Sunday, October 28, 2007

More Pics and an Update

Wow...I just realized! I never posted pics of the beautiful socks made for me by LkManitou!! So, without further ado, here are the pics of the socks she made me!

Oh, and remember that Knitting To Do list?
  • Finish the CTH Contest jacket and get it mailed by 5/29.

  • Knit the Laurel Fibonacci Stripe top for my former boss by 6/24 (it's a gag gift, and I'll have to adapt it a bit for *him*).

  • Finish my Crayon Box Jacket

  • Make the gorgeous Scotch Thistle Stole that Ann gifted me with in SP8.
  • Knit messenger bag for my HP downstream

  • Knit bookmarks for my HP downstream

  • Spin sock yarn for my Spinning SP

  • Spin sock yarn for my Sock Swap Pals

  • Knit the Socks

  • Work on a special secret project for a Pal

  • Fill in the gaps with Guidepost Charity Sweaters
And yes, I AM now back to working on the Crayon Box Jacket...should have more of that to show soon!

Happy Halloweenie!!

Happy Halloween everyone!! I got a great package in the mail yesterday, from the lovely Alarid of the Knittyboards. Take a look!

What's in it? Two GORGEOUS skeins of Silky Wool, yummy Dark Chocolate, evil Candy Corn...

And then there's the little halloween card, beautiful raindrop ornament from her side of the world (British Columbia!), an eagle keyring, purse sized hand lotion, pumpkin soap (with real pumpkin pulp!), BEAUTIFUL homemade stitch markers, and a lavendar sachet pouch for use in the dryer - or in my yarn!

What a great package, thanks!! The yarn color is beautiful...thinking maybe I'll make myself a pretty scarf or something with it!

Oh, and speaking of packages LONG overdue to be blogged are the amazing hand-dyed, hand-knit socks from my sock pal Ms. Pixie Riot! She is starting up her own business hand dying yarns, and there are some great colors on her blog - check it out!

I've been doing some charity knitting lately too...finished a Guidepost sweater a week or so ago, and well on my way to finishing a second one... A friend contacted me because she was in need of some Chemo Caps... So I found this pattern made with Lion Brand Cotton Ease, and whipped them out. I hope they are well loved by their recipient.

Oh, and one last note...many of you are now on Ravelry, and a few are still wondering what it is. To sign up, click on the name above. To find me, I'm FiberFanaticsRUs. Hope to see you there! Oh, and I'm being slow about putting things up....recent projects are there, older projects aren't. Very little stash has been put up...I have yet to decide if I'm going to drag out and photograph all the stash so I can post it, that'll be a job!

Monday, October 01, 2007

It's Official!!!!

I'm a published knitting designer!! That's right, the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat pattern is now available for sale! Where can you get your copy? I understand that Hanks Yarn & Fiber, the new incarnation of Chez Casuelle, will have the pattern for sale, but they are still trying to get their retail store up and running, so it might be a little while. If you're really impatient and you can't wait, there are other online sources that have begun carrying it. Search for Cherry Tree Hill Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (the pictures are hideous, but it's definitely the right pattern!)I knew without a doubt that it was official when I got THIS (along with a very nice check) in the mail last Friday! Doesn't it look too cool, all wrapped up official like a kit! Oh, and I know a couple of you have asked me to autograph your pattern (choke!)...but yes, if you would like, email me off blog and we can talk :)

What else is going on?...ok, long overdue: In July and August, I joined a sock swap, where each person made a pair for the other person or persons they were matched with. I ended up with two people to knit for! Both agreed that they would love to have their socks made from handspun yarn, so I found the perfect roving for each, and jumped in. Ms. Pixie Riot’s socks were made from a 50/50 Superwash Merino/Tencel blend, lovingly hand-dyed by FatCatKnits of Etsy in the colorway Get Going.
This beautiful colorway included lime green, purple and pink, and a variety of other colors. It was 4 ounces, and spun up to about 340 yards of fingering weight yarn.

Being uncertain of the exact yardage, I decided toe-up was the way to go on the socks. The pattern used was a simple twin rib stitch that I found on a pair of socks (made for me by Somerset last fall!). I figured it would be relatively easy to knit, which it was (because I did spin the yarn after all). I found that I liked the bottoms of the socks, in stockinette, almost as much, if not more, as the patterned section. I felt it showed the colors better.

I should note that both yarns were spun using the Fractal technique described in SpinOff Magazine, Summer 2007. The technique did not come out as striking on Pixie’s socks because of the abundance of color in the original roving, and the lack of long solid stretches. They’re still gorgeous of course!

LkManitou’s socks were spun from a 4 ounce ball of Targhee roving hand dyed by Susan’s Spinning Bunny in the colorway Oriental Poppies. I would highly recommend Susan’s rovings for the Fractal technique!! This came out amazingly! I did find that the Targhee actually came out even finer than the Merino/Tencel, ending up somewhere between a Fingering and Lace Weight in fact. 4 oz yielded nearly 540 yards of yarn! I think because the Targhee was a little sticker than the Merino/Tencel, it made it easier to spin fine without breaking. Sadly, that also meant that I ended up knitting it on size 0’s!! Think I need to stick to the blend if that’s what my sock yarn does in 100% wool!
These socks were knit with the Diagonal Cross-Rib pattern from Favorite socks, but done as a toe-up. I liked the choice of pattern much better, since it had more stockinette surface to better see the yarn. And the striping…ooo, la, la!

I spent this weekend at Land of Green Ginger Alpacas with Jane and Steve and their 25 wonderful Alpaca! Jane found a bag of raw fleece belonging to Brooklyn, one of their Suri females, and I spent the weekend spinning her. It definitely falls into the “novelty yarn” category. I would estimate that this is between a worsted and bulky weight, for the most part. I'll post a picture soon - the color is a lovely dark chocolate color, so there's no way you'll see it in anything but natural light.

In other news, I recently returned from my trip to NY to visit family and attend the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival! I really enjoyed the festival. K came up to join the fun, and we got to do some shopping together Saturday morning before classes began. We found yummy fiber, she picked up a Bosworth spindle, and a few other things…then we wandered by the “used equipment sale”… Well, it just so happened, they had a BEAUTIFUL antique flax wheel sitting there just begging to go home with me… And, since I had only bought a LITTLE bit of fiber, and still had most of my shopping budget intact… I bought it! Shipping was a slight challenge – my father helped me disassemble it enough to put in a reasonable sized box. It fared relatively well in shipping, with just one slight mishap. The wheel itself was broken, but nothing that some wood glue and straps wouldn’t fix. I do need to get a little wood filler, and once I can get the wheel filled and set, and re-assemble the entire thing, there'll be more pictures. In the meantime, here's the one that Wendy took of it:

Classes at the festival were awesome, and I have a number of things that I need to photograph and show you, but that will have to wait for another post.

I also mentioned family - my sister-in-law asked me during the first week, if I would make a scarf for Ava for the winter. I told her I'd been wanting to make matching Mom & Baby scarves actually, but I was uncomfortable picking the color - so we went together and she picked out the yarn! Here's the fashion duo!

If you couldn't tell from the photo, Ava is an absolute DOLL! She's an incredibly happy baby, LOVES all animals, was standing up when I got there, cruising handily by the time I left, and talks CONSTANTLY (she's just waiting for us to start understanding her!). Here's another great shot of her. I'll see about sharing more in future posts.

Anyhow, this is your update for the moment. I'll be back soon with pictures of my projects from NY as well as the Alpaca farm spinning, and the wheel. I'm sure there'll be other things by then too (I have it on good authority that I should have a pair of hand-dyed socks arriving any day now :)).