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Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

UFO Roundup

I was inspired by the Spinning Fishwife‘s UFO Sighting blogpost, so here’s my rundown.

The Heartland Shawl knit in Shetland wool from sheep which were raised by my family and handspun by my step-mom (how’s that for sourcing your fiber?).  I frogged this F***er twice, and ended up coming back to the same lifeline too many times for the yarn to handle.  Right now it’s in time out until I get more lace knitting under my belt. I really want to make something worthy of being an heirloom.  Someday I want to bore WeeSprite’s kids by telling them that this shawl started out as sheep in my back yard, when I was a dumb kid and didn’t know how cool it was and how much I would want sheep when I was 25. (Or maybe alpaca, but I digress)

Traveling Woman knit in Plain & Fancy sportweight (ravelry link).  This is what I decided to make to get better at lace.  Mom made two of these (and won a ribbon for one) and suddenly everyone from Knit Night was at the P & F booth at the Estes Wool Market.  She’s such a pusher.

I love this pattern, and I think the only reason I’ve slacked off on it is because I don’t have the same abundance of knitting time as I had when WeeSprite was napping half the day away.  I want to finish this one once Giftmas knitting is finished.

These are the Sugar Maple socks from 2-at-a-Time Socks knit in Berroco Comfort Sock. I love the yarn, I love the concept of knitting two socks at a time, I hated this pattern.  I don’t know if I missed some key part of the errata (there’s a lot of it), or if I was just too dumb, but when it came time to pick up stitches for the gusset, everything fell apart.  I pulled the needle out of it when I desperately wanted my Addi Turbo for something else, so this is headed for the frog pond.

Anarchist (Rav link) from Pretty in Punk knit in Lamb’s Pride. I only have to finish the strap, chain crochet the pieces together, and felt this thing. My only defense is the strap is booooooooring. I should suck it up and finish this.

To Dye For (rav link again) from Stitch n Bitch knit with Textiles a Mano mohair.  This was my first major knitting project. I started it in 2007.  The front and back pieces are finished, and all I have to do is sew them together and knit the sleeves.  I have been scared to do so because (1) I never checked gauge, (2) it took so long (and it’s been so long) that my gauge may have probably has changed between pieces, and will be different again whenever I do the sleeves (3) I’m not as small as I was back then.  My solution is to ignore it until I lose weight, then check the gauge on both pieces and see what happens.

That’s it! My entire UnFinished Object pile.  I’m sure I’ll finish them all (except the sweater) as soon as I’m done with Christmas knitting. Stop laughing. And don’t look at my queue! Shoo shoo!

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Recently, Mr. ManlyMan and I finally got the time and motivation to finish unpacking our new house.  I always end up in this stage – I’ve been living somewhere for a few months, but there are still boxes skulking in corners and under piles of clothes.  At some point a desperate search for a book or winter coat results in a final unpacking (or a dumping of everything on the bed).  Whatever caused it this time, the Final Unpacking resulted in a very cute room for WeeSprite, and a craft corner for myself!

blurry crib corner

slipper making in progress

The Craft Corner.  It’s possibly the best thing ever (short of an entire craft room… someday, someday).  I have a desk, and several plastic bins of knitting and sewing stash.  I have room for my sewing machine (the one I learned to sew on, passed down from Mom).  I have tools in logical places were I can find them.

stash closet

I have discovered an amazing property of the dedicated crafting space – it gives off it’s own force of creativity.  Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t have to spend a half hour of setup before I can start a project. Maybe it’s knowing where everything is.  I like to think it’s a mystic aura created by the combination of all my crafting Stash in one place.

The Corner of Awesome Craftification has already witnessed the completion of several projects.

This

lost some of its outdated bits

yes, it had shoulder padsto become this

black lace!

add a sash made from the cut off fabric, striped tights, and some awesome jewelry, and it made my Halloween costume.

Slightly over one yard of this fabric

Halloween sale @ Hancocks!

became my first adventure into patten-based sewing

WeeSprite's first Halloween costume!

