Monday, October 31, 2005

Actual progress on something

I know the socks were supposed to be done by today for Socktoberfest, but after the Christmas present and Halloween costumes, I just didn't want a deadline for anything else. I'm also a member of the Knitting on the Road KAL and Conwy is the sock for October/November. I think I can manage by then. Meanwhile, I've started these:

Snowflake fingerless gloves on Page 33 of Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves by Carol Noble. I'm working them in Knit Picks Palette. The main color is Fog and the contrasting colors are White and Mist. This is my first real experience with Fair Isle and I'm enjoying it very much.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Goodies to show

Goodies from Knit Picks include: Dusk yarn because I was going to be short just enough for the toes on my Conwy socks. It's even the same dye lot! Fawn sock yarn, Lost Lake Shadow yarn, Palette in white, mist, fog and ash. And Nancy Bush's new sock book.

Now my Mystery Christmas present #2 is finished. The Halloween costumes are done, so here's a question. Do I get a head start on Mystery Christmas present #3 (the last), do I work on my socks which I really have little hope of finishing for Socktoberfest before Monday (unless, of course, I work on them continuously all weekend which is not going to happen because the in-laws will be in town next weekend and I have a house to clean), or do I start another project, Fair Isle fingerless gloves with the Palette yarn?

What do you think I'm going to do?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Nothing to show

I've come to the conclusion that there is no way I'll finish my socks before the end of Socktoberfest. I added stitches and went down a needle size so I'm just past the heel of the first one; there's just no way I'll finish both socks in a week. There are a couple of other things that have to be finished by the end of October (Halloween costumes!). And there's Mystery Christmas Present #2 that is nearly done. I still have another Mystery Christmas Present in the queue, so presents and costumes must take priority over my own socks. I don't want to keep showing you pictures of the same sock and I can't show you pictures of the Mystery Christmas presents until Christmas which is the only other knitting project I've made progress on this week, so there's nothing to show.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Progress Report

After several false starts, I've finally made progress on the Conwy sock this weekend.

There's nothing wrong with the pattern itself; it's wonderfully written as always. I just had to do a bit of tweaking so the sock would fit my foot. I added a few stitches, but then it was a little too big. Instead of taking away stitches, I went down a needle size. What I have so far fits perfectly.

I've also made a little progress on the Landscape Shawl. I love the way the patterns really show off the yarn. I might have to find another handpainted that I like to make another one. After this one is finished, of course.

I officially have too many works in progress now. I refuse to begin anything else until I finish a couple. Okay, I refuse to start anything knitted. I have my spinning and I have a project planned with polymer clay. And there are the kids' Halloween costumes that I have to make. I'd love to have a few more hours in the day.

Friday, October 14, 2005

No Clever Title

I love reading other people's clever titles, but most of the time, I just can't think of any. Or I'm probably just too lazy. I thought about a post entitled "To Sleep, Perchance Not to Dream" because for the past two weeks, I've dreamed every single night. Yes, I know people are supposed to dream, but lately, I've been remembering one or two a night. My dreams are usually very vivid and honestly, I'm just tired of dreaming or at least remembering the dreams.

Anyway, on to the important stuff - fiber. The pictures aren't the greatest, but it's been raining and cloudy for a week, so not much good light. This is some of the merino-tencel I've been spinning. This stuff has incredible shine to it. It's a heavier laceweight, but not quite fingering.

And as if I need another project, I've cast on Nancy Bush's Conwy socks for Lolly's Socktoberfest. They are in Knit Picks Essential yarn in Dusk, I think. Though it looks more like Blue Jeans to me.

I had to actually make a trip to buy more sock needles this morning. Most of mine have mysteriously disappeared over the summer. Hmm, probably in socks I started last winter and forgot about. Can't imagine where the socks in progress have disappeared to though.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

All I have to say...

is that I'm glad my livelihood does not depend on spinning. That's why it is a hobby, one that I do enjoy very much, but a hobby. I will gladly admit that I am glad my family does not depend on me to spin yarn and weave cloth in order to keep them clothed. I enjoy spinning partly because, to me, it is a tribute to those who had to do it.

My first interest in spinning was when I took a Roman technology course back in college. I did a report on spinning and dyeing in Ancient Rome, but somehow never took it up at that point. But it did continue to fascinate me and when I went back to knitting after a hiatus, spinning seemed like something I also needed to do.

People who don't knit or spin don't quite get why I would want to do it. They do understand knitting a little more, but spinning? Many people don't even realize that handspinning still exists. When I checked out a spinning book at the library, the librarian asked me if they still made spinning wheels. I didn't tell her that they even still make spindles. Why would anyone actually spin anymore if we can just buy clothes ready-made in the store. It's all about the process for me. Yes, it's slow and it took me many hours to get just 150 yards of laceweight, but I enjoyed it. The process of drawing out the yarn and watching the wheel spin is meditative. And it gives me an appreciation for the time when we were not a disposable society. A time when women spun linen, cotton and wool on spindles (and later wheels) to be woven into cloth. There were no synthetic dyes and people did not have vast closets of clothes.

A great book on the subject of ancient textiles is Women's Work by Elizabeth Wayland Barber. It explains why spinning and weaving and the like traditionally fell to women until around the industrial age. I think I can appreciate the women who came before me more because I do spin and dabble in other fiber arts. But I am glad that I don't have to do it.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Handpainted yarn!

Look at the lovely handpainted yarn I got yesterday.

It is Dragonfly Zephyr from Furr Yarns. The picture on the website of this yarn actually has deeper colors, so I was a bit surprised; this is more pastel, but I like it. It's so soft (merino/silk). And in case you're wondering what I'm planning for it.

The Landscape Shawl from Fiber Trends. And as if I didn't have enough projects in the queue, this also came yesterday, used from Amazon.

There are so many pretty classic sweaters in this book that I already want to do. (If you're keeping track, I'm now up to at least three shawls, Mystery Christmas Project #2, and various small projects, including a scarf from the Pinedale merino, pictures coming soon.)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I swear I haven't completely neglected my knitting for my wheel, but I have neglected almost everything but Christmas knitting. And, of course, I can't show you that. (Sorry, Mom.) I'm going to get some work done on Madli today, so maybe I'll have a progress photo sometime this week. Instead, I'll show you some of my freshly spun yarns.

This was spun from "Pinedale" merino. It's a dark grey-green with rose specks. I spun a little thicker than I originally intended, it's about a fingering-DK weight and I have a little over 100 yards. I'll probably have about 200 yards when finished spinning and I'll most likely make a small lacy scarf of some sort.

This is a very bright yellow (brighter than the picture) using Buttercup Yellow Wilton's cake icing dye on Bluefaced Leicester. I've navajo plied it and hope to have enough to make socks. If not, I'll dye something else so I can make really obnoxious striped socks for around the house.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Fiber from the Festival

I got a little fiber from the festival. Some white angora fluff that I'll probably mix with some merino to make laceweight for a shawl. I also got some merino in "Pinedale".

A merino/silk blend in "Rose".

And some merino/tencel blend in "Green" which is actually a lovely dark teal (green with a little blue in it).

I didn't get much at all, but maybe enough to keep me busy for a little while at least. I've begun spinning the Pinedale up and it's lovely green with specks of rose. I'll post some pictures of it when I get some plied. I still can't believe I forgot pictures of the bunnies!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Fall Fiber Festival of Virginia

The Fall Fiber Festival is a small festival, but we had fun. There were llamas.

And we got to watch sheep herding (not "hurting" as my youngest kept thinking I was saying).

Somehow I walked out of the festival with some angora wool, but no pictures of the rabbits! I'll post a picture of the wool tomorrow along with a couple of other things I got. I didn't get too much, but enjoyed myself. I really enjoyed the bag of real kettle corn. Mmm.