Thursday, January 16, 2014

Life has been crazy

I'm sorry I haven't posted since September. 

The last few months of 2013 were pretty crazy busy, and a lot of wonderful and not so wonderful things happened. 

My great grandma passed away in the fall. It was a hard time for my family, and she is greatly missed. 




























But many good things happened as well. 

Wonderfullest of the wonderfuls: My niece Devlin was born on September 16, 2013





















Christmas was wonderful, and everyone enjoyed their handmade presents




























And, of course, Milo is adorable as ever (and is now ENORMOUS)




















I don't have a lot of time to write details about projects, but you can find out everything on my project pages on Ravelry

Recently Finished Projects

1) Arabella Lace Shawl

























2) Broken rib handspun cowl



















3) Nature's Lace shawl














4) Not so recent, but here's my final drawing for my art class

























5) Tons of Christmas presents (see above)

6) Christmas socks for me
















Works in Progress

1) Toe up anklets 





















2) Sock head hat




















3) Toujours sweater for Molly




















4) Singles of Malabrigo Nube






















That's all for now, folks. I have to go get ready for class. I'm going to try to post more often, but they may be mostly picture based posts, like today's, since I'm going to be busy with school for a while.

-Nicole

Monday, September 9, 2013

Shawls, more shawls, and school.

School is kicking my ass. Seriously.

Classes started two weeks ago and already I've had two major stress melt downs and have
gotten sick once. NEVER TAKING TIME OFF AGAIN! I feel like I'm behind of everything, even though we just started school. I'm hoping that once I get more into the groove of homework and papers and tests I will be less of a nervous wreck. 

So far I am mostly enjoying my classes. 
I loooove my "Love and Work in 19th Century Literature" class. It is really interesting and the professor is a lot of fun,  but it is a senior level class so there is a LOT of work.
 I like my Lit. Analysis class, but it is a little boring sometimes because a lot of it the last couple weeks has been review.  I love my professor because she is French and has the best accent ever. 
I also really like my art class, just because I love drawing, but the professor is one of the hardest graders I have ever had for art. That class is the one that is kicking my ass. I am the only one is the class that is not an art major, and she expects us to spend at least 6 hours outside of class doing homework and working on projects. Gaah. 

Milo got his little kitty balls removed last week and he is just as rambunctious and silly as ever. It definitely has not changed his personality AT ALL which is good news. We have been supposed to keep him from running or jumping all week, which has been pretty much impossible. How are you supposed to keep a kitten from playing??

I have not had a ton of time to knit, so I've mostly just been busy finishing projects that I already had on the needles, BUT I did somehow find time to start and finish two shawls since the last time I posted. SPEED KNITTING! So, all the knitting I have to share with you are finished projects. 
I'm going to make the rest of this post quick because Milo decided it's time to try to take a nap on the keyboard. 

Finished Objects:

1) I finished my lovely Henslowe

























I am so happy with it! It is squishy and soft and the color is lovely.So this is the Henslowe by Beth Kling. I knit it on size US 5 (3.75 mm) needles with Knit Picks Capretta in Celestial. 

2) I test knit a pattern for a designer 



















A lot of times when an independent designer makes a new pattern they will ask people online to test knit it for them to make sure that it is written correctly and there are no errors. This is the Rosewood Shawl by Rose Jordan and I made it as a Christmas present for someone secret. I used size US 9 (5.5 mm) needles and Caron Simply Soft in Carnation. 

3) Last but not least, I knit shawl with some of my hand spun





























This is the Gale's Art Polwarth that I finished spinning and plying last post. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this shawl. Oh my god the colors. GORGEOUS! This is the Holden Shawlette which I knit with size US 6 (4.0 mm) needles and my hand-spun. I am so pleased with how it turned out. 

4) I also finished Molly's shawl! 
I will add photos HERE after I am done blocking it.

I knit this shawl using Liz Corke's Storm Warning pattern with US 6 (4.0 mm) needles and Jo-Ann Sensations Cuddle in Lilac.

No works in progress right now, but I do have a sweater I am planning to knit. It's called the Troian by Vanessa Smith and it is lovely. I am planning on overdyeing some neon purple yarn to make it a sort of dark plum color and using that to knit it. 



























Stashy Stash

Some of this was actually purchased before my last post, but hadn't arrived yet. 

TWO large sweater's quantities for only $15 each! WHAT!


I got this free with my purchase. WEEE


2450 yards of laceweight merino for only $15!

This was a gift from moutons on Ravelry
Another sweater's quantity for 12 dollars!
Can you tell I want to knit some sweaters?



Otherwise

I thought I would share a couple of my most recent drawings and sketches with you. Remember it's been a year since I've drawn seriously, so some of these are not my best work. And if you want to share these pictures, please be sure to credit me. 

Selfie


My hand

My hand again

in class model








Thanks for reading! I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week, and keep your fingers crossed that Fall weather comes soon.

-Nicole






Friday, August 23, 2013

School and Stitches

Busy busy busy busy!

