Friday, August 31, 2007

Actual Knitting Content

New Knitting:

Hypoteneuse Stole

Hypoteneuse is one of the wonderful designs from Anne Hanson at Knitspot. I swatched some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool for the Tangled Yoke (see below) and it just wasn’t going to work for me to get gauge and knit a sweater’s worth of Silky Wool with US3’s. No! Then, while browsing through my pattern stash and thinking about the new handspun, I looked again at Hypoteneuse and realized it would be a perfect project for the Silky Wool.
As always, click the images for large size.

Hypoteneuse Stole - 1

Hypoteneuse has a simple geometric “lace” pattern that, so far, is a wonderfully easy fun knit. It’s just soothing. The stitch pattern is easy to read without referring to the chart or text, and on US6’s it's moving along quickly (compared to my usual socks and laceweight!). The cool-feeling raw-silky wool really is a perfect yarn for this pattern. It’s light and soft, but also just warm enough.

Hypoteneuse Stole detail

New Wanna Knit:

Tangled Yoke Cardigan from Fall 2007 Interweave Knits.

Tangled Yoke Fall 2007 IK
© Interweave Knits

I had a bit of a weak moment and asked The Yarn Lounge to order me enough Blue Sky Alpaca/Silk to make this sweater. Thanks Melanie and Stewart for another wonderful visit to the shop! The Yarn Lounge has the most lovely yarns from Rowan, Jo Sharp (want the alpaca silk georgette), and Blue Sky Alpacas. A smattering of other wonderful luxury yarns and hand-dyed sock yarns and a lovely serene setting make this one of my favorite yarn shops ever.

I’m still planning to knit the HoneyBee Stole, but need more space in my brain right now, and am considering spinning some singles for it. Madness, sheer madness.

(UFO Resurrection)

Speaking of Madness, it’s time for the MadTini Second Sock. This was the second sock in this Spring’s Sock Madness. I didn’t get very far in the competition, as I am just not a fast sock knitter, and my PT would say I’m not supposed to knit that much that fast anyway.

Why don’t you love me enough to knit my second sock?

Guilt trip from a sock, great. So, it’s Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, in maybe Spruce? I got this on eBay a while back, it’s a multi of almost-black, olive, green and blue, and it looks better than it sounds.

So, I finished the first sock ages ago. Then finished the Ambles, my Sock Pal Socks, the pair of Charades. Poor MadTini just waited patiently. Must. Finish. Second. Sock. Before I cast on another pair of socks. Or maybe one other pair of socks. But definitely not two, other, pairs.

Just getting to the end of the “Oblique Ribs”

Sea Fever Gansey Cardigan

Started this I think last Spring or Summer or Fall. Fall, that’s my final answer. Yes, of 2006. Got the ribbing done and was just starting into the body when I set it aside for Xmas knitting. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. See why I wanted a blog to force me to document my projects. Anyway, it’s back.

Sea Fever Cardigan ribbing
Lots of Ribbing

Berroco Ultra Alpaca, Lavender Mix, on US 4’s because I’m such a loose knitter. I love this yarn! It’s Lavender! And as if that weren’t enough, it’s 50/50 alpaca/wool and knits like a dream. Very soft in the hand while knitting, blocks well, has a lot more wooly elasticity than I expected it would when I knit the Husband Vest. The pattern is a simple gansey style cardigan, knit in one piece to the armholes.

Sea Fever Cardi - the color
Close up of the heathery color

And lastly, the Argosy Scarf

This is now my TV knitting. Easy (finally have the pattern stuck in my head) to pick up and put down. The handspun corrriedale is knitting up nicely in this bias pattern.

Argosy Scarf - progress 070831

Of my other UFO’s we shall not speak.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Spinning FO: Antigua BFL v1.0

Antigua BFL 2-ply

I’m still working my way down to laceweight, though not there yet!

