Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I did it!!!

Black Sheep Studios

Yup, I did it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


September 29, 2010

Spunky Eclectic fiber is awesome. Amy's colorways always make me happy. I especially fell in love with Twenty-Ten. I bought 4 ounces in superwash BFL. When I got it in the mail I couldn't help but smoosh it.

It wanted to be a chunky, chain-plied yarn. I obliged.

And that soft, warm and bright yarn wanted to be fingerless mitts. Again, I obliged. I mean really, how could I not?

I call them Happy, as in 'They make me'. I designed them with the new spinner in mind. The yarn required is chunky; a much easier yarn for a new spinner to produce. Because it's plied the flaws in the singles don't show up as readily. And it's quick. And fun. And Happy.

I spun the yarn on the very first spindle I ever owned; a bottom whorl, 2.5 ounces. I call her Old Faithful, my workhorse. She is the spindle I pick up when I've got a fiber I've never tried before. I pick her up when I'm frustrated with one of my other spindles. I can ply up to 4 ounces on her. She has been dropped many times and doesn't mind it. A little bit of fluff shimmed in between the shaft and the whorl and she is as good as new.

Fiber used: "Twenty-Ten" on Super Wash BFL by Spunky Eclectic
Yarn details: Singles spin direction-Z, 22 wpi, Chain plied, spin direction-S, 8 wpi,
Method of finishing: Warm soak in a wool wash, warm rinse and light 'thwacking'
Fiber prep: Started with combed top, split down the middle to preserve color progression, enough pre-drafting to loosen fibers
Drafting method: Short forward draw
Spindle used: 2.5 ounce, bottom whorl
Yarn classification: Bulky
Suggested commercial substitutes: Mirasol Yarn Sulky, Plymouth Encore Chunky, Rowan Purelife Brittish Sheep Breeds Chunky, Noro Iro

Yardages: I spun 4 ounces in two skeins of about 46 yards each. I used 3.8 ounces for the mitts and had about 12 yards left.

Happy Fingerless Mitts
Women's Medium
Gauge-4 stitches and 6 rows=1 inch
Needles-US 8-5mm, or size required for correct gauge
90-120 yards Aran or Bulky weight yarn
Notions-stitch markers, tapestry needle
Approximate finished circumference, measured around palm, just above thumb-8 inches
Both mitts are made exactly the same and each mitt can be worn on either hand.

Stitch definitions and techniques
M1F: Pick up bar between stitches and place on left hand needle so the 'short' leg is in the front, knit the short leg, this makes a left leaning increase, also called M1L.
M1B: Pick up bar between stitches and place on left hand needle so the 'short' leg is in the back, knit this from the back, this will twist the stitch and make a right leaning increase, also called M1R.
Visual tutorial here


CO 32 sts, join for working in the round.
PM at beginning of round and work K2, P2 rib for 3 inches.
Change to St st and increase 1 st in next row, 33 sts.
Work 2 more rows in St st.

Thumb gusset:

R1. K16, pm, M1F, K1, M1B, pm, K to end of row.
R2. K 1 row plain.
R3. K16, sm, M1F, K3, M1B, sm, K to end of row.
R4. K 1 row plain.
R5. K16, sm, M1F, K5, M1B, sm, K to end of row.
R6. K 1 row plain.

Continue alternating increase rows with plain rows until there are 15 stitches between markers. Last row should be a plain row.

Usually at this point, when making mittens or gloves, you put the thumb stitches on waste yarn and work the rest of the hand. I wanted to preserve the colorway progression of my yarn as best as possible; I didn't want to come back to make the thumb in a totally different color.

Next row: K16, slip these 16 sts onto waste yarn, K across thumb gusset (15 sts), slip rest of hand sts onto waste yarn, they will not have been knit this row. They will be the first sts you knit when starting the hand.


Join 15 thumb sts for working in the round.
K 4 rows even.
Work 2 rows in K2, P2 rib.
BO in pattern.


Starting at thumb, return stitches from waste yarn to needles. Beginning of row will now be where the thumb is, pm. Join for working in the round.
Join yarn and K 1 row.
At end of row, PU and K 1 st to close gap between thumb and hand, 33 sts.
At end of next row, K2tog, 32 st.
Continue in St st for about 1.5 inches or until mitt is 1 inch shorter than your preference.
Work 4 rows in K2, P2 rib.
BO in pattern.

Weave in ends with tapestry needle. All they need is a damp blocking to look awesome! Rinse and repeat for second mitt.

Don't they make you Happy too?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Should be Cleaning

I should be cleaning for Pesach but the day is so beautiful that I just had to get some pictures in the sun.

I'm on the last 8 or so rows of Legolas. Almost ready to add the leaf tips.

Here's a picture of my Evenstar circular lace shawl. In about 13 rounds, when I switch to a longer cable I will pin it out so you can see the design. This is my first project in lace weight yarn and my first circular shawl. I'm so excited it's turning out so well! Sometimes I amaze myself.

Speaking of amazing myself:

Yeah, I spun that. About 56 yards, 2 ply, light worsted weight. I still have a few more grams of fiber to spin up and ply. Can't wait to see what my final yardage is. I might make myself a pair of lacy fingerless mitts or a cowl, dunno yet.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy pi Day!

In honor of pi day I picked up my spindle and spun some amazing fiber and totally blew myself away with my talent.

That is all.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nothing Better to Do

I am knitting lace. Yes, lace.


Some of you will remember the Revontuli that got frogged because I messed up on a YO. Then there was the lace purse that only took a few days to knit but most of a year to block and line. I finished that last week BTW. I love it.

Well I'm going for another shawl. Two really, from the same designer, Susan Pandorf of Sunflower Designs. They're from her Lord of the Rings series and the entire set of patterns looks to be totally amazing. I signed up for her Mystery KAL for her shawl called Evenstar. I was the 960th to sign up and I won the entire set of 7 patterns! One of the patterns I won is called Legolas. It's a small triangular shawl with undulating leaves running through the whole thing. I'm about half way done. I love this one too.

And socks. Of course.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Three Months and Counting


It's almost Pesach. We're talking three weeks from now. That's just over 21 days. So why do I decide to start writing in my blog now? It's waited this long, what's another few weeks? I could talk about how it's helpful to have a record of my cleaning progress or accountability or my pre-Pesach knitting or my guest list or my menu plans...


It's simpler than that.


In our morning prayers we ask the Almighty to remove the 'evil' inclination not only from behind us but from in front of us. Behind us is self explanatory, it's the way we allow ourselves to be pushed into eating food that's not healthy, or having one more drink, or letting our anger yell at our kids; I could think of thousands of examples. But why do we ask for the 'evil' inclination be removed from in front of us? This is the classic example of doing good things for all the wrong reasons. It's the idea that we really need just one more kugel for Shabbos when we know we have enough food, or when we decide to sit down and write that thank you note when the dishes need washing up. It's what makes us say yes to a friend even though we know we won't have time to make dinner for our family.

It's also what makes us say: I'll get to whatever it is soon, my admiring followers (all 9 of you) have been waiting three months for me to show off my FO's and chat about my plans for my garden and talk about what I'm making for Yom Tov. I have an obligation. Right?

Baloney. But we all know I'm going to do it anyway.