Finishing Some and Casting on All the Things!

Spring has finally brought back my knitting and spinning mojo!

First my finished spinning project that has been on my wheel for about 10 months? I finished the wool/alpaca singles I was spinning and plyed them. Well you can’t really call it finished because now it will become something haha, I will be knitting that into a hat for a family member who moved to AZ and complained this past winter it was cold HAHAHAHA, I’m laughing because I live in the Midwest which is where she grew up too, Cold My Foot! sigh. I dyed the yarn lavender, and it will become the Snowtracks Cap by Timothy Peters, free download. My yarn is not dk but a light sport weight so I will knit the medium size instead of the small that I usually do for her. Hopefully it will fit :P.

2nd, Knitting, I am working on the Ara Fingerless Mitts, free Ravelry download. One is done except the thumb and I’m at the start of the design on the 2nd one. Should have those done this week, yeah!! They are only 3 1/2 months late :P. I am using left over yarn from the wedding shawl I knit last fall I am using a ChaoGoo size 3 9″ needle and I always have to go down a needle size because I knit a little loosely, the combination continental knitting style seems to do that, but because that yarn is a light fingering I would use a size 2 needle next time if I make them again.

Next I started another hat to donate to the homeless shelter this next fall. I like knitting them, they are a mindless comforting knit when I need to unwind and think about things, or just not think at all, so not only am I doing good I’m also finding comfort in them. I’m using I love this yarn and my new Knitters Pride Ginger Special interchangeable needle set, size 5 needle with a 16″ cord. These needles are so nice to knit with, not as grabby as bamboo but not as slippery as metal. I love these sets!

Next I’m also working on a long term project that I have had on my needles for a couple of years, eventually it will get done and I will probably give it away and then start another, it is just for something to knit when I need some mindless knitting that has pretty colors to pick my spirits up, is just a long skinny diagonal scarf. We all need those mindless knits. I’m using a bamboo size 5 needle 12″ and Yarn Bee, Glowing, in purple multi from Hobby Lobby.

Finally I have started another baby sweater using Hobby Lobby, Yarn Bee, Soft and Sleek, in Neutral Stripe and a Knitters Pride Karbonz size 5 needle 16″ for the neck and ChaoGoo size 5 needle 9″ for the cuffs and KnitPiks Radiant (wooden) needle size 7 16″ for the body and ChaoGoo Bamboo size 7 needle 9″ for the sleeves. After I get past the yoke the body and sleeves are mindless knitting too. There must be a theme here!

I generally do not have so many things going at once I usually find it stressful to have so many things on the back burner, but I just want to knit all the things!!

I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful Spring, it’s been warm and cooler, warm and cooler, rainy and sunny etc, but it’s not COLD!! The birds are out and singing, lawn mowers are humming, the grass is green and leaves and flowers are budding and the Spring smells are amazing! Gotta love it!!

More Snow and Mandalorian Stitch Markers and Progress Keepers

As you can see we had another snow storm this past Thursday, also notice how bare it is without the trees that were taken out with the Derecho we had last year in August, the yards look so sad :(. We got about 5 or 6 inches so I have to ask, is it Spring yet? It snowed again today for a bit, about 1 inch and we are due more snow tomorrow, but what makes it not nice is our temps have finally dipped into sub zero weather. It’s -13F right now with wind chills, ambient is 6 degrees. Tonight without wind chills it will be -17F and -34F with wind chills. ugh. I know the ground hog said 6 more weeks, but that doesn’t really apply to IA :P, we may get snow storms into April.

I got the new Mandalorian stitch markers and progress keepers I purchased and couldn’t be more happy!! Those of you familiar with the Mandalorian series on Disney+ will know exactly what these are (if you don’t my previous post explains them)!!! She even threw in a Grogu, aka baby Yoda, progress keeper, so cute!! I also bought a valentine Snoopy progress keeper with a heart stitch maker, I love Snoopy and these are perfect. I got all these from AdoreKnit on Etsy, I love her stitch markers and progress keepers, she has soooo many to choose from and you can choose the whole set or just the stitch markers or just the progress keeper! I want to start a new project so I can use one of these, but UFO’s (Unfinished Objects for my non knitting friends) first, sigh, I don’t like to have more than 2 reg UFO’s and one mindless UFO on the needles.

Hope everyone is fairing well during this winter season. Take care of yourself and try to do something you enjoy everyday that makes you smile, and do something kind for someone else that brings a smile to their face, winters are hard on everyone, well except maybe Santa :P.

New Stitch Markers and Progress Keeper, Spring But Not, Fiber Festival and that Dang Virus.

