Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Yarn Along: beginnings and endings

I'm still knitting away on these vanilla socks, plus I cast on for these nerdy socks.  It was exceptionally cold and rainy this week, which is a knitter's favorite forecast, so I snuck in the beginnings of a thrummed mitten in May.

Pete graduated and became a deacon this weekend, so everyone came to visit, including the spinning wheel my friend Dorothy gave me.  As soon as I had a moment, I used Murphy's Oil Soap to wipe it down, buffed it with a dry cloth, and put a little vaseline on the metal bits.  After drying it in the sun, I adjusted things here and there until it finally started spinning (quietly) in earnest.  I'm spinning up 8oz of Riverstone Merino from Abi's Web that I got ages ago for $17 at Rhinebeck.

Even though I've just begun, spinning has permeated me somehow, so that while I lie in bed at night, my right foot keeps treadling.  It reminds me of sleeping on dry land after sailing for a while, and how your bed feels like it's being rocked by the waves.

I've been reading The Spinner's Book of Yarn Designs by Sarah Anderson, even though it's a little beyond me at this point.  It doesn't teach how to spin, so I'm cobbling things together a bit.  Does anyone know of a good resource?

I also just started reading Victoria's Daughters, a loan from another friend, which is fascinating so far.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yarn Along: step by step

I stayed up late last night to finish the toe of this sock.  I already started its mate on another set of needles, which is my remedy for second sock syndrome.  I just used my kitchen scale to divide the yarn perfectly in half, then whenever I got bored of the first sock, I knit a little on the second sock.  You wouldn't think it would make a difference, but the switch from stockinette to ribbing, even with the same yarn, somehow did.  The only trouble is that it seems I have overcompensated after my slightly-too-big pair knit on size 3 needles, and made this sock a smidge too small by knitting on size 1 needles.  I'll wear it around a bit to see if it will loosen up.  

The Mary Frances Knitting and Crochet Book arrived on my doorstep earlier this week, a gift from my sister.  I can't believe how much I was missing by reading the free e-book version!  It's a beautiful cloth-bound hardcover, with all sorts of little drawings throughout, plus a multitude of photographs of the projects.  Thank you, Emma!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Yarn Along: UFOs

Right before we flew off to Chicago, I bound off my honey cowl.  That meant I was at a complete loss as to what to bring with me for the weekend.  I hemmed and hawed for a little while, then snatched up a couple of UFOs (Unfinished Objects) in desperation.
I spent most of the weekend working away on my Citron shawlette, but I brought a vanilla sock as backup.  They're both knit out of Malabrigo yarn.  Incidentally, I just listened to an episode of the Savvy Girls Podcast that contains an interview with one of the founders of the company and a description of their warehouse in Uruguay.  It was so much fun to knit away with these beautifully saturated colors while learning more about how they came into being.
Last night I dug out another UFO--the second legwarmer based on the Spring Socks pattern.  I'd forgotten how addictive stripes are, especially when using Noro.  There's Lucy's hand, reaching over to steal my yarn.  She carries around her Pascha basket all day long, and scavenges for interesting objects, mostly little leftover balls of yarn.
I've been devouring my new book, The Knitter's Book of Wool, by Clara Parkes, which Pete and Lucy picked out for me in Loopy Yarns in Chicago as a Mother's Day gift.  It's the perfect resource for fleece-buying research.  I've started marking different breeds with post-its in preparation for the CNY Fiber Festival, which is coming up in June.  Officially the biggest fiber nerd out there...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Research: Call the Midwife

I spotted lots of knitting in Season 2 of Call the Midwife.
The stench of last week's spam is still clinging to my 3-ply!
I hear you, Sister.  It's Bright Week, after all.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Yarn Along: dream job

My honey cowl is almost finished.  I took it with me to the all-staff training at my new job at the local museums.  I'm used to knitting in public, but was a bit worried it wouldn't look professional.  Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw three--THREE--knitters working away at the table next to mine.  They are historical interpreters, paid to wear 1840s clothing and knit or spin or sew all day.  sigh.

I'm reading The Mary Frances Knitting and Crochet Book by Jane Eayre Fryer on my nook.  I downloaded it for free by searching "0.00 knitting" in the shop.  It is a low quality scan of the original and has lots of mistakes as a result, because the scanner picked up words slightly wrong and no one edited it.  Alas.  Franklin Habit wrote a really hilarious post about this book, which made me search it out.  I intend to pick up a hard copy soon, as I can see it is a gem worth reading over and over.