Trying to stay on task for my knitting accountability. I am ready to start on the sleeves of the Tin Can Knits Flax baby sweater, then to weave in ends, wash the sweater and then gift it ;). I’ll get one more picture when it’s done before I gift it. The 2nd picture is another Dandelion Headband. I should have taken the picture on a dark background but it’s already been gifted, so sorry :P. I think I am going to make her a cowl with this design for next year. I need to keep working on the hats for warmth project.
The last picture is the first ground cover snow we had a week or week & 1/2 ago. It didn’t stay long our weather was cold for about 3 or 4 days and then back into the middle to upper 30’s and 40’s. 🙂 I know it’s coming, but every day winter is not fully here yet is one less day of winter before Spring and one day less you have to hear me ask “Is it Spring yet?”
Hope everyone had a good time with family and friends and enjoyed some Thanksgiving dinner. Even the alpaca at my son’s farm got to have carrots for Thanksgiving (one of their favorite snacks) amazing how friendly they are when they know you are bringing them carrots, lol.
I haven’t done this in a while so I thought I would catch up my blog on my knitting.
I have knit 2 charity hats and one in progress. When I get 4 or 5 done I will take them to the shelter and start on the next batch. They are a simple 2X2 rib stitch with a fold over brim for extra warmth on the ears. They are easy to make and one of my mindless knits when I don’t have the head space for more complicated things and need the peace myself, and they are helping others.
The next 2 pictures are of a test knit that I did. I took a picture of the front and back because the darker front didn’t show the pattern as well as the lighter back (the yarn, Loops and Threads Impressions, is a bulky, slightly fuzzy yarn that fades from dark to light and back again), you might want to keep that in mind if you buy this pattern and make it ;). This is a headband for those that don’t like to wear hats but their ears get cold. The pattern is called Dandelion Headband. It was a fun pattern with an interesting stitch to make the dandelion flowers. You can find the pattern on Ribblr, the designer is Cloud9 Atelier . Ribbler is free but you need to make a account to use it. This is a paid pattern that you can buy, but they also have some free patterns and they have a very interesting online user-active pattern format that I like and my free patterns are on there too. This was a fun knit. I will definitely knit it again.
The last picture is another Tin Can Knits Flax baby sweater, a free pattern, you can find the needle sizes I use here on earlier post. I made a change in yarn because I didn’t want to have to mess with the color management of stripes and having to weave in all those ends lol. I’m using Hobby Lobby’s, Yarn Bee, Warm & Cozy, it’s very soft and in this size (6 months to 1 year) one skein might be all I need, but I bought 2 just in case, no sense inviting “Murphy’s Law”, he’s not our friend. It is acrylic, nylon and polyester, medium weight – worsted). I haven’t made one of these baby sweaters in a little bit an forgot how enjoyable they are to knit (the baby sweaters anyway because they don’t take forever :P).
Hope everyone is enjoying the little bit of a warm up before winter finally gets here. Farmer’s Almanac (see picture above) says it will be a hibernation zone about mid Jan & snow filled this year for my area, how about your area? Wonder if it will be right this year?
I went to my son’s Alpaca Farm Days on Saturday and after Church on Sunday to spin while people came to see the alpaca and feed them carrots and pet a few of them. My son has 22 alpaca, 4 males and 18 females. He didn’t breed last year so no babies this year, but he has bred them this year so there should be babies (alpaca babies are called Cria) next year! Here are some pictures from the event, 2 pictures of those beautiful alpaca (I wanted to get a picture of the yoga with the alpaca but it was on Sunday morning and I was at Church). He had a skirting/sorting table set up with a fleece on it and he had a tumbler that he built and used to clean the fleeces before sending them off to the fiber mill so they don’t have so much work to do but I didn’t put the picture in (sorry), and he had his drum carder set up to show people how to make batts. The last picture is my Rick Reeves spinning wheel, that I brought to spin some alpaca with. I managed to get 1 bobbin done there and I have started the 2nd bobbin, hope to finish it this week and ply it so I can finish the 2nd bobbin on my Kromski Polonaise. I get anxious when I have too many things going at the same time, so one at a time to get it worked down!
I am going to finish the hat I am knitting (very close to done) and start a sweater to work on this weekend for General Conference week end (friend’s baby is coming in two months). Because it’s on the BYU channel on cable or on the BYU channel free to add on the Roku plug in on TV, and at http://www.churchofjesuschrist.org on line, Saturday from 11am to 1pm and 3pm to 5pm and the same times on Sunday, I can sit and enjoy the wonderfully spiritual talks that bring peace to my soul and knit at the same time, can’t get any better than that! Hope you can enjoy some peace in your day and watch a little bit of this wonderful General Conference time.
Please join me in prayers for less damage, injuries and loss of life as possible during the hurricane. I know there will be some of all of that and the devastation of any kind of loss is horrible, so I’m praying for the blessing of help from others, and peace and comfort as they deal with and rebuild what damage was done and that people not affected by this large hurricane will reach out with prayers and physical help to help them. I know the help was much appreciated a couple of years ago when we had that awful derecho.
This 2 lb plastic (thank goodness) jar of honey caused me to be unable to spin for a bit, hopefully soon I can go back to spinning. You know the instant you do something and you know it won’t turn out right and you get that flash of what could happen and you quickly respond to it? Well yeah, that is what I did. I had set this jar of honey close to the edge of the counter and turned around and a pot holder I had in my hand caught it and off it went, my mind in that instant just saw honey all over the floor and so naturally I stuck my foot out to buffer the fall, Oh My, wrong choice, it hit the top of my foot and ouchie!! Went to get an x-ray a few days later when the bruise wasn’t looking better, but no fractured bones, just lots of soft tissue damage. Lesson learned, let the jar fall next time, it was plastic, it wouldn’t have broken. Our reactions are sometimes too fast for our own good, but then again most of the time that’s a good thing.
Next picture; Before I hurt my foot, this is as far as I got almost 3 weeks ago on the spin of my 2nd Tour de Fleece skein, almost done with the 1st bobbin. Hopefully will finish that soon and I can begin the 2nd bobbin.
I have been working on my Hats for Warmth project (because I can sit with my feet up and not feel guilty :P), but I need to speed that up, fall is almost here and winter will soon follow!!!
Hope you all are working on things you love and that I haven’t cursed you with “Murphy” by talking about it, tho if he could find another person to irritate I can’t say I would mind a bit, tho I hope it’s not you :P.
No excuse, but I have S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder, very appropriate initials :P) and in the winter I am less inclined to want to do things, so the fact that I have 1 full bobbin of the CVM/alpaca roving (I believe there is only 15% alpaca blended in ) done is a celebration! One more to go lol, then I can ply and have yarn! The CVM breed’s name refers to the Romney rams and Rambouillet ewes which were crossed to create it around 1915. The California Variegated Mutant (or CVM) is a rare sub-type of the Romeldale breed known for its unusual color, and is considered a derivative of the Romeldale. Even blended with probably about 15% alpaca, it’s a beautiful modeled light brown, tho on my screen it looks grey, it is a light brown. It will make a beautiful yarn.
On to the hat, well I finished the red/black hat I was working on but forgot to get a picture of it before I sent the package to the homeless shelter, my bad.
The second picture is the cria (baby alpaca) that I spun. I got it wound into a ball land am ready to knit my Little Lace Cat’s Paw Scarf. I’m going to have to make a correction as I knit and then fix it on my pattern page. It’s just one line I believe in the pattern. But I will notify you all when I get that page updated.
The FO (finished object) will be the last of the striped Flax baby sweaters. I will still knit the Flax baby sweaters but I have decided to go with muted or mottled colors so I don’t have color management on the sleeve stripes to have to fool with. It will make them faster and less fussy to knit, less weaving in of ends and more enjoyable since I knit so many of them :P.
My WIP (work in progress) is another charity hat, a simple 2X2 with a fold up brim to give extra warmth to the ears. I know it’s a simple stitch and hat construction but I always try to use pretty yarn colors so the recipients will enjoy it in warmth and looks. I should have this done by next week and ready to send a package out to our local homeless shelter with a few hats in it. If any of you knit or crochet or sew and feel so inclined, this would be a great time of year to make some hats, mittens, or scarfs for your local homeless shelters. There is always a need.
