81) Off the loom!

Another real 'quickie' today; I cut the bag fabric off the loom this morning!

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I brought it to work today, and will be knotting the warp ends at lunchtime so I can safely wet-finish it tonight, and start sewing up the bag at the weekend.

I would have finished a day earlier, but due to my own stinginess I ran into two problems….  Firstly, I tried to use the dodgy bit of yarn at the end of the ball for one of the warp stripes, and it gave out when I had about 10cm left to weave.  And secondly, I didn't *quite* put enough warp on the loom to give me the fabric length I wanted.  I got there in the end, but was reduced to needle-weaving for the last few rows, because my shuttle wouldn't fit through the remaining shed any more!

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And finally: an apology.  I have been unbelievably remiss in replying to comments and keeping in touch generally, recently.  I no longer have regular access to my personal email at work (though sometimes I sneak a peek), and combined with the recent Typepad comment-weirdness, a new job, the fact that the last thing I want to do after sitting in front of a computer all day is boot up my laptop when I get home, and just Life In General, I have been pants.  I am just about managing to work, walk the dogs, feed myself and J, and occasionally play with wool in my minimal downtime.  Sometimes I go for a run, or brew beer.  I have about 300 posts to read in Google Reader.  I owe so many people blog comments, emails and/or phonecalls, it's just not true.  I'm sorry.  All I can say is, "Be glad you're not coming to stay with me any time soon", because the astute will have noticed that 'housework' did not feature anywhere on that little list.

And I *will*, at some point, get back to you.

80) Eye candy Sunday

I'm actually visiting my folks this weekend, but since I'm so behind on blogging, I thought I'd do a little post-ahead…

The weaving on my Rampton project is about 75% done, and it should take no more than another evening to get it off the loom completely.

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This photo totally doesn't do it justice, though I have to say that, in some ways, I loved the warp more!  I did have plans to weave a lining for this bag, but I don't know that I'll have time, realistically.  Maybe it can be retro-fitted to the 'finished' bag once I'm done – we'll see!

79) Potato-chip knitting

Moor is providing me with the most entertainment and relaxation recently.  I'm not forging ahead at super-productive knitterly rates, but I have completed the first repeat of the pattern:

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…and I estimate that I will need to complete slightly more than one more repeat before I start the neck steek.  After that, it should positively *fly* along, because the neck is quite wide and deep.

Last time I was doing stranded colourwork, it was a real race against the clock to finish in time for Christmas.  In fact, I didn't quite manage it, but it was such a focused effort that I even kept a spreadsheet to track my progress against the necessary stitches-per-day for success.  I do like a challenge, particularly if other people think it's 'impossible', but this time, I get to relax and really *enjoy* it.  And I find it remarkably difficult to put down.  "Just one more row" is so compelling when each row is slightly different.  And even though I'm knitting in the round at a relatively small gauge, the rows don't seem to take all that long to complete.

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The few 'rest' rows, which are only one colour, fly by.

I foresee more of these kinds of projects in my future.

78) Warped!

 

After realising on Wednesday night that my planned warp would make a bag wide enough for me to sit in…

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…I hastily re-did all the maths and made a more sensible plan.

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I left the calculations to 'mature' for 24 hours before I triple-checked them…

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…then got to winding my warp, with only one interruption for a dodgy bit of spinning, right at the beginning.

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2 hours later, the warp is wound, sleyed, beamed, tied on andr eady to go!

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Rigid heddle looms are so quick to set up!  And can you tell I love this warp??

77) Getting to the good bits

I knew, with certainty, what I wanted to start knitting once I'd finished Katarina.  Moor, from the now-discontinued Yorkshire Fable collection, by Rowan:

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(because everyone in Yorkshire wanders around with coal on their face.  hrrmph.)

I had the also-discontinued Yorkshire Tweed -well, three colours, anyway – in a slightly warmer set of colours than used for this sample – cream, chocolate and a slate grey.  Not much cream, but an awful lot of the chocolate, and -hmmm- this is actually a four-colour design.

I've got plenty of felted tweed left from my gathered pullover, though, and that's close to the same gauge.  Close enough, anyway, and that heathery purple is awesome with the browns and greys.  Very subtle!

