Archive for the “stash” Category

A very kind Raveler sent me a bit of their leftover yarn so that I could finish the Textured Socks. So finally, almost a year after I started them, they are done! Hooray!

I used the free Stanton pattern and just over one skein of Socks that Rock Lightweight in the Smokey Mountain Morn colourway. The pattern was well-written and easy to follow, though I made a few adjustments: lengthening the toe slightly and widening the heel turn. I chose to keep the stitch pattern down the back of the heel flap, but slipped the first stitch on every row to make picking up the gusset easier. The stitch pattern is quickly memorized, and gives a good all-over texture that adds interest to the spirals of this variegated yarn. It draws in a bit like ribbing, so these socks should fit snugly.

Apparently Socks that Rock Lightweight now comes in a larger skein than when I bought this yarn – 405 yards instead of 360. The price has gone up to match, but at least if I decide to use the yarn again, I’ll have a better chance of getting a whole pair of socks out of one skein.

One of the older, smaller skeins is still in my stash, in the “Moss Agate” colourway. If anyone wants to buy it from me, I’ll send it on. $23 includes shipping anywhere in the continental United States; I’ll have to do the math on postage to other countries. It’s quite pretty but now I know from experience that it just won’t make socks big enough for me.

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The pillow form arrived during the first weekend of the Tour, and I used some leftover handspun Jacob in a medium gray shade to crochet the two sides together. I’m really pleased with the finished product! My original thought had been to make a felted pillow, but I liked the feel of the fabric – and the size – so I just left it alone. It’s heavy and squooshy and comfortable, and looks great on the black leather couch – though its final home will probably be on the futon in my office. This project was fun from start to finish; I got a lot better at longdraw spinning and then it was such a good feeling to knit a quick and easy project with my own handspun yarn on big needles.

The first week of the Tour went well, and then I crashed – but I’ll write about that next time. Meanwhile, I’m playing yarn chicken with the socks I started last fall, and I think it’s a losing game. I’d anticipated this, so when I grafted the first toe shut I didn’t pull the stitches tight. If I have to rip out that toe for the extra yarn I will, and then both socks will be given contrasting purple toes. Not what I’d hoped for, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

The safety pins on each sock are keeping the rows lined up, so I don’t have to count over and over again to get my socks the same length. This is Socks that Rock lightweight in the Smokey Mountain Morn colourway, and it’s the second STR pair I’ve made that isn’t going to cover my toes. (I made these shorter though! and with fewer stitches around! Hrmph.) I have one more skein of the yarn and I’ll remember next time to just make contrasting cuffs/heels/toes…

Meanwhile, I’ve been super busy! I bought a new (slightly used, but new to me) car and sold my old car last weekend, then started a new job on Monday, and I’m excited about both those things – but so drained from having two adventures in one week. Last night when it was still too early to go to bed, but I was too tired to do anything that required any mental effort, I pulled out some Lang Jawoll sock yarn that a friend sent me. She’d somehow made a tangled mess of the skeins without ever knitting any of it… but now they’re all detangled, wound into loose cakes, and added to my Ravelry stash.

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Maryland Sheep and Wool was a lot of fun this year! I drove up with Caroline on Saturday morning and we met Laurie there. The three of us spent about six hours, minus fifteen minutes for lunch, walking around looking at everything! It wasn’t too crowded, probably because the forecast called for rain in the middle of the day but clear skies on Sunday. Indeed, we did get drizzled on a tiny bit, but not a lot. And there was a lot of mud on the ground; I was glad to have my boots. But because we did very little standing around and waiting, I didn’t get very many pictures.

I couldn’t resist pausing for these paintings, though – and later I got a good shot of their subjects.

And then there was the shopping. I went to the festival armed with lists of possibilities. On one hand, if I could find inexpensive DK-weight yarn, I could knit up some more of the colourwork hats that I have charted out. On the other hand, I was invited to join a “Combo Spin” team for this year’s Tour de Fleece, so I had noted down some of the coordinating colours of fibre already in my stash. Whichever I found first, I said, I would go with for the rest of the day.

It was the fibre, and it was the greens and pinks of a rose garden.

First I found some Ashland Bay merino/tussah in the “Autumn” colourway. Their dyed fibre in this blend is apparently being discontinued, so it was on sale and I bought eight ounces of it. I’m sad that it won’t be made anymore and I’m seriously considering looking around the internet to see if there’s any more at discount prices. Once it’s gone, it’s gone – and I really love Ashland Bay fibre. It may not have the prestige of being handpainted but it’s consistent, it drafts well, the colours are lovely, and it feels nice. Ah well.

