Lazy?

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I really thought that by downloading the WordPress app to both my smartphone and tablet I would be keeping up with my blog, but I guess I’ve been lazy? Maybe lazy isn’t the word. I think “preoccupied” is better. I have been working more on my fiber projects lately since I don’t have to worry about completing projects and assignments for my masters that I finished in Dec 2011.

Starting in Jan, I was teaching part-time here in Pueblo and Colo Springs, which wasn’t new for me, but the 6 hr break between classes in Springs was new. It’s difficult trying to find places to go when you’re in a town that is more than 40 miles away from home. You can’t go home to nap or work on a project. Well…you could, but that would be a waste of gas with the way today’s economy is going. On Tuesdays I would go to the Yarn Outlet for their morning knitting session and then to Green Valley Weavers and Knitters until I had to be back at work for tutoring before teaching my early evening class. On Thursdays I would go to a friend’s house to spin. She hand dyes her own fiber and yarn, but also spins herself. Peggy is amazing when it comes to color and spinning. I’d have to say she’s definitely an inspiration when it comes to my spinning. Her business is called The 100th Sheep. You should check her out some time…if anyone’s reading. As a warning, there might be some drooling over her stuff. 😉 By visiting her once a week from Jan to May, I was able to get a lot of spinning done. More than I was getting done probably in the whole year of 2011.

Back in Jan of this year I got some of Peggy’s hand-dyed roving. I was able to get some of it spun up. These are my final products for two of the four colors I bought. The first is a thick and thin plied with a grape purple merino bamboo. It came out so nice! The second is bright pink combination. The coloring is a little off due to the fact my camera’s coloring is off. I think I’d like to make something for my niece. Even though I don’t like her always wearing pink, this is a fun, bright pink.

I also had a few projects that I had on bobbins for a while and needed to finish. The first was a CVM that I got at our location shop and I decided to ply it with a Rose Grey Alpaca roving that I had gotten at the Taos Fiber Festival a few years ago. The combination was perfect! The second is a roving that I got from a friend, Heidi. She does her own hand-dying also. This was a merino, alpaca, silk blend (variegated), and I plied it with two different shades of merino/bamboo. I love it turned out!

 

Also at Green Valley, I joined a Xmas group…yes…Xmas. It’s to help get your Xmas list together of all of the projects that you want to have done before Xmas. So far I’ve done ok. I haven’t gotten as much done as I’ve wanted. I have finished a couple of things. I wanted to make a sweater for a friend of mine’s son. She was my childhood friend back in Ada, OK. I swear I have a completed picture, but I guess this will have to work for right now. I’m also working a hoodie for my 7 yr old niece. I can’t wait til I’m done. I have from the bottom to the armpits, and 1.75 arms done. I just need to complete the second arm and connect it to the body to continue the rest. This is the first time I have done a bottom up sweater while attaching the sleeves this way. Then I have plans on working on mini somethings for the close friends and family.

I also was able to finish the following square for an afghan that was auctioned off in town. It was a nice combination of work for women that knitted at the shop. While talking to a friend from middle school on FB, I found out that she had been diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer and was going through chemo. I offered to make her a hat that she could wear since she had decided to go ahead and shave her head. She told me that since she lived in Texas that a lot of the hats she was previously wearing were too hot and tightly knit. I offered to make her one using a cotton blend and a somewhat lace pattern. I didn’t want it to be too open. It turned out to be perfect for her. She really likes it and I did too….so I made one for me also. I might make one for my sister too. The grey is for my friend and the pink is for me. The pattern is called the Lotus Hat, and I found through a blog through Ravelry. I even have a few friends in the knit group wanting to make one too. I did have to alter it since it called for worsted, and I used DK.

Every year, except for last year due to finishing my masters, I’ve made mini ornaments for the holidays. I’ve done mini sweaters, santa stockings, beaded cozies that go over a glass ornament, and I think that’s it. Last year I got into the hexipuffs and putting together my own Beekeeper’s Quilt. I’m a math teacher so it just made sense to make my ornaments a hexipuff, but I wanted to add something different this year. I wanted to spin the yarn I was going to knit for these ornaments. I wanted a non-traditional look. I’m not into the standard red, green, and white. The yarn on the left is my first attempt. I found an amazing gold bamboo at Green Valley and wanted to use it for this project. It’s gorgeous, but a little too Mardi Gras (Two merino singles & bamboo). The second (middle) attempt is still pretty. I replaced the gold bamboo with an off white/grey merino. The last attempt is my favorite. It’s a cranberry red with the green merino and gold bamboo from the first skein. I might use them all, but I plan on spinning up more from the last color combination. I’ll definitely have to post more once I have more finished projects.

Post Xmas???

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     Even though it’s almost a week after Xmas, I am not done with my gifts. I was able to finish the cowl for my sister. The original plan was to mail it, but I guess my mom wants to head up there for the new year. About half way done with it I realized that the cowl my sister saw me in when I told her I was going to make her one, was not the same fiber I had already started her’s with. Oh well! Silk/mohair blends are better than cotton, right? (Picture to come soon.)

