Thursday, July 28, 2011

An Abbreviated Tour

Tour de Fleece ended several days ago.  My mammoth undertaking included four project, looking something like this:

My spinning was cut short by two things.  Firstly, all my running goals were a bit much.  I strained my soleus, developed tendonitis in my ankle, and other problems related to muscle strain and shin splints.  I had doctor's orders to take it easy for several weeks.  Thus, hours of treadling were verboten.  I did, however, manage to treadle my Julia with only one foot.

The second stumbling block was much more pleasant.
We had a vacation!  There was some 11th hour googling of travel bags for spinning wheels, but I passed at the last minute and left the Julia at home.  There was enough swimming, pizza, and mini-bowling that I barely missed it!

All of that aside, I did manage to squeak out with this:
Spicy Sparkles; 366 yards of 2-ply, and about 100 yards of chain ply of superwash with firestar.  Only a quarter of my goal, but enough to be going on with.  I have no idea what to make with it.  I did, however, try a new technique for spinning batts!  May I present... Faux-lags!


I just unrolled the batt, and gently split away a strip of the fiber.
 Roll them back up, and spin from the top of the roll.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer socks

What do you do when family visits for summer fun?  Other than disappear from the blog?

Make them model socks!
These are 265 yards of plymouth Happy Feet in color 18, knitted in my own plain, toe-up pattern.  My mom got to take this with her as her modeling fee!
These were a gift to a coworker with sufficiently small feet.  They're 269 yards of Knit Picks Chroma, in the New England colorway.  I used the same pattern, as above and below...
These are 291 yards of Koigu.  Unlike the other two, these are already safely tucked away in my sock drawer, awaiting next winter.

All three of these are the same pattern, which brings me to an interesting point...  I apparently like knitting boring socks.  I began this year with an intention of knitting 11 interesting, different sock patterns.  Half of the year is gone, and I am precisely 1 sock + 1 toe into 1 pattern.  And everytime I pick up that toe, I mutter and set it back down.

I think interesting sock patterns are for others.  I've decided, instead, to try different yarns!  Knit picks stroll is my go-to sock yarn, but I'm going to branch out.  What are your favorites?  Which ones have you always been meaning to try?  Make my yarn shopping easier :)  Now opening the forum to suggestions...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tour de Fleece 2011

Tour de Fleece.  Starring, in no particular order:

  • Iced spice batt: Superwash merino with firestar.
  • Antarean brandy batt.  Merino and tussah with firestar.
  • Tsavorite Gotland braid.
  • Talisman Texel braid.
It's on, bitches.

Friday Favorites: Media edition!

Here are the music, books, and games that are making my week!
  • Gaelic Storm.  Fun band, funny songs, with lots of energy.  And a bit of Irish.
  • I just finished up book two of Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles.  Here's a link to book on, The Name of the Wind.  It fantastic, epic, character-driven fantasy - my absolute favorite.  
  • Speaking of books, I've had a nook color for a couple months now.  I held out against e-Readers for awhile because I've always loved the smell and feel of books.  But, I absolutely adore it!  And I read 10x more often now that I've got books so easily available.  Also, if you're into classics, many of them are freely available on most platforms.
  • I'm currently reading The Winds of Khalakovo, another fantasy novel.  This one has a Czarist flavor, and I'm a sucker for the combination of interesting magic system paired with social commentary.  It's so engrossing that I missed my trainstop on the way home last Monday...
In other news, summer is revitalizing my interest in sewing.  Sadly, I can't seem to find a fabric store that isn't completely depressing, so this obsession is on hold for now.  I'm knitting socks in the mean time.