Ply From a Swift? Yes We Can!

I enjoy letting a fiber tell me what it wants to be. Often I have an idea of what I hope for or a project in mind, but I really hate fighting with a fiber that wants to be something totally different. So I was very excited when I set out to spin this fiber for a friend on Raverly, who, when asked how she wanted it replied “however”.

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Mosaic Moon “Way of the Lost Souls” on polwarth

She did mention the hope of knitting a hat with it, so I sort of aimed for a self striping DK to worsted weight. I started by spinning a thin single without splitting the braid at all, with the intention of n-plying it. But then I realized that this fiber did not want to be thin.

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Well, not thin enough to be a three ply DK anyway. It was looking kind of fingering and I knew that just wouldn’t do.

Naturally, I switched to plan B and finished up the braid with the thought that a nice, slightly fulled single would be really nice, too.

It was nice. Super nice.

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But then I got to thinking about knitting a hat with it and decided it was more like a shawlette kind of yarn, which was not really the plan. Maybe it was time for Plan C?

So, I contacted my friend with her options. Did she want these 460 yards of fingering with loooong color repeats? Or would she prefer a bulky n-ply? Plan C it is!

I was actually a little relieved that she picked n-ply. But then I was stumped for a second. I have always plied off of bobbins and there I was with a skien in my hand. What to do? Can you ply from a swift?

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Yes. You can. It might be hard to see from this action picture, but that is my yarn on the swift being plied onto the wheel on the right (plus a lot of evidence of my seven children in the background).

Ah. That is much better. Much more hat-like.

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I sent it off in the hopes that I will get to see what it becomes.

This fiber definitely had a preference. I wonder if it will be happy as a hat?

The Doom, As it Were

Despite my attempts (cough, cough) to prevent the doom that was foretold, The Stash was hit. All of my project bags containing all of my unfinished projects mysteriously disappeared.

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My “trusty” guard claimed to be on a lunch break when it happened, but we all suspect foul play on her part.

I could drag this out further, but honestly, from this point things escalated quite quickly.

Appalled at the gross abuse of my wool, my eldest daughter, The Bookworm, appointed herself Head Detective and Chief of Police. In no time at all, she had my property returned and had nabbed the culprit.

(this is our attempt at a mug shot)

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In a surprising twist, she had an accomplice! He was nabbed, too.

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Amid giggles and squeals justice was served. And today was declared “The FUNNEST DAY EVER” by some of my more emotive children. Namely this one –

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The Note

I found this on my pillow when I went in my room to make my bed after breakfast.

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Talk about hitting me where it hurts!

My suspect list is short. Of my seven children, there are only a few that a) can write a note without asking me how to spell every third word; b) would use pink letters; and c) continuously followed me around the house this morning asking me when I was going to make my bed.

Stay tuned for more on this breaking story. (I can’t wait to see what’s next!)

Mistakes Upon Errors Wrapped in Failure, Yet Still a Nice Pair of Socks!

If there is a master list somewhere of mistakes one could make when knitting colorwork socks, I am sure I could check off every item with just this one pair of socks!

Well, actually, with the second sock in this pair, because the first one is perfect! Gorgeous! Amazing! But I made the mistake of knitting the first and then taking a long break from them until I forgot how to knit it, and then tried to make the second just like the first. Which I guess isn’t really a problem if a knitter follows her pattern. But I don’t. Which still wouldn’t be a problem if said knitter took good notes on the changes she made to the first sock so that she could make the same changes on the second. Which I didn’t. In fact, on my Ravelry page for these socks I wrote of the first sock (and I quote)

“I really hate when patterns dictate how many needles you must use by giving instructions per needle instead of per row. Grrrrrr. So I don’t know if I did the gusset as written or not. I worked it logically like any other sock. It looks right. Whatever.”

As if that was going to help me with the second sock at all. I might have been okay if I had gotten right on that second sock and knit it while the first was still fresh in my mind. But I didn’t. Christmas knitting, and contest knitting, and spinning, spinning, spinning, and before I knew it, the sock had sunk to the bottom of the project bag and started gathering dust. Poor sock.

When I did finally dig out this much deserving project, I approached it with all the excitement one usually approaches a second sock. Which is to say none at all. And then I proceeded to make every mistake I could possibly make.

No, that’s not quite right. The leg went fine, as did the heel flap. And then it began. That gusset may look fabulous, but it is an evil I shall not embrace again. I’m sure it is fine if you follow the pattern, mind you. But you remember that I didn’t follow the pattern. don’t tell me which needle to use for which stitches. Give me the whole row and I will figure out how I want to arrange my needles, thank you very much.

