Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stress relief

There's still time for another blog post before May turns into June (!!!). In keeping with the end of the month I have the end of a project to share. Unfortunately it is not a finished object but a frogged object. I'm trying to avoid thinking about the theme of unraveling.

I originally cast on the Interlocking Leaves sock pattern on April 22 using 2.5 mm needles. I found the fabric a bit too loose so I ripped out and started again with 2.25 mm needles. The fabric was perhaps a bit too dense but I persevered during the times I felt like knitting. I got the lace pattern more or less memorized and I started to make actual progress.
At this point I stopped and tried it on only to discover that the heel was uncomfortably tight. I could have just ripped back and reknit the heel but I wasn't happy enough with how it was turning out to make that worthwhile. As of this evening the sock has been frogged.

I still really like this pattern and would like to knit a pair of socks from it. First I need to find another sock yarn (I was using Louet's Gems super fine.) Then I need to find another pattern to use with this sock yarn.

In the meantime I have cast on for a pair of Monkeys in one of my stash yarns. I think I can handle Monkeys. Maybe casting on will act as some sympathetic magic to help me find and start a new job.

Maybe I should also cast on some lace, and maybe a sweater,...

Friday, May 29, 2009

I should have been blogging

May is almost over and I don't want the whole month to disappear without a single post. It has been a very eventful couple of months since last I blogged. I kept meaning to blog but I was too caught up in what I was doing to sit down and type about it.

The first thing I should have blogged was my return to crochet. I learned to crochet when I was 12 or 13 but never learned to follow patterns. Mostly I made slouchy hats following my mother's instructions.

Early April found me wanting to learn how to make one of the many wonderful hexagon blankets to be found on Ravelry. I tracked down the great instructions on attic24 and re-familiarized myself with the names of the stitches. After a couple of mistakes I had the hang of it. I practiced with leftover yarn I had and was completely hooked (pun intended?)
I've got a small pile of hexagons started using leftover bits of my hand spun. I especially love how hand spun singles and crochet mix to produce shapes with lovely drape. Branching out I also found simple instructions for granny squares and started making them with hand spun too.

I should also have blogged my adventures in woolen spinning. I recently bought some hand cards and I finally sat down and started making rolags. I'd done a bit of long draw spinning with some commercial Shetland roving but I'd never tried with hand carded rolags. My first attempt was with some old fleece my mother passed on to me. I eventually made it into a bulky three ply to hide some of the unevenness that comes with learning a new technique.
I kept practicing with various bits of fleece and left over roving and I now feel quite comfortable spinning this way. I also feel comfortable doing some colour blending with the handcards. I also tried spinning cotton from a rolag with some success.

The crochet and woolen spinning all took place in early and mid April. At the end of April Ken and I broke up and I moved back to Regina. I found new homes for my Lendrum and the old non-functional spinning wheel but packed my old Production wheel. Most of my stash is now stashed in with my boxes of books and other possessions. But I have my spinning wheel and spindles out where I can use them regularly. I find spinning to be a relaxing and calming thing to do while I try to find a new job and place to live.

The last week or so I've been practicing spinning on my top whorl Forrester spindle. I've now got the hang of rolling it off my thigh for speed and I've been spinning lace weight pretty consistently. My favorite result so far is a silk single and a merino single plied together. I don't have much of it but I'm sure I will find something nice to do with it.
So that's what I've been up to in the last two months. Fingers crossed that things settle down and I can find a job, unpack my stash and get knitting again.