Finished Object: Nith River Mittens

These mittens traveled across four states over the past weekend. But, despite my good intentions to finished them on the road, the weather was too hot to be working with wool. They were done inside my home with the comfort of air conditioning a drink and a podcast.

The paid pattern is well written and even includes a picture tutorial of the Latvian braid. I also used a YouTube video as additional help (linked below). Unfortunately, the mittens are too snug for me. All my fault as I did not get gauge nor had enough yarn to pick up all the stitches required for the thumbs. I might to re do the thumbs entirely with the contrast color (handspun yarn).

The details…

  • Yarns: Mission Falls 100% SW Merino (discontinued) for main color, Merino/Bamboo handspun blend for contrasting color no. 1 and Alpaca handspun for contrasting color no.2. All Aran weight.
  • Needle: ChiaoGoo circular needles in US size 4
  • Pattern: “Nith River” by Whole Earth Education
  • Latvian Twist Tutorial by Karen Dawn Designs: https://youtu.be/LFcYJLjrMVs
  • Ravelry: Project Page

I would knit a size up and add length to the cuff if I ever knit the mittens again. Perhaps as well would use a smaller needle size for the cuffs.

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Polish Merino Wool

This Kromski Polish Merino wool is part of my 2021 Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) stash. The eight ounce combed top was very reasonably priced. At twenty-seven micron count the wool is not the softest Merino on the market. Yet, the fiber was well prepared and spun nicely into approximately 800 yards of two ply DK weight yarn. The color is “Mossy Green”.

I would definitely buy this fiber again. There is additional fiber information and photos of available colors in Kromski’s website.

Handspun Socks

I have to confess that I had never worn any hand knit socks despite owing at least ten pairs. It had been against my nature to use something “treasured”. I am working on changing those feelings. I do not want to be attached to objects. What I really want to treasure is the craftiness and experiences creating the objects.

The simple pattern is “Socks 101” from the book “Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together” by Larissa Brown and Martin John Brown. I bought a second hand copy for almost nothing.

I divided 100 grams of the handspun Targhee in half and knit with two strands on size US eight needles. The socks turn out to be rustic, comfy and a perfect fit. They make me happy!

Links:

Ravelry project page

Larissa Brown’s website

What is my newest handspun?

Here is my new skein of handspun yarn. Despite my good intentions to spin all four ounces on my electric wheel, I switched to my trusty Louet Julia half way into the project. I lost way too much fiber due to breakages and tension issues spinning on the e-wheel. Still, I have a decent amount of yarn for perhaps a hat.

Stash Spinning: Merino

Back in 2019, my husband gifted me with four ounces of Paradise Fibers Merino in colorway Rust. I am spinning my “go to” handspun: two ply, fingering weight. I decided to practice spinning on my e-spinner. Somedays we have misunderstandings (it’s her attitude, really) and some days we spin along like besties (usually during happy hours).

I have half of the top yet to spin. If the stars align and yardage is appropriate, I would like to knit a Mara shawl . Wish me luck; it is very rarely that I have immediate plans for handspun.

PS: the free shawl pattern can be downloaded directly from the Madelinetosh website.

Rikke Hat Is So Popular, But Why?

There are thousands of Rikke hats in this beautiful and chaotic world. Why is this free pattern so popular? The pattern can be easily adjusted to any yarn weight and looks great in semi-solids, variegated, commercial and/or handspun yarns. Also, the garter stitch makes it for a comfortable and squishy hat.

This is my second handspun Rikke. Doubt it will my last.

Modifications to the pattern:

  • Handspun yarn wraps per inch = 16. Due to the inconsistency of the handspun, I would it classify as DK weight. Pattern was written for Worsted weight.
  • Cast on 82 stitches.
  • Placed marker every 14 stitches for decreases (only 12 stitches following the last marker). Knit two together (K2tog) and knit one after each marker whenever there were sufficient stitches. Started decrease sequence after each marker.

Ravelry link to project page.

Feeling content…

I have been going with the flow lately; starting as many projects as I want. Being inspired by materials and feeling content with all my WIPs.

This week I started the Reyna shawl in my own handspun. I don’t know the exact yardage on hand but my gut tells me it will be enough for a decent size shawl. This free pattern is perfect for variegated yarns. Mine is creating some stripes which I am enjoying while they last. If it starts pooling in a way I dislike, I plan to alternate balls of yarn.

Note: the following are Ravelry links – do not click on them if the website causes any discomfort or sickness.

  • Pattern: Reyna by Noora Backlund (free on Ravelry)
  • Yarn: Handspun Merino | Light fingering | Spun in 2014
  • Project page: here

There are almost 14,000 Reyna shawls posted on Ravelry and over 4,500 Instagram entries with the hashtag #reynashawl. The pattern deserves its popularity and more. It is easy and enjoyable to knit.

