29 September, 2009 at 7:16 am (knitting)

Some of you may recall that, in late April, with merely three days to go before MDS&W, I challenged myself to knit, wash, block, and wear a Hyrna Herborgar. Apparently I like knitting things on a serious deadline.

viviansleevesandhem (by jesh\)

I’m giving myself three weeks this time (I started Saturday morning), but then, Vivian is a lot bigger than Hyrna… and I still have to prep forty spindles for sale as well. Currently taking bets on whether I will finish in a blaze of glory or crash and burn spectacularly. Also taking bets on whether or not I can squeeze the whole thing (sans hood) out of only 7 skeins of Cascade 220. If not… there may be tears.

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26 September, 2009 at 5:47 pm (caturday, FO, knitting)

kitrifo2 (by jesh\)
I cannot fathom ever being able to wear these socks; I suspect they’ll live out their lives in a nice tshadowbox, where they will be safe from the cruel world of shoes and sweat and dirt and carpets and cats1 that might chew on them at every opportunity. These socks are too pretty for that fate.

The pattern was a surprisingly straightforward knit! Not that you’d know by A) looking at it or B) how long it took me to do. But, really, thanks to the chatty instructions (which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows the designer) and easily memorized stitch patterns, I could’ve easily knit these within a week if I hadn’t had other interruptions and delays. There is one minor mistake in the pattern: row 9 of the three-quarter fan stitch should be worked per the written instructions, rather than the charted ones, and row 10 should have six stitches on each side of the fan, rather than five and seven. I believe all future kits will include this fix, though.

kitrifo1 (by jesh\)

Pattern: Kitri by Lisa Grossman AKA the Tsock Tsarina
Yarn:Jennifer’s FlockSock by Holiday Yarns in Crimson Rioja
Needles: US0/2mm and US1.5/2.5mm
Mods: I changed a bunch of tiny things, some of which I would probably change again and some of which were stupid mistakes that I had to make more changes to fix. Change #1 was to knit only five fan repeats on the leg, because I don’t like my socks to be too long and I shorten most sock patterns just out of habit. But my doing this caused the ribbing to hit at a point where it was a little too loose, so the leg wasn’t staying on a snug as I like, so I had to rip out the ribbing and re-do it on US0 needles.

My second change was to switch the toe from a wedge toe (decreases every other round ’til the end) to a round toe (decreases every other round ’til half the stitches are gone, then decreases every round ’til the end.) So, I knit the patterned toe as instructed until round 12, at which point I decreased every round on the sole, and skipped rows 13, 14, 17, and 18 from the toe chart.

My last little modification was to replace the last row of the lace overlay with the grafting row, for a more seamless look. I worked the beaded picot as usual, but then slid the stitch back to the left needle, broke the yarn, and grafted, making sure to graft the beaded stitch purlwise.

On Ravelry here.

1: one of the cats in question—
tuxedokitten (by jesh\)
Silly little thing is all over the place.

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Gearing sideways

24 September, 2009 at 3:17 pm (knitting, spinning)

Turns out that to make spindles I actually need things like shafts and whorls and bead caps and glue… so mostly my prep for Rhinebeck so far has included spending lots of money and waiting for supply orders.

Not to worry, though, because I did manage to successfully complete my Kitris,
kitripairfinished (by jesh\)
and after a bath tonight and a photoshoot tomorrow I’ll give you a full post on ’em.

I also finished a skein of yarn—
seaandsandmerinobamboo (by jesh\)
(Merino/bamboo, 3oz, 260 yards, 3-ply. I’m hoping that I can get a pair of Pomatomus out of this, especially if I ply up the half ounce of singles I have left.)

And started a new spindle project.
borderleicesterstart (by jesh\)
I have big hopes and dreams for this yarn, although I’m a little hesitant to share them because they usually fall apart once I’ve told people what I’m doing. Still, I’ve got three ounces to get through before I can start putting these plans into action, and hopefully that’s enough time to sketch and swatch and get it right.

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Gearing up

20 September, 2009 at 8:35 pm (caturday, knitting, spindles)

Rhinebeck is just four weeks away, which is exciting and terrifying all at once. I have a million things to get done before then… hopefully I can get through ’em all.

First priority is spindles, of course; as such, the store is slowly being stocked with some pre-show inventory, so all the folks who aren’t going can have a crack at the pretties. Of course if you see something you like and you will be there, I’d be happy to waive the shipping fees and bring it to you! I’m totally in love with the new rhinestone embedded square whorls that I just recently got in:

And there will of course be the usual assortment of polymer clay, stoneware, glass, and gemstones on offer.

I also promised myself I would finish my Kitri socks before then.
kitripair (by jesh\)
I’m pretty sure I can make it, unless something goes catastrophically wrong, like, say, misplacing the beads for the cuff. Um, wait a second. Where did I put the rest of the beads for the cuff? Uh-oh.

And I know it’s a day late, but we’ve got some new foster kittens, including the cutest little basement cat ever. I think I’m in love.
basementcat (by jesh\)

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17 September, 2009 at 10:50 pm (spindles, spinning, travel)

In which I managed to sell some spindles—

(Spindles on the right, there. Me looking snarky on the left, obviously.)

And spin a ton of yarn—

corriedalebobbin (by jesh\)

And do more than my fair share of chatting and giggling and just generally hanging out.

