Sunday, October 28, 2007

Horror Films and Fiber Fun!

I *love* October. Both TCM and AMC show scary movies. AMC is going all out and showing horror flicks 24 hours a day between Oct 22nd and Oct 31st. They're not always flicks I'm interested in watching, like the Scream series or Dracula 2000, but it's hard to resist the quality movies, like The Exorcist, The Howling and The Fog. I suppose, when you think about it, Halloween, being made in 1978 and being nearly 30 years old, probably qualifies for "vintage" status now. It's hard to believe it's been that long. On Halloween day, all five Halloween movies will be shown in order starting at 10am EDT. By the time I get home, they'll be showing the later ones, which aren't nearly as good as the first one.

For some reason I like to spin while I watch horror movies. I spun up half a bobbin of merino lace-weight yesterday. This is from my stash of merino roving that I pick up at the Amana woolen mill factory store at the Amana Colonies in Iowa. I have probably seven pounds of this stuff. I've been turning it into a light worsted weight 3-ply. I have no idea what I'll do with it, though it would make for a nice Aran sweater. I suppose I should go through my stash and find out how much I've already spun up.

The Spinning Queue
Next will either be the alpaca roving I bought three years ago at the Fleece Fair or the red/gold striped roving called "Autumn Leaves" also purchased at the fleece fair. The alpaca is eight ounces of jet black roving from the Oak Meadow Alpaca Farm. I think it would like to be a lace-weight 2-ply for a shawl or stole. It would certainly make a beautiful Leda's Dream or Moon Dance. I'm leaning toward Moon Dance at the moment.

The Autumn Leaves roving is 70% dyed Border Leicester and 30% natural colored Border Leicester and was produced by Maple Row Stock Farm. It's more of a red-orange than the picture shows. The natural colored wool adds a bit of brown to the mix. I have 8 ounces of this wool. I had purchased a similar colorway the previous year, but it had more brown in it. I actually removed the brown from the roving because I thought it muddied up the color too much. I think I spun a 2-ply DK weight from the previous roving. If I can find that yarn, I'll spin this to match and double my yield.

I also have some red, purple and yellow roving that I really think is quite unattractive. I'm sure at the time I thought it was quite pretty and I had some sort of plan for it, but now I'm not sure what I was thinking. I haven't decided if I'm going to re-card it so the colors are all blended together or even add some cream-colored or gray wool. I'll have to experiment with the drum carder.

Fiber Stash Inventory
Yep, I really need to get the fleeces and roving cataloged and then re-arranged the fiber room. It's time to get it organized so I can use it more readily. There's too much to keep track of in my head. I had started preparing one of the Coopworth fleeces, but I can't remember how much of it was washed or which bins are just picked fleece or washed fleece.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Travel Knitting, Part 2

I am again comfortably ensconced in my hotel room with a belly full of food--this time it's good home cooking from Monell's. The menu tonight was fried chicken, baked chicken with stuffing, fried porkchops, greens, coleslaw, Italian green beans, corn pudding, biscuits, fried green tomatoes, broccoli salad, mashed potatoes, fried apples and strawberry shortcake. The food is served family style and everybody sits at big tables. Although I was a solo diner this evening, I sat with four other people, which was nice. The food is superb, which you might expect from a restaurant that's been in business since the 1880s. If they didn't have good cooking figure out by now they'd have gone out of business by now, don't you think?

I got three pattern rows on the Kiri done last night. I got another pattern row done this evening before dinner and hope to get two more pattern rows done before bedtime. Right now I think I'll do two more pattern repeats after this one, then the border. That will add one pattern repeat more than the original, if I recall things correctly. I might go with three more repeats to make it even larger.

The few times I wore the shawl before its unfortunate accident, I really wanted it to be a bit larger than it was. Not so much longer, as deeper across the shoulders. I suppose I ought to design a shawl/stole hybrid. No pointy bit pointing at one's behind (which makes me think of my friend Dr. Pete who refers to men's ties as "dick pointers") and a nice wide covering for the shoulders/upper arms before tapering to the traditional pointy ends. I expect this trapezoidal shape has already been developed and I might even have a pattern or three in that shape. Will have to do some research.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Travel Knitting Again!

I am comfortably ensconced in a hotel room with a belly full of good Japanese food and some mindless entertainment on the television (Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe). I have brought the Kiri and the blue sock for my knitting. I'll see how far I get with the Kiri in the next hour. I'm going to bed at 10pm so I can get up early to workout and have breakfast. If the weather cooperates, I'd like to walk to the training session tomorrow (about 5 blocks) and maybe pick up a latte at the library coffee shop while en route.

With any luck I'll get an uninterrupted evening of knitting tomorrow night too. w00t! Of course, I'll have to also consider what I want to eat tomorrow evening. Decisions, decisions.....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Becoming a Smarter Knitter

I have achieved a new level of knitting intelligence. I figured out that during the 4th quarter of the Illinois-Michigan football game I needed to knit something truly mindless, like ribbing, instead of trying to knit either the Kiri or the Mystery Stole.

Apparently I do learn eventually from having to rip back after making mistakes when distracted by a close game or other equally engaging activity. I did get one repeat of the Kiri knit before the game captured too much of my attention. I might get another repeat done tonight. I think I'll watch one of the Lord of the Rings movies, one of the Thin Man movies or Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

More Knitting!

I have just finished picking up the live stitches on the Kiri (having had to rip back three repeats plus the border to fix the tear in it). I have no idea where in the pattern I'm at now. I'll have a look at that shortly. The working yarn is in the middle of a pattern row.

Fledgling Wing
I haven't quite finished the first repeat on the wing. I dislike having to keep a stitch marker at the end of the row where I turn and knit back. It gets in my way, but I have discovered with this particular pattern it's easier to use the stitch marker than to have to count or examine the knitting and see where the P2tog goes before the turn. Oh well, I'll live.

When I pinned out the stole last week for the picture, I discovered that it will block out larger than I thought. It might actually qualify as a stole, instead of a scarf. Of course, there's no telling how well it will stay blocked once I wear it. Once it's finished and blocked for real, we'll see how big it gets.

I have been slowly building up my Ravelry entries. I'm listed there as morenna if you want to look. I don't have any photos posted and I'm not likely to do so any time soon. I am not really keen on having to start a Flickr account in order to post photos. It would be nice if I could use them off my server instead of having to put them up somewhere else. Oh well.... I'm not sure how much time I'll be spending there anyway since it will, once again, cut into my knitting time.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I did manage to get some knitting done while I was in Chicago for Marathon weekend. I ripped back the red sock repeat that I'd goofed up the previous week. I even managed to knit a repeat and a half correctly before setting the sock down. I might get the first sock done some time this fall. With any luck the second sock won't take me two years and I can have a complete pair by the spring....

No progress on the Mystery Stole's wing. I thought I had printed out the chart for the wing, but I'm not sure where I put it. If nothing else, I'll put the chart together tonight and perhaps get some knitting done on it tomorrow.

Kiri has not yet been put on the needles for it's re-knitting. That might be a Sunday afternoon job.

More Travel Knitting Coming Soon!
I have two nights of travel next week for work. I hope to spend at least one night just hanging out in my hotel room relaxing and knitting. I don't mean to be antisocial, but after a long day at a meeting it's nice to just drool on myself and do something therapeutic.

Friday, October 05, 2007

No knitting. :-(

I got really busy at work this week and now I'm on the road again (Iit's marathon weekend in Chicago, even though I'm not actually running waddling this year). I do have knitting with me, but I will be really surprised if I get any done. I brought the red lace sock to rip back and the blue trekking socks for actual knitting.
The MS3 stole is still hanging out on the couch after posing for its photo. It really wouldn't have been a good choice anyway, given that it requires concentration and attention to detail, which I'm unlikely to have hanging out with my family and participating in conversation.

Although I'll be in the Chicago area for the next three days, I will not actually be going to any yarn/fiber shops. I just don't have the time or the budget for that. I did buy yarn at Needleworks last weekend though and in Memphis a few weeks before that. I think that will get me by just fine. It's not like I have any shortage of yarn or spinning fiber or fleece. Anybody want to buy part of my 25 pound stash of plain white cotton roving? :-) (seriously, if you'd like some, let me know and we can work out a deal)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Clue 4 Finished! The Wing Awaits!

After knitting, ripping, knitting and ripping rows 405-407 about three times, I have finally finished Clue 4. I used my friend Beading Banshee's modification to carry the border pattern around the top of the stole before the wing starts. I am *not* going to start the wing tonight. It's nearly past my bedtime and I think I'll have to pay a bit of attention to what I'm doing at least for the beginning of the wing area.

Next I'll need to get the Kiri back on the needles, so I can finish knitting it again.

The Cursed Red Lace Sock
Remember the red lace socks? They're knit from red Nylamb using the Lacy Arrow Sock pattern from the Spin-Off Sock Book that came out several years ago. I took them with me to Champaign over the weekend so I could knit on them at Needleworks. I had marked the row I was ready to knit in the pattern, so I merrily knitted away for about 8 rows. And then discovered that I had not apparently marked the starting row correctly. I'll be ripping out the inch of progress I made. It seems like this happens whenever I make significant progress on that sock. I must have knit the gusset area four times. Once I got halfway down the foot before noticing an obvious error in the lace right in the middle of the instep.

Part of me wants to give up since I can't manage to finish even the first sock of the pair. The other part of me wants to beat this darned thing into submission. The sock is beautiful. It's just not cooperating particularly well at the moment.