(the leftovers from the leggings turned into ankle socks for me)

This is what our Halloween looked like, in the end:

I have more projects on the way, but I will save those for another post.

What kind of set up do you have for your creative needs? Do you have a bag, a room, or a corner like mine? I’d love to see yours, now that I’ve show you mine 😉

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Transformation

This

"Potluck" roving from Ferndale Fiber

turned into this

(like my nostepinne?)

which was plied on a bigger spindle

much love to Rav member Sharonopolis who sent this to me out of the goodness of her heart.

then wound on a niddy noddy

to become

Lovely.

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Housesitting is a little like a vacation in the KnittingSprite family.

Maybe this is because we only house-sit for my Dad and StepMom, in the house I grew up in.  This house has many cool things, such as The Comfy Chair

This is THE perfect chair.  I can nurse comfortably.  It reclines.  I can have all the necessities at hand for when I am pinned by a sleeping WeeSprite – knitting, tea, remote control, and laptop.

And it is comfy.  Oh so comfy.

There is also Joe;

Sheepies;

and a grill.

There’s the joy of having a big house to ourselves.  The comfort of listening to all the music I heard growing up.  The smell of my old bedroom.  We are playing ‘house’ in a way.  This is a lot like the life we imagine for ourselves in the future.  Land, a  big organic garden, lots of animals (although I do not envision myself with a Joe), a quiet place in the country.

I imagine a future with sheep and goats, alpaca and chickens.  Sometimes I dream of bees.  I have daydreams of WeeSprite running around where’s there’s room to grow and explore and catch snakes and rabbits.  Of having big, lush green areas all around.  Sitting in a big sunny yard with lots of trees, knitting or playing guitar and sipping a homebrew.

I dream of these things, and I also wonder when this became my fantasy future.  In the fashion of teenagers everywhere, when I lived this life I took it for granted.  I had big city plans and was going to move as far away as soon as possible.  At some point I was old enough to do things *my way*, and I found out crowded buildings made it hard to breathe.  Long stretches of pavement made me sad.  And going out to bars all night was only fun with the right people at the right times.

These days I’d rather have a nice meal with friends out in the sun, or go on a walk.  I’m more caught up in ‘dance parties’ and singing with WeeSprite than rubbing shoulders with the drunk and fabulous on the dancefloor.

Rather than having an expensive studio in downtown Wherever, I am budgeting and planning, and dreaming of my cozy little house in the country of the future.

Dreaming and planning – perfect occupations for The Comfy Chair.

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Oh, hey.  I remember this thing.  It’s called a Blog, I believe.  *cough* funny how the time flies between posts.

Being  a mom could be my excuse – Lyra is sleeping less and demanding more playtime these days.  We can just ignore my more-than-daily Facebook visits and the fact that I manage to keep up on other people’s blogs.

So what have I been doing all this time away?  Too much yarn winding, for one.  This lovely skein of handspun, hand-dyed laceweight has been calling to me.  Telling me it desperatly wants to become a beautiful Laminaria shawl.  Sadly for me, the yarn shop did not offer to wind this into a use-able ball of yarn (I hope this was an oversight by the person working at the time and not the standard.  ALL of their yarn comes in hanks like this).  I sat down to wind it by hand.

Bad. Idea.

Several hours (and shredded strands of my sanity) later I managed to get this:

One thousand, four hundred, and sixty yards.  Of laceweight.  This little ball of yarn is now full of the hate and bad words that I poured into it as I wound around and around and around.  It will be a little while before its  karma has repaired itself enough to be knitted.  On a happier note, isn’t that a cute pencil case I used for a winder?

I also finished my first pair of socks for Mr Knitting Sprite. He loves them so much that he hasn’t given me a chance to block the second sock.  I used Lions Brand Mens Grey Sock pattern (I can’t link it because you have to sign up for a free membership to see the patterns).  I really recommend it for a first sock.  Its worsted weight, and while plain stockinette can get boring, being new to socks made the whole thing interesting enough.