Then I saw this FatCatKnits braid in “Ranchero,” on both a plain merino and a merino swirl base. After much deliberation, I went with the swirl, and I regret nothing.

My third buy was a Greenwood Fiberworks braid in merino/bamboo/silk called “Spice Market.” There were a few other colourways that would have worked, but I resisted buying them all.

I brought everything home and set it all up on the table with the two braids of fibre that had gotten me started down this road in the first place: Into the Whirled “Martini & Rossi” romney, and Cloverleaf Farm “Cranberry Bog” merino. I bought that merino nine years ago, before I was good enough to spin it, and I’m glad that it will finally be part of a project. But I thought the group needed something else… not just for quantity, but for the overall colour scheme, to keep it from being too dark.

This braid of Romney that Amabel gave me last year seems to fit in perfectly. I might card a few batts to bring the total up to two pounds, because I have a plan for (eventually) making a sweater from this pile of squishiness. (Also because I haven’t carded up a blended batt in a while, and it seems like a fun thing to do on this cool and windy day.)

So what’s a Combo Spin, anyway? The idea is that you take a bunch of fibre with one or two colours in common, split it up into many small pieces, and randomize the pieces to make a blend. Once it’s spun and plied, you end up with a mostly homogenized yarn that looks like it was all meant to be together. The colours get evenly distributed throughout the whole yarn, and the textures of the different fibres combine in really interesting ways. There’s a thread on the Ravelry forums with further explanations and examples, or you can check out this video.

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When I vacation in new cities, I like to buy yarn as a souvenir. I don’t collect figurines or spoons or mugs; I don’t want anything that will just sit on a shelf collecting dust. Yarn, especially sock yarn, is perfect – I always know how much to buy, and when I get around to knitting it up I can remember the whole vacation and the excursion to the store. Later, when I wear the finished project, I get even more remembering! (Like the socks I was knitting in the hospital waiting room during the hours before Eldest Niece was born. I like those.)

I was in San Jose on my birthday, where I bought this skein of Malabrigo Sock in the “Lotus” colourway at Green Planet Yarn. (And Michael got a set of Karbonz DPNs, as long as we were in the store. They’re niiiice. They’re gonna be mine when he’s done knitting his socks.) I had a hard time picking just one thing to buy, and I kept getting distracted by the sample knits in the store. Some of them were really gorgeous!

After San Jose we went to Salt Lake City, where I found two yarn stores right near each other. First, we went to Unraveled Sheep, where I bought a Greenwood Fiberworks braid of merino top in the “Twilight” colourway. I have a braid of their yak/silk already, which is the softest thing I’ve ever touched, and when I found out that they’re a local dyer – well, I just had to get this one.

Next we went to Knittin’ Pretty, where I had an even harder time deciding on what to get, and finally settled on this Cascade Heritage Paints in “Teal Mix” that kept calling to me.

It was a lot of fun to visit these three shops, talking with the owners/staff, and seeing the variety of yarn, notions and samples in each one! I also made significant progress on my current pair of socks – the first one is done and the second is nearly to the heel flap. I’ve got a double handful of design ideas from people-watching in the ski lodges, too. It’s so nice to come back from vacation rested, relaxed, and full of ideas and inspiration.

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This is the official end of 2016 tallying-up post!


Incoming fibre in 2016:
Split half of an eight-pound MDSW fleece with Caroline

4 pounds, not accounting for weight lost to the washing and carding process

2016MDSW_with_fleece

Outgoing fibre in 2016:
6 ounces of Ashland Bay Merino Tussah became 353 yards of two-ply yarn
4 ounces of Sheepish Creations Merino/Bamboo/Nylon became 348 yards of two-ply yarn

10 ounces / 701 yards

20160710_wheel-and-tour


Incoming yarn in 2016:
1 ball Sugar ‘n Cream to make Michael a new washcloth (150)
1 ball Red Heart Buttercup to make a stuffed sheep (63)
1 skein Valley Yarns Huntington for white toes on the Tiger socks (218)
1 skein Cascade 220 for Karlin’s hat (220)

4 balls / 651 yards

tiger_sock

Outgoing yarn in 2016:
1 skein Cascade 220 for Karlin’s hat (220)
half a ball of Red Heart Soft, so my SIL can learn to crochet (128)
Leftover Jacob handspun for Dave’s Sheep (50)
Leftover Andean Treasure for Dave’s Sheep (25)
Half a ball of Red Heart Buttercup for Dave’s Sheep (30)
1 ball Sugar ‘n Cream to make Michael a new washcloth (150)
1 ball Opal Rainforest, for the Tiger Tiger socks (465)
2 balls Loops & Threads Impeccable for the Such a Square afghan (192 each)
1 ball handspun Fiber Optics yarn for the Gradient Hat (152)

7 balls / 1412 yards


The Year in Crafting:
I feel really good about my projects this year! I got a lot done, and more yarn out than in. (Can’t say the same about fibre, but hey, I bought half a fleece…) Everything I did this year is all together on a 2016 Projects page.

