New project!

I’ve been really trying to knit down my number of WIPs. I’ve been doing pretty good actually, and have managed to get from 16 to 8. But guys, I’m starting to get bored. Very bored. The call of brand new projects is strong. My solution:

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You see, weaving is NOT knitting so this really is NOT a new projects. It’s just the thing I’m currently working on.
Back in May I picked up a 10″ Cricket Loom at Black Sheep Fiber Festival. I wove my first project up in a jiffy, but then my loom sat. The thing was, I knew I wanted my next project to be with this yarn, but I didn’t have the correct size heddle.
This lovely String Theory Caper Sock yarn is fingering weight, and I only had a heddle suitable for a worsted-ish sized yarn. (The heddle is the white piece in the middle that you move up and down to weave. The further apart the holes, the bigger the “mesh” that you weave. Finer yarn needs a tighter mesh. Make sense?)
No problem. Saturday and Sunday was Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival (Oregon is such a yarn-y state) and I picked up two new heddles. One that will work with fingering weight yarn and one that will work with bulky yarn.
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The green is waste yarn that you weave a bit with at the beginning to even out your tension. It gets pulled out when you’re done.
I wanted to weave this yarn up because I knew I’d never knit with it. In a fit of crazy-pants I had it wound at the yarn shop when I bought it even though I knew I wasn’t going to use it immediately. I hate knitting with yarn that’s been wound for too long, and this has been sitting wound in the stash for over a year. Oops. Wound yarn gets super kinky near the center of the ball when it sits too long and the tension put on the yarn when it’s wound can mess with your gauge if the yarn sits in a wound ball for too long. Weaving solves all these problems.
What new things have you not started?

Here Yarnie-yarnie-yarn. Here Yarnie.

I swear it was in my hands not two minutes ago.  I set it down to do… something (I think…) and by the time I turn around, it’s gone.  Where is my yarn?!  I only have 700 sq ft here.  It’s not like there’s that many places it could be.  It’s even relatively clean here at the moment.

I took this superwash merino fiber that I got at Sock Summit 2011

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I spun it up into a single that was a bit thinner than a fingering weight.  When I spin finer yarn I have trouble spinning singles without getting corkscrews.  Any suggestions?
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Then I plied the single against itself using the Navajo plying method.  I have never tried Navajo plying before and I’ll admit to some serious swearing for the first half hour or so.  It felt like I was never going to get the coordination right to keep an even twist, make the long Navajo chains, and keep the single from plying back on itself when it lost slack coming off the lazy Kate.
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In this close-up you can see that the later strands look just like real yarn, but the strands from the beginning of my efforts are less than wonderful.
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Those last two photos are of the yarn after it has been washed and snapped.  This afternoon it was dry and I skeined it up on the niddy-noddy and was going to take a final picture of it when… poof it seems to have disappeared.  I suspect wool gnomes.
Pretend that this is a picture of beautiful cream-brown marled merino wool, about 150 yards of DK weight.  Pretend its looks soft and sqooshy and perfect for a Dustland Hat.

You are my sunshine

My day was totally brightened yesterday when I opened my email to a note from Ashley that she listed my blog on her Sunshine Award list.  Even though google stats tell me that my blog is getting visitors it’s still generally hard to believe and I’m sometimes convinced that it must just be spambots.  Thanks for reading guys!!!  

There are some rules for accepting this award.  They seem to be:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.  Easy.  THANK YOU ASHLEY!  Go check out her blog and give her some love, I’ve enjoyed following her since I found her blog.

2. Answer 10 questions about your favorites
     Animal: sheep (they MAKE wool, what’s not to love!)
     Number: 8
     Nonalcoholic beverage: Shirley Temple–they go best with Mexican food
     Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
     My passion: knitting (possibly this is obvious)
     Getting or giving: Getting, presents rock
     Pattern: Usually whatever I just finished, therefore Pear Drop
     Day of the week: Sunday
     Flower: Roses (again, possibly this would be easy to guess)
     Country: I haven’t been there since I was 14, but I would love to go back to Spain as an adult (if I can be called an adult… I’m still skeptical about that.)

