Thursday, July 22, 2010

Spin It Up!

Decided to spend last night and tonight spinning.  I've filled a bobbin with dark brown/black Shetland singles. A two-ply would probably be fingering weight. Not sure if I want to two-ply or three-ply this yarn.  Not sure what I want to make with it either. Perhaps a nice Shetland shawl to wrap around myself in my freezing cold office.  I think it's too scratchy for a scarf or hat. Might work for a lightweight sweater. Of course it might soften up a bit with washing too.  I'm not even sure how much yardage I'll end up with at this point. However much I can get out of 2+ pounds of roving.  By rough calculation, if I can get 400 yards of fingering-weight yarn in 4 ounces, that's 1600 yards per pound or approx 3200 yards total. Plenty for a light cardi or a huge shawl.

The difficult question right now is whether to spin up another bobbin full of Shetland singles or to spin up a bobbin full of the superwash merino/tencel roving that I started spinning at least a year ago. That will end up a nice two-ply, either for a shawl or socks.  I'm leaning toward getting the merino/tencel out of the way, getting it plied and getting it knit.  It only seems fair to get it done and out of the way before diving into the newer roving from Spinderella. Or at least that's my logic at the moment.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Have Been Knitting....

Even if I haven't been blogging. :-)

Finally got the ends run in on Sis' socks that I finished a couple months ago.  I've come to the conclusion that the pair of Crabby Socks for me are indeed too short so I'll rip out the top of the one sock I completed and knit another repeat into the leg before binding off.  I'm glad I decided to think about that before just jumping straight into the 2nd sock.

The Green Cardigan is progressing slowly.  I get in 2-4 rows a couple times a week now.  I've finished the first repeat of the yoke pattern. Should be dividing for the arm holes in another 1/2 to 1 inch or so.  I'm hoping things will pick up speed a bit at that point.  It seems like I knit cotton more slowly than other fibers. Of course, this is also a much larger project than my usual socks.  So far I like it though. Will measure the chest again tomorrow to make sure I'm on target.  I suspect the length will grow a bit with wearing, due to cotton's general tendency to stretch. I'm hoping that means the sweater gets a bit smaller around. I really don't need it to get any bigger around while it gets longer.  The current size is just fine.

These are the socks I started for my trip at the end of June. The pattern is Magic Mirror by Jeannie Cartmel. The yarn is probably Sockotta, purchased well over five years ago. Not entirely sure why I bought this particularly colorway, but it's cheery and spring-like.  I've certainly purchased worse. :-)

Anyway, this photo doesn't reflect it, but I"m actually about halfway up the leg on the first sock.  I had a bit of trouble getting the short row heel to work out on the first try.  When I picked up the wraps on one side to either knit or purl them, it looked really sloppy. Of course I didn't notice that until after I'd knit several rounds of the leg.  Conveniently, I was trying to justify staying up waaaaay too late in the night to watch Gene Simmons' reality show on A&E, so I ripped the heel right out and re-did it. I wasn't even that tired the next morning and the knitting turned out pretty well!

In Other Blogs....
I've been reading Anne Hanson's blog KnitSpot, quite a bit this summer. There are several shawls/shawlettes (among other designs) that I will have to knit for myself. They look to be just the thing for chilly air conditioning.  She's also got a lovely garden that's producing lush yummy veggies like crazy. The photos of the garden are just gorgeous. (It does make me miss my garden a lot, though my garden was never as well-maintained or as productive as Anne and David's garden.)  David does a great job with the knitting photos when Anne is modeling.  I don't know how she manages the garden and putting up produce in the freezer and pantry PLUS knitting and designing and traveling for her pattern line AND she blogs regularly!! Amazing! I aspire to be that organized, productive and creative with my time!!

What I like about Anne's designs is that they have simple shapes, clean lines and the stitch patterns seem so natural/organic. The sweaters are close fitting and light- to medium-weight, not oversized or bulky. The sock patterns are textured, rather than relying on self-striping yarns for interest.  I like crazy colored socks, but crazy colors come in mostly solid colorways too.  It's nice to have a textured sock pattern that isn't obscured by the yarn. At least some of the shawl patterns include variations for different shapes and sizes.  I like that the recommended yarns are mostly from indie dyers too, rather than from big yarn companies.  I think that brings an added level of uniqueness to the finished product, plus it supports small craftspersons in their businesses, which I think is a good thing.

Anyway, go visit KnitSpot and see the good work Anne does!