August 31, 2011

Down the Knitting Hole

Ok - maybe that title isn't so cleaver but more dirty.

Anyway, I've found myself less enamored with my significant other as of late because he is not a sheep or make of wool or dyed in pretty colors. I think it's all about living in Chicago in August.

There's so much fibery goodness happening around here this month!

First there's friends pressuring you to knit the Stephen West Mystery KAL run on Ravelry. My knitting friends got a little Stephen West crazy about 6 months ago when he visited Loopy Yarns in the South Loop downtown Chicago. Great store but I was doing a show that day (I sell pampered chef ( so I made some yarn money instead of spending it. They came back with books and patterns and a billion ideas and started making his entire collection (exaggeration par for course). I thought they were very nice but kept making my socks and doing my own thing - as I am one to do.

Then I over hear - "Did you see that he's doing a mystery shawl?" And I perked up. I love a good mystery knit, the SKA mystery socks are tons of fun. I love them. I grouped many a collection of 3 yarns for the shawl. Looked at yardage - got a yardage counter for my yarn. And settled on 2 combinations to make 2 small versions of the shawl. I felt that if I didn't like them - I could give them away and it wasn't a complete waste of time. I picked out a black, red and white combo and a pink, green and lavender combo which looked like this:

So every week Stephen put out a clue and I would knit them along on both shawlettes. It was a quick knit and I learned a new way to Make 1 Right and Make 1 Left that greatly improved the look of my shawl. It was very sleek and modern looking. And here's what they turned out like:

Delightful. Stephen got to see my WIP and Lily Chin saw my black white and red shawlette and said it was sleek and classy. Squee! And this was only the beginning of my August Fiber Fun!

Project Pages:
Composition in Black White and Red
Mystery KAL #2

August 30, 2011

A Spinning Story

I did visit the Windy City Knitting Guild at their new home in the library. The library in my town has meeting rooms available for residents for free!

It has great lighting and a wind open space. There were about 7 women there with wheels all spinning away on various fibers. It was very cool to hear the whoosh of all those wheels. My friend R and I came as newbies. Annette offered to teach us if we came and she had tons of drop spindles if we visited. R came with her own spindle and roving from her last attempt at it. Annette also brought a wheel for us to take a spin on.

I had a good time on the drop spindle and one of the women came over and corrected me on my drafting. It was like a lightbulb went on in my head. Everything started to come much smoother. R was really struggling and it hurt to watch her do so. After some time on the spindle we each too a ride on the wheel. R had struggle with her roving. it was far too thick for the wheel - it wanted skinny yarn, and she was feeding it thick chunks of roving and it wasn't drafting too well.

I got on the wheel next and found the treadle difficult to master. It was single and I don't know how the double works - but I'm guessing it's smoother than this. By the end I was FINALLY getting the drafting to work well, and spinning some rather smooth yarn. Although with the wheel I was finding that I over spun a lot.

Assessment: I'll go back. I ordered some wool from Miss Babbs & will be getting some llama roving from a family friend who raises them. (4 ounces of each) I'm excited and my arm is a little sore from holding up the drop spindle but in a good way. Tomorrow while at the hair dresser - I might bring my new spindle instead of my knitting!

August 29, 2011

A New Resolution

A post every week.

I'm going to use this knitting blog - to blog. I can't podcast. I just wont' make time for it. Dude, I'm so bad at making time for anything but knitting - even some knitting related things just don't happen.

So. I intend to do a couple things in this space.
1. Talk about my knitting projects and how they are working out.
2. Talk about my designing expeditions
3. Talk about my knit group & the stuff we do.
4. Muse poetic about crafting topics in general.

The facts that are essential:
1. I knit well.
2. I crochet ok.
3. I live with this guy who likes that yarny goodness makes me happy.
4. I am a math nerd at heart.

So with that in mind. My first post is to say that I'm leaving in 10 minutes to go to the library and experiment with spinning for the first time.

Yup. Not only did I already have a ton of yarn, I'm going to go try my hand at making a little bit of it. As a perfectionist - I don't know how this is going to go. Reports later this week, if I can get a spindle out of my hand ...