Tag Archives: Pigeonroof Studios

Latest Lacy Baktus

Spring came on early- warm and dry.

I wasn’t ready – a few nights were outside of my comfort zone – and working outside for more than quarter hour required rehydration at the ready.

But then it went back to its proper cold and damp state and required woolens.

I realized if I hurried along my latest baktus, I’d actually be able to wear it immediately instead of packing it away for the autumn.

latest baktus with sweater

And so I did and have been – it still needs to be blocked, but the weather might turn warm again before it dries…

In the meantime, I’m cozy with it-

or all three…

latest baktus triple

They’re becoming invasive in my woolen collection…

And in outdoor news, the march of the invasives in our yard continues…

latest purple yard

This front yard patch of bugleweed is doubled from last year, soldiering through the lesser celandine.

I gave up fighting the ground invasives unless I hear about something magical and effective, but natural and easy – and perhaps the bugleweed will take over my ultimate nemesis the Japanese stiltgrass – I do like the intense blue too, and I don’t think it’s technically invasive, just non-native and aggressive, so I wouldn’t mind if it took over that part of the yard completely…

latest lilac

And the lilac is doing so much better after its year free of Chinese wisteria. I’ve left a tiny patch of that stuff to attempt to train, but perhaps that isn’t responsible – it would just take one untended season and the stuff would take over the hillside again.

Pray for me as I go in for the first of several annual poison ivy tear-outs soon too – too bad that is the only native stuff.

And now I should return to the knitting I’ve ignored for the baktus – none of that will be ready to wear in these last cool days…

(perhaps not even by the time the cool weather returns in a few months…)

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March madness…

The last of the recent short series of hats is now off the needles and on a head.

turn a square on n

You can see the “seam” created by the jogless stripe technique outlined in the Turn a Square pattern – it’s barely noticeable when making more than three rows per color, but at two, it looks like one fat stitch, which is basically what it is…

Still, I think I mind it less than a jog, though I want N to wear it in the back of the hat or it will drive me bats…

turn a square in basket

His basket of handknits is also looking a bit drab – perhaps a more colorful scarf is needed…

And I’ll beat that dead horse about crazy weather – I’m sweating in the first week of March with temps in the low 80s and the yard is breaking out in blossoms nearly a month too soon…

But the weather feels like July when I first started spinning this superwash merino from Pigeonroof Studios for the 2015 Tour de Fleece…

PRS tree scum 3-ply

And it turned into a massive wipe-out, or rather detour, and I was in the wrong country, or another continent when I reached the finish line.

I’ve been wanting to spin for a specific purpose – start with a puff of wool and say I want it to become socks, and then I spin, and knit, and have a pair of socks.

I’ve sort of done that in the sense that I’ve managed to spin enough yarn at approximately the same weight to make something of it in the end, but I’ve failed on the last few sock attempts –  the last one was a bit too thick and not enough yards and this one is waaaaaay too thin and overspun.

I started spinning it slowly and somewhat gingerly, nursing some self-diagnosed tendonitis, and playing with my hand placement so I could switch it up if need be (that part I got down fairly well). Then the last few months of summer were too hot and humid to spin and I didn’t start back up again until a month or two ago, again only spinning for about 30 minutes per session to keep my meat and bones and sinew happy. And I spun, and I spun, and I spun faster, and faster, and harder and harder… And finally four ounces became nearly 600 yards of 3 ply near laceweight… It’s so smooth and tight it feels like silk, but it isn’t even remotely what I wanted for socks.

The last bit left on one of the bobbins – the last one spun most likely since it was nearly 100 more yards than the others, became a 2 ply from a center-pull ball. Since one of the plys is unspun a bit from the ball as it plys, the resulting yarn has a softer, fluffier hand and is thicker than the 3 ply.

PRS tree scum 2ply

Lesson learned.

In theory.

Since I’ve already “learned” this lesson too many times…

Since I don’t want to knit socks on tiny needles, this won’t be socks unless held doubled on the leg parts with commercial yarn feet. Instead it might be yet another neck thing – perhaps joined with that mossy green mohair

Next spinning project is going back to the basics and bulky, maybe super bulky…

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New year, new projects

I don’t love this time of year with its certain few months of icy doom yet to come, but it’s my favorite change that happens in a year when the afternoon sunsets get pushed back little by little into their proper, later position.

finished-early dusks

I used to take off a week this time of the year, not to celebrate a holiday, but to work on and complete a major project – fixing/painting something around the apartment, or a quilt, or a major reorganization, cleaning, and purging – a defucking so to speak. It was a time to stay at home, away from shoppers and germy gatherings, garish decorations and terrible music, and enjoy some solitude, naps, Chinese food delivery, and the satisfaction of something large or looming being accomplished. But I haven’t done this for several years for various reasons, though I still have the twitch to accomplish something (even though the last several years have been nothing but fixing up houses…)

The tiling job earlier this month gave me a good dose of a similar satisfaction, and the rest will just have to come in the form of smaller-scaled projects finished and started in these weeks.

A couple of weeks ago, I finished up the gift hat I started on vacation:

finished-selbu for k

And that pair of socks I started last June despite some issues with the yarn:

finished-fancy feets

I cast-off them off a few rows prematurely (and I’m still on the fence about overdying them in yellow) so I could immediately start on a new pair based on my doubling experiments:

newyear - new sock

(And I’ve already lined up the yarn for the next after these).

And I’m just about to start a pair with a single strand on smaller needles.

And then I couldn’t wait to start yet another Lacy Baktus:

newyear - lacy baktus

This was also one of the very few yarn purchases I made in 2015 – I pretty much stopped buying yarn except for an immediate project need – and it was from a big Pigeonroof Studios seconds sale – high twist sock in an unnamed color, 2 skeins so I can make something extra large and squishy.

I’m also going to continue to not really buy yarn this year, or basically for the foreseeable future – I have a big enough stash, and I’m slowing down.

I’ve started to re-assess some old projects and will probably frog a few and get monogamish with some others and set those smaller socks aside for waiting room/travel knitting only so those probably won’t make their way on my feet until the light begins to come back next year…

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Jadeite

I used to collect vintage dishes.

I use the past tense because I haven’t bought a whole set since the late 1990s, but an occasional cup and saucer will still come home with me.

I still have most of the dishes, though I’m too scared and sick to unpack them since the Great Box Avalanche in our late apartment.

I’m also paranoid to use them now because I learned that some might have lead – yes, even restaurantware can have some – and I’ve probably caused myself mild brain death from the years I used them.  I bought a lead testing kit, but misplaced it in the move.

We used to have easy access to Fiestaware seconds and so we’ve got a rather large dinner party worth of the stuff and I don’t use anything else these days, nor do I expect I’ll ever want anything else (except for a piece or two in a new colorway or to replace the occasional broken piece).

Fiesta-forever

I used to tell myself that buying vintage dishware was an investment, because for a tiny period of time it was – Ebay was just getting rolling and things like Fireking’s Jadeite went for unreasonable amounts of cash.  My books for grad school and some bulk rice and beans were paid with my Ebay earnings…

Until a year, or maybe even just a few months later, when the market was flooded…

Today, my old crap isn’t worth too much more than what I paid for it at the pricier thrift stores, and isn’t really worth the bother of packing and shipping to sell online (or even to unpack it for some proper photos).

But I still really love the stuff – I love the colors, and the sturdy materials, and most of all, I love the size – modern plates are too damn big.  And I drink espresso, so the coffee cups might be a little small for today’s average American Joe, but they’re perfect for a double shot.

So I’m thinking about dishware because I finally finished spinning my “Jadeite” wool.

PRS-Jadeite3

The last in a trilogy of Pigeonroof Studios superwash merino roving that I bought last year and intended to knit together in the same project.  I’m still pretty sure I’ll make a shawl/scarf or perhaps a sweater yoke of all of them, but maybe I should make a tablecloth instead….?

Nah.

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I went on vacation and all I got was this [not lousy] hat…

newhampshire -bag

We finally had our summer vacation – a week in a shack on a pond in the White Mountains.

My knee is still mostly out of commission, so I planned accordingly and packed several knitting and sewing projects along with bathing suits and sun wear to occupy my time while N was on the peaks.

What I hadn’t really planned was it ended up being cold as [insert favorite anaolgy here].

The forecast called for cool nighttime temps, so at the last minute, I luckily (and brilliantly I might say) packed our down duvet and one of our down bags along with that trickster ball of handspun* I just finished in case I wanted to whip something up out of it.

newhampshire-hatball

I quickly determined to make a hat since I neglected to pack one, and needed to wear one immediately.

(I wound the skein into a ball on the way up which didn’t induce as much car-sickness as I thought it would).

newhampshire-hathalf

I also had a few basic patterns with me just in case, and I loosely based it on the Purl Beret, but with a much smaller/tighter brim.

I finished it on the second day after hours of otter watching.

newhampshire-otters

There were also many murderous birds – a greedy heron, harriers that picked off the sweet warblers in the marsh grasses, kingfishers bombing around the dock, and less successful eagles and ospreys.

newhampshire-hattop

We even saw a moose – I’ve been patiently waiting to spy one of those for some time now.

newhampshire-hatunderside

I’m a little embarrassed to show the hat in its very wonky unblocked state, but the cool misty weather made the colors pop.

And the yarn was cooperative this time, though it had the last laugh by leaving me with an orange nipple on the top.

The hat could have been a little larger, but I was afraid of running out of yarn and I figured it would stretch since it’s superwash.

newhampshire-orangenipple

And after a month of physical therapy, I can at least ride a bike again (though not really uphill).  So we enjoyed a few pretty awesome  and underutilized bike/recreational paths, as well as tooled around the pond in a canoe.

newhampshire-bikebar

I worked on another long-suffering knitting project that is nearly on its home stretch, though I wasted a few days when I messed it up and had to undo and redo, so I will say no more about it until it’s done.

newhampshire-biketrail

And I never got to the sewing project or casting on for a new pair of socks that I though were must-dos for the week…

We really needed another week…

*There’s still enough left for a few token stripes on a pair of socks, and that little 2ply skein remains untouched.

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Fried that squash blossom

Good god, this was a long suffering spin.

PRS-zucchini&blossom

And I blathered on so much about it…

Last year, I was thrilled to buy the wool – Pigeonroof Studios superwash merino in “zucchini blossom.”

Pigeon zucchini

I started to spin it.

PRS zucchini

I fantasized about pairing it with other yarn from my stash to become some sturdy socks.

PRS-squashblossom

I realized I spun the first bobbin backwards, so I got irritated and put it away.

I started spinning it again during last year’s Tour de Fleece.

I cut my thumb.

TdF-Wipeout

I blamed the wool and put it away.

I got it out to finally finish for this year’s Tour de Fleece.

PRS-zucchini-TdF2014

I made a three-ply and thought all was fine.

PRS-zucchini-3ply

I ran out of one of my three plies.

PRS-zucchini-not3ply

I am now done.

PRS-zucchiniwashed

I have 258 yards of a heavy fingering/light sport wonky 3ply, and 114 yards of a light fingering/fingering wonky 2ply.

PRS-zucchinitangle

(And we won’t speak of this).

And I’ll shut up about now until I have a finished item from it…

if I ever have one at all…

(Incidentally, I did fry up those blossoms and it was a mushy miserable failure, as are most of my neglected zucchini plants which are lousy with stupid male blooms).

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Hot and bothered…

I’m busy and I’ve run out of pre-written or partially composed blog posts, or rather ones that aren’t just one big fatass rant.

It’s been hot and humid and I thought I could deal with it, but it’s been ramped up lately to tip me over into full brain and body stupor.

(The air conditioning in my car is broken and we don’t have any at home yet).

I actually had a bee in my britches a couple of weeks ago and it stung the sh*t outta me.

A bite in the ass does not make one work harder.

I’m sure lighting a fire under it will have the same negative consequence.

Out of some weird mid-life moment, I actually joined Facebook with my real name and it sucks… though I get to bully the old bullies back by choosing not to “friend” them back, but then I feel bad even though they sucked and made me feel like hell in the seventh grade.

The seventh grade is the seventh ring of hell.

I only had about 70 kids in my grade for all 13 years (kindergarten included) and I can’t remember 70% of them.

I’m getting PT for my knee and the place plays this “oldies” station that is the music from my formative record-buying years… it’s kinda freaking me out – too much of my past all at once.

With the near end of the World Cup, I am overjoyed to quit cable television and hope it nestles into its own hell ring.

I’m getting a lot of spam comments on this blog and it’s annoying the piss outta me.

I’m almost finished knitting a medium to largeish-sized project, recently sewed a small project, and thinking about ways to spruce up some ugly hollow sliding closet doors – we’ve got two sets of them…

I also just started to spin a bit for the Tour de Fleece.

PRS-zucchini-TdF2014

I will finish up this disaster from last year.

(One bobbin spun backwards, I cut my thumb while spinning the next, and it’s been picked up and put down too many times to count.)

I also want to spin some other things I didn’t get to last year.

I can’t find those at the moment though…

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Hitching dragons

I finished up my second Hitchhiker scarf out of my handspun “Dragon Days” mixed BFL from Pigeonroof Studios.

PRS-dragons-beach1

You might think it’s just like my other one.

Mimsyhiker & acquedotto

And they are close, but the new one is more green, more intensely hued, and I spun it a little too thin, so the gauge is half the size of the other – or is it twice the size?

PRS-Draghitch1

I made it for a gift, but I was reeeaaaaally tempted to swap it out for my old one.

