Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Steeking 101

Finished knitting the body of the Autumn Cardigan. Time to STEEK!

Someone once asked me if there was anything (knitting related) that I was scared of. It took me a long time to answer, as I'm pretty much an "I can do that!" kind of gal. The closest thing I could come up with is steeking. Taking scissors to something you've spent so many hours on, knowing that one wrong 'snip' and there-she-goes all unraveling and becoming a limp pile of kinked threads.... okay, so it worries me a bit. But, I've done it before and I'll do it again, so here she goes!

A. Body of a fair-isle peice that needs some steeking!
B. Machine stitching zig-zags down one side and the other of the 'center' row that will be cut. (This is an arm whole.)
C. Lots of places to steek in this particular pattern! Here's the long-stretch down the front of the cardigan.
C. All sewn, ready to cut. (Yes, the kids must have hid my good scissors! All I can find is their 'kiddie scissors,' but they'll work! The steek must go on!)
D. Hold your breath and CUT!
E. Voila! Instant cardigan!
I've picked up stitches and have about 2 inches of one sleeve done, but I'll photograph that when I get something that looks like progress. I'm setting this aside for a couple of days; I'm starting to burn out on it and don't want to end up hating it. Plus, I think it's going to be too small, although washing/blocking might take care of that problem. I think I just need a break!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Emily's Easter Egg Rainbow Socks

These are of the superwash merino I hand dyed and hand spun myself! Pattern was pretty-much a take on Fleeegle's toe-up short-row-heel sock, but with some of my own twists thrown in.
About 2/3 done with one of the JoJoLand spiral socks, and almost finished with another row of leaves on the Autumn Cardi, but I'll update those when I have something more intersting to photograph!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Drive-by Update

Still plugging along on the Autumn Cardigan- almost done with the third row of leaves! (5 rows total) Have to take frequent breaks due to the needle size (US-4) and colorwork, but I'm totally loving the pattern.

On other fronts- I've finished one of the hand-spun socks for Emily (the 'Easter Egg Rainbow' yarn) but haven't had time to work on the other one. Little progress on the Jojoland spiral socks too- BUSY week!

Of course, today I have NO excuse, as we have our first Snow Day of 2008. Here's a view of the back porch. Gotta' love the Left Coast of Michigan in January!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Autumn Cardigan- Progress

Just wanted to drop a quick update on the Autumn Cardigan. It's coming along quickly now that I finished the ribbing! Almost done with one row of leaves. I LOVE how the colors are coming together!

On other fronts, I'm 99% done with one of the Easter Egg Rainbow socks (in Em's size) and about half-done with one of the Jojoland swirly socks (my size) but I didn't snap pictures yet. What's to see but two not-done socks?
I have a feeling I'll be obsessed with this Autumn Cardi until it's DONE! LOL!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I'm so excited! (Can you tell???) My Kauni yarn finally came!

I have big plans for this yarn: an Autumn Cardigan, as designed by Ruth Sorensen.

The colors I chose are EQ (rainbow- for the leaves) and EK (greens/yellows- for the background) like the version pictured on the left in the pattern. I'm almost done casting on the bottom rim, and can't wait to see the colorwork emerge.

Final Photo of Hannah's Slippers- Emily gave these to their new (very happy) owner yesterday, the first day back to school from holiday break:
Off to knit in my happy chair. Good night!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

"Leftovers" socks- first FO of 2008

First finished object(s) of 2008!

Specs: Socks -small ladies size, using leftover OnLine Supersocke (from Sarah's socks, below) and some solid turquise Brown Sheep Wildefoote. No, the toes don't match, but OH WELL! That's why they're called "Leftovers!"
Yarn from yesterday isn't dry yet, so I'm not sure what to cast on next!

From "Zebra Stripe Gum" to "Easter Egg Rainbows"

My adventures in dying and spinning- 12/31 (dying) and 1/5 (spinning):

1. Start with 4 oz of superwash merino roving that's been calling my name for MONTHS!
2. Divide into six equal 'bumps' since I have six tablets of Easter Egg Dye.
3. Give each bump a home inside a ziploc bag.
4. Prepare the egg dyes with a splash of vinegar.
5. Add warm water to each Ziploc until the fiber bumps are soaked, then add a cup of dye.
6. Stash the ziplocs into pre-warmed crock pot with water, turn on low, and go do something for a couple of hours.
7. Once the water in each ziplock is clear (all dye is taken up by the fibers) remove bags from crock pot and let cool.
8. Rinse with clear same-temp water a couple of times and lay out on a towel. Roll the towel up and squeeze out excess water.
9. Hang to dry on dowel (along with a couple of skeins of hand-spun Brown Sheep mill-ends yarn. May as well multi-task!)
This is where my dh walked in and said "Hey- first it was Hippy Guts and now you have Zebra Stripe Gum!" I can always count on him for comic relief!
10. Once COMPLETELY dry, divide each color into four (relatively equal) segments, and roll into color-sequence bumps. (I off-set each 'bump' by about 1/5 of the red/pink so the color repeats when I did 2-ply would be a little bit off-set.)
11. Spin fine singles.
12. Finished! 2 skeins of 2-ply fingering weight "Easter Egg Rainbows" yarn! Can't wait for it to dry so I can knit socks!