Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I am le tired.

Dragonmaille and I went up to WEBS on Saturday to see if we could meet the Yarn Harlot. By the time we got there, though, it was insanely busy and the line for book signings was out the door. We decided to shop for yarn instead.

Now, DM and I are both knitters, and we both love yarn. We love to pet it, love the texture, love the colors. However, our tastes...well, they're a little different.

DM likes browns, clarets, burgundies. Forest greens. Greys. She REALLY likes grey-browns. Don't get me wrong, I think those colors have their uses, but my hands reach for things like this:

See the difference? :D Can we see the trend in Divine Bird's knitting these days?

From top left: Two balls of ArtYarns Ultramerino 4. These will be socks. They are sitting on top of an already-started cake of Cascade Eco Wool. YES. ECO WOOL COLORS. The four Lite-lopis were bought for a shawl I mis-remembered. I kept thinking it called for Lite-lopi, but when I finally got back to look at the book, I realized the shawl was calling for something completely different--which works out, since I have JUST the yarn for it already. The Lite-lopi had been called for in a different pattern in the same book, so now I'll have the excuse to make THAT pattern as well. :) Am I gonna be warm this winter!!

I had planned on using the Eco Wool as the base of a sweater for myself, but while working on my first Icelandic design, I realized I really WANTED some lime green in there. Thus, I dipped into the center of the cake to help create this:

It's my first real colorwork. I did some jacquard knitting for the Pac-Man scarf, but hadn't ever tried a real charted design. I love doing stranded colors. This is also my first real SWEATER. I started on another one but need to redye the yarn for the body before I can continue; we'll see how it comes out later. This one is using some dark blue-green vintage wool that I acquired over a year ago as the base. I worked out the math for the increases so it will fit me; it's a top-down Icelandic cardigan with steeks. I am kind of winging it in places, but so far it seems to work. I am about halfway through the yoke. The patterns for the colorwork came from some books on scandinavian and fair isle knitting, though I'm editing some for my own purposes. Each section is a nearly-random selection of two of my five yoke colors: Magenta, Yellow, Orange, Lime, and White. The plain rows (where I increase) are the body yarn.

I'm exceedingly proud of this sweater. It is also a great way to keep my hands occupied while sitting in the hospital waiting room. My granddad has been in ICU for a few weeks now, and my mom, sister, and I are pulling shifts sitting with Grandma while she looks after Granddad.

And now I am signing off this blog until next week at the earliest. We are moving this weekend, and DSL won't be back up til Tuesday. And then we have unpacking and setting up and OMG shoot me now. >_<

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Spun the Bunny

I really wanted to make the yarn (from my last post) into something great, so I settled on a popular pattern for a stuffed bunny that didn't take much yarn. I had spun 44 yards once it was plied, so I had JUST enough (and by just enough, I mean I had only one yard when I was done) to make the bunny. Some pics to demonstrate the cuteness:

I learned several things by doing this project. First, of course, was the entire process of spinning, plying, and setting yarn from start to finish. Second, I learned how to make a toy, since I'd never done one before. The bunny was extremely easy--he was essentially one square, three inches of I-cord, and the two ears. I stuffed him using some Wool-Ease Thick&Quick that I didn't like. His name is "Spun".

I also now have several orders from friends and family for bunnies of their own. :D

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Spinning Yarn

First of all, head on over to to see the new pic. I was so sick last week and the week before that I just couldn't update then, but now I'm back on track. The image is my April Fool's Day image, inspired by my friend duskydawn. I am thinking of reworking it in black & white for when I do the t-shirts for it. :D

And now, on to the spinning.

As seen in my earlier posts, I received a lot of roving and a spindle from my most recent Secret Pal. The first thing I did was this:

That's just under two ounces of sheep's wool. The pic is actually pretty close to the color, which is a lovely pale grey.

I brought the spindle to my LYS to show it off. :) There, one of the owners (Pam, the knitter) and I wound the singles into a ball using the ball winder. This was also a test of how well I spun, since if I hadn't done it properly, the yarn would have unspun and broken. However, all was well, so I ended up with a little cake of yarn.

A few days later, I brought the cake back and the other owner of the shop (Erica, the spinner and weaver) showed me how she plies from a center pull ball using the spindle. It went pretty quickly!

When I got home, I measured the result using my stepladder, which just HAPPENS to be a yard around. (Niddy noddy is next on my list of things to make for myself!) 44 yards!! I set the twist by soaking it and hanging it to dry in my shower, et voila:

Add this to my first few tries at spinning--

And now I need to figure out what to make with it all.

Any ideas?

Next on the spindle: Wine and black alpaca, probably no more than DK weight when it's plied.

In addition to all this spinning, I've been working through a ton of UFOs and WIPs that needed my attention. Now finished are my mom's Rabbit Tracks scarf, my dad's Trigger Mittens, and three new baby hats. I'll be posting pics of the hats once all of them are done--see my posts back a few months for pics of the first three I did. I have about three or maybe even four left to go, depending on how well the yarn holds out.

My husband's alpaca s0x0rs are almost done--all that's left is the peasant heel on both of them, and then they'll be ready to wear. I hope they fit him, after all this time!!

All in all, I'm feeling pretty good about how things are coming along. I really wanted to complete the Knitting Olympics, but failed miserably due to too many other obligations. However, now that I can sit back and admire my finished pieces that have been hanging over my head in some fashion since before Christmas, it's refreshing to be able to say, 'what else could I knit now?' without feeling guilty about starting something new!

So there we go.