Posts Tagged ‘sunna’


January 1, 2014
Shiny and new

Shiny and new

I knew one thing heading into 2013: this would be a different year from any other.  That there would be nothing routine about it would prove to be an understatement.  To focus on rebuilding Owl Manor, I left my full-time job.  Just as I was getting into a routine, my freelance client needed a growing number of hours.  Simultaneously, as befits the cosmic sitcom that is my life, disaster befell us with the rebuild, requiring us to halt the project and start anew.

Somewhat surprisingly (to me at least), this time knitting did not fail me ~ if blogging about it did.  Looking back at my “output,” it’s clear that while my head was wrestling with knots, my hands stayed busy.

Projects completed in 2013:  13

What were they?  5 cowls, 4 shawls, 3 hats and a pair of fancy gloves

Yards of yarn used:  4,115, almost .8 miles

One-skein projects: 5

Projects never posted on ravelry but worked on: 3 (yes, I will get them up there)

Projects waiting to be blocked:  4 or more.  Sigh.

So many WIPs, so little time

So many WIPs, so little time

WIPs OTN:  Oooh, shudder.  Off the top of my head, 12.  I’m sure there are more.  Yikes.  But I pick up and put down what feels good to me.  That’s okay.

Goals I wanted to achieve in 2013:  Wisely, I didn’t really set a bar, per se.  There is a pair of colorwork mittens I would have loved to make, but I just didn’t get to them.  I did achieve something on my knitting “bucket list” though I failed to tell you about it yet.  (I’ll get to it, I promise.)  Because looking at the baker’s dozen projects I did complete, I note that only 3 stayed at my house.  The rest were either gifts, charity projects or samples.  The shoemaker’s barefoot children come to mind.  Which is why all four of the projects you see here are staying chez Owl, especially the ball of beautiful bulky Morehouse Merino, which will become a cowl for Darling Girl as soon as I unearth my graph paper.  Or just buy more …

The recent posts on Amy Herzog’s design blog put a word in my head that’s been ricocheting about for the past couple of days as I considered next year.  It talked about knitting intention.

My fingers are itching to knit more.  And there is one gaping hole in my knitting over the past yew years.  I haven’t knit a sweater for myself in quite awhile.  I had one I really liked on the needles but it got

Destined for frogging and a new project

Destined for frogging and a new project

so darned complicated to rejigger it for the gauge I got with the yarn I was using that I just got stuck.  It is going to the frog pond immediately so the sweater’s worth of Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna can be repurposed.

Now armed with my CustomFit measurements from taking Amy’s class at the Knitter’s Review Retreat, I will be swatching some Sunna and purchasing my CustomFit version of Afterlight.  No need to think.  Just knitting a pattern that is written for me.

That’s my knitting intention for 2014.  That and getting some woolies done for Darling Girl, because there are constantly growing fingers and ears to warm and there is no excuse for allowing Jack Frost to nip at those.

Thanks for hanging with me this long.  I will try to connect more in the months ahead.  My absences here are largely due to activity over at the other blog.  In the meantime, happy 2014!


TINK-erbell’s candles

April 29, 2013


Happy blogiversary to me … four years that we have visited here in this virtual owl box.  Seems a lot longer, then I look at my extremely erratic posting over the past eight months and drop my head in some shame.  But life happens, and it’s happened to me in spades.  And while many of my blogging brethren have no problem sitting down and dashing out a post, I spend time thinking about I want to say and how I want it represented, visually and otherwise.

The upshot is a rather absent(minded) Owl of late. I can’t promise I will do better over the next year with the mayhem I expect on the horizon at Owl Manor, but I will try.

‘Course, just blocking a half dozen pieces would help (cough, cough).

That said, I will be honest and tell you today about a new experience in my knitting world:  I blew a deadline.  I didn’t want to or mean to, but ultimately, we agreed it was the best outcome for everyone.

04-12-13 SunnaSurprise

Sunna in Fig with 8/0 Miyuki Delica Hex beads

The project is a lovely little shawl from my friend, Sivia Harding.  Nothing complex, just some beads and my favorite fingering weight yarn, Spirit Train Fiberworks Sunna.  It was supposed to be done for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival later this week.

First, I ran out of beads.  They were from my little bead stash, which is pretty well-organized, so it took very little time to order and receive more, but it did delay me a few days when I really needed to  have those days back.

Everything was going great guns until I had one of those head-slapping, I-should-have-had-a-V-8 moments around 4 in the morning.  You see, even though Sivia clearly told me how to do the increases, I still manipulated them to look like yarn-overs.  After all, this was lace.  Of course increases should be decorative.

What hit me in that predawn haze was the notion that a shawl knit side to side increases halfway, then decreases back again.  So all those increases would be decreases imminently.  Decreases that would NOT need a yarn-over to highlight them.  Ummm.


See the lovely dropped stitch at the top just waiting to be picked back up?

See the lovely dropped stitch at the top just waiting to be picked back up?

I am pretty game at fixing mistakes.  I mean, I just had to drop the stitches to each increase, pick it up the right way, and then run the stitch back up to the needles again and Bob’s your uncle.  Yeah, sure.  Tinking down 70 or more rows to reach some of those offending increases.  Then discovering a few times that maybe I didn’t catch every single stitch I needed to on the way back up again …

Am I an 11-year-old who can’t read a pattern, for the love of Mike? Apparently so.

Bottom line:

04-26-13 ready to rip

Ready to rip!

The shawl was about 45% complete.

I ripped it all out and started over again.

You’ll see it at Rhinebeck.

I will have some sanity in the interim.

But blowing a deadline, that’s going to bug me for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for coming by to visit today and every time I post.  I appreciate you taking the time. Now let’s eat some cake, or at least find ice cream.

Everything is a little better with ice cream.


February 22, 2013

The blocking backlog chez Owl is rapidly reaching epic proportions.  So while away (we somehow managed to narrowly escape in the wake of the blizzard for a week in a much warmer clime), I figured it was at least time to try to photograph a project that refuses to be photographed easily.  Or well.

Windward, all points and angles

Windward, all points and angles

However, Heidi Kirrmaier’s Windward is an incredibly easy ~ and fun ~ little knit.  Is it a scarf or a shawl?  Either.  Both.  Whichever you want.  It starts with a garter triangle at one

Cast-on corner

Cast-on corner

end and using increases, decreases, cast-ons and bind-offs (but no picking up stitches or breaking your yarn), produces modular triangles and rectangles in garter, stockinette and reverse stockinette.  Really, it’s hard to know which is the right side.

Pure simplicity

Pure simplicity

The knit is so simple that it deserves a really yummy yarn ~ and one without distracting color changes that would detract from the shaping of the piece.  I used one of my all-time go-tos, Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna, a fingering-weight blend of merino, cashmere and bombyx silk that is positively delicious and wearable year-round.  The unnamed blue-violet colorway was the 2010 Holiday Yarn Club selection.  Because of the unique construction of the piece, and because my skeins were extremely well-matched, I did not alternate skeins.

Wrap it and go

Wrap it and go

Windward is extremely wearable.  Its unusual points give it a ton of visual interest no matter how you wear it.  Initially, I thought I might want to whip a quick I-cord edge across the top to keep it from rolling, but that would create a front and back side, and it really isn’t necessary.  Why complicate something that works?

So here are the deets:

Pattern:  Windward from the “Come Sail Away” ebook by Heidi Kirrmaier, aka PiPiBird.  I would recommend this to a new knitter who has mastered the basic stitches and is ready for a little challenge.  For an experienced knitter, this is pure amusement.

Yarn: Spirit Trail Sunna.  Sunna has wonderful drape that fits this pattern wonderfully.  Total yarn used: 490 yards ~ 65 g remain from second skein.

Needles: US 4

Mods: none

Project marriage score: 9.5.  This was a no-brainer.  I’ve given up trying to get a good image of it and will just wear it instead.


October 2, 2012

Eight weeks and almost no knitting.

It just hasn’t felt right.  (Then again, a lot of things haven’t felt right.)  I’ve been jumpy, constantly amped up, never really able to settle down.  There’s also the job that never stops, either.

It’s been driving me nuts.

Said by an extremely generous friend ~ who also happens to be very wise: “Why don’t you just try some knits and some purls.  A scarf or something.”


The Knitting Goddess clearly agreed.  I had signed up for Sivia Harding‘s first club, Mezzaluna – the patterns only, to knit down some stash along the way over the next year.  Penumbra was released at the end of August.  I decided to use some lovely organically grown and naturally dyed stash yarn.   The Yarn Goddess made sure the beads I ordered were inexplicably delayed for nearly two weeks coming from a mere 2 states away.  Then, when they arrived, there had been a mistake in the order and the wrong quantity of beads was sent.  So I started knitting while I waited for the remainder.  And it turned out that the yarn has just enough indigo in it to crock on my hands (and clothes) every time I touch it.

