It’s here! Fyberspates rural charm sock yarn

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It’s finally here! My awesome skein of yarn for the Song of the Sea scarf was finally delivered today. It’s a beautiful sea foam green and so soft! I can’t wait to start using it! It’s a blend of 70% Blue Leicester, 20% silk, and 10% cashmere and the color is Pale Turquoise. There are a lot of subtle variations in the color which I think will knit up very nicely. Now I just need to wind it into a ball. Right now though, it’s going on my shelf- It’ll be my reward for finishing the MCAT this Saturday!

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A break from the octopus

Ive really been struggling to get the second sleeve on the octopus sweater done. The fact that it’s finals time and I feel guilty for taking time away from studying to knit hasn’t helped so I’ve decided to take a little bit of a break from knitting the Embrace Octopus sweater and find some fun summer knits to make.
First in my queue is the Song of the Sea scarf. It’s a beautiful lace scarf and I think it’ll make a good first lace project for me.

20140430-133902.jpg I just bought a beautiful skein of yarn for it as a birthday present for myself (I turned 21 yesterday!)- Fyberspates Rural charm in pale turquoise. It’s 70% Bluefaced Leicester, 20% silk, and 10% cashmere and I think it’s probably the most expensive single skein of yarn I’ve ever bought.

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After Song of the Sea, I really want to knit something that I can wear this summer in St Louis when it’s going to be 100 degrees and humid. I found this really cool pattern on Ravelry- the #22 Lacy Tee from the spring/summer 2013 issue of Vogue Knitting.

20140430-134441.jpg I haven’t picked out yarn yet but I’m thinking of using something in linen or cotton since I’ve never knit with either of those fibers before. Do you guys have any suggestions?
I’m really excited for this summer. I was awarded a biomedical research fellowship so I’ll be working in a biology lab full time which will leave me lots of time on the evenings and weekends to catch up on my knitting. I can’t wait!

Embrace octopus sweater: Just keep Knitting…

With the semester starting to wrap up and no exams for the next couple weeks, I’ve had a bit more time to continue working on the embrace octopus sweater. I’m knitting the second sleeve now which has a tentacle spiraling up it. It’s extremely difficult to knit since it’s so small in diameter and I have to float the white yarn all the way around while using double pointed needles. Keeping tension equal has been difficult too—there’s one portion that is a bit tight and a few spots where the white stitches are kind of loose. I’m not really enjoying knitting this and I just want it to be done. Unfortunately, that means pushing through it because I really want to wear this sweater! For now I’m just working on it a bit at a time since I get a bit frustrated with it pretty quickly.
Have you guys ever tried colorwork on double points? Do you have any tips on how to make it easier? I considered not doing the floats but then I’d have 800 ends to weave in and that didn’t really appeal to me either…
I just keep reminding myself how awesome this sweater is going to look when it’s done!

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Embrace Octopus Sweater: sleeve number 1 is done!

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Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. Classes have been kind of crazy and I’m getting ready to take the MCAT on May 17. With all of this going on, I’ve barely had any time to knit. I did however cast on the first sleeve of the octopus sweater a few weeks ago and I finished it today! This sleeve is mostly solid black with just the very top of the octopus’ head showing. It was quick and easy to knit up which was nice (although I still have to weave in a million ends because I didn’t want to float the yarn all around the sleeve). The next sleeve has a tentacle spiraling up the arm though so it will be a bit more complicated. I’m planning to cast on for it tonight but I doubt I’ll finish it before the end of the semester.
As you can see, the sweater is slowly starting to come together!

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Embrace Octopus sweater: almost done with part 1!

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I’ve already been working on this sweater for almost a month and I’m just now finally close to finishing up the body. Exams have started up so I’m afraid I’m going to have even less time to knit now so we’ll see how it progresses. This is definitely one of the hardest projects I’ve ever worked on with all of its charts but I’m having a lot if fun with it.
The sweater looks awesome so far. The tentacle pattern really stands out now- I’m so excited to get to wear this!

Cable knit headband

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Although I did start an Etsy shop last month I’ve been really slow in stocking it since classes started. I just don’t have enough time to knit for myself much less to make enough things to fill a store. That said, I did finally have the time to make another item- this cable-knit headband. It’s made from 50% wool/50% acrylic yarn and it feels nice and cozy warm. I really want to just make a blanket out of this yarn and cuddle up under it all day (especially since it’s currently 5 degrees outside). This project was nice and quick- it was definitely a nice break from the octopus sweater! Hopefully I’ll have some more time in the next few weeks to knit up a couple more things to sell.
The headband is listed here on etsy for $10.00. If you want another color just let me know and I can custom make one for you.

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I made yarn!

Today was a dreary rainy day in St Louis so what better way to brighten it up than by dyeing and spinning some yarn! I bought some natural cream roving on Etsy a few months ago but I’d never found the time to do anything with it. After spinning about 1/2 of it, I got kind of bored so I decided that Id try dyeing it! I found this handy tutorial on Knitty.com
I bought three packets of Koolaide and prepared the roving.

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Then I mixed the Koolaide and water making sure not to add any sugar to the mix. The roving went into the pot and I heated it for about 10 minutes. I then let it sit and absorb the dye for about 25 minutes when the water was mostly clear.

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I rinsed the roving in warm water (making sure not to felt it) and hung it up to dry. I turned out to be a beautiful purple color. The color isn’t even but I think it gives the wool some character.

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After separating out the roving and laying it out so it could finish drying I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I just had to try spinning it today. I used a top whorl drop spindle that I got on Etsy for pretty cheap. It takes a long time to spin any decent amount of yarn but for the amount of spinning I do I can’t justify buying a spinning wheel. They’re so expensive! I spun about 1/3 of the roving this afternoon. I’m still deciding whether I want to ply it. The yarn I made is a DK/ thin worsted weight so plying might make a bulky weight yarn. I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to make yet so I think I’ll hold off on making that decision for a bit.

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After spinning, I wrapped the yarn around a chair back, spritzed it with water, and now I’m letting it dry under tension to help smooth it out.
It was really fun to take the yarn through the entire process of dyeing and spinning- I really want to work on my spinning skills in the future. My yarn today actually wasnt too thick and thin which was a bit surprising as I need to work on my roving handling skills while spinning. All in all, I’m really excited to use this yarn and to make more in the future.
So what do you guys think? Do you spin as well as knit? Do you have any helpful tips or resources for beginners like me?