WIP Weds ~ a threefold update

It’s Wednesday, and I have knitting pictures! So that means it’s WIP Weds time!

First up today is actually not a knitting project. This is the rest of the Purple Majesty fiber that I spun for the Kitty Mine Crafts spin-along at the end of last year. Technically I have finished it so it’s not a WIP any longer, except that I haven’t really finished it because I need to order and spin more fiber. I plan to knit myself a cardigan from this yarn, and I don’t have enough yet. So as soon as I can determine what pattern I want to knit, and how much more fiber that means I need, I will be ordering more and spinning that up too. At any rate, here are two of the skeins I spun up from this fiber:

Purple Majesty handspun (fiber by Kitty Mine Crafts)

I have 4 completed skeins now, but only two were skeined up when I took this picture over the weekend. (This was a weekend pic instead of a Tuesday night pic because it was beautiful and sunny over the weekend.)

Next up is a knitting project. This is the Obsessio Cowl which was my traditional between Christmas and New Year’s project. (I have a habit of starting a new project between the two holidays using new gift yarn – or in this case, new gift needles. Mr. Wyrm got me a set of Needlelite knitting needles for Christmas, and they were so much fun I had to start something using them RIGHT AWAY.)

I’m enjoying the knit a lot so far. Normally I would be adding beads to this, because I love beaded projects, but since this yarn had sequins spun into it, I didn’t bother. There’s plenty of sparkle in this cowl as-is! My only problem with the project is deciding how long to make it. I’m either half-way done, or about two-thirds of the way done. I’m not sure yet.

And last up for today is the current progress of my Aperture Science square for the 2016 Geek-A-Long blanket. (Just a reminder: they’re doing this to benefit the Child’s Play Charity.)

I love the Portal games (and want another one! Portal 3 please?) so this was a no-brainer for me. I might knit both of the available Portal squares for this blanket (the other was an alternate square, but it’s the Companion Cube, so I really want to include it in the blanket). I still have yet to determine if this blanket will be only video games for me (the year’s theme is video games, so all the new squares for 2016 have that theme) or if I will use more of the 2014 squares which have nothing to do with games. We’ll see. Plenty of time to decide.

Anyway, that’s my current projects. I have more things on the needles, but I haven’t knit them in a week or more, so I don’t have any progress pictures. Have a great rest of the week!

WIP Weds ~ the “what can I show you?” edition

I haven’t done a WIP Weds in a while, have I? I guess part of that is because I’m working on Christmas gifts. This time of year is a really bad one for knitting progress pics. There’s really not that much that I can share.

However, one thing I can share is the spinning progress I’ve made on the Kitty Mine Crafts SAL. (SAL = spin-a-long) Unfortunately, I have only taken one photo. Here it is! This is the first bobbin of singles I spun. I have since spun up a second bobbin of singles, let them rest, and plied them together, but I haven’t taken any additional progress pics yet. I will shortly, because I love the way it’s turning out, but I’ve been busy / lazy / sick and haven’t done it yet.

Hmm, I do have a knitting project I can share with you. This is a new sock (no, I haven’t finished either of the 2 socks-in-progress I have on the needles already, though one is close). It’s on Noro Taiyo Sock yarn, and I’m really enjoying the color changes. The sock is a combination of the Toe-Up Double Gusset Sock and Wendy’s Feather and Fan sock pattern – the first for the foot up through the heel, and the second for the leg. I have gotten further than this picture shows, but I haven’t gotten to any of the pattern stuff yet.

Looking at my calendar, there aren’t many more weeks until Christmas. Hopefully that means I’ll be able to share more WIP Weds shortly than I have been recently! Then again, one of the projects I’m going to be starting shortly is for my 2-year-old nephew, and he doesn’t read my blog, so I might share WIP pictures for that project even before Christmas. We’ll see. Have a great rest of the week, everyone! Hard to believe it’s already almost (American) Thanksgiving…

(Side note: sometimes I think the Canadians have it right by putting Thanksgiving earlier in the year. If nothing else, that way it gets more individual attention, rather than having it closer to Christmas and getting overshadowed…)

Phat Fiber!

I have been aware of the Phat Fiber Sampler Box for ages now. I first became aware of it due to Spincerely Yours, I think, but I only recently started paying attention to the boxes again. At the time I first heard of them, I wanted to get one, but didn’t think I’d have any clue what to do with the fiber. I mean, what could you do with little sampler bits of yarn?

Well, since then, I have run into all sorts of ideas of what to do with it. There’s shawls like Leftie, which use one background color and lots of smaller bits of color. (Great for stash busting scraps and for samplers! Yay!) There are also what one member of my Stitch ‘n’ Bitch calls “Frankensocks,” where you use all kinds of random odds and ends to knit up a sock and don’t worry about whether they match or not. (Crazy stripes FTW!) And then there’s scrap yarn blankets. (I have two in the works, with a third one planned.) Lots of ideas!

