Thursday, October 29, 2009

Handspun Friday - Woodland Violet

I'm behind on everything, including all my knitting and spinning projects. But I do have a new handspun to share this week.

I made a two ply yarn out of Corriedale with the intentions of knitting a shawl of some type. The colors are a little more muted than I normally choose and the yarn is even a little more muted than the fiber was. Probably even a little more than I expected, so I'm anxious to see how it knits up.

Geddesburg Handspun Yarn

Fiber: dyed by Maisy Daisy
Content: 100% Corriedale (combed top)
Weight: 8 ounces
Yardage: 662 yards
WPI: 12 wraps per inch
Notes: 2-ply; handwash

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Are You Happy Wearing That?

Brad spouted off with this line from the Christmas Story movie as soon as he saw this finished hat. I guess this bunny ear hat is just a little too reminiscent of Ralphie's pink bunny suit for Brad.

Well, at least I didn't knit the hat in pink and I did leave off the little pompom tail that the pattern called for stitching onto the back. The pattern was really easy and went pretty quick. I like knitting the little hats - they are quick and generally easy on my hands. I've already got another on the needles.

Project Info:
Pattern: Bunny Tail
by Susan Anderson
from Itty Bitty Hats
Yarn: Berroco Comfort
color - hummus
Needles: addi TURBO US# 7 (4.5mm)
Size: 6-12 months
Notes: pom pom tail left off the back of the hat

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Swissy Sunday

All is quiet on the Swissy front lately. They are definitely enjoying the cooler weather that October has brought our way.

The have seemed almost oblivious to the excitement around them preparing for the new family member. I think that is because most of the activity to date has been upstairs where the nursery will be and neither of the dogs likes stairs. In fact, neither Sherman or Scarlett has been upstairs in our house.

I think they are in for a big surprise when the baby comes. I do think both of them will do well with the baby although we will have to watch them both if for nothing more than just because of their size.

Scarlett does still have a lot of playful puppy in her and we will have to make sure she is careful and never let with the baby unattended. Sherman will probably be afraid of the baby and stay out of the way. It will be a learning experience for all of us.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Handspun Friday - Norway

I started this yarn back in the summer during the Tour de Fleece but have just recently gotten around to getting everthing finished. It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to spin this fiber. The colors are so bold and different from each other. In the end I decided to try and keep the colors together by chain plying the single.

I started with two 4 ounce pieces of fiber and divided each piece into thin strips so drafting would be easy. I used the bulky flyer for my wheel and filled one giant bobbin with a continous single. I like having a single skein, but it does get tedious plying for that long without much of a break.

I'm thinking that I might knit soemthing for the little one next winter with this - Hopefully I have enough yardage for a small baby sweater.

Geddesburg Handspun Yarn

Fiber: dyed by Hello Yarn (Club Fiber)
Content: 100% Bule Faced Leceister (combed top)
Weight: 8 ounces
Yardage: 512 yards
WPI: 13 wraps per inch
Notes: chain-plied; handwash

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Widget's First Booties

Some call it the bump, bun, bean, fetus, the alien, peanut, or even gummy bear. The list goes on and on, and it seems like everyone comes up with a different name for their little expected one. Ours is simply Widget. My husband said the name one evening and it stuck. I'm just hoping we can break away from using the nickname and stick with his given name after his birth.

We have started a list of names we like, we haven't picked one yet. We are also inclined to wait until the actual arrival to decide on a final name. I've had a few mothers tell me that the first time they saw their baby that they just knew the perfect name and several have said it wasn't what they originally had picked. I'm a little skeptical of that - but what do I know I've never done this before. So, I'm willing to wait and see but I've got a list - I even have a favorite on the list.

The booties turned out cute but it was a bear getting the stripes to match up so I don't know if I'd do that again - a solid color might work better. My understanding is that nothing stays on the little one's feet. So these things probably have the life span of an afternoon. But they are so cute and it does feel good to knit some baby things even if they are small.

