Friday, February 5, 2010

Has it been a Month?

I've just realized it's been almost a month since my last post, and figured I'd better get one up before folks start wondering what's happened to me. Contrary to my life slowing down a bit after the first of the year, it's been pretty busy. I've also discovered the rather remarkable world of Facebook, and what a rabid time sucking device that is.

I'm going to stick pretty much to the facts, and I doubt I put things in very good chronological order, mainly because it's been so long since I last posted that I have a hard time remembering what order they came along in. So I'll just organize things in sections. I'm thinking a section for knitting, one for spinning, and one for social occasions and events. That should do fairly nicely. Can you tell I'm a bit overwhelmed here?

I think I'll start with my knitting. I'm ashamed to say I still haven't gotten the other sleeve sewn on to the lacy cami. I don't know what's really stopping me from getting to it, but there always just seems to be something more urgent (or more fun) to do. I plan, though, on getting it sewn on sometime this weekend. I really want it off my project board before the Ravelympics. (more on the Ravelympics later).

However, TA-DA!! I did finish my Welt and Rib Raglan after letting it sit on the needles 95% done for way too long. One of the reasons I left it on there too long is that I was a bit afraid I was going to run out of yarn, and I guess I was procrastinating rather that accept the inevitable. As it turned out, I did have enough yarn, but just barely. I think this is the closest I've ever came to running out without actually doing so. Here's what I had left when finished:

I see a few mistakes in the jumper, particularly in the collar, but I doubt anyone else will notice. It looked hideous, to tell the truth, before I blocked it. I initially washed it, spun the excess water out in the washing machine, and then lay it out on towels overnight. The next morning, I put it on my sewing dummy to finish blocking on there. (Note: My sewing dummy is covered in a red feltish material, so I covered it with a plastic kitchen garbage bag to keep any of the red colour from transferring to the damp jumper.) Now, I reckon, it looks fantastic. It's amazing the magic blocking can achieve.

I also finished my Get Jiggy with It socks, made with Heirloom Jigsaw yarn and just a basic toe up pattern. They turned out great, fit well, and will make good servicable work socks, which was the intention. I don't just knit socks, I wear my knit socks pretty much every night at work, and consequently, I wear socks out. Lacy frilly socks seem to wear out quicker, and to tell the truth, the more expensive the yarn, the less well it seems to hold up for me, so nice wearable socks from relatively cheap yarn are perfect for my everyday wear.

In the WIP department, I've done quite a bit on the Alpine Knit scarf, although for me, lace never seems to show the progress I "think" I've made. I did get back to the point I was before the horrible disaster I mentioned in the last post and all the consequent frogging back to before the error, and have added a few more pattern repeats besides.

It's just one of those projects that I leave handy and pick up when I have quiet free moments, do a row or a few, and then put down again. I do want it finished in time to wear to the Winter Roundup in mid May, though, so I really do need to devote more time to it than I have been.

At this point, I should explain my future knitting plans, as that might explain why I don't have any more on the needles right now than I do. You see, the big event on Ravelry, cleverly labled Ravelympics, is coming up. It corresponds with that actual winter Olympics in Vancouver. For those who don't know, the idea is to join a team, pick a project, and start the project (ideally) when the torch is being lit and the games officially begin (in this case, Feb 12th), and have the project finished by the closing ceremony two weeks later.

I have decided to participate this year, and have joined Team Manic Purl. Manic Purl is a podcast that I enjoy listening to, and the podcast also has a group on Ravelry. So, I joined the Ravelry group and I'm getting into the swing of things. I'll be knitting in the "Sweaterboard Cross" event (all things sweaters, vests, boleros etc.) I think, but I also qualify for the Stash Compulsory Dance (things knit with neglected stash more than a year old). It's all for fun, and all in the Olympic spirit.

I have chosen as my project the Vis'a vis jumper (aka sweater) from the book "Knitting the New Classics". It's a very simple jumper done in the round in plain stockingnet with a bulky mohair yarn. I've chosen to do it with some stash yarn I've had lying around for, literally, years. It's Woodland, from Naturally, and is a lovely brown colour with different colour flecks in it.

As the beginning of the festivities is just over a week away, I've already began organizing my yarn, needles, etc, so that all will be ready when it times to cast on. However, due to needing to finish an entire jumper (albiet an easy one) in two weeks, I probably won't be knitting on anything else during that time. A manogamous knitter for two weeks, imagine that!

I did, however, cast on for mom's birthday present this morning. I won't be showing pictures here for obvious reasons, but I figured I could get some of that done before the Ravelympics, and then work on them like a mad thing afterwards. I have about a month and a half till the gift will need to be mailed off, but once you slice two weeks out of that for the Ravelympics, well, I'll likely be cutting it close.

With my spinning, I've actually gotten several things done, and a couple of new things started. I finished the skein of SCFC's "Deep Thought" colourway:

And I also finished my third skein of the Flowering Red Gum colourway from Kathy's Fibres:

Back a few months ago, I bought a bunch of Timber colourway wool and also some matching silk to spin a 3 ply, 2 plies of wool, 1 ply of silk. I had quite a bit of silk left over, so about a week ago I took the leftover silk and Navaho plied it, making this lovely mini skein (I just love Kathy's earthier colourways):

In the last post, I showed you some Fleece Artist tops I recieved as a gift from a Ravelry friend who was visiting from Canada. I have spun up one of those tops into two singles on Matilda (my Majacraft Little Gem) and will be plying them together for a nice 2 ply soon:

I've also started spinning some alpaca roving given to me by a friend at work. It's the first time I've spun alpaca on the Majacraft, and I can't say it's going all that swimmingly. I'm trying to make rather thin singles, but I'm undertwisting it even sew on the fastest ratio, so it keeps breaking. I need to work on tweaking this I suppose, and it does give me a challenge:

Besides, I need to get it right, because she gave me a whole heap of it. She used to spin, but has since given it up, and had all of this leftover and gifted me with it:

My other spinning related aquisition is this handy stool that I found for $5 at a garage sale last weekend:

It's not exactly a proper spinning chair, but it serves me well. I don't always like to sit straight on facing the wheel, and the rotating seat helps me out there. It is the perfect height, and I'm liking fine right now.

A couple of things happened in my social life that are noteworthy. The first was a visit from another Ravelry friend, "Rosie". She and 4 of her kids came out for a cruise along the Murray River on our boat. I won't post pictures here for privacy reasons (and because I haven't asked), but just had to post the picture of the huge carp her 11 year old daughter caught:

It was her first time ever fishing, and needless to say, she was stoked with her catch, even if it was a carp.

That's about it for this installment, although heaven knows, it's long enough. I wish I could stick to my resolution of posting more often so as to cut down the sheer time it takes to make a post, but so far, I'm not doing so well, so I won't make any idol promises. Essentially, as usual, I'll see ya when I see ya.