A few FOs, Sock clubs and sundry items

I mentioned that i had finished Fay and I have now taken photos of it too!

Finished Fay

It’s really really soft and lovely, but I’ll be honest when i say it’s already a smidgeon big, but i HAVE lost quite a bit of weight since i started it. I don’t mind though – it’s not swimmingly large or anything and it means i can wear it over a few layers if i need to (which i might this winter!). To recap, it’s knit from Pear Tree 4ply in Damson and the pattern is Fay by Kim Hargreaves from Precious.

I also have finished photos of Livia, my May socks

Livia socks

These are my first socks in Jitterbug and I wore them yesterday – very warm and comfy! A few people have mentioned they find this a bit ropey on the soles of their feet, but i can’t say i noticed. I very much enjoyed this pattern (except the cuff. that annoyed me) and LOVED working with this colour. It’s so delicious! The pattern is from Twist Collective.

Speaking of socks, my May/June installment of the Rocking Sock Club arrived and i realise i didn’t post about the previous installment…

Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

When I opened the March/April installment i didn’t quite know what to think. I love it from a design/intensity/vibrancy and sheer COOLNESS of it sense, but what to DO with it?! Well, all i can say is that the designers for the RSC earn their keep. The two sock patterns for this yarn work perfectly and I’ve seen a few other uses on Rav that are pretty awesome – namely a woven scarf where the weaver lined up the colour pooling and used a dark yarn to tone the whole thing down. I’m a bit in awe of that scarf and if i didn’t love how cleverly the sock patterns work with this yarn (and therefore want to do one of them) I would do that instead!

This month’s installment is probably the most ME so far, though a bit muted for my usual summer/winter tones.

Maia

I love reading Tina’s Dyers notes. Her stories are well told and interesting (though i want her to finish the story she started this time!!) and her reasoning behind her colours and names are insightful and give extra special  meaning to the yarns. It really does make you feel a part of something. My other favourite thing about the RSC installments is the little words inside the ball band. Maia has been named after the Goddess, in honour of spring (which it is on that side of the world) and the replenishing of life that goes with it. The inside of the ball band says Elektra – any guesses as to the theme?

I have been spinning and weaving as well and also dyeing… I overdyed the yarn i dyed for owls and will hopefully have some photos next week. I only have one (bad) photo of the colour i managed to make it – not at ALL like my test mini-skein. i think Bloodwood is a colour that is very different depending on the level of heat applied. But more on that later…

The weaving was the completion of a giant mohair wrap. no photos yet! I warped up in March but was a bit daunted by the whole thing so it fell by the wayside. Well, the final product is GORGEOUS and so WARM! photos to come!

The spinning I can’t show yet! it’s a birthday present for someone who DOES read this. I hope she likes it!

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Just when you thought 2010 was over and done with…

you get a knitting retrospective!

These are just MOST of the knitted FOs from 2010, not, i’m afraid, all.

A year of knitting...

1. gregsmitts01, 2. noro mitts3, 3. fliptops for Kate, 4. papa’s socks3, 5. buttony mitts, 6. cotton hat2, 7. owls vest, 8. susie’s mitts, 9. summer in vienna, 10. avast hems, 11. jaywalkers finished, 12. bff socks, 13. mary jane wip cu, 14. hezda hat 1, 15. mermaid pomatomuses, 16. dad’s hat3, 17. quilted socks that rock, 18. handspun scarf of smoosh, 19. Hooded scarf, 20. swap trivet, 21. peacock top1, 22. clapotis, 23. mitts and binka, 24. Origami Bolero in blues, 25. bathroom set , 26. silver swirl tapisseries, 27. baby cardi for jackson, 28. silk scarf1, 29. inara and her teeny socks, 30. my meret beret

I’m really really happy with my knits this year – only two disappointments, and unfortunately they’re both quite big projects! dad’s jacket, as we’ve mentioned, turned out too big for him, but should fit my uncle and my mary jane is a smidge big for me. I still wear it, but my housemate says i’ve already lost a bit of weight since i finished it, so it won’t fit me for long at this rate (gym and other changes mean i should drop a bit more). I do love it so and i have a friend waiting and wanting to take it off my hands if worst comes to worst (and it REALLY suits her!!)

there were lots of socks in 2010, though there will be more in 2011 (!) and a lot of baby knits, and again, there will be more arrivals, and thus more tine adorable things, in 2011! Mitts featured heavily as always for me! Probably about 35 – 40% of my crafting was for other people, so i’m not actually as selfish a knitter as i think i am! I do tend to reserve long term projects for myself though.

And of course 2010 was the year i took up weaving…

Weaving 2010

1. first time weaving, 2. variegated blue weave, 3. woven bamboo scarf with knotted fringe, 4. noro weave, 5. Twin Tweed woven scarf, 6. houndstooth scarf, 7. marmie’s woven scarf, 8. Blood Plum Scarf, 9. Jet woven scarf, 10. mels scarf2, 11. angora weave scarf, 12. cotton scarf1

There’s one major woven scarf missing – the one i gave my cousin for christmas – and a few little trial projects like the woven coasters, and the scarf that got felted and turned into coasters! But mostly that’s 2010 in weaving – and no, it’s not the same scarf twice… well it is, but two different versions of the same warp/weft combination. i have one and a friend bought the other. I really enjoy weaving and i will definitely keep up with it. and yes, Katie, I will get to our piano runner very soon now chrissy presents are done!!

What was your favourite knit/project of 2010? what will you wear the most? would love to see links to photos or blogposts!

 

Also, thanks kindly to my lovely nett for some of the photos you see here 🙂

A lovely pre-christmas present

I have been included in an etsy treasury! It’s always a nice, random surprise when this happens and it was nice to know that someone out there appreciates non-animal fibre yarn!

Speaking of christmas presents, i am almost there!!

Here are some of the completed presents (that i can show you because the recipients will not read this!!)

If you remember the story of the weaving!fail, this is the replacement present – it is just lovely and i think Alice will enjoy it a lot. Observant people will notice i used left over yarn from M+Gs wedding present last year!

Country Lanes Scarf - photo by nett

This is a wip photo, but i assure you there are now two of these susie’s reading mitts. except they are not for susie (my mum or aunt) but for marmie (my grandmother). For those who know the pattern i have also hemmed it 🙂 The yarn is Freedom Spirit.

Marmie's Reading Mitts

This isn’t a wip photo, just a crappy one, although the colour is truer than in the other photos i have. Also my unmade-up face is not in it, brightly illuminated by flash and red from being flustered! The hat is made from one of the many ribbed boy beanie patterns on rav and the recipient? My dad 🙂 He LOST the last one i made him *sigh*

Another beanie for daddy

These were the most fun to make of all the presents i’ve made so far this year. I’ve wanted to make flip top mittens for years – pretty much since i first found out about them. afterall, while i might feel the cold, I fully admit it doesn’t REALLY get mitten-y cold here in Australia. This is a gorgeous pattern from Ysolda, and the first from whimsical little knits 2 (which i own) that’s i’ve done. They’re for my cousin Kate who works as the wetlands manager at Banrock Station – these will be great for winter mornings!

Unflipped Flip Top Mitts

Ahhhh papa and his socks. he does love hand knitted socks so, but boy are his feet big!!! I normally wouldn’t consider knitting socks for him for christmas since i try to choose small time manageable projects in order to get something done for everything and socks for papa are TIME CONSUMING (and not even small!!) But! I planned ahead. I ordered DK weight sockwool from Blue Moon Fibre Arts, took the yarn and needles away with me to Tassie in October and voila, 5 days after casting on i had these – another set of enormo-socks!

Enormosocks the Third

And last but not least of the photographed presents, is the first one i completed having put together yarn and project ideas at the beginning of october. I aimed to make as many presents as possible from stash – and have succeeded with all the projects above except the socks. This one is a woven scarf from Patons jet and i can’t get a photo that does the colour justice sadly – but it’s pretty and it’s for my aunt

Sue's Jet scarf

There is also finished a set of manly mitts for a male friend, an almost finished sekrit project for someone who will read this and something for mum, who will also read this! Still to be cast on are a pair of mitts i promised someone and a woven scarf (i know that’s not really cast on, but you know what i mean) for a very special family member. I might not make anything for the little cousins this year, since Erica got her beautiful knitted cardi for her birthday and jade will get a crochet top for hers. I picked up a cute little something from Tassie for them both and can pick up a game or something for them to share.

This is erica’s cardi though – it’s a very special little present

A Peacock Cardigan for Erica - photo by nett

WeavingFail!!!

Just had a rare epic crafting fail. I had some old discontinued wool in a cream and brown – not the softest wool, but smooshy with an unexpected kind of striping pattern. I thought i would weave it into a scarf for my cousin who is fond of natural colours.

Well, I chose the 10dpi reed (it was a 10 ply yarn should have been tight, but ok) but didn’t take into account the nature of the yarn – it was a smooshy single, spun around a strong core (thank goodness or it would have TRULY been an epic fail) and as the heddle moved up and down it pushed the smooshy single wooly bit into lovely little coils – ie, it wouldn’t let the full yarn through the gaps!

This was compounded by the truly felty nature of the wool – the warp ends would stick to each other, it fluffed all over the place – completely horrible!

Eventually i gave up, cut the weaving off and assessed how much warp i had left. I should have quit earlier!! I guessed i might have enough warp left to make a short scarf (and my cousin is not overly tall) so i switched to the 7.5dpi reed, restrung the warp and tried again.

Results were better when it came to the actual weaving – much less pushing of the yarn, though it still did occur, leaving ugly fluffy bits and all sorts of other imperfections – But the final product is just (I think) too short. It looks lovely, feels blah and doesn’t really wrap – which i like to at least have the option of doing in scarves i give to people.

I will take a photo of it when it dries and i’ve run over it with the lint shaver to remove some of the excess fluff, but not sure i can really give it away (at least not to someone i like!!)

I have one ball left of the yarn – might consider knitting something like fetching in it, but to be honest, I kinda never want to look at it again!!

almost instant gratification

One of the reasons I love weaving (and to a lesser extent, spinning) is because i can start a project and have it finished the same day. At the moment I have 4 active knitting projects and 2 crochet projects, most of which are long term endeavours. The Fay jumper is coming along slowly but surely, whilst I’m whipping through Mary Jane, a short sleeved scoop neck top in cotton cashmere. I’ve finally succumbed and am working on a Clapotis, which is my ‘travelling’ project whilst my Kid Silk Haze Gossamer shrug has floudered somewhat. Meanwhile I have ALMOST finished my granny square blanket (only ends to sew in now!!) and I have a long term motif silk scarf that is hiding in my room somewhere.

But the other night I picked up the matching Ixchel fibres I picked up when i was at Charly‘s Ixchel spin-in and warped the loom whilst waiting for the dinner to roast. After dinner i set to weaving and by 10pm I had my new favourite scarf.

I absolutely LOVE the colours and the two yarns are made of love – BFL and Angora sock yarn for the warp and Angora and Suri Alpaca for the weft, both dyed in purples, plums and reds. The colours remind me of the Blood Plum and Rhubarb Linzer Torte I often get at HausFrau in Yarraville and so it has been named the Blood Plum Scarf. The only downside is i don;t have as many things as I thought that go with it in my wardrobe! Obviously it goes with black and grey and white, and I have one grey purple top that looks good with it, but clearly i need to buy some more rich red and plum coloured tops this winter!

Another new toy… Trouble is looming.

So I had kinda planned to buy myself a birthday present in three weeks time (at my birthday, of course, which is on Valentine’s should anyone feel a desperate need to buy me yarn/roving lol) , but someone on ravelry was selling exactly what i was wanting second hand. So I bought it early…

On wednesday i drove to Ferntree Gully and bought a loom. A 50cm Ashford Knitters’ Loom, with stand and carry bag.

And I kinda love it. After going to the Night Market with penelope waits that night I read my instructions, grabbed the pretty yarn i’d bought on the way home from picking up the loom and warped it up…

Three hours later I had my first woven scarf. I LOVE IT! three hours! for a whole scarf! albeit a child sized scarf, which as a result i am planning on giving to my cousin for her 9th birthday.

After a wash and a hang/dry on Thurs it looked like this:

The edges aren’t fantastic, but by all accounts aren’t terrible either for a first project and will get better with practice. the actual weaving is a little uneven, but again not anything practice won’t fix.

I really love the colours too and the way the warp plays with the weft. I used Studio Mohair for the weft and Plain old cleckheaton country for the warp.  I have some pretty bamboo sock yarn to play with some bamboo wool and some noro kochoran to match with some tweed for my next couple of projects as well as some left over SAGE (omg i made so many sage coloured presents at christmas) and contrast yarns to do some colourwork!

I am currently working with an inexpensive yarn to practice some more, again letting the yarn itself work wonders 🙂

this time i am using the same mottled yarn for the warp and weft and letting the colours play with each other.

And don’t worry, my new wheel has not been forgotten!! Last week I spun Polworth – a brand new fibre for me, to celebrate my brand new wheel – into this lovely smooooooshy DK yarn. I call it Pink Elephants in Lavender Fields.

and while the scarf was drying i spun a single from some GORGEOUS camel bunny silk blend from Ixchel which i intend to ply with some similar shaded angorino. nomnomnom. should be deliciously soft laceweight/light fingering with lovely meterage when i’m done!