Friday, December 21, 2007

Tis the season

Well, I'm just about finished with Ice Queen, although she has been renamed- she is now Snow Maiden. I finished the picot edging on the top, but have run out of yarn... I could go get another ball right now, but I stepped in cat puke, so I washed my foot in the bathtub, and then decided to just take a shower. So now my hair is wet, and it's mildly cold out (actually warm for Minnesota at 37) so I don't want to go out. I'll go get it tomorrow.

I am working instead on my bulky bolero- this thing is not quick, because I get bored with it so quickly. However, tonight, we'll hopefully hunker down with some movies so I can get some solid work done on it.

Not much else is going on right now- just relaxing. It's so nice not making a big deal of Christmas, and just enjoying it as a day of rest and relaxation. More power to those of you who do it up in a big way... but I appreciate my quiet holidays!

Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, whatever you celebrate- have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Queenie

Here she is:

DCP00369

Pretty eh? There are more pics where that came from.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Fluffy Goodness!

I am usually not a girly girl. In knitting patterns, I tend to choose warmth and cables over frothy prettiness Not to say I don't appreciate flowers or lace, I generally just don't wear them. But perhaps I have changes.
I saw Ice Queen in the Winter Knitty, and fell in love. While everyone else was oohing and aahhing over Jeanie, I was already thinking of how, were I to get stuck in the Wintery Narnia, this would be the perfect thing to tromp through those idyllic woods with talking beavers. And since anything can happen, it is best to be prepared.
So, I adopted some unspeakably pretty mohair/merino laceweight by Crystal Palace that is a mixture of lavender, rose, mint green, and pale blue, all mingled with subtle grace (I really love this yarn) with a lovely halo, and a nice, not too slippery hand, but plenty of lustre.
Then I went to the local bead shop, which happens to be having a 30% off everything sale. It was meant to be. I bought one adorable little tube of gleaming mint 6/0 beads, and went home to eagerly cast on.
Damn. Provisional cast on. I hates it. I tried the method preferred by the designer, but it just didn't work for me. So I googled it, and found a method that worked relatively well in a technique article on knitty. It took forever- one hundred fifty frickin six stitches- and then I went on my merry way. This is my very first lace weight project- I've done lace in worsted weight before, but it is so different when your yarn feels nonexistant. However, I've gotten into the groove of it, and I am thoroughly enjoying this! So, when I get a little bit further, I shall take some pics, and there will be much rejoicing (YAYYYY!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Taste the rainbow

fiber roll

Yummy. I loved knitting this scarf- it is the one row scarf from the Yarn Harlot. It was brainless fun, perfect for tv, and so satisfying. It made my bumpy handspun look great! I casted on 4 extra stitches for a little bit meatier of a scarf. It goes great with my raspberry down coat too!

one row scarf

Taste the rainbow!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

snowy


snowy shed
Originally uploaded by autumns.daughter
What a beautiful day. The snow is falling in abundance, gentle little flakes, and it is a perfect day for knitting.
I've been working on my hemlock bolero- but I am confused. I seem to be getting a different gauge on the sleeves than on the body, so I might rip them out and try knitting them on 10 1/2s instead of on 10s. Sigh. I thought that this little sweater would go quickly. I think it would, if I didn't have all of these gauge issues. But, I want to have a nicely fitting sweater, so I'm willing to reknit if that's what it will take to make me happy.
I've been spinning a fair amount as well... but until I get some better light, I won't be able to get nice pics.
Ah well. In this weather, I don't feel much of a rush anyhow. It is just nice to be able to sit and watch the snow fall.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

City Lights


This is the City Lights Polwarth roving I bought from the Fiber Studio.
My first impression? The colors! Wow! So gorgeous, and vibrant! The texture was less hairy than Corriedale, with more crimp and softness. It also had an appealing "greasy" feel- not gross, but well moisturized. It drafted really easily, and was simple to spin, it practically spun itself.
I separated the roving into to long strips, and rolled it up into two balls. I spun one and then the other, and then I plyed the two together, for a long continuum of color. It was incredibly satisfying to see the results. Here is my city lights yarn!
I haven't had the heart to tie it into a skein yet, it is too
pretty on the chair!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

