BTW I still knit…sometimes

Yes in fact I do still knit, even if I don’t write about it as often these days. Any guesses?

Here, I’ll give you a better picture:

No good? I’m sure you’re pretty close though.

I’ll give you another:

Slightly better I know. It’s a hat. Big shocker. But you haven’t seen it for a while.

It’s reeeeeaaaaaaaaallly nice:

Pattern: Le’ Slouch by Knit and Tonic
Adaptations: Um, handspun anyone? Started with 6 st i-cord and knit down from the top making increases every other row. Alternated the handspun with the Silk Dream every other row to maximise handspun slouchyness.
Materials: 1 skein Lang Silk Dream, 50 grams Handspun from Ozark Handspun 100% Silk roving
Start Date: March 23, 2008
End Date: April 12, 2008

I made it with my very own handspun. Yup, I did show it to you before with some other grey yarn, but it just wasn’t doing it for me. The feel was off and the yarn was a bit too dull when knit up with the silky goodness of the handspun. So a trip to Ariadne for some Lang Silk Dream was in order. And the Silk Dream was exactly what I wanted to make this hat great.

After knitting the hat once according to the pattern (ribbing upward) but was worried about running out of the handspun. So I decided go the other way, knit from the top down. So a little bit of i-cord, some initial increase rows just in the Silk Dream and then I continued working one row of the handspun and one row (with increases) in the Silk Dream. Once finished increasing the stitches, I started working two rows of the Silk Dream to one row of handspun until full slouchy-ness was achieved. Then I finished with some good old ribbing in the Silk Dream.

BTW this Le’Slouch is for me.

A spindle of my very own

It finally came in the mail, the learn to spin kit came from Spunky Eclectic. It felt like it took foreeeeeeeeeever to arrive but my life is now complete now that I’ve got it. I finished up the Felted Melanie’s Birthday Mistake I was spinning so that I can try the Falkland that came with the kit.

But at the moment I’m knitting. No, that’s not a typo. I’m knitting myself a Le’Slouch from the Steelhead Trout I spun and a skein of Lang Silk Dream that I picked up at Ariadne the other day after work. Here’s the progress so far:

Well, really that’s today’s progress. I pulled it out last night to restart it top-down. The effect of knitting one round in handspun and one round in Silk Dream is all sorts of awesome. Now I’m not sure how much hat I’ll get out of the handspun that I have, so am working top-down to maximise the awesome. Oh and it’s super soft too.

Hope everyone’s having a pleasant relaxing weekend. I’m enjoying the possibility that I may not have to wear boots anymore. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Spin Spin Spin Spin

Everybody’s got to spin! Or just me. Nope, I haven’t become tired of it yet. Not sure that I really want to get tired of it. I did start knitting with some of it too. I figure I can’t take spinning to work for lunchtime or I’ll never get back to work.

Take a look:

I started on another Le’Slouch with my favourite handspun to date but I don’t have enough for an entire hat. So plan B is to use one skein of Lang Silk Dream and alternate rows with the handspun. It’s going to be awesome. And this hat is going to be for me.

And on Thursday at Ariadne, I finished the rest of the felted BFL Jessie gave me to spin:

Feeling that I wouldn’t have enough fibre to get me through the holiday weekend, I headed to Jessie’s on Friday to pick up some more. This is where I’m at:

Look, I’m getting more good ‘real’ yarn parts:

This is the Light Lolita that I’m saving for when I’m good. I had to break into it on Thursday:

Tonight, I Navajo plied. Check it out:

Yes, not so many words. Just pictures. I’m still waiting for my very own spindle (and accompanying fibre) to come in the mail. I was very very very bummed that it didn’t make it before weekend. Um. Yeah. Gots to get back to the spinning. Happy knitting.

The Haul from Home and another Slouch

I’ve returned from holiday out West at my parents and came back with quite a haul. Knittingwise, I brought back all the projects I had taken with me with none completed, but some pretty close and a stack of Knitting mags. But it was a successful trip for my other craftiness as you can see below:

Some very inspiring embroidery found while tidying up in the basement. Possibly done by my Grandmother or Great-Grandmother.

A fun deck of quilter’s quarters that I got as payment for making a set of six place mats for my mother.

Leftovers from when I made my roll-you-own-needlecase and two project bags.

Leftovers from the place mats I made for my mother (carefully cut so to save as much fabric as possible).

My new palette of embroidery floss (they were on sale).

Some more colours that I couldn’t resist (they weren’t on sale).

And I just finished another slouch for a friend. She was lamenting her lack of fashion victim-hood without one, so I cast on without regard for my current list of projects that need to be finished. I really like the colour and texture of the hat and have been considering keeping it for myself, but seeing it on me makes me think of little girls in grey wool pleated skirts or members of military units so I think it is destined for it’s originally intended owner. I had to adapt the pattern for a smaller gauge yarn and used my favourite Italian Tubular Cast on for this hat.

A note on cast ons for ribbing. I favour cast ons done on one needle with various twisting and turnings to create the stitches. It’s knitting magic! I’ve tried the version with provisional cast on of half the stitches compared to the Italian Tubular method and have to say that I prefer the results of the Tubular when worked 4 rows of yarn in front while slipping purled stitches.

While the provisional method looks tidier at the start, the lack of super-stretchability is a turn off, not to mention the lack of seeming like one is casting a spell. The Italian method provides all the stretch of the rest of the ribbing and seems to me more efficient for materials. No extra yarn is needed or needles or crochet hooks, etc. If you are like me and tend to have loosey goosey results, then I’d suggest working the foundation rows on a smaller needle. And if working in the round, I’d suggest joining in the round just as you start your regular knitting (or after two rounds of foundation and then work two more, alternating carrying the yarn in front and slipping purled stitches and in back slipping knit stitches on each round).

In between projects project

Star Decrease, originally uploaded by bunnieprops.

After finishing up the Icarus Shawl, I needed a bit of a mental break. Especially before starting the Fair Isle knee socks from Meg Swansen’s Knitting for my brother. I had come across Knit and Tonic’s Le’ Slouch pattern after seeing it on another knitting blog and was compelled to make one. Just so happened I had a few skeins of cotton on hand that I thought would lend themselves nicely to the moss stitch and got knitting. I inherited the yarn from my brother who buys pretty things from the sales bin from time to time and can’t figure out what to make with it. But the green isn’t so much my colour.

As I was knitting it, I thought it would be a great way to get rid of some of my odds and ends from my stash. Leftovers from sweaters, my own sale bin finds with no inspiration. So Le’ Slouch is going to be my in-between-projects project. One for each of my girls. This will make me feel less guilty about coveting those two luscious balls of whatever catches my eye in the sale bin in the future. Another Le’ Slouch. I enjoyed knitting it so much, that I made two.

The Ribbing, originally uploaded by bunnieprops.

I also started on my brother’s socks, despite the draw of knitting another Le’ Slouch. I began with my favourite K1 P1 rib cast on, Italian Tubular, but after a couple of rows, the Fair Isle changed the nature of the ribbing to be not quite as elastic. So I started over with a more standard cast on (which I also enjoy). Now that I’ve started them, I’m super excited to work on them. The Tongue River Sock Yarn that I’m using seemed king of scratchy when I wound the skeins into cakes (is that the proper term?) but now that I’ve started working with it, the yarn is much softer to work with. And it already feels super strong. I’m already having fun and I’ve barely started them.