I need to get another one started- any pattern suggestions? I loved puerpernium but I want to try something new!

Homeade e-spinner that rocks

26 Mar

I think a while back I mentioned my husband was building me a spinning wheel. I am a novice spinner, having only had a single beginners drop spindle and a new laceweight trindle, with exactly one skein of lovely spindle spun yarn finished since I began trying to spin. My husband only took a minor interest in my knitting over the years, but spinning piqued his interest because he just purchased a bunch of cool woodworking tools and was looking for things to make. So one day he just set out to build me a wheel.

Through much trial and error with some treadle designs, he decided it would be even more fun to make this thing electrical. So when the little sewing machine motor came in the mail, my wheel turned into an e-spinner. It took a little bit, having no experience with any wheel of any sort and only minor knowledge of spinning and tons of youtube video watching, but here is the first skein of yarn fully completed and ready to go:

wpid-storageemulated0PhotoEditor2014-03-26-14.40.21.png.pngI wound it onto the niddy noddy (also made by my woodcrafting genius husband) but totally forgot to count and measure. I was a little distracted with excitement for bathing and drying and squishing my new little beauty. This is the same Knitpicks “Wool of the Andes” roving I used for my spindle spun hat just in a different color.

About this time last month I traveled to Seattle to visit my sister and I picked up some Malabrigo Nube pure merino wool roving in the colorway “Piedras” at one of the million awesome LYS’ in the Seattle/Tacoma region. (She’s so lucky) So that is what is on the wheel today. Finally, without further ado, here is the version 2.37 of my e-spinner! Promise not to laugh, she’s a little rough around the edges but she functions for exactly what she’s supposed to do, SPIN ALL THE THINGS! And I think its the most beautiful e-spinner in all the land:

wpid-20140326_141621_HDR.jpg wpid-20140326_141658.jpgNext post I will show off what my husband has been working on as of late, amazingly beautiful drop spindles. My collection of spindles has exploded with all kinds of prototypes, and I actually spun a whole skien of yarn on the cutest little mini spindle you’ve ever seen. Stay tuned!

Operation Free the Loom!! a.k.a. finish the damn weaving project already.

22 Mar

Once again I have been favoring instagram over my blog. It is just so much easier to not have to write about my projects, when I have so much going on. This month I have been super busy, despite taking a break from my college classes which was supposed to give me more time to finish up some WIP’s. Instead the month has just flown by.

With that, my beautiful rigid heddle loom has been sitting idly by in the living room. Warped with only 1/4 of the weaving left to do, and gathering dust. I started some cotton washcloths way back in the fall, kind of an experiment to see if I liked them woven more than knitted. Here I am weaving furiously to get them finished:

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I used a thinner cotton for the warp, and standard dishcloth cotton for the weft. Really, since I used the thicker weft, it barely took 20 minutes to weave each 9 inch washcloth so I really do not know why this took so long. The plan was to do 9 inches of the thicker cotton, then four inches of the thinner cotton, and repeat until I run out of warp. That way the fabric would be thinner where I needed to hem between each cloth. But since I took my time with this I pretty much made up new measurements each time I sat down to weave, resulting in slightly wonky hem widths.

DISHCLOTHS

All they need now is a quick wash to tighten up the weave, and they are ready to go. I still haven’t decided if I like them better than knit, what do you think? I like that they are a little less bulky when woven versus knitted.

DISHCLOTHS2

Finished Object: Knit Oaklet Shawl

28 Jan

A few years ago, if you would have told me it was fun to knit shawls I would have laughed. “What is the point, little old ladies wear shawls why would I want one of those?”

Because they are AWESOME. That is why. Well so far I would call these more like shawlettes, or even kerchiefs. I love having them to just throw around my neck when it is chilly, and they knit up quick. For this project I chose the Oaklet Shawl by Megan Goodacre. It is a free pattern on Ravelry (find me on Ravelry). I chose to use the skein of fingering weight indie dyed yarn I purchased at the Shenandoah Fiber Festival by Puff the Magic Rabbit called “Oz’s Ballroom”. It is a lovely mix of blues, greens, and purples with a little purple Angelina for some sparkle. Without further ado, my latest FO:

oakletshawlette2oakletshawlette oakletshawlette1

As far as what else I am working on, oh my gosh. I have been so moody, I think it is the blahs of winter setting in. I want to do all the things but realistically I cannot. I am also taking classes for school which are sucking up all my free time. But I do have a few projects on the needles, and the spindles, and a really cool new toy my husband is making me (a homemade e-spinner! working out the kinks, there WILL be a post on this later!). Really, I think I just need to do something more challenging-but I don’t know if I have the time for it!