O-kay.  No beaded lace right now, though I was sure a nice chart was going to sort this out and bring the rhythm back.

But today, I can show you proof of knitting.

Proof of Knitting with Birte

Doesn’t look like much, other than the gorgeous colorway Lamb’s Ear in Spirit Trail Fiberworks Birte.  Birte and Sunna; Sunna and Birte.  Identical yarns (75%  merino, 15% cashmere, 10% bombyx silk) of different weights that do everything you ask.

This will eventually be the Winding River Cowl.  A bunch of ribbing and some cables that will make it reversible.

Just what the Yarn Goddess ordered in the first place.  I wasn’t clever enough to recognize it at the time.


March 9, 2012

Yes, yes, mes copains, it has been far too long.  Life and work get in the way.

There has been plenty of knitting though, in odd moments, many of them during the owl-hours I’ve been seeing far too oft of late.

None of it is quite ready for prime time yet.  Which is to say, it ain’t blocked.  Quelle surprise!?


So today, you get a little tease with some of the newest Spirit Trail Fiberworks yarns.  Those in the 2012 Knitting Club will this month

Holda in Fortune's Red

receive a skein of Holda.  I agree with Jennifer – in the skein, it’s not much to write home about.  It has about as much life as wet tissue.  That’s the really fun part of sample knitting: getting to put a new yarn through its paces to see what it can do.  I’m happy to report that while my knitters’ antennae were twitching, “Splitty!” a pair of stiletto-tipped Signature circs allowed me to cable and cable and cable some more ~ all without a cable needle ~ and without losing strands.  Holda performed beautifully.  And it has bunny in it.  I am a sucker for lambswool ~ let alone the bunny.  I’ll tell you all about the pattern when we have some real FO photos.

Lyra in colorway Bacchus

Then there is a dear friend, Lyra.  My smooshy pal, in colorway Bacchus.  This sweet little hat knitted up in a matter of a few days, limited only by my available time.  Flawless pattern that should look a little familiar to Lyra devotees.  It will be blocked for a bit of le slouch.  And an accompanying accessory to follow.

Verdande in Tuareg Blue

But the piece-de-resistance is Verdande.  V. is the plump and well-rounded big sister to Birte, Sunna and Nona.  And is she ever a joy to knit with!  This incredibly deep colorway is one of Jennifer’s new ones: Tuareg Blue.  This Susanna IC shawl, with all of its cables and

Scrumptious - and worsted weight

lace, was knitted on dull-tipped original Addi Turbos.  (The color is more accurate in the upper photo.) Verdande never split – or even thought about splitting.  I can tell, even unblocked, this is going to have fabulous drape.  It flew off the needles with little interference from me.  There will have to be more ~ miles more ~ of Verdande in my future.

That’s your sneak peek for now.  More coming soon as the blocking is done.

Ciao 2011!

December 31, 2011

Putting up a new calendar will be something I truly relish.  2011 brought one significant and wonderful change to my household, but also some major life difficulties.  We made it through.  I mostly made it because of the friends who held me up when I didn’t think I could tread water anymore.  I am endlessly grateful.

With all of that unwanted drama, my knitting output declined significantly.  (So did my yarn purchasing.  I know you don’ t believe that, but it’s true.)  Still, I’m really proud of some of the things I did this year.  A complex

"Craft Activism"

There's my sweater! I knitted that!

sweater executed on tight deadline in 2010 is featured in Craft Activism.   I’ve never had my knitting published before.  Even better: Some very kind designers have seen my interpretations of their patterns online and took the time to say some terribly nice things.  That amazes me.  Good fodder for bad days.  Or for when I look at the numbers and feel like I may have underachieved compared to last year.  But each year is different from its predecessors.

Yarn used in 2011: 7619 yards = 1.4 miles

Finished objects:  17  ~ 2 hats, 2 sweaters, 2 cowls, 2 pair of mittens, 1 Christmas stocking and 8 shawls

One-skein projects: 10

Fibers first used this year: Romney and Finn   The former is pretty common in this neck of the woods, and I enjoyed getting to know it on the needles.  The Finn I used was actually a Finn/angora blend.  While I liked it, for purposes of the monthly Knitter’s Book of Wool wool-along, I learned that I prefer to use the straight stuff so as to have a real feel for the actual wool without the additional fiber that changes its characteristics.

WIPs /UFOs remaining: 14  shudder  Okay, to be fair: two of these are waiting to be blocked, a third needs some pictures taken, and a pair of mittens needs thumbs and a good simmer in vinegar to set the dye.   I have two (ancient) sweaters with identical yarn shortage issue that arose on the sleeves.  These need to have sleeves knitted in from the top down so they are of equal length.  I can do this – it will just take a little time.  And I will pick up another skill.  That will cut into the number.  I did frog a project, too.  That felt REALLY good.  I highly recommend it.

Designers I enjoyed:  Sivia Harding, SusannaIC, Gudrun Johnston, Ysolda Teague, Jared Flood

Favorite yarns I worked with this year:  Spirit Trail Fiberworks Nona, Sunna, Holda, Birte, Verdande.   Berocco Blackstone Tweed.  BrooklynTweed Loft ~ which I haven’t gotten on the needles yet, but know I will enjoy.  Interestingly, without a LYS to call my own, my yarn acquisition was almost exclusively a yarn club, travel/souvenir purchases and yarn/fiber festivals.

Priorities I had for the year:

  • Geodesic Cardigan – stalled temporarily
  • Grove mittens – check!
  • Holland cowl – check!
  • Woodruff mittens – More Jared Flood mittens coming soon in Shelter when I can decide on a colorway.  Yeah, I’m ummm, deciding on a colorway.  Because somehow there are more colorways at my house than there used to be.  (See favorite yarns above.)
  • Bristol’s Cowl – I’ll get there.  Really.  If nothing else, because more people have read my posts about Quince & Co. Chickadee than anything I’ve ever written here.  I can only imagine what happens when I write about Puffin.

Priority from 2010, finally achieved: I knitted a sweater for myself.  And I love it.  Still need some pictures and I’ll show you here soon, but it is done.  All it took was a major power outage and hours of knitting by candlelight.

Other things I’d like to do in 2012:

  • Play with beads:  I’ve started to mess with them in my lace.  They are fun.  Doubtless, they slow me down some, but a little can go a long way in making a piece into a show-stopper.
  • To frog or to finish:  Attack some of those very old WIPs.  We’ll see how that goes.  I have turned from owl to magpie when it comes to shiny new objects (read patterns/yarns) and my attention span may be devastated.

If I seem uninterested in goal-setting, it’s because I sometimes have to remind myself this really is my Zen thing.  My knitting is my own journey and I find it far more interesting to let it lead me wherever it wants to go, than to stick to a prescribed path on the map.  Because at the end of the year, I think it’s kind of fun to look at what I wrote and where I went instead.  It’s all about the trip.

Salut 2012!

Soldiering on

March 3, 2011

I will not cast on a new project.

I will not cast on a new project.

I will not cast on a new project.

So goes the battle with start-itis.  The reason I’ve been quiet is that I have exerted extreme discipline.

Lingering WIPs

I will finish these two WIPs before starting something new.  In all fairness, re-knitting the whole Kilkenny Cowl was not in the plan.  But since that happened because of my own inattention idiocy, I have not allowed myself any wiggle room from my resolve.

How ready am I to move on?  Enough to start counting.  When I break out math just for fun, you know I’m getting bored.

Sweet Grass Targhee Grove mitten #2

It goes this way:  Grove mittens (This time for ME!) ~ two thumbs to go (I finished the second mitten body since snapping this the other night.)

Kilkenny Cowl – now shaping up deliciously, I must add, using the appropriate needles and

Quince & Co. Chickadee in Gingerbread

gauge – 18 rounds of pattern and six of ribbing.  It is, indeed, Gingerbread (IRL color is between the 2 photos – camera was not cooperating).  It is spongy and delightful and this time, not too dense.

But geez, am I ever ready to move on!

Geodesic Cardigan - at least the start of it

The miles of stockinette in the Geodesic Cardigan by Connie Chang Chinchio have provided a necessary break from time to time.  A lot more coming on that topic (I fear this could be an epic knit …), but the gist is that any time knitting with Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna is good knitting time.   This colorway is Acadia, if you’re wondering.

Of course yarn and pattern for the next project are already waiting on deck for me to finish the mittens and cowl, but I refuse to allow myself to wind the yarn until these WIPs are whipped.

Are we there, yet?

Belle ‘bel

February 7, 2011


Ishbel II

When things go right – they go so right.  (Or perhaps it is the fresh memory of G&Ts and 80 degrees when I took these.)

Thus, I present to you musings and eye candy.  If you like black licorice, this one’s for you.  In posting these with the project

Sunna blocks beautifully

page on ravelry, I had a hard time deciding which to put first. Here, I have all the space in the world to let the pix do the talking.

