November 2007


I have been meaning to write this post all week, but my days have been busy.

I got a pretty good start with NaKniSweMo.  I am *this close* to finishing my second sleeve.  My goal was to have both sleeves done by Nov. 8, and they nearly were, but Wednesday and Thursday did not afford much knitting time, because of preparation for Pumpkin Dinner.  But tonight I intend to finish that other sleeve, and hopefully cast on for the body of the sweater.

In the meantime…here is the first completed sleeve:

I love the way the striping is coming out.  It’s amazing how there is no jog when knitting stripes that are only one row high!

I feel a little behind, but I haven’t lost all hope yet.  And if I fail, hopefully the sweater will at least be done by xmas.

I also got a good start on a sock for my uncle last Sunday…and had hardly any time to work on it again until today.  Here’s what I had done last week:

That is one pattern repeat, and I’ve just finished another one to complete the cuff.  Despite being umimpressed last time, I’m going to do a short row heel on these socks in hopes that they will fit better.  The pattern is Phineas.  The stitch pattern is extremely simple, created by knits and purls, and at first I was afraid it would look sloppy.  But I like how it is coming out, and I think after a washing it will look even better.  I’ve modified this pattern to be cuff down, instead of toe up, and I did 2×2 ribbing on the cuff, instead of twisted rib.

My new spindle from ButterflyGirl Designs came yesterday. I immediately started spinning some predrafted fiber that was laying around, even though I was tired.  At 1.3 oz, it is a bit different than a 3 oz. Louet, but with a little practice I’ll do fine.  After finishing a bit of singles, I tried Navajo plying for the first time, and it is awesome!  My single was not the most consistent thing in the world, but I am still amazed at this plying technique.  I think I am going to be doing a lot more spinning in the near future!  Which will, of course, make NaKniSweMo all that much harder.

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While I don’t spin as often as I would like, I finally have something to show!  My first two plied yarns have been photographed, and I’ve also got plenty of pretty roving coming in to keep me busy.

This is some natural tan wool I bought for *practice* a few months ago.  I think I have the sheep breed somewhere, but I don’t know if I’ll ever find it, so it’s “mystery wool”.  This is about 3oz.  I haven’t checked the yardage or the wpi yet.  I think it came out pretty well for my first time plying (with only my third round of singles).

I was somewhat unhappy during the plying process, because on a spindle one can closely inspect every inch of yarn that goes by.  I constantly saw all the imperfections of the single, and the plied sections that were less-than-balanced.  However, once I got it off the spindle, it started looking a little better (for a first attempt, anyway).

This is Harvest Haze, the August fiber (and my first!) from Spunky Eclectic‘s fiber club.  It’s 4oz. of Lincoln longwool, which has a staple length of 8-12 inches.  At first I was nervous about spinning it, but it was actually pretty easy!  I wish now that I had added more twist to the singles.  I liked the singles better than the plied yarn, but it’s not so bad.

I didn’t predraft or anything, I just broke the long strip of fiber in half and spun directly from it.  This kept the color progressions very long, though they overlap randomly now that they are plied together.  Some sections are the same color on both singles, and others are mixed.   As you can see, this fiber came out very hairy, which probably has more to do with my amateur abilities than anything else.

I’d like to knit the Harvest Haze into something, but it’s a very rough wool, so nothing wearable will work.  I’m considering a table mat, in a simple lace design, maybe knitted in a circle from the center out.  Though I’ll probably be spinning more before I get around to that!

Also, NaKniSweMo starts today.  I’ve decided on Purl Bee‘s Treeline Striped Cardigan.  I have had some Cascade 220 and ArtFibers Tsuki intended for it forever, and I finally swatched a few nights ago.  I am so in love with my Mrs. Darcy cardigan that I want another wonderfully warm and wooly cardigan immediately.  But I know that NaKniSweMo is the only hope I have for getting it done anytime soon.  I’m casting on tonight!