yarn along

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Reading: I have an interesting collection of books on my bedside table. And I’ve finished three of them since taking this picture. To be fair, I was nearly done with The Elite, Bleach took just a bit to read, and Scarlet I was most of the way through. I picked up The One from the library but I only got a couple chapters in before I had to put it down. I just got so frustrated with the main character!! I’m finishing my reread of the Lunar Chronicles with Cress. As soon as I can, I’ll see if I can find Winter.

Knitting: A Man Hat with some rockin’ hot pink Malabrigo! I’m so in love with this color and this pattern. The pattern is super quick and simple. I’m really happy with the combo!

Linking up with Jenny!

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RKLW

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{A post about what I’m reading, knitting, listening to, and watching right now.}

Reading: I’m rereading the Fruits Basket manga that I own (volumes 3-8, thank you used bookstore~!) in preparation for rewatching the anime over Valentine’s Day. This is one of my favorite mangas/animes and it makes me really happy. Plus, it’s hilarious.

Knitting: Finally getting around to knitting my other red, white, and blue socks! Does anyone remember this post? Probably not, that was almost a year ago! These socks got knocked way down on the priority list, were ripped out twice, and have been waiting patiently to be knit up. Well, I’m doing it. I’m getting the silly things knit so I have another pair of socks in rotation. I’m also casting on a pair of boot socks. The green ones I knit have been felted on the bottom due to how much I wear them. Plus, it’s the dead of winter. It’s cold. I need more socks.

Listening: Guys Don’t Like Me-It Boys, New Horizon-EXILE.

Watching: Nothing right now, but I am waiting for tomorrow’s episode of Downton Abbey!

Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along!

2 on, 2 off

Le sigh.

What can I say. I cannot stop the casting on. I’m just going to accept that in my life, I will always have several projects on the needles. As long as projects are coming off the needles, I suppose that’s fine.

So, here’s what came off the needles yesterday, the last projects of 2015.

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A Totally Biased! cowl, knit with Cascade Casablanca (a wool, silk, mohair blend). I’ve knit one of these before and love, love, LOVE the pattern. It’s simple without being boring. My first one I knit on size 7s with 36 stitches. This one I knit on size 10s with 40 stitches. It made it much wider, which was what I was going for. The colors are great and there’s green on both ends that you can’t see in the picture. I’ll try to take a better one once this is done blocking and I’ve stitched the seam.

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A belated Christmas present that didn’t get finished in time due to my aversion to picking up stitches. Yes. I hate picking up stitches and will put it off and off and off until I go, what am I doing? I could be done with this by now! The pattern is Toddler Snappy Shoulder Vest knit in Cascade 220 superwash. It really was easy and would’ve been faster had I not toodled around because I don’t enjoy picking up stitches.

And now for what jumped on my needles, one last night, one today.

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This is a Hurricane Hat in Noro Kureyon. I like green. I really like green. And I also like self-striping yarns that look and feel a little like handspun. Also, can you tell I got a ball winder for Christmas?? And that I love it so, so much??

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And lastly, a pair of Berkshires socks in Felici, the Rainbow colorway. The yarn is so bright and happy and stripy! I’m excited to knit these. Also, there’s my book, Colleen Houck’s newest Reawakened. I’m only a few pages into it and already I can tell it’s very different than her first series, the Tiger’s Curse books. Maybe that’s a good thing? Maybe it’s not? Who knows. I finished Airman by Eoin Colfer last night. Oh, I’d forgotten how good that story was. Mm, so good.

Also, I’ve been listening to this song for days on repeat. It’s also very good: I’ll Be Good by Jaymes Young.

Joining Ginny for YarnAlong!

2015 in fib-review

So, 2015! How is it already almost over? I feel as if the year just started. How can it be over? Oh well, there’s always next year.

Yarn/Fiber/Crafting of any sort

2015 was a big fibery year for me. In January, I purchased my first spinning wheel and started learning how to use it. In August, I purchased another one. After some fits and starts and a spinning lesson gifted to me by my wonderful parents, I’m finally feeling more comfortable using it and my yarn is turning out more consistent.

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{What is probably the softest, squishiest yarn I’ve ever touched}

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of wanting to knit 15 pairs of socks. I only completed 12, four pairs of which were for other people. But hey, that’s eight pairs I didn’t have when I started the year!

