Red and green brocade??

Well, most folks seem to think that I should spin the green to match the red. I now find myself wondering if they would pair well in a project (without making me look like a giant Christmas tree ornament, that is). One thing that comes to mind is Brocade, which I adore, from Rowan 38. Would red and green brocade just be too obnoxious for words?? Or just obnoxious enough to be really, really fun? I had planned to do it in red and purple shetland, which would also be obnoxious, but more richly and subtly so. Or so I keep telling myself, anyway.

Of course, I could always go with the festive theme and knit very traditional Christmas stockings. That's kindof tempting…

Plying up a storm!

Spinning
I finished spinning my Days' End Red singles at the weekend, and have been Navajo plying it since. I've spun up three skeins, and have two or three more to go. I think I could do this all day; it's incredibly meditative. I actually think my singles have got thinner as this project has progressed, so the final yarn may not match the project I originally had in mind. I'm still very proud of it though.

Real yarn!

That's about 100m of three-ply medium weight wool. British penny included for scale! There are now two more of these…

Kita doesn't look all that impressed….

My dog is not tiny, and the skein is not huge. That's a trick of perspective.

I have another 8 ounces of this stuff, but in a 'greens' mix. I don't know whether to:

  • attempt to spin it sockweight
  • attempt to spin it laceweight
  • attempt to spin it aran or chunkier
  • attempt to spin it 'from the fold'
  • attempt to spin it to match the reds.

Votes/suggestions more than welcome!

Serious startitis

Knitting, plus
This is very unusual for me, the Project Monogamy Specialist, but I am having real difficulty sticking to any one of my projects, and want to cast on for loads more RIGHT NOW. I currently have on the go:

  • my March project – Minnie
  • my April project – J's "Lakes" sweater
  • an exercise in freeform crochet
  • spinning – day's end batts

I've decided that May is the month of finishing, so I can wipe the slate clean and then move on, but I still feel like I'm on the project merry-go-round.

I really, really want to get Minnie finished so I can wear her; but it seems to be going on forever. It doesn't help that I had to rip out 20 rows on the sleeve cuff (WIIIIDE sleeves too, remember!) today, because I'd accidentally followed the pattern for the front, not the sleeve, after the border. And at the same time, J wants his sweater, I want to know that my exchanges are at least under control (I don't have to have them finished right now; I just need to know that I can finish them), I really want some funky socks to wear with the summer sandals that started eating my feet, and I've been itching to knit one (or three) of Annie Modesitt's gorgeous hats, which I postponed at the end of summer because it wasn't sunny any more (and of course, it is sunny now, and I could really use a hat).

I just wish I had three more pairs of arms. At least.

Little monster…

Spinning, or I Would Be Spinning, But…

We all know that Dogs Steal Yarn, but did you know they chew roving, too? One ounce of carded wool can be spread over quite an area if you are a hound on a mission.

It also encourages your resident spinner to convert from a sort-of-worsted spinning style to more-like-woollen.

No, I didn't take a photograph. My first instinct was to straighten the darn stuff out again.

Progress report…

A photoless post!! That's because either everything looks just the same, or because secrecy is required, or because I messed up…. or possibly all the above. You decide.

Minnie: both fronts and the back are now complete. I've almost finished the edging on one sleeve. Of all the sleeves out there, these ones are definitely not to be underestimated. One cuff has more stitches than one front. I have no idea how I thought I was going to get this done in a month… On the other hand, there are no beads in the sleeves, so that should speed things up a bit.

Lakes: Started shaping armholes on one piece. 2×1 rib forever!! And ever… and ever…. and ever…

Spinning: There's only about 1 oz. of the red roving left! Aiming for maximum consistency, I've spun it all into singles (apart from the test piece), and will then ply it all. I've even used the same bobbin for spinning all the singles, a practice recommended by The Master Himself, and so will be plying from re-wound singles, which is apparently also good.

Socks: Hilary's socks were gifted last Wednesday. I haven't been blogging about these, because they were supposed to be a surprise. OK, she knew they were coming, but at least she hadn't seen pictures all over my blog before she unwrapped them! And she won't now, either; I forgot to take piccies before I wrapped them… I'm thinking 6 ply socks for me, next; they should be quick, and then I will own handknit socks! Woooo!

