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Soooo I realize I’ve been a little remiss in posting on this blog, here. I’ve mostly been knitting lately, and that usually means the blog is a parade of FOs. I don’t know if you guys like that or not, but in any case, I’ve sort of fallen off the wagon. This time, however, I something of an excuse…

Craftsy Writer

I have indeed been blogging, just unfortunately not here. My first post is up on Crafty now. It’s about weaving with yarn designed for knitting, and you should definitely give it a look.

I’m not sure how often my posts will be published over on Craftsy, but I’ll be writing them about once a week (or so… we all know my track record with regular blogging, after all). They will mostly be about spinning and weaving, but I think I can throw some sewing and knitting in there from time to time. Unlike my posts here, which, as I’ve mentioned, tend to be of the FO parade sort, my Craftsy posts will be much more informative.

So please take a look and let me know what you think! Or what you’d like to see from me in the future. (And I’ll try to be better about posting here, even if it is only showing off what I’ve been making).

OH, and one last (off-topic) thing: Maryland Sheep and Wool is in two weeks, and I will definitely be attending, at least on Saturday. I’ll let you know closer to the date what I’ll be wearing so you can come up and say hi if you’d like. (Maybe there will be prizes? Who knows.)

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I was definitely a doll kid when I was little. I had baby dolls and stuffed animals and Barbies, and I loved making up scenarios for them. I loved dressing up Barbie in all sorts of clothes. I had a hot pink Barbie car at one point, but I don’t think I ever had a big dollhouse. I’d have loved one when I was kid; hell, I’d love one now. It’s less about dolls now and more about a deep love of miniatures, but still. I don’t have a Barbie Dream House or any Barbies anymore, but I do have some yarn that brought Barbie instantly to mind.

I spun this up on Alexandra, my wheel, in just a couple of hours. Speaking of the wheel: about a month ago, I took a spinning lesson at Uniquities, my super fabulous Local Yarn Shop. I wanted some Official Instruction on how to set up the drive band and tensioning and stuff and, if there was time left over, to learn a little about corespinning. We decided to set up the wheel as a double drive. The difference between the bobbin ratio and the flyer ratio is pretty small, but it’s big enough to work. And I can finally tension everything properly, so plying isn’t a mess of too much twist. Anyway, I managed to get through some practice corespinning and moved over to the BFL I had started, but the drive band kept popping off! Because the wheel is a bit old and a bit wiggly, things tend to move around. The other day I really wanted to do some spinning, so I sat down and studied the situation and (I think) managed to mostly fix it so that doesn’t happen any more.

All that to say I spun up the Barbie yarn in no time flat and had absolutely zero tension problems, and it was wonderful.

The fiber in question is merino that I bought from the Spinner’s Hill booth and Maryland Sheep and Wool. It used to look like this:

SO PINK. I used a short forward draw and it just flew by. It’s a two ply and the bobbins matched up almost perfectly, even though I didn’t actually divide the fiber until I was about halfway through the first half. I knew I’d purchased four ounces, so I just measured off about two ounces and set it aside for the second bobbin. There were few enough singles on the second bobbin that I could wind them off into a modified Andean bracelet and continue plying with no real break in the yarn.

I got a total of 188 yards of about worsted weight, which is pretty typical. I actually managed to get all 4 ounces of finished yarn onto one bobbin while I was plying, and I have no idea how I accomplished that. I really love the finished yarn though. It’s pretty soft and super squooshy. Nice and dense. It will probably become mittens at some point. With that much bright pink, it’s perfect for cheering up dreary January days.

I really want to pull out some more merino and spin something very similar to this. This ends up being my default spin. I sometimes wish I could spin thinner and get more yardage (because fiber is expensive, and I want to get maximum knitting out of it), but the truth is, I just prefer knitting with worsted weight yarns. I’m going to try and remember this and not be too worried about yardage and getting the most bang for the buck. I tend to spend less than $20 (ideally under $15; I think this was $10 or $12) per 4 ounces, and getting to spin it, knit it, and then wear the FO is plenty of bang for that buck.

