So you may have heard of this thing, a small gathering, the New York Sheep and Wool festival, also sometimes called Rhinebeck. You may have also heard of the lovely Jen and Lisa of the infamous tsock flock kits. These ladies of course have a fabulous booth at Rhinebeck, full of yarn and kits and all sorts of good things. And this year, they will also have spindles.
As made by yours truly.
Which means of course that I am now in a mad scramble to get as many spindles made in the next
18 17 days as I possibly can. This unfortunately means that knitting content will be scarce until I get things all wrapped up; I’ll try to keep things interesting ’round here but I can’t promise nothin’. You all enjoy pictures of me accidentally gluing my hands to things, right?
In any case, I’m very excited by this whole scheme, although details are still emerging as to how it’s all going to go down. But if you’ll be at Rhinebeck, please come visit! We’ll be in booth 26D. And there will be peanut butter cookies!
There comes a point in the knitting of a pair of socks, somewhere after the first one is finished but before the second one is complete, wherein it becomes unbloggable, because dude, you’ve already seen one sock cuff, and leg, and heel turn, and foot. You really don’t need to see the other unless they’re both completed and nicely photographed.
To which I say, too damn bad! Here’s a sock and a half.
Please note how the spiraling actually matches despite absolutely zero intervention on my part to make it all align properly. We’ll see if it lasts over the heel turn and foot.
Other than socking I’ve been busy with a few secret projects and more spindle making:
(This one is spoken for. Sorry! But there are some more new ones up in my etsy shop)
And, you know, catting around. Just more of the usual stuff.
I’m not usually one for making the same pattern more than once, just because I get bored and distracted easily, and also, have you seen my queue? It is endless. But I haven’t knit a pair of Pomatomus for myself, and the pair that I did knit was done several years ago. Plus, you know, the pattern’s really fun. I am a sucker for heavily textured socks.
Here are the foster kittens, as promised—they are still unnamed because their two operating modes currently are ‘hiding’ and ‘napping,’ which hasn’t left much room for personality to show through. They’re about 6 weeks, as far as we know.
Cute, eh? I hope I don’t get too attached.
(I put a new bottom whorl spindle up in my etsy store the other day. I hope to have another one or two ready this evening.)
A few things that didn’t make it into the FO post:
When grafting stitches (especially such large amounts of stitches) I usually try to graft them very loosely and sloppily, and then go back and tighten/neaten everything up. I know most people find kitchener stitch to be annoying or difficult or obnoxious, but I find it incredibly soothing. There’s a wonderful rhythm to it—knit-off purl, purl-off knit. Knit-off purl, purl-off knit. Of course, sometimes I get a little too into the rhythm… and mess it up.
And when I discover this after I’ve already finished all the actual grafting, at the neaten up phase? I may be pretty finicky about some mistakes (I laddered down 13 rows on this thing to fix a stitch that was accidentally purled), but not that much. It’s stayin’. We’ll call it a signature.
(Caturday will make a weekday appearance this week; we have new foster kittens but they’re too shy to say hello right now.)
I was wondering earlier why this thing took me so long to knit—12 days—when I can whip through other stuff no problem, and I did some quick math in my head, and realized that this cowl has 18,700 stitches. Not including the cast-on and the bind off. So that must be why it took so long. Why, a pair socks (which I can whip through in a week) must have only like 10,000 stitches, right? Research, research, swear at Google for being entirely unhelpful, research… 20,000 stitches?
But this cowl was all complicated and stuff. Colourwork! Double knitting! Complex charting! Hmm, didn’t I design and knit an entire pair of heavily patterned socks in a week, that one time?
But sock stitches are smaller, right? So they go faster! Less yarn per stitch means faster stitches! Yes, exactly. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I realise that in general I’m a pretty lazy blogger anyway, just posting pictures and a few descriptive words, but today I’m going to be extra-lazy and just post this picture of the progress on my tapestry cowl.
Despite it being my birthday on Sunday (and yes, there will be a contest—I just have to figure out what it is), I seem to have accumulated all sorts of things to accomplish for it, including the monstrous task of cleaning my room. Sunday itself will be spent in the kitchen making both dinner (cheddar potato soup) and cake (pumpkin cake with maple cream cheese frosting) from scratch. While it is 90F/32C outside. Where is autumn!?
That’s right, my knitting and I have gone super high tech.
Or not. The chart for the tapestry cowl is so complex and irregular (which is a part of what makes it so gorgeous, I think) that even I of Never Ever Using Stitch Markers am using quite a few to mark my place, and crossing off each ten stitch section as I finish it. This slows down my knitting considerably, but the few times I’ve tried to keep going without crossing off a section I’ve managed to mess the thing up and not realise ’til half a row later, at which point I’ve had to go back and redo the section anyway. And it’s kind of gratifying to watch lines disappear from my chart as they appear in my knitting.
I also finished spinning up that lovely angora/cormo blend, and got 280yds out of the one ounce of fiber.
I was considering plying it but the judgement of my friends on Plurk prevailed—it will stay as a laceweight single, and I think I can get a flared lace smoke ring out of it.
Words cannot describe how powdery soft this stuff is.
That’s all I seem to be doing with my knitting these days. I’m in a bit of a slump, I think, so I keep casting on for projects that seem like little instant gratification things, but end up putting them down when it turns out, they’re not. A hat, a pair of gloves, a sock, a toy, and a design project have all fallen by the wayside. I wonder if part of my problem is being able to knit so quickly—if gloves take three days, a pair of socks a week, and a sweater a fortnight, it’s not really instant gratification unless I can whip through it in a couple of hours. And there’s not much that I want to knit that can be finished in a couple of hours.
So I took a step back and worked on some spinning, instead.
This is a 50/50 angora/cormo blend sent to me by the charming and fabulous Carry of Autumn Breeze designs. She told me it wasn’t the greatest stuff and that the yarn would have “character,” to which I thought, dude, I’m not good enough at this spinning thing yet for any of my yarn not to have character. And honestly? This stuff feels wonderful to me, and spins pretty damn well too. I did discover (the hard way) that angora requires quite a lot of twist, more so than I’m used to putting into laceweight singles. Still, I’m almost done spinning what she’s sent, and once I do I’m going to wind it off, separate it into thirds, and ply it, for a nice happy 3-ply fingering, with hopefully enough for a small lace scarf or smokering.
As for the knitting, I quietly cast on for something not so small today.
Yes, my fall accessory obsession continues with yet another neckwarmer, this time the stunningly gorgeous Tapestry Cowl. I’m working it up in Decadent Fibers Marshmallow, leftover from a certain pair of mittens from last winter, which some of you may recognize. I weighed the cakes the other day to find out that I still had 60+ g of each colour left, still, and almost went for another pair of mittens before I remembered that me and other people’s mitten patterns don’t mix, courtesy of my strangely shaped hands. That’s okay though, because this cowl is going to be totally gorgeous and it will match the other mittens nicely.