Yarn, School, and Tolkien

I bet everyone has a good idea as to why I’ve disappeared again. If you were thinking that school probably started back up again, you’d be right. That school, man. It really eats up time.

But I’ve been plugging away at my to do list, ended up with a little free time, and decided to catch up! I sadly don’t have any pictures with me… I have taken pictures. I have things I want to show you guys! So many things!

So, heres just a little blurb from me right now. Since my list of things to do was smashed and demolished (or almost. Go me!) for today, I’ll try and get some of those pictures edited and posts written when I get home.

Knitting wise, whats new??

SO MANY THINGS. These past couple days, I’ve been really struggling with startitis. I want to cast on ALL THE THINGS. And when I say “all the things”, theres a reason for the capitalization emphasis. I mean literally all the things. Yeah, its been bad, haha.

I’ve been good, though! I have a couple things that I have going that I know need to get done before I start anything. I think college is forcing me to become a more monogamous knitter, haha. I know if I cast on 10 things, none of them are going to get worked on. Especially if they’re all big things.

So, I’ve been mainly working on smaller things… hats, cowls, shawls, mitts… then I have two sweaters that are just plugging along.

Though, truth be told, these first 4 weeks, I haven’t had a ton of time to knit. Which is kind of a huge bummer (haha, the first two weeks, I felt like something was missing and didn’t know what.. then realized I had been too busy to knit. You know you’re a knitter when… hahaha!)

I’ve been able to squish it in though – a couple rows here… an inch or so there. I’ll take what I can get, haha.

The project I’ve been focusing most on the past couple of days is the Monster Cowl by Julia Allen in some handspun I did over the Christmas break (that I took pictures of… and then never wrote about it. Eh heh!)

Its super soft and squishy. I love love love. Plus, its going really quickly. I’ve knit about 20″ in about 4 daysish. And I think I need 45″ in total.. or however much I can get out of my handspun, haha! Like my other handspun, its a fractal 2-ply… and the colors are absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to show you pictures d^_^b

So, theres a thing called the Olympics coming up… might have heard about it, haha! And of course, I’ll be doing the Ravellenics (which I heard there was more drama surrounding that, and now I really don’t know what its called/whats going on, haha! So… to be safe, I’m setting goals for myself during the Olympics, haha. No name for it in particular ^_^)

Theres a Olympic party with my RUF friends here at A&M on the first day – you betcha I’m bringing something to cast on. Its going down, yo!

Tied to that, my parents recently got back from a 2 week long trip to Europe, London in particular. I was quite jealous, to say the least, haha! But my mom brought me back delicious yarns (among other things!) for me to enjoy. There are so many possibilities of the things I could make… its going to be so much fun! So what I end up doing for the Olympics, at least one of the things will probably end up being something from there :-P

Which ties in nicely to Diane of the Knitabulls Podcast’s Happy Heart KAL that is going on during the month of February. All thats required is you knit something with a skein of yarn that was gifted to you!

In regards to school, there is no denying, it is going to be hard (which I think I’ve said a ton, and I know I’ll keep on saying it… but oh well). French 4 (or 202 here, haha!) is no joke. One great thing about this semester is that I’m enjoying (for the most part, haha!) all my classes and my teachers are super amazing. Having that blessing is definitely a game changer when it comes to motivation and focus on the material, haha!

At the beginning of the semester, I came across this verse from 1st Corinthians 15:58 – “Be strong and unmovable. Work enthusiastically. Nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless”

Its really easy to get bogged down in all the hard work that has to be done, school work, business related work, or personal stuff, and get stuck in the mindset that the work you’re doing really isn’t worth anything. Why do what you’re doing if its not going to be a success or appreciated? Or if its just a baby step to a seemingly unattainable goal, is that centimeter of progress really worth it?

Most of the time, when working on my French homework (especially listening comprehension, haha) I’m always like “Whyyy… am I doing this. This is too hard. I’m just putting myself through this for no particular reason, other than to do well in this class. Why.” or “Wouldn’t it be nice if all this life drama would just disappear? Just go away and not bother me anymore? It’d free so many things up…”

Thats not what God wants us to do. By obeying Him and doing the things He’s given us to accomplish and deal with… what we do is worth so much. We may not realize it, but the little things that are really hard or really small are bettering us (and possibly others around us!) in ways we can’t directly see. That is not to say that it won’t be hard or painful. It probably will be. But, in the end… our faith is strengthened and we are more equipped to face the next challenge.

Our responsibilities, no matter how small or hard, are always worth it. To God, they are not useless. They play an important role in our lives.

Haha, I wanted to end this with a quote from J.R.R Tolkien.. but when I searched for it, I found another one that is just as good. So, I end with both, haha.

The ever famous… “All who wander are not lost.”

“No half-heartedness and no worldly fear must turn us aside from following the light unflinchingly” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien.

Hat-A-Long Hat #3: Hertenvos

Hat #3! Thus comes to an end of my hat-run. But, more hats are going on the needles. Its only October 11th! Think of all the hats that can be made between now and the 31st! More hats are coming.

This hat… ever since it was published, I’ve been wanting to make it. Like, really really really. But didn’t know exactly where I’d wear it or how… or whatever.

My brother and I went home last weekend, and my mom asked me what I wanted to do… and I had a random need to go to Joann’s and get the yarn for this hat. So we did! (We also got buttons, because… knitters always need more buttons ;-P)

We got home, I cast on immediately. Worked on it all afternoon/evening. It was the project of the day.

The novelty of this hat is quite epic. Just the idea, and then the construction. Making it was a blast!

So, behold! The hat of awesomeness!

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Yes, that is a deer hat. Or a fox hat. It could be either one! Whatever you want it to be!

This is Hertenvos by Stephen West out of his Dear Amsterdam collection. On Stephen West’s project page, he said that the word “Hertenvos” in Dutch means “deerfox”. Which I think is super cool and very suiting ;-P

I used Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease Thick and Quick. Super soft, bulkiest yarn ever, haha. Makes things go extremely fast d^_^b

I did use different needles, the US11 and US13 were making the hat too big. So, I used a US11 and US10.5. The ears are heavy enough that they don’t stand up, but I love it when they hang down. Plus, when it gets colder (yes, because its cold now! Yayyy!!) they’ll be amazing ear warmers; thanks to the super cool construction!

And its got a floppy pompom. I love those big, thick, puffy kind.. but the floppy ones are so cool too.

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So yes. If you need some kind of really not-your-ordinary hat, this goes lickity-split!

Hat-A-Long Hat #2: Bad Wolf

Heres my next hat! I cast this on on October 1st, took it with me to school, then finished it on October 2nd. So, technically, this was my first hat ;-P

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This is the Sugar Maple Hat by Katie Mack, which is a free pattern (wooo!). Its such a great pattern – its just a basic hat, with all the math done for you, haha! It also has so much room for modifying it and making it your own. Maybe a cable, a couple rows of lace or colorwork. You can use crazy colorful yarn and let it do all the work! Or you can use handspun (which is what I did) and bask in the glory of knitting with your own handspun.

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This fiber I spun right before school started back up, and I spun it in about day, haha. The colorway name is Rose Tyler from Woolen Mills St. Yarns. Heres the blog post I wrote about it! . So, because of the colorway name, this is my Bad Wolf hat.

This was kind of a spontaneous project, haha! I was headed to my girl’s small group with the A&M RUF group, and didn’t have anything small that I really wanted to knit on. So, I grabbed this skein, caked it up in about 5 minutes (hallelujah for swifts!), grabbed the needles read the pattern, and left!

Its super simple, but that way the random striping can shine.

Another really amazing “cast on, knit a couple hours, bam! You’re done!” hat… Perfect for Christmas knitting!

FO!: The Bubbles Slouch Hat

I finished a hat last week, but haven’t had time to sit down and take nice FO pictures :-P

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The Slouchy Bubbles Hat by knitshep

I saw one that Julie (Phoebejeebes99 on twitter :-P) posted on Instagram, and I decided that I HAD to make it, at some point… didn’t matter when. Just had to be made, haha.

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So, I did! Later, when we visited my sister and brother-in-law in Dallas for the weekend and we stopped by her LYS (The Shabby Sheep) and I got two skeins of Berroco’s Flicker in the Siegfried colorway.

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The yarn is super super soft – I really want to get more and make a cowl. Cause its gorgeous! And its got some sparkle d^_^b

The pattern was a bit fiddly though – if you’re new to cables, I wouldn’t suggest this as a beginning pattern. It can be a bit tricky keeping track of.

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It can be worn lots of different ways, haha. Its fun to experiment :-P

I’m thinking about putting a pompom on the end… but I haven’t quite decided yet :-P

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My wooly preparations for the cold continue on… and they shall continue to continue on. Because its just too much fun ^_^

Also, Diane of the Knitabulls podcast is doing a “Hatalong” during October. Which of course, I’m going to do, haha! So, I’m saving up the hats I want to now for later… d^_^b

Tour de Fleece – Day 10 and 11

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More yarn finished, woot woot!

This is Nest Fiber Studio in the Aughra colorway. Which, I just now looked up “Aughra” and I was both amused and somewhat weirded out. But, haha, the colors do match the character’s personality, I think. Who knew, haha!

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I got around 350yds of a heavy fingering weight. Another 2-ply, another fractal spun yarn… anyone surprised? Haha :-P

I’m super happy with it! This was braid of fiber that my mom picked out :-) When I showed her the fiber update that Nest Fiber Studios was having, she couldn’t resist :-P

Tour time is always so much fun.. its so amazing to see how much your spinning gets if you spin every day, for however long. My singles are becoming more and more consistant. My ability to get a good 2-ply is increasing every time I ply. Its so cool to see that kind of progress :-)

Tour de Fleece catch up!

Its been crazyyyyy busy! Like, holy cow. What is going on?!

Not really, but it seems that way, haha.

This past weekend, my family and I went over to College Station to start all the prep and painting of our apartments/flats/whatever. Mainly mine… right now. We’ll eventually to my brother’s place, haha.

All the woodwork and baseboards and all the walls are done downstairs. All the woodwork is done upstairs… annnd.. thats it, haha.

We were extremely sore and tired when we got home. And the first night staying there, we had an unfortunate mishap with the fire alarms in my place. Which… was just bad bad bad. No fire, or anything. It was the paint fumes… not fun. We got things fixed, hallelujah. But, yes. We were extremely tired.

But we’re home now! For a couple days, we go back on Wednesday to continue the work and painting, and my brother has his New Student Conference – woot woot! Unfortunately, that means not very much spinning and/or knitting. So, I’m getting in as much as I can before we leave again.

So yeah, I’m behind on posting about Tour de Fleece stuff. Here are some pictures ^_^

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Here’s Neon and Neutral by Daybreak Dyeworks (can’t say this enough – go check her store out, it’s the BEST!) I got around 230yds of a heavy DK/light worsted weight.

(Sidenote: Dawn, from Daybreak Dyeworks, just started a Farmers Market series in her shop, and I want to buy all the things. The Eggplant is just… aaaghhh, haha! Back to the post, heehee :-P)

I’m not sure what I’m going to be making with this.. I want something that’ll be fun and funky. Maybe I’ll make a plain hat, but add some stripes or something. Or use this as the stripes. Oooor… maybe a Stephen West pattern? Or something? I don’t know, haha.

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This was quite amazing, actually. We got home on Sunday afternoon (and the AC wasn’t working. Fellow Houstonians, you’ll understand how bad that was, haha. Its fixed now, hallelujah) so, we got home… and unloaded, then I came up to spin. And, I spun and plied the entire 4oz braid in an evening, finishing at around a little past midnight. Which, I’m pretty happy with.

Second yarn! Woot woot!

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I’m insanely happy with how this turned out. Like, oh my goodness… So happy, haha! This is the Lavinia color from Into the Whirled (from the Knitabulls SAL d^_^b) (which, I now realize that I’ve been posting “Into the Whorl”, and thats not right, haha. Its “Whirled” :-P) and I got 270yds of a worsted weight. The barber pole (ha! Got it right this time, haha! Not barbera pulling :-P)

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Anyways, the whole fractal spinning… so addictive. Can’t stop, haha!

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Before I had spun it up, I had thought I was going to be making these mittens… but after its bath (its drying now ^_^), it sooo much more softer. Which is amazing, because it was already really soft to begin with, haha. But who knows, haha. We’ll see what happens ^_^

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Bertie was not happy that we were gone over the weekend. This does not bode well for when I actually leave for college. *sadface*

Finished Yarn: Fruit Salad!

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Oooooh, I finished my Fruit Salad!

So, yesterday’s post, I hadn’t spun up the last two little balls of fiber and I hadn’t even begun to ply yet. Well, I got that all done yesterday evening. Though, I spun for about 4+ hours. It felt so good (I was kind of stiff when I got up though, haha, despite the breaks I took) and when I knew I was going to finish the yarn that night, it was more motivation to power through it ^_^

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Its 338yds of about a fingering/light sport weight of superwash merino. The fiber came from Northbound Knitting… a long time ago, haha!

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I’m so glad I waited to spin this braid up though… Though navajo-plying would have been amazing with these colors, I absolutely adore how the the affects of the 2-ply is really setting off the individual colors and letting them shine. When I got the braid, I was just learning how to navajo-ply, I think. So… I’m ver ver glad I waited.

When I niddy-noddied it up, it was really really over spun (still working on that perfect balance, haha!) but I threw it in its bath right away, let it soak for about 30 minutes then hung it up to dry overnight with a hanger on the bottom to weight it down. Its still a bit damp now, but I couldn’t wait to show you guys. I couldn’t resist!

