Knitting Accountability

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?

May the 4th Be with You

I didn’t get my Easter msg up or my General Conference msg up this year, both which are important to me and I almost didn’t get my May the 4th Be with You msg up, which is not as important but fun. Winter has been a little harder this year, maybe be cause it lacked a lot of sun (I need the sunshine) and this spring has been hard because it has been very overcast and rainy and more cooler off and on, and I was so ready for the warm sunny spring weather. Sigh, then I remembered April showers bring May flowers, and though oh my gosh go away LOL. Still a lot of over cast days (wow I could never live in Washington or Oregon by the coast), but it is warming up, this week is 50’s and 60’s and next week is into the 80’s sheesh.

I am trying to work on the hat for my friend, I had to try to figure out where she had left off (and I hadn’t been in the right head space to really concentrate to do that during the winter) and realized the stitch count wasn’t right and saw a couple of dropped stitches, so I had to tink back (for my non knitting friends tink is undoing the knitting one stitch at a time, oh so time consuming, tink is knit backwards – word and do wise, lol) 4 rows in the round and now I need to count the stitch count to make sure I tinked back enough to continue on. And oh yeah, with the lower light levels with all the over cast days and lower light level in my apt during the night I was having a hard time seeing the stitches because it’s knit in fingering in a dark brown yarn LOL. Anyway I can get out on my balcony now and have better lighting :).

Yeah this is more like a little rant, but hopefully things will appear on my blog now, it’s been over a month and I usually post at least one thing a month. Hope everyone is doing well and that Spring is bringing those May flowers, I have seen the robins so it’s really spring to me :).

Another FO and a WIP Plus Our First Snow Flurries of the Winter

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.

Wishing everyone a blessed day!

Accountability for WIPs Now FOs, a New Spin and a National Alpaca Farm Day Visit

Ok, accountability time.

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.

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 :).