Monday, January 7, 2008

Now, where did I leave off . . . .

I finished that pretty roving from Butternut Woolens. In fact, the singles are still sitting on the four bobbins, waiting to be plied. When I pre-drafted the roving, I split it into four equal parts, lengthwise. And I took care to spin each of the bobbins starting from the same end of the roving. So all four bobbins are in the same color sequence.

Now, here was my dilemma: How should I ply them? Originally, I planned on Navajo plying them to keep the color sequence. Sure, I'd wind up with only 1/3 of the length of the singles, but I'd be able to control the color change pretty well. And, I've never Navajo plied before, so I'd have to practice on some cheap "store bought" yarn first.

Then, I saw some beautiful candy-colored yarn that Dave Daniels plied barber-pole style, which looked just too yummy to pass up. But that would likely knit up into a wild riot of color with no particular sequence, thereby losing the impact of the various colors.

Then, last Wednesday night at SipNStitch, Kathleen suggested I make two 2-ply yarns, maintaining the color sequence in both yarns, then turn one of the yarns "other end up" and knit something like the Kauni sweater. BRILLIANT! (I'm tellin' you, these "knitter people" are some smart folk!) So, I'll make my two 2-ply yarns and then hunt for a pattern that really shows off the color sequences. Maybe a hat that would be felted? Or a bag? Hmmm, may have to do a little pattern shopping on Ravelry.

Speaking of Ravelry, if you are a knitter or crocheter and haven't signed up yet, then what the hell are you thinking? Go there and do that NOW! You have to sign up and wait your turn, but boy howdy, is it ever worth it! You simply cannot imagine the vast creativity, inspiration, and advice available until you browse around the site the first time. I'm a bad Raveler; I don't keep my notebook updated with finished objects, stash, works in progress, pictures, etc. But I'm in those forums almost daily. I've gotten inspiration, found free patterns, read tons of tips and techniques, offered help, made friends, and discovered some really wonderful blogs and podcasts on those forums. No matter what subject or niche you're looking for, there's probably a forum on Ravelry that's a perfect fit. And it's all free! So, go sign up for a membership. And when you get in, give Jess and Casey some money; these two kids (and Bob, the dog) have worked their tails off (Yes, pun intended; sorry, Bob.) and deserve to make a buck or two.

One of those Ravelry forums is where I read about a group of Seattle knitters who will be taking the train down into Portland next weekend for a yarn shop crawl. MonicaPDX saw that post and said, "What they need are local guides" and I said, "Amen, sistah!", whereupon I proceeded to round up some PDX Knit Bloggers (not that it took much convincing) to join these tourist knitter and show them the fine yarn shops we are fortunate enough to have right in our own backyard. Now, if I can just remember to not only charge the camera batteries, but to actually TAKE the camera with me next Saturday . . .

On Saturday, Duffy and I went to Fantasy Fibers in Canby to check out their Mystery Batts. I bought two batts, and Duffy bought several to share with friends. I didn't get pictures, but Duffy has some on her blog so go over there and look. See those two big batts that I bought? I paid less than $15, for both batts! The pictures really don't do the colors justice. The darker one reminds me of the agates you find on Oregon beaches; all dark greens and browns and caramel, with just a few streaks of cream and red and orange to lighten them up. The other one is various shades of gray, from dark to light, with just a few strands of burgundy red. I'm really anxious to see how these spin up.

Then after Fantasy Fibers, we drove over to "Yarn Mecca of the West", aka Woodland Woolworks. One simply cannot drive south of Hillsboro and NOT go there; it would be a mortal sin. I was on the hunt for some dk weight yarn for a test knitting job I picked up in another one of those Ravelry forums. Crafty Diversions emailed the pattern to me last week and I knew WWW would be the perfect place to pick out the yarns to knit this. Ok, so I'm not getting paid for this test knit, but I do get to keep the finished object, so it's almost as good as being paid.

And now that I finished ToolMan's latest pair of house socks, I need a new project.

There they are; house socks made from yarn I spun myself!

