New Beginnings for March

I’ve been in a bit of a rush lately to finish some things up because I knew that March would be a deluge of new beginnings, spurred largely by a couple new -Alongs I’ve helped organize. Of course that means that once again I’ve got a stack of FOs that I need to share with you — a fact about which I’m definitely not complaining. Partly because some of them are still drying and partly because none of them have proper finished photos taken, I thought I’d tell you about the new things that have landed on my needles and wheel over the last couple of days.

First of all, a little over two week ago this beauty landed on my doorstep…

img_2346And as I’m to review the yarn, Reinvent by Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts, I was anxious to get it on my needles without too much delay. I did take my time settling on a pattern and then, upon finishing up some socks I’d been working on for my MIL this weekend, I got straight to work.

img_2444I settled on Artarktis by Janina Kallio and I’m extremely happy with the selection. I’m kind of at a point in the project where a really good quality photo is not all that easy to get, but rest assured when I say the yarn & pattern are playing beautifully together. I’m finding the combination almost irresistible as the yarn is nice and crisp in my hands and the colorway, “Kismet” is so very lush. When combined with the almost popcorn knitting of the pattern, setting it down has been almost too much for me.

But that said, March 1st has marked the beginning of two awesome new -Alongs I’ve helped to plan. I’ve been a tiny bit nervous that I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but I’m nothing if not willing to go for it when it comes to knitting & spinning. Even when time challenged, they are such an enjoyable release for me. This morning I got up early and the kiddos actually slept in, so I managed to get started on my two new projects for the two new -Alongs. What a fun way to start the day!

First, on my wheel, I’m participating in Three Waters Farm‘s Unexpected Combo Spin-Along this month. Basically, it’s a little challenge to take some of the beautiful Three Waters Farm colors and mix them up. I will say that helping to see color combinations is something Mary Ann from Three Waters Farm does phenomenally well and the group is equally as skilled. I’ve always been a little challenged in this department so I’m staying somewhat tame, but I feel like I’m making up for that in sheer ounces of fiber.

img_2432I’ll be taking my braids selected this quarter for my 1+1+1 project and spinning them together. Usually for me 2  –  4oz braids of fiber is the max I do for a project, so doing 3 feels like an enormous (kind of daunting) undertaking. I’m positive it’ll be worth it though. It’s kind of an evolving plan, but right now I think I’m just going to spin all three separately and then ply them together in a traditional 3-ply.

And early this morning, I got my start.

img_2455I’m beginning this project with ‘Dirty Girl Redux” on a BFL + Silk base. It’s been a long enough time since I’ve spun with a silk blend that I’m expecting a little more inconsistency and a little slower spin time on these. This little bit I got started, however, has been a pure joy — regardless of how it looks or how long it took.

On my needles, I got a start on the Brioche-Along taking place in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group. It’s just an informal, intimate little group working on brioche. Yarn, pattern, everything is the individual’s choice, we’re just knitting brioche together for support where needed and the general fun involved with working the same types of projects together. I’m working on Stephen West’s Askews Me Shawl. I was 100% inspired to knit this last summer when Renee from Spun Right Round was working on a scrappy version with her yarn. I had some of the same yarn in my stash (and may have added a couple skeins with this shawl in mind) and set it aside for this project. And there it sat until a few weeks ago when a couple people in the 1+1+1 Project mentioned wanting to try their hands at brioche. Long story short, we opened up the Brioche-Along.

I spent the past weekend staring at and rearranging my wound yarn cakes trying to decide how to organize this project without buying more yarn.  And this where I landed…

img_2435In lieu of a “dark side” and “light side”, I’ll be doing a “blue side” and a “not blue side”. I wasn’t convinced at first, but this has really grown on me and I think it’s going to be pretty whimsical and fun. I took my sweet time getting started in the wee hours this morning…

img_2452I think I re-knit the set-up rows at least 6-10 times to get it in my hands. By this point, my kiddos were also up and about so getting through the whole section without interruption/losing my place took some doing. A friend in the TWF ravelry group recommended these erasable highlighters a few weeks ago and — holy moly — did they ever save my life. I’d rank them up there with highlighter tape for their usefulness. They’re definitely worth trying if you haven’t yet.

