WIP and Polwarth fleece

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Sing a Song of Sixpence shawl – I have just started the 6th stripe.  The last increase row was just before the aqua stripe started.  I have 10 stripes to go.  I’m very pleased with it even if it feels like there are a million stitches.  It’s folded in half for the picture.  It’s actually a full circle. Hand spun and hand dyed CVM wool.

 

Polwarth fleece – This is 1 pound and I paid $22.90 including shipping from Raw Fiber Arts Co on Etsy.  It’s got little bits of vm throughout but that’s not a big deal to me.  It’s actually quite clean compared to some fleeces I’ve dealt with. I expect it’ll wash up to a bright white.  I was quite impressed that it was a full chunk of fleece and not a jumbled up mess.  It was easy to pull the locks and the staple length is mostly quite long.  It is so so soft and doesn’t have a lot of lanolin.

It arrived in today’s mail and I swear, all I was planning to do was take it out back, spread it out and take pics and then bag it back up.  I’m busy and/or it will be raining for the next few days and I can’t wash until Monday. Once I got my hands in it, I was doomed.  I spent the next couple of hours pulling the locks and bagging them up for scouring.  And I loved every second of it.  Well, at least it’s all ready for Monday.

In other fleece news, I’ve made an appointment at a new sheep farm for this Saturday.  This one has Cormo, BFL, Shetland and Corriedale.  I’m not sure what I’ll be getting.  I’d love to try all of them but her prices run much higher than the other farm (actually the new place has more normal prices.  The other place was super cheap.)  She’s willing to sell partial fleeces so maybe I’ll get a few pounds of several.  I won’t know until I see what she has and get my hands into them.

 

Knitting WIPs and more

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Vinorina – A bottom up shawl that is quite slow going.  A lot of stitches. It’s finally worth showing now that you can see leaves along the bottom edge.  It’s a little fiddly at times.  On a few rows the stitch markers have to move and then move back on the following row which always make me a little paranoid that I’ve messed something up.

Speaking of messing things up A Downton Wedding Shawl is in time out. I’m off by one stitch on the stitch count.  But I’ve gone over it and I can’t find the mistake.  It goes from 347 stitches to 262 stitches in one row and I’m a stitch short.  When I do the math to get to 347 and then the math to get back to 262, I come up with my stitch count and not the one in the pattern.  I’ll probably finish this section (when I’m not so annoyed at it) with my stitch count (as long as it keeps working) and just fudge an extra stitch before the next section.

These are my bookshelves.  One side is random books, spinning books and pattern books.  The other side is stitch pattern books (minus one Brioche book, which is in a project bag.)

The other pic is my project bag/spinning wheel corner  All of the projects I keep in my room are there plus all the extra bags.  The bags in use have tags so I know what’s inside without having to open them.  A few projects have two bags, one for the main project and one for the extra yarn.

Knitting WIPs

I forgot to post yesterday.  I was caught up in rearranging/reorganizing a part of my work room and totally forgot.  I’m sorry.

I used to be a full time polymer clay artist.  I mostly made beads but dabbled in just about everything else you can do with polymer clay.  I had a business selling my creations for over 10 years and amassed a huge amount of supplies.  Eventually I burned out.  Attempting to keep up with fads and online sale sites changing policies and fee structures just took all the fun out of it.  I abruptly stopped creating, leaving me with around 100 lbs of clay and supplies/tools.  I dabbled in many things for a few years before finding my love of knitting and fiber.  I packed up most of my clay and supplies but kept them in my room.  Much of it is sensitive to heat so must stay in climate controlled storage, meaning my storage cubbies were out of the question.

I still don’t want to part with my polymer clay supplies as they do come in handy now and then.  I made around 30 drop spindles with polymer clay whorls and one of these days I want to get around to making shawl pins/clasps.  But those bins and drawers of supplies were cutting into fiber storage space.  My husband offered up some space in his basement (I have the extra bedroom, he has most of the basement for his workspace.)  So I moved much of the supplies to the basement, only leaving that which might be useful for other crafts (paints, glitter, etc.)  Wow, that opened up a lot of room.

So then I had to rearrange my fiber stuff to fit in the newly opened up space.  I’m quite pleased so far.  I don’t think I’m quite done.  Some things may get moved around as I use them and find that a different spot works better.  Now I just need my husband to build my project bag corner and I’ll be set.

Anyway, before this organizing frenzy I did get knitting done.

Sing a Song of Sixpence – I just started the 3rd color.  There are six colors but 15 color changes.  This is handspun and hand dyed CVM.

A Downton Wedding Shawl – I’m sort of plodding along on this. I’m about 1/3 through section 3.

I’m also waiting for books to arrive from Amazon.  As well as books from inter-library loans from all over my state.  I’m trying to put together a wish list on Amazon so that when I do find myself with some extra cash I don’t have to spend days deciding what books to buy.  I also like to see books before I buy them.  Too often the reviews and descriptions don’t tell me enough to know if a book will be useful to me.

Once the Amazon books arrive I’ll have to show a pic of my bookshelf.  Interestingly about half are stitch pattern books, bought from thrift stores and rummage sales.  I never pass up a cheap stitch pattern book.

Knitting WIP

Sorry for the lack of WIP post last week.  It was our birthday week (my husband and I share a birthday, 4 years apart) and he took the week off of work.  We were snowed in for the first day so did a Downton Abbey marathon.  That turned out to be so much fun that we did it the next day (and the roads were still messy anyway.)  The next two days we spent out shopping.  When I did have time to knit I worked on my cowl design which I couldn’t show you anyway.