So, when February’s Phat Fiber Sampler Box was announced with a “coffee and chocolate” theme, I HAD TO GET ONE. Other than the “Geekery” theme last year, this is the theme that has spoken to me the most. So, when I just happened to be awake at early enough on the Sunday it was to be released, I opened up the sale page and hit refresh until the boxes showed up. And then one happened to find its way into my cart, and a week or so later, it ended up on my doorstep!

I’d never gotten one before, and had never seen any pictures/videos of what the boxes looked like, so I had no idea what to expect. It was a very fun surprise to open! And I loved how so many of the vendors packaged up their samples in some fun way. Some of them used fun bags to hold their fiber (or other items, since this was a mixed box). Some included chocolate – which would always be welcome, but which was especially appropriate this month! My favorite packaging was the bag from Kitty Mine Crafts, which was of the “Breakfast Blend” fiber batt sample, and came in the kind of bag that you buy coffee beans in. So perfect.

All of the things look like they will be fun to use, whether the stitch markers or the fiber or the yarn samples. (I’m happy that the yarn samples are about the same weight, so that I can use them in the same project if I want to.)

I am a part of the Phat Fiber group on Ravelry, so I’m also happy to have easy access to links for these vendors’ stores. I’ve bought from several of them before, such as when I wanted the things they were listing for the “Geekery” sampler box but didn’t buy a box. However, I do like being able to see the other things they are working on that didn’t get into the box, or that got into some boxes but not others. (For instance, some vendors send multiple samples over, say of different color blends, and so some people end up with Color A and other people end up with Color B.)

I really enjoyed getting my first Phat Fiber Sampler box, and I have to say that it will not be my last. I won’t get one every month, but for a fun splurge, I’m there. Kudos to the organizers for getting together such a fun idea and a great way to support independent fiber artists!

From Yak To Cowl

Oooh, lookie here! A finished object!

Cowl FO

This is the Edelweiss Neckwarmer by Susanna IC. It’s meant to be done as a scarf-type neckwarmer, with buttons to hold it closed. I decided I wanted to seam it up and have it as a cowl. (I’m not 100% sure now that was the right idea, but we’ll have to wait for this fall/winter to be sure.)

I knit this cowl from yarn I spun during the 2014 Tour De Fleece. From start to finish (counting the spinning) this is one of the fastest projects I have ever made. It helps that the fiber was so enticing. It’s sparkly! And made up of so many different colors and fibers! In addition to the (sheep) wool, there are sparkly bits and even some yak wool. I can’t help but be intrigued by it. I will be buying more fiber from BohoKnitterChic, because this one was so fun to work with.

Cowl FO

The pattern was pretty simple, too. It was easy enough to memorize; the hardest part was remembering which row I ended on when I put the knitting down for a while. I got in the habit of stopping mid-row to make it easier to remember where I was. (NOT something I was taught to do when I learned how to knit… but it worked well enough for this project.)

Would I knit another of these cowls? Perhaps. If I had a small skein of something yummy that I wanted to show off, for instance. But I would probably knit it as a scarf-type neckwarmer as intended, to compare the difference between the way it was written and the slight mod I made to it.

Cowl FO

Here are the specs (and a link to my Ravelry project page):

PATTERN: Edelweiss Neckwarmer
DESIGNER: Susanna IC
YARN: “May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor” rolags from BohoKnitterChic, spun into a thick/thin yarn by yours truly
NEEDLES: US 6
START & END DATES: July 12, 2014 to August 1, 2014
MODS: Only one: after knitting this as written, I seamed up the edge instead of sewing on buttons.

TdF Thursday

So, there has been knitting, but not a whole lot of it. And the knit teaser that I showed you last Wednesday has been essentially finished, so you won’t get to see that one again until I sew up the ends and write its FO post. I should be able to have another (knitting) WIP Weds next week, but for now let’s celebrate the Tour De Fleece.

I’ve been doing a lot of spinning lately, especially compared to usual. I wouldn’t be surprised if over the past couple weeks I have doubled my life-time spinning output. The fun thing is watching the evenness of my spinning improve as the TdF goes on. It’s still all definitely done by a relative novice, but now it’s much more balanced with itself. Instead of being a randomly thick & thin yarn like the first yarn I spun this month, my current project is a good sport weight yarn with only minor fluctuations.

Speaking of that first yarn I spun for the 2014 Tour De Fleece, here it is:
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This is the “May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor” fiber from BohoKnitterChic. It was a part of the Phat Fiber sampler box in February – and while I didn’t get the sampler box, I saw the fiber online and loved it, so decided to buy some.

