Thursday, January 10, 2008

Socks and some kitty cuteness

Today I finished a sock out of my first attempt at Fractal Spinning. If you not familiar with this technique there was an article in the Summer 07 issue of SpinOff Magazine on how to divide your space dyed roving to get this stipes within stripes look to your yarn. I'm really happy with the way the first one came out.

I've also finally gotten around to photographing the one and only pair of socks that I made for the Summer 07 of Socks. They are my Walking on Sunshine Socks. There was suppose to be a knot work design duplicated stiched onto the front of both socks but I started to put it on but decided I still don't like the way dulpicate stitch looks. This was the first time I did an afterthought heal. I like the way these socks fit.

It was up in the high 60's around here so I had the window open the other day. Schrodinger was very interested in what was going on outside.

Plans for the upcoming weekend

My hubby will be going away to a fencing tournament this weekend. I am staying home becuase I have no desire to drive to Vermont in January even if the weather has been mild. So after I get done with my internship on Friday I will make a stop a Whole Foods to lay in a supply of yummies that don't require anything more than poping them into the micowave. Then it will be all fiber, all weekend. I have several socks that need to knitting, a project on my rigid heddle loom that I want to weave off and I want to get some hand towels, that I've had in mind for a while, warped into the floor loom. There is also spinning to be done. I have some fiber for Sock Hop Yarn to spin and I want to at least figure out what I'm going to spin for the February Craftlit Donation Incentive. Is this too grand a plan to get done in just the weekend? Perhaps but since I start class again on Monday I want to get as much fiberiffic stuff packed into my weekend as I can.

As for progress to my knitting goals, I made up the lost ground on the BB sweater and started a sock out of my handspun. Today I'm stuck at home because hubbies car is the shop and he has mine so I'm getting a head start on my all fiber weekend. I'll post pictures of all the progress on Monday.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

So last night I sliced into my thumb with a bread knife...

that I was washing. I didn't hurt myself much. It's really just like a very deep paper cut. The problem is that when I knit my thumb hurts. I knit about 75 yards of yarn into my BB and then just had to call it quits. So I decided to switch to spinning some cotton on my charka because while I do draft with that hand I don't hold the cotton very tight so I less chance of my thumb hurting.

Now, as I've been spinning I've asking myself, "Why don't I do this more offten?". I love to spin and the head space that I get into with cotton is unique and wonderful. I que up a little Ravi Shankar in iTunes and just let myself go. The thing about spinning cotton, at least for me anyway, is that once I got the hang of it if I think to hard about the spinning I mess up. I need to very much be in a non-thinking head space to spin cotton.

Spinning does count towards my yardage/mile goals but I don't know if I'm going to count it. It's just so easy to get mile and miles of yarn spun on charka. Never mind the fact that the resuting yarn is only like 45 WPI or more. FYI, I have no desire to knit that small so I'll be weaving with this yarn. Or maybe what I should do is count the yardage but realy work towards spinning enough cotton this month to weave the cotton shawl I've always wanted. Oh, no another project to get myself distracted by!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Stash busting and having negative totals

So I've joined a group on Ravelry called Stash Knit Down 2008. I'm focusing not so much on knitting my stash but more on getting my UFO's done. To that end I decided that the yarn I bought with some of my Christmas money, that is becoming my Bijoux Blouse, will be my last purchase until I get a real job. In this group spinning also counts as a way of stash busting so I'm not going to buy anymore fiber either. The only exception to any of this will be the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

The SKD08 group is trying help with us all to keep motivated by setting up challenges. For the month of January (starting today and going until February 19th) the challenge is to knit a mile of yarn. Now for some of us this has set the bar a little high so a subgroup (calling ourselves Team Tortoise) have set a more modest goal. A 200 meter dash = knit that much yardage in a simple project or the 100 meter hurdles = knit that much yardage into a complicated project like cable or lace. I've also decided to keep track of my goals here so I might actually have more fiber content to share. Wouldn't regular posting's be nice for a change?

I've been on quite the knitting jag for the last few weeks and in the last couple of days had really made progress on the BB. Today I knit my personal goal of half a ball of yarn (110 yards) and still got my chores done around the house which included cleaning out my car (which was a long over due task).

After dinner I settled down to keep knitting and that's when I ran into a snag. I started to worry that I might not really have enough yarn for the BB so I plugged the numbers into Sweater Wizard (a knitting program) too see what it would estimate for yardage. I figured out that I might just run short. Then I double checked that I was on gauge and proceeded to find not one but two mistakes that I had to rip out. One mistake was minor, I had only caught and knit into one of the plys in the yarn. This was fairly far back and if it were the only problem I just would have left it since it was on an edge stitch and would be in the seam. The other mistake was the big issue, I had missed doing a decrease row, down near where I had the other mistake. This meant I had two extra stitches going up more than half the back of the sweater. While this may not sound like a big deal, those two stitches could be the difference between having to buy another ball of yarn or not. So out came all of today's and some of yesterdays knitting. I'm trying to look at this as a positive but I'm still a little frustrated.

My new personal goal for the rest of this weekend is to regain the ground that I've lost. I figured that I want to knit 150 yards by the time I have to leave for my internship on Monday.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Yarn for a lucky Craftlit listener who makes a donation

I've spun up some more yarn for Heather to give away to a lucky listener of Craftlit that makes a donation to the podcast. The fiber is 100% Merino (NOT Superwash) in a fingering weight. There are 2 skeins and each is 200+ yards. Enough for socks or some lace. The colorway is Sandlewood and trust me the pictures just can't do this colorway justice no matter how hard I tried to get photography right.

It's been way to long!!

First I'd like to introduce you to the new man in my life. His name is Schrodinger and he came to live with us the week befor Christmas. He is just such a snuggler.

I've been really busy. I finished my semester up at school with an A two B's. This brought my GPA up to a 3.0. I've been continuing in my internship while on winter break. The holidays were pretty uneventful which is just the way I wanted them. I've been spinning and knitting quite a lot. Here is some of what I've been doing:

This the progress I've made so far on Thermal from Knitty. The guage is pretty small so it slow going.

This is a start to the Bijoux Blouse, a pattern from Oat Couture, on a stunning shade of red Cascade 220. I know I just shouldn't have started another project but I just love this color. The photograph really doesn't do it justice. I think I like Cascade 220 better than I like Galway for a 100% wool yarn.

Here is some yarn I've spun into a fingering weight. The fiber is from Pigeon Roof Studios. I just love her coloways. This one is Calla and is a superwash merino.

This is a quater pound of lace weight Cormo. I picked the fiber up at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival last year.

This is more sock yarn. The fiber if from Yarn Chef. I spun the coloway up useing the fractal method of spinning.

And last but not least I've been doing some charity knitting. In between what seemed like endless rows of garter stitch I do a hat just to keep me from getting board.

So as you can see I haven't had idol hands. I start my last semester as an undergrad at Arcadia on January 14 and am counting down the days until graduation, which is May 16.