Monday, September 8, 2008

Folk Festival and New Guild

Over the weekend, Rockingham County Weavers and Fiber Artists Guild which is in the process of organizing had a booth at our local folk festival at the community college. My new friend, Beth, who is a weaver, set up the booth and did a beautiful job. Here's a picture of Beth at her loom in the booth.This young man is checking out a rug woven from plastic shopping bags (plarn) by Beth. Isn't it interesting?Also my friend, Liese, was there. Liese is a spinner, weaver, dyer, knitter and fiber-producing animal "farmer." She and her husband own and operated Little Meadows Farm which is located in a neighboring county and about 20 minutes drive from my home. Here she is at her wheel giving a demonstration.
I basically gave a knitting demonstration by working on my TLE Family Frolic Sock on Saturday and my Orchid Lace Scarf on Sunday. I made some contacts for knitting group as well as the guild. The sock is interesting. The designer suggested stranding the sheep but my stranding caused sock to be too tight to go over my heel so I frogged and worked it using intarsia technique which as Cat Bordhi said is "mind-boggling." After about 3/4 finished, I did a head-slap doh and will work sock 2 in slightly different manner. Here's a picture of sock 1.
Of course, my friend, Liese, had some of her handspun/handdyed there. She had some of her corriedale Bettie's yarn in fingerweight so I had to have it to make some socks. I'll probably use stockinette toe-up pattern. They'll be known as Bettie socks. Here's a picture of it.
I didn't finish any projects since last post that I photographed. Still on the needles in addition to socks above are Allspice Vest, Orchid Lace Scarf, prayer shawl and newly-cast-on market bag. I'm still spinning the Creatively Dyed Fairy Dust which I hope to finish soon.

I'll be venturing over to Rising Meadow for a small fiber festival over the upcoming weekend. I'll try to take pictures for Monday.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Birthday Loot and Last SoS 08 Socks

Several weeks ago I had my last 50-something birthday. Several friends and relatives gave me cash and, of course, yarn addict that I am I had to buy myself a present also. Here's what I bought:This is Keegan Lane Yarns En Pointe Sock Yarn in Mint Chocolate Chip.This is also Keegan Lane Yarns En Pointe in Princess and the Pea.This is Penny Rose Emily Laceweight in Seaspray. Game plan for it is to become a Creatures of the Sea Shawl.I got lucky and scored a skein of the elusive Wollmeise in Suzanne. This is the superwash. While this yarn is slightly difficult to work with, the colors and the fabric it makes is awesome. Izzy thought this was hers and shredded the tissue paper it came in (bad kitty). Fortunately, I rescued it before she damaged the yarn. (She loves to shred tissue paper and Debit (the dog) likes to eat it.)
This is Sophie's Toes Christmas Cactus. This is new yarn to me but colors are beautiful and it is very pettable.
This is also Sophie's Toes in State Fair.

I spent most of my long Labor Day weekend finishing up my Asparagus Cable Socks designed by Wendy D Johnson. These are in Dream in Color Smooshy Spring Tickle. I bought enough Classy in the same colorway to make a sweater with an asparagus cable panel up the front. It's in the queue but have some other stuff that is ahead of it. These are my last Summer of Socks project so am now waking up my hibernating Allspice vest. I'll also be working more on my Orchid Lace Scarf.
I'm still spinning my Creatively Dyed Fairy Dust. I'm on the last bobbin. I'm still only spinning about 30 minutes a day. On the needles I also have a prayer throw for Al who has MCL, the aforementioned vest and scarf. I'll be casting on Family Frolic socks tonight and Sunday will start another market bag.

I enjoyed Summer of Socks but found that having deadlines and goals (even self-imposed ones) was a little frustrating at times. I've been knitting-a-long for a couple of years now and don't know why this was more frustrating. I seemed to spend a lot of time at the frog pond or tinking instead of knitting.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Where has the summer gone?

My last post was shortly after summer began. Now it's almost over and I don't have a clue where it's gone. I've been busy trying to make my Summer of Socks goal of 5 pairs of adult socks. Today I cast on sock 2 of pair 5 but will not finish in time for deadline on September 1. Completed Summer of Socks projects are below:These are my Anklebiter Socks designed by Terry Ross and knit in special Don't be blue colorway of Dream in Color Smooshy. These socks were from consolation kit for those of us who didn't get into The Loopy Ewe's sock club. Yes, they're snakes.
These are Moselle socks designed by Cookie A for those of us who attended The Loopy Ewe's Spring Fling. The colorway is Spring Fling from Wollmeise. Cookie A stated that she name this pattern for a German river and this color way reminded me of the color of the rivers we saw there.

The pattern for these is Wendy Johnson's Spring Fling Toe-Ups. The yarn is Wollmeise Veilchen (violet) that my exchange partner gave to me. I found Wollmeise yarns to be splitty and kinky but the colors are well worth the slight hassle of knitting them. They make a wonderful fabric.

These were made with Keegan Lane Sparkles in Ballerina. This was the first skein of this posted on Melissa's site. It has real silver in it. The pattern is Fresh, Again by Sarah Nopper and is availble for sale from Sarah on Ravelry. This is a toe-up. If you don't belong to Ravelry, you can sign up to do so.
This pair is still OTN. It's Wendy Johnson's Asparagus Cable (toe-up) made with Dream in Color Spring Tickle Smooshy. I'll be making a sweater with an asparagus cable panel using Dream in Color Classy in the same colorway. DIC is one of my favorite yarns.
Several market bags--these were made using Plymouth Fantasy Naturale and a free pattern from Plymouth. I made another using Bernat Handicrafter Cotton but didn't take a photo.

This is Elizabeth Zimmerman's baby surprise jacket made with Thank Ewe DK Superwash in Spring Melody. I really need to sew buttons on it.
This is a chakalaka made from Peaches n Creme double worsted cotton. I'm hoping to give these with candy in them for Christmas gifts. I hope that when blocked they'll stand without candy dish inside. I made 2 of these.

I also finished a prayer shawl but failed to take photo of this. Will post a picture next time.

On the needles and wheel

On the needles and hibernating is my Allspice vest. I intend to wake it up on September 1. Also OTN is an Orchid Lace Scarf from Knitspots using Dream in Color Baby (laceweight) in Wisterious. This is my first real laceweight project and I'm hopelessly addicted to something else. I'm knitting a handtowel for a gift and a prayer shawl.

I'm spinning some Creatively Dyed roving in Fairy Dust. I've plyed two bobbins of this and am almost finished with bobbin 3. One more to go and then I'm not sure what's up next for the wheel. I only spin about 30 minutes a day which takes a while.

Lake Junaluska

Last but not least I spent a weekend at Lake Junaluska. I apologize for the run-on post. I'll try to post more often.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer begins

Well, it's officially summer! So I cast on my first socks for Summer of Socks 2008. I'm working Anklebiters by Terry Ross using DIC Smooshy. I'm working gussett increases on sock 1. My goal is to finish at least 5 pairs of socks.

This may be an ambitious goal as I always have a prayer shawl in the works and I'm working another sweater. Yeah, I know I said no more till cool weather.

The sweater is Allspice vest using Anna's yarn. This sweater has about 15 different colors and I had to decide what to use where. I'm not a very good color theorist but the picture below doesn't look bad.

I finished my Greenjeans design socks. They match my Mr Greenjeans sweater and are made from DIC Smooshy in Into the Mystic. I designed these with the help of a sock design class at The Loopy Ewe Spring Fling led by Cookie A. I did a couple of things that I'd do differently if I make them again. I decided that I need to be more consistent with taking notes. As in, WRITE IT DOWN WHETHER YOU THINK YOU'LL REMEMBER OR NOT!!!! I had to drag out the magnifier while making sock 2 to figure out what I'd done on sock 1. I did take notes while working sock 2.
Also OTN is a prayer shawl and a market bag. I finished a couple of Chakalakas and will post pictures next time.

On the wheel is some Creatively Dyed Roving in Fairy Dust. It's 70/3o wool/seacell. I'm on the second bobbin. Looks like I'll have enough to spin two more. I'm beginning to be very pleased with my singles. Hopefully the plyed will look good too.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Getting ready for Summer of Socks 2008

Last week I finished up a sweater project I'd had OTN since February. The last few days I worked it temperatures soared near 90, and the dog and cat still insisted on be lap animals. Needless to say, a lap full of dog, cat and sheep was hot at that point.

Now temperatures are close to 100. I cast on a sweater vest which will very likely hibernate in a few days.

Now I signed up for Summer of Socks 2008 which officially starts on June 21. At my house the socks only knitting will start sooner. I'm working on my design sock based on Mr Greenjeans cable and rib pattern using Into the Mystic Smooshy.

I worked yesterday on my second baby surprise jacket that I'm making using DK superwash from Thank Ewe. I was short about 50 yards (oops) so had to custom-order more.

I started making Chakalakas which are small baskets made from cotton. Since I'm not making dishcloths much anymore, this is a good project to use that stash. Also I found a pattern for knitted market bags. I'll be making some of those. These will be good gift items.

I also spent some time yesterday organizing queued projects--gathering patterns and yarn and putting in bags. I also organized my sock patterns because I keep buying Wendy's patterns and was concerned I'd duplicate. Guess what I had! The next few days I'll be winding yarn for Summer of Socks projects which will be:

  1. Anklebiters designed by Terry Ross. Yarn will be DIC Smooshy Don't be blue
  2. Moselle designed by Cookie A. Yarn will be Wollmeise Spring Fling
  3. Spring Fling toe ups by Wendy. Yarn will be Wollmeise
  4. Asparagus Cables by Wendy. Yarn will be Smooshy Spring Tickle. I'll be designing a sweater to match these in the fall.
  5. TLE Family Frolic by Debbie O'Neill. Yarn will be Claudia Hand Paint fingering and Louet Gems
  6. fresh, again by Sarah Nopper. Yarn will be Sparkles sock yarn from Keegan Lane Yarns.
  7. St Louis socks by Wendy. Yarn will be Claudia Hand Paint fingering
Now I probably won't finish all these and I may cast on Anklebiters before June 21 so they may not be counted as SoS socks.

I've used enough stash to free up a small tote and this allowed me to stow kitted projects. Yay!

Finished projects:

Opal toe-ups based on Wendy's pattern. Please note Debit's paw. I suspect had these not been on blockers she would have grabbed one. I started these before Spring Fling and called them my travelling project. I started out making both at once. Never again!!!! Half way up the toe I moved one to waste yarn. Then I failed to make good notes (bad knitter). Obviously I figured it out.

In progress: Allspice vest using Anna's yarn, design sock, chakalaka, baby surprise jacket, prayer shawl

Gonna sign off for now. Stay cool--knit socks.

Friday, June 6, 2008


(This has a lot of pictures of finished projects. I didn't post all. Those of you on Ravelry can see all. My id is timspinknitz.)

In January I attended a knitting retreat at Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC. One of my classes was a sweater design class led by Varian Brandon. She used part EZ percentage, part Alice Starmore, part from a book titled Knitting the Old Way and part her own method. In February I started my first design sweater. It's had a couple of naps but mid-week this week I bound it off. I'm not overjoyed with the neck. It's a little scoopy but I learned and will adjust the next one. Here's the picture:

I also finished my Mr Greenjeans sweater. A couple of changes I made to this pattern were using larger needles for cable work on body and making full length sleeve. The yarn is Dream in Color Classy Into the Mystic. I highly recommend this yarn you can find it at The LoopyEwe.
Here's a picture:

Here's a prayer shawl I made for my aunt. It's the basic k3, p3 shawl made in Lionbrand Homespun. I'm not sure what the colorway is. I bought this on eBay and it didn't have a label.

This is a Rocketry sweater for a new baby at my church. It was designed to use Dream in Color yarns. I used some Knit Picks Swish because I was being cheap and didn't want to spend the price of the kit on the gift. Since I'm totally lacking in color theory abilities, I didn't think this was a very baby-like sweater. I suspect Tristan will get this sweater.
Another reason I wasn't overly thrilled by the above sweater was that I made an EZ baby surprise jacket. This was from some superwash yarn dyed by my friend Laura. I also made a matching hat from 101 One Skein Wonders. Now when I first finished this little jacket, I thought "It's okay but not the cutest sweater I've ever seen." Then I found these little bear buttons at Walmart. When I sewed them on, it was like magic. I'm now making a baby surprise jacket for the "church" baby.

These are my exchange partner's socks. Pat is from near Chicago. She gave me a beautiful pair of socks made of Claudia Handpainted, some qiviuk to spin, some chocolate, some Wollmeise, a tape measure, some note cards and a basket. Her socks are Wendy's Loopy Laces and the yarn is Regia Stretch in Skater colorway.
This is the finished Argosy wrap. I gave it to a knitting friend who has breast cancer and is undergoing chemo. It's made from Fantasy Naturale and the colorway ought to be red hatters delight but I don't know the name.
I think this is most of the big items I've finished in the last two months. I finished Janelle's dorm socks and some hand towels. They're in my Ravelry notebook.

On the needles now, a pair of generic toe-ups based on Wendy's pattern using Opal sock, a pair of design socks to match Mr Greenjeans sweater using Dream in Color Smooshy, a baby surprise jacket using some DK superwash in Spring Melody from ThankEwe, and Allspice vest from Anna Zilbourg from kit. I'll also be working on some market bags for Christmas gifts soon. Bye for now. Hope to be back sooner.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fiber Festival in the Back of Beyond

It's Memorial Day weekend. A knitting friend suggested that I might enjoy attending a fiber festival in Big Island, VA. So Saturday morning I took a trip to my first fiber festival. I printed driving directions from the festival's website but also set my GPS while waiting at the drive thru for the barista to make my mochaccino. The GPS kept saying that my current location was at my home and I tried to reset it but that didn't work.

Now let me say that this was a beautiful area of Virginia and the scenery provided many Kodak moments. BUT...the directions from the website took me down a small, really small, road. On one stretch a dually would have needed a wide-load escort. While on this stretch I was behind a Uhaul which had the right wheel on the shoulder and the left over the center line. I stopped before I left civilization to buy a soft drink and, after about an hour, I began to appreciate how Sandra Bullock's character felt in "Two Weeks Notice." I didn't see any RVs but I was about ready to stop at some stranger's house and ask if I could use the facilities.

I took "Little Loopy" with me and wanted to stop and take pictures of her with the beautiful scenery but this road had no pull-offs--of course, I could have stopped on the road as traffic was pretty much non-existent. Finally I arrived. Here's a picture of Loopy on the car at the festival
You can see the Virginia Blue Ridge behind her. Here she is having lunch with Wanda, Kelly and Robin who are members of the Danville knitting group.My main purpose in going to the festival was to buy roving. Of course, I had to have sock yarn and a knitting bag too. Here's a picture of the yarn from Misty Mountain Farms and the roving from Kid Hollow Farm. The bag's on order.Before I left to return home, Robin, Wanda and Kelly gave me directions home on the "good" roads. The drive was a little longer but much easier.

Later this week I'll be posting about knitting projects. Gotta go spin...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More Preemie Hats

preemie hats
Originally uploaded by katzendog3

Here are more preemie hats. All made with Knit Picks Shine Sport. They are so tiny. Thanks to my KF Robin for the picture. I keep forgetting to take pix and send the hats to her to distribute.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What's up lately

I've been pretty busy on weekends lately. I've had to work a couple of Saturdays, Project Linus meets on Saturdays, the dog went for routine vet visits a couple of Saturdays, and I had spinning lessons on Saturdays.

Spinning is going well. I'm spending about 30 minutes a day at the wheel and am loving it. I wish I had more time. I've got one bobbin of yarn that will be used to ply, dye and knit something. I will start a second one sometime this week. Finding a drafting "hold" that worked for me was not easy since my thumbs are different from most folks. Now I've got it going and am pleased with my handspun. I can't decide whether to use the yarn to make something for myself or to make something for Tristan.

I'm getting ready for my trip to The Loopy Ewe's Spring Fling. I'm making a pair of "secret socks" for my exchange partner, and Wendy Johnson (wendyknits) who will be leading a toe-up class at the Fling has given us a homework assignment. So those will be OTN and possibly another pair of socks for a gift.

Also, OTN is my design drop-shoulder sweater. It is hibernating until I finish the "secret socks." The body is finished and I've knit up my first sleeve and worked to first decrease. I hope to finish it before I leave for Fling.

On the gift knitting front, I'm making a baby surprise jacket using a friend's handdyed. This is an interesting pattern but then EZ's things usually are.

In the wings are several socks I want to make and my DIC sweater KAL and some more baby sweaters.

Below are some pictures of finishhed projects and works in progress.

Snowflake closeup

031908 002
Originally uploaded by katzendog3

Snowflake prayer shawl

031908 001
Originally uploaded by katzendog3

I might not have my sweater or my socks finished but, at least, I've finished a prayer shawl. This one's been finished a while but I didn't have time to take picture. It's snowflake stitch from Harmony Guide. Yarn is Red Heart Plush in Marina. I bought this yarn on an e-bay deal and I've almost used it up. I think there's enough for one more shawl. I'm going to post a close-up of stitches up above with no post.

Happy Birthday Paulette

031908 004
Originally uploaded by katzendog3

This is Paulette's birthday present. It's knit-wits heaven's angel of love. I used the nativity handtowel pattern to shape the top and number of stitches to cast on. Yarn is peaches n creme ecru

Argosy Wrap for Brenda

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Originally uploaded by katzendog3

This is Argosy Wrap for my friend, Brenda. Brenda was eternally healed Saturday and will never use this. Prayers were offered on her behalf while I knit this. The yarn is Fantasy Naturale.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Wendy toe ups

Wendy toe ups
Originally uploaded by katzendog3

This sock 1 in Colinette Jitterbug Castagna. I love this yarn. I used size 1 needles and magic loop. Sock 2 will be done this weekend. Then I'm starting some secret gift socks.

What's OTN and other stuff

Chevron in progress
Originally uploaded by katzendog3

The sweater above is my first "designed" sweater. I'm actually a couple of rows past the start of neck shaping. It's made from Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed on size 6 and 8 needles. I hope to start the sleeves next week and finish this in a couple of weeks. I have another sweater project that I'm itchy to start.

The coffeehouse in Reidsville finally opened, and I was very excited to learn they'd have evening hours. I went by and asked the owner about a knitting group meeting there on Thursday, and he said sure. We established a couple of ground rules. Two weeks later we arrive for our first group meeting to learn that the owner had decided not to remain open on Thursdays. What a BUMMER!!! I was so disappointed. I have been "stalking" this place for months watching for its opening and planning to start a group.

The upside is that I joined a group in Greensboro that meets on Thursday. This group meets at Panera Bread. It originally met in a location that was too far and too congested for me. They changed locations to a place much closer and easier for me to get to. I also attend a group in Danville on Mondays. I listen to knitting podcasts on my way to and from.

I'm still figuring out all this flickr stuff so may have some other project pictures without a whole lot of comment.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wow I learned a new trick!

Roll brim preemie hat
Originally uploaded by katzendog3

Since joining Ravelry, I haven't blogged as often because I felt that uploading pictures in two places was too much. Most of my knitting friends belong to Ravelry, but some non-knitting ones view my blog. Tonight at knitting group I mentioned this and one of the group members told me how to upload pictures from flickr. So now I can load project pictures one place. I belong to K2Tog which is a knitting group that meets on Mondays at Starbucks in Danville. As a service project we're making preemie hats. This is my first one and I'm now working my third.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Since my last post and some leftovers

Since my last post, I had my first spinning lesson on my wheel. I still need to work on drafting and am practicing treadling while knitting. I also started meeting with a knitting group at Starbucks in Danville VA. I will be starting a knitting/crocheting group in Reidsville at the Backstreet Buzz on February 28.

OTN--my chevron pullover, a mini-sock, Wendy Johnson generic toe-ups, another pair of dorm socks and mid-month dishcloth KAL.

Next in the queue--another pullover which will be a multicolor using a stitch from the Harmony guide, Loopy Laces socks, Lancet Braid socks and an Angel of Love fingertip towel.
Here are some pictures of projects completed either since my last post or left off from last post.
These are dorm socks from Red Heart Strata. Pattern is free from Coats and Clark website. They're a Christmas 08 gift.

This is a Bookmark KAL designed by Karen Bonter. Yarn is Patons Grace.This is January dishcloth KAL. There's a football in there somewhere.This is mid-January KAL. Yarn is potpourri ombre from PnC. Designer is Janet Nogle

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Finished projects

Here are some finished projects. I haven't blogged in a few weeks. So much for being resolute. I hopefully will be back on Saturday morning schedule next week. I had a meeting, retreat weekend and a nice visit with my 94 year old aunt. She taught me to knit. These are my Monkey socks designed by Cookie A. Yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome Cherry Blossom. I love this yarn.
This is a bath mitt from Rhonda White's Bath and Spa Sets leaflet. It's PnC. Below is facecloth to match. It's a birthday gift for a friend who received soap sack for Christmas.
At long last this is Julie's Pi Shawl. Yarn is Red Heart Plush in Marina. If I make another of these, I won't make the faux increase rows. They were a pain.
These are Tea Time Socks in Lana Grasso Meilenweit designed by Adrienne Fong. They're mosaics. I've purchased red and green yarn to make Christmas socks. While knitting these, I had several "chats" with Adrienne on Ravelry. Being able to chat with designers is fun.