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On My Needles - Socks and a Shawl

As the month of December progresses, I am being very mindful of not going on a cast on frenzy, which is rather hard for me as there are so many wonderful patterns being launched for gift knitting this year.

I am currently working on my Plain Vanilla socks that I'm knitting in Schoppel-Wolle Life Style Ambiente in the color Mint Grau.  I love the color striping of this yarn and the softest.  While I know these might not be perfect for every day wear as the yarn is 100% merino wool, they will be perfect for bed socks.  

For some reason the colors in the yarn remind me of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

I have about 2 more inches to go before I start the heel.  I am thinking of trying a new heel for these socks and would love to know of your favorite heel for cuff down socks. Please leave me a comment, I really do enjoy learning new techniques for sock knitting.

Still on my needles:

  • Cozy Autumn Socks - I'm currently working on the mate.  Sadly I have not made much progress as I've been too distracted by other things.
  • Night's Watch Shawl in Squishy - I've made great progress on this shawl and have decided to turn it more into a scarf.

Hopefully I can at least finish one pair of socks before the month is over and before a new year starts.

Until next time ~ be creative!

Finished Project: Handspun Half Granny Shawl

At times I love crochet for the sheer speed that I can finish a project, especially if it's a very easy stitch pattern like in the Half Granny Shawl.  I started this project Sunday afternoon and as mentioned in Tuesday's post, finished it. That took less than three days, which is quite speedy if you ask me. 

The pen & ink drawings shown below were created by the talented Michelle Palmer

The only thing I might have changed is going up a hook size to give it a more open and airy look.  For this project I used a size G (4.0mm) hook and approximately 384 yards of light worsted weight handspun. All in all, I truly love the end result and plan to wear my finished piece as a cowl.

What have you finished this week ?

Until next time ~ be creative!

To The Frog Pond It Went!

So my idea of mixing my handspun Favorite Scarf with my KitSap modified cardigan has been sent to the frog pond.  The thought was good, but I did not care for the fit of the cardigan or how the handspun panel was draping.  The KitSap pattern is very well written and I love the design, it just wasn't right for my idea. 

Courtesy of Sunshinewalks
I can honestly say that the Favorite Scarf Ever pattern (a free download on Ravelry) is perfect for handspun and is super easy to memorize.  I found this pattern to be quite soothing and loved that it was a mindless knitting project.  

I definitely will be knitting this scarf up in the future with either handspun or Noro Silk Garden.  I love how the simplicity of the stitch designs shows off the yarn.

Truly this would be a great pattern to consider for gift knitting, and I found a hat design with the same stitch pattern that would compliment it nicely called Speargrass, a design by Susie Gourlay of Knit Natural.

So what did I do with my re-caked handspun ?  Since I absolutely love my handspun yarn, I decided to make another Half Granny Shawl, a quick crochet design by Anastacia Zittel.  

As I write this post, I am happy to report that my shawl is complete and is now blocking.  I had just enough yardage to even make a crocheted picot edge. The current blocked measurement is 24 1/2" from the top to the bottom tip, and 39" across the top.  This will work just perfectly for a warm cowl like wrap.  I will be posting a "finished" photo soon!

Until next time ~ be creative!

Oh My Wheel ~ Buttery Soft Oink Pigments

After two months of spinning, I'm so happy to report that last week I finally finished up my scrumptious panda mix by October House in the color-way Apres.  I decided to chain ply (also known as Navajo Plying) my finished fiber instead of two plying, and I'm very happy to end up with 215 yards of a squishy soft worsted weight yarn.

My spinning was done on my Schacht Ladybug, which has been my go to wheel for most of my spinning projects lately.  I am quite happy with the result of my finished yarn and I tried something a bit new for skeining.  Instead of using a niddy noddy, I used my antique yarn swift to take my finished yarn off my wheel instead.  This was a wonderful tip given to me my a very dear friend and one I'm so happy I tried.

I think this yarn will make a wonderful hat, especially if cables were involved.  Hmmm... maybe Molly by Erin Ruth would be a great pattern for this yarn.

I have now started spinning a 75% Blue Faced Leicster 25% Tussash Silk blend by Oink Pigments in the colorway Searched in Vein.  The color is a soft raspberry mixed with a light cream/beige.  The fiber itself is very soft and easy to draft.  I'm spinning a bit thicker for a single ply yarn.  Hopefully I can maintain my consistency during this spin.

I am planning to do quite a bit of spinning over the next few months, so be prepared for sharing.

Until next time ~ be creative!

Talking Fiber Today

Hello Spinners!  Today I want to introduce a wonderful fiberista, Dedri Quillin of Quillin Fiberarts.  Now a few of you may already know this fabulous dyer, but for those who have not seen her beautiful hand-dyed fibers yet, a visit to her Etsy shop is a must!

