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Progress and Stitches Plan

Well, as I hinted at the end of my last post, I cast on for a hat this week. As always, the pattern has been a dream to knit. I can't wait to finish it up (and for the weather to be cool enough to wear it). I'm using some Khroma DK from The Fibre Company in purple. I love it.
Kroma DK
My brother's sweater is huge, but on a break, since I'm having some issues with the shoulder shaping. I'm hoping to figure that out soon. It's almost done!
Smokin sweater progress

In other news, I'm going to Stitches Midwest this weekend. Woo hoo! I'm taking Great Beginnings with Susanna Hansson and Concentration on Color & Design in Knitting with Brandon Mably. I cannot wait! I made a little list of projects that I'd like to find yarn for, but what I really want to find is a cute WPI gauge, Knitter's Block, and some bamboo to spin. I'm sure I'll walk away with more than that, but those are the things for which I'll be on the hunt.



I don't know what it is (job stress, house stress, just being generally busy and exhausted), but I feel like I haven't been making any knitting (or spinning) progress over the past few weeks. I officially "finished" Liesl last week, but that was just because I had to sew on a button; the actual knitting was finished on July 30th. I just want to finish something!

I did spin up some merino/tencel (Great to spin!) at the beginning of August. I sort of rushed through it, so I'd like to buy some more and really take my time. It came out pretty nice, though, and I ended up getting about 102 yds out of it.
blue merino tencel 3-ply

Right now, I'm spinning up some Colmbua Wool Top that I bought from the Illinois Green Pastures Fiber Cooperative at Stitches Midwest last year. My goal is to get through it before I attend Stitches this weekend. I'm not sure how realistic that is, though. Here's the first bit that I spun up and Navajo plied.
Columbia wool top 3-ply

On the knitting front, I'm only working on two things. First up is my brother's sweater (Smokin' from Son of Stitch 'n Bitch). I've been working on it (on and off...mostly off) since the end of March! I'm working on the shoulder decreases right now, and after that I'll only have the saddle shoulder construction, button bands (plus buying and sewing on buttons), and the collar. I would be ecstatic if I could finish this up by the end of the month. There's nothing like getting a gigantic, long-term project off of the needles.

I'm also knitting Nadine a pair of Snicket socks. They were coming along pretty well, but I sort of stalled out because I'm changing the heel and need to figure out how I'm going to want to turn the heel. I should really do that today. I love working with the yarn (Crystal Palace Panda Cotton) and once I finish the first one, I won't have to worry about figuring anything else out. I just hope this one fits well when I'm done.
Snicket sock progress

So, I guess I'm just tired and antsy at the same time. I'm tempted to cast on for a quick hat project. Hmmm...


FO: Liesl

Pattern: Liesl
For: me
Yarn: 198 yds Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Chunky in Jeans/CFC1650
Needles: US 11 Knit Picks Options
Etc: Button from Joann Fabrics
Timeline: started 07.26.2008; finished 07.30.2008; sewed on button: 08.13.2008

I was looking for a little shrug pattern to go over a dress and ran across Liesl. I'm a sucker for Ysolda's patterns, so I went ahead and bought it. I absolutely loved how explicit the instructions were for making changes to it, which made knitting it a breeze.

I went with a yarn that is a bit hairier than I probably should have. The finished product didn't really "go" with my dress; it's a bit too rustic. However, I think I like it. I'm really pleased with the button I found, and I think it finished it off nicely. Hopefully, I'll wear it once the weather gets warmer. I can see myself knitting this again, but in a thinner and much smoother yarn.

FO: Log Cabin Socks

Pattern: Log Cabin Socks
For: John
Size: Men's 12
Source: Handknit Holidays
Yarn: 300 yds Mountain Colors 4/8's Wool in Olive
Needles: US 6 Knit Picks Options
Timeline: started 04.03.2008; finished 04.11.2008

I had to change the pattern a bit to fit a men's size 12, but luckily stumbled across brooklyntweed's version. The only change I had to make was to knit the socks a little longer and I was good to go. I absolutely adored working with the Mountain Colors 4/8's Wool. It's just a great wool on the hands and I loved the slight color shifts. Simply great stuff.


FO: Neck Thingy

Pattern: Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks
For: not sure
Yarn: 98 yds Koigu Kersti Merino Crepe in K852
Needles: US 8 Knit Picks Options
Timeline: started 06.23.2008; finished 07.13.2008

Well, I'm not sure what to say about this one. It took forever for me to get a decent photograph that showed the colors of this yarn accurately, so that was the only delay in my posting about it.

