Monday, December 13, 2004

Just Checking In

Things are moving right along. I still have 2 Christmas presents that must be made. And I have 4 that are all the way finished. I also have a table full of items that are off the needles but still need the ends tucked in. I suspect that end tucking will take me all week.

Other than this glut of Christmas knitting I am still spinning. I just finished rainbow wool that I plied with purple merino wool. I had plenty of purple left so I spun that up and plied it with it’s self to be a complementary yarn. Now I am spinning a sock blend that I dyed myself. It’s a blend of super wash wool, mohair, and nylon. It’s supposed to be machine washable but I’m not so sure about the mohair. It’s also not as soft as I like but I guess that’s ok for socks. We will just have to see once it’s knitted. It is a stunning color way; red, golden yellow, forest green, and denim blue. It will be interesting to see it when it’s done.

That’s it for now. I really need to be knitting not typing. I will be glad once this is over since my hands are starting to ache at night.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Knitting for Christmas

Knitting for Christmas is coming right along. I have hade a few set backs. First that ugly hat and now a wonderfully thick and warm hat knit in variegated hand spun yarn in a men’s large. The variegated yarn with only a touch of pink knitted into a hat with 2 bold pink stripes. Possibly not the best option for a man’s hat. Now I’m working on another hat. This one is out of commercial yarn knitted with double thickness and will have a deer in a color-stranding pattern along the brim. Of course more socks are on the needles too. Did I say last time that the pink splattered ones are done?

I finished spinning a white alpaca and silk blend and just started on some bats I carded up from some leftover green and pink wool. I added a generous helping of flash so the yarn should glitter nicely when done. I think I will finish it tonight so I can wash it along with the alpaca silk.

I had thought the loom would stay empty for a few more months. However, I may try to dash off some bookmarks before Christmas. First I need to go to the quilt shop and see if they carry silk sewing thread. If not hopefully I can still find something nicer that the cotton polyester sold at walmart.
This post is pretty short but I got to get back to knitting. There is still so much more to finish. I really want to be done with all I have to make by Thursday.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Nothing New

Everything is about the same since I last posted. The loom is still empty and will stay that way. I still have to decide on the pattern I want to use. I’m going to need to weave about 9 yards. Do I want to wrestle with a design for that long? Do I want to have the whole thing in plain weave? Twill? I do like the idea of pen stripes so I have considered log cabin. I think I will leave all of this until after Christmas.

Knitting is going. I finished the splattered socks and am now working on a pair in a blue and gray rag yarn. It’s going pretty fast. We just bought 2 seasons of Far Scape and have spent several days camped out watching. Since I want to give it a bit more of my attention than I give to regular movies knitting is working better than spinning.

I did finish the blue sock yarn on my wheel and am now spinning 4oz of alpaca silk blend. This is to be a Christmas present. One of the few that must be completed. It will be an aran wimple if all goes well. If all goes supper well it will have matching gauntlets. In case you were wondering gauntlets are supper fancy fingerless gloves that go up the arm. However, I don’t know if 4 ounces will be enough to make the set. I really hope that I will have enough just to make the wimple.

I will be placing an order today. Really I don’t order from yarn shops weekly. Or at least I don’t think I do. I suppose I should start keeping track. After discussing it with Himself about what to make his father I have to buy some yarn. I pushed for socks so I could stay on my yarn diet but he thought socks weren’t cool enough and really wanted the fingerless gloves I had mentioned earlier. Socks not romantic enough? Just wait! This year all my hand knit sock are getting speshal packaging that will humble all recipients. However, Himself doesn’t see it or at least hasn’t seen it yet and wants the gloves. So today I will be buying the yarn for that. After many hours of looking and listing I have my order to that yarn only- it was very hard to keep others from joining it, 4 aran sweater patters to make his and her sweater from some yarn I bought last summer, and some large knitting needles to knit my first handspun yarn into a hat. So all and all it looks like I have been very good on my yarn diet doesn’t it? Just a bit of new yarn that will be immediately used up and worked off not to join the stash? Not quite. This is more like himself asking that I make 5 pounds of fudge for the office party and only taking one of it with him and leaving the rest for me to eat. The fingerless gloves will take a fraction of the hank it comes in. The rest will have to go into storage until I work it off.

