Saturday, August 16, 2014

Where are all the FOs?

I never stopped knitting; I just went off the radar a bit, and got lost in the midst of longer-term projects. And a few shorter ones along the way, just to prove to myself that I could finish something.  And life kinda kept me from being on the computer much. But to prove that I can indeed finish things, here is a run-down of what I've finished this summer:

A couple of Milo tops for new babies (here's one):

A couple hats for my parents:

A couple more hats for the heckuvit:

I need to add a bit about the yarns used in these hats. I used Jared Flood's Bray Cap pattern, but knit it up in two very different farm yarns. The brown is knit in a beautifully rustic Merino wool I nabbed at both Maryland and Rhinebeck (one skein each time, because one skein is not quite enough to do much with).  The lighter color (what would you call it?) is a locally-grown Shetland wool from Ewe-Can-Do-It Farm, which was purchased for me at Twist just outside New Hope. Of the two, I adore the brown wool, but the Shetland makes a nicer cap with a bit more drape.

Keeping mostly utilitarian, I needed to make a new set of earbuds that wouldn't tangle when I take them out of my pocket:

Here's the Ginkgo Shawl I knit because the yarn was so amazing.

What is it, you ask? Acadia, by The Fibre Company.  I'm proud to say that this photo was taken in the city where the yarn was developed. I definitely plan to be knitting with this yarn again.

A couple pairs of socks.  
This first pair was originally intended to have a split toe, but I didn't like the way it squished my little toes. So, in a fit of reckless abandon, I cut off the offending toes and reknit it to match the heel. In retrospect, I would recommend snipping a single stitch and picking out a row, as it would be simpler in the long run. Oh, well.  Live and learn, right?

The pattern is just a simple stitch pattern on the leg, working the foot according to Priscilla Gibson-Robert's method. I stole the stitch from Beata's blog (at Hedgehog Fibres, the dyer of the yarn I used). It's two rounds of K3, P3 alternated with two rounds of all knit.

The second pair uses the Simple Skyp Sock pattern, but combines it with PGR's heel and toe. I like the way it fits and looks, and it's fun enough to work, now that I have the flow of it. That said, I often find myself thinking more than I'd like when knitting that way.   The yarn is a Perendale-Mohair blend I picked up at Maryland a year ago. I'm curious how these will feel when the cold weather sets in; right now they are not very comfortable, even though I am wearing handknit socks whenever I get the chance.

Oh, and remember this? I finished my Olan kerchief. The Polwarth my hunny spun up is so great to wear.

I spun up two braids and plied them together, one in Merino and one Corriedale. They balance each other out both in color and texture, and I am happy with the result. There's 900 yards of fingering/sport weight there.

Oh, and I've started knitting up the Finn I spun in a similar manner:

What's that you say? Do you think it is possible that I can actually finish projects? I've saved the best for last. Both warrant multiple photos, in my opinion.

This Girasole was intended for a Christmas gift about three years ago, but it was preempted by a special request at Thanksgiving. Happily, the intended recipient requested a blanket after seeing my Leaves of Grass, so I merely had to bring it out of hibernation. This past week, I finished it, and took it to my favorite spot for photographs.

The other blanket I just finished was only one year in the making, and it was a joy to knit. It's made entirely of Peace Fleece, and it's lovely.

One square was too bright, so I took a friend's recommendation and overdyed it with charcoal grey to tone it down. It's still a vivid red, but not so garish as before. I think it was a success!

If you're considering trying out this pattern, I recommend it. Lisa at Hidden River Yarns first introduced me to it, and she suggested that it provides a wonderful palate cleanser between projects; I agree... until you get the bug to finish it up. Then it's like potato chips.

You know what else is like potato chips? Photographing it.

I think that about catches you up on the fiber side of things.  Life has brought some good changes, but it has me busier than in the past. So back into oblivion I withdraw...

Happy knitting!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Alive and Knitting

Hello all!

This year's knitting and spinning has been a season of plowing forward, without a lot of instant gratification casting on and finishing.  I've been getting a bit of flack from a certain person who doesn't think sixteen works in progress is reasonable, so I have poured some energy into finishing some of those WIPs.  This post is photographic evidence that I am nearing the finish on yet another large project that has lingered for a good while. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift several years ago until a request usurped priority. This year, the request by the intended recipient was for a circular lace blanket in the spirit of my Leaves of Grass, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to pick up where I had left off.

It's not instant gratification, but it feels good.