One craft-along wraps up, another starts, and just where is a person supposed to find time to blog about it?
I outdid myself on the Tour De Fleece. I didn’t come out with as many completely finished yarns as I maybe hoped, but I spun every day the tour rode, challenged myself to try out new fibres and new techniques, and all in all had so much fun!
I’m really excited about the Polwarth/silk in the top right corner. It was my spin on Challenge Day: I was busy with work and friends and wasn’t sure how much spinning I’d get to, so I gave myself half an hour and measured how much I was able to complete in that time – about half of this 1/2 oz teaser bump from Corgi Hill Farms, it turned out. In the end, I was able to spin the rest while visiting my friends (as we played Small World, I worked on this and Em was busy just, you know, SPINNING A SWEATER!), a thick-and-thin yarn destined to be a sweater for poor, neglected Edik. He’s equal parts thrilled (“It’s for me!!!”) and bemused (“But…what is it?”), as you can see in my progress pic.
Now, of course, the Ravellenic Games, which run parallel to a certain international competitive sporting event but had to be renamed this year so as not to go on diluting the brand, as it were, have started! Actually, I guess they’re more than halfway done! And I have so much more to do! Which is kind of sad, considering that I kind of burned out in 2010 and therefore set my goals commensurately lower this year. Well, I guess in 2010, I was only employed part-time and wasn’t entertaining folks for board- and role-playing games 4 nights a week.
My main focus is socks for Mr. Salamander. I bought the yarn (you might remember) on impulse one payday, then saw the perfect match for it over at Everything Old (it’s awesome to find amazeballs indie dyers who happen to be local and also fun to hang out with) and knew this needed to become his-and-her mismatched socks. I’m a little more than halfway onhis, have yet to start mine. I’m using various elements from Socks A La Carte 2: Toes Up, which my lovely mother-in-law gave me for Christmas. I have to say, I’m not overly impressed with the book – some of the directions are worded confusingly and relatively few of the designs appeal to me – but it’s great for learning different construction for toes & heels. Here, I’m using the star toe and origami heel, and I’m planning to try out a couple of different options when it’s time for my own mismatched pair.
I was going to work on an old WIP as part of my games challenge, especially since I’ve been doing so little dolly knitting lately, but, well, have a look:
It’s the thinnest cobweb-weight yarn I own, on 1mm needles, a bottom-up skirt for Vasya, my 60cm girl. I worked on it for about 2 hours last week, and do you know how much farther I got than that photo? FOUR ROWS. I calculated how much more there is to it, and it’s over 100 more rows. Now, the rows will get faster as they get shorter, but not soon enough! I’m still committed to finishing this skirt in 2012, especially now that I can work under a magnifying craft light (Canadian Tire! $40!), but I think it can wait until after August 12th.
It’s also been hard to convince myself to do any knitting at all, since this totally happened:
That there is my new spinning wheel (tentatively named Tamar). Vintage (reportedly 50s), virtually all wood, so Mr. Salamander can help look after her/make some new parts, on consignment at the local yarn store for only $100 (I’m still not ready to spend $3-600 on a wheel, but this seemed manageable), not too frightening since she only has one setting, so no worrying about ratios (yet). There’s definitely a learning curve: here’s my first attempt at yarn, the braid of corriedale that came free-with-large-purchase plied with some boucle cotton that was what I was in the store looking for in the first place.
After I spun that, I went back to spindling my flax to prove to myself that I don’t totally suck at spinning. I’ve also been plying several strands of that cotton together to get a feel for the wheel and also make up some bulky multi-strand funkiness with which to make more wacky hot mats. Soon, I’ll spin up the rest of my KP Roving of the Andes – I had a lot of trouble drafting the Corriedale, but I had trouble drafting it on a spindle as well. I don’t quite want to sacrifice one of my beloved braids from CHF or Everything Old to learning how to wheel, but I do want to try out something a little less compacted and grabby. Plus, must stash down before buying more fibre at the local agricultural fair! Yes, that’s what’s going to happen…
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