I have another WIP that I need to get to, I will get a picture of it after I get started on it. I’m finishing it for a friend and I need to get my head around where she was at in the pattern and what the pattern is all about. I keep telling my self it’s a hat, it can’t be that hard, we will see :).
I knew that this would eventually happen, I mean it is November and Winter is almost upon us, but I was hoping for a few more weeks or months :P. No accumulation just flurries but it’s a reminder of what is coming soon. I know out west they have already been bombarded with that white stuff, ugh. Next week we will be back up into the 40’s but colder nights, most below freezing. I will enjoy those warmer days for as long as I can before our much colder sub zero winter weather gets here, brrrr. I did get my car tuned up, new battery, tires and brakes in prep for winter this year. I hate when all of those come due at the same time for winter because here, if any of that is due, it’s a must. Just a heads up too, my mechanic said tires may be harder to find in the next few months, so my advise is, if you need them, don’t put it off.
Knitting – FOs (finished objects) I finished the last Flax baby sweater I was working on, it’s in the Yarn Bee Soft & Sleek in Coral colorway, size 6 to 12 months. I follow directions on this pattern, but when I add the extra stitches called for when I pick the stitches for the sleeves I add up a couple of extra stitches on the body of the sweater on each side to close holes when picking up the stitches at the bottom of the sleeves and then knit 2 together in the next round when I get to the extra stitches to reduce the stitch count back to where it is suppose to be, works well :). I also finished the charity hat I was working on. Both are pictured above. I will be starting a new flax baby sweater (a mom is due in Nov would really like one :P) and a new charity hat. Will post pictures of the yarn when I get them started.
Spinning – I finished the cria (baby alpaca) spin. I over spun the ply a bit accidentally and a friend is going to post a youtube video about taking some of the extra ply spin out. She’s really cool, she is Fiber Love Diary on Youtube, she has a lot of nice spinning, dying and weaving videos. Anyway, it was over plied because I was spinning at my son’s National Alpaca Farm day and I was sitting in the shade and I couldn’t see the ply well and I over plyed, sigh. Picture of the yarn above, it was 18 wpi (wraps per inch for my non spinning friends), and 3 1/2 ozs and about 330 yds, a nice fingering weight. Was very soft spinning, but to be honest, plying is boring lol. I have already started a new WIP (work in progress), it is a CVM/Alpaca blend – (CVM = California Variegated Mutant, it is a Romney sheep, courser fleece (less soft), from NZ, bred with Rambouillet sheep, finer fleece (soft), and has to do with a mutation coloration that was re-bred and stayed in the line, look it up on line for more information. It is interesting). This is much less soft than Alpaca but I don’t think it will be too course for next to skin wear. I’m not sure how much alpaca was blended in, it seem to be mostly CVM. It also has lanolin (Alpaca does not have lanolin) that was not completely washed out that gives it a slightly tacky feel, but it’s not hard to spin. The picture shows the ball of roving (2 ozs, I have 2 of these for 4 ozs) as a lighter color, it is actually a little darker, tho not much darker, and shows up a little better as spun on the bobbin, it has a mottled look.
Last picture to talk about, on Sunday at their National Alpaca Farm day event (I only went Saturday to spin, so my son in law was kind enough to send me this picture he took :P) a friend of theirs teaches yoga and she had a class in the alpaca pasture. Fun was had by all, the alpaca were as curious as the people doing yoga. Dotty to her mother Summit, “what the heck are those humans doing?” :p.
Hope everyone is enjoying their fall weather, winter isn’t far behind.
Taking a moment for some knitting accountability, otherwise some times I just wouldn’t get anything done, like the socks I have not been working on, sigh, but I am working on the last sleeve of this flax baby sweater and then just to weave in ends. Seems, for some reason, there is more color management than normal, not sure why, hoping I’m not playing yarn chicken with the lightest color before going back to the darkest color on the sleeve. Time will tell. I’ve also been putting in a bit of work on the current charity hat, time to give them to the shelter is coming up fast.
I have been spinning the cria roving as well. Two more small re-wrapped pieces of the roving to go (had to unwind and re-wind the larger 3.5 oz bump into smaller pieces to handle better), then on to plying :).
