Sunday, December 31, 2006

Goodbye 2006

I would love to show you new things I've been knitting for myself, but, um, I'm still working on Christmas presents. D'oh. I still have a mitten and a half to complete for one friend (she was away and I won't see her until after New Year's). And I still have part of another friend's gift to complete. And her birthday is in a couple of days. I predict I might be knitting for myself by March. d'oh.

In the meantime, here are a few presents that I completed that I don't think I've shown you yet:

Scarf for my mom.
Pattern: My own, using a "Vandyke" lace column found in a stitch dictionary.
Yarn: MY OWN!!! Ingeo I dyed and spun specifically to make something for my mom (she can't/won't wear wool).
(she loved it.)(yay!)

Remote Control Caddy for my sister & her family. She very subtly hinted that they needed one (her exact wording: "I told Eldon that my sister could make us one of those").
Pattern: Um. None. I just kind of winged it as I went.
Materials: I have some clothing that belonged to my dad that I have been cutting up and using to make things, (like the Christmas Stockings I've made for my nieces and nephews) and this material comes from a pair of his pants.

Tutu for my friend's daughter.
Pattern: um. none. I knit a tube of 2x2 ribbing for 5 inches. For some reason, I had the foresight to put in a 2 stitch buttonhole halfway up, which is good because it will need a drawstring afterall. After binding off, I used my sewing machine (i heard that gasp) to stitch in the netting. It turned out about like what I was expecting, so I'm pretty happy with it. We'll see how she likes it though... Ballerinas can be prima donnas after all. I mean, she's 4 but, you never know...
(I plan to make matching legwarmers for her and a teeny tutu for Mr. Bunny, the gender confused stuffed rabbit she's been carrying around for 3 1/2 years)(Mr. Bunny is a girl and wears a dress but he (yes he) is named Mr. Bunny).
Yarn: Bernat Satin

And, just because, an "action" shot of a completed project I showed you a while ago. (the action here is: sleeping)

New Niece Presslee rockin' the hand-knit hoodie. My sister was really happy with the knits I gave her (I just now realized I didn't get pictures of the hat and socks. d'oh).
(mostly I just wanted to show off the new niece. awww.)(although, she could have made an attempt at being alert for the photo shoot.)

If you are named Cobi and you know me, DO NOT LOOK! Skip down the page!

Over Christmas, at home, I knit mittens for my friend. I was amazed at how quickly they knit up, but maybe there's some sort of bending of the space-time continuum or something that makes fair isle/stranded knitting go quicker than plain stocking stitch? I don't know.

My mom was very impressed by them and insisted that I take them along when we went to the games night that we were going to. The Hostess for the evening is Norwegian/Canadian (i.e. she was born here but both of her parents come from Norway). She was very excited to see the mittens I had knit and ran to her coat closet to find mittens that had belonged to her father. She also had a pair that her mother knit years ago.

can you pick out the ones I made?

The ones on the right hand side were her father's. Evelyn told me that when her father planned to return to Norway for the first time since he had moved to Canada, his sister spun wool for these and knit them for him (knit in 1949!!). Evelyn insisted that I take them and the pair knit by her mother along with me when I said I would like to try to chart them.

(I was going to give you the whole relationship here because it cracked me up when I was thinking it out: The mittens were knit by my dad's cousin's wife's father's sister. hee hee)

I think that'll do for now. I need to get back into the habit of posting. Thank you all for joining me this year, I've enjoyed the comments and reading your blogs as well.

Have a Happy New Year all!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm here! Come back!

I really couldn't say why it's been so long since I've posted. No reason really. I kept thinking "POST!" but didn't.

To make up for the dearth of content, I present to you, COMPLETED CHRISTMAS PROJECTS!*

Flip Top Mittens Pair #1

Flip Top Mittens Pair #2

Flip Top Mittens Pair #3

(Pattern for ALL Flip Top Mittens: adapted Knitty's Cigar and various flip top patterns. Yarn for ALL Flip Top Mittens: Patons Decor)

(3 pairs of Flip Top Mittens in a row=exciting blog reading)

Felted Socks Pair #1

Felted Socks Pair #2

(Pattern for both pairs of Felted Socks: adapted Knitty's Fuzzy Feet to be knit with contrasting short-row toes and heels; Yarn for both pairs: stashed Rowan Classic DK from The Yarn Lady!)

And, now that you've been lulled into a state of complete boredom by the repetitive Christmas Projects, I present
Knitty's Danica knit in Patons SWS "Natural Earth" (now completed)

I've also been spinning, though not as much as I would like to. I attempted a thicker thick & thin single:
2oz of Fleece Artist Merino Sliver. Yummy. I wasn't completely successful in my attempt at a thicker single, but i'm getting there.

I spun the above as practice for this:
1/2 pound Blue Face Leicester I dyed and spun for my friend (it will be a gift for her MIL). I love this yarn and want to keep it for myself... sigh.

I have a ways to got to really be able to get a consistent thicker yarn, but I'm loving the practice.

Currently I have this on my bobbin:
Ingeo I dyed and plan to do a navajo ply with. I love the sheen of this fiber/yarn and I'm trying to think of things to make with it...

Next up (after Christmas Chaos is Completed)(sorry for the alliteration):
1 1/2 pounds of (FREE) alpaca fleece (FREE) from the owner of the alpaca who gave it to me (FREE) on Monday. (did I mention it was FREE?) It's dirty and full of straw but it was... yes, FREE.


I started my new job on Dec. 4, so I've been busy, (Did I mention that I quit my job to go to a new, much better paying job? No? hmmm. I quit my job and started a new, much better paying job.) but I hope to start posting more regularly. I also hope to GET the CHRISTMAS KNITTING DONE before Christmas!

(Oh, and I switched to Blogger Beta. I hope that doesn't cause problems... )

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Christmas Countdown Update

I know... I've been absent for a while. Sorry. There is some explanation here if you are interested. But, I have been busy. Job stuff. Personal stuff. Birthday stuff. (My birthday. I'm old now. Like over 35 old. Whee.)

But, I have finally found my Christmas project rhythm.


1 pair of flip top mitten/gloves for one of my brothers.
Pattern: A combination of Knitty's Cigar with the fingers adapted and I adapted the flip-top instructions from Magknits' Urban Necessities
Yarn: Patons Decor

These were a relatively quick knit. Especially considering that I had one almost completed when I realized that I was using the wrong needle size and it had seriously affected the fabric and gauge. I started and completed one on Monday while on a day off, and the other was knit over a couple of evenings of TV watching. Yay! Quick Christmas knits!

I was thinking about making socks for my sister and sisters-in-law for Christmas and then I realized I'm insane. Then I realized that I could make them BIG socks

(haha)(obviously these are due to be felted)(and I have 2 of them now, just not at picture time)

Pattern: Knitty's Fuzzy Feet but with short-row heels and toes in contrasting color
Yarn: "Vintage" Rowan DK Wool from stash (from my aunt Pat's friend AKAThe Yarn Lady)

Another quick knit. I knit one Friday evening and the other took a few hours on Saturday. Yay!

Now to finish the other small items so I can tackle the bigger items. Oy. I have been spinning a little bit at a time, but I keep thinking "I should be knitting" so I haven't been doing as much spinning as I might like. I need to go knit now. Time's a wastin'.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Finished Objects!

I seem to have finally broken my not-finishing-anything cycle I was stuck in. Yay. But, um, before we get all excited about the Christmas present progress, let's take a look at the stats, shall we?

Finished Objects in the past 7 days: 7 (ee!)
Finished Objects started and completed today: 3 (EEE!)
Finished Objects that make the slightest dent whatsoever in my Christmas Present Project list: 0 (er. um. well.)
Christmas presents started that were not on the UFO list I posted last time: 1
Christmas present projects yet to be completed: Um... HEY LOOK! What's that? Something shiny!

In my defense, the projects this week were all baby/toddler projects for my (upcoming) niece and my twin nephews.

Here are Finished Objects numbers 2-7 (I counted the pairs of mittens as 1 item):

Pattern: The toques were a mix of a couple of different patterns. I took the short row earflaps from the Brioche Helmets in a past IWK. The shaping for the tops came from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.
The scarves were made up as I went, knit lengthwise with a buttonhole type opening for the end to pass through.
The mittens were adapted from a free pattern on the Lion Brand site. (I would post a link but I can't be bothered to go through their stupid infuriating sign in process)
Yarn: stash acrylic. (acrylic stash reduction!!!!)

I'm going to see my brother, his wife and their twins tomorrow. On Wednesday I remembered this and that I had wanted to make the boys toques. So, I did one (with a couple of false starts while I figured out the short row earflaps) Wednesday evening and one Thursday (through ER and My Name Is Earl if we are looking for precise time measurements)(haha). Then, I started a Christmas Present Project that was not on my UFO list (flip top mittens for one of my brothers). Then Friday evening, I remembered that my sister-in-law was talking about scarves for the boys at one point and I had planned to make them some. So I made scarf #1 last night (during the Flames game if we are looking for exact times). Scarf #2 was made this morning. I had planned to go to visit them today but plans changed so I decided that a person can not possibly give toques and scarves without mittens to go with them, so 2 sets of teeny tiny mittens were knit today.

Ahhhhh... Finished Objects.

Also, how cute are toddler mittens? Seriously!!

(my mitten for perspective)

So, now that all these nephew/niece projects are out of my system, I can buckle down and get going on my list... Unless I get distracted by somethi.... NO! Focus Lori! Must focus on list!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

the UFO post

To distract you from the masses of UFOs to follow, look! Something shiny finished!

My sister is due with her little girl soon (end of November/beginning of December) so I wanted to have something ready to welcome her. I was prepared to show you this as a UFO but it somehow got finished Tuesday evening. Not sure how that happened. I guess it is possible to finish something...

Pattern: Topdown Easy Baby Cardigan from Knitting Pure and Simple (FREE!!)
Yarn: Stash Bernat Satin (acrylic stash reduction!!)
Modifications: yarn substitution and I added a row of stranded hearts to the hood and body to make it more "girly".

Look, something else finished!

I always see spinners putting pennies in with their yarn. I don't want to assume that a Canadian penny will be obvious to anyone so I have coinage from 4 countries. If you want to guess which countries, there could be a prize in it for the first person to guess correctly (in order) which countries/currency/denominations I have there. (prize to be determined...)(probably yarn)(surprised?)

This is 4oz of Merino I dyed using Wiltons dyes. I actually ended up overdyeing the roving with some royal blue Rit dye because the initial outcome was very cotton-candy looking. It's a bit lighter and less mauve-y in reality. I have still have 12oz of this roving to spin! I dyed it with the plan to try to spin enough to make a sweater (for ME!!). I don't know the WPI but the yardage is (you might want to sit down. I know i did) 533 yards. So, if I am able to get even close to that gauge/yardage for the rest of it... um... definately enough for a sweater!

This is the most even that I have spun so far and the least overspun (does that make sense?). Something seems to have "clicked" between my hands and feet and brain and spinning this merino seemed to just flow.

I had to use EVERY ounce of my self control to not cast on for something with this last night. Must. Knit. Christmas. UFOs.

Okay, enough stalling. UFO time. In point form. With little pictures. In order of the length of time they have been on the needles.

1. Not Christmas knitting, but a UFO I want to knit:

The back of a shawl collared cardigan I'm pulling together from several patterns and my stitch book. I have no idea when I started this one but it's been a while.

2. My sister-in-law's "siwash-style" sweater/jacket:

I'm rationalizing the slow pace of this knit with the fact that she is pregnant and won't be able to close it until after the baby comes in February. This way, she'll have a nice new jacket to wear when she is post-baby. Right?

I don't know why this thing is taking me so long. Other than it is HARD to knit. Not difficult. Just hard. Like I need to be lifting weights to build arm strength hard.

3. A toque to be gifted from some Corriedale I dyed and spun (eee!!!)

I like how it's knitting up, but I'm toying with the idea of making something more substantial with it. I have about 450yards. Suggestions? (It's not super-even but somewhere between a sport and a dk/light worsted)

4. 3 inches of the bottom of a sweater for me. Again, not Christmas knitting but it is winter so I should be working on it.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... I just lost you didn't I? Boring, huh? If it helps, it's the Shawl Collared pullover from Vogue knitting from a couple of years ago (or last year?). I'm working it in the round because stocking stitch for 5 miles is bad enough if I have to purl back every other row, right?

