Tuesday, September 27, 2005

More Spinning

Here's most of the roving from yesterday spun.

I didn't try to keep the thread even, so the 2-ply ranges from fingering to sport weight. I don't know if I'll ever knit anything with it, but I like how it turned out. I've got some yellow that I dyed last night; I'll probably make socks out of it. This weekend I plan to get some acid dyes and more wool, of course. Have I mentioned I'm going to the Fall Fiber Festival of Virginia? I'm excited.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Spinning Adventures

I've been spinning away and really enjoying it. Here's my very first skein from my wheel.

I got bored with plain old white, so I got out some Wilton's Icing dye Saturday night and did this.

For those of you that don't know, the Wilton's dye separates into the different colors that each color is made from. This one is Delphinium Blue (although I think the red patches were a tiny bit of contamination from Mauve). My dye was so old that I would never have used it in food and the colors had already separated in the little pot. I like how it is spinning up and will post some pictures when I ply it.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

My New Toy

I put a third coat of tung oil on the wheel part and the treadle and decided to go ahead and assemble it last night. It was not difficult to assemble at all. I did have to ask my husband a couple of small things, but the only thing he actually helped me with was holding the wheel while I put the crank through and tapping the hub pin in. Other than that, I did it all. I'm very happy with her and have already tried spinning with some Bluefaced Leicester that I had. I think we'll have many happy hours of spinning together!

Friday, September 23, 2005


Here's a nice morning sky shot for Sandy's contest.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

My Wheel

I've gotten over the panic now. Yesterday I put the first coat of tung oil on the wheel. This is what it looked like before:

And after the first coat:

Quite a difference, huh? I will put on another coat today and maybe a third coat tomorrow. Then I'll let it dry until Sunday or Monday and see if it's ready to be assembled. I chose pure tung oil because I don't do well with stains and varnishes. They bother my sinuses and head. This is the first time I've used tung oil, but it's easy to apply and I don't have to worry about my kids being near me while using it. It really is a nice finish, too.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

What the heck was I thinking?

This is what my spinning wheel currently looks like. I have to finish it and put it together. Breathe. Breathe. More pictures to come when I get over my panic attack and finally get to work on it.

Monday, September 19, 2005

It's a good day.

Guess what I just ordered. Hint: Click on Ashford Traveller. That's right, I've ordered my first spinning wheel. It is going to ship today, so I should have it in my hands tomorrow or Wednesday!

And look what I got last night at the bookstore during my weekly Sit 'n' knit session.

I had looked at the knitting section once (okay, twice) and was really disappointed at not seeing it. Then, I decided to ask at the information desk. The woman said there was one copy (just one!) and offered to help me look. We found it stuffed between two huge knitting books, looking very lonely and just wanting to be taken home with me. I took it back to my table full of knitters and I had to tell them that it was the only copy in the whole store and they could have it only if they pried it from my cold, dead hands. Okay, I didn't really say that, but one did mention the fact that I didn't seem to be laying the book down within reach of any of them. I think they thought that I didn't trust them or something.

I started reading it last night when I got home. It's classic Harlot. I love "The Sheep Shawl", the harlot's introduction into the world of lace. And "The Beast" is just too funny! Stephanie has done it again.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Isis Wrap

I finished the Isis Wrap. Here's the front view.

And the back.

The closeup.

And the specs:
Pattern: Isis Wrap, Interweave Knits, Summer 2005
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Mulled Wine
Needles: Size 8
Started: September 10
Finished: September 18

Friday, September 16, 2005

The other day on her blog, Wendy asked how people keep many projects going at once. I liked the question because I am one of those that has to have many things going at once. I get easily bored and if you are doing a shawl (I do a lot of shawls), the pattern repeats often and since shawls are usually fairly big projects, it just gets boring to me after a while. So, I usually have a second shawl going so that I can switch to another pattern and feel challenged again. I also usually have a small project or two going so that I occasionally get a quick sense of accomplishment.

I went to my monthly knitting guild meeting on Monday and several people came over to me before the official "show and tell" to see what I had this month. They all know I always have something and this month I didn't disappoint. I had the Market Square Bag and Lace Dream. I honestly think they would be shocked if I didn't have something every month. They are all impressed and think that I am a super fast knitter and that I have tons of time on my hands. I am a pretty fast knitter, but I don't have tons of time. I do have blocks of time every week where I would just be sitting with nothing to do if not for knitting, but the true reason I always have a finished project is this short attention span. You think, "So how do you actually finish anything?" Well, I have so many projects in various stages of completion going at once that, in any given month, I'm very likely to finish at least one thing. Right now, if you're keeping track, I have no less than two shawls (Faux Russian and Madli), the Isis Wrap (I only need to finish the left front and sew it together, pictures to come very soon), the Mystery Christmas Project and various small projects. So it's not really a big secret as to how to finish lots of projects, just have lots going at once:)

Monday, September 12, 2005

I should be working on Christmas presents

I really should be working on the Mystery Christmas Present because I have another couple of Mystery Christmas presents after that. I've come to the conclusion that even if I work on Christmas presents from now 'til Christmas, I still probably won't finish. The stress was getting to me. So I started this instead.

The fact that you're seeing a picture of it means that it is not a Christmas present. In fact, it's for me. Me, I tell you. It's the back of the Isis Wrap I mentioned in my last post. I'm using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Mulled Wine and I love how it's turning out. It's actually much softer than I thought it was at first (not as soft as Merino Style, mind you, but soft). Note the rubberband stitch markers on the needles. Well, I was using only two markers, one at the beginning and one at the end. There is a lot of increasing in this sweater as it's worked from the bottom to the neck with the sleeves included. Every time I increased by enough stitches (eight in this case) for the pattern to continue in the increase stitches, I would move the markers. I missed a stitch somewhere or added an extra yo or something. I seem to do things like that a lot, but usually I can figure it out. This, however, was not one of those times, so I had to rip out about eight rows (between about 150 and 191 stitches each). And I put in a few more stitch markers, just to be on the safe side.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

New Goodies from Knit Picks

My stash seems to be growing little by little. I have a good bit of Knit Picks in my stash now. Can't help it at the prices. Here are the newest aquisitions:

There is Color Your Own laceweight merino which will probably be used as it is; I didn't have a particular project in mind. And the Mulled Wine Wool of the Andes is going to become the Isis Wrap from Interweave Knits Summer 2005. You may have to scroll down to see it, but it is a pretty and lacy wrap. And note the new book. Of course, that means that I'm going to have to order some of the Palette yarns for some Fair Isle mittens. Not shown are some color cards for the various yarns.

Progress is being made on the Faux Russian Stole. I'll post pictures of that soon. I've made a little progress on Madli and I am really loving the pattern now. And the MYSTERY CHRISTMAS PRESENT is coming along nicely.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Madli revisited

A mere three weeks ago, I gave up on Madli. I decided the shawl just wasn't for me. Then I saw how beautiful Jody's was and I knew I had to retry. I couldn't let myself be beaten by a pattern. I started thinking that maybe it was the yarn. It's a nice yarn, but I just wasn't enjoying working with it for this pattern. The nupps just didn't look right. I kept making stupid little mistakes that I shouldn't have made. I couldn't make it past the border without having to rip it all out again. I ordered some lovely Shadow yarn from Knit Picks and it's been sitting in the box for a couple of weeks. I saw Dorothy's progress and decided it was time to try again. Here she is in Jewels.

I got it right the first time. I'm past the border and well into the first pattern repeat. I ask you, why was I having so much trouble with this pattern again? It's wonderful (as are all Nancy Bush's patterns)! Of course, note the pink lifeline at the border, just in case.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Faux Russian Stole and Alianne Knits button

Here is the picture of my progress so far on the Faux Russian Stole.

I've also made progress on a Mystery Christmas project. I can't show you pictures of that just yet.

But here is something else I've been up to, making a button for my site. If you want to link to my site, you right click on the button and save to your own computer. Then you upload the image to your server and link
{a href="http://alianneknits.blogspot.com/"}{img src=where_it_is_on_your_server"}{/a}, substituting html brackets for the weird brackets.

Blog spam

Okay, folks, no more anonymous comments. I've received my first blog spam. Sorry to my regular readers, but you'll now have to verify a word. Thanks!