Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Friday, January 01, 2021
I met my 2020 goal of completing 12 knitting projects, most of which were also started in 2020. This effort used up about 3850 yards of yarn. Among the projects completed were a beaded lace shawl, a lovely Papillon shawl, a test knit hat for Woolly Wormhead, several pairs of mittens, and a couple of dishcloths. It really makes a difference to stay focused on just one or two things at a time if you are aiming to complete things. Some of this dedication to a handful of projects was driven by being isolated away from my stash and WIPs bin for 8 months of the year, but it was nice to see solid progress being made. Whether this impacts how I do things in future years will remain to be seen.
I did manage to demonstrate to myself that I can successfully do 2-handed colorwork and that my color selection skills are actually pretty decent.
There were only 4 spinning projects completed, generating 723 yards of finished 2-ply yarns. This relative lack of productivity was partly due to being several time zones away from my spinning wheels. I picked up a drop spindle and an Electric Eel Nano, as well as a beautiful gray Coopworth fleece from Hidden Valley Farm, but didn’t get in much spinning while away from home.
This purple/gray skein is from a Polwarth roving picked up at MD Sheep and Wool in 2019.
My last spinning project of the year was a quick spin of the Romney roving I’ve been chipping away at for the past couple of years. This particular skein is a bit lighter in grist than the previous ones, so may end up as hats rather than being added to the pillowcase of aran weight yarn that is intended for a gansey.
I did get a reasonable amount of the Coopworth washed and the locks teased open. I started to comb some of it and will card the combing waste. When I purchased the fleece, I was thinking I’d spin myself a sweater. On the Nano, it wants to spin fairly fine, so this may end up being a fingering to sport weight sweater. Or I may end up with a whole lot of laceweight if it keeps going finer. Either way, I’ll end up with some beautiful yarn.
I’m not sure how to set this year’s goal. I have my DRAGON to complete and it takes up nearly all of my knitting and spinning time. I’ve also agreed to knit the edging of a Queen Susan shawl for a friend who can’t knit any more. These two things have deadlines, so take precedence over anything else. I’ll likely knit a new sweater for Ezra next fall as I expect he’ll outgrow the 2019-2020 sweater fairly soon. Four year olds are known for that sort of behavior. The collection of dishcloths also needs refreshing and I’ve got a handful of sock projects in various degrees of completion.
What I propose is this:
- Finish the DRAGON and the Queen Susan edging
- Knit at least 3 dishcloths
- Finish 4 socks
- Spin 2 skeins of yarn
Thursday, December 31, 2020
Last September, I leapt off the cliff of the epic project and started a Williamson Stole. The Harry Potter Knit-Crochet House Cup has begun a new large project class that enables participants to take a whole year to finish a project, with milestone points awarded each term. This is called a DRAGON or Dangerously Radical Ambitious Gauge of Nerve. I'll be knitting up miles of lace weight yarn on tiny needles. My rough calculations indicate that I need to knit at least 5 rows per day. I'm horrifically behind already since I didn't actually get beyond the cast-on until the 2nd month. I ended up missing the first deadline. I’m not keeping up with the 5 rows a day for the current deadline either, but I’m not yet willing to give up entirely. Perhaps a long weekend of knitting will be just the thing to usher in the new year.
|The first border|
Monday, November 04, 2019
In the last week or so, I have started having left hand pain, even when just knitting for an hour a day. Previously the hand pain had been primarily in my right hand. I suspect part of the left hand issue is due to propping my head on my hand while sitting at the computer or in meetings.
It occurs to me that I may be approaching the end of my knitting habit. It looks like I'll have to limit my knitting time to perhaps a couple hours a day, with generous breaks every 30-60 minutes. This means that my current list of works in progress will now take even longer to complete and that list of potential future projects, which was already impossibly long, is even moreso. It seems unlikely that I will be able to knit up my yarn stash and possibly not spin up my fiber stash. I think I'm ok with that.
What I don't know is what I'll do with my time. What other activity/activities will I take up instead? Would taking up cross-stitch again give me something to occupy my hands without aggravating them? What about drawing? I need to do something creative that generates something. Typing up a book or essays might do it, though it would be more satisfying if it was a physical object.
Naturally, I am coming up with all sorts of projects I want to knit now that I should meter my time.
Saturday, October 19, 2019
By fluke I was able to purchase the same yarn used in the sample (different colors). I elected to knit my sweater in yellow and green. It reminds me of lemon-lime and early fall colors as the green starts to fade.
Sunday, August 11, 2019
However, I've spun 5165 yards of singles, producing 2940 yards of finished yarn. I can spin a lot faster than I can knit. This is not helping me reduce my yarn stash at all.
I'm also working to finish sweater quantities from two of the batches of roving from Spinderella.
One is an Aran weight 2-ply from a Romney fleece. The fleece was one of the first that I bought off the internet. I got it from some 4-H kids, if I recall correctly. The yarn is a light to medium gray color. I think it will make a nice shawl collared cardigan, perhaps with some cables in the body.
The second batch is a DK weight spun from the fleece of a Shetland sheep named Jocko. This was a Fleece Fair purchase. I spun up a sample skein and have decided to keep on making a DK weight, 2-ply yarn.
I did a couple of smaller spinning jobs to break up the monotony of the larger projects. I took my jar of fiber odds and ends, plus some commercially prepared wool, and made a nice batt that is predominantly a medium gray with bits of color streaking through it. It produced 64 yards of 2-ply worsted weight. It might make nice stripes in a hat. Or I can save it until I make the next spinning waste yarn.
The other small project was spinning a 4 ounce batch of yellow merino-nylon top from Hedgehog Fibers. It was on the sale table at Fibre Space last year and the colors (yellow with brown and magenta) reminded me a bit of Halloween. Spun up, it has retained an autumnal feel. Yellow leaves, red apples, gray rains. I have just over 500 yards of a light fingering. I could try to make socks with it but am not confident that it is spun or plied tightly enough to wear well. Instead I will look for a shawl or stole pattern. Perhaps I will find a mostly solid coordinating yarn. The dark brown shetland might make a suitable companion if I spin it to match. I'll have to swatch. The dark color might overpower the yellow blend.
I have also done a bit of additional spinning on two long neglected projects. One is dark chocolate brown Shetland that has been spun into a DK to worsted weight 2-ply yarn. This is a fleece I also picked up at the Fleece Fair. It's a fairly small batch of roving, only weighing 32 ounces. I spun most of it on my Ashford Traveller. The last skein was plied on my e-spinner. For consistency, I'll keep spinning it on my Traveller. I have a decent collection of skeins, most of which are of unknown length.
There is also a seemingly never-ending supply of Merino roving from the Amana Woolen Mill. I have, over the years, spun a sizeable quantity of a light worsted yarn. I should probably figure out how much yardage of it I actually have, then figured out if I want to just spin more of the same yarn or work to produce something different. I could use it to practice my ultra-fine spinning. It could make some lovely fine lace weight.
Sunday, December 30, 2018
I knit 12 dishcloths, 3 pairs of socks, 1 hat, 2 kids sweaters, 2 stuffed animals, 2 shawls, 2 pair fingerless mitts, 1 produce bag, 1 door hanger, and one adult cardigan. I had initially set 10 items as my goal and then had to increase that several times as I exceeded the goal. I may end up finishing an additional adult pullover by midnight on New Year's Eve.
Overall, I knit approximately 6948 yards (not counting the 2nd adult sweater) while purchasing 8465 yards of new yarn, for a net gain of 1517 yards of commercially produced yarn.