Click over to Tami's Amis to confirm how objectively boring my knitting is, despite how much I'm enjoying it!
|clean cup, move down||
It may not be much to look at, but I love garter stitch and short rows as much this week as I did last week.
Click over to Tami's Amis to confirm how objectively boring my knitting is, despite how much I'm enjoying it!
I'm still working on getting my YOP momentum back. I have a lot of socks in progress, and a lot of ideas, and I would have more luck crossing things off if I was less humming-bird like while working on any one of these things. Although, that may not be the most accurate simile-- we've got a hummingbird that's dedicated to our feeder... As in, he spends the better part of an hour hanging out by it, sucking it dry. So maybe what I need is his focus.
UFOs (2) and WIPs (2)
I'm calling it; the sweater is officially hibernating. I don't think I've worked on it in a month. I did manage to finish one of the Park City Socks, but I haven't even cast on the second one. On the other hand, I'm on the second-to-last repeat of the Line Break pattern, each of which is longer than the last, so I think I'm about 60% done. And I re-cast on the handspun socks for Mom this week as more portable mindless knitting-- and because I love working with my handspun, as wonky as it is.
Almost on the needles (4)
Projects I'd like to cast on AND finish by July (5)
I really can't stop thinking about making a hat with my handspun... as soon as I finish something else, I'm casting on so it stops occupying space in my brain. The other addition to this section of the list is a pair of thrumbed slippers for my mom. They look fun to make, I can make them entirely from stash, and she needs more handknit footwear in her life... the last two pairs of socks she meant to knit for herself got socknapped by her sister, and turned out to be large enough to fit Devin, respectively. Also, her feet are perpetually cold.
Projects I'd like to at least have started start by July (9)
Two projects added this week (well, in the past three weeks): first, click over to The Doubloon on Ravelry; I'll be here when you get back. Don't feel like clicking? Here's one picture of the designer's sample.
I can't explain why or how much I love this, but I have 2400 yards of spring-green merino lace and it's destined to become this giant doily... and I'm not even a lace knitter, particularly.
The second addition is a sweater inspired by Amy Herzog's Fit to Flatter series. I signed up and sat through the Craftsy class, and I have the book pre-ordered. She suggests that the next sweater to go on the needles, in order to practice the concepts in the class, be knit in pieces, bottom-up. I generally don't knit sweaters in pieces... Ok, I never have knit a sweater in pieces... but I'm going to give it a try. I'm thinking either Reine out of BT LOFT or Twigs and Willows, out of some as-yet undetermined stash yarn... I think those are both knit in pieces, and they're both a whole lot of stockinette, which is another thing Amy recommends for the next sweater.
Quick plug, her class is absolutely hands-down awesome. If you've been struggling with sweater fit, or wondering how to style your handknits, I would say this is the class for you. If you're only ever going to take one Craftsy class, take this one... unless you're a spinner and you love color; then you should go with Felicia Lo's class. End plug.
I've been plying up a storm; when I'm done I will have hit 32 ounces spun and plied this year! And my puff count is at 48.
Finally, my finished projects; nothing's changed this week, but it's nice to end on a note of accomplishment.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was feeling pretty blah about everything I had on the needles. One of the things about that feeling is that even though it makes me want to cast on new projects in the hopes of recapturing my enthusiasm, it also makes it hard to believe that something new will feel different than the six UFOs I already have going. (UFO, in this case, refers to UnFinished Objects. I've always read it as U-F-O, like the flying saucers, but a podcaster I'm fond of says "oo-fos" which I've come to love. It reminds me of Greek... and since she's Greek I doubt that's a coincidence.)
In any case, I decided to cast on something new specifically for my trip to San Francisco two weeks ago. It turns out, that sense of peace and joy in knitting really can be reclaimed-- or maybe it's the lucky number seven. Whatever; I'm happy to be happily knitting.
I know it's not much to look at. That's because it's quite literally a pile o'garter stitch. But it's garter stitch and short rows, with the occasional eyelet thrown in for good measure, which apparently is enough to keep me amused (I'm a bear of very little brain), and I'm using Tosh Merino Light which I like-- even though it's both Madelinetosh, which I often find disappointing, and a singles yarn, which I tend to find obnoxious. I'm even finding myself contemplating blocking wires at the end of this thing, for the full shawl experience. Crazy, huh?
I'm enjoying knitting my soon-to-be shawl enough that I even successfully bribed myself into finishing a sock. That's sock, singular, but it's been on the needles for two and a half months, so I'm calling it a win-- and celebrating with more garter stitch short rows.
Lest you be fooled by the prevalence of green knitting, I should disclose that I've actually been in an inexxplicable mustard-yellow mood of late. I expect the knitting to show evidence of that sometime in late spring.
Click over to Tami's Ami's for more WIP Wednesday anecdotes!
I've been spinning Jacob wool lately (this time on purpose). I have a fair bit of Jacob combed top in my stash-- one dyed braid, and two undyed-- and my fuzzy plan is to make two batches of two ply and then stripe them together.
Jacob sheep are pretty interesting, as far as sheep go. They were bred to be decorative-- think pink lawn flamingos for British landowners-- and they've since been used as primarily meat animals. There can be a lot of variation in fleece quality, but the five samples that I've had the pleasure of fondling (including the three I've spun up) have been a little hairy, a little wiry, a little rough, and also plump and warm and altogether delightful. I'm not thinking of knitting any Jacob up into a baby blanket, but I think it will make perfect outerwear for next winter.
Often Jacob wool comes as roving-- that hairy quality makes great lofty, woolen-spun yarn-- and it's also naturally tri-colored, with white, chocolate black, and grey-lilac hues, so often it's left undyed. That being said, my first experience with Jacob was a dyed braid of combed top.
As much as I loved my little skein of green Jacob, spun and plied on a spindle, it felt like rope. Way too much twist, both in the singles and in the plying.
My second experience with Jacob, also on a spindle, was with more combed top-- this time undyed. I kept the twist much lighter, and as much as I loved the skein directly off the spindle, once washed it plumped up and became the skein I am most proud of to date. Judith MacKenzie says that "all fibers are governed by the first principles... all fibers will [forever be trying] to return to [their] original shape," and I really see that in the chocolate combed top-- it's like curly hair that's been straightened with an iron, and then when you wash it to set the twist... well, I have curly hair. Maybe that's an analogy that works better for me than for other people. In any case, what was a nice enough skein gained a lot of sproing and plumpness, and now it's become a skein I squeeze everytime I walk past it.
So now my plan is to take a braid of dyed Jacob and ply it against the undyed chocolate (I have a lot more of that), and then spin more of the undyed chocolate and ply it against some undyed lilac I have as well, and stripe the two together into a knitted something-- so both stripes will have one ply of the chocolate, and one ply of something else.
I know it's Sunday, and I know I should be updating my Year of Projects list... but this spinning thing is really addictive.
I'm leaving for San Francisco and half a dozen job interviews tomorrow morning-- that is, I'm leaving tomorrow. All the interviews are actually on Friday. Then, I get to spend the weekend in my favorite city with my dearest friend, who I convinced to fly up from Tucson to meet me/talk me down from the wicked case of nerves I can feel hovering on the horizon.
Before I leave I have a couple of rather important things to do-- buying decent interview pants is right on top of that list, and in a reasonable person's mind, packing my knitting would be somewhere near the bottom, right?
But, we all know I am not that reasonable.
I know, that's not a sock. Or a sweater. And in my last post I swore I wasn't casting on this shawl until I'd knit at least one sock or 19" of the sweater. Here's my reasoning/excuse: I want to fly with knitting that's on interchangeable needles-- the better to not get them taken away by some overly eager TSA agent (I know it's not likely on domestic flights, especially on the west coast, but I flew a lot internationally and out of New York; some habits die hard). While I could transfer the sweater to the interchangeables, it's really too heavy and bulky for travel knitting. So, I had to cast on a new project, and I had to do it yesterday or today to make sure I brought the right tips... and as a side benefit, I avoided pants shopping. I hate shopping (unless it's books or yarn), so I consider it a win. Of course, now I have to go today, and I have to find something, because I'm pretty sure no one will hire me if I'm pantsless-- at least, not for a teaching job.
While I pack and shop, click over to Tami's Amis to see what other people are knitting. And if you love a particular yarn shop in San Francisco proper, leave a note! I can probably talk Timothy into going to one or two while we're there... but without a car, I don't know how far afield we'll wander into the East Bay.
I think I'll open this week with a picture:
What you see here is the result of my very brief participation in the Rose City Yarn Crawl, 2013. Obviously, I broke my own stashdown rules. It was worth it.
I have to take individual pictures for my stash page on Ravelry, so I may do a more detailed rundown at a later date, but I will say: 100% cashmere, enough for the perfectest of perfect cowls. Like I said, worth it.
In other news, I was playing with my queue feature on Ravelry, and it's inspired me to return to the YOP list, which has been on hiatus here for a couple of weeks. I've decided to revise and revamp it for the... third?... time.
These are the two projects that I'm making myself work on, little by little. They're good projects, they're just both at very boring places right now, and I'm easily sidetracked.
Almost on the needles (6)
These socks are all technically cast on, in that there are needles associated with them, but there are barely enough rows knit between them to make one sock toe. The last item is something I'm planning on taking to San Francisco with me next week, and I'm using it as a reward-- if I finish at least one of the January Socks, or get 19" of my sweater body knit, I get to start the shawl early.
Projects I'd like to cast on AND finish by July (3)
The yarn is sitting there, wound up and ready to go for these. I was overly ambitious at the new year...
Projects I'd like to at least have started start by July (7)
A girl can hope, right? I fully expect to become distracted by other things in between now and then (see above, cashmere cowl. Also earlier this week, re: handspun cabled hat...) but this is sort of an outline of what I'm planning.
In other news, my puffs count stands at 44, and I've lost track of my spinning since the YOP start-- but since I have 19 ounces spun and skeined since January, I'm pretty sure I'll make my original goal of 25 ounces...
That leaves my list of FOs (13)
It's nice to see the FOs list again-- a reminder that even though I'm knitting very slowly right now, I can and do finish projects!