Tour de Fleece 2014 comes to a close…

_DSC0639

Tour de Fleece has come and gone, sadly. But holy banana, was it successful! I haven’t tallied up my total yardage quite yet, but here are a couple pictures of a few of the things I spun…

_DSC0640

_DSC0643

Cherry Cola from Daybreak Dyeworks! 254 yards of a 2-ply!

_DSC0672

Cerise from Three Waters Farm! This was my last one of the tour… got the singles spun before everything finished up, but wasn’t able to get it plied until after the Tour was over. Its the thought that counts! I was close!

_DSC0674

This is the TdF Team Braid from Daybreak Dyeworks! (I’m a bit obsessed, can you tell? Heeee ^_^) Dawn (of Daybreak Dyeworks) sent along a braid for my mom for the tour! It was so incredibly nice of her! My mom requested something really light and airy, to which I decided on singles! (more on that later… I learned how to do that! whoop!) I’m extremely happy how this skein turned out… its so insanely soft and squishy! I got 596 yards of the singles. I have yet to full them! I’ll do that soon!

_DSC0669

I’m extremely happy with how I did during the tour. I learned a lot of new things! I tried new techniques. I experimented. I did a lot of research before doing said experimenting (it was kind of scary, haha. #fiberfears). I was anxious it wouldn’t work out, but it was a huge success! I spun with a couple of fibers that I had never spun with before. I sold some of my yarn at my LYS, where I’m interning this summer!

Needless to say… I can’t wait for next year’s tour d^_^b
…which, if all things go as planned, I should hopefully be overseas somewhere, possibly, in France! My major requires a study abroad at some point (oh, how sad. a study abroad. how terrible ;-P) and since I’m almost done with my language requirement classes, I should be on target to do my study abroad in the Summer of 2015! Which means… that I might be in France during the Tour, and might even get to see some of it, maybe. That blows my mind, haha.

Although, if I’m over there… I can’t really bring my wheel. Sad day. Who knows, I plan on finding a yarn store, if there is one, wherever I end up going. There might be wheels there, maybe? Either way, I plan on stocking up on handspun, so I can at least be *knitting* with handspun!

But all of this is still up in the air… so who knows what is going to happen!

_DSC0642

Tour de Fleece 2014 Progress

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’ve been spinning up a storm. I have high goals. Or ideas of goals, that it would be really cool to be able to say that I did accomplish them.

I have quite a bit of stashed fiber that I’d like to clear out. Not because I want to get rid of it, but because the colors are so pretty and I want to use it! Agh!

Ultimately, I’d like to spin a skein a day. Its ending up that I can crank out one in an evening and the first half of the next day. So, about a day? Just not within the outline of one day ;-P

As of today, I’ve spun 6 skeins and 1,174 yards for the 2014 Tour de Fleece. And these are all plied numbers, so I’ve spun more than double that in singles. Whoop!

_DSC0538

The one on the left is some fiber that I’m not sure where I got… but its pretty fun! Thats 160yds of a 2-ply and it is being sold at Yarntopia (my LYS and also where I’m interning this summer!) On the right is a Loop Bullseye Bump in the Forest Nymph colorway. I got 148yds of an N-ply. Another one that is being sold at Yarntopia!

_DSC0532

_DSC0528

Probably my favorite so far! This is Malabrigo Nube in the Arco Iris colorway. I got 254yds of an N-ply. Haha, not selling this one… its too pretty and soft!!

_DSC0560

This is Two if By Hand in the Bean Feast colorway. I got 224yds of a 2-ply! I finished it on Friday, brought it to work with me on Monday, and it was snatched up (Hi Loretta! :-P)! It was a gorgeous skein and I’m glad it went to a good home!

I’ve also spun up two other skeins that I haven’t had time to photograph yet.. both need baths. One will be coming to be sold at Yarntopia, the other one, I spun for my mom! But I got 194yds for each one of those skeins. Both are a 2-ply.

Now I’m about to go put a braid of Three Waters Farm on the wheel! I’m so excited about this one! I got this one for Christmas and have been saving it! Now the time has come!

I love it when the Tour comes around. In addition to National Knit a Sweater in a Month time and the knitting goals that go along with the Olympics (so much drama about the name, my goodness… you guys know what I’m talking about!) the Tour de Fleece is the best. No question!

