Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I have a stash

Oh yes, I've officially achieved stash. Yup. Including some yarn for no particular project whatsoever. Real stash. In fact, I may have run out of yarn to buy. I've had a field day between WEBS and Elann.com. I cannot resist a sale. Just not possible.

I've been too busy to blog because I've been buying yarn and knitting my fingers to nubs. Finished all the pieces of the Unplugged Cables sweater...now just have to block on my new blocking board (SALE SALE!!) then *shudder* sew it together...And I'm down to the waist ribbing on the Bombshell sweater from Big Girl Knits. Making it from loverly Karaoke from Southwest Trading, colorway Intensity. It's a lovely and less expensive alternative to Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb...not quite a slippery but very soft and hits gauge almost identically so YAY.

Bad bad fellow knitters and fiber artists...bad BAD BAD...enablers, you all are! I've decided I must spin. MUST SPIN. It's soon bonus time at work, so I'm puttin some into a wheel...I think I've decided on the Majacraft Rose.

In the meantime, I've ordered a drop spindle, book and bits of fiber to play with although I'm told spinning on a wheel is a totally different beast and not to assume I stink as a spinner if I can't figure out drop-spindling...

Now I want fluff stash *sigh*

Random cat picture of the day (finally gonna start this...my cats are feeling neglected)

Boris...with Ru (left) and Rhapsody (his mom, right) looking bemused...or embarrassed...never sure...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

My Mother Taught Me

My mom taught me to knit when I was very very young (probably 4 or 5 years old). I remember her sitting me and my best friend from next door down on the front step. She presented each of us with a set of Susan Bates aluminum needles. Mine were blue. My friend's were pink (I really wanted the pink but oh well). And she taught us to knit.

I've been an on-again, off-again knitter ever since, up until this past year where it's really taken hold of me via the discovery of sock knitting. And I've learned a tremendous amount since then. The only cast ons I knew prior to socks were the simple loop cast-on (what my mom taught me as a youngster) and knitting on (which isn't very useful). I discovered the act of finishing projects (a benefit of socks) and the joy of knitting with high-quality yarns (something I'd not thought of trying). Lace patterns, compex cabling, short rows, turning a heel, the importance of gauge. All now obsessions. I'm more than halfway done with my first fully-planned sweater (I knit an impromptu sweater for a boyfriend in college...turned out fine, by pure luck but no pattern, no gauge, etc.) Haven't attempted a sweater since.

I'm teaching myself continental-style knitting to endure a marathon of seed stitch. You see, I sort of learned to knit "wrong"...I knit with a very simplified english/throw method...never learned any particular way to thread yarn around my fingers...I just hold yarn between my thumb and forefinger and throw. Fortunately, I've met others who do this who are accomplished knitters, so it doesn't hold me back. I don't lack tension control. I don't lack speed. But I still knit like a small child in many ways. Just the way my mother taught me.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sunrise, Sunset

Well, had a gauge catastrophe with my first attempt on the Sunrise Circle Jacket (see link in sidebar). Despite making a good swatch, the Tahki Donegal Tweed just won't hold to row gauge when it makes stitch gauge and it gets longer...it's such a fitted precise design, there's no room for error and it's tricky to adjust, so I'm going to frog it and use the yarn for the Natalie Coat in Big Girl Knits and do the Sunrise down the road someday.

So instead, I cast on the Power Cable Unplugged sweater from Inspired Cables by Fiona Ellis.

Found a steal on the Rowan Summer Tweed from a seller in the UK...clearing some discontinued colors, which, luckily for me, I really liked. Working in "Morning Glory" right now...

Also looking for yarns for this yummy jacket/cardigan, also from Big Girl Knits:

Found an alternative to the suggested Noro Kureyon...a plummy Shannon by Tahki...won't give as strong a stripey thing in the front but will work and it's loverly...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Big Girl Knits

Must continue my gushing about this book...it's great even if you're not a big girl...there are classic and straightforward fitting techniques and ideas about what flatters various shapes that no real woman (stick insect figure types can ignore this, of course) should be without.