Category Archives: spinning

What My Saturday Looks Like

There are 2 projects under that cat.

I’m getting into this weekend thing. Slept late this morning (late for me being around 7:30 these days), no trace of a migraine when I woke up, and I did not immediately run around doing once I was out of bed. I made breakfast, hung out at my computer for a bit, then just knit and chatted with my husband and a friend we had over for a few hours. In fact, the only chore I’ve done today is vacuum because with my cat there’s really no skipping a day. I’m only even wearing going-outside pants because it’s chilly in my apartment, it’s not time to turn on the heat yet, and anyway my hand-knit socks really look better with jeans than with yoga pants. I think it may be a City of Heroes sort of afternoon.

Projects from the last post are all still in progress, so there isn’t much exciting knitting to show right now. I’ve just started the sleeves on the baby jean jacket. I’m planning on spending the most time on that and the Widening Garter cowl this weekend, with some time taken out to start the 2nd Damned Handsome sock. My wrist is being nice to me right now, too, so before I do any of that I might take my cup of tea and try some more crochet on the Giant-Size Man-Sweater.

In spinning news, I’ve decided I need either a very light top-whorl spindle to start spinning lace or fingering weight, or I need a spinning wheel. Possibly both.  For now I’ll just have to be satisfied spinning thicker with my bottom-whorl. It’s a tragedy, really.

My Summer Of Randilates Begins!

I spent most of mid-week sick and it was not terribly fun. Went home early from work on Wednesday with a migraine. Many hot baths and early bedtimes ensued. But I was well enough for a little yarn store road trip today!  Scored one of the last few skeins of Oceania they had – this is going to be a squishy, nubbly, triangley sort of wrap to keep me warm at work – and some Supersock Select in the Birches colorway I’d been craving for a while.

The spinning progresses:

First singles

First singles (with ergonomic keyboard, Jim Baktus).

 

First 2-ply (with toes, socks, sweatshirt).

First 2-ply (with toes, socks, sweatshirt).

 

I think I’m getting the hang of it:

Latest singles (with Jawalker, MODOK).

 

This is Sereknity Yarn and Fiber superwash BFL top. We’re in love and don’t you tell us that it’s wrong. I have 4 ounces. I split it in half and was planning to spin two separate singles of 2 ounces each, then ply them together. I’m not quite through the first 2 ounces and the singles snapped from the weight of the spindle. I also lost the first big chunk of this because it was just too thick and I had to cut if off. So, I don’t quite know what will happen with this, but my plan is just to continue and see where it takes me.

My spinning is getting much thinner and more even, my spindle flicking technique is getting stronger, and I was drooling over the spinning wheels at the yarn store today. I think I have a new hobby.

In other news, my Friday night yoga class was cancelled a few weeks ago. I’ll miss teaching on Fridays, but I just wasn’t getting enough students to justify keeping the class on the schedule – in fact, the last 2 weeks it was on the schedule, no one even came. The positive side to this is that I now get to take the Friday night Yogalates class. I like Pilates – or any core-focused practice – because it can be very subtle. Yes, sometimes you feel like you’re going to explode while you’re doing it, but more often I feel like I don’t notice what’s being done during the class itself. I really see the benefit the next day, when I can feel the previous day’s class from my hips to my shoulder blades with every move I make. It’s a good reminder of how important the stabilizing work the core muscles do really is.

I’m also going to sub for the Yogalates teacher while she’s away later this summer, so I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to expand my teaching comfort zone. Plus which, I do tend towards “yoga belly” – being so focused on keeping a soft belly for a full, deep breath that I sometimes forget that you need to work on strength for the softness to have its full effect. So, hopefully, by the end of the summer, I’ll have gained some new teaching skills AND be standing a little straighter and breathing a little better.

Spinning & Unwinding

My long weekend is over. A 2-day weekend always makes it hard enough to go back to work; by the end of a 5-day weekend I’ve convinced myself I never have to work again.

Some of this weekend’s goals were accomplished – I relaxed, did yoga (for myself, not just while I was teaching), read a novel and a half. Some were not (May socks: not quite done, but I’m not too worried). Most of the goals that were not accomplished were overlooked because of this:

So in love with this stuff I can't keep my hands off it.

So in love with this stuff I can’t keep my hands off it.

That’s superwash BFL from Sereknity Yarn and Fiber in the colorway Sweet Baby James. And there’s a lot more of it now than when I took that picture.

I started spinning about 3 weeks ago, after NH Sheep & Wool. After walking around for a few hours, seeing the piles of fiber everywhere and just wanting to curl up in a big pile of them, I couldn’t take it anymore. I bought a spindle, a copy of Respect The Spindle, 2 one-ounce batts from Acker’s Acres Angoras, and 2 four-ounce braids from Sereknity.  I’ve practiced on the one-ounce batts, and so far I’m feeling pretty confident working on this braid. My goal for the other braid I bought is sock yarn, so with this one I’m trying to spin it as thin as I can. It started out a little uneven – there are a few VERY thick spots in there – but now, about a third of the way through it, I’m spinning much thinner overall. It’s still a little thick-and-thin, but the thick spots as well as the thin spots are getting thinner and thinner. I’m thinking maybe this will be a 2-ply for some fingerless mitts.

