Saturday, January 23, 2016

I need some longer shirts

not just t-shirts, but worky sort of shirts. Right now I have... 3? plus a collection of tank tops that aren't too bad if you pretend I can wear a tank top at work--so really what I need is something I can layer with those tank tops.

I could knit a nice long sweater (and there's one on my list--the Iced Cardigan, I even have the yarn for it). But I am also looking into buying some shirts that are longer and that I could wear out and about for work.

I should also probably get rid of my stockpile of clothes that are-not-long-enough and/or are-too-tight-now.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Spin the Bin 2016

This is one of my favorite yearly activities, because it's a chance to (you guessed it) set goals, make a list, and update myself and you on it. Plus I get to play with my fiber!

So, here's a quick picture of the stuff I definitely want to spin up this year.



In the back, the pile of dark brown is ~4.5 oz of brown corriedale. I'm going to spin it pretty skinny and ply it with my Tiger's Eye loop gradient that I spun up last year



to make a nice 2ply gradient of decent yardage. The corriedale matches the inner brown of the tiger's eye, so that is helpful.

In the back on the left you might see a small bag of purple and gold. This is 100% silk brick from FiberArtemis and I've decided to finally try to spin it up. I hope I can do it justice without turning it into froghair.

Counterclockwise, then, is FatCatKnits BFL in the Day's End colorway; 2 mystery skeins of probably corriedale; a braid of Spinnerettas Studio mixed BFL in Swampy; 1 skein of Frabjous Fibers BFL and silk in Lupine and 2 skeins of Highland Handmade's Corriedale in Lilac; and a bag. The bag is 2 braids from my new favorite dyer, Three Waters Farm--one of Cheerful Disposition in Targhee and one of Child's Play in Finn.

Those last two I am going to spin and ply together, aiming for a DK weight of great beauty in the manner of the Fat Squirrel.

The Frabjous Fibers and the Highland Handmades I want to turn into many skeins of 3 ply. I was hoping for sock-weight but I am betting it'll be tough to get a 3ply sock yarn and I'm not that skinny of a spinner, so it'll probably be more like a DK weight. 12 oz is going to be a fair bit, though, so I'm kind of excited thinking about what I can make out of it.

The other braids I intend to spin up and ply with themselves, rather than mixing them.

Now I just want to bust out the wheel and get going! but there's work to be done :P

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Wrapping up year 2015

2015 was a pretty good year for me. I spun 1.5 miles of yarn and knit up 6 miles of yarn.

I am just about finished with the third of five cowls--I need to do the bind-off. I am going to try E. Zimmerman's sewn bind-off, also known as the casting-on cast-off. It is supposed to have a nice neat edge and of course it matches the cast on edge, which I think is perfect. But it requires a tapestry needle and I left all of mine in MN. oops? Oh well, I needed a new Chibi-set of tapestry needles anyway (to carry around with me) so I'll swing by Michael's sometime this week to pick one up.

This was the year I learned to love the hat once more. I made 8 or 9 of them over the course of the year and started planning a bunch more with the stash I have, formerly designated only for shawls or socks.

I had intended to be a selfish knitter this year, only making 6 gifts for others (that was my goal). I had blown by that by the end of April and I finished the year with 18 gifts for others completed, 2 on the needles, 2 hibernating, and 2 that need to be reconsidered. Some of these were fairly small--there's three baby hats and four other wee things-- but still. I do not appear to be good at keeping to this goal. I was much lighter on the knitting for the holidays, just because the end of the year was SO BUSY and I hadn't done sufficient holiday work ahead of time. Good thing the family is understanding.

This was also a great year for spinning. I purchased a Ladybug spinning wheel from a friend and blew through some of my stash fiber. I competed in SpinTheBin2015, finishing in the end >27 oz of fiber for some beautiful spinning projects for that alone. I did another 21 oz outside of that competition, giving me a total of 48 oz or 3 lbs of spinning (wow. dang, go me).

Once again, cold-sheeping has not been 100% successful for me. It's still a goal of mine, to use what I have and love. I have more than 40 pairs of socks that I want to make from stash; more than 20 shawls; four or five sweaters; and tons of toys and other things. I have however begun to notice a trend in my buying habits--I am always compromising on what I really want by looking for something that's "just as good" at a better price point. The result is a stash that has a lot of "and this is gonna be a sweater, except this yarn pills horribly or I don't quite have enough of it so I'll have to shorten it and make it sleeveless or they had this other stuff on sale but not enough skeins so I'm gonna make it stripey." I'm going to work in 2016 towards really only acquiring the things I do love, not the stuff that's "good enough" that in the long run makes me sad or doesn't work.

