Sunday, November 19, 2017

Packing Problems

I'm facing the perennial dilemma of the knitter preparing to travel--what yarn belongs in the bag and what should stay home.  I know from past experience that I rarely knit as much as I think I will, but the danger of not having something to knit is not a good feeling.  The fact that many a trip has come and gone during which I didn't pick up the needles once will not convince me to leave it all home.  I have to bring something, even if it is only for the sake of magical thinking that it helps with traffic.  C'mon, you at least secretly believe in it, too.  

So, I begin with the car knitting.  That should be easiest, right?  What requires a minimum of accessories, no charts, and an easily followed pattern.  Large swaths of stockinette are always good for this.  This is usually the easiest knit to decide upon in the packing process.  

Next, come two dilemmas--tiny knits and UFOs.  I reason that the tiny knits are quick, don't require much yarn, something I enjoy making, and are nifty little gifts to leave as a little surprise to people we visit.  However, if I haven't decided which tiny knits I will make, it means taking small amounts of many colors.  Fortunately, I can carry the patterns digitally, so that doesn't take extra room.  

The UFOs are also tempting in that I tell myself that I will totally finish at least one when I'm away from home and the rest of the stash.  However, sometimes the reason the project is unfinished is either some problem I have forgotten about and not yet solved, or I just don't like knitting it.  However, if it is, for example, a pair of mittens, and I do finish them and have a need for them, well, it would be illogical to leave the project at home right?  

It's about this time that the travel knitting bag is overflowing, and I know I need to scale back a bit.  I could make a decision, or I could just go about packing other things and pretend that I have plenty of time to figure out what is right.  Or, maybe I should just leave the knitting at home and bring the EEW5 and some fiber.  Afterall, I do have a car adapter and a battery pack, eh?

Saturday, November 18, 2017

That's Taters, Precious?

At least that was what I was thinking when I was nearly finished making this tiny dish of mashed potatoes.  It was a quick knit, assembly was easy, but it was iffy until I added the little pat of butter on top.  The assembly and finishing details really do make a difference with these little knits.        

Friday, November 17, 2017

Bits and Pieces

Blergh.  I think I'm coming down with a cold.  Actually, I hoped to be well in its grips by now so that I would already be on the upswing early next week.  Now I'm hoping that it's not going to be much of anything and that by Monday this will not even be a memory because I'll be so busy.  

I have been doing a bit here and there.  I've finished spinning what I would guess (ripped it in half and then that half in half, but no weighing, so, whatever) is about one-quarter of the fiber I started yesterday.  I think I might even have some nice yarn when I'm done, but there's still a long way to go.  My knitting isn't much to show.  When I'm not working on the Featherweight Wrap to knit, I'm off in Mochimochiland, and as it is there unwritten, "Some assembly required."  Oh, yeah, I need to find the rest of the pieces before I can begin assembly.  Ahem.  But maybe some medication is in order first.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Right Round

Yeah, I'm spinning.  I needed to give the fixes on the EEW5 a go, and there's no other way to really do that than to spin.  I'm trying to follow through on what I learned in my Stupendous Singles class, so it's all kinds of new around here.  Maybe mixing together so many new elements isn't a good idea, but there you go.  It's not going super-great thus far, but I'm just going to keep going and hope for the best.  I really like this special fiber, and I want to make some nice yarn.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Twill Be Done Done

Ta-to-the-dah!  I finished the Twill Be Done weave-along.  I tried something new and learned a lot.  If you're on the fence about joining in on one of Liz Gipson's weave-alongs over on her Yarnworker site, I would encourage you to give it a go.  I like the answer she gave about the schedule.  Basically, she said that some people weave ahead, some follow the schedule to the letter, and some weave in their heads.  For me, weaving the pattern helped me to learn even more, but I think I could have learned quite a bit weaving in my head.     

The pattern is for a table runner, but instead, I used my warp to weave two placemats because I think that it will get more use that way.  I certainly see the errors and where I need to improve.  I might want to try using a temple to help me with draw-in, or maybe more experience will be enough.  The changes that happen throughout the process from having the woven piece under tension on the loom, to off the loom, and all the way through washing and drying cannot be underestimated.  I like these pretty well.  Now I just need to make the move from looking at them to using them.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I'll Totally Finish This By Month's End, Right?

I finally cast on for my NaKniSweMo Featherweight Wrap to Knit.  It really was deciding the color that was holding me up on this.  Making decisions like that has been an issue for me lately, but I went ahead and picked one so I could move forward with this.  Then there was a brief interchangeable search.  I did manage to round up several wayward interchangeable components and (somewhat) returned them to their proper home.  Thinking back, I don't remember where the cable I was seeking had been hibernating, but I did find it.  I could have begun the sweater without finding it, but eventually, it would be a problem to work the sweater on the short cable length I had used to knit the sleeves on the previous sweater.  
Anyway, I'm (barely) on my way.  Impressive, no?  I hope to curl up on the couch with the project and catch up on some shows, but this is a time of many interruptions around here.  If I make a bit more progress, it could be a good companion to other goings on, but for now, it's fits and starts.  One day, I will have a new black cardigan.  I feel rather doubtful that I will finish this month, but soon I think I might have opportunities for some good knitting time, so there is still hope.        

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Waiting is Over

I loved my first Electric Eel Wheel, (the fourth version) and I love my EEW5 even more.  However, hiccups happened, but most were resolved quickly.  One issue I faced along with other spinners, was that of wearing.  Those spinning thinner yarn at a higher speed seemed to come across this issue more frequently.  I noticed that it was happening on mine, but kept going, because I knew it would be fine for a while, and I wanted to keep spinning.  Replacing hooks could be a bit of a patch, but not a good longterm fix, and that wasn't the only part with the wearing.  The Ravelry group is great, and following the example of others, I used wire to wrap the hooks and other parts, and that helped, but again, it was a patch.  It didn't stop me from spinning, and I have already spun wonderful yarn on my EEW5.  I kept peeking in on the EEW group on Ravelry from time to time and knew they had been working on a solution.  Maurice spent a lot of time problem-solving, and I received an email the other day to let me know that the replacement parts were ready.  Now it is time to apply the fix.