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April 28, 2008

What I did this weekend

I hit the Argyll V-Neck hard. Observe:

Gyll.jpg
all gylls present and accounted for

One back, with all duplicate stitching completed and all 10 million ends woven in. Phew!


Arr.jpg
arr.

One front, with all knitting finished and (since this photo was taken yesterday afternoon) all existing ends woven in. Duplicate stitching has commenced.


I'm still fairly certain that I won't have enough black to do the armhole and neck ribbing but I'm choosing to remain in denial. I'm leaving for vacation in a week so all responsible brain cells are being diverted toward packing, not knitting. Well, except for those required for the packing of the knitting. That comes before all else.

April 21, 2008

knits ahoy!

It's been a while since I've showed you some knitting. Let's do something about that.

aran_x_over.jpg
who am I? where am I?

I may have been holding out on you. This is my current guilty pleasure knitting. Whenever I start going cross eyed from knitting the Argyll V-Neck (yes, still working on that...) I pick up this little gem of a half-sweater and get happy all over again.

For those of you who will ask, it happens to be the Aran Crossover Top, by Mari Lynn Patrick, from the 2005 Holiday Vogue. Only one other person has some progress shots of this up on Ravelry. Why, you ask, have so few people cast on for this little treasure? Check out the photo from the magazine. Yup. A sad case of overexposed cables. But I will do my darndest to salvage this little gal's reputation.

The yarn is Jaeger Baby Merino in a shade I like to think of as Muted Macaroni. Very tasty.

In other news, I'm still plugging away on the Argyll.

argyll_v.jpg
Almost. There.

I'm a bit concerned that I'll run out of the black yarn...which is ridiculous because I have way more than enough of the other colors, but I refuse to buy more until I find myself high and dry.

Thanks for all the advice on the handspun, by the way. You will be pleased to hear that my twist is set.

April 15, 2008

Algernon*

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greetings, knitters. we are single and on the prowl.

So I made some yarn, and frankly I'm a little underwhelmed. Granted it's been a couple of years since I've spun anything and I did pick the crappiest of the recently-purchased roving to practice on (some hairy el cheapo Romney with a goodish bit of v.m., short ends, etc.), so I'm not giving up yet.

The deets: 4oz Romney, 2ply. A tad underspun, but surprisingly balanced. Not worth measuring WPI yet, I think.

What I learned:
-Making a little reference card with a sample to refer to does in fact help me spin a more consistent thickness.
-I should probably split the roving by the number of bobbins I plan to fill so that I can minimize the leftover singles.
-Buy nicer fiber!

a_2ply.jpg
Abe Lincoln agrees that this is quite possibly the most unremarkable yarn ever.

The plan: plain old mittens look like about the only option here. I'm going to definitely knit with this so that I can see what I need to do differently.

Question for all you spinners out there: do I need to wash it and set the twist before I knit with it, or can I just knit and block?


*I figure if I name my yarn, I'll be more likely to keep track of it. So I'm starting with the beginning of the alphabet and moving on from there. We'll see how soon I make it to Xavier, Yul and Zebadiah.

April 13, 2008

In which there is much fiber

Did you know I have a spinning wheel? Probably not. It's been a while since I hauled her out. The truth is that I've never practiced enough to become consistent and I have a bad habit of buying quantities of white fiber (with the intent to dye and spin up enough to make a garment) and then never quite having the confidence to get started. So you could say that things have languished in the spinning department.

Fast forward to yesterday when Wendie and I made our annual sojourn up to the Fiber Event, in Greencastle, Indiana*. Wanna see what I got?

fiber1.jpg
Romney, Alpaca, Cormo x Border

fiber2.jpg
Blue Faced Leicester & silk (indigo/osage), Corriedale & silk (osage/cochineal/madder), Corriedale (indigo)

fiber3.jpg
more Romney, Shetland lambswool (from Theodora the sheeplette)

fiber4.jpg
Clun Forest, Wensleydale, Border Leicester

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Icelandic handspun from Schacht Fleece Farm (spun by Mandy from Chloe the sheep)

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the coolest cotton towel ever, handwoven by a fellow named Ivan, purchased from his granddaughter and great-granddaughter

That's mostly fiber, isn't it? All natural and local and (best of all) in small enough quantities that I can just mess around and see if I like it...kindof like a fiber buffet. Looks like my inner spinner may have woken up (or alternately, my inner misguided fiber-buyer may have just gone on a wild rampage).

*proof that I was actually there can be found on Nicole's blog. I did not take pictures. In my defense, it was horribly cold and rainy and I didn't want to take off my mittens. Had I taken pictures they would have been of the gals (Wendie, Orata, Nicole, Kalani, Leigh, and Bloggless Norma), the poor frightened sheep that was bolting around the grounds with people running after it (strangely enough, the ONLY live sheep I saw there yesterday), and my blue lips. Thankfully we had boys and a nice lasagna to go home to. There was also a Wendie-made blueberry pie for dessert which was FANTASTIC. A good day.

April 3, 2008

Very finished: the Twiggy Bobble Hat

The Twiggy Bobble Hat was born last September and, being a wily hat, it has heretofore eluded capture for tagging as a FO. In spite of its elusive qualities, it was recently caught on camera (in the exotic locale known as Beneath the Stairs) before scampering back under a shrubbery.


Exhibit A
twiggy2.jpg
the hat is startled by the photographer


The Specs:

-Pattern: Twiggy Bobble Hat by Andrea Tung, Pattern here.
-Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed.
-Skeins: Less than one skein of Cocoa (143).
-Needles: Size 7 circs and dpns.
-Start to finish: Knitted sometime in September 2007.
-For: me!


The Pattern:
I could pretend that I vividly remember knitting this hat, but that would be silly. I only have the vaguest of recollections. I may as well have been abducted by aliens, brainwashed into thinking that I knit this hat, and returned to Earth.

Here's what I can dredge up from the bottom of my brain: There was some errata (ravelry link).


Exhibit B
twiggy1.jpg
it perches quietly on the head of the common knitter, with whom it shares a habitat


Notes:
I love this hat. I love that it's a bit oversized (for those of you who have never seen me around other people for scale, I am tall. I have a big head. Not freakishly large, just too big for many hats). I love the reverse stockinette. I reeeeeeeally love the bobbles, though occasionally they'll invert themselves and you have an inny instead of an outie. I consider this endearing.


Final Verdict: A fantastic hat. High thee hence and knit one for yourself.