Tuesday

[knitting] Multi-directional scarf

I love buying variegated yarns- all the colors look so pretty and mixed-up in the skein. Then when I go to use it, I usually get pooling. This can happen when the yarn is dyed in regular/precise intervals (usually by a machine) and the knitter doesn't change the stitch count- the same color(s) can stack up and group on top of one another. Let's see if I have an example...

I love the autumn shades of this yarn:

Happy Feet for a Cowl.


But knit up into a cowl, the colors had a tendency to group:

Good Luck Cowl


Not such a big deal for a cowl that sits scrunched around your neck... But still. I gave the cowl to my sister because she doesn't hate pooling like me. It's the bane of my knitting existence (along with knots in skeins).

So what am I supposed to do with all the variegated skeins? How about a multi-directional scarf... The stitch count changes every row, which would prevent colors stacking up:

Multidirection Scarf


I like it. It's easy to customize to whatever width scarf you like. The pattern is fast and easy to memorize. The edges look a little unfinished, so I might go around and crochet a border.

But I think I may have found a go-to pattern for variegated yarns!

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

Murderface, catloafing on his cat-mat:

Murderface


He's probably relieved that Dollar and I are going back to work today. I only had last Thurs/Fri off work, but Dollar had the whole week. He tried to ignore us, but it didn't work.

Murderface


I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I was still dealing with my allergic reaction to something in those naturally dyed skeins on yarn. I had to go see my doctor and she told me that I had chemical burns all over the insides of my hands. I also had a rash breakout- from the top of my feet to my face. I'm nearly all better now, but I'm still in a continual state of sloughing/molting my top layer of skin. This shit was f'ed-up, for real. The palms of my hands are turning back to a normal human shade- they've been bright red and inflamed for a week. And they felt burned- as though I placed them down in a hot pan. I wasn't able to put my hands in hot water (an upside to all this is that Dollar started doing the dishes, heh) or open bottles. Anyway... it was f'ed-up.

I spun a lot these past couple weeks and have lots of new, pretty yarn to take pictures of.

Wednesday

[misc] New House

For the past months and months and months (I'm not sure when we started talking to the bank to get the ball rolling... June?), we've been jumping through all the necessary hoops to acquire a home construction loan. We were FINALLY approved and the building has started. I went up a couple weekends ago (when the weather was nice) to check out the progress on the foundation:

Foundation panoramic


That's the foundation for the house. The attached garage will be at the left end of the house. The right end there is going to be a family room. It's going to have a full basement under the house.

The land has been in the family for... 100+ years, I think. My grandmother sold 99.5 acres to my mom years ago, and that where we'll be. Most of the land is hilly forest, but there's lots of open fields and pastures that my uncle has been maintaining:

Fields panoramic


Here's a picture from back in 2007, looking down at the old farmhouse and barn from one of the fields:

Farm Foliage 6


The new house is going basically where the barn was:

Site work for the new house


Both the house and barn came down. The house currently looks like:

Site work for the new house


It's sad, but it had to come down. It was falling down, no one had lived in it for years, there was black mold growing... We're salvaging stone blocks from the cellar and old wooden beams to incorporate into the new house:

Site work for the new house


Site work for the new house


There's even a little pond:

Site work for the new house


The new house is going to be a modular, delivered in 4 - 6 pieces (probably some time in January). It's going to be a trip moving from "urban" Hartford Village to rural South Royalton but it will be so nice having the privacy. I wonder what Murderface is going to think...

Tuesday

[spinning] Vineyard

I've been spinning quite a lot recently. I finally finished up 8oz of superwash merino from Sereknity that I started way back for the Tour de Fleece:

Vineyard


I spun it really thin on my Ashford Joy (in the pic w/MF yesterday)... I loooooooove the huge bobbins on this wheel. It can hold at least 50% more than one of my Kromski Minstrel bobbins (even w/the WooLee winder!).

The final yarn was navajo-plied:

Vineyard - Chain plied


I used this video as reference on how to navajo ply. I did one skein just the way she showed- holding the end of the loop back in my right hand, guiding the twist forward and back with my left hand. Well I wasn't doing something right, because I could barely bend my left thumb after I was done with one bobbin.

The next day, I sat at the wheel to do the 2nd skein. I set things up, made a loop and started chain-plying. Only, I was surprised to notice that I was holding the loop with my left hand and pinching/guiding the twist forward and back with my right hand. I wasn't even thinking about it- I had completely switched hands. I think this might be because when I'm spinning the singles, I'm drafting the fiber with the left hand and lightly pinching the twist with my right.

I wonder if the person plying in that video drafts with her right and pinches with her left. Also, maybe she's left-handed? I wonder if that has anything to do with anything.

