Posts Tagged by yarn
|16 November 2015||Posted by Ness under Podcast|
In which I get a little something off my chest, get the bamboo done for Level 5, totally skip some skeins for Level 3, miscalculate on knitting a shawl and update you on the Calgary Fibre Arts Fair, talk to my dad after Fibre Week this year, and don’t get any further on Christmas Elegance. Thanks for listening!
- Website for the Calgary Fibre Arts Fair
- Sea Turtle Fiber Arts
- The yarn I got: Maui Lace in Sunrise
- Yarn I’m using for this newest version of Learning to Fly
- Link to the Learning to Fly pattern page on Ravelry
- Edmonton Weavers’ Guild
Fibreside Chat – Danware
By The Wayside
|9 November 2013||Posted by Ness under Knitting|
For the last week, it’s been all blanket, all the time, and on top of the crazy diet changes and the whole right side of my upper back deciding to completely freak out earlier this week, I’ve been feeling worn down about pretty much everything. It’s pretty hard to get motivated when all these things seem stacked against you. It’s a good thing I’m a pretty old hand at it. Today marks the last day of National Pain Awareness Week, which seems a good time to talk briefly about pain. I have chronic pain. I’ve had a headache of varying degrees for well over half my life now, and after the first year of popping pain killers (and working up a tolerance to them in the process), I’ve been dealing with it mostly through non-chemical means. The hip thing is only the latest in a long line of musculoskeletal issues that I get, attempt to treat, make some progress on, and then deal with going forward. Even with the hip thing, I’m actually better off now than I was ten years ago, when a day of typing at my job was almost enough to keep my hands from doing anything else for the rest of the day. It’s not an easy thing, chronic pain, especially because it’s invisible. It’s hard to explain to people, hard for someone without a chronic problem to contextualize. There’s the spoon theory, which helps illustrate the decisions someone with chronic pain and illness must make every day. As scholars and doctors start to look at pain more, they have also talked about alternate pain scales. For someone like me, who unconsciously ignores any pain below about a 5 on the 10-scale, an alternate scale might be more useful.
I turned 36 this year, which means that I’ve been dealing with pain for just over two decades. That’s a long time. Long enough that I’ve learned a few tricks along the way. And for times like now, when I’ve changed up my eating habits and am craving the things I really (REALLY) can’t have, and the pain is not ignorable, and I have a relatively simple but still time-consuming project on a deadline, it’s all about the carrots. It’s those things to look forward to, that keep you moving one step at a time forward, because there’s no other direction to go, and stopping – while it might be nice – is just not an option. One of the big carrots for me this week was the long weekend and my week off. I made it to Friday, made it through Friday, and even though I woke up at 6 am this morning (yes, even with my alarm not on), it was lovely because I could just turn over and go back to sleep (it’s immaterial that I didn’t seem to be able to – I had a lie-in instead until just after 7, and it was glorious).
The Op Art blanket, for all that it’s easy and I like the pattern and the yarn, has reached that point that I knew it would, where I just want it over with. Thankfully, I decided to knit from the outside in, so I’ve managed to avoid shades of The Never-Ending Afghan of Doom. At least I know myself that well. But I’ve still been thinking about carrots, just so that I keep working on it, and I have a few.
I’ve been carrying this ball of yarn around in the bag with the blanket since the weekend. It’s a skein of Blissful Sovk (75% SW BFL/20% silk/10% cashmere) from The Wacky Windmill, which I picked up this summer at Fibre Week. The colourway is called KaPow!, but it reminds me more of a nebula than a comic book. You’ll notice that it’s cleverly dyed so that each section seems to be about the same width in the ball, which of course means that the yardage in each colour increases, making it perfect for a triangular shawl. It’s been calling to me for over a month, and it’s just the kind of carrot I need right now to get through the blanket. I just need to find an appropriate pattern. Maybe something outer-spacey…
On top of that, I’d mentioned to Mike last week that if I wanted to keep wearing skirts this winter, I was going to need some leg warmers for the to- and from-the-car periods (and maybe inside – I’m not discounting that either), and maybe I could pick up yarn at Pam’s as part of his birthday present to me. So I sat down over lunch today to find a pattern, and so many things just lined up that it was fate. The first pattern that came up in my Ravelry search was Nozky from Knitty First Fall 2013, a lovely over-the-knee leg warmer with a nice subtle lace pattern on the sides. Pretty much exactly what I was looking for! Okay, my above-the-knee measurement is a little larger than the XXL (darn that left-over fencing muscle anyway; it makes all kinds of problems for pants and other leg garments), but I figure it’ll be pretty easy to modify. Then I thought, ‘What do I have in my stash that’s DK weight?’ So in I went to my Ravelry stash listing, and while I didn’t have enough of any one colour, wouldn’t you know but I had two that could coordinate! I have two balls of Knit Picks Gloss DK that was part of one of my tangle-presents from a dear friend in a dark purple, and then two skeins of London 2012 souvenir yarn, The Natural Dye Studio Dazzle BFL DK, in lighter shades of lavender. Dark for the cuffs top and bottom, and light for the body! Perfect! And then I thought, well, best to do them two at a time, even though I’ll have to wrangle two balls of yarn, and then it hit me that I can test out Dad’s new prototype of a double-yarn-top! Kismet, I tell you. Just kismet. When I’m done the blanket.
