Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Divide and Conquer

I am not operating under the delusion that I will be the ultimate winner of Sock Madness, but I have been checking out the competition. I see that I have been placed in Cat's Soaring Sock Division, but also noticed in the URL it reads Newbie East Division. I emailed to see if I had been assigned to the wrong group. Hillary let me know that I am indeed in an experienced group. I guess it's time to clear the sock needles. That means it is time to finish those Traveler's Stockings. I'm going to make some changes. I won't be making the legs as long, and I won't be continuing the traveling stitches down the feet. With the modifications I have in mind, I'm set to turn the heels. Then it is just mindless stockinette to the toes. I did manage to knit a mini sock yesterday. I knit it from my own handspun. I spun up a bit of the Alpaca/Vicuña mix Annette gave me. I used my Little Si. It may not be much, but it gave me a thrill to knit with what I had spun.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Little Si

I just want to show off the new drop spindle Bruce got me for Valentine's Day. It arrived yesterday and I gave her a spin with the included fiber. I love my Little Si. Today was all about the spindling. I spun another three grams. I only have ten more to go before I ply. Then I will wash it, wait impatiently for it to dry, and my knitting can begin.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Muppet Murder

Ah, but it's for a good cause. I've been knitting away on the chemo caps for the kids. This is what I have managed to complete. Time to add labels and go to the post office. They were quick and easy to knit. I will need to vacuum the living room a few more times to rid myself of the leftover furry bits I snipped as I wove in ends. Now I can get back to knitting regular chemo caps for Caps for a Cure. I may dig out the beads and knit an Odessa.

The knitting is complete for Mom's vest. I just have to embroider, add buttons, and perhaps a light steaming. I have been thinking about making buttons for the vest. I used to play a bit with polymer clay, and I may look at the old clay stash and see if I can create some nice buttons. It has been a while since I've made a millefiori cane, but I have some ideas for designs.

I believe I signed up correctly to join Sock Madness. The 128-place roster is full. I hope I'm part of the insanity. The sock pattern previews look interesting.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is good stuff. We passed it in our usual low-key fashion. I bought Bruce the mega-pack of microfiber cloths from Costco that he has wanted for so long. He ordered me a Cascade Little Si drop spindle. The arrival of the Little Si is something I eagerly anticipate. I am excited about having two drop spindles. Actually, I have three, but the first two do not count. The first was a cd drop spindle, and the second was one of those Louet sheep head ones. I never really got very good results from either. I used to think I was the problem, that perhaps spinning wasn’t my thing, and that it was good I had not invested much in my endeavor. Then my mom bought me my Maggie. Having the proper tools makes all the difference. Spinning regularly is key, too. I have given the old spindles a go now that I have more experience. I can only say that they are deficient. I don’t have enough spindling experience to tell you what is wrong with them, but I know they are not top-quality. My journey in spinning is ever so wonderful. Last week I had an adventure creating some yarn using Navajo plying. I even tried to do a thing I saw where you ply as you go. I was not terribly successful with any of it, but I definitely will revisit the technique. I think this would be good for creating sock yarn, and I definitely want to spin some of that.

The Snowmen & Skates vest is coming along. The blocking was wonderful. I like blocking more than anyone should. I have worked one arm band. At this rate, I am sure Mom will have her vest by her next birthday (December 5th, for those of you keeping track).

I need to take a progress shot of Arwen now that there is something to show. The back is finished. I am working the short-row shaping on the arm of the left front. The reversible cabling is lovely. I’ll try to take a picture tomorrow. A local weatherman says that winter may be over for us next week, but the cold weather now has me ready to wear Arwen now. Knitting that lovely, warm wool is just the thing to close this lovely day. Yeah, yeah, I know I still need to exercise.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

It's Not Just Me

Knitting Mom’s vest has been a bit stressful. She is wonderful, and deserves good things. That added a bit of pressure. I meant to give this to her for either a birthday or Christmas gift. I missed those deadlines. Then I began to think that there could be some problems with the pattern. I was more worried that I had been the one to mess things up and could not see what I had done wrong. I did not know of anyone else knitting this vest. Then the other day I was using a different search engine and came across this blog. It seems that the problems I have run into knitting Snowmen & Skates are not mine alone, but they can be overcome. I busily knit away last night and finally bound off the vest. We had snow, so I had to lay it out on the front porch and take a picture at 2:30 in the morning. I hope this works out well. I ran out of the cream. I did a lot of fudging on the neckline decreases. I think I was supposed to have made a couple more decreases, but I decided to try my luck. Then I worked the crochet reinforcements on one armhole. I cut. I went on to crochet reinforce the rest of the steeks. I cut some more. It looks like this might work. Next I will block it, and then sew the shoulders, work edgings, embroider, and sew on the buttons (that I have yet to purchase).