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March 2006

February 2006

sleeves, Sam & sparkle

Congrats to all the finishers in the Knitting Olympics.  You are all medalists in my book.  The outside world, although it does show it's existence on the box that is television, has little effect on the productive climate of Sleeve Island.  Sitting in a remote corner of an unknown world in our imaginations, it remains far, far away from outside influence.  The knitting continues.  I can't blame my sluggishness on the warm temps, it is freezing out there.  It is just the nature of the island.  I've taken to whipping up strong lattes before sitting down.  No use, perhaps some knitting calisthenics?

The temps are keeping Sammy in more than usual.  He's been bringing me his rope to throw.  We call it Go Get It,  a cat version of fetch.   I throw the rope, he races after it, skidding and rumpling up any rugs he can in the process, then he grabs whatever he can of the rope and runs back to me, placing it back at my feet.  Occasionally he'll try to draw C into the game, a rope fetch triangle.  His game, we play by his rules.   He looks pretty serious about this, doesn't he?  Such a sweetie.

P1010149      P1010147

Saturday was the monthly spin-in at RI Handspun.  For those of you who have spun with me in the past several months, you'll recognize this.  It's on the Joy.  That means I've only spun it when I've been out and about.  After filling a few bobbins, I decided to spend my time Saturday plying some up.  So far, I have about 400 yards of the bubble gum, Barbie pink, sparkly, alpaca, silk, angelina blend.  Very yummy, VERY pink, very not me.   I know that it has to be the sparkle that has grabbed my inner magpie.  What else?  After weighing it on the OHaus, I figure I'll end up with nearly 800 yds, about 100 yds. per ounce.  After trying several shots of this, I've decided that sparkle is directly related to movement.  Focus vs. sparkle.  Use your imagination.

P1010153


red, and more red

It hasn't been all stockinette stitch here.  In between, yeah, well work and general life stuff, knitting on the sleeves, I've been spining some merino in the Mojave colorway.  Su had just opened a box of new roving when we arrived for Tuesday night knitting.  I did not need anything, or that's what I thought.  Someone once told me that red is the color chosen when you are indicating you need a change.  Three of us quickly gravitated to the Mojave and wound off 1/2 lb. balls.  Guess change was in the air. ( The Funnel Neck is also red.  That probably dashes that theory all to hell.)  Although the merino isn't the finest, the color is wonderful. Just what I needed.

P1010141   P1010143

I moved my little cd player next to my wheel last evening and spun while listening to the final disc of The Subtle Knife.  It's juvenile fiction, book two in a trilogy and I'm hooked.  I've got book three, The Amber Spyglass, on order from the local library but I'm third in line, guess a six week or so wait.  Darn, I'd start it today. 

Earlier this week a box arrived.  It's from Kpixie.  Jean, my Secret Pal 7 had sent me a gift certificate.  I've been holding onto it.  I wanted something I would not ordinarily buy for myself.  This silk is perfect.  Absolutely jewel toned.  It looked red, sort of magenta mostly indoors.  When I put it in the sunlight, purple dominated.  Lovely!  I'm thinking another one of Judith Pascale's Shapely shawls.  I think I have just enough at 350 yds. 

P1010145

The sleeves continue... 10 rows to the inch.  I am SO glad I decided to knit them both at once.  I'd never pick the needles up to do the second sleeve otherwise and there it would sit... forever.


solutions

Remember this?  I barely did.

P1010134

It's been sitting on the back burner since last summer.  I love the silk, I love the pattern and I loved dyeing it.  The problem, I couldn't figure out how to hide the ends.

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I couldn't use the old standby spit splice, sewing the ends together wasn't working for me, Fray Check fabric glue was stiff and weaving the slippery silk ends into the fabric was temporary at best.  Over the weekend, I happened to mention this problem to Cate.  She suggested I check out the Russian Join.  I think it'll work.  This morning I dug out the scarf, and as SOON as I finish the Funnel Neck (I am so trying to be good where knitting is concerned), I will get back to it. 

This scarf was a test project for me.  I wanted to dye pure silk yarn to sell.  I love the way silk takes color.  It was a project I'd enjoy.  That was until I got stumped by the how can I graft the ends issue.  I couldn't offer it to others without a solution.   

