• Projects 12.01.2018 No Comments

    I finished the Christmas knitting. Got the important things done, although I had hoped to do a bit more. I still have nearly finished socks for Lon. I started a new cardigan, using up the Hemp Tweed I bought for another project. I’d actually finished the poncho but just didn’t like the fit. Of course, I had to buy more yarn to do this cardigan:

    I don’t know if I will finish the other cardigan I’ve been working on. I am concerned about the fit and I am just getting the feeling that it’s not working out. I don’t have a problem with ripping things out obviously. Some patterns are easier to adjust than others.

    I see more sewing in my future and am starting to play around with free motion quilting. I like my sewing machines so much that I have been looking for projects. What I need more than anything is a cutting table. I don’t have a good place to cut things out and that is what is holding me back.

  • Projects 05.12.2017 No Comments

    Most of the pictures are over at notsothoreau.com but I like to post a couple here as well. The latest treadle is a Davis Vertical Feed. I am waiting for a new belt to arrive. It’s a beautiful machine and I think we’ll have fun together.

     

     

    Right now, I am still working on Christmas knitting. I’ve got a stocking cap going for a friend. The shawl is done but still needs to be blocked. I was finally able to hem all the completed skirts, so I have long skirts to wear again. And I found some ready made blouses with a nice vintage feel. Very happy about that, as this will be a busy month. I want to do some small sewing projects, just to play around with the machines.

    Oh, and I found this:

    This is a long quilting frame, that I picked up at Scrap. I’m very happy with it and will try and take better pictures of it this week. I want to learn to quilt and I think it will come in handy.

  • Projects 29.11.2017 No Comments

    I haven’t blocked Abby’s shawl yet, but it is done and I have the shawl pin for it. I am still working on my Christmas knitting. I’ve started a watch cap and would like to make another one as well. So I am definitely knitting.

    I posted most of the pictures of my new treadle on my notsothoreau site, but will post a couple of them here too. I do love this machine!

    I have plans to do more sewing, even have a pattern for Lon on the way. I am also thinking about taking an online class. I would like to get better at this. I like to make my own clothes, but I get in a hurry for the finished product. I have been able to find a few things online to buy that I like. I hate shopping for clothes, but found some blouses with a vintage flair as well as a walking skirt knock off. It is very nice to wear clothes made out of fabric instead of knits. I think the reason people look so sloppy these days is due to knit clothes. They just don’t fit well.

  • Little Knits has had some great sales for sock yarn. I love those self patterning sock yarns. It’s such fun to watch the pattern appear. So I have a fair amount of sock yarn and have been doing socks on a regular basis. To show you that an old dog can learn new tricks, I have been doing magic loop with German short row heels and toes.  I’ve done another pair for me:

    A pair for Quinn’s birthday:

    And am working on another pair for Lon:

    When I first moved here, I had about ten pairs of hand knit socks. Then I stopped knitting them for some reason. I did a few fancy pairs, but I just don’t like wearing them as much as I like these simpler socks. For less than $8 a pair, I have socks that will last for years and keep my feet warm and comfortable in cold wet weather.

     

    I managed to make it to OFFF, but didn’t get to see much. I just got too winded. I managed to pick up a new Jenkins spindle, a lilac Finch:

     

    I really love the little thing and I’ve put it to work all ready.

  • Projects 06.09.2017 No Comments

    And I have been spinning a little too. I finished the green socks. I have now learned how to do the German Short row heel, which I used on these socks. It looks so much better than the wrapped heel. I also finished these up in the 2 circulars method. I love my double points, but I get tired of having the point protectors drop off. It’s just a mess. So I picked up enough Addis to do the 2 circs method (which means 4 circular needles, since I work both socks at the same time.)

    I am close to finishing Lon’s socks. These are Solemate, which is supposed to keep you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. I love the color. These socks fit much better than any I’ve done for Lon. I am concerned that they are a bit tight, but his feet swell less in cooler weather. I think we’ll be okay but I’ll try a different technique on the calf increases next time. I used a German Short Row toe on these. And I am trying magic loop to finish them. I plan to use magic loop to do both socks at the same time, on my next project.

    I decided to redo the lower part of the sleeves on my sweater. The weather turned hot and I haven’t finished it. That will be the next project as I want to be able to use the sweater when it finally cools off.

    I’ve mostly been spinning up odds and ends. I have the yellow yarn project on my Hatchtown. I should make an effort to finish that one. I’m planning to go to OFFF and picking up another Jenkins spindle. I am pretty well set with spindles. I have a couple that Lon got for me, but need to take pictures before I can post. I can’t wait for cooler weather. I just can’t take the heat any more.

    UPDATE:
    I’m going to add the two spindles. First up is a 3-D printed Turkish spindle, weighing in at 8.6g. It’s actually well balanced but light. It doesn’t seem to backspin, just stops completely. I think this would be great to carry with you. You don’t have to worry about the shaft breaking and wouldn’t be heartbroken if you lose it.

    Next up is something that may not be a spindle. Lon did a little blacksmithing when he was younger, so he’s fascinated by the join on this. But I’m not sure it was a spindle. It looks like it was used on some sort of a machine. Maybe something to make rope? It weighs in at 89.5g so it’s very heavy before you start spinning. It does work as a spindle and it came from Greece.

     

  • Fiber, Projects 17.08.2017 No Comments

    Sometimes, I really love to ply. I will find balls of spun yarn that haven’t been plied. I like my Tracy Einheim spindle for plying. It’s convenient when I’m at my desk. The grey Border Leceister is from a project that likely won’t happen. I wanted to knit socks out of several different breeds. I’ll wait and see. Maybe I’ll be interested in it again, when I finish spinning the yarn.

    Antler is done! I am thinking about redoing the bottom part of the sleeve. It’s just too floppy and a little long. It’s one of those things that will annoy me if I don’t redo it. I’m working on a few other projects first.


    Little Knit had some great deals on sock yarn. It’s motivated me to get busy on knitting some socks. This is for me and I’ll tackle a couple of pairs for Lon next.

  • Projects 16.06.2017 No Comments

    I guess I should never say never again. I was working on a Banana Leaf Shawl with some nice Mrs Crosby Satchel, picked up at the WEBS summer sale. And it looked pretty good:

    But there can be issues with single ply yarns biasing. And I started to feel like I’d knit this at too tight a gauge and it really needed a yarn that wasn’t so stripey. In short, I wanted to do something else. I looked through my favorites and was drawn again to designs by Ankestrick. These are top down, contiguous sleeve designs. I have one on the needles, but hadn’t gotten past the underarms. This was partly due to the yarn (I just don’t care for cotton yarns) and that I’d had some problems doing the slip stitch design. I decided to try Antler. And so far, it seems to be turning out pretty well.

    I’ve picked up several more of her patterns and will be knitting those next. I really like the idea of color blocking. So nice after all that solid color knitting. I just finished a couple of things for Lon’s birthday on Monday. First up, the Fair Winds Scarf:

    I knit the beanie as well, but don’t have a picture of it. I need to block the scarf and weave in the ends. And I did the Henry scarf, out of buffalo/silk yarn:

    Lon has wanted something in buffalo yarn for over a year. I’m not a fan of the stuff. The two skeins I bought really weren’t close in color. I had about 3/4 of an inch to finish with the second skein, so it looks okay. The pattern was interesting and looks great. And I managed to knit it without him knowing about it. I am still working on two scarves for me. One is the Diagonal Lace scarf in Folio and the second is the Fir Cone Shawl I’ve been working on for several months.

    And I did a hat for me and a watch cap for Clyde. Need to do a watch cap for George next. Then it’s time to start knitting socks. I want to do another cabled sweater for Lon, with better yarn and a custom fit this time. And a picture of Jack, just to show there’s more to life than knitting!

  • Thoughts 19.04.2017 No Comments

    ..I don’t care how much Churchmouse patterns cost. When you buy a pattern and it doesn’t fit, you have wasted time and maybe money. I don’t buy patterns so that I can re-write them. I buy patterns so I can start a project and just knit. This was a raglan and the top part simply did not come up far enough. I ripped it back and reworked it, but it still didn’t fit. I don’t want to rag on the designer. I still think the design elements she chose are beautiful and other folks seems to have come up with a sweater that fits. But it did not work for me and I can’t stand to see this nice yarn wasted. So I am spending more time taking this apart.

    For some reason, the pattern police come out every time the Churchmice have a new pattern. Now this is a yarn shop that actually gives away a free pattern with purchase on their anniversary. I have not had any problems with their patterns and they fit. But for some reason, people feel that they should bitch about the price. Every blinking time. If you don’t like the price, don’t buy it. I find it interesting that someone would spend significant money to buy yarn yet want the cheapest pattern possible. There are lots of free patterns on Ravelry. Pick one out and knit it, be my guest. But seriously, find something else to bitch about. I will continue to vote, with my money, for the folks that turn out patterns that work and don’t have to be rewritten.

