Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Color Progression Progress

I bought a bunch of Fiber Optic gradient yarn at Wisconsin Sheep & Wool and just cast on a project that will use two of the gradient packs: a Sugar Maple sweater. I admit to falling in love with this pattern after seeing the Fiber Optic dyer wearing her version using a different gradient colorway. I think the sweater is going to look sharp in the onyx-to-crimson progression.

The pattern itself is pretty straightforward - it's a tweaked top-down raglan - but the hard part is dealing with the 30 mini-skeins that form the two gradient packs. I need to keep the skeins in the proper order, do joins, and take care of ends, but it will all be worth it to see a smooth and subtle color progression in the finished object.

I'm using a couple strategies to make the yarn wrangling easier. The first is joining by magic knot, as shown in the video above. I'm not usually one for joins using knots (they distort the fabric a bit), but this was the easiest way to waste as little yarn as possible and avoid the added density of woven-in ends.

The other thing I'm doing is joining as I go, as it seemed easier to deal with yarn from one mini-skein at a time. To keep everything in order, I strung all of the mini-skeins onto a spare bit of yarn (shown in the first photo) at the beginning of the project and secured the yarn with a slip knot. Now, it's really easy to grab a new skein whenever I need one.

I'm pretty happy with my systems for dealing with the mini-skeins and I can't wait to show you more of this sweater as it progresses!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

WI Sheep & Wool

Its September in Wisconsin, which can only mean it's time for Wisconsin Sheep & Wool! This year's trip was lovely as I again met up with some Ravenclaw friends from the Ravelry Harry Potter House Cup.

Row 1: stacymarie, NoNeinNyet, Piper, MariaCrafts
Row 2: jayannell, CathyCake
Row 3: isisonearth, OneNeedleKnitting, Xamonster
Row 4: BrineyDeep (me), semperfila, bandbabe
[Photo courtesy of CathyCake]

I honestly spent most of the time at the festival hanging out with these ladies and catching up. It's always wonderful to meet in person and I wish we could do it more than annually. At least we have Ravelry for the rest of the time.

Besides hanging out and knitting (or in my case spinning) we saw some of the sheep dog trials, which are always a favorite. We also caught the walk and knit competition which is a walking relay where teams get points for both speed and the number of stitches finished. Very fun.

On the shopping front, let's not talk about the damage I did at the Fiber Optic booth. I am still totally gradient obsessed.  We'll see if I can knit everything up before next year's Sheep and Wool, although I am ready to cast on one large gradient project.

And finally, as is customary, I end my post with a sheep photo. Sheep!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Actual Knitting

I was looking through the last few months of posts the other day and realized this blog has pretty much been all sewing all the time since I got my new sewing machine. You can't fault a girl for being excited about a new toy but, seeing as this blog is nominally a knitting blog, we're definitely due for some yarns goodness.

Happily, I finished and blocked two knitting projects this past month: an Orchid Thief shawl and a second pair of Twiglets mitts (first pair blogged here). The Orchid Thief shawl has been on my to-make list for about a year now. I specifically remember buying the MadTosh Merino Light for it at the 2013 Sheep and Wool festival. There's a nice symmetry in finishing this shawl just in time for this year's Sheep and Wool (but it may be more of an excuse to buy more yarn because I used up last year's haul).

The other project I just finished is a pair of Twiglets mitts. I really like these mitts because they are quick to make and the lace pattern is easy to memorize. This is my second pair and I can definitely see myself making more.

So there are the latest knitting adventures: beautiful gray lace. My next yarny adventure? Wisconsin Sheep and Wool!