Saturday, August 31, 2013

August Month End Report


I continued with my broken yarn diet as I bought a few more skeins of yarn.  In preparation for a new knitting project, I purchased some yarn for a sweater, then decided that I also needs more yarn for a vest project and while I was at it, I saw the Liesl that I have been contemplating for a while and purchased the pattern and yarn to make that.

I also made some sewing tools purchases since there was a sale.  I kind of fell off my diet, but believe that I will make up for it since the rest of year will see very little crafting.


I started spinning some carded fiber I prepared while at the Texas retreat and am using my KCL Woods interchangeable drop spindle.  I really loving spindle spinning again.

I started a bunch of knit-a-longs.  The Makai, a shawl, had a few issues with the pattern so I just waited until all the bugs were worked out.  It was a 3 part schedule and I am on the second part now.

I also started the Dacite, a cardigan, and was able to finish it.  It was a very easy and fast knit and probably the fastest that I knit a sweater.  All that is missing are the two buttons.

I cast on for the Circumnavigated cardigan and it is kind of a slog.  I barely started and the yarn is a bit scratchy compared to my other projects so not much progress is being made.  I definitely will not finish with the rest of the group.

I then started the Gabbro, a pullover sweater, in a bamboo yak blend from my deep stash and am making significant progress on it as well.  I really like the feel of the fabric on this knit.

I found a knitting buddy and we started knitting the Mudblood Cardigan from the Harry Potter magazine and I am making progress on it.

I have a lot of projects and not enough knitting time and my hands are beginning to feel fatigue.

No purging or organization occurred this month, but I have been thinking about my "stuff" and organizing in my mind about what needs to find new homes.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Succumbed to New Needles

At Black Sheep Gathering, I saw the Chiao Goo interchangeable needle sets.  The sets available were the full sets and I really did not need the entire set and was looking for the small set.

I came home and was distracted and started knitting up a storm and had a rush of cast-on-itis and am at a point where I need more needles to start new projects.

I did a inter webs search and found that Handsome Fibers, whom I purchased needles from in the past, had the small set.  I went ahead and ordered the set with some additional cables.
During my search, I also saw that she had the Karbonz needles and I really liked the fixed needle that I purchased for sock knitting, so I went ahead and ordered this set as well.
I should have plenty of needles now for a multitude of projects.  What I really need to do is to finish some projects so I can have some empty needles.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A New Knitting Buddy

One of the new challenges that Mel of the Single Handed Knits podcast issued was to make a new buddy and knit a project together.  Since Mel lives on an island with no knit peeps around, she gains quite a bit of joy from online knitting friends.  She has been quite successful in creating a community for herself and wanted to spread the love.

On one of her threads in her Ravelry group, she has a buddy matching process.  I found a buddy, Sarah, who lives in California not too far away from me.  We decided to start the Mudblood Cardigan from the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits.

I will be using my favorite yarn, Malabrigo Rios, in the cumparsita colorway which is not quite as red as the model, but I think it will look great.  I have plenty of this yarn so I should not run out of yarn.
I cast on with US 6 needles and am making the 36 3/4" size using the knitted cast on.  The sweater is knit from the bottom up.  The bottom of the sweater has a twisted rib pattern and it is very slow going.
Sarah has decided to knit hers in the color purple.  We will keep each other on task and our finish date is October 1.  Can I finish another sweater in a month's time?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Yarn Calculation Failure

I still have no idea how to calculate the amount of yarn that I need to knit a sweater.....

At the beginning of this month, I decided that I absolutely had to start knitting the Dacite cardigan by Carol Feller.  I looked through my stash and found this Malabrigo Rios that I have been saving for a special project (this yarn is one of my favorites).
I pulled out all the skeins and only had 6 total.  I reviewed the pattern and for my size, I really needed 7 skeins.  So I went off to my LYS to add one skein which did not work out at all because the dye lot was so different.

I talked here about my yarn purchase for this sweater as well as a couple of other things.

I started knitting the sweater and because it was knit on US 9 needles, it went pretty fast.  I continued the sweater even adding a couple of extra inches in the length of the body.  I also knitted both of the sleeves and made the sleeves a bit longer than called for.

