soul windows and sunset: skeins!

soulwindows1

soulwindows2

soulwindows3

I am in LOVE. 426 yards of 3-ply, from 4 oz of 90/10 corriedale/nylon from the Spunky Club. LOVE.

This skein made me so excited that I just kept on spinning.

cvm, jacob, kate

Here’s that cvm, waiting to be plied, along with the resting jacob bobbins.

cvm plied

cvm plied…

cvm hanging

hanging to dry…

cvmskein1

cvmskein2

cvmskein3

and skeined.

188 yds of 2-ply, 12 wpi from 2 oz. of cvm from cosy in a colorway called sunset. The color is somewhere in between what you see above — so hard to capture such a rich orangey-red.

boh passed out

Boh is exhausted! (Though not from all that spinning. We took a nice long walk in the woods yesterday, and then went to meet friends at the d-o-g-p-a-r-k.)

Off to pour the coffee — and perhaps ply those jacob bobbins!

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400+.

soulwindowsplied

drying

Hooray! My math skills tell me that I have at least 400 yards of 3-ply here (426, to be precise). I’ll figure out wpi once the skein is dry, but I am thrilled! There should be plenty here for a pair of socks.

I gave this an extra long soak because of how energized it seemed. (Am I supposed to let my plyed yarn rest, too?) You can see that it is a little curly-q-ish down near the bottom of the hanging loop, indicating some overplying, but on the whole, I’m quite happy about this. I’m still looking for that balance between overspinning/underspinning and over/under plying. (And maybe I’ll be forever looking for it!)

Anyway, I was so excited about how this turned out that I just had to sit back down at the wheel, even though it was WAY past my bedtime.

cvm sunset

This is the first bobbin of 2 oz of CVM from cosy in a colorway named sunset. I just sat down and spun, without a plan. I am already seeing that my default spinning is getting thinner, and that I need to really think about what I’m doing to make a thicker, even yarn. I love the richness of these colors — the perfect antidote to a rather rainy summer?

bohispatient

This guy thinks so (or not). I looked up from plying/spinning several times yesterday to find Boh hinting that he might want more attention. We took an extra walk around the neighborhood last night, and we have plans for either a hike or a trip to the d-o-g-p-a-r-k today.

calendar

Also, it is getting to be that time! I realized that this is the last week of my calendar yesterday, and stopped by the campus store to pick up an 09-10 replacement. I love starting a new planner. (Yes, I am a big nerd.) Yesterday I copied pertinent pieces of the fall campus-wide schdule into my calendar and thought a bit about classes/plans for the coming semester, which felt good to me.

That’s enough school talk for a Friday. Have a great weekend!

dillweed/milkweed.

pickles

Dillweed. (In the pickles. These are half-sours, from The Joy of Pickling.)

milkweed

Milkweed. (Shawl by Laura Chau.) I’m only 8 rows in, but I’ve decided that although I am way more comfortable with written directions, I’m going all-chart, all-the-time on this one.

I went back to the LYS having the sale yesterday to get a smaller hiyahiya needle for my vanilla socks. Either I didn’t get the right size earlier in the week, or my gauge loosened up a bit in the switch from 2 circs to 1. While working hard to ignore all of the yarn on sale, I decided to treat myself to an addi lace needle for the milkweed shawl, and already I’m glad I did. (My size 4 knitpicks harmony tips are otherwise occupied at the moment, and I knew I wanted sharp needles for this project.)

vanilla emerald

I didn’t spend a super long time knitting yesterday, but I made serious progress on this sock — I think the hiyahiya is growing on me, and while I’m not sure how well these needles would work for more complicated socks (duller tips and not a lot of give on the needle because the cable is exactly the right size for the stitch count, rather than a bit smaller), these may become my go-to stockinette sock needles. Also, they are QUIET. No clicking, clacking, or fiddling.

gussetheel closeup

Also, (drumroll) my first true gusset heel! I worked the heel turn on 2 dpns and then went back to the hiyahiya. Have I mentioned yet how fantastic Socks From the Toe Up is (today)? No? I continue to recommend checking it out.

