Sunday, September 30, 2007

Louis Stout

Last Christmas I hinted shamelessly about wanting a swift made my one of my Sister's (of the Wool) husband:

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Louie made very nice swifts and signed them proudly:
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I saw Louie a couple of weeks ago in the hospital. He was there for what was expected to be three days. He didn't get to go home. We'll miss you Louie.

Irish Moss week 8 ball 8

That is, we're 8 weeks in and ball 8 is started.

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The front is getting longer and if the maple man were not 6'4", his sweater front would be almost done...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sari Silk bag +

A finished project for September. This sari silk bag has been on my UFO list all year. Ever since I’ve been tracking UFOs. It was probably started a couple of years ago, but I'm not sure when because it hales from my pre-blog days.
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And a close-up of the handle:
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I thought about doing a reverse stockinette i-cord for the handle but the silk has NO give and after a few rows, I knew it wasn’t something I wanted to knit for a handle-length, so that effort went to the frog pond. I settled on this 5 stitch garter handle. I stitched it into a tube along the edges so it’s like a mock i-cord. I knitted in an extra strand of a fingering weight plum color wool/cotton in the handle.

Just for the record:
Yarn: Sari Silk 1.2 skeins 234 grams
Needles: blue straights, size 8 and size 5 (one of each)
size 7 dpns for the handle
Pattern: my own based on short row wedges

The bag may get a lining. At some time, to be determined, later. If I decide it needs one. But for now, I am declaring it done.

And these are oak galls.
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I understand that they are a good source of tannic acid for natural dyeing. But I have no idea what to do now that I’ve picked a grande (why or why can’t they call it large? Or extra-large. When I order, I ask for large. They always know what I’m talking about. But I digress…) cup full. Suggestions and instructions welcome.

Stay tuned for an update on the maple man's sweater tomorrow.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I have an excuse

Irish Moss is not getting it's usual majority of my time. Ball 7 is not done in week 7. I have an excuse. [Warning: picture heavy post]

My birthday present, a new Lendrum double treadle from Woodland Woolworks arrived on Friday afternoon

I have been busy spinning:
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And my favorite up close:
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spun from this targhee (that came with the wheel) that I dyed:
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And just for the record, my first (from a corriedale x that also came with)
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There's some overspinning.

The second spun yarn (second from the left) was spun from this:
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Also dyed by moi. I was testing my procion fiber reactive dyes. They seem to work fine by the vinegar soak, set in the oven method.

Everybody, well only dh and dd have seen my singles, feels a need to tell me that some places are thicker and some thinner. That may be true but they seem pretty darn even for a newbie. And I think when plyed (or is it plied, I have a new language to learn), and knit, I think it will even out.

Oh, yeah, Irish Moss, well, there has been progress:
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9 grams are left on ball 7.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

6 weeks 6 balls

im091607 006
Originally uploaded by soapquiltknit
The knitting on Irish Moss is over half way up the front. I started on ball 7 today.

The blue yarn markers on the right show how far each ball went. Current projections are that the sweater will require 12 balls (4 for each of front and back, 2 for each sleeve) so there may be leftovers. I'm guessing that at the end of this sweater, I'll be tired of brown (Hazel) silky wool so the extras will be available for sale or trade.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

birthday presents

I've just returned from my birthday dinner with dh and dd. Full of steak and cake. And a shiner bock so there had best be no knitting...

This morning when I came to the kitchen for my coffee there was a card and a box of chocolates. The card was interesting. The cover promised to make my birthday more interesting by a search for my present. We used to do that when dd was littler. Finding her presents was a game with clues leading to clues and eventually to her presents. The inside of this card held the hints:

1. It's in a store somewhere.
2. It hasn't been paid for.

Now this might seem like a cop-out but I dropped a hint recently about getting a spinning wheel and this is the maple man's way of saying "get what you want, because I don't know how to buy a spinning wheel". Actually, he asked dd to do the spinning wheel shopping but she knew enough to know she didn't know how to buy a spinning wheel. So spinning wheel shopping we will be going... I'm thinking a lendrum (and the lendrum is made of maple so that's a plus) but I sure would like to spin on one before I order one. Looks like the prices are the same all over. Any recommended Lendrum sellers?

