plied.

full-spindle2

I filled this spindle — which split where the hook screws into the shaft just as I was finishing. (I think I’ll mostly be using this for plying, as I didn’t have much luck with it as a beginning spindle, and it seems fixable.) Plying took much longer than I expected — it takes time for an appropriate amount of twist to travel up the strands of yarn! Next I began wrapping the yarn around my arm to make a big loop — but there was too much yarn:

winding

So I started over, using a chair back, and found a reasonably priced niddy noddy online for next time. Here’s my yarn, pre-warm bath:

before-washing

I LOVE it. LOVE. After soaking in warm water/detergent, and then hot water/vinegar, and then warm water again (according to Maggie Casey’s instructions in Start Spinning), I hung it to dry on a hanger in the kitchen.

closeup-hanger

hanging

I woke up this morning to find my yarn almost dry. A few more hours, and I’ll be able to twist it into a skein (and take more pictures). I’ll also work on estimating wraps/inch and yards!

sleepingboh

Boh is pretty tired from all that plying, and I managed to pour my coffee grounds from the grinder into my glass of water instead of into my press. I might be a little tired from plying too! Today I must make progress on that baby sweater. No more spinning until it is done. (Hear that, self?)

FO: star crossed slouchy beret

Ta-da! This was super quick and quite fun to knit. The cables increase the squish factor of the Malabrigo, and while the variegation is a bit busy, I am quite excited to send this westward to its rightful owner. Here’s another shot of the Star Crossed Slouchy Beret, in which the dog demonstrates his usefulness as a table/backdrop:

Using the eyeballing method, this hat took about half a skein of Malabrigo. I may make one for myself out of my sassymetrical leftovers. This is where a scale would come in handy…I’ll keep you posted. In other news, here are some pictures of yesterday’s victories:

Delicious collards from my local farmers’ market, cooked with garlic, ginger and chile.

My very own yarn! (Dog for scale.) I’m not sure if you can get a sense for the thickness of this yarn, but most of this feels like a light worsted or even a heavy dk. I need to get better at spinning the spindle levelly, and at joining new pieces of fiber without getting an ugly blip in my yarn, but I am feeling really good about this. Dividing my roving into more vertical pieces, and doing more pre-drafting to both lengthen the roving strips and separate the fibers from each other made all the difference. I had a lot of fun with this, and am looking forward to practicing a bit more.

I also have a recent yarn acquisition to share, purchased at my new LYS. This is absolutely gorgeous, local, undyed alpaca. I bought two 8 oz 660 yd skeins, and I’m wondering if I could turn this into a drapey Gathered Pullover. What do you think? Other ideas include a luxurious shawl or lacey shrug.

Thanks also for all of your kind words about graduate school and the transition. It feels truly indulgent to be able to set most of my own schedule and focus on reading and writing and thinking. I’m sure my anxiety will begin decreasing once my seminars get past their introductory meetings and I am able to work through the transitional cobwebs by participating.

Alright — off to do a bit more reading, and then some baking, spinning and frolicking with the dog. Happy weekend!

yep, i’m fine.

“Are you okay? You didn’t post this morning.”

These were close to the first words I heard from a friend from both blogland and the real world this evening as we gobbled up salmon fish and chips, drank beer, listened to music and discussed issues of critical importance, like font choice. (I have Helvetica here, courtesy of Netflix.)

I didn’t post this morning mostly because my pinwheel, though ever growing, looks the same. I finished my second ball of yarn, and while winding a third just before our dinner plans, Boh decided to help me with the knot that appeared at the end of the skein:

dog-yarn1.jpg

Yes, that’s right. Help.

dog-yarn-2.jpg

When faced with two options: (a) rescue yarn or (b) take cute pictures, I tend to choose (a). Tonight, I chose differently, deciding that this was funny enough to merit sacrificing the last 15 yards of the ball. I mean, it does seem a little unfair that Boh doesn’t have any of his own yarn to play with…

yarn arrives…

Remember how I told you that I did some serious internet yarn purchasing last week? It has begun to arrive. I am very excited about making the Bolero Jacket, which is on the cover of the Debbie Bliss pattern book, “Simply Soft”. I’ve been looking for a cozy shrug/sweater/cardigan pattern, and this one over at A Friend to Knit With is the one. The pattern book is surprisingly hard to find, and Yarnmarket came to the rescue. Shipping was a flat rate, so I decided to throw in a few skeins of a pretty artyarns color in deep pinks and purples. It arrived today, and I’ve already begun to wind it. My Webs order should arrive at the office tomorrow, with the yarn for the Bolero Jacket.

yarnmarket.jpg

like i really needed an enabler…

So…I am at work, but I somehow managed to place a serious internet yarn order. Ravelry makes it super easy to figure out which things in my queue that I can make from my stash, and which projects require additional yarn. In my defense, I don’t really own a sweater’s amount of anything, as I didn’t quite understand the yardage required to make different kinds of knitted accessories and garments when I was getting started. Well (rooster puts her foot down) that ends today. Or, err, when my large box of yarn arrives…

I promise to confess to each purchase when it arrives, with full photo-documentation and my intentions for each skein.

Happy Wednesday!