3. Name 10 blogs you love and tell them they have received the sunshine award as well.  I follow about 100 blogs (I’m nosey, I like to see what you’re doing) so it’s hard to narrow it down, but here are a few of my favorites:

     Peter’s Knitting With a Y
Brianna’s Whoa Nelly
Ashley’s Make It Love It
I don’t know who runs The Gauge Wars, but it’s great.
Tawnee’s Random Knits
Stacey’s Fresh Stitches
Ryan’s (yes my Ryan’s) An Improbable Fiction
It was fun to open my mail to Ashley’s surprise and I had fun revisiting everyone’s blogs to gather my list.  Really guys, thanks for reading!

I’m not dead… yet

A little over a week ago I graduated from law school.  BAM.  Juris Doctrate.  Me. Earned. Done.  Well… not really done at all.  See, graduating law school doesn’t really mean #$@* if you don’t also pass the bar exam.  The bar exam is a TWO DAY test that basically requires you to know ALLTHELAW!  I’m taking a class to prepare and it’s basically resulting in 10-12 hours of work every day 7 days a week.  So if you don’t see me until July 26th, that’s why.

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Proof that Ryan and I both graduated.
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Proof that Adam woke up early enough to make it to the 10:30 am ceremony.
Even though I have been in the black hole of bar-study land, I have still been knitting.  In fact, I get a lot of knitting done because there are 3 to 4 hours of lecture every day and knitting through the lecture is about the only thing that keeps me awake.  I’ve got a sock quite near completion and today I cast off my Dahlia Cardigan.
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I hated was not fond of the front of this cardigan, so I used decreases and short rows to heavily modify it.  The magazine actually does not show any straight-on photos of the front, so I didn’t know I hated it until it started popping up in people’s finished projects on Ravelry.  Normally I have a one-year rule: never knit anything until the pattern has been out for at least a year that way all the mistakes can be found by others and it will become readily apparent if it looks terrible on actual people.  I didn’t follow this rule and cast on as soon as the magazine arrived.  I was about halfway through the back before I started to realize that I hated the front.
My desire was to turn it from the weird hang-y thing that the pattern creates if you knit it as-written into something resembling a traditional cardigan.  I will know to what extent I succeeded when it is dry and I am able to try it on.  It was too curled up after knitting to see how it would actually hang, so I really have no idea what I’m going to get.  I can already tell that the neck will not be 100% what I would have wanted, but I think to truly “fix” the pattern I would have had to write a completely new pattern (as opposed to half a completely new pattern.)

I made it

At the beginning of the month, I made a secret resolution to blog every day for a month just to see if I could.  Well, today is January 31, and this is my 31st blog post of the year.  I’m sure they haven’t all been the most exciting thing on the web, but I did a lot more showing off of my WIPs than I normally do and it motivate me to take more “in progress” photos.

My blog marathon was made easier by the fact that over winter break I had finished up a lot of projects and so had a backlog of cool things to show you.  Now that school is ramping up my knitting tim is petering out and my progress is much less impressive.  (Unless you want to see my daily fingerless-glove progress… I could show you what it looks like every 4-10 rounds.  Could be fun… right?)

Now that the month is over, I don’t think I’ll push myself as hard to make sure I have a post every day, but I have enjoyed having it as a regular part of my routine and hope to remain somewhat diligent.  Soon there will be good-quality picture of Arroway, I promise.  It’s just that it’s dark by the time I get home Monday and Tuesday.  Hopefully tomorrow I can catch some light and get some good pictures up for you.

Good night

Tonight, my 21 year old brother (who also lives in Portland) came over to my apartment and we watched Tangled.  We both laughed.  A lot.  It’s not as good as The Emperor’s New Groove, but it’s the closest Disney has gotten in a long time.  Ten years between hits is a long time.  When I wasn’t laughing too hard, I worked on Arroway but I can’t bring myself to show you another picture of garter ridges.  I’ll wait for the FO and show you some good ones.  Tangled is on Netflix watch instant.  Watch it.  Laugh.

I have a lot of yarn

I organized the stash today.  This is how my organization process begins.

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Everything gets piled up, then I inspect it and put it away cataloging anything that has escaped my ravelry stash database.  Five hours later, everything is put away again.  It’s even tidy.

Grumble

Knit Night was canceled tonight due to bad weather.  I went home and did homework like a responsible jerk.  I was really looking forward to my procrastination time.