Sunday, December 2, 2007
These are Elizabeth's Christmas socks. I had to reknit the first one after E couldn't get it on her foot (OOPs, 4-year-olds have rapidly changing feet). Consequently, since she had to try them on to see if they did fit, she has already worn them even though I tried to tell her they were intended to go in her Christmas stocking. She generously told me that I could still put them in her stocking and she would wear them again on Christmas day.
The next picture is Elizabeth wearing her China Flower sweater. I finished the last sleeve and the button band. In the picture she is wearing it without buttons, but I have since put them on. It looks great on her, and just in time because this will be the only winter she can wear it!.
This is the stole-that became a table runner. This is my project for the spinning exchange. I originally thought it would be a great stole, but when I wove the border parts, it was clear that it would not have enough drape to be appealing. Although, once I had it off the loom, I realized it might have worked fine as a thin scarf. The warp is navy shetland, with two bands of white shetland/pale green handspun in a "random" arrangement. I did not like the effect here, as they were not as random as I wanted, and just look like threading errors. I ran out of the navy shetland right at the end of the warp and had a knot in the last warp end that I naively thought I could coax through the heddles, and indeed I did. The reed was the end of it though, and I ended up with a broken warp, and nothing left to fix it. So my selvedge is pretty uneven. UGH!
The main weft is Jagger-spun Zephyr wool and silk, used double. I love this but even with some wet finishing, it did not really lock in place and there was some shifting of the pattern (by the way, a twill). I have a couple of threads to weave in today and this will be done!. The deadline for this project was two days ago but fortunately, the meeting was canceled due to bad weather.
I finished several other things that I will post later. I also frogged and reclaimed the yarn on several projects, and decided that several more will never get done (I don't like them anymore). The sum of all of this activity is that I am down to 13 knitting WIP, four weaving WIP and two spinning WIP. Very successful. So successful, in fact, that I am going to limit my 'new starts' this month to small, one-skein projects, and try to tick off a couple more items.
Other "finishings" occurred in November, namely Charlie died. It happened quite suddenly. He bled a lot from his bladder, and this may have precipitated a cardiac, or neurologic injury, but within one week he died. We were able to keep him at home, with the aid of Hospice during the last few days. The aftermath has been surprisingly calm, with everyone doing remarkably well. We have been bringing Wendy with us on many of our excursions and she is enjoying this. She is really too demented to leave alone, except for short periods of time. This morning, Mike reported she really didn't understand how to use silverware to eat breakfast, so she may be rapidly deteriorating as well. I am taking her in to see her doctor tomorrow.
I spent the last two days attending my first weaving class, towels with Louise French. I missed the first day due to chaos at home (jewelry and identity theft perpetrated by one of the cleaning ladies from Molly Maid). All I really accomplished was making two warps, on 6 yards, and one 2.5 yards. I decided not to warp a loom at the guild because things have gotten so crazy, I am not sure I could get the weaving done by the January 7 deadline. I managed to beam the 6 yard warp on my mightly wolf last night. I may be able to find a block of time tomorrow to thread the heddles and, who knows, I may be weaving by next week.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I HAVE been busy, just not with posts. The yarns above are part of my current learning exchange (HGA), Alpaca. The yarn on the right is a three-ply, woolen spun. When I was spinning the singles, I thought it was going to be too fuzzy, but the final yarn is quite soft and the fuzz is not overwhelming. The yarn on the left is a four-strand cabled yarn, worsted spun. It has a harsher feel to it but I want to knit up samples to see what they feel like in an actual swatch.
This is the up-close pic of the two different yarns, but I had a hard time with the focus. I wanted to show the difference between the cabled yarn and the 3-ply. I bought the alpaca as a box of sample blends, back in 2001 when I first started spinning, from http://www.angelfire.com/va2/fibers/us.html, Stony Mountain Fibers in Virginia. (As you see, I continue to be technically challenged!) I still have the rust top to use for the actual samples for the exchange.
The China Flower sweater is done! with the exception of buttons and blocking. In this pic I have yet to sew the hems etc but I completed all of that work yesterday. Yippee! And just in time, as Elizabeth is just the right size for it. I started this two years ago, and am now on a fairisle jag, so I might be able to make substantial progress on the Grant Ave vest before I get the urge to pick up big needles.
All this leads up to the idea that November is going to be a month of finishing things. There has been so much talk on Knitting Daily about unfinished projects that I actually have the urge to pull a few of them out. Next up will be the Grant Avenue vest!
This is Belle's fleece, along with some mohair top, ready to be carded. The spools are the spun singles. I am spinning this with a worsted draw, planning a three ply yarn for mittens. With the addition of the mohair, I should have about 8 oz of yarn, plenty for mittens. I am concerned the yarn will dirty fairly quickly and become a dismal white with use, but I am also considering dying small samples and doing a fairisle design. I plan to finish the carding on Friday, as I have to go to the Textile Center to use the carder.
These last two pictures are what I plan to use for a wrap/scarf as my spinning group's exchange project. The top pics are the weft yarns, the balls are the yarns I drew in the exchange. The green is a mohair/merino/silk roving I bought from Huacaya Moon in 2006, at Shepherd's Harvest. I spun some light sport weight, 2-ply. The white is shetland, again a 2-ply light sport weight yarn. This is part of the original shetland I bought, planning to do a shetland sweater in natural colors. The yarn is not my best spinning, it is under-plied and not very consistent, but it should be fine for weft.
The second pic is the warp yarns. Two mill-spun shetlands and some of the Huacaya Moon roving spun as a two-ply fingering weight yarn. The pattern will be based on Sharon Alderman's Grand Canyon Throw that was in a recent issue of Handwoven. She used a simple twill weave. I am determined not to overthink this, and just let it happen. Otherwise, I will never finish it. It must be completed by our December meeting!
But, before I can put the shawl on the loom, I have to finish this:
It is the second of three towels from my waffle weave towel kit from Halcyon Yarns. This was purchased quite some time ago. The weaving goes quite quickly so I should be able to finish the weaving this weekend (GULP!). If only I wasn't on call on Saturday! I may take my warping board to work with me so I can make the warp for the shawl. There is usually some down-time on Saturdays. EEK, that would be a first, making a warp while on call.
Monday, October 8, 2007
I am now relaxing in my room with a glass of wine. I will head to dinner and the after-dinner talk in the next few minutes. I am still frustrated by my inability to post pictures while I am here!
Sunday, October 7, 2007
I have finished all of the pieces of the Central Park hoodie and have only the button bands to do. I can't decide whether I want to do buttons, or want to stick with my original plan to put in a zipper. I may need to completely assemble the sweater to decide. That will have to wait until after SOAR, it is too bulky to take with me. I am half way through a pair of socks for Wendy for Christmas. I unfortunately misplaced the first sock and cannot proceed with the second until I find it. I just rearranged my yarn room and it's in there somewhere! So much for getting organized!
I am still ploughing through the variegated Merino and I love the resulting three-ply, sock-weight yarn. I dont know how the stripes will look though because the length of each color block varies quite a bit. I dont know if I want to use this yarn knitting socks, it seems too fragile. Perhaps a triangular shawl.
Finally, I am working on the second sleeve of Elizabeth's Starmore cardigan. Yippee! The sleeves are torture because the transition point between yarns has no steek, any uneveness in the stitches surrounding the transition shows up quite well. I am knitting on two circular needles so that I have fewer transitions. We'll see. I am going to have to do a lot of adjusting of stitches during the finishing and weaving in of the ends. I'm just glad to be close to completing the sweater. I have been thinking about what I want to do with the Autumn Rose Cardigan. I think I will stick with the idea of a turned hem instead of ribbing, but I still can't decide whether I should change the shape and make a cardigan instead.
Today--A day of travel to get to Shanty Creek Resort for SOAR. I am tired and cranky. I cannot locate a picture card port on this @@!! computer. Nor can I get my Sprint broadband to work. Fortunately, there is a LAN here. But no pictures to go with the post. I am looking forward to the workshop tomorrow, but I think I will skip the dinner tonight and just go to the opening presentation this evening.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
He doesn't usually look this stern, and I swear my house is not crooked, but I was in a hurry to snap the picture.
Lastly, I started the Nanny socks for Christmas. I was going to make a pattern from Knitty, but forgot to take the pattern home with me after I printed it at work, so I am making it up as I go. The eyelet pattern is a little tedious to knit and I may not keep it up for the foot of the sock, we'll see. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome. I've never used this yarn before and I used my typical needles, 2.00mm. It is a bouncy yarn that is slightly thicker than the usual sock yarn. So far I am enjoying these. As you can see, I have had a flurry of starteritis, and keep burying the UFOs under the new projects. I am starting to feel as though I need to come up with a schedule to finish the UFOs!
Friday, September 7, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I have finished one wide-whale sock (my own pattern). Trekking XXL, for my father-in-law for Christmas, should he live that long. ( I have a backup recipient if he does not. Afterall, he is 92 years old...then again, he may be too crusty to ever die.)
This is the Scotch Thistle Lace Stole I started in May. (Pattern is by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer.) All I had left to do is the pull-over bind off. It is supposed to be invisible. Hum...maybe it will be once it is blocked. The stole now joins the pile of things to be washed and blocked (along with my tomato sweater, the baby bolero and so on...).
Here is my layette sweater, ironically from Knit Simple. As you can see by the balls of wrinkled yarn, I had to frog back quit a lot when I realized that I had incorrectly cast off the stitches for the neck. Unfortunately, I was 2/3 of the way through the sweater when I figured this out.
Lastly--here is the Autumn Rose Sweater (Eunny Jang, from the new Simply Shetland book). As you can see, it looks nothing like the pictures in the book. That is because, after finishing the ribbing (torture ribbing in two colors) and completing 1/3 of the first pattern repeat, I realized that 1) I was making the wrong size (a VERY fitted sweater) and 2) who wanted to wear a fitted shetland sweater anyway. I decided to use the yarn and a modification of the fairisle pattern to make the sweater I have been imagining for several years. The sweater will be based on my favorite cropped, fitted sweatshirt measurements, with a wide fairisle border and a textured, solid color body. As you can see, I am working on the stocking stitch hem right now. I have some swatching to do to see if I want to combine dk weight shetland (for the main body) and the spindrift (fairisle part)