Saturday, December 19, 2009

More Holiday Knitting

Last night, the shop where I work had a trunk show. I stayed up way late there, and then again at home, so blogging was curtailed. Knitting, however, proceeded apace.

I had about two inches of another ribbed hat on the needles, and brought it along just in case I had a chance to knit. Well, as is so often the case, I made a chance to knit: I carried the ball under my arm, and worked away while I chatted with customers and neighbors, and listened to some live music. I only put down the knitting when I had to ring someone up.

By the end of the night, I'd gotten to right before the decreases, and today I finished what will be another Christmas gift.

It's a 3-ply handspun (chain ply, I believe, actually) in a heavy worsted. The fiber is a really fun blend of wool, with little bits in: other wool, snippets of ladder yarn, silk neps, sparkle. I purchased 6oz. from a seller at this year's Lambtown. She said she'd had her fiber processed by Spinderella (and I believe it- it's gorgeous stuff). I've got another 6oz in red waiting to be spun, but I'm holding off until I get older fiber out of my stash. (We'll see how well that holds up over time!)

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Just to update that last post, the fiber is from Bungalow Farm Angora. Also, you can find my ultra-simple hat "pattern" in my dad's hat project page on Ravelry (rav link).

I've cast on another hat (for mom this time) that I have no doubt will be ready in time for gift-giving.

Pictures and a full post tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh, and beads!

Well, I have discovered a new love: lace.

I've knit lace before; it started with choosing a single pattern from one of the Barbara Walker treasuries, and then knitting until I ran out of yarn. The first time I can recall using this was for my mom's Christmas scarf two years ago, when I chose Vine Lace (which is about the easiest lace pattern you could hope for- four row repeat, two of which are purling, and the other two of which are the same, really, just offset by one stitch).

I tried a few lace shawl/stole patterns, though I pretty much never got past the cast on (there are three that I can think of off the top of my head). I even have a small bin that has laceweight yarn in it, which, in comparison to the rest of the stash, is but a trifle. Who knows what I was thinking when I bought that yarn?

Much time was spent admiring the amazing lace on the blogs of others, and never once did my internal Adventure Knitter say, "Holy moly! That looks like the best challenge ever! Let's do that!"

Somehow, I got it into my head to knit a lace shawl. It's those free radicals, I swear; they change the brain! So, I bought four skeins of Malabrigo lace from Imagiknit (not that I didn't totally have laceweight at home): two skeins in dark teal (Azul Profundo, I think), and two in Black Forest. I immediately cast on for Aeolian, from the Spring 2009 Knitty. The top picture is a perfect money shot, even unblocked. Can't wait to block the bejeezus out of this project.

Now I'm perhaps halfway through the charts (but of course the rows get longer and longer), and only halfway through my first skein, and halfway through my beads (which are size 6, since the local craft store didn't have 8s). So it all seems to be doing OK.

In other knitting news, I made my dad a hat for Christmas. It was knit from some bulky handspun I nearly couldn't part with, since the color is so amazing- heathery moss green and tweedy. (Sorry for the blur- I was using the last of the daylight). It's a super-simple ribbed hat, extra long so he'll be able to fold it as much as he likes. (I've made him a couple of hats before, but they ended up rather shallow- he's got a big head.)

Unfortunately, the ol' spinning wheel has been languishing. I've been spinning a decadent blend of polwarth/angora in pale green, and I bought 5 oz. from the angora lady at Lambtown back in October. The unfortunate part is that it's quite neppy (not too unusual in such delicate fibers), and since I'm spinning it finely, I've been stopping to pluck out the nepps (and occasional second cut), and so it's not a quick spin. I've got 1 1/4 oz. to go, about, and then there's the plying. This yarn will do well with a thwacking- something I've never really done before.
Last time I tried to spin, Margaret- one of our three 17-month-old cats- was convinced that the treadle and my foot were there for her to play with. She also thought the rotating wheel was trying to escape (and could only be subdued with her teeth).