Knitting and Spinning Updates and a New Cria!

In the first picture are some of the things I am actively working on, a little girl baby sweater (yes the Flax :)), it’s in the Yarn Bee Soft & Sleek in Coral colorway. The larger item is a garter stitch comfort shawl in Lion Brand Homespun in the Waterfall Cascade colorway. The last item is the hat I will be knitting for my family member out of the lavender hand-spun (wool with a little alpaca blended in) that is showing in the next picture. I haven’t started the hat (Snowtracks Cap by Timothy Peters) yet, but I did get it wound into a ball. I actually enjoy the hand winding process, I find it a mindless and peaceful experience, well except when it is tangled as I wind, then it’s just an experience :P.

The next picture is all the yarn I’ve spun this year, (well except the orange skein it was a fractal spin I did last year, it’s just pretty :P).

The next two pictures are the alpaca cria (baby alpaca) roving I am spinning on my Rick Reeves double drive wheel. The alpaca fiber is butter soft as it goes through my fingers, and oh my it almost spins itself!! This roving was from a cria fleece that my daughter bought me a few years back that I had sent off to a mill in the east to turn into roving and they did a tremendous job!!

The last picture is one of my son’s alpaca, Summit, and her new cria, who was born this last Thursday, isn’t he a cutie, he’s white just like his mom! His dad was a beautiful fawn color from another herd. They have one more cria to be born in the next two weeks and that will make 4 new babies this year.

One FO and Getting Ready for the Heel on the Sock

Tin Can Knits Flax baby sweater is done! I wish to color was better, blame my phone :(. It goes from dark brown to light brown to cream to white. It’s really a nice striping yarn, I give more info on the yarn here, you’ll need to scroll down a bit. I just did a reg bind off on the sweater bottom without following the knits and pearls, not sure I like that, so I did the bind off on the sleeves following the knits and the pearls, and I like that better.

My sock is almost ready for the heel, I have two more rows before I start it. The heel is always the fidgety part for me, maybe someday will be use to it :).

My back is slowly getting better, herniated disks that decide to bulge are a pain, literally. My son will be picking up the love birds they gave me because cleaning up after them (they are very messy birds, they love to chew up paper, which is fine but it gets under the cages so that I have to get on my hands and knees to clean up the larger paper strips before I can vacuum) and with my back it’s getting too hard. They were his and his husband’s before they gave them to me and I’m sure they will make a spot for them again. I will miss their unique calls and sounds, but not necessarily cleaning up after them :P. I will still have my cockatiel, who is much easier to clean up after and is much more quiet :P.

Hope everyone is having a nice week end and that all the fathers have a great Father’s Day!

Summer Sock Camp at the Ready!

I decided to do the Summer Sock Camp with The Crazy Sock Lady. She has a podcast on youtube this is a link to her video about the Summer Sock Camp. Her channel is fun. I haven’t knit socks in over a year, maybe 2, and thought it would be fun to knit socks again. If you like to knit socks and are interested in being entered for some pretty nice prizes, go check her out. This goes on from June through August.

This is her vanilla sock pattern and she has a video on using 9″ circs for this. She also has videos for using two circs, the flex flips and magic loop techniques, top down and toe up. I prefer the 9″ circular needles and I like the bamboo because they are a bit more grabby and my yarn doesn’t slip off the tips. I have to go down an additional size so I use a 0 because I knit loosely anyway and knit even a little more loosely with the 9″ circulars. I chose her vanilla sock pattern (available in her Etsy for $2.00) because I am using Threads and Loops Perfect Pair sock yarn and I wasn’t sure a textured pattern would show well or maybe even be over the top with the color designs in this sock yarn. The Crazy Sock Lady (Kay Litton) has some truly beautiful sock patterns on Etsy. Hope to see you over there on her podcast :). Let the fun begin!

Hats for Warmth Project, Te Ara Fingerless Mitts and Other Things.

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.

Red, White & Blue Mini Skein and Bookmark.