In life news: I am moving! Joe and I finally found a place of our own. It’s a little one bedroom and it’s a little more than we wanted to pay, but it’s a space of our own. We’ll sign the lease next week sometime and move in February 1st. I am SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS, you guys. It’ll be a little cramped, I think, but we’ll have our own kitchen and balcony and WINDOWS. LOTS OF WINDOWS.

There’s some furniture I need to get (some bookshelves for yarn storage, mainly; I’d like the Ikea Expedit ones, but they’re a bit pricey) and a LOT of packing to do, but it’s finally happening.

Not the disease or even the Robert Browning poem (which is excellent, btw), the fingerless mitts pattern:

Pattern: Porphyria
Yarn: MadTosh Merino DK in “Flashdance”, about half a skein
Needles: US 4/3.5 mm
Mods: Well I used a dk instead of a fingering, so basically I just took the stitch pattern and made it up as I went.

This is pair two of the first round of WWFY swaps for my new best yarn friend AnnaMarie at Corgi Hill Farms. Like the first, they were super fun and fast to knit in a yarn I am completely in love with. The stitch pattern for Porphyria is interesting–it looks like a cable, but it’s not actually. Kept me on my toes.

The MadTosh is absolutely gorgeous. The color saturation is amazing. The base is pretty nice too–really sproingy and squishy. The US 4 needles were a wee bit too small for the yarn, but the resulting mitts are gorgeous. The fabric is pleasantly dense without being unyielding. I might have added another stitch repeat to make them slightly bigger, but they stretch nicely.

I had to redo the thumb a couple of times before I was happy with it, but the result fits really well. The recipient’s hands are sized similarly to mine, so they should fit her well too.

I’d definitely like to knit this pattern again for myself. I might even use the same yarn since I have about half a skein left from the first pair that I get to keep. I also have another skein in return for the next round of knitting, so I can make a matching hat or cowl or something. If I make these mitts again, I’ll probably go up a needle size to make them just a wee bit less snug.

What did I get for knitting these mitts and the previous pair, you ask? (As if the gorgeous leftover yarn wasn’t enough.) I’m glad you asked, because I got THE MOST GORGEOUS braid of fiber ever:

60/40 BFL/Tussah Silk. Colorway Senoma. OMG DYING IT’S SO PRETTY. I have like three other spinning projects (only one of which I’ve mentioned at all and has any significant progress on it) so I should wait, but OH I want to spin it. Immediately.

In life news, I am leaving this evening to head up to New York for the long weekend. It’s to visit my grandparents but also it’s to pick up my car! My grandfather owns a business buying and reselling cars, so I asked him to keep an eye out for me. He found a 2003 Pontiac Aztek and it’s mine, all mine! I’m super excited. I’ve been without a car for a while (I rely on my boyfriend’s to get around) and I’ve never had one of my own. I am thrilled and there will definitely be pictures of my baby when I get home. (And bumper stickers, especially geeky ones, are a go).

Sooo… hi guys. Sorry I abandoned the blog for… a month. I’ve been busy. I was out of town and then I was making a billion shark mittens and working a lot. Anyway.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S COOL? I’ll tell you: WEAVING IS COOL. It’s so cool. Like on a loom?

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OH MAN, THAT’S SO COOL.

So yeah, I bought a loom from someone on Ravelry from whom I also bought um, a bit of fleece. Anyway. LOOM. I weave now. Weaving’s cool. /theDoctor It’s loads of fun and a great way of using up yarn quickly. I bought an awesome Intro Weaving class on Craftsy which has been SUPER HELPFUL in figuring out warping and stuff.

Course, as is my wont, when I first received the loom, I looked up a video on YouTube and dove right in because apparently I think waiting to understand what the hell I’m doing is overrated. I threw some yarn on there, practiced a little, then made a scarf. It’s how I do.

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It’s a wee bit too short but it is soft and amazing and I love it.

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You’re seeing right: THAT SUCKER SPARKLES. The warp is some recycled merino that I dyed the color of surgical waste. The weft is a sparkly angora/wool/glitz blend, also recycled (from a vest, actually. It’s better this way).

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Your scarf wants to be this cool.