I may have gone a little overboard with buying stuff, but my wallet was full of birthday money and I spent less than I made, so it’s okay, right?
twistedsilk (by jesh\)
Tasty, tasty 100% silk laceweight from twisted fiber which is destined for something I’m hoping to design over the next couple of weeks.

zarzuela (by jesh\)
Some drool-worthy merino/tencel from my dear Zarzuela, which I believe will turn into sock yarn.

buttons (by jesh\)
Buttons! I should’ve bought more from these people; they had an overwhelmingly lovely selection.

borderleicester (by jesh\)
And 3oz of some gorgeous border leicester from Kate at Roclans. As my sample tells you, it makes a fantastic two-ply laceweight; I’m thinking a large, very textural beaded lace shawl. Mmmmmfiber.

All in all it was a fun way to spend my birthday weekend. Hopefully next year we can do it again!

(By the way, for those who were inquiring after it, the Honeybee Cardigan pattern is now available! It is one of the best knits I’ve ever done so you should definitely go get yourself a copy.)

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14 September, 2009 at 8:32 am (life)

It’s my birthday and I don’t even have any pictures to show for it. Have a sheep instead.

ram (by jesh\)

Aaaaah, baaaaah.

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10 September, 2009 at 3:18 pm (spindles, spinning)

I was right; Catherine (that’s the wheel) spins much better now that she’s clean. Smoother, quieter, happier. So happy, in fact, that I spun through the second ply for a three-ply sock yarn in three hours.
secondply (by jesh\)

Three hours. About 500 yards of singles. I think I’ll be a real contender for Team Suck Less, come next Tour de Fleece.

I’m also two-thirds of the way through my spindle building for NJS&W. Which is, uh, Saturday. I should get working.
njswspindles (by jesh\)

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7 September, 2009 at 3:20 pm (FO, knitting, spinning)

Turns out the two coats of oil took less time than expected; I had to spread it out over two days but each took just twenty minutes. And now I have a shiny, happy wheel!

refinishedwheel (by jesh\)

If anyone with an antique wheel is reading this, I highly, highly recommend looking into refinishing if your wheel has a shellac coating. It is well worth the effort, and I think my wheel will run better for being clean.

While I was at it, I also finished up some other stuff; I whipped through the foot on my handspun Bex socks:
handspunbex (by jesh\)
(Bex by Cookie A, US1.5/2.5mm circs, 400 yards of handspun 3-ply merino, on Ravelry here)

And spent a few hours on a simple but gorgeous cowl.
goldentulipcowlflat (by jesh\)
(Golden Tulip Cowl by Saccade Elyse, US10/6mm circs, one skein of Plymouth Mulberry Merino, on Ravelry here)

I also had the opportunity to put the lace overlay on the cuff of my first Kitri sock!
firstkitrifinished (by jesh\)

I gotta say that it’s one of the best things ever. I love doing knitted on lace borders like that anyway, but when it’s such a small size it’s just enough to be interesting, unlike on a shawl where you’re sick of it by the end. And the beads, although slightly fiddly at first, end up being a really fun way to spice up a simple lace pattern. I’ll start the second one soon and have full notes when I finish the pair!

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Fall Cleaning

5 September, 2009 at 10:30 am (caturday, spinning)

You all remember my wheel, right? Dark, pretty thing that I’m in love with?
wheel01 (by jesh\)

I gave her a bit of a makeover.
cleanwheel (by jesh\)

Turns out all that lovely but splotchy color was the result of 150 years’ worth of dirt getting caught in the shellac. Say it with me now: eeeeew. So, armed with no more than some denatured alcohol and a toothbrush, and guided by the wise words of the women in the antique wheel and CPW groups on Ravelry, I took the thing outside and scrubbed. And scrubbed. And then… I scrubbed. Have I mentioned the scrubbing? I finally de-crudded the flyer:
halfcleanflyer (by jesh\)

And cleaning the drive wheel brought out a gorgeous grain—not enough to narrow down what type of wood this is, but hopefully I’ll be able to find out eventually.
wheelgrain (by jesh\)

Kitty Carlisle even got in on the cleaning action.
helpercat (by jesh\)

Now I’ve just got to refinish her with some tung oil, and she’ll be ready to travel with me down to Garden State Sheep and Wool next week.

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2 September, 2009 at 9:45 am (FO, knitting)

honeybeefull (by jesh\)

What an awesome sweater—the perfect thing for the current weather, when it’s too cold to be in just a t-shirt but too warm for a long sleeved shirt or heavy cardigan. I suspect I’ll be wearing it constantly for the entire month.

I don’t want to say too much about the pattern, since it’s not released yet, but you’re all going to need to get a copy once it is available. The seamless set-in sleeves on this sweater are wonderfully clever and delightful to knit, and the best part is that they fit perfectly. I don’t think I ever want to sew in a sleeve cap again, not when I can get such beautiful, comfortable results this way. Already I’m planning to make another, mostly because fellow test knitter Andrea’s gorgeous green version has made me wish for a non-black one. I also think a slightly denser, long-sleeved version would be a perfect late fall/early winter sweater. Plus, since it used less than 300g of sock yarn for even the 45″ size, it’s a relatively inexpensive sweater! Worked up in many of the mainstream sock yarns, it would be less than $50, and in Knitpicks it would be less than $25. For the whole sweater. Really. How awesome is that?

honeybeeback (by jesh\)

What else can I say? I love this thing. :)

honeybeefront (by jesh\)
Pattern: Honeybee Cardigan by Laura Chau (pattern coming soon–watch her blog for it!)
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, 3 skeins in Alcaucil
Needles: US3/3.25mm and US5/3.75mm Knitpicks Options Circulars
On Ravelry here.

honeybeeside (by jesh\)

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