Category: yarn

November

warm in the wild: yarn

November. A little late to start winter holiday knitting, but I had been on an unofficial hiatus for a while. Lots of life changes lately, so I hadn’t been knitting or doing many other crafts while trying to sort it all out.

But, it’s November already. End of year is rapidly approaching, and I need to make some gifts for people. This is apparently the year of the armwarmer/mitt/mitten. I guess everyone has enough hats and scarves? Hahah…

The problem with mitts/etc. is the same concept as second sock syndrome; once you finish one of the pair, you have to make the second!

-x

kira makes disgruntled mumblings about “that damn cat…”

It is a good thing I love that cat.

That cat, being Árnyék.

Because, he is a jerk.

Cyntaf Eaten

Apparently, even though Cyntaf was tucked away in a bag, he managed to get into the bag and chomp a couple holes in the shawl. I mean, luckily, it is at the bottom edge, and I can probably undo the binding and salvage it… but still. Sigh.

Then the next day, I was looking for a specific ball of yarn. Finding another skein that I was also looking for, I pulled it out and set it aside.

I turned my back for a minute.

yarn ball tangle

Arrrrgh!

This is also the same cat that knocked my TV off the counter (twice!) and broke it.

Mehhhh…

-x

kira makes lace repair stitch surgery

In the last section of Cyntaf, I realized that there was a lace segment that appeared to be incorrect. Part of me thought, well, it’s just a small section, no one will notice it.

But the other part of me was like, ACK! Must fix!!

So… I dropped a stitch off the needles and started unraveling it. I know how to pick up laddered stitches, so I wasn’t concerned.

But this was LACE. Oh bother.

I pulled another stitch off the needles, trying to figure out how it worked into the design.

Dropped another stitch, then another. Working in the air, with loose live stitches threatening to come undone further didn’t really work well. Too confusing!

Finally, I decided that it was worth getting up off the comfy couch and sitting at a table to help figure out how to put them back together properly. Because the lace was proving to be a bit more complicated.

Cyntaf - Lace Repair

And, while it was initially frustrating and confusing, I was finally able to identify where in the pattern and what row this was. Then it was just a matter of knitting it back up, using the long floats. (This technique was taught in Lesson 10/Chapter 6 of Craftsy: Lace Shawl Design.)

I remember a thing I saw, several years back (2008!), about Fearless Knitting. The article, if I recall correctly, was about being more bold and fearless when it comes to knitting; going ahead and tackling techniques/projects/things that seem scary. It’s funny because when you’re first learning knitting, you’re so concerned if you drop a stitch, and now I purposely take hundreds of stitches off the needles, like it’s no big deal.

Though, still terrified of the concept of steeking. Not sure I’ll ever be that brave.

-x

kira makes a stack of design swatches

Designing Swatches

Since I can’t show you progress on the shawl, I figured I’d show some of the design process. A stack of swatches (in worsted weight cotton I had laying around — not what I’m actually using!) to test different arrangements/patterns/stitches.

On the plus side, I have realized that shawl is becoming larger more quickly than I was anticipating, so reducing the amount of row repeats, making overall pattern smaller and also theoretically less time to knit. Working on it steadily, hoping to keep on schedule.

-x

kira makes her second trip to the Powhatan Festival of Fiber

kira with sheep (instagram: @lolspeak)
(photo by Dylan)

Last year, I went to the Powhatan Festival of Fiber by myself, on a gloomy, drizzly day. This year, my party increased by 3! Woo.

Powhatan Fiber Festival - Alpacas

We saw alpacas, and sheeps, and bunnehs.

Powhatan Fiber Festival - Chicken

There was a very large and incredibly grumpy looking chicken.
I have less pictures than last time, because I was being social(!). Hah…

We wandered the vendor booths, meandering from stall to stall, each of us trying to find our small score for the day. (Boo, budgets!)

There was an amazing 50% yak/50% silk blend roving by Kim Dyes Yarn, in two gorgeous colorways (a somewhat jewel-toned rainbow and a lovely blues-and-greens mermaid color). I snuggled up to it multiple times, even dragging Lauren over to it later, but I’m still attempting to resist the lure of spinning. (Because… face it, I don’t need another hobby, with all it’s tools and trappings. At least, for right now.) Sadly, there wasn’t any of it already spun up, otherwise that might have been my yarn.

Somewhat ironically, after scouring all the booths, I returned, yet again, to the Unplanned Peacock booth — and purchased the exact same yarn I got at last year’s festival, in a different colorway. I guess I know what I like!

Unplanned Peacock - Kinky Sock - Butterscotch

Unplanned Peacock, Kinky Sock, in Butterscotch. I’m not sure what I plan to make from it, but I’ve been drooling over shawls in yellow.

And, I think I finally know how I’m going to use my other skein of Kinky Sock (colorway Frog) from last years festival. The second lace shawl design I’ve been dreaming up; I think I might swatch it with this and see how it looks!

Altogether, a fun time. And I have next year’s festival already on my calendar!

-x

kira makes Little Arrowhead Shawl, revisited

The weather lately has been indecisive.

First it’s warm and Spring-like (even sometimes downright hot), but then it will switch and turn chilly. In order to combat the fickleness of the changing season, I’ve taken to wearing my Little Arrowhead Shawl.

Despite having made it in… late 2012?, I hadn’t really worn it often. I think it was my first (or possibly second) lace shawl. I like lace shawls, conceptually and in the creation process, but hadn’t quite figured out how to wear them.

Previously, I only had pictures of the shawl from when it was blocking: Attempt #1, where the bind-off edge was too tight, and Ziggy was “helping”; and Attempt #2, after I re-worked the bind-off edge, and re-blocked it (sans-Ziggy).

But since I was wearing it fairly often, I finally snapped a pic of the shawl being worn.

Little Arrowhead Shawl

This shawl has been great for the fluctuating temperatures. It is warm, but not too warm. The yarn is smooth and soft. It is a now-discontinued DK yarn (Spa) from the Naturally Caron line from Caron, made of microdenier acrylic and rayon from bamboo. I have another skein of this yarn in pale yellow (Soft Sunshine), that now I am pondering working up into another lace shawl, since I’ve been wearing this one so much lately.

Sooo, I pull up Ravelry, and look at my options. I immediately spot one that looks good… and see that it is the Little Arrowhead Shawl pattern, again. Hah.. well, apparently I know what I like. But, I want to try another pattern, since I’ve already made that one. Variety!

Soooooo, I browse other options of thicker weight lace shawls, because I want to use bigger needles and take a break from laceweight and sockweight yarns. Looking at patterns until it dawns on me: I COULD MAKE MY OWN PATTERN for a lace triangle shawl.

WAIT, brain. What? Stopppp! …not only are you not supposed to be starting yet another project, but… designing one?

Needless to say.. I’m totally planning on looking through my lace stitch dictionaries when I get home.

(Not like I don’t already have a lace shawl on the needles (*cough*Mirkwood*cough*)… But this one would be a much quicker knit! I haven’t really picked Mirkwood back up since the cat-astrohpe. One day I’ll get around to finishing it. One day…)

-x

kira makes a flowery virus

When I was in Seattle for my sister’s wedding, I bought some “souvenir yarn.” One of the skeins already turned into a Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks scarflette… which I still have not woven the ends in (which is kind of sad, since there are only two ends).

The other skein, I didn’t know what to do with it.

Knit Wit Victory Sock Market Flowers 01

A Seattle-exclusive color, “Market Flowers,” this skein was actually more appropriate as a souvenir yarn. But, whoa there… LOTS of colors. (Just like the flowers in Pike Place Market!)

Taking a break from my goal of finishing my UFOs, I… started yet another project.

Virus Shawl 01

The Virus Shawl — it’s crochet! That means it doesn’t count towards my unfinished knitting project tally, right? Hahah…

Trying to decide if the colors are too much. Not sure yet.

-x

kira makes more stitches (a catch-all knitting post)

The last 23 days or so have just been short posts for the #drawlloween challenge. I haven’t updated much else. But I have been knitting.

Mirkwood is sadly set aside, having never regained momentum after the cat-attack. While the work has been salvaged, the semi-deadline has passed, so there’s less motivation to keep working on it. I do plan to get back to it, but am just taking a break.

In the meantime, I cast on a new project. (Of course. It’s not like I have a zillion projects waiting for me to finish them…)

I had purchased some “souvenir yarn” during my trip to Seattle — Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Beehive and Knitted Wit Victory Sock in Market Flowers (exclusive Seattle colorway). I was eager to try something with these new yarns, since starting new projects is always exciting.

I cast on with the Maxima, test knitting stockinette, linen-stitch, a chunky lace, and a few others, frogging each time before settling on the star-stitch pattern of “Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks.”

Beehive

The scarf is wider that the original pattern, and I knit until I ran out of yarn, resulting in a short scarf, good for tucking into one’s jacket. I still haven’t weaved in the ends, because I am lazy.

I also mended a machine-knit sweater. One of my favorites had gone through the wash and emerged with a broken strand that unraveled the stitches several inches wide.

Rock & Republic - Unraveled

Rock & Republic - Repaired

Using the crochet hook I’d been using for beading on Mirkwood (the hook is 0.5mm!!), I picked up all the unraveled stitches, and re-bound off the edge. I wouldn’t say it’s as good as new, because it slightly puckers there, but in the overall design of the sweater, I think it is virtually unnoticeable.

I’ve picked up the Les Misérables scarf/wrap again. I’ve decided to use all the balls of the yarn I have, and it will be very long. It is already… very long. I don’t know how much it will shrink when felted (technically, fulled). Part of me wonders if I want to felt it at all. I guess we’ll see when it’s done.

Les Misérables - with Cats

On a side note, the kittens are getting quite big.

-x

kira makes the start of Mirkwood

Mirkwood - Beginning

I caved and cast on for Mirkwood. I knit about 13 rows at craft night, before having to pause because I didn’t have any of my beads with me. Later that night, I knit to about row 31, before realizing that I had just been purling the entire WS rows, instead of knit-the-knits, purl-the-purls. Plus, I didn’t really care for the bead that I was using — in the pattern, there are special “tree” beads used occasionally throughout the pattern (in addition to the seed beads); I had tried using tiny metal star shaped beads, but they were not laying in an attractive way, because of hole placement and how they are added to the pattern.

So, I decided to frog the whole thing and start over.

When I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, due to insomnia, I had the brilliant idea of getting up and working more on the shawl. Which, of course, lead to me not going back to bed again! But I did get back to the point where I had gotten before, so overall progress. This time, I am using a spherical shiny gunmetal-grey bead for the accent beads. They are a little large/heavy, but I think they will work.

Mirkwood - Bead Options

For the main seed beads, I couldn’t decide what color to use, so I ended up ordering all the color options. This was actually a good idea, since several of them looked very different from their online appearance. I have ultimately decided to go with the transparent grey bead — it appears to catch the light the most, as well as having a hint of the color through the bead. The transparent ruby beads don’t really complement the yarn’s shade of red, and the opaque black, while pretty, don’t seem as sparkly as the grey.

Now that I’ve started Mirkwood, I’m itching to go back home to work on it more! Boo having to work…

-x