Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A swap I think we all should join

I, as usual, have been browsing Swap-Bot which, while it does leave some things to be desired, has quite a few neat swaps. A lot of the swaps are Artist Trading Card (ATC) swaps, which I tried, and didn't really like, although I had fun making "stained glass" ATCs on cellophane.

I'd like to give a little shout-out to some recent upstream pals: Morgsarah, thankyouthankyouthankyou for all the fab spinning things, Ms. Pryor, I love those handwarmers (and your calligraphy) (and that stamp).

The swap I'm talking about now is a knitting kit swap. I really like the idea of this, because it's very personalized, and you could come up with pretty much anything (including using your own patterns or handspun yarn).

There's still a lot of time to sign up (hint hint), and the swaps are sent out in late November (just in time to maybe make a pair of socks or mittens.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

General Update (no pics today, sorry)

First, I'd like to thank my One Skein Angel for the great yarn she's sent me. It's a wool 2-ply (one white, one blue-purple-green), and there's a lot of it. I think it's destined to be some kind of babywear (man, someone I know has got to have a baby; I need to make things!). It's very plush and squishy. Before this yarn, I'd seen people describe yarn as "squishy," but I never knew what they meant. I do now.

Other than that, I've been working on some of my various WIPs. I finished a sock in Trekking XXL from my MellowSP2 pal (unfortunately, I think the sock may be too small for me- I'll have to try it on); one down, one to go. I've continued tackling Hedera. Which reminds me- the heel flap seems really long, even compared to the pictures, but I'm following the instructions word-for-word. Has anyone dealt with this issue? Small progress on Yorick, and my Funky Scarf Swap scarf. No progress lately on my bobbin-knit felted bowl.

I also need to make a pair of handwarmers for my Warm Hands, Warm Hearts swap. It'll probably be a pair of Fetching, because I really like the pattern. I think my partner is partial to blue- especially blue-grey. I wish Swap-Bot had a questionnaire ability, because wearables are so personal, especially color choice.

Speaking of Fetching, the daughter of a friend of mine asked me to teach her how to make them. She asked me in July, when I'd made a pair for her mom's birthday*. She reminded me recently, and I asked her a couple of questions about knitting, only to discover that while she knows how to cast on, knit and bind off, she doesn't know how to purl. I leant her my Stitch 'n' Bitch so she could read up. I called her mom today for a progress report, and we now have an arrangement: because her daughter was having a tough time deciphering the instructions**, we'll get together this Saturday, go on over to one of our LYSes, select yarn, needles, and practice yarn (probably from my mom's acrylic stash), have a nice sit-down with a step-by-step walkthrough of both Fetching and the purl stitch. I guess I'll find out if I'm any good at teaching knitting.

* You can't understand how cold your hands can get while selling Girl Scout cookies until you've stood outside for nine hours in March in San Francisco, possibly while it's raining, and definitely when it's windy. This experience explains a gift of handwarmers in July.
** I'd just like to say that her daughter is very bright, and I was surprised she didn't glean useful info from the book that taught me to knit. Then I remembered how I could never understand weaving directions until I finally took a class. Sometimes, you just need that hands-on, one-on-one learning.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Spinning SP haul

Ok, so when I signed up for the Spinning SP on knitty, I was quite eager, because I love spinning. I was not disappointed.

My SP (who has yet to be uncovered, because I'm supposed to figure out who she is), has been the best SP I've had to date.

Take a look:

In her first package, she sent a bunch of tastes of fiber (including superwash merino, kid mohair locks, corriedale) that I know will be fun to spin up.

Here you can see a sweet-smelling WPI guage (I've needed one!) and a sock pattern to be made from this...

Totally Tubular from Crosspatch Creations and Three Bags Full! The colors are reds and blacks. I've eyed these spinning kits at Carolina Homespun before, but never got one because I just could not justify it, because I didn't know what to make. These tubes are totally packed full- when I first opened it, the wool practically leapt at me. Also, it's pretty amazing to see how much fiber goes into yarn, and then a knitted project. I mean, this tube is 14" and I can make a pair of socks (which are going to be utterly delicious, by the way).

Then I got her second package, and opened it to find an adorable sheepie that is a tape measure in disguise (I've wanted one of these since I knew they existed). And in the best SP traditions, she wrapped the gifties in purple tissue paper.

And under the purple tissue paper was this: Berry-colored yak/microfiber roving. Amazingly soft, and just begging to be made into a baby sweater* (which I won't do, because I neither have or know any babies).

*I know, most people think babies should be dressed in pastels and fluffy cartoon animals, but I'm determined to dress my child in a) colors that look good on him/her and b) colors I don't find too repulsive. So, jewel tones it is! (I'm assuming my future child will look good in some richer colors, of course.)

And a gorgeous merino/viscose roving in Fireweed, which my computer refuses to upload. Seriously, fireweed is one of my favorite flowers, and it's abundant in Alaska especially, though it grows all over the northern hemisphere.