Monday, March 29, 2010

Yarn, what did I do to you?

Yarn, what did I do to you?

The reason I went to spinning is because I had this happen to me few weeks ago:

Ikumi knits shawlNo, there is no more yarn on the far end. I'm out. less than 10 rows away. Should I try dying purple?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Silk Hankie Disaster, Dude

Disaster, dude.

I was so happy with my silk hankie, I actually spun up all 11g of it in a day.

Ikumi spins silk hankieThen foolishly I andean-plied it.
To anyone thinking of plying silk hankie,
Ikumi spins silk hankie 2rest of it is kind of a blur of tangled over-twisted singles tangling in a tangly-mess. Did I mention tangled? I think I lost some sleep over this. Ridiculous.
Ikumi spins silk hankie 3In the end, I snipped both ends, made an Andean-ply again and then placed the finished ply on a straight knitting needle so the singles didn't get tangled as much.

Lesson of the day:
Silk is sticky.
Silk wants to be spun very fine.
Silk wants to mingle with other silk outside its twist.
Silk is sticky.
Silk is apex of luxury in hand and color.
Ikumi spins silk hankie 4
I think I want to knit a lampshade for this using Nancy Bush's Queen Silvia Motif from Knitted Lace of Estoia.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Homespun Yarn Party!

I didn't realize Maryland was such a fiber-party central. Asher and I drove up the road (after getting lost due to multiple roads with the same names), we finally made it, and enjoyed the yarn fumes in very warm weather.

There were lots of pretty yarn, but none of them really called my name except for this silk hankie: It's a lovely mixture of purple, blue, and cool pink. The hand of it is exquisite. The lovely lady at Misty Hill Farm (I hope that's right, they were out of business cards) showed me how to spin a hankie.

Here's how it's spinning: not as even as I would like it to be, but it's so addictive. While Asher was away playing frisbee, I was busy twirling away on the spindle. And the colors! Usually I'm a sucker for natural colored roving, but these colors! I'm planning on plying it so it will have some interesting mix of colors.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spinning and reclaiming more yarn

I've been really good and the only 'yarn' I've bought this year was for the Mickey Sweater back in February. :) yay me! But there are ways one acquires yarn without 'buying' yarn. Take a look:

This is the fiber I bought from Mary Ann last October at Spin-In in Chapel Hill:

Ikumi wool spinning
I finally finished the singles:

And got really excited and Navajo-plied it:
Ta dah!

Fiber: Wool/Mohair Blend 4oz from Three Waters Farm

Wheel: OLD Louet 7.5 ratio

Style: worsted

Plied: Navajo

Final weight: Heavy fingering/sport ~270 yds

I'm so happy how this turned out! I love the colors, and I'm finally spinning in a way that the yarn isn't steel wool.

I was about to donate these cotton/acrylic blend hat & scarf set from Old Navy. Then I thought that I can maybe unravel it. So I did.

Ikumi recycle yarn
Surprisingly, the hat is knitted flat, then seamed using a thinner thread.
Ikumi recycle yarn 2
Snip snip.
Ikumi recycle yarn 3
...and pulled hard on the top gathered part until it came off: success!
Ikumi recycle yarn 4
Scarf: after taking the fringe off, it was easy to find the end.
Ikumi recycle yarn 5
All in all, I got about 500 yards of cotton/acrylic blend. Enough for a baby blanket?
Ikumi recycle yarn 6All in all, I added 750+ yards to my yarn collection. Yay!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Here we raise our green beer to the Patron Saint of Ireland. Here here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Waiting for spring with carrots

I like knitting and other wintery things, but I also like the warm weather. I like waking up and not having to step on cold tiles of the bathroom.

In the beginning of the month we had some carrots and I saw that one was sort of growing sprouts, so I saved the tops and put them in a bowl with some fish tank water. They are growing, and their small leaves are so cute! I'm really surprised how quickly they grow, and it's really nice having some greenery (for free!) in the kitchen.

Day 1 (3/3): Right out of the refrigerator, straight to the bowl
Ikumi's carrot day 1

Day 2: Leaves are already turning green, so I added another friend.
Day 3: Really fun watching them grow!
Day 4: Leaves are turning green, and new sprouts are coming out from inside the old ones (in layers) <-I should know this term, but oh well.
Day 5: Look at all the leaves! I'm surprised to see how different these leaves are. Are they different species of carrots?

Day 6: Trivia of the day: Carrots originate from Afghanistan. Who'd thunk it? Added another friend.

Day 7 (3/9): They are so much taller then the edges of the bowl now! There's a quiet one...hmmm is that one alive? Asher thinks not, but I'm giving it a few more days.

Friday, March 12, 2010

More selfless month knits

I'm done with Sister's malabrigo hat: Done. Just like that. I love bulky knits.

Ikumi knits Hitomi's hat

Pattern:: Capitan Hat by the Soapy Knitter
Yarn:Malabrigo yarn Chunky in Amoroso
Needle:US10 circular and DPN
Mods:None, LOVE the buttons we picked out. Lovely pattern, lovely hat. sigh.

I didn't run out of yarn like most people on must be that continental uses less yarn than English style knitting. If anyone knows, please let me know.


I casted on for grandma's shawl, and done with the first skein: Funny, notice the difference in color where the ends are on the shawl? I checked the label, and they are the same dye lot. Hemph. I really hope I have enough yarn for this. I'm making the short version.

Ikumi knits grandma's shawl

Pattern:: Carol's Clever Little Shawl by Carol Sanders
Yarn:Patons Classic Wool in Royal Purple
Needle:US8 straight
Mods:None so far. 1 repeat takes 13g of yarn. Hope to not run out!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sock yarn blanket update

I'm officially over halfway done!

This blanket is virtually "gratuit" because all these squares are made of leftover yarn from sockweight projects. Some squares are made of just one type of yarn, and others are combinations of different yarn.

My latest square (unblocked) on the bottom right corner is from my newest FO socks blogged here.

I'm liking the way it's turning out. I thought some squares would stick out like a sore thumb, but the squares are all mingling quite well with one another.


I'm done with sister's malabrigo hat, and I casted on for grandmother's stay-put shawl. I'm very lucky to have people in my life who I can knit for. Photos later.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Selfless month

After knitting 3 projects for myself during Knitting Olympics, I felt rather guilty.

Here is my original plan before yarn for my sweater showed up:

What did I make? MY Norwegian mittens (#5 in above photo).

Therefore I declare March to be my selfless knitting month. I'll knit for others before I knit something for myself.

Here's selfless project the first: Grandpa's computer wristwarmers.

Pattern: Susie's Reading Mitts
Yarn: Rowan Purewook DK in brown and Cascade 220 in forest green
Total yardage: 145 yds
Needles: US5 DPN
Mods: Although my granddad sleeps on a pink futon, I thought I'd make the pattern more masculine.
I CO 40, then knit the first 4 rows as follows: PKKK. No picot edges for him!
Then I knit the lace in contrast yarn.
Stockinette st for 29 rows gave me the right length, so that's where I began the gusset.
After dividing for thumb, K 4 rows then begin lace again. Do one more set of garter stitch, BO. No mods to thumb.

If I were to make this again, I would pick up 3 sts from the hand to avoid holes in the thumb gore. All in all, a fun and quick pattern to knit.

Did I mention I really like the quality of the wool? When I have extra money to spend on yarn, I think Rowan yarn will be worth the extra oomph.

Next up: Sister's cap (#6 in above photo). I wound malabrigo into a cake. mmmm.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Sweater Chronicles Pt 2 of 2

Sigh. My radial nerve on my right hand twitches every once in a while.

Wanna know why?

I give you....the Mickey Sweater!

The Mickey Sweater was an insane challenge by me to finish a complex Norwegian style sweater in 9 days. It's sort of disturbing how close I was though. It took me 11 days.

Here it is Day 1.

By Day 5 I finished the stockinette ocean and started the chart.

It's worth noting that I didn't do the calculations for the chart until I got there. Brave you say?

Day 7 I was ready to attach the sleeves to the body for a raglan construction.
Above the sweater you see how much yarn I had left by that point.
Is that Miga trying on my sweater?

Day 10 I stood in disbelief looking down at a very-close-to-finished sweater. I just had to do few more rows before the neckband.

...and done!

My stranded knitting is flatter than ever!

Pattern: My original (inspired by CM costume in Disneyland)
Yarn: KnitPicks Telemark --11 balls Skyline (blue), 2.5 balls Cream, and 0.3 balls Cardinal (red)
Needle: US2, 3, and 4 circular
Notes: I'll post the sweater pattern here soon...just give me some time to gather all the notes and write up for different sizes (one shown here is 38").

It still hasn't been blocked yet. I'm wearing it now. It's ever so slighly tight around my neck. More short rows next time. I have a sweater!