Monday, October 30, 2006

And now we need a lamp

Weaving requires much more thought and organization than knitting, and so is harder to get going on. With knitting, there's "a little something" that can be picked up and worked on. And location doesn't really matter. With weaving, you gotta go to the loom. Please don't construe this as whining, or that I don't like weaving. It's just not that spontaneous. I've found that I don't put a lot of thought into my knitting, at least in actual preparation. I can always start over if something doesn't work out. I start over a lot.

So, last Saturday I figured out what I want to weave - pattern, yarn, length, etc and wound a warp.

This will be a scarf, in a twill pattern, with the weft being black. I used these same colors in the twill piece we wove for my class, and like the combination. I made the warp long enough for two good-sized practice pieces, both for testing for fulling and for practice.

This was all done on Saturday, with the next step being to sley the reed. That will have to wait for next Saturday, as the lighting in the living room is great for entertaining, but bad if you are trying to get yarn pieces in the correct order without skipping or doubling up in the slots of the reed. It's tricky enough with good lighting - no sense in taking chances.

While I was winding, DH was spinning. After many starts and stops and watching videos, he got this:

Very tightly spun - we'll see what happens when he plys it.

I have promised to knit it - most likely it will be a pot holder.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Stowaway from Rhinebeck

And not an alpaca! Okay, well not technically a stowaway, but look what followed us home! And by us I don't mean me.

As we're walking around, DH mentions that he learned how to spin while he was growing up, and wouldn't mind getting into it again. The things you learn after 20 years!

I'm not one to dissuade anyone from developing a fiber obsession, especially one that nets me more yarn! So Christmas arrived early, in the form of an Ashford Kiwi and some roving. It also became necessary to buy a swift, so we now have one of those too. Time to wind the L&V yarn into a ball, and decide what to do with it. I met someone through Blogger Bingo who had made the Swallowtail Shawl with subtly variegated yarn, and while hers is gorgeous I now don't think that the L&V will work with that pattern. So, socks, anyone? Hmm, I just remembered that I didn't buy any more Size 1 DPNs, which seem to be best for the Lisa Souza. Knitpicks here I come. Okay, back from that little side journey. Stream of consciousness writing has its pitfalls.

The wheel is useless without something to spin, and we lucked out at the Wellspring Farm booth (Bldg A, lower level, right inside the door).

Ted and Elke provided lots of information about what works well for beginners, so we have some Corriedale, some Jacob's and some llama/wool mixes. Elke offered phone support for the beginner spinner, so I'm sure he'll call at some point.

I'd say I love it when a plan comes together, but this caught me completely by surprise!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm a square...

I knit this sweater for my DH about 20 years ago. He rarely wore it, as we don't live near the Artic Circle, and that's the only place cold enough for him to be comfortable in it. It occurred to me recently (yes, I should have thought of it much earlier, like a decade) that it would be perfect
for me. I'm amazed that I managed to finish it, especially since it is the second sweater. Yes, I knit this baby twice. Once for my brother (he was still in college) and again for my DH.

The importance of this sweater at this point in time is I'm going to wear it to Rhinebeck on Saturday. Add shoulder length dark blonde hair and a Blogger Bingo tote bag, and I'm ready to play.

My "shopping list" for Rhinebeck includes trying to find yarn for the following items, which I would like to knit someday.

Simple Knitted Bodice
Celtic Icon from Inspired Cable Knits
Ram's Horn Jacket from Knitting Nature
Cable Spiral Pullover from Knitting Nature (thanks Mama-E!)

And, maybe some alpaca for my Secret Pal, and me. Oh, and I want to make a booga bag, so something for that. We'll see how much DH is willing to go for - he's along for the ride. It's a good thing there is wine and cheese tasting, just saying.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Calling my Funky Scarf Swap Pal...

Edited to add: My scarf arrived today - and is really pretty - art yarn in greens, dark red, some sparkly stuff, some shiny boucle, etc. I'll post a picture once I get one that shows the colors.

