Making Progress

I’ve been very good with my stash-down goals. I have been to my LYS, but haven’t purchased any yarn. I went in to get some smaller Addi Turbo Lace needles and found that I had a credit available for their frequent shopper program. I ended up getting 3 sets of needles and only paying about 10 dollars. Definitely a bargain! I have the hardest time with online vendors, though, so my LYS will still be getting business in the form of books and magazines.

I managed to finish another pair of socks. They are the Lace and Cable socks in Knitting from the Toe Up. I love the density of the Plymouth Happy Feet that I knit them out of, and look forward to knitting up the four other skeins of this yarn that I have in my stash (two per pair of socks). It’s so cushy. It reminds me of Socks that Rock, only cheaper since I bought this at closeout prices

.

Pattern: Lace and Cable Socks

Yarn: Plymouth Happy Feet, colorway #3

Needles: 2.5mm Addi Turbo Circulars for Magic Loop

Start: March 27, 2010

Finish: April 13, 2010

 

I finished these socks for the Sock Knitters Anonymous March Challenge (lace). I started another pair for the April Cookie A Challenge. Along with a sock yarn stash, I have a pattern stash that includes several of her patterns. I opted to try knitting up Thelonious. Every time I looked at this pattern I thought it was too complicated to bother with, having to make sure that you followed the lace chart as well as the basic pattern chart with its increases and decreases. I figured now was as good a time as any to take on the challenge. It hasn’t been as bad as I expected, even though I do have to pay close attention to the pattern to make sure it is coming out correctly. I am aiming to have these finished by the end of the month so that I can focus on the May challenge.

 

 

Next post will be all about my April Coast-to-Coast Bee blocks.

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Going Cold Sheep

I’ve been part of the Stash Knit Down group on Ravelry since 2007.

Last year they began a Cold Sheep group whose goal was to not add to the yarn stash with purchases for however long the member designated for him/herself.  The moderator of that group has been knitting from stash for 3 years now, with a few small exceptions.  The first year  considered joining, and did in fact participate for all of 2 months.  I then swiftly fell off the wagon and decided this wasn’t for me, even though my stash is out of control.

This year I tried again, only to succumb to the call of Knitpicks and the Webs closeout deals.  I had given myself two exceptions.  The first, the Homespun Yarn Party, occured on the 21st of March.  I got some good stuff, including some Sanguine Gryphon yarns and a skein of beautiful yellow Wool/Silk fingering weight  from Ashton Studio Arts.  My second exception is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Show.  I’m actually not too worried about this one, as I go there much more for the fiber than for any yarn that is on sale at the show.

I’ve decided to try again to go Cold Sheep, with some modification.

1.  I will not buy any fingering weight yarns for socks until I have completely knit up my current stash. I’ve pre-funded my PayPal account to cover my Yarntini club subscription for the year, and am including that in my stash starting total.

2. I will not buy any lace weight yarns for shawls until I have completely knit up at least 75% of my stash.  Stash does not include any cobweb weight yarns, or I would never accomplish this goal.

3.  I will finish or frog all of my current UFOs by the end of 2010.  Right now that stands at 15 projects, not including some that are long-term Shetland lace knitting or have not been started yet.

I have a spreadsheet of all of my projects with start and finish date, yarn, yardage, mileage, and how many skeins of yarn that project used.  So far this year I have completed 8 projects totaling 14 skeins of yarn, 3900 yards, and 2.22 miles.  I will be documenting my progress here on a monthly basis until this project is complete.  I’m expecting it to take me at least 2 years to knit up all of my sock yarn.  It may be even longer if I don’t manage to complete at least two pair per month.

I think this is a do-able challenge and can’t wait to start documenting it all.

Finished Projects

Last post I mentioned my Sockhead hat, which I knit in February.

I only got to wear it for one day before the doggy got to it and it ended up looking like this:
sockhead-destruction

It was such a pretty hat, too. Nice and warm. In any case, I’m now attempting to frog back the ribbing. I’m feeling like it’s a lost cause, though, and may just frog the whole thing and start over.

In the meantime, I’ve managed to finish a couple of pairs of socks. There are two new sock books in my library, one of which is Sock Club! Join the Knitting Adventure. The very first sock in the book is the Serendipity Socks by Ellie Putz (Ravelry link). I knit these socks with one of the skeins of yarn I got in the Eat, Drink, and Be Merry SemiSolid Yarn Club by Yarntini. They came out wonderfully in a more solid colorway and the pattern was an easy one to memorize.

serendipity-socks-complete
Pattern: Serendipity Socks
Yarn: Yarntini SemiSolid 75/25 in Ginger Ice
Needles: 2.25mm DPNs

I also managed to finally finish my Fancy Silk Socks by Nancy Bush. Ravelry tells me that these socks were started on November 8, 2008. I’m trying to work through my UFOs, so these were the next socks pulled out of the stash. Once I got started, it was very easy to finish and they fit wonderfully well. I think that part of the problem was that at the time I was having difficulty memorizing the pattern. Also, the 2.25mm DPNs were just a little too small. I switched to 2.5mm needles for the second sock and things went much more smoothly.

