Tip Tok Tank is Done

Thanks  Emily Bolduan from Maker Maker for designing this cute free pattern. I have made just two modifications: (a) used worsted instead of recommended sports weight yarn and, (b) changed needle size to US 6 (4.5mm). With these changes my gauge was 20 stitches vs 21 stitches in 4 inches as suggested in the pattern with the recommended yarn..

The after blocking measurements aligned for the most part with a Medium size :

  • Bust circumference=34 in (approx. 86 cm)
  • Lower body length=18 in (approx. 46 cm) ** longer than suggested **
  • Upper body length=8 in (approx. 20 cm)
  • Neck width=9 in (approx. 23 cm)

The cotton & wool blend yarn, O Wool Balance, is lovely to knit with. It has great stitch definition and is very light weight wise. All the project details are also documented in my Ravelry page.

Advertisement

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.

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.

Knitting FO: Tolmie, the pullover

Last year, I had to tidy up my craft room often because (a) I kept buying stuff and (b) I was not using my stash. My new goal is to craft from my stash. I want to downsize. I not only need the physical space but the mental as well. I am not trying to preach on this space. What works for me, might not for you. That is what makes this a beautiful world—we all are different & unique.

Let me show you my most recent sweater FO: Tolmie. The pattern comes from a magazine I bought years ago. The pullover was constructed with yarn from stash. I did not have enough of a single color to knit the project. My work around was to add a second yarn for the neck, sleeves and bottom. Even then, I could not knit long sleeves.

I am pleased with not only the fit but also the colors of this sweater. I also took baby steps toward my downsizing goal. Win-Win!

The fine print

Pattern: Tolmie by Josee Paquin, originally published on Amirisu Fall 2016 Issue II

Yarn: Main color is Elann A Series W02 Pure 28 micron mercerized wool (discontinued). Contrast color is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted in Blackberry.

Needles: US 9 Knitters Pride Royale.

Modifications:

  1. Used two color
  2. Went up to US 9 size needles to get gauge
  3. Three quarter long sleeves

Ravelry project page: here

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.

 

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.

 

Twins!

I am the proud mama of twin…socks! They are fraternal. It wasn’t planned. Is what happens when one buy too much yarn. But, who am I to judge?

The first pair was knit with Regia 4 ply in color 7200 Moewe.

The yarn for the second pair is Opal. Unfortunately I cannot find the ball band to list the color here 😦

Both pair of socks softened when blocked. They fit wonderfully! I guess one cannot go wrong with either Regia or Opal – both workhorse yarns with fun (similar) colors.

Back where I left

A finished object makes me feel like a Knitter (with capital K). This cowl has seen lots of wear since I finished it.  It was my first time knitting with Dream in Color Smooshy and I really enjoyed its rich color and high twist.

Ravelry Project page: here.
The pattern is from the book Scarf Style 2. Totally recommend this book even when it was published back in 2013. It has twenty six patterns from renowned designers like Jarred Flood, Pam Allen, Laura Nelking, Veronica Avery and Romi Hill. Even Brioche made it to the book! I do not regret buying it used at a real bargain and see myself casting on another pattern in the future.

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.

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.

Another week, another shawl

This pattern cannot be more simple; endless garter stitches with purl rows here and there. Some might find this very boring. I decided it was a perfect source of relaxation after hectic workdays. Call it garter therapy.

The yarn is the protagonist. Tern is, like other Quince & Co. yarns, a pleasure to knit with. The shawl is light and easy to wear. I think it will transition well into Spring.

Pattern: The Big Blue by Meg Gadsbey
Ravelry project page: here

(Public service announcement: dark chocolate is full of antioxidants = good for you, good for me!)

Spinning Detour

My first try at spinning was with a drop spindle. I quickly moved onto spinning wheels.

Lately, I have been logging decent hours on spindle spinning.

Some of the first small batch of yarn was put to good use with this Rebecca Danger mini monster. Despite it’s small size, it was not fiddly to knit.

Yarn:
Body, eyes and wonky smile: Handspun yarn
Feet: O-Wool Legacy DK

Spindle:
Turtle Made Turkish Spindle

For less than $20 USD you can get a customized Turkish spindle. Check out the Etsy store, if any, for the happy colors of the spindles.

The colorful the better

Knitting with handspun is a truly gratifying experience.

This cowl was inspired by the “Totally biased” pattern. I used a Mixed Bluefaced Leicester handspun.

Modifications: my version does not have purl rows. I followed this “recipe” until all the yarn was used up:

  • cast on 40 stitches for handspun sport to aran weight
  • row 1: k1, k1fb, k to last there stitches, k2tog, k1
  • row 2: k2, p36, k2
  • finish with a three needle bind off

There must be instant gratification

My husband chose Malabrigo Rasta in Azul Profundo for a hat. After ten years together, he finally got his first hand knit. Project details: here.

These mittens fall in the quick and mindless bucket. I see more mittens in my future as enabled by this post from Fringe Association.

I will always remember that I bought the skein at a yarn bus. Project details: here.

Keep your hot chocolate close and your knits closer. Have a great weekend.

Working on goals…believe it or not

I want to knit three pairs of socks this year. Progress is slow but steady. 

Pair no.1 is  “Vanilla Lattes” in reliable Patons Kroy Socks yarn (75% SW wool, %25 nylon). At $2 per skein, on clearance, I can almost ignore how boring the color is. Ravelry project page here.

I am now looking for the plainest vanilla socks pattern for socks no. two. Can’t wait to use my vibrant Lorna’s Laces Sheperd Sock Multi in Black Purl.

Time for FOs

I finished my Oaklet shawl just in time to keep me warm during the last weeks of cold weather. This free pattern is not too complicated, yet beautiful. Love it! Details on the project page.

New shiny handspun! I am really pleased with my 464 yards of deliciously spongy BFL. I spun very thin singles and navajo-ply them to end up with fingering weight yarn. 




FO: Gris de lin

Week one of Pre-kindergarten is gone. Her tears are still present on the second week. I know this will pass but is painful to see my baby having trouble adjusting to her new environment. As with other difficult times, knitting is my therapy.

Modifications & sanity checks:

  • Cast on 84 stitches as I used DK instead of the recommended fingering weight yarn
  • Placed a stitch maker after every 12 stitches
  • Put in a safe line after every pattern repeat (12 rows)
  • Project page: here

Back home with two FOs

My husband and I are back home after spending some nice days in South Carolina.

Highlights of the trip:

Since my last post, I finished two hats for the Charity Hat-Along.  IBoth hats, Barley and Cottage Cap were easy and enjoyable.