Friday, December 17, 2010

I May Be Crazy

One of my Christmas presents came in the mail this week.  It's a copy of Twisted-Stitch Knitting by Maria Erlbacher.  There are some lovely stitch patterns in this book and some even lovelier sweater patterns at the back of the book.  Here's where the crazy part comes in.  I have decided to not only knit at least one of these sweaters, I have decided that I'm going to spin the yarn with which to knit them.

You may recall that I have >75 pounds of lovely roving that I had processed by Spinderella this past spring.  I've been trying to come up with projects to start using this up.  I could knit 800 pairs of socks from it, but I think that would get rather boring, so a larger project (or 50) is in order.  For the most part, the wool is soft enough for next-to-skin wear.  I'm thinking sweaters and shawls and scarves.  For the coarser wool, perhaps an afghan or a woven rug.  My wardrobe could use the addition of several lighter-weight cardigans and maybe a couple of pullovers.  The natural-colored wool should set off textured stitch patterns quite well, as will a worsted-spun yarn. 

Spinning to meet a project specification will be a new experience for me.  Ordinarily, I knit the yarn and then pick a project. It may be a challenge to spin a consistent yarn from start to finish. I'll need to devise a way to measure the yarn length so I can be sure that I have spun enough yarn before I start knitting.  I'm also curious about how long it will take me to spin enough yarn for a whole sweater.

I'll keep pondering the details while I finish spinning up the merino roving I've got on the wheel right now (2-ply lace weight).

On the Knitting Front...
I've got one knitted gift finished.  The other one is only half done (still haven't started the second sock).  I have been making some progress on the orange cardigan.  Haven't done much on the green cardigan sleeve, even though I'm already at the shaping of the sleeve cap on the first sleeve.  Fairly soon I'll have to figure out what my travel knitting for next week will be.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meme-Day Monday

"Stolen" at the direction of Vicki over at knitorious.

1.  What time did you get up this morning?  0330.  Had to take Boy to the airport. I normally get up between 0400 and 0415.
2.  How do you like your steak?  Grazing in a pasture. I'm a vegetarian.
3.  What was the last film you saw at the cinema? I saw "Red" just this past weekend.
4.  What is your favorite TV show?  "Castle." It's the only TV show I watch, though I shift it to Wednesday nights.
5.  If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?  Some place with gorgeous views, great food and fascinating people.
6.  What did you have for breakfast? Oatmeal with blueberries and a piece of homemade whole wheat bread on the side.
7.  What is your favorite cuisine?  Mexican or Italian.
8.  What foods do you dislike?  Lima beans, Brussels sprouts, greasy food, animals.
9.  Favorite Place to Eat? Courier Cafe. The Tin Shed. Atomic Ale Brewery and Pub.
10.  Favorite dressing?  Spicy mustard mixed with apple cider vinegar and a bit of honey.
11.  What kind of vehicle do you drive? VW Golf and CBR 600 F3 motorcycle.
12.  What are your favorite clothes? Jeans and a sweater.
13.  Where would you visit if you had the chance?  Another planet. Tibet. Italy. The bottom of the ocean. Any place with gorgeous views, great food and fascinating people.
14.  Is your cup 1/2-empty or 1/2-full?  1/2-full.
15.  Where would you want to retire?  Some place with gorgeous views, great food and fascinating people. Some place I can continue learning and doing.
16.  Favorite time of day?  Sunset or sunrise.
17.  Where were you born?  The same place as Captain Kirk. Iowa.
18.  Favorite sport to watch?  Equestrian sports. College football.
19.  Who do you think will not tag you back?
20.  Person you expect to tag you back first?
21.  Who are you most curious about their responses to this?
22.  Bird watcher?  Not since I moved and no longer have a bird feeder installed.  I miss having meals with the goldfinches, bluebirds, woodpeckers and their friends.
23.  Are you a morning person or a night person?  I have become a  morning person. I have been a night person in the past.
24.  Pets?  Do virtual fish count?
25.  Favorite book?  I can't pick just one.  Maybe The Diamond Age by Neil Stephenson.
26.  What did you want to be when you were little?  A mad scientist. See? Dreams can come true!
27.  What is your best childhood memory?  Getting to have a pony for a week while staying at my grandparent's farm. Seeing at least one movie every weekend throughout my childhood and adolescence.  Getting lost in various books.
28.  Are you a cat or dog person? Either
29.  Do you have children?  Just houseplants and books.
30.  Do you always wear your seat belt?  Yes.
31.  Have you ever been in a car accident?  Yes.
32.  Any pet peeves?  Yes, mostly having to do with bad grammar and a lack of common sense.
33.  Favorite pizza topping?  tomatoes, roasted eggplant, onions, no cheese.
34.  Favorite Flower? To look at: sunflowers.  To smell: Lilies of the valley.
35.  Favorite ice cream?  Frozen banana "ice cream".  (Frozen bananas blended with almond milk until smooth.)
36.  Favorite fast food restaurant?  If I eat the lunch I packed while driving in my car, does that count?
37.  How many times did you fail your driver's test?  None.
38.  From whom did you get your last email? A spammer.
39.  Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?  I don't buy on credit, but I could drop a lot of cash at various yarn and book stores.
40.  Do anything spontaneous lately?  Yes. I try to do something spontaneous at least every weekend.
41.  Do you like your job? Love it.
42.  Broccoli? Cauliflower?  Yes.
43.  What was your favorite vacation?   Probably DisneyWorld for my 40th bday.
44.  Last person you went out to dinner with?  Boy.
45.  What are you listening to right now?  Fresh Air on NPR.
46.  What is your favorite color? Most intense colors: cobalt blue, forest green, purple, red.
47.  How many tattoos do you have?  None.
48.  Coffee drinker?  Yes.
49.  Favorite pastime?  Knitting. Reading. Watching movies. Baking.
50.  Favorite quote?  Two quotes, both from the XIVth Dalai Lama:
    "Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can."
   "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito."

Want to meme along?  Go for it!  Post that you played along and I'll come read your answers too.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I seem to be on an unraveling kick lately

At least that's what my blog posts seem to indicate.

I have discovered that if you let a couple weeks go past while in the middle of doing the shaping for a sleeve cap, it's fairly difficult to remember where in the process you were.  So now I've ripped out the top of the sleeve and started the shaping over again since I couldn't get the numbers to work out right (apparently started up at the wrong spot in the instructions).  Now things are back on track.  Given that the weather is supposed to be gloriously icky (freezing rain, sleet, snow--everything the Postal Service loves this time of year) this weekend, I think I'll park myself in my comfy chair next to the fireplace, put on a nice audiobook or DVD and finish off my sleeve.

Of course, what I really should do is finish off one of my Christmas gifts.  The problem is that I'm worried that I might run out of yarn.  It won't make more yarn to not finish the present, but that seems to be my coping mechanism at the moment. *sigh*

Perhaps I'll make a deal with myself and alternate one hour of sleeve with one hour of present.

Swan Lake Oopsies
My Swan Lake stole has now been zipped into my jacket three times, resulting in two rips.  This is definitely not going to survive as my winter scarf.  I'll have to rip back part of the wing to fix one of the holes.  Hopefully I can find all the printouts for the pattern.

In the meantime I've been wearing a red mohair blend (Mountain Colors' Mountain Goat) scarf and have discovered that it's itchy.  I'm thinking this particular variety of mohair and my neck just don't get along.  I had suspected that last winter, but now I'm pretty certain of it. I've got two more skeins of the same yarn in different colors, but definitely won't be making scarves for me out of it. Will have to find a new scarf solution and soon!