I finished the cowl over the weekend and will be releasing the pattern tomorrow.  Since finishing the cowl I’ve been working on A Downton Abbey Wedding Shawl.

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I’m three rows from finishing the third section. Three (increasingly difficult) sections and a border to go.  Although to be honest, the eyelet rows are the most difficult for me.  It’s not that the stitches that are difficult but for some reason they make my hand hurt.  I have to take at least an hour break after finishing one to let my hand rest.

I’ve got the chart and yarn picked out for my next design but I’m taking a break from designing.  I don’t want to burn out on doing colorwork and I would like to make more progress on my other WIPs.

Speaking of other WIPs, I have made some progress on some of them but it’s either not enough to make it worth showing or so boring that I’m just waiting until it’s done. My Jacob wool garter shawl is one that’s boring.  I knit on it during Nascar races and I’m making good progress but really, who wants to see acres of garter stitch?

Oh and on one of those shopping days we stopped at a yarn store and I got some beautiful silk (Mawata) hankies for spinning.  I’ve never spun them before and I’m a little intimidated by them.  I’ve researched how to spin them and I understand it but I just haven’t gotten up the courage (or the time) to start spinning.

I may or may not get a WIP post up next week.  I want to sew more project bags and I’m hoping to start next week. There’s nothing wrong with having dozens of project bags is there?  I need to find a way to store the ones with projects in them.  I can’t leave them on the floor or the cats will get into them and I don’t have any spare horizontal surfaces to put them on.  Maybe I can put hooks in the ceiling.  Or I’ve got a bit of empty wall above my spinning wheel.  I’ll have to see if my husband can build me something there.

Knitting WIPs

 

Sing a Song of Sixpence – Still on the first color but I’m getting near the end.  I’ll soon do another increase row and I think that either during or right after those increases I’ll get to start the next color.

Vinorina Shawl – Just started this one.  It’s bottom up so you cast on a lot of stitches and decrease your way up.  I have to say that the beginning was a bit confusing.  The stitch markers kept moving.  I’m now in a section where they are staying put but the next part is a bit confusing again.  This is all in the written instructions.  I expect that the charts aren’t as confusing but I can’t read charts easily.  I can do it but not while knitting at the same time. Yarn is reclaimed silk/cashmere.

I did a little work on Dracula’s Bride but not enough to show.  It really just looks like a scrunched up red mess.

I’ve been working on the red and black fair isle cowl but I’ve decided to publish the pattern so custom says I should no longer show it.  I expect to release it by the end of February.  I’m almost done knitting, then it’s washing and blocking and photos.  I’ve been working on writing the pattern and that’s starting to look pretty good.  Now if I could only think up a name that’s not color based and original.

I’ve decided to drop the Winter Twilight Mitts.  I’m pretty sure they will fall into the painful sock knitting category.  I’ve figured out that its a combo of thin yarn, small needles and small circumference.  I can knit with the thin yarn on small needles but only if the circumference is larger, such as a hat or cowl or larger.  I’m planning on designing more fair isle cowls and I’ll use the yarn for that.

 

Knitting WIPs

Sing a Song of Sixpence – I just cast this on this morning so there’s not much to see.  It’s handspun CVM.

Cowl – I’m about 3/4 done.  I adore this.  It’s turning out so well.

Jacob Shawl – The third of a trio.  This one is a triangle shape like the first one.  It’s just knit until I run out of yarn.

I rather overdid it on the cowl on Monday and my thumb/wrist has been hurting. I seem to do this every couple of weeks.  So I was doing things other than knitting, including going through my stash and labeling everything.  I also matched yarn to about a half dozen patterns so I know what I’ll be casting on all year.

I also spent a few days dyeing yarn.

 

The first is one colorway for the Ring of Fire brioche cowl.  I also did one in shades of purple.  The second is fifteen 100 yard skeins for Sing a Song of Sixpence.  There are 6 colors, although it may look like more since there were some oddities in dyeing.  Some I oven dyed and some kettle dyed and the oven dyed ones are somewhat unevenly dyed.  It’s fine since the plan is just to knit until a skein runs out and then semi-randomly add a new one.

I’m still taking it easy on the knitting as things still hurt.  Good thing is that I’m dedicating February to spinning which generally doesn’t bother my wrist and thumb (although does bring different aches if I overdo it.)  I did finish combing Patrick the CVM from 2016 and spinning that will be my main focus.

Knitting WIPs

In my last post, I said I was not going to do the collar for the dressing gown and than I didn’t like the lace edging in the pattern.  I found an edging that I like – Angel Lace from Knitting Beyond the Edge by Nicky Epstein.  It’ll look better once it’s blocked.  Only 20 ft to go.

This is the next and last swatch from Knitting Fresh Brioche by Nancy Marchant.  This is 2 repeats of Reversed Long Leaf.  I think I’ll do one more repeat before casting off.  I’m thinking of doing Ring of Fire from that same book but I’ll need to find/dye some yarn first.  I think it’s the colors that grab me most in that pattern.

I’m just over halfway on my Fair Isle cowl.  I’m quite pleased with it.  I’ve had to correct a few mistakes on my chart.  My tension and floats are good – perhaps a bit too loose, but I’m happy with the fabric I’m getting.  Check out the backside up at the top.  Those are the best looking floats I’ve ever had.  I’m thinking of releasing this as a paid pattern, just a buck or two.

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I blocked the dressing gown!  And lost my dining room for two days while it dried.  I tried not to stretch it too much but wow, this thing is huge.  I had to fold up the sleeves as they didn’t fit on the boards.