Finish Line to Starting Line

I finished my spinning for the Tour de Fleece with a little time to spare.  I didn’t want to go too crazy with the spinning since I’m participating in what one of my online knitting groups (Friends of Abby’s Yarns) is calling the Masochism Tango where whatever you spun during the Tour de Fleece gets knit into something during the Ravelympics Ravellenic Games.  Since one of the things I spun was a skein of laceweight singles with a total of 864 yards, I knew I’d have my work cut out for me in the knitting department.

So, the final totals at my Tour de Fleece finish line are
1. (Top) Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club – August 2011 – Falkland – Change, 3-ply, sport weight, 234 yards
2. (Bottom) Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club – December 2012 – Superwash Corriedale – David’s Gift, singles, laceweight, 864 yards

Plans are still the same for the knitting up as I posted at the beginning of the Tour de Fleece: the 3-ply Falkland will become the Autumn Vines Beret, and the laceweight SW Corriedale will become a Citron shawl.

I cast on the beret Friday evening.  If I had been thinking ahead I would have had the yarn balled up and ready to go to cast on while riding the bus home from work that afternoon.  But I was totally unprepared for the start of the Ravellenic Games.  The yarn was balled up, the pattern pulled out, and a quickie gauge swatch knit up after dinner while watching the woefully time-delayed opening ceremony (probably the only thing except for the closing ceremony that I’ll actually watch during the whole thing, I think).  I am ready and willing to except that my gauge swatch might have been lying to me as I only knit about an inch or so before measuring and deeming the chosen needles good to go.  But the fabric I’m getting looks good, and the hat itself does not look overly small or large.

I’m hoping to have the beret done and the shawl cast on by Monday of next week, the sooner the better obviously.  I’m expecting that the shawl will go quickly since it doesn’t have the same amount of patterning as the hat; the hope is that I will be able to mostly memorize the shawl pattern and go at it like a speed demon rather than having to check the pattern every few minutes like I do with all the cables on the hat.

Move along

No progress to see here; please move along.  I have been so tired from slinging boxes at work the last few days that I’m unable to bring myself to even knit in the evening.  So, my Ishbel and my spinning both sit where they were at the beginning of the week.  The Ishbel may actually get finished since I just have the lace section left to do.

Tomorrow is for Stitches West.  I’ve signed up for Janel Laidman’s Getting the Most from a Painted Roving.  It goes all day on Friday, so hopefully, by the end of the day I should have some idea of what to do with the handpainted fibers I have slowly piling up in my fiber room.

I plan on just having lunch at the bar/restaurant in the hotel so that I don’t have to drive anywhere.  Then, into the market.  I’m not planning on returning for the rest of the weekend, so all shopping needs to be done during my lunch break and after class ends.  This year’s shopping theme is going to be tools/books.  I was in my fiber room cleaning it up so my BIL could stay the night and realized I truly do have quite a lot of fiber and yarn and no time to do anything with it.  (And I just got into The Loopy Ewe’s sock club for this year and am considering signing up for another year of infliction sock yarn from the Mean Girls Yarn Club.)  So, something will have to be truly amazing for me to think about getting it if it isn’t a tool or a book.

I also have the mission to buy a couple of skeins of sock yarn and a sock book for my MIL’s birthday, which is in a couple of months.  She’s getting back into knitting and the pair of socks I knit for her has inspired her to have more handknit socks of her own.  I think I’m going to get her a skein from Abstract Fibers and perhaps one from either Pigeonroof or Lisa Souza; I like the idea of getting her something rather local.  The book I’m thinking of getting her is Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks.  I think she’ll like the historical connection as well as the simple, but pretty patterns in the book.

I’m not entirely sure where my Ravelry name pin has gotten too; I’ll have to see if I can find it.  I do plan on wearing my Brandywine shawl tomorrow so that I can show it off to Romi in person.  See you there!


How are your Ravelympics projects going?

I can tell you that they are probably going far better than mine.  I have yet to pull out the fiber I decided upon for my spinning project (the superwash Corriedale that was to become socks).  Instead, I have been spinning some green batts that were the first to ever come off my drum carder.

I had received some very, very dark green with touches of red and yellow fiber from Deep Color in a swap several years ago (see the yarn to the right).  It was one of those cases where I highly doubt my swap partner had read my questionnaire because I had listed green as a color I don’t like.  (It wasn’t even until everyone was supposed to be finding out who their secret swap partners had been that I realized that my partner had fallen off the planet.  Oh well.)  So, I had this nice merino that just happened to be dyed a rather unfortunately color.  I tried spinning some of it, but hated the color so much that it languished on a bobbin for almost a year and a half.  I ended up using it as my first attempt to Navajo ply because I didn’t care if I completely screwed it up.

I had spun less  than half of it, so I still had over 2 oz. of this fiber laying around.  Then, I finally decided to get brave and try to use my drum carder.  I bought an ounce of bright yellow silk from Spunky Eclectic; it was a color called Walking on the Sun.  I blended the 2 together and got a much lighter grass green.  The silk also add a great feel.

I have been wanting to practice spinning from the fold and these batts seemed like good practice fodder.  Next thing you know, that’s what’s on my wheel.  The problem?  I started spinning it back in September, so I definitely don’t believe it’s eligible for the Ravelympics.  My wheel got put away after I had spun only 1 of the 4 batts I had made because the new puppy showed too much interest in wanting to chew on the treadles, which I just couldn’t let happen to my beautiful Catherine.  When I got the wheel out to begin working on the superwash Corriedale, I saw the silky green bobbin and couldn’t help myself.  The Corriedale was forgotten.

At least my knitting is going okay… I think.

Cleaning out the cobwebs

Time flies when life is crazy.  International travel followed by the introduction of a new family member (see right) along with the stress of an archival collection move to prepare for at work has kept the days rolling by without note here.  But, mostly, the addition of a puppy has taken up most of my time.  There hasn’t even been a lot of knitting, and there’s been no spinning since we got her in October.

Her name is Lily, and we got her from a rescue that takes dogs out of kill shelters in SoCal and brings them north for adoption.  Lily’s mom was the one actually rescued and then discovered to be pregnant.  Mom was a white cockapoo, and there have been many guesses as to what dad may have been.  The general consensus is either wire-haired dachshund or some sort of terrier.  Lily’s nickname is Troublebutt — she’s 7 months old as of last week and has been having loads of fun finding news things to make a mess of.

With the Winter Olympics (and thus Ravelympics and the Knitting Olympics) about to commence tonight, I thought it was time to do some spring cleaning in the old blog.  I’ve done away with the large gathering of dust bunnies Russian spam and installed a shiny new post.  Of course, I have no idea if there’s anyone out there still bothering to read.

Now to decide on projects.  For the Ravelympics, I’m on Team Suck Less, and my project is going to be to spin for a complete project.  I just haven’t decided yet if I will be spinning for socks or a lace shawl.  Decisions, decisions. I have some superwash corriedale from Spunky Eclectic in a pretty colorway called Soul Windows that would make nice socks.  But, I also have some Dark BFL also from Spunky Eclectic in a colorway called Myrtle that would make a pretty Bitterroot.

For the Knitting Olympics, I’ve put my name in and said I’d be knitting an Ishbel shawl with some of my handspun shetland romney laceweight yarn.  (Oops, signed up saying it was shetland, oh well.)  I haven’t really done a lot with my handspun yarn because I sometimes upset myself by only seeing the imperfections in the yarn as I’m knitting it rather than the loveliness of the project.  So, my challenge is to knit a project with my handspun… and actually finish it.