Something Garish This Way Comes

I finished plying! The overly-saturated yarn of doomy-doom has had a timeout in its own personal bath & is currently air-drying in front of the back door. If all goes well and the weather clears up, maybe it will do some sun-bathing later on today.


Next up? I’m thinking this lovely purple fluff (I’ve started using Cookie’s description….). There’s about 107 gr or 3.8 oz in there. I’d get a nicer shot, but again…the weather is gloomy today.  So instead of worrying about little rainclouds following me around, I’ll spin one instead.



It’s another WIP Wednesday! I would have posted sooner, but with the weather being overcast and rainy, I barely had time to bring in the laundry yesterday. Which is OK, because that gave me time to turn the heel on the 2nd of Robin’s grey-and-red socks


It also gave me time to turn some of this…


Into some of this. It’s looking nicer than I thought it would. Maybe my chain plying isn’t as poor as I thought….


I also took the mess on the left over there


…managed to detangle it…


…and rewound it into a recognizable skein. By my calculations, I have around 229 yards in there. Hopefully enough for a Baby Surprise Jacket.  Hopefully.


That’s what I’ve been up to.  How have you been keeping yourself busy?

Reminder: Check yarn before washing it.

I spent most of Sunday night working on chores that needed to get done, punctuated by furious bouts of spinning. Which is why my knitting progress has eased off, but still….spinning! I’m now at the point where I’m plying from a hugely packed bobbin that contains almost 200 grams of fibre. I overflowed onto a second bobbin for about two repeats of my 4-colour spinning rotation (orange -> gold w/pink or blue -> red and blue -> pink, purple and gold). I decided to navajo/chain ply, so the colours will be kept somewhat intact.

Of course, doing muliple loads of laundry got me to thinking that I really ought to wash a few other things, so once the kitchen sink was cleared and rinsed out, I dug out that skein of darker grey yarn that was so hard on my hands and gave it a soak. Ditto for a couple of skeins of handspun – one of which I know I haven’t soaked & thwacked, another that I wasn’t too sure on. The following picture illustrates why you should double check your skeins to make sure they’re secure before you dunk them into water.


Yep. That hot mess over there on the left is what happens when you don’t secure your skein. Yarn all over the freakin’ place. The blue is also handspun. I’m thinking I can probably get a pair of socks or a shawlette out of it. The multicoloured mess has since been untangled and wound into a ball. I will likely reskein it tomorrow. I think I can get something like a Baby Surprise Jacket out of it…that’s what the yarn is kinda telling me it wants to be. It’s a sorta DK/Sport weight.

This is also why I have to stop Navajo/Chain plying, and start actually doing two-ply yarns. I’m finding the triple strands are a little too thick, particularly with my still-inconsistent spinning skills. Hopefully that will change as I get better.  Heck, I changed a bobbin last night and came to the realization that I’m missing a part for my wheel!  There’s supposed to be a nut the keeps the Mother-of-All in place (that’s the part that holds the bobbin for you non-spinning folks), and it turns out that this piece is missing. As a result, the new bobbin wouldn’t line up with the wheel, dislodging my drive band. So hopefully Shuttleworks will have a replacement part (or I’ll get in contact with the fine folks at Schacht Spindle).  Until then, I’m keeping it shimmed into place with a small stack of post-its.

Before anyone asks, I don’t know where the part went to. I’m not even sure that I even had it to begin with. If I did, it’s either in my basement, under a piece of furniture that’s hard to look under. I really wish I knew what happened to it!


In the meantime, get a load of my brand-new skein winder. If it looks familiar, it’s possibly because you’ve sat on it at some point during a visit. It does a remarkably good job, and tucks away until later for convenience 😉

One down, one to go!

So I decided, after all my issues with gauge, to just rib the heck out of Robin’s new socks. I figure that if they’re a wee bit large, the ribbing will fix that little problem! 😉


So I’ve started on sock #2, and am ticking along fairly quickly all things considered. Having to purl usually slows me down, but I appear to have gotten into the groove.


