Monday, June 1, 2009

Itty Bitty Projects

It was a itty bitty week full of itty bitty projects.

I've been spinning this 100% Merino from StitchJones in her "Earth Angel" colorway which is going to be some itty bitty yarn. I finished the second bobbin today.

I regularly listen to Yarnspinners Tales on my MP3 player during my MAX commute, and last week she mentioned a video of her daughter, Digital Durga [Ravelry link], spinning tencel. Well, watching it made a world of difference in my lace spinning. I got lace weight before but when finished it was "puffy", for lack of a better description; sure, it was thin, sometimes 18 to 20 WPI, but what it wasn't was the thin, firm lace weight that's available commercially. But it is now! I'm not sure what this will be, but it is so much fun watching the color change on the bobbin as I spin!

Then there has been itty bitty knitting and itty bitty finishing. On Sunday, my friend Maryanne came over for an afternoon of crafting, catching up, and limeade on the deck. She's just back from a visit to her son stationed in England and stops by her home in Ohio both going and coming. The family had found a big box of craft projects left by her mother, and one was a knitted cardigan which she needed help on as Maryanne not a knitter. I've tried to convert her, but when she began lobbying me to try quilting, we called a truce. Well, when Maryanne pulled that project out, I was too dumbfounded to take pictures! It was a kit from Fleisher Yarn, obviously from the early 1950s; the pattern page had 5 versions of a top-down cardigan and balls of "100% virgin wool, mothproof" in a cream color. The cardi had been knit on 14 inch straights, which were still in the bag, along with stitch holders, markers, and the receipts. We couldn't find a year on the receipts, but the kit was $4 and the notions, including needles was $2.16! The cardi turned out to be nearly completed; it was plain stockinette and the only knitting to be done was binding off the bottom ribbing and the sewing up of the sleeve seams since they'd been knitted on straights. Unfortunately, there turned out to be several series of holes in one arm and across the back; not moth holes, but it looked like where the fabric had been folded and come in contact with either the cardboard label or the plastic bag and had "broken". There was nearly a full ball of the yarn, so I was able to darn it after I finished the binding off. Maryanne said she could handle the sewing up. It didn't have buttonholes on the front, so I suggested she get some frogs for it after it gets a nice soaking and blocking. As for the "itty bitty" part: the pattern said "ladies size 12 to 18" but this cardi couldn't have been more than 30 inches around. My, how our clothing sizes have changed in 50 years!

My own itty bitty knitting and finishing consisted of finishing the BSJ for Rachel. I had done everything except the buttons on this, so dug through the button box on Sunday morning and pulled out several options. Maryanne thought the multi-colored pearl buttons were best and I agree. They don't show up especially well in this picture, but they are yellow, pink, green, orange, and blue to match the colors in the yarn. I sewed each on with a different color and then made little loop closures to match whatever color the buttons were sewn on with. This is very stretchy so trtlbby should be able to wear it next fall.

While I was in the button box, I matched up buttons to attach to a pattern that Cindy is donating for the swag bags for WWKIP. Her pattern for knitted cuffs uses the yarn samples that the indie dyers are donating and calls for two buttons, so I matched up a bunch and put them on safety pins, which can be attached directly to the pattern.

On Saturday, ToolMan and I had to go to Tigard to have his blood pressure checked (new medication before surgery today), and I took the opportunity to swing into CostPlus World Market and pick up one of their boxes of alpaca fiber. These are $12.95 for 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces); that's a little spendy for dyed alpaca, but hopefully it's helping provide income for a village in Peru.

The box says the fiber is from Peru and comes from animals raised by indigenous people, then dyed with natural dyes including plants and cochineal. The fiber is pretty good quality, and there are little mini batts of 10 different colors, which I think I'll spin in a rainbow effect and then Andean ply to maintain the color changes.

I spend some itty bitty time finishing up this yak/merino blend; once I got my long-draw mojo back, I finished the singles in one evening. I plied it on Saturday and finished it on Sunday to dry over the deck rail. I got 196 yards of bulky weight, which is wonderfully soft and squishy. I think this might become a hat for the Christmas gift box as I already have a recipient in mind.

And the last itty bitty project for this week was done this morning: ToolMan had cataract surgery this morning. Talk about itty bitty surgery! We were in the office about 2 hours, but the actual surgery took only about 15 minutes! He has an eye patch until tomorrow, with with he has taken the opportunity to talk like a pirate all day! Ahoy, mateys! I'll be mighty pleased when the ole' sawbones throws it over the side tomorrow! Arggh!


  1. Yer a fine wench to be puttin' up with the ole scalawag and his shenanigans. Make sure that the deck is well swabbed, the mizzenmast tarred, and the hatches battened on the poop.

  2. Love the colors in your BSJ! Lucky trtlbby!
    Have fun spinning that pretty alpaca.


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