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Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

I have a sad confession to make. I really am not crazy about Knit Picks Wool of the Andes. Not even the super wash version. I want to like it. I want to love it. It’s cheap, comes in some good colors.  I just don’t love it.  This yarn, y’all. It’s scratchy. Let’s put it this way. I’m 4 rows in and thinking that this yarn was spun from a sheep who spent her best years hanging out in biker bars, chain-smoking Camels, getting into fights, and shooting bottom shelf whiskey straight from the bottle*. Is all I’m saying. This yarn? This yarn is The House Of The Rising Sun in a skein. It’s a cautionary tale of lamb to mutton, of bad life choices, spun, plied, and wound up.

I’m really  in love with this darling Hyphen sweater and am currently knitting one for Miss Aubrey. The color I chose is the most perfect Aubrey-esque, coral-pink you could imagine. But…  scratchy.  This is not how I want Miss Aubrey’s handknits to feel. Let’s hope a soak in coconut oil hair conditioner wool wash helps…. after looking about at comments online and on the site, it does seem to be reported that washing and wearing softens it up, so I haven’t quite lost all hope.

Knit Picks, I love love love your yarn, as a rule but I’m disappointed in WoTA. Perhaps I just didn’t do enough research on this particular variety before I bought.

*I may be embellishing the sheep’s life story with a teeeeeensy bit of hyperbole.

 

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After seeing this pattern referenced on Mason Dixon Knitting and finding it on my long-ignored Ravelry queue, I decided that I needed to knit myself one. I live in Southern California again, and, while not exactly a nexus of polar vortex, it does dip down a little bit at night here in the “winter” months. And by “down” I mean, it’s been getting into the high 40’s at night, which is basically a pretty balmy spring day up in the mountains.

I don’t, actually, miss that part.

Shortly after we moved to Mi-Wuk 3 years ago, I cast on a shawlette in some unknown silk blend, thinking it would make a nice winter scarf. Heh. Reality quickly disabused me of that notion and it went into the Basket of Shame while I cast on something warmer, in alpaca. While it might have been a little bit light for the climate there, the DK weight silk blend is perfect for the climate here. Sadly I’ve lost the tags, so I have no idea what exactly this blend is made of, who dyed it, or where I bought it. The colors remind me a little of a soft Impressionist painting, though, and I’m utterly delighted with the results.

Et Viola, I present the Monet Mystery Honey Cowl. The First. It’s a great, repetitive, two row pattern, one of which is knitting and one of which is purling and slipping. It’s easy enough to do while watching a movie or having a conversation with a friend.

Thanks, Mason Dixon Knitting! I probably wouldn’t have knit this one without finding your archive of Honey Cowls. And now I have a new favorite go-to gift project.

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Our little winter rainstorm turned into 2 inches of snow overnight. The cats get really excited when snow happens, and there is a lot of running from window to window and meowing at the white outside world. And then of course, there is feline snoring next to the wood stove. We’re glad for the water, however it is falling.

Inclement weather is a good excuse for spinning and this week I did up most of a Sheep to Shoe kit from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  I really like these Blue Moon kits. The fiber preparation is wonderful and the colors are really nice. This one has been stashed for quite a while and it was a real treat to bust it out of the bin and spin it up.

BMFAsock

I’ve been trying to be more intentional with my spinning and spin yarn to use for specific projects.  I wanted a nice tight 3 ply sock yarn with this one, and I didn’t really get one. I read that you want to overspin your singles a little and then overply the yarn a bit as well. I really thought I had it, it was definitely unbalanced in the too-tight right way after I plied, but not so much after washing and setting the twist. It’s a fine line. You don’t want your yarn to disintegrate on the first wearing, but you don’t want to spin it into twine, either.

darksoulsingles

Speaking of intentional spins, I’ve got 8 oz of Funky Carolina Falkland top on the wheel now. Being more than a little torqued about the inconsistencies in the yarn I just made, I thought I’d do another round and try to do it better. I did a little research first, and apparently Falkland is really good for socks.

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Very grateful that the Captain does not require his socks and caps to be particularly understated or “manly” in hue. In fact he prefers the bright blues and greens and purples. No dull colors for him, no thanks.

Does anyone else feel like Facebook has essentially gutted the blog world? I’m really glad I don’t have internet at my house. It makes me seek out content that is more substantial in the limited internet time I have. I miss the conversations that center around blogging. The “like” button has not done good things for social media.

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rav.toast

Still flirting with sticks and string when I can, when the spirit is upon me. And oh, how I’ve missed it. What with missing my LA show and very slow Etsy sales this season, I have some extra time that I hadn’t expected. Which is good because, there’s a great whack of Christmas knitting…

I keep telling myself that it is time to trust in the process, to know that we are still recovering, and that it will be ok. There are deep changes afoot and they are not ready to be born just yet.

It’s good to remember that knitting helps when one is sailing upon deep, dark seas of emotion. Mostly I am knitting small things. Simple things. I am knitting for comfort these days. A pair of warm woolen mittens for my daughter. A striped hat for the Captain’s sweet boy. Not a lot of challenge in them for the most part, but sometimes you just need simple comfort.

rav.emmittens

Knitting, as always, serves as an apt metaphor for life. And sometimes it does double duty as a flotation device. Spent a frustrating couple of days trying to knit a pair of mittens as a gift for my daughter. I have never done mittens before. The first pair wound up being a bit lumpy and the decreases were clumsy and uneven. My needles were a bit small for the yarn I was using (Manos), hence the frustrating part. It worked out, though, as the extra tight knit wound up being great for the subfreezing temps we are experiencing right now. I decided to hang on to the lumpy little things and executed a second, more perfect pair, in soft white Malabrigo. Finally got the hang of it now, and a formula for making a thumb gusset. Crazy mitten ideas are racing through my head like wildfire. It’s too bad the bulk of my friends are in Los Angeles because now I want to make mittens for everybody.

Warm things. Useful things. Small things. Things made of Malabrigo. That’s just how things are rolling right now. But. There is lace on my horizon, count on it.

If only.

If only I could read the future like a piece knitting.
Discover each dropped stitch just in time,
and tink it back carefully
before it all unravels,
leaving no unsightly ladders.
No gaps in what should be unbroken.
Or better yet, to catch the thread before it drops
tuck it back into place
discreetly,
avoiding disaster gracefully.
As if to say, “I meant to do that.”
What?
If only it were as simple
as these loops of yarn,
sliding off these bamboo needles.
The thick and the thin, sometimes splitting and fraying.
If only spit splicing new strands
into the whole
to mend what has broken
really came off quite this effortlessly.
If only.

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Emergency kit

I do not think this is what people had in mind when they said, “Build an emergency earthquake kit.”

I have no memory of doing this.

It’s like, some really bad elves dumped out the water, cat food and clean emergency underwear, and replaced it with merino in the night.

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