Ideas are percolating on the first Whovian Companion sock. I even have yarn, which I picked up at The Loop in Kensington (wonderful, wonderful yarn!!). I’m trying to do my Companion socks in mostly-solid colourways to show off the designs. Which is a shame, because I picked up some gorgeous sock yarn awhile back that I would love to dive into 😀


In non-sock related stuff & nonsense, I have been continuing with the spinning. I have 80-some-odd little hanks of fibre waiting to be spun. I managed to get a considerable amount done while keeping myself awake by watching the first season of the X-Files on Sunday night. The bobbin is considerably fuller. I’m hoping to keep it up with the spinning, because I’ve been horribly neglectful of that skill. I’d hate to feel like I was learning all over again every time I start.


This means I may have to order myself some more fibre soon. I have a few things I’ve picked up over the past year or two, but definitely nowhere near the amount of my yarn stash. Right now, I’m just trying to spin at least one evening per week, and if I wind up spinning more than that, yay me!

Almost a week later…

I really do try to be modest. I always feel weird giving myself a pat on the back or trying to promote the things I do. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t feel like what I do is anything out of the ordinary, or if it’s because I’ve been trained for critique, but I never really know when I’ve done a great job, and I have no idea how to accept compliments.

Who is Number One?

So yeah. That was the Weeping Angel pattern sometime on Tuesday evening. My most “successful” pattern to date had gained something like 300 downloads on Ravelry over the course of about 5 years. Weeping Angel had over 500 in a 24-hour span, and that was the test-knit without any kind of example pictures. That, I guess, is the power of the Whovian Fanbase. Even so, after adding a few example pictures of the first “real” sock off the needles, we’re over 800 downloads.


I really do have to thank Sherri and Jennifer, who have been my first-out-of-the-gate test knitters.  Both of them found almost the same “bugs” in the pattern at the same times. Sherri, who is local, would text my phone, and at almost the same time, I would get a Ravelry message from Jennifer.  It’s almost scary how in-sync those two are!  They also caught quite a few things that I had missed, partially due to my text editor’s autocorrect, and partially due to having worked on the pdf so much that I was glossing over things. I believe that Chelsea is going to be casting on her testknit soon, so she’ll be able to see if there are any errors that the other two may have overlooked.

Reactions on Ravelry have, so far, been really favourable (yes, I’m prone to understatement when it comes to my work). To the point where I’m not sure how to take the praise.  All I can say is “Thank you!” My own test knit pair went really quickly once I found the time to actually knit them (work has had its challenges this past week), and I have to admit that if I didn’t know the designer personally (duh) I’d be flogging them all over the interwebs as a really cool pattern that people really needed to try out and OMG the heel expansion is SO COOL.


You get the picture.  The kitty, however, is unimpressed.  The recent humidity and inherent furry-ness of kitties do not mix well, so she is taking advantage of today’s much cooler and overcast weather to get caught up on some sleep that does not involve snoozing directly under the ceiling fan in the living room.


In the meantime, I’ve started spinning again (more on that later) and when I’m not working on that, I’m getting more work done on that second HitchHiker scarf I cast on back in April.

And yes. I’m thinking of the next sock design. 🙂

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WIP Wednesday: Malabrigo March!

Another WIP Wednesday!  Things are continuing.  The February Lady Sweater has pretty much gone back into procrastinatory hibernation (but will likely be pulled out when the whim strikes).  The design-socks are still being kept away from cameras, and that leaves two things.  Two?!  Yes.  Two.

A Shawl!  Well…whatever it is, it’s sure a bright pink.  That’s the Brandywine Shawl, designed by Romi Hill, and I’m attempting to knit it from Allison Avery Premium Hand-Dyed Yarn (colourway: Girlie).  If the yarn looks familiar, it means you have a good eye.  I attempted a homebrew version of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Lenore out of that yarn. It was ripped back when I realized that the challenge had gone out of the project and the yarn was a little thin for the task of being lace socks. It’s not the only thing I’ve attempted from it. I tried a plain pair of socks (flashing & pooling issues) and a pair of socks that used some pretty fancy yarn-overs (thinness of the yarn, again).  I think it works great as a shawl!  Much nicer!

Second thing on my needles is my Shur’tugal Socks by Alice Yu.  They’re my March Skinflint Socks.  Say it with me: Mmmmmmalabrigo!  Apparently, March is “Malabrigo March” or “Malabrigo Madness”.  I can get behind that!

