Thursday, February 01, 2007


Sorry for lack of entries. So Rosa is done, I started a little of Ruby, and I have most of my ongoing pairs of socks finished. I have the Christmas socks to finish. I think I have one more repeat or so left in the leg portion of the sock, but in truth, I haven't felt like knitting on it. I'm also frustrated that since my size twos are in those socks, I can't start the other pairs I really want to start. Any suggestions on how to motivate myself or help avoid second sock syndrome here? (I already know how to avoid it when you start a pair, but one is already finished. I'm asking how to make this more interesting.)

On other notes, I started spindling up the wool I bought at the Wool Gathering. I have been on a hiatus from spinning for a few months, mainly because I ran out of the other wool, and this smooth, soft wool requires a slightly different touch then the sticky, rougher wool I was using before. I spun up some wool on a toy spindle *gasp!* and when I bought a Schacht Hi-Lo spindle, I had to get use to the extra weight. My first spinning attempts from the Sarai(that is the sheep's name!) wool failed because my yarn kept breaking. Interestingly enough, I learned on a toy bottom whorl spindle after reading a lot about spinning, but now use my Hi-Lo as a top/high whorl. I did not have a real spindle at the Wool Gathering, and thought about getting one. I didn't try to purchase a spindle there, although I did get a neat lucet, but I'm don't think I would have wanted to purchase my first real spindle there anyway. For one thing, I was fairly miserable all day and unable to enjoy the experience of my first ever fiber fest properly because I was catching a cold and for another thing, I think I would feel more able to try it out and choose one in a store. I ended up buying mine in person at the Weaver's Loft. I think I might just need more wool, and some of the wool I've seen on the internet is lovely looking. However, I am afraid to get anything with more than one color, because I don't know how to spin it. Also, my only attempt at plying with the spindle did not encourage me. I suppose I might try the kick spindle plying technique in Spindlicity, but I like my Schacht and don't want to kick it. Another reason I didn't get a spindle at the Wool Gathering was that I was fairly unsure which way I wanted to use it and the spindles there all seemed sort of fancy. So have any tips about spinning with dyed wool or plying on a spindle?

In case you were curious, I have a project in mind and have started knitting it. (Probably a bad idea, but I all ready started! ) I am combining the ideas of the Fingerless Mitts in Homespun, Handknit and the Mitts in OneSkein. I am using size 5 knitting needles. I have not dyed the main part of the mitts and don't plan to. I think if I have some extra wool though, I might dye a little to see how my handspun will do. I might make an accent, or perhaps knit a band for my watch face. I will probably be dying with KoolAid if I do.

Also, I encountered the Cascade Fixation Ankle Sock KAL and am thinking I might try a pair. Apparently they only take a ball for a pair. But do you think I should order Espirit from Elann, purchase Fixation online or get Fixation from my not so LYS (Not so local because it is somewhat out of the way. But then, the only not very out of the way places for me where you can get yarn are the big hobby chains or a few grocery/general merchandise stores that carry it around here. I'm not sure what it would mean if it weren't so yarn shop...) ?

Another note is that I hope to be able to place the green Homespun sweater in the FO column. This thing is my first sweater (and I haven't finished any others yet, though I have started another sweater, as you can probably see from the WIPs sidebar). It is getting to be a PITB. PITB is similar in meaning to "PITA" however, it sounds more like something I would say, because the only occasion I use the a word in is in antiquated sounding references to donkeys. I did not know much about gauge for some reason when I started the sweater, and over that, I picked the size that was identical in finished width to my bust size at the time. *See Digression at bottom of post* Unfortunately, I am about an inch bigger around now and although my gauge is somewhat off, I'm not sure it will fit. All I have left is the end of the second sleeve, but the sewing up may be a nightmare, partially because the Homespun won't work for seaming and I am having problems finding matching yarn for "Spring Green". On top of everything else, although it may not matter much, I stopped creating crossed stockinette stitch about half way through the sweater. My other sweater also has this. Also, I have maybe 1/2 or 1/3 of a skein left (a half is probably really stretching it), about an inch to two inches left on the sleeve, and I have no hood done. I am hoping to finish the sweater by Monday, though. What shall I do for the neck finishing?

Speaking of sweaters, I think my next big sweater or sweater-ish project might be an EZ pattern. (Not EaZy, Elizabeth Zimmermann for anyone who thought otherwise.) Either: A basic seamless sweater with one of the fancier seven seamless sweater shoulder shapings and perhaps the Jewel Cross Rib; or the Faeroe patterned vest from Sweaters from Camp with the ribbing. And possibly without the "noses". Isn't "seven seamless sweater shoulder shapings" a tongue twister? I think I'm adding a word, but they are in her (EZ's) Knitting Workshop.

Here is your very long entry on the first of February.

Digression: If you somehow have read Stash Envy, which I believe is written by Lisa Boyer, of the quilting world, this gauge issue somehow reminds me of (I am paraphrasing, since I don't have it in front of me "When I purchased Spot, my QAS (Quilters Alarm System) should have warned me against it, but it was not fully active yet." I had read books, and I am sure they preached "Check Your Gauge!" "ALWAYS BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR GAUGE!" et cetera but I still ignored the gauge issue.

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