Friday, February 27

Opinions Wanted!

There is a townhouse that we like both the location and layout/size of. It is begin offered for rent, and the owner could be hesitant about us making changes, i.e. painting. (This is the impression I got from our agent, but I don't have a definite answer yet.) Now, this isn't me wanting to cover plain white walls -- just the opposite in fact. There is a lot of DIY faux-type painting and strange interesting color combinations. I'd love it if some (all?) of the rooms a little more.... tastefully decorated. Besides that, it has nice newer appliances and window treatments. It seems that nice places in good locations that we can afford are few and far between. Would you go forward with it, and assume that you'll be able to ignore the current paint jobs after living with them for a while?

I'm thinking yes right now, but I keep waffling back and forth.

Here, not knitting.

I’ve haven’t gone this long without posting in a while. Real Live has been taking over lately and besides that, I seem to have lost my talent for knitting.

cast on a Chevron Scarf, but didn’t like how the colors were pooling or the needles I chose,
cast on an Urchin hat, but wasn’t paying enough attention and ended up with a misshapen blob,
cast on Urchin again with hand spun yarn and ran out,*
worked on my toe-up Anastasia sock but forgot to add the lace pattern to the back of the sock after the heel.

It feels like there was something else in there as well, but I can't remember what it was. The only semi-worthwhile knitting I have done is on a Wool-Ease scarf, but even that is only a row or two a night.

*I guess this will be my first attempt at recreating yarn on a spinning wheel. Problem is I was using my very first wheel yarn to make the hat and have improved just enough since then to be unsure of how to get the random blobs and underspun places it contained. It seems to be an acquired skill once you past the “did it on accident” phase.

Real Live for the month of February has revolved around real estate and finding a new place to live. Anyone who has ever done this can attest to what an exhausting process it is. I’ve hardly been home at night after work at all, and have eaten more fast food in the past few weeks than the last five years of my life.

We found the Perfect Place for us last week, and thought everything was done, when the deal fell through because the current owner was an ass. Now the trouble is nothing else is measuring up to that place. Sigh. I am very very close to giving up for now and staying where we are, but dammit! I want a garage to park in!

Monday, February 9

Spinning: Color Experimentation

As I've mentioned, I took a spinning class a few years ago and during the class I used a ball of roving that had four colors carded next to each other, so there was very little mixing of colors at the joins.

Sherbert Roving

During the class, I decided to divide the colors and spin the yarn so when it was plied each ply would be a different color than the one it was next to. I finished two skeins of it in class and had the ball of roving photographed above leftover. This sat in my closet until last week when I was playing with my new wheel and decided to see what else I could do with it. I came up with two other ideas to test, separating the colors as before but plying them so the colors matched up and spinning all of the colors together randomly. I knit up little swatches of each, and I feel that this is a good starting point for future experiments in spinning with color. (Or, at least a good starting point to know what my finished yarn is going to look like.)

~Skein 1, completed in class, was spun by dividing the colors in a length of roving and spinning each one individually in order and then repeating. (I don't remember exactly, but think it was pink, green, yellow, orange.) I had two bobbins, and they were plied together so the colors hit randomly.

Color Experiment skein 1
Skein 1
Color Experiment yarn 1
Color Experiment swatch 1
knitted swatch

~Skein 2 was spun by dividing the colors of the entire length of roving I was going to use and then spinning all of the pink first, then all of the green, etc. I had one bobbin and Navajo plied it to make sure the colors matched up with each other.

Color Experiment skein 2
Skein 2
Color Experiment yarn 2
Color Experiment swatch 2
knitted swatch

~Skein 3 was spun without separating the colors. I pulled off a length of roving and drafted it without caring which colors were being pulled in. This was also Navajo plied, but only because I only had one bobbin.

Color Experiment skein 3
Skein 3
Color Experiment yarn 3
Color Experiment swatch 3
knitted swatch

I think it is very interesting to see the effects of these different techniques. I have a few more ideas that I want to try if I ever find roving prepped the same way again. But at least I have the beginnings of an idea on how to spin striping or Trekking XXL style yarn.

Monday, February 2

WIPs and Buttons Revisited

I realized a few months ago that since Ravelry taken over a portion my life in the last year and a half I seem to have stopped posting about my projects in progress. I know that looking at half-finished projects gets a little old after a while but I miss the feedback I used to receive on things before they were complete. So I am going to make an effort to show what I am working on more often. (I'm thinking of "WIP Wednesday", ingoring the fact that I am writing this on Monday.)

I currently only have one project that I am actively working on, a Circular Shrug for myself using Bernat Denim Style (a cotton/acrylic blend). I have to say I love this yarn; it is nice and soft and stands up well to repeated washings.


It really doesn't look like much of anything in the photo, I know.

I am very close to finishing this. With a little luck (that I don't fall asleep in front of the TV) I can finish it tonight.

A project that has been started, ripped out, and abandoned in my knitting bag is a Henry Scarf from Knitty for my husband. I love the look of the finished scarf but the knitting seems a little daunting. It is a lengthwise knit scarf (as in, back and forth the long way) out of fingering weight yarn with a slip stitch herringbone pattern. I thought I'd tilted the odds of finishing it a little more in my favor by choosing a DK weight yarn (albeit a dark charcoal color) and reducing the number of stitches but it still seems like a beast to tackle. I'm having a lot of guilt about it though since my husband doesn't often want me to knit for him, and he can't find another scarf pattern that he likes as much. We'll see what happens. Maybe once I dive in I'll find a rhythm and it will go quickly after all.

Thanks to everyone who took my "button quiz" last week. My indecision on the buttons feels a little more justified since the vote between pink and yellow was split almost 50/50 the entire time. The pink ended up winning by ~15% and I think I am going to go with those.