     

    UPDATE:

    I still need to skein up the yarn and wash it, but it’s done. And I have dirt and hair all over my skirt. What a mess! I think, with the exception of knitting a gansey, I am done with sweaters knit in one piece. (And I say this having just bought a cardigan pattern that is all one piece.) I don’t care for knitting with circulars. You wind up with this big, heavy, unmanageable piece that goes on and on. When you knit individual pieces, you actually finish a piece and move to the next one. The shaping tends to be better than when you knit a single piece. I’m not fond of sewing, but it’s just finish work. When I started knitting, everything was knit in pieces then sewn together. And knitting in the round was touted as this great improvement, where you’d be done with the sweater all at once. Yeah, after you’ve slogged through round after round of several hundred stitches.

    I’m knitting differently these days. I buy yarn with a project in mind, mostly. I finish projects. I knit things that I really want to wear and, if I can get yarn on sale, I don’t mind if it doesn’t last forever. I need lighter weight sweaters and gave away some nice heavy ones.

  • Projects 18.04.2017 No Comments

    Just can’t seem to stop knitting. I’ve done three Better Than Basic Pullovers in Avalanche. I may do a cardigan with the last of it. I have a (surprise) birthday present for Lon on the needles. I’m working on the new Thinking Cap by Churchmouse. And I have a couple more projects that I’ll start as soon as I finish something.

    Take a look at the video of spinning with a distaff here: http://windwraith.blogspot.se/2015/12/ode-to-distaff_5.html

    It’s impressive. I dug out my Lisa Chan Rose spindle today, but doubt that I’ll get any spinning in. Will take another look and see if I can give it a try.

     

  • Projects 14.03.2017 No Comments

    I just love Classic Elite’s Avalanche. There are some drawbacks to it. I suspect that it won’t hold up over time. The nylon makes it easy to snag. The advantages though make it worth it. It’s warm, lightweight and soft. Since it’s a chainette yarn, it’s stretchy. I’ve had some snags work back into the sweater, just by stretching the area a bit. There’s no drape, so this feels more like fabric. And I like the colors. They have a watercolor effect to them. And since this is discontinued, prices are good.

    I’m on my third Better Than Basic Pullover, all made from Avalanche. They seem perfect for this climate. I’m not a fan of drop shouldered sweaters, so it’s not the most flattering thing I can wear. I just keep one by the door and put it on to take the dogs outside. It’s a comfortable choice for road trips too. If I didn’t have to pay property taxes, I’d probably be tempted to do a fourth.

    I am close to finishing the Twice Reversible Ribbed Poncho. I did this in Rowan Hemp Tweed. I think it looks okay and I like the color. I wish I were more enthusiastic about the yarn. It does soften up but it’s not that pleasant to knit with. I find it interesting that people will call a wool yarn scratchy, yet they don’t seem to call hemp or linen scratchy. I have some Classic Elite Telluride, which is linen/alpaca. It seems much softer than this wool/hemp blend. In general, I prefer Classic Elite yarns to Rowan. I haven’t used either brand all that much. The Hemp Tweed was on sale at a great price and I’ve enjoyed trying something different. It’s just nice to get back to Avalanche again.

    I have a couple of projects coming up for Lon. He wants a scarf out of buffalo fiber. I’ve ordered that. I already don’t care for the yarn. I ordered buffalo fiber to spin and just hated working with it. The yarn is half buffalo, half tussah silk. I think it took about six hours to ball up the skein, due to it tangling. I’ll have to use it double, which makes this an expensive scarf. He has a birthday coming up in June, so this is his present. And I’m going to make him a second watch cap, out of alpaca. He sometimes misplaces the black one I made, so I’d like for him to have a backup. I have two projects lined up for me. I think I’ll order a bit more of the Telluride and make a Go-To Cardigan. I was going to make the Easy Folded Poncho, but it’s too lightweight. I have the mohair for another Modern Wrapper. Just need to buy the second yarn for that. I have been good about buying for specific projects and I have been working them up as I go. I’ve also been getting rid of my old stash, as I seem to get a reaction from it. Need to finish going through it and let most of it go.

    Here’s the sweater trio. The colors, left to right are Mountain, Sea, and Sky: