Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's been a long time...

...since the last time I posted something. I need to get on that...soon? I have taken it upon myself to teach both full and part-time, and on top of that go for my masters. I will be lucky if I get most of my knitting projects out of the way before Christmas.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tour de Fleece-Day 1

So I was informed of a spinning event on Ravelry, called the Tour de Fleece. You take part in spinning on the same days that the bikers are riding for the Tour de France. I thought that this would give me a chance to work on my stash and try some new techniques like the wrap and turn or coils. I can't wait! Well I shouldn't say that considering today was the first day of the event. I got a few yds in on my drop spindle, but not too much. I'm dog sitting, so I don't have my wheel with me. I was sad at first, but it's giving me a chance to work on my drop spindles. Yes, spindles. I have 3 that still have projects on them. I haven't touched them since I got my spinning wheel. I'm here til Monday evening, so it'll be nice to work on them again til I'm back at my place and on my wheel again.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"In about 5 min, we'll drop some acid."

Yeah….acid. For my spring break this year I had a friend of mine, Peggy, show me how to dye fiber. Normally when I’m at a wool festival, I looked at all of the “crazy people” carrying around plastic bags full of raw fleece and just cringe. It’s just so much fiber that is dirty and gross feeling. I understand why it’s dirty and gross, but just the thought of having to wash and card it didn’t sound like fun to me. It sounded like too much work. That was until I saw the fiber called Wensleydale and Teeswater. I’ve worked with mohair, but didn’t know about these fibers. Even when they were raw, the curls of the fiber were awesome! So thanks to Peggy showing off her trash bags full of curly locks, I had to get a fleece of my own. The one I wanted was gorgeous and very expensive, but there was a smaller Teeswater fleece.

The nite before I began washing the fleece. I did a few cold baths that nite. The water was dirty as all get out. The smell wasn’t too bad, which I was grateful for since I live in an apartment complex. Since the weather had been warm in the days before I decided to get up early to do the hot water. I really thought that the washing process would be hard, but it really wasn’t. It was nice being able to see the water go from dark brown to clear. What was even better was pulling the fleece out of the water after the rinsing and seeing that gorgeous sheen on those curly locks! It was at that point that I decided that buying raw fleeces wasn’t so bad. I would just keep my options open to fiber like Wensleydale and Teeswater. Definitely something I will have to save up for on my next trip to Taos’ Wool Festival.

Since I had missed the dye day last summer, I had asked Peggy if we could do a separate dye day, and she agreed. So we planned for a day during my spring break. The thing about Colorado is that even for the middle of March (spring time), we still get snow. So a few days before I was supposed to go up, I was invited up the nite before because we were supposed to get a blizzard storm. A little over 8pm the nite before, we got it. Snow every where!

So while it was snowing and Peggy and Jeff were at church, I got to use their drum carder. A little over a year ago I bought a few ounces of sage green alpaca at the Taos Wool Festival and angelina from Colorado Fiber Arts. I thought that the combination of the two colors would be awesome, so I carded the two together. It looks really nice! When I finished that batch that was when I noticed it was snowing.

The one reason I wanted to use the carder was the combination of fiber that I had collected since last winter. While at Lambspun in Fort Collins, I bought a bamboo/wool blend and then some silk. The colors were pink and a pinkish-purple. While at Rock Day in Colorado Springs, I bought 2 ounces of alpaca from Allie (Eye Dazzlers) in both purple and orange. Since our carding day at the spinning group at Green Valley, I wanted to try carding different fibers and different colors together. The combination of the 4 fibers and colors were better than I thought they’d be. It became what I call a Tropical Sunset.

The next morning, Peggy and I went through her dye books to pick out colors. I had magenta and teal in mind. She had so many awesome colors! I picked out 2 colors that were very similar to what I wanted; a mulberry and dark teal. We measured and separated my fiber. I then was given the job of calculating how much of the dye to use for each batch. Peggy said she liked working with someone who understood the math behind the calculations of ratio and proportions. I don’t doubt my math skills, it was keeping up with how many graduated cylinders full of dye I had already put in the pot. If I messed up, I would not be getting the color I wanted. Once the two colors for each pot were mixed, I was happy to see a color that I liked. I no longer was worried I had messed up.

So with 2 big boiling pots of dye, water, and fiber, Peggy and I spent time down stairs watching spinning videos and doing some spinning of our own. She was working on a black fiber for an order she had received and I started on my angora/merino blend that I had gotten from Sharon at Rock Day. While waiting, Peggy mentioned something like “In 5 minutes, we can drop some acid.” We both giggled. She explained that the acid allows for the dye molecules to combine with the fiber or something like that. In a couple hours the dyeing was done and placed outside to cool off…which would be easy since the snow was still a foot or so tall outside. Once it had cooled off, it was rinse, spun in the washer machine, and placed by the fireplace on a rack to dry off. The colors were amazing, along with the sheen that was still on the fiber. I was so pleased by the turn out.

While there, I was able to finish spinning all 5 ounces of the angora/merino blend. I think that was the most I’d gotten done in one sitting. My bobbin was completely full. Since the colors remind me of the ocean, I plan on plying it with a cream white colored merino/bamboo blend. It will act as the foam of the waves. Once I have those bobbins full, I plan on plying them on my new jumbo flyer for my Ashford Traditional. It was a birthday present to my self. I would really like to have my wheel finished off, but I want to find a Celtic design that I can have burned on to the wood. I guess that’s something I could do over the summer break.

I still have a bobbin of merino locks that I worked on about a year ago and haven’t finished yet. The locks are blue and purple if I remember right. (Can you tell how long it’s been since I’ve seen it? Lol) I bought pink dyed purls to ply with the merino. I want to ply it, but I want to do it while Peggy is around. That way I know that I’m securing the beads correctly when I do ply it all. It’s just another unfinished project to add to the list.

Knitting wise, I finished another fish hat during CSAP. All of the kids didn’t understand how it was going to turn into a fish hat, but in the end they really liked it. I made it for a friend’s son who is 2 I think. He looked so cute in it!

I also finished some felted Easter bunnies. I made one for my niece and kids of two of my friends. They turned out really cute. I would like to make some more for next year. Make them a little bigger and possibly different colors and types. The ladies in the shop have had more time to do that and I’ve liked the outcomes.

I’m still working on my Hemlock Ring lap blanket. I’ve already put about 600 yds on it, and just recently started another 300 yd skein. I would like for it to be big enough for a small lap blanket or to put on my bed. Without it being blocked I’m really not sure how big it is now. I know that I have another 300 yds or so, but in a grey. Not sure how the two colors will work out together if what I have in the main color isn’t enough. I’ll have to get my knit pick cables and get a better idea of the diameter.

I also started the Clessidra (Knitty) sock pattern on size 2 needles and they’re knee highs. The last time I did knee high socks on a size 2, it took me over a year to finish them. They were for my sister. They were just a 1x1 rib. This pattern that I’m working on now has 2x2 cables, seed stitch, and an intermediate hourglass cable going up the back of the leg. I’m thinking it may take 2 yrs. I just had a craving to do socks again. I can’t wait to get them done…although I don’t spend a lot of time on them right now since I started my masters.

The woman who does my hair was pregnant. I had plans on making some baby hats and such. Thought I had all this time to work on them, but she went into labor at 26 weeks. She named him Oliver and it doing ok out of town. I found a really cute puppy dog (Mr. “Morpheus” Mutt) pattern online that required no sewing. It’s completely seamless, which I absolutely love since I hate sewing! (Not done with the face yet.) I want to make one for my niece, but my mom tells me I shouldn’t. That she has too many stuffed animals already. I think it’s my job as an aunt to spoil her anyways. So that will be a X-Mas present.

So…for right now I have 2-3 spinning projects that are unfinished and 4 knitting projects that are unfinished. I just got some fingering yarn for another project in mind. It’s called Sweet Jazz and it’s a long skinny shawl. It’s light enough to probably wear now and later in the fall. I know I shouldn’t have bought it, but it looked nice. Lol

Well one more day with the kids for work. I got to get all of my stuff packed up at work. I was pink slipped about 3 weeks ago. The district is making choices based on both the economy and the state. 80 teachers or more are either being pink slipped or transferred. I’ve applied a few places, but nothing yet. I just don’t like the idea of spending my summer not knowing whether or not I have a job for next year. I also don’t like packing. I’ve had to move either classrooms or schools every year I’ve taught. It’s not fun.

Monday, January 18, 2010


So far this year has been pretty busy. Although I have to admit last month was kind of busy too…and the whole year. I haven’t posted anything in months. I really thought that I would be able to keep up with a blog a lot easier than this. Well since October I had been working on X-Mas presents. By the beginning of December I had made a little over 30 mini-sweaters. It was an idea I got from a friend the year before. They weren’t hard to make and required no sewing of pieces, which is what I love about making sweaters like this. I hate sewing pieces together. Neck down patterns are awesome.

I also had been working on birthday presents. There is this neat pattern that is for a hat and neck warmer. It can be worn 3 different ways. I received it as a X-Mas present from a friend of mine and decided to try out the pattern on my own. I’ve made 2 so far and am currently working on my 3rd. It’s a really easy pattern. 1-1.5” rib, 7.5-8” St st, eyelet row, 2” St st, BO.

I then started a project that a local knitter at the shop and I have been talking about for a few months. It’s a project that my Ravelry friend, Elemmaciltur, has knitted and posted on his page. It’s such a gorgeous pattern. I just never thought that I’d be working on a doily pattern. The Hemlock Ring goes really far back and I think it’s even an old Irish pattern. I thought that I would go around the shop to find the best worsted yarn for the project, but recently I went through my stash and organized it all. A few years ago I had bought a few skeins of yarn in Fort Collins at Lambspun. So it wasn’t until then that I remember that I already had a few skeins of worsted yarn for my project. It wasn’t the color that I wanted for this project exactly or was looking for at the shop, but it works. I did like the color when I bought the yarn and can definitely live with the color.

So the original pattern is for a table doily and my friend is making a shawl. Since I have about 900 yards of this Burgundy 70% wool/ 30% silk, I figure that I can make a throw for myself. I just bought a new bed set and I think it’ll look nice on my bed. I started my project a few days before X-Mas. It’s my first flat circular project and my first time starting from the center out. I started with a size 10 needle but decided that since it was going to be a throw, that it was too loose. So I decided to change to an 8 and it looks much better. During X-Mas break, I worked on it a lot. I wanted to get as much as I could while I could. There were a few rows that had I known how many stitches were part of a repeat, I would’ve counted instead of frogging back. Once I got to the chart, things were all good though. About a month later it’s about 2 ft in diameter. I’ve almost gone through 1 skein of 318 yds. I just increased to 408 stitches. I can’t wait til it’s done, but with every increase row, it takes more yarn and time to make one round. It’ll be gone before I know it though.
Last weekend was Distaff/Rock Day. It’s the first day after the 12 days of X-Mas, that everyone gets back to work. Last year I filled in for Rosemary, but this time I went for me. I just wish that I hadn’t stayed up late the nite before to finish a project on the wheel. Because of it, I was about 2 hrs late. It’s a good thing though. I was able to finish my Cranberry Merino that I’ve been working on for about 1.5 years. I still have a full plyed bobbin that I need to put into a skein, but when doing so my bobbin decided to fall apart. So not it's all tangled! :-/ I still have about a third of a bobbin full of a very thin single. I’ll have to find something to ply it with.

I did get some spinning done though. I worked on some variegated Alpaca that I got at the Taos Wool Festival in 08’. Sharron had worked her’s up the last time I saw her at Knit Nite, and so I decided to get mine done so that I could make a hat for my niece. I actually just finished spinning it the night before, Andean plied it yesterday morning.

I’m not sure what else to work on now. I want to do some more spinning, but out of my stash I’m not sure which fun fiber to work on now. I did get more fiber to add to my stash. (Like I need more.) I went to Fort Collins to see what Lambspun had up there since I had been up there more than a year ago. I got a handspun skein of mint baby llama that has a hint of silver metallic, a bamboo/wool blend, silk, and lavender mohair locks. While at Rock Day, I wasn’t able to stay away from the goodies. I got about 2 oz of Alpaca from Allie’s Eyedazzler and about 5 oz of a merino/angora blend. I really didn’t “need” all of it, but it was nice. The Alpaca I think I want to put together with the bamboo and silk I got from Lambspun. Although I think I need to borrow a drum carder from Allie or someone. I think the combination of the orange, pinks, and purples would be awesome!

Taos Wool Festival 2009

Even though it’s January of 2010, I felt like I still needed to write about my Taos experience from last October. Last year I drove by myself, but went through Cimarron, NM. It was a gorgeous drive, but took the longest because of the winding roads. This year I took the more direct route through Fort Garland and San Luis. It was a clear, but cold morning going up. It had been a year since I had been through the area, but it was nice to see the scenery.

Even though the gang wouldn’t be there until Sunday, I had to be there early Saturday morning to drop off my skeins. I decided that this year would be the first to have my spinning judged. I had 2 huge skeins that were definitely much bigger and heavier than the minimum requirements, but I wasn’t about to cut my skeins. I wasn’t really going to win ribbons. I had heard that they judging here would really let me know what I’m doing that’s good and things I could be doing to make my spinning better. While there, I ran into Sharron, Peggy, Allie. Both Sharron and Peggy were there filling out their many cards for judging. They had a lot! Sharron had some for different categories for using the wheel, one or two for drop spindle, and maybe one for novelty. Most of Peggy’s was novelty yarn. She’s soooo good at her boucle and such. Both women of course would be entering as an expert. I would be entering as a novice, since this was my first entry into a competition. You are allowed to step up into the expert category by placing in any of your entries.

I thought that I wasn’t going to go through the booths until the rest of the gang got there, but I couldn’t resist. Both Sharron and Peggy were there with their husbands. Sharron’s husband had to work on some things while there. Peggy and her husband, Jeff, had volunteered to work around the festival. So Sharron and I decided to make our rounds. There were booths that I recognized and those that I didn’t. It was fun. We got to see a guy spinning! I mean I have seen a guy spinning before at Rock/Distaff day in Jan ’09. What was different about this guy was that he was a cowboy. He had the jean, boots, and cowboy hat. It was awesome! We were also able to see Peggy doing a spinning demo. It’s always nice to see her doing something I hadn’t seen before. She was using a string as a core yarn and then using fluff and another string to ply it all at once. It came out so nice and airy!
Since I had been the year before I had more of an idea of what I wanted to get. I had seen a shawl that I absolutely loved, so I wanted to get the pattern and yarn to make it. I had also learned how to work with mohair locks, so that was something that I wanted to get. Since Peggy was the expert of using mohair, I had asked her where the best locks were. She told me that I would have to spend some money, but they would be good quality.

We also were able to see sheep get sheered. The guy who did it was pretty fast! I think he had one done in less than 5 min.
When I first started I didn’t think that I would be the type to buy a full fleece. I really don’t know what makes a good fleece well…good. I don’t know enough about the different breeds of sheep or goats and the type of staples that are produced by each. I don’t really know what to look for, but after seeing Peggy with bags of Wensleydale and Teeswater fleece, I wanted to find some for me! When Sharron and I did find full fleeces I was shocked by the price. I knew that a full fleece would be expensive. Then you have to take in mind that you loose some of the weight due to lanoline and VM. I’m so used to buying prepared roving, but didn’t really think I was ready to buy fiber that required me to wash and prepare the fiber. There was a fleece that was so pretty. The curls were so nice to see and feel. I wanted it sooooo bad, but couldn’t afford the entire bag. I did find a smaller bag of Teeswater. I was happy to find out that all I would need to do with this was wash it. I could spin it as is. I didn’t need to card it out unless I wanted to. I have asked Peggy whether or not she would help me dye it and she’s agreed! It’ll be so much fun to finally take another step forward in my spinning.

We were told that the judging of the spinning was supposed to be done by 5pm, so Sharron and I sat around talking to other spinners while we waited. During this time we both decided that we needed to bring our wheels for next time. We saw that they had gone through the drop spindle and novelty categories. We also saw Allie holding up skeins of Sharron’s when they had received a ribbon. Before we had gotten there, Sharron had received a ribbon on an original knitting pattern for a hat. By the time I saw her receive another ribbon, her first spinning ribbon, my whole idea of not needing a ribbon changed. I wanted a ribbon! I got myself so worked up so much that a migraine started. I can’t remember what time it was when all was finally judged. I think it was close to 6pm.

