Saturday, February 21, 2009

Squoosh factor is greater than perfectionism

I'm still very much a beginner spinner in my own head. I don't consider myself a beginner knitter anymore, because I can generally take the needles and make the yarn turn into exactly what I want (it may take some ripping, sketching, figuring, and head-scratching, but I can do it). But spinning isn't that way yet. I can make lovely things, but in my brain I'm always comparing to what I wanted them to be. And they're not exactly the same. Yet.

This is my new pet yarn.
New pet yarn

I'm keeping her in my purse and calling her Tinkerbell for a while. She's scrumptious. She's made of my first Spunky Club shipment, and she's lovely.

My perfectionist brain says "but she's so thick-and-thin! You're not spinning evenly enough yet!"

My perfectionist brain says "dude, HOW many times did the singles break while you were plying?"

My perfectionist brain knows that one ply was much denser than the other, and so there's a small ball of unused single on a tp core in my stash room, that I may or may not ply.

And my perfectionist brain says that that small ball and the the waste lost due to broken plies and her thick-and-thinness are evidence of failure on my part.

And then I look at her, and I pet her, and I can't feel bad.

She's lovely. I took her to a movie tonight, and she got held through the end of Benjamin Button after I ran out of stockinette to knit (four socks-in-progress, and they all require thought right now - bad planning.)

And I know that I did many of the things that I wanted to with her. I wanted a softly-spun two-ply - I didn't want to overspin and lose the fiber's original softness. In that I succeeded completely.

I wanted somewhere in the dk-to-worsted weight. Even with the thick parts, I'm there. The thin parts are heavy fingering, this got substantially fuller with a wash. And the evenness across the board is way better than my past thicker yarns.

I wanted the colors to line up somewhat, and while there's a lot more purple in that one leftover ply, it's amazing to see how the outside of the skein is mostly blues, the inside is mostly purples, and it varies in between. I didn't screw up Amy's lovely dye job.


I'm learning. I'm getting better, and this is evidence of that. Yaay. :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happening. Or not.

A few things I've dug up from my knitting bag:

A project I'm calling "Janet is a squeeing fangirl." The pattern is Abby from KnittySpin, and I'm knitting it in Alpaca With a Twist Fino - although my yarn wasn't labeled such when I bought it from the booth at the fiber festival, that's what it is. It's yummy. If anyone can get me over my laceweight fear, it's Amy Singer. And as the pattern is named after the woman I think about stalking to her home in Ohio and moving in and making her teach me everything she can about spinning, so I had to try it. (They're both teaching at Sock Summit. I may get to go, and I'm so excited...)

The first of my second pair of Monkey socks. Yes, they're weird, they're Cat Bordhi-ized. And someday they'll be finished and I will wear them to work and feel smart. Someday.
funky monkey

And then the project that has come to be known as my Knitting Penance. Leafy green shawl, lovely in every way, except I can't seem to make myself knit it for hours on end, so I knit a repeat every time I take it out to Knit Night (well, almost) or another knitting gathering. It's probably close to halfway done at this point, and it's yummy and warm and has reached that critical black hole mass, but also the mass at which I say "this is going to be a great shawl!" and want to keep knitting it.

All these things have been holding for a bit. There are a few other things I'm working on more right now that are taking my attention away. One is spinning stuff, another is unbloggable, the other I'm not ready to talk about yet. But once they're done, these three are back to the forefront! Really!

In other news, Francie has a blog now, so welcome to Blogland, Francie! And the Mathematical Fiber Arts Exhibit at the Joint Math Meetings has pictures up, including my mathghan and some other really cool stuff.
For the past 3 days, I've woken up thinking my alarm clock was talking to me about spinning.

I'm about to go to bed, and I haven't spun today. We'll see if the trend continues.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Mail is always good.

Last night I got home from knit night and had two packages for me! Yaay!

First, I joined a swap on Ravelry: the Reducio Sock Swap. It's a Harry Potter swap where everyone exchanges tiny socks in House colors. This round, there was a Care of Magical Creatures theme to it. Check it out!


I got a niffler! With gold coins! How cool is that! And a bunch of other awesome surprises too, so bonus!

This is perhaps the best swap ever!

I had also ordered from Twisted Fiber Arts a few weeks ago, on Melinda's prodding suggestion. My order came yesterday, and it's seriously delish.


The yarn is the DK weight Duchess base, in the colorway Warlock. It's a purple/black/grey self-striping yarn, and it may jump my queue and make some super toe-up socks - because I want long socks and I want to use ALL of this yummy yarn.
The roving is a merino-bamboo blend in the colorway Firefly, and I'm psyched to spin this up. These both have beautiful colors, really neat subtleties in the dyeing.

It's been a bad week for knitting, too much work, not enough time, but I'm thinking excavating my knitting bag will be a post soon. I'm also going to join in the Cat Bordhi Sock Support Group starting up this Saturday at Village Yarn Shop. I'm looking forward to it. Have a great weekend, all!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A couple pictures

These were taken in my middle-of-the-night post-Super Bowl GET STUFF DONE insanity last night. With flash, under the ott light. I didn't want to wait till today.

Finished handspun scarf:

(This is the thick and thin two-ply from early wheel dealings, not from three-ply Pink Stuff posted last week. Chris was confused as I took the picture. "You knit something from that already?!")

It is perfect for the monochrome Februaries we tend to get around here.

Orange sweater, some assembly required:

This got me cranking on the green cabled cardi I started in late September. Sleeves were finished before Christmas, and I didn't cast on the back till Thursday. Today it's all I want to knit. (And considering it starts with almost four inches of ribbing, that's kind of nuts.)

Julie commented on my yarn mileage from the last post and I wanted to add - Ravelry makes it possible to calculate mileage so super easily, and for anyone who has their stash entered. Download the stash as an excel file, find the "total yardage" column, add it up and divide by 1760, and there you are. Mandie warned me not to do this, and I can see why, but now that I have, I'm kind of fascinated. In that trainwrecky sort of way. I'm also motivated to knit the fair few sweaters that I already had yarn for.

Back to work with me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I've been slowly entering my stash into ravelry over the past month. I'm still missing a bit, but tonight I added almost a whole shelf of my yarn closet plus the Mass Ave Bag O'Shame - where there are yarns that are not at all like yarns that I use, and yet I keep thinking I will use them. I bought them because of insanely low prices. And pretty colors.

Plus I went to Village Yarn Shop (I love that place!) today and a minor pile of some gorgeous vivid orange Malabrigo marched right up to me and demanded to come home with me. I said okay, because it was darling and charming, and I invited some of its silky pink friend to come along too.

Anyway, the upshot of that is, I now have a touch over 26.3 miles of yarn in my Rav stash, and that amuses me. There is still plenty to enter, too. Yeesh.

I'm trying to quickly knit tiny things for the Reducio swap - I let the impending due date get away from me, and while I considered abandoning my original idea there for a few days, I came back to it and am very glad I did. I love that this swap is something I can do in a last-minute weekend, though! Reducio Sock Swap = Best swap ever!

Pictures soon - I actually finished a project this week and depending on whether I run to Michaels tomorrow I may finish another, and once I find the camera charger, I definitely want to share.