Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Popping in

Well, it's been a while, and I can't say it won't be another while before I post again. (a little note -- I did attend NH Sheep and Wool and just want to say OMG, I had a fantastic time seeing everyone! I was there from about 11 to 5, and saw so many wonderful people -- some major surprises, too, in the form of old friends from my home town -- I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THEY WERE KNITTERS! Let alone spinners! yay for hometown girls! I confess I browsed lots and shopped little, as I need to be good. This is a recovery year for us. And I took no photos -- bad blogger! but you all know I love you!) This is the crazy, crazy time of year for me. SOOO many year end activities for the kids -- cub scouts cookouts, girl scout outings and ceremonies (I'm her leader -- yikes), soccer, the ever present karate classes and graduations, a play, BIRTHDAYS (apparently there were a lot of little girls born in the spring of 1999, and not only does my Ladybug know them all, but she is one), and, and, phew! I'm out of breath already. This also is the time of year when the wholesale orders come in in earnest, plus I will have my own booths and store to stock, so yeah. I may be silent from time to time! I can't wait for camp. I am in a rush to get everything done before we leave for a two week respite once school is out. And you can bet the wheel, some choice fibers, and a few select knitting projects will be packed along.
I did finish the boob sweater, and it is quite cute, but as today is set to hit 80 degreess, I am thinking it will be put away 'til Fall. I did crank out some very quick little socklettes for the Girl a few weeks ago, and try as I might to convince her that they were just too big around and I should finish them for me and make her a different pair, she just wasn't having it. Smart kid. (This yarn is crazy nice.) I used a remnant skein that had been dyed in the Maui Sunset colorway and cast them on mostly as a sample to see how the hand-painted technique would stand up to different stitch patterns. I just don't have enough pictures of my yarns to show.

I did the cuff in a regular ribbing to start on 64 stitches (sz 1.5 needles) and then went into 2 repeats of the Monkey pattern.

I was so happy at how well it still showed the pattern and there was no crazy flashing -- something I don't always mind, but I know a lot of knitter's go crazy about. (Sock #2 is done, and looks exactly the same, so I didn't bother her for another photo shoot.) I then did an Eye-of-partridge heel and half way down the foot reduced to 60 stitches, then knit on to the toe, all stockinette. I am pleased, and so was The Girl.

Yes, it pooled around the heel and gussets, but again I don't mind and it is to be expected, quite frankly, when you have SO many more stitches in that area. The best way to avoid this, if it bothers the knitter, is to throw in an afterthought heel, so as not to interrupt the stitch count and flow. (More on this later.) The yarn is my Shimmer bamboo blend and it, Perfect, and Satin are all dyed on the same length skein, although each will prob knit to a different gauge. Classica and Good Harbor come pre-skeined in smaller circumferences. The circumference on which the sequence is painted plays into the patterning, as does gauge and stitch pattern, so there is always a bit of mystery. Any three, four, or five knitters could pick up the same skein I used, cast on the same number of stitches on the same needles, and get different results based on their tension. To me, that is the fun of it all!
I've also bee working away on my Eye of Jupiter socks and decided to go toe-up, 2 at a time, 64 stitch circumference on 1's in a stockinette foot with the cuff to be decided later. I have thrown waste yarn in these for an after-thought heel. (see? no pooling interruption.)

I was anxious to get into some patterning on the cuff and I really, really don't like a short-row heel (read as "I suck at it") so this is a great option for me, with, of course, the added bonus that if I wear out the heel, I can just rip it out and replace it! I'll get photos of the process of putting the heel in, but it is easy-peasy. I finally landed on the patterning from RPM for the cuff, but i have to say I'm not loving it. I'm slogging along for now, but slowly, since I'm not sure if I want to change. The knitting and the look just aren't really doing it for me. Stinks to be fickle.
I did update the shop a bit on Saturday, and have a few more things to list today -- including some special orders -- so I think I'm gonna bring the puter outside to my front porch and hang out with my puppies in the fresh air while I work. Yeah, I may be busy, but this life has it's perks.

Friday, May 09, 2008

I'm so steeking excited...

I cut my first steeks! I'm so thrilled with this technique and am so glad I gave it a whirl. And you know what, I think I might actually like this little sweater. It definitely says, "Hey, look at me! I have boobs!"

(Holy crap is this a bad picture, but you get the idea.)
Thankfully, it becomes a bit more tame when worn over a nice button down shirt, as I intend it to be worn.
Here are a few picks of the big moment, after sewing the edges with the sewing machine.

I have yet to pick up the stitches for the ribbing around the armholes, but the neckline is complete. Then, I need to figure the best way to finish the messy insides, (crochet?) but they are secure, and, hey, I've been known not to weave in ends and just tuck them in, so who knows? It isn't really about being lazy,just impatient. I want to wear what I've done!
The other reason for my great excitement is that the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival is TOMORROW! I can't wait, and will be searching for you all there! Yippee!
Do you think someone had too much coffee this morning?

Monday, May 05, 2008


YAY! I love, love, love my new shawl! Yes, the Big Red Blob is a blob no more. I was very concerned when it came off the needles that it would be much smaller than I wanted, but no beed to fear. It came out to a fantastic 78inch wingspan so it wraps around me perfectly and stays put. Also, I ended up loving the lighter spots in the uarn. They give just the right amount of variation. I did not have any desire to do the crochet edging, so I instead looked up (on Knitty) the instructions for a picot bind-off and applied this technique. It gave the shawl just the finished look I was aiming for -- a little bit of detail, but nothing too fancy. This is my "casual" shawl. There isn't a single thing about it I don't like. Wanna see?

Next up, I am finishing the little vest that will need to be steeked. I'd like to have it for this weekend as it looks like it will be a bit chilly and may well be the last opportunity I will have to wear it. If the weather holds out for Saturday, I'll be wearing the red shawl, if not, my vestie (under a coat!) at the NH Sheep and Wool. (So who's going?) I fully intend to be there ALL DAY and come home with a nice fleece or two. What is it about spring that makes me crave fleeces and my drum carder? We will be camping again in Maine soon and I have promised to bring my wheel and teach the owner how to spin, so i need to have plenty of supplies and options, right? After all, we will be there for two whole weeks this time! Gotta stock up. :)
(also -- for those who have yarn on order, esp. my Eye of Jupiter fans, I am working on it starting...now! the kids have returned to school today after their vacation, and the yarn has been soaking, so I have a full few days of dyeing ahead. )

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Technical difficulties...

There may be some wonky things going on with the site this afternoon. Fear not! We haven't crashed, nor disappeared. Hubby is updating the shopping cart and I am hoping this fixes some of the bug people were running into registering and checking out. Thanks for your patience! It shouldn't be long.
(knitting note -- on the LAST REPEAT of the BRB...hoping for some photos off the needles by tomorrow!)