Hello my friends,
I will warn you in advance, this post shall be nearly devoid of knitting content. The reason being, I am on my way to Mexico to meet my family! Pretty neat, huh? My dad is taking my mom there for her birthday, and us kids (I still fall in the latter category, despite my advanced age of two and twenty years.) are tagging along. In order to counteract the horror of going out and buying a swimsuit (side note: I was unaware until yesterday of all the possible ways for your butt to look weird. I was happy in my ignorance.) I have been promised gorgeous beaches and Mayan ruins! Which is a wee bit more exciting than my normal knitting adventures. I’m sortof hoping to avoid hiking to the ruins today though, as I woke up at 4:30 this morning, after staying up very late last night at a concert. (Iron and Wine, and it was MAGICAL.)
Despite all my recent adventures, I haven’t completely forgotten about my knitting. I do, of course, have the obligatory sock in my handbag, and I intended to work on my friend’s long overdue fingerless gloves, but it appears that I did not bring the proper size of needles. I forgot that I worked the lace cuff and the palm in different needle sizes. I am now inordinately worried that I am going to knit faster than I ever have, and finish the sock in my handbag and it’s mate, and then have nothing to knit. I know this is ridiculous, but the fear is very real. Especially since it took me half an hour to convince myself that two knitting projects was plenty. Now I only have ONE, and it’s making me crazy. In better news, my sock project matches my new bikini. This pleases me inordinately.
Happy Graduation Greg!
We are all so proud and happy for you.
I am so close to the end of this fiber, I can taste it. It’s now finally all been spun up, I just need to ply the singles that are currently on the spindle. I might’ve been a wee bit optimistic for my second project, because this is eight full ounces of fiber. Fortunately for me, I chose a silk blend, which was much easier to spin than my first project, which was primarily merino. This stuff almost spins itself.
I also think that my tiny skeins look rather like bunnies, and I almost can’t get over how cute they are. This might mean that I am somewhat of a simple human.
Aren’t the singles for this really gorgeous? The different blues are all fairly blended in the final product, and while I am completely okay with that, I do like seeing a bit more of the subtle variations. I also have to say, I am in love with silk. It just feels so luxurious and wonderful. I find that I am trolling Etsy, looking at all kinds of different roving with different fiber blends. However, I have purchased enough fiber for my next few spinning projects, and I don’t want to overwhelm myself by getting too much stuff, because spinning is a pretty slow process. I do love it though. I think a lot of us knit and spin because it’s such a relaxing process. I’m naturally a very high anxiety person, and I find that it is so for me. Spinning especially calms me down beautifully. Plus, it’s incredibly satisfying to take a pile of fluff and turn it into yarn. And then, you get to do this.
Just a totally normal picture of me smooshing the yarn bunnies on my face. As one does.
So I have been bitten (and badly) by the spinning bug. I LOVE spinning! I have two drop spindles now so I can work on more than one thing! I am acquiring a fiber stash! (A small one, but still.) I just can’t get over how great it is that I can MAKE yarn. So now I will show you all some of the yarn I’ve been making! It’s a merino/tussah silk blend, and it is just heavenly soft.
Aren’t those colors just stunning? I love how the blues streak, and how the silk makes it so shiny and wonderful. I think the brand for this is Ashland Bay, and it has been extremely easy to spin, not tangly at all! The fibers just sortof drift apart, you don’t have to tug or predraft at all, which is different from the other spinning project I’m working on, but you don’t get to hear about everything all at once
Since I’m new at this, I’m not super consistent yet. Instead of getting all worked up and perfectionist about it (which I can do sometimes) I decided to celebrate the suckage and not even attempt to spin evenly. It actually makes surprisingly charming yarn once it’s plied up. Not even at all, but quite lovely for all that. And soft! This stuff makes a kitten seem positively prickly. Wanna see?
See that? It’s yarn, and I MADE IT! and it’s pretty!
I don’t even care that it takes a long time. It’s restful, and soothing, and nice. Spinning rocks!
My dear friends,
Yesterday, something completely unprecedented happened. Something that I cannot remember happening in my entire existence.
Yesterday, I was too sick to knit.
The horror! I have picked up some sort of nasty bug, possibly the norovirus, and it has laid me out flat. Stupid norovirus. You’d think that something with “noro” in the name would be less terrible. So yesterday I basically just curled up miserably in bed. Today I can knit again. Hopefully by Monday I will be able to return to work and my normal schedule. Fingers crossed!
So… I have a difficult relationship with lace. Even if the lace in question is decidedly easy.
We aren’t going to talk about the lovely Paton’s lace scarf that’s been sitting neglected in my stash since last summer. I got to the halfway point and was all like “Tiny yarn on tiny needles. Lace. Nope.” And stuffed it into the bin to hide my perfidy. I then proceeded to put stuff on top of it, but I know it’s there, looking reproachfully out of its little eyelets at me. I am unmoved. Lace is fiddly and annoying and I can’t do it while I read, and I was certifiably insane to think that I wanted a huge honking scarf’s worth of that kind of work. I will still probably finish it at some point, because unfinished things really bug me.
However, all that is neither here nor there. It’s just background, so that you will know how much I love Liz.
Because, for Liz, I knit lace. Observe.
Ignore my crappy cameraphone photography and LOOK AT THAT COLOR. That is devotion. I deeply fear orange, and I feel that salmon is much too close to orange for comfort. As is melon. I’m not sure which of those colors this is, but it is certainly in that family. And that, my ducky darlings, is a color I would only knit for a very few people. Liz, however, deserves it. She is a lovely friend, even though she wouldn’t let me take her picture because she didn’t think her hair looked good. I still love her.
That’s my “it’s not actually cold” face. It was, in fact, very cold out there. At least my neck was cozy.
Also in this one, my nose is warm.
The lace itself is pretty simple, with panels of lace separated by twisted rib (I hate twisted rib. Especially on tiny little bamboo needles.) but the result was so pretty I can’t even be mad. Liz has spent most of the last year in England, and this was supposed to be done last September as a goodbye gift >.< I am clearly a terrible friend, because she only got it back on a recent trip home, but she loved it just as much as I had hoped that she might. It looks fabulous on her, there’s a reason why she loves orange and I shun it like the plague. She is one of the few people who just look stunning in that color.
The pattern is Comfort Cowl, though it is modified. I added a lace repeat because I didn’t think it was wide and cozy enough in the yarn I chose, and I made it shorter so it would fit closely about the neck. The yarn I used was Debbie Bliss Angel, and I can’t say enough nice things about the yarn. The silk kept the mohair from getting scritchy, and it had the most beautiful halo. Also it was soft and fuzzy and cuddly and lovely in every way. I hope that when Liz wears it, in cold, rainy, foggy old England, that she will know how much I miss her. *snif* Because I really do. She’s coming back at the end of the summer and I am So. Excited.
So there you go! I have actually been knitting, just all sneakified. There’s another present that a certain person is owed that should hopefully be finished SOON, and then blogged as it is delivered, but you haven’t heard a whisper of that. Mwahahahahaha.
It’s been an emotional few days here in Boston. The whole city is just shell-shocked, stunned. Desperately looking for someone to blame, a reason why, so they can get some closure. My feeling is that such random acts of violence never have a cause that can truly make sense. They are the product of an angry, twisted, damaged soul, and a mind that is sick and in need of healing. My heart goes out to the people whose lives have been forever changed, and there are no words to express my grief and sympathy.
Instead, I just have a few pictures. I took a long walk on Tuesday, just thinking and wandering, and I saw flowers everywhere, the first little bits of spring. Looking at them gave me a little bit of peace and hope in these troubled days, so I thought I’d share them all with you. I feel like at this point, I should have something deep and profound to say, but I don’t. Instead, I’m going to share something beautiful with all of you, and hope that we can all find some comfort through all of this. It’s been amazing to see how willing and eager people are to help, especially in a city that is often mentioned as being cold and unfriendly. When it comes down to it, the people of Boston do feel a strong connection to each other. We are all affected, and we all grieve for those who have lost someone. We should remember that when this tragedy is just a terrible memory rather than something so immediate.
And, on the topic of new life, here’s a picture of a baby that finally got borned. He’s even wearing his owl hat that I made him! I didn’t know this, but apparently his daddy is obsessed with owls, so the baby things I made him were extremely appropriate. (You can see them here.) His name is Nicholas Jr, and although I am a firm believer in the fact that all babies are cute, weird little alien faces notwithstanding, I think this little guy is EXCEPTIONALLY adorable. I’m surprised his mom let anyone else hold him, she was looking at him like he was the most beautiful little miracle ever.
Which maybe he is.
I wanted to update quickly to let everyone know in the wake of the tragedy here in Boston, that I and all of my loved ones are well and safe. I am so sad for everyone who was affected, and they are constantly in my thoughts. Quite a few of the injured were brought to the hospital where I work, and I am glad to know that they are receiving the best possible medical care.
In that vein, has anyone heard of a charity to benefit the victims and their families? I really want to do something, however small.
My dear friends,
I have been a Really Bad Blogger lately. (The caps were completely necessary) However, though it might seem that very little has been going on here, I’ve actually managed to do quite a bit of crafting. Ergo, I have many things to tell you about, I’ve just been epically lazy.
So now, on to something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. It seems like I’ve been hearing a lot of sock chatter on Ye Olde Interwebs lately. I’m sure this has something to do with the Celtic Cast On knit along, which used the fabulous Tanis Fiber Arts pattern Business Casual. I participated enthusiastically in this KAL, and got a gorgeous pair of socks out of it which I will certainly wear to death. But in all the sock talk I’ve noticed a few people talking about how they don’t like short row heels! Obviously, everyone has their own preferred way of doing a heel, and that’s awesome, variety being the spice of life and all that. However, I actually really love short row heels! I think they are so clever, and they use less yarn than heel flaps, which is good because I like tall socks. Some people say that they don’t like the fit as much, but this has never been a problem for me. Short row heels all the way! What’s your favorite way of doing a sock heel?
To finish up, here are a couple of shots of my finished socks! Aren’t they pretty?
(He really wanted to be in the picture.)
The pattern is the fabulous Business Casual from Tanis Fiber Arts (raveled here), and the yarn is Madelinetosh tosh sock in Logwood, which is a stunning mix of purples. I love this yarn and pattern together, and since winter hasn’t really left us yet, I can still wear them! I’m hoping to get a picture of them out in the sunlight, now that the days are getting longer, where you can really see the gorgeous color changes. The colors are even brighter than they appear in these pictures, but there is a fair bit of grey in these purples, which I adore. What do you think?
You know how sometimes the simplest solutions are the ones that elude you the longest?
Well, I had a moment like that, after a week with no laptop. I was sitting around, being sad that I had no computer, and realized that I STILL HAVE MY OLD LAPTOP. And it works fine, it’s just a bit of a dinosaur. (And not a fast one like a velociraptor, we’re thinking Diplodocus here.) But beggars, as they say, cannot be choosers, and I am so grateful to have a working laptop that I could hug this old thing. So now I am also back to posting!!
I also have quite a few things stored up to share with you, but the first one is the most exciting, so we are going to start there. A few weeks ago, I won a giveaway. It was a lovely giveaway, from Tina of Peacefully Knitting. What I ended up with was about an ounce of this amazing eco-friendly fibre, in gorgeous colors, all set for spinning! The brand is Ottawa Valley Fiber Arts, and they take mill ends from industrial mills and repurpose them into spinning fibre for hand spinners! They are mostly wool, but can have any number of other things in them too, like silk or cashmere or alpaca or bamboo! Pretty cool huh? Here’s their etsy shop (link). When it arrived, I was just enormously charmed by the colors, a mixture of greens, purples, and blues. Those are my favorite colors! So I took a trip over to Mind’s Eye Yarns in Cambridge, which also happens to have lots and lots of fibre things! The owner, Lucy, is super helpful, and got me all set up with a drop spindle and a quick demonstration of how to spin. After that, I was off to the races! After I spun it all up into singles, I went back to Mind’s Eye Yarns and was shown how to ply. (I think it was an Andean Ply?) and then, I got yarn! My own yarn, all in it’s little tiny skein. Of course I took pictures to document the process.
So that’s it! I now know the rudiments of spinning, and it is just sooooo fun and relaxing! My second skein of yarn has already followed the first, and I’m busily spidering away on my third. Every time I mention spinning to my best friend Greg, he says “Spider spider spider” and wiggles his fingers at me. And you know what? I don’t even care. Spinning is awesome!