Finished the 2nd bobbin on Saturday and plied them together yesterday and washed it and set it out to dry. Done today!!! It is 187 yards and 91 grams, I figure maybe a dk weight. I should have been closer to 200 yards and maybe 93 or 95 grams but I didn’t weigh the halves before I started and I had more on one bobbin than the other, so there’s that, sigh, should still be enough for a hat :). It’s much more vibrant on my phone picture so I’m hoping that the muted colors that show to me are just my monitor. Let me know in your comments if they look muted or vibrant to you.
I want to start some cria (baby alpaca) fiber on my Rick Reeves wheel also, I haven’t used it in a while and I need to get back on it and make sure I don’t loose what I gained on spinning on a double drive wheel.
For my knitting, I am working on an orange color baby sweater (I might have already shown the start a month or two ago) and still working on the sock (lol) and a comfort shawl and one of my charity hats. I will post pictures later this week on how far along they all are. There are a couple of bookmarks I want to get started and done too, but they are small and can be done quickly. I don’t like having too many irons in the fire but here I am, sigh.
Hope everyone is enjoying the wind down of summer and thinking about the fall weather. 🙂
It’s toward the end of the month and I haven’t posted. After finishing the wedding shawl I took a break from knitting for a month and just lost my knitting mojo and didn’t even finish the Christmas gift I was working on for someone I knit a gift for every year. Then the day after Christmas I lost my dad, so last year, with the pandemic and 2 Derechos we had and my dad’s passing, was just not a very good year for motivation.
I have finished a hat for what I call my Hats for Warmth project, which are hats to give to the homeless shelter. And I did pick up the fingerless mitts I was working on for that Christmas gift. I can at least get those done before she doesn’t need them this year anymore :p. It is the Te Ara Fingerless Mitts pattern by Rachel C. and is a free pattern. I am using some left over fingering yarn from the wedding shawl and will dye it some shade of lavender and am using my ChiaoGoo 9″ size 3 needles, it calls for a 4 but I knit rather loosely and tend to have to go down a size to get any gauge close to correctly. I need to get another set of those in a size 2, I have 1’s and 0’s for socks but tend to use the 0’s for the socks :). The sizing on this pattern has a lot of negative ease and looks small but stretches out quite a bit so unless you have pretty large hands I suggest the small size in the pattern.
I am using my Mandalorian progress keeper Mythosaur (an extinct Manadorian dragon that they use to tame and ride or kill wild to prove themselves) and the frog stitch marker like the one The Child (Grogu aka baby Yoda) ate in the series, was some funny stuff :p. The progress keeper and stitch marker set makes me smile and has helped pulled me out of the loss of my knitting mojo. The Mythosaur was a gift from AdoreKnit on Etsy. I have just ordered a new set of her stitch markers with a Mud Horn (Din Jarin’s signet by killing that beast and it becomes a symbol of his clan of 2 given to him by the the Mandalorian Armorer ) and a stitch marker set with a Mandalorian figure progress keeper and and a bar of Beskar (metal that makes his armor) stitch marker. Can you tell I love the Mandalorian series? They are making Star Wars fun again :). AdoreKnit markers are so much fun to use and they are well made, if you haven’t checked out her store, you should go look at all the stitch markers and progress keepers she has and she even sews some bags :).
I picked up some more yarn for the hats and some baby sweaters at Hobby Lobby as it was their bi weekly 30% off yarn sale week :). I have also been working with a younger family member on sewing. I’m not a sewist, but I can do basic things and can kinda sorta follow a pattern. I bought her a decent sewing machine for Christmas and she was excited to start using it. So far we have just practiced threading it, winding the bobbin, and using the stitches with white thread on black cloth so she can see what she is doing and what the stitches it comes with looks like. She bought herself a pattern for a toy to sew, but of course it needed a furry fabric so I have convinced her to wait to make it until we practice on more stuff first. I thought maybe an easy quilt square she can frame to put up in her room or give as a framed gift. Something with straight stitches and pretty easy to sew but looks amazing when done for some self confidence before moving on to harder things :). I’ve always thought quilting looks like magic with cloth :).
Hoping for a better year and wishing the same for you all as well.