Eat, Sleep, Spin: Fractal Spin

Hey All!

In January, my good friend C added me to a couple of awesome FB spinning groups.  One of them was Eat, Sleep, Spin which has a guided technique each month. For February, that was fractal spinning.

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Fractal spinning is a technique for dyed top in which you split a braid such as this in half vertically.  The first half is spun straight from end to end to make a single.  The second half is divided, again vertically, into several strips (colors oriented the same way) and are spun end to end to end to make a second single.  The two singles are plied together to achieve a beautiful color progression in which every so often both plies are the same color.Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 6.14.33 PM.png

I already had, in my stash (SEE I can use my stash!), the perfect hand dyed roving.  4.25 oz of beautiful Corriedale combed top dyed by my dear friend C and ordered from her Etsy shop TheHippieHomemaker (shameless plug).

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Beautiful isn’t it?

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It turned out perfect! 350 yards of Fingering weight heaven.

What do you think?

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Ta-Da! Tuesday and WIP Wednesday # 23

Hello all!

Well, we sprung forward last weekend.  Yes, it is the time of year again when we change our time to “save” daylight.  I do not mind falling backwards but springing forward always throws me off my game for a week or two.  It is hard to sleep, and my internal clock is all wonky — leaving me rather…. disagreeable.

However, I have had time to complete the Stained Glass Seaglass Cowl – a pattern recently released by Linda Dawkins aka Mamma4Earth on Ravelry.  It is a wonderful knit, was a great test-knitting experience, and I hope you will take a look at it…

That would be this week’s Ta-Da!

I am now back on the boot socks.  They are, as I noted before, nearly completed.  At about 80%, I think they can be completed soon.

I am still spinning the fiber from last week.  I have spun up 50% of it already and I cannot wait to ply it!

Let me know what you are currently working on!

Happy WIP Wednesday Everyone!

Joining Steph@WoolythymeGinny@SmallThings, Linda@NaturalSuburbia, and TamisAmis for Yarnalong and WIP Wednesday!

Oh yeah!  I would like to introduce you to Cash, our latest Foster Schnauzer:


Ta-Da! Tuesday #22

Good Morning and Happy Ta-Da! Tuesday Everyone!

Today is Ta-Da! Tuesday and there is definitely a Ta-Da!, but we are going to change it up a bit this week.  For those of you new to the blog, I am a knitter, crocheter, and — recently — a spinner.  What you may not know, however, is that I am married to a wonderful woman who — in order to spend more quality time with me — decided last spring to take a class and learn to knit.

R has been knitting now for about 10 months and is a natural.  She has fearlessly tackled cables, lace, and the altering of patterns to suit her own personal style.

This morning R will be guest blogging about her most recent FO.  It is a beautiful piece and I know you will all enjoy her way with yarn as well as her way with words.

Please welcome my better half, R

Thanks! It’s true–I used to be the one who was the oft-spotted “yarn spouse”, standing around aimlessly, staring at all the colors and types of fiber and waiting impatiently for J to hurry the heck up. Then I started paying attention to all the pretty colors. Then I started feeling all the wonderful soft and squishy balls of alpaca, the sturdy balls of cotton, and the sleek and shiny hanks of lace. Slowly, I started sneaking a couple of skeins into his shopping cart after securing a promise to make me this or that. After a while though, it dawned on me that if I was ever going to get those things which never made it to the top of his queue, I’d better figure out how to do it myself. Of course, learning to knit was also a self-defense mechanism, seeing as pretty much all of our retirement savings are invested in stash and we needed something new to work on together. 🙂

Now, to my Ta-Da! I’m fascinated with the idea of test knitting and sample knitting–I love the idea of it. I love the process of helping a designer finish a product; I love being one of the first people to make something new; I love knitting, but I rarely wear my own work–preferring to give it away as gifts or sell it because I don’t want to be the one that messes it up. As I was trolling in the Testing Pool group on Rav one day, I came across a call for completing a test knit that I couldn’t pass up. So, I signed up and dutifully bought 8 skeins of Manos del Uruguay Classica in cornflower. 

Beautiful, right? After diligently finishing, washing, and blocking my swatch and choosing a needle size (I almost always have to go up one because I knit tightly.), I was off to the races. 

