Saturday, May 26, 2012

Posting Problem

I know there's been a lack of posting around here, and I'm pretty sure it's directly tied to the lack of knitting that's going on around here.

The lack of knitting is a huge issue, because I have a wool sweater to finish and it's getting a little hot to be having a big pile of wool on my lap.

I hope to get back to you soon with some knitting content. I have signed up for the Ravelympics, but have yet to decide in what events I'll take part. I've also singed up for Tour de Fleece, and though I still need to fine tune my specific goal, I'll be working on the border leicester fiber I bought in NH.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Making Mawata

It's a rainy day here, so I decided to spend the day making some mawata with the silk cocoons I bought last weekend. I used this tutorial.

I started with about a gallon of water, Borax, and powdered Ivory laundry soap.

I boiled those together, and then added the cocoons.

They hung out for about 20 minutes and then it was time to start making the silk hankies. I used an 8x8 canvas and had my husband put nails in each corner.

The silkworms are still in the cocoon, so they have to be removed before I started to stretch out the silk.

Ewww, gross

I stretched out between 5 and 10 cocoons on the frame, and then rinsed and took the hankies off the frame to dry. This is what it looks like when it's off the frame:

I'm glad that undertook this project, but I think next time, I'll just buy the silk hankies ready to spin.

Are there any fiber projects you think about trying out?

Monday, May 14, 2012

I made some yarn!

On Thursday night, I plied my two balls of handspun. Or rather, I plied about half of my handspun. My spindle started to run out of room, and then my two balls of yarn got really tangled. So, I cut it, and wound up what I had finished. (Mental note - find a larger spindle to ply with)

Here's my finished product:

I have, I think, about 54 yards here. There's a lot of variation in thickness, but there are actual parts of it that look like well done yarn. Not a lot of parts but they're in there. I haven't measured the wraps-per-inch to see what weight yarn it even approximates, and I don't think I'm going to. I'm going to ply the rest, set the twist, and then decide if I'm going to make anything with it, or just keep it as a souvenir.

Yesterday, I worked on the Bakersfield Shawlette. I used my new wristaff to hold my yarn, and I LOVE IT! It's very convenient to walk around with the yarn dangling from your wrist, and it's much less cumbersome than a project bag. Isn't the yarn gorgeous?

The wristaff is obviously easy to make. It's just a cord, a bead, a wooden disc, and another bead on the top to change the size of the loop. I may try to make one myself.....

The shawlette is moving along quickly. We'll see if it stays that way.....

Happy knitting!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

NH Sheep and Wool Festival 2012

This morning I was out the door bright and early to head to the NH Sheep and Wool Festival, at its new location in Deerfield, NH. I have to say right off the bat that I really liked the new venue. It's about 25 minutes closer to my house, and there is a lot more indoor room for the vendors. When I left, at about 12:30, the barns were starting to get pretty crowded, but I sure felt like I had a lot more elbow room than at the old venue.

Obviously, I saw some sheep.

This one was particularly friendly

And some alpaca
Some with a lot of hair
Some who had already had a haircut
And a goat who thought he should hang out by standing on top of his poor mother.
Happy Mother's Day to you, Mom.

And a couple of nuns carrying some bags of fleece. (I should try to edit this picture so you see it better.)

I was just totally surprised by the nuns.
I also walked by Thea Coleman of Babycocktails, wearing her newest pattern:
And then I totally Kinneared her from behind. She's on the left. I should have just said hi and asked to look at her sweater. I'm a dork.
I think I did an excellent job with my purchases!  Here they are:

2 Silk Hankies (for a friend), silk cocoons, a wristaff, a shawlette pattern, green yarn to knit the shawlette, a skein of natural colored Coopworth wool, 2 skeins of undyed sock yarn, and 4 oz. of Border Leicester to spin on my drop spindle.

Here's a picture of the yarn close up:
The green is a wool, cashmere, nylon blend, and it is so soft and shiny!
And here's the skein of kid mohair/silk I forgot to include in the picture:

The colorway is "Roses"

This came with a free pattern to make a ruffly scarf. The vendor had several samples, and they were just gorgeous! The skein was only $10, so I totally let myself go with the impulse purchase.

So, as far as my shopping went, I did okay.

I saw several beautiful niddy noddies, but they were all more than I wanted to spend. I saw three different wraps-per-inch tools, but I really only liked one of them. It was beautiful carved wood, and could be worn as a necklace. Truly, it was a work of art. But I wanted something less in the "work of art" price range. I just saw a wristaff the other day, so I added that to my list, next to the WPI tool. Somehow I missed that they could be used for yarn as well as roving, so I'm pretty excited! I didn't see any knitting T-shirts, and I bought the Border Leicester instead of BFL to spin (awesome price!) Also, the Color Affection shawl was not in the forefront of my mind, so I can't say I even looked for appropriate yarn.

Although not on my official list, I had it in the back of mind to look for some Coopworth to knit something up for Rhinebeck's Skein and Garment competition (it's this year's featured breed). I figured since I'm going, I may as well participate fully. I also had it on my mind to look for some cocoons, especially after a friend asked me to pick her up some silk hankies. (I do wish I had thought to pick up some hankies for myself!)

I had saved some money specifically to spend at this event, and only spent $10 above that (dipping into my Rhinebeck savings). I'm thrilled with all of my purchases, and can't wait to start knitting with them!

Today though, I started knitting a Bakersfield Shawl with handspun I won from a friend. Totally loving it!

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

NH Sheep & Wool Shopping List

This weekend is the NH Sheep and Wool Festival. As long as the weather is nice (and it's supposed to be gorgeous!), I'll be heading up there on Saturday.

It's been a few years since I've been there. 3 to be exact. I took Baby Girl when she was an infant, and had a wonderful, relaxing day. I'm hoping for the same this year, minus Baby Girl.

The first time I went to this festival, I was completely overwhelmed. I had only been knitting a handful of months, and walked in with no plan and no clue on yardage requirements for anything. I'm a much more knowledgeable yarn shopper now, but I'm really going to refresh myself on what fiber festivals are like, in order to prep myself for Rhinebeck. I know that NH can't compare to the size and variety of NY, but I'll consider this training.

I'm still sticking to my stash-busting (mostly), so my shopping list for Saturday is pretty short. I'll be looking for the following:
  • A cute WIP tool
  • Undyed BFL to practice spinning
  • Yarn to knit the Color Affection Shawl
  • Possibly a knitting related T-shirt

I know that I don't really need a WIP tool, but rulers disappear pretty quickly around this house (small children playing school and/or office), so I'm hoping to find something cute and small that can fit into my knitting tools bag. I hear that BFL is a great starter fiber, and I'm almost done with the purple merino that I'm spinning.

And then we get to the Color Affection shawl. I'm sure you've all seen it on the Yarn Harlot's blog. I've actually loved this shawl since I first saw it on the Plucky Knitter site, but just didn't want to pay the price for her kits (despite the loveliness of her yarn). I'm kind of bummed that the Yarn Harlot has taken it up, because we all know that a million people will now be knitting it.I'm not really one of those "knit one because everyone else is knitting one" kind of girls. I still really like the shawl though, and garter stitch can be so delicious, so I'll keep my eyes out for appropriate yarn.

Other than that, I'm hoping to eat something yummy for lunch, watch some sheep dog trials, and check out the 4-H kids' animals.

What's on your knitting shopping list?

Monday, May 7, 2012


I know, it's been forever, again, since I last posted.

This time though, I've actually been doing quite a bit of knitting!

Yesterday, I seamed the hood of my Viking Cable Hoodie. All that's left for me to do is pick up 300 some odd stitches along the fronts, and rib for 2 1/2". Then, I'll bring it to my mom and she'll sew in the second sleeve and add a zipper. This sweater will definitely be ready to go for Rhinebeck. I just may not see it completed until I get to the motel.

I finished the Welldigger hat.

I knit this from Harrisville Designs Yarn that I bought in Vermont last spring. There's something wonky in the top third of the hat (you can see the line in the photo). By the time I noticed it, I was almost done, so I'm just leaving it alone. I think I worked an extra row in the pattern. It's not my favorite hat, but it's not my least favorite either. We'll see how much wear it gets next winter I guess.

I've also been working on a baby gift: a cardigan and legwarmers. The patterns are from 60 Quick Baby Knits and knit from Cascade 220 Superwash. I think they're both cute, and hope they will be well-received by the mom-to-be. I still have a matching hat to do, and I cast on for that while walking the kids to school this morning.

Here are the FOs:

(Yes, the ribbing is slightly longer on one of the leg warmers. I'll be fixing that tonight.)

I'm eager to get to some lace knitting, but I really need to find a couple of more "walk and knit" projects to get me through the summer. Saturday, I'm heading to the NH Sheep and Wool Festival, so perhaps a skein or two of sock yarn is in my future).

How is your knitting coming along?