Tag Archives: alpaca

On The Needles – April 2017

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What’s on my needles right now!

How is it March already?!? I have several projects nearly completion and even more lined up next in the queue.  Luckily I seem to have caught finish-itis so maybe some of these will get done!

  • Diadem– I’m so close to being done with this it’s silly its not done – all that’s left is the knitted on border.  Unfortunately, I need to knit it at home, in good light, with minimal distraction. And the border is slow going and fiddly.  Brief reminder – this is the shawl I’m knitting for my friend Patty in exchange for a pair of handknit socks.  Yarn is from Zen Garden (I think Serenity Silk – the light fingering weight one) and the pattern is Diadem by Ruth Greenwald. PS – the photo color doesn’t do it justice at all.  It’s actually a deep midnight blue with a lot of sheen.

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  • Chromatic Cowl– Remember I mentioned learning brioche knitting at the Knitting Pipeline retreat? This is the pattern we used for the class.  I’m now through color number four with two more to go (blue and green).  Now that I have the brioche “process” in my brain this is actually pretty brainless knitting.  I’m using a Chromatic Cowl kit from Knit Circus yarns and the pattern is Chromatic Cowl by Amy Detjen (it is free on Ravelry).

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  • Alpaca Cape – A big, heavy, warm, snuggly cape, that’s what I want(ed).  My yarny Christmas present to myself was several skeins of Cascade Yarn Baby Alpaca Chunky for a cape, which I promptly started over the Christmas holiday.  And I knit on it A LOT in January.  Then it got warm in February and my interest waned.  I still plan to finish it (and before the fall) but it’s just not my “hot project” right now.  I don’t have a pattern for it – I’m just knitting it like a top down raglan without ever dividing off for sleeves.  I plan to knit until I’m into the last skein and then stop to do a nice wide button band.  The yarn is amazing and squishy – and very warm!

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  • Starry Whovian Socks – I am still loving knitting on this tiny circular needle.  I’ve made just a bit of progress since the last time I posted, mostly because I don’t work on it very often.  It’s become my current “brainless knitting” project that I can do anywhere, anytime.  These are plain socks with ribbing across the top, knit toe-up with an after-thought heel.  I’m using Quaere Fibre Sparkle Sock in the colorway Dr. Who Vincent and the Doctor.

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  • Caprica Socks – More socks.  This has gone into hibernation.  I might pull them out after my Whovian socks and keep knitting or I might rip them out.  Yarn is Knit Picks Felici, a super soft merino/nylon blend, in the colorway Caprica.

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Holidays Wrap Up and Goodies

Welcome to 2017! Before jumping in my 2017 fiber arts goals I under to recap the holiday, and some new goodies!

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I know I went quiet in December – work was just crazy! I barely did any knitting, except for two small stuffies I’ll talk about in another posts.  I’m excited to say I’m going to the Knitting Pipeline retreat in February.  Is anyone else going?!?

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I went to my aunt’s in Illinois in Springfield for Thanksgiving, where I got her started on her first knitting project.  She bought a kit at Stitches Midwest so I wound the yarn and got the stole started.  She remembered how to knit from 4-H so we jumped right into purling, which she did great at.  We also went to a local yarn shop (and I bought yarn, duh).

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Then I went back home to Missouri for Christmas and my brother came back to Indiana with me for a week.  Our big outing was to the Indianapolis Zoo.  My parents came up for the New Years holiday weekend.   I’m ready for another vacation already!

On to the goodies (related websites are linked – check them out!):

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A holiday set of stitch markers by local glass artist Ann Tudor.  She has a ton of different stitch markers, which you can see here.

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Three skeins of Knitted Wit Victory Sock from the local yarn shop in Springfield, Illinois, called Nanncy’s Knitworks.  The colors are yellow, Orange you Glad and Turks & Caicos.  These are for Stephen West’s Doodler shawl.

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I received this beauty in black and lime green from my friend Patty.  It’s already decided it wants to be a hat.  The fiber is 50/50 Alpaca/Silk from Woolgatherings.  She also got me some llama socks.

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Knitting Pattern Release: Elizabeth Blackwell Stole

I’m pleased to announce that I just released my new beaded stole for summer!  It uses 100 grams of lace weight yarn and is called the Elizabeth Blackwell Stole.  It features a rectangular shape and a geometric lace design with beads.

Side view

You can buy it and read more about it on Ravelry (you don’t have to be a member!).  Click here!

Close Up

The Elizabeth Blackwell Shawl is a rectangular shawl (frequently called a stole) knit flat with a repeating lace pattern and beads. It uses 100 grams of lace yarn, creating a lightweight airy fabric perfect for summer nights. The stitch pattern is provided in a chart, as well as written out, and percentages of yarn used are also provided if you wish to modify the size of your shawl. Also included is a checklist version of the pattern that allows you to step line-by-line through the pattern, checking off rows as they are completed. The pattern has been test knitted and tech edited.

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States.  Her impetus for pursing medicine was a friend who suffered from a terminal disease that wished for a female physician.  Blackwell later opened clinics and infirmaries for treating women and children and created a medical school for women.

Back

  • Yarn
    • Approximately 800 yards/ 732 meters lace weight yarn. Shown in Malabrigo Silkpaca (70% alpaca/ 30% silk, 420 yards/384 meters, 50g) in the colorway Solis.  Other suggested yarns include Malabrigo Lace, Alpaca with a Twist Fino, Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace, Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud, or Cascade Yarns Alpaca Lace.
  • Needle
    • Size US 4 (3.5 mm), or size needed to obtain gauge, circular needle in a length of 24″/60 cm or longer.
  • Other Materials
    • Crochet hook – Size US 10 (0.75 mm)
    • 10 grams or 328 size 8/0 beads
    • 5 stitch markers
    • Tapestry needle
    • Blocking pins

Hanging off Bench

  • Finished Measurements
    • After Blocking
      • 57″/145 cm width
      • 22″/56 cm height

The stole is blocked aggressively. Meeting exact gauge is not crucial but may affect the final dimensions. Gauge is provided to assist with determining an appropriate needle size for you.

Wide Open

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On The Needles – May 2016

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What’s on my needles right now!

The good news is I have finish-itis right now.  Don’t worry, never lasts long.  I just finished my next shawl design (actually a stole with beads) and am going to primarily work on two other projects before starting the sample knitting for my next design.

  • Diadem– I’m hoping to return to focusing on this next.  Unfortunately, I need to knit it at home, in good light, with minimal distraction. Brief reminder – this is the shawl I’m knitting for my friend Patty in exchange for a pair of handknit socks.  And she’s making good progress on the socks so I better hurry this up! Yarn is from Zen Garden (I think Serenity Silk – the light fingering weight one) and the pattern is Diadem by Ruth Greenwald.

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  • Starry Whovian Socks – I am still loving knitting on this tiny circular needle.  I was actually farther along but really didn’t like where I’d started the ribbing I out ripped back a bit and started that ribbing earlier.  It’s become my current “brainless knitting” project that I can do anywhere, anytime.  These are plain socks with ribbing across the top, knit toe-up with an after-thought heel.  I’m using Quaere Fibre Sparkle Sock in the colorway Dr. Who Vincent and the Doctor.

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  • Radiance Shawl– If you follow me on Instagram you know this was one of the three contenders for my next shawl.  I like the pattern, love the feel and color of the yarn but its just so darn splitty.  And I just finished another large lace project so would like to knit something a little heavier next.  Yarn is from Skeindulous Ursula in the color Little Ray of Happiness and the pattern is Radiance Shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade.

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  • Caprica Socks – More socks.  This has gone into hibernation.  I might pull them out after my Whovian socks and keep knitting or I might rip them out.  Yarn is Knit Picks Felici, a super soft merino/nylon blend, in the colorway Caprica.

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  • Scarlet Capelet -Remember I said I was thinking of ripping this out? I did.  I’m going to knit another cape but one without a hood and with cables.  The yarn is Miss Babs Northumbria Aran in Vlads.

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Roving Indiana Yarn Crawl 2016

I finished the Roving Indiana Yarn Crawl for 2016 and went to all fourteen stores!

