Thursday, July 13, 2006

Funny how much you learn by getting it wrong...

It suddenly dawned on me, midway through knitting, that the increases I've been using for the socks (oh maude, please make them stop) are not the increases specified in the pattern: and this is why I have the dinky little holes, that I actually kind of like. What the pattern (which is a generic pattern) actually calls for is knitting into the stitch below- and instead, I've been knitting into the float. Such a simple, elementary mistake to make: but now, I understand what I should be doing. And every time I make a daft mistake like this, I get better and better.
The move is on, for 5 weeks time. Flylady's moving tips has been set as my homepage in an attempt to inspire and uplift me and magically transport my clutter into boxes. In the meantime, however, I have a poorly wee boy cuddled up in my lap demanding hugs and attention, so packing is getting a little bit tricky. I'm not entirely sure what's wrong (a bad attack of sportsdayitis?)but he's really a bit flat. And the wee girl is eating the xbox.
Spindling is going well, but not too well: given the dental floss issue on top of everything else, I think that this is probably not the best time to make a first attempt at chaining singles, because it's going to come out seriously unevenly. I think the solution is probably to turn it into a 2ply: possibly with sparkly stuff involved somewhere.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sock singular

I have new respect for anyone who can knit these things for fun. That's all I'm saying.
So here is the sock of doom, which has taken me umpteen months. I fell badly out of love with the colours whilst knitting, but the lovely Amy gave me this pair of silver DMs, which NEED bright socks to set them off. Or at least, they look very well together. It's not blocked, by the way, because I don't have the patience for wetblocking and I came back from Swindon without my iron.
And somehow, I have lost the ability to spin. My beautiful fibre is turning into dental floss, and there isn't a thing I can do to stop it. So depressed it's unbelievable.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Is that a future in there? A whole future, not just a half?

This question was asked by Isaac, whilst watching Dr Who tonight, and it seemed to sum up the last few days.
In 5 weeks time, I am uprooting my family and we are moving 150 miles away to my husband's boyhood town on a wing and a prayer. We have a home to go to, and that's it. Friday, we had a few monumental strokes of luck, and within the space of an hour and a half found a new school and a new job. Suddenly everything has fallen into place, and I feel so relieved it's unbelievable. Literally, we feel like we have a future again- and also, that our lives are coming full circle. I'm happy.

Dr Who tonight really pissed me off. The Beeb have been running trailers all week with Rose saying "this is how I died" and therefore, having something of a literal mind and living with two small boys dealing with the death of a friend, I kind of assumed that they were killing off a companion. If you haven't seen it, I won't spoil it: but I think what they did was truly irresponsible and completely totally and utterly reprehensible and they should be ashamed of themselves. Five slapped hands for Russell T.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Little things make me happy.

Yesterday,my boys (plus one, we had friends for dinner) made me the worlds gooiest chocolate pudding. What's not to like? Apart from the fact that they left me the washing up, bless them.
The new Knitty is up, and in it is an article on how to make coiled singles which is something I've been wanting to figure out for a while. I suspect making coiled singles with a drop spindle is going to be a PITA, but hey, no harm in trying ;)This makes me especially happy because I was planning on buying a back issue of Spin-Off to learn this technique alone, and now I don't have to.
Another thing that makes me happy is that the dastardly sock is almost finished- in fact, it's on to the ribbing. We're away for the next couple of days, so I should get lots and lots of in-car knitting time in.
I got my package from the peace fleece co-op, in what's probably the fastest postage time ever from the US. By some strange coincidence, the dye lots match the stuff in my stash, so mum's cardigan (Samus) should be absolutely perfect. I have a couple of projects waiting in the wings, and can't decide which one to start with.
And finally: we're definitely moving. Steve handed his notice in yesterday, so we're off to Swindon in around a month's time. Mortgage free living, new life, fresh start-it terrifies me. Thank god for knitting.
Oh, and the picture is of my spindle. My mission for next week is to make a couple of CD spindles- one for plying, one for Alex.

Monday, July 03, 2006

She dyed, she did...

Day three of the Tour de Fleece and I've finally started. Yesterday I got the roving dyed, which came out in gorgeous pastel tones- it's KoolAid dyed, with pink lemonade (double strength), ice blue raspberry lemonade, arctic green apple and lemonade. I'm particularly proud of that gorgeous parma violet colour where the pink and blue have blended- I'm going to try and recreate that, even though I think the pink is possibly a bit brighter than I wanted. Even more importantly, I haven't felted it even a tiny bit, which is a first for me with dyeing.
The roving was soaked, spread out on clingfilm and had the dye squirted on in quarters, doing each side of each piece, going from yellow at the top, through green and blue and down to pink at the bottom. I then rolled it and sealed it in the clingfilm, coiled the sausages up to make tiny pyramids with the pink at the bottom, and nuked it in the microwave. I finished by dropping the whole package in a sink of fairly hot water and unwrapping it there, and then spun any excess out in the washing machine.
I'm spinning it up now, and so far it's an exercise in predrafting. I've split each length of roving down into 6, and then each 1/6 into a further 4-6 lengths before I spin it. Each piece is being joined at alternate ends, so the pink always joins the pink, and the yellow always joins the yellow and the colour gradations remain smooth and even. I've never predrafted this much before- I started off doing a modified long draw technique, and that's kind of stayed with me, but it has to be said that this is much easier and faster, and is giving really nice crisp clean colours. I'm hoping I don't end up with problems later on from having fibres lying in opposite directions or anything crap like that, but I don't see any reason yet for that to happen.