I’m still leaning towards those Easy Handspun Mitts by Vera Brosgol . I really want the yarn to speak for itself, because I know it can, haha! Something simple, most definitely.

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Thank you so much for all your helpful tips for spinning a 2-ply… all your advice was so extremely helpful! Figuring something out but reading an article is one thing, but getting tips from someone who has a lot of personal experience is another d^_^b

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to put something new on my wheel ^_^

Fruit Salad… Fiber!

I’m really getting a lot of spinning done, haha! Though this does mean my knitting time has gone down – it’s a worthy cause! Its spinning! Can’t resist!

So, I finished my Wine and Debauch yarn yesterday. That was all cool beans v^_^v

My wheel looked kind of sad without anything on it, haha. Soooo, I had to put something fresh on it ^_^

It was a challenge deciding what I wanted to spin next because of this..

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Yes, the column on the right is my fiber stash. And theres some on the bottom that you can’t see, eh heh ^_^ In other words – I had a lot of choices! (Then on the left is finished yarn, my hat cubby, and ends of balls of yarn. Then theres three more of those. Ehhhh heh ^_^)

But in the end, I went with some more of Northbound Knitting’s fiber that I had got a long long time ago and was saving up.

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This colorway is called “Fruit Salad”. 4oz of superwash merino.

This time, I’m trying fractal spinning. Which.. I’m not sure how its different from other ways of spinning – but from what I’m seeing… it should end up pretty cool!

I was able to find several very helpful walk-throughs of how to divide the braid up for fractal spinning. The Knitty Article – “Fractal Spinning” by Alex Tinsley and then this blog post by Slipstream Fiberarts. Both were extremely clear, and it was nice to have both of them to have the examples of what your braid’s color might be dyed like and then actual pictures of the different balls of fiber after the dividing.

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I was able to spin up the thicker half of the braid last night and start on the smaller sections on a different bobbin. I thought about doing a center-pull ball, but read that it’s a little tricky to get it consistant… so I’ll try with the two bobbins, work on that, and eventually get to a center-pull ball ^_^

I plan on finishing the last two mini balls this evening, and start the plying process! I’m spinning it a bit thicker (I seem to always spin thin, and I wanted to do something different, haha) so it’s definitely going more quickly.

Stash Enhancement – Daybreak Dyeworks!

Tada! More finished practice yarn! Woooo!

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I split this braid down the middle, hoping that it’d be somewhat evenly divided. Which, I think it was… but I had a fair amount of singles on one bobbin than the other at the end… which I don’t think is too weird – from what I’ve heard from really good spinner people, they do that occasionally too. So, I just navajo-plied the rest of the singles ^_^

But I’m quite happy with what I got! The 2-ply yarn was quite overspun, but loosened up with a nice long soak and about a day hanging up with something heavy hanging on the bottom. I’m getting there! It’s getting better! Woooo!

The fiber was from Northbound Knitting, in the “Wine and Debauch” colorway. It was about 4ozs… and a mixed BFL combed top.

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I got some pretty good yardage too – the 2-ply ended up being around 274 yards. I also got 134yds of the navajo-ply.

Like I mentioned before, I really want to make a pair of these Easy Handspun Mitts by Vera Brosgol. But I might wait until I make more 2-plies and see which one is my favorite… But then again, who says I have to have just *one* pair of these mitts ^_^

In other fiber news – more prepping for the Tour de Fleece! It’s getting closer every day! I’m so glad that my French class is online this summer, so I can dedicate even more time to spinning every day. Oh, the joys of a knitter/spinner/fiber person d^_^b

So, a couple posts ago, I mentioned the teams I had joined for the Tour, one of which being the Daybreak Dyeworks team. A couple days ago, I ordered some of Dawn’s fiber from her shop (go check her out – she has a Tour de Fleece coupon code! 15%!) and my braids of fiber came today! Eeeee!!

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Figuring out which ones I wanted was definitely a challenge, haha! They’re all so prettyy! But in the end, I ended up with “Neon and Neutral” (the bottom.. Which is 4oz of 100% Falkland. This is also the Team Braid.) “Dance Fever” (the middle. This is 4oz of 100% Merino) and my mom picked out “A Pineapple Under the Sea” (the top right. This is 4oz of 100% Falkland.)

She also included an extremely sweet note in my package of goodies. If you’re in the market for stash enhancing for the Tour or for whatever reason – you definitely need to check Daybreak Dyeworks out, because it’s awesome! Dawn is so sweet!

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Bertie approved of the braids as well, haha! Well, he was probably more interested in the bag… But you can just see the approval on his face…

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See? That is cat approval, right there.