Monday, March 30, 2009

Hannah's Hooded Pullover

Before Hannah left for University, she picked this Hooded Pullover from Vogue Knitting Magazine for me to knit for her. She wanted it in the same color as in the magazine, and Angelika made it happen, since I couldn't get the yarn anywhere around here. Thanks, again!

Hannah and hooded Pullover 4

January seems such a long time ago, I have to think back hard to remember all about that Pullover (I've finished thirteen other knitting projects since then, even sewed some, blog posts about the ones you haven't seen yet, to come). Hannah's just gotten around to taking pictures last week, after I pestered her on a regular basis. She's incredible busy studying, but here you go.

Hannah's Hooded Pullover

pattern: Hooded Pullover by Mari Muinonen, Vogue Knitting Magazine, Fall 2008, project # 28
yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky, color # 186 Amber, 5.5 balls
needle: 6.5mm
size: S, cast on 117
start-finish: January 28 - February 8, 2009

It went pretty well until I came to the yoke and neck shaping. Boy the instructions were confusing to me. I even left out some instructions, just skipped over them, because it would not have worked out with the stitch numbers. Getting to the hood was an adventure. What really helped me a lot was, to lock at pictures on ravelry, of finished Pullovers. Thank god people took them from all angles. Don't be too critical, because I screwed up the cables. I saw it, but I was way up on the body, and there was no way that I was going to rip that out. You all know how much I love to knit sweaters! Cables and I are just not good friends. :o) Still, I think it's a pretty design.

Hooded Pullover

If you look at the pictures you see the color amber beautifully where the sun shines on the yarn. The yarn really looked that way, but only with sunshine. It looked exactly like in Hannah's photos, in artificial light, very weird.

Yoga socks

I've sent this Pullover as part of a care package and slipped (besides other stuff) some yoga socks in there too. I don't do yoga, so I'm not sure they are really practical.

Since some of you like to read about my pups, I thought I had to share this, but I'm sure you are all more than thankful, that I don't show you photographic evidence.
Sam's on several medication. Because of prednisone he's always hungry. We give him fruit and veggies throughout the day, treats as well and lots of water. Recently he found out that he likes to eat tissue paper, which he rips out of the box one by one. My pup is a real artist, he makes papier-mache sculptures! If you own a pet or two (or more) you understand, that any squeamishness you might have ever felt, goes away quickly with being a pet owner. :o) I get to admire his art, and remove it discreetly. :o)

Have a wonderful week you all!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour Day!

I can't believe it's been a year already. Earth Hour is here again! I'm going to participate again this year, what about you?

And because I think my pups are so cute:

Sam, +8C, March 27
Sam, looking for shade at +8C. There are still some icy patches in shady places. He looks beautiful, all white in this picture, but the side you can't see is totally black and muddy.

Biko, March 27
Biko is showing me that she can be a good girl, and listen for once, but I've got only one ear, the other one is making out some kids in the distance.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Handspun Friday - Team Spirit

Even though I have been spinning during the last two weeks, I haven't actually finished any yarn. This one's the last one to show from the time BEFORE I decided to start Handspun Friday. I always try to fill all my bobbins, before I start to ply, and lately it seemed to take forever to fill them! So if I want to have to show you something for next week, I better get going.

Team Spirit

I've got this fiber at Christmas 2007. It's FatCatKnits fiber. I have several colorways in my stash. I like her stuff, but haven't bought anything new lately. I liked this particular colorway, because it has one of my favorite color combinations: orange and blue.

