FO FriYAY!

It’s Friday and I’ve decided to share not one, but TWO Finished Objects today. I think that means this Fri-day levels-up to Fri-YAY, don’t you?!

My first finished project I’d like to share is my Lesley Sweater!

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I’m the first to admit that I may have been a little overzealous with the length.

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I was trying to avoid the hits-at-waist-look, but it seems instead of going a smidge longer, I’ve created a tunic — at least that’s how it looks on the mannequin! In reality, on my person, it’s not quite so insanely long, just nearly covering my backside and the fit is actually quite good.  I do reserve the right to rip some back, but I think I’m far more likely to just wear it and enjoy a draft-free sweater. I mean, if I leave the length, than I can probably get away wearing it with stretchy pants out on the trail… that’s something to think about!

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The design is just a super simple raglan.

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And I adore the pretty blue color, Quince & Co’s Osprey in River. While I’m undecided on whether I’ll leave the length as-is or take some off, I’m positive that I love the fit and feel of this sweater and I’m very happy I finally got around to knitting it!

My other FO today is a pair of socks!

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After the whole darning affair of a week or so ago, I dug in and got these done for Mr. Knitting Sarah. As you can see, once again, I got a little overzealous in the length of the cuff — must have been something I was doing in February when I overshot on my Lesley Tunic, I mean Lesley Sweater, as well!

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I mean, yikes! Usually I have quite a bit of yarn leftover from these big Regia skeins I use for him, but NOT THIS TIME. It was yarn chicken all the way and I just escaped by the skin of my teeth! I maybe had 5 yards leftover!

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In any case, I finished them last night and had to share them today as they need to go right into the sock rotation for Mr. KS. I’ll be casting-on another pair asap as well, to help bolster the reserves, but I am glad to have one new pair heading for his sock drawer. Hopefully one more in the rotation will help the longevity of the newly darned socks. Everyone cross your fingers with me!

This weekend I hope to ply up three spins that are waiting to be finished and maybe get working on the next step of my French Braid Cardigan. Oh, and cast-on that pair of socks, too! What’s on your knitting and spinning agenda for this weekend?

Wolf Ridge Weekender

January 2016 feels like a lifetime ago for so many reasons. My kiddos were four years younger. Moose was practically still a pup at just 3 years old. We drove a car we no longer own. Lived in a house we sold almost 2 years ago. Bear was not even a twinkle in his mama’s eye yet. So many of those familiar aspects of daily life have changed. When I stop to really think about it, it is truly astonishing.

But it was in January 2016 that my family and I took a little drive… to Montana.

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And this little farm.

Wolf Ridge Icelandics is just outside of Yellowstone National Park and my husband arranged for a stop on the way toward the park where we planned to (and did!) frolic among the wolves and bison and elk and ermine and dippers of Yellowstone. Some of the pictures are missing from the blog post — I’m not quite sure what’s going on with that — but if you’d like to read the original post, it’s right here.

We didn’t go to find the wildlife, however, until I found some special yarn.

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I had to really dig back to figure out what I’d planned to make with this yarn originally. Turns out I’d intended to knit Andrea Mowry’s White Pine. I started it at one point, but something about it didn’t *click*. The yarn actually sat wound into cakes for a year or more after I abandoned the project as I turned over and over in my mind the options I had and went about the business of other things.

At the beginning of this year, however, I decided it was time to start knitting sweater quantities from my stash. Something about spinning and then knitting my Tecumseh sweater ingrained in me the idea that if I could spin and knit this huge cozy sweater, then I could knit any sweater — from millspun or handspun yarn. It was time to stop putting off all those projects for the perfect set of circumstances, the perfectly fit body, the perfect everything, and just knit them up, wear them, and have fun with it.

And thus when our January trip to Missouri to visit Mr. KS’ family was coming up, I grabbed those caked skeins, knit up a swatch, and cast-on before we left so I could knit on the 10+ hour drive.

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And when it became clear that spinning was not going to work during our visit with the needs of the puppy, the time not spent running about with the dogs was spent like this…

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With needles in hand and Weekender inches adding up.

And by the time I got home, I was on to the sleeves.img_5613-1

There’s something to be said for that much driving and down time while visiting when it comes to progress on a big stockinette project like this. And for those wondering, you do knit the body of this design inside out so even though you get the reverse stockinette style in the finished sweater, it’s more accessible for those who are less smitten with purling. I bound off on February 4th, just one month and one day after starting it. Especially considering the mega amounts of positive ease involved, I’m pretty ecstatic with that timeline!

With all the sickness in the house this month (today we do all feel like we’ve turned a corner toward feeling normal, though — hooray!), I don’t have any modeled images of it on me, but so that I could share it without further delay, I snapped some pictures on my dressform this morning.

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It does look like what it is… a giant boxy sweater!

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The drop shoulder design really makes the body & upper arm areas extra roomy.

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 And I cannot get the color picked up properly with the camera so you’ll have to take my word for it that the light heathery-ness of the color with varying hues of white to a mid-brown have a depth that is just scrumptious. About halfway through I panicked that the yarn was too light for this sweater, but I actually think it worked out wonderfully. And it is plenty warm which is perfect for I intend to throw it on for shoulder season hiking out on the trail.

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And when I see it and when I wear it, I’m so glad to be able to reach back in my memory to that other lifetime. To the ermine hopping across the road and the wolves we had such amazing looks at in the Lamar Valley to the coyote trotting along the road to the kids in the super deep snow up in the mountains, and the little farm nestled up against the mountains where a flock of Icelandic sheep live.

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Memories in a sweater — is there a better way to capture them?

It’s Sweater (Spinning & Knitting) Weather

A couple weeks ago I shared this image of all the grey yarn I’d prepped for Spinzilla…

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It’s 28oz in total of a Merino + Tussah Silk blend from Three Waters Farm  sitting there. For those non-spinners, usually you purchase fiber in 4oz lots and generally when I’m sharing a single skein, that’s one 4oz lot. To put together a sweater spin, of course, takes more fiber. As this is hopefully going to wind up as a Tecumseh sweater (that’s the current working plan — a final swatch is still necessary!), I needed more than a single skein. I opted to spin 28oz, deciding that I’d much rather err on the side of way too much than not enough. Whether I’d opted to spin just enough or more than enough, it is not a small undertaking either way!

I had 2 different dyelots of grey, so I broke everything up as randomly as I could into 1-5oz nests. The non-uniform size of nests was on purpose to try to avoid pooling as much as I could with random color repeats. Control card in hand to help keep my aim on that DK weight yarn I’m looking for, I spun my heart out during Spinzilla, finishing up 20 of my 28oz.

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Like the yellow I think I’ll be using with it, it may be a bit on the heavy side. I think for future projects, I will likely aim one rung lower on the WPI on my control card just because I tend to fluctuate a little toward the heavier side. Oh, the lessons learned along the way!

In any case, uniformity across the skeins is pretty good…

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In both size and color…

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And I’m quite happy with the results post-finishing. I just need to skein them up so I can knit up another swatch and then get started!

Having started my last 2oz of Grey on my Schacht Reeves last night, I felt like spinning a bit in the kitchen today and I had the option of another round of plying  some Grey on my Jensen Tina 2 or to start on the blue color I intend to use, Iron Blue from Three Waters Farm

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I went with the Iron Blue and I have no regrets. This is my absolute favorite blue to spin! It’s the second project I’ll be using it for and I still have some Superfine Merino in my stash. It’s just that good. So taking a short break from the Grey in this late stage of its spinning just feels like a wonderful treat.

This sweater is my participation in the TWF Handspun Sweater-along which started August 1st. I dragged my feet all the way to October 1st and the start of Spinzilla before getting started. I waited for a number of reasons, but really if I’m honest, a big part of the delay was that I was intimidated by that 28oz of Grey. That’s a lot of Grey and that kind of tonal project can make even the best spinners get a little squirrel-y.  Surprisingly though, the spinning did not really phase me like I thought it would. I think the combination of using a base I’m really infatuated with (80/20 Merino + Tussah) and the unrelenting drive of Spinzilla meant I really didn’t have time to think much about spinning one color for days on end. And it just…. it flew by!

Perhaps the biggest accomplishment wasn’t the Spinzilla push, but the fact that not only did I wash & finish those first 5 skeins the day after plying them, I also kept spinning the remaining 8oz of Grey when I’d finished. Sure, I thought about taking a little jaunt in a totally unrelated spinning direction, but instead I kept on with the Grey. Determined to finish, I didn’t attack with the same vigor and sense of urgency as I did during Spinzilla, but I kept at it. By the time I go to sleep tonight, I might be finished!

On that note, I think it’s time to get back at it! Happy spinning & knitting, my friends!

 

Pink For The Peanut

In yet another installation of a series we could call, ” Hey, Let Me Desperately Try To Catch Up On Things,”  I’ve got a sweater FO to share. As a sweater for my daughter knit in worsted weight yarn, it was a quick knit that took less than 2 weeks to knit up. Unfortunately, it then took me over 2 months to sew on its 2 buttons. It guess it’s true that you win some and sometimes you spectacularly fail!

In any case, the chosen pattern was Bulle by Oomieknits which is available on Ravelry. I’d had this pattern bookmarked since my daughter — who we often refer to as our Peanut — would have fit one of the smallest sizes and since she is precariously close to growing out of the largest, it was time to get this sweater knit up.

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I’d found some Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted in a pretty pink on close-out from Jimmy Beans Wool a while back and knew it would be just right. After the last time I made a sweater for my girl out of Malabrigo Worsted which is decidedly NOT machine washable and she proceeded to roll down a freshly cut hay field in it, forever embedding bits of hay and thorny do-dads into it, superwash was a must in my book.

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It really did knit up in no time at all and the yarn — although not what I’d call luxurious — is really exactly what you want for a child’s sweater. Soft enough to the touch, durable, and machine washable.

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As I said, the knitting was done in under two weeks. I picked out the buttons within the next day or so and then it sat… for more than 2 months!

I’m happy to report that I finally got it finished though. This morning — finally, finally — I got the sweater, the buttons, and the needle and thread and got to it.

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And now it’s finished!

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It’s a very cute design and it fits her nicely.

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And let’s not forget the pockets knit from my handspun!

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I like the whole sweater, I love the pockets.

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Oh! And look! I managed to get a smile!

Its been a few hours since I took these photos and my girl is still wearing the sweater, so I think that bodes well. Pink for the Peanut, this project turned out just the way I wanted it to. Here’s hoping that even with my delays getting started and then getting finished that my girl doesn’t grow out of it overnight!