Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WiP Wednesday #4

I've made some good progress since the last time I shared my projects in progress, and I even took the time to take decent photos this week, or at least better than the phone pics from a couple weeks ago.  You can click on the photos for a larger view if you like!

The Targee wool from Crown Mountain Farms is coming along nicely.  This bobbin plus the ball of unspun roving is the first half of the 4 oz I got.  I haven't focused much on spinning since I'm currently on a knitting deadline, but once in a while when my hands/wrists are too sore to knit I get out the wheel for a relaxing spin.

The kilt hose have come a long way since the last time I shared them too!  I've included a picture of the chart I made as well.  The pattern is from the much-sought Knitting Scottish Kilt Hose and Hiking Socks by Joanne Gibson Hinmon.  The book is really popular, but honestly I'm not sure why.  There are no charts, the patterns are full of typos, and the hose are made in a very counter-intuitive way.  This pattern was originally written top-down, with the legs knitted flat and then seamed up after you finish the fiddly business of picking up and knitting the feet in the round.  Being a pragmatic knitter prone to bouts of creativity and always sure I can reverse-engineer an easier way to do things, I converted the pattern, first to be made top-down in the round, then toe-up two-at-a-time in the round.  There are no seams, and with toe-up one could even try the hose on.  I made the chart using knitchart, and one of the benefits of knitting from the opposite end is that it only requires flipping the chart upside down! 

This sort of thing makes me feel like a Very Clever Lady, which usually ends with me in tears at 2 in the morning ripping out yet another ridiculous knitting experiment, but this time things are going very well!  Come join the fun and see what other Idahoans are making by clicking the button below.

Idaho Etsy Team

Friday, June 8, 2012

FO Friday!

Well, along with WiP Wednesday I thought it would be nice to occasionally share some items I've actually completed.  This doesn't happen nearly as frequently as I'd like, but it is nice to let people see what I'm up to.

Today's FO is some hand-painted corriedale roving from Fiber Fancy.  The colorway is called Jungle Fever, and I got it on sale.  Corriedale isn't next-to-the-skin soft, but the fiber was very well prepared and drafted beautifully.  Here's a picture of the fiber from the etsy shop:

And here's the finished fiber.  It's about 330 yards of sport-weight yarn, a fractal-plied three ply.  It hasn't told me what it wants to be yet.

I like devoting a day to finishing things up, sharing what I've completed, and remembering that every once in a while I am, in fact, productive.  What have you finished this week?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

WiP Wednesday #3

It's that time again, WiP Wednesday, where I show off the things I'm working on.  I've got crummy pictures this week because i used my phone, but I wanted to make sure I had something to share, so just imagine they're as lovely as Franklin Habit's photos.

First, I've got a pair of kilt hose on the needles.  They've progressed a bit since this photo, but not by nearly as much as I'd like.  The pattern is mostly from my head, with input from several toe-up sock calculators and books of kilt hose patterns.  I'll try to share these again once they look a little more like socks.

I'm also spinning some hand-dyed Targhee pencil roving from Crown Mountain Fibers.  Targhee sheep were developed right here in Idaho (and named for Targhee National Forest) at the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in eastern Idaho.  The fleece is very soft and a nice length, and they are raised for meat too.  I don't have a lot so far, but it spins quickly since it was so well-prepared.

Finally, I'm also combing some fleece by hand for the Knitmore Girls SPAKAL, we are spinning and knitting an entire sweater.  I have to confess that this is going very slowly for me, hand-combing takes a long time.  The combs, which I think are just lovely, were made by my talented husband.

Check out all the good stuff going on at the Idaho Etsy Team and link to your blog by clicking below:

Idaho Etsy Team

Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer Project Planning

This summer brings together two very popular events in the fiber/crafting world. The Tour de Fleece runs June 30th through July 22nd. This is an event where spinners spin along with the Tour de France, spinning on cycling days and resting on rest days. Spinners typically set themselves a challenging goal and try to "win" by meeting their goal by the end of the tour.

 My goal is a simple one, to spin an hour a day every day of the Tour. Ideally I will have hand-combed all the fleece for the SPAKAL (spin and knit along) sweater that I am doing with the Knitmore Girls Podcast and I will spin that for the Tour, but in case I don't have it all done I will spin whatever I can for an hour a day. I have lots of stashed fiber to choose from.

The second big event comes not long after the Tour, it's the Ravelympics! During this event knitters cast on a project during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics (July 27th) and try to finish it by the closing ceremonies (August 12th). Again, I have a hopefully goal and a backup goal. Hopefully I will be all done spinning for the SPAKAL and I will be able to knit the Eadon sweater for my project. However, if I'm not done with the spinning I will be doing the Shipwreck Shawl. I don't have a lot of money to splurge on supplies, and a friend gave me an entire bag of fingering weight teal mohair that will be lovely for that project, so all I'll need to get are beads. Either way it's a massive amount of knitting to do over a relatively short period, especially when you consider that I will be traveling for a week of that time to participate in a dance workshop that will probably take up a good chunk of my time and energy.

So, hopefully it will be a productive 6 weeks for me. What are your plans?