Thursday, June 19, 2008

More eBaying of the Stash

I have two big lots on eBay right now.
1. Araucania Nature Wool

2. Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy

Both in more than sufficient quantity to complete a garment.
All items must go. It's getting even more crowded in here now that I have added spinning fiber to the ridiculous stash.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My First 3 Ply Hasbro!
No, really, this is going to be my first batch of 3 ply, and it feels a bit like it felt when I tied my shoes or rode a bike for the first time.
Oh, by the way, I learned how to spin a couple of months ago. Now I have even less space in my studio as bags of roving are added to the enormous yarn stash. But to get back to the point...

I spun the first bobbin on Thursday and Friday last week. I've already used this fiber (multicolored merino top) for 2 skeins of 2-ply spindle spun, which is already earmarked for a hat/mittens project. After doing a bit more reading and getting some wheel practice in, I decided I wanted to spin a heavy worsted-weight 3 ply yarn on the wheel.
I don't think this yarn is going to end up chunky, though. I had to try pretty hard to produce a single as thick as my sample, such as it was. This was the "sample" three-ply I had as my reference:

I have a hunch that making sample cards of my singles and plied yarn is going to be one of those things that I have to learn the hard way is not optional, like when I learned that gauge swatching is mandatory after making the Buckwheat Hat. (The Buckwheat Hat was my first non-scarf project, so called because it could have accommodated a large Afro with room to spare; naturally, I had to frog the entire thing. It is now in my stash, waiting to be knit up post-Kool Aid Dye Experiment).
Anyway, the 3-ply sample was made from three fairly short lengths of singles, all of which were created while I was getting used to spinning the merino on the wheel, and as a result were replete with thick and thin spots. Also, I didn't leave any of the singles unplied, so I had to pick a spot I liked on the plied length of yarn and un-twist it to see how thick the singles were at that spot.
Pretty unscientific.
Well, ignorance is bliss and I forged ahead and spun all three bobbins of singles, after splitting the roving into three piles of approximately 2.1 ounces each so the bobbins would (theoretically) contain the same amount of yarn.

Aren't they pretty? I could honestly leave them like this for a while as a decoration. This is the most spinning I have done so far on the wheel.
Here's a clearer picture, though:

You may be able to tell which bobbins I spun first (most twist), second and third (less twist). I'm still mulling over whether I need to run the last bobbin back through the wheel to tighten it up a bit before I ply it. Not having much experience upon which to draw, I'm not sure how much of an effect this will have on the plied yarn.
Pictures of the finished yarn will be forthcoming.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sometimes a banana is just a penis cozy

Pattern found on Classic Elite website here.

I like how they included exactly two round fruit in the banana tableau.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Jettisoning a sweater's worth of yarn on ebay...

I've got 19 balls of Lily Chin Manhattan yarn up for grabs on ebay, all matching color/dyelot. Auction is here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Since my blog is on life-support for the immediate future, I might as well take the chance to direct you to something that is actually entertaining:
Stuff White People Like
Yes, we're hypocrital and lame, and it never stops being funny. Except when we declare wars and conduct genocide and stuff.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Again, I apologize for being out of the loop.

I've kept having the technological impediments to blogging, although hopefully the time is approaching when I will finally be able to do something about that, but at least it hasn't stopped me from knitting. In fact, I have enjoyed increased output over the last several weeks, and I just realized that I need to update my tickers!
I haven't been quite as diligent about photographing all of my FOs, but I will have to work on that as well. I finally blocked my Swallowtail Shawl of Sea Silk for my grandmother and got it to her for Christmas, but I didn't get a decent pic before I mailed the package. That kind of stuff.
Oooh - and I actually finished two pairs of socks this month! That's a first.
My yarn inventory is off again, too, so that needs updating as well. I am going to have to reset the kitty, though, and start over. Just like a diet, although hopefully the Stashbust can be more successful this year than diets have been.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Sorry it's been a while since I've posted. My computer has all the functionality of a warm dog turd, so posting to the blog is quite an ordeal.
When it was still under warranty, it developed this issue with the power supply. When you plug the AC adapter into the back, it only senses it when the cord is resting in certain positions. As a result, the screen flickers like a candle flame as it constantly switches between AC and battery power. Not only does this make me want to throw the computer out of a window on the top floor of a tall building, it also means that the computer only picks up on about 1 out of 3 keystrokes.
Never buy a Dell. The three-year service contract sounds really good, but when the service people play dumb (or blind, as my particular case demands) whenever you take the computer in to them, the warranty doesn't really mean anything. I took the damn computer in several times, and each time the service people claimed they "didn't see anything wrong with the display" or suggested that the problem might be with the power cord-- which was not under warranty, of course. So, I would go back home, plug in the new power adapter, and the screen would start flickering like crazy.
The only way I can use it even occasionally is to fiddle around with the plug in the back, find a sweet spot where the computer detects the AC power, then hold it absolutely still with my left hand while I peck on the keyboard with my right.
This does not exactly entice me to spend some quality time on Blogger.
So, I've been knitting and everything, I am on my third sample, and I am knitting some socks to relieve the tedium of the nonstop stockinette I am doing on the sample. I turned the heel at lunch today, which was nice because I forgot to bring my lunch -- I had lots of time.
I do miss coming on here, though. As soon as I get my tax refund, I'm getting a new computer, and as soon as I get a new computer, I'm updating everything, including the stashbust challenge and getting a photo gallery going of my FOs.
I won't even get started on how little use I've gotten out of my Ravelry invite.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hey -- I've been "tagged". Color me "embarrassed".

