Saturday, September 12, 2009

I've fallen ..

yes fallen, and its all Morag's fault. First there was the email 'I've been to the mill factory shop and they have found the last of the vintage Cowichan in their warehouse and are selling it off', its vintage and they say they won't ever make any more'. Then there was the visit to her house to drop of some equipment my dad custom made for her 'Just come in here for a minute, into the office, look 11 cheeses of light grey, its yours if you want it'. Then latter on the way out 'I put the 11 cheeses of grey in this bag, ready for you if you want it'.
What is a knitter to do when surrounded by enemies enablers derailers really good friends like that? Resistance is futile?

The only sensible thing a knitter could do - I went home with 11 wheels or cheeses of beautiful pale grey soft vintage Cowichan yarn, enough for another EZ blanket. A large single bed sized one - the kind that is so large that the yarn physically won't fit into any of my stash storage. Look, that is the yarn stacked beside A4 foolscap arch lever folders. I have a few options, leave it out to admire, knit it right away (which is what I did last time), or find a new stash storage space. All of those options are feasible -- I'll keep you posted about where I'm headed on that one - I'm not sure I'm up for knitting this one right now -- but I want one for each cub.

My current sock Taimi grows, slower now that I am working the closed lace repeats around the leg. Working pattern rounds every second round is a little slower than plain old stocking stitch. I was thinking that I would be done by now .. so much so I've sorted the next sock project from my queue [Ravelry link], and selected the yarn, and divvied it up into 2x50g cakes. I'm all set to go - its a top down sock and I'm dithering about reworking it as toe up (looks like a lot of work) or just knitting it as is. As I knit Taimi I've been playing with different right and left leaning increases, ones that are structurally the same but executed differently. Taimi is written to use yarn overs as increases, in the toe and in the closed lace. The yarn overs are the regular and a reverse yarn over and both are twisted closed on the following round to give right and left leaning increases. I knit continental, with my yarn tensioned over my left hand ... and I find the yarn overs fiddly so have substituted e-loops and backwards e-loops instead. Once knit - yarn over increases and e-loop increases are identical, and both can be right or left leaning, .. try both, you might find one easier than the other as I do.

I've also been playing with my new toy, my hackle. Before now I've been using it as a comb, to tease out and align the fibers and remove VM (vegetable matter) and neps and noils. Yesterday I used it as a blending hackle and I'm very impressed I took some scraps that were all sorts of colours, tangled up .. and looked like this ...

and after processing it thru the hackle twice - it looked like this. My only regret is that it is only 7.9 g ... and its beautiful. What can one knit with 7.9g? I will take it to the open day as a 'teaching example', and after I post I'm off to hackle some other blends - just for practice, really.

What is left after drawing off the roving is this, all the short tangled bits of fiber. Part of me wants to keep these .. but I know this is the tangled knotted bitzy stuff that we spinners toss onto the floor as we spin. With the hackle all that is removed before you even sit at the spinning wheel.

Ratio's have been invading my kitchen. This is the chalkboard, we use it for noting down important kitchen stuff, shopping list, and the cubs draw on it. Right now its covered in ratio's, for bread, for cookies and this morning for Popovers. Oh there is a little skein of yarn calculation in the top right hand corner, wraps around the ninny noddy, and weight - to give skein length, but for now its a Ratio board. The popovers were go-o-o-o-od, light, slightly crunchy, and yummy. Unlike our 'other' recipe these were placed into hot pans, and had a knob of butter in the base of each pan - as Bear says 'whats not to like?' (hello - cardio vascular disease?). So good were these popovers in fact they probably will replace our standard Mile High Popovers recipe from Lois Daish (the coconut bread in the same article is pretty cool as well, make it with cocoa and its a chocolate rough loaf, and with soymilk its a vegan recipe). These were less eggie and lighter and crisper and just as easy to make, Michael Ruhlman looks like he just might know a bit about cooking.

So I'll leave you will yarn over and e-loop increases, both left and right leaning .. whilst I play more with the hackle and blending.
na Stella


Annieofbluegables said...

Oh Stella, I'm in LOVE. I love your beautiful accent. Thanks for that video. I think I learned a bit, although I feel lucky to just knit and purl for now. I actually finished a lace scarf lately. And have ordered the loop needles so I can try some socks. They will be really simple ones, because I have never done these before. Thanks for your wonderful blog.

Suzanne said...

I am so pleased that you are enjoying Ratio. The main thing missing from our cyber-friendship is the possibility of breaking bread or taking tea together. Indirect involvement in the nourishing of your family is almost as good. Well, not quite; if I want to taste the popovers, I shall have to make a batch for myself. Alas, many pounds of ripe greengage plums beckon. I wonder what Michael has to say about ratios for chutney...

Knitting Linguist said...

Your blended fiber is gorgeous! What a fun new skill to have; you're going to be doing a lot of blending and playing with colors and fibers in the future, I bet. The Ratio cookbook sounds fabulous, too -- I really do have to keep an eye out for that one (although I'm trying very hard to eat a little less bread right now, so maybe later; bread is my one very serious and unconquerable diet weakness). The socks are beautiful, and I love the new ones you're looking at!

nancy said...

"make it with cocoa", how much cocoa do you use?

Stell said...

Hi Nancy
I use 2 or so Tbsp (Table spoons)
hope that helps - I couldn't find another way to answer your querry