Slay Those WIPs!

I’m trying to tell myself that I need to get rid of some WIPs before I’m allowed to start anything new. Right now, I’ve got two sweaters, a shawl, a cowl, some socks, a needle cushion, and a Beekeeper’s Quilt in progress. The Beekeeper’s Quilt isn’t going to happen anytime soon. That’s just me being realistic.

Image

I’ve been working on it since December of 2011, and I only have about 36 of 480 puffs done. So yeah, it has a ways to go. Let’s not even talk about the Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt I started piecing back in 2007. Quite a few more hexagons, but still a loooooooong way to go. Continue reading

Handspun Magrathea

I’m currently working on a little KAL with another person in my knitting group, and we’re knitting Magrathea by Martina Behm. Martina Behm patterns are pretty popular on Ravelry. It’s pretty likely that you, or someone you know, has knit something she’s designed. I actually didn’t even realize that this is the second of her designs I’ve done. I also knit a Pepita.

I am currently working on the second edging chart. Only 5 rows away from binding off!

Image

I’m knitting this shawl for my mom. Especially because she loves my handspun yarn, and I think it would be really nice for her to wear at school. Continue reading

Fixing a GIANT Hole

Image

Back in 2012, I knit my mom some mittens out of a beautiful batt that I spun in to a scant 100 yards of alpaca yarn. My mom always loves seeing my handspun yarn, so I knew she would love something made from it.

Image

I managed to squeak a pair of mittens out of it and she really liked them. A year later, her Yellow Lab puppy decided he really liked them too. Continue reading

Shawls, the Last Thing on the Plannet I Want to Knit

Knitting (and especially crochet) has a stigma for those that aren’t into the hobby. When you tell a lot of people you’re knitting something, I think a lot of people automatically picture scratchy, crappy yarn of doom from Walmart or Hobby Lobby and ugly, ugly doilies. And there’s still plenty of people that are using those materials and making those kind of projects.

For me, that is exactly where I used to classify shawls. Shawls are made of lace, lace is an integral part of doilies, you get where I’m going here. However, thanks to Ravelry, and being part of a group that has several members that are into shawls, I have realized that like anything with knitting, you can beautiful, modern, and trendy. I am officially on the shawl bandwagon. I am even toying with creating a shawl pattern.

When we went on vacation in the fall, we spent the night in Fort Collins, Colorado, and I was determined to buy some yarn before we left. The yarn store I visited was pretty limited in what they had, but they did have some Tosh Merino Light by Madelinetosh.

Image

© Madelinetosh, Tosh Merino Light in Black Velvet Continue reading

Bobbins Up Review

Image

In case you missed my earlier post, I recently purchased a few bobbins from Bobbins Up. At the time, I had yet to get my new Ashford wheel, and I only had my antique wheel. As much as I love my antique wheel, it has one bobbin, and I HATE winding a single off that bobbin and onto other, much larger, wooden bobbins that I had picked up over the last couple years. It was my least favorite thing about spinning. Luckily, I stumbled across a post in Ravelry about Bobbins Up. Continue reading

Truffle Hot Chocolate Mix

A couple days ago, I realized I was still in need of some small Christmas gifts, and I was on a Hot Chocolate kick. I didn’t want to do the typical powder in a mason jar thing, and I ran across these on Pinterest:

Image

Hot Chocolate Truffles by yourcupofcake.com

Loved the recipe, but I was in a little bit of a time crunch as far as rolling truffles was concerned. Plus I hate washing my hands after each truffle and it gets pretty messy. Then I found this recipe:

Image

Truffle Hot Chocolate Mix by Just Another Day in Paradise

I liked the first recipe better (of course now that I look back, there wasn’t much of a difference), but I loved the ease of spooning the ganache (because, really that’s all we’re making) into small mason jars. So I made recipe 1 and packaged it like recipe 2. The one tweak I did was I used dark chocolate rather than milk. I spooned it into the jars (there was really no need for a funnel, just be careful) and I added some crushed candy cane on top. I think you could get two large cups out of this or three small.

Image

Sorry for the crappy on-the-counter-in-the-evening-phone-picture.

Gotta Love A Three Ply

image

The first yarn for my Maxfield Cardigan is finished. I’ve realized the biggest challenge with this project will be trying to keep all the yarns about the same weight.
I’m supposed to be spinning DK for this sweater, but I think this came out a little heavier. Looks like I’ll have to make some adjustments to the pattern.
I decided I would like all these yarns to be three ply. In my opinion, three ply handspun looks a little less rustic. I want the colors to be crazy, not the texture. Plus, I love the way a three ply looks, nice and rounded with the colors all jumbled up.
I started by splitting the batt into 1/3rds. It ran as a gradient of orange-red into purple. I wanted all the colors to run through the entire yarn, so this was about the best way to make it happen.
For a batt, it was pretty smooth, it was carded really nicely. I wouldn’t mind picking up a few more.

Christmas Yarn & a New Wheel!

Finished up the Christmas yarn I have been working on. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I think I would have liked the way a top dyed with these colors would have spun up better, but I wanted the icicle in there and that’s a pain with top. Guess I need a drum carder :P

The merino I dyed green wasn’t my favorite. It was some light tan stuff someone sent me in a swap (worst swap gift ever btw, they also sent me this horrible coarse crap dyed salmon. I’m currently using it as fiber fill on a softie I’m working on). It dyed up ok, but compared to the other merino top, it had a squeeky, plastic-ie quality that gives me the heebie jeebies. Not too noticeable once it’s spun up, but boy oh boy, did it drive me nuts when I was spinning it.

Because I made rolags with it, it drafted out in lumps that didn’t look so hot, but since I did a 3ply, it didn’t look too bad. So anyway, I ended up with ~127 yards of a DK weight yarn. The mix is merino/alpaca/silk/icicle. Got me in the Christmas spirit, I’ve been listening to Pandora’s Christmas station all day.

Image

Totally in love with the icicle I dyed green for this. I used what I thought was a good amount of Jaquard Kelly Green to match all the other Kelly Green I dyed, but it turned out an awesome highlighter-green color. I could probably never do it again if I tried!

In other news, I have my Christmas present early! My husband has a friend who knew someone wanting to get rid of their Ashford Traditional. According to Ashford’s website, I think it’s from the late ’80s to early ’90s. It’s got some dings in the wood, but for the most part, it’s in pretty good shape. It’s single drive, single treadle. I think they stained it the walnut finish, and I like it. My husband got it for $250, which was a decent deal. No extra bobbins or lazy kate, but I’ve got the lazy kate he made me and he’s already ordered me some new bobbins. Check it out!

Image

Working on another yarn for my Maxfield Cardigan!

New Spinning Wheel/SWSO

New Wheel?

My very thoughtful husband surprised me with this on Friday. Unfortunately, even though he is pretty knowledgeable, it’s a SWSO or Spinning Wheel Shaped Object. I upset him by pointing out just what, exactly, was not right with it (need to work on my tact), but in his defense, it’s pretty damn close. Everything is technically there, and I suppose if I could keep a drive belt on it, it would, technically, spin.

Close Up of 'Spinning Wheel'

The biggest problem at the moment is the fact that the spindle is wooden and the whorl is nailed to it. We’re also having a problem with the Mother of All wobbling around all over the place; the whorl and the wheel not lining up properly, causing the band to pop off; and the wheel slipping on the pin that connects the footman to the wheel.

The general consensus with people on Ravelry is that it is not a real wheel, but my husband and I have decided that it is damn close enough, so we will be making some new parts and attempting to change this from a SWSO to a Spinning Wheel (this all works a lot better when you have a talented husband with access to a wood shop and metal shop).

First step will be machining a new spindle out of metal rather than wood. My husband has a few improvements he wants to make also. I’ll break down what we did when he’s done with it.

If you know anything about this wheel, I’d love for you to share it with me! It’s numbered (you can barely make it out in this photo, sorry for the crappy quality).

Number 049

Looks like it is #049. No other maker’s marks or anything. Very weird. Where are the other 48??

In other news, my Bobbins Up bobbins showed up on Friday also (VERY fast shipping). I played with them a little but didn’t take any photos. I’m spinning up the last 1/3 of my Christmas yarn, so I’ll have to remember to take photos when I transfer it onto a bobbin. Initial thoughts, they work great, the biggest PITA was that the drill I am going to use for it was stone cold dead and my husband informed me that I needed to wait 24 hours for it to charge properly before using it.