I also decided it’s time to make a new Nessy. The Loch Ness Monster pattern by Hansi Singh was the reason I bought the Amigurumi Knits book way back whenever that was, and I’d intended to make my nephew one as a toy even before he was born. Alas, that was not the project to learn kitchener stitch on, nor was it a good idea to use DK weight acrylic. I’ve been wanting to have another go at it now that I’m a little better at kitchener, so when I was out at Pam’s today buying my birthday present from Mike, I decided he should get me yarn for a Nessy. It’s Cascade 220 in green and yellow-green, and that’s also waiting for me when I’m done the blanket.
The blanket. I’ve been working on it all week. Last night, I reached the half-way point when it came to stitches, having reduced from 552 down 50 per cent. That was when I started on the last ball of the white yarn that I’d purchased, and hoped that I had enough. This evening, curiousity got the better of me (because if I need another ball of white, I want to go out and get it tomorrow), and I made a spreadsheet to calculate percentages and stitch counts. It turns out that by the time I reduced the stitch count by half, I’d actually knit over 80 per cent of the blanket. … Well, count me boggled. Today I’ve been piecing my day out in hours. I set the timer, and then work on the blanket for an hour. When the timer goes off, I get up and do something else, just to keep moving around, and also to get other things done. I probably have time for one more hour tonight before I get too tired, but I’ve already gone down to a smaller circular needle, and hey, over 80 per cent done. Probably closer to 90 now. Which means that even with laundry and Master Spinner homework plans and groceries and house stuff planned for tomorrow. I stand a good chance of getting it finished, if not tomorrow, then certainly Monday. And those carrots? I just can’t wait. The excitement about them breaks through the overwhelming nature of the week, and that is, naturally, the point of having a carrot in the first place.
|14 September 2013||Posted by Ness under Knitting|
Today was the big yarn bomb for Kaleidofest. Since I didn’t go, let me tell you about Thing 3’s experience there.
Three hours was the minimum amount of time artists could take to put up their lamp post decoration. Things 1, 2, and 3 all thought that would be PLENTY of time. Why, they’d probably have to sit about and make more flowers to add to the garden to make up that minimum three hours. But they didn’t count on one thing: the generosity of Knitmontonians. Once all the flowers, leaves, birds, bees, dragonflies, and other critters had been laid out on the table, well, they were BLOWN AWAY. So many things to plant in the garden! Amazing! Brilliant! Colourful!
Things started not completely smoothly. The lamp post they’d been assigned was larger in diameter than what they’d anticipated, which meant that while the grass fit, the sky wasn’t as sure a proposition. However, the malleability of yarn (even acrylic yarn), proved equal to the task, and that cozy is NOT going anywhere until they take it down tomorrow night. With the hard part done, it was time for proper tea before on to the flowers.
As they worked, many people stopped to look, to touch, and to compliment. It was brilliant, and they would like to thank everyone who stopped by and told them how lovely the Garden was, who took photos of them, who took photos of themselves with the Garden, who told other people about yarnbombing, who voted for them, and who generally made life wonderful. Kudos should also go out to the the Kaleidofest volunteers who stopped by with water and good spirits, and who didn’t laugh when the 30 degree weather made them give up on anonymity.
Yes, it was hot. Hot and sunny. And the hats and beards did not last the full five hours it took to complete the Yarn Garden. Only three (which is long enough to get kind of a silly looking slight sunburn on the face, let Thing 3 tell you…). But we’ll pretend that they’re still anonymous, okay?
The four lamp posts will be judged tomorrow afternoon, and there are cash prizes to be had. Should the Yarn Garden win, Knitmonton will be splitting the prize money between the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts and the Alzheimer Society of Alberta. Because Knitmonton does what they do to make people smile and to bring beauty into the world, and for no other reason.
