Sweaters…

sweaters…..

I have a bunch on the needles.
I should probably finish some…. one?
Could this be what I turn to when the hat fad has passed?

By now you might have noticed that I like to start these things more than I care about finishing them. I know this would bother some of you. Me, not so much. When I feel the need to have the sweater, it will get done. Or I’ll rip it and reuse the yarns. Want to see what I’ve got going?

Let’s start with what actually is showing on my Ravelry page.

lessismore
Less is More #3
This sweater just needs sleeves. I forgot what size needle I was using and as usual, I forgot to make a note. It will get done eventually but at this point….this is where it rests.

sprout dijon
Sprout Growing Roots
I’ve got the hood done and am part way down the yoke. I was working on it to re-release a better sprouts pattern with new features. I kept getting emails and messages from people about this sweater wanting it released now. I admit, I got annoyed. Mostly with myself that I wasn’t able to find/make the time to make this happen. So, I just put it out there as it had been originally. I tossed this sweater aside and haven’t picked it up since. I might finish it eventually. I will not write nor release the new pattern, though.

That’s it. All my sweater WIPs on Ravelry. I’m really slack at putting WIPs on Ravelry… I’m also great at stating the obvious.

There are 2 more categories of sweaters on the needles. One category is the terminal WIPs, UFO’s, waiting to be ripped category. These are sweaters that I have abandoned and I haven’t wanted the yarn bad enough to rip them out. I’m not going to go dig them out. If you’re curious, a couple of them are hibernating in my Rav projects. There might be more of them but I’m not digging around to add them to Rav or talk about them. They deserved a mention but that’s it.

Now….What am I working on that’s active in my WIP basket now?

simpleraglan2
This might be my most active on the needles project. It’s just a simple top down raglan in Caress Merino silk yarn. I wanted it last spring but I didn’t want it bad enough. Maybe I’ll have it for this spring. The body is done (I’m finishing up the bind off now) and I want elbow length sleeves so it’s close.

croppedcanoe
I have a version of Canoe on the needles. I wanted a little crop top sweater to go over sleeveless dresses. Sometimes you don’t need a full sweater but you want sleeves, that’s what I’m working on here in a nice summery yarn called Comfort. I really love this yarn even though it’s not wool. I may have a couple other sweater lots of this stuff waiting for inspiration.

halliard
Halliard
I’m in love with this sweater. Completely in love with it and the yarn that I am using. I have to actually follow the pattern though. I need some quiet time to work on it and get the cable patterning in my head then I’ll be able to make some good headway on it. I tell ya, this sweater would be really nice right about now with all the cold weather we’re having.

french-alpine
This is a handspun sweater that I’ve had the body done for a while. It’s a thick and thin chunky knit made from a colorway called “French Alpine” (discontinued Colorway for a Cause color). I finished the body, tried it on, wore it around and tried to decide if it needed sleeves. Yes. I think it needs sleeves but what kind. Close fitting? Bell sleeves? What length? I’ve been stymied on just that one aspect. As soon as I figure it out, I’ll get the sleeves done. It’s a ridiculously quick knit so with a weekend of work, I could have this sweater on my body.

Those 4 sweaters will get done. I want them enough and they’re far enough long that I’ll get them done. When is the bigger question. Other projects do keep jumping in front of them though so…..

I’m spinning for two sweaters at the moment:
venezia-white
Venezia and

rocklobster
Rock Lobster
That’s not even to consider all the handspun that’s already made and waiting for me to do something. I also love a lot of the shop yarns, particularly Targhee Classic.

stillwell
I want to make Stillwell in the Targhee Classic

atalanta
and Atalanta in Envy Candy which is a newish yarn that we carry. I love how it looks in the skein but I haven’t knit with it much so I need to get on with that.

I could probably go on and on photographing all my yarn stash talking about what I might like to do with it all but I don’t have the kind of time it takes to do that and you would be sitting here a lot longer and probably get bored half way through. I’m going to leave it at that. We’ll see what ends up coming off the needles next. It’s anyone’s guess really.

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Ply to Knit

So you’ve already taken my class on Craftsy right? Or maybe you are already an intermediate spinner and don’t need it. Do you need to ply better?

This is where Ply to Knit comes in.
plytoknit

This class is taught by one of my favorite people, Jillian Moreno.
jillian
She’s a long time spinner and just a really vibrant person in our community. You can tell that she loves the subject and she’s so very much done her homework. Done her homework and mine and yours. Holy cow did Jillian bring it with the samples.

Color samples. Fiber samples. What happens when you do different things or ply different ways. She takes the guess work out of a lot of things. That’s not to say she doesn’t help you do them too so you can learn how to do this yourself. Oh, she does.
jillian-samples

If you took this class just to see the samples alone, it would not be a waste of money. So many yarns….but not just the yarns. Jillian brings all the swatches too. Stockinette, lace, cables….
jillian-knit
ok. So maybe I get a little swoony with swatches. I can’t help myself. I love a good sample and swatch. One can learn so much from them and Jillian has really made so many for this class. It really does make my heart go pitter patter.

It’s not just all the sampling though. Jillian explains how to make better singles and how to ply better. The best methods and ways to accomplish the yarn you want. She gives you lots of information, troubleshooting, and hints to help you be more productive and to make all the yarns that you already make better. And unless you’re an experience spinner, she’s probably teaching you a few yarns that you don’t make already. She even ends the series with project planning. This really is such a good class.

I got you started with my beginner’s class and Jillian helps you perfect the yarn that you’re making. It’s a really good next step on your way to making excellent yarn.

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All hats all the time.

All the time.
Hats seems like the only thing that I’ve been working on. And well….other than the tatting it is the only thing I’ve been working on.

With this little hat obsession, I decided to do what I did with the cowls last year. One new hat pattern a month. I couldn’t help myself.
I made Juniper Flight first.
jf-4
And then I made another because the kid was determined to steal the first one so I needed one for me.
calyspoflight

Then I made Qanik.
qanik1
Which both kids have tried to steal. I’ve managed to hang on to it so far but I have dyed yarn to make another just in case.

I made a couple of hats that I didn’t like. And then I made a slouchy hat called “Tousle”
This hat more than made up for the 2-3 hats that I made in the interim that failed me. I love this hat!
tousle-audience
I liked it so much, that I made it twice.
tousle
Then traumatized my kid by making her be my model for the pattern pages
tousle7

I made another hat that will be published soon. It’s the hat that Jay requested so the first was made specifically for him in giant head sized and I’m working on the second one for me. I’ve sent the pattern off to editing. The final pattern is coming as soon as I can talk Jay into modeling.

In all of that, I did manage to find time to make a Bubble Star as well.
bubblestar3

hats hats hats hats…..
I have yarn all dyed and waiting for more hats. I figure eventually I’ll break off this hat obsession and start in on something new…what will it be?

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WINNER!

Michelle Higgins Alley
Come on down!!!

I had 14 entries from emails, blog, and face book. I assigned you all a number and randomly, #7 was chosen.

Michelle needs to send me her address and I’ll send her the book!

beth-1

Thank you all for entering. We might just have to do this again.

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The Spinner’s Book of Fleece (giveaway)

Have you heard of this book by Beth Smith? Sure you have, it’s a really popular book. As you might have noticed, I haven’t been posting a lot up until recently and even though I’ve had this book for a while, I never got around to reviewing it. Then a little while ago, Storey Publishing sent me a copy to review.
beth-1
Now I have 2 copies of this. One signed by Beth and one that I’m going to give to one of you.
First, let me tell you why you want this book.

Beth loves wool. No looooovvvveeeesss wool. Beth and wool sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G …kind of love. You can tell from her book that this is a true fact. She has a lot of technical knowledge and she’s sharing it with us all here. The intro starts with “Spinning with purpose and confidence”. This book will give you the knowledge to do just that.

Chapter 1. The Value of Raw Fleece
Yarn Consistency, Skirting, Scouring, Storage, and Tool information
beth2
Many questions that I get asked all the time about fleece is covered in that section. Though, I have to say one of my favorite parts is the last one about the tools. There’s a few things in there that I forget from time to time because I don’t comb as seriously as Beth does. It’s a good refresher even if you’re experienced.

Chapter 2. Buying a Fleece: Do’s and Don’ts
I’ll admit to getting a less than desirable fleece from time to time simply because of color or breed rareness. I know better but if you don’t then read this section carefully. There are even pictures that help you detail what a problem in a fleece might be.
beth3
Some of them are subtle until you know what you’re doing and this is really helpful.

Chapter 3. Getting to Yarn
This is really where you will start to gain your purpose and confidence. What are you spinning for? Spin with intention for the project at hand and then ply and finish it properly.
beth4
There is some excellent information in this and part of that is taking a look at locks themselves to help you spin a better yarn.

Then Chapters 4 through 8 are the real “meat” of the book. This is where you can see all the efforts that Beth puts into her prep work. I saw a lot of the samples that she made. Her swatches are large and ever so lovely. She shares them all here in these sections. These sections are about the breeds but not just about the breeds. It’s about helping you spin a better yarn from knowing what you’re working with. I really think this is the part of the book that makes it worth it’s weight in gold. You get information about the breeds but better than that, you get how to process, handle, and spin.
beth5
Then the swatches. I might be a little swoony over swatches in case you couldn’t tell.
There’s more than just the standard stockinette. There’s a lace and cables too. Different processing and different spinning shown in its best usage. She really has done all the legwork for us here. But she didn’t just knit. There’s woven swatches too for all of us weavers out there.
beth6

I could probably go on for several more paragraphs but what I need to just tell you is that you should have this book if you don’t already.

If you have it already, post here and tell everyone why they should own it.
If you don’t have it and you want to win it – Leave me a message on the FB post you found this on or email me at boogieknits at gmail dot com. You have until January 4. I’ll announce who is getting a copy of this book on Monday January 5th.

Until then, I leave you with one more picture from the book:
beth7tunis
Tunis. Thanks to Beth, I’m looking to add a few of these darlings to my flock in the spring.

Posted in Reveiws, spinning | 2 Comments

NEW Skill

Tatting!

I’m not saying that I needed a new project but maybe I just needed a new skill. We all need new skills right? I’m learning to tat. This has been my holiday stress reducer. I just needed something new. I didn’t actually get out to take a class but I’m working through a couple of classes I’ve found online.

I found a bunch of stuff for needle tatting first and that really got me interested. I bought needles and I watched This Lesson. I practiced a bit then I made this little butterfly with some thick mercerized cotton. Its not even close to correct but it’s the first thing I didn’t throw away.
tat-bfly

After making that, I looked to the right hand side of the youtube window and saw a lesson in making a bracelet. I didn’t have the #3 cotton thread she called for but I figured I could wing it with some #10 I had laying around. I made this:
tat-bracelet-on2
It’s smaller than the one OVW made in the video because my thread was thinner. It’s also a little wonky but I’m going to wear it darnit. And I’m going to keep practicing. I did want something a little funkier for thread so I dug through my cones of yarn at the shop to see if I had anything appropriately smooth and sized right. I found some really nice linen and dyed it:
tat-cherrycoke

While it was drying, I purchased a couple of shuttles and took the Craftsy Class on Shuttle Tatting. It starts out slow but it’s packed with good info. I know I’ll keep going back there for help. I’m going to learn both methods of tatting and then decide which one I like best. Maybe I’ll just keep doing both. Right now I love the needle but there is something mesmerizing about the shuttle movements and the little click of the thread as it is wound on or off the shuttle. I could watch shuttle tatters making lace forever. Which, is exactly what I’ve been doing. My family loves it. Ok. Not really. It’s nice that they put up with me.

I picked up the shuttle and I’ve been playing around making little rings and tossing them away like I did when I started the needle tatting.
tat-teeny
Though I seem to be a little slower at picking up the shuttle tatting. While LilBoog was at dance class I made a joined set of 4 different sized rings trying to get more proficient with the shuttle. Then I went home and picked up the now dry linen and needle….. In the same time it took me to make a little red doodad with the shuttle, I made a bracelet with the needle tatting.
tat-pracitce
I’m not giving up on the shuttle though, just admitting that I need more practice.

That linen though is some nice stuff. It’s stiff and just about perfect for what I want. You can see how it differs from the #10 cotton I used in the first bracelet:
tat-2bracelets

I have a big cone of the linen that I can dye as I wish….so I did…along with some really nice #20 cotton to play with.
tat-threadshanddyed

Its the time of year for snowflakes and that bluey stuff is just itching to be tatted into new ornaments.

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Sheep Coats

This is old news now but I still wanted to blog about it. I’m blanketing a couple of the sheep. I am still not sure if I want to go through the hassle of blanketing them all. I want excellent fleece but I feel like our procedures with the goats keeps a lot of the hay out of their fiber and using the same methods, I think the sheep will do well too. Still, 2 of the girls came with coats and I want to see the difference. The coats were none too big when they arrived but only got smaller as they grew.
tightbutts
Did you know that the coats need to be changed not only as the lamb grows into a sheep but if they get a lot of fleece, as a full grown sheep, the blankets should be changed throughout the winter.

I looked around a bit for coats and decided to make them. THIS seems like the best coat tutorial going. It’s not crazy full of photographs and seems to assume you know how to sew before you make these coats. I know how to sew and this is just about what I needed. I measured my girls and then I set about searching through my fabric stash for suitable fabric that I also don’t mind using as coats.

I found some left over outdoor canvas but only enough for one coat. The other got a piece of it but not much.
sheepcoats
Pretty right?
Please excuse Ash. She’s a little shy and I have the hardest time getting any pics of her. Angel on the other hand is always right out front looking for a nose scratch or food. Ash is always lagging a little bit behind but you can see here that her coat is still on and still looking good even if the pink is a little dulled by dirt.
runningash

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