Friday, March 29, 2013

FO Friday: Fiber Optic Gradient

This Monday, the snow was very obliging of a little photo shoot. I finished my third spinning project, the fiber optic gradient in the rouge-purple-cerulean colorway.

There is just something magical about yarn in fresh snow. For once I could get a color accurate shot (yay spring!).

I was hoping for a fingering weight but I got something closer to a worsted. There a chunky bits from where I finally figured out how to draft, and there are wicked thin bits where I plyed my later work on my later work.

The process of finishing this yarn was a bit of an epic. Here is where I was Friday afternoon (in a mad scheme to post this last week)

I decided after all to 2 ply, and keep the gradient like I originally planned. When I ran out of the first single I would ply the rest from the end of the second single.

After I finished the singles I let the last one rest. Unfortunately the other one had been resting for weeks on end. The residual twist was so much weaker, than I had to ply this sucker pretty hard to get the amount of glomping together that I wanted. To ply until the yarn no longer twisted on itself resulted in a really under plied yarn. My instincts were correct. Once I washed and thwaked I had one quarter twist to none in my skein. Before I had three twists.

I plied from 6pm to 11pm, and I was still in rouge by the time I went to bed.

I woke up at 10 and resumed plying. I was able to go until 2-3 before the hook striped out of the spindle. Defeated I wound the plied yarn onto a handy dandy paper towel roll. Later that afternoon I got toothpicks from the store, filled the hole with wood glue, followed by a broken toothpick, and then I had to wait 24 hours.

I could not wait 24 hours. My enabler, Jen, told me I could use it as a bottom whorl. So I went online, found a tutorial for setting up bottom whorl spindles, and I wound the yarn back on. I plied through a movie, and still I was not yet done.

Sunday morning I finally finished. So I wound it onto my niddy noddy, and took some pictures.

233 yd of a worsted weight. Obviously a little thick in places. What I like the most was that because my spinning was not super consistent, it made for a more gentle gradient from rouge to purple, and purple to blue. You can see it really well on the niddy noddy. I can't wait to knit this up. I am making a hat.

The blue I plied back on itself was 40 yds so there really wasn't a huge length mismatch between my singles. That was 16 g.

I wonder what my next braid will be. Hmmmm. You have as much of a clue as I do.

Go check out the other FO Friday Bloggers. It's fun!

Take care guys

Molly : )

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Joy and Smiles Episide 18: Our Indefinite Break

We talk about sewing with knit fabrics, when will spring ever come, our current knitting projects, my stashquisitions and life in general.

Take care guys!

Molly : )

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ninty Degrees of Evenstar: WIPW

I have reached the 14th repeat of the border chart, which means I have cast off 1/4 of my massive circular shawl.

The good news:

I memorized the chart, I don't need the post-it note blinder anymore, which is making everything go much quicker.

The bad news:

It is still so freaking complicated I can't possibly carry it around. So it is on my dining room table, and I turn on my indie rock pandora station and I go to town half a repeat at a time.

My makeshift beading tool broke, but not where I expected it to. I can no longer load 40 beads on at a time. But the crochet hook end I filed in is still working like a champ. Who knew?

My cowl grows ever longer. It has reached the drag on the ground if I am not paying attention stage. I am taking a photo class on craftsy so I tried to apply some of what I have learned so far. Here is where I am so far, or 40 inches long, 7 wide.

This picture is fairly typical, oh crap I am writing a blog post, quick snap one on the table.

This one had more foresight. I took it during daylight. I arranged all of the elements artfully. Everything is in focus. The cowl is skewed to fill the frame

I have taken shots like these before. I was trying to get a sense of depth.

I really like this one. I made it so the yarn was in focus, and the cowl enters focus. It just seems very inviting, like please knit me!

This one is a macro shot on the fabric itself. You can see how textured and nubby and thick and thin this yarn is. I think it gives a sense of how it feels to knit this, since it is basically at the same scale as when you are holding it in your hands.

I have been learning a decent amount, and hopefully I will learn more before the class is over.

In the spinning department, I am still working on my fiber optic gradient. Evenstar has been getting more of my home attention. Not last weekend, but the weekend before I did another quarter. That was a lovely weekend. The only thing on the agenda was knitting a spinning. And I did!

I am almost to the light blue, just a smidge more dark blue to go. I think I am going to 3-ply this, and not even maintain the gradient. There will be plenty of time to learn how to consistently spin thin, and well, this braid represents a decent chunk of learning, and is somewhat chunky in places because of that.

Department of Stashquisitions:

I bought a skein of Wollmeise lace on destash in the Chim Chim Chimney colorway. 

I think it wants to be a cardigan, with closures. I love the crap out of my featherweight, and I feel like this skein is destined to a better version of it. As in a completely different pattern, haha!

I highly encourage you to check out the other WIP Wednesday bloggers. I love linking up with you guys.

That's all for now, take care guys

Molly : )

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Joy and Smiles Episode 17: Our Spring Break

This week we talk about yarn bombing, and the journey of the sweater, and dressing our men, along with the usual WIP's FO's and whatnot.

Take care guys!

Molly : )

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Joy and Smiles Episode 16: Our New Format

This is the first episode with me as a co-host, I learned a lot! We are posting the videos on both of our blogs. This is the episode from February the 22nd.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

FO! Cinch Socks

By the time you receive this transmission they should already be in Canada.

 They don't fit me quite right, but they should work for the recipient.

 Yep I made Cinch for a swap.I will probably make Cinch for myself too.

I danced with 2 partners for the Sock Knitters Do-Si-Do KAL, though I didn't finish by the end of February. I sorta lost my need for speed after March hit. I was close : ) I am really happy I got a chance to knit these.

Having never knit a pay sock pattern before, I was really impressed with all of the information that Krysten (check out her blog) included in the pattern. I ended up only printing half of the 24 pages.

I know the side stripes were meant for scraps, but I decided that the main part could also use up some of my impressive scrap pile. I was 2 yards short with the purple for the toe, so I ripped back the first sock toe every row decreases to make them both match.

Never have I ever knit socks flat, and you know what, it was fun.It might be my love for making socks that are in the neither category when it comes to toe-up vs cuff-down. I am contrary like that.

My other modular knitting projects were actually right side only ones. It might have been a little bit of a stretch, for that KAL.

After knitting these it is easy to see a few places where I could fiddle with the fit. I did add a heel flap and gusset, but I could tweak the circumference with the strips either the contrast or the MC. I might make a pair for me with an even number in the strips instead of an odd to make them a smidge smaller.

In terms of lessons learned, no I can't knit a pair of socks for a deadline 10 days away with only normal knitting time, I didn't leave enough time to get these out the door.

That's all for now, take care guys!

Molly : )

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The agony and the irony: WIPW

I am using Noro for the first time.

I am charmed by the slow change of colors, and frustrated by the knot I came across that broke the transition.

The wee picture is to show the problem I came across. It is so freaking blurry that any larger would make you dizzy.

I tried to implement the just keep swimming method. Unfortunately  the sudden break was not going to get better the longer I knit.

So there were 2 options I could see to get around this difficulty. Both involved ripping out my work.

I decided to untie the knot and go back to the ball winder. I needed to get a sense for where the color I left off with was in the ball. Sad news, it was in the middle. I am loath to take scissors to a perfectly good ball of yarn.

So I decided to rewind to make the outside the inside. The outside was a blue/charcoal which was less jarring than jewel green.

The more I have knit, the better it looks and blends.

The pattern I am knitting is the indecisive stripes rib, and I am making an infinity cowl by knitting a strip (61 stitches to be exact on 2's), twisting once and sewing it together. Really the yarn is doing all of the work.

It is my carry around knitting for the time being, since Evenstar is not really fit for movement. I have re-done the first repeat. I have also implemented a post-it-note blinder. I need it, because I get so lost in the knitting of the border. I hope I can memorize it at some point, for now I just need to struggle through until that time comes.  Working the first repeat again proved that I was reading my knitting wrong the first time.

That is all for now. I have a FO for Friday yay!

Check out the other bloggers this week here.

Take care guys

Molly : )