I then proceeded to whip up some towels/washcloths and THEN purchased and watched the Craftsy class. There’s another scarf on the loom now. But I haven’t taken pictures of either, so those will be another blog post (For real; I’m going to do it this time).

I am still knitting, much more in the last day because I AM DONE WITH SHARKS at least until someone decides to order a pair. But my slate is currently FUCKING CLEAR and I’m so excited to be knitting things for me. LIKE A BOSS.

In reading, Joe and I started the Thrawn trilogy with Heir to the Empire and OH MY GOD FEELINGS. I love it. I want awesome not-empire Outbound Flight!Thrawn back with his adorable relationship with Cardas. In non-reading, I’ve been watching Top Gear because I apparently don’t have enough obsessions. WHOO.

So I recently participated in a Sherlock swap on Craftster. The swap was for one large item and partners were secret, so no one had any idea who they were receiving from and we couldn’t ask questions except through the organizer. I finished the thing I made at the last minute due to a billion shark mittens, but I’m going to wait until its been received before I show it here. (Partially because I finished it when it was dark outside and couldn’t find my camera so my only pics are crappy cell pics and I’m hoping the recipient will take some better ones).

Anyway, I ended up receiving from CDEeeek, who is amazing. This is what she sent me:

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Isn’t it just the cutest little Baker Street door?! The poster and wreath are removeable. The bricks look so realistic. Just OMG. Love it. I need to hang it up (I haven’t yet cause mostly Joe does the nailing and he’s out of town).

BUT ALSO I received this TOTALLY SWEET card:

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The wallpaper! And the smiley face! And presents on the couch! And sparkly tinsel! AHH I LOVE IT. It’s going up on the wall too.

In knitting news, I’m still knitting sharks nonstop, but I have like four more to go so I think the end is in sight. In book news, I recently finished Spinneret by Timothy Zahn and OH it is good. Perfect mix of science and fiction, interesting aliens and fascinating plot. LOVE IT. I’m currently reading The Lost, the second book in the Stargate Atlantis Legacy series, wherein McKay thinks he’s a wraith and I can’t even. So yeah.

Hopefully more different crafts soon. I’m rapidly getting sick of shark mittens. At least they’re fast.

Hey, so remember when I had that blog and I updated it and told everyone about the stuff I was making? And then I apparently fell of a cliff and never got around to posting for like a month? Yeah. So hi. It’s my birthday today (I’m 23), so I guess you guys get the gift of a post today. I don’t know. Anyway.

I’ve been hella busy recently. I went up to visit the boyfriend’s paternal folks for Thanksgiving and as such spent several days in New York City. There are no pictures, but we played a lot of Scrabble and other tabletop games and also there was food or whatever. Every side of the boyfriend’s family is awesome and it’s totally not fair.

On the crafting front, I have been knitting like a madwoman, but almost entirely shark mittens for Etsy. And I still have like five open orders because I apparently hate knitting anything for myself ever. Anyway. One of the Etsy things I made was a matching set of mittens and hat. Stegosaurus versions! So have some pictures:

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Pattern: Jurassic Mittens (Steggie version)
Yarn: Cotton/acrylic blend. Broke my sweater fast for the yarn.
Needles: US 8/5mm

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So now that I’ve actually made the Steggie mittens, I’m going to update the Jurassic Mittens pattern with more pictures and fix everything up and what all.

Here’s the hat:

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There’s no pattern cause I made it up as I went along, but I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. The boyfriend reminded me about the little spikes at the end of a Steg’s tail, so I included them on the hat. Perhaps I’ll write it up. I haven’t done any pattern writing in a while.

I’ll try to get back on the posting ball, but I’m mostly just making sharks here. And I rarely photograph them before I send them out. Plus I’m going down to Virginia Beach on the 19th and spending Christmas in Florida, so I’ll be busy. But I’ll try.

In book news: Joe and I read Outgoing Flight, which was AHH AMAZING and I totally worship at the church of Timothy Zahn. I’m currently reading Spinneret, a book of his I bought on Amazon’s black Friday sale. ALSO did you know that there are Stargate Atlantis books that follow the show cancellation? OF COURSE I bought those suckers. I finished the first one. For more book news, you can follow me on Goodreads here.

