Summer Slump

For the past couple of years I’ve found myself slowing down with my fiber habits and this year is no exception.  In the past I’ve associated it with different things, like a new job, always being on the trail, or just starting up with new hobbies, but I think after a third year of this I think I just don’t have mojo in the summer.

Work has been crazy and the last two weeks particularly so and while the heat from last week has broken, I’ve been totally listless in my fiber doings.

The one bright spot, is that I’m making some serious headway on Carla’s shawl.  I was hoping to have it done by August 1st, but that’s unlikely considering the week I have ahead of me, however I do expect it to be done in the next couple of weeks.

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Also, my Dropcloth samplers have arrived, and I’ve been playing around with embroidery, which has been lots of fun.

Four new samplers

Four new samplers

Just starting out

Just starting out

Getting the hang of the stitches

Getting the hang of the stitches

Doodling on my own

Doodling on my own

 

I’ve been sorta spinning.  I got a new coffee table (and a television) two weeks ago and I haven’t figured out the best spot to spin with the new furniture. But I’m making some headway on spinning Angel.  I want to have it done before our first guild meeting in September so I can show it off to Heather (the shepherd).  I don’t think I’m going to make it back to the Rosseau Market this year, so I may have to email her to see if she has fluff for any other of her sheep because they are an AMAZING spin.  Also, there are little bits of VM (vegetable matter, mostly grass) in the fluff which reminds me of where yarn come from and makes me smile.

 

Angel on the wheelI also tried to distract myself with a bit of crochet and for some reason I wanted to make the African Flower hexagons.  They are fun to make but my heart just wasn’t in it, so now I have some motifs with nothing to do, I might make a couple more and sew them together and give them to my friend Kristen’s two-year old daughter Taylor who can use them for a doll/stuffed animal blanket.

Crocheted Hexagons

I’m hoping to get Carla’s shawl/veil done soon because I still need to knit myself a shawl as well as I haven’t made a pair of socks in ages.  I’ve put most of my other knitting on hold to get this shawl done and I have a few things that have been taunting me for ages and stash that is just dying to be knit up.  However, my stash acquisition hasn’t been too bad this year (and I’ve been destashing slowly) so I’m not feeling the relentless push to keep up with my stash this year, which is probably good for my mental health.

Uh, oh here comes trouble

A Rainbow of Fun

 

Thanks to a few posts by Susan B. Anderson and some tweets I came across Rebecca Ringquist’s Etsy shop, and fell down the rabbits hole of embroidery.

I ordered the starter kit, as well as the paisley, colorwheel and the DIY Love samplers. I like the look of embroidery and also, it doesn’t really take up much in the way of space (unlike the table loom I’m borrowing right now and is sitting on floor in the corner of my apartment because I don’t have space for it).

So today, I headed to Orillia to run some errands and just go on an adventure (including a visit to Target).  One of my stops was at Michaels where they have an amazing wall of DMC threads.

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Also they have some amazing pearl cotton and tatting thread as well as six bijillion colors of embroidery floss.  After feeling quite overhwelmed, I started picking the colors that attracted me.  Then I started trying to balance out the tints, tones and shades to get a good mix.  I think I did alright.

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One of the great things about having a computer in your pocket (aka my iPhone) is that you can use photo software while you are in the store to take picture of your potential stash and convert it to B&W which will let you know if the colors will play well together in the finished object. I heard about doing this from quilters, but it works great for people interested in color work knitting and all the stitching arts where you don’t have a preset color palette.

 

I’m currently watching the New Girl and winding my floss onto bobbins, it is quite the relaxing way to spend the evening.

My spinning is also going well.  I started spinning Angel after finishing up yesterday’s post and I’m already more than halfway into the first 100g bag (which I’m trying to spin all onto one bobbin, so far so good) and her fleece is absolutely beautiful.  There is a bit of VM in the roving, but to me its a great reminder of where fluff comes from, animals.

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I’m not going to be able to make it to the Rosseau Market this coming friday, but Carla will be there so I may have to get her to get me more of this roving, there was one sheep who I didn’t get any from, and I may have to get it because it is such a joy to spin this fluff.

So my dropcloth goodies are getting mailed out this week so I should have them just in time for the busiest day of the year at work, so hopefully I can get stitch on it on my well deserved long weekend following that event.

WIP Wednesday: October 31st

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Sorry about the poor quality of WIP Wednesday photos, it is really dark here in the morning.

Last week, I had a few more projects on the needles, but I finished the Pomatomus socks and I decided to hibernate my crocheted stole in preparation for KAL Chaos.

