Thursday, March 26, 2009

Catching up.....

It's been quite some time since my last post. Lots has been going on. So much so that I honestly don't know where the time has gone. are pictures of my latest pair of socks. These are done using Bernat Sox yarn (for DD #1 who doesn't like wearing anything made from animal They were fun to knit and I really didn't mind the acrylic/nylon blend yarn too much. Did make me realize just how much I enjoy working with wool or a wool blend though. :.) I haven't give then to her yet. I'm going to give them to her on her birthday (in a month). I hope she likes them. The pattern is "Simplicity" from the book "The Eclectic Sole".

There are some beautiful socks in this book. About the only advice I would pass on to anyone interested in making socks from this book is this: be sure to take really good notes about what you are doing when knitting up the socks.The instructions are a bit on the generic side of things. Which is good in the sense that you can really custom fit the socks. Not so good if you still need a step-by-step sock pattern. I like the book a lot and plan on knitting up a few more of the patterns in it. :.)

I've been enjoying a bit of spinning lately. Pictured above is the latest fiber on my spinning wheel. I'm so excited about it!! It's a blend of superwash wool, icicle top, and a mystery fiber. I had received the superwash wool and mystery fiber as a "thank you" gift when ordering some other fiber. The amounts were really small and I wasn't exactly sure what to do with it. Then it dawned on me. Why not simply blend the two together?? So I did. Added a bit of icicle for a little sparkle........and the end is pictured above. I'm spinning it into what will end up being a very lovely 2-ply sock yarn. I know. The "perfect" sock yarn should really be at least a 3-ply (if not more) tightly spun yarn. And it should be spun worsted from commercially prepared top. Well, this won't be the "perfect" sock yarn......but it will be mine. :.) And I've got this funny feeling that the socks knit from this yarn will be the ones that will end up wearing like iron. :.)

I've also got some hand-painted polypay-x singles sitting on a bobbin waiting to be turned into a sock yarn. These will be navajo plyed for a lovely 3-ply sock yarn. My youngest (who hand painted the roving) loves navajo plyed yarn and the resulting socks will be for her. So why not!! Not quite sure how the socks will wear....but it really doesn't matter. As long as she loves them.....that is all that counts. :.)
Besides knitting and spinning (and carding up some really pretty batts), I have also managed to get in a bit of quilting. Pictured is February's block for the block of the month that I am participating on. March's block isn't done yet. Yea, I'm just a bit behind. :.) That's okay though. I've really been enjoying this and absolutely adore the completed blocks. It's going to be such a fun quilt when done. And I'm really not a "brights" type of person.....but the blocks make me smile every time I see them. :.) I will definitely be purchasing the finishing kit for this quilt......something I normally don't do. The thought of bringing all those bright colors out into the borders really appeals to me. And I really liked the border treatment on the sample quilt. Really brought it all together so nicely.

That's pretty much all that I've been up to lately. I do have another pair of socks on the needles. They are turning out rather nicely......which is a very pleasant surprise. :.) Shearing is just around the corner (as soon as it stops snowing....and, yes, it did snow the other day.....and it did stick.....although it was all melted by evening). Things will be busy for a bit, but should calm down just as soon as I get everyone sheared.....all the fleeces skirted.....and figure out which fleeces will be sold and which ones I will keep for myself. For those interested in a raw fleece, please feel free to contact me via e-mail. I tend to put my raw fleeces up on fleece sale list that I belong to. They tend to go rather quickly....which is nice. :.) Means I don't have to store them for very long.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

More Socks.....

What do you do when you are gifted with one skein of a fun Italian sock yarn? Make footies, of course!!! :.) And here are my completed footsies. I put some sewing elastic in the ribbing so that they stay up a bit better....and was lucky enough to find a nice white sock yarn that I used for the ribbing and toe. There just wasn't enough of the fun yarn to make an entire pair....unfortunately.

The pattern is from the book "Knitted Socks" by Ann Tillman. The yarn is Clown by Marks & Kattens. I used a size 2 (I believe) dpn. These were fun to knit up, although a bit frustrating. Try as I might, I just could not get the yarn pattern to match up on both socks. So these are my "fun" socks. :.) They should look really cute with my Keen sandals, too. :.)

I do have another pair of socks in progress. These are for my oldest daughter (who does not like wearing any natural fibers except for cotton and rayon). I'm using Bernat Sox yarn (acrylic/nylon blend) on size 1 dpns (2.50mm.....although I probably should have used the 2.25mm instead. My gauge is off by 1/2 a stitch...not that is really noticeable anyway). I am using the pattern "Simplicity" from the book "The Eclectic Sole". Surprisingly, the yarn has been really nice to knit with and it is a fun pattern to do. I extended the cuff a bit so it can be folded over (makes a really cute ankle sock). It seemed to take forever to knit the foot of the sock though. I ended up knitting 60 rows in all before I could start decreasing for the toe. Sock #1 is now done and I will cast on for sock #2 later on today.

It's been a while since I was able to update my blog. Life got crazy around here. My father was back in the hospital for yet another surgery. He spent the first night in ICU....and then two more days in a regular room. My mother doesn't drive in town so I was her transportation for the duration of my father's hospital stay. He is home and doing fine. Of course all of this was followed closely by a plethora of events that I had to attend at my youngest daughter's school. It's amazing how many activities there are for graduating seniors!!

So time for things like quilting, spinning, and playing with fiber in general has been pretty much non-existent the last couple of weeks. Knitting is the only thing I've been able to squeeze in. A few minutes here....a few minutes there.....and before you know it a sock is done. :.) Today is the first day I've been able to spend some time in the spinning room. I spent some time trying to finish carding up the lamb fleece I started working on weeks ago. So far I have 10 batts done.....2 more batts to finish up.....and probably enough fleece left for another 8 batts. The fleece was considerably larger than what I had originally thought. :.) It's been a sheer pleasure working with it though. I will have to start carding batts for my etsy site though (just about everything is sold now). So I have decided that I will alternate carding the lamb fleece with carding fiber for my etsy site. I'm hoping this will allow me to get some new batts up on my etsy site while still maintaining my interest in the lamb fleece.