Friday, January 30, 2009

continued warm, sunny and VERY dry

I haven't been doing much to blog about. It's been warm for weeks (very little winter here, which means a third year of drought) although nice outdoor spinning weather.
outside spinning
Do you see that huge bag of fleece? That's 6.5 pounds of Corriedale that I've been working on for the last few weeks. Bought it at Black Sheep Gathering 2007. Seems to have marinated nicely in the fiber stash. I'm spinning modified long draw; this method fills a bobbin faster than me doing short draw.
Corriedale Bobbins
I've nearly filled all my bobbins, time to start plying. Since I have no idea what I'm going to make with the yarn I've made a few samples to see what it wants to be. I'm lazy; it's too hard to spin to specification. I spin the yarn then find a pattern that calls for that weight of yarn.
Corriedale 2 and 3 ply samples
Here's a two ply knit on size 7 needles on the left and 3 ply knit on size 9 needles on the right.

Corriedale singles

Corriedale 2 ply

Corriedale 3 ply

So now I'm ready for a worsted or chunky weight pattern. Time to go and check out my Ravelry Queue and see what might work with this yarn. I'm open to suggestions.

I've also been working on my Barn Raising Squares. I'm still enjoying watching each square's design emerge as I knit. It's a slow version of that Spin Art they use to have at the Fair. Remember you squirted paint on a spinning paper.
Sock Yarn Squares

Last Saturday I started taking a 4-Harness Weaving class at UCSD's Craft Center. Mostly we're still getting all the looms warped.
warping board
So many people in the class it's slow going waiting for help but I'm liking it so far. Who knew that weaving would be so popular right now?

Here's a picture of my friends at Two Sisters and Ewe where I work.
Knitting Friends
left to right, Karen, Jessica (who also works there), Marie and Carol; they all make Open Knitting on Wednesday afternoons so much fun. All week I look forward to our time together. There are others that drop in but these Ladies are our hard-core knitters! It took the whole group to help me figure out where I was on my Curlicue Afghan. Turns out there was no mistake I'd just gotten lost. Thanks Ladies! In the future I'm going to have to write down exactly where I am each time I put that project down. It's either that or I'll have to keep pulling into the Yarn Shop to ask for directions.

Monday, January 19, 2009

At Last !

This magnet has been on my refrigerator for over two year.
I think we finally got it right! Tomorrow is Inauguration Day; I have high hopes!

(I received the following message in one of those mass forwards from several friends.
Seems appropriate.)

Dear World:

We, the United States of America, your top quality supplier of the ideals of liberty and democracy, would like to sincerely apologize for our 2001-2008 interruption in service.

The technical fault that led to this eight-year service outage has been located, and the software responsible was replaced November 4. Early tests of the newly installed program indicate that we are now operating correctly, and we expect it to be fully functional on January 20.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage. We look forward to resuming full service and hope to improve in years to come. We thank you for your patience and understanding.



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Last of 2008 Knitting

Here's the last project of 2008 (not the last finished but the last photographed and blogged.) Spiral Eyelet Socks in Paca-Peds, color #604 Fireside.
Spiral Eyelet Socks
These socks made it into both 2007 & 2008 projects list; I'm still pulling out UFOs and finishing them rather than buckling down and finishing my green sweater. (What is the matter with me? I just haven't been in the mood for knitting that requires any brain power.) Don't know why it took me a year to get to the second pair, since the second sock pattern changes to make the diagonal eyelet spiral in the opposite direction - it's like a different sock. There shouldn't have been any second sock syndrome fatigue. Anyway they're done.

Found out I'm going to be a Great Aunt again so I've been perusing baby blankets on Ravelry where I found the Barn-Raising Quilt from Knit-a-long
Barn Raising Sq 1
Thanks to friends (Hi Laurie) I have lots of left over sock yarn. A single square only takes 11 grams of yarn. Here's #1 and #2 squares.
Barn Raising Sq 2

It's fun to watch the spiral design come out as you knit. Wonder how long it will take me to knit all these squares? The baby is due in April...

Here's a photo of a knit gift card holder from Starbucks.
gift card holder open

gift card holder

(Sorry they're a bit blurry, the camera just doesn't like red.) I wonder what something like this would look like in sockyarn? Might take longer to hand knit than it's worth but if you're a machine knitter - boy you can just go to town. They just stitched along the edge, no mattress or blanket stitch. The original has a machine stitched down bird design on the front but with a busy self-patterning sock yarn there's no need for a design on the front. Just a thought.

I won a book that I was just going to buy; seriously I was planning to get to Amazon that evening when Norma of Now Norma Knits wrote and told me I'd won the book Knitted Jackets she was giving away. How lucky is that! Thanks Norma.

Time to go and figure out what I did wrong on my Curlicue Afgan. I have 26 stitches hanging there with no where to go. I'm afraid I'm going to have to rip back a couple of sections. Hmmm...

Annie at Sunset

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Don't Over Charge a Knitter

My slippers are a pair of three year old Merrill fleece lined clogs similar to this. I use outdoor shoes for slippers because I often end up outside in my robe and jammies. If it isn't the dog it's the moment I take to look at something in the garden and find I'm still out there an half-an-hour later.

After three years I needed new insoles. I hunted online and could only fine Uggs brand wool inserts but everyone wanted to charge me a shipping fee that was two-thirds the price of the inserts. You know those fleece inserts weight next to nothing; shipping just shouldn't be that expensive. I'm sorry, shipping costs for a set of new insoles is not worth a price equivalent to a ball of yarn. I have my priorities!

Then I remembered my Spinning Teacher telling us about making wool insoles out of a felting project gone wrong. An idea clicked into my brain. I pulled out a mystery yarn (looked like a Cascade yarn with some gray going through it) using a double strand I knit a 13 " square.
pre-felted square

Felted it until it was a 1/2 " thick. When it was dry (which took two days it was so cold around here) using the old insoles as a pattern I cut out my new green insoles.
Felted Insoles

They fit perfectly into my slippers and boy are they warm. Wow, I saved the price of a scarf's worth of yarn making these myself. Now I'm looking around for other shoes that might need new wool inserts. "I love it when a plan comes together" (remember the A Team?)

Ty keeps watch on what goes on around here.