Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Games

Is anyone watching the Winter Games?  I am watching them, as well as the snow falling outside.  This is the third day - we have over 6" - which is huge for us.  Our last significant snowfall was over 5 years ago.

For many knitters, crocheters and spinners, this time also means the Ravellenic games are in full swing.  They used to be called the "Ravelympics", but Ravelry was called to the carpet by the International Olympic Committee two years ago for copyright infringement (can you believe that?!).  So many Ravelry members protested so vocally that it made the national nightly news and an article in the New York Times.  It was decided to change the name but the games go on.

Participating Ravelry members compete in various events in an attempt to finish projects and win medals.  Some take on serious challenges, like knitting a complete Fair Isle cardigan sweater in the 14 days.  Cast on starts at the beginning of the opening ceremonies and the object must be finished by midnight the day of the closing ceremonies.  Thousands of knitters, crocheters and spinners participate, and much fun is had by all.

I didn't take on a big challenge.  Instead I've taken on a bunch of small challenges.  Here is what I've done so far in the 24+ hours since opening ceremonies at 8:00 am Pacific Coast Time.

Finished spinning and plying 496 yards of DK 3-ply yarn.  90% wool (Polworth and BFL) and 10% silk.  The silk makes the yarn glow.  I think this is some of the most beautiful I've ever spun.  I have no idea what I'll make with it.  Medal #1 in WIP Dancing.

I finished the scarf you saw in my last post.  Now you can see where the color for the mitts came from.  I think it is fascinating how the colors change as the eye progresses across the scarf.  One of the very fun things about knitting with handspun.  Medal #2 in WIP Dancing.

I've also received two medals in the "Aerial Unwind" event.  I "frogged" socks that I started in a yarn that wouldn't wear well enough for socks in the pattern chosen.  I also "frogged a sweater that's been on the needles for over 3 years.  I'd lost interest in it and decided it wouldn't be very flattering to me unless I drop the 25+ pounds I've picked up since I started it.

Currently I'm working on my third medal in WIP Dancing - a pair of mitts I'm making for still another Starbucks barista.  I started them last week, so this is the only event they qualify for (works in progress).  Once I finish them I'm moving along two two entries in "Hat Halfpipe" - the last two gifts for my Starbucks friends.  Then on to two more unfinished projects - the second sock of a pair and some fingerless mitts for my daughter.

I love being so productive while I'm watching the "real" games!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Handspun yarn can be so mysterious!

Now that I'm knitting with my own handspun yarn, I've discovered how much fun it is.  I don't know why I waited to long to do this! Sometimes, as is the case with my current projects, it can be such a mystery!

Here is the fiber I spun - 8 oz. of Blue Faced Leicester, a long staple breed with considerable shine in the fiber.  It was hand painted by one of my favorite dyers - Crown Mountain Farms - who unfortunately has closed down due to a move back to Germany.  This colorway is called "Finding Rainbows".

I didn't try to do anything fancy with the colors.  I just split the long strip in thirds lengthwise and spun it onto three bobbins.  Then I plied the singles into a 3-ply

You can see in this picture that the skein had two different coloring throughout the yarn.  One is primarily a forest green and dark purple.  The other is yellow greens and a redder purple.  

I knit these fingerless mitts from yarn pulled from the center of the yarn cake.  They are the forest green/dark purple coloring for the most part.  The yellow green started creeping into the mix half way up the right glove.

I'm knitting this scarf from the outside end of the yarn cake.  Looks like an entirely different yarn, doesn't it!  As the scarf progresses the colors will move from one blend to the other.  I can hardly wait to see how it will look when it is done!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A little more knitting and some spinning

Cowl in Seahawks colors.  Go Hawks!

12 oz of fiber becomes two skeins of 3-ply for socks and one skein of 2-ply laceweight for a scarf or small shawl.  These are currently being "finished" - meaning they have been washed and are now drying to "fluff" the yarn and set the twist.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

January knitting

Thank you for all the nice comments you readers sent.  I will strive to write a post here and there so if you are interested then don't take my blog off your blog reader.

Here's the knitting I've done in January.  Still going strong.  I'm filling a big basket of gifts - fingerless mitts and cowls - to take to my local Starbucks baristas who take such excellent care of all my coffee needs.  Quite a few of these are knit from my handspun yarn.

If you are interested in more details you can check the individual project pages in Ravelry for pattern names, yarns, etc.  I will create the pages in the next couple days.  My user name is hardenbrookgirl.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Distractions II

I see my last post was about distractions, and was written two months ago.  So it seems appropriate to address distractions in this post also.

Since the knitting retreat at the beginning of November I've done next to no quilting.  I've been knitting and spinning instead.  And reading.  And enjoying the holidays.  And spending very little time on the computer.

I thank those of you who sent an email to check up on me.  All is fine.  However, knitting and spinning do not generate any desire to write.  I don't know what the difference is, but they just don't inspire me in a verbal way.  So I have stopped writing.

Keeping a blog isn't what it used to be.  When I first started blogging there was so much give and take between the quilting bloggers.  I made so many friends all over the world who became very dear to me - and still are.  These days, however, there are so many people writing blogs, and with people busier than ever it seems that very little commenting goes on.  The comments and discussions were what kept me blogging, and I miss them so much.  These days it just isn't the same.

I thank you who have read my blog over the years.  I'm going to leave it in place as I know people still visit the tutorials regularly, but I'm not going to keep posting.  I wish all of you the best in both your quilty and your personal lives.