Sunday, January 28, 2007

Shedir Troubles

So, the hat is looking beautiful, I'm starting the decreases, and I'm getting excited about finally being able to send it to my friend, even though it's already a month after Christmas. It's getting cold in NYC finally, so she can really use it. What's the problem, you ask? Well, see that tiny little bit of yarn on the left-hand side of the pic? That's all I have left for about 20 rows. It's not enough. Not by any stretch of the yarn-magination. So I have 2 options. One costs money, the other costs sanity. I can buy another ball of koigu. Or, I can rip this back and eliminate one of the repeats of the pattern, since it will be long enough anyway. Frugal mud wants option #2, but mud who is easily frustrated by ripping back multiple cabling rows and fearful she will not be able to figure out where to stop ripping wants option #1. I have a week to decide, since I'm on a work trip in Hong Kong now and didn't bring this with be so I wouldn't fret about it. What do you guys think?

In other wonderful news, my wheel arrived just before I left. Isn't it cute? I'm kind of amazed that I got it all assembled by myself (thanks to some help from the Ashford web site), and even got David to play with it a little. But I desperately need Jess's help to get me spinning. I tried and can't really get it started. I'm sad I'm missing the Frog Pond Fiber Frolic on Saturday, it would be a perfect coming out party for my new little wheel! I was excited to find out that Yarnmonster Jess has the same wheel, it makes me really think I made the right choice, because she's pretty good at all things fibrous and would buy a bad wheel!

Friday, January 19, 2007

What have I gotten myself into?

As most of you know, I've been on a mission to learn how to spin since early last year. I've had a few bouts of practice with Vicki and Jess, but I finally signed up for a class at the local art museum this month -- and it got cancelled due to lack of interest! And I've been browsing ebay for months, trying to find a reasonably priced wheel, but every time I found one I would get outbid at the last minute. So many impediments!!! Last night, however, I logged onto that addictive bidding site and saw an Ashford Traveler with 3 minutes left in the auction. I didn't even have time to think. I just bid...and won! I bought a wheel! OMG, I was freaking out b/c it's kind of a big purchase, and it's been my abstract aspiration for so long that for it to become suddenly real, with less than 3 minutes of transition time, was a bit overwhelming. But exciting! In less than 2 weeks, this baby should be here! Frog Ponders, I'm counting on your expertise to get me spinning!

(David's prediction: In less than 3 months our apartment will be filled with garbage bags of animal by-products. That sounds so much less romantic than roving. But he's a muggle -- he doesn't know.)

Oh, and I meant to mention this in my post yesterday -- the yarn that the guru used to knit me the Monkey socks was from Shelridge Farms, and she bought it at the MDS&W. I love these funky monkey socks!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

All Is Good in the World

I got some pretty awesome Christmas/B-day presents from some pretty awesome people. Somehow, David knew I was coveting this Cherry Creek Farm Icelandic Wool -- actually I saw it on someone else's blog in December, but I cannot remember who posted it, I'm sorry! I'm thinking it will become a nice hat and scarf or ... yikes! ... gloves! But the thought of all those DPN's scares me.

The guru sent me these fabulous Monkey socks, which I am wearing right now, and also the Yarn Harlot's latest book.

Jess (who I finally saw again last night at the Bella Vita knitting meet-up) gave me a subscription to a spinning magazine. Now I just need to get a wheel -- our spinning class was cancelled because Jess and I were the only ones who signed up, so I have to learn with a little help from my friends. And to that end, my parents and parents-in-law gave me a little bit o'birthday cash to help me on the road to the wheel.

I'm working on Shedir and having a bit of trouble at the point where the repeats start. I know Schrodinger completed it, I'm going to have to ask her to tag in and help!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sheep Smelling Heaven!

I have been traveling for the past month, for the holidays (to see David's family first, then out east to see my family). I'm still not back in the midwest, but I didn't want to postpone posting any longer because A. I didn't want to become a has-been blogger and B. The amount of stuff I have to post about is already getting unwieldy! Belive me when I tell you that I have been getting up to lots of sheepy shenanigans.

First up, I went to Back Alley Fiber Arts, in Caro, MI. This is the new yarn shop in David's hometown. When I walked in the door, I was greeted by one of the 7 women who started the shop as a place to get together and knit when the old yarn shop, Ruby's, closed down a few months ago. The shopkeeper asked me what I liked, and when I told her I was into the natural stuff, she pointed me to a basket of locally grown and spun yarn. The prices were amazing!!! I bought a bunch of it, and the brown sheep wool became a hat for my dad (thanks to Fig & Plum for the Cashmere Ribbed Hat pattern). I also stopped at Zeilenger Wool Co. in Frankenmuth and picked up some dreamily soft alpaca that became a baby hat for my new cousin Chiara, who lives in a small town in the Dolomites in Italy. Kingston is really enjoying the brown hat...

In another yarn shop I picked up some light blue Koigu and used it for the first time -- oh yeah, it's true, it DOES knit like a dream! With this, I'm making the Shedir cap from Knitty, as a belated Christmas present for a friend. Hmmm...didn't someone else just make both of these same things? Thanks, Schrodinger, you're a good leader, even if you didn't know I was following you.

Wait wait, adventues in yarn continue! I mentioned the Farmhouse Yarns sale I was going to this weekend, right? Well, it was fantastic. Just imagine a mini-Rhinebeck in someone's (very large) driveway, in the middle of the woods, with sheep baa-ing in the background. Carol, the owner, buys fiber from many small farms and has it spun into her own lines (like Lumpy Bumpy, Silk Spun Cotton, Fat Sheep) which she sells to yarn shops. But every once in a while, she needs to do an inventory reduction so she hauls everything out into her driveway in hundreds of bins, most organized by type and color of yarn, and invites crazy yarn addicts like myself to come fondle and buy it at majorly reduced prices. She even had some roving for sale, and her flock of sheep literally overlooked the entire event. I just bought a few skeins -- light blue for a jumper for Sam, green (color Avocado!) and electric blue for something for Brady, orange for pumpkin hats and the brown for a hat for someone, not sure who. I almost purchased some undyed Lumpy Bumpy, because when I plunged my hands into the bin the yarn was so buttery soft I wanted to roll around in it naked. But alas, the bin wasn't big enough for that and I wasn't alone with the bin, so I decided to keep my clothes on and pass on the yarn. Truth be told that particular lot of undyed yarn was too sheep-smelly, even for me.

Rest assured, I have not been ignoring Rogue entirely during my yarn-buying frenzies of late. Here's a shot of the sleeves in progress (I'm trying to do both at once). But small hats are so much more portable and instantly gratifying. Didn't I used to be a monogamous knitter?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Be Back Soon!

Wow, it's almost been a month since my last post. How very very bad...blogger block! I'll be back soon, having plenty to write about because I'm going HERE tomorrow!

She doesn't usually have a retail store but there's a big sale event. YAY!