Whole lotta Sweaters

It all started back in October while I was giving the Girl Cave a cleaning & moth check. Things were being sorted, purged & what was staying was updated on my Ravelry stash page and linked to a project in my queue. Organization & efficiency was the name of the game!

I had finished my Not Going to Rhinebeck 2014 sweater…290Pattern: Artichoke French

Yarn: Briar Rose Fibers Abundance

and was looking for a NaKniSweMo project…I came across some Lopi I had picked up during one of my LYS’s February Bulky Yarn Sale. The original plan was to knit myself Odinn, but I decided to make a stab at knitting a sweater for Chris. My first attempt was about 10 years ago…it did not end well and we avoided the Boyfriend Sweater Curse only because we were already married…This time things went considerably smoother…although I think Chris was getting annoyed by my constant requests for him to try the sweater on so I could check fit…. 031I really enjoy knitting Lopapeysa and am partial to the yarn made from Icelandic sheep that is used to knit them. As Christmas was bearing down on us and I had promised my Dad a sweater years earlier, I figured it was a good time to get that done & cast on a second Odinn.

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With the help of my sister, I decided to sort of recreate a ski sweater my Dad had bought when he was 16 and my Mum tossed when I was 16. It was the height of Grunge & I had found its well felted & moth holed remains in the depths of a closet. The Sweater was so very Kurt Cobain! My Mum was horrified that I was wearing it & promptly removed the temptation! Some words may have been exchanged when my Dad discovered it had been tossed.

My sister suggested I try to recreate that long lost sweater. My Dad is quite pleased with his sweater even though he didn’t get it till after Christmas due to my coming down with a Cold of Space & Death. I rarely get sick. but when I do, it really wallops me! He has received at least one compliment about it every time he has worn it!

After knitting the same pattern in a row had me looking for a change…but I still needed a sweater as the weather was unseasonably cold…like below -30C (-22F) with wind chill and I had no intentions of leaving the house unless it was for work, school or food!

Antrorse  popped up  in my feed so I picked my honkin’huge skein of Jill Draper’s Mega Empire  in a nice sunny yellow as I refused to knit anything grey in the depths of a deep freeze!

254I am really happy with this sweater, it has a neat construction & I really loved using Jill’s yarn! She buys the entire shearing from shepherds around her neck of the woods in Hudson Valley, New York. The fleece are processed at a local mill and then Jill dyes them! I really love that she is supporting local shepherds as I remember when we were getting fractions of a cent for our fleece in the 80s. The yarn is a bit rustic at first as the mill doesn’t use chemicals to dissolve the vegetable matter in the fleece and will smell a bit sheepy, but that is the kind of yarn I really enjoy working with and it blooms up so nicely after a soak! I picked up some locally made buttons to use on the yoke.

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After Antrerose it was still freaking cold! I had a bunch of left over lopi from Chris’ sweater & there was just enough that I was able to cast on another sweater…technically it’s a lopapeysa…but not really.

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Scatter is a free pattern via Ravelry. My stitches got a bit tight across the chest, but a stern blocking sorted that out. This sweater is knit a bit tighter than it should, but considering how cold it’s been, it makes for a great base layer.

As I’ve knit roughly a sweater a month since October, I’m taking a bit of a break before I hit burnout and dusting off the loom & pulling out the sewing machine.

 

Yet another chunk of time flies by…

I’m quite convinced that time is having a serious go at me or it’s my stellar lack of organization…probably the latter & I should get back into the “To Do List” habit as that keeps me on track.

Since I last blogged, I have been a semi busy crafter, I have a goal to get the stash down to a reasonable size so I can make better use of my Girl Cave and so far it seems to be working. I’m only buying supplies if all attempts to use stash yarn has failed and even then I have a serious think about if I really need to make the project in question or if there is something in my Ravelry queue that would be a better choice to work with the stash.

Since New Year it has been quite the roller coaster here, between the broken washer, perpetually sick kids (one of whom has recently busted out  in all over hives), leaking newly renovated basement and most recently the passing of a grandmother, I’m ready to call 2013 a complete write off! Through out all this insanity I have kept myself mostly sane (there have been a few break downs) by knitting up a storm…my plans to show everything with photos is not going to happen as the camera battery is in need of charging & if I wait for that, I will never get this long over due post up.

In a nut shell, since January, scarves, hats & a set of hot pink legwarmers (ie: instant gratification projects) have been flying off the needles as well as a red Bulle for Abi and I’m also dealing with the groaning pile of WIPs before the kids out grow the assorted sweaters in there I started Gods only know how long ago!

It wasn’t all knitting though, I managed to get Edna II warped & have been puttering away on her, unfortunatly as the basement can get quite cold, sitting at the loom long enough to accomplish more than a few inches weaving before my hands are too cold to catch the shuttle is a challenge. However, the coolness of the basement bodes well for lots of time spent down there once the heat of Summer hits! In the mean time, I have woven two scarves on Filipe, both using unspun fibers for the weft.

