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Babies on the Road July 14, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in baby surprise jacket, baby sweater, Elizabeth Zimmerman, fo, Knit Alongs, knitting, Knitting - FOs, Project Spectrum 2.0.
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I travel a lot. My work draws me back and forth across the United States, usually coming back to rest somewhere in the middle.

I knit a lot of socks.

As you know, socks are the most polite type of knitting to bring on airplanes, and that reality has wedded me almost permanently to the world of 16 inch, size two circular needles. Two by preference.

But then recently I decided to carry somewhat else with me on the road. And one evening, by the blue light of a laptop left on way too far past work hours, I began this:

 

Everyone seems to have tried Elizabeth Zimmerman’s baby surprise jacket at some point in their knitting career. I had to try it myself. Her almost cryptic directions called to me. I admit it. I was investing in the knitting origami of the future.

Fold A to A and B to B and sew up these two little seams and voila!

It just did not seem possible. Such a bizarre shape… talk about flying on faith. I finished this jacket at a large annual convention in Portland, City of Roses – see below. That may be why I did not manage to capture a final amoeboid shape pic before the origami ensued. Enter the baby surprise jacket.

This has already been sent to Baby N’s parents… awaiting his arrival in less than two months now! I used Mountain Colors Barefoot for the main body and Knit Picks sock yarn doubled for the button band. And I used one extra button. Ahem. Pretty much because I had six.

I was not thinking about the Project Spectrum colors as I started this, but by happy coincidence it definitely counts. Ha. And here I thought I was totally slacking off behind.

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Blue Faced Leicester March 18, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in fo, handspun, Project Spectrum 2.0, spinning, spinning - FOs, spinning fo, stash enhancement, yarn.
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So I have of course heard experienced spinners talk about the glories of Blue Faced Leicester wool. So much so that the last time I was in the fiber store I decided to purchase just a little bit… to see for myself. When the owner discovered I had never spun it before she just handed me the three and a half ounces that I had brought up to the counter, saying that all spinners should know about these sheep.

My first delight came from the roving itself. Just a bundle of fluff… I wanted to wrap myself in it and snuggle.

 

But instead of snuggling I spun. I mean really… the fibers that would have wound up in my locs alone would not have been worth it.

I did my now standard three ply, which of course left me with two bobbins with singles remaining at the end. By the time the first bobbin ran out I was more than ready… because the yarn barely fit! You can’t really tell from this photo, but there is hardly any room between yarn and flyer at this point:

 

The result of course was worth it. The staple on this wool was almost double the merino I have been spinning, and the bloom in water was not to be believed. This yarn is so yummy (about 212 yards)! I also knew I wanted to make something white before the Project Spectrum 2.0 colors shifted in March. My housemate is threatening to purchase a sheep! Of course, I think she has been looking for any excuse for a while now.

 

Take Two of These… March 11, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in handspun, Project Spectrum 2.0, spinning, stash enhancement, yarn.
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I have begun the journey of spinning a glorious handpainted roving from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in their Rocktober colorway. I purchased this delightful ball of 50% merino 50% tencel fibers at The Fold several weeks ago. I have been admiring it, wondering what I might do with my first multicolor roving.

My drama unfolded like this. It is very simple for me to divide a roving into color repeats. Also to divide it into even numbers of length wise pieces. But I wanted a three ply yarn and as mentioned earlier, my navajo plying skills are nonexistent.

So I sat and thought about what to do with this roving which was just taunting me in its unspun form. I finally decided to take two of these (from the Rocktober colorway):

 

and one of these (some cobalt superwash merino / tencel blend that I had left over from making my first machine washable handspun):

to make a very satisfying blend. As you can see above the entire skin (all of about 54 yards of worsted weight yarn… only 1/5 of the total roving) has a much bluer cast now (the cobalt being the exact same shade of blue as found in the Rocktober colorway). It was fun to watch this ply. For about half way through the plying the two Rocktober singles actually matched, and I got even colors that were 2/3 from the multicolor roving and 1/3 cobalt blue. But somewhere in there my yarn thickness must have shifted because I started getting three color blends. I have no idea what to make out of this yarn once all ~270 yards are completed, but whatever it becomes will definitely be… interesting.

Puck Was More Mischievous March 9, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in fo, knitting, Knitting - FOs, knitting socks, Project Spectrum 2.0, socks.
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Well, I finally made the return trip and am looking forward to my first night in my own bed in a while. Oh the glory.

These travelin’ socks finally got finished on the plane from Boston, with the ends woven in 25 minutes before touchdown.

Sadly all my plans for converting airline personnel to sock knitting were for naught. For the first time in a long time most of the flight attendants ignored my knitting altogether. This may have been partly due to the fact that I was slacking off napping when the drink cart came by. I did get a few curious glances and one woman stopped to insist that I had clearly been knitting forever because my tension was much more even then hers.

Does even tension still count as a skill when you knit with enough tightness to squeeze new ripples into your yarn?

