Sunday, 17 February 2013

Holy crap it's already February 17?

Apparently I have some catching up to do.  First things first.  I finished my Idlewood sweater last week.  By finished I mean totally finished.  Blocked and pocket sewn on and everything.  I even wore it a few days already.

Apparently I can't hold my arms still for two seconds.
I knit the whole sweater as written, except for the pocket.  The pattern said to make two patch pockets, but I'm the kind of person who actually likes to put hands into pockets, and patch pockets weren't going to cut it.  So, I made a kangaroo pocket instead.  I pretty much made it up as I went along.  I started out with a vague idea of how I was going to do it and then did it.  I don't often do stuff like that, so I was pretty proud of myself that I actually ended up with a pocket that works.  I'm really happy with the whole sweater!  It's really comfortable and it was really enjoyable to knit, so much so that I want to make another one!

Part of the reason I would love to make another one is because I have rediscovered my love of reading lately, and the knitting of it was easy enough that I could read while knitting.  Of course this is most easily done with either a book that doesn't need to be held open, or an e-reader of some sort.  The Enabler got a kobo glo from Costco a couple of weeks ago, and when he wasn't using it (which hardly ever happened), I would seize my opportunity.  I loved it.  It has an adjustable light built into the screen and you can make the font whatever size, and it's touch screen that just needs a light tap to turn the page.  It rests comfortably on my lap while I knit, and it was just lovely.

Until, of course, the Enabler would ask for it back and I'd have to give it up and go back to reading my hardcover book that didn't really stay open that well unless I propped it against my leg JUST right.  It got annoying.  So, as soon as we got paid this week (yay overtime pay!) I got my very own kobo.

There was an immediate problem with this, however.  Although the kobos sold at Costco are a very good deal, they are all identical.  Luckily, I'm brilliant and handy with a crochet hook, so it didn't take long for me to devise a solution.

Problem solved.
I wanted to start knitting something else that was possible to do while reading.  I tried reading while knitting this sock:

Well actually I didn't try while knitting this exact sock, it was actually the second sock that I tried reading while knitting it.  I'm showing you this sock, the first sock, because it's not full of mistakes.  The second sock, well it IS full of mistakes.  The lattice lines are all crossed wrong.  It's not the sort of thing that you'd notice unless you were looking for it, and it's just a sock, but still.  I can't even blame all of the mistakes on reading, because it didn't take me long to realize that I'm not skilled enough to knit an actual pattern while reading.  I can do stockinette.  Or garter stitch.  I could probably do ribbing if I had to. But this sock?  Not a chance.

I finally realized that I knew exactly what I should knit while reading, Wingspan.  I even had the perfect yarn for it which had been sitting in my stash for nearly a year and a half.

I cast on yesterday and knit the whole first triangle section because each row in the section gets shorter and shorter as you go along, I wanted to see how it worked when you finish one triangle and start the next, and I really wanted to knit some of the pink.  Back when I first got this yarn I started knitting a sock with it and was really unhappy with it so I unravelled it and it sat in my stash until now.  I've started knitting with the new yarn now and it's great.  You know how when you've unravelled a previous project and re-wrapped the ball, and you start knitting a new project with it and then you finally get to the point when the previously knitted yarn is done and you start knitting with new yarn?  Yeah, I love that.  I'm also loving the really gradual colour changes of this yarn, which is pretty perfect for this pattern.

I've done a bit of spinning since the beginning of the year:

Fractal-spun Frabjous Fibers Polwarth top in Blue Lagoon
I really love the idea behind fractal spinning.  It's a way of making the knitted item have subtle stripes without the stress of trying to match up the colours when plying two bobbins together.  I don't know if it works because I haven't knit this up yet, but I think that it might?  Just trying to figure out what I should make with it!  Someone suggested the Either/Or mitts to me which look really cool, so I might try that.

Chain-plied Polwarth (I think) fleece that I hand carded and spun.  
Back in fall I had intentions of hand carding and spinning a bunch of the fleece that I have to use for gifts, but I spun one bobbin full and realized that I'd never get it done in time, so the single bobbin full sat for a long time.  I didn't know what to do with it until I realized that I could try chain plying to make a three ply yarn from a single ply, so that's what I did!  It's pretty rustic and really overspun, but I kind of like it, at least as an experiment.

50/50 Alpaca and silk
 This fibre was a birthday gift from my mom last year, shortly after I had gotten my wheel.  Two 50 gram bags of super soft alpaca/silk roving that I didn't want to spin until I was good at it.  Well I couldn't wait any longer even though I still have a long way to go... but I can even admit that I'm not terrible anymore.  So I spun one bag onto a bobbin and spun the other bag onto another bobbin and plied them together.  Although the yarn itself is not entirely consistent, I was at least consistently inconsistent, because after plying the two bobbins together I just had a yard and a half left on one bobbin.  This skein is 100 g and roughly 340 m so I estimate the weight of it to be either a hefty fingering weight or a sport weight yarn, it fluctuates between the two.  It's so soft and shiny that I really want it to be a scarf of some sort but I'm not sure what would show it off the best.  While I decide, it will sit in my handspun stash making the other yarn jealous.  Also, is it just me, or does the picture make it look kind of like a turd?

...It's probably just me.