Homestretch

I’m getting there on the sweater – the sleeves are done, joined to the body, and I’ve finished (i.e. designed on the fly and knit) the first color pattern for the yoke, done the first decreases, and beginning on the second color pattern (to match the sleeve).

I’m pretty happy with it:
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and so is Izzie:
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The goal is to finish the knitting today, and do the blocking today and tomorrow.

Yesterday, I went to the intermediate spindling class, it was awesome, and I’ll more after Stitches West. Just too much happening this week!

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Ok, let’s get focused

The Ravelympics is fun, but I think I probably am stretching my limits given time constraints. The stranded sweater is not getting all the attention that I wish for it. I finished the lower body, but I’m still on the sleeves:

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Part of the delay on the sleeves was working out the detail for the cuffs. I finally came up with this, after an emergency run to the yarn store for the heathered gold:

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This is what you get when you don’t plan out the sweater or follow a pattern.

But the other issue is that I started to ply the Falkland fiber – and once I started, I wanted to finish the plying ball; more accurately, I needed to get it all done before Sunday, when I’m taking an intermediate spindling class. The class is with WonderMike (the guy who does the great Fiber Beat podcast), and I own only one spindle. People assure me that the one spindle thing will not last long, now I see why, it’s like owning only one pair of knitting needles.

Back to the fiber: I am really happy with the beautiful colors. This is what it looks like pre-setting the twist. Lovely, isn’t it?

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This is about 2 oz of the 4 oz that I have spun, so I’m quite glad that there will be enough lace yarn for a real project. As I plied, I saw all kinds of funkiness in it, and I’m just letting it go, because I’m learning, and whatever I make out of it will be lovely because of the color and softness.

This has meant that the stranded vest with the steeks has gotten very little love. I’m hoping it gets done (because it is supposed to go to Afghanistan), but we’ll see. Next week I have a bunch of meetings, and Stitches West. Yeah, looking tough, isn’t it? Oh well!

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Ravelympics Update

I cast on, and I am plowing through the stockinette. Isadora apparently approves:

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My idea is to do a colored stranded set of patterns for the yoke, like this, this and this. We shall see what I come up with. I might need to pull out the food dyes if I don’t have a color I need. This new idea (cooking up a color) is so fun!

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More Distraction

Ok, maybe I’m a bit crafty ADD – or, as I like to think of it, I’m preventing repetitive stress on my hands by all the diversions.

I’m plying the Falkland fiber – yum. I keep hoping that it will be soft and wonderful enough to make a lace shawl. So far, so good!

Then, I realized that I didn’t have any orange yarn. So I finally got out the pot I had bought last summer to using for dyeing, and made some orange yarn with food color – I’m pretty happy with the result!

foodcolortest

The yarn skein on the left was what I started with, and I ended up with a pretty electric color.

Feeling brave, I got out the acid dyes, and the superwash bare yarn from Knitpicks, and with the base acid dye, then doing another dye with food color to tone down the kelly-green-ness of the first pass, I’m pretty happy with the result.

testdyeinga

1stdyeinga

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Distractions

I finished spinning my singles of the Falkland, so I decided to do a test ply of a two-ply (I’d love to do a lace shawl with this yarn). Here’s what I get with a size 3 (3.25 mm) needle:

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and it feels good too! So, in spite of the Ravelympics starting, I want to make a plying ball a la Abby Franquemot so I can take my spinning around with me. A bit insane, yes? I thought so.

And the stranded sweater for Ravelympics has begun:

A4A Ravelympics Sweater1a

All these distractions were making me a bit anxious, so I was glad that this poster came this week:

Keep Calm Poster

You can get one of your very own here. I recommend it!

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Ravelympics for Good

I’m getting ready for the Ravelympics.

I have the yarn.
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I have a swatch.
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I have a pattern. (Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Percentage System yoke sweater, Knitting Workshop)
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I have a WIP.
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I have a cause too –
A4aravpacking
Afghans for Afghans! Conveniently, there is a youth campaign for 7-14 year olds with a March 1 arrival deadline.

Won’t you join me? You could knit a pair of worsted-weight socks, some mittens for a child, or a vest if you have more knitting mojo. If you are attending Stitches West, you can even drop by your FO to the Abby’s Yarns and save on postage. If you need a free pattern to help you, check out the pattern pages at the Fans of Afghans for Afghans Ravelry group here.

To sign up via Ravelry, you add a project to your notebook by the beginning of the Opening Ceremonies on February 12th, tagging your project as follows:

1. eventcharity
2. teamfansofa4a (corrected tag, sorry, I was misinformed!)
3. Ravelympics2010
4. If you like, add in a Ravelympics event tag (like mIttens moguls). You can find a list of them and the appropriate tags here.

Otherwise, you can be a stealth Ravelympics knitter, and nobody will tell, certainly not me!

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For the baby

I love knitting for babies. First, the recipients have little say about what you knit, so you can spend time thinking about fun, fun, fun (oh, and pleasing the parents). Second, the items go quickly. The sweater is done in a matter of days, the socks in a couple of hours, the hat, not much more.

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My supervisor at the YMCA is having a baby, and knows it is a girl, so I bought some lovely washable tweed yarn for the mom’s sake, and pink and lime green to cheer me up in the foggy/rain that I’ve been living in for the last week. The cardigan is the lovely Buttons sweater from Cabin Fever, and the socks are the Little Speckled Toes. This sweater pattern is done from the top-down, with an option for no seams at all (!). I’ve knit numerous versions, and it comes out great every time, whether in one color or two. The sock pattern is a great way to learn how to knit a sock – turning the heel takes 10 minutes, so if you get it wrong, you can quickly give it another try.

The hat is my own creation. I cast-on a bunch of stitches, joined in the round, and knit for several rounds in stockinette. Then I knit a purl round, and began to knit in garter stitch for about an inch and then knit a round picking up the cast on for a hem. The rest of the hat is a very basic stockinette hat. Sophie, my local yarn store owner, says it looks like a pumpkin!

And the feline approval is also evident:

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