Sunday, October 29, 2006

Detour from knitting







Just wanted to post some pics to show you
what I've been doing instead of knitting the last two weeks, lol. The first picture is four baskets of brushed locks on the dining table waiting for me to spin them. The next pic is a closeup so you can see the locks stacked inches deep. The third one is the coffee table where DH is set up to brush the locks while watching tv (old movies mostly). The fourth picture is my Louet spinning wheel showing the first 8 ounce bobbin almost full (that's a lot of yarn!). The last picture shows what's left of the fleece spread out on the guest bed so DH can pull the locks off and put them in a basket to work on. It weighed 2-1/2 pounds when he bought it at Black Sheep Gathering in 2005. It's a Merino coated fleece from a local shepherd and took 4th place in the competition, which is why we could afford it, lol. The championship fleeces went for almost $100.00 each and were well worth it.

Now 2-1/2 pounds may not sound like a lot of wool but when you're talking a superfine breed like Merino it's a lot of yardage when you spin it fine, as I like to do. I'm thinking about a gansey for DH at this point and specifically the Grace's Cardigan out of Beth Brown-Reinsell's 'Knitting Ganseys' book. I've wanted to make that one for several years now and this yarn would be great for it. Hmm, will need to steer DH in that direction. Fortunately I have several fleeces in similar colors, so if we need more yarn we can use one of them. Since the sheep wasn't coated until part way through the year, the tips are sun lightened so the yarn will be heathered. It's a beautiful moorit, a reddish brown color.

One thing folks may not be aware of is with handspun yarn, you use a size heavier design than the yarn looks like, as it's more dense than commercial yarns. So while I'm spinning almost a fingerweight, I'll use a sport or double knitting weight pattern when I knit it up.

But that won't be until sometime next spring. I have a whole bunch of projects in the pipeline that I have promised myself I will finish first. Now that cold weather is here (40 degrees and below in the mornings) it's time to wear my woolies! This weekend I'm working on finishing Christmas socks for DH's Mom. His stepdad's are done already. Then I plan to mail them the day after Thanksgiving (I'm sure I'll have to work that day anyway) and they can hold them until they open Christmas presents but I won't have to worry about mailing them during the heavy overtime in December.

Time for breakfast so we can meet some friends for coffee after church.


Detour from knitting







Just wanted to post some pics to show you
what I've been doing instead of knitting the last two weeks, lol. The first picture is four baskets of brushed locks on the dining table waiting for me to spin them. The next pic is a closeup so you can see the locks stacked inches deep. The third one is the coffee table where DH is set up to brush the locks while watching tv (old movies mostly). The fourth picture is my Louet spinning wheel showing the first 8 ounce bobbin almost full (that's a lot of yarn!). The last picture shows what's left of the fleece spread out on the guest bed so DH can pull the locks off and put them in a basket to work on. It weighed 2-1/2 pounds when he bought it at Black Sheep Gathering in 2005. It's a Merino coated fleece from a local shepherd and took 4th place in the competition, which is why we could afford it, lol. The championship fleeces went for almost $100.00 each and were well worth it.

Now 2-1/2 pounds may not sound like a lot of wool but when you're talking a superfine breed like Merino it's a lot of yardage when you spin it fine, as I like to do. I'm thinking about a gansey for DH at this point and specifically the Grace's Cardigan out of Beth Brown-Reinsell's 'Knitting Ganseys' book. I've wanted to make that one for several years now and this yarn would be great for it. Hmm, will need to steer DH in that direction. Fortunately I have several fleeces in similar colors, so if we need more yarn we can use one of them. Since the sheep wasn't coated until part way through the year, the tips are sun lightened so the yarn will be heathered. It's a beautiful moorit, a reddish brown color.

One thing folks may not be aware of is with handspun yarn, you use a size heavier design than the yarn looks like, as it's more dense than commercial yarns. So while I'm spinning almost a fingerweight, I'll use a sport or double knitting weight pattern when I knit it up.

But that won't be until sometime next spring. I have a whole bunch of projects in the pipeline that I have promised myself I will finish first. Now that cold weather is here (40 degrees and below in the mornings) it's time to wear my woolies! This weekend I'm working on finishing Christmas socks for DH's Mom. His stepdad's are done already. Then I plan to mail them the day after Thanksgiving (I'm sure I'll have to work that day anyway) and they can hold them until they open Christmas presents but I won't have to worry about mailing them during the heavy overtime in December.

Time for breakfast so we can meet some friends for coffee after church.


Detour from knitting







Just wanted to post some pics to show you
what I've been doing instead of knitting the last two weeks, lol. The first picture is four baskets of brushed locks on the dining table waiting for me to spin them. The next pic is a closeup so you can see the locks stacked inches deep. The third one is the coffee table where DH is set up to brush the locks while watching tv (old movies mostly). The fourth picture is my Louet spinning wheel showing the first 8 ounce bobbin almost full (that's a lot of yarn!). The last picture shows what's left of the fleece spread out on the guest bed so DH can pull the locks off and put them in a basket to work on. It weighed 2-1/2 pounds when he bought it at Black Sheep Gathering in 2005. It's a Merino coated fleece from a local shepherd and took 4th place in the competition, which is why we could afford it, lol. The championship fleeces went for almost $100.00 each and were well worth it.

