Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter is here :-(

Warning -- lots of pictures! It's snowing and blowing and generally being miserable outside, so what's a guy to do but stay inside and play with a camera? Right? RIGHT? Right. Sigh.

So, I am pleased to announce that I have finished a hat. Which to many of you, I realize, doesn't seem like a big deal, except that I started this hat a year ago. Yes, it sat on the needles for a whole year. But it's done now, and I love it. It's warm and cozy and it covers my ears, which is a good thing.

You can see exactly where I left off last year. I should have gone back and ripped out a round or two, but I didn't, and I'm not going to because I am embracing the rustic. Yes, rustic. That's what it is -- it's rustic, not sloppiness. Rustic, yes. The pattern is the very clever Thorpe, and the yarn is a bulky Alpaca labelled Vintage 2006 that I got from Bridget in the Knitters Tea Swap 4. Thanks again, Bridget! I left off the crochet edging and braidy-tie thingys -- not because I'm too lazy to figure out how to do them but because it's RUSTIC! Ahem.

I also knit up my handspun from the previous post -- and I know you don't want to be bothered with scrolling down so I'll throw in yet another picture --

-- into this ...

... which I admit looks kind of weird until you turn it upside down and roll it up a bit into this:

Which still looks kind of weird, but Yes! It's another hat! Just a basic top down toque, as we call it up here in Canada, although some people elsewhere might call it a watch cap. I made the turn-over especially long so it would fold over and cover my ears, which I think I mentioned is a good thing.

I tried to take some pics of this hat actually on my head, but all I got was something like this ...

... or this ...

So that's what you get too. Sigh.

I've also been spindling a bit.

It's a "mystery roving" that came with a spindle I purchased from Dragoncraft, and I thought it particularly fitting to the season because it reminded me of snow. It's a mixture of merino, bamboo, soysilk and angelina, and it came out very soft and shiny and, well, sparkly.

See? Sparkly. I didn't think I was an "art yarn" type of person, but I will admit it was fun to let it be what it wanted to be. I have no idea what to do with it, though. It's maybe DK weight, 150 yards.

More sparkles! I wish all sparkly white stuff was that much fun and didn't require shovelling. I also wish everyone out there a safe and happy holiday season!

Has it stopped snowing yet? Sigh.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Kaleidoscope # 5

With the completion of the Christmas knitting (yes, I'm rubbing it in!), it's time to get back to some projects that have been sitting for a bit, patiently waiting their turn.

Silk Garden No. 258.

This colourway apparently has every colour ever invented by Noro.

In the Other News Department -- a loose end:

Yikes!! I completely forgot to mention something cool about the Moonlight shawl. It's one of those patterns that looks nice from either side. This is good when you're giving something to a non-knitter and you're afraid they might wear it inside-out. Here's the side that I forgot to include in the last post.

There, full disclosure. I feel much better now. :-)

And in the spindling department, I turned this:

into this:

The sock yarn I finished last month is being knit up as we speak, but I'm not completely happy with it. It's knit-able, but more, um, crisp than soft, so I think that means I over-spun it. This time around I concentrated on keeping the singles a bit looser. I also wanted to make a thicker yarn. The sock yarn singles were about 40 wpi, and for a two-ply worsted weight, the singles should be about 24 wpi. Trying to increase the size of the single is ... interesting. Your hands get used to a certain motion, and you really have to work at making them do something else. The finished yarn isn't completely even, but it's much softer. At 266 yards, it ended up being a light worsted weight.

I've also been working on plying tighter.

All in all, I'm happy with it. So, what shall it be? Scarf or hat? Hmmm.