Sunday, March 31, 2013

March Count

I have been a bit under the weather for the entire month. I only finished three projects this month. I planned to finish at least twelve. That should not have been too difficult for me!


I did finish three, officially finishing less than a tenth of a mile of yarn this month, so the yarn count did go down slightly. Six of the twelve were already in progress, and should have been easy finishes. Nope. Two are very close, just not finished yet. Three were Thujas, a pattern I can knit in my sleep. Nope. One is at about 75%, the other two will use the same needles. The remaining three projects were a fairly easy short sleeve sweater and two fairly easy scarves. The sweater is mostly done and one scarf has been started.

On the plus side, I now have a LOT of projects that are nearly finished and should give me some quick satisfaction next month!

Monday, March 18, 2013


I don't spin as often as I'd like or as often as I should to improve. I think I may be at the point where I need lessons from a professional to continue. I have never had a knitting, crochet, or cross stitch lesson, but those are more technical art forms and spinning seems to be a more artful art form. For the first three, you follow a pattern, practice your techniques, and make sure you don't pull too tight. Everything is fairly organized, you can learn what different stitches look like easily from diagrams and YouTube, and while tension can be a problem at first, after you practice and get the rhythm of the motion down, it becomes easy as well.

Copper Moose Natural Corriedale
228 grams/140 yards (total)
2-ply, ~9 wpi
Roving was tossed in my dyeing crock pot with three packets of Lemon-Lime Kool-Aid and one packet of Blue Raspberry Kool-Aid, then spun on my Kromski

Spinning, not so much. I have drafting down, I understand the basics of twist, and I can make a reasonably consistent single. My plying has been pretty balanced as well. Now, however it seems like I can make yarn - not yarns, but one type of yarn. Maybe a thick version and a thin version. I don't know what different drafting methods are really supposed to look and feel like, I'm not too sure about wheel ratios and all that, and I really want to get my spinning to be technical enough to spin for the project I want to make rather than spinning the yarn I know how to make and finding something, anything that matches the general size and yardage. Which I have yet to do, or at least, yet to implement.

Copper Moose Mahogany Crush
121 grams, 94 yards
3 ply, ~7 wpi

Paired with the above, this will make a nice shawl. It will either be the border or a transition color to a solid blue border, since I still have a bunch of that lovely blue roving left.
Copper Moose 1 oz. Mountain Meadow, 1 oz. Mahogany Crush
56 grams/71 yards
2 ply, ~11 wpi

I'm not displeased with my handspun thus far, but I want to get better and more technical. I'm an engineer, I like technical - I want to create specifications and meet them!  Alas, more practice is needed, and lots more guidance. Not more fiber though, I still have pounds and pounds of that!

Copper Moose Natural Corriedale
374 g/268 yards of marl
 3-ply, ~8 wpi
11g/6 yards of brown
Navajo plied, ~7 wpi
32 g/32 yards of white
Navajo plied, ~8 wpi
I spun all the singles, then dyed 2/3 brown, and dyed 2/3 brown some more. I plied the undyed and two brown plies together, then chain-plied the leftover dark brown and undyed. I love how the white turned out, but the rest of it is mostly under-plied and loose. I may re-ply some of it before actually using it.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hey Look! A Thing!

I finally went back and remade the cross stitch that didn't work out last month:

It's going to my desk at work as a motivational guide.

I should make myself another one that says "No. It's a complete sentence." I have a habit of saying yes far too often and taking on too many things. Yes, it works, but not everything is easy, there's more stress and rushing than there could be, and I don't take the time for me things like puzzles, a dance class, playing my violin, horseback riding, brushing up on Spanish or ASL, or this semester, taking time for friends and family. Most of the knitting I've been doing has been during homework, lectures, bus rides, or other times when I'm also doing something else, except those few times I make it to knitting lunches and evenings. I got the work part, and part of the problem in getting the "life" into the work-life balance is I love the work I'm doing and really enjoy a lot of the readings and projects I'm working on. I'm just doing a bit much, and need to remind myself that I can in fact say no to things, even if they will look good on my resume or "not take much time".

Lee laughed when I showed him this - I took the time to stitch a reminder to do fewer things. Having grown up in the '90s, my question is, is this actual irony or Alanis Morissette irony?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Febrary Frenzy: Yarn Count

Final post for February-related things! Last post, I said that I did well over the course of the month, and by those metrics, I certainly did. Looking at a different metric, however, gives very, very different results:

Yep, yarn count went up. Not as much as I thought it would,but still, wrong direction! I purchased Christmas yarn for my family and yarn for some thank-you Thujas I'm knitting in March, plus I spun six ounces of my fiber stash. I can't call the spinning a bad thing, moving fiber from one stash to another and improving my skill, but it does add to my total yarn once it's in yarn form. Sigh. I also don't count partial work here, so all those single socks and the two sweaters I'm working on are not a part of the yarn count. I should finish at least one of those sweaters and all of the socks this month. I foresee a large decline in my next update, at least one mile. Unless of course I accidentally bring home more yarn!