Monday, November 19, 2007

The Queen of Vague

First of all, Happy Birthday, Gena.

I left out the details of my calorimetry in my last post. I'd heard from other knitters that it's a challenge to get the sizing right if you don't have the perfect gauge. So, I just started casting on stitches and stretching the cast-on edge as I went to guesstimate the number of stitches needed. I ended up casting on 60 stitches (on a size 9 needle) because I wanted a nice snug fit (no slippage, please) and I didn't know how far 55 meters of yarn was going to go. The fit is good, but I almost wish I'd gone with 64 stitches! Do note that I'm a really loose knitter so anyone using the same yarn/needles will probably need anywhere from 10-20% more stitches.

I gave it a test drive this moring on my walk to work, and I am in love. It still has that heady sheep/acetic acid smell that makes me think of wonderful places (yarn stores, of course). My ears weren't the least bit cold after I got to work and realized I'd left my badge on the coffee table. They were still toastywarm when I got back home to retrieve said badge. And when I finally arrived at work and realized I'd left my lunch at home (when I went to fetch the badge) my ears were still totally cozy. At that point I decided I wasn't walking back home for lunch and just had delicious chilli for dinner instead.

In other news - I have plane tickets to return home for Christmas! I cannot even explain how giddy this makes me!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A day of fiber and friends

The generous Karen hosted a yarn brunch today where we assembled a team to rip a disasterous sweater (details will be on Karen's blog). It took 4 people and more than an hour, but in the end we had all of that yarn in tidy little cakes.

I made a little progress on the sleeve of the tangled yolk cardigan. I'm not very inspired by it at the moment. Since the sleeve has seemed more like work than enjoyment, I made good progress on the Raspberry Cane sock. It came to work with me a couple of nights where I spiraled away on it while various assays developed. I like the way the burgundy/red pools on one side of the sock. It makes me think of the red tide.

I made a quick trip to a yarn shop that was having a sale (20% off all yarn!). There, I found a yarn which I've never seen in person before - Marisol's Sulka. It's a lovely Wool/Alpaca/Silk blend that is spun in a loose unplied single. I've been drawn to singles yarns since I learned to spin. They're just so soft! I got home and immediately cast on for Calorimetry. Since I wear my hair in a bun on a daily basis it's not terribly conducive to wearing hats. This garment solves the problem of chilly ears on windy mornings without the bun becoming an issue. I finished in 2 hours - exactly as Karen predicted! Any pattern named after such an explosive technique requires a bold color. I think I chose well. Please excuse the odd picture - it's really hard to photograph one's self. Once I finally got most of my head in the shot I no longer cared that I had a strange smirk on my face!

When I was at the LYS I found another singles yarn that caught my eye. It was a visual delight as well as a tactile one.

It's a laceweight - Malabrigo laceweight in the "Continental" colorway, to be exact. It was priced very reasonably - especially considering the yardage. Then, it was an extra 20% off! I have a pretty good idea what I'm going to make with it.