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{Only the first and second were for me}

Also in 2015, I completed 49 projects. 14 I gifted for various birthdays and for Christmas. I knit 10 shawls (10?!), 12 pairs of socks, 4 hats, and a few other random projects. My sweater is not done and at the moment, I have, gulp15 projects still in progress. Wow. That’s a lot… To be fair, 7 of them are socks either almost done, still needing the match knit, or I just haven’t picked up in a while. I also have two or three long term projects that aren’t going to be done for a few years…

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{Belated Christmas toddler vest I’m almost done with}

So yeah, 2015 was a productive knitting year.

Oh, and then there’s this.

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I’m…gonna go that way… (And yes, every single skein is fingering weight yarn.)

Books/Media

Blogging: Oh the blogging. I’ll be honest, I’m not a very consistent blogger. You know, in case you haven’t noticed. I’m sporadic at best. Which brings my blog post count this year to a grand total of 63 (after I publish this.) I’ll try to be better at documenting things in 2016, but I really can’t make any promises.

Books: I haven’t done a lot of reading this year. Knowing me, that’s a little scary. I have a hard time finding good books that will keep my interest. The books I did read were all pretty good. I started the Selection series and enjoyed the first one immensely. Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles are also on my list of ‘this was really, really good’. I discovered Philippa Gregory’s Tudor/English royal novels and, being the history lover I am, pounced on them.

I also started reading manga for the first time! I’ve read a handful of Fairy Tail, the first three volumes of Fruits Basket, and I think that’s about it. The two libraries in my area don’t have the best selection but I was able to find some titles I recognized.

I feel as if I’m turning a bit into this…

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I know a lot of people think anime and manga are stupid, but I personally enjoy them very much. Yes, it’s different but not really if you think about it. It has its own genres just like other books and shows: horror, crime, romcom, drama, fantasy, action/adventure, everything really. It was just in a different language originally. And it’s GREAT! 🙂

Random

Remember this bookshelf? Yes, it is now this:

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I’m not sure if you can tell, but it is a lovely, light purple color. It holds all my handknits with plenty of room for more. Ahem.

(Time to get knitting, darling.)

And the Alice dress! I never showed you a picture!!

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Okay, crummy picture, yes, but oh this dress. I love this dress. After I quit being a baby about it and started sewing, it came together easily, I set my first zipper and it’s the best fitting dress I’ve ever made. Well, I’ve only made one dress before this. But this one I’m in love with.

I’ve also started attending the Knit Night at my LYS on Tuesdays. I’m so glad I do, because it’s nice to go spend time with fibery people. And all the ladies are really nice.

Now for 2016.

I’m not going to go overboard and plan out my entire year. I’ve found if I make smaller goals, I’m more likely of meeting them. But there is one BIG one I’m going to try my very, very hardest to keep.

Knit only from the stash and do not purchase any new yarn.

Oh yes, I’m going cold sheep this year. My yarn stash has gotten a little out of control and it really needs to be pared down. It will be a serious exercise in self control, since as I said, the Knit Night I attend is at my LYS.

Aside from that, in 2016 I’d like to:

  • Read more manga
  • Finish my sweater and possibly start another one
  • Read through all of the new-to-me books I’ve purchased and knock that number down pretty far
  • Knit along with Andi’s Sock Yarn-a-Long, possibly do the mystery bit
  • Finish the three pairs of socks that are missing their match (oops)
  • Sew new project bags with the pretty fabric I purchased
  • Organize my stash and crafting storage so I can actually find things and I’m not scratching my head wondering where my tools have gone…
  • Work on Christmas/birthday presents throughout the year
  • Actually finish projects instead of just casting more on (HA! as if)
  • Knit myself more hats

I think those are all pretty decent goals. Let’s see how I do this coming year!

I hope you all had a merry Christmas and you have a wonderful, joy and peace filled New Year. See you in 2016!!

a day full of fibery goodness

It has been a day of fibery goodness.

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{Before: all curly and full of vegetable matter.}

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{After: So fluffy!}

I sat down and pulled out my hand carders to see if I could figure all that out. With my wheel, I got 4oz of white Ice Leicester Lamb (I don’t know what that actually means other than the breed). I could feel the lanolin in the wool, which was different. It worked pretty well and I’m starting to get the hang of the carders and making rolags.