Antigua BFL 2-ply after its bath

This is the first project spun with my new Lendrum DT. The first bobbin was spun on the regular flyer on the smallest whorl at 10:1. The fast flyer arrived in time to spin the second bobbin on it’s middle whorl at 15:1. I’m still working on increasing my spinning speed by learning to draft faster to keep up with a faster whorl.

Antigua BFL 2-ply on the niddy

The BFL fiber is so easy to spin, and makes a lovely bouncy yarn, even worsted spun. Sakina’s hand-dyed fiber handled nicely, with no felted sections, and nice long color runs. I have another batch of this same roving. So, I decided to 2-ply this one and 3-ply the next. I got a little preview with the leftover singles. I was rushing it a bit, so this isn’t the most even 3-ply, but still it’s a nice look with the colors separated.

Antigua BFL sample chain-ply

So far, I’m finding the Lendrum a little smoother and more comfortable than the Louet. I’m still considering the very fast flyer. Though I don’t plan to spin much pure silk, I would like to spin some laceweight wools, and wool/silk or tencel blends.

Antigua BFL 2-ply before setting the twist

Fiber/Starting Weight: BFL combed top / 4.8oz

Purchased from: Sakina Needles

Spun with: Lendrum DT

Whorl / Tension: Worsted-spun
First Bobbin – regular flyer, Small 10:1 / medium tension
Second Bobbin – fast flyer, Medium xx:1, medium tension

Plies/Method: 2-ply / standard

WPI/Gauge/TPI: 18-20wpi / Fingering / 8tpi

Yardage/Finished Wt: 516yds / 4.6oz / 130g, Leftover singles chain-plied for approx 28yds/10g
Started: 8/11/2007
Completed: 8/27/2007

ETA: I gave this slightly rough handling in its soak to set the twist. No plungers or anything, but several dunks in very warm water, a cool rinse, and a dozen thwacks on the shower tile before hanging to dry. It really helps to round out the yarn, even up the plies, and give the yarn a nice finished feel without felting it at all.

It’s cloudy, and gloomy again today, so forgive my photos. But, I’ll leave you with a sunny shot of what this yarn reminds me of.

Nevis toward Antigua
Gingerland, Nevis looking toward Antigua

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Charade Socks, Fini!

Chrade Socks Done!

Loved the pattern! First off, it’s free. It’s a very easy slipped-stitch rib which looks great in every yarn I’ve seen it knitted in – variegated, solid, wool, Tofutsies. It’s clear, easy to follow, simple, and makes great mindless travel knitting, yet it has a nice texture that looks harder than it is. One comment I will make is that it’s not all that stretchy. So if you need extra foot or ankle room, consider adding a multiple of four stitches. I made no modifications to the pattern, except maybe making the flap a couple of rows longer, and decreasing the toe in my favorite way.

Since these socks started as travel knitting to the UK, both legs were knit with US0 Lantern Moon Sox Stix. I’m still not the world’s greatest fan of dpn’s. However, the shorty blondwood needles were perfect for travel. They went right through security, and the 5” size tucks neatly in a small zip-loc, so no lost needles. I still prefer my two-circs, and though they are pricey, I would recommend the Sox Stix to dpn fans.

The yarn was just plain fun to knit. Now, if you don’t like pooling, these are not the socks for you. But, I find them hilarious. Victoria is knitting another skein that I got from Gypsyknits at the same time, though it's a different colorway, and they seem to be more variegated and less flashy.

Slip Stitch Heels
Slip Stitch Heels

Yarn: Gypsyknits, merino superwash sock yarn, color Party Fun, from Etsy
Needles: Lantern Moon Sox Stix while traveling, Addi US0/2mm two-circs at home
Pattern: Charade Socks, free pattern
Started: 6/23/2007
Completed: 8/25/2007
Finished Size: Women’s US11

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

An Important Date

Seven years ago today, August 22, 2000 my dear Husband and I met on, well, a blind-date of our own making. I had to explain to his Mother how we met. Having survived that, I don’t mind telling you. Before either existed or was as popular as it is today, the Cville Weekly had a great personals section. He placed an ad. I still tease him – Successful, Handsome, Professional, Sincere, 6-4, DWM, etc, seeks Nice Tall Lady. I’ve explained to him that most of the men advertising exaggerate. He wasn’t. He didn’t even check his message mailbox after our first date. Dating in your forties isn’t always easy, but here we are. Our fifth wedding anniversary was last month.

