Thursday, April 30, 2009

After All That....Nothing.

I bought new yarn. I cast on half the stitches for my sister's sock. I dug out the next sock yarn for me. I moved my knitting projects around the house. After all of this, all my interest in knitting has vanished.

Largely, I think I'm mostly tired. I've been spending a lot of time outside doing heavy yardwork both after work and on weekends. When I do spend time inside, it seems to be catching up on the usual life stuff--paying bills, cooking meals, cleaning, doing laundry. When I finally sit down, I mostly just want to sit and stare blindly at not much. This is not terribly conducive to much knitting.

Of course, I just peeked at Lankakamero and completely fell in love with the Vernal Equinox Surprise shawl again. Isn't it gorgeous? I've got some J. Knits Lace-a-licious in Pueblo (very pale green) that would be perfect.

Yes, I am in complete denial about how mentally exhausted I am when I have knitting time and how complicated lace patterns are a disaster waiting to happen when one is knitting while tired. But it's a pretty denial, don't you think?

Sister's Stripey Socks
So, I cast on half the stitches for the first sock. I had intended to knit the socks with one-row stripes and to knit them using the helix knitting method for avoiding jogs in the stripes (see the current Interweave Knitting for more on this or Google Joan's Helix Hat). Rather than just knitting the socks according to my decisions, I called my sister and asked how she'd like her socks to be striped. She said 1/2" stripes. Hmmm. This complicates things a bit. First, there will be jogs to manage. Second, I will have to carry the yarn vertically between color changes, which is not impossible, but can be tricky to do smoothly. The lazy part of me says to just do it my way anyway. The nicer, more ethical part of me says to knit them per her request since they're *her* socks and I can't pretend I don't know what she wants. So they sit in my knitting basket. *sigh*

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yarn Shopping Results!

My yarn retail therapy day was a success! My sister was more than happy to visit a yarn store with me as part of our day running around Nashville. She was even happier when I told her she should pick out yarn for a pair of socks that I'd knit for her. Right inside the door at Haus of Yarn was a display of Colinette Jitterbug. She really liked the bright colors, but blanched a bit at the price ($20/skein). After looking at all the sock yarn in the store, I finally convinced her that she needed to pick out two skeins of sock yarn and I didn't care a rat's patootie what the pricetag read. She finally settled on Lobster Pinch and Apricot, to be knit in stripes with solid heels and toes (one set of each color, of course).

For myself, I chose a skein of Skacel merino lace in a dusty grape color and two skeins of Misti Alpaca lace in a wine colorway, with both colors sister-approved. One of these two yarns will become an Aeolian Shawl for me.

The woman who rang up my purchase was having trouble finding the right color code for the Misti Alpaca and ended up only charging me for one of the two skeins. I didn't even notice until late last night, then didn't get home today before they closed. I'll give them a call tomorrow and see about paying them for the 2nd skein. If they can't charge my card over the phone, I can send them a check via the mail.

While we were waiting to pay for the goods, I pointed out the shop model of Pam Wynne's February Lady Sweater hanging overhead, knit in a reddish brown wool. Sis thought it was gorgeous and mused that the sleeves might be modified to be more narrow and full-length, rather than the wider 3/4 length shown in the model. I told her it was a very easy sweater to knit, should be readily alterable and that I'd even seen it in a pullover version. She then asked if it was something that might be knittable by Christmas. I laughed and said yes. Now I just need to track down the right yarn. I think Sis might have had a stroke if I'd bought it right then.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Yarn Shopping Coming Soon!

I will be taking a day trip tomorrow to hang out with my sister, who is in Nashville at a conference. I'm going to take her out for lunch, we'll stop by the Parthenon and hit Haus of Yarn. There's nothing in particular that I am looking for, but I had a fairly crappy week, so a bit of retail therapy might be nice. I am thinking that perhaps a couple skeins of sock yarn or some lace weight for a shawl would be nice. I really have no idea what I want. Presumably the right yarn will talk to me when it sees me. And if none of it talks to me, then I'll leave it all in the store. Mostly the highlight of the day will be running around with Sis. Maybe I'll get her to pick out some sock yarn for herself. I haven't knit any socks for her in at least 5 years.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Queen of Cups Finished!

I have finally gotten this pair of socks finished. I actually put finishing the 2nd sock on my list of things to get done this past weekend. So, without further ado, here they are:
Pattern: Queen of Cups from Spring 2007 Knitty
Yarn: Shibui Knits Sock in color Jewel
Needles: U.S. Size 2
Comments: The cuff is a bit short for my preferences. I might have had enough yarn to add another 1/2 repeat to the cuff, but it would have cut things awfully close for the finishing. In any event, they're certainly wearable and they're gorgeous socks. I think this yarn would make for a beautiful scarf too.

Next up, finishing the first Boy Sock and getting it sent off for a fitting. I've been rather distracted from my knitting by my garden and yardwork. Perhaps if there is a bit of rain later this week I'll get the Boy Sock's toe re-knit longer and wider.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

More Organizing!!

But first, there are giveaways to share with you!! I am not the only person having a spring cleaning and organizing spree this year. earthchicknits is cleaning things up too and also having a giveaway in the process. Head on over there to see her cleaning and organizing progress.

It doesn't involve spring cleaning at all, but it is a giveaway for a good cause. orinda5 is hosting a giveaway to benefit the Roseville String Ensemble. At the moment, the ensemble does not have sufficient funds for the 2009-2010 season. orinda5 wants to keep the ensemble going so she is giving away some lovely prize packages (enough Malabrigo worsted for a sweater, Malabrigo lace weight plus beads and a shawl pin, and a sock yarn package including yarn for two socks, stitch markers and a tote bag to hold it all). Please consider going to her site and making a donation to the Roseville String Ensemble via the conveniently provided Paypal button when you enter the giveaway.

Fiber Room Finished!
As for my fiber room, I think I've got it put back together now. I even put artwork up on the wall which I never do, as evidenced by the four or five framed posters/paintings leaning against various walls in my house. There are three bins of fleece headed to the garage. There are another three or four bins of fabric and clothing I need to sort through. I don't think the fabric will fit on the shelves in the closet, so may need to figure out an alternate storage place.

That's a Strauch's Finest drum carder in the back corner with a set of Indigo Hound 5-pitch combs next to it . I bought the drum carder used from a woman in Washington state last year with some of my tax refund, talked Boy into picking it up from her son (they were both located in the same town), and Boy shipped it to me. I love it. The combs I picked up at the Fleece Fair in Greencastle, IN (now known as The Fiber Event and happening next weekend!) With my worktable set up, I now have a nice place to use both of these tools, instead of sitting or kneeling on the floor next to the coffee table to use them.

The desk chair is a rather old, but ergonomically designed, wooden desk chair I found in an "antique" shop years ago. I think I paid $50 for it. I need to adjust its height, but other than that, it's remarkably comfortable even without padding. I love the lumbar support when I lean back and put my feet up.

The cloud of fiber on the table is some white Coopworth I washed just to see how clean it would get. It's a brilliant white. It will make some spectacular yarn. I'd consider dyeing some of the fiber or yarn, but I wouldn't want to screw it up with an ugly color or by accidentally felting it, so I'll probably leave it natural white.

The bins of yarn are toward the front, with the fleeces and prepared fiber at the back. That's a white shetland fleece at the top of the pile in the back.

The stereo cabinet is holding the two plastic boxes of knitting needles and patterns I got from my paternal grandmother. The bottom cubbyhole contains the Critter Knits book and the WIP totebag. The two boxes in front have been put in their proper places.

The three bins with the fiber on top are holding the grey coopworth fleece that I've teased open in preparation for washing. Once it's all washed, I'll comb it. I did some preliminary carding, but didn't like the end product as much as I like the combed product.

As for the loose fiber on top, that's Romney (I think) that I washed some time ago and carded. It wasn't washed thoroughly however, so it is pretty sticky feeling. I'll re-wash it in the next week or so. I really need to quit "sampling" the fleeces by washing bits and pieces and just focus on getting a whole fleece ready to go, otherwise I'll continue to lose track of what I'm doing.

It's very nice to have all my fibery goodness in one place. I will probably move my living room knitting basket and other odds/ends into the fiber room. To me it feels like I'll be more productive with an actual space to do fibery things, but only time will tell.

Darning Socks!

I found this marvelous sock darning tutorial today. I had been wondering how to fix a large hole in two of my socks that encompassed a 3x4 stitch area, but wasn't sure how to duplicate stitch/darn over a place where NO STITCHES were. Now I know! I'm actually excited to try this. Perhaps darning socks will be my reward today for getting other work done.

Shawl KAL Progress?
Yeah, nothing to report there. I got caught up with other tasks this week. I still haven't even swatched for it. I remain hopeful that I'll get the swatch done this week.