Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WIP Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Busy day!!

2011-02-23 17.42.28.jpg

Blanket squares sent from all around the world and I'm making them into a blanket on the left.  On the right, from the top down we have the Mermaidia socks that were finished and then became unfinished and now have since been finished again (grrrrrr), Celeste Shawl (I'm about to insert a lifeline and rip back a repeat (grrrr!!!), and the lehmus-huivi shawl (Leafy Lehmus on the sidebar there) which is my joy right now. :D


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Project 13: Itty Bitty Quiddy

Knitting with your own handspun is a transcendent experience.

I enjoyed every second of knitting up this little sweater, using my Hurley Yellow handspun yarn.  I made it for a little fun challenge on Ravelry to make a team of four and have each team member make part of a miniature Quidditch uniform.  My team, consisting of two Slytherins, a Ravenclaw, and I, a Hufflepuff, made a Gryffindor-esque uniform.  It was just for fun, but this month's Potions prompt is for making something to sneak a love potion, and I'm sure it could be done in a tiny sweater!


Pattern: Heavily modified from Zimmer-Minis (free pattern)

Yarn: Hurley Yellow Handspun, my own handspun, blogged here

Needles: Size 7 (aluminum) and 8 (bamboo) double pointed needles

Roughly 20 yards

Rav page

Mods: I used much heavier yarn, so everything was scaled down yet again from a pattern for a miniature sweater.  An adventure!

This month's Potions assignment is to craft something that will disguise or hide a love potion, and Defense Against the Dark Arts involves knowing what's in a love potion that would take you down.  So for DADA I dyed some yarn (to be posted later!) and my dye will have a cunning disguise.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Project 12: Hurley Yellow Handspun

I finally finished up this spinning project that I started way back in November!


This is Younger Yarn Superwash roving in the Hurley colorway.  I used bits of this fiber for learning different techniques, so some went into a 2-ply that I used an Andean bracelent technique to ply back in November:


Some went into the chain-ply practice from the spinning class I took last November, with some mixed in red fiber from my neighbor in order to see what I was doing a bit easier:


And finally I spun the rest of the roving up into singles, which I got around to chain plying during the Super Bowl.  Since the yarn was ridiculously overtwisted I ran it back through the wheel using my biggest whorl (4.5:1, same as plying) to try to correct it a bit.  I think it actually came out about right!!



pre-washed = 113.66 yards

The fiber:


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nerd Wars!

I mentioned that I signed up for another crafting game on Ravelry, Nerd Wars.  The game runs through February, March, and April, and their three-month crafting prompts are called dissertations.

Competitors interested in taking part will post a proposalfor their project. The project should be expected to take a solid three months, like a cable-knit sweater or 3 pairs of socks, or spinning 1200 yards of 3-ply yarn or something.
I wrote my dissertation proposal in the scientific category:

This category focuses on challenges of scientific knowledge.Samples: Complete a project that demonstrates some type of circuitry
Complete a project that demonstrates DNA, in structure, the letters, or double helix.

Wish me luck!

Rav handle: needlesnswiffers
Team Dumbledore's Army
Summary of the project: complete three lace shawlettes
Emily Shawl in Alina Shea Creations Grassy Feet in Summer Fun


Lehmus-huivi in Left Coast Yarns Merino/Nylon 80/20 blend in Forbidden Forrest


Dane Shawl in Plymouth Yarn Zino in color 8


I intend to knit the three shawls as written until/unless I run out of yarn.

Category: Scientific.  This is a study in botany.  These three lace shawls all exhibit leaf motifs and have three different construction methods.  My experiment is designed to explore how the leaves react to growth in the three different directions.  Figure 4 illustrates the three shawls and the shading indicates the direction of work, from the cast-on at the lightest portion to the bind-off at the darkest portion.

shawl construction

Time justification: I am not very experienced at lace shawls, so I will be building a valuable skillset which takes time and mental energy.  To tell you a little about my life, I am a stay-at-home-parent to two little boys who are ages 3 and 1.  My family requires good food, clean clothes, and a passing attempt at cleaning the house once in a while.  I also spend several hours each day on administrative tasks concerning another group on Ravelry.  So, projects that move swiftly can be done with my eyes closed, are easy to pick up and throw down to mitigate the latest crisis in real life or online, and have easy-to-memorize patterns.  Otherwise, my time to sit and ponder lace charts is limited and fraught with peril.

Project 11: Patchwork Square #34

I'm really enjoying these squares!!


Pattern: Square #34, V Stitch, from 63 Easy-To-Crochet Pattern Stitches

Yarn: Red Heart Giant, aran

Needles: Size I/5.50mm crochet hook

Yards: 45.2 yards by weight

Ravelry page (for the whole project)

Mods: none!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mittens on the run

Not a very thorough or prompt edition of WIP Wednesday, I'm afraid, but the mom portion of life has kept me extra busy lately.

In addition to these Camilla mitts, which are coming along nicely despite a wacky gauge issue, I submitted a dissertation proposal in another game on Ravelry - Nerd Wars. I'll post it here when I can. My first portion of it, which of course I'll also turn in for the House Cup, is a free shawl pattern originally in Finnish called Lehmus-huivi. I'm totally in love with my yarn/pattern combo and watching it unfold!