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{The other two bobbins have some spun fiber that aggravated me, and the yellow is some commercial yarn I used to get a feel for my wheel, not handspun!}

…That led to trying out woolen style spinning. I have another, much older wheel and I spin worsted style on that, so woolen was different. I liked how it works, but my wheel was giving me fits again, so I took a break from that. I’ve learned in all my years of crafting that when I start getting frustrated, it’s best to take a step back and walk away for a little while. Otherwise, I start making mistakes, which upsets me even more, which causes me to make more mistakes… It’s an unpleasant cycle.

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{Drop spindle! Please ignore my messy bed.}

I’ve really gotten better at spinning on a spindle! I love it so much! Hopefully, I can get enough out of the fiber to make a small shawl, so maybe 300 yards or so? I’m not planning on plying it, so it will just be a single ply. I don’t know what the fiber content is, the bag wasn’t labeled, but it feels like wool, possibly merino? No clue.

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And my sock. I got the heel flap knit and the heel turned, so now I just have to pick up the stitches for the gusset, which is my least favorite part of sock knitting. I will put it off for days so I don’t have to pick up stitches. Gag me with a spoon!

So yeah, a day full of fiber. 🙂 It was very lovely.

RKLW {2}

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Reading: The Wild Queen by Carolyn Meyer. It’s about Mary, queen of Scots, one of my favorite historical characters! I’ve read a few books by her before and so far it’s pretty good. I have a biography of Mary and it’s nice to see a slightly different perspective.

Knitting: a pair of worsted weight socks in a pretty green wool. I’m using this pattern for them. I worked ten rounds of 2×2 ribbing and a five inch cuff. I’m really hoping I don’t run out of yarn before I finish them, since I don’t have more! I really like the color. I got the yarn from the thrift store, so I’m not sure what brand it is, since there was no ball band.

And I’ve learned to use a drop spindle! I cleared out the entire spinning/dyeing section of my library and I’ve been working my way through the books. I recently bought a gently used Louet spinning wheel and it came with a huge trash bag full of fiber, a pair of hand carders, and two drop spindles, one a top whorl, one a bottom whorl. The wheel has been giving me fits, so I decided to take a break from that and try the spindles. I’m really enjoying learning something new! 🙂

Listening: {Songs that played while writing this post} Because of You-Kelly Clarkson, Fight Song-Rachel Platten (if you have never heard this song, go listen to it. I hear it all the time at work, but oh, it never gets old. It is just so good!), Aki Love-Juliet (it’s in Japanese or Korean, I’m not sure. I think it’s Japanese.),

Watching: nothing right now.

Linking up with Ginny for YarnAlong!

plotting. plotting like i’m planning world domination.

I’m a planner. A list maker. And a maker of many things. I also dislike darkness and lack of color. Winter is coming. Plans must be made for things to create. Yarn and fabric must come out. Bright colors must be found. And it’s going to be cold. I heartily dislike being cold, so warm woolies must be made to keep my delicate self warm.

It’s not just for the physical warmth I’m making plans, it’s also for mental warmth. I had a hard time last winter with what I now think was at least a little mild depression. I really don’t want to go through that again, so this winter I’m going to try and keep as busy as the weather will allow, and I’m going to make bright things.

Which is why I have made a list of my winter knitting plans. And if I’m being honest, I’ve already started some of these projects. I’m trying to get some of my darker projects out of the way before the light starts diminishing.

So, my list of winter projects! I don’t know how many of them I will actually get done, but I like having a plan. 🙂 Some of them are for the winter, most of them will be made during the winter.

Erebor fingerless gloves in gray.
Swallowtail Shawl in red.
The Lonely Tree Shawl in orange.
Campside Shawl in coral.
The Sea Speaks to Me in purple (already on the needles)
Erebor hat (already on the needles)
Shalom cardigan in red.
Lionberry in yellow.
Bowties are Cool in yellow.
Persuasion in green.
Echo Flower Shawl in blue.
Half Circle Chapel Veil in white handspun.
Saroyan in purple.
Various socks, including a few worsted weight ones.

As for sewing projects, the only one I really have planned right now is my Halloween costume, an Alice in Wonderland dress made from bright blue flannel. 🙂

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I don’t know how many of these will be made, and I may be getting WAY in over my head, but even if I get a few things made and stay sane during the winter, I’ll count it as a victory.

Do y’all have any winter/fall knitting plans? Please share with me! 🙂