Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I haven't forgotten my blog, I've just been busy. All three pairs of socks in progress are at least half done. I learned to spin on a spindle last night. (Needless to say, I still have slubs.) I tried nalbinding using this tutorial: Phiala's Nalbinding page. I have been taking swimming lessons at the local Y(MCA). I have been to the Weaver's Loft. I got a latch hook kit (Rainbow Flyer from Caron, but I call it Odonata [toothed; the order to which dragonflies and damselflies belong. Because, at least I think, that's a dragonfly.]) I have been working on watchbands for a watch face I got at the local Jo-Ann's Fabric Store. Unfortunately, I still have problems getting pictures up. (If you must know, 1.44 MB, the capacity of a floppy, isn't very much space for pics of socks, bracelets, etc. )

About spinning(And nalbinding):
A good friend of mine very generously taught me to spin on a (very tiny) spindle and gave me some fleece to get started last night. I think the fleece still has some lanolin in it, making it soft on my hands (and face!) (also, my hands aren't that sensitive to scratchiness), but the yarn is slightly scratchy. I already love spinning, though my yarn is thick and thin still and I am not spinning on a wheel, which I thought I would prefer. By the way, don't ask, but don't try spinning using cotton balls and a homemade spindle, or nalbinding using a small tapestry needle (similar to ones I used for needlepoint on 7 count plastic canvas) and Wool-ease. That nalbinding does not work out too well because I get the impression that you need slightly loose stitches and you will get small ones with this, plus somehow the process seems to be contrary to the twist of the Wool-Ease and the Wool-Ease won't felt. Nothing wrong with the materials, they just didn't work for my purpose (With the spinning, however, not so.)

Anyhow, I never got the Macreme Pouch up to my website, nor did I ever get to do the neccesary research for the other item I wanted to write. But I am starting something: yarn reviews! These are not yarns I buy specifically to be tested, and thus may not be exactly periodical. They are just yarns I happen to encounter in my knitting life. And another new feature: yarn splurges.

I have to be allergy tested today. Blah.

I am not, contrary, to what my comment on acrylic might have lead you to believe, what you'd really think of as a fiber snob, nor do I really have anything against Red Heart or the company that makes it. I simply find that certain colors/types of Red Heart are very scratchy and that the plain colors can get a little boring. If you can believe it, though, for most of the first years that I knitted (not too long ago; I learned during '00 or '01) I used plain, untextured acrylic. Now I use some of Lion Brand's yarns and plan to order some more yarn from Knit Picks. Which brings us to the first yarn review. If only I could keep from jumping around.

From www.knitpicks.com

Unfortunately, as you can guess, I don't have a picture, but you can see it at www.knitpicks.com. I ordered the color Swing, which ended up as my Swing(or Dance) over the Rainbow socks. I believe they no longer have that particular color available, but it, if you wish to know, it has most of the colors of the rainbow. It does have one problem, or at least it might seem that way to some people: the colors make little pools, and sometimes the yellow and purple in the yarn made pools of stripes. This wasn't much of a problem to me. I would not advise using a complex pattern that you want to be able to see with this yarn (or at least not with this color). I used Elongated Corded Rib from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks; though I couldn't see the pattern, it made the sock lacy. Oh, by the way, there is a white strand of something or other around the yarn, which gives it an interesting look.

Well, this yarn is soft. It's a Cotton/Wool/Elastic blend, but I didn't really notice the elastic. (I don't know... I've never knitted with Cascade Fixation(cotton/elastic), but this didn't seem to behave like I thought elastic blend yarn would.) I personally thought it behaved like slightly stretchy sock yarn. It's from KnitPicks, so the value is pretty good to me. I had one minor problem: I bought two skeins of course, to make a pair of socks, and each skein had at least one knot in the yarn. To me it didn't matter a whole lot, but to you it might. I did have a comment from a fellow knitter at last night's knitting group on the softness of the yarn. I do, although I didn't mention it previously, have what's known as atopic dermatitis, also known as ezecma, and it's really bad on my hands and feet. Ironically, the dryness makes the palms of my hands pretty tough, but the other parts of my feet are pretty sensitive. These socks did not bother them at all. I knitted the socks on size US. 2's. I have a bit of a problem with gauge on socks, more on that later, but I didn't measure the gauge.

I'd give it 8 on a scale of 10, 1 being "Don't buy this stuff, it's the worst yarn in the world" and 10 being: "You must have this yarn."

First splurge:

At www.knitpicks.com:

1 ball of every color of all yarns except sock yarn and

2 balls of every color of sock yarn except those in 100 gram hanks=

As of 8/8/2006

547 items



This is how the splurge works:

I go to a website, look at the stuff and place it in a cart. Nothing is bought, however. Then, I record it here at the blog. This feature should run until '07 at which time, ASAP, I will tally up what I would have spent and bought with these splurges. Also, I may revisit a site to (suposedly) buy more. I thought about writing down each and every item, but I don' t think that would work too well since today I had 547 items. Plus, I, not thinking about it, closed the window after writing down the price, so I don't have an exact record.

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