Ravellenic Glory

After the pre-Ravellenic controversy, hours of training (knit:purl:kint:purl) and hours of clapping and crying and cheering at the TV during the Olympics, I have three finished objects and three Ravellenic badges to show for all of last week’s work!

First there’s my Chapeau Bleu that brought home the WIP Wresting badge


Then my very first handspun competed in the Handspun Heptathlon


Then I just crossed the Home Stuff Hammerthrow finish line with my first of 5 dishcloths due for the 2012 Annual dishcloth Swap


Ravellenic Glory!!!

I hope everyone enjoyed the Olympics and the Ravellenic Games! I know I totally did. I would pick a sport to go on and on about, but everything was just so much fun to watch! Here’s to all of the athletes getting home safely and seeing everyone in Rio!!!

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My First Handspun

Dates: July 27 to August 8, 2012

Fiber: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Roving 4 ounces

Yarn Weight: Super Bulky – 5 WIP

Yardage: Approximately 26 yards (3.5 ounces)

Spindle: Jill’s Top Whorl Drop Spindle

Notes: EEEEEEEEEEEEEE! My first handspun! I had so much fun spinning and plying this! I’m officially addicted to spinning and fiber now. Not much to say about this one. I’m still kinda shocked by the whole thing. It was just flat out fun to learn a new skill and MAKE YARN. If you’re not spinning, get to spinning. Do it. I promise good times.


Wha? What am I going to make with this, you ask – NOTHING. Are you kidding? It will live in a Ziploc to be protected from the elements and bugs and I will take it out and fondle it and hug it and snuggle with it and put it back into the Ziploc. It is special and wonderful and awesome.

StashDash 2012 > 95 grams


Big thank you’s to Jill and Ivy. So helpful and encouraging! Thanks ladies!!!


Jamaica 200m sweep. That’s what I’m talking about.

Chapeau Bleu

Pattern: Op Top by Alexis Winslow (my project: Chapeau Bleu)
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Colorway: Dark Country Blue & Light Country Blue
Needles: US 5 circulars (Addi Turbo and Knit Picks Nickel Plated)
Size: Average hat size
Dates: September 20, 2011 to August 9, 2012 (hibernated for 8 months)
Skills: Casting on with two colors, color stranding, decreasing (K2tog) and color chart reading

Notes: Holy moly, this hat was labour intensive. Yes, with a “u” labour intensive. I did the color stranding by holding the light blue yarn in my left hand and the dark blue yarn in my right and knitting in both of American style and Continental style (of course depending on what color I was using at the time). This took a little more concentration than usual especially since I was trying to even out my gauge between the two styles (#unsuccessful). Therefore, this project was very slow going. The speed of this project wasn’t helped any by my Addi Turbo needles…as I mentioned here, my Turbos were everything but turbo and are super blunt. I didn’t notice this until I switched over to my Knit Picks needles to magic loop the crown of the hat and started speeding up. Thank you Knit Picks circulars!

If you’re looking for a beginner’s color stranding project, I highly recommend this hat. Albeit labour intensive, it’s actually very easy. You’re only dealing with two colors and the chart is very simple to follow. Do it! Do it!! Do it!!!

Oh! Just because it’s cool lookin’, here’s a shot of the inside of the hat so that you can see what the stranding looks like.

StashDash 2012 > 103 grams

Due to the crazy Jamaica/America domination of the sprint races in Track & Field of the Olympics, my friend Junko decided to join us together as one team – Team Jamerica. Cause really, it feels like that right?!

Go Jamerica!!!!

Moving Along…Slowly

Ughhhh…this Op Top hat is taking forever…


I mean it’s cool lookin’ and all, but holy shit, it is slow going. I was really hoping that I would wrap this little hat up by FRIDAY, but ugh, I’m stilling strannnnnding along. Granted, watching the Olympics while clapping like a drunken seal and crying does not help with knitting speed. But with that said, I found that when I switched from my Addi-Turbo needles to my Knit Picks nickel plated needles (to magic-loop the top of the hat) everything sped up. Those Addi needles were totally slowing me down even though the packaging said they are suppose to be turbo…TURBO. Not only are they not turbo they are blunt as shit. I was misinformed…lied to…deceived. I’m crushed.

Wipes lone tear from cheek

Whatever!

Okay! Moving on! Spinning!


I haven’t made a ton of spinning progress, but it is moving along. Pretty right?

I really, REALLY like spinning. I’m getting faster and more comfortable with my spindling and I’m looking forward to finishing off this batch of roving so that I can ply it up (new skill – eeeeeeeee!).


I just have to say – JAMAICAAAA! Woot woot!!! I mean seriously! They own the 100m race. I really need to get my hands on some of those Jamaican yams because clearly they put your ass in gear (you know, that and natural talent and years of training. Details.) 😉

Blue & Bleu

Apparently blue is my shade at the moment and pretty much the theme of this week’s YOP/StashDash/Ravellenic Games check in!

Let’s bring on the parade of blue WIPS!

So, I’m actively working on two projects – both with Ravellenic Games deadlines. First is my Op Top hat (my project here)…


…and then there’s the spinning that I decided to throw into the mix…


Hello new skills – how you doin’? Stranding….slow moving but awwwwesome looking! I luuuuuurve it. And can you believe I’m spinning? SPINNING! (heeheeeheee!!!) After much encouragement from Pumpkin Spins and my friend Jill (and some seriously gorgeous fiber that I picked up at the weaver’s convention – see them here & here) I decided to take on the spindle. I’m a little in love. Unfortunately my attempts at spindling are looking a little interesting. Can we say a tad overspun/energized? My goal with the spinning for the Ravellenics is to get this roving (Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Roving) on the spindle. I’m going to save plying for another day…

Also, right before the Ravellenics I started another shawl (shocker – you know that I love me a shawl). I’ve wanted to start a fingering weight pi-shawl for a loooong while, but I just wasn’t drawn to one pattern enough to start it. I almost started the Leaves of Grass shawl, but I just wasn’t married to it – even after I bought all of the yarn for it. One day, however, I came across the EZ 100th Anniversary Camping Half Shawl pattern in my shawl pattern binder. I just couldn’t shake the feeling of wanting to cast it on. So even with more than enough Knit Picks Palette to do a full circle shawl – can we say 1,600+ yards in my stash – I cast on the Camping Half-Pi Shawl.


Not a ton done, but I already feel like this is going to be a great project – simple parts, difficult stretches, working with beautiful yarn that will yield beautiful results…dreamy. I’m excited – extremely excited about this shawl. I named it Something Blue; I’m not engaged or anything like that, but I am thinking/knitting ahead…Can’t wait to get back to it after the Olympics/Ravellenic Games.

Don’t fret though, I haven’t forgotten about my other two babies – my Kaya Shrug and Piper’s Journey. They are simply hibernating por un momento…

So many projects. So not enough time!


By the way…are you enjoying the Olympics? I so am. I loved the Parade of Nations (aka…The Parade of Hot Male Atheletes…hubbahubba…). And who doesn’t love gymnastics?! That’s just stupid fun to watch. As always I’m pulling for the USA, but I love it when the Russia and Romania teams show up all crazy intense and super prepared. The Russians totally have that old school “We are here to dominate!” feel to them like the old days. FREAKIN’ LOVE IT.

Colorway 10


Pattern: LaLa’s Simple Shawl by Laura Linneman (my project: Colorway 10)
Yarn: Noro Chirimen
Colorway: 10 (so creative – blah)
Needles: US 7 circulars
Size: 58″ across and 28″ deep
Skills: Casting on, decreasing (K2tog), yarnover increases, blocking, beading and crochet bind-off (my modifications)

Notes: Great simple shawl. You do a little garter here, a little stockinette here and a little lace there. Really pleasant. Just enough going on to keep you interested and to give great results. Even though the pattern offers lots of opportunity for customization, I pretty much stuck to the pattern. I did, however, use a lighter yarn than the pattern calls for and I used a fancy, scalloped and crocheted beaded bind-off (which I learned from a video that I can’t find right now but can explain if anyone is interested…it’s really quite fantastic).


By the way – What a yarn!!! I love the striping and the color combination and I’m glad I dug it out of my stash for this project. It’s softer than the more familiar Noro Kureyon and Silk Garden because it’s a 60% cotton, 24% silk and 16% wool blend. But don’t let that high cotton content fool you – this stuff is fab-u-lous. It’s not hard on your hands, it blocks very easily (no soaking – just pin it down in the shape that you want, spritz with water and let dry over night) and it drapes fabulously. But, this shit is unnnneven. Its suppose to be a DK weight yarn but this stuff goes down to lace weight and all the way up to bulky. It’s all over the place. And the knots. Ugh…I don’t mind the occasional knot but does the color striping have to get interrupted in the process?

*pouts*

I still love it though. It’s just so damn pretty.


 

Stash Dash 2012 > 179 grams (for Checkpoint #4)
Year of Projects > Week #3

It’s Like Magic Y’all!

Pattern:  Learn to Knit Magic Loop Socks by Staci Perry (verypink.com)
Yarn: Cascade Yarn Cascade 200
Colorway: Brooklyn (9465B overdyed with Wine RIT Dye)
Needles: US 5 circulars (Knit Picks 40 inch cable)
Size: Big enough to fit my size 8 ½ feet
Skills: Casting on, decreasing (SSK & K2tog), magic loop knitting, picking up stitches, Kitchener stitch (grafting)

Notes: What a great freakin’ tutorial! I’ve tried to do magic loop before and failed. Using this tutorial/pattern along with the booklet The Magic Loop by Bev Galeskas totally cleared everything up about both magic loop knitting and using the method to knit socks. These were amazingly easy and amazingly fast. Seriously, the second sock only took a few hours to crank out. And even though I’ve made a pair socks before, learning this technique and making this pair socks totally makes me feel like I can take on any sock pattern (I also can’t wait to use the magic loop technique on sleeves and hats too!)!

If you’re even remotely thinking about knitting socks, grab some worsted weight yarn, some long circular needles and check out this tutorial/pattern. It’s incredibly well written and the videos are ridiculously helpful. In the end, you will have a great pair of warm woolly socks, a complete understanding of knitting socks and magic loop knitting, and a silly smile on your face. =D

 

Stash Dash 2012 > Checkpoint #3 – 66 grams
Year of Projects > Week #1 (complete list here)

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