I got tagged. It would kind of be exciting, since this is my first time being tagged, except for the subject of the tag:

Open the book you're currently reading to page 161 and copy the fifth sentence on the page, then tag 5 bloggers.

Dammit, Kristina, you're exposing my intellectual deficiencies. *blush* The only books I am reading right now are knitting books. So, I decided to take a page count of the books currently in rotation:
159 pages...damn! So close.

I finally found one book that I have read within the last three days that reaches page 161--
"Note: One-liter plastic soda bottles can be used to shape the bag."

Book: Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick, which I highly recommend if you don't already have it-- it's one of those books where you want to knit every project in it. Great collection of designers...including my idol Annie Modesitt...and btw, I finally got Romantic Hand Knits this weekend. Incredible. That woman is so friggin' inventive. She is the Stravinsky of knitting.

Ok, so now I have to tag five more people. Don't get mad at me if I tag you. Just start reading an actual book, quick.

Oh- and while logging onto Blogger tonight, I found what may well become my favorite blog of all time:

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

Not only is this a HUGE pet peeve of mine (being one of those unreasonable, demanding people that expect high school graduates to possess mastery over the basics of English grammar, spelling and punctuation) it's also funny because I used to have a landlord that did this in all the notices he'd post for the tenants -- "Make sure to 'pick up' after your 'guests' this 'holiday season' and to observe the 'noise rules'. Tenants causing a disturbance 'after hours' will be pestered with more 'superfluous and unwarranted' use of quotation marks. And don't forget the exclamation points!!" (This guy also overused exclamation points, often in multiples.)

His notes had absolutely no effect on my compliance with the terms of the lease, but they amused me no end. I left my cigarette "butts" on the patio anyway!!!

The exclamation points thing (and the general topic of sensitivity to punctuation use) reminds me of two of my favorite Seinfeld episodes: 1) the one where Elaine breaks up with her boyfriend for not using an exclamation point in a phone message he took down for her and 2) the one where Elaine goes into business with her old boss in the muffin top store: "Top of the Muffin TO YOU!"

For the record-- I took the boyfriend's side in that exclamation point dispute and Elaine's side in the muffin top store dispute. Not that I don't understand the importance of appropriate punctuation; if I was in a relationship and discovered that the partner in question was a serial "superfluous quotation mark user" it could possibly be a deal-breaker.

OK, It is officially time for me to get some "sleep" now. Off to bed!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I got my Ravelry invite!!!!

Not to sound like a cheesy 80's Valley Girl, but I am, like, totally so psyched. I guess I'll have to wait until the work day is over before I start building my notebook, though.

At least I already have my entire stash in Excel format, though! That ought to cut down a bit on the import time if I can cut-and-paste.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

In my time of dyeing

I did my first dye job today! Well, on yarn, anyway. This was my September project for the Do Something New knitalong (clickable button is in the right-hand sidebar).
Originally, I picked this project for the following very practical reasons: 1) I already had the stuff because I planned to do this three years ago and didn't, and 2) I knew it was going to be a really hectic month and I might not have time to finish a knitted item. As it turned out, I wouldn't have. Pretty much all the time I have found for knitting has gone into the Professional Project, and in the meantime I've been working and going on job interviews, which is just draining.
However, it ended up being really fun and I know I'm going to do it again soon. I may or may not have gotten the bug; we'll see.
I dyed some white baby alpaca yarn that I had frogged from my first attempt at a hat not too long after I taught myself to knit. I didn't do a gauge swatch, so the hat ended up big enough for two people to wear at once. Anyway, it was my first good yarn that I bought at a yarn store (as opposed to a craft store or a fabric store) so I hung onto it. I also wanted to dye a bit of this Morehouse Merino lace--

I got this as a shawl kit in one of the hand-dyed colorways, and boy was it ever a disappointment. In the picture of this colorway that is used both on the website and on the pattern, the colors are much, much brighter and there is a lot more pink in relation to the other colors. This looks really washed out and dull, like it was soaked in dirty water and then shoved in a dusty attic for a dozen years. It doesn't look any better knit up. I thought that it might be usable if I overdyed it a dark color, as the merino wool itself is very good (and I don't want to just throw out a $50 hank of yarn).
Here's the alpaca and the bit of merino lace on the scale...

The Kool Aid guy looks really happy knowing that he is going into a hot tub with a bunch of Alpaca, doesn't he?

...and here it is presoaking. I wouldn't normally use a $30 Mason Cash mixing bowl, which I guard with my life, to soak yarn but it was the only bowl I had that was big enough. Doesn't it look pretty?

Here's the yarn cooking on the stove, next to my curly fries (blush) and Quorn nuggets. (Do you think that eating the fake meat might offset the fried potatoes?) I wouldn't have believed it when I started, but that sucked up the dye like crazy, and quick, and the water really did end up clear! It was cool.

This is what the water looked like after only about 10 minutes on the stove-- almost all the dye is gone.

Purple spaghetti! The water was totally clear by this time--the yarn caught every little bit of the dye. The merino came out quite a bit darker than the alpaca, but that was to be expected; it was already dyed. Also, I was pleased how much of the dye the alpaca trapped given that I started with white (which was not necessarily natural white-- but I didn't keep the labels so I don't know.)

And here they are-- the finished hanks. Pretty maids all in a row.
I have a feeling that this yarn will become gloves, but I'm not sure.
The lace still shows different colors through the overdye, but it might look OK-- I'm going to reserve judgment until I have a chance to swatch it.