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Pat's Knitting and Quilting

December 29, 2009
Bella and More Spinning

I don't usually do Christmas knitting, but my daughter asked me to knit a pair of Bella's Mittens in grey yarn for her, so she got her knitting wish!

Bella's Mittens

Bella's Mittens

Bella's Mittens

Pattern: Bella's Mittens by Marielle Henault
Yarn: 170 grams of Valley Yarns Northampton Bulky in Light Grey
Needles: 2 mittens together on 1 US#8 circular needle - VERY tight gauge - for WARM thick mittens. I could only do a few rows at a time or my hands/arms/shoulders started getting sore - I would only go through this "not so much fun" knitting experience for her :-)

I followed the pattern without any modifications - very detailed well written (chartless) pattern.

Here they are on Christmas morning - she LOVES them! (And Jasmine loves her!)

Bella's Mittens

Beautiful Fat Cat Mixed Blessings Club forDecember - Falkland Wool - such wonderful earthy colors.

Fat Cat Falkland

I divided each roving into thirds (lengthwise) and then divided the thirds into fourths with the plan to make two 3 ply skeins - one of each color. Here are the singles...

Fat Cat Falkland

Fat Cat Falkland

I don't have a lot to compare it to yet, but this Falkland wool was WONDERFUL to spin - it drafted so easily and and just seemed to fall into the perfect twist/ply without my trying to hard to make anything specific happen. This was my 1st try at regular 3 ply and I found it not to be anymore difficult than 2 ply. The yarn is lovely - round, soft, and squishy.

Fat Cat Falkland

I ended up with 256 yards of green and 266 yards of orange - each skein is 2.4 ounces. I haven't checked WPI, but it looks like a heavy fingering/light sport weight yarn. The colors are very fall like, so I may wait to knit it up...or I may start knitting today. I'm thinking of colorwork mittens - maybe...

Fat Cat Falkland

click these if you want to see real close ups - the color is off on the orange one.

Fat Cat Falkland Fat Cat Falkland

Starting in January...MITTENS! Have you joined the NaKniMitMo 2010 KAL?

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December 21, 2009
Targhee Aran Watch Cap

I started with this beautiful braid of targhee wool, and had a grand 2 ply color idea for socks, that did not go as planned - not even close!

targhee

If left as 2 ply I would have had 1 striped sock and one barberpole sock. So I got out my spinning books and decided to experiment. The result was a 4 strand cable ply yarn which I made by tightening up the 2 ply twist and plying the 2 yarns together for 260 yards of a nicely balanced, soft, stretchy, squishy worsted weight yarn.

targhee closeup

targhee

Aran Satch Cap

Pattern: Aran Watch Cap from Hats On by Charlene Schurch
Size: Medium (124 stitches around)
Yarn: 3 ounces (85 grams) Handspun Targhee Wool from GLBLF ( 10-11 WPI) 4 strand cable ply. I wonder if this roving was a little felted - it was matted and clumpy- or maybe that is the natural way of targhee - either way, the resulting yarn was so soft and beautiful that it was worth the extra preparation.
Needles: 16" circular - US 5 for cuff/ US 6 for body
Modifications: Knit a size medium, but made the body 5 1/4 inches to make a deeper hat.

aran watch cap aran watch cap

I took the pictures myself - It wasn't easy to even get the hat IN the picture - most photos looked like this.
This is the 2nd time I've made an Aran Watch Cap - it is not often that I knit a pattern more than once, but it is a wonderful hat to knit and to wear and I think the soft muted colors of this handspun work perfectly!

My one and only needlepoint project completed in 1986

needlepoint

HAVE A HAPPY SOLSTICE AND A MERRY CHRISTMAS

PS - my "comment" company was sold and the new one doesn't have a place for email, so unless I already know your email I can't respond - Frustrating!

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December 12, 2009
First Handspun Socks

Fat Cat Roving

I could never have guessed that the socks from this fiber would turn out like this...

Fat Cat Handspun Socks

Fat Cat Handspun Socks

Pattern: Cuff down over 60 stitches.
Yarn: 2.5 ounces (73 grams) of hand dyed Fat Cat Knits Merino. (November Mixed Blessings Fiber Club) Spun as 2 ply fingering weight - 17 WPI - yarn photos here.
Needles: 2 socks on one 2.25mm circular.

The "sort of matchy" striping on these socks was pure luck. I divided each roving in 8 lengthwise strips and spun the singles end to end on 2 bobbins then plied them - divided the yarn in half by weight and started knitting. Since I was knitting both together, it was so much fun to watch the stripes form, start to match, divert away and then match again. The reason I know it was a stroke of luck is that I tried to make some matching striped yarn for my next spinnig project and it's not even close!

They are soft, bright, beautiful and fit like a dream - The barber pole yarn turns into a tweedy trekkingesque sock look. At this point I feel like I could just knit handspun socks for the rest of my life and be happy - actually, that might not be true...I'm already thinking of sweaters, hats and mittens :-)

Since this is pure merino fiber, I added some nylon reinforcement yarn (that I forgot to use on Dave's socks) to the bottom of the heel, which is the only place my socks have ever worn out.

Fat Cat Handspun Socks

I still have 2.5 ounces of this fun yarn left! Maybe colorwork?

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December 7, 2009
Blessed Thistle

We love artichokes - when I go to the store and ask the boys what I should get, they actually say "please get artichokes"...these are teenage boys!

artichoke

So you can imagine how much fun it was to make these socks :-)

Blessed Thistle

Pattern: Blessed Thistle by Lisa Grossman Tsarina or Tsocks
Size: Medium
Needles: 2 tsocks on one 2.25 mm circular
Yarn: Jennifer's FlockSock in Artichoke and Melted Butter
Followed the pattern as written - so many creative ideas went into this sock design - the little stem leaves are worked right into the cuff - the "sort of a gusset" is formed by increasing then decreasing the lace leaves - and then to top it off...melted butter toes!

Blessed Thistle Blessed Thistle

My daughter Kate's 25th birthday was this week - I let her pick out anything she wants from "the knitting bin". This is what she chose (along with a preblogging Morehouse merino scarf) - she's got good taste!

Snowy Woods Reading Mittens Vilaii

I'm spinning beautiful muted colors of Targhee wool...I think it will become another pair of 2 ply socks and then I'll venture into 3 ply/Navajo ply and some thicker yarns. My current handspun socks in progress are wild and fun - They should be done by next week!

Targhee

Targhee bobbin

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