Back to Tahoe

This weekend I got back in the mood to work on my Tahoe cardigan…
The sweater’s back and right front are complete, and I cast on last night for the left front. After this, it’s just sleeves and finishing–and I’m going to make a few changes at this point. First, the sleeves will be knit from top down, circularly. Seaming is OK, but not my favorite way to spend an evening.

Also, instead of the turned under picot edges knit with Koigu, I may knit or crochet a less bulky alternative. Sundara’s Bittersweet remains my yarn of choice for the edging…the colors just work so well with my mauvey-violet Heirloom Breeze from OzeYarn (a GREAT and affordable site to order from, no matter where you live!).

I haven’t used my spinning wheel or wrote about spinning in a while, so I thought I’d show you my latest. Actually, I spun this hank in February or March (I don’t remember!), and then it sat…and sat…and sat on the spool. But this weekend my yarn was liberated! I wound it onto the two-yard niddy-noddy and set the spin by soaking and hanging to dry.

I am very pleased with this, as I’m still a beginner and am totally self-taught. What you’re looking at is a 300-yard skein of sport-weight yarn spun from Finn top.

Best of all, to a newbie like me, is that I managed to spin a soft yarn that doesn’t twist back on itself or kink up…This was my goal. I tried really hard not to overspin, but to spin enough so it won’t fall to pieces when knitted.

So…what’s this yarn’s destiny? Well, last fall I began a VERY simple shawl for my husband’s grandma–who’s been like a grandma to me, too. She’s so sweet and smart and beautiful. I really do love her. Unfortunately, she has Parkinson’s disease and is in a nursing home in Pennsylvania, so we don’t see her too often :-(

Anyway, I knew I’d run out of yarn in the midst of the shawl, and when I did I had the wonderful luxury of sitting down at my Kromski Sonata (Yay!!! Love it!!!) and spinning up the rest of the Finn so I can complete the project. The first batch of yarn I used was spun when I was even more of a beginner, so it’s a bit slubby. This yarn is much, much nicer. But I know that grandma will love it all the same…perhaps even more…because it’s made from scratch, just for her.

I know some of you are spinners, too. Tell me, what kind of wheels do you use? What fibers do you like to spin? I’d LOVE to see some of your yarn! Nothing’s more exciting than making something from yarn and needles EXCEPT making something from a pile of hair that you spin yourself, then knit or crochet into a lovely piece that comes from the heart.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! Cheers!


Feeling Pretty

Mmmmmm. Pretty colors…

I promise to talk about something else after this, but I just had to share my recent sock yarn madness. This is the stash accumulated, mostly, during the past month…Largely rewards for meeting a goal I set for myself :-)

The two “cakes” are Lorna’s Laces Watercolors and Neighborhood Fiber Co. (NFC) Brightwood. The skeins, clockwise from the top are: Claudia Hand Painted Chocolate Cherry; Sundara Yarns’ Cherry Blossoms; NFC’s Brookland (teal and purple); a gorgeous cranberry-colored semi-solid from NFC (I forget the color’s name!); and Claudia’s Pink Dot.

And, to quote Basie, “once more once,” before they head to the post office today–the oh-so-pretty Orchid Socks (AKA Simply Lovely Lace Socks in Koigu KPPPM)…complete with sewn-down picot edge.

Please be advised: These socks are meant for far smaller feet than mine! (As you can tell.)

Finally, because Maggie’s been getting all the attention lately…

This is Katja, looking pretty and pensive. Despite her precious “Fancy Feast” appearance, she’s actually a hellion–a wannabe barn cat. We love that about her.

Sock Yarn Love!

OK, you just have to see this gorgeous hank of Neighborhood Fiber Company yarn that Karida delivered a week ago…I can’t get enough of these colors:
It’s named “Brookland.” Teal-green and purple sock yarn–lovely, stretchy, puffy superwash merino sock yarn! (Yes, it’s Gems Fingering, my utter favorite.) Thanks, Karida!

And, speaking of sock yarn, I received my Cherry Blossom yarn from Sundara yesterday!!! It is SO luscious, I could absolutely EAT it! No photos yet, but soon, I promise. (Since every hank is a little different, I think a picture is in order, just to celebrate the pink prettiness sitting on my coffee table, don’t you?)

All of which leads me to socks…
This is about 10 rows short of where I currently am on Waving Lace (first sock), from Favorite Socks. (For more, check out the Favorite Socks KAL…)

The Lorna’s Laces is working out nicely with this pattern, though the yarn’s natural stretchiness may be exaggerated by the stretchiness of this particular lace. At any rate, I tightened up my knitting a little bit, and was happy with the results.

Have I mentioned that It’s hard to find a true US #1 circular needle these days? (I haven’t been feeling so great, and so can’t remember what I’ve said lately.) Well, most #1 needles are actually US #1.5, but are not labelled that way–kind of irritating, actually. I wish we could get needles in UK sizes.

Measuring needles in millimetres instead of random numbers allows a broader range of sizes. I know I can go to DPNs, and I have many #1 sets, but I wanted to do magic loop so I could carry these in my purse without losing needles. Plus, I was craving the mindlessness of it.

So here you have it: Yummy new yarn and a new pair of socks in a really fun pattern.

Life is good.

Grey Saturday…Warm Colourways

Hypothetical Situation: You have $60.00 to spend on yarn. What do you buy?
The answers (if you’re me, and, like me, you have a “sweet tooth”):

1) A skein of Sundara Yarns’ luscious Cherry Blossom sock yarn. I live in Washington, DC, so this is a must-have, right? (Oh, Purly, puhleeeze tell me I can still get some Cherry Blossom if I have to wait until post-rent-week!)

2) Two skeins of Claudia Hand Painted Chocolate Cherry sock yarn (Do you see the color pattern developing here?)

3) One skein of this Claudia Hand Painted “Pink Dot” sock yarn, to go with the orphan skein I rescued from my LYS yesterday
Now, if only I had that $60.00… Hmmmm. What can I pawn? I have lots of stash yarn and a ton of books I could sell–anyone interested? ;-)