Wednesday, December 28, 2005
My quality control inspector checks out my latest project. Last year I learned to knit socks, starting on New Year's Day and ended up knitting I think 15 pair. This is going to be the year for felting, and here are my first pair of slippers. I used Lamb's Pride Worsted and Fiber Trends Ballet slippers pattern.
The felting process is so easy, and it's just amazing how fast these felted down. It took about 25 minutes in the washer. I had inadvertently turned one wrong side out, so I reversed it and put it back in for a couple of minutes, and it looks fine.
These will be the family Christmas presents for next year, I hope. Of course, I planned on doing that with socks, but I ended up just giving people their socks as soon as I finished. One of my New Year's resolutions will have to do with having self control!!
Friday, December 23, 2005
My first Branching Out from Knitty. I bought the Silky Wool from Sunflower in Taos when we went to the Wool Festival. This is such a satisfying pattern - fairly easy to do and quick to finish. I have about 12" of a black one done, and then one more skein of Silky Wool in a greenish-goldish color. I tried this pattern in Baby Silk from Elann, but it is too drapey.
The image is a little fuzzy, but here are baby socks made with some of the KoolAid dyed yarn from this summer.
I really love the undyed sock yarn from KnitPicks. The skein was enough so that I made a pair of women's size 8 socks, these two pair of baby socks, and still have enough left for another pair of baby socks. I don't know how the mom will feel about handwashing baby socks, but I thought they were really pretty. These are going to twin girls born last July.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
Taos Wool Festival - what fun!!
On the left are the alpacas - beautiful animals! On the right are the baby yaks - part of the animal exhibit. I haven' t yet found out what yak fiber is used for, but aren't they cute.
There were interesting demonstrations - we watched the sheep shearing done with hand clippers.
The booths were pretty good also. Lots of roving, spinning things and dyeing things, which I am not so interested in, but some great yarn also. I bought 3 hanks from the Brooks booth - great handpainted mohair and mohair blends. I also found some beautiful yarns at Plain and Fancy Wool, also hand dyed and just beautiful. I will post pictures of the yarn as soon as I get time.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
It has been a long time since I last posted, but I have been knitting. I actually have 4 socks in progress, but these are the ones I am concentrating on. The one on the left is from the KoolAid dyeing party. The one on the bottom is KnitPicks Sock Landscapes in Gladiolus and I'm using the rib and cable pattern from Interweave Knits. The upper right is Lorna's Laces in Gold Mine; these are my first experiment in a pattern of my own - sort of. I found a spiraling cable pattern in Harmony Guide and made it fit my sock pattern.
I am also 12 rows from the armholes on a Rogue Hoody and have two scarves going. Thanks goodness football season is starting, so I should have lots of knitting time as I watch; except when the Sooners play because I will need to concentrate then.
The start of school has also slowed me down. I am teaching in two buildings this year: 9th in a high school and 8th in a middle school. It is going to take a lot more organization than I usually have to make this year work!
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Thanks to AgnesB from Knitters Review, I joined the Six Sock Knitalong. I saw her Chutes and Ladders socks on her blog and loved the pattern. So, I joined last week and here are my finished socks. I used Patons Kroy in Windsor Tweed, using US2 Bryspun needles, and casting on 70. I love the way this pattern turned out. If I can ever figure out how, I will put a button to the knitalong on this blog.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
What an amazingly peaceful place to sit and knit; I'm on the deck of a friend's cabin outside of Angel Fire, N.M. They have worked incredibly hard to refurbish this fishing cabin into a comfortable and beautiful place to relax. It is a trek to get there, but absolutely worth the effort. I sat and knitted and watched hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and chipmunks.
It is also about 40 minutes away from Taos, so of course we had to go to get great Mexican food (the best vegetable tamales in the world) and yarn for me. We went to Taos Sunflower, which is on the road to the ski area in Arroyo Seco; what a great place! I saw so many yarns that I have only been able to read about before; they had a huge inventory! I was able to get Lavold's Silky Wool to finally make Branching Out from Knitty, and Lamb's Pride worsted to try felting. It was such a pleasant store - very large and cool and such nice ladies at the counter.
This was relaxing trip - a great way to end the summer before I have to get back in the classroom and face freshmen again.
We took a short trip to a friend's cabin near Angel Fire, N.M. and stopped at this alpaca ranch on the way. This is the Victory Ranch just outside Mora, N.M. where they have one of the largest alpaca herds in the U.S. It was spectacular! You can watch the alpacas grazing, feed them (at designated times), and browse the shop with clothing made from alpaca fiber and, best of all, YARN! I'm on the left in the picture above, with my friend who does not understand yarn addiction, but was kind enough to indulge my passion for yarn. They even had a spinning wheel set up for people to try. They had several different weights of yarn, although not all of it was from their herd, and supplies for spinning. I kept my purchase to four skeins of worsted weight, actually from Peru, because it was a great black/purple blend; I'm going to make myself a scarf when I can decide on a pattern. They have a website under construction, victoryranch.com, and will be selling their products online in the future. They also sell the alpacas - I was highly tempted! They had a wall full of the awards their animals have won at various shows and fairs.
