What is it?

Is it a cake? Is it a tea cosy? It’s…

My bobbled tam blocking on a bowl! I am no longer calling it “Not Raspberry Beret.” I now dub it “Bobbledy-Book Tam” like gobbledy-gook. Here’s why:

1. It was a pain to knit. All those bobbles. All those purling multiple stitches together.

2. The top decreasing was a hot mess. No wonder the book had such bad reviews. I fudged my way through.

3. Why on earth would anyone in their right mind knit a hat flat and seam it? Unless, of course, you only have straight, inflexible knitting needles, then it is understandable of course. Maybe that was the point.

4. It is a horrible fit. Before blocking it fit like a yamaka. After blocking it flops on my head like a sack. Could be my choice of yarn, though.

Just keeping it real here.

I am glad it blocked so large. It gives me hope that I might pull out the ribbing and reknit it, decreasing so it will fit my head more snugly.

Other good news: I have enough yarn left over to knit a plain beanie. I really do love this yarn.

And, I’m glad to knock out a project.

Did you finish anything knitting related this week?

Are you excited about the new yarn emoji? I am. I tried to use it on my last blog post, but it doesn’t show up on WordPress. Oh well.

Seaming Sweaters

I seamed the shoulders of Harald’s sweater today. I was a little put out with myself because I had forgotten to keep my stitches live during shoulder shaping so I could use the three-needle bind-off method. I rationalized myself out of ripping back by telling myself this knit is drapey and a little heavy (due to accidentally knitting on size 9 instead of size 8 needles) and the seams would give it more structure. That probably isn’t true but my seams turned out nice.

I fell back into mattress stitching as if I did it every day instead of once every few years.

When you really love something I guess it is like riding a bike. You never forget!

I have been trying to find more knitting blogs to read by looking at the knitting hashtag in my wordpress reader. Do you have favorite knitting blogs? Will you share them with me?

Birds of Blendon Hat

I finished it!

I quite like it. It does remind me of that walk in the woods and the birds in the snow. I didn’t finish coloring in my chart, but never mind. The top is my favorite part.

I enjoyed knitting it so much I’ve decided to knit more stranded color work! I saw The Oa Hoodie on Ravelry and burst out, “I have to knit that!” When I stopped by my super local (around the corner) LYS 614 Knit to pick up some size 3 dpns for the crown of the hat, I fell in love with this yarn and it’s perfect for the pattern.

The purple will be the pop of color. I’ve never knit with Scout yarn before but it’s got a nice squish to it.

So another Kate Davies design in my queue and I haven’t even cast on the Carbeth yet. I guess I’m a fan!

Anniversary Getaway

This week Bob and I went to Hocking Hills to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary. We went for our honeymoon, and we go back every October.

This year we went back to the cabin where we stayed for our honeymoon, Evergreen Place. I was ambitious and brought a lot of knitting.

I made a point to knit at least a little bit on each WIP. And I started a sock!

The yarn is really that blue, but the basket it is sitting on is not quite that dayglo orange. Pretty close, though. The yarn is Knitting Goddess and it is 85% Wensleydale and 15% Shetland, and it is wonderful and full of lanolin! I picked it because it is all wool but sturdy enough for socks. I think I blogged about this before.

In addition to my knitting, we did a lot of hiking on this trip. On our last day we hiked Jacob’s Ladder (a steep zig zag incline) to be rewarded with this view from Christmas Rocks.

It was breathtaking, or maybe that was all the climbing. But we were happy at last to have a crisp autumn day, even if there isn’t much color in the leaves yet.

I had to share this photo because these are little fungus spores. I touched one and it puffed which surprised me, and I accidentally breathed the spores in. I told Bob the fungus might take over my brain and I might become the first zombie in the zombie apocalypse, so to keep an eye on me.

What do you think about this fall display we happened upon? It is certainly striking. I may have edited the photo to make it a little more dramatic.

You can tell I’m in a Halloween mood.

This means “a hundred thousand welcomes” in Irish Gaelic.

Here’s a random pic of Bob to wrap up this random post. Also, this bear. I love this bear keeping watch on the porch.

Knitting Q&A

You know I can’t resist a Q&A! This one is from nothingbutknit2.

Q. You’re given a magic yarn bag that will supply one skein at a time as needed. You reach inside and pull out a skein. What is this yarn? Be specific or not.

A. Cerulean Wool DK. It’s similar to a yarn I’m working with now. I almost said cashmere, but cashmere is too limp and floppy. I like my yarn to have some body. Also I prefer a local yarn. So maybe Targhee, although I don’t know that much about sheep. And maybe a tweed with some flecks of navy, olive green, and burnt orange.

Q. When you enter a yarn store how do you work the space? Does it vary if it’s your regular store or a new to you store?

A. I will head directly for the worsted. Then I will backtrack and go up and down the rows. If it is a new-to-me store I will stand in a place with a good view of everything for a minute to assess the layout, then do exactly the same.

Q. Have you ever knit or crocheted something that you swore you never would? What was it? Why did you never want to make it and why did you?

A. Yes, big knitting. It was that big knit ruff/cowl. I think that big yarn is absurd and not fun to knit with. But that particular yarn was so scrumptious I really wanted to make something with it. Also, I really wanted to knit something for my favorite then nine-year-old and I didn’t have much time.

Q. What is your next project going to be? Do you have a planned queue or do you make whatever strikes your fancy at the moment?

