Saturday, August 30, 2008

No More Humdrum Mittens Swap Three

They’re Back!

After a wonderful mitten swap this past Winter/Spring, I’ve signed up for No More Humdrum Mittens Swap Three. And, I’ve enticed another local knitting pal, Norwegian-knitter-extraordinaire Vilde to join too. It may be dueling Selbu mittens at SnB soon! So, two posts in two days, I don't expect to keep this up, but here are my answers to the mitten questionnaire.

How long have you been knitting & how did you learn?
Five and a half dog years. That sounds way better than how many years since I was ten or eleven. What I remember is that we learned to knit a garter stitch square at school for a class afghan project. I learned to knit, forgot, and learned again a time or two or three. About every five years or so, I'd decide I wanted to knit something, knit it, then leave knitting alone for a while. I bought a copy of Knitting Without Tears about twenty years ago, and that was my main source of instruction for a long time. Since finding my way back to knitting, I've taken lots of classes and a couple of trips to Stitches, but most things I figure out on my own.

Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I think I'll have to say advanced. I consider myself a collector of knitting techniques, though I've rarely knit entire projects with most of them.

What are your favorite colors? Any you dislike?
Like: Purples, Blues, and Greens. Also, natural sheepy Grays, Browns, and Black. Dislike: Hunter Orange and Lemon Yellow. I like rich colors (even if they are light) better than pale pastels.

Do you like Latvian type patterns? If so, what are your favorite patterns?
Oh yes! I finally got a copy of Lizbeth Upitis’ Latvian Mittens book and though I haven't knit any, I love the motifs and color combinations. No favorites.

Do you desire mittens for yourself, your "special someone else" or your child?
For myself, please.

What is the measurement from your wrist to the tip of your longest finger?
7-1/2"

What is the circumference of your hand at it's widest point?
7-5/8"

What other things do you enjoy knitting?
Lace and socks.

What sort of needles do you enjoy working with? (straights vs circs, bamboo vs aluminum) Addi Lace circulars. Also, in my comprehensive needle collection are regular Addis and KnitPicks Options and the occasional Harmony.

What’s one project you’ve not yet tried but are dying to make?
Still have entrelac on my list of things to try that I haven't gotten around to yet.

What’s one yarn you’ve not yet tried but are dying to work with?
I’m a little curious to try CTH Possum Sock and Louet Mooi (bamboo, bison, and cashmere, what’s not to like?)

What other hobbies do you have? Do you spin? Sew? Garden? Cook?
Spinning, brand new weaver, not enough gardening (you should see the weeds this year), a little cooking, occasional beading.

Besides yarn, do you collect anything?
You mean like my new hobby of collecting looms?

What kind of goodies do you enjoy? Sweets? Salty? Anything you hate or are allergic to?
Dark Chocolate. I'm allergic to walnuts and cashews.

Do you have any kids? Pets?
Evil step-monster to four. It’s OK, they’re grown. Three cats who do like me! (local knitting friends will know why this is amusing)

What is your favorite part of Winter?
Clear skies and bare lacy tree branches.

What is your least favorite part of Winter?
Freezing drizzle.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Blogryngitis

Lost my blog voice for a while. Longer than I intended.

Rather than try to catch you all up on everything that has happened – a daunting prospect which has pretty much prevented me from even trying, here are the Cliff Notes. Went back to Seattle for a week, moved my Mom to Cville, nephew visited for ten days, the Hubs had eye surgery, we have lots of new client work, cleared out late FIL’s house, knitting a little, spinning a teeny bit, I took up weaving and bought three looms.

Looms - Baby Wolf and Toika
Schacht Baby Wolf, 26", 8H jack loom and Toika Norjaana, 40", 8H, countermarche loom

Yes, that's only two. Here's the third.
Loom - Northwest Pioneer Designer
Northwest Pioneer "Designer", 15", 8H

That pretty much sums up the past three months.


Knitting:
Finished Scoop du Jour which will get it’s own post. Started a Comfy Sweater of Classic Silk that I found in Seattle.

Comfy Sweater - Waist Decreases
Such a lovely plum color that is so hard to photograph

After the Mystery Lace meltdown, I started and stopped a couple or three mystery shawls, then started Hazel Carter’s Sampler Stole from Gathering of Lace which is resting until cooler weather.

GoL Sampler Stole - Cast on
Yes, it looks like a big pile o’ because it’s lace

Also need to get back to work on the lovely nectarine-colored silk Heat Wave scarf from Wooly Wonka’s Change in Seasons lace club (Hi Anne!) And, I signed up for No More Humdrum Mittens Swap Three! Questionnaire to follow.

Yes, it does take nine months for me to knit a pair of socks. All the more ironic considering the size of my sock yarn stash.
STR Charade Sock Two - finally past the heel
STR Charade Socks, coming in the home stretch!


Spinning:
I’ve got pounds of free raw fleeces, fiber back from processing, and dyed rovings. And couldn’t figure out what to spin since I couldn’t envision what to knit with the yarns I saw in the fibers. So, I haven’t been spinning. Even though I was accepted to go to SOAR and Abby Franqemont’s workshop.

And then, like a little tickle at the back of the throat, I thought that maybe if I learned to weave I could weave faster than I can knit and would spin more. I’m not sure which is the gateway drug here, but it’s already too late.


Weaving!:
Like I decided to spin, I have decided to weave. I bought a neat old table loom from a Raveler, and signed up for a week of classes with a wonderful local weaving teacher Laurie Duxbury (scroll to the bottom of THIS page). I was warping and weaving in no time, and found myself really inspired to pursue this new craft. I even got to finish a project of two handtowels during my week!

Sampler Scarf-01 Class sampler = scarf for the Hubs
Obligatory newbie weaver sampler = scarf

Weaving Class Handtowels
Cotton handtowels with monk’s belt borders


Weaving Class Handtowels - Detail of Monks Belt borders
The borders, how cool is that?


So, that’s my icebreaker. I plan to be back around the blog more, and reading and commenting on your blogs, and I’ll tell you more about lace and sweaters and weaving and spinning soon. And, Yes, Krista, I miss you.