Tuesday, January 31, 2006
All in a Weekend's Work
I have been busy this weekend I have been spinning and knitting and all of the fun stuff and I have finished the Ponchito that I started on Thursday. I really think the fringe took almost as long at the knitting itself. The Specs: 300 yards Recycled Sari Silk 75 yards each of 6 different yarns. I used various novelty yarns, a fur yarn, a confetti yarn , a rayon yarn, a cotton yarn , and a handspun yarn. #13 needles I started on Thursday night and I finished it on Sunday night and seamed it up yasterday and I love the way it looks. On the spinning side of things I spun a plain superwash about 63 yards chunky weight. For some reason this picture did not come out as well as I would have liked, but here it is anyway. I also Spun 4oz of Blue faced top and I love the way it tured out I call this colorway "Blue Jeans" I love working with this fiber. It is spun up fingering weight singles, and I like the way it turned out so I decided not to ply it with anyother fiber. I came out to be 237 meters or 259 yards.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Knitter's of a Different Stitch
You can classify knitters by; what they know, what they knit, what they collect. The Scarf Knitter Some people knit scarves and that is all they want to do. Their scarves are the most complicated stitch patterns and have the most intricate details. If you were to ask them why they knit scarves they will tell you it is because they can take the project everywhere. Thee could knit you a sweater if they would because they know how but they like the portability of the scarf and that is what they crave. You see them knitting; on a bus, while someone else drives, waiting in line at the post office, on a park bench. They love to try all the new yarns on the market and they can afford the higher priced yarns because the only need a ball or two to make a scarf. They have no need for as many scarves that are able to turn out so they give them away to everyone in their immediate circle of friends and family. The Beginner Knitter This type of knitter craves knowledge. They read every book, magazine, website looking for more information on their topic of interest. Unlike the scarf knitter who knits scarves for their portability they knit scarves because that is the only thing that that have the confidence to knit. They want to knit a sweater but they need to gather just a little more information on the subject before the gain the confidence to do so. They knit when every they get a spare moment. Most beginners will knit with what every yarn they come in contact and they are nervous about spending too much on a ball of yarn because they are afraid that they will mess it up. The Sock Knitter This knitter is like the Scarf knitter in that they crave portability. They love that socks are a small project that can be carried in they purse and do not require a large bag to carry all the necessary tools. Everyone they know has a pair of hand knit socks and they expect them on birthdays, and holidays. The love the intricate patterns and they way the stitches combine to make a wearable and useful object. The sock knitter might end up with a few lonely socks; the ones with no mates. This is called the second sock syndrome. This happens sometimes when a chosen yarn do not fit well with the chosen pattern and they just can not expend the energy on another sock that just does not measure up to their high standards. The Stash Knitter This knitter loves yarn so much that even if they have no project for it they continue to buy yarn. This knitter hides yarn in every empty space that they can find. They love the hunt for the perfect yarn and they will do anything and go anywhere to find it. They drive miles and miles to go to a yarn shop just to find that perfect yarn. I will give them this to mean well and to support the local yarn shops, and really do want to knit up all of the yarn in their stash but they love the thrill of the hunt and the feel of a new yarn in their hands. The Lace Knitter This knitter has a lot of patience; they love to work with ultra fine yarn and intricate stitches. It has been said that you either love lace or your hate it, there is no in between. It takes a good eye and a delicate touch to turn a fine thread into a beautiful work of art. This knitter will tell you that once you try it you can never go back. They will knit other projects but nothing fills them with such excitement as looking at a chart and visualizing the finished garment. The Prolific Knitter This knitter has knit it all; socks, scarves, sweaters, and lace. They love to create and love the feel of the yarn slipping between their fingers, and the soft click of the needles as each stitch is created. They can knit with out a pattern and love to design their own garments. They give knitted gifts on every occasion, and they ware they garments with pride. They are the knitter that loves to teach the art of knitting to anyone who will and they feel it is their duty to let people know how enjoyable the art is. The Online Knitter This knitter is my favorite. This knitter has entered the online community full force and has everything that they need to make it easy to connect with other knitters all over the world. This knitter has a BLOG, is a member of almost every yahoo group that talks about knitting. This knitter post photos of every finished object (FO) and tells about every stash enhancement and where to find the best free patterns. This knitter is connected with others in the knitting world and is the first to know when a new yarn, magazine, or book is available. I am this knitter.
Friday, January 27, 2006
Last week I went on a shopping spree and I bought my self these books and one of these. I really have been getting my leftover yarns in order witih this thing and I love how it makes it easy to get them to fit into a bookshelf. I did not realize until I started winding all of the leftovers into balls that I have enough for a scrap shawl that I have been wanting to knit up. I am thinking about making a evening one using grays, blues, and whites, I plan on using a #15 needles and a feather fan stitch pattern. I might use a mango moon pattern for a pink one.
I just had to cast on this when I saw the recycled sari silk . I have been eying this pattern for a long tiem and I love the way it is knitting up. My camera is out of batteries so I will have a progress picture up later. I have included this link to the pattern in the title so you can get your own copy of this very easy pattern . I love Mango Moon all of their patterns are free and are very cool.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
I found this really great Turkish Yarn company that has some very unusual patterns and I might just have to knit a sweater for the olympics . Check out the link in the post name. I am thinking about the Feza Super Cozy Pullover.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
My Wonderful SP7 Pal
This came in the mail on Monday but I left my camera at home yesterday so I am just getting around to posting this . And this is what I saw when I opened it up. What a cute letter. It was so thoughtful. And Look what I got. a sweater shaver, 3 wonderful smelling sachets, some roving that I just had to spin up as soon as it came out of the box, a copy of the current issue of Knit Simple and a skein of Recycled Sari Silk yarn. Boy do I feel so spoiled, I love it so much.
For a little mid week pick me up.
Monday, January 23, 2006
How to Spin a Yarn
The following is the essay I had to write this past week for me english class. I decided to write about spinning so here it is. How to Spin a Yarn by Katie C. January 19, 2006 I started the process of writing this essay with the though that I would tell you how to spin a yarn, but I decided that with all the technical information thatwould have to be included it would need to be a book. So I decided to tell you why I love to spin yarn. Some people use the analogy that to write a story is ti spin a yarn. I think sitting down in front of my spinning wheel is to tell a story with no words at all. I started out wanting to spin because I wanted to produce my own yarn to add to my ever growing stash of yarn. It all started back in October 2005. A yarn sales person came to my shop to show me her wares and brought along her personal spinning wheel for me to try out. This was on a friday afternoon and she told me that I could use it for the weekend and gave me about an ounce of hand dyed wool. I never thought I would find something that I would love tas much as knitting. Then the feel of the wool slipping through my fingers, and seeing the twist inch up and then the fresh spun yarn wind onto the bobbin, I knew I was hooked. In a little under an hour I had finished the ounce of wool and I called a friend who spins and asked her if she had any fiber that she could sell me. I almost jummped for joy when she said she did. so for only $11 I purchased a little over one pound of fiber and after picking this up I set off for home to spin it up. Over the next few days all I could do was spin, any free time I had was spent spinning. That Tuesday morning I woke up with a heavy heart, because I knew I would have to give it up. After that weekend that though of owning my own spinning wheel consumed me. I wanted one so much that it was all I though about in my free time. I researched it online, in books, at my local library. I was determined that when I was able to purchase my own wheel I would know all there was to know about the craft of spinning yarn. I learned how to spin a yarn. First you have to aquire clean fiber, be it otton, wool, flax, or silk. Most beginners start out with wool. Wool is one of the easiest fibers to learn to spin because it is easy to control and it has a long staple length. Staple length is how long the individual fibers are. Cotton fibers are short, about one inch in length, where wool is about 6 to 7 inches in length. After you decide on the fiber type you must choose between roving and top. Roving is prepared fiber where the individual fibers are going in different directions. Top is prepaired fiber when all the fibers are going in the same direction. I have learned that I prefer top to roving as it is easier to spin a finer yarn because all the fibers are going in the same direction. I also learned that spinning Yarn is an art form in and of itself. It is a folk art with roots so deep that no one can really pin point exactly when and where spinning began. Spinning is the art of putting a twist into fiber to make a continuious thread. The thread can be spun thick or thin depending on the amount of fiber that is drafed prior to the twist being let into the fiber. Drafting means to pull out fiber for spinnng, you can determine the thickness of the finished yarn by how much you pull when you are drafting. Wheither you are spinning on wheel, or a drop spindle you have to draft your fiber prior to letting the twist into the fiber. One thing that is just as important as the way you draft is the direction of the twist that you put into your fiber. There is two ways that the yarn can be spun. The first one is the "S" twist and is made by spinning your wheel or spindle in a counter clockwise direction. The second one is the "Z" twist and is made by spinning your wheel or spindle in a clockwise direstion. These two types of twist are very useful when you want to spin different types of yarn. Most single yarns that are to be plyed are spun in the same direction and then plyed in the opposite direction. I completed an experiment over the weekend by spinning one single with a "Z" twist and one with a "S". I then plyed them both in the same direction of the "Z" twist and the single that was originally spun with the "S" twist became soft and a little unspun and the other yarn became tighter as more twist was added during the plying process. To spin with a spinning wheel you start out with a yarn leader threaded onto the bobbin with the end comming through the orfice. Take the wool in your left hand and pull a bit of the wool out with your right. As you begin to treadle place the yarn in the loop of the yarn leader and let the twist come into the unspun fiber. Keep puling small amounts of fiber out with your right hand. Once your fiber has enought twist you can let it go and it will be drawn through the orface to be wound onto the bobbin. You then repeat the previous steps until you have spun all of the fiber that you have. Once you have spun your fiber into yarn the twist needs to be set and you need to measure your yarn, this can be done with a Niddy-Noddy which is three pieces of wood in the shape of the letter "I" and this is what I use to make a skein. after the yarn is wound from the bobbin onto the niddy-noddy it needs to be tied in at least four places. After the skein is removed from the niddy-noddy is is then soked in very hot water until the water cools. The yarn then has to be hung to dry and after this the yarn can be used for knitting, crochet, or weaving. That is how you spin a yarn.
Friday, January 20, 2006
I am a bad Blogger
I cannont believe that I have gone so long without a post. School has me so busy writing essays that I have no time to write a blog entry. Much less get anything elase done. I do get to knit while I am reading so I have 2 FO's to show off. I knitted a ribbed scarf. Here are the details: one skein of Noro color # 95 US #7 Needles Pattern: k4, p4 over 24 stitches My Second FO of 2006 is another scarf which is a sample to show how my handspun knits up. Needles #7 Yarn: Handspun DK weight about 200 yards. I CO 24 stitches and knit 4 rows in Garter then Row 1: k4, purl to last 4 stitches then k4 Row 2: knit across I repeated this until about 6 yards of yarn remained and knit 4 more garter rows than CO. This is the Spring Colorway and I have an Autumn Colorway in the superwash wool. Here is a close-up of this scarf. I also have cast on the Fickle Fingers scarf from the Winter Issue of IK I really like the way it is comming I am using a Jo Sharp yarn and I making it into blocks of color. I should have it finished by next weekend. I have been contemplating the Knitting Olympics that the Yarn Harlot has going on but if I do I am thinking about a sweater. I have never knitted one and I think that it would be a feat for me to complete it in 16 days. I am looking at a couple of them if you all have any ideas for a easy one please let me know. Here is my tote of the day for the tote-along.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
A Day in the Life Of a Working Mother of Two Little Girls
January 10, 2006 My morning routine is the same every day. I get up at about 8am and proceed to get ready for the day. I like to be dressed and ready for the day before I wake up the girls since once they are up I don’t have much time to focus on myself as I have to keep them focused on the task at hand so that we can get out the door on time. So, I have to get both girls out off bed and dressed, this means faced washed, teeth brushed, hair fixed and then proceed to have a five-year-old and three-year-old try to tell me what they want to wear. This ordeal takes about ten to fifteen precious minutes of my time and once they are pleased with my choice we proceed to the kitchen to have breakfast. Breakfast in our home consists of a choice of cold cereal and milk, yogurt and toasted cheese sandwich, or a chocolate chip waffle. Today the later won out with both girls, which meant that I had an easy morning ahead, because this option could be ate in the car on the way to work. After breakfast I have to get the shoes on them and this is a process that on most mornings is drawn out by Shae the three-and-a-half-year-old, she decided that she did not wan to wear her boots that are easy to slip on and go. No, she wanted to wear the sneakers that have to be re-laced up because she cannot take them off without taking the laces all the way out. I did not want to push the issue because I knew that a tantrum would ensue at any moment if I did. Anastasia, the five-year old is so easy going that she was standing by the door ready to go by the time I had Shae’s shoes tied. We are normally out of the house by 9am but today we were running a little late (9:20) but with only a fifteen min. drive to our shop we would still arrive with time enough for me to check my e-mail before the shop opened at 10am. Arriving at the shop with fifteen minutes to spare, I was able to sit down to check the morning e-mail. The shop started getting busy as lunchtime approached and they girls started getting hungry. Thank goodness for a restaurant next door. I left the house this morning in such a hurry; I left the lunch bag on the counter. Shae and Anastasia were happy they love getting to order lunch. They get Chicken fingers, broccoli & cheese and Mac & Cheese. Anastasia loves it because she get to order Sweet Tea; her favorite. Shae loves it because she gets to pay, and gets a mint. After lunch I was hoping that they would take a nap but no luck in that department. I try to spend about an hour every afternoon spinning yarn and this afternoon the shop was a little slow so I was able to produce two full skeins and after washing and drying them I will be able to add the to the current stock. I enjoy the time I get to spin because I get to relax and feel the fiber slide through my fingers it really makes me feel creative. I can change type of the yarn that I spin just by changing the pressure I put on the fiber with my fingers. This part of the day is me time. I normally let the girls watch a learning video during this time so that they will not need too much attention. By the time I am finished with the washing and hanging of the yarn it is time to get ready to go home. I like to be able to check my e-mail once more before I leave for the day and catch up with a few of my blog buddies before I leave. I spend so much time on the computer at the shop that I do not have on at home so I have to take time for leisure reading at the end of my work day. I close the shop at 5pm every day, except if there is a knitting class and then we do not close until 8pm. I teach knitting classes on Tuesday and Thursday nights. On my 5 o’clock days I head home to cook dinner. Today I dropped the girls off at my mom’s house, so that I could grocery shop with out the “I wants” in the buggy, the girls. After having a peaceful shopping trip I picked them up so that they could be Mommy’s helpers with dinner. I have a recipe that they love to help with; it is a dump soup. I open the cans and they dump. It is not that easy I do have to cook the onions and add the spices so that they don’t put in too much but they do get to add the veggies and pre-cooked chicken. Anastasia wanted to help set the table and I let her. This is the new phase that she is going through. She wants to help with everything. She put out the bowls and spoon and sour cream and cheese, she was so proud of herself because she was able to get the dished all by herself. After Tim loaded the dinner dishes in the dishwasher. He started a load of Laundry and I gave the girls a bath and got the ready for bed. We decided to watch a movie and the girls got to pick it out. They were just happy that they were allowed to stay up to watch it. After the movie we all got ready to go to bed. I have to wait until bedtime to take a shower in this house because the girls and the husband use up all the hot water. This has been a day in the life of a working mother of two little girls.
Pictures of my WIPs
A busy weekend and start of the week and I did not get to post what I was able to get done over the weekend. Well here it is. I Spun the three skeins of yarn dyed a total of 6 oz of wool with cake dyes using vinegar as my mortant. I also started a ribbed scarf with one skein of Noro wool in colorway #95 I really like the way it is turning out I am now past the second pink repeat. I have someone who wants to buy it but I planned on sending it to my scarf exchange pal. It is just 24 stitches on #7 needles with a k4, p4 rib It has really knitted up quickly I also love the color work of the noro. I had to write a 800-1000 wrod essay for my english class today and I might just post it here it is titled "A Day in the Life of a Working Mother of Two Little Girls" Look for it to be the longest post that I have every posted.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? I do not like Red Heart much I will use lion brand novelty yarns. 2. Do you spin? Crochet? I spin but I do not Crochet. I have a Wheel. 3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? a Pencil holder 4. How long have you been knitting? Off and on for about 7 years but all the time for about 2 Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I would say that I am Intermediate 5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I have a Knit picks list and an Amazon list the links are in the side bar 6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) I really love "Love Spell" from Victoria Secret 7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I love Chocolate (milk, white) 8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? I like to Sew and I Quilt some. 9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I really like a lot of Music , Christian (Newsboys, True Vibe, Casting Crowns) Bluegrass, (Alisson Kraus) Rascal Flatts 10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? I like bright colors (spring, Jewel tones, Autumn Color) I do not like muddy colors 11. What is your family situation? Married 2 girls 5&3 Do you have any pets? 3 Dogs (outside) 1 Guine Pig, 4 Horses. 12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I love Scarves, I do not wear hats or ponchos. 13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? I love anything Crystal Palace 14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Rough Acrylic 15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? The Edgar from Knitty 16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? scarves, Felted bags, 17. What are you knitting right now? an Edgar scarf, a ribbed scarf, and a baby blanket 18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? yes 19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Both 20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? any 21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? no I do not have either but I do need one. 22. How did you learn to knit? I taught myself 23. How old is your oldest UFO? six months 24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? I love Tom and Jerry 25. What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving 26. Is there anything that you collect? Buttons, and Stamps 27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Vouge Knitting 28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? (Spinning Designer Yarns I just purchased this book for myself off of Amazon) I would love the Yarn Girls Guide to Simple Knits I have to borrow this book form the local Library and they never have it in when I want to use it. 29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I would love to learn the Mobius Cast on 30. Are you a sock knitter? I have made on sock and I have to finish the other one What are your foot measurements? 31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) 10/21
Saturday, January 07, 2006
"Sarah HB" of http://sarahhbknits.blogspot.com won the Decembet comment contest and I just wanted to say that she won the Simple Chic Book. I just need her to e-mail me her snail mail address and I will send it out.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
I am going fiber crazy here. I dyed these over the past couple of days they were all dyed on the stove top with kool-aid and I reayy like the way they truned out. the Pink is Pink Lemonade, the red is Strawberry and a little pink lemonade, and the yellow is Pineapple. This a 4oz handpainted top that I bought at a LYS Margarets Yarns Down Under in Monroe GA I also got this top at Margarets and I decided I wanted to spin singles for socks for Anastasia she loves the colors and so I am going to make a pair of anklets for her Here it is on the Bobbin and here is is being skeined up. I love my Ashford Niddy Noddy. It really makes it easy to make and measure the skeins. I have 138 meters or 150 yards on there. and the picture of the fiber above is what I have left of the 4oz so I know that I can have enough for another pair of socks.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
this bobbin was plyed with the one below and the green bobbin in the last phot of this post. This yarn is a scottish wool and I really like the way it turne out but it seemed a little too dark on its own so I plied it with the light green super merino. I have went throught all this fiber plus a couple of pounds more since I got my wheel the Wed. before Christmas. Except the Firestar I have only used a little of it so far. The Gray is Icelandic and the Green is super Merino and it turned out very soft. The first 2 skeins are a Commercial Rayon and a linen that I plyed with a rayon embrodery thread the 3rd skein is gray icelandic and the firestar nylon, #4 is a olive and deep purple merino thta I plied and the 5th skein is a gray icelandic with merino tuffs single.