Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lace . . . it grows very slowly

Which is a good thing, as I tend to power through normal projects. This can lead to financial strain, if unchecked, I maybe I should do MORE lace.
(An aside, I guess I have a lot of nerve telling the Mad Crocheter that she's an instant gratification junky. Sorry Mad Crocheter, I'll shut up now. Also, second aside, I've never seen anyone work so hard and learn so fast at knitting, The Mad Crocheter is a bit of a fiber prodigy.)
Anyway, now the lace is too big to be stretched out on the needles and I'm just not gonna take it off and risk dropping stitches, so I'm using a pillow. I think it will end up being a shawl of some sort. This will take a while.
Still working on the spinning, still in love with it, but I've already posted those pictures. Meatsheep is due to meet it's spinner sometime soon, and I'll post the reaction as reported.
Closer to home, our treadmill broke, so we've replaced it with an early '90's Nordic Track. I love it, but it takes a lot more coordination. Close to the window in the bedroom - will hilarity ensue as she falls out into the bushes? Tune in next week, fair reader . . . .

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Spinning pictures

It's not dry yet, but the twist is setting nicely. Ahhh, addiction.

I took a picture outside and one inside (both kinds of light). When I was out on the porch a flock of red wing blackbird flew overhead. There were so many of them it sounded like a hurricane. Pretty cool.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spinning and a new Harry Potter sweater

Okay, I've spun a full skein of each of my colors of Ashland Bay multi Merino top - rosewood is on the right and sandalwood is on the left. I left them as singles, and they clearly need to have the twist set, but it's SO lovely and soft. Spinning, which I generally do only once a year because I sort of turn into an addict when I'm working on a spinning project (and yes, I'm a total addict anyhow, so if I notice I develop anti-social tendencies when I spin, you know it's bad!) is even more addictive this time around than normal.
I'm also including this picture of wheel, with a chunk of the roving on top of it - the roving looks really stripy, which I didn't like at all at first, but when it spins up, it works well. Contrast this with the rose quartz which is lovely in roving but almost too subtle when spun. If you like it, I guess you'd say it has a misty, soft quality to it. If you don't, you might call it muddy, or bland.
Finally, here's the latest pattern idea, again, inspired by Harry Potter (what will I do when the little one out grows HP?). In the Sorcerers Stone when Wood is explaining Quidditch to Harry, Harry is wearing a blue Aran sweater. It looked like the Nana sweater I did for our nephew for Christmas, but with the patterns moved around. Here's the original pattern and the start of some ribbing (Plymouth's Encore Worsted in Bright Royal ) .

Monday, February 18, 2008

Moving along

So here are some wristers I'm sending along with meatsheep - just variations on the same idea with different yarns and gauges and cables.

And below is the Ashland Bay multi Merino top in sandalwood. The spinning is too close and so out of focus, but the treadles of the wheel came out perfectly. Of course. It's really lovely and smooth, I think I'll just make a single out of it - it's somewhere between a sport and a DK and I think it will bloom a bit when knit so probably more like a DK.

Meatsheep, front and back

So here it is, out on my porch. I had to go back and do some fixes to it, like the arm gussets and adding the border to the bottom, but all in all, I feel like it was an overall success.
If the bottom border looks really stupid (like a hula skirt) pipe up today and I'll 86 it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Meatsheep is finished . . .

But needs blocking.
I'll post pictures tomorrow once it's been ironed (I can't even imagine wet blocking this puppy) as well as some snaps of the wrist warmers I've been doing. After so many big projects, a few small ones feel nice. Even if they are wristers and I have this weird, inherent hatred for making things that have to match.

Artistic, or just lazy? You decide.

Tonight I think I'll start some spinning.
(happy dance)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Quilt complete

Maybe not the best picture ever (not my specialty) and Panda had to be in the picture. Survived the washer and dryer with flying colors.

More on finishing things

I had finished the meat sheep sweater, really, had it sewn together and everything. Then I re-checked my measurements. Oh hell, the sleeves are too narrow.
Ripped them out, picked up and knit in gussets last night and now they just need to be sewn in and the thing blocked. I may pick up the bottom and knit another inch or two down, I think it's a little short, but I'll see.
I like the colors, but I have to confess I haven't really enjoyed the knitting so much. But the challenge of working within someone else's choices, and then having materials which imposed some serious limitations on design was actually a lot of fun. I think that when forced to work inside tight restrictions, you're forced to be more creative - if you have all the freedom and materials in the world, you just fall into your comfort zone over and over (look, she's made YET ANOTHER a large soft sweater that is blue/purple/black/gray). So, overall I really liked the experience, it's inspiring me to want to do more collaborative projects as a way to push myself.
The Mad Crocheter has decided to try out knitting. I'm both proud of her being willing to try something new and step out of the comfort zone, and (I have to confess) highly amused at her feelings of pseudo guilt and betrayal. I said I thought that fiber arts was like a big, crazy family of cousins, all of whom you'll like or love, but one of whom will always be your favorite. I also think that exploring every (or just more) aspects of fiber arts will give you a greater appreciation for your favorite. I love to dye and weave (though I'm not very proficient at either) but right now they're too time consuming and messy for my life. But I have a better understanding of color theory and hand from having done both and I think it makes me a better knitter and designer.
And finally, the little one has a half day today, I want that quilt coming out the dryer for him tonight.
Better get off my b*tt, eh?
Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Maaaahhhhh! The meatsheep is eating my hands!

Not really - I'm almost done with sleeve number one. The fabric, as I've said, isn't lovely, but the colors are really nice. I think you can see the Fassett influence in how the colors play out, too. I think it's got some nice cranberry/mountain laurel/granite/bark things going on, so it fits with the hiking motif I've been working on. The V's are sort of mountain-esque, or like the views on Mount Desert - the reflections on the mountains in the water and the trails of ships in the water. I think the variation of the colors goes well with the V's.
The front is a lace-up placket, sort of like a Guatemalan cotton sweater-shirt from the 80's. I think a couple more days and I can mail it off.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Meatsheep continues . . .

Maybe a little less than halfway up the back. The colors are really lovely. It has decent hand, too, though it will never be soft and cosy. The Mad Crocheter told me she's heard that people have some problems with Noro being hard and scratchy, maybe I'll write up this pattern and it can adapted to this.

Once the V splits, I have to use two balls of each color to work the pattern and that means 6-10 balls at once. So I carry the whole thing around in the 3'x3' box it was sent in. Not what you would call portable. :)
Finally, here's a snap of the Annabel Fox sweater on.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Finishing things

Well, here's the cable monstrosity. Here it is lying on the floor, which gives you an idea of the overall look. I really like the Encore, it's really soft and nice (I've made another set of Irish Hiking Wristwarmers, with it - Steph has an interesting point that she thinks that using an all acrylic yarn for wristwarmers isn't as enjoyable to do, or nor does it result in as nice a garment - wool has better memory and feel. I think Encore hits the right compromise, I hope these will be hardwearing as acrylic and soft and have memory like wool).
Here's the sweater on me (in a mirror). Really horrible picture, but gives you an idea how it fits. It's supposed to be cold again Wednesday, so I'm looking forward to wearing it.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Attack of the fleece of the meatsheep

Sounds like an exercise in German class, doesn't it? ("Angriff des Vlieses der Fleischschafe, the recently discovered opera by Wagner" or something, think I stayed up too late mourning the Pats loosing).

But here it is. A friend of my mom's, a painter, is very interested in dying fleece and spinning. The color sense is excellent (not that you can tell from my photos) but the yarn is, well, kind of like beautifully colored rope. Anyway, he's made up enough yarn for 10 sweaters and is now trying to find 10 people to knit them. All the color ways are different and I believe they are all based on places outdoors in NH/NE.

First off, the sheep are Suffolk (I think) so the fleece is hard, but it also appears to have been plied in the same direction it was spun, which makes it very hard. Here is a picture of a couple of the colors knit up on 9's. I knit very loosely, but with this stuff, I can't do pinky tension because the stuff is so kinky it locks itself to the finger every third stitch.

So, I think the trick here is to find a way to use all the colors but in big blocks. Stranding is out, as is any fine technique that would require lots of ends to be woven in. I'm thinking about adapting something from Fassett's earlier stuff - but it will have to be simple. The gauge is 20 sts./9 inches - that's 2.22 sts. to the inch, which means the whole front or back will only be about 51 sts. wide and the top of the sleeves will be about 44 sts. wide.
Maybe next time I can convince him to dye some Knitpicks Bare

Friday, February 1, 2008

So, I wanted a logo . . .

And so this was what I came up with.

It's difficult to visualize String Theory, as I found out.

But I wanted to make tags for my stuff in case I ever sell anything.


My very first drafts are below . . . I like the sheep on the book best, myself, but DNA just isn't ST, now is it?