Oops!  Long time no blog, due to technical difficulties.  I’ve gotten some knitting done.  During a conference in October, I finished the feather and fan scarf I knit from my fractal stripe handspun.  I had reversed the pattern front to back in the middle of the scarf because I was knitting during a concert and messed up, but decided to leave it that way.  It turned out lovely.

Fractal Stripe Handspun knit in Feather and Fan

You can see that one half of the scarf has slow color changes, while the other has more frequent color changes.  I love it!  However, when I was blocking it, I discovered this:

Aaaaaugh!!!

Aaaaaaaaugh!!  I hate dropped stitches in lace.  As you can see, I salvaged what I could and put a safety pin through 3 stitches that seemed to prevent any further damage.  I am not sure how to pick these up again, and may just have to fudge it.  This was going to be a gift, but I don’t want to give something that I messed up.  So I may end up keeping it for myself – it depends on how well the repair goes.

So instead of working on that, I started a new project – the Reid lace cardigan, from Knitty.com.  This will be for Annabelle, and hopefully in time for Christmas.  But in trying to be clever and avoid seaming, I managed to mess up in a few different ways.

Reid Cardigan lace pattern

First off, I decided to knit the right and left fronts together with the back up to the armhole shaping.  Once I got there, I realized that there IS no armhole shaping – it’s a drop shoulder design.  Duh!  So basically I knit in one piece up to the neck shaping.  It really didn’t look that big to me.  Instead of frogging, I started on a sleeve.

Reid cardigan sleeve

I’ll see how it looks as a longer cardigan.  One of the ladies in my knitting group suggested putting a ribbon through the waist – I think that would look cute!  We’ll see how it goes as I fudge it up.

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I was very excited to receive the Fall 2008 Spin-Off Magazine today, because Tim’s Dinosaur Surprise Jacket is featured in the handspun gallery!  They chose my favorite picture, along with two others, and the layout looks great.  Tim got a kick out of seeing himself in a magazine.  Thanks to editor Amy Clarke Moore for choosing my project, and for a great magazine!

Finally, I got back to my sock machine to finish the second mock rib sock.

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Despite my efforts to write down what I did, and to count rows carefully, the second sock turned out longer than the first.  Oops!  They fit but are a tad loose, especially at the cuff.  I think I’ll increase tension a bit for the next pair I do with the Lorna’s Laces yarn.

I’ve also been spinning on my wheel this week!  Here’s some Spunky Eclectic merino/tencel fiber in Sangria.  Look at that sheen!

Spunky Eclectic Merino/Tencel in Sangria

It hardly needed any predrafting, and wanted to be spun fine.  It took some experimentation to find the right amount of twist for it to be strong yet still soft.

Spinning fine

Here’s the first 2 ounces of singles on the bobbin.  I’ll do another 2 ounces to make a 2-ply laceweight.  Mmmm!

Singles

Obviously, I still need to work on filling the bobbin evenly. But it is pretty, no?

Tim has a little set of tiny Legos in various colors that you can use to make pictures.  For the most part, he just makes random pictures or follows the ones that came with the set.  Last week though, he put together his own little pattern, “just for Daddy!”

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I was so impressed.  My 4-year-old has a sense of design!  After that, we went to a nearby lake.

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It was a beautiful place, and a beautiful day.

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My boys were so cute together in the water!

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Fortunately, Chris is a good swimmer.  I can keep myself afloat, but not with a flailing crazy little boy climbing all over me.  So I stayed with Tim only where I could still reach the bottom.

This weekend, I practiced my Navajo plying technique some more.  Same Coopworth fiber from Spunky Eclectic, but this time I spun it finer.  The singles still broke a few times, but less than before, and it turned out more evenly. This is pre-soaking – I just felt like posting right away!

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In my spinning, up to now I’ve been so enamoured of the 2-ply barber pole color effect, that I’ve never learned Navajo plying before. So I decided to give it a try. I spun up some singles of undyed Coopworth from a Spunky Eclectic sampler.

Undyed Coopworth singles

After letting the singles sit for a day, I did my first Navajo ply!  I looked at a few YouTube videos for reference.  This one was the most helpful.  As you can see, it’s rather uneven.  I also had a problem with the singles breaking several times, since I wasn’t super careful when I was spinning them.  Next time, more twist! 

My first Navajo ply!

I do like the way it looks nice and round. Here it is on the niddy noddy.

Coopworth Navajo ply on the niddy

Skeined up:

Coopworth Navajo ply, skeined up

It’s about worsted weight, 67 yards.  Here it is close up:

Coopworth Navajo ply closeup

It’s a nice technique. I’ll probably use it with fiber of relatively uniform color when I want a 3-ply look-alike, or when I want to keep different colors separate.

After a long hiatus from my wheel, I was inspired to get back to it by this:

The Painted Sheep alpaca/merino/silk fiber in Dublin Lake

It’s alpaca/merino/silk fiber in Dublin Lake from Kris, The Painted Sheep. Absolutely yummylicious fiber, and beautiful colors! It was wonderful and very easy to spin.  I managed to get the whole 4oz of singles on the bobbin.

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I wound it into a center-pull ball.

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And here it is as a 2-ply. I was lazy and didn’t measure the wpi, but it is worsted-ish.

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Skeined up!

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Up close. I love how the colors blended together.

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I got about 110 yards. I think it would make a nice scarf.

I’m making slow progress on my Bleeding Hearts Stole, but I continue to enjoy knitting it very much. I still can’t get over how beautiful Kris‘s yarn is.

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That’s just me trying to hold it as open as possible using my toes.. I’m sure it will look much better after blocking!

This past weekend we went to the CT Sheep and Wool Festival. It was surprisingly overcast and cold, so we were thankful to have our sweaters. Tim ended up wearing both sweaters that I brought for him!

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There was tasty food.

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Tim and his Baby Surprise Jacket got recognized by several people, including CTJen, who had arranged to have Nutmeg Knitter buttons made for the event. Check out some cute animal pictures in her blog post! (I missed them because I wasn’t carrying the camera most of the time – my dad took these pictures.)

There were cute, fun things for Tim to do.  We petted sheep and bunnies.

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Hanging out with Daddy so Mommy could do some shopping.

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I hadn’t blogged about this previously, but Chris randomly decided to shave his head on Tim’s birthday. He had asked me if I think he should do it, and I thought he was joking so I told him to go ahead. I was completely floored when he came down from the bathroom with his head half shaved, asking for my help. What a crazy husband I have! Right now it’s at that cute duckling fuzz stage of growing back so I’m enjoying rubbing his head.

Anyway, back to the festival. Tim did get a bit tired and cranky, so thankfully it was a nice, small event. Much more manageable than Rhinebeck!

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We had an informal Ravelry meetup. Some of my SnB Newington friends were there, including Kris, Paula, Jenny, Amy, and Debbie and her delightful daughter Leah, and I met some new friends as well, including Christiane, Beverly, Susan, and Deb. I didn’t catch everyone’s names though.  Please leave me a comment if you see yourself in the picture!

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In terms of stuff, I was awfully tempted by some sinfully soft yak/cashmere/qiviut yarn, but it was $36 a skein, so I passed.  I did buy some beautifully dyed merino and merino/tussah spinning fiber, which will hopefully get me back to my poor neglected wheel (darn work).  I’ll post pictures of those later.

We were planning to go home after the Ravelry meetup for Tim’s sake, but he decided that he liked the music and didn’t want to leave!

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This is the Scamp sweater I knit for him before I started this blog, but details can be found on my Ravelry page here.  If you’re not on Ravelry yet, what are you waiting for?  Please go and join!

So we stayed and listened to the Irish/Celtic music, by Full Gael.  He liked it so much that he went up to the musicians afterwards, and we even bought a CD!  We left in a good mood.  It was a great day!

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