Thursday, October 30, 2008

A trip, a finished object, and a nasty surprise

Last weekend Ken and I made a return trip to London for the wedding of some great friends of ours (one of whom I am inducting into the secret cabal of knitters). The drive was lovely; lots of trees in various states of fall grandeur. It was also really nice to hang out with my school friends again, though, I didn't manage to make it to a knitting get together. Next time.

My camera made the trip with me but I failed to take any pictures. Sorry. Driving is just not conducive to taking nice pictures of the countryside and I was driving the whole way. In fact we were both driving the whole way since we needed two cars to carry all of the stuff we left behind when we moved in August. All of my yarn and fleece is now in Montreal and I really need to work out how I want it all put away. While I'm at it I now have all of my books to house too.

Anyway there was very little knitting over the weekend, but I made up for it by knitting up a quick neck warmer yesterday.

I used some black merino that I spun up last fall (I think). It was about a DK weight 3 ply (navajo plied) but I wanted something chunkier so I added more twist and plied the resulting yarn to itself. I don't think I'd try to make yarn this way again but it worked well enough for my purposes. You can't really tell from the photo (thanks to the lack of light and presence of black yarn) but the scarf is knit in a zig-zag 2x2 ribbing.

I intended to use loops to button it up but Ken asked for button holes. Since I hadn't knit the button holes in and I didn't want to rip back I just stuck my finger in the scarf and pulled at it until I'd made a hole. Then I wrapped some yarn around the hole to keep it open. This is by no means a sophisticated pattern but it sure way quick. Since all of my other knitting seems to be sweaters at the moment, quick is a welcome change of pace.

Between making the neck warmer and managing some progress on a sweater I'd count yesterday a success. It doesn't, however, make up for discovering that someone knocked off our car's side mirror sometime last night/early this morning.

Needless to say there was no note claiming responsibility. Grrr. We now get to find somewhere that will fix this for us (hopefully without charging an arm and a leg). Maybe we can find a mechanic with a strong desire to exchange hand knits for car repair...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Strange old spinning wheel

After not having blogged for so long I have ended up out of practice and with a backlog of things to talk about. I keep thinking I should address them in order but then I get excited about talking about a new thing that I want to share. I don't post about the new thing, though, because I still feel like I should be doing things in order. Gah.

So today I am going to talk about my new old spinning wheel. I call it my new old spinning wheel because I have another old spinning wheel I acquired in September (I promise to blog about the latter very soon).

The new old wheel is made up of parts from at least two separate wheels. The wheel is from a smaller double drive while the 'body' is an old scotch tension wheel. The maiden may also be from a different wheel; the wood turning looks different and it sits at an odd angle. Once it is clean I should have a better idea of what matches.

The whole thing cost me $30 so I'm not upset that it doesn't all belong and won't spin (at least not without some replacement parts). I'm just curious to see what it looks like under all the grime.

I'll end this post with a picture I found while bumbling around the Montreal library website. The wheel this woman is sitting at looks quite similar but I'm not sure what she is using it for. This wheel is just a bundle of mysteries.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fools rush in

I'm back and this this time I have pictures. But first I wanted to say thanks for the comments, ravelry messages and email. It is nice to know that it wasn't only my mother who missed my blog. I have enough finished and semi finished objects that I'm having a hard time deciding what order to show them off in.

Today I actually finished a project which made the blogging decision easy.

I cast on for this vest on October 3rd and really rushed through the knitting of it. It is a modified version of Eunny Jang's Deep V Argyle Vest. I didn't want my neckline to plunge as much as the pattern suggested and I wanted the fitting a bit looser. So I drew my modifications onto the chart and started knitting. The whole thing was a bit seat of the pants. I did a swatch using 3.5 mm DPNs and almost got gauge so I just grabbed my 3.75 mm circular and started knitting (with my fingers crossed).

When I cut the steeks I realized that there was too much fabric at the top of the vest. I needed to get rid of a couple of inches to make things fit properly.

I decided to wash and block it first in case it was going to fix itself. After letting it dry for a couple of days I realized that I would actually have to do some ripping back. I was worried that this would be a really complicated procedure but it was actually quite easy. I ripped both fronts back a couple of decreases/inches and then I ripped the backs a couple of rows to match. I had to adjust the crochet on the steeks but that was also easier than I feared it would be.

All in all I'm happy with my first sweater vest. I'm trying to ignore/forget that I missed a row in the middle of the thing so some of the diamonds are a bit off.

Now I can start planning a proper argyle vest using some of my handspun...