When Allie did hold up my wool skein, I turned to Sharron and hit her in the arm with a huge smile on my face! I think I took her by surprise. When my alpaca was held up, she leaned to the side knowing I was going to hit her again. Haha When we were finally allowed to go in to look at the wall of skeins I started texting everyone I knew that would appreciate or understood why this was so important. I informed Rosemary that one of her drop spindle skeins got runner-up for best of show. I was also able to look at the other winning skeins. The person who got best of show, I thought, shouldn’t have received it. It had guard hairs in it (which I guess were purposely left in). The plying I think could be a little tighter. Rosemary’s spinning is just awesome! I really wish I was able to drop spindle like her!

In the novice wool category I got 3rd place. I didn’t quiet pay attention to the skein that won 1st, but I did look at the 2nd place skein. I understand that my skein was not completely consistent and it was 2-ply, but I really didn’t think that the 2nd place skein was 2nd place quality. Yes, it was a 3-ply but there were so many more inconsistencies in the spinning. There were a lot of very thin spots and thick spots. Maybe it’s just me.

The second ribbon I got was for my alpaca. I got first place! Allie told me that I was the only entry in the novice category for alpaca. She also told me that if the judge didn’t think it was worth a blue ribbon, I wouldn’t have gotten it. I could believe it! First place! It was so awesome to see that! Allie was so happy with how we had done. I told her that it wasn’t really us, it was her fiber. She tried to argue with me, but I told her that her fiber is a dream to work it. It pretty much tells you what it wants to become…how it wants to be spun. So if there is anyone who wants to work with great alpaca, Allie Neas from Eyedazzler’s is the best person to talk to!

On Sunday I made my way to the festival again. I decided to start my X-Mas projects of mini-sweater ornaments while I waited for the gang to show up. I got to sit around and talk to other knitters and spinners. Most of them were followers from Ravelry. Around lunch time, I was finally able to meet up with the gang: Emily, Joyce, Karen, Winnie, Sue, and Sandy. (Not shown, Sandy and Karen.)

There were some booths that I didn’t go into the day before on purpose. I wanted to wait until I was sure what I wanted from that booth and whether or not I had the money. I was able to get the pattern and yarn for the shawl that I saw from the year before. I couldn’t find the same color waves from the one I saw last year, but I got some that I thought would look good together.
Overall the trip was great! I think it was a beginning to another chapter in my spinning. Not only will I just spin, but I will learn from my spinning and new spinning techniques. I just wish that I remembered which direction I was going in. When I’m in Denver, I’m so used to driving down I-25 going south. For some reason I decided that when I was in Walsenburg that I wanted to go south. Well about 15-20 minutes later, I noticed that I was heading to Aguilar! So I had to turn around and wasted about 30-40 minutes. It was funny afterwards, just not at the moment.
Well onto the many spinning projects til October 2010!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Well the past couple of weeks have been busy, but that sounds like the rest of my summer vacation. The last week of July was spent signing a lease for a new apartment, packing last minute, moving (hired help-yay!), cleaning the old place, unpacking the new place, applying for the master’s program at CSU-Pueblo, knitting, visiting, and so much more. I really don’t know how I’m still going. One thing that has kinda kept me going are my projects. They are a nice way of getting the mind off unpacking, but a temporary getaway can be dangerous when it comes to unpacking. I want to say about 50% of the boxes are unpacked. All I need to work on is the extra room which has most of my school, scrapbooking, yarn, and fiber.

