Monday, September 26, 2016

FO: Yoda

My first try at crocheted Amigurimi.  It was a little tricky and fiddly but I figured it out.  

Yarn: Included in kit
Hook: 3.5mm
Started: May 15, 2016
Finished: Sept 26, 2016

Definitely fun, much easier if you know what you are doing and its pretty quick to work up.  I have to work on my crochet tension, I tend to "throw" the yarn as if I was knitting and it makes for awkwardness and uneven tension.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

New Spinning Wheel!!

I recently got a new spinning wheel.  I had been thinking about another one for a while.  The JMS Cassandra has different ratios and a larger orifice than my other wheels.  The operation is also different.  She has a stretchy poly drive band and the whorls are on the back, it goes up to a spool on the back of the flyer to drive the flyer and bobbin.

She arrived in a huge box.  All wrapped up and ready for assembly.

Assembly was easy, I did have some huhs?  and oopps? but it was all me - its really quite simple.

She quickly got along with the other two, but doesn't quite fit in the room, LOL!  I have to do some rearranging to find her a permanent spot.

She spins very well, minimal noise from the bobbin design.  There are no cores in the bobbins like other wheels.  Its straight up wood holes, so they chatter and jiggle on the shaft sometimes, but its very rhythmic, so not annoying.  

The orifice is HUGE!!!

I had fun testing her out with some left over BFL from another spin ...

The bobbins are also HUGE to go with that big orifice.  This is probably around 2 oz or so on there and you can see there's still plenty of room!

She's all unfinished reclaimed hardwood.  Every once in a while she'll need some oil - she's so small though its not a chore, once I had her all set up and spun a little on her I grabbed a rag and some lemon oil and shined her up.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


We have this crazy squirrel that hangs out in our yard.  I can always pick it out because its just so freakin weird.  Also, its tail is never puffy like the others, its very sleek.  It also walks a lot - where the other squirrels all hop to get around.  When I first noticed it, I thought it was ill, except then I started noticing that all the things it does are very energetic and it looks very healthy.  

It randomly decides to wrestle around on the ground and do somersaults ... ALL BY ITSELF - like its wrestling a phantom squirrel.  I'm not sure the other squirrels like to associate with it.  I've seen it eating leaves and flowers (I am wondering if it was mimicking the groundhogs).  And one day when a skunk was below the bird feeder munching on seeds, all the other birds, squirrels and chipmunks were nowhere to be seen ... this guy was about 2 feet from the skunk checking it out.  All squirrels use their hands to pick up food and things, but this one uses its hands more like a raccoon or a monkey.  While it does odd things and I sometimes think its mentally disabled, I think it might actually be an idiot savant (mostly because its still alive and hasn't been picked off by a hawk).  

Today I saw it eating a mushroom (which may explain a lot) then commando crawling across the ground ... it is an oddball for sure!

Friday, August 26, 2016

FO: Take it All Shawl

Pattern: Take it All by Lisa Hannes
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Bare (dyed by me)
Cast On: 7/27/16
Finished: 8/24/16

This is a great pattern.  Its super simple, but never boring.  Its knit sideways starting with a few stitches that continually increases to 200+ at the end.  There are two options for the last section, I liked this one with the picot bind off.

The pattern called for one MC and 8 CC.  It suggested solid or tonal yarn (not striping or variegated).  Since most of my sock yarn stash is striping or wildly variegated, I decided to dye up some yarn!

I used Wilton's Color Performance System - a liquid food coloring.  This gives a much wider range of colors (while staying non toxic for the kitchen sink).

Just for curiosity sake I kept track of how long this shawl took to knit.  Ever have those non-knitters or crafters 1) ask you how long something took to make and 2) tell you that you should sell these things (to make money).  Well I now have an answer to them - I had a snarky ballpark comment I usually give - "Do you want to pay $350 for these socks?!?!" Now I know I wasn't that far off:


It took 30 hours to knit this, that doesn't include weaving in the ends ...

Or blocking ...

Now you know ;)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Micala Shawl Pattern & Summer Sale!

Micala is a heart shaped shawl knit from the top down beginning with a garter tab. The body is worked in garter stitch and lace with a lace spine.

Comfy garter stitch flows into open and airy lace making this a perfect accessory in early Spring and late Fall. Delicate enough for evening wear and intrepid enough to spice up jeans and a t-shirt.

Delusional Knitter Designs Patterns

20% off any patterns in my Ravelry shop Delusional Knitter Designs with coupon code DOGDAYS now thru 8/31!!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

FO: Moab Shawl

Pattern: Moab Shawl by verybusymonkey
Cast On: 2/8/16
Finished: 7/17/16
Yarn: Handspun Loop Bump Sugar Plum

There was some yarn chicken involved in this one ... above was all that was left after bind off.  I excluded a few rows at the end.

