WIP Wednesday: The Yule Knitting Commences

I know that updates have been sparse lately, but I blame that on the work schedule being a bit wonky. One of the drawbacks of rotating shifts, I guess. When I haven’t been working, though, I’ve been keeping myself busy – and not with my Sims game! I’ve noticed time just slipping right away when I play, so I either need to set a timer, or just concentrate on the other things that need doing. This week I’ve been really good and just concentrating on the knitting.

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First, though, I’ve gotten back to the spinning. This has been the one thing that has made the most progress over the course of the week. I had previously finished the bobbin on the left, and over the course of the last week, finished up the bobbin on the right. I’m currently working my way through the third and last bobbin, after which I will start plying. Hooray for making my own yarn!

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This, however, was not spun by me. It’s Noro Silk Garden, and it’s being knit into something that I hope will be very warm and snuggly for the recipient. It’s probably the last time the blog will see it before it gets shipped up north to its new home. Hopefully there will be some action shots taken up there ūüėČ

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This looks suspiciously like a mitten, but it may not stay that way. I think it’s way too small, and way too thin for a northern winter. And when I say “northern”, I actually DO mean arctic! I’m thinking that this particular yarn will be frogged back and knit into a delightful scarf for a wee fashionista who loves the colour pink. It’s Zauberball Starke 6, so it’s thicker than the Crazy Zauberball, but apparently not by much. I will go on the search for more girly-coloured Noro later on. Possibly on the weekend.

Work on Robin’s sweater is continuing. I’m on the second sleeve, and while I’d show pictures, it’s really a matter of “second verse, same as the first”. Needless to say, the Husbeast is happy to see that the sweater is more than mostly theoretical!

WIP Wednesday: Knitting with Handspun

Hooray for WIP Wednesday! I actually have pictures taken this week. Amazing! Usually I get caught a little flat-footed due to the fact that my schedule is all over the place.

First up, a pair of plain old vanilla socks in Trekking XXL. Not very exciting, but we can’t have everything. I actually do still have some design-knitting that I really ought to be working on, but with Yule looming, I’m not going to argue at getting a jump on possible presents.

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I made the decision that this year I’m not going to go too spectacular with the socks. Folks need comfy, warm, functional footwear just as much (if not more) than they need lace and cables. I admit, usually the lace and cables are more to entertain me during the knitting process than they are for anyone else’s benefit.

I also decided to cast on the first Bonus sock for the Super Sock Scarefest (there are still a couple of days left to sign up, hint hint).

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The pattern is called “Wednesday“, and if you can see the little illustration on the pattern in the photo, you can probably tell that they’re inspired by Wednesday Addams. ¬†The pattern calls for sport weight yarn on size 2 needles, so I dug into my small stash of Paton’s Kroy 4-ply for a couple of skeins in the “Flax” colourway, and the Knitter’s Pride needles that I figured were actually a size 2. ¬†They’re working up fairly quickly and at a good gauge. ¬†Huzzah!

And now the more involved project: A shawl for Zwee. When she came home to visit for her birthday, I gave her the choice of socks or a shawl(ette) / scarf. She chose the latter. The yarn is the handspun merino top I recently finished spinning.

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I don’t figure that showing in-progress photos is out-of-the-question. After all, the magic really happens in the blocking. So that means that there may be plenty of in-progress shots that look like silly string, but there won’t be a finished object shot until it’s been blocked and sent. I chose the Brandywine Shawl pattern because it has a little bit of fancy, a little bit of plain, and can pretty well be knit until you run out of yarn. Hooray for getting the most out of what you use!

Knitting with my own handspun is definitely a good experience. The yarn was, in a way, telling me what it wanted to be when it grew up. Also, it gives me a good idea of how my spinning is going. I’ve learned that I really do need to add more twist to my ply, at least with 2-ply. It feels wonderful on the hands, though, and any knots or weirdly-spun patches are my own damn fault.

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Metamorphoses

It’s another WIP Wednesday! I would have posted sooner, but with the weather being overcast and rainy, I barely had time to bring in the laundry yesterday. Which is OK, because that gave me time to turn the heel on the 2nd of Robin’s grey-and-red socks

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It also gave me time to turn some of this…

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Into some of this. It’s looking nicer than I thought it would. Maybe my chain plying isn’t as poor as I thought….

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I also took the mess on the left over there

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…managed to detangle it…

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…and rewound it into a recognizable skein. By my calculations, I have around 229 yards in there. Hopefully enough for a Baby Surprise Jacket. ¬†Hopefully.

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That’s what I’ve been up to. ¬†How have you been keeping yourself busy?

WIP Wednesday: Keep on truckin’

Today is a snowy day that sorta took us by surprise. I’ve been working night shifts this week, and with a wind storm this past Sunday, I’ve been watching the weather to see if there will be anything I’ll need to be aware of when I leave the building at midnight.

Snow is pretty and hides a multitude of backyard sins.

Isn’t that a beautiful sight? And that triangular thing? That’s my drying rack. I guess that I won’t be drying knit socks on the deck for awhile, eh?

The leg knits faster than the cuff. Seriously.

