No time

Nothing can steal all of your free time like two part-time jobs and being a full time grad. Just recently I got a new part-time job that I have been putting in anywhere from 25 to I think maybe 35 hours on top of babysitting for a new (I switched families) family part-time. Needless to say there hasn’t been much spinning or knitting happening recently. Just recently have I started finding time to squeeze it in and I am seeing some progress being made (not as much progress as I am used to though).

So I figured until I had some time to talk about what’s on my needles or spindle and until I finish something I figured I would show you my newly organized stash.

IMG_5132

Scrap balls go here.

IMG_5131

Large amount of scrap go in the tubs (like when I have one or two skeins leftover from a sweater).

IMG_5128

My favorite yarn get’s hung on the wall as art.

IMG_5129 I used to love having my stash on display and seeing everything that I can look forward to working on, but just recently with how busy I am this is the first time in my life that my stash is actually stressing me out because I hardly have time to work on it.

Variegated Yarn

Variegated yarn is oh so pretty, but in my opinion oh so difficult to work with. It’s hard to work with because it is difficult to find a pattern that it would work for. Like I referenced earlier in the blog that highly variegated yarn is a hard medium to find the perfect canvas for. The reason it is so difficult is because you need a blank canvas so the yarn doesn’t distract from the pattern/project. Another thing that you need to think about is the fact that variegated yarn has a tendency to pool. I for one am not a fan of pooling.

The socks are a great example of pulling, but it works because it makes a spiral. The only thing I'm kind of concerned about is that I am afraid that the pattern is getting over shadowed by the pooling.

The socks are a great example of pooling, but it works because it makes a spiral. The only thing I’m kind of concerned about is that I am afraid that the pattern is getting over shadowed by the pooling, but I am moving forward with it because it is a sock so it won’t be seen as much as other projects.

For those reason I haven’t purchased a variegated yarn in about two or three years now. Now you may be wondering if I haven’t done it in that long and I have such strong reservations how is it I have finished to projects recently with variegated yarn and that is because when I purchased it I didn’t know that it was going to be variegated and so when it came to me I had to be creative and find projects that would do the yarn and the pattern justice. As you probably have seen if you read the blog posts about my Trillian and Deviate I have found a few perfect patterns for that work great with variegated yarns. Martina Behm (designer of the Trillian) has many other projects that would work for variegated yarn.

IMG_5110

Trillian

 

My deviate

My deviate

With all of this being said I have changed my stance on variegated yarn. No it won’t be my go to purchase, and no I won’t be going out and buying it all the time. But when I find a great variegated yarn I will probably get it, it will probably be an impulsive buy, but that is okay.

Deviate

Well I finished another shawl. Which is no surprise really because well I love shawls and I try to keep¬† at least one on the needles at all times. I don’t know what it is but they are just so much fun and their are so many great patterns out their.

This shawl is Deviate from Lisa Mutch/Northbound Knitting and well just as I expected it was so much fun to knit. I just adored the fact that there was a purely stockinette side and then a garter side. It was like getting the best of both worlds. On top of it all Deviate is another great shawl for a highly variegated yarn. I rarely work with variegated yarn, not because I don’t like it, but because it is, in my opinion a difficult medium to find the right canvas for (I will go into further detail in a later post).

IMG_5136

The yarn for this was actually dyed by Lisa/Northbound Knitting, it was a part of her cocktails KAL/SAL. The Trillian was too. This yarn just like the yarn for Trillian was amazing to work with. It is an Alpaca, Silk, Cashmere blend and it was heavenly to work with and well the colors together are to die for. Lisa has such a way with color, I am starting to get more and more of her yarn in different bases and each base is lovely in it’s own right (she also dyes fiber and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of that). So besides being a great designer she is a wonderful yarn dyer.

Okay so enough gushing, here are some more pictures.

IMG_5140 IMG_5139 IMG_5137 IMG_5135

Pattern: Deviate

Project Page: here

Yarn: Northbound Knitting Alpaca/Silk/Cashmere

Colorway: More Gin Please

Mods: To use up more as much of this lovely yarn as possible after I completed the last section I repeated the other section until I used almost all of the yarn and then bound off.

DownEast

Well the never ending saga of me and the DownEast sweater finally came to a close today. It finally dried and the rain finally let up so I could take some pictures and blog about it.

As you have read or those of you who are new to the blog are lucky and haven’t had to read my endless complaining about this sweater. The complaining is now over. I think I have finally decided what ultimately is wrong with this sweater and it isn’t the pattern. It’s the yarn, I hate it. It wasn’t right for this project, as you can see in the pictures below the sweater is a little bit see-through and I have decided it is because the yarn wasn’t bulky enough.¬† Another strike against the yarn is the fact that I just didn’t enjoy working with it, though it is a wool blend it has acrylic in it and well I hate acrylic. I will admit that I am a yarn snob and well acrylic is not my cup of tea. I use it from time to time, but those projects are never for me and the person has generally hired me to make it so to keep it the item at a decent price I compromise and use cheap yarn.

*Disclaimer I am not saying that this yarn is horrible in anyway, I had no problems with the yarn its self. I just didn’t enjoy working with it and it was the right yarn for this project.

I think besides all of my mishaps stupid mistakes with this project ultimately not enjoying the yarn is why this project lingered on the needles so long.

IMG_5107

IMG_5108The pattern on the other hand is really well written and is beautiful. The sample of the pattern page is knit up on Swans Island (Out of my price range when I went to buy yarn, but is totally worth the money if you have it) and I figure that if I would have chose that yarn it would have turned out perfect and it wouldn’t even be see-through.

Pattern: DownEast

Designer: Alicia Plummer

Yarn: Berroco Vintage Chunky

Colorway: Tide Pool

Mods: none

Project page: here

Trillian

The Trillian shawl is finished, blocked, and properly photographed. This shawl from Martina Behm was and absolute joy to make, but I think what made it so much fun was the yarn from Lisa Mutch of Northbound Knitting. Lisa’s yarn is always amazing, her colors are beautiful and the yarn no matter the base is perfect. I could not recommend her yarn enough (this is all me, I was not asked to talk up her yarn in the least).

The Trillian shawl is the perfect shawl for those variegated skeins of fingering weight yarn that you just had to have, but you have no clue what to do with it. Actually a lot of Martina Behm’s designs are perfect for variegated yarn, because they allow the yarn to really show off its colors without distracting from the design. Also Martina’s designs are wonderfully well written, and for this shawl in particular she gives you a good estimate for you to start working the finishing edging so you can use up every last bit of your yarn. I know I had less than a yard left over of my yarn.

IMG_5109

IMG_5114

IMG_5113

IMG_5111

IMG_5110

Pattern: Trillian

Yarn: Northbound Knitting alpaca/silk/cashmere (70%, 20%, 10%)

Colorway: Wine O’Clock

Project page: here

Mods: This shawl isn’t as long as the one on the pattern page. I went until I ran out of yarn.

Progress

Slowly and surely inch by inch things are getting closer and closer to completion. At this point in the game I remember time and time again why monogamous knitting is ideal, it’s ideal because you get stuff finished quickly, but then I forget that and want to cast on two new things for every finished object. I feel like I haven’t made any progress on any of the WIP’s except for the Nachtfalter. Besides working on way too many projects life has also been slowing me down. I was hoping that with my two week break between semesters I would be able to bust some major projects out, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. So far every baseball game I have been at the weather has not cooperated in terms of letting me knit. Either it is too hot (so I’m sweating) or raining. Also I have had an impromptu part time job interview, have had to mow the yard, weed the flower bed, and to take my Uncle who’s visiting from Wyoming shopping.

Well enough of that here are some project shots, the project shots make me feel like I have made progress because everything is slightly bigger than last weeks pictures of them.

If you look at this post and last weeks post you can see that in Deviate the yarn overs have started going a different way, Nachtfalter is well past the baby cable ribbing (the front side is almost done), and well the socks show the least amount of progress. Also exciting news I filled up my first spindle, I’m not quite sure if I will ply it or not, or how many yards I have.

What have you been working on? Has life been slowing down your knitting life?

Distraction

What I should be talking about is my spinning right now (because well I told you in the last post I would), but I really haven’t been working on it much recently and I’m waiting around for WPI (wraps per inch) tool to come in the mail and I have been distracted by other projects so the spinning post will hopefully be towards the end of this coming week. But here’s a picture of what the spindle looks like right now.

20140511-122727.jpg

Nothing really exciting has been happening around here, I have just been knitting away on the three different projects that I cast on and showed to you in the last post. All three projects are a little bit bigger, some have grown more than others, but I do have a finished object. It hasn’t been photographed because it just got washed last night, but I can show you before bath picture.

20140511-122635.jpg

This is the trillian and it will have it’s own post later this week too (Or at least I hope).