But I digress.

Having finally gotten the set-up rows just so, I got to the main section and…

img_2454Found the point of total addiction. I’m already trying to figure how if I can make this shawl a little bigger. I think I’m getting ahead of myself, but it’s seriously just that fun and the fabric is just so squishy. And it’s only going to get better as I move into the more high contrast yarn combinations. Oh, I can’t wait!

As you can probably understand, I’m going to stop gushing for now and get back to knitting and spinning. These new beginnings are just too good to set down!

Loads of Great Things

Well, we spent a very harmonious morning back at the water’s edge yesterday with much better results. I managed to reel in this monster catch…

IMG_9171As a special treat, I even broke out my very best Jeremy Wade impression for my family as I narrated the unhooking, photographing, and release of this true 4 or 5inch lake monster. I’m pretty sure said impression comes out more like a cross between Jeremy Wade and Arnold Schwarzenegger, so it’s probably less of a treat and more an embarrassment for my family and additional evidence that I’m pretty easily entertained.

In any case, my son was more successful.

IMG_9178He managed to reel in this 15″ smallmouth bass. None of us could really believe it because this is the biggest fish any of us have ever caught, but we were so excited for my boy who could not have been more proud. For Mr Knitting Sarah and I, it was a huge relief as we were a little worried that the kids would lose interest before we could get any results on the fishing front. So far, 2 fishing expeditions, 0 humans hooked despite two children casting, and 1 perfectly respectable fish successfully landed. I’m going to call this an early season win.

On the spinning front I also have a win to share. Two months ago I started spinning 3 batts from Spun Right Round

And this morning, I finally finished the singles.

IMG_9216I ended up sort of kind of marling (is that a word?) these fibers together to try to get the colors really blended. There were parts of these batts that looked a little crazy together and the marling seemed to help even it all out. The finished singles almost max out a jumbo/plying bobbin on my Lendrum DT and the plan is to n-ply this bobbin in a nice round slightly crazy colorful 3-ply. I’m definitely hoping to get this skein finished in the next week as I think I’ll be getting in some new fiber to review soon. I have some summer spinning plans, too, that will include an invitation for you, but I’ll share details once I figure them out soonish.

After the troubled beginning to the leg portion of my Paper Moon socks, I’m happy to report it’s been smooth & happy sailing.

IMG_9218I’m not quite sure how tall these socks will wind up being as I went a little long in the foot to accommodate the bit of shrink that comes with knitting a cotton, but I’ll likely keep on keeping on until I start to stress about running out of yarn for the cuff. As you can see, this yarn is absolutely amazing with this pattern. I’m terribly tempted at the prospect of the hand-dyed sock yarn club for the coming summer. Remember to sign-up for the newsletter to get the news on this club, other Feel Good Yarn Company news, as well as free pattern delivered right to your inbox. Don’t forget that the FREE SHIPPING offer on orders $42 and up for SilverSpun yarn from Feel Good Yarn Company is still available, too — just enter the discount code SARAHKNITS at checkout to claim this special offer!

If just wearing these beauties isn’t motivation enough to finish, I got a little extra incentive in the mail a couple days ago…

IMG_9220-0 A stronger person would have waited and taken a picture of the seal pristine & unbroken, but you had better believe I tore right into this baby. I’ll have more on this fun club & this month’s beautiful project in the next couple of weeks as well as another fantastic giveaway for you, so keep your eyes peeled!

In addition to the short-term goodies, I’m happy to share that plans are in the works for a little bit of spinning fun this summer as well as a 2016 knitalong that I could not be more excited about if I tried. Loads of great things on my wheel, on my needles, and on the horizon, so stay tuned!