Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another year over.

I have this weird habit of not feeling like its "next year" until my birthday. I have no idea why that is but it does let me write off any residual post-December crud as last year's problem.

That does mean January is a pretty weird month for me though. I tend to simultaneously feel very unproductive and somehow manage to get a largish amount of stuff finished. I think it might have something to do with the fact that January is a grumpy month for me and I spend a lot of my free time avoiding people and thus manage to get a lot more craft-y time in (I have debated if this is a good or a bad thing but its hard to draw a conclusion in light of that trade-off).

So far this month I've knit a Pretty thing:

Finished my first project to come off the pendleton (which - I would say about 90% of was done this month because I took so long to warp it and then got distracted):

Finished a pair of socks:

And finished half of another pair of socks:

I also did a bunch of little design swatches and tonight I warped the flip. I'm also in the home stretch on my handspun targhee sweater and yesterday I got around to sewing some hook clasps on the featherweight which was handy because I wore it today and it DIDN'T FALL OFF ONCE.

Clasps are nice.

In completely unrelated news (and Mom, I can totally hear that face you're about to make all the way in Texas) I was trying to decide what to put on the loom tonight and after trashing my stash looking for some KP Shadow that I was positive I had but apparently don't or else have lost I came to the conclusion that I did not have any yarn.

I was pretty convinced of it for about an hour while I tried to find something I wanted to work with.

Eventually I turned up some Rittersporn left over from my Porphyria mitts so it ended OK but I still can't help feeling like my stash redistributed itself into sweater quantities and spinning fiber when I wasn't paying attention.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

11 Fiber Goals for 2011

I've been meaning to make this post for a few weeks. I actually had it all figured out back in December - it was written out and everything - but I lost the scrap paper it was scribbled on and then it was the New year and my brain shut down for awhile.

Anyway in no particular order these are my knit/spin/weave goals for 2011:

1. Design and knit a large piece (garment or lace shawl - I am waffling on which I want to tackle more).
2. Cast on a Neibling pattern (I had originally planned to say "Knit a Neibling" but well... I would like to think I can be realistic.... Sometimes.) I am thinking maybe this one.
3. Spin/Knit/Finish a Handspun sweater.
4. Knit a pair of knee-socks.
5. Knit or Weave a blanket/large throw/afghan
6. Finish THE YELLOW SHAWL OF NEVER-ENDING ANGST (and then start calling it something a little less angsty).
7. Do a steeked project. Maybe this one because its been in my queue forever & a day now.
8. Learn to use a support spindle (competently) & get the almost 4 oz of texas cashmere that is sitting in my stash all spun up.
9. Knit a yellow sweater. I think this should happen after the Most Evil Shawl That Is Trying To Make Me Crazy is done. I anticipate I will need a yellow project at that point. I rather like Madelintosh DK in Gilded for this but I also have some Lonco in a gold color that I really do want to work up as well.
10. Knit more colorwork - get comfortable with the two-handed fair isle techniques.
11. Hunt down a nice colored fleece and finish a project all the way from raw wool to knit or woven scarf/garment/bag (depending on the type of fleece I hunt down).

What are your Fiber goals for 2011?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

This year I knit (and didn't finish):

There were also two more sweaters, a few pairs of socks (I do not wish to estimate how many - they are floating around in various cubies and bags and my car), some N7 fingerless gloves, and another lace shawl none of which I have pictures of because I am lazy and bad about taking pictures when things aren't finished.

I did sort of finish this:

As in - I knit the sample... the knit part anyway - because I can't at current actually crochet beyond a simple chain. So I guess I finished half of it. Or something.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

This year I knit (and finished):

(this is finished - I just don't have a picture because... I don't know why not)

In hindsight I feel there was a theme going.

Friday, December 3, 2010

3 Sided Magic Loop

I should say that am not a big fan of Magic Loop for socks.

Its not that I don't think ML is a useful technique. I use it a lot for sweater sleeves and collars and other larger things where I don't want to bother with switching needle sizes constantly or just don't want to buy four different needles all in the same size to finish a project with a lot of different sized bits.

