Sunday, October 04, 2015

Two Weeks Along

First six squares
My knitting, for the past two weeks, has been consumed with working on the mitred square sock yarn blanket.

And that's perfectly fine with me!

I am really enjoying working on this project, even though I am very aware that it is a long term knit. It will likely take a few years to complete.  Right now I'm using what sock yarn I have, and I'll be totally honest here - I've also gone out and purchased a few more balls of sock yarn!
After joining sets of three
I am repeating yarns already since I don't have a lot of sock yarn. I'm totally OK with this, however, I don't want them all to be in the same section of the blanket.  I'd like to get other yarns to add and use the yarn I currently have later on as well so that they are mixed up in the blanket.

Jumbled up. More current
photo of the squares
That's why it will take a few years to complete, I think.  It will depend on the sock yarn I get, or if I trade with others at some point so that I have different yarn to use.  At any rate, I am OK with using what I have now for another row or two.

I am finding, as others I've read about, that this project is a little difficult to get a good photograph of the size of the blanket. I'm almost completed with the second (or is it third - I can't tell) row of my blanket.  I have about three squares to add and then I'll be finished that row.

For those wanting to attempt this project but are afraid to because it looks difficult to make - it's not! I was a little afraid at first that this might be a difficult project, but it is very easy.  Go ahead and try; just be aware that it is a long term project and unless you have an unlimited ton of sock yarn in your stash, it will likely take a long while to make.  Also, my squares are small, but you can make larger ones as well, and that would help complete the blanket quicker.

Well, I should get back at it. I'd like to complete this row today, and maybe start into the next one.

Happy knitting!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Mitred Square Sock Yarn Blanket

The very beginning of my blanket
I finally jumped on the bandwagon of knitting a mitred square sock yarn blanket!  As this post is being written (Friday afternoon), I have my first square completed (see below)!

In my head, I had imagined these squares being much bigger than mine turned out, but that could be because any photos I've seen of these squares and blankets were close up with nothing to help determine the size.  I don't know if I'll continue with this size (I likely will) or if I'll go up a size or two with my needles to get bigger squares.  I suppose I could make a few larger ones to add in here and there.

First completed square
Offhand, I'm not totally sure what the needle size is that I'm using. It could be a 2.5 mm or 2.75 mm, which is what I was using for some socks some time back (no, I didn't get the sock finished and I am not sure what pattern I was using).

The yarn I used in the first square is Knit Picks Crayon.  I was able to look back on Ravelry to my projects and found the socks I had made with this yarn.  I have enough left over that I can get at least one, maybe two more squares from this yarn.

I likely won't be posting pictures of every single square I knit for this, but when I get several or start to sew them together into the blanket, I'll post pics that way.  Then you (and I) can see just how this blanket grows.

This should be a project that I can take with me and knit on the go when waiting at doctor's offices, and what not.  The only thing I need, now, is a pretty project bag to keep it in ;) !

Friday, September 18, 2015


The beginning of the Larch Scarflet
Almost two weeks ago I began knitting a scarflet called Larch.  The link to my project page with this pattern can be found here.

The pattern starts off with just knitting and a few yarn overs and then moves onto the lacy part.  I don't have much left to do of this section and soon I'll start the lace.

The yarn I'm using is Amitola by Louisa Harding.  It's the first time I've knit with this yarn, and so far I like it.  I am surprised with the colour change, though. I bought two balls of this because it was pink and purple and I thought that was what the whole thing would be.  However, there is also a reddish shade, brown and orange/rust.  They aren't normally colours I would gravitate toward, but are nice to knit with for autumn/fall.

Most recent photo of Larch. It's actually bigger now
As I mentioned below the picture to the right, the scarflet is bigger now than in the photo (I need to take another picture of it soon).  I am back to knitting the pink and purple section of the yarn again.  I'm curious to see what the final product looks like with all the colours knit together.  I don't think I would think to put all of these colours together, but it must be fine since this yarn was dyed with them.

So far, I am enjoying the Larch pattern. It's a mindless knit (at this point) that I can work on in front of the TV.  I've glanced at the lace chart a bit and right now I don't know if it's something I'd be able to do in front of the TV.  We'll see, though.

Other than Larch, I don't have any other knitting on the go - yet.  I've been thinking about starting some socks (whether they are toddler/kid sized or something for me I don't know just yet) as I've come across some of my sock yarn and I've been seeing lots of gorgeous socks and sock yarns on Instagram, and it's got me in the sock knitting mood!

I'll keep you updated on Larch, and whether or not I start some socks.  Until then, happy knitting!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Two New Spindles

New drop spindle
Not long ago I ordered a drop spindle.  I had a student one (I think it's Ashford. I don't have it beside me at the moment, though) that I got when I first learned to spin.  I wanted another spindle so that I could spin two rovings to ply together.

Drop spindle with sample fibre
I came across the Green Forest Fibers Etsy site and they had this gorgeous spindle for sale (I don't see any more listed on their site, but maybe if you wanted one and contacted them they could make it for you).  I loved the way it looked - smooth, polished, pretty green stone whorl. Simply gorgeous!

I placed my order, and then waited and waited. I contacted the company but didn't receive any reply.  I waited a few more days and contacted them again.  Still nothing.  I began to wonder if I wasn't going to receive my order.  Then, I heard from them. They had been through an unfortunate circumstance beyond their control.  My order was shipped the next day, and I received it about a week later.  The owner felt bad about the situation and included four sample rovings (one brown, two cream, one purple) for me.  In the second picture, above, I am spinning the brown fibre.  I'm not sure what it is, but the white hairs may be angora rabbit.

I LOVE this spindle! I am spinning the finest yarn I've spun to date, which is something I had wanted to do. When using the student spindle I have, my spinning was getting better, but it wasn't this fine.
Spindle from KS Inspirations

During the time I was waiting to hear back from Green Forest Fibers, and thinking I might no get my order, I placed another order for a different drop spindle from KS Inspirations (another Etsy shop).  This spindle is also awesome!

This spindle also allows me to spin a fine yarn, but might not be quite as fine as the one above.  That might also be because of the type of fibre I'm using as well, but I don't know for sure.

Anyway, this spindle has a purple jasper whorl and an oak shaft. It spins well, though I find when the spin is slowing down it begins to wobble (the other one does this a little as well).  I don't know if that is normal or if I'm not doing something right. However, the wobble doesn't affect the spinning.

Both of these Etsy shops shipped their product in a timely manner.  I would definitely order from these shops again!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby

Hand spun yarn on a PVC pipe niddy noddy

Waiting to be plied 
Recently I ordered a niddy noddy from a shop on Etsy called La Tea Da Designs.  It's made from PVC pipe and is fully submersible in water.

You can see some of my latest hand spun yarn prior to soaking it.  I found out after I tied the skein that I did that wrong.  You're supposed to do a figure 8 tie on it, but I only found that out after I'd already tied my skein.  At least I know for next time!  I have since removed the yarn and I'm looking for a pattern to knit up my first real skein of hand spun yarn.  I only have about 90 yards so I can't make anything too big.  I was thinking of maybe a small cowl or a small scarf, but I don't know yet.

The yarn to the right is just a single of merino. It's so soft!  I spun this before the yarn above and I am going to ply it with more yarn that I spin later.  I don't have any more of the yellow, but I was thinking of plying it with a bright green or cream colour.

My spinning is getting much better as I practice (I think that's the key).  I still get a few thicker pieces here and there, but they aren't nearly as thick as they used to be.  The yarn I'm spinning currently (not shown) has an even more consistent spin to it.  I'll post a picture when I get it plied, which will probably be in a few days after I let it rest.

I also ordered some fibre from another shop on Etsy called Fashion Touch Supplies.  It came yesterday and I haven't had a chance to upload the photo (it is on my Instagram though.  The colour isn't something I'd normally choose, but I decided to branch out and expand my colour horizons!  I'm looking forward to spinning that and can't wait to see how it turns out.

Well, that's my latest update. I hope you have a great day, and happy knitting/spinning!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Post With Actual Knitting Content

 I've been meaning to post a photo of the neck warmer I had been working on for awhile now.  I finally finished it a week or so ago (still not blocked though), and I think it turned out great.  I don't have a photo with it around my neck because it's been so stinkin' hot around here lately.

To the right is a close up of the pattern (there are mistakes in it, so don't look too closely) which I got free when I bought the yarn earlier in the summer.  I'll try to get a link to the pattern as I think it was something they found online.  The yarn is Clara from Manos del Uruguay and is 100% merino - super soft and smooshy! I loved working with this yarn!

I've also been working on my Old Shale scarf which I started back around the beginning of the year.  I'm using Debbie Bliss Angel Prints in the Kahlo colourway (#15807).  This pattern is super easy to knit (another free one with the purchase of the yarn) and I am enjoying the way it looks with this yarn.

The only thing about this yarn is that it is so fine that I can really only knit with it during the day (the light at my mom's isn't the best for this type of knitting) - and that's usually only when I'm not in the mood for knitting or surfing the web!

I don't have a lot left on the Old Shale scarf and I probably should have gotten another ball of this colour to make it long.  However, I suppose I could end up sewing the ends together and turning it into a cowl  -thought I don't now how well that would turn out.  I do have another ball of this yarn in a different colourway but I haven't decided if I'll make another scarf in this pattern or find a different pattern.

Close up of the pattern and yarn
I've also been continuing with my spinning lately and will have a post with that content soon.  I'm also in search of the next knitting pattern to do while I'm at my mom's.  I don't know if I have any DPNs here so I can make socks (I did bring sock yarn thinking I might have the DPNs here, but haven't looked yet).  Since I joined Instagram (my name there is shelley.snyder) I've been seeing so many pictures and posts about socks that I'm getting in the sock knitting mood again!

So, until the next post, happy knitting and spinning!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

More Spinning!

Latest spinning completed July 11, 2015
I was up visiting my mom in the hospital again this past weekend, and of course I brought some spinning and knitting with me.

To the right is a photo of the completed spinning (light blue, navy, and purple).  It's the same type of fibre as the pink/purple in a previous post.  There was no mention of how much was in the wool top, nor was there mention of the type of fibre.
I managed to get this spun better than the pink/purple spinning, but there are still a few fat spots.  Overall I am pleased with the results.  I don't think I will ply this since I'm not sure how much I have, though I'm thinking I may use it for a scarf...if there is enough.  I alter it with the pink/purple spinning and then I may have enough for something.

Up next will be the pink roving I mentioned in the last post.

I should also get a photo taken of what I'm knitting (a neck warmer) to post here as well.

Happy knitting/spinning!

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

And, The Spinning Continues...

I finished plying part of the yarn I had been spinning.  It's just a small ball (I didn't have my ball winder with me and that's why it's not a centre pull ball).  I still have some left to do, but I need to wind it into two centre pull balls so I can ply it together.

Close up of some of the plied yarn
Once I plied, I soaked it and wound it around my arm and hand, tied it in a couple of places and tied a mug to one end to help it set.  While it's not the best spinning, I'm still pretty proud of my accomplishment.

Since I didn't have my ball winder with me last week when I went to stay with Mom, I couldn't finish plying the rest of the yarn.  I had taken some wool top with me to spin just in case I had time for it (which I did).
I don't know what kind of wool it is, nor do I know how much many ounces there were (or even a colourway).  The tag around the wool top didn't say much of anything.  I don't mind though.

I was able to get more consistency this time, though there are still a few fat areas that didn't get spun as small as the rest.  All in all, I like the job I did with this much better.
Close up of the most recent spinning

I think I'm starting to get the hang of spinning...

I don't know how much yarn I ended up with, but it doesn't seem like a whole lot. I don't think I'm going to ply this as I would end up with less than what is showing, and maybe not have enough to knit anything with.  I don't know if I have enough to knit anything with this either, but I'll see what happens in the future when I knit it up.

I've got some of the same wool top in blues that I will spin next.  Hopefully, I will get this blue spun up quickly.  I found some pink roving that I won a few years back through a contest on a knitting/spinning blog (I don't know which one now, but I'm sure I have it listed in a post from whenever it was), and I will spin that after the blues.  Whenever that is completed, I will have to get more roving as I won't have any more.

Off to wind the pink/purple yarn into a centre pull ball!

Happy knitting/spinning!

Monday, June 22, 2015

While Visiting My Mom

 Over the weekend I managed to finish up the spinning I had been working on - well, at least the first spin.

I did get more consistent as I went, which I know will come with practice.  It's still not as nice as I would like it to be, but overall I think it's OK.  I can't wait to see what it's like after I ply it.

I was working on the spinning a lot while I was visiting my mom in the hospital.  I had some of the nurses and a couple of my mom's room mates ask what I was doing, and even had some comments on how much it looked like cotton candy.  I agreed. It's probably a good thing it isn't cotton candy, though. I'd probably have it all eaten up before it got anywhere close to spinning...

What you see behind the spindle is Northern Lights Wool Top, dyed.  It doesn't have a colour listed on it, but I thought it looked pretty.  That's what I plan on trying to spin next.

To the right, and below, is the newest knitting project I've begun, also while visiting my mom in the hospital.  I only  have about three repeats of the pattern completed so far.

The pattern is the Twisted Rib Neckwarmer, (super easy, btw) which I got free when I purchased the yarn (Clara by Manos Del Uruguay in the 5 Sandia colourway).  This yarn is a single ply, a merino superwash, and is so soft!  I am enjoying working with it so far.  I can't wait to see this pattern completely finished as I think it will be lovely in this colourway.

So, that's what I've been working on lately.  What projects have you been working on? Have you used the Clara yarn by Manos Del Uruguay before, and if so, what did you think of it?  Would love to see links to pictures of your completed projects using this yarn (or this pattern).

Happy knitting!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Definitely Not An Expert

I'm just a beginner spinner (and apparent poet).  I have far to go with my spinning.  I still get thin and thick sections and wonder if I'm doing it right.

So, as I was spinning today, the roving came apart (probably because I pulled it too thin) and had difficulty attaching a new piece.  I ended up pulling pieces off as I attempted to reattach and grew frustrated.  I decided that I would wind what I had done onto a toilet paper roll and start again.  As I was doing this (picture on the right), I came across pieces that would do this as I was transferring:

I think I am doing something wrong.  This appears to be too tight.  I don't know if I didn't let it spin enough before winding it onto the spindle, or what.  I thought I had it fine, but apparently not.

Now, to figure out how to eliminate this in future spinning (if it needs to be eliminated, which I think it does)...

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Update on Spinning

Spinning as of June 7, 2015
This weekend I was able to do a little more spinning.  I'm still not getting a consistent thickness, but I think it's getting better.

One question I came up with on the weekend, while spinning, was: "How much fibre do you put on the spindle before taking it off?"  I've seen some spindles with what looks like a lot more than I have on mine, and I've seen some with less.  I suppose that is something I will have to research to find out so that I'll be "in the know" :).

I'm ready for my close up...
I've been quite busy lately with something else on the go.  I don't want to post about it now, but if all works out positively, then I will!  That being said, I haven't really had any time to do any knitting.  I should start back up and do little bits here and there.  The last knitting I worked on was earlier this year and it didn't get finished.  Maybe I should work on that...though it's not at home now, but at my Mom's house so I would only be able to work on it the next time I'm there (in a couple of weeks).  I do have a hat I was working on last winter that I could finish.  I needed to find my DPNs so that I could finish it and I had misplaced them at the time.  I did find them again, but never finished the hat.  I also have a few scarves I need to block, which would finish up those projects.

Anyway, there is lots to do in the knitting/spinning realm for me.  I just need to reassign some time to work on it again.  How is your knitting coming along? Let me know what you're working on in the comments.  Would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Weekend Spinning Project

Weekend spinning
This weekend I did some practice spinning.  Since I still struggled to attach new fibre to the old, I decided to remove what I had spun in the past (the stuff on the toilet paper roll) and start again.

I certainly will need more practice to get it the same thinness as I had before.  As you can see, what I did on the weekend is thicker...but as I said, I need practice again.

While I was spinning, I remembered how I had enjoyed it when I had started a few years ago.  I enjoyed it again this weekend and will continue working on my spinning.  I did wonder, however, if spinning on a wheel is easier or more difficult than a drop spindle.  At some point in the future I would like to try a spinning wheel; I'd need some lessons for that though.  And that won't be for awhile probably.

