27 January, 2010 at 8:37 pm (FO, knitting, spinning)

I finished my sweater the other day…

carter cardigan (by jesh\)

but I still can’t get good pictures of it.
YIP 027/365---Meh (by jesh\)

Remember that time when I said I could totally knit a cabled sweater out of black yarn and it would be fine? Wrong. I mean, the sweater is fine, the sweater is great, but the photography is proving tricky, as the above proves. I think I might have to recruit someone to be a human tripod for me and get some shots outside in the sun, if I want a chance of the pretty cables showing through.

In the meantime, I spun up some yarn…
handspun singles (by jesh\)
(35% merino, 35% alpaca, 30% wensleydale; 620 yds/45g)

handspunswatch (by jesh\)
…and knit it into a swatch for a new design, which will probably be released next month. Hopefully it will be easier to photograph than the sweater.


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Tail End

15 December, 2009 at 8:58 pm (FO, knitting, spinning)

I promise this is the last of the FO parade for now—I’ve just been finishing so many things recently! Unfortunately I think, after finishing thirteen projects in four months, my knitting mojo has given up and died. I hadn’t knit a stitch in days and when I tried to get back to it this evening, nothing I tried was working. Oh well, I’m sure it’ll come back eventually.

In the meantime! I have some tasty new yarn to fondle.
This is the three-ply cormo I’ve been working on for, um, ever. Well, like a month; I really don’t sit down at the wheel as often as I’d like. But I finally worked up the energy to ply it and I’m glad I did, because despite some violent disagreements with the wheel (noise making, driveband throwing, driveband breaking, among other things), the yarn turned out gorgeous. It is squishy and fuzzy and light and pretty much everything I’d hoped for when I started spinning it. As far as I’m concerned there’s only one downside to this yarn: it’s brown. Now, while I have nothing against brown yarn in theory, in practice, well… I have brown hair in the exact same shade as this yarn, which means using for a hat or a scarf is right out. I don’t want to look like I’m wearing my own hair! It is sock weight, and I considered knitting socks, but I’m pretty hard on my handknitted socks and I’d be concerned about it holding up, long term. So what’s a girl to do? We’ll see—right now I’m considering gloves but I can’t seem to find the inspiration (see also: no knitting mojo).

(Three-ply cormo from Foxhill Fibers, purchased at Rhinebeck ’09. Spun short draw/point of twist, 500yds in 4oz.)

I also polished off that silk scarf I was working on the other day; it was a happy little diversion while I was waiting for the extra yarn to finish my dad’s vest.
Pattern: Suadela Stole by Lankakomero
Yarn: Twisted Fiber Silk Lace in Lilypad, one skein
Needles: US6/4mm Knitpicks Options
Notes: I don’t have much to say about this because it was such a straightforward, mindless knit! I only knit to eight repeats of chart two because the silk was so stretchy and I was getting bored.
On Ravelry here.

And that’s all I’ve got! Maybe I’ll take a knitting break and try to get some spinning done while waiting for my mojo to return.

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Thursdays Are for Spinning

3 December, 2009 at 9:29 pm (spinning)

Okay, it’s actually more a case of I have nothing I can knit right now, so I might as well be spinning. But still.

I’ve discovered recently that I’m a pretty monogamous knitter; I pick a project, cast on, and don’t work on anything else but that project until I get it done. It helps that I can finish things quickly, because it leaves me little time to be bored before switching to something new. I am not a monogamous spinner. At all. So when I’m focused on the knitting, I do nothing but knitting and my poor wheel and spindles get a bit neglected. When I have no knitting, well…

cormo (by jesh\)
First up, I’ve got some cormo on the wheel, happy, bouncy, springy cormo. I love this stuff. It’s destined for a three-ply fingering weight that I’m going to have to do something awesome with—it’s too nice to put on my feet, but brown isn’t really a good color for a scarf or cowl or hat for me. Maybe a nice pair of gloves are in order.

abbybattwip (by jesh\)
Next is one of the Abbybatts I picked up at Rhinebeck, and hoo boy is it good stuff. I don’t think my spinning has ever been this even or this effortless—it just flows out of the fiber and onto the spindle. This’ll be a two-ply laceweight when it’s done, hopefully with enough yardage for a light, airy scarf.

angorabattwip (by jesh\)
And this. This is an angora/merino/silk blend that has been nothing but trouble. When I first tried to spin it, it was in batt form, but the batt was pretty compressed and wouldn’t draft easily at all. So I recarded half of it on my hand carders and then pulled it into a strip of roving. Now it’s mostly behaving, except I think I need a zippier spindle for it; the one it’s on now is very light but a little slow thanks to the huge whorl size. I’m thinking it would be much happier on one of my tiny glass flower spindles, or perhaps on a polymer clay rose, but we’ll see. I have so much other spinning to work on before I have to decide!