Team Spirit, merino-tencel, 323yds, 16WPI-2

I could not imagine how it would look spun up, and once again was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Since it's merino/tencel blend it's a bit shiny too, me likes! :o)

Team Spirit II


fiber: 70% Merino, 30% Tencel, 4oz
source: FatCatKnit's Handpainted Fibers and Yarn
yardage: ~ 323yds
plying method: 2-ply
WPI: average 16

Team Spirit, merino-tencel, 323yds, 16WPI-3

I've also tried dyeing yarn cakes again. This time it's worsted weight yarn. I wound it very loosely, but the color didn't penetrate further any better than the last time. To my surprise it looks almost the same as my first try, even though I used "Sugar Plum" & "Blueberry" last time, and this time "Sugar Plum" & "Deep Purple". Where did the purple go?

self dyed KnitPicks Bare merino, worsted weight-2 skeins-2

I like sheep, I really do.

Because, you know I also dyed this "Deep Purple" lace weight yarn, and it IS purple. Mystery to me! I overdyed this purple yarn with black, to take the purple down a notch. At least that's what I wanted but once again, where did the black go? Dyeing is very interesting (and time consuming). I will continue to dabble in it. :o)

self dyed deep purple lace weight yarn-2

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Vernal Equinox Surprise Shawl finished!

The surprise for me was that it turned out to be a half circle shawl. Hmm, don't like half circle shawls, will never wear it. The other surprise was, that it seemed not photographable for me. That rarely happens. Maybe it felt it was not loved?
I have tried to take pictures of it on several days, with different light, outside, inside, it's just not happening.

Biko March 22-unwilling model
Even Biko was an unwilling model.

I knew, as soon as the last stitch was done, that this was not a keeper. It's a pity, really, because there is nothing wrong with the pattern at all!
It was very much fun to knit, well written (charted), I was looking forward to each and every clue. It's a beautiful shawl, and there are pictures to proof it (click on the picture in this link and see a wonderful gallery of finished shawls), just not mine.

Vernal Equinox shawl finished-4-half circle shawl, ~ 70x32 inches

Angelika suggested to offer it for trade. Don't suppose anybody would want to trade it for fiber or yarn? Otherwise I'll just rip it out. I haven't woven in the ends yet, because of that.
Thank you Paivi for designing it and offering this shawl for free, it was a pleasure to knit!

Vernal Equinox shawl finished-2-half circle shawl, ~ 70x32 inches

pattern: Vernal Equinox Surprise Shawl by Paivi of Lankakomero
yarn: Spritely Goods, limited edition "Spring Greens" 100% superwash merino, 2 x 110g, 980yds
needle: 3.5mm circular
size after blocking: upper edge ~ 70", deep ~ 32"

Vernal Equinox shawl finished-5-half -circle shawl, ~ 70x32 inches- truest color
I think in this picture the color comes closest to the true color.

The shawl found a new home. Thank you!


Since I've seen Bea's socks, I wanted to dye some yarn the same way. So I got the dye pot out over the weekend and the result was this:

self dyed KnitPicks bare-merino-sil-fingering weight yarn-2skeins-3

I used a different color combination, obviously.

It was a learning experience. Since I'm a dabbler in dyeing, I know shit about it, that's why the results are rarely what I envisioned. But I'm always willing to learn from my mistakes. Two things about this yarn, or maybe three:

1. I like how it looks.

2. at the beginning I thought I was going to knit socks with this yarn (2x Knit Picks Bare, merino/silk, 440yds each), BUT I lost this pair of socks this weekend (after I wore them maybe 5 times) due to holeitis in the toe area, I doubt that I will knit socks in merino or merino/any blend without nylon etc. again. I'm sick of loosing socks, just because the yarn is too soft. So I have, as I think, the perfect pattern in mind, for one of these skeins - NOT socks.

3. I'd like to try this method of dyeing again, but with 50g yarn balls, 100g yarn cakes are just too big to get the result I want, and I have to find undyed sock yarn, which is not merino etc. you get the idea. :o)

By the way, I'm (test) knitting (I'm a terrible test knitter) Bea's socks (with Regia sock yarn, yes siry), I like them A LOT.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Handspun Friday - Girl with A Pearl Earring

Happy Vernal Equinox! Or I should say, Spring is here! Yeah! Well, there was nothing wrong with Winter either, Spring is in the beginning rather messy.
Today I should show you my finished Vernal Equinox shawl, but that would mess up my handspun Friday, so the shawl will have to wait.

Corriedale 4oz-3-Girl with Pearl Earring- by Electric Sheep Fibers

I was looking for fiber for my next spinning project, when this roving kept falling into my hands. I pushed it aside several times, but it always came back, so I thought, what the heck, it really wants (needs) to be spun.

I've got this back in 2007, when I started spinning. Back then I joined two fiber clubs and this was one of the installments. Since then I've long canceled my membership with both. Sometimes I regret it, but not really.

I have to say, this fiber surprised me in a good way. From looking at the fiber, I didn't expect much, but I really like how the yarn turned out.

Girl with pearl Earring, 229yds, navajo plied, Corriedale by Electric Sheep Fibers-5

The colorway was inspired by a painting by Johannes Vermeer and is called "Girl with a pearl earring. I've seen others using this painting as inspiration for their dyeing fiber as well, not just Electric Sheep Fiber Arts. I haven't found a recent update from Amy. Don't know if she is still dyeing fiber and yarn. Anyway, as I said, it was a pleasant surprise to see this yarn finished.

Girl with pearl Earring, 229yds, navajo plied, Corriedale by Electric Sheep Fibers-6

Can't wait to see how this looks knit up!

Girl with pearl Earring, 229yds, navajo plied, Corriedale by Electric Sheep Fibers-7
fiber: Corriedale, 4oz
source: Electric Sheep Fiber Arts, club fiber, I think from 2007
colorway: Girl with a Pearl Eaaring
yardage: ~ 229yds
way of plying: navajo plied
I've put it away before measuring the WPI, but it's around DK weight
Girl with pearl Earring, 229yds, navajo plied, Corriedale by Electric Sheep Fibers-4


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I missed Pi-Day!

I wanted to thank you all for your comments on my "Frost Flower" post. I was "under the weather", or "out for the count" over the weekend, flu like symptoms, but I'm O.K. again. I usually respond to your comments individually, but was not able to do so this time.

Pi-shawl-in the  middle of 48 rows

Saturday, March 14th, was Pi-Day! I'm no math-nerd, but thanks to Elizabeth Zimmermann, I'm familiar with a very practical use for Pi - her Pi-shawl.

1. Pi-shawl-doily

I wanted to knit this shawl for quite some time now, and during some "in between projects" time, while I was looking through my stash, this left over (from my Queen Anne's shawl ) yarn cake fell into my hands. I love this colorway so much, and was delighted to see it's natural occurrence in Kathy's picture:

picture used with permission

1. Pi-shawl-doily

Since this was just left over yarn, not a full skein, I knew it would not really make a shawl, but I wanted it to be a center piece for our dining room table anyways. It turned out exactly the way I wanted it, that's to say, I'm very pleased with it. Since this was a small project, I think I'll knit the pi-shawl again in the future. There are many variations out there, but I like the simplicity of it. I did my usual crochet bind off for the border. It's easy and I like it.

1. Pi-shawl-doily


pattern: by Elizabeth Zimmermann

yarn: Evilla Artyarn 8/2, color A-8

needle: 4mm circular, DP at first

size after blocking: 28" in diameter (blocking it into a circle was really hard, and I didn't do a good job, it's a little oblong)

start-finish: February 21 - 24

Pi shawl doily with metal horse

Friday, March 13, 2009

Handspun Friday - Frost Flowers

I'm really glad I found out about sweetgeorgia yarns fiber club in time to sign up. The first ever installment was February 2009.

4oz fiber club-February'09- sweetgeorgias-Wensleydale-Frost Flowers

fiber: Wensleydale: it's a longwool sheep with curly wool; it's the finest lustre long wool in the world (according to; it can be spun into fine laceweight, fingering weight for sturdy sock yarn, or even bulky, for glossy, weighty skeins.
I prefer the sock yarn variety. I can't imagine having this fiber near my skein, other than my feet.

Frost Flowers, Wensleydale, ~ 311yds, navajo plied, 4oz

It was not the first time I've spun Wensleydale. As it is, I've spun a bobbin full of it, just before this shipment arrived. It's the one I dyed myself. I still have another bobbin to fill, and ply before it is ready to be shown here.

weight: 4oz
colorway: Frost Flowers

yardage: ~ 311yds

way of plying: navajo

WPI: 22
With the short color changes, navajo plying would not come to mind at first. One reasoning why I did it anyway was, that I would NOT want lace around my shoulders in this fuzzy fiber, and as mentioned above, only socks would do (for me). I love how this skein came out. The colores are fabulous, and the skein, while taking a hot bath, did not bleed out at all. I like it, when color does not come off, on hands, or in the bath afterwards.

Frost Flowers, 311yds, Wensleydale, navajo plied-6-close up

Frost Flowers, Wensleydale, ~ 311yds, navajo plied, 4oz-2

I'm looking forward to the next installment.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Isn't it time for a tea party?

"I'm the first to pitch about DST, not because I have trouble getting up, but because of the whole idea! Anyway, it was snowing yesterday, covering up all the mud and ugliness in the backyard and around the house. It wont stay for long. Cleanup is such a mess, I think I don't like March." End of whining.

To cheer me up, I made my tea pot a dress. O.K. it's ugly, so ugly like an ugly child only a mother can love it, but it's doing a terrific job! Some time ago, Claudia put the idea into my head, and suddenly, one day, it became very clear - I NEEDED a tea cosy really bad. Watch out, pots and pans, I'll cover you all over time. I'm afraid as time goes by, my house, and it's contense will be covered in knit wear eventually. Somebody help me, please! :o)

Tea mitten and handspun yarn

So, the tea pot cosy is actually called "tea mitten" by Elisabeth Kleven, and it appealed the most to me, when I searched for a pattern. I liked the name too.

Not every tea pot is built equally, as I had to find out the hard way. I picked the leftover yarn, hm why exactly? I guess I wanted to see how it looked knit up, and I wanted to knit with my handspun yarn, and as a leftover thingy it shouldn't disappear in the big black hole of a handspun yarn holding bin. Not that I really need a reason for picking any of my handspun, but I always think, the REAL handspun yarn, the one I intended to look like it does, is meant for something grand, something special, and this tea mitten is destined for everyday life, nothing glamorous about it at all. Since it's been finished and used for some time now, I can tell you it does a terrific job in keeping my tea warm longer. I didn't expect it to work, never used a tea cosy before. It's a positive thing, I like it. Maybe some day my tea pot will get a new Sunday dress, in real nice yarn - maybe.

It should have been easy and quick to knit this mitten, but it was not. I had big trouble with gauge. Who would knit a swatch for a tea mitten? I was stumped by row 9, asked for help, got it, but couldn't wait for it, so I did my own thing, which turned out to be right anyway. I knit on very enthusiastically, only to discover, that I ran out of yarn about 10 rows before the finish line. With a sigh, I put it aside, to rip it out the next day. It was late, I wanted to take a picture to show you a failed project for once (you don't get to see all the ones I cast on and rip out again, and there are many).
Next day, I had a light bulb moment. I took the almost finished mitten and put it on my tea pot. Wouldn't you know it, it was WAY to BIG! What did that tell me? I did indeed have enough yarn to make this tea mitten, because I had to custom fit and knit it. Yeah! I ripped it out, without taking a picture, who needs it, it will be O.K. after all!

Well, to make a long story short, it was much easier to knit it the second time, and even easier to make modifications to fit the pot. Only I forgot to pay attention to the snout of the pot. The gusset is a bit wide for it, but I didn't care at that point. Everything else fit's like a - mitten.
After finishing it, I washed it, and put it on the tea pot wet, so it could dry form fitting, and it did. It slides off an on so perfectly. I'm glad I made it, just wished I had used nicer yarn. A word about the yarn. When I spun this yarn, I had a 4-ply in mind, and as you might remember it turned out very well. But there are always left over singles, which when enough, I navajo ply most of the time. So this yarn was the product of such a situation. It would have striped nicer if knit entirely in the round, as the first few rounds, and the last several rounds as well, but the main part was knit back and forth, and that's the reason why it did what it did. Oh well.
Well, enough of the tea mitten, lets get the tea poured already! Ah, it's hot, hot, hot!

Tea mitten

pattern: Tea mitten by Elisabeth Kleven, ravelry link (I don't think you can get it anywhere else)
yarn: handspun Santa & Candy Cane leftover, navajo plied, 87yds
needles: 3.5mm DP
notes: cast on 72 sts., made some mods to fit my pot
start-finish: February 15-16

Friday, March 06, 2009

Handspun Friday - Newspaper

Fiber - Newspaper

fiber source: Spritely Goods
fiber: 2 x 2oz merino/bamboo blend
colorway: Newspaper
yardage: 241 yds
plying: 2-ply
notes: left over singles made into navajo plied yarn
I find spinning batts is hard for me. As much as I like how batts look, I don't think I'll be buying any more in the future. That said, I still have several in my fiber stash. Maybe with practice I'll get better spinning batts. But spinning is supposed to be fun, and with this fiber, it was not much fun.
The fiber itself was a dream, so soft, and I liked the red color. The finished yarn has a shine to it and is very soft. To knit someting with it, it's possible to wear around the neck, even for me (Mimosa is my middle name). But knitting this up is not on top of my to-do list.


I guess these are the last snow pictures of Biko and Sam this winter. Spring is as good as here.

Biko Jan. 8

Princess Biko

you can click on the pics and look at them in the original size on flickr

Sam Jan. 8

I like both of these pictures a lot, especially Sam's, he looks so great in this one.

Monday, March 02, 2009


10-stitch blanket progress, Feb.23-2
As promised here are some (all of my) WIP's I wanted to show you, before some of them get to be FO's. I'll start with the oldest one. I'm still knitting away on my 10-stitch blanket. I'm working on it, whenever I've finished something, and can't decide what to do next. (happens a lot lately) I think this blanket will take forever! I'm maybe halfway through the yarn, it's about 30" square right now, getting warm on the lap and heavy. One thing's for sure, after I've used up all my Patons SWS, I'll never buy this yarn again. I don't like working with it.

Vernal Equinox shawl, finished clue 5
This is the Vernal Equinox shawl. I've joined this KAL and actually am on top of it. That's how it looks finished up to clue 5. I've done clue 6a, and am waiting for the next clue, which will be out around March 6th. Keep your fingers crossed that I've got enough yarn left to finish it. It's going to be a huge shawl.

Sunday Morning shawl in progress-2
Yes, another shawl. I could NOT decide what to do next, after I finished something else (blog about it soon), which would have been another WIP last week, but now it's not anymore. I have, as every knitter does, a long list of projects I want to knit one day. But even if you are open to something new, it doesn't mean it's the right time for any of them. I don't like this time in between.
Even though I have the most exquisite yarn in my stash, I felt the need to play with SOCK YARN LEFTOVERS! There are many ways to get rid of your sock yarn leftovers. Many opt for the mitered squares blanket (I thought about that too), but when I saw Martina's shawl, I liked her idea instantly. I first thought, no way, am I going to cast on for another shawl, but in the end (after several attempts casting on for something else), I gave in last night. And it's so much fun! I love how it looks and there are so many possibilities to play with!

Well, that's it for WIP's. Besides all that, I'm spinning too, so keep tuned to Handspun Friday! :o)

PS: Thanks for your comments on my Venus family! They are all well loved. If you want to try them yourself, you can get the pattern as an instant ravelry download .