Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On Washing Swatches

Last night, I started for the swatch Cerisara, and I'm glad I took the time to swatch AND wash/block said swatch.

The yarn? Venezia Worseted in a lovely silver color.

The pattern calls for 20 stitches / 4 inches (or 5 stitches / inch). The yarn label called for a US 7 needle, so I started the swatch using that. And, I ended up with a 5.25 stitches / inch.

I dropped down to a US 6 needle. And I got my 5 stitches/inch, and I really liked the tightness of the fabric better.

I know that washing the swatch will change my stitch count, so I washed & blocked the swatch overnight despite WANTING very much to just cast on.

And I'm glad that I did. The fabric ended up relaxing by QUITE a bit.
My US 7 swatch was now 5.5 st/inch (was 5.25 st/inch)
My US 6 swatch became 5.25 st/inch (was 5 st/inch)

So I'm dropping down to a US 5, as that should give me about 4.75 stitches per inch, but will open up to 5 stitches / inch after washing & blocking.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In Between Projects (Kinda - Sorta)

Since I've finished my Ribby Cardigan, which was a huge project, I'm waffling between wanting to start a new project and finishing up my old projects.

I want to start a new sweater, but I still have one last Solstice/holiday gift to finish, not to mention finish the 2nd of a pair of socks and a shawl. The gift is rather simple and shouldn't take that much time to finish. However, I've already knit up 3 of the same item (in different yarns), so I'm kinda "blah" about the whole thing. I still have 2 months, right?

Consequently, as a matter of avoidance I'm finishing up my second sock (2" left in the cuff), and looking at my sweater yarn for Chic Knits, Cerissara, and really really wanting to at least get a gauge swatch started. Now, a gauge swatch isn't really starting a project yet, is it? And therefore, not *really* a project, and it's certainly NOT starting a new sweater.

Oh, and I started a new bobbin of the Ashland merino (garnet) that I had been spinning up so I can get all of the plying done on that. Certainly, a spinning WIP isn't a "new" project at all, right?

I think I'm just avoiding the last of the holiday gifts.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Knitted Skeleton

This looks awesome. A lot of work, but ...damn.

Read more at the blog

Monday, October 18, 2010

FO: Ribby Cardigan

Back on July 4th, I started a very pretty cardigan, Ribby Cardi, by a wonderful designer. I had modified the pattern to knit everything in-the-round instead of in pieces, which worked well.
  • On Thursday nite (10/14), I *finally* finished it! It's been quite a slog with it, but it's done, and it's pretty!
  • On Friday nite, I washed and blocked the cardigan. It took nearly all weekend to dry the sweater, because the weather turned to a little bit of the cooler side.
  • On Sunday, I sewed in the zipper for the cardigan. I ended up getting a parka zipper at Joann's Fabrics. Unfortunately, they didn't have a blue or grey zipper, so I went with a black one which works just fine. It's not the double zipper shown on the designer's website, but I'm okay with that.

It shrunk just a teeny bit (mostly in the sleeve length) after washing (even with aggressive blocking), but not enough to impair wearing it.

Ribby Cardi 3

The wool is Cascade 220 Sapphire Heather (which is a bright blue-jean color) & in a Charcoal Gray. I bought a bit more wool than I actually needed. The designer is pretty generous with her estimated yardage. So I still have 3 skeins of the Sapphire & 1 skein left of the Charcoal Grey.

Ribby Cardi 4Ribby Cardi 2

This makes me happy because it's been on the needles for far too long, and I've started other projects around it to break up the monotony of a single large project. It's started/stopped between other projects, small heatwaves, and finger injuries.

Overall, I *love* the sweater. And I shall be making another one (probably in a bigger size 38") just so that I can wear bulky shirts underneath.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Windrush Farms

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of going up to Windrush Farms for their Fiber event. The day was rather warm, but the drive up to Petaluma was pleasant in the early morning.

There, I got to meet Mimi who (at the time) was giving a small lecture/workshop about fleeces. Mimi has two flocks of sheep (Corriedale mix and Shetland) with their guardian llamas. She also has a few alpacas.

I fell in love with her Shetland. I never realized how TINY they were (and how very friendly)t, in comparison to he size of the Corriedale mixes.

Shetland Sheep

There were various workshops on felting, natural dye'ing, weaving etc.

Marigolds for Dye'ing
Marigolds for Natural Dye'ing.

I picked up some of their beautiful Indigo-dyed yarn. I've never seen such a deep cobalt blue!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happiness Thy Name is Frank

Back in June, I went to the Retzlaff Winery Spinning Event, and bought Frank, a gorgeous chocolatey brown 10.5 lb merino/corriedale that I then dropped off to Morro Fleeceworks (who was at the event).

Today, Frank came in the mail. All 6.5 pounds of him.

Frank in Bags

It was like the Christmas holidays. I squee'd.

Isn't he gorgeous?!


Lisa is going to stop by on Sunday to pick up her half of Frank. I so can't wait to spin him, but I have to wait until I finish up two already-on-the-bobbins project, because, well, I don't have any empty bobbins or quills.

Knitted Cats

This...THIS is cool.

Ruth Marshall has KNITTED the skins of several small & large cats ranging from tabbies to ocelots to tigers.

I am in *awe*