I have been enamored with The Mandalorian from the Disney Star Wars series.  I have finished all the season “chapters” as they are called and await this fall when the new new season comes out.  Ugh only one season a year.  But while I wait, I bought a Mandalorian stitch markers set with a Yoda progress keeper.  I got them from Adoreknit and as usual they are wonderful.  She even gave me an extra progress keeper that has the Mandaloian helmet in color and a stitch marker holder to keep them safe.  She is a great maker!

It’s Spring here but not, I have seen a few Robins, no pictures yet, might not happen this year, go into that later.  I have seen the Geese coming back, but because I live in the mid-west, Mother Nature said it’s not Spring until she says so and she sent us more snow last Saturday.  It was raining today.  Spring will be here sooner than later tho :).

The Saturday before last I went to a fairly local fiber fair with my son and his spouse.  Picture shows part of their set up and I have a picture of my son using his new sock knitting machine.  He loves it and makes a pair of socks pretty quickly :).  They had me bring my more portable Rick Reeves spinning wheel and spin while I was there.  Almost finished with bobbin number 1 of the Alpaca/wool blend I was spinning at the Mall fair in Dec (yeah I’m a slow poke sometimes) then I will spin another bobbin and ply a skein of yarn :).  It was a fun day.  This wheel spins very well and I’m enjoying the experience on a double drive wheel.

I did get another charity hat done, but haven’t gotten around to getting a picture yet.  Caught another cold about 3 weeks ago (does that make 4 or 5 this winter?) and just dealing with some bronchitis now.  It’s not as bad as usual but I haven’t felt like doing a lot.  I’m doing my best to stay inside because of that dang virus going around (that is why I don’t have any first Robin pictures, but I’ll keep trying), tho once in a while I remember something I forgot at the grocery store, I try not to go, but you know how it is :P.  I was able to start and finish all of the 2 seasons of Lost in Space.  It was pretty good but oh my gosh the new season doesn’t start until next year!  All these one season a year shows will make our heads explode!  In the mean time I’ll just re-watch Merlin, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and the Star Trek series, at least they are all finished and aren’t going anywhere.  I do enjoy a good marathon from time to time :).

Everyone stay safe.

Last Weeks Snow Picture and 02/02/2020 is a Palindrome Date!

Jan 2020 snow

I meant to post this earlier but got sick, and now I have a pinched nerve in my lower back, ugh.  Anyway this was almost 2 weeks ago, I think we got about 4 inches and on top of the snow we already had, we had about 6 inches on the ground.  Much of the snow is melting because the last few days have been above freezing and today it got up to 50!!!  It’s our normal mid winter thaw.  But colder temps are on the way and more snow, sleet and freezing rain, sigh.  BUT, March is right around the corner.  I know in the mid west, where I live that doesn’t really mean anything we can get snow into May, tho’ it’s usually done in April, 😛  but after this month the really low below 0 temps will get better.  So far it’s been a fairly mild winter, not to many below 0 temps, certainly not like last winter :).

Today was a Palindrome date, that is when the date looks the same forward and backwards :).  02/02/2020.  Just a cool little informational note :).

Flax Infant Sweater and SNOW

I am working on the Flax sweater for an infant for a friend (size 6 months to 1 year.)  The Flax pullover sweater is a free pattern by Tin Can Knits and it’s a really easy sweater to knit and goes from sizes newborn to 4XL.  I am at the bottom ribbing on the body, I will be starting the sleeves tomorrow :).  It’s done from the top down so there won’t be any sewing things together.  🙂  I am using I Love This Yarn by Hobby Lobby and size 5 (for the neck ribbing) 16″ circular Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles (I am loving the Karbonz they are mostly carbon fiber with brass tips so they are not super slippery like metal needles, I am not a fan of reg metal needles tho sometimes that is what I have) and size 7 16″ Knit Picks Radiant Wooden circular needles for the body  (wood needles are always my first choice), and a size 7 9″ Circular Chiagoo bamboo circular needles for the sleeves and size 5 9″metal Chiagoo circular needles for the sleeve ribbing..  All are fixed needles and not interchangeable, the interchangeables of the needles I like are pretty expensive :P.

You can also see from the pictures that we have had our first and 2nd snow for this winter, sigh.  The first snow was 3 inches on Monday night and the 2nd one was 2 more inches last night.  Monday nights snow mostly melted on Tuesday because it got up to 40F.  Last nights snow is still on the ground because it only got up to 34F.  Poor trick or treaters, it’s in the upper 20’s right now and is suppose to be 20 over night :(.   I am not ready for winter, fall isn’t even over yet!!!

If you live somewhere where it’s already getting cold, stay warm!

