The “After” Pictures

Let’s hope I can keep things tidy until the start of Spinzilla. I think the odds are 50-50.

The desk area is much neater now.

The “trash” corner is no longer overflowing with stuff. I have my two project bag on the floor beside the wastebasket because I do most of my knitting while sitting at my computer watching movies and TV series on my computer.

Now I can sit at the piano.

My reading corner is looking good!

The book shelves are a little less cluttered.

It even looks pretty good behind the door.

Spinzilla Preparation #1

Spinzilla is coming up in a few weeks (October 2-8) and after taking a break last year, I decided to give it a go this year. I am on Team Sweet Georgia, and I will be spinning some of the fiber I have accumulated from my Sweet Georgia Fibre Club. I’m free to spin whatever fiber I desire; it doesn’t have to be Sweet Georgia fiber. But my Sweet Georgia fiber is what I want to spin. More on that later, as we get closer to the start of Spinzilla. But first…

Preparation is important when one is planning to do a shit-ton of spinning is a short, set period of time, and my first step in preparing for Spinzilla is to tidy up my Introvert Room, the room where I putz around on my computer and do much of my reading, knitting, and spinning. I am not a natural neatnik, so I have to make an effort to keep things tidy. As you can see from these “before” pictures, I don’t make all that much of an effort at tidiness in my Introvert Room.

A messy desk is a sign of a cluttered busy mind.

Yes, my wastepaper basket is overflowing. And there are some boxes that need broken down for recycling. And there are two project bags on the floor. And some yarn that needs put away. And a piece of popcorn that escaped from my reading area on the other side of the room. I told you I’m not a neatnik.

There’s way too much stuff in the piano corner. Way. Too. Much.

The reading corner. Yes, it’s really that bad. And yes, that is an empty band-aid box on the red ottoman. And an empty Pepsi bottle on the table.

There’s way too much clutter on my book cases. I blame the Tour de Fleece. 😆

I’ll even give yinz a peek behind the door.

Today* I am going to tidy up, and when I have finished, I will post “after” pictures to prove I did what I said I would do.

*It might take me more than one day to tidy up, it’s that messy.

Mitts And More Mitts (And An Ear Warmer, Too)

I have been trying to knit up some of my handspun. I have accumulated a lot of it since I started spinning five years ago, and with another Tour de Fleece under my belt, and my second Spinzilla looming, the handspun is really piling up. But lo and behold! I have made a tiny dent in the stash. None of these items has been washed yet; heck, not all the ends have been woven in yet. But the knitting is finished, so I count these as FOs that qualify for the Happy Dance.

When I finished these mitts, I still had a fair amount of yarn left, so I knitted a matching ear warmer. The stitch pattern was borrowed from Claire Devine’s Everyday Brew Hat. The yarn is my handspun from 2012. It’s some of my earliest wheel-spun yarn using Corriedale pin-drafted roving from Sunset Fibers. It was the October 2012 selection from the Fiber-of-the-Month Club.

As you can see, these mitts weren’t quite finished when I photographed them. One of them still needed a thumb. They are completely finished now, but I’m too lazy to take another picture. I call these the Pittsburgh Skyline mitts, so named because the colors remind me of the colors you can see in the Pittsburgh skyline as viewed from PNC Park as day changes to night. The handspun is Falkland from Into The Whirled in the color way 24-1/2th Century. The pattern is just a 1 x 1 ribbing using my standard worsted-weight yarn mitts template.

I started with a tubular cast on, which works very well for 1 x 1 ribbing. I think it looks fantastic, and it is very stretchy.

This is the bound-off edge. I’m not very good at doing a tubular bind off because for some reason, I always get the edge too tight. But a search of YouTube turned up an invisible 1 x 1 bind off that looks just like the tubular bind off but without the double knitted part. It’s easy to do, and I can do it without making the edge too tight.

At the moment, I have yet another pair of mitts OTN, also in handspun, but this time the yarn is fingering weight and the pattern is a wee bit fancy. But you will have to wait a few days before you get to see them. 🙂

A Long Time Coming

So, I am finally getting around to posting pictures of some of the knitting I have been doing. These pictures are a shawl I knitted from handspun. The fiber is Wensleydale from Spunky Eclectic in the color way Island Dreams that I spun into a 2-ply laceweight yarn; the shawl was knitted from two strand of the yarn held together. The pattern is the Campside Shawl by Alicia Plummer and was started a little over a year ago as part of a KAL in the Spunky group on Ravelry. The shawl knitting was interrupted by some baby blanket knitting, and it took me a while to get back to it. All the pictures of the shawl are before blocking, so you really cannot get a good idea of how lovely this pattern is.

A close-up picture of the upper edge of the shawl. I spun each bump of the yarn from end to end and somehow all the colors lined up in a way that resulted in some very nice, subtle striping.

The colors in this picture are more saturated than in real life. The first picture is closer to the actual colors. But in this picture you can see the center “spine” of the triangular shawl. The bottom edge of the shawl is a few rows of garter stitch. When I block the shawl, the edge will no longer roll. Fingers crossed.

Once again, the color is off, but you can see the shape of the shawl. It looks like the tips are going to curve, so the shawl should fit very nicely.

Once I have blocked the shawl, I will post more pictures of it. I don’t know how much use it will get because Wensleydale is a bit on the scratchy side, and since I doubled the yarn, it’s going to be a very warm shawl. But even if I don’t wear it much, it was a lot of fun to knit.

Post-TDF Spinning 

I will soon have some knitting to share with yinz, but until then, here’s some spinning for your viewing pleasure.

Spunky Eclectic Carpe Diem on Farmer’s Woolpool Sheepswool from the March 2017 Spunky Club. It’s a 2-ply that I spun on my Ashford Traveller and plied on my Schacht Ladybug.

Spunky Eclectic TACO on Polwarth from the November 2017 Spunky Club. This is another 2-ply that I spun on my Schacht Flatiron and plied on my Ladybug.

Last but not least is another Spunky fiber, from the June 2017 Spunky Club in the color way Cold Feet on Cheviot. Mmmmm. Cheviot. I am spinning it on the Flatiron and I hope to end up with a 2-ply sock yarn.

Faded Roses

My Faded Roses Graham-finity Cowl has been washed and blocked, and it is now dry. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. As I suspected, it did grow quite a bit when I washed it. I’ll admit I was a teeny bit worried because it was a little on the small side when I took it off the needles, and because it’s a cowl, I didn’t bother to swatch. Even if it had ended up being a little small, it would have fit someone.

This picture captures the colors pretty well. The hot pink really pops.

If you wear the cowl as a single loop, it’s pretty long and it’s wide enough that it will cover your chest and keep it warm under your coat.

 

Worn as a double loop, the cowl is sure to keep your neck warm, and if your head and ears get cold, you can pull one of the loops up over your head for added warmth there.

My iPhone doesn’t take the best pictures because the selfie camera isn’t the greatest, bit you can still get a good idea of how the cowl fits and looks when doubled. An added bonus is that you get to see the results of my recent hair cut.

This cowl is truly one of a kind. I will probably give it away because as much as I love it, these are just not my colors.