What are you working on? How do you lift yourself up out of a crafting funk?

 

 

Finished Object: Handspun Hat

9 Jan

Do you remember the handspun yarn I made a while back?
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It is now a hat! I used the Stratford pattern by Zandt Kennett. I absolutely love it and wear it everywhere.

I am now more pumped than ever to spin, I am not sure I have a knitted piece I am more proud of than this hat right now. My husband is totally on board too- he is currently in the design and prototype stages of building me an electric wheel. How awesome is he?

Finished Objects: Baby Cardigans

9 Sep

This week I finished not one, but two baby cardigans! I am actually still working on a third and am formulating yarn/pattern combinations for a fourth, but I couldn’t wait to show these two off.

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First up, on the left, is the Province Baby Cardigan, a free pattern you can find on Ravelry, designed by Cecily MacDonald. This cardigan was constructed in pieces, and I learned quite a bit about seaming and patience on this one. So many ends to weave in! But I absolutely love how it turned out, especially with the little cabled detail on the front.

The sweater to the right is the Puerperium Cardigan, also on Ravelry, by Kelly Booker. This pattern was much simpler, as it is seamless, and made for a quick knit. It did take me a while to finally sew on all 7 little buttons. This one has no home yet, as it was intended for a little guy who I thought wasn’t due until fall but was actually a summer baby. Being a newborn sweater, he has certainly outgrown it already so I will be casting on a larger size.

Both of these garments were knit with Caron Spa bamboo/acrylic blend yarn. I wanted to use something the new moms could wash easily. It was a splitty yarn, but I got over it because the fabric really is quite soft, and just a bit shiny. They discontinued this yarn so it is on mega sale at the craft store right now….might have to go pick up some more before its gone.

The best part about knitting all these different baby sized sweaters is that each one has been constructed differently. I got to practice a set-in sleeve and raglan sleeves, top done and bottom up, button bands and seaming, all without the huge commitment of a adult size sweater. I currently have two possible Rhinebeck sweaters on the needles, and I feel so much better going forward with those after all this practice.

Drop Spindling: Why not?

31 Aug

A while back I ordered a drop spindle and spun the little sample of fiber that came with it. Ugh what a mess. But I was hooked, and ordered some wool roving from knitpicks. When it came in the mail, initially I was all “it’s so FLUFFY!” But then, the realization……it took several hours to spin the little sample of wool, how long is this going to take! So I set it aside to work on some baby cardigans. (Another post)
Well it was staring at me all week so I picked it up, petted it, and started pre-drafting some of it. Then it fell onto my spindle, and oh how many times did that spindle hit the floor? I lost count. For some reason I found it easier to spin a fairly consistent thin yarn than a thicker yarn, I’d say for the most part my singles were about fingering weight, although it is not really all that consistent.

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And yes, it took for.ev.er, but I can’t tell you how calming it is. It’s mesmerizing really I have no idea how to describe spinning. Even the kids would come in and stare, lulled by the fluid motion or something, idk. In the end, it went quicker than I expected and I was soon plying my thinner yarns together into a thicker yarn. That itself took hours, and I think would be more fun if I had a multicolored yarn….this was just purple, and more purple….no fun color mixing. Next time. Late last night, I soaked the yarn, which scared the crap outta me. I hand wash all my knits, but this was a nail biter, I kept thinking please don’t felt up! I told my yarn, please don’t turn into a big tangled, felted mess! (I told you, it was late)
This morning I ran downstairs like a kid at Christmas. I couldn’t wait to squish it!

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I wish I could show you pictures using a real camera. I need a new memory card reader so we are stuck with iPad pictures but hey, I couldn’t wait.
The final skein is just over 104 yards of handspun 2-ply yarn. I don’t know what to classify the weight as, overall it’s like a worsted in most places. I planned to make a cowl or something but really, all I want to do is frame it and put it up on the wall for everyone to see….I made my own yarn with a stick and sheep fur! HELLO GORGEOUS!

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My back is sore, my fingers are calloused, and I can barely lift my right arm today, but it is so worth it. I don’t think I’ve quite had this much of a sense of accomplishment with my fiberey art in a while. But I have concluded that in order to produce any useful quantity I will need a wheel.

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