Monday, December 18, 2006

A Race To Christmas

Andy's Hat is coming along nicely with only 2-3 more inches to go before I start decreasing. I am super happy with the cables! He's going to love it (or else)...

I also picked up some yarn yesterday to do some last minute Christmas knitting. The extra time on the plane trip home and during vacation should let me finish it in time. What was I thinking starting a project with one week to go?! At least Andy will get his hat on New Year's, so I can put that aside for a few days.

And speaking of buying things at the yarn shop, remember that store credit I got for returning 3 skeins? I definitely bought EZ's The Opinionated Knitter. I am so excited!

I'll be in Ohio & Pennsylvania for 2 weeks celebrating Christmas with the family, so I probably won't post here until after the new year. I am looking forward to the extra knitting time over break. See you in 2007!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


My eyes have been opened!

I have heard many of my fellow knitters rave about the works of Elizabeth Zimmermann, but I have not personally experienced her work until going to an EZ exhibit this afternoon. I am truly inspired by the way she can take garter stitch, which is one of my least favorite stitches, and put together an interesting and creative garment. She masterfully created simple, yet beautiful sweaters. I must learn from this knitting genius.

Next step: Spend Christmas money on EZ books.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It Is Not A Myth...

... You can actually return unused skeins of yarn to the yarn shop. I discovered this fact for myself today, when I returned 3 skeins (wow, did I overestimate). I was hoping to get the money back for some Christmas shopping, but no, I got store credit. I guess that I will just have to put it towards some of that Malibrigo I was drooling over.

Besides returning the skeins, not much exciting stuff is happening in knitting land. Still working on Andy's hat. Probably going to frog it and restart it. Still spinning the Merino. Woohoo.

Next week will be brighter. I have a knitting date with Jane tomorrow, and am going to the Elizabeth Zimmermann exhibit with Karen on Monday. It is wonderful to have knitting friends!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My First Skein

I encourage you all to go over to the Yarn Museum, where you will find a picture of my handspun in the 'First Skein' gallery. There are also some fabulous pictures in the other galleries that are really inspiring me to get spinning!

And since every first skein has a story, I am going to share mine with you.

My first small skein of yarn was several years in the making, starting back during my high school years when my mother bought me a drop spindle and some roving. Being a weaver, she was trying to instill in me her love for fiber--something I didn't truly understand until I picked up knitting in college. This summer, bored between knitting projects, I asked my mother to send me my old drop spindle (which had mysteriously made its way into her stash) so I could learn how to spin again. It took me a week or two to spin through the original roving she had given me, and I was hooked. The picture above highlights a few strands of my first skein, with all of its inconsistences and character. I love the close-up shot of the yarn because you can see the color contrast and clearly tell that I was not a very even spinner when I first picked up the spindle.

Since my first skein a few months ago, I have spindle spun several ounces of wool, from a beautiful blue/green BFL worsted weight to a fingering weight Merino Superwash in browns/pinks/purples that I am currently working on. I now have a few more spindles, on loan from my mother, and a refurbished Louet S10 wheel which I received as an early Christmas present. Once the last part for the wheel comes in, I cannot wait to use it!

I am really looking forward to more spinning in my future, and hopefully, some of my next skeins will be good enough to enter into other galleries of the Yarn Museum. Or at least good enough for some enjoyable knitting.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Finishing Projects

With the boyfriend out of town for the week, I have been able to spend a little more time this week at crafting. As demonstrated in my last post, I have actually been finishing a few projects that have been hanging around for a while. In addition to the scrapbook, I have added an elastic band to some legwarmers (which I haven't taken off since), sewed a lining into a knitted clutch, and sewed another clutch together to be felted.

Of course, not all of my projects this week had to be dusted off. I got into the Christmas spirit and created some popcorn garland for mini trees at home and at work, and even made up some 'stockings' for the tree in the office.

I also started spinning some Superwash Merino I bought from Lisa Souza in the Mardi Gras colorway. It is very different than the BFL I just finished spinning. I tried to use a heavier spindle that my Mom loaned me to make thin singles, but found that my lighter spindle gives me better and more consistant yarn. I must say that I have learned a lot by spinning these two different fibers at two different thicknesses.

Geez, I really need to start working on Andy's hat so I can have it finished for Christmas.