One more:

soulwindowsplying

Consider this a plying teaser. I plied for a few hours yesterday, and there is still quite a bit of yarn left on the bobbins, which I am taking as a very good sign in the yardage department. Still aiming/hoping/wishing for sock weight and yardage! Stay tuned…

hiyahiya.

hiyahiya1

Whoa. Yesterday I felt compelled to do something about those needles with the other-than-smooth join. They were driving me crazy! The internets told me that a LYS is having a sale on everything this week, so I dropped by to look ONLY at needles. I was debating between 12 and 16 inch addis, and the (super nice) salesgirl asked if I’d seen the 9 inch hiyahiyas. I didn’t quite understand at the time that 9 inches was short enough to work them on circs the way I’d knit a hat, but at half the price of addis, I grabbed 2, as the join looked so so so smooth.

After one round with the hiyahiyas, I was ready to write this off as a failed experiment and give these needles away. And then I went to ravelry, stalked these needles in forum posts, and realized that it takes time to get used to knitting with needles that have a less-than-2-inch tip.

hiyahiya2

So I tried again, focusing on keeping my hands relaxed, and boy does this speed up the sock knitting! I’m not sure if I’ll use these on all of my socks, but I’m going to try to complete at least this plain-vanilla-sock with my new 9 inch hiyahiya as part of a “get-to-know-you” experiment. As you (and I) can see from this picture, I was getting a bit of laddering with the annoying needles. Not so with the hiyahiya.

sockprogress

Have you guys tried these needles? What do you think?

Other things occurring around chez rooster:

bread

I let this no-knead loaf to rise extra long (about 18 hours for the first rise) and I think that is the trick. One of my best loaves in recent memory.

soulwindows thirdbob

I did A LOT of spinning yesterday, and finished the third bobbin of Soul Windows just before bed last night. This last one has more green and brown than the other two bobbins, and I am interested to see how it will look all plyed up. Still keeping my fingers crossed for enough yardage for socks. I may start that tonight.

bohandbone

Also, Boh asked me to tell you that he did A LOT of work on his bone collection while I was spinning. They all know now who’s boss. (Boh.)

On today’s list: making pickles, plying, prepping for a meeting with my advisor, practicing some rusty language skills, and all sorts of other things that may or may not begin with p.

kip: kraut-in-progress.

picklingcrock

Exhibit A: 1 gallon pickling crock, acquired on ebay.

kraut-i-p

Exhibit B: Kraut-in-progress. (Note: this is not an exercise in instant gratification. While sauerkraut requires regular checking, skimming, etc., it takes several weeks to be ready to enjoy.) This is my first attempt at kraut, and I am so excited. I always LOVE kraut made by friends (including those pictured further on down the post), and can’t wait to have my very own supply.

treman falls

To celebrate being home, Boh and I met up with friends (of the animal and human variety) for a lovely hike through a local state park.

dogs at treman

We followed up the hike with ice cream, beer, homemade bread and fancy cheese. Not a bad Sunday afternoon, if you ask Boh. (I would agree.)

Finally time for a knitting update, don’t you think?

onhold ip

I must confess that I did not touch my on-hold socks while galavanting ‘cross the nation. Sorry, Boh. I knit a few more repeats this morning out of guilt, and the rows seemed to fly by. Have I mentioned yet that I love this yarn? And that I am actually enjoying reading the chart? I know I still have eleven days to finish the pair. In all of our recent travel and excitement, Boh seems to have forgotten about his supervisory role. We’ll see how long that lasts…

mara ip

Mara continues to be blob-like. I’m into the second skein of beaverslide, and I’m going to keep increasing until I’m at the recommended width of 46″. I’m at about 40″ now. I’m okay with a shorter ruffle than the pattern calls for, so long as the wrap is a good size. This is turning out to be great TV knitting, if only I could keep my hands moving during on-screen suspense!

vanillasock ip

I managed to knit a few more inches on my plain vanilla toe-ups, due to some car maintenance that took a bit longer than it was supposed to. I’m just about ready to begin the heel, and I think I am going to attempt Wendy’s gusset heel. Despite a sort of annoying join on these needles, these socks seem to be moving right along. My current sock obsession may necessitate more short circular needle acquisition of the knitpicks variety…

loveart spinning

I also managed to sit down at my wheel this weekend, and it felt good to get reacquainted with my current spinning project: Spunky Club corriedale/nylon blend in Soul Windows. I finished the first bobbin of what I hope will be a 3-ply sock yarn. I know the yarn is way out of focus in this picture, but I really like the way this shot turned out — my lazy kate is on top of a pile of cookbooks on top of a bookshelf.

