What a Week

It has been a full week around here. We finished the yarn dyeing on Monday. That day we dyed greys and teals. It was a half days work.

220 skeins

After we were all cleaned up for the day we got a text from the Ford dealership where we were looking into getting a new truck for me since my beloved 2014 F 150 has 120,000 miles on it now and Jerry wanted me to get a new one. The sales guy had one with the specs we wanted but it had some transportation damage that needed repaired. We went out and took a look and agreed on our terms for the purchase. From there it as a few days wait for the repairs to be completed.

In the mean time my mother, who had rapidly declining health and was in a nursing home took a down turn on Wednesday. We went out there and sat with her for awhile but she was totally unconscious. She passed away later that night. We knew it was coming and most of the arrangements were already taken care of. In a way it was a relief and probably was to her as well since her quality of life was reduced so much in the last two years. I am hopeful she is reunited with my Dad and happy for the first time in I can’t remember when.

Anyway, so around this time I got a contact from the alpaca mill I do dyeing work for that they had work for me. That was delivered to me on Thursday. We also got the call that the truck was ready so we went and finished that purchase. So I have a new ride.

We got the fiber order dyed today and can now get back to work getting all the yarn labeled.

Oh, I almost forgot! I am so close to finished the Midlothian shawl. I haven’t had much knitting time this week but as soon as I can devote a couple hours to do the picot bind off, it’s done. Maybe by my next post I will have a finished project to show you.

Yarn Dyeing Day Two and Three

Yesterday’s yarn dyeing was greens and a few reddish purples. We dyed 465 skeins and then we prepped for last two days work.

Today’s work was dyeing the rest of the purples, oranges, yellows and warm neutrals. The total skeins for this day was 365, which was a half day. :-)

We have one more morning’s work and all the yarn will be dyed for the second half of the fiber festival season. There are more tasks to be done like printing labels, affixing labels and boxing in the trailer, but the hardest part is done.

I’ll have pictures of my knitting and the last day’s yarn dyeing next time. Thanks for reading!

Miscellaneous updates

I am very excited about the new drying lines. We ended up with 7 which is almost double what we had before. But that’s not the best part; the proximity to our work area is going to be awesome. I can even see it from in the house looking out any back window. That’s a big help when rain is threatening or if it’s windy, for checking on things.

This was taken from under the cover where we set out the dye pots. Our old lines were way over on the other side of the work shop (the green sided building). This location cuts the distance in half at least, and that’s just our lines. Our neighbor’s that we used are even farther. We will be putting these new lines to use in just a few weeks. We have an order of new yarn arriving very soon to restock for the second half of the festival season.

Now on to knitting updates. I finished the first Gridiron sock.

I cast on Midlothian with my Classic Merino Superwash Sport in Cerulean. It doesn’t look like much yet. It’s just a wee baby shawl still.

Because I was asked to share booth pictures from the Great Lakes Fiber Show, here ya go. The weather was pretty nice and we had a good turn out, especially on Saturday.

I have today and tomorrow at home and then I am off to Franklin, IN for Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival. I got some house cleaning, and school work with my youngest son done today. I also made a pot of spaghetti sauce for dinner. It’s actually good to be able to slow down for a couple days and reconnect with my home and family. It’s nice to travel and meet with the knitters at festivals but it’s even better to come home.

Speaking of home and good things, I want to share one last set of pictures of our garden. I can take absolutely no credit for it. It’s all Jerry’s doing and he is pretty good at it. I can’t wait for fresh veggies. 🙂

Some Knitting and Dye Studio Upgrade

I have been knitting on my Gridiron sock. I am almost to the toe decreases on this first sock. I have not cast on yet for my two booth samples but as you can see I have wound a skein of each of the yarns and put them in my knitting bag. I brought them along on my trip to Wooster, OH in hopes of a bit of time to start them.

I will be setting up the booth this morning for the Great Lakes Fiber Show but if I get done early enough I can squeeze in some time to knit tonight.

In other news, while I am away this weekend, my husband is busy upgrading our yarn drying lines. Here is what we have so far. I am excited about this. Not only will there be more room but they are right next to our work area instead of on the other side of the yard. It’s going to be great!

He took this picture yesterday. I’ll update when I get home with the progress.