A few days after being in my new place I finished my Pinwheel Rug. I was so happy to get it done. I started on it in March while CSAP testing, so that’s about 4.5 months. I had a few people who tried to talk me into not felting it; that I should use it as a blanket instead. Last Saturday I felted it at home and laid it out to dry at the LYS, since I didn’t have room at the new place. I was really shocked at how fast it took to felt, but I am very happy at the outcome. I think my wheel looks awesome on it. :D

I have been working on my first sweater since a few women at the shop have finished a couple of sweaters. Some of them being felted sweaters, which means they were bigger projects than mine to begin with. Pretty bad, I know. I finished with a seed stitch and picot bind off. It looks really nice. Then I started to work on the sleeves and noticed that they were HUGE! The pattern I’m using is for a guy, so the size I was using was for a bigger guy…therefore big sleeves. With discussion from a few friends, I’ve decided to do something I didn’t want to do…I must cut it. I guess it’s called steeking. When I cut it I will be sewing up a seam. This will close up the armholes creating a tighter sleeve; one that will fit just one of my arms. I was hoping to do the sweater all in the round without seams, but I gotta do what I gotta do. The lesson that was learned: Stick with patterns for the correct sex unless you have experience knitting that type of garment.

Since I am in no hurry to finish the sweater by cutting and sewing it back together I had to find a new project. You’d think that I’d be able to choose something from the tons of books and my large stash, but noooo! I instead used the internet (Ravelry) and bought new yarn. Lol I’ve always wanted to wear the slouchy, rasta style hats/berets. I knew the Alpaca would hang nicely, and would be like heaven to work with. It took me about an afternoon, early evening, and morning to finish it. Once I tried it on I decided it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. It wasn’t slouchy enough. So I plan on giving it to my sister for her Christmas present. It’s in a color she would like. I’m going to try to alter the pattern so that it fits the way I’d like.

I’m working on a new slouchy beret. I started it today. I have the brim and the beginning of the lace pattern started for the first round. So far, it’s not too bad. I just don’t like that there’s a YO at the end of the stitch grouping. It’s hard to do a YO doing magic loop. Well I think so anyways.

Well that’s it for me. I better be getting to bed. I have training tomorrow and Friday.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Crafty Update

It has been way too long since I’ve written. I have been meaning to, but just haven’t had the time to do so. When I first started writing on here I had just started my job. Right now I’m about a week away from finishing summer school. Crazy!

Where to start…I guess I’ll start with my spinning. I currently have 2 projects on my wheel. Actually I have 3. Extra bobbins are both good and bad. Every time you find something new you look at those empty bobbins and think, “I could work with something different.” I still have the Cranberry Merino on one bobbin. I have tried to find a nice brown or beige fiber to ply it with, but hadn’t found a good combination. Nothing was ever the right shade until about 6 weeks ago. I started spinning a Merino/Angora/Silk blend at a spin night at Green Valley Weavers in Old Colorado City. I started passing around the Cranberry for the show ‘n tell and I was told that it would go perfectly with the blend I was working on. I looked and the colors would go well together. So that’s the plan with that. (Pictures coming soon.)

While at this month’s spin group I had only brought materials for a spin technique. I had a full day at work, and had taken off the Angora blend from my wheel before making the drive up north. The instructor of the technique couldn’t make it that night, so I didn’t really have anything to work on. So the good and bad thing about being at a yarn and fiber store is that they had a way of fixing my problem. I got 4 oz of a Merion/Yak blend. It’s soooooo soft! I can’t wait to finish it!

As in spun projects that are finished, I have 3. In December and January I started to spin some of Allie’s alpaca that I had bought from her last year. Her stuff is so nice. When I went to Distaff Day, I decided to get more of it. By February of this year, I had two full bobbins full of white and brown alpaca. Once plied, I had one and half of my Traditional bobbins full. All together, I have about 400 or so yards of 2-plied alpaca. It’s like a dream cloud of softness! Almost nice enough that I want to use it as a pillow. Hehe I have seen a pattern in Interweave that I would like to use it for. It’s a nice lacy cowl.

I think that makes for one finished spun project that I actually have a knitting project in mind. I think that same month I learned how to “cage spin” while going to the spin group up north. It’s the process of “caging” something in between two singles during the plying process. So I decided to use some wool from the shop since it was my first time. I think that I’ll have to knit something like a hat or thin scarf for St. Patrick’s Day next year.