Now 2-1/2 pounds may not sound like a lot of wool but when you're talking a superfine breed like Merino it's a lot of yardage when you spin it fine, as I like to do. I'm thinking about a gansey for DH at this point and specifically the Grace's Cardigan out of Beth Brown-Reinsell's 'Knitting Ganseys' book. I've wanted to make that one for several years now and this yarn would be great for it. Hmm, will need to steer DH in that direction. Fortunately I have several fleeces in similar colors, so if we need more yarn we can use one of them. Since the sheep wasn't coated until part way through the year, the tips are sun lightened so the yarn will be heathered. It's a beautiful moorit, a reddish brown color.

One thing folks may not be aware of is with handspun yarn, you use a size heavier design than the yarn looks like, as it's more dense than commercial yarns. So while I'm spinning almost a fingerweight, I'll use a sport or double knitting weight pattern when I knit it up.

But that won't be until sometime next spring. I have a whole bunch of projects in the pipeline that I have promised myself I will finish first. Now that cold weather is here (40 degrees and below in the mornings) it's time to wear my woolies! This weekend I'm working on finishing Christmas socks for DH's Mom. His stepdad's are done already. Then I plan to mail them the day after Thanksgiving (I'm sure I'll have to work that day anyway) and they can hold them until they open Christmas presents but I won't have to worry about mailing them during the heavy overtime in December.

Time for breakfast so we can meet some friends for coffee after church.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Vacation's almost over, poot!

I'm in blue kind of mind as I only have a few more days to go, poot! But it's been a good vacation, I've gotten lots of small projects done that have been hanging fire for a while and knitted and visited with friends I don't get to see very often.

This is the third time I've tried to write this post so I'm going to skip all the other stuff I've written about and lost and just post the pics I took this morning of my current projects.This is St. Brigid, by Alice Starmore, from her 'Aran Knitting' book. I'm making it in the round using Cascade 220 in Turquoise on size 5 needles as I don't want it as loose as it shows in the book. This is a really fun knit and it's going quickly, in between my other projects. I'm just starting the 4th repeat of the chart.
This is my DH's vest, the Seaweed for Sheryl vest from 'Sweaters from Camp.' I've just started the second column of color patterning, which is set up in a matrix as the designer did hers. I just have more colors than she used so my matrix is larger. I've found that after going through the 10 round chart one time, I need to take a break as the rows begin to look the same (they are, just offset a few rounds) and I lose my place too easily and get frustrated.
This is my Mara and I've started on the first sleeve. I'm doing mine the same way Veronique from France made her Dad's for last Christmas, except that I made my body a bit longer. I hate sitting down and having my lower back get cold! I might even get this done to wear at Christmas!
And last but not least is DH's Marina, now residing in her basket on the antique pie table in the dining room. I still haven't gotten up the nerve to knit on her. The man in Scotland whom I got her from has such even knitting I'm intimidated! I know, I know, washing and dressing will even out any tension problems but I'm still intimidated.

I haven't worked on Elizabeth of York for a while so there aren't any new pics of her. DH's garter vest is approaching the armholes and will probably get done in a few more weeks of playing canasta online in the evenings. I'm going to hold off on starting my vest from the leftovers from his FLAK until I get something else done. I really need to work on finishing two projects before I start something new, at least as long as it's not a last minute gift I need, lol.

Let's see, a roll call of projects in progress - Mara, Marina, Sirdal, Inishmore, Elizabeth of York, garter vest, socks for DH's Mom for Christmas, cotton sweater I volunteered to finish for DH's sister, Pacific Northwest shawl (needs edging finished), Seaweed for Sheryl vest, two quilts, 4 or 5 cross stitch projects, a needlepoint picture I need to get framed and then it's done, and I'm sure there are others lurking in the dark corners of my den closet and spare bedroom dresser. Oh, yes, I still haven't finished our wedding clothes, even though we've been married two years now. Never work overtime on graveyard the week of your wedding - you will not be able to get simple projects done and the guilt will keep you from promptly finishing them when you get back from the honeymoon! His shirt is about half done, I haven't done any sewing on my dress, although it is cut out. It's a beautiful blue silk brocade and it would be nice to get them done to wear to dinner this holiday season.

Then there are the projects I have the supplies for but haven't started yet - purple shawl or stole in Rowan 4-ply I won on eBay, kilt hose for DH, Lovely Leftovers vest I will be designing for my Mara group to start after the first of the year, sweater for my mini-Dachsy, socks for DH and I, three fleeces of mine to spin, one fleece for DH to comb so I can spin it, cover sweater from 'Dazzling Knits' which I am spinning the yarn for and have two skeins ready and finished the third hank yesterday but need to Navaho-ply it, wash and put it away. Among other projects lurking around here.

I think I'll make a list of projects and hang it on the wall where I can see it to remind me to finish up most of these this winter before starting new ones. I have so many knitting books that have beautiful projects in them that I want to make that it is so hard to resist. But I must, I must!