October 2005

My apologies to anyone who got confused by the half-entry that I posted accidentally. My main plan for my evenings this week is to clean my apartment rather than knit or spin, but I’ve got this picture for you:


I have (finally) discovered the power of the mohair-silk blend, this being some Douceur et Soie in garnet. My impression four repeats in is that it’s a little finickier than my ideal (although some of that could be remedied by using pointier, slicker needles), but it’s so soft and fluffy…


I’ve been making lots of green things this week. I’d suggest it might be a reaction to fall, except that the leaves outside my windows are still green. (And it’s not like I’ve been much of anywhere except my apartment this week.)

After setting the twist, my green romney looked a lot like my hair:


Since, for probably the first time ever, I hadn’t started spinning more singles as soon as I put the two-ply in the bath to set, I took the suggestion of the SpinningFiber community and added some more plying twist.

Presettingtwistafter adding twist, before setting the extra twist

all twist set

Hey, it worked!

Instead of actually spinning more of the romney, though, I started on the alien yarn. I was curious about how it’d spin up, and it was closer…

Alienyarn1030thin & thinner singles, 85 yds

I’m debating about keeping this as singles, or maybe plying it with plain black (if I can find such a thing). I’m concerned that plying it on itself might be too muddy.

In the interest of having something not green on here, I present a picture of Mel:

Mel_nestyes, I know, the blanket is green

Unlike last time, yesterday’s attempt to make a hat for the Dulaan project actually produced a hat:


It’s Lamb’s Pride worsted, held double, knit on 8mm needles. I started with 60 stitches and decreased to 55 after the ribbing, figuring that it’d be an appropriate size for kid/small adult. It turned out just slightly too small for me, so I’m sure it’ll fit someone…even if they have to wear a second hat under it.

I’ve been home sick for most of the last week, with the Virus That’s Going Around. Alas, it seems that all of my tea and soup and blankets have extended the pre-hacking-cough part, but I’m still not enough better to last more than an hour or two at work. (I may wind up taking the trolley tomorrow, since the walk to work was a lot of what tired me out yesterday, when I lasted all of an hour and a half at work.)

Since I can’t sleep all day, and I haven’t been focussing well enough to do much work reading, and housework proved too much after Sunday, I’ve gotten some more spinning done.

108 yards of romney

The color shows up pretty well on my monitor, somewhere between grass green and olive. It’s a little hairy, which is in part because I didn’t want to pay all that much attention to it and in part because it handled differently from the other fibers I’ve spun (whether that’s because it’s romney or because it’s top, I’m not sure). I am, however, pretty pleased with my consistency. It’s a solid laceweight with only occasional neppy bits. I’ll try to eliminate the neppy bits with the next batch…

On to the question, then, since everyone was so helpful last time:

How insane would it be to attempt to knit the Fiddlesticks Peacock Feathers Shawl with only 1000m (~1100yds) of yarn? The pattern calls for 1260 yds, but that’s as 4 skeins of Jaggerspun Zephyr. I could skip a pattern repeat in the middle if necessary, or maybe make the crocheted loops smaller…but if anyone knows of someone who’s knit the shawl with less than the recommended yardage, could you point me to them?

(The reason: I have been looking for the right yarn for several months, and it’s nowhere to be found. Basically, I want the green version of the Black Onyx Socks that Rock yarn in which I knit the Flower Basket Shawl, but none of the Socks that Rock greens are quite what I want. So I’ve e-mailed with Kathryn at Fleece Artist about custom-dyed laceweight bluefaced leicester, which comes in $35CAD, 1000m skeins. If I can possibly get away with only buying one, that’d be much easier on my budget. Plus, I wouldn’t have the extra ~800m of yarn. Hey, anyone want 3/4 of a skein of evergreen laceweight BFL?)

This evening, I came up with a new way to entertain the kitten. He’s been feeling slighted, I think, since I’ve been home sick for so long, which means I’ve been here and not up to playing for hours at a time. So, while I was cooking dinner (vaguely-Southeast-Asian stirfry), I stuck the handle end of the bouncy-wire-with-cardboard-tips toy in my back pocket. Since it bounces a lot even with minimal movement of the handle bit, it kept Mel entertained the whole time. It was kind of funny; I could hear him purring behind my ankles.

I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to pick up my spindles again. I started all nice and responsibly with the orange merino-silk that I was spinning a month and a half ago, and then my will broke down.

I wound the corriedale from my other spindle off onto a tp-roll bobbin, and then I pulled out my new romney:


Mmmm, green.

Perhaps my cold has made me forget something obvious, but I have a question:

What is there on a spindle or spinning wheel that could possibly be pointy enough for fairy-tale characters to prick their fingers? I can’t imagine all of that fuss being made over the hook at the top of a spindle, nor can I imagine anyone stabbing themselves with the shaft of a spindle like my Bosworth drop-spindles. I haven’t used a lot of wheels (okay, I’ve spun on one wheel, once or twice), but I don’t remember there being something sharp that someone could accidentally stab themselves with.

This post brought to you by a late-night, cold-induced online perusal of wheel prices.

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