Life got out of hand. Evidence of which is standing in our living room. A tree. Neckid as it grew in the ground. The Christmas tree that wasn’t. Honestly, I met every other holiday expectation – up to & including baking stints – and tried my very best. Good thing Mom was too tired herself to really notice the lack of ornamentation. Let’s just say we kept it simple & leave it at that…
Happy New Year!
Just because I fell off the face of the blog doesn’t mean that I was an idle working stiff. Here’s a blast of what’s been keeping me sane this past little while. In no particular order because it’s all in heavy rotation anyways…
Best surprise ever was finding this spinning angel on my doorstep on a cold Saturday morning. A gift from my friend T, and she came in her own box:
T made the drop spindle with some sequins, and painted it with purple nail polish! She unwound the gold lace yarn, which apparently was a beast. Love, love, love. And yes, my new Ravatar.
T’s other gift has been to encourage me in the general direction of her special talent with lace knitting. A large rectangle stole in spider net from Jane Sowerby’s Victorian Lace Today is quietly in progress. Amazon linky. If you don’t like empowering the likes of Amazon, here’s a pic of my copy:
This is not just a slightly ’80s looking pattern book. No. This book goes to great lengths to explain lace construction and knitting methods. Helps if you weren’t born knowing 7 cast-ons suitable for lace. Also helps if negotiating borders around corners isn’t yet another of your innate skills.
In other knitting we have a far less challenging Hap Shawl. The pattern is Hansel by Gudrun Johnston a.k.a. the Shetland Trader.
The main yarn is my Philosopher’s Wool worsted 2-ply. The body is acres upon acres of garter stitch. I broke up the tedium by switching to Continental (left-handed) knitting. Even so it was a pain & a ½ to get that diamond done. Then it was the fun part – stash busting!
Again with the everlasting knitting. And if I thought that taught me patience, well. How about a garter edging?
That baby only kills 8 stitches every repeat.
More in keeping with instant gratification… a hat. DH looks dashing in this quick knit, and loves it to boot.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed he’d pick Sublime Yarns Angora Merino for his hat! Held double for Clara Parkes’ Hill Country Hat. I have the book but here’s a free PDF version from Knitter’s Review.
One of my aims for 2010 was to knit hand-spun socks. Cast on for these on December 30th!
The pattern is Lemon Leaves from Cat Bordhi’s (tortuously titled) Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters. The yarn is a 3-ply super-wash BFL hand-dyed by Turtle Purl in Québec. The colours are amazing, and although I don’t like spinning super-wash, it knits up beautifully. However. Am short on yardage!
My new spindles in order of acquisition:
She’s an antique French spindle that I got in a Ravelry de-stash. See the tip? It looks broken but still spins beautifully.
Easily the most portable spindle I own. She likes my Blue Mountain coffee bag. I spin suspended but have to pay attention to her spin-time lest there be droppage. A surprising number of non-spinners love to watch me spin on her. Happy to oblige!
The bottom of the French is too worn for good supported spindling, so what did I do? Got a Russian! My less-than-stellar attempts:
It’s a mahogany Tom Forrester. Do you see how many fibres I broke out in trying to spin on this?!? Here’s inspiration number one for sucking less:
Sweet, sweet vicuña. Hand-processed by Tabi at Sericin Woolworks, and worth every cent! Only the finest, rarest camelid fibre known to man… Until then I am a mere grasshopper with the Russian spindle.
Latest addition is an Ethan Jacob lace spindle by Greensleeves. Another de-stash win! It’s 14g of sleek cochin & lacewood.
They weren’t kidding when they said this is a primo lace spindle. Insanely good, man. Helps me not to feel like a total ass on the Russian.
Yes, I make yarn with all the tools & enthusiasm. Here’s a small sampling… On my Wee Peggy wheel is some Finnish Landrace (the sweater project):
Previously on my Canadian Production Wheel was this gift to its previous owner – Shetland top, 2-ply:
Now on the CPW is Corriedale hand-dyed by Ontario fibre artist KerrySpins:
There’s much more in production but this is a mighty long post already!