Sunday, September 30, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I had the worst trouble trying to spin this super fine. It wasn't until the last hour or so of spinning the singles that I got the hang of how the mohair wanted to work. Besides, my Ashford Traditional isn't exactly designed to spin this fine so I had to continually negotiate with the wheel to make it work.
It took about a week and a half to spin. Since I am not using it for it's intended use, in my stash it goes.
The mohair shines in the light, and the colours seem to glow. I cannot capture the effect with the camera, but perhaps you can get the idea. Some of these photos are with the flash on, some with it off.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly about this wheel. I want to know everything from what kind of yarn it spins well to whether it will fit in my bicycle's basket.
Monday, September 24, 2007
The problem is the hem - it curls. Perhaps if I had one of those sweater blockers, I could handle it. But getting the iron out each time I want to wear it and steaming it flat just doesn't appeal to me. So I decided that the hem has got to go.
I finished one arm and put a two colour gtst cuff on it. When it came time for the cuff, I stopped knitting in the round and instead knit back and forth; two rows one colour, two rows the next. I think it turned out quite alright.
This is what the original hem would look like if it stayed uncurled.
It doesn't look much like a sweater yet, but it's getting there. At this rate, I might actually be finished by Christmas.
So, now that I've picked apart the hem, I can rebuild it according to my will. But that's a task for another day.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I learnt how to make a new kind of heal from one of the guild members. She called it a Turkish heal. It's a way of placing an afterthought heal, but it's different than anything I have read about. I am going to give it a go on my cable and rib, rib and cable socks.
I took my new Knitters' Cube with me to the meeting. Lots of people loved it. I am really, really pleased with this bag.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Even so, I did finish my first Christmas present yesterday. It looks great. I would share with you, but I don't want to take a chance that someone might see it. Sorry. But I'll post photos after the holidays. You know, at this rate, I might be finished Christmas shopping by Halloween. That's just weird.
I did have a great time yesterday. I stopped by Honeysuckle Studio and talked with the local spinning and weaving guru. She knows so much and she is more than willing to share what she knows. I asked her all sorts of questions, like for example, "how do I make my wheel NOT squeak?" and "what are the differences between different folding wheels?" and she knew all the answers. One day, I want to grow up to be just like her.
If you have a moment, and you like free patterns, check out this site, Stash Bustn'.
Now, I must go design a pattern for knitted dalek tea cozies. Unless anyone knows of any pre-existing patterns?
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Let me know if you find any mistakes. I typed this up quickly so I'm certain there must be one or two in there.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
It was rather foolish of me, sitting in the dark living room, watching The Last Detective, crocheting the steek edge (see See Eunny Knit talk about crochet steeks). Since, I had crocheted it, and there was still half the show left, I thought, why not cut it.
The knitting fates must have taken pitty on me, because, against all the odds, not a wrong thread was snipped. I paid for my good luck when it came to picking up the sts around the edge. It took 7 (that's SEVEN!) tries, and two days of frustration and tossing the darn knitting in the corner to get the stitch count right. It's the age old theory, if you make someone or something sit in the corner long enough, maybe it will start to behave. But I didn't give up, and now the sleeve is on it's way.
That is, except for the spinning.
Okay, I know it's Christmas knitting, and I shouldn't share this with the blog. But the intended recipient seldom uses the Internet and reads this blog infrequently at best (better for me that way). Besides, if my friends aren't expecting knitted gifts from me for the holidays, they just aren't paying attention (and haven't been for quite some time).
But I am going to share it with you, at least a little bit, because I am so proud of the yarn I MADE! That's right, I used all capitals, because I made it. I visualized what I wanted the yarn to be, and it became what I wanted it to be! It's amazing. It would be almost like me knitting a sweater that fit. Anyway, have a look. Isn't it wonderful?
Bad news, there was a moth in my room last night. I am hoping that it's just that time of year again when all the creepy crawlies, and flittery flyies are trying to find new homes for the winter. But if anyone can tell me if it's an evil-moth or just a moth-moth, I would love to know.
In the spirit of being dedicated to my blog, I risked fiber and yarn to take a photo of the offending moth rather than the proper reaction which is to kill it as quickly as possible.
Edit: The moth is tiny; at most, about one centimeter long.
Monday, September 10, 2007
But no matter. Let us try this again.
I was writing about my self imposed torture, oops, I mean no-yarn-for-me pledge. It's been two days so far and no one has been hurt. It is difficult though, especially when you consider my morning routine is to drink my (very delicious) coffee while reading blogs, etsy, ravelry and the like. If you think it's difficult, under normal circumstances, not to buy every beautiful thing I see. You should see how difficult it is when I prohibit myself from buying these things. Prohibition seems to increase desire.
It always amazes me how many people add to the overall beauty of the world by creating yarn (and yarn related things). Take See Jayne Knit, perhaps my favorite dyer of all times, for example. She has just come out with a new sock yarn, Canadian Maple. It would make the most perfect fall socks. I would have snapped it up in an instant, if not for my no-yarn-for-me pledge.
But there is nothing in my pledge that denies me from entering contests to win yarn. It simply prevents me from spending money on yarn. I was delighted when I saw that HollYarns is having a contest. You can enter too. If you do, you can mention that I sent you. That way I get an extra chance to win some yarn and you have the opportunity to do your good deed for the day.