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For the uninitiated, I will briefly explain the basics of our local yarn crawl, now in its third year and including 14 local yarn stores (LYSs).  You
buy a passport from one of the participating LYSs and go around to each LYS (by the way, this a fun day trip with friends) over the course of two and a half weeks.  At each LYS you get your passport stamped and get entered for a store drawing. If you make a purchase at the store, you get 10% off.  At the last shop they certify your passport and are entered into the large prize drawings. In addition, there is a yarn dyed specifically for the yarn crawl.

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Sidenote: Its fun to show off your handknits when visiting the yarn shops.

I went to eight of the fifteen stores the first Saturday with a group of friends.  It was a crazy day – we left at 9am and got back around 6pm.  I visited the store near my office one day over lunch and hit the remainder on my own.  I turned in my passport at my last stop, Knitter’s Nook in Columbus.  I won’t talk about everything I purchased in detail (at the risk of this post taking half an hour to read) but will highlight my top items.  There’s a list at the bottom of the yarns, colorways and where I bought them in case you’re interested.  Also, I’ll be tweeting/posting photos on Instagram of the specific purchases.

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  • New to me yarns: Araucania’s dk merino kettle dyed (the cream, blue and purple in upper right) and Twizzlefoot (third skein from left on top)
  • An old favorite: Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere (blue in center) and Malabrigo Silkpaca Lace (blue-green in middle right)
  • Some Anzula from a trunk show at The Black Sheep.  This is also where they have a “room of Malabrigo.” Seriously – the whole room is Malabrigo.
  • My favorite purchase: the red handmade mug with a quote on the front.  This is the same place I got the purple angora mug last year.
  • Ready to cast on now: A shawl using the solid red and the yarn designed for the yarn crawl (just right of top center).
  • Fun non-yarn accessories: pins from yarn shops (I collect them), the mug and two small notions bags.
  • Something to try: HiyaHiya Sharps needle tips and cord.  I’m interested to see how these compare to my Chiaogoos.

The master list:

  • (top row left to right) Denim luster (merino/silk) by Anzula from The Black Sheep in Noblesville
  • Summit multi-color Twizzlefoot by Mountain Colors Yarn from Broad Ripple Knits in Broad Ripple
  • Messenger Kit (teal and purple) in Mad Hatter from Wonderland Yarns (Frabjous Fibers) from The Clay Purl in Nashville
  • Colorway Global Mix in Smooshy with Cashmere by Dream in Color Yarns from Shabby Sheep and Ewe in Columbus
  • Bright red Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock and the crawl yarn by Knitted Wit from Always in Stitches in Noblesville
  • Three colors of Araucania Huasco DK from Knitters Nook in Columbus
  • (second row left to right) Deep aqua Fyberspates Vivacious from Mass Ave Knit Shop in Indianapolis
  • Angora Lace by Wisdom Yarns in colorway Back to Nature from In a Yarn Basket in Bloomington.
  • A few Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails in jewel tones from Village Yarn Shop in Zionsville.
  • Malabrigo yarn silkpaca lace in the Solis colorway from Yarn on the Square in Shelbyville
  • (bottom row left to right) Sewn notion bag from Willowe’s Basketry in Greenfield
  • Red mug, lotion and HiyaHiya interchangeable tips and cord from Starstruck Cat Studio in Greenwood
  • Gray felted notion pouch from Frabjous Fibers bought at Yarns Unlimited in Bloomington.

 

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Knitting Pattern Release: Sydney Fireworks Hat

I’m pleased to announce that I just released my third for sale knitting pattern!  It uses less than one total 100 gram skein of worsted weight yarn and is called Sydney Fireworks Hat.  It features a two color slipped stitch pattern.

Sydney Fireworks Hat

Model: Susan Mussatt

You can buy it and read more about it on Ravelry (you don’t have to be a member!).  Click here!

The Sydney Fireworks Hat is knit with a repeating slipped stitch pattern and alternating two colors to create a unique texture and squishy warm fabric.  Knitting starts at the brim with elastic 2×2 ribbing then the body of the hat is worked with stripes of color and slipped stitches before decreasing in pattern towards the crown.  The hat is available in four different hat sizes and the pattern has been test knitted and tech edited.

