Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Knitted Heart... A Podcast!

Well folks, I'm jumping into the podcast pool.

I've been mulling this over in my head for a while, trying to get my thoughts organized on what I want the podcast to be....and I've finally decided it's time.

I'm working on getting all my equipment purchased and set up right now, so I should be recording my first episode really soon.

Here is a list of my show segments and the type of content they'll cover.

Things I heart - This can be knitting related, or just something I love in general.  I will try to keep it knitting related, but I won't limit it strictly to knitting all the time.

On the needles - This will mostly just be about my current works in progress.

A knitter's quarrel - Here I'll talk about things that have gone wrong with my knitting.  Whether it's my own mistake, or just errata in the pattern.  I'll also try to make sure I include what I've done or found to correct it.

Head over wheels - This will be my spinning segment.  I'll talk about what fibers I'm spinning, how I'm spinning them and what I'd like the finished yarn to become.

Pitter Pattern - It just doesn't get as cold here (or for as long) as other more northern parts of the country.  Living in Florida usually means that you get a smidge of spring, a loooong summer, a bit of fall, and a few days of winter temps (without the snow).  It's not uncommon to wake up to 30 degree temperatures in the morning, and find mid 60's at lunch time during the winter months.  Because of that, we tend to do a lot of lighter layers that we can peel off into the afternoon, and put back on into the evening and night.  This segment will cover patterns that I love for our type of weather, such as cute shawls and shawlettes, cowls, fingerless mitts, lightweight cardigans and pullovers. 

From time to time I'll also include reviews.  They'll be knitting related in some fashion.  Probably mostly consisting of patterns, pattern books, yarn and tools.

I think there are a lot of podcasts that are knitting related, but I haven't heard of any that focus on warmer weather knits.  Regardless of how beautiful a design, I find it a little hard to cast on a sweater with a bulky weight yarn for our type of climate.  I'm hoping to shed some light on things for all of us knitters that don't live in a wintery wonderland three months of the year.

Here's to a new adventure!  Wish me luck!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New stash and a new love...

New stash!

There's nothing better than new yarn.  I heard there was some new yarn at a LYS and had to go check it out yesterday.  I've worked with the Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Lite before and it is heavenly.  This is the DK version of the same yarn. I'm really looking forward to knitting with it.  I knit a Citron out of the Lite in the Calligraphy colorway, and it's probably my favorite shawl to date.  I've only got a picture of the work in progress, below.

Delicious.  So soft and the colors are amazing. 

Now if you take a look at the picture below, you'll see 5 skeins total of the DK weight.  Two in Charcoal, one in Tart (the red), one in Mare (the blue, brown and black) and one in Terra Verte (the green).  The two Charcoal are for me, and the other three are for my hubby.  Can I say that I LOVE having a husband that spins?  Because he spins, he has an appreciation for soft and wonderful fibers, whether commercially spun or handspun, and that is a BLESSING to a knitter.  No trying to justify a yarn purchase or time spent knitting.  He just understands.  It probably doesn't hurt much that I've ALWAYS got something on the needles for him.  :-)

Back to the yarn.  We went to the store originally to get me some yarn, maybe a sweater quantity even.  Well, he takes one look at the yarn and starts grabbing skeins left and right for me to knit up for him.  First, he thinks he wants a scarf.  Then, he thinks he wants hats.  Then, he's back to the scarf.  Back and forth we go until he decides he'd rather have three hats, than one scarf.  After all, I've got three scarves worth of yarn for him that I have yet to knit up.  Hats are quick, he likes the colors and he gets a lot of use out of them during the  I'm happy he decided that way, because while beautiful, this yarn is a single, and I'm afraid it would likely pill from stubble on his neck.

The last addition to my stash is actually my very first handspun!  But first, a little back story.  I've been wondering what it's like to spin.  Not that I really wanted to get into it much (I definitely don't need another hobby), but I was curious nonetheless.  When Arturo was getting into spinning, we bought some practice wool along with a bunch of pretty hand painted roving.  I'm not knocking the practice all.  It's just not really as soft as the other stuff.  Arturo spun his first yarn, and I knit a Pebble vest for Jacob.  A few pics...

After seeing this wool, turn into singles, then plied into a beautifully rustic yarn, then knit by me into something for his future baby boy, he was hooked.  Immediately, he started spinning a gorgeous braid of superwash merino, leaving the rest of the "practice" wool, unused. 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago.  Not wanting to ruin any of the pretty roving that he has, I figured I'd try my hand at spinning with the left over practice stuff.  It's scratchy, and will probably become something like a potholder, or a cover for a jar, but it's my first, and I love it.  So without further ado, my very first handspun!  It's a 3 ply, probably bulky weight, natural gray shetland blend.

So relaxing and fun that I went and bought myself this little gem for my next handspun.  I think it' really wants to become a shawlette.  What do you think?

So there it is, my new stash, and my new love. 


Monday, April 4, 2011

Deja Vu...

Well, I started THIS insanity all over again.

Apparently I had used a sweater that wasn't quite the best fitting for the measurements.  It was off enough from the ideal size, to make it so that I couldn't correct with creative blocking.  Oh well.  (I may punish that other ill fitting sweater for it's indiscretion by setting it ablaze in my driveway....we'll see) 

I took apart the seams and the bind off for all the pieces, ripped the whole thing back, re-skeined the yarn and gave it a nice bath.  I had to put the whole bag of yarn on time out for a while to keep myself from giving up on the whole project altogether.  I was just too sad to even look at the yarn, much less start it over again right away.

I'm happy to say, that I've fallen in love with the idea of this sweater again, and cast on for the front late last night.  I've finished the ribbing for the bottom and am starting the pattern stitch tonight.  If you've seen my project page in Ravelry, and have read my notes, you'll know that this is my first adult sweater.  It's also my first set in sleeve.  So there's a tri-fecta of possibilities for failure here.

1. first adult sweater...ever
2. first set-in sleeve...ever
3. creating the pattern as I go

In short, not only have I never knit an adult sweater, or done a set-in sleeve, but I'm going to do both for the first time, while creating the design myself!  Oh! and I'm putting in a zipper, which I've also never done before. Yaaaayyy...crazy lady with needles!!!

No matter.  I can do it.  Dad always told me that I can do anything I set my mind to.  Thanks dad :-)  We'll just have to wait and see if he was right, or if I'll end up in a padded room somewhere.  Winter is quite a bit away, so I've got plenty of time to figure it all out.  There are a few other projects that I have going right now, that take more of a priority.  A shawl for mom as a Mother's Day gift, a baby blanket for my friend in Miami (Due early June) and a Bloom out of cotton for Rachel to wear this summer.  Other than Jacob's 12 month cardi, the rest of my projects are mostly just for fun and there isn't really a due date for any of them.

Thankfully,  it's a simple enough stitch pattern that the body of the sweater is autopilot knitting until I get to the armholes.  I think it'll make for nice evening tv knitting.  I'll update on this as I progress.

more soon!