Here is what was left at the end of the knitting.
I could have used my original yarn and kept to my yarn diet.  I was at knit group and was talking about my miscalculation and was told that if I had not purchased the yarn and knit with my original 6 skeins, I was sure to run out of yarn.  In the knitting universe, this makes total sense.

Here is my finished sweater.  I still need to find 2 buttons that would be perfect for this sweater and it is super soft and cozy.
Sadly, the temperatures are heading up to be in the 80s so I will need to put the sweater away until the temperatures start coming down.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

August Spin Group

Summer came late and it was a bit warm for spin group.  I had to turn the air conditioning on to be comfortable.

I decided to work on a drop spindle and pulled this one which I purchased at SOAR from KCL Woods.  It is an interchangeable drop spindle with three shafts.  I also pulled out some carded fiber I prepared at the Texas retreat.
I have forgotten how much slower spindle spinning is from wheel spinning but had a great time and the spindle spins true.  Lovely pattern on the top whorl while it is spinning.

I got less than half a batt spun so there is more spinning fun to be had.
Since I was hosting, I prepared a Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice for the main dish.
We also had a spinach salad, caprese skewers, onions and chutney to top the curry and a plum upside down cake to round out the meal.
Great friends, good food, the best of times.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Gabbro from the Deep Stash

Another pattern in the new Carol Feller collection is the Gabbro sweater.  This is my second favorite pattern in this collection.  I tried really hard to go to the stash first instead of just buying more yarn (I need to keep repeating - No more yarn to myself).

I found a few options, but decided to use this Lotus Bamyak which I bought at the Point in Alaska on a trip I took there in September 2009.
I have more than enough as called for in the pattern so I should not run out of yarn.  I am making the 37 size and have found that it is definitely easier for me to knit on smaller needles.  This project uses US 4 knitting needles.

The start is pretty interesting.  You start with what I figure to be the back of the neck and after a few increasing rows, the sweater is then joined and knit in the round.  I think the lace pattern will look great in this brown yarn.
The pattern has a lace pattern along only one side seam of the sweater so it should be an interesting look.
The yarn is a little fuzzy and soft.  I think after washing, it will soften even more and be super comfy on the skin.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Makai Clue 1 Completed

It took a bit a effort and some unknitting and reknitting, but I think I have finally mastered the ripple stitch for the second part of this shawl pattern.
I was able to finish before the second clue was released.
I am taking a little bit of time to think about the change in stitches before I tackle the knitting.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Circumnavigated Cardigan

August 1 was also the start of the circumnavigated cardigan knit-a-long with my San Diego Spinners group.

I met up with Susan and got the pattern and she helped me measure myself since the pattern is based on measurements and gauge of the yarn that you choose.

I picked some wool yarn I bought when I first started knitting since I have not had time to spin.

I cast on using the crochet method for the provisional cast on and started knitting the body.
The wool is a bit coarse so I might need to condition it when I wash it after the knitting is done.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Progress on the Dacite Cardigan

I have been knitting like gangbusters on the Dacite cardigan.  I love the yarn and the pattern.

Knitting on US 9 needles makes it go pretty fast.  I have knit the body and completed the i-cord hem and collar.
All that is left are the sleeves.  Fastest sweater knitting ever!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Makai Mystery Knit-a-long

So one of the August 1 projects I am embarking on is the Makai mystery knit-a-long.  It is a shawl pattern based on scenery in Hawaii.

I pulled out some Handmaiden seasilk yarn I have been saving for a special project.
The first clue of the pattern released and I started with the cast on and the easy part.
I need to start the ripple stitch pattern which has been modified a few times in the course of a few days.  I am waiting a bit for everything to settle down before I take it on.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Great Maple

To continue with our mini-supper club, Janet and I headed to the Great Maple for dinner.  The restaurant use to be Brian's which was a great breakfast place.

