WIPWed #86: #MegaSAL, Here I Come!

Since finishing the Fiasco’s socks and failing to finish my MalMarch projects, I’ve taken embraced sock-knitting-for-me thus far this April.

Tropical Traveler:

I’ve been itching to knit these socks (from the January shipment of the Rockin’ Sock Club) for weeks and it’s been wonderful to pick them back up again, guilt-free. I think my new system of knitting sort-of-two-at-time (by having two pairs of DPNs and alternating between socks as I go) is working rather nicely, for I have not one but two socks that both have heels right now. I wanted to try a different heel out of Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture book, so I went with the square heel for this pair. Flaps and gussets work really well for me (high arches!) and I didn’t want to stray far from what I know already works, but it was fun to change things up a little bit.

Magrat MegaSAL:

WIPWed #86:

Nest superwash Merino, click for handspun page.

Since I couldn’t wait any longer, I just barely began spinning my Nest superwash Merino fiber dyed in the Magrat colorway for the Discworld-themed #MegaSAL that I wrote about previously. Because I clearly never want to finish this yarn, I’ve decided to try spinning it entirely on my Subterranean Woodwork medium Turkish spindle. I am probably the slowest spindle spinner on the planet (I just seem to get so much more done on the wheel) but I really want to challenge myself to make good use of my spindles, and two weeks seems like enough time to give it the ol’ college try. Besides, the spindle is fun to use and the fiber is nearly irresistible to touch (so fluffy!) so I have hope. Are you joining in for this SAL? I’d love to see your projects!

MalMarch Nube:

WIPWed #86: #MegaSAL, Here I Come!

Malabrigo Nube, colorway Persia. Click for handspun page.

Fear not, I haven’t completely forsaken the spinning project I aimed to finish in March. I haven’t sat down at the wheel yet this week because I’m still a little wary of tweaking my back again (damn long draw motions) but I’ve been faithfully carding up the rest of the fiber I have into fluff-tastic rolags. Hopefully this weekend I’ll be able to find some time to sit at the wheel.

As for reading (to link up with Yarnalong), I’ve been tearing through the sixth Outlander book (nearly done!) and have just started to listen to Nation by Terry Pratchett on audiobook. It’s not a Discworld novel, but I enjoy reading/listening to anything he writes. I recently finished the first book in The Long Earth series (co-authored with Stephen Baxter) and it was really fascinating, I can’t wait until the remaining books become available at the library, although I’m afraid they may not have finished the series before Terry passed away. It’s essentially about people who can step from one Earth to another, if you imagine Earth as a deck of cards with our Earth in the middle and multiple copies of the planet that experienced all sorts of different history, events, and evolution expanding out to infinity on either side. This leads to the existence of nifty creatures, societies, and ecosystems that humans could then have access to. (I love scifi, especially biologically-nerdy scifi.) Highly recommend.

And as for life, tomorrow I’m going to see my new favorite band crush in concert and couldn’t be more excited: Walk the Moon. The single they have out on the radio right now, Shut Up & Dance, is basically instant happiness for me. I think Anna Sun is probably my favorite song of theirs,  however, and this is probably my favorite video:

It’s just so dumb and joyful and fun, it brings me right back to my college days. The main dude looks like he is barely 20 years old, so I’m a little bit worried that we’ll be the oldest people in the room but likely not and I suppose, who cares, right? (This is me trying to get ok with being 30 and no longer the target audience of bands like this. * sob *)

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All The (Pretty) Things

I’m taking a page from Truly Myrtle‘s book and sharing a few sort-of-random things this Friday evening.

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Dyeing!

Dyeing has been on my mind lately. (Also probably Truly Myrtle’s fault!) I have several skeins of the above lovely, naturally grey/brown yak/silk fiber that I plan to use in a Salted pullover. However, I’m not a fan of uniform colors in my knitting and I love the speckled look of the plain stockinette sections of the sweater sample, so I thought I’d dye one skein and see if I could achieve a similarly subtle variegation. I took a stab with a depth of shade of 0.25 of Turquoise and I submerged the yarn in the dyepot all twisted up in the hank, as shown above, with the idea that the twisted bits would act as a resist and prevent the dye from completely penetrating the whole skein. It’s simmering as I write and I keep peeking in the pot, but I don’t think my plan is working. It’s looking pretty saturated and dark and the dye bath is not exhausting… sigh. I suppose that’s why we practice!

All The (Dyeable) Things | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Twisted, colorway Aurora Borealis

My next Grand Plan is to overdye two skeins of BMFA Twisted. It feels blasphemous to overdye Tina’s gorgeous handiwork, especially since I do really love the color, but my stash lacks sweater quantities of yarn, and two skeins of this is just enough to make a Cypress vest/pullover in my size:

Cypress vest by Jared Flood. Copyright Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood. Click for pattern page.

The issue is that I just can’t see myself wearing such a multicolored garment. I have some Silver Grey dye that I think will darken the colors up just enough to make them cohesive enough for a garment, while preserving some variegation. (If anybody has some tips on how best to go about achieving this goal, I’m all ears!) I’m not sure what’s gotten hold of me lately but I want a sweater, and I want it now, so Cypress it is.

All The (Pretty) Things | Woolen Diversions

Sweet, sweet Darwin.

All The (Pretty) Things | Woolen Diversions

Stoic Calypso.

I’ve been continuing to practice with my new camera. I love it. I’ve taken a truly absurd number of cat photos over the last few days. Oh well! I suppose I’m just another stereotype after all.

All The (Pretty) Things | Woolen Diversions

Forthcoming fall scents!

I’ve been a busy bee preparing fall fragrances for Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe. Some of them should go up this weekend after our farmer’s market tomorrow. If you live in or near Rhode Island, come visit the Mount Hope Farmer’s Market in Bristol, we’ll be there from 9am – 1pm (on Saturday 9/20)!

And now for the most random of the things I wanted to share this evening: as you may or may not know, I’ve been a big fan of Jason Mraz’s music for over a decade (yikes). Much of my down time during 2003 was spent watching ad nauseum when I should’ve been sleeping grainy video clips of his small time performances in a coffeehouse in California. His voice and musical style are just… incomparable. There’s nothing quite like his mysic: a little bit of twang, a little bit of soul, a little bit of 70’s rock, a little bit of cheesiness, a ton of lyrical wordplay, and a whole lot of talent.

All The (Pretty) Things | Woolen Diversions

That fuzzy man on stage is Mr. Jason Mraz.

When a friend from grad school had an extra ticket to a show I hadn’t even known was happening I jumped all over the chance to see my long-time-love. He has a new album out that he wrote with an all-girl folk band, Raining Jane. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the band change at first but after seeing the show, I love it. He said about the collaboration that he had needed a change, he was dealing with some writer’s block and he would’ve put out a record either way but that he’s so grateful they agreed to work with him because they were what he needed to produce music that “filled his heart”. It’s interesting to think of artists we admire dealing with creative burnout. If you have Amazon Prime, there are several of Jason’s albums available for free download. His newest one, Yes!, is the one with Raining Jane and it is worth every penny of the $6.99 that Amazon is currently charging. Below you’ll find a ‘short film’ which is essentially 3 continuous music videos in one. They perfectly represent the dreamy quality of this new album, and I’ve never seen someone make a whole mini movie out of their videos before. Check it out!

While I’m super excited about the new direction his music is taking, I’ll always love him best when it’s just him and his guitar. But I suppose that’s enough fangirlin’ for one night. I could go on, but I’ll spare you (unless you want more info, just let me know). Plus, I’ve got a few hours worth of Jason to watch and a dyepot to check up on. Happy Friday!