The pattern for the sweater is now available on Ravelry and is called Emilie June. It has an awesome side-to-side construction, so no seaming for the folks that prefer to avoid such difficulties. There’s a neat cable design along the bottom edge and a comfy shawl collar. The sleeves are done almost like the afterthought heel–you knit in a piece of waste yarn where the sleeve will go and then keep knitting. Once you’re ready to do the sleeve, you just pull out the waste yarn and pick up the stitches and off you go. How cool is that? 

One of the things that I love about knitting is that you learn something new every time–this time, my new skill to learn was how to do hidden short rows in stockinette. I’m not going to lie–I made J. do the tink and redo the first set after I messed it up, but then I figured it out and just look how good I did!

As usual, I didn’t really want to keep it and be the one to wear it out, it’s also pretty significantly too big if I wanted to keep it, so it’s off to a new home as a gift. The cardigan is super warm and soft. I’m not a huge fan of the thick and thin aspects of the Manos Classica generally (why do the thick bits and thin bits always seem to pool together–you’d think they would even out. Perhaps this only happens to me…), but they worked out well in this pattern. I also decided to be super brave and didn’t alternate balls of yarn–the luck of the knitter was with me though, because none of my skein changes are noticeable. Here are a few more pics for good measure, a little bit so you can see how well the design elements worked out, but mostly so you can see how awesome I did. 



Thanks for letting me steal J’s show! P.S. This is my first blog post, and J says it’s poor form to use contractions. I’m pretty sure that’s hooey though–feel free to comment if you’ve a good reason why I mustn’t use them. 🙂



Happy Knitting Everyone!


Ta-Da! Tuesday # 21

Good Morning!  Welcome to Ta-Da! Tuesday… 🙂

Today I am Ta-Da!-ing an FO of which I am particularly fond.  It has a history of sorts that goes along with the development of this hat.

A very dear friend of mine, in fact she is the one who first taught me to knit, has always had an eye for charting her own designs.  On one of our visits we were perusing some of her recent FOs and came across a hat she had charted for a family member.  It was a beautiful hat!  I asked her for the chart and she looked high and low for it, but to no avail — it simply would not be found.

Being particularly tenacious, however, we sat down and stared long and hard at pictures of the original hat until we had “re-created” this chart.  I held on to it for a year or so and finally got around to writing up the pattern to accompany the charts and cast on — I needed this hat for Christmas!

By a wonderful intervention of fate, the original chart emerged days after I cast on and we were able to compare the original to the recreation — and boy were we ever off!  In any case, I knit the original pattern but  it turned out HUGE.  I mean REALLY BIG.  Like a dinner plate was too small to block it!  This was all because of my main color yarn choice.  It was the right weight, but it was a fuzzy acrylic. I had to *CUT* out the ribbing from the beginning and work it again in the reverse direction holding an elastic thread with the yarn to try and force it to contract  — no luck.  Back to the scissors…  I knit the ribbing again working from a 2×2 ribbing to a 2×1 ribbing….  Still too big.  I had to cut it out (I still cannot believe the insanity of this) for a third time and reduce it to a 1×1 ribbing with a lot of K2togs…

In the end, I think it turned out beautifully.  But if you are ever considering ribbing using Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease in White Frost — FORGET IT.

In any case, and much delayed, here is today’s Ta-Da! Tuesday FO:

The MC yarn is Lion Brand Wool-Ease in White Frost.  The CC yarn is Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair in Glacier Bay.  The charting was done by my dear friend C.G..  You can find out more about her and her work on her blog, TheHippieHomemaker , and you can find her on Ravelry as GAGIN37.

What do you think?  What are you all working on?  Leave a comment and tell us about it!

Knit Happy Everyone!

Ta-Da! Tuesday #20

Two Furry Hats…

Back in September, I saw a sample for a Cocoknits pattern and hatched an idea for a Christmas present.  It was a cool hat — good for the chill of winter and it would give me the opportunity to learn “thrumming”.

So, for today’s Ta-Da! Tuesday, we have the Fleeced Earflap Hat (well two of them really):

I made one for a family member and enjoyed it so much I made another for myself.  The yarn in both cases is Malabrigo Rasta (Tip: Knit the medium size to get a large hat in this yarn!).  The thrumming is pure wool dyed brown…  You can find my project in Ravelry here.

Happy Knitting Everyone!