Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I just finished another 22 yards of usable yarn! My spinning is definitely getting more consistent.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Apartment, New Spindle, New Wool

I've started moving out of the monastery and into an apartment (still no job yet...anyone in Northern VA want to hire a mathematician?) and, as promised, I have gotten myself a drop spindle.

On Monday evening I went out to Alexandria to visit Fibre Space. I almost died at least three times due to insane traffic and got horribly lost due to bad, bad Google Maps directions, but it was worth it. A sweet miniature poodle named Bella greeted me in the wool room with lots of love and kisses on my nose and a wonderful woman named Kel helped me pick out wool and a spindle.

I picked the beginners top spindle, which is unremarkable except for the fact that the spindle is a octagon, and 8 oz of gorgeous brown Shetland roving. I spent the entire drive home fondling the wool with one hand. Oddly enough, there were no near death experiences on the way home, just an excessive amount of traffic. Wool must be good for my driving.

My pretty, pretty roving.

Split roving with less flash...not sure why about the less flash bit.

I managed about ten yards last night and broke it off so that I could practice setting the twist. This morning it was dry, so I wound it into a cute little bundle. It's horribly inconsistent and wouldn't be good to work with (plus, there's very little of it), so it is living on a bookshelf in my new apartment as a keep sake.

I dare you to tell me my yarn isn't adorable.

I managed another 28 yards or so this evening before the spindle filled up. It's slightly more consistent and I'm hoping to get enough from this batch of wool to make a hat.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sock Design

I finished the gray sweater yesterday and it is in the laundry room drying. I have some mid-finishing photos that I took on the fly. I'm kind of in awe of the's just so big. It was supposed to be big, don't get me wrong, I am just in awe that I managed to create it and in two-and-a-half weeks as well! Not having a job has been a very good thing for my knitting needles. Unfortunately, it's not been a good thing for just about every other aspect of my life.

Detail of the cabling.

The sweater! How'd it get so big?

I started another sweater last night and then restarted it this morning after I realized I had twisted it and was knitting a mobius strip. I had only gotten an inch or so done, so it was too big of a deal to frog it.

I've managed at least six sweaters since November and decided this afternoon that it was time for a change of pace. While browsing knitpicks, I found this yarn and fell in love. Upon seeing it, I started imaging deep blue socks with shooting stars done in the lollipop color.

I've knitted approximately 2.75 socks in my life. The three quarters of a sock was a misshapen mess that I created in high school. It's probably still on the needles somewhere. The other almost two socks are socks that I knitted last fall or early winter. I just need to bind off the toes of the second sock. Actually, I probably need to reknit a round of the toes to fix where the needles have fallen off while being jostled about from place to place and stitches have been dropped before I close up the toes.

I don't think the fact that I'm a ridiculously inexperienced sock knitter should stop me from conceiving my own sock designs though. has an amazing sock tutorial and I used it to knit a miniature sock with some scrap yarn. That was easy enough, so now I'm knitting some slippers with more leftover yarn. The slippers are a little trickier because I don't want them to have a top until I get down to the toes. We'll see how that goes. For now I've knitted both heels and gussets; now I'm working on the foots. I'm doing them at the same time using a long circular so that they'll be the same length. I'll figure out the toes when I get there.

Itty-bitty sock.


As a side note, I'm always amazed at the difference between using a speed light and a pop-up flash. I used the pop-up yesterday for the photos of the gray sweater. I pulled out the speed light this evening for the socks. The difference is really substantial. Moral of the story: if you spend all that money on a dSLR, you might as well add in another hundred bucks or so to get a proper flash. Also, learn how to use said flash!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

daydreaming about wool

I'm preparing to move out of the monastery fairly soon. The exact date hasn't been set yet, but it's ever looming on the horizon. When I leave, I'll have a credit card of my own again, which means I can more easily make online purchases. I'll have to be pretty frugal until I get a job (translation: no ipad 2 for me yet), but I've given myself permission to get a drop spindle and some fiber. I'm hoping that the learning process will take enough time for me to get a job before I need more wool.

I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but I already have a knitting project picked out for my first nice skein of yarn. I want to make another entrelac scarf. I made one for myself this past winter and it was a quick and fun knit. There's so much pretty, pretty hand dyed wool for sale out there and I'm envisioning some luxuriously colored fiber dripping off my finger tips and onto my needles. Yes, yes, I know that it will probably be a while before I'm able to spin consistent and even yarn, but a girl can dream, right? Don't rain on my parade yet.

The scarf, if it ever is created, will be for the holiday bizarre. It's an interesting challenge coming up with projects that balance the resources of time and money that go into them with how much a perspective customer would actually pay for them. Sweaters seem to be a safe bet and I'm hoping that an entrelac scarf with hand spun wool will be one too.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A New Start, A New Blog

How's this for a new story? I'm moving out of a monastery. I was becoming a nun and now I'm not. Have you heard that one before?

There are, of course, many more details to that particular story, but it isn't what this blog is about. This blog is about my compulsive knitting habit. Knitting is my stress reliever of choice and life's been stressful lately, so here I am, churning out sweaters like mad. Thankfully, the nuns hold an annual craft sale, so the fact that I'm making more sweaters than I have use for isn't a problem.

My current obsession is learning sweater design based off this template. Right now I'm working of a grey men's sweater with this design on the front:

It will most likely end up as a turtle neck sweater. The yarn is very soft and I think would be nice even against sensitive skin like that on one's neck.

I'm using Stitch Nation's Bamboo Ewe blend in Mercury. It's a lovely, lovely blend to work with. I've done a couple sweater with SN's Full o' Sheep and it's a joy to knit with, but it pills like nobody's business. I still love knitting with it; one just needs a sweater comb handy after wearing a piece made out it. Anywho, I have high hopes for the Bamboo Ewe blend and want to eventually use it to knit this sweater, probably in Twilight.