Modeled by Saffron.
As for changes, I used much thinner yarn than the pattern called for because that's what I had on hand and I've been wanting a little scarf. I put in buttonholes, but decided not to add buttons, since it looks fine tied. The pattern was easy to memorize and I really like the stitch pattern. It ended up pretty narrow, so I gave it a really hard blocking, which opened the pattern up a bit and gave me a bit more width. The yarn was just OK. I loved watching for the color changes, but it isn't the softest stuff in the world. It might be nice for a hat, though.

Modeled by Loomis.
I'm not sure where this will end up living. It isn't really "me", although I do really like it. I'll probably ask if any of my friends want it.


FO: Ribbed Baby Jacket

Pattern: Ribbed Baby Jacket
For: ?
Size: 9-12 months
Source: There are a few. I used the free pattern on the Prima, which can be found via the Ravelry link above.
Yarn: ~356 yds Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in M04
Needles: US 8, 6, 10 Denises
Etc: Cute button from Loopy; big snap from Joann Fabrics
Timeline: started 07.25.2008; finished: 08/02/2008; sewed button and snap on: 08.13.2008

I followed the pattern exactly as written, and didn't run into any problems whatsoever. I made the 9-12 month size because I was trying to use up as much of the yarn I had as possible. I still have some left over, so I'll have to see what I should do with that. I used US 8s for most of the knitting, 6s for the ribbing, and 10s for binding off. I used a tubular cast off for the ribbing and it took forever, but was (I think) worth it. It has structure, but is stretchy, and it definitely looks tidy.

I used Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride for the first time. It's definitely a rustic yarn, but I liked working with it a lot. Chicago babies can definitely use serious woolen garments, but I'm not sure who this will be for yet. I actually finished knitting, seaming, and blocking this by August 2nd, but it took me this long to sew on the snap and button. I hate sewing things on.



After attending Yarn School this past Spring, I decided I needed a wheel. I had tried out a few, and liked the Louet S10 DT the best. However, I had also heard the the Lendrum DT was pretty great (and cheaper), so I knew I'd be testing that one out, too. I didn't exactly have the money lying around for it, so I waited. And waited. Luckily, a side job came up, which left me with the perfect amount of money (after taxes) to get myself one.

I went out to The Fold last Saturday and tried out a Louet and the Lendrum, and...I got the Lendrum. I've been spinning obsessively on it ever since. I didn't get the fast flyer or the plying head, but I'm pretty sure I will eventually. I don't really care for the lazy kate that came with it, so I might see if there's a way I can modify it to better suite my needs.

I've finished spinning up two things so far, and have a third on the wheel. Luckily, I had amassed a small fiber stash before I got my wheel. It also helps that Stitches Midwest is coming up in a couple of weeks.

BFL dyed at yarn school. 2-ply.

The same fiber as above. I Navajo plied the leftovers to try it out. These mini skeins came out great.

A wonderful merino/tencel blend from The Fold. This is currently drying at home, so I should have a final picture soon.

I purchased this at Stitches Midwest last year and it is spinning up like a dream. The fiber is local, so I'm definitely going to get some more of this this year.


Stash Update

Stash: 22,089.10 (up 1,293.70)
To Swap/Sell: nothing :)

The last time I talked about my stash, I mentioned a big Rubbermaid container that I had uncovered. I've managed to get rid of all but 2 skeins from that, which is a bit of a miracle. Yay for selling and giving stuff away on Ravelry! Most of that wasn't even counted in my stash, though, so I can't claim too big of a victory. Still, it's nice to have it out of the house.

I'm sure it's no surprise that my stash went up by over 1,000 yds, since I haven't updated in two months. I'll blame it on yarn shopping in San Francisco and a moving sale at my LYS. I have been knitting (about 930 yds in June and over 1000 yds in July); I've just been acquiring yarn more quickly.

Stitches Midwest is this month and while I'm hoping that I don't go too crazy (I'm planning on focusing on roving this year.), I'm sure that won't help my stash numbers. That said, I'm pretty happy hovering around 20,000 yds or so right now. Considering the fact that I started the year with over 32,000 yds, I've definitely done a good job of paring things down. I'd love to be closer to 15,000 by the end of the year, but I'm not stressing about it.