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Spinning, cat, socks December 17, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in kidlet, knitting, spinning.
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Spun some Shetland top and navajo plied it.

Shetland top


Finished kidlet’s socks. He loved them so much he immediately wore them to school.

Kidlet's socks

Kidlet's socks

Kidlet's socks

My Ravelry project page: Socks for The Boy
Pattern: Child’s Sock Pattern by Lucy H. Lee (Ravelry link) | (non-Ravelry link)
Yarn: Regia Color 4-Ply, color #4737 (Ravelry link) | (non-Ravelry link)

The socks are knit toe-up so the heel is just a flap with a gusset, only the stitches are being picked up along an extended sole instead of the heel. It’s wicked easy and looks nice. Kidlet’s feet are bigger than the pattern allows for so I came up with some modifications as I went. They’re listed on my Ravelry project page but in case you’re not able to make it there here they are:

1. I used Judy’s Magic Cast-On for the toe because it’s awesome and I love it.

2. From the toe I increased to 44 stitches total instead of 40.

3. I started the heel flap at 4″ as instructed, but then because my son’s feet were bigger than I remembered and too big for a 6″ sole I went to 8″ before starting the heel shaping.

4. This made the heel gusset larger so I picked up 16 stitches instead of 14 for a total of 64 stitches – it worked out to picking up every other row along the flap.

5. I then decreased back to my original 44 sts for the cuff.

6. I used the Elizabeth Zimmerman Sewn Cast-Off which made a nice stretchy cuff.

I got them to match as kidlet didn’t want tall socks, and the height he specified just happened to end the first sock right before the pattern repeat for the skein, so it really was serendipity. I may even have enough of the skein left to make a wee little pair for Margaret :)

Judy’s Magic Cast-On is so totally worth learning if you knit socks. It makes a perfect, beautiful toe that requires no seaming. I hate seaming. You can even knit your loose end into the first row so you won’t even need to run it in – just snip it when you’re done! Couldn’t be simpler. The cast-off is extremely easy, too, and worth it as I always tend to pull too tightly.

I chose this pattern as I was looking for an easy, basic sock pattern in childrens’ sizes that used fingering weight yarn. This was deceptively difficult as there are tons of wee baby socks made from fingering yarn, or childrens’ socks made from sport or worsted weight yarn. Perhaps if I ever became a knitwear designer I could find a niche in the 4-to-11 year old sock arena.


Yarn, redux December 4, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in spinning.
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I took some new shots in better light – the direct sunlight ones were too glinty.

Pink one-ply - take 2

Pink one-ply - take 2

Seacell wool yarn - take 2

Get up close and personal with my plies.

Seacell wool yarn - take 2

Seacell wool yarn - take 2

Weekend yarn November 24, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in spinning.
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Not a lot to report. Weekend was okay.

I did get a bit of spinning done which I am happy about – I measured out that pink one-ply and it came to 233 yards. I can’t really say what weight it is as it varies quite a bit. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to ply it or just leave it as a single, but Joy convinced me to twist set and thwack it to get all those kinks out and leave it as a single so that’s what I’ll do. I’m not completely happy with it but it’s a nice color.

Pink handspun

Pink handspun

I also spun about 7 ounces of that Creatively Dyed superwash merino and seacell fiber – I have about half an ounce to go and I’m hoping to cram it on the bobbin somehow. I’m very happy with how the single is spinning up, I think it’s going to be really neat once its plied.

On the Bobbin 11/24/08

Gonna catch me a buffalo by the tail! September 17, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, dyeing, knitting, spinning.
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It’s so hard to believe that in less than 30 hours Margaret and I will be on an airplane on our way to Montana. In 36 hours we will actually BE in Montana! Then we’re gonna stay there for TEN DAYS!

I’m going to get to meet Jeff! I’m going to get to meet Jacob! I’m going to meet the infamous outlaws (and yes I will be bringing my camera)! I’m going to get to meet Joy’s mommy and daddy and grandpa!


In six hours I’ll be able to check in online and print my boarding pass. I want to check in RIGHT! NOW!

It’s 72 degrees in MT right now. It’s 47 degrees here. I won’t go overboard on packing sweaters though next week is supposed to be rainy and then cooler there.

Jenn is loaning me her big-girl suitcase and carry-on bag…with teh bebeh I can’t be schlepping around the country with just a rainbow knapsack any more. I’m kind of at a loss for what to bring. I’ve already decided to only pack 2-3 days’ worth of clothes and then wash them at Joy’s place over and over again. I’ll be bringing just enough diapers and wipes for the trip and will buy more when I get there, the same goes for anything else I don’t want to pay to schlep across the country.

I stopped myself at stuffing a few Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes and shipping them to Joy’s house to arrive when I do as it would be cheaper than checking luggage ($15 for your first checked bag, $25 for the second). I still may consider it though I’m not sure what I’d bring.

Sadly the Ladybug is not making this trip. It’s too large to remove the flyer and treadles so it doesn’t fit in an approved suitcase and I’m not comfortable taking it completely apart and risking it getting damaged or not working as well after I reassemble it. So it’s staying home, boo hoo. Joy is borrowing her coworker’s Louet so she and I will be able to spin together (especially after she shows me how to use her New Secret Weapon!). I’m bringing my hand cards for fun and can’t wait to try her drum carder.

I asked Joy what else I should bring and she suggested a couple of my hibernating knitting projects, what a great idea – I’m resuscitating them for this trip and will try to get them done or at least get a bigger dent made in them.

Time? What time? May 21, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, dyeing, Etsy, kidlet, knitting, spinning.
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Whoa, I haven’t posted in nearly a month, that’s no good. I just haven’t had any time to do much crafting as I started back to work for The Man. The good thing is I’m able to telecommute so I can stay home with my new baby rather than putting her in daycare, the bad thing is it’s a LOT to handle, working full time, taking care of a baby, and then all the other housework and etc. It’s left very little time for leisure activities.

Some sort of good news is that I am also being laid off from my day job as of July 31, and at this point have no plans to seek a new full time job, at least not immediately. I’m thinking that maybe I’ll be able to take a real stab at my own handcraft business, I already have an Etsy shop so I can concentrate on that. The sad thing is I have a bunch of yarn ready to post, I just haven’t had time to do it. I’m also looking forward to being able to be here for my son before and after school as he starts Kindergarten this Autumn. I can’t believe he’s going to be five this summer. Where does the time go?

I did order the Schacht Ladybug wheel from the Portland Fiber Gallery, but I have to wait until late June/early July for it to come in. To say I am very impatient is an understatement! In the meantime I occasionally wrangle with the Louet though I’m still not feeling the love. Hurry up, Schacht!

I do have some knitting I can take pictures of, though I haven’t really done anything earth-shattering. In the meantime since I hate posting without photos, here are some of some yarn I dyed, and then of my two darling children who are by far the best thing I’ve ever made.


Bailey Island, April 08

Teh Bebeh.

Kidlet and teh bebeh hanging out