But for now, parked in the car with a sleeping baby outside the doctor's office where my husband and other child are, I'm charging ahead on Camilla and hoping for a return of good health.
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WIP Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Here I am! I'm not even sure that I did work on my Celeste Shawl this past week, but I thought I'd better throw it in just in case.

2011-02-09 15.11.09.jpg

Other stars of this show are the well-rested Mermaidia Socks in blue-green up at the top, now only a cuff and picot bindoff away from the end.

My other OWL is the sweater masquerading here as green stringy blobs, which are a complete back and about 2/3 of a cardigan front. The pocket lining is worked overlapping with the sweater and the seams are sewn up after, so it looks like a giant hole because right now it is.

In the middle we have my latest obsession, Spillyjane's Camilla Mittens (free pattern). Some bright person pointed out that Spillyjane is having a giveaway, and everyone who knits a pair of Camillas and emails her a picture gets one of her (paid) patterns for free. I've been meaning to give some of her designs a try and this seems like a great opportunity!

I've also been spinning again... (BFL, attempting a laceweight??)

2011-02-09 15.43.16.jpg

having finally cleared some yellow wool off the bobbins. As soon as I get it washed, the handspun and another finished project will be making an appearance!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A new way to brie

One of my favorite treats to snack on is a wedge of brie cheese warmed in the oven with a little homemade strawberry jam on top with crackers. It seems to hit just the right savory-sweet balance and enough of a snack to get me through to the next meal. Plus it looks fancy.

One afternoon I was feeling clever and thought I'd like to try something other than strawberry jam, so I started plotting. Walnuts and honey came to mind, and google took me to a recipe over at This Mama Cooks! I don't believe in margarine so I used butter instead, which turned out pretty tasty I think. Try it sometime!


Friday, February 4, 2011

January Stashdown Report

It's that time again, the day of reckoning between the stash and me.

I finished ten projects in January, eight of which counted for yarn out for the month. The other two were spinning projects, and like in 2010 I am just not going to count handspun as yarn in.


Of course now that I'm making a specific effort to write about everything I finish, we've already seen all the yarn out into projects! I also sent a ball of yarn to someone who contacted me on Ravelry looking for a single skein to finish a project.

January and Year-to-Date Yarn out: 3293 yards

But what did I get in January? I got some yarn to seam a blanket (630 yards).


I got my January Alina Shea Creations Yarn Club shipment, a laceweight alpaca that is oh so very soft (800 yards).


On the same day, I received my Knit Picks shipment with yarn for Paul's sweater that he requested (1644 yards and how could I say no to that?).


And since I was already there shopping, this little skein of lace jumped home with me too (Alpaca Cloud in Tango Heather, 440 yards).


In theory it looks pretty good.

January and Year-to-Date Yards In: 3514 yards.

Okay, I didn't need the hot red alpaca. But it's darn pretty.

Project 10: Swallowtail Shawl

I'm still a little surprised that I managed to pull this off, but as I reported nearly live here on the blog, I made a Swallowtail Shawl in just five days.

Tossed into the snow!



Triangles are more versatile than I thought.



It was not very many degrees out and snowing when my husband kindly helped me take these photos.


Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl, by Evelyn A. Clark (free pattern)

Yarn: Knit Picks Shimmer Hand-dyed lace yarn, 70% alpaca, 30% silk, in the stained glass colorway. This skein was a destash from Shannon of Alina Shea Creations.


Needles: Size US4/3.75mm nickel-plated Knit Picks Options.

Yards: 343.2 yards

Mods: none!

It's just lovely. A pattern I'd knit again, and that is a rare find.


Project 9: Zee's Baby Blanket

At the ripe old age of 20 months, Zee finally has his own baby blanket. I think he actually likes it, despite how hard it was to get this picture.


Pattern: Sideways Shell Baby Afghan, from Project Linus

Yarn: I bought it from eBay over five years ago, and I think it is Lion Brand Jamie but that's just my educated guess.

Needles: Size I/5.50mm crochet hook

Yards: 1862 yards

Mods: I made the blanket wider by increasing the beginning chain, and bordered the whole blanket with a round of single crochet.


Project 8: Patchwork Square #46

Another patchwork square! Nice and straightforward.


Pattern: Square #46, Palm Leaves, from 63 Easy-To-Crochet Pattern Stitches

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver, worsted-weight 100% acrylic in country blue

Needles: Size I/5.50mm crochet hook

Yards: 45.2 yards by weight

Ravelry page (for the whole project)

Mods: none!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WIP Wednesday, February 2, 2011

(actually posted on Thursday....)

For the second week running, all I have worked on in the past week that isn't done yet is right here - my two OWLs. The green sweater back I finished Wednesday night and the Celeste Shawl is now at 59% complete.

2011-02-03 10.59.30.jpg

After the Swallowtail, I feel like I've been to lace knitting boot camp and can do anything lacy much faster than before. I feel pretty good about hitting 50% on both this month, and may even finish one of these major projects ahead of time. I am no doctor, but I think I might have been abducted by aliens.