So, Jean, this explains my Important Date. For everyone else, there’s still time to go tell her your Important Date and have a chance to win some yummy, yummy prizes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I’m Going to Count to Three

Have you ever had occasion to ask a small child if they want a time-out? And then they will often stop whatever naughtiness prompted the question.

Well, innocent, lovely Mystery Stole 3 has done nothing to provoke me, nothing irksome. I have a great fondness for Zephyr. I don’t mind the fussiness of adding the beads. I’m not finding the pattern hard. I haven’t frogged, or even tinked much.

I’ve seen Bitty’s stole ready for the last clue, and Robin’s finished stole (unblocked), and they are truly lovely. I’m just not sure I like the design enough to continue at the moment. Well, not enough to knit it instead of the eleventeen other lace projects in my unofficial queue. Frogging seems too drastic, as I may want to knit the symmetrical version, and I’d just have to knit another end and a middle. I don’t often just give up on projects, but I’ve decided MS3 will be having an indefinite time-out.

I want to knit the Honeybee Stole instead. In some silk/cashmere undyed laceweight from Just Our Yarn that I got at Montpelier year before last.

There, I feel better now.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday Sky: Shady

Saturday 070818 - Shady
Shady, and a little cooler today

I'm headed down to Mathews in a few minutes. Tomorrow's sky will be much larger. The Cville house sits down in a valley surrounded by very large oaks, beeches, hickories, and sycamores, with an understory of dogwood, redbud, and the occasional holly. The typical mature central Virginia forest. Our marsh house sits up on piers, with no trees nearby. So, there is unobstructed sky in all directions. The best shady, breezy spot is under the house, and I'm still thinking about a screened porch there.

Between working on ham radio projects with the Husband, I have spinning and knitting to keep me busy. I should even have a little FO for you in a day or so.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Antigua / Antigua

BFL roving from Sakina Needles, colorway Antigua
BFL roving from Sakina Needles, colorway Antigua, on the new Lendrum

Antigua 2004 Rainbow
St John's, Antigua, West Indies, at the ferry dock, February 2004, click for larger

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Why I Haven't Had Time To Knit

The boys (though how much longer we can continue to call them boys is up in the air, see below), and my sister have left for Seattle, their home.

boys2007 at New Point
The "boys" at New Point, Mathews County, VA

Their brother was busy visiting another grandpa, and couldn't make it this year. But we always enjoy the time we get to spend with them. It's been so hot, and quite an adjustment for those accustomed to the mild Northwest clime.

bear in bikini
Hot enough for ya? Yes, the bear has a snorkel.

Early August isn't the optimal time to visit Virginia. But, we got everyone together, in shifts to help celebrate my Mom's birthday. I think it's worth celebrating that I got her a golf club (a Calloway 5 Hybrid) for her birthday, and we had a round of golf! And it was her 80th!

boys2007-mom golf-1
Trying to get everyone with eyes open and mouths closed, harder than it seems

boys2007-mom golf-2
Oh. Mah. Gawd. That's a lot of teeth!

I knit my Charade sock on the way home. Does that count?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Thank you Sock Pal !!


They're here! My fabulous Sockapalooza 4 socks! This was my first swap, and was it ever worth it! All the way from Alberta, Jen of the After Eight blog, has really outdone herself.

First the yarn is Seacoast Handpainted Supersock in the Truffles colorway. Seriously, go check out the colorways. There's no way to get these colors right in a photo though - fuschia, milk chocolate, and lavender. Wow, and, So Soft!


