Sunday, February 26, 2006

Knitting Olympics.

I've completed my Olympic project but am unhappy to announce technical difficulties due to insufficient equipment. If you are planning on knitting the Langsjal from Three-Cornered and Long Shawls, please be advised that you will probably require 1000 - 1200 yds to complete the project.

It all started so well, I cast on at Madrona knitting with friends. It is now obvious to me that I should have taken the spilled wine as a sign to join Team Merlot. Oblivious, I knit on. Here I am on February 16th.

I am becoming suspicious as time goes by and my ball of yarn is dwindling alarmingly fast. I chalk it up to codeine-induced hallucinations and reassure myself that everything will work out fine. Here is my progress by February 20th.

I am forced to face the music very shortly afterwards and realize that I have only completed 16 of 28 repeats of the centre but a little judicious weighing has me knitting the opposing border and grafting. The remaining yarn - about 10 metres. I now have a very pretty, very wide, rather short scarf.

I'll try for an in-use photo tonight.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Madrona was so much fun...

I got to see friends from all over North America and a large section of the PNW contingent of FT.

I got to make new friends.

I had good food with good company.

I took a class from an excellent teacher.

I did a good job of enhancing my stash. Thanks for the help Holly and Stephanie!

I got a new wheel. Thanks Katie!

I promptly succumbed to whatever nasty bug was roaming around the hotel when I got home. I'm happy to report that I'm much better now.

The Flame and I are heading out for a little pre-Mardi Gras dinner. Between last night's delicious dinner at Lara's house and tonight's dinner I've got to start exercising more.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Alive, barely.

First things first.

SP, thank you SO MUCH for the absolutely amazing book of lace patterns by Christine Duchrow. There's a pair of gloves in there that I am going to try out this summer in a fine linen or cotton I think. Truly interesting stuff that you don't see patterns for anymore. The Fiona Ellis picture was a teaser card for her book, but it was very kind of Marsha to include it.

Back soon, with good news (Madrona) and bad (Olympic Knitting).
Also, having the flu sucks.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Spinning away.

I'm away from the blog right now, but hopefully my posting fairy will post this for everybody.

In October, I bought 3 bags of Black All Sorts from Andrea Lawrence of Aurelia Wool & Weaving while I was up in Cache Creek. I had in mind a cardigan, my favourite black, enlivened with all the beautiful brights that I would generally never wear. These tops come as several individual colours, aligned as one top. I'd never worked with something like this before and when I saw the 2 topknots in a very similar colourway to Black All Sorts, I knew they would be the perfect practise run.

Andrea advises spinning from the fold for the best colour separation. I tried this for a while, but reverted to my regular semi-worsted from the end technique as the fastest and easiest for me, with acceptable colour separation. My Jensen bobbins are amazing and I got a full topknot onto each, with room to spare. The left bobbin is only partially finished but we had a brief moment of sun.

The halfbred top spins beautifully and when plied and washed, bulks up into a wonderfully round yarn despite being only a 2-ply. I think the 300yds I ended up with would do nicely as a multi-directional scarf.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Thank you!

I got the cutest postcard from my SP last week involving Swiss Cheese! Yum! Then I got this very interesting looking package in the mail. Hmmmm.

Everything was so beautifully wrapped inside! I can't wait to sit down and play with my German, and the beautiful patterns within this book. Thank you so much SP. I'm going to take it along with me for the drive down to Tacoma and the Madrona Winter Retreat.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Jaywalking with a chimney!

The Flame was occupied this weekend so I'm afraid the toe chimney photo essay involved myself and the couch. This is Lucy Neatby's technique and she does a fabulous job of explaining it in her fun book Cool Socks, Warm Feet and on her website.

Hold the chimney inside the sock with your non-sewing hand. Match up the stitches and notice how your contrast yarn shows you the path your grafting yarn will follow. Start in the middle with a NEW piece of yarn.

Graft to the end, making sure you catch the stitches at the end.

Re-thread the needle with the yarn from the middle of the toe, and graft out to the other end.

If you flip the sock inside out, you will see a neat row of stitches on either side of the chimney. Unravel if you're ready and you're done! I found this method very easy as the path of the graft is right before you and it is very easy to get your tension right the first time. That said, I did the other sock straight off the needles with a fresh piece of yarn and found it just as tidy.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Back to Normal

The Flame is home, Chinese New Year's has been appropriately celebrated, and Dine Out Vancouver has been enjoyed with gusto. My favourite picture from all the festivities is of my Sister-in-Law and my nephew Ben, on New Year's Day. Belgian waffles are definitely a family favourite.

It's been fun, but it's SO nice to settle back into a routine. In the teeny bits and bobs of free time over the past week I finished spinning up the Corriedale from Homespun Haven, Sharon doesn't have a website, but feel free to e-mail her. I'm always fascinated by hand-dyed rovings and the resulting yarn. This has been no exception. The skein on the bottom was spun with more attention to grist and plied back upon itself. The upper 2 skeins were my attempt at spinning an even thicker yarn (not as easy for me, hence the uneven bits) and plied from 2 separate bobbins.

I'm SO close to being finished with the Jaywalkers. In a rare fit of brilliance, I've waited to graft the toes so that I can compare Neatby's Toe Chimney graft with my standard graft. I promise to share the results.