Published 2012 January 1
A long time ago I purchased the supplies to make beaded stitch markers, but I finally sat down to make some last night. The beads (collected from random places over the years) were attached to the looped half of a toggle clasp, so that they are ‘snag-free.’
I’m gifting these to a fellow knitter, but I will definitely be making more in the future!
Hello, dear Readers! I wonder if you are still there after my nearly 9 month-long absence. I wouldn’t blame you for disappearing. Grad school has been much more time consuming that I imagined this past year. The good news is that I will be graduating with my doctorate in May (woohoo!), and that I have been knitting this entire time. Here’s an assortment (in no particular order) of the knitting projects I completed in 2011:
I know this pales in comparison to many people’s yearly FO list, but it was my most productive so far! I was also extremely productive in expanding my stash, which brings me to my 2012 Knitting Resolution, which is:
I will not buy yarn this year.
I know, I know – it’s masochistic, but my stash is really out of control. However, I’ve come up with a couple caveats / exceptions to make it a bit more realistic:
(1) I’m allowed to buy yarn in an emergency situation (e.g. I run out of a particular yarn in the middle of a project).
(2) Yarn sent to me by the fiber mill after processing my fiber animal fleeces doesn’t count against me as ‘purchased yarn.’ [I'm expecting a new shipment any day!]
(3) I am allowed to ‘cheat’ twice, but my purchase can’t exceed $30 either time. That’s twice in the space of an entire year.
What do you think? To harsh? Too easy? I’m planning to blog about this process of knitting down my stash (and other random things) during 2012. Wish me luck!
Finally, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! And best of luck with your new year’s resolutions!
Published 2011 March 21
Fiber Production , Love it! , Made
I mentioned a while back that our fiber mill had finally sent us the spun yarn from Ivan’s first shearing (well, aside from my awful attempt). A couple months ago I used some of it to knit Lucas a cabled hat:
The pattern is Knotty but Nice, which Lucas chose himself. I used 2 strands of the (sport-ish weight) yarn held together and went up 2 needle sizes for the cable portion to avoid the tightness others had mentioned. The project is Raveled here.
It fits pretty well, although I think I might go up 3 needle sizes for the cable section if I knit this again. The extra room would be handy, since Lucas likes to fit his ponytail inside his hats. [Despite his grim look in this photo, he really does like it!]
In other news, we very recently got back our spun yarn from BOTH Ivan and Hamlet’s Fall 2010 fleeces from the wonderful folks at Central Virginia Fiber Mill. Both turned out very well – I’ll post photos soon!
Published 2011 February 28
I’ve finally finished a few gifts recently. They were all fairly small, satisfyingly quick items:
Made from the Cable Braided Necklace pattern by Olga Buraya-Kefelian. I agree with Olga that it’s worth splurging on a bit of cashmere or cashmere blended yarn. It feels so heavenly! I definitely want to make one for myself.
These Norwegian-inspired mittens were a belated Christmas gift for my little sister. I began them while in Norway, but didn’t finish them until just before a visit to my family in early Feb. Just in time! I added her initials to the palm of both mittens (though I’ve only shown the first one). Raveled here.
That all for now, but I’ll have more to share soon!
Published 2011 February 6
Love it! , Made
Hello, dear readers! Huge apologies for my long absence – life has been going at break-neck speed, and I’m afraid that pace will continue for the next year or two. I returned from Norway in early January and am back at grad school in the States. I should graduate by May 2012, so this is the home stretch! Unfortunately, that means I have less free time for knitting & crafting. I’ll continue to update this blog when I have something to say / share, but I’m afraid my posts will be infrequent until graduation happens. After that I’ll devote loads of time to my crafty side – I hope you’ll bear with me in the mean time!
One of the few projects I managed to finish while in Norway (though I started tons), was the Simple Yet Effective cowl in Handmaiden 4-ply cashmere, which I purchased while visiting my friend Meghan in London last November. It’s an understatement to say that this is the softest thing I’ve ever worn around my neck. And so warm!
The colors remind me of the sunsets in Tucson. I went to college there and will always have a spot in my heart for it…but I digress. Here are a few cowl-wearing action shots from this winter:
Keeping me warm and stylish on a particularly cold walk to work in Norway.
Stealthily (?) pointing out my favorite car on the street in Paris.
Alright, that’s it for now. I hope you’ve had a wonderful start to 2011 – crafting and otherwise!
Published 2010 November 10
Hello again, dear readers! As many of you know, my husband and I keep two fiber goats on our farm: Hamlet, a full angora goat, and Ivan, a pygora goat (pygmy + angora). We’ve had them since Fall 2009, though Spring 2010 was the first time we had them professionally sheared. [I previously attempted to do it myself with poor results.] After shearing, I washed and packed away Hamlet’s fleece to process on my own later, but I decided to send Ivan’s fleece to a fiber mill because there were guard hairs that needed to be removed.
This post from late-April 2010 has photos of the goats before and after this shearing.
I spread out the fleece to skirt it (remove the bad parts) before shipping to the mill – this photo is from May 2010:
A closer look at the the guard hair I mentioned. It’s actually pretty soft, so I asked the mill to do a “regular” dehairing, as opposed to a more thorough Cashmere dehairing:
After 5 months of waiting, we received nearly 2.5 lbs of lovely sport-ish weight yarn. My wonderful husband included several skeins in a recent package to me in Norway. Here are a couple of them:
Isn’t it gorgeous?! I hate to sound like that-crazy-goat-lady, but I’m so proud of my sweet Ivan for growing such nice fiber! I can’t wait to knit this up into something cozy.
The goats received their Fall 2010 shearing in October, and Lucas sent both of their fleeces off to a different fiber mill for processing. [I hate to speak badly about folks in the fiber community, and I certainly won't name names, but I was less than impressed with the communication and customer service at our last fiber mill. The fiber turned out beautifully, but I couldn't handle a repeat of our last 5 month long ordeal.] Just a few days after we sent the fiber, the new mill called Lucas to say they had received it (!) and to chat about Ivan’s fleece in particular. They said they would begin processing it immediately, so I imagine we’ll have more yarn soon. I hope it turns out well, because from a customer service standpoint, they’re already wowing us. Stay tuned!
Published 2010 November 4
Hello readers! Some of you may remember this skein of merino/tencel yarn I blogged about almost exactly 1 year ago:
I’ve finally knit this into a warm hat for myself. [It's terribly embarrassing that I've taken so long!] I improvised the pattern using a wave lattice edge. I wanted something subtle that wouldn’t be lost among the variations in yarn thickness.
Admittedly not the best photo of me wearing it, but I absolutely love how it turned out. It’s warm, cozy, and snug on my head (just how I like my hats). The project is Raveled here and includes more instructions.