Back with a Yarn Buzz

Hi to you! Hi to summer!!

I am writing to you all at the end of a major knitting slump. A truly disappointing time. I didn’t even want to look at my knitting. But I’m back with my heart in the craft again and it feels great! Distance does make the heart grow fonder.

I was feeling so uninspired by all my projects I just didn’t know what to do. But then I had an idea – what if I used some super precious yarn and made something I’ve had in my queue for ages? It worked! I decided on finally casting on Henslowe, which has been in my queue for TWO AND A HALF YEARS and gifted to me by Christelle. Time to check this baby off my list. And for yarn (which was actually my starting point) I chose two skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Loft I’d been hoarding for over a year and a half. I have a bad habit of not using project materials I’m obsessed with.

This is the Sap colorway and it is such a perfect description of this color! Bright, golden, earthy greens, but still slightly muddy. It’s wonderful. Ever time I’ve knit with Brooklyn Tweed yarns it just makes me fall in love with knitting all over again. I’ve been pretty much knitting monogamously on this shawl ever since I started, I can’t put it down. The BT yarns are in my top three yarn brands, perhaps even #1.

Project: Henslowe by Beth Kling
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Sap
Needles: US 4

There are some socks going too. Duh.

I’m liking these more than I thought I would – I was a little hesitant about the angora in the yarn but it makes for the fluffiest warm cloud of a sock! More info on these here.

There’s also these socks, which are, hello, the most wonderful socks… more info here.

Well I’m off to tuck my kiddos in bed and get back to my Henslowe… <3

Practice & Progress

Oh my, how did a month get away from me? I have a few exciting things to report about. Let’s get right to it…

My first bit of news is I finished a skein of handspun. My first this year. Spinning has been a really slow hobby lately but I’m not forcing it. I am only spinning when I’m really in the mood. As my crafting time is limited, I’m trying to give in to the ebb and flow of my creative energy.

This is 615 yards of about a fingering weight wool. I wasn’t sure what it was when I bought it at my local yarn shop, but after some googling I realized this is a wool blend from Kraemer Yarns: Mauch Chunky Roving in the Jelly Bean colorway. Also, with a little more research, I realized I had spun this fiber before! I actually spun some of this five years ago, when I had only been spinning on my new wheel for a few DAYS! Here was my first take on this wool:

I found the old skein and looked at the two side-by-side. It’s a true testament to practice & progress.

This yarn isn’t soft. It’s a more rustic wool for sure, but I think it will make a lovely shawl. It was fun to spin – a nice straight staple. I also like how it looks like cream from a distance but has all these lovely colors when you look closely. Heathered yarns are my favorite.

I’ve also recently finished a pair of handspun socks! These are from a merino/tencel blend. This yarn was also spun in my first few weeks of learning to spin in 2010. Sometimes yarns have to marinate awhile before they tell you what they want to become, right? ;)

Do I even need to say Fish Lips Heel anymore? Fish Lips Heel & Pretty Little Fiber Co. = love, forever.

The last thing I’d like to share today is PLFC was featured in a magazine…what!! I was asked if a feature could be written about my blog in Knit Now magazine quite some time back. I tried to not get excited… I’ve had a lot of things fall through involving “blog features” & things of that nature so I was at the point where I didn’t even want to tell anyone about it – (one of my peeves is people who LACK FOLLOW-THRU – especially when I end up wasting my time!) So when I received a package from the UK I didn’t even know what the heck it was! But I opened up and there was the magazine with my feature. So exciting!

It’s been rainy and chilly here. I’m ready for summer to start blazing! I hope you are all enjoying your Spring.

Warm Weather Knits

Hey everyone!

While it hasn’t exactly been sunny and warm here like I had hoped it would be by now (I guess I was being naive when I packed away all my shawls and hats) my mind is still focused on warm weather! Particularly warm weather knits. I’ve never been one to really get excited about summery knits, but this year I’m feeling it!

I bought the newest Knitscene because I saw the Green Apple Tank on Ravelry and was smitten by the sweet criss-cross back. I grabbed some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool that’s been in my stash for some time and cast on. This is my first time using this yarn and I love it already. It has such a nice soft hand to it. And this color…sigh. Lovin’ it.