5. The collar and 2 inches of body of a sweater for my friend Julie.

Just minutes before I took this picture (on the weekend) I realized I had irreversably messed up the lace bit on the body of this top-down raglan. So it will be frogged and possibly I will use different yarn because I wasn't fully sold on it. Or, maybe I'll tink back and fix it. Or...

(this, my friends, is why nothing is getting finished.)

6. Back piece of a cardigan for my friend's daughter. I'm using Knitty's Reid as a starting point but I changed the lace.

This is a pretty quick knit but I got distracted (as I tend to do) and haven't worked on it since Saturday.

7. I was distracted by this:

Knitty's Danica knit with Patons SWS yarn. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....
Not sure yet who this is for. I have a couple of giftees in mind and will shuffle things around as I go. Once I caught on to what I was doing this is going pretty quickly. (This knit was inspired by Eunny Jang's post here)

If only I could knit at work (instead of, you know, working) I could get some of this done! I have yarn and an idea ready for a gift for my friend Cobi (shh) and, (you might want to sit down again) I actually swatched for it last night! (I know!) I am hoping to see my brother, sister-in-law and their boys this weekend so I bumped the Christmas knitting in order to sneak in a couple of baby-sized-toques. (no pics at the moment).

I'm sure I could knit at my desk. No one would notice.

The post before the UFO post

I had this AWESOME idea for a post while driving to work this morning but now I can't remember it
literally as I was typing that I remembered what I was going to say... lucky you! haha. ehem.

Yesterday morning it was 10C/50F. Then it started to snow. Which, in Calgary, somehow translates into people being shocked at the thought of winter.

I hadn't brought a jacket yesterday, just had sweater/long t-shirt layers. This induced some mocking on the part of my co-workers. "How long have you lived in Calgary?" haha.

Well, when they all went out to clean off their cars NOT ONE of them had mittens or a scarf or a toque.

Me? 2 pairs of mittens, and a scarf and several toques to choose from.

Never mock the knitter in her winter preparedness.

This morning as I was S.L.O.W.L.Y. driving to work I was thinking about how I have all manner of warm woolen things to keep me warm. I'm wearing a sweater I knit, a scarf I knit, socks I knit, and, in the car, mittens I knit. I have fingerless mittens at work because the temperature varies constantly. I'm set.

I could even, in the unlikely event that I don't have any clean handknit items to wear, just stuff my jacket with skeins of wool.

Never mock the knitter, people. Never mock the knitter.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

trying to get some control

gah. I'm missing a whole week! Last weekend, I took a few pictures and planned to post and somehow I didn't and now it's a week later. Gah.

I enjoyed all of your comments about obsessing thinking about knitting/spinning/etc. So glad to know I'm not alone in this... (ahhh, warm happy community feeling).

Since that post I've been thinking about why I don't seem to actually be getting anything done lately. I have so so so many WIPs on the go right now and I don't know why I don't just finish one of them. That is part of the reason I haven't posted. A knit blog without any actually knitting/fiber content (har) is really boring, right?

Also, one of the more frustrating aspects of winter for me is the lack of daylight in my "free time" hours. My camera doesn't do so well with artificial light, so pictures will be taken on weekends for now. Which is my excuse for not posting. Just thought I should be up front about it right off the start.

Anyway, I was thinking about it and I realized that I sometimes get myself into a space where I take on too much and then spend all my time trying to keep up with it rather than actually accomplishing anything. Right now, my knitting/fiber/crafty world is like that, as is my job. I've been trying to figure out how to get a better handle on my job (I'll write more about all that sometime), but as for the knitting stuff, I realized that part of it was this:

this is just a sample of the yarn/book disaster zone

So, last Saturday I went to Ikea with my friend Cobi and her kids (Hi Cobi) and I ended up with this:

Cheap Inexpensive book shelves to house my collection of novels and books from College that I will probably never read again.

Also, looking at this (somewhat blurry, sorry) picture makes me realize i HAVE accomplished something this week. The fiber draped over the wheel has been spun and plied since last Saturday. Yay me! I finished something that makes no impact on my Christmas project list whatsoever!

and this:


I still haven't completed any knitting projects, but at least I don't feel all twitchy from the overwhelming pile of yarn and books.

