Thursday, December 30, 2010

My First Year of Handspun

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This is 848 of 2-ply, plus a little bitty 20-yard skein of chain-ply.  This was a merino/silk batt called Forest glade, from Corgi hill farm.

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Chocolate cherry BFL mini

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This fun little thing is a bunch of color samples from Corgi Hill farm, of fibers mostly blended silk samples

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This is 214 yards of a light worsted superwash merino called Chocolate wine (plus a little 24 yard chain ply), also from Corgi hill farm.

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This is 196 yards of another light worsted superwash merino in Denim.  The chain plying on this went really badly, and I have no idea why.

All total, having a wheel is exactly what I dreamed it would be.  I love it, and I've finished just over 4600 yards on it this year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Yarn Blocked Hats

Several weeks ago, I really wanted to buy some yarn.  Really, really wanted to buy a sweater's worth of Klickitat and Malabrigo Worsted.  Weeks went by, and things were out of stock, and back ordered, and different lots and it was all ridiculously frustrating.  I was completely yarn blocked.  Somehow, I ended up down at Michael's, coming out with 5 different skeins of Vanna's Choice.  I'm not even kidding.  And I got some great Christmas hats out of it!

A twisted rib (136 yds):
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A Koolhaas (107 yds):
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And three self-designed hats with garter stitch earflaps and a garter edge (277 yds):
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I also got a Noro hat (119 yards) out of the stash-diving part of my frenzy - it matches my Noro striped scarf, but the Little Dude has appropriated it.

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Now, it's my birthday today.  So I'm off to buy yarn, my lovelies!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We Three Shawls

There are several days left in 2010 and, thus, only a few days to finish Shawl #10 of 10 shawls in 2010.  You may be surprised at that number, because I still have 3 shawls to show you!

The first is a handspun Madli's shawl which I made for my mom for Christmas.  Since she's one of my mainstay readers (hi mom!) I've been sitting on this one for months now.  It's 530 yards of a Corgi Hill Farm-dyed merino/cashmere braid that I spun for Tour de Fleece.
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This is a Peacock Tail and Leaf shawl made of 308 yards Alpaca Cloud in Raspberry Heather.  Also a Christmas present, finally making its blog debut.  This one was a really fast knit - the pattern was fun, but easy to memorize.
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The third is a Multnomah, which I finished on the 23rd.  It's still not blocked (maybe I'll get a chance next year!) but Sweet Pea has already adopted it as her own.  
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It was a fun conglomeration of all sorts of lace ends from the previous 8 shawls (plus others from last year, and one that didn't quite make the yardage requirements).  It's a total of 1066 yards of 7 different kinds of laceweight (for a breakdown, you can see the project page here).  The color gradations are seen better here:
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This pattern hit my sweet spot of stupidity.  It's simple enough to not engage my brain at all, but complicated enough that I couldn't get the feather and fan to line up.  Really.  Didn't happen.  Let's blame it on the cold medicine, shall we?

Shawl #10 is more than halfway done.  Guess what it is?  Another multnomah.  Here's hoping I can get the increases centered.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Undecided Handspun

If you've been keeping track of my mileage on the side bar, you'll notice a big jump recently.  I've finally gotten around to adding in the totals of everything I finished in the black hole that was September.  Now to share it with you, my lovely readers!

Some handspun whose fate has yet to be decided:
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Chocolate cherry Superwash BFL sample.  24 yards, 16 g chain plied.  It's somewhere between a dk and a light worsted weight.  At this small yardage, it's probably only going to be good combined in colorwork with another handspun.  Any thoughts on a color range that would look good with these pinks and browns?  I feel another fiber order coming on...


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Forest Glade.  562 yards, 81g. Spun from Corgi Hill Farm batts of Merino and Tussah silk, probably in a light fingering weight.  This is slippery and still a little over spun, but I like it!  Still no idea what to do with it.  Any suggestions

The pictures are strangely moodlit, what with the trees casting their long autumnal shadows on my yard these days.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

To cowl or not to cowl?