I modified the neckline after trying to knit it to pattern – it was just going all kinds of weird for me. It has more of a scooped neck now and I think I’m going to like it better.

Another thing I’ve been working on lately is another Fluid and this time out of handspun. I’m in a big handspun phase right now and have been spinning up a storm and dreaming up projects for all my handspun. It’s so fun.

This one is more like kiddo size since I made it shorter but it fits me too. The fiber blend is a merino/tencel so it has a nice sheen.

And lastly stash enhancement! I’ve been trying not to shop because I’m going on a fibery trip this summer, but I couldn’t resist a couple new braids when the spinning bug bit me again. I decided to try Three Waters Farm because I’ve heard such wonderful things about them and the colors are fabulous! I grabbed a braid of merino/silk and corriedale. They’re so pretty and living on my coffee table… I just need to hurry up and finish my current spin so I can start on one of these!

Confession time! I finished my Sonnensegel and then promptly took it to my yarn shop for display and never even thought to take a picture of it. Ah well! Maybe I’ll snap one in the store the next time I’m there. Oops!

Sonnensegel

Happy Monday to you! I’ve been wanting to share this project with you all, but the timing never worked out right or I had too many other things to blog about. BUT it is a lovely project. This is called Sonnensegel and it is a shawl, or scarf? It’s a big triangle basically, alternating stripes of garter stitch (done in Noro) and stockinette (using Rowan Kidsilk Haze).

You start with just a few stitches and increase as you go. It’s really easy to memorize, and gets to be pretty mindless, so it’s wonderful social or movie-watching knitting. I think it would be gorgeous in some handspun and a nice laceweight yarn. I have to say while I love the colors in the Noro, it was really annoying how the Noro and Kidsilk loved to grip onto each other…tangly mess! But the colors are beautiful. My LYS owner picked out these colors – this will be a shop sample for her.

This project is finished. It just needs a healthy blocking, and I’ll take some FO photos shortly after!

An update on my Exploration Station. The brioche KICKED MY BUTT. I totally messed it up and had to frog the section. I’m hoping I will be up to the challenge for round two… I guess I’ve been put in my place! I’m not used to getting stumped by my knitting… it’s ON!!

I think I’ll leave you with some “good things” today to start your week right. :)

+ Susan B. Anderson has a new shawl pattern based on one of my absolute FAVORITE childhood books. I’m gonna have to knit it.

+ I’ve got my eye on plenty of yarns from this shop.

+ I finally finished reading this book. It’s cozy and wonderful and makes you hungry!!

+ This easy top pattern looks so comfy. This new trend of shirt that are longer in the back than the front is the greatest invention ever…

+ This painting and the artist. I dream of having one of her works hanging in my home.

Enjoy your week!

April Knits

Happy April! I do love this month. Though the warmer temps mean my handknits are being tucked away for the season, I can’t be anything but joyful in this season.

I’m settling into my new job much more now, and it brings me so much fulfillment. It’s the first time in my life I’ve had a job where I don’t dread going to work each day, and I know the work I’m doing matters. For the most part, the workday flies by and every day is different.

So onto the knitting! As you can see above, I’ve been working on my Mitered Crosses Blanket. I love these squares. Worsted weight on size 6 needles may be my favorite knitting ever. It’s fun to pick the colors. I knocked out a few more squares this week. I go on little kicks with these squares, a few at once and then I put it away for awhile. It’s so enjoyable every time I pick it up again.

I finished my husband’s socks ages ago. Toe-up and fish lips heel, using Dragonfly Fibers and they never, ever disappoint. This is the Golden Pear colorway, though it really is kind of neon!

He loves them. Lucky guy too because I don’t make size 0 needled socks for just anyone!

I started a sock for myself to have a quick, small project in my bag that is portable. I’m using some handspun from five years ago, back when I started spinning. It’s kinda bumpy and uneven but I love it. It brings me back to that time when I first got my wheel and all the excitement that came with it. I’m hoping to rekindle my passion for spinning this year but I’m just not in that place yet – hopefully soon!!

I hope you’ve all had a peaceful Easter and are enjoying the ease into spring!