I have seen the light

31 May, 2008 at 12:27 pm (caturday, spinning)

Its name is handpainted BFL.

No, seriously. It all makes sense now.

I got this lovely giant fluff of fiber from FreckleFaceFibers yesterday in the mail,
frecklefaceseagypsy

promptly opened it and could not resist tearing off a chunk to try out on my rigged up spindle (my new one isn’t here yet–hopefully today). Everything just clicked. That’s what drafting is supposed to feel like. I still can’t do it without stopping the spindle (backspin, ahoy!) but I think that might be improved with the better quality spindle.


Two-plied this is a rather rough and uneven 16-17 WPI, which is a little too fine for my liking, but I’m hoping that’s just the spindle. I want to get sock yarn outta this stuff, if I can.

I’m still not knitting. Maybe today I’ll take inventory of my stash, get rid of a couple things, organize a bit, and see what’s there. There are projects that I want to make, and yarn that I want to use, but of course, none of the projects match the yarns. Always the way, isn’t it?

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DIY

28 May, 2008 at 8:57 pm (spinning)

Knitting is on the outs with me, again; we had terrible humidity and then thunderstorms here, yesterday, which always makes my hands act up, and the inflammation hasn’t calmed down yet, so I’ve had a rather fidgety two days of wondering what the hell to do without my knitting. Of course, I also should’ve been job hunting, but that’s another story. (Anyone looking to hire a 19 year old with decent people skills and a calculator for a brain?)

I briefly considered spinning, but a) I was all but out of fiber (I’ve ordered more) and b) I’m still waiting for my new spindle from Spinsanity. So instead I sat down to read about spinning, figuring I could try to learn a few things while I wait for my fiber and new spindle. And that helped the spinning desire to pass. Uh, not.

Fortunately for me, desperation usually produces inspiration, and I found this lovely little wooden bead while organizing my mum’s bead stash (which, it should be noted, puts my yarn stash to shame), and look! it fits perfectly on a DPN!

The bead is a little uneven, so the spindle itself has a bit of a wobble, but it’s not too bad as long as I keep a decent leader length on it. And I have to stop it every couple of seconds anyway because I am the world’s slowest drafter. But I’m definitely getting much thinner, more consistent singles on this than I was on my beginner’s spindle, and unlike on my beginner’s spindle, I was able to get more than a half an inch out of the small scrap of fiber I had left.

Oh, did I mention that this thing is really, ridiculously tiny? That’s a US1.5 DPN. The whole thing is about the same length as my hand. I’m guessing it weighs maybe a half an ounce, if that. So while I’m certainly not about to start spinning giant skeins of sock yarn on it, it certainly is fun. And it’ll keep the boredom at bay while I procrastinate on getting a job let my hands recover again.

Yay!

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Blue Tweed

26 May, 2008 at 10:27 am (FO, knitting)

Let’s just keep that FO parade right on goin’, shall we?

tweedfromtop

I started these in January and then suffered severe second sock syndrome. Of course, by the time I got back to it four days ago, the pattern was fresh and new, so whipping through the second sock was easy.

tweedtopandside

I do quite like these socks, and I still adore the yarn, but the short row heel is still driving me insane. And although I prefer a heel flap and gusset, that’s not exactly a perfect fit either. I think I might do a series of heel swatches to see if I can’t come up with something better.

tweedfinished

But these are just fine as they are.

Pattern: Twisted Tweed Socks
Yarn: Trekking XXL, three quarters of a skein
Needles: US1.5/2.5mm Addi Turbos for sock #1, US1.5/2.5mm KP Harmony DPNS for sock #2.
Mods: The original pattern is written for US2 needles and 72 stitches, which would undoubtedly swim on my rather narrow feet, so I went down a needle size and used only 60 stitches, and the socks are comfortably snug. I also made the pattern swirl in the opposite direction on the second sock; I’m big on symmetry.
On Ravelry here.

(It has also become readily apparent that I really need a better camera. I went through about a hundred blurry shots just to get these three. Yikes.)

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Mama needs a new pair of

24 May, 2008 at 2:05 pm (caturday, knitting)

shoes!

I bought these online, used, and immediately felt guilty for spending money that I don’t really have, but they cost me $30 when this brand regularly sells for $100+ new. And the only sign of wear on them is the bit of creasing at the toes. Not to mention, I’ve been wearing the same ratty trainers as my every day shoes for the past, oh, three years. It’s good to have new footwear.

The astute will notice that I am, in fact, wearing my handspun socks. Because, while the short row heel still isn’t my favorite, they do fit, and it’d be a shame to let them go to waste… right?

And since I’ve got such awesome shoes for showing off handknit socks, obviously I need more pairs. So I dug up a sock that I was working on in January and started working on its mate.

