Friday, April 28, 2006

Slack, But I Have Been Knitting!

I guess it is more than past time for a progress report?

Little sock has still been cast aside, in favor of working on the lace. Not that I don't like knitting little sock, or prefer lace. It is just that lace needs to be done sooner and there is no deadline at all for little sock. I am sure he will be patient!

The lace continues! I knit two days with no mistakes, and felt I was really on a roll. I did incautiously make comment on it, but was careful to knock on wood, etc. Alas, the wood knocking didn't work, and the very next time I knit on it, I made a mistake. However, I only had to tink a row or two, and was back on track. I do continue to put in a life line every eight rows, for safety's sake. Last time I checked, I had about 18 inches of the 30 inches required by the pattern. That was several knitting sessions ago, so perhaps I am as far as 2/3's done by now? Or even further? Neglecting to consider that it gets wider and wider, being knit from the bottom up, and it is a triangle. Oh well. The pattern is so easy though, it isn't a chore at all that it gets wider and wider, and more and more stitches. There will be a photo here at some point.

I learned a new skill! I am sure this is actually small peanuts to the rest of you, but it was big for me! I am finally nearing the end of the one ball of yarn involved in lace production. Last night I finally reached the point of having to join yarn. Anne had told me about felt joining, and I had noticed that her new book, Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle, had directions on how to do a felted join. I did it, it worked! I hope it is still working. I gave it some good tugs, as directed, and it held. I put it all aside last night, to let it dry. Not that it was really wet---it was just a little damp. But, I didn't want to mess anything up, and I really had sort of had enough knitting for the night anyway!

No spinning going on, although I would be jealous of Franklin and his lovely green yarn, if I were inclined to be jealous. I look forward to having ---some day----calm, peaceful days, with plenty of time for spinning, knitting, quilting, etc. Right! I do hope some day to have lots and lots of pretty handspun yarn to show though! Some day......

Thursday, April 20, 2006

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back....

That is what this knitting of lace feels like. I guess that isn't uncommon? Or am I just a freak? It is such a simple pattern, and I actually do try to pay attention to what I am doing. I still make mistakes. I usually find that out while doing a pattern row, as I get close to the end and find I have an uneven number of stitches left. Oh dear. I do continue to put in life lines every 8 rows. I have only had to use one life line, and I think I was only about 3 rows past it when I had to use it. So, that wasn't so bad. Since then, I can usually correct things by tinking a row or two. I have never tinked as much in my life as I have tinked with this project. Not even while tinking for Anne! Just teasing!

Anyway, it is coming along, and I really am making more progress than I am tinking out! I am still enjoying the process, and I might even attempt a more difficult pattern sometime? It will definitely have to be a time when there is very little going on in our world---Anne will have to be healthy and we will have to be confident that she will continue in that state for an extended period of time, etc. I have been taking a break from the little sock, since I want to get this lace project finished for Anne. I am channeling her, you know. I am definitely trying to keep after it and make progress on it each day.

No spinning in a while, but it is a temporary lapse. I will be back to it before too long---after the lace for sure!

Pictures sometime soon, but not today......

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Knitting Lace

It is not quite my usual trend, but I have 3 works in progress. This is knitting, I am talking about, of course. As far as quilting goes, works in progress are always in multiples, aren't they? Despite ones best efforts? Oh dear.

If you want the funny take on the knitting of lace ala Sally, go see Anne's Wrapped in Chains blog----link in sidebar!

I am actually quite enjoying it! The knitting of lace, I mean. Once you get over the looseness, and the messy look, it is rather fun. I don't try to knit it while there is something on the TV that I really want to see. Even though it is an easy pattern, it takes a bit more attention than that. I try to count the stitches as I complete each row, or at least every other row, to make sure I still have an even number, since that seems to be the big thing with this pattern. Fortunately, I quite often catch mistakes as I am making them, and that is a huge help!

Little sock update--it is progressing! I had finished the heel flap and had just turned the heel when Anne asked me to do the lace knitting for her. I was happy to put little sock aside and oblige her---she really doesn't ask for too much! I have everything set for picking up the gusset stitches on little sock, and when the mood strikes that can be done. Then I will be in my brief DPN stage of sock knitting. Is it weird to use circs for all but that part of the sock? I don't like using DPN's in general, but don't want to do the gusset section with circs. Go figure?

Anne's wrist warmer--which it turns out she wanted as an arm warmer, so I wasn't nearly as close to done as I thought I was--is progressing slowly. Oh well! The smell of the yarn bothers me, but fortunately there is a window of time I can knit it. For some reason, it takes a little while for the smell of the yarn to come to my notice, and even then, I have a little bit of time before it starts to bother me. So, it is handy to work on when I have just a little bit of time! It is getting there!

No spinning for a while, but I haven't given up on it. Jo let me know that Knitty had some articles on spinning, and I enjoyed reading those! I liked the one about spindles, and had to go to the site I bought mine from to find out how heavy it is. Wouldn't you know, I have a 3 oz spindle, for spinning thicker yarn. Which leads me to wonder, as I think my singles are probably a bit thinner than I should be able to get on it. Which confirms (I think?) my thought that I have way more twist than I should in my singles? Oh well...... I can already see a collection of spindles in my future, of different weights, and whatever. I do hope to soon be at a calmer stage of existence and be able to spend that 15 minutes a day spinning, that is supposed to make the difference! I am looking forward to it!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Knitting Again!

