Squishy Mail!

With all the things going on in the world, I thought it was a good time to redeem my Fairlight Fibers gift card that Bob got for me for Christmas.

My main goal was to get the J&S yarn for the original Peerie Flooers hat colorway (center). I also splurged on some yak (left), tussah silk, and nettle blends (right) because I was curious. She has some great free patterns on her website too!

But right now I’m stitching on my Shetland Tweed Throw because no thinking is required.

Arachne Update

This Forbidden Fibers Gluttony Sport in Earl Grey came to me in a FibreShare package. There’s just enough for the main color in Arachne.

The Knitted Wit Victory Fingering in Carnelian came to me at my LYS’s holiday gift exchange. It says fingering, but if it is, it is very close to sport. I knit a swatch and the two yarns look identical in weight.

I hit gauge and I have my Arachne yarn! And I can save my Oa yarn for my Oa! When does the knitalong start?

A Week in One Day

Sock it to me Monday

I started a sock! I decided if I don’t like knitting socks and everyone else does, then I’m probably not doing it right! I cast on a Blogville favorite, Hermione’s Everyday Socks. I am using some gorgeous Arrowhead Fibers Basic Sock from my stash, in Wintergreen. I started on two circulars as the pattern suggested, but switched to Magic Loop, which is slightly less stressful. There’s still a lot of needle flopping going on, but compared to stitch dropping on double points, maybe it’s ok? I’m knitting short socks for clogs and modified the ribbing. Keep me in your socky thoughts and knitty prayers.

Wednesday WIPs

I received the Chinook Fleece Artist in Jewel, my main color for Whit’s Foursquare Cowl. I cast on! This yarn is so soft and I think the colorways are perfect together. The variegated is my Celtic Colours yarn. This is a comforting and simple knit.

I cast on my Farmhouse Cardi in Black Welsh Mountain. This yarn has some VM in it. (That’s vegetable matter to us laymen.) I don’t mind picking it out. It reminds me this yarn is not far from the farm. It’s nice and squishy.

Still knitting on this Shetland Tweed Throw when I need something simple and chunky.

Friday FO

Oh yes I did! I finished my Seamwork Billie. It looks like PJs. It feels like PJs! It was a fun make. Next time I’ll pick a fabric that doesn’t make me wish I had a little red cowboy hat on.

Spooky Knitalong

Quiteayarnblog and mildlygranola are starting a knitalong for the Arachne sweater next month. I’m intrigued (or have FOMO) and if I frog and forget about The Oa, I could use this Cascade Sport. I could make a purple Arachne with green web, or a gray Arachne with charcoal web. I’m leaning toward gray because I’m boring that way. I have just under the needed yardage, so I’m not positive I’ll do it. I still love The Oa, but if I were going to knit it, wouldn’t I be further along by now?

Yes, there is purple in my hair.

Weekend Quizzaroo

(Image credit The Knitting Goddess)

Karen posted a sock quiz! I’m a notorious sock knitting eschewer but quizzes are great for personal development and blog fodder.

1. Do you knit/crochet socks?

I want to knit socks. I have knit socks. But generally, no, I don’t.

2. If yes, how long have you been making them? If no, why not?

It doesn’t sound fun. I’m primarily a sweater and hat knitter.

3. What is your preferred method? Top down, toe up? Which needles? Do you have a preferred heel type?

I prefer toe up so I can make sure the foot fits well. I hate a baggy sock. I prefer fine yarn for socks but they sure do take a long time! I like a well-turned heel. I’ve never tried an afterthought heel. Are their more flaps than that? Double point needles for me.

4. Have you gifted socks? Were they worn, loved and appreciated?

Never! I am considering knitting a pair for Bob, though. It’s a lot of pressure.

5. Could you make nothing but socks for the rest of your life and be happy?

If I can knit one more pair of socks (I’ve made two pair in my life so far) I could be happy the rest of my life never knitting them again. Or, who knows, I might knit another pair and enjoy them so much I will want to knit more! That’s my hope.

6. One of the most addictive things about sock knitting is the amazing selection of fingering weight yarn that is available. What is your favorite yarn for socks? Do you prefer solid or multicolor yarn? Do you have a fiber preference?

For me it will need to be crazy hand painted colors or solid yarn with textured knitting. Wool plus silk (for strength) is my favorite fiber combo. Throw some cashmere in there and I’m hooked.

Well, that was fun and inspiring. Maybe I will cast on a pair of socks today.

February Frogs:

I’m pulling out the linen stitch cowl. It is taking too long and I am afraid I don’t have enough yarn for it. My Hogwarts yarn will make a great pair of clog socks though.

I’m pulling out this Bousta Beanie. It’s not happening.

Do you like my new photo prop? It’s Fair Trade and I picked it up at Pachamama Market when I was in Troy, OH for a work meeting.

I think one should feel good about frogging and this wool felt sunflower does the trick for me.

The new The Just Craft is up!

Creation Hive Knitters

This week I’ve been at Creation Hive looking at products and talking product development. Today we talked woolens, and as I had suspected, they are accomplished knitters!

Jane, middle, and Jacqueline, right, picked up my Bousta Beanie in Milarrochy Tweed and carried on where I left off. Jane then cast on her own hat using locally produced wool yarn. They don’t have circular needles here, but we’ve found a source for them.

I have great faith in these ladies developing a line of Fair Trade woolens in Kenyan merino wool yarn! It will support their textile economy as well. It’s a great solution and I’m thrilled to have played my little part in it. I can’t wait to see their creations and to bring them to the US through Global Gifts!

Kenana Knitters

On the way to Eldoret we stopped at Kenana Knitters. Unfortunately we were there on a Saturday when the workshop is closed, but the Manager, Susan, met us and the founder, Patricia, came to meet us. I was able to interview both of them for The Just Craft, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Susan and Patricia showing me one of their handmade spinning wheels made with a repurposed bicycle wheel.

They use locally produced wool for their yarn, and dye it with native plants! As you can imagine, I was totally geeked out.

They don’t allow photos of their products, but if you go to their website you will see what they make. It’s a wonderful workshop offering gainful employment and empowering programs for the local women.

I finished my first hat in Kenyan wool. What do you think about the tassel? Two tassels? No tassel? Pompom? I like how the tassel looks like a thistle and I am calling it my Thistle Tassel Hat. It’s a tad big (I have a big head) so it needs to be taken down by a couple of stitches. But it’s simple and a novice knitter could accomplish it easily, I think. I might add another tassel.

Kenya Day 3: Hell’s Gate

Today we biked through Hell’s Gate National Park.

It was a stunner of a day. We saw zebras, warthogs, water buffalo, eland, impala, Kirk’s Dik-Dik (ok I had to look some of these up.) It was really spectacular.

After that we hired a boat to take us out on Lake Naivasha. If you look carefully at the little lumps in the water, they are hippos.

Most of the birds we saw we’re Cormorants but we also saw pelicans, herons, duck, and vultures! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a vulture before.

On the way to Nakuru we stopped at a spinners and weavers workshop. There were some beautiful wool and cotton rugs and throws, but the looms were empty and I didn’t want to take any pictures because artisans prefer you not photograph (and copy) their designs. Fair enough!

I have been knitting away on what I hope will be a sample hat for our artisan partners. We’ll stop at the woolworks tomorrow to pick up more yarn. It is merino and super soft!

Kenya Day 1

Are you surprised I scored yarn on day 1? We went to a place called Spinner’s Web. It was full of African handmade, including this periwinkle wool yarn! There were textiles, jewelry, coffee, wood carving, bags, clothing, pottery, you name it. I was very reserved and only bought yarn, coffee, a beaded bracelet, and a shopping bag to bring it all home in. They also had a cafe, and I had fresh pulped mango juice. It was delicious!

Afterward we headed downtown to CBD (Central Business District) and did some fabric and supply shopping for the workshop.

This is the view from my balcony. Another night in Nairobi and then we will head to Eldoret. Look at that moon!