Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What was that?



Hey, do you hear something?
...something like the click, click-clacking of tiny claws

...or the snick, snick of miniature masticating mandibles?

Shhh! There it is again.



Meet Lola... the lavender lobster!


"Lola" or Knit Lobster by Molly Lincoln
SWTC Karaoke 50% Soy Silk, 50% Wool (109 yards / 50 g per ball), ~0.5 balls of the color "Bloom"
US 2 (3.0 mm) Knitpicks Harmony dpns
US D (3.5 mm) crochet hook (for chained antennae)

I had been wanting to try this pattern for a while, and I'm glad I did - it's pretty entertaining to make the pieces and put them together! I worked the pattern essentially as written, except I changed the last part of the claw pieces. Here are my changes:

Where the pattern says “Now work an icord for 6 rows using the 3 live sts remaining. Row 7: k2tog, k1. Row 8: k2tog” I did the following instead:
-Pick up 1 st on each side of remaining 3 live sts = 5 sts.
-Work a 5 stitch icord for 3 rows.
-Next row: still working as icord, K2tog, k1, K2tog = 3 sts.
-Next row: still working as icord, k2tog, k1 = 2 sts.
-Next row: still working as icord, k2tog = 1 sts.

Although no numerical gauge is given for this pattern, I think my gauge was a little too tight and my row gauge was a bit wacky because my lobster seems shorter and plumper than the original. This also may have had something to do with the fact that I, in retrospect, overstuffed Lola. I had some difficulty pulling the legs through the body - a slightly looser gauge would have made that easier - and my overstuffed arms/claws were somewhat resistant to the process of being formed into multiple segments.

Despite these issues, I love Lola anyway :)

I think she looks a bit like this "white" lobster.


As usual, I enjoyed working with the subtly color-changing Karaoke, which I've used several times before. It was challenging to execute some of the m1's (make 1 stitch) on the small needles with this worsted weight yarn, and the single-ply broke on me (I pulled too hard) the first time I tried to tie a length of yarn around one of the arms to try to get the segmented look.

Here's the rest of what happened when Lola introduced herself to Bug:


As you can see, they're getting along smashingly :)

Happy (almost) Halloween!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Spin-fest (feast?) and blog awards!

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First, the spin-fest. What follows is a summary of my last few months of spinning (I know, I know - you were hoping the above pictures were the summary, but... no such luck). Interestingly, all of these handspun yarns remind me of photos I've taken, so I decided to name them after the photos - pretty goofy, I know, but fun (for me, anyway) :)

Handspun Yarn I: December Sunset

Fiber: The Sheep Shed @ Mountain View Farm, Merino/Tencel (50/50) Roving
Stats: 187 yards (64 g), 15 wpi (fingering / light fingering weight)
Ply: "Navajo" plied


The namesake photo:


Handspun Yarn II: Milk Chocolate Lizard

Fiber: The Painted Sheep, Merino/Tencel (50/50) Roving
Stats: 503 yards (119 g), 20 wpi (light fingering / lace weight)
Ply: 2 ply


The namesake photo:


Mmmm... milk chocolatey! (Don't worry, I know I'm describing you in food terms, but I'm not going to eat you, Mr. Lizard.)

I had plans for this fiber even before I started spinning! I will be making Ruth's Tokyo top using my Milk Chocolate Lizard yarn in conjunction with Knitpicks Gloss Sock Yarn in the color cocoa (seen here with the fiber, pre-spinning):


Handspun Yarn III: Amber Ant (a.k.a. Sunflower)

Fiber: JulieSpins, Merino/Silk (80/20) Roving
Stats: 625 yards (113 g), 19 wpi (light fingering / lace weight)
Ply: 3 ply


The namesake photo:


I didn't do a great job of dividing the singles evenly between the 3 bobbins, so instead of trying to redistribute the singles after I ran out of the first bobbin, I switched to a 2 ply (55 yards, 6 g). I ran out of the 2nd bobbin with just a bit to go and finished up by Navajo plying the remainder (less than 1 g). Here they are together:


Bug appreciates Amber Ant's pillowy properties


Handspun Yarn IV: Owl Clover

Fiber: Ancient Threads Farm, Merino Superwash Roving (naturally dyed with cochineal, osage orange, tumeric, and lac)
Stats: 578 yards (126 g), 14 wpi (fingering weight)
Ply: single ply


The namesake photo:


My young nephew found it to be quite passably squooshy:


Handspun Yarn V: Columbia Fuzz

Fiber: Weaving Works, Local Columbia Wool Roving
Stats: 615 yards (128 g), 15 wpi (light fingering weight)
Ply: 2 ply


The namesake photo (yeah, this is a real stretch, I know):


Baa aaa aaa aa a... ...meow?

The guest cat paw you may have noticed caressing (well, perhaps "gripping" is a more accurate description - I had to disentangle the claws several times) the singles above belongs to my mom and dad's cat, Cali. She was kind enough to sit for a photo shoot with my oh-so-exciting white yarn (which I spun while visiting them):


Well, now... was that really called for?
Apparently Cali's not one to hide how she feels about a situation. Hmph.


Arte Y Pico & I Love Your Blog awards!


Bryony of Library Girl knits! (who has a fantastic blog herself) has nominated me for an award - thanks, Bryony! Here are the rules* of Arte Y Pico:

1) You pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award, creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community, no matter of language.*

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.*

3) Each award-winning, has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.*

4) Award-winning and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y pico” blog , so everyone will know the origin of this award.*

5) To show these rules.*

* = I'm amending this to add "if you want to," because I don't wish to impose mandates on anyone :)

Now, I read a ton of blogs (well, ahem... I usually do, though I have been rather bad about it these past few months, unfortunately for me), and I find stunning examples of creativity all over the place - you guys are a bunch of super-interesting, inspiring, and artistic people - so it's really difficult to choose a few blogs to mention, but here goes:

Through the Loops: Gorgeous photography (and fun photoshoots with Kirsten's spirited and entertaining kids), beautiful knits (and spinning!), great patterns...

Anna's Flying Needles: Anna has really lovely taste in knits and her execution is fabulous :)

Green Apples - A Knitting Blog: Beautiful knits (and crochet!) - very artsy :)

missalicefaye: Holey, moley! (pun totally intended...) Alice does exquisite lace work and is my hero when it comes to drop spindle spinning :)

Yes, I'm A Yarn Snob: Great knits! She's currently on a bit of a cable kick :)


More recently, Washington Kestrel (check out her knitting and sewing projects - and zoo photos!) nominated me for another award (heh, maybe I should try to blog more often, so I can feel more deserving of these awards). Thanks!

Here are the rules*:

1. Please put the award on your blog.*
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.*
3. You must nominate at least 4 fellow bloggers for this award.*
4. Add links to the recipients.*
5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award.*
* = Again, I'm amending this to add "if you want to," :)

Hee, hee! So here are 5 more blogs that I love :)

A Little Loopy: Three crafty women share this wonderful blog :)

CATKNITS: Wendy knits, spins, and cares for four unbearably cute kitties!

Knittymuggins: A funny, very friendly knitter who's always doing exciting things :)

Sunflowerfairy Knits: The exploits of a knitting, spinning mom who I have the pleasure of knowing.

The A.D.D. Knitter: The queen of knitted accessories (with a healthy lust for sock yarn)!

Yay! Have a great weekend (and for those of you going to Rhinebeck - have a fantastic time)!