starting point

What I learned after spinning my first skein:

* Relax. I was so nervous about not getting enough twist in the yarn that I overcompensated and ended up with lots of twisty bits.
* Don't fight the fiber. Let it spin into the yarn it wants to become.
* Embrace the imperfections. The charm of handspun yarn is its quirkiness. I love the fact that even after a long soak, there are still bits of hay to be found. I adore the thick/thin uneven mess that makes a newbie spinner's yarn so different from commercially made yarn.
* Be a turtle. In other words, don't be in too much of a rush to know everything all at once. Spinning is like knitting: you can happily spend a lifetime at it and still have lots of things to learn. Beginning a new craft is like learning a new language. It can easily get too overwhelming. Go slow and enjoy the process, but....
* Use the product. Otherwise, there is a very real danger of building up another stash!

So, taking my own advice, I decided to knit something special with this novice skein.

There was just enough yarn to make three heart ornaments. One for the little guy, my hubby and me. Mine has the fiber label tucked inside. Also made a little yarnball ornament with the last remaining bits. Still need to stick in some miniature knitting needles.

Have a happy weekend!

(linking up with FO Friday)



Stepping out of my comfort zone a little with this latest sweater project. It is a design by Norah Gaughan called Kaari. Simple stockinette raglan design. Fabulous workman's pockets. Outdoorsy and comfy. Plus, some of my favorite designers have knitted this (check out Kate Davies', Lilalu's and Heidi Kirrmaier's versions). So, what's the problem? Well....the whole thing is worked in pieces and then seamed. A project that requires extensive finishing is quite a departure from my usual top-down lazy approach to sweater knitting. So why not modify it to be knit seamlessly? I will probably regret saying this, but I think that the seams will add much needed structure and shape to the sweater. I am also knitting this one out of Lion Brand fishermen's wool, which would not be my usual first choice of yarn for a sweater. But after seeing this version, I dug deep in the stash and pulled out two skeins of the exact same colorway. Hooray for those 40% off coupons at Michaels! I like the tweedy brown and cream colors and the yarn is surprisingly pleasant to knit with. Very rustic and hopefully durable. Has anyone used fishermen's wool for anything?

In case you were wondering, that's my new buddy Norm the Penguin modeling my WIP this week. He was a gift from my MIL, bless her fun loving soul. Norm and I will hopefully be spending a lot of time together this afternoon, soaking in the gorgeous sunshine and knitting a bit.

(linking up with WIP Wednesday)


a beautiful autumn monday

spoked cardigan, banana republic top, american eagle jeans, lotta from stockholm clogs

Happy Monday! The grocery shopping and laundry are done. The little guy is at school. I have sausages, apples and sauerkraut cooking in the crockpot for dinner. Guess it's time to play!


a pocket full of posies

Very happy to finally finish a sweater. My first for the year, but hopefully not the last. Agnes is a wonderfully quick knit. And so toasty warm knitted in puffin by Quince & co. This will definitely come in handy when the temperature drops. The pockets were such fun to make. I couldn't resist adding a little secret detail :)

Have a great weekend!


adventures in grey

First, the good news: I was finally able to track down a ball of the discontinued slate grey hempathy for my Chance of showers cardigan.

Now for the bad news:

Because of the different dye lots, the colors do not even come close to matching. What I have been knitting with is a pretty blue grey. The new ball is a muddy dull grey. Not very noticeable in the above picture, but it kind of looks like I spilled coffee on the collar. So now I am waiting for a shipment of fiber reactive dye to come in, along with soda ash fixer and textile detergent. Because according to the experts, I need all of these things to dye my grey sweater....grey. Oy.

Hope that your current projects are causing you less headaches than mine. Here is something that is making me happy, though.

I finished my first skein of handspun! It is extremely wonky but I love it! It is not going to stay in the skein for long, because I have plans for this one.  'Cause the whole point of making your own yarn is to knit something with it, right? 



...that is what I love best about this time of year. The possibility of learning new things, of having new experiences, starting new projects, meeting new friends.

Finally sitting down to take the beginning Craftsy spindle spinning class that I had purchased months ago. Extremely excited to start learning how to spin. I have been reading this informative book, but as with any new crafty venture, the learning is in the doing. Here is my first attempt so far:

I wish that I had videotaped the comedy of errors involved in spinning the leader yarn. Almost broke my spindle in the process. Now, though, it is pure fun! I am spinning a worsted weight yarn using the park and draft method.

My Chance of showers cardigan is on hold until more yarn arrives to complete it. Yup, I ran out of yarn again! Second project in a row for this to happen. Looking on the bright side, now I can start on a new fall sweater.

Simple pattern and bulky yarn should make Agnes a quick and easy knit. Plus I couldn't resist the pockets. The knitting on this one is going so fast! It took just two days to finish the body. Probably one more day for the sleeves. Knitting them two at a time. Can't wait to finally get something off the needles. It seems that this past month or so I have been knitting and knitting but not having anything to show for it.

Looking forward to this Sunday and attending my first "knit in the park" hosted by looped yarn works at DuPont Circle. I heard that looped carries Quince & co. yarns, so will have to indulge in some yarn retail therapy while I'm in the neighborhood. Since my LYS closed its doors a few months ago, there hasn't been many opportunities to meet people with a shared interest in fiber and knitting. So this event will be a fun chance to make some new friends!

(Linking up with WIP Wednesday)


knit.where outfit #14

Gotta love it when your shoes match your handknits ;)

Stacked Necklace, Target tank & shoes, AE jeans

Sorry for being MIA last week. This new back-to-school routine has been kicking my butt lately. And now that my parents are heading back to Vietnam for six months, I can't count on the grocery shopping and cooking "magically" happening (thanks mom!). Hope you all are well and doing better at time management than myself!