30 December 2011

Fiber Goals for 2012

My good friend Lisa (check her blog out at Wicked Artsy) recently suggested that we both write a list of knitting goals for the upcoming year and then we could both support each other in our goals.  Of course, I thought that was a fantastic idea and then took my sweet time composing a list.  This was partly because I have been terribly busy and partly because I feel that there is so much to learn that writing a list that isn't a mile long is rather daunting.

However, I finally sat myself down and completed a list that includes not only knitting resolutions, but also spinning and dyeing resolutions as well!


- Knit a pair of CookieA socks

- Complete a colorwork sweater

- Complete an entrelac project

- Knit a tea pot cosy

- Conquer fear of short rows

- Knit a decent looking toy

- Try knitting with a new type of fiber

- Finish a spin-to-knit project


- Buy or make a wheel

- Learn to spin on a different type of spindle

- Learn to Navajo ply

- Learn to spin attractive relaxed singles

- Master spinning with a silk hankie

- Spin a new type of fiber


- Learn to shear a sheep

- Dye fiber/yarn with tea

- Design a pattern and publish

- Make knitting/dyeing/spinning tutorials for blog

I found that making a list of everything I really wanted to learn and achieve this upcoming year really inspired me.  However, if I get half of them completed by the end of the year I'll call it a success.

Are you planning on composing a list of your own?  I would love to hear about it!

16 December 2011

Spinning Alpaca

I have still been overburdened with end of semester work lately, but I'm almost done and have so much planned for my month-long break.  I plan on spinning like crazy, dyeing some fiber and yarn for upcoming projects, and finishing some knitting projects I've promised to friends and family.  It will be so wonderful to have some time to slow down and focus on my fiber art for a while without the stress of the lab and classes consuming my time.

Although I find myself horribly busy during the school year, sometimes a certain yarn or fiber comes along that really inspires me and makes me so excited that I find myself sneaking away from my obligations to work on it for a little while every chance I get.  When my awesome friend Lisa sent me some amazing fiber for my birthday, I was so inspired that I very quickly managed to spin it into some lovely handspun.

Natural Alpaca
Spun: December 2011
Roving: 100% undyed alpaca (Alpacas in Wildcat Hollow)
Color: Light brown
Spindle: Schacht 3" Hi-Lo drop spindle (2.2 oz.)
2 ply, ~196.0 yards, 14 WPI (Fingering)

I really love how it came out and I am itching to knit it up into something soft and cozy although I'm not sure what it should be yet.

Have you ever experienced this kind of creative push?

03 December 2011

Fair Isle Hat - Perfect Success

I've been a little slow with the crafting lately, actually my entire life has been on hold for the last week and a half due to a truly nasty cold.  It's funny how you can have so much free time while you are sick, but you oftentimes cannot do anything beyond what is absolutely necessary.

However, I somehow managed to finish this fabulous Fair Isle hat!

Now, this is an accomplishment for me, because this is the first colorwork project I have attempted since the great "colorwork baby sweater of doom" debacle (we don't speak of it).  This project started because I suddenly had this strong urge to knit something with Berroco Ultra Alpaca after reading a post by one of my favorite fellow bloggers, Evelyn over at Project: Stash.  She has been working on the most beautiful cardigan in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light.  

I happened to have some Berroco Ultra Alpaca (the worsted version) left over from another colorwork project and wanted to use some of it up.  I almost instantly decided on the pattern Opus Spicatum because it seemed doable and looks really adorable.  I half expected for this project to go horribly wrong as well, but behold my success!

It also knit up very quickly and was surprisingly satisfying to work on.  I can certainly see why people get hooked on these kinds of projects.  After the success of this one, I hope to have more patience and courage to try another in the future.