A. I’m going to cast on for that Carbeth in the red Targhee soon. I also have socks in blue Knitting Goddess yarn that I haven’t started. I was going to make them plain but now I think I’m going to use a pattern from this Hunter Hammersen book that feels like it was created specifically for me:

Knitting and plants and vintage botanical illustrations! I haven’t picked a pattern yet.

I’m also going to knit another Brassica hat out of the same yarn as before, but in green:

I over-edited this photo in Snapseed in an attempt to make you feel as in love with this color as I am.

As you can see, I mostly plan my projects, but sometimes I linger over the planning stage because the fortuitous unexpected will happen, like the Hunter Hammersen book. That’s fun to say! Hunter Hammersen.

A Wool Gathering

Hi! I went to A Wool Gathering with my friend Mystic Llama Shop (Sara) and brought home some new yarn. This llama loved having his photo taken and would pose like this for you when you raised your phone. He really needs a bow tie.

I found this gorgeous locally hand spun merino in my favorite color. It is a deep blue with specks of violet. I’ve already cast on for Purl Soho’s Sweatshirt Sweater.

Another local yarn, this gorgeous red Targhee is for a Carbeth. I may go ahead cast on for that too. I love starting new projects!

And this linen and cotton is for a simple shift top. I’ll wait until spring for this one.

I recently saw a post on Instagram about being a monogamous knitter. I thought, that’s nice. I wish I could do that. And gleefully cast on my second sweater.

What about you? Are you a monogamous knitter?

Wool Painting

I finished phase one of my artwork for This Inspired That at Open Door Art Studio. I find fiber arts are often a mystery to people so I took a time lapse video of the wet felting process.

This still needs some work – at least a little needle felting to secure some of the rosettes, maybe some stitching (I haven’t decided), and then a hanging system of some kind. But I’m pleased overall with how this is coming out.

Still Knitting!

My hat is still coming along. I had a stroke of genius on how to fix the top. (Just move the decrease over one stitch, duh!) I’m not crazy about the second bird section where they are left facing. Can you see them? Let’s just say they are high up in the trees and flying in the sky so they are harder to see. The rest of the motifs after bird and tree rows are diamonds and crosses that make me think of snow.

I’m getting ready to go out of town for work. I feel like I should bring some knitting but I’m not sure what. Something small and mindless, but I never did start those socks.

What’s your favorite travel knitting project?

New Sock Yarn!

I decided to embrace being an “over the pond” knitter and buy my sock yarn from over the pond. This blog post explains why long fiber, tightly spun wool makes the best 100% wool sock yarn, so I went for it. Plus it’s such a pretty blue!

I’m still working on my WHW club hat. I’m almost to the crown. I may need to redesign it so the pattern works with the decreases. I may not be able to enter the contest, but that’s ok. It’s been a good exercise.

I signed up to participate in an art show. It’s the first since 2015. I’m planning a felted piece. I’ll blog about that later.

Valentine’s Day Field Trip!

This field trip had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, other than I wanted to go, and Bob came with me. He’s a real trooper and a keeper. ❤ Are you ready for a treat? We went to Ohio Valley Natural Fibers!

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I have a Coopworth fleece I bought at Great Lakes Fiber Show many years ago. It is still dirty, stewing in its lanolin in a box.

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I think it’s pretty, though.

I did hand wash, card, spin, dye, and knit a small amount of it (just to say I did it). I kind of lost interest after that. It’s a big job! A job for professionals. So we took a little day trip about two hours south to Sardinia, Ohio.

The rooms were filled with gorgeous old equipment. It was like a step back in time.

The picker is from the 1880s, and the carding machines are from around 1916. The belts are made from buffalo hide! When they need parts, they ask the local Amish to make them, because everything on these machines is irreplaceable. I know they look like antiques, and they are, but Richard, the gentleman who gave us the tour, fired one up for us!

Here is the web, which is divided into what looks like yarn, but is actually tiny rovings, which are then plied.

This yarn is 3ply, as you can see if you look carefully. The machine is from post WWII, and was also used for plying parachute cord for the Vietnam War.

After plying, it can be wound onto cones. This machine is from the 1960s.

The yarn can also be put up into hanks. They don’t have a date on this machine, but Richard thinks it may be from the 18th century!

Here he is telling us how it works.

So we left my fleece and in 8-12 weeks I will have some nice clean batts ready to spin! I don’t have enough fiber for a yarn order. And, unfortunately, I sold my spinning wheel during the great studio purge. I am thinking about getting a new drop spindle. I was never very good at it, and it might be time to pick it up again. (Honestly, I was never very good at the spinning wheel, either, but I did make some beautiful thick and thin yarn.)

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Here is Diane, the owner and a local sheep farmer, with two hanks of yarn from her own Icelandic sheep. I bought these two, and they might be perfect to make the new West Highland Way design! Talk about synchronicity! I will swatch it and see how it knits up. Now I wish I had bought another hank, but I could order it and ask them to pop it in the mail to me.

We had such a wonderful time, and want to thank Richard, Diane, Sean, and Renicia for showing us around and starting up machines for us. I particularly enjoyed Sean showing us all the different kinds of fiber people asked them to process, like husky, cat, and elk!

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After the tour, Bob and I had a nice lunch at La Cascada and a little hike at Rocky Fork State Park, which was beautiful.

I hope you have a nice Valentine’s Day, if you celebrate! If not, Happy Wednesday!