Log Cabining

I’ll begin by highlighting my Vivian, my most important and consuming WIP.

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She’s awesome.

She’s also not the only baby in the family, my cousin had baby Ryan three weeks later. I started a simple log cabin baby blanket for him (based on How to Log Cabin in Mason-Dixon Knitting) shortly after Vivi was born. It is excellent maternity leave mindless knitting.

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The floor tiles are 12-inch squares, so you can see that it is about 2 1/2 feet to a side now. I feel like I should add at least one more strip to each side. That would make it a small but respectable stroller blanket at 32ish inches to a side. I’ll see them at Easter, I can finish it by then.

Meanwhile a good law school buddy had baby Andrew, and I started a Moderne Baby Blanket (also log cabin style) for him. I’m thinking this as a color scheme.

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Vivi is starting to sleep for longer stretches, and a couple hours of garter stitch and stupid TV after she goes to bed does wonders for my outlook.

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How to Induce Labor

At the end of one’s pregnancy, one hears all sorts of stories about how to induce labor. Eat Chinese or Mexican food, I was told. Take a long walk. Engage in other activities I won’t discuss on the blog. Well, I am here to add another story to this long tradition.

Finish the baby’s blanket.

On December 13 at about 10:30 pm I finally finished her baby blanket. My water broke at 2:00 am on December 14. Here I am at about 4:00 am, as we are heading to the hospital.

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Vivi was born just after 8:00 pm on December 14, two days before my due date and less than 22 hours after the blanket was finished.

She’s the best Christmas present ever.

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PS: Since this is a knitting blog, I’ll mention that the blanket is a classic feather-and-fan in 10 colors of Berocco Comfort DK, on #8s.

Rhinebeck 2012

Yeesh, has it been two and a half months? And I never posted my Ravellenic Games shawl? In a moment you’ll understand why.

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I’ve been hard at work on another project, with an estimated completion date in the middle of December.

I had an awesome time at Rhinebeck with the gals this year. My Ravellenic Games shawl won third place for small knitted item from handspun!

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Here are a couple more pictures, since I never did a proper FO post back in August.

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I have been knitting, as you can see from the modified Harvest Moon you see there, knit from the berry yarn I spun this summer. As you may recall, I bought the fiber at Rhinebeck last year. I returned to Spinners Hill, and you can expect to see me in a dark purple sweater (with mini-me in tow) next year.

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Purple was the color of the year for me:

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In the front row we have Fiber Optics Footnotes in Jelly Jelly #5 (baby sweater!), a Fiber Optics wool-silk blend in lovely autumnal colors, an Into the Whirled wool-silk blend in Targaryen (light purple-gray), a Gale’s Art blend of purple silk and brown alpaca, three colors of Miss Babs Yummy 2-ply for Color Affection, and Miss Babs alpaca lace in leaf green (another favorite color of mine). I can still knit after the baby… right?

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Why hello out there.  Happy New Year.  Yes, I’m still alive.

We moved into a new house in October, so there was a long while there where every bit of creative energy I had was spent on setting it up.  We’ve made good progress though, and I can turn to some knitting and spinning again.

Last weekend was my birthday (my first 29th birthday) so I treated myself to some nice relaxing spinning.  I chose a Gale’s Art 50/50 merino/silk blend, which I got at Rhinebeck 2010.  I had started it some months ago, and the bright, tropical colors were a perfect antidote to a very cold winter weekend.

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Before spinning it, I split it in half lengthwise, then split one half into many smaller strips.

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Then I settled in for my first quality time with Penelope since we moved.  Fiona was so cold that she tolerated some bouncing knees to snuggle.Image

As a result of how I split up the roving, of course, one bobbin had much shorter color repeats than the other.  I really like what that does to the finished yarn (as you’ll see soon).

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Despite not having spun since August, I’m delighted with how it turned out.  It’s the 13th yarn I’ve finished, so I guess it was lucky.

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ImageAs soon as the twist was set and the yarn was dry, I cast on for Baktus.

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I love the way the finished yarn shifts from green-dominated to blue-dominated because of the long repeats on one of the bobbins.  It’s snowing again today, but I don’t mind.

Rhinebeck 2011

Rhinebeck 2011 was awesome and may have re-ignited knitting fever.  It made me realize that not only do I enjoy actually knitting, I enjoy what knitting and Rhinebeck mean.

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Rhinebeck means:  Pride in your work.

There are the competitions, of course. I did not enter anything this year, but Jacie tore it up, as always.

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It goes far beyond the competitions. My favorite Rhinebeck tradition is the Rhinebeck Sweater (or shawl, or socks, or whatever).  What better place to debut an impressive finished object than with thousands of people who know what it means?  On Friday I packed two almost-finished objects, and I finished them both in our hotel room. Sunday I wore my Deep V Argyle Vest (which really deserves its own FO post later this week). More importantly, on Saturday I kept my vow and wore last year’s fiber.

Rhinebeck means: Tradition

Of course, Rhinebeck is about the traditions of fiber craft. I also love how groups and individuals form their own traditions. We began Saturday morning with breakfast at Pete’s Famous with Kris, as she and her crew have apparently been doing for years. Last year I declared my own tradition, that every time I go to Rhinebeck I will wear something made with fiber purchased the previous time.

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That blue I bought in 2010, while I was wearing green that I bought in 2009. Keep a lookout for that berry color in 2012.

Rhinebeck means: Connecting

While I was wearing my 2011 Rhinebeck shrug, made from Spinners Hill fiber, I went to Spinners Hill to buy fiber for next year. I introduced myself to Lisa, the dyer, and told her that I would be back wearing her work next year.

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In line for Sanguine Gryphon, Jenni talked to Stephen West. She ran into him again on Sunday, and showed him her Earth and Sky.

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Rhinebeck means: Sharing

I spent most of the weekend with Jenni, Tracy, and Jacie. Jenni and Jacie were spinning, and Tracy was working with DPNs. Even at Rhinebeck, a shocking number of people stared, commented, and asked them about what they were doing. And they shared.

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Rhinebeck means: Friends

I had an awesome time with Jenni, Tracy, Jacie and Lillian. I needed some gal time.

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Rhinebeck means: Loot

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I’m not done with the stuff I bought last year, so I tried not to go too nuts. I needed the fiber for next year, so I have two pounds of that berry stuff. I also bought two braids of Fiber Optic fiber, a 2 oz purpleheart Bosworth spindle for Navajo plying, and a penannular shawl pin. I’m very pleased.

I’m so glad I went.

Spin me like a hurricane

Fortunately, Hurricane Irene spared the Hartford area any major damage. It rained, and it was windy, but it was not that big a deal overall.

The forced indoor free time gave me time to finish my first handspun since my mom’s birthday in January.

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The fiber was a Crazy Ball from Spinners’ Hill, which I bought at Rhinebeck last year. That’s the same fiber I used to make Shalom.

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When I spun the yarn for Shalom, I was a brand new spinner. I thought drafting was so, so hard, and that I made amazing progress between that green yarn and my next couple spinning projects. But you know what? These Crazy Balls are difficult to draft. There were big chunks that were felted almost solid. Last time I thought that was normal, and now I know it’s not. As a result, the finished yarn is fairly uneven.

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I still like it, and I intend to keep my vow to wear it to Rhinebeck this year. I ended up with about 380 yards of worsted to bulky

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What should I make?