Monday, February 25, 2008

Pencil Roving...

...and why I don't like it.

Essentially, I'm very lazy and I want instant gratification. Pencil roving requires lots of predrafting to get a good result. There's a good tutorial at the Yarn Yard. Stash Junkie has had great results from it, but she has patience. I prefer to spin from fibre that just needs a bit of titivation to get it going. Like I said: lazy!

On the subject of fibre, I've been spinning lots this week. It occurs to me that this would be a sneaky way to add to my yarn stash without actually buying yarn. So, in the interests of full transparency I'm going to add my fibre stash to Ravelry too. Whilst I'm holding fast to the yarn/fibre diet now, I don't trust myself to stay strong, especially when Stash Junkie shows me the gorgeous stuff she got from Spunky Eclectic. Very drool-worthy.

I'll post soon with pictures of homespun. I've taken plenty of photos, but the steam powered desktop has decided it's not speaking to the camera at the moment. Off to soothe them both...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Busy, busy, busy...

As usual, it didn't take long for me to fall behind with the blogging. The steadfast sticking to yarn diet is still going strong though. Woo hoo! I did waver somewhat as I tried to finish this:

It's the Hacky Sack Hoodie from Son of Stitch'n'Bitch. I loved knitting it - it was much easier than I expected, and it grew at an alarming rate. In order to keep those stripes in order, you have to fudge it a bit, but that's OK. What's not OK is skeins from the same dyelot not following the same colour sequence throughout. Grr. Mr F love's it, and that's all that matters. I almost fell off the yarn diet wagon when I realised the second sleeve wasn't going to match the first, no matter how much I cut'n'pasted the colours. I searched t'Internet for an extra skein. Of course, the original source had sold out. I knew that - I'd bought the last three skeins of this colourway back in December. I couldn't find a stockist in the UK, and came this close (I'm holding my thumb and forefinger very close together) to buying some from a shop in the US. However, impatience to finish the project won out and Mr F didn't really mind either way, so I finished it up with what I had left. Tada!

I also finished Cookie A's Mingus socks for the January Sockdown on Ravelry's Sock Knitter's Anonymous* group, and I've since started not one, but two pairs of socks for the February Sockdown. It took me about three weeks to notice I'd made a mistake whilst knitting the Mingus socks. Fortunately I made the same mistake on both socks, so at least they match.

I've made another start on Chuck's Cabled Socks by Eunny Jang. I started a pair of these last year, or maybe the year before. Anyway, that attempt didn't get much past an inch of cabling before I gave up. This version uses the same Regia Uni in black, but I'm using some of the Opal natural yarn that I dyed semisolid red instead of the trekking rainbow I used last time.

It's pretty labour intensive, so I decided to cast on a plainer sock that I can knit during breaks at work. The February Sockdown challenge is to knit a pair of socks using a heel construction that is new to me. I've cast on Temptation by Wendy Johnson. I don't think I've done these heels before, but the closer I get to it, the more I wonder if it's the same heel I did on Lucy Neatby's Mermaid Socks. It doesn't look the same, but I'll double check before I submit them as an entry. No picture of my Temptation socks yet. I'm using STR lightweight, and colour is Lucy - inspired by Wendy's own cat!

This also seems to be the month for hauling out those long-forgotten works-in-progress. I finally finished Mum's Marina bag. It's a modified version of a pattern from 25 Bags to Knit by Emma King. I made a similar one for a friend up in Edinburgh, and my Mum tried to snaffle it. That was a couple of years ago! Anyway, It's now finished and delivered to the happy recipient.

Another project rescued from the doldrums is my Napramach bag from Folk Bags. The colours I've chosen aren't as vibrant as the original, but mine is knit from sale yarn I bought at a shop that was closing down, and my choice of colours was fairly limited. It's Rowan Donegal Lambswool, and is thinner than the original yarn used, so I'm guessing the bag is going to be quite a bit smaller than the pattern states. It's working out OK though, so I'm not too worried. I stowed it away with the front mostly done and the back started, so it shouldn't take too much finishing. I'm even inspired to haul out the Sirdar Denim super chunky cardigan that Mum started knitting then passed to me to finish. It would free up a fair chunk of storage space in the cupboard...

*Ravelry links.