Thursday, September 20, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

It's still Summer in Florida

Myakka River State Park
Myakka River State Park, near Sarasota, FL Spring 2006

We're off bright and early to Sarasota for a few days to visit my Dad. My Dad with dial-up. So, no posts, and not much blog-surfing for me unless we find time to grab some free Wi-Fi at Panera.

I spent a total of six weeks in Sarasota last Spring taking care of Dad before and after a hospital stay. Got to know the city a little, and it will be interesting to be back. And hot. It's still very Summery there, while we've had a lovely cool-down here for the past few days. And there's a new yarn shop that opened just a few weeks after I left. So, there might be some yarn shopping.

When I get back, you'll get my review of needles for lace knitting. Addi Lace, KnitPicks Options, Aero, Inox, Jenkins Woodworking Rosewood, and today's arrival KnitPicks Harmony Birch.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Argosy Scarf - FO

Here we have an actual Finished Object!

Argosy Scarf Done

I admit it, this seemed like the easiest of the UFO’s to finish, and I just needed to finish something NOW!

Argosy was a great pattern for my slightly tweedy stripey handspun. It’s funny that, as a somewhat experienced lace knitter, I kept outsmarting myself when I cast on, and took a couple of tries to get the pattern set. Once established though, this is very easy knit.

Argosy Scarf detail

I added an extra increase to make the scarf wider since my fingering weight yarn is a little lighter than the pattern’s DK or sport weight. But, I didn’t knit as many repeats as I didn’t want a six-foot scarf. I blocked it fairly strongly to open the lace.

Stratton helping at the photo shoot
I had plenty of help with the photos

Yarn: Handspun Corriedale pencil roving, from Crown Mountain Farm, color: Inspiration

Needles: US3 / 3.25mm

Pattern: Argosy Scarf from Knitty

Gauge: ~5 stitches/inch after blocking

Completed: September 15, 2007

Finished Size: 6 ½” x 64”

Stratton modeling Argosy
Autumn’s almost here

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cormo DK

Cormo DK
Cormo woolen-spun 2-ply DK

The fiber was in carded roving form, very soft, but just a little neppy. I decided to practice long draw with this roving, since the singles I was spinning up were a bit uneven anyway. My preference, at this time, is for longer fibers and worsted spinning. That’s just my preference, not a criticism of this fiber.

At first I intended to spin just 1oz, per the pattern that came with the fiber, but ended up spinning the full 2oz. Having split off a little less than 1oz to start with, the first bobbin was a little short on yardage. So, I Andean-plied the last of the singles from the second bobbin to even things up.

I got a lot better feel for the long-draw drafting method by the end of the roving, and am planning to pull something out of the fiber stash that is a bit longer-stapled to see if it was my drafting that was not smooth or the nature of the fiber.

Spun and plied, the yarn is somewhat uneven, both in my spinning of the singles and in the plying. In setting the twist, I gave the skein pretty rough handling – dunks in hot and cold water, no plunging but some agitation, and about a dozen good thwacks on the shower tile. The above really does help smooth things out, and I have had no felting as a result.

The finished yarn is very soft, light, fluffy, and squooshy. This yarn definitely wants to be knit into something next-to-the-skin, perhaps a cowl or scarf.

Cormo DK detail
Detail of plying and general fuzziness

Fiber/Starting Weight: Cormo roving / ~2.1oz unspun

Purchased from: Wooly Wonka Fibers

Spun with: Lendrum, long-draw woolen spun

Whorl / Tension: Fast Flyer – small 20:1 / medium +

Plies/Method: 2-ply / standard

WPI/Gauge/TPI: 12wpi / DK / 6-8tpi

Yardage/Finished Wt: 232yds / 2.0oz

Started: 9/7/2007
Completed: 9/9/2007

Friday, September 7, 2007

Peer Pressure

Or, WIP Guilt Trip Friday

Well, I think I’ll start a new, semi-regular feature here at Lots of Yarn to keep myself from generating a whole new pile of UFO’s, even if this current bout of Startitis continues. Let’s see if posting progress shots of the current projects on the needles, even if the progress is pitiful, will embarrass me into finishing some things.

WIP’s in Active Rotation:

Hypoteneuse Stole: Knitspot’s simple, geometric “man-lace” is still wonderful. Easy knitting, goes quickly in the DK Silky Wool. Great SnB, car, and TV knitting.
Progress: Into repeat 4 of 18.
Hypoteneuse Stole progress 070907

Forest Canopy Shawl: A great example of Startitis. Despite other WIP’s, this project could not be put off. Knit with my handspun fingering weight BFL using Susan Lawrence’s pattern, this is about the easiest lace I have ever knit. I had the repeat stuck in my head after the first time through. So, this one has been hard to put down. The BFL is knitting up softer than I anticipated, and isn’t as stripey in person as in the photo.
Forest Canopy Shawl started

Sea Fever Cardigan: I knit through the rest of the first ball down in Mathews and hadn’t brought more yarn, so I had to set this aside for a couple of days. At 240+ stitches per row, and a little bit of pattern on the WS, this one may take a while to finish.
Sea Fever detail 070907

However, with Bitty’s endorsement and encouragement, I have struck a blow for freedom, cast on three extra stitches and started knitting this thing in the ROUND! Steeks here I come. My only real concern was whether the alpaca/wool blend would be too slippery to anchor itself well and cause problems after cutting. I may swatch a crochet steek and see how that does. If the stitches slip I’ll pull out the trusty old Singer and machine stitch instead.
Sea Fever progress 070907

MadTini Sock Two: Pattern from Sock Madness. My carry around knitting, this will get worked on in bits and pieces.
Progress: Ribbing and two repeats on the leg done.
MadTini Two-2

Argosy Scarf: Knit with my handspun fingering weight Corriedale. Easy knitting, need to get this done for the Xmas gift list. Haven’t touched it in the past week though, so no photo.
Progress: About 60%. Will knit until I run out of yarn.

Spinning – Cormo: Fiber #2 from the Wooly Wonka Fiber Club is a Cormo carded roving. It was spinning up very fuzzy and a little lumpy anyway, so I’m going to spin the 2oz long-draw/woolen for practice. It’s a pretty creamy white as-is, though I may dye the yarn when it’s done.
Cormo from Wooly Wonka

UFO Hall of Shame - Ancient History:

Felted Tote: My sister (M) bought some yarn, never got around to knitting it herself, gave it to me to knit sweaters for nephews (sons of C) when they were little. The yarn is heavy worsted weight, lovely but scratchy wool. Honestly, I tried to knit a sweater with it. Two out of three nephews are teenagers now. A couple of years ago, I thought I would knit and felt a tote for M, so at least the yarn would go back to her as a useful item. The yarn makes my hands tired to knit. I may try giving the remaining yarn a little bath to soften it before knitting any more of it.
Progress: Pockets are knit, body of bag is about 30%.
Status: Hold

Touch Me Scarf: Seriously, how hard is it to finish a garter stitch scarf? Apparently very hard.

Dancing Crayons Wrap: A holdover from the novelty yarn craze of a few years ago, or, What Was I Thinking. The base yarn is some sensible Montera, and the accent yarns are all in purples and blues. The pattern is for several large mitered squares that make an asymmetrical wrap/poncho, but I never liked the way it looked. I have all the miscellaneous yarns still in a bag with the rest of the wrap. What I think will work is to undo the button band and a bit of knitted on I-cord, knit one more square to even it out, and let it be a big cozy wrap.
Progress: Was nearly done but for some buttons, now needs another square and some I-cord.
Status: Hold

Clapotis: It’s a big stockinette rectangle, and I don’t like to purl. I think this project is doomed. I have 600yds of hand-dyed camel/wool in sport/DK weight from Just Our Yarn in deep purples and greens. What would it rather be?

Flower Friday: Chives

With Rosemary and Lavender

Saturday, September 1, 2007