Posted in Friends, knitting, Knitting Machine, Quilting, Reflections, Spinning

New Year’s Day!

What are you doing this New Year’s Day?  Me, I’m spending it with a group of fiber people!

You know, I never gave that description any thought when I started hanging out with spinners and knitters because of the company I was in when I said it, but outside of that community I’ve had lots of funny looks from people and then I realized they thought I meant “fiber” as in dietary fiber!

Today I’m taking not only my spinning wheel and new jumbo flyer so I can finish up the roving I’ve been working on, but I also made the bodies of 3 hats on my Singer HK-100 bulky knitting machine yesterday so now they just need to be sewn up to finish them.  That’s the part I dislike the most, but I’ll be able to finish them up in no time because I’m going to concentrate on them today, and someone there might even have an easier way to sew them up than I’ve been able to figure out so far, too.

I’m also going to take those over sized Fuzzy Feet slippers I made with me so I can finish the toes and then get them into the wash to felt them.  I have to say, I’m quite pleased with how they’ve turned out and I’ll be taking a toe-up sock pattern with me today so I can start learning how to do those, too.

I’m also taking a Coca Cola Chocolate Cake.  I’ve never tried it, or made it, before but I’ve never made socks before, either.

So, today it sounds like a lot of “finishing” going on!  That sounds fabulous to me, because they say that whatever you do on New Years Day is what you’ll do the rest of the year.   And by “they” I mean the gals I’m getting together with, and who knows who they got it from! 🙂 

I’ve really been  looking forward to our get together, I seem to come back calm and centered after spending a day with them.  There’s food, laughter, conversation and lots of creativity and support..

Next weekend, I’ll quilt.

Happy New Year!

Posted in knitting, Knitting Machine, Quilting, Sock Knitting

Last quilt of the year…coming soon!

I’m well on my way to the toe on my second Fuzzy Feet felted slipper, then on to learning how to Kitchener stitch.   But more importantly, I’m almost done with my last customer quilt of the year…and it’s GORGEOUS!

Yes, I like the quilting design I’m putting on it, and yes, I picked something that took way longer than it probably needed to,  but when I first saw this quilt…well, I fell in love.  It’s just so peaceful.

I love bright colors.  I’m animated. I’m always on the go.  This quilt is none of that.  I’ll be finishing up the border tonight, while my husband is at work.  As much as I’m dying to, I’m not going to post a sneak peak of the quilting, but you’ll know what I mean when you see it.

Once this quilt is finished, then I can focus on my own projects:

  • Finishing the Fuzzy Feet felted slippers
  • Finishing a surprise quilt for a friend
  • Finishing the last round of my Pass-the-Bag project
  • Replacing the sponge in the HK-100 knitting machine
  • Making at least 6 hats on the knitting machine
  • Replacing the electrical plug on the Passap
  • Cleaning up the Passap
  • More knitting projects…check out my Ravelry queue!
  • Spending time at my LYS
  • New Year’s Day spinning

    Today, though, we need to go car shopping.  Last week my husband’s 20 year old van broke down, the one he uses for his side jobs doing drywall.  It’s been very enlightening having only one vehicle, and truly emphasizes the lack of bus service in Boise!

    I’ve drawn a line in the sand on spending anymore money for repairs; there’s over 194,000 miles on it!  We’ve already put in more money than we should have, trying to get it to last until Spring.  For the most part it’s been a good vehicle, but it’s time to replace it.  Terrible timing, though.

    Oh, and my mom is coming to visit at the end of the week, after Christmas, so we’ll have our own celebration then.

    For those of you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you enjoy the festive atmosphere of this holiday season.  For those of you who do, Merry Christmas!

  • Posted in knitting, Sock Knitting

    Sock Knitting!

    fuzzyfeetThis is my first “sock”!

    About 3 years ago, someone suggested that I use the Fuzzy Feet felted slipper pattern from to learn how to make socks and I finally got up the courage to start it!

    I’m using a double strand of Fisherman’s wool where I took the ends from the middle pull and paired it with the end of the ball, and because I’d wound the skein into two, somewhat similar sized balls, when I got to the toe of this first sock and was running out of yarn from the first ball, I figured I should make a design decision and finish it up with another color.  What’s showing as green in the photo is actually brown in person.

    Yes, it’s gigantic, but it’s supposed to be so that it will shrink to the appropriate size when felted.  It’s a top down sock and now I need to learn how to do the Kitchener stitch to close up the toe.

    I’ve even cast on the second sock (no second sock syndrome for me)!  Last night I got the 2nd cuff done and I’m ready to start the heel flap.  I’m really getting excited to learn how to make some everyday socks now!  After learning the Kitchener stitch, I’ll learn how to make toe up socks.

    Posted in knitting

    More Knitting Obsession!

    Kato-cowlYesterday I finished a very warm, beautiful cowl made out of  Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Grand Hand Dye 002. The pattern is called Kato Cowl, by Rae Ann Vandeputte.  Her pattern is shown with some beautiful buttons, but I think I’ll be getting some shawl pins, or using some of my scarf pins, to add to the cowl.  I got the yarn during a visit to Seattle for a family funeral this summer and found Main Street Yarns in Everett, WA.  Unfortunately for them, it was the first day of their going out of business sale.  However, I took advantage of the sale and got 4 great skeins of yarn and a set of Kollage knitting needles.

    This alpaca yarn is quite squishy and soft, but once I got it worked up and sewn into the cowl so I could try it on, I found it a little bit itchy.  I’m going to get some wool wash and see if that makes an improvement.  Otherwise, I’ll be wearing it with a turtleneck!

    I can’t believe I actually used something out of my stash in the same year I purchased it!  This knitted up so quickly, I think it’s the fastest I’ve ever done a project!  I might have to make these for Christmas gifts!

    I started a top down felted slipper pattern yesterday to keep me busy on the bus.  I’m having trouble with it, though, I’ve ripped it out about 5 times now; the right side is supposed to be on the OUTSIDE!

    Sigh.  I’ll get it, though.

    Posted in knitting, Knitting Machine

    My First Knitting Machine Hat

    blue-orange-hat-smI’ve been trying to learn how to use the knitting machine that my cousin gave me.  Of course, I don’t want to learn on my “good” yarn!…does anyone else do that?  “Save” your “good” stuff for later?

    Some of the problem has been that I just haven’t really known what to make, and I don’t know what stitches to try to make said unknown project.  It’s really a bit of a switch, changing my mindset from hand knitting, and even then I pretty much only make washcloths and scarves anyway!  I am a quilter, after all.

    I’ve hand knit several long skinny scarves with the hairy novelty yarn, so I’ve been trying to use some of those in the knitting machine, too, and have had a hard time with them.  One of my internet group suggestions was to run some “regular” yarn through the machine to make sure it is working properly.

    So, I went rummaging around my stash of yarn and found some Lion Brand Fun 100% acrylic yarn that I’d bought at a ridiculously cheap price a couple of years ago, when I thought I’d make a Bronco scarf or something and never got around to it.  This hat is the result, and I’m thrilled with it!

    The light doesn’t do it justice, it’s really darling!  I had no idea how big it would actually turn out to be, because I was experimenting, and it’s much too small for my small adult sized head, so I’ll give it to the church charity hat drive when I finish sewing up the side seam.

    One thing about making round objects on a flat knitting machine is that you have to seam most of them to complete them, and I’ve found that is my least favorite part.  But I learned a lot on this project and had a blast doing it.

    Posted in Bond, knitting, Knitting Machine

    A Finish!

    DSCF6235I just finished my first long skinny scarf  using one skein of novelty yarn out of my stash.  I used my Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine, which I’ve had  forever, and took me just under an hour!  That is, after the learning curve where I figured out how many needles to use and after I ripped it out the first time. Confused smile  The trick was using every other needle and going very slowly. I was afraid I’d run out of yarn before I got it cast off so I actually could have made a few more rows before ending, but that’s also part of the learning curve.

    I used 9 needles total, although I thought I had cast on more, but that was before I started over.  I think I may sew this into an infinity scarf as it will wrap around my neck 3 times, which looks like a faux fur collar.  I thought the weighted hem was really too heavy so I only used one weight bar on each side, and once it got long enough, I used my knees to support the weight.  Again, I can’t stress “go slowly” enough!  When it got really long I started using the claw weights.  I had to rip back a few rows a couple times, which was the reminder to slow down.

    I have several more skeins of this, and some eyelash, yarn that I want to get out of my stash.  They make really great, fast, inexpensive gifts and add a pop of color to an outfit.  And yes, they are surprisingly warm, although you do have to get used to the fibers against your bare neck. 🙂

    Posted in Fiber, Friends, knitting, Spinning, Weaving

    New Year’s Day Goodness

    DSCF6221I was invited to spend New Year’s Day with a group of die hard fiber enthusiasts….knitters, spinners and weavers…who quickly became new friends.

    We were hosted by Mitzi Meyer, at her home in Sweet, Idaho.  I am ashamed to say, in the 8 years I’ve lived in Idaho, I’ve rarely been outside of Boise; I didn’t even know there was a town named Sweet! I truly enjoyed the drive, it reminded me of my native Montana surroundings, and the next time my mom visits I’ll definitely take her out that way.  Their home was absolutely beautiful and perfect for this get together.

    Of course, I took more projects than I was able to work on, but my motivation was to take advantage of all of the expertise in the room to get advice for completing several UFOs including:

    1. A 27 year old sweater that has been in “time out” (more on that later)
    2. A spinning project that stalled last year
    3. Instruction on how to ply my newly spun yarn

    I showed off the hat that I started a couple of months ago for my DH, which is almost finished but didn’t make my knitting-machine-baby-blanket-samplerChristmas deadline…and got a good laugh from everyone because it’s absolutely gigantic!

    My knitting machine sample got some attention as well, and I spent quite a bit of time talking with Angie, who is also trying to learn more about how to work her own knitting machine.

    It was obvious that this is a close group of friends, but I felt welcome and included and look forward to spending more time with this unique and talented group.

    Mitzi also runs an online store, Mitzi’s Yarns for Weavers and Knitters, where she sells mill ends and closeout inventory, and of course, we were able to peruse her wares. Mitzi had earlier showed off a scarf/shoulder cape she’d made, and written the pattern for, with a fingering-weight-closeupcombination of two strands of yarn that I thought would work perfectly to keep me warm this winter.

    I’ve been looking for this sort of pattern and I was able to get enough yarn for the pattern to make 3 different color options using a mohair /wool /acrylic blend. I’ll pair one of theses colors with the black wool blend yarn and see how it turns out before I decide on what I want to pair the next one with. If it goes like I think it will, I might already be ahead of next Christmas’ gift season!

    This might be one of those projects that is the knitting equivalent of a PSQ though, since this is a lace weight yarn (I think) and I’ve never worked with something so small!  However, I had an idea that I might be able to ply these two yarns together using my spinning wheel and treat the resulting yarn as one strand.

    I’m back to my quilting this weekend.  I hope you all had a great holiday and got time to spend with all of your wonderful creative toys.