So, the Ravellenics were fun

I’m so far behind on my blogging at this point, it took me a week to blog about the Fling and here I am, two weeks late on the Ravellenics, without good FO pics.

So I met my main Ravellenic objective, knitting two pairs of socks in two weeks.

They were the only things I knit for two weeks, and I worked on them solidly, but I FINISHED THEM IN TWO WEEKS!

For those keeping score at home, that means they are pairs 8 and 9 for 2012. And I’m on track to finish pair 10 in August.

And the Fling was Flung

This past weekend I had the first opportunity to really embrace my status as Minion for indigodragonfly at the Haliburton Highlands Fling. The Fling is an annual gathering for fans of Kim’s yarn and a chance to enjoy the company of other fiber fans.

This is the only photo I took all weekend, it was of Kim’s yarn at the Muskoka Yarn Connection in Bracebridge on the drive over.

On Friday, Carla and I arrived to help get things set up and got to look in on Meghan Jackson, Butterfly Knits, teaching a class on her “Oh So Quiet” scarf. Everyone seemed to have a great time. After that more knitters showed up and we had a quiet knit night for those who arrived the night before.
The actual day of Fling was a blast, I got to meet so many people I know from Rav in person. Also, some local and vacationing knitters heard and dropped in to buy yarn. While I did spend a good part of the day taking peoples money, I did get a chance to spin on some different wheels, including Kim’s Ladybug, Sidekick and Matchless and Val’s Louet S11 Julia. I may or may not be trying to figure out how to afford a Sidekick, it is an amazing wheel and one day I will be the owner of a Matchless (although not any time soon!). It was amazing I sat down at the wheels and my hands just started making the yarn I wanted them to, rather than fighting me like they do on my Traveller. Also using a wheel with a lower, centered Mother of All felt so much better for me. We also managed to convince Rayna (who just re-started her blog, go check her out) that she does need a spinning wheel, probably a Ladybug.

As well, I introduced a few others to the joys of rigid heddle weaving. We didn’t have converts like Rayna, but others will fall to is charms as I have, I’m sure of it.

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The is the project I everyone got to play with, I only got a picture of it when I got home.

In the end Carla and I ended up back in Parry Sound for bedtime on Saturday night and we managed to get our stuff put away and crashed.  I have spent the better part of a week recovering!

I did manage to bring home one yarn of Kim’s (other than my Club parcel), this is Linen Silk Lace in “A Thin Line Between Yarn and Batteries”. I don’t know what it wants to be, but it sure is pretty.

Also, I forgot to mention, Carla and I stopped at the Rosseau Market on the way to the Fling, and we got to see Heather from Pondering Rock Farm and Carla and I both scored lots of locally grown and spun wool.  We did hear the sad news that Heather had lost about 450lbs of her fleece to the Belle Vallee fire this spring.  Belle Vallee, near Temiskaming (Northern Ontario) was an amazing historic spinning mill that Heather used for her yarns.

I managed to score an amazing laceweight wool from her sheep Pic, it was her first cut from a few years back.  I have about 1,300 yds of amazing, sheepy yarn that I need to find a project for.  A first cut is just so special, Carla helped me make sure I didn’t pass it up.

So that was the Fling.  I’ve managed to finish a few projects this week and getting them blocked and photographed is my goal for this weekend so I’m hoping that I will get them up on the blog in the next week or so.

FO: Spectra-scope

Most of my FOs have happened this way, Christina is online browsing for yarn, Christina buys a single skein of some yarn, Christina pets and oogles yarn after it shows up, Christina goes to queue to find a pattern for it, Christina vows to by more than a single skein next time she shops online for yarn after discovering she can’t find a pattern for her single skein.    For Spectra it was the other way around, I actually ordered the yarn to go with the pattern.

It is a neat pattern, a really interesting shape and a great chance to try a new skill, intarsia. And I really wanted to knit something outside my normal range of things.  This was a great break, although it did get tedious at times, I had to make myself knit two wedges a day so that it would be finished in time for me to start fresh with new projects for the Ravellenic Games (that coincided with the Olympics).

In the end I’m pleased with the result, and I think I’m going to use the leftovers to weave a scarf, with the Grey outside yarn as the warp (end to end threads) and the Chroma as the weft (back and forth yarn) to make sure that I don’t end up with a broken frayed warp and also to watch the slow color changes occur in a different manner to the Spectra-scope scarf.

– Details –

Project Name: Spectra-scope

Pattern: Spectra by Stephen West of WestKnits

Recipient: Me, but I may end up rehoming it

Yarn:  KnitPicks – Gloss Fingering in Coast Grey and Chroma Fingering in Roller Skate (both colors are discontinued)

Modifications:

  • I did a total of 100 color wedges instead of the 80-some called for in the pattern.

New Skills:

  • Intarsia: This is the first time I have done intarsia colorwork.  I neither loved nor hated it, so if another pattern that I love calls for it I won’t be afraid.

Feedback:

  • Yarn: I find that with KnitPicks yarn you get what you pay for, it is a good price and you get good yarn, but it is sometimes just the right thing.  I liked working with the Gloss Fingering, I like it more than the Gloss DK I used eons ago on the Shifting Sands scarf, and on par with the Gloss Lace of my Falling Leaves Shawl.  The Chroma must be an acquired taste, because it did what was expected to do (have long color changes) but I didn’t enjoy working with the single as much as a like the single of Tosh Merino Light.
  • Pattern:  My first time working from a Stephen West pattern, and it was nice, clear and short, some of the things I like most in a pattern.

Re-Knit?: Nope, it is a cool FO but I would much stoles and shawls to scarves (and I weave my scarves these days).

FO: Secret of Opals

At the start of summer the hottest thing in the knitting world was the Color Affection Shawl. As someone who has never been very good at following trends, I haven’t started my Color Affection yet (although I do have yarn put aside for it) I decided to try another of Veera’s shawls, the Secrets of Change.

I had bought the Tosh Sock more than a year ago for a Jared Flood/Brooklyn Tweed pattern that I fell out of love with, and now knowing so much more about yarn and spinning I know that I found the right pattern for the yarn.  Also, the line would have driven me much more crazy in a lace stole because I wouldn’t look quite as much like a design feature.

The miles and miles (well yards and yards) of garter stitch were incredibly soothing and made for a shawl that is delightfully squishy.  What astounded me was that there is as much yarn in the first five section, as there is in the final section (as evidenced by the drastic color change betweens skeins, that it was my fault I didn’t alternate skeins to avoid).

I’m eager to work on other of Veera’s shawls, because she has a great aesthetic and an affinity for garter (which I’m realizing more and more that I love it dearly).

– Details –

Project Name: Secret of Opals

Pattern: Secrets of Change by Veera Valimaki for Rain Knitwear Design

Recipient: Me

Yarn: madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Opaline

Modifications:

  • I slightly shortened the pattern on the last repeat (7 repeats instead of 8) because I was worried about running out of yarn.

New Skills:

  • None

Feedback:

  • Yarn: As always madelinetosh has great colors, however my skeins weren’t well matched and I didn’t check beforehand and I ended up with a line.  It was totally my fault, I should have alternated, but I prefer to think of it as a design feature rather than error.
  • Pattern: My first time using a Veera pattern, and it was well written, well formatted and a great FO.

Re-Knit?: Nope, but I already have another Veera pattern on the needles and have plans for the infections Color Affection shawl.

WIP Wednesday: August 15th

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Now that the Ravellenic Games are over it is back to my previous knitting. I’m going to try to finish my plain (casserole) socks so that I can start a fingering weight pair to check the pattern.

My other priority is to finish the new bubbly cowl, which was a Christmas gift to my mom last year. The thing was she wanted to knit so I gave her the things to learn, but turns out she isn’t that motivated so I needed to make the cowl before the weather turns cool.

The other two were cast on just before the games and I’ll get to them at some point.

The one you don’t see here is that green lace stole, which I finally frogged. It had two chances with the Muir pattern, time to try it on something else.

FO: Don’t Blink

Don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead. They are fast. Faster than you can believe. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t blink. Good Luck. – 10th Doctor

Thus starts one of best episodes of the new Doctor Who episodes, Blink.

These socks with their colors reminiscent of the 4th Doctor’s legendary scarf (not by accident, the colorway is called Time Traveller), and their twisted and turning stitches like the Doctor’s pronouncement that time is “*actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff.”

 

These socks were fascinating to make, the totally odd construction and great fit make these excellent socks for Advanced Beginner sock knitter.

These were one of my quickest knit (well they were until the Ravellenics, but I’m getting ahead of myself) and are officially my 6th pair of socks this year, I’m totally on track to finish 12 pairs of socks this year (spoiler alert – I’ve finished two more pairs of socks inbetween when I knit these socks and have finally managed to blog these socks).

– Details –

Project Name: Don’t Blink

Pattern: Skew by Lana Holden in Knitty, Winter 2009

Recipient: Me

Yarn: KnitPicks Felici in Time Traveller

Modifications:

  • None

New Skills:

  • Totally off the wall construction

Feedback:

  • Yarn: After four projects with Felici Sport, this is my first time using Felici Fingering and it is really nice feeling yarn.  Much smoother and tighter twist than the Sport, and washes up just great.
  • Pattern:

Re-Knit?: Very likely, they are really cool socks that look great in Felici (which I have gobs of) and are fun to make.  Despite having many more patterns in my queue this is the first real pattern I would want to make again (other than vanilla socks).

Good News, Everyone!

No, Dr. Farnsworth is not sending you off on a suicidal package delivery, I have lots of fun exciting news to share.

I’m one of the new Minions (Studio Assistants) of indigodragonfly and I’m moving into a new place, namely my own apartment.

These two things are connected to one another, mostly that by getting the apartment I need to get a job to supplement my hours, and also that I wouldn’t have been able to take the indigodragonfly job unless I got the new apartment.

My soon to be home

As I have mentioned, I started a new job in June.  I love my job, the thing I don’t love is the 2 hours I spend in the car each day (although due to only working 30hrs/week it is only 4 days each week) driving to and from work.  I wish I could take public transit but that isn’t an option here in “Northern Ontario” and my hour commute is 50 mi (80km) each way, so it is taking a big chunk out of my wallet in gas and wear & tear.

Now, I’m moving to Bracebridge where my job is and which is halfway between where I have been living, with my parents in Parry Sound, and Haliburton where Kim and Ron have their studio.  It is kind of the center of my current universe and seems like a good spot to be located even if my contract isn’t extended past its current length of 6 months.  My move-in date is the Sunday of K-W weekend (Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter’s Guild Knitter’s Fair), so that should make for an exciting weekend.

Knowing that I would be moving, and paying rent for the first time in quite a while, I decided to buy a new computer.  Lappy 286, also known as a 2007 15″ MacBook Pro, has been a good computer, getting me through grad school and life in Parry Sound, but now it struggles to run Safari and iTunes at the same time (not like in the old days when it would only bog down if I were running InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Mail, and iTunes at the same time).  She has gone through two DVD drives, a battery, a couple of topcases (thank you AppleCare for all of those) and a new HD which I installed myself.  Her latch is half broken, she has some lines on her screen and if you rest your hand on the right side above the DVD drive it bounces and creaks from when I opened her up to install the new HD.

I do love the beast, she was my first Mac, but much like Strongbad I have to upgrade my computer and right now Lappy 486, aka a 2012 15″ non-Retina MacBook Pro, is sitting in a UPS warehouse in Kentucky enroute to me.  I’m so excited! With this computer I should be able to actually run iPhoto and manage my pictures and actually get them onto my blog with some regularity, which is good for everyone.

Between, my awesome apartment, Minion status and new computer, I must say, everything is coming up Millhouse!
P.S. If you can identify all my cartoon references in here you win the warm feeling of knowing you are as much a nerd as I am.

WIP Wednesday: August 1st

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Okay, I’m trying out my iPhone WordPress app to post this today, apologies for any oddities.

So I’m flying along on my Ravellenic socks. I’m really liking Kim’s merino nylon sock base and the colors are just great.

My goal is to have both pairs done by the closing ceremonies of the London Olympics and with a lazy 4 day weekend coming up, I’m right on track to meet that challenge.