So, I plan to make myself stick to a schedule (still to be determined) and stop thinking about new projects while working on something (which I pledged to do last night and stuck to for exactly 4 minutes). Wish me luck!

(I'll try to take pics of my WIPs today. I may space them out over the week and post more regularly... or I might forget for a week. we'll see.)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Always Thinking

By now, most/many of you will have seen The Last Knit which is making its way around the internets. Is it a cautionary tale? A true life account? Or just exactly what we would all do in similar circumstances? (If you haven’t already seen it, rush over to YouTube and watch. We’ll wait for you.)

(insert soothing “hold” music here)

Anyway, I was thinking the other day about how much I actually think about knitting. Or yarn. Or (now) spinning and fibre. (or fiber for the Americans and other people who didn’t have the stupid; “re” spellings pounded into their brains in elementary school) Some cases in point:

-The other day one of my customers found out I knit and asked me to make him some mittens. Yesterday he asked if I had started on them yet, which I hadn’t, but found it hilarious that I had actually spent some time thinking about them.
-My friend Sunny Jim* generally teases me about my knitting/yarn/fiber obsession but he also thinks it’s cool at the same time. The other day he was over and saw the toque I made in August. He went on and on about how much he liked it and wanted one similar. I may have gotten a little, well, enthusiastic; as the conversation went on and he was telling me about other types of toques he thought I might be able to sell and then, a sweater he would like. If he didn’t know me well already, he would have probably been terrified.
-I dyed some fibre/fiber last night. On my drive to work this morning I was mentally splitting the roving, predrafting, spinning and plying. Then, I was also thinking about what to make with it. (Ask me what I’m thinking about right now.)
-This morning I was talking with my manager about something he needs me to do. The whole time he was talking I was completely distracted by the fact that there is a dropped stitch in his sweater and if it's not taken care of soon it will look like costuming from the Matrix movies. You know, when they're not in the matrix and they wear those cool drapey sweaters with the strategically placed dropped stitches. Anyway, it took all of my concentration to not interupt him and offer to fix his sweater.

The thing is, I don’t sit and stare into the middle distance, thinking about knitting/yarn/spinning etc. It’s just that my brain is frequently working out some creative problem or coming up with a new/better idea the whole time I’m doing other things.

Am I the only one? I’m sure that I’m not. (I may, however, be the only one to think about how much I think about knitting/yarn etc).

Also, on my drive to work this morning, I was thinking about how this constant processing of current and future projects tends to feed the multiple WIP thing I have going. I was thinking that I need to focus and just finish something. Maybe practice a little self-discipline. Then, I was wondering if it is necessary to discipline myself to focus on something that is a “hobby”. Then I thought about how this could be a blog post. Then I laughed at myself for thinking about all of this.

So, what is the end result of all this navel contemplation? (There is a word that means “navel contemplation” but I can’t remember what it is right now. Anyone?) Basically, it’s that I feel like I need to focus more so that I can complete projects. And that I can’t wait to get home to try spinning the fiber I dyed last night. And I have a great idea for a new toque. Which I want to cast on right now. So, basically, I didn’t learn anything from the navel contemplation. Shocking.

*not his real name. obviously. His real name is Sunny Joe

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Project Acrylic Stash Reduction

Status report:

Afghan count: 1

Due to incompetence complete inability to count circumstances beyond my control I abandoned the crocheted log cabin squares. Don't ask. However, I am happy that this afghan worked out so well. I used up a LOT of the acrylic stash, in colors that I love, and ended up with a large (approx. 66 x 68 inches) afghan. I need to snip some ends and wash it and then put it somewhere where I can't see it because I want to keep it. Sigh.

Toque (knit hat for my non-Canadian friends) count: 9.75 !!

8 of these were knit at various times over the past 2 years. I didn't have any intended recipients at the time and I don't entirely know why I knit them other than just to knit them. Hmm. (the sage green ribbed one in the left corner was knit last week)

I'm almost done this one. I'm using a chart that I made up for the toque I knit in August. (when it was 30C and sunny, which is a perfectly sensible time to knit a wool toque). I'm using acrylic stash, as per my challenge to myself, and I've been pleasantly surprised at how well it's working in the fair isle.

(I was going to wait until it's done to post a pic but with the days getting short I need to take pics when I have light.)

All of this progress (and, you should know, I still (STILL!) have a box full of acrylic) could not be at a better time, since I had an email from Michael's about their Yarn Sale that started today. (no, I didn't go out and buy new yarn today)(which, frankly, is kind of shocking!)

I think I'll get working on some mittens and kid-sized toques with the rest of the acrylic stash. Or, maybe I'll just start working on something for me. Or I'll finish the (slow moving) Cowichan/Siwash style sweater/jacket for my sister-in-law:

if you have ever wondered what a farm with livestock smells like in the spring, and, really, who hasn't wondered that, you should smell this yarn when it is steamed. Mmmm... livestock-y

Or, I'll just keep spinning:

This is approximately 3oz/129 yards of Ingeo that I dyed, spun and navajo plied. I like how this turned out, especially considering that the Ingeo was not meant for spinning. The day after I took the drop spindle class, I was at (big obnoxious soul-sucking store) for something or other and saw the shelves of polyester stuffing. Being the cheapskate Magyver that I am, I wondered if I could spin any of it. At the time, I was looking for some "practice" fiber so that I wouldn't "ruin" the nice Merino I bought. I saw this Ingeo, which I had never heard of and was intrigued. I got 12oz for about $4 and brought it home. It takes dye really well (using my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants dyeing methods) and spins pretty easily. It's not as smooth as a prepared roving would be, but I'm pretty happy with it. I haven't tried knitting with it yet, but i like the look of the 3 ply in the skein.

3.5 oz/292 yards Merino 2 ply. I love this yarn. I'm hoping that when I get it all spun up (I have another 4 oz or so) I will have enough to make something for me!

Currently on the bobbin: the Ramie that I dyed. I LOVE these colors! This fiber was making me insane last night. It's very wispy and slippery. (I have individual fibers EVERYWHERE. Including in my eyes) I almost gave up on it when I remembered reading something about spinning from the fold for slippery fibers. This was a lifesaver (at least for this fiber). I am spinning it fairly thin and will probably navajo ply it. (When I say I will navajo ply it, I mean I will use my probably incorrect understanding of the method that totally works for me)

I just realized how long this post is. Sorry! Thanks for all the encouragement with the spinning! I need to knit a swatch in the fugly Kool-aid dyed wool to see if it is as fugly shocking knit up!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

But Mom, she followed me home! Can I keep her?

Last week I decided to play with kool aid and dye the 2nd bit of the not-really-for-spinning roving I had got so I could practice. It didn't come out so pretty (the colors are more garish than this picture would indicate):

I mostly wanted to see what would happen when I spun it: what would happen to the distinct color sections, what would it look like plied etc.

It's pretty horrendous though.

BUT, then I dyed some Ramie I bought as a consolation after a extremely frustrating somewhat disappointing trip to a fiber/spinning shop in the area. I had wanted to try some plant fiber so that I could learn and because my mom can't wear wool, I wanted to be able to spin/make something for her. I had an idea of what I hoped it would look like but no real plan to acheive what I hoped for. In this instance, it turned out exactly like what I was aiming for:

Greens and browns and deep blue all moving along the length. I feel so happy when I look at this! The fiber is really nice, although a little frustrating to start out with. I couldn't wait to try it so as soon as the Ramie was dry:

The spinning blended and muted the colors a bit, as did the plying but this picture doesn't quite do it justice. It's slightly silky feeling and has a nice sheen with the colors alternately deep and muted.


Now for the most fun news (and the title of today's post):

As you know, I decided to get a wheel. I had a frustrating encounter with someone who sells wheels on the weekend. After that, I ended up calling Make One Yarns to see if they stock the S17 that I tried out. I decided that I would get one from them since it would save me shipping and customs etc. So I went in yesterday and it turned out that the one they had in stock was the demo one I tried out and they sold it to me assembled!


So, since it was assembled, I spun. And spun. (and watched football) And spun. And giggled to myself as I spun.

I started with the butt ugly rather unfortunate looking roving I kool aid dyed (see above) because I figured if I mess it up, I won't cry at all.