I’ve wanted to learn to spin for years and one of the things that held me back is knowing I’d get hooked and not have the time or money for another all-consuming fiber-related hobby. And I’m already thinking about what kind of spindle I want to buy next, which yarn stores in the area do I know sell spinning supplies, and when will I have several hundred dollars lying around for a wheel. So, yeah. At least I can turn this all-consuming hobby into one of my others, which is to collect yarn whether I have a plan for it or not. I guess if you look at it that way, I’m saving money.

Knitting 8 Things At Once But Maybe Only Sometimes Finishing

Or: I’m A Process Knitter, Not A Product Knitter

Yes. So. About being a process knitter. Here are my current projects (and, of course, by “current” I only mean these are the ones I consider active right now; this isn’t actually every unfinished project I have lying around):

  1. The Giant-Size Man-Sweater for Dan: Happy to say this is coming along beautifully. I have the body up to where the sleeves are joined, and I’m 2-at-a-time magic looping the sleeves (my second socks always come out a slightly different size; that’s ok for socks, not so much for sleeves). Bulky yarn+5.5 mm needles+setting aside Sundays to knit for other people=shiny new sweater in a week or two. (Please don’t mention how he doesn’t need a bulky sweater in June. If I don’t knit bulky wooly things in summer, then I never have them when I really need them.)
  2. Anhinga: Oh, how I love this sweater and really really hope it fits me. All the pattern notes in this book about the model being 5’8″ and a size 2 aren’t helping me figure out how it’s going to fit me. I’m picturing a sweater around my knees and sleeves past my knuckles. I actually like sleeves past my knuckles. But I digress. I’ve made myself 2 sweaters in the past, both from easy raglan patterns and I did it mostly for the practice, not really caring how they fit, just that I made a sweater. This one I would like to be awesome, so I’m doing ALL the steps. I have the barest little beginnings of a gauge swatch and I’m sitting rapt in front of this series over at stash, knit, repeat. My husband’s taking my picture, I’m drawing things on graph paper. This sweater is going to fit.
  3. May socks: I’m knitting a pair a month this year. For May I’m making my sister’s birthday socks. Knit Picks Imagination, 2.5 mm needles, Yarn Harlot’s standard sock recipe. Haven’t started the second one, but I have a long weekend and I expect to finish in plenty of time.
  4. 2 scarves: A Baktus in an unknown KPPPM colorway (got it without ball bands) which I am calling peachybuttercarrotbloodoranges. And a pretty little drop-stitch deal in my first ever skein of Araucania Ranco Multy. I thought it was just too pretty for socks at first, but working this pattern, feeling the yarn-overs smooshed up tightly on the needles, I’m imagining a remarkably sturdy and unspeakably pretty pair of socks and now can’t wait to get more of this stuff.
  5. My knit night hat: Easy ribbing, slouchy, Lion Brand Wool-Ease in a blue that’ll go with everything. No rush on this one, playing with it once a week or so.

Hrm. That wasn’t 8 things. I probably need to cast on something new. Oh, wait, no: Got some multi-colored merino on the drop spindle, too.

So, knitting blog?

Yes, knitting blog!

This has taken place more than once over the last few years:

Me: “I want to write more.”

Husband: “Start a blog.”

Me: “I should start a blog. But I don’t have anything to say.”

Husband: “Write about knitting. You read knitting blogs all day. Start one.”

Me: “Yeah, I guess.” (proceeds not to start a knitting blog or write more)

And then I just got sick of having that conversation and so I’ve started a knitting blog. Which will mostly be a knitting-8-things-at-once-but-maybe-only-sometimes-finishing blog.

On that note, here, have some pictures:

Giant-Size Man-Sweater

2 current projects on the needles: Giant-Size Man-Sweater (Ravelry link). That’s Smokin’ by Jared Flood in Cascade Eco Plus in the boldest mustardy yellow I could find. So far I am in love with this yarn and almost entirely pleased with this pattern. I wish the sizing had included a few smaller chest sizes – seriously, the smallest is a 42, which would have been 6″ positive ease on my husband; I know it’s supposed to be a roomy, comfy, lie-around sweater, but that’s a bit much, no? – but I was able to size down just by dropping down a needle size. It’s coming out perfect: I’m expecting about 2″ of positive ease and I like the fabric I’m getting with 5.5 mm needles much better than I got with the recommended 6 mm. And just peeking out from underneath the GSMS is the vague beginnings of a Laminaria in Knit Picks Shimmer, colorway Galaxy. It’s soft and purple and it’s making these little raspberry-looking nubbly things and I’ve never knit lace before so it’s going sloooooowly. But I’ll get there. I’ll sort of have to, because I’ve picked up a few thousand additional yards of laceweight ’cause I just can’t resist it, and I don’t know what I’ll do with it all if it turns out I don’t like lace.

But I did say it’s usually 8 things at once around here, so also this:

Jim Baktus

socks not for me

looks like oil in a puddle