Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Grey, grey, my day is grey

well, the day is not totally grey, but my knitting and spinning are. I didn't notice the grey theme until I was sorting the photos to upload, but soft warm grey they all are. That means that I have not been knitting the red swatch stole, but I have been knitting a soft grey white baby blanket with a neat trick to the contrast i-cord edge, and spinning some soft grey fiber, and I've not fixed my tea-pot but do thank all of the visitors (known and unknown) that commented that they understood. I even learned there is a 'Cuppa tea' group on Ravelry. No I didn't join, I was tempted, but really - there are only so many hours in the day, and I don't have enough of them as it is. And there was an Anon commenter who asked a question about the stitch texture at the base of the thumb of my 24c Wine and Roses Mitts - so I've popped in that info. Lastly - there are some good causes out there, and if you are inclined to support such things, or have any experience with cancer and its devastating effects - consider stopping by here please.

We all know I can dither and dip and dive all over knitting projects, a good example is this baby blanket. Started last Thursday - the 25rd of September because I needed to. Yes I did need to, for two very good reasons. First I needed a simple knit that would cope with all the distractions that Thursday group social knitting can bring. Knit night knitting can't be lace swatching or casting on the right number of stitches for a sleeve, - no really it can't - I've tried before and it just ends up in multiple frogging. Why yes it was a particularly tiring week last week, remember?. Second I felt the need to have this baby gift done and dusted and waiting, not a to-do item nagging me from the back of my mind. With any luck cast on last Thursday, finished this Thursday. I've worked the center section and now have only the contrast i-cord to do. I loosly followed the pattern, but as I wasn't sure quite when the hand spun gotland merino blend would run out, I worked the last skein as the eyelet mesh into a wide border, followed by 4 rows (2 ridges) of garter stitch using the sample skein. I'm using 4.5mm needles so it knits up fast.

I found some hummingbird bulky yarn in my stash, just the perfect darker grey to use as a chunky i-cord bind off. I had bought this ages ago for felted clogs, but spoke to R who said it was hard to felt, so abandoned it to the back of the stash drawer. This yarn is slightly thicker and I've gone up to a 6mm needle for the i-cord, nice and squoooshy. I worked a few inches last night but realised there was a tick to contrast i-cord cast off borders. working them the usual way results in little contrast blips in the showing through in the i-cord. I hauled out my EZ glossary dvd - and sure enough there was a little slip this stitch, yo, knit, pss + YO over trick to solve that problem. That lady and her daughter Meg sure are amongst my knitting gurus! The darker grey is a pretty good match, and after Thursday I only need to weave in ends, and a hot sudsy wash and rinse (its still sticky with lanolin - so will collect every bit of dirt around if I leave it), and block and dry. I love the way the i-cord edging is the same thickness as the garter band - completely perfect and completely accidental.

And with the Gotland Merino all spun up, I dug around in my fiber stash and found this, some Alpaca Silk Merino hand dyed and hand blended carded batts from Arbordell Alpacas. Only 89g, but the softest blend of grey green, khaki, hints of dark forest jade that I can imagine, 65% Alpaca, 20% Silk, and 15% Merino. I've split this into 3 equal shares and am spinning fine thin singles with a view to a rounded 3 ply yarn. I don't know what I'll knit with this, but if I can get mitts from 24g, well 89g - well it could be almost anything couldn't it?

This is my progress so far ... this stuff is easy to spin, fine and free flowing and no noils or neps or vm or other afflictions of some fiber preps. Would buy again 5+ stars, perhaps there is a spindle rating system out there for fibers.

So to answer the Anon comment asking about the texture at the base of the Wine and Roses Mitts, its charted as Pebble stitch, and is a knit two together - followed by a 'purl 1, purl make one' row. Very very pretty and effective.

and the teapot?
well - next week I'm off to visit my dad, with the large workshop, well 2 or 3 workshops and a 2 bedroom house in Waimate. As soon as us kids all left - he sorted his living arrangements to suit him, 3 workshops - all double garages or larger and 2 bedrooms. And people wonder why I need more than one wheel, and stash - its genetics I tell you, hereditary and I can't really be held accountable. There are also 3 or more full sized vintage tractors (Case) and 2 or more land cruisers circa 1970, and 3 Bedford trucks pre 1940. Does any of that sound like stash? There is also a growing collection of vintage rotary hoes- mostly Cliffords. But returning to the topic/teapot, I have high hopes he can effect an efficient, elegant and rapid repair. He is just as likely to tell me to find a new one, I think he has shifted his soft spot to his grandchildren, and thats how it should be.

For now we have a plastic yellow spring-clip peg holding the handle in place, surprising effective but not very House-and-Garden.

take care, knit some, give some, I will
na Stella


Angelika said...

wow, you are so fast with that blanket and I know what you mean about the distraction while knitting in a group. I took my stranded knitting to my sons TaeKwnonDo class the other day and got almost nothing done. Too much talking with the other parents.

CraftyGryphon said...

I'd rather have your sort of fuzzy, warm grey day than the yukky foggy one we're having in D.C.! Yarn is better than fog, any day!

(Seriously. All four "outdoor" pics on my blog today are IN COLOR!!)

Knitting Linguist said...

Thank you so much for sending people my way -- I so appreciate it (and I know Anna does, too!). I'm loving that roving you're spinning up -- do they sell online? I might just have to invest :) I hope your dad can fix your teapot right up; it's a sad thing when a teapot loses its handle...