Coming down the pike:

fleeceartistmilkweedyarn

This lovely Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 sock yarn is soon to become Laura Chau’s Milkweed Shawl. The backwards loop group over on Ravelry is hosting a KAL that began on July 15, and once I make more progress on my on-hold socks, I intend to cast on and tackle my lace anxiety!

cotolinoforbuttercup

Here, I present my only yarn purchase of the trip — 8 balls of Queensland Cotolino, on sale at my old LYS. These are destined to become Buttercup — the modified version with slightly longer sleeves and a slimmer shape, I think.

It feels good to be blogging in “real time” again. Happy Monday, all!

granny gear.

You know, the smallest (third) chain wheel on a bicycle with at least 3 wheels (a triple crankset). It makes it easier to ride uphill. I rode my bike across the country seven summers ago. 4200 miles, a handful of mountain ranges, and the realization that Missouri is not flat (I had conveniently forgotten the Ozarks), I was even happier to have that granny gear.

Today I moved my drive band to the “granny gear” (third/smallest whorl) of my Lendrum DT, and it struck me that the set-ups are similar: a smaller chain wheel or a smaller wheel makes something (the pedals/crank on a bike or the bobbin on the wheel) spin more easily per revolution of the wheel, making it (a) easier to turn the pedals on a bike while going uphill or (b) easier to make thinner yarn — fewer treadles required to get the bobbin going more quickly.  Among cyclists (or at least among the hardcore, of which I am happily not a member), to use the granny gear is to be shunned/jokingly ridiculed, while in the spinning world, a smaller whorl equals a finer yarn, and is often what the spinner is looking for as s/he develops his/her skills. (I think I got that right, but if I’ve switched or inverted my bicycle and wheel mechanics, I blame it on the strawberries.)

soulwindow1

This is Soul Windows, the colorway of the April 2009 Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club:  4 oz of 90% corriedale/10% nylon. I’m aiming for sock yarn, and so far, I think I’m on the right track. I am absolutely loving these blues!

soulwindow2

I’m working on a super thin single, but one that has enough twist to be sturdy. I’m about halfway through the first bobbin after about 2 hours of spinning today. It feels like it is taking longer than the targhee, which I’m interpreting as a good sign in the land of my wpi. We’ll see…

Also, for those worried about Boh’s emotional state, I did manage to cast on and work the toe of sock #2. I’m aiming to make more progress before bed tonight so that Boh can sleep soundly. It’s so hard to be a dog.

sock2lacyrib

Today was a good day: I woke up early and curled up with coffee, knitting, and Laura Gibson’s most recent album, Beasts of Seasons (link goes to an npr article with links to places to listen) which is incredible, and the perfect accompaniment to the sound of the rain hitting the plants outside my window. I made good progress on a great book I’m reading, and when the weather cleared up partway through the afternoon, Boh and I went for a run. I puttered around in the kitchen, slowly simmering a big meal of greens, and then I sat down at my wheel to spin until sundown. A quiet, calm Friday.

skeined.

myrtleskein

Spunky Club Dark BFL in colorway myrtle, 4 oz.

183 yards of 3-ply, dk to light worsted (says my eye).

wpi: soon.

I caved and acquired a tool to measure this on etsy. I hope it will be here when I return from my parents’ house on Wednesday.

darkbflmyrtleFOcloseup

Yay! I’m thrilled with this. Now, what to do with it?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

targheeinprog

I couldn’t help but put something on my empty, forlorn-looking wheel. This is targhee from the Woolly Wonders Fiber Club at AVFKW. It is so smooth and shiney that even now, this photo is distracting me from my attempts at description. This is 3 oz of deep melon-y beauitfulness in the It’s a lovely day colorway. Although the Lendrum does fold and travel, I’m going to leave it here to await my return, mostly because I might ignore my family in order to keep spinning, and that would be poor form.

One more WIP today:

thujaturnedheel2

I turned the heel of the second thuja sock for my uncle last night, and am planning to work on it a bit more before Boh and I hop into the car. I will get these done in time to deliver them, I will get these done in time to deliver them, I will get these done in time to deliver them…