Lipstick-Lava-Socks
Pattern: Fancy Silk Socks for a Child of 5 or 6 Years (Knitting Vintage Socks)
Yarn: DIC Smooshy in Lipstick Lava
Needles: 2.25 and 2.5mm DPNs

I’ve gotten a few more books in the mail and hope to talk about those later.

Long Doggy-Related Hiatus

So, I haven’t posted in a few months.  Just after my last post, I began the process of adopting a rescue labrador mix puppy.  At the time she was 9 months old and very cute.  Exhibit A:

Freya the day she got home

Since then, we have been getting to know one another.  Freya has gotten very comfortable with us and we are adjusting to life with a very active puppy.  Freya has also been learning what she likes.  Exhibit B:

Freya and her preferences

So, we’ve been having a great time.  I have managed to get a couple of things finished in that time.  Very small projects where I can constantly monitor her yarn exposure and ability to sneak up on me and the needles.  She still manages to have the last say.  That will be documented in next week’s post when I show repairing a big bite out of a freshly knit hat.

January 11, 2009

Fabric selection has been completed!

I went to a new-to-me fabric shop this past weekend and selected my fabric for the Coast to Coast Virtual Quilting Bee.  I didn’t have a particular color palette in mind, only a desire to use something new and fresh.  I was leaning toward having something with black-and-white in it, but no other ideas.  I am very happy with what I came home with. I started with the pink diamond fabric and went from there.

I think it’s pretty fabulous!

January 7, 2009

If there’s anyone still out there, hello.

I’ve been spending too much of my time on Ravelry and none of it blogging.  But, it’s a new year and I’ve got a new plan.  My only goal will be to post once a week.  If I can keep that up, it will be great!

I’ve been doing a lot of knitting, but I’ve also been exploring food with my friend Monique.  I’ve become addicted to trying new recipes, especially those from Cook’s Illustrated and the associated America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country.  In fact, Christmas dinner came from Cooking for Two and it was da bomb!  My sister and I had Herb-Roasted Prime Rib with Cauliflower Gratin.  I haven’t had a recipe yet that wasn’t delicious.  I hope to be posting about my food experiences this year, as well as knitting, spinning and quilting.

I’m starting to pull out the sewing machine more often and have committed to taking part in the Coast to Coast Block Party-A Virtual Quilting Bee.  We will be making blocks for one member per month for the 2010 year, and hopefully beyond.  February is my month, so you’ll be seeing my fabric selections next week.

So, as you can see, 2010 is off to a good start and should prove to be very interesting!

WIP #1

Yarn and Knitting 036

Vortex by Chrissy Gardiner in Lorna's Laces Sheperd Sock

 I’m going to try posting more regularly, or at least once a week.  First up, my current sock project is Vortex by Chrissy Gardiner from the book Toe Up! Patterns and Worksheets to Whip Your Sock Knitting into Shape.  I got mine from my LYS but Chrissy has a website where you can order directly.  It’s a great book that is published beautifully.  Check it out!

 

Spring

I love it when the flowers start to bloom, even if it isn’t good for my allergies…

Maryland Sheep and Wool, Part 2

 

Spindle Collection in their Holder

So, part 2 of the festival. 

MD S&W Purchases 2009

MD S&W Purchases 2009

My plan was to get 2 new spindles, one of which had to be a Bosworth.  I also wanted a niddy noddy for skeining yarns and approximate yardages, and some new fiber.  I managed to get all of those things just as planned.  Getting there at 8 am allowed me to do some shopping before the rush.  I got a niddy noddy and a yarn ball holder straight off.  I’m not sure of the vendor, but they’re the people with all of the books.  I also managed to get to the Journey Wheel booth and get my Bosworth featherweight with a purpleheart whorl, .64oz/18gms.  In the main hall I also went to the Little Barn booth and got two batches of roving in very pretty colors.  The purple is already being spun up on the Bossie.

I also could not resist picking up a Trindle from Gale’s Fiber Art along with some Tussah silk roving.  The two went together nicely and look like this currently:

Gale's Fiber Art Tussah Silk spun on a Trindle

Gale's Fiber Art Tussah Silk spun on a Trindle

I ended up going back on Sunday with my mother.  I knew a trip with her would be more leisurely, and it was.  I got to spend more time in the main building because she was more interested in the handmade items (mostly soaps) that were available at the show.  We both stocked up on handmade soaps and lotions. She got some for just about everyone in the family.  My second trip also gave me the opportunity to see The Spanish Peacock’s booth.  I picked up one of his “seconds” that spins wonderfully.   It’s the spindle that stands up tallest in the first photo.  I made some great purchases all while staying within budget.
About a month before the festival I decided to order a Golding Ringspindle, just in case I missed the opportunity to pick one while I was there.  I got a 0.45oz Cherry Tsunami and immediately put it to use on this Merino/Tencel that I got as part of the Spunky Eclectic Fiber club in 2007.  It’s finally being spun up into something beautiful.
Golding Tsunami 0.45oz RingSpindle with Spunky Eclectic  Merino/Tencel in "Aspen"

Golding Tsunami 0.45oz RingSpindle with Spunky Eclectic Merino/Tencel in "Aspen"

 All in all, a great Sheep and Wool Festival for me this time.