Monday, October 19, 2009


I stopped entering blog contests a while ago because I figured I’d done my fair share of winning when I first started blogging and it would only be fair to let other people have a chance, but for some reason, when Joan had a contest to guess the yardage in a skein of yarn she’d spun, the number 585 jumped right into my head.  I checked her comments and no one else had guessed that yet, which quite surprised me, because, you know, it was SO COMPLETELY OBVIOUS.   Before I had a chance to control myself, I’d entered.  Well, turns out I was wrong.  The correct answer was 576.  But, as luck would have it, I was less wrong than anyone else, so I WON!  Wanna see what she sent me?  Of course you do.


Mmmm, nummies!!  Cookies, Buffalo bars (Did you know Buffalos only have 330 calories per serving?  I didn’t.), sponge candy and some wonderful smelling soap so I can wash my sticky fingers after I munch. 

There might have also been some fibre.

IMG_8148a Hmmmm, softies!! On the right is some beautifully heathered merino in the Cranberry colourway from Firefly Farm, and on the left?   It’s from Spirit Trail Fiberworks, Moon Shadows colourway, merino, silk and angora!!  Dudes!!

Thank you, Joan -- you do know how to spoil a guy!!  The moral for everyone else?  585 is a lucky number.  Remember that, mkay?

So, what have I been up to?  Well, knitting.  Still no socks – sock mojo continues to be a a no-go – but I did knit up some of my handspun into a shawl/scarf thingy.


The pattern is the uber-simple Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West, which I still managed to screw up, but whatever.  I figured a triangle shape would suit the light-to-dark shading in the stripes. 

IMG_7896a The main feature of the pattern is lines of garter stitch every 12 rows.  I did them every 10, because it was easier and I felt like it.  I’m quite happy with the project, from start to finish, but turns out that I prefer the back side.  Sort of makes the garter ridges moot, but I think the colour changes are smoother.  Design element, down the tubes.  That’s just the way it goes sometimes.

IMG_7952a  The wheel has been kept busy too.

IMG_7873aThis is some super fluffy and soft superwash BFL in the Trust Me colourway from CJ Kopek.  It’s part of a spin-a-long on Ravelry where we were given photos of the inspiration behind the colourway but not a picture of the actual fibre, which I think is kind of a fun idea.  The colours aren’t really me, so I wasn’t really worried about making a yarn for a specific purpose and instead gave myself permission to play.

IMG_8090a Techy stuff:  Divided the fibre into four lengths.  Predrafted two of them together to mix and meld the colours, then did the same with the other two.  Held both lengths together as I drafted at the wheel.  This gave me a very mixed up and marled single.  I chained the single, chained the chain and then added plying twist.

IMG_8081a End result, 75 yards, 9-ply double chained, 8 wpi.  I like it!  I think it will make a great Wonky.  I guess I should get started on that so I can actually use it this year, eh?

IMG_8070a End note:  Anyone else using Windows Live Writer to write blog posts? Wow, so much easer.  My only complaint is that it won’t accept my defaults and I have to format each photo.  Even that’s just two clicks,though, and it’s much easier than all the dragging and dropping I had to do before.  So, does easier equal more frequent posts?  That remains to be seen.

Friday, October 09, 2009


You may correctly surmise by the lack of a “finished my September Sock-a-Month socks!” post that I did not, in fact, finish my September Sock-a-Month socks.

Instead, I dug out some Tinsel Toes in the Prince of the Wood Elves colourway from the Unique Sheep.


I got this yarn as part of their Lord of the Rings sock club, but since I’m not really sold on tencel blends for socks, it sat until its time came to be something else.  That time had arrived.



It was perfect for a Milkweed shawl.  The pattern is well written, and a quick and easy knit. The colours in the yarn are subtle enough that, when knit in garter stitch, they don’t obscure the pattern at all but just add a bit of depth.  The tencel gives it a nice silvery sheen.



Sometimes, when you can’t be there in person to give someone a comforting hug, a knit has to take your place.   This was quickly wrapped up and sent off to be where I could not.

I then returned to my socks, but found they weren’t absorbing enough and left me too much time to think and worry, so back to the spinning wheel I went.




This gorgeous rusty brown Corriedale was a gift from Briley.  He dyed it and sent to me, thinking it would make some nice sock yarn.  It turned out beautifully.



It came out at 319 yards, 15 wpi, 3 ply.  Thanks, Brian – it was a pleasure to spin, and I love the subtle colours.  I’m looking forward to knitting it up to see how the Corriedale fares compared to the merino and BFL sock yarns I’ve made.



So yes, I can put some music on and spin away, letting my thoughts be absorbed into the colours flowing through my fingers.  It feels strange that I now get that feeling from spinning instead of knitting, but there it is, and there’s no sense fighting it.  I couldn’t really leave the bobbins empty, could I? 



Out came some 50/70 oatmeal BFL/silk in some beautifully  calm, cool colours.  It’s from The Thylacine, a colourway named Sandspit River.  Silk still seems to give me trouble, but I patiently worked my way through it.



At 12 wpi, it’s a bit thicker than was I hoping, even though it’s only a 2-ply, but 220 yards should give me enough to do something with.  I don’t what, but something. 

And just as I was hanging it to dry after setting the twist, I got the phone call I was waiting for.  Things still aren’t good, but they’re better.  I can downgrade my worrying to a state of watchful concern.  I suppose that’s about the best one can ask for in the circumstances.  In the meanwhile, I’m thankful I have distractions.