Monday, September 30, 2013

Making space for spinning


After I finished spinning the exploding clown yarn I started thinking about my next spinning project, going through my stash and looking at my tools. On thing I realised is that I had two bobbins with a reasonable quantity of singles, one left over from some yarn I spun in June 2011  and some of Melanie’s amazing fibre, where I had filled half a bobbin  and then sort of just stopped.
  
I decided to ply them together, just to get them off the bobbins and to see how they look. I really like the pretty baberpole effect, and, with 399 meters, there should be enough for a small shawl. Although I'm not sure what shawl would look good in yarn this multicoloured. Any suggestions welcomed.
I was surprised how long it took me to complete the plying, I thought it would take a weekend, and in the end it took nearly a month. Sill, I discovered the Lizzie Bennet Diaries  just as I started this, and spent many a happy hour watching it and plying away.

 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Happy endings and new beginings

This weekend I finally finished Leon's vest. It probably would have been a much quicker knit except for the two weeks in the middle when I didn't knit at all. I'm not convinced that knitting caused the problem in the first place, since, while I'm back to knitting I still can't clean. (To be clear, that's a CrossFit move that's causing me pain, not scrubbing the house). Anyway, that's currently blocking and even though I think it looks great, I'm glad to see the last of it. It's a grim reminder of  a month when I barely knit. I'll get some photos on Leon once it's blocked and dry.



So, onward to happier days. My next project is a pair of socks Leon. During my layoff I bought a new knitting bag, because I wanted a new knitting a new knitting bag, and a also: pink giraffes. I'm knitting Twisted from Knitty, out of some Madeline Tosh I bought from Webs earlier this year. It was a little more purple than I expected, but Leon says it's still within acceptable parameters.



Friday, September 27, 2013

A sheep in the mail




It won't some as a surprise when I tell you that I love sheep. I love them for their wool, and I love them for their meat. I love them because they are much more intelligent than they are usually given credit for. But mostly I love them for their woolly fuzzy bodies and their calm knowing eyes. So, when one of the shopping websites I haunt had sheep bookends for sale, I thought I'd buy one to use as a doorstop in my bedroom. And then this adorable Sheepy arrived:
Look at his adorable face. He follows me around the house, sitting next to me when I'm on the computer, watching me spin…
and just being generally adorable. The only problem is, when I did put him in front of the door, Tarragon decided to make friends. First he sniffed Sheepy's bottom, and then he started eating his wool, so we'll see how long Sheepy stays soft and adorable. There may be a follow up post with a pictured of a slaughtered Sheepy, but hopefully things will settle down.



Saturday, September 21, 2013

More packages, more spinning

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, my Moosie was on it's way. And now it's here:

I cannot describe how beautiful it is, and my meagre photography skills certainly fail to capture it! It's 33 grams, with a tulip wood shaft. It's pin balanced, and spins so beautifully. The weight of it makes it ideal for making light fingering yarn, which is perfect for shawls. The fist project I'm working on with it is is a EGMTKs merino/seacell blend, that I bought a couple of Bendigos ago.

 



I'm finding I'm taking a spindle out with me where ever I go, which is not something I traditionally do, but I'm trying to minimise the knitting, in order to ensure my arms finish getting better. If I'm going to be completely honest, I'm not sure that spinning is a whole lot better than knitting, but Leon's vest is just too big to carry around. One of the few advantages of not carrying knitting around with me is that instead of carrying the big blue bag I've been able to carry a rather petite shoulder bag - this one, if you care. It is apparently described as a mini. There's still room in there for a spindle and a chunk of fibre though.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Travelling with Miss Babs, we're going...



 to Chicago, in the 1920s! The pattern is a scarf, designed by Franklin Habit, the yarn is an amazing green with bits of shiny in it and beads! I'm excited to be knitting with beads, something I've only done a couple of times before.

 
One of the funnest things about this club is the attention to details. They don't just send a pattern and some yarn, it really feels like a trip. So this time, as well as the pattern and the yarn, we received the beads, floss to help thread the beads, info about Chicago in the '20s, some "candy" and a flapper necklace to get us in the mood. Love this club so much!
 
I really like this pattern too, I can imagine wearing it with a summer dress, and it looks like I get to it before summer. I am knitting again, but only in moderation, and projects take a lot longer when I only pick them up every second day for 45 minutes. Still, it should only take me a couple of weeks to finish Leon's scarf and a pair of socks, and then it’s time for a green beaded scarf for me!
 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I found my number

I'm knitting again, but trying to ease back into it, having seen the Osteo's face when I let slip that its not unusual for me to knit for five hours in a day. So on Saturday instead of knitting I put my stash on Ravelry, and discovered that I have 23,725 meters of yarn. That's nearly 24 kilometres. What's missing from this number is my sock yarn scraps, which I seem to have an awful lot of, the yarn I am currently knitting with, the bathmatt yarn I just spun, because I didn't bother measuring it, and the package from New Zealand. Which contains, 2 jumpers a vest and two pairs of socks worth of yarn. And I will open it , as soon as I have knit: 2 jumpers a vest and two pairs of socks.

For me, the most interesting thing about counting my yarn was discovering that 37 out of my 53 yarns are sock weight. 11409 meters, or nearly half my yardage is sock yarn. Luckily, you can never have too many socks!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Preparation

My moosie spindle is on it's way! I ordered it maybe two years ago, but I had to wait, because, well, some things are worth waiting for. And it couldn't be better timing, since I have rather refound my spinning love. 


So, while I wait for it to arrive, and wait to be allowed to knit and spin again (I asked the Osteo if I was allowed to spin, and he said no. Actually he said "um, what, spin? huh?" and then I explained about spinning. He said no, but I'm not sure he knew what he was talking about. That's what I get for going to a Crossfit osteo. I wonder if there are knitting osteos out there somewhere) I'm preparing some fibre. I dyed this in January 2011 and it was a bit compacted. What it needed was a thorough teasing out.


Which is what I gave it. I think Leon was a bit relieved that I found something to do in from of the television, because we've barely watched anything since I paused from knitting. Nearly back to it now, and I have some beautiful fibre ready for the spindle arrives.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Small pieces of happiness

Somebody who works in my building decorated their bike like this:


It makes me smile every single morning.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

As good as my word

I didn't knit from Sunday night until Thursday. I thought not knitting would help my arms, but on Wednesday I woke up in even more pain. I was so upset and angry, and I did knit on Thursday night, which didn't seem to make things worse. But they certainly weren't better. On Friday I had an appointment with the Osteo and I was planning to have words with him because what we were doing was clearly not working, and I was really quite frustrated. But then the first thing he said to me was "this is really not working, lets take a different approach".
During the treatment he said to me "I don't want you knitting for a week". Mm, I thought, Whatever. But then he said "I want you to promise me that you won't knit for a week". So I promised. 


So, Leon's vest is on hold. Which I would be happier about if I wasn't a bit concerned that the fronts seem to be turning out too long. And I can't do anything about it for another five days. Because I promised.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Spun and done!


You may recall that a couple of months ago, I took a pile of wool and decided to turn it into yarn for a bathmat. Now this was a truly random lot of yarn, some of it beautifully prepared by Melanie, some poorly prepared by me, and a few commercial braids thrown in. I took all pressure off myself spinning it. My only goal was for it to be thick. It didn't have to be even, or regular or anything. While I was spinning most of this I was listening to Stephen King's 11.22.63, which was an amazing listen. the whole spinning experience was wonderful. I just relaxed into it.

I got five bobbins of singles, which two plied up into a kilogram of bulky yarn.

It's perfect, in the sense that I wanted to make sprongy, crazy barberpole yarn. It's renewed my love for spinning, and I'm starting to plan what I'm going to do next on my wheel.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Leon's sock surgery

Last year I knit Leon the October Cookie A Sock Club Socks in a merino cashmere blend.  I noted at the time that I was concerned that there was no nylon in  that blend, and I wondered how well they would wear.


I guess I have my answer: Not all that well:



Now I've tried darning socks in the past, with limited success. This time I used Cookie A's own instructions for repairing a sock using knitting:
This was certainly my best sock repair yet.
This is how it looks on the inside.
It did make me realise that once I get back to knitting (which will be tonight, and hopefully go well!) I would benefit from knitting Leon more socks right now, otherwise he'll be wearing them out as fast as I make them, and then I'll never reach my goal of Leon having a pair of socks for every day of the month.

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Pause

As my regular readers will know, I knit all the time. I knit in front of the tv at home, I knit at the pub, I knit on public transport. I knit with friends and I knit alone. For the last two months I’ve had sore arms. It doesn’t hurt when I knit, but it hurts when I more my arms from straight to bent, and from bent to straight.



This morning I woke up and straightening my arms hurt, with a hot liquid pain. I’ve decided to take a day off knitting. Hopefully that will help. I’m willing to try this for up to a week, because this constant pain is really not much fun. Although the idea of not knitting is also not much fun, which is why it has taken so long to get to the point of taking a (hopefully very) short break.



So, what will I do instead of knitting? Tonight I’m going to clean the house and rearrange the cupboards. If I still can’t knit tomorrow I might do some sewing. If I’m out of the game on the weekend, I’m going to follow Sonia’s lead and document my whole stash in Ravelry. I’m reading a good book. I keep telling myself there are plenty of people that lead fulfilling lives who don’t knit all the time, but I'm struggling to see myself as one of them.