Tour de Fleece Prep and Practice (plus finished yarn!!)

Tour de Fleece is coming up, you guys! Its getting closer every day! (I’m a wee bit excited, if you couldn’t tell. I’ve mentioned it quite a bit recently, heehee)

You might be a bit confused as to what Tour de Fleece is. Sounds kinda weird. I’m probably not helping by obsessing about it, haha. Its not in English… for the most part (hint: its French!) But! If you’re familiar with the Tour de France, its basically the same thing! Just minus being in France and actually riding bikes, haha.

Spinners (and knitters… All the crafters!) dedicate the time of the Tour de France (which is July 5th to July 27th this year) to spin every day that the bikers are trekking along the French countryside. In greater detail, we even follow the days: Time trial days, we see how much we can do within a set time. Climbing days, we see how many yards we can do in a day. Challenge day (which is when they climb their biggest mountain), we spin something challenging. And last, but not least, the rest days, we rest (Which is July 15th and July 21st)

Then, if we want to, we can wear yellow on the last day to be victorious. Because… by the end, you’re feeling mighty fine about all the work you’ve done, how much better your spinning is, and now you have all this marvelous handspun to either knit with or give away!

I think I’ve said this before, but this is definitely one of my favorite knitting/fiber events. It means all the spinning, getting to look at gorgeous fiber (end up getting some of said gorgeous fiber, probably too much, but we won’t go there. I know I have a problem, so its all okay. #noshame)

The planning. Oh, the planning. Its so much fun! I have lots of plans. Lots of fun fiber. I’ll make a post soon with lots of links and pictures and happiness.

I don’t have everything I’m doing documented quite yet, but I’ll give you a sample picture of all my options for possible spinning…

_DSC0188

Yes, yes. I already admitted to having a problem, okay? No need to dwell on things. #noshame #nojudging

In the meantime, until the Tour starts, its time to start the prep and begin practicing! Believe it or not, people have actually injured themselves by jumping in on the first day and spinning for hours and hours. I speak the truth. It has happened. Not to me, but I’ve heard stories. (the non-knitters/spinners probably laughed at that. You did, didn’t you? Don’t deny it. I saw that smile. Its okay, haha. I laughed too… and still do :-P)

So, some of my practice is this!

_DSC0217

This is 845 glorious yards of a 2-ply from 8oz of fiber (colorway: Baby, Its Cold Outside) that I got from Dawn of Daybreak Dyeworks! (She’s currently getting ready for a big wool market, so her shop don’t have anything in it. But keep checking back! Its all gorgeous and SO amazing! Plus, Dawn is one of the sweetest people ever!)

This is going towards my Stash Dash 2014 numbers, which will boost it quite a bit. I’m also now knitting something with it (which means I can double whatever I use for the thing I’m knitting! Whoop!) the WIP with this yarn is quite awesome, so I’ll save that for another blog post.

And! Theres more!

_DSC0284

This is 254yds of a 2-ply from Three Waters Farm (colorway: Summer Rooftops). I brought this with me to work yesterday (around 10:00, and had it all spun and plied around 2:00! The perks of working/interning at a yarn store d^_^b more on that later!!) More Stash Dash yardage! This isn’t including the knit items that need to be blocked and photographed. And the other skein of handspun that I finished recently.

So many things to show you guys! Not enough time! Oh well. It’ll all show up eventually :-)

Also! Thanks for the feedback on the technical post, and what would be interesting to you guys! It gave me lots of great ideas, and I’m beginning to collect stuff and pictures for helpfulness and all that jazz d^_^b

Bolt and the summer

_DSC0193

So, I said that if I didn’t post after my finals were over, I had probably been eaten or something. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case! Two big-o trips happened very shortly after school ended, which did result in much knitting time… but not the best for taking pictures/editing/blogging, haha.