The cats are unimpressed, as usual.

But at least they’re not fighting with each other!

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Burn out

22 May, 2008 at 8:26 am (knitting)

I’ve just discovered that I’ve finished about eight different projects in the past month and a half.

Eight.

And now I’m suffering a bit. Is there an opposite to startitis? I keep looking at my WIPs, UFOs, and of course my rather formidable (12 page!) queue on Ravelry, wondering where to begin. I don’t want to work on any of it.

I did manage to finish up two small projects before this anti-startitis hit, my handspun socks:
handspunfinishedd
which I might not be keeping because short row heels fit me terribly, and I’m not entirely sure why I decided to use them in the first place, but I also finally finished some booties:
finishedbooties
which are so adorable and so, so tiny and I really hope they fit the baby that they’re meant for.

I’m also ashamed to admit that I started said booties in early March, did all of the knitting in about four hours, and then it’s taken me until now to weave in all the ends and sew on the buttons. I’m terrible.

Both projects are of course in my Rav notebook, here and here, respectively. I should go sort my queue and see if anything calls out to me…

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We can haz winner?

17 May, 2008 at 4:16 pm (caturday, life)

The kittens would like you to know that my favorite number is, in fact, the number five, for reasons that I couldn’t possibly explain. It’s just a good number. But this means that Beverly is the winner! She got it right on the nose, and I’ll be sending an email shortly with her prize. And for the record, e and pi are my second and third favorite numbers, respectively. I think 70 is forth, it being the first weird number and all.

And all the cool stuff I promised to show you today? Yeah, not happening. I’ve been having vision problems the last couple of days (complete with a really gross looking eyeball!), which seriously infringed on my getting anything accomplished. Fortunately today I picked up my new glasses, including an awesome magnetized sunshade attachment,

so now I can get some work done. And look totally awesome doing it.

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Contest!

15 May, 2008 at 9:01 am (knitting)

I figured I should do a little somethin’ special to celebrate 100 posts on this blog (even though this post is #101), as well as 500(!!) comments. So! All you have to do is guess my favorite number. No hints! And don’t try searching my posts, either, because I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it before.

Winner gets a copy of a certain sock pattern, and I may be persuaded to give away my most recent spinning attempt (which I promise is MUCH better than the first two!) And if more than one person gets it right (or if no one does) I’ll draw someone randomly. This will run ’til, shall we say, Saturday? I should have some other interesting stuff to share with you then, as well.

Okay, ready? GO!

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A slippery slope

12 May, 2008 at 4:06 am (knitting)

Way back when, back when I first really got into knitting, I told myself and everyone who would listen that spinning didn’t really interest me. I mean, I can buy some pretty amazing yarn, so why bother to make some myself?

DSCN5843

Oops. :D

I definitely need to upgrade to a better spindle, and I’m on my last 2oz of starter fiber. But I see a lot of spinning in my future, especially since I have pretty much killed my wrists with all the knitting I’ve been doing–not only did I knit Hera in five days, but immediately after I finished those I whipped through the leg of another sock,
handspunoneandahalf

and the back and left front of a nice, springy bolero (ignoring the fact that it will, of course, be summer by the time I finish).
springboleroleftfront

I’m off to hunt through Etsy for some good spinning fiber… anyone have any favorites?

*edits* this is, apparently, my 100th post to this blog. *confetti!* Maybe I’ll hold a contest later in the week…

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Hera

9 May, 2008 at 12:10 am (FO, knitting)

herafinished3

Not all of my test knitters are done, but let’s face it, I’m impatient. I just couldn’t wait any longer to share this with you guys.

Her official home is on this page, and of course she is also available directly through Ravelry, here. :)

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A sneak peek

7 May, 2008 at 6:48 am (FO, knitting)

I stayed up all night knitting from the heel flap on of the second sock. Words cannot explain how much my hands hurt.

herabothsocks

But I think it was worth it. These are blocking now–they lost a LOT of color in a warm water and Eucalan wash and I’m kind of upset about it–part of what made me love this yarn was the vibrancy of it, and although it probably doesn’t look like it’s much of a difference, I can tell and that’s all that matters. And since one went through a wash twice, it’s definitely the tiniest bit lighter than the other. I’m hoping that drying might help.

Also, you can definitely tell that the first sock was a prototype–holy errors and wonky gauge batman. The second sock is much better. I’ll be sure to keep that one in focus when I take pictures for the pattern. I think I might have to knit a second pair at some point to have a matching perfect set. Especially since the pattern is so delightful and fun :)

With any luck (and some speed and efficiency on the part of my test knitters) the pattern will be ready to go by Friday.

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