Thursday, May 29, 2008

Nothing New

I realized today that it has been, well, a long time since I have posted anything on this page.  The thing is, I don't have much to show on the knitting front and I don't have much time in which to show you what I don't have.

I am ever so quickly approaching finals week here at school and with all the studying, practicing, rehearsing, and working I don't have much time to knit - or to blog.  I am, of course, still lurking around, but not doing much else.  Practicing has taken up all the free time I usually use to knit, as I have a judged recital coming up and if I don't pass I will no longer be allowed to study music in the conservatory - it's a bit important to say the least.

I will have a HUGE increase in free time after June 10, but until then, you all will just have to wait.  The lace shawl is nearing completion and I have somehow come down with the Clap, but I have yet to take pictures.  Soon, I promise!

Happy knitting.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Two Ply, or not Two Ply?

Terrible, terrible, I know.  I just couldn't help myself.

Look, my second attempt at spinning yarn worked out much better:

I have since completed attempts No. 3 and 4 and they were even better.  Go figure.  I then decided to try plying because my yarn was finally spinning up a bit DK/worsted-ish (as opposed to ranging between lace and super bulky+).  Look how beautiful it is!  (Man, I feel like this is my child.  You know, the one everyone thinks is ugly except the parents?)

Once I wash it and hang it up to dry I will put it up in a skein to admire, and then probably ball it, and then skein it, and then ball it... you know, so that I have an excuse to keep fondling it.  And then I suppose I will knit with it, eventually.  It's only about 22 yards though now that it's plied.  I think I have at least 40 yards left of single ply yarn (my attempt number two and what is left over from number four, which apparently was significantly larger than number three.)

I do promise that I am not going to continuously post about my poor spinning skills.  I am just excited.  Up next, knitted projects!! (As this is a knitting blog.)  Stay tuned.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Another Surprise

Check out what came in the mail today!!  Yep, a drop spindle and a pound of roving from HelloYarn.  I went with the undyed wool because I figured I wasn't going to get anything useable out of this batch anyway, so it wouldn't matter what color it is.  If it turns out that I do get some yarn that I want to use, well, I have always wanted to try Kool-Aid dying!

Below is what I managed to spin up on my first go.  You may notice that it is not undyed like the rest of the wool.  This little bit was some pre-drafted yarn that HelloYarn included in the package to practice spinning with to get the feel of what the roving should be like when spinning it up.  I'm not sure it worked.  As soon as I added some fiber that I drafted myself the yarn went from being somewhat worsted to a bulky weight and, well, it's not pretty.

Isn't it beautiful?!  (Read: ugly).  Surprise - spinning yarn is harder than it looks.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Baby Surprise

Do you guys remember this?

No?  I'm not surprised.  I started it way back in the beginning of February.  Now, it may not be the famous Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern, but it is for a baby and I am extremely surprised that I ever got around to finishing it.  Thus, I feel somewhat justified in referring to it as a baby surprise jacket of sorts.  Check it out!

I'm going to be shipping it off to my nephew on Monday.  I sure hope it fits him and that it's not going to be too warm for him to wear.  Of course, Minnesota still gets cold sometimes, even in the summer.  I knit this Duffle Coat from Debbie Bliss' Essential Baby (size 9-12 month) using seven balls of Knitpicks Swish DK in Mist.  I used size 6 Knitpicks Harmony Options needles.  Although I started this little project on February 1, I didn't finish it until May 1, even though before February was even over all I had to do was knit up the sleeves.  I ended up doing all of the seaming before doing the sleeves and then picking up stitches around the arm holes and knitting the sleeves top down in the round.  I finished the first one before my spring break, which started sometime in March, but the second one I didn't start until the end of April.  After finishing the second one, I then went back and ripped out a few inches of the first to make it longer, as my nephew apparently has long arms and the sleeve looked short to me.  I'll post pictures of him wearing as soon as I get some!

I also ripped out that lavender market bag that I was working on.  I was never going to use it.  I saved the bottom spiral to use as a washcloth, and then used what I had ripped out to make a second washcloth.

I was searching on Ravelry for things that I could make with this yarn, and came across this project and liked it, so I emailed the designer and she sent me the pattern.  It took less than two hours to make, which is exactly what I needed.  I have been wanting to do quick knits lately because the idea of starting something that is going to take months to finish is a bit daunting right now.

Speaking of things that take months to finish, here is something that you have never seen.

I started this lace stole last June while participating in the Mystery Stole 3 KAL put together by PinkLemonTwist.  Well, it is almost June again, the shawl theme is no longer a mystery, the pattern is for sale, and I am not even halfway done.  I haven't worked on it for months, but I feel bad that I haven't finished it yet as it has almost been a year and I promised my mom I would give it to her.  I have nothing else on my needles right now (except for that random project I started last night, and the Hemlock Ring Blanket that I am still halfway through binding off), so I am hoping to get a good chunk of this done.  I have joined another shawl KAL that starts this June, so I'm hoping to be done before then.  Wish me luck!