Sunday, 23 October 2011


... my knitting mojo. Has anyone seen it? I've looked under the bed, behind the couch, in my stash, all the usual places it might be hiding, but no luck. I just had a whole week off work for knitting, and hardly knit anything.

I'd planned to finish Weaving Friend's wedding shawl. Knit 4 rows. Planned to finish Grammy's Christmas present. Knit 1 repeat. Planned to make chutney. Ok, I did make chutney. A lot of chutney. About 7 litres, in fact. And I washed some fleece, did a wee bit of spinning on the froghair and carded some of the Jacobs fleece. So the week wasn't a total waste.

See, I spent most of it sick. Not badly sick, just enough of a headcold that I couldn't breathe whenever I laid down and so didn't really get much sleep. I'm better now. Today I cast on for a Calorimetry with some very well-aged stash yarn in the hopes that a quick FO will respark my interest. I've knit about half of it this afternoon. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic. Mojo had better resurface soon, because Weaving Friend's coming to visit at the end of November and I'm handing the shawl over then, come hell or high water.

Friday, 21 October 2011


I have today been informed that at some point Blogger ate my settings and was only allowing people with Blogger/Google accounts to comment. Sorry about that. I've fixed it now and you should all be able to comment now.

Thank you, Alison, for letting me know!

Saturday, 15 October 2011


I finished spinning up my sparkle roving, at long last, and I am absolutely thrilled with it.

inner child yarn 001

The roving was Fyberspates Sparkle roving, long since discontinued. They don't even seem to sell roving anymore. It's a blend of some sort of wool, silk and silver filament. There may be nylon in there as well, but I won't swear to it. From the smell of it when it was wet I'm pretty sure that the wool was BFL.

I bought this roving last summer at Knit Nation. It's been maturing in my stash ever since. The arrival of the fleeces is inspiring me to spin up some of the older stash, so watch this space for future developments!

Once I'd opened the bag of roving, I realized that it was actually four or five different colourways that had been bagged together. Not a problem, since the colours worked together well enough that I hadn't realized they weren't supposed to go together until I examined them in detail. I arranged the bits of roving so that the colours were mostly evenly distributed and then spun them up into a worsted singles. Worsted-spun, that is, not worsted-weight.

Inner Child Yarn 001

I'd pondered keeping it as a singles, but Weaving Friend convinced me that something plied would be more useful. So, having established that all 80g would fit onto a single bobbin, I set off plying. I'd forgotten that plied yarn takes up more space than singles - it was a bit of a job getting it all onto the bobbin!

Inner Child Yarn 002

I am completely besotted with this yarn. The little voice in my head of my inner child says "OMGOMGIT'SPURPLEANDGREENANDPINKANDITSPARKLES!!!!!!" My sensible adult self is rather pleased at discovering the capacity of her bobbins and is looking forward to seeing how the finished yarn stripes.

Vitals: 80g, 395 yards of n-plied fingering-weight yarn. With sparkles.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

In memoriam

Once upon a time there was a lady who was a knitter, and that knitter had a cat, and that cat's name was Darcy. Darcy was really a kitten, but he was already a prince among cats. He was a Maine Coon Cat, and his ear-tufts stood up straight as a pine tree. His feet were great white snowshoes, and his ruff was the envy of mighty lions.

His coat was grey and white, and his toes and sandpaper tongue were pink. But it is not enough to say that, as it would be insufficient to say that the sunrise is red. Darcy's coat was the grey of the soft ash left from burning incense and the white of clouds and fog. His tongue and toes were the soft pink of rose petals, freshly picked and awaiting the perfume press.

The knitter loved Darcy, and Darcy loved the knitter. And, generous soul that she was, the knitter shared Darcy with other knitters. And those knitters loved Darcy too - and who would not? Was he not a prince among cats?

Day after day, the knitters would flock, eagerly demanding new pictures of Darcy. And the lady would provide them, and all were happy.

Darcy had scrapes, as all kittens do, but cats are blessed with nine lives, and Darcy was no exception. He would find himself hurting, but the kind knitter loved him very much and would always take him to the clever vet. The clever vet, who also loved Darcy, took very good care of him, and Darcy always came home feeling better, if a little sorry for himself.

One day, however, Darcy got sick. This was a bad kind of sick, the kind of sick that clever vets cannot fix however clever they are. Sometimes cats get better, and sometimes they don't, but no-one can say which will.

The knitter was sad, and she told the other knitters about Darcy and his sickness. The other knitters loved Darcy, and so they did what they could. The ones who prayed, prayed. The ones who were superstitious crossed their fingers and held their thumbs and sent mojo. The ones who did neither sent best wishes and love to the knitter and Darcy. Some of the knitters who lived nearby went to help. Others, who lived far away, sent what they could to help the clever vet and the knitter, because clever vets have to be paid, even when they are generous and help sick cats for less than they might.

One of the many knitters who loved Darcy was a dyer with magical powers. One day, she took her dyes and worked a magic spell to turn plain old wool into something amazing - wool that looked like Darcy. She saw the results of her magic and thought, "I wonder if the other knitters would like to buy this wool? If they did, I could send money to the clever scientist who is working on a cure for this bad sickness, and then even if it won't help Darcy, maybe it will help other cats."

So the dyer showed the wool to the knitters, and they loved the wool. Those who knit bought yarn, and those who spin bought roving. And the dyer sent all of her profits to help the clever scientist with her research.

Alas, there are some things that no amount of love can cure, and Darcy died. The knitters wept, but nothing could bring back this prince of cats. The knitters held close their cats, and dogs, and rabbits, and all manner of creatures, for knitters love animals without question, and though they were sad that Darcy was gone, they had hope that other cats would be spared his fate.

And so I sit before my spinning wheel, looking into a basket full of spinning fiber. There is a roving that is the grey of incense ash, the white of clouds, the pink of rose petals and toes and sandpaper tongues. When I reach into the bag, it is like stroking the softest of kittens.

I cannot yet bring myself to spin this roving. Someday I will, and I will make it into a beautiful thing, in memory of another cat, much missed. For now it is enough to look upon it. It was dyed to honour a prince of cats. His name was Darcy, and he was loved.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Fiber pr0n

A sample of my current spinning:

Cochineal-dyed silk thread



SW Merino/nylon

SPARKLEE singles

SPARKLEE after plying