Sunday, July 23, 2006

handspun, handknit!


So do you remember that skein of green wool from my last post? The luscious, increadibly soft one that was my first finished product from a wheel?

Its now a hat, for the radient Ms. Vyxle, a first-class broad and a great friend. Hopefully it will keep her warm in those fridgid Tokyo winters.

nLike her, this hat is free; there was no pattern, and the form kinda came to its own feel during the knitting process. I am quite happy with the results, and feel that I may do more of this kind of knitting inthe future. For me this is the ideal: work from the most basic forms I can to create something as unique and individual as possible. Sadly, I did not dye this yarn. Hopefully I will have some understanding of this part of the process later on.

Still, I'm satisfied for now. My creative muse has been appeased.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

As Promised



This is my first "real" project spun on a wheel. This is a beautiful corridaile top. I am amazed at how quickly this spun up, and how thickly! This is a very heavy yarn, but still quite soft. It is a two-ply, which should knit up into a very warm scarf at some point.
















Here are some earlier attempts at spinning on the wheel. Both are blends from the leftover fiber from spinning classes at springwater.









This is one of my discoveries from the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival. It is called Jacob wool, and the three colors you see here are natural tones from the same animal! It is nice to use fibers that look great undyed.









Speaking of dying, though, the four skeins you see here are one of my biggest spinning projects so far. There is almost 400 years here! I spun these up from some roving I had dyed previously with Kool-Aid. It was Yellow, Purple, Blue and Red, and clashed horribly. So I overdyed it. Now, it has a wonderful veregation. And it will make some wonderful socks.





Here you see a hat. Well, its not a hat yet. It will be hat for a great friend of mine, but for now it is quite a large amount of handspun. This is an amazing merino top that I bought pre-dyed at Sheep and Wool, that I am increadibly excited to use.







More on these yarns as they get knit up.
okay okay okay

I'm sorry.

I should be better about this. It has been a crazy stressful period, but I am getting back into the stitch (or spin?) of things, so to speak, and I have a lot of new fiber stuff to show you.

This whole employment question? Makes me not want to write much. I hate being unsure about work, especially with Peace Corps looming on the horizon...it makes it all so much more difficult. In any case, it looks as though I'll be at the Center, where I've been working, until I'm ready to head back to Michigan to prepare personally for 27 months abroad.

In the meantime, I have been doing some knitting, but not as much as at some points in the past. Or at least, not as focused. Here is a list of my current projects:

- Blue Socks (finished...finally!)
- Entrelac Pillow (need to sew on backing, otherwise finished)
- a black hat for a friend (started, stalled)
- cotton/silk/wool worsted socks for my dad...sent for father's day
- anther pair of worsted socks. Lorna's laces yarn bought in Toronto
- MY SWEATER. Yes, I started it.

so as you can see, I'm not very focused right now. Also, I have been doing a LOT of spinning. In fact, I recently learned how to use a spinning wheel, which makes certain jobs much faster, although I still like my spindles. I will post pictures of the stuff I've been spinning/knitting soon.

I'm very happy with the spinning process. I feel that I have advanced significantly, and I am now producing significant quantities of usable spun yarn. Not that I have tried to use any of it yet, but there it is, on my shelf, waiting to be used. Some of it is going to become a hat for Chan, some of it is going to become socks for Page. Others of it, I don't know. IF you have ideas, please let me know!

In completing my blue socks this week, I noticed something kind of odd. I don't think I pick up stitches correctly. I mean, they turn out fine, but for some reason, they leave a much bigger gap then they're supposed to. Especially at the very top of the gusset, right where it meets the tube of the sock and the top of the heel flap. I actually had to go in and sew a few stiches to pull these holes together so the socks didn't look like crap. I didn't miss anything; they are definitely sturdy in design. Its all very odd.

Okay, a pic post soon: I promise.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Madness

Whew! What a month!

For those of you who don't know, in the past month, I have been out of town for three of the four weekends. I have also had the final weekend taken with out-of-town guests, and two other mid-week guests. Between being in New York, Ann Arbor, Washington, D.C. and Valley City, North Dakota, I have had little time to breathe, let alone knit.

Not to say that I haven't been knitting. Over the past weekend, on my trip to North Dakota, I FINISHED MY FIRST EVER FUNCTIONAL SOCK. I won't say it’s the highest quality thing in the world, but it’s good enough that I will wear it. Pictures soon. And a matching sock soon as well. I have a feeling this summer will be sock-tastic. Partially because I think that's all my handspun yarn will be good for, for the most part.

In other news, I purchased the yarn to construct my fall sweater. It is going to be brown and green. Why, you ask? Do these colors even match, you ask?

No.

And that's just how I like it.

I'm also having some fun knitting up a reverse-stockinette ribbed striped thingy (scarf) with my left-over yarn. We'll see if anything presentable comes out of it, but in any case, it’s going to be strange. I used up the last of my acrylic yarn in there, so blocking's a bit out of the question anyway.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I'm sorry, I'm sorry


I havn't posted for a while. I am a bad little monkey.

But I hope this makes up for it.

First of all, updates on projects:

1) I abandoned the sock. Singular. I will try again...oh yes, I will.

2) I FINISHED THE SCARF. And HOLY CRAP its long. I am so glad to have this done, Miss Snowth really appreciates it, and not to gloat, it looks great on her. Sadly, I forgot to actually get a picture of her in said scarf, but here are some shots of the finished product:




A (badly shot) close-up of the patterning. I don't know if you can tell here, but it is an X and O cable pattern. The Yarn is hand-painted and not a consistant verrigation, which adds a great effect.













I am not exactly sure why, but this scarf just about _doubled_ in length with blocking. Its size is displayed here by the lovely Miss Page. Notice the blotching of the colours here...I love it. (for reference, Page is 5'3")














3. Photos from Maryland Sheep and Wool

The Group Knitters were the stars of MSW, and here we are, knitting away on a beautiful art shawl. This is a truly communal project, with everyone deciding together when and where to change texture, fiber, and when to stop.











Hokay, back to work. Hopefully, I will soon let you know about my upcoming projects.

Friday, May 05, 2006

how you know you think about fiber too much

Me: I love the way a size 7 double point feels in my hands
Friend: you totally need to write erotic knitting stories
Me: uhm
I don't know how that would work...

...and then, as he licked my pleasure-trail, I picked up the loup to M1 for the shoulder shaping
ssk, he said to me, ssk...
Friend: then i asked: plain or purl
he shivered with pleasure
Me: and responded: cable me
see, this isn't so hot
Friend: put it on your blog
it is so hot
Me: uhm

Thursday, May 04, 2006

can someone tell me how to rotate pictures in this program?

wrist warmers, for those in the borial climates



April is last month. April is also a great friend, and looks great in her new, snazzy wrist warmers.



















Thursday, April 27, 2006

Une Annee Sans Lumiere

My projects have not been going wonderfuly. Socks, some have said, are hard. I have found this to be true. It is not, though, that they are technically difficult; its just hard to make them not look bad. I am profoundly unhappy with the one sock I have been knitting. To be completely blunt, it looks as though it was designed for Bigfoot, and knit by his alcoholic sister.

The hat I am working on for my friend Chris has not been any better. Cables are a hard thing to incorporate, as it turns out. They really screw with the structure of whatever you put them on. At this point, this has been frogged.

As far as spinning goes, I actually made what turned out to be my best skein so far earlier this week. It is a wonderful orange blend (tweeded) and there is enough of it to actually _make_ something. I have been trying, since then, though, to spin bulkier stuff, which is easier said than done. I'm hoping it will look better when plied.

I also want someone to show me how to do a long draw draft on the spindle. I've been trying to figure this one out on my own to no avail. I think it would be mad cool, though.

-Eric