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Triumphant Return

3 November, 2009 at 7:59 am (knitting, spinning)

Well, sort of. I’ve still got the sniffles and my schedule’s all upside down, but finally I’ve been able to get back to my usual knitting, spinning self. I polished off a pair of fishes—
knittybe'spomatomi (by jesh\)
(with apologies for the ridiculous photo, but if you think it’s hard to get pictures of your own feet, try doing it with a screen that you can’t see, and thus a timer that you can’t set.)

I have to say, although the pattern (Pomatomus) is still a favorite of mine, I don’t know that I’ll be using this yarn again. The feel of it was great, soft and smooth, but I can’t believe the inconsistency in the color. I mean, I understand that there can be differences between skeins of handpainted yarn, even within the same dyelot, but these two socks came from the same skein and the second sock is far less saturated than the first. Maybe if I’m lucky some of the dye will come out of the first sock when I wash ’em, we’ll see. They’re on Ravelry here.

I’ve been spinning like crazy, as well; since all of my Rhinebeck purchases were fiber rather than yarn, there’s now a big imbalance issue in my stash, which I aim to correct by cranking out the yarn.
handspunsingles (by jesh\)
You’ll note I’ve been spinning, not so much with the plying. Since this is just a stash building exercise and I’m not in a rush to actually use any of this, I figured it would be better to spin for a while and then spend a day or two in the future plying up a whole mess of handspun. The two bobbins on the left will become a heavy laceweight, and the three on the right will be what’s fast becoming my usual light fingering weight. I’ve got more laceweight on the wheel now, as well as a couple of spindle projects, but I’m setting it all aside for a week or so in favor of…
bunchedupshawl (by jesh\)
a quick sample knit! More details on this later. :)

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NYS&W 2009

20 October, 2009 at 4:09 pm (knitting, spinning, travel)

AKA I Went to Rhinebeck and All I Got Was H1N1.

No kidding. Well no, I got other stuff too, but after all of my protestations that I didn’t need a flu shot, I’m not really around other people that often, etc., I suppose I was due for a little comeuppance in the form of a good (un)healthy dose of flu. And not even the kind I could’ve gotten vaccinated for, even. Oh well.

As usual, there were friends aplenty:
cpaagg (by jesh\) tsockandsandi (by jesh\)
jeshandhabsgirlmatching (by jesh\) fredizensonthemove (by jesh\)
tsockandfredhatton (by jesh\) zeedubandjesh (by jesh\)

And although I almost came home with a wheel…

by the time I went back on Sunday to give it some serious consideration, it was gone. Probably for the best; my mum (hi mum!) really would’ve killed me. In the end my haul was pretty tiny, mostly consisting of really awesome fibers that I haven’t tried yet, plus a new tsock kit, which I’ll have to knit up before next year to keep the tradition going.
rhinebeckhaul (by jesh\)

Unfortunately my camera also took a dive and ended up with a cracked screen, which is why I don’t have quite as many pictures of the weekend as I’d like. I can still take pictures, but I don’t know what they look like until I load them onto the computer. Things may look a little… surreal around here until I replace it.

All in all, it was a fun (if rather adventure-filled) show! Can’t wait to do it again next year.

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So close, and yet…

11 October, 2009 at 2:06 pm (caturday, knitting, spinning)

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather for the past couple of days, but I’m determined to make it through this week and enjoy myself this weekend, no matter what it takes. Almost everything that absolutely must be done for Rhinebeck is completed. Now all that’s left is packing, sewing on Viv’s clasps (which still haven’t arrived), and a few small pet projects that I’d like to get done but aren’t vital. So if I need to, I can sleep for the next few days to try and shake this bug.

