Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Winding up the Holidays

After a really tough week at work, and with Chris on school holidays and home 24/7 to boot, I was seriously in need of a break. I loved our little getaway to Edithburg! And I so deserved it!

We left out Sunday morning, directly after I had worked a real killer night shift Saturday sixth night straight at that. I never sleep well in cars, but I do knit pretty well in them. The trip over was spent knitting on the "sacrifice" socks...those solid black monstrosities I'm making for my dearly beloved. After arriving, we unloaded everything into a little beachfront cabin at the Edithburg caravan park.

A very nice place it was, to, with open living/kitchen, 2 separate bedrooms and an ensuite. Here's a peak inside:

Notice, the knitting bag was the first thing to make it in, and the last thing to go :)

We walked a bit around the caravan park and along the beachfront that first day, and that night we stayed in, watched a bit of TV and both of us hopped into bed early, for different reasons, but I was glad we did. I woke early the next morning, took my coffee and my knitting onto the veranda and watched the sunrise over the gulf, which was quite beautiful.

I got a new MP-3 player and had downloaded an audio book on it; Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, which I sat listening to it as I knit. I had brougt along the fringe jumper, but it got very little of my attention. I was intent on starting something new, and I'd brought along (among other things) my Noro Silk Garden yarn. I had decided to give the "Short Row Rib" scarf a try. I found this pattern on Magknits months ago, and copied it off, but Magknits has since "closed down", so sorry, no link available. It's a really cool pattern though, and I've been wanting to try it out for months, but other things kept getting in the way. Now was my chance.

The Noro Silk Garden was not cooperating with my ambition for it. Honestly, parts of it were like badly spun homespun, and literally disintegrated in my hands a couple of times. Considering how badly I wanted to try Noro, this was a grave disappointment. But I perservered, hoping it was only a flawed area of the yarn and I would get to better things further into the ball.

I was really loving the pattern, and the effects of the colours, but the yarn itself I can't say much for. It soon became evident that I was not going to have enough to make a very long scarf with the two balls I had, so I put it aside to give it a think and picked up the socks again.

Later that day, we went into the town and looked around, went over to look at the huge wind farms, and drove down to Wool Bay and took a walk on the beach. We were in no hurry, and all in all, it was a very relaxing day. We had tea at the Troubridge Hotel that night, and then settled down for another quiet night in. By this time, I was approaching the heel of the socks, and driving my super-duper tickelish husband mad making him try them on again and again. Finally, I was satisfied and started the short row heel. I left Chris to the TV and was up until after midnight finishing both heels, but was glad I did, as that meant I was back to more or less mindless knitting on the trip home.

We came home the next day, and made a planned stop over in Gawler. There's a shop there that sells yarn called "Crosbys of Gawler", so I found it, had a snoop around, but came out empty handed. Nice stuff, and a great selection of "Naturally" yarns from New Zealand, but nothing I just had to have, and I was too broke for "luxuries". Still, nice to have a look around and know what they keep on hand.

We came home through Adelaide, and stopped over at Chris' mom and dad's. I had been thinking about my "Noro Short Row" problems, and had decided to check and see if The Yarn Barn had gotten any more in, or had any more of that color, so I could make the scarf a more pleasing length. This was the perfect opportunity, as The Yarn Barn is very close to the inlaws, and I had somewhere to "dump" Chris while I yarn shopped. Anyway, they didn't have any Silk Garden that would suit the purpose, but they did have some Kureyon. While it's a slightly different color scheme, it's a colour that will go along nicely, and it was on sale, so I bought two balls.

Kureyon is 100% wool, while Silk Garden is wool and silk...and much softer, so my plans for the scarf were altered. Frog the Silk Garden done so far. Work both ends of the scarf with the scratchier Koreyon and the middle part that will be more in contact with my neck with the softer Silk Garden. So, after I got home, I tried to frog the scarf, but the yarn just kept falling apart, so I stopped trying and figured I'd try again if I really, really needed that bit of yarn I'd already used.

So I started over with the Kureyon. The colors are more muted at present than the Silk Garden, and probably will make for darker ends and a brighter middle, but I think it will work nicely, and if it doesn't, well, no big deal. As the Yarn Harlot says: "There aren't any knitting police!"

During those busy days from hell before leaving on my holidays, I ordered, and recieved a Wool Winder Kit. Now Chris is always good about helping me wind balls, and indeed, he hasn't lost his job entirely, as the skeins I dye generally are a bit too tangly after the process to be done on a winder without risking breaking it, but for commercially bought and untampered with skeins, he's been rendered redundant.

Anyway, I had been looking at ball winders on Ebay, and somewhere down the track learned that to be able to wind balls on it alone, I would need a skein holder as well. I found some good deals, or what I thought were good deals, on ebay, but then decided it would be prudent to check and see what they were going for at regular retail price. I googled and found The Knitting Box who sold a wool winder kit for 59.00, which was certainly cheaper than anything I had found anywhere else for both. Even cheaper than Ebay. So I ordered one.

About 3 days before we left for Edithsburg, the package arrived, but the wool winder had a bit broken off in transit. All wool winders thes days are plasticy little things, and easy enough to break. I took a picture and wrote to the store, and immediately got a response that they would send me another. (Now THAT'S customer service!) My replacement part arrived today, we got everything out, rigged up a place to set it up, as both the winder and the skein holder have to be clamped to a table.

After only one stuff up, I wound my first ball of yarn.

It's the Peace Fleece Chick Masala, and I'm very proud of myself, and very very happy with my new toy.

Meanwhile, Chris went and checked the mail after a few days, and my latest Koolaid shipment has arrived from mom! This one, finally, was held up by customs. I say finally because I really expected it to happen way before now. What must they think about hundreds of packets of powder getting shipped to me on almost a monthly basis I'll never know ;)

That's all I have for now. I'm off agian tonight, and Chris is going fishing with a buddy tomorrow, so I plan on having an entire day tomorrow all to myself! I plan on playing on Ravelry till my eyes cross and my fingers hurt!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a really good posting. I am SO happy you got all the Koolaid! The vacation must have been fantastic! The sunrise photo is breath taking. Guess that little Shutterbug gene has come out in my daughter!!

I enjoying showing your blogs to family / friends. Sorta like having my own little "Brag Book"! I always look forward to seeing "the next one". Keep up your good work and talents!

Love U, MOM