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Archive for May, 2008

On a jag

I can’t be the only one who goes on a jag, either a spinning or a knitting one.

After I made the second mistake reading the ballband swiffer cover pattern, a wicked easy one to read, I realized what I really needed was some spinning. First, I finished spinning some fiber that’s been on the bobbin for at least 18 months. It looked like this for a long time:

Cherry Tree Hill roving

In fact, I think that’s the only photo of it for the 19 months of it’s life. Now, there are two bobbin’s full that are just waiting for me to look at the how-to-Navajo-ply video.

That didn’t satisfy me, so I pulled out a bag of Foxfire Fiber’s cashmere/tussah silk blend in lilac (you have to scroll down to see it, but it is SO worth it) . I think this is what Jess bought for me at Cummington last year, but I was hugely pregnant (37 weeks) and can’t remember if she bought this or my other acquisition from their booth. Either way, it was luxury and I am glad for it.

I admit some trouble drafting the silk. It didn’t talke long for me to realize there was no way I could spin this as smooth and even as commercially spun yarn. For the first time, I decided I didn’t mind that. Some sections, yards and yards of it even, were nearly perfect. Then, I’d get into a funk and couldn’t spin straight to save my life. It didn’t matter, though. This stuff was wonderful to spin– I nearly typed that it was “like silk” to spin, then realized it was.

To keep too-thin spots away I spun it to be about fingering weight (14ish wpi). At some point I realized a few things. One, I wanted this 2oz bump to go as far as possible. Two, I didn’t want to Navajo ply and cut my yardage in third. Finally, I wanted to preserve the color changes as closely as possible. The colors are fantastic, transitioning from a light lilac to a deep one, and a pale silvery shade in between. I wanted that in whatever lacy thing this was meant to be. So, I got brave and decided it would be a single.

This scared me a little:

cashmere/silk single

It was freshly off the swift and oh-so-overspun in too many places. Here’s a closer look:

overspun single

Scary, isn’t it?

Then, it took a nice hot bath. It was still a little over-spun but not too terribly bad. It was (despite my fear) strong enough to take a spin on the ball winder:

cashmere/silk single

I was pleased.

For the first time in my 20 months of (off and on) spinning, I cast on right away. I couldn’t help myself, I wanted luxury now.

I am doing two repeats of the Ostrich Lace pattern. It is in both the Vogue Stitchonairy Vol. 1 (no. one oh eight-to defeat the auto-smiley) and the Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. The Walker Treasury Project has a swatch here.

We’ll see how far I get.

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I think something pretty is in order, for no other reason to combat yesterday’s vent. So, how about a few FO pictures?

Longies

Side view:

short rows longies

The side view shows off the short rows in the bum, for accommodating a fluffy diaper.

Details:

Pattern: Sheepy Pants

Yarn: just about 220 yards of my hand dyed self-striping yarn

Start: April 13th

Finish: April 17th

Modifications and details:
*I did just three sets of short rows. I wasn’t sure if I had enough yarn, and figured we could get by with 3. For most of our diapers I can, but some of the bulkier ones it’s a bit of a stretch.
* I was planning on just making shorts, but kept going to see how close I could get to pants. I really liked the thicker stripes on the legs, my real motivation for keeping going
* I did both legs at the same time from opposite ends of the ball. For the record (as if I didn’t know this) this means stripes are backwards on one side. Duh.

Measurements: 17″ rise, 7″ inseam

And finally, just for fun, a picture of my silly boy trying not to laugh:

Em

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Knitting furiously

Which I realize usually pairs with “fast” to mean “with great intensity.” Lately, it means, “with much anger.”* I have been wanting to post, and even have photos of CT S&W (11 days ago!) loaded in the computer, ready to add. I just haven’t been able to get past the anger and into a better place to write. I’m working on that, but it’s taking some time.

I’ve been thinking much on what I remember of an old Knitty article on images of women knitting in mid-century film. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to put my finger on the right key words to search for it. I remember only that women were often viewed by men as knitting demurely, while in actual fact they were knitting out their anger? I only recall that it was obvious from their intensity while knitting that they were Not. Happy. but the interpretation at the time was on their femininity at knitting. I know that doesn’t make sense, not being able to put the right words to it is why I can’t find the article. Please do send me the link if you have a clue what I am talking about. I very much want to read it again.

I am knitting, currently a Swiffer cover. It’s good that I’m knitting my anger into something meant to collect dirt and nastiness. Better than knitting it into a baby item, right?

I plan to take a number of pictures today, some of the completed brightly striped longies, some of the extra yarn I dyed a few weeks ago that I’ll be putting up for sale soon. Today is a baby-free day and I’m reveling in the ability to fold laundry, mop floors and go to the bathroom alone. I hope to post a real post in the next few days.

*Forgive my over-usage of quotations, I’m not caring about grammatical details at the moment.

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