Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, look -- shiny!

Yeah, I'm a bit behind the trend -- nothing unusual there -- but I finally got around to trying out one of the tencel blends. You know, the ones that make you say, "Oh, look -- shiny!!"

In this case, Shiny also happens to be the name of the yarn. It's from Twisted, in the Angst colourway, 50/50 superwash merino/tencel.

Shiny it is. Also, stripy it is.

I'd started these way back last spring and they sat around for a while. I finally picked them again this fall, ready for a heel. But, hmmm, what heel should I do?

It was about this time that Fleegle returned to the healthy. I took that as a sign that it was time to try her toe-up heel, but top down, of course. Luckily, it works beautifully either way. It's written for two circs, but translates easily to DPNs. Not only is it beautiful, but it is

no fuss, no muss
no flap, no wrap
no hole.

A thing of beauty indeed.

Easiest heel I've ever knit. Just a gusset, a very big heel turn and then a little piece of magic that completely eliminates that hole that can sometimes happen at the corner.

And how does it fit?

Perfectly. Thank you, Fleegle!

Unfortunately, I can't really say that I love the yarn. I like the colours, particularly that blue stripe that fades in and out, but the yarn felt kind of hard and plasticky. I'm hoping it softens up in the wash. It had a slight tendency to split, which was much more noticeable when doing increases and decreases. I have more of this blend in stash and will knit it up eventually, but I don't think I'll be getting any more.

In the Other News Department, I continue to practise my spindling, trying to get in 20 or 30 minutes every day. It really does make a difference, and I can see and feel the progress. My consistent spots are happening more, well, consistently.

It's still not as tight as I want it, but the size is right. I've been over-twisting the singles and then balancing when plying. I've received some very helpful advice from Micki (thanks, Micki!) to over-ply as well and then balance when setting the twist, so I'll be giving that a try this weekend. This spinning stuff is like a whole new world that I knew was out there but was successfully ignoring. I'm glad I've opened the door just a little bit, because it's been good for the mind and the hands to try something different.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fall line-up

Anna Dalvi, the talented designer of the Mystic series of shawls, has another one starting soon, this one called Mystic Earth. I thought I'd give it a try.

Here's sort of what the swatch looks like.

I say "sort of" because I've made three of them on different size needles and just can't get mine to come out the same size as hers. I've decided to go with one needle size up from what's shown above and call it good. I'm using a 50/50 wool/silk blend (probably Zephyr) dyed by Yarn Ahoy in a colourway called Spicy Pumpkin. (That's a sunbeam across the upper right, not a colourway thing.)

The KAL starts on September 30, so there's still time to join up, if you wish.

I've also been playing with my spindle. It's lots of fun. :-) I've tried Navajo plying and Andean plying, both of which satisfy the frugal Scot in me, and have just generally been enjoying it.

I did end up going for a lesson at one of the LYSs, which helped tremendously with my drafting. Here are the two ends of my latest endeavour, plied together, showing how much thinner and consistently I've been able to draft since the lesson.

And here's where I'm at now.

It's about 16 wpi, which is where I want to be, but I want to get from a two-ply down to a three-ply while keeping the same thickness. Must practice more.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Is Mercury in retrograde?

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Blech ... too tight. RIP!!

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Ug-leeee. RIP!!

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Is that fabric or armour? RIP!!

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Grrrr, pattern totally lost in the variegation - RIP!!

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Boring. BORING!! Rip!!!

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Why do they call a yarn purple when it's really BROWN?? RIP!!!

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Row 5 comes after Row 4 four, dude, not ROW 2 !! RIPP!

Blahbitty blah blah blah.


Be relieved there are no photos with this post.

Monday, September 01, 2008


I thought I'd best post before someone left a "Have you been abducted by aliens?" comment. It has been a while. My admiration for people who continue to post whilst working on large projects has grown incredibly. Me, I just wanted to keep on knitting.

It seems that if I put my mind to it, I can devote myself to one project. Well, except for those 10 rounds of a sock that I tried to sneak in and about which I felt guilty with every stitch, and then there was that one round that was for purely scientific research so it doesn't count.

Who knew that I could actually finish something that was larger than a sock? Certainly not me. And on time, too, I must say, with a certain degree of satisfaction. Ends woven in and blocked, all by the target date.

It does seem rather fitting, though, that despite nurturing her with positive energy and careful ministrations, then wooing her with soothing music and chocolate fumes while constantly remarking on her lovely colouration and beautiful form, the fickle FO is currently evading decent photography. She's a shy maiden, this Jeanie.

I hope to get decent modeled shots and a proper FO post once she has made her way to the intended recipient. She's kept me good company for nearly two months, and I will be sad to see her go.

I found that one good way to motivate myself to keep knitting seemingly endless rows of ribbing was a bit of bribery. The "carrot at the end of the stick" routine seems to work equally well for donkeys and knitters.

I finally reached the carrot and can now play with my new toys. And I just might pull out a sock to work on too.