     Even though I have a hat to finish for another friend for Xmas, which will be really late, I have started on my sheep. It had been awhile since I had done any of Marie’s patterns, so I forgot how quick they knitted up. I finished one sheep within a few hours. Right now I have two knitted up and ready to felt. The one thing that will be new to me will be the legs for the sheep. It requires me to knit an I-cord, hand felt those, and sewing the legs onto the sheep while inserting wire so that they stand. Finally, I’ll need to needle felt the locks to make the sheep look curly.

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I think that I’ll have enough locks to do a few sheep so for right now, I have one purple and one light grey knitted up. I think I want to make another in each color. I’ll try to get three done, and if I’m short I have more locks in other colors that will go with the grey I’m using. Once I have the four knitted up, I’ll be felting them. I think maybe they’ll be ready next week. I’d like to say this weekend, but I’ll be out of town. (My aunt doesn’t have a top loading washer, and I use quarter fed washers that I can’t stop and restart the cycle.) That’s OK. It’ll leave me time to work on that hat I need to finish. That is if my aunt’s cat will allow me to knit any while I’m there.

     The problem I’m having right now is that I’m thinking about what colors of scrap 220 I do have so that I can make more sheep. That’s bad, right? I can’t keep a flock of sheep and not everyone I know like sheep. I guess a flock of multicolored sheep would be awesome to have. They would keep me company!

     Anyways…that’s all for me right now. I hope everyone had a good Xmas! Just think 2012 is right around the corner! Crazy how time flies!

Winter projects

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     So I’ve been busy just like everyone trying to get certain things completed before the holidays. A couple include cowl projects. I’ve become addicted to making and wearing cowls. I think more so with the first. I’m still trying to get used to the idea of putting one on before I step outside my apartment door. I’ve currently made myself three. One I wear the most often, while the other two are waiting for me to sew in the ends. It’s so easy, but such a pain in the butt! These are two that I’ve recently finished for two gfs of mine. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry called Looped & Laced Cowl. What I like about the pattern/design is that it almost looks like cables a little but it’s not. These are made from Universal verigated wool. I altered the original pattern by increasing the total stitches to 162, I think. I knitted up about two thirds of the blue one, and found out it was too tight around my next. So, I had to rip and start over again. I was afraid that the verigated yarn wouldn’t work since color trumps pattern, but I’m happy with how they turned out.

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     I’ve already gotten myself into more trouble or work but telling my sister that I could also make her a cowl. She saw one that I had (the one I’ve completely finished). I just had to open my mouth and offer to make her one. I guess I’m sweet like that. Lol I’m not sure if she’d use those exact words, but one can dream, right? The one I had shown her was made up of Noro Yuzen, so it’ll come out a little different. These are the skeins wound up. I’ve got about a third of it completed. I’m hoping to get it done either tonight or tomorrow so that my aunt can take it with her to give to my sister. (She can’t make it due to working Sat and Mon. Coming down from Denver for one day just isn’t worth it.)

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     One new item of mine is my yarn bowl. I’ve been seeing them recently in the knitting magazines, but I’ve been surprised with how expensive they are. I’ve been seeing prices that range from $40-60, but that is totally outside my price range of affordability. The local yarn store in Pueblo, Colorado Fiber Arts (CFA) started to sell some for a reasonable price. They’re made by a local pottery shop called Cup and Bowl. I paid about $28, and it’s totally my color, so I’m happy!

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     On top of knitting more cowls for my mom and aunt (thanks to the sale Karen’s having at CFA), I’m really excited to knit and felt a purple sheep. Yes, purple. Marie Mayhew is so clever when it comes to felted knitting patterns. I got to meet her last month and got really inspired to try more of her patterns. I have knitted and felted bunnies for Easter, but that’s the extent of working with her patterns. During a class with her she showed us how to “dress up” the patterns/projects. This is what she had done to her sheep pattern.

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After knitting and felting, she needle felted merino locks! How freakin awesome, right!?! So I tried to think of any locks I had. I have magenta and teal Teeswater, not quite royal purple Wenslydale locks, a handful of bright magenta, green, and turqoiuse merino, and a large handful of smokey lavender merino locks. So, many to choose from! I know some would say “go bold or go home”, but I think I’ll play it safe first. Once I get the first one done I’ll decide how to approach the next ones. With that said I went with the smokey lavendar locks. I was even able to find a skein of Cascade 220 that goes perfectly with the locks I already had in my stash. Yay for being able to use my stash!

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     Another project that I’m in the middle of is The Beekeeper’s Quilt. It’s a project where you knit up a lot (and I do mean a lot) of two dimensional hexigonal “puffs.” You can either stuff them or use them as is. I have decided to stuff mine.

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I currently have about 17, but I’ve calculated that for my queen size bed I’ll need about 1,040 or so. Yes, it’ll be a long term project, but it doesn’t take that long to get one done. Plus they’re also small and easy to carry with you in a purse or what not. I’ve recently gotten a couple of mini skeins from another shop, and have those ready to go once I have my other Xmas projects completed.

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Then I ordered 3 skeins from Three Irish Girls. They have amazing colors that they dye themselves. I loved getting a card with a fabric that matched the colors. Plus it was signed by another Erin! A lot of the skeins colors have Irish names. The green/blue in the middle is named “Erin” which is my name. They now have another with my last name, which I think I need to get.

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     So it looks like I have a lot of knitting to do. This doesn’t even include the spinning projects I have. Well I hope everyone has a good holiday season!