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Not much to report here

Posted by Miss Knotty on April 18, 2011

Hey everyone! Good news!  I’m still around!  I’ve been doing stuff, I just haven’t been reporting it because it’s mostly dull.  Still, though:

I finished my February Socks late, on March 5th.  But I got back on track yippee skippee by finishing my March socks with days to spare.  Days, m’friends!
February: Divergent Socks by Carissa Browning
Divergent Socks (SISC2011 - 2)

March: ElectroSock Therapy, also by Carissa Browning:
Electrosock Therapy (SISC2011 - 3)

I did actually finish the March socks, I was just remiss in shooting a picture. Because I forget.

March roared in like a… actually, it was a really mild March, but it’s been a crazy April.  High winds, a crazy-strong thunderstorm where it not only hailed, it hailed so fast and so hard that the hail made DRIFTS at my place.  There was also a big ole pile of hailstones in the parking lot at my office when I drove in the NEXT MORNING!, and there are wildfires burning in other parts of my fair state.  Kindly keep the firefighters and people whose homes are being affected in your thoughts and prayers, please?

But back on topic:  Knitting!

…. Knitting(!)…

…knitting?…

…knitting.

Okay, so there hasn’t actually been much knitting happening lately.  I started my April socks, the Highland Fling socks by Wendy, of Wendyknits fame.  Mr. Man picked up the pattern for me for Christmas (of 2009) and it’s been marinating.  I’m using Knitpicks Essential (now discontinued) in a beautiful dark hunter green.  However, I have had struggles with these socks.  Struggles!  First I got a nice 10 stitches to the inch on the needles called for, which is pretty fantastic, except that the pattern calls for 8 sts/in.  I have had to go up 2 needle sizes to get the gauge that’s  called for in the pattern to make my size.

Also, this pattern features a different process than I’m accustomed to:  It’s knit on 2 circular needles (I’m a DPN devotee, personally), and once the toe is done, the upper is a different size needle from the sole.  Let’s start again:

The toe is knit on 2 circs that are the same size.  Then the upper is switched onto a different (larger) needle, and the sole continues on the smaller size, so as to make a firmer, harder-wearing sole.  Which makes a lot of sense, really, except that I don’t have a needle the size I need, given that I had to majorly upsize from the needles originally recommended.  I was going to just use DPNs, but the risk is too great that I’ll end up with the sole and upper needles reversed, and I don’t really feel like carrying around another 2 DPNs.  It’s just asking for me to lose them.  And I haven’t even gotten to the absolutely beautiful and TOTALLY BEYOND ME twisted stitch pattern.  Now. I know what you’re going to say.  “But Miss K, all knitting is just one stitch at a time.”  I hear you, and I agree.  However, I’m working 45-50+ hour weeks at work lately, and those working hours mean that my brain is on a slow hum when I get home.  I’m not complaining, but I am saying that even though I WANT to, I just don’t have the bandwidth left over after a long (fulfilling, challenging) day of the work I’m doing these days.  Heck, I don’t even have time to have inspirational flashes over my next project anymore!

As a result, I have been discouraged with April’s socks, and I’m considering giving the pattern a raincheck until I’m a little less mentally-strapped, and starting again in May, doing something else.  Since I just haven’t had the brainpower to work on the socks, I’ve been working on the border for my Sheryl’s Request shawl (Rav Link, sorry) (AKA the DHKG exclusive shawl pattern designed by the Knitting Fairy), since a 14-stitch, MumbleMumble row pattern seems like it would be a little easier to manage at the moment, so I’ve been just cruising along on that.  Also I have to get 50 repeats in and I just crossed the 30-repeat mark, so at least I’m trundling along.  I’m not saying it’s mistake-free, but I’ll tell you, it’s dark brown cashmere, and if you find the errors, you’re looking too hard.

As an aside, aaaaah, cccaaaaaaasssshhhhmmmmeeeeeeerrrrre.  So nice.

… Sorry, forgot myself there.

Anyway, I know what you’re all REALLY here for:

Lootz!

I went to the DFW Fiberfest on April 8-10, and I had myself a BALL!!!  I got beautiful, beautiful stuff, see?!