The specs: Dragon Waste purchased at OFFF last summer, spun into 2-ply tweed and 2-ply solid. Knit from the toe up, starting with Judy's Magic Cast On, then using my own "perverted heel". I'll have to explain that to you someday. I'm pretty pleased with these; the yarn bloomed pretty well after they were washed and dried. ToolMan says they're about half a size too long, but he did deem them "not droopy like the other ones."

He put on his new socks right after finishing up this lazy kate for Duffy:

That picture's a little fuzzy, and the color really isn't accurate. Here's a better one:

Duffy reports that the rods were too big for her bobbins, so he's making another set with thinner rods. Then he's going to start on an idea for a hat blocker that Kathleen came up with. She's a smart cookie, that Kathleen. He needs an Etsy shop, that man.

And last, but certainly not least, the latest report from the parental units back east yielded this:

My dad loves pitching horseshoes, and takes it very seriously. Just look at that, would 'ya? Ranked 8th nationally! In our family, he's always ranked Number One; even before he started pitching shoes. Way to go, Dad!


  1. Love the socks! You did have enough for two stripes at the top. Cool. I still think you should do them two at a time. But, hey, that's just me.

    Love the lazy kate. The man needs an Etsy shop. Tell him I said so. :-)

  2. Wow, you sure are doing great with the spinning. Love ToolMan's socks, they look very comfy.

    Tell your dad congratulations. That is pretty cool.

  3. Those handspun socks look amazing :) And I didn't even know there was a national horseshoe league - way to go Dad!

  4. Holy bananas! Eighth in the nation! Way to go Dad!!

    I can't wait to get the rods for the kate. The FF fiber is a little slick but it's spinning up well. I'll need the kate for when I'm doing my plying. Nice job on TM's sox.


  5. Spinning, knitting, woodwork, shopping, and horseshoe competitions! Wow, you've covered a lot of ground.

    Toolman's socks look great. The lazy kate is just as I expected -- beautiful. (Toolman's "okay" equal's my "gorgeous.")

    As for the horseshoe competition, wow! I didn't know there even WAS a national competition, although I grew up in a small town where playing horseshoes was pretty common. Congrats to Dad! Next time I say, "close only counts in horseshoes and grenades," I'll be thinking of that certificate!

  6. Wow, I didn't know there was a horseshoe pitching competition. Kind of cool if you ask me and great for your Dad. I'm with Cindy, I like the motto that close only counts in horseshoes and grenades. I could have used that when I taught my kids math!

  7. Congrats to Dad Tiggywinkle! I could never toss a horseshoe with any degree of accuracy, so I am extremely impressed!

  8. Man, I wish I could do socks. They look gorgeous.

    And major kudos to your dad! The last time I threw a horseshoe, my aunt didn't talk to me for the whole week (Sorry, tante!). It's a lot harder than it looks!

  9. Can't wait to see the Butternut roving all done! More importantly, congrats to your Dad. That is a very cool accomplishment. Who knew there was a National Horseshoe organization? I think we should come up with a 2 or 3 color intarsia pattern for their logo.

  10. Wow! That's so awesome of your dad!!

    And I love the toolman's socks :)

  11. The socks came out looking great! I love em. Congratulations to your dad, that's very impressive!

  12. Wow! Eighth in the nation! Congratulations Dad of Tiggywinkle.

  13. I do so love when "real life" accomplishments make it into fiber blogs. We all know that your focus is fiber ... but some things are just too good not to crow about!
    Way to GO Dad! That is very cool.

    And I love that it's at the end -- taking full advantage of that primacy-recency thing: Since the things we remember out of long articles, speeches etc are the things we hear last -- then the things we hear first -- it's clear that you put this announcement in a place of importance! Our parents' accomplishments are worth that

  14. The socks are fantastic! Modeled very nicely, too. That is a gorgeous lazy kate, I love the design. Yep, Tool Man definitely needs an Etsy shop.

    And congratulations to your dad - what an honor! I sure hope he's planning to get that framed and glassed and mounted to show it off!


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