Friday, April 18, 2008

1 skein so far

The original intent was to make the sleeves first so that I could check my gauge without a huge commitment on my part. DUDE. The cast on for just one sleeve is 118 stitches! What you see above is only 1 skein's worth of yarn. My gauge, by the way, is dead on!

I love the design in this pattern. The color red in the picture above is much closer to the actual color than the pics from yesterday showed. This is a much bluer, deeper red and is gorgeous.

After how soft the comfy yarn was from the last project though, this wool yarn feels horrible. It felt fine before I played with the comfy. I'm spoiled now.

I'm both looking forward to and dreading my weekend. On the good side, I have my spinning class on Saturday. On the bad side, it's my last class. Also on the bad side, the Eldest and his Dad are off on a Cub Scout camping trip to Raccoon Mountain Caverns in TN. I will be stuck here with the Youngest all by myself and to top it off, he's gone and caught another cold. It is highly likely that I will be getting very little sleep over the next couple of days thanks to that cold. But, I will live.

Here's hoping you have a great weekend, even if I don't!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Knitting & Spinning Stuff

New knitting project:

Zara Cabled Pullover by Cornelia Hamilton. This is very much like a sweater I saw in a Victoria Secret catalogue recently. I'm using Knitpicks' Wool of the Andes in Iron Ore. A gorgeous red. It's a deeper red than that shown in the picture. This pattern stood me on my head last night. Never try to look at a complicated pattern when you are tired. This pattern is not so bad once you wrap your head around it, but this is not for beginners that's for sure.

View one of Cables

View Two of Cables

I also had a minor spinning disaster yesterday. I went to my LYS to use the spinning wheel again. I thought my spinning went great until I tried to wind the yarn off. It kept breaking in one and two yard pieces. So I took the mess home, got out my drop spindle and re-spun the whole damn thing. Took me for-e-ver. But it looks nice now.

I went back today and spun some more and here's the results. They're definitely getting better.

I also played with mixing two different color fibers. This group is much thicker. I wasn't trying very hard to make it thin, I was just playing with colors here.

I also got on Craigslist today. I'm trying to sell a bunch of stuff so I can afford a spinning wheel of my own. If I can sell the three things I posted today I'll have enough to get the one I want. Keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lillian Tank Top

The Lillian Tank is complete! Here's the proof:

It's not a great picture, but you get the point I'm sure.

To recap:

Lillian Tank Top done on size 6 needles in KnitPicks Comfy Yarn in Flamingo. I love this yarn and will be purchasing more.
Size: Small on top and Medium on bottom. Decreases set every 13th row of the lace repeat. If I were to do this again I would put them between the repeats. Don't ask me why I wasn't smart enough to do it that way the first time.

Drop Spindle and Pre-Drafting

I played with my drop spindle a little today. Taking the spinning wheel class has re-piqued my interest in it. I had stopped using the drop spindle because I was getting frustrated with it. Mainly with the drafting part.

So today I decided to pre-draft some roving for when I go back to the yarn shop to practice my spinning on their wheel. This is where you divide the roving lenthwise into thinner pieces and then keeping your hands about three inches apart pulling gently on the fibers to stretch them out. Be careful not to pull too much or you'll pull the pieces all the way apart and your roving will separate.
Balls of pre-drafted roving Afterwards I played with some of it on my spindle and the yarn was definitely getting better.

But then I was playing on youtube and found a video on the park and draft technique for the drop spindle that is fantastic and very informative. The combination of pre-drafting the roving and using this technique made a huge difference in the way my singles started coming out. They're still not perfect, but are becoming much more consistent. You can see at (almost) the top of the spindle where things started getting thinner and more consistent. The rest is not pretty, please consider it to be "art yarn". :)

I'm hoping that some of this will translate to the spinning wheel as well and I'll get more consistent results there as well.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Weekend

I hope everyone had a great weekend. My spinning class on Saturday was fabulous. The second half of the class will be this coming Saturday. I am so going to get a spinning wheel. It is incredibly meditative and cathartic. I loved it, even though I completely suck at it so far. Practice will cure that though. But first, I have to get the wheel. I'm already deciding what to sell on Craigslist so that I can raise the money.

I just now finished the Lillian Tank Top (which is why I'm posting so late.) It's soaking now and will be blocked in a few minutes. Hopefully I'll have a sweater to model for you tomorrow. It turned out really cute. There are a few glaring mistakes, but they are at the sides of the tank where I had to fudge the pattern to put in the decreases. Yesterday I read an article that gave specifics about decreasing a lace pattern that would have made this so much cleaner. Oh well. At least on the sides they won't draw a lot of attention. I did notice some "rowing out" and I have since, I think, figured out what I was doing wrong. I'm not going back and correcting anything. I'm the only one that will notice the errors and so I'm calling it done. So there.
In it's unblocked state

The Eldest came home with a recycling project that was due this morning. So guess what I, I mean "we" did this weekend? Gibson and Fender watch out, cause Shea's moving in on the guitar made from a shoe box action:
Shoe Box Guitar With Gold Flames

On a good note, The Youngest graduated to his first "Big Boy" bed. He got his very own race car bed. He even went to sleep in his Cars Pjs.

"Fast" Asleep