Tuesday, December 16, 2014

3 Kids

Well, I am still alive but three kids are sucking the extra time I had to blog right outta me!  With that being said, I will continue my hiatus until things settle down (ha!) and I am in more of a routine.  If you simply have to know what I've been crocheting, knitting, or spinning follow me on Instagram.  My handle is @massenzifroni.

Take care and happy holidays to you!

Hazel showing much attention to the bottom of the tree!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tour de Fleece 2014

 This year I was able to participate in Tour de Fleece.  I got so much done even though my knitting suffered.  The first skein above is from Spinner's Hill.  I named the color way 'Inside the Dewdrop', after an episode of Cosmos I was watching at the time.  I got 374 yards of sport weight yarn from 4 ounces of fiber.  I love Spinner's Hill fiber so much and her colors are just perfect.  This was such an enjoyable spin.  It drafted perfectly, was nice and soft, and twisted exactly how I wanted it to.  It was labeled wool but I'm pretty sure it was merino as well.  I love me some merino!  No plans for the yarn yet (shocker!) but because I kept it as singles, I'll have to keep that in mind as I look for something to make with it.
 This next skein is one of at least 7 hanks of brown wool I spun up from a garbage bag full of brown fiber.  This came from my friend's sheep that she had to sell.  She had them sheared before selling them and then gave me the fiber.  There are still two garbage bags of fiber left, but one of my goals during the Tour was to get one of the bags spun up.  I didn't quite make it in time for the deadline because I snapped a drive band but I did finish it within a week after the tour ended.  I spun the singles on Angela's Ashford Traditional and then did a 2 ply on my Ashford Student Spindle.  I wanted to have a little more control while I was plying plus, I haven't quite gotten the hang of 2 plying on the Traddy.  I came up with about 617 yards of bulky to super bulky yarn from about two pounds of fiber.  I'm not quite sure of the breed but it felt like it could be Corriedale to me.  It had a nice stretch and bounce to it that reminded me of the Corriedale I spun last time.  Surprisingly, I do have plans for all this yarn.  I'm deciding on whether to make the Ledge Trail Vest, Woods Road Vest or Freeport by Elizabeth Smith.  I already made Mud Season by her a few months ago and loved how simple and stylish her sweaters turn out. 

The last hank of yarn came from Windsong Farm Originals that I purchased at the Little York Fiber Festival last October.  This fiber is Cotswold and from four ounces I spun 176 yards of singles at a fingering to sport weight.  I absolutely hated this spin.  It was torture throughout.  It was very difficult for me to draft the fiber even though the staple length was quite long.  The fiber was also pretty hairy to work with and that was kind of grossing me out a bit.  I have no idea what to make with this and was even considering giving it away but I'll hang on to it for a while and see what happens.  

So all in all, I thought my Tour de Fleece was successful.  I moved out over 2 1/2 pounds of fiber and got a sweater's quantity of yarn from it.  Woot, woot!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Keeping it Light

 The last two projects that I made over the last few months were made with fingering weight yarn.  I finally joined the club and made Martina Behm's Hitchhiker with yarn that I dyed at the Yarn Cupboard Retreat from 2012.  This project did get abandoned but then I found it at the bottom of a project bag and decided to rip it out and start again.  Not to worry, I was only a few teeth in.  This project was not good social knitting for me because I definitely put a tooth in backwards and decided to just keep it that way.  I like how the colors pooled together and I probably will make another one of these at some point using a yarn that is a gradient or has a definitive striping pattern to it.
Then I wanted to revisit a pattern that I knew would be quick to whip out before a baby came.  I made this last year using a lavender yarn that I got at Rhinebeck back in the day.  This yarn came from a swap a few years ago from my friend, Denise.  This yarn was from the Loopy Ewe in the colorway So Long Summer.  The pattern is from Eclectic Gipsyland called Infinity Scarf Passion and is free.  I love the lightness of the bobbles, if you can imagine crocheted bobbles to be delicate and light.  I made a skinny version of the pattern and I'm already starting another with some lace weight yarn while Ramona sleeps on me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Endless Possibilities

 On to the worsted weight project that I absolutely love!  This is just a crocheted cowl that my friend Beth let me test for her.  I used three balls of Plymouth Gina but the choices are endless!  You could use Noro, Boku, Amazing and even hand spun.  I've already been plotting to make a few of these using my hand spun yarn that I've been hoarding away.  If you're quick with your hook, this can easily be done in one night while watching a movie.  I took my time with it, not just because I was testing but I was just enjoying the union of yarn and pattern so much!
Last up for today -Martina Behm's 22 Little Clouds.  This is a free pattern on Ravelry and I used one skein of Berocco Vintage in Pink and a skein of Wonder Why Alpaca Farm, Sunshine of Purple.  Both are sport weight yarns and I thought they played nicely together within the pattern.  I striped it and carried the yarn up the side in my stitches so I wouldn't have too many ends to weave in.  Each stripe is a repeat of the body section the pattern calls for.  I did a few extra repeats because I had more than enough yarn and I wanted it to be a little bigger.  The ruffle is such a sweet touch to this shawl!  I highly recommend this pattern because it's a nice social knitting project that turns out really pretty!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bulky Glam

 Here come the glam shots of all the finished objects I have finished over the last few months.  Let's go by yarn weight, shall we?  Here are all the bulky projects that I finished in a mini instant gratification KAL a few months ago.  First up, and above, the Vermonter pattern using Imperial Yarn's Native Twist.  The pattern was very easy and fun and the yarn was so squishy and warm.  I am looking forward to wearing this hat in the winter time.  One thing I wasn't happy about and which was totally user error, as usual, was that when going from the purl rows back to the stockinette rows it didn't go very seamlessly.  Even though it definitely looks handmade, I will still be rocking it every moment I get.

 I made another hat using Reynolds Contessa yarn in a light green.  The pattern is pretty popular on Ravelry, Robin's Egg Blue Hat, is the perfect pattern in my opinion.  The moss stitch brim, the button, and finishing up with the stockinette.  It held my interest and wasn't horribly complicated.

Lastly, I made Purl Soho's Bandana Cowl using two skeins of Lion Brand Alpine Wool in the vanilla and sky blue colorway.  This came out big because I didn't really check my gauge but I'm still happy with it.  I loved the yarn and I'm looking forward to wearing this once it gets cooler out.  The pattern was very easy to follow and one could easily modify it with different weights of yarn and colors.

Next post we will take a jump from super bulky to worsted and sport weight!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The FO of the summer!

Welcome sweet Ramona Laureen!  

Born August 8, 2014 @ 4:58pm -7lbs 9oz - 20 inches

Monday, August 4, 2014

Yarn crafter nesting

22 Little Clouds - check!

Drying Tour de Fleece yarn - check!

6 oz left at the end of the Tour - not bad!

New project - check!

Plying the rest of the spun yarn from TdF - check!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Break on Brown

Spindle action
Finished yarn
Something dreamy but hairy :-D

Monday, July 21, 2014

Touring while 9 months pregnant...

This year, I joined the Tour de Fleece (an event that coincides with the Tour de France - google it if you want more info) with a goal of trying to spin for a sweater or at least get through one garbage bag of fiber that a friend gave me from her sheep (we will pretend that there isn't actually three total bags insulating my bedroom right now).  Anywho, I've been doing a little spinning each day trying to kick out two bobbins each day the Tour de France is going and resting when the TdF rests.  I've been using Angela's Ashford Traditional and I was moving along quite nicely, that is, until I snapped the driveband for the millionth time.  So now, I'm at a stand still and waiting for a drive band to come in.  I am so close to finishing up the bag!  There has to be maybe less than 8 ounces still in there but I've been plying what was spun and killing the brown fiber boredom by using my spindle and other fiber in the mean time.  So far, I have a little over 350 yards of 2 ply worsted to heavy worsted weight yarn.  Not quite sweater quantity but it's getting there!

Anyone out there spinning like a fool?  How's it going?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Still here! No baby yet!

 The last month or so has been crazy busy with school ending and then trying to get lots of stuff done before baby #3 gets here.  I picked up the 'My Favorite Things' scarf and knitted a couple of sections to it that you can see above and below.  I was nervous that I would forget how to do stranded knitting but a quick refresher on YouTube and I was back in business.  Now, I'm just trying to decided what to knit for the next section.

 Something I have finished that I'm excited about is baby's blanket.  I figured this color scheme was neutral enough and cozy enough to work.  It will also be a contender in the NYS Fair this year too!  I have a lot of things that need to be photographed but my usual photographer has been super busy (yea!) with weddings, portraits, and new babies!

 Last thing I wanted to show on the blog is my striped take on Martina Behm's, '22 Little Clouds'.  I am at the point where I should start the edging but it doesn't seem long enough for my liking so I've just kept going with the stripes, which are addicting!  Other things are in the works which I, hopefully, will post about in the next few weeks. 

Happy summer crafting all!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Busy as a bee

Done and I love it!

Done and ready for MotherHenKnits

On the third ball now!

Crocheting with hand spun

Needed something mindless...

Baby #3 gets a blanket!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

WIPs a plenty

Testing shot #1

Testing shot #2

Charity Mitts
The Neverending Sweater
Some things are now finished... some things are almost there... and some things are not even close!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Never too early!

 Tour de Fleece will be here before you know it and I've already started plotting what to spin and which teams to join.  My friend used to have sheep and before she sold them, they were sheared and she gave me all the fiber to spin.  The hubs got this processed for me through Salt City Fiberworks.  There are two huge garbage size bags of the brown and one of the white.  My goal is to try and get through one bag of brown using my buddy Angela's Ashford Traditional during the tour.  I joined Team Climbers whose goal is to conquer mountains and big personal challenges.  

To break up the monotony of spinning fiber au naturel daily for about a month, I have these puppies as some back up in my stash to use on the my spindle for my local yarn store's team (yes, I'm nuts to be on two teams:-D).  The top one is a mini batt with a little sparkle in it and a braid both from Spun Right Round.

Anyone out there gonna join the tour?  Who's with me?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Last of the bulk

To finish up the month of all things bulky, here are some close-ups of three baby cocoons I made for Michael to be used as photo props for future baby photo shoots.  Why the close ups?  They don't look very glamorous unless a baby is inside so I thought showing off the stitches was more appealing otherwise they look like poorly crocheted adult hats.  I used Berocco Peruvia for the mauve and cream colored yarns and Plymouth Encore Mega for the blue.  One recommendation though, if you choose to use Plymouth Encore Mega, you definitely need more than one skein to finish the project.  I ran out and had to do a couple of rows with some of the Berocco I had left over.

One of the last bulk projects I finished was the Vermonter hat by Abi Gregorio.  I used Imperial Native Twist.  This yarn was so squishy and yummy.  I highly recommend this yarn to anyone and everyone!  Imperial first caught my interest on the Yarniacs podcast and I mentioned it to my friend who owns a wonderful yarn shop and she is now selling it there.  The pattern is free and you could finish it in a night!  Give it a try!