Monday, April 30, 2012

Mogwai Project

Mogwai Projects

If you have listened to the podcast, Sandy & I talked about mogwai projects turning into gremlins, and how it can be avoided by following some simple advice:
  1. Don't feed them after midnight --- ie. Don't start a project after midnight, or when you're tired
  2. The light of day burns any gremlins into the ground --- ie. Waiting until the morning will put things in clearer perspective.
This was my mogwai project that could have easily turned into a gremlin.
It started with my Stained Glass handspun. I thought I wanted to weave with it (and even bought a warp yarn for it) but it's far too nummy to wrap onto a shuttle. I wanted to feel the yarn with my hands...hence knitting with it.
In addition, I had some other criteria for it:
  •  it needed to be a form of neckwear, in particular, a scarf...and I HATE knitting scarves...but I wanted a skinny scarf to wear anywhere with anything that wasn't a "winter" scarf. * it had to show off the wonderful colors of the handspun.
  •  it needed to incorporate some form of lace -- not a lot, just enough.
  •  it should be a quick, easy knit --- preferably in the round and not involving garter stitch So I perused around Ravelry.
It seemed that a "tube" scarf might do the trick, but I wasn't overly happy with just knitting stockinette stitch. I saw a couple of diagonal or bias knit scarves (like the Clapotis), but it involved flat knitting and not conducive to a skinny scarf. I looked at one of the patterns that was close to what I wanted, and started knitting a few rounds, then not like what I had done. However, it was "close" to what I wanted. So, I ripped the whole thing out, and using the spirit of the pattern, I sampled a few more times.....And I frogged the project several times over because I either:
  1. didn't like the width or
  2. didn't like how I was turning out.
  3. all of the above.

Eventually, I managed to get something that was exactly what I wanted, but it took the better part of 2 hours to get to that point. If I had started this project shortly after midnight, I would have been up for that length of time, TRYING to get it right and getting frustrated because I was tired.

Instead, I waited until the next day to cast-on, and give myself plenty of time to figure out the pattern while I was fresh. Now, it's turned into my "potato-chip" knitting. The colors of the handspun are working up really well. And it's soft and squishy to the touch.

I've had to put aside my Basic Hoodie sweater to work on this scarf, because it's been so addicting to knit...and I don't normally like knitting scarves!

Mogwai project

So, disaster averted! My wonderful cute little Mogwai project could have turned into a nasty, ugly gremlin if I had not paid attention to the rules.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


If you listen to the Knitmore Girls Podcast, then you're probably aware of their SPAKAL 2012.
This is a SPIN-along, KNIT-along for the next 8 months. You spin the yarn, then knit the chosen sweater (Eadon (ravelry link).

I've had my eye on this sweater as it's lovely. But, I also have 2 other sweaters for which I have plans to spin. Of course, I superceding those plans and looking to spin for the Eadon.

I opted to spin up my hogget fleece, Odie, a merino ram. And what a delight to spin!


I spun up a little bit of Ode @ 11:1 and did a ply back test, which didn't give me quite what I wanted. At 3 plies, it gave me about a sport weight. So I dropped the ratio down to 9:1

9:1 - Ply back test @ 2-3-4 plies
Odie ply back test

The ratio came a lot closer to what I wanted. A quick comparison on the WPI had the following:
Odie ply back test wpi

I spun up three bumps of 3 ounces of Odie @ 9:1 which gave me a sample of yarn (about 44 yards) of a 3ply that I was very much hoping would have been worsted weight after being fulled. Unforutnately, it ended up being a DK / light worsted weight. I probably could have done a 4-ply to give me what I wanted, weight-wise, but I was really looking to do a 3-ply.

So, I made adjustments to the spinning wheel (changing out whorl sizes), and started another sample of yarn, which will hopefully yield what I am looking for.

And in an effort to regain some use of my full bobbins (from an earlier spinning project -- Gretta) for use with Odie, I plied up 3 bobbins according to my previous set of notes --- getting consistent yarn is all about taking careful notes about wheel settings --- and it came out beautiful and very much like my initial sample.

So, I guess I'll be spinning on 2 wheels for the next few weeks:
1) to finish spinning up the last 2 ounces of Gretta AND to regain some of the bobbins with her yarn
2) spin up the Odie sample, and get started on the SPAKAL

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sweater FOs!

So far, I've completed 3 sweaters this year (nevermind, I started one in 2011...)