First, if you are going to knit a shawl, you want to knit it with Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna.

Drape? Oh, yeah.

Recommended by minh, it was perfect.  Sunna flows off the needles like nothing else.  It is lightweight but strong, fine without being fussy.  And this merino /cashmere /silk drapes.

Knitting with black? No problem here.  I can’t say

Not a flat black at all

whether that’s a function of the most intuitive pattern I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy (Ishbel by Ysolda Teague if you don’t know it by sight) or the yarn or the fact that it was knitted with love for my I-don’t-ever-want-to-live-without-her mom.

She who commissioned it

She wanted it big and black.

If you are looking to recreate this, here are the mods:

Alternating skeins: I alternated skeins on the third stitch of the garter edging to prevent pooling.  It’s invisible.

Sizing: For Ishbel, you can knit a  small or large stockinette section and a small or large lace section.  I used the “small stockinette / large lace” combination.  As charted, this shawl is [A-B] 4x, A-C-D-E.

Waving in the beach breeze

I haven’t weighed the remnants, but I used approximately 1.5 skeins of Sunna, which comes in a 350-yard put-up.

You can see that on my rather petite model, it’s large enough to wrap, but not so dark as to look like a giant batwing.

I am pleased.

Now if I could just get my hands on another perfectly mixed G&T …



A glance

January 6, 2011

When the calendar page turns, we are all conditioned to take stock.  A glance back, a look ahead.

A year ago, I promised to “make progress on the following”:

Tackle some of the baker’s dozen of unfinished objects ~ Hm.  Ten still undone.  Oops.  Too many shiny distractions and not enough brain space to wrestle with some of these.

Knit like crazy for the darlingest knitwear model ~ Still the cutest model, but woeful progress here, too.   One done, one missing a collar.  Still.  Idjit.

The secret test-knit

Knit one sweater for myself ~ I did knit one sweater, albeit for a soon-to-be-published book.  In 36 days.  On size 2 needles, with intarsia and fair-isle.  I think that qualifies.

Attend an extra day of the Knitter’s Review Retreat ~ Done.  Best decision ever.

Ready my own design for publication ~ Oh, that.  I forgot all about it.


Deep breath which can also be read as a sigh.

Peachy - the pattern and the model

Time to look at the year’s knitting from a different angle:

  • Projects completed:  21 plus 3 test-knits
  • Yarn used:  3.2 miles plus 1.2 miles = 4.3 miles of yarn
  • 8 shawls, 7 cowls, 2 hats, 3 fingerless mitts, 2 scarves, 1 adult and 1 child’s sweater, 1 pair of socks  No, the math doesn’t work, but I’m not going back to figure it out.
  • Number of “one-skein” projects completed:  16
  • WIP/UFOs today:  15
  • Fibers first used in 2010:  Bluefaced Leicester (BFL), California Variegated Mutant (CVM), Cormo, Targhee
  • Favorite yarns used in 2010:  Briar Rose Fibers Glory Days, Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna and Lyra, Sundara Sock, Foxfire Fiber Cormo/Silk/Alpaca, Quince and Co. Chickadee, AslanTrends Invernal
  • Designers I knitted from most:  Ysolda Teague, Gudrun Johnston

SHELTER - Button Jar for Woodruff mittens

On tap for 2011 (besides attacking those UFOs that are still UFOs – I mean, really):

E-nough with the navel-gazing already!

The past week has brought seismic shifts in several critical parts of my life, and these shifts are mostly good extraordinary.  They mean I am no longer carrying a Steinway in terms of the responsibilities and pressures of everyday life.  Will it mean more knitting time?  I sure hope so.


December 12, 2010

She’s making a list … and checking it twice …

For someone who says every year that she doesn’t do holiday knitting, this looks suspiciously like … holiday knitting.


  • Complete thumbs on Humanity mitts for Darling Bebe’s teacher
  • Complete knitting on Eve mitts for Darling Bebe’s teacher
  • Start knitting nephew’s personal pattern family stocking featuring fair-isle and intarsia.  (This is the fourth one, so at least I’ve worked the kinks out of my design.  But if my sister should ever have a fifth child, that one’s on its own for stockings.  Harrumph.)
  • Complete knitting Mom’s Ishbel in Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna


Oh – that is the KNITTING list.  We haven’t begun to think about the remainders of the ongoing Mommy list.

Good thing there’s a day of jury duty scheduled.  I suspect we’ll see more of the owl hours … then again, that’s why they are the Owl hours, n’est-ce pas?

%d bloggers like this: