post-yak.

this may be a long one, since i haven’t shared anything in weeks – there’s lots of pretty pictures though, so hang in there!

i didn’t get much knitting done while on my 3 week work stint in yakutat.  i finished a scarf  and some shwetas that i sent out the other day.  i also crocheted a slipper – and haven’t started the second one yet…  since then, i’ve been working on coffee cosies to replenish my stash at Coffee Cats.  I did some holiday themed ones that turned out really cute.  here are a few of them:

xmas shwetascoffee cats

i also started a stranding project that is turning out to be ridiculously cute.   i’ve switched colors before, but not quite to this extent – and i had to merge two different patterns so the deathflake chart would fit.  and i’ve been wanting to use the blue sock yarn that i got on b and my ‘mini-break holiday’ (see ‘bridget jones’ diary’) to the seward music fest.  it is plymouth ‘happy feet’ that i got on sale from from ‘a flyin’ skein‘ in downtown seward.  i bought the white yarn (also plymouth ‘happy feet’) from ‘far north yarn co.’ in anchorage with intentions of dyeing it – after i took a kool-aid  yarn dyeing class, but i thought it would look better as a “skull” so i went with it.   for the mitten part i used the pattern Squirrelly Swedish Mittens, but i kept most of the snowflakes from the pattern.  i’m not really sure what to do with the thumbs yet.  i think i might keep the snowflakes on the outside and keep the insides of the thumb solid blue. the cuff shown in the picture gets folded to the inside of the glove and sewn.  i finished the first mitten on a recent cabin trip, and just started the second.

IMGP5787

deathflake mittens

The scarf i finished – pattern ‘liesel‘:

leisl

cafe au lait mitts i finished for my sister and haven’t yet sent her – her birthday was in september, but luckily she is living in california right now and doesn’t need them right now – or maybe not ever!!!  the socks i was making her didn’t work out since i was making them for a large man thinking the ‘L’ meant ladies size.

cafe au lait

and that handspun cowl i blogged about earlier??  here it is:

handspun cowl

i think it’s a bit big, so i’m felting it down a little.  i may add a button.

and the spiral cowl -definitely too big and needs a big fold with a button- which would make it warmer anyway:  IMGP5799

i think i need to find someone to model these – the 2d version is definitely not as appeasing as the 3d!

and here are some gloves that have been a WIP (work in progress) for awhile.  i knit them in less than two days, and for some reason i get so excited with finishing one that i go to the second without finishing the thumb on the first.  so i have one thumb left  – hmmm.. maybe i’ll finish them today?  i have done the same thing with my deathflake mittens (see above), but again, i’m not sure what i’m going to do with the thumb yet (that’s my excuse anyway)…..    this yarn is velvety soft and i did the striping different from the pattern – the  colors remind me of cookie monster….

c is for cookie

while i was in yakutat, ‘far north yarn co.’ had the Girl Scouts selling needle cases and project bags as a fundraiser.  i was bummed i was missing out, but asked annie to set aside a dpn case for me.  i am super pleased with what she picked out and am glad i didn’t have to make the choice myself!  thanks annie!  i made a few dpn cases when i got my new sewing machine last summer when i was playing with the different embroidery stitches, but they didn’t turn out quite like this:

Girl scout dpn case

IMGP5807

i’m sure i could find a few more things to share, but am not wasting my sunday on the computer!  i’m still open for christmas knitting, so let me know if you are interested in something handmade!! i will post some of my yakutat pictures soon.

’til then…

cowl update.

the cowl is done. and i used ALL 3 skeins! i better get spinning if i’m going to do a pair of gloves to go with it. the cowl turned out a bit wider than i wanted it to – the person i’m making it for is very small – but i think after blocking it, it should be fine. the person i’m making it for is also very sensitive to wool, but a coworker of mine suggested i line it with silk. i will post a picture later today.

i started a new cowl last night – the spiral cowl (another free pattern on ravelry).  it’s for me.  it’s more dense than the noble cowl and i’m making it out of my favorite yarn – Brown Sheep cotton fleece.   it’s a blend of wool and cotton, so it’s warm, and not itchy.  it’s also makes a nice dense fabric and it’s nice and slippery on your needles.  it’s an easy pattern so it should knit up fast.

My first handspun project!

this summer stephanie (new mom), dayna (survey friend – and roller derby girl), and dayna’s mother-in-law Victoria and i took a beginning handspinning (on a drop spindle) class from  Pamela of Far North Fibers in Anchorage.  it was at her house, in her tiny studio that was full of looms, spinning wheels, and a TON of fiber.  there was so much to look at.  it was a great class as it was very one-on-one and we got to try out a lot of different kinds of fiber.  i also found that wool is not that expensive, it only takes a bit of  practice, and you create a totally unique yarn that turns into something nobody can copy.  i also find it extremely therapeutic – especially after hours of doing R/W calcs in front of a computer.

about a month ago, after inquiring on ravelry, i ordered some roving from Carol Lee of  The Sheep Shed Studio. they have some awesome deals and she even sends you a little extra to play with (i got some brown superwash!).  the shipping was a little expensive, but with the quality of wool (they are Brown Sheep Mill ends!) and the really nice customer service, i would recommend them to anyone.

so i’ve done some experimenting with the fiber i ordered and the stuff i bought from the spinning class.  i still suck, but it is getting more and more consistent (the yarn, not the sucking).  oh, and i’m also working with a lopsided spindle – buku accidentally broke mine a few weeks ago, but it still works great.  i decided that with my first (successful) yarn- i want to make something that doesn’t require a lot of yardage and it would be for someone special (someone who would appreciate that it’s from the sheep to a wearable item).  so, i’m making “a noble cowl” (i just discovered cowls- and they are going to be my new accessory this winter -for work and play – along with really cute mittens.  and there are some really beautiful and FREE patterns on ravelry) by Emily Kausalik.   i also plan to make a pair of matching mittens, though i need to spin more.   here are the fruits of my labor:

it went from this (this is what i have left – and there is the drop spindle i am using ):

bag o' wool

to this (an entire hank is what i am able to wind on the spindle – i have no idea what the yardage is, but will be more diligent about that next time):

three skeins

to this WIP (work in progress):

WIP. a noble cowl. by emily kausalik

it has a really pretty lacy pattern, but you can’t see it until it is done and blocked.  i will post some pictures when its done.

the yarn is a single ply yarn.  when i get better and am able to get the yarn to a consistent and smaller diameter, then i will try some plying (2+ strands to make one).

AND here are a couple pairs of mittens that i recently finished.  they are made of virgin wool that my mom got from an estate sale for $2/skein! and the skeins have so much yarn on them – my winder can only handle half a skein.  the yarn smells a little like old lady and the company doesn’t even sell that kind anymore, but she got it in some great colors and it works awesome for felting projects.

The pattern is “Give a Hoot” by Jocelyn Tunney.  they knit up fast and really like the pattern.  and they are sooo cute.  i have yet to make myself a pair!

the first pair (bright pink) i made for my brother’s lady friend for her birthday (the pic is taken before blocking), and the second pair (turquoise) is being sent to my aunt lisa in wisconsin, along with some homemade salmonberry/blueberry jam and rhubarb chutney!

pink hooters

turquoise hooters

”til then.