Monday, October 27, 2008

WIPs

I'd like to preface this post by saying its very unlike me to have so many works in progress going at once on the knitting front... but I've been casting on like a maniac and cannot help myself.

Two you know about... Seeded Cables Cardigan from Sensual Knits, and Silken Scabbard from StitchDiva.

Now, another : Cabled Cowl, from Blue Sky Alpacas



This is a KAL with my twin in knitting crime, YarnSnob. We've been apart for most of the knitting due to our hectic schedules, but I think our knitting keeps us closer :) Yarn is Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Black Forest. The black brown color is incredible and so wearable. We're both knitting the same color... I shared an extra skein with her, only to find it was the same dyelot!! Fate? We think so. :)

And I decided that during my recent flight to Florida, the cowl was not appropriate plane knitting, so I cast on with my Madeline Tosh Black Madeira Fig ...

Any guesses???

Thursday, October 16, 2008

For the love of handspun

One thing I don't often do is knit with my own handspun. I fear that if I did, I would just keep everything I spun, and that would be bad. Sometimes I think that I will knit it and instead I just keep it, and love it. And then, I scored this fiber in a destash and thought... I bet this will be for me.



This is the fiber, prespinning. After a quick spin into a lovely 2 ply, you get...


Sheknitigans Home Sweet Home
It matches the color palette of my home perfectly. I decided to post the picture of the fiber unspun because as a new spinner, I often found it difficult to visualize what I would get in the end. Even now I am occasionally surprised! These kinds of comparisons are good for special orders too, I've found.

I had just under 300 yards, but I wanted to make something squishy and fun. Have you seen the book Knitting New Scarves? What a fabulous foray into out of the ordinary knitting techiques! By applying simple adjustments to your standard knitting, you can achieve really unique shapes and 3 dimensional products! Its really cool, I highly recommend it! Aria is a scarf from just that book. By utilizing short rows, I was able to take the classic garter stitch and dress it up into something just a wee bit more exciting...



These are some in progress shots. I love how handspun does a natural striping action!

And the final product... a happy Coley, and a happy Aria!



By the way, I'm super excited because this matches my brown winter eskimo coat perfectly! yay!! This just makes me love spinning even more :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Let's Talk about Knitting

So in the rest of a weary spinner, I bring you... knitting!

I do want to say however, that I am having a sale over at my shop to make room for me to spin again. Just saying. Sheknitigans Sale! Good time to start thinking about gift knits, and what better than some instant gratification knitting that just MIGHT look awesome in handspun?

Ok, shameless plug over.

My love of the moment... Sundara. I might get over this one too, someday. But the depth of her colors and the quality of the bases... and well, you always want what you can't have. But i'm a sucker. And not only did I get one Seasons subscription, I got two. Looooooove the deadly nightshade!



By the end of all the renegade trading, I should have 3-4 skeins. I'm thinking, a sweater? A cardigan?

Without a doubt though, my favorite base is the ASM. (Aran Silky Merino). And thanks to the kind heart of a sweet Raveler that I can now also call my friend, I was the recipient of a wonderful trade of Chocolate Chip Mint ASM. Which I quickly wound up and knit... a fitted shrug, for me.





This is the two-tone shrug from Fitted Knits, which I decided is far better in uni-tone that two-tone. Wearing this is like pure heaven. Soft, comfortable, warm but not hot... one of the few knits I made that I wear often.

There was even a bit left over from the two skeins... which became the Darkside Cowl!


This was such a fast and fun pattern. Mine's not very cowl-y, but I love it anyway. Droopy things bug me.

I figured out how to get better at this blogging thing, btw. Have something else far more unappealing looming over your head waiting to get done. Like expense reports. Talking about knitting can't be worse than doing that. ;)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A much needed rest.

Ever find out the hard way, when you have too much of a good thing? I first discovered it living on my own for the first time. When the half gallon of ice cream in the freezer is empty, that means YOU ate it ALL. After that rude awakening, I quit buying ice cream.

Many months passed between that fateful day with the ice cream scoop and the day I got my spinning wheel. Since then, it has been love at first sight. I may have even said I love spinning more than knitting. (gasp!) Of course, that comes from my generational issue of instant gratification. I want everything, and I want it yesterday. Spinning allows me that. And I turned that love into a business. As part of that, I signed up for my very first exhibition - a craft fair!

The West Islip Country Fair holds their shindig annually on the library fairgrounds. I've been going since I was a youth, and this was my first foray as an exhibitor there. I spent the three weeks prior to the show, building inventory. (Read : Spinning. Day and Night. All weekend. Washing. Drying. Skeining. Labelling. Oy.)

It's really hard to spin on command. I like to feel inspired by the fiber, let it tell me what it wants to be. I didn't get that this time though. It was spin, spin, spin. All spun out.

I did have a lovely little setup though!


By the way, my craft fair banner was made by Wilson Graphics
and I would recommend him to EVERYONE in need of a craft fair banner or other vinyl banner. He was quick, great to work with, and reasonably priced.

Ok and check this out. I actually sold yarn!! I didn't think I would! The venue was all sorts of wrong for my craft, people wanted stuff already done, but a few people were really interested. All in all, it was fun, but tiring.

So I took a spinning break. Now I spin when I want again. And, I've been knitting. A whole lot. Lots of little instant gratification projects. We can talk about that later though. :)