Well, this isn't actually the first knitting since the knitting olympics, as Anne had handed me some of the bulky wool-ease and asked me to knit in rib till it was about 6 inches long. I have a good bit of that done, but had rather given it up for a few days because the smell of the yarn was giving me headaches. I really must get it done though. I think she said it was a handwarmer, and I think she was working on one too---this was all begun pre-op on the wrist. The idea was to help keep the little wrists warm on cooler days, while the arm was/is bandaged, casted, whatevered.

I got back to work on the little socks last evening, so that is my real official end to my knitting draught. I got the cast on stitches joined properly this time, and got a good bit done, while "watching" tv---I am almost half done with the heel flap. Another good bout of knitting time will finish the little dickens! These little socks are so easy to knit and take so little time. I am really glad I got back to it. It does make me wonder why it took me so long to get back to it. I guess it does show that I really do hate to do any craft on demand (as in, with any kind of deadline, as in the knitting olympics), even if it is self-imposed. I am not sure why I am that way, it is a real hinderance sometimes. The only time I haven't had a problem with this was when I knit Anne's blankie, but then I didn't initially have a time at which it needed to be done (that was supplied later on), so maybe that made the difference?

Time to go read the paper, and then I will have some knitting time!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Knitting, Not

This has been a lost week as far as knitting goes. And spinning. I had such high hopes for getting a lot of spinning practice done this week, and it just didn't happen. I have high hopes for next week though. I know I can't expect Franklin to kindly leave a comment to spur me on. I do still go back and look at the one he did leave now and then though!

Anne is so anxious to get a spinning wheel, I think she can taste it. I expect she will be checking eBay often, looking for superb deals. I have to admit, I think I would really love to have one too. A nice simple one, classic design, clean lines, not too fussy, etc. They are definitely out there. There are so many designs for spinning wheels, it could make your head spin. Really! I have to admit, I am not in love with the quite modern ones, that don't look like spinning wheels. Many of those have the advantage of really clean lines, and a lot of portability, but they just don't appeal to me. Go figure.

I found my modified pattern for the little socks and got it all written out in usable form the day before Anne's surgery. I had hoped to work on one of them while waiting, as it would definitely have been something I could do while she was still waiting to go back, etc. I got one cast on, but forgot how I had connected the round last time, and so connected it wrong. I then found that I was knitting it from the inside, and I tried to turn it right side out too soon. I decided it was not meant to be, tinked it back to the cast on, and put it aside. I hope to get back to it this weekend!

I was amazed that they had two of the surgical interns (residents?) knitting on Grey's Anatomy last Sunday. One was doing it well, the other not so well. But they were knitting! Hurrah!

I hope to have photos showing little sock progress soon, and more spinning progress. Jo has been corrupting me with more and more web sites that sell fiber, etc. It is possible to get spinning work or even sell one's work on eBay, etc, so perhaps it might become a cottage industry for us one of these days?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Slow Weekend

That was the name of the game. After actually getting things done--space for the bookcases, etc---I didn't actually get much of anything done during the weekend. I did think about spinning, but not hard enough to actually do any--especially since I would have had an observer. I found a copy of Spin Off magazine this past week, and I read a good bit of it. There was a very interesting article about teaching spinning. It was written by a woman who teaches it, and one of her students had been asked to teach a class. Part of the article dealt with her advice to the student. It was almost daunting to read this. The class wasn't to be taught till 5 months in the future, which the author thought was enough time for the student to prepare. She recommended spinning an hour a day in preparation. An hour a day! I imagine that once one is really in the spin (sorry), an hour a day is no big deal, and probably something one would do anyway. I guess part of my thought much fiber/rovings/stuff would you have to have to be able to spin for an hour, every day, for 5 months??? The mind boggles. I hope they have an inexpensive source for fiber, and I wouldn't mind if they would give a hint or two!

The magazine was quite interesting and I was glad I got it. I still have articles to read---I like to spread it out (the same applies with quilting magazines). It is no fun to read it all the way through right at the beginning. I like to take my time! It was amazing to see the number of ads for places that sell spinning wheels, and all things to do with spinning. It is definitely not a dying art any longer. The number of wheel designs are amazing too. It is possible to spend an immense amount of money on spinning, but it also sounds like spinners get an immense amount out of spinning, too. I know I always get a bit of a thrill seeing handspun yarn on blogs. It is so inspiring!

On the other hand......Anne and I saw some "yarn" at Joann's last week. We hadn't been in there in ages, and Anne needed to look for some needles---yes, there are actually some sizes she doesn't have yet! This yarn was 100% wool, a manufactured thick and thin type yarn. The thick was amazingly thick, more than 4-5 times thicker than anything Anne or I have spun. The thin was so very thin in comparison. And they wanted $9.95 or something like that, for it. With a little bit of effort, any beginning spinner could spin that roughly. I don't know that they would want to, but they might be able to! I guess it just goes to show that there is a market for almost any kind of yarn.

Anyway, talking about spinning has gotten me energized to do some more! In any case, I will definitely try not to go as long without spinning as I did this last time. Regular practice seems to be the key, and I really do want to master this!

I still haven't cast on those second socks, but I am gettng closer to it. I actually thought about it several times this weekend. Anne brought me some yarn and a circular last evening and asked me to start something for her. I have no idea what it is, but it is close to half done! I put it aside when I found a knot. I untied it just as I thought, "oh crap, I bet they tied two pieces together", and found that was exactly the case. I want to see what she wants me to do with it---I put the ends together and knit double for a tiny bit, but thought she might like a different solution better so will wait and see what she thinks before I knit any more.

Well, I think I will go spin for a bit, or maybe cast on those socks!