The first swatch was a definite failure; I tried my hardest to use the colours in an arrangement suggested by how much I had of each, since most of this stuff is discontinued now, but It Didn't Work.  So much of a failure, I didn't even photograph it.  RRRrrrrriiiip.

The second one, though; the second one is a definite 'win'

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(loving it)

However, I don't have enough cream yarn to risk this colourway in the pattern as written.

In an attempt to use less cream, I have drastically cut back on the width of the band that uses the cream as a background, and I'm also knitting a much deeper ribbed hem than the pattern calls for, so there will be less of the patterned area to begin with.  I tried flattening out the zigzags at the border of the white band, too – you can see that in the lower border of the swatch – but I didn't like that so much, so the zigzags are back in.

Also also, I'm radically altering the neckline to a fairly deep scoop, as inspired by someone else on Ravelry who did exactly the same thing; Naganasu's Moor can be seen here, if you have a Rav login.

Even less patterned area.  Also, a garment that will be much, much more flattering for me, and *great* to wear over a shirt for work.

Think I'll make it?  I still don't know, either.

The cast on was a bear; I'm converting this to knitting in the round, and despite my best efforts, I twisted it first time round, and only realised after I'd knit a couple of centimetres.  If I'm honest, I probably realised after the first centimetre, but was in total denial for a few more rows.

Then, four inches of ribbing felt like an eternity.  I've been itching for a project that isn't just mindless knitting; something to pay attention to, and 2×2 rib ain't it.  This is the first time I've felt like colourwork since finishing my Dad's sweater, nearly 2 years ago, so I realllly wanted to get back to it.

And finally, after that teaser of a swatch…

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(4" of 2×2 rib)

I'm ready for the good stuff.

76) All spun up

The lovely, blended rainbow I blogged about three weeks ago has become a lovely spun rainbow:

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I'm really proud of myself for getting it all spun up so promptly, and also of Woody for being such an awesome yarn-model.  Marnie's pups (especially Panda) are so hilariously accommodating in this regard, I just had to try it for myself.

I've only just noticed I've got the two rightmost skeins of yarn the wrong way round.  *How* I managed to take a photo like that without noticing, I've no idea.

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Next phase: wash and block the yarn, then warp up the loom and weave!  I'd love to have the loom warped by the end of the week, which pretty much means I need to wash the yarn tonight.  But I haven't managed that, because I've been cooking soup.  It's soup season again!!  Tonight's special: Spinach, lentil and yoghurt.  Yarn blocking tomorrow, then.

There has been a lot of spinning round here lately; far more spinning than knitting, truth be told.  Katarina has been finished and worn, and even got her final blocking yesterday, and I have swatched for and started a new project (a variation on Moor [that's a Rav link, folks], from Rowan's "Yorkshire Fable").  But the knit-lust is notably absent.  The long, pressing queue of Things I Must Knit seems to have evaporated.  The Things I Must Sew list is even shorter.

I'm cool with this.  I think I have sufficient sweaters – or at least, enough that it's not worth starting a new project without thinking how it's going to fit into my wardrobe.  I do need some new skirts/trousers/shirts, but again, I need a Plan first.

Recently, I have been thinking more and more about self-sufficiency. Sufficiency, as in 'sufficient'.  Enough.  I don't need a wardrobe stuffed to the gills with sweaters, however well made they are.  Stashing vast quantities of yarn that I don't have an immediate need for is not in line with my light-consumer ideals.  I am currently losing weight (there!  I said it!); with any luck, I'll be down to my pre-shingles weight by Christmas, and maybe my optimum weight by my birthday in March next year.  It doesn't seem like a good idea to invest loads of time into tailored garments that I'm going to grow too small for in a matter of months;it certainly isn't a good idea to make garments that are currently too small in the hopes that they'll fit correctly 'eventually'.

I'm certainly not going to stop knitting any time soon (or spinning, or weaving!), but I think this might be a good time to think about what I want to achieve, as well as how I want to be spending my time.

Meanwhile, isn't Woody a doll??

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