Trying Something New

So I made a list of things I wanted to knit for Christmas gifts last week. All are relatively small projects with a couple pairs of mittens and a hat thrown in for good measure.

One of these items is a pair of thrummed mittens. I have always marveled at these and decided to take the plunge.

I raided the fiber stash and came up with a poorly blended merino/silk batt I acquired back when I wasn’t sure what was good or bad in batts. I figured I could pick around the not blended parts and it would work out just fine.

I decided to use the Yarn Harlot’s pattern for thrummed mittens. It’s buried in some blog posts of hers but can be found on Ravelry.

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I can’t believe how addicting it is to make the thrums!

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I think this will be a quick knit as it is very potato chip-like. The thrums are so fluffy and warm!

I think the recipient will really love these!

Until next time…

-AMU

Thanksgiving 2014

As usual for the holiday we traveled to see family. This time to Wichita and then on to Tulsa.

This means lots of car knitting. I didn’t knit as much as usual because the knitting mojo has been lacking, but I did get some time on a few projects.

First up are the socks I am knitting for my mother-in-law. She knows about them so no spoiling it here. I’d been avoiding these for some time for unknown reasons. But I have one finished and the toe of the 2nd started.

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The other project is one I cast on right before I left this past week. It is called Endless Rainbow by Martina Behm. It’s knit with 2 colors of yarn in a very interesting manner. I didn’t get very far as it is a bit fiddly, but I think it will make a good easy project to knit this winter while working on Christmas gifts.

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More fun projects are in the works but many of those are secret.

Until next time…

-AMU

And here’s a long lost blog post…

Nope, I haven’t died or fallen off a cliff! More or less I just got busy. It was nice to take a break and just sit back and not blog.

There has been knitting. Plenty of it really. Here’s a sampling…

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There is more to that I am sure, but why dwell on the past.

Lately I have been knitting baby blankets for friends. One is finished and the next has been started. I will have one more after that.

I cast on a worsted weight shawl this last week so I could have something cozy to wrap up in. It is called Elder Tree and it is free on Ravelry.

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Loving this color of Malabrigo Rios and how easy the pattern is. Hope to have it finished for Thanksgiving.

Hope everyone is enjoying the winter weather. I love that it allows me to layer up the hand knits!

Until next time …. (hopefully sooner than 4 months!)

-AMU

Alpaca Fleece: Sample Spinning Part 1

So it has finally begun. The spinning of my alpaca fleece. It’s been in my possession for about 3 years at this point.  It was processed into batts and some roving by a local pal of mine, Helga. She’s a sweetie and a spinning oracle.

I decided to start out spinning up one of several samples to see how the fiber behaved. The first sample I decided to do was a 2-ply spun from the fold using a hybrid long-draw, forward-draw method. (More or less this means I shot from the hip as far as woolen or worsted. It’s a sample and I was having fun.)

IMG_3321.JPGI really wanted to end up with something along the lines of a dk-worsted weight, so I tried to spin thicker. I tried as hard as I could. Not sure it worked.

One thing I discovered is that no matter how “clean” you think alpaca is, it’s not. This one kept dumping dust and veg matter on my legs as I was spinning it. I don’t mind a little straw and I kept picking out the larger pieces leaving in some of the ones that escaped my claws as “texture” and “rustic charm” added to the yarn.

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I spun up about 25g total and then plied it into a 2-ply. I washed it (more dirt and grime came out in the wash) and let it air dry.  I love the fluffiness of this yarn. I love how it has so much loft and bounce. It feels like a cloud (if you could actually feel a cloud). But, I’m not sure this is what I want if I intend on knitting a garment.

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It’s rather thick-n-thin in places (yay for novice spinning!) and it doesn’t have enough twist. It’s a bit underspun I feel. I think for a garment I definitely want more twist, and more rigidity. I will knit this up into a wee swatch and see how it looks. I bet it would make a nice lacey cowl or some fingerless mitts.

The next sample I plan to spin is a true 3-ply. I have a 4th bobbin on it’s way so that it won’t be too much of a pain to do. We’ll see how that goes.

Hopefully my next blog post will come sooner rather than later.

Until next time…

-AMU

And Then There Were Sleeves

All weekend when I wasn’t working on the never-ending bathroom project I was working on my Hitofude.

You start out working the sleeves on this pattern. I assumed that this part would go quick, but alas sleeves take forever no matter what way they are knit.
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Finally, at some point early Sunday morning my sleeves were complete! It was a very magic moment as you really had to trust the pattern to get to this point.
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I did have one small hiccup when I was seaming the sleeves. I was doing a 3-needle bind off and forgot the bind off part! Had to tink back a bit.
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By Sunday night I was on to the body of the sweater. Lots of knitting still remains but I definitely made a good deal of progress.

Until next time….
-AMU

Week/Weekend Update

This past week ate all of my time for blogging so here is a quick pictorial update.

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Tour de Fleece started so there is a lot of this going on. At least 10 min a day i fact. 2oz down and 2 more to go of this fiber.

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Hitofude is going slow. Negative progress this week in fact.

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Zigzagular socks! This one in fact has a heel now.

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My best friend from home visited this weekend. We roasted in the heat and humidity at the zoo, watched a few movies, and ate plenty of junk food. It was a great weekend!

Until next time…
-AMU

Spinning

I fell in love with my wheel again at retreat. I took that spinning class and subsequently spent my weekend spinning. I had purchased some fiber from Yarn Geek Fibers at the Iowa Sheep and Wool a few weeks ago and dove into spinning it.

I absolutely love what I ended up with. A gorgeous 2-ply with lots of bounce.

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I think I want to pair it with another BFL that I have spun up and make a 2 color shawl or cowl. For now it is going into the stash.

Last night I dug around and found my Malabrigo Nube fiber and started spinning it.

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This is a superfine merino and boy is it wanting to spin fine. I am shooting for a 2-ply with this as well!

Until next time….
-AMU