So I spun my first 6 oz of wool. It’s incredibly addictive. All I can think of is my next roving fix. Oh sure it starts with a free drop spindle and a bit of wool, next you’re buying a few dollars worth of roving, next thing you know you’re cruising eBay looking for Spinning Wheels.
Here’s my crazy drop spindle made from CDs and my first spindle full of wool.
My first 3 oz. were pretty chunky. Christina gave me a bit of blue roving. I practiced on it and plyed it with a commercial yarn. I knit this sad little swatch with me very first plied yarn:
After a little practice, I took a shot at the other 3 oz. of wool. I did a little better on the old drop spindle. I Kool Aid dyed both plys a light raspberry. I meant it to be a lot darker, but I didn’t use enough Kool Aid. David kept threatening to drink it because it smelled “so sweet and tasty”.
Here’s my first ply before and after Kool Aid dying:
I built the bizarre little cardboard box contraption that Christina drew for me. I was initially going to ply each 3 oz spindle with commercial yarn, but I decided to ply them together after all.
If your just checking the blog today, scroll down (trust me it’s worth it). This is actually part two of a post. There was too much for one post.
On to Knit Out New York. Holy @^%$ that’s a lotta knitters in one place! I got there at 11:58 am (it started at noon), and there were already thousands of people there. Usually I love being around knitters, but being around 30,000 knitters when free patterns, free yarn, and free needles are being given out, was not for the faint of heart. I don’t know what the heck was going on at the Michael’s booth, but those women looked like they’d kill you just as soon as look at you, so I kept moving.
I enjoyed the fashion show. The dogs were really hard to photograph, because they moved kinda quickly. The kids were even harder to photograph. All my kid shots came out blurry. Here are some of the doggy fashion show.
(the dog wouldn’t put on the sweater)
The human fashion show was really long, but the always fabulous Yarn Harlot kept things lively. The whole show broke down into three distinct groups:
1) things I would knit and wear
2) things that I admire, but wouldn’t wear
3) just because you can knit it, doesn’t mean you SHOULD knit it
(my fave – Lion Brand Cashmere Blend. Knit it Fall/Winter 06)
(I liked this as a top, but was horrified when they said it was a dress. Is the designer high?)
So my fun filled few days of knitting began Thursday night at the Tea Lounge in Park Slope (I know, not technically the weekend, but just go with me. There I met the Park Slope Knitting Circle. It was really a great evening. First of all, love my Tea Lounge! If they sold yarn it would be my fave place on earth. Hmmm, that’s an idea. I met a lot of cool knitters. My favorite moment in the evening was when Emily nonchalantly walked in carrying her spinning wheel. As you might imagine . . . she turned a few heads. She was nice enough to give me a little tutorial. I found it pretty cool, but lets face it. I’m out of control enough with the knitting. I can’t get into spinning. . . right. . . (gulp).
Then I saw this woman knitting a beautiful sweater out of yarn she spun herself. Well Alexandra started talking to me about how great spinning is. I said I don’t really have any room for a wheel. She said “you can spin on a drop spindle”. I said “you are not going to be satisfied until I start spinning”. Well Alexandra, Emily, wait till ya hear what I did on Saturday!
So next stop on Patty’s tour of cool knitting spots was the New Jersey Sheep and Wool festival. It was my first ever Sheep & Wool Festival. It was also my consolation prize for not being able to go to Rhinebeck. It’s the same weekend as my family reunion. Although I toyed around with the idea of disowning my own family, I came out of my yarn daze in time to realize that wasn’t a great idea. As soon as my pal Francesca and I arrived we signed up for the 10:30 am spinning workshop (Happy now Alexandra??). We got a crazy drop spindle made from two CD’s. It was really hard to get the hang of. Francesca said hers looked like dred locks. Of course, by the end of the workshop I was shopping for rowving. I decided to buy 6 oz because I figured that would take me a while.
(nice bunnies . . .I mean sweaters) (SCARY sheep)
Way off in the corner of the barn, segregated from all the other sheep was the sad sight of racism in the animal kingdom. The dreaded KKK sheep:
Okay, not really. I think they were just keeping there coats clean until after the show. But we did think they looked just like KKK sheep. They kinda freaked me out.
The craziest thing we saw was the sheep dog demonstration. They were herding, wait for it, geese. It was one of the more bizarre sights in the world. I don’t know why the site of dogs ganging up on foul to make them walk through an obstacle course, renewed my faith in humanity . . . but it did.
Of course what day would be complete without a sheep shearing a fleece auction. I was feeling full of love for these creatures that gave me my fiber. I called home and told David I was going to buy a small sheep to keep up on the roof deck. He was not amused.
