Fitzgerald Bricks Hat, Ennea Collective Fall 2014

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Fitzgerald Bricks Hat, C$6, found here on Ravelry, and here in Ennea Collective Fall 2014.

The Fitzgerald Bricks Hat is named for Richard Fitzgerald, a brickmaker and African American business leader in the early days of Durham, NC. His bricks went into the construction of many famous buildings in the town, including Emmanuel Church and an office building still standing on Kent Street, as well as the Erwin Cotton Mills, now owned by Duke University. The mosaic structure of the hat lays like brickwork: the commercial yarn is the mortar, holding together the rich shades of the hand-spun yarn, row upon row.

I spin because I love color. I get bored spinning a single color yarn, unless the fiber is something exotic. A hand-painted braid, however… The bright splashes along a hand-painted braid of fiber draw me in, stare at me from my stash, and lure me to the wheel time and time again. 4oz from MDSW, 4oz from SAFF, 4oz from that Etsy store – but what can I make with only 4oz of crazy colored hand-spun yarn?

This mosaic colorwork hat combines a precious skein of luscious, hand-painted fiber with a skein of commercial solid yarn. The hand-spun and the commercial have two different textures – the soft, evenness of the Ultra Alpaca highlights the character of the hand-spun yarn, this braid from Yarn Hollow. The yarn was spun worsted and chain-plied (also known as n-ply) to preserve the gradient, approximately worsted weight.

Also find my article on spinning a gradient in Ennea Collective Fall 2014.

SS6

I’m still here!

No, really, I am!

Updating is my resolution. Life with three little boys is about as busy as one would expect, especially with planning for kindergarten (it’s like applying for college here, WHY?) and balancing the needs of a 5-month-old, an almost 3-year-old, and a nearly 5-year-old.

There will be more posts. There will be lots of random kid stuff. There will be plenty of knitting content, and some spinning stuff, too. It’s coming.

Right after I change another diaper.

One Row at a Time

That’s the thing about knitting (or life in general) with a newborn. It happens one row at a time. Slowly, slowly. Compared to my normal knitting speed, I’m feeling frustratingly sluggish.

I’m finally getting my groove back, but slowly, slowly. This face is worth it, though.

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Cowl obsession

I generally don’t tend to care much for accessories. Hats are for when it’s cold (I look sort of silly in most hat shapes). Mittens and mitts should be soft and useful; the pretty isn’t quite so necessary. Scarves? They just sort of get in the way and fall off when small children yank on them. I love knitting all these things, and have given myself something of a glut of accessories that are worn two or three times a year during the fall and winter.

But the cowl. Those infinity cowls are everywhere, and I’m finding that a cowl is an excellent excuse for a pop of color that actually stays on. I’ve been wearing my big chunky cowl (currently in test knitting) constantly, since this winter has been surprisingly nasty for NC, but now, the bulbs are starting to come up. I want something that screams SPRING.

Enter my newest cowl. It’ll be tested by my upcoming Lace Chart Reading class. It’s knit in a linen/rayon/cotton blend  by Plymouth Yarns called Linen Concerto. I’m normally not a huge fan of cotton blends, but this one is yummy. I might need to knit myself something else with it.

Photo on 3-27-14 at 9.34 AM

Blocking will help even it out a little, but the yarn is already so lovely and drapey. (Oh, hey. Look, I’m clearly 28 weeks pregnant. Better get some things done soon.)

 

Things I Would Rather Be Doing…

… than sitting at home with a kid throwing up on me.

1) Taking a standardized test.

2) Sitting in a meeting with half of the participants on speakerphones.

3) Scrubbing the grout in the bathroom.

4) Replacing the price tags on 100 balls of yarn.

5) Cleaning the insides out of a turkey.

6) Going to the dentist.

7) Reading a book on internet marketing.

8) Cleaning a litterbox.

9) Watching a training video at a government agency.

10) ALMOST ANYTHING.

Biggest Needles Ever

My sister is moving to the Great White North and begged me for a cowl for her birthday. She picked it out (super bulky yarn) and picked the pattern.

I didn’t check the needle size. This pattern, cute though it is, uses size 35 needles.

Yep, that wasn’t a typo. US 35 needles. The super bulky yarn is held double.

I think it turned out alright, though, despite the broomsticks for needles and the mad search for the least common circular needle size ever… And it’s certainly WARM.

Photo on 1-26-14 at 6.33 PM

Time Flies When You’re Sick

Morning sickness, that is. Sprog the third is coming in June, and most things I’ve been working on have taken a break.

All of the hats in the Spindle Hat project are now available in my Ravelry Store. It was fun, but I’m ready to knit something that’s not a hat! Right now, big yarn is on my mind and needles.

Nerd Wars

For the first time, I’m competing in Nerd Wars, a Ravelry-based celebration of all things nerd. Each round is made up of challenges on various themes, and the teams (paying homage to anything from novels to science to favorite tv shows and movies) compete for points by completing fiber projects related to their team theme.

I was roped in, lured by Gilmore Girls. Though the title of “favorite show ever” would have to go to The West Wing or Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Gilmore Girls is a close runner-up. I love the quick dialogue, the crazy small town characters, and the bond of friendship between the title characters. Since there isn’t a West Wing team, and Star Trek is all lumped under “space shows,” I had to throw my hat in the ring.

So far? I’ve knit a kerchief to “larp” as Sookie, and a snowflake for Lorelei’s obsession with snow, pattern by my fellow Durham designer and good friend, Naomi Parkhurst.

I’m also working on a lace stole. It’s part Christmas present and part future design release, and let me tell you, I’m pretty excited about it! Plus, it’s in sparkly yarn. What’s better than that?

Beast = Fabio?

It’s not about knitting, no…

I went to see Beauty and the Beast tonight at DPAC here in Durham. It’s fantastic to have a great performing arts center here, now! Something blew my mind, though…

The Beast, when transformed to a human, has long flowing locks and a clean shaven face.

Look at that hair, huh?

And here’s the romance novel pose of Fabio.

What a rogue.

Belle totally marries Fabio.

Weird.

Knitty

I might have made this.

I’ve been fighting with WordPress for a few weeks, so this is a bit of a late post, but I was published in Knitty! The hat, Whorled, is related to my other project, the eBook “Our Heads are Spinning.” All the patterns are inspired by spindle whorls unearthed from archaeological sites across the world.

Whorled, in particular, is a combination of different whorls. The chevron lace panels come from a Sassanian whorl (that was a civilization in what is now Iran), the circle with a dot in the center appears in whorls found in China, the Middle East, and Europe, and the lines of yarn overs/purl ridges are symbolic of the deep carved scored lines in whorls found just about everywhere.

I love this hat.