Thursday, August 30, 2007

Slow Progress on Everything

No FOs to show today, of course. I just have the very top of my first toe-up sock to finish. It should take like five minutes, I don't know why I'm not doing it right now. I wasn't entirely crazy about the pattern. I could do without P3tog on tiny needles. But this has been a good occasion to learn some new sock techniques. I did the short row toe, a short row toe-up heel flap with no picking up stitches, and the bind off is an elastic bind off. I don't know what the official name for the bind off is, but it's kind of like doing double knitting for four rounds first, then doing a kitchener stitch to bind off the top. I'm interested to see how it will turn out. I'm not sure how I feel about the Panda Cotton. My gauge is pretty tight so the fabric is pretty inflexible even on the lacey leg part. And it has the tendency to split quite a bit. I thought the bamboo and cotton would be good, because sometimes my feet get too sweaty in wool socks.

I've been getting two or three rows a night on my VLT shawl. The rows are just so long, each one takes forever! I'm still only on my first skein of yarn, and I need at least three of them!

I've been trying to be good about buying yarn, but I made a large purchase from WEBS the other day. It took me hours to figure out what to get. My uncle has just started going through chemotherapy so I wanted to make him something. I bought a ball of Rowan Calmer to make the Sirdar chemo cap from Knitty. I'll use a manly color, but hopefully it's not too girly with all the cables. I also joined a KAL for Brooklyn Tweed's Hemlock Ring Blanket. You can join up here:

I bought some Cascade Eco-Wool to make the blanket. No substitutions for me today. I hope that the fact it's not washable won't be a problem for my uncle. I can't wait for my yarn to get here so I can start. I also ordered some acrylic yarn in a bunch of colors to make the Pinwheel Sweater for my friend's baby. I hope the yarn isn't all nasty when it comes. It is The Leader from the WEBS Mill Ends yarns. Only $1.29 a ball! I was hoping for a blend, rather than 100% acrylic, but maybe this'll be okay. I always think washable is a good thing for babies.

Tonight I'm heading to a workshop to make crocheted hyperbolic planes. My crocheting skills aren't that great, but I should be able to handle it. Hopefully it won't be a problem that I don't have any stiff acrylic to bring to the table. I guess it's the best for making hyperbolic planes... It's at That Yarn Store in Eagle Rock. I almost never make it there because it's kind of far away from me. But I want to support them, and Jill is going so I'm tagging along. It should be fun, maybe I'll have pictures to show for it later. (ha!)

Friday, August 24, 2007

back to blogging

I had kind of given up on this blog, mostly because I'm always too lazy to upload pictures. But now my internet at home is working so I can now theoretically put pictures from my camera up on Flickr. Also from talking to Jill and Jason this weekend have decided to get back into it. I've been pretty busy with knitting recently, but don't know if I'll be able to go over everything.

This last weekend I volunteered with Jill, Jason and Kim at the Fabulous Fiber Fest at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. I had to work on Friday, but I was there all day Saturday and Sunday. I mostly did spinning. I spun singles from some Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks Merino/Tussah (80/20) Roving in magentas. I plied the two together the next day. It's the first time I've really spun with colors that weren't carded together so it was fun to see the different sections of color and how they combine together. I worked a little on the Mystery Stole and on Sunday used the drum carder on some SnowBeast fiber that I dyed. I had dyed it green at the GLASG dye day and it had gotten a little felted. So I carded it and added some sparkles in to it. I also made an attempt at spinning a bulkier yarn. I used some natural Indigo-dyed merino that Marguerite from Stick and Stone had dyed. I wasn't entirely sucessful. It's pretty uneven and I had hoped to use it as a single. I'm not really sure. I have two hanks of it now, but haven't decided if I should go back and ply them or just try to set the twist into them.

I made a few purchases at the show. At Carolina Homespun I bought the new Cat Bordhi book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters (love it!), some Nature's Palette to make fair isle socks from More Sensational Knitted Socks and a couple skeins of Malabrigo to make a shrug. At the Lisa Souza booth I got some sock yarn, some Superwash roving to make sock yarn and some Merino/Tussah roving (50/50%). I'm pretty pleased with my purchases over all. I had a lot of fun just helping out and I felt so productive having so much dedicated spinning/knitting time. It did feel like the carding took up a huge chunk of time though. There was a lot of quilting stuff and fabric, which almost tempted me into quilting. I missed out on some great classes. But I did get a few opportunities to talk to Michael Cook and I sort of talked to Judith MacKenzie McCuin. We also had some lovely meals with Mariko on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Always such amazing Japanese food.

I managed to finish the Mystery Stole 3/Swan Lake Stole on Monday. I haven't blocked it yet, because I don't have the energy. It's so tempting to buy blocking wires! I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I like it, but sometimes I'm not crazy about the design. It was definitely fun to knit, but the wing does look kind of weird. Now that I've finished that, I can go back to the lace shawl I started from Victorian Lace Today. I can't remember what the name of the shawl is. It's hard to get momentum because the rows are so long. I seemingly can only knit two rows a night. I started a pair of toe-up socks out of Panda Cotton yarn and have been working on that primarily. It's my first time using a short row toe. It's pretty obvious how different my gauge is for working back and forth and in the round are. The toe is quite a bit looser, but it's only apparent on the bottom side.

I need to start some baby projects soon. I think I'm going to knit the Pinwheel sweater from I need to find a good yarn for it though. I'm thinking about buying some acrylic from WEBS but I'm bummed that I missed out on the good close-out colors of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. I wanted to buy some to make a sweater from Fitted Knits.

This post already seems too long. Maybe if I post more often they can be shorter and not too cumbersome. Tomorrow is the archive beach trip that I tried to organize. We're going to El Matador beach in Malibu. I'm hoping to do some boogie boarding (my first time!). I'm also planning on picking up some cream puffs from Beard Papa, because you can't go to the beach without cream puffs! I decided to get the messiest, stickiest things to eat on the beach. But first I have to go to the Spinning Guild meeting in the morning.

Okay, more soon, and some pictures hopefully!