Last week, as I was waiting for the train and trying to arrange my scarf tightly enough to keep my neck warm but not so tight as to choke me, I had a revelation.

I want a cowl.

I figure, as a knitter, I could make this happen.  Then the following conversation occured:

Doubting self: "A cowl.  Really?  But we hate turtlenecks, tight scarves, and anything that rubs on our neck."

Excited self: "But totally!  A cowl!  We won't have to fuss with tucking in ends.  And we've never, ever knit one!"

Doubting self:  "We've never knit a tea cozy either.  Or a doily."

Excited self:  "Doilies are crochet.  And our neck is coooooold!  C'mon.  It would count for 10 Shawls in 2010.  We just wound a ball of Sea Silk...."

Doubting self: "Oh, the Sea Silk is nice.  And I never thought we'd make it through 10 shawls..."

Excited self: "We can do it!  I know we can!"

Doubting self:  "Don't push it.  You sound like a cheerleader.  We are not a cheerleader."

Excited self:  "Let's just check ravelry for a good idea tonight."

And there I discovered wisp (along with 2963 other people).  A shawl, with buttons to convert to a long cowl.  Or hooded scarf (see obsession from my last entry).  With an easy stitch pattern!

Several days later...

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It's practically knitting itself! Take that, Doubting Self!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Handspun Christmas Set

Much of the recent knitting has been Christmas presents, so the details are under wraps for several more months.    I can, however, share this:
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with you, because I'm pretty sure the recipient is not a reader.  Just in case, I'll keep the identity secret.  Together, this hat and fingerless mitt set comes in at 215 yards of handspun.  The patterns are just a basic tam and mitttens from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns.

I really can't sing the praises of that book enough.  I have lots of pattern books and stitch dictionaries, yet I always find myself going back to the Ann Budd book.  Even more so since I started spinning my own yarn and like to let the yarn take center stage in a project.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Little Pink Riding Hood

Wow, two jobs really cuts down on my blogging time!  Knitting still progresses, so I have plenty of things to show you (and some Christmas goodies that will have to wait...).  For now I have a lovely Malabrigo hood for me in... pink!  Surprised?

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640 yards of Malabrigo worsted (just over 3 skeins).  The pattern is the Pfeiffer Hills Hooded scarf from Interweave Winter 2008.  I loved the idea of a hooded scarf with pockets from the moment I saw the pattern.  My best friend in kindergarten had a hooded scarf and I thought it made so much sense and would keep me from constantly losing my hats.

This was my second try at the pattern.  I wasn't wild about the elongated braid so, the first time, I tried replacing it with a tighter braid.  Meh.  It didn't work out so well.  Plus, the yarn was riduculously scratchy (Paton's Non-merino wool) so it sits in my unfinished project drawer, taking up space.

This, though.... Mmmmalabrigo!  I told you I was crazy for this stuff.  In fact, I've been dying to make this sweater in Malabrigo.  Only... I can't seem to find a sweater's worth of green, grey, or brown anywhere!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mmmmmmmalabrigo

Presenting... Tudor's Grace in Malabrigo Lace, Hummingbird Colorway.

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Yet another picture taken in what I'm coming to think of as my 'shawl tree' in the front yard.  At 245 yards, it's just short of the yardage requirements for the 10 shawls in 2010, but it was a fun knit.  It's already whisked its way home as a thank you gift to Sweet Pea's preschool teacher from last term.  This was the first time I tried malabrigo and I was hooked.  I mean, really.  Spongy, springy laceweight?  Fwah?  Really?  And thus I ordered the pink worsted that I posted earlier this week.  And I may or may not have three more colors of worsted in my Loopy Ewe cart right now...

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Last Yarnbender

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This is how much of the Pfeiffer Falls Hooded scarf I can knit while watching three episodes of Avatar; The Last Airbender.  It is also, coincidentally, how much Malabrigo it takes to make me wonder why I ever knit with any other yarn.  Seriously.  I can't believe this is my first time knitting with this yarn. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tour de Fleece 2010

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This Tour de Fleece has brought me 1684 yards of yarns, and some as-of-yet unplied singles.  My wheel is tired, my brakeband is still intact, and the afternoon's thunderstorms have prevented me from getting better pictures.

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First up, we have a cashmere/merino blend in Red Grapes from Corgi Hill Farm that was my first project on my Julia's high speed flier.  I got 2 2-ply skeins for a total of 644 yards, plus a 20 yard chain plied skein.  I didn't love the flier - instead of sliding hooks, it has sliding rings on a hollow metal tube and it was a complete pain to get the singles back together when it broke.

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Next was some silk/merino from Ashland Bay in Sea Mist, which I hope is a suitably masculine color. It already has plans as a Christmas present for my FIL (shh!  don't tell!).  It's 11-13 wpi, which is about DK weight and I have 342 yds of 2 ply and 14 yds of chain-ply.
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The final finished yarn is a merino/camel/tussah silk in Leeks that I am absolutely in lurve with.  I've never tried this blend before and it was sooo wonderful to spin.  I got 656 yards of what I think is a light fingering weight, though I haven't gotten the wpi because it's not totally dry yet.  And, it's green! I still have no idea what I'll knit with it, but I'll be petting it until then. 

I also started a bobbin of singles of the faux cashmere.  But, it's not finished, so we'll save more on that for later...

It was a great Tour, and I enjoyed reading everyone else's spinning experiences.  Looking forward to next year...

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Quick Hat

My Interweave Knits fall issue came a few days ago in the mail.  I only made it as far as the article on twisted stitches.  Before I knew it, I had raided the stash, grabbed some size 7s, and cast on Meg Swansen's Proverbial Cap.  I made a few alterations.  As per usual, I had to size it up for my ginormous head.  The pattern calls for worsted weight on 4s, so I did worsted weight on 7s.  I also screwed up by misreading the chart altered one of the cables by doing an extra twisty repeat.  Yeeeah...

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126 yards of Cascade 220 in some sort of green tweed (I know, helpful, right?).  And am I crazy for just now noticing that the '220' in Cascade 220 is because each skein has 220 yards?  I've only had this in my stash for 2+ years.

Any way, the hat only took a couple days to finish, but was a nice little break from Tour de Fleece.  I've still been spinning, but the end is in sight!  I'm plying tonight to try to finish one last skein before the end....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Socks in the Rain

If my neighbors caught a glimpse of me this morning, I'm sure they thought I was crazy.  It's raining buckets here, and the light is awful for photographing knits.  Not to be dissuaded, however, I propped open my storm door and got my yoga workout by balancing on my doorstep, holding my be-socked feet in the air to get the rain in the background.  Hopefully the camera flash was mistaken for lightening and no one came out to see what I was up to. 

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I knocked these socks out in a couple of days.  I bought the yarn at Twist, a great little knitting and spinning store in New Hope, PA.  This is my first time using Claudia Hand Paints (in Fingering, colorway Teal Party, single skein) and I really liked it.  I used size 2s, 54 st foot circumference and they're nice and sproingy.  I knitted these one at a time until just after the heel turn, then put them both on 2 circs and finished them out together to maximize my single skein.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Note on Goals and Rewards

Today is the rest day for Tour de Fleece and I am resting.  Well, plying, but not *technically* spinning.  And I've decided what my reward will be if I complete my TdF goals... A Woolee Winder!  I've not tried one, but read about them and they sound heavenly for plying.  Anyone out there try one?

The other goal I've decided on today is recipe-related.  As many of you know, I've lost 100+ pounds through exercise and changing my eating habits; mostly using guidelines from the South Beach Diet.  Not all of the 50+ recipes that we've tried on the Recipe Countdown have been SBD-friendly and I'll admit that a few pounds have crept back on.  So, before I tip the scales at 250 again, I thought I'd use both positive reinforcement and my new recipe project to get them back off.

Here's the goal: Two weeks of SBD dinners and low or no sugar treats.
Here's the plan:
Pesto Chicken
Parmesan Chicken
Chicken and Avocado salad with Walnut Vinaigrette
Shrimp and Avocado Salad
Park City Cashew Chicken
Courgette Soup with Turkey Bacon and Bleu Cheese
Halibut Caddy Ganty
Summer Squash and Turkey Gratin
Halibut with Sun-dried tomato mayo
Taco Salad
Vinegar cream sauce, either on chicken or shrimp
Chicken salad with Feta and Peanut Lime dressing

As for going out, McDonald's has Bacon ranch salads, Panera has Greek salads, and Chipotle has fantastic burrito bowls.

Reward:  Clothes shopping!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Baby Gifts!

Spoiler alert!  If you 1) have recently had an adorable little baby girl, 2) have recently sent me your address, or 3) your name rhymes with mane, please read no further.

That's right.  Come back in a few days.  It'll be safe then :)


...


(Is she gone?  Ok...)

For the rest of you, I've finished some gift knitting and can't wait for the package to get there before I show the rest of you!
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A set of blanket and sweater. The sweater is none other than EZ's February Baby sweater,  and the blanket is roughly based off of the Circle of Friends blanket.  Honestly, I liked the look of it, but would hardly be worth my salt as a knitter if I couldn't throw together a garter stitch blanket without a pattern!

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Here's a closeup of the sweater itself.

Reasons I love this set:
1.  It matches.  I love matching.
2.  It's tiny.  Babies are tiny.  That matches too.
3.  I've been wanting to knit the February baby sweater for absolutely ages.
4. It ate up a shoebox full of stash.  Not kidding.  236 yards of Rowan wool cotton for the sweater, 840 yards of Rowan Wool cotton and Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino for the blanket.
5.  I totally crocheted.  That little border around the blanket?  Crochet!  See?  Those hooks are apparently not just for dropped stitches.
6.  A new little human gets hand knits just for her.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dyeing; Faux, Real

As a relative newbie, I find myself ogling all sorts of spinning fibers available online yet completely unsure as to my ability to turn it into a knittable yarn.  I'll google it, read forums, and try to make an educated decision without actually doing it.  But, sometimes you gotta just jump in blindly with both feet.
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This is 8 oz of faux cashmere from Paradise Fibers in Spokane.  For less than $2 an ounce, it was a pretty safe jump!

Now, I know even less about dying fiber than I do about spinning it, but I just tossed the whole mess into a pot of vinegar water, soaked for a bit, and started adding some concentrated dye solutions.  Jacquard Acid dyes in Spruce, Chartreuse, and Chestnut, if you're curious.  At first it sucked, then I threw it in again and stirred it around a little more, and was finally happy with it!  I even braided it up myself, once it was dry, and it looks all fancy.

I love it :)  I did fewer happy dances in the living room than I did for the little zipper bag, but I will admit to a few.  And I pet it, occasionally.  I think it might have bumped itself to the top of the queue.  Now if I could only get the current thing plied...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Elegant Pullover

Remember this sweater?
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It was frogged quite some time ago and has finally realized its potential as this:

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This is the first in the round of Project: Wearable Sweater.  I have a few other handknits that I never wear due to fit problems, and it's time for them to get back in the game!

The pattern is Hannah Fettig's Lightweight Pullover.  The yarn is 1034 yards of Knit Picks Elegance, in a color that's been discontinued for some time now.  There are a few weak places in the yarn, but it's hardly surprising given how many times the yarn has been frogged and reknit.  Oh yeah - and it's hot!  It'll be nice in the winter, but I had to tear it off as soon as the photo session was over.  As for the pattern, I have to confess that I did modify the sleeves. I didn't do any decreases, and let the ribbing pull it in slightly.  This is the type of sleeve from my garter yoke pullover, and that's one of my favorite things about that sweater.  I'm sure the fitted sleeves would have been more elegant.  But you can see here that they're slouchy, and that's kinda my favorite style.

