Maxfield Progress, Finally!

Getting some knitting time, and after finally finishing my last¬†Maxfield Cardigan yarn during the Tour de Fleece, I’m done spinning! That means that it’s time to put the spurs to this sweater. I really want to wear it this winter. I’ve also got a road trip coming up, so perfect time to make some progress!

Purple Maxfield Yarns

Red Maxfield Yarns

Most of the finished yarns are primarily merino. There are also a couple corriedale yarns (which I can really tell the difference on) and there’s a polwarth one in there too. They all came out at approximately a DK/Worsted yarn.

I have decided to work the sleeves and the body at the same time so I can make sure I have enough of a particular yarn to complete the chevrons on all three pieces. It will also be nice because when I get up to the underarms, I’ll be ready to join it all together and continue on.

It seems like the hardest part will be figuring out how to line up the colors. I ended up with approximately 1905 yards of yarn. That should hopefully be plenty as the pattern calls for 1650 yards in my size. All I know is this will be one cozy, squishy sweater!

Fixing Plying Mistakes – One single plys with it’s self

For the most part, this is a more common problem for new spinners, but every now and then, I still have one of my singles that has a little too much twist in it, it slips past my fingers when I’m plying, and the result is a little ‘fringe’ of the one single that plyed with it’s self.

IMG_5560Please don’t mind the dog hair or my crappy old sweatshirt.

So, here’s my little section of the one single that got free and plyed against it’s self. To fix it, I grabbed a cable needle, but a tapestry needle or a knitting needle, or even your fingers would work too. At the base of the little fringe, I inserted the needle.

IMG_5561Then I unplyed the little fringe. At this point, I stuck my thumb in to keep it from twisting back on it’s self.

IMG_5562Then I just used my fingers to spread it along the other single, making this little section a little looser plyed, but then the fringe is gone.

IMG_5563Voila! (and if you’re trying to figure out what’s written on my hand, it’s windex. Don’t laugh, lol)

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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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© Madelinetosh, Tosh Merino Light in Black Velvet Continue reading

Bobbins Up Review

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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:

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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:

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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.

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

Gotta Love A Three Ply

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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.