Note. I just got off the phone with the yarn shop. They don’t carry the patterns I want. I will have to do more searching for a place that carries them, but not this week.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Fiber Festivals and Flings

This last weekend I was able to attend a fiber festival. Going to one of these is a joy. Even smalls one have much to offer. I came home with a French Angora buck that Himself named MoJo. Hopefully the name will be good luck and he will have a better time with the ladies than Deano. Deano has had several nights out and once again the due date passed with no babies. I think he missed sex ed at school.

Lets see I also came home with a drop spindle. I think it is the nicest one I own. Driftwood Spindles made by Gary Rebman. The wood is Black Locust and Jatoba. Not the prettiest available (I really liked the dark look of the black walnut and the zebra wood) but I thought it spun the best and is pretty enough. I believe I will spin up some wool/mohair/nylon blend I have dyed to be socks.

I also got an old metal ball winder. It has some problems but I think they can be fixed and the metal gears will last longer than the new plastic ones. They seem to strip after a few years of use. At the same table I got a seashell diz. The bright colored shells that look like peacocks. Much prettier then the horn diz I already own and it didn’t hurt that I was able to make a trade for it.

My last purchase was some old Spin Off magazines. I love reading them and all the ones I have are just worn out with use. It’s always exciting to get old ones and it is helping me fill out my collection. I doubt I will ever have a full set but I’m working on it. The same booth sold yarn. Makes sense since they are a yarn mill where you send you fiber in to be spun into yarn. So anyway there is this yarn, brown alpaca with little bits of green, purple, and orange through out. Wonderful yarn. I thought long and hard since my stash doesn’t contain the yarn for one Christmas present that must be made. However, it should be black yarn and this, as pretty as it was, wasn’t going to be right. So I was able to stay on my stash diet.

The two spinning wheels are busy. On one I have blue sock yarn. It will be a rather thick three ply. On the other wheel is the corn silk; you know the stuff that smells like corn syrup? After reading a few of the old Spin Offs I just bought I ran into two articles that really like spinning synthetic yarn for socks because of their wicking qualities. I may give this yarn a try. Or I will place it in the tote with my other thin yarns to be woven into clothes.

The loom is still empty and for the same reason as last time. I suspect it will stay empty until spring. But my needles are going strong. I’m serious about reducing my stash. Ok all the projects I am listing still need the ends worked in but they are off the needles. 2 hats. One is so ugly it’s cute, that’s according to Himself. It was just ugly until I added the pompoms and the bow. That really helped. I feel pretty sorry for it so I have worn it a few times on our evening walks. It has earflaps so it keeps my face warm. Good because last night’s walk was in frozen sleet. The weatherman called it snow but I know ice on my eyeballs when I feel it. Another hat is finished. This one is extra nice made out of very soft wool for a friend that doesn’t think she likes wool. I have also finished a pair of socks and well on my way to finishing another pair. Finally the child sweater is working its way down to the last cuff. A few more hats a few more pairs of scarves some boiled wool mittens and some fingerless gloves and Christmas will be done. Can I finish all of this in time? Who knows? Especially since the socks I have been working on are for me and the child’s sweater isn’t for anybody. It seems that they should be saved for after Christmas but I must listen to the project that cries the loudest. Also an abandoned project usually dies and all that can be done is reclaiming the yarn. It’s just too hard to pick up were it was left off. I really hope the four sweater bodies I set aside this year can be revived later this winter and finished.

I feel like I should list the yarn that each project is coming from. Like that super nice wool hat. That yarn was to be my first sweater. I had a perfect natural brown fleece. Perfect except all that hay. I bought some combs and combed it out really nice. I combed and combed and combed. I did this for hours. I had a huge basket full of bird nests of combed top. Perfect. Half an hour of spinning and 2 balls of yarn later the combed top was all used up. Hmmm well several more months of this and I would have a sweater. I put that yarn away. It seems that I don’t like combing all that much after all. 3 years later it is time to forget that sweater and the yarn is just the thing for a hat. I have enough that I think I can make a second one.

The socks where a pair I had worked on while ridding the train to Chicago to see Rembrandt exhibit last spring. Since I was on the train I couldn’t try them on for size. Booth needed the toes ripped out and reknitted to the right length before I could wear them. The socks in progress are from yarn that I got a gift exchange. They are a good brand of sock yarn but an unfortunate color. That’s how they ended up in the white elephant exchange in the fist place. I have tons of pretty sock yarn in my stash but felt that I should knit this one. The socks are turning out great but the color is still unfortunate. The main color is sweatshirt gray. That’s fine. However, it has dashes of hot pink. It looks like gym socks that had been washed with an ink pen that leaked or worse it reminds me of all the hunters that come in where I work wearing blood splattered sweat shirts. It seems they take off the camouflage jacket before moving the dear to the car. I guess blood on camouflage doesn’t look nice either. Finally that poor ugly cute hat. It was yarn that was sampling for a mixed fiber jacket. The jacket was to be the same wool plied with a different fiber for each strip. It was going to be stunning white on white all different textures and natural white color. However, that pattern is still in the publishing faze and by the time I can buy my very own autographed copy I will want to make new samples out of my new stash.

My stack of finished projects is mounting but my stash is hardly diminishing. However, my yarn stash diet is progressing nicely. I haven’t bought any yarn for months. Except for those 2 balls of my very favorite BFL wool made into yarn. I have never owned mill spun BFL wool yarn, and it was on a supper sale, and it fit easily into the spinning fiber I ordered. I just couldn’t resist, two balls that is only enough for one pair of socks so it will hardly take any room in the stash. I don’t remember putting myself on a spinning fiber diet so the 12 pounds of sock blend top, merino top, and coridale cross top I bought two weeks ago weren’t cheating. I was out of white fiber for dyeing. And after spending all day last Monday dyeing I worked my way through 8 of those 12 pounds so I am almost out again. Maybe I will need more fiber before the BFL yarn goes out of sock. It is such a nice yarn. I must get back to knitting. Maybe I’ll have time to dress the loom this weekend after all.

Monday, November 08, 2004


My compute has been kaput for the last couple of weeks. I have been lucky on the day’s it would let me read my e-mail much less compose an entry. However, I have kept busy through it all.

Spinning I finished the black angora. I didn’t like the sample yarn plied back on it’s self so I plied it with a finely spun silk thread. I love the squiggly texture that made. Now I just have to decide on the boarder for the alpaca poncho. I also finished spinning all of the natural cotton, lyconell, and linen fiber. Now to spin up the equal amount of the same blend in bleached white. I’ll then ply those two together. However, I needed a break from that so I am well into 4 oz of Ingio a fiber made from corn. I don’t know how they do it but it smooth like silk, bright white like angora, and it smells like corn syrup. I’m spinning it fine but don’t know what I will make out of it. Do I want clothing that smells like corn syrup?

Weaving- My loom is empty. I finished the weaving of the pink poncho and the Christmas scarf. Both need to be finished and washed before they are done but that can wait. I received my patterns in the mail and will start the yardage for a hooded jacket one of these days. It’s on the back burner since the widest piece in the pattern is wider than my loom. Now I wait to see if I get that table loom for Christmas. Oh I think I am. How exciting. And Himself was eager to strike the deal of my getting another loom the next time he gets a top of the line gaming computer. So it may be possible for me to have 3 looms by this time next year. O JOY!

Knitting. Of course that gray poncho is on hold while I decide the perfect boarder. All sweaters for me are on hold until after Christmas. For Christmas I have a list the length of my arm. We will see what gets done. In the mean time instead of Christmas knitting I am making a child Gausy sweater. Only one more sleeve to go. However, I don’t know any children. I will just have to wait until one of the babies in my life grows up. This sweated is wonderful and now I will know what I’m doing when I want to knit an adult size.

Monday, October 11, 2004


This week has all been about planning. Planning the size and style to make my scrap yarn vest. Planning my next few weaving project. Planning and looking for the perfect aran sweater patterns to make a set of sweaters for himself and me. And finally planning on what to buy next.

Weaving: I am half done weaving my poncho so it is time to start working on the next project. It’s a Thank You scarf all out of hand spun. It will be an easy project that I will plan as I go. The hardest part is that I have been spinning for 3 years for this scarf and I will probably only use one evening worth of that yarn. Why 3 years and a pound and half of yarn for a scarf that will only take four to eight ounces. Well I asked her what colors she likes and the answer was turquoise green. Well I thought I had every color already in my stash but it turns out I had none of that color. Not one baggie. That leads to a year of picking up every blue green I come across for a year. Then I had to spin all of that and while it was waiting it’s turn on the loom I found more shades of blue greens and green blues. Now all but the last two ounces are spun and it’s turn on the loom is next but what to do with the rest? It might become a Thank You Hat and Thank You Hand Sweaters to go with the Thank You Scarf. Or it may become yardage to hopefully become a fall jacket.

That’s right. It’s time to make some clothing out of my weaving. I have started going to weaving conferences and I must have garments. It is easer to walk around nonchalantly in woven art wear and wait for the complements to come to you that to keep a kitchen towel in your purse. The only way I can think to show that off nonchalantly is to pull it out at the cafeteria and comment on how you just can’t stand to harm the environment using paper napkins. So far I am planning on a cashmere dress and a wool fall jacket. The cashmere is a commercial yarn that has been waiting too long for it’s turn. The jacket is still undecided. Should it be my tartan- I bought that yarn years ago or possibly using up that blue green handspun. Angora possibly? I have a tone of that spun up too. But first I have to by the pattern so I can plan on how wide the pieces have to be on my loom.

Knitting is going well. I am half done with my scrap yarn vest for the second time. It seems that I was lying to myself about the gauge the first time and that vest was going to be much too big. Some new math and some new plans and I hope it is coming out all right now. While it can’t be my next knitting project I have started planning the aran sweaters. I have heathered yarn in teal, navy, and periwinkle. Last summer I bought all three colors on sale after himself mentioned that he would like a sweater. I have now picked out four aran patterns that I would like to knit. Once I buy the patterns and look them over to make sure they are practical he will get to choose the color and pattern for his first sweater. I will then choose from the two colors and three patterns that are left to make a sweater for me. Once they are done I just may make us pose for those Christmas card with the family photo. Something that has never appealed to me before but how else will everybody get to see our complementary sweaters? Maybe I will make one for Joey and the whole family can get in on it.

Spinning has stalled out. We haven’t bought new movies in a few weeks. That any I have been knitting like crazy to make up the lost ground. Maybe this week will be better. Spinning is always about planning. Planning and dreaming. How thin do I want to spin this silk? What can I make with two ounces of white baby alpaca? How long will I be interested in spinning plain white cotton? Should I wash this wool or spin it in the grease? It is the possibilities in spinning that attract me so much. Right now I am still working on the black angora needed to finish my gray alpaca and silk poncho and the other wheel still has the cotton linen blend that was supposed to become my first hand spun hand woven garment. It looks like a wool jacket just might beat it.
All of this planning came out of my desire to use from my stash before buying any new yarn. Well now I can make these projects from my stash but that doesn’t mean I’m home free. I need knitting patterns for the sweaters. I need sewing patterns for the dress and jacket, buttons, zippers, and most importantly; planning to find the time to take a class so I can learn to operate that crazy machine or figuring out a plan to twist the arm of some one that already sews to do it for me.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Knitting a Vest and Time

I finished my knitted tam using all the scrap yarns that we tied together at the last guild meeting. I did have to start over at the halfway point because of a typo in the pattern. More proof that it’s better to do the math myself instead of trusting a bought pattern.

I liked the look of the tam fabric so much that I am using the same ball of scraps to knit a matching vest. I dug through my stash to find a complementary yarn to use as ribbing. While knitting the Tam I knew of the perfect yarn. I have some periwinkle tweed in my stash that I thought would go well with the periwinkle handspun scraps. However, once I dug it out the tweed was much too warm to go with the cool colors in my vest. I kept looking and I had some oatmeal wool that I had bought to make a sweater that is perfect. I hope my sweater to be won’t miss a hank because I am now happily knitting on my vest.

All other knitting projects are put away for now. I suppose I should start caring the Christmas socks to work with me again but I’m so frustrated with the idea of ripping out the other foot that I’m not keen on finishing the foot I’m working on.

I finished warping the loom this morning. All that’s left is tying on and the weaving. I think the warp is long enough for the poncho and some yardage too. I hope so. I want the poncho to be solid pink but I found a great peach and gray variegated yarn while digging in my stash that would look great with that pink.

Right now using up that stash is the name of the game. I will not buy more yarn until I have used up a suitable amount of what I already own! My loom room is already so crowded that it’s not as pleasant working in there as it should be. My goal is to use enough that I can buy pounds of natural colored cotton that the Yarn Barn has offered on their mill ends list. The problem is that the mill ends are only available while supplies last and I don’t know how long that will be. However, a suitable amount isn’t set in stone either, soon as I feel like I have woven enough new yarn is fair game. But once again I have a stipulation of alternating a mill spun and a hand spun project on my loom. Sometimes I get a real chuckle at the stipulations I put on myself.

Spinning is still the black angora. I’m having to card it first to even out the fibers. I didn’t like the variegated quality the yarn had just spinning from the bag. Now the yarn is coming out nicely heathered instead. The knitted poncho is alpaca plyed with silk. I’m thinking of plying the angora with silk too. I no longer have any of that dye lot left. I do have some charcoal gray silk that matches the angora. I will just have to spin and knit up some samples before deciding.

I have had people ask how I get so much done. Really I’m pretty lazy and don’t think I do all that much. So I’ll tell of a typical day this week. From when I wake up until 9 am is my weaving time. This can be 2 hours or it can be 15 minutes. On Saturday no weaving since I work in the mornings but I make up for it by being able to weave until noon on Sunday if I want. At 9:00 I get 20 minutes to clean house before going to work. At work I knit on my lunch break. After work I am just available for my family or friends. I take care of my rabbits and go with my husband on a two-mile walk. However, if we sit down to watch a movie I spend the two hours spinning. On the weeks that I have to be at work at 7 am I don’t weave as much but I get more spinning done at night. It all evens out and gives me plenty of time for other things too.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

knitting as art

Finally a finished project and my first knitting as Art too. It’s a pair of Hand Sweaters my own version of fingerless gloves. They are to go into a care box for a dear friend. The yarn is my own handspun in a combination of wool, alpaca, mohair, silk, and angora. I choose every color and every fiber to portray the person receiving this gift. I still have to write up the letter that will explain and complete the project. I’m actually scared to mail them since it seems almost too intimate of a gift sending an abstract useful portrait to someone I have never met in person. However, go they must, so they will start their trip to Canada tomorrow.

The weaving is stalled. I have not progressed past threading the first few inches. I shall blame Himself because he ran off with my weaving chair. It seems it is the only chair suited to hold his exercise weights. However, the pink yarn is coarser than I like so that may be the real reason.

I haven’t knitted much either since I have a nasty case of poison Ivy. I spend every available moment in the bathtub since that is the only place I feel relief. I keep getting re infected from Joey and would love to give him a bath. However he had a run in with a wild animal and I don’t want to get him wet until his stitches are removed. However at the last small guild meeting we had a program on how to use up our left over bits of yarn. I’m using that technique to make a fun tam. I like the look so much I may make a vest to go with it.

Sunday was the large guild meeting and besides good fun, food, and some nice shopping. I was able to get a substantial amount of very fine weaving yarn spun. I also picked up the black angora and have started spinning that to finish my poncho. Alas the angora sticks to my poison ivy rash so spinning it right now isn’t much fun.

I’m up in the air about the WooLee Winder. It winds my yarn evenly onto the bobbin. That part is great. However, it’s a touch loud and the drive band keeps slipping on the smallest whorl. I will buy a stretch drive band and I thin all my problems will be solved. I should order it tonight but have been putting it off. After all if I get the drive band I should get the niddy noddy too and the…and… and… and… I get scared by the money it would take to buy this $3 drive band so I keep putting it off.

Monday, September 20, 2004

WooLee Winder

I had a dentist appointment today so I left work early. When I got home my WooLee Winder was waiting for me! I haven’t used it yet but came here first to post about it. I want to post before Himself gets home from work and needs the computer. I will play with it all the rest of the afternoon. I have some Angora in the freezer right now that will be the first thing I spin.

I didn’t finish anything this week. Too much going on one of which was getting a tiny kitten to hunt mice in the rabbit shed. He is so sweet. Right now he is a dark brown black. I hope he stays that color but I think he will get blacker once he loses his baby fuzz. I named him Snowball II after the cat in the Simpson’s. All the other names I considered seemed too scary for a black cat. I was planning on calling him Dragon after the cat in the Rats of NIMH but I just couldn’t do that to a black cat. I’m pretty sure Dragon was an orange cat anyway.

While I didn’t finish anything, I did start something. A friend of mine is going through tough times and a care package is being sent to her. I was hoping to make her a pair of red fingerless gloves and a ski band. However, to make it into the big box I must have it mailed by Wednesday. I don’t know if I can make the deadline. I did spin the yarn Saturday night. But now I’m having difficulties deciding which gauge is best for this yarn. I still need to spin the angora to line the ski band. That brings me back to the WooLee Winder and the frozen fiber.

I want to line the ski band in white angora but I only have tan on hand. It tan is fine but white will make the red pop. Then serendipity stepped in – maybe. While cleaning out the garage before friends came over for a barbeque I found a Wal-Mart bag of white fiber. I have no memory of tossing a bag of angora in the garage corner and decided it must still be there from when we moved 2 years ago. I checked and no M@&^$. I started spinning and I came upon some caterpillars. Now baby M@&^$ should look like caterpillars but they look like maggots. I’ve had them in my stash before. These looked like cute caterpillars. However, since I am concerned that they might just be cute but still vicious M@&^$ I put the whole bag in the freezer. If I find more than the 4 caterpillars I will toss it. If I don’t I may just bake the finished yarn in the oven a bit. I don’t know if that will help but I don’t want to send an unsuspecting friend a contaminated object. I should just use the tan angora instead.

So that is my spinning and knitting. I haven’t done any weaving lately. I did get the Yarn Barn catalogue this week so I was able to spend several hours dreaming of weaving at work on Saturday. There are several new project that I would like to buy the yarn for but I absolutely CAN NOT buy any more yarn until I use some of what I already have. I am donating yarn to the guild project tomorrow. That will help a little.

Monday, September 13, 2004


After sewing up the seams neatly to join the 3 panels into a single blanket I took a good hard look at it. The seams make the blanket even more rustic and now I’m stratified with it. I feel that to add anything at this point would distract from the whole. The seams give it some visual interest so the I-cord would be too much.

All that is left is one more washing and to even up the fringe. I’m surprised at how dense the blanket turned out. To me it feels more of the weight of a bed blanket rather than the afghan it is. The whole time I spun I thought light and lofty thoughts so the yarn wasn’t dense. I then chose my weaving set but a lack of yarn forced me to open it up more. I’m glad I did. Now that the blanket is almost finished I think I should have set it even looser.

This morning I threaded a few inches of the pink poncho through their heddles. It’s a really easy pattern -plain weave- but at 4 inches I noticed I made a few mistakes. After taking it out and fixing them I stopped for the day since it seems my mind isn’t on it.

The Christmas Socks were set down for a while to knit a gray alpaca poncho. One day I was looking at my knitting and how much I had left to finish anything that I snapped. I needed to finish something so bad I started a new project. The planning stage was fun as always. I chose to knit from the top down a la Barbara Walker and seed stitch on large needles made the thin yarn knit up into a thick fabric with lots of drape. It showed off the hand spun alpaca and silk yarn to perfection.

All was going well and it looked like I would have a finished poncho by the end of the week when I ran out of yarn. It had always been my plan to bind off when the yarn was gone but the poncho is much too short and I don’t like large neck hole as much as I thought I would.

Ok so time to redesign. Instead of the indoor sophisticated poncho I had imagined. I will add a big fluffy boarder of angora and turn it into a fun and flirty outdoor cover-up. A hood will solve the too big next opening too. I put in an order for the angora fiber from my favorite breeder and started taking yarn from the bottom of the poncho for the hood. I’m now waiting for the angora and with the hood finished I can go no farther until it gets here. So yet again I have another unfinished project waiting on the needles. The good thing is I picked up the Christmas socks again at work Saturday.

What am I spinning now? On the Polonaise I have more teal wool and silk for the scarf that will be next on the loom. On the Lendrum I’m spinning Lyocell, cotton, flax blend. It was supposed to become part of the handspun pants. However, the yarn is weak. After some comments on the spin list I decided that it could be from the Lycocell a type of tencel. However, not all is lost. I have some commercial cotton linen yarn to use as warp and this can be weft for a simple shirt. I do need to learn more about sewing before tackling pants and this might be the project to do it on. I’m thinking the Egyptian shirt by Folkwear or if not that the Riverboat shirt by the same.
More on spinning- I ordered a WooLee Winder! Too exciting! I will tell more about that when I get it.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Off the Loom

The gray yardage is off the loom. In fact it's all laying out on my living room floor waiting to be sewn together in time for tomorrows guild meeting. I'm hoping to twine the fringe there. Once that's done all it will need is a light washing before going to it's new home. Unless I decide it needs some I-cord embellishment.

While I'm very happy with the rustic look of the blanket- I spun the yarn fat and nubby purposefully just for that appearance. I'm a worried that the whole thing is too plain, too rustic. After all this will be on display in someone's home and I don't think it's ready to represent me to the nonfiber world. After all I don't want to be perpetuating the rustic myth and yet I felt it wouldn't be appreciated for what it was if it didn't meet the nonspinners ideals. Anyway, I think I can satisfy my creative sensibility with an I-cord knot in a corner. I have a nice pattern for a Chinese knot of good fortune but I'm going to look for some Celtic designs.

Next on the loom will be some commercial wool. I have a deal with myself. I'm going to alternate commercial and hand spun yarn on the loom for the rest of the year. Thankfully this deal only involves my weaving and I can knit with what ever I want. The next woven project will be a poncho. I'm tickled pink that pink ponchos are everywhere in the stores this fall. After trying several on I decided that I can do a better job than what was at the mall. Not surprising. Anyway, I have picked out a thin pink wool from my stash and it is ready to go on the loom. I wasn't sure how I wanted the poncho constructed so back to the mall, this time with DH in tow. It turns out he doesn't like ponchos. His loss.

Right now I'm knitting Dad's Christmas socks. These socks have been an ongoing saga covering 2 years of work. He gave me a bag of cotton grown in his garden because I might like it. I was able to spin it up using a support spindle since my Kiwi wheel whined a bit at such high speeds. After a month of spinning I realized there is no way I was making a 100% 3 ply cotton yarn. I fixed that problem nicely with a ply of superwash wool and a ply of silk. I now have a decadent rag yarn. While I can recall the spinning fondly I can't say the same with the knitting. Lets just say I don't like knitting two socks on two circs and that I'm working on one foot for the 3rd time and when it's finished I will frog the other foot and give it a second try.

If you can't tell I gave up on knitting both socks at once. I am still using too circs. I just can't keep the OOO double pointed needles from falling out so the circs are necessary. I finally found a way to keep from grabbing the wrong needle and knitting myself into a knot. I use one pair of the regular nickel coated and one pair of addi gold plated needles. The color coding really helps.

What am I spinning right now? All month I have been spinning for my blanket. A nice gray CVM roving. I have been so project driven I haven't worked on anything else. Today I'll spin the joining yarn. I think I have enough thrums to do the I-cord. I just have to sample to make sure it's the yarn I want to use. Once that's done I don't know what's next. Time to do some shopping in my stash.