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.

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