Dec 5, 2011

December? How did that happen?

I have so much to do! My Christmas cards are but a not-quite-lucid thought in my head, child photos are not yet taken or printed (there was a failure on the submission of the school order), the house is not decorated (nevermind that it's also not particularly clean) and ....


It'll get done. No worries.

So I have a new picture of the wee babe in the sweater that I knit her. She's adorable, right?

And I was out four-wheeling on the weekend and of course took a project with me. The pattern is Chilly Podsters and that's one finger built. These things are HUGE! That's not because the pattern makes them huge, but because I tinkered with gauge to make them huge. They're made for a giant man and they've been checked along the way, but they still look way too big. They are a little floppy around the lower hand/wrist, so future mitts might be knit with less fabric there. They'll be warm so it's not a big worry. So anyway, this is a photo of podster number 1 at Harrison Lake. It's knit in Cascade 220 superwash.

Nov 23, 2011


Crazy, crazy life has gotten away from me. I've been up to some crafty stuff, fear not, but I haven't had much time for posting.

So the latest and greatest, to get your giggle on:

Yes, that's a finger 'stache. Super, right? Here's a close-up:

It was too big for me, so the guy with the moustache gets to keep it. I think his finger is distorting it because it was nice and even before his giant knuckle got into it.

Recently I finished this messenger bag in lovely Malabrigo worsted, and then I felted it (on purpose). I'm going to needle-felt on the flap, but I haven't decided on the design yet, so it's sort of in limbo at the moment:

It's more purse-sized than giant-bag-of-endless-proportions-sized, and I think it will be good for carrying around knitting projects. Do you think that's sort of a form of cannibalism? Using a knitted item to carry around future knitted items? It seems a little bit wrong. I'll do it anyway.

So I've had this BEEEEEEAUTIFUL roving for a while. Well, it's actually combed top, but it's lovely either way. It's a bi-bfl / silk blend and I've recently heard that it was a mistake. It was supposed to be a single colour of bfl, but when it was blended (a beautiful grey ... I don't know what the problem was), it was less desirable and the vendor didn't want it. So the distributor added in the silk and there you have it:

They aren't the best photos, but you can see that it was a pound. I think I've spun close to 600 yards now. I decided on two-ply. So that really means that I've spun 1200 yards. WOW! I'm not sure whether my first 400 and my third (and weeks later) attempt at 144 yards are the same weight, but I'm going to apply some basic math - if I have the yards and the weight, I can find the weight per yard, and figure out how close they are. If they're close, it's all good. If they're not so close, I have more spinning to do and I'll then have two-ply in two weights. Goodness me! That was a lesson in delayed spinning, then, wasn't it?

In other news, I am coming to the end of a work project, and to the end of a business. In both cases, there are people (okay, women) who want to see my wedding photos. That's not so easy. My wedding album weighs more than my leg and I don't port it around much. Back in the last century, when I got married, we didn't have an option to request digital files. So today I ventured into the box o' album and took pictures of the pictures. It didn't work out all that great, but short of inviting all these women to my house to view the massive album, this is the solution.

Still married. Still love him. Still think we'll be married forever.

Oct 22, 2011


Cute, right? The white one is Steve and the tan-and-white one is Mr. Bigglesworth. They're rad and they're brothers and they couldn't be more different.

This photo is from when they were about 1.5 months old, so they're pretty wee. They're about two months old now and quite a bit bigger. Still babies, but growing more and more.

Mr. Bigglesworth is a cuddler. The child in the house LOVES him and loves to cuddle with him on the couch. My job is to socialize Steve. He's a little bit spastic and loves to poop and pee all over you while you have him on your lap. We're (almost) always prepared with a towel.

They LOVE parsley, cilantro and carrot tops, and they're awfully fond of (non-iceberg) lettuce, green beans and bell peppers. It's fun to feed them because they love it so much, and then they hop all over the place (it's called popcorning - google it!) and look all happy.

Steve has had a really good sniff of my Malabrigo wool and I was a bit worried he'd chomp my messenger-bag-in-progress, but he really just wanted to smell and walk on it a bit. I thought about putting him in the bag-in-progress, but knowing his pooping proclivity, I decided against it.

I really ought to go work on that bag-in-progress so I have a picture of something knitted to post, oughtn't I?

Oct 4, 2011

Catch-up and bags

It has occurred to me that while I've been fawning over my homespun angora for the past few weeks, I haven't actually posted about it. It's ridiculously soft. I have a very limited amount (I think it was fifty-something yards), but it has to be used as soon as possible. Such a dream.

I also have a new project to report. It's a market bag made of cotton and I know that it reminded my Nan of the type of bag they used during the war, so I made it for her.

I'm very distracted at the moment. We got two baby guinea pigs today and THEY. ARE. SO. CUTE.  They'll be in my next post.

Sep 23, 2011

Of knitting and knitted things

This is a little late in coming, but I had a birthday in August and got this:

Somehow I had to fit it into my stash spot, which also houses the Wii equipment, and which was sorely coming close to running out of space:

So I did this and added labels to keep myself sane, and so far it's working really well. It has also freed up space in the Wii equipment box for other things, and forces me to exercise every time I want to look at my yarn and fleece because it's upstairs now:

Did you see that rainbowy one in the birthday photo? That's Knitpicks Chroma in the worsted weight and it's a single ply, very soft and kind of fun to work with. A little bit Malabrigo-ish, but not quite as divine. I made these armwarmers for my kid and they're fuzzing a little bit, so I'm glad I didn't commit to a whole sweater with it, but for more gently-worn items, it'll be a great yarn to go back to, provided you don't care about consistency between garments or within a garment (there's no rhyme or reason to the striping):

Aside from my travel project, I have nothing on the needles now, which means I can get back to spinning for a bit. It's BFL/silk and it's lovely. I did my sampling and now I need to spin all the singles so I can get on with it. Or maybe not all of them, but a good enough chunk that I can make something fun. I'm thinking a Haruni. It's written for a fingering weight of 14 wraps per inch, so hopefully my singles are close and I can make a lovely natural oatmeal-grayish Haruni. I haven't measured my first single because it's not off the bobbin yet, but if it's not fingering weight, it's pretty darn close.

Sep 12, 2011

Sweater fun and other random things

Most important first - - the February Lady Sweater is finished!

I used Cascade 220 in the worsted weight, and I loved the gray, but there were only 4 balls when I saw it on sale in Oregon. I knew it wanted to be a sweater, so I picked up 2 of the purple as well, and devised this striping pattern to make the most of what I had, and to make it a little more fun for the young person it was going to be given to.

Nanna stepped up and posted the buttons, which are too bling-y for an adult (most adults, anyway), but perfect for a 'tween. She loves 'em!

It was a little worrisome to think that I had done 20 repeats of the lace pattern and that it might wind up being a cropped sweater ... but the beauty of lace is how it grows when you block it! I couldn't believe how perfectly-sized it came out in the end. Just wide enough and just long enough. Now if only she would stop growing....

This is my dog:

See the ridge on his back? He's a ridgeback. Rhodesian Ridgeback. The hair grows backwards there. It's pretty cool. He's a hundred twenty pounds of child-nipping awesome. It's not awesome that he nips children, but he is awesome. My English friend would be cross that I said that. I mean my dog is brilliant. Now that doesn't sound right, does it? He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, after all. He can't catch food thrown directly at his face for the life of him ... he lets it hit him in the face and then he races around trying to find it. You'd think he had no nose or eyes. Anyway, that was random.

This is the September 2011 Whipsaw four-wheeling trip, and the market bag being knit on the trip. It's not much of a bag at this point, but it will be soon!

There was no snow at Whipsaw this time. Over 30 degrees during the day and about 10 (probably) at night. It was warmer (again) at night than Manning Park, which was negative a hundred at night. I swear.

I'm going to go spin something.

Aug 20, 2011

August randomness

It's been a busy month so far, and I have hardly had time to get pictures off my camera! Here's some random summer fun, including some super-fun knitting. Skaha Lake:

Similkameen River:

February Lady Sweater:

Birthday croc socks:

Butterfly poop:

Next up, yarn organization ... before and after!

Aug 6, 2011

Ain't we havin' spun fun now?

This post's title comes courtesy of a word change in a snappy little ditty from The Little Shop of Horrors. I highly recommend it. A campy musical starring Rick Moranis. Also appearing are Steve Martin, Jim Belushi, Christopher Guest, the woman who played Martin's wife on the TV show Martin and a few other familiar faces.

Good news - I have one sleeve on the baby sweater and sleeve #2 is likely to be finished today. They're just wee - I have no excuse for the length of time it is taking me. I should be able to snap my fingers and have a baby sweater appear ... but no such luck.

