Wednesday, January 16, 2008

So far, so good...

Fifteen days and holding! No new yarn purchases made, although the last-minute pre-31st December purchases have only just arrived after a two-week jaunt in the clutches of the Royal Mail. I was starting to get twitchy.

In an attempt to stop the twitching, and inspired by Stash-Junkie, I decided to finish spinning the blue pencil roving I bought from the Yarn Yard last year. I now know that I really don't get on with pencil roving. It all has to be pre-drafted. I want instant gratification, not lots of laborious prep work. I have another bag of pencil roving that I got from the fibre club, so maybe that will convince me otherwise, but for now I'm really not sold on it.

I persevered with the blue stuff though (look at it sitting there all innocent-like) and spent an evening pre-drafting the remaining 2/3 of a 100g hank into a basket.

Even with the pre-drafting it didn't spin too well. In the roving's defence, I have left it sat in a corner for several months, and my heart really wasn't in the prep. It didn't draft particularly well, but that's probably 90% spinner error. At least.

A couple of evenings later and I have this to show for it. There's about 285 yards of 2 ply yarn. I'd guess it's about a light double knit, weight-wise, but may thicken up a little more once the twist has been set. It seems balanced: it hangs straight when I hold the skein up. I'll take more photos for comparison once I've washed and dried the skein.

In other fibre news: I've ditched the evil Henry scarf that I was knitting after fatcat Biscuit decided it would make a good bed. She ragged it around the table a bit first to make it especially comfortable, and managed to pull about a quarter of the 456 stitches off the needles. Hand on heart, I really tried to get it back on the needles, but it just wasn't having it. I couldn't face starting again from scratch. I'll maybe try to make it again for next Christmas, but in a nice soft non-scratchy yarn.

Instead I'm knitting Mingus. Luckily, I discovered the Henry disaster in time to pack the necessary materials for Mingus before Mr F and I set off for a lovely weekend in Yorkshire. We stayed with his sister, and spent the weekend relatively TV/Internet free, so I got loads of knitting done. I cast on before going to bed on Friday, decided Saturday morning that the cuff would be too tight, ripped and started again on larger needles. I knit like the wind! Sock one practically flew off the needles. I knit all day while Mr F, his sister and others discussed race trucks, sidecars and other motorbike stuff. Knit, knit, knit. I came up for air when Mr F asked about local yarn and bookshops. I had to remind him about the No Yarn in 2008 rule. He looked abashed but it was too late. We were informed that not three miles away I could buy Wensleydale Longwool. Direct from the supplier. Who has a little farm with a shop selling the wool. Three miles away.

And I remained where I was, and didn't even ask Mr F in a tiny voice if we might just go along and look at the yarn. Not buy. Just look. How's that for willpower? I thought about it all afternoon though.

I finished Mingus on the way home - I was down to the toe decreases by the time we set off, so didn't need the pattern for the last bit. Here it is, in all its Mingus glory.

What's next? Getting over second sock syndrome. I've knit about ten rows on sock two since Sunday. T'Internet is far too distracting...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My Year of No Yarn

It is the time for resolutions, and I’ve been thinking about this one for some time now. I joined Ravelry back in September, dutifully added as many of my knitting books as it would recognise, and added as many projects as I have photos of. I’ve avoided cataloguing my yarn stash, because I know it’s ridiculously large. It’s outgrown the Cupboard of Doom where it first lived, has started taking over the bedrooms, and even has tendrils in the living and dining rooms.

It’s time to take control.


Now, I’ve done New Year diets before. I know how soon my willpower is likely to waver. So here are a few rules to help me stick to the straight and narrow.

1. Trades are allowed, but the yarn/books/fibre I send out must come from my existing stash.

2. Yarn gifts don’t count. If people are filled with a burning need to give me yarn, who am I to deny them the warm glow that comes from giving?

3. Wonderwool (if I make it this year) and WoolFest are exempt from My Year of No Yarn restrictions. However, I will only take whatever cash I have managed to set aside for each event, and no plastic will be involved in purchases made.

4. Any failures of willpower will be declared here and you can throw virtual tomatoes at me. Be careful not to hit the new yarn.

With that, I shall leave you with pictures of some of the projects I completed in 2007. Oh, and I will try to be a better blogger!