So I knit the gusset. Oh, and I should mention that this first attempt was made in the home of a dear friend over coffee and good conversation. This means that I was not fully paying attention to the gusset. I had already done one, right? How hard could it be?

That gusset was awful. I ripped it and started again. But this time I was watching Sherlock (the episode where he dies and I cried because Martin Freeman is such a good actor that even though I know there is another season and Sherlock can’t possibly really be dead, I cried right along with poor John Watson). This means that I wasn’t paying attention. Again. I’m a slow learner.

But at this point I didn’t care. I just fudged some decreases and made it happen. I was done with this sock long before the knitting was finished.

I proceeded to knit… From the wrong chart, continuously mixing up my dominate yarn (it changes across the row – sometimes the CC is dominate, sometimes the MC), missing various color changes and not going back to fix them, and generally just trying to get it over with until I came to the toe. And then I knit the toe.

It really is a shame that I messed up the second sock so epically. This yarn is really nice. I mean, it’s really nice. It’s roll in a pile naked nice, sleep with it under your pillow nice. It’s the kind of yarn one hoards and can never find the perfect pattern for. Both colors are Dream in Color Smooshy, but the contrasting color is Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere, and boy! does that cashmere make a huge difference. Delicious.

There is a bright side to this tragic tale. And actually, the bright side is enough to blind me to the pathetic knitting catastrophe that these socks became.

Firstly, look at them.

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I can see the errors, but only if I look. Otherwise they are just lovely.

Plus, they are a wonderful kind of squishy coziness that makes my feet very, very happy.

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And, there is so much yarn leftover, that I can make another pair (using a different pattern, of course). I could probably even make a pair out of just the Cashmere.

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So, mistakes upon errors wrapped in failure, yet still a nice pair of socks. I can live with that. So can my happy toesies!

A Slippery Slope

It all started innocent enough. I was sitting here in my cold house sipping my early morning coffee and wishing I had a cosy hand knit sweater to wear. *

Then my mind started perusing the stash and I remembered that I have a sweater quantity of Dream in Color Classy that I purchased for such a thing. It is in the colorway “Black Parade”, a very pleasing black with hints of deep purple, dark blue, and deep dark green.

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Hmmm. What sweater should I turn that pile of happiness into? I wondered. I got out my iPad and logged on to Ravelry.

Fast forward a few minutes and you will see that I had moved on to striped sweaters. I also have a sweater quantity of the same yarn in “Callous Pink”, a gorgeous greyish purply pink. I could make a nice long sweater with extra long sleeves and wrap around fronts if I used the two colors together.

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But, as I usually do, I quickly turned from my search for stripes and began perusing colorwork patterns. Naturally, none of the colorwork patterns that I liked used less than four colors.

And that is how I ended up placing an order at Eat.Sleep.Knit for three different colors of Dream In Color Classy this weekend.

And I still don’t know what sweater I’m going to make!

* I know what you’re thinking. “Hey! Don’t you have lots of handkmit sweaters? Don’t you make sweaters for yourself all the time?” Well, yes, I guess I do. But I tend to make sweaters that are pretty, not cosy. What I am talking about here is a big, cosy, sweater that you may never even wear out of the house. Maybe it is ugly. Or unflattering. But it is the favorite thing to wear because it wraps the wearer in sweet bliss. That kind of sweater. I don’t have one of those yet.

The Falkland’s Will

I asked the wool what it wanted to be.
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It answered back, “Beautiful”

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I was happy to oblige.

So often I take a braid of fiber and I form it into what I want it to be. This time, I let it do what it wanted, taking me out of my comfort zone, yet soothing and easy at the same time. This braid of Falkland from Friends in Fiber spun up into such a gorgeous single that I knew it didn’t want to be plied. So I fulled it and snapped it and hung it to dry, then anxiously awaited the finished object. 

It did not disappoint. This lovely yarn is going to a dear friend and I cannot wait to see what she makes with it. Maybe it will tell her what it wants to be.

Ta-Da!

Are you ready for the big reveal? (drumroll, please)IMGP4491

Ta-DA!

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A sunny Tessa Ann Button matches perfectly. I sewed it to a toggle button so that I can move it around or take it off when I want to wear the sweater open. IMGP4503

I found the perfect orange ribbon to cover up the steek edge. IMGP4504

I designed the color work chart to make the best use of the yarn, “Selah Deconstructed” set from Mosaic Moon.

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Happy sweater makes me happy!

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Ravelry project page here.

Mosaic Moon Mini Set Contest here.