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Knitting Olympics February 14, 2010

Posted by lunarawe in clapotis, free knitting patterns, knitting, knitting olympics, shawl.
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I am delighted that the Yarn Harlot has decided to host the Knitting Olympics once again and therefore, even though I feel like I have next to no knitting time, I have decided to participate. You can see from the link above that the standard Olympian in the 2010 Knitting Olympics is meant to cast on during the opening ceremonies. Given the realities of my reading load this semester I have decided to set the completion of my Clapotis, shown above at the starting line and already 40% finished, as my goal. I began with two skeins used out of five and figured that was serious enough knitting, though simple. Which is good for my re-fried brain when it simply wants to watch some ski jumping and push all thoughts of religious ethics away for awhile.

The games have already begun and the shawl is growing at a surprising rate. More updates soon!

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Christmas Knitting December 25, 2009

Posted by lunarawe in calorimetry, fo, knitting, Knitting - FOs, lace knitting, scarf.
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Just a very short post to share two projects. The first is a hat (sorta) and scarf (sorta) that I made for Eliana, my father’s wife. She is lovely and when she saw my calorimetry expressed glee at the idea of having one. So of course that was an easy Christmas idea. But then I got to thinking that she could probably use something to go with it and when I saw the Cedar Leaf Shawlette, by Alana Dakos (ravel it here!) I knew it would be perfect for her. I also figured it wouldn’t look too strange with a calorimetry in the same yarn. I highly recommend doing this in a silk blend yarn for drape. Beautiful.

She looks gorgeous (as usual)! The shawl pin and yarn are both from Webs, Mirasol Tupa (50% merino, 50% silk) in colorway number 808. Did I mention that Eliana loves red? Here is a close up although the color is true in the first picture, not this one.

The second project is an afghan that I made for my father in 1996! Such a long time ago! To my delight he put it on my bed last night and I was able to take a picture of a very old FO. I rarely crochet, but granny squares were a novelty to me at the time. Nice to see that my taste in witchy colors is not new! This is a lap blankie, about twin size. I have absolutely no recollection of the yarn or anything else.

Winter Warmth December 14, 2009

Posted by lunarawe in fo, free knitting patterns, hats, knitting, Knitting - FOs, scarf.
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Even in the midst of pesky things like final papers, a woman has to stay warm! Oooh the transition from Florida to Connecticut has not been cute! Snow. We are not loving it.

That said, it does inspire me to knit. And knit. And bemoan all the time I spent knitting socks. At least my feet are warm. So two more warm things have been completed.

This is a scarf for Kierstin (another scarf for Kierstin, we should say). It is loosely based on the scarf patterns distributed by Schaefer to go with their yarns, yet the yarn itself is not Schaefer. It is Lana Bambu which is 79% wool, 21% bamboo and comes in gorgeous colors with fabulous drape.

I also had to make another calorimetry to go with my purple coat. Note cute thistle button. Hooray for warm ears! This is a great quick pattern for anyone still looking for winter woolies. This one is made in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran.

Belated Rhinebeck Report November 18, 2009

Posted by lunarawe in drop spindle, Rhinebeck, spinning.
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It was so beautiful in Rhinebeck this year, contrary to all the dire weather predictions. Both of us were not feeling 100% so the warmth and sunshine really felt like a gift!

Our crew expanded this year! Kierstin, Tracy and Jeremie joined us and we weathered the cold and played with the sheepies together. Super fun!

Anyway, it was another good year for spinning as I said earlier, and I am delighted to have won a blue ribbon for the best Leicester Longwool skein. I was highly surprised, grateful, and amused (!) when I received this in the mail just a week or so later…

I love the blank letterhead… though thank goodness they included it because otherwise I never would have known why I was getting $50 in the mail. I like to tell myself that it paid for most of my favorite toy from Rhinebeck this year… an aromatherapy RingSpindle!

I love it! Not only does it sport a cauldron on the top but the delicious aromatherapy diffusion really works! I definitely commend this craft tool to everyone. There was of course much more delightfulness to experience, taste, and see! More on that soon….

Calorimetry November 6, 2009

Posted by lunarawe in fo, free knitting patterns, hats, knitting, Knitting - FOs.
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This is such a fabulous pattern! After Kierstin made me one like a total love, I realized how perfect this winter gear solution was for locs. Problem… I have a bright red coat which I cannot wear with her delightful mauve calorimetry. I wear that one with my other coat. So what is a knitter to do the night before leaving for Montreal in November with said red coat? Knit of course! This is in Manos del Uruguay Wool Classica with a happy pewter spinning wheel button.

Too satisfying.

Blue Ribbon! October 18, 2009

Posted by lunarawe in handspun, Rhinebeck, spinning, yarn.
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Just a brief check in from the New York State Sheep and Wool festival, where we had an unexpected gloriously rain and snow free day yesterday. What a gift! I was delighted to walk up to the blue ribbon wall for spinning and find my handspun among these lovely submissions. My work is all the way on the right. I won a blue ribbon for spinning this year’s featured breed, Leicester Longwool. Hooray!

We are going back today even though the day promises to be wet! More soon….

Spun sample October 15, 2009

Posted by lunarawe in drop spindle, Fiber Optic Yarns, fo, handspun, spinning, spinning - FOs, spinning fo, yarn.
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Sometimes the very best thing to do is take on something small and savor it.

During my last visit to The Fold, Toni introduced me to something wonderful! A new dyer (to me anyway) by the name of Kimber Baldwin, the creative force behind Fiber Optics. Her shop is worth a visit and I can tell you that her eye for color is spectacular. In my hand (above) I am holding a tiny sample of her pencil roving (Foot Notes, 80% superwash merino wool and 20% nylon) in the black coffee colorway.

This sat on my desk for just a couple of days, spun on my ringspindle in spare moments stolen from other tasks. So delightful. Simple, satisfying drafting, gorgeous colors, and a perfectly matched set of double pencil rovings that I split to create two singles.

Yes those singles were stored on bamboo skewers… inexpensive and long enough to fit into my industrious kate reasonably well. This was a very tiny amount of roving, and I wanted to use the same spindle for both plies. On that note I would like to sing the praises of the recent addition of Seth Golding’s work to the ringspindles collection.  This one is an ebony ringspindle, 0.8 oz.

The result was 25 yards of laceweight in lovely colors.

The colors are easier to see here.

Simple. Satisfying. Utterly worthwhile.

Spinning Lately October 7, 2009

Posted by lunarawe in fo, pokeberries, Rhinebeck, spinning, spinning - FOs, spinning fo, Uncategorized, yarn.
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I have been pretty bad about updating the blog with recently spun yarns, but that does not mean that I have been ignoring the wheels completely! Here is a taste of what has been drafted between my hands of late…

This Leicester Longwool is lambswool actually, my first spun single! I was playing with this in preparation for Rhinebeck, where the annual New York State Sheep and Wool festival is held. Leicester Longwool is the featured breed for 2009. This is about 250 yards, spun at a low ratio (7:1) and unbelievably soft. I am working on a companion skein for some colorwork from the Leicester Longwool I dyed with pokeberries.

The roving that became this two-ply Romney came from a store near Edmonds, WA. The wool was from a local sheep named Chris and purchased mainly because I loved the colorway. This was also spun at a low ratio, and the resulting yarn is softer than I would normally expect Romney wool to be. That is not to say that it is super soft by any means, but it is sweet.

And finally some color graded Polwarth. This roving and I have had a rough time of it. There was a lot of felting and tons of little neps and pills. Highly irritating. I had been holding on to it because it seemed so terrible to waste wool as soft as Polwarth and then I finally had to stop myself. I got rid of all the terribly felted bits and and spun a heavier yarn (this is a heavy worsted) while simply allowing the neps to spin right in. At this weight they just became incorporated and we got along much better. This 200 yard skein will likely become a hat at some point in the near(ish?) future.

Spinning Milkweed October 5, 2009

Posted by lunarawe in fo, handspun, spinning, spinning - FOs, spinning fo, yarn.
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I have always been enamored of milkweed fluff. It floats beautifully, shimmers in the sun, it’s soft and light and magical. As a child I even decided to love monarch butterflies because they loved milkweed. Then one day someone told me that it can be spun. Into yarn. Really.

I started by carding those cotswald curls that you see at the top, opening the locks before adding the shimmering milkweed into the mix. I read that you can only use up to 70% milkweed in a fiber blend before the resulting yarn becomes too brittle to spin. It is best blended with wool. This blend was only about 5% milkweed, because it was just an experiment.

The drum carder took up the milkweed well, once in was sandwiched between two layers of wool. I removed all the seeds of course, but wish I had separated the fibers from their connection point before carding. The might have all floated away of course, but I think the blending would have gone better. It is amazingly hard to keep your milkweed from blowing away. There was much holding of breath in this endeavor.

Here is Devorah kindly modeling the fluffiness of the final batt.

This was spun up long draw again. Another 50 yards or so like the green curls. Shiny!

The Walk of Shame September 28, 2009

Posted by lunarawe in fo, free knitting patterns, jaywalkers, knitting, Knitting - FOs, knitting socks, socks, Socktoberfest, Socktoberfest 2006.
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Jaywalkers are of course a much beloved pattern and have nothing to do with the shame described in this post. I am celebrating the end of three… years… of second sock syndrome. Hence the shame.

It all began when I started toe up jaywalkers in Scout’s Socktoberfest colorway. Yes, nigh on three years ago. There is nothing quite like telling people to stay tuned on October 13, 2006 and just posting an FO today. Terrible. In my defense the dreaded second sock syndrome was compounded by the halloween theme of my socks. Pretty much if the second sock wasn’t started by the end of October it was set in the WIP pile for another year.

Several people who have seen my finished witchy socks have (rightly) argued that they can be worn at any time, not just at halloween. Though there is something about that orange-purple-black combo that does cry out for our unique American observance of this time of year. Is anyone else already looking forward to small children in adorable costumes? I definitely am. It is worth handing out chocolate to see such cuteness.

Regardless of your halloween practices, I for one am delighted to have these finished. And yes, even though these were started three years ago… the purple trend continues. While rumors may be circulating that I also just purchased a pound of dark plum merino top from The Fold, you can’t prove it and anyway it wasn’t my fault. 🙂