Sweater updates soon. Ball 6 is still in progress.

And the new knitty is out. Blog posts suspended briefly for knitty browsing.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

handspun baby set

In other knitting, here is a hat and booties for a co-worker who is having a baby girl in October. The shower is this week and they are blocking as I type.

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The hat, up close:
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The pattern is Madge from knitty [link] with the cast-on reduced from 80 to 60. The yarn is my own handspun, dyed pink in the roving, with darker and lighter places, with cherry kool-aid.

The bootie pattern is my own. I knitted both of the booties semi-simultaneously to make sure they would come out the same. And use the yarn to best advantage. There is one yard of yarn left.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

recycled silk bag UFO

I really have been knitting almost monogamously on the sweater, but there are few other projects on the needles for times when I need something that I can pick up and put down easily. Or knit without thinking too much. Or when I am sick of cables...

This recycled silk bag has been on the needles for, umm, maybe a couple of years. I'm not sure.

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I decided to finish it as a project for the stashalong project [link]. I found the bag about 3/4 through with the first wedge. There were no notes about the short row plan I made up. So I made it up again. Maybe it's the same, maybe not... it's close enough that it matters not. And finishing it in September "buys" me an extra yarn day in the stashalong game.

In other news, have you seen the new knitpicks options harmony needles [link]? Wooden interchangeable needle tips that fit the knitpicks options cords. Made of what looks like laminated layers of brightly colored wood. With nice points. Together with some of my Sisters Of the Wool, I have some on order to try.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Irish Moss - 5 weeks - 5 balls

What is beginning to be my weekly update on Irish Moss for the maple man:

Irish Moss 090907

I am slogging knitting along on the front. Ball 5 (first ball used for the front) yielded about 6 inches. [The little blue yarn loop on the right side marks where ball 5 ended.]

The rows are 195 stitches long. I'm still doing lifelines at the end of (16 rows) charts B and D. I still have to look at the pattern for charts B and D. The other charts are burned into my brain.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

September 1 status

The state of the knitting at chez maple:

I was tempted to skip this status report as it will likely not be very interesting (translation: not so many finished objects to blog about). As the reader may realize, I am slogging along with the Irish Moss sweater and will likely continue that slog for another month or two…

finished during August 2007
1 baby hat
2 sleeves (1 baby hat as my only FO was just tooo lonely so I'm listing the sleeves)
no socks
So the sock total for 2007 is still 14 pairs

2007 Knitting status 9/1/07
Same as last month plus
Irish Moss
baby booties (to go with the hat)
OK, for the record the wip/ufo total is up from 7 to 9.

For September knitting, I plan to continue to focus on Irish Moss.
There may be intermittent other knitting. For when I need mindless knitting. Or when my finger hurts. Or when I can’t stand it anymore and I need to finish something. Anything.

I will work on my attitude. Repeat after me (she says to herself) ... this will be a nice sweater, keep knitting the nice sweater ...
I've already warned the maple man that if it doesn't fit, he may need to lose (or gain) a few pounds. He didn't say no...

Irish Moss at one month

Originally uploaded by soapquiltknit
Well, technically, four weeks as I started on Saturday, August 4.
Both sleeves are on hold pending the baste-y try on time that will come later. They each consumed almost two balls of yarn, and need a saddle which will come later, after I finetune the sleeve length.

I am knitting with ball 5 (35 grams remaining. I just completed row 18 (of 23) of the lower front ribbing, which is complicated by integrated chart A cables. The knitting on the ribbing is going slow. There are 167 stitches per row.

I had to do some re-calculations on the front because my gauge differs from Alice's. I may have mentioned that my first gauge swatch matched the pattern gauge but I didn't like the fabric at that gauge. I feared it was too "loose" for a sweater and probably too likely to get droopy sag-itis. I ended up adding a C/E chart and corresponding A chart to each side, and some extra moss stitches. This required recalculating the increases that I will do on the first row after the ribbing. As written, the ribbing flows into the cables with the increases providing just the right amount of extra stitches to make the cables flow on up smoothly. I hope my as modified plans do the same.