I think the secret to my FINISHING the socks was the Magic Loop technique.  I love this so much because it broke my previous sock knitting rut – knit two inches down the cuff, drop stitches on the ends of at least two DPNs, give up and pretend the sock never existed.  I love Magic Loop so much that I just checked out a book from the library about knitting two socks at a time on Magic Loop.  No second sock syndrome!!!

In beer news, my first lager is in the second stage of fermentation and will be bottled very soon.   I used Rocky Raccoon’s Honey Crystal Lager as the base recipe.  I used Colorado wildflower honey instead of clover honey, and added 3-4oz of fresh grated ginger.  I’m looking forward to a light summer beer.  Once it stops snowing, that is.   (You hear that, Colorado?  It’s May! No more!)

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It seems to be a rule that if you know one person having a baby, you know lots of people having babies.  This has been the case for me.  I went from being the only person in my close group of friends having a baby, to going on 3-times-a-week walks with other moms and seeing pregnant women everywhere.

This is, of course, a perfect knitting opportunity.  One of my walking buddies had a post-baby-shower a few days ago, and I whipped up this little hat in a day:quackquack

I loved the hat and the colors, so the next day I started a similar version for WeeSprite.

The second one really took two days, but it would be a one-day project for anyone who doesn’t have an almost-two-month-old baby around. (The one-day version for my friend was made on a day that DaddySprite was home).

I don’t know if it’s the yummy color combination, or the thrill of instant gratification, but I just want to make more and more hats.  WeeSprite was nursing with the hat on, and when I looked at her I just got to thinking;

I could make one with more stripes.  And maybe an I-cord.  Ooooh, k1p1 ribbing!

Next thing I know, this has happened…

Several episodes of Ugly Betty later (and some nursing/playtime in between)…

Tadaa!

I may be doomed to a never-ending cycle of tiny hats. I could just keep making them until she’s old enough to refuse to wear them.  Then I would tuck them into her school bag and hope…

Hmm.  Maybe I should go clean some beer bottles until I work this out of my system.

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I am DONE with Christmas gift knitting! This is amazing all on it’s own (because I am not posting this on Christmas Eve), but extra amazing because this is the first year more than one person gets a handknit gift from me.  One has already been given, because the SO’s mom is in town, and it is HORRIBLY cold out, so clearly she needed the scarf NOW.  She even modeled it. ^_^

So I’m done, right? Yes! Except…. now I really want to make my SO (he needs a blog name) a hat.  He has LOVED everything I’ve made for everyone else, and while he has not said it, I think he’s feeling a little left out.  I took him to the LYS and he picked out this yarn, but does not know what it is going to be.

I think the sweater he was wearing at the time influenced his buy – what do you think?

He is learning to knit, so I thought about getting him a project kit, but really that would be more of a gift for me than him.  I am THRILLED that he is learning to knit, but for him it’s still frustrating and time consuming – something he’s willing to keep working at but is still work.

Of course, I am still determined to work on something for myself, so I bought some Cascade 220 Heathers that have started to become these fantastic Ann Budd tube socks (I really, really wanted this yarn in a cool green tweed, but I would have needed 3 skeins and it was a little more than the budget could have done. Whine).  Words cannot express how excited I am about these socks.  I have not made a project for myself in ages, and I have been making almost exclusively hats and scarves recently. (Excepting the baby sweater, which is in the icky sewing seams phase. Blah).

The pattern only comes in two sizes – 7″ and 9″ foot circumference, and I fall right around 8″.  The awesome Knitting Mom has suggested adding a 4 stitches – one per needle, but this may mess up the stitch pattern.   For now I am making it in the smaller size  and it is looking like my gauge is loose enough that it will all work out.  But don’t tell anyone, because I still may be smote by the Swatch Gods.

I don’t know if it’s all the time I’ve spent on the Ravelry forums, or the socks, or being pregnant, but I am having very knit-centric dreams. I don’t remember much of them, but my favorite is still the one where I was knitting patterns that were designed to induce labor.   I wish they really exsisted!  Baby was “due” on Monday. Sigh.

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