Monday, July 28, 2008

Startitis came to visit

You've heard of Knitting Malaise, is there a term for the opposite? Last two weeks I've had the worst case of Startitis! It's been very difficult not to cast-on for dozens of projects; no idea what's caused my recent flare-up of this Knitter's Disease.

I've had the yarn and beads to make Schaffer's Undulating Scarf for a month or so but couldn't wait any longer; I cast-on and got it started.
Undulating Waves Scarf

You should click on the picture to see the largest size. This yarn is so shiny; 100% Kid Mohair. It's Primero Yarn from Brooks Farm Yarn. This was a prize several years ago through the Lace Symposium held by the Knitting Beyond the Hebrides Group. (I usually can't work with Mohair, makes me very itchy between my fingers, but this yarn is so soft that I'm enjoying knitting with it.) The beads are from Michael's; their mix of colors minus the turquoise beads. You have to pay attention to which side of the needle the beads are on; this isn't a project you can knit mindlessly.

I'm worried that I should be knitting it at a tighter gauge, that when finished the weight of all the beads will pull the knitting out of shape.

The Curlicue Pattern came in so I had to start that.
Noro Curlicue

I'm almost done with the first section which is flat, adding the second section should tell me if I'm going to have problems with it laying flat. The Silk Garden Skeins in the picture are just the first few skeins I've bought to test the pattern. If all works well much more to buy$$.

The latest Noro I've bought, Silk Garden and Kureyon, seem to have much less VM (vegetable matter) that the skeins of past years. Have I just gotten a good batch or are others finding cleaner Noro yarn lately?

Next I started a pair of Fair Isle Socks from the book, Knitted Socks by Anna Tillman
Fair Isle Sock Pattern
I'm using's Sock-It to Me

I've found a free Fair Isle yarn holder that keeps the skeins separated.
Free Wine Tote

Yarn in Wine Tote

It's a free wine bottle carrier from the grocery store. (I bought three bottle of wine and the tote was free. Not sure if there is a minimum numbers of bottles) Ralph's is the same company as Kroger's so you might check there. Haven't knit enough with it to know if the velcro handle cover will be a problem. If it is I'll just cut it off.

Then there's the six skeins of Mauch Chunky I bought for $3 a ball. Red Yarn
They're going to be scarves for the Red Scarf Project.
BTW: The Red Scarf Project seems like such a worthy cause; reminding young adults in College who have aged out of Foster Care that they're still cared for and valued members of their community. All you need do is knit or crochet a red scarf (any color actually). Mail it to the Foundation between September 1 and October 31, 2008. The shipping address is:
Orphan Foundation of America
The Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive
Sterling, VA 20166

I've tried several patterns for chunky yarn that I found on Ravelry but I'm not happy with them for one or more reasons. Any suggestions for a Chunky single-ply?

Two projects were finished in between all this starting. A pair of my plain socks.
Trekking (XXL) color 108 Socks
Several meetings the last few weeks and these socks just seemed to finish themselves.
This is Trekking (XXL) color 108. I love the bits of burgundy that pools every so often.

And the ZigBagZ Felted Bag is done. The felting, that I was worried about, came out perfectly.
ZigZag Bag

I love the whole thing. The handles, a double I-cord, is the best felted handle I've ever seen. It's all made with yarn, no cotton cording or plastic tubing inside.
The bottom of the bag which was always my favorite looks as good on the inside as the outside.
ZigZag Bag Bottom ZigZag Bag Inside Bottom
Out side is on the left and inside is on the right. Click on the pictures to see a larger version.

I liked the inside bottom so well that I didn't want to cover it up with a base so I bought a scrap of plexi glass and The Photographer cut me a base for the bag.
ZigZag Bag Plexi Base
Now I have stability and can still see the pretty pattern on the bottom of the bag. That is until I fill it with stuff.

That's it for around here, the tomatoes are growing
Green Tomatoes

And the Basil is barely keeping up with our culinary demands.
I sneak a sniff every time I go out to water - I love fresh Basil.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Curlicue Destiny??

I only work in the Yarn Shop on Wednesdays. Who walks into the shop yesterday but the Rep for Oat Couture Patterns. [Twilight Zone Music] Of course, I mentioned Curlicue, the Shop owner loved it and ordered the Pattern. How do these things just happen?
So much for my "will power", Resistance is Futile!

Oh yeah, I'm suppose to tell you the part for the bobbin is a bushing not a bearing. (Really makes a difference in your day now that you know the right name, doesn't it!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mostly Spinning

We've had mild temperatures here but it's rather humid which is uncomfortable weather to be sitting with a lap full of knitted object. This weekend I spent more time spinning downstairs in the coolest room in the house.

I was anxious to see the finish yarn made from hand-dyed superwash merino that I baked in the oven a couple weeks ago. Plying this took me most of an afternoon. 486 yards
Blue hand-dyed Superwash Merino

This yarn hasn't decided what it wants to be: socks or the Morning Surf Scarf on the cover of Spin-Off

Next I started on a SeaWool fiber from Creativelydyed.
SeaWool roving

I believe it's 70% superwash Merino 30% Seacell fiber. It's so soft but the streaky part is lumpy to spin so I'm just going with it and letting the fiber dictate how it wants to be.
Sea Wool Singles

Bossy fiber isn't the only thing giving me problems.
bobbin problem
A couple of my bobbins have become so noisy (sort of a chattering sound) that I can't hear the TV!! The Photographer looked them over and found the bearings (I think he said bearings), the round rings on the ends, weren't round. He ordered some plastic rings to replace the not-round-brass-bearings. These are Kromski bobbins which all seem to make more noise than any of my Ashford bobbins. The newer bobbins seem to have been made with black plastic bearing rather than brass, maybe I'm not the only one with bobbins that talk back.

I did figure out how to do Judy's Magical Cast-on with no purl rows on the toe.
Look Ma, No Purls!
Judy's Magical Cast-on toe

My inside out Purl problem was answered by someone on The Knitlist. She said I was flipping my work over rather than turning it around to get to the second needle. She suggested I put a marker on the right side before I started knitting to remind myself which was the knit side of the work. Now I wonder how I ever had such a problem.

I came across a pattern on Ravely that's calling to me!
I'm trying to talk myself out of ANOTHER project...

Monday, July 07, 2008

It was a Kureyon Weekend

The four day Holiday Weekend is over; we both took off Thursday. Daughter #1 was over for dinner Friday, #2 Daughter was here on Sunday. We ate, we watched The Music Man, listened to March Music and had a very nice, quiet celebration - except for the time Friday when the helicopters were circling because some kids set the canyon on fire playing with fireworks. (Small fire that was quickly put out - Thank-you Fire Dept!)

My personal celebration was lots of time spent gardening, spinning and knitting. I finished the Primavera Socks. Made from Trekking XXL, color 108
Primavera Socks

Earlier in the week I finished the Tile Socks from Socks, Socks, Socks made from Louet Gems Sportweight.
Tile Socks

These are the first socks I've made in a yarn heavier than fingering weight. I love the socks but living in Southern California I don't know when I'll have occasion to wear them. Maybe I'd better stick to lighter weight yarns in the future.

Started the Ziggy Socks from Knitty.
Kureyon Sock

I'm using Kureyon Sock yarn; sorry but I hate this yarn. As singles, it's all twisty on itself making it impossible to use for a stranded project! This is going to be ripped out. The pattern is fine except for one thing - this toe-up sock starts with Judy's Magical cast-on (this was my first attempt using this particular cast-on) Did I do something wrong, there's a row of garter stitch at the cast-on site (you can just see it in the photo?) I ripped it out twice but always ended up with those garter rows right at the tip of the toe. I like this cast-on method but I suspect I'm doing something backwards. Anyone have some pointers to help me?

Last Tuesday was my day to do the Spinning Demo at the San Diego County Fair.
Fair Spinning Demo

Members of our spinning class covered this Demonstration over the run of the Fair. I was there on Kids Day so I must have been ask many times, "Where did Sleeping Beauty hurt her finger?" Since I was spinning on an Ashford Traditional there was no spindle to show them. We've discussed next time having an old wheel there that has a spindle, at least on Kids Day.

That Wheel was a single pedal which I'm not use to; by the end of my Demo hour my whole treadling leg hurt. Don't know what I did wrong but I'm sticking to double treadle wheels! I can spin for hours on either of mine with no aches or pains, thank goodness.

Last weekend I dyed this Superwash Merino Roving.
Dyed Superwash Merino

I baked it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 mins and then let it sit to cool to room temperature.

Spinning this is so cool ; I love the way the singles are changing color.
Dyed Singles

Ravelry let me to Bobby's Blanket. The Hexagon pattern/recipe is posted here. I used some left over Kureyon to give it a try. (6 inch double point for size reference)
Kureyon Hexagons

I enjoyed making these two hexagons but it's very hard on my hands. I probably won't be making more with worsted weight but I'm wondering if it would be easier with fingering weight? Maybe a use for that Kureyon Sock Yarn?

Under "Small World": Sunday I was reading Laurie's blog Issues with Knitting
where she talks about buying a bag of Kureyon to make Sandy's Sweater in Big Girl Knitting. Well I bought a pile of Kureyon #213 two weeks ago
Sandy Sweater Kureyon

to make the same sweater. And I too haven't decided on the solid to go with #213. I'd like to use a green but haven't found a green worsted weight I think works with this Kureyon colorway. Hmm, are sweater patterns contagious?

Finally, Annie's poodle foot is growing out. And she's doing fine - never would know she'd been so sick. We're really watching what she eats and
No Table Scraps!
poodle foot regrowth