I have also taken all sorts of photos and lined them up below to tell the story of the singles, plies and knits experiment. If you're on dial-up, you won't like this post. But really, what are you doing on dial-up??

The singles: teal, white, red and blue, hand-dyed (except for the white one - the sheep took care of that).

The teal plied and knit on its own:

The teal plied with some loosely spun white and knit into something just this side of vomit:

The red plied and knit on its own:

The red plied and knit with white:

The red plied and knit with blue:

The red plied and knit with white and blue:

The blue all on its own:

And the blue with white:

That was great fun! I have a pile of knit samples now, some favourites and some REALLY not favourites, but it was interesting to see how everything came out ... and I'm likely to take such a step the next time I dye multiple colours. It showed me that I don't like most of them when there are two or three colours plied together. They spin up looking nice, but they knit up to doo-doo. I do like the way some of the colours go together, though, and will adventure into some self-striping sock yarn of unknown weight.  That could be cool.

Here are my sweet singles one more time, only because I like this shot:

Aug 4, 2011


What a quick about-face! I didn't knit a single stitch on the baby sweater nor the February Lady Sweater last night. Instead, I spun up some sample singles and played with plying, and then knit up tiny swatches to see what each blend yielded. Then I drowned the tiny swatches and laid them out to lightly block into a somewhat normal shape. I'll have a photo collage to present sometime this weekend.

This sampling was my best idea EVER!

Aug 3, 2011

Summer lovin'

Not much is new here. The only bit I've spun so far, from all that I dyed, is the bit of batt that the girl in red painted. I spun an extremely fine single and kept the colours separate as much as I could. Then I navajo plied it to keep the colours together and wound up with all of 70 yards. I turned it into a little headkerchief with an i-cord edging and it's too small for a human, but may work for a doll. It's something to remember the day by, anyway.

I'm madly knitting up a baby sweater, and it's a good thing the kid isn't born yet, because it gives me more time. I think I should have it done this weekend, actually. I hope so, anyway.

Then it'll be back to the February Lady Sweater, which is also coming along nicely. And perhaps some spinning here and there to break things up a bit. I'm reeeeeeally tempted to do a worsted single, but I don't know if that'll work out with fleece that doesn't felt. I'm also reeeeeeeally tempted to ply together the red and blue and see if it works out as dreamily as I think it will. Maybe I could throw in an undyed single as well. So many options!

Until there's more news, that's all the news.

Jul 24, 2011

I've dyed and gone to heaven

Okay, so we've seen that the carding was completed by team Efficient Effort, and now you can see that one member of team Efficient Effort managed to spin up two singles in about a fingering weight, to be spun into a two-ply, in those spare hours remaining after working for 12 or so a day.

There was no lazy kate in sight, and no one around to help, so I wound them off into cakes to hopefully make plying a bit easier. The jury's still out.

Plied into something like a worsted weight for a total of 228 yards! Can you believe it?! That's the greatest length I've ever spun! It's also the loosest twist I've ever put on a skein, so I'm happy that the urge to over-spin didn't overtake me.

And it's so white! Compared to the blackish bits that I pulled out and spun, it's a very different colour (the new one is the bottom of the three pictured below).

The top two are navajo-plied samples and the bottom is the two-ply, as I stated. This is after its bath, all wrapped up and ready to head out to Robin's for the big dyeing event.

Gloves on and ready to go, we're getting loads and loads of instruction and advice from Robin (in the apron) and her friend, from whom I bought my wheel. The one holding the camera is the one not pictured, and I'm sure that's by design. Way to go, Mum!

We started with immersion dyeing, where the girl in red picked a nice deep teal and I picked a really nice blue. After that followed a rich red, and then we tried hand-painting. The girl in red hand-painted a batt and I worked with the recently-spun 228 yards.

Tying it up a bit to prevent a jumbled mess ... and then on with painting!

That's an instruction sheet there. We followed it. Mostly. It's from Maiwa, which is a business that I simply must get to.

Ta da! Here we have the rich red with the teal in behind, the blue to the left of that, and the minty green in the girl's hand (as well as below the blue in the picture, although that's hard to see). The hand-painted are at the back on the right, but they needed to steep overnight before they got their final rinse, so I'll take pictures of them later. This one in the front is fleece, not batting, and it'll be interesting to see how it comes out compared to the batts dyed the same colour.

All in all a very fun day, a very educational day, and the awakening of the part of me that really likes colour.   :O)