Thursday, February 28, 2008

Of yarn and... other things.

I made a rather significant purchase recently. I'll give you a hint -- it was integral in turning this:


...into this:


Here are a few more hints:


Meet my new wheel! (Woohoo!)


It's a double treadle Original Lendrum Spinning Wheel, and I think it's lovely (and it spins nice, too!).

I have been doing a lot of research lately and wanted a versatile, reliable wheel that didn't cost a huge amount. I had narrowed it down to this wheel or the Ashford Traditional, but decided on the Lendrum.

Here's my first attempt with it (Bug and Moana helped me out quite a bit with the fiber prep):


You can see that I had some issues maintaining an even thickness in my singles - I need to work on my drafting : )


My Husband's Hat

I've been meaning to blog about this for a while.


My husband used his Berroco Jasper in the lovely "Copper Silk" colorway to make himself a really cool hat! He prefers to purl, not knit, (so the hat was done in all-purl stockinette) and he likes to wrap the yarn clockwise which produces a biasing rib-like effect in combination with the singles yarn. I've dubbed his hat "Purl-Crazy."

I really love this yarn (even though I didn't get to use it!), especially in this particular colorway. I may have to make something out of it eventually myself (although I'd need to get more, since he used most of the two skeins we had) : )


Love the reverse stockinette inside, too...

Of course, Bug isn't content to let me photograph knitwear in peace, so he had to get in on the action:


Thrummed Mittens

I started some Thrummed Mittens from the Winter 2006 issue of Interweave Knits.


The yarn (which I won) is pretty wild (it totally reminds of rooster feathers!), so I think it's a good match for mittens : ) And, to maximize the craziness, I am using cotton candy pink thrums:



I've finished the first mitten, except for the thumb.

Doh, Tagged Again!

I've been tagged by Susan and Tammy. Here are the rules (notice I'm not a stickler for 3 or 4):

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So here are 7 (more) things about me:

1. I love cheese! (although I admit I had some trouble with the Morbier I tried once)

2. I've had a piece of graphite from the tip of a pencil embedded in the palm of my right hand since elementary school.

3. I really enjoy the music of MIA, Northern State, and Primus, to name a few. My musical tastes are pretty eclectic, though I tend to be turned off by "ballads" / slow cheesy love songs that take themselves too seriously.

4. I tend to say goofy things around people I'm not very familiar with (shyness...gah!).

5. My favorite genre of books is science fiction / fantasy (well.... it's at least tied with "knitting books").

6. I have trouble finding comfortable shoes, so I mainly wear one pair over and over and over... it's very attractive : )

7. I like yarn. (Hey, I'm running out of ideas - this is hard!)

If you would like to participate, consider yourself tagged!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bug's a lean green-"Ice Queen"-wearing machine!


Ok, so he's not the leanest cat around, but Ice Queen works pretty well as a girdle to hold his flappy kitty belly in place : )

Ice Queen (Knitty, Winter 2007) Kettle Dyed Pure Wool Lace, 100% Wool (850 yards / 100 g per skein), color "Peridoto," 0.38 skeins
US 5 & 7 Denise Interchangeables circular needles (~16")
US 14 (0.75 mm) steel crochet hook for placing beads

I made version B, the garter stitch and more heavily beaded version of Ice Queen. As suggested in the Ravelry Ice Queen KAL, I used a beaded picot cast on (instead of doing a provisional cast on and beaded picot bind off as specified in the pattern) as follows:

Using the knitted cast on method *CO 5 sts, BO 2 sts, place bead on middle stitch of the remaining three with crochet hook, repeat from * until 156 stitches are cast on.

Other than that, the only change I made was to do a total of 23 repeats (7 extra) of Rounds 21-24 of Chart B for the main body of Ice Queen, as mine was definitely coming out a little short.


Because I used a non-mohair containing yarn, my Ice Queen has a different "feel" (both texturally and visually) to it than the original, but I love the subtle color changes in the Handpainted Yarns lace:


Believe it or not, there really are approximately 350 seed beads in there, they're just very similar in color to the yarn and much smaller (size 10 instead of size 6) than the pattern suggested. You can kind of see them here:


If I had it to do over again, I might choose slightly more obvious beads. I was going for a subtle look (and I had the beads already), but I think it could stand a little more glitter. Overall I'm happy with how it came out, and I think the friend I made it for will enjoy it.

By the way, Bug wants you to know that he was involved with all stages of Ice Queen production:


He even offered to block it for me:


...and was slightly miffed when I turned him down:


Spinning Update

I spun up enough singles on my drop spindle to give plying a try. Here's the singles:


I wound them into a ball:


...and trapping the ball under an upside-down flower pot (loaned to me by my spinning mentor -- thanks, Mary!), I pulled both ends of the ball through the hole in the bottom, and plied them together using my drop spindle:


Then I washed the yarn, and balled it by hand. Here it is (my first yarn!):


You Make My Day!


I want to thank Del*, Sarah*, Amy, Sulafaye, Soknitpicky, and Stitchywitch -- who all nominated me for a "You Make My Day" award. Thank you guys! You definitely make my day : )

* edited to add Del and Sarah!

In fact, if you're reading this post, chances are excellent that you, too, make my day (It's true, it's true!), so I'm going to refrain from listing only 10 of you. I just want to say "thanks" for all your wonderful blogs, for your willingness to scroll down my picture-stuffed posts, and for your generous and insightful comments. You guys are always encouraging, inspirational, and just downright interesting : ) Now if I could only catch up with all the fantastic blog posts you've been writing -- I am soooo behind!

New Project

While waiting to hear back about the errata for the Seeded Cables Cardigan from Sensual Knits, I decided to come up with a use for the Malabrigo Silky Merino I got at the end of December.


I tried a bunch of different stitch patterns, but settled on using the entrelac pattern from Vogue Knitting Stitchionary.


To fulfill my new plan (insert sinister cackle here) I may have, um, had to order more yarn. Here's Bug napping on the two new skeins (while wearing the two old ones):


The two skeins I've knit up already are pretty different from one another. The first was mostly gray/black with hints of blue and dashes of palest green. In the second, the gray/black is much bluer overall. You can see the color change pretty well in these two photos:


The two new skeins (ordered from Kaleidoscope Yarns, as Webs, where I got the yarn originally, was out when I called them) seem to be intermediate in color.