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Silk hankies from WoolieBullie for the weft & Viola Viola lace weight warp. I spent two days attenuating the hankies (awesome Knitty article on working with silk hankies) & winding them onto a stick shuttle.

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After the success of that scarf, I busted out some Fiber Optic Yarns pencil roving I bought at Rhinebeck 2 years ago and a skein of Northbound Knitting fingering weight for another go.

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I’m quite chuffed with this one!

As I have a bunch more unspun fibers in my stash, I’m plotting a few more scarves…this will be the next one:

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Northbound Knitting silk hankies & fingering weight yarn…it’s going to be lovely!

I’ve started a Shetland Ruffle scarf/shawl using 2 balls of Jawoll Magic in graduated shades of purple, grey & black as my new TTC project & an Innisfil cardi using some of the oldest yarn in my stash, Rowanspun aran in a nice Springy green.

Let’s see if I can get these two done in a respectable amount of time & get back to a semi regular blogging schedule…

 

 

So I have these sock yarns…

Every so often I come across a sock yarn I really fancy. I fancy it so much that I forget that I am not all that fond of knitting socks as I suffer from a serious case of second sock syndrome. This could easily be solved by wrapping my brain around the technique of knitting one sock inside the other like that character from War & Peace, but right now, socks just aren’t my thing, not that it has stopped me from buying sock yarn in the past with the hope that things will change.

Since nothing has changed vis a vie my relationship with knitting socks and I’m holding to my New Year’s resolution to reduce the stash & purchase yarn only when absolutely nothing on hand will work, I’m coming up with alternative uses for my sock yarns. The loom has been the most usefull sock yarn stash buster and consequently a few gifts have been ticked off a list, but I have a few balls of single ply sock yarns that are not the best for warping a loom as they just don’t hold together under tension & it’s broken warp-a-palooza surrounded by a cloud of some of the foulest language possible.

Ravelry, however, has some really great ideas for none sock or weaving uses for these few balls of sock yarn…

 

As I’m also itching for a new transit/travel project that is a little more exciting than what I’m currently working on I believe I may have the perfect solution! I just have to decide between Summit, Wellenbaktus, Spectra, Creekbed, Daybreak or Akimbo (I’m not sure about you, but I’m sensing a theme…) or Coquille.

 

 

 

 

 

Bringing the Stash to It’s Knees!

It all started the other day with a moth sighting. After squishing the little bastard and the panic had subsided I devised a plan to reorganize the stash and moth proof it in the process. This could turn into a rather embarassing “Oh looky how disorganized she is!” post and I’m thrilled to provide the schadenfreude for those of you who feel the need. I take pride in my flaws, screw-ups and embarrasements now (it was a very different story 10 years ago) as they all eventually become a learning lesson.

Things got rolling yesterday as the counter productive side kicks were back at school & I was able to lay in some supplies:

The Irish Spring soap may confuse some of you, it’s the moth deterrent. For some reason, moths hate it! I think it was Our Denny who explained her old spinning teacher would bundle raw fleeces with a bar and never had a moth issue ever.  It’s probably due to the strong scent, so I figure if you don’t like Irish Spring soap, any strong smelling soap would work just as well.

Now to the horrow show (those amongst you with delicate sensibilities may want to go here till it’s over). Here is the before shot of my craft space, I would like for it to one day finally be a studio space I can actually work in & not die from a fiberlanche! Today is that day!

I had been quite good for some time after I first set this space up in keeping it orderly, but along the way, it became a dumping ground to hide stuff/clutter when last minute guests were popping over & Oz (our cat) REALLY likes yarn and would often dig through bags & bins in an attempt to steal my yarn. We regularly come home to balls that have been unraveled through out the house. While I was sorting through the bags he tried to run off with some yarn.

First task was to locate the floor, since Chris and I share the space for our respective hobbies/therapies it just wasn’t cool that my stuff was taking over. I brought all the crap on the floor of the craft space to the living room and got down to business. Every thing was sorted, photographed (discovered last night I missed a few so will back track to get them) then entered in my Ravelry stash page. I have a whole new respect for archivists etc! After that was done, project quantities were put into their own smaller zippy bag which were placed into one of the large ziploc storage bags which were labeled: WIPS, Sweater Quantities, Shawl Amounts, Socks, Weaving, Spinning, Kits & Single Skeins. Each storage bag got a bar of Irish Spring tossed in to repel the moths.

As I came across WIPS (works in progress) I decided if I wanted to keep it or frog it, only a few were frogged, the rest were put in the bag to come back to at a later date.

Only a single braid of SweetGeorgia BFL fiber had been sacrificed to the dreaded Moth Gods!

By mid afternoon, I had run out of the smaller zippy bags and the camera battery needed charging so progress stopped for the day. I’ll be resuming later today after I procure more zippy bags… TO BE CONTINUED…