Roving Breakdown for Fractal/Gradient Spinning

I saw a very interesting way to do fractal spinning without a blending board or drum carder on a youtube video here and a forced gradient here , videos are by The Knitting Expat.  What I am doing is a slight combination of these, we will see how it turns out. 🙂  The picture of the mostly purple parts on this first bobbin is not nearly as bright as it is. The picture taken by my camera looks bright and true to color but it didn’t translate into that when I uploaded it, ugh.   It’s not finished I still have two more sections of the purple before I start on the lighter 2nd bobbin.  Both fiber bundles weighed in at about 55 grams, if my weighing scale is to be believed :P.

Hopefully I will be ordering the the carding cloth next week so I can make a blending board for my spinning.  The Knitting Expat shows how to make one on this youtube video.  Then I will just need to buy a cutting board and staple gun to put it together with :).  So excited!

I got a lot of time spinning on the balcony this past week with the sunshine and nice warm but not hot days.  It was wonderful being outside for more than brief periods of time after our long hard winter and all the rain we had earlier this Spring, but the bugs are now coming out and we have off and on rain again for the next week.  Wish my balcony was screened in so I could enjoy spinning outside a bit longer without flies, gnats, and mosquitoes :).  Maybe I’ll try a essential oil bug repellent combination to keep them away :).

2nd Skein of SW Merino for the Spin-a-long

2nd Skein of teal sw merino for spinalongWell I finished the 2nd skein for the scarf I’m going to make for my friend. I think I know what pattern I want to use, but I’m going to search a bit more to make sure.   It was 140 yds (57g) so including the 1st skein, this should give me 342 yds.  Plenty of yarn for a longer scarf.

She wanted the color teal and the 2nd dye bath color came out a little lighter than the 1st skein, as you can see in the picture (the 1st skein I already wound into a ball.)  So what I plan on doing is starting with the lighter skein on the ends, then blending it with the darker skein so it looks more like a color gradient on the ends.  We will see if what I have planned turns out as I picture it when I am done :P.

Going to take advantage of the beautiful weather we are having (a month late).  Think I will spin on my balcony again today :), because I know shortly the hotter, muggier, full of biting bugs weather will be here.

Oh, the SW in the title is short for Super Wash, means the fiber was treated so it shouldn’t felt or shrink when washed.  Even so, I caution people to treat it a little more carefully than not, ie: hand wash, lay flat to dry (which also allows you to block it for prettier results :).)

FO!

I finished the socks I was knitting for an infant I am watching for a few months.  Altho’ these went pretty fast (because they are small :P), they really were not small enough to be newborn, they would probably fit more like a 12 to 18 month old.  But maybe it’s because I used a baby yarn that is a bit thicker than a sock yarn.

So, to give this pattern the benefit of the doubt, I picked up a sock yarn from Hobby Lobby (they were having a 30% off all their yarn sale this week :)).  It is Premier Yarns, color Vegas Lights and is acrylic, so her mom can just throw it in the washer and dryer.  I will give this another try before I move on to another pattern.  I’m interested to see how the colors work up in a very small pair of socks.  Wondering if I can even get all the colors in one little sock or if I will have to do yarn management to get them to turn out more or less the same.  Otherwise she can be like the teens and have mismatched socks, which have been the rage for more than several years.

I haven’t seen the robins yet, but maybe I just missed them?  I usually see the males staking out small territories they then defend from other males so they can try to lure a female Robin to their area. The females show up  2 weeks after the males.  I expect to see the male Robins very soon, we have been having upper 40’s and lower 50’s days , it is so wonderful!!  I love Spring!

HFO Object and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I started this “newborn” sock on Friday evening, so much for it being newborn tho’.  I used some (very) deep stash, Red Heart Pompadour yarn, and size 0 double pointed needles (because it’s too small for my 9 inch circs), but honestly this is not a newborn size, this would fit a 12 to 18 month old :(.  It was a different kind of heel so that was interesting, but this won’t fit the little one I knit it for for several months out :P.  I did start the 2nd sock so I won’t have 2nd sock syndrome 🙂 and it’s all sock practice, right?  They are a pretty quick knit, because they are so small :P.  I’d rather not go down to 00 size needles, so maybe finding a finer yarn would be best for my next try.  Still a nice sock tho’.

I can’t give you the pattern info because I forgot where I got it, ugh!  I looked but couldn’t not find the source, I did post the first page so if you feel inclined to search farther than I did on Ravelry and the internet (and I did search), you can do that.  The copy-write says 2013.

I woke up to about 2 inches of fluffy snow this morning.  It was starting to melt by the time I went to Church and was blowing off the trees because it was a very light powder snow.  I was so excited by the warmer weather I forgot we can get snow here through April.  On Friday, I also saw some geese, the Robins can’t be far behind :).