Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Knitter's anxiety

My only "active" project right now is the Bog Jacket. It's too bulky to haul around, which is causing a certain amount of semi-conscious angst on my part because, life being what it is, what if I had a sudden need for some portable knitting? So I cast on ANOTHER Baby Surprise Jacket, this one in blues. Then I plan to do one in pink and purple (it's not as hideous as it sounds). And then? Maybe I should move on. The problem is the BSJ is like self-striping yarn - it's difficult to stop because you want to see what happens next. (We knitters are so easily entertained.)

There is one more pair of xmas socks to knit, but I want to try knitting them on two circular needles and, impossible as it seems, I don't have the right size needles. Or I do, but they are currently occupied. There are a couple of barely started shawls that turned out to be tooooo haaaaard, and they are holding some Addis hostage.

And then there is that bright cheery PolarKnit that says quick and easy, but again, since I rarely knit bulky yarns, I don't have the right needles. In a few days I will sojourn into the northern reaches of my LYS territory where I hope to resolve these needle issues.

Otherwise, I am feeling a lot of knitting bleh. There is quite a bit of lovely yarn in my knitting stash, so lovely I hate to use it to cast on just any old thing. And there are some lovely patterns in my knitting queue, but for some reason, I just am not in the mood.

So I was thinking maybe this would be a good time to take a knitting break. And just as I thought that thought, I discovered that not only is one of the local yarn stores planning to offer SPINNING lessons, someone gave me a lead on a local alpaca farm that has fleece they don't know what to do with and want to get rid of. That seems hard to believe, but I am going to check it out, maybe even today.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Nate's xmas socks

I think this is the year of the too-long socks. The pairs for both my son-in-law and son appear to be a bit lengthy. Tonight we shall see just how well they fit.

Pattern: Generic sock pattern with afterthought heel
Yarn: ONline Supersocke 6-ply
Needles: US2 9-inch circs

The jury is still out on the afterthought heel. I guess if you were out and about and knitting on a sock and reached the heel but was uncertain how to execute a heel flap, heel turn, and gusset without instructions, you could just knit on and add the afterthought heel. In Sensational Knitted Socks, there is a pattern that includes a forethought heel, i.e. an afterthought heel knitted when one reaches the heel instead of when done with the toe. I may try that with the next pair.

The next pair - HA! I'm taking a little break from socks, even though I am short one xmas gift. The recipient, my SO, is not worried, although I don't know why he shouldn't be - there are several projects in the queue for him that have yet to materialize.

Re the Bog Jacket: I rescued it from the time-out chair (because people will need to sit there tonight), ripped back past the shoulder shaping because said shaping did not fit my shoulders, and started knitting again, sans any shoulder shaping.

Re the pink BSJ: I posted a photo of it on FB and a couple of friends have offered to BUY it from me. For the record, I don't sell my hand knits, but it is rewarding when people like what I knit well enough to offer me money for it.

Happy holidays to all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hedgerow Redux

It was a year ago when I first finished these socks. My daughter liked them, but they were so loose, they actually flew off her feet when she walked. The socks took a long time-out in the WIP basket before I completely frogged them and started over. And now they are done, thank god.

This is one of my favorite patterns (and may be found here at Knitter's Review). It's great for semi-solid colorways.

I like the Yarn Daze yarn, too. I don't know how it happened, though, that my daughter has all three pairs of the socks I knit with it. I must learn to be more selfish!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Procrastination, thy name is BSJ

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket
Yarn: Lion Brand Babysoft
Needles: US5 circ
Modifications: Added a lace collar with a picot bind off

Monday, December 21, 2009

Broken vow

Well, that did not take long. I stopped by Sarah Jane's on Saturday, and while they did not have the PROJECT-SPECIFIC Karabella Aurora I was looking for, they did have some of this:

When I first read about Polarknit in the SJ newsletter, I decided I would have to try it. But I do have projects in mind: the red will probably become a neck warmer, while the orange and pink will each become ear bands. At least, that is the plan.

And here is my xmas gift for shopping SJ:

Having visited one LYS, I felt bound to visit the other. I came away with stocking stuffers for my hand knit recipients:

Also, a couple of balls of pink Kidsilk Haze which really and truly is destined for a project, Mason-Dixon's "Belinda".

And I brought it all home in this:

After xmas, I will trek on up to Knitting Today, as they usually have an end-of-year inventory sale. Merry xmas to me!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The truth will out

Still cranking away on the xmas socks, and I'm getting a little tired of knitting on US1 and US2 needles. Too bad, because I took some time to create a yarn inventory (with the help of Ravelry) and discovered that fingering is the prevalent weight of yarn in my stash. When you are a stranger in a strange yarn store and feel compelled to contribute to the local economy, a skein of sock yarn trumps a sweater's worth of something mysterious and unknown.

Also mysterious and unknown are the reasons I purchased some of the non-fingering yarn. Certain colorways were obviously inviting, but what was I thinking when I glommed onto 12 (TWELVE!) skeins of Lamb's Pride Bulky? Felted boxes ala Mason-Dixon? And now that I have lost the jones for those felted boxes, what do I do with all that yarn? I'll think of something someday.

The stash is not so bad that a yarn diet is called for. However, this I vow: any new purchases must be project-specific and said project must be immediate in nature. Wool festivals exempt. Heh.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Not by socks alone

I was on a business trip last week. The most pressing question as I packed for it was, Which knitting should I take? The two pairs of xmas socks were a no-brainer, but I knew I would get tired of all socks, all the time. The Bog Jacket was too bulky, so I did what any knitter would do: cast on anew.

Yes, I started another Baby Surprise Jacket. And I am loving the pink.

The yarn is Lion Brand Babysoft, a halfway decent acrylic, left over from other projects.

The placement of the stripes is a bit of a mystery to me, but I'm guessing just about any arrangement will be just fine.

Meanwhile, the xmas socks march on. I am done with the tops of the afterthought heel socks for my son, ready for the long trek to the toe.

Having them on 9-inch circs worked well for travelling because I could stash them in my purse and pull one out when things got dull.

And I am almost done with the gussets for the Hedgerow socks.

These socks are from the WIP pile, and this is my FINAL attempt to get them right. Previously, I tried to make them larger, to fit me, but ran out of yarn (this pattern seems to consume a lot of yardage). Then they were too big around for my daughter AND too short. Hopefully, now they will be just right.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Time out

The Bog Jacket is taking a time out while I figure out what to do next. The shoulders between the shoulder shapings seems too wide, but I'm reluctant to frog back half the sweater to repair it. The BJ is based on a "K" number, derived from measuring around one's hips, but if you are a bit overweight like I am, everything else cannot be determined simply by applying simple arithmetic to that one number. And from looking at the models of the BJ in the book, I'm guessing those K proportions were fudged a bit by EZ and MS themselves. For example, my BJ currently has kimono sleeves, but the sleeves on the samples in the book do not. So if I do end up ripping back the sleeves and yoke, I am definitely going to reduce the sleeveage.

Another reason to take a break from the BJ is xmas knitting. I am not one of those nuts who decides December 1 that everyone on my shopping list needs a handknit sweater or afghan or even a six-foot-long scarf. However, I am trying to knit four pairs of socks. One pair is done, another pair is half done (thanks to some excruciatingly long meetings this week), a third is started (barely - see craptastic photo below), and the fourth is still sitting in the stash. Pair #2 is on US1 DPNs, and pair #3 is on US2 9-inch circs. That is, one circ per sock. Knitting on 9-inch circs is a bit hand-cramping, but the first sock is tooting along at a reasonably brisk pace. It is surprising just how much knitting time is consumed by fiddling with DPNs. I'm not too enthralled with toe-up socks, but I am definitely going to give socks-on-two-circs a try because I think I will like that technique.

Football season is up to week 13 of a 17-week regular schedule. Remember my plan to work through WIPs during Sunday games? Well, I have made some progress, even if that progress involved abandoning certain projects I truly did not want to finish, but I will need the whole post-season to reach my goal of no WIPs. The reward spinning has not been happening, but I will try to rectify that after xmas and before spring planting. Really I will.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Jason's xmas socks

Usually when I knit socks, I follow a specific pattern and hope that they fit someone, preferably the person I am knitting them for. Now I am trying for a more custom fit, and toward that end, conducted a foot measuring this past weekend of all those who receive socks from me. My son-in-law would not cooperate, though, so he is stuck with these. My SO wears almost the same size shoes, and he deemed them a good fit, so all should be well.

Pattern: Generic toe-up socks with ribbed cuff
Yarn: Online Supersocke 6-fach (sport weight), colorway 1083
Needles: US2 DPNs
Details: easy toe, easy heel, invisible ribbed bind off

By the time I finished these socks, I was thoroughly sick of them. Does it feel like toe-up socks take longer to knit that top-down to you? It does to me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BSJ is done, sorta

Now that I have finished demonstrating the magic of the Baby Surprise Jacket to all and sundry, I decided it was time to sew it up.

I purchased some boyish buttons for it, but am holding off on actually attaching them to the sweater, pending the gender of the next baby born within my gifting set.

This is the plain, learn-how-to-knit-BSJ version. The next version will incorporate striping. But first, must finish Bog Jacket.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mystery solved

While perusing my own blog, reviewing what I knit over 2009, I discovered where the slubby roving came from: it is Suri alpaca and was part of a dye kit I purchased at an alpaca show. LESSON LEARNED: Closely inspect roving before buying!

The stuff is kind of wispy, too. I don't think I'll waste time spindling it, but does anyone have any ideas of what I could use it for? Maybe needle felting?

I cast off one of the son-in-law socks, using the sewn bind off, but I do not like the results. The socks are resting while I make up my mind over which other bind off to try. Another reason not to like toe-up socks.

But then I cast on a pair of top-down socks, and am struggling with the k4, p2 cuff. Maybe I need a break from socks. Sounds like a good excuse to work on the Bog Jacket - all that garter stitch is very soothing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just to prove I AM knitting...

The shoulder shaping for the Bog Jacket has been giving me fits, but I think we are in the homestretch for that part. Technically, I am over three-fourths of the way done, except the sleeves will require additional work.

The toe-up son-in-law socks should be done tomorrow.

On spinning notes, it was not a good day to spindle. I tried again to work with the slubby mystery roving, but gave up after a while. Not to be discouraged, I pulled out some Corriedale, but it proved equally recalcitrant. I'm feeling discouraged. Maybe I will just put spindling aside until I can get to a spinning guild meeting and find myself a mentor. I know some people find a wheel easier to use than a spindle, but my problem is not the tool; it is my inability to draft properly. I don't know what I am doing wrong, but the wool tends to clump up behind the drafting triangle, which results in a big clump of yarn. With a little guidance and a lot of practice, I WILL get the hang of it, though. Eventually. I hope.

P.S. I am again allowing anonymous commenters, but will moderate comments. We'll see how that works out.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Is perseverance a skill?

A couple of weeks ago, I had company for the weekend. While I was not the only knitter in the bunch, I was the only one knitting. I showed everyone the Baby Surprise Jacket and the Bog Jacket, and everyone was impressed with the cleverness of the designs.

What bothered me was how one person in the crowd attributed the cleverness to ME. I do not design the patterns, all I do is implementing them. The only talent required is perseverance and a lot of patience. It helps to be somewhat simpleminded, entertained by yarn overs and bobbles and changes in color, but otherwise, it is just a matter of sitting and knitting. My friend refused to believe I was not gifted.

This friend sews, something I have little patience for, so you would think she would understand my point of view. But maybe, because she finds knitting a struggle, she feels better believing it takes special talent? What do you think?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

I calculated that I was going to run out of yarn for the Bog Jacket, which meant I was faced with either purchasing more (and not of the same dye lot, not that that would be a big deal) or stealing yarn from other projects. I opted for the latter, and took a triangular shawl I had knit up a while back but never wore and frogged it. Completely. I soaked the resulting skeins to unkink the yarn and now, after several days of drying, the yarn is becoming one with the Bog Jacket. Then there are the twined mitts I started (and abandoned) last year. The yarn from that project is also going to become Bog Jacket.

I hope that will be enough yarn, but it will depend on what I decide to do about the sleeves. Initially, I planned to extend the sleeves while knitting the body but taper the them at the same time. This made my brain hurt, so now I am going to extend the sleeves by picking up stitches and working down to the cuff. I'm not sure how I feel about the sleeve width, which will make kimono sleeves. I might taper them a bit, and then end each sleeve with a ribbed cuff, hopefully creating a billowing, balloon-like sleeve instead. Can you picture what I am talking about? I can. I'm just not sure I can knit it.

I wish I had brought my Bog Jacket to work today. I haven't been able to work on it while awaiting the recycled yarn to dry and I feel deprived. I'm up to the shoulder shaping and am anxious to get moving on it again.

Meanwhile, the first pair of xmas socks are nearing completion. I'm halfway up the cuffs. I am also wishing I had ribbed the insteps because I'm afraid they may be too loose for the intended recipient's feet. If that turns out to be the case, I will knit a replacement pair; the original ones will fit somebody.

I am not sold on toe-up socks. Since I used the "easy" cast on on the last pair of toe-ups, I tried to do a different cast-on for this pair. I tried and I tried and I tried, before giving up and doing the easy cast on again. Casting on for toe-ups is WAY more difficult than casting off using the kitchener stitch. WAY!

P.S. All my blogs are getting spam from "anonymous" commenters. So I am going to disallow anonymous comments, to see if that eliminates this pesky problem.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Casting Off

I picked this book by Nicole Dickson off the new fiction shelf at the library, to see if it could successfully put the "knitting" into "knitting novel". Casting Off is more accurately classified as "knitting romance", but don't let that stop you from giving it a try. The main character is kind of annoying, and the storyline is equal parts predictable and unlikely, and the book is a bit long-winded, but it is redeemed by the ganseys.

Each chapter starts with a description of a gansey stitch or combination of stitches, lifted from a fictional source. Each definition also includes the meanings behind the stitches. Consequently, a gansey created with a combination of stitch patterns tells a story about the wearer. This is the most successful part of the book and makes me wish the fictional source of this information was not so fictional.

I would also call this book "beach fiction" - it will hold your attention well enough while you bake in the sand, but is not so engrossing you will lose track of the kids.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Look what I got!

I don't know who Alice Neno is, but Qutecowgirl tagged me with this award. QC (as I like to call her because usually I am too lazy to type her whole moniker) remembers we first "met" at the SnB forum. It was her Pinwheel Sweater that inspired me to make mine, and when she started her Etsy shop, I immediately glommed onto a few skeins of her uniquely dyed, uniquely named Barn Yarns.

The Neno’s Award Rules and Regulations:
1. As a dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging.
2. To seek the reasons why we all love blogging.
3. Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.
4. Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award.
5. Answer the award’s question by writing the reason why you love blogging.
6. Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like.
7. Don’t forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

I started blogging because I wanted to find a way to write on a regular basis, and who doesn't like to write about themselves? It has also become a convenient way to keep track of my life with yarn and my home improvements and garden. But the unexpected pleasure of blogging has been the online connections with others. I enjoy peeking into the lives of others, vicariously sharing their joys and concerns, and frequently learning something new, about knitting and gardening and hardship and strength.

I am going to tag All Things Shea, because she amazes me with her crafty ways (burlap window treatments being her latest project) and What Housework? because I never tire of reading about her life on the farm.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Cleverness times two

In our last episode, I was about to embark upon the Phony Seam portion of the Bog Jacket journey. Not quite sure what I was doing, I dropped about ten stitches and tried it out. Yes, it is as simple as the instructions say: pick up two stitches at a time, making sure to get one from the front and one from the back.

While dropping all the stitches, down to the cast on, I sighed over how tedious this task was going to be. But then - aha! - a light bulb moment: This looks like a job for the Seed Stitcher!

Open jaws:

Close jaws:

Everytime I use this tool, I marvel at its simple ingenuity. Available only at Knitting Today.

As if that were not enough cleverness for one day, let's return to the Phony Seam.

If you work this from the right side, you get this pretty column of stockinette stitches.

But, not knowing any better, I worked my seams from the wrong side:

I like the way this looks like a real seam, so I'm keeping it.

Again, so clever! (Do I sound like an EZ convert?)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Look, Ma, no ladders!

I'm guessing most knitters have a bag of tricks they use without really thinking about it. None of my little quirks are unique, but there is one I frequently apply when knitting socks on DPNs. To avoid laddering between needles, I developed the habit of shifting the work one stitch to the "right" as I move from needle to needle.

First, I place a stitch marker to indicate the beginning of the round (usually this is at the middle of the back of the sock), then I knit one stitch from needle 1 to needle 4 (or 3 if you are using only four needles). In other words, if I start with 14 stitches per needle, now I have 15 stitches on the last needle and 13 stitches on the first. Then I knit to the end of needle 1 and knit a stitch from needle 2 onto needle 1. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Initially, learning this trick was a bit confusing because the stitch marker moves as you go. But now it is second nature.

Laddering is not much of a problem for me anymore, but I still like to knit socks like this. I knit both socks at the same time, alternating between them, and this method provides me with an easy row counting method. I knit a needleful of stitches on one sock, then a needleful on the other sock, until done. No second sock syndrome for me!

These socks are a "stocking stuffer" for my son-in-law. When I picked out the yarn, I thought it was mostly shades of brown, but now that I am knitting it, the purple really stands out. Not that there is anything wrong with men wearing purple socks.

The Bog Jacket marches on. I'm ready to add the "phony seams", although I am having trouble visualizing the technique from the verbal description. I looked for some online help, but EZ's legacy is well guarded. Guess I will just give it a go and see how it turns out.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A new use for self-striping sock yarn

Here are the finished gloves for my SO. The self-striping sock yarn looks like faux Fair Isle, don't you think? And I love that the fingers are each unique.

Pattern: Based on gloves chapter in The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Sock Double Knitting Weight, color 7521
Needles: US2
Modifications: Added buttonholes to index finger and thumb of one glove

The buttonholes allow my SO to operate his camera in cold weather without getting cold hands. It took a while to get the buttonholes right, then I put the first one on the wrong side of the index finger. After correcting that, I realized I had measured the index fingers wrong, so I redid the one with the buttonhole, AGAIN putting the buttonhole on the wrong side. I think getting the index fingers right took almost as long as knitting the rest of the gloves. And there were a bazillion ends to weave in. (Ha-ha - the spell checker accepts "bazillion"!)

The glove pattern created interchangeable gloves, i.e. not a right and a left glove. And while the measurements were close to the real hands, I think next time I will obtain actual outlines of the recipient's hands. After all, gloves should fit like a glove, right?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nothing new, really

Not much to report on this dark and rainy day. I have another five miles inches to go on the Bog Jacket before I reach the armpits. And I'm working on a pair of photographer's gloves for my SO, out of Plymouth Encore DK sock yarn.

The long story is I had made some fingerless mitts a while back and gave them to said SO. His daughter admired them, so I suggested he regift them to her and I would make him some twined mitts. The regifting occurred before the twined mitts were done, though, and then the latter bogged down. Out of guilt, I am making him an interim pair. My daughter purchased a pair of gloves from Target that have fingers that button, so I am going to try to duplicate those. Maybe. This is my first pair of gloves.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I can read!

While working on the all-garter-all-the-time EZ Bog Jacket and watching football, I accidentally learned to knit without looking. Today, while reading an article in the NYer on brain injury in football players (don't let your children grow up to play football!), I also learned to knit while reading. The first couple of times I tried this, I could not concentrate on the words, but eventually the fingers go on autopilot. Every so often, I knit a row "normally" - looking and counting stitches - to make sure I have not screwed up along the way. Today the only hitch was a stitch that had split.

Yesterday I did manage to get some spindling in, using roving of unknown origin. The instructor of the spindling class I took might have given it to us, but you'd think I'd remember that or have blogged about it or something. Anyway, I hope I did not actually PAY for the roving because it is kind of bumpy. It is also very soft but slick. And it SHEDS. My black yoga pants were covered with white fuzz.

Time to think about knitting some socks for xmas gifts. I have several skeins of DK in manly colorways, and I think I will do them toe-up. Nearly running out of yarn with the last pair was too stressful.

Although these are not socks....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Got gauge?

When I started these socks, I apparently did not pay much attention to the needle size or gauge. Socks are socks, fingering is fingering, right? WRONG! These socks turned out HUGE, and I finished with only six yards of yarn left.

Pattern: Alhambra Socks (pattern found here)
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solid, in "Island Red"
Needles: US1 DPNs
Modifications: None to speak of

The color in this photo is closer to the actual color of the yarn.

Sorry for the crummy pix, but I am so tired of these socks. A significant amount was tinked and reknit (because I can't count), and for some reason, I am so DONE with "fancy" knitting for right now. All I want to do is literally knit - either back and forth in garter or round and round in stockinette. Feeling very impatient these days.

Here is 115g of homespun, though.

That is actually enough to do something with. My urge is to knit it up right now, but I think I will wait for a while. It's not like there is nothing else to work on.

Monday, October 12, 2009

On a frogging roll

After frogging that baby sweater last week, I decided to do the same to the baby hoodie. I think I spent more time frogging than it would have taken me to just complete the darn thing, but no going back now.

The yarn that was on the spindles is now plied and the twist is being set. The result is still kind of uneven - okay, a LOT uneven - but better than my first attempt. I discovered I am not very fond of plying by spindle. My birthday is this month, and I had been contemplating gifting myself with a wheel, but I'm just not ready yet. Soon, though, real soon.

Most of my knitting has been on the current sock project. For some reason, the heel flaps came out uneven (okay, I admit it, I can't count), but I did not discover it until I was into the gussets, so some tinking occurred. Now I am in the homestretch, but - gah! - the yarn appears to be running short. The toes may be in a contrasting color.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Socks, sweaters, and spindling

My plans to whip the UFOs is not working out quite as I planned, but today I discovered there is more than one way to deal with an unfinished project.

The one-skein baby sweater is history. I used acrylic and I apologize to all you acrylic-lovers out there, but I just can't knit that stuff anymore. This particular yarn feels particularly oily, but instead of throwing it out or anonymously donating it to Goodwill, I am giving it and all my other acrylic yarns to a friend who uses them (along with Fun Fur) to knit prayer shawls.

I'm also not spindling like I had hoped, but I did fill up two spindles.

Now I need to ply the singles to free the spindles, but I'm having trouble remembering the finer points of how to do that. I'm sure there is a YouTube video I can watch, though.

One of my UFOs is the Hedgerow socks, but I can't work on them until I free up my only US1 needles, which currently are carrying this pair.

These are the Alhambra socks from Mossy Cottage Knits.

The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, in "Island Red". It's an odd color, kind of a pink fleshy color.

And despite working on the Baby Surprise Jacket, I still had the urge to knit a sweater. A big sweater. A big red sweater.

This is Elizabeth Zimmermann's Bog Jacket, in Cascade 220. I had forgotten how much I like Cascade 220, especially compared to Elann's Peruvian wool. The jacket will be mostly red, but also black and gray, and trimmed in black, kind of lumberjacky. Since it is all garter, all the time, it is a good project for football games. (Colts won, BTW.) I'm even practicing knitting without looking.

Time to do some plying.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Embarrassed and disappointed

I am embarrassed over how long it has taken me to officially finish the February Lady Sweater. I swatched in January, knit off and on until July when I blocked it, then it sat until now, waiting for three little buttons to be sewn on.

So much for the embarrassment. Now for the disappointment. The sweater looks like crap on me. My efforts to make the neck smaller did not help because my shoulders are just too broad for this style. My daughter tried it on, and while it looked better on her, she said it felt like an "armpit wedgie" because there was too much material under the arms for her taste.

But it's so cute! And I loved knitting it in spite of the splicey yarn! I guess it will take up residence in the gift drawer, waiting for its true owner to show up.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A better record keeper

Thanks to a previous blog entry, I was able to determine that the roving I was spindling last Sunday must be the shetland I bought almost a year ago. Most of my roving is identifiable, but there are two balls of something incredibly soft that must be merino, but I have no memory of where they came from. Blogs are great for keeping records, but the record keeper needs to actually enter the information for the record keeping to be effective. Doh.

The knitting of the BSJ is done, but I'm not going to seam it until I've shown it to a few people, to see if they can fold it into a baby sweater. I must admit, the BSJ is an ingenious design. Like socks, the first one is the hardest.

While picking up the stitches from the ten center ridges of the BSJ, I had an epiphany. Instead my usual method of knitting stitches in the valleys of the ridges (which creates a lumpy join), I picked up stitches from the bumps of the ridges with the left needle, then knitted them with the right needle. The join is practically invisible! Am I the last knitter on earth to learn this? Now I want to try this on a Mason-Dixon nine-patch dishcloth, and I mean NOW.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Now I am REALLY out of yarn money

The last time I went to the Johnny Appleseed Festival, I swear there was only one yarn vendor. Something happened between then and now, though.

I should have been suspicious when I saw alpacas...

... and spinners...

... and a spindler.

Instead of carrying a knitting project with her, this woman totes along her spindle and even spins in the car!

There was also a demonstration of flax spinning.

Can I grow flax in my backyard?

Somehow - I'm not sure how - this roving came home with me.

It's from an alpaca named Spartacus who lives on the Michel Century Farm in Huntington, IN. The picture does not show it well, but the color is a rose gray.

For some reason, I have had a thing for purples this year.

This yarn was hand spun and hand dyed with logwood and alum, and comes from the Annie Goatley Farm in Potterville, MI.

And these odds and ends were being offered by Hoosier Pride Products, for a dollar a piece.

Wouldn't they make a nice BSJ? I'm already planning another!

Coming home with roving reminded me that I was going to do some spindling during football season. And today I did, but not very well. Now I know why some people designate a day of the week for spinning - use it or lose it!

BTW, I cleaned up the sidebar a bit today. What do you think?