  • Sizing

X-Small (Small, Medium, Large)

Fits head 18 (20, 22, 24) inches around

  • Finished Measurements

Stretched

18 (20, 22, 24)” circumference

6½ (7½, 9, 9)” height

  •  Yarn

55 (70, 90, 120) yards of Color 1 (C1)

35 (45, 60, 75) yards of Color 2 (C2)

All yardages are approximate.

Pattern is designed for worsted weight yarn. Shown in Juniper Moon Farm Moonshine (40% wool, 40% alpaca, 20% silk), a softly spun single ply yarn. Each skein contains 197 yards. Sample colors used are Swimming Pool (09) and Campfire (07).  Other suggested yarns include Madelinetosh Tosh Merino, Manos Del Uruguay Maxima or another worsted weight yarn.

  • Needles

Size US 5 (3.75 mm) for ribbed brim and US 7 (4.50 mm) for body of the hat, or size needed to obtain gauge.

 You can use a 16” circular needle, double pointed needles or a long circular needle (for magic loop) to knit in the round.

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  •  Other Materials

1 stitch marker

Tapestry needle

  •  Gauge (over 4 inches)

Ribbing (unstretched): 26 stitches & 34 rounds

Pattern (unstretched): 24 stitches & 53 rounds

Pattern (stretched): 16 stitches & 48 rounds

 Not meeting gauge may affect finished size.  Stretched is the fit over a head.

 

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On the Wheel – February 2016

Flyer Gear
(above – Woolee Winder flyer gear)

The good news is I finished something since my last On The Wheel post.  The bad news is one of these items is still on here.  My default wheel is still my eSpinner and thus I haven’t been spinning on my Kromski Sonata nearly as much.  Both my Sonata projects are in my bin for this year.  I set aside (out of my stash baskets) enough fiber (that I really want to spin) to meet my ounce spinning goal for the year.  It is sort of a “Spin the Bin” thing but a bit more relaxed.

 

Dark Spectrum merino/alpaca spinning fiber

This is my next, not even quite on the wheel yet, fiber to spin on the miniSpinner.  Although it might be on the wheel by the time the post goes live. The fiber is again from Fiber Fancy (which I believe is now defunct) and is a 70/30 blend of merino/alpaca.The colorway is called “Dark Spectrum” and is a natural gray alpaca overdyed with red, orange, yellow, green and blue.  I have 4.2 ounces and intend to complete it as a two-ply yarn.  The second ply tentatively will be solid black alpaca.

 

UntitledThis is 4.2 ounces from wooliebullie and is a 50% merino, 50% mulberry silk blend. The colorway is Beaujolais – a deep purple/magenta. Buttery smooth top to the touch. I’m aiming for a 2-ply lace or light fingering. My default 2-ply is a sport weight so the lace is a challenge for me. It’s slow going – I’ve been pre-drafting a lot to keep it consistently thin. I divided the top in half (one for each ply) and am still on the first half.  I will finish both bobbins of singles and then ply on the eSpinner, I think.

UntitledThis is fiber from Tomorrow Farm for the Once Upon a Time Spin Along. I bought two different colorways from this spin along – Emma and Snow White. My Snow White (eight ounces) became this shawl. The Emma fiber is proving a bit more challenging (I’m blaming the tencel).  The fiber includes alpaca, tencel, merino and faux cashmere and is a pretty blend of blues, white and grays.  As with the purple above, I’ll finish spinning the singles on the Sonata and then ply on the miniSpinner.

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Finished Object – Big Chunky Comfy Hat

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Sometimes you just need a quick knit to give you that feeling of accomplishment.  And I needed that.

I purposefully knit the hat long so it would cover my ears fully.  Ended up a little longer than I intended but oh-well. Moving on.  My Rav project page is here.

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Pattern – Big Chunky Comfy Hat (Ravelry pattern here) from Erica Kempf-Broughton of Nomad Yarns (which is actually my local yarn shop).  This is a beanie style hat worked using reversed ribbing.   The pattern calls for super-bulky weight yarn and US size 11 needles.  I actually used US size 9 needles because I always have loose gauge and wanted a tightly knitted fabric. Pattern is free on Ravelry.

Yarn –  Malabrigo Rasta (Rav link).  This yarn is a super-bulky weight yarn of 100% merino.  A 150 gram skein is 90 yards and the two-ply yarn is loosely plied.  I used just shy of 90 yards.  I love how soft this yarn is but, as expected with a single ply, it is already fuzzing.  I’ve also learned that super-bulky yarn is a challenge to knit with because it is so bulky.  I’m more of a worsted weight gal.

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Stitches Midwest 2015 Part 3 – Yarn Goodies

YarnThe post you’ve probably been looking for since last week is here.  Or you’re so bored at this point you’ve nodded off and are busy snoring at your screen.  Either way, just don’t drool on your knitting.

Hundred Ravens CollageFrom A Hundred Ravens (Owner Kate is amazingly friendly and cheerful, they also have a cool yarn club)

  • (left) Iachos, a 100% superwash merino, in colorway Rivendell (a soft olive green and grey)
  • (center) Iachos in colorway Hecate (light to dark purple and grey/black)
  • (right) Iachos mini skeins in colorway Into the Darkness (catch the Star Trek reference?) which is a light to dark teal

 

Grinning Gargoyle CollageFrom Grinning Gargoyle

  • (left) Lux Lace (laceweight alpaca/cashmere/silk) in the colorway Shiny Penny
  • (center) Primo (DK weight merino/cashmere/nylon) in the colorway Signature Red
  • (right) Shimmer (fingering weight merino/nylon/metallic) in the colorway Black Spruce

 

Buffalo and Wandering CollageThree More

  • (left) From Wandering Wool: Udaipur (50/50 merino/silk in a fingering weight) in Emerald Isle
  • (center) From Buffalo Wool Company: Buffalo Skies DK (50/50 merino/bison in DK weight) in Indian Paintbrush.  I actually sort of won this yarn from a grab bag.
  • (right) From Buffalo Wool Company: Sexy (50/50 bison/silk in lace weight) in Night Shade.

 

Remaining CollageAnd the Final Four

  • (left) Valley Yarns Sunderland (DK weight 100% alpaca) in colorways Charcoal Gray and Brilliant Blue
  • (center) Lost City Knits Oak Barn Merino (laceweight 100% merino) in colorway Spring Valley VFD
  • (right) White Birch Fiber Arts long sock gradient (80/20 merino/nylon gradient) in colorway Shake Your Tailfeathers

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Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival 2015

Another fiber festival is in the books! I had a wonderful class with two fantastic students.   I did some shopping, some socializing, some teaching and then some more shopping and socializing.
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Non-Yarn/Fiber Goodies

Happy Hands Lotion – This stuff is great for knitters and spinners because it dries quickly and isn’t greasy.  Today I bought the Clover scent.  I also like Mandarin Clove and Sweet Dreams.  Our local yarn shop, Starstruck Cat, carries the lotion and it is available directly from the Etsy site here.

Yarn Bowl – This is the second year I’ve bought a yarn bowl from this vendor, Beech Grove Clay Works.  The glaze jobs on their work is amazing, as well as patterning in the clay.  And, they are reasonably priced.

Project Bag – Another project bag from Unique Petites.  These have a flat bottom so they stand up.

Yarn Ball Pin – This was actually a gift from a vendor (Froebe Fibers) Patty and I both bought the same yarn from.  And she will be at Stitches (as a participant, not a vendor) – we hope to see her there!

Yarn and Fiber

021An alpaca/merino/tussah silk braid from Knitted to a T.  The electric/denim blue colors are deeply saturated.  The colorway name is Janie’s Got a Gun.

014Hand-dyed yarn from Froebe Fibers.  This is the Shady Leprechaun Lace, a blend of 70% superwash merino and 30% silk.  There are 1090 yards in the 100 gram skein.  The colorway is a silvery gray with bits of teal blue/green over it and she dyes using food-safe dyes.  Her online store is here.

019Lastly, and from a new to me dyer, is yarn from Copper Centaur Studios.  The dye on her yarns is a deeply saturated tonal, nearly solid.  The base for the yarn I bought is Slightly Silky – a very squishy fingering weight blend of 80% superwash merino and 20% silk. The colorway is “Intentional Tardis” and is destined to be a Dr. Who shawl.

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