Saturday, September 27, 2008

Oh My!

It's been so long since I've posted, and still I don't know what to "make" this post about. My life is simultaneously too full, while at the same time being a bit too ho-hum. I don't want to bore anyone with the zillion things in my life that are frustrating me, so I'll skip it and stick to the knitting part of the Knits-n-Things blog this is supposed to be!

I have almost finished the gift yarn I've been spinning for this Christmas. I still have one spindle full of singles to ply up. Then it'll be officially done. I think I have about 300-350 yards, although the final two skeins are a bit thinner than the rest. Oops. It's gorgeous, so hopefully the recipient will be willing to overlook my novice mistake. I'll be willing to bet the answer's "yes."

I've also been stockpiling more fiber to spin. I've been so tempted. In order to curb the spending, I might have to try NOT listening to LimeAndViolet. Those girls are dangerous, and I just can't help but drool over the yarn pron section of their podcast, and I seem to buy something every time. I'm such a sucker.

So far, I've bought some prints that are currently out being framed - one is of a knitting girl, it's so cute! - from The Dreamy Giraffe (see etsy for her stuff), this dreamy blue merino that I can't WAIT to spin up:

( I'm thinking laceweight shawl from this.

And this awesome merino/alpaca blend from Squoosh (see etsy again!):

I want to make a suitable yarn for the Mistake-Rib vest from the Designer One-Skein Wonders book out of this. That will be a challenge, and I'm weighing my options carefully before spinning this. It's got to be just right, and will be a major project out of handspun. So far, I've only actually knit the one Calorimetry out of my handspun. I'm in progress still on the Wave Scarf!

Oh. I also have a new spindle on which to spin this stuff up. It's a cute little plain number from Spinsantiy (again with the etsy!!). I've already spun up some more gift yarn with it, as a trial to be sure it was a light enough spindle to do laceweight with. It is, and I'm very happy. Don't know if it's the right one for the fingering/sportweight I'll need to create for the Mistake Rib vest, but we shall see. It's a little busy right now.

See, on a whim the other day, I grabbed the BEAUTIFUL Alpaca/Silk blend my SP12 pal gave me to just do a test-spin, and MAN-O-MAN, does it do a wonderful job handling that! Thank you so, so much, pal!!! I am surprising myself, I think, that I have a pretty good handle on spinning this stuff up, since I was expecting it to be super-difficult to get an even spin going on it. Other than it trying to melt in my hands, it's turning out surprisingly well, and with just one pencil-roving length off the first 2-oz braid spun up so far, I think I've got the hang of it. Here's a picture:

Yum-O, right?

I've got it in my head that I can always make one more spindle a must-have purchase at Stitches East, coming up in Baltimore in early November. The only thing I have definitely on my shopping list for the event is some Silk and Ivory from Tess' Designer yarns so that I can make a Cable-Down Raglan that's as gorgeous as Robin's. Other than that, I am going to look at spinning wheels, but I'm pretty sure I'll be going with the Ashford Joy since space is a BIG issue with me, and I'll be going to Cloverhill to get one from them, like we've already discussed. They remain a wonderful shop - the new owner is just as fabulous as the previous one, if that's possible, and I will definitely give them my business for such a major purchase!

In actual knitting news, I have been working on the Noro Striped scarf (gift), the blue tube-scarf from Alterknits, and I just HAD to cast on for the Tanglewood Cascading Cardigan. I have seen this shape all over the place for the Fall season, and since I've been holding onto the pattern forever, waiting for the perfect yarn to appear in my stash, I figured I'd try the BambooWool I picked up on clearance at my local craft store. It is working wonderfully, knits fairly quickly, and I can't wait until I can wear it!
There will be mad knitting going on, though, because I want to have Cherie Amour finished for Stitches. For some reason I always want to have a new sweater to wear there.

In order to accomplish all this, I'd better stop blogging and start knitting! I'll leave you with a gratuitous shot of the best 6-year old soccer player on the planet:

He was the lucky one who got to kick in after a timeout. Ain't he cute?


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nope . . .

I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Or been tied up by a mad pack of 1st graders. This year's bunch wouldn't even think of trying it (last year's crew, maybe). I have, however, been very very busy. Doing what?

Well, other than the 12-hour-a-day (minimum) teaching job, how about a little of this:

Some of this:

And this:

Spent some time with this cute guy:

And did a WHOLE LOT of this:
Gift yarn I'm quite proud of.

Super-soft merino yarn from some really great pencil roving. I'm using my new spindle from Canada for this, and it's working out like a charm! I love how thin I can get this!!

Other than that, I've been on full-time mommy detail (man, I never realized how much I love having built-in kid helpers!) since The Boy's grandparents deserted him for a visit to see their firstborn daughter (in Germany). We've managed quite well, however, and it makes me wish, for about the zillionth time that teachers were paid a salary that would actually allow me to live in a safe area on my own. Maybe one day . . .

This weekend is supposed to be quite rainy, so I'm hoping to finish up the Cherie Amour (once I work my way through the neckline shaping that isn't spelled out letter for letter - argh! I am so not adept enough to translate a graph to actual knitting without words to help me!) and the gift yarn spinning. That will free up a ton of "hafta" do projects that I feel are pressing on me, and allow me to start about 5 more, right???

I am looking forward to it!