Sunday, November 13, 2011

My New Obsession...When I Can Get to It

Several years ago I decided that I wanted to try spinning. A year later I took a spinning class from a fantastic teacher at my local guild. Months later I bought a wheel. I bought this alpaca fleece about a year ago, hence the "when I can get to it" part of the title.

This comes from Hawkspass Farm. The lovely fellow that donated his fleece to me is Tribute.

I am completely enamored of the transformation the fleece takes once it has been washed.

Hopefully, there will be a finished project from all this fleece, when I can get to it.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Project Mania

I'm so excited I just can't hide it. Well, maybe I can. I've been told that I'm very laid back.

Anywhoodle. The projects. We have lived in this house for 11 years. Most every room is still the same color as when we moved in, plus crayon art...on...every...single...wall. We have second hand furniture through out the house (not the beautiful antique kind, but the found by the side of the road kind), and the house is very unorganized (personally, I feel we have too much stuff, yarn is not included in this definition).

For years I have wanted to do something about it, but lack of money and time have prevented us from doing anything major. Now, I have both! Our list of improvements to the house is long, and it will be a time consuming endeavor, but I am up to the challenge.

The problem is how to tackle it. The Husband and I are of two minds on the subject. He doesn't see any reason not to have multiple projects going on at once. I would prefer to pick one, and see it through to completion in all of it's little steps.

Both of our views are analogous to knitting. He would be the knitter that has multiple WIPs. I am the knitter, that although I have multiple WIPs, I don't like to have too many to the detriment of all. If you have too many, it's possible that one or two could suffer.

You could think you have the pattern memorized to that lacy scarf, but realize towards the 50th inch of it that you screwed up. This does not bode well if you are also a perfectionist at heart. (I was also described as a perfectionist, but that was before having to share my house with those that are not. I gave up on that.)

But if you have multiple projects going on, this would indicate that you are an impatient soul. You want it all, and you want it now. My father always said that if you had everything you wanted, you'd have nothing to look forward to.

It will be fun to see how this all plays out. Keep tuned.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

What a Fall!

Excuse me, I fell down the high school marching band rabbit hole. With the Boy having 2 hour rehearsals three times a week, plus a football game on Fridays and competitions on Saturday (his marching band earned 4 "Grand Champion" awards this year and a superior rating at the state competition), I've been a bit busy. Thank John Phillip Sousa it's over until next year.

All that time sitting in the car waiting for practice to be over, or waiting for the buses to get back to school (after they broke down one hour away from their destination) has yielded some knitting. I am about 50% done with Thing 2's Harry Potter sweater. This is the one I started last winter and had to rip, because he grew. It's not very exciting to look at, thus no picture.

I also have a pair of socks going that I just leave in the car, so I am never without knitting if I suddenly find myself waiting. It's just a plain old vanilla sock pattern which is good for throwing on a few rounds if the wait is short.

Pardon the crappy photo, it was taken with my phone. I'm much further along now. There has been much waiting. I'm using Opal Rainforest in tiger, knit on a 9" circular needle. The wee little needle is fun. I had tried it out before, but didn't like it. I was strictly a dpn sock knitter. I think I didn't like it because I knit with the yarn held in my right hand.

After I learned to knit Portuguese style, it was easier to use this needle. I don't think I'll completely give up knitting socks with dpns, but this is a fun change.

I've also been washing, carding, and spinning an alpaca fleece I've had for a year. This is my first attempt at spinning from fleece to yarn. It's amazing how easy it is. I had always been in awe when I would read about the process on other blogs. Don't let them fool you.

Washing the fleece is no more than picking out the ick, and putting bits of it in the sink with soap or a scouring agent to soak, rinse, and repeat (if necessary). After it's dry, it can be carded while watching television. It's the equivalent of doing garter stitch without looking.

The part that takes the most concentration is the spinning. To me, this is the most fun part and I wouldn't want to miss it by dividing my attention between spinning and something else.

Although I do love seeing the Boy occasionally walk past my shoe box full of clean fiber, stopping to stick his hands in it, and hearing him say, "mmm, alpaca". There's hope yet for that Boy.