Tuesday, January 30, 2007

February is for Finishing,

Frogging, or Flinging (as in out of a car window).
I've had a bad case of startitis lately, partly due to the mad dash of finishing stuff before the holidays. Last year, the lovely Beckoo came up with February is for Finishing (Frogging, or Flinging) in which we are honest with ourselves about our uFo's and attempt to Finish, Frog, or Fling as many of them as possible. Last year, we had the Knitting Olympics and I Finished an entire cardigan for myself right at the deadline. Go me. This year, no Knitting Olympics and I'm really really trying to be honest with myself about all the uFo's, though I'm sure there are a few projects that I've left out. So the rules, shamelessly copied and/or paraphrased from Beckoo's Blog, are as follows:
  • Find and identiFy all your uFo's. Be honest - no Fibbing, no cheating. Be Fearless! And iF you have uFo's from last year, consider whether or not you are really going to Finish them.
  • Do Not (and this is very important) Do Not cast on any new projects during February. Swatches obviously do not count.
  • Finish, Fling or Frog as many uFo's as you can. There may be a prize for the knitter who completes the most projects!
In continuing with the spirit of February is for Finishing, I'm also stash-knitting. My ultimate goal is to root out most of the acrylic so that I can have more room for wool. I've begun to resort to stashing yarn on my bookshelf. This tells me that my net stash is not static. There has, in fact, been a decided increase in said stash, much of which was actually given to me. I haven't got a huge stash and I haven't reached SABLE, but I do have limited space in which to store anything. That said, I've ordered an entire fleece for to spin on my spinning wheel and lest you think I'm a great big cheater, fiber for spinning doesn't count.
Speaking of spinning, I'm working on some lovely brown wool on my drop spindle until I get my fleece. Since Tuesday is for spinning, I'm going to get back to it. Once I finish this brown, I'm going to try the bamboo fiber I got for Yule!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Lots of pictures today and lots of updates on projects. I've been a busy lady lately with something of a case of startitis.

I finished my red Opal Krokodil socks. No pattern, just a basic sock recipe. I figured out while I was making these socks why I was getting such weird gauges. It turns out that I had my 0's mixed in with my 1's. The problem has since been solved. The most wonderful Beckoo made for me a case for my dpns for Yule. She's my favoritest Beckoo in the world.

So, there's a picture of my little feet and my big husband there in the background. I love the goofy face he's making.
Remember the foot-sweaters I was making for him? I happened to finish these socks Wednesday night. The next morning, I was to drive to Franklin for purposes of taking the GRE. I heard that it is customary to touch the feet, preferably the big toe of Athena before taking the GRE. Having no Athena at hand, I imagined touching her big toe as I finished the toe of the last sock. She's also a goddess of weaving and other string-related endeavors, so it seemed to make sense to me.
Anyhow, in a show of sock-solidarity, Dear Husband of mine wore his foot-sweaters that I made for him. All the mojo must have worked because I think I did pretty alright on the test. I don't know for sure exactly how I did, but I didn't completely freak out and bomb.

I started on Miss Kell's socks. The pattern is Mock Croc socks from Knitpicks, done in their Essential sock yarn in black on 2 size 1 circulars from... Knitpicks. Do we see a trend? I like Knitpicks, what can I say?
She loves them already. Like I said, she's the Best. Person. Ever. to make things for. She insisted that I knit from stash, even though sock yarn doesn't count as stash. *sigh*

Ah, well. I'm knitting from stash anyhow. I'm planning on knitting another pair of mittens for little Iris, possibly in purple and with a matching hat and scarf.
So here's a picture of the tiny gauge sock and of the sock-in-progress. I think I'm going to put the gauge socks on my Yule tree 'cause they're cool and tiny and so cute! I'll have a tiny sock garland, it'll be great.
This is a good picture of the mock croc texture. I like the nubblies.

And finally, here is the newly started flower basket shawl. This one goes very very quickly and the lace pattern is easy. Of course, it looks like molded ramen noodles right now because it's unblocked lace, but it will get better. I'm using size 7 circulars (again, Knitpicks Options needles) and Knitpicks Shadow in Lost Lake.

Other than that, I'm out of roving to spin on my wheel. I've got some stuff that I'm spinning on my drop spindle, but nothing for my wheel. I'm out. I shall have to fix that.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Under the category of "Things that sound dirty, but aren't":

1."Wanna see dirty wool on my niddy-noddy?"

And there it is, splayed out on my kitchen table for all to see. The scandal!

Here's the ramen noodle picture. I find that the wok is just perfect for wool-soaking purposes. All the yellow is the funk that was on the sheep when it was sheared. Another thing that sounds dirty but isn't:
2. "It's still soaking because this was a very dirty sheep."

It's not as bad now, but the water is still a bit cloudy. I'll probably soak it most of the day and then hang it out to dry overnight. I finished spinning the yarn last night and spent the better part of this morning dealing with certain stash concerns, primarily identifying yarn (it was a nylon/wool sock yarn in two shades of lavender), winding said yarn up, and ripping out and winding up a failed hat project. It drove the cat insane. More.
I want to start a pair of mittens for little Iris, but I should be working on my sock. I may very well, but dishes and dinner must come first. Possibly also vacuuming and sweeping. 'Cause, dang.

Monday, January 15, 2007

This is the part where I say, "Holy crap!"

Holy Crap!

I traced the picture from a photograph using wax-free tracing paper like I use for marking patterns onto fabric and I always feel like I'm cheating when I'm tracing. But translating a design, whether it's one that you've traced, drawn, transferred, etc., into stitches can be tricky. And of all things, I picked satin stitch. I generally hate satin stitch because I'm obsessive-compulsive and have to make sure every micron of fabric is covered just right. But this time, I didn't worry about it. I just followed my markings and did one stitch at a time. The thing that has caused my astonishment is the fact that when I finish this, it will look like a real zebra swallowtail butterfly. It just looks right. I don't know why this should shock or amaze me, but it does.
I am very proud of how my skill at this has improved over the years. I could not have done something this nice even ten years ago.

And now, for something completely different:
A friend has offered to pay me for a lace wool G-string. I'll have to either find a pattern or write one, but he's such a nice guy that I couldn't refuse. Not that I'm going to personally measure him or anything, but I'll totally knit him a lace G-string for pennies.
He asked because I showed him my Flower Basket shawl in progress. I just started on it Saturday and I'm one pattern repeat into it. The lace pattern is so very easy and looks entirely more complicated than it actually is. It's going very quickly and I love it. I'll post more on that later.
In other woolly goodness, I'm approaching the toe of my red Krokodil Opal socks. As soon as they are off the needles, I'll be starting on Miss Kell's socks. She is the Best. Person. Ever. to make things for. No joke.

Just a quick and dirty update for today. Perhaps next time, I'll have the first finished project of the year. Will it be the red Opal socks or the pair of handkercheifs?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Wool is like a drug. In fact, it's a gateway drug to other fibers. You shouldn't knit and drive. Knitters refer to their "hobby" as an addiction. Knitters have stash. "I paid $15 for 100g of Opal" sounds like a drug deal. When we are knitting or spinning or what have you, we are captivated by color and texture.

Anyhow, I finished spinning and plying the soysilk/wool that dear husband of mine got me. He wanted to hold it for the picture, so here he is, holding the yarn. It's actually a much bigger than it looks. It's about 1 1/2 oz or so. He's just got big hands. Here also is the yarn, the spinning wheel, and the kitty.

In other news, I finished one of two hankies in progress. I know that I have a tendency to work the embroidery very close to the edge and yet I still do it. Next set, I'll try (again) to move it in a little or else sew the seams first and then embroider. I'm not sure what sorts of hankies I will embroider next, but I'm thinking maybe something more abstract or else flowers. I'll just have to see what strikes my fancy. The next one after this is a Zebra swallowtail.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I got a lot done today - as far as textiles go, that is.
  1. I patched John's underpants (I'd rather he wear patched-up undies than ones that have less actual fabric than a loincloth. I don't have to buy him new ones this way. And it amuses me.)
  2. I ripped apart dyed, dried, and ironed an old underskirt that I had made. I must have been drinking heavily when I put it together because - holy krimeny the mistakes and horrid seams and... It's better now. Now I have two very nice pieces of coffee dyed muslin that I may very well remake into a decent underskirt. With better seams this time.
    Did you know that when you dump coffee grounds into a big pot, stir around a bunch of fabric in it, and then toss the fabric in the dryer that it leaves coffee grounds all over your dryer and laundry room floor? It does.
  3. I embroidered a handkercheif. The seams aren't done yet, but it's this butterfly. And I think the stitching turned out pretty nice
  4. I spun more of the rainbowdey soysilk/wool.
Not bad for a day's work. I also loaded the dishwasher and made dinner for me and the little one. I wonder if tomorrow I should put the muslin through another round of dye and dry tomorrow. Hmm... Will have to sleep on that.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

My husband is a brave man. I say this because he willingly and without fear (I assume) walked into the Knaughty Knitter and bought me fiber. Remember this? The rainbowdey stuff in the middle? He bought that for me and I finished plying the first half of it. Plying is my favorite part.
Now, the pictures. It's so beautiful, I almost cried.

What more can I say?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Año Nuevo, Vida Nueva

New Year, New Life.
I'm not sure this is a comprehensive list of all the things I've finished in 2006, but it's a pretty good one. It includes knitting projects, sewing projects, embroidery, and some quilting, so here it is in reverse order. Dates are approximate and taken primarily from whenever it was that I posted photos.

1. Olympic Cardigan, finished Feb 26
2. Bardic Olympics hankies, finished Mar 20
3. Pink Iris socks, finished Apr 5
4. Na'ama's pants to skirt transformation, finished Apr 19
5. Sun and Moon hankies, finished Apr 20
6. Brown satin bridesmaid's dress, finished May 10
7. Mystery Shawl #2, aka Ragnarok Shawl, finished June 4
8. Vinyard socks, finished June 4
9. Dragonfly's Socks, finished June 29
10.Cotton washcloths, finished July 19
11.Yellow Iris mittens, finished July 25
12.Cherry dress, finished July 25
13.Green dress (but not a real green dress, that's cruel), finished Sept 4
14.Sunshine and Rainbows nightgown, finished Sept 5
15.Snake Skin Socks, finished Sept 31
16.Husband!Socks, finished Oct 10
17.General Grievous cloak, finished Nov 1
18.Slitherin Fair-Isle socks, finished Nov 23
19.Coronet hat, finished Nov 25
20.Snake sweater for Thomas Oren, finished Nov 10
21.two paganly hankies, finished Oct 21
22.purple Oakland dress, finished Oct 8?
21.Popholders for Ishbu, finished Dec 15
22.Green socks, finished Dec 17
23.Shirt for Rowan, finished Dec 12
24.Shirt for Morgan, finished Dec 15
25.Funky shirt for Ryan, finished Dec 22
26.Satin KIP bag, finished Dec 14
27.Two knight puppets, finished Dec 10
28.Pink Iris nightgown and robe, finished Dec 15

I'm guessing on a lot of these dates, but it should be pretty close to right. Now you know why I was insane about the middle of December. So, there it is. That's 28+ projects I've finished since February of last year. Now I assess what I have in progress, and work on finishing what I've started. Really, though, I haven't got a whole lot of UFOs and I've been doing very well at finishing what I start and working from stash. I hope it keeps up.

Happy New Year, all, and may we finish more than we start.