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. 

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!


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