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This pattern is pure stockinette (you know, except for the ribbing) and has been great while I read, work, etc.  Moments after casting off, I cast on Hannah Fettig's Featherweight Pullover to fill the same purpose.  That'll take ages, so don't hold your breath, because... Tour de Fleece is on, baby!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Craft Closet Revamp

This is what my craft closet looked like this morning:
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One trip to Ikea, and an afternoon showing Sweet Pea how to use an electric drill, the craft closet looks like this:
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All told, it cost less than two bobbins, and I can now find both sewing and spinning stuff!  And the closet closes! I can hardly believe it.  And, I have a very understanding husband who enjoyed spending our wedding anniversary indulging me in the AC for an afternoon of Ikea.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tour de Fleece 2010

Do you remember those woven, cotton, fringed-edge blankets that were huge in the late 90s?  You could get picture, just about any, on a cozy large blanket.  That was back in my vegetarian days (and Birks, too!) and my mom got me one with cool veggie pictures on it.  I've carted my veggie blanket all over the States as I move, and it's held up pretty well though it occasionally loses a string or two.

Which brings me to this morning.  I had set up my wheel and fiber last night to be ready to go this morning.  I woke up, got my coffee, sat down to spin and saw that my brake band was broken.  And I didn't have an extra.  I don't have much in the way of cotton around here, so I was nearly broken hearted.  Until I saw the long thread hanging off of the edge of the veggie blanket.

Saved for Tour de Fleece!   I drooled over everyone's beautiful spinning last year.  This year, I get to play!

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Goals:
1. Spin and ply the 116g of cashmere blend, on the high speed flyer, for a laceweight.
2. Spin every day of the race, except the rest day

Teams:
Rookie
Corgi Hill Farm

See you at the finish line!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Recipe Countdown: Month 1

Thirty four recipes done in 30 days, 331 left to go!  Memorable recipes have included several types of freezer jam (which is so easy everyone should try it), creamy lemon caper chicken, and brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar onions and bacon.  The kids have snipped their own herbs, carefully turned on the Kitchen Aid mixer for the first time, and made incredibly messy cupcakes that were shaped vaguely like sharks.  We made a vaguely ok emergency  chocolate birthday cake with no butter, vastly improved by its peanut butter frosting.  It's been a blast so far.




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Snipping herbs.
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Making omelettes and snipping more herbs.
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The pan-fried okra, which was surprisingly tasty.




Next up?  Cherry conserve and something with a spaghetti squash that I accidentally bought.  But first?  Tour de Fleece, baby!



Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stalled Out on Shawls

Ten shawls.  Four down, six to go, and two of them are on the needles.  And I'm just not feeling it.  While lots of people like to knit shawls and socks in the summer, I always find myself with a lapful of large, cozy sweater. Right now I'm thinking of either another Brigid, or the Fireside Sweater.  Maybe it will be done in time for nice, cool weather...

But!  I got a new sewing machine, and it works, and I totally made a little, lined zippered bag!  I used this tutorial, and it was fantastic.  I don't even have the zipper foot, yet, but it turned out really well.
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I needed a new change/cash/usb key bag to toss in my purse and this is it!  I didn't have any interfacing, so I threw in some quilt batting to give it some heft.  It's a little big, so I'm planning another one, with a smaller zipper.  Since every Joann Fabric store that I've visited in the area has been totally off-putting, I dove into our rag-bag and removed some zippers from old jeans and khakis.  I sense a wealth of little zippered pockets in my future!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Recipe Countdown: The Plunge!

I've decided, thanks to your votes (hi girls!) to take the plunge.  I've created a little page on the blog for finished recipes and have been diligently keeping track of what I cook.  I'm toying with different organization ideas but, for now, you can find the finished recipes in the side bar and the ticker under 'Dopamine Circuit'.  I hardly want to bombard my few but loyal readers with daily recipes, but I'll link to some of the more interesting ones.

Phew.  Commitment to excel.  Gotta love it.

So far the best night has been a 3 recipe Chicken Parmesan night that involved the whole family.  Sweet Pea couldn't stop dredging the chicken in parmesan and she declared the result better than chicken nuggets.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Felici Set

I like the idea of self-striping yarns, but I often find that the joins between the colors to be too jarring.  I also needed to knit up a quick gift, and am nearly out of worsted weight yarn.  So I tried holding this Felici doubled and.... ta da!  Much subtler color shifts, very light but bouncy fabric and the whole set knit up in 3 days.

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The set is 450 yards of Felici in Dakota, with a smidge of Essential (now Stroll) in Grass thrown in to make the hat long enough.  The Dakota is long discontinued now, I think.  The set is for the Little Dude's teacher.  They've already had their last day of school but, luckily, she'll be at the summer camp as well because I didn't manage to finish it on time.

In other news; I'm just about to get another sewing machine!  My Huskystar C10 is a few years old and I completely hate it.  I won't go into a full review here, but the beast and I do not get along.  I think I'm moving up to an Emerald 183 from my adorable local sewing store.  Anyone have experience with that line?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Recipe Countdown

I've started a new project.  There are no needles, no gauge, no plying.  The plan is to make 365 recipes in a year, beginning june 1. The point is to write down the recipes that I make all the time, and try all the new ones that I find.  I think about my mom's little plexigas recipe box, filled with snippings and 3x5 cards, and I want a place like that to keep mine.  I've tried in the past and (guess what?) not finished.  So, here's to the finishing of projects!

The feasibility analysis has quickly turned into actually starting the project.  I hit the kitchen on June 1st with some initial jam making. Let's be clear. This is not a commitment to make a full dinner, at home, every night.  Really. I am not going to turn into a food blogger.  I will not try 30 iterations of a recipe in one week until I get the right one. I will not take pictures of everything I make.  But I did go out tonight and buy a mandoline and a meat tenderizer tonight.

So, what do you think?  Anyone interested in a few recipes here and there?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Celtic Knot

This week has been a crazy week, but last ee was a productive week here and Chez Book! Not only do I have a completed shawl and a completed handspun project, but my carpal tunnel syndrome is killing me!

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Celtic Knit stole. 854  yards of Knit Picks Gloss Lace in Stirling.  I'm not wild about the pictures, but I'm still getting the hang of the new camera.  And that's 4 of 10 shawls for 2010.  This one went pretty quickly, and the pattern seemed fairly intuitive to me.  Again, I cut out a repeat.  I did three knots, rather than four.  It huge and I was running out of yarn.

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This is the Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang batt from CorgiHillFarm. I swear I'll spin something not from her again, but I'm not sure when.  I've already got another braid (cashmere blend - yum!) on the wheel right now.  For this batt, however, I got two skeins of singles, for a total yardage of 327 yards.  I made an effort to keep this thicker than the laceweight singles that I've been getting.  As a result it's pretty rustic looking.  It's my first attempt to spin for a specific project.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Yak. Really, yak.

This is a new fiber blend for me, 50% yak and 50% merino.  It's ridiculously soft and I adore the greeney browns of the dye.  The braid was from CorgiHillFarm and the colorway was North Bark Moss.  Seriously, she has the best color names.  And colors, of course, but I'm sucked into the names, I will admit. 

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430 yards of Merino/Yak 50/50, 2 ply.  I think it's about a fingering weight, maybe a tiny overspun in parts, but I think my spinning is coming along quickly!

Also, last night we read a Richard Scarry book that has a yak in it, so my kids got to listen to a fiber-bearing animal lecture during story time.  Let's all pretend they loved it, mmkay?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mossy Stonington

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It's done.  It took me all semester, but the shawl is done.  The pattern is a Zimmerman, mostly garter stitch, with a little bit of lace edge from VLT, brings you 775 yards of Alpaca Cloud in the now-discontinued Moss color. 

Phew.  That was a long one.  Shawl #3 of 10.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dream in DNA

I don't do a lot of gift knitting.  Either I'm afraid it won't fit, or it won't be the right color or style, or my knitting simply isn't 'good enough.'  I'm trying to get over this idea that various aspects of me aren't 'good enough' so I'm doing more gift knitting.

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Dream in Color Classy, Cloud Jungle; 248 Yards.

Plus, this was perfect.  June Oshiro's DNA Scarf is one of the first 10 things that I ever queued on ravelry, the first day my account was activated for the beta (anyone else remember how exciting it was to get that email?).  I've wanted it for myself, but I only use DNA occasionally in my work.  My office mate, however, is quite the geneticist, so this scarf is now hers.

This is the first time that I worked with Classy, and I like it.  I used size 7 needles, which was really dense.  I think I might go up a size or two if I use it again, though I'm not sure I will any time soon.  The colors are nice, but I'm falling further and further in lurve with spinning.

Next up?  An FO of the Stonington...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Maryland Sheep and Wool

Yeah.  I'm not there.  It's less than 2 hours away, but I opted out again this year.  Instead, Sweet Pea had a rocking birthday party, I've knit a ton, and even managed to play a bit of Star Trek Online (just don't tell my WoW mage!). 


Since I didn't spend money on a hotel this weekend, I got this and this at from Corgi Hill Farm.  Due to my planning and her crazy-fast shipping, I started on the merino/yak blend this morning.  Still getting the hang of the fiber itself, and I'm completely entranced by the colors.

Speaking of spinning, Corgi Hill Farm fiber, and what I did this weekend:

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Here's Sweet Pea, wearing her new February Little Girl Shrug. It's 200 yds of handspun (remember this?) based on EZ's February Baby Sweater. In retrospect, I should have done more raglan increases and left out a row of the yoke increases, but it's pretty cute. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Eight Stars of Holes on a Field of Muskox

...and you should already be singing the Alaska State Song, because that's what I was humming the entire time I knit this scarf. I'm sure it wasn't annoying to my family at all. And, since I started in January and finished this weekend, it was pretty frequent.  This took forever to knit, mostly because the yarn is so nice that I was afraid to take it out of the house.  That means no car knitting, no restaurant knitting, no work knitting, no dance class knitting. 

About a month ago I thought that I had finally finished it.  I completed the last row of pattern repeat and proudly held it up to show DH only to see a strange mutant star, two repeats down.  I had omitted the entire center section of one of the pattern repeats, leaving a strange tiny diamond in the middle.  I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture.  But, instead of letting it languish, I pulled it back and fixed the problem.

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Pattern: North Star Scarf, from Arctic Lace
Yarns: 397 yds Windy Valley Muskox Qiviuk (A birthday present from my mom)
My project page

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Maple Cranberry

I've got 43 unread posts in my blogroll, an empty fridge, a garden full of ivy, and an unplanned 5th birthday party.  What does that mean?  You've got it... the end of the semester is nearly here!

And what am I excited about?

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204 yards of DK weight handspun merino, tussah silk, and firestar from the color genius at Corgi Hill Farm.  Seriously.  I could dive into her entire etsy shop and not come up for air for weeks.  Plus she has corgis, which I want, and reads all the same books I do.  Chain plied because I'm loving using up every inch of this pretty, pretty stuff.  Perhaps I'll buy two next time and ply them like a grownup spinner.

And because you've stuck with me this far: Sweet Pea spinning a few yards of the above yarn. 
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Which is only fair, because it will most like become a February Girl Sweater for her.  I love spinning it, but I'm not sure I'd wear that much pink and brown.

Oh, and I made some socks.  See?  My regular pattern, dyed by me, 240 yards.  This is actually the last of 4 sock blanks dyed by me and Sweet Pea a year or two ago.  Frighteningly, when I opened the sock yarn drawer to start another pair... I'm down to like 4 skeins of sock yarn.  And none of them green.  Dudes.  I need to order yarn.


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