Click here to see the photos in the slideshow below with captions. Special thanks to Keely for wielding the camera to get so many great pictures!
|2 September 2013||Posted by Ness under Spinning|
August is over, which means that my month off of homework is also over, but I figured I’d give myself Labour Day, and finish up the Frazzlebatt 3-ply.
I started spinning these on Aug. 17, and finished spinning the final singles on Sunday, so today it was time to ply.
I guessed the singles TPI at 7.5, so when I did my math, it said to do three treadles for a four-inch ply drafting length. I taped out four inches on my lap cloth, and got started.
Plying is one of those things in spinning. You don’t think it should take as long as it actually does. I mean, you’ve already done the hard part, right? The spinning, making sure your singles are nice and even and with good twist. Plying is just easy, treadle and feed, treadle and feed, and that’s it. Right?
At some point, you stretch out your neck and wonder, “How long have I been here? Why aren’t those bobbins empty yet? Good heavens, why is this taking so long?” But you keep going.
This point, after you’ve been plying for two hours straight, after you’ve had to call your fiance to kill a couple of bugs and open up your protein bar snack because you don’t want to let go with the hand that’s holding back the twist. This is the point where you start wondering, “Am I going to run out of singles first, or bobbin to ply on? Also, how much longer is this going to take? What should I do if I run out of singles first? Should I make an Andean bracelet and keep going until I really run out of blue, or just stop and figure out something else to do with the remaining singles? What if I run out of bobbin first? Could I use a spindle to do the rest, so I won’t have to break the yarn? Also, could I maybe have done this differently, because my finger really hurts…”
As it turned out, I did run out of one singles before I ran out of room on the plying bobbin, but it was a near run thing. At that point, I’d been plying for three hours, so I left the remaining singles. I have an idea to just two-ply them, as I signed up for a mini-sock-swap, and I think they’ll be a perfect mini-skein to send. You know, once I figure out new plying math for a two-ply with singles at 7.5 tpi (Level 3 is totally infecting my spinning, and that is not a bad thing).
Alastair has a Freedom Flyer, which means he’s got the jumbo bobbins, which is great, because you can fit a lot on them, and come out with fairly substantial skeins. I’ve only ever filled a bobbin past where I should have once (click to see, if you’re interested), so even though I was starting to get a little anxious about how much space was left, I knew I could still fit quite a bit on. But after three hours, I just wanted to get up and move around, so that’s what I did, and then got out the niddy noddy.
I’ve learned my lesson not to measure and declare yardage before washing, but that’s a pretty good amount of yarn. And not only that, but it’s almost the weight and colour that I’d envisioned.
But, there’s one final test… All that spinning, all that plying, all that math. One final test.
If I’m right about the singles TPI, then it will. IF I’m right.
|2 August 2013||Posted by Ness under Knitting|
I’ve knit a lot of things in the round. Socks. Circular shawls. An afghan. Sleeves. Bags. Lots of things. And there’s one thing that’s common between all those things.
“Join into round, being careful not to twist.”
Now, maybe I’ve just been lucky, or maybe if a twist somehow did get by me I caught it in the first row, but I’ve been careful, and I’ve joined into the round without twisting lots of times. I don’t recall ever having joined into the round and having a twist.
Until this week.
I would have merrily kept knitting for at least a few more rows before realizing there was a problem, too, if I hadn’t had the tunic out at Tuesday night and a friend was spreading it out to see the colours. Luckily, this is Noro. Even though it’s mostly cotton, you can rip this stuff back and the loops are just waiting there for you to pick them up again without any fuss or bother. I ripped back to the first row after joining and in the 178 stitches, there was only one that slipped through and I had to pick it back up on the first round.
A twist is one of those things that you can’t fudge. You simply have to bite the bullet and tear back nearly all the way. At the cast on or one row in, especially with lace-weight like this, you can fake away the twist without really affecting your fabric (http://www.knittingdaily.com/blogs/daily/archive/2010/07/19/cast-on-without-doing-the-twist.aspx). Otherwise, take that thing off the needles and just rip it back to where you can fake it.
I was lucky. It was caught fairly early, and in company that could help me and triple-check when I had it back on the needle. By the next day, I was back up to where I was before the twist was discovered, and now I’ve made some decent progress.
It had to happen sometime, I suppose, and I’m sure it will happen again, with less happy results than with Noro lace. And hey. I got to knit more with Noro. Life is good. 🙂