December 21, 2008

Spinning and Travel

The holidays are upon us! This year we have an adventure planned - tomorrow we are heading to Romania for a family Christmas in the countryside. I've never been to Romania and am super excited about the trip! I am extremely unprepared for the travel but I'm ready to dive into an unforgettable experience. I'll be back after the new year with plenty of photos.

I've been cramming in some last minute crafting in preparation for the trip. A gift hat is almost done after an evening of knitting, and I finished a yarn for travel knitting. 
Handspun merino

The fiber is merino in my colorway Roses of my Childhood.
Handspun merino

There are two plump skeins of it, adding up to 640 yards of a heavy fingering yarn.
Handspun merino

It's destiny is to become an Elizabeth Zimmerman February baby sweater, as a gift for a friend's baby girl who will arrive in this world this spring. I'm thrilled with how the colors spun up and can't wait to knit with it.

My other travel knitting is one of the famous two row Noro striped scarves, so it should be a nice balance.  

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

ps- the fence is DONE! WOOOOO!

December 19, 2008

FO: Elijah

Elijah finished

Pattern: Elijah, by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Dale of Norway Baby Ull in gray-blue
Needles: bamboo DPNs in US0 (yeeeeeesh.)
Elijah finished
This pattern is brilliant! Knit in the round and seamlessly, the little guy comes together pretty quickly.  

Elijah finished
His ears were a little fiddly, but otherwise just a smooth, easy knit. He is super squishy soft and I think my friend's baby will get some great cuddle time with this little guy. It'll be hard to put him in the mail! Maybe I'll have to knit him a penpal to stay here with me.

FO: A scarf for Alex

Nothing fancy here, just a 1x1 rib scarf for Alex. I love the drape of the fabric with this stitch pattern, and I'm happy with the colors he picked out.
Alex Scarf
He said that all the scarves he has are too short and all he wanted was a scarf that wasn't too short.

Alex Scarf
I took the request seriously.
Despite the ridiculous looking lenght, when he wears it the scarf comes just to the bottom of his coat when wrapped around his neck once. I think that'll do!

December 16, 2008


Dyeing other people's knitted goods is nervewracking!

A friend from knit night was unhappy with how a yarn had knit up and was asking about how she would go about dyeing it. I offered to just take care of it for her, and went home with a beautiful lace scarf, ready for dyeing.

Enter nerves.

I just pulled it out of the dye pot and I'm happy with how it came out, so I just hope my friend is too! I'll try to photograph it tomorrow if the sky isn't miserably gray like it has been the last few days. 

I'm just so relieved that it didn't end disastrously!!

In other non-disaster news, I finished some spinning.
moss at midnight for alli
This is a colorway called "Moss at Midnight" that is absolutely impossible to photograph. ARGH! A friend of mine bought the fiber and asked if I could do a custom spin order. You betcha! Eight ounces of spinning later, here are two skeins of light worsted weight BFL yarn. The fiber is decidedly green, even if I can't quite capture that in the photos, and there's subtle variagation from a cool gray green to warmer mossy tones.  The whole thing is pretty dark, hence the "midnight" part of the name. 

I'll be switching spinning gears this week and heading to merino land in a great PINK color. Should be a nice change of pace and help offset the grayskydoldrums.

December 15, 2008

Fence Building

Yes, my husband and I are building a fence. Which right now means a lot of digging and not a lot of knitting. Also, it means sore shoulders. Ouch.

But just to keep things alive around here, here's a picture of the smidgen of progress I've made on one of my Christmas projects.

head and body
He looks a little alien right now, but I promise he'll cute right up when he gets ears. I'm saving them for last.

My husband's scarf is almost done (oh, the ends the ends! So much weaving!) and then I'm planning to dive right into another 1x1er. 

Later today I have some finished spinning to share, but for now I have some holes to dig!

December 10, 2008


zeilinger order

They're here! Back from processing!!
Overall, I'm thrilled. The fleeces all have a really nice hand to them and I think they'll be a delight to dye and spin. I lost less weight in processing than I thought I might, and Zeilinger did a great job - zero VM!

I'm anxious to start spinning with some of this wool. It was an adventure to pick these fleeces and send them off, and I'll be curious how spinning with them compares to spinning with the commercial Romney I have.

I think I'm finally committing to my next big project, which will involve the gray fleece, second from the left.  More on this soon!

December 7, 2008

I wasn't kidding...

...about treating the failed mittens like the mitten equivalent of stockings.

Christmas decorations

That's better.

You all were too nice in your comments about my first embroidery attempt. Really! But thanks in part to your niceness I got right back on the horse and tried again. This time with patterns.
tea towel for liz
That's better, now isn't it?
I made a little tea towel for my friend Liz who hosted an eggnog party last night, and she's just the type to appreciate a tea towel!
Sorry for the moody lighting in the photos - I finished the towel after dark and handed it off an hour later.

tea towel for liz

tea towel for liz

In knitting news, a little friend is beginning to grow...
The start of a little friend

December 5, 2008

Shop Update - at last!

It's been a while, but I finally have some new products up in The Vildish Twist.
December update

These colors are brand new, and I'm loving them all. There are so many baby girls (no, no, not mine! No surprise announcements here!) about to appear in my world that I have some serious pink on the brain!! 

Also, I've been spinning.

moss at midnight
It looks like a fuzzy mess here, but that's some lovely BFL in my Moss at Midnight colorway. I'm spinning it for a crocheter so I'm twisting in the opposite direction than I normally do.

Yay, fiber!!

December 4, 2008

Want to see something funny?

embroidery take 1

So this is what happens when Someone (ahem. okay, fine it was me) decides that even though she has never done a stitch of embroidery in her life, for her first project she's going to do away with patterns and just try to mimic the embroidery on her national costume. Without even trying to trace it out first.

Go ahead and laugh. I know it's totally mishapen and scrappy. 
Lesson #1 - I am not good at drawing freehand, what on earth made me think I'd be good at embroidering freehand? (???)
Lesson #2 - picking the right number of threads to embroider with makes a big difference. I really wanted that stem to be the size that it is, but I used too few threads so it looks jagged. Clearly there's a certain amount of poor stitchery involved, but I think that if I had used more threads it would have helped cover some of the jags.
Lesson #3 - embroidery is about precision. Every. Single. Stitch. Placement makes a difference in how the darned thing will look. This makes it a very different kind of craft than knitting and spinning. (or, at least, my sloppy approach to knitting and spinning.) If I want to be happy with my finished embroidery, I need to take the time to give it my full, unrushed attention.
In this case? I rushed. I was too hopped up on the thought of embroidering everything in sight!

I'm obviously a beginner at this and I'm a-okay with that! Right now I'm sticking to tea towels that won't leave the house, so the learning curve can take whatever form it takes. 

Just think of this as a hopeful future "remember when..." post reference.

December 3, 2008

Thanks, Courtney!!

mitten box

My package from my secret mitten pal arrived, and WOW! Thanks so much, Courtney!! I love it all!!
Sorry the picture is so dark - I'll try to get better pictures of the mittens soon. They are from the Egyptian Mitten pattern, and knit in beautiful blue and green, with maroon and white cuffs. They fit perfectly, too!!! The knitting is stunning - Courtney, you are one seriously skilled knitter!!
The other goodies include two skeins of Cascade 220 in greens (yay!!) a pattern for the Wintergreen Mittnes, some red laceweight yarn (ooooooo!) and a pattern for a scarf. And licorice! YUM!

Thanks so much for everything, I am THRILLED and have already worn the mittens!! What a treat!! :) 

My package went out to my secret pal yesterday, so hopefully she's as delighted with her package as I was with mine!