Check out these links for two different approaches to the Russian Join.
http://www.geocities.com/mama_bear_007/Russian_Join.html
http://www.eunnyjang.com/knit/2006/02/14/

P1010135


winter days

It's already Tuesday and I'm still catching up from the weekend away.  Not once, all weekend, did the Funnel Neck see the light of day (or night, or anything outside of the knitting bag) except for the moment it took me to stuff it into a plastic bag to keep the two balls of stretchy boucle from knotting itself around everything else crammed in along side it.  Not one stitch was knitted.   I had even put both sleeves on the one circ. so that I'd only have to go through it once.  My penance has been to set the lovely multi toned scarf aside and knit ONLY on the sleeves since my return.  Sleeve Island is feeling a lot more like a desert island. 

During the day, I'm breaking from work, not knitting, to take a 3 mile hike through the woods.  These winter days are glorious, snappy and bright, good for blowing the cobwebs out of my mind.      

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P1010130   P1010124

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You didn't want to see six inches of red sleeves, did you?


(S is for) shibori & spa

Don't worry, I know it's time for "D".. just kidding.

Last Thursday I took a walk and saw this tree along the side of the road.  I'd been thinking about the felted shibori project I was working on.  It's been an incentive to really look at texture  with a fresh perspective.  When I returned to my studio (sounds good, doesn't it?? ) backroom, I continued working on this piece.  I had gone out in the morning getting the materials I had thought I'd need, for the "imagined" texture.  It did not end up as planned.  I was knitting, watching a movie, or the Olympics, whatever, and maybe I fell asleep.  I don't know.  I forgot that I was supposed to be monitoring the felting process that was taking place in my laundry room.  When I remembered, the graceful forms I had hoped and planned were gone.  Maybe I was lucky, maybe not.  I planned for an organic form.  I certainly got one. 

P1010106     P1010119

One of the great things about SPA is the number of spinner, knitter, dyers.  If you need an opinion, someone there can help you.  Waiting for comments from fellow bloggers is okay, but people are kind, or quiet.  When your critics sit in front of you, there's no way for them to sweet talk their feelings.  What they think is right in front of you, first expressions.  That's what I wanted.   It's easy to get to close to what you are doing.  Thing is, I like this scarf, really.  I like the organic cocoon like growths that are clinging to it.  To my surprise, I was not the only one.   Thanks to all of you for your frank opinions. 

I had a great time.  I visited, got ideas, spun, knitted, saw fabulous knitting and knitters.  I ate with friends.  I made new friends.  I went to Gilberts, twice.  I love their seafood chowder.  The only picture I took all weekend was from the parking lot at Gilberts.  It sits at the top of the dock. 

P1010117

Friday night before turning in for the night, I surfed bloglines.  There it was, the surprise was out, Stephanie was at SPA.  Saturday night she entertained us, a standup routine if I've ever heard one.  She brought the house down, we laughed til it hurt. My thanks to all of the people who worked hard to make SPA happen this year.  You did a great job.  Julia, you never stopped.  I know your weekend kept on going, even after you left Portland.  Thanks. 


dyeing

Finally, I'm caught up on my dyeing and on my orders.  Here are four new colors in a single ply wool / silk.   Pardon the numbers for names, but I'm clean out of new ones for now. 

P1010111 Okay, so I did name this one.. Maddie's Rose.

P1010113  #113

P1010115 hmmm.. Verdigris

P1010109 #109 (maybe Evening Shadows?)

I'll put them on my Yarns for Sale page.  Check the side bar if you are interested.  Oh yes, there are eight skeins of each, 150 yds. per skein. 

 


a step at a time

It's been a very busy week so far.  Knitting has taken place only at night. As the days have necessarily stretched into the evenings, the nights have become quite short.  And, then there is the matter of staying awake.  The sleeves of the Funnel Neck progress, slowly.  So slowly, in fact, that I have completely given up the idea of having a new sweater to wear to SPA.  (I am still in the NO SPA, GO SPA dilemma with so much to accomplish here, new projects, business ad campaign...)  Sleeves can put me to sleep without the long days.  Last night, I left them, the sleeves, in their bag and continued on the scarf.  Much More FUN!  Here's where I left off..

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I'm well into the second ball of yarn, the repeating colors are showing up quite nicely.  The plan is to use one more full ball and then the beginning of the fourth to match the two ends color-wise.

A lot of dyeing has been happening.  I'm behind in the skeining, it's hard to make myself stay put long enough to get it all done.  The days have been glorious.  Cold, frigid temps are predicted to return this weekend so  I want to get in some walking while its warm and lovely. 

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The coyotes were singing (howling) early last evening.  I keep hoping the peepers have the sense to stay put.  It's feeling like peeper weather.

* oh, is it just me or has Bloglines been dropping the ball again?