Sunday, November 27, 2005

sea of orange

Thanksgiving holidays (and lots of riding in a car) has given me lots of time to work on the Big Orange sweater. Here's the first big ape arm lounging on the couch.
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As you can see, i'm using my favorite "plain sweater" pattern book: Knit Great Basics by Vicki Square. (i think this is the 5th sweater that i've made from this book.) Its a really wonderful book. How many times have you bought your yarn because it was on super-sale but then searched through every knitting book in your library trying to find a suitable pattern for the yarn? Or you might be thinking "geez, i just want a sweater. a simple sweater that my husband will actually wear". This book is especially great for making men's sweaters. It consists of templates for making very simple (no waist shaping) sweaters where you choose pull-over or cardigan; drop shoulder or set-in sleeve; and v-neck / round neck. You pick the finished size you want, the gauge of the yarn you are using and its got the numbers already worked out for you. its awesome. Many people are put off by the strange short hand drawings, but once you figure out how it works its so quick and easy. I recently did the math and figured out that one page of drawings contains the possibility for SIXTY-FOUR different sweaters!! and of course you can add any stitch pattern you want on top of that. It also contains templates for simple hats, socks, and mittens.

ok, enough babbling. here's a close-up of the yarn:
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i'm really very pleased with how luscious the yarn is knitting up! Some year, when i actually finish this, it will be a great sweater. ha!

Monday, November 21, 2005

holiday presents!

a friend recently asked me to make her a "long, skinny scarf in neutral colors". sure thing, shopping excuse! It was fun to buy one skein each of a few different yarns i've been wanting to play with. normally i wouldn't allow myself to do that.

Well, i made her scarf. I crocheted it in stripes the long way. I think she'll like it. but it used less than half of each skein. So i made a zig-zag scarf with the rest of the yarn (also crocheted). Then i was on a roll, so i started crocheting more scarves as holiday presents. The two brightly colored ones here are made from my handspun yarn. I don't normally crochet. i only know very basic stitches and i just make up the rest as i go along. scarves i can handle.

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I am terrible at keeping presents secret. so if you are a friend of mine and you receive one of these scarves for christmas, act surprised. pretend you didn't see it her first, ok?

Murphy Strikes Again.

I am making good progress on the yoke of my Rosedale Sweater. Truckin' right along.
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This is significant because it means that something else is going to happen when i least expect it. See this innocent basket of cast-off granny squares here?
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(i was working on a granny square afghan, but i abandoned it at least 3 years ago. anyone want them? there's about 1/3rd of an afghan's worth. plus the yarn for the rest.)

but that's not the point. the point is that i was looking for something else in my craft room... but look what i found UNDER the bag of granny squares:
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yes, that would be the missing Kureyon. We all saw that one coming a mile away...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

coolest new (to me) knitting thing

Have you seen these "Monster Hat" kits at Insubordiknit? I am blown away. I think they are the cutest, most creative thing i've seen done with handspun wool in ages. I just love each individual monster!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

inspired to spin

I haven't started spinning anything that i got from Fiber Twist yet... but the purchases did inspire me to work on some other fiber in my stash. Pondering what to make with my yummy purple & gray wool/angora from Bay Colony Farm, i remembered the beacoup de natural colored wool/angora i've still got from my Spinning-a-dream purchase last year. I think it will go very well with the purple and gray from the Fiber Twist.

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I spun up these 3 bobbins, which came out to about 1,000 yards of finished yarn. I'm seeing it as an airy ballet wrap top. They are so cute and popular right now but i just can't look at them without thinking of Ms. Polkinen, my ballet teacher from way back at Pacific Northwest Ballet. maybe i'll think of something else. something pretty to make out of really soft angora / romney blend... ideas?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

wicked sleevage

here i am mugging for the camera last week:
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Dharia strong.... Dharia conquer sleeves!!

Ribby Cardi has sleeves AND side seams, but still no neck or zipper. I am going to wear this sweater before 2005 has ended. that's my vow.

Fiend gets Fix at Fiber Twist

i didn't go to Rhinebeck... but i'm feeling better now. I got my fix at the Franklin County Fiber Twist, which proved to be an excellent event in its first year!

It was so fun to see all my fiber friends again. I always love fondling Helen's lovely bunny rovings from Bay Colony Farm. I just HAD to come home with 2 balls of wool/angora blend. mmmmmmmm, bunnnnyyyyy.

The next purchase that jumped into my arms was some beautiful wool from Sojourner Sheep. She had so many lovely color combinations that i had a hard time deciding. I got a blue/green mix that was grown by a sheep named Lydia. I love knowing the name of the sheep where my wool came from!

One feature that makes the new Fiber Twist different from other festivals is the open farm you can visit. I wish i had more, but the day was getting late and i only had time to visit one farm. I really wanted to see Winterberry Farm, where i purchase the orange and gold fleece for Darius' Big O(range) Sweater. I am just SO pleased with how the yarn is turning out from that fleece. It knits up really soft and squishy and exactly what i wanted it to be. Sadly, Mabel was out to pasture so i couldn't show her the swatch i knit from her wool!

I just couldn't leave Winterberry without some more fleece. This time it was a bag of washed and dyed Cormo in dark green tones. This stuff is the softest soft that ever softed. like, totally, fer real. no way. way!

clearly its too late and grad school has started to melt my brain cells. i'm going to sleep now!