Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Another Toothless Grin

Mitchell lost his fifth tooth. :P

Happy New Year!
Lisa Kay

Wrapping Up 2013

I've had a few other things going which I haven't posted, yet...

In November, I finished a pair of socks and started another, on a trip. The finished pair is #65, another set of "BFF" socks from CookieA's "Knit. Sock. Love." I used Mountain Colors "Bearfoot" yarn in the colorway "Meadow." I really liked the color combination, and I thought all the while that I was knitting with it that it would make a good start to a set of colors for a Fair Isle project, maybe something along the line of Eunny Jang's "Autumn Rose," sort of like the bottom photo in this blog post.

With the second yarn I carried along on the trip, I started sock pair #66, another set of BFF socks. The yarn is Hedgehog Fibers sock club yarn in "Lagoon."

I've also done a bit of spinning, some Spirit Trail Fiberworks Merino/Silk Angora (50/30/20%) in the colorway, "Loch Ness." It is about 370 yards, 16 wpi. I just spun four ounces (even though I have 16.)

On Christmas Eve, I started a Baltasound Cropped Jumper from Ann Feitelson's "The Art of Fair Isle Knitting." I had to re-work the hem row a couple of times. I kept losing one stitch. Weird. Anyway, it seems to be going well now. It is Harrisville Designs "Shetland" in Spruce and White. I ordered it from the weaving yarn section of Webs, where the Harrisville yarns are put up on cones rather than skeins.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Gift Knitting

I whipped up some gifts over November and December, which I can post, now that they have been gifted...

Two berets, from Kirsten Kapur's "One Day Beret" pattern:

Handspun Pigeonroof Studios "Mimsy" on Superwash Merino

Handspun Hedgehog Fibres Superwash Merino

The second beret was for my sister-in-law, and I also made her matching mitts:

... and I had enough of the same yarn to make two Thorpe hats (another pattern by Kirsten Kapur) for my nephews (modeled by Mitchell):

The hats are trimmed in Dream in Color "Classy," which I then used to make my brother (their dad) a "Watch Cap" using the pattern from the book "Knits Men Want."

I also made mitts for Mitchell's teacher, my mother, and my mother-in-law.

"Mimsy" and other leftover bits of handspun

Handspun Nest Fiber Studio "Viola" on Superwash BFL

Spunky Eclectic "Leaf Peep" on Corriepaca

The mitts are all made using an improvised pattern that I have used before. You can find the instructions on the Ravelry project page.

Mitchell liked the Thorpe hats and asked for his own, in green. I took him to an LYS and he picked out some Cascade 220 in a very green shade of green...

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ocean Towels

I finally hemmed and photographed the remaining seven Ocean Towels (after sending the one swap towel).

The two towels on top are a little heavier, 5/2 cotton yarn. The other five are 8/2 cotton.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tree Decorated

The tree is up! Note the loom behind the tree.

Tree 2013

I predict the tree comes down in record time after Christmas, this year.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Monday, December 9, 2013

Birthday Boy Ties His Shoes

Mitchell's birthday party was this last weekend, and he had a great time skating, even though he got a blister and had to ditch his skates part of the way through the party.


Mitchell skating

The kids played a game, girls vs boys (of course!) where the announcer said, "One-Two-Three Drop" and the last person standing lost a point.


Drop - Alyssa

I had a good dozen pictures of him with his cake, and they all had candle flame reflections in a halo around Mitchell's head. Chris said, "Well, we already knew he's an angel!" (I know we're biased. I'd at least have to say, honestly, that we are blessed.)

Birthday - Cake 2
Birthday - Cake 1

It was a milestone weekend in another way, too. He had to have new shoes, and we finally insisted on laces instead of velcro. He had never seemed at all interested in laces, and resisted it the one time I got him laced shoes in the past. This time, he asked me to draw him a diagram. It occurred to me that I could find diagrams on the web, and so I searched on "Teach Kids To Tie Shoes," and I found the "Magic Fingers" method of tying. He picked it up in the advertised five minutes! Yay!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Friday, December 6, 2013

First Ocean Towel

I finished weaving my Ocean Towel fabric and cut it off the loom last night. I hemmed the first one, because I needed to get it into the mail. It is part of the swap, and it was supposed to be mailed by the end of November...

Ocean Towels - One Done

Ocean Towels - One Done - Closeup

I still have five more towels with the 8/2 weft, and two with 5/2 weft (one size fatter yarn), waiting to be hemmed. I ran out of 8/2 yarn, and I didn't want to order more and wait, and I also liked the idea of making slightly faster progress, so I used 5/2 white yarn from the Fiesta Towels.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Jedi Can't Dance

I posted this on my Facebook feed, so if you read over there, pardon me for the duplication...

Mitchell turns eight this week. Last week, he drew a very cool drawing at school. He knew I would love it, and he told me to take it out of his folder and look at it before we even got out of the school. He was right. I'm not sure what I like best about this drawing...

1. The message.
2. Mitchell quoting yoda (quite accurately, I might add).
3. The awkward Jedi can’t dance.
4. The disco ball, aptly and succinctly described with, “Bling *.”
5. Yoda, dancing!


Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Early Thanksgiving

We got together with my brother, Dave, and his kids at our parents' house for lunch and some playtime for the boys, as an early Thanksgiving gathering. Dane and Mitchell enjoyed playing together, and watched some videos.

Thanksgiving 1

Reese played peek-a-boo under the table.

Thanksgiving 2

Happy Thanksgiving!
Lisa Kay

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Handspun Ivy League Vest

I had a bit of a delay, because I decided to take the arm bands off and narrow the shoulders. I steeked off five more stitches (about an inch). At the bottom of the arm hole shaping, I snipped one thread and put five more stitches on the holder for the steek and then machine sewed five rows inside the previous stitching. I trimmed away on the previous fold line. That made the lower armhole shaping cut away, so the new pickup was just along a diagonal of stitches (not actual knitted shaping). That turned out OK, in fact, somewhat neater than the shaping. This brings to memory an article in Interweave Knits some years back, about Karen Allen (yes, the actress from Raiders of the Lost Ark), who machine knits and then cuts the fabric to shape.

In the end, I'm very happy with the outcome. In fact, I should probably stop knitting, now, because surely it is downhill from here, no?

Ivy League Finished - Front

Ivy League Finished - Back

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ivy League Steeks

I made it through the steeking of the Ivy League Vest. I sewed them by machine, even though many folks who made the project on Ravelry said there was no need to reinforce, with Shetland. I'm too much of a dubious steeker for that, though!

Knitting done, and ready to sew the steeks:
Steeks Ready to Cut
Steeks sewn and ready to cut:
Steeks Ready to Cut-closeup

It still feels unnatural to do this to knitting:
Steeks Cut

Steeks Cut 3

Steeks Cut 2

The vest is finished and currently blocking. Modeled shots, soon!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Monday, November 4, 2013

Grant's Farm

We visited Grant's Farm on Saturday. It was a blustery, cool day, and we were a bit chilly. Mitchell enjoyed the animals, though.

Grants Farm 1

Grants Farm - Scottish Cos

Grants Farm - Longhorn

Grants Farm - Buffalo

Grants Farm - Black cow

Grants Farm - Goats

Grants Farm - Chris and M

Those two kind of look like trouble, don't they?

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween

We had a very rainy Halloween, and we trick-or-treated under umbrellas. One of the ladies handing out candy said what a shame it was, and I said that I thought he liked it. He hollered, "I do! I like it!" So all was well.

It wasn't a great night for photos, though, and so I took some the day after.

Halloween 2

Halloween 3

Halloween 1

Halloween 4

And while we were having a photo op, I took one of us.

Mitchell and Mom

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Monday, October 28, 2013

Ivy League Vest Ribbing

I'm knitting away on my Ivy League Vest. The colorwork is very addictive, as each row brings something new. Here is the ribbing and first few rows of the chart.

Ivy League Ribbing

Because I'm at a different gauge and also want to make it a bit longer, I'm calculating my own shaping. I just put in the first decrease row.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Swatch Cap

As part of Tour de Fleece this year, I spun my Ivy League Vest Kit. While these six yarns will make a lovely vest, I also included some of my Submerge/Cuttlefish combo in the hat, just because I wanted some blue for the pattern. The pattern is the blue/green star pattern from the cover of Nordic Knitting Traditions.

star beret 2

star beret 3

Because I was swatching for the vest, I was on a larger needle (US 4) than called for in the hat (US 2), and eliminated two repeats of the pattern, making it a seven-point star instead of nine. The hat is 25 stitches and 29 rows to four inches.

I have also cast on the vest. The gauge is even a bit larger than called for in the vest pattern (28sts/32rows), so I cast on a smaller size (34 3/4), to get a 38. I'm not quite a 38, but the pattern says it accommodates up to 5 inches negative ease. Also, I'm about to start a fitness challenge...

Ivy League Cast On

Ivy League Cast On - Close up

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Iris IV

A few weeks ago, I mentioned beginning to spin "Marine Predator," and now, I can tell you what I've been doing with it! First of all, here is the finished yarn.

Marine Predator-plied

It is Navajo-plied, or "n-plied" or "chain-plied," as they say. I split the roving into eighths, length-wise, because I wanted fairly short repeats for stripes (for a small project...).

I don't normally "cake" may yarns right away, because the cakes are sometimes fairly tight, and I think it may "stretch" the yarn a bit. I try not to store them for long periods in cakes. Since I planned to use this one for a project with a deadline, I caked it up. I took a picture of it because I thought the colors played very nicely across the ball.

Marine Predator-plied and caked

The intended purpose of this yarn was to make a monster for my younger nephew, Reese's, second birthday. Iris IV was the result, an erstwhile sister for Iris III, my older nephew, Dane's, monster, which I made for him on his second birthday.

Iris for Reese

I think that perhaps Iris IV came out a bit smaller than Iris III, because the yarn is a smaller gauge. Still, the two will be quite alike, in somewhat coordinating blues. With them in the same household, hopefully there won't be territorial monster issues! I realized I forgot Iris IV's belly button, after she was already sent, and I suppose the lack of a belly button will be the subject of great teasing from her sister. I'm sure my brother would have gleefully informed me of my alien origins if I had somehow arrived sans belly button. I suppose Iris IV will simply have to figure out a way to hold her own. Perhaps she can reply, "Oh, yeah? Well you're made with commercial yarn!" ...not that I would have instilled any sense of pride in her handspun origins, or anything of the sort...

This all presumes, of course, that Iris III hasn't met some sad demise, perhaps in the jaws of a four-legged critter. Canines are formidable foes of small, chewy (I mean,... ahem,... plush) monsters, you know... (I can only imagine that the long arms and legs would swing back and forth in an extremely satisfying fashion while being shaken by an attacking dog. But I digress...)

Happy Birthday, Reese!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wicked Blossom

I used the Wicked pattern again, this time using handspun from Hello Yarn's "Blossom" on Finn, a club color. I spun it this year during Tour de Fleece.

Wicked Blossom - Front

Wicked Blossom - Back

I have 1 3/8 ounces (40 grams) left of four bumps of fiber (about a pound).

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ocean Towel Weaving

I've woven the first few inches on the Ocean Towels. You can just see the knots of the beginning of the warp over the end of the front beam.

Ocean Towels - Weaving Started

I still have a few loose beats, but I'm getting it figured out.

Ocean Towels - Weaving Closeup

Off to work!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ocean Towels Warped

Mitchell has been fighting a throat virus off and on for a couple of weeks, and he came down with a high fever again last night. I stayed home with him today and took him to the doctor, who gave him an anti-biotic for a secondary tonsillitis problem. Other than that, we're hanging out and watching movies. I took the opportunity to wind on the warp for the Ocean Towels.

