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Archive for the ‘In Progress’ Category

This was the first fiber to come off the drum carder – I had this stuff dyed and ready for the moment the carder arrived at our house.

It’s some lovely soft alpaca fiber from Franchesca of Alpacas at Tucker Creek. 18.8 microns! Love!

It spun up into some very soft and fine 2 ply laceweight. That pic’s color is really off, it’s much pinker.

I only dyed 30 gms, which spun into 256 yds, not enough for a large lace project but perfect for a light airy scarf.  Tiennie just posted instructions for a very simple feather and fan scarf and it seemed like the perfect match for this yarn.  I took out one pattern repeat because I have so little yarn, but it should block to about 7 inches in width.

That’s a pretty accurate color.

I’m off to knit some more!

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That title is just a sneaky way of saying “I don’t have time to write a full post tonight, but I need to post something before things get out of hand.”

So without further ado:

I got a drum carder for my birthday.  This is the Louet Jr. and it is fantastic.  Love Love Love it.  I would recommend it to anyone in the market for a drum carder, the batts are huge and light and fluffy, and you can card an unreal amount of fiber at one time.  Wonderful to spin from.

Advertising— This was ordered from HelloYarn, best price on the internet. —Thank You Adrian

The girl-y sweater is proceeding nicely.  I hate the green which ended up being very neon, but it will hopefully mellow out a bit when I get all the flowers embroidered on.  It should be finished by Monday- with a complete post.

I knit a Ribwarmer (here on Ravelry) The girly sweater was driving me batty, mindless garter stitch therapy was in order. This is an end of 2 years gift for one of Nikolai’s preschool teachers – she is slightly shorter and thicker than I am, so it should fit well.

My dad and I went golfing with the boys today.  It was their first time playing on a real course, and they had a blast.  Above is Nikolai with his impeccable form – consistently driving the ball upwards of 70 yards.

Below is Gabriel, who hasn’t much technique yet – but he sure had fun!


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Falling-in-love-itis

I’m not sure whether Yarn Harlot has yet identified this particular knitterly affliction, but I do know I’m afflicted.

Yesterday after finishing the Bog Jacket (pictures tomorrow) I was innocently cruising Ravelry and…

this incredibly cute sweater caught my eye.

Despite my professed sanity I called up my LYS asked if they had this booklet? and could they hold it? and I would be right down.

Oh my.

Oh my.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with an adorable little sweater.

Cheers!

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If you have read this blog for any length of time you have probably heard of our friends the “Fishtrap” Family.

They are not actually surnamed Fishtrap –  I just call them that to maintain their privacy and because I’ve knit them 3 Fishtrap Arans to date.

It all started out quite innocently: Last spring I set out to make similar sweaters for the twin boys for their 4th birthday.

The boys became the Fishtrap Twins.

Then I made another Fishtrap Aran for the father.

The father was dubbed Mr. Fishtrap and from there I’ve called them the Fishtrap family ever since.

Now those Fishtrap twins are almost 5 and it’s time to knit birthday sweaters again.  I love knitting for other people. I think I’ll be knitting birthday sweaters for these guys until they’re 18.  Ok, maybe not that long.

Mr. Maroon Fishtrap asked for a sweater just like his first, but orange.  After a bit more discussion we decided it should be orange (but he likes red too), have white edges, pockets, a zipper, and a hood.

It sounded like a perfect excuse to knit one of EZ’s brilliant Bog Jackets.

The yarn is Plymouth Encore, a mostly acrylic wool blend, but washable and very soft to work with.  The pattern is the Bog Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann, found in Knitting Around.  I started this Thursday, April 10, and it’s going very very fast.   I need to go buy more yarn tomorrow, this thing is a voracious yarn-gobbler.

I love the brilliant construction of the jacket, it’s so simple, but no modern person with our limitless supply of textiles would think of it nowadays.  Its fun to find history in our hobbies.

I’m really excited about this “unvention” : Look! Pockets from Double Knitting!  Ok, I’m sure other people have done this before, but I haven’t and I haven’t seen it, so let me get excited.  And I really like to play with different textures when using garter stitch, there are so many ways to add detail.

Anyway, you can tell I’m having a blast. I’ll finish weaving up the first half tonight and finish off the sleeve and pockets until I can buy more yarn.  After this it will be on to a Lusekofte for Mr. Blue Fishtrap!

I love being a knitter!

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Bad bad blogger I have been. Sorry.

We were sick, and then we were out of town, and then we were sick again, and now I have no more excuses, just a lots of pictures- be warned!

Nikolai turned 5 – Happy Birthday!

I knit Gabriel a vest: Check it out on Ravelry

I knit a shawl: Check it out on Ravelry

A friend’s son needed a dinosaur sweater: Here on Ravelry

I was gifted 3 fleeces:

A favorite sweater underwent the knife with very satisfactory results: Here on Ravelry

And I knit a little baby vest, and have been spinning spinning spinning.

There you have the very brief version of last month, I’ll try to be a better blogger now!

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Finally Finally Finally.  The socks that wouldn’t get done are… DONE!

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Pattern: Moody (Blues) Hose.  I was inspired to design these socks after the kilt hose we see Professor Moody wearing for one little second during the Yule Ball in the 4th Harry Potter movie.  And I like the Moody Blues.

I was interested in the construction of Moody’s hose because the calf shaping is not like any I had seen before. The decreases occur at 4 points, one each side of the clocks running down the side of the legs.

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Whether or not this is actually how the original socks were knitted is moot, I liked this method of shaping. Spreading the decreases around the leg may not be very anatomically correct, but it has a nice effect.

Yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy, colorway VS160 Blue Lagoon.  Purchased at Knitting Bee.

Started: (ahem) August 2007  Finished: February 21, 2008   Finally!!!

Needles and Gauge: US sz. 1 / 2.5 mm double point needles. Gauge: varied… The first sock was knitted at about 8.5 sts/in the second at 8 sts/in.  The more I knit the looser I get, but I think that’s pretty typical for most knitters.

Spinning:

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This was more fiber Peggy sent me. There were small samples of Gotland and Border Leicester of similar colors so I spun up both and plyed them together.  This is the first stuff not overspun, I might even call it a bit underspun, but it would make a lovely drapey fluffy lace if it were a softer wool and there were more of it.

And Spinning a Sweater’s Worth?

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I bought a full pound of this natural dark brown carded Corriedale sliver.  Lots of vegetable matter, but O so soft.  I’m doing a woolen spun, Navajo 3 ply yarn.  The first bobbin yielded 50 gms/170 yards.  Sportweight.

So far I’ve only spun up one bobbin, and already knitted it up, so I really need to sit back down at the wheel!  I love how light and sproingy the woolen 3 ply is.  It’s heavenly to knit with, if you like that sort of thing.

The sweater will be Helloyarn’s Cycling Aran.  This was the first sweater I ever lusted after as a brand-new knitter.  After an unsuccessful first attempt last winter due to a poor yarn choice, I’m trying again.  Adrian’s blog is also one of the first I started reading that involved spinning, so it seems appropriate that this is my first handspun sweater.

Plans for a February Baby Shawl were scrapped in favor of getting started on birthday knitting, our family has 2 in March so I need to get going!

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Not the type of bunny I’m chasing however. Well, actually I bet my grandmother Bunny, being quite an extrordinary knitter, was as susceptible to casting-on as the rest of us. But I digress.

I keep missing WOYNW, so I’m not going to bother showing you the next BSJ on the pins, or little Thumbelina the Ballet Fairy, or the sock that will. not. get. done. I’m going to show you what is bringing me joy today.

First: The February Baby Sweater. It is February after all and though I’ve made a bastard FBS I’ve never actually followed the pattern:

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Folks, that is only 5 hours of dedicated knitting time. I can’t believe how fast it’s going! And I can’t believe how poorly acrylic yarn photographs. Ugh.

A friend called me up this morning, and asked if the boys and I wanted to come over to play. It sounded like a low-key morning so I brought my knitting. And I knew said friend is interested in my projects so I brought some wool and needles for her as well. While the kids played we sat down and I taught her to knit.

This EZ quote from Knitter’s Almanac was brought to mind: “Sit and knit with your child; while it perfects its potholder you can knit it a fine reward – a pair of longies.”

Actually it was my friend, not my child, and she’s not getting longies, but her baby is getting a sweater. I’m thinking pink buttons and a pink crochet trim on all the edges?

The other thing that is bringing me joy lately is the Swedish Cardi. The bands came out exactly as I had pictured them. And, I have enough gold wool to finish up the colorwork on the sleeves. Yea!
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Here I am trying not to get impaled on the DPNs in the sleeve. Yes, that’s a Ravelry shirt. Yes, I’m a dork. Yes, it’s really time to clean the bathroom mirror, or make the kids stop using that sink. Digressing again…

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The shoulder and back. It comes down to a nice length I think, these pants are quite saggy so I don’t think the pictures really give an accurate idea of the fit.

Everything is a bit tight, but I planned for some stretch in the washing/blocking process. I didn’t put in any buttonholes as I planning on getting some nice pewter clasps for this one.

OK, I’m off to knit the FBS. It’s so cute!

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…or, how not to knit a sweater…

I’ve been knitting away on the blue and gold cardi. I knit down to the bottom edge and tried it on before deciding on the next step. There turned out to be many next-steps.

Before slicing open the front I took out a chunk of neck to get a square neckline.

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I put in a reverse life-line – the royal blue yarn – and 2 little crochet secured steeks – the black yarn. Then I snipped down the center and ravelled across to the crochet lines.

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Like so.

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I actually went back and made the neck a bit wider but you get the general idea. Then crochet secured the fronts before slicing it open.

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By crocheting through one leg of each color stitch both colors are secured.

