Eeesh! I keep intending to write various and sundry things up in a blog post (or two)... so get ready for a major mish-mash : )
1. Pay It Forward
Last month (I'm a little behind here) I sent out little gifts to the first 3 knitters who expressed interest when I posted about Pay It Forward way back when. In addition to some snickerdoodle cookies, I sent Leslie (and her kitty Perry!) two felted catnip mice:
...and Jenn and Sarah each a snowflake washcloth:
I think they all enjoyed their gifts : ) Here are the details:
Felted Catnip Mice Kitty Knits: Projects for Cats and their People by Donna Druchunas (very generously given to me by Laiane)
Berroco Jasper, color "Copper Silk," 100% Fine Merino Wool (98 yards / 50 g per skein), 0.22 skeins (for gray/brown mouse)
Morehouse Merino Gator Yarn, color "Chartreuse," 100% Merino Wool (220 yards / 57 g per skein), 0.19 skeins (for green mouse)
US 10 (6.0 mm) double pointed needles
Originally, I knit up a gold mouse and a green mouse. Here they are pre-felting. Aren't they cute together?
Moana wonders who steamrolled the mice.
Bug cannot believe he's modeling mice destined for some other cat. Humph....
Upon hand-felting them in the sink, I discovered that I hadn't... ahem... read the label of the yarn I used for the gold mouse very thoroughly. Evidently I am extremely stubborn, because it took me a good 20 minutes to accept that the floppy yellow critter I was alternately beating senseless in a bath of soapy hot water and shocking under cold running water was indeed made with (gasp!) superwash yarn. Doh. I'm a genius - what can I say?
Henceforth, this little guy continues to look pretty much like this (except a little "rattier" due to all the agitation):
Because the mice are a quick knit (and I wanted Perry to have a pair to play with!) I decided to use the leftovers from my husband's hat to make another. Here it is pre-felting
Both the mice felted wonderfully. Because I think they're so cute, here are a few more photos:
And now for the washcloths:
Snowflake by Norah Gaughan
Pakucho Organic Cotton, color "cream," 100% organic cotton (88 yards / 37 g per skein), 0.75 skeins (for "Cream" colored cloth)
Bernat Organic Cotton, color "Hemp," 100% organic cotton (84 yards / 50 g per ball), 0.6 balls (for "Hemp" colored cloth)
US 6 (4.0 mm) Knitpicks Options circular needles (for "Cream" colored cloth)
US 5 (3.75 mm) Knitpicks Options circular needles and dpns (for "Hemp" colored cloth)
I knit the first one ("Cream" colored version) back and forth as directed, but for the second one ("Hemp" colored version) I went down a needle size (to achieve a denser fabric) and converted the pattern for knitting in the round to avoid having a seam. I thought both yarns were nice, but I especially enjoyed working with the Pakucho.
2. The Knitter Project
Months ago I signed up to participate in the Knitter Project, Elizabeth's ambitious senior project. Here's a short description of it:
"The Knitter Project is a collaborative effort by nearly fifty knitters from all over the world. Each knitter has been asked to knit tags into their work, and write a short journal entry on each tag. The finished pieces will be a rich self-portrait of who knitters really are."
Here is my contribution:
Marsan Watchcap by Staceyjoy Elkin
My own handspun yarn, color "Denim," made from Ashland Bay Merino (~100 yards / 90 g per skein), ~1 skein + some unplied singles held double
Berroco Jasper, color "Copper Silk," 100% Fine Merino Wool (98 yards / 50 g per skein), small amount for stripe
US 6 (4.0 mm) Denise Interchangeable circular needles and double pointed needles
I made the smaller size. My cooky thick and thin yarn made a very dense hat. It should be nice and warm... though I haven't gotten to try it out yet because it was mailed off to Elizabeth in Philadelphia : ) While knitting, I started to get concerned that I wouldn't have enough yarn, so I added a stripe of Berroco Jasper (the last of the leftovers from my husband's hat). It turns out my fears were justified, as I ran out of yarn with a few rounds to go in the crown - however, I had a bit of unplied singles of my handspun left over, so I held that double and was able to eek out the rest of the hat : )
isn't perspective fun?
As you can probably tell, I had to work to keep Bug from biting the tags.
3. A Little Gift For My Spinning Mentor : )
I thought the very generous woman who helped me get started with spinning deserved a little gift. Originally, I intended to spin some fun yarn and then knit something out of it for her. It wasn't happening... so I decided to make her something with millspun yarn from my stash that looked like handspun yarn I would like to make.
On Ravelry I had noticed a (free!) pattern for simple yet beautiful fingerless mitts in a broken rib stitch - so that is what I made.
Bainbridge Mitts by Amy Goodstine
SWTC Karaoke, color 285 "Intensity," 100% Fine Merino Wool (109 yards / 50 g per ball), 0.75 balls
US 3 (3.25 mm) double pointed needles
I made these pretty much as directed, however my gauge was way off initially, and I made one huge mitt before I fully comprehended this (luckily it fits someone I know, so I'll be making it a mate soon). I love the yarn... and you can bet I'll be trying to spin up something like it soon.
Speaking of which... this sounds like a good segue into:
4. Spinning Update
I spun up the 8 ounces of gray Icelandic wool that came with my spinning wheel.
Although I plied the singles last night, I haven't gotten a photo of my 2-ply yarn yet.
I went to the bimonthly meeting of the Nutmeg Spinners Guild on Saturday. I took my wheel with me and got a bit of spinning done. They had an interesting program and a number of great local/regional vendors (as well as a hoard of wonderful spinners - it was so nice to meet you guys). I bought spinning fiber from two of them.
Some soft and springy hand-dyed Cormo from Foxhill Farm (Lee, MA - no website):
The individual fibers are so fine and crimpy it's hard to actually see them. (I'm having great fun trying out various types of wool - it's amazing how different they are!) I've already started spinning some of this up:
Bug looks on...
I also bought these lovelies from The Painted Sheep:
The white and the blue/green/amber/burgundy mix are both Bluefaced Leicester while the fiber in shades of green is a lovely mix of alpaca, merino, and silk. I look forward to spinning them all!
5. Knitting Update
The Andrea Dogwood Blossom Wrap for Schaefer is coming along. Here it is about 20% done:
I made nearly all of the first Endpaper Mitt, but decided it was turning out huge (except for my cast on edge, which was too tight).
I didn't have a set of 5 dpns of the right size, so I ended up ordering this set from KnitPicks. Even though I've got to rip it out, the mitt gave me some good practice with two-handed stranded colorwork (which is slightly easier for me now). I'll get back to this project soon.
The Endpaper Mitts were meant to be a warm up for more colorwork, so while I was waiting for the dpns to arrive, I went ahead and started Norah Gaughan's Serpentine Coat from Knitting Nature. Here's a photo from the book
I am making a shorter "sweater-length" version using the same yarns called for in the pattern. I decided to convert the pattern for top-down knitting in order to make the body fit well (I'll be able to try it on as I go), so I started with the ribbed collar and have progressed into the yoke:
I wasn't daring enough to knit this in the round with steeks (I also thought it would be hard to try on, which defeats the purpose of knitting top-down), so I'm learning how to do two-handed stranded colorwork on the "wrong" side, too.
...........Ok, that's (more than) enough for now. I have a few more things on my mind, but they'll have to wait until my next post (which will hopefully be sooner than this one was)
Have a great week!