PRS-dragons-beach2

The colors are iridescent and change depending on the light, though sunlight is my favorite because it is at its greenest best then.

PRS-Draghitch5

I love the striping from the spun singles.

PRS-Draghitch4

And the size is good too – bigger than my other one.

PRS-dragons-beach3

I’ve got a few more gift knits to complete in the next month or two, so I’m going to continue to be busy with unselfish knitting for a bit (I’m not counting the selfish spinning) but there just might be a startitis explosion soon after though…

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The last things of 2013…

I’m greeting the new year with some all of my same old knitting and sewing UFOs, but I also finished a few new things just in time.

And I jinxed myself in my last whiny post (because of which someone suggested I re-name this blog Abitchmatism) – despite avoiding public gatherings, pot-luck foods, and public transit, I still wound up with an odd little cold/flu, so my end-of-year output is slightly less than I’d hoped it to be.

PRS-dragondays1

A few weeks ago, I did a quick spin of Pigeonroof Studios Mixed BFL in “Dragon Days” for a birthday gift a couple months from now.  The colors are downright nearly iridescent and change from turquoise to male-Mallard-head green depending on the light.  I spun it a little thinner than I intended, but I was a little out of practice.  I’ve already started another Hitchhiker out of it.

headband-button

And the leftover Dream in Color Classy yarn from my Honey Cowl became a Calorimetry headband.

headband-detail

I have to admit I don’t love it, and I’m pretty convinced the pattern isn’t the same as the one in the picture on the pattern – it has to have fewer rows.  I shortened mine by 8 rows and it’s still quite wide, and I didn’t do the hole-making version of the short rows except for the buttonhole either.  I’ve worn it a few times during a warmer spell here (in the 50sF) and that’s about as cold as it can get for wearing this thing.

And my nostalgia socks came together.

(The yarn, though I generally really like it for socks, had 7 knots in this skein – unacceptable!)

nostalgia socks

Over Thanksgiving, I found a picture of the sweater that the yarn reminded me of – and it was sort of close.

nostalgia sweater

The socks have some issues, and like the rookie mistake I made with twisting my Honey Cowl, I’m suddenly having rookie issues in my sock-making: ladders, weird toe grafting, and some general wonkiness with my ssk.  I really don’t know what’s going on, but they still work as socks and the fit ended up being okay after all (they are the same length, despite what you see in the pic).

nostalgia socks-full

I was playing with different ribbing patterns too – if I had more patience, I’d rip it out and just keep it to K3, P1, but I didn’t.

nostalgia socks-heel

And yes, they are proudly fraternal rather than identical.

And I’ve got the next pair lined up – some boring grey socks to replace some aging commercially-made boring grey socks.

grey sock yarn

I’ll be in sketchy territory for these too since I plan to go down two needle sizes… I’ll need to rip and re-start and repeat, I’m sure.  And I take that back about the boring color – I like grey and some days bright colors are obnoxious, and all of my socks are a very basic “boring” pattern, but they don’t bore me.   I love simple socks.

Here’s to many more made things in the new year!

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Mid-August progress…

We spent last weekend in the Adirondacks.

It was the last of the summer hiking trips for us.

ADK-pond hike

Our cottage was decorated in “Wal-Mart for cabin.”

ADK-bear

I actually miss the tacky painted saw blades, crude whittlings, and sh*t made out of driftwood and antlers of mountain/country crafts of yesteryear (or just a few years ago really).

Now it is plastic sh*t from China (often copied from domestic crafters).

ADK-racoon

But I managed to finally finish basting all of those damn letters.

Letters-done

The pile looks smaller than it really is.

I will never be so wordy on a quilt again.

Our CSA has been offering loads of lovely flowers.

It is a nice thing to have fresh flowers, but not in place of food – they really need to step it up in the veg department.  And as vinyl village apartment dwellers, we can’t compost, so I don’t like to have too many fresh flowers.

Quilt-shirt fabric

The letters are ready to mingle with the as yet unmade quilt blocks.

In Review

I’m also getting wordy with a fair isle scarf.

I don’t love stranded knitting.

I don’t hate it though.

PRS-lettuce on machine

My Tour de Fleece spinning goals fell short.

PRS-lettuce skein

But I finished plying my Pigeonroof Studios “lettuce” and have one braid left to finish spinning for a particular project.

I spun this one a little too thin and it came out lighter and softer in color, so it might have to become a different project.

Or the original project will be scrapped altogether.

That will have to wait.

I also started a major embroidery piece.

It will take some time.

It is pink.

I don’t love pink.

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