Monthly Archives: August 2013

Spinning: Abstract Fibers Chocolate Rainbow

I’ve been very neglectful of my spinning wheel for the last, umm, month at least.  In order to spin that fiber for Michele in July, I had to clear my languishing project off of the wheel.  Remember when I showed you guys that rainbow fiber that I was spinning?  That was really a while ago.  But here was my in progress post.

The fiber is Abstract Fibers Targhee in the color Chocolate Rainbow.  I spun it fairly thin and then navajo plied it to keep the long color repeats.  I had 4 oz. of it.  I can’t remember how many yards I got out of it.  I’ll update when I find the info.

Because I spent so long spinning this, over several different spinning sessions, I was really not consistent in the thickness of my initial single.  Oh man.  Really inconsistent.  And because I am creating a three-ply out of the yarn in the order that  it was spun, the inconsistency was not spread out throughout the skein.  Meaning that if I had spun three bobbins to different thicknesses and then plied them together in a normal three-ply the grist of the yarn would stay the same from the beginning to the end of the skein for the most part.  But navajo-plying is like making a crochet chain and plying all three strands together.  Which means if I was spinning thinly at the beginning and a little thicker at the end of the skein, then the difference in thickness is just going to be compounded throughout the skein (times 3!).  The head of the skein will be markedly thinner than the tail end.

I am maybe exaggerating how extreme my yarn is.  It goes from a fingering in sections to a dk or even light worsted in other sections.  Maybe I can try to make it a design feature in something that I knit!

It’s time for me to start new spinning.  I have a spinning guild meeting tomorrow so will have to start something!  The wheel has been bare for too long.

I am also totally overwhelmed with different projects I want to start.  So many sweaters!  Too many nice things from the latest Interweave Knits and Vogue!  What are you trying to resist right now?

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FO: Tulip Dreams Shawl

Awhile ago I got really obsessed with Wolle’s Color Changing Cotton yarn.  It’s a fingering weight cotton yarn made up of four threads (not plied together).  After a long section, one thread is changed to another color until the yarn is entirely a second color.  Each 100 gram skein has three solid colors in it and transitional sections too of course.  The owner, Elisabeth, has a very popular Etsy store.  It used to be one of those stressful situations where you needed to know when she would update the store and then frantically try to buy things before everything was sold out.  I guess that can be fun, but it’s not really my thing.  More recently she has been taking pre-orders.  And it is a much smoother system.  She’ll announce on the Ravelry group which colorways she will be putting together.  And then you just need to email her with your order before she sells out.  I haven’t been right on top of it and I’ve still been able to get something.  It works out better for buyers because it’s less frantic, and I’m sure it helps Elisabeth because she doesn’t have to pay the Etsy commissions.  All of this is to say that my stash of these yarns was growing even though I hadn’t made anything out of the yarn yet!

Cue the Tulip Dreams shawl!:

My Rav page here.

Pattern: Tulip Dreams by AnneLena Mattison from The Sock Report 2012, which I love everything in!

Yarn:  Wolle’s Color Changing Cotton in Purple Almond, 100grams plus 15ish grams of extra purple.

Needles: US5

Start Date: July 26, 2013

Finish Date: August 11, 2013

Mods: Not much.  On Chart 2, some of the cables were written to finish as K2P2 (for example, I don’t remember if that is exactly right) but I did them as just all knits.  The next rows would have knits above them and it seemed smoother to start knitting at the cables instead of purling.

I was worried about how the cotton yarn would block out.  I am used to doing lace on wool yarn.  I did knit the shawl on a larger needle than I would have normally.  I knew I wouldn’t get much stretch out of the final piece.  The yarn blocked nicely.  It kind of has a crisp cotton feel to it.  The yarn was nice to knit with.  It is fairly easy to split the yarn though since it is not plied together.  You just need to be a little more vigilant while knitting.

I did find myself somewhat hesitant about the colors in this yarn.  I didn’t love the starting brown/green color.  And the delineation when it transitions into the next color wasn’t my favorite.  I think this kind of yarn is best served in a lace pattern.  See how sharp the lines are on the stockinette portions of the shawl?  The transitions in the lace get hidden a little bit so it seems a little more organic.  Though I have seen beautiful Citrons knit in this yarn.  Also, the more the colors stay in the same color family the smoother the transitions.  Maybe that is an obvious statement.  I have a crazy skein of this that goes from navy to white to red.  That one may be a little tricky.

This is my EpicKalCal project #7.

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FO: Apple Washcloths

Well, fine, I’ll do two posts in a row.  My friends Eve and Michele that I talk about all the time, are the moderators for the Annual Dishcloth Swap.  I wasn’t going to participate this year.  I really held out.  Until about the very last possible second!  I was so taken with all the potholders that I was seeing that I cranked out five crochet dishcloths/washcloths in about two days time.  Boy were my hands tired!  (Mostly my fault because I don’t crochet that often and have crochet claw hands.)

