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17 October 2011 @ 03:19 am
had a lovely time traveling with gingy.

details under the cut; photos here and on rav.Collapse )
02 October 2011 @ 02:15 am
over the past month or two i've managed to photograph and catalogue all (well, almost all) of my yarn and fiber stash. with a few exceptions (today's purchase of more bulky alpaca, two small boxes of random balls of acrylic, and some stuff that i'm pretty sure is a loss to the carpet beetles), everything's listed on ravelry.

i have a *lot* of yarn. i do not need more yarn or fiber. i would not have made today's purchase except that i had already gotten the groupon for a new-to-me shop*. i do not intend to buy anything at rhinebeck, though i am looking forward to going this year. i try not to buy anything that wasn't dyed by one of my indie dyer friends, and even then i try to buy from them directly. but let's face it, i'm a sucker for soft and pretty and self-discipline isn't exactly my strong suit.

i'm not going to actively destash. while it's hard to imagine ever knitting through my whole stash i don't really have anything i don't think i could find a use for - i did buy stuff cause i liked it after all. i also can't be bothered to ship stuff out and it's worth more to me in stash than the prices usually brought by a destash. but i'm encouraging my friends to favorite stuff they like on rav, as i will probably do some gifting out of my stash (or maybe i'll even make you something). no guarantees, but this way if i decide to go that route i'll be sure i'm giving something you like. if you have some brilliant suggestions for what i might knit (for me or you) out of anything particular, i'm all ears. my queue is even larger than my stash but i am terrible at deciding on projects.

* woolworks: they were friendly and had some nice stuff but there was insufficient parking and there is no way i'm going back there until they get some price labels on the yarns (or at the very least, on the shelves). they did allow me to look at the one and only price list in the shop when asked, but it was a very frustrating shopping experience today. if i'm going to drive that far for a LYS it will be a tangled skein or fibre space. i have yet to visit the LYS that just opened a lot closer to my home - maybe i'll do that tomorrow. and try not to buy anything. stop laughing, gingy.
03 June 2011 @ 02:29 am
First - Ravelers, please go change your password, there and on any site where you use the same username OR email and password combination. There has been a security breach on Ravelry. More details from Casey on the main page and in this FTLOR thread.

HYP was great! Got some actual sleep beforehand this year, so I may have been less entertaining on the mike but enjoyed myself more. Bought some stuff. Can't really remember all of it at this point ... some ShelbyB, some NFC, got a book and a t-shirt and a tote ... won a very pretty business card case but gave it up to one of my awesome volunteers. Looking forward to HYP 2012! (did anyone end up with an extra ball-winder? we are missing one from the winding station - let me know)

MDSW was also lovely. Only went on Sunday so crowds weren't terrible. I missed seeing some friends that I usually see. Didn't buy too much - some gold drop spindle earrings for gingy's birthday, some brown/tan/black bulky from brooks farm, some blue cormo roving, and a TON of cormo/alpaca blend. was there more? don't remember.

working on a pair of cashmere cafe au lait mitts for myself. got my first installment in the twisted disc club. got some nummy green silk handspun from my friend greg (need to get some dragonfly silk fiber to replace). enjoyed the ATS friday-the-13-no-wait-20th sale, bought some sparkly dream in color. need to take lots of pics and post all this stuff to rav. someday.

happy knitting and stuff!
01 February 2011 @ 10:40 pm

Besides work busy-ness and a distinct lack of internet at home...

The Homespun Yarn Party is coming on March 27, so we are busy planning that.

I've taken over the Editor in Chief reins on This Week in Ravelry and am coordinating the efforts of almost 250 volunteers.

um. I'm sure there's more? Oh yeah, I've done some knitting, including a test knit for my friend Karoline. But I don't have photos here, so you'll have to look at my rav projects.

Happy new year and stuff!
01 August 2010 @ 12:00 am
This pattern is eventually going to be available as a Ravelry download, but as it's been over a year and I can't seem to get my act together for tech edit and adding the heel tutorial, I'm offering the basics here for now...

This has been knit by me and wonderful test knitter Gingy but we've only made two sizes so feedback on other size (or any other problem areas you might find) is welcome.

These are ankle socks, which are suitable for warm climate-wearing due to the lace instep, but with a solid sole. The open lace panel is achieved by knitting with larger needles while the sole, heel, and toe are knit to a tight gauge for long wear and walking comfort. A picot edging at the cuff complements the lace.

This lace pattern is ideal for short-repeat patterned yarns and takes less yardage than a standard sock so you may be able to get two pairs from one skein of yarn. Knit toe-up, the pattern is written for two circulars but can be adapted easily for double-points (it will not work with magic loop throughout as two different needle sizes are used simultaneously).

The pattern uses Judy Becker’s Magic Cast-On, for which instructions are available at and an excellent video by Cat Bordhi at Figure 8 cast-on may also be used. The Vertical Lace Trellis pattern may be found in Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, Volume 1. The short row heel uses a less bulky non-wrapped join which is a slight variation of the method explained by Kaity Von Rader at . If desired, substitute your favorite wrap and turn method to avoid gaps. If you prefer a straight cuff without picots, I recommend the EZ sewn bind-off for stretchiness after the ribbing.

Yarn: This pattern takes approximately 200 yards of any light fingering weight yarn such as
Fibranatura Yummy, Woolarina Merino/Seacell, LittleFreak Yarns LittleSocks

Needles: Two US 2 (2.75mm) circular needles, at least 16”, or one set US 2 DPNs
Two US 5 (3.75mm) circular needles, at least 16”, or one set US 5 DPNs
or appropriate needles to match gauge; larger needle diameter (mm) ≈ smaller * 1.4

Gauge: 7 stitches and 10 rows per inch in stockinette stitch on smaller needles

Size: US Ladies [7, 8, 9, 10]
foot length [8.75, 9.25, 9.75, 10.25] inches; ball of foot [8.5, 9, 9.5, 10] inches
add or remove a lace repeat in the foot section to adjust length by ~7/16 inch

k knit
k tbl knit through the back loop
k2tog knit 2 together
m1 make one stitch by lifting the bar between stitches onto the needle with right leg front
p purl
pm place marker (markers optional if you are familiar with short row heel construction)
sl slip a stitch (purlwise unless otherwise indicated)
ssk slip stitch knitwise, slip next stitch as knitwise, knit both stitches together
yo yarn over

Using Judy’s Magic Cast-On, using two size 2 double pointed or circular needles, cast on [22, 26, 26, 30] stitches and knit one round. If using DPNs, split the stitches evenly onto four needles, considering two as the “front” and two as the “back” for future directions.

Increase by four stitches every other round until you have [50, 54, 58, 62] stitches by repeating the following two rows:
1. * k1, m1, (k to one stitch before end), m1, k1 *, repeat on back needle
2. * k1, k tbl, (k to two stitches before end), k tbl, k1 *, repeat on back needle

Knit one round even.

At this point, you will switch to the larger needle for the front, or instep, and keep using the smaller needle for the back, or sole. You now have [23, 27, 31, 35] sts on each needle.

Front: Using size 5 needle, k1, [k2tog] [5, 6, 7, 8] times, k1, [ssk] [5, 6, 7, 8] times, k1 ([13, 15, 17, 19] sts)
Back: Using size 2 needle, k across ([23, 27, 31, 35] sts)

Work [0, 0, 2, 2] rows even.

Work lace pattern and sole in the round until sock measures [7.25, 7.75, 8.25, 8.75] inches from tip of toe by repeating the following four rows on the front needle ([13, 15, 17, 19] sts) [14, 15, 15, 16] times, knitting across all stitches on the back needle ([23, 27, 31, 35] sts).
1. k1, [yo, k2tog] [6, 7, 8, 9] times, k across back needle
2. k across
3. [ssk, yo] [6, 7, 8, 9] times, k1, k across back needle
4. k across
Be careful when knitting across the back needle not to pull the first few stitches so tight that the tension is uneven on the front but make sure there is no extra slack when beginning the front panel or the side stitches will be sloppy.

You will now turn the heel, leaving the stitches on the front needle alone (place on holder if desired) and working back and forth across the back needle.

Repeat the following two rows until [10, 12, 14, 16] unslipped stitches remain in the center (this will take [13, 15, 17, 19] rows, beginning and ending with a purl row).
1. sl1, pm, p to next marker (p to end on first row), turn
2. sl1, pm, k to next marker, turn

Begin gap closures on a knit row, repeating the following two rows until one stitch remains on left needle ([14, 16, 18, 20] rows, ending with a purl row):
1. sl1, (pm on the first row only), k to stitch before next marker, sl1 knitwise, remove marker, lift front bar in gap knitwise and knit together with just slipped stitch, turn
2. sl1, p to stitch before next marker, sl1, remove marker, lift front bar in gap purlwise and purl together with just slipped stitch, turn (on final row, slip remaining stitch before turning – all [23, 27, 31, 35] heel stitches are now on one needle)

You are now ready to knit the ankle, using size 5 needles in the round. Work setup row across back needle only as follows ([12, 14 16, 18] sts) and place marker for start of round if using magic loop, else move last stitch to front needle (14, 16, 18, 20] sts):
Back: k1, [k2tog] [5, 6, 7, 8] times, k1, [ssk] [5, 6, 7, 8] times, pm (if you have small ankles, this will leave 2 fewer stitches of lace pattern)
OR k3 [k2tog] [4, 5, 6, 7] times, k1, [ssk] [4, 5, 6, 7] times, k2, pm ([14, 16, 18, 20] sts on back)

Repeat these four lace rows to desired length (save 9-10 yards of yarn for the cuff). Be careful not to drop the yarn overs at the ends of the needles if using DPNs.
1. [k2tog, yo] to end of round
2. k around
3. [yo, ssk] to end of round
4. k around

For the lightly flared picot edge, you will now return to using size 2 needles.
k2, [k1, yo] [5, 6, 7, 8] times, k1, [k1,yo] [5, 6, 7, 8] times,
k2, [k1, yo] [5, 6, 7, 8] times, k1, [k1,yo] [5, 6, 7, 8] times ([46, 54, 64, 72] sts) (or [6, 7, 8, 9] times for [48, 56, 66, 74] sts
knit or work k1 p1 or twisted ribbing three rounds even
[k2tog, yo] around
knit or work k1 p1 ribbing three rounds even

Remove needles, placing stitches on thin waste yarn or dental floss.
Fold over and tack down sewing through (live) stitches and purl bumps of the first plain knit row below with yarn tail. Make sure to leave enough slack so that the sock stretches over the heel when putting it on.
Remove waste yarn, wash, and block to finish.

OR use the EZ sewn bind off.

© 2009, Jess of bunnysquirrel knits; all rights reserved.

This pattern is offered for personal use only. You may create a single working copy, however you may not further reproduce or distribute the pattern without express written permission. Items made from this pattern may be gifted, or sold for charitable purposes only – any other sale of finished items requires licensing in advance.

Please contact me with any questions at, or bunnysquirrel on Ravelry

Happy knitting! : )
23 May 2010 @ 09:21 pm
yesterday gingy and i went to the mannings in hope of some fibery goodness for her birthday. we had a good time despite directions-fail x3 (we had to turn around three times), yarn-fail x3 (the mannings was distinctly underwhelming, and then both uncommon threads and black sheep had closed about an hour before we arrived), and lunch-fail x3 (first the tea room we tried to visit was reservation-only, then three other restaurants were closed, then there was an ultimately mostly successful but nerve filled quest for ice cream...). i think the highlight of the trip was seeing baby cows in baby cowhouses:

(original photo by gingy - unfortunately neither of us had real cameras and couldn't get closer).
04 May 2010 @ 01:32 am
just a quickie sans photos, since it could be ages before i get them uploaded and if i don't do this now it won't happen ever.

despite the fact that i felt like a fiber fraud since i was the only person around me not losing his or her mind over mdsw, i had a really great weekend. i did very little wallet damage, coming away with pretty much only the things i said i was going to buy and no new yarn*. i got to spend quality time with some very good friends who i don't see often, which was really the best part. i actually did take time to pet the sheep and make eyes at the bunnies and llama and goats and alpaca. i watched the super-young 4-h'ers shepherding competition and saw the absolute tiniest black baby lamb ever and just about melted from the cute.

