Monthly Archives: March 2008

Ready, Set…

Are you ready for a day of Inexplicable Knitter Behaviour?

I’ve got my checklist all printed. (Yes, I’ve scouted out likely locations for my sock photos. I’ve got to work during the day, so I’ve got to be efficient!) Likewise cash has been taken out, in prep for prime snack- and book-buying, pretty notebook is at ready (for taking down blog addresses, of course), and little cards have been hastily printed (yes, I am that dorky) for this giving to others (how much am I wanting a set of MOO cards?).

stuff ready for launch

I’ve been in touch with my knitterly friends from far and near (give me a shout if you’re coming!), and hopefully will meet up with some of them before the event — someone save me a seat!) and the rest at the pub afterwards.

Me!
This is me! See you there?

A sock is in progress, of course.

sock WIP
Arucania Ranco, basic sock “recipe” (my own, but in the spirit of Stephanie).

Oh, and my camera, of course! Have I forgotten anything?

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Filed under knitting, out & about, socks

Linked In

liberate your laceweight!

Apparently, one can be “harlotted” by other bloggers as well!

My Eye-of-Partridge shawl just got a shout-out from Amy, in solidarity for her “Liberate your Lacewieght” campaign. And boy-howdy, must she have some readership, because they’ve all stopped by here today!

*waves to new blog people*

Thanks to everyone who’s left me a comment, and to the vastness of you out there who have climbed my “stats” page to new heights, providing me with great entertainment :) I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my mindlessly-easy-but-very-fun shawl pattern, and think it would be awesome if other folks knit one too. (I have a few other patterns, too, if you’re interested.)

I’m just sorry that the blog’s been so dead around here otherwise! I’ve barely been out to knit-nights, let alone done any actual knitting. Maybe I should cast on a stockinette ‘tube’ scarf a la Amy — I think that’s about all my brain has the power to deal with lately!

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Filed under free patterns, knitting, originals, out & about, rambling, shawls

Good Mail; Busy Week

What a week!
Fortunately it was perked up by the arrival of not one…
fiber package

…not two…
knitivity package

…but three packages of ‘good mail’! (and all within 2 days!)

The first little surprise had a lovely set of stitch markers (package & makers both photographed terribly, so no pic yet) sent to me by Vicki. I entered some suggestions in her “What can I make with…” contest, and if you’ve got odd balls or small skeins lying about and are looking for stash-busting ideas, you should definitely check out her amazingly long list of free patterns for small yardages.

Next up was a fantastically fibre-laden package from Allena (of Spindle and Wheel) — seriously, that photo above does not give a good indication of the scale of it!

Here’s a peek inside:
fiber package goods
From left to right, there’s a large grocery bag of lovely red/bugrundy (hand-dyed, I’m sure) roving, another large bag full of small twists of brightly coloured roving, one full bag of soft, crimpy unwashed fleece (my guess is Shetland), three handmade cotton washcloths, and that little orange case contains two needle-felting needles! I am so thrilled by her generosity!

(I think that needle-felting is going to quickly get a place on the list of crafts I do obsessively — I’ve only made two little cat toys so far, but wow is it ever fun to stab at fibre with sharp things!)

And last, but certainly not least, there was a gorgeous skein of sock yarn from the Knitterman Ray (of Knitivity.com).
knitivity sock yarn close-up

Ray’s a one-man hand-dyeing wonder, and this skein was given in trade for one of my spindles. Who says “barter and trade” economy doesn’t work anymore?

knitivity yarn  - from swap
As you can see, this skein is a one-of-a-kind, but if you’re wanting some of your own it’s close to his “Cygnus” colourway.

It was really nice to have these goodies waiting for me, as I’ve really been keeping on my toes lately. Beyond the usual office business and household chores, I taught two classes at the Purl this past week!

On Wednesday I taught my first knitting class, an introduction to stranded knitting. I’d made up little swatch-charts (that could be easily seamed an tuned into little coin purses), let my students mix-and match their front design and background pattern (like you’d have in a mitten), and then showed them the one-yarn-in-each-hand trick (basically teaching Continental style to English knitters and vice versa). I think that it went over well — there were several moments of happy-dancing in their seats, and a couple of “I thought this was going to be awful, but it’s really easy!” comments. I hope they all go forth and knit with many colours for here on!

On Sunday I taught my beginner drop-spindle spinning class again. It seems like this is becoming a once-a-month regular class! I’m really please with that: it’s so much fun to watch people turn fluff into real live yarn for the first time, and the students are always so different! This time around one of them had been given several bags of fiber already, so we even had some “show-and-tell” time, and she even had collected some qiviut (musk-ox down), fresh from the rocks, in Greenland (what a lucky new spinner!). I’m really please to be able to hook in more people to hand-spinning, and think that I should probably start working on a “Beyond the Basics” spindle class for the future…

So, while I have accomplished practically no spinning or knitting of my own recently, there has certainly been a lot of two-way enabling going on!

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Filed under crafting, drop-spindle, fibre, good mail, spinning, teaching, yarn

Knitty: Spring 2008

Spring has sprung (for Knitty.com anyway)!

Go see the new Spring 2008 Issue of Knitty!!

There are lots of new patterns for lighter-wight sweaters, socks, kiddie-knits, even something for the dogs… Great articles, too.

And of course, fantastic advice for spinners in KnittySpin. I can’t wait to get my hands on some flax! (It’s been something I’ve wanted to try for a while now, so this just gives me that extra boost.)

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Filed under knitting

Scattered and Spinning

I’ve been feeling very scattered lately; overtired, unfocused and distractable. It seems like there’s been no progress on anything! Intellectually I know that I’ve “produced” things (the shawl, Nate’s hat, many spindles…) but creatively I feel unaccomplished. (Guitar Hero hasn’t exactly helped either, save to rock.)

I’m uninspired at the knitting end of things. I have more languishing socks-in-progress than I want to count, a pair of Icewines for myself that have lost all momentum, and a shawl, and… I just can’t seem to find a project that addicts me. Any suggestions??

I have, however, tried to take a bit more “calm-time” and give myself space to sit and spin. While spinning is another thing I feel horribly under-accomplished in lately (having produced not a single full bobbin from the Joy, nor a spindle’s-full, in a very long time), I’m trying not to let that get me down. Dru pointed out last night that in the summer I was spinning on a borrowed wheel — I knew that it would go away, that I had to get as much experience from it as I could before it left — and now there isn’t that kind of pressure or drive. I can relax about spinning-time, and I should relax over it!

spinning nook

Me in my spinning corner, at the Joy wheel: Ikea lamp and large windows behind, Fortuna and the Joy carry-bagin the background..

I’ve been working with this lovely fluff from Copperpot Woolies that Krista gave me for my birthday:
Wild Siberian Iris -  fiber blend
“Wild Siberian Iris” 100% merino

It’s an even balance of indigo-purple, teal blue, and a melon orange, which I find very intriguing. It’s also the first time I’ve had the chance to spin from a more batt-style fiber preparation (it’s in a very wide “roving”, about maybe 6″ across). Here’s how it’s spinning up so far:
Wild Siberian Iris - singles on bobbin

I haven’t fully decided on how I’ll ply it (probably just plain vanilla 2-ply). But I can say that I ‘heart’ my WooLee Winder!

When I can’t handle/get to/be bothered to sit at the wheel, I’ve been picking up my new spindle. It’s a Hound Designs ‘laceweight’ top-whorl in rosewood (I think?) and comes in at a teensy 16g. It is also the first spindle I’ve ever had that I haven’t made myself!
hound designs spindle whorl hound designs spindle

I’ve been spinning away with little pieces of a Pat’s Colours merino/silk batt. (Both were picked up from the Purple Purl). I must be in a batt mood… or maybe I’m just going “batty”?
purple merino-silk batt
A small batt-bit. Soft and shiny!

More crafts keep intruding themselves into my mind, as well. In particular, I’d really like to try my hand at some nuno felting and ATCs (not necessarily at the same time!).

What about you? Are you focused lately, or being distracted from/by/with various crafts?

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Filed under drop-spindle, fibre, rambling, spinning, spinning-wheel

Knotions

There’s going to be a new online knitting magazine on the block! Check out the new front page for Knotions magazine.

Beyond “yay, more online knitting content!”, what could make this good for us, as readers? As site creator Jody (of Savannahchik Knits) says, the goal of Knotions will be to include
discussions on fit and technique, illustrated instruction, pattern design, and previews of upcoming designs, yarns, and tools… what will really thrill me is if Knotions helps you to achieve better fit, identify and fix pattern issues, select appropriate yarn, and use the best techniques. In short, I want Knotions to help you knit smarter.”

Knotions wants to hear from potential readers as to what we’d like to see in an online magazine. You can take the survey here.

As a new start-up, Knotions also seems to be very open to new pattern designers and article authors. Deadline for Issue 1 (Fall ’08) submissions is May 1st, so there’s still plenty of time to get your creativity flowing.
(Though don’t forget, other fantastic online magazines like Knitty and Spindle and Wheel are always looking for more too! Don’t be too shy to take a chance.)

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