So, I’m cruising along a few nights ago on my Sarah Tank Top, and I’m feeling a stockinette malaise setting in. Kind of getting bored, kind of itching for a little yarn over, purl together action. So I measure and I think “yeah, it’s time for the cool edge pattern that repeats in the center of the top”. I happily knit a whole round until I realize that I forgot to do the increase round you need to do before the pattern. %#@$%!!! Unknitting a whole round of pearl togethers and yarn overs is a stone cold drag.
Meanwhile, back in to the world’s most tedious project. My friend Zeena saw a black, white and grey braided scarf last winter (for $45.00!). I told her “screw that, I’ll just make you one”. I’ve been knitting working on it on and off for eleven months. Knitting three REALLY long strips of knit two, purl two in sock weight yarn is so boring. I keep the strips rolled up so I can carry them on the subway easier. It makes it look cooler than it is.
tomorrow I’ll tell you all about my crazy knitting weekend (Park Slope Knitting Circle on Thursday, NJ Sheep and Wool Festival Sunday, Knit out NY and Sit n’ Knit NY on Sunday)
It’s rainy and 65 here in beautiful Brooklyn. I’m desperately trying to get my Sarah tank top done before there are no more 80 degree days left.
As promised, I’m going to sum up Patty’s summer of knitting. My summer of psycho crazed knitting began in June when I had my first summer off in years. I was able to spend more time with David then I have in . . . forever, and hang out on my deck and knit. Some might see this as unemployment, but my pal Nell simply called it “P & D’s summer V” and it ROCKED!
Here’s where you could find me most days:
The first early summer sweater I finished was a bit of a trauma. It was the Moda Dea Curious Diamond top in Distrato Tutti Purple yarn. I like to call it the muppet sweater. This pattern is a LIE!! See the nice model, see the nice model wearing a form fitting sweater, see the nice model wearing a sweater that has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PATTERN. So, I knit the entire front (yes, I did a gauge sample, I’m kind of a nut about doing that) and it looked like a shapeless potato sack. I bravely, naively, stupidly knit on thinking “I’m sure the pattern writer knows best, it will all come together.” I knit the back. I frogged it and started again. I rewrote the pattern entirely, removed one whole pattern repeat and added shaping to the side. This is the result:
The yarn is this crazy furry stuff that makes me feel a bit like Elmo when I wear it, but that’s life.
With a closet FULL of projects, I did the only thing a girl can do as the summer heats up. .. buy summer weight yarn! As the temperature rose (and rose and rose!) it was time to put away all thoughts of wool and alpaca and anything that came from a furry beast, and turn our attention to all things cottony blendy.
Next up was the adorable xback ribbon tank. It knit up in a couple of days. My problem is the ribbon yarn I used was really stretchy, thus making it a little (ehem) whorey to wear braless. I ended up knitting a little shelf bra inside. My mother would be so proud. I had a skein and 1/2 left over, so I made a little shrug
With a big ole bag of cotton & viscose blends, cotton & linen blends, and cotton & strange chemically sounding word blends it was time to delve yet deeper into the wonderful world of summer tops. First stop the Honeymoon Cami. What the hell would I do without knitty.com???? I loved knitting this top, and although I though at first the designer was high when she called a ssk a right slanting decrease. I decided to go on blind faith (although still stinging from the whole muppet sweater affair). It turned out FAB! I think she just meant that ssk was the decrease on the right side of the sweater. Whatever, all is forgiven, cause check it out:
Next came another tank, Evening Diamonds, and another r-0-n-g, wrong pattern. This time I only got halfway through the front before I realized the math was all wrong. By the time you get to dividing for front and back you don’t have the right amount of stitches. I counted backwards from the divide to figure out the right number of stitches to cast on. It was also my first foray into crochet (for the edge).
Since the little Evening tank took me a good long while. I decided to move on to instant gratification time. Yes, I’m talking Loop d Loop ballet t-shirt. It knit up (hand to god) in 3 1/2 hours. I bought a bag of ten Filatura Lanarota Summer Soft at Smiley’s and it was perfect for this top.
I got a huge cone (my first) of greyish lavender mohair from David’s mom. People are constantly dropping yarn and unfinished sweaters off at her house. I told her she could go into business finishing other people’s projects. I usually walk away with a little sumin’ sumin’ for the old stash every time I visit. The mohair seemed perfect for the Fluffy lace camisole and pull off cowl from Weekend Knitting. I’d been meaning to make it for a while, but hadn’t learned how to crochet, for the edging. Now that I conquered crochet for the evening tank. I dove it. It’s just a big tube, no shaping, so it got a little headachey after awhile, and it didn’t look as good on me as the model, but I still like it.
More later about my trip to the NJ Sheep and Wool Festival, and of course, Knit Out NY!