26 April, 2008

24 April, 2008

Blog Fodder

It's the end of the semester, therefore I've been busy. Busy procrastinating, writing papers, procrastinating some more... thankfully among Netflix, knitting and spinning I have a multitude of ways to procrastinate. I may have elevated it to an art, actually - hence this post.

I've been plodding away at my 12-Mile Quest. I haven't finished anything since the Reversai Socks, but aside from some Stutter Socks most of my knitting is long-term. I did, however, manage to finish spinning and plying the Millefiore and Quietude rovings from PRS. Then I tried to ply them together, as previously planned. However, despite my planning and good intentions, the results looked like ass, so I gave up and navajo-plied each bobbin on itself to great results:

Millefiore, 205yds, 3.7oz

Quietude, 171 yds, 3.9 oz

They're pretty enough that I've been hauling them around everywhere with me to show off to my friends. I've also picked up some stuff from Crazy Monkey:

And my friend Cynthia parted with this lovely gem because she lurves me:

Crown Mountain Farms SW Merino, 8oz

On second thought, she may not love me. Maybe she hates me and wants me to attempt to insulate my house with CMF roving while simultaneously going broke; it's smooshy and gorgeous and as you spinners probably already know, spins like a dream. I started a list of colorways in case there is a co-op order in the near future, and my list is already 18 bumps long. So much for Rule #1 of the 12-Mile Quest! But at least the others are trucking along nicely.

In other news, I finally started the Juno Regina shawl for my friend's wedding:

The Posset yarn is lovely and feels like a cloud; I love it. I actually have a confession to make: I'm secretly glad that I chose a smaller shawl so I can use the leftovers for myself. I know, awful right?!? But there you have it - I'm selfish that way. I also calculate the underarm stitches for my Tangled Yoke Cardi, so that may be coming out of the Time-Out Corner shortly. There are a million sweaters I'd like to try, but I feel like I should finish at least one before I start a sweater-making career.

ManCandy's friend from Michigan, Hetero-Lifemate, moved in yesterday. Already he's gotten more calls from ManCandy than I have, but I don't think I'll disappear him just yet. He's funny and has a nice cat who is currently hiding under the TV.

14 April, 2008

Was There Any Doubt?

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Cashmere.You are sophisticated and luxe. You can often be found in high-end boutiques and hobnobbing with the upper crust. You are one of the beautiful people and you don't let anyone forget it!
Take this quiz!

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13 April, 2008

Dropouts Never Prosper (Unless They Do)

I spent Thursday of this week feeling a bit green around the gills. Since there's been a horrific flu going around, I called in sick to work and stayed in all day (by Saturday I concluded it was allergies - daily Claritin, here I come). I did, however, manage to jaunt up to Purlescence for some lace weight in order to start the third round of Sock Madness 2. The premise of the sock is pretty neat, with 2 strands of laceweight held together to create color striping. Omly's are an excellent example. For myself, I picked up some Panda Silk in pink and purple as a tribute to my first 10-speed bike. And to my wardrobe from the same era. Let's face it, if I could have, I would have painted my room and dyed my hair pink and purple when I was 10. But I digress.

Lovely aren't they? But wait, there's more!

The laceweight sock pattern came out, and man, I was ready. For the first hour, I was into it. Then I realized that the "laceweight" I picked wasn't actually making a sock that would fit anyone I know. Two strands of Panda Silk held together do not fingering weight make. And I wasn't having any fun, because the last socks from SM2 weren't socks I would wear either. And then, in a final deathknell for my career as a Tennessean, I realized that I could and would wear a pair of pink socks and a pair of purple socks if I ripped out my too-large monstrosity. So there you have it: I dropped out.

As soon as I finished re-winding the skeins, the weight came off my shoulders. Somehow it's easier to voluntarily drop out than to be beaten by someone else, so I'm fine with it. Next year for Sock Madness I'll either be A) recently graduated or B)only taking a few classes, so I'm sayin' it now, SM3 people: you've been warned!

This left me with only 3 projects on the needles, however. Two are sock projects and one is the Tangled Yoke Cardi, which is in time out until I get brave enough to connect the sleeves to the body. And the 2 sock projects are... well, let's face it: boring K2P2 socks. I've got a few spinning projects here and there, but I've caught Startitis and I'm not sure where it's going to take me. There are a few candidates, though. I told my friend Kate about the wedding shawl I'm planning, and it was the first time I've seen her pout about not wanting to get married. I caved and offered to make her a shawl since she is moving to Prague within the next year. We both knit, but I am the avid knitter (instead of the recreational knitter she is), so she requested a red shawl for cool Prague summer evenings. On Thursday, I found the perfect not-too-purple, not-too-orange red yarn that won't aggravate her sensitive skin:

Fiddlesticks Knitting Zephyr Laceweight, 4oz in Cinnabar

This yarn will grow up to be a Juno Regina shawl, but I haven't started it yet. Mainly because I was busy finishing the massive cabling project for the Posset yarn I got from Colourmart. And behold, the project, she is done!
2000 yds, 100% cashmere laceweight

Purple disc for scale; it's the size of a quarter.
It's as soft as a kitten and a lovely grey-purple color that I just love. The cabling makes it a very visual yarn; I think it'll show stitch definition really well. Y'know, if you care about those things. Which apparently I do. I didn't spin this yarn but I did re-spin and cable it, so I'm going to award myself 1/2 mileage for a total of 1000 yards finished. Hopefully I'll find a pattern for it tomorrow and get to start actually knitting with it; I feel like I deserve to after the oatmeal-brain-mush project it's been so far!

And lastly, today I finished spinning the PRS singles to go with the Quietude singles from spring break. I'm letting the fresh singles sit overnight (like a good little spinner) and I'll try to ply them up tomorrow. Getting things done is such a relief; dropping out was, in this case, the best thing to do. Here's a shot of the bobbin I finished tonight back when it was only half finished:
It'll be so pretty! I'm excited.
Millefiore SW Merino from Pigeonroof Studios

And lastly, I must say I agree that the anthropomorphized cat pictures can get a little... eye-roll-y. But Crazy Sarah put a caption on this photo that made me spit tea on my keyboard this morning, so I'm going to share anyway.

"I said MUSH, vile human!"

05 April, 2008

"Madness takes its toll.

Please have exact change. "

On Thursday night, I stayed up until 2:30 am finishing my Sock Madness 2 socks. Despite the fact that I'm not super jazzed about this pattern, they turned out well.

Reversai Socks, "Red Hat" colorway 347 yds.

Every once in awhile, it's good to do things you don't think you'll like. Once I got to the point where I could read the pattern in the sock itself, it went fairly quickly. Four days for a pair of socks isn't bad considering this time last year I was lucky if I could churn out a single sock every week! These will put me over the 2 mile mark on my 12-Mile Quest. Some parts of the Quest are going well and others... not so well. I've curbed my yarn buying by quite a lot; the only actual yarn I've bought since Stitches West is for a specific project, but I've definitely added to my fiber stash. Apparently I'm in a Spinning Place instead of a Knitting Place, but that's fine with me. I've been doing a fair bit of spinning in the evenings, so it will all even out eventually.

I finally got the lace yarn and beads to start Elizabeth's wedding shawl - the above-mentioned "specific project." It's this lovely shade that I've decided to call "Posset" because it looks like the wine/milk mixture Victorians used to feed their babies.

100% cashmere lace weight, ~2300 yards
It's also hard to photograph.

I bought 2 cones of 2300 yards each, which turned out to be a brilliant move on my part because I'll need to cable it together into a stronger yarn for hand knitting. Today I'm going to run each cone through my wheel to tighten up the original ply, then tomorrow I'll ply those two yarns together to end up with 2300 yards total. Then maybe I'll finally be able to start stringing the beads onto the yarn to begin the shawl... but I'm not holding my breath.

Yesterday I met a specter from the past. Jasmin 2007 came out to play, and we had a lovely time! First it was just an Etsy jaunt that resulted in some lovely roving from Crazy Monkey heading to us across the country, but then we decided to hit up Purlescence, where the real damage took place. We decided to split a BMFA Sheep-2-Shoe kit of Chapman Springs after seeing Nathania's lovely bobbin-in-progress at the shop, then got sucked into another S2S in Haida from the Raven series. My pictures are blurry because the little L2 doesn't like to focus on fiber, but you get the idea.

So all in all, I ended up with another pound of fiber yesterday. And it's all Jasmin's fault.

We also hit up DSW in a search for Kick-Ass Boots (as opposed to ass-kicking boots, which is another style entirely) but came up with bupkiss. Either we missed the winter boots or we were too early; only another trip will tell! However, we did find a pair of... shoes? that was squite amusing. A plain black Mary Jane style pump with a sewn-in knitted legwarmer. With cables. And there were only 2 pairs in in the aisles we looked through (sizes 7-8), which means people have bought these shoes. Multiple people. And the intention of some of them must have been to actually wear said shoes. This probably says something about the state of the fashion industry, but really I'm just too bemused by the shoe itself to pose a theory.

ManCandy is on a tear to clean the house judging by the clattering coming from the kitchen. This means I should probably go supervise before my things get relegated to Places Unknown.

Printer Kitteh does not like ur papr. Writ a new 1.