Sunday, December 30, 2007

Last bits of 2007

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and had a chance to relax, and maybe even get some knitting done. I sure had a good time, but the knitting part, well I didn't have much time for that. I did, however, get a nice gift card to my LYS from my coworkers. I was so surprised that they had thought of that! Not that there's anything wrong with getting a bottle of wine, or something like that, but yarn... for me that is a much more personal gift. I went to spend it yesterday, and here's what I got:
Zephyr silk/wool lace weight in three colors, for a scarf from the Icelandic Three Cornered and Long Shawls. I had to get started last night already, but I don't have a progress shot. Not that it looks like much, yet, as you start with 329 stitches, and it takes a while to get just 4-5 rows done...

Another new (to me) yarn I thought I'd try was Reynold's Soft Seawool:I'm going to use it for a pair of socks. It's a little thicker than what I usually use, but really squishy! Can't wait to get started with this one, too.

The other in-progress project is still Oblique:

I've got a good start on the second sleeve, but I'm running out of yarn... The yarn requirement in the pattern seemed low to begin with, but I thought I'd go with it. Now Webs is of course all sold out of this yarn, and I had to order 2 more balls from somewhere else for twice as high a price, and a different dye lot. Grr... Fortunately it's a variegated yarn, so I'm not terribly concerned about the dye lot issue. Just seems like such a waste to spend almost half as much for two balls as for the rest of the sweater together. But I'm still in love with the pattern, and I've got high hopes for it! I've read several people's comments about Veronik's patterns, and how they thought they were confusing and hard to follow. I haven't had any problems with this pattern and I think it is extremely clear and well written. I'm very tempted to buy her recent book.

As far as getting help with my knitting projects goes, I'm still doing good. Suzy is training to knit socks:

And I didn't even have to ask her...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happines is...

This new little gadget moved to our house last week:

It is of course Ashford Joy! The perfect little spinning wheel:

I started by practicing with some yellow corriedale I had in the stash. Not the prettiest wool ever, but very suitable for the purpose.

And of course I had some help:

My creation, 100 % novelty ;)

And in the knitting bag:

Veronik's Oblique from the fall Knitty:

I'm in love with both the pattern and the yarn. The pattern is very carefully written, I haven't found any errors or illogical solutions, and it is a pleasure to knit. The yarn, Maldi Fusion, is super soft, and makes the project even better. The only problem I'm having is that I don't think I have quite enough, and Webs, where I ordered this yarn from, sold out in no time. For that reason only, I'm changing the front of the sweater a little, and crossing my fingers that I'll have enough.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

New skills

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had a chance to try my mother-in-law's spinning wheel. I've only spun once before, and it was with flax (home grown, mind you), and I couldn't remember a thing about how to do it. I had some kind of an idea from tutorials on-line, and she (MIL) had some kind of an idea from taking a class, and so we tried to put everything we knew together, and gave it a shot. Her wheel is one on those made after and antique spinning wheel, and doesn't have a lot of adjustments one way or the other, so it wasn't the easiest thing to use. But nevertheless, I had a blast, and even ended up with some yarn!

The wool I was spinning was very nice and soft, but there were no details available about it, where I bought it. I got two half pound balls in two shades of dark red, which I was mixing as I was spinning.

I of course had to try to knit with my "fun novelty yarn" (my favorite quote from a tutorial: don't worry, if your yarn has thick and thin spots, you're making a fun novelty yarn!") My yarn had a little too much novelty in it at times, but at the end, I actually ended up with something you could call a thick-and-thin yarn, instead of the hard and snarly over-spun wire I made first. The hat is grownup size, but I asked the kids to model so I could get some pictures:

I also finished the socks for E:

A basic sock with 2x2 rib cuff and a heel flap. The yarn is Trekking XXL. I first attempted to make the socks symmetrical, but then noticed that the stripes just don't repeat the same at all, and I gave up. That's fine though, I think this is a real fun colorway for kids!