Tuesday, November 27, 2007

not being Eeyore

The dark cloud of late-autumnal knitting angst tried to settle over my small New England town last week. First came the reminder of why I just don't do the cables without a cable needle thing. (I don't care how sticky the yarn is, or how careful I am. Every time it turns into a whack-a-mole game, with those damn little stitches dropping their heads out of sight. Not funny anymore.) Then came the top-down hat, re-worked for a lighter weight yarn so inexpertly that I ended up with a 27" circumference. I decided that what I needed to help get me out of the rut was a tried and true pattern that has been knit to completion over 500 times, according to Ravelry. If 500 people can knit the Swallowtail Shawl, then so can I, angst be damned.

Swallowtail shawl

It's not done yet, but I'm done with the budding lace part, and have decided to let it rest, pre-nupping. It was even so kind as to arrange itself into a familiar shape when I tossed it on the couch, sparing me the pain of having to try to figure out how to photograph an unblocked lump of proto-lace.

Well beyond the dark cloud of knitterly dread, I felt it was safe to start playing with a new sock design idea.


That's a teaser photo of my design process for this sock. Well, you don't get a photo of the jumbled thoughts in my head, but you can see how they translated into an initial charted out sketch kind of thing, with a peek at a chart underneath. I've already swatched to work out most of the kinks, using yarn leftover from the Anniversary socks. These are going to be really fun socks, and I've just cast on for them in a new-to-me brand of yarn that looks and feels very promising.

I also found the energy to fix the plying on some of the slightly underplied BFL, and to set it. Oh, springful bounty!

Handspun BFL

One of the skeins turned out better than the others, in terms of plying and color distribution. I have about 140 yards of the "good" skein, and the beginning of a plan for it. It's about 16 wraps per inch, making it a nice fingering weight. I think the other skein is nicer than I want to believe, and at the very least I should be able to pick and choose the best parts of it to up my yardage.

And of course I worked more on the Redwood BFL singles.

my spinning station

It's a gratuitous photo, since there's not much new to see. But it's so pretty! My new spinning method is to ball up my pre-drafted top, set the ball in the top of my scale, and then let the pre-drafted wool drape over my arm as I spin. I used to wrap it around my wrist, but sweat became problematic. This way I can just pick it up and spin for a couple of minutes here and there, which feels like quite a luxury.

There's a sort of hangover feeling I get when I've started too many projects in too short a time. Even though 2 of them got ripped out, it just feels wrong. My usual remedy would be to show an outstanding level of dedication to the projects that did survive, but alas, there are too many new things to start! I have 3 other projects I want to cast on for by the end of the year, two of which have deadlines, one of which is a design project that could be a potentially big challenge for me. (Only one is holiday knitting. I'm not that crazy.) Look for more deer in the headlights posts this winter. Oh deer dear.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love those redwood singles, so fine and the color is great!

I must say I'm a cable needle gal too; I tried cables without the needle and it's just much more trouble than it's worth.

11/27/2007 12:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Everything looks amazing!

11/27/2007 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything is so pretty - and swallowtail will be gorgeous, you're making great progress!

11/27/2007 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your cop is so perfectly even--how do you do that?! :-)

11/27/2007 3:17 PM  
Blogger Angelika said...

It's so hard to get a good picture of unblocked lace, but I love how you presented it. The spinning looks so professional and even. I never got my spindle to anything even close to yours, so I gave it up. Sorry.

11/27/2007 6:25 PM  
Blogger AnneB said...

Are you trying for the Wonder Woman title? Beautiful spun skeins. Just think - are sheep in your yard next? Smile

11/28/2007 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At first glance I thought the shawl was a hat/bonnet thing with kitty ears. Much nicer as a shawl.

I'm sorry your knitting mojo is not quite aligned. I bet all it will take is one good project to seize and keep your attention and you'll be back on track.

11/28/2007 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMAZING spindle spinning. I spin alot by wheel, but have never acquired the knack/desire to become proficient at spindling. Very impressive.

12/12/2007 11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your pictures are amazing and beautiful - also the things you do/make. Thank you for letting "the world" take a peek :)
Greetings from Southern Bavaria,

12/16/2007 2:59 AM  

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