That's enough about yarn for now. In my last attempt to post on my blog (darn you blogger - I know you are a free service, but do better, will you.) I had a brilliant segway from yarn to knitting. But sadly, it's gone now. This will have to suffice.
The day after I cast off my handspun Montego Bay Scarf, the weather turned warm. It's always that way here. It rains the last two weeks of August, and gets obscenely hot starting the first Tuesday of September for a few weeks. But the moment the weather turns cool again, that scarf is going round my neck so I can show it off to the world.
You will be happy to see, there is also handbag knitting. The bordello socks from the yarn band off Seasilk Sock yarn.
As you can see, I'm using yarn from See Jayne Knit. Now I have proof that I already love her yarn. It makes such comfortable socks.
Now it's back to the books for me. As I worked yesterday, I'm already considerably behind on my readings for class. If I get them done in time, I'll pick up the sts for my first Kauni sleeve. I cut the steek last night while watching The Last Detective, so I am curious to see how many mistakes I made due to poor lighting and inattention.
(best go make a back up copy of this before pressing 'go')
Saturday, September 08, 2007
- Fiber festival shopping is exempt. It's the equivalent of eating birthday cake when you are on a diet.
- I can purchases new fiber to spin if and only if it is for a particular project and I do not purchases more than is reasonably needed for said project.
- I have three (3) wild cards - that means that I have three opportunities to buy yarn and not feel bad about it. But once they are gone, they are gone! (If I don't use them up, I get to buy myself a special present at the end of the year. One for each wild card not used.)
- Buying yarn to make specific gifts for other people (not myself) are also exempt.
- I can buy myself a gift of yarn for my birthday without using up one of my wild cards.
- Enabling is all okay. Which means I can still tell you about this fantastic new yarn being offered by Knits Galore. It's so wonderful and darn it all, I wish it came out yesterday so I could go on a yarn spree before my self imposed torture. I especially like Angela* in Bamboo/Merino/Nylon.
- And I suppose, if someone else were to buy me yarn and give it to me, that would be okay too. Besides, it would be rude to refuse.
With these exceptions, one year, one whole year!, will not be too difficult. It will be a challenge, but I think I can get through it.
When will the madness end? After 365.4 days or after I have reduced my stash by more than half. That would be when my entire yarn stash fits comfortably inside my yarn suitcase you see in the photos.
Friday, September 07, 2007
But then I realized what was wrong. The yarn for the first Christmas present wasn't anywhere near ready to ply, let alone knit; and even though I still had knitting on the needles, I had no handbag knitting.
Handbag knitting are small knitting projects that live in my hand bag. This may mean, as in The Mysterious Case of the Monkey Socks (note the hint of Sherlock Holmes), that a particular handbag knitting project, though small, may take months to knit. You probably have no idea how many time having knitting in my handbag has saved myself (and many an 'innocent' party) from harm.
I'm pretty high strung. I'm also very outspoken. Usually I'm shy enough for this not to be an issue. But sometimes...well, let's just say, it's not pretty. Okay, it is pretty funny for me, but it's not pretty funny for the poor sod who asks me 'does this make me look fat.' Because when I get high strung and outspoken, I'm the type of person that rejects decorum and tells that poor sod where and how much it makes her look fat. I end up feeling bad afterwards, but at least people (most people) learn that I give an honest opinion (even when I 'shouldn't').
This is why handbag knitting is such an important thing. It keeps me calm and, more importantly, it keeps me from saying things that maybe I shouldn't. This is why I was in such a panic when I ran out of handbag knitting. This is why I picked up some yarn from my stash and immediately cast for socks. The world is much better now. (details about yarn and socks coming later - it's been a long day at university, and I ought to leave you something to look forward to).
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Now, I've been told that at each stage of spinning, the colours of the fiber dull a little more. Yet, for some reason, these colours didn't fade, they grew in intensity. When I hand carded the fibers to blend them together, they almost seemed to shine with colour. When I spun the yarn, it glowed with impossibly bright yellows and greens. Once I plyed the yarn, it overcame me with it's unquenchable brightness. I suspect, it's too bright for me to wear as a scarf on its own anyway, but the way the finished yarn feels. It's soft, it's even, it slinks across your fingers, It's perfect!
There is just not enough. So, in the stash it goes for now. There will be something just right for it someday, I know.
My Montego Bay Scarf is well underway. It's almost finished actually. Another handspun creation (I like spinning). It's my first time knitting with handspun which isn't lumpy armature slub. It has properties that I've never known in any commercial yarn. I'm not certain how to describe it. I think if I had to try, I would say it's denser than commercial yarn. It slinks across the needles, but once it's formed into the knitted fabric, it softens. In a way it's as if before you knit it, it's all tense and waiting with anticipation. Then once it's finally in it's finished form, it relaxes and gets comfortable, put its feet on the couch as it were.
The Kauni is coming along, albeit, slowly. The scarf keeps stealing away my attention. I reach for the Kauni, and my hands pick up the scarf. But no matter. It is getting there.
I've also been spending time stealth spinning for Christmas presents. I know, I know, it's early! But I want to get them finished, and besides, it is an excuse to do more spinning. Here is one photo to tide you over, but you don't get any more until after the holidays. I picked up these Fleece Artist braids at the Loom.
Right, it's back to the books for me. Hooray for University being back in session.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Here's my lunch. I won an apple for knowing the difference between egg chickens and meat chickens.