Baby Girl Knitting

While I am perfectly happy not finding out the baby’s gender until the moment I push it out, it sure is fun when my friends find out what they are having! Girlie knitting is so much fun, so when my knitting buddy found out she was having another daughter, I was very excited (in a purely selfish, now-I-can-knit-something-gender-specific kind of way). And I knew what yarn I would use, too.

Mosaic Moon BFL/Silk top always comes in a super fluffy braid of yummy fiber goodness, and this braid, dyed in the Colibri colorway, was no exception –

IMGP8353_medium2I spun it up right when it came in the mail and n-plied it to keep the colors pure. Then it sat in the stash, waiting for the perfect project. Ravelry stash page here.

IMGP8437_medium2The perfect project ended up being something straight out of my head, a onesie with frills and a balloony butt. Ravelry project page here. (I pretty much wrote out every step, so if you wanted to, you could make one, too.)

IMGP9332_mediumIt is always so much fun to see how my handspun knits up, and this was no exception. I am very pleased and proud of how even this yarn turned out and pleasantly surprised by the way it striped up.

This was a very hard thing to give away, but there are few as deserving as the recipient. I am so excited to see her little baby girl wearing it in just a couple more months!




Learning to Love Monogamy

This week seems to be my week for finishing up languishing knitting projects. For some odd reason, I am in the mood to be monogamous with my knitting, and even though I have only four WIPs, that many unfinished works has been nagging me to distraction. This one took an exceptionally long time for a few reasons and I am mega-releived to have it off the needles, blocked, and ready to be worn.

IMGP8835Panda Silk DK Shawl in handspun BFL/silk from Spunky Eclectic, September 2012 Club, Pheasant
Ravelry project page here

Reason number one that it took me so many months to finish knitting this relatively simple shawl: I stink at estimating yarn requirements and yardage of my own handspun. After running out of yarn once, I ordered and spun a bit more. I kept back some of the fiber that I ordered the second time, thinking that I would love to see this yarn navajo plied. The I ran out of yarn again. Again, I pulled off a piece of the new braid, spun it up and kept knitting. And then I ran out of yarn again. Sigh. The top rail of the shawl is knit in Knit Picks Palette because I refused to spin up any more of that gorgeous fiber for this shawl! As it worked out, the black looks great and I still have one and half braids left to navajo ply. Win-win.

IMGP8837Reason number two that this shawl took me so very long to complete: all of that running out of yarn, spinning up more yarn, running out again, etc.. really killed my excitement in the knitting process. So with each setback, I became more and more reluctant to continue. Fortunately, the yarn is amazingly gorgeous, the knitting was boring enough to do while watching movies in the evening, and I really wanted to see the finished object and so I kept going, albeit with long breaks throughout.

IMGP8838Reason number three that it took and eternity to get to the end of this shawl: morning sickness. ‘Nuff said.

IMGP8836I am extremely happy with this knit. I love knitting with my own handspun and the finished work means that much more to me knowing that I took a lump of gorgeously dyed fibers and turned it into a useful and beautiful work of art.

Now I am off to finish another of my WIPs and get one step closer to being the monogamous knitter that I never knew I was.


A Handspun Sweater and Three Years of Wool and Chocolate

When this fiber came in the mail, I knew that I wanted to wear it.

I wanted to wear it all the time. Day and night. Night and day. The colors were so “me” that I wanted to frame it and roll in it and write sonnets about it. And, as I have mentioned before, the Romney wool is new and exciting for this still beginning spinner.

So after I spun it up, I made this.



A sweater of my own design, (Ravelry project page here) in Spunky Eclectic March 2013 club, Lightening Strike on Romney (Ravelry stash page here).


A sweater made from a bit of fluff.



I only had 12 oz to work with, so it has narrow fronts and 3/4 sleeves, both of which suit me just fine. I added a bit of shaping at the waist (which is totally lost on my currently more rounded form) and used up nearly all of the fabulous, 2 ply, worsted weight yarn.

IMGP8785 I love it, love it, love it! And it is just in time. As you can see, today is looking mighty dreary, wet and cold. Just the right weather to try out a new wool sweater!

But that’s not all! That’s right, folks! Three years ago today, I acted on a whim and started blogging. It took me awhile to get some momentum, to develop my style, and to figure out what it is that I want to say. I have met many interesting folks, both knitters and not, and learned a whole heap of new stuff. Thank you for reading my (sometimes) drivel. Thank you for commenting on my rants. And thank you for coming back for more.

Spinning Rainbows

Draped over my shoulders right now is the most awesome thing that I have made yet. It is a rainbow of lace, spun, designed, and knit by me. I am so excited about this shawl!

It started out like this –

This is Renee’s 12 Color Rainbow on Mystic MCN Roving from Family Pendragon. Beautiful, yes? Yes.

And a very pleasurable spin it was! I separated out the colors and spun all of one color before moving to the next, being careful to blend the transitions evenly, for a gradient rainbow. The yarn is exquisite light fingering singles in a gorgeous riot of color. (Ravelry page here with notes on the spinning)

I agonized over what to knit with it. I really wanted a half-circle shawl that would accentuate the rainbow, but I couldn’t find just the right one. Then I remembered my handy Elizabeth Zimmerman book collection and inspiration just started coming in waves! I looked up the formula for her Pi Shawl and adjusted it to make a half-circle. It was laughably simple once I got going (seriously – so very simple!).

Once I got the shaping figured out, it was just a matter of choosing lace patterns to knit in the arches between the increase rows. Out came all of my lace stitch dictionaries (and quite a bit of Amazon dreaming, I admit! Oh, what I wouldn’t give for some Barbara Walker treasuries!) and I started knitting. The end result? Fabulous! (if I do say so myself) (Ravelry Project Page here)

I didn’t plan too much at once, just letting myself create over the course of the project. Each time I came to an increase row, I sought out the next lace insert, poring over my lace volumes anew.

The only thing that I really knew was that I wanted scalloped edges, so “Feather and Fan” was the obvious choice for the border.

The other goal was to knit a different stitch for each color. This worked out until the rows exceeded 300 stitches and the color repeats shortened to one inch, but by that time I was ready to start the scalloped edge anyway, so it worked out.

Among the many pleasing bits in this project is the lovely fact that the colors cooperated so well, leaving the dark purple for the bind off. I love the dark edge. Perfect.

Another thing that I love is the way that the various lace patterns work together in a pleasing way, even though I didn’t plan them. I was a little concerned that my haphazard method was going to produce something that looked, well, haphazard. On the contrary, I think it looks pretty good, and there are very few things that I would change (one of them being that I wish the orange section was less geometrical and looked more like leaves, as I imagined that it would). The yellow section is inspired by the Kai Mei socks, altered to make an all-over pattern, and the orange section I totally made up myself. For the other patterns I used Vogue Knitting Stitchionary vol 5 for guidance, but tweaking it to my liking along the way.

It is quite a thrill to start with a wad of wool and turn it into something so lovely, and even more thrilling to start with a plan and actually accomplish the goal almost perfectly.

And, though all the girls are vying for ownership, I think this one is for me.

Maine Dish Mini Satchel

This months edition of the Spunky Fiber Club was an exciting adventure.

Four ounces of Swaledale in the Eating Maine colorway from Spunky Eclectic

One thing that I really enjoy about being a part of the Spunky Fiber Club is the variety of wools that are offered. This month was no exception. A rough, hairy wool that I would never have picked out for myself offered me an opportunity to broaden my fibery worldview and I even learned a few things along the way.

Another thing that I really like about the club is the people who are in it. They are cheerful, helpful, playful, and very talkative. After I spun my Swaledale (using a long draw for the first time – woohoo!), I had a severely thick and thin, very itchy, and hairy skien of singles. I decided to ply it with something, asked for some help on the Ravelry forum thread related to this months club, and Whamo! I had all the info, opinions, and input that I needed to make my yarn.

The colors are excellent, the feel, not so much. A bag it is.

After much searching, I landed on this one as inspiration and started knitting something that sort of turned out somewhat similar. Only better. In a handspun sort of way.

Call me crazy, but I love it. In a handspun sort of way.

It fits me perfectly. It will hold my wallet, keys and a spare diaper, which is about all that I carry these days.

But, knowing me, it will probably spend most of it’s life as a knitting project bag. Because that is how I roll.

Oh, and I might line it. But I might not. For now, I just want to look at it…

… as I anxiously await the September edition of Spunky fun to arrive.