Thursday, March 5, 2009

First Fruits

I love my new spinning wheel – it spins like “butta.” Here’s my first real skein off of it. Kickapoo Creek Alpacas cloud of alpaca/silk/merino. I spun the same fiber in a white combination a couple of years ago using a supported drop spindle. It spun like a dream but the cloud is not the best format to use with drop spindle. But I’ve never been able to spin it with my Louet wheel. I spun this using Scotch tension with a “z” twist which allowed me to spin it very softly. Then I used double drive with an “s” twist to make the 2-ply. It looked really strange to me because I’m used to spinning my singles with “s” twist and ply with the “z” twist. But nevertheless, I think it came out beautifully and 4 oz of fiber came out to 472 yards. Don’t know what I’ll make with it but should be enough for something scrummy.

I had some challenges with the cloud but that’s down to my inexperience, not the quality of the fiber. The fiber is absolutely wizard.

Not sure what I’m going to put on the wheel next but I’ve got some fire red bamboo that I’m wanting to try so maybe I’ll do that.

The gansey is progressing but 2 inches of garter stitch and 2 inches of stockinette don’t really rate pictures! I’ll get a shot of it once I get to the patterned part.

I did get involved in knitting some Christmas stockings for a friend at work who had the foresight to ask in February rather than November. She and her siblings had stockings knitted by her Grandmother. But now there are nieces and nephews who never got a knitted stocking so I’ve agreed to do four of them – each with the name knitted in and a Santa’s face. I’ve almost got two of them done already but I will soon run out of the green. I never realized that you can’t get Christmas green this time of year.

I’m not really too much of a Christmas person so I’ve never knitted Christmas stockings before. Guess this will be my target effort!

Monday, March 2, 2009


How time flies. I kept thinking, I need to post something, but last week was a bit scatty and, obviously, I never got to it.

Part of the problem is that I’ve been at the end of several projects you’ve already heard quite enough about so didn’t want to post about them. I’ve had a sweater that you haven’t seen but I’m thinking about submitting it for publication so can’t show you that (although I am wearing it today and it looks loverly!). I’ve been spinning (a lot) but once you’ve seen one picture of a singles, you’ve seen them all. I’ll post about that when I’ve got the plying done (which I’m close to getting to).

Now I did find some
Galway (I think it’s color 164) at a local yarn shop and I love Galway. It was one of the first real wool yarns I ever worked with and I’ve loved it ever since. This is in a royal blue which drew me right in so I broke down and started a Gansey with it. Sometime last year I finally broke down and got Beth Brown-Reinsel’s Gansey book and I’ve wanted to get one made for ages. (By the way, Beth is the teacher from whose class I made the Danish sweater.) Since I’ve only got about 10 rows of garter stitch done, I’ve spared you pictures but I’ll get something posted when I get a little further along.

One of the things I’ve been trying to learn is about knitting sleeves from the top down. The sleeves for the sweater I’ve just finished were done this way and I had to rip out and redo about 4 times before I had the number of stitches right. So along comes Beth, wonderful teacher that she is, and says, “Here’s the easiest way to do it. Measure the circumference of the sleeve, leaving out the bound off edge at the bottom, and use your stitch gauge to determine how many stitches you need for that distance.

I mean, how simple is that? How logical is that? How did I not know that? Everyone should know that. Does every knitter in the universe know that? Is it just me or is that a perfectly simple and logical thing to know and why didn’t I know that? Why did I not know that deep in my knitterly bones? Duh.

Anyway, now I know that. For my Gansey I will know that and will use it, oh my knitting hero.