These last couple weeks have been super busy. Going to Stitches, working, taking care of Milo, and getting ready for school have taken up most of my time. 

Stitches Midwest was so much fun. If you don't know, Stitches is a huge yarn and fiber convention for knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers and felt-ers. Stitches is organized by Knitting Universe, which is a knitting book and magazine company. There are dozens of booths full of yarn, fiber, books, tools, and tons of beautiful things to look at. Hundreds of fiber-folks attend, and a lot of people I saw were wearing lovely hand made sweaters, shawls, scarves, hats, and bags. It was awesome to see so much yummy fibery goodness and to be surrounded by like-minded folks. Brandon came with me, because he is the best boyfriend ever, and he even enjoyed feeling and looking at all the yarn.

Celeste's baby shower was also a ton of fun. Molly and I spent six hours baking and decorating coconut cupcakes and lemon cookies. For future reference- don't use cream cheese frosting to make roses. It does NOT work out well. Celeste seemed very happy about all of the baby sweaters and accessories, and I can't wait to see them on the baby.

School starts on Monday, which I am super crazy nervous about. I have all my books and supplies, but I still feel unprepared. They aren't lying when they warn you not to take time off school because you won't want to go back. I love learning but, blecccch...I am not excited to go back to papers and tests. But I have to go back! I am already going to be graduating a year or so after all of my friends due to switching majors, and I don't want to push it off any longer than that. They are all seniors this year and I am only a junior! 

Milo is getting huge! We made an appointment to get him neutered soon, because he is already three months old. He is so adorable and so much fun. He is definitely a very spoiled kitty- I can't walk anywhere in my apartment without stepping on a cat toy. 

video





I have been pretty monogamous in my knitting endeavors lately, so I have made a lot of progress in a couple of things, but it doesn't look like I've done much.

Finished Objects: 

1) I finally finished spinning and plying that Polwarth that I have been working on forever




























I spun this very thin and chain (aka Navajo) plied it. The plying process was kind of difficult to get used to. Chain plying makes a three ply yarn out of one long single strand of yarn, and it involves basically making a huge crochet chain with lots of big loops. Since there is a lot of tension on the singles, it is easy for it to snap when you are plying. I had an interesting time keeping my yarn from falling apart a couple of times. I think next time I will try going a little slower. I ended up getting 460 yards of a fingering/sport weight yarn. 

2) I also finished my Dane shawl, and it is gorgeous.






















I am so proud of how this turned out. There is nothing more satisfying than taking bare, undyed wool and dyeing it, spinning it into yarn, and knitting it into something beautiful. This is my second hand-spun shawl, and I think that they are my favorite things to make in the world. 
For this shawl I used Jane Tanner's Dane Shawl pattern and my hand-spun corriedale wool on size US 7 (4.5 mm) needles. This shawl is very warm and looks wonderful when draped or pinned around my shoulders. LOVE IT!!

3) I knit a little baby set for my future niece






















I also knit a Poppy hat, but forgot to take a picture. I knit all of these on size US 3 (3.25 mm) needles and used Lion Brand Baby Soft yarn in lavender. For the booties I used Lucie Sinkler's Mary Jane Booties pattern. I made up the pattern for the mitts because I wanted them to match the booties. 

4) I dyed some yarn!






















I used Wilton's black food coloring dye. I broke the dye, meaning that I made it split into the different colors that make up the dye. Wilton's black is made up of blue and red coloring with a little bit of yellow. Since red dye absorbs faster than blue, if you put dry yarn into the dye pot, the red dye with absorb first and then the blue will absorb after, giving the yarn splotches of blue and splotches of reddish purple. I think it's gorgeous. 



Works in Progress

1) I am almost done knitting a Henslowe shawl.




















I am almost done with the edging, but I ran out of yarn! I ordered another ball online so hopefully it will come soon. This is Beth Kling's Henslowe shawl. I am knitting it with Knit Picks Capretta yarn in Celestial with size US 5 (3.75 mm) needles. The yarn is merino and cashmere so it is super soft and squishy. 

2) I started spinning some BFL






















I bought this wool for the Wool Peddler on Etsy and I am spinning it to make a fingering or sport weight two ply yarn.


Stash Enhancement

I saved up a hundred dollars to spend at Stitches, so I bought a LOT of stuff.

Knitting Notions Classic Merino Bamboo, Aubergine 490 yds

Shaky K Fibers BFL, Desert Jewel, 4 oz

Madeline Tosh merino light, Baltic, 420 yds 

Verdant Gryphon Mithral, Autumn Oaks, 750 yds

Carolina Homespun Mixed BFL 4 oz

Newton's Yarn Country 2.2 Softball, Crimson, 1350.5 yds

Lisa Souza Grace, Portsmouth, 774 yds

Tiffany Yarn Sock, 420 yds

Tiffany Yarn Sock, 420 yds






I am rewatching Doctor Who, so I am off for a marathon! I love it!

-Nicole