July 26, 2009



Things have gotten a little cast-on happy around here lately, so in the interest of accountability I'm reporting in for a works-in-progress roundup.

Let's look at them individually, shall we?

Sock in progress
Everyone knows socks don't really count as a WIP, so I hardly need to defend these. That said, the observant among you will notice that I've stopped right at the point when I need to turn the heel, which is really the only time that sock knitting becomes an actual project. So! The heel must be turned.

Growing back
The back of the equestrian blazer has grown a bit, but it has been benched for now. It was born of demand (no easy knitting on the needles!) and supply (hey look! a sweater's worth of yarn in my stash!). But this is a cool-weather project and since fall in Virginia is still many months off there's no rush to finish it yet. And it's not like I don't have other things to keep me busy...

Lace lace lace
Oh right - lace.
I'm knitting a few rows here and there, but my favorite place to knit lace is on airplanes and for the next few weeks I'm not traveling. So progress has stalled.

Start of a new back
New project #1! Some yarn never sees the inside of the stash bins. The Rowan silk-wool yarn that I got at an unbelievable sale price is such a yarn. And now that it is becoming a summer cardigan it has become priority knitting #1.

Or at least it was until this happened:
New project #2. Yesterday I realized I have some gift knitting to catch up on. So I opened the stash closet, picked the happiest color of handspun I saw, and got to work. This itty bitty hooded cardi is about the most mindless thing I have ever knit, and it is flying by, so hopefully I'll get back to my turqoise summer cardi soon enough.

Let's not talk about spinning projects in progress right now, okay?

July 21, 2009

Yarn call!

This weekend I went away to the most fabulous weekend of fiddling and dancing EVER but this is a fiber blog, so I won't bore you all.

Instead, here are some things that came in the mail while I was away:
Topsy Farms
Four skeins of goooorgeous naturally brown yarn from Topsy farm in Canada. It's far from next-to-skin soft, but it'll suit the project I had in mind perfectly. Very happy with this purchase!

Rowan Classic Silk Wool
Ten skeins of Rowan Classic Silk Wool DK in Porcelain, which just happens to be my very favorite color. This was an unplanned purchase, but the price was just so good that I jumped on it. Very happy I did.
Start of a back
And with all that yarn arriving I'd better get knitting! Here is the start of the back of Kate Gilbert's Equestrian Blazer which I'm knitting with the yarn recycled from my very first (and rather bad) sweater. So far, so good.

July 13, 2009


I am without a chugalong knitting project right now and as a result I'm bouncing around and dabbling in several different things.

This weekend I...
Shiny soft...
...started spinning a cashmere and silk blend...

...fiddled and fiddled and fiddled with the tension on Margaret's Matchless that she has kindly lent me (I got it worked out last night! Let the production spinning begin!)...

Frogged turtleneck
...frogged my very first completed sweater and soaked the yarn for reuse...

Man sock
...and cast on for a sock.

The brown yarn conundrum has been solved (I hope) and when the yarn comes in the mail I'll report in. Hopefully this means that I'll be casting on a sweater soon, which should help focus my fiber play time.

July 11, 2009

1/2 FO: Boxwood Primavera Sock(s)

boxwood half way

Yarn: Wollmeise, from the sock yarn club
Needles: 0s! (I know! Zerophobia is healed!)
Pattern: Primavera

The first sock is finished and the second ball is still AWOL. This wouldn't be so terribly tragic if this wasn't my very favorite sock that I've ever knit. Sigh. I love this sock. And I will display it prominently so I can admire it until the other ball of yarn decides to come home.

I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend the Primavera pattern. It's wonderfully mindless (the fiddley bits are only every six rows) and the effect is lovely with a variagated yarn. I will be knitting many more of these socks. Or, you know, at least a full pair. (sigh!)

July 9, 2009

ISO: chocolate brown, wool, worsted or dk, 2 or 3 ply, long-wearing yarn

Is that too much to ask?

I've been surprised at how hard it is to find such a yarn. My go-to solid wool (Dale's Heilo) has no good brown. I jumped to Jamieson's DK, even buying two balls to see the color in person, but no. Neither of the browns is right.

Here's what I need:
-A beautiful, solid, chocolate brown. Slightly heathered would be okay too, but no tweeds or semi-solids
-Wool, non-superwash please. I'd even take a wool/something blend if it measured up in other ways
-a good quality, long-wearing yarn. Cascade 220 won't fit the bill here - I want an heirloom knit strength yarn
-no singles yarns or no cabled plies. 2 or 3 ply prefered, but I'm willing to go up to 5 or 6 if it looks like a traditional plied yarn and not the kind of cylinders seen in, for example, Debbie Bliss's Rialto yarn
-worsted or dk. I'd go aran weight too, if necessary.

Here's what I don't care about:
-softness. Butter soft or scratchy, I don't care. Merino? Fine. (as long as it's long-wearing) Romney? Great.

This reads a bit like a personal ad, no?
Okay, so my requirements are a smidge specific. But I'm willing to pay a pretty penny for such a yarn, if I could find it! And if I can't? Well then it's time for me to start experimenting with dyeing techniques so I can get an entire sweater's worth of yarn evenly dyed.

Any an all yarn ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated!

Yarn gone AWOL

The first Primavera sock is almost finished.
boxwood toe

But there's a mysterious problem. See that ball? That's all I have left. Now yes, it is a relatively tall sock, but this yarn is supposed to have 575 yards in the skein!!

As I see it, these are the possibilities:
a) This pattern ate up a crazy amount of yarn and that small ball is really all there is left
b) I wound the skein into two separate cakes and then lost one.

I strongly suspect B. Yesterday I cleaned out my fiber closet assuming I'd run into the wayward cake, but no. This moring I hunted and hunted and hunted. No yarn. (well, no green sock yarn. I turned up some other treasures along the way.)
At this point my plan is to finish the sock and set it aside, hoping that the missing yarn will turn up. I'm feeling rather dramatic about the whole thing because I have absolutely loved knitting this first sock and was looking forward to the second, but I don't see what choice I have. (dramatic gesture)

If any of my local knitting buds have seen a brilliantly green cake of yarn wandering around, tell it to come home!

July 3, 2009

Vacation knitting

Does it get any better than this?
vacation knitting
(not pictured: gin and tonic in hand)