Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Dec. 28 Happy New Year!
(so cheesy, I know, but I could not resist)

With all the well wishes sent out into the world around this time of year, there should be more peace on earth, but sadly it's not. Or maybe it would be worse without this positive energy. In any case, I too want to wish all my readers a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!

I'll reflect about the past year in private, and what I've done on the crafting front you already know. I did look through my note book, and compared to my 72 FO's in 2008, I have 67 FO's and 2 WIP's at the end of this year. But these are just numbers, not meaning much.

Thanks to those who accompanied me throughout this past year, taking the time to leave comments. I appreciate it.

There is hoping 2010 will be a better one in many ways, and as good in some ways! Cheers!

Monika

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ambitus 2 & 3

I always thought my handspun was so special I had to keep it around for a while, before I can knit with it. Well no more! I want to knit with it right away, if possible. I've knit two neck warmers with my handspun, which I use more than anything else. I love this design by Lankakomero. It's Ambitus neck warmer. I've knit three so far, and I'm sure I will be knitting more in the future.

Ambitus # 2 was knit with handspun from fiber dyed by FatCatKnits, called Grant Tetons, ~ 215yds of 2-ply, 12 WPI, 4oz BFL. I did not like this colorway while spinning it, that's why I made a fast thick/thin yarn, but once I've knit with it, I thought it looked O.K.
I ran out of yarn before I could make the size according to pattern, but it's big enough. I only got up to row 24 before I could bind off. I used 3.75mm needles. I started it on December 11 and fnished it the next day.


Ambitus 2

Ambitus # 3 was made with superwash merino fiber, which I received as a gift from Marianne of Picperfics's Fluff-N-Stuff.
I've got ~ 392yds of navajo plied yarn, more than enough for this pattern. I LOVE how the stripes repeated themselves in such a nice manner. I would not have choosen this colorway myself, but I'm glad I got to spin and knit with it. It's cheerful and so soft!
Again I used 3.75mm needles, and knit the full pattern. I started on December 13 and finished it the same day. It's addictive and fun to knit, and warm and cosy to wear.

It also showed me again how fun and special it is to knit with ones own hand spun yarn.
If you are on ravelry there will be more pictures to look at on my project page. So with this, back to the spinning wheel, where I can't wait to finish spinning soft merino fiber for a 3-ply yarn. Back soon!


Ambitus 3

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Who's that dork?

I've got a lovely package all the way from London, England. My dear online friend Christa, put together these thoughtful gifts.

Lovely gift from Christa

I've always wanted to knit with Rowan yarn, and here were two Rowan Tweed Chunky skeins. I knew it had to become Jared Flood's Qunicy hat!

Quincy hat in Rowan Tweed Chunky

Cast on, knit, and worn within hours! This hat does not suit every head! I look like a total dork with it. My son laughed as soon as he saw me, he probably is still laughing! I don't care. This hat is very warm, and that's all that matters to me. I love the clever construction, everything was so easy, but looks complicated. I did have some left over yarn. Knitting with 6.5mm needles did hurt my hands a little. The yarn itself is on the rough side, but I can deal with it on my head. I could not wear it around my neck though. I have not washed it yet, maybe it gets a little softer then. So, thanks again, dear Christa!

Lovely gift from Chawne! Yeah! Vintage Appliance colorway, so gorgeous!

I've also got this gorgeous mitten kit from my online, flickr friend Chawne! The colorway is called "Vintage Appliance"! Do you see it? I remember the kitchen of one of my friends when I was a kid, it was kept in those green colors. Very strange to me at the time, since I thought kitchen had either to be white or brown wooden cupboards. Anyway, I've already cast on last night.

beginning of Chevron Love mittens
These Chevron Love mittens are very addictive! You want to knit just one more color .....
There are eight colors, and it's suggested to not cut them ,but twist them along as you knit. I could not deal with that tangled mess, so I'll have to weave in many ends. Oh well.

After those are finished I'll probably cast on with my Regia sock yarn and make myself some green socks. Don't know which pattern yet.

I've also got lots of fiber to spin, I'm well behind with all my Fiber club fibers, but I don't want to stress myself about it.

Talk to you soon ....

PS Gluttony thy name is Happy, is doing very well. No apparent harm has come to him from pigging out.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gluttony!

What has a round belly and sticks all four legs in the air? (no not a dead sheep) - It's himself, the little piggy called Happy! He got into his feed sack (which will be transferred into a container soon) and munched away until he couldn't eat another bite. And then? I came along and announced dinner time, and slightly wondering about his lack of enthusiasm over the announcement (usually there are jumps in the air about a meter high), I put another cup of food in his bowl. He looked at it, looked what Biko did with hers (all the time and he would have been finished by now), and started eating, v e r y s l o w l y. He was done way after Biko, she's had already left the kitchen. O.K. by then it dawned on me what he had done. Little piggy! Is it a myth that dogs who ate too much get diarrhea? I think not.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Whether we like it or not, Christmas is here. I wish you all Happy Holidays!

Christmas basket from our Vet

Beautiful Christmas basket from our Vet.
The table runner is from my mom.

Evilla Artyarn, color A-62 with Lavender dolly from my dad

Yesterday this lovely yarn arrived in my arms, along with this lavender dolly from my father. I've ordered the Evilla yarn in Germany (with my B-day money from my dad). It was shipped to my parents in Austria, and delivered here yesterday, when my husband came home. It's enough for a big project.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Johanna Shawl

Johanna shawl finished
For my birthday in November, Paeivi gave me this beautiful Johannah shawl pattern as a birthday gift! I love her designs, and was very happy casting it on. This is one example of casting on for a shawl, knowing full well, the chosen yarn would not be enough. That's why I introduced another yarn early on, but as it turned out, I ran out of this left over yarn (from the Queen Ann shawl) as well. In the end I could only do two repeats of chart 3, and to use up every little bit of both yarns I cast off with both held together. Well it seemed like a good idea.
Johanna shawl finished

But I really like it the way it came out. I put the finished shawl into the washing machine and it came out great, a little softer, slightly felted, just right! (That's why I thought my cardigan would go through the same magical process, and NOT shrink, well...).
Johanna shawl finished-with Happy

This shawl is large, even though I could not do the full size, and it's warm. I like the Evilla Artyarn. It's rough, and it smells a little of sheep, but in a good way.

Thank you, Paeivi! It gave me great pleasure to knit this lovely pattern!

Johanna shawl finished
specs:
pattern: Johanna shawl by Lankakomero
yarn: Evilla Artyarn 6/2, 205g, color: A-18 (raspberry pink) and
Evilla Artyarn 8/2, left over, color: A-08
yarn used together: 240g ~ 792yds
needle: 4.5mm
size after blocking: 40" x 73"

Friday, December 18, 2009

Handspun Friday - Faerie Falls

Happy's corner of the rug
First, thanks to everyone for your well wishes for Happy. He's doing very well. Yesterday morning, he was up to no good already, even before he had breakfast, and had to go to the Vets. Looks like he just can't stand it, when the rug is in its place. He wants the corner to be like that. I replace it a hundred times each day, but as soon as I turn my back, he rearranges it, just the way he likes it. I don't really care, I think it's funny. His wound is healing nicely, and he might have licked it during the night, but not during the day. He had to stay inside yesterday, which was really hard on all of us, this boy wants to run! We'll have another check up on December 29th.

Faerie Falls sw merino-bamboo-nylon 4oz by Moonlightbaker-~366yds, 2-ply
Anyway, there's finished handspun yarn to be seen! This is 4oz superwash Merino/Bamboo/Nylon blend dyed by Moonlightbaker. I've bought from her just once, and don't have the link, but you can google it, if you are interested. I just LOVE the colors! I don't like spinning bamboo very much, but there is worse fiber.

Faerie Falls sw merino-bamboo-nylon 4oz by Moonlightbaker

It turned out ~ 366yds, 2-ply yarn. I tried to spin a little thicker than usual. I've already cast on for the Multnomah shawl with it. I LOVE garter stitch!

Multnomah shawl
Lately I seem to totally ignore the fact, that I don't have enough yarn to finish the shawl, happened to me three times already (you'll see what I mean in future posts). This would be number four. I have ~ 366yds but really would need 412yds as stated in the pattern. I figure, I'll just make it smaller, knit until I run out of yarn. I think this is a lovely pattern for handspun yarn. We'll see how it goes.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

He's home!

Happy's back home, still a little woozy, and very whiny. He told me EVERYTHING! What those people did to him! Poor Baby! There was a spot of trouble with his heart during surgery, but the Vet said, he was not in real danger. Phew! He has to go back tomorrow morning to check, and clean the wound again, and do another EKG. But now, he can relax for tonight.
In the cage next to him was another White German Shepherd, female, older than him. He smells like a pharmacy, very strange. Biko doesn't even want to go near him. Right now he's sleeping under the desk. I'm just glad he's not licking his wound. We are supposed to discourage it.

This was a very exciting day for him. He started out vomiting in the car on the way to the Vet's. He slipped out of his collar, when he was supposed to go with the nice Lady, and he refused to step on the scale. He behaved like a brat. We'll see how it will go tomorrow.

Now we are all going to move to the living room, and cuddle.
Happy home after surgery

Today is the day ....

Drop off at the Vets was 7:45AM. If there are no complications, I'll be picking him up shortly before they close. Meanwhile, while we wait here's another video. Notice right at the beginning of the video how he growls at the Frisbee, as soon as he pounces on it. He gets mad, when he can't catch it in the air. Biko is looking for her tennis ball. It was very windy that day, and icy cold. My fingers almost froze off, but I can't press the tiny little record button with mittens on.

video

Afterward he made himself comfortable in my chair again. He likes cave like ambience, so David put the Quilt over him.
Happy Dec.8

Happy Dec.8

I have to remember to ask, how much he weighs now.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Garter Yoke Cardigan - again!

Garter Yoke Sweater
this is the actual color - oatmeal - yummy

I can't quite believe it myself, but here it is: the Garter Yoke Cardigan! I started this in May, and was hoping to get it done in time for the cold weather. Well, it's done now, and it's still the same year, so that's good. There are however good news, and bad news.

Garter Yoke Sweater

The good news: I love it! I love the color, the antler buttons, the drape, and how my bust shaping turned out right.

The bad new: It does not fit right. O.K. here's the reason why. After finishing the last stitch on the second sleeve, I threw it in the washing machine to soak, and later drain and spin on LOW, the lowest possible setting. It still came out slightly felted and - a couple of sizes too small, but wait, there's more. When I put it on, it fits perfectly around the shoulders, the bust, and the sleeves are perfect, which means, pre felting, it would have been too big, and the sleeves too long. I can close the first 4 buttons comfortable, but then the trouble start. So I guess you can say, I've got myself a shrug with flaps.

Now I'm wondering, do I do this on purpose, so that I really can't manage to make myself a fitting knit jacket???

I will wear it, at home, where I always intended to wear it anyway. Now I'll need a few month to recover from it, and maybe start another knit jacket for myself. Some day I hope, there will be something fitting like a glove, and I don't mean a glove!

Garter Yoke Sweater

pattern: Garter Yoke Cardigan by Melissa LaBarre, Knit 1 magazine, Fall/Winter 2008
yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino, color: oatmeal
needles: 4.5mm
start-finish: May 18 - December 13

Garter Yoke Sweater

I love the antler buttons! My mom's sent me a baggy full of buttons.

Hirschhorn Knoepfe-antler buttons

And to top it all off, a Happy picture:

Happy - Dec. 4
While I'm sitting on the sofa, spinning, he makes himself comfortable in my favorite knitting chair. In a few month he wont fit into it anymore. Oh, and keep your fingers crossed. Come Wednesday he'll be off to the Vet's for an overnight stay. He's going to loose his marbles. I think I'm suffering separation anxiety (me not him), because I can't stand the thought of him having to stay over night.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Handspun Friday - Grand Tetons

Grand Tetons ~ 215yds thickthin 2-plied-4- 12 WPI

When I drafted this fiber I did not like it. I did not understand why I bought it in the first place. I spun two of those pre-drafted nests, very thin, and thought I could not stand to spin the rest of it the same way. So I spun as thick as I could, which turned out a little thick/thin, and plied it together with the thin singles. It was not until I saw this photo of the finished yarn, that I started to like it. I took many photos, but this one I liked best.
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fiber: 4oz superwash BFL, by FatCatKnits
yds: ~ 215 yds thick and thin, 12 WPI
ply: 2-ply

pre drafted-Grand Tetons, BFL, 4oz-2
Darfted fiber looks great, don't you think?

Grand Tetons by FatCatKnits, sw BFL 4oz

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Silent Movie - Happy's first snow day

His first outing in as much snow as we've got now, was early morning on December 9th, and my camera was out of juice. I can't describe how he and Biko galloped through the snow, and played and had fun. As soon as the batteries were reloaded I tried to get it on film, but the novelty had worn off, and the pups did not do what I was hoping for. Still this 28 seconds silent movie makes me laugh too, especially watching Happy's little feet trotting through the snow.

video

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

All the way from Australia!

Donni had a give away on her blog, and I was the lucky winner!

gifts from Donni

There is this lovely fiber, Donni dyed herself. It's called Winter Woodland (I always read Winter Wonderland until now - huh), BFL/Viscose/Bamboo blend. I'm going to work on it today!!!
There is also wonderful soft lace yarn, called "Meadow", 100% Australian wool, very noice. And look at that gorgeous shawl pattern!!! It's by Jae Koscierzynski (Some Knitting Required), and it's called "Pretty As a Peacock". Wow - how wonderful is that? She even threw in this Ashford Yarn Gauge, with a printed table to determine which yarn weight one has produced. Thanks, Donni! I'll be spinning and knitting for a while, thinking of you.

On doggie news: I thought mud season was over. This year the ground didn't want to freeze at all. There is some hope of snow in the coming days, I wish. The pups had to wash their feet , well I had actually, every time we came back inside. That's what they looked like, sometimes more, rarely less.

Happy Dec. 3-5
I had to put him on a leash to get a picture, because he would not stand still for it.

Biko Dec. 3-3

Look at Biko's goofy face. She might think, "Hehe sucker, you've got to wash my feet again (and again, and again....) Look at her belly and hind legs.

Happy Dec. 3

And here's the demon puppy, in the muddiest corner of the back yard. He was hiding, once again.

Edited: 7AM: We are having a snow storm. I went outside at 6AM with Happy, and it was hilarious to watch him greeting his first real snow. He did not pee however, didn't feel safe enough. We'll try again later, when it's getting light outside. Can't wait to get my feet in the snow and play with the pups in the backyard! - Later!

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Personal Footprints

I was looking forward to this book with great anticipation. I was thrilled with Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters Book One, and could not imagine how else you could knit a sock. Cat Bordhi sure did. Personal Footprints shows you just how. But I don't think this will be a widely known method in the future, because I think sock knitters are set in their favorite way to knit socks, even if they try new things, they will fall back on their known and comfortable way to knit socks. At least that's the way it is with me.
Cat Bordhi has made several youtube videos to help working with her book.

Before you even start knitting your first sock, you need to trace and cut out your footprint. You'll have to do that with every sock yarn, which is different weight as your first personal footprint, and probably different size needles as well. Since you'll get different gauge, the mark for the heel will not be accurate, as I understand it, the lifeline or leg line will always be the same.

personal footprints

After all is measured and recorded you'll knit your Discovery Sock. These green socks are my Discovery socks. All went well, but the heel. It was a mess. Way too large, and the three-needle bind off was uncomfortable for me. I always have to knit something once, before I can start making modifications to suit my feet for example.
1. Discovery sock done-heel
That's my first heel, which I ripped out again.

First Discovery sock from Cat Bordhi's new book
You'll knit the toe first, the foot, and the heel (which will be on hold, until the leg is done, before you can do a three-needle bind off). So far it has been very exciting to knit this sock.

1. Discovery sock done-will rip back
First Discovery sock is done, and I know that I have to change the heel for the second one.

Discovery socks with basket weave cuff.
The left sock is the first one with the heel too wide. For the right sock I made some modifications to make it better fitting. I left it at that, and was a little disappointed with the outcome. As I wore them, the heels GREW and looked ridiculous. Nevertheless, I got the idea, and would be damned, if i left it at that. I got myself some other sock yarn, made a second personal footprint and went to work.

And voila! Lemon Leaves Socks showed just how good they can look, when everything is done right.
Lemon Leaves socks done-1

Lemon Leaves socks done-5
Look at those heels. I still think they are the hardest part to get right, but that might be because of my heels.
Lemon Leaves socks done-6
These are lovely socks, I like the design, and they were knit so fast, almost in a blink of an eye. :o)
Lemon Leaves socks done-3
Normally I don't like rolled cuffs, but here I don't mind.

Oh, I almost forgot. The green socks are made with On Your Toes, 4-ply sock yarn, with Aloe Vera, 100g/390yds, color # 3826. Very nice to knit with, and nice to wear too.

The grey socks are made with 2 x 50g Sheepjes Invicta Extra, color# 1401.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Handspun Friday - Jacobs Humbug

It's been a while since I had a handspun Friday. This finished yarn was done in August. I divided it in half, and spun one half. Then there was a long break from spinning, and I didn't remember how often I divided the half. So I decided to rip the second half into 4 strips, for longer color repeats. The finished yarns are the same colorway, but look a little different.

3.5oz Jacobs Humbug, navajo plied, 2 skeins ~372yds-1

The fiber of course is Shunklies Jacobs Humbug, 3.5oz. I Navajo plied it, and both skeins together are ~ 372yds. Jacobs fiber is a little on the rougher side.
Kettle dyed Jacob Humbug 1- 3.5oz by Shunklies

This was my fourth Humbug hand spun, with a total of 1446yds. I still have several Humbug fibers, and once they are all done, I'll decide what to do with it.

4 times 3.5oz Humbug ~1446yds

Dec.2-4
A few weeks ago, this would not have been possible. Biko never let Happy be that close, but lately she's O.K. with it. Here she's on the round pillow, which usually is Happy's place. That's why he thought why not snuggle up to her. I find them now more often sleeping close together, touching at some point. That's nice.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Something I'll never do again ...

With the beginning of December, a package from my sister arrived. It was a surprise and a lovely one at that. Amongst other things, she sent me this tea package, which is a Advent calendar. One tea bag for 24 days in December. I've never seen this before, and I think it's a most lovely idea, and a great alternative to chocolate Advent calendars (not that I have anything against chocolate).

Advent calendar tea, gift from my sister

Remember these: Mary Maxim Gemstone socks - all four singles
Mary Maxim Gemstone socks-singles-2

This is finished pair # 2
3rd pair of MM Gemstones socks finished - color Peridot

and pair # 3

MM Gemstones 2nd pair finished-2
There's still one single sock waiting for his partner to be a pair, but I don't feel like knitting this sock right now. I've worn # 2 several times, and washed it by hand, and by machine and it's holding up really well.
So, well, knitting four single socks was not a good idea. I'd rather knit a pair and be done with it.

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