 Oh well. I am pleased with these. I am counting them as a Project 2.0 FO because there is some nice blue in this colorway. Again, this is “Puck’s Mischief” Socks that Rock from the lovely people at Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Please ignore the paleness of my legs… it is winter ya know.

“Tedious Work” March 4, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in knitting, knitting socks, Project Spectrum 2.0, socks.
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So I have had the pleasure of not travelling for work for almost two weeks now. And in that time, I have left my twin rib socks in progress waiting to become airborne once again before returning to them. They are my *travel knitting*. That said, I was very happy to cast on the toe of my second sock last night in preparation for this morning’s flight to Boston. I think I deserve a personal award for not immediately casting on the new goodies from the Rockin’ Sock Club that arrived on Friday. No SSS here! I did, of course, bring the needed materials with me in case I finish this sock before returning home.

After all that goodness imagine my amazement at a new twist on the conversation I inevitably have with flight attendants whilst creating socks a mile above ground. Always before anyone gives me something to drink, I get asked what I am working on. I don’t mind this phenomenon. I consider it an excellent opportunity to convert the muggles as our dear Yarn Harlot has named them.

This morning I was struck however, when a lovely flight attendant stopped by my seat and asked what I was making. “A sock,” I replied. She smiled at me and shared that she had noticed all the “tedious work” I had been doing and just had to ask what it was for.

Tedious!

Can you imagine? Now, I know that in yesteryear our sock making ancestors might well have found some of their hand-knitting tedious as it was done out of necessity. But today? It is quicker and much less expensive to buy machine made socks in the store. Frankly, I found the flight much more tedious than the knitting. Oh well. My evangelistic tendencies failed me this time.

Just wait ’til the return trip.

They Really Are Blue! February 28, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in Knit Alongs, knitting, Project Spectrum 2.0.
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I decided to post a pic of my Broad Street convertible gloves/mittens in progress just to prove that I am, actually, knitting something blue.

You will note the bagginess of the glove… these are not for me but for a friend whose hands are much larger than mine. Having never worked on gloves of any sort, I am enjoying watching the construction of these unfold. That said, I seem to be spending an unhealthy amount of time thinking about someone else’s finger crotches. Which is troublesome.

Of course the mitten part of this left hand-warmer has not yet come into being. I am still working out how to adapt this to add for a “thumb flap” since my friend wants all of his “gripping surfaces” available to him.

Really, this project has been pure comedy. Stay tuned.

Bootie Potential February 23, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in handspun, knitting, Project Spectrum 2.0, spinning, yarn.
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A friend of mine is having a baby in August, which is such a joyous and delightful thing! When she told me that she had found the most adorable pattern for felted baby booties I knew that I wanted to spin up some soft yarn to cover the little toesies once they arrive. Her pattern only requires 90 yards of worsted weight yarn so off I trudged (like it was such a terrible burden to return to the fiber store!) to purchase little nibblets of merino rovings.

Those of you involved in project spectrum 2.0 will notice that not a single one of these is blue, white, or grey… but white and grey seem spectacularly boring for something as fabulous as baby feet, and blue was too gender specific. Fear not, I have two blue projects in process. Maybe I will even post pictures of them soon!

As of this posting I have two thirds of the green roving spun into singles, and am hoping to get to the last third today. I am trying to make a three ply yarn this time so the merino comes out even softer and fluffier. Either way, it has been a joy to spin. The high shine in the color is just beautiful! Who knew?

From Cincinnati, to Savannah, to D.C. February 19, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in Knit Alongs, knitting, knitting socks, Project Spectrum 2.0, socks.
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This poor sock has travelled long and far. I pretty much refused to work on it while not on a plane, other than its toe and the very top of its ribbing.

It began its formation in Cincinnati during a friend’s guitar lesson, and after that grew mainly above ground. It took a brief detour to the warmth of Savannah, and then finally made its way to our capital.  Finally this evening (after returning from Washington, DC) I took pity on it, finished the last half inch of ribbing and wove the ends in.

The pattern on the leg is a simple twin rib (known to many as rib of doom!).

Poor thing was starting to collect frequent flyer miles!

Travelling February 8, 2007

Posted by lunarawe in Knit Alongs, knitting, knitting socks, Project Spectrum 2.0, socks.
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I have been away from the blog for a while. Mainly because I have been travelling. I discovered today just how bad the photo capabilities are on my phone… apologies all around.

 I simply wanted to prove that I too am making sure to knit socks in public (though I always have) after the Rockin’ Sock Club saga of last month. This is today’s undertaking, on an airplane from Cincinnati to Chicago, using Socks that Rock in the Puck’s Mischief colorway. You can tell it’s an airplane by the seat back tray tables. I know that I am too late for the contest, but it seemed like a good idea to document just the same.

I figured that there is enough blue in this yarn to qualify it for Project Spectrum 2.0. And if not, well, things will have to wait until I arrive home again. At least this continues to serve as polite knitting, though the other day a fellow passenger stopped on the return trip from the bathroom to inform me that it was unfair that I could take my knitting needles on the plane.

Feh.