Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Romantic isn't always the best choice.

I have a bit of a confession. I love old movies and I love doing little things to help try to save the environment. In the last couple of years, I switched over to handkerchiefs rather than tissues. It may not be a BIG thing, but little things add up. Don't worry, I wash them in hot water with lots of soap, they're totally disinfected and I actually love using them. I also have this romantic old movie idea about them, that they should be pretty and frilly and wonderful. Of course they aren't. You can't find (at least not easily) hankies that are utilitarian and pretty. My solution of course is to Crochet or knit my own edges onto them. I have thought and thought about this, but never seemed ready to do anything about it until last night at Crochet Night.

First, pick a pattern for an edging that you like.
Then, crochet a sample.

Hmm, very pretty but it is worked back and forth and doesn't have corner directions.

Take a lot of notes and come up with a plan for a corner.

Then, if you think it will work, crochet a corner.

So far so good. That's an almost perfect right angle. Now measure the hanky, plan the number of stitches and start right?

It looks beautiful but it's taking forever. Remind me why I wanted to do this again.

Monday, July 05, 2010

And We're Off

Saturday was the official Kick-off of the Tour de France and therefore also the kick-off of the Tour de Fleece. It's very exciting. My goals are to spin 2 braids of fiber (4 oz. each) to be navajo-plied into sock yarn.

I haven't actually chosen the second but here is a sneak peek of the first and how it's going.

This is my Gritty Knits Merino Braid of the Month from May of this year. Isn't it great? I love getting fiber every month and this club is great because you pay monthly so it doesn't come all at once.

I have been planning to N-ply it to keep the beautiful colors together and it's going to be sock yarn so I wanted some great stripes so I stripped it the full length of the braid.

And, on Saturday, I started spinning. So far, I've spun almost 2 oz. of the first braid.

Here are some gorgeous singles

I'm glad that I'm "ahead" right now because if I lose momentum as time goes on, I can hopefully still finish. So far, things are looking GREAT.

In other news, I feel like I won the lottery because I have been chosen as the chart test-knitter for one of Susan Pandorf's amazing patterns. I'm knitting the Bombadil hat (it's in her series based on the Lord of the Rings and it's based on a character that was left out of the movies named Tom Bombadil.)

It's several rows of colorwork followed by one color twisted stitches. It's beautiful so far, even though I'm knitting it out of other colors besides those that are recommended and the pattern is beautifully written (charted).

Saturday, July 03, 2010

In Training

As promised, here is the project I'm knitting with the sock yarn I dyed. I still can't believe the amazing colors I got using only black food coloring. This doesn't look like anything at all right now, but I can assure you, it's going to be a beautiful little shawlette when it's finished. First, I'm adding an edging though. You'll have to wait for that.

In other news, I've been in training recently for the Tour de Fleece which starts today. To "train" as it were, I've been spinning some beautiful 50/50 Wool/Soysilk. I, of course, forgot to take pictures of it pre-spinning because I was so excited when I received it, that I started spinning within 48 hours. But, here's the singles on the bobbin.

I wasn't exactly sure what I was hoping for with this fiber but I am wanting to spin a single and navajo-ply it for socks in the Tour de Fleece so I was trying to spin this nice and fine.

I succeeded in spinning it pretty fine and decided to navajo-ply it.

Here it is, as it's being plied. I was unsure about how it was turning out. Sure, there were some nice fine places and most of it was turning out about sock-weight I thought, but I wasn't sure.

Then I wound it off the bobbin. Onto the Niddy Noddy.

Wow, it looks even better here doesn't it? Well, as a part of winding it off, I count the approximate yardage.

Wondering what I ended up with? I was too.

Here I present, a beautiful skein of Tempted Yarns Persuasion. 50/50 Wool/Soysilk. 440 yards!

That's right, I did it! 440 yards in 4 oz. that's sock-weight baby! Excuse me while I happy dance now.

More on the Tour de Fleece Later.