Monday, March 19, 2007

waiting on an order

A lot of my projects seem to be stalled up right now. Of course I ran out of yarn for the Turtleneck Shrug and had to order two more skeins from WEBS. Since I was on the website I figured I'd browse and see what else there was. I ended up ordering some Rowan Kid Classic (which was the recommended yarn for this project), a niddy-noddy and some size 0 DPNs. I ordered it last Tuesday so thought it might be here today. But I just got an email saying they just shipped it out today. So no working on the shrug today at work.

I started the Titania's Revenge socks on my flight to Portland. I bought some Brittany wood DPNs at the A Mano sale. They worked okay for the ribbing at the top, but when I started the lace pattern they started giving me trouble. I really like working with metal needles since I tend to put a lot of pressure on my needles. I've had problems with bowing some size 2 bamboo DPNS. And the problems are only intensified on size 0s. I ended up snapping one the first night. My Mom was able to go through some knitting stuff of my Grandmother's and found two metal 0s. I was able to finish the socks alternating metal and wood needles. But while finishing the first sock I did break a second needle. It was also quite a bit slower knitting than I would prefer. I'm generally happy with the first sock. The lace on the leg doesn't have a lot of give, so it's a little difficult getting my foot into it. But if it was any looser it might be baggy when on. The colors also pooled quite a bit. I don't really mind this, but the front of the leg and the back are in two different pairs of colors. The only thing disappointing is I like the colors on the back of the leg better than on the front. I'll probably start the second sock today even though I was hoping to use the Inox metal needles I ordered.

I had assumed that I had a lot of unfinished projects to work on in the interim. But as it turns out I don't have that many hanging around. I have a pile of things that need finishing or buttons. And multiple things that need blocking. I just don't have the energy to get out my foamcore boards to pin stuff down. Last night I started sewing in the elastic on the Euroflax skirt. So yes, there are projects to work on, but no knitting to do. I was going to swatch for the Ram's Horn Jacket, but didn't want to track down the right needles. I really want to make a pair of gloves and garter belt from Naughty Needles out of Blue Sky Alpaca Silk but am not necessarily up for making something I can't use. There are hundreds of things I want to make, and at least dozens that I have yarn allocated for, I just need to make a decision.

Back to the A Mano Yarn sale. I ended up leaving extra early from work before my flight to go to the sale. It took me longer to get there than I expected, so had less time to pick out my book purchases. I ended up buying Lace Style, Knitting Vintage Socks, and the Knitter's Handy Guide to Sweater Patterns (or whatever it's called). All at 40% off. While I was there I bought the aforementioned Brittany needles and two skeins of Cherry Hill sock yarn, both solids, one navy and the other burgundy. Because I went to the sale, I was somewhat late for my flight. Luckily there wasn't much of a crowd at the airport. But this did make me realize that I have a bit of a problem. Maybe yarn sales are beginning to negatively affect my life. While waiting for the airport shuttle from the parking center, one of the guys that works there was very intrigued with my knitting. I got a few, "How did you do that, sweetheart?!" I showed him what I was doing a little bit, but he seemed completely baffled. His interest did earn him a tip.

While I was home, I went with my parents on a tour of the Pendleton Woolen Mills, located in our neighboring small town, Washougal. It was a pretty interesting one-hour tour. We saw the raw wool in giant bundles on pallets, the huge vats they dye the wool in, cleaners and mixers. At the mills, they do batch dyeing, yarn dyeing and material dyeing. The tour guide couldn't tell me when each process is used. But it seemed like batch dyeing was done mainly for when they were making a tweedy thread that had multiple colors mixed together. There were machines to pre-draft the wool, of sorts, then others to spin what they call the roving (looked like slightly twisted very fine pencil roving) into thread. The thread is then set into a weaving frame by hand, then machine woven. Workers inspect the material afterwards and fix small errors by hand. The material is then fulled and finished, much of it into blankets. It was pretty interesting. I think the tour guide didn't know what he was getting into, with a group of two fiber people and an engineer (lots of technical questions that he wasn't trained to answer!).

The wedding itself was a lot of fun. I was very intimate and definitely an original setting. It was very casual and relaxed. A little emotional for me, but great to see the bride and groom and many other people from high school and college that I haven't seen in a few years.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Hut Wedding

I'm leaving early from work today so that I can go home for a wedding. Jeff and Morgan are getting married in a hut on Mt. Hood. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone (people from high school and college) but I'm also being pretty lazy. I feel like I was just out of town because of Stitches. And this is really too short of a trip up. It would be nice to see more of my parents while I'm home. I had a hell of a time packing for this trip. It was like I had to pack for three climates. I had to have clothes for warm Los Angeles weather, kind of cold Camas weather and then for really cold Mt. Hood weather. Plus something kind of nice to wear for the wedding. It was also time to bring home the giant suitcase that I borrowed from my Mom to bring my spinning wheel down. This suitcase is huge. I could probably curl up into it. And now my weekend clothes are just swimming around in it.

I spent just as long last night trying to figure out what knitting to bring with me. I have the Turtleneck Shrug with me, but I may not risk metal DPNs on the plane. I might do a swatch for a pair of socks. I'm going to start Titania's Revenge by Cookie A. from Blue Moon. I have some Socks that Rock Lightweight that I got at Stitches. I think that I'll probably have to buy some 0s, because I always knit loose and it asks for 1s, which I do have. I am also bringing some KnitPicks Wool of the Andes to swatch for the Ram Horn Jacket from the Knitting Nature book. I think Norah Gaughan is my favorite designer right now. But I don't really want to start on this all stockinette sweater right now. And it'll probably turn out where I don't work on anything while I'm gone.

The worst thing is that I'm thinking about leaving work extra early so I can hit the A Mano Yarn sale on the way to the airport. Today is 40% off all books, and there's some books I really want. I want to get Lace Style, Suss Wedding Knits, and take a look at the Fitted Knits book. I don't know if any of these new books will be on sale. And I was just complaining earlier about not having any money.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Blogger Progress

I've been making a real effort to get this thing off the ground. It's kind of hard to get motivated about posting when I know for a fact that no one is looking at this yet. But I did start a flickr account and have been uploading pictures so I can have a collection of finished item pictures to put up. I'm realizing that I forget to take pictures of a lot of things that I have made. I guess it's time to get on that. I think it would be easier if there was someone around that could take pictures of me wearing the clothes. And I don't really want to ask my roommate all the time. Nor do I want a lot of mirror pictures.

I've been working pretty diligently on the Turtleneck Shrug from the Scarf Style book. I'm using Elsebeth Lavold angora yarn that I bought at the Superbowl sale at Unwind. I only have 6 skeins and I'm not sure if I'm going to make it. It's a different gauge from Rowan Kid Classic, so I had to change the numbers around. I think I made the sleeves a little snug. In hindsight I'm thinking I should have knit even looser. I thought they looked okay until I tried on the almost completed first arm and shoulder. I think that's it's just a little too bulky to be flattering. But we'll see. Someone on the Scarf Style KAL used the same yarn, and ran out of yarn with 7 skeins. But maybe my sleeves are narrower, and slightly shorter than the pattern asks for... maybe? If I have to, the yarn is currently on sale at WEBS, so I could buy more if I need to. I'm hoping I can finish this soon because I really want to move on to a more interesting project. And I bought so much yarn at Stitches West the other weekend, and would like to get started on something new. Something cabled or lacy.

Last weekend I went to a sale at The Little Knittery in Los Feliz. I wasn't planning on getting much, maybe some books. There were hardly any books, but I ended up getting a ton of yarn. It actually made me feel a little bad about myself later. I ended up buying stuff I wasn't thrilled about just because of the sale. But to be fair, everything that I bought was 75% off! And you almost never see that kind of deal. I bought a bunch of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, maybe for a lacy shrug in the Knit 2 Together book, a bunch of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Astrakhan in blacks and creams. There was also some Noro Transitions and some other wool yarns. I'm tempted to make a felted cat bed. I don't have a cat, but my roommate and I are discussing getting one. Or I could always give it to my ex-boyfriend's cat. Yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds. I never thought I would felt with Noro. I've never understood people that felt Manos del Uruguay either. But at 75% off, I don't really mind doing it. There's that cute cat bed by Wendy. I also really want to make one of the moebius cat beds from Cat Bordhi's A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting. There's a really cute one with fair isle at the base, and another one that has little front legs and a tail on it. And it would be fun to try something moebius. But then I'd have to buy giant circular needles.

Things I love today: Borat, Arrested Development, easter candy and artichokes.

Things I hate today: Having to pack for a wedding and people on the knit list that continue to ask the same questions about gauge, relaxing circular needles and taking needles on the airplane.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Starting out

I'm doing what I thought I'd never do... starting a knitting blog. I never used to really read them, and it seemed like every knitter had one. But the last couple of months, work has been really slow so I've been reading them more and more. And I'll get frustrated that people haven't updated their blogs. And since I'm recently single again, I have a lot more time on my hands. I've been knitting up a storm and looking for more and more knitting activities. So this blog was born. I hope I can keep up the pace and have stuff to show. I got a spinning wheel for Christmas and have been making an effort to practice that as well. Much of that is not worth showing, but hopefully I'm improving. So, coming soon, pictures of some finished items and some works in progress.