I didn't bother to set the twist yet. It's about 85 yards and 2.5 oz (ish). Now to think about what to spin next...

Thanks to everyone for suggestions and encouragement! Thanks also to the girls at Make One who, in addition to being total enablers are really helpful, friendly and gave me my first real-life blog recognition yesterday, which was fun in that dorky-knit-blogger kind of way!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Which one should I get?

Okay. Here's my dilemma. The other day, when I was trying the wheel at Make One, I made a deal with myself. I decided that if my quarterly commission/bonus was over X amount, I would get a wheel.

I never know what the commission/bonus will be because the structure for deciding the commission/bonus is never the same twice. Also, what other employees who share in the commission/bonus were told is distinctly different from what I was told. (this is rapidly turning into a story about my work. sorry. Let's just say: this is a pretty good example of the communication at my office)

I just got my pay stub and my commission/bonus is significantly higher than it was last time ("last time" was the X amount mentioned above). So...

Anyone out there with any opinions, reviews, recommendations? I want to go to Shuttleworks on Saturday and test a few out.

What I'm looking for (in rambling, uncohesive format):
I don't want one that is super fancy. I tried both single and double treadle briefly and I could see myself being happy with either. Generally speaking, if I were to buy the first one I tried and that was all I knew, I would be totally happy with it. (Which would mean I should just go back and buy the Louet S17 I tried the other day) I don't have any interest in spinning novelty yarns, I would probably find spinning chunky/bulky yarns interesting once in a while but not all the time.

Thanks for any input you may have!!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Progress. Slow, steady progress

The past two evenings, this is what I planned to be working on:

For some reason this is taking me a long time. Maybe because I haven't been working on it as much as I should be. Also, it's a bit tougher to knit than I realized it was. A bit hard on the hands/wrists. But mostly it's because I haven't been working on it.

On the left is one of 3 afghan squares that I have crocheted for my stash-reduction plan. However, the fabric is kind of more dense than I had planned it to be. So, plan B (or actually more like plan J or K). I'm using the same log cabin idea with the same colors but substituting an hdc for the sc in the squares I started with. I'll frog them and re-use the yarn for the new one. I might actually just do one big log cabin piece instead of doing squares.

The past two evenings this is what I have been doing:

From the Merino blended colors top (is that the right terminology?) I got the same day I took the spinning class.

I also did this:

Yes, somehow I managed to snap my starter spindle in half. Awesome.

So, on my way home from work yesterday I stopped at Make One Yarn Studio and picked this up:

Also, the enablers wonderful staff at Make One let me try out a couple of wheels while I was there. Yeah. That should nip the obsession in the bud. Good idea Lori.

Oy. I know what I want for my birthday.

Tonight: KNIT. or CROCHET. No SPINNING. Well, maybe a little spinning. Not much. NO. KNIT!!!


Sorry. Sometimes we have to be firm with ourselves.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I still knit. Honest.

I did some more spinning last night, from some roving I picked up at my LYS. To be honest, I'm not 100% sure it was meant for spinning, as it was a bit lumpy in places. I split it in 3 and dyed it with some random dye I had around. When I spun it, I pre-drafted (I'm trying to learn my terminology. I think that's right) small sections and alternated colors. This is half of what I have dyed:

I'm pretty happy with it, although I haven't tried knitting with it. It's fairly even, but obviously not completely so... I think I'll use if for some fingerless mittens or something. The skein above there is 1oz and approximately 63 yards. I'll have to see what kind of gauge I get.

I'm already thinking about trying to find a place to learn on a wheel. Then I'll end up needing to find a wheel!

Yes. Let the obsession begin.

It's sunny today! And warm(ish)!! And so I started on my sister-in-law's heavy wool sweater/jacket!!

The pattern is from another aunt who was cleaning out some stuff from years ago. It was published in the late 60s (I think) and shaped much like the Siwash or Cowichan sweaters (and uses the same yarn) but has this zig-zag pattern rather than the traditional Native patterns. After trying to find a pattern for a year or so (okay, fine... I didn't look THAT hard, I just thought about it now and then...) suddenly I find myself with 4 vintage patterns from my family!

I plan to make one for myself from one of the other patterns, but that will wait until I'm allowed to buy yarn for myself.