Wednesday, 25 March 2009

But father! I want to spin!

I love Monty Python.

Anyway. I am within spitting distance of finishing this dress. Seriously. There's about 50 rows of skirt, most of which is a chained netting pattern. Then the side seam insertions and the armhole edgings. That's it. It doesn't even need to be blocked, since I decided to sew the shoulder seams and hang it up to drop whenever I'm not working on it.

The first Thuja sock I'm making for my husband is nearly finished. I need to pin him to a chair long enough to try it on him and measure where the toe needs to start, but once I have that measurement I'll be able to finish the second sock in a week or so.

All I want to do is spin. I made a little sample over the weekend of the powder blue roving I got at iKnit day last September, and discovered that this particular yarn makes a lovely sockweight 3-ply. Of course, since it was unlabelled, I have no idea what the fiber content is. I'm guessing merino and silk from its staple lengths and other properties, but I could be wrong. No socks, then, since I don't know how durable the fiber is. Perhaps I'll manage to get a shawl's-worth of yarn out of it! It's 100g, which is how much a standard ball of sock yarn weighs. I'll see how much yardage I get - it would make a beautiful Shetland Triangle* or Forest Canopy Shawl...

*You know, that pattern I've pratically memorized after knitting two of them with Noro sock yarn. Oh, and did I mention I may have acquired another skein of said yarn? Another shawl? Moi? Maybe!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

You know you knit too much when...

...out of the blue, a friend asks if you could mend his precious kilt hose, oh and could it be done within a week please? You say yes, collect said hose, admire the argyle, find the hole and realize it's not too bad. Unravel until the broken bit can be sewn in, then kitchener the live stitches for an invisible repair. Doesn't even need a proper darn.

The kicker - discovering that, even though you're not a huge fan of grey, you have a skein of yarn in exactly the right colour and weight to match the hose.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Antici... pation!

I've clearly seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show too many times. Anyway.

I celebrated my birthday last week. It was great fun! Friends, family, cocktail bars, lovely mail... All the things a girl could hope for. And of course, I took a bit of birthday money and had a little shop. I'm squirrelling away my yarn money for an event in the autumn, but there was something I really wanted.

You see, Posh Yarn, purveyors of all things lovely, have recently started selling spinning fiber. They've only had roving and batts available in the last two sales, and it's gorgeous stuff. By fluke I happened to be online just before the sale kicked off, and I scored the one lump of roving I really wanted. It's blue-faced Leicester, colourway 'Insignia'. The description on the website says "Bottle green, deep blue, teal, jade", all of which are colours I love.

Now I just have to wait for the post lady. Apparently all the pink parcels were shipped out this morning...

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Some things I've learned about knitting

I'm in a navel-gazing mood, and all my photos are on another computer. But here are some thoughts I've been having about my knitting.
  • Knitting is no longer a chore in this day and age. If it feels like one, perhaps I should be making something else.
  • I am the boss of my knitting, not the other way around. (I've talked about this one before, but it bears repeating!)
  • Some days I want lace, some days I want garter stitch. It's a good idea to have a range of projects available to suit my moods.
  • Breaks are as good for the spirit as they are for the hands, wrists and elbows.
  • Decorative stitch-markers are cool, but I rarely use stitch-markers. On the rare occasions that I do, I favour a loop of yarn or a removable plastic number that won't snag my yarn.
  • In fact, the existence of a tool for a job doesn't mean I have to use that tool if I'm happy without. Sometimes hands and ingenuity are better solutions than spending money.
  • There is such a thing as too much yarn. I am at that point right now.
  • Even though I admit to having too much yarn, I still think about buying more. I'm getting pretty good at resisting.
  • Even though I loathe knitting to a deadline, I generally have at least one project on the go that is time-sensitive. I should work on not doing this.
  • I like learning new techniques, but most of the time I don't feel the need to keep them in my active technique repertoire. Once is enough!
  • I won't knit a gift unless I'm certain it will be appreciated.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Size does matter

I'm working on the dress. A lot. But, as I've said before, too much crochet hurts my wrists and my right elbow. You see, a couple of years ago I damaged the nerve in my elbow in an incident involving a packet of jelly babies and the corner of a radiator. Any time I crochet too much, or do anything that involves pinching my fingers together (like embroidery or spinning) for a long time, I start to lose feeling in my right forearm.

Anyway. Long story short, I needed to work on some knitting for a break, and it needed to be heavier yarn than anything I had going. (I like socks and lace, what can I say?) So I fished out some worsted and cast on a pair of Thuja socks for my husband. 4mm needles, worsted weight yarn, and I finished the cuff in two evenings. Clearly I should knit with heavier yarn more often...

Wednesday, 4 March 2009


I frogged the cabled socks. The colours of my dye-job were far too busy. The cables didn't show up. They are now on their way to becoming yet another pair of Monkey Socks. Mostly because when I cast on I had a lap full of blanket and couldn't be bothered to get any of my sock patterns out. Monkeys I can do from memory.

The dress continues on apace. I adjusted the length of the shoulder straps, so they are now the right length for my friend. Ends are woven in and I've sewn the shoulder seams. I plan to do the neck edging at the weekend, and I'm working on the skirt front and back during lunches and evenings. Once I've got the skirts to the recommended length, I need to hang the whole thing up for a couple of days to let the skirt stretch. Then she needs to decide how long it's going to be! Having everything done except for the side seams before the hanging phase will make finishing much, much quicker. And I'll have Monkeys to knit while it stretches...