11 January 2011

Postage Stamp Madness?

We've been having rogue Girl's Nights while the usual hostess is away. Rogue also means the meals are NOT vegetarian (we're REAL rebels). Last week's instalment turned in Quiltie Fun Time chez moi and ended up spilling over to a Sunday Crafterday.

Much silliness. Lots of music and pleeeeenty of quilting (well, piecing as it were). Here's what I got done:
New madness?
Yes, that's about a half a million 1.5 inch square pieces for some patchy postage stamp blocks. I REALLY went overboard with the rotary wheel and ruler once I realised that each block will use 64 of the little squares.

This inspired us for something really fantastically great. Ugh. I kind of really want to put things in motion to get it going, but should finish off some existing ongoing projects first.

I'm excited for the next Rogue Girl's Night at the next venue.

7 January 2011


Inevitably when I hang out with my family, I end up knitting something for my mom. Don't get me wrong, I love my mom. And though I've knit her many things, I do know that she loves them and wears/uses everything I've made for her.

While I was home for Christmas, we went to River City Yarns' South Side location and fondled pretty much every skein they had on display. It's really best to have her pick out something that she finds soft and cosy. My mom said she wanted something chunky, and I knew already that she likes soft things so I directed her attention to the Alpaca yarns they had.
Baaaaaaaby Llaaaaaaaama cowl
She ended up picking out the Mirasol Miski Baby Llama that was on a stand right next to the door. Actually I think I started off carrying a skein of it around for a bit, but something else drew her attention at some point. Needless to say that this yarn is SUPER soft. The light amount of twist really keeps it at it's absolute softest.

My mom kept looking around for some arresting pink handpainted yarn, but I was able to convince her that I could make something interesting with a solid yarn and that really she should be considering the softness at the priority since she'll be wearing it around her neck.
Next we looked through hundreds of cowl patterns on Ravelry until we found a handful that grabbed her attention. #125 Luxe Infinity Scarf by SweaterBabe was the finalist, though she wanted it a little closer fitting, but still be able to pull it around her shoulders if cold enough. I eliminated a pattern repeat (36 sts), cast on and got to work.
Say it with me: Baaaaaaaaaby llama.
Pattern: #125 Luxe Infinity Scarf by SweaterBabe
Materials: Mirasol Miski (100% Baby Llama)
Start Date: December 29, 2010
End Date: January 2, 2011

This yarn was such a pleasure to knit with. I just wish that there was more yardage in each skein. I ended up going through 4.5 skeins to get a nice sized cowl, finishing off at the end of a pattern repeat.

Such a nice cosy cowl that's sure to help her survive many an Albertan winter. I'm sure it will serve her well.

5 January 2011

Fear Factor Fibre - Seacell

I was a bit over zealous when acquiring fibre for the Tour de Fleece this summer. My Fear Factor Fibre challenge really had too many freaky fibres that I was interested in trying to spin. I've been slowly working my way through the basket I've accumulated while allowing myself to spin other things in between.
Moonlit Walk loose
I spun the first bump of seacell some time during the fall. There's a haze of fibre in my mind, so I'm afraid that I can't be much more exact. The singles were spun and sitting on a "spare bobbin" (read: toilet paper roll) for a while before I spinning up the other bump.
Clover Honey loose
I decided pretty early on that I would ply the 2 bumps together as there's a small amount of fiber in each braid (about an ounce each). I guess that I was procrastinating the spinning of the yellow bump because I wasn't sure how nicely the resulting yarn would be. The colouring in each braid was so subtle that they're easily lost once plied together. It probably would have been good to consider the colours a little more when choosing the fibre in the first place. But it's still pretty nice yarn.
Clover Walk 2-ply
For spinning, I took the braid of seacell, split it several times lengthwise into smallish slivers. I think I pre-drafted the first bump before spinning it. The second one I spun directly from the divided pieces of top (I was much more cavalier the second time around). The pre-drafting definitely made a difference. Seacell definitely has a tendency towards the immovable velcro-ness of silk at times. Pre-drafting makes a real difference in making it more enjoyable to spin.
Clover Walk 2-ply
All in all I like this little silky skein of seacell. The natural silvery grey colour of the seacell is really unique and intriguing. I would spin it again if I came across another nicely dyed braid. Though I think I'd buy a larger quantity so I could make a usable sized skein.
Clover Walk 2-ply
2-ply using 2 bumps of Seacell:
'Clover Honey' PortFiber
100% Seacell
0.7 oz.
'Moonlit Walk' PortFiber
100% Seacell
1 oz.