Exchanges: Both SP8 and the Rowanette exchange have kicked off in the last week. Clearly, a certain amount of secrecy is required here, but my planned activities include recipe writing, freeform crochet, soft toy sewing, card making and – maybe – knitting. Because I'm not busy enough already, you know.

I’m going to regret this…

Yes, that's two projects on the go at once. Minnie (my March project), and Lakes (my April project). Yes, it's May. I know.

I bought a bunch of Rowan All Seasons Cotton in a dark marled denim-y colour, with a vision of a reverse rib cardigan for J. He wants a regular rib sweater; that's fine by me. I'll make myself a reverse rib cardi some other time.

Fortunately, Rowan have a pattern for a ribbed sweater in ASC, called Lakes. Asluck would have it, it's actually supposed to be reverse rib, but how hard is that to change?! In fact, I think I'll pay very careful attention to the finishing, then it can be reversible. Cunning, eh??

Secret Pal 8 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I've not yet met a yarn I couldn't stand, though I've steered clear of 100% synthetic yarns and 'fun fur' types. I find very chunky yarns tiring for my hands, and tend to steer clear of 6mm needles (or larger). I loved knitting with Rowan Wool Cotton, Rowan Calmer and Noro Kureyon.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
One of those CD folders with plastic pockets for the CDs! I use circular needles almost exclusively (except for socks, which I knit on DPNs), and you can coil them up and pop them in the pocket. Needle gauges, crochet hooks and DPNs live in a little pocket in the front. Sometimes the 'uncoiling urge' overcomes the needles and the whole thing explodes when I unzip it. I have an old pasta sauce jar that my straights stand in.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I can't remember not being able to knit, though I do remember figuring out how to purl (I was about 10). I went through a brief knitting phase when I was 18, and then let it lapse till just over a year ago. I'd say I'm a strong intermediate knitter, with an adventurous, can-do approach.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes; on Amazon. I don't know how to get a reliable link to it, though.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I'm not a very 'scent-y' person. I like light floral/green scents, and spicy scents, but I don't tend to wear them much. I have some shea butter stuff that I love for its 'caramel' scent, and a 'butter pecan' candle in my living room that makes me drool!

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Yes, but it's not much stronger than my savoury tooth! I love chocolate, from white to very, very dark; I love caramels (particular the almost bitter kinds) and licquorice, but I don't much like the very sugary, colourful 'synthetic foam' sweets like Haribo!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
Yes, I spin! I also crochet, sew, silversmith, cook, embroider, make bobbin lace and have recently branched out into card-making. I'm planning to join the SCA soon, and have an interest in historical crafts, especially the ways that people made everyday items.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Mostly classical; also Egyptian/Middle Eastern (I do bellydancing). I also like New Age and ancient music.

9. What's your favorite color? Or–do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I usually wear autumnal colours; beige/brown/khakhi/green. I very rarely wear pinks, but I'm trying to break down that phobia (see Minnie, and last year's 'orchid' skirt). I almost never wear yellow, or any blues other than either washed-out pale or actual denim.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my partner, James, in a house we recently bought together. I have two chinchillas (Domino and Trinity), and a dog (a female lurcher, called Kita)

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Not ponchos. I do wear scarves, hats and mitts if the weather gets cold enough – but it didn't really, this last winter.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Ohh, impossible to say!

13. What are you knitting right now?
A sweater for J in Rowan ASC and 'Minnie' from Rowan 39 for me.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Definitely!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circs. Except for sock-knitting, when I use DPNs. I've not used bamboo needles, and don't like the plastics I have used. I'm not fussy about my needles, mostly using 'Pony' brand, which is what my LYS stocks.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes, to both.

17. How did you learn to knit?
I don't remember! I taught myself all but the very basics from a book, and am still picking things up from the internet.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
If we're talking knitting, about 6 months (a sweater I started for my brother's Christmas); if we're talking crochet, about 16 years!! (a lace curtain that my Mum probably doesn't even want any more)

19. What is your favorite holiday?
Any time I don't have to go into work!

20. Is there anything that you collect?
No… except yarn. And fabric. And blog subscriptions…

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I'm subscribed to Rowan International, and Simply Knitting.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Not right now…

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
yes… I have UK size 7 feet.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
March 1st