Monthly Archives: April 2009

Kid presents

Jill P.:

Here are the projects I had under wraps for a while.  Melissa’s baby Ben was turning 1.  I decided to knit him a present.   But my Mom has always taught me to make something for the older child too so they don’t get too jealous.  So Zach needed a gift too.

For Ben’s present, I made him a pair of pants.

Pattern: Kanoko Pants by Yumiko Sakurai

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Taupe and Violet.  For the stripes I used some bits of TLC Cotton Plus in Cream and Gold.  I used less than a ball of each of the main colors, and not very much of the other ones.

I made the largest size.  They are kind of funny looking on, super wide-legged.  In my mind the colors were less circusy, but I still like them.  I didn’t do anything to combat jogs.  But when working in the ends I kind of smooshed them over into straighter lines.  With the accent colors I made sure to knit a row with the new color before the purl or seed stitch row.  That way you don’t get that weird coloring in the purl ridge.  The most annoying thing with this project was having to do the legs on DPNs and having stitches almost falling off each time.  A fifth DPN would have helped.

I wanted to do a small gift for Zach, but his ended up being maybe more time consuming than Ben’s.  Zach received:


Pattern: Elefante by Susan B. Anderson

Yarn: Wool of the Andes left over from my Road to Golden sweater in Daffodil, Avocado, Evergreen, Lullaby, Mink Heather and Cranberry.

I am super happy with how he turned out.  I just filled him with Polyfil.  I didn’t want to deal with the little weighting beads.  Instead of attempting the crochet ears, I followed the example of KnittingElephant (I think?!) on Ravelry and made garter stitch ears.  Then I picked up all around with a contrast color and bound off.  It leaves the little lines on the other side, but I don’t mind them.

I wasn’t able to get his little feet flat on the bottom.  Maybe if I had done less rounds on the feet, they wouldn’t pucker out so much.  The stripes were a little time consuming, but it was nice being able to just tie them on the inside.  The hardest part for me was sewing the head onto the body.  It was hard to know where it should be sewn to.  Now he has a little cocked head but I think it gives him character.  Kind of quizzical.

I have a lot of projects to blog about, but should try to space them out.  Next up is the finished Drop Collar Cabled Jacket.  And a few WIPs.  I am going to try to knit or crochet some wire earrings for my friend Adrienne.  Wish me luck!

Jill B.


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I’m spinning away….

I’ve really caught the spinning bug lately. It all started with my intense desire to finish spinning that pound of corriedale (scoured by John Pitblado) that I bought a million years ago from The Weaver’s Cottage. It had been sitting in my stash all carded up and ready for some wheel love for what seemed like an eternity when I finally decided to pull it out and spin it without too much muss or attention into careless bulky singles. Of course, this process got interrupted by life and another big move, but I finally finished it up sometime after St. Patrick’s Day and it turned out pretty good. you can see in the pic I was celebrating the finished spinning as well as the holiday! I think I ended up with somewhere around a 1000 yards. Someday this will probably become a sweater. I was thinking about that very popular Owls sweater, but it may just bee too thick/thin for that kind of thing. I’m still pondering…

Since I’m not really in the position space or time wise to do my own dyeing, I’ve become obsessed with a few indie dyers and have been trying out different fiber blends to see which I like best. First up is Pigeonroof Studio‘s BFL Roving. I didn’t really have a plan for how I wanted to spin it, so I just decided to do a basic two ply and let the fiber dictate the weight. I did know that I wanted it to come out really sproingy so I added a lot of twist in the single and in the ply. Here it is in roving form…

The colorway is called Helleborus. I was so excited about how this yarn came out that I did my little photoshoot before setting the twist.The pics came out really nice, but the yarn looks even better and loftier than this after giving a good soak and a lots of whacking on the pavement. I ended up with about 120 yards of aran weight yarn.

So then I wasn’t sure what I would make from this, so I started stalking again and found 6oz of BFL dyed by FatCatKnits that looked like it would be very complimentary, although this is superwash BFL and the other is regular BFL.

So I did my best to spin in a similar fashion even though the spinning events were several weeks apart form each other and that has not always worked out for me in the past. Luckily, I came very pretty close I think. The yarn might be just a bit bulkier but it is every bit as lustrous and smooshy.

So here they are side by side. I’m thinking about knitting either a striped raglan caplet or a simple triangle shawl/shawlette. I’ve got about 280 yards altogether so it should be quite the challenge!

I am a total BFL convert! I totally love spinning it and am thrilled with the way it looks when it’s all finished. I can’t wait to get some needles to it!

Another fiber I wanted to try was the merino/bamboo/nylon blend. I found a batch that was dyed up in some irresistible spring-like colors from Spincerely. I was aiming for a fingering weight three-ply but ended up with something around worsted weight.

I ended up with about 150 yards. Not going to be able to get socks out of this. I do have a few small skeins that I used for testing out the fiber which I could use too, but I have a feeling this is destined to become a cowl or something… The verdict: not a big fan of the bamboo/nylon. Not sure which aspect of the blend is to blame, but it just doesn’t appeal to me at this stage. It was a pleasure to spin, but right now I’m just not that into it. I probably should have known since I’m really not that big a fan of merino/tencel blends.  I must say though, that Spincerely does some lovely dyeing.  I will definitely be stalking her shop in the future.

The next fiber that’s destined for my wheel is some merino/seacell from Creatively Dyed. Seacell has very similar qualities to tencel or bamboo, but I’m going to reserve judgment until I see the final result because I really love this dyejob!

I’m thinking about spinning this into a superthin single and doing a navajo ply. I read on someone’s blog (I’ve tried desperately to find it so I could document it, to no avail.) that if you run the single through your wheel twice, first to chain the single (treadling slowly  with a strong uptake to minimize adding any twist and pausing to build each chain) and second time to add the twist, the N-ply comes out much more even and balanced. I tried this with a bit of yardage that was leftover from the Spincerely three-ply and I must say it was the best Navajo ply I’ve ever managed. So I believe that will be my next spinning challenge. If successful, the yarn could become either knee socks or a lace shawl. Only the yarn knows!

Beyond that, I’ve got a bunch of other great roving in my stash and this morning managed to score a coveted spot in Pigeonroof Studios three month fiber club. (There were only 18 spots and they sold out in about 15 seconds. Crazy!!) So excited!!!

It’s a shame with all this spinning going on that I can’t ever make it to a GLASG meeting. Massage school has been moving right along though and I did really well in Anatomy 1 and just started Deep Tissue 2. I’m a little over 300 hours into my 550 hour course load. And for the next few weeks I should be able to come to Monday night knitting at the Spot. I miss you and the rest of the girlies so much and can’t wait to see you tonight!!

xo, Jill P.

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