Amused collarFinished Frank!Abalone 2

But now, I need to take a small break from sweaters and knit a few socks. My sock drawer needs more filling.

Plus, I have to finish SPINNING for two more sweaters.

Monday, April 9, 2012


In addition to your general Fiber arts and sewing, I do a little bit of leatherworking on occassion.

This time, I needed to work on a specific Steampunk costume -- Steampunk Mulan -- based off an artist renditioning thereof.

DH helped me drape out a pattern for the leather bits, and I tested out how the scales would look in muslin and how much of binding I would ned.

Sample scales

Then I took an old leather half hide that DH had for a long time, cleaned it, conditioned it, then let it dry (as it was curling on the ends) The old hide has some distinctive markings, so it'll look a bit more 'weathered'.

I cut out the base pattern for the legguards and started with the scales.


The scales were a bit annoying. I am using a strap end punch to template out each of the scales. However, it does take a bit of hammering with the mallet to really punch out the leather. I took to punching out as much as I could, then using an exacto knife to cut through the rest. I only managed to get half-way through one legguard of scales, before I had to break off from all the mallet pounding.

After I get all of it cut out, the middle of the scales will get 'ridged' so that they won't curl up in the middle.

I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Granny Square Kick

I appear to be on a Granny Square kick. I made this the other night in under an hour:

It's made out left over sock yarn. Initially, I was going to make the Sock Yarn Blankie Square (Ravelry Link), but I think I might "spice" it up with a few granny squares in between.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Red Tide: Abalone

This is my 3rd sweater of 2012. Well, technically, it's a sweater vest, but still a sweater, yes? It's the Abalone sweater on Ravelry. I had overdyed some Luscious Silk Singles from Blue Moon to a gorgeous burgandy color.


The sweater is lovely. I made it a little bit longer in length and a little bit wider in the bust.

AbaloneAbalone 2

The pattern was pretty darn easy, and I used the following links to help with the things I didn't know how to do.

And now, I'm love with applied icord and will be using it for a lot of other things.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stained Glass

I went from this....

Frabjous fibers

to this:

Pre-Wash: DK weight.

After Wash & Fulling: Worsted weight
Frabjous fibers

It's about 222 yards at a worsted weight. It does remind me of stained glass. Now, the question is...what to make...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Finished Frankie

I FINALLY...FINALLY finished the NEVER ENDING SWEATER. (03/31/12) I am SOOO relieved to have finally finished this poor sweater with its trials & tribulations. I had to rip back the finished collar and reknit it to make it taller (as I wasn't too happy with the length -- and frankly, since I had already gone through the trouble of doing so much with it...what's a little bit more?!?

Here the buttons I found at the LA Garment District. They are quasi-Egyptian, and work well with the cardigan. I alternated the round & square buttons, because I thought it looked rather cute. They are resin buttons.


I had DH snap a photo of me in it, because...I was just so elated to finally fricking finish it!

Finished Frank!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spinning Color

Lately, I've been spinning away on naturally colored fibers, like Frank, Gretta, and my Teeswater roving.
  • Frank kinda got to be a chore for a while, because it was just constant working with Frank trying to get "enough" to finish my seemed never ending.
  • Gretta is lovely, soft, and an absolute delight to work with....but after spinning 14 ounces, one does get a bit tired of the same thing (esp. as I'm spinning for a sweater; I still have 3 more ounces left).
  • The teeswater? This is not as pleasant as I had hoped, mostly because of the effort I had to go through to get it to a reasonable state in order to spin it (it had felted in shipping), but I'm determined to actually finish this project.

Frankie PliedGretta Sampling 2IMG_0644

But, evern now and then, one needs a little bit of extra color to put some POP! in their lives.

Frabjous fibers

This fiber is 4oz of Frabjous Fibers in their SPARKLE line (merino & angelina) -- the colourway is "Stained Glass".

I've spun up 3 bobbins of this, and will be creating a 3ply. I'm not wholly sure what it's destined to become, but, there will be enough for something small, like a hat, pair of fingerless mitts, or a small shawlette.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wig Block Find

I luv Thrifting.

Why? Because you can find the nifty-est stuff at a thrift store!

Take this for instance:

Thrift store find. Wig form. $2.00

It's a wig block that allows you to build/style/create a wig to your specific head size. This one, I found at thrift store for $2.00!!! (50% off the waay low price of $4.00!!!)