Ocean Towels Threaded and Beamed

You can see where the color repeats re-start, which I had to do because the length of the color repeat grew through the cone. I think it is pretty, though. In fact, it may end up prettier than if the colors were fully-aligned all the way across. (I guess we'll never know!)

Ready to start weaving!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Weaving Update

The Green Fiesta Towels are done. The warp yielded six towels, with about six inches of warp left that could have been woven. I managed about sixteen inches of loom waste, almost ten less inches than when I tied onto the apron rods instead of using leaders.

Green Towels - Hemmed

I hemmed by machine this time, and the plain weave hem edge is also different. I can see why people use a smaller yarn for the plain weave hem... it wove wider than the twill.

Green Towels - Hem close up

I also sleyed the Ocean Towels, and I've threaded the first five repeats (of 26). Note the loom sprite.

Ocean Towels Sleyed

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Green Towel Weaving Done

I finished weaving the Green Fiesta Towels.

Green Towels - Off the Loom

Now, i just need to serge the edges, wash, and hem. I may warp the Ocean Towels, first!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

American Hand-Woven Coverlets

This is a copy of a post I put in the "The Weaving Thread" in the Southern Cross Fibre forum on Ravelry, but I am just so distracted by this idea that I wanted to post it over here, too...

I've become rather intrigued by the notion of hand-woven coverlets. I was at the "Daniel Boone Home," this summer, and they had some reproduction coverlets for sale in the gift shop. I think they were actually manufactured copies, because they were so inexpensive... only a couple hundred dollars. (Which scandalized my husband with how high it was, but struck me as too much of a pittance for hand-woven... Plus, they were suspiciously perfect-looking. I think you probably know what I mean.)

Anyway, the idea stuck in the back of my mind. My loom was ordered and on the way at the time...

More recently, I ordered some books that I was very excited to receive, so much so that I wanted to "share."

I was blown away when I received my two-volume set of "The Coverlet Book: Early American Handwoven Coverlets." The author, Helene Bress, has analyzed a huge number of old coverlets and charted the drafts for them! There are pictures of the actual coverlets as well as the drafts. (There is a disk as well as the two books.) The two books together are about five inches thick, like two encyclopedias. The books cover various techniques, including a large amount of overshot, as well as twills and Summer-and-Winter. There are also instruction sections. For example, if you look at the cover picture on the link, above, you can see in the bottom/left of the cover photo that there is a year and initials woven into the coverlet. There are instructions in the book for how to do that. Very clever!!! There is a whole section/chapter of "Dated Overshot Coverlets." They are late 1700 to early 1800 dates. How cool is that??? There are varying prices, but I spent about $65 with shipping for a brand-spanking-new set. (It seems high, but when it arrived, I thought it was a steal and wondered if they printed more than they could sell...)

I also got my hands on a used copy of "Weaving a Traditional Coverlet," though new ones are still available, apparently. This book is an extremely thorough treatment, step-by-step, of how to weave a specific overshot coverlet design. It even includes a rather large fold-out print of the draft. There are detailed sections on how to get good results, including how to seam. In the most basic sense, the tabby is hand seamed at a point on the edge of the weaving where the pattern thread is "missing" in the middle of a block, and then the pattern threads are embroidered by hand over the seam so that they look exactly like the woven pattern threads of adjacent blocks. Genius!!!

I'm not sure how long it will be before I take on the ambitious task of making a coverlet, but it seems like such a cool thing...

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Monday, September 30, 2013

Green Fiesta Towel Progress-- and Some Spinning

I just started the sixth towel in the Green Fiesta Towel warp. You can just see the orange separator yarn and plain weave hems (end of fifth towel and beginning of sixth towel) under the front beam.

Sixth Towel Started

Mitchell asked why there was so much wrapped around (the cloth beam), and what I was going to do with it. I tried to tell him that was the towels...

I also got a wild notion and did some spinning this weekend. It is all I have spun in September. I just had one bump of Southern Cross Fibre club, "Marine Predator" on Blue Faced Leicester.

Marine Predator Singles

I've spun the whole four ounces into singles and plan to N-ply. That won't happen until next weekend, at least...

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay