Thursday, July 21, 2016

Xmas in July

I finished the Sugar Plum Mountain socks. They look rather xmas-y. This is the last of the xmas-themed self-striping yarn I purchased from Simply Sock Yarn Co.

Pattern: Short-row heel and toe basic sock, by Wendy D. Johnson
Yarn: SSYC Poste Yarn, Striping, in 'Sugar Plum Mountain' and SSYC Simply Sock Yarn in 'Silver Lining'
Needles: US1
Modifications: None really, other than to knit the toe and heel in contrasting yarn, as self-striping yarn does not work well with short rows; the cuff is in contrasting yarn as well

At least, I *think* this is the last of the xmas-themed yarn. I go a little overboard when I visit the store and see new batches of their self-striping Poste Yarn. A couple of weeks ago, I went in to buy another skein of 'Silver Lining', and somehow left with 'Seattle Coffee Blues' as well.

The next few days are going to be hot, hot, HOT, weatherwise. I expect to spend some quality time with my fiber projects. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tools of the trade

I went to Minneapolis last weekend. One of my favorite things to do when in another city is to visit a local yarn shop. So we stopped by Depth of Field Yarn.

I'm not in the market for more yarn right now, but what interested me about this shop is that they sell weaving supplies. Of course I found some tools I need: a boat shuttle (and a bunch of extra spools) and another threading hook (as the one that came with my loom is only okay).

The plastic boat shuttle was about half the price of this nice wood one, but I am tired of being cheap economical. Good tools are not only useful but a joy to use. And I'm worth it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Summer status

I admit I am not much of a summer knitter, and when I do knit, I default to cotton. This summer, for some reason, I decided to knit dishcloths using the Ballband Dishcloth pattern. I'm on number six right now. When I either tire of the pattern or run out of leftover Lion Brand Cotton yarn, I will post more details, such as they are.

I started warping yarn for a blanket, using a warping board. I carefully calculated the yardage needed, but then neglected to actually measure the amount of yarn on hand. (I'm using the leftovers from the Fibonacci vest.) After a while, it became obvious I was going to run short. Stymied, I stopped warping, but recently figured out how I want to move forward. I will need to purchase more yarn, for the weft, though. Such is the life of a knitter/weaver!.

One problem I have is how to transfer the warps to the loom. Since randomness is a feature of the pattern I am using, it doesn't really matter if I goof up the order of the colors, but I would really like to know the "official" method of doing this, with lease sticks (which I don't have) on an Ashford rigid heddle loom. I've looked at YouTube videos and read instructions in books, but am not really getting it. Fortunately, I joined a weavers guild, so have some experts who can help.

What do you knit in summertime?

Saturday, June 11, 2016


I am the type of person who uses a Ziploc bag, reinforced with duct tape, for my sock projects. And the last thing I need is more sock yarn. However, that did not stop me from indulging in this anniversary kit from Simply Sock Yarn.

I don't sew except in extreme circumstances, but that doesn't mean I can't admire and covet particular prints, like this vintage kitchen one sewn into a flat sock bag by Bird Leg Bags. Throw in some color coordinated striping sock yarn and I'm helpless. The macaroon stitch markers are icing on the cake.

(An aside: For some reason, the Knitterly Things yarn label says to hand wash and dry flat, even though the yarn is made from superwash wool and nylon. WUWT?)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Summertime knitting

Not much knitting gets done during the summer. And what does get done is usually in cotton. This year I am not even doing that, at least not yet, although I think some dishcloths are calling to me.

I am knitting a bit here and there, on these socks. With the garden and yard needing so much attention, though, the bit of knitting has been very little. I keep thinking, Once the yard is under control... (as if that will ever happen).

In an attempt to motivate myself to pursue dyeing more seriously, I purchased some blank yarn (Lamb's Pride and Cascade 220), as well as alum and iron for mordants (from Dharma Trading Co.) So far, it hasn't worked. There is just so much *other* time critical stuff to tend to right now. Someday, though.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Another learning experience

The good news is, I didn't warp the loom backwards on this weaving project.

The bad news is, I tied the warp threads to the rollers instead of the warp sticks, so there was a lot of wasted yarn and the project was shorter than I planned.

This bath rug is almost the widest thing I could weave on my loom, and I had to learn to "bubble" the weft more, to prevent draw in. The last project was feltable wool, while this one is cotton, which has no give or elasticity.

Pattern: none
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton, in red, white, navy, and 'Americana'
Loom: Ashford Rigid Heddle 24"

I'm still missing the warp here and there, thanks to inconsistent tension. When I saw all the rows where the colors ended abruptly midway across, I was puzzled, until I remembered using the 'America' colorway, which is a mixture of red, white, navy, and pink.

I didn't like how the navy and white looked together on the loom, but after a trip through the washing machine (on gentle - I was afraid the rug would fall apart!) and dryer (for a little while, then hung to finish drying), the two colors played nicely together.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

What we won't do for our grandchildren

I think I have never been so happy to be done with a knitting project as I am with this one. Doll clothes are too fiddly, almost as bad as baby bootees. By far the worst part, though, was all the freaking eyelash yarn. Fun Fur is not fun at all.

Pattern: Curious Cat, by Nicky Epstein
Yarn: Lion Brand Fun Fur Stripes, in 'Cotton Candy' (and when I ran out of that, 'Soft Pink'), Lion Brand Vanna's Choice Solids, in 'White' and 'Raspberry'
Needles: US6 and US8
Modifications: See below.

I had some trouble with the instructions and left a note on Ravelry for the designer, but there was no response. I closed the mitts and paws with kitchener stitch, used kfb for increases, and performed "jogless jogs" when changing colors. Also, I could not imagine sewing snaps into Fun Fur, much less see my g'daughter getting them to work. The torso was a bit snug anyway, so I added bands for buttons and button holes, picking up about 30 stitches per side and sewing on 6 buttons.

My g'daughter wants the matching bonnet, mitts, and tail, but I told her I needed a break from Fun Fur. There is another pattern in Enchanted Knits for Dolls she also wants, but I also need a break from doll costumes. A L-O-N-G break.