This leaves (from left to right):

  •  Thyme – I have made it through the main body and first lace repeat, just three more and a knitted on edge
  • Hello Sweetie – This is going to be my purse project for the next little while, these should be quick but they just haven’t been at the top of the to do list.
  • Too Cool for My Socks – Finally got the toes knit on these, but they are going into hibernation until I finish my TFA KAL socks and Hello Sweetie.  I would like to have them finished by the end of the year.
  • Rockberry Triangle – Through the 3 charts, but really only one section (stitch pattern). As a worsted weight shawl, it really shouldn’t be that much longer. I’m not hibernating it, but maybe lowering it down the list.

So, tomorrow I will be casting on for the TFA KAL projects and then not long after I will be starting the other KAL projects.

 

FO: Fling Scarf

Sometimes a project is more than a project, when many hands are on a project it can make things more fun, in this case, this scarf got woven on by quite a few people at indigodragonfly’s Haliburton Highlands Fling back in August.  I brought along my Cricket loom to expose more people to the fun of Rigid Heddle weaving.

As someone who has trouble with knitting stranded colorwork, I find that weaving is my way to play with colors and combinations, and in this case highlighting (and using up) some multi and tonal colorways from a local fiber vendor.

I think this one is going to the gift box, it is really nice, but a girl only needs so many scarves.

– Details –

Project Name: Fling Scarf

Draft: Plain Weave

Recipient: The Box

Yarn: Pondering Rock Farms Bulky in “Eggplant and Grass” and “Ochre” (The colorways are unnamed but these seemed fitting

Modifications: None, just a plain weave scarf (which I love making)

New Skills: I got to teach some people about weaving on a rigid heddle loom, which is new to me!

Feedback:

  • Yarn: Its rough and rustic, but I love the way the two colors play together.
  • Draft: Oh plain weave, how I love you.

Re-Weave?: Yeppers, pairing a multi with a solid makes for a great looking scarf.

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: Ochre Skiing Hat

I have been admiring this hat pattern since it first started making the rounds through the Phat Fiber group about a year ago.  I nabbed this fun yellow yarn at the McKellar Market this summer. I grabbed two skeins to make sure I had enough to make awesome tassels, which for me is the best part of the hat.

I think this hat is going to be perfect for the winter, and ideal for cross country skiing.  The color makes it pop and will make me happy on the long, cold days of winter.

Project Name: Ochre Skiing Hat

Pattern: Capucine by Adela Illichmanova 

Recipient: Me

Yarn:  Bulky Single Ply from Pondering Rock Farm (a local farmer/dyer)

Modifications:

  • None

New Skills:

Feedback: Fun, easy, quick knit. I love the look of hood/bonnet style hats, and I will probably be making more.

Re-Knit?: Maybe, by request or in case of loss.  I like the style but a person really doesn’t need more than one of such a specific style of hat.

Farmer's Markets and Goodies and Blocking, oh my

So lots of updates since my last post.  I was having a hard time getting around to taking pictures so here come a whole bunch at once.

1. Pondering Rock Farm

Last weekend I went to the McKellar Market, in McKellar, Ontario.  It was lots of fun. This is the market’s first summer so there are only a few vendors, however Heather Darlington of Pondering Rock Farm.  She and her family have a number of sheep and a number of bees on their farm.

So Heather has great handspun, mostly single ply bulky, but a few other specialty yarns, but her colors are just incredible.  Last weekend I picked-up a skein of bulky in an aubergene/grass green colorway.  Turns out I didn’t have enough to make the cowl/wimple I am going to make for my mom.

Pondering Rock

It sure is pretty and it smells like wool.

So I went back this weekend and picked-up another skein of the bulky and two packages of roving.  One in white and the other in a natural grey/black color.  It is has a neat kink in it.

I have some plans for thrummed mitts and possibly some hand spinning.  I am planning on getting a drop spindle when I am in Ottawa next weekend.  Oh yeah, I am going to Ottawa next weekend for a wedding so if anyone has any suggestions of knitting spots to hit please send them my way.

2. New Washes and Yarns

Over the summer I have been acquiring the tools to be a knitter who lives in a small town.  Things like a swift and winder, and more recently blocking supplies.  I really wanted to get some SOAK Wash. I was looking for the SOLA Wash specifically because it was designed by Amy Butler my sister’s favorite fabric designer.  So, the only Canadian supplier was Valley Yarns.  In order to get my shipping free I had to order more stuff, so I added in a Malabrigo Sock yarn …

and some Handmaiden Sea Silk in Peridot

Seems like I will have lots and lots of great fibers to work with as fall comes along.

3. Robin’s Egg Shawl Blocking

So with the arrival of the SOAK Wash I decided it was time to finally block a few things, including the Robin’s Egg Shawl.

Mid-Blocking

Post Blocking

I am really happy with this shawl.  It is a short one, but I figure that is fine for my first shawl.

So, lots of stuff happening, including my Springtime Haruni. I am just finishing up the edging, so I should have it ready to block before bedtime tonight so I may get some pictures of it tomorrow and have them posted later in the week.  So keep your eyes open for that.