Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What I've been working on lately

I've been spinning a lot more often lately, and I'm really enjoying it!  It's very relaxing to sit and spin while Robert reads aloud in the evenings.  We've both been impressed by how "productive" wheel-spinning is.  It's really gratifying to see the singles accumulate on the bobbin at what seems like an incredible rate.  I've been spinning some undyed white BFL (I bought a whole pound to practice with after I got back from yarn school 18 months ago!) but recently I've started reading a few spinning blogs and have really wanted to spin some of the gorgeous colored fiber I have.  So I started spinning a lovely custom carded alpaca and tussah silk batt that I bought two (I think? maybe it was three) years ago.  It's a lot of fun to spin - pretty easy, and it's fun to see the interplay of the different colors.  Here's the rest of the batt:
My plan is to ply this with some of the white BFL singles I've been spinning.  I only have two ounces of the alpaca, and I want to stretch it into more yardage - also I think I will like the candy-cane stripe effect.

My other new project is these toadstool socks in fancy self-patterning yarn.  This yarn was given to me at yarn school, and it is a pain to work with!  You have to get the tension EXACTLY right or the mushrooms will be all messy and ugly.  Also, the pattern is written pretty terribly (and apparently not tech-edited?), which is a shame since the kits are so incredibly expensive.  The pattern calls for casting on 56 stitches, and says that if your yellow and green stripes work out to almost exactly two rounds, you'll be good to go.  I did not find this to be the case.  After starting over on the toadstools about 5 times, I finally looked at the chart and realized that the pattern is for 52 stitches!
I started over a sixth time with the right number of stitches, and I've been following the chart religiously, adjusting my tension stitch by stitch to make sure I have the correct number of red and white stitches in each section.

I'm glad I kept working on these - I'm finally getting the hang of it (I've knitted another one and a half repeats of the toadstools since this picture was taken) and the socks are going to be really cool when I'm finished, but I'm also glad that I'm not the one who paid for this yarn.

Both the purple yarn and the socks count as new starts.  I've also finished a quilt that I haven't blogged yet, so I'm at six finishes and three starts since I started counting in February.  I want to finish some more things so I can sew myself some clothes!

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