there were some downsides - it was VERY hot and i neglected to sunblock my neck so i'm a touch pink, and i didn't get as much time with some friends as i'd have liked (and some were missing altogether), but i made some new ones so it all worked out. this is the first year i didn't volunteer for anything, which was liberating, and a good thing since i had to go in to work for a while sunday evening.

the haul:
two new bosworth spindles because i have no idea where my stash of spindles got packed in the move but i'm sure they'll turn up eventually. bloodwood mini and red cedar midi. $95 (yowch, but they are lovely and the red cedar smells yummy)
a "Lady Hoare's Tatting Shuttle" which i absolutely bought because of the name. also my great-grandma used to tat and i'd love to learn. except i think she did might have done needle tatting. oh well. $2.50
4 oz bamboo top, undyed. for a challenge. may or may not dye this summer before spinning. $6
8 oz cultivated silk top, undyed. ditto the bamboo. $35 (also yowch but it has such sheen)
2 oz tussah silk, pindrafted top, dyed in shades of blue. this one was an impulse arm-twist purchase that i'd probably have been just as happy without, but it is pretty. $8.50
a bitty bot robot magnet, just a little bigger than my thumbnail. i gave him a name but now i've forgotten it so i'll have to think of a new one. cute! $4
fair food: ice cream, italian sausage (NOT LAMB! sheep are for sweaters not for eating), water, and a bite of funnel cake. overpriced but necessary.

*i did make one yarn purchase, but not for me - suz and i exchange birthday gifts at sheep and wool every year since our birthdays are so close. she brought me a skein of sundara (whee, with that and the bugga and the woolmeise, my dramayarn trifecta is complete) in blues, whites, and browns. pretty. she picked out a skein of three irish girls from cloverhill, so technically i did buy that.

i think that HYP has spoiled me for getting yarn (or even dyed roving) at other festivals. while lots of the vendors at mdsw (and rhinebeck for that matter) have lovely stuff, if i'm going to buy yarn i'd rather get it from one of the many talented artists i talk to regularly and get to see in person at my spinning group and my LYS and every year at the homespun yarn party. if i can support my friends directly, i would rather cut out the middleman, and i am lucky enough that most of the time if i want something specific i can just ask (or make it myself). i know this means i'm spoiled rotten when it comes to having my favorite fiber event at the very start of the season. i guess that's one advantage to running the thing!!

(you may notice i didn't mention the purchase of a lendrum, which was originally on my shopping list for mdsw. that's cause i got my lovely wheel in march, second hand but with excellent provenance. yay!)
22 March 2010 @ 12:04 am
it was good. i may have bought some yarn. it was probably blue. (i know, i know, but some of it was purple!)

and some soap. sadly no spindle or fiber this year.

shout-outs to my awesome volunteer helpers! you guys rocked. and kim and tammy and laura for making sure i got up in time. and corrine and lauren and paula and lindsay for organizing with me!

more details when i've had some sleep.
17 March 2010 @ 03:05 am
wow, so i've pretty much sucked at blogging this year. sorry 'bout that. i didn't have internet, and then it snowed a lot, and then i moved, and then i had even less internet, and then work got crazy, and then i worked on organizing the

Third Annual Homespun Yarn Party

which you should all come to this weekend. maybe i'll even blog about it. but don't hold your breath!

26 October 2009 @ 01:30 am
i've been sick in bed for a week now with what is being assumed to be H1N1 (though could also be seasonal flu, they're just not testing anymore). this is the sickest i've been in a long, long time. i'm feeling loads better than i was a day or so ago but my cough persists so i need to go be checked for bronchitis or pneumonia or some other nasty secondary infection before i can go back to work.

if you have flu shots available to you and you do not have an immune system of STEEL, please, please get them. you don't want this ick. also, stock up on chicken broth and oj.

in (sort of) happier news, i have a yarn sale to share... sadly it is because my LYS is closing its doors. :( stupid economy.

spinster yarns & fibers still has lots of great stuff at 50% off (books at 40% off). i am very sad to see her go and hope we can find a new home for the saturday night knitting group (even though i feel like i haven't been in ages between travel and illness). i've already done as much damage there as i think my credit card can bear but if you need yarn for any reason, or needles or notions or books, go see andrea and help her move the remaining inventory out.