Pattern: Apple Dishcloth (crochet) by Lily Sugar n’ Cream on the Michael’s website.

My Rav project page is here.

Yarn:  Sugar ‘n’ Cream in Soft Ecru (cream), Hot Green, Warm Brown and Bernat Handicrafter in Poppy Red and Knit Picks Shine in green.

Crochet Hook: G (4.0mm)

I was able to get all of these done out of one jumbo ball of Ecru (with enough left for another), and really just scraps of the other colors.  Of course I bought full jumbo balls of them which I mostly didn’t need.  Oh well.  I have yarn left over for next year!

I had some trouble with embroidering the seeds.  The pattern recommends using crochet bullion stitch, but that was difficult for me.  One of the cloths, I just did some straight lines with the brown, but I didn’t like how I could see the brown yarn on the back.

For the next three I just left off the seeds entirely.  On my last one, I actually tried to draw the seeds on with a permanent Sharpie!  This didn’t work out, so I embroidered over the pen.  I split the yarn in half, using just two plies and made some quick stitches just going through the top half of the stitches.  If I were to do it again, I would basically just wrap the yarn around a double crochet so that you can see it on the front and back.  Almost reversible.  Though I would recommend splitting the yarn so that it isn’t as thick as full Sugar ‘n’ Cream yarn.  If I had given myself enough time I would have gone back to do my other apples like that too.

I am not very good at making tags.  I made some little apple slices and just colored around the rim of the paper with either a highlighter or a Sharpie depending on what color apple the tag was.

I got a bunch of amazing washcloths back!

Aren’t they beautiful!?  Clockwise from top left: Daisy Dishcloth made by Kathysav; Robin’s Nest by pauladean; Dish Pan Bubbles made by Knittenpearl; Dishcloth Doily pattern made by Staceytoo; and Hyperbolic crochet by Rebby.

And because I got a set of five pretty new dishcloths, I decided to actually use another one from my last swap set.  Or maybe even from two years ago!  I am pretty bad about actually using dishcloths.  They are just too cute!  But better to use them then have them shut away in the closet.

But be careful, some of these yarns bleed!  I am not sure what yarn this is from, but maybe Lion brand Cotton.  Yikes!  I’m glad I didn’t throw this into the wash with my clothes!

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Los Angeles City Hall

I thought I posted this weeks ago!  Hmmm!  One of these days I’m going to get organizized.

Lucas and I went to the Los Angeles City Hall a couple weeks ago.  And no, we didn’t get married!  We went up to the Observation Deck to look around.  This is something we have wanted to do for at least a year, but it is only open M-F 9-5.  I took the day after the Fourth of July off and we made a little excursion out of it.  I wish I had gotten a picture of the outside of the building.  It’s beautiful!  Well, check out this google image search if you’re interested.

It’s up on the 27th floor.  There are portraits of all of Los Angeles’s mayors displayed on the level below the observation deck.  There is also a meeting room/dining hall.  Lucas gave a little speech with the microphone while I worried that we would get in trouble.

Check out these views!:

Now is the perfect time to go when we have nice clear skies in the summer!

Also, I finished a sweater!  I wore it to work today, but my work photographer wasn’t around to take pictures of it.  But soon!

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FO: Toujours sweater

It’s always a risk working with variegated yarn.  Is it going to look beautiful like in the skein or like a pile of poo after knitting it up?  I decided to take my chances when knitting this sweater and I am glad that I did!

Here’s the yarn:

It’s Blue Moon Fiber Arts Victoria in Mossley Manly.  It is a sport weight, 100% polworth yarn. 

And here’s my sweater!:

(Sorry for the wrinkles, it was in my bag all day before taking pictures…)

My Rav project page here.

Start Date:  June 22, 2013

Finish Date: July 27, 2013

Pattern: Toujours by Joji Locatelli

Yarn: BMFA Victoria, about 1.7 skeins

Needles: US 4

Mods: My sport weight yarn was a little thicker than the sport weight called for in the pattern.  I liked the gauge I was getting, so I went down a size.  I followed the directions to fit a 32″ bust to get a sweater the size of the 36″.  I knew I had a little give either way though, since it is an oversized sweater.  I knit it in the round.  I alternated two skeins of yarn to control the pooling a little.  That was a little annoying because each skein was giant!  I had to carry around a huge bag for my knitting all the time.

I bought these little green buttons at Wildfiber.  I love how they look on this sweater! 

Believe it or not, I was alternating skeins on the sleeves.  It just couldn’t be helped!  I am happy with how the variegation turned out overall.  I was worried when someone (ahem, Lisa) told me that it looked like camo.  Which is about the opposite of how I want it to look!

Another sleeve shot:

So there she is.  I glad that I liked the outcome, because it felt like it took a really long time.  Maybe not that long, but considering I wasn’t working on any other projects at the same time, over a month is quite a bit of knitting!

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