Getting Creative With Self Care

The world isn’t getting any less crazy. So I’m leaning HARD into self care Wednesday nights.

This week’s regime is brought to you by Amazon. I got some under eye masks (hello stress induced dark circles), a clay mask for my large pores, and some argon oil to moisturize my curls in this humid Kansas summer heat.

On Wednesday’s I find my comfiest PJs after the kids go to bed and then I either take a hot bath or do some easy yoga and then I do some “beauty” treatments while I knit and watch TV. It has come to be something I really look forward to during the week.

I hope you all are finding some ways for self care!

Weekending Short Rows

I’m inching every closer to finishing my Weekender Sweater. I had split for the armholes and knit up both sides in the plain section. I’m finding it helpful to knit the sections in one after another. Meaning I knit up the front until I got the right height and then I counted my rows and knit up the back to same measurement.

The next step in this project is to knit a series of short rows before the final ribbing that will create the boat neck collar. I think I will like ways knit those in a similar fashion. I hope these will mean I can keep them symmetrical and therefore matching.

I’m keen to get this knit up and bound off so I can try the sweater on. I am thinking its not going to have as much ease as the pattern suggests. That is what I get for not swatching but I do believe blocking will add some because the Malabrigo is superwash. And for my body shape it is not always a bad thing not to have a huge amount of ease and be a little closer fitting. I just need to knit faster so I can find out!

Happy Knitting!

70s Kitchen Themed Yarn?

Summer is heating up here in Kansas and I’m finding myself outside a lot more with the kiddos. We stick pretty close to home these days and are finding new ways to use the spaces and in and around our house.

I got a few moments this past weekend to sip my favorite beer and do some spinning on the back patio. The kids managed to entertained themselves nicely and for long enough I added a decent amount of alpaca spinning project. I’m still practicing my drafting with the park and draft method.

I’m found myself staring at these colors and thinking “these look like a 1970s kitchen”. There is a lot of gold, orange, yellow with tiny amounts of blue and avocado green.The yarn is getting easier to make consistent. Prepping the roving into thin strips really helped me draft in a continuous and even manner.

This represents about half of the 4 ounces of roving that I started with. I think I’ll wind this off onto a spinning wheel bobbin so that I can start spinning the other half. I’m still working up the nerve to take some YouTube lessons on how to ply yarn on a wheel. For now I’m content with just making pretty singles and letting them rest.

Happy Spinning!!

FO Friday: Antagonist Vanilla Socks

Happy Friday! To celebrate this week I have a new pair of socks to snuggle my feet in. My Antagonist Vanilla Socks are done, washed and blocked!

Pattern: Toe Up Vanilla Socks using 68 stitches and a gusset heel

Yarn: Stranded Dyeworks BFL Nylong Fingering in Antagonist color

Needles: US 1s

These are the perfect socks. They have a nice sturdy fabric thanks to the BFL fiber content but they are still next to skin super soft. The speckles really pop out of the dark grey main color. The fit is really good with plenty of room in the heel and the cuff hugs my leg just right amount.

I do have a decent amount of yarn left from the skein. I used 68 grams or 272 yards in my socks so I have roughly 130 yards left for my scrap projects. Which I’m not mad at. I definitely see more BFL socks in my future.

Happy Knitting!!

2020 Mother’s Day Cast On

Every year on Mother’s Day I take some time for myself and cast on a new project with full delight and wild abandon. WIPs be damned….it is incredibly satisfying to have a little treat just for myself and let myself do as the mood strikes. This Mother’s Day kind of snuck up on me given the current state of our world. So I found myself on the eve of Mother’s day with no real plan.

I searched my brain and I remember that I had a skein of KnitCircus Trampoline in the Dream a Little Dream colorway that came already caked up. It’s a gorgeous gradient that felt right for Mother’s Day. I did some pattern searching on Ravelry and came up with the One Perfect Skein Shawl by Fredi Baker.

This pattern is specifically designed to use up the whole skein of yarn and would showcase the gradient nicely. Bonus points were that it was garter stitches and eyelets, which is kind of my jam right now. Though it has a picot edge, not sure how I feel about that but I can always modify that

I can’t wait to see how this purple fade plays out. I didn’t get very far on Mother’s Day as PB asked to take me on a bike ride on the local park trail. I of course said yes as I needed to burn off breakfast in bed feast of pancakes and bacon. This means I neglected to get my customary photo of my babies with my project cast on. Oh well, maybe I’ll wait until it’s finished and get my group photo then.

Happy Knitting!!

Close To An Antagonist Finish

Happy Wednesday to all! I took some time this week to turn the heel on my second Antagonist Vanilla Sock. Why is so satisfying to finish a heel and then just sit an admire the magic that is a hand knit sock heel?

I really was feeling the vibes of this sock. You see that progress keeper? That is where I was last Tuesday. I completed the fit and finished the heel! All that is left is the small leg and then the cuff.

I haven’t officially finished this sock, but I’m already dreaming of my next sock cast on…..probably something self-striping…..

Happy Knitting!!

My Back Hurts

Y’all….I did a thing. I almost single handedly moved 4 tons of landscaping rock. I definitely way over ordered from the quary but my neighbors were delighted to take about one ton of it for their fire pit area.

Now the hubs did help me here and there but I can proudly say this was my baby. I finished the big bed pictured above, our rose garden and the driveway lining. Everything is now cohesive and hopefully weed free at least for a little while. And boy is my back sore!

I’m already scheming on how to jazz up the large bed. I’m thinking a standing planter for seasonal flowers that can stand high sun and maybe a hanging bird feeder. PB REALLY likes to watch and talk to birds lately. I think it would be neat to have a feeder out the dining room window she could watch.

Should I Attempt Two Ply?

Happy Memorial Day to all! I hope everyone is safe and happy today.

I decided to start something new today. After finishing off some small handspun recently, I felt the itch to start a larger spinning project. Perhaps even one I would try to make as a 2-ply yarn?

This is 4 ounces of alpaca roving in kind of rusty oranges and browns. It’s a little compact from long term storage but I think it’s workable. I’m going to use my larger/heavier drop spindle and then perhaps my wheel to ply? I don’t care for the colors so it seems perfect to practice new things on because I won’t care if it gets messed up!

I split the roving in half by weight and then stripped the roving into smaller and thinner strips to pre-draft it and take some the compression out. I then wound that first half (lightly) into a ball and put in a project bag. I’m hoping that this improved fiber prep will help me make thinner yarn and more consistent yarn.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a knowledgeable spinner. I have no idea what I’m doing or what most things are called. I’m just amusing my self during social distancing by bumbling my way through some fiber.

Happy Spinning!!

FO Friday: Fluffy Sockhead Slouch

My Fluffy Sockhead slouch is done just in time for the temperatures to hit 70 degrees here in Kansas. Oh well, it’s super soft and a nice treat to tuck into my cedar chest!

Pattern: (Heavily Modified) Sockhead Slouch by Kelly McClure

Yarn: Apothefaery Fabrications Halo Brushed Suri and Middle of the Road Sock, held together

Needles: US 3 and US4

Mods: I used the basic stitch counts and decrease instructions, but otherwise I did my own thing with length of brim and length of slouch

I may have gone overboard after my too tight Everyday (Not So) Slouchy Beanie. This one is WAAY big on my head. It is a roomy fit for sure. It still is a functional and VERY warm hat. But I might have over corrected and gone too big. Nevertheless, I’m not ripping it out as I like the color blocking and it feels to good to empty a pair of needles.

This hat is for sure destined for the gift bin as the perfect head will present itself in the future. Maybe my next hat will be Goldilocks and fit JUST right?

Happy Knitting!!

More Finished Handpun

I have finished both my skeins of handspun from my spindle experiment! I dare say I might be getting the hang of this to some degree

The first skein I finished was one ounce of an unknown merino. I ended up with a bulky weight single that after washing and whacking was 27 grams and 31 yards of yarn. I definitely have some over and under spun parts but its holding together and not twisting up on itself as badly as my first attempt. For this one I used a smaller and lighter wooden drop spindle.

The second skein I finished was one ounce of an unknown merino batt. Again I ended up with a bulky weight single that after washing and whacking was 28 grams and 34 yards of yarn. Almost exactly the same as the first one. And for this one I used the heavier and larger maple drop spindle.

All in all, I made two successful yarns. Both are not perfect but I learned a lot about my drafting technique/ability and how best to finish my singles. Now…what should I spin next??