Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

Rain rain, go away...

Monorail Murderface


Poor Murderface won't go outside when it's raining and it's been raining for, oh, about two weeks straight.

Monorail Murderface


Gratuitous butt shot:

Monorail Murderface


He moved into more of a flying-superhero/pilates position:

Monorail Murderface


The sun will come out again. Until then, keep dreaming, kitteh:

Monorail Murderface

Tuesday

[amy] Misc. things

[reading]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8 Volume 2, No Future for You. Great to see Faith again. I love how things presented in this issue (Giles' tattoo, Buffy and Willow playing 'Anywhere but Here') date back to Season 2 of Buffy.

Fray: Future Slayer. Not finished with this quite yet but so far so good. I saw one of the twists coming but then the twist had a twist so it was all good.

[watching]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer... I'm going through all the seasons again. Dollar wants nothing to do with this show (boo!) so I watch it downstairs while spinning or knitting.

Six Feet Under... I finally talked Dollar into watching this series. We're almost done with Season 1.

Entourage... Just got Season 3 in the mail. Love this show. Where else are you going to hear dialog like, "Did you just get cock-blocked by Bob Saget?"

[spinning]

I have the last of the Alaska roving spun, plied, washed & whacked. Now it's hanging on a door knob drying.

I spun and plied the crack-tastic Louet roving I picked up (blush) three days ago.

I tried Navajo plying some leftover singles. I haven't really got it down yet... As in: WTF?! This is the most confusing, difficult, messed up way to ply ever and why are all the help videos online either (a) the size of a postage stamp, so you can't really see what's going on, (b) some woman saying, "This is how I Navajo ply" and she does some second nature (read: FAST) twisty finger and hand action with white yarn, so you can see what's going on.

[knitting]

I'm working on a bulky beret for my Denim-colored handspun loosley based on this Secret Garden tam.

The table runner is SO CLOSE to being done but I just can't stop spinning.

[cooking]

Haven't been into it recently. Might be the flu/cold/cough I've had or... might be the fact that I'm spending all my free time doing spinningy things.

I have boneless, skinless chicken breasts defrosting in the fridge. I would like to make a chicken curry (I've got naan in the freezer and a bag of basmati rice) but Dollar's not that into Indian curries. Maybe a Thai curry?

Monday

[knitting] First item knit with handspun

If you recall the pink handspun:

Second handspun


Most of it now looks like:

Handspun Hat


Squee. I mean it, really... SQUEE. You can't wring out any more pleasure from knitting than knitting with yarn that you've spun yourself. Look at this dumb ol' hat... Made SPECTACULAR (to me) by unique handspun.

This spinning obsession is my new crack. A knitting friend and I went on a field trip up to the Northeast Fiber Arts Center in Williston, VT this past Saturday and I bought a bag of Louet Northern Lights in the Picasso colorway. I had half of it spun up that very night. I got up early the next morning and finished the rest of it.

I realized that I'm starting to accumulate handspun yarn but I wasn't knitting anything with it. Which is why I made the above pink hat. I'm not spinning enough for larger items like scarves or sweaters (yet), so I'm trying to find patterns for smaller items like hats, cowls, mittens, etc.

Wednesday

[spinning] Denim

I have another handspun skein that came from this:

From Alaska


And it became:

Handspun #3


Handspun #3


Handspun #3


My tension was a lot more even with this handspun. It's a fairly uniform bulky weight.

Tonight is the monthly spinning night at White River Yarns and I'm bringing my wheel and my last unspun roving from Alaska. My goals are to to learn how to (a) oil my wheel, and (b) add on the next piece of roving after I get to the end of one piece- my way is a little wonky.

Tuesday

[knitting] Scalloped Table Runner

The table runner is nearing completion:

Table Runner


The pattern isn't hard to memorize- I was doing it without my sketchy written instructions after 3 repeats.

Table Runner


The scalloped edges are subtle. I could exaggerate them by pinning them out during the blocking process, but since I'm using a basic cotton, I think I'll lightly iron the runner instead of blocking it.

Table Runner


Table Runner


Once I'm done knitting and ironing, I'll write instructions, convert to PDF and make the pattern available for download at Ravelry...

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

Here's Murderface doing what he does best- sleeping in.

Murderface


Murderface


Murderface


Murderface


When's he's out, he's out cold. You can pick him up, move him around, pet him... He won't wake up until he hears some kind of food being opened up for him.

Murderface


Murderface


Murderface

Sunday

[local] Quechee Balloon Festival

Saturday morning my sister and I got up at the butt-crack of dawn to go to the 6 am (AM!!) launch at the Quechee Balloon Festival. We got there at 5:50 am and all 20 balloons had launched by 6:30 am.

Quechee Balloon Festival, 2008


Quechee Balloon Festival, 2008


Quechee Balloon Festival, 2008


Quechee Balloon Festival, 2008


Quechee Balloon Festival, 2008


Quechee Balloon Festival, 2008


It was cool to see the balloons but I'm not sure the $10 admission cost was worth the 45 minutes we were there. The ticket/stamp is good for all three days of the festival but we only went to see the one early morning launch.

I was home by 7 am and back asleep by 7:05 am.

Friday

[knitting] House Slippers

I made some felted clogs a while a go. Dollar wears his daily but I hardly ever wear mine. They cover too much of my feet and I couldn't slip into them easily.

I saw a pair of House Slippers in Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark's Knit 2 Together. I had some fugly wool in my stash I needed to use and knit the pair in just two evenings:

House Slippers


Post felting:

House Slippers


House Slippers


I'm not sure I like these any better. They fit and I can slip into them (kind of) but the sole feels a little thin and floppy. I might look into attaching a suede sole to this pair. Or knit another pair and do some kind of double-thick sole like the felted clogs... Mmm, yes, that could work...