Anyway, I felt 100% better doing it the way my body naturally wanted to do it. No hand or finger cramps after I was done. Also, n-plying does empty a bobbin fairly quickly, which is nice.

Vineyard - Chain plied

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

Happy Birthday, Murderface!

Murderface


Happy Birthday, Dollar!

We don't know when MF's birthday is, so we just gave him the same birthday as Dollar. MF is turning 6 today. I need to stop by the feed & supply store on the way home to get him some gifts.

Went to the Green Mountain Fiber Festival this weekend- it was great. I got to dye lots of yarn and fiber. It was a good atmosphere and a good location. I was too tired to cook supper last night, so we ordered out. I got some kind of horrible food poisoning or something. I was barfing all night (Dollar wasn't barfing but his stomach was not good) and woke up this morning with a swollen, red, itchy, painful hand. Is that a side effect of a food allergy? The only other thing I can think of that would mess up my hand was handling naturally dyed skeins of yarn right out of the dyepot. Two skeins, one dyed with goldenrod and the other dyed with jewel weed. I'm not allergic to either plants... so why might the dyes bother me? I don't know, but wtf. I need to get some benadryl.

Friday

[knitting] Gothic Paths

Another finished hat:

Crooked Paths


Pattern: Crooked Paths by Knitting School Dropout

Needles: US 5 (3.75mm) for ribbing, US 8 (5 mm) for main body.

Yarn: Dream in Color Classy, 'Gothic Rose' colorway

Mods: Did two repeats of of pattern, rather than three.

Blocked:

Crooked Paths


These pictures more accurately show the color. I love this hat. Still turned out fine w/out the extra pattern repeat after blocking around a large dinner plate.

Love the pattern on the crown:

Crooked Paths


Looks like a flower to me. <3 <3 <3 this. Will be going to my mom for Christmas.

Thursday

[knitting] Turning Beanies into Tams

This past April, I finished a few hats:

Lotus Hat


Lotus Hat


Opus Spicatum


They've been hanging out in the "finished bin" in my craft room ever since. I wanted to block them into more of a tam/beret shape. Which I finally did:

Lotus Hat


Lotus Hat - Angora


Opus Spicatum


I love blocking things- it opens up lace, it smooths out stranded colorwork.

I'm keeping the purple and green/oatmeal ones; the light blue angora one will go to my mom for Christmas.

Wednesday

[vermont] Green Mountain Fiber Festival

This weekend is the Green Mountain Fiber Festival (click the links along the gray toolbar to see more about vendors and classes). It will run 10-5 on Saturday and 10-4 on Sunday. It will be at the Hotel Coolidge in Downtown White River Jct.


View Larger Map


I've signed up for 4 classes that I'm very excited about: Handpaint your own Sock Yarn and Handpainting Fiber with Ellen Maynard from Ellen's Half Pint Farm. I'm taking the Estonian Cast-on class with Lois (from White River Yarns, who is pretty much organizing this whole festival by herself). And Introduction to Natural Dyeing with Kim Goodling.

Come and check out the vendors. While you're here, sign up for a class if there's still room. There will be a casual Spinning Room, so bring your wheel and just hang out.

Tuesday

[knitting] Ishbel

I finished the Ishbel shawl a while ago. After daylight savings time ended, there was just no hope of getting a nice daytime picture in natural light- the sun is setting at 4:30 pm. So here it is...

Ishbel


Pattern: Ishbel

Needles: US 6 (4.0mm)

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, scarlett, used nearly the whole skein.

Mods: Changed the yarn-over spin to make-one left, make-one right. Did large stockinette, small lace.

Ishbel


I loved the yarn. Very smooth, soft, vibrant tonal colorway. Only drawback is the price: $26.70 for 395yd/120g. I got mine from Webs and I was buying enough at the time to get the discount, which helped. But I don't think I'd be buying enough of this yarn for a sweater or blanket any time soon.

Ishbel


This is shawl #7 for my 10 Shawls in 2010 challenge. It's mid-Nov and I have three more to go... Yeah, I suppose I should cast on for my next shawl, rather than staring forlornly at the yarn and pattern on my desk.

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

Jeesh, almost a month since my last post. I'm sure you're all going through Murderface withdrawal...

Murderface


We've been pretty busy. We closed on a home construction loan (it was kind of scary signing legal document after legal document for 1.5 hours) and have started building the house. They're going to build through the winter, which isn't unusual, and we could probably move in next April. I hope.

How does Murderface feel about that?

Murderface


Yeah, he has no idea. He's being as cute as possible to get more treats and more food.

Murderface


It usually works.