Monday, June 29, 2009
This is another try at making a wrap instead of a scarf with that 8/2 orlon.
I have not finished warping it yet. I wanted a picture of the tangled mess it was.
While trying to wind it up I had a catastrophe when the loom fell over and it all became a giant red heap on the floor.
I tried warping it on the stand and for a while all went well until the big crash. I am leaving it like this for a day or two until I work up the courage to straighten it out.
I devised this nifty little contraption to help me roll out the yarn. Then I realized I had a lazy kate which would have done the same thing. Duh.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I spent the morning cooking a big pot of sweater soup.
I was hoping to tone down that brilliant red Hedgerow sweater that I slaved over last summer.
I bought some Jacquard dye in russet, which is a deep red. It all looked very promising in the pot.
But.....it's still very red. I think it is a better red but I didn't have a scrap of yarn leftover to compare the old color with the new. Too bad. I'm still gonna look like Clifford the Big Red Dog in it. Arf.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
That tiny strand of green is all that is left of the handspun I made for this scarf.
Talk about cutting it close. I was sweating out the last repeat while reminding myself that I still needed some yarn for the bind off.
Here she is blocking and those colors are certainly....um..vivid.
I'm hoping that come the cruel, gray dead of winter these tropical hues will be a welcome sight.
I know I owe a lot to this silly little scarf as she kept me company during some very dark hours as I worked my way through a mountain of grief.
Friday, June 26, 2009
That pile of knit rubbish ended up being a cat toy.
But first it began as the fronts and sleeves of my ginourmous Palette Cardi.
After working the neckbands, I realized there was NO WAY in HELL that this thing would ever fit. If you can steek the front, why not the huge arms?
I used the crochet method and then snipped away the extra fabric. Yes, it was very scary. A year and half of work could have ended up in the garbage.
I seamed the edges together using each individual color.
And as you can see, it was all worthwhile as I have a much better fit. You can see the difference in the sleeves here. On the right is the old sleeve, on the left is the new. I also took about 3 inches off each front band and sewed the neck line up about 3 more inches on each side.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
10 years of letters in a box from my email buddy Pauline in Montreal. I wanted to learn French and she wanted to learn English but it turned into so much more.
She was responsible for re-igniting my passion for knitting after gifting me these now well worn slippers and scarf many years ago.
We wrote each week without fail until the last few weeks when her silence began to worry me.
I lost my friend today after a frighteningly short battle with breast cancer. I never saw her in person or even spoke to her on the phone (my French is THAT bad) and I probably wouldn't be able to recognize her in a crowd but the hole she left in my life is immense.
Adieu chère amie, tu me manques.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Grandkitty #2 is not only fond of wool roving, she apparently enjoys snacking on yarn too. Every time one of the million loose ends makes a move, there she is ready to pounce. All the stitches I am putting into the front steek have been pulled out several times over. This is going to be a long afternoon unless she is ready for a nap.
Being my first official day of summer vacation (weekends don't count), I pulled out all my projects in need of attention. I like to finish things when I have a somewhat clear head so that usually means I have to wait for a few days alone which only happens in the summer. On the table is:
My Palette Cardi which needs the front steek cut and the front bands put on
My Central Park Hoodie which needs to be sewn together and the front bands put on
My Beaded Nano Bag which is only about 4 inches since I keep frogging it for size issues
My Montavilla Market Bag which needs weaving
My Chevron Socks which need the ends woven in
My Rustic Socks ditto
And finally my Yes, It's Another Surf Scarf which is about halfway there
I have about 8 hours until the mister shows back up. I better stop playing with this computer and get moving.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I have to apologize once more to the Daughter for what has become of the pale pastel Surf Scarf that she requested ages ago. It is quite clear that I have no restraint when it comes to dyeing. I now call this the Birthday Party Surf Scarf because of the garish neon colors that while pretty, are certainly not colors you would want hanging around your neck-unless you happen to be Clarabelle the clown. I'll try again this time leaving out the yellow that started all the trouble. I'll be dyeing everything in sight until I get it right.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I know I have already posted today but sometimes things come up that I just have to share the moment they happen. Things that are way more interesting than my first hand wound ball of yarn.
I am babysitting the grandkitties this weekend and the shenanigans started the minute I sat down to spin.
Guess what I won't be doing for a while.
I am trying not to spoil my excitement over my first adorable little yarn cake by reminding myself that this is NOT the color yarn I intended to make. I am also trying not to recall the fact that I had to spend hours untangling the ugly mess that was hidden inside the neatly wound exterior. The mess that caused me to have to frog the Surf Scarf and then re-skein the entire thing and once again put it on the swift. Balls of yarn are like kids, your first one is always a mess. The rest you get right. Well, maybe in some families.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Look what I found in the mailbox today!
My Phat Fiber sample box has arrived!
Oh my goodness! I'm in heaven!
It's a fluff and stuff explosion!