I bought a cute patriotic mini skein of yarn to test out for a bookmark.  I bought this from Awenydd Yarn & Fiber on Etsy.  This is how the bookmark worked out, I think it turned out cute.  Independence Day is coming soon!!  Tho’ my understanding is that it was actually signed on July 2, 1776 and published on the 4th.  So, we could celebrate Independence day twice!

I have been awful about spinning during this year’s Tour de Fleece during the Tour de France competition.  I will spin but starting from way behind, hahaha.  I will be better prepared next year, it’s the thought that counts, right?  uh hu (the little ones in my family hate when I do the uh hu thing, cos they know I’m calling out their “miss statements”.) 🙂

 

Summer Solstice, New Progress Keepers and Lace Bookmarks

Sorry Word Press has changed some things and I don’t know how to get around in it yet, sigh.

Ok it’s the Summer Solstice, which for me means our daylight hrs will start to get shorter.  I only pay attention to the solstices because they signal days getting shorter or longer.  I always look more forward to the Winter Solstice, because it means the daylight hrs are increasing and Spring is coming. 🙂  I guess I shouldn’t look at Summer Solstice as a negative and just enjoy the summer and fall without worrying about winter yet.  Can you tell I am not a winter person, and yet I live in the Mid West?

I have been working on the lace book marks and they are now all sent out to their intended recipients.  I knit them on size 1 (US size) needles using left over sock yarn, used about 4 to 5 grams including the tassle, depending on how thick your sock yarn is.  They are quick and easy.

This past week I got a surprise package in the mail.  I opened it up and it was from one of my favorite stitch marker/progress keeper makers, Adoreknit .  She knows I am an huge Mandalorian fan.  I was so excited when I opened it and found these two Mandalorian progress keepers!  Put a big smile on my face, baby Yoda is adorning one of my WIPs, is he not so cute!  Makers are the best people!

I got the new yarn I ordered for the wedding shawl that I need to have done before October.   The yarn I ordered before was too coarse for bare shoulders and I returned it.  I ordered both yarns from LoveCrafts and they were very good about taking the previous order back.   I’m using my Daisy Rectangular Shawl pattern.  I hope I have corrected the error (miscalculation) on two rows being too close.  I haven’t updated my pattern yet because I want to knit up my correction to make sure I didn’t make it worse :P.  If this corrects it, I will update the pattern.  I will post more on this shawl (yarn, needles etc) as I get further in the pattern as I have only finished the border on the bottom at the moment.

I’m on the last sleeve of the Flax baby sweater.  I will post a picture when it’s done :).

New Child’s Flax Sweater and Some New Progress Keepers!

Before I start, just wanted to say, I didn’t forget Easter.  I celebrated Easter on the phone (conference call) with some members of my church, it was nice.  I just didn’t get on the computer afterwards.  Hope everyone had a good Easter, even tho we were all physically distancing ourselves.

I did finally get a picture of my Spring Robin :).  He kept his back to me so I didn’t get that beautiful red breast, but there he is :).

I didn’t get around to posting 1/2 way through this new Flax knit but here it is all finished.  Still using Hobby Lobby’s Yarn Bee Soft & Sleek, colorway Violet Stripe.  I think I neglected to say in my previous Flax sweaters my needle sizes etc.  It calls for a worsted/aran yarn and the one I am using is worsted.  I generally have to go down a size needle to get correct gauge because I am a looser knitter, but I went down two sizes on the body and sleeves and one size on the neck and cuffs.  So I used a size #5 on the ribbing and cuffs and a size #6 on the body and sleeves.  I’m sorry I don’t know what the mm sizes are :(, I like the fabric it created much better.  I used a 16 inch circular on the neck and body and 9 inch circular on the sleeves and cuffs.  I do like the way the color blocks on this yarn and pattern :).

I think my next project will be some more of those cute lace bookmarksI made 2 years ago.  They are a free pattern and the link for those is on my linked page.

I did some spinning on my balcony today, since it was about 60F.  It was nice to sit outside and enjoy a peaceful spin :).  I’m working on the second bobbin for the white wool/alpaca I am spinning.  I am having to have someone to make new bobbins for my Rick Reeves wheel, the other ones I had made didn’t fit and they didn’t have the metal piece in the middle to protect them while I spun.  I found someone who specifically makes them for this wheel.  Hopefully I can order them next month.

And as you can see, I bought some more progress keepers from CharmingMinis , they are sooooo cute, her artistry with polymer clay is amazing!! She always sneaks in a extra gift.

Hope everyone is staying safe and that we get back to normal soon, at least it’s getting warm!

New Flax Baby Sweater Finished :)

Flax Baby Sweater 3d  Finished this baby sweater Flax by Tin Can Knits, newborn to 4XL sizes.  I love this yarn, Hobby Lobby’s Yarn Bee Soft and Sleek, colorway Pink Stripe.  This pattern is is a top down so no sewing seams and is pretty easy to knit and the yarn did all the hard work for color.  The I love the way the stripes are blocks on the smaller diameter sweater.  I did have to do a little color management on the sleeves but not a lot.  I will definitely be knitting this pattern and using this yarn again. 🙂  Now to decide what I want to work on next :).

I hope everyone is staying well and finding ways to be entertained.  My knitting and some old TV series I use to watch a long time ago that they have on Roku keeps me busy :).  I’ve started using my elliptical machine again cos it just seems easier than going out for a walk lately.  My legs were sure sore for a few days after I started it again, sheesh.

Another Fractal Spin Done!

 

I wasn’t sure at all about the colors when I blended them on my blending board, just playing around with colors from a bag of various colored bits of roving that had been given to me.  The first bobbin (on the right) was 2 shades of orange (med orange and a light orange that looks yellow, but it’s not.)  The 2nd bobbin was a repeating range of complimentary colors to the oranges.  So I put together the colors I thought might blend together the best and there we have it, these were the rolags I made with the fiber.  I am very pleased with the final skein of yarn :).  My next spin will be some white roving (not sure what the sheep breed is, but it might be merino) and blend it on my blending board with an alpaca batt I have .  I will either kettle dye it or play around and try to make it a gradient when I am done spinning it .  It will probably be sometime next month before I start it, I have knitting I need to finish first.   I’m glad I got the blending board put together, it’s offered me a lot more creativity with colors and ability to bend different fibers together. 🙂

**Forgot to say this ended up being 368 yards and 90 grams, a good fingering weight. I’m thinking fingerless mitts :).

Spinning on the Kromski Polonaise and a New Project.

 

With the help of the Kromski Raverly group and a local friend, I was able to get the Polonaise configured to be a scotch tension drive, thankfully it comes with both options :).  The pictures do not do it justice, it is a dark mahogany color but looks like a walnut color in the pictures.  It is portrayed a little better in the picture of the singles I am spinning tho’ it still does not show the dark mahogany color as it is, it is really beautiful.  It spins like a dream and I am enjoying spinning on it immensely.  The fiber is some super wash merino that I had dyed some time back when I spun a skein for a friend.  I am spinning this skein to make a scarf or cowl (we need those here in the winter :P) for Marge’s sister (also a friend).  Something for her to think about her sister when she wears it.

Changing Staircases  I also cast on a new project.  Was going to make this last year for Christmas for a family member but I fell and broke my hand so that didn’t happen.  Not taking any chances this year, if I procrastinate, “Murphy” will come to visit again and he is not allowed in my home :P.  This is the Changing Staircases shawl by Trysten Molina of Dragon Hoard Designs.  I am using Stroll Tweed Sock Labs yarn by Knit Picks in the Teal Tweed colorway.  It’s really pretty and has a generous 462 yards.  Because I am a loose knitter I am using a size 4 instead of a size 5 circular needle.  Tho’ it looks difficult, this pattern is very easy and easily memorized :).  Not sure if you can see it very clearly but I am using a beautiful bronze heart progress keeper made by Stephanie of the Knitting Samurai podcast, from her Adore Knits Etsy shop.

I am loving Spring but could do without all the rain, but at least it’s not snow :P.