Saturday, January 20, 2007

Busy like a bee

I promised myself I'd update here at least once a week, and now you see it's been two. In the meantime, I've placed a rather nice order from KnitPicks, gotten some progress in on the Clapotis (which really ought to be finished by now, don't you think?), and started a Swing Thing from MagKnits for a birthday present.

The Swing Thing has occupied all my knitting time, since it involves a deadline (the 2-year-old's birthday party, a week from today). I would guess I'm perhaps 40% finished with it, and I think as long as I keep up the good work, gold star, I might get it done in time.

I'm making it of KnitPicks Swish Superwash in Wisteria, which turns out to be rather more red of a purple than I had anticipated. I also bought a pair of Addi Turbos. I've spent years reading all the fawning over these needles and felt sure I'd hate them; I'm a Swallow Casein girl, myself, but those are impossible to find now. At any rate, I tried the Addis, and sure enough, I'm a convert. It's so... fast! The yarn is nice and sproingy, too, which makes this project really a nice dose of tactile satisfaction. Good thing, because I hate knitting stockinette in great swaths.

I am proud of myself for making such progress on my knitting. Last time, I think the most I ever finished was a few inches of a Starmore Aran sweater. This time I'm well on my way. Even if I think I am going to rip out the Central Park hoodie in favor of the Rogue....

One thing I'm not enjoying is the stress of knitting to a deadline. I need to have the Swing Thing done within the week, and I'm sure I can do it. Right after that, though, I need to start and finish a DS case for the Craftster swap I'm doing, and I am not at all confident that it will come out the way I want it to. I want to start on it now but I'm still hunting down some of the yarn I need. So I'll just set it on the back burner and hope, eh?

Oh - and I absolutely have not had time to use my spinning wheel. It makes me sad. I'll have to make time this week. You know, in between packing boxes and knitting and trying to read for fun, and cleaning, and. The usual that we all have to deal with once we become adults. Then again, I can eat ice cream for breakfast if I want to, so it's not all bad, is it?

Thursday, January 4, 2007

My Baby Spinning Wheel

In news that's sure to keep me from getting much knitting done, my spinning wheel showed up, unfinished and unassembled, on Tuesday. I ordered it from The Woolery last week; it's a Kromski Mazurka. I've wanted this wheel since the last time I was actually spinning yarn, mostly because I think it's really attractive. Thing is, I never really cared for any of the factory finish colors, but I know from experience that I'm not so great at finishing wood. Somehow it always ends up splotchy. This is probably due to lack of skill and/or lack of patience, I'm not sure which.

Lucky me, I've got a gunsmith for a fiance, and he knows how to apply finish to wood. So we went to Rockler to pick up some supplies. I ended up choosing good old "make it look good" Minwax in a color called "Gunstock"; whatever, it's a nice reddish brown. Not too red, not too brown. I also spent some time admiring the purpleheart available there, along with a few other exotic woods, which I plan to force Zack to use to make me things like a yarn swift and knitting needles.

Last night he applied the first coat of finish to the wheel, and it looks even nicer than I'd expected. There are a couple of different woods used in the Mazurka, though, and they're taking the stain up differently. It still looks quite nice to me. Audrey tried to help with the finishing by standing outside the door of the spare room and meowing at full lung capacity. Sadly for her, I think she's ditzy enough without breathing in paint fumes, so she had to stay outside. Zack will do another coat tomorrow, then hopefully seal it on Saturday so I can do some spinning on Sunday. As you might imagine, it's killing me to have a spinning! wheel! sitting upstairs in pieces.

You may notice, however, that it's sunning itself dry on the Sunday New York Times; it's that kind of wheel. No name, yet, but soon. I'll have to do some spinning first - I don't even know what sex it is yet. Can't tell until I give it a good run through its paces, don't you know.

New Year, New Knitting

I'm still working on my Clapotis, and in fact have not made a tremendous amount of progress on it. I'm not sure why; perhaps because it's kind of boring to work on. And yet I find I'm not quite good enough at knitting by feel to keep my eyes on the TV while working on any project....

At any rate, I was going to make myself get halfway through the Clapotis before I started a new project, but that's not going to happen. The DS Case Swap over at Craftster gives me a good excuse. Swaps have become crazy popular since I was last a part of the craft corner of the Internet. I hope this one goes well. I have lots of ideas but I think I'm probably going to go with the old NES character 8-bit intarsia design thing this time around. This means I get to buy more new and exciting yarn, and that I can probably even justify a few new sets of needles (got to have the right size, you know). I think for something that sees as much use as a DS case is likely to, I'm going to go with a cotton or microfiber yarn so it can be washed easily. Plus it seems like static-laden wool might not be the best choice.

I'm also planning to start a project, probably the Alpine Scarf, for the Victorian Lace-Along. I have some KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud in, I think, Horizon, which was going to be used for the Butterfly dress, but I decided I don't like the color for something that large.

It's good to know that my knitting is just as scatterbrained as the rest of my existence.