That brings me smack into 2016's goals:

1) change shopping habits as described above whilst trying to have a net negative stash yardage for this year (not counting handspun)

2) a year of socks. I have lots of sock yarn and it needs some love. I am going to start a pair of socks (or on one or two occasions, a shawl) by the 5th of each month (except Jan, where I'll be running late due to travel) and work on that project for at least 10 hours that month. I don't intend to have 12 completely finished objects but I'd like to make a good start on all of them and really get into that sock yarn stash :)

3) only very precise gifts. I don't care who else decides to produce offspring. I have family and one friend who are truly knitworthy and I can always buy some baby clothes for other people, they'll still feel loved. That means if I feel like casting on a hat in that bulky yarn just to get it out of stash and intend to give it away to Anyone Who Cares Seriously Take It Agh I should take a moment, reconsider, and cast on something I actually want to spend my time knitting on. like that shawl out of 100% silk that I've been promising myself for years, or another pair of socks for my sisters, or I could work on that blasted poncho for mom that's been linger.

4) spin the bin 2016 (see a later post, this'll be its own planning thing, so excited)

5) deal with 3 hibernating projects by the end of the year. This was a good idea this past year, and I finished something, ripped something out, and just randomly bound something off and sent it to someone else by the end of 2015 so this year I'll do the same

6) give up swapping.

Swapping has been a lot of fun but I've reached the point where there's not much I want to leave my stash, and what I wouldn't mind going out no one is interested in. And I wouldn't mind saving the money on postage and the time (usually it takes a full morning, 9-12, to do the post-office run) and stress (2 week turn around is not hard, but I'm so bloody busy I can't seem to hit it). So it's time to call a halt to my 2 year swap-venture, at least for now.

Friday, December 4, 2015

COWL NUMBER THREE

almost a third done with the third cowl by the third of the month!

cowl 2 is done, need to block it and then make sure the cast-off edge is not too loose or too tight (cast-off edges are tricky for me, sometimes.)

I may finish it before January but most of my time is going to go into finishing other things. I did polish off a pair of mittens, but they're weirdly lumpy in an area and i think I shall have to rip them out. I need to do 3 more mitten pairs, a poncho, and a pile of spinning. in like a week.

oh, and 8 job applications and 2 papers.

WOO WORKIN BUSY

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Already planning ahead

It's not yet December, and I'm already planning for next year (wait. again. yeah, again). I think 12 sock-yarn projects, started on the beginning of each month, is a pretty good idea.

For December, my main goals are to finish 3-5 pairs of mittens, start mum's cowl, and finish the loop batt that I'm slowly, slowly spinning.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Socks

I have 40 pairs of socks waiting for me to knit them.

I want them all Right This Moment.

Why can't I knit as fast as I can daydream about socks?


edit:
Some people are not sock knitters. While it is true that you can buy a pair of socks for much cheaper and much less effort than you can knit a pair, I find that handknit socks are fun, fairly fast, and a really good price-point: you get one project out of one skein of yarn (sometimes two out of one skein! if you don't mind short cuffs). I also don't mind wearing odd colors of socks whereas I'm much pickier about sweaters and hats and shawls and things.

all this means is a) I like knitting socks, mostly and b) I have a hell of a lot of sock yarn.

edit 2: the small needles+yarn is a little hard on the hands, hence why I can only say "mostly"

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pictures

Cowlness continues. Here's some pics of cowl #1

The blocking did help with the curling, so it only curls gently now.

Note that I won at yarn chicken, hence my ridiculous face in the bottom picture.

Cowl 2 is almost completely done. I am at the stage now where I look at the yarn remaining after every row and think, "how much more can I get out of this?"

I wound the yarn for cowl 4 tonight too, and cast on cowl 3 to test out the needles I've chosen. I might have to go down a size but I need to knit a few inches to see.

cowl 5 I also pulled out to take a look at. It's almost done, I just need to do some fixing to it so it lays how I want.

.... basically, it's very blissfully cowly around here.

I didn't used to like cowls but now I recognize them as scarves-that-don't-fall-off.