Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I Must Be A Kitten Because I Love To Play With Yarn

It's been a tough week. I've been diligently editing comic pages, but am so very far away from being complete. In an effort to make it feel like I've made some progress, I've made a giant check list where I get to add lots of check marks. It has helped a bit.
As I've been slogging through the comics, it's become increasingly important to balance the work with play, and play I have. So much so, that I've managed to finish off another woven scarf.
Warp: Doespins sock in Paua. Weft: Verdant Gryphon Mithril in Green Water Snake.

I've also completed my latest pair of vanilla socks. It's amazing how the stitches add up when knitting in the car.
Opal's Der Kleine Prinz in Die Rose Der Kleine Prinzen color way

As a reward, I've cast on a new vanilla sock. This time I'm using the sock blank I bought a few posts back. I've never used a sock blank before, but I'm already addicted. Look how pretty the colors are!
Gale's Art Single Sock Blank in The Big O color way 

At the rate I'm going, I'll have another pair of socks off the needles in no time.

Has anyone else been playing with new-to-you yarn? Is there any I should try?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Little Bit Of Everything

It didn't take long for me to put a new project on the loom. I don't know when the spell will break, but weaving scarves has become quite addicting. I spent just one evening working on this particular scarf and found that I had woven half of it! 
Warp: Doespins sock in Paua. Weft: Verdant Gryphon Mithril in Green Water Snake.

Even though weaving is my new best friend, I haven't neglected my first love: knitting. I finally finished the test knit I was working on. I wish I could show the fantastic patterning that goes along the side of each sock, but for now I'll have to hide it until the pattern is released. Once that happens, I'll be happy to show off the socks in all their glory.
Yarn: Canon Hand Dyes Charles Sock in Etude 120

I'm also pleased to say that I am on the second sock in both my vanilla pair and my Haleakalas. Once these babies are done, I'll be out of projects on the needles. But with all sorts of fun new sock yarn to play with, it will be hard to choose what to cast on next! 
Left sock yarn: Der Kleine Prinz in Die Rose Der Kleine Prinzen. Right sock yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Pocion.

I have another project that I haven't been able to show much progress on, even though there is lots going on behind the scenes. I've finished up the embroidery sample for my USA travel patch quilt. There have been lots of decisions to make like: What kind of thread should I use? If I use the six-strand thread, how many of those six strands should I use? Which stitch would look best for the outline? Which stitch would work best for the numbers? And on and on and on. I've done the sample on linen, but the front of the quilt is going to be a cream-colored cotton, so the colors reflect what is going on the quilt. If I was doing it on linen, I would use colors that had higher contrast.

If that wasn't enough, I've signed up to take some classes at my local junior college in the fall. (Accounting and watercolors) I've also been working hard to format all my daily comics to put on the web. Connor has kindly been assisting me with the website side of things, so hopefully we will have the first few up soon.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Yarn Fumes Are Strong At The Black Squirrel

Sigh... so I can't even go one post without buying more yarn. Connor and I had a lovely day out and decided to swing by a new-to-me yarn shop called The Black Squirrel. (I know, I know... usually shops with yarn have a funny name in regards to wool. Don't be fooled: there is a significant amount of yarn to be had in this shop.) The proprietor, Chase, had been an indie dyer herself, so she has decided to stock indie dyers in her shop.
Do I have a picture of the shop? No. I was overcome by yarn fumes. You just get to see pictures of my new acquisitions instead.

I'm going to need a scapegoat for my lack of self-control around yarn, so Woollen Wild, this is your fault. You made those gorgeous Wheatly Socks, so I just had to get a skein of Spun Right Round's Bug Jar. They had it... but then there were so many other skeins that I was tempted by.

There were two skeins of Spun Right Round's Merino Worsted in Holy Crow. Normally I could resist worsted weight yarn, and I would have if they had a skein of Holy Crow in sock weight. But then I thought to myself.... I could weave it. Do you see what I did right there? I bought yarn for weaving. I took up weaving to get rid of stash... not to increase it!

Then there was a skein of Nox Yarn in the color way She's Filled With Secrets. Could I have walked  away from it? Maybe if it wasn't sock weight and didn't have such a cool name.

So there you have it, I just shouldn't be allowed to go into a yarn shop if I plan on not buying anymore yarn, especially a shop as neat as Black Squirrel Fabrics.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

All My Sock Yarn... Mostly

In my last post I talked about going through my stash for the annual moth check and to see what I had. While I do have a few sweater quantities, my stash is pretty much made up of sock yarn. It is my kryptonite. I love everything about it: the color, the fact that you can get a fancy skein because it is only one, the small amount of space it takes up. Well, about the small amount of space it takes up... when you multiply "one more sock skein" a bunch of times you get this.
Self striping and variegated on the left, solids on the right

What I've learned is that I really have equal love for all colors.... but I might want to knit up some of the orange island so the other colors don't start getting jealous. Also, I think I only have one pair of socks with orange in it.

In the interest of full disclosure, this is not all of my sock yarn. After I took the first picture, I found a few more skeins squirreled away here and there. But it really is the majority of it.
I hid this bin of sin inside my yarn trunk. I was wondering where the Regia had gone off to.

What was the real purpose of going through my sock yarn? Well, while the motivation should be to make sure I am moth free (I am!), or to destash some skeins that aren't "me" anymore (I did), what I really was trying to do was figure out what I might want to weave next. I had to commandeer Connor's yarn basket so that I could have a new weaving basket. Look at all that possibility! I'm excited.
Clearly all this yarn was just waiting for me to learn a new skill so I could make them look even more attractive in finished projects

Now the question is, what will I put on the loom first?

If anyone else has gone through/ goes through their stash, I'd love to see pictures. Does anyone else have a sock skein addiction like me? Do you find that your stash leans a certain way color-wise or do you have equal love for all colors?

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Iceland Sweater And First Woven Scarf

I think it is a tradition for me to finish a sweater just in time for the hot weather. I attached the last button on the last day of sweater weather we are going to have for awhile.
Pattern: Iceland from Rowan 42; Yarn: Naturally Harmony 10 Ply in color 803

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out though. I made quite a few modifications to transform the sweater being shaped like an oversized bag to something a bit more flattering. Most of the modifications I made had to do with the ribbed body portion of the sweater; I added length and shaping. The details are more in depth on my ravelry page.

I'm also pleased to say that I have managed to complete goal #4 of this year's goal list: knitting sweater out of stash. 

I also finished my first woven project: a scarf!
Pattern: Made up by yours truly; Yarn: Little Wool Company 4-Ply 100% Pure Wool in White, Oatmeal, and Silver

Connor immediately swooped in and claimed it as his. I suppose that is fair; I claimed his first knitted scarf.

I'm really pleased to have finally finished some big projects.... but I'm already looking at what I can weave and knit next. I think it might be time to give the ole' stash a good tossing (like a salad, not to the garbage... as I explained to Connor) and see what treasures I might turn up.

Has anyone else finished something that has been on your list for a long time? And how many of you have given (or thought about giving) your stash a good tossing?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Almost There

"Almost there" is how I feel about all of my projects. I've put time in to each, but none are quite finished just yet. Still, I'd like to share what is almost done.

I'm nearing the finish line with the Iceland Sweater. I was undecided on how long to make the welts for the body, so after doing around 60 rows of the front, I started on the back. I got a little nervous about the width. The ribbing sucked in so much that I went ahead and blocked it. No need to keep knitting if I'm going to rip it all out again. Luckily it blocked out great. Now I just need to finish the length of it before weaving in the many ends and attaching the buttons.
I tucked all the ends into the sweater when taking the picture, but there are quite a number of ends to weave in

I've been putting quite a bit of time into my new woven scarf. Connor has started playing Fallout 4, so I've been using that as my weaving time.... you know, when I haven't stolen the controller to play a little myself. (It's such a small part of the game, but I'm obsessed with collecting the magazines and displaying them on the rack at our home base.)
I'm nearing the end of the scarf and I've already learned what I would do a bit differently next time, but all in all it is a good first project. The only problem I've really run across is how to show weaving progress. It sort of looks the same as you weave.... so here is the big roll of scarf that I've woven.
It looks so small all rolled up, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a long scarf when I'm done

The socks are all moving along, too. The Haleakala socks (top) got put aside again because I forgot how complicated the gusset is. The test sock (right) is almost at the toe. My plain vanilla pair (bottom) is also almost at the toe. I wish some of these were second socks, but alas, they are all the first in the pair. I'm hoping that once I get one sock done, the match will knit itself.

Of course all these projects are just my yarn-related ones. I've been continuing on with my comic and figuring out how to best scan and process them for online and print. (I have no current plans to print them, but if I ever changed my mind, I don't want to rescan 160+ pages.) I've also taken a step away from the embroidery sachet/ quilt project. It all became a bit too much to maintain.

Who else has a bunch of "almost there" projects? If you love them all, how do you choose which one to work on next?

Monday, April 17, 2017

I'm A Weaver

Do you know the feeling of having so much to do, but having no idea where to start? Ideas and projects swirl around in your head and leaves you too tired to cross anything off of the list? That was me yesterday. Luckily, when I get to that point, Connor sits me down and has me list all the things that are overwhelming me out loud while he writes them down. Usually at the end of the list he'll say, Wow! That is a lot of things." This time when we finished, he looked at me and said, I think you need to start weaving.

I've wanted to try out weaving for quite some time. I've even been borrowing a loom for over a year (sorry David) but kept being too intimidated to try. So yesterday Connor helped me... alongside a book, youtube, and an online tutorial.

Originally I was going to weave a plain white scarf. I have a ton of white from when I thought I'd knit my wedding dress. But after threading the the first two threads, I realized I'd be bored immediately, so we wound up the white and I started to sketch out possible patterns. A little while back, Wei Siew had kindly send me some other colors by Anna Gratton, who also spun up the white. They work together so harmoniously, it was clear they needed to be in a scarf together.

After a few false starts, I was able to get going. So now I am a weaver. I've already woven and unwoven parts of this scarf, but I'm learning quickly.

I have high hopes to be wearing a new scarf soon.... unless Connor steals it. He keeps telling me it's "great man colors."
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