Kink

As you may have heard, Connecticut had a record-breaking snowfall yesterday.

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It was the perfect opportunity to finish a little short-term project that I’ve been working on.

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Pattern: Kink, Knittyspin First Fall 2010
Yarn: Handspun Singles, from Corgi Hill Farm Merino/Silk

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It was really fun to knit, and I think it was a very good use of that yarn. I especially love that I FINALLY finished something, after spending so much time on as yet unfinished long term projects.

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Yes, the singles are uneven, but the pattern works with the unevenness rather than against it.

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It’s not exactly my usual style, but I can pull it off.

More than enough

Remember how I said I have enough yarn?

Inspired by one too many episodes of Hoarders, my husband and I are on a major simplification/decluttering kick. I haven’t been knitting as much as I usually do, because more of my free time has been spent organizing and bringing stuff to Salvo.

I’ve even decided to destash some yarn.

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All of this and more is available on Ravelry, if you’re interested.

While I was digging through the yarn, I found 99% of a sweater, 99% of a blanket, 1.5 socks, and assorted other odds and ends that I’ll have to show you some time.

I also have been knitting some, and I’m making good progress on a Deep V Argyle Vest.

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I don’t mind that I haven’t been knitting as much. We’ll get our house under control soon enough. It’s much more important than any knitting project, and I’ve been meaning to do it for a lot longer.

Enough

As I was putting away my Rhinebeck yarn stash, I realized something.

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From left to right: Fiber Optics Yarns’ Foot Notes in Equinox, Sanguine Gryphon’s Bugga in Autumn Tiger Beetle, Sanguine Gryphon’s Eidos in Polimarchus, Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ Socks that Rock medium weight in Blush, Gypsy Girl’s Transitions in Green with Envy

I have a TON of yarn. I have as much yarn as this house can possibly hold. It would honestly take me years to work through it all.

More importantly, I have enough.

As part of a larger project to develop healthy, sustainable patterns of consumption I have decided to go into serious stash-down mode.

How serious? My rules for myself are as follows:

No yarn purchases until Rhinebeck 2011, except:
– Yarn for baby gifts. Because I’m in my late 20s and you never know when a new baby will turn up.
– Yarn to finish projects that I have already started (like the two crochet afghans that I’m still working on).
– Yarn to finish a project made up of at least 75% stash yarn.
– Yarn for design projects. The important sub-rule is that I can only have one such project in progress at any one time, so I can’t buy yarn for a new design unless the old one is finished (or I admit defeat in good faith).
– Three get out of jail free cards. Because I’m no saint.

Note that I did not mention FIBER, even though I have a fair amount of that too.

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Clockwise from top left: Frabjous Fibers merino/silk in Chocolate Cherry, Spinners Hill Crazy Ball, Pigeonroof Studios merino/silk in Dovecote, one pound of plain white Corriedale, Rogue Adverntures merino in Cedar, Spunky Eclectic Icelandic in Violet Beauregard

There actually IS a decent chance that I’ll finish all this within a year, and as a new spinner I want to keep spinning and keep improving.

I’m announcing this in public because I’m inspired by Dr. Al’s success in her Finish or Frog quest. Jacie, I’m calling on you to be an enforcer (not that you’ve been a good influence lately 😉 ).

Anyone with me?

Rhinebeck!

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This weekend I went to Rhinebeck with my knitting buddies. We began with breakfast at Pete’s Famous, a tradition Kris has had going for years. Here are Jacie, Jenni and Tracy in front of some gorgeous trees. The weather could not have been better.

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I finished my Katarina sweater on Thursday night, and I am very pleased with how it turned out.

Even better, my Slither handspun won second place in the novice class.

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What’s that up in the corner?

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Jacie’s Valeria shawl won first place for small handspun item!

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Jacie continued her streak with a blue ribbon in the spindle spinning contest, and Jenni was third! Go team go!

On day two I wore my handspun Shalom, which was made with Spinner’s Hill fiber that I got at Rhinebeck last year. I went to show the ladies at Spinner’s Hill, and picked up a new ball of fiber.

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You’ll see me wearing something blue next year!

Handspun Showcase Shawl

Woo hoo!  I did it!

I went from this,

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to this,

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to this,

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during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

I am very happy with it.

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I designed this shawl to let my one precious skein of handspun really sing in an unfussy setting. I wrote up the pattern here. The darker yarn is Cascade 220 Heathers in charcoal gray.

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I’m glad I went with the shallower shape, since that makes it wide enough to wrap generously around the shoulders. Even broad shoulders like mine.

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The edge is just a couple rows of garter stitch, so it has to be blocked pretty severely to lay flat.

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As a result, it’s a bit lighter than you’d think for something made from worsted weight yarn.

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Perfect.

Yarn!

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Look! I made yarn!

(3.5 oz of superwash merino top in “twilight” by cloudlover 69)

Here’s the obligatory coin-for-scale shot:

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It ranges in weight from sport to heavy worsted, but on average it’s about DK.

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I’m embarassingly proud of my yarn. Before this, I didn’t really get spinning. It’s not so much that I didn’t understand HOW to spin (my SnB is full of expert spinners and patient teachers) but WHY you would bother. Now I get it. You win, Jenny, Jacie, Karen, Allison, Lillian, Sharon, Aaron, Melissa and anyone else who told me that the CT River SnB would turn me into a spinner. It did.

So what kind of wheel should I get? 😉

February purple-gray

What better sweater to start in February than the ever popular February Lady?

I’m using the Seacolors by Nanney Kennedy that I got at Stitches. I totally can’t decide what color it is.

In natural light it looks sort of purple-ish.

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Under the flash it looks more gray.

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(look at how much I got done between Wednesday and Saturday night!)

But here at the bar I thought it looked purple.

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I’ve decided it’s basically gray with a purple-ish cast. I think it’ll look more purple with the purple buttons I plan to use.

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In any event, it’s a good color for February. And the rustic, cozy yarn is a good fit for February Lady!