The yarn looks wonderful in Shannon's Flutter-by Socks pattern. I love slip stitches with variegated yarns. And there's an eye-of-partridge heel, my favorite!


Best of all, they FIT! They are long enough! I wear a size 11, and I apologize profusely for the extra knitting this entailed.

Now, Jen had some moments of doubt, tried a couple of patterns before settling on the final one, and wanted to be sure the socks wouldn't be too snug. I couldn't resist, I tried them on. They were too tight, but the finished socks are perfect. And the leftover yarn looks like enough for some wristies.


But wait, there's more. Cadbury's chocolate, Yum! Always a treat and hard to find in the US. And a cute Canada's Rocky Mountains calendar, which I plan to leave open on the January page with its view of snow and evergreens that is already making my office seem cooler.

Jen, Thanks again!

Oh, By the Way...

So, with a quiet empty house, I have a spinning FO to show you. Here’s 290yds of 2-ply sportweight, spun from Black Bunny Fibers Falkland wool roving, in the Thunderclouds colorway.
Falkland Thundercloud v1-1
Stormy Weather

More details HERE on the Weekend Whirls blog.

We had a fun trip to Harrisonburg yesterday. Krista’s kids were great, and just about as well behaved as one could expect a three-year old and six-year old to be! She’ll be posting more about the trip later on her BLOG.

My husband and I have a little joke about his saying “Oh, by the way….” and then dropping some big news on our unsuspecting friends. So, yesterday I called him at FIL’s to tell him what a fun trip we’d had and Oh by the way that I’d bought a spinning wheel, and what nice weather we were having. Ha.

I don’t usually name things, cars, spinning wheels and such. So I don’t know if this wheel will find a name, though I do sort of think she’s a she. Since I’ve got so many today, all the photos will be a bit smaller, but are clickable for a closer view. Meet my new wheel,
The Lendrum DT Folding Wheel

Lendrum-2 regular head
The standard head/flyer has ratios of 6, 8 and 10 to 1, (I’ve already ordered the fast flyer and jumbo plying head/flyer)

Lendrum-3 whorl
Is whorl-driven, with a sliding hook,

Lendrum-4 scotch tension
Has single-drive, scotch-tension,

Lendrum-5 CA
And is made of lovely Canadian maple.

Why did I want a new wheel? Well, I do truly like the Louet Victoria – she spins easily and well, and she’s extremely light, small and portable. It’s the last bit that is both her greatest strength as a travel wheel and her greatest weakness as a production wheel. For me.

Though I’m the shortest in my family, I’m tall. The runt, but still I’m 5’-9”. I’d been catching myself sort of hunching over the Louet despite the angled orifice and the fact there was no need to be so close. The Lendrum is tall. She has a 19” wheel, the adjustable orifice is significantly higher, and she weighs nearly twice as much (though still under 14 pounds). There’s a great comparison HERE, but below are my observations.

Lendrum-Victoria-1 height
Louet Victoria side-by-side with Lendrum DT

Despite her specs, the footprint of the Lendrum is very modest, and she will be a good roommate in my overcrowded (with fiber and yarn) office/studio.
Lendrum-Victoria-2 footprint

Here’s a big difference, the Louet leans away from you, the Lendrum leans toward you. Again, this is a particular issue of mine, as I’m still in PT for arm/shoulder/back stuff, but I’m already finding it easier to maintain good posture while spinning.
Lendrum-Victoria-3 tilt

A nice feature of the Lendrum head is the ability to change bobbins without removing the entire flyer. And the Lendrum sliding hook works like a bulldog paper clip and stays in place better than the Louet.
Lendrum-Victoria-4 L head

The Louet bobbins are listed as holding slightly more, but we’ll soon see how much I can pack on the Lendrum bobbin.
Lendrum-Victoria-6 bobbins

Oh, and by the way, I got some more fiber too!
Merino/Tencel PINK
Ashland Bay Trading Co, Merino/Tencel 70/30, color Red, but I'm telling you it's PINK

From Rocktown Yarns, Harrisonburg, VA.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Words, No Pictures

It was a wonderful visit with the nephews, despite record-breaking hot weather. We spent a few days in Mathews so they and my sister could see the new house. But, really, it was too hot even for the beach. So, it was home to Cville and the pool. We played lots of cards, had fierce Monopoly battles, and had a nice cool float down the James River.