Oh, FSS pal - please send me a message through the swap-bot, or email me through this blog, so we can figure out what happened to my scarf.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Funky Scarf Swap

As I write this, my funky scarf is on its way to Denver, where it will (hopefully) keep Heidi warm as well as funky. The scarf has 2 pieces, both tubes knit with the veil stitch. The inner (or could be outer) tube is Noro Kureyon, and the outer is Brown Sheep Mohair and Wool. There's a little left of the Brown Sheep, so it could be a smaller version of the outer tube.

I'm anxious to see what I get - we had a cold snap today!

Friday, October 06, 2006

SP9 Questionnaire

Wow - almost that time again! I had such spoiling and being spoiled that I want to do it again. Not surprisingly, most of my answers have stayed the same.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Love alpaca, alpaca blends, wool that is soft. Don’t like harsh feel or colors, the usual curse of acrylics, though the newer microfiber yarns look interesting.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Needle case for straight needles, DPNs and circs are in their packages in a basket.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? My mother taught me to knit when I was nine, and I’ve been knitting for almost 35 years. I’m an intermediate knitter, as I haven’t tried Fair Isle, or intarsia, or entrelac.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Amazon wish list is up to date.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.) Lavender

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Dark chocolate and mint, separately and together.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? Weaving.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) 80’s alternative, almost anything Brenda Dayne has on her podcast.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? Love bright and vibrant colors, jewel tones. Don’t like rust or orange.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? One husband, two teenage kids (1 girl and 1 boy) and two dogs.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Scarves and mittens, including dressy scarves for work.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I’ve knit the most scarves, though enjoy socks and learned to knit lace over the summer.

13. What are you knitting right now? Scarf for Funky Scarf Swap, socks, Icarus, another pair of socks, cotton cable sweater.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes, especially if the gift is quirky and/or witty in some way.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I like everything – it depends on the yarn. Bamboo DPNs for socks, aluminum for lace, plastic if the colors are fun.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yarn winder, DH does swift duty.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? 13 years old – never finished DS baby blanket.

18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas. I love the decorating and snow.

19. Is there anything that you collect? Other than yarn? Prints and posters from places we’ve visited.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I’d like the Knit Fix book, and have a subscription to Interweave Knits.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Toe-up socks, with the picot edge.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes, 9 ¼ inches long, and 9 inches around the instep and ankle.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) January 23rd.

Me in a nutshell!

Monday, October 02, 2006

In which the Random Knitter joins many KAL...

In keeping with the joining theme, we visit the virtual community today. In addition to the Icarus KAL (still knitting chart #1, though almost done), I've signed up for the following:

The goal of this KAL is to focus on socks, whether it be learning, finishing, knitting some for charity, etc. Current socks on the needles are the second sock of the second pair of Cascade Fixation footies (also a KAL) and the first Snakes on a Sock pattern from Lime and Violet (see below for KAL). Then there is the second sock for Thuja with some Trekking XXL, though I don't like how the first one fits, it's a little small. I will rip out the Kitchener and toe decreases, then make the sock a little longer. And some other socks that show up a little later.

SP8 was so much fun that I want to do it again. Rhinebeck will be the perfect hunting ground for SP9 stuff - the hard part will be doling it out over the 3 months.

Snakes on a Sock - if you haven't heard of Lime & Violet, you owe it to yourself to find out. They've burst upon the podcasting scene with a humorous (okay, hysterically funny) weekly podcast; as far as I know, the only one with two hosts. The Snakes on a Sock (SoaS) pattern is available for download, one of many riffs on the Snakes on a Plane movie debacle. The pattern is much better than the movie.

In addition to podcast, forum, patterns and action figures (well, not action figures yet; it's only a matter of time) there is a Lime and Violet colorway from Lisa Souza. So, we have an interesting twist on a KAL - not on a pattern, but a yarn. And I'm the co-host! The official start is Friday the 13th, but signups are open and participants can start knitting whenever they want. I have the yarn, and am leaning towards a pattern from Sensational Knitting Socks.

Mostly I'm knitting Icarus. Each row is 300+ stitches, and takes forever.