I’m now at the point where I can turn the heel on Sock #2 of the Gentleman’s Railway Socks. I’ve been grooving away on the leg pattern and just doing what I can in the time I have. Unfortunately, I left my “main knitting” at home last night, so I had to do something else on my lunch hour.

Image enhanced as the pattern got lost in the front hallway lighting.

Does that leg look smaller than the last update? ¬†Yes, unfortunately. I wound up with an extra yarnover somewhere, and when I tried to “fix” the issue, I wound up with a nice ladder-effect from the dropped extra stitch. Whoops. So I spent my lunch hour last night tinking back about the same amount of rows I would have knit. The upside to this is that I’m now ready to start knitting in pattern again!

I’m a little cheesed that I didn’t get my November socks finished by the end of the month, but I will admit that my Sims addiction got the best of me. I know that I mentioned that I wasn’t sure I’d be doing a “Skinflint Sock Club” sock for December. I’ve decided that I’m going to post the sock of the month, and if I can get to it…damn skippy I’ll knit it! The Sock Knitter’s Anonymous group on Ravelry theme for this month is an interesting one, and I’ve chosen a sock that I think will be a fun one: Sidewinders!

December: 
Technique: Stashbuster or Unique Construction or Entrelac 
Designer: Anni Designs, Emma Haigh

I’ve got some self-striping Regia kicking around the stash, so I’m thinking I will drag that out and try the Sidewinders. They definitely qualify for Unique Construction! Feel free to join me!

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WiP Wednesday

Things are progressing a bit better with the Gentleman’s Socks than they were. The Lion Brand is really shaping up, and I’m very happy to be working with my regular 2.5mm needles. I really need to get a pair of 2.25mm Addi Turbos to bridge the gap between the really wee needles and the somewhat wee needles, if you know what I mean.

Heel turned and gusset done! Booyeah!

The contrasting colour in the heel is some Louet Gems that I had left over after making the Ishbel Beret (pattern by Ysolda Teague) a year or two ago. I’m not sure I like the baggy-ness (is that a word?) of the heel, but since I know that the Husbeast has a hard time with socks fitting in the heel, the extra width might be good – (not that these are going to the Husbeast, of course, but with the men in this family and their foot sizes of “Big” and “Holy crap, those are huge, you walk on those?!?”, I’ll take what I can get.

Episode 19: Video Killed the Radio Star

I’ve kinda wrapped WIP Wednesday and the Stringchronicity Podcast into one great big gooey package today. ¬†Today, we’re going video!

If you’re seeing the W with the bouncing star, you’re on the right track. Give the video a little time to load.

Show notes will be forthcoming once I’ve had a few minutes to get things in order ūüôā

WIP Wednesday: Malabrigo March!

Another WIP Wednesday!  Things are continuing.  The February Lady Sweater has pretty much gone back into procrastinatory hibernation (but will likely be pulled out when the whim strikes).  The design-socks are still being kept away from cameras, and that leaves two things.  Two?!  Yes.  Two.

A Shawl! ¬†Well…whatever it is, it’s sure a bright pink. ¬†That’s the Brandywine Shawl, designed by Romi Hill, and I’m attempting to knit it from Allison Avery Premium Hand-Dyed Yarn (colourway: Girlie). ¬†If the yarn looks familiar, it means you have a good eye. ¬†I attempted a homebrew version of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Lenore out of that yarn. It was ripped back when I realized that the challenge had gone out of the project and the yarn was a little thin for the task of being lace socks. It’s not the only thing I’ve attempted from it. I tried a plain pair of socks (flashing & pooling issues) and a pair of socks that used some pretty fancy yarn-overs (thinness of the yarn, again). ¬†I think it works great as a shawl! ¬†Much nicer!

Second thing on my needles is my Shur’tugal Socks by Alice Yu. ¬†They’re my March Skinflint Socks. ¬†Say it with me: Mmmmmmalabrigo! ¬†Apparently, March is “Malabrigo March” or “Malabrigo Madness”. ¬†I can get behind that!

Last on the list is the spinning. ¬†We’re down 50g of Fleece Artist BFL Sliver and have started the second 50g. ¬†I’m thinking possibly of doing a 2-ply. ¬†Might be fun!

WIP Wednesday: Knitting *and* Spinning

I finished the Noro Shawl last week. ¬†Actually, it’s less a shawl than a small blanket that resembles an equilateral triangle. ¬†I really don’t feel like re-knitting it at this time. so it may stay that way, maybe to eventually become something useful for someone. ¬†You never know.

February Lady Sweater in progress

This means that other than design-knitting, which I’ve decided should not be shared until all of us can revel in its completed awesomeness, I’m left with the February Lady Sweater as my sole project “on the needles”. ¬†Seriously. ¬†And I’m actually knitting on it. ¬†I added a couple of extra rows before starting the first pattern repeat before putting the armholes onto waste yarn, and I’ve completed a couple of pattern repeats since.

There’s no way I’m finishing this before the end of February, but I really don’t feel like I need to. ¬†At any rate, I’m enjoying the knit and it’s been accompanying me to work for lunch-hour knitting. I’ve had more than one comment about it. ¬†I guess socks are one thing, but a sweater is “real” knitting!

