whispering?

You know, the act of finishing off a whisper cardigan. I snapped these photos last weekend, before a super busy week of research travel.

I think I’m going to love this sweater. I bound off moments after these photos — just needed to make sure it seemed long enough — and then promptly tucked it into my knitting bag for safekeeping while I was away. On the list for this week? Blocking the bottom edge to reduce the rolling. And then, if it stays cool and gray, wearing it out of the house! (I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: I clearly didn’t give any thought at all to the placement of the mirror in my new home — I need to place one somewhere other than a dark hallway near the bathroom with yellowish light.) Also, I didn’t even need to break into the third skein of this Knitpicks laceweight yarn. Real FO photos to come once it is blocked.

Oh, and that blueberry crumble I posted about last week?

It was delicious. More soon.

shhh…

20110728-020205.jpg

Greetings, readers, from somewhere that is neither here nor there. I really have been meaning to blog, not least to share about the fantastic weekend I spent with blog-friends-turned-real-friends, Mick and Laura. (Would you believe that we didn’t really do any knitting or spinning because we were too busy talking, eating, and drinking?)

Anyway, I’m on a fancy bus pointed towards a city with a library that has some stuff that might be useful for my dissertation, and now seems as good a time as any to (a) try to get back into a blogging rhythm, and (b) learn how to use wordpress on my shiny iPhone. (I hate to admit it, but I do think the iPhone may be a factor in my recent blogging slump. The teaching definitely kept me super busy earlier in the summer, but I’ve also noticed that the camera on the iPhone is so good that I rarely reach for my regular camera, and I am not in the habit of daily syncing my phone with m computer. Bottom line? I’ve been slow to upload photos, and that seems to be disrupting my blogging routine.) I am going to try to be better- and maybe wordpress on the iPhone will help!

So, to connect back to today’s post title, does anybody recognize the knitting in my lap? That’s right, it’s my whisper cardigan, and it is almost done! I grabbed it because it is small and light, and at a place where the knitting is easy. Most of my WIPs are at stages that require more concentration than I have right now. I’m so happy to be knitting on this again!

More soon!

(lots) more of those singles.

But first I have to share this photo I snapped of my lunch yesterday: leftover dumplings, new music (checking out the Broken Bells album), natural light. Yum! (And necessary sustenance for all of the spinning I have been doing this weekend.)

Finished singles, on the niddy noddy. No breaks in the winding process, which I was super happy about. I was aiming for a low-enough twist for these to be reasonably balanced after finishing. With trepidation, I took them off the niddy noddy.

And snapped another picture. So far so good — the singles are not too twisty! Into the bath they go.

Post bath, admiring the sheen of the mohair.

Boh lays claim to the towel used to squeeze out the excess water. (Can you blame him? It smells like wet woolliness.)

And now the singles are hanging to dry. It feels good to be spending so much time at my wheel!

reward/recovery.

amondale batt1

Thank you for all of your happy thoughts about Tuesday’s lecture! I finally was able to do a bit of knitting and spinning last night in order to recover from all of the week’s stress and extra adrenaline, and I decided to reward myself by spinning a special treat: a gorgeous batt from Amondale Farms that Lisa Knithound sent my way as a Rhinebeck souvenir. (I was going to try to crack a Halloween joke or two about batts/bats…but I won’t.)

amondale batt2

I know, Boh does not look pleased. But these are his colors! Lisa said that this batt reminded her of the southwest, and I agree: these colors make me think of the gorgeous sunrises I witnessed almost every morning when I lived there.  I did a little bit of reading about spinning batts, divided the 1.5 oz. batt into two equal chunks by unrolling the rectangle and splitting it down the middle, and sat down at the wheel.

amondale battplied

I mostly used the long draw technique to spin this, but I did a lot of smoothing of the single before I let it wind on to the bobbin, so it certainly wasn’t a “true” long draw. I let the singles rest an hour, and then plied them together!

amondale batt niddynoddy

Here’s the plied batt on my niddy noddy…

amondale batt FO

And here is my finished skein: 51 yards of lofty 2-ply that runs a bit thick and thin, from dk to worsted.

amondale batt FO close

I’m already thinking about turning this into a calorimetry for me!

Spinning and plying this batt last night just made me want to get something else going on the wheel. It was so much fun to try something new — this is my first batt! — that I decided to take my fast flyer out of it’s plastic wrap and put it on my wheel.

winter storage bob1

This is Finn, from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club, in the Winter Storage colorway. I’m aiming for a 2-ply light-fingering/laceweight.

Happy Friday!

 

pssst.

whisper-first-sleeve

And so it begins. Yesterday, in between chunks of reading and note-taking, I wound up a skein of Knitpicks Shadow in Redwood Forest with an intention to swatch. After struggling with attempting to cast on/join laceweight yarn on circular 6s (which I was going to try first after reading some rav comments), I gave up on the magic looping because I was too lazy to dig up a book to refresh my memory on the start-up part of it and went looking for dpns.

Take 2: Bamboo dpns, size 6. AKA the dullest dpns in my collection. I cast on 76 st and knit a few rows of k1p1 ribbing (a popular rav mod to prevent rolling), cursing all the while. Then I remembered these needles, given to me by someone quite dear. Maybe there were sixes in this set?

Nope. But there were dpns in size 7s (which the pattern uses), and they were pointy. The needles determined my plan of attack: with only one set of viable needles for starting the project without wanting to poke myself in the eye repeatedly, I dove in, SANS swatch. I mean, if the results of the swatch do not matter because there is only one set of needles in the house that will be enjoyable to knit this yarn with, what could a swatch really DO for me?

Famous last words, I know, but if the knitting isn’t enjoyable, why do it?

Here’s how it is working out so far. On this sleeve, I’m getting 7 st/inch and 8 rows/inch on 7s. The pattern gauge is 6st/inch and 8 rows/inch. I’ve read that some folks have found that Shadow will grow, and the sleeves are pretty big on a lot of people. With this pattern’s particular construction, my st gauge is not as important for overall size (notwithstanding the arms, but I am happy with them being a little smaller), because the pattern moves from sleeve to sleeve across the back, rather than down, and my row gauge is on, and then the back gets picked up and worked down. Does that make sense? I think so…

Also, I am aware that I need to keep an eye on all of this, and laceweight yarn on bigger needles seems particularly responsive in the land of blocking. Yay!

I’m glad my needle dilemma reminded me of these needles. It feels good to be using them.

Back to the books…