Monday, November 21, 2011

How to make a spinner crazy

Here's how I spin yarn:
  1. Spin the singles. Critically evaluate every inch for consistency, but fail to take a sample to check against. Tell yourself you're doing it by instinct.
  2. Pause in single spinning because you're sure it's going badly.
  3. Ply the singles. Briefly admire the resulting yarn.
  4. Ply the second half of the singles. Get bummed out because the second half looks different than the first half.
  5. Pause in plying because your sure it's not going to be any good.
  6. Grumpily finish the plying.
  7. Compare the two skeins. Marvel how remarkably similar they are.
  8. Put the wheel away before you drive your self crazy.
This project started as 19oz of Shetland roving, color blueberry.
I divided it up into 6 portions of approximately 85 grams each, which worked with my plan to spin all the singles first as I own 6 bobbins. That was a long haul.

I intended to spin a DK weight, but I think the result is more of a heavy fingering. I may need to find a new pattern to work this yarn up. Still, it is moderately pretty...
And even better, the two skeins are remarkably consistent, considering my earlier trepidation. I think the lighter weight may be a bonus, becuase I'm sure to have a good yardage out of the fiber I started with.

However, don't expect me to start a project out of this real soon. I think I need a break from blueberry for a while. Still, anyone know of a good pattern for a plus size vest or shrug in fingering weight?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Afternoon mystery, solved?

In the waiting room at the doctor's office this afternoon, I was knitting a sock which was noticed by my cohabitants. A woman older than me was there with her mother, who commented that her mother knit all the family's socks. This was after the war she said, and everyone in the community knit socks. In fact, the neighbours used to bring their socks to her mother for her to turn the heel. She turned the heels for everyone in the area.

I was puzzled by this. Why not just teach the other knitters how to turn a heel? It's tricky the first time, but after that, it's almost the best part of working a sock.  Aha! That must be it. I'll bet she was keeping the best part of the knitting for her self.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Weekend Away with Eadon

Jim and I went away this weekend to celebrate our mutual November birthdays. It was sunny and peaceful up until we got home to find that the boys hadn't done their chores.

The weather was just perfect for hand knits. Jim wore his Kiloran and I wore Eadon.

Christmas was creeping up on us all weekend. Even Jim and I were broadcasting the holiday vibe with him in a bright red sweater and me in my green. Plus, I got some Christmas shopping done for those undeserving offspring of ours. 

I loved wearing my new sweater this weekend. Eadon is cozy like a bathrobe, but once I found the perfect pin for it, I can wear it closed at the top and wear it like a jacket. This pin I found at Close Knit in Stratford:

It kinda mimics the cables which is a nice touch, and it cost about as much as the zipper I was thinking about adding to this sweater, except I can wear it on other things too. Can't do that with a zipper.

I did make some modifications to this pattern. For starters, I shortened the length by one pattern repeat. Being wide of girth, I felt the sweater would be too heavy at full length. When it came time to do the collar, the pattern has you bind off and sew the ends together. I chose to graft it instead, which worked just fine:

And I don't have an annoying seam on my neck. The shoulders came together beautifully too, and support the weight of the sweater comfortably:

I expect to be wearing this sweater proudly for a long time to come.