Thursday, March 27, 2008

The swirl

Finally, finally! This things had been languishing in the UFO pile for months, if not years, because I lacked the courage to sew it together. What whimpiness! See how cute it turned out:

The seaming ended up taking something like 10 minutes, but I then spent the rest of the evening (and half a skein) making the dense pom-pom. I'm pleased with the outcome and might even make one for myself. This one is sized for a toddler and will go to a little guy living in Eugene, OR, for whom I've never knit anything.

I went totally nuts photographing this thing. For more pics, check out my flickr site. For the Stashalong project (which I haven't really started contributing to... yet): This project used up 101 grams of my stash.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Update on old/new yarn

The red sweater in the last post is now transformed to 6 skeins of yummy wolly goodness.

Which brings me to a digression: What's the difference between a "hank" and a "skein"?? A quick Google image search will show you that people use these words completely interchangeably, i.e. some will call a hank a skein and others will call a skein a hank. Or... gee, I'm confused!

So, let me use "loop", ok? It's a pretty non-negotiable word in this context, right? And therefore, I now have 6 loops of yummy red wool, waiting to be would into center-pull balls using my newly-acquired technique. Urchins... aaahhh, I'm looking forward to knitting you all!

You deserve a picture:

Aren't the wrinkles awesome?? I love how yarn is all crumpled up after ripping out a knit item! The picture was taken minutes before the yarn was soaked in Eucalan (no-rinse wool soap) for an hour (the white yarn strands hold the loop together during the soaking). I then dried the loops on coat hangers:

and used my (by now impressive) collection of high heels (the Austria gang should recognize some!) as weights to smooth out the wrinkles:

Easy as pie, really. And I'm glad the heels are getting some use :)

P.S. The color isn't as blue as the first two pics would have you believe, whereas the last picture captures the color pretty well. It's a deep burgundy-ish red with almost no blue at all. Won-der-ful.

Friday, March 21, 2008

New yarn, still old

I am slightly weird. After making a pledge to myself that I'd finally start using my stash and ONLY my stash, I lost it at the Salvation Army and got meself 3 knitted woolen sweaters to recycle. Finding recyclable woolen sweaters at places like the SA turned out to be harder than I imagined: It seems that most of the woolen sweaters for sale there were given away because they got (accidentally, I presume) felted. As all yall know, it isn't exactly easy to rip out a felted woolen garment. Thus, the choice last Saturday was rather limited. But, never one to give up, I plowed my way through what felt like kilometer of rack space to find these three... ehemmm... beauties:

The first one is really some sort of a mohair/nylon mix, intended for a yummy and hairy creation, such as the Ice Queen:

The next one is a well knit but (in my opinion, at least) fairly hideous cardi in fairly hideous colors that might however work well in different combinations:

The third one has already been taken apart and partially ripped out. It's made from 100% bulky (thick and thin) wool in a deep ruby red color and I absolutely love the yarn. I think it might be prime Urchin material:

All this yarn I got for the astounding sum of (3.99+2.99+3.99*0.5)*1.08 =... somewhere around 10 bucks. Not bad for almost 3 sweaters' worth of yumminess, huh?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Recently I taught myself (with expert assistance from "Þríhyrnur og langsjöl", a.k.a. "Three-cornered and long shawls") to wind a hank of yarn into a center-pull skein by hand:

(See these wonderful heathery flakes of blue and pink? This is one yummy yarn, which I got fresh at the Ithaca Farmer's/Farmers' Market (I never know) last fall).

Even the bottom came out pretty flat:

I´m pretty excited about this technique, since I a) hate having balls jumping all around the room when I'm knitting and b) don't have a "real" ballwinder (hint hint). Hopefully I can get the time it takes me to wind up one of these down to, say, less than one full evening, and then I might even use this technique exclusively!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Bubble, in action

The Bubble looks (IMNSHO) great ! when washed and worn:

I really love this sweater and I wear it all the time. The fit is just perfect and I like how it's really feminine without being cheesy or sentimental. The yarn is holding up to wear really well. It's really interesting that the ribbing on the sleeves (knitted with Clover bamboo needles) does not look nearly as good as the ribbing on the hem and cowl, both knitted using Lantern Moon ebony needles. That tells me that Wendy, the owner of Yarns2Ewe in Houston where I bought the LM's, really was right when she told me that knitting with LM needles was going to have a huge impact!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Fieldwork knitting

Well, not much has been heard from me here lately. I've been knitting, just not so much as usually, because I spent a month out in the field collecting water samples. Driving in (well, being a passenger in) jeeps and vans on gravel roads in crazy traffic one doesn't get a lot of lace knitting done, I should have thought of that before I chose the Hanami stole as my field knitting :)

In any case, here's where I'm at at this point: