Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Soft Escapes

Okay, I keep promising to tell you about the cashmere.

When at Stitches in February I found the most lovely cashmere. I told you all about it here. Well, I decided that it was time to pull it out and get started knitting with it. I thought that perhaps it would be a good escape from the overwhelming sense of frustration that I was having in other areas of my life. Excess stress = wanting to escape! I have never knitted with cashmere before. Oh my. I think I am in love. It is the most gorgeously soft, buttery stuff! Wow. A very nice distraction thank you very much! Now this particular pattern is very simple, yes it is lace weight and so can be called "lace", but really this is a simple easy knit. What do you think? Isn't it pretty?

Actually it is quite difficult to get a good picture of this project. I had another image that showed the stitch pattern very clearly, but it didn't have the SOFT look that this picture had- and after all cashmere is ALL about the softness, right? Right! So glad you agree...

I also received my sock Madness gift this week!!!!! Awesome, awesome. Yarn, stitch markers and CHOCOLATE. Dark Chocolate even. Totally made my day, especially since I had sort of forgot it was coming! I'm not sure what to use the yarn for yet, (well- except it will be socks- duh!) but once I find the appropriate pattern you will be the first to know! It is also very soft, "Blue Faced Leicester Superwash Wool." Does it get any better than that?

I still haven't finished my last round Sock Madness sock and now a new pattern is going to be released this week. I had really hoped to cast on with everyone else with this new pattern, but I will have to wait and see. I wanted to finish the last ones (Mad Weave socks) first!! Wahhh.

Now, on the spinning front. It is getting better. You all gave me some great suggestions and encouragement and I am working on it a little every day. Every day I relax a little more and find that my shoulders really can separate from my ears while spinning. Yes, I am discovering the "drop" in drop spindle, but the singles that are coming out the other end are looking a little more consistent. I have another class on Thursday so hopefully I will feel a little less overwhelmed with it all soon!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

It isn't fun yet. I went to my spinning class last night and had a heck of a time trying to get everything coordinated. I felt as if I needed extra arms like Shiva or something. First I couldn't draft my fiber very well, then I couldn't get the spindle to turn, then my fiber was getting too tight. Argh. Definitely not a meditative experience yet. Today, I pulled out my drop spindle and fiber again, in an attempt to have another go. I think I did a better job. But honestly, it is very hard for me to tell. I certainly managed to get more on to the spindle today than last night, but the variance in thickness is a little disconcerting. I hesitate to show you but I'll just pull a "Hannah-ism" and say, I spun this sh*t.

I haven't given up. I will dutifully practice every day and am praying that it gets easier. I do have faith, I guess I just also have a does of frustration at the moment :) I do have a suspicion that I might enjoy using a wheel more than a drop spindle. But we'll see. I'll keep you posted.

On other fronts, you may have heard that I've been distracted lately. No, it wasn't the kids, my husband, or housecleaning or anything... it was cashmere. Oh man. This is fairy yarn/lace weight and it is like knitting with butter air. Very, very cool.

Monday, April 16, 2007

"Psssst. Hey. You with the needles... Ya wanna buy some yarn?"

I swear, everytime I go to my LYS, this is what I seem to hear. Why can I not come away empty handed?! Last week I told them I was over my limit. They needed to cut me off. This week they enticed me again. And now I may really be in trouble. I am taking a spinning class. Did you see me petting the boxes of spinning wheels when they arrived? They are so beautiful and somehow totally turn on my inner geek. Yeah, I know- you all think I am a born again Luddite or something (but really- would a Luddite have a blog? Nah...) But these wheels? They are such a marvel of design. They are efficient. They are made of beautiful hardwood. They whir....

Oh my.

The trouble starts Thursday.

In the meantime here are my latest "fixes" and projects:

Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks That Rock in Midsummer Night, Blue Moonstone, and Thistle.

Malabrigo. (also referred to as "knitter's crack")

Regia Bamboo. This I am using to knit the Sock Madness round #4 sock, "Mad Color Weave"
Here is a close-up:

I don't have a problem. I mean, this is all going to be knit into useful objects. I mean I can stop at any time, but why would I? I want to knit, I want to feel the fiber slipping through my fingers as I pass the needles into the hole and wrap that yarn around, not to tightly, hold the tension, hold it.. hold it... and ahhhh.
A stitch is created.

Yarn p0rn indeed.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mad-tini; found and Finished!

Mad-tini, pair #2 001
Originally uploaded by SnidKnits.
Well, I tracked down my sock bag- still can't believe I left it somewhere- and managed to finish these today! I really like this yarn. It is soft and lightweight and yet feels like it will wear really well!

Friday, April 13, 2007

At least I Have Benny

You know, it's really hard to follow up a post like my last one. And tonight, instead of being at Bobaknit, I am at home. But Benny is keeping me company, see:

I am back to my everyday life.
Hubby is on another business trip.
I am stuck at home with a bunch of grumpy teenagers.
It is pms week (just imagine, there are 5 of us).
But thank God I have my knitting!*

I am almost done with a second pair of Mad-tini socks that I started. I actually opted out of doing pattern #3 from Sock Madness because I liked pattern #2 so much. Pattern #4 will be released soon and looks to be something a bit more challenging, so I might take that on. Oh, and I just found out that I won something from Sock Madness!!!! I have won a skein of Sock Madness yarn (don't know what color yet). That is so cool. :)

*I was going to photograph these socks for you and finish them tonight- but ACK! I have left them somewhere! Need to track them down tomorrow - "don't panic, don't panic...."

I have also been working on the Aran sweater for my husband. It really is a nice cable pattern and I am really happy with the way the particular yarn works with it. It's funny though. I am so used to working with lighter weight yarns that I find that I get tired of working on this much more quickly. I feel like I am struggling with the yarn, probably because the cables tighten things up a bit and the yarn doesn't have a lot of give. But I am plugging away at it and am probably 3/4 done with the back!

I also started the Ribby Pulli. This is such an easy knit I can watch just about anything and not screw it up. I could easily take it with me anytime I am doing social knitting. No problem. (Dang- you KNOW I am going to regret saying that, don't you?)

But I need another project! I know I am going to knit alongside my fellow Sock Madness competitors when the next pattern is released on Saturday but I am feeling the need for something lace-y. I may have to dig out the cashmere soon!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Well, I promised you pictures. I got pictures.... Or maybe evidence that I do not make this shi* up (See Hannah, I was thinking of you!) Last night at Bobaknit we all wore our newly acquired (thanks Freecia, Jeni and Hannah!) Boba swag. We were freakin' the muggles out big time.

I know that I can't name everyone and I apologize if you are here and I don't mention your name but there was Juls, Abigail, Anabel and Sophia, Cookie (w/o Kristi- we missed you!), Hannah, Jeni, Pauline, Margit, Me and Freecia. There were some people in there who I don't know as well. We are getting to be a BIG group and it hard to be able to talk to and meet everyone now! A big thank you to Margit's husband who graciously took the picture!

General knitting topics certainly come up at Bobaknitting, as evidenced in the picture below where Jeni is discussing some knitting matter while Jill, Linda, Tina, Hannah and Cookie look on.
But you also need to know that something else, usually of a baser nature, always comes up at Bobaknitting. Here Anabel is preparing to examine the shape of Abigail's knitted breast. They decided that it wasn't quite right...
But when Hannah modeled it (why is it always you Hannah?!) we found it be, well... I'll let you judge for yourself.

And then when Hannah asked Anabel what she was working on (knitted feminine products) her expression is priceless!
Oh my. Yes, I did actually do some knitting as well, but somehow a swatch for a Ribbi Pulli just isn't quite as entertaining!

Now I am off. Purlesence is having a sale on Malabrigo, just got in a new shipment of books AND received three boxes of Socks That Rock!!!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Just the links...

Okay. First let me apologize for the previous post. I know. I was lazy, or maybe just busy, but it was very, ummm... not typical of me. (still think those were some nice glutes though!) But wow, what a week. I can hardly believe that in the last week I have been knocked out of Sock Madness (that one still stings a bit), went to a Dulaan knitting party at Rachael Yarn-a-Go-Go's, went to Bobaknit (and we got Schwag! See here), decided that it was time to get back in shape and joined up at Run-a-go-go (Rachael is a go-go gal I think!), purchased a Nike+ and knit a little cozy for it, also got a new Nano to link up with my Nike+. Man, too cool. That little Nike+ thing is pretty darn awesome. I took my first walk this evening (I'm not much of a runner) and I feel like I have my own personal coach along. It is very inspiring!!!!

I also went to Purlesence on Friday, hanging out and knitting with Jeni (funny story there, but I'll let her tell it!) and bought yarn and a pattern to make this. It is going to be very nice! I needed a nice easy quick knit. Yes, I have socks to knit and I am still working on the sweater for my husband, but it is also nice to have a simple straight knit kind of project on the needles. Don't ya think?

Next time, I will have pictures, I will have detail, and maybe another little surprise. Stay tuned!