Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WiP Wednesday #6

I have been working up a storm and haven't posted any works in progress for two weeks, so I pulled out the camera and took a mess of pictures for y'all today!

Last weekend I got out the dye pot and dyed 8 ounces of white merino spinning fiber so I can make the Nymphaea shawl by Becky Herrick (click the indie patterns link at the top of the page to purchase/download).  She was kind enough to give me a copy of this pattern, which she just published, after I told her I thought it would be lovely in handspun.  I considered the gift a challenge, and when I realized nothing in my stash would work, I got down to business.

I dyed the fiber using Wiltons' Icing Dyes.  I don't like acid dyes because they're so toxic, and you can get some amazing color variations from simple food coloring.  To me this still counts as a WIP because I still have all the spinning and knitting to do.  Yay!

I have been doing a lot of drawing and doodling lately.  There's been a lot of stress at my job lately, and working on small, soothing, abstract art is a nice way to de-stress.  I thought I'd see how they do in my shop since I usually (gasp) just draw on scrap paper and recycle it when I'm done.

Remember that post a long time ago about my goal to spin and knit a sweater in 2012?  Combing raw wool is hard work, and spinning plain white wool is BORING.  I have spun 2 of the 24 total ounces I need, and I have only combed 13 ounces so far.  I will finish this someday, but maybe not in 2012.  Meh.

My current knitting obsession is the Color Affection shawl by Veera Valimaki.  This has been a huge fad in the knitting world, and now that I've started I can see why.  Why are stripes in garter stitch so addictive?  

This shawl uses three different colors, and when I started I had planned to use this yarn:

In the skein it looked like a more bright pea green, but as I wound it up I found it to be much more brown, and I'm really not wowed.  I wanted something with more pop to go with the subdued gray and deep purple.  I have been auditioning other potential third yarns.  First up is this one, a sparkly and slightly variegated lilac purple.

I'm not sold on it, but it's definitely more lively than the green.  Here's my third option.  This one's really starting to grow on me...

Since the purple I chose is definitely a red purple I think this red would be a good candidate, and it might bring out my color a little bit more than three relatively neutral shades right around my face.  I am ready to add the third color as soon as I can decide which one to use.  What would your choice be?  

Come check out what other folks are working on at the Idaho Etsy Team page:

Idaho Etsy Team

Friday, August 24, 2012

FO Friday #3

I have been on a major finishing kick lately. I'm not sure why, but suddenly the sight of my big bin of unfinished objects (UFOs) is driving me batty.  Every time I finish something lately, I go to the UFO bin, and pull something out.  Half the projects I pull out have been frogged or even thrown away because I don't like them or the yarn any more.  Most of them wound up abandoned in the UFO bin for that reason in the first place.  The other projects, though, have been getting quickly finished up.  It is so satisfying!

One of the ones I resurrected and finished is Cookie A.'s Wedge sock pattern from her book Knit. Sock. Love.  The yarn I used isn't anything classy or pricy, it's just Premier Yarns Serenity Sock Weight that I bought on sale at Joann's.  The colors are pretty and it's actually very soft.  The yarn is 50% merino, 25% bamboo, and 25% nylon.  The bamboo gives it a nice shine, and I'll report back on how it wears.  The yarn is on the fine side of the spectrum, so I did the 72 stitch version of the pattern, but I probably could have gone up maybe 4 more stitches since I also knit it on size 0 needles.  I had never done a short row heel or toe before I tried this pattern, and the fact that it's in garter stitch means that it's cushy and soft, and also that you don't have to pick up your wraps when you wrap and turn.  I really like the look of the wedges of color in a self-striping yarn.  I actually started these back in January and did the first sock in a day while doing an all-day Lord of the Rings marathon with friends.  The second sock was 75% done when I pulled these out of the bin.  Heaven only knows why I decided to quit so close to being finished.

What are you finishing lately?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WiP Wednesday #5

This week I haven't had time to photograph all my works in progress.  In fact, I realized that in addition to the spinning and knitting (the loom hasn't been out of the box for a couple of months, which is a tragedy) I have a sewing WiP that I'm starting to feel ready to finish.

However, the one WiP I do have pics of is barely a WiP at all, and I could really use some help nailing it down.  I bought this beautiful yarn at Happy Knits in Portland on a recent vacation.  The yarn is Madelinetosh's Tosh Vintage in the Shoreline colorway.  It is a discontinued color so it was 20% off.  That, of course, meant I had to buy two skeins instead of one.  Look at those pretty colors.  As a blue-eyed girl I think it is going to be perfect for me!

I think this wants to be a long infinity scarf.  I wasn't sure if I liked them or not, but my sister gave me one for the holidays last winter and I wore the heck out of it.  This is a round springy yarn that is very smooth but sturdy.  The high twist will show off a textured stitch beautifully.  I want something thick and smooshy and warm, but not too stiff.  Right now I can't decide if it needs to be a Purl Ridge Scarf by Stephen West or a Honey Cowl by Madelinetosh.  Which one do you think this yarn wants to be?

Come see all the other lovely projects going on in the Idaho Etsy Team by clicking the banner below:

Idaho Etsy Team

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I'm alive, and I have a FO!

I know I've been scarce lately.  My summer's been busy and I've kind of lost my mojo for designing and taking care of my etsy shop lately.  For now, I'll just share a project I posted about back in May.  I have to admit that lace isn't really my forte.  I like it, but I find it challenging and occasionally frustrating.  It's hard to admit that, because every knitter worth her salt knits lace.  I know my tastes change, which makes it even harder when you're working on long-term projects.

This shawl was for a friend of mine.  She chose the yarn and pattern.  Since this friend isn't a knitter herself she chose a yarn and pattern that didn't really match.  Lace weight yarn on a pattern meant for something thicker and more toothsome.  This required some improvisation on my part, and the look is very different from the photos from the designer.  I still think the shawl is lovely, but it's very small despite two extra repeats of the main section and my best efforts to block the poor thing until it used a safe word.

In any case, it's done and out of my UFO pit of doom.  See?  There are pics to prove it. 

What have you finished lately?