Heeeeeeey so Canary Sanctuary featured me as her Indie Designer Profile! Whoo! So go check it out and I’ll be back tomorrow with a FO.

Greetings, blog folk! I am mostly settled in, though things are still kind of a mess. Anyway, I’ve finished up some socks. Some delightful Who-inspired socks. Whoo!

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Pattern: TARDIS Socks
Yarn: Lion Brand Sock-Ease in Snowcone, overdyed by a WWFYer, recycled wool/nylon (white) and Sanguine Gryphon Bugga (black)
Needles: US 1/2.25 mm
Mods: I continued to reduce gusset stitches until I was at a 64st foot instead of 72.

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You guys. These socks. SO MUCH FUN. There was colorwork, which I don’t usually do so that was good practice. There was a flap and gusset heel, which I love. There was leg patterning. And there was easy cruising down the foot. Also, the fit is PERFECT. I went down to 64 sts for the foot and it fits just right. The 72 st leg is wide enough to get over my heel despite some snug stranding but tight enough to stay up.

TARDIS socks = love, is what I’m saying.

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I wasn’t too crazy about the yarn, mostly because Sock-Ease is on the thin side. The color was perfect though. The white is not superwash but considering there’s not that much of it, I think it’ll be okay to go through the washing machine.

I have since cast on for about four more projects, one of which is super fast and I am halfway through. Also yesterday (Saturday) I went to a fiber event. But more on that next time.

Hello from my apartment in Northern Virginia where I am all moved in. I want to show you pictures of the place but it’s kind of a disaster area at the moment. Lots of organizing to do. Anyway, in between that, I made a bathmat:

Pattern: By Your Bed/Bathmat/Doormat
Yarn: Navy (it’s darker than the picture shows) t-shirt yarn/tarn I got in a swap on Craftster a while ago. I used 7/8 balls. (The last might become a dishcloth if I ever find it.)
Hook: GIGANTIC plastic 15mm hook
Mods: I added an extra row of shells/3dc in ch1 sp.

Woo! Pretty simple project; went by super quickly. And now we have a pretty bathmat.

This next week will likely be spent cleaning and organizing and a little bit of job hunting. I’m applying to the Fairfax school system, which I likely won’t get but would be awesome if I did. Cheers!

You guys, packing is stressful. I have to cull everything I own until I can fit it all in a minivan, and I have a lot of stuff. A LOT of stuff. Mostly yarn and clothes. I have four plastic bins and a cardboard box full of yarn, plus I have yarn or unravels-in-progress stuffed in every tiny nook and cranny of the rest of the bags and boxes and bins. Probably 80% of my stuff is either craft supplies or clothes, both of which are things I enjoy frequently and can get for very cheap. The other 20% is books. Maybe there’s 1% “other stuff”. Mostly clothes and books and craft supplies and books. I like books.

ANYWAY, I made a sweater. It looks like this:

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(Do ignore my blurry arm meat there.)

Pattern: My own. Thinking about writing it up.
Yarn: Recycled mercerized cotton from a Ralph Lauren pullover (I have lots left)
Needles: US 3/2.75mm straights and a US 5/3.25 circular for the ruffles

Please appreciate that it is approximately five hundred degrees outside, into which I ventured to get pictures of this sweater. (The actual temperature is like 97 but at a certain point it all just feels HOT.) I jumped into the pool right after (I changed first) but still. HOT.

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I really like knitting summer sweaters and tanks. They’re fast and I can wear them pretty much year round (though with a shirt under for the winter), unlike a sweater, which is really only good when it’s cold enough.

So I love this thing. I knit it in a strip like the Carousel socks from Knitty that I made a couple weeks ago. I do love the strip construction. It keeps my attention for the whole project so I never get bored like I do with things that are just long rows of stockinette.

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In further life news, if I have no said exactly so yet, I will be moving to Fairfax on Tuesday. You might not hear from me for a little while after that while I settle in/job hunt. I’ll almost certainly be on Twitter frequently though, so feel free to drop me a line. I almost always respond on Twitter. I love Twitter.