assorted


No pics of it yet, but I'm steadily working on my bolero. I was a wee bit concerned that I would be running out of yarn, because I decided to not do the decreases on the front- I'm busty enough that I want as much fabric there as possible- and I think I'm going to make it a little bit longer- and cables use extra yarn too. So I bought a couple more skeins at the Double Ewe.
I am really quite happy with this project. I put one of the arms on the needle last night, so now I can work on either the body or the arm, whichever appeals to me in the moment.
I am really pondering whether or not I should start St Brigid. I love it so much, and I think I know what yarn I want... and I've got that 25 per cent off coupon waiting for me... So yarn cost would be around 70 bucks... thats really good for a sweater. Especially this sweater. We'll see.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Cough, cough, hack... can you hear me now?

Hello friends, I have had a really hard week. I had a cold last week, and I thought it was over. But no. I have bronchitis. Ick.
So, I haven't been in school because, well, I'm miserable, and so doped up on cough syrup that I don't think it would be safe for me to drive there. So I've been doing some knitting, no spinning (too much precision involved in that) and a lot of watching of tv. I just got hooked on the Ghost Hunters show of the Sci-Fi channel- its entertaining at least. But all of that still can't distract me from the fact that every time I cough, I feel like I'm hacking up my lungs. Ugh...
The bolero is going alright. I'm finally at the spot where I put the sleeve stitches on a scrap piece of yarn and cast on the underarm stitches. Woo. That's pretty exciting.
I am a bit concerned just about the wearability of this sweater, as its in super bulky yarn. It is a bolero, so it has a sort of open design, it is cropped a bit, and I think I might shorten the sleeves to 3/4 length. So maybe it will be ok. After all, it gets cold here eventually.
Anyways. I've got nothing left. Here's a video of an alpaca to distract you. Enjoy!
video

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hemlock Bolero


This is what I call my Hemlock Bolero. I am working on it sporadically- it's great tv and car knitting. It is from Knitting Pure and Simple, and the only change I've made are the cables going down the arms- the stockinette got too boring and I was losing interest, plus my gauge was off, so I frogged and started again. I really like it so far- the color is perfect, and the yarn (harrisville bulky) is so soft, and even smells good!
Not much else happening on the knitting front, been spending most of my time on ravelry.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Spinning joy!


Did I mention I got a spinning wheel? Well I did! For the first week, I just read books about spinning, checked out various websites, and practiced treadling while watching tv. Finally, Friday afternoon, I got sick of just treadling, and got out my Corriedale roving, naturally dyed a beautiful mix of lavender and pink, and got started. It wasn't easy. Whenever you go to fiber fests, you see all these spinners, spinning while chatting and never batting an eyelash. They are highly gifted individuals. I started and stopped, started and stopped so many times, and my cats heard vocabulary that no domesticated beast ought to hear. But eventually I got into the rhythm of it, and really enjoyed it. I am amazed at the quantity of wool that I can spin now- it is SOOO much faster than a drop spindle. The consistency is much improved as well- the yarn is more relaxed and at 2 plies, is a nice bulky weight. I am impressed! So if you have ever considered upgrading to a wheel, I say, do it! It makes spinning such a joy!

Friday, October 26, 2007

I'm Back! And at Ravelry too!

Hi! Well, I've been occupied for a while now... In non knitting news, I was in a car accident, but since then have gotten a new car, so I'm not too shaken up. You can see a pic of it (its PRETTY!) on my writing blog. With knitting- the biggest news is that I got my invite to Ravelry, and I'm over there as autumnsdaughter. Pretty simple, huh? I haven't listed any projects yet, but this weekend I will work on that. I bought a spinning wheel a couple weeks ago- I'll post pictures later on tonight. It is sooo nice! I don't really know what brand it is- I got it on Craigslist for $150. Yup. Good deal. And it works beautifully! So I am really happy, because I can finally get a lot of wool spun quickly. I'm working on spinning up my Corriedale that is hand dyed a lovely lavender and pink mix. It is just like cotton candy!
A little while ago, I went to the MN Alpaca Farm open house, and saw lots of beauties! I bought some yarn and some roving. Here is one of the little guys. Cute, huh? I oohed and aahed over how sweet they were- I want one! Someday....

