Friday, November 20, 2009

It fits.

There are actually two empty cubes. (Well, one full cube and one half cube.) And in the spirit of honesty, I didn't bring up all the spinning fiber. Since I have two pounds of Shetland roving in its own sizable cardboard box, I'm going to have to get more shelves installed above the existing rack before it can all come upstairs. Still. It's all there. It's all organized. And OMG there's a lot of it.

I have two boxes of yarn to go to my mom, but there's a problem. A few years ago, my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I asked for enough yarn to knit a sweater. I was hoping for Wool-Ease, since there are no yarn stores on her side of the river. She gave me five huge skeins of blinding white Red Heart Light & Lofty. Think Lion Brand Homespun without the color changes. It's wonderfully soft and white and bulky. I am bulky enough naked; I can't pull off a sweater made in this yarn. I can't really give it back to her. I don't really want to keep it. But I could knit stuff for charity with it. You know, in my copious free time.

Can't stop knitting, muppets will eat me.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Great 2009 Stash Turnover

I'm on "vacation" until next Thursday, thanks to our corporate "Use it or lose it" leave policy. So since it was too windy yesterday to clean up the front planting beds for the winter, I did this instead:

That's all the non-In Progress yarn, pulled out of the Stash Closet and somewhat organized. I'm taking inventory on Ravelry as I put it back in the Closet. The box next to the desk with the white wooly stuff in top? Going to my mom's for charity knitting & crocheting. The rest...heavenly sheep, that's a lot of knitting to be done. The truly frightening thing is, this doesn't include about two large totes worth of WIPs and three large boxes of spinning fiber that are still in the basement, along with three knitting machines and my sewing machine.

I originally planned to hit Main Street for the knitting store and coffee store while I'm off next week. I think I've changed my mind about the knitting store now. I honestly can't think of anything that I want that isn't already in this room.

For some reason, I have the strong urge to knit faster.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

News Flash: Winter is Coming!

Yeah, it shouldn't have been news to me. We've had our first frost, and last night the temps dipped below freezing again. But for some reason, it suddenly occurred to me two nights ago that it's getting cold and I hadn't even started M's fingerless gloves for work.
From DWBlog

This is some Plymouth Encore DK I had in the stash closet. I have a sneaking suspicion this was used to knit the previous year's gloves; the color is similar, but I also have a partial ball of Sirdar Country Style in the same color. Ah well, the old gloves didn't do too badly considering how much wear they get.

I'm also still working on the second Christmas Stocking, this time knitted inside out to try to control the long floats. I think it's even more difficult to keep the floats from puckering the fabric when using a worsted weight yarn for a smaller project like this. So far it's looking good, but it really takes a mind shift to get used to knitting from the back needle instead of the front.
From DWBlog

(I'm also working my way through Redshirt Knitting's archives. I started in 2006, and I'm up to April 2008. Yes, I do feel like a stalker, thank you. But I either have time to blog occasionally, or comment occasionally, and often I have time for neither one.)

I'm still spinning the BFMA Sheep to Shoe. After today, I'm 2/9ths through the final third bobbin. My right knee is most displeased with me.

Finally, a question. Why did I bother knitting this sweater? I could have just piled the yarn up on the futon and knit something I'll actually be allowed to wear.
From DWBlog

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The All-Sock Post

I had a few minutes of sunlight last Sunday to snap some pictures of the sock Works In Progress, and one Finished Object. Much as I try, I'm not monogamous to my sock projects; these are only the ones that I have in a basket on my desk.

First, the Andromeda socks from Knotions online magazine, in Knit Picks Essential Kettle-Dyed sock yarn. I'm enjoying these (although you wouldn't know from the lack of progress); the lace pattern is only three working rows, and the yarn is very soft. It has just enough variation from the kettle dyeing to have a little dimension, but not so much that you can't see the lace:
Andromeda WIP
Next is Cachoeira from Knitty, in Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock. I'm nearly ready to graft the toe on this and start the second sock. The yarn is a soft single, which means it splits readily if the needles are too pointy; but since I'm doing traveling stitches, I need the pointy to get it done. I have no illusions that these socks are going to wear well; some stretches of yarn are nearly threadlike, and others are almost worsted weight. Add in the lack of abrasion resistance because the yarn is unplied, and I have to seriously wonder what I was drinking when I started them. But they're pretty, and like many pretty things, that's enough reason for their existence:
Cachoeira WIP
From the ormanmental to the utilitarian, these are finished bedsocks in WoolEase. Simple twisted cable, flap heel. Before you scoff about wearing socks to bed, keep track some cold winter night how long it takes for you to get warm enough to fall asleep. Bedsocks cut that time by a serious margin, and keep me from waking up in the middle of the night because I'm cold. I've even convinced my husband to start wearing them. This pair is for me:
Rose Bedsocks FO
And one more Finished Object, the Christmas Stocking Mark 1. Michaels store brand Impressions yarns, my own cobbled-together pattern, still drying on the blocking board for the sixth day:
Xmas Stocking 1
Christmas Stocking Mark 2 is in progress already, and it would be a lot further along if I hadn't forgotten the book with the 31-row chart when I left for Knit Group last Tuesday. Since I planned to work on just the CSM2, I didn't take any other projects with me. See? Project monogamy is a bad idea. I had to rip out five rows of the big chart and start a pine tree chart I had with me. My goal for today is to finish the pine tree chart, then start the huge chart again. I just hope this doesn't make the stocking too long.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The mystery is what I'm going to do with it now.

I'm finishing things with a vengeance around here. This morning I finished the first of the four Christmas Stockings (pictures to come after a wet blocking to even out the colorwork). Last Tuesday I finished a pair of bed socks in rose Wool-Ease (pictures later, since this post is already picture-heavy). Yesterday I wound up the last of the Corriedale three-ply off the Fricke spinning wheel. I'll give it a bath this weekend, then see what I can make with 882 yards of slightly scratchy, light worsted yarn.

But the star of this post is the final blocking shots of the Mystery Stole 3: Swan Lake. I finished this before the move over two years ago, but it was never blocked until a few weeks ago. The particulars: three skeins of Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud Lace yarn in Smoke Heather. Size 6 nylon needle. Glass beads from a very disagreeable bead shop on Main Street. Final length: 71 paltry inches long, 18.5 inches wide.

My photography assistant Logan checks out the quality of the light before the photo shoot starts:
Logan with MS3 Stole
Unfortunately the full-length shot of the stole:
MS3Stole Longshot
The "wing", an ingenious design that really needs a grander scale than I achieved, so it could be draped over the shoulder in a graceful hug:
MS3Stole Wing
A closeup of the beautiful sigil design at the non-winged end of the stole:
MS3Stole Motif

It might make a very warm neck scarf (100% alpaca almost generates its own heat), but bunching it up would obscure the beautiful lace designs and the pretty blue beads. I've already given away the remaining yarn, so I couldn't perform some genius-level knitting surgery to lengthen it and regraft it together again. To be honest, I haven't even properly sewn in the ends. Any suggestions on what to do with it now?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dammit x 2

As expected, I'm out of yarn for Aeolian. Knit and Caboodle doesn't have this color anymore. Evidently neither do any other stores; Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock color #952 is now mostly purple with some blues. I am trying to scrounge enough yarn to finish the last four rows and cast-off. I found one Ravelry member who just completed a shawl in the same color and PM'd her to ask if she had any leftovers. She responded, but I can't open any of my Ravelry messages. Nothing else but the main navigation menus are working for me either, so I can't even attach my blog entries to my projects. I've restarted my computer and restarted Firefox a few times; I'm not sure what the problem is, or if I can even send a message to Casey to ask for help.

So, I decided to finish plying the Corriedale singles on my Fricke wheel. I've worked my tail off all day, and I was finally going to take a break, listen to the most recent Lime & Violet podcast, and finish off this 3-ply at last. Everything went okay for about ten minutes...
That's the connector that holds the treadle on the footman. It snapped in two. I unscrewed the two ends and sent an email to Fricke Enterprises to see if they have any spare parts for sale. I have no idea what this is (other than plastic) or where to go to buy one locally, or how I'd manage to drill the two necessary holes in something this small and rolly. So, the Corriedale gets put on hold as well.

At least I managed to wax my Reeves wheel today. I can't spin on it until the Wood Beams has a chance to soak in, but it's one more thing (very nearly) off my List. I think I'm going to take the CPH (resurrected from Mr. Greenjeans) into the living room and knit for a while. The Significant Other is on his way home from work in a bad mood, and I think I'm going to need the tranquilizing wool fumes this evening.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Really Finished Object

I started the Pacific Northwest Shawl by Evelyn Clark years ago, too long to remember exactly when. (You'd think an accountant would have better records...sigh). I remember buying the Zephyr wool/silk lace yarn at Myers House in Florissant; I even remember that they just wound off the necessary yardage from a cone. I remember thinking the price was insanely cheap for REAL wool and REAL silk. It was probably my first major project with natural fibers.

The pattern was very entertaining, with its constantly changing motifs; if I wasn't so non-monogamous to my projects, I would have finished it a long time ago. Instead I worked on it a bit here and there, and finally finished it about three years ago. We were on the cusp of the move to our little cottage-with-a-porch, so I set it aside, then packed it away.

Recently I unpacked it while looking for something else. But now I have blocking wires, and enough room to actually lay out my blocking tiles. And so I have taken this:
PNW Shawl Preblocking

And subjected it to the tortures of the rack:
PNW Shawl On Board

To get this weightless bit of froth:
NWShawl Fountains
NWShawl Front

We took these shots by the fountains in the center of town, on the same day a huge motorcycle rally was moving through the St. Louis area. I'm not sure what the riders thought of the crazy woman having a photo shoot with a lace shawl, but any other time I would have been fighting for scenery space with a wedding party or two.

I had to have my husband take this shot as well, just a moment of serendipity thanks to a beautiful September Saturday and the afternoon sunlight:
NWShawl Shadow