There is so much beautiful stuff in this box that I don't know where to begin. Now that I finally have my hands on one, I can see it's worth every penny and every minute of all that insane anxiety. I just don't plan on going through that again for a long, long while. Whew. If you are not familiar with the Phat fiber frenzy over on Etsy, begin here: http://phatfiber.com/ and don't say I didn't warn you. It's a wild ride.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I had a very good time using my new toys on that clown colored yarn. The first time however, I got carried away and ended up with a pretty little yarn cake that was hopelessly tangled in the center. I discovered this only after knitting a few inches on that ill fated Surf Scarf. To the frog pond it went as I spent a good half hour or so trying to untangle the big mess. I had to re-skein it and them put it back on the swift. The trick to the ball winder is to NOT proceed if things get in the least bit wonky or YOU WILL BE SORRY. All in all, the whole thing is way too much fun. I have visions of winding up stuff just for the sake of winding. It's that much fun.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I never could imagine the day that I would have the need for either a ball winder or a swift. I like untangling yarn. I really do. Then one night I watched the tutorial on how to use these little gadgets and I was hooked. It looked like fun to wind up little yarn cakes using these crazy looking doo-hickeys. Of course the real question now is where in the heck I am going to store all this stuff? I need to wind yarn maybe once or twice a year but these things are now permanent residents. If I had any sense I would open up a rental shop for knitters because I got it all and no place to put it.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Why may you ask is that rust bucket of a 66 Mustang that is now sitting in my driveway showing up in a knitting blog?
Because I have a Mister about to retire that spends his days walking around behind me with nothing to do and as a result keeps me from what I want to be doing.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
It's never a problem for me to get out and knit in public. I NEVER go anywhere without my knitting. I even carry an English paper piecing quilting project, a beading project and my tiny Golding spindle wherever I go. In the event of the apocalypse, I am ready to shelter in place with plenty to do.
Here I am on a rare sunny Saturday enjoying some local touristy areas putting some milage on the latest Surf Scarf. The Mister is getting real good with these headless shots. Should I be worried?
Saturday, June 13, 2009
First the pastel handspun looked like this.
Too much yellow. Yuck.
Then it looked like this. I just had to add more color.
I had green hands for an entire day.
Now it looks like this. I know you wanted light, pastel colors on this scarf but it really looked awful. If you don't like it, I will gladly keep it and try again. It seems that dyeing pastel colors is a lot harder than it seems.
Friday, June 12, 2009
When a new yarn line comes out, I used to order color cards but to hell with that. Since I have become such a big spender, these days I just order a ball of the colors I am interested in and then lie to myself by thinking that one day I will use them in some fair isle project. These balls of the new sport weight Knit Picks City Tweed are nice. Really, really nice. It would be a shame to have them to disappear forever into the stash boxes. I need a plan for these babies. Something small. Something Fair Isle.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
I finally convinced myself I needed the stand that fits my 20" Ashford Knitter's Loom. It's not cheap. $100 for 6 pieces of wood is pricey, but the fact that it allows me to sit in a much more comfortable position while I weave is priceless. I don't seem to have tables that are the right height. It took a long time for me to decide to buy it after several people in the Ravelry Knitter's Loom group complained that the loom does not fit tightly on the stand but swivels up and down. That is true, but I did not find it a problem but rather a plus as I could wiggle around a bit and continue to have the loom in my ever changing lap. Another plus is the assembly. The day the box arrived I was tempted to put it aside for the weekend because my recent experience assembling my Ashford spinning wheels left me doubtful I had the patience for a weekday construction project. To my surprise I found only four giant screw type knobs that secure the legs to the base. It was set up and ready to go in just a very few minutes. The whole thing is light and still very portable. I have drug it all over the house this week without a single problem. If we ever get another dry, warm day here it will get to spend some time on the deck as well.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I have got quite a collection of these little paper pieced hexagons. So many now that I need to start thinking of a way to use them. Traditional Grandma's Garden or something more modern? I dunno. I am just having too much fun making them. I cut up a bazillion 2 inch squares and made little charm packs that I carry with me everywhere. They are as portable a project as sock knitting maybe (dare I say it) more so and invite just as much attention. While most of the world thinks they are too clumsy to knit, most everyone can sew a stitch or two so I have been able to convince a few people to give it a go. I only hope that none of them come back to ask me for further advice because other than making these cute little bits I have no idea how to proceed from here.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Here is Daughter modeling her new surf scarf. I am pleased that she liked it but a wee bit disappointed at the same time. I had kinda hoped it would be a reject as I have grown quite fond of it myself. That Finn top was really lovely to spin and the way the different greens blend into each other is quite spectacular. It reminded me of the inside of an almost ripe avocado which made me yearn for guacamole whenever I worked on it. I have the singles for her second one ready to be plied. Maybe she will consider another trade.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Those are two of the new Little Bubbles Baby Set kits put out by the design team at Knit Picks. I have no babies. My kids have no babies but these are just the cutest things I have ever seen and I want to make them just because. In the past I tried to "pre-knit" items for my imaginary grandkids all with disastrous results. That mojo just has not worked very well even with all my best intentions. If crazy is repeating the same action over and over and expecting different results that I am guilty as charged. But really, they are just so cute. I bought the pink and neutral colorways. They have it in blue but it just seemed a bit too girly for my imaginary grandson. I'll knit him something later.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Daughter's Morning Surf Scarf is done. I used my new blocking wires for the first time to straighten it out and to try to convince a few extra inches out of it since I had so little fiber to work with. It's barely a scarf's length so I am afraid Little Miss Picky is not going to like it. I have the fiber for Surf Scarf #2 still on the bobbin so I have a back up plan already in action but I am starting to wonder if it would just be easier to give her mine and call it a day. I have too many other things lined up to work on so making the same scarf over and over is starting to seem a bit crazy.