Saturday, July 31, 2004

It seems like it's been forever since I've updated. Life happens, and so do computer problems, Not mine. My husband's computer seems to be dying a long, slow death, and so he uses mine. A lot. Oh well. Anyhow, I figured out my spinning problem. My bottom-whorl spindle was just too heavy for what I was trying to spin. So I made myself a top-whorl spindle, out of a toy wheel, a wooden dowel, and a cup hook. It works beautifully! I love it tons, and I painted it, and I will post a picture of it (along with my newly dyed yarn) eventually, when I feel like sitting in front of the computer longer than I do now. Right now, I want to go spin!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Blah. I'm quite frustrated with spinning right now. I want so badly to be good at it, and my progress seems to be so much slower than I would like. I see my friends spinning these delicate strands, and I'm still lucky if I can get a teensy, weensy ball of rough singles. Still, I haven't had as much practice as I would like, and I know I've gotten better. I stopped spinning the free stuff Joan gave me that was leftover from her Spinning 101 class, and I just opened a bag of something called Chocolate Fleecewood. If it's chocolate, maybe it will bounce me out of this slump, as well as feel much nicer to spin. Once I get good at this, I have a wee ball of a tussah silk-merino blend that my new friend and fellow fiber queen, Roxy, gave me, and that I hand-dyed myself. I can't wait, and it's definitely an incentive to get better, as is the gorgeous wrap I have dreamed up in my head.

And speaking of hand-dyed, I'll post a picture tomorrow, of the first batch of yarn I completed after taking that dyeing class last Saturday. I'm so pleased with it, it's almost a shame to sell it. Still, every little bit helps buy our new house!

Saturday, July 17, 2004

What a wonderful day I had. Eight hours of playing with dye and fibers, and making friends who are just as much fiber geeks as I am. I left the shop today with bags full of roving and bits of silk fabric and yarn, most given to me, including some silk and merino roving that is so soft I want to keep it for a pet. I started noticing how afraid I was of doing things wrong in my creating. Not just dyeing, but knitting. I was so worried about "having enough" to make something that I was paralyzed, and so made nothing. Then I recalled a sort-of pattern I'd seen in the Holiday 2003 issue of Vogue Knitting. The person who made it had just taken leftover bits of yarn and made a gorgeous, multicolored wrap. Bits. Leftovers. And it was so beautiful. I've been wondering for so long if I had enough of any kind of roving to spin and knit anything, but now I know I can, and I can hardly wait to get started. I just need a good night's sleep, after 8 hours of what amounts to creative espresso.
Or better, yet, find a way to go without sleep, so that I can have more time to create all the things in my imagination.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Oh my. So I went to Skeins on Main in Rochester today, because they had that last ball of Tahki New Tweed that I needed, and on sale at that. Who told me that that place was small? Because I need to have a talk with them. I nearly had a yarngasm when I walked in there. Koigu, all kinds of Noro, Colinette, Debbie Bliss, Plymouth, Rowan, yummy yarns stacked ceiling to floor; sparkly, fuzzy, colorful, juicy yarns. Books, buttons, and soft, squishy couches to sit and knit on. Even a little area in the back with many small tables at which to stitch and maybe bitch (just a little). Even Jade loved the place, though she has always seemed to have the makings of a fiber junkie, even at the tender age of three. I walked out with that ball of yarn, a new pattern, and a solemn vow to drop the kids off at my mom and dad's some afternoon so I can come back by myself. With a towel, because I'm going to be doing a lot of drooling.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Well, the yarn for the cutest little boy sweater vest I've ever seen (the one on the bottom left) will have to go back. (Did anyone follow that sentence? I barely did, and I wrote it). I found out today that I will have to pay for the dyeing class I'm taking at Heritage on Saturday. Fortunately, I still get a 25% discount, but it was $50 I hadn't planned on spending. So, with the plans to buy a house, the $40 worth of yarn will have to go back. Ah well. It's not like I don't have a little stash to draw other projects from. If I can just resist the temptation to find some replacement yarn for the adorable pattern, and also resist any Koigu that crosses my path, no matter how much it begs me to take it home, and promises not to eat all the food in the fridge and hey, would you like a foot massage while your dinner is cooking? On second thought, if Koigu would do that, I would ask Greg if he fancies sharing.

On a different subject (well, not too different, it's still knitting), I'm going to see if I can post pictures.

If you can see anything, that's my precious firstborn, wearing my first sweater design. A simple pullover with set-in sleeves and seed stitch edges. The sleeves were supposed to be short, but came out as three-quarters. I will just pretend I planned it that way, because I really like it.

Unfortunately, as beautiful as she thinks the sweater is, it makes her itch. So now what? I just get sad when I look at it now, thinking of how excited we both were when I was working on it. Still, what possessed me to make a child's sweater out of a mohair blend?

Oh yes. The clearance sale.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

My Hollywood Knits-inspired halter is coming along nicely, though I had a hiccup when I realized that my shop was out of the color I needed. I was about 10 rows into the first half of the halter, and I thought, "Maybe I should just rip it out and forget about this blankety-blank project." But that would add a nagging thought about unfinished projects to an already overfull mind. So I called around and the second lys I contacted not only had the yarn, but told me that it will be going on sale Thursday! Is it too much to hope for that they'll have the same dye lot I'm using? Probably, but maybe I'll get lucky.

In other news, we have probably found an area in which to live, if not a specific house. It's a quiet, semi-rural area, with better (than Pontiac) schools, and a low crime rate (also unlike Pontiac). It's farther from my family and friends than I would like, but not so far as to require a whole day of driving. The major drawback that I can think of right now is that there don't seem to be any yarn shops nearby. Yikes!

Friday, July 09, 2004

Have you ever had an overdose of inspiration? There are so many wonderful projects and ideas spinning around my head that I fear it may pop open. I've made a list in the past, and the list gets longer and longer all the time. Besides the Charlotte's Web shawl I mentioned, there's a Rowan pattern, a baby boy sweater vest called Bob, that my son would look even cuter than usual in, as well as be a very cute gift for the arrival of my first nephew (due in November). I'm planning a cardi out of my Jade Nightingale yarn, as well as a simple, cozy garter stitch shawl. Oooo... I'd better stop now, my head is getting that spinny feeling again...

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Hmm... Since I have just started a project, have several in the wings, and am currently looking for a house, I think that now would be the perfect time to start the Charlotte's Web Knit Behind! I have a thing for shawls, just little bits of beauty in which you can wrap yourself, and look romantic and chic and elegant, all at the same time. The thing is, and this may sound conceited, I think I would rather use my own yarn. I've been told by a couple people now that my stuff reminds them of Koigu anyhow. Why not just knit a Koigu pattern out of it, and then I can show it off to the world! Heehee... Not only am I a Yarn Ho, I'm a Yarn Pimp. A Self-Pimping Yarn Ho. That sounds dirty.

I like it.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Been a while, hasn't it? I almost completely forgot that I had set this thing up. But what brings me here today is frustration. More specifically, frustration with the pattern book, Hollywood Knits. I started my first project from it last night, and that's when I noticed something odd...The author's idea of size is waaaaay weird. I started working on the Two-Tone Halter, and she lists "Large" as a 30" circumference. If you look on the webpage for standard sizes , 30" comes in as an extra small! This woman must be from Hollywood.

Anyhow, necessity being the mother of invention, blah, blah, blah, I altered the pattern numbers and redesigned it, tweaked it here and there, and I'm starting over. Keep your needles crossed for me!