Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pomatomus Done!

At long last, my Pomatomus socks are finished! I know for a fact that I've gone bonkers because I'm already planning another pair. Its just, the second sock was so much fun, and I finished it up so fast...I can totally knit another pair, right?

Either way, I'll probably never get around to it, but its fun to entertain the idea; I'm imagining all of my sock yarn knit into pomatomus socks, so pretty! On the other hand, how can I justify knitting the same sock pattern twice? I have countless other socks in my queue, and loads more that I haven't bothered to stick in there yet. Dilemma. Oh, and the yarn I used was Lorna's Laces Shepherd sock solid in the firefly colourway. I'm a big fan of Lorna's Laces, I find that their sock yarn wears very well, and I love their colourways of course!

I haven't been knitting very much recently. The week before last Jeremy and I went up to his aunt and uncle's cottage on Georgian Bay. It was fantastic, though the water was too cold for swimming. I spent most of my time up there spinning, and finally managed to finish spinning my Oceanwind Knits roving. I plied up a little bit of it there before I lost interest and moved on to another roving that I have since abandoned as well. But I will not give up! I just need to be in the right mood to finish that plying, and its so close to being finished, once I get going it won't take me long at all.

Motivation arrived the other day, and not a moment too soon! My Rovings from Pigeonroof studios came, hooray! I have to say that the colours are so much more impressive in person than they were online. I find that the opposite is most often the case when I buy yarn online, I think because yarn out of the stash if far more desirable than yarn in the stash. But I am so much happier to have this roving now that I've seen it in person; I suspect that it's pretty hard to be disappointed with Krista's colours.

I've also done a little bit of sewing, unsuccessful though it may have been; I made Jeremy a tie for his birthday on Monday! I followed the Purl Bee's father's day tie pattern, and managed to make a good looking tie. But I think that I cut out the pattern pieces wrong, and the tie ended up being a good 4" too long. I think I'm going to undo everything, cut it down and then sew it back up again (bleh), but Jeremy was quite happy with it, and I've promised him a few more. I got the fabric from the Workroom, but I forget what on earth it was (sorry!)

In other news, I scored some super cute vintage pins from the St. Lawrence antiques market on Sunday. There were oodles in this little pack and the cute little coloured toppers are glass!

Oh, and these sweet little mother of pearl buttons...

I think thats just about all I've been up to lately. I do have a few finished garments to share, but I have to convince Jeremy to take pictures of me (which takes time). I will leave you with my latest dye attempts...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Etsy Attack

I don't know exactly what has come over me in the past few days, but I like it! I've gone completely spinning crazy; my Oceanwind Knits superwash merino sat in a drawer for months, completely neglected, but the other day I unearthed it on a whim. Since then, I have plied up a spindle-full, and it is lovely!

This is the thinnest I have ever spun, and even though I've put in countless hours of work in the past few days, I still have a LOT of roving remaining from the 4 oz I bought! I think the solution to this problem is very clear; I need a wheel, but more about that later. I decided to go with a 2 ply yarn, because I wanted to get as much yardage out of this roving as I could. Judging by the skein I just plied, the yarn I've got is a very light fingering weight. I suspect that the remainder of yarn I spin will be a bit thinner because I've improved quite a bit since my first attempts...and I seem to be spinning thinner and thinner. So I guess I won't be able to knit this yarn into anything, if each skein I make is a different gauge, but it'll be very pretty! I'm having a great time spinning it either way, and have already been shopping for more roving!

I am a knit podcast junkie, and it seems like there is always someone talking about Pigeonroof studios, whether it be her yarn or roving. After much etsy and ravelry stalking I committed to 4 oz of corriedale roving in each of two colours...

The colour on the top is called Collision Course, and the bottom is Lucky Break

...sooooo pretty! I know that Krista from Pigeonroof goes to some of the big knitting shows in the U.S. (Stitches West I think...) but up in Toronto, I was forced to buy without first seeing anything in person. My life is so hard! Anyway, I am very excited for my rovings to arrive in the mail, but my fiber stash is growing at an alarming rate. I suspect that if I attempted to spin all of my fiber on a spindle it would take me...oh maybe 500 years! This is just not OK. I do not intend to stop buying more fiber, much the opposite in fact, so the only solution I can find is to get my hands on a wheel. Lucky for me, some knitters at the shop have offered to lend me their wheels. I'm hoping that buying a wheel for myself will be easier when I already have an idea of how to use one.

Essentially, I want to buy a spinning wheel so that I can buy more roving and fiber. Is that Insane? I think so. I can safely blame Etsy for this irrational behaviour. I've been refreshing the Pigeonroof Studios store a few times every day...because I have to be there when she adds new stuff so that I can buy it before anyone else! It's like a shopping competition or something.

But that's not all; I've been browsing pretty batts of fiber as well. Luckily, in his hippie days my father dabbled in spinning, and he kept his set of hand carders. So last night I swiped those and attempted to make a few batts with some fiber scraps...they were hideous! I didn't even take a picture of them. The roving I was using was felted really badly too, and I'm sure that that made the situation much worse than it needed to be. When I get my confidence up again, I'm going to make a second attempt. If all goes well, I'll have one more thing to obsess over on Etsy!

Oh! Look at this mysterious car accessory...

...I spotted these while walking with Jeremy (that's his reflection in the window) around the Queen and Bathurst area. So I am in love with this little radish character, but I've never known what it's deal is. I have the same scowling radish dangling from my camera, but I nearly lost it when I saw these babies! The weirdest part is that the large radishes have smaller radishes on their crotches. I'm not even going to attempt to figure that out!

Friday, July 10, 2009

decision made...mostly

The overwhelming opinion of the knitters on Wednesday night was to not rip. Hooray! So I have decided to move forward cautiously; I'm going to block the sweater gently and hope that the lumps calm down. A rather good sign, I think, is that every time I put the sweater on the bumpiness shows less and less. If, after blocking, it still is too lumpy for me, I plan on frogging the entire yoke, soaking and "unknitting" the yarn and then reknitting the yoke in a smaller size somehow. But I know that if I get to that stage, my beloved paper dolls sweater will sit in time out for quite a while before I work up the nerve to knit that yoke again!

I had a lot more trouble with it that I anticipated, struggling with the most comfortable way to hold the yarn while I knit. I found that holding one strand in each hand worked great for the two colour ribbing, but my tension was very loose when I knit continental, which gave me huge saggy spots! Also, what the heck are you supposed to do when you need to carry a colour along on the wrong side (which happens often with this pattern)?! I wasn't eager to drop both strands of yarn, twist and then pick up again! So in the end I went back to knitting with my right hand was slow.

On a much happier note, the yarn I dyed the other day turned out great! I was quite worried about one skein of sock yarn in particular because it was for a friend. I had dyed it once already, but because the skein was so big (over 500 yards!) the dye just couldn't distribute evenly. So I boldly threw it into the dye pot again, intending to cover its light gray colour with pink to make a dusty mauve. Well, I apparently need to work on my ratios because I stuck in WAAY too much pink and had hot Barbie pink yarn on my hands. In a moment of panic I threw in a bunch of navy, which made the the most beautiful purple. So all was well in the end, and the yarn was very well received. I actually had to hide the yarn because folks at the shop were a bit too interested and I wanted to make sure that this lovely purple skein made its way back to its owner!

And here's a look at the sport weight Briggs and Little that I dyed to a lovely gold colour...

...I'm really happy with the colour, but I couldn't fit all three skeins into my little dyepot. So my plan is to dye up the third skein in a pretty pink (I'm in love with pink and orange lately) and I think I'll knit up a little stripey t-shirt with all three skeins!

I finished the first of the secret socks that I can't talk about, and I'm so happy with it (it's killing me to not take a picture!) but here's the yarn I used, it's Tanis Fiber Arts again, and the colour is called plum...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

i'm a jerk

Despite my many vows to post at least once a week, here I am, after almost an entire month! I think I'll start sending myself reminders on my phone or something...I wonder if I can even figure out how to do that?!

Either way, here I am, and I have some knitting updates for you. I think that my lack of posting motivation has been linked to the serious knitting slump I entered not long ago. Remember how excited I was about my Paper Dolls sweater? I do. Well, it's pretty much finished, but I think I'm going to have to rip out the ENTIRE YOKE! That's right. At the moment I have a perfectly lovely looking yoke, but when I put it on there is a tonne of extra fabric that bunches up all over the front. Now, it may smooth out when it's blocked, or maybe this is just the way the sweater fits, but I'm not happy about it. My plan is to take it into knit night tomorrow and get a few more opinions. Here is a crummy photo of what I'm up against...does it look too lumpy?

After the Paper Dolls crisis, I lost interest in most of my other projects. I didn't even want to spin! Just this week my knitting mojo began to return; I've been knitting a super-fun sock, but unfortunately it's a bit of a secret, so I have to wait to show you! Luckily, the secret sock has brought back my love of sock knitting, and I'm already planning more socks!

The only thing not affected by my knitting slump was yarn sad. My latest acquisitions are 2 more skeins of Koigu and a skein of Tanis pink label (lace) in her stormy colourway, So pretty!

Today, I have set up my little dyeing studio in the kitchen. I'm hoping to get through a few batches, but with just one dye pot, that it proving to be quite tricky! At the moment, 200 grams of a sport weight single ply from Briggs and Little is cooling outside. I think they are going to come out an amber-y colour, which is just fine with me.

that's all for now!