I am home now. And will be for awhile. I have summer plans, it’ll be a busy summer. But I am back ^_^

But to slip back into the flow of things, just like old times… Heres *one* of the things I’m working on right now d^_^b

_DSC0181

I’m doing a KAL with Marie from the Frogged Designs! We’re knitting the Bolt shawl by Veera Välimäki! We cast on on May 19th, and its been so much fun to knit! Its completely garter stitch, which makes it perfect for school knitting (in Marie’s case ;-P) or travel knitting or Bluegrass competition watching/cheering on friends who are competing (in my case :-P) (more on that later!) We don’t really have a time frame, so feel free to join in! #boltKAL

_DSC0180

The yarn I’m using is Brooklyn Tweed’s LOFT in Old World (the navy) and Woodsmoke (the cream/super light brown). The first wedge and first stripe was done while I was somewhat distracted by something (I can’t remember what, but it must have been important, haha!) and consequently, put the one stripe on the wrong side. Except I like the way that looks, actually, so I didn’t worry too much about going back and changing it, heehee. I’m not sure if I’ll the rest like that, but I’ll figure it out when I get there. Theres a chance I might make the same mistake again, and end up doing it on accident, haha!

This will also be put towards my Stash Dash 2014 count. Which I don’t have anything uploaded or photographed yet, but I’m getting there! I have a pile of things that need to be washed, ends woven in, buttons sewn on, a couple rows left to be knit… I’m super excited about getting things done and being able to use the items ^_^

_DSC0182

So yes, I’m back. I’m knitting. I’m blogging. I’m working. I’ll be taking some online classes (both for actual school and for fun ^_^). And I’m excited for everything that summer holds for me.

(ALSO! TOUR DE FLEECE IS COMING..!!)

FO!: Handspun Norie

My goodness, things have been busy! But busy with good things! And lots of awesome things have happened as a result of being busy… so its all good d^_^b

One of these things, was that I had my NSC (New Student Conference) at A&M last Thursday+Friday… which is where we got kind of oriented and registered for my classes! Yessss!!!

And of course, I brought a long my knitting… I can’t bear to sit still for long periods of time (or any time at all, haha!) without knitting or doing anything with my hands. I had two goals for the two days.

1) I was going start and finish Norie (a hat pattern by Gudrun Johnston) the first day.

2) I was going to at least start, and get some progress on a pair of socks knit with some A&M yarn that my bosses (who are some of the sweetest people ever) gifted me.

_DSC1559

Tada!! I got my first goal done! In one day! BAM! Haha, if you follow me on Twitter or on Instagram, you probably saw my progress through out the day :-P

I don’t think I’ve mentioned my yarn before… I finished it pretty shortly before we left, and I didn’t get the time to write a post about it :-P

But this was the last braid that I got from before the Tour de Fleece from Daybreak Dyeworks (which now I have to decide which of Dawn’s new colors I’m going to get… ohhh, the trials of a spinner ;-P)

_DSC1546

(Bertie couldn’t restrain himself and just *had* to be in the picture… he just *had* to.)
The colorway name is Dance Fever, and its some of the softest most vibrant things *ever*!

_DSC1550

When I started to spin it, I had a hat in mind.. so I was super excited to find out that I had gotten what I wanted/needed – a DK weight with a ton of yardage (404yds in total… I used about 200ish for the hat)

Once again, its a fractal spun 2 ply ;-P Haha, I don’t see the pattern of fractal spinning will be changing any time soon.. its so much fun!

So, as soon has I finished it and got it niddy-noddied up, I threw it in a bath so I could get it ready in time in order to knit Norie while walking around campus and sitting and listening to people talk about financial aid.

It actually didn’t dry in time.. but I set it in front of a fan, and that fixed things real quick d^_^b

_DSC1569

I am super duper happy with how the hat turned out… I followed CatReading’s mods by excluding the Cat’s Paw lace sections and just putting in plain stockinette instead. Also, because I was using size US6s instead of US5s, I didn’t do as many repeats before starting the decreases.

_DSC1558

In my rush to get everything ready to go, I forgot DPNs, haha! And my tape measure (which Sarah of Knit York City replied to my tweet of despair with a recommended measuring tape app, haha. Thanks, Sarah!) So that was a huge bummer… thankfully, I was able to squeak by at the end with two circulars (I have a 10″ circular I carry around in my notions bag… super handy, haha!)

_DSC1586

The hat can be worn so many different ways, and its really long… but not too long to look goofy, haha! And its the perfect pattern for handspun :-P

I’m definitely going to be making more of these… I foresee many Nories being made for Christmas presents d^_^b

Lots of Progress of All Sorts

Road trips are perfect for productive knitting. You can get such an insane amount done, its… amazing, haha! If you’re not the one driving, that is :-P

I’m like..98% done with my Pomme de Pin cardigan!!!