Until then, I will continue practising and using my drop spindle.

Have you ever tried spinning? What is your experience with drop spindles vs. spinning wheels?  Let me know in the comment section. I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spinning My Wheels...Or Should I Say My Drop Spindle

My Ashford Drop Spindle
As I mentioned the other day, I wanted to get back into spinning using my drop spindle.  Well, I pulled it out and attempted to spin.

It didn't work.  It wasn't joining to the fibre already spun on the spindle.  What was I going to do?

I went to Ravelry and posted about it in one of the spinning groups I belong to.

I received some good replies, and I will attempt to follow the advice given.

I was told I might have to take some of what is spun and pull it apart so I can join the new to the old.  Or, I might just take what is there (what is showing in the picture is the amount I'd spun a few years ago when I first tried) and take it off the spindle and start over from scratch.

I am attempting to try to reattach, but after a few more attempts I might just start over again, depending, of course, if I can't get it going again.  It would be a shame to have to start over, but you have to do what you have to do.

I will keep you all updated on my further attempts.

Happy spinning (and knitting)!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Life Happens

Well, I've been MIA again.  It's personal in nature, though it's not about me, but one of my family members, and it's tough.  I don't know how long this will go on for, but it will for a little awhile longer.  And, hopefully, I'll get back to my knitting during this time as well - and blogging, too!

Once again my knitting has taken a back seat to life.  The baby blanket I had started for my pastor and his wife was put on hold.  The baby was born back in February, and I think she'll be too big for it when I get it done. Also, we're heading into summer now and this blanket will be to hot for this time of year.  I will finish it though and possibly donate it or use it for someone else who might be having a baby girl at some point.

I've got something else going on as well. Actually it's in the very beginning stages and I'm not going to mention any details at the moment, but rest assured, I will.  Hopefully it won't be in the near too distant future.

Over the weekend, I pulled out my drop spindle and the roving I have.  I want to give that another go as I know I had enjoyed it.  I just need to make time for it (and let's face it, my knitting too).  I would eventually like to try spinning on a wheel as well, but that won't be for some time.

Anyway, since life happens, and it's happening now, I best get back to it.  And maybe try to do some spinning and knitting during that time :).

Happy knitting!

Monday, December 01, 2014

The Honeycomb Hat

Not too long ago I went to purchase some yarn to make myself a hat (and also a couple of cowls) since I don't have any here.  I'm not one to really wear hats because I don't think I look good in them.  However, my fiancĂ© has said that with the damp cold they get here, it would be a good idea to have one - especially when I'm out for a walk on a cold day.

The yarn I chose, mostly because I like the softness of it, is Bernat Satin.  I think I chose the wrong type of yarn for the hat.

First off, I had bought two skeins of the blue colour and one of a darkish pink.  The pink was supposed to be for the hat and the blue for a cowl.  Wasn't really thinking when I started knitting the hat, and until I actually knitted about three quarters of the ribbing, did I realize that I should have been using the pink yarn.  I continued knitting, though, because I felt I had done too much to that point to rip it out.

I have enough knitted that I can kind of put it over my head some (being careful not to drop any stitches off the needles).  I have a sinking feeling this hat is going to be too loose and maybe a little too big for me.  I'll wait until I complete it first before deciding if I'll keep it for me or donate it.

The pattern I'm using is the Honeycomb Hat (link to my Ravelry page which has the actual link to the pattern).  So far I find it an easy knit, and I would likely use this pattern again - with different yarn.  It has a seed stitch rib but says you can use other kinds of ribbing just as long as the gauge is the same or tighter than the cable pattern.  This is the part that feels quite loose to me - even though I used smaller needles than what I'm using for the rest of the hat.  Anyway, I'll wait until it's complete before making my final decision.  It might turn out OK.

Other than the hat, I haven't been knitting much of anything else lately.  I still have to finish with my scarves that I've been working on (blocking, weaving in ends, etc.), but still don't have my knitting items from out west yet.  I'm not in any great rush and the scarves can wait for next year to be donated if need be.  I'm not worrying about it :).