But for socks I work substantially faster on double points. They are more enjoyable to me and easier to get up a rhythm with.

Still, there are some patterns that really should be knit with a method that allows you to work a round in halves instead of thirds or quarters.

Right now I'm working on the Thelonious socks by Cookie A and these are a good example. They have a large traveling pattern that moves across half the stitches of the sock at a time. To do it on DPNS you have to stop every few rows to redistribute and there are sections where you wind up with very short and very long sets of stitches on each of the needles. Its just awkward to knit them this way.

So I made the call to do them ML. Now, one of my big issues with ML (and 2 circs for that matter) is that when you work the gusset on a heel flap sock you either have to cram a bunch of stitches on the back loop or else you have to divide the sock in half sideways or at some other awkward angle. Its either uncomfortable or fiddly to do the way I was taught.

So this sock I am doing something different:

Three sided magic loop.

Its just like regular ML. But with three sides.

I'm confident I cannot be the first person to figure this out, but I still feel pretty clever right now.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I haven't been talking about my loom lately.

This is not because I have lost interest. Its not because I'm not using it. Its not because I don't love it lots and lots.

Its because I am a crazy person.

See, rather than warp up a simple scarf or something else narrow and fairly uncomplicated I decided that the first thing I wanted off my loom was fabric for a new knitting tote bag. I decided that it was going to be large (a bit over the size of my current go-to ravelry tote), it was going to be slightly felted (which means it needs to be woven even larger than usual) and it was going to be a large, dramatic pattern.

I found a large scale twill draft on weavolution, figured out how to read it (I hope) and got to winding the warp. Since I figured this would be a fairly time intensive threading and since I had two whole cones of Shetland wool I wanted to use up I decided to warp for two bags worth of fabric. I figured that way I would either get a Christmas present out of it as well or maybe be able to negotiate with someone more competent with a sewing machine than I am to make the bag itself in exchange for the second hunk of fabric.

This all sounds only a little unreasonable until you consider the fact that I have never actually warped a four-harness loom before.

So four weeks later this is how far along I am:

That's right - I have ONE WHOLE THREADING REPEAT DONE! On the upside I also have all the warp wound finally. Having my Dad on hand to hang the warping board this week is mostly responsible for that last part (its very annoying to wind onto a board that is leaning on the wall or propped on your lap).

I am at least 50% sure that I'm doing this right.

I'm also at least 80% sure there is some more efficient method to do this.

Sometime before I do this again I should try and figure out what that is.

Anyway, one repeat down and two to go.

I started winding the weft bobbins so that whenever this thing is finally tied up and ready to go I won't have to wait on that also:

This bag may not be done for a year or something but I'm still confident its going to be pretty awesome when it finally happens.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kid & Ewe 2010

Sheep to shawl!
(but with 100% more Alpaca and 99.9% less sheep)

Up to the last minute warping!

Tied up & ready to go.

Our team hosted 4 spinners and me. Technically I'm a spinner too but all I did for the first hour was stand around taking pictures and then walk around the rest of the show trying to find out where the cashmere was hidden.

Later all these people gave me their bobbins and I plied like the WIND! Seriously I plied so fast no one could get a picture of me.

Then I wound the finished alpaca onto bobbins and blinked a few times and Susan had woven a shawl.

We finished in 3 hours. I am told this is some kind of record.

For some reason I forgot to get a picture of the finished shawl but it was pretty damn awesome. We had it done, fringe twisted and everything, almost two full hours before the end of the demo.

Afterwards I poked around all the vendors, eventually found where the cashmere was hiding (and narrowly avoided a good beat down for swiping some of it early), bought some kid mohair to keep it company and then my trusty navigator and I drove out to comfort and had lunch at High's cafe and poked our heads into the Tinsmith's wife (I really wanted to give them some money and take home more goodies but I'd exhausted every last alloted penny for the day and opted to be good just this once. Mom - I know what you are getting me when you come out to visit now).

Pretty good day all around.