Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tis the season

of the pumpkin.

The maple man grew a few this year in the spaces between the rows of maples.
Here is a pic of one under an Acer Palmatum Mikawa Yatsabusa:

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Scott's hat

It turned off cold here over the last week or so. In these parts, we call it cold when lows are in the 40's. There's a young guy named Scott who's been helping out at the maple farm. I sent this hat to the farm and I hear that Scott likes it. And I hear that he get's lots of compliments when he wears it around.

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It is knit with three strands held together throughout, generally, except when there are two. Generally worsted, except when there were lighter or heavier yarns in the bag. Mostly stockinette with a couple rows of seed stitch at the bottom to prevent curling. I think the needle was a size 9us 16" circ. I don't remember the cast-on number but I'll borrow it back some Saturday and count.

I made this hat during the summer, to stash bust some odds and ends, without an intended recipient. I'm happy it has a head to warm.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

for a sister

You may have heard that there is some sockhop available at Crown Mountain.  [ ]  If you hurry, there was still some left when last I checked.


One of my sisters of the wool really wanted some.  This is how a recent group email exchange went"


Sister 1:            I got my Sock Hop fix!  I purchased "Do You Believe in Magic", "Crazy Love", "Satisfaction", and "Let's Hang On".  I think I made out like a bandit!  I will certainly bring my newly acquired stash to show and tell!  Does anyone have any socks they've knitted up in this yarn? 



Sister 2:            Oh my gosh, you really scored, didn't you?? The socks I wore last week were in Sock Hop, Wild Thing. I've worn them about five times and people always notice them. They seem to be holding up well. I can bring them tonight (dirty).



Sister 1:            I promise to hold them at arm's length whilst admiring them.




Oh, the things we do for each other... 

Monday, October 29, 2007

more pokeberries

I've been picking more pokeberries. I think the season is over but I got another half gallon of berries.

Here is one of the plants, pre-picked:
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A self portrait of my hand mid-pick:
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The harvest, berries and seeds:
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And a follow-up, this is some of the yarn I've been spinning:
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I don't know how the color looks on your moniter but it's kind of a bright cranberry-y color.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

ball 10

I finished knitting ball 10 on Thursday night and started ball 11. When I wound up the yarn cake that is ball 11, I thought to myself, maybe I should just wind one skein. Maybe this is the last one?

Well, I'm maybe halfway up the front of the sweater. And the other front/back has 4 balls (three are knitted in, the fourth is knitted some and waiting for length determinations), so I'm guessing, and feel pretty sure, that I will need to use ball 12. :-(

I will edit this post later today, after I have a chance to take pics with good light, to add what has become the obligatory weekly status-of-the-sweater picture.

eta the promised pic:
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What socks are you wearing?

The question of "What socks are you wearing?" came up yesterday on the Sister's group (Sisters Of the Wool otherwise known as SOWs, my knit night group). It sparked a flurry of responses as we are enthusiastic sock knitters but live in north Texas where it is not wool sock season in the summer. Now that temperatures are cooling off with day time temperatures in the 70's and 60's and night time temps in the 40's, it's handknit sock season here.

For me, this week, it was the mountain colors basket rib socks on Monday, stockinette STR fire on the mountain Tuesday, bright charcoal jitterbug baudelaires on Wednesday, raisen nature's palette loksins Thursday, and the fleece artist not-so-matchy brown socks Friday. I guess we'll need a sock washing day this weekend.

I'd love to hear what socks you're wearing, in the comments. If you have sock making questions, I'd be glad to try to help.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I wanted to show you this

The maple man has a much more complicated camera than I do. He's not a point and click kind of guy. Sometimes he's taking pictures for his website and sometimes he's taking pictures. I think sometimes he's playing with his camera. He learned how to change the background on the moniter and now I find all sorts of interesting pictures when I turn on the computer.

It's not knitting but I really like this picture:


Monday, October 22, 2007

Irish Moss week 11

I've been knitting on the maple man's Irish moss for 11 weeks. I'm mid-way through ball 10:

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I'm really getting tired of it but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and and trying to stick with it. I can glance at a chart and chant to myself front, back, back, then my head knows that front, front, back comes next. The "purl back" rows go quicker. Well, they're not really purl backs, but I can generally read the knitting and know what to knit without looking at the charts much. And rows 1 and 9 have fewer cables so they go pretty quickly too.

It slows me down when I find odd stitches that need to be switched from knits to purls or vice-versa. And it slows me down when I have to stop and pick out vm (vegetative matter, maybe it's hay?) Which sometimes happens several times per row. And sometimes doesn't happen for several rows.

In any case, there is progress. The maple man has a trip to Oregon planned for a couple of weeks from now. The sweater won't likely be ready. However, his birthday is in mid-November and I'm guessing it may be ready by then. If not, maybe it's a Christmas sweater?


Sunday, October 21, 2007

too late in the season for poke salad

I've been picking poke berries. [These are not the same berries because the ones I picked are picked.] I meant to take pictures but the next thing I knew my hand was covered with red drippy sticky juice. That would have been a good picture too .

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I picked berries into the paper sack that our bbq sandwiches came in. It got a little soggy, well, a lot soggy so I let it rest in a plant pot and cut down a gallon water jug for more pickings. I'm guessing I ended up with a little over a gallon of berries total. Then I cooked them up with vinegar as in The Joy of Spinning by Marilyn Kluger (checked out from the library recently). For a couple of hours. It didn't smell to great, but I'm not sure whether it was the berries or the vinegar.

We stopped at Dollar Tree after church to pick up a $1.00 colander. I use my soap pans for dyeing so I'm stocked up in that respect but I didn't want to use my regular colander or my jelly bag.

So then I dyed some roving and yarn. A test really but I think it turned out well:

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The yarn is some leftover Regia sock yarn, formerly blues and grays, and some kp bare yarn.

The fiber is spinning up nicely. It felted just a touch but with some pre-drafting to loosen it up, it's fine.

The stems look interesting too. I wonder whether they would dye fiber?
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ball 9

Ball 9 is gone. Tonight is knit night and I have learned that cable-y charted patterns are not so good for knitting and talking and having time to ooh and aah and fondle yarn-y show and tell's so I'll take mom's sweater and knit some garter.

I think I'll knit the rest of the skein I used for swatching for ball 10. It's 39 grams so maybe I'll finish it faster?


Sunday, October 14, 2007

sweater progress

Updated sweater pics:

Irish Moss for the maple man:
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and up close:
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I keep knitting and I keep looking at the ball of yarn (ball 9). It doesn't seem to want to run out. It goes on and on. Lots of yardage per ball is overrated.

And mom's sweater:
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The white bastey stitches show where the balls run out. There's no real point to it but it helps me see how long a ball is lasting.

There is a provisional cast on (96) at the beginning which is somewhere on the back of the sweater. Doesn't matter at this point, where on the back, as I intend to unzip the provis. and knit on, hopefully in a manner that will be transparent to the user (using a phrase I hear often). The back of sleeve stitches (40) are on hold. Then I decreased 4 more (k2tog) during the next 8 rows two stitches in from the edge. After a few plain rows (I should count), I increased 4 over the next 8 rows (used a m1 bar increase... I tried a lifted increase and it didn't look right in garter). The total underarm section is about 4 and a half inches. There is a lifeline at the end of the underarm rows in case I need to get back to that point easily. Then I added back the front of sleeve stitches with another provisional cast on (40). If it turns out that the armhole is not deep enough (I'm pretty sure it is), there will be a shoulder saddle.

Yes, I'm kind of a provisional cast-on nut. The maple man has heard me talk about them and seen them in projects enough that he feels left out because he has no provisional cast ons (or is it casts on? what is the plural of cast on?) in his sweater. I told him he could have a provisional cast on in his next sweater.

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Monday, October 08, 2007

more yarn to show

We have more plied yarn:

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There are about 34 yards (22 grams) of the multi-colored yarn and about 43 yards (36 grams) of the almost white.