Currently I’m adding a bottom border in garter stitch before I begin the considerable neck and front treatment.  Oi.

I will never stek a sweater like this again.  I was way too gung-ho to start this project and I didn’t plan it too well.  I planned on making a square neck so I wouldn’t have to incorporate short-row shaping into the colorwork. Obviously it can be done the way I did it, but there must be better ways!

The best way to have done this would have been to cast on the steek sts only and then cast on the fronts in big balloons at the desired neck depth.  Or it could have been done back and forth to the desired neck depth, but I’m not sure I can do colorwork from the wrong side.  Hmm.

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For now, it looks like arse, but I think it will all work out.  And if it doesn’t, well then, it doesn’t.  I’m not sure there’s enough gold yarn to the sleeves anyway. Guess I shoulda checked that before slicing up all my yarn.

Now incorporating my favorite technique…  Knit and pray!

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First of all, and although it’s a bit late, Lynn and her New Year’s Resolution rock.

Get your shit together.  

What other resolution could anyone need? It’s a fantastic motivator, at least for me.

My shit for this year is (among other things) getting rid of my stash, it’s the best justification to buy more!  I’m not trying to rush, but enjoy what I have, because there was a reason I bought it, right?   Honestly I don’t have that much wool, but certainly enough to last several months.

Here’s my first stash-busting project-

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Sorry about the bad picture.  It’s an EPS top-down raglan steeked cardigan using that same Binge colorwork chart as the hat.  The blue is Silky Wool (8 balls in the stash because I loved it) the gold is KnitPicks Telemark (2 balls in the stash leftover from Nikolai’s pirate knits) being knit on US sz. 2 / 2.50 mm needles.

Only the yoke will have colorwork, because I have very little gold yarn, the rest of the body and the lower sleeves will be plain blue. After steeking I will probably finish all edges with garter stitch.

Have I mentioned how I adore this chart?

Next- A Baby Surprise Jacket Snow Suit  (!!)  A good friend has been kind enough to give me a reason to knit baby things, something I missed out on with my own children.  And although she’s a fantastically skilled knitter herself, extra woolies can’t hurt, right?
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BS Snow Suit!!  Unventing at it’s finest.  I’ve lengthened the body, split for legs, and am now knitting the border all the way around, mitering all the corners.  There will be buttons all down the legs for ease of dressing.  And later snowcuffs with mitts/sockies in a soft white wool, and a soft white hood.

Unfortunately I’m out of yarn. The purpley-grey is KnitPicks Telemark from Gabriel’s Pirate sweater, the light green is Galway Highland Heather from the Tri-Cable sweater and next should be ?????  I have black or a dove heather and I hate making this kind of decision.   Kate, this is for your baby! What would you like?

Fishtrap and his ridiculous sleeves are still glaring at me.  Later.

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Firstly, thank you all for all the wonderful comments you left about the “Amazing Tri-Cable Sweater.” Thank you for the new name Peggy.

Several of you commented on the fit, so if you’re curious- I blocked the chest to 34 inches. My bust measurement over undergarments and a thin t-shirt is 31 inches. So 3 inches of positive ease. I’ve noticed with the Knitting Daily Sweater Galleries how many people like seeing the ways sweaters look of different sized folks and using it for a reference point, so I think I’ll start doing that here too.

Second, On the topic of the Shawl Collar Sweater. Jeanne wondered whether I would publish the design? Well, I hdan’t really thought about it, is there much interest? I have been thinking of putting up a shaping/steeking/shawl collar overview with lots of progress and process pictures. Essentially I would be giving you the recipe EZ style so you can design something made for you. Is anyone interested in something like that? Please let me know what you’d find most helpful.

Third, I’ve started the Gathered Pullover from the Winter 2007 IK.

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Yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light. That’s a pretty accurate color. When I first started knitting this I thought I wanted it to be loose, like wearing a cloud, so I’m knitting on 8s and getting 4.25 sts/in. Later I went on Ravelry and noticed that the versions with negative ease looked the best (IMHO). So that’s why it’s off the needles in this picture.

I measured it and it came out only 30 inches around the cable pattern so this might work out. For now it’s back on the needles awaiting judgement. Perhaps size can be corrected with some aggressive washing, but I kinda want to just start over now. Opinions?

What number are we on? Spinning.

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This is more fiber from Peggy. I noted on the back of the label “First bobbin sucked. Second one much better. Still a bit ropey, overspun.”

It’s a start. I’m still learning.

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Currently on the wheel is more fiber from Peggy, this time some Wensleydale. When I first started spinning this stuff I was drafting a really fine strand, so I used the smaller whorl on the flyer. But as I went along I started making it thicker and the smaller whorl was too much. On the far left you can see the softer strand produced when I went up to the larger whorl with thicker drafting. Hopefully I can correct the overspinning problem.

Just random stuff today. If you’re only here for cute pictures of my boys here’s one of Gabriel and me sharing his ‘lovey.’

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Have a great week everyone!

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