Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 Review

As many other bloggers are doing at the moment, this blog post will focus on the past year and look to the next year. 

This year has been a good year for me. I've continued to grow as a knitter, making my first cardigans, casting on an adult size cardigan, making some beautifully fitting socks and knitting some lovely lace. While they are not big projects, each one has given me more confidence in my abilities and has left me with great satisfaction. I've also started knitting a beaded (my first beads!!) shawl - more to come on that in the new year. 

I've learnt more about spinning and fiber too. I've spun two skeins that have both given me enough yardage to make a shawl from - something I'm overjoyed about! My spinning is also more consistent and while it's not perfect, I'm perfectly happy with it. 

Here are the projects that I am most proud of from the last year.
Left hand column from top: Gravitate shawl, Low Tide Cardigan
Middle column from top: Nunoco Iridescent Puddle, Fish Lips Kiss Heel vanilla socks, Inglenook Fibers Parrot Tulip  
Right hand column from top: Magrathea shawl, Fish Lips Kiss Heel vanilla socks. 

Looking forward to the next year I already have some projects in mind that I am keen to complete. I have cast on a beaded shawl - my first project using beads, I have swatched for another cardigan and hope to cast on in the next few days. I want to spin the other Iridescent Puddle batt I have in my stash and knit something from those two skeins.  I'm sure that along the way I will think of many other things I want to do, but they are my big projects for the foreseeable future. 

A smaller goal I have is to try spinning from the lock as I have some pygora locks on the way! I haven't tried this type of spinning before but I'm really looking forward to it. Perhaps I will start thinking about spinning for a cardigan at some point too...!

That's it for the year, I look forward to blogging in the new year and will hopefully have some progress pictures to show you soon! I'd love to hear about your favourite projects from 2013 or what you have planned for 2014. 

Happy New Year! 

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Friday, 20 December 2013

FO Friday #3

It's been a few weeks since I've had anything finished and been able to blog on a Friday. 

It's the holidays though so there is no stopping me! I've been knitting like a maniac to get this shawl finished so I can block it ready to gift on Christmas Day. It's finally off the needles and I'm so relieved! 

The pattern is Gravitate by KallioKnits. It's really well written, very simple to follow and knit. Great for those times when you want something fairly mindless...just watch those double yarn over rows! 

The yarn is Fyberspates Rural Charm in the Plum colourway. It's a delight to work with and lovely and soft. The silk gives it a really lovely sheen and I hope that the BFL will minimise pilling. This is it pre-blocking and I hope it grows.  

That's all I'll show you for today. I hope you're enjoying the festive season. I will be spending tomorrow making some pastry for mince pies! 
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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Time to Rest

After a hectic term, it is now the Christmas holidays! I have time to knit and spin and blog and rest! Hooray! I apologise for my absence but things have been crazy!

I have been knitting and spinning but will only show a few things today and save the rest for over the holidays. The main thing I have been working on is the Gravitate shawl. It's coming along well and I'm now on the penultimate section. I really like how the double yarn overs look dropped and can't wait to see what this shawl looks like blocked. The pattern is so clear and exceptionally easy to follow. 

The other thing that I have been trying to finish is some spinning. My Inglenook Fibers Parrot Tulip has been hibernating for some time. I really enjoyed this batt at first but after a while I found it really difficult to spin as it's not a smooth batt. The last part took me months to spin but I'm pleased to say it's finished and I love the end product.
The colours are wonderful and they work beautifully together. This is also some of the more consistent spinning I've done and I'm surprised at how evenly it plied up, considering I navajo plied it. It's 435 yards, which I'm thrilled with. I can't decide what it will become but I'm tempted to knit a shawl from it. What do you think it should be?

Shortly after calculating the yardage for this, I realised that I must have calculated the yardage for my Nunoco Iridescent Puddle yarn incorrectly. I went back and double checked the calculation and it turned out that I hadn't doubled it to compensate for only measuring half the length of the skein. So that's actually 472 yards - my best spinning yet. 

Recently I bought my first craftsy.com class - Spinning Dyed Fibers by Felicia Lo. I've been hankering after it for quite some time and the price was too good to pass up. I watched all of it in one weekend and it was so immensely interesting that I was disappointed when it finished. There is definitely a lot of information in there that I will use again in the future. Which craftsy.com classes do you like? 

Fractal spinning is something I've wanted to try for a while as I love the way the yarn looks, however I'm not so sure I like the knitted items. A while back I received a Phat Fiber box with lots of delicious samples in it. One of these is perfect for fractal spinning. I will finish spinning and knit up a sample to show you soon. The picture shows the second half of the fiber divided into 3. 

That's all for now - I will be back soon though.
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