The multi-colored is from this roving from my dye test:
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And is shown on the second bobbin:
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The almost white is a plying together of the first bobbin above (corriedale) and the third bobbin (targhee).

I'm a novice spinner, but I would say that the yarn is variably spun with overspun and underspun sections, and perhaps (no, probably) is overplied. I do need to figure out how much twist is right and how much ply twist makes it balanced. But it's "yarn" and the knitter in me wants to knit it. I think it wants to be bubby from knitty [link].

Sunday, October 07, 2007


There is progress on Irish Moss for the maple man:

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I knit a bit on ball 8 on the front, and noticed how long the sweater front seemed. I knit another row or two then matched it up to the "model" sweater. It is an long as the front, up to the neckline ribbing. The maple man thinks it could be an inch or so longer, but it's on hold pending bloom analysis.

I still have the swatches but I don't know the exact swatch size prior to swimming. So my idea is that since I have two similarly sized sleeves, I will swim and block one and see what I gain in size, then I'll know what to expect from the front/back. Proportionally, of course. The sleeves are still on holder cables waiting for the saddles to be knit. Which are waiting for the basted-test-try-on.

In the meantime, I've cast-on with ball 9 and made my way through 23 rows of ribbing, a row of complicated increases, and most of the first chart set. I knit the ribbing with my new knitpicks harmony circ (size 3us) [link]. The options style only goes down to size 4. The harmony needle made for much more enjoyable knitting than the first rib which was knitted with a size 3 almost-antique plastic straight. The main body of the sweater is being knit on size 5 kp options (the original nickel plated ones).

And there is progress on Mom's sweater:


Back to my knitting...

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

a sweater for mom

I talk to my mom every Sunday. And sometimes other days, but every Sunday. For the last few weeks, I've been telling her about the sweater I'm knitting for maple man. And she says, when are you knitting a sweater for me?

Sometimes she tells me about how cold it is there.

Sometimes she tells me about Elsie's pretty sweater.

She hints shamelessly.

So mom is getting a sweater. Here is the start:

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It's garter and knitted side to side. Probably. Though it's not too late to change. It's my own design inspired and influenced by a number of patterns I've been reading lately. None quite right, so I'm making it up. Somewhat as I go along. I need an easy to knit project for when I can't concentrate on cables. I'm still focused on Irish Moss, but sometimes I just can't read charts and count and pay full attention.

The yarn is Gedifra:
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from Elann. There was an email that I clicked on. There was a bag sale on Gedifra Living, at something like 70% off. It's a superwash wool and rated at 4 stitches per inch. Not so chunky/bulky but definitely faster, easier knitting than Irish Moss (size 5 needles and cables). I was worried, buying yarn I'd never seen or touched on the net. I was afraid it would be scratchy. But it's not. It's soft, and softly spun so I have to be sure I don't split it as I knit but it seems to be workable.

I got spot on ball-band gauge, 4 stitches per inch, on size 8us and I like the texture of the knitted fabric. It has some stretch and give but doesn't feel like it will go saggy baggy. The swatch went in the washer and came out a titch bigger than when it went in but after drying flat went back to it's original size. I'll try it in the dryer sometime for a further test.

Oh, almost forgot to mention. I got two bags. Mom's an xl or an xxl.

Monday, October 01, 2007

National Spinning and Weaving Week

To commemorate National Spinning and Weaving Week [Oct 1-7, 2007], here is a picture of my new Lendrum DT:

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And my first spun and plied yarn:

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And after soaking and skeining:
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Many thanks to the lendrumspinners yahoo group for helping me get my plyer drive band installed.


October 1 status

Another status report I was tempted to skip. Another month with not so many finished objects to blog about. Still slogging along with the Irish Moss sweater.

finished during September 2007
baby booties
sari silk bag
most of the front of a sweater (Irish Moss for dh)
no socks
So the sock total for 2007 is still 14 pairs

2007 Knitting status 10/1/07
Same as last month plus
sweater for mom
For the record the wip/ufo total is 8, down from 9.

For October knitting, I plan to continue to focus on Irish Moss.
Mom's sweater will be alternate knitting for times when I need to knit mindless.