Sunday, April 29, 2007

Blocked and moving on...

I got the shawl blocked out. I did not, however, manage to take a photo of it before unpinning it. Silly me. It is about six feet from end to end and probably three feet deep. I didn't block it severely due to space limitations, but I could probably get several more inches of depth out of it if I re-blocked it. That will either wait until I wear it enough to wash it or it won't ever happen because I gave it to someone else.

In the meantime, I have knit a nice little hat for the Dulaan Project while watching TV. I'm about halfway through the foot of my current sock too. I haven't any idea when that might get finished. At the rate I've been finishing things lately, it ought to be done around August....

My knitting progress may be slowing down in the near future. You see, I've purchased a drum carder. A friend is picking it up and shipping it to me in a week or so. This should help me get the oodles of fleeces I have ready to spin and then lead to LOTS and LOTS yarn that I will eventually knit or weave into something.

Spinning Planning
I have never quite figured out if I should just spin whatever strikes my fancy at the time or find a project first, then spin to meet the project's requirements and hope that I have sufficient fleece to make all the yarn for that project. The latter is really the only way I have of making sure I will have enough yarn for a given project. Otherwise I'd just have to hope that I had sufficient amounts of yarn already spun up that matched the project's needs. That might work, if A) I got lucky on the quantity and B) I actually kept records of how much yarn I had spun. Obviously I need to work on B regardless. I have several spare notebooks, so I really have no excuse for *not* documenting my spinning. With my McMorran yarn balance I can even figure out how much yarn I have without having to measure every last inch.

To accomplish my spinning goals, I will need to clean out my fiber room and make it functional (meaning I need to get the table put together). That means I will have to finish sorting through my computer parts and move them either to the computer room or to the trash. Which means I need to clean out the computer room too. I'll see how much of that I can accomplish this week. It's supposed to rain a couple of days this week so I won't be able to play in the yard after work. Looks like I know what I'll be doing on the rainy nights. :o)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Okay, Okay. So I did it.

The Kiri Shawl has been cast off (without any errors in the process!!) and is presently soaking in a warm soapy bath. It's just a bit small in it's pre-blocked state, so it should end up just right size post blocking.

Next, the question will be what to do with it (keep it or give it away). It's not exactly a color I think looks good on me. I could certainly dye it, but I'd hate to screw up the dyeing and end up with a blotchy shawl. I know of at least one person who would appreciate it in the color it presently is. If worst came to worst, I could always donate it some place.

Next Project:
I have two socks in progress at the moment, both of which are the first sock of their respective pairs. One is the lace sock from the cover of Socks, Socks, Socks and the second is Braided Toeholder from 3 Trails Designs in Mountain Colors Weavers Wool Quarters. I could work on either of those. However, I recently was sent a sock pattern to test knit for Jeannie of Townsend Sock Knit Along. I forget the name of the sock, but it's a pattern which would be well suited to the green KnitPicks Essentials I got almost two years ago. I may have to start that project instead of work on an existing one. If I recall correctly, the pattern is written to be knit either toe-up or top down. I have always knit socks cuff down, but might try toe up this time, just to be different. And I think that the pattern looks better in the toe up picture.

Procrastination or Perfectionism?

Well, the Kiri is finished, except for the cast off. It's been like that for about three days. I propose two reasons why it's not done yet. One is that I generally have difficulty actually finishing projects, though I don't think that's the issue here. The second is that I don't want to screw up the bind off and have it be either too stretchy or too tight, then have to redo it repeatedly until it's just right. At the moment, my plan is to add a bind off stitch every two stitches and see if that's stretchy enough. Part of me wants to finish this thing tonight and part of me is just exhausted from two days of training with the CDC to just fall over and go to bed by 7pm. Blah.

I am the stupidest smart person I know (at least on some days). Would you believe that the Kiri pattern actually tells you what the best bind off is? Sigh. I *swear* I read through the whole pattern several times during the knitting of the shawl, just to make sure that I hadn't missed some tidbit of useful information or other tips. Yeah, well, apparently I managed to visually delete that bit until just now. Sigh.

On the other hand, I have absolutely no excuse, other than being relatively brain dead today, to not cast off the shawl tonight.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Two more rows done!

I'm still plodding away at the border. I am intending to get a minimum of one row done each day. What worries me at this point is not the border itself or the blocking after, but the casting off. My casting off tends to be not terribly elastic. I will have to haul out my copy of Principles of Knitting and read what Ms. Hiatt has to say about elastic bind offs.

Remember my green lace scarf?
I am debating frogging the whole thing and re-doing it. It's really too narrow, too long and knit at too loose a gauge. I think I could easily go down a needle size, add a pattern repeat and make it a foot shorter to produce a much more satisfying end product. I don't mind a supple scarf, but not a limp one.

Planning the next project
I have decided to finish the socks I have already in progress (all three of them). Then I will knit at least one pullover for the Dulaan Project using the green and white yarn from my frogged ski sweater. Plus Dulaan Hats, of course. After that perhaps I'll work on finishing the sweaters for me that I've started.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Making Progress.....

I have completed the first four rows of the border. So far I have only had to re-do about 20 stitches due to a mis-counting at the start of the first row. Only seven or eight more rows to go. Yay!! I might even get it finished by the end of the week.

The Fiber Event
This is the first year in about five years that I've missed what used to be known as The Fleece Fair in Greencastle, IN. I had considered going this year, even though it would be a six to seven hour drive one way. However, given my small fiber budget and rather large fiber stash, I really didn't think I could justify collecting more fleeces. If I really really really want another Hidden Valley fleece, I can always call them directly. (Like I need a fifth and sixth fleece from them at the moment....) It sounds like the weather was pretty cold and miserable up there anyway, so that wouldn't have been much fun.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Starting the Border....

I have finished the last row of the last repeat. I am about to commence the border of the Kiri. The end is rapidly approaching.

Since the weather is expected to be cold and rainy, at least for tomorrow, I should be able to get a good bit of knitting accomplished. I'm even mostly caught up on the housework, so that won't be a distraction. I figure I'll make the usual run to Wal-Mart, library and Lowe's, then fire up iTunes and listen to podcasts while I knit away the day. If I have time, I need to darn two pair of socks as well.

I still have no idea what I'll knit next. I'm hoping to crank out a Dulaan Hat on Sunday evening.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Another ARGH!!!

This one is of my own making. I was diligently working on the Kiri last night. When I was really too tired to be working on it. And I discovered, as it put it down for the night, that I'd dropped a stitch about four rows ago. Fortunately it was along an edge and not in the lace. Then again, I'm not sure I'd notice a dropped stitch *in* the lace. Anyway, I left the knitting as it was last night, knowing I was too tired to figure out fixing the dropped stitch.

Then as I walked away to go to bed I caught my foot in the working yarn. And promptly snapped it in two. Fortunately there weren't any skaters nearby so disaster was averted. (oooooold Yarn Harlot reference)

So tonight I got to spit splice the yarn back together, fix the dropped stitch (which was painless and only involved re-doing a single decrease in the process) and then knit half a row of the final pattern row of the final pattern repeat. Soon, all that will remain will be the border. I might actually get this silly thing finished this week. Then, of course, I'll have to let it sit around for a couple of weeks before washing and blocking it. NOT!!! I really want to see what she looks like all stretched out.

Then I shall have to knit a couple of Dulaan Project hats. And finish my Mountain Colors sock. Once those are done, I'll decide what to do next. If I try to figure out what I'll knit too far into the future, I'll just end up changing my mind.

But I did get the living room painted over the weekend. The entire room is now a single color: "Soft Cream" which is a barely yellow color. Now I'll just have to decide which bits of art to hang on the now completely bare walls.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


"Angora is processed goat hair." CASHMERE and MOHAIR are processed goat hair. I think where they got confused is that angora goats produce cashmere. Angora fiber comes from angora rabbits. Which reminds me, I have about 4 ounces of angora hanging around somewhere in my fiber stash. I'll have to run some of it through the drum carder (once I get it) with some of the merino stash I have.


Loong Weekend coming!!
But probably no fiber excitement this coming weekend. I am planning to paint my living room and bathroom instead, starting Thursday evening. I started painting it in November, so it's really time to finish it up. I'm about done with ignoring two of the walls in the living room and the rather uneven painting job I did on one of the finished walls is starting to drive me bonkers.

On the other hand, I might just have to take a break for a couple of hours to catch a movie on TV or DVD and finished that silly Kiri Shawl. No, I still haven't stretched it out to see how big it is, but I have decided that this is indeed the final repeat before the border. So *there*! :o)