Wednesday

[spinning] New Love

A couple weeks ago, I took a spontaneous trip down to The Fiber Studio in Henniker, NH and I bought a spinning wheel. I had no idea when I walked into the shop how to spin (although I had read some instructional books) and asked the lady there to show me. She did and left me with a pile of roving and all the different wheels to try out.

I made such a flipping mess of things- over twisting the yarn so that it twisted around itself, twisting the yarn so tight that it snapped and broke (!!!), etc. I was frustrated and hated it. But I remembered that I totally sucked at knitting when I first started, so I got the most beautiful wheel there- the Kromski Minstrel in a mahogany finish.

At home, I spun some single plies onto two bobbins, then used the third to ply them together. The finished yarn looks like:

First Handspun


First Handspun


Not very even but I love it. This picture was taken after the yarn was washed and dried. I love that after you soak the yarn, you need to whack the wet skein against the side of the tub to set the twist or relax the twist or something. I just liked the whacking part- it sounded like I was bitch slapping someone over and over again.

The white skein is on the short side because I really wanted to spin something with color. There was one of the rovings I got in Alaska...

From Alaska


And it became...

Second handspun


Second handspun


Second handspun


I love how the colors come together and how homemade the yarn looks. I am still working on getting the thickness even (and maybe even spinning thinner yarn) and drafting/twisting properly. I just finished spinning two bobbins of single-ply in a pretty denim colorway. I'll ply it once I figure out how to add some tension to my new (matching!) Kromski Lazy Kate.

Tuesday

[knitting] Happy Feet

More socks. Same toe up, short row heel recipe but this time I added a 4-stitch pattern repeat (a lacy rib) to the top of the foot and around the leg. The pattern came from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks.

Happy Feet Socks


The yarn is Plymouth Happy Feet and I picked up two skeins (one for each sock) at White River Yarns. This yarn is great, very sproingy and no color-pooling (which I feared, which is why I opted for a textured pattern for the foot and leg). The finished socks are so soft.

Monday

[knitting] Fruity Socks

A monster flu knocked me out of the park at the end of last week. I'm not sure how long the flu marinates inside your body before rising to the surface and shutting down your life, but I blame either (a) all those plane rides, (b) all the people in Korea- apparently everyone was wearing dusk masks and white gloves for a reason, (c) sick people in the Upper Valley- it seemed like everyone was sick when I got home.

Anyway, these are socks I finished during my travels:

Fruity Socks


It's my first pair of toe up, short row heel socks. I used these instructions for toe up, and this method for short row heels. There wasn't really a pattern I followed for these socks, it was more like a recipe.

I call them "fruity socks" because I can't remember the name of the yarn (it was gifted to me by my sister way back when I first learned how to knit) and the colors (orange, green... orange) remind me of fruit.

Wednesday

[knitting] Turkish-Patterned Cap

Here's a finished hat, ready for a cold winter:

Turkish Patterned Cap


Pattern: Turkish-Patterned Cap

Source: Hats On! by Charlene Schurch

Yarn: Valley Yarns Northampton, Light Gray (one ball, with leftovers) and Dark Gray (two balls, with leftovers)

Needles: US #4

Size Made: Large

Mods: I didn't do the braided cast-on, since I read that it curled up in some cases. I also read that the sizes came out really, really large. Theoretically, this shouldn't have been a problem if you got the gauge specified in the pattern but a lot of people had trouble getting gauge. I just decided to wing it on US #4 needles.

And because I knew the hat would probably be too large, I decided to knit a lining, to make the hat double thick. I provisionally cast on 10% fewer stitches in dark gray, knit one round, increased up to the correct count of stitches for the Large size, knit two rounds, purled one round (for a nice hem) and then started the colorwork.

After completing the outside of the hat, I took out the provisional stitches and knit a plain stockinette liner, making sure to weave in all the ends I needed to before closing up the hat for good.

Turkish Patterned Cap


Then just push the dark gray liner up into the hat and wah-lah:

Turkish Patterned Cap


One note about the pattern as-written in the book. There's some confusion about the decreases for the crown- if you follow the directions, your crown won't look like the picture in the book. For every single decrease you must move your stitch marker back one stitch. Thank goodness for Ravelry.

My crown:

Turkish Patterned Cap


The only thing I didn't particularly like about this pattern is how rapidly the crown is decreased and closed. It looks puckered. I like a nice, smooth, rounded hat top.

This might be the warmest, squishiest hat I've ever knit.

Tuesday

[knitting] Knitting Souvenirs

I brought back lots of yarn from my trips. In Alaska, I went to Knitting Grounds. I loved the owner and her shop. I'll definitely visit the shop again when I'm sent back up that way.

I didn't get much in the way of yarn, just one skein from a commercial brand I've never seen before:

From Alaska
I think this would make a nice tam for my mom.


And a large skein of local handspun. As I browsed, I came back to this skein of yarn over and over. I couldn't stop touching it. The color is a little dark in this picture, but it's a great heathery purple:

From Alaska


I knew for sure that I would get a spinning wheel when I returned home so I picked up some local roving:

From Alaska


From Alaska


From Alaska


In Korea, I got two balls of mohair. It's a little scratchy but I love the color and I think the yardage is going to be off the chain. Any ideas what to do with a bunch of not-so-soft mohair?

Yarn from Korea


Two balls of Australian wool that reminded me of Reynolds Odyssey (but a little finer):

Yarn from Korea


Two balls of an unknown Japanese Wool that reminded me of Noro (but a little finer):

Yarn from Korea


And six balls of a shiny, subtlety multi-colored yarn of unknown material. As to what I'm going to knit with it, the idea of chevrons immediately came to mind, to showcase zig-zaggy lines of color. We'll see...

Yarn from Korea