With everyone gone (including the Husband for a few days) I’ve got a few quiet days at home to catch up on some spinning and knitting – the Mystery Stole is woefully behind, though Charade Sock #2 is catching up quickly to Sock #1, and the Black Bunny Fibers Falkland singles are ready for plying. Bitty brought her beautiful MS3 to Wed Night Knitting (unlike me, she’s kept up with the clues and is ready for Clue 6 tomorrow.) The theme has been revealed as Swan Lake and the "feathers" are a very pretty lace pattern and I’ll likely knit the stole as designed rather than skip the “wing”.

Krista and I are off to Rocktown Yarns tomorrow where I'm going to test drive a used Lendrum DT spinning wheel.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Well, I just haven’t had much to say lately

I’ve been busy and distracted. Have knitted a teeny bit. Have spun a teeny bit. Have de-stashed a whole bunch of (mostly sock) yarn! We’ve gotten rid of some stuff around the house on Freecycle, and it’s nice this slightly unburdened feeling.

Teeny Bit of Knitting:

I wove in the ends on my modified-Springgrass-SockPal socks, and gave them a bath. No new pics, but they looked nice, and were even softer after their little soak in some Soak. Since my Pal’s foot is smaller than mine (and smaller than my sock blockers), I did make some coat hanger sock blockers to open the lace just a little. They are on their way to KY, and I hope will cheer up my Sock Pal who’s had sort of a tough row to hoe lately.
Didn’t wet block them on these big blockers, but it’s easier to see the pattern this way

Since August 2 is the mailing date for all the socks, now I’m a little curious about my socks!

Mystery Stole 3, HAHAhahah, I’m still on Clue 2!
Looks a lot like it did last time you saw it

Charade Sock #2, Yay, I’ve started the heel. So, I’ll be caught up to Sock #1 very soon!
Big Sister Sock waiting for Little Sister to catch up

Teeny Bit of Spinning:

Bobbin #2 of about 3.5oz of Black Bunny Fibers Falkland wool in Thundercloud. I think this will end up a 2-ply heavy fingering weight. Enough for some mitts, perhaps. No, I’m not going to post another photo of a half-filled bobbin. We’ll all have to wait for the finished skein!

I stopped at Holly Spring Handspun yesterday on the way from Cville to Mathews, to see if there were any Majacraft Suzie’s I could test drive. (I’m currently deciding between a Lendrum DT and Suzie Pro.) The shop is moving a few blocks West very soon, so stock is low on wheels for the moment, but I visited with Kathy Oliver for a little while. And bought a 4oz sample of local undyed Angora/Mohair/Merino top. So. Very. Soft.
Like a big, soft, puffy cloud

Our local guild is sponsoring a dyeing workshop at Stony Mountain Fibers next weekend. I’ll take some Falkland top to that and dye something fun. But, the Angora blend, I’m thinking maybe a subtle semi-solid and spinning for something lacy.

My sister and two nephews arrive from Seattle tomorrow, just in time for some of the hottest weather of the Summer. So, rather than make a lot of plans, we’ll do some hanging out and relaxing, and she’ll get to see the new house while they get over jet lag and acclimate.

Cathleen and I were both in the Architecture School at UVa – she an undergraduate while I was in grad school. But she doesn’t often get back to Cville. It’s funny, her oldest is looking at colleges already, and will take the tour while here. It would be fun to have him on the East Coast and see him more often.

Oh, and BTW, I feel much better after seeing THIS. I’m going to have to change the blog name to “Just a Little Yarn”.

I’ll leave you with a Friday Flower.
Marsh Mallow
Marsh Mallow