Handspun cowl

I have knit with yarn I made myself!

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This is my first time knitting with handspun so forgive me if I am a bit excited.

I added way too much twist to the fiber as I was spinning it, apparently, so the beautiful silk and merino blend feels a bit like packing twine.  But nevermind,  I’ve still been wearing this thing constantly since I weaved in the ends. I only take it off to sleep. Was I this excited when I learned to knit? I can’t remember.

The pattern is a simple chevron tube, available free here. Details about this project on my ravelry page.

Woo hoo!

New Year

It’s New Year’s eve and I have actually finished knitting something!

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A pair of fingerless mitts, a Christmas gift for my sister.  Love this yarn, used no pattern, details on Ravelry. I had quite a bit of trouble with binding off.  In the end, after several tries, I ended up using the trusty “standard” bind-off on the thumbs, and a sewn bind-off on the finger area.  I used the directions on Wendy’s sock book for the sewn bind-off. I left these with my mom, since she will see my sister before I will, but hopefully I’ll get some pics of her wearing them at some point.

I have another FO, soaking now, and it feels great to end the year with a sense of completion.  Please don’t remind me of the many more uncompleted things I’m carrying with me into January.

My crafty goals for 2013 are to have a net reduction in stash (yarn in < yarn out), learn to spin on a wheel, and to start knitting holiday gifts this month.  I managed only those fingerless mitts for Christmas this year, and even they were late. How lame!

I voted today!

And I’m knitting with my first (project quantity) of handspun!

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And I’m posting from my mobile device for the first time!

It’s a day of accomplishment here in my corner of the world.

WIP: Nuvem Wrap

This mass of copper-colored yarn is going to be a Nuvem.

A hexagonal wrap, knit in the round, miles and miles of stockinette, in laceweight yarn.  Let’s just say I’m going to be working on this one for a while.  It survived the reckoning with my WIP basket because I’m enjoying the knitting, it’s mindless stockinette, and I know I will use the crap out of it when it’s done.

I’m using Knitpicks interchangeable needles for this project.  My opinion of the knitpicks needles is not as high as it used to be, but I can say one good thing about them: since they are affordable,  I have a full set of wood tips and also a number of metal tips purchased individually.  Which allows me to do this:

I like the feel of the wood needles and the “grabbines” of the wood prevents the stitches from sliding off the right needle when I put the project down.  But in a project of all knit stitches and trying to be speedy, the slick metal surface on the left needle helps things along.

I started with about 200 g of yarn, and after six months of on-and-off knitting I’m down to 150 g. Sigh.

Frogged Project: Double-knit mittens

My recent come-to-Jesus meeting with my WIP basket had some casualties. This one is my first serious attempt at double knitting.  I learned so much from this project, but you can see I made some big mistakes along the way. (Poor pics, I took these after dark.)


I love the idea of double-knit mittens – smooth on the inside! No yarn floats to get your fingers tangled in! But let’s face it, my first attempt is not wearable.

So, I unraveled it.  I’m going to try this again, probably over holiday break when I will have more time to concentrate while knitting. Until then, I’m going to soak the yarn in hopes of returning it to its unknit state.  I’ve got the grey yarn waiting on the niddy noddy for a bath.

The projects I kept on the needles are all either simple knitting or almost done. Sometimes we have to accept reality, after putting in 10 or 12 hours at work I am not going to come home and focus really hard on my crafting. It was over-committing myself mentally that got me into trouble over the past few months, there is no shame in knitting a bit of stockinette now and again. 😉

A Reckoning

It was time to get real with myself.

These days, my job is overwhelming and I have precious little time to spend on hobbies.  I found myself knitting less and less and I came to realize that it was time to give my knitting basket a makeover.  It was full of projects I simply didn’t enjoy, but I felt obligated to finish.

A hobby should not feel like an obligation. I either had to stop knitting or get over my hangups about finishing what I start.  So I emptied out all my WIPs in one place,

And ruthlessly cut out the things that weren’t making me happy.

I frogged dozens of hours worth of knitting. My ball winder got a workout and it felt good! This was a few days ago and since then my knitting mojo has returned in full force.

I’m planning to revive this blog along with my knitting and spinning, so I’m going to try to post every day for a month to get in the habit of blogging. (Why? well, many blogs I follow have been revived this way when things get quiet.) So, over this week I’ll talk about the projects you see above along with new ones to replace the projects that got frogged.

Yee haw!

Hats!

A bit of blog silence lately, but the end of summer is all about tying up loose ends and starting things fresh for academics (I’m just realizing how much this is at odds with nature), so let me do that here.

For the Ravellenic Games I knit two hats.

I love the color of this yarn and one skein of it was enough for this hat.  It’s way too big in circumference and less floppy than the designer probably intended, but I think I’ll wear it a lot this fall.  Anna Karenina in Cascade Venezia Worsted.

I also finally knit a Quincy hat.  The yarn and pattern have both been in my knitting basket for months, and seeing as it has a Mobius band in it and I’m a math teacher I kinda had to knit it. It was fun and super fast to knit, though if I knit this again I’ll make the hat a little taller by making the Mobius band wider.  The yarn surprised me – I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I do.  Quincy hat in KnitPicks Cadena

Certainly not a huge output by Ravellenic standards, but it’s a lot more than I would have accomplished otherwise.  And finishing some quick progress inspired me to attack some of the projects that have been collecting cobwebs in the knitting basket. Hopefully more FO posts in the near future!