It was fun to knit something up with handspun and this shawl was specifically made for that and could easily be adjusted for different yardages.  This was one of my first handpun skeins and also a first for chain plying.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tour de Fleece 2016

This TdF was so much fun for me!!  I went into it happy if I got one finished skein .. I have THREE!!!  I have a Sport, Worsted and Bulky.  I spun two new to me fibers.  I have a 2-ply and the others are chain plied.  And I split up one colorway into a gradient of sorts (I didn't bother with blending the transitions, so its not a true gradient).  And I continued with my supported spinning.

First up Corriedale - a new to me fiber.  It was pure joy to spin, especially thick.  I typically spin fingering weight and my goal for TdF was to spin thicker to get more done.

Into the Whirled
Corriedale - Flounce
110 yds

Then I went to a known to me fiber and did a two ply in BLF.

Into the Whirled
BFL - Eureka
198 yds

And lastly another new to be fiber Targhee which I split into a psuedo gradient.

Into the Whirled
Targhee - Winds of Change
236 yds

I am glad TdF is ended, but I enjoyed this one so much!!  I am looking forward to a new outlook on spinning and getting more spinning done.  I was also happy since I went through physical therapy not too long ago for shoulder/neck pain I was cognizant of posture and repetitive motions and I didn't hurt myself spinning!!  Towards the end I was feeling it, but nothing too outrageous.  In the past I have not spun very much because of pain ... no more issues with that!!!

I also finally got over my not spinning because I didn't want to "ruin" the fiber ... I now have at least (I stopped counting) 48 club shipments of ITW ... so I have no problems using this for "practice" spinning.  I have pounds and POUNDS of fiber in my stash ... no more waiting until I get "better" or this or that to use up this fiber ... its taking over the house, LOL!

Besides, last time I checked, you don't actually get BETTER at something unless you DO IT!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Yarn Chicken

I'm tired of playing chicken ... I backed out of the last row ... binding off ...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hand Spun: Into the Whirled Corriedale

My first Tour de Fleece success! I wanted to spin thicker, so this was a challenge. It took about 4 hours to spin and 2 hours to ply. I was pleased with the results and the final yarn.

And I definitely hit my goal - its BULKY!!! At 7 WPI I exceeded my expectations of Worsted weight if I was lucky. Its consistent and the final yarn is balanced!!

Into the Whirled
Corriedale 4 oz
Ashford Traveller Sliding Hook Flyer
Singles S 7.5; Plied Z 5.5
Bulky 3-ply (chain plied)
110 yds

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Tour de Fleece Day 1

I'm off to a good start 4 oz of Into the Whirled Corriedale spun up!  Hopefully plied tomorrow.

Monday, June 20, 2016

FO: C-3PO Socks

Pattern: My plain vanilla recipe - toe up Judy's Magic Cast On and Fish Lips Kiss Heel and EZ's Sewn Bind Off
Yarn: Must Stash Yarns Driods - C-3PO
Needles: Addi Sock Rockets US 1 (2.25mm)
Cast On: May 4, 2016
Finished: May 29, 2016

Love, love, love this yarn.  I tried these socks with 60 sts and they fit better.  I have very narrow feet and when I do 64 sts, the foot and leg fit fine, but the toe always had extra space.  I think next time though I will go up to 1.5 US, the instep and the heel are a tiny bit snug.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Eeek its already June !?!?!

I thought I would be a better blogger this year, but alas, nope.  Only 10 posts so far this year ...

Just for fun, here's Riley about to take over the bed ... he looks pretty serious no?  He's quite a fragile little being, however, a sweet, gentle, giant, but a little high strung at times ...

For June I have been focusing on supported spinning.  My plan for the rest of the year is to pick a craft each month and focus most (not all) of my energies on it.  Since I have oodles of supported spindles (like I can count 19 I can see that are displayed in a rack ... that DOES NOT include the ones I can't see at the moment, its probably safe to almost multiply that number by 2 ...) I am thinking I should probably actually USE them ...

This is a lovely from Silly Salmon Designs in Black Palm (I also have a bowl in that) and bloodwood ... and since they are the spindle maker of the month on a Ravelry group I frequent ... well I might have purchased another that I received recently ...

Let's not forget the oodles of drop spindles I have also - these two never used until last month ...

Unfortunately (or not) my default spinning is THREAD, so some of these projects take FOREVER and a day to finish.

I am happy to say that I have finished three - YES THREE - pairs of socks so far this year - I think my goal was six.  Hey its June - look at that - ON TARGET!  And I am working on the fourth at the moment, which is half done, I have A sock.  I still have to post photos of 2 of the pairs I have finished, photos are hard, yo!  

Photos are a difficult part of blogging for me and often it prevents me from posting ... nobody wants to see dark, crappy photos ...  Usually when I am in the mood for blogging its late and hard to get good photos, like now at 10:40pm ...

I know, I know, take the photos during the day and post whenever ... I HAVE a brain, I just choose to ignore it most of the time ...

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Count Your Stitches Dumb-Dumb

an excellent pattern, well written and perfectly tutorialed by Diane from Knitabulls.  However, if you think you know what you are doing and you knit merrily along without checking  your work ... RIPPING happens, because you did some decreases without the corresponding increases ... so close to the heel ... then back another inch or so ...

Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday Felines

Because when there is a big, stuffed trout ... one must sit on it.

Monday, May 23, 2016

What the heck?!?!

Riley trying to figure out what the heck this is (woodchuck) ...

Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday Felines

Willow & Riley are actually siblings, from different litters, they have the same mom.  Their personalities differ greatly, but every once in a while you can see how they are actually very similar ...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

FO: SlipStripeSpiral Socks

Pattern: SlipStripeSpiral by Mylene Pijpers
Yarn: Left over Berroco Sox and Knit Picks Stroll
Needles: Addi Sock Rockets US 1 2.25mm
Start: 3/3/16
Finish: 4/2/16

This was the first Sock Madness 10 pattern to work to be eligible to get on a team.  I did not finish in time, but I did make it onto the Cheerleading Team, meaning I will still get all the patterns and be able to knit along, just not compete for prizes.  I am fine with that, because the breakneck speed of the competition is a little much for me, LOL!

This is a great pattern, I wasn't too sure about it when I saw it, but it turned out to not be fiddly at all.  The colors are worked as a spiral, so there are no floats, just one round in the MC and then drop that and pick up the CC and continue working in the round.  The slip stitch pattern gives it a great texture and made the socks fun to work.  

The toe is the Personal Footprints toe by Cat Bordhi, its very different, but pretty cool.  The heel is the Sweet Tomato Heel by Cat Bordhi and its worked in short row wedges, I wasn't sure how it was going to fit, but it worked out quite well.

Initially I couldn't figure out what colors to work, so I used the left over 1/4 balls from the Berroco Sox that I had already knit a pair of socks out of previously (so if this didn't work I didn't "waste" yarn) and paired it with a single ball of navy Knit Picks Stroll I had in my stash.  I am very happy with the color combo!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Exploring other things ...

I've been trying to add some other crafts to my repertoire.  Before I became obsessed with knitting, spinning and the fibery goodness I did paper crafts.  I worked with pencils, ink and papers.  I've made holiday cards in the past (I'd like to do that again this year) - I don't send them to everyone, I make about a dozen and send them to those I know will appreciate the handwork.

So ... a while back (a year I think) I picked up a book and some Zentangle supplies - which is really just micron pens, pencil and artist tiles and viola!

This is my first official Zentangle on a tile - I've dabbled in a sketchbook, but this one is an actual Zentangle.  Its a meditative art form that is very relaxing - since you are using repetitive patterns and there's really no wrong way to do it.  You can color them too of course, but I do like the simplicity in tools and materials.

The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.
Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle Method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.
We believe that life is an art form and that our Zentangle Method is an elegant metaphor for deliberate artistry in life.
I'm not quite sure what "almost anyone" there means, LOL!  Perhaps there is a wrong way to do it!

I found the most delightful concoction recently - I am TERRIBLE at drinking water and I drink coffee, or soda or alcohol ... all very dehydrating things.  Then I wonder (I don't actually, I am aware) why I have muscle cramps and repetitive muscle motion injuries ... 

This is cucumber, lime, strawberry and mint leaves.  I tried lemon water before, but I wasn't a huge fan, this is more my style.  It gives it enough flavor that I feel like I am drinking something, but its not those water flavor things that contain dye - dye is for yarn ... not for eating!

The weather has been lovely here and we kept wondering when the local seafood/ice cream place would open up.  My hubby drives by it every day and I told him to keep his eyes peeled ... they're open and we got some fried clams today ... they even have live entertainment while you are waiting for your order!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Sophie's Universe CAL Clue 4

Finished Clue 4 of Sophie's Universe CAL today with the optional flowers.  I'm surprised that I retained the crochet stitches since I haven't touched this in a few months or more (I don't really know, Clue 3 was completed a year ago).  At this point, the only thing I have to review are standing stitches - used in lieu of joining yarn with a sl stitch and chaining sts, its seamless and looks just like the other stitches.  

I am very pleased with it - BUT - I remembered quickly why it sits for a while ... a few hours into work this afternoon my wrist/hand started to hurt and I was wondering what I did.  Did I whack it off the counter, did I bend it back the wrong way?!?!  Oh yeah ... I crocheted a lot this morning before work ...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Organizing the needles ...

I've been organizing some things lately ... I decided to dive into the needle stash ...  it was a mess to say the least.  It was housed in a shallow drawer.  There were loose needles, interchangeables still on cables, fixed circs and all manner of things in this drawer ...

I pulled everything out and sorted by cable  length.  I put my interchangeable set in the nice silk roll designed for such a thing and put the extra cables in a nice little fabric baggie.  I have empty sleeves, but I am pretty sure those are all on WIPs.

And instead of stuffing it all back in the drawer, it all  found a new home.

I now have a better grasp on what I have - which is almost a set for anything ... but I am sure the very next thing I go to cast on, I will not have the perfect needle set/length for, LOL!

Now I hope to update Ravelry projects with ndls, and put them back when done and keep this organized!

Next ... on to the DPNs ...