Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Too Many Choices

I've finally gotten into the swing of Ravelry. My books are mostly catalogued there and I'm happily favoriting patterns I want to knit. Two hundred and twenty-seven patterns so far, and I've barely started on the Vogue Knitting magazines, the (older only; I do have some taste) Knitter's, the tall books up on top of the bookcase, and Knitty. I had a need-new-knitting-stuff attack this afternoon after work and ducked into the nearest Border's in hopes of finding one of the several marvelous new books coming out this fall. Alas, no new books there, which is good, because I'd like to get the current collection of patterns catalogued before the new books twist me in a yarny knot of sheer lust.

Not to mention cataloguing the stash, or the projects. Heh. Don't hold your breath.

It's rather sobering to see all, or even most, of the patterns I'd like to knit all neatly lined up somewhere. I know I didn't Ravel some patterns I loved when I first laid eyes on them in a magazine/book/screen, because upon second look, they don't continue to thrill me - and yet there are so many that do thrill me! I've been knitting lots of lace and cables this summer, so now I'm even developing a yearning for Fair Isle - Fair Isle mittens, in particular, even though I don't like wearing mittens. Fair Isle goes quickly, but the best kind of Fair Isle uses itty-bitty yarn, which means thousands and thousands of yarn must pass through my fingers on the way to becoming even a basic straightforward Shetland-style Fair Isle sweater. So if I succumb to the stranded-knitting itch, I have to knit almost twice as much yarn as plain objects would need. Argh!

Now tell me: How on earth am I going to knit even half - even 10%! - of the patterns I love? Do I really need to develop powers of discrimination, such that I don't love everything? Do I go backwards three steps in order to go forward more quickly - that is, should I learn a faster style of knitting than my slow throwing? Should I - no, please tell me no - buy a knitting machine?

And what about all the spinning I want to do? And the weaving? I bought fabric for some bags the other day - when are they going to get made?

I'll tell you, I have been knitting and spinning my fingers to the bone this summer, and I still haven't even cast on for
Boo, Too, or the Streaming Leaves Shawl, or that little herringbone-stitch bag I want to knit up in Diane's sock yarn.

On the other hand, I haven't had this much sustained fun since I took up chasing dragonflies. Better to have too many choices than to be bored to death.

So, on to the good stuff: Look what I just spun! My first true 3-ply!



That's Spunky Eclectic Romney in the Go Fly a Kite colorway. Twelve ounces of nice worsted weight (I haven't measured yardage yet). I bet that if I spin up a certain big blue batt, of which I have a pound and a half, I could knit me a beautiful top-down, round-yoke, Icelandic-type sweater.


And perhaps this Wisteria yoke inspired those thoughts of top-down, round-yoked sweaters. I'm simply loving knitting this. I love the pattern, the yarn (Tahki Donegal Tweed), my rapid progress (dare I say Rh______?). I met Kate Gilbert at the Fiber Revival a week and a half ago, and I'm afraid I automatically half-curtseyed to her, in my excitement and shyness. She was abashed, of course - true royalty, indeed.


Finally, another inspiration for my Fair Isle yearnings - these are Shetland lamb fleeces drying. That's Licorice on the right, and Cocoa on the left - both were raised by my friend Isabel. Here's Licorice's fleece being washed...


And demonstrating why he was a dual-coated sheep, thanks to the visit of Marcy's competent hands...


Now if Ms. Habetrot had only demonstrated hand carding for me, I might be getting somewhere with these fleeces. Alas, she did not. Luckily, I have lots to do till I can glom onto someone else to teach me the proper way to card.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Blogging. I Remember Blogging.

Geez, it's been a busy summer. I keep meaning to blog about this and that, but having fun keeps getting in the way. Sorry!

Today, however, you get an FO. I present to you my SeaSilk Hamsa...


This is Anne Hanson's Hamsa design - a simple swaying to and fro of parallel lines of yarnovers. The pattern calls for 9.3 repeats of the pattern; I knit 11.3 repeats of the SeaSilk on size 3 needles, resulting in a blocked size of 12.5" x 47.25". I might have gotten another repeat out of the 5/8 of an ounce of leftover yarn, but I was sick of knitting this by the end of 10.3 repeats (That Sue made me go to 11.3, drat her). I love the scarf, you understand - I was just bored with knitting it by the end. I have to remember this ever-present fact about my scarf-knitting for the next time I decide to knit one, and maybe I'll let the pattern mutate and evolve as I go along. More interesting that way, I would think (says the evolutionary biologist).

Here is the modeled photo, modeled by an adult:


And here is the scarf modeled by someone who is clearly not an adult: