Sunday, May 25, 2008

Time does fly, doesn't it? I'm still plodding along on the Magickal Earth, but for sanity's sake, I had to find a little instant gratification. I've been working on some medieval mini relic bags from a pattern I got at the S&W. I've now nearly finished this heart one, but here it is in the beginning stages:

I've finished the knitting now and will post again after I sew up the bottom and put on the tassels and cord. I've started another one in green and white.

Something else I've done recently has nothing to do with knitting. I painted this at one of those paint-your-own clay figure places. I thought about painting him red, but purple won out (I know, you're shocked).

I've also started a new project, but since it's sort of a wing-it-as-you-go type of thing, I'm not sure I like it yet or not. Anyway, I'm still here; I'll try to surface at least occasionally to say hi.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Magickal Earth

or rather the shawl that's going to take a really, really long time.

This is the edging. I have done 18 of the required 48 repeats of the edging pattern. For anyone math-impaired, that's just over 1/3 of the edging done. It's a giant pain in the bum. Out of all the shawls I've done, my least favorite part has always been the edging. Usually, the edging is done last, after the body of the shawl. Edging is actually quite deceptive because it looks so small, yet it is usually a pretty good portion of the shawl itself because of the way it's done. Therefore, you think you're almost finished with a shawl when in reality you still have tons of edging left.

On the Magickal Earth Shawl, however, the edging is done differently. It still makes up a good portion of the shawl, BUT it's done first. So, you get the horrible edging out of the way. Doing it this way certainly has its disadvantages, the main one being the ungodly number of stitches you have to pick up along the edging for the body of the shawl (if I've figured right, it will be over 1,000). BUT, again, the horrible edging will be done, out of the way, finished. A distinct advantage to doing the shawl this way is that since the shawl is a square, the shawl is worked inwardly toward the center. Yep, that means that it gets smaller and smaller as it's worked. So, yes, I have to pick up way too many stitches, but once it's done, I won't have the edging to do last. It will get bigger faster and faster.

Hopefully, it won't take forever to get the edging done in the first place.


Friday, May 09, 2008


I know, three posts in one week after posting just once a month for the past few months. Seriously, no heart attacks.

First of all, I found this "highly scientific *cough* caffeine test" on Stumbling Over Chaos. I scored 160 clicks without my morning tea. What does that say about me? That I'm too jittery or I just have quick reflexes?

I don't have any pictures today, just some thoughts on spindling. I've been thinking about spindling since Opal mentioned she's not much of a spindler (check out her latest entry to see how much not a spindler she is). I bought my very first spindle, a Golding, at my first Sheep and Wool back in 2005. I decided I loved spinning and had to have a wheel. I neglected my poor single spindle for a very long time. I don't know exactly what made me decide to pick spindling back up, maybe it's the beauty of the spindles, but I had to have more spindles. I bought more. Goldings and Bosworths. And I spun.

Spindling isn't quick, especially if, like me, you spin thread, but there is a beauty in it. There's the beauty of the spindles themselves, made by talented artisans, and there's the beauty of the different fibers. Then there's the feeling; I love the feel of spinning silk on a lightweight spindle. On a wheel, spinning often becomes about finishing the projects, not about just enjoying it. With spindles, you realize that it's going to be a while before anything is finished, so you might as well enjoy it for the action itself. There's also just a little bit of appreciation that I don't have to do this to keep myself and my family in clothing. It is a hobby and can be appreciated as such.

And if that's not enough, it's always enjoyable to watch people's reactions when you bring your spindling into public. Knitting most people have seen before; many can even tell you that you're knitting, a few can even tell what you're knitting. Most people could even tell what you're doing if you have a wheel. Stories of Rumpelstiltskin and Sleeping Beauty abound. Plus, many people have seen pictures of wheels in history books or have seen them in actual use in re-enactments. Period movies and shows like "Little House on the Prairie" often have spinning wheels. But spindling. Most people have no clue what you're doing. And even when you explain, I actually enjoy seeing their reaction - "Why would you want to do that?"


Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I know, two posts in one week. Don't have a heart attack or anything. I've been spinning some of the Wensleydale I couldn't get a picture of earlier on the new Golding (see last post). This is a pretty decent representation of the purples, except you can't really tell that it's a bit variegated:

I'm spinning a little thicker than usual and hoping to get a three-ply fingering, possibly sport.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Yes, I do realize what a blog slacker I've been lately! Since I haven't been knitting a whole lot, I haven't had a whole lot to blog about, but yesterday was my annual trek to Maryland.

My friend and I got there a bit later than last year and had to wait a bit before getting parked. We had made plans to meet up with Opal (who was there all the way from Hawaii!) at the Golding booth right at nine. We've been blogging and emailing for a couple of years now, so I was very excited to finally meet her. Anyway, since we were later than expected, Opal had a chance to look over Golding's stock and she may have made an acquisition. (All my fault, of course, because we were late :-)

Anyway, we finally met up and Opal is just as cool as I thought she would be. I'm so glad we finally got to meet and she spent the morning wandering around the main building with us. I had not intended to buy much, having looked over my stash thoroughly before the festival and making sure that I had tons of stuff that hasn't yet been spun or knit. But as I've always heard, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Wandering around with Opal and Melissa is not good on the budget; of course, I returned the enabling favor :-)

My first purchase was my yearly Golding (click any picts for a close-up!):

How absolutely beautiful is that one?! I haven't yet taken it out for a test spin. I'm trying to decide what I want to spin. It's one of the 1.6 oz ones, so not so good for spinning fine silk like I usually do with the minis. Maybe I'll spin the Wensleydale (see below) into a fingering weight for a scarf.

I also got some lovely tencel laceweight from Just Our Yarn.

I'm not usually much of a blue person, but this beautiful bright blue called to me. And the other one, well, it is purple. Funnily enough though, once I got the purple one home and started looking at it closely, I realized something. It is very similar to the colorway that I did my Swallowtail in, only since it was cashmere it was much more muted and subtle. There is a little more blue in this one as well.

At Spirit Trail Fiberworks, I bought this lovely pink laceweight after realizing as much as I like pink, I only have two pink shawls:

I also got some lovely variegated purple Wensleydale fiber, only as usual I couldn't get the purple to photograph well (I'll keep trying). I also got some lovely variegated silk - one is pinks, blacks, purples, and turquoise and one is without the turquoise.

I got a book on graphed medieval patterns to use in just about any needlework as well as medieval mini purse patterns. I got some more hairsticks, soap from Leslie's Garden (love her soap!) and some honey (Fireweed and Orange blossom, both yummy!)

We stayed for the spin-in and got to spend some more time with Opal as well as getting some spinning done. Came home with kettle corn. All and all, a great time!