Last, but Not Least

I really do love being a part of the Three Waters Farm Ravelry Group because there is always inspiration, there’s always something happening. January and February this year — like last year — the group is doing an SAL + KAL focused on Susan Ashcroft, or Stitchnerd, Designs. Susan is a master of potato chip knitting patterns and they are often, if not always, written to be very adaptable. It’s an attribute that I really appreciate as a spinner who isn’t always perfect in producing the yarn in my mind’s eye. I mentioned my Stone House + Light Relief project earlier this week and while I do have another couple braids of fiber that I plan to spin and then knit into a Winterplay in February, I actually still had at least 2 yarns I’d spun last year specifically for some of Susan’s designs. Happy with my Light Relief finish, I hopped right into another project.

This particular project started here…

suumers-end
                                     Photo courtesy of Three Waters Farm

September’s Top of the Month Club colorway named, Summer’s End, on a BFL/Tussah Silk blend. It turns out that looking back this may just be my worst documented spin ever, unfortunately.

I have exactly 4 WIP photos.

One…

img_4455Two…

img_4462Three…

img_4717Four.

img_4718And then the trail of photographic evidence of this skein completely disappears. I think Spinzilla crept up right on the heels of finishing it and then I just forgot to take finished photos. Suffice to say, I chain-plied it. Of that I’m positive and I wound up with 235-ish yards, I think. Not realizing the lack of photos, of course, I wound the skein and started knitting without any. Whoops!

Anyhoo, after I printed the Yarn Optimiser pattern for which I spun this yarn, I’ll admit I was excited to knit away on it, but not as excited about the weighing involved. I’d been totally spoiled by the particularly ‘light’ brain requirements of Light Relief. I got going nonetheless.

yarn-optimiserI’ll admit that once I got going it was really kind of fun and fast. I was wary of the edges and how it could possibly block out evenly, but I carried on because aside from having to stop and weigh things now and then, it was just super easy and fun to watch take shape. As with my other Stitchnerd Designs, I was done in the blink of an eye.

yarn-optimiser-fo3And the blocking did mostly work out. I’ll admit that I rushed it a bit and there are some little peaks from the pins where I really should have used blocking wires. Yes, blocking wires would have been smart, but I was in a rush.

yarn-optimiser-fo2I may block it again when I’ve got a little more time (this was admittedly rushed), but I also may just wear it and not be such a perfectionist. Maybe? I think stranger things must have happened somewhere once probably.

yarn-optimiser-foSub-optimal blocking aside, I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It really is just as I’d hoped when I spun it and I think it was just the perfect fit for my purposes for this colorway. It’ll be just perfect for spring, I think. Summer’s End, Spring Beginning — either way, this one works for me!

And that, my friends, is that end of my parade of FOs. I hope it’s been as fun for you as it has been for me. Coming up, I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled (mis)adventures and sharing my projects as they slowly come to life. As you well know, there’s always something happening on my needles, wheel, spindles, loom, and…well, you know, life.

Spin It, Knit It, Wear It

img_5515Stone House was a colorway I fell in love with right away. Three Waters Farm brought this colorway back as a special pre-order late last year to accompany the Susan Ashcroft SAL+KAL the TWF Ravelry Group was planning to host this January and February. I started spinning it late last year, obviously — you can see by the Christmas lights in the background. I had 8oz to work with and planned to knit up a Light Relief (exclusive to the TWF SAL+KAL until the end of February) so I was shooting for roughly a DK weight yarn.

img_5583It’s a weight that I struggle a bit with — fingering or sport weight is easy, worsted I can do, but I still struggle to hit that in-between DK realm.

stone-house-detThe finished skein came out, indeed, more a worsted weight at about 10wpi and with just about 500yards or a little less. I knew from the get-go I’d have to make some adjustments to accommodate the heavier, lower yardage of this yarn.

img_5656I bumped up my needle size to a US 9 after beginning on a smaller size and noting the fabric was a little to dense. The larger needle gave the fabric a little more drape and I knew would help create a slightly bigger shawl. The pattern is absolute potato chip knitting. I had this baby knitted up in less than 3days.

stone-house-foI believe it turned out smaller than the images in the pattern, but it’s still a nice size — I can easily wrap it around and wear it comfortably and it’ll fit nicely under my main winter coat. Can’t complain about that!

stone-house-fo-detThe colors in this photo are a little more true-to-life. Sheesh — I really do love this colorway!

stone-house-fo2What a fun project from start to finish & such a pretty, pretty shawl!

Socks with Sarah, a KAL for 2017

First and foremost, I’d like to wish everyone reading a very, very

Happy New Year!

Three years ago today almost on a whim I launched a knitalong which I coined Socks with Sarah. The whole idea behind it was to take a year and focus on knitting socks. My handknit sock drawer was empty and I desperately wanted to fill it. Goals were completely open to personal interpretation, but the general idea was to knit on socks every day. Basically it was just applying the old maxim, “a little goes a long way,” to sock knitting. It ended up being an amazing year with far more knitters participating than I ever dreamed possible. I ended up making a lot of wonderful knitting friends and knitting a whole lot of socks.

Fast forward to a month or so ago when I shared here on the blog a pair of socks that I’d finished and how Socks with Sarah was kind of living on sporadically in my knitting life. And someone asked, “Could we do that knitalong again?”

And I thought, “Why not?”

So today, I’m officially launching Socks with Sarah 2017 — hooray!

This reprise will be a little more laid-back than the earlier version. We’ve had some conversations in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group about what knitters would like it to be and the consensus was far and away that there was much more desire for more of a gathering space to knit socks together than providing challenges or goals of knitting loads and loads of socks. Since many of our sock drawers are still pretty full from the last time around, the idea was more to try some new patterns, knit up some stash or fun new yarn, and just to take up the cause of knitting socks once again because, let’s be honest, it’s really fun!

One thing that hasn’t changed is that this knitalong is open to first-time and veteran sock knitters alike. All of my tutorials for the Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Basic Sock pattern are still available on YouTube here making it nice & easy to knit your first socks as I guide you through all the transitions from the cast-on to kitchener stitch. And, of course, we’ll be meeting in our happy little ravelry group right here sharing, cheering each other on, troubleshooting, and just enjoying the company of other sock knitters. Instagram users can feel free to use the same tag as last time, #sockswithsarah, too!

I’ve started my first pair of socks for 2017….

img_5601Will you join in the fun?