Project Info:

Pattern: Blue Steps - Baby Booties
by Regina Willer
on Ravelry
Yarn: small amount of leftover sock yarn
Needles: addi TURBO US# 1

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Handspun Friday - Step One (The Plan)

I've got a couple more skeins of handspun in the works, but they aren't read to post about yet. So I decided to post about a planned spinning project today. This fiber is Falklands wool in a color called Five Plum Pie from Hello Yarn. There is 2.5 pounds of fiber in the photo below divided into 4 ounce bags. The first 8 ounces was from a fiber club shipment. The rest I purchased when extra dyed fiber was made available to club members. I wanted enough for a sweater.

My ultimate goal is to get all this fiber spun up before the baby arrives. I'm hoping to be able to start knitting my first handspun sweater while I'm home on maternity leave. I'm planning on knitting the Panel Jacket by Carol Lapin (on Ravelry). I like the idea of a wool jacket - I think I'll get more use out if it than wool pullover. I rend to wear jackets and cardigans over t-shirts for easy layering and un-layering as needed.

I'll need about 1600 yards of worsted weight yarn to knit this project and that seems very possible with the amount I've fiber I've set aside. I'll need to get around 200 yards of yarn from each 4 ounce bag. That would mean I'd end up with just a little extra and could make my jacket longer if I'd like. Or more than likely, it will allow for a little wiggle room to accommodate for variation in the hand spinning.

My grand plan is to chronicle this spinning project on Fridays between postings of finished handspun. This would be my first sweater spinning project and I think I want to approach it with a little more planning than I use when I'm spinning a single skein or two. So, I thought sharing the entire spinning project instead of just a finished yarn would be a nice change.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Expectant Knitting

If you have been following this blog recently, you've probably noticed a sharp decrease in the my posting and crafting activity lately. I'm going to place the blame for that squarely on the fact that I'm pregnant. I'm very excited, thrilled, and elated. This has been something we've wanted for a long time, although we weren't sure would ever work out. We are expecting a little boy to join our family around January 9th.

I always imagined that I would knit up a storm for any baby I was expecting. there would be booties, hats, sweaters, toys, blankets, and any other knitted item you can think of in abundance. But when I first found out I was pregnant, I was hesitant to knit because the whole thing didn't seem real. Once I settled in with the idea a little bit and things began to look like they might work out, I had a hard time picking patterns and colors that seemed gender neutral. I couldn't decide on anything.

So I joined some blanket square swaps. The swaps are over and I've received all the squares I'm going to get, but the knitting isn't over. I need to fill in missing squares where people dropped or flaked out. Then I'll be ready to stitch them altogether and hopefully have finished blankets for the new arrival. but, I'm currently burnt out on that project so I've set it aside for a little while.

Once I completed my part of the swaps and knew I was having a little boy, I thought I'd be really ready to knit. But my newest obstacle is pregnancy induced carpal tunnel. That has just sucked all the joy and relaxation right out of knitting and spinning for the moment. I'm just starting my third trimester, so I do have a little time left before the impending arrival. Some days though, I'm only able to do a row or two before my hands bother me to much to continue. So the plan is to try smaller projects and just enjoy what I can do. I am told that this should clear up after delivery, so hopefully I can get back into the swing of things early next year.

My first little finished project is the baby socks in the picture above. I knit them from the top down using some leftover Paton's Stretch sock yarn. They are 2x2 rib over 40 stitches. I used a short row heel and toe in garter stitch so I didn't have to pick up the wraps. The socks are probably a little big for first thing home from the hospital, but I look forward to watching him grow into them.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Handspun Friday - Melancholy

I love the blues and purples in the fiber and the way they twisted together into a three ply. I actually started this spin back in the summer during the Tour de Fleece, but am just getting around to photographing and posting photos.

I don't have much to share about this particular spinning project. I stripped the top into thin strips and weighed out three equal piles of fiber. I spun each pile onto a separate bobbin and then plied the three together.

I really like the finished weight of this yarn, and the roundness of a three ply always makes me smile.

Geddesburg Handspun Yarn
Fiber: dyed by Funky Carolina (Club Fiber)
Content: 100% Super wash Merino (combed top)
Weight: 4 ounces
Yardage: 228 yards
WPI: 13 wraps per inch
Notes: 3-ply