FO Friday: Spinning Edition

One of the things I took the time to do over the holidays was update my stash on Ravelry and make sure that any new yarn purchases were logged and that my projects were all up to date.

Apparently I started spinning this little braid of  SweetGeorgia Superwash BFL  fibre back in April 2014. Colourway is Spring Garden.

Apparently I started spinning this little braid of SweetGeorgia Superwash BFL fibre back in April 2014. Colourway is Spring Garden.

But you know how once you get started organising something you seem to keep going? Well, I did. And it meant that two days later I had completely logged and photographed my entire spinning stash. Needless to say I won't be adding any fibre to the stash this year - there's more than enough there to keep me going for quite a while! 

Letting the bobbins rest before finishing. I debated between plying them or leaving them as singles.

Letting the bobbins rest before finishing. I debated between plying them or leaving them as singles.

It was inspiring to see all the goodies in there and as I'd barely touched my wheel in 2014 I'm making it one of my goals for 2015 - to spin more. So I dusted off my trusty Sidekick and spun up the last 50g of superwash BFL that I started earlier in 2014 onto a second bobbin. It didn't take long, and it was lovely to peddle and have all the muscle memory come back with my spinning.

Happily, while I was waiting for the bobbins to rest before plying, Rachel came over wearing a brand new shawl that she's designed and knit in her own handspun and I decided it would be perfect for my newly spun yarn! We debated plying versus not - the Spring Garden colourway has lovely lengths of green and purple and white that I'd like to leave unmarled. Since I've never finished any of my handspun as singles before (and really, it was the only way I was going to get the needed yardage) that's the way I decided to go.

All paired up and ready to go!

All paired up and ready to go!

The two bobbins resulted in approximately 390 yards of fingering weight yarn (about 18-20 WPI). I plan on pairing them with some 100% linen from my stash for the lace border in a complementary mossy green. Can't wait to get started on this!

And with extra BKFF thanks to Rachel for sending over an advance copy of the pattern!

FO Friday: Selbu Modern

My days have been so busy getting ready for tomorrow's Road Trip to the Bath Christmas Market that I've not really had a chance to plan what knitting will be going with me in the coach! I'll have to think of something though, as last weekend I put the finishing touches on a hat I started almost at the very beginning of the year: Selbu Modern.

With all the Christmas crazy happening all around already, it's nice to have the feeling of accomplishment that comes from finishing a project - however small! 

Selbu Modern - loving the contrast of the blue and green although the hat isn't as slouchy as I'd like.

Selbu Modern - loving the contrast of the blue and green although the hat isn't as slouchy as I'd like.

This is a popular, free pattern on Ravelry and one that I've been attracted to since the first moment I saw a fellow knitter wearing it. It's meant to be a somewhat slouchy beret, although I was a bit tight with my gauge, resulting in a smaller hat in spite of wet blocking over a plate!

Blocking the hat over a plate helped to even everything out and stretched it a little bit.

Blocking the hat over a plate helped to even everything out and stretched it a little bit.

The pattern is clearly written, and the design is carefully thought out through the decreases in the crown to carry the design to completion. The yarn I used is Koigu KPM (or Koigu Premium Merino) and has a pretty tight twist.

The yarn and pattern were a kit I purchases at the KW Knitter's Fair right before I moved to the UK and I was thrilled with the idea of the green setting off nicely with my green winter coat. I'd be tempted to knit it again though with a slightly loftier yarn to try and get a little more if a slouchy hat.

As for why it took me so long to finish? Well on Episode 2 of the Yarn in the City podcast, Rachel and I had a brief conversation about "the right tool for the right job". Frankly, I was knitting magic loop with a needle that had a too short cable, and even switching to DPNs the ones I had were too short and I kept losing stitches off the end. It was a frustrating knit and I ended up parking it when the weather got warmer. Why knit if you're not enjoying it?

I was determined to finish though, and bought a new needle at my LYS, Loop. They had the new Addi Sock Rockets so it gave me an opportunity to try them out. Wow! Obviously it make a huge difference having a cable the right length, but the smooth finish on the Sock Rockets is amazing. Happily, the size needle I purchased is one that can be employed again for knitting socks. Maybe it will make me a faster sock knitter?

Last of the Christmas Knitting

You guys were really on the ball yesterday recognising that a baker I am not. 

Thanks for the comments here and on Facebook. I went back and checked the recipe and lo, it does indeed call for baking soda, which is what we used. I'm still not sure why the muffins weren't as dense as they usually are but warm banana bread goodness that was also light and fluffy? Who am I to argue?

(As an aside, Mr. H really liked them too. Last night I wasn't feeling well and Mr. H wanted a snack before dinner so I said he could have one out of the bag on the kitchen table. When I rallied myself to make his dinner I found him sitting at the kitchen table with a little stack of muffin wrappers in front of him. The little goober had managed to eat six - SIX! - before I got in there to make his dinner. After chastising him to leave room for his dinner he said, "But mummy, they're SO good!". Ahhh, sweetness! And he still managed to eat all his dinner too. I think we might be in the midst of a growth spurt.)

But anyway, want to see the last of the Christmas knitting that I couldn't show you? Here it is:

Pattern: Phildar Issue No. 60 (all mens's patterns) Yarn: Debbie Bliss Paloma in Charcoal and Ruby Yardage: Approximately 253 yards (I had to start a third skein of charcoal right near the end) Click the photo to go to my Ravelry project notes.

Pattern: Phildar Issue No. 60 (all mens's patterns)
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Paloma in Charcoal and Ruby
Yardage: Approximately 253 yards (I had to start a third skein of charcoal right near the end)
Click the photo to go to my Ravelry project notes.

This is the cowl/neckwarmer/scarf-thingy that I decided to knit for Jordan for Christmas when I realised that he was the only one not on the receiving end of any knitting this year. Couldn't have that! Since we weren't together at Christmas on the day, it gave me some extra time to get it knit up and I finished it on Boxing Day. We finally got to celebrate Christmas together as a family last weekend and I think Jordan must really like it as he hasn't been seen without it since. Always the best compliment!

This morning as I was snapping his picture Jordan asked, "You'd kill me if I ever lost this, right?" Best not to find out!

FO Friday: First Finish of 2014

When I was putting together the collage of all my finishes in 2013 I realised I'd never posted about the awesome Take Heart toque I knit from Issue 7 of Pom Pom Quarterly. Perhaps another time? I'm too excited with the fact that I already have a project hot off the needles in 2014, what I'm calling a Boyish Toque:

Pattern: Phildar Issue No. 60 (all men's patterns - French magazine purchased on my last visit to Paris) Yarn: Debbie Bliss Paloma in charcoal and ruby Yardage: Approximately 75 yards Click the photo to go to my Ravelry project notes.

Pattern: Phildar Issue No. 60 (all men's patterns - French magazine purchased on my last visit to Paris)
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Paloma in charcoal and ruby
Yardage: Approximately 75 yards
Click the photo to go to my Ravelry project notes.

The toque was originally meant for my DH for Christmas, but as you can see, there's no way it's going to fit an adult! In fact, a little blocking will be in order to see if I can't get this stretched out a little bigger for Mr. H. And in retrospect, I'm not sure what Jordan would have thought of the little elfin point to the top of the hat anyway!

Boyish toque - rear view.jpg

The Debbie Bliss Paloma yarn is a 60% alpaca, 40% merino mix and spun and processed to a light, airy, super bulky chainette. It was lovely to work with, but even with 6mm and 7mm needles, I'm surprised it came out so tiny - especially as the pattern called for bulky, not super bulky yarn.

I love the way Mr. H's ears stick out from under this hat - such an imp!

I love the way Mr. H's ears stick out from under this hat - such an imp!

The only modification I made to the pattern was to cut out two stitches and knit it in the round. Yes, weirdly the pattern was written for the hat to be knit flat and then seamed. Is this a French colourwork thing? Maybe someone can let me know in the comments.

Ready to take on 2014!

Ready to take on 2014!

I enjoyed the colourwork though - it's been a while! But it's now making me think I need to make a colourwork hat for myself. I happen to have something in the stash that would be perfect. Uh-oh. New Year and start-itis already seems to have me in it's grip...