Saturday’s Take:
FiberFest Take - Saturday (resized)

Pretties, back to front and left to right:

Back: Cold Woolie Ewe cup, The Weaver’s Idea Book, a rigid-heddle weaving book, Artichaut Shawl pattern by Anne Hanson of Knitspot,

Next row: (L) Australian Cashmere, Black Shetland Wool, Mixed Batt by Butterfly Girl Designs, Creamy white merino/Tencel blend

Front: Orenburg Spindle and Elm bowl, Tosh Sock in Neon Rose, and 2 in the hand Superwash Merino in colorway “Lady Pilot”

Sunday’s Take:
Sunday Lootz

Back row: Dark Green 100% bamboo roving by Fiberlady, 100% camel down by Spinning Straw into Gold, Spinning sticker, Knit Happy travel mug

Next row: 100% bamboo laceweight yarn by FiberLady in color “Twilight”, and buttons.  The Black one says the same thing as the sticker, and the white one says, “I was a nice girl before I started all this knitting”

Front Row:  Beads! and Soak fiber wash in a couple of different flavors to try.

You might have noticed that I only have 4 skeins of yarn here.  And there’s a good reason for that.  Namely, that I have OODLES of yarn and plenty of access to more yarn here, vis a vis LYSes and online outlets.  I suppose it then follows that I would have equally as much access to fiber, which is MOSTLY true – I have access to fiber online, and some of my LYSes have begun to carry it, but not in the variety I can get at FF, and there’s something about being able to touch it that makes such a difference to a spinner.  So let’s have a little fiber round up for what I bought this year:

Black locally-grown Shetland, Superwash Merino, Camel down, Bamboo, Australian Cashmere (yep, I bought cashmere to spin on my Orenburg spindle.  I am too excited by half), Silky prettyfulness, in the form of a mixed batt from ButterflyGirl Designs.  It even has BEADS and sparkliness in there to spin in! Woo!, and Merino/Tencel Blend.

It ALL feels luscious, so I’m jazzy-jazz jazzed to start spinning it up.  To that end, I had to finish spinning up what was on my wheel in order to start something new, so now I have pretty handspun!, finished, washed and wacked this weekend:
Handspun - sunshine in spring Sunshine in Spring

This is a superwash BFL that I hand-dyed last July at Fancy Fibers Farm in Farmersville, TX (of which I am a shareholder this year – another Christmas gift from Mr. Man) It’s a laceweight to fingering-weight, and the finest I’ve ever spun up to this point, which is pretty cool, actually.  I think I have somewhere around 200 yards of this, which feels like a lot of work for not a whole lot of payoff, but man is it pretty.

Also acquired, but not by purchasing:

A beeeeeaaauuuutiful Yak/Merino blend in colorway “Chartreuse” from Abstract Fiber, which is a payment bribe gift from the lovely, lovely TexasPurlGurl, for unwinding a little puzzle that her dear pup Gypsy mixed up for her.  In the form of a complete, brand-new skein of Dream in Color Baby.  The little dear.  I’m still unwinding it, but I’m almost done.  She can do a NUMBER on yarn, though, can I just tell you?  It’s almost like she untied the little figure-8s on the skein before she did her little head shaky-shaky, to add to the challenge.  It’s a beautiful skein of yarn, though, all that color depth.  Gooooorrggeeeeouuuus.

4 oz of handpainted roving as a door-prize, from a generous donor, but who didn’t come to the festival this year.

And that’s just the stuff I got at FiberFest!

The week before that, I was feeling acquisitive, and I ended up buying 9 skeins of Loopy Ewe Solid Series in Strawberry, White and Royal Blue to make some Texas Rangers colourwork socks for my attorney and another friend, because they’re absolutely baseball NUTS!  So those will likely be my next sock projects.  In my search for the ‘right’ red, I also ended up with 1260 yards of Cascade Heritage Sock yarn in a beautiful kind of brick red.  Not the right red for Ranger red, but absolutely right for a pretty something for yours truly.  I think I might do a pretty shrug for me, or something else.  I haven’t knit anything from Knit So Fine yet, but I’m getting itchy garment-fingers.

I also have a repair job to do on a sweater for another friend, because a well-worn and loved sweater needs a little TLC and I think it’s something I can do.  It’ll require some sweater surgery, but that’s OK.  It’ll look better once it’s fixed up.

Well, I guess I had a LOT to report, after all.  Heh…

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