Last on the list is the spinning.  We’re down 50g of Fleece Artist BFL Sliver and have started the second 50g.  I’m thinking possibly of doing a 2-ply.  Might be fun!

WIP Wednesday: Knitting *and* Spinning

I finished the Noro Shawl last week.  Actually, it’s less a shawl than a small blanket that resembles an equilateral triangle.  I really don’t feel like re-knitting it at this time. so it may stay that way, maybe to eventually become something useful for someone.  You never know.

February Lady Sweater in progress

This means that other than design-knitting, which I’ve decided should not be shared until all of us can revel in its completed awesomeness, I’m left with the February Lady Sweater as my sole project “on the needles”.  Seriously.  And I’m actually knitting on it.  I added a couple of extra rows before starting the first pattern repeat before putting the armholes onto waste yarn, and I’ve completed a couple of pattern repeats since.

There’s no way I’m finishing this before the end of February, but I really don’t feel like I need to.  At any rate, I’m enjoying the knit and it’s been accompanying me to work for lunch-hour knitting. I’ve had more than one comment about it.  I guess socks are one thing, but a sweater is “real” knitting!

My spinning wheel, a Schacht-Reeves Saxony

I’ve also been wanting to spin lately.  Because I don’t really talk about it much, I suspect most folks don’t know that I’ve picked up spinning.  To tell the truth, I haven’t done much with it.  I had put my wheel in the basement, where the TV is, on the assumption that I would spin while watching TV or movies.  I had overestimated the amount of time I actually spend watching TV, particularly in what can easily be described as the coldest part of the house.  My beautiful Schacht-Reeves Saxony wheel has, therefore, been brought from the depths of the house to the main floor where not only will she be used more often, but also admired as the gorgeous piece of furniture that she is.

Fleece Artist Roving

I started spinning this the other day when we had company over.  It’s Fleece Artist, BFL.  I don’t seem to recall seeing a colourway name on the label.  I’m about halfway through the first 50g, and am trying to remember to do a little spinning now and again when I think of it.  The trouble is that it’s really addictive when you’re working with a wheel.  Addictively soothing.  I hear the wheel spinning and the treadle moving, and it just puts me in a trance.  Next thing I know, an hour has gone by…so much for 15 minutes!  There isn’t much to show on the bobbin right now, but pictures will, as always, be forthcoming!

Sometimes it’s the simple things

Remember that whole pretending to be grown up thing I was talking about?  We’re making a pretty concerted effort to be more aware of what’s going on, and it’s really paying off.

This is what it looks like around here tonight.  We’re finding that with both of us working on our respective writing, we can actually find ways to do so together.  I’m blogging on the laptop while he enjoys writing in his notebook with his new fountain pen (a Lamy Safari, for those who are curious).  We’re both enjoying the music from the stereo and sipping our tea, and munching on biscuits.  Sometimes it’s the simple things that make you happy.

My co-worker Jean surprised me a couple of days ago.  His wife is a spinner, and quite awhile ago I had expressed an interest in knitting with handspun.  Before I knew it, she had sent along a gorgeous 2-ply of merino/silk.  I still haven’t knit anything with it, but I think it will likely become a shawl(ette).  I mentioned to him recently that since I started spinning last year, I need to start hoarding stashing accumulating more fibre.  I’m sure the husbeast would disagree with me, but nothing keeps you from spinning like the threat of running out.  Next thing I knew…Jean was handing me a large shopping bag full of wool.

You could have coloured me “flabbergasted”.  In addition to a book, there’s some beautiful burgundy Corriedale, some gorgeous blue silk/merino, and a huge 1 pound, 4 oz of what I suspect is processed fleece.  I’m not certain, though, but it sure looks like quite a bit to keep me spinning for awhile!

Even better?  Cassy is getting into felting, and sent along “soap in a coat”, some hand-made soap in a felted case that Jean swears lathers up really well *and* looks nice on the soap dish.  It smells lovely.

Oh yeah.  I owe someone some Christmas Cookies at very least.  Probably the ones that every claims are as addictive as crack…

(If you somehow manage to find my website, Cassy, please know that I am totally bewildered and hope to actually meet you in person sometime so I can let you know just how much I appreciate all you’ve done to encourage my wool addiction hobbies) 😀