Anyway, for those in the area or traveling in the area, this is a great place to visit. We also stopped at a weaving place in Mora, where a group obtained a federal grant and set up a place to teach weaving and get the craft going again in the area. They are currently working on setting up equipment to spin their own yarn also. And, just down the road from the alpaca ranch, is a raspberry farm where people can pick their own fresh raspberries, or be lazy like me and just buy jam already made.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Sunday, July 17, 2005
These are pictures of some of the sock yarn we dyed yesterday. Both were done with KoolAid, the top one being:
Strawberry Lemonade, Black Cherry, Strawberry Starfruit, Grape, Cherry.
The bottom was:
Pineapple, Lemon-Lime, Mango, Jamaica, Arctic Apple
I was disappointed with a couple of the darker colors that didn't dye evenly; the grape and the Jamaica are mottled in places. I thought the Black Cherry would be darker; it looked darker on the color chart in the knitty article. Mostly I was very pleased though. It was a lot easier to dye with KoolAid than with Rit.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Here is the great sock yarn dyeing party. My sister, my niece, and a friend from school all helped dye 8 skeins of KnitPicks merino wool yarn.
We did 4 skeins in the watermelon colorway from the book Yarns to Dye For, although I could not find the dye specified, so we used Rit. I tried to match the colors in the book, but the yarn turned out a great deal darker than that in the book. I learned that Rit, even when mixed with a lot of water, makes a very strong color.
We used KoolAid to dye 3 skeins of self striping yarn: I did yellows and greens with one stripe of dark red (Jamaica KA). The Mango KA made a great orangey yellow and the Arctic Apple made a light, almost minty green.
My niece did 7 colors that ended up looking like Starbursts. When the yarn is dry, I will post a picture of it.
The last one was pinks, purple, and reds. The Strawberry Starfruit makes a really nice rose pink.
The hardest part of the dyeing was wrapping the yarn in plastic wrap. Typical Texas Panhandle - we had a constant breeze that kept us cool but blew the plastic wrap.
All in all, it was a lot of fun and I can hardly wait to start knitting the socks. It was worth the time and effort. Tough for me to get through this because I went to a Harry Potter Midnight Sale, read the book - finished at 4:30 am, and then got up at 7:0o am to get going on the dyeing. But, I am already planning the next dyeing party!
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
I had to make 7 (yes, SEVEN) attempts at this thing before I finally got past all my mistakes. Not all my mistakes - there is an error in the chart for the straps, and I think corrections should be posted on the Lavold site by now. I even cast on the wrong number and had to frog from the beginning of the straps down to nothing and start over.
I did learn to properly do YO. I searched all my reference books and finally found a simple explanation in an edition of Cast On. They said, "just make sure the yarn is in the front" and it worked!
I was very pleased with the straps when I finished blocking. I know they are hard to see in the picture, but I can't get a picture from my daughter without a cat in it. The center, that you can't see, has a broken rib pattern.
Once I finally got past all the silly mistakes, this was an easy sweater to do. I am thinking about doing another one, perhaps in Rowan's Calmer.
Friday, June 03, 2005
This has been the project that doesn't want to be completed. I had difficulty with the straps because I have never done a lace pattern before. I had to email Elsebeth Lavold because I thought there was a problem with the chart, and I was right. She emailed me within a couple of days with the correction, so I kept going, and then realized I had the wrong number of stitches in the broken rib section, so I had to start all over. I finally have both the front and the back to the lace part. Surely I can do it now because I have tried it three times already!
Here is the result of a trip to a yarn store - I haven't been to a really yarn store in a couple of years. This is from the Shaggy Sheep in Lubbock, TX. What a great store - lots of interesting yarn and a very knowledgable owner. I was strong however, and only got the Rowan Calmer that I had come for. The color is Amour, and it is a much darker red than it appears. I am making Audrey from Rowan 35.
Here is a sampling of the Silkroad that I managed to get from Elann. It was really a frenzy - one of the colors I wanted sold out before I could get to checkout - about 30 seconds! I did get 8 balls of Merlot, 3 of Opal and 16 of Venetian. I have a cabled cardigan pattern for the Venetian, a scarf pattern for the Opal, and I have no idea for the Merlot - I just really love the color.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
I am working on the Broadribbed socks from Knitty, using the cotton Esprit yarn from elann, and I really like them also. Although, I am using Brittany Birch needles and have already broken one. Thank goodness for their guarantee!
I'm not sure what to do next. I have accumulated enough yarn for 26 pair in my stash - elann, KnitPicks, Opal, Regia. I am looking at patterns in Socks, Socks, Socks, and Knitting for the Road. I think I will use a solid color and try the Denmark cables next.
Saturday, March 12, 2005
1. To display my knitting projects and received comments from other knitters
2. To let my family/friends see what I am working on
3. For random ramblings on various topics.
I especially want to hear from other knitters. I live in a knitter deprived area; most of the knitters I know are my students that I taught to knit - that has been great fun, but most of them are 12 years old and don't have a lot to add to my knitting knowledge. I know I really enjoy looking at other knitting blogs, and I hope to get comments to help me grow as a knitter.
Of course, there are the other topics such as OU sports (Yeah Boomer Sooners), cats, daughter, books, etc.
I will post pictures as soon as I figure it all out. I also hope to customize this blog more, but again, I am new to this stuff and will have to research. So, more to come.