96 Yards of Handspun lace/fingering weight

I just finally (I actually finished spinning and plying the yarn in December) skeined up and finished the singles that were left after spinning and plying my Girl Insane top.  The colors in the top were light to medium pinks, shades of grey to black, light to dark purples and white. (Don’t have a picture of the top, so here’s the link to the original listing in etsy: Girl Insane Top.  I split the colors into lights and darks, spun the singles fairly thin (I’m still terrible about figuring out things like what drafting method I used or how many twists per inch etc.) and then plied the two together.  It came out really pretty.  When I was through, I had just under 100 yards of singles left from the dark batch, so I skeined it and finished it tonight – it’s drying right now.  Pictures to follow once it’s dry and I get off my lazy ass and take the pics.

Any suggestions on what to do with just about 100 yards of light fingering to heavy lace singles?  I’m stumped, but this came out so pretty that I want to use it.  I thought about plying it with itself after it finishes drying, but then I’ll only have 50 or so yards and I know there’s not a lot I can do with that.  Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

The Coriolis socks are coming out beautifully.  I’m back on track after the frogging incident and I’m really enjoying these socks.  I’m going to buy the book (I’ve had it out of the library for two renewals now and I don’t want to keep it out of the hands of others who might want to read it) before I leave for CA (on Tuesday) and work on the last sock on the plane ride.  It seems like a good, portable project for the plane.  It’s either that or my Clapotis and that thing is pretty big and bulky for a plane ride at this point.

As for my two baby gift projects:  I’ve hit a wall with the Moderne Baby Blanket as the book is still packed up in a box somewhere in this house (I swear we’ll never be fully moved in) and I was able to find the pattern as a freebie through Ravelry, but it’s a scan of the book and doesn’t include the border, so until I find the book I’m kind of stuck.  I know I could just come up with my own border, but I’m just not feeling that creative with this one.  I draw a blank whenever I try to think of a good border pattern for this…again, suggestions are welcome and appreciated.  The Anouk pattern is coming along nicely.  The baby it’s for is due in July and I’ve got the first half done and am ready to start on the second.  The first went really quickly so I’m hoping the second will be as swift.  These are the only projects I plan to bring on the trip, along with some needlepoint that I’ve been working on for awhile on and off.  I figure if I don’t have many choices I can’t get caught up in “startitis” and might actually finish a few things on time…

Adventures in Sock Knitting

Sock knitting has been one of the things that I’ve always been most intrigued as well as most intimidated by since I learned to knit.  I’ve tried to knit a simple sock on a few occasions and have failed rather spectacularly.  I’ve always been terrified at the thought of a toe up sock – the top down was more than difficult enough for me.  So I got this New Pathways for Sock Knitters book out of the library a few months ago (I’ve renewed it twice now; I really need to buy my own copy) to check it out.  I was so impressed with the Coriolis sock that I was emboldened to try it even though I was sure I was going to fail just as horribly as I have in the past.  I did the practice sock since I hadn’t knit on 2 circs before and even though I’ve done several things with Magic Loop, I didn’t want to deviate from the instructions at all since I knew I was going to be intimidated enough to begin with.

I used Socks that Rock Medium Weight in the color Hot Flash which I bought as a gift for a friend (I was going to knit her something with it) that I never got around to doing.  I thought the color was WAY too pink and bright and I really didn’t like it much – until I wound it and realized that it was actually a gorgeous color.  I started a pair of Monkey socks with the yarn, but frogged it when I decided to try the Coriolis socks.  I decided to use the Spiraling Coriolis master pattern and got started.

What I’ve discovered is that toe-up socks are much easier for me than their top-down counterparts and that sock knitting is not the frightening concept that I thought it was.  It took me about two weeks of working a few hours a night to finish sock #1.  The biggest problem I had was binding off in a way that made the sock go over my foot.  After tearing out several different B.O. methods, I settled on Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Sewn Bind-off, and that worked for me.  I just finished the heel turn on the second sock (no “second sock syndrome” here) and I’m hoping to have the pair done before I leave in a few weeks for three weeks in CA with Jake, visiting my mother and going to the David Cook concert (which I’m so excited about I’m like a 14 year old teeny-bopper….mmmm….David Cook).

The thing that I found most intimidating was the short rows with the wrap and turn and then concealling the wraps as well.  I think I’ve finally mastered it, though, or at least it’s not so scary for me.  I think the heel turn is my favorite part of sock knitting; there’s something magical about it to me.  I simply love sock knitting and now I completely understand why there are people who are so obsessed with it.  I love having a project that is small enough to take anywhere, yet interesting enough to keep my mind occupied.

What I really need to do is to get back to spinning.  I look at my wheel every day and I never seem to find the time or energy to pull out fiber and spin.  I think I’ll take the wheel with me to CA.  I’m sure I’ll find time at Mom’s house to get some spinning done.  I have some great bamboo batts from Loop that are deep brown, scarlet red and amber colored bamboo in layers.  I have 15 oz. of it and I think I’d like to spin it to fingering weight in a 2 ply and then make a shawl for myself out of it.  We’ll see how that goes since I’ve never spun bamboo before.  Maybe I should grab some bamboo in a single color that I don’t love as much as these batts and give it a go first.  Any hints/tips on spinning bamboo would be appreciated.

I’m back…

I haven’t blogged in months. I suck!! I’ve been computer phobic…not really phobic, per se, but I haven’t had much desire to bother with it.
Quick update and I’ll be back with a more detailed update later:
Melly passed away a few days after the last post. It was at home and it was peaceful. She’s very much missed and Peachy (her mother) now spends all her time connected to me. She sleeps with me, follows me around the house, even hangs out next to the tub when I bathe. It’s very much like having a dog. Speaking of which, as soon as Jake and I get back from our upcoming trip to CA (June 10-30) we’re going to trek out to the ASPCA and pick us up a puppy. Jake’s been wanting one forever and I have to admit that even though it’s so much easier not to have one, I want one as well. Corky’s death left a big hole in our lives.
I’m still working on that damn Moderne Baby Blanket (log cabin garter stitch seems to take forever as I get to bigger squares). I’ve got the first part of the Anouk pattern done for my friend Lisa’s baby girl due in July and I’ve completed my first knit sock. Big cheer!!! It isn’t the Monkey sock that I was working on at the beginning of the year, but it’s the same yarn. I frogged the Monkey and started the Spiraling Corolis from the Pathways book by Cat Borhdi (did I spell that right?) Even though it’s supposed to be an advanced technique book, I figured that if I wasn’t really familiar with the regular way of knitting socks, it wouldn’t seem different or complicated to me. Can I tell you, I LOVE this book and this method. I love sock #1 and there is no second sock syndrome. I can’t wait to get #2 done, but the blanket is coming first right now. Eventually, though, I’ll get so mind numbingly bored with knitting every stitch forever that I’ll start the other sock just to break up the monotony and then I’ll work on it until it’s done b/c once I start I can’t put it down. Will take pictures when done.