Handspun Hat

I am hoping this small project motivates me to pick up my knitting needles more often. I am using my hand spun and re knitting a favorite design. It’s a win-win!

For this second Rikke hat, I will be looking into adding some soft fabric on the inside of the brim as the yarn is a bit too rustic for my skin. A curious eye will quickly notice the “ridge” on the hat. Let’s call it a design feature (although you and I know that I knit two rows by mistake….ugh!).

The details:

  • Fiber/Yardage: Wensleydale, approximately 150 yards, 2 ply. Find out more about this fiber: here.
  • Rikke no. 1: Ravelry project page: here.
  • Rikke no. 2: Ravelry project page: here.

Dahlia, the Blue Faced Leicester fiber

Back in December 2020, I gifted myself this gorgeous BFL fiber in the color “Dahlia”. It is hand dyed from Gale’s Art, a local artist. I have bought Gale’s spinning fiber on numerous occasions and it never disappoints.

I split the fiber top in half. One half will be spin as is. The other half was further sub divided into thinner strips.

The spinning is going well. I am using my Louet Julia wheel with a WooLee Winder flyer.

The book, 1 Page at a time, was a Christmas gift from my sister. I like the idea of taking some time each day to answer a prompt from the book. It helps me clear my mind. It forces me be in the moment.

Finished Object: Handspun Hat

Do you agree with me on that there aren’t enough handspun hats out in the world? I am changing that one at a time. This is my first hat of the New Year!

The original post showcasing the yarn can be found: here.

The details:

Yarn: Superwash Targhee spun from commercially dyed fiber from Highland Handmade (no longer in business).

Needle size: US 7 – 4.5 mm

Pattern: March Hat by Meghan Babin for Kelbourne Woolens. This is part of the “Year of Hats” collection. All twelve free patterns are found in Ravelry: here.

Modifications:

  1. Did not change needle size for brim (ribbing)
  2. Added a few pattern repeats for a slouchier hat

Ravelry: project page

Stash: Gotland Handspun

Edited to add: I began the new year fully inspired and hopeful. Unfortunately, the events of Wednesday, January 6,2021 in Washing DC (USA) dramatically changed my mood. What happened there is totally unacceptable. As the creator of this small space I want to make clear that I condemn violence, bigotry and racism. I am a firm believer in humanity and democracy.

Let’s start the year showcasing my latest handspun. This 75% Gotland and 25% Merino fiber spun with a garment in mind. Who am I?? Planning before sitting in front of the wheel! I am as shocked as you are so let’s move on…

I want to knit the Shoreline vest again. This pattern is included in the book “Swoon Main“. My intention is to sample for gauge and then adjust the pattern…perhaps using the Ann Budd’s book “The Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters” as a resource.

Another consideration is color. The yarn as is might pool. A decision as to over dye will be made after swatching. Stay stunned.

It’s all in the details

Main fiber: 4 ounces of Gotland from Taku Fiber on Etsy

Second fiber: 2.5 ounces of Merino from my stash

Yardage: 1009 yards pre-washed

Wraps per inch: 14 WPI

Other: S Spun, Z plied on Louet Julia

Spinning: Potluck Roving

It has been a long time since I spun on my beautiful spindle. The “Zebra Yellowheart stripe over Maple” spindle is from Kundert Spindles. Unfortunately, the artisan temporarily closed his shop due to some medical situation. Hope these affordable pieces of art will become available to spinners worldwide again…soon!

What is that fiber, you ask? According to the label this is 8 ounces of 24 icon virgin wool in color Night Sky. The roving is produced by Ferndale Fiber. Find the list of retailers that sell this roving: here.

Looks like the final 2 ply yarn would be a light fingering weight.

Warm hands

Two new mittens finally received a well deserved wash and block. Both pairs were finished last year with very special yarns.

Pattern (free): Lambing Mitts by Veronica Jobe. Link here.

Yarn: Cestari Traditional Collection Sock Weight, a Targhee & Columbia blend, in Natural Light. To my surprise, as I washed them, the water quickly turned light brown. I enjoyed knitting with this yarn and would definitely consider it for a larger project.
Pattern: Squad Mitts by Ann Weaver from “Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 1”. Ravelry link here
Yarn: Two ply Merino handspun that I dyed blue at home and Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in Stone.

