Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Do you see what I see?

As I may have said before, on the way to Cornwall at Christmas, I bought yarn to finally start on a Swirl jacket. And I did. Cast on (which takes a long time) . Knit the recommended three rows before attempting to join in to a round. Because this is a very, very, very LONG row, enlisted the help of the DSM and Dsis plus several circs to get the thing as extended as possible, and then to make sure it was straight before joining. All this done, I was off!

At this point, I discovered that at least for the body, this is actually quite a boring knit. But I took it with me to knit group the other Sunday, and kind of got my groove back. Suddenly, it was going well.

Twisted swirl

I imagine you can see where this is going. Even if you can't see the picture all that clearly.

I can hardly bear to write it.

It is twisted. The difficulty I had been experiencing in moving the stitches as I knit was not, as I had thought, because there were so many stitches on the circ. How I do so wish. No, despite all our best efforts, I managed to twist the row, and I have a Moebius Swirl.

Except, I don't think that will work well as a jacket.

I am distraught.

Now I have blogged, I will soon have frogged.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Not entirely natural

On our last visit to World of Wool, I was so resolved not to buy anything for myself. Yes, I was. I marched around the shelves helping the other two find what they had come for, feeling strong and det.....ooh, shiny!!!

Some - well, about four shawlettes' worth - of merino and firestar just happened to fall into my hands. (At least, I am pretty certain it is firestar. Whatever, it is glittery and pretty.). Black, purple, teal blue and teal green. Sorry, can't be more precise than that, and neither can the camera, which is most certainly lying despite all protestations. Thus....


This is the black and the green. Really it is!

When I started spinning it, I had some considerable regrets. Fondled in the store, it had seemed to have fairly soft handle. Working with it, at first, I thought that the percentage of firestar (nylon) was quite high, and the fibre felt harsh and artificial. So I aimed for as low a twist yarn as I could, and achieved that by using the same drafting method as I had done with the grey alpaca and silk - good old extended draw from the fold. This had the additional advantage of spinning it up fast, too! I want to get on with knitting these.

I have, if course, no other yarn already spun up that would do the job.....

Any way, all us well, the yarn is reasonably soft with a more wool-like handle, and I think will knit up well. So panic over.

We have been gadding again. Last Saturday, we went to Dean Clough to see Northern Broadsides do 'Rutherford and Son'. Fabulous. It is touring, catch it if you can. Such an interesting play. Lots of info and reviews on t'internet, so Google away.

Sunday we went to the local - independent! - cinema to see Les Mis. Really liked it, although U hadn't been entirely certain that I would. But Jackman and Crowe were surprisingly good, the former in particular, and Eddie Redmayne turned out to have rather a charming singing voice.

And again, the theatre last night, Royal Exchange in Manchester for The Accrington Pals. The subject matter was well served by the play, thank goodness. I mostly enjoyed it very much, but one scene in the second half, apparently the springboard from which the entire idea had stemmed, failed to convince me. When 90% of a drama is firmly rooted in reality, I have difficulty suddenly having to deal with a fantasy sequence.

Great staging, though, with real water for rain! Very convincing, and true to life.

Sam just happened to be posing prettily when I had the iPad conveniently to hand yesterday, so, finally, one of those gratuitous cat photos. I am unapologetic.


Tuesday, February 05, 2013


Well, duh!

But actually, my spinning mojo had somewhat deserted me over the last several weeks, but suddenly, to my great joy, it appears to have returned.

I finished off a couple of small projects, and then went back to the grey alpaca and silk. I love this blend at most times, and this was a particularly nice one. Alpaca can be a bit tricksy to spin, all too easy to turn it into rope. That is why so many advocate blending it with something, sometimes wool, but I very much like it with silk. But I had not been enjoying the process with this grey previously.

As I returned to it, things were very different. Apart from ma mojo, something wasn't quite the same. I can't actually remember (shame on me) just how I had been spinning it, but all of a sudden it seemed the right thing to so to tear off a chunk from the roving, fold it in my hand and use an extended draw. This meant that I was drafting out fast, and could easily stop at just the right point for optimum twist for a yarn that was as soft as possible but structurally sound. No over twist; no drifting apart.

Worked a treat. Of course, I did have help......



The fibre prep was just what I like - not totally homogenised, so there are distinct flecks of white silk in the yarn for a very slightly tweedy effect. I hope.


So - immediately on to the next project, catching the wave. A black and sparkly blend from World of Wool. I bought - ahem - four. Black, green, teal and purple. To spin and knit up quickly for shawlettes. Can never have too many.

We get the studio on 1 March. The DSM wants to slap a coat of paint on it, I want to get up and running. He is right, dammit. I intend taking a chunk of the stash down there to spin up with multiple objectives; to improve my spinning and to extend my spinning range; and to build a stash/stock of yarn to improve my design and execution of projects skills.

Yikes, how pompous!

We have had a pretty dusting of snow today, but as forecast it has turned to rain, sadly. Back to dank and grey, I'm afraid. Ah, well, nice while it lasted.