Places I Knit

I’m going to be completely honest here. The majority of places I knit are entirely boring as 90% of the time I’m knitting on my couch, the passenger seat of a car, or work meetings. But I totally support knitting everywhere-and-anywhere (well, maybe not everywhere) and would love to hear about some of the more interesting places you’ve knit.

One of my favorite atypical places to knit is the beach:

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I don’t mind a little sand in my yarn. The most interesting place I’ve knit was on the porch of our honeymoon casita in Costa Rica:

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And perhaps the prettiest/strangest place I’ve knit was in the garden where we were married!

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Needless to say, yarn comes with me everywhere. I should probably work on knitting in some more exciting places, though.

This post was inspired by Where We Knit,  the very first Indie Untangled yarn club.

Beer photo by Jay R. Brooks

Indie yarn + pattern + surprise treat inspired by the different places we knit will be shipped out every quarter in 2016: Drops of Honey (nothing cozier than tea + knitting), Two Rivers (based on the Mississippi and the Hudson), At the Brewery, and the Beach in Fall. Sign ups are open now and run through December 20th. A lotion bar by Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe in a special fragrance inspired by the theme will be the surprise treat in one of shipments, too! See more details on the Indie Untangled blog.

What’s the craziest place you’ve knit?

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Rhinebeck Sweater: Admitting Defeat

With the wool festival occurring this weekend and the crazy stressful time we’ve been having over at the Morandi house, I’m finally admitting defeat: I will not finish my Rhinebeck sweater in time.

Rhinebeck Sweater: Admitting Defeat | Woolen Diversions

Progress to date.

If I were someone without a full time job, it might have been possible to finish, as there are just the right and left fronts, right and left sleeves, giant ribbed collar, and seaming left to do (hah!) but that’s just not going to happen in the next 5 days and I’m not even tempted to try. I will, however, aim to finish it shortly after the festival, as it will be wonderful to wear in the coming months.

I’m admitting defeat with Spinzilla this year, too. Between my Polwarth sock yarn and Louet merino/silk, I didn’t even fill one whole bobbin! Based on my yards per pound calculations, I spun a paltry 3.2 oz and 380 yards, but it’s not nothing, and the spinning was soothing.

Check out my interview with Subway Knits!

I’ve also had to give up on my plan to vend at the pre-Rhinebeck IndieUntangled Trunk Show this Friday as Nana’s funeral is scheduled for sometime on Friday, and I need to stay home and be with my family. However, Cheryl and Jenn of June Pryce Fiber Arts  have generously and graciously agreed to bring some of my items up with them and man my booth for me. So if you were hoping to sniff some Sweet Sheep scents in person, it will still be possible thanks to those two wonderful ladies (and you should check out their lovely fiber, yarn and notions while you’re at it)! I’m sad that I won’t be there in person myself, but you can hear me chat about my business with Maria over at Subway Knits in her Road to Rhinebeck podcast series. (I haven’t even had the chance to listen to it yet, fingers crossed that I don’t sound like a weirdo!)

Rhinebeck Sweater: Admitting Defeat | Woolen Diversions

My new Rhinebeck goal.

In more uplifting news, I am still going to attend Rhinebeck, as my dear Fiasco reminded me that after all of the stress lately, I could really use a vacation. So I will be heading up sometime Saturday and since it wouldn’t be Rhinebeck without a lofty knitting goal, my new challenge will be to attempt to finish my Kelp-y Kelpie shawl in time to wear to the festival. This shawl has been hibernating since May of 2014 because I used the wrong color yarn to pick up the border stitches and then I just abandoned it. I resurrected it last night, fixed my mistake, and have gotten into the rhythm of the border now. I have 43 more border rows to complete, in addition to the bind-off, and some fiddly bind-off business along the top. All this needs to be completed in 4 evenings, if I want time to block the thing. Challenge accepted!

Rhinebeck Sweater: The Great Divide

That is admittedly a really dramatic title for a post that is a straightforward progress update: I’ve reached the part of my Rhinebeck sweater where I divide the back of the cardigan from the fronts for the armholes!

Rhinebeck Sweater: The Great Divide | Woolen Diversions

Divided!

I was super excited about reaching this point since it meant the waist decreases were over and it felt like something exciting would happen… but after decreasing at each edge for a few rows, this part is basically just going to involve 10 more inches of the same fabric I was already knitting.

Rhinebeck Sweater: The Great Divide | Woolen Diversions

Armhole decreases.

I modified the pattern slightly so that there are 98 sts in the back and 56 sts in each front (instead of 100 and 55) because I liked the way the decreases lined up with the patterning better. What I’m finding really interesting about sweater knitting is that yes, it can be complicated to choose a size and make alterations, but once you do that it’s no more complicated (or less repetitive) than a basic scarf for much of the knitting time. There are certainly fiddly bits but they are few and far between and for the most part, sweater fabric is pretty mindless to produce. Who knew? Andi of Untangling Knots has a couple of great posts about knitting sweaters here and here that I think are helpful for newbies.

In other news, I made some more soap! This is a slightly different variation on the aloe vera and goat milk Ocean Mist soap that I had my shop previously, as I tried a new pouring/swirling technique (read: the temperatures didn’t work out as I had expected so I improvised) and I rather like how the soap came out. The fragrance is a great blend of Sea Moss (floral, clean, gentle) and Down by the Bay (bright, astringent, salty) that I think is really refreshing in the shower and is apparently unisex, as the Fiasco has already claimed one as his own. I also restocked several bars of Lavender-scented sheep-shaped goat milk soap, if you were waiting on those.

I’m working on my prep plan for the Indie Untangled trunk show in less than 3 weeks (THREE WEEKS OMG) and I’m trying to decide which lotion bar or sheep-shaped soaps scents I need to have in stock. Are any of my lovely readers planning to go to the show? Any special requests of scents you’d like me to be sure to bring? I hope I get to meet some of you in person! Here’s a link to the event page on Facebook, if you want to share with your friends.

And man, less than three weeks? I better keep knitting!

FOFri #35: Starting with a Finish

After assessing my 2014 FOs, I’m happy to start 2015 off with a post featuring something I actually finished. (Although in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I finished the yarn before the end of December. Whatever, I’m still counting it!)
Woolen Diversions

BFL n-ply in Countess Ablaze colorway ‘Petrol’. Click for handspun page.

I started with a braid of BFL/silk/firestar from Countess Ablaze in a great blue-black colorway called Petrol. I spun the braid from end-to-end into a single that I then navajo-plied for a DK/worsted weight 3-ply. This is the ‘standard’ yarn I tend to produce on my Babe wheel.
Woolen Diversions

Glamour shot.

I love the color and am happy with the finished product, but I really did not enjoy the spin. The fiber was a little compacted (perhaps because it had been sitting in my stash for a year?) and the firestar in the mix gave me a bit of trouble with even drafting. Primarily, though, I think I was unhappy because after spinning on my new Lendrum, I could really feel a difference when I switched back to my old Babe. However, I wanted to produce this ‘default’ yarn to go with two other skeins of BFL handspun I had already made on that wheel, so I persevered.

Woolen Diversions

Three handspun skeins of BFL.

I intend to use the three skeins together, either in a Monster Cowl or as accent colors in some simple colorwork accessories (example hat: Meliorus and mittens: Cloisonee). This skein is probably the last thing I’ll spin on my Babe wheel and I’m happy to have it finished. It was also my entry into the Indie Untangled KAL that just wrapped up. You should check out all the lovely FOs created from indie artists’ materials and patterns, they are really inspiring! Thank you for all of the encouraging comments on my previous post. I hope you’ve had a good start to the new year!