 

Carmine

This project was completed on November 2018. Back then I didn’t know what eventful months laid ahead. Oh, 2019…never a dull moment. I am taking one day at a time. Going back to activities that bring me joy. Hello again sweet purls. I have missed you dearly. Thanks for waiting until I was ready to come back.
I purchased the Superwash Targhee from Highland Handmade. Sadly, it looks like they are out of business. The fiber was a joy to spin in my Turtle Made spindle.
I created several “singles turtles” (a hundred percent not sure that is a technical term) and offload then into my swift. Then, the singles were transferred into two bobbins and plied on my Louet Julia wheel.
The yarn is about 11 wraps per inch or a DK weight, 290 yards. Possible patterns, in my library, to knit with this yarn: Pastella hat, Brick Sidewalk beanie (free on Ravelry) or the Hackberry hat.

Handspun Scarf

Who would have thought I would enjoy knitting a very long scarf so much? Perhaps the success was due to a nice match of yarn and pattern. 

Ravelry project details: here.

What a great feeling it is to have this scarf that I love  — after so much time and effort spinning and plying the singles and finally knitting the yarn. I used almost 500 yards on this project. I cannot wait for winter to wear this over and over.

 

Post vacation

Finished ObjectMy Turkish spindle provided great entertainment for the long drive to and from Washington DC.

This is a Blue Face Swirl in a Limited Edition colorway by Gale’s Art. I spun two ounces in my Turkish spindle and the remaining two in my Kromski wheel. The final yarn is super spongy. Yardage is to be determined — skein looks substantial (how about that?).

New to me magazine

I picked up the third issue of the Making Magazine at Fibre Space. This is a gem and I want to make everything in it. I will not pass on next time Madder open up subscriptions.  The magazine is worth every penny, in my opinion!

Vacation highlights

  • Family time. Priceless. As crazy and imperfect we all are, magic happens when we get together.
  • Visits to Fibre Space and Looped Yarn Works. No yarn came home. Books, tools, bags and fiber made the cut!
  • Impromptu escape to the REI Flagship store in DC!
  • Yummiest empanadas at Panas in Dupont Circle.

Spinning and stashing

Another week and my master closet is not done. We are still waiting for the hardwood floor. Jumping of joy for more days of having to tour the house to complete an outfit. Shoes in one corner. Tops in the spare room and bottoms in the crafty room. Confession time: I’ve been wearing the same shoes out of laziness.

Also in progress is some spindle spinning. Of course, I discovered another bag of blue fiber after I was done with three skeins (blogged here). My goal is to be done tomorrow. We are going on vacation and I want an empty spindle to start a new project.

Spinning here and stashing there. Multi tasking in other words. Who could resist these two skeins of Sunshine Yarns Classic Sock? Left: Inner Child  and right: Sunstone

Talk to you after vacation. Knit, eat and smile at every opportunity!

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July! Hope that everyone is having a spectacular and safe day.

My husband and I have been working on remodeling our master closet. Lot’s of stuff is being donated. The walls are waiting for a fresh coat of paint. The lighting is being upgraded as well as the organization system. All of that translates to hard work, money out of the door and not much knitting or grilling.

I was able to spin a gorgeous Ashland Bay Multi-Colored Merino Top that I bought from The Woolery. Colorway is Rose Quarz.

Two ounces of Fiber, woolen spun, two ply yarn at around fourteen wraps per inch which could pass for sports weight. Yardage still to be determined.

The Blues

It was all about spinning this past week. My favorite wheel, Julia, is not feeling well. I’ve changed it’s driver band and ball bearings…and still cannot make it spin like in good old days. So while Julia rested I worked with my Kromski wheel on spinning a beautiful Julie Spins’ gradient.

I separated the fibre and spun three different two ply yarns: blue, turquoise and both colors blended with some white Merino I had in stash. I am happy with the results and yardage. There should be enough yarn for a very blue shawl.

Back to the eighties

Bright colors ahead. Proceed with caution!

My husband bought me some fiber at the fabulous Looped Yarn Works in Washington, DC.
This is Targhee dyed by Knitted Wit. The fiber was well prepped and easy to spin. It is not my most even handspun as I rushed somehow when plying it.

I don’t have any project in mind. It is almost impossible for me to look at this skein without a smile in my face. That is more than enough for now. 

Forget FOs, think WIPs

Today is my first of a few days off work. I want nothing but to have a joyful time with my family, spinning wheel and knitting.

First project on the needles is this scarf inspired by a free pattern from Jane Richmond, Mustard Scarf. I plan on using up all the yarn, making it longer than instructed. I am almost decided on seaming the ends and converting into an infinity scarf.

Also in progress are the Maine mittens from Carrie Bostick Hoge’s Swoon Maine book. They are very easy and quick to knit. One done, one to go.

Finally, I have been spending quality time with my spinning wheel and some Pigeonroof Superwash BFL. The colors are spectacular!