Friday, August 29, 2008

Who loves a Mystery?

No, not books, knitting! Here's a little hint of a Mystery I knitted recently...

Pretty, no, although the knitting isn't my best. This is knit in Zephyr laceweight with some locally bought beads I was trying out. They don't show up too well on here but the bottom line are the turquoise beads which I think I will include in the article I will make. They add a lovely sparkle! I used 3.5mm Knitpicks Options to knit this piece but found the nickel coating rather slippery for this fine yarn. An email to Morag (with an exchange of just a few $) should solve this problem as my Harmony tips arrived by courier a few days ago. I will whip up another sample to try the needles out and I will be all ready to cast on my Mystery on Sept 6, or thereabouts.

Cul-de-Sac is coming along, albeit rather slowly. I am up past the point I got to at the last try and I think it will fit much better. Thank goodness as I wasn't prepared to try again. There's only so much nonsense I will take from yarn/patterns!

The carding, and spinning, of the eternal Gotland is also coming along. One more bobbin and I will be ready to ply what I hope will be the last skein I will need. I will then put all the completed skein in a nice warm, soapy bath (I am spinning in the grease, after all. Mind you I always wash my skeins after spinning to set the twist.) and put them on the washing line to dry (dependent on the weather, of course, but we have been having some milder, sunny days lately in between the drizzly ones. Spring is here, folks!!). I will then be able to assess better how much yarn I have compared to how I will need for D's jersey. Maybe I will then be able to cast on yet another WIP.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What? It's August already?

No apologies for my long absence - I'm here and that is all that matters.

Some days/weeks/months I just don't feel like talking and this last month has been one of them. I think this whole winter has been like that for me. But today has been a beautifully warm, sunny Spring day so here I am!

(hmm...that's bad, I had to read my own blog to see where I was up to!) Our new log burner is in and, when the wood is dry and not still a little damp from the rain, works very well. Maybe too well at times! I am pleased with it.

Remember the little lacy sleeveless vest I was making for the Fleece Challenge? Once the buttons were on it winged its way up to the North Island to go in the display. Fortunately, it wasn't chosen for the suitcase (a little pair of felted booties made by another club member was, though. A great honourf or both her as well as the club) so it was able to come back to me and was given to T, our youngest grandgirl. It only just fits her, though. Wow, has she been doing some growing lately just like the proverbial weed!

Now that the corriedale has been finished I've been able to get back into spinning the neverendingly-grey Gotland for my husband's jersey. His birthday is fast approaching (late November) so, knowing how slow I can be at knitting as well, can I make it? Stay tuned. (No photos, I think you would get as bored as I've been.)

But what is this we see here?

In case you don't recognise it, this is the latest addition to my collection of wheels. It's a double-drive Wing. After bringing it home, I took it apart and stripped off the old finish and rubbed in Betty Kelly's finishing oil recipe which I read, some time ago on Stella's blog but which totally eludes me now (if you find it please let me know the link!). I am quite happy with how the wheel looks (as usual, my photo doesn't really do it justice) as well as how it spins. I really think that it has hardly ever been used as there is absolutely no wear on the flyer at all. In fact, I really had to sand the bobbin shaft back a lot before any of the bobbins would turn freely. There will be some serious spinning with this wheel sometime in my future.

Knitting? Yes, I have done a little. But only a little. Some time ago I went to the mill at Milton and bought two hanks of a charcoal-coloured lambswool/hemp blend with which to make a sleeveless vest. Well, I started by knitting the required swatch, counted the stitches and searched for a suitable pattern. I chose Elspeth Lavold's Cul-de-Sac as seen here and began.

This is as far as I got before I realised, ah...I know I'm not small but...! Out came the measuring tape and yes, it was more than a few centimetres too wide! Bother. So, I recalculated and have started again.

When things like that happen what do you do? Do you start over with all the vim and verve you had to begin with? Or do you feel the shine go off the item and start over but this time at a snail's pace? Me, I'm the latter I'm afraid.

OTHER THINGS are also going on in my life which seem to have sapped any creative energy I once possessed. I won't go into them at the moment. One day, though. Maybe.

But, for now, that's all folks!