_DSC1466

I blocked the sleeves before I set them in, because the sleeve cap was a bit tight. I’m super glad I did, because after the second blocking, it fits perfectly ^_^

_DSC1465

I was able to set in both sleeves and complete the button band… woot woot!

The only sad thing was that the buttons I got when I got the yarn… they don’t fit *sadface* But, thats okay! I’m going to go Joann’s soon and pick out ones that will fit :-P

More knitting news…

_DSC1473

I have a new project!

About two weeks ago, I was chatting with Mel of the Singlehanded Knits Podcast on twitter about her knitting the Long Sands cardigan, and she was so extremely sweet and gifted me the pattern!

Mel is so considerate and kind, and she has a super awesome podcast! You definitely need to had her to your podcast list d^_^b

So, I ordered the yarn and it came while we were on our trip to Oklahoma (for my sister’s post-wedding reception in Ponca, it was AMAZING) and so I was able to cast it on when we got home.. and was able to finish the entire back last night while my mom and I watched Project Runway. I plan to finish the back and cast on one of the fronts this evening ^_^

Spinning wise, since the Tour de Fleece finished while we were gone, I had something on my wheel and wasn’t able to finish on time with the tour…

_DSC1470

I finished it yesterday! I’m so insanely happy with it – it’s 620yds (the most I’ve ever done ever!) of a lace/light fingering weight. The colorway is called “The Candy Man Can” from Two If by Hand from the Willy Wonka fiber club. It was a 4oz braid of Targhee .

I love the name, haha. The movie it comes from is one of my favorites, I watched it a ton growing up… And this is one of the best songs from the movie :-P

_DSC1472

Once again, a fractal spun, heehee :-P But yes, I’m so so so happy with how it turned out… I have no clue what I’m going to do with it yet, haha. But I want to pick something that is really special ^_^ Any ideas?

Pomme de Pin kerfuffle and success!

So, if you follow me on Twitter or on Instagram, you’ll know that I had a kerfuffle with my Pomme de Pin sweater. I had finished the sleeves and everything was happy happy… it was time to start sewing things together.

I laid it out, to see it in all its glory.. to see this.

It was quite a devastating moment, haha! I tried it on, and it was really obvious the differences of the fronts, haha. One was way too big… one was way too small.

This was totally my fault, though I’m not sure where I went wrong… but I wasn’t paying close enough attention, haha!

So, after much chat with awesome people online, I embraced the fact that I had to frog it. Which included frogging the back as well. Frogged it up to the division, counted at least 15 times for each section, had everything laying nicely on the floor so *everything* was visible.

And now… I’m so glad I did all the extra work, despite the fact that frogging it was a bit painful, haha!

I re-knit the back during my brother’s New Student Conference for A&M (woot woot!) since there were several long sessions where we had to sit and listen. Then I worked on the fronts for a bit longer, since I was knitting both at the same time… it was a bit more tangly and hard to lug around. Finished everything last night, kitchenered it together and I’m SO HAPPY WITH IT.

_DSC1447

_DSC1452

I’m soooo excited to see what its going to look like with the sleeves and the button band. SO EXCITED!!

_DSC1460

I love the length… I have a longish torso, so I was worried that it once the body was done that it might be too short. But this was not the case ^_^

The new worry is that I might not have enough yarn to finish the button band, haha! But I’m not going to worry about it right now… Just going to keep knitting it, and if I run out.. I shall order more!

In other news, I’m spinning away, happy days!

_DSC1443

This is called The Candy Man by Two If by Hand from the Willy Wonka fiber club… that I couldn’t resist signing up for, haha! Super soft and squishy!

I’m spinning it thinner, so its taking longer. Makes sense, haha :-P But we’ll see what it ends up like before I decide what to make with it.. and my yardage, haha! But whatever it is… its going to be fun, squishy, colorful, and AWESOME. ^_^

Also, I’m going to be casting on Gyllis by Stephen West soon. Because in my extremely near future (as in like… 2 days) there is a lot of car time (one way = 9ish hours. Both ways = knitknitknitknitknit)
I shall be working on finishing my Pogona (ONLY 1.5″ LEFT. I SEE THE LIGHT) and then, if I finish Pogona (or maybe not, heehee ^_^) I shall be casting that on. With that Cascade 220 Superwash in that awesome TARDIS blue color..