Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pot Holders

In scrolling thru some photos on my computer I came across a pot holder I made back in the summer. And, as I so often do, forgot to write down the details. So...I will knit another one and make notes to share. Basically, it's a knitted version of the double thick crochet version of the cotton pot holder.

I began the cast on as if it was a toe up sock using magic loop. When it was time to finish I grafted the edges together. More details in a later post...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Advent Scarf Resurrected

Last year I started work on an Advent Scarf project as a KAL with a couple of Fishknit's friends on Ravelry. It got set aside when I realized I wasn't going to get it finished in time and I think it's time to resurrect the project. Every so often, as I finish a section, I pin it out on the ironing board and give it a steam.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Lovely, Lovely Fiber!

When I began spinning back in the mid '80's there were no websites. There were no nice, locally owned spinning and weaving shops with roving, sliver, and raw wool. The first fleece I bought was a joint purchase with someone in a guild an hour and a half drive from me who placed the order and shipped me my fleece. I won a Jacob fleece at a spinning and weaving retreat in 1994 and I eventually had both those fleeces processed at a local mill which is now closed. I still have a pound of the Merino sliver to spin.

And about twelve ounces of the Jacob sliver lurking somewhere in one of these boxes...

Fortunately, there is a great place where I can find a lot of wonderful fiber, Apple Leef Farm, in Van Alstyne, Texas, a forty-five minute drive from me.

Before that there was a shop in McKinney, Texas, Woolenworks, where most of my fiber was purchased. I miss that shop. I have many fond memories of time spent and purchases made in that shop.

And I recently found another shop in Lewisville, Texas, Fiberlady. They had a booth at Stitches Texas and are conveniently located five minutes from our Naturopath at Whole Body Healing Center. I bought some bamboo fiber from them at Stitches.

I have also ordered from, and bought directly from, Two if by Hand. They had a booth at Stiches Texas.

There was some gorgeous fiber at a booth at DFW Fiber Fest, Alisha Goes Around that caught my eye because I. Love. GREEN.

I have also purchased fiber online from The Loop. This was my first order...

This is the fiber I just ordered from The Loop.

 Also awaiting shipment are myTARDIS rolags from Classy Squid.

I am truly grateful for all the wonderful indie dyers and fiber processors out there with online shops and booths at fiber fairs. God bless you all and THANK YOU for feeding my fiber habit.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Practical Knitting

I am always on the lookout for projects that are practical and useful, but attractive at the same time. While checking out some things on Pinterest I discovered this site, Berlin's Whimsy, and a knitted scrubby for the kitchen that uses tulle netting and cotton yarn together.

There is plenty of coned cotton to choose from in my studio and I just happened to have some green tulle. It is working out quite nicely and I am nearly done with my first scrubby. Just a few more rows and then I will bind off. My hands are small so I don't need it to be very large and I decided that a square would work nicely and fit on the stainless steel soap dish I keep beside the kitchen sink.

I chose a 10.5 needle and I am managing, most of the time, to fold the netting over the yarn as I knit. The ends of the strips are tied together and I wound a center pull ball on my Strauch winder. I had one yard of netting but it is plenty when cut 1 1/2" wide.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Knitting Project Boxes

Most of the knitters that I know these days keep their projects in decorative cloth bags. I have purchased several and made more than a few myself. Knitters, spinners, and weavers also tend to be fond of baskets and decorative boxes, both of which are quite affordable if you know where to look. The three boxes sitting stacked atop one another on the file cabinet all have yarn and or projects stored in them. They are pretty and keep stuff handy but out of site. I found them at Tuesday Morning for less than half regular price.

I found some smaller boxes at Tuesday Morning that are perfect to hold socks or a scarf. They are small enough to sit on the table next to my recliner and be in easy reach. I set the box on the foot rest of my chair while knitting and when I need to head off to the kitchen, or wherever, I just pop the top closed and set it on the table.

Then there is the basket under the table that has several project bags crammed into it..

...and another basket on the bottom shelf below the television with more project bags in it, two  more decorative boxes and three faux -books that hold spindles and fiber....

Let's Try That Again...

I did one complete pattern repeat for my Trilobite sock and when I tried it on it was WAY too big. I wasn't sure if the pattern would draw in enough to compensate for 74 sts. Now I know. It doesn't.

So. I frogged back to the toe and will start over with the medium size instead of the large. Funny thing is...the second sock, in yarn over cable, is on 70 sts and fits fine, no doubt due to the 5 st ribbing pattern. Which is another good reason to wait before starting the second sock in a pair of socks...until I know the bloomin thing will fit!

I will sit down with paper and pencil and see how I need to alter the pattern for Trilobite to fit my skinny feet before I start off with the medium size pattern. I might get away with fewer purl stitches between the pattern sections. We will see...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Weaving on an Inkle Loom

When I bought my first inkle loom I was using it for tablet, or card weaving. Eventually I made heddles and used it for inkle weaving.  The bands on the left and the top band on the right are inkle woven. The two bottom bands on the right are tablet woven.

The two bottom bands on the left are woven with heavy, variegated coned cotton. The top one is Sinfonia Sport Cotton. The other three bands are woven with size 30 crochet cotton.

Tea, Knitting, & the 11th Doctor

Felt the need for some hot tea while working on my knitting today...

Started wool socks for my Sweet Babu back in February. I usually divide my skein of yarn in half and cast on for both socks using the toe-up method. (In this case, hubby's size 13 feet require more than one skein) I do toe increases on one sock, then repeat for the second sock. Then I knit an inch or two on one sock and then switch to the other sock so that my gauge stays the same. I decided to finish the ribbing on one sock before starting the ribbing on the second sock, got it completely done, and put it in 'time out' because the ribbing was too snug. Grrr.

Socks knitted on 2mm/size 0 needles give me a fabric that wears so much better and are much more comfortable than knitting them on larger needles. But these socks need ribbing done on a 2.5mm/size 1 needle. Recently, I got the second sock out, still needing the ribbing done, and started with the larger needle. Second sock is now done. I have raveled back the ribbing from the first sock and started over with the 2.5 mm needle. Something about 80 sts with K2, P2 ribbing is hard on my wrists for some reason so I need to switch to something easier to give my hands a rest. I have several UFO's in project bags that I can work on when I am tired of sock ribbing.

 While sitting in my recliner sipping tea and knitting, I enjoy watching one of my Doctor Who discs. I have all the episodes from Season One with the Ninth Doctor to Season Nine, Part One of the 12th Doctor. I am currently watching the 11th Doctor....Angels Take Manhattan.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Decision Made

I gave up trying to decide between Jurassic Park and Moss and decided on both. I need to replace some socks anyway. I cast on and did one repeat of Wendy Johnson's Trilobite sock pattern...it was hard to resist...Trilobite...Jurassic Park.

Then I cast on with Moss and a Yarn Over Cable pattern that I used for the ribbing on my Ripply Slouch hat.

This way, I can work on one for awhile until I get tired of it and then switch to the other, and then back to plain ribbing on hubby's socks. In no time I will have three pairs of finished socks!