Spinning it was a new thing for me, since I’d never spun from rolags before. Rolags are rolled-up fiber that looks a little like cigars or sausage curls, for those of you who didn’t know. You spin them from one end, and in my experience it was really had to control which bits of fiber got pulled into the yarn at which point. This was fine with me, since a completely random yarn was kinda what I was going for, but if I’d been trying to spin to a plan it would have bugged me.
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The second yarn I spun was another Phat Fiber seller, though I bought this one long ago. I don’t know how long this fiber has been in my stash. It’s from Tamara of Spincerely Yours, and was a standard wool roving. I tried for a more even yarn with this one, and succeeded, though it was still a bit uneven at times. Love the colors, though, but I will need to remember that they bled a bit when I washed the finished yarn.
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And here is the third finished yarn I have from this year’s TdF. It’s an art batt from Kitty Mine Crafts, and was enjoyable to spin up. Like the rolags I spun at the beginning of the TdF, though, I had the darndest time controlling where the bits of color showed up in the yarn. Not too much of a problem, though it was a little frustrating to go from long stretches of white to parts where there were two or three colors of banana silk together. Ah well.

I have more of this on order, because I wanted enough to knit a shawlette with it. I’m really looking forward to that – it was a nice fluffy batt to work with. I want to wear it and snuggle into it.
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Finally (for today), here’s a picture of my current spinning project. This is a wool roving from Sprouty25, which I have been spinning up in tin singles and chain-plying together so that I can control the color shifts. I’m REALLY pleased with how this turned out. It’s my most even spinning yet, though you can’t quite tell from the photos. It’s also the only yarn that I’ve gotten to do what I want color-wise. (I usually don’t bother trying, but still.) I still have a little over half of this left to spin up, and I’m enjoying the process. It makes me look forward to the next roving that I’ll be able to play with the color, though I don’t know yet what that will be or how I will play with it.

Anyway, I’ve been having a fun week at home. Hope you have too!

WIP Weds ~ of Tours and Tsocks

Welcome to another WIP Weds! Today there is knitting again, though there is also more spinning.

First up, some of the spinning.
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The Tour de Fleece is still going strong, and this year (for once) I didn’t wimp out after the first few days. The above is a picture of some yarn I spun up from fiber I got from Spincerely Yours. This is the Chantico colorway, and it’s a superwash merino. It spins up beautifully.
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I’ve also gotten some fiber from Kitty Mine Crafts, and have started spinning that too. It’s an art batt, white wool with colorful bits of banana silk blended in for interest.

Next up, some knitting.
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This is the second of the Kitri socks by the Tsarina of Tsocks, a project which has been in my WIP bag for a LONG time. I’m not going to admit how long (until I finally finish them and write their FO post). But suffice to say that one way to get past the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome is to knit one sock, put the project bag aside until you have forgotten how the knitting went on the first one, and then knit the second sock. It’s like knitting a brand-new sock pattern!

Anyway. So far so good. And this is my current travel knitting, so hopefully it won’t take too long to finish. I really want to get my WIP list manageable this year so I can start new projects guilt-free.

Um. Did I say “start new projects guilt-free”?
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Oops.

WIP Weds ~ Spin With Me

It’s WIP Wednesday! But I have no knitting to show you. (There has been knitting… and frogging. I’ve been knitting the “And So Are You” shawl, which I love, and hope to have done in not too terribly long. And I frogged the Chevron Gauntlets that were in my WIP bag for way too long. They were too small, so I frogged them and restarted in the bigger of the 2 sizes. And then they were too big. I need to find a new yarn for that pattern, and a new pattern for that yarn. But the combo isn’t working with my hand size and knitting tension.)

Anyway. I do have a WIP to show you, because it’s time for the Tour De Fleece! Yay!

#tourdefleece2014

I don’t spin very often. I would like to spin more. But this year, at least, I am trying to get some serious spinning progress during the Tour de Fleece. (And for those who don’t know, yes: this is related to the Tour de France. Theoretically we’re supposed to spin our wheels while we watch the cyclists spin theirs. But many of us – possibly most of us, me included – spin for the sake of the fiber and don’t care much about the bicycle race.)

So anyway, this year I started the TdF with some absolutely luscious fiber. This is a set of rolags blended by BohoKnitterChic (you can find her on Etsy, http://bohoknitterchic.etsy.com/ ) in a Hunger Games inspired colorway named “May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor.” It’s sparkly and soft and wonderful.

#tourdefleece2014

This is the first time I’ve spun using rolags, and one of the first times I really tried using the long draw. It took a while to get used to it, but I liked it when I got a rhythm going. My homespun yarn is still always thick and thin, though, never as smooth as store-bought. Some say that’s a good thing because it shows character. I’m going to go with that.

#tourdefleece2014

So there were six rolags in this batch, and I spun each one up as a singles and then plied two together. Which means I have 3 skeins of this soft bouncy yarn. Love it.

I was originally hoping to make a sweater out of this, but it looks like she can’t do custom orders right now (and there’s no more of this in the shop, since I bought it too long ago) so I’ll have to make something else. Maybe a cowl. It would be a MARVELOUS cowl.

#tourdefleece2014

Anyway, this is spinning project #1 for the 2014 Tour de Fleece. I’m already more successful than I have been for prior TdFs, since I actually finished a batch of fiber this time. But I’m hoping to be much more successful than this, even, and get some more stuff spun up. I have a nice stash of spinning fiber just waiting for me…