I have followed Dedri on Instagram for almost a year now and have not only seen her share her lovely hand-dyed fibers, but I have seen many of my spinning Instagram friends spin up her gorgeous color creations.   So Monday I could not resist her shop any longer and purchased these three gorgeous braids of fiber from her Etsy shop.  

The small braid of fiber in the front of the photo above is a scrumptious blend of merino, yak and silk in the colorway Sleepy Hollow.  I'm super excited to try this blend and hope to achieve enough yardage for mitts.

From Dedri's shop:  Merino Yak and Silk combed top roving hand dyed in our Sleepy Hollow colorway. Deep black, gray and warm ochres combine in this moody colorway. Each braid is 2 ounces. Merino 60%/ Silk 20%/ Yak 20%.

The braid of fiber in the top left of the photo above is a yummy Cheviot in the color way Owls, a mix of black, white and ochre brown.  I have not spun Cheviot, so this will be an enjoyable spin for me.  With 4 oz of fiber, I plan to spin slightly thin and two-ply.  I am hoping to achieve enough yardage for a lace scarf or a cowlette.

Last is the braid of fiber in the top right of the photo is a 22 micron Merino in the colorway Dark Tabby.  I love the warm earthy tones of this merino and think the colors would be scrumptious for a handspun hat.  I am planning to spin this 4 oz of fiber for a finished skein of light worsted weight.  I haven't quite decided if I will chain ply or two-ply.  I might even go for a single ply!

From Dedri's shop22 micron Merino sustainably sourced in South Africa, this combed top (roving) was dyed in our Dark Tabby colorway. Browns and olive green.

Be sure to check out Dedri's shop as she has a sale going on with free shipping to US customers.  You can find Dedri online at Etsy, Facebook and Instagram.

I personally am so happy I finally decided to place an order.

Until next time ~ be creative !

Introducing Chalkboard Christmas 🎄

Sometimes I find certain colors of yarn that just speak to me and I see a design possibility.  

That is what recently happened when I saw Lion Brand Yarn's Hometown USA in the color Salem Creek.  The black, white and pink colors in the yarn made me think of a chalkboard, hence the name Chalkboard Christmas.

Today I'm introducing my new design, Chalkboard Christmas, a slouchy hat with a pom pom and a matching cowl.  This design is created for bulky to super bulky weight yarn and knitted with a size US 13 (9mm) circular needle. 

This super speedy bulky knit project will surely keep you warm during those cold winter days!

I am offering my new design as a free download until midnight Thursday,  November 29th.  After the launch, this pattern will be at full price.

Click Here - buy now

Regular Price will be $ 3.50

No coupon needed when added to cart

The pattern particulars:
Gauge: 2 sts x 3 rows = 1” square on size US 13 (9.0mm) needles
Hat Finished Length: 9 1/2” from cast on edge
Hat Circumference: 19” and up ( due to stretchiness, will fit most sizes)
Cowl Size: 7” wide and 24” in diameter
Hat -
MC 2 skeins of Lion Brand Hometown in Salem Creek 
CC 1 skein of Lion Brand Hometown USA in Springfield Silver 
(Or any super bulky weight yarn to meet gauge)
Cowl -
MC 2 skeins of Lion Brand Hometown in Salem Creek 
CC 1 skein of Lion Brand Hometown USA in Springfield Silver 
(Or any super bulky weight yarn to meet gauge)
1 Pom Pom 
2 buttons 1 1/2” to 2” in diameter

I hope you enjoy my design and I look forward to seeing finished projects on Ravelry and Instagram.  If you're on Instagram, be sure to tag me @mylifewithwool so I can see your finished piece.
Until next time ~ be creative!

Sundays Are Meant For Spinning

I truly believe that Sunday mornings are meant for spinning.  Well at least they are for me as my husband and I tend to start our morning off slow with a cup of coffee, a walk to the park and then back home to enjoy the day.

Today I'm working on my Targhee in the color Chincoteague.  I'm so ashamed to say I started spinning this fiber back in May and the reason I haven't given it too much love is the simple fact I'm still learning to spin on my Flatiron wheel.  Such a poor excuse I know, but it's the truth.

I truly love my Flatiron and I'm understanding that I need to slow down a bit when spinning.  I've also learned that pre-drafting highly compacted fiber is a must for me when learning on a new wheel.  I will get the hang of it and I know it will be another much loved wheel in my collection!

Here's a snippet of my start of the day ....

I am determined to finish the small amount left today so that I can get it plied and off my wheel to start my Humbug spin along with The 1764 Shepherdess on Instagram.  (#humbugspin15 on Instagram).  

"Bah!" said Scrooge, "Humbug!"

I purchased this fun kit earlier this month and will be starting my spinning next weekend. Inside each kit was 4 oz of Jacob Humbug, a Humbug charm, spinning oil, a sheep cookie cutter, a sugar cookie recipe, a Jacob Marley humbug badge and a tag.  I love Sherrill's kits and I really look forward to spinning along with everyone on Instagram ( a few have already started! ).

Until next time ~ be creative!