Favourite project:

Without a doubt, the Wee Sheepie.

20161018_sheep

Plans for Next Year:
More knitting! :D

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This is the official end of 2015 tallying-up post!


Incoming fibre:

None. Zero, zip, zilch. That took a lot of willpower!

Outgoing fibre:
4 ounces Bonkers merino-tencel, spun into 250 yards of two-ply
4 ounces Bullens Wullens merino-silk-bamboo, spun into 105 squooshy yards of chain-ply
4 ounces Rambouillet, spun up forever ago, finally chain-plied into 268 yards
quite a lot of mystery wool, spun longdraw, 922 yards of two-ply

12 oz plus however much mystery wool there is; I didn’t weigh it.

20150711_tdf15_plying


Incoming yarn:
1 ball Cascade 220 Superwash in gray (220)
2 balls Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in Serpentine (294)
2 balls Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in Peppercorn (294)

5 balls / 808 yards

Outgoing yarn:
1 ball Cascade 220 Superwash, Dave’s Hat (220)
.66 ball Lily Sugar & Cream in Pink Camo for a washcloth (100)
1 ball Knit Picks Andean Treasure for Stef’s Handwarmers (110)
1.5 balls Jo Sharp Classic DK wool for my own handwarmers (160)
2 balls Patons Kroy in Summer Moss Jacquard, sold (332)
2 balls “Starry Night” handspun given to Mom (256)
.33 ball Knit Picks Andean Treasure and half a ball each of gray and white Cascade 220 Superwash for Michael’s Bicolour Hat (37, 220)
2 balls Noro Silk Garden sock for the Rhinebeck Shawl (656)
1 skein handspun merino/silk for Mom to make a hat for Grandma (170)
2 balls Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in Peppercorn, Michael’s new Fleeps (294)
1 ball Berroco Sox for a pair of mindless stockinette socks (440)
1 ball Loops & Threads Impeccable for the Such a Square afghan (192)

16.5 balls / 3187 yards

Plus, Dad gave me this awesome yarn bowl:
dad_yarnbowl1


The Year in Crafting:
I feel really good about my projects this year! I got a lot done. They’re all together on a 2015 Projects page.

Favourite project:
It was a tossup between the Bicolour Hat and this, but I gotta say… it’s the Schultertuch. I loved making it! I still don’t know when or how or where to wear it, but it’s gorgeous and I love just looking at it.

schultertuch_finished


Patterns Published:
Only one this year, the Carved Lines Armwarmers – I’m really happy with the shape of these! I have a bunch of ideas for new patterns too, including a colourwork hat that I charted out a few weeks ago, lacy socks, cabled socks, mittens… it’s a long list!

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Michael’s mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and the next thing I knew there was a shared spreadsheet for us to keep a running wish list. I was having trouble thinking of things to ask for, when I had a lightbulb moment and realized that luxury spinning fibre would be the absolutely perfect present. So I asked for this braid of 50/50 yak/tussah from Greenwood Fiberworks, an Etsy shop that’s been in my favourites for a while.

greenwood-yaksilk3

The gift itself might not have been a complete surprise, but the fibre itself – ohhh, WOW. The pictures don’t do it justice. It is without a doubt the softest thing I’ve ever owned. The sheen of the silk, the soft squishiness of the yak, the way the colours fade into one another… it is simply beautiful.

greenwood-yaksilk2

The hard part will be deciding what to make with it! I want to be deliberate and spin with a project in mind, but so far I’m drawing a blank. Perhaps a cowl like this one would be nice to wear on supercold days (like today, when it’s only 20F/-7C out), or I could spin it in stripes and make long cabled armwarmers?

(Note: pictures are from Greenwood Fiberworks and were used with permission.)

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This is the official end of 2014 tallying-up post!