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ladder Shawl

I finished this shawl earlier this fall, perhaps early September? It is a very easy, fast, instant gratification sort of project, courtesy of Chris Bylsma. I first bought this pattern in Arizona- a great little shop in a great little town called Jerome. She had beautiful stuff- including Lorna's Laces. So, I bought a skein of Lion and Lamb, in the colorway Watercolor. One skein of this was enough to make a scarf using the ladder pattern- it was about a third as wide as the shawl.
Well, this time I wanted a shawl, and I didn't have much yarn money, so I used what I had, which was some purple Patons merino, and scraps of other junk. I just changes yarns when I felt like it. I'm trying to remember all of the yarns that I used. I know there was some cheap novelty junk that I knit a row of here and there, to give it some sparkle. I also strung beads onto laceweight Misti Alpaca. I used some leftover Noro Kureyon, some camel/merino in grey, some light blue kid et soie. I really love the combination of textures. I love that the dropped stitches give it such drape. I thought about weaving in the ends (really, I did!) but I like the random fringe the ends created.
This shawl isn't really as long as I had hoped for- its not pashmina length. I do like using it as a large scarf. It is quite warm, but light, due to the dropped stitches.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pumpkin Pride


New Yarn! Woo hoo! I just bought this from my favorite LYS, Double Ewe.

First off, my apologies for the crappy pic. I haven't figured out how to get a good close up of yarn yet. This is Malabrigo worsted, in the peach tree colorway. Oh, it is so soft. It is so pretty. I love it.
My cat is starting to get jealous.
What will I make with that? I hear you ask. Why, I'm glad to answer. I will make this. I am so excited. I have always wanted a pumpkin hat, but every one I've seen so far has been sized for babies or other people of the tiny persuasion. My poor head languished without a wooly pumpkin to keep it warm. So now, when I make pumpkin bread, I can proudly parade my pumpkin pride. (Pretty good alliteration, huh? I DID learn something in 9th grade!)

Now, to cast on!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Schoolhouse beach


Schoolhouse beach
Originally uploaded by autumns.daughter
This is one of my favorite places- Schoolhouse Beach on Washington Island. There is a fiber Arts school there- Sievers- that also has a great yarn shop. I bought some alpaca yarn there- its probably about a dk weight, in its natural oatmeal color. I just love knitting on location.

So this is hello.

Hi. This is me. I like to call myself autumn's daughter, as my birthday is in October (the third) and I think that this led to my fascination with fall leaves, pumpkins, apples and the like.

I am a thoroughly addicted coffee drinker. I suppose it could be worse- I could be addicted to infomercials or cheap booze, but coffee is my poison. I love lattes, mochas, anything that sounds pseudo-Italienne, and more expensive than its worth.

I am also in love with knitting. It is my constant companion. It has seen me through final exams, lost loves, frustrating lines, impossible deadlines, and my world disintegrating and being reborn. I love that companionable hum of wool laced through my fingers, and the scent of raw alpacas. I love the warmth of birch needles, and the subtle touch of color in heathered yarns.

More about me? Well, I sing. Opera to be specific, but I guess most of the time I'd rather listen to Etta James than Birgit Nilsson. Not that I don't love Birgit, but I can only take so much intensity at once. Etta soothes me soul and brings me back to earth. In a way, so does knitting.

In my day to day life, I am juggling coursework- geology, statistics- courses I hate- along with practicing the technique, the finessing of my voice into something lovely and beautiful. But the work of singing is rarely as beautiful as the result. Made up of endless repetition of exercises, the methodical memorizing of words, the tedious diction... well, it can get to be too much for me. That's when I pick up the sticks and reconnect with my inner crafter.

Or, when I am flying high before a performance, jittery beyond hope, literally quaking in my boots, I've got knitting backstage to give my hands something to do. It brings me back to life, to the cycle of life... from grass to sheep to wool to sweater, it seems so natural to me, and reminds me that a colleague's hissy fit in the dressing room is not my problem. It reminds me to keep me feet on the ground when to going gets tough, and to remember what life is really about- the joy of living, the pleasure of sensory beauty, the ease with which everything thrives. It reminds me that life is good, and earnest, and fun. This is why I knit.