My spinning wheel, a Schacht-Reeves Saxony

I’ve also been wanting to spin lately. ¬†Because I don’t really talk about it much, I suspect most folks don’t know that I’ve picked up spinning. ¬†To tell the truth, I haven’t done much with it. ¬†I had put my wheel in the basement, where the TV is, on the assumption that I would spin while watching TV or movies. ¬†I had overestimated the amount of time I actually spend watching TV, particularly in what can easily be described as the coldest part of the house. ¬†My beautiful Schacht-Reeves Saxony wheel has, therefore, been brought from the depths of the house to the main floor where not only will she be used more often, but also admired as the gorgeous piece of furniture that she is.

Fleece Artist Roving

I started spinning this the other day when we had company over. ¬†It’s Fleece Artist, BFL. ¬†I don’t seem to recall seeing a colourway name on the label. ¬†I’m about halfway through the first 50g, and am trying to remember to do a little spinning now and again when I think of it. ¬†The trouble is that it’s really addictive when you’re working with a wheel. ¬†Addictively soothing. ¬†I hear the wheel spinning and the treadle moving, and it just puts me in a trance. ¬†Next thing I know, an hour has gone by…so much for 15 minutes! ¬†There isn’t much to show on the bobbin right now, but pictures will, as always, be forthcoming!

WIP Wednesday: Nothing but Sock

Last week’s WIP Wednesday showed this single, solitary, cast-on that was barely recognizable as a toe. ¬†This week, I have a bit more to show.

Yep. ¬†That’s a full sock and a half. ¬†Okay…a little more than a sock and a half. ¬†More like a sock and three quarters. ¬†That’s what an illness in the family and being snowed in will do for you.

Actually, I’ll clarify that a bit. ¬†Robin has shingles (if you didn’t listen to the podcast, you might not have surmised that). He started feeling “unwell” last week, and we were hoping he’d be better by the time we got to our vacation, but it was not to be. ¬†We wound up at the Doctor’s office on Friday to get the antiviral medications, then the ER on Saturday due to some side-effect complications. Obviously we weren’t going to get out and do anything with Robin feeling poorly (plus, he practically slept nonstop through the rest of Saturday and into Sunday), and then we got some snow. ¬†Enough that folks weren’t going very far very fast.

I also celebrated a birthday, but that’s a post for another time!

During our self-imposed “quarantine”, there wasn’t much for us to do but watch movies & keep busy. ¬†Well…Robin had the task of healing up. ¬†He’s almost all better now. ¬†I got a lot of knitting done. ¬†I figure I’ll likely be finished these in another couple of days.

The Estelle Cadenza yarn is nice to work with. ¬†Reminds me a lot of a lighter version of the Socks That Rock Mediumweight that I had tried a couple of years back. ¬†I can’t exactly liken it to STR Lightweight, since I haven’t used it. ¬†I thought that with the variegation in the yarn, I’d get some interesting colour from it…and got stripes. ¬†Just what I had recommended against for the February socks (headdesk). ¬†Ah well…they still look beautiful. ¬†Not sure if they’re going to ¬†stay with me, or get set aside for a birthday or Xmas present for someone. ¬†You never know in this family.

The pattern is pretty easy, though I’ve been freestyling my way through it. ¬†It’s written for cuff-down, and I’m doing it toe-up. ¬†Because I’m on a toe-up kick. ¬†Either way, I’m loving the way they’re turning out, and I’m particularly liking my DPNs for speed in the areas where I don’t have to do any kind of purling back. ¬†I will admit to being a jam-tart & putting the socks back onto the circulars just for the heels. ¬†Something I have to work on, I guess.

WIP Wednesday

Yesterday was the start of the Skinflint Sock Club, and I cast on at lunch hour, as soon as I had time (my time before work was taken up with the administrative duties and playing with the ball winder & swift). By bed last night, I’d managed to get about three inches knit.

No, that’s not three inches. ¬†In fact, that’s barely more than one. ¬†Why? ¬†I had cast on for the medium size with 66 stitches…and found myself with a sock that was too big. ¬†How was this even possible?!

Um. ¬†Yeah. ¬†The yarn is thicker than normal. ¬†That threw off my gauge. ¬†So I put in a line, ripped back, tinked another couple of rows & picked up where I left off…at 60 sts. around. ¬†Problem solved.

I also dropped down to four needles (3 in the sock, 1 to knit with) from five. ¬†The needles are really pointy, and I wasn’t happy with getting my hands stabbed every time I turned the sock around. ¬†So…three needles around, 1 to knit with, and I’m a much happier little muffin.

Oh, and the whole weight loss thing that is an ongoing, photoless project? ¬†According to work, I’m down 15 lbs. ¬†I’m not taking it seriously, as I don’t know if the work scale is correct, but I’m definitely 10+ lbs down. ¬†Huzzah!

(And if you’re wondering why I was getting weighed at work, we’re doing an office weight-loss challenge that started yesterday. ¬†I bucked the curve by NOT getting on the scale with a big, bulky sweater and five pounds of junk in my pockets. ¬†I’m nothing if not honest…)