The pomatomi continue onward…
pomatomusfoot (by jesh\)
I’d actually love to be knitting these faster, but if I get them done before I leave (or—heaven forfend—while I’m there) I’ll be without a mindless knitting project, so I’m trying to stretch them a little longer.

I also spun up the second ply of that merino/silk that I’d like to finish this week, on the same bobbin as the first ply because I was too lazy to wind off. I just spun a bit of contrasting color scrap fiber in between the two and kept going. Of course, now I have to wind off both plies to have room for the third one, but still.
merinosilksecondply (by jesh\)

I also had to move the wheel downstairs, where I could put it behind a closed door, because of this little problem:

Oh, cats.

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6 October, 2009 at 11:43 am (knitting, spindles, spinning)

Ten days left ’til I leave for Rhinebeck and I couldn’t be more excited or panicked. The shop is shut down so I can start labeling and packing spindles, because I am not waiting for the night before to do it like I did last year. Viv has been washed and blocked and fits perfectly—
vivmodeled (by jesh\)
so once the clasps get here I can sew ’em on fast and that will be done too.

I was also hoping to get in one last skein of handspun before potentially handing over my bobbin to have copies made,
firstbobbinmerinosilk (by jesh\)
but this is only the first ply so that may or may not happen.

Still on the to-do list: finish up the last handful of spindles, label and pack them as noted above, figure out what knitting and spinning projects to take with me, and clean this place up a bit so I don’t come home to a disaster area.

(That last one might end up being too much to handle. We’ll see.)

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Gearing sideways

24 September, 2009 at 3:17 pm (knitting, spinning)

Turns out that to make spindles I actually need things like shafts and whorls and bead caps and glue… so mostly my prep for Rhinebeck so far has included spending lots of money and waiting for supply orders.

Not to worry, though, because I did manage to successfully complete my Kitris,
kitripairfinished (by jesh\)
and after a bath tonight and a photoshoot tomorrow I’ll give you a full post on ’em.

I also finished a skein of yarn—
seaandsandmerinobamboo (by jesh\)
(Merino/bamboo, 3oz, 260 yards, 3-ply. I’m hoping that I can get a pair of Pomatomus out of this, especially if I ply up the half ounce of singles I have left.)

And started a new spindle project.
borderleicesterstart (by jesh\)
I have big hopes and dreams for this yarn, although I’m a little hesitant to share them because they usually fall apart once I’ve told people what I’m doing. Still, I’ve got three ounces to get through before I can start putting these plans into action, and hopefully that’s enough time to sketch and swatch and get it right.

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17 September, 2009 at 10:50 pm (spindles, spinning, travel)

In which I managed to sell some spindles—

(Spindles on the right, there. Me looking snarky on the left, obviously.)

And spin a ton of yarn—

corriedalebobbin (by jesh\)

And do more than my fair share of chatting and giggling and just generally hanging out.

I may have gone a little overboard with buying stuff, but my wallet was full of birthday money and I spent less than I made, so it’s okay, right?
twistedsilk (by jesh\)
Tasty, tasty 100% silk laceweight from twisted fiber which is destined for something I’m hoping to design over the next couple of weeks.

zarzuela (by jesh\)
Some drool-worthy merino/tencel from my dear Zarzuela, which I believe will turn into sock yarn.

buttons (by jesh\)
Buttons! I should’ve bought more from these people; they had an overwhelmingly lovely selection.

borderleicester (by jesh\)
And 3oz of some gorgeous border leicester from Kate at Roclans. As my sample tells you, it makes a fantastic two-ply laceweight; I’m thinking a large, very textural beaded lace shawl. Mmmmmfiber.

All in all it was a fun way to spend my birthday weekend. Hopefully next year we can do it again!

(By the way, for those who were inquiring after it, the Honeybee Cardigan pattern is now available! It is one of the best knits I’ve ever done so you should definitely go get yourself a copy.)

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10 September, 2009 at 3:18 pm (spindles, spinning)

I was right; Catherine (that’s the wheel) spins much better now that she’s clean. Smoother, quieter, happier. So happy, in fact, that I spun through the second ply for a three-ply sock yarn in three hours.
secondply (by jesh\)

Three hours. About 500 yards of singles. I think I’ll be a real contender for Team Suck Less, come next Tour de Fleece.

I’m also two-thirds of the way through my spindle building for NJS&W. Which is, uh, Saturday. I should get working.
njswspindles (by jesh\)

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