Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ironweed (Vernonia altissima )

Saw a lot of this stuff this weekend while biking. The south seems to have more than it's fair share of pretty purple wildflowers (unlike Kudzu, Ironweed doesn't seem to have a scent). Sort of looks like the purple fall flower I'm used to from NH - purple asters.
Still, it's another thing kicking around in my head for a fall project - maybe a fair isle, maybe something with texture or cables and color?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Some things I learned today

My car went to the shop today (nothing big, in fact so minor the fix was free) so I had an unexpected day at home. And I learned some things about squirrel-proofing your attic:
  • I now know how to disassemble and fix a very jammed heavy duty stapler.
  • I have a much clearer understanding of how to cut, shape and use 1/2 inch galvanized construction fabric.
  • I now know that I can staple said fabric into rafters with said stapler above my head and behind me while lying on my back on a one inch beam and balancing myself so I don't fall down into my own kitchen.
  • I know this last one isn't a lot of fun and the insulation makes me cough.
  • I know my attic reaches 90-plus degrees by 10am.
  • I know I need more 1/2 inch galvanized construction fabric to finish this job.
I also know I don't want squirrels in my attic. Sigh.
So I'll do something else with my afternoon. I'm almost done with the Gotland. I need to measure these skeins, they must be HUGE. Have a nice day, everyone.

Some things I learned today

My car went to the shop today (nothing big, in fact so minor the fix was free) so I had an unexpected day at home. And I learned some things.
I now know how to disassemble and fix a jammed heavy duty stapler.

Monday, August 25, 2008

No pictures - not much of anything, actually

That's not really true, but I've got too much going at once to make much progress.
I'm still happily spinning on the Gotland, but it's a bit slow - I can spin nice and small, which means filling up a bobbin takes a long time, so I only have 2 skeins plied. I'm over half through it, but I've already posted pictures. But I still love the smell and the feel of this fleece. I've been mulling over pullover ideas for it once it's done. It's very slick and heavy for the gauge, so I think less would be more, patternwise.
I'm also working on linen stitch, and the Iron Matrix shawl. I'm into the second skein of Gloss. Knitpicks' latest catalog has the twinset from the Natural Knitter worked up in Gloss, and it looks lovely. I had a mental note to try the cardigan from that pattern, and I think Gloss would be great. Lots of nice new colors as well. Pumpkin appeals to me - maybe it's wistfulness for fall in New England, 'cause I sure don't look good in orange.
I'm still kicking around the white beaded Matrix version - maybe try the pattern in a big triangle, maybe only do the beads on the outside edge to keep the weight done? I still haven't found size 6 beads that I think would work . . .
And the linen stitch is coming along, I'm alomst up to adding on for the sleeves and I predict that one will slow WAAAAAYYY down when that happens. Maybe I can wear it in the spring.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Some slow progress

The linen stitch top is going well, if not exactly exciting to look at. Or photograph. Sorry, once the sleeves go on it will begin to more interesting. I'm really interested to see if the linen stitch does anything to ameliorate the pilling that happens to most cotton yarn when washed. Guess I could have done a swatch and tested it.
And here's the Gotland plied up. It's shiny and kind of hard, not as hairy as the singles were, and it's HEAVY. It would work best knit into a very plain sweater, I think, otherwise it would be a workout to wear it. But it does spin up nice and evenly, so it wins as the most evenly plied yarn I've ever made. And it smells very sheep-y. Which makes me happy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm back

And spinning up a storm. Or, since school has started and vehicles have been cranky, I've been spinning up some dust.
Fun, at any rate.
Soryu is complete!
And here is the Gotland started. Looks quite different inside and outside, colorwise it's right in the middle. It spins up nicely, easy to work with, but makes a hairy sort of single. I'll be interested to see how it looks plied.
Other fun things lately include making these chocolate chip cookies. Thanks NYT!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Back and front, with pockets

Slow and steady may win races, but it hasn't produced many interesting pictures for this blog lately.
Here's the linen stitch pull over, with some pockets. I like it, not sure about the pockets yet.

I really need to get Soryu finished so I can start on the Gotland. I look at other people's blogs and they are doing all this lovely, lovely very fine gauge spinning in gray and I want to too . . .

Monday, August 4, 2008

Interests are coming crashing together

Pueraria montana

If you haven't been to the American South in late July and early August, you probably don't know the distinctive, grape bubblegum smell of kudzu. The stuff that makes trees along the roadside look like Snuffaluffagus.
We've been biking a lot lately and so I've been seeing, and smelling, kudzu a great deal. It's a fascinating thing, kind of scary, like "the thing" (it grows up to 3 feet a day and according to Frommer's caused the only known plant-induced baseball game delay). But it's also quite pretty in bloom (sort of looks like lupine, I think) and the leaves have a pretty heart shape, while the runners turn into these intricate corkscrews.
Anyway, these images are sort of calling to me to design a sweater around them this fall. Just stitchwork, or maybe colors, or maybe both?

All the other projects are still chugging, slowly, so pics later in the week I guess.