Tag Archives: handspun

FO Friday 4: Dreambird

Seems like my posts are getting heavy on shawls. Not to break the habit, here comes another one.

I finished my Dreambird. I’ve been eyeing the pattern for a while and decided to go for it right before our road trip this summer. Shawl and car ride seem like a good combination. If I were smarter I would actually finish the first feather before setting on the road. The instructions were way to wordy and lengthy to attempt in the car. That poor shawl (or rather wound balls of yarn) drove with me some 6,000 miles across the United States, then flew with me to Europe, drove another 2,000 miles on our European vacation only to fly back to US without much progress being made.

In Spring we made a trip to NYC. I made my family follow me to Lion Brand Studio, where I got two balls of their LB Mohair Silk yarn. That’s what I used for the main color. For the feathers I spun FatCatKnits Merino Bamboo blend in Buster colorway.

After finishing the first feather, I found it very useful to use only the page with number of stitches for each row (pg. 16). That was I did not need to read through pages of explanations, everything was neatly on one page. My husband commented it looked like some secret code.

I am rather pleased with the result. The two balls of Mohair Silk were enough for “only” 17 feathers. But the shawl is plenty big.

Here is another picture of my Dreambird hugging a tree:



Posted by on October 11, 2013 in Knitting, Spinning


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FO Friday 1: Mini Bubbles

Mini Bubbles by kpetra
Mini Bubbles, a photo by kpetra on Flickr.

Summer is technically over, kids are back to school and I am trying to get back to the swing of things. Tami’s amis is hosting FO Fridays and this is my attempt to be part of it.

We had a great summer, went on a cross country road trip and then spend half of the summer in Europe. I have a tendency to overpack my knitting and spinning supplies (forget the clothes as long as mommy has something to keep her hands busy) and as usual I did not disappoint. I did a quick math, well over 60 hours spent in the car driving should push me well into FO territory on a good number of the projects. Yeah. Not so true. I did not account for my share of driving, planning the route, demands of the kids and such.

At least my Mini Bubbles got well under way. I continued working on it in Europe, brought it back and finally finished last week. It’s a fun shawl pattern by Kieran Foley using dropped stitches.

I used my handspun in Gale’s Art colorway Scarab and Coctail on variegated BFL. It is spun as singles, slightly fulled. The finished yarn is slightly fuzzy, which made dropping the stitches major pain. Instead of goind “whoosh” and dropping the full column in no time, I had to manually go stitch by stitch and undo them. I love the final effect though.

Now hop over to tami’s amis to see what others have finished this week.


Posted by on September 6, 2013 in Knitting, Spinning


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moxie by kpetra
moxie, a photo by kpetra on Flickr.

When I saw this colorway for the first time I was sure to skip it. Then my girls got involved and begged for it. Since I don’t need much persuasion to get more fiber I gave in.

My original plan was to spin it into fingering weight and knit two pairs of socks, or alternatively make some kind of leg warmers (imitate knee high socks without the foot part since my girl’s feet keep growing like crazy. )

Well, planning is good, but doesn’t always work. Over (very short) time, my spinning got so thin I was afraid my yarn would not be thick enough for socks. Yeah, wishful thinking in this case. I paid so much attention to spinning decently thick singles that I ended up with about worsted weight yarn.

Time to redo my plans. Legwarmers would still work, but might be too warm to wear in school all day long. Soooooo, since winter made its comeback today (it’s snowing and snowing on April 23), I am in mood for some mittens. I am thinking flip tops. That should make the girls excited enough to forget my failed promise of socks.


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Spring is here, I am still thinking winter

I see signs of spring everywhere. On Monday I saw a robin, today red-winged blackbirds. Cardinals are happily singing away. Sun is shining. Thermometer touched 50F and is still climbing.

Having lived in Buffalo for a while, I don’t get fooled that easily, though. Every year, robins come ahead of spring and then jump around dumbfounded as they try to find food under snow few days later. I am still thinking winter, snow, cold. Not having much of a winter this year only proves my case.

My husband is an avid photographer. Unlike me, he doesn’t mind getting out in the wee hours, standing in cold and waiting for the perfect light and perfect everything to take a perfect picture. I decided he really deserved decent mittens to keep him warm. I found pattern for flip-top gloves in Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski.

It’s a basic pattern for gloves with a flip-top. The pattern recommends US2 needles and worsted weight yarn. With US2 needles there’s no way to get the gauge I needed. The body of the mitten is twined knit, without actually crossing the yarn in the back. In fact, it’s basic colorwork, using both ends of the yarn ball.

I had worsted weight handspun targhee in Flannel colorway. To stretch is further, I decided to use it along with black Patons Classic Wool.

I had to make several adjustments for the mittens to fit. First of all, I omitted the fingers. They were way too bulky and uncomfortable. I knit the ribbing on US2 using only the handspun. For the body of the mitten I switched to US4 and used both the handspun and the black, with the handspun being carried below the black (when doing color work, the lower floats yarn becomes visually dominant compared to the one that is carried above).

For the flip top I tried to follow the pattern directions. But it asked for the same number of stitches as were in the mitten. There is some bulk to the mittens, due to the worsted weight yarn and twining. Flip top of the same size as the mitten squeezes the fingers and makes the whole mitten very uncomfortable. Instead of fiddling with different number of stitches I decided to go up in needle size. The flip top was cast on US2 needles, then I knitted 2 rows in rib and stockinette, increased 2 stitches and switched to US6 needles.

After several false starts and much of frustration, the mittens of doom are finished. They have been field tested  and approved of. Our friend (another avid photographer) admiringly hinted that he might like a pair like that as well.

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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Uncategorized


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The Art of Knitting


yeah right.