4 January 2011

Handspun Annis of my own

After seeing a friend's Annis knit from her own handspun I decided that I needed one of my own. The amazing 6-day shawl put me in a knitted-lace-from-my-handspun kick. One I have yet to recover from. Almost immediately after finishing the Echo Flower Shawl, I grabbed some appropriate handspun that I really love, and cast on for Annis.

Handspun Annis

Somehow this shawl magically took 3 days to knit. But somehow is taking much longer to block. I'll take some better pictures after I finally do block it. It's a high priority on my to-do list. But I figured since I included it in the 2010 photo mosaic, I should probably post a little something about it.

Annis detail
Pattern: Annis by Susanna IC
Materials: 2-ply
'Breaker Pigeonroof Studios Polwarth
approx. 397 yards
100% Polwarth
4 oz.
Start Date: December 16, 2010
End Date: December 19, 2010

The whole idea of starting from the bottom edging and working one's way up is really intriguing. No need to freak out about not having enough yarn for the border, it's the first thing knit! A person could get used to this.

2 January 2011

Knitting Finished in 2010

It seems like there was a lot less knitting in 2010. But I think it's more a matter of a lot less finishing of things. There are plenty of sleeping projects, awaiting projects and things in the works in various places around my living room. And there are some projects (like the tea leaves cardigan) that are basically finished but need final blocking or buttons and photographs to REALLY be declared done, but there's time for that.

1. Dress for bébé chat, 2. Bunny front, 3. Dodecahedron, 4. Bunny for me, 5. Matching rainbows, 6. Rainbow dodecahedron, 7. Ta-da!, 8. The tea is brewing quickly, 9. Finished Oyster Pie Blanket, 10. Socks for Grumpy, 11. Shawl blocking, 12. Handspun Annis

Sewing 2010

I don't think I managed to actually finish any sewing projects this past year, but I did have a lot of fun playing around. Here's what I was working on:

1. Ulu Block, 2. Cathedral Windows Test Block, 3. Purple Ginger block, 4. Final layout, 5. Blueberry centers, 6. Hexagon Progress, 7. Dress in progress, 8. Check it, quilt block, 9. Hex-a-flower

Handspun 2010

I'm a little late posting these 2010 reflections, but I was on vacation which included one from computers (iPhone doesn't really count).

2010 was the year I bought a spinning wheel, some hand cards and started playing with some freaky fibres. I even got some spinning tools for Christmas: 2 more bobbins, a flick carder and some more wheel ratios. Fiona and I are going to be busy.

1. Pandamint, 2. Crocodile Tears, 3. Glenda, 4. First handspun using the wheel, 5. Chain-ply it is then, 6. 2 scratchy skeins, 7. Juciy yarn, 8. Stormy yarn, 9. Cove skein, 10. Squishy starfish, 11. Silky skein, 12. Blue-green skein, 13. Impossibly soft yarn, 14. Soft super soft super small yarn, 15. Clumsy close up, 16. Breaker skein, 17. Locks skein, 18. Ice Mermaid Darling Queen skein, 19. Milky skein, 20. Finished Skein, 21. Skein of cotton, 22. I spun cotton sliver!, 23. Seaweed skein, 24. Nini's Martini, 25. Clover Walk 2-ply