My recent finished spun project was completed about 6 weeks ago. I decided that I wanted to spin something with color after I had done the two-tone alpaca. I bought the Interlacements wool braid at Taos, NM last fall at the Taos Wool Festival. This is the first purchase of the festival that I’ve touched/spun. I tried Navajo-plying it, but it didn’t look good, so I plied it on itself. Since the two bobbins were a little uneven I had to wrap the rest of the last bobbin on my hand. OMG! My hand cramped up through the whole process, but it was totally worth it! It came out so nice! The combination of the different colors is awesome! I like it! I just got to find something to do with it. Winnie from the shop spun something like my color combination and used it with some purples for a pair of fingerless gloves. I’m thinking that maybe something like that will work. Just got to find the right pattern. (Pictures coming soon.)

Now onto knitting…there are quite a few. I was pretty busy for the past few months when it came to knitting. Last winter I worked on all of my X-Mas presents. Normally, I make all of my X-Mas cards, but this year I made my own gifts. Each ornament was hand knitted with Elle Rae and size 6 beads. They were very easy to make. I made over 2 dozen of them. Most of them went out to friends and family, except there a few that I haven’t gotten out yet due to the fact that I’m afraid they’ll break.

In December I house sat for my friend Emily. She used to own the knitting shop and had just recently sold it. So I can say that the house was pretty well stocked with yarn. It was hard to keep my hands off her stuff and stuff it all in my bag, especially her cashmere, but I withheld. While there I did knit an Alpaca Cloche. It’s so freakin cute! I had to alter the number of rows a little, but it fits perfectly!

In January or February, I started a cashmere blend scarf at a luxury knit nite and started a hat for my dad. The cashmere scarf was a bright blue and so soft! I decided that I didn’t really care for the color myself and gave it to my aunt for her birthday. She loved it!

The hat for my dad was kinda designed color wise by himself. He wanted a yellow and black striped hat. He’s a Matt Kenseth fan and his pit crew is called the Killer Bees. So, I used Jared Flood’s Turn a Sq pattern. Every one at the shop had been using the pattern, so I figured that I should try it too. The problem was that the hat was too short and a little too narrow for his big head. Instead of ripping out the decreases and re-knitting it, I gave it to the niece. It looks good on both of them.

I also worked on a scarf for my supervisor, Kolleen. She’s been very helpful this year and has taken me out to eat many times. I thought that she deserved a little gift. She had admired my knitted scarves that I wore to school, so I picked out some nice thick ‘n thin wool that is totally her color. She really liked it.

A little after that I finished my first felted project. It was weird knitting a hat pattern that could’ve fitted a head about 3x the size of mine. I did enjoy doing the flowers. That was first type of embellishment that I had knitted. The author said something about being comfortable with a wet head. Every 30 minutes, I would take it out of the washer, ring it out and try it on. A wet head indeed! I have to admit that I made it towards the end of the cold weather and didn’t get to wear it out too much. Next year for sure!

Somewhere in between all of this I finished my last Monkey sock. The problem is that I don’t know where the first one is. I thought that I had put it in a safe spot…a spot that I don’t remember. Since I’ve been busy with work and everything else I haven’t found it. I hope to soon. I want to be able to wear it. I really don’t want to make another one with the leftovers.

About mid-March I started on the felted pinwheel rug that I wanted to start in the winter because of how big it gets. It would’ve been a great lap blanket. I started it while doing the CSAP at school. It was nice to start it there since I had to walk around the classroom and watch my students test for 2-3 hrs a day for a few weeks. It took about a little over an hour to get one panel done. The hard part about the project is that it takes about one skein of Cascade for each panel. As the yarn added up, it got pretty heavy and I couldn’t work on it anymore while at work. Currently, I have about 10 of the 18 panels done. It looks pretty good. It’s just too hot to work on it right now. We’ve been having 80-90 degree weather recently.

For Mother’s Day I made my mom a pair of socks. I decided that I had made everyone a pair of socks (friends and my sister), except my parents. I had some Encore that had my mom’s favorite colors in it, so it worked out perfectly. I didn’t even have to buy it. It was already in my large stash! Score! What was even cooler is that I made them in about 4 days. It helped that the yarn is worsted and that I used size 7 needles…and that I’m that good! Haha I made her try them on so that I knew I had gotten the sizing correct. Perfect fit!