Two Things

Good morning! Over the weekend I bound off and blocked my Debussy Shawl. I wore it this morning too while I had my quiet time with my coffee and reading. It was still a bit chilly this morning but we are in for some warmer, brighter days this week. Spring is coming soon!

I ended up doing only one extra repeat of chart 5 for a total of 8. The medium size has 7 and the large has 10. I weighed my remaining yarn between the end of the 7th repeat and the end of the 8th. I found that I used 35g for that repeat. I determined I would need at least 25-30g to do the final edge chart and at that time had 51g, so clearly there was not enough yarn to do anymore repeats of chart 5. I proceeded with the 18 rows of chart 6 and I have 21g left over.

I measured it this morning after being off the blocking pins for a little while. The long side, which is the diagonal edge is about 69″ and the shortest side is 41″. The measurement down from the top (longest edge) to the point, if you were wearing it like a triangle shawl is about 30″. So all that means it is pretty close to the largest size in Dee’s pattern even without the other two repeats. It’s a nice size but not huge.

I got straight to work on my gansey design after finishing the shawl. I decided to use my Classic Merino Superwash Sport yarn. I then decided that the Earl Grey would make a nice color that I hoped would show off the stitch patterns well. I know that traditionally ganseys were made with dark blue yarn and I did consider using my Midnight Blue, but I could see it in the Earl Grey in my head and went for it. I dyed 10 skeins, figuring I will probably use at least 6 for the 42″ sweater I am planning.

I worked up a stockinette swatch on size 4US needles and got a gauge of 5.5 stitches and 8.5 rows per inch. I used a remnant of Emerald for the plain swatch while waiting for the grey to dry. I spent some time perusing and selecting a stitch pattern arrangement. I graphed a portion for swatching and used the grey for that. I ended up making a minor change after knitting a few rows. Maybe you can see in the swatch that the ribbing between the double moss at the left side and the chevron in the middle. I changed that vertical column to seed stitch so it wouldn’t recede so much.

I like how the elements look next to each other. I began knitting the bottom welt last night. I am using size 3US needles for the garter welts and will do that for the definition ridges in the body and sleeves as well. I am doing the bottom welts separate for front and back and will join to work in the round leaving them separate but with a slight overlap at the side seam point. I did go with the channel island cast on for it. It’s a bit fiddly at first but not difficult once you get the rhythm down and it looks nice. I knit a 2″ long welt because I don’t like a welt that flips up.

Okay, that’s it for now. I should get the second welt done today and have it on the circular needles working the main body very soon. I am excited!

Favorite Socks

I just love these socks! They are so comfy and warm. The fit is perfect and they are definitely my new favorite pair of hand knit socks. I’m not sure if it’s the pattern or the yarn. I’ll probably be making this pattern again though. It as fast, interesting and easy.

I have been wearing my hand knit socks a lot this winter. I tend to wear them only when I am home for the winter since it’s hard to properly wash hand knit socks while traveling. I just save them up for the week and then just throw them in the sink with some shampoo to soak for awhile. When they have finished their bath I toss them in the washing machine for a rinse and spin cycle and lay them out to dry on the dryer or a table in the work room. Easy enough at home but more challenging in a hotel room. :-)

I have only one project left going at this point. I’m plugging away on my DeBussy shawl and have switched over to a longer needle. I have completed 4 of the chart repeats and joined on the second skein. I will see where I am on yarn supply and size when I complete the minimum of 7 repeats. I am thinking I would like it on the large side and I would rather use as much of the yarn as possible, so I may be going for the 10 repeats if I can.

I haven’t forgotten that gansey I want to start, so that may be happening soon now that I have only the one thing going.

Startitis

I have been stash diving this week and it appears that I have a bad case of startitis. This is a rare affliction for me. I am typically project monogamous. The other notable change is that none of these are booth samples. I know! It’s been awhile since I just knit some stuff on a whim, and it’s pretty fun actually.

So here’s what’s on my needles at the moment. Riveting, I know. :-)

First up is Debussy, which I have knit before as a booth sample in my DK weight Merino yarn but this one is just for fun in some Cestari Wool/Cotton blend that has been in my stash for about 10 years. It’s slightly rustic looking which I think will make a nice all-season wrap.

Next up is a pair of socks. It’s been too long since I made any socks and I wanted a variety to switch back and forth on. I decided to make a pair of Gridiron Socks, in another long marinating yarn. The story behind this yarn and the one in my other project below goes back to 2009. I was in a online group, I think it was on Ravelry originally, with a handful of other hand dyers. We decided to do a collaboration yarn club. I think we called it Fiber Baristas? Anyway, we each were dyeing up a unique colorway for one of the installments and agreed to send a skein to each other as well. It was fun and I am finally getting around to using a couple of mine.

This last project is a cowl pattern my second daughter wrote for me using my Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn about 10-12 years ago I think. It’s called Spiral Effect Cowl and I have made it a couple times before as a booth sample in that yarn. This one is made using another indie dyed yarn from the above club though. The cat (Mimi) is a bonus today. :-)

Oh, and I almost forgot! I finished my third booth sample I was knitting over the weekend before the stash dive. I think I will save that for another post after I can get a chance to get some better pictures maybe. Here’s sneak peek though.

A New Year and a New Shawl

I finished knitting Adelita on January 1 and got it blocked on Sunday. I like to show how lace looks prior to and after blocking because it’s still amazing to me. :-) This first one is obviously before it’s been blocked. It’s clearly not ready for wearing in this state.

The post blocking photos aren’t fantastic since the weather is terrible for outdoor photography but it’s what I have for today.

Much better, right? I forgot to measure it’s dimensions before but it’s much larger now for sure. It now measures 68″ x 24″. For those who don’t want to click through to the Ravelry link above, I used 1.66 (714yds.) skeins of Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn in the color Jade. I took me a little over 3 months, but I had three shawls going, so it would probably have taken 3-4 weeks if I only worked on this. I still have one more shawl on the needles, Simple Gifts. It doesn’t look much different from my last post, but I have been working on it some as well.

Oh, anyone remember that cake I made for Christmas? It was delicious. I guess it was worth all the fuss. :-)

Happy New Year!!

Bramwell and other knitting

I am currently in yarn label printing purgatory. But this too, shall pass. While I am baby sitting the printer I am multi-tasking by writing a blog post. It will take quite a while to print over 1900 labels so I might as well get something else done, right?

I did finally get my Bramwell Shawl blocked. The pictures aren’t the greatest due to gray weather today, but here’s what I have.

Here’s a pre-blocking picture just to show the texture. I used almost all of the three skeins of Classic Merino Superwash DK in Pewter. My left over ball is barely 15g. This was a fun knit and pretty quick. I probably could have finished it in 3-4 weeks if I hadn’t been switching between three projects.

The color is more accurate in the blocking shot than in this next one. It’s odd that the one below was taken outside and yet the color is off.

I have gotten back to the other two shawls when I have some time in the evenings. Here is Simple Gifts in Emerald Classic Merino Superwash Sport. I am getting close to the end of the first skein and am on the 3rd repeat of the main chart. The large size is 7 repeats. I’ll see when I get there if it’s big enough.

Last, but not least is my sock yarn project, Adelita. I am using Jade, which is one of my favorites of my recent colors from 2020. I am about to start the second skein and am halfway through chart 4.

Here’s a parting shot from the last two dye days.

Bramwell and other knitting

I am currently in yarn label printing purgatory. But this too, shall pass. While I am baby sitting the printer I am multi-tasking by writing a blog post. It will take quite a while to print over 1900 labels so I might as well get something else done, right?

I did finally get my Bramwell Shawl blocked. The pictures aren’t the greatest due to gray weather today, but here’s what I have.

Here’s a pre-blocking picture just to show the texture. I used almost all of the three skeins of Classic Merino Superwash DK in Pewter. My left over ball is barely 15g. This was a fun knit and pretty quick. I probably could have finished it in 3-4 weeks if I hadn’t been switching between three projects.

The color is more accurate in the blocking shot than in this next one. It’s odd that the one below was taken outside and yet the color is off.

I have gotten back to the other two shawls when I have some time in the evenings. Here is Simple Gifts in Emerald Classic Merino Superwash Sport. I am getting close to the end of the first skein and am on the 3rd repeat of the main chart. The large size is 7 repeats. I’ll see when I get there if it’s big enough.

Last, but not least is my sock yarn project, Adelita. I am using Jade, which is one of my favorites of my recent colors from 2020. I am about to start the second skein and am halfway through chart 4.

Here’s a parting shot from the last two dye days.