Knitting

Last month I went to a fiber festival called Black Sheep Gathering, (read about it here). It was my first time to this particular event, and my third fiber related event overall, aside from the Rose City Yarn Crawl. My particular interest in this event stems from this years additional hobby that I picked up last fall: spinning.

My prize items from that festival are my Jenkins Manzanita Aegean Turkish Spindle and a sampler pack of roving from 30 different breeds of sheep from Wool Gatherings. 30 Breeds!! Each sample is a full 1oz of fiber. Since I am new to spinning and fibers beyond merino and polwarth, I’m hoping this will be the introduction I need to expanding into more exotic fibers!

aaahhh....

aaahhh….

I have split it with Norichan and we will be spinning and swatching each 0.5oz sample.  We will each be doing a series of posts reviewing each breed in reverse alphabetical order, on the 15th of the month, starting in September. With personal projects and christmas knitting coming up fast, July is almost over, this will be a definite challenge in the pursuit of knowledge!

Stay tuned for all the awesome!

 

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Current WIPs —

Gehry Wrap: 50% done

Frosty Acorn: 85% done

RCYC MCAL – 65% done

Polwarth/Silk Spinning: 30% done

Crosspatch Spinning 50% done

Burton Vestigan: 50% done, need to get more yarn

Mayu – 85% done, need to finish sleeves

Jonathan sweater attempt #4: Just started

Playground shawl: A grudgingly 10% done, might frog this. The material is too good for a basic shawl! XD


Stuff That I Want to Make over the next 6 months —

Basic Brioche Beanie – Learn brioche!

Best Friend Shawl – Have the materials, need to do it

Lady Olivia – Need new hand warmers for this fall

Lingon – Use my handspun

Regina – ‘cuz more hats

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Back from vacation and back into knitting! Not that the knitting ever left me to begin with. ^.^

As you may not know, @caterpillargreen did a shop update a few weeks before I went on vacation. I ordered right away because her self-striping yarn is super popular! I got two skeins of the Shawl Stripes in Concrete Remix. One for me and one for @norichanknits. The idea here being that we were going to make the Playground Shawl as a part of our June knit-a-long in our own little Ravelry group. Coincidentally, a few days before my return @caterpillargreen announced a Playground Shawl KAL of her own! Of course I’ll just have to join in!

The base: MCN Fingering

The type: Shawl Stripe

The color:  Concrete Remix

The KAL itself begin yesterday the 15th and will run through the end of July. This leaves plenty of time for me to finish up some quick projects, two sweaters and a wrap, and still be able to finish the shawl in time. The shawl itself is a basic construction of garter and lace sections. Interestingly enough the garter section is done with a ssk along one edge which elongates the edge loop to simulate a top center triangle shape whereas this is knit from bottom right corner. I actually really like this and am pleased that the pattern includes a different construction technique. I have not gotten far into the first section of lace, but I have successfully set up for the first color transition.

The pattern notes give a suggestion to continue the last garter RS row as normal and then purl back the next row, maintaining increases as normal garter WS row. This will make sure that there are no colored purl bumps on the RS of the final piece. From there, continue with the lace pattern until the colored section of yarn switches back to gray.

At this point I may put down a life line to see if I like starting garter in the middle of a row (if it happens), or if I will continue with the lace, or if I will just flip the work and begin part way through a row in the opposite direction.

Cast on: check out my instagram photo! XD

 

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In tandem with feeling massive amounts of anxiety lately here are some of the things I’ve been working on to channel that potentially self-destructive behavior into something constructive. And yes I have to admit that the sweater I was working on for my husband will not be ready by the time we leave for Ireland. =(

Rimski Kosakoffee Cake Shawl

Rimski Kosakoffee Cake Shawl

Beanie

Beanie

Out of all five of these only the beanie is completed. The Rimski shawl is crochet instead of knit. It was originally supposed to be my airplane travel project, but I decided to add beads…so I may just leave this one at home or hurry up on it and wear it in Ireland. I’m already almost half way done with it.

Crosspatch Creations Skalkaho Pass

Crosspatch Creations Skalkaho Pass

Frosty Acorn

Frosty Acorn

The Skalkaho Pass batt is spinning up a lot smoother than my first batch of Crosspatch Creations fiber. I’m really excited to ply it with a solid color. I’m thinking of getting some Corriedale or maybe even some undyed Vixen base from Thoroughly Thwacked. MOAR SILK!!! ALL THE RAINBOW COLORS!!! Hehe.

Frosty Acorn is my first project utilizing my own handspun. You wouldn’t think it, but the blue/pink actually works really well with the purple color of the Black Butte. This also won’t be done by the time we go to Ireland, but one can hope! (Also, this will likely be gifted to my sister…I made it slightly too small…oops…)

Teasdale Shawl

Teasdale Shawl

And last but not least, my Teasdale shawl. The border is a 21 repeat of a 12 row chart. Chugging along on it! I got about 10 repeats done while listening in on my husband’s DnD session last Sunday. Maybe this will be my airplane project…?

Sigh, my Ongoing Projects widget is getting too long! At least I don’t have a mountain of UFO’s to contend with. 5-10 is reasonable, right? >.<

Some other things I’ve been thinking about making include a crochet top. A basic cover I can wear over a tank top or light undershirt for the summer. I’ve discovered that the stranded yarns from Yarnia work best in crochet for me and not knitted. I still really like the peachy color I bought a few months ago so it should work out fine. Maybe THAT will be my airplane project?

I have a full skein of Dream in Color Smooshy as well that I want to make into a hat. And I also have some burgundy and blue skeins of lace-weight-ish yarn that I want to knit together stranded as a hat as well.Maybe I’ll make that into a cowl instead…hmm…nice light and airy lace thing that I can use to layer on…hmm…. Ah too many choices! Too many accessories!!!

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If you’re serious about being a tourist in Oregon and not limiting yourself to the lovely town of Portland, I highly suggest you shuffle your self a car with some oomph and head west through the Cascades to the Oregon Coast. That’s right, the coast. Not the beach.

coast-morning-oregon (1)

The Oregon Coast is dotted with many coastal towns with a rich history that makes this state so unique. All the way north at the mouth of the Columbia River down to the Redwood National Forrest.  In these coastal towns you can easily find local crafts; everything from paintings, to woodwork, to glass and ceramics.

I’ve been rather lucky in that my in-laws are friends with the awesome Brian and Kate Johnstone of Nehalem Clay Works. My sister-in-law Meagan is a soil scientist and wrote up this awesome article last fall about the science of clay and had an chance to showcase the Johnstone’s work as well.  They gifted us a beautiful set of goblets for our wedding. AND IT WAS PURPLE. I mean how much more awesome can you get?

Last Christmas I was also gifted a purple yarn bowl made by local potter JamPDX. Mayhaps they were intrigued. Needless to say, the Johnstone’s are now making yarn bowls! These are truely unique as no two are alike: coastal themed, and come in earthy and ocean-inspired color ways.

Here’s the one I got 😀

Johnstone Yarn Bowl

Jonstone Yarn Bowl

Jonstone Yarn Bowl Jonstone Yarn Bowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess a little bit of my Korean-ness shows in my choice of ceramics. I have a major soft spot for teal/seafoam colored glazes. I especially like the light green known as Kingfisher aka Celadon.

Last I heard, these yarn bowls are available at the Coastal Yarns shop in Cannon Beach. They even have a knit nite on Fridays! What’s not to love? Oregon is just the best! We’ve got legit yarn shops galore, serious artisan crafts, and a coast that all of us natives tend to brag about.

Now I have two yarn bowls. Wish I had more hands so that I could knit on more than one project at a time! Alas, the crafters dillema. XD

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And not the stationary bicycle kind!

I now have two skeins of sizable length in which to make sizable shawls. The first being the three ply I made earlier this year in white and blues. The second is a merino of similar quantity, but in mostly pinks and purples. This second one I am Andean plying, aka chain ply, since it is all the same braid instead of individual bumps.

Now what to make?

I definitely want to make a Lingon shawl. And I definitely need to work down my Ravelry queue (ugh, I keep adding to it!). And most definitely work down my purchased pattern library in Ravelry as well as my magazines and books.

Ok ok, but really. Here’s an updated list of things I am/should be working on.

Redford Sweater

This is a pattern from Brooklyn Tweed by Julie Hoover. I’m making it with knit picks stroll tweed because…well honestly, price. If I was making this sweater for myself I wouldn’t feel bad about putting up the cash for Brooklyn Tweed yarn, but since it is for my husband, and he was very particular about the color and material, we went a bit on the cheaper side. So far I have a sleeve done. So. Much. Stockinette. OMG. But I will persevere! This sweater must be completed by May 20th for our vacation!

Gehry Wrap

So this has been on CO mode for almost 4 months. Granted I have until the end of June, but still. Master plan: knit this puppy on the 18 hour plane ride across the planet. Realistic plan: start now, have it on the needles, pray TSA doesn’t take it away from me (Chiaogoo needles are metalic with a thick red lined cable to prevent kinking).

Teasdale Shawlette

This is the April megaKAL project of the month. I already made May’s project, only #2 FO for the year #sadface. So this gives me the rest of this month and May to complete. Mostly this is a counter project to Redford so I don’t go insane with all the plain stockinette.

What have I completed recently though?

Two hats!

Ok so one is the Beeswax hat for the March megaKAL project. I gifted it to my friend Lauren for her birthday. She’s part of a group my husband became friends with last year that play the arcade game Killer Queen at our local barcade Ground Kontrol. Beeswax hat with honeycomb motif, video game about bees, perfect. XD

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Secondly is a light lacy coral hat Lacylicous, though in worsted weight yarn. This is going to be for my cousin’s wife Melaine. I just met her for the first time last weekend at my other cousin’s wedding and we definitely hit it off! She’s very sweet and really smart too!

Lacylicious

Lacylicious

All in all, I think my knitting plans for the next few months are reasonable. Goals, attainable…maybe…Redford sweater…omg…

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Tada!

image This is the baby giraffe hat I made using this pattern here for inspiration.

This little guy is destined for a gentleman by the name of Jordan. He’s due very soon and the baby shower is this Saturday! His parents have a safari theme going for his nursery, and a particular lean towards giraffes. I hope they like it! =D

The hat itself is a little bit on the large side for a newborn, but I did that on purpose. Since it will be a spring/summer baby, and since baby’s grow so darn fast, I figured I’d make something on the larger side so come fall/winter he can sport this cute little cap as he bops around town with his mom and dad.

 Modifications:

A. Hat is done from the rim to the crown. 60 stitches in a worsted weight yarn by Ewe Ewe Yarns.

  1. Three rows 1×1 ribbing in brown
  2. Approx 3″ in stockinette of the main orange color.
  3. Decrease every other row until you’ve done 5 decrease rows, then decrease every row until you have 5 stitches left, pull yarn through and secure.

B. Patches are duplicate stitch

C. Horns are 9 rows of 4 stitch i-cord in MC plus 3 rows brown.

D. Ears are (make 2):

  1. CO 3
  2. slip first (for ever row), purl front and back, purl 1.
  3. slip first stitch, knit across.
  4. increase 2 stitches per ws row in this way until you have 10 stitches.
  5. work stockinette for 9 rows
  6. decrease every other rs row. slip 1, k2tog, knit to last three, ssk, k1
  7. when there are 6 stitches left, k across, then slip 1 purl wise, p2tog twice, p1.
  8. attach to hat.

Granted the ears will curl inwards, but I think they make a nice cute floppy ear. Could be done for a bunny hat or piggy hat as well.

Successful FO! Now onto the rest of my list!

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Success! I didn’t get the flu this year so I was able to check out a few of the shops!

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This year the rcyc started a day early! WHO DOES THAT? I was a little irked that the stores were making their exclusives and having trunk shows starting on Thursday. A lot of people have jobs, a lot of people are coming from out of state, a lot of people are  attending! That last bit though is probably why they extended the crawl by a whole day. This year they didn’t have a yarn ball either (pre-party).

Enough of the self-deluded griping and on to the goodies!!

rcyc haul

From leftish to rightish:

A. Thoroughly Thwacked 60/40 Merino Bamboo fiber braid gradient Bleeding Heart

B. Alexandra’s Crafts 50/50 Merino Yak down fiber braid. No official color way name, but it is a dark red/black

C. Twist and Turnings 2.25″ African Padauk Whorl with a 9.5″ Maple shaft. 26g/0.95oz

D. Ashland Bay Cheviot natural roaving. 0.5oz for testing purposes

E. Alexandra’s Crafts Custom Colorway for Pearl Fiber Arts. Cedar Creek 85/15 SW Merino Neps in Mushroom

F. Alexandra’s Crafts 2 skeins Black Butte 60/20/20 Merino, Silk, and Yak down. In the color way Deep Purple.

G. Solstice Alpenrose DK SW Merino in Lake Washington

H. Solstice Luna Sport 80/10/10 SW Merino, Cashmere, Nylon in Cherry Blossom

I. Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Targhee-Columbian Wool in Postcard

J. Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino Light SW Merino in Filtered Light

K. Chiaogoo Red Lace  size US15 24″ fixed circular needles

L. Unicorn Wash!

rcyc

Most of the items are brands that are new to me or material that is new to me. For spinning the Merino/Bamboo blend was my first spinning project. I like it a lot and have since learned how to navajo ply so I picked up a gradient specifically for that purpose. Additionally the yak down was just too poofy and soft to pass up. And at $30 for a whole 4oz of a luxury fiber? Yes please!

I had been avoiding using Brooklyn Tweed because of reports of the weakness of the ply. So I decided to go with Shelter, the worsted weight yarn they offer. It sure is spongy and hopefully lives up to it’s name. This is the only skein I purchased at the crawl that is not some sort of merino blend. I’m not settled on what I want to make with it, but signs are pointing towards hat.

Additionally I had my eye on splattered yarns. I’ve seen some people around town sporting this type of hand painted yarn in hat form and I want one for myself! I’m familiar with Madeline Tosh yarns so I know it will turn out really well. Also I’ve used Thoroughly Thwacked’s Vixen single ply yarns I find myself liking the stitch definition a lot more than other yarns, especially with lace projects. Tosh Merino Light is a single ply so this skein probably won’t end up as a hat, and if it does I may hold it double.

Next comes the Solstice yarns dyed in Portland by the Dublin Bay Knitting Co. gals at the same named shop. I have already started a project with the Alpenrose Dk. First impressions? This is a really sturdy yarn. It is super wash merino at a reasonable 280 yards for $26.   Perhaps it is because I’m making a hat, but at this point the semi-solid nature of the dye job is making some areas pool with the darker dye. The yarn itself also has some variation in thickness and softness. Overall I’d give this a 8/10 for those issues pointed out. Once the project is off the needles I may revisit my analysis. I do feel I need to make a sweater out of this yarn before I pass final judgement. =)

Little Red

In addition to upping the variety of yarns I use, I chose also to up my skills in drop spindling by purchasing a new spindle without a notch. I’ve decided to name it Little Red since it is the smallest, and cutest, of the two spindles I now currently own. At just under an ounce, I’ve used the Cheviot to try it out and boy is it light! I think I can make some really nice three ply lace weights with this spindle…with enough practice of course. The Kundert is still my workhorse that I seem to always have a project going on.

Lastly comes the Unicorn Wash. I see this stuff everywhere! I’ve been using some wool wash that came with the Knit Picks blocking mats. Small little bottles of soapy smelling stuff that I’m not entirely sure why there were two different kinds because they smelled the same. I’ll have to do more investigation into the difference between an wool soak and an actual wool wash. But that’s for another time.


TL;DR Bought stuff that I haven’t used before in new brands, color ways, and material. Pretty excited for this year’s knitting projects!

 

 

 

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