On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer and Vixen!

So if you didn’t notice, this wee thing called Christmas has come and gone, and the new year will soon be upon us.

On Christmas day I cast on a pair of socks for me. I’m using the same yarn and pattern as the Christmas socks I made for my mom (she absolutely loved them and said they were the most perfectest socks ever. But with better grammar).

square

I have a pretty bad case of startitis, but I want to wait to cast on ALL THE THINGS until January 1 because I’m playing in the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. What’s this? You’ve never heard of such a thing? Basically it’s a nerdy online gathering place for knitters and crocheters who love Harry Potter. You can join one of the four houses or play on your own. Each month there are “classes” you can choose to take. You are given a prompt and you craft something to earn your house points. Clear as mud? Here are more details.

Alas, I couldn’t keep myself from starting a new spinning project. This is recycled sari silk fiber that I got at SAFF this past October. I feel like Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold!

 

Happy Christmas to All

It’s Christmas Eve and I am knitting for me. It’s glorious. No deadlines. No weeping softly as I try to weave in ends and block handknits before gifts are given tomorrow. I should do this every year.

I’m knitting Favorki by Agata Skektala out of my own handspun. This yarn is so round and soft and alive! I love it! It’s knitting up into the most touchable fabric. I’m learning to be a better cable knitter..slowly but surely. The last time I cabled was just after I learned to knit, and cables have scared me ever since. So this is the project that will (hopefully) teach me to love cables. Because I really want this hat.

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Also, I have a new project bag! Made by SewFlo.

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So Nerdy! Made of heavy-duty fabric. This bag will stand the test of time. I’m beginning a collection of nerdy project bags.

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Two Things

  • I have always wanted pretty stitch markers. I’ve been on the point of buying some several times. But every time I walk away thinking, “But are these the ones I REALLY want??” So finally I have made some. And I love them! I pulled the shells from a necklace a friend was getting rid of a few years ago, strung them on short lengths of nylon coated jewelry wire, decorated them with assorted seed beads I had laying around, and secured each one with a crimper bead.

stitchmarkers

  • I have finished my husband’s Christmas hat! I couldn’t wait, so I gave it to him last night. I was worried I wouldn’t have enough yarn, but after I finished the decreases I had just enough left to tie it up in a festive package.

He likes it immensely and feels that it makes him look cool, like a rugged Alaskan fisherman. I think I’ll keep him.

Spindle Spun

Man, I am all about pulling out these mostly finished projects and getting them done! All the pain and agony  and time already put in is forgotten and I glory in a quick finish. I pulled up an ancient spinning project from the depths of my stash, finished a little more spining, plied the thing, and called it done!

Part of the way through the blue-green wool my spinning gauge changed, so I simply set that portion aside to use as a singles. The rest of the wool I plied with a natural coloured wool to increase my yardage.

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It’s fascinating how different these two skeins are!

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Arent they lovely?

2016 Review

This has been a happening year!

Personally:

I moved into my own apartment in February

I got engaged in March

I planned my wedding and got married in SeptembershawlI moved (again) into my husband’s apartment

 

Crafting:

I knit socks for my husband

A baby set for a coworker

A very big blanket (This was my engagement present from my husband. He’s a keeper)

A sweater for me

A finger puppet just for fun

My wedding shawl

A honey cowl (made from my own handspun, no less)

A commissioned sweater that nearly killed me

A pair of worsted weight socks for my mom

And various other small projects, like hats and washcloths

I learned to spin and I bought a spinning wheel!

I also did some sewing – I finished a bathrobe and a vest and made a dress

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Whew! That was a lot! I didn’t realize at the time how much I’ve done this year. No wonder I am tired!

Spindle Spinning

This morning I pulled out a project I started…quite a while ago. Before I bought my spinning wheel. In June I bought 4 oz of Corriedale roving from Three Waters Farm in the colourway “Before Flowers.”

before-flowers

I spun this up on my spindle, then started some ecru Southdown roving from Beesybee to ply with it.

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The idea was that the natural white of the Southdown would tone down the gorgeous colours of the Corriedale so that if the colours pooled when I knit it up I wouldn’t hate it (I love variegated yarns in the skein, but pooling makes me cringe). Then I bought my spinning wheel and promptly forgot about my spindle. When I pulled it out this morning I wasn’t sure if I had enough Southdown spun or not. So I took a page out of Abby Franquemont’s book and wound the white and coloured yarns into a ball together to be ready for plying.

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I don’t have enough Southdown spun (drat), but I’ve wound the rest of the Corriedale into a ball so it’s nice and tidy. As I was winding it I came to a place where the singles went from a light fingering weight to a worsted weight. What in the world?

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I think this was where I switched from the park and draft method to drafting as I go. It’s crazy how changing your technique changes your yarn!

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Shhh!

This is a hard time of year to write a blog post. Christmas is quickly approaching, and so many of us are making Christmas presents that are supposed to be a secret. How do you blog about something that is a secret??

So this is a super secret blog post about some of my handmade presents.

Just finished (as in today): Mom’s Christmas socks

Pattern: Rye by Tin Can Knits

Needles: US 4 / 3.5 mm

Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers, Colour 9489

So squishy. So quick to knit. I spent 8 days on these socks. You, too can finish these before Christmas! And sized from “baby to big” they will make a great gift for any member of the family. Plus the pattern is free. You can’t get better than that.

In Progress: Hubby’s Ribbed Hat

hat

No pattern

Needles: US 5 / 3.75 mm

Yarn: Zauberball (unsure of the colorway) – held double

We bought this yarn together on our honeymoon. I started the hat on US 2 / 2.75 mm needles and quickly realized it was going to make me blind and angry. So I moved up to US 5 / 3.75 mm needles and am holding the yarn double. It’s still slow going, but I’m not going to stab someone with the needles halfway through the hat.

And that’s it. I am not knitting any other Christmas presents! It’s because of the huge sweater I finished just a few weeks ago. And my wedding. And honeymoon. You know, small things. I can’t remember the last time I made so few gifts. And I can’t wait to be knitting for me again!

Yesterday

I had the day off yesterday, and I was busy! To start off I made soufflés. The recipe is from Joy of Cooking – I added bacon and lots of cheese.

souffle

My knitting friend came over and we drank tea and watched The Crown (on Netflix) as we knit. The Crown is about Queen Elizabeth’s rise to the throne. It is full of angst and drama and (of course) lovely British accents.

Yesterday was a day for sock knitting. I started these worsted weight Rye socks on Monday, and I was determined to finish the first one. The Lord of the Rings was my movie of choice to knit to.

As the day went on I wanted to get one more thing done: baking bagels. I pulled out my trusty Joy of Cooking again and mixed up the dough. Bagels are not as hard to make as you might imagine. Tadah! Homemade bagels are the best!

bagels

All in all it was a profitable, but enjoyable day.

 

19 days

So now that the sweater is off the needles I want to cast on everything! Also, I need to start several Christmas projects. I started some socks for my mom in worsted weight – I’m not crazy enough to try for a full pair of fingering weight socks at this late stage in the game.

swatch
Behold my very comprehensive swatch – 3 needle sizes!

I’ve also swatched for a hat for my husband. And I have bought at least 3 patterns recently that I am dying to make for myself. One of these is this hat pattern by Hunter Hammersen, and I can’t help myself! I need to cast it on.

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This photo is Hunter’s but I wish the hat was mine.

She’s running a giveaway this week here, and she also has a sale going on her pattern.

It’s been rainy here recently. Rainy and cold (it’s not like it’s the beginning of winter or anything). The other day I finished spinning some grey alpaca (maybe?). I used a new (to me) plying technique – Navajo ply. I mostly like how it turned out, but toward the end I had problems with yarn management, so I have some thick and thin areas. Overall, though, I’m very pleased. The yarn is mostly more consistent than the first yarn I spun on my wheel. I can tell I’ve made progress.

yarn

Sewing

If you follow me on Instagram (@dramaticlyric) you will have seen that I’ve been doing some sewing recently. It all started a few weeks ago when I was wandering the aisles of Barnes and Noble and a sewing book caught my eye. Now this was not just any sewing book, this was Alabama Studio Sewing + Design by Natalie Chanin. Most sewing books are about sewing woven fabrics with a machine. This book is about handsewing knitted jersey. My sewing machine is on the blink, and I actually prefer handsewing anyway, so the book caught my interest (also, I had read about Alabama Chanin on Mason Dixon Knitting). I read through it a few times, then pulled out some fabric and thread. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

A very basic but fitted dress out of grey…stuff (the fabric was given to me, so I’ve no idea what the fiber content is). I had just enough to make the dress – I even had to piece it in a few places. This dress is great on its own or as a layering piece, meaning I can wear it year-round. Perfect!

stitch

This next project is something I started in high school, but had not yet finished. A sleeveless vest with tatted lace in the back. All I needed to do was finish the arm holes.

vest

My friend has a horse, so here are some gratuitous horse pictures (also showing my recently finished Perry cardigan).