Janet ordered a grape cocktail which was pretty and refreshing.
The menu was extensive and we both started out with salads - I had the beet salad and Janet had the kale salad.
For our main course, I tried the grilled fig and cheese sandwich paired with a venison chili.
Janet had the pork chop which was super thick.
We rounded out the meal with apple pie which we shared.
Way too much food but super tasty.  The place also does this super long tray which they take around with drinks and desserts.  Here is one of the offerings of drinks.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Drum Carder Has Landed

I succumbed to the Duncan drum carder while I was at BSG.  I spent over an hour with the Duncan's asking a million questions and trying out their carders.  I knew I wanted an electric carder so I spent quite a bit of time doing research and asking all my questions.

Since the carders are built for each customer, and unless you were lucky enough to buy one of their models at the show, I had to wait a bit for it to come down the West Coast.

It arrived on the first day of August and it took me a while to unpack it.  It was super packed as you can see with lots of foam pieces.
After picking it up and putting it on the table - it is a pretty hefty weight so no need to clamp to any table, I did a small bit of assembly and turned the sucker on.  It made a small humming noise as it started rotating drums.  No loud gears or motor noises.  It is a well oiled machine.
Since I bought this carder with plans in mind, I spent the weekend pulling out the fiber I wanted to card.  I want to make the Traveling Sweater which calls for a wool/bamboo blend.  I pulled out all my bfl fiber as well as a bunch of bamboo.  After doing the math, I need a 60/40 wool/bamboo blend.

I calculated in 2 ounce increments which equates to about 57 grams which would consist of 35 grams of wool and 22 grams of bamboo.  My scale is not exact but I figured it was close enough.  I measured out 35 grams of wool and then added bamboo until the scale read 57 grams.

I did not have quite enough bfl, so I dug out some merino to make up the difference.  I ended up with 16 little piles of my blend which is about 2 pounds of fiber.  This should be enough for the sweater as the pattern calls for between 2 and 2 1/2 pounds of yarn.

Here are all my piles ready to be carded.
The carding can commence.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Brita Service

Earlier this year, I ordered a Brita hard sided bottle to take with me when I travel.  I am trying to get away from disposable bottled water and though that a filtering bottle would be the best choice.

I already have a Brita pitcher which is vintage now that I have been using for years.

Well after a few months usage, I started to notice that the bottle started to leak even when upright in the cup holder of my car.  I had to start taking a hand towel with me to mop up the excess water.  I stopped taking it on the road with me especially with air travel.

When I got home, I contacted Brita through their website and sent in an inquiry regarding the leak issue.  Brita had great customer service and immediately sent me a new bottle to replace the one that I had with a postage paid label to send my defective bottle back.

I received my new bottle and took it with me on my last trip and found that the bottle had no suckage.  It seems that the straw portion of the filter did not lock in with the cap so all I was getting was air plus a little bit of water.

I had to break down and buy a case a water in New Mexico which I shared and in a week's time, we had consumed a entire case of water.

I again reached out to Brita and notified them of the problem with my replacement and they sent a new bottle out right away.

I have sent back the previous two and I'm hoping that this third time is a charm and I will be happy with my new filter bottle.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sheepskin Treadle Covers

I was scoping out the Ravelry sales boards and saw an ad for sheepskin covers for my treadle spinning wheels.

I corresponded with the seller Hare and There Studio and found that she is in Santa Fe.  I tried to get together with her while I was in New Mexico, but that did not work out so she had to send my covers by mail.

I love the feel of them.  They are made from Jacob and are spotted.
I got covers for both my wheels.  Here they are on my Matchless.
And here on my sidekick.
Super soft and I can't wait for some free time to spin with them.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dacite Cardigan

Carol Feller has a new knit-a-long starting on August 1 for her Among Stones patterns.

I decided to join the knit-a-long for the Dacite cardigan.

I dug around my stash and found some Malabrigo Rios in a pretty blue/green color called Solis.  However, I needed one more skein so I went by my LYS - The Needlecraft Cottage and found that the colors were not a match.  The new skein would be really green and not much blue.

I broke my yarn diet again and bought 7 skeins of Malabrigo Rios in the Zarzamora color which has primarily alot of purple.
I also found some sale yarn which was a pretty color.
I succumbed to the new Harry Potter magazine which has great patterns.