Pucker Brush BFL

Incoming fibre in 2014:
19 oz Corriedale in a variety of colours, for drum carding
4 oz Bonkers Merino-Tencel, rust and cream
4 oz Coopworth gradient, greens and purples
8 oz Pucker Brush Farm BFL pencil roving, multi-coloured
4 oz gorgeously luxurious YAK AND SILK braid

39 oz

2014_blog-week1

Outgoing fibre in 2014:
4 oz Bonkers Merino-Tencel in blue became 350 yards of two-ply fingering weight.
12 oz Mulberry Fibers (green, pink, and greeny-blue) spun into fingering weight two-ply for a commission.
4 oz Fiber Optic gradient, chain-plied into 152 yards
8 oz Pucker Brush Farm BFL pencil roving, chain-plied into 230 yards
4 oz Sheepish Creations BFL in rainbowy colours, two-ply, 190 yards

32 oz (almost! allllmost!)

online_supersocke_paradise-1444

Incoming yarn in 2014:
11 balls Loops & Threads Impeccable (2112)
2 skeins Cascade 220 (440)
4 balls ONline Supersocke 6-ply (1640)
1 ball ONline Supersocke 100 Vintage (459)
1 ball ONline Supersocke 100 Paradise (459)
1 ball Patons Kroy Socks in Navy (166)
2 balls Patons Kroy Socks Stripes in Rainbow (332)
1 ball Berocco Sox (440)
4 balls Plymouth Monte Donegal (436)
1 ball Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK (125)
1 skein Dragonfly Fibers Traveller (280)
3 balls Cascade 220 superwash (660)

32 balls / 7549 yards

Sekrit Sock

Outgoing yarn in 2014:
2 balls Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed for my Fleeps Redux (294)
2 skeins Cascade 220 for Morry and Shirley’s Hats (440)
0.5 skein Kraemer Yarns Sterling Silk & Silver for Teri’s armwarmers (210)
2.3 balls Patons Kroy Socks for the Choppy Seas socks (387)
1 skein Dragonfly Fibers Traveller (280)
1 ball ONline Supersocke 100 for the 1986 Socks (459)
1.5 balls Elann Silken Kydd, sold on Ravelry (348)
2 skeins “Starry Night” handspun, given to Mom (256)
5 skeins KnitPicks Swish Worsted, given to Mom (550)
2.3 balls Patons Kroy Socks for Kroy Me a Rainbow socks (387)
1 ball Loops & Threads Impeccable for the Such a Square afghan (192)

20.6 balls / 3803 yards (Way more in than out, but only because I bought the afghan yarn and didn’t make the afghan!)

fiber-optics_gradient

The Year in Crafting:
I knit three pair of socks, four hats, and two glove-like things! Not too shabby, eh? They’re all together on a 2014 Projects page. There was a lot of spinning too, and I’m pretty excited to knit some of that up next year. I also made a video about how to do yarnovers!

acres_wild4

Favourite project:
Probably the Acres Wild hat. The yarn called out to me so strongly, and I couldn’t resist buying it. Then I couldn’t resist finding the perfect stitch pattern to show off the variegation, and I couldn’t resist working on the project. The way it all came together at the top makes me grin. And I’m really proud of myself for knitting that bit over and over until I got it just right.

Not to mention raising over $200 for charity with sales of the pattern. That was pretty awesome, too.

snowflake1

Least Favourite project:
I got lucky this year and thoroughly enjoyed everything I worked on. There is no least favourite! …well, maybe the crocheted snowflake. But even that wasn’t really *so* bad.

choppy1

Patterns Published:
Choppy Seas, a textured sock pattern – available for free!
Acres Wild, a hat pattern to break up pooling in variegated yarn.

Last Year’s Resolutions and Plans:
– spin more, YES!
– knit something with handspun yarn, NOPE
– design and publish two new patterns… YES!
– finish Napramach and the Stripy Socks. I… uh… don’t think I knit more than two stripes on the Stripy Socks.
– cast on for fancy cabled knee socks, NOPE.
– use up more yarn and fibre than I purchase… big fat NOPE.
– get some stock in the Etsy shop. Well, I suppose I could list some of the yarn I spun? I did spin three skeins/twelve ounces on a commission, so that does count as selling some of my handspun, doesn’t it!

Plans for 2015:

They’re just about the same! Let’s see how much I can accomplish:

– spin even more
– knit something with handspun yarn
– design and publish two new patterns
– finish Napramach and the Stripy Socks
– crochet a blanket
– cast on for fancy cabled knee socks
– use up more yarn and fibre than I purchase
– knit a sweater
– and, of course, post to the blog more regularly…

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Last weekend, Michael and I went to Ottawa to visit our sister the Ninja for Winterlude! We had a wonderful time – cooking, going to pubs (haggis nachos!) and yarn shops, skating on the Rideau Canal, checking out the ice sculptures, watching the Superb Owl with friends… I wish we could have stayed longer.

pirate_and_ninja

I finished my Fleeps just in time for skating on Saturday, and a good thing too, as they kept my hands wonderfully warm. (More about them in another post, though.) Michael and I were able to skate the whole canal from start to finish and back again, 7.8 km each way, plus a few side excursions. All in all, that’s about 10 miles of skating! Here we are at Le Fin du Glace:

fin_du_glace

Of course, I bought souvenir yarn. Quite a bit of it, actually. On Friday, we went to Knit-Knackers in Smiths Falls, where I may have gone overboard. Michael bought me some Patons Kroy in Rainbow Stripes, a colourway that I haven’t seen in my local stores, and a coordinating skein of navy for the toes/heels/cuffs. I picked up a ball of ONline Supersocke 100 in a tonal pink for a textured or cabled sock that I haven’t yet designed, and another ball of Supersocke 100 in a colourway that looks exactly like skiing in 1988. Awesome, eh? I can’t wait to knit this one up!

online_supersocke_paradise-1444

Before the Superb Owl on Sunday, we stopped by Yarn Forward in Ottawa where I couldn’t resist this ball of Berocco Sox. If they hadn’t had a partially-knit sample sock in the colourway, I might have passed it by. It wasn’t until later that I realized with some amusement it has that same mustard-yellow colour that’s in the yarn for my planned long johns!

berocco_sox_1493

Ottawa is one of my favourite cities, and already I’m looking forward to going to Winterlude next year – though I’d like to visit again in warmer weather. It would be nice to travel with a little suitcase, instead of a big one stuffed with wool sweaters and ice skates!

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On Saturday morning, Michael and I got up (not too early) and headed off to Rhinebeck. The trees – ohhh, we don’t have leaves like that here in Virginia. They’re much duller this year. These are just gorgeous!

2013_rhinebeck_trees2

We went through a few of the buildings and then stopped to admire the alpaca. There was a guy there taking pictures of them with what looked like an original Polaroid camera, which was pretty cool. The alpaca doesn’t seem too impressed, though.

Of course, there was lamb for lunch. Except the line for lamb sandwiches was really long, and really slow, and they ran out of sandwiches before we got there. I ended up getting a gyro, and Michael got sausage, and I guess that was all right. (On Sunday, we made lamb for dinner. That made up for the lack on Saturday.)

2013_rhinebeck_alpaca

The day became a Quest, as my Dancing Cranes stole is still shedding all over everything despite a good soak. Maybe one day it will get past that, but meanwhile I want a shawl that won’t shed. Michael suggested that I get a plummy purple laceweight to match his tie and pocket square, and we began to search for it. I was surprised at how difficult the quest was. There was the right shade of purple, in all the wrong fibres. There was beautiful laceweight, in all the wrong purples.

I did find this gorgeous green semi-solid sock yarn, and bought it so excitedly that I forgot to get the vendor information or any details about the yarn. When I got home and took pictures, I realized that it had no tag, and I paid cash so I have no receipt. I’ve got a call out on the Rhinebeck group on Ravelry, and hopefully I’ll know what it is soon!

Edited to add: It is Oasis Yarn Aussi Soxxi! Many thanks to AnissaH, who was able to solve the mystery.

green_mystery_yarn

We stopped at Bittersweet Woolery because she had some beautiful laceweight, and she even pulled out the bins to check Sunday’s yarn supply, but the colours weren’t quite right. Still, that was one of the highlights of the day – because I got recognized! “Hey, you’re KnittingPirate,” gives me such a thrill! Hi, RowsRed – it was great to meet you!

Then, finally, in the last building… the right colour purple, in the right kind of fibre. Lisa Souza “Montreaux” in the Marionberry colourway seems Just Right. I may have jumped up and down a little bit. That evening we checked it against Michael’s pocket square, which of course we had forgotten to bring with us, and it’s perfect.

2013_rhinebeck_lisa_souza_lace

On the way out I stopped at Fiber Optic to admire the huge gradient shawls, and finally – after years of thinking about it – bought one of the gradient tops, in a light aqua to deep chocolate colourway. It is simply gorgeous. I’m going to split it the long way and do a two-ply gradient, when I get up the courage to spin it.

2013_rhinebeck_fiber_optic_gradient

I’m swatching the purple lace by simply starting the shawl. I’m on the second try – the first one was too loose, and I dropped a stitch that I couldn’t recover, so I began again. The rows are so small at this point that it seems to make sense to just start. (But I did order a slightly smaller needle, just in case